Welcome to the WWE Raw Deal review for this week. It’s the last Raw before the Elimination Chamber PPV takes place this Sunday, February 21 on WWE Network. The six men in the Raw Elimination Chamber match are in a Gauntlet Match on Raw this week where the winner gets to be the sixth and final entrant in the Raw Elimination Chamber match with the WWE Title on the line. The only other thing advertised is that WWE Champion Drew McIntyre will be a guest on Miz TV.
This isn’t Raw related, but please check out my WWE NXT Takeover Vengeance Day Review right here if you haven’t done so already. It was an incredible show that I rated 9 out of 10 with three outstanding matches and two others that were pretty good. I think Johnny Gargano vs. Kushida is an early Match of the Year contender. A great Takeover event as usual.
From the WWE ThunderDome at Tropicana Field in Tampa Bay, Florida, this is the Raw Deal for episode #1447 of Monday Night Raw. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Please visit TJRWrestling.net daily for our regular updates on the wrestling business featuring WWE news coverage, insightful columns from our team along with reviews about wrestling’s past and present. Let’s roll.
This week’s Raw began with a shot of the ThunderDome with the fans on the screens at Tropicana Field. The announcers plugged the Gauntlet Match later in the show. The announce team was the usual crew of Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton and Samoa Joe.
Miz TV with Drew McIntyre
The Miz made his entrance in a suit to host Miz TV in the ring with Miz carrying the Money in the Bank briefcase with him. No John Morrison with him this week. Miz introduced his guest, the WWE Champion Drew McIntyre. Drew opted for the shirtless look with the kilt on. Drew joined Miz in the ring, which had two chairs and a black carpet.
The Miz claimed that John Morrison was making a diss track for Bad Bunny. Miz talked about all of the guys that Drew McIntyre has beaten, but this Sunday inside Elimination Chamber he has to face five former WWE Champions at the same time. Miz said if it was him, he would be panicking. Miz pointed out that two weeks ago, Sheamus stabbed Drew in the back and Miz claimed that Sheamus was waiting for the perfect opportunity to strike. Miz wondered why Sheamus did it, but then Sheamus challenged Drew for the WWE Championship. Miz kept on talking about how WWE management had different plans. Before Drew could speak, Miz kept on talking. Miz kept on going over the same things over and over again. Drew spoke up: “Would you shut the hell up?”
Drew warned Miz that if he interrupts him one time then he swears he is going to regret it. Drew said he was sick and tired of…then Miz spoke again, so Drew headbutted Miz to knock him on his ass. Drew threw the Money in the Bank briefcase to the stage area as he has done in the past. That was a nice throw.
Analysis: There weren’t a lot of words from McIntyre there, but his actions spoke for him. Impressive headbutt and briefcase toss.
After McIntyre walked to the back, Miz said that we are seeing the cracks in the WWE Champion. Miz called him “Andy” saying that he has pressure defending against five former WWE Champions. Miz said that he doesn’t have Elimination Chamber because he has the Money in the Bank contract. Miz said that there are so many variables that could go wrong, but he only needs one thing to go right and he will cash in the Money in the Bank contract. Miz said that just because he is saying it, doesn’t mean that he is actually going to do it. Miz said he is thinking at a completely different level and he’s a master strategist. Miz wants every superstar to be on notice, to hear his footsteps and said that he is in control. Miz said when it’s all over, he’ll be the WWE Champion. Miz said that he is removing himself from the Elimination Chamber match to show he’s in control of the situation. That was the end of the promo. Samoa Joe said it was a brilliant strategy from The Miz as The Miz left.
Analysis: The Miz removing himself from Elimination Chamber isn’t something I expected, but I’m certainly fine with it. Even though Miz got beat up easily by McIntyre moments before this promo, Miz did a nice job of making himself look like a threat because of the Money in the Bank contract he has. I like how that was done.
A six-man tag with Riddle & Lucha House Party vs. Hurt Business is next.
This Wednesday on NXT, the follow up to the heartbreaking betrayal when Adam Cole hit Undisputed Era member Kyle O’Reilly and NXT Champion Finn Balor with superkicks. Plus, follow up to the Men’s and Women’s Dusty Cup Champions.
The Hurt Business trio of MVP, Shelton Benjamin and Cedric Alexander entered for a six-man tag team match. Benjamin and Alexander are Raw Tag Team Champions with no storyline right now. Bobby Lashley defends the US Title against Riddle and Keith Lee at Elimination Chamber on Sunday.
