2/22 WWE Raw Results: Powell’s live review Miz’s WWE Championship Celebration, WWE Women’s Tag Champions Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler vs. Asuka and Charlotte Flair, U.S. Champion Riddle vs. John Morrison, Elimination Chamber fallout edition

By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

WWE Raw (Episode 1,448)
Live from Tampa, Florida at Tropicana Field
Aired February 22, 2021 on USA Network

[Hour One] Raw opened with a video package that recapped the Elimination Chamber for the WWE Championship, and The Miz cashing in his Money in the Bank contract and beating Drew McIntyre to win the WWE Championship… The broadcast team was Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton, and Samoa Joe…

John Morrison stood in the ring and introduced new WWE Champion The Miz, who walked out and received the pyro treatment on the stage. Once in the ring, Miz hugged Morrison. Miz welcomed viewers to the championship edition of Miz TV. “How do you like me now?” Miz asked.

Miz said the top superstars of his generation have come and gone and he’s still standing. He said people predicted that he wouldn’t last three months, but sixteen years later he’s holding the WWE Championship. Miz took credit for calling his shot and delivering. He said he is a main event caliber superstar and his career reads like a Jeopardy clue.

Bobby Lashley made his entrance and was accompanied by MVP, who was using a single crutch following the knee injury that he suffered the week before. Once inside the ring, MVP congratulated Miz on behalf of the Hurt Business. MVP said Miz omitted the part of the story where Lashley destroyed Drew McIntyre, which allowed him to become champion.

Miz said he was just getting to that. Miz tried to excuse himself so that he could go celebrate, but MVP stopped him. Lashley said Miz owed him a debt and he was there to collect. Miz admitted that he did promise Lashley a championship match, but he claimed there was no time.

Lashley grabbed Miz by the throat and said that they made a deal. Lashley said Miz has an hour or he would be starring in a reality show about how Lashley sent him to the emergency room…

New U.S. Champion Riddle was shown backstage with Lince Dorado and Gran Metalik. He thanked them for having his back. Riddle said he wanted to name the eagle on the U.S. Championship belt “Travis” because he had a metal head friend named Travis. Riddle drove off on a scooter while Phillips hyped his match against John Morrison for after the break… [C]

Powell’s POV: So Miz’s options are to get his ass kicked by Lashley in a title match or get his ass kicked by Lashley just for the hell of it? I guess I’d take the ass kicking that didn’t involve losing a championship.

Highlights aired of Riddle’s U.S. Championship win from Elimination Chamber…

1. U.S. Champion Riddle vs. John Morrison in a non-title match. Morrison was still in the ring from the opening segment, while Riddle’s entrance was televised. Riddle applied an early triangle choke, but Morrison reached the ropes to break it. Morrison applied a dragon sleeper, but Riddle ended up in the ropes.

Morrison knocked Riddle off the apron and then performed a dive onto him. Morrison held his knee, but got up and rolled Riddle back inside the ring. The wrestlers fought onto the apron where Riddle suplexed Morrison heading into a break. [C]

Riddle performed a Floating Bro on Morrison at ringside. Back in the ring, Riddle suplexed Morrison and got a two count. A New Day vs. Retribution tag team match was promoted with an onscreen graphic, which Phillips acknowledged. Morrison caught Riddle on the ropes and performed a variation of the Spanish Fly, which led to a near fall.

Riddle avoided a Moonlight Drive and performed a Bro To Sleep. Morrison came right back with a kick. Morrison threw a knee to the head of Riddle, then set up for his finisher, but Riddle caught him on the ropes and then performed the Bro Derek and scored the pin…

U.S. Champion Riddle defeated John Morrison in 11:05 in a non-title match.

Powell’s POV: A nice television match. Morrison has been booked so poorly that it actually felt odd for Riddle to need eleven minutes to beat him. Then again, Miz has been booked just as poorly and he’s the WWE Champion (for another 30 minute or so).

A countdown clock showed that there was less than 30 minutes until Miz had to make his decision…

A Rhea Ripley video package aired and listed her as coming soon to Raw… [C]

Powell’s POV: It’s about time. As always, we can only hope that they don’t mess up the latest readymade star to be called up from NXT.

