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WWE Raw preview (Feb. 8, 2021): Mix it up

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Live from ThunderDome!

The Headliner

Over on the blue brand, Carmella’s sommelier Reginald (former Cirque du Soleil performer Sidney Bateman) has been pretty active on the women’s scene, getting involved in her matches and segments and even officially wrestling Sasha Banks. He doesn’t get in any offense, instead showing off his acrobatic skill by saving Mella or evading The Boss. But it’s become a regular sight, and it’s not unprecedented in SmackDown history.

Here on Mondays, we haven’t had an actual intergender match lately, but it feels like we could get one soon.

Randy Orton RKO-ed Alexa Bliss a couple weeks back, and the two have been rivals since The Viper burned up The Fiend at TLC in December. If Bliss were a guy, we’d definitely be expecting the program between she and Orton to lead to a match. And the cinematic world of Firefly Fun House allows WWE to book one that bends the rules of what Randy vs. Alexa can be.

RECKONING’s presence at ringside for RETRIBUTION matches also increases the likelihood she could get involved in a men’s match. In fact, it may just be post-show and social media banter, but Xavier Woods called for his rubber match with Mustafa Ali’s faction to come against its female member, and our untitled kayfabe authority figure is hinting he might sanction the bout...

RECKONING accepted the challenge, leading to speculation WWE is considering booking it.

Will they? We heard rumors last year that USA wanted Raw to push the envelope in response to its flagging ratings... maybe intergender wrestling is one of the ways they’ll do that?

If it is, I expect Bliss/Orton or Woods/RECKONING to adhere to what we’ve seen from WWE in the past. Either the matches will be one-sided with the guy getting his butt-kicked, a swerve setting up an intragender match, or be cartoonish and clearly have some kind of fantastical element - or some combination of all those elements.

Maybe we’ll start getting men and women interacting this way on a regular basis, or maybe it’ll go back into mothballs again for a few years after these stories are done. That’ll likely depend on the numbers. But I wouldn’t expect to see anything resembling an independent intergender match in The ‘E any time soon, so proponents should try to enjoy whatever we do get now - and keep checking Sermon On The Mat for the next Candice LeRae to pop up on the indies.

The title scene

He’s technically still waiting for Men’s Royal Rumble winner Edge’s decision about WrestleMania 37, but WWE champ Drew McIntyre has plenty to keep him busy. Just tonight, he’s got to address his buddy Sheamus Brogue Kick-ing him last Monday, and lock up with Orton yet again. Plus, we all expect Edge to pick Roman Reigns anyway.

Reggie is trying to get Women’s Rumble winner Bianca Belair to pick Asuka and the Raw Women’s championship but I don’t think she’s going to go for it. The Empress isn’t really feuding with anyone, but given how close Alexa came to beating her before the aforementioned RKO, Bray Wyatt’s friend is probably her biggest threat.

Because despite dropping the WWE Women’s Tag Team titles to Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler at Royal Rumble, Asuka’s friend Charlotte Flair is too distracted by her dad’s new lady friend Lacey Evans. So The Queen’s probably not coming after singles gold, and Lana & Naomi capitalized on Ric Flair’s distraction to become #1 contenders to the pairs belts.

Since their match last week ended in a disqualification finish, Bobby Lashley’s feud with Riddle over the United States championship will likely continue. My money’s still on Lana’s ex, though. Eventually, he’s gonna get The Hurt Lock on Bro in the middle of the ring and the ropes won’t be able to save him like they did last week.

By staying on the same page last week, Raw Tag Team champs Cedric Alexander & Shelton Benjamin may have overcome their greatest challenge. We’ll see if MVP can keep his guys focused on whoever their next challengers are instead of their game of one-upmanship against each other.

One day and counting on R-Truth’s 49th run as 24/7 champion. God is good.

Other stuff to keep an eye on

- Probably no Bad Bunny tonight, but expect Damian Priest to keep things cooking for WrestleMania’s celebrity match by continuing their angle with The Miz & John Morrison.

- And don’t forget Miz has a briefcase he can use to start a match with McIntyre whenever he wants. WWE seems to forget that, so I thought I’d remind you.

- Carlito’s back, which is cool. Still no sign of Rhea Ripley, but I hope she lands on Team Red... they need her. And wherever Keith Lee is, we hope he’s alright.

Two weeks until Elimination Chamber!

What will you be looking for on Raw tonight?