WWE Raw Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from July 12

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    Credit: WWE.com

    This week’s WWE Raw was the go-home episode before Sunday’s Money in the Bank pay-per-view, making it the red brand’s final chance to make any changes to the card.

    After suffering a brutal attack from Bobby Lashley inside Hell in a Cell, Xavier Woods returned this week to get his rematch before Lashley faces Kofi Kingston for the WWE title this weekend.

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    We also saw the women’s MITB participants battle in a Fatal 4-Way. Asuka, Naomi, Alexa Bliss and Nikki A.S.H. all wanted to go into the PPV with a little momentum.

    The lone title match saw Sheamus put the United States Championship on the line against Humberto Carrillo.

    Let’s take a look at everything that happened on Monday’s Raw.

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    The final show in the ThunderDome kicked off the action right away with Lashley vs. Woods. There was a short pre-match video but no promo or speech from either competitor.

    The All Mighty established his dominance early by easily overpowering Woods and throwing him around, but The New Day man used his speed to get in some offense once he remembered how strong Lashley is.

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    The WWE champion threw him over the top rope right in front of Kingston before dropping him on the steps face-first. We returned from a commercial to see Lashley still dominating his opponent.

    Woods nailed a superkick out of desperation and followed up with a DDT that sent the champ out of the ring to recover. After he regained control, Lashley slammed his opponent a few times before throwing him out of the ring. He posted up in the corner and cut Woods in half with a Spear.

    Instead of going for the pin, The All Mighty wanted the Hurt Lock. Woods took advantage and used an inside cradle to get the upset victory.

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    Grade: B+

                                  

    Analysis

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    This match had great energy from both competitors and a genuinely surprising outcome with Woods scoring the clean pin.

    It feels like WWE gave The New Day man the win to make it seem more possible for Kingston to win the WWE title at MITB, but that also means Lashley will probably retain.

    Regardless of what happens Sunday, Woods just pinned the WWE champion in the middle of the ring. The fact that this happened is amazing. Woods has been a key player during the ThunderDome era, and it is so great to see him getting chances to shine on his own.

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    Jinder Mahal was out with Veer and Shanky after the break. He claimed he wanted to apologize, shake Drew McIntyre’s hand and return the sword he stole last week.

    The Scottish Warrior did not show up until we saw a shot of him backstage. He taunted Mahal and called him a liar. The Maharaja revealed he had actually broken the sword in half, but McIntyre revealed it was a replica. He showed that he still had the real thing before tearing an exhaust pipe off his rival’s motorcycle.

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    He continued to trash the bike as Mahal watched helplessly from the ring. He kicked the bike over before leaving.

    Grade: C-

                                

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    Analysis

    This was a cookie-cutter segment designed to push the feud forward. We have seen many like it, but this fell a bit flat because McIntyre didn’t do all that much damage to the bike. A good mechanic could fix what he broke for a few hundred dollars at the most.

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    The four women from Raw who will compete in the Money in the Bank match Sunday met for a Fatal 4-Way this week to see who could gain the most momentum heading into the PPV.

    Naomi started with a dropkick to Asuka and Nikki A.S.H. before Bliss cornered her for some shoulder thrusts. She flew off the ropes with a crossbody to Naomi for a quick near-fall.

    Eva Marie and Doudrop came down, and Eva told Doudrop to distract Bliss. The former Fiend protege ignored Doudrop and walked slowly at Eva until Doudrop beat her down. Doudrop picked up Bliss and threw her over the barricade. When Eva went to check on her, Bliss was gone.

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    We returned from a break to see Asuka hit Naomi with a German suplex. She took out Nikki and Naomi but failed to pin either competitor. Naomi scored a two-count on both women at the same time a few moments later.

    Nikki was able to steal the win over Asuka with a roll-up. She jumped around as she celebrated while Naomi and Asuka looked dejected.

    Grade: C

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    Analysis

    As bad as the stuff with Bliss and Marie was, it’s hard to deny how hard Bliss has worked to make this character palatable. She has continued to turn garbage into gold.

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    The rest of the match was fine. It wasn’t great, but it was by no means bad. It was kind of pointless since there were no stakes, but WWE has three hours to fill, so it’s better to use the women this way than not at all.

    Bliss never returned, so she probably got stuck in the phantom zone or something.

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    Both teams had a chance to deliver promos before this match took place, but Omos was silent while AJ Styles did all of the talking.

    Ivar and Styles countered each other’s attacks a few times before the big man slapped The Phenomenal One down in the corner and hit a bronco buster for a two-count.

    Omos tried to low-bridge Ivar out of the ring, but the Viking saw it coming. He hit a huge back body drop and a low crossbody as he built up a head of steam. He cartwheeled around a clothesline and took Styles down for a near-fall.

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    Ivar ended up scoring a clean win with a version of a seated senton from the corner.

    Grade: C+

                                   

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    Analysis

    This was a fun little match, but it was also on the short side. Ivar looked great as he kept up with Styles at every turn. This just didn’t have enough to it to be anything special. It was what it needed to be and gave us an idea of what we can expect from their tag team title match Sunday.

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    After Styles was beaten by Ivar, their tag team partners had their own showdown in the ring. Erik tried to apply a waistlock right away, but Omos threw him off like he was nothing.

