WWE Elimination Chamber Review

On paper this looks like a one match card but I am always willing to be surprised. 

Kickoff: Gallows & Anderson vs Miztourage

This match was added in typical zero fanfare fashion, as is customary for the tag division. This match was the very much the blueprint of the Kickoff tag match. It passed the time without being either good or bad. It existed in and of itself. **

Raw Women's Title, Elimination Chamber - Alexa Bliss vs Bayley vs Sasha Banks vs Sonya Deville vs Mandy Rose vs Mickie James

This is the first title defense for Bliss in about 4 months. Mickie James is wearing a Wonder Woman outfit from the local costume shop. It's Bayley and Sonya Deville to start. That is a bold move given Deville's lack of experience. There are moments of sloppiness but there are some nice spots in between, such as an elbow to the outside by Bayley.

The first woman out of the pod is Mandy Rose. Bayley manages to fight both members of Absolution off for a period but the numbers game catches up to her and she is at the mercy of the 2-on-1. They team up to drive Bayley into the chains and hang her up in it to apply some more punishment. 

The next woman out is almost certainly going to be Banks. And it is. Banks is a house of fire and rams Rose into the pod. The match begins to resemble a tag match with the faces taking the upper hand. Rose fights back but is cut off by a Banks Statement and Mandy Rose becomes the first woman eliminated from a Chamber match.

The penultimate entrant is Mickie James. She goes on a tear, taking out everyone. Mickie and Bayley both scale the cage wall but Bayley gets knocked off. Mickie heads to the top of the pod and dives onto Deville, pinning and eliminating her. Mickie gets caught in a Bayley-to-belly and she is eliminated. 

The faces wait for Alexa to come out of the pod. One fan boos loudly. Sasha and Bayley chase Alexa around the structure before finally getting her on top of the pod. Sasha acts like she is going to help Bayley up but instead she kicks her in the face. That snake in the grass. Strangely it doesn't really lead to anything though.

We have some good back and forth wrestling before Bayley hits a Bayley-to-belly from the ropes. Before she can cover, Bliss rolls her up and eliminates her. Bliss tries to take advantage of a weakened Banks but she kicks out. Bliss goes for the Twisted Bliss but Banks gets the knees up. 

They head outside and Banks gets caught up in the chains. Bliss heads to the top of the pod and hits a Twisted Bliss. She can't take advantage though as they aren't in the ring. Banks locks in the Banks Statement but Bliss fights out. Banks heads up top but gets pushed into the pod. Bliss hits a top rope draping DDT to pick up the win. 

Following the match Bliss cut a quality promo, complete with fake crying, I'm giving this match an extra 1/4* for that alone. The match was far better than I anticipated going in. It had Mandy Rose in it after all. They worked hard and used the stipulation well. The only real negative was the fact that the Sasha betrayal didn't really lead to anything. ****

Raw Tag Team Titles - The Bar vs Titus Worldwide

I went into this with very few fucks to give but it speaks to the quality of The Bar that they managed to get a pretty good match out of a team that includes Titus. Apollo has been sneaky good this year too. This would have been even better had there been any believability to a title change but they did the best they could with what they were given. The Bar won with the double team White Noise. ***

If Nia Wins She Gets A Title Shot At WrestleMania - Asuka vs Nia Jax

There wasn't a great deal to this match but there didn't really need to be. They went hard on teasing that Asuka's 873 day, 246-0 unbeaten streak would come to an end but it never really seemed like that was likely. For the most part the match was Jax trying to hit big moves with Asuka fighting it off. In the end it was a roll up that gave Asuka the win. Jax was clearly pissed about this and ran Asuka through the barricade. The match did what it set out to do. **1/2

Matt Hardy vs Bray Wyatt

Before the match there is a video package highlighting how inane this has been. Its 93% laughing. Wyatt and Hardy do some teleporting and some moves happen. Nobody cares and they are more interested in beach ball antics. On this occasion I don't blame them. I think a large portion of the problem is that the two gimmicks are too similar for either to work in a head to head scenario. This did very little for me. *1/2

