Best moments, scenes and breakdowns as Tampa Bay Lightning defeats Colorado Avalanche in Game 3

The defending champion returned home 0-2. The Avs blitzed the Lightning in the first two games of the Finals, but Game 3 was a whole different story. (Author: Gardener)

Game 3But the Tampa Bay Lightning, winners of back-to-back titles, returned home and reduced their two-game deficit to one by beating the Colorado Avalanche 6-2 in Game 3 on Monday. It wasn't just the two-game deficit in the Stanley Cup Finals that worried Lightning fans; so the Avalanche had won. Colorado took an early lead in both games and absolutely dominated Tampa Bay in Game 2. Blitz goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy, one of the best postseason goalies in NHL history, was blitzed for seven goals Saturday. But on Monday, Colorado's goaltender felt the pressure. Darcy Kuemper was pulled off as Tampa Bay took a 5-2 lead at halftime in the second period. Here's what happened when the Lightning made it on their home ice in Game 3. Colorado is in somewhat uncharted territory. The Avalanche hadn't lost since May 25 before losing 6-2 on Monday. Kuemper was pulled off and threw a cloud over their goalkeeper. Tampa Bay was a stunner. It should have been an exciting win - only the Lightning lost Nicholas Paul and Nikita Kucherov to apparent injuries in the process. Kucherov retired late in the third after being tied on the boards with Devon Toews. Paul left in the second half right after he scored. It was the first away loss Colorado had suffered in the playoffs, but the Avs still lead the series 2-1. Tampa Bay stays perfectly at home in the postseason. What does that foreshadow on Game 4 on Wednesday? – Kristen Shilton As Jon Cooper said before Game 3: “These guys are a hell of a team, but so are we. He's right, the Lightning have been down before. The Stanley Cup finals seem grossly exaggerated. Just as the Lightning roared back away from a 2-0 deficit in the Eastern Conference Finals, they look like a different team in Game 3 against the Avalanche. In Game 2 they amassed 16 shots have fired 26 shots at the Avalanche goal tonight. They earned 50% of shot attempts in two stages after only getting 29% of them in Game 2. Failing to score on the power play in the first two games, they finally got their stars in check in Denver: Nikita Kucherov, Steven Stamkos, Ondrej Palat and Victor Hedman all had multi-point games. Oh, and perhaps most importantly, they scored six goals, two of the Avalanche's goals, while chasing down Colorado goalie Darcy Kuemper. "We've got to go out there and find our best game," said Pat Maroon ahead of Game 3, in which he contributed a goal in attack. Hopefully we can show them our best tonight." But with 20 minutes to go, the Avalanche are one of the few teams that can close a four-goal deficit. -- Greg Wyshynski As the Lightning was 5-2 after halftime taking the lead point of the second, Darcy Kuemper was out after allowing five goals on 21 shots Kuemper was sharp early in the first half but had become a liability, unable to withstand the pressure from the Lightning and Colorado (maybe not accidentally) it was "not playing with confidence in front of him. This was the first game in a while where Kuemper was really challenged to improve. Tampa Bay was 2-0 down in the cup final and everyone knew a pushback was coming. The Avalanche Haven "He hasn't had much to do with adversity lately and Kuemper, who only saw 16 shots in Game 2, didn't cope well with that. They win the races and battles and beat Colorado's own game. And Andrei Vasilevskiy sees again locked out. That could be even worse for the Avalanche than seeing their own starter fight. For much of it, the Lightning's first period felt more like survival than an assertive response to the Avalanche's 2-0 lead. About four minutes into the game they needed Andrei Vasilevskiy's toe save against J. T. Compher They needed the NHL Situation Room to take Valeri Nichushkin's floater goal off the board for offside They needed a funky "no shot" goal from Anthony Cirelli to slip past Darcy Kuemper and into the net to score the first goal since the second period of Game 1. But then in a flash they looked w ie the Lightning. Ondrej Palat steals the puck from a Devon Toews pass. Steven Stamkos set up Palat to make it 2-1 as the unsung winger scored in his ninth straight home playoff game. And Vasilevskiy maintained the lead against Colorado pressure as the Avs had 14 shots on target during that period. The Lightning are 6-1 when leading after a period. More importantly, they weren't down by multiple goals after the first 10 minutes of a game in this series. Valeri Nichushkin thought he scored the first goal of the game with an exchange shot that defeated Andrei Vasilevskiy early in the first period. Tampa Bay would get the change. The Lightning successfully challenged the game for offside, taking the wind out of Colorado's sails in a frame that had been largely piloted by Tampa Bay. However, it didn't last long. Colorado is as resilient a team as you'll find, and proved it again when they weathered both the initial pressure from Tampa Bay and their early power play opportunity. Not only did the Avalanche hold the Lightning back, they also took a penalty. Gabriel Landeskog scored the following man advantage to turn the tide in Tampa Bay. That was the ninth straight unanswered goal Colorado scored in that series. It was a nine-minute stretch that showcased the best of Colorado: depth, steadfastness, talent, identity. The Avalanche will need more of these segments as the night progresses. They got sloppy as the period progressed. And it was the Blitz who benefited with two goals. Colorado hasn't had to face a lot of adversity lately. After reversing the goal and falling behind for the first time in this cup final, how will they now face a real challenge? -- Shilton -- Shilton The Colorado Rockies pitcher and Denver native Kyle Freeland stood out from the crowd as he cheered on his hometown team. The tradition of teams feeding Buccigross continued ahead of Game 3. The Lightning even brought their mascot, ThunderBug, into the game. If you need a better look, our Greg Wyshynski has you covered. ESPN behind the scenes: Preparing the chicken for @Buccigross on THE POINT, filmed in Super Sauce Vision! Will This Lightning Hype Video Have Tampa Bay Fans Run Through A Wall Before The Puck Drops?


