WWE MONDAY NIGHT RAW PRIMER 1/18: Blinded by the Bliss Who’s Got a Date with the Empress, Flair Family Affairs

BY FRANK PETEANI, PWTORCH.COM CONTRIBUTOR


SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...

WWE MONDAY NIGHT RAW PRIMER
JANUARY 18, 2021
TAMPA, FL. AT THE THUNDERDOME IN TROPICANA FIELD
AIRS ON USA NETWORK, 8:00 p.m. EST
BY FRANK PETEANI (@FrankPeteani), PWTORCH.COM CONTRIBUTOR

Announcers: Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton, and Samoa Joe

Match Results and Segments from Last Week

  • Triple H opened the show and was interrupted by Randy Orton. He challenged him to a “good old-fashioned fight” which Triple H turned down until Randy accused him of leaving his balls in his wife’s purse. (Did we go back to 2009? That’s my job with WWE Then and Now people.)
  • WWE Champion Drew McIntyre addressed the fans regarding his COVID-19 positive case. He reminded everyone to take it seriously. He later accepted WWE Hall of Famer Goldberg’s challenge for a WWE Championship match at the Royal Rumble.
  • Lacey Evans defeated Charlotte Flair, ½ of the Women’s Tag Team Champions, via a distraction from Charlotte’s father Ric Flair.
  • Jaxson Ryker defeated Jeff Hardy due to a distraction from Elias. Jeff then went on to defeat Elias. Here’s Jeff in a WWE exclusive:

  • Sheamus & Keith Lee defeated the Miz & John Morrison. Keith then went on to defeat Sheamus. They then hugged. Dr. Shelby, Daniel Bryan, and Kane would be proud. Here’s Sheamus and Keith in an exclusive:

  • T-Bar of Retribution defeated Xavier Woods of New Day thanks to a distraction.
  • U.S. Champion Bobby Lashley defeated Riddle to retain the title. Riddle then went on to defeat MVP via DQ.
  • A.J. Styles defeated Drew Gulak, preventing Gulak from being able to partake in the Royal Rumble.
  • Shayna Baszler & Nia Jax defeated Mandy Rose & Dana Brooke. Here’s Shayna & Nia in an exclusive:

  • Triple H and Randy Orton fought to a no-contest when “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt’s effects started playing. Triple H disappeared, and then Alexa Bliss arrived. She shot fire out of her gloves into Randy’s face to close out the show.

Items Advertised by WWE

We move a little closer to the Royal Rumble with another edition of Raw which will feature a non-title match and a response to an attack last week. WWE’s preview is not up as of this writing, but they have put out a hype video for tonight’s show:

Non-Title Match: Raw Women’s Champion Asuka vs. Alexa Bliss
Randy Orton Responds to Alexa Nearly Blinding Him Last Week

Let’s talk about these items in the same paragraph since, in a way, they are tied into each other.

Alexa Bliss will see her first one-on-one action in quite some time as she takes on Raw Women’s Champion Asuka in a non-title match. If memory serves me properly, her last match was a four-minute victory over her former best friend Nikki Cross.

There is history here as it was Asuka & Kairi Sane that took the Women’s Tag Team Championship from Alexa & Nikki in late 2019 before dropping it back to them at last year’s WrestleMania. Alexa and Asuka have faced each other several times including a match in the run-up to WrestleMania.

As for Alexa’s other involvement in tonight’s show, Randy Orton will respond to her attack from last week. Two weeks ago, Alexa dared Randy to burn her alive as he did to “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt at TLC. He couldn’t go through with it, and now hates himself for it, but is using that to drive his actions (hey we all need something). I mentioned what happened at the end of the match in the recap. Randy hasn’t tweeted since last Monday. WWE’s website says he suffered “minor burns to the face.” Alexa has been here usual vocal self, including this tweet that doesn’t look like much but jumped out to me:

https://twitter.com/AlexaBliss_WWE/status/1349435323634376707?s=20

Frank’s Analysis: It’s interesting they’re advertising Alexa for a match after what happened last week. I don’t know if it’ll happen. As far as last week is concerned, I’ll type what I said to Wade. Some people are going to like that angle, and some won’t. I believe there are more people in the latter category, which I where I live. It’s 100% what I don’t want to see in my wrestling program. I don’t know where it’s going. Wherever it goes we’ll analyze it then.

Charlotte Flair

Here is a thread by Charlotte Flair, who was criticized over at the Daily DDT. This was covered on the Torch VIP show Everything with Rich Fann hosted by Wade Keller with a lot of interesting thoughts raised. I’ve included all three tweets by Charlotte, one of which includes a link to the article for your convenience:

https://twitter.com/MsCharlotteWWE/status/1349590430153785346?s=20

Frank’s Analysis: After some time to think about the story currently running involving Charlotte, her dad Ric Flair, and Lacey Evans I must say I have issues with it. There comes a time where a legend should just be a legend and don’t have him/her involved in storylines. Nobody buys that Charlotte and Ric have any issues given how proud Ric has publicly shown himself to be about his daughter. He had health issues a few years ago and you say how genuinely worried Charlotte was about her father. They already had an on-screen feud years ago and there’s nothing that’s happened that makes sense to parlay into another feud. Ric turned heel out of the blue last year to align with Randy Orton only to turn back when he was kicked by Randy. Lastly, ok fine Lacey might benefit in the short term from being associated with Ric, but I don’t see it being sustainable in the long term. Why waste TV on such a disjointed story if no one is going to truly benefit in the long run, not even Charlotte who’s the most important talent here? As always, we’ll see how things play out but I’m not optimistic.

Other Expectations and Final Thoughts

We’ll see how they move forward with the Randy-Alexa situation and with other things on the show. I’m particularly interested in how the Goldberg-Drew McIntyre story will play out and what’s next for Bobby Lashley. If you haven’t check out the latest episode of WWE Then and Now, go ahead and do so if you’re a VIP member. If you’re not a VIP member, I can’t recommend it enough what with all the great new content including my show, Everything with Rich Fann hosted by Wade Keller, Nick & Tom’s Intercontinental Adventure, and all the mainstay VIP shows. Check out my appearance from last week on the Wade Keller Pro Wrestling Post Show where we broke down last week’s Raw.

Follow Frank on Twitter @FrankPeteani. Thank you for reading!

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