Phillips recapped Bad Bunny’s performance on Saturday Night Live. He had the WWE 24/7 Championship with him during one of his songs. Phillips hyped that Bunny would be in Damian Priest’s corner for a match against Angel Garza later in the show…

Backstage, Sarah Schreiber approached Bad Bunny and Priest. Bunny spoke briefly, then spotted R-Truth, who had a referee with him. Truth hugged the referee and acted innocent when he approached Bunny and Priest. Truth said Bunny had his baby on SNL. Truth said he wanted an autograph from Bugs Bunny, but he forgot his marker. Priest got in Truth’s face and corrected him on Bunny’s name. Truth fled the scene…

The broadcast team recapped the Miz and Lashley angle and the countdown clock appeared on the screen again…

Backstage, The Miz asked Adam Pearce if he was going to let Lashley do this to the WWE Champion. Pearce asked Miz if he made a deal with Lashley. Miz said he didn’t put anything in writing. Pearce said people doubted Miz, but part of being champion is facing all challengers. Pearce said he would respect whatever decision Miz chooses to make, but he needed to make it soon because the clock was ticking…

Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods made their entrance for the tag match with Retribution. Footage aired of Woods being manhandled by Omos at Elimination Chamber… [C]

Phillips hyped the Punky Brewster reboot for Peacock, then set up a preview of the show. Cast members from the show were shown on the virtual screens…

Powell’s POV: We’ll have to take WWE’s word for it when it comes to the Punky Brewster cast members appearing on the virtual screens, as they still haven’t figured out how to show a clear picture of celebrity virtual fans. I assume there will be plenty of plugging for Peacock content now that WWE is being paid $1 billion over five years to move WWE Network to the streaming service.

2. Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods vs. T-Bar and Mace (w/Mustafa Ali, Slapjack, Reckoning). A graphic listed Raw Tag Champions Cedric Alexander and Shelton Benjamin vs. Lince Dorado and Gran Metalik in a tornado tag match for later in the show. Late in the match, Kingston knocked Mace to the floor with a Trouble in Paradise kick. Kingston followed up with another on legal man T-Bar and then pinned him.

Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods beat T-Bar and Mace in 2:50.

After the match, Ali asked the Retribution members how much longer he was supposed to carry them. He said they continue to fail him, disrespect him, and embarrass him…

A countdown clock was shown while Bobby Lashley and MVP were shown walking backstage… [C]

Powell’s POV: It was good to see Mia Yim back as Reckoning. Scratch that, it was not good to see her back playing that role in this awful faction, but it was good to see her back on television following a bout with COVID-19. Let’s hope that Ali’s meltdown is a sign that they will be pulling the plug on the faction so that he and the wrestlers involved get a fresh start.

Footage aired from the opening segment of Lashley giving Miz an hour to make his decision…

“WWE Official” Adam Pearce stood in the ring and introduced Lashley, who walked out in his wrestling gear and was accompanied by MVP. Once in the ring, Lashley and MVP shook Pearce’s hand. Pearce introduced The Miz, who walked out dressed in a suit with John Morrison by his side.

Pearce called for Miz to give Lashley his decision. Miz said he needed more time. Lashley told him to stop stalling. Miz said he wanted to give the championship the respect it deserves. He said Morrison was champing at the bit to get a title shot. MVP said Miz doesn’t have a deal with other wrestlers.

[Hour Two] Miz said he needed more time and the championship deserves it. He asked for at least a week. He said he felt it was best for all parties. Braun Strowman made his entrance and headed to the ring. Strowman said that if anyone was getting a title shot it was him. Pearce tried to speak, but Strowman said Pearce and Shane McMahon have a vendetta against him and that’s why he wasn’t in the Elimination Chamber match.

Shane McMahon made his entrance and joined everyone in the ring. WWE piped in light “Shane-O-Mac” chants. Shane said Strowman couldn’t just storm to the ring and expect a championship match. He said there were a few neurons in Strowman’s brain that didn’t grasp that WWE Champions were in the Elimination Chamber.

Strowman said the whole situation sucks and he demanded a WWE Championship match. Shane said that idea kinda sucks and denied him the match. Strowman said that if he couldn’t get the title match, then he wanted to face the other challenger. Shane booked Strowman vs. Lashley. Shane said that if Strowman beat Lashley in the singles match, then next week it will be Miz vs. Lashley vs. Strowman in a Triple Threat for the WWE Championship.

