WWE: Big E defeats Bobby Lashley to become WWE Champion

Big E, WWE (photo courtesy of WWE)
Big E, WWE (photo courtesy of WWE) /

WWE Monday Night Raw was back for another edition of weekly episodic wrestling. There was a slight buzz heading into this episode as several changes were forced upon the show, such as Big E’s announcement that he will be in attendance to use his Money in the Bank cash in. That and five announced matches gave viewers something to look forward to on a show that struggled to elicit excitement among wrestling fans.

The night started out with Big E making his way down to the ring to open the show. He was at ringside and before any statements could be made, Randy Orton and Bobby Lashley headed down as well. Lashley and Orton had plenty to say to each other with MVP and Matt Riddle speaking up as well. But the focus was on Big E’s placement in the situation. After all the back and forth, Orton ended the session hitting the RKO on Lashley for the third time in three weeks.

The first match of the night brought out Shayna Baszler to take on Charlotte Flair in a championship contender’s match.

The two women exchanged shots early but it was Flair with the first big moment, hitting a plancha over the top to take Baszler down. That gave Flair the early advantage which continued when the action returned to the ring. That changed when Baszler kicked Flair off the ropes and went for a pin, only to get a two-count. Flair must fight out of an attempt at the Kirifuda Clutch and did so with a back body drop.

Baszler responded with a stiff German Suplex, dropping Flair on the back of her head. Baszler was rolling with kicks until Flair dropped her with a clothesline. That was followed with chops to the chest. Flair faked the kick and landed the spinning back elbow to drop Baszler, leading to a two-count. They ended up outside again with Flair hitting a moonsault off the top. Nia Jax came down and that gave Baszler enough space to push Flair into the steel steps.

Flair remained in control but Baszler fought back to her feet. Baszler hit another German Suplex that rocked Flair. Flair then went after Baszler’s legs, tying her up in the ropes. Baszler hit a jumping knee but Jax jumped on the apron to distract Baszler. Flair hit a running boot and pinned Baszler for the win.

Charlotte Flair defeated Shayna Baszler via pinfall.

Drew McIntyre was out next for a six-man tag match. He was teaming with the Viking Raiders to take on Jinder Mahal, Veer, and Shanky.

Before the match could begin, Mahal, Veer, and Shanky jumped the former champion from behind. The Viking Raiders came out to support, clearing the ring.

Mahal’s team was rolling early, isolating Erik for much of the start. That was working until McIntyre made the tag, assaulting each of the three men opposite of them. That included hitting a Michinoku Driver on Shanky. McIntyre followed that up with the Claymore to pick up the victory.

Drew McIntyre and The Viking Raiders defeated Jinder Mahal, Veer, and Shanky.

Damian Priest was out next for an open challenge at his WWE United States Title. Jeff Hardy answered the call for the opportunity.

Priest and Hardy had a good read on each other early in the match, avoiding all the offense they were throwing out. Hardy scored with kicks first before Priest landed a back elbow. Hardy answered, landing an inverted Enziguri to know Priest from the ring. Hardy continued rolling with a clothesline off the apron.

Priest was finally able to slow him down with a boot to the face before landing a plancha onto Hardy on the floor. As the action returned to the ring, Hardy reversed a top rope back suplex to crash down onto Priest’s head and neck. The two men fought back to their feet before Hardy landed a Russian Leg Sweep into a pinning combination. Priest landed some strikes before Hardy dropped him again with a clothesline.


Hardy landed a splash off the second rope but Priest kicked out at two. Priest went to the top for his own high-risk offense but Hardy cut him off. A kick to the chest sent Hardy crumbling to the mat, allowing him to launch himself back into the ring onto Hardy for a two-count. Priest hit The Reckoning to pick up the victory, but Sheamus jumped him immediately after.

Damian Priest defeated Jeff Hardy via pinfall.

Nikki ASH was taking on Tamina in singles action.

Tamina immediately dropped the smaller woman with shots to the head before tossing her across the ring like a child. Nikki was able to pick up the pace to drop Tamina to one knee, but once she got back to her feet a clothesline stopped any momentum. Nikki fought back, staggering Tamina again until a big punch to the face floored Nikki.

Nikki rolled out of the way when Tamina went for an elbow drop, giving her some space to take over briefly. She was able to follow up with a head scissors takedown, before drilling Tamina with punches to the face. She followed up with a Tornado DDT to pick up the victory.

Nikki ASH defeated Tamina via pinfall.

That led right into Natalya and Rhea Ripley fighting next. Natalya and Ripley went through a lot of the motions, including exchanging pin attempts. Natalya fought out of a powerbomb, rolling through to take down Ripley. Ripley fought back to her feet, landing an elbow to get out of the leg sweep and a big boot to knock Natalya from the ring.

