Monday 1 February 2021

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WWE Raw 2/1/21 February 1st 2021

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WWE Raw Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from February 1

Sana Ejaz Khan


    Sunday's Royal Rumble pay-per-view was the first stop on The Road to WrestleMania, and the journey continued with this week's Raw.

    Monday's show dealt with the fallout from Sunday's event while also laying some of the groundwork for the buildup to Elimination Chamber.

    After coming up short in the men's Royal Rumble, Bobby Lashley defended his United States Championship against Riddle after The Bro defeated the other three members of The Hurt Business last week.

    Speaking of The Hurt Business, Cedric Alexander and Shelton Benjamin put the Raw tag titles on the line against Lince Dorado and Gran Metalik.

    Did Edge declare who he would challenge at WrestleMania? Did Bad Bunny show up for "Miz TV"? Let's take a look at everything that happened on this week's Raw.

Opening Segment

1 OF 9

    The show opened with Mike Rome welcoming Drew McIntyre to the ring to celebrate his victory over Goldberg at Sunday's Royal Rumble PPV. He spoke for about a minute before Edge made his way to the ring. McIntyre showed him a lot of respect, but Edge asked what was wrong with him.

    The Rated-R Superstar said McIntyre should view him as a threat, not a friend. Sheamus came out and got in Edge's face, but McIntyre backed him off. He asked Edge if he was challenging him for the title. Edge said he is The Ultimate Opportunist and will assess the situation before making a decision.

    Edge said no matter who he chooses, he is walking out of WrestleMania with a title. He left as Sheamus and McIntyre stayed in the ring. The Celtic Warrior waited until his friend turned his back and then uncorked a Brogue Kick to his face. McIntyre held his jaw as Sheamus walked away.


    Grade: B



    Edge is one of the most reliable mic workers from the past 25 years, and it's not surprising that he was able to give a good performance without revealing anything.

    Everybody saw Sheamus turning on McIntyre from a mile away, but we never quite knew when it would happen. It certainly didn't seem like this was when he would do it, so he gets points for the surprise.

    McIntyre was his usual self. He has good chemistry with just about everybody, and if Edge chooses him for his WrestleMania title shot, it will be a great match.

    With the Elimination Chamber coming up on February 21, Sheamus could be eyeing a spot in the match if McIntyre defends the WWE title at the event.

Bobby Lashley vs. Riddle (U.S. Title)

2 OF 9

    The first match on Raw featured Lashley defending the United States Championship against Riddle. The Barefoot Bro earned this title shot after defeating MVP, Benjamin and Alexander in a Gauntlet match last week.

    MVP was at Lashley's side, but the Raw tag team champions were preparing for their own title defense later in the show, so they were absent. Considering how they have acted in recent weeks, it was probably in Lashley's best interests to leave them backstage.

    Riddle tried to rush Lashley as soon as the ref called for the bell, but The All Mighty did not go down easy. He easily overpowered Riddle and slammed him hard on the mat. He delivered a vertical suplex, but instead of falling with Riddle, he just dropped him.

    The Bro took him out of the ring and hit a Floating Bro on the floor. Lashley recovered and put him in the Hurt Lock on the apron. The ref counted to five and disqualified Lashley for not releasing the hold. Lashley grabbed Riddle in the hold again and put him to sleep.


    Grade: C



    This was...quick. Riddle came out of the gate hot and had one good spot, but for the most part, Lashley looked like an unstoppable monster.

    This is a strange booking decision after WWE had Riddle defeat three men to earn this title shot, but the logic behind it likely has to do with WWE wanting their final encounter to happen at a PPV like Elimination Chamber or Fastlane.

    It's hard to judge segments like this because there isn't much substance. Lashley was the only one who came away from this looking strong, so there's that.

Xavier Woods vs. Mustafa Ali

3 OF 9

    Kofi Kingston returned to Raw this week to accompany Xavier Woods to the ring for his match against Mustafa Ali. They locked up and fought for control right away.

    The ref had to get between them in the corner, and Woods was able to send Ali out of the ring with a clothesline. He followed him outside and threw him into the barricade. Mace and T-Bar distracted Woods so Ali could hit a neckbreaker.

