SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
WWE MONDAY NIGHT RAW PRIMER
FEBRUARY 22, 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 Exclusives from Last Week
- Riddle & Lucha House Party (Gran Metalik & Lince Dorado) defeated the Hurt Business (Raw Tag Team Champions Cedric Alexander & Shelton Benjamin and MVP).
- Raw Women’s Champion Asuka & Charlotte and Lacey Evans (w/Ric Flair) & Peyton Royce (Pey Pey) wrestled to an apparent no-contest when Lacey pulled herself out of the match and announced she was pregnant.
- Kofi Kingston defeated The Miz to earn the final spot in the Elimination Chamber match. Miz pulled himself out of the match earlier in the evening on MizTV.
- Shayna Baszler defeated Lana.
- Sheamus won a Gauntlet match to earn the right to enter the Elimination Chamber last for the WWE Championship. Kofi Kingston defeated A.J. Styles. WWE Champion Drew McIntyre defeated Styles, Jeff Hardy, and Randy Orton via count out when the Thunderdome changed into all Alexa Blisses laughing creepily. Sheamus defeated Drew to seal the win.
Elimination Chamber Results Pertinent to Raw
- Riddle defeated John Morrison and Bobby Lashley to win the U.S. Championship. Morrison earned his way into the match by defeating Ricochet, Elias, and Eli in a fatal four-way on the kickoff show. Riddle pinned Morrison after attacking Lashley with a crutch.
- Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler defeated Smackdown Women’s Champion Sasha Banks & Bianca Belair to retain the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship.
- Drew McIntyre defeated A.J. Styles, Jeff Hardy, Sheamus, Randy Orton, and Kofi Kingston to retain the WWE Championship. Kofi eliminated Orton. Sheamus eliminated Kofi. Drew eliminated Hardy.
- The Miz cashed in his Money in the Bank contract after Bobby Lashley attacked Drew and won the WWE Championship for the first time since 2011.
Items Advertised by WWE
Elimination Chamber is now behind us and we now turn our attention towards Fastlane, which will be the final PPV before WrestleMania. Nothing is advertised yet for tonight’s show. I will just offer some thoughts on what the main focus of tonight’s show should be.
WWE Champion Miz, Bobby Lashley, Drew McIntyre, Sheamus
Obviously, we’re going to get follow up on the Miz cashing in his Money in the Bank contract and defeating Drew McIntyre to win his second WWE Championship. On a personal level, it’s ironic that in my VIP podcast WWE Then and Now, I’m on a 10-year look back which puts us in the Miz’s first run as champion. He also began that run by cashing in Money in the Bank, and it was against babyface Randy Orton, who ironically was in the chamber match last night and eliminated quickly by Kofi Kingston.
Here’s the thing. If Miz had been something other than a low-rent comedy act for the past year, him being champion would be palatable. You have now had him defeat Drew McIntyre, who has been a protected act for the most part since last year except for a month where Randy Orton took the championship. You can rationalize it all you want and say they protected Drew by having him work the chamber match and he was beaten down by Lashley. This creates a story people will want to see play out and could pop ratings especially heading into Fastlane. That’s all well and good and makes logistical sense. Still, your WWE Champion is a low-rent comedy act that has barely won a match in the past year. He got slapped by Bad Bunny on TV. He already cashed in his contract and failed, but because of a silly loophole got it back. Beating the Miz for the title means nothing.
We’ll see what happens. I don’t like to lay out multi-layered scenarios brick by brick, but my guess is ultimately Drew and Lashley are wrestling over the WWE Championship at WrestleMania. I don’t see Miz holding the title past Fastlane at the latest. Sheamus is involved too, and they at least left that story open last night. I expect to see follow-up on the Miz and the Hurt Business and what they were discussing prior to what happened after the chamber match. You wonder if they cut a deal where Lashley gets a title match as a result of him weakening Drew for the Miz.
Other Expectations and Final Thoughts
Look for follow-up on the following items:
- Who will Asuka’s next challenger will be for the Raw Women’s Championship? The match with Lacey Evans was cancelled last night as a result of Lacey being pregnant. A replacement challenger was not named yet.
- Who will Riddle’s first challenger be for his U.S. Championship? Keith Lee was removed from the triple threat match last night due to an undisclosed injury. Does he get slotted in upon his return seeing as he won the original match between Riddle and himself to earn the right to face Lashley? John Morrison, Ali, and Elias could be challengers although none of that seems exciting.
- What’s next in the ongoing saga between Randy Orton and Alexa Bliss? How closer are we to a return of the burned alive “Fiend” Bray Wyatt?
- Does Lana & Naomi get their Women’s Tag Team Championship match against Shayna Baszler and Nia Jax?
There are other items like the feud between New Day & Retribution and Charlotte Flair & her father Ric. As is typical after a PPV I expect WWE to post their preview close to showtime.
Follow Frank on Twitter @FrankPeteani. Thank you for reading!