I wasn’t really sure what I’d make about Elimination Chamber, seeing as it’s the second to last event before Wrestlemania (before Fastlane), considering I could pretty much guess all the results beforehand. But on the whole, it wasn’t terrible. It had some decent build up – and even gave us the first women’s Elimination Chamber match, which was nice. It also boasted the first official signing of Ronda Rousey!
Anyway, let’s get into the review.
For a list of matches and results (including the Pre-show matches which will not be covered), see HERE.
We started off with the first ever women’s Elimination Chamber, seeing if the girls could make history like with the Royal Rumble. The girls gave it their all in this match – and whilst not as fast paced the Royal Rumble match, it was great to see the girls given a chance to shine in the more “extreme” matches. Absolution (who were booked terribly in this match in my opinion, due to the fact that, despite the two on one advantage they had at the beginning, they still got their asses kicked!) were eliminated first, and then Mickie James was eliminated after giving a diving attack from the top of one of the pods. Seems strange to eliminate so early, considering they were building up an alliance between her and Alexis Bliss.
When it was Bliss’s turn to arrive, Sasha and Bayley looked to team up on her – until finally, Sasha turned on Bayley and they fought it out. After so long of teasing, it looks like WWE finally decided to let these two fight it out. In the end though, Alexia was able to beat the odds and defeat them both. An enjoyable start to the event – but I did worry at the beginning when Alexia showed signs of a face turn during her interview – before going back to the bad b**** we know and love! Never turn face, Alexia.
Yes, this might have been nice to be the main event like in Royal Rumble, but it was a very strong opener to the night.
After that we had Titus and Apollo (who is no longer called Apollo Crews for some reason) against The Bar, Sheamus and Cesaro. With a few wins on their belts over the Bar, could Titus Worldwide get the gold? Well, not really. It wasn’t a bad match I guess, just more of a filler.
We followed that up with Nia Jax versus Asuka and – surprise, surprise – Asuka won. However, Nia Jax was completely dominant in this fight, and at the end she smashed Asuka through the barricade. It was actually kinda fun to see Asuka (who has been shown as pretty unstoppable) being curb stomped in this way. If WWE are smart, they’ll follow up Nia Jax’s path of destruction and have her steamroll over the women’s division. Oh, who am I kidding, this is WWE we’re talking about – and they seem to hate Nia for some reason! (Don’t believe me, look at that awful angle she had with Enzo Amore).
After that, the “Woken” Matt Hardy battled Bray Wyatt. Not much to say about this match – the highlight for me was when Matt Hardy started chanting “Obsolete!” in reference to Jeff Hardy’s “Brother Nero” gimmick. Could we be seeing that sometime in the future? I certainly hope so!
Before the main event, we had HHH, Stephanie McMahon and Kurt Angle in the ring for the “official” signing of Ronda Rousey – which ended up in chaos as Kurt Angle let slip that the McMahon’s only did it so that they could get revenge on her for what she did at Wrestlemania a few years back. This ended with Rousey slamming HHH through a table and then Stephanie slapped Ronda. She quickly realised her mistake, and the fans let her know through chants of “You f***ed up!” Guess we know what Ronda’s first match will be!
Now onto the main Elimination Chamber event. You could argue that Rollins was the favourite to win here, as he broke a Raw record by lasting an hour and five minutes in a gauntlet match – apparently the longest anyone has ever lasted in a single match on Raw. But if you were expecting him to go all the way here, then you’d be disappointed.
I really enjoyed this match, it was everything I’d expect from an Elimination Chamber battle – with Braun Strowman once again asserting himself as the dominant force. He eliminated all but one of the competitors (can you guess which one? I’ll give you a hint, it wasn’t John Cena!), but they all hit Braun with everything he had. At one point, four of them tried pinning him at once – that failed! Even a splash by Seth Rollins from the top cage couldn’t put him away. But in the end, the writing was on the wall when Roman Reigns toppled the big man to win the right to face Brock Lesnar. But afterwards, Braun (similar to what Nia did to Asuka earlier) smashed Roman through the glass of the pods, leaving the winner in a heap whilst he walked away.
Looks like Braun Strowman isn’t finished with him yet!
Elimination Chamber was… an ok event I guess. The matches were good, but there wasn’t really much in the way of surprises. We all knew Roman Reigns was going to win this match the minute he was added in. Yes, there were better competitors to challenge Brock Lesnar (Strowman and Rollins for instance), but when did WWE ever give the fan favourites a chance? The problem is that when you can guess the results of matches before they happen, and WWE makes no attempt to deviate from that, it makes it hard to get fully invested behind it.
The Women’s Elimination Chamber had some interesting turns in it, not least of all the Bayley/Sasha rivalry. Let’s hope WWE doesn’t cop out of it again like they have been and goes all the way through it now. So, I would say this was a success. I also really liked seeing Asuka get destroyed by Nia Jax. It’s not that I don’t like Asuka, I just think WWE are building her up too much too quickly, it’s nice to see her taken down a peg once and a while.
Overall, Elimination Chamber was predictable, but fun, so I’ll give this one a pass.
Images used are owned by WWE. Used for review purposes – no ownership is intended or inferred.