By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
WWE Raw (Episode 1,447)
Live from Tampa, Florida at Tropicana Field
Aired February 15, 2021 on USA Network
[Hour One] The Raw opening aired… The broadcast team of Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton, and Samoa Joe checked in and hyped the Elimination Chamber match for the WWE Championship…
The Miz made his entrance to host Miz TV. Miz introduced WWE Champion Drew McIntyre as his guest. Once McIntyre was in the ring, Miz spoke about the Elimination Chamber match and also played up the question of why Sheamus decided to Brogue Kick his longtime friend.
McIntyre eventually told the rambling Miz to shut the hell up. Miz, who was taunting McIntyre by calling him Andy, stood up and claimed he meant no disrespect. McIntyre issued a warning, then dropped Miz with a Glasgow Kiss headbutt. McIntyre grabbed the Money in the Bank briefcase and threw it to the stage area. McIntyre left the ring while Miz was down on the mat.
Once McIntyre was backstage, Miz regrouped and spoke about how he might cash in the Money in the Bank contract. Miz claimed that he is in control. Miz said that whether it’s the WWE Championship or the WWE Universal Championship, he will stand in the ring as a champion. Miz announced that he was removing himself from the Elimination Chamber match…
Phillips hyped Riddle, Lince Dorado, and Gran Metalik vs. MVP, Cedric Alexander, and Shelton Benjamin for after the break… An ad for Wednesday’s NXT television show spotlighted the Adam Cole attack, and the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic winners… [C]
Powell’s POV: I wish there was a reason to take Miz seriously as a threat to win one of the world championships, but he’s been defined down so badly that his words feel empty. On the bright side, they opened up a spot in the Elimination Chamber match, so hopefully they do something interesting to fill it.
A video package recapped Bobby Lashley destroying Riddle and Keith Lee last week…
1. Riddle, Lince Dorado, and Gran Metalik vs. MVP, Cedric Alexander, and Shelton Benjamin. Before the match, Riddle was spoke with the Lucha House Party debut about President’s Day being his favorite holiday. He said Harrison Ford was his favorite president because he saved Chewbacca. They did a handshake before LHP headed to the ring, then Riddle said, “Definitely a Freebird guy.”
Bobby Lashley was shown watching on a backstage monitor [C] MVP performed his Ballin’ elbow on Riddle and went for the pin, but Dorado and Metalik broke it up. Alexander and Benjamin ran in and fought with LHP to ringside. Riddle ended up hitting a Floating Bro on MVP and then pinning him.
Riddle, Lince Dorado, and Gran Metalik beat MVP, Cedric Alexander, and Shelton Benjamin in 10:10.
Afterward, Riddle, Dorado, and Metalik celebrated near the ramp. Lashley ran out and attacked them. Lashley put Riddle in the Hurt Lock and left all of the babyfaces lying…
Backstage, The Miz told Adam Pearce that he wanted a young and up and coming attraction to take his spot in the Elimination Chamber. Miz said it should be John Morrison. Pearce told him that he would take it into consideration…
An ad for Smackdown hyped Kevin Owens, Daniel Bryan, and Cesaro vs. Jey Uso, King Corbin, and Sami Zayn in a six-man tag match… [C]
Powell’s POV: Just in case you didn’t know, Riddle can’t hang with Lashley. It’s repetitive and it’s not a great way to build up Sunday’s U.S. Title match, but Lashley’s domination makes sense if they are setting him up as the challenger for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania. Meanwhile, Pearce’s facial expression after Miz left the room seemed to suggest that he won’t be going with Morrison in the Chamber match.
Phillips thanked The Pretty Reckless for the Elimination Chamber theme song… The broadcast team narrated footage of last week’s match between Damian Priest and Angel Garza, which included Bad Bunny getting the better of Miz and Morrison…
Backstage, Mandy Rose told Bad Bunny that he was amazing at the Rumble. She showed him her Bad Bunny shirt. Bad Bunny checked out Rose as she walked away, and then Damian Priest showed up. Sarah Schreiber interviewed Priest and Bunny, and Priest noted that Bad Bunny will be the musical guest on this week’s Saturday Night Live.
