Reviews

The John Report: The WWE Raw Deal 02/07/22 Review

wwe raw deal feb 7

This week’s WWE Monday Night Raw continued the road to Elimination Chamber with Seth Rollins facing Riddle while Lita and Raw Women’s Champion Becky Lynch followed up on what happened last week when they agreed to have a “dream match” at Elimination Chamber.

Raw aired on Syfy in the US this week due to USA Network showing Winter Olympics coverage since it’s part of the NBC Universal family and NBC has the Olympic package in the US. It should lead to a drop in viewers for Raw, so WWE is countering that by saying the first hour of Raw is commercial-free. I live in Canada, so the change doesn’t affect me. That just means no writing breaks in hour one, but that’s okay. I’ll survive. I am really excited about the Super Bowl on Sunday as my LA Rams take on the Cincinnati Bengals. Bring it on.

This is the Raw Deal for episode #1498 of Monday Night Raw. It’s taking place at the Ball Arena in Denver, Colorado. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Let’s get to it.

Raw began with an impressive pyro display along with shots of the crowd in Denver. The Raw commentary team of Jimmy Smith, Corey Graves and Byron Saxton welcomed us to the show. They noted it was the hometown of WWE Champion Bobby Lashley, who will be there later.

Quiz Bowl: RK-Bro vs. Alpha Academy

The Quiz Bowl show was hosted by Kevin Patrick. Alpha Academy are the Raw Tag Team Champions while RK-Bro had to win this round to earn a championship rematch. RK-Bro won the spelling bee two weeks ago and then Chad Gable beat Riddle in a scooter race (thanks to an attack from Otis) last week.

Gable did one of his “shoosh” lines and ripped on the crowd in Denver. Gable explained the rules noting the first team to five points wins the game. There were nine categories on the screen. Alpha Academy picked a question about US Presidents and the fans booed Gable booing his 4.0 GPA with Gable telling them not to boo education. Gable got it right, so they were 1-0. Riddle picked a Biology question that asked about an octopus, Riddle claimed he dissected an octopus and knew that they had three hearts, so it was 1-1. Alpha Academy picked a Greek Mythology question with Gable getting it right, so it was 2-1. Randy Orton picked cartoons, which drew cheers and they asked about the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Riddle got it right, so it was 2-2.

Orton told Gable to shut up and wanted Chad to let Otis answer a question. Otis picked geography asking the largest of the 48 continental United States, Otis said if it was asking for the lowest IQ it would be Colorado (the fans booed) and Otis said Texas to get it right, so it was 3-2. Riddle picked Pop Culture asking a question about Justin Bieber, who he married and Orton guessed the wrong Baldwin guy that’s the father of Bieber’s wife. Gable got the steal saying it was Stephen Baldwin, so it was 4-2 for the AA guys. Gable picked Film & Literature asking about what Shakespeare movie has been made into a movie, Gable said Romeo & Juliet and got it wrong. Riddle said it was Hamlet, which was correct, so 4-3 for AA. Randy Orton picked sports, which was a question about what Quarterback has the most wins in Denver Broncos history. The local fans helped Orton out by letting him know it was D – John Elway. It was 4-4 after that correct answer. Gable complained about the crowd and told them to shut up.

It was 4-4 so the next answer wins. Metric conversions asked how many grams were in an ounce. Gable said 12, which was wrong. Riddle wanted to answer, Orton said he knew it. Orton: Orton: “You think I’m the only one that bakes, bro?” Orton said there were precisely 28 grams in one ounce. That was it, so RK-Bro won 5-4. That meant that Orton and Riddle will get a Raw Tag Team Title match against Alpha Academy. Orton and Riddle did a promo saying RK-Bro are the three most dangerous letters and the fans cheered. Gable complained about the buzzer messing with his head.

Analysis: It was fine as a way to set up another title match between the two tag teams. There were some funny moments, especially from Gable. Three weeks of non-wrestling segments were done to show off the personalities of the two teams. The last one was a marijuana reference in a state where smoking pot is legal and Riddle/Orton are two guys that are sort of known for that, so they had fun with it. Gable was entertaining as usual.

