Raw Winners And Losers: Riddle The Star On Monday Night, Just Comes Up Short

This week’s Monday Night Raw offered further development into the Money in the Bank pay-per-view. With many of the qualifiers already set, this show focused more on matches between the competitors who qualified.

There was no Randy Orton so a Battle Royal kicked things off. It was clear from that match that Riddle was going to be the star of the show. He won the over-the-top rope challenge and the rest of the evening was full of backstage hilarity as he worked his way into the main event.

Also on the show, Alexa Bliss inadvertently (we think) helped Nikki Cross (A.S.H.), Ricochet landed a crazy spot on John Morrison over the barricade, there was confusion over who were heels and who were babyfaces in the Women’s Division and Ryker and Elias had a Strap Match that didn’t quite live up to the hype.

Here are your winners and losers for Monday Night Raw, June 28, 2021:

Winner: Battle Royal

It’s not clear why Randy Orton wasn’t at Raw this week, but WWE obviously found a way to turn that into a showcase for his tag team partner Riddle. The King of Bros volunteered as tribute to keep Orton in the qualifier, then tried to win him a spot in the Ladder Match.  It started with Aa Battle Royal win for a guy who was already qualified.

The action was extremely predictable and the winner not a surprise. That said, creative did some smart things here. First, they worked in a few unfinished feuds between active members of the match, many of which cost said competitors a win. Second, WWE drew some attention back to the 24/7 Championship. Third, Damian Priest got some love after being off of television for a couple of weeks.

Winner/Loser: Cross Wins, Baszler Struggles

Every time WWE seems to take a step forward with a character, they also take a step backwards with a different one. Nikki Cross got to talk again about her new gimmick, including giving herself the name Nikki A.S.H. She then went out as jazzed up as an almost super hero can be and defeated Shayna Baszler in a chaotic singles match.

Cross winning is fine, Baszler losing it alright if WWE does something with it. If not, it appears creative is simply sacrificing Baszler for an comedy gimmick. It didn’t help that Bliss’ involvement left a pile of confused and damaged bodies. She was able to land a variety of shots on Jax and Reginald and for the second week in a row, Bliss’ storyline didn’t really resonate.

Winner: Kingston And MVP Promo

Kingston was out in the ring giving props to his tag team partner and recently sidelined Xavier Woods before MVP came out to suggest Kingston had no chance against the WWE Champion at Money in the Bank. As expected, MVP’s cocky attitude without the champion around didn’t go well for him. Kingston laid him out with a Trouble in a Paradise.

Simple, yet effective promo that gets these two to next week. There was something missing without Lashley in attendance.

Winner: Doudrop Prevails Despite Being Overlooked

Eva Marie fully expected Doudrop to fail when she was up against Naomi and Asuka in a tag match where she was essentially left alone by her partner. Not only did Doudrop pull off a win, she did so decisively, getting a pin over The Empress of Tomorrow. The Doudrop and Eva Marie angle is building rather quickly to an ultimate decision. How long with the former Piper Niven put up with Marie claiming all the spoils from her hard work?

Again, WWE did a great thing for Doudrop, but couldn’t find a way to do it without making Asuka look weak. Fortunately, the damage was limited because Asuka and Naomi already had their spots on the MITB ladder match.

RELATED: Kenice Mobley’s WWE Release Shows A Bigger Issue With WWE’s Creative Process

Winner: Crossbody Spot Ricochet Vs. Morrison

We’ll ignore the fact the camera man didn’t do the best job of hiding the crash mat, but the spot to close the match between Ricochet and John Morrison was creative and innovative, which makes it a winner. It’s the kind of spot you wouldn’t want to try in any other situation, so why not do it when you can play with an empty building a little.

The double count out saved face for both men. A rematch is probably on the docket.

Loser: Six-Woman Tag Match

There was nothing terribly wrong with the tag match that featured Mandy Rose, Dana Brooke, Rhea Ripley, Charlotte, Tamina and Natalya. In fact, the brawl to open the bout was entertaining. The problem is how you invest in such a match where the teams don’t make sense and the lines between heel and babyface are so badly blurred, there’s no logical reason the two teams would work together.

Sometimes, you just can’t get into a match because the reason it’s happening doesn’t make a lot of sense. The best we can say here is that common enemies gave the women reasons to team up. I’m not sure that was enough here.

Loser: Strap Match

WWE invested a lot of time into promoting the Strap Match between Jaxson Ryker and Elias only to make it such a short match with such a decisive winner. There was some physicality, but considering that was a strap match, it should have been a lot more brutal a bout than it wound up being.

If this was how creative brought the feud between those two to an end, it was a disappointment. It wasn’t terrible, but it certainly didn’t live up to they hype.

Winner: McIntyre Wins Money In The Bank Last Chance Qualifier

Regardless of how you feel about the outcome of Monday night’s main event match, the three men involved put on a clinic of a closing bout. Riddle was the star of the match, as he was most of the night, but AJ Styles was his regularly reliable self and Drew McIntyre was declared the winner after a landing a Claymore Kick on a weakened Riddle.

It appeared like Riddle might get the win when he left after a “broken foot”, then returned with a wrap to continue the match. He landed an RKO, which teased he might pull out the victory for Orton in The Viper’s absence, but Omos interfered after having done nothing but stand in the corner for 25 minutes.

We’ll see if Orton is upset with Riddle or appreciates the effort. Riddle was a workhorse, winning a Battle Royal, then almost pulling out the upset win to qualify Orton.

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