    The leader of Retribution talked a lot of trash to Kingston while he kept Woods grounded. Woods turned him inside out with a discus clothesline. Kingston took out Mace, and Woods was able to pin Ali to even the score at 2-2.


    Grade: B



    Woods and Ali packed quite a bit into a short match without looking as if they were rushing from move to move. That is not an easy balance to achieve.

    Ali is regarded as a great worker, but the past couple of weeks have been a reminder of how good Woods is between the ropes. He deserves his own singles push at some point.

    This feud has been fine, but having Kingston back is going to help make it more interesting in the coming weeks.

'Miz TV' and Miz vs. Damian Priest

4 OF 9

    The Miz and John Morrison came out for another episode of "Miz TV"/"The Dirt Sheet." Despite their altercation at the Royal Rumble, The Miz gave Bad Bunny a flattering introduction.

    They showed a replay of what happened before The Miz offered an apology for destroying Bunny's DJ equipment. Bunny accepted the apology but refused to offer his own.

    The Miz and Morrison sang him a song that was horrible and offered to train him as a WWE Superstar. Bunny said he wasn't interested, and they got angry. That is when Damian Priest made his Raw debut. He clocked The Miz as soon as he got to the ring. We returned from a break to see Priest taking on The Miz.

    He hit a dive over the top rope to take out The A-Lister and JoMo for a two-count. The Miz sent him into the ring post. Bunny distracted The Miz long enough for Priest to recover and hit a series of strikes. He hit a falcon arrow for a near-fall.

    Bunny prevented The Miz from using his briefcase as a weapon and hit Morrison with a microphone. Priest grabbed The Miz for the Reckoning to score his first win on Raw.


    Grade: C+



    This was Priest's Raw debut. Instead of having him deliver a promo or give an interview, WWE had Bad Bunny talk to The Miz. It was a strange choice. The comedic moments also fell flat.

    Other than that, this was fine. Priest and The Miz didn't put on a clinic, but The A-Lister did his job and made the newcomer look strong in his Raw debut.

    The Miz and Morrison need to get back into the hunt for the tag titles. These random feuds are doing nothing for them.

The Hurt Business vs. Lucha House Party (Raw Tag Titles)

5 OF 9

    Benjamin and Dorado started for their teams. The Gold Standard took control right away and threw Dorado across the ring. The luchador made the tag to Metalik for a unique double-team spot.

    Alexander tagged in and hit a clothesline for a quick two-count. Metalik and Dorado sent both men out of the ring as the show went to a break. The Hurt Business was back in control when we returned.

    Alexander hit a nice snap suplex for a near-fall. He and Benjamin worked well together as they kept Dorado isolated on their side of the ring. Metalik got the hot tag and hit Alexander with a few high-flying moves.

    Benjamin tagged himself in as Alexander was setting up his finisher. He hit Paydirt for the win to retain the tag titles. MVP looked happy, but Benjamin appeared to be upset.


    Grade: B-



    This was an enjoyable match with four great athletes, but some of the moves Metalik tried to hit almost didn't work. There was something off about him, which is odd because he is usually such a crisp performer.

    The tension continues to grow between Benjamin and Alexander. Eventually, they will end up losing the titles because of a mistake, and it will lead to one of them being booted from the stable.

    This storyline has been building up slowly over several weeks. It might be a good idea to take the next step in this story soon. WWE can only drag these things out for so long.

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

6 OF 9

    This three-way No. 1 Contenders' match for the women's tag titles started off with Naomi and Charlotte trading some takedowns and counters.

    Asuka and Mandy Rose tagged in and continued to keep the quick pace. Within 90 seconds, all six women had been the legal participant at least once.

    Charlotte scored a two-count on Dana Brooke when we returned from a commercial. Asuka took control of Rose but couldn't get the pin with a shining wizard.

    Naomi got in some good offense against Charlotte, but Lana ate a kick to the face after she tagged in. This is when everybody started to get involved and Ric Flair came out with Lacey Evans to provide another distraction.

    Charlotte tagged out and left Asuka to fend for herself, which led to Naomi hitting her finisher for the win.