The Street Profits made their entrance mocking the Alpha Academy for losing the Quiz Bowl. Gable didn’t like being mocked, so they challenged The Street Profits to a match and The Street Profits accepted. Otis ran over Montez Ford at ringside for a cheap shot.

The announcers were shown talking about what’s coming up so that the ring could be cleared from the furniture that was there.

This Friday on Smackdown: Is the Tribal Chief Roman Reigns about to be next by Goldberg? Also, Charlotte Flair defends the Smackdown Women’s Title against Naomi.

Alpha Academy (Chad Gable & Otis) vs. The Street Profits (Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins)

Ford started for his team with some impressive offense including a dropkick on Otis on the apron. Dawkins tagged in with some impressive mat wrestling with Gable from two guys that are talented in the ring and Dawkins got a slam to take control. Ford tagged in, he went for a move from the apron, but Otis tripped him and Ford couldn’t get a move in. Otis hit a running lefty clothesline on Ford followed by a body slam and a running splash. Otis grounded Ford with a chinlock, Ford managed to break free and sent Otis shoulder first into the turnbuckle. Ford with a step-up enziguri kick to the head. Dawkins tagged in against Gable, Dawkins with an impressive leapfrog into a back elbow and an overhead release suplex. Dawkins hit a corner splash, Gable with a shot to the throat and a belly to belly suplex for two. Gable jumped off the top, Dawkins moved, Dawkins with a punch and Dawkins hit a double underhook suplex into a neckbreaker for two. Otis made the save, Ford kicked Otis in the head and Otis was on the floor, so Ford hit a somersault dive over the top onto Otis on the floor. Dawkins went for a slam again, Gable countered it into an ankle lock and when Dawkins tried to fight it, Gable countered into a pin sitting on top of Dawkins for the pinfall win after six minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Alpha Academy (Chad Gable & Otis)

Analysis: **3/4 This was a good match for the time given. More time would have been nice, but I thought they did a nice job of getting a lot of action in the time given. Gable and Dawkins had a few exchanges there that were really good. Ford’s dive to the floor was impressive and Otis got to show off his power as well. It’s always a good thing to see champs winning non-title because they book champions to lose in matches like that so often.

A video package aired about Lita’s career as a four-time Women’s Champion, a WWE Hall of Famer and a challenger against Becky Lynch at Elimination Chamber.

A video aired about the WWE 2K22 video game that comes out on March 11.

Let’s Hear from Bobby Lashley and MVP

Montel Vontavious Porter was in a suit in the ring for a promo. MVP wanted the fans to please rise not just because he’s from Denver, Colorado, but because he’s the two-time, reigning, defending, undisputed WWE Heavyweight Champion of the World, the “All Mighty” Bobby Lashley. There were “Bobby” chants from the hometown crowd. I believe he still lives in the Denver area as well. Lashley was in a suit.

MVP said that last week they should have had a proper celebration because Lashley won the collision with consequences. MVP said that Lashley slayed The Beast and took back his WWE Championship. MVP said he knows that some people think Lashley only won because Roman Reigns interfered in the match and claimed that Lesnar would have done the same thing. MVP said that the only thing that matters is that Lashley pinned Lesnar and was victorious. MVP thinks that last week should have been declared Bobby Lashley Day. Instead, Adam Pearce told Lashley that he had to defend the WWE Championship in the Elimination Chamber against five other superstars. MVP gave Lesnar credit for winning the Royal Rumble match, so he’ll face Roman Reigns for the Universal Championship at WrestleMania. MVP said it was a “pure fantasy” for Lesnar to go into WrestleMania as the WWE Champion and he said that Lashley will leave Elimination Chamber as the WWE Champion. MVP mentioned AJ Styles and Seth Rollins as two former WWE Champions while guys like Riddle and Austin Theory are the future of WWE. MVP said that they are stellar superstars, but Lashley and Lesnar are monsters, so you’re talking about monster business. MVP said that Lashley is the biggest monster of them all.