    Erik escaped a powerslam and went after the big man’s leg. Omos caught him in a bear hug and squeezed the life out of him until he broke free.

    The Viking started hitting strikes to wear down his opponent, but one huge clothesline from Omos laid him out. Omos picked him up for a two-handed chokeslam for the win.

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    Grade: C

                                   

    Analysis

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    This was even shorter and less eventful than Styles vs. Ivar, but it was a dominant showing for Omos. That was the goal, and WWE accomplished it.

    Erik did an excellent job selling for Omos and making him look like a monster. The Viking is no small competitor, and Omos still dwarfed him.

    It’s easy to forget how tall Omos really is until you see him next to someone else who is considered big.

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    Sheamus attacked Carrillo backstage to give himself an unfair advantage before the match. When the ref called for the bell, Carrillo couldn’t even stand up on his own. Sheamus drilled him with a Brogue Kick for the win.

    The Celtic Warrior went back on the attack until Damian Priest made the save and forced him to retreat.

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    Grade: N/A

                                    

    Analysis

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    How do you grade a match that only has one move?

    This did nothing to make Sheamus look like a bigger heel or better champion, and it certainly didn’t help Carrillo. This will obviously lead to Priest vs. Sheamus at some point, but there were several better options to get to that feud than turning Carrillo into a jobber.

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    For the third week in a row, Ricochet and John Morrison met for a match, but this time it was Falls Count Anywhere. Ricochet started off strong before Morrison hit a neckbreaker on the apron for a two-count.

    Johnny Drip Drip maintained control and tried to pin Ricochet a couple more times unsuccessfully. He set up for Starship Pain, but The One and Only caught him and hit a nice German suplex for a near-fall.

    They took the fight into the area outside of the barricade where Ricochet sent Morrison’s head into the LED screens. They stood up on the barricade but ended up falling off before doing whatever they were going to do.

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    Ricochet hit a beautiful 450 from the barricade for another two-count. JoMo retreated out of the ring, and his opponent went after him with a shooting star press from the top of the ring post.

    We returned from a break to see Morrison setting up a ladder as a bridge between the ring and announce table. The One and Only jumped over it to hit a crossbody from the apron.

    They fought up to the stage while The Miz followed behind slowly in his wheelchair. They continued to fight into the backstage area and used anything they could find to their advantage. Riddle came out and tipped over The Miz’s wheelchair to take him out of the equation.

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    Morrison ended up laying on the ladder and Ricochet put him through it with a massive splash for the pin and the win.

    Grade: A

                               

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    Analysis

    Ricochet might just be an actual superhero. The way he effortlessly hits moves most wrestlers wouldn’t try on their best day is incredible to watch.

    This is not meant to take any credit away from Morrison. Both men are one-of-a-kind athletes who make everything they do look easy. This match allowed both of them to show off what makes them so special.

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    If you only watch one thing from Raw this week, make it this match. It was so good that it feels like stealing to get it for free.

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    It was Raw women’s champion versus women’s tag team champion when Rhea Ripley took on Natalya in the third hour.

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    They started with a fairly basic exchange of holds and counters. It took at least a minute before Ripley hit the first strike of the match with a kick to the ribs. The Queen of Harts showed off some of her technical prowess during a series of pinning combinations.

    Tamina ended up getting hit by a dropkick when Natalya avoided the hit at ringside. We returned from a commercial to see Ripley hit a missile dropkick.

    Nattie dropped The Nightmare on her tailbone, but the champ recovered quickly and put her in a submission. Natalya countered into a pin for a two-count. She applied the Sharpshooter, but Ripley countered and sent her into the turnbuckle.

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    She grabbed Nataya and hit her Riptide finisher for the pin and the win. Charlotte Flair attacked her MITB opponent after the match was over and put her in the Figure-Four.

    Grade: B+

                              

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    Analysis

    If you want to make somebody look good, you put them in the ring with Natalya. She is able to take just about any competitor and highlight their strengths. She’s a lot like Dolph Ziggler in that way.

    This was a good match with a lot of great physical offense. They never slowed down and made sure to make every move count. This is a combo WWE should revisit down the line.

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    The attack from Charlotte was predictable but necessary to keep the feud fresh in people’s minds. The match Sunday should be a competitive showcase.

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    MVP and the group of women he and Lashley roll with were out to celebrate in the VIP Lounge. It took a few tries to introduce him before The All Mighty made his way down looking upset.

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    He told the women to leave and ripped into MVP. He said Kingston was right about him getting soft and said losing to Woods was his wake-up call.

    Lashley said he appreciates everything MVP has done but they need to get back to business. No more women and no more partying. His only goal is to destroy anyone who tries to take his title. He proceeded to throw stuff from the VIP Lounge out of the ring in anger.

    The WWE champion grabbed a mic and addressed his opponent for Sunday. He said he would destroy Kingston and end his career at Money in the Bank.

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    Grade: B

                              

    Analysis

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    This was a strong segment for Lashley. This made him look like the most dangerous man in WWE based solely on his mood. He looked convincing with his outrage.

    MVP standing aside and letting him vent and destroy things was a smart decision. It allowed Lashley to be the main focus of the final segment inside the ThunderDome.

    It’s safe to say nobody is going to miss the LED screens next week when fans are back in the arena, but WWE put on a decent show with a few good matches to finish off its run in this makeshift venue.

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