Stocks up, week ahead, gas tax holiday, twitter and bitcoin

Stock futures rise as bond yields fall, dollar falls; Week Ahead: Housing Market in Focus; President Biden May Request Federal Gas Tax Holiday; Elon Musk reiterates concerns about Twitter takeover and Bitcoin regains $20,000, but crypto markets are hurt. (Author: Gardener)

Week AheadStock futures rebounded sharply on Tuesday after Wall Street's worst week in more than two years, as investors returned to risky markets despite ongoing worries about growth and inflation and fears of a near-term recession. The S. Dollar Index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six global currencies and is often used as an indicator of risk appetite, fell 0.63% to 104.033 in overnight trade as markets in Asia and Europe posted modest gains - the latter bounced back from the lowest levels in a year last week - although many of the same macro concerns continue to mount. The dollar was also pressured by comments from European Central Bank chief economist Philip Lane, who signaled support for a 25 basis point rate hike in Frankfurt next month but left open the possibility of a larger move in September as policymakers warned the fastest inflation on record in the single currency area. S., whose inflation is at a 40-year high of 8.6%, with CME Group's FedWatch tool giving a 98.1% chance of a 75 basis point hike at the end of July and a 37.3% chance for a similar move in September. S. economy into recession - a view sharply contested by President Joe Biden - as demand is stifled by higher interest rates and borrowing costs. This is likely to put corporate earnings in focus as one of the last key drivers of growth to keep the US from a broad-based slowdown in the final weeks of Q2. Data from Refinitiv suggests earnings growth will slow to 5.6% in the June quarter, taking total S&P 500 earnings to around $464.7 billion, almost entirely driven by the energy sector. At the start of the bank holiday-shortened week on Wall Street, Europe's regional Stoxx 600 was up 1% in early Frankfurt trade after Asia's MSCI ex-Japan index rose 1.43%. Futures pegged to the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which closed below 30,000 for the second time since January last year, point to a 485-point rise in the opening bell, while those pegged to the S&P 500 , which is down 22.9% year-on-year, is priced for a gain of 64 points. Futures linked to the tech-focused Nasdaq are looking at the opening bell rising 207 points. S. Growth and discussion of the chances of a near-term recession, investors are likely to focus on both the jobs and housing markets this week as growth metrics slow and interest rates rise. S. mortgage rates, which rose the most in 35 years last week after the Fed hiked 75 basis points, are expected to have cut existing home sales when the Commerce Department releases data on Tuesday. The Mortgage Bankers Association will follow with credit data Wednesday after Freddie Mac, the nation's largest individual mortgage buyer, said interest rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages rose 5.78% last week, the biggest rise since 1987. Homebuilder Lennar ( LEN) - Lennar Corporation Class A Report as and homebuilder KB Home (KBH) - Get KB Home Report - is also set to release quarterly results for May this week, with investors closely monitoring each company's short-term outlook for the broader housing market. The Federal Reserve is also due to release the results of its so-called stress tests of the country's largest banks on Thursday, a testimony that, if satisfactory, will allow them to increase dividends and share buybacks in the coming months. President Joe Biden indicated over the weekend that he is considering a pause on federal gas taxes to lower prices at the pump and ease inflationary pressures. Speaking to reporters in Delaware on Monday, the president said he hopes to have a decision on a so-called gas tax holiday by the end of the week - with a goal of putting it into effect by the July 4 weekend. Federal gas taxes increase the cost of unleaded fuel by about 18.4 cents a gallon -- and 24.3 cents for a gallon of diesel -- and are mostly used to fund the construction of roads and other transportation infrastructure across the country. S. gas prices slipped from this week's all-time high to a national average of around $4.968 a gallon for the first weekly decline in more than two months. Pump prices are still 61.8% higher than this time last year. Shares of Twitter (TWTR) - Get Twitter Inc. Report - were up in premarket trade but lagged the broader rise expected for the tech-heavy Nasdaq as Tesla (TSLA) - Get Tesla Inc. Report - CEO Elon Musk again expressed doubts about the prospect of his $ 44 billion takeover. Musk said Monday at the Bloomberg-sponsored Qatar Economic Forum that he was "still waiting for a resolution" on the issue of so-called "fake accounts" on the platform, which Twitter said make up less than 5% of all users. Musk, who has requested access to Twitter's methodology for calculating that number, said the deal is "on hold" until it can be resolved. Musk also hinted at whether "the debt portion of the round is coming together," suggesting bankers might reconsider lending a $44 billion purchase price if stock markets hit Twitter with less than Valuing $29 billion. Twitter shares were marked 1.1% higher in premarket trading, showing an opening price of $38.19 each. Bitcoin prices touched the $20,000 mark again in overnight trading on Tuesday as digital currency investors sought to prop up a seedy market that has drained billions in value from crypto assets around the world. a gain that still leaves the world's largest digital coin up 33.3% for the month and about 69% from its late November highs. Crypto lenders are also under pressure, with data provider Glassnode stating that more than $124 billion, or 60% of the total value of tokens on global DeFi protocols, has been lost over the past six weeks.


News summary on Sunday morning

The cities of Santa Clara and Santa Cruz will receive nearly $25 million for the creation of... (Author: Gardener)