Lashley said that Lesnar disrespected him for the last time. Lashley said that Lesnar tried to demand a rematch, but you don’t make demands from the All Mighty. Lashley said that Lesnar was demanding everything that he never worked for. Lashley ripped on Lesnar for rarely defending a title and wondered when Lesnar had a match on Raw. Lashley wanted Elimination Chamber to come down to him and Lesnar just so he can pin Lesnar again. Lashley said it’s not about Lesnar being locked in a cage, it’s about Lashley being locked in a cage with him. Lashley said when Lesnar wakes up in a hospital because of Lashley, he can go on to challenge for the Universal Championship while Lashley is going to go on to defend his WWE Title at WrestleMania. Lashley’s music played to end it.

Analysis: This was more of a mission statement promo from MVP talking on behalf of Lashley. I thought MVP did a great job as usual. Lashley seemed like he may have forgotten some dialogue near the end of his speech, but he did get through it just fine. I kept waiting for an interruption, but there wasn’t one. I think Lesnar is going to win the WWE Title again at Elimination Chamber and go on to face Roman Reigns in a title vs. title match at WrestleMania.

Alexa Bliss was shown in a therapy session with her psychiatrist, who told Bliss she was holding a Lilly replica, not the real thing. The doctor wanted Bliss to hand it over, Bliss looked at it and handed it over. Bliss cried (or fake cried) and that was it.

Analysis: Riveting television watching a woman in her 30s crying about a doll.

A video aired plugging WWE Shop merchandise for sale.

AJ Styles made his entrance followed by the US Champion Damian Priest for this non-title match between faces.

AJ Styles vs. Damian Priest

Styles got in a strike early, but then Priest came back with a jumping back elbow. Styles sent Priest out of the ring leading to Styles jumping over the top with a forearm on the floor. Back in the ring, Styles got a two count. Priest used his power for a lifting slam to send Styles into the mat and Priest hit a corner elbow on Styles. Priest hit a big clothesline for two. They battled on the turnbuckle, Styles slipped out to send Priest into the turnbuckle. They avoided some big moves, then Styles picked up Priest on the shoulder leading to the Ushigoroshi slam off the shoulders leading to a knee to the head. Styles went for a move off the ropes, Priest moved and hit a spin kick. Priest with a headlock driver into the mat for two. Priest with kicks to the body. Styles blocked a clothesline, Styles with strikes, Priest with a kick to the head and Styles hit a Pele Kick with Priest landing on top for a two count. A good sequence of moves there. Styles with a forearm to the jaw, then he went for the springboard attack, but Priest blocked it with a punch. Priest ran the ropes, Styles jumped off the ropes with a Phenomenal Forearm and Styles covered for the pinfall win after about seven minutes.

Winner by pinfall: AJ Styles

Analysis: *** These guys worked well together with some cool moves along with counters throughout the match. The finish was great with Priest bouncing off the ropes leading right into Styles hitting the Phenomenal Forearm off the top for the pinfall win. I mentioned in the last match that it’s nice to see champions win non-title and in this match, we just saw a champion lose non-title. Priest doesn’t lose much, but Styles is a top guy, so having him win to lead to a US Title shot makes sense.

Post match, Priest was making angry faces about the loss. They will probably have a US Title match soon (later in the show it was announced for next week).

Smackdown highlights were shown from last week with Bill Goldberg showing up to challenge Roman Reigns for the Universal Title at Elimination Chamber on February 19. It’s on. They also showed Ronda Rousey telling Charlotte Flair that she will challenge her for the Smackdown Women’s Title at WrestleMania 38.

The announcers talked about the Women’s Elimination Chamber match that was announced earlier on Monday. It’s Bianca Belair vs. Doudrop vs. Rhea Ripley vs. Nikki A.S.H. vs. Liv Morgan vs. ???. The winner earns a match against the Raw Women’s Champion at WrestleMania. Hopefully the mystery woman is Asuka. I think Belair will win.

A video aired for NXT 2.0 on Tuesday with the lovely Mandy Rose defending the NXT Women’s Title against Kay Lee Ray.

