Monday Night Raw – February 1, 2021

Monday Night Raw
Date: February 1, 2021
Location: Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Florida
Commentators: Tom Phillips, Samoa Joe, Byron Saxton

We’re done with the Royal Rumble and that means we only have two more pay per views to go before Wrestlemania because Elimination Chamber and Fastlane both need to be things. Edge won the men’s Royal Rumble and has a decision to make, which very well may come tonight. Let’s get to it.

Here’s Drew McIntyre to get things going. Drew talks about how we are on the road to Wrestlemania and goes over how great each match was last night. Cue Edge to interrupt him though and McIntyre praises him for everything Edge did for him over the years. Drew was here when Edge had to retire and then he was in the Rumble last year when Edge returned.

Edge says he likes Drew but what is wrong with him? Winning the Rumble last night means that Edge can challenge Drew for the title. So why isn’t Drew kicking his head off right now? Cue Sheamus to interrupt and ask Edge who he is to question Drew. Edge has been sitting at home while Drew carried this company all year. Drew may take the high road but that’s not what Sheamus is going to do.

Edge won last night, so he can make a decision or Drew can do it for him. That isn’t happening tonight, but everyone will know when he makes his decision. Either way though, Edge is walking out of Wrestlemania SA champion. Edge leaves, and Sheamus Brogue Kicks McIntyre, likely setting up the Elimination Chamber title match.

Post break, Sheamus says he and Drew aren’t friends anymore and he wants the WWE Title. Drew Gulak is waiting with Sheamus’ bags and Sheamus leaves.

US Title: Riddle vs. Bobby Lashley

Riddle is challenging and MVP is here with Lashley. They start fast with Riddle getting caught in a delayed suplex but managing a hurricanrana to the floor. There’s the Floating Bro from the apron and Lashley is in more trouble. Back in and Lashley grabs the Hurt Lock over the ropes but Lashley doesn’t break for the DQ at 1:48 (Riddle seemed to tap anyway).

Post match Lashley grabs the Hurt Lock again to knock Riddle out, with MVP telling Lashley that he went too far. Lashley grabs it for a third time and drops Riddle onto the barricade.

We look back at Asuka and Charlotte losing the Women’s Tag Team Titles to Shayna Baszler and Nia Jax last night.

Bad Bunny is here.

Back from a break and Riddle doesn’t even remember who he was facing.

Randy Orton can’t believe Edge pulled it off last night but the bigger problem is Edge made Orton look like a liar. See, Orton had promised that Edge wouldn’t be back but here he is again. Orton beat Edge up time after time because he loves him like a brother and tried to get him out of this business. Edge isn’t going to main event Wrestlemania because tonight there will be no mercy or compassion. They meet tonight.

Kofi Kingston is here with Xavier Woods tonight when Woods faces Ali and Retribution again.

Mustafa Ali vs. Xavier Woods

Retribution and Kofi Kingston are here too. Ali punches him down to start but gets clotheslined out to the floor for his efforts. Back in and Ali grabs a running neckbreaker, followed by a running neckbreaker for two more. Woods fights back up and strikes away before swinging into a Russian legsweep to drop Ali again. Ali is right back up but can’t hit the tornado DDT. T-Bar breaks up a pin attempt so Kofi goes after him, allowing Woods to grab a crucifix to pin Ali at 4:07.

Rating: C-. Just a quick match here as Retribution takes another loss after going on a nice mini winning streak. I know this is leading to Kofi vs. Ali at some point, but it might be nice to build Ali up a little bit rather than tearing down any minor thing he builds up. The match was fine and at least the finish wasn’t entirely clean, but let Ali have a winning streak.

Damian Priest and Bad Bunny are chatting in the back.

We look back at the opening sequence.

Here are Miz and John Morrison for MizTV. They get straight to the point this week and bring out Bad Bunny as the guest. We look at Bad Bunny’s performance last night, plus Miz and Morrison getting on his nerves, causing him to dive on them in the Royal Rumble. Back in the ring Bunny confirms that he wants to be a wrestler, so Miz talks about mentoring Daniel Bryan to all of their success.

They’ll help Bunny get into wrestling if he helps them record an album. Miz: “We get Grammys and you get Slammys.” Morrison samples a bit of their Spanish rapping abilities but Bunny isn’t interested. Miz goes on a rant about how this is their ring but Bunny says he’s only here because his friend wants to be a guest. Cue Damian Priest to take out Miz and Morrison and we have a match.