Sunday morningThe cities of Santa Clara and Santa Cruz are getting nearly $25 million to create dozens of new homes in their communities, but with a focus on homeless youth. The two cities will receive $24.9 million to create 79 homes, adding to the more than 10,000 homeless housing units already created through the Homekey program, according to Newsom's office. Homekey is a nation-leading $3.75 billion program designed to create thousands of new housing units for the homeless through the purchase of hotels and other buildings. Newsom said his $14 billion plan to tackle and tackle California's homeless crisis will create 55,000 new homeless shelters. Fremont Police are investigating a fatal shooting that occurred late Friday night near one of the city's busiest intersections. The murder investigation announced Saturday afternoon includes a shooting that took place around 10 p.m. near the intersection of Fremont Boulevard and Mowry Avenue. According to a police spokesman, two vehicles were involved. When officers arrived at the scene Friday night, they found a vehicle with a deceased adult male in the driver's seat. Police believe the man was the only occupant of the vehicle. The police spokesman also said there was no threat to the community. Caltrain will operate trains with additional capacity heading to San Francisco Monday morning for the Golden State Warriors championship parade. The parade is scheduled to begin at 11:20 a.m. on Market Street and Main Street and then head west to Market Street and Eighth Street where its scheduled end is 2 p.m. Caltrain officials said the agency will run its trains on its regular weekday schedule and that people can get to the parade by getting off at the San Francisco train station at Fourth and King stations and then walking or taking Muni to Market Street. People can buy a day pass through Caltrain's mobile app or use a Clipper card and must purchase their ticket on Monday for it to be valid, the agency said. Caltrans canceled a planned full nighttime closure of the northbound U on Sunday morning. Caltrans had planned to replace an overhead shield bridge spanning the freeway's northbound lanes between East Hillsdale Boulevard and State Highway 92. Originally, the northbound lanes of the freeway would have been closed between 1 a.m. and 6 a.m. on Sunday. Caltrans did not announce when the work would be postponed. Walnut Creek Police Department investigators are searching for the three men responsible for a robbery at Macy's on Broadway Plaza. The robbery happened just before 11 a.m. Saturday at the store at 1320 Broadway Plaza, according to a Walnut Creek police spokesman. Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact the Walnut Creek Police Department anonymous hotline at (925) 943-5865. A Redwood City police officer's personal initiative to stop a 19-year-old motorist for a minor vehicle violation led to the man's arrest instead for carrying a concealed and unregistered firearm. It happened June 9 on Broadway and Chestnut streets in Redwood City when the driver, Juan Garrido Aguilar, consented to a search of his person and car. At that moment, the officer discovered a loaded 9mm Ghost pistol in Garrido Aguilar's pants pocket. He was sent to the San Mateo County Jail for carrying a loaded, unregistered firearm. Santa Clara County officials approved next year's budget, ignoring last-minute objections from residents over hundreds of millions of dollars earmarked for a new prison. The Board of Directors unanimously voted Thursday to approve the $11.5 billion budget for fiscal 2022-23, which begins July 1. County Executive Jeff Smith said in his budget message that the county will continue to invest in social safety nets, which have become more critical for residents because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout the crisis, many county employees have served as disaster relief workers, conducting testing and other vital public health work. According to the budget, the county funds the Assisted Ambulant Treatment (AOT) services and public health programs administered by the Vietnamese American Service Center. The county opened the center in San Jose earlier this year as a one-stop shop for health and social services for the more than 140,000 Vietnamese residents who live in the city. Santa Clara County has had a positive response to the center as well as its AOT behavioral health program, which was approved under Laura's law last year. The program mandates court-ordered psychiatric treatment for people with severe mental illness. Menlo Park City Council on Friday unanimously agreed to hire Justin Murphy as the new city manager. According to city officials, Murphy joined the city government in 1996 as an assistant planner. He has held many management and leadership positions within the city, including manager of development services, assistant director of community development, director of public works, and assistant city manager. Six people were injured when a MUNI bus and SUV collided in San Francisco's Marina District on Saturday. The San Francisco Police Department had closed the intersection all afternoon while investigating and cleaning up the scene of the accident. A spokesman for the San Francisco Fire Department said six people were injured. Gilroy's drinking water supply is safe for consumption again as of Saturday afternoon, according to the city's building authority. Bryce Atkins of the City of Gilroy Public Works Department said Saturday the state's drinking water department had determined previous restrictions could now be lifted and called for the Gilroy community to be given the "all clear". Atkins added that after following strict state protocols and testing, the city's water supply now meets all state standards for safe consumption. Public works officials will continue to monitor levels to ensure the water system is providing quality water to the community. On Thursday, during routine water quality testing, a city water well at Gilman Road and Camino Arroyo was tested for nitrate levels of 12 milligrams per liter, exceeding the maximum contaminant level, or MCL, of 10 milligrams per liter. Local residents interested in learning more about the situation at the city's Drinking Water Notice can find more information here: The National Weather Service forecast for Sunday for the greater San Francisco Bay Area calls for sunny skies with daily highs in the mid-80s inland and the mid-70s together the coast. Copyright © 2022 Bay City News, Inc. Republication, retransmission, or redistribution is prohibited without the express written consent of Bay City News, Inc. Bay City News is a 24/7 news service covering the greater Bay Area. Copyright © 2022 by Bay City News, Inc. Republication, redistribution, or other reuse without the express written consent of Bay City News, Inc. is prohibited.


Vince McMahon makes a surprise appearance on WWE Raw

Today's WWE Raw got off to a frantic start with an injury announcement, a new contender for Bianca Belair and the appearance of Mr. McMahon! (Author: Gardener)

WWE RawVince McMahon hasn't let the increased attention on the recent allegations get him down, at least not by his cheerful demeanor on Friday's "SmackDown" and tonight's "Raw." Yes, Mr. McMahon had another appearance on WWE television in less than a week. We caught him last Friday at Blue Brand reminding viewers of the intro that plays before every WWE show. And most importantly,” Vince continued, “together.” He then ended the brief segment by saying “Welcome to SmackDown,” tossing the mic aside and exiting the ring. Tonight was an equally brief speech from McMahon as he welcomed fans to the show and mentioned that it was the 1,517. edition of Raw, making it the longest-running episodic television program to date. He says that in the 30 years that WWE has been on the air, one man has been at the helm 2/3 of that time and his name is John Cena. He praises John's work and notes that the legendary WWE star is returning to Raw next week. Vince smiled and laughed, exiting the ring with a swing in his crotch, then hopped to the ground. As previously mentioned, the 76-year-old resigned as WWE chairman and CEO last week following allegations surrounding an affair he had with a former employee. It has been alleged that Vince increased the person's salary during the time of the misconduct and then allegedly paid her hush money to keep the situation quiet. The investigation has reportedly uncovered additional non-disclosure agreements by former WWE employees who have alleged wrongdoing not only by McMahon but also by John Laurinaitis, Head of Talent Relations. Vince's daughter, Stephanie McMahon, will take over as interim President and CEO of WWE while her father is stepping down from that role. Vince is still influencing creative decisions and attending shows with the company, as evidenced by his increased appearances over the past week. Investigations are ongoing at this time and we will provide any further updates on the situation. Backstage reactions to Vince McMahon's "SmackDown" appearance during the ongoing investigation ranged from "confused" to "disappointed" to "angry," according to a recent report. Stay up to date with the full results of WWE "Raw" at this link.