Kalisto and Gran Metalik were backstage with Riddle going up to them doing his goofy gimmick. Riddle asked them about who their favorite President was because it was President’s Day in the US. Lince Dorado said tonight is about sending a message to the Hurt Business. There was a cool handshake from Riddle and Kalisto at least.
Riddle, Lince Dorado and Gran Metalik vs. The Hurt Business (Montel Vontavious Porter, Cedric Alexander and Shelton Benjamin)
Benjamin was in control early with a shoulder tackle knocking down Dorado. Bobby Lashley, the US Champion, watched his Hurt Business buddies on a TV backstage. Alexander tagged in, Dorado with a dropkick and Metalik with a cross body block onto Alexander. Metalik with a springboard back elbow on Alexander. Benjamin was sent to the floor where he tripped up Riddle, knocked down Dorado on a dive attempt and Alexander hit Metalik with a forearm. That led to a break.
The match continued with the heels in control of Metalik with Alexander hitting a dropkick. Benjamin with a shoulder tackle to knock down Metalik. MVP jumped onto the arm of Metalik. More quick tags from the heels with all three guys getting in punches and Benjamin hit a suplex for two. Metalik got a boot up and hit an impressive spinning DD. Riddle got the tag with kicks on Alexander, a running forearm and an overhead suplex. Riddle with a broton splash followed by a running kick. MVP tagged in with a clothesline and punch on Riddle. MVP was favoring his right knee as he hit a Ballin’ elbow for two. Alexander with Lumbar Check, Benjamin with a superkick, Riddle with a knee on Benjamin and Dorado hit a dive onto Benjamin on the floor. Riddle with a knee on MVP followed by the Floating Bro splash off the turnbuckle for the pinfall win after ten minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Riddle, Lince Dorado and Gran Metalik
Analysis: **3/4 A much-needed win by Riddle there although it was quickly forgotten after the match. Riddle pinning MVP is fine because MVP doesn’t wrestle that often anyway and it prevents the championship team of Benjamin/Alexander getting pinned. The Raw tag team division is very thin right now, so that’s something they have to improve.
Post match, Riddle knocked down Riddle from behind. Lashley beat up the Lucha House Party guys easily. Lashley slapped on the Hurt Lock submission on Riddle. The referee checked on Riddle, who was down on the floor along with the Lucha House Party guys.
Analysis: That was a familiar scene with Lashley dominating Riddle again. It makes Riddle’s win feel pointless.
The Miz was shown backstage talking to WWE Official Adam Pearce and they were in Pearce’s office. Miz said he wants somebody to take his spot that is a young, up and comer that is a must-see attraction. Miz thinks the person that should take his spot in the Elimination Chamber match is John Morrison. Pearce said he would take it into consideration. Miz shook his hand and left.
Analysis: The Elimination Chamber intrigue continues.
This Friday on Smackdown, the trio of Kevin Owens, Daniel Bryan and Cesaro face Jey Uso, King Corbin and Sami Zayn. They are the six guys in the Smackdown Elimination Chamber match.
There was a replay from last Monday’s Raw when Damian Priest pinned Angel Garza while Bad Bunny was at ringside to prevent Miz/Morrison from interfering.
There was a backstage scene with Mandy Rose talking to Bad Bunny with Mandy wearing his shirt. Mandy asked for a shirt for tag team partner Dana Brooke and Bad Bunny said sure. Bad Bunny had a shirt that was a photo of his dive at the Royal Rumble over two weeks ago. Mandy wished him good luck as the Saturday Night Live musical guest this Saturday, then she left and Bunny checked her out as she left. Can’t blame a guy for doing that!
Damian Priest was interviewed with Bad Bunny with Priest saying he debuted on Raw and now he gets to hang out with one of the biggest music stars in the world that is the musical guest on Saturday Night Live this week (the second time they mentioned that). Off to the side, Akira Tozawa pinned R-Truth to win the 24/7 Title on the floor. Tozawa bumped into Priest, who tossed him into some crates and then Bunny pinned Tozawa to leave with the 24/7 Title.
Winner by pinfall AND NEW 24/7 Champion: Bad Bunny
Bunny and Priest left while Truth was yelling about what happened.
Analysis: That’s not a surprise that Bad Bunny would win that comedy title. I’m surprised it took a few weeks for them to book it.
Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods were backstage where they walked up to Adam Pearce. Kofi noted that he was a former WWE World Heavyweight Champion. Xavier Woods said that Pearce can’t seem to give him the last match in his Best of Five series (Woods wants to face Reckoning). Kofi pointed out that since Miz was out of the Elimination Chamber match then Kofi should be in it. Miz walked up to Pearce, so that led to an argument where Pearce said that Miz can face Kofi and if Miz wins then John Morrison can be in the Elimination Chamber match. If Kofi wins then he’s in the Elimination Chamber match. Woods said we could get KofiMania The Sequel, then New Day mocked Miz for his Marine movies. Miz left angrily.
Analysis: It was a good point raised by Kofi Kingston. At least it makes logical sense.
It’s Asuka and Charlotte Flair vs. Lacey Evans and Peyton Royce up next.
There was a graphic shown that was WWE bragging about having 10 million followers on TikTok. I am not on TikTok because I’m too old for it and I’m proud to be too old for it.
A video package aired about the Elimination Chamber showing highlights of past EC matches over the 19-year history of the event.
Charlotte Flair made her entrance. There was a replay from last week when Charlotte lost by DQ in a match against Lacey Evans because Charlotte shoved the referee. That means Evans gets to challenge Asuka for the Raw Women’s Title at Elimination Chamber. Asuka entered as the Raw Women’s Champion.
Lacey Evans and Peyton Royce made their entrance with Ric Flair while Lacey’s theme song played. Evans thanked Charlotte for getting herself disqualified last week, so now Evans gets the title shot that she deserves. Evans noted that Ric thinks that come Sunday, Lacey will be champion. Lacey said that her and “Pey-Pey” have a sweetheart candy for Charlotte that says: “Bite Me.” Evans said she should have got Asuka a gift-giving Evans the gift of the Raw Women’s Title. The match is after a break.
Analysis: This was a lame heel promo. The dialogue is so fake and doesn’t feel like words that adults would say, but that’s WWE creative team these days.
Raw had ten minutes of in-ring action in hour one. That’s it.
Asuka and Charlotte Flair vs. Peyton Royce and Lacey Evans (w/Ric Flair)
Asuka ran over Royce with a running shoulder tackle. Flair tagged in, grabbed Royce and whipped Royce into the turnbuckle, but Evans refused to tag in. Royce with a kick to the ribs, Charlotte caught Royce and Charlotte hit a fallaway slam. Asuka and Charlotte took turns with chops and kicks. Royce was able to get some offense with a kick to Asuka’s chest and a roundhouse kick to the head for two. Royce and Asuka ran the ropes leading to the double clothesline spot. Charlotte tagged in, Charlotte slammed Royce down and Charlotte hit an Exploder Suplex to send Royce out of the ring. Charlotte sent Royce onto the top of the announce table. Charlotte sent Royce back into the ring, so Royce tagged in Evans, who was reluctant to go into the ring. Evans left the ring, Charlotte was about to attack her on the floor and Evans said that she was pregnant. Ric Flair celebrated shouting “WOO” and dancing as if he was the father. Lacey’s music played to end this.
Match Result: No Contest
Analysis: *1/2 The work in the match was okay with Royce doing a nice job of carrying the match for her team, but then the match didn’t matter. This has been a terrible angle for several weeks now.
Analysis x2: I have learned that Evans is legit pregnant. It was first reported by WrestlingInc and reported by PWInsider as well. She’s married with a daughter already, so congrats to her and her husband. I don’t know how they are going to keep this story with Ric Flair going now, but that’s all we know for now. This also means no more title shot for Evans against Asuka at Elimination Chamber on Sunday. Best of luck to Lacey and her family with her pregnancy.
Sheamus was interviewed backstage by Charly Caruso. Sheamus said he was going to win the Gauntlet Match, he’ll enter sixth in the Elimination Chamber match and Brogue Kick all of their heads off. Sheamus said that the outcome will be: “The Celtic Warrior Sheamus, your new WWE Champion.” Sheamus left.
Kofi Kingston entered with Xavier Woods with Kofi’s match up next.
The Miz entered for his match.
Kofi Kingston vs. The Miz
If Kingston wins then he is in the Elimination Chamber match. If Miz wins then John Morrison is in the Elimination Chamber match.
