WWE Raw Review (January 31, 2022)

wwe raw bobby lashley brock lesnar

This week’s WWE Monday Night Rawwas the follow-up to the Royal Rumble event from this past Saturday that saw Brock Lesnar and a returning Ronda Rousey win the men’s and women’s Royal Rumble matches.

I thought the Royal Rumble was just an average show that didn’t meet my high expectations for it. While I get that Lesnar and Rousey are big names, I think WWE could have gone in different directions in the Rumble matches. Looking ahead, Elimination Chamber is three weeks away, so WWE has announced that the new WWE Champion Bobby Lashley is defending his title at that show. There will be Elimination Chamber qualifying matches on Raw this week.

On a personal note, I am in a very good mood following Sunday’s NFL games because my beloved Los Angeles Rams have made it to the Super Bowl on February 13 against the Cincinnati Bengals. Tonight’s Raw is also in Cincinnati.

This is the Raw Deal for episode #1497 of Monday Night Raw. It’s taking place at the Heritage Bank Center in Cincinnati, Ohio. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Let’s get to it.

The opening video package showed Royal Rumble highlights of the WWE Championship match between champion Brock Lesnar and challenger Bobby Lashley. After a ref bump, Roman Reigns attacked Lesnar because Paul Heyman handed Reigns the WWE Title to use as a weapon when Paul Heyman turned on Lesnar. Lashley took advantage of that to pin Lesnar and leave with the WWE Title. The graphic said 1 hour, 22 minutes later, Lesnar entered the Royal Rumble match at #30 and won the Rumble to earn a championship match at WrestleMania. Lesnar celebrated the win to end the Royal Rumble event.

The pyro went off in the building and the crowd in Cincinnati with a lot of Bengals gear for the Super Bowl-bound Bengals. The Raw commentary team of Jimmy Smith, Corey Graves and Byron Saxton hyped up what was coming up on this week’s show.

Let’s Hear from Adam Pearce, Bobby Lashley, MVP and Brock Lesnar

Adam Pearce, the WWE Official, was in the ring putting over the Royal Rumble event while talking about it the return of Ronda Rousey, a new WWE Champion and Brock Lesnar winning the Royal Rumble as well. Pearce said in three weeks, the All Mighty WWE Champion will defend his title inside the Elimination Chamber for the championship. Lashley’s music hit without an introduction.

Bobby Lashley made his entrance with the WWE Championship around his waist and his buddy MVP by his side. Lashley had on a red/black suit as they entered the ring with Pearce. Lashley is now a two-time WWE Champion.

MVP told Pearce that is not how this works. MVP said that Lashley proved his superiority by beating Brock Lesnar and now he has to defend the WWE Championship in the Elimination Chamber. MVP said that wasn’t fair because there are five other people in there. MVP whined about how it’s wrong. Lashley asked Pearce who the hell does he think he is? Lashley said he should be celebrating that he beat Lesnar while saying he was better than Lesnar. Lashley said he was a better amateur wrestler, a better Mixed Martial Artist and a better champion in WWE. Lashley said that he slayed the beast and if you have any questions, watch the footage of Lashley pinning The Beast. Lashley asked: “Who’s the conqueror now, who’s the beast now and who’s the champion now? Bobby Lashley!”

Brock Lesnar’s music hit as The Beast made his entrance with a smile on his face. Lesnar was dressed in his ring gear looking ready for a fight. Lesnar did his walk around the ring that he loves to do.

Lesnar grabbed a microphone, MVP spoke and Lesnar told him to shut up or he’ll shove the cane up his ass. Lesnar said “Bobby Who?” to Lashley. Lesnar said that Lashley is going to pretend like he’s the champion? Lesnar said that Lashley knows he didn’t beat Brock on Saturday night. Lesnar said that Lashley knows on Saturday night was because of Roman Reigns and Paul Heyman. Lesnar told Lashley he’s not mad at him, but Brock is mad after Reigns and Heyman. Lesnar said his match with Lashley was a good contest, he gave him kudos and then after that, Brock took it upon himself to enter the Royal Rumble. Lesnar mentioned that he won the Royal Rumble with the fans cheering. Lesnar said winning the Rumble means he gets to choose who he fights at WrestleMania. Lesnar told Lashley it’s not him because at WrestleMania, Lesnar is going to face Roman Reigns. Lesnar claimed that his match against Reigns is going to be title vs. title. Lesnar said he’s dressed to fight, so he’s challenging Lashley to a match in this ring in Cincinnati. Lashley said he can pin Lesnar again. Lesnar told him to “get that $5 suit off” and ripped on Lashley for letting his manager hold him back.