Elias returns from the dead to join younger brother Ezekiel on screen

WWE Superstar Elias returns from the dead on Raw to join younger brother Ezekiel on screen before attacking Kevin Owens after his concert. (Author: Gardener)

EzekielThe guitar-playing troubadour made his much-anticipated return to reunite with his younger brother Ezekiel on Monday Night Raw, months after his character was killed off in a series of intriguing skits that were inexplicably dropped after a few weeks. Ezekiel - who bears an uncanny resemblance to his older sibling - made his debut the night after WrestleMania 38 in April, to the delight of Kevin Owens, who repeatedly insisted they are one and the same. Zeke has consistently claimed he's his own man and the biggest test of that was set for last night's show with the promise that Elias will return to do a special concert. The musician shared a moment with his brother backstage as they appeared brilliantly on screen at the same time - although KO might have you believe it was done with some kind of camera trick. Elias - with a pretty convincing beard - then stepped into the ring for the live debut of his new song "Kevin Owns Is A Liar," which had the former world champion ranting about Ezekiel's blatant lies. Zeke appeared on the big screen during the concert to insist that he really is Elias' younger brother and not just the same man with no facial hair. Backstage, Owens was still ranting about shaming Elias/Ezekiel, and he's set to meet either of them - or a potential new sibling named Elrod - on next week's show. This continues to be one of WWE's most entertaining stories, buoyed by KO's performances while Ezekiel - and now Elias - provide plenty of laughs. It remains to be seen if the brothers will introduce a third sibling next week, but Elias' performance in the ring last night shows that anything is possible at this point. MORE: 'Elias Is Dead': WWE Star Kills Character and Burns His Guitar on Raw


Becky Lynch collapses after two devastating losses

WWE Raw results, grades: Becky Lynch collapses after two losses in one night, Elias reunites with Ezekiel and Vince McMahon reappears. (Author: Gardener)

Becky LynchWWE Superstar Becky Lynch didn't have the best night on Raw after losing two big money-in-the-bank opportunities. The Man kicked off the show Monday night with a chance to be number one for Bianca Belair next month after Rhea Ripley was pulled from her upcoming Raw Women's Championship match through injury. At the end of the broadcast, Lynch suffered further devastation when she also lost to Asuka and had a chance to compete in the women's Money In The Bank match. WWE's EST opened the show to reveal that Rhea is not medically clear for her scheduled July 3 match, leading to Liv Morgan, Carmella, Asuka, Lynch and Alexa Bliss coming out to speak before they all met in the first match of the night. The action was energetic and highly entertaining, with Carmella clinching the win and setting up a big singles match against Belair with the gold at stake. In the Main Event, Asuka and Big Time Becks once again met in the ring, this time with a spot on the line in the Money In The Bank Ladder Match as the two longtime rivals showcased their exceptional chemistry in a fantastic match. Vince McMahon made an unannounced appearance on the show to hype John Cena's return next week, while McMahon's promo comes days after announcing he will be stepping down as CEO and chairman temporarily to investigate alleged wrongdoing. Riddle wrapped up an intense promo following his loss to Roman Reigns on SmackDown before facing Omos in a Money In The Bank qualifier. This worked well as the Original Bro flew around the ring in a good showcase for the Nigerian Nail, who took the win to progress - and as MVP pointed out, he might not even need a ladder to secure the briefcase. After the bell, Seth Freakin' Rollins had clearly taken offense when Riddle criticized him for his actions against Cody Rhodes and he jumped on the attack and started a new rivalry that was to produce some magic. Later that night he faced Chad Gable, Otis and Theory himself in a handicap gauntlet match that had a US title shot at stake and the All Mighty emerged victorious after some very entertaining action. Lashley's flip with Gable into the hurt lock was fantastic and Chad made the most of his time in the ring. Elsewhere, Angelo Dawkins defeated Jey Uso in a crushing match with Montez Ford and Jimmy Uso ringside before their tag title match at Money In The Bank. In a wonderfully cheesy moment, Elias returned to WWE after months of being away for a special concert after reuniting with his brother Ezekiel backstage. We then found out that Owens will be up against either Elias, Ezekiel or their brother Elrod next week. This continues to be very entertaining, with KO being a big part of it. Ciampa finally attacked Styles before the pair went head-to-head in a fun sprint, with the Phenomenal Forearm securing the win for AJ. Given his talent, Ciampa deserves far more than those random attacks and quick losses, but perhaps an alliance with The Miz - laid out with a Styles Clash after the bell - could give him some meaning and lead to a funny line. MORE : Paige confirms first post-WWE appearance at huge homecoming show after announcing shock departure


Elijah returns for just one night, Ezekiel confirmed

Elias and Ezekiel hosted a show on Monday's Raw with a guest appearance by Kevin Owens. Ryan Satin breaks it up. (Author: Gardener)

EzekielElias made his triumphant return to WWE Raw this week, proving his brother Ezekiel right. Welcome back to another Raw roundup, this time covering the June 20 edition of the show with a one night only Elias concert, more Money in the Bank qualifiers and Rhea Ripley losing her title shot. - Carmella pinfall def Becky Lynch, Asuka, Liv Morgan and Asuka to earn a Raw Women's Title shot at Money in the Bank - Omos pinfall def Riddle to secure a spot in the Men's Money in the Bank match to secure - Bobby Lashley def. Chad Gable, then Otis, then Theory to win a US title, shot at Money in the Bank - Asuka def. Becky Lynch by pinfall to earn a spot in the women's Money in the Bank match to secure. Moment of the Night: Elias and Ezekiel First, the backstage segment between Elias and Ezekiel was gold. In fact, maybe that little bit of cheese made it even better. Kevin Owens, who then continued his crusade against Ezekiel by interrupting the Elias concert right after, was just as great. Owens owned this whole story. Finally seeing him face to face with Elias and Ezekiel that same evening was the best. Plus, the simple camera tricks made it all fun. Best Match: Carmella vs. Becky Lynch vs. Liv Morgan vs. All five women provided an entertaining match. That feels like a solid fresh start for the former Money in the Bank wife. Rhea Ripley was apparently injured, according to Bianca Belair, who broke the news during a promo early on Raw. Riddle now appears to be moving to a new program with Seth Rollins as he is unable to compete for the undisputed title. Lingering question: Will there be an MITB last-chance qualifier? You'd think with Becky Lynch on the poster and Riddle getting into a feud with Rollins, both should be part of the MITB matches. Getting through the last-chance qualification seems to be a matter of course for both of them. For a segment-by-segment breakdown of the show with more of my thoughts, listen to the Raw Roundup podcast on the Out of Character feed on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.


