By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
WWE Raw (Episode 1,499)
Live from Indianapolis, Indiana at Gainbridge Fieldhouse
Aired February 14, 2022 on Syfy Network
[Hour One] Jimmy Smith welcomed viewers to the show and was joined on commentary by Corey Graves and Byron Saxton. Smith noted that they would be commercial-free for the first hour again this week (boo!)…
WWE Champion Bobby Lashley and MVP made their entrance. MVP was still using a cane. Lashley said before he enters WrestleMania as champion, he has to win one of the most brutal matches in WWE – the Elimination Chamber. He said the match changes lives and ends careers, just as he does.
MVP said the champion has a roughly sixteen percent chance of retaining his title. He said those odds don’t sound very good. He listed the other entrants and said none of them are All Mighty. MVP said that when you factor in the All Mighty quotient, that means Lashley has a 100 percent chance of retaining.
Seth Rollins made his entrance. He said the good news for Lashley is that he’s the champion, but the bad news is that he won’t be for very long. Rollins entered the ring and said Lashley doesn’t think anyone can beat him, but he can. MVP told him that if he kept running his mouth while in the ring with Lashley then he wouldn’t make it to Elimination Chamber.
Riddle made his entrance wearing a toga and had his hair braided. A “toga” chant broke out. He asked Rollins if the Elimination Chamber is like one big quiz bowl. Rollins said he made no such reference. He told a story about being locked in a bathroom overnight and said he’s confident he’ll win the Chamber match.
Riddle noted that he and Randy Orton will challenge for the Raw Tag Titles in two weeks. He spoke about becoming a double champion. Riddle invited Lashley, MVP, and Riddle to his “broga” party.
Austin Theory walked out and spoke about the lessons that Vince McMahon taught him. Theory said he would apply them all in the Elimination Chamber match. Theory said he couldn’t let Vince down. “I have to win the Elimination Chamber match,” Theory stated.
AJ Styles made his entrance and said Theory’s lips have been on Vince’s ass for so long that he doesn’t make sense anymore. Styles said he’s been in the Chamber before. He said it’s brutal and the odds aren’t in anyone’s favor. Styles said no one would stop him from having a defining WrestleMania moment.
Styles told Riddle that he had a sweet toga. He also liked the idea of being a double champion, then noted that he would be challenging for the U.S. Title later in the show and could also have the opportunity to enter WrestleMania as a double champion. Riddle invited Styles to his broga party.
Lashley said he was the only person in the ring who had actually won an Elimination Chamber. He addressed each challenger and told them all that they won’t win the match. Lashley looked into the camera and told Brock Lesnar that this was as close as he would come to the championship because he would beat him up and head to WrestleMania as the WWE Champion.
Brock Lesnar made his entrance and was back in his western gear. Graves said he looked like he “just walked out of the bunkhouse with Rip and the boys.” Nice. Lesnar took a lap around the ring before entering it.
Once in the ring, Lesnar removed his jacket and placed it over Theory’s shoulder, then removed his hat and placed it on Theory’s head. Lesnar went face to face with Lashley. Theory dove onto the back of Lesnar, who bent down and sent Theory crashing into the mat. Lesnar gave Theory a couple of German suplexes while the other wrestlers left the ring. Lesnar picked up Theory and put him down with an F5. Lesnar took a selfie while standing over Theory. Funny…
Powell’s POV: I’d pay good money to watch Rip Wheeler vs. Brock Lesnar, but I continue to maintain that Beth Dutton would kick both of their asses simultaneously if push came to shove. The opening segment was solid in terms of giving everyone a chance to state their case, while also placing the main focus on Lashley and Lesnar.
“The Street Profits” Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins spoke backstage and discussed the show’s lineup. In addition to the previously advertised matches, they also mentioned Randy Orton Seth Rollins, which Riddle also mentioned during his promo. They still want the smoke. They made their entrance for the opening match while Graves took a jab at Dawkins over the Cincinnati Bengals losing the Super Bowl.
Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode made their entrance (to the good theme song). Smith set up footage of Ziggler appearing on last week’s NXT 2.0 television show and being booted in the face by Tommaso Ciampa…
1. “The Street Profits” Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins vs. “The Dirty Dawgs” Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode. Tommaso Ciampa sat in on commentary for the match. Ziggler was dumped to ringside early. Ciampa stood up and mocked him with applause. Ziggler teased a superkick. Ciampa grabbed a cup of water and threw it at him. Meanwhile, Ford performed a top rope splash on Roode and pinned him clean.
“The Street Profits” Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins beat “The Dirty Dawgs” Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode in 2:50.
After the match, Ziggler superkicked Ciampa. The Profits threw Ziggler back inside the ring and set up for a move, but he was able to slip away to ringside. Graves hyped NXT 2.0 Vengeance Day for Tuesday on Syfy…
Powell’s POV: It was nice to see Ciampa, but I can’t say that this made me want to watch him and Ziggler on NXT television.
The Broga party was taking place backstage. Riddle greeted guests that included Apollo Crews, Commander Azeez, Queen Zelina, and Carmella. Riddle wondered where Randy Orton was. Zelina assumed the party was for her, but Riddle corrected her and led the guests in a “broga” chant…
Randy Orton was shown in his dressing room. Kevin Patrick asked him why he wasn’t at the party. Orton said he’s not a broga kinda guy. He said he wouldn’t be surprised if Seth Rollins stole the WWE Championship in the Elimination Chamber, but this is Monday and since it was, he’d take him out with an RKO…
Imagery from the city of Indianapolis was shown. The broadcast team acknowledged Black History Month and then set up the Rocky Johnson video package that was narrated by his son Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson…
AJ Styles made his entrance… Footage aired from last week of Kevin Owens telling Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville about his love of Texas. The broadcast team ran poll results that indicated that 60.5 percent of WWE fans felt he was lying about his love of Texas…
Kevin Owens delivered a backstage promo. He said was lying and he despises Texas and Indianapolis. He called the people of Texas morons who speak with a Texas drawl. He said that if North America was a human body, Texas would be its ass. “Howdy, partner,” Owens said…
Powell’s POV: What if Owens is lying about lying last week and he actually loves the state of Texas? Anyway, I assume this leading to a certain Texan stomping a mud hole in his ass and walking it dry.
Damian Priest made his entrance…
2. Damian Priest vs. AJ Styles for the U.S. Championship. The broadcast team acknowledged that Priest was unbeaten for over a year before taking a couple of recent losses. Late in the match, Priest ran the ropes while Styles set up for a Phenomenal Forearm. Priest remained on his side of the ring, causing Styles to give up on the move. Priest rolled him into a pin.
Damian Priest defeated AJ Styles in 4:30 to retain the U.S. Championship.
After the match, Styles offered Priest a handshake, which Priest accepted before leaving the ring…
Powell’s POV: I’m surprised they kept that one brief and went with a clean finish. Normally, I’m all for clean finishes, but it seems odd to have Styles take a clean loss just days before the Elimination Chamber match.
The latest therapy session with Alexa Bliss was shown. The therapist said he had another gift for her, then pulled out the destroyed Lilly doll. He said he was able to recover the real remnants of Lilly. He then pulled out a replica Lilly and told Bliss that he had an idea…
Powell’s POV: Bliss’s look continues to slowly move away from her Lady Fiend look, so hopefully she is going to be Lilly-free once she returns to the ring.
An ad aired for NXT Vengeance Day…
3. Omos vs. “The Hurt Business” Cedric Alexander and Shelton Benjamin in a handicap match. The entrances were televised. Late in the match, Alexander went for a springboard move, but Omos caught him by the throat. Benjamin went after Omos, who dropped him with a big boot. Omos followed up with his finishing slam on Alexander and scored the pin…
Omos beat Cedric Alexander and Shelton Benjamin in a handicap match in 1:25.
