Eva Marie made her return to WWE television on Raw tonight — but she wasn’t in action on the show.
It had been announced earlier today that Eva Marie vs. Naomi would be taking place on tonight’s Raw. But Marie instead entered with NXT UK’s Piper Niven. Niven replaced Marie in the match. Niven was dominant against Naomi and won with the Michinoku Driver.
Niven wasn’t identified by name on Raw tonight and the announcers reacted like they didn’t know who she was. The ring announcer also didn’t know her name. Marie instead announced herself as the winner.
Niven excitedly hugged Marie after the match, but Marie didn’t seem too enthused when she did.
Tonight was Marie’s return to WWE after departing the company in 2017. Weeks of videos hyping her return aired leading into tonight, with Marie talking about wanting to be a role model and inspire others.
Dave Meltzer had confirmed last week that the plan was for Marie “to have a bodyguard with her with Mercedes Martinez and Piper Niven’s names both being thrown out.”
Niven made her WWE debut as a participant in the inaugural Mae Young Classic in 2017. She signed with WWE in 2019 and joined NXT UK. Prior to her WWE career, Niven went by the name Viper.