WWE Raw Results (6/20): MITB Title Match Changed, Qualification Matches, Elias Returns

WWE made a big change to a title match at Money in the Bank and hosted more qualifying matches Monday night on Raw. (Author: Gardener)

WWE Raw ResultsWelcome to our Live WWE Raw Viewing Party. Tonight's show will be broadcast live from Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln, Nebraska. A game was announced for tonight's show early Monday afternoon. WWE is also promoting that Elias will be returning to "Raw" for another concert with his younger brother Ezekiel tonight. First up is Raw Women Champion Bianca Belair. Graves points out that Riddle still has a path to a match for the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship. Also, Elias is returning for a concert tonight. Belair has a microphone and greets the crowd to "Raw". She was looking forward to defending her title against Rhea Ripley in the Money in the Bank event. Belair says Ripley will not be medically cleared in time for the competition. Belair says she will be ready and waiting when Ripley gets back. Belair now needs a new challenger for Money in the Bank. Belair lists five names: Alexa Bliss, Liv Morgan, Carmella, Asuka, and Becky Lynch. They will go head-to-head in a "five-way deadly match" to determine who will challenge Belair at Money in the Bank. Lynch walks out and says that she is the only contender for Belair's title. Lynch also says that she won the title match in Hell in a Cell, but Belair stole the win from her. She says things will be a whole lot sweeter when she takes back her title. Lynch is interrupted by Asuka's music as she performs. Asuka wants to know if Lynch is crying and calls her a "big baby" again. According to Lynch, Asuka needs to spend less time creating Simpsons memes and focus on winning some games. Liv Morgan's music stops and Morgan enters. She says she's always ready for a fight. Morgan points out that she's in a good mood because she's already qualified for Money in the Bank. Morgan says she'll happily trade her spot in the Money in the Bank match for a title match against Belair. She points out that Morgan is the only one in tonight's match who isn't a former champion. Carmella wants the match reduced to a foursome. Morgan threatens to give Carmella a few more weeks off if she keeps speaking up. Alexa Bliss' music plays and she enters. Bliss asks if she should name the guy with the chin who helped Carmella win Money in the Bank. Bliss says Carmella has never been successful on her own. Bliss threatens to punch Carmella in the face if she keeps talking about Morgan. Belair is calming down hostilities and it sounds like this match will be next. Back from break we get a hype video reminding us that John Cena is returning to Raw next Monday. Lynch walks right behind Asuka and they fall to the ground. Morgan and Bliss quickly defeat Carmella, leaving her alone in the ring. Morgan with a sunset flip for a 2 count and then a rolling series of roll ups that made Bliss dizzy. Bliss and Morgan then lock themselves in a cradle and roll around the ring. Carmella tries to take advantage but is unable to get the pin despite covering both women multiple times. Asuka enters the ring but Carmella avoids her punches. Asuka eventually tries to line up Carmella, but Lynch pulls her out of the ring. Bliss defeats Carmella and gets a 2 count. Lynch re-enters the fight but misses a leg drop off the second turnbuckle. Carmella gets back in the ring and rolls Bliss up for a two count. Carmella Trash Talks Bliss. Bliss fires, but Carmella slips out of a slam attempt and pulls Bliss down by the hair for a 2 count. Morgan enters and slides Carmella into the top turnbuckle. Morgan climbs onto the top turnbuckle, but Carmella pushes her off and Morgan falls to the ground on top of Asuka and Bliss. Back from the break, Lynch and Bliss are in the ring. Lynch misses a splash in the corner but recovers and hits a Becks ploder that sends Bliss out of the ring. Morgan hires and hits a rising knee kick into the corner and a missile drop kick at Lynch. Lynch covers with her feet on the ropes, but Morgan kicks out. Lynch climbs to the top but is cut off and Carmella takes her down with a hurricanrana for a pin attempt that Asuka broke. Carmella superkicks Asuka and covers for a two count. Asuka recovers and puts Carmella in Asuka's lock. Bliss interrupts with a double knee drop. Lynch throws Bliss out of the ring and tries to grab Asuka. Morgan hits Asuka with a missile drop kick. Asuka catches Lynch with an inside cradle, but Lynch kicks out. Lynch hits a manhandle slam but Bliss breaks it up with a twisted bliss. Asuka misses a strike on Bliss. Bliss tries to defeat Asuka, but Lynch interferes. Morgan bets on Oblivion on Lynch, but Lynch grabs the second rope to block it. Lynch hits Morgan with a manhandle slam. Asuka and Lynch fight to the ground. Bliss goes to the top rope but Morgan gets her knees up on Twisted Bliss. Morgan runs into a superkick from Carmella and she covers to get the pin! Carmella defeated Alexa Bliss and Asuka and Becky Lynch and Liv Morgan. Now Carmella will challenge Bianca Belair for the Raw Women's Championship in the Money in the Bank event. Backstage, Lynch yells at Adam Pearce as we black out and go into a commercial break. Back from break, Lynch is still yelling at Pearce. "What's Money in the Bank with Big Time Becks?" Pearce points out that she was scheduled for an MITB qualifier against Asuka and that game will still take place tonight. Back in the arena, "No Chance In Hell" plays and Mr. McMahon enters. McMahon picks up a microphone and says this is the 1.517. Output of "Raw". He says 20 of Raw's 30 years have been dominated by John Cena and he'll be back next Monday. McMahon drops the mic and exits the ring. Back at the announce table, the announce team dives into a video recap of last Friday's SmackDown, which saw Roman defeat Reigns Riddle and Brock Lesnar return to WWE. We are reminded that Reigns will defend his title against Lesnar in a Last Man Standing Match at SummerSlam. Back in the arena, Riddle enters. Back from recess, Riddle has a microphone. Riddle says he almost made it on SmackDown but at the end of the day Reigns beat him. Riddle says he failed himself and failed all the fans and failed Orton as well. Riddle says he's downstairs, but he's not out. He says he can't challenge Reigns for his championship, but he can still win money in the bank. Riddle says if he wins and cashes in at Reigns, he can end his