Redemption awaits one Superstar on Monday's WWE Raw.
Finn Balor, Apollo Crews, Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt all fell short in their first attempt to qualify for the Elimination Chamber match to decide the new No. 1 contender for the Universal Championship. And now with only one spot remaining in that big bout set for the Feb. 25 pay-per-view, a second chance has emerged.
Balor, Crews, Hardy and Wyatt will meet in a Fatal 4-Way match in San Jose, California, to determine the Elimination Chamber's final entrant.
There's plenty to address on the red brand in addition to that clash as the Elimination Chamber PPV is fast approaching. A major women's division match needs some hyping, Seth Rollins needs a new direction with not partners at his side and Raw women's champ Alexa Bliss seems to have a scheme to survive her upcoming title match in the works.
What's all on tap for Monday's show? News updates, the Raw preview on WWE.com and storyline projections help us look ahead before the next edition of Raw kicks off at 8 p.m. ET on USA Network.
The chase for the Universal Championship will be front and center, but the actual champ won't. Dave Meltzer reported on Figure Four Online: "No Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman on Raw at this point for two more weeks unless plans change."
Once The Beast Incarnate's opponent is decided, he's sure to show up more frequently. Raw will be in the midst of WrestleMania build at that point, too.
And WWE may have revealed who the final man to enter the Elimination Chamber with a shot to challenge Lesnar on the line will be, as Wrestling Inc's Raj Giri noted. Giri shared a WWE.com screenshot taken by a Reddit user that showed Balor in the final six-man lineup.
As for what WWE has in mind for the Raw Women's Championship, fans of a certain powerhouse will be pleased. According to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter (h/t Randall Ortman of Cageside Seats), the plan is for Nia Jax to challenge Bliss for her title at WrestleMania.
Jax can make her way into the women's title bout at The Show of Show with a win over Asuka at Elimination Chamber, but it's hard to imagine The Empress of Tomorrow ending her historic undefeated streak at a B-level PPV.
Cedric Alexander remains atop the cruiserweight division ladder. The high-flyer last knocked off Drew Gulak and Tony Nese in a tag team match.
Alexander has now won 15 consecutive TV and PPV bouts, per CageMatch.net.
Whether he wins the vacant Cruiserweight Championship or not, he will have plenty of momentum to build on. WWE has been consistent about portraying him as a contender in recent weeks.
Curt Hawkins probably can't remember what competing for a title feels like. He's long been Raw's resident doormat.
And after going winless in 2017, Hawkins has continued his streak of defeats by going 0-15 this year, per CageMatch.net. Only one of those losses came on Raw, though, which is a mistake. WWE should be highlighting his story more.
Elimination Chamber Build Continues
In a battle to decide who will last leave their pod at the Elimination Chamber match, Elias outlasted Braun Strowman and John Cena in quite the upset. Strowman didn't offer the victor congratulations. Instead, he went on a powerslamming rampage and laid everyone out.
Recent history says that more violence is coming. The Monster Among Men usually follows a loss with a rage-fueled attack.
The WWE.com Raw preview hinted that the pattern will continue when it asked: "What chaos will Strowman create this week?"
Bliss, on the other hand, will be looking to calm things down. She's set to enter the Elimination Chamber with five challengers gunning for her championship. Her plan to combat that disadvantage apparently involves recruiting an old ally.
Last Monday, Bliss saved Mickie James from an assault at the hands of Absolution.
There is sure to be some followup to that moment as we get a better sense of Bliss' motivations. The two women were once friends but that partnership dissolved, leading to a brief feud. The champ will at least attempt to repair things in an effort to save herself at the upcoming PPV.
Rollins' future is less clear.
First, his tag team partner Dean Ambrose went down with a triceps injury. Then his new running mate Jason Jordan underwent neck surgery. Raw general manager Kurt Angle offered Rollins one final shot at the Raw Tag Team Championship, but The Kingslayer and Roman Reigns couldn't capture the gold.
Now what? Unless he can force his way into the Elimination Chamber match, Rollins may not have anything significant on his plate for the time being.
Monday's Raw should also further hype the Jax vs. Asuka showdown.
The two Superstars have only collided in the ring once before on the main roster, a match on Raw that ended early due to referee stoppage. Asuka wrecked one of Jax's knees in that clash. Before their rematch, the rivals are likely to trade verbal blows to get fans excited about what's ahead.
The night's biggest match will be the Fatal 4-Way Elimination Chamber qualifier. The field for the No. 1 Contender's bout in Satan's Prison will be set once Balor, Crews, Wyatt or Hardy win on Monday.
Wyatt and Hardy's feud is poised to derail their chances. They have been so focused on their growing animosity that it's a safe bet they focus on each other rather than their other foes. The enemies eliminated each other in the Royal Rumble and may effectively do the same on Raw.
Balor will enter the heavy favorite. He is a rising star who would be a prime fit for the Chamber match.
It won't hurt, either, that The Balor Club is sure to be lurking nearby.