Date: February 22, 2021
Location: Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, FL
The Big Takeaway —
Bobby Lashley beat Braun Strowman clean in the main event to secure his WWE title match against The Miz next week on Raw. Lashley laid out Strowman and Miz to end the show.
Drew McIntyre was not on Raw.
Show Recap —
MizTV – Champions Edition
John Morrison was in the ring which was dressed with a red carpet and red, black and silver balloons. Morrison introduced Miz as the new WWE Champion. Miz got a big fireworks display (to along with lots of faked booing).
Miz said, “How do you like me now?” Sixteen years ago, people thought he would get fired within months of when he showed up in WWE but now all these years later, he was WWE Champion. All of the top stars of his generation are now gone and he is still on top. Batista is making buddy cop movies and John Cena is doing commercials.
Nobody — not Batista, Cena, Triple H, Big Show, Bobby Lashley, Daniel Bryan and Edge — measured up to his star power and tenacious attitude. Miz let Edge know that he called his shot. He wasn’t even sneaky about it. He made it clear he would cash in on Drew McIntyre.
Miz ran down his accolades. He claimed he was the first two-time grand slam champion in WWE. Miz said he demanded respect.
Bobby Lashley and MVP interrupted. Lashley wore an all-white suit. MVP walked with a single crutch. MVP congratulated Miz. He noted that Miz forgot to mention that Lashley wrecked McIntyre which allowed Miz to cash in. Miz said he was getting there and thanked them both. Miz said he and Morrison had more celebrating to do.
They were about to leave but MVP stopped them. He reminded them of their deal. Morrison cost Lashley his US title, so by Lashley helping Miz, Lashley was owed a title match. Miz said he agreed to that deal but didn’t say when he would defend the title. Miz had a lot of commitments and had no time.
MVP reminded Miz that he just said Lashley didn’t measure up to him. Miz tried backtracking but Lashley grabbed him by the tie and told him he had one hour to give him what he wanted. If he didn’t, Miz would be on a new reality show called, “How Lashley sent me to the emergency room.”
Lashley threatened to violently take the WWE championship and it would be awesome.
Lucha House Party congratulated Riddle on winning last night. Riddle was happy about winning his game of Call of Duty. Lince Dorado clarified that he meant the US title. Riddle was happy about that too. Dorado reminded him that he had to face Morrison and the ring was on the other side of the stadium. Riddle had a scooter and rode it away while yelling, “yah!” like he was riding a horse.
The announcers clarified that Miz had until 9pm ET to answer Lashley.
US Champion Riddle defeated John Morrison in a non-title match (11:04)
They had an exchange which led to Riddle suplexing Morrison on the apron. He knew they were going to break because he posed instead of going for a cover.
Riddle used running forearm strikes, an Exploder suplex, a penalty kick and floating bro to the outside, followed by a German suplex in the ring for two. Morrison came back with a Spanish Fly off the middle rope for two.
Riddle hit a Bro To Sleep but Morrison came right back with a superkick. Morrison went for Starship Pain but Riddle caught him and hit Bro Derek for the pinfall win.
(For Canadian viewers, there was a graphic advertising that NXT will be airing live on Wednesdays at 8pm on Sportsnet 360.)
Rhea Ripley is coming to Raw.
They congratulated Bad Bunny on performing on SNL and boasted about him having the 24/7 title with him on the show. They said he’d be in Damian Priest’s corner tonight.
Sarah Schrieber interviewed Bad Bunny. He said you can expect to see him with the title every week with Priest at his side. R-Truth was nearby with a referee, presumably trying to sneak up but Priest told Truth they could see him.
Truth tried to play dumb while also making reference to Bugs Bunny. Priest sternly told Truth that his name was “Bad Bunny.” Truth said, “My bad… Bunny.” Priest wasn’t amused. Truth left.
Elsewhere, Miz complained to Adam Pearce. Pearce actually agreed Miz’s statement earlier. People doubted him but now he was the champion. Now was the time for him to take on all challenges and there was none bigger than Lasley. Miz wanted a challenge but not tonight. Pearce said he better make a decision soon.
Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods defeated T-Bar & Mace (w/Mustafa Ali, Slapjack & Reckoning) (2:51)
New Day practically jumped out of their boots upon seeing that Mia Yim was back.
Retribution seemed to have it won after giving Kingston a double chokeslam but Ali didn’t want Kingston pinned just yet. He demanded they do it again. That allowed Woods to toss Mace from the ring while Kingston gave T-Bar a Trouble in Paradise for the pinfall win.
Ali grabbed a mic to yell Retribution. He asked how long they’d disrespect him and how long he’d have to deal with this crap.
Pearce stood in the ring and called out Lashley and Miz.
Miz entered wearing a suit and Lashley wasn’t happy. Miz said he needed more time. Lashley told him to stop wasting his time. Miz tried to plead his case but MVP said they had a deal. Miz pleaded for more time which would ensure the championship would get the caliber of match it deserved. He was even willing to do it next week.
Braun Strowman interrupted. Strowman said he was more “clarified” (qualified) for the opportunity than Lashley.
Shane McMahon came out next. They piped in loud “Shane O Mac” chants. Shane said Pearce needed to tighten up around here. Shane also told Strowman he couldn’t just storm down and demand stuff. Shane reminded him that he was a former Universal champ, not WWE champ.
Strowman said Shane sucks, Miz sucks, Lashley sucks and this whole thing sucks. Strowman wanted a title match tonight. Shane thought that idea sucked. Strowman wanted a match against Lashley instead. Shane liked that idea.
Shane said Lashley and Strowman would have a match tonight and if Strowman won, it would be Miz vs. Lashley vs. Strowman in a triple threat match for the title next week. Miz didn’t like that. Lashley chop-blocked Strowman as Miz and Morrison bailed from the ring.
Non-title tornado tag match: Raw Tag Team Champions Shelton Benjamin & Cedric Alexander defeated Lucha House Party (5:51)
Hurt Business beat the crap out of Lucha House Party for the first few minutes until Gran Metalik gave Benjamin a tilt-a-whirl DDT and Dorado followed with a splash for a nearfall after Alexander broke up the cover. A few moments later, Benjamin tackled Metalik before Alexander gave Dorado a knee strike and Benjamin followed with Paydirt for the pinfall win.
Damian Priest (w/24/7 Champion Bad Bunny) defeated Angel Garza (6:14)
Garza had control but Priest came back with a broken arrow for a nearfall. Byron Saxton said, “I’m surprised Garza kicked out!” Garza used a running clothesline to knock Priest from the ring. Garza taunted Bad Bunny and invited him into the ring.
Garza turned around into a kick by Priest. Priest followed with a spinning heel kick off the top and Hit The Lights (formerly the Reckoning) for the pinfall win. Saxton said Garza could have won if he wasn’t so preoccupied with Bad Bunny.
As Priest celebrated, Tozawa, Humberto Carrillo and Drew Gulak ran down. Priest knocked Tozawa and Carrillo aside, while Bad Bunny side-stepped Gulak and tossed him from the ring.
There was a Rhea Ripley video. Samoa Joe put her over.
They recapped Randy Orton being counted out last week after being distracted by Alexa Bliss’ face.
Orton did a promo backstage. He wasn’t used to the word failure but he was seeing it a lot lately. If he had won the gauntlet match he would have won the chamber but instead, he was eliminated first. Orton took care of his problems, which is why he set the Fiend on fire. They aired a replay.
Orton was distracted and that was why he couldn’t regain the WWE title. He wasn’t distracted by the Fiend, he was distracted by Bliss. (Orton coughed as he spoke.) They replayed the video of Bliss giggling in the Funhouse last week.
They came back to Orton who coughed up dark goo (presumably the same goo that poured from Bliss’ mouth a few weeks ago) and stumbled away. “What was that?” asked Samoa Joe.
They said WrestleMania was available “exclusively” on Peacock.
Non-title match: Women’s Tag Team Champions Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler defeated Raw Women’s Champion Asuka & Charlotte Flair (12:20)
Asuka and Charlotte sent their opponents out of the ring which led to break early in the match.
