1/31 WWE MONDAY NIGHT RAW RESULTS: Keller’s report on Lesnar declaring WM opponent, Ronda Rousey’s return to WWE TV, Lashley celebrates his WWE Title win

By Wade Keller, PWTorch editor

Full analysis and results of this week's episode of WWE Raw


JANUARY 31, 2022

Commentators: Jimmy Smith, Byron Saxton, Corey Graves


-They opened with footage of the Royal Rumble, specifically Michael Cole touting the 44,000+ fans WWE claimed were in attendance. Then the focus shifted to the finish of the Brock Lesnar vs. Bobby Lashley match for the WWE Title. They showed a smiling Paul Heyman leaving with Roman Reigns with cutaway shots to fans reacting in shock. Then they showed Lesnar entering the Royal Rumble match at no. 30 and winning.

-They cut to the arena where pyro blasted. Jimmy Smith introduced the show as taking place from the home of the AFC Champions, the Cincinnati Bengals. Corey Graves plugged that Ronda Rousey would be on Raw later for the first time in nearly three years.

-Adam Pearce stood mid-ring and said they are now “officially on the road to WrestleMania.” He said next up is the Elimination Chamber, and Lashley will be defending it against five others. MVP and Lashley came out to the ring. MVP ranted about putting Lashley in the most brutal, barbaric match only a sadistic mind can come up with. “What the hell is wrong with you, man?” he said. Lashley asked Pearce, “Who do you think you are?” He said he should be out celebrating. He said he always knew he was better than Lesnar – a better amateur wrestler, a better MMA fighter, and a better WWE Champion. He said he slayed the Beast. He told “the Brock Lesnar fans out there” to tell him who the Conqueror is now. Lesnar’s music interrupted.

Lesnar walked out to a big ovation. Graves said Lesnar was screwed on Saturday. Smith said, “No argument there.” Lesnar threatened to stick MVP’s cane right up his ass. He called Lashley “Bobby Who?” as he smiled and laughed. He asked him if he’s really going to stand there and act like he’s a real champion. “You know you didn’t beat me on Saturday night,” he said. “Where’s the pride in that, Bobby?” He said Lashley won because of Roman Reigns and Heyman. Lesnar said he’s not mad at Lashley. “It’s all good,” he said. He said he’s upset at Reigns and Heyman. He said the two of them had a nice match, but then he entered the Rumble and won it. He said that’s not a knee-slapper. He said as a result, he gets to choose who he fights at WrestleMania.

He told Lashley, “It’s not you.” He said at WM he’s going to face Reigns. He said it will be title vs. title. (He means champion vs. champion, but will anyone have the guts to correct Lesnar on that?) He said he’s dressed to fight. He said since he’s standing there dressed to fight, he challenged him to his rematch right there tonight. Lashley said he pinned him once and he can pin him again. MVP pushed him away. Lesnar told Lashley to take off his five dollar suit and fight him. MVP said Lesnar can go to the end of the line and earn his title shot. Lesnar told MVP he’s nothing but a chickenshit. (It was bleeped.) Lesnar got worked up as MVP continued to tried to talk Lashley into leaving the ring. Lashley did. Fans booed. Lesnar continued to yell from the ring at Lashley and MVP as they walked to the back.

Pearce said Lashley won’t wrestle tonight, but he will defend it at Elimination Chamber. He asked Lesnar if he wanted in. Lesnar said he did. Pearce said he’ll be one of the five challengers. Lesnar was all smiles.

(Keller’s Analysis: No surprises there. Lesnar-Reigns makes sense given the Heyman involvement. Plus presumably, if Reigns was available at Day 1, Lesnar wouldn’t have ever been WWE Champion. Lesnar does seem to be having a blast on the mic and gaining more confidence by the week. This seems more like the actual Lesnar than the more demure man-of-few-words who merely reacted to what Heyman was saying with facial expressions. At this time, I’m not expecting Lesnar to win the Chamber. I expect Lashley to be defending his title at WrestleMania, but that’s just a guess.)