The interview was interrupted by Akira Tozawa pinning R-Truth to win the WWE 24/7 Championship. Tozawa stood up and backed into Priest, who ran him into some production crates. Bad Bunny covered Tozawa and pinned him to win the WWE 24/7 Championship. As Bunny and Priest were walking away, Truth told Bunny to take care of his “baby” and told him to tell Lorne Michaels to start taking his calls…
Backstage, Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods approached Pearce. Kingston made his pitch as a former WWE Champion to replace Miz in the Elimination Chamber match. Miz showed up and it led to bickering. Pearce told them to calm down. Pearce booked The Miz vs. Kingston. If Miz wins, Morrison is in the Chamber match, but if Kingston wins then he’s in the Chamber match instead. The New Day duo taunted Miz about The Marine movies until he stormed away…
Phillips hyped Asuka and Charlotte Flair vs. Lacey Evans and Peyton Royce for after the break… [C]
Powell’s POV: I wonder if former WrestleMania celebrities Colin Jost and/or Michael Che will end up temporarily taking the 24/7 Championship from Bad Bunny on the SNL set sometime this week. Also, I like Kingston and he was booked horribly when he lost the title to Brock Lesnar, but I really wish they were using the Chamber to build up a fresh face. If Kingston wins, they will be replacing a 40 year-old former champion with a 39 year-old former champion.
A graphic boasted that WWE’s TikTok channel topped 10 million followers… An Elimination Chamber video aired…
Entrances for the tag match took place. Lacey Evans spoke thanked Charlotte Flair for getting herself disqualified last week, which gave her the Raw Women’s Championship match at Elimination Chamber. Evans and Peyton Royce showed off a heart candy that read “Bite Me” as their gift for Charlotte. Evans said Asuka would give her the gift of the Raw Women’s Championship on Sunday… [C]
2. Asuka and Charlotte Flair vs. Peyton Royce and Lacey Evans (w/Ric Flair). Asuka got the better of Royce to start the match.
[Hour Two] Charlotte tagged in and immediately ran Royce to her corner in hopes of getting Evans to tag in. Evans whispered to Royce, who remained in the match. Later, Evans was tagged into the match by Royce.
Evans dropped off the apron and went to the entrance aisle with Ric. “You’re not putting your hands on me,” Evans said. “Charlotte, I’m pregnant.” Ric wooooed, strutted, and danced as they headed to the back.
Asuka and Charlotte Flair fought Peyton Royce and Lacey Evans to an apparent no-contest.
Powell’s POV: I believe the no-contest pregnancy finish was first used by Jim Londos and Ed “Strangler” Lewis at Wrigley Field in 1934, but I could be mistaken.
Sheamus was interviewed by Charly Caruso on the backstage ring set. She asked him about how winning the gauntlet match would make him the odds on favorite. Sheamus complained about not getting the singles match and instead being one of six men in the match. He said he would win the gauntlet match, be the sixth entrant in the Chamber match, and beat a broken McIntyre to win the WWE Championship. He also played up the possibility that McIntyre would be eliminated from the match by the time he entered…
Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods made their entrance… [C] The broadcast team recapped the Evans pregnancy announcement and spotlighted Charlotte’s look of disbelief… The Miz made his entrance…
3. Kofi Kingston vs. The Miz. The stipulation for the match is that Kingston would get the final spot in the Elimination Chamber match with a win, whereas John Morrison would take the final spot with a Miz win. Miz avoided an early Trouble in Paradise attempt by Kingston.
As Kingston worked over Miz, a Lana vs. Shayna Baszler graphic hyped their match for later in the show. Miz came back briefly, but Kingston cut him off quickly. Kingston leapt from the ropes and threw a nice dropkick that led to a near fall. Miz came back with a neckbreaker on the apron, then performed another that pulled Kingston to the floor. [C]
Miz spiked Kingston with a DDT to take offensive control. They went to ringside where Miz slammed Kingston’s head onto the broadcast table, then dropped him onto the barricade. Miz rolled Kingston back inside the ring and performed a double axe-handle from the top rope, which led to a two count.
Kingston came back briefly and dove at Miz in the corner, but Miz moved and Kingston hit his head on the ring post. Miz dropped Kingston with a kick and covered him for a two count. Kingston came back with a standing stomp to the chest of Miz. Kingston hit an SOS for a near fall.
Kingston went for a top rope cross body block, but Miz rolled through and got a two count. Miz caught Kingston on the ropes and wrenched his knee. Miz applied a figure four until Kingston reached the ropes. Kingston came back with a Trouble In Paradise kick and scored the clean pin…
Kofi Kingston defeated The Miz in 14:10 to earn a spot in the Elimination Chamber match.
Powell’s POV: The match was rough early with a lot of light, particularly when Kingston was on the offensive. Fortunately, the match got better as they went deeper. It’s odd that John Morrison has not appeared tonight despite the fact that the match was billed as giving him a potential shot at replacing Miz in the Elimination Chamber match.
