WATCH: Several Big Returns, Major Changes On First WWE RAW With Live Crowd


WWE 20th Anniversary Celebration Marking Premiere Of WWE Friday Night SmackDown On FOX

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WWE continued its return to a touring schedule with a huge episode of RAW Monday (July 19) night featuring several major returns and big changes.

The show included the surprise returns of WWE Hall of Famer Bill Goldberg, former NXT Champion Keith Lee and Jeff Hardy's popular theme song No More Words, as well as the debut of current NXT Champion Karrion Kross and a surprise Money in the Bank contract cash-in, with Nikki A.S.H. (Almost A Super Hero) defeating Charlotte Flair to win the RAW Women's Championship.

Both Lee and Goldberg made surprise returns during a segment with WWE Champion Bobby Lashley.

Lashley, who defeated Kofi Kingston -- a former WWE Champion in 2019 -- handedly at Money in the Bank to retain the title the previous night, issued an open challenge answered by Lee, who had been absent from WWE television since February.

Lee showed a strong effort against the dominant champion, but ultimately lost to Lashley, who was then interrupted by Goldberg, with the Hall of Famer claiming "I'm next," a reference to his signature catchphrase "you're next."

During the broadcast, WWE announced that Kross -- who had wrestled dark matches at non-NXT tapings previously -- was scheduled to make his RAW debut during Monday's show and Hardy was revealed as his opponent leading up to the commercial break prior to the match.

Hardy -- who has used the same theme shared with brother, Matt Hardy (now with All Elite Wrestling) as part of the tag-team 'The Hardy Boyz' since their 2017 return -- instead walked out to No More Words on Monday, which he had previously used during his last singles run before leaving the company in 2009.

RAW color commentator Corey Graves noted that Hardy had "a little pep in his step" and was "rejuvenated," which apparently led to the future Hall of Famer defeating Kross -- previously undefeated in NXT -- during the NXT Champion's debut, a surprise to many.

The event was capped off by a main event matchup between Flair and former RAW Women's Champion Rhea Ripley in which Flair got herself disqualified to prevent the title from changing hands.

Ripley and Flair battled after the match, resulting in Ripley hitting her finisher, 'the Riptide' outside the ring.

Nikki A.S.H., who won the Money in the Bank contract -- valid for an automatic title shot at any time for up to a year -- the night before took the opportunity and hit a crossbody on Flair to win her first title as a WWE competitor.

Monday's episode of RAW continued WWE's big return to a live touring schedule, which also included its first Friday Night SmackDown with a live audience since the COVID-19 pandemic and the Money in the Bank pay-per-view event, which saw the return of 16-time World Champion John Cena.

Cena kicked off Monday's episode of RAW by calling out Universal Champion Roman Reigns for a title match at the SummerSlam pay-per-view next month and also shared a "Bro off" with Riddle at the end of the segment.


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