Kevin Owens was shown getting ready for his match. Seth Rollins walked up to “best friend” Owens saying he was so sad that he was not in the Elimination Chamber match. They complained about Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville. Owens said after he beats Austin Theory tonight, he thinks they’ll put Owens in the match and take Theory out. Rollins said he liked his enthusiasm and he’s got his back. Owens wondered if he meant that or if he was lying to him. Rollins did his laughing routine saying he was not a liar. Rollins wished Owens good luck.

Miz TV

The Miz made his entrance his entrance with Maryse and they were both dressed in red outfits. It’s always good to see Maryse. Miz was in his wrestling gear for his talk show segment. The Miz wanted the fans to show appreciation to his wife Maryse and the fans booed. The Miz introduced Rey and Dominik Mysterio with Rey in non-wrestling attire while Dominik was in his ring gear. Miz noted that he beat Dominik last week.

Miz told Rey and Dominik he wanted to clear the air about what happened last week. Miz claimed Rey tripped him in Miz’s match against Dominik last week even Miz was lying. Rey said that Miz used underhanded tactics to defeat Dominik. Miz asked if you’re calling him a cheat and the fans chanted “yes” at him. Miz said that Edge & Beth cheated at the Royal Rumble when Beth punched and kicked him, that was cheating. Miz complained about being called a cheater. Miz said he was not a cheater, he outsmarted and out-maneuvered. Miz told Dominik if he loses to Miz then it’s his fault. Miz claimed he was cheated by not being in an Elimination Chamber qualifying match while Rey Mysterio got an opportunity even though Miz claimed he has been on a tear since he won the Money in the Bank contract. Miz talked about being WWE Champion by beating Drew McIntyre and Mysterio pointed out he had Lashley’s help. Miz ripped on the crowd for booing him while doing his promo about all of his accomplishments. Miz complained about how his face is not on the cover of things like video games and then they showed the cover of Rey Mysterio on the cover of WWE 2K22. Miz asked what does Rey have that Miz doesn’t have? Miz claimed Maryse should be on the cover of WWE 2K22. Maryse said Rey could call himself Rey Maryse-terio and Rey said thanks, but no thanks. Miz wanted respect. The fans booed. Dominik wanted where the respect was and told Miz to show Dominik’s father some respect. Miz asked Dominik if he wanted a rematch and Dominik told him he’s on. Miz said that Dominik is a lot taller than Rey. Miz: “Are you sure you’re not Eddie’s son?” Ouch. Dominik held Rey back and the fans chanted “Eddie” for that. Dominik shoved Miz on his ass and Miz left the ring. There’s the first commercial of the show and it’s 72 minutes into it.

Analysis: It was the typical Miz promo doing the same lines he’s been doing for years. Of course he’s a great talker, but it feels very repetitive when he says the same things all the time. Rey firing back at him was fine while Dominik getting in Miz’s face is something the crowd liked to see, so that was booked well leading into the match.

(Commercial)

Dominik Mysterio (w/Rey Mysterio) vs. The Miz (w/Maryse)

Dominik did an armbar that sent Miz into the turnbuckle and told him to bring it. Dominik into the ropes, Maryse tripped him, the referee saw it and the referee ejected Maryse from ringside. Miz kicked Dominik to keep him down and then Rey tripped up Miz while the referee wasn’t looking. Miz complained about it, so Dominik got a sunset flip on Miz for the pinfall win after less than two minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Dominik Mysterio

Analysis: * It was payback for the Mysterios after The Miz had a crafty win last week and this week Dominik got the assist from Rey. I guess this feud will continue with more matches in the future.

They showed highlights of Austin Theory beating Kevin Owens on Raw last week to earn a spot in the WWE Championship Elimination Chamber match.

Austin Theory was shown talking to Vince McMahon backstage, but they didn’t allow us to hear them. Theory left.

Bianca Belair entered for a match against Nikki A.S.H. for a match.

(Commercial)

Bianca Belair vs. Nikki A.S.H.

