The Elimination Chamber is a week from Sunday, and WWE just wasted the last week doing a victory lap from the Royal Rumble. Uh oh! Time to quickly throw together some matches! Welcome to Bleeding Cool's Raw recap. We promise to treat this show with the reverence it deserves.
WWE Raw Recap – February 8th, 2021
Promo: Adam Pearce
Adam Pearce kicks off Raw by introducing… Shane McMahon?! Shane-o-Mac is back to hopefully, please god please, pop the ratings, and probably insert himself into a WrestleMania match. Oh, he's also here to talk about Elimination Chamber, where Drew McIntyre will defend the WWE Championship inside the titular match.
Pearce says all of McIntyre's opponents will be former champs. Here are the names: Randy Orton, Jeff Hardy, AJ Styles, The Miz, and Sheamus. Shane pats Pearce on the back for doing a good job and leaves. So why was Shane here again?
AJ styles and Omos pass Shane as he's leaving. Shane salutes Omos, and commentary doesn't mention that Omos was Shane's friend at Raw Underground for months just last year. In fact, Tom Phillips says Shane is "sizing up Omos" as if it's the first time he's ever seen him. Sigh.
Styles gets in the ring to give ol' Scrap Daddy some shit. Then he tells Pearce to scram as Jeff Hardy comes to the ring for a one-on-one match with Styles.
AJ Styles vs. Jeff Hardy
Time for a match… but first, some commercials. Then, Shane is about to get in his car to leave when Drew McIntyre stops him. He recalls their alliance when Drew was a heel and is surprised Shane didn't give him a heads up about the Elimination Chamber thing. Shane tells him he's got this, gets in a limo, and leaves.
Finally, after all that, Styles and Hardy have a match. And, you know, it's great, or whatever. Hardy ends up tapping to the Calf Crusher.
Winner: AJ Styles
"Riddle" greets Keith Lee, who he is facing tonight, backstage. "Riddle" has a black eye, but he says he got high and binge-watched the Air Bud franchise, so he feels better. Lee suggests "Riddle" might want to give up trying to challenge Bobby Lashley since he's obviously brain-damaged from the beatdowns. But "Riddle" says, like his hero Air Bud, he won't give up. Lee says maybe it's his turn to try to beat Lashley. They agree to settle it in the ring.
Sheamus harasses Adam Pearce about not giving him a one-on-one match against Drew McIntyre. He accuses Pearce of saying Sheamus isn't a draw. Hey, your words, Sheamus. He also complains about WWE giving Drew McIntyre preferential treatment. Sheamus says Pearce will only have himself to blame when Sheamus brutalizes all the other wrestlers in the Elimination Chamber.
The New Day vs. Retribution
Xavier Woods and Kofi Kingston head to the ring. Kofi is cleared to wrestle again, it seems. T-BAr and Slapjack are wrestling on behalf of Retribution. Mustafa Ali gets on commentary. The match is basically background noise for Ali's ranting about the conspiracy against him. He teases saying controversial things about WWE on commentary but doesn't actually say anything controversial. Shocker.
Winner: The New Day
After the match, Woods talks a ton of trash, demanding Retribution give him Reckoning in a match and repeatedly calling attention to the fact that she isn't there tonight (she has COVID). Woods has lost the ability to tell the difference between real life and the internet. It was bound to happen eventually.
Damian Priest hangs out with Bad Bunny backstage.
Promo: Ric Flair and Lacey Evans
Ric Flair comes in hot. He says people have been demanding an explanation, so here it is. He says he doesn't take orders from any woman, especially his own daughter. He says instead of hearing about himself and Tom Brady partying this week, he hears about Charlotte instead, and he's sick of it. He says Charlotte is the greatest ever and doesn't need him, but Flair needs someone to need him, and Lacey Evans does. She has everything it takes to be a champ, and he's gonna coach her. Their relationship is casual, and of course, Lacey can't help wanting him: he's Ric Flair. He says Lacey will be the next Raw Women's Champion.
Lacey says she does find Ric attractive, but the real reason they're together is that she respects him as a living legend, as he deserves, unlike his "ungrateful" daughter. Lacey says Charlotte is a fool for turning away the greatest of all time. She would never treat her own father like that, so clearly, Charlotte is the heel here.
Charlotte has heard enough and comes to the ring. She says if Lacey really wanted to learn, she'd go work out in the WWE Performance Center (or, you know, go work on the indies, but Charlotte only knows WWE). Charlotte tells Ric she's been trying to protect and add on to Ric's legacy, but he's ruining that legacy, and he doesn't know how bad he looks because he's surrounded by yes men.
