On Sunday night WWE held their Elimination Chamber PPV in Las Vegas. Let’s break it down and take an in-depth look at how the night went.
(Note: At the time of writing this I haven’t see this week’s episode of Raw. No spoilers for me in the comment section, please).
1) Alexa Bliss def. Sasha Banks, Mandy Rose, Sonya Deville, Bayley & Mickie James in the Elimination Chamber match to retain the WWE Raw Women’s Championship. This was the first time that women competed in the Elimination Chamber as we’ve been reminded an average of 50 times per show leading up to the PPV. Just like the first Women’s Money in the Bank, Women’s Royal Rumble and Women’s Hell in a Cell Matches, it was average at best.
There were more awkward spots in the match than there were cool spots. People might argue “it’s the first time they’ve been in a match like this” to which I say that excuse doesn’t cut it. The first kind of any match should always stand out. All people involved should be practising and putting on a hell of a match for everyone.
My main issue was there was no sense of danger. Yes, there were a few high spots but that’s as far as it went. Mickie wins MVP. She was on fire. This was the first time I’ve seen her look really good in the ring since she’s been back in WWE. Sasha turning on Bayley was predictable, but hopefully this leads to a Sasha heel run because that’s where she’ll excel the best. Alexa winning the match was good and her promo afterwards was good as well.
2) The Bar def. Titus World Wide to retain the WWE Raw Tag Team Championship. Average match here just to cool off the crowd. Wasn’t much to this at all.
3) Asuka def. Nia Jax. During this match my friends and I were discussing Asuka and Nia’s first match from NXT that Nia seems to keep forgetting. This match played out almost identical to their first match with some extra bits added in… And it was really good. It was hard hitting and physical. We knew Nia wasn’t going to win but it was a good fight none-the-less. Nia’s post-match destruction of Asuka and the ringside barrier was sweet.
4) Matt Hardy def. Bray Wyatt. Another match the crowd wasn’t interested in considering the alleged popularity of Matt Hardy. There were beach balls, Mexican waves, and a loud “Rusev Day” chant. This was just another average match. I’d like for the feud to end, but I got a feeling this isn’t over.
And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for.
Ronda Rousey signed her WWE contract. This started off very bad but got better towards the end. Raw General Manager Kurt Angle was out alongside Raw Commissioner Stephanie McMahon and her husband, WWE COO Triple H. Hats off to all three for working together to make sure Ronda got cheered, because she struggled to get over with the crowd.
Ronda came out to a lukewarm reception. Her nervousness was obvious from the look on her face to her poor microphone skills. It was like she treated the segment as if she just finished a UFC match. She spoke too quick, rambled on a bit and didn’t make much sense. There were cheers for her as she started to get choked up and teary.
Things turned around for Ronda when Angle mentioned Triple H and Stephanie were talking trash her, outlining they’re looking forward to getting their revenge on Ronda at WrestleMania 31. This made Ronda mad who ended up putting Triple H through a table. Stephanie slapped Ronda and it was at this point the crowd finally rallied behind Ronda. No doubt will lead to Angle & Ronda vs Triple H and Stephanie at WrestleMania.
Despite the cringe-fest that this was, it’s not Ronda’s fault. Blame WWE management for thinking they could take former UFC star, who hasn’t done anything major for a few years, and throw her into the spotlight. They shouldn’t assume Ronda will adapt straight away to the wrestling world without any prior wrestling experience. Being an MMA fighter doesn’t automatically qualify someone as a professional wrestler. As my housemate and I were discussing, Ronda will want to prove she belongs in the WWE and will work her ass off to prove it. Good luck to her.
5) Roman Reigns def. Braun Strowman, John Cena, The Miz, Finn Balor, Seth Rollins and Elias in the Elimination Chamber match to challenge Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania for the WWE Universal Championship. Wow… That was a big sentence! The only thing bigger was the volume of tears shed from the internet wrestling community crying about Roman’s win.
This was match solid from start to finish. Everyone played their parts well in this match. Remember how I said there was no evident danger the Women’s Elimination Chamber match? There definitely was danger in the Men’s match – and its name was Braun Strowman. Everyone brought something to the match to help carry it – from Balor & Seth’s athleticism to Cena’s sluggishness.
The match itself will help everyone involved leading up to WrestleMania. As mentioned above, Balor and Seth showed they can carry big matches. I’ll be interested to see what they do at WrestleMania. Elias is proving he’s getting better in the ring and his microphone work is great. The Miz didn’t lose anything from being in the match nor did he gain anything. He’s the Miz and he’s… Awesome. Cena losing will also advance his current storyline of “I need to be in WrestleMania”. How is he going to get onto the grandest stage of them all? I’m not sure, but I really hope it doesn’t involve the Undertaker.
Braun pinning five of the competitors, taking everyone’s finishers at various moments throughout the match, then taking multiple Superman punches and spears from Reigns at the end of the match justified his loss. He still came off strong despite not winning the match Roman barely won. I don’t mind Roman winning (put your pitchforks and torches down) because he and Brock will have a decent match at WrestleMania. Will Roman defeat Brock? I hope he does so we can actually have the show’s main champion appear weekly instead of quarterly.
In all, Elimination Chamber was a decent show though no matches on the card could be labelled as a “Match of the Year” candidate. The Men’s Elimination Chamber was my favourite for the night, followed by Asuka vs. Nia. I’d like to hear your thoughts on the show.
See you all in a few weeks for my next WWE PPV review – Fastlane!