WWE Raw Recap: February 12, 2018
Aired on February 12, 2018

When Raw’s Second Chance Fatal 5-Way Match ended in controversial fashion, Raw General Manager Kurt Angle revealed in a Facebook Live interview that both Superstars have qualified for what will be the first-ever Seven-Man Elimination Chamber Match in WWE history!

John Cena is back in San Jose, and fittingly enough, the sharks are in the water. As Cena discussed what he deemed a must-win bout in the Men’s Elimination Chamber Match and his ambition to topple the “unbeatable” Universal Champion Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania, The Miz surfaced with a proclamation of his own: The A-Lister would win the Chamber and outsmart The Beast to become the first Superstar to hold the Intercontinental and Universal Titles simultaneously. The idea wasn’t so far-fetched, as there is precedent for Miz using his wits to defeat a more powerful opponent at the big dance — after all, he did it to Cena himself.

He wasn’t so lucky this time around. The ensuing match was decided in The Cenation Leader’s favor, despite a brutal pre-match assault from The Miztourage that left Cena splayed out in the ring. Raw General Manager Kurt Angle banned Miz’s cronies from ringside as a result, but between the ambush and a near-endless sleeper hold from the Intercontinental Champion, it looked like the damage was done. Even when The Cenation Leader began to claw back, Miz managed to escape most of Cena’s big moves, including a kickout of the Attitude Adjustment and a rope-break of the STF and what appeared to be a “Yes!” Lock from the 16-time champion.

Cena proved resilient enough to counter Miz’s own big swings as well, breaking out of two Figure-Four Leglocks and kicking out of the Skull-Crushing Finale. The A-Lister took a page out of Cena’s book by trying to set up a Skull-Crushing Finale off the second rope, but Cena quickly hoisted Miz on his shoulders for an avalanche AA. And, on top of that, Cena managed to finagle a solid stipulation, wherein the loser of the match would enter the Elimination Chamber first. In other words, The Miz had better hope he’s half as smart as he thinks he is because he’s got a long way to go to New Orleans.

Having won the final entrance in the Men’s Elimination Chamber Match, Elias is heading on down The Road to WrestleMania with the most enviable starting block of the bunch. But Braun Strowman isn’t about to let him drift by so easily. The Monster Among Men interrupted Elias’ debut of “The Elimination Chamber Blues” by showing off his own chops with an orchestra bass as his instrument of choice. And even though he broke the strings on the bass with his bare hands, The Gift of Destruction knew how to play a tune all the same. He administered these hands to "WWE's modern-day Bob Dylan" in the form of a Running Powerslam before chasing Elias up the ramp and smashing the bass across his back.

The Fatal 5-Way that pitted Superstars who lost their initial Men’s Elimination Chamber qualifiers (plus Seth Rollins, who maneuvered his way into the match) against each other for the last berth in the fateful contest ended in unprecedented fashion, as both Rollins and Finn Bálor administered a match-ending pinfall that led to a historic ruling by Raw General Manager Kurt Angle.

It was a fitting conclusion, as both Superstars had perhaps the most to prove, though Bray Wyatt, looking to return to the site of his first WWE Title victory, certainly kept himself in the thick of the hunt. Sure enough, despite strong showings from “Woken” Matt Hardy (who was so unmoved by Wyatt’s mind games that he got the WWE Universe to offer The Reaper of Souls a golf-clap) and Apollo Crews (who saved the match after Rollins took out Bálor, flattening The Architect with a pair of Standing Shooting Star Presses much to the delight of a ringside Titus O'Neil), the match quickly came down to the three former World Champions of the bunch.

Wyatt dispatched his rival Hardy from contention, administering Sister Abigail to The Woken One on the arena floor and honing in on Crews, who was stranded by himself atop the turnbuckle. Rollins and Bálor joined forces for a Tower of Doom, but while Crews quickly rolled out of the ring after the impact, Wyatt suffered a simultaneous pinfall from both The Kingslayer and The Extraordinary Man. With the result of the match thrown into question, Angle opted to split the difference in a post-Raw confrontation on Facebook Live, decreeing that both Rollins and Bálor would be allowed into the Chamber, turning the bout into a seven-man contest for the first time ever.

Even as the gateway to The Road to WrestleMania is narrowing by the second, it seems there’s still room for a surprise or two. Or, fittingly enough, two.

In other action … The Revival def. Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson … Raw General Manager Kurt Angle addressed Jason Jordan’s status … Bayley def. Sasha Banks … Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville def. Raw Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss & Mickie James … and Roman Reigns def. Raw Tag Team Champion Sheamus.

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