Raw airs tonight (Feb. 14) with a live show from Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana. This is the final Raw episode during the three week build towards Elimination Chamber on Saturday, February 19.
Brock Lesnar is the favorite to win at Elimination Chamber
Bobby Lashley will defend the WWE championship inside the Saudi Arabian Elimination Chamber against
Matt Riddle, Austin Theory, AJ Styles, Brock Lesnar, and Seth Rollins.
The most relevant question to ask about this match is the following: will Brock Lesnar win back the WWE championship in order to set up a title versus title match against Roman Reigns at WrestleMania 38?
Brock is the favorite to win, and it’s pretty clear why that’s the case.
First of all, he’s Brock Lesnar, and no matter what match he’s in, he’s almost always the favorite to win.
Second, Brock just took a pinfall loss to Bob at Royal Rumble. If Lesnar loses again this weekend, that presumably means he’ll be taking another pinfall (or submission) loss, because there are no disqualifications or count outs in a chamber match. Having Brock lose twice to Lashley prior to main eventing WrestleMania against Roman Reigns doesn’t make any sense.
Then again, it was just last year when WWE booked Royal Rumble winner Bianca Belair and SmackDown women’s champion Sasha Banks to lose all of their pay-per-view matches between Royal Rumble and WrestleMania 37. But this is Brock Lesnar we’re talking about here, the highest paid star who gets preferential treatment over just about everyone else on the WWE roster. It’s hard to see him doing the job for Lashley on two consecutive events.
Third, Ronda Rousey is back in WWE and she can headline the first night of WrestleMania. That potentially frees up the WWE championship to get added to the Reigns vs. Lesnar bout on night two.
If Brock does win the title this weekend, it begs the question, why the heck did he drop the belt to Lashley two weeks ago at the Rumble? The answer is, he dropped it so WWE could go forward with the Paul Heyman betrayal angle that was initially planned for Day 1, and so Lesnar would have a better excuse for entering and winning the Royal Rumble match.
The All Mighty Era just kicked off a couple weeks ago, but it will probably end even quicker than Brock’s reign as WWE champion did in January. That’s because only a handful of wrestlers actually matter in WWE, and Vince McMahon is willing to throw away everyone else in order to go all-in on the one match he views as the biggest attraction at WrestleMania 38.
Lesnar will grace us with his presence tonight on Raw. I’d guess it will be a promo segment where Lashley or some of the other chamber opponents confront him. Will the Beast get to maul the lower tier chamber foes like Riddle or Theory? Will Lashley trap Brock in the Hurt Lock? Will Seth Rollins and Brock Lesnar cackle in each other’s face? Will Brock Lesnar be naked the entire time?
You’ll have to tune in to Raw to find out.
The rest of the title scene
United States Champion Damian Priest is scheduled to defend the belt tonight against AJ Styles, who earned the title match by pinning Priest last week with a Phenomenal Forearm. This is a bit of a strange one, because AJ will be challenging for Bobby Lashley’s more important WWE championship at the end of the week in Saudi Arabia. Priest is cold right now, WWE doesn’t know what they’re doing with his new gimmick, and it’s not the craziest thing in the world to expect a title change here. It doesn’t make sense for AJ to take a pin tonight, so Priest’s clearest route to retaining the gold is yet another lame disqualification or count out after he snaps and loses control.
RK-Bro were victorious over Alpha Academy in last week’s Quiz Bowl, in part because Chad Gable foolishly didn’t trust Otis’ natural instincts about ham. Randy Orton and Riddle have now earned a rematch for the Raw tag team titles, and they’ll celebrate their academic superiority tonight by throwing an RK-Broga party. After securing the number one contender spot, RK-Bro went on to lose a tag team match later in the night against Seth Rollins and Kevin Owens. But don’t think too hard about that one, because there’s nothing wrong at all with WWE’s creative process.
I jumped the gun last week when I inaccurately wrote that Becky Lynch has wiped out the entire Raw women’s division over the last five months. She hasn’t faced Rhea Ripley, for example. Regardless, WWE loves to bring back past stars and legends for the road to WrestleMania and the Saudi Arabia shows, so Lita will be challenging Big Time Becks for the Raw women’s title at Elimination Chamber. Lita withstood an attack from Becky last week and stood tall by hitting Lynch with her moonsault. Lita is back on the show again tonight, so we’ll see if Becky has something more sinister in mind for the Hall of Fame star.
24/7 Champion Dana Brooke and Reggie are probably just friends, but there might be something more there. It’s Valentine’s Day, so they better figure this out real soon.
Queen Zelina Vega and Carmella are the Women’s tag team champions. There are no other women’s teams in WWE, so they are fodder right now for putting over the more important wrestlers in the singles division.
Other stuff to keep an eye on
- Five women have been announced for a Saudi Arabian Elimination Chamber match. Doudrop, Bianca Belair, Liv Morgan, Nikki A.S.H., and Rhea Ripley will battle inside the Saudi chamber for the right to challenge Becky Lynch (or Lita) for the Raw women’s championship at WrestleMania 38. Belair is the favorite among these five women. Last week’s action saw Doudrop go over Morgan, while Ripley beat A.S.H. the week before that. Those results help establish the pecking order for the rest of the field. Then there’s the 6th woman, whose identity is currently a mystery. Could it be Asuka? Bayley? Sasha Banks? A local competitor from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia? Perhaps WWE will give us a clue tonight.
- Kevin Owens won two matches last week but was informed by Adam Pearce that there might not be a spot for him on the stupendous two night WrestleMania card. On the one hand, this is a good sign that WWE actually does have a plan in place for KO over the next two months. On the other hand, it’s pretty much telling the audience the wrestler isn’t a star when said wrestler has to beg to get on the WrestleMania card. Isn’t the whole idea that the fans should feel like they have no choice but to buy a ticket (or subscribe to Peacock / order on PPV) to see all of these huge stars on one card? I think that used to be the idea, anyway.
- Alexa Bliss is on her way back to Raw, but she is first trying to finish up her therapy sessions. This could be WWE’s attempt to move on from that stupid doll Lilly, but who really knows?
- Dominik Mysterio and The Miz have traded wins over the last two episodes of Raw. The combined time of these two matches was around four minutes, which is WWE’s way of telling you these matches don’t actually matter. Will we get another two minute match tonight to complete the trilogy?
- The Olympics are bumping Raw from the USA network to SyFy once again. Last week’s Raw was the least watched episode in history as a result. Tonight’s show could very well be the second least watched episode ever.
What will you be looking for on Raw tonight?