WWE Raw Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from January 24

The Doctor Chris Mueller@@BR_DoctorFeatured ColumnistJanuary 25, 2022

WWE Raw Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from January 24

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Welcome to Bleacher Report's coverage and recap of WWE Raw on January 24.

    This was the final episode before Saturday's Royal Rumble event, so this was one of the last chances management had to make additions and changes to the card.

    Monday's show saw The Miz throw Maryse a birthday party before the two of them faced Edge and Beth Phoenix in a mixed tag team match this weekend.

    We also saw Bobby Lashley and Brock Lesnar have their official weigh-in, and Alpha Academy tested RK-Bro's intelligence in a special academic challenge.

    Let's take a look at everything that happened on Monday's episode of WWE Raw.

The Weigh-In

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    Raw opened with the official weigh-in for the WWE Championship match at the Royal Rumble. Lashley was out first with MVP, followed by Lesnar and Paul Heyman.

    After each man stepped on the scale, they and their managers talked some trash. The Beast left without incident while Lashley looked on.

    Grade: D



    Why would you do a weigh-in when there are no weight classes in WWE? A contract signing, random promo or literally anything else would have made more sense.

    The promos were fine but added absolutely nothing to this feud. This was the definition of filler and should not have been the opening segment.

Bianca Belair vs. Queen Zelina

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    The first match of the night saw Bianca Belair and Queen Zelina battle in singles action in what the announcers described as an attempt to gain momentum before they compete in the women's Royal Rumble match.

    They locked up, and Belair immediately picked up Zelina to put her on the apron. She pulled her back in and spun her around before bringing her down to the mat.

    The EST hit a quick dropkick, but when she went for a vertical suplex, Zelina countered into a Stunner. The Queen sidestepped Belair and sent her into the middle turnbuckle, but Belair caught her on the turnbuckle and lifted her up for a press slam.

    Zelina countered and locked in a submission. Belair began to build some momentum and even danced a bit as she hit a vertical suplex. She counted Zelina's Code Red and hit the K.O.D. for the win.

    Grade: B-



    Even though this match could have been a bit longer, they used their time wisely and put on a competitive performance.

    Belair executed some impressive moves she might not be able to do with larger opponents, so this was a nice showcase of her power.

    Carmella's absence was a little strange. WWE made no mention of why she was gone.

Damian Priest vs. Kevin Owens (U.S. Championship)

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    Kevin Owens scored the first pinfall victory over Damian Priest on the main roster last week, so that earned him a shot at the United States Championship this week.

    Owens tried to hit a Stunner right away, but Priest shoved him away and sent him to the corner for some body shots. They traded punches until KO ran the champ over with a back elbow.

    Owens countered a chokeslam, but he couldn't avoid a boot to the face. The Archer of Infamy blocked a superkick and ran Owens into the barricade. When they got back into the ring, Owens hit a superkick. He tried to hit a senton on the floor, but Priest blocked with his knees and hit a chokeslam onto the apron.

    We returned from a break to see Priest unloading on Owens. KO hit a tornado DDT out of the corner and a frog splash, but Priest kicked out at the last possible moment.

    The champ hit a huge spin kick for another near-fall. Priest lost his cool and started stomping on Owens in the corner. The ref tried to get between them to prevent a disqualification, but Priest would not relent. Owens won, but Priest kept his title.

    Grade: A-



    While this outcome is not going to make a lot of people happy, everything leading up to it was great. They went hard at each other and showed more chemistry than in their previous encounters.

    Owens is someone we will be talking about long after he retires. Everything he does is entertaining, and it's not surprising that WWE offered him a good deal to stay with the company.

    This feud is not over, and we might even see a rematch as early as the Royal Rumble if WWE wants to add something else to the card.

Rhea Ripley, Dana Brooke and Liv Morgan vs. Nikki A.S.H., Tamina and Carmella

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    WWE combined a few feuds into one with this six-woman tag match featuring Rhea Ripley, Liv Morgan and Dana Brooke taking on Tamina, Nikki A.S.H. and Carmella.

    Tamina and Brooke started off for their teams. Brooke fought out of a headlock and made the tag to Ripley so she could hit a dropkick. The Aussie knocked Mella and Nikki off the apron before going back to hitting Tamina with clotheslines.

    This quickly broke down into everyone attacking everyone else until it was down to Ripley and Mella. The Most Beautiful Woman in WWE tapped out to a reverse cloverleaf.

    Grade: C-



    We didn't even get to see all six women spend time as the legal combatants in this match. This was rushed, accomplished almost nothing and only allowed Ripley to shine.

    Having two or more women's matches on one show is great, but WWE only gets credit if it actually puts effort into how these things are booked.

Chad Gable vs. Randy Orton

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    Randy Orton, Chad Gable, Otis and Riddle competed in a spelling bee before this match took place. It didn't really have a conclusive winner.

    Orton and Gable started off with an exchange of holds and counters. They kept it technical for a couple of minutes, but The Viper broke up the chain wrestling with a shoulder tackle. Gable answered back with an arm drag into an armbar.

