WWE Raw results, recap, grades: Kevin Owens sneaks into WWE championship match at Day One

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WWE

The build to Day One, WWE's upcoming Jan. 1 pay-per-view event, began on Monday night as a WWE title match was made -- and then modified -- on Raw. That match will see WWE champion Big E defending his title against both Seth Rollins and Kevin Owens.

Rollins had already earned a shot at the championship, having won a four-way ladder match several weeks ago on Raw. While he began the show with an announcement that he would finally receive his opportunity at Day One, the show would end with Rollins potentially sabotaging his own opportunity as he was the sole reason for Owens receiving entry into the match.

CBS Sports was with you all night with recaps and highlights of all the action from  UBS Arena At Belmont Park in Elmont, New York.

Kevin Owens earns a spot in Day One title match

Seth Rollins def. Finn Balor via pinfall after hitting a stomp. Rollins used a thumb to the eye to set up the finish. Prior to the match, Rollins made it official that he would challenge Big E for the WWE championship at the Day One pay-per-view on Jan. 1. After the match, Rollins ran into Kevin Owens backstage, with Owens mentioning that he would also earn a spot in the Day One title match if he beat Big E later in the night. Rollins confronted WWE official Adam Pearce and was initially told Owens was lying but after Owens insisted it was true, Pearce eventually said it was a good idea and that Owens would be put in the match with a win.

Kevin Owens def. Big E via disqualification after interference by Seth Rollins. Rollins was ringside for the match, cheering on Big E to keep Owens from a spot in "his match." Owens slapped Rollins during the match, trying to bait him into attacking to give Owens the disqualification. As the match continued, Owens attacked Rollins for a second time. This time, an irate Rollins rushed into the ring and attacked Owens to cause the disqualification. Owens escaped the ring, so Rollins put Big E down with a stomp. Owens celebrated as his inclusion in the Day One title match was announced.

There's not much to complain about with the trio of Big E, Owens and Rollins in a big pay-per-view title match. Owens being able to get in Rollins' head to find the cheapest way into the match was a smart bit of booking, keeping Big E from having to eat an unnecessary pin. Owens' heel turn has been handled well, with him finding new ways to be underhanded aside from the very basic WWE style of "sneak attack the good guy." Grade: B

What else happened on WWE Raw?

  • Liv Morgan and Becky Lynch signed a contract for a match for Lynch's Raw women's championship on next week's Raw. A five-on-five match was also set up for later in the night.
  • Raw Tag Team Championship -- RK-Bro (c) def. Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode via pinfall when Randy Orton hit Ziggler with an RKO.
  • Edge returned to Raw and was interrupted by The Miz. The Miz took offense to his own return not getting the same level of fanfare as Edge, as well as Edge not mentioning him as a potential future opponent. As they traded verbal barbs, Edge finally had enough and tried to get Miz to fight him, leading Miz to simply refuse and leave the ring.
  • The Street Profits def. Alpha Academy via pinfall when Montez Ford hit Chad Gable with a frog splash. AJ Styles was pretending to be blind after the Profits sprayed him with a fire extinguisher last week but attempted to interfere at the end of the match, exposing the ruse while also not stopping the Profits from scoring the win.
  • United States Championship – Damian Priest (c) def. Apollo Crews via pinfall after hitting The Reckoning. Commander Azeez attempted to interfere, leading to his ejection from ringside. The attempted interference caused Priest to snap once again, quickly finishing the match moments later.
  • Rey & Dominik Mysterio def. Cedric Alexander & Shelton Benjamin via pinfall when Dominik his Benjamin with a frog splash.
  • Liv Morgan, Bianca Belair, Dana Brooke, Rhea Ripley & Nikki A.S.H. def. Becky Lynch, Tamina, Doudrop, Carmella & Zelina Vega via pinfall when Morgan hit Tamina with Oblivian. After the match, all the competitors continued brawling before Morgan got the last word by hitting Lynch with Oblivian.
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