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RAW REVIEW – 02/13/2023

Monday Night RAW’s February 13th episode served as the brand’s go-home show for WWE Elimination Chamber. It featured multiple women’s matches and segments to help build up the women involved in the anticipated Premium Live Event this Saturday.

BECKY LYNCH OPENS THE SHOW

“The Man” Becky Lynch welcomed the Brooklyn crowd on RAW this week with a promo stating that she had finally overcome the odds with Damage CTRL after her Steel Cage Match win over Bayley, and she now has plans on recapturing the RAW Women’s Championship. Soon after, however, Bayley comes out to lay claim to another opportunity at the title after saying Becky only defeated her with help from WWE Hall of Famer Lita in the week prior.

The champion, Bianca Belair, follows shortly after telling Adam Pearce that she wants the “best of the best” to challenge her at WrestleMania and that both Becky and Bayley should have one last chance to qualify for Elimination Chamber. With this, Adam announced that the main event of the show would see the three women in the ring in a Triple Threat. The stimulation that Becky or Bayley must score the win for them to enter the Elimination Chamber match.

Writer’s Thoughts: Though I see that the creative direction for Becky and Bayley is a storyline outside of the title picture, it was a good decision to remind us that they still have the motive to chase after the title as single competitors.

RHEA RIPLEY ATTACKS BETH PHOENIX

After a successful victory over The Street Profits, Judgement Day laid a post-match attack on their opponents until WWE Hall of Famers Edge and Beth Phoenix came to even out the odds. Beth looked to deliver her second Glam Slam to Dominik two weeks in a row until Rhea Ripley snuck behind to deliver a Riptide to the “Glamazon”.

Writer’s Thoughts: Rhea has stated in the past that she considers Beth to be her dream opponent, so I’m glad we’re getting to see these two lock it up in the ring. However, I’d love to see more buildup between Rhea and Charlotte as soon as possible considering they are one of the marquee matchups at WrestleMania 39.

PIPER NIVEN VS. “MICHIN” MIA YIM

In a quick match between two veteran wrestlers, Piper Niven uses a swinging side slam to pin Michin.

Writer’s Thoughts: It’s great to see Piper Niven be built as a star since the Royal Rumble, but I wish Mia could get a similar treatment sooner or later. This year could see both women become breakout stars given their experience in the ring.

“RAW VS. SMACKDOWN” WOMEN’S TAG TEAM MATCH

All six competitors for this Saturday’s Women’s Elimination Chamber Match competed in a tag-team match with teams divided according to their respective brands. Team RAW featuring Asuka, Carmella, and Nikki Cross defeated Smackdown’s Liv Morgan, Raquel Rodriguez, and Natalya to build momentum towards their match this Saturday. Though each woman was able to showcase their in-ring skills, Asuka stood out from the rest by attacking her teammates, reminding them of the “every woman for herself” mindset for their Elimination Chamber Match. She performed a modified armbar on Liv Morgan to claim the submission win for her team, but only Asuka stood in victory while Nikki and Carmella were down from her attack.

Writer’s Thoughts: There is no doubt that Asuka is a heavy favorite in the Elimination Chamber Match, so this was a great showcase for her and her new “Killer Clown” character.

BIANCA BELAIR VS. BECKY LYNCH VS. BAYLEY

In the main event of tonight’s show, RAW Women’s Champion Bianca Belair further solidified herself as “The EST” by outpowering two of WWE’s top competitors in Bayley and Becky Lynch in one match. In an instance wherein Damage CTRL’s Dakota Kai and IYO SKY looked to help their leader win the match, the competitors from the Six-Woman Tag Team Match earlier came out to brawl with Damage CTRL (and eventually with each other). While all hell broke loose on the outside, Becky Lynch delivered a “Manhandle Slam” to Bayley. As she was about to take the win, Bianca came from behind to hit a “K.O.D.” on her, landing on top of Bayley after the fall. Bianca pins Bayley for the win and celebrates as RAW closes out. With this loss, Bayley and Becky Lynch are now unable to challenge for the RAW Women’s Championship at WrestleMania 39.

Writer’s Thoughts: This was an amazing matchup and given the in-ring abilities of these three wrestlers, there was no doubt that they would deliver one hell of a main event. Bianca winning was the right choice for a variety of reasons: 1) she stays consistent with being a credible champion, 2) Becky and Bayley can continue their rivalry without compromising the RAW Women’s Title storyline, and 3) a fresh challenger from the Elimination Chamber Match is ensured to face Bianca at WrestleMania 39.

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