Lacey asks why she and Charlotte can't just work together. She says she and Charlotte would be a better tag team than "that nasty feral animal" Asuka. Charlotte isn't into it. Lacey says that doesn't matter because she has her eyes on Asuka's title. She says that Ric told her if she can beat Charlotte in a match, she'll be the number one contender.
Charlotte wants to wrestle now. Ric gets in the way and distracts Charlotte while Lacey attacks her. Lacey tosses Charlotte into the ring steps and accepts the match as Raw takes a commercial break.
Charlotte Flair vs. Lacey Evans
I am pretty sure this is one of those situations where, if there were live crowds, they would boo Charlotte and cheer Lacey. Maybe we'll find out sometime this year. They have a match. Ric interferes multiple times, which enrages Charlotte. She beats the crap out of Lacey until the ref stops the match and disqualifies her.
Winner: Lacey Evans
Ric consoles Lacey after the match, and he has a weird grin on his face. Whether that's because his viagra just kicked in or because he realizes Lacey won and so should get a title shot is unclear.
Edge comes to the ring and recaps everything he did last week, none of which resulted in a decision about who he will face at WrestleMania. He says he doesn't know who will be the champion after Elimination Chamber, so he can't decide who he's going to face until after that. Oh, come on!
The Miz, John Morrison, and Angel Garza interrupt. Miz says that even if Edge wins the title at WrestleMania, Miz will cash in his briefcase and take it from him. Edge says he practically invented Money in the Bank cash-ins, so he was already expecting that. But he says Miz just told Edge what he's gonna do, which was dumb. Edge says this isn't a game to him like Miz. He needs to be champion. Edge leaves.
Damian Priest vs. Angel Garza
Miz, Morrison, and Garza are still in the ring, but now Garza is topless. Bad Bunny makes his entrance. Man, did WWE luck out that this guy loves wrestling. Normally WWE will whore themselves out for any D-list celebrity to give them attention, but one of the most popular musicians in the world right now happens to love their bullshit show. Bad Bunny is the Cindi Lauper of 2021. He's Vince's wet dream.
Damian Priest comes out. He and Garza have a match. Bad Bunny outsmart Miz and Morrison by stealing the Money in the Bank briefcase and getting them to chase him, getting them expelled from ringside. Priest wins shortly thereafter with the Crossroads.
Winner: Damian Priest
Drew McIntyre cuts a promo about everything he's up against, but he says he won't crack under pressure. He just becomes more dangerous.
Charly Caruso interviews Bianca Belair, who also says she's going to drag out this "who will she face" angle until after the Elimination Chamber. Asuka interrupts and says maybe Bianca isn't ready for Asuka. Bianca tells Asuka to take care of her business with Lacey, and then they can talk.
"Riddle" vs. Keith Lee
"Riddle" and Keith Lee have a match, with MVP on commentary. It's pretty good. Lee wins with a Spirit Bomb.
Winner: Matt Riddle
"Riddle" shakes hands with Lee after the match, but Bobby Lashley attacks LEe and takes him out, then puts "Riddle" in the Hurt Lock again. Then he beats up Lee some more at ringside and hits him with the steel stairs. Great beatdown.
Randy Orton cuts a promo backstage on Drew McIntyre.
Nia Jax vs. Lana – Tables Match
With Shayna Baszler and Naomi at ringside, Nia Jax puts on a five-star classic with Lana. It's wrestling elevated to its highest possible art form. Pure grace. Incredible athleticism. Masterful storytelling. It ends when Lana shouts loudly and shoves Nia through a table at ringside.
Baszler attacks Lana after the match and gets taken out by Naomi.
Naomi vs. Shayna Baszler
So after some commercials, Baszler and Naomi have a match. It's no Jax/Lana, but it's okay. Naomi wins with a rollup with Shayna distracted by Lana.
Randy Orton vs. Drew McIntyre
Randy Orton and Drew McIntyre have a match, which we've seen ten times before in the last 12 months, which ends when Sheamus Brogue Kicks Randy Orton, getting McIntyre disqualified.
Winner: Randy Orton
McIntyre Claymores Sheamus, and Raw goes off the air.
As usual, there were some good parts of Raw, but the show is way too long. If they cut out all the filler and had every single segment stayed, but they squeezed the show down to about an hour and a half, it would be a completely different and far better show. But the decompression… it's worse than a Bendis comic.