reign of terror and get the sweet revenge he and Orton want. Riddle says he wants to hit Seth Rollins in the back with a ladder for what Rollins did to Cody Rhodes. Omos' music plays and he enters. MVP says Riddle will get high tonight when Omos grabs and knocks him out. Riddle says he's going to get high and his hand rises after hitting Omos with an RKO. Back from the break it rings. Bank Qualifier Money: Omos vs. Bank Qualifier Money: Omos vs. He walks right behind Omos and shoots kicks in the corner. Omos hits a splash in the corner. He whips Riddle hard in the corner. They show Seth Rollins watching the game on a backstage monitor. Riddle fires with a few punches but runs straight into a bear hug from Omos. Riddle smashes his way out, but Omos grabs him and pushes him back into the bear hug. Riddle fights again. Riddle corners Omos with his running forearms, but Omos catches him and throws him over the ring. Omos hits another tree slam after the bell and poses. They linger over a recording of Riddle laid out in the ring, with Seth Rollins' music playing and him performing. Rollins reaches out to Riddle with a forearm and throws him out of the ring. Rollins gets a mic and says he doesn't share airspace with losers. Rollins says he shouldn't be too hard on him because it didn't matter. Rollins says only one man has Roman Reigns number and you look at him. Rollins says Reigns has ducked him since the Royal Rumble. Rollins vows to win Money in the Bank and says his deposit will be bigger than his first. Rollins is cut off by Riddle attacking him from behind, but Rollins quickly recovers and punches The Stomp at Riddle. Back at the announce table, the announce team cheers for “Raw” being in Nebraska. Back in the arena, Theory makes his entrance. Back from the break, Theory is in the ring and standing on the podium from the "Pose Down" on last Monday's show. The theory goes that everyone wants to know what it's like to be a prodigy, or a chosen one, or the new face of WWE. The theory goes that he proved last week that Bobby Lashley can't touch him. He says he's better than Lashley ever was. The theory is that Cena's 20th anniversary celebrations are next week, but "his time is up and my time is now." Theory wants to show some of the poses he couldn't do last week. The fans perk up and Theory thinks it's for him, but it's actually for Lashley sneaking up on him from behind. Theory grabs his phone to take a selfie, only then realizing Lashley is behind him. He turns around and Lashley sprays him with baby oil and runs him out of the ring. Lashley grabs a microphone. He requests a United States Championship match. Theory sees Lashley's selfie and is very upset. Graves says there is no update on when Edge will return. Back in the arena, the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Champions The Usos perform. Jey Uso will be in action against Angelo Dawkins. Back from the break, Kevin addresses Patrick Theory on Lashley's challenge. The theory is that Lashley earns nothing. If Lashley is to have any shot at the US title he must defeat three men in a gauntlet match tonight. If Lashley wins, he gets his shot at Money in the Bank. Back in the arena, the Usos have a microphone. Jey says everyone knows who they are. Jimmy says The Bloodline runs both shows. Jey says Roman Reigns will smash Brock Lesnar just like he did Riddle. Uso goes deep and corners Dawkins. Dawkins counters a whip and hits his twisting splash and a big kick that sends Uso onto the apron. Dawkins charges and Uso pulls down the top rope to send Dawkins down. Uso followed with a suicide dive and then Dawkins clotheslined into the timer's area. Back from the break, Uso is in control but Dawkins fights back with punches. Dawkins knocks Uso down with a series of clotheslines but runs into a superkick. Dawkins recovers with a flying back elbow for a 2 count. Dawkins tries the twisting splash again in the corner, but Uso avoids it and hits a pop-up neck breaker for a 2 count. Uso charges at Dawkins but runs into a shoulder block. Dawkins follows up with a double underhook into a twisting neck breaker for a two count. Uso cheers and hits a super kick. He climbs onto the top turnbuckle but jumps right into a Sky High powerbomb from Dawkins and that gets the pin. We see Ezekiel and Elias together on camera. Elias says he's played shows, but nothing compares to performing in front of the WWE Universe. Elias is happy that Ezekiel is living his dream. Ezekiel says it means the world to him that Elijah is here with him. Ezekiel talks about being in the Money in the Bank ladder game. Elias says not to anticipate. Elias says he's doing a great job and tells him he loves him. Elias stands in the spotlight in the ring and plays the guitar. He says it's great to stand in front of all the good people of Nebraska. He thanks the fans for taking care of his little brother and also reminds them that WWE stands for Walk With Elias. Elias plays a song dedicated to his brother, but Kevin Owens interrupts. Owens calls him a liar and says he may have fooled the people of Nebraska, but he can't fool him because he's French Canadian. He says the video of Elias and Ezekiel didn't prove anything because last week he saw a movie where a dinosaur flew a helicopter. Elias performs a song for Owens called "KO's a Liar". Owens comes into the ring and throws the guitar away, but Elias catches him with a jumping knee and picks up another guitar and smashes it over Owen's head. Elias thanks Nebraska while Owens crawls away in pain. Owens says he's not convinced Elias and Ezekiel are apart. Owens says next week he will challenge Ezekiel or Elias or their younger brother who we haven't met yet. Back in the arena, Bobby Lashley makes his entrance. Back from the break, Lashley is expecting his first opponent and here comes Chad Gable. Lockup to start and Lashley grabs an armbar to gain the advantage. Gable struggles to his feet but Lashley grabs a headlock and takes him to the mat. Gable struggles to his feet but Lashley gets him down with a waistlock. Gable bends briefly into his own armbar, but Lashley quickly regains the advantage. Gable manages to escape again and knocks out Lashley. Lashley hits a neck breaker and a shoulder block. Gable retreats to the ring apron and Lashley knocks him out. Lashley makes his way, picks up Gable and rams him headfirst into the ring post. Gable reaches the ring apron and Lashley grabs him and puts him in play with a very delayed vertical suplex. Lashley goes for a