Strowman was pleased while Miz looked horrified. Lashley clipped the leg of Strowman from behind and then left the ring. Strowman limped in the ring while Lashley stared at him from a distance…

Powell’s POV: Did Shane actually say that it will be Miz vs. Lashley next week if Lashley wins tonight? Phillips indicated that was the case, but my guard is up for verbal loopholes. One way or another, it looks like Miz will survive tonight as champion.

Phillips recapped the previous segment and hyped a Triple Threat for next week if Strowman beats Lashley later in this show…

3. Raw Tag Champions Cedric Alexander and Shelton Benjamin vs. Lince Dorado and Gran Metalik in a non-title Tornado Tag match. MVP sat in on commentary. Benjamin powerbombed an opponent and then Alexander tried to steal the pin. Later, Dorado performed a tornado DDT on Benjamin. Metalik piled onto Benjamin and LHP had the pin, but Alexander broke it up.

A short time later, Metalik went for a double stomp, but Alexander avoided it. Benjamin blasted Metalik with a shoulder block. Benjamin tossed Dorado into a high knee from Alexander. Benjamin hit Paydirt on Dorado and pinned him to win the match…

Raw Tag Champions Cedric Alexander and Shelton Benjamin beat Lince Dorado and Gran Metalik in 5:50 in a non-title match.

Powell’s POV: I’m pleasantly surprised that Alexander and Benjamin won the non-title match. It’s nothing against the LHP duo, but WWE has been known to fall into the bad habit of booking their tag team champions and secondary champions to lose too many non-title matches on television.

Footage aired of Bad Bunny winning the WWE 24/7 Championship last week… Damian Priest and Bad Bunny made separate entrances for Priest’s match against Angel Garza… [C]

4. Damian Priest (w/Bad Bunny) vs. Angel Garza. Garza’s entrance was televised. Priest clotheslined Garza to start the match and got a near fall just seconds into the match. A graphic listed Jeff Hardy vs. Sheamus for later in the show. Garza knocked Priest down with a clothesline and then removed his tearaway pants and tossed them at Bad Bunny.

Garza put Priest in a Camel Clutch, then gave it up when Priest was powering out of the hold. Garza kicked Priest and reapplied a variation of the hold. Priest powered up to his feet to escape the hold, but Garza kicked him. Priest got mad and threw a series of strikes.

Priest knocked Garza down with a kick to the head. Priest followed up with leaping elbow in the corner and then hit a Broken Arrow for a near fall. Priest said it was time for Garza to go home, but Garza caught him with a punch and a kick. Garza looked at Bunny and set up for a move, but Priest avoided it.

Garza clotheslined Priest over the top rope to the floor. Garza taunted Bad Bunny and invited him to enter the ring. Bad Bunny walked up the ring steps and pointed at Priest, who then hit Garza with another kick to the head. Priest followed up with a spinning kick from the top rope. Priest hit The Reckoning, which is now called “Hit The Lights” and scored the pin.

Damian Priest defeated Angel Garza in 6:15.

After the match, Akira Tozawa, Humberto Carrillo, and Drew Gulak ran out to go after Bad Bunny. Priest punched out Tozawa and threw a kick at Carrillo, then Bunny tossed Gulak over the top rope. Priest and Bunny celebrated…

The broadcast team hyped Randy Orton addressing the mind games of Alexa Bliss as coming up after a break… [C]

Powell’s POV: They changed the name of Priest’s finisher from The Reckoning, which makes sense given that Mia Yim is playing a character named Reckoning. But the move name change could be a sign that Retribution isn’t going away after all. Anyway, they gave Garza more offense than I anticipated. It’s sad to see to see Garza’s cousin Carrillo stuck in the role of 24/7 Title chaser. If this is all they have for him, why not send him back to NXT where he could mean something?

Another Rhea Ripley video package aired and once again listed her as coming soon to Raw… The broadcast team spoke briefly about Ripley coming to Raw, then shifted the focus to Orton being eliminated from last week’s gauntlet match because he was distracted by Alexa Bliss on all of the virtual screens…

Randy Orton delivered a backstage promo. He said failure isn’t a word that he’s familiar with. He said he takes care of distractions and pointed to setting The Fiend on fire once he became a distraction. Footage aired of The Fiend being burned alive. Orton said The Fiend is no more and won’t be coming back.