MVP said after conferring with the WWE Champion, the All Mighty said that Lesnar can go to the end of the line to earn his title shot because his challenge is declined. Lesnar called Lashley a “chicken shit” and the swear word was muted. Lashley wanted to go, but MVP was trying to calm him down. Lashley left the ring with Lesnar without granting the challenge. Lashley left with MVP to boos while Lesnar was in the ring yelling “chicken shit” at him.

Pearce said that Bobby has deprived the crowd of the match tonight, but Pearce said that Lesnar will be in the Elimination Chamber match for the WWE Championship. Lesnar was happy about it and the crowd cheered for it.

Analysis: This was pretty good. Lesnar did a nice job of countering Lashley’s bragging by speaking the truth about how Lashley only won because of Reigns/Heyman costing Lesnar. Having Lashley back down from Lesnar does make Lashley look like a bit of a cowardly champion, but as a heel that’s what he should be doing in that situation. Pearce adding Lesnar to the Elimination Chamber match is a logical move. It’s possible that WWE does Lesnar vs. Reigns as a title vs. title match at WrestleMania although I’d rather see Lesnar lose in the Elimination Chamber and somebody else leaving as the champion that night.

Rhea Ripley entered for a match after a break.

(Commercial)

Nikki A.S.H. made her entrance as they showed her actions in the Royal Rumble when she attacked Mighty Molly (also a “superhero) and eliminated her from the Rumble match.

Rhea Ripley vs. Nikki A.S.H.

Nikki ran at Ripley, who knocked her down easily with a shoulder tackle. Ripley picked up Nikki around the waist and tossed her across the ring. Nikki ran the ropes, Ripley caught her and hit a delayed vertical suplex. Nikki left the ring, then back in and out where she trapped Ripley against the ring apron. Nikki kicked Ripley repeatedly leading to a break.

(Commercial)

Nikki was in control with an armbar, Ripley broke free and blocked a Tornado DDT attempt. Ripley with a clothesline, then a headbutt and a running dropkick. Ripley with a superkick leading into a Northern Lights Suplex for two. Nikki did a two-handed thrust to the face followed by a Tornado DDT out of the corner for two. Nikki went up top, Ripley avoided it, and countered a Nikki move leading to Ripley hitting the Riptide for the pinfall win after eight minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Rhea Ripley

Analysis: **1/4 A decisive win for Ripley that likely puts an end to this feud. Then again, we know WWE loves rematches, so we could see it again next week or the week after. Nikki got a bit of offense, but there wasn’t a point where it looked like she might win. Ripley should get a push going into WrestleMania. At least I hope so.

Riddle and Chad Gable were backstage for a scooter race with Kevin Patrick there to talk to them. Riddle said he was dedicating this race to Randy Orton, then he had a sheet of paper that said “GUSTAVO” on it with Riddle saying that was the name of his scooter. They kept on arguing about things while Gable said that he was wearing a speedskater suit from his Olympic friends. R-Truth was the official race starter. They had to do 50 laps around the arena to determine the arena, so Riddle and Gable went off from there.

Analysis: Thrilling. I guess we’ll get scooter race updates throughout the show.

A segment with Alexa Bliss was up next.

(Commercial)

There was a segment with Alexa Bliss talking to her psychiatrist. Bliss said that he said imaginary about Lilly, but Bliss said that she’s real to her because she’s always been there for Alexa. When he asked if Bliss was returned to her, how would she feel and Bliss said it would feel great to have her around again. The psychiatrist said it was the real Lilly, but he held up a Lilly replica doll, Bliss simply said “Lilly” and that was it.

Analysis: They are really going at a slow pace for this Bliss return. I’m not sure where it’s going, but they are taking their time with it.

There were highlights shown of Edge & Beth Phoenix beating The Miz & Maryse at the Royal Rumble. It was a solid match with everybody working and some creative spots throughout the match.