Kofi and Miz each tried for their finishers, but they weren’t able to connect. Miz with a shot to the face followed by Kofi going up top with a chop to the head. Miz regrouped by going to the floor, then Kofi avoided an attack from Miz and Kofi kicked Miz while on the apron. Kofi jumped off the turnbuckle with a double axehandle on Miz on the floor, which led to a two count. Miz hit a knee to the ribs of Kingston. Kofi hit a missile dropkick off the middle ropes for a two count. Miz with a jawbreaker, Kofi stopped himself against the ropes and Kofi hit a dropkick. Miz kicked Kofi while on the apron leading to a neckbreaker on the apron. Miz hit a Kofi off the apron onto the floor as the show went to break.
The match returned with Kofi blocking a Miz kick and getting a jackknife cover for two. Miz came back with a DDT for two. Miz tossed Kofi out of the ring and sent Kofi into the top of the announce table. Miz sent Kofi’s ribs into the barricade. Miz went up top and jumped off with the double axe for a two count. Kofi fought out of a chinlock, but when he charged, Miz moved, Kofi hit the ring post (with his hand) and Miz got a two count out after a boot to the face. Kofi bounced off the ropes, Miz with a boot to the gut and then Kofi hit a jumping foot stomp to the chest. Kofi with a leaping clothesline followed by the boom drop leg drop. Miz got a rollup for two, but then Kofi came back with the SOS trip into a slam for two. Kofi jumped off the turnbuckle with a cross body block. Miz got a hold of Kingston’s knee against the ropes and wrenched the knee against the rope. Miz slapped on the Figure Four Leglock, then Kofi got to the ropes. Kofi got back with the Trouble in Paradise kick on Miz for the pinfall win after 13 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Kofi Kingston
Analysis: **3/4 It was a solid match between two guys that have been part of WWE for a very long time. Kingston winning made sense since he’s a former WWE Champion that can have a good showing in the Chamber match, but I would be shocked if he won. The Miz rarely wins any matches, so of course he did the job here.
They replayed last week on Raw when Lana beat Nia Jax in a Tables Match featuring the spot with Jax shouting “My Hole.” It sounded just as scary one week later.
Lana and Naomi were interviewed backstage by Sarah Schreiber. Lana and Naomi got in the “hole” comments to make fun of Jax with Lana in a match up next.
There was a plug for Bad Bunny as the musical guest on Saturday Night Live on NBC. Bad Bunny is also the 24/7 Champion as of this moment.
The Elimination Chamber video package aired.
The announcers talked about the two Elimination Chamber matches on Sunday.
Randy Orton did a promo looking into the camera. Orton said he’ll win the Gauntlet Match and become the final entrant at the Elimination Chamber. Orton said he’ll do whatever it takes to get what he wants. Orton reminded us of what he did to The Fiend – he lit him on fire and now The Fiend is no more. Orton said that his sights are set on something else – the WWE Title and main eventing WrestleMania. Orton said that he will not be in that ring with five opponents. Orton said he’ll be in that ring with five victims while mentioning the RKO.
There was an interruption from Alexa Bliss in the Firefly Funhouse. A video was shown of Orton lighting The Fiend on fire. Bliss did one of his creepy promos saying that in the fire he was destroyed, but in the future, he will be reborn. There were candles surrounding her, then she looked up and the candles were blown out. Bliss laughed maniacally to end it.
Analysis: Good creepy promo from Bliss. I assume the plan is Orton vs. The Fiend at WrestleMania, so we could see The Fiend return in some form at Elimination Chamber to distract Orton and cost him the match.
Lana made her entrance with Naomi for Lana’s match.
There was a plug for Young Rock on NBC on Tuesday night. A clip aired from the show. I’m surprised they didn’t promote it more on WWE TV, but I’m glad they are now. I will check out the show.
Shayna Baszler made her entrance with Nia “My Hole” Jax. They are the Women’s Tag Team Champions.
Shayna Baszler (w/Nia Jax) vs. Lana (w/Naomi)
Baszler was aggressive early on by pulling on the left arm of Lana and then stretching Lana on the mat. Lana came back with a hard slap to the face. Baszler with repeated elbow shots followed by a chinlock. Baszler blocked a Lana kick and swung the leg around to send Lana into the mat. Baszler with a running kick, Lana moved and Lana sent Baszler into the turnbuckle. Baszler sent Lana into the turnbuckle, Lana fought Baszler off with punches and Lana jumped off the top with a cross body block for two. Lana and Baszler were both knocked down. Naomi got into a brawl with Jax on the floor with Naomi sending Jax into the ring post. Lana got a rollup on Baszler, but Baszler kicked out and Baszler got a knee to the face. Baszler slapped on the Kirifuda Clutch on Lana for the submission win. The match went about four minutes.