-They shifted to a video package on Nikki A.S.H. beating up Rhea Ripley. Ripley made her ring entrance for their match next. [c]

-The announcers talked about the Chamber as a graphic showed Lashley, Lesnar, and four open spots. They announced A.J. Styles vs. Rey Mysterio and Kevin Owens vs. Austin Theory in Chamber qualifying matches later.


Nikki’s ring entrance took place. When Ripley got in some early offense, Nikki slipped to ringside. She caught Ripley between the ring and ring apron and kicked away at her. Saxton said it’s “an ultra new level of aggression.” They cut to an early break. [c]

Ripley took control after the break. Nikki came back with a tornado DDT off the middle rope for a two count. Ripley came right back with a Rip Tide for a clean win.

WINNER: Ripley in 8:00.

(Keller’s Analysis: Good, intense match, but only a couple minutes of it aired on each side of the break.)

-Highlights aired of last week’s Spelling Bee with RK-Bro and Alpha Academy.

-Backstage Kevin Patrick introduced Chad Gable and Riddle for their next competition. Gable said the spelling bee was rigged last week and Patrick’s accent ruined it for him. He said a scooter race shouldn’t be part of an academic challenge. Gable told Patrick to explain the rules they talked about. Patrick said the two wrestlers have to do 50 laps of the arena and the first to cross the finish line at ringside is the winner. Gable was wearing a speed skating outfit he said Olympians gifted him. R-Truth showed up and officially started the race.

-A clip aired of Alexa Bliss at her therapy session last week talking about when she first met Lilly. Smith said there’d be new a skit later. [c]

-Alexa was chilling sideways on her chair in the therapist’s office when the therapist asked what she’s thinking about. Bliss said he used the word “imaginary,” but Lilly has always been real. They showed photos of Bliss as a little girl with Lilly. He asked what she would do if Lilly somehow returned to her. Bliss said she’d hug her and dress up and have a sleepover and watch a scary movie. The therapist presented Bliss with a replica of Lilly. He asked how it makes her feel. Bliss sat up quickly and teared up and said, “Lilly.”

-They went to the announcers at ringside. Saxton looked nervous and said, “That doll freaks me out.” Smith threw to a sponsored clip of the Edge & Beth Phoenix win over Miz & Maryse at the Rumble.

-Miz made his ring entrance for his match against Dominik Mysterio next. The announcers asked if Miz can right his ship. Saxton wondered how much shame and embarrassment he’s feeling. Graves said Miz and Maryse “valiantly” battled two Hall of Famers.

-An NXT 2.0 ad aired focused on Trick Williams and Carmelo Hayes. [c]

-Highlights aired of the Rumble.

(2) THE MIZ vs. DOMINIK MYSTERIO (w/Rey Mysterio)

Graves congratulated Rey for being on the cover of the new WWE 2K22 video game. He said it’s exclusive company with Lesnar, John Cena, Steve Austin, and The Rock. Miz had some words for Rey at ringside. The announcers said Miz is jealous and upset that Rey made the cover instead of him. Saxton said it’s always a new complaint from Miz. Dominik set up Miz for an early 619, but Miz avoided it. He then yelled some more at Rey before turning and snapping Dominik’s neck over the ropes. Miz turned and shoved Rey. Back in the ring, Miz took over control against Dominik as Graves said Dominik has a promising future. Miz tripped himself running the ropes and accused Rey at ringside of tripping him. The ref threw Rey out of ringside. Saxton said Rey didn’t touch him. Smith called it a sell job by Miz. Miz then gave a Dominik, who was looking down at his dad, a Skull Crushing Finale for the clean win.

WINNER: Miz in 2:00.

(Keller’s Analysis: No Maryse. Just Miz alone out there. They’ve shifted Miz quickly to a feud with the Mysterios.)

