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With 2022 nearly in the rearview mirror, we thought we’d join the party of countless internet “best of the year” lists with one of our own: Our favorite WWE championship matches that took place on Monday Night RAW in 2022!
While most of the heart-stopping moments of the year occurred at events like SummerSlam, Survivor Series, and WrestleMania, there were plenty of memories made during the hours of 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET every Monday! Here’s a list of our top five favorite title matches and don’t worry, all of the championships regularly defended on RAW are represented. We’ve hand-picked these bouts for a variety of reasons. Maybe it had historical significance or advanced a storyline in the perfect way.
Or maybe we included it because it was a banger, as the kids say.
RAW Tag Team Titles: Street Profits vs. RK-Bro, May 9, 2022
Randy Orton and Matt Riddle have had the longstanding history with the Street Profits, and they once again clashed for the tag straps in May after the Profits became number one contenders just a few weeks earlier.
The match itself was a master class in tag team action, with multiple exhilarating moments and near-falls that had the crowd on the edges of their seats the entire time. The ending of the match, however, is the reason we’ve included it in this list: After knocking down Riddle with a leaping enzuigiri to the back of the head, Montez Ford climbed to the top rope to deliver a frog splash. It all was going according to plan until Riddle popped up with an RKO out of nowhere to the helplessly-airborne Ford!
It was one of the most wild finishes to a RAW match in some time, and because of it, RK-Bro retained their RAW tag team titles.
United States Title: Bobby Lashley vs. Seth Rollins, Oct. 10, 2022
The season premiere of RAW was highlighted by an absolutely huge main event: Bobby Lashley defending his U.S. Championship against Seth Rollins. Both men came into the match nursing considerable injuries, so the WWE Universe truly had no idea how this match would end.
The match started with Lashley’s spear being countered into a Rollins Pedigree and never slowed down. In the end, Rollins overcame the odds and became the new champion after two stomps to Lashley — and we’re willing to bet that the Visionary used the raucous crowd singing his music as motivation to dethrone the Almighty! Every time these two competitors step into the ring, they make magic, and on this night, it was no exception.
Months later, both men are firmly in the hunt to regain the United States title at some point in 2023.
Women’s Tag Team Titles: Raquel Rodriguez & Aliyah vs. Dakota Kai & IYO SKY, Sept. 12, 2022
We admit it: we’re suckers for WWE Superstars winning their first-ever championships. Whether it’s Shawn Michaels achieving his boyhood dream in 1996 or KofiMania running wild in 2019, we love it whenever somebody reaches the absolute apex in their careers.
That’s why we had to include Damage Ctrl winning their first Women’s Tag Team titles on this list, because the emotion that Dakota Kai and IYO SKY showed was nothing short of wonderful. Even Bayley got into the action — and hey, why wouldn’t she? After all, she’s the reason that Damage Ctrl got to reach the level of excellence they ascended to.
While Raquel and Aliyah were absolutely worthy champions in their own right, they ultimately were no match for Damage Ctrl. Come on, just look at the pure joy and happiness in the new champions’ faces after they are announced as the winners! That’s what pro wrestling is all about, isn’t it?
RAW Women’s Title: Bianca Belair vs. Carmella, July 18, 2022
Here’s the thing about WWE: Anything can happen. Even if a title match seems lopsided on paper, upsets can happen — usually when champions are distracted by other matters.
That air of uncertainty (and excitement) was permeating through the WWE Universe back in July when Bianca Belair defended her RAW Women’s Championship against Carmella. If you remember, this is back around SummerSlam time when Belair was embroiled in a feud with the former champion Becky Lynch. And just one week earlier, Carmella scored a fluke non-title victory of Belair. The table was set for Carmella to win the championship by taking advantage of all the distractions going on for the champ.
While the match ultimately didn’t go in the challenger’s favor and Bianca Belair soundly scored a decisive pinfall victory over Carmella, it didn’t change the fact that this seemingly throwaway women’s title match had some major intrigue to it!
United States Title: Finn Bálor vs. Austin Theory, April 18, 2022
At this point in his career, Austin Theory was the protege of Vince McMahon himself, ostensibly being given all the tools a WWE Superstar could ever need to be ultra-successful in the pro wrestling business. Finn Bálor, on the other hand, was the established mega-star, somebody who has seen everything — and accomplished everything there is to accomplish during his WWE run — who can forget Bálor becoming the first ever WWE Universal Champion back in 2016?
This match, for Finn Bálor’s United States Championship, had everything the WWE Universe could want: It was nonstop action from bell-to-bell, featuring two of the greatest athletes of their generation. And after all the pomp and circumstance surrounding Theory being crowned “the chosen one” by McMahon himself, Theory won the match fair and square, outmaneuvering Balor after a missed Coup de Grace and scoring his first championship in WWE!
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While fans were no strangers to great championship matches in 2022, it already seems like 2023 will be even more exciting. Two huge title matches have been announced for the first Monday Night RAW of the new year, pretty much guaranteeing that the Jan. 2 edition of RAW will be can’t-miss television!
Seth Rollins will once again have the chance to capture RAW's top championship as he clashes with Austin Theory for the United States Title in what will undoubtedly be match-of-the-night quality!
And over on the women’s side, Bianca Belair defends her RAW Women’s Championship against Alexa Bliss, a contender who has been flying up the rankings lately — and who also has been acting a little strange lately.
Next year is going to be quite the exciting one for the WWE Universe, and it all kicks off this Monday night, live on USA Network!
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