Bobby Lashley managed to retain his WWE United States Championship against Ciampa on this week's Monday Night Raw. "The All Mighty" looked to have the match won when he delivered a Spear, only for The Miz to put Ciampa's foot on the rope to break the count. "The A-Lister" was promptly chased away by AJ Styles, but the opening gave Ciampa the chance to bash Lashley's face into an unprotected turnbuckle. The former NXT Champion would then hit a running knee and Willow's Bell, but could never get more than a two count.
Lashley countered another running knee attempt with a chokeslam, then finally applied The Hurt Lock. Ciampa nearly reached the ropes, but had to surrender with a tap out.
Ciampa walked out to the ring wearing one of Harley Race's classic robes. As a student of the all-time great, Ciampa dedicated the match to the first-ever United States Champion.
"Tonight is dedicated to Handsome Harley, The King, the first ever United States Champion....or as I always called him 'Boss.' In 2008, when I moved to Eldon, MO to train with Harley Race, I was a lost twenty-two-year-old kid. I had just been released from my developmental contract, I lacked confidence, and I was battling depression. The decision to leave home, step outside of my comfort zone, and start fresh in a new territory was horrifying to me...but it was a risk I needed to take. When I reflect on my career today, it's extremely clear to me just how big of an impact Harley had on me...personally and professionally," Ciampa wrote. "Harley is a no-nonsense man. His mere presence demands respect...this I could tell from the moment I met him. However, as the days turned to weeks, and the weeks to months, I came to discover that Harley had a heart of gold. He cared about his students, not only in the ring but outside as well.
"Harley's confidence in me as a man and as a performer allowed me to regain confidence in myself. He allowed me to make mistakes, and he helped guide me to fix those mistakes," he continued. "Before class every day, I would try to get to the school early and I would ask Harley to watch tapes with me. Sometimes he 'politely' said, 'not today kid'. But sometimes the answer was yes...and I'll tell you this, not many things compare to tape study sessions with Harley Race. My best memory from my time training at the Harley Race Academy actually took place away from the ring. It was Thanksgiving of 2008 and I (along with many others) could not afford to travel home for the holiday. Harley invited a bunch of his students to his place for a home cooked Thanksgiving feast. He treated us as family. It was incredible! I'm grateful for the time I spent with Harley in '08... I wouldn't be the man or performer I am today without him. Harley passed away almost exactly three years ago from today. And still, I can hear his voice clear as day, 'you done good kid, you done good'. Thank you, Boss. Thank you for everything. 🖤"