-Backstage Tamina attacked 24/7 Champion Dana Brooke. Gable and Riddle rode past them. Brooke escaped. They had finished 18 laps at that point.

-Kevin Owens made his ring entrance. [c]

-A graphic touted that WWE is no. 1 on TikTok with 15 million followers “and is the number 1 overall most followed sports league.”

-Backstage to Riddle who scootered right up against Omos. Riddle told Omos he never noticed before, but he’s got beautiful eyes. Omos said, “What?!?” Riddle then continued on his way.

-A graphic advertised Ronda Rousey would appear later.

-The KO Show: Owens stood center-ring with two office chairs. He welcomed everyone to The Kevin Owens Show. He talked about the Royal Rumble. He said WrestleMania this year will be the most stupendous of all-time. He said he had a scoop. He said he is in the Elimination Chamber match as soon as he beats “that sheltered, protected, wannabe Superstar, Austin Theory.”


Owens then introduced his guest, Seth Rollins. Seth came out in white pants a glistening ring jacket and sunglasses. Saxton said, “I admit, that is a nice jacket.” Owens offered Seth a chair and said he was surprised he was able to appear on Raw after the attack Reigns dished out with a chair against him two days earlier. Seth agreed to sit. They threw to footage of Reigns vs. Seth at the Rumble. Owens was standing after the clip and said emphatically that Reigns got himself disqualified in order to save his title. He said it was disgusting and shameful. Owens said while he might not officially be the Universal Champion, “you are the Universal Champion of my heart.” Seth thanked Owens and said it means a lot to him. He stood, but was selling that he was in some pain as he stood. He said he acquired a permanent piece of real estate in the brain of Reigns. He said he can go back there anytime, and when he does, he will bring back the Universal Title.

Seth said that’s Smackdown business, but this is Raw. He said it has come to his attention that Lashley is defending his title inside the Chamber in a few weeks. He said he has a special surprise announcement about that match. KO was a little rattled he didn’t have advanced notice. Seth said one of the men who Lashley will be defending against will be him. KO asked if he had to qualify. Seth said he qualified because of his performance at the Rumble. Seth sensed Owens wasn’t happy for him. KO insisted, unconvincingly, he was happy for him.

KO said he just got an idea. He said maybe they could go tell Sonya Deville and Pearce that KO should be included in the Chamber without qualifying or else he’ll walk out of the match. He told Seth he would do it for him. “That’s 100 percent the truth,” he said. Seth said he’d like to believe him, but he sounded skeptical. Austin Theory then made his way to the ring, cutting the KO Show short. Smith said their match is next.

(Keller’s Analysis: If KO screws Seth at some point, perhaps in the Chamber, it might be this moment that KO uses to justify it since Seth clearly wasn’t willing to go along with KO’s unreasonable proposal that he put his slot in the Chamber at risk for him.) [c]

(3) KEVIN OWENS vs. AUSTIN THEORY – Elimination Chamber qualifier

They each took turns on offense early. Theory eventually bailed out to ringside. Owens pursued him and landed a cannonball at ringside against the  barricade. KO re-entered the ring, but then went back after Theory on the floor. Theory kicked KO and then rammed him backwards into the ringside steps. They cut to a break with KO down at ringside. [c]

Back from the break, KO was back in control. KO went for a top rope moonsault, but Theory moved and then landed a blockbuster for a near fall. Theory delivered a neckbreaker over his knee for another two count. KO caught a charging Theory with a superkick and a top rope flip senton for a believable near fall. Theory caught up with KO on the top rope, but KO blocked his superplex and then cradle suplexed Theory to the mat for a near fall. Theory put his boot on the bottom rope for a near fall. Theory again rolled to ringside. KO threw him into the ringside steps and set up a Pop-up Powerbomb. Theory slipped out of his grip and then caught KO with an ATL back in the ring for the three count.

WINNER: Theory in 12:00.