Damian Priest vs. The Miz

Priest wastes no time in knocking Miz to the floor for the step up flip dive to take out both Miz and Morrison. Back in and Miz fights back but Priest isn’t having that and hits the running elbow in the corner. The Broken Arrow gets two but a Morrison distraction lets Miz get in a cheap shot. Miz goes for the briefcase but Bunny takes it away. Bunny hands it to Morrison and hits him with the microphone. The Reckoning finishes Miz at 4:26.

Rating: C. This was about establishing Priest and if having Bad Bunny as his friend helps that along then so be it. I don’t know anything about Bunny but he seems to be quite the big deal in the music world at the moment. If that helps Priest along then great, because Priest is the kind of guy who could be a heck of a star on Raw. A good debut helps that and it worked out well enough here.

Long video on Alexa Bliss going all evil.

Tag Team Titles: Hurt Business vs. Lucha House Party

The Hurt Business is defending and MVP is on commentary. MVP ignores a question about Lashley to talk about Bad Bunny before saying he has never seen Lashley go that far before (MVP: “But I like it.”). Shelton throws Dorado around to start but gets kicked in the face. Metalik comes in off of Dorado’s shoulders and (eventually) gets in a hurricanrana to take Benjamin over. Everything breaks down in a hurry and the House Party knocks the champs to the floor as we take a break.

Back with Shelton hitting a gutbuster for two on Dorado, with MVP shouting “GO BACK TO THE RIBS”. Some knees in the corner keep Dorado in trouble but he finally knocks Shelton down long enough to get over for the tag to Metalik. The pace picks up with a rope walk hurricanrana to Alexander. Dorado dives onto Shelton, who catches him out of the air, meaning Metalik has to dive onto both of them. Back in and Metalik rolls Alexander up for two but Alexander runs him over. Shelton tags himself in again though and Paydirt finishes Metalik to retain the titles at 11:13.

Rating: C. Hey, did you know that Alexander and Benjamin are champions who don’t get along? I’m not sure if WWE has pounded that into your head well enough by doing the same thing every single week since they won the belts in the first place. Throw in MVP questioning Lashley earlier in the night and I’m a bit scared about the Hurt Business’ future.

We look at Charlotte and Asuka losing the Tag Team Titles again.

Charlotte is focused on winning the Tag Team Titles and takes the blame for getting distracted by Ric Flair and Lacey Evans. Asuka is frustrated over the loss because she was ready last night. Charlotte says it’s time to get the titles back.

Charlotte/Asuka vs. Mandy Rose/Dana Brooke vs. Naomi/Lana

The winners get a future Tag Team Title shot. We get an inset promo from Lana and Naomi, with Lana giving one of the most scripted, forced, unnatural statements ever about how they’re a team. Naomi isn’t much better, but that Lana one was as rigid as I can remember in a long time. Charlotte runs Naomi over to start so Mandy and Asuka tag themselves in. Both of them try dropkicks so Mandy grabs a rollup for two.

Lana and Dana tag themselves in and oh dear. Lana misses a few kicks to the face and gets sent into the corner for the handspring elbow. Mandy and Brooke clear the ring and we take an early break. Back with Charlotte grabbing the Figure Four necklock and rolling Dana over for a tag off to Mandy. Charlotte gets taken into the corner but escapes a double suplex without much effort. Asuka comes in for the running hip attack to Rose in the corner, followed by the Shining Wizard for two.

It’s quickly back to Charlotte to run Lana over for a few near falls but Lana reverses a powerbomb into a hurricanrana. Naomi gets the hot tag and starts to clean house before it’s back to Lana, who is promptly kicked in the face. Everything breaks down with a parade of shots to the head. Natural Selection drops Dana….and here are Ric Flair and Lacey Evans for another distraction. Charlotte goes after them so Naomi hits the Rear View to finish Asuka at 11:10.

Rating: C-. Well at least Mandy and Dana didn’t take another fall, and since the idea of Charlotte taking back to back falls is horrible and atrocious, Asuka was the only other sacrificial lamb. Thank goodness we’re picking up the Lana vs. Jax feud again though, because that needed to keep going after the six week break. Otherwise we might have left dozens of people waiting for the big culmination.

A sad Drew McIntyre talks about his ten year friendship with Sheamus, including the two of them spending Christmas together in a diner because they had no one else. If Sheamus wants the match, he has it. No date given.

Video on Carlito.

