Don't Be Fooled, Sami Zayn Will Lose; Elimination Chamber Dark Horse, More Raw TakesFebruary 14, 2023
Don't Be Fooled, Sami Zayn Will Lose; Elimination Chamber Dark Horse, More Raw Takes
With just days left before Elimination Chamber, not much happened on the February 13 edition of WWE Raw.
Cody Rhodes and Sami Zayn had the moment of the night with a promo that, arguably, even overshadowed last week's exchange between The American Nightmare and Paul Heyman.
However, it did nothing but reinforce that Rhodes is WWE's top guy over the former Honorary Uce.
Bianca Belair main-evented the night by defeating both Bayley and Becky Lynch and to keep them out of the women's Elimination Chamber match on Saturday. It was a surprisingly underwhelming contest that continued Raw's recent struggles to book the women.
Baron Corbin picked up another quick loss, falling to Rhodes. Without JBL or any direction, he could be completely forgotten soon without a dramatic character change.
Bronson Reed solidified his dangerous potential by taking out Mustafa Ali in a battle in which he far outmatched his opponent. He could do the same inside the men's Elimination Chamber as well and look like the biggest threat to Austin Theory's United States title reign.
Raw needed more to truly make an impact in promoting the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view, but the talent have set the stage for what should be a great show all the same.
Don't Be Fooled by Brilliant Promo, Sami Zayn Will Lose to Roman Reigns
WWE made a risky call putting Cody Rhodes and Sami Zayn in the ring together, but it paid off. The two got the crowd behind them to such an extent that they got a "This is Awesome!" chant for a promo.
It was easily the highlight of the night, but it may not lead to the result some fans are begging to see play out.
The American Nightmare is still WWE's top babyface priority, and his role on this night was to keep the crowd behind him. When Zayn fails on Saturday, he will be set up perfectly as the next guy the fans will cheer for.
The former Honorary Uce is over like no one else, including Rhodes. However, he is still playing the Mankind role in a battle between "Stone Cold" Steve Austin and The Rock. He has not been positioned as a true top guy.
A Triple Threat match at WrestleMania 39 is still possible, but WWE has always preferred a one-on-one main event over any other option. WWE will want to use The Master Strategist in a big role, just not focused on the world title.
Zayn may get his chance in the sun eventually, but it won't come at Elimination Chamber. All the pieces are in place to ensure Roman Reigns vs. Rhodes is the WrestleMania main event.
Turning Face is Baron Corbin's Last Hope
How the mighty have fallen.
Baron Corbin was once one of WWE's most pushed heels. While fans did not embrace The Lone Wolf, he knew how to draw a reaction and even got as far as challenging Roman Reigns.
These days, he cannot last three minutes with Cody Rhodes. His pairing with JBL was always going to be awkward, but it ended with The Modern Day Wrestling God tearing down all remaining shreds of his credibility.
Not everyone can be at the top of WWE at the same time, but Corbin has never felt less important. The only wrestlers he looks ready to beat are on Main Event.
The creative team does have a trump card left to play with The Lone Wolf, though. Before he became Happy Corbin, he was building a following as a lovable loser. He has never been a crowd favorite in his career.
If WWE turns Corbin face, it would give him a fresh opportunity to prove himself. He can rely upon his explosive offense in the ring against wrestlers who are better at leading the action, and he would have an exciting group of new challengers.
Bronson Reed is Best Bet to Dethrone Austin Theory in Elimination Chamber
Bronson Reed is the kind of monster heel WWE has lacked since Mark Henry retired. He is a dominant force who is so much bigger than anyone he fights.
The Australian has a rare sense of credibility that is lacking in most of the main roster acts, and WWE should not let that go to waste. He could be instantly solidified by dethroning Austin Theory as United States champion inside the Elimination Chamber.
Reed is the only man who could believably win the gold after what was shown on Raw this week. He could also be the best option.
While Seth Rollins will be the biggest name in the men's Chamber match, he is also preoccupied with Logan Paul. Damian Priest and Montez Ford are more focused on tag team aspirations, and Johnny Gargano wasn't even on Raw this week.
Theory may still be champion after the match is over, but it is important to have drama. It's a shame WWE has failed to create other challengers for Saturday, but at least Reed is benefiting from the Elimination Chamber build.
Women's WrestleMania Build is Weakest for Years
Bianca Belair has been a spectacular champion for the past year, but she is struggling to find her place at WrestleMania 39. She will fight the winner of the women's Elimination Chamber match, a contest that has been poorly built so far.
The EST of WWE vs. Asuka is the clear money match. Even so, that does not excuse the company for failing to build anyone on Monday's Raw just five days before an important women's contest.
The Empress of Tomorrow dominated in a forgettable six-woman tag team bout that was overshadowed by a main event involving two great past challengers to Belair: Becky Lynch and Bayley.
WWE must start ramping up the storytelling, especially after Elimination Chamber. There must be angles with the same kind of crowd excitement as Roman Reigns, Sami Zayn and Cody Rhodes. This goes beyond just the Raw Women's Championship.
Lynch and Bayley have almost run out of steam together, while the women's tag team division barely exists. Raquel Rodriguez and Liv Morgan may be SmackDown stars, but they cannot be forgotten on The Road to WrestleMania, either.
The talent in WWE is better than the stories being told at the moment. WrestleMania is a time for the creative team to bring out the best for its wrestlers. That hasn't happened with the women's division yet.