Orton questioned why he can’t focus on the WWE Championship. Orton coughed, and then said he’s distracted by Alexa Bliss. Footage aired from last week of Bliss sitting in the middle of a pentagram while laughing. Orton started choking and started spitting up a black substance…

Powell’s POV: Black gold. Texas tea.

The broadcast team spoke at ringside. Joe wondered what the substance was. Phillips shifted the focus to the women’s tag team match. He set up footage of Lacey Evans announcing her pregnancy… Charlotte Flair made her entrance for the tag team match… [C]

The WrestleMania video aired. We are 47 days away. The graphic listed WrestleMania as being available exclusively on Peacock, which Phillips then mentioned on commentary…

5. WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler vs. Asuka and Charlotte Flair in a non-title match. The remainder of the entrances were televised coming out of the break. Flair cleared Baszler from the ring. Flair and Asuka dropkicked Jax to the floor. Asuka hit Baszler with a Hip Attack when she tried to return to the ring. Asuka was excited and wanted a double high-five. Flair eventually gave her a high-five, and Asuka seemed thrown off heading into a break. [C]

[Hour Three] Flair dominated Jax and Baszler by herself for a stretch, but Jax eventually cut her off with a powerbomb that led to a two count. A short time later, Flair put Baszler in the Figure Four. Jax ran in and dropped a leg on Flair to break the hold. Asuka took a hot tag and worked over both opponents.

Asuka put Jax in an armbar, but Baszler broke it up with a kick. Asuka grabbed Baszler from behind, but Baszler moved and Flair ended up kicking Asuka. Flair threw Baszler to ringside and followed her. Jax dropped a leg on Asuka and pinned her…

WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler beat Asuka and Charlotte Flair in 12:20 in a non-title match.

After the match, Flair offered a hand to Asuka, who shoved it away. Flair acted annoyed and then left the ring…

Footage aired of Shane McMahon’s announcement from earlier in the show… Jeff Hardy made his entrance for his match against Sheamus… [C]

Powell’s POV: With Lacey Evans out of the picture due to her legitimate pregnancy, it looks like they are starting the Asuka and Flair split, presumably to set up a title match between them for WrestleMania. I can’t blame the broadcast team because they’re not directing the show, but it was odd that they had to move on to set up a replay while Flair and Asuka were still having their moment of tension.

Phillips hyped the replay of the “Young Rock” series premiere for after Raw on USA Network… Sheamus made his entrance…

6. Sheamus vs. Jeff Hardy. Sheamus went right at Hardy once the bell rang. Hardy came back briefly, but Sheamus cut him off with a clothesline. Hardy rallied with a kick through the ropes and then followed Sheamus to the floor. Hardy ran and leapt from the ring steps and hit Sheamus heading into a break. [C]

Hardy performed some of his signature offense and then performed a second rope splash for a near fall. Hardy dropped Sheamus with a Twist of Fate. Hardy went for a Swanton Bomb, but Sheamus avoided it. Hardy avoided a Brogue Kick and rolled up Sheamus for a two count. Sheamus came back with a knee to the head and followed up with a Brogue Kick that led to the three count…

Sheamus defeated Jeff Hardy in 10:20.

Powell’s POV: A solid television match with the expected outcome.

Backstage, Charlotte Flair told Ric Flair that she can’t focus on her tag match or the business. Charlotte said it wasn’t funny that Ric danced and celebrated after Lacey Evans announced her pregnancy. Charlotte said it’s about protecting their legacy and said that’s why she busts her ass. Charlotte told Ric to go home.

Ric told her that he never said the baby was his. He said he saw a lot of potential in a good human being. Charlotte said he sees a lot of potential in a lot of blondes. Ric said he thought he could motivate Evans the way he motivated Charlotte. Ric said Charlotte has become one of the all-time greats. He said loves her and wants the best for her, but he was trying to expand the brand to becoming the man behind the Raw Women’s Title.

Charlotte accused Ric of trying to steal the spotlight. She said he still wants to be the Nature Boy, even on his daughter’s time. “So go home,” Charlotte said. Charlotte told Ric that she’s thankful for the doors he’s opened and what he’s given her, but she needs him to let her being Charlotte Flair. She told Ric that she loved him and walked away… [C]

Phillips recapped Orton choking up the black substance. Phillips said he was distracted by Alexa Bliss, who was apparently back inside the pentagram earlier in the evening…

7. Naomi and Lana vs. Mandy Rose and Dana Brooke. Neither team received a televised entrance. Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler were shown watching the match on a backstage monitor. Rose whipped Lana into her corner, where Lana ended up knocking Brooke off the apron. Naomi and Lana performed a double facebuster on Rose, and then Naomi pinned her…

Naomi and Lana beat Mandy Rose and Dana Brooke in 1:35.

