With the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view serving as the next major stop on the Road to WrestleMania, WWE used Monday’s edition of Raw to set up several key matches for the event. No match announced for the Feb. 21 pay-per-view is bigger than Drew McIntyre defending his WWE championship in the Chamber against five former world champions.
McIntyre will have to put his belt on the line in one of the most grueling matches in WWE against Randy Orton, Jeff Hardy, AJ Styles, The Miz and Sheamus. Having issues with nearly every man in the match — and the possibility of having to face Royal Rumble winner Edge at WrestleMania — the walls are quickly closing in on McIntyre, as shown when he faced Orton in a rivalry-renewing main event on Raw.
CBS Sports was with you all night, bringing you results and highlights of all the night’s action.
Elimination Chamber match set
Shane McMahon returned to Raw to kick off the show, helping Adam Pearce announce that McIntyre would defend the WWE championship inside the Elimination Chamber before the rest of the field was announced. Sheamus confronted Pearce later in the show, taking issue with not getting his one-on-one match with McIntyre. Later, McIntyre pointed out all the situations surrounding him from Sheamus turning on him to Miz and the Money in the Bank briefcase to renewing his rivalry with Orton and Edge potentially challenging him at WrestleMania, and said he would not crack under the weight of the circumstances.
Randy Orton def. Drew McIntyre via disqualification after interference from Sheamus. Earlier in the show, Orton cut a promo guaranteeing he would win the WWE title back from McIntyre in the Elimination Chamber. Sheamus’ music hit early into the match and he ran to ringside, causing a distraction that allowed Orton to strike, smashing McIntyre’s shoulder into the ring post repeatedly. Sheamus remained at ringside through the match, with Orton largely controlling the action despite several brief McIntyre comebacks. As McIntyre finally took over and seemed ready to finish Orton off, Sheamus ran into the ring to throw a Brogue Kick, but McIntyre moved out of the way, causing Sheamus to kick Orton for the disqualification. McIntyre ended the show standing tall after laying out Sheamus with a Claymore.
The Elimination Chamber match is a little weak, with no real threat to take the title off McIntyre. Still, the champ has to stay busy as he travels toward WrestleMania. WWE continues to lean too hard on interference finishes, pulling one out again in the main event, and one that was clearly telegraphed from the jump. With the volume of men in the mix heading into the upcoming pay-per-view, that probably isn’t going to change in the coming weeks. Grade: B-
What else happened on WWE Raw?
- AJ Styles def. Jeff Hardy via submission with the calf crusher. Styles was out after the Elimination Chamber announcement, saying he was looking to make an immediate statement about his chances to win.
- The New Day def. Retribution (Slapjack & T-Bar) via pinfall after hitting Daybreak on Slapjack. A furious Mustafa Ali vowed he would give his life to get retribution on Kofi Kingston.
- Lacey Evans def. Charlotte Flair via disqualification. The match came about after Ric Flair and Evans cut an in-ring promo stating their relationship was professional and casual before Flair said they were coming for Asuka’s Raw women’s championship. Charlotte interrupted and an argument broke out before Evans said she would receive a title shot if she won a singles match between the two. Flair was disqualified when she refused to stop attacking Evans and shoved the official. The match between Evans and Asuka was later confirmed for Elimination Chamber
- Edge came to the ring to cut a promo, stating he still had to decide which champion to challenge at WrestleMania, pointing out that the landscape changed based on McIntyre having to defend his title in the Elimination Chamber. This led to an interruption by The Miz, who said if Edge won a world title, he would cash in the Money in the Bank contract.
- Damian Priest def. Angel Garza via pinfall with The Reckoning. Miz and Morrison were in Garza’s corner, while Bad Bunny was with Priest. Bad Bunny threw the Money in the Bank briefcase in the ring, leading Miz and Morrison to run in and grab it. As Miz and Morrison were ejected from ringside as a result, Priest finished off a distracted Garza.
- Bianca Belair was interviewed backstage, and she said she still has not decided who she will challenge at WrestleMania.
- Keith Lee def. Riddle via pinfall with a Spirit Bomb. MVP was on commentary for the match, talking up Bobby Lashley’s chances in a United States championship defense against the winner. Lashley attacked both men after the match, and Riddle vs. Lee vs. Lashley for the title was later added to the Elimination Chamber card.
- Lana def. Nia Jax in a Tables Match. Jax dominated the action until Lana managed to knock her to the outside, allowing Lana to shove her through a table.
- Naomi def. Shayna Baszler via pinfall with a small package. Baszler had attacked Lana after the previous match, setting up an impromptu bout with Naomi that was won after distraction from Lana.