Belair with a shoulder tackle followed by a dropkick along with some taunting. Belair to the apron, Nikki tripped her up and Nikki followed up with punches. Nikki applied a half crab submission, Belair kicked herself free and Nikki hit a dropkick to the knee. Belair caught a charging Nikki leading to a fallaway slam. Belair with two body slams, Nikki broke free, Belair jumped off the ropes, Nikki avoided an attack and Belair hit a suplex followed by a delayed vertical suplex for two. Nikki got back into it with a Tornado DDT off the ropes for two. They went to the apron, Belair kicked Nikki into the ring post and Belair hit the KOD slam for the pinfall win while selling the left knee. It went about three minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Bianca Belair

Analysis: *3/4 Easy win for Belair. Nikki worked hard and had a couple of moves, but she has no positive momentum as a character right now. The fans just don’t believe in her as a threat anymore.

The 24/7 Champion Dana Brooke was backstage with Reggie hiding from R-Truth, Tozawa and Tamina. Dana thanked Reggie for always having her back and thanked him for being a nice guy. Dana kissed him on the cheek. Reggie said that Dana said all of these nice things about him, he wondered what this means and Dana said that they are really good friends and she hopes that never changes. They hugged, then stared at eachother and left. Anyway, the trio of Truth, Tozawa and Tamina were on-screen again trying to chase after them.

Analysis: These 24/7 Title segments continue to be really bad. For what it’s worth, Dana is engaged as you might know if you follow her on Instagram and she even wears the ring in segments like this, but here they are teasing her in a romance angle potentially. As I have said many times, if the 24/7 Title went away I doubt most people would care or notice. I wouldn’t miss it.

Kevin Owens entered for singles action.

(Commercial)

Austin Theory made his entrance for this rematch of a match that he won last week.

Kevin Owens vs. Austin Theory

They exchanged strikes early leading to Theory delivering a hard whip into the turnbuckle. Owens came back with a clothesline and a senton splash. Owens charged towards the corner, Theory moved and Owens hit the turnbuckle/ring post area. Theory left the ring, Owens fought him off and Owens hit a cannonball attack off the stairs onto Theory on the floor.

(Commercial)

Owens was in control with a corner clothesline followed by a cannonball splash against the turnbuckle. Theory rolled out to the floor, so Owens jumped off the apron with a Frog Splash on the floor. That’s always an impressive move. Back in the ring, Owens got a two count. Owens listed Theory overhead, Theory landed on his feet and they each tried moves, they countered eachother and Theory hit a belly to back suplex for two. Theory wanted a superplex, Owens tried to counter with his own suplex, Theory got out of that, Owens put Theory on his shoulders and delivered a rolling senton off the middle ropes. That was great. It got a two count. Owens went up top, he jumped off with a Senton Bomb and Theory got the knees up. Theory went for the rolling dropkick, Owens with a superkick, kick to the gut and a Stunner for Owens to pick up the win after about ten minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Kevin Owens

Analysis: ***1/4 This was another very good match between Owens and Theory. Owens always works hard, he sells moves very well and looks credible on offense. They built off of last week’s match by doing some spots that worked last week, yet when they were attempted this week, they were countered and they tried some different things. Owens winning clean is 50/50 booking with Owens getting the win back while Theory remains strong because he’s in the Elimination Chamber match and Owens probably won’t be going to Saudi Arabia for the show since he’s refused to go in the past.

Riddle and Randy Orton aka RK-Bro were shown talking about things with Orton talking about how Riddle could become WWE Champion in the Elimination Chamber match. Orton told Riddle to focus on Seth Rollins, so he told him not to take Rollins lightly. Orton wanted Riddle to focus on Rollins. That led to Riddle saying that if he wins Elimination Chamber and they win the Tag Team Titles back, he’ll be a double champion. Riddle said he’s throwing an “RK-Broga” party next week, wondered if Randy was going, Randy wasn’t too keen about that, and Riddle left.

Lita made her entrance for a promo segment.

(Commercial)

There was yet another “Veer Mahaan is coming to Raw” video that they have shown every week for about four months now. He’s on Main Event again.