Powell’s POV: With that win, Naomi and Lana become the 37th team to earn a future tag title shot (or something).

Bobby Lashley was shown warming up backstage… AJ Styles and Omos made their entrance for Styles’ match against Ricochet… A Black History Month video aired with WWE wrestlers reading quotes from Nelson Mandela… [C] Ricochet made his entrance…

8. AJ Styles (w/Omos) vs. Ricochet. The broadcast team made a fuss over Omos ripping Styles’ pod open during the Elimination Chamber match. Late in the match, Ricochet set up for his finisher, but Styles slipped away and blasted him with a knee to the head. Styles performed the Styles Clash and then pinned Ricochet.

AJ Styles defeated Ricochet in 3:50.

After the match, Omos picked up Ricochet by the throat with both hands, held him over his head, and then dropped him. Styles nodded approvingly…

Powell’s POV: Omos getting physical over the last couple of nights felt more significant than the match did. That’s really sad considering that Styles vs. Ricochet was considered a dream match for a lot of fans before Ricochet got the main roster creative treatment.

Phillips announced AJ Styles, Omos, Naomi, Lana, and Riddle for Raw Talk…

Backstage, The Miz told John Morrison that what was happening with the main event was not the plan. Braun Strowman showed up and glared at them until they walked away… [C]

9. Bobby Lashley (w/MVP) vs. Braun Strowman. Both wrestlers received televised entrances. The Miz made his entrance and joined the broadcast team while the match started. Lashley took Strowman down during the opening minute. Strowman returned the favor and went for a pin, but Lashley kicked out at one. Miz spoke about how people need to earn title shots. He called for a “huge tournament” with the winner challenging him at WrestleMania.

Strowman dumped Lashley to ringside. Strowman followed and charged, but Lashley moved and Strowman crashed and burned over the ring steps. Back inside the ring, Lashley dropkicked the knee of Strowman and then gave him a Flatliner. Lashley threw some punches at Strowman and then went for the Hurt Lock, but Strowman avoided it.

Strowman stuffed a suplex attempt and then clotheslined Lashley. Strowman splashed Lashley in the corner and then put him down with a powerslam for a near fall. Miz flashed a bug-eyed look while the broadcast team claimed they’d never seen anyone kick out of Strowman’s power slam. Lashley came back with a one-armed spinebuster, then ran the ropes and speared and pinned Strowman…

Bobby Lashley defeated Braun Strowman in 4:20.

After the match, Lashley clipped the knee of Strowman and then put him in the Hurt Lock. Miz ran in and tried to hit Lashley with the belt, but Lashley gave him a one-armed spinebuster. Lashley waited for Miz to stand up and then speared him. MVP raised Lashley’s arm. A graphic listed The Miz vs. Lashley for the WWE Championship for next week’s Raw. Lashley posed on the ropes to close the show…

Powell’s POV: I like the way they used Strowman to continue the build of Lashley. There was no reason to turned the title match into a Triple Threat, so this was the right move. It will be interesting to see if they actually go through with the title match next week or if they do something that allows Miz to worm out of the match. We never heard from Drew McIntyre tonight, so maybe he interferes and Miz somehow holds the title until WWE Fastlane? There’s not much time between Fastlane and WrestleMania, so I actually vote for the title change to occur next week. Either way, I’ll be very surprised if it’s not Lashley defending the WWE Championship against McIntyre at WrestleMania.

Overall, the Lashley build was strong, but there weren’t many interesting developments beyond that. I will return shortly with my same night audio review for Dot Net Member. Let me now what you thought of the show by giving it a letter grade below.

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Readers Comments (3)

  1. A black substance, eh? Papa Shango is finally coming back. It’s about time.

  2. “Black gold. Texas tea.”

    [best Booker T voice]Tell me you didn’t just say that![/voice]

  3. WWE had to cut away from the Charlotte/Asuka tension because Asuka was out on her feet after Shayna shoot kicked her in the face to break up the submission, rather than a working stomp…she was very obviously struggling to go home after that point.

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