Monday Night Raw
Date: February 7, 2022
Location: Ball Arena, Denver, Colorado
Commentators: Jim Smith, Byron Saxton, Corey Graves
We have less than two weeks to go before Elimination Chamber and a lot of the big matches are set. Since this is Raw, we have two Elimination Chamber matches set up, plus Becky Lynch vs. Lita, as Smackdown doesn’t seem all that important this month. Tonight is a special show since we are on SyFy due to the Winter Olympics, so we have NO COMMERCIALS in the first hour. I’m thrilled too. Let’s get to it.
We open big with the final round of the Academic Challenge between RKBro and the Alpha Academy. This time around, it’s a Quiz Bowl competition and after looking at the spelling bee/scooter race being split, we’re ready to go. Chad Gable explains the rules: it’s one point per question and if you get it wrong, the other team gets to steal. One point per answer, first to give points wins.
Alpha Academy gets the history question (who was the first President with a college degree) right but Riddle evens it up in biology (how many hearts does an octopus have). They trade Greek Mythology (who flew too close to the sun) and Cartoons (which Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle used nunchucks) and it’s tied at two. Otis knows that Texas is the biggest of the 48 continental states but Riddle doesn’t know whose father-in-law Justin Bieber is. Randy guesses Alec Baldwin (of the four Baldwin choices) and gets it wrong, only for Gable to steal the point (with Stephen Baldwin) and goes up 4-2.
Film And Literature doesn’t go so well as Gable thinks Romeo and Juliet has been made into more films than Hamlet. Riddle knows it though and it’s 4-3. Orton picks Sports and gets a question about the Denver Broncos, which the fans help him get right. With the score tied at 4-4, Gable insults the fans and gets the final category of Metric Conversions. Gable doesn’t know how many grams are in an ounce, but Orton gets it right for the win. Gable goes into a huge rant and keeps getting buzzed. Cue the Street Profits to say Alpha Academy owes RKBro a title shot, but Gable wants a match right now.
Alpha Academy vs. Street Profits
Non-title. Ford strikes away at Gable to start and everything breaks down early on. Gable kicks Ford out to the apron for a breather and it’s Otis coming in to slow it down a bit. The big splash crushes Ford and it’s off to the neck crank to make it worse. A running splash in the corner connects but Ford avoids a second to send Otis into the post.
The double tag brings in Dawkins to slug away at Gable. Dawkins hits a running splash in the corner and grabs a t-bone suplex for a bonus. Otis has to make a save so Ford hits a big running flip dive to take him down on the floor. That leaves Gable to pull Dawkins into the ankle lock and the counter gives Gable the pin at 5:37.
Rating: C+. Both teams looked good here and the counter into the clean pin was a nice way to go. Gable and Otis get some extra momentum on the way to whenever they have to defend their titles against RKBro. Good for a fast TV match though and I’ll take what I can get from something like that on Raw.
Video on Lita.
MVP brings out Bobby Lashley, complete with his own Paul Heyman style intro. Hometown boy Lashley gets the kind of reception that you would expect and MVP talks about how Lashley took the title from Brock Lesnar. Then Lesnar won the Royal Rumble and has earned another shot at Wrestlemania. Well done, but now he wants in the Elimination Chamber as well, which is pure fantasy.
Lesnar is in the match but taking the title from Lashley is pure fantasy. Lashley says THE CHAMP LIVES HERE before talking about how Lesnar disrespected him. Last week Lesnar came to the show and said he wanted to get into the chamber. What Lesnar doesn’t realize is that he’ll be locked inside with Lashley. After the Elimination Chamber, Lashley is going to Wrestlemania with his title. Pretty simple and to the point promo here.
We look at Alexa Bliss getting her (replica) Lily doll last week.
This week, Bliss seems to love the doll but hands it over to the therapist, leaving her in tears.
Damian Priest vs. AJ Styles
Non-title. Styles ducks some shots in the corner and chops away before getting dropped with a jumping elbow to the jaw. Priest is sent outside for a slingshot forearm but comes right back with a running clothesline inside. Styles slips out of a superplex and has to escape the Reckoning.
The Styles Clash is broken up as well so Styles hits a fireman’s carry backbreaker for two. A kick to the head staggers Styles though and a bulldog driver gets two. Another exchange of strikes to the head goes to Styles…but Priest falls on top of him for two anyway. That was a bit odd but Priest is fine enough to break up the Phenomenal Forearm. AJ is right back with the Phenomenal Forearm for the pin at 4:55.