spear but Gable hits an ankle lock. Lashley is at it for a while but manages to roll out and push off Gable. Gable knocks out Lashley, climbs to the top turnbuckle and connects with a moonsault for a 2 count. Gable goes for a German suplex, but Lashley counters and throws Gable over the ring. Lashley uses The Hurt Lock. Gable counters but Lashley puts him back in and Gable knocks out. Otis leans on Lashley and brings him to the ground where he throws Lashley against the ring post. Otis comes back in the ring but comes back out and runs Lashley down with a running body attack and a splash to the ground. Back from the break, Otis grounded Lashley with a vise around Lashley's head. Lashley struggles to his feet and tries a waist lock, but he can't pick Otis up. Otis fires back with a lasso for a 2 count. Otis hits a running elbow drop and attacks the fans. Otis corners Lashley and bolts away with punches. Otis climbs to the second turnbuckle but misses the Vader Bomb. Lashley misses a clothesline. Otis misses his own and Lashley hits a flatliner. Lashley positions himself behind Otis and attempts The Hurt Lock but fails to lock it in. Otis corners Lashley to break it. Otis misses an attack in the corner. Lashley hits a spear and covers Otis, but Gable dives to break the count and cause a disqualification. Gable and Otis double over Lashley and put him down. Theory's music is playing, he's the third man in this fight. Theory mounts Lashley and stomps away on him. Theory corners Lashley and hits with more punches and kicks. Lashley fires and punches from the corner, but Theory slips out of a power slam. Theory hits a rolling pop-up drop kick. Lashley will challenge Theory for the Money in the Bank US Championship. Back at the commentary table, the commentary team recaps tonight's fatal five way match. Backstage, Bianca Belair is asked if she is surprised that Carmella won. Belair says yes and no. Carmella attacks Belair from behind. Back in the arena, The Miz makes his entrance. He's here for a Miz-TV segment with AJ Styles. Back from break, The Miz introduces AJ Styles, who makes his appearance. Miz says Styles went through some troubles. Miz basically goes over everything bad that has happened to Styles since right before WrestleMania. Miz shoots at the University of Nebraska. Styles calls Miz naïve and references "Cornhusker Country" to warm up the crowd. Miz points to his crotch and says, "It won't be a thing". Miz freaks out and says his balls are huge. Styles says he doesn't play his games. He says his losses are his own and he's been through adversity before. Styles says he doesn't run his mouth if he's disrespected. Styles then revs up and KOs Miz. Ciampa appears and throws Styles out of the ring. Back from the break, an impromptu match was made. The bell rings and Styles quickly defeats Ciampa with a clothesline. Ciampa fights back and hacks Styles against the ropes. Styles responds with a dropkick and Ciampa goes back to the ground. Styles bluffs a dive, but Ciampa stays a step ahead and hits Styles with a running knee strike on the apron and then in the ring for a two count. Ciampa hits a reverse neck breaker but barely gets a 1-count. Staying on offense, Ciampa elbows Styles in the head and then puts him in a chin bar. Styles struggles to his feet and hits a combination of offense and a sliding forearm strike. Styles follows with a splash in the corner and takes out Ciampa with an ushigoroshi for a two count. Ciampa fights back with a ripcord forearm punch, but Styles gets out of the fairy tale ending. Styles reaches the ring apron and hits the Phenomenal Forearm to get the pin. Miz tries to attack Styles after the bell and gets a Pele Kick and a Styles Clash for his troubles. Mahaan says what he did to Mysterio is just the beginning. He says WWE has never seen a hunger like his. He says he can't be stopped. Becky Lynch makes her entrance. Back from the break, we were told that Kevin Owens will be up against either Elias, Ezekiel, or Elrod in next Monday's "Raw." Back in the arena, Asuka makes her entrance. Lynch runs down the aisle to attack her. Lynch whips Asuka to the side of the ring. Asuka blocks her and gets in the ring. Lynch gets in and the doorbell rings. Money in the Bank Qualifying Match: Asuka vs. Money in the Bank Qualifying Match: Asuka vs. Money in the Bank Qualifying Match: Asuka vs. Asuka immediately attracts an arm bar. Asuka defeats Lynch with a shoulder tackle. Asuka tries the Asuka Lock, but Lynch pulls her out of the ring onto the floor. Lynch goes outside and bangs Asuka's head on the ring apron. Lynch rolls Asuka into the ring, but Asuka catches her with kicks as she walks in. Asuka performs a running hip attack while Lynch is on the ropes and Lynch slaps to the ground. Asuka goes to get her, but Lynch interrupts her with a kick. Lynch rolls Asuka into the ring and climbs to the top turnbuckle. Asuka interrupts her and goes to get her. Lynch fights off Asuka but misses a missile drop kick. Asuka hits a codebreaker for a 2 count. Asuka kicks Lynch, but Lynch catches one and hits a European uppercut. Asuka tries to run to the second turnbuckle but Lynch pushes her away and Asuka falls to the ground as we head to a commercial break. Asuka tries to roll up, but Lynch steps out. Another exchange results in a running clothesline for Asuka. Asuka hits a running hip attack in the corner and bolts away with more strikes. Asuka hits another running hip attack and gets a 2 count. Lynch transforms into her own version of the Asuka Castle. Asuka easily escapes and puts Lynch in an ankle lock. Lynch tries to roll out but Asuka won't let go. Lynch eventually rolls Asuka into the corner to break the hold. Lynch covers for a 2 count. Lynch covers for a 2 count. Lynch hangs Asuka over the second rope but misses a leg drop. Auka lures the Asuka lock over the top rope, then hits a rocket drop kick for a 2 count. Lynch retreats to the apron. Asuka goes after her but is kicked to the ground. Lynch lunges at Asuka off the apron, but Asuka hits her with a rising knee on the floor. The referee counts to 9 for both women, but both bat. They exchange strikes in the middle of the ring. They exchange strikes in the middle of the ring. A manhandle slam is converted into a rollup, but Lynch reverses it into her own. Asuka appears and gives Lynch a huge kick in the head, covering her to get the needle. Asuka is in the women's Money in the Bank ladder game. Lynch is outraged after the match and tears the commentary table apart.


