Top champion pinned; female superstar embarrasses powerhouse

WWE RAW opened with another showdown between The Judgment Day and the team at AJ Styles, and The OC It set the tone for the evening’s first match between two true best friends.

Meanwhile, Johnny Gargano was injected into the rivalry between The Miz and Dexter Lumis. Gargano wanted Miz to tell why Lumis was chasing him. It’s a smart way to move the storyline forward as Johnny Wrestling and The Tortured Artist have some history between them.

Bayley and Bianca Belair also took part in this week’s show. Additionally, Elias returned to the ring with a match against Chad Gable.

Check out the five things WWE RAW did right on this week’s show.

#5. Finn Balor defeated Karl Anderson to start WWE RAW

The Judgment Day kicked off WWE RAW and said they run the show. Dominik Mysterio stepped on the microphone and called himself the modern Eddie Guerrero. He spoke earlier about his new family AJ Styles and the OC interrupted him.

The two teams came to blows and a match between Finn Baloro and Karl Anderson went to work shortly after. Balor and Anderson used their chemistry to pull off some good moves before The Prince got the Pele Kick for a near fall.

Anderson stayed alive in the match, hitting a top rope move before connecting to a superplex. Dominik tried to intervene, but AJ took him off the apron.

Meanwhile, Gallows took down Damian Priest before Rhea Ripley showed off her incredible strength by body slamming him to the floor. Another distraction from Dominik caused The Nightmare to deliver a low blow to Anderson. Finn Balor took advantage and took the win shortly after.

It was a fun match between the two sides that just started their rivalry. Balor and Anderson have known each other for decades and put on a good show.

Ripley showed what she’s made of, and the babyfaces are now looking for someone to match her in the ring. It could lead to the return of Shayna Baszler, who could join forces with Styles & The OC

#4. Austin Theory and Mustafa Ali put down a solid match on Monday night

Seth Rollins didn't want Mustafa Ali to win.
Seth Rollins didn’t want Mustafa Ali to win.

Seth Rollins joined the WWE RAW commentary team for a match between Austin Theory and Mustafa Alic. The Unproven One took control early on and set the tone for the match before Ali made a comeback.

Theory fled the ring so as not to get stuck and came back with some good moves of his own. Rollins continued to yell instructions at his former disciple because he wanted to see Ali lose the match. However, Ali again took control and went for a 450 splash.

The Visionary rushed to the ring to distract the referee as Theory kicked Ali off the ropes. He hit the A-Town Down of the distraction to… take the win.

Rollins defeated Mustafa after the match and sent him into the timekeeper area. He made sure Ali knew he didn’t deserve a shot at Rollins’ United States Championship.

It’s good to see Ali back in the spotlight, even if it’s just for the trip to Saudi Arabia. He is one of the most talented wrestlers who have not been given enough chances on the main roster. A solid game against Rollins will help him get back on the map.

#3. Elias took a win over Chad Gable

Elias took a comeback win on WWE RAW.
Elias took a comeback win on WWE RAW.

Elias got his first match on WWE RAW after returning to the show last week. He took on former RAW Tag Team champion Chad Gable in a singles match.

Gable tried to slow the returning superstar down with a few grabs and submissions, but Elias used his power to take out. He hit a vertical suplex and tried to grab the win early.

Otis got involved in the action, dealing some damage to Elias as the match progressed. Gable was locked in the ankle lock, but couldn’t get the singer out. Elias countered a dive with a knee strike before nearly falling again.

Otis tried to bulldoze Elias on the outside, but ran into the ring post instead. Back in the ring, Elias blocked Gable’s finisher before getting the Final Cut for the win. After the game, Otis eliminated Elias from behind. Riddle rushed in to make the rescue and took out both members of The Alpha Academy.

Otis and Chad Gable are among the most prominent superstars in WWE today. Unfortunately, they continue to incur losses almost every week. However, it appears that WWE is building a new alliance between Elias and Riddle. It could be a great idea considering how well The Original Bro worked with Randy Orton.

#2. JBL Helped Baron Corbin Take Down Johnny Gargano

Johnny Gargano ran into JBL and Baron Corbin backstage on WWE RAW. It led to a match between Corbin and Gargano. It wasn’t the first time the two men faced each other as they had some experience fighting each other on NXT.

The Modern Day Wrestling God took control of the match and used his power to take down Gargano. The Rebel heart shot back with one knee to the head, sending the big man out of the ring. Corbin also pulled him out of the ring and sent him to the announcer’s desk.

The big man kept up the pressure before Gargano hit him with a spear. He went for the Crucifix pin, but The Modern Day Wrestling God hit a Deep Six to nearly knock him out. The two men fought outside again and Gargano stole JBL’s hat.

He hit a DDT on the ground before JBL dropped him off the platform behind the referee’s back. Corbin hit the Deep Six and grabbed a hard fought victory.

It was another good match between RAW’s two top superstars. JBL’s intervention protected Gargano from a clean loss, while Corbin came out on top to continue his winning streak. The combination of JBL and Corbin will probably do well with the Red brand.

#1. Nikki Cross returned as Bayley defeated the RAW Women’s Champion

Bayley won the RAW Women's Champion this week.
Bayley won the RAW Women’s Champion this week.

Bayley and Bianca Belair started in a non-title match on this week’s WWE RAW. The Role Model went for an early pin, but Belair knocked out easily. She hit a vertical suplex and nearly fell on her own.

The two superstars exchanged some signature moves to keep the action going. Damage CTRL was ringside, looking for distraction. Bayley sent Belair out of the ring and dropped her on the barricades before slamming a DDT to the ground.

She focused on the champion’s already injured arm and kept up the pressure for some time. Bayley hit her finisher on Belair after blocking the KOD. A distraction from IYO SKY helped her connect with another Bayley to Belly without any problems.

Outside the ring, the EST landed Bayley on the announcer’s desk with a power bomb. The referee caught SKY and Dakota Kai attempting to take out Belair. He was ready to send them backstage before Nikki Cross returned to RAW.

She took out SKY and Kai outside the ring before wiping out Belair. Bayley crawled over the EST and pinned her down for the win. After the match, Cross defeated The Role Model and Damage CTRL as the show drew to a close.

It was a great way to bring Nikki Cross back into the equation. She returned in style and took out the two best women of the brand. Meanwhile, Bayley took a win over Belair and will likely have another shot at the RAW Women’s Championship soon.

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