Ronda Rousey Contract Signing

Angle, HHH & Stephanie are out before Rousey. They blow smoke up her ass for a bit then she comes out. She is not the most comfortable on the mic, I'll say that. To be fair everyone is having a bit of a mare. Steph and HHH speak over each other and Angle flubs his words. They pull it together a bit towards the end. Angle drops HHH and Steph in it by claiming that they are manipulating Rousey and that Steph said she could take her. Shit went down, Rousey put HHH through a table, Steph slapped Rousey and immediately realised she done fucked up and ran off. This started out horribly but they pulled it together as it went on. Rousey needs promo class though.

Number 1 Contendership, Elimination Chamber - The Miz vs Seth Rollins vs Roman Reigns vs John Cena vs Braun Strowman vs Elias vs Finn Balor

Elias starts the match off by playing some music inside the Chamber. He tears into Vegas but they love him anyway. Cuz he is great. His song is interrupted by Braun though so he locks himself in his pod. Balor, Rollins and Miz will be starting. Good choice. 

Miz tries to convince the others to team up with him, offering a 2 Sweet to Balor, They tell him to fuck off, throw him outside and wrestle among themselves. They have a nice opening segment, working some back and forth exchanges while they wait for the first man out of the pods, and that man is...

JOHN CENA. He argues with Rollins and takes out everyone before Balor cuts him off. The match then splits off into Cena vs Balor and Rollins vs Miz. Cena and Rollins hit stereo superplexes to leave everyone down.

The next person in is Roman Reigns. He has a bit of a natter with Rollins which allows Miz to take advantage. He hits a series of kicks to everyone before being cut off by Reigns. It's the turn of Reigns to take everyone out, but before he can eliminate anyone the crowd reminds him that he is going to 'get these hands'.

Strowman is out and he is destroying all and sundry. Miz tries to run away but Braun catches him on top of the pod. Braun then throws him off the pod onto the crowd of people below. Braun decides that he has seen enough of Miz and eliminates him with the powerslam.

Elias wisely decides not to leave the pod and lets the other 4 people gang up on Braun. They work together to powerbomb Braun but Braun is having none of that and kicks out. They all hit their finishers on him but he kicks out of all of that too. 

A bunch of big moves are hit in the ring and Elias decides that this is the time to leave the pod. He tries a bunch of covers but they don't pay off. He hits some moves and is in complete control but he tries to give an electric chair drop to Braun and that was his downfall. Braun hits the powerslam and Elias is gone.

Braun is an unstoppable machine and he catches Cena in a powerslam. 1, 2, 3! Cena is gone. 3 eliminations for Braun. Balor uses his pace to maneuver around Braun and almost picks up the shock pinfall with a stomp to the back of the head. He takes out Rollins with the 1916 and hits a Coup de Grace on Reigns, but he forgets about Braun. Powerslam, and Balor is the latest name on the Braun hitlist.

Rollins and Reigns wisely double team Braun. Rollins then decides he is going to try to take out Reigns. He hits a few big moves but is cut off with the Superman punch. Rollins hits a frog splash off the pod but it isn't enough to put away Braun. Braun dropkicks Roman out of the ring but gets caught with a pair of superkicks. He evades the curb stomp, though, and eliminates Rollins with the powerslam.

And then there were 2. Roman uses speed to avoid Braun and Braun ends up running through the pod. The fans can see the writing on the wall now and they ain't too happy. Reigns hits a plethora of Superman punches and spears to, as Cole would say, punch his ticket to WrestleMania. 

After the match Braun is apoplectic. He hits a couple of powerslams and chucks Reigns through the pod. I thought that this match was fun but it was always likely to be hamstrung slightly by the predictable finish. I get that they were trying to make Braun seem as strong as possible but it made the finish slightly jarring. ***1/2

Overall Grade - C+

I didn't think this was a bad show at all, it was damn predictable though. The women's Chamber match exceeded all expectations and most other things hit the level they were expected to. Except for the Hardy vs Wyatt match of course, which was junk.