The Miz made his entrance for a match against Dominik Mysterio. No Maryse. That’s a shame.

(Commercial)

Dominik Mysterio made his entrance with his father Rey. They showed the WWE2K22 video game featuring Rey on the cover with the game coming out on March 11.

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

Miz tried some taunting early on, so Dominik punched him to knock him down. Dominik used his legs to send Miz into the ropes, Miz slipped out of the ring and yelled at Rey at ringside. Miz sent Dominik throat first into the top rope followed by Miz shoving Rey down on the floor. Miz kicked Dominik when Dominik ducked his head. Miz went to the ropes, he tripped himself, claimed Rey did it (while the referee wasn’t looking) and Miz laughed while Dominik was distracted by what was happening. Miz hit Dominik with a Skull Crushing Finale for the pinfall win after two minutes.

Winner by pinfall: The Miz

Analysis: 3/4* A quick match to put over the heel tactics of The Miz outsmarting both Mysterios. It’s fine because The Miz needed a win and Dominik isn’t a guy that is pushed right now.

Dana Brooke was shown with the 24/7 Title while Tamina went up to her for a quick fight that saw Brooke fight her off and run away. They showed Riddle and Gable on their scooters with a graphic showing they were on lap 18 of 50.

Kevin Owens entered to host the KO Show with Owens staring up at the WrestleMania sign that was in the building.

(Commercial)

Riddle was backstage on his scooter, he approached Omos, Riddle said that Omos had beautiful eyes, Omos simply asked: “What?” and Gable was going by, so Riddle left.

Kevin Owens Show

Kevin Owens was in the ring hosting his talk show with some chairs in the ring. KO was booed. Owens said that we have a new All Mighty WWE Champion, the fans booed and Owens said he agreed. Owens said that we are on the road to the most “stupendous” two-night WrestleMania of all-time so it’s “double the stupendous-ness.” Owens said he had a Road to WrestleMania scoop saying that he is in the Elimination Chamber as soon as he beats that protected, sheltered, wannabe superstar Austin Theory. Owens said his guest tonight is the man that should be the Universal Champion, Seth “Freakin” Rollins.

Seth “Freakin” Rollins made his entrance wearing a colorful jacket, white pants and some big sunglasses. Some fans hummed along with the theme song. Rollins and Owens sat in the chairs in the ring.

Owens said that it’s great to have him on the show, Rollins said Cincinnati was the hottest city in the country and the fans chanted “Who Dey” for the Bengals. Owens called for the “despicable people in the truck” to play the footage of what happened between Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins at the Royal Rumble. Rollins nearly beat Reigns a few times, but then Reigns got intentionally disqualified, so Rollins won the match by DQ while Reigns kept the Universal Title.

Owens told Rollins that Reigns knew he couldn’t beat Rollins, so that’s why he did what he did. Owens told Rollins that even though he’s not the Universal Champion, Seth is the “Universal Champion of my heart” according to Owens. Rollins said that while he’s not there with the Universal Championship, he did acquire something else. Rollins said that he had a personal piece of real estate in the brain of Roman Reigns. Rollins said he’ll go there any time and bring back the Universal Title. Rollins said that was Smackdown business and this is Monday Night Raw. Rollins spoke about Lashley defending his WWE Title inside the Elimination Chamber with an announcement about that match. Rollins asked for a drumroll, then the arena played one and Rollins announced that one of the men inside the Elimination Chamber WWE Title match is…Seth “Freakin” Rollins. Owens said that Rollins is in the match without qualifying? Rollins said he qualified from his performance at the Royal Rumble. Owens claimed he was happy and pumped for him. Owens said that’s awesome. Owens said that if Rollins told Adam Pearce & Sonya Deville to put Owens in the match or else Rollins is out of the match, but Rollins was hesitant to do it.

Analysis: It looks like some trouble is brewing for the “best friends” Owens and Rollins since KO was jealous that Rollins doesn’t have to qualify while Rollins is already in the match. It could be a feud if Rollins turns face soon. They had a feud two years ago as well.

Austin Theory made his entrance because he was KO’s opponent on Raw.

