Monday Night Raw – February 15, 2021

Monday Night Raw
Date: February 15, 2021
Location: Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Florida
Commentators: Samoa Joe, Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton

It’s the go home show for the Elimination Chamber and that means it is time for one of WWE’s favorites: the gauntlet match for the final spot in the match. WWE has a history of making these things go on for a very long time so it could be going in a lot of different directions. Let’s get to it.

Here’s the Miz for MizTV (sans Morrison, who is off working on a Bad Bunny diss track) with Drew McIntyre as the special guest. Miz explains the Elimination Chamber and says that statistically, Drew’s title reign could be in jeopardy (because the best way to fire up a crowd for a wrestling show is to start with a discussion of wrestling statistics). Before McIntyre (or Andy as Miz calls him) can respond, Miz talks about Sheamus turning on McIntyre and challenging him for the title.

That wasn’t the case though and we go back to the Chamber, with Drew finally shouting at him to shut up. McIntyre headbutts him down and throws the Money in the Bank briefcase all the way to the stage. Drew leaves so Miz explains the Chamber for the third time in about five minutes and talks about having the briefcase for extra pressure. Miz is a master strategist and wants every single star vying for either World Title to be on notice. He is in control and to show just how in control, he is removing himself from the Elimination Chamber. As usual: I love Miz but this is just not interesting.

Video on the Hurt Business.

Lucha House Party/Riddle vs. Hurt Business

Before the match, Riddle asks the Lucha Bros who his favorite President is. Riddle prefers Harrison Ford because he saved Chewbacca but thinks Lince Dorado is a Freebird Rutherford PS Hayes guy. The Luchas don’t really have time for this because they want to send an Elimination Chamber message. Shelton shoulders Dorado down to start and it’s off to Alexander for two off a suplex. Metalik comes in without much trouble and hits a spring elbow to send Alexander to the floor.

That brings Shelton in and, after pausing, he charges over a low bridge to put him outside as well. Some dives take the Hurt Business down and we take a break. Back with Shelton shouldering the heck out of Metalik so MVP can come in and work on an armbar. The Business takes turns on Metalik until a missed charge allows the hot tag off to Riddle. House is cleaned a bit and everything breaks down, including Dorado hitting a springboard dive onto Alexander. Riddle hits the Final Flash into the Floating Bro for the pin on MVP at 10:09.

Rating: C. Totally acceptable six man tag here with Riddle getting the win and that’s about it. The triple threat match on Sunday for the US Title should be fine on Sunday and this gave them a little boost towards the match. It wouldn’t surprise me to see the House Party vs. the Hurt Business for the Tag Team Titles added to the Kickoff Show either.

Post match here’s Bobby Lashley to lay out Riddle with the Hurt Lock, making sure that the momentum he got from the win was canceled after about 74 seconds.

Miz talks to Adam Pearce about the empty Elimination Chamber spot and has the perfect replacement: John Morrison. Pearce will take it under consideration and Miz leaves.

We look at Damien Priest beating Angel Garza (with Miz in his corner) last week, because we need three Miz related segments in 40 minutes.

Mandy Rose hits on Bad Bunny before Damien Priest talks about having a hot start on Monday Night Raw. Priest plugs Bunny being the guest on this week’s Monday Night Raw….and we’re interrupted by Akira Tozawa winning the 24/7 Title. Priest beats him up…..and Bunny wins the title instead.

Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods come up to Adam Pearce and asks to be put in the Elimination Chamber instead. Woods points out that Kofi was champion more recently than four people in the Chamber. Miz comes up again (COME ON) and they argue a bit, with Miz saying John Morrison is a former ECW World Champion and that’s good enough. Pearce says Miz can face Kofi with the winner getting the spot (as in Kofi or Morrison). That’s fine with Kofi because this is how he got there in the first place. Kofi is ready for Miz because they saw the three Marine movies.

Video on the Elimination Chamber.

Lacey Evans/Peyton Royce vs. Charlotte/Asuka

Ric Flair is here with Lacey and Royce and yes we have to hear some talking before the match. Lacey is very glad for all of Ric’s guidance and Char-Char, tonight she and Pey-Pey have a late Valentine’s Day gift for Charlotte: it’s one of those sweethearts that says Bite Me. She doesn’t have one for Asuka, but Asuka is going to be giving her a present on Sunday anyway (and yes she explains that it’s the title because WWE thinks we’re stupid).

Asuka runs Peyton over to start and cranks on her arm before it’s off to Charlotte to do the same. Charlotte sends Peyton into the corner for the tag to Lacey, who would rather stand on the steps instead. That leaves Royce to take a fall away slam and Asuka comes back in to crank on the neck. Royce manages to reverse and hammer away a bit but makes the mistake of trying to kick Asuka in the ribs.