Let’s Hear from Lita

Lita was in the ring as they showed a clip from last week’s Raw when Lita challenged Becky Lynch to a Raw Women’s Championship match at Elimination Chamber and Becky accepted.

Lita said that after being in the Royal Rumble with some of the top stars, she started to feel like she was home. Lita said she was there with Charlotte Flair, Ronda Rousey, Bianca Belair, Rhea Ripley and one person that was conspicuous by her absence, so she thought she would go to Raw to issue a challenge to Becky Lynch. Lita said that they go back a long way while admitting she has wanted this match for a long time.

Becky Lynch interrupted the promo talking about how she has proven herself and Lynch spoke about how Lita was her teenage idol. Lynch said she said no initially to the challenge because she worshipped Lita and when she made it there, Lita believed in her, supported her and Becky is eternally grateful. Lynch said without Lita, there would be no Becky Lynch. Becky added that now there’s a Becky Lynch, there can be no Lita. Becky spoke about how hurtful it is to have somebody like Lita trying to take her title that means the most to her. Becky said she has gotten rid of friends no problem, she has gotten rid of the people (the fans) no problem and she will have no problem putting Lita down. Lita said that Becky is at the top of her game. Lita said she knows Becky is the odds-on favorite, she has no problem with an underdog and said she was a punk rock dumpster-diving kid that chased her dreams. Lita said that the fans are the ones that helped her and chanted her name to help her live her dreams. Lita said she hasn’t had a title shot in 15 years, but the WWE Universe still supports her to this day (the crowd cheered). Lita said as long as the fans are still there, there’s still Lita and she’s okay with those odds. Lita said she’s going to walk out as a 5-time Women’s Champion.

Lynch told Lita she’ll leave her with the people because that’s all she’s ever going to have. Lynch teased leaving, but then she went back towards Lita and beat her down with punches. Lynch was about to leave again, then she went back into the ring going for the Manhandle Slam. Lita avoided that and hit the Twist of Fate. Lita went up top and hit a perfect moonsault onto Lynch, who rolled out to the floor. Lita posed to celebrate.

Analysis: I thought it was a good promo exchange between the two women here. Lynch was respectful at first, but then she got into heel mode and Lita put her over her popularity due to the fans. Having Lita get the advantage by countering Lynch and hitting a Twist of Fate/Moonsault was the right move as well because it showed that Lita is still very capable in the ring even at 46 years old. Lynch should win at Elimination Chamber, and I think they’ll have a pretty good match because they have weeks to prepare for it.

The WWE Officials Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville (with her left arm in a sling) were in their office with Kevin Owens showing up to talk to them. Owens wondered if he was in the Elimination Chamber match now. Pearce said no and Deville said that the qualifying matches last week were final. Owens complained about it. Deville said to be honest, Owens might not even be at WrestleMania. Owens said you can’t do that to the people of Texas who love him almost as much as he loved them. Owens talked about his Texas moments like winning the Universal Title, his first WrestleMania was there and he said he had to be at WrestleMania. Owens kept on talking about how Texas loves him while adding that he was not lying. Pearce and Deville said nothing. Owens told them he needs this and to think about it, so he left.

Analysis: From a logical point of view, why would Owens not be a part of WrestleMania when he’s one of the biggest names on the brand? I guess it’s the part of some story where Owens will be desperate to be in a match and we’ll see how it plays out.

Liv Morgan entered for a match against Doudrop after the break.

(Commercial)

They showed a pre-tape promo from Liv Morgan about how she almost won the Raw Women’s Championship from Becky Lynch, but that loss didn’t hurt her. Morgan smiled about her Elimination Chamber opportunity.

Doudrop made her entrance as the opponent. She’s also in the Women’s Elimination Chamber match, so they showed a pre-tape promo from her saying that nice doesn’t make it in WWE, so she learned to get nasty. Doudrop said the other women are afraid of her, including Liv Morgan.

Liv Morgan vs. Doudrop

They locked up with Doudrop sending Morgan into the mat two times in a row. Morgan jumped on the back with a chinlock, Doudrop powered out by sending Morgan into the turnbuckle and Doudrop hit a running cross body block. That led to a break.