Jaxson Ryker/Elias vs. Jeff Hardy/Carlito

Carlito takes Elias down to start and it’s off to Hardy to go after the arm. It’s off to Ryker for two off a suplex and Elias comes back in to elbow Hardy in the back. Carlito gets knocked off the apron to keep him angry as Elias hits a sitout chokeslam for two on Hardy. Ryker misses a middle rope splash though and it’s back to Carlito to start cleaning house. A faceplant cuts that off so Elias comes back in and rolls Carlito up for two. Carlito flips out of a suplex though and hits the Backstabber, setting up Hardy’s Swanton to finish Elias at 5:53.

Rating: C. I was never a big Carlito fan but he looks a heck of a lot better this time around, at least physically. If he can put in the effort and try to make another run work, WWE might have picked up a hidden gem. He looked pretty good here, though that was in a rather small dose. Not bad though, and that’s a fine way to start your run back.

Long video on Edge’s retirement, return and feud with Randy Orton setting up last night’s Royal Rumble win.

Edge talks about how great it was to come back last night and get this far, but there has always been a black cloud hanging over both himself and his family. That black cloud is Randy Orton and tonight he is going to deal with it so he can go back to Wrestlemania and get back a title he never lost. Tonight he gets closure on why he can’t carry his daughters to bed or play soccer with them because he’s finishing things with Orton.

Nikki Cross vs. Alexa Bliss

Cross asks Bliss what she wants from her and takes her down with a headlock. Bliss slips out and smiles at Cross, who runs her over with a crossbody. Back up and Bliss pops her with a right hand, meaning it’s a bit of a cheer before Bliss gets two. After a “well shucks/fiddlesticks” look from Bliss, she steps on Cross’ back and then sends her face first into the mat a few times.

A bit of hopscotch into a kick to the ribs gets two more and we hit a bodyscissors. Back up and Sister Abigail is broken up….and then Bliss turns back into the Goddess. Bliss says it’s her and offers a hug but gets kicked in the ribs, followed by a clothesline. Then it’s back into Funhouse Bliss so the smiles are on again. Sister Abigail into a DDT finishes Cross at 6:43.

Rating: D. Remember when Mick Foley had the Three Faces Of Foley and would transform from one personality to another when he was pushed too far or became comfortable enough that another could come out? Well screw all of that because what one of the most creative gimmicks of all time really needed was magic that let him change his look, style and gear in the blink of an eye. I’m a bigger Bliss fan than most but egads this is getting really, really annoying. Bring crowds back just to get rid of this nonsense.

Bliss goes to leave post match but runs into Randy Orton on the way to the ring for the main event.

Randy Orton vs. Edge

Edge goes straight at him to start and hammers away, setting up the standing choke that he used back in April. Orton breaks that up and chokes him down in the corner, followed by more choking on the rope. Edge snaps off a quick Edgecution for two but the spear is countered into a scoop powerslam. They take it outside with Orton sending him into the steps and we take a break.

Back with Edge in trouble but hitting a clothesline out of the corner. The RKO is countered into the Edge O Matic for two and Edge knocks him off the apron into the barricade. Edge follows and gets poked in the eye, allowing Orton to drop him onto the announcers’ table. Back in and Orton sends him throat first into the bottom rope, followed by the hanging DDT. And now Alex Bliss is on the top rope with black fluid spilling out of her mouth. The spear finishes Orton at 16:02.

Rating: C+. These two always work well together and that was the case again here, even with whatever Bray Wyatt’s latest idea with Bliss is, even if no one but him has any idea what is going on. Edge is going on to something bigger and better at Wrestlemania so it’s nice that he can put the Orton thing behind him rather than having some other big pay per view match between them. I wouldn’t be shocked to see that happen again, but at least they gave Edge the win here.

Overall Rating: C-. This show wasn’t great, but it was still one of the best Raw’s in a long time due to cutting out a lot of the nonsense and having something to build towards over the next few weeks. Throw in Miz and Morrison being confined to the midcard where they belong at the moment and WAY less of the Bliss/Orton shenanigans and it was a lot easier to watch. Not a good show, but by comparison, it worked wonders (in other words, Smackdown on Monday).

Results

Riddle b. Bobby Lashley via DQ when Lashley would not let go of the Hurt Lock in the ropes

Xavier Woods b. Mustafa Ali – Crucifix

Damien Priest b. The Miz – Reckoning

Hurt Business b. Lucha House Party – Paydirt to Metalik

Naomi/Lana b. Dana Brooke/Mandy Rose and Charlotte/Asuka – Rear View to Asuka

Carlito/Jeff Hardy b. Elias/Jaxson Ryker – Swanton to Elias

Alexa Bliss b. Nikki Cross – Sister Abigail DDT

Edge b. Randy Orton – Spear

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