Raw airs tonight (Feb. 7) with a live show from the Ball Arena in Denver, Colorado. This is the second Raw episode during the three week build towards Elimination Chamber on Saturday, February 19.
What’s going on with Randy Orton?
RK-Bro and Alpha Academy are supposed to compete against each other in a Quiz Bowl tonight. This is the third and decisive round of their Academic Challenge, where RK-Bro gets a rematch for the Raw tag team titles if they can pull out the win.
But will Randy Orton even be in attendance to participate in the challenge? There’s a rumor that something is going on with Randy and he might be missing for a little while.
Orton had one of the worst survival times in the Royal Rumble match in his hometown, perhaps related to his entry number somehow getting mixed up with Shane McMahon’s. The Viper didn’t appear on last week’s Raw and missed out on round two of the Academic Challenge, even though the original setup for the scooter race made it sound like it was intended to be a team competition. Orton is an obvious guy to put in the Elimination Chamber match alongside top stars like Bobby Lashley and Brock Lesnar. But he wasn’t on last week’s show, and
Matt Riddle got the spot instead.
Maybe Randy simply had a scheduled night off and there’s nothing to see here. I guess we’ll find out tonight if there is any signal among the noise.
The rest of the title scene
Bobby Lashley will defend the WWE championship inside the Saudi Arabian Elimination Chamber against Riddle, Brock Lesnar, Seth Rollins, AJ Styles, and
Shane McMahon Austin Theory. Lesnar isn’t advertised for the show tonight. Rollins is booked in a singles match against Riddle. That means WWE still needs to figure out something for Lashley, Styles, and Theory tonight. Maybe Lashley vs. Styles will be the main event, while Theory gets to have more awkward backstage segments with Vince McMahon?
Becky Lynch has wiped out the entire Raw women’s division over the last five months, so Lita is back in WWE to challenge Big Time Becks for Raw women’s championship at Elimination Chamber. Lita is set to appear on tonight’s show to speak more about the upcoming match.
United States Champion Damian Priest was easily tossed out of the Royal Rumble match by Omos and didn’t appear on Raw the following night. Maybe creative is still trying to figure out Damian’s next challenger for the title. Could it be Omos?
Queen Zelina Vega and Carmella are the Women’s tag team champions. They are simultaneously the best and worst women’s team in WWE, because there are no other women’s teams in WWE besides them. They have spent the last couple weeks putting over Bianca Belair in singles matches.
Reggie’s advice has paid off for Dana Brooke, who is working on one of the longest 24/7 championship reigns in history. Tamina is the only woman in WWE who seems interested in chasing her down for the jobber gold.
Other stuff to keep an eye on
- Kevin Owens doesn’t wrestle in Saudi Arabia, so he lost an Elimination Chamber qualifying match against Austin Theory last week. I expect to hear KO complain tonight about the unfair process of qualifying for the chamber match, where some folks (Lesnar, Rollins) were simply handed a free pass into the match.
- Rhea Ripley finally got her hands on Nikki A.S.H. in a singles match last week, and she beat her with zero controversy. Is this the end of their story, or will Nikki refuse to let things go?
- Alexa Bliss is on her way back to Raw, but first we have to watch some very bad therapy sessions. It sounds like there are several more sessions to go. If the end result is no more stupid dolls, then it might be worth it.
- Doudrop went from challenging for the Raw women’s championship at Royal Rumble to losing against Liv Morgan on Main Event.
- The Miz returned to WWE in late November and somehow wrestled in zero matches on Raw from then until the Royal Rumble. After losing both of his
pay-per-view premium live event matches against Edge during that time, the A-Lister needed a win. He got it last week on Raw, defeating that chump Dominik Mysterio in about two minutes.
- Finn Balor has only been around for one of the last six episodes of Raw, and wasn’t at the Royal Rumble either. He’s a complete non-factor in WWE on the road to WrestleMania 38.
- The Olympics are bumping Raw from the USA network to SyFy tonight. WWE didn’t do a great job of getting the word out on this change during last week’s show. This will almost certainly be one of the least watched episodes of Raw in history.
What will you be looking for on Raw tonight?