Jax and Baszler were randomly in control of Asuka after the break. They worked over her arm until she managed to avoid Baszler’s arm stomp and tagged in Charlotte. Charlotte escaped a double suplex attempt but Jax cut her off and hit a powerbomb. Charlotte gave Jax what I think was supposed to be a sunset flip bomb into the buckle but Jax just sorta rolled over.
Baszler knocked Asuka off the apron. Charlotte put Baszler in a Figure Four but Jax broke it up with a leg drop. Asuka tagged in and ran wild on both opponents. She used running hip attacks and gave Jax a shining wizard for two.
Asuka applied an armbar but Baszler broke that up with a boot to the face. Charlotte tried to make a save but she booted Asuka by mistake. Jax followed with a leg drop to pin Asuka.
Charlotte tried to assist Asuka after the match but Asuka didn’t want her help.
(Asuka may have lost some teeth after getting booted by Baszler.)
Sheamus defeated Jeff Hardy (10:16)
Hardy knocked down Sheamus before a break but Sheamus was in control after the break. Hardy came back with a jawbreaker, Whisper in the Wind, clothesline, leg drop and a dropkick but Sheamus blocked a splash and cradled him for two. Hardy followed with a diving splash for two. Hardy hit a Twist of Fate but Sheamus moved before he could go for a Swanton.
Hardy ducked a Brogue Kick and used a schoolboy for two. Sheamus came back with a knee strike and Brogue Kick for the pinfall win.
In the back, Charlotte told Ric Flair that she couldn’t focus. She couldn’t believe that Ric danced around after Lacey Evans announced her pregnancy, trying to pretend that the baby was his. She was trying to protect their legacy. She lost tonight and this wasn’t the performer she was. Charlotte told him to go home.
Ric told her that he never claimed the baby was and that he saw potential in Evans. Charlotte said he saw a lot of potential in blondes. He told her that she became one of the all-time greats on her own and everything they’ve done together — it was all real. He loves her but he wanted to expand his brand (with Evans) and help the women become the biggest part of the market.
Charlotte didn’t see it that way. She didn’t appreciate him doing this on her time. She knew he just wanted to be the Nature Boy but told him it was time to go home. She was grateful for everything he’s done. She said she loved him and left.
They replayed Orton coughing up slime.
Naomi & Lana defeated Mandy Rose & Dana Brooke (1:38)
Naomi and Lana won quickly after giving Rose a double X-Factor/facebuster. (Naomi got the pin.) Neither team got an entrance and this entire segment went 2 minutes and 18 seconds.
There was a Black History Month video with Big E, Montez Ford, Bianca Belair, and Drew McIntyre.
AJ Styles (w/Omos) defeated Ricochet (3:48)
Ricochet gained control immediately with a dropkick but Styles kicked his leg out of his leg and suplexed him into the turnbuckles. Ricochet came back with fists but Styles clubbed him in the throat. Styles tried bouncing him off the ropes into the Styles Clash like he did a few weeks ago but Ricochet countered with a hurricanrana. Ricochet followed with a German suplex for two.
Styles followed with a knee strike and Styles Clash for the pinfall win.
After the match, Omos hoisted Ricochet high in the air before dropping him on the mat.
Miz and Morrison argued over which outcome tonight would be worse for Miz (Morrison said they should be cheering for Lashley). Strowman showed up so Miz and Morrison scampered away.
Bobby Lashley (w/MVP) defeated Braun Strowman (4:17)
Strowman ran toward Lashley on the outside but Lashley leaped onto the apron and Strowman collided with the steps. Lashley used a low dropkick and flatliner for two. Strowman blocked a Hurt Lock and vertical suplex attempt and followed with a clothesline and powerslam for a nearfall.
Lashley slipped out of another powerslam attempt and hit a spinebuster and spear for the clean pinfall win. (Strowman kicked out at 3.1.)
After the match, Lashley chop-blocked Strowman and put him in the Hurt Lock until he passed out.
Miz tried attacking Lashley from behind but Lashley gave him a spinebuster and spear.
Lashley is a damn killer.