(Keller’s Analysis: Good match, and the push for Theory continues with a big TV win here. KO’s jealousy of Seth getting “gifted” a place in the Chamber is going to fester now. Theory continues to look like he belongs in the ring with top talent like KO.)

-The Street Profits were encouraging Riddle to swig a drink out of their red Solo cup. Riddle said that’s definitely not a sport drink, then scootered away. Gable asked for a cup. Angelo Dawkins drank in front of him. Otis showed up with a cup. Gable thanked him, but then spit it out. Gable asked, “What is that, steak sauce?” Otis said of course. Gable scootered away. They were on lap 39 out of 50.

(Keller’s Analysis: I love the idea that Otis drinks steak sauce out of a red solo cup for refreshment. That’s very on-brand.)

-The Street Profits ring entrance took place. [c]


Ziggler came out without Robert Roode, but the ring announcer said he was “representing the Dirty Dawgs.” Graves said Ziggler has taken on a role of a gate keeper. He said you can never count him out, though, because he might decide he wants to be on the top of the card again. Smith said the guys in the locker room know how good Ziggler is. Ziggler landed a sudden immediate running high knee for an early near fall. Ziggler got cocky, then charged at Dawkins. Dawkins punched Ziggler out of mid-air. Ford cheered at ringside. Dawkins splashed Ziggler in the corner, then landed a leaping bulldog for a two count. Saxton said it’d be a big career moment to beat Ziggler one-on-one. Ziggler rolled up Dawkins in what Smith called “a veteran move” for a two count. Ziggler landed a leaping DDT on Dawkins, with Dawkins’ head landing on Ziggler’s ribs while Ziggler’s knee torqued a bit. Ziggler was fine and made a quick cover on Dawkins. Ziggler went for a running superkick, but Dawkins countered with an underhook twisting suplex for a three count.

WINNER: Dawkins in 5:00.

(Keller’s Analysis: The commentators told the story of Dawkins being the underdog here, and framed his potential win as a big statement for him. I’m not sure if that’s worth reading into or just was something for them to talk about. Ziggler was good, as usual, and Dawkins kept up with nicely.)

-They showed Riddle and Gable side-by-side. Riddle rode past the cotton candy stand and hit Gable with one. They were on lap 49. Smith said they have to cross a line in front of their desk. Graves the only game that matters is WWE 2K22. Saxton threw to a video package on the new game. [c]

-Another Veer Mahan vignette aired. He said he’s been patient like a lion, waiting and watching, biding his time, and now the hunter has spotted his prey. “Soon I will strike.”

-Patrick interviewed R-Truth at ringside right at the finish line for the scooter race. Truth excitedly held a big black and white flag. Patrick asked who he thinks he will win. Truth said, “The Bengals.” Fans cheered.

-Riddle and Gable rode down the ramp. Gable fell at the bottom and clutched his knee in pain. Riddle was about to cross the line when Otis showed up and knocked him off the scooter. Gable stood back on the scooter and made his way past Riddle, then circled him, and then crossed the line to win. Otis kissed him Gable on the cheek. Riddle entered the ring and called Gable a cheater. “Not cool, man,” he said. Gable shhh’d him. Gable asked if his cauliflower ears deceive him “or are you calling me a cheater.” He said they all know he has never cheated at anything in his life. He said he didn’t cheat to make the Olympic team or graduate with a 4.0 GPA. He said since Riddle pissed him off and ran his scooter into his prized pupil, he will get a match he wants, but it’ll be against Otis, not him. [c]

(5) OTIS vs. RIDDLE – Elimination Chamber qualifier

As Riddle vs. Otis was about to begin, Pearce said this match will be contested as an Elimination Chamber qualifying match. (Storyline-wise, what was the other qualifying match going to be if this impromptu match didn’t occur?) Otis dominated Riddle with one powerful collision after another. Riddle must’ve been worn out from doing 50 laps around the arena on a scooter! Otis kicked Riddle in the ribs, sending him to the floor. Graves said he might get counted out. Gable taunted Riddle. Riddle crawled back to the ring apron and then flipped over Otis, but Otis knocked him down a second later. Riddle took a great flying bump. Otis went back to battering Riddle in the chest and twisting his head. Otis landed a running elbowdrop next. Riddle managed a brief rally, but when he charged off the ropes, Otis knocked him out of mid-air. Graves compared it to a Ferrari hitting a redwood.