The ladies ended up outside the ring where Ripley hit Tamina with a dropkick by accident, allowing Natalya to drop her with a lariat. Ripley fought out of the Sharpshooter, just to be tossed out the ring again. Natalya then hit a snap suplex on the floor.

Natalya remained in control in the ring until Ripley fought back, landing a headbutt that dropped Natalya to the floor. Ripley followed up with a kick to the body but missed the shoulder charge in the corner. Ripley landed a Northern Lights Suplex for another two-count. Natalya attempted to lock in the Sharpshooter again but Ripley fought out. Nikki’s return saved Ripley who was nearly pinned. That allowed Ripley to hit another headbutt, locking in the standing cloverleaf to pick up the win.

Rhea Ripley defeated Natalya via submission.

Eight-man tag team action was up next. Mansoor, Mustafa Ali, and The New Day were out to take on AJ Styles, Omos, Mace, and T-Bar.

The team of babyfaces had their way with Styles early in the match, stomping away on him in the corner but leaving Ali out of the rotation. That allowed Styles to get the advantage with a suplex, tagging in T-Bar who landed a big boot to Ali’s face. He and Mace then laid out The New Day to clear out the ring. Ali was unable to fight out of Mace’s grasp, who dropped him with a high back body drop before tossing him out of the ring.

Mansoor was now the victim as T-Bar continued to have his way. That was until Mansoor kicked him in the face, but Styles was able to recover the advantage. Woods and Kingston then took a series of tags to get tandem offense rolling. Styles countered the Trouble in Paradise to a neck breaker, but Ali made the save on the pinfall. Each man was then laid out but Styles and Kingston were still legal. Ali tagged himself in and hit a tornado DDT, but that sent Styles right into Omos who made the tag.

Mansoor and The New Day came to Ali’s save but none were able to do any good. Omos planted Ali with the two-handed chokeslam, pinning him for the victory.

Omos, AJ Styles, Mace, and T-Bar defeated The New Day, Mansoor, and Mustafa Ali via pinfall.

Eva Marie and Doudrop were out for another rematch.

Marie landed forearms to Doudrop’s face before locking in a headlock. But a shoulder block immediately knocked her off her feet. Marie dodged the Senton and found herself trapped in the corner. Marie turned things around by ramming Doudrop’s face into the turnbuckle.

Doudrop eventually squashed Marie in the corner. Marie went to the eyes before trying to roll her up. Marie failed just to get hit with the crossbody. Doudrop picked up the victory via pinfall.

Doudrop defeated Eva Marie via pinfall.

Bobby Lashley versus Randy Orton was the main event of the evening.

Orton immediately rolled outside the ring to play mind games with the champion. Matt Riddle’s presence outside the ring allowed Orton to get the early advantage, throwing Lashley into the steps and the ring post.

Lashley forced Orton back into the corner, landing shoulder charges into the midsection. He missed and rammed the ring post. Orton followed up with an attempt at the hanging DDT, but Lashley tossed him outside the ring. Orton avoided a shot from Lashley, driving him into the barricade and clotheslining him into the timekeeper’s space.

When the action returned to the ring, Orton had Lashley staggered on the top rope. He would land a Superplex off the top rope, sending both men crashing to the floor. Orton went for the pin with Lashley kicking out at two. They ended up outside the ring where Lashley bounced Orton’s head off the ring post.

Back in the ring, Lashley continued to attack Orton’s midsection. Orton was trapped in a submission but Orton fought back to his feet. He’d avoid the spinebuster to land two tight clotheslines before following up in the corner. Orton hit the powerslam and Lashley kicked out at two. He then hit the draping DDT, planting Lashley’s head into the mat.

Lashley countered the RKO with a spear but Orton kicked out at two. Lashley went for the Hurt Lock and Orton landed an elbow immediately hitting the RKO on Lashley. MVP pulled Lashley under the bottom rope so the pinfall could not occur.  That space gave Lashley enough time to hit a second spear and pick up the win.

Bobby Lashley defeated Randy Orton via pinfall.

Lashley continued attacking Orton outside the ring and Lashley tweaked his knee. Big E rushed down to the ring to cash in the briefcase as Lashley attempted to wave things off. Big E slapped Lashley in the face and the match starts with Lashley going for the takedown to knee-on-belly.

Lashley continued to attack Big E in the corner but Lashley was hurt. Big E went after the knee and Lashley fought out of the Big Ending. Big E kicked out of the spear and the two men stood back up. Big E hit the Big Ending the second time and pinned Lashley for three to win the WWE Championship.

Big E defeated Bobby Lashley to become the WWE Champion.