(Commercial)

Doudrop remained in control with a chinlock, Morgan fought out of it and kicked the legs of Doudrop. Morgan with two boots up to knock Doudrop back followed by Liv hitting a missile dropkick off the ropes. Morgan with a kick to the head, a dropkick to the back and a step-up knee. Morgan with a springboard double knee attack for two. Doudrop got a hold of Morgan leading to a slam off the shoulders for a two count. Doudrop put Morgan on the top turnbuckle, then Doudrop tripped her up and Doudrop hit a splash off the middle rope for the pinfall win after eight minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Doudrop

Analysis: *3/4 A decent showing here to put over the bigger woman Doudrop over Morgan, who put up a good fight. It didn’t really matter who won a match like this. They’re in the Elimination Chamber match together, but it’s not like there are interesting storylines going into it.

There’s more of Alexa Bliss after the break.

(Commercial)

Alexa Bliss was shown in a therapy session again with the doctor telling her that she was making progress. Bliss was asked about her week. Bliss complained about how a car cut her off on the road, then cut her off in the parking lot and she controlled her anger. Bliss complained about standing in the grocery store where a woman cut in front of her and started paying for her groceries. Bliss described the woman that apparently looked like Lilly, so Lynch claimed she threw her down an aisle and hit her with some bread. Bliss said that she controlled her anger and left the story. The shrink said they have more work to do.

Analysis: Congrats to Bliss for making progress, unlike Veer. Poor Veer.

Seth “Freakin” Rollins was interviewed behind the curtain by Kevin Patrick. Rollins talked about how the other five men are simply not him. Rollins said one thing he has not done in his career is headline WrestleMania as the WWE Champion. Rollins said he didn’t care who it was that got in his way. Rollins said he’s a visionary, a revolutionary and the winner of the Elimination Chamber, the next WWE Champion, Seth “Freakin” Rollins.

Seth “Freakin” Rollins made his entrance doing some of his dance moves while conducting the crowd to hum along with the theme song.

(Commercial)

Next week on Raw (on Syfy for those of you in the US): Brock Lesnar is back, Damian Priest defends the US Championship against AJ Styles and an RK-Broga Party.

Riddle entered on his scooter for the main event match. This is a first time ever match.

Riddle vs. Seth “Freakin” Rollins

They showed off their athleticism early leading to Rollins hitting a Blockbuster neckbreaker. Riddle came back with an armbar, but Rollins got to the ropes to force the break. Rollins with punches, then he charged again and Riddle used his legs to send Rollins over the top to the floor. Rollins got a hold of Riddle on the floor leading to a Buckle Bomb into the barricade. Ouch.

(Commercial)

Riddle was going for a move off the ropes, Rollins stopped him and Riddle was upside down. Rollins jumped off the top with a double foot stomp by the ropes for a two count. Rollins went for a clothesline, Riddle slipped out of it and hit a jumping kick. Riddle with two forearms to the face, Rollins with an elbow and Riddle hit an overhead suplex. Riddle with a running splash, Rollins got the knees up to block and Riddle came back with a back body drop over the top to the floor. Riddle with a running kick while on the ropes followed by Riddle doing a springboard twisting plancha onto Rollins standing on the floor. Kevin Owens showed up to attack Riddle with a forearm to the head. That led to a DQ because the referee saw it. This went about eight minutes.

Winner by disqualification: Riddle

Analysis: **3/4 I was hoping for a longer match here between two of Raw’s best guys, but WWE can’t resist booking DQ finishes at least once or twice per show. Obviously it was just done to set up a match after the break. I do like the idea of Riddle possibly getting a bigger push in the coming months. Rollins was great as usual.

Randy Orton ran out to the ring to save Rollins and Orton dropped Owens with an RKO. Rollins got in Orton’s face, they argued and the show went to a final break. Most WWE viewers could tell that a tag team match was coming.

(Commercial)

There were less than ten minutes for the main event tag team match with WWE Official Adam Pearce watching from ringside.

