Welcome to Bleeding Cool's WWE Raw report. It's the first Raw after Elimination Chamber, and one more stop on the road to WrestleMania. Will WWE finally pull it together this week?
WWE Raw Results – February 22nd, 2021
John Morrison introduces WWE Champion The Miz to kick off Raw. This is gonna be a long night.
The Miz unloads all his grievances at people who didn't take him seriously his whole career. He talks about all the people he's beat. He takes a shot specifically at Bautista. He calls himself the Babe Ruth of WWE. Blah blah blah blah, you get it.
Bobby Lashley and MVP interrupt, with MVP on crutches. MVP says Miz didn't give Bobby Lashley proper credit for helping him win the title by beating up Drew McIntyre before the cash-in last night. MVP says Miz owes Lashley a championship match according to their deal last night. Miz says he's swamped now that he's become WWE Champion. Lashley gives him an hour to come to his senses.
Riddle chats with Lucha House Party backstage. Riddle promises that now that he's United States Champion, he'll try to help raise awareness for Lince Dorado's furry lifestyle. The Golden Lynx is appreciative of Riddle's tolerance. Riddle rides off on a scooter.
John Morrison vs. Riddle
John Morrison and Riddle fight in a sort-of rematch from last night. The title is not on the line in the match, in case you thought there might be some slight reason to care. The match goes on so long, there's less than a half-hour left on Bobby Lashley's ultimatum by the time Riddle wins with Bro Derek.
A video package informs us Rhea Ripley is coming to WWE Raw soon.
Tom Phillips nearly cums himself while talking about Bad Bunny bringing the 24/7 Championship on Saturday Night Live over the weekend. Then Sarah Schreiber interviews Bad Bunny and Damian Priest backstage. Bad Bunny says this is just the beginning, and now that Miz is Champion, he might…
Damian Priest notices R-Truth and a referee lurking in the background. But Truth denies he was trying to win the title, and he thinks Bad Bunny is Bugs Bunny. Priest sets him straight, and R-Truth runs off.
Miz Karens it up by complaining to Adam Pearce about Bobby Lashley. Pearce says that Miz should prove he's a great champion by taking on Lashley. He leaves it up to Miz to sort things out.
The New Day vs. Retribution Again
Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods head to the ring, followed by Retribution. Mace and T-Bar face Woods and Kingston in a match. Nobody cares any more this time than they did the last 500 times these guys fought. Retribution gets a little overzealous in the match, and it allows New Day to eke out the win.
Winners: The New Day
As Xavier Woods continues to demand a match with Reckoning, Mustafa Ali loses his shit in the ring. He berates Retribution for failing over and over.
Bobby Lashley and MVP are seen walking backstage with less than four minutes left on The Miz's clock as Raw takes a commercial break.
Adam Pearce brings out Lashley, MVP, Miz, and Morrison. Miz refuses to make a decision. He says he needs more time to decide who to face, as many people want title shots. MVP reminds him of their deal. Miz begs for more time, even a week before he has to have the match, which may not have been the best idea because now Braun Strowman comes out. He says he's far more "clarified" than Bobby Lashley for a title shot. Everyone starts arguing, and then Shane McMahon comes out.
The fake crowd goes wild with a Shane-O-Mac chant. McMahon says people can't just demand title shots around here. (Uh, has he ever watched the show?) Strowman says Shane sucks, everyone here sucks, and Strowman wants a title match tonight. Shane says that idea sucks. Strowman says if he can't have a match against the champ, give him one against the challenger.
Shane likes that idea. Miz and Morrison also like it. Shane makes it official, and he says that if Strowman beats Lashley, he can get added to Miz and Lashley's WWE Championship match next week.
Lashley kneecaps Strowman as everyone is leaving the ring. So now we have the main event for this week AND next week. That's the farthest ahead WWE has booked something in years.
Hurt Business vs. Lucha House Party – Tornado Tag Match
With MVP on commentary, Lucha House Party takes on Cedric Alexander and Shelton Benjamin. But Dorado seems to be missing something. IT's like he's not at 100%. He's… oh no! He's got a new mask, and his signature fur is gone! Lince Dorado has been shamed into hiding his furry lifestyle! Say it ain't so, Golden Lynx!
It's obviously affecting his wrestling, as Lucha House Party screws this up and loses the match. Somebody get that lynx trapped in a human body a furry mask, stat!
Winners: Hurt Business
Damian Priest vs. Angel Garza
Priest and Garza have a match. It's surprisingly competitive, and Garza spends a lot of time jaw-jacking with Bad Bunny, including inviting him into the ring for a match. That serves to keep Garza distracted so Priest can come in and hit a spin kick off the top rope and then the Crossroads for the win.
