HEYDORN’S RAW RECEIPT 2/15: Gauntlet match a good watch while setting foundation for Elimination Chamber

BY ZACK HEYDORN, PWTORCH ASSISTANT EDITOR


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

This week’s episode of WWE Monday Night Raw has wrapped. Let’s take a stroll down memory lane and relive some of the madness.

-How has it taken so long for someone to react to Miz like Drew McIntyre did to start the show? McIntyre flexed his alpha muscles and delivered the only authentic response possible as Miz spoke. A headbutt to the face. We’re all thankful, Drew.

-Jokes aside, it was nice to hear Miz make some sense after all these weeks of spewing nonsense on the microphone. The only credibility he can realistically claim at this point is whatever kind of mental game he’s playing in his head. Taking himself out of the Elimination Chamber helps with the storyline narrative around the Money in the Bank briefcase, but also showcases said mental game of the Miz.

-The attempts at comedy from Riddle simply illicit tears instead of laughs. The material doesn’t make him likable. It damages him and it makes getting heat harder for his heel opponent. Bobby Lashley occupies that slot right now and though his attack on a celebrating Riddle looked great, it doesn’t generate the response it should because Riddle is watered down so much.

-Damian Priest comes off as a star while associating with Bad Bunny. Everything is coming across as natural for him right now and if the in-ring booking follows, WWE could have a hot act on their hands sooner than later.

-Well, I must say, the callback to KofiMania was a nice touch for Kingston to make while advocating for a shot at the Elimination Chamber on Sunday. Frankly, we needed that type of response from him years ago when he initially lost the WWE Championship. For as good as that was this week, John Morrison anywhere near a championship match just highlights the convoluted booking that we see far too often on this show.

-So, Lacey Evans is pregnant. Just what this storyline needed. Yes, I kid. Now, Wrestling Inc. is reporting that Evans really is pregnant and that this storyline was changed because of that news. Legit congrats to Lacey Evans on that fantastic news and congrats to WWE for finding an escape hatch on this entire story. You’d think, anyway. Instead, Evans alludes to the fact that the baby might be Ric Flair’s and the madness is all tabled for later? Good grief. Let it go, WWE. Let it go.

-Props to Kofi Kingston and Miz for having a nice little TV match. Miz needs a dramatic rebuild to be remotely credible, but its matches like these that remind you he can be more than just a corporate comedy mouthpiece if he wanted to be.

-So, more of the same on The Fiend front. He’s coming back. Alexa Bliss is still creepily laughing. The audience is still unsure what to feel for either character. Good to know.

-WWE has the market cornered on executing successful gauntlet matches. Some really good action between Kingston & Styles, Styles & McIntyre, McIntyre & Hardy, and McIntyre & Sheamus. Very much worth watching and a smart way to highlight the importance of entering the Elimination Chamber match last. Sells both that spot in the match, but the grueling nature of the match itself.

-On that note, Randy Orton’s short-lived gauntlet match showing was puzzling. The man beats The Fiend in an Inferno Match, but is scared of Alexa Bliss laughing on some TV monitors?

-An “A” for effort on the Sheamus promo to close the show. Pinning Drew McIntyre set a nice hook for the Elimination Chamber match on Sunday and this promo emphasized that story greatly. Not a masterpiece, but effective.


NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S RAW RECEIPT: HEYDORN’S RAW ROUNDUP 2/8: Shane McMahon’s return, Elimination Chamber taking shape, and more

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