WWE returned to Cleveland on with Raw on Monday night, a show that saw rivalries and storylines continue to develop under the new creative direction of the post-Vince McMahon era. The biggest match advertised for the show delivered in the ring as Bobby Lashley was able to successfully defend his United States championship in a hard-fought battle with Ciampa.
That match also led to the night's main event, with Ciampa's mentor, The Miz, clashing with AJ Styles in a no disqualification match. While Styles emerged victorious, there was also an interesting post-match development as Dexter Lumis, who was previously released, was spotted at ringside.
Also of note, WWE announced some big developments for the women's division as a six-woman tag between the team of Bayley, Dakota Kai and Iyo Sky and Bianca Belair, Alexa Bliss and Asuka for Clash at the Castle as well as the start of a women's tag team title tournament.
CBS Sports was with you all night with recaps and highlights of all the action from Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse in Cleveland.
A bad night for Miz and Ciampa
United States Championship -- Bobby Lashley (c) def. Ciampa via submission with the Hurt Lock. Miz interfered and led to AJ Styles running in to take him out. The match continued with back-and-forth momentum swings until Lashley was finally able to lock in the submission for the win. Earlier in the night, Cimpa vowed to win and cited it being near the anniversary of the death of Harley Race, the legendary wrestler who trained Ciampa.
AJ Styles def. The Miz via pinfall in a no disqualification match after hitting a Styles Clash. Ciampa interfered to save Miz after Styles hit a Phenomenal Forearm. Styles eventually knocked Ciampa from the ring apron through a table before kicking out of a Skull-Crushing Finale. Styles then was able to put Miz away with a Styles Clash to secure the win. After the match, the camera showed Dexter Lumis -- who had been released by WWE in April -- being arrested by security in the crowd.
More than a "one big story" episode of Raw, Monday was a sprinkling in of many different things as new rivalries and storylines built. Lumis is a very "take him or leave him" talent so his return will land differently for everyone. Still, the big takeaway here was that Ciampa vs. Lashley was handled correctly. Ciampa didn't need the win, he needed to be shown as a talent who could compete at the elite level and the match with Lashley did just that while continuing to make the United States championship matter. Combine that with a classic television wrestling main event between Styles and Miz and everything worked well. Grade: B+
What else happened on WWE Raw?
- Alexa Bliss, Asuka and Bianca Belair agreed to a six-woman match with Bayley, Iyo Sky and Dakota Kai at Clash at the Castle. After the challenge was accepted, all six women began to brawl, with the action spilling into the crowd.
- WWE announced a tournament for the women's tag team championship.
- Seth Rollins def. Angelo Dawkins via pinfall with a pedigree. After the match, Rollins hit a stomp on Dawkins before Montez Ford could make the save.
- Kevin Owens powerbombed Ezekiel onto the ring apron forcing WWE officials to stretcher Ezekiel away, ending the match.
- Finn Balor def. Rey Mysterio via pinfall after hitting the Coup de Grace. Edge came to ringside to help Balor but Mysterio was ultimately defeated when he was distracted by Ripley attacking Dominik Mysterio on the entryway after attacking him backstage. Dominik had refused to come to the ring with Rey when Rey backed Edge, saying Edge's spear to Dominik last week was a mistake.
- Iyo Sky & Dakota Kai def. Tamina & Dana Brooke via pinfall to advance in the women's tag team title tournament. Sky won the match with a moonsault on Tamina.
- Omos def. two enhancement talents via pinfall in a handicap match. Omos hit a chokebomb for the win.
- Dolph Ziggler def. Chad Gable via pinfall after hitting a superkick.