Winner by submission: Shayna Baszler
Analysis: *3/4 It’s typical WWE 50/50 booking with Lana getting the win over Jax last week and then Baszler got the win this week. I thought Lana looked capable in the ring with some of her kicks, punches, and other offense. Lana has improved since training more with Natalya on her off days.
There was a backstage scene with Adam Pearce looking at his phone while Braun Strowman showed up asking why he’s not in the Elimination Chamber match. Pearce said that the match had all WWE Champions in the match, Strowman said he was a former Universal Champion and Pearce said it was only WWE Champions for the match. Strowman warned Pearce to tell Shane McMahon to make this right because if he doesn’t then Braun promises it’s not going to be pretty around here. Braun stared at Pearce and left.
Analysis: That’s interesting because Strowman has had some health issues of late, but he appears to be fine now. I’m not sure what kind of role Strowman may have since he’s kind of a tweener that is barely used on Raw for the past few months.
AJ Styles made his entrance with Omos to begin the Gauntlet Match as we head towards hour three.
AJ Styles did a promo in the ring with Omos. Styles wondered if Kofi is trying to recreate KofiMania or create KofiMania 2. Styles said that Kofi did beat The Miz to get into the match. Styles said that it is almost like it is Kofi’s destiny because Styles is going to destroy all of his hopes, dreams and fantasies of being WWE Champion again. Styles told Kofi to be positive about this Gauntlet Match. Styles said it gets him ready and makes him more “phenomenal” with Omos saying it for him. Styles said tonight he’ll give an example, again, of what he’ll do at Elimination Chamber. Styles said he’ll ride the momentum of the Gauntlet Match all the way to the championship. Styles said that Joseph A. Park told him he can’t lose – he’s going to be the WWE Champion. Styles said it’s better than a fact, it’s phenomenal.
Kofi Kingston entered with Xavier Woods for Kofi’s second match of the night.
As a reminder, the winner of the Gauntlet Match gets the #6 spot inside the Elimination Chamber match on Sunday.
Gauntlet Match #1: AJ Styles (w/Omos) vs. Kofi Kingston (w/Xavier Woods)
Styles sent Kofi into the turnbuckle, then he missed a corner splash and Kofi worked him over with some kicks. Kofi was favoring his left knee a bit after his earlier match. Styles with a belly to back suplex. Styles sent Kofi to the apron, kick to the leg by Styles and Kofi sent a charging Styles over the top to the floor. Kofi with a springboard trust fall dive onto Styles on the floor. Woods celebrated with some trombone playing, so Omos grabbed Woods by the throat and Omos gave Woods a Chokeslam behind the barricade behind the announce team. We did not get a shot of Woods landing. I assume they had a mat there to soften the landing for him. The referee banned Omos from ringside while Styles hit a chop block on Kofi at ringside. That led to a break.
The match continued with Styles slapping on a half crab submission. Kofi managed to turn it into a cradle for two. Styles with a kick to the left leg again. Kofi came back with the SOS trip into a slam. Styles with another diving shoulder tackle to the left leg of Kofi. Styles set up Kofi on the turnbuckle, but Kofi countered with a front suplex. Kofi jumped off the turnbuckle with a splash onto the back of Styles for two. Kofi did a really nice job of selling the left injury. Kofi went for a jumping attack, Styles caught the foot and wrenched the left knee into the mat. Styles jumped off the top with the Phenomenal Forearm to pin Kofi to eliminate him. It went about ten minutes.
Kofi Kingston eliminated by AJ Styles
Analysis: I am only doing a star rating for the whole match. Just wanted to say Kofi did a nice job of selling the knee in this match.
Drew McIntyre, the WWE Champion, was the next man up.
Gauntlet Match #2: AJ Styles vs. Drew McIntyre
McIntyre with a clothesline followed by a suplex from one corner of the ring to the other. McIntyre suplexed Styles onto the top rope followed by a boot to the face. McIntyre with another boot to the face as the show went to break.