Rating: B-. For those of you keeping track, that is Priest’s third straight singles loss and fifth out of six singles matches. I would really like to believe that WWE isn’t cooling off on him but that seems to be the situation at the moment. Other than that, we had a good match here with Styles getting a win before he moves on to a bigger match. I’m sure the only way to build him up was a win over the United States Champion too.
Seth Rollins mocks Kevin Owens for not making it into the Elimination Chamber but Owens thinks he might be lying. That’s a negative from Rollins, who laughs a lot.
It’s time for MizTV with Maryse here with Miz. They waste no time in bringing out the Mysterios as this week’s guests (with Miz and Maryse dancing during the entrance). Miz mocks Dominik for losing last week and puts his hand up to silence the crowd. Of course Miz didn’t cheat to win last week, unlike Edge and Beth Phoenix at the Royal Rumble.
Miz talks about how he used the Money in the Bank contract to become WWE Champion last year but the fans still think he is a cheater. Somehow though, Rey Mysterio is on the cover of WWE2K22 instead of the Miz. What does Rey have that Miz or Maryse doesn’t? Maryse thinks she was great at the Rumble and thinks Rey should call himself Rey Marysesterio. Dominik gets in Miz’s face and the rematch is on. Miz likes the guts, and thinks Dominik is Eddie Guerrero’s son.
Dominik Mysterio vs. Miz
Dominik starts fast by taking Miz down but Maryse breaks up the 619. That’s enough for an ejection, but Miz kicks Dominik in the face anyway. The referee gets rid of Maryse so Rey trips Miz, allowing Dominik to grab the pin at 1:40.
Post match Dominik does the Eddie Guerrero dance to celebrate.
Nikki Ash vs. Bianca Belair
Belair, whose hair is a bit more down this week, runs her over to start and does her dance. The delay lets Nikki tie Belair’s leg up in the ropes and put on a half crab. That’s broke up and Belair hits a fall away slam into some slams, albeit with some limping. Some rolling suplexes get two on Nikki but she’s back with a tornado DDT; Belair catches her with a kick in the corner though and it’s the KOD to finish Nikki at 3:57.
Rating: C. The selling was pretty good, though maybe Belair stopping to dance while selling the leg wasn’t the best look. Belair is great at the athleticism but she goes with that dance WAY too much. Other than that, Nikki’s crash continues, but at least she got in some offense here. She is just going to be cannon fodder in the chamber, but this could have been more of a squash.
The 24/7 chase continues, with Dana Brooke saying Reggie is such a sweet guy. She kisses him on the cheek, but says they’re really good friends. They hug, with Reggie teasing a regular kiss before the 24/7 goons chase them off.
Kevin Owens vs. Austin Theory
Theory goes intense to start and stomps him down in the corner, followed by a hard whip into another corner. Back up and Owens sends him into the corner, setting up a trip to the floor. A flip dive off the steps crushes Theory and we take a break. Back with Owens hitting a Cannonball to send Theory outside.
The frog splash off the apron crushes Theory for two back inside but they trade finisher escapes. Owens’ spinning superplex is broken up so he settles for a super Regal Roll. The Swanton only hits raised knees but Owens blocks a rolling something with a superkick. Owens Stuns him for the pin at 9:00.
Rating: C+. They were packing in a good bit of action here, which is partially due to Owens dropping some weight in recent months. He has been moving better as a result and the matches have improved as well. Theory losing again is likely to make Vince McMahon angry, which could make for another step forward. Given McMahon’s interactions, it would seem that Theory has a perfectly fine future and that’s nice to see.
Randy Orton gives Riddle a pep talk/advice for the Elimination Chamber but tells him to focus on Seth Rollins tonight. Riddle is grateful and even invites Orton to a celebratory toga party next week. Orton seems ready to shake his head.
Veer Mahaan is still coming.
Here is Lita for a chat. She was fired up to get to be in the Royal Rumble with some of the biggest stars today. Then she showed up on Raw to challenge Becky Lynch, because she has been wanting that match for a long time. Cue Lynch to say how much that means to her. She has wanted to be Lita for so long but now that she is the champ, there is need for Lita.
Lynch is the star around here and now Lita shows up around the most important time of the year asking for a title shot? Lita talks about how she was some punk rock kid who chased her dreams. The people made her a four time Women’s Champion, but Lynch says Lita can keep the people. The fight is on with Becky getting the better of things but making the mistake of going back. That means a Twist of Fate into the Litasault to leave Becky laying. Lita still isn’t a great talker, but they both got the point across here.