This Friday on Smackdown: Will Ronda Rousey set her sights on Charlotte Flair and then they hyped up Brock Lesnar blazing a path towards Roman Reigns. They did not announce a match.

(Commercial)

WWE Championship Elimination Chamber Match Qualifier: Kevin Owens vs. Austin Theory

Owens with a running back elbow and a senton splash followed by a hard whip into the turnbuckle. Theory got some offense going with a necksnap across the ropes followed by a roll through into a dropkick. Owens came back with chops, a kick to the chest when Theory ducked and Owens hit a hard clothesline. Owens charged, Theory bailed to the floor, Owens got a hold of him there and Owens whipped theory into the barricade. Owens hit a cannonball on Theory against the barricade wall. Owens put Theory back in the ring, Theory went back out, Owens went after him, Theory with a kick and Theory whipped Owens back so that KO’s back hit the steel steps. Ouch. That led to a break.

(Commercial)

The match returned with Owens getting in some punches, an enziguri kick to the head and a DDT. Owens went up top, Theory punched him and Owens hit a headbutt to knock Theory down. Owens went for a double jump moonsault, Theory moved and Theory hit a Blockbuster neckbreaker. Owens fought out of an ATL attempt, Theory hit a forearm for the head and Theory hit a cradle suplex into the knee for two. Owens came back with a similar move hooking the leg and driving Theory’s back/neck into the knee. Owens wanted a Stunner, Theory shoved out of it and Owens hit a superkick. Owens up top, he jumped off and hit a Senton Bomb for two. They battled on the turnbuckle with Owens hitting a suplex off the ropes for a two count with Theory getting his foot on the bottom rope. They left the ring, Owens got some more offense in there, then Theory back in the ring first and he kicked the rope while Owens was going into the ring. That’s a low blow, but the referee didn’t call it. Theory hit the ATL finishing move for the pinfall win after 12 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Austin Theory

Analysis: ***1/4 A good match between two heels with Theory picking up the big win. Owens was bumping his ass off, hitting some big moves throughout the match and Theory ended up getting a crafty win after kicking the ropes. The result may be surprising to some people, but Owens hasn’t gone to the last few Saudi Arabia shows (some wrestlers prefer not to go), so I expected Theory to win.

The Street Profits were backstage with drinks when Riddle and Chad Gable showed up. They gave Riddle a drink, but not Gable. Otis showed up with a drink for Gable, but it was steak sauce or something like that. They were on lap 39 of 50.

The Street Profits entered for a match.

(Commercial)

They showed a highlight of Johnny Knoxville in the Royal Rumble where AJ Styles hit him with some strikes as well as a clothesline and Montez Ford hit an impressive Frog Splash on Knoxville as well.

Dolph Ziggler vs. Angelo Dawkins (w/Montez Ford)

Ziggler was without his buddy Robert Roode for this match. Ziggler hit Dawkins with a neckbreaker followed by a corner splash two times in a row. Ziggler charged towards Dawkins and was met by a punch to the face. Dawkins ran the ropes with a clothesline, then he jumped over Ziggler, a jumping back elbow and an overhead suplex. Dawkins with a spinning corner slam followed by a bulldog for two. Ziggler got a rollup on Dawkins for two and Ziggler countered a spinebuster like move for a DDT. It wasn’t smooth, but Dawkins sold it as well as he could. Ziggler went for a superkick, Dawkins caught the foot and Dawkins went for a backslide, but then he a double underhook spinning suplex for the pinfall win after five minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Angelo Dawkins

Analysis: ** It was just a simple match between two guys that are in tag teams usually. Raw is a long show, they need to fill time some weeks and that’s what this was. It didn’t really progress any storyline going on. Dawkins doesn’t get the attention that his partner Ford gets, but they’re both very good. Ziggler doing the job is something that’s happened a lot in the last couple of years. Dawkins is from Cincy so it was a win for the local guy…unlike the Bengals in two weeks against my Rams.

Riddle and Gable were backstage on their scooters, so they were still even in this race in lap 49 of 50. There’s a finish line at the ringside area.

A video aired about the WWE 2K22 video game that’s coming out on March 11.

(Commercial)

A video aired featuring Veer Mahaan coming to Raw talking about how he was “patient like a lion” but now the hunter has found his prey and soon he will strike. Sure he will.

