SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
WWE MONDAY NIGHT RAW PRIMER
FEBRUARY 1, 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 Last Week
- Charlotte Flair defeated Shayna Baszler via DQ.
- Charlotte Flair & Mandy Rose & Dana Brooke defeated Lacey Evans & Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler via count out.
- Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler & Lacey Evans defeated Charlotte Flair & Mandy Rose & Dana Brooke.
- Xavier Woods of New Day defeated Slapjack of Retribution.
- Sheamus defeated John Morrison.
- John Morrison & The Miz defeated Sheamus in a handicap match.
- A.J. Styles defeated R-Truth.
- Riddle defeated Shelton Benjamin, MVP, and Cedric Alexander in a Gauntlet match to earn a match for the U.S. Championship.
- Raw Women’s Champion Asuka and Alexa Bliss wrestled to an apparent no contest when Randy Orton gave her an RKO.
Here are two exclusives from last week:
Royal Rumble Results Pertinent to Raw
- Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler defeated Charlotte Flair & Raw Women’s Champion Asuka to regain the Women’s Tag Team Championship.
- Drew McIntyre defeated Goldberg to retain the WWE Championship.
- Bianca Belair won the women’s Royal Rumble (pertinent to Raw since Bianca can choose to face Raw Women’s Champion at WrestleMania).
- Edge won the men’s Royal Rumble.
There were several exclusive interviews posted by WWE with current and returning wrestlers. Here are clips from Edge, Bianca, Drew, Christian, Shayna & Nia, and Kane:
They also interviewed Victoria, Hurricane Helms, Carlito, Torrie Wilson, Mickie James, and Jillian Hall. Head to WWE’s website or YouTube if you want to check out those clips.
Items Advertised by WWE
We move away from the Royal Rumble and dare I say, start the road to WrestleMania. WWE’s preview came out a little while ago. At the end of this report, you’ll see what they have advertised. Here are some of my thoughts on Edge and Bianca Belair, as well as thoughts regarding ongoing feuds.
Last night Edge joined “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, Hulk Hogan, Shawn Michaels, Triple H, Randy Orton, and John Cena as multiple time Royal Rumble winners. He now owns the second longest span in between wins (2010-2021, 11 years) behind Triple H (2002-2016, 14 years).
Last week, Edge cut a promo talking about his entry into the rumble and spoke passionately about regaining what he never lost. Edge retained the World Heavyweight Championship over 2011 Royal Rumble winner Alberto Del Rio at WrestleMania of that year but had to surrender the title and retire shortly thereafter. He returned at last year’s rumble and defeated Randy Orton in a Last Man Standing match at WrestleMania. Randy defeated Edge at Backlash in what was dubbed the “Greatest Wrestling Match Ever.”
Perhaps we’ll find out whom Edge will challenge come this year’s WrestleMania which will take place at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, FL.
Frank’s Analysis: I suppose that promo last week should have suggested Edge was going to win, right? Challenging Roman Reigns for the Universal Championship would be a fresh matchup and there is plenty of material between the two men. Edge is a family man which can be tapped into with Reigns claiming to be the “head of the table.” You also have spear vs. spear, with both men using that as their finishing moves. As far as the WWE Championship, I don’t see him challenging Drew McIntyre. We can’t count out the possibility of Randy Orton regaining the title setting up Edge vs. Randy. The Miz is still in play with the Money in the Bank contract, but I don’t see Miz winning and setting up him vs. Edge.
Bianca Belair is on Smackdown, but I’ll talk about it here on the off chance she chooses to face the Raw Women’s Champion. Lately, she has been embroiled in a feud with former Smackdown Women’s Champion Bayley and defeated her in a one-on-one match this past Friday. She cut a promo following the match talking about how big it was for her to defeat Bayley, who held the title for over a year, and how she wasn’t going to apologize for “being her.” Bianca entered the rumble at number three last night and eliminated Rhea Ripley to win.
WWE put out a Bianca Chronicle on the network and have been pushing her at the top of the Smackdown card as of late. I don’t expect to see her tonight, but we’ll soon find out her choice of opponent for WrestleMania.
Frank’s Analysis: I’m more certain Bianca will challenge Sasha Banks. I don’t see Sasha losing the title, and a match between them would be fresh and exciting if they build to it properly. I can’t rule out her pursuing the Raw title. I don’t see anyone other than Charlotte Flair or Asuka holding the title come ‘Mania, and either one of those matches works. Alexa Bliss has an outside chance, but I don’t see it and for some reason that match just doesn’t work for me, at ‘Mania anyway.
Other Expectation and Final Thoughts
I would suspect we get the Riddle vs. Bobby Lashley match for the U.S. Championship. Things are odd with the Hurt Business with Raw Tag Team Champions Shelton Benjamin & Cedric Alexander bickering so early in their run, and so we’ll see where things go. We’re still in the Charlotte Flair-Lacey Evans story with Ric Flair involved. I would imagine they’ll touch more on Mustafa Ali calling out Kofi Kingston, as they recall Kofi taking Ali’s “spot” in the 2019 Elimination Chamber match. Where we go with the rumble winners excites me the most, and thus we’ll see if they start addressing that tonight.
WWE announced the following matches and segments in their preview:
- U.S. Championship: Bobby Lashley (champ) vs. Riddle. I mentioned previously this could happen tonight.
- Raw Tag Team Championship: Shelton Benjamin & Cedric Alexander (champs) vs. Lucha House Party (Gran Metalik & Lince Dorado. Lucha House Party are involved in the NXT Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic and are set to take on Legado Del Fantasma (Joaquin Wilde & Raul Mendoza).
They also said Bad Bunny will be a guest on MizTV after he get involved with Miz and John Morrison during the Royal Rumble last night. Finally, they speculate as to whether or not Edge and Bianca Belair will show up to determine whom they will face at WrestleMania on the heels of their rumble wins last night.
Follow Frank on Twitter @FrankPeteani. Thank you for reading!