The broadcast team recapped the “My Hole” moment from last week’s Lana vs. Nia Jax match…
Lana and Naomi were interviewed on the ring set by Schreiber. Lana spoke about trying to do her best. She said Naomi is her lucky charm. Naomi said that Jax deserved to go through the table after everything she put Lana through and worked in a “whole lot more” line…
Saxton hyped Lana vs. Baszler for after the break… [C] An ad aired for Dwayne Johnson’s “Young Rock” premiere for Tuesday night (it was not a WWE ad)… Phillips touted Bad Bunny appearing as the musical guest on SNL. Saxton mentioned that Jost and Che wouldn’t mind being 24/7 Champions too… An Elimination Chamber video package aired…
Backstage, Randy Orton said the business between him and Drew McIntyre remains unfinished after Sheamus interfered last week. He said it’s okay because he would win the gauntlet match and the Elimination match.
Orton’s promo was cut off by Contra Unit, er, an Alexa Bliss video. Images of The Fiend being burnt alive flashed, and she had spooky colored contact lenses. Bliss said he was destroyed in the fire, but in the future he will be reborn. They cut to a camera above her that showed she was sitting inside a pentagram with candles in each corner. Bliss laughed maniacally…
Lana and Naomi walked out hand in hand for Lana’s entrance… [C] Phillips touted the premiere of “Young Rock” on NBC for Tuesday at 7CT/8ET. A teaser for the new show aired with Rock answering some questions asked by fellow actor Randall Park… Baszler and Jax made their entrance…
4. Shayna Baszler (w/Nia Jax) vs. Lana (w/Naomi). Phillips acknowledged Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzalez earned a WWE Women’s Tag Title shot at NXT Takeover the night before. Baszler was dominant to start. Lana hit Baszler in the face. Baszler smiled, then clotheslined Lana and covered her for a two count.
At ringside, Jax went after Naomi and ended up tossing her into the apron and then into the ringside barricade. Jax hoisted up Naomi, who slipped away and dropkicked Jax into the ring post. Baszler grabbed Naomi from the ring, but Lana rolled her up for a two count. Baszler came right back and applied the Kirifuda Clutch and got the submission win…
Shayna Baszler defeated Lana in 4:20.
Powell’s POV: Wow, they didn’t make Baszler look bad this week. I’m sure the creative forces will do their best to make up for it next week.
Braun Strowman approached Adam Pearce in the backstage area and told him that he better have a damn good reason that he’s not in the Elimination Chamber match. Pearce tried to leave, but Strowman stopped him. Pearce said they filled the Chamber match with former WWE Champions. Strowman pointed out that he’s a former WWE Universal Champion. Strowman told Pearce to let Shane McMahon know that he better make it right “or it’s not going to be pretty around here”…
AJ Styles and Omos made their entrance for the gauntlet match… [C]
Powell’s POV: Congratulations are in order for Lacey Evans, who is legitimately pregnant, according to Mike Johnson of PWInsider. Meanwhile, is WWE starting the build to Shane jumping off a tall structure onto Strowman for WrestleMania? Either way, it’s good to see that Strowman seems to be feeling better after releasing an Instagram video last week in which he stated that he’d been battling a blood infection.
[Hour Three] Styles delivered a promo while Omos stood next to him. Styles told Kofi Kingston to be positive about his experience in the gauntlet match. Styles said it was like a warmup for him. Styles referenced Joseph Park and said they ran the numbers and Styles can’t lose. Kingston made his entrance. Xavier Woods came to ringside with him…
5. Drew McIntyre vs. Sheamus vs. AJ Styles vs. Randy Orton vs. Jeff Hardy vs. Kofi Kingston in a gauntlet match to enter last in the Elimination Chamber match. Styles and Kingston started the match. Phillips pointed out that Kingston was favoring his knee after his match with The Miz. Styles targeted Kingston’s bad knee.
Kingston came back and performed a Trust Fall dive onto Styles at ringside. Woods played his trombone until Omos grabbed him by the throat and held him up in the air. Omos dumped Woods over the barricade. Kingston confronted Omos. The referee ejected Omos. Kingston checked on Woods while Styles protested. Styles turned his attention back to Kingston and clipped his bad leg. [C]
Styles continued to target the knee. Styles hit the Phenomenal Forearm and scored the pin to eliminate Kingston from the match.
Kofi Kingston was eliminated by AJ Styles in 11:05.