    Gable hit Orton in the throat and cornered him for some forearm shots, but one kick to the gut allowed Orton to turn the tables and hit a series of uppercuts. Orton sent Gable outside and dropped him on the commentary table with a back suplex.

    Otis provided a distraction so Gable could clip Orton's knee. The Olympian hit a textbook moonsault for a two-count to send us into a break. We returned to see Gable attacking Orton's knee.

    The Apex Predator began to make a comeback and hit his signature backbreaker. He spiked Gable with a rope-hung DDT and began to coil up for the RKO. Otis took out Riddle at ringside, but the distraction did little to derail the action in the ring.

    Gable countered the punt kick into an ankle lock. Orton escaped and hit the RKO for the win.

    Grade: A



    Gable and Orton worked together to put on a fantastic match that completely negated the ridiculous spelling bee that preceded it.

    We all know how good Gable is as a technician, but this match served as a reminder that when he wants to, Orton can keep up with these younger guys on the mat.

    There's not much more to say. This was some great pro wrestling. Just skip the other stuff and you'll be fine.

AJ Styles vs. Austin Theory

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    After scoring a win over Finn Balor last week, Austin Theory was in action again Monday against AJ Styles.

    They locked up, and Styles applied a deep headlock that he refused to release when Theory tried to push him away. Theory kicked out of a few pinning combinations before Styles nailed him with a dropkick to send him out of the ring.

    Theory sent Styles' face into the middle turnbuckle and hit a double stomp. He sent The Phenomenal One flying with a suplex throw for a near-fall.

    The veteran hit a big knee drop and a snap suplex for a pair of two-counts. Theory dropkicked Styles off the top rope to the floor as we went to a break.

    We returned to see Theory still in control as he hit a backbreaker. They started trading strikes as Styles began to build up a head of steam. He hit a suplex neckbreaker and a sliding forearm for a close two-count.

    Theory hit a nice rolling blockbuster for another near-fall. Styles countered a powerbomb and hit a Pele kick. Styles rolled Theory into the Calf Crusher but he got to the ropes to force a break.

    Theory tripped Styles on the top rope, but the ref caught him using the ropes during a pin. Styles recovered and hit the Phenomenal Forearm for the win.

    Grade: A-



    We know both of these guys have speed and stamina, but it felt like they were holding back during the first half of the match. The pace was slower than expected, but the moves still looked good.

    Styles is still performing at a higher level than 99 percent of the roster, so when he gets to work with a young guy like Theory, you would expect him to push him to the limits.

    The second half after the commercial felt more competitive. Styles sold well for Theory and probably gave him his best main roster match to date.

    In fact, the second half was good enough to make up for the slow pace of the first half. Theory looked great, but Styles looked incredible.

The Street Profits vs. Mysterios

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    After teaming up in an eight-man tag match last week, The Street Profits and Mysterios met as opponents on Monday's show.

    Angelo Dawkins and Dominik locked up and ran the ropes to start. Dom hit a quick hurricanrana followed by an arm drag from the top rope. Dawkins came back with a jumping back elbow to take the young man down hard.

    Montez Ford took out both Mysterios with a huge dive over the top rope to send us into a commercial. We returned to see Dawkins keeping Dominik grounded in a headlock.

    Both men made the tag, and Rey took Ford down with a headscissor. He followed up with a seated senton before Ford propelled him into the air and let him fall to the mat.

    Ford countered the 619, but Rey still scored the pin with a victory roll for the win.

    Grade: B+



    We've seen what both of these teams can do before, so nobody was shocked when they put on a fun exhibition of high-flying spots.

    Ford's ability to defy gravity is on par with the best high-flyers in the world. He makes every dive look effortless. Even Rey and Dom have to be impressed by his skills.

    Dominik is still rough on the mic but has really grown into a well-rounded performer in the ring. It's a shame the tag titles are wrapped up in another storyline because these two teams would have an epic feud for the belts.

Happy Birthday, Maryse

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    The main event of the evening was not a match. It was The Miz throwing Maryse a birthday party to hype their match against Edge and Phoenix at the Royal Rumble.

    The first gift he gave her was a portrait of the two of them as a princess and prince. The second gift with a bejeweled box. She said she wanted to open the big gift, but The Miz said he didn't get that one for her.

    Once it was revealed to be a brick in the box, Edge and Phoenix came out looking pissed off. They took out the security team on their way to the ring, but The Miz and Maryse were able to escape.

    Grade: C



    This segment went exactly how you would expect it to go. At this point, even the swerve with the giant box was predictable because WWE has done so many of those sneak attacks before.

    All of the stuff before Edge and Phoenix came out was forgettable, but watching them tear through the security team was a lot of fun.

    This week's show had some weird non-wrestling segments, but the in-ring action was excellent in most of the matches. Let's hope the Royal Rumble starts us off on The Road to WrestleMania on the right foot.