Rated RK-Bro (Randy Orton & Riddle) vs. Kevin Owens & Seth “Freakin” Rollins

Orton was sent into the turnbuckle by Rollins, so Orton bounced back quickly with a clothesline. Rollins with a jawbreaker followed by a clothesline over the top to the floor. Owens was down at ringside with Rollins trying to encourage KO. Orton got a hod of Rollins on the floor leading to a belly to back slam of Rollins onto the announce table. Riddle tagged in for the assisted twisting moonsault. Owens tagged in, Riddle sent Rollins out of the ring and Owens hit a superkick. Owens with a clothesline followed by a moonsault for a two count. Owens mocked the Orton pose. Rollins tagged in with a double axhandle. Owens tagged in working on the right leg of Riddle, then Riddle broke free and Owens hit a clothesline. Rollins back in with a superkick. Rollins went up top, he jumped off with a Frog Splash, Riddle moved out of the way and Owens tagged in. Owens with a kick to the face, but then Riddle came back with a knee to the face. Orton got the hot tag with clotheslines on Rollins, then a snap powerslam on both guys. Orton hit the draping DDT off the ropes. Rollins shoved Orton to the corner, Riddle tagged in and hit kicks on both opponents. Rollins with a rolling elbow on Riddle two times followed by The Stomp for the pinfall win after nine minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Kevin Owens & Seth “Freakin” Rollins

Analysis: *** An entertaining back and forth match between four talented wrestlers. Rollins has been booked strong for a few months now while Riddle taking the pin isn’t that much of a surprise because WWE likes to protect Orton even though Riddle is in the Elimination Chamber match while Orton is not. Rollins and Riddle worked well together while setting up a future singles feud between them.

Post match, Owens hugged Rollins and Seth had a bit of an awkward face to respond to that. Rollins left the ring with a smile on his face while Owens was still in the ring and Orton dropped Owens with an RKO. Rollins walked to the back alone, Owens was down on the floor and Orton/Riddle were together in the ring. The ending scene was Rollins walking to the back. That was it.

Analysis: I think what they’re going for here is that Rollins probably doesn’t care about Owens as much as Owens cares about him, which is why Rollins kept on walking even though Owens was down at ringside.

 

Three Stars of the Show

1. Kevin Owens

2. AJ Styles

3. (tie) Seth “Freakin” Rollins

3. (tie) Riddle

 

The Scoreboard

6 out of 10

Last week: 7

 

Final Thoughts

It was another average Raw. Some good matches throughout, but not the most exciting show. A bunch of solid matches that were kept short at times and also some rematches because we know WWE loves those. I keep wanting Raw to do some big angles or something that could be considered memorable. Instead, it just feels like an average show most weeks.

The next WWE Premium Live Event is the Elimination Chamber from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on Saturday, February 19. Here’s the lineup so far:

Men’s WWE Championship Elimination Chamber Match: Bobby Lashley (c) vs. Brock Lesnar vs. Seth Rollins vs. Austin Theory vs. Riddle vs. AJ Styles

WWE Universal Championship: Roman Reigns (c) vs. Bill Goldberg

Raw Women’s Championship: Becky Lynch (c) vs. Lita

Women’s Elimination Chamber Match: Bianca Belair vs. Doudrop vs. Rhea Ripley vs. Nikki A.S.H. vs. Liv Morgan vs. ??? – The winner earns a match against the Raw Women’s Champion at WrestleMania.

WWE Smackdown Tag Team Championships: The Usos (c) vs. The Viking Raiders

Drew McIntyre vs. Madcap Moss

You can watch WWE Elimination Chamber streaming LIVE from Jeddah beginning at 12p.m. ET/9 a.m. PT on Saturday, Feb. 19, on Peacock in the United States and on WWE Network everywhere else.

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Check out the WWE PPV Review archive right here. You can contact me using any of the methods below. Go Los Angeles Rams, Toronto Raptors and Toronto Maple Leafs. Be safe and smart out there.

Thanks for reading.

John Canton

Email: mrjohncanton@gmail.com

Twitter: @johnreport