2019-02-19 by W.M.
Fallout from 2019 WWE Elimination Chamber; Preview for Feb. 18 Episode of Raw
History was made Sunday night and history repeated itself at the 2019 Elimination Chamber pay-per-view extravaganza, setting the stage for a newsworthy episode of WWE Raw.
Bayley and Sasha Banks are the first WWE women’s tag team champions and former general manager Baron Corbin, Drew McIntyre and Bobby Lashley are riding a wave of momentum after leaving Braun Strowman beaten, battered and broken in the center of the ring.
What can fans expect from those stars, new intercontinental champion Finn Balor and the rest of the Raw crew Monday on the USA Network?
What’s Next for Braun Strowman?
Remember when Strowman was the most obvious choice to replace Roman Reigns as the face of the Raw brand?
Strowman’s loss to Corbin Sunday at Elimination Chamber even brought about by the interference from McIntyre and Lashley, leaves his status on the flagship uncertain. No longer is he the imposing beast or the protected Monster Among Men. After the latest WWE Network presentation, he feels very much like just another guy.
Given past booking tendencies, Strowman will roar back Monday and leave the trio of villains regretting they ever made an enemy of him. How many times can fans be asked to watch that same scenario play out, though?
Strowman has gone from a breakout star to a guy who loses every championship match he has ever fought against Brock Lesnar and is the babyface shouldered with the burden of getting Corbin over as the main event heel. He no longer has that star aura that once made him one of the most entertaining stars to watch.
WWE Creative faces an uphill battle in rebuilding Strowman into someone even remotely resembling the unstoppable force he once was, beginning on Monday’s show.
Bayley and Sasha Banks Reign Supreme
The Boss and Hug Connection outlasted five other teams Sunday night inside the Elimination Chamber to become the first WWE women’s tag team champions and Monday, will likely get a taste of the challengers who await them.
The most obvious choice is The Riott Squad’s Liv Morgan and Sarah Morgan. The duo, along with faction leader Ruby Riott, have been a thorn in the side of Banks and Bayley for the last year. Their matches helped lay the groundwork for a tag team division, so it would make sense that they would provide the first real challenge to the champions’ reign.
But that feels too predictable.
Maybe the team is confronted by the veteran tandem of Alicia Fox and Mickie James. Perhaps Natalya and Dana Brooke look to make another go of it as a team.
Or perhaps, they find competition in the form of Sonya Deville and Mandy Rose, whom they defeated in the final fall of Sunday’s match.
Of course, predictability often reigns so do not be surprised if Monday, Bayley and Banks have their championship celebration dashed by Riott, Logan and Morgan as WWE Creative tries to figure out exactly what it wants to do with its new champions.
When The Man Comes Around
Becky Lynch brushed off all formalities Sunday night at Elimination Chamber, interrupting a tense staredown between Raw women’s champion Ronda Rousey and Charlotte Flair before proceeding to obliterate both with a pair of crutches she used on her way to the squared circle.
The hottest star in the industry, there is no way WWE does not feature her on Monday’s show in one fashion or another.
After blasting Rousey with a crutch multiple times, including one that split the head of the champion and UFC Hall of Famer open, Lynch will be enemy No. 1 in the eyes of Rowdy. Will the champion, her anger and thirst for vengeance overwhelming her, demand the reinstatement of Lynch and a Triple Threat match at WrestleMania?
Perhaps Vince McMahon, a veteran of dealing with rebellious and anti-authority Superstars, realizes it is better to reinstate The Man than deal with the headaches her constant interruptions bring about. Whatever the case, Lynch will likely play heavily into Monday’s show and if recent weeks are any indication, she will be at the center of the hottest angle on the broadcast.
A New Intercontinental Champion
Finn Balor defeated Bobby Lashley and Lio Rush in a Handicap match to win the Intercontinental Championship Sunday night at Elimination Chamber.
You would be hard-pressed to know that given the fact that most of the attention was paid to the implosion of the heel partnership and the assertion from commentator Corey Graves that Balor only won the title because he pinned the smaller mouthpiece Rush.
Still, the leader of Balor Club emerged victoriously with his first title since winning the Universal Championship back in 2016.
The question now? Who does he defend it against?
Balor has been intertwined in the ongoing program pitting Strowman against Corbin, McIntyre and Lashley and could easily feud with The Scottish Psychopath over the title for a few months. Much like the proposed battle that would see The Riott Squad challenge Bayley and Banks, that feels too predictable.
There is always Elias, whose recent claims to fame have been broken guitars over the backs of Jeff Jarrett, Jesse James and The Lucha House Party. He could benefit from a championship program with Balor.
The fact of the matter is that the midcard of Raw is so depleted that unless the plan is to heat up Mojo Rawley for another attempted push…on second thought, let’s not even go there.
Bring on another slate of Balor vs. McIntyre matches.