Kevin Owens comes up to Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville about taking Austin Theory’s place in the Elimination Chamber. That isn’t happening, because last week’s qualifying matches were final. Owens wants to go to Wrestlemania as WWE Champion and talks about how much Texas means to him. He basically begs but nothing is said.
Liv Morgan vs. Doudrop
Doudrop goes with the power to start so Morgan tries the eternally bad idea of trying a choke. Morgan gets driven into the corner though and we take a break. Back with Doudrop hitting the backsplash but Morgan manages to fight up. A series of strikes rock Doudrop and the springboard spinning Codebreaker gets two. Morgan’s hurricanrana is countered into an electric chair faceplant for a near fall, followed by the Vader Bomb to crush Morgan for the pin at 8:09.
Rating: C-. Call it a hunch, but the fact that Morgan is clearly on the downside of her big push made it clear that she was losing here. The fact that Doudrop has already lost her title shot doesn’t matter. Morgan’s time near the title is over and that is kind of a shame, as the fans seemed ready to go with her, but that doesn’t seem to be happening anytime soon.
We look at Alexa Bliss’ therapy earlier.
And now, more of Bliss’ therapy. She has been trying to control her anger but might have beaten up a woman (who looked like Lily) at the grocery store. The therapist thinks they have more work to do.
Seth Rollins has done everything but headline Wrestlemania as WWE Champion so he’ll have to win the title in the Elimination Chamber.
Seth Rollins vs. Riddle
Rollins throws him down to start but Riddle grabs an early armbar. With that broken up, Rollins takes it outside for a buckle bomb against the barricade and we take a break. Back with Riddle fighting out of a chinlock but getting caught with an Alberto top rope double stomp instead. Riddle blocks a clothesline with a kick to the head though and the forearms in the corner rock Rollins again. Riddle sends him outside for the apron kick to the chest and a springboard Floating Bro. Cue Kevin Owens to jump Riddle for the DQ at 7:49.
Rating: C. This was starting to get going before the ending, which was a good way to protect both of them. I’m not sure how much sense it makes to have either of the people in a World Title match so this could have been a lot worse. That being said, I think you can guess what is coming in the rest of the show.
Post match the beatdown is on until Randy Orton runs in for the save and let’s do that tag match thing.
RKBro vs. Kevin Owens/Seth Rollins
Joined in progress with Orton working on Rollins and taking him outside for a drop onto the announcers’ table. Back in and it’s off to Riddle but Owens comes in off a blind tag and takes over. The backsplash gets two on Riddle and Owens mocks Orton a bit for a bonus. Rollins adds a top rope ax handle and an elbow to the jaw cuts off the comeback bid.
A double stomp gives Owens two and there’s a heck of a chop in the corner. Rollins misses the big frog splash and Riddle’s jumping knee drops Owens. There’s the hot tag to Orton to start cleaning house but Rollins blocks the RKO. It’s back to Riddle, who gets caught with a rolling elbow to the face. Another one to the back of the head sets up the Stomp for the pin at 8:05.
Rating: C+. There are your #1 contenders, who managed to get a title shot and then lose a match in the span of about two and a half hours. I know the Tag Team Titles don’t mean anything but could they at least pretend like they matter? Rollins getting a win means more and his story is more important, though you would think they might have a better idea on how to do this.
Post match Orton hits Owens with an RKO to blow off some steam and end the show.
Overall Rating: C-. The word “bleh” comes to mind with this one, as it felt like a bunch of filling in time before we get to the important stuff next Saturday. That makes for a really dull three hours, with the extra fifteen minutes without commercials in the first hour making it worse. There was good action here, but it was more 50/50 booking and people not getting much of anywhere. I want to see how Elimination Chamber goes but they aren’t making the build to it all that thrilling.
Alpha Academy b. Street Profits – Rollup to Dawkins
AJ Styles b. Damian Priest – Phenomenal Forearm
Dominik Mysterio b. Miz – Rollup
Bianca Belair b. Nikki Ash – KOD
Kevin Owens b. Austin Theory – Stunner
Doudrop b. Liv Morgan -Vader Bomb
Riddle b. Seth Rollins via DQ when Kevin Owens interfered
Seth Rollins/Kevin Owens b. RKBro – Stomp to Riddle
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