One night after the Elimination Chamber, new WWE champion The Miz found himself in hot water. Miz spent Raw trying to weasel out of a deal he made to give Bobby Lashley a shot at the title in return for taking Drew McIntyre out the night before.
Ultimately, Miz didn’t have to step in the ring, but Lashley was able to secure a shot at the championship next Monday. Lashley had to get past the stiff challenge of Braun Strowman to earn that opportunity, but did so before making one final statement by taking out Miz to close the show.
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Bobby Lashley secures a shot at WWE title
The Miz opened the show with a special championship celebration of “Miz TV.” Miz talked about calling his shot and creating a detour on the Road to WrestleMania before being interrupted by Bobby Lashley and MVP. Lashley was looking to call in Miz’s debt for giving Miz the assist in putting down McIntyre at Elimination Chamber to open the door for the Money in the Bank cash-in. Lashley gave Miz one hour to make his decision, threatening a beating either way. Backstage, Miz pitched Adam Pearce to delay any action on a match with Lashley “until the time is right.”
When the hour was up, Miz said he needed more time and that there are many other men who want to challenge him for the title. Finally, Miz said he needed time to be ready, asking to pencil in the decision for next week. Braun Strowman’s music hit as he interrupted the situation and said he’s the only man who would be receiving a title match while claiming Shane McMahon and Adam Pearce were conspiring against him. This, in turn, brought out McMahon. McMahon told Strowman he couldn’t demand title matches. Strowman said if he couldn’t have the champ, he wanted the challenger. This led McMahon to book the match, saying if Strowman beat Lashley, then next week’s Raw would feature a triple threat match for the WWE championship.
Bobby Lashley def. Braun Strowman via pinfall after hitting a spear. The match immediately broke into a brawl between the powerhouses, showcasing heavy striking and big shows of strength. Lashley attacked Strowman earlier in the night, taking out his knee, and went back at the legs again after Strowman ran into the ring steps. Before Strowman could really get going, Lashley won the fairly short match with a spear. After the win, Lashley hit another spear and locked in the Hurt Lock. Miz tried to rush the ring and hit Lashley with the championship belt only to be hit with a spinebuster and a spear, ending the show standing tall after cementing his shot at the title on next week’s Raw.
All in all, this whole story played out well. The Miz is not a long-term champion, so the moments he has the title need to count. Strowman initially felt like an unimportant inclusion in the mix, but he allowed Lashley to once again show how dominant he has been on his current run. Getting to a world title match on Raw next week is a big deal, as those moments are understandably rare. And Lashley ending by avoiding the attempted cheap shot and laying out Miz kept him strong heading into his challenge. Grade: B+
What else happened on WWE Raw?
- Riddle def. John Morrison via pinfall after hitting Bro Derek. Prior to the match, Riddle celebrated his United States championship win backstage with Lucha House Party.
- The New Day def. Retribution via pinfall after Kofi Kingston hit T-Bar with Trouble in Paradise. After the match, Mustafa Ali yelled at the members of retribution for their repeated failures.
- The Hurt Business def. Lucha House Party via pinfall in a tornado tag match when Shelton Benjamin hit Lince Dorado with Paydirt.
- Damien Priest def. Angel Garza via pinfall with Hit the Lights. Bad Bunny was in Priest’s corner, and earlier in the night Priest scared away R-Truth when Truth was trying to attack Bunny to win back the 24/7 championship. After the match, Priest and Bunny quickly dealt with the charge of a number of 24/7 challengers.
- Randy Orton cut a backstage promo addressing all of his recent failures. He ultimately concluded that he was not distracted by The Fiend, but rather by Alexa Bliss. Orton then began coughing and spit out black gunk before running off.
- Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler def. Charlotte Flair & Asuka via pinfall after Jax hit Asuka with a leg drop. The finish was set up when miscommunication led Flair to hit Asuka with a big boot. Flair tried to shake Asuka’s hand after the match, but Asuka shoved her away.
- Sheamus def. Jeff Hardy via pinfall after hitting a Brogue Kick.
- Charlotte Flair confronted Ric Flair backstage. Charlotte told Ric that his antics with Lacey Evans — including pretending her baby was his — had been distracting her and causing her to not perform up to her standards. Ric said he was just trying to expand their brand by being behind a future champion in Evans.
- Lana & Naomi def. Dana Brooke & Mandy Rose via pinfall after hitting a double-team facebuster on Rose.
- AJ Styles def. Ricochet via pinfall with the Styles Clash. Omos hit Ricochet with a double-handed chokeslam after the match.