The match returned with Styles connecting with some chops to the chest, but McIntyre came back with a hard whip into the turnbuckle. Styles bailed to the floor, McIntyre followed and whipped Styles into the steel steps. McIntyre a backbreaker followed by a sitout slam for a two count. McIntyre grounded Styles for about a minute, then Styles came back with a shot to the throat and shoulder tackles to the ribs. Styles with a boot to the face, but McIntyre got a hold of him leading to the reverse Alabama Slam sending Styles into the mat. Styles came back with a dropkick on a charging McIntyre and Styles kicked McIntyre to the floor. Styles jumped over the top with a forearm to knock McIntyre down. Styles with a running knee while on the apron. Styles with a running forearm off the apron on McIntyre on the floor and Drew went into the ring post. The show went to break.
Styles was in control of McIntyre with a headlock. McIntyre came back with clotheslines and a belly-to-belly suplex across the ring. McIntyre with a neckbreaker followed by a kip up to show that Drew had a lot left. McIntyre jumped off the top with nothing with Styles meeting him with a kick to the head. Styles with a jumping kick to the head for two. McIntyre with a back body drop getting out of a Styles Clash attempt. Styles blocked a slam attempt and slapped on the Calf Crusher submission, but McIntyre hit a headbutt to break the hold. Styles to the apron, he jumped off, McIntyre ducked and McIntyre sent Styles throat first into the ropes. McIntyre hit a Claymore Kick on Styles to pin him. Styles was in the match for 30 minutes. These two were in the ring for about 18 minutes together.
AJ Styles eliminated by Drew McIntyre
Analysis: Great job by Drew and AJ just like their match at TLC two months ago. They work well together.
Jeff Hardy made his entrance as the fourth entrant. There was a pre-tape promo from Hardy talking about how taking risks is worth it when the WWE Title is on the line.
Gauntlet Match #3: Drew McIntyre vs. Jeff Hardy
Hardy was aggressive early on with a Whisper in the Wind attack onto McIntyre in the ring. McIntyre left the ring with Hardy hitting a clothesline off the apron onto Drew on the floor as the show went to break.
The match returned with Hardy still in control with a spinning kick to the ribs. Hardy drove Drew’s neck into the top rope. Drew blocked a move by Hardy leading to two clotheslines and an overhead belly to belly suplex. McIntyre with another belly-to-belly suplex across the ring. McIntyre with another neckbreaker leading to another kip up. Hardy came back with the double leg drop, dropkick and a splash for two. McIntyre countered a Twist of Fate with a Future Shock DDT for two. Hardy went to the floor to regroup, so McIntyre followed with Drew hitting a suplex on the floor leading to a two count in the ring. McIntyre set up Hardy on the top rope and Drew connected with a superplex for a two count. McIntyre was in the ring for about 30 minutes at this point. McIntyre went for the Claymore Kick, Hardy moved and Hardy hit the Twist of Fate. Hardy went up top, he jumped with the Swanton Bomb, but McIntyre got the knees up to block. McIntyre hit the Claymore Kick for the pinfall win after 12 minutes of action between these two.
Jeff Hardy eliminated by Drew McIntyre
Randy Orton was the fifth man in this Gauntlet Match as Orton made his slow walk down to the ring. There was a commercial first.
Gauntlet Match #4: Drew McIntyre vs. Randy Orton
Here we go again with McIntyre and Orton. They left the ring quickly and McIntyre whipped Orton into the barricade. All of the screens in the arena were taken over by Alexa Bliss’s face as she laughed repeatedly. Orton stayed on the floor and he was distracted by all the laughter. The referee countered Orton out since he reached the ten count. Orton was only in the match for about two minutes.
Randy Orton eliminated by Drew McIntyre
Analysis: Randy Orton is a 20-year veteran that gets easily fooled. That’s what I got out of that segment.
Sheamus was the last man up with a cheap attack from behind. Sheamus attacked in the ring, then on the floor and behind the barricade. Sheamus whipped McIntyre into the ring post. Referee Shawn Bennett checked on McIntyre to make sure Drew was okay and Drew said that he was.
Gauntlet Match #5: Drew McIntyre vs. Sheamus
Sheamus was in full control with a knee drop followed by Sheamus driving his knee in the face. McIntyre was in the ring for 45 minutes. Sheamus whipped McIntyre into the turnbuckle for a two count. Sheamus worked over McIntyre with forearms and then an armbar to keep the champ grounded. Drew tried a move off the ropes, but Sheamus caught him and hit a powerslam for two. Sheamus with some chops, then Drew hit the Glasgow Kiss headbutt and Drew hit a DDT, but was too hurt to cover. McIntyre sent Sheamus to the apron leading to a forearm shot to the face. McIntyre sent Sheamus into the ring post two times. Sheamus with a kick, but then McIntyre responded with a belly to belly suplex across the ring. Sheamus walked right into a spinebuster by Drew. McIntyre charged, Sheamus moved and Sheamus bounced off the ropes with a Brogue Kick to pin McIntyre to win this match. McIntyre was in the ring for 44 minutes. The match went 55 minutes. Sheamus and McIntyre went about five minutes.