Carmella wins the Raw women's title opportunity at Money in the Bank

Carmella took advantage of Rhea Ripley being forced off the Money in the Bank card (Author: Gardener)

BankWith just a few weeks left until the Money in the Bank event, WWE put in a lot of heavy lifting on Monday night during Raw. At the headline moment, it was announced that Rhea Ripley was not medically cleared for her scheduled title challenge against Raw Women's Champion Bianca Belair, leaving a large seat to be filled. Carmella would be the woman to get the newly available opportunity and win a fatal five to open the show and cement her spot in the July 2nd title match in Las Vegas. Another title match was added to Money in the Bank, with Bobby Lashley defeating Chad Gable, Otis and Theory in one night to earn Theory's US Title shot at the upcoming event. Bianca Belair opened the show by announcing that Rhea Ripley was not medically cleared for her match at Money in the Bank for Belair's Raw Women's Championship. Belair then announced that Alexa Bliss, Liv Morgan, Carmella, Asuka and Becky Lynch would be fighting for the Money in the Bank title later that night. This led to the expected parade of interruptions from the women involved in the game. Carmella def. Alexa Bliss, Liv Morgan, Asuka & Becky Lynch via pinfall after hitting Morgan with a super kick. The win puts Carmella into the Raw women's title match at Money in the Bank. Notably, Carmella was the first winner of a women's Money in the Bank match, making the event somewhat of her "trademark show." Carmella made some sense as the choice to face Belair here. Her presence is not required in the Money in the Bank ladder match, and given her history, she is just legitimate enough to be a good challenger for the eventual replacement. A Carmella title challenge is unlikely to excite anyone or evoke the same sense of potential title change that Ripley provided, but sometimes all it takes is a patch to bridge a hole left by injury. * Vince McMahon stepped up to discuss Raw's history before touring that John Cena would be appearing on next week's show. Just like on SmackDown, McMahon seemed to make a point of showing up and making sure his face was on TV during the investigation into allegations of misconduct related to hush money paid to a staffer with whom he was having an affair. Pinfall puzzles in a Money in the Bank qualifier. * Bobby Lashley interrupted an Austin Theory posedown. As Theory posed in the center of the ring and fired off a few shots at John Cena, Lashley dove into the ring behind Theory before hitting the US Champion with a javelin. Elias and Ezekiel were shown having a "talk" backstage earlier in the show and Ezekiel also appeared in the Tron when Owens interrupted her. After Owens stumbled backstage and said he would challenge Elias or Ezekiel to a match on Raw next week, Ezekiel showed up at that point and accepted the challenge. * Bobby Lashley defeated. Chad Gable, Otis and Theory in a fight. At the start of the show, Theory said he would give Lashley a shot at the US title at Money in the Bank if he could beat three opponents in a row, which Lashley did, most recently pinning Theory with a counterattack against A-Town Down . * Defeated Asuka. Becky Lynch via pinfall in a Money in the Bank qualifier. Lynch, angered by her loss in the fatal five earlier in the night, demanded an opportunity to qualify for the Money in the Bank ladder game. She was told that she would have her chance against Asuka later that night, but was taken out by a large kick, causing her to throw a major post-game tantrum before the show went off the air.


WWE rumors about Sasha Banks, Bobby Lashley, Theory, R-Truth and Superstars are heating up on Raw

Uncertainty about Sasha Banks continues. p (Author: Gardener)

Sasha BanksBleacher Report brings you the latest news from WWE and AEW. Sasha Banks released by WWE. No one really knows anything other than the fact that WWE hasn't come out and has denied reports of their exit from the company. Wrestling Inc.'s Raj Giri first reported Banks' departure last Wednesday. Fightful Select couldn't confirm Banks' release and spoke to several talents who said it hadn't been made official internally. Banks remains listed on the Official WWE Roster. That said, if Banks hadn't been fired, or at least worked towards her release from the company, it stands to reason that WWE would have quashed the speculation immediately. Banks hasn't been seen on TV since she dropped out of Monday Night Raw with her tag team partner Naomi in frustration over the booking. The women were stripped of their tag team titles and suspended indefinitely; none have been mentioned in WWE programming for weeks. WWE also digitally removed a sign that referenced Banks from Friday night's SmackDown broadcast. Kazeem Famuyide of The Ringer's Masked Man Show and MSG Network previously reported in May that Banks and Naomi's contracts would expire within two months. It's unclear if WWE plans to use the suspension to freeze their contracts. Fightful Select reported that R-Truth was originally booked to interrupt the segment, but plans changed and he wasn't used. Instead, the segment ended with Theory spraying Lashley with baby oil after fans favored the babyface All Mighty. It seems likely that Theory and Lashley will end this feud with a match at the Money in the Bank live event, scheduled for July 2nd. If you've been watching WWE programs lately, you'll notice that there's usually at least one segment a night like this: 1) Superstar enters. 2) Cut to commercial. 3) Get back to the video pack/recap segment. 4) Second Superstar appears. 5) Cut to commercial. A particularly egregious example of time-fill was when Liv Morgan had to wait 19 minutes from her entry to the start of her game. Fightful Select reported that wrestlers have expressed frustration with the long wait times, but that's not expected to change any time soon. WWE informed Talents that the wait times were introduced to "improve the flow of the show."