Powell’s POV: Alexander and Benjamin apparently won the Hurt Business name in the divorce from Lashley and MVP. That might be the last thing they win in WWE at the rate this is going.
WWE 24/7 Champion Dana Brooke and Reggie were having dinner together. Reggie complimented her appearance. Meanwhile, Akira Tozawa and Tamina showed up in bad disguises and sat at another table. Brooke referred to Reggie as her best friend…
A Chucky and WWE mashup ad aired, and then a Smackdown ad aired…
At the broga party, The Street Profits beat Crews and Azeez in a game of beer pong…
Adam Pearce stood in the ring as the host of a contract signing. He introduced Lita, who made her entrance. Raw Women’s Champion Becky Lynch made her entrance looking disheveled. Lynch told Lita that she hasn’t slept all week because she’s been thinking about how her teenage idol assaulted her last week. She said she would put it all aside if Lita just walked away now. Lynch blamed the fans for being happy when they are miserable.
[Hour Two] Lita polled the crowd on whether she should just tear up the contract and walk away. She said she’s not just back for one more match, she has an entire run left in her. She said Lynch doesn’t have to like it, but the match is happening. Lita signed the contract.
Lynch said people remember Lita with a smile on their face, but once she’s done with her they will remember her with a tear in their eye. Lynch signed the contract. Lita recalled Lynch saying that there would be no Lynch if not for Lita. She said it’s on her to end whatever Lynch had become. She said she would become champion on Saturday. Lynch threw the contract at Lita, then left the ring while looking at the ground as she walked to the back…
Powell’s POV: This was an unexpected development for Lynch. I like that she is taking some chances and heeling on the fans.
An Elimination Chamber video package aired and then the broadcast team hyped the women’s Chamber match…
Rhea Ripley made her entrance. A pre-taped promo aired with Ripley saying she was ready to rip through any woman who stood in her way of becoming Raw Women’s Champion at WrestleMania. Nikki ASH made her entrance. ASH had a pre-taped promo and spoke about being a superhero even if it meant not being a so-called good guy like Ripley… [C]
4. Rhea Ripley vs. Nikki ASH vs. Liv Morgan vs. Bianca Belair vs. Doudrop in a gauntlet match to become the final person to enter the Elimination Chamber match. Ripley vs. ASH started the match, which began during a split-screen break. Ripley set up for her finisher, but ASH fought her off. ASH went to the ropes and went for a cross body block, but Ripley caught her. There was a clunky moment as Ripley dropped ASH, then picked her up and hit her Riptide finisher before pinning her.
Rhea Ripley eliminated Nikki ASH in 7:35.
Liv Morgan was the third entrant. A pre-taped promo aired while she made her entrance. She said the other women would have to destroy her to eliminate her. She said she would survive. “Watch me,” she closed. [C]
Morgan ended up on the shoulders of Ripley. She tried to elbow her way free and eventually got back on her feet. Ripley superkicked her and then hit the Riptide and pinned her clean.
Rhea Ripley eliminated Liv Morgan in 4:10.
Doudrop made her entrance as the fourth entrant. [C] Doudrop avoided Ripley’s first Riptide attempt. Ripley was able to perform the move on the second try.
Rhea Ripley eliminated Doudrop.
Bianca Belair was the fifth entrant. Belair also received a brief pre-taped promo and spoke about being the EST. [C] The bell rang to start the Belair vs. Ripley portion of the match during the spit-screen break. Both women face-planted one another simultaneously. They ended up at ringside where Ripley shoved Belair into the ring steps. [C]
Belair pulled Ripley up from behind and slammed her face first onto the match and then covered her for a near fall. Both women stuffed the other’s finisher. Ripley went to the ropes, but Belair cut her off with a couple of slaps. Ripley fired back with a slap of her own. They traded slaps until Ripley kicked Belair, who responded with a kick of her own.