That means a pair of strikes to put them both down and it’s off to Charlotte, who pulls Royce away from Lacey (who wasn’t extending her hand anyway). As you ignore that Charlotte should want Lacey to come in, Peyton is taken outside for a ram into the announcers’ table. Back in and a quick tag brings Lacey in but she walks up the aisle and says Charlotte isn’t putting her hands on her. Lacey: “Charlotte, I’m pregnant.” Ric: “WOO!” And I guess that’s the match at 6:05.

Rating: D+. I’m going to give them the benefit of the doubt (I’m stupid like that) and let Lacey say “of course it’s my husband’s” before shaking my head even more at how stupid this whole thing could get. The story continues to trend towards Charlotte vs. Ric and now I’m terrified to see where this whole thing is going. I was really scared before, but now it’s full on terror because this can’t end well.

Sheamus promises to win the gauntlet match so he can enter the Chamber last and hit a bunch of Brogue Kicks to become WWE Champion.

Post break, we look at Lacey’s announcement, with commentary being stunned.

Kofi Kingston vs. Miz

If Kofi wins, he’s in the Chamber but if Miz wins, John Morrison is in (and yes they have a graphic for it, because that’s not the kind of thing you can remember without one). Miz shoulders him down to start but it’s way too early for either to hit a finisher. Kofi gets in a shot to the ribs and goes up top for a chop to the head. That’s enough to send Miz outside and Kofi hits a kick to the face from the apron.

The middle rope ax handle to the floor connects as well and a middle rope dropkick gets two back inside. A regular dropkick puts Miz on the apron but this time he catches Kofi with a knee. Miz’s neckbreaker over the middle rope and another one to the floor has Kofi in trouble as we take a break. Back with Miz getting two off a DDT and throwing Kofi outside to keep up the beating. That sets up the top rope ax handle for two more and we hit the cravate.

Kofi rolls out and fights up, including the running stomp to the chest. The Boom Drop gets two but Trouble in Paradise misses, allowing Miz to get his own two. SOS gives Kofi two more but Miz gets smart and takes out the knee. The Figure Four goes on, with Kofi getting over to the rope without much trouble. The Skull Crushing Finale is countered into a rollup for two and now Trouble in Paradise connects to give Kofi the pin and the spot at 14:11.

Rating: B-. These two have always worked well together and that’s what they did here. I was a bit surprised by Kingston winning as it would have made a bit more sense for Morrison to go forward. At the same time though, I can go with more of Kofi inside the Chamber, if nothing else for some history. Getting rid of Miz and Morrison makes me happier than anything else at the moment so I’ll take what I can get.

We look back at Lana beating Nia Jax last week (with MY HOLE intact).

Lana, with new best friend Naomi (because WWE women love cycling through best friends), is proud of her win and makes MY HOLE jokes.

Video on Elimination Chamber. We just did this less than an hour ago!

Randy Orton says he will do anything to win the WWE Title. He solves problems, just like he solved the Fiend. Now he will do anything to headline Wrestlemania and that includes making five people the victim of an RKO. The feed is cut to the Firefly Fun House (featuring an “Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here” sign) with Alexa Bliss saying ashes to ashes and dust to dust. In the future, he will be reborn. She is sitting in a pentagram and the candles at the points of the star are blown out. Bliss laughs maniacally.

Lana vs. Shayna Baszler

Naomi is here with Lana (and yes they have a synchronized dance) and Nia Jax is with Baszler. Shayna starts fast by cranking back on the arm as Lana is in trouble on the mat. Lana manages a slap to the face and I don’t see this going well for her. A hard clothesline puts Lana down again and we hit the neck crank.

That’s broken up and Lana rolls her into the corner for a breather. Lana’s high crossbody gets two on Baszler but she’s right back with a kick to the head. Jax goes after Naomi, who is dropkicked into the post, causing Baszler to go after Naomi. Lana’s rollup gets two so Baszler knees her in the face, setting up the Kirifuda Clutch for the tap at 4:20.

Rating: D+. What does it say when I’m so worried that Lana is going to get a big win and therefore keep her around even longer? It really isn’t a good sign when the best thing that I can say about a match is that they didn’t follow up on the MY HOLE deal. That’s where we are with this story, and yet the Lana stuff will probably continue for various reasons of WWE sees a lot of (rather obvious) things in her.

Braun Strowman comes up to Adam Pearce and asks why he isn’t in the Elimination Chamber match. Pearce tries to leave but Strowman says not so fast. Threats are made but Pearce says it’s just for former WWE Champions. Strowman says Pearce needs to let Shane McMahon know that he isn’t happy. Please tell me that isn’t a Wrestlemania match in the making.

