The last stop (before the next one) on the Road to the Showcase of the Immortals… or something like that. I forget all of WWE’s buzzwords. It was all going to be very historic, though. We know they like that.
Sorry, I’m going snarky right off the bat. I actually like Elimination Chamber matches, they tend to be quite good. It’s just a shame about the rest of the card. Let’s dish out some stars.
Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson defeated The Miztourage (Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel)
I watched this match before work and wrote the review afterwards. In the few hours between those events, I forgot the entire thing. I should probably go back and rewatch it but I doubt it would make a difference. If there were an award for the most nothing event of the year, it wouldn’t win because we’ll all have forgotten about it.
Verdict: One And A Half Stars
Alexa Bliss defeated Sasha Banks, Bayley, Mickie James, Sonya Deville and Mandy Rose to retain the Raw Women’s Title in The Elimination Chamber
Before I get into my complaints, I want to say that from a purely in-ring point of view, I thought it was great. They used the structure well and there were some excellent moments including, but not limited to, Mickie’s flying Thesz Press from the top of the pod and Bliss’s Twisted Bliss to a standing Sasha who then rolled into the Bank’s Statement. No-one can deny that they all worked their asses off.
It’s just a shame that there were multiple logic/storyline issues with it. Like most wrestling fans, I can deal with a bit of that, I grew up on WWE. This was too much, though.
It started when Deville and Rose had the chance to team up on Bayley. Rather than doing everything in their power to eliminate her, they tied her up in the cage and taunted the Hugger. Why weren’t they dropping her on her head? It would have made Bayley look fantastic by surviving while Absolution would have come across like merciless killers.
Then Sasha decided to turn on Bayley at the stupidest time possible. Not only did she do it while Bliss was still around rather than waiting until she and Bayley had eliminated her, but she also did it in a way that meant she couldn’t even follow-up on the betrayal with a pin. It made her look like a fucking idiot as she ruined her two on one advantage.
Thankfully, the in-ring action was more than good enough to mean that this crap didn’t completely ruin my enjoyment. Alexa put on a fantastic performance which extended into her post-match promo. She came across like the smartest woman in the building and followed it up by undercutting the standard ‘historic’ moment promos. As someone who wasn’t entirely sold on her not too long ago, I have been proven well and truly wrong.
I just wish WWE’s in-ring booking could live up to the talent of their performers.
Verdict: Three And A Half Stars
The Bar (Cesaro and Sheamus) defeated Titus Worldwide (Titus O’Neil and Apollo)
Raw goes 0-2 on entertaining tag team matches. God this was dull. Which considering Apollo (no longer Crews) and Cesaro were in it is almost impressive.
I didn’t care about it, the crowd didn’t care about it and a small part of me wonders whether the wrestlers cared either. Don’t bother watching it.
Verdict: Two Stars
Asuka defeated Nia Jax
An example of something being precisely what it should be. Nia Jax used her power to dominate Asuka. She was able to neutralise a lot of her submission-based offence and take more strikes than most of the other women in the division.
However, Asuka had speed on her side. She could dance around Jax, dishing out kicks and while one blow wasn’t enough, by the third or fourth they were beginning to have an effect. She was waiting for her opportunities and eventually, she did enough damage that she was able to sneak out with a win.
Jax wasn’t happy, though. She knew this was her chance and took revenge straight-away, driving Asuka throw the barricade. It was a solid way to keep both women looking strong heading into ‘Mania.
Sadly, that also brings me to my big complaint. If you want to push both Jax and Asuka, why have it at all? They could have had feuds that they were able to win instead. Even if the plan is to eventually get Jax into the match, surely it’s better to do that when she’s free of a defeat to Asuka?
None of that should take away from a strong in-ring performance. It’s not their fault WWE doesn’t think things through.
Verdict: Three And A Half Stars
Woken Matt Hardy defeated Bray Wyatt
Oh my God, they’ve found something I care about less than the pre-show.
For a few minutes at the start, I thought we were going to get some Broken Matt shenanigans. Then they had a wrestling match.
Bray is shit while Matt is broken in the literal sense of the word. A good time that does not make.
Verdict: One Star
Ronda Rousey signed a contract
It’s weird that WWE gave Rousey the opportunity to close out one of their most significant events with her own music and entrance wall despite not having a contract.
The more I hear about Rousey, the more I suspect she’s in the piece of shit territory. She’s a horrible person and since I don’t care about how much money WWE makes I don’t really want to see her. A fact that’s cemented by her coming across awfully. The promo she cut was cringeworthy as hell. No-one wants to see her be some happy-go-lucky fangirl. They want her to be a killer.
When we got a bit of that, it was to set-up a match with the fucking McMahons. I couldn’t give a shit about Triple H and Steph at this point and having Rousey with them is the least interesting thing they could do. I knew it was where we were heading, but I’m still sad that it’s where we’ve ended up.
Roman Reigns defeated Braun Strowman, John Cena, The Miz, Elias, Seth Rollins and Finn Balor in the Elimination Chamber to earn a Universal Title shot at WrestleMania
How does an Elimination Chamber with this many talented wrestlers end up being as boring as this one was? While the women used the chamber in interesting and exciting ways, the men decided to have a Raw dark match.
That is until Strowman entered proceedings which at least saw business pick up for a few minutes. Him slamming Miz’s face into the plexiglass was cool and the casual way he threw him into the crowd was great. I’ve soured on Strowman’s ‘look at all the things I can tip’ act, but when he’s used as a human wrecking ball, he’s still entertaining.
Sadly, when that turned into him steamrolling through people, I ended up bored again. I repeat what I said about Asuka vs Nia. If they were so desperate to keep Braun looking strong, why have him here in the first place? Give him something else to do. Build to a big WrestleMania match for him. He’s so clearly the bigger star when it comes to him and Roman that having him get pinned by Reigns feels daft at this point in time. No matter how many people he eliminated first.
But lose he did, and we’re going exactly where we expected to go. Roman Reigns vs Lesnar. We all know how that ends.
Some final quick notes.
- Cena continues to slide down the card, remember when he never lost? That’s changed.
- Elias’s powerbomb to Reigns was cool. His attempt to powerbomb Strowman looked stupid.
- Balor is just a body at this point. That makes me sad.
- There was no real follow-up to Rollins performance on Monday.
- Miz is fantastic at what he does, and because of that, he should never go up the card.
Verdict: Two And A Half Stars
WWE’s women’s division saved this show. Their Chamber and Nia vs Asuka are the only things on it that are worth your time. While the main event will probably look alright in highlight packages, it was a chore to watch in full. I worry that I come across as moany when I’m reviewing WWE, but when the shows are this bad it’s hard not to.