Analysis: It’s been four months of this guy “coming to Raw” even though he was on the show for many months before the draft in October.

The End of the Scooter Race

R-Truth and Kevin Patrick were at ringside for the end of the scooter race. Truth was asked who he thinks will win, he said: “The Bengals” and the fans cheered. I disagree. Riddle and Gable were on their scooters going down to ringside where Gable bumped into Riddle, so Gable fell down on the floor. Riddle was near the finish, which led to Otis showing up and Gable went by a fallen Riddle at ringside to win the race.

Winner of the Scooter Race: Chad Gable

After the race, Riddle called Gable a cheater leading to Gable saying he didn’t need to cheat to win while listing all of his accomplishments that he likes to brag about. Riddle was asking for a match, so Gable said that he’s got a match…against Otis. That’s next.

Analysis: That meant that the RK-Bro team of Riddle/Orton won the spelling bee last week and Gable won this week. Gable/Otis are the Raw Tag Team Champions and I assume this is going to lead to a title rematch against RK-Bro soon.

A video aired about WrestleMania 38 taking place in 61 days on April 2nd and 3rd.

(Commercial)

Adam Pearce appeared on the stage saying this is now an Elimination Chamber qualifying match, so whoever wins will be added to the WWE Championship Elimination Chamber match.

WWE Championship Elimination Chamber Qualifying Match: Riddle vs. Otis (w/Chad Gable)

Otis with a running shoulder tackle followed by a hard whip into the turnbuckle. Otis lifted up Riddle into a slam followed by a running splash. Otis crushed Riddle with a back elbow that looked devastating especially because of how well Riddle sold it. Riddle tried to get some momentum going by running the ropes, but Otis hit another running shoulder tackle to knock Riddle down. Otis hit a body slam followed by an elbow drop. Otis choked Riddle across the bottom rope and also stood on Riddle for some extra pain. Riddle with a neckbreaker across the top rope, then some forearms, another forearm and when Riddle ran the ropes, Otis decked him with a clothesline. Otis lifted Riddle, who landed on his feet, Riddle with strikes and a head kick. Otis hit a suplex across the ring. Riddle hit some running forearms, then he ducked a clothesline, Riddle with a knee to the face and another knee that knocked Otis down. Riddle went up top leading to a Floating Bro splash onto the knee. Riddle slapped the mat, then he went for an RKO, Otis shoved Riddle off and Riddle hit a twisting splash off the ropes onto a standing Otis for the pinfall win after eight minutes. The fans popped for Riddle getting the win.

Winner by pinfall: Riddle

Analysis: **1/2 A competitive match here with Otis using his power throughout the match, Riddle sells very well and Riddle’s offense is believable too. This was one of those matches where the heel Otis got more than 90% of the offense in the match only for Riddle finding a way to get the win. The right guy won.

Rey Mysterio with Dominik Mysterio and AJ Styles were shown in separate parts of the arena for their match coming up soon.

Bianca Belair made her entrance for singles action. Carmella entered as the opponent as one half of the Women’s Tag Team Champions. That match was next.

(Commercial)

Carmella had her protective mask put on her face. What a terrible gimmick. I know it’s designed to get heat just like her obnoxious screaming, but it’s not that interesting.

Bianca Belair vs. Carmella

Carmella did some light shoving to the chest, so Belair teased a hair whip and Carmella was scared of it. Carmella slapped Belair hard in the face, so Belair chased Carmella around the ring until Carmella got back in the ring first leading to some stomps to the body. Belair with a shoulder tackle into the turnbuckle, but then Carmella got a handful of tights to send Belair into the turnbuckle. Carmella with repeated back elbows to the face while Belair was against the turnbuckle. Carmella slapped on a chinlock for over a minute. Belair finally broke free with a backbreaker, a suplex and some forearms to the back. Belair hit Carmella with a forearm to the chin followed by the KOD slam for the pinfall win after six minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Bianca Belair

Analysis: *1/2 Easy win for Belair after Carmella got some offense and a really long chinlock. These two women wrestled a lot last year with Belair winning every time, so it was like those matches. Belair picking up wins is no surprise.

There’s another Alex Bliss segment after a break. Oh great.