A minute later Riddle ducked Otis and hit two ripcord knees. Otis went down. Riddle leaped off the top rope with a Floating Bro onto Otis’s knee. Graves said that could neutralize Otis’s base to throw Riddle around. Riddle went for an RKO next, but Otis pushed him off. Riddle then landed a quick Floating Bro onto a standing Otis and scored the three count after the landing.

WINNER: Riddle in 7:00.

(Keller’s Analysis: Really fun match. Otis dominated so fiercely for so long, it seemed like Riddle was going to get the win, but Otis did look impressive even if ultimately he lost.)

-Rey was warming up for his match against Styles. Dominik was massaging his shoulders. Smith said this could be a Premium Live Event main event, but it’s next on Raw. Graves said to get ready for a classic.

-As Bianca Belair made her ring entrance, the commentators touted how long Belair lasted in the Rumble. Carmella then made her entrance. Saxton said Carmella didn’t even last a minute. They cut to a break before the bell. [c]

-Rumble freeze-frames highlights aired.


The bell had yet to ring, so the women had to stand in the ring during that entire break. Carmella went to ringside to get her protective mask put on before the bell. Belair controlled early. Carmella yanked Belair into the corner turnbuckle. The corner mic picked up on Belair calling the spot verbally. Carmella took over and then strutted around the ring. Carmella settled into a chinlock. Belair eventually came back with a KOD for the clean win.

WINNER: Belair in 6:00.

(Keller’s Analysis: Just a good basic showcase win for Belair here.)

-A replay aired of Bliss reacting emotionally to a replica Lilly doll. [c]

-The Bliss therapy session continued. Bliss told Lilly she missed her so much. The therapist said it’s not the real Lilly, it’s a replica he bought on WWEShop.com. He got the plug in for the website. Bliss hugged Lilly and cried.

-Patrick said they look forward to having Bliss back on Raw soon. He then interviewed Otis and Gable. Patrick said they had a crucial victory in the Academic Challenge earlier. They replayed Otis knocking Riddle off his scooter near the finish line followed by Riddle’s revenge in a match against Otis. Gable laughed hysterically after the clip. “Of course I won the race; I’m a freakin’ Olympian,” he said. He said next week will be a Quiz Bowl, and RK-Bro will lose that Bowl just like the Bengals will lose their big Bowl game coming up, and then they can kiss their title rematch goodbye.

-They went to the announcers at ringside who reacted to Gable. Smith said the X Factor at the Rumble was Lesnar. They replayed him appearing earlier. They showed the five established wrestlers in the Chamber so far, with the final one to be determined next.

-Styles made his ring entrance. Smith said he has goosebumps about this match-up. [c]

(7) A.J. STYLES vs. REY MYSTERIO – Elimination Chamber qualifier

As Rey made his entrance, Smith really laid it on thick that this could be a PLE main event any week of the year, but it’s here on Raw tonight. The announcers also really talked up Styles as a potential WrestleMania main eventer, more motivated after going back to singles competition lately. After several minutes of back and forth action, Rey knocked Styles to the floor. Rey slid at Styles from the ring with a splash attempt, but Styles lifted his knees. Rey countered Styles into a huracanrana into the barricade at ringside. They cut to a break. [c]

Back from the break, Rey fought back against Styles and landed a tornado DDT. Both were down and slow to get up. A few minutes later, Styles avoided a 619 and then went for a Phenomenal Forearm, but Rey ducked. Rey avoided a Calf Crusher and then kicked Styles. Smith said they know each other’s moves. Rey crawled over and got a two count. Rey set up a top rope huracanrana, but Styles blocked it and set up a Styles Clash. Rey blocked that. He then head scissored Styles into position for a 619 and then landed it. He followed up by climbing to the top rope, but Styles avoided it. Rey surprised Styles with a crucifix for a near fall. Styles then landed a Pelé kick. He set up a powerbomb, but Styles reversed it mid-move and landed on Styles’s chest. He then leaped off the top rope, but Styles rolled through and hit a Styles Clash for the three count.