Belair press slammed Ripley from the ropes to the mat. Belair performed a handspring into a standing moonsault, but Ripley put her knees up. Ripley followed up with a missile dropkick for a good near fall. Ripley put Belair in a standing leg lock. Belair powered out of it and then put Ripley down with a spinebuster. Belair followed up with the KOD and scored the pin.
Bianca Belair defeated Rhea Ripley in 15:30 in the deciding fall of a gauntlet match to earn the sixth entry position in the Elimination Chamber.
After the match, Graves noted that Ripley (and the entire match) was 44:04. Belair pulled Ripley to her feet, bumped her fist, and then hugged her…
Powell’s POV: I really enjoyed that gauntlet match. It was nice to see Ripley showcased as a dominant singles wrestler again. Yes, she lost in the end, but she had the out of having put in more minutes than Belair. If neither one of them is challenging for the Raw Women’s Championship, I could definitely see Belair and Ripley meeting in a singles match at WrestleMania.
At the broga party, Riddle played his guitar and sang the “I gave my love a cherry” song (which is actually called “The Riddle Song”) until he was attacked from behind by Chad Gable and Otis. They left him lying. “Party over, bro,” Gable told Riddle…
The Mysterios made their entrance for a match against Alpha Academy… [C]
[Hour Three] Still shots aired from the Super Bowl and footage aired of Rams’ linebacker Leonard Floyd celebrating with a WWE Championship belt…
At the restaurant, R-Truth wore a fake mustache and tried to serve Reggie and Brooke. Reggie grabbed Truth and told Brooke to run. Tamina and Tozawa went after Brooke, but she fought them off.
Once everyone ran away, Brooke gave Reggie a kiss on the cheek. Reggie asked if they could take their friendship to a new level. When Brooke gave him a polite friendship speech, he told her he understood and held his hand out. When she tried to shake it, Reggie rolled up Dana Brooke and pinned her to become the new WWE 24/7 Champion.
“You know what, baby, friendship has its perks,” Reggie said. Truth, Tozawa, and Tamina returned and chased Reggie. A waiter handed Brooke the check…
Alpha Academy made their entrance. Gable spoke as they headed to the ring and said he was holding his first-ever public assembly. He complained about cheaters, and said the worst of the worst are RKBro. Gable complained about how they lost the academic challenge, then turned on the fans, calling them “the morons of the WWE Universe.” Gable played footage of Dom beating The Miz thanks to a distraction by Rey.
The Miz and Maryse made their entrance… [C]
5. Raw Tag Team Champions “Alpha Academy” Chad Gable and Otis vs. Rey Mysterio and Dominik Mysterio in a non-title match. The match started during a split-screen commercial break. Miz and Maryse sat in on commentary and shared a kiss for Valentine’s Day.
Rey was isolated by the heels. Otis splashed him and then covered him for a two count. Gable tagged in and performed a gutbuster for another two count. Dom eventually took a hot tag. The Mysterios went on an offensive run heading into a regular commercial break. [C]
Late in the match, the Mysterios shoved Otis into the corner and he tumbled to ringside. They followed up with a double 619 on Gable. Dom went up top. Miz climbed onto the apron and was kicked away by Dom, and then Rey dove onto Miz at ringside. Dom went for a cross body block on Gable, who rolled through it and held the tights while stealing the pin.
Raw Tag Team Champions “Alpha Academy” Chad Gable and Otis defeated Rey Mysterio and Dominik Mysterio in a non-title match.
After the match, Maryse entered the ring and jawed at Rey and Dom. Miz dumped Dom to ringside. Maryse slapped Rey, and then Miz put Rey down with a Skull Crushing Finale. Miz and Maryse celebrated…
Powell’s POV: A good tag team match. I like that the Mysterios were protected by the interference and by Gable holding the tights. Again, clean finishes are great, but there are times when it makes sense to take a different approach. And with the tag division being shallow, there was no reason to have Rey and Dom lose clean.