Gauntlet Match

Non-title and the winner enters the Chamber last. AJ Styles is in at #1 and….we’ll find out who is joining him after he talks about being sick of hearing about Kofimania II. His attorney (Joseph A. Parks of course) and Omos have gone over the odds and he can’t lose on Sunday. Kofi Kingston is in at #2 and they have almost an hour for this. AJ whips Kofi into the corner to start but misses a charge, allowing Kofi to hammer away. A belly to back suplex puts Kofi down for a few seconds but he low bridges AJ out to the floor there’s the Trust Fall to the floor.

With AJ down, Xavier Woods needs to give us a trombone concert on the announcers’ table. That earns him a rather high one armed chokeslam from Omos (with the camera shooting from the ground for a great visual) over the barricade. That’s enough for Omos to be ejected but AJ uses the distraction to take out Kofi’s knee again.

We take a break and come back with AJ putting the bad knee in a half crab. Kofi gets out so AJ puts him on top, only to have Kofi shove him down and hit the middle rope splash to the back. The bad knee means it can only be a two count so AJ grabs a DDT on the leg. The Phenomenal Forearm finishes Kofi at 11:03 and it’s Drew McIntyre in at #3.

A quick belly to belly suplex sends AJ flying and Drew drops him ribs first across the top rope. Drew gets in a big boot to leave AJ on the apron and we take a break. Back with AJ being whipped hard into the corner and then into the steps. Drew hits a Michinoku Driver for two but AJ goes to the throat for a breather. AJ gets caught in the reverse Alabama Slam out of the corner but the Claymore is cut off with a kick to the face. That sends Drew to the floor and AJ nails the slingshot forearm.

A knee to the face drops Drew again and a running forearm sends Drew into the post as we take a break. Back again with Drew tossing AJ again but diving off the top and right into an enziguri. The Styles Clash is countered with a backdrop but AJ takes out the knee and puts on the Calf Crusher. Drew headbutts his way to freedom though and sends AJ throat first into the middle rope. The Claymore gives Drew the pin at 29:49 total.

Jeff Hardy is in at #4 and, after an inset promo of Hardy talking about needing to get back to Wrestlemania, he forearms Drew down to start. Drew gets knocked to the floor and a dive off the apron takes him down as we go to a break. Back with Drew making another comeback and snapping off an overhead belly to bell, followed by an overhead belly to belly for good measure. A neckbreaker lets McIntyre nip up again and, after countering a quick Twist of Fate attempt, the Futureshock gets two.

Hardy falls out to the floor so McIntyre suplexes him out there as well, leaving them both down. Back in and Drew puts him on top for a top rope superplex and another near fall. The Claymore misses though and Jeff grabs the Twist of Fate. The Swanton hits knees though and the Claymore gets rid of Hardy at 42:59 total. Randy Orton is in at #5 and McIntyre realizes he’s in some trouble.

Back from another break with McIntyre sending Orton into the barricade….but the lights go out and Alexa Bliss takes over every screen in the arena, including the fans (ok that’s creepy). Orton is counted out at 49:09, because THIS TIME WWE remembers how to count people out. That leaves Sheamus at #6 to complete the field and jumps Drew from behind. Drew is beaten up at ringside, followed by some stomping inside.

The referee asks Drew if he wants to do this and we start the match, despite there not being any bells or starts/stops between the previous falls. Sheamus sends Drew’s bad back into the corner and drops a knee for two. Despite Drew clutching his back, Sheamus grabs an armbar, allowing Drew to fight back up.

Drew tries to jump over him out of the corner but gets powerslammed down for two more. The Glasgow Kiss gets Drew out of trouble and there’s the Future Shock for a double knockdown. Drew is sent to the floor but gets in a quick shot to put Sheamus down. The Claymore misses though and the Brogue Kick finishes Drew at 48:46.

Rating: B. That was a rather long but still good match, with Drew putting on a heck of a showcase. Of course there is nothing wrong with having a World Champion lose to a former World Champion after being in the ring for the better part of forty minutes. McIntyre sold the heck out of his exhaustion at the end too and the sympathy was strong. Sheamus winning was the right call and I’m not sure who wins on Sunday so well done with the whole thing.

Post match Sheamus says that makes him the odds on favorite and he promises to win the title because Drew can’t beat him.

Overall Rating: C+. The second half of this show was a complete turnaround from the first half and that’s some great news. The first half of this show was VERY Miz heavy, felt the need to treat the show like someone with the intelligence of a smashed walnut and repeated one dumb idea over and over (and yes of course if Lacey is really pregnant, as she seems to be, that changes a few things). Then you have the second half, which had the rather solid Kofi vs. Miz match plus the good gauntlet match. Best show they’ve had in a bit, but it’s almost all because of the second half.

Results

Riddle/Lucha House Party b. Hurt Business – Floating Bro to MVP

Lacey Evans/Peyton Royce vs. Charlotte/Asuka went to a no contest

Kofi Kingston b. The Miz – Trouble in Paradise

Shayna Baszler b. Lana – Kirifuda Clutch

Sheamus won a gauntlet match last eliminating Drew McIntyre

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