Drew McIntyre made a quick entrance and went right to work on Styles. McIntyre threw a big boot to the head of Styles, who was on the apron. [C] McIntyre dominated until he went for his finisher and Styles beat him to the punch with a dropkick. Styles worked over McIntyre head into another break. [C]
As the match continued, Phillips hyped Bobby Lashley, Shayna Baszler, Nia Jax, and MVP for Raw Talk. He said they also hope to get the winner of the gauntlet match on the show.
Powell’s POV: They may have spoiled the outcome when they sent out the email listing for Raw, which included one of the gauntlet entrants as a Raw Talk guest. However, they also listed Asuka rather than Baszler and Jax, so perhaps plans changed. I’ll let you know afterward if the winner is the person who was advertised to avoid the potential spoiler for those who don’t want to know anything in advance.
Styles caught McIntyre in the Calf Crusher. McIntyre broke the hold by slamming Styles’ head into the mat. Phillips said Styles had been competing in the match for over 29 minutes (true). Styles went for his finisher, but McIntyre avoided it. Styles rolled through and charged at McIntyre, who shoved him toward the ropes. Styles hit the ropes hard, then stood up, took a Claymore Kick, and was pinned.
AJ Styles was eliminated by Drew McIntyre in 30:15.
Jeff Hardy was the next entrant. A pre-taped Hardy promo aired with him talking about how winning the gauntlet match was his first step toward getting back to WrestleMania. Hardy hit McIntyre with the Whisper in the Wind and covered him for a two count. Hardy sent McIntyre to the floor, then clotheslined him from the apron. Hardy stood up and yelled his own name repeatedly. [C]
McIntyre superplexed Hardy and got a near fall. McIntyre waited for Hardy to stand up and then went for the Claymore Kick, but Hardy avoided it. Hardy dropped McIntyre with a Twist of Fate. Hardy removed his shirt and then went up top for the Swanton Bomb, but McIntyre put his knees up. McIntyre waited for Hardy to get up and then put him away with the Claymore Kick.
Jeff Hardy was eliminated by Drew McIntyre in 42:50.
Randy Orton made his entrance as the next entrant (meaning Sheamus will be the final entrant). [C] McIntyre and Orton fought to ringside coming out of the break. McIntyre returned to the ring. the virtual fan screens all switched Alexa Bliss laughing. Orton was distracted and was counted out.
Randy Orton was eliminated by Drew McIntyre via count-out in 49:00.
Sheamus was the final entrant and blindsided McIntyre by not coming out of the usual entrance area. Sheamus ran McIntyre tossed McIntyre to ringside and ran him into the ring post. Back inside the ring, the referee checked on McIntyre and asked if he wanted to go through with the match. McIntyre gave him the green light.
Sheamus dominated until McIntyre hit him with a Glasgow Kiss headbutt. McIntyre put Sheamus down with a Future Shock DDT. McIntyre took the fight to ringside and ran Sheamus into the ring post twice before tossing him back inside the ring. Back inside the ring, McIntyre suplexed Sheamus and also hit him with a spinebuster. Sheamus avoided a Claymore Kick, ran the ropes, and dropped McIntyre with a Brogue Kick. Sheamus covered McIntyre and pinned him…
Sheamus defeated Drew McIntyre, Randy Orton, Jeff Hardy, AJ Styles, and Kofi Kingston in a gauntlet match in 55:45 to earn the right to be the last man to enter the Elimination Chamber match.
After the match, Sheamus went to the stage and boasted that he beat the WWE Champion. Sheamus said he’s the final entrant in the Elimination Chamber match and that makes him the odds on favorite to win. Sheamus said McIntyre can’t beat him and never will. Sheamus said he will prove it wasn’t a fluke by becoming the WWE Champion…
Powell’s POV: Sheamus was the wrestler advertised for Raw Talk in the email that WWE sent out earlier today. Oops. The gauntlet match was well worked, filled the final hour, and held my interest. Still, I wish I was more enthusiastic about the WWE Championship match at Elimination Chamber. I’m sure it will also be a well worked match, but I’m not excited about any of the scenarios that don’t involve McIntyre retaining the championship. It also feels like a wasted opportunity to not use a portion of the match to spotlight a younger wrestler. Ultimately, though the gauntlet match made for one of the better hours of Raw in recent memory.
I will return shortly with my weekly same night audio review of Raw for Dot Net Members. Join us for live coverage of AEW Dynamite, NXT, WWE Smackdown, and WWE Elimination Chamber this week. Let me know what you thought of Raw by voting for the letter grade below.