Ciampa is the next challenger for Bobby Lashley's United States Championship, the top belt exclusive to WWE Raw. Ciampa was the winner of a triple threat match followed by a one-on-one match with the winner of a different triple threat match on Raw last night to earn the opportunity, a major upgrade from his previous role as a lackey to The Miz and perhaps a sign of things to come for formerly beloved NXT stars now that Triple H is in charge of WWE creative. Ciampa remains allied with The Miz, but now as more of a junior partner than a straight-up henchman.
Ciampa first defeated Dolph Ziggler and Chad Gable in a triple threat match to earn his shot at the shot. Ciampa won the match clean by hitting the Fairy Tale Ending on Gable after Gable also suffered a Zig Zag from Ziggler.
Earlier in the night, AJ Styles defeated Mustafa Ali and The Miz in another triple threat match, earning his own chance at a shot at the US Championship. Styles won in more spectacular fashion, grabbing Ali as he performed a 450 splash on Miz and hitting the Styles Clash directly on top of Miz for the victory.
However, when Styles and Ciampa clashed in the penultimate match of the night on WWE Raw, it was Ciampa who walked away the victor, with a little help from The Miz along the way.
Ciampa will face Bobby Lashley on next week's episode of WWE Raw with the US Championship on the line. Will Ciampa earn his first main roster title? He's keeping a positive attitude about it.
It certainly feels like a step up for Ciampa, even if he does ultimately end up jobbing to Lashley. It's nice to see Triple H booking all his old faves in prominent spots on WWE Raw, though it would be nice if he would give some of them their names back as well. But one step at a time.