Drew McIntyre eliminated by Sheamus
Winner of the Gauntlet Match for the #6 Spot in the Raw Elimination Chamber: Sheamus
Analysis: ***1/2 That’s my rating for the whole Gauntlet match. I thought McIntyre and Styles were tremendous as they carried most of the match. The finish gives Sheamus bragging rights because he pinned the WWE Champion, but it was only after McIntyre was in the ring for over 40 minutes. They can book the Chamber match in a similar fashion with Sheamus in a similar spot and then the fans can believe that Sheamus could beat Drew again. The Orton spot was a bit goofy, but that was fitting for his current storyline with Alexa Bliss representing The Fiend. Kofi Kingston did a good job of selling the left leg injury in the first part of the match. Jeff Hardy got in plenty of offense and weakened Drew a lot before losing. I don’t mind Drew getting beat because it was after such a long match. It makes for a good story going into Elimination Chamber on Sunday.
Sheamus did a promo saying that he just beat Drew McIntyre, the WWE Champion. Sheamus said that he is the last man in the Chamber match so he’s the odds on favorite. Sheamus told Drew he can’t beat Sheamus and Drew never will. Sheamus said that he’ll prove it wasn’t a fluke by becoming the WWE Champion. Sheamus posed while Drew stared at him. End show.
Analysis: A fine promo by Sheamus. I can see WWE booking a singles match between Drew and Sheamus although I don’t know if that’s going to be at Fastlane or WrestleMania. My current pick for Elimination Chamber is for Drew to retain the WWE Title. It just makes the most sense to me. I’ll have more thoughts on that in the Elimination Chamber preview post on Saturday. I’m such a shill.
Three Stars of the Show
- Drew McIntyre
- AJ Styles
- Kofi Kingston
6 out of 10
Last week: 7
2021 Average: 5.79
It was just an average episode of Raw. Last week was a better show. There was a lot of in-ring action in the last hour since it was a Gauntlet Match with six men. The first hour only had ten minutes of in-ring action, so they loaded up that part with a lot of talking. Some of the promos are just lame, though.
The story of Kofi Kingston beating The Miz to get into Elimination Chamber gave us a match that meant something. That led to the nearly one-hour long Gauntlet Match that provided a big moment for Sheamus since he pinned WWE Champion Drew McIntyre. I think it was effective in terms of making me care more about Elimination Chamber because now if that situation happens on Sunday, you can believe that Sheamus might beat Drew again, this time to become WWE Champion.
The only other Raw match at Elimination Chamber right now is Lashley vs. Riddle vs. Lee, who wasn’t on Raw. Riddle won a tag team match, but then got beat up by Lashley again, which felt like a repeat. That’s why it felt like there was a lot of filler this week.
The most awkward part of the night was when Lacey Evans announced she was pregnant. While that news is true (she is preggo with her second child with her husband) and I wish her the best with it, they had Ric Flair acting like he was the daddy. Please don’t try to do some stupid angle like that involving a man in his 70s. Couldn’t they come up with a better way to announce it? This was just lame in terms of how they delivered the news. At least nobody shouted “My Hole” this week. That’s a positive.
The WWE Elimination Chamber pay-per-view takes place this Sunday, February 21. Here’s the lineup so far.
WWE Championship Elimination Chamber Match: Drew McIntyre (c) vs. Jeff Hardy vs. Randy Orton vs. AJ Styles vs. Sheamus (#6) vs. Kofi Kingston
Smackdown Elimination Chamber Match: Kevin Owens vs. Jey Uso vs. Sami Zayn vs. King Corbin vs. Cesaro vs. Daniel Bryan
Universal Championship Match: Roman Reigns (c) vs. Smackdown Elimination Chamber Match Winner
United States Championship: Bobby Lashley (c) (w/MVP) vs. Keith Lee vs. Riddle
Don’t miss all the action of WWE Elimination Chamber, streaming live on the award-winning WWE Network on Sunday, Feb. 21, at 7 ET/4 PT!
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