(Commercial)

Alexa Bliss was in the office with her psychiatrist dude that was holding a Lilly doll that was not real. The doctor said that they were making great progress with Bliss talking to Lilly saying that she missed her so much and the doctor said it’s a replica that he bought on WWEshop.com. The doctor gave the doll to Bliss to let her hold the doll and Bliss was happy to hold the doll.

Analysis: Riveting television.

The Raw Tag Team Champions Chad Gable and Otis were interviewed by Kevin Patrick. Gable said that his Scooter Race win means that he gets to pick the challenge for next week – a Quiz Bowl. Gable said that when Orton and Riddle lose the challenge next week just like the Bengals losing (yes Gable, I like that!) and RK-Bro won’t get their title shot.

Analysis: I have said this in the past, but I really enjoy how much screen time Chad Gable is getting and how comfortable he is doing promos. It’s been fun to see that character development for him. Such a talented in-ring performer too.

A replay aired of the Brock Lesnar/Bobby Lashley segment from earlier in the show. I saw people on Twitter thinking that Lesnar said “Cinci-f**king-nnati” but Lesnar clearly said “Cinci-freakin-nnati” or at least that’s what I heard.

AJ Styles made his entrance for a matchup against another legend, Rey Mysterio. That should be fun.

(Commercial)

Next week’s Raw is on Syfy for those of you in the US because USA Network will be showing Winter Olympics coverage. The same goes for NXT. Two weeks of shows will be like that. It’s an Alpha Academy Academic Challenge between Gable/Otis and Riddle/Randy Orton in a Quiz Bowl matchup.

Analysis: The people obsessed with ratings are going to freak out when Raw’s numbers go down when they are on Syfy. The presence of the Winter Olympics is going to hurt a lot of other shows for two weeks although the Summer Olympics are more popular. Moving to a smaller network for two weeks is a bad thing for Raw and NXT for sure. I don’t really care that much about ratings.

Rey Mysterio entered for the final Elimination Chamber qualifying match.

WWE Championship Elimination Chamber Qualifying Match: AJ Styles vs. Rey Mysterio

They started with a handshake. Styles knocked down Rey with a shoulder tackle, Rey hit a headscissors and Rey jumped off the shoulders with a reverse hurricanrana style move. Styles got a hold of Rey with a backbreaker. Styles sent Rey under the bottom rope, but Rey managed to flip over to land on his feet somehow. Rey blocked a dive from Styles, then Rey knocked down Styles on the floor and Rey went for a move on the floor, but Styles got the knees up. Styles went for a move, so Rey countered with a hurricanrana that sent Rey into the barricade.

(Commercial)

The match continued with Rey jumping off the middle ropes with a moonsault, Styles caught him and Rey hit a creative spinning DDT. Rey with a headscissors followed by a springboard cross body block for a two count. Rey with kicks to the legs, Styles held onto the ropes and hit a forearm followed by Styles hitting a backbreaker for a two count. Rey countered a Styles move by sending him into the ropes, Rey wanted a 619 kick, Styles avoided it, Styles hit a forearm to the head and a leap off the top that Rey avoided. Styles wanted a Calf Crusher submission, but Rey broke free with a kick to the head for two. Styles was seated on the top rope, Styles got a hold of Rey going for a Styles Clash, but Rey was able to avoid it. Rey with a headscissors into the ropes, Rey hit the 619 kick to the face and Rey went up top with a Frog Splash, but Styles sat up to avoid it. Rey with a crucifix pin for two. Styles avoided a charging Rey and Styles hit a Pele Kick to the head. Styles lifted up Rey, who managed to land on top and sit on AJ’s chest. Rey jumped off the top, he jumped onto Styles, Rey rolled through it and Styles hit a Styles Clash for the pinfall win after 12 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: AJ Styles

Analysis: ***1/2 A great match between two legends in their 40s. I would have liked a few more minutes and I think the crowd could have got into it more. The problem is when you’re three hours deep into Raw the crowd can get tired by this point in the night. If it was in hour one then they might have cared more. Rey was great with his counters, lots of headscissors/hurricanranas and using his speed throughout the match. Styles was ready for everything, hit a lot of big moves of his own and I liked the final counter by Styles hitting the Styles Clash to win.