Winner: Damian Priest
Note: Priest's finisher (a Crossroads), called The Reckoning in NXT, is now called Hit the Lights (after the Metallica song).
After the match, the WWE job squad runs out to try to take the title from Bad Bunny. Priest fends many of them off, but Bad Bunny takes care of Drew Gulak on his own.
I guess some people hate this angle? Or at least, it's one of those things where I see a lot of people complaining about people hating it, but not actually the people hating it. In any case, this angle is great, and Bad Bunny is a godsend for WWE. Between Bad Bunny and Pat McAfee, I'm starting to think WWE should ditch the developmental system entirely and only hire celebrities from now on.
Randy Orton cuts a promo about how The Fiend definitely isn't coming back. Nope. Not at all. But Orton admits he is still distracted… by Alexa Bliss. And it costs him matches. A clip plays of Alexa Bliss casting a spell last week. Then Orton vomits motor oil.
Commentary puts on the "Owen just fell from the ceiling" voices after that shocking segment. This delightfully leads right into a recap of last week when Lacey Evans revealed she's pregnant and Ric Flair started dancing and wooing and shouting, "call me Daddy!"
Charlotte Flair and Asuka vs. Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler
Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler take on Charlotte Flair and Asuka in a match. The whole purpose of the match is the finish, where Charlotte accidentally kicks Asuka in the face, costing them the match.
Asuka slaps Flair's hand away after the match.
Sheamus vs. Jeff Hardy
Good news for WWE fans nostalgic for mid-2020 Smackdown! The classic Sheamus/Jeff Hardy piss chugging feud is back on! Sheamus and Hardy fight each other in a match that Sheamus wins.
Ric Flair talks to Charlotte Flair backstage. Charlotte selfishly complains that her dad's relationship with Lacey Evans is distracting her and causing her to lose matches. She tells Ric to go home. Ric says he never said LAcey's baby was his and that he saw Lacey's potential as a human being. Charlotte: "You see potential in a lot of blondes." Ric says he thought he could help push her like he pushed Charlotte. He was trying to expand the Flair brand. Charlotte says he's running the Flair name. She says he's trying to overshadow her while she's trying to make her own name. She tells him again to go home. She thanks him for everything he's done for her and tells him she loves him.
Well, that was no fun. Why does every Ric Flair angle always end with somebody making him feel like a piece of shit? Who is that written for? I hope Flair doubles down and hooks up with Carmella next.
Dana Brooke and Mandy Rose vs. Lana and Naomi
Dana Brooke and Mandy Rose have a match with Lana and Naomi. Lana and Naomi win.
Winners: Lana and Naomi
AJ Styles vs. Ricochet
This is one of those matches that would be an absolute dream match if both of these guys hadn't had most of their appeal killed by years of bad WWE booking. Styles hits the Styles Clash for the win.
Winner: AJ Styles
Omos picks Ricochet up above his head and powerbombs him after the match.
Miz and Morrison discuss the main event. Braun Strowman interrupts, and they slink away.
Braun Strowman vs. Bobby Lashley
There was a time when nearly every match on WWE Raw was like a Bobby Lashey vs. Braun Strowman match.
Lashley and Strowman have a match with four minutes left on Raw, so you know this is gonna be a classic. Miz gets on commentary as Lashley and Strowman manhandle each other. Shockingly, Lashley puts Strowman away with a chokeslam after kicking out of Strowman's powerslam.
Winner: Bobby Lashley
As Miz looks on in horror, Lashley punishes Strowman with the Hurt Lock. Miz runs in and tries to take out Lashley with the belt, but Lashley stops him and Miz takes a spear.
Very interesting. I have to admit, I thought for sure Strowman would be winning and getting in that title match, but instead WWE just completely fed Strowman to Lashley. But for Miz? Lashley was already a big enough threat to The Miz. So this all seems to point to Lashley vs. McIntyre at WrestleMania. But we shall see.
I also notice that all the screens were showing people booing Lashley, but if this were in front of a crowd, I think they'd definitely be cheering him, right? Not only did he just beat Strowman fair and square while displaying ridiculous strength and fortitude, but then he avoided a cowardly attack from behind and speared the hated, chickenshit heel Miz. I think Lashley would be getting a nuclear pop in front of a crowd, and that WWE was playing booing sound effects there makes me fear that they may have even less of a grasp on what their audience wants when the crowds do return.
All things considered, WWE Raw was kinda entertaining tonight. Was it… good? I'm not sure I'm even capable of recognizing a good Raw anymore. But it was less bad than usual.