The therapist told Alexa Bliss that she was as cured as she was going to be. He said she would be fine as long as she had Lilly by her side. Bliss said she doesn’t have Lilly because she’s gone. The therapist said the doll by Bliss’s side was filled with Lilly’s original stuffing. He said her spirit is inside the doll as well. He stressed that Bliss should keep the doll by her side and then she’d be cured and could have a wonderful life. Bliss shook the therapist’s hand and then had him shake the doll’s hand. Bliss spoke to Lilly and said, “Apparently, I’m cleared.”
An Elimination Chamber video aired. Bliss did a voiceover asking if there was an open spot in the match, then said she knew what she was doing on Saturday. An updated graphic listed Bliss as the final entrant in the match…
Powell’s POV: I was really hoping that Lilly was going to the same scrap heap as LOD’s Rocco, but no luck. Now I’m left hoping that the new Bliss won’t rely on any hocus pocus nonsense, but I’m not feeling very confident about that either. I guess we’ll get a better feel for what her latest persona is starting Saturday.
Seth Rollins made his entrance for the main event. The broadcast team set up a trailer for the movie Dog… [C] A graphic touted WWE having over 85 million subscribers on YouTube… A Smackdown recap video aired and focused on the Charlotte Flair vs. Naomi match, and the post match with Ronda Rousey saving Naomi from an attack by Flair and Sonya Deville…
The broadcast team ran through the Elimination Chamber lineup. They added Rey Mysterio vs. The Miz to the card… Randy Orton made his entrance… [C]
6. Randy Orton vs. Seth Rollins. The match started during the PIP break. Rollins held the ropes when Orton set up for a powerslam. With Orton down, Rollins went for the Stomp, but Orton avoided it. Orton sent Rollins to ringside and dropped him on the broadcast table. They returned to the ring and Orton went for his Draping DDT, but Rollins backdropped Orton to ringside. Rollins hit Orton with a knee from the apron, then returned to the ring and hit a suicide dive that sent Orton over the broadcast table. [C]
Late in the match, Rollins caught a kneeling Orton with a superkick and covered him for a two count. Rollins dropped Orton with an elbow to the back of his head. Rollins went for a Stomp that Orton avoided. Rollins kicked Orton and went for a Pedigree, but Orton stuffed it and sent Rollins to the apron, then performed a Draping DDT. Orton dropped Rollins with an RKO.
Chad Gable and Otis ran out. Riddle followed and attacked Gable from behind. Orton left the ring and joined Riddle in fighting the Alpha Academy duo. Orton returned to the ring to beat the referee’s count, but Rollins immediately Stomped him and pinned him…
Seth Rollins beat Randy Orton in 17:15.
Powell’s POV: This was the type of well worked match that one would expect from these two. The finish was done in a way that made it seem like Orton was on the verge of winning before the interference, but Rollins went over in the end, which is the right move given that Rollins is in the Chamber match and Orton isn’t on the card.
Overall, the show gave effective hype to the brand’s Elimination Chamber event matches. The main event and the gauntlet match were entertaining. While there’s no telling what the latest variation of the Alexa Bliss character will end up being, adding her to the women’s Elimination Chamber match is a nice late hook. I will have more to say in my weekly same night audio review that is available exclusively for Dot Net Members. Let me know what you thought of the show by grading it below.
Join John Moore for his live review of NXT 2.0 Vengeance Day on Tuesday night.
Do they not realize next week is episode #1500?
I thought they would hype something for that maybe.
It’s making me a little nervous that my episode count is off. But it’s also possible that they want to focus entirely on Elimination Chamber.
It’s probably best not to announce anything for RAW 1500. They might not be back from Blood Money 2022.
“the same scrap heap as LOD’s Rocco”
Ah yes the doll that neutered the Road Warriors and turned Paul Ellering into a Sesame Street sidekick. They should have seen it coming though after what WWF downsized Demolition into not long before that.
Honestly, who does WWE imagine is enjoying the 24/7 title skits?