The win by Styles means that the WWE Championship Elimination Chamber Match at Elimination Chamber looks like this on February 19:

Analysis: A title change coming? Maybe. I could see Styles or Rollins winning for sure while Lashley could retain. Even Riddle is a possibility. I think Lesnar will get screwed out of a win somehow unless WWE really does want Lesnar vs. Reigns to be a title vs. title match.

They showed clips of Ronda Rousey winning the Women’s Royal Rumble match. She’s up next in the main event slot.

(Commercial)

Let’s Hear from Ronda Rousey

Ronda Rousey made her entrance wearing a black leather jacket looking ready to go. Rousey said that she has been thinking about whose championship she should take at WrestleMania – Charlotte or Rebecca. Rousey talked about how they were on her undercard. She kept saying “Rebecca” without making a decision while adding that she is the biggest and baddest bitch.

Becky Lynch arrived with the Raw Women’s Championship in a ridiculous outfit calling Ronda “Ronnie” and a little weirdo. Lynch mentioned Rousey saying “Rebecca” as Becky’s government name. Lynch reminded Rousey that she was the only woman that could beat Rousey in her WWE career. Lynch said that everybody knows the match that people want to see is Lynch and Rousey. Lynch wanted Rousey to decide soon because Lynch claimed the Raw women’s division has never been hotter thanks to her. Lynch said that the people want to know. Rousey took down Lynch with an armbar and stood over Lynch: “You’ll have my answer on Friday.”

Ronda Rousey walked to the backstage area. There were still a few minutes left.

Becky Lynch said that she wouldn’t want to face Lynch either and Lynch talked about wanting to get out of Cincinnati. Lita made her entrance with the fans cheering for the WWE Hall of Famer. Lita said that Rousey was so rude and wondered what her problem was. The fans greeted Lita with “Lita’ chants as Lita entered the ring.

Lita said she wondered how Rousey could talk like that to Becky the “GOAT.” Becky said that she is. Lita said that Lynch has set the women’s division on fire. Lynch talked about how she was a fan of Lita growing up. Lita said that what she respects above anything is that Lynch never backs down from a challenge. Lita said she was thinking she could face Lynch at Elimination Chamber. The fans cheered that idea, but Lynch said no. Lita said she knows it’s a lot of work defending the championship and Lita said if you’re scared then say you’re scared. Lynch said she’s not scared, so if Lita wants a match at Elimination Chamber then she’s got it. Lita was happy about that, she left the ring and Lynch was left alone in the ring. End show.

Analysis: Ronda Rousey telling Lynch that her decision is coming on Friday is a way to get people more interested in Smackdown. Rousey is expected to face Charlotte Flair at WrestleMania, so they’ll likely make that official on Smackdown. When Lita came back a few weeks ago, she talked about having another run left in her, which made me think she might be wrestling more post-Royal Rumble and now we know that she will be. I expect Lynch to beat Lita, but it should be a competitive match. It’s also a first-time-ever dream match for a lot of fans that looked up to Lita and Lynch as two of the best women’s wrestlers in WWE history.

 

Three Stars of the Show

1. AJ Styles

2. Kevin Owens

3. (tie) Rey Mysterio/Austin Theory

4. (tie) Brock Lesnar

 

The Scoreboard

7 out of 10

Last week: 6

 

Final Thoughts

It was a pretty good Raw this week. What I liked this week is that they had three men’s Elimination Chamber qualifying matches where the winners were added to the match. When you make matches matter more by having the winners receive a title shot, it makes the fans care more when they’re watching at home. At least that’s the idea. The Styles/Mysterio and Theory/Owens matches were the best. Riddle beating Otis wasn’t as good, but still entertaining by the end.

There was more star power with Brock Lesnar and Ronda Rousey – the Royal Rumble winners – on the show. Both of them are expected to be on Smackdown regularly after this week although I guess they can be on Raw sometimes.

It was cool to see Lita and Lynch setting up their dream match with a promo. It was simple enough and the crowd liked it, so that’s what matters.

The next WWE pay-per-view (or Premium Live Event) is the Elimination Chamber on Saturday, February 19 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Here’s what we know so far:

wwe elimination chamber feb 19 wwe title

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

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

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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John Canton

Email: mrjohncanton@gmail.com

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