    Grade: C



    The repeated distractions by Ric and Evans are bad enough, but now Asuka is losing when Rose or Brooke could have taken the pin to give us the same result. None of this makes any sense.

    If we are supposed to feel bad for Charlotte, should we care that she left her partner by herself? Will Asuka ever be booked as a dominant singles competitor again? Does Naomi deserve better than a tag team storyline with Lana? Why wasn't The Riott Squad in this bout?

    The match itself had a few nice sequences, but Triple Threat tag matches are almost never good overall. The way it is structured always leads to a few awkward moments, and this match was no exception.

Carlito and Jeff Hardy vs. Elias and Jaxson Ryker

7 OF 9

    After returning at Sunday's Royal Rumble, Carlito teamed up with Jeff Hardy to take on Elias and Jaxson Ryker. Elias and Carlito started off with a nice technical exchange.

    After Hardy tagged in, Ryker distracted him so Elias could take over. The bearded buddies worked The Charismatic Enigma over for a little while as Carlito looked on from the corner.

    The King of Cool came in hot after he got the tag. He hit a Backstabber before tagging Hardy for the Swanton Bomb to get the pin.


    Grade: C



    This was short, but it was what it needed to be. Carlito got his first win on WWE TV in over a decade, and Hardy defeated his rivals.

    Both teams worked well together, and they paced the match so everybody had a chance to get in enough offense to make an impression. It wasn't a 5-star clinic, but it wasn't bad by any means. It was right down the middle.

    It will be interesting to see if Carlito makes more appearances or if this was a one-time thing after appearing at the Rumble.

Alexa Bliss vs. Nikki Cross

8 OF 9

    Nikki Cross and Alexa Bliss haven't been around each other much in 2021, but this week saw the former friends and tag team partners do battle.

    Cross went right after Bliss with a clothesline but missed. She asked what Bliss wanted from her after everything they have been through before they locked up.

    Cross brought her down in a headlock, but Bliss was able to escape. Cross continued to yell at Bliss about wanting to be left alone, but Bliss just smiled at her.

    Bliss was about to use the Mandible Claw, but Cross countered and stomped her into the corner. Somehow, Bliss transformed in the corner into her old self. Cross didn't buy it and kept attacking.

    Bliss transformed back and knocked Cross down with a shoulder tackle before hitting a modified Sister Abigail for the win.


    Grade: C+



    WWE put this storyline on hold for months and just picked it back up like it was always happening in the background this week. It was kind of weird.

    That said, Cross did an excellent job carrying the emotional weight of this bout, while Bliss was her usual jovial self whenever she was in control. It was a good juxtaposition of the former friends and how their roles have changed since they originally joined forces.

    The transformations are one of those tricks WWE could never do during a live show, so it's great to see the company taking the opportunity to do it while it's still possible.

    Cross looked good, but this match is not going to be for everybody. You will either dig the weird backstory or think it's the dumbest thing on the show. There will be almost no middle ground.

Edge vs. Randy Orton

9 OF 9

    After both men delivered promos at different points during the show, Edge and Randy Orton met in the main event for what was billed as their final encounter. The Rated-R Superstar started strong and took The Viper down for a pair of two-counts.

    Orton countered Edge's submission attempt and began to slow down the pace to his liking. Edge pulled out one of his old finishers and hit an Edgecution for a near-fall. Orton took him out of the ring and whipped him into the steel steps.

    We came back from a commercial to see The Legend Killer still dominating his former friend. Edge turned the tables on the top turnbuckle and stopped a superplex so he could hit a flying clothesline. He knocked Orton off the apron into the barricade.

    Edge was able to bounce back, but as he prepared to hit the RKO, Bliss showed up sitting on the top turnbuckle with blood coming out of her mouth. Edge used the opportunity to nail him with a Spear for the win.


    Grade: B



    Edge and Orton's matches have tended to run long, but this one was just the right length to give them time to put on a good performance without overstaying their welcome.

    With Bliss showing up, it looks like Bray Wyatt will be returning soon to take revenge on The Viper for burning him alive last year.

    This was a good ending to a mediocre show. The major highlights were Edge's promos, Woods vs. Ali and seeing Carlito looking as good as he ever has in the ring.

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