WINNER: Styles in 12:00.

(Keller’s Analysis: Really good match with believable near falls and a lot of well-executed big spots and counter moves.)

-More highlights aired of the Rumble, with a focus on the women. Smith plugged Rousey’s first appearance on Raw in years was next. [c]

-Saxton announced Eric Bischoff would be guest hosting Raw Talk.

-Ronda Rousey made her ring entrance. They showed the crowd. Some reacted excitedly, but about half did not or reacted very slowly. Rousey came out without much expression of human emotion and entered the ring. She broke into a tease of a smile before being handed a mic. They were 52 minutes into the show at this point. She looked at the WrestleMania sign (which, it should be noted, was not on fire.) She said she’s been debating since Saturday whose title she wants to take at WrestleMania. “Charlotte’s or Rebecca’s?” She said she has unfinished business with both. She said her attention would be a compliment Becky doesn’t deserve because the biggest fight for any woman at any time is always with her. She said Becky’s stagnating title reign isn’t her problem. She said she could choose Charlotte just to prove that Becky is still on her undercard. She said then Charlotte and “Rebecca” will know “that the baddest Big Time Bitch is me.” She dropped the mic. Becky’s music played.

Becky walked out, smiling, wearing something difficult to describe. She said, “Ronda, you little weirdo, I missed ya’.” She said she is using her “government name.” She said it’s nice to see she hasn’t changed. She said she loses credibility saying she’s on her undercard since she has never been able to beat her. She said she wouldn’t blame her if she wanted to start with an appetizer with a match with Charlotte, but she’s game if she wants to start with the main course. She told her to decide soon because the women’s division has never been hotter because of her, and she’d like to know who she’s going to beat soon. She asked Rousey for her decision. She pointed the mic at Becky. Rousey grabbed her arm and threw her to the mat. Rousey said, “You’ll have my answer on Friday.” Rousey marched to the back. Becky said apparently Rousey is scared of her “or maybe she just wanted to get out of Cincinnati as much as I do.” Fans booed that. She said she can run, but she can’t hide.

Lita then walked out to her music. Lita said she is so rude. Becky said she’s been saying Rousey is rude for the past four years. Lita said she is the GOAT and she shouldn’t be talking to her that way. Lita said from the day she met Becky, she knew she would be great. Becky said she was a fan of hers since she was a kid and even got in trouble for wearing her thong outside of her clothes. Lita said Becky never backs down from a challenge. Becky asked suspiciously what she was getting at. Lita suggested a match against Becky at Elimination Chamber. Becky stammered, “Uh, no.” Fans booed. Lita said she said she never backs down from a challenge. Becky said that’s out of context and doesn’t apply right now. Lita said it’s a lot of work defending her championship, and if she’s scared, just say so. Becky said she is many things, but one of them is not scared. Becky agreed to the match. Lita’s music played and she left the ring as Becky soaked up what she just agreed to with a sense of concern.

(Keller’s Analysis: Rousey is awkward, and the crowd just didn’t seem all that into her. Two months of this could be awkward and reduce Rousey’s marketability even more unless WWE has some good ideas for her. The novelty of seeing her seems diminished and her MMA days are far gone and were already brittle because of what a poor sport she was after losing. Lita is coming back for a big payday that will probably top some of her full year’s worth of WWE income during her peak years. She deserves it since the big women’s paydays came after her prime years, but she was a big part of moving things forward. Becky was good here in her role and has a true babyface to play off of now.)

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