This Elimination Chamber was the best and the worst of what the WWE has to offer. They really seem to be listening to the fans, to a point. Most of the superstars involved in this PPV were booked wonderfully, but the rest were a total travesty. The fans have no interest in Corbin/Strowman, yet they are still jamming it down our throats. Fingers crossed that things will get better and they will find the right paths for guys like Strowman, McIntyre, Corbin and others.
No, not the match, not the wrestlers, but how the WWE treated them by having Woods and Big E talking up Kofi in the Elimination Chamber. Beyond the serious disrespect, this match was downright fantastic! These two absolutely killed it. It blows my mind that there’s over 40lbs difference in these guys, yet they’re still part of the Cruiserweight Division. It’s insane how much they differ in size, yet work so well together. They put on such a stellar match, really left it all out there, which garners that much more respect from me as they worked while people were moving around the arena to get in their seats, and that half the match was split-screen to New Day backstage. They deserve so much better than that!
KO looks great, but it has to suck watching and not participating. I love how he talked up Balor, Riott Squad, and Becky Lynch. He was great, but also very wrong. Pineapple pizza is amazing!
Henry At Home!
I thought Henry looked amazing! I love that he’s getting a bit gray, and he’s wearing his age well. Honestly, other than the gray in his beard, Henry almost looks younger than when he was on the road, which ages you, and looks happier than he did for a long time. Lovely to see him make a cameo appearance, though he about swallowed Charly when he hugged her.
Defended On All Brands
I have to say I’m so impressed that they’re letting Nia show her forearms these days, but it’s still not enough. She’s amazing, yet so horribly dressed. I do not like that vest thing Sonya wore to the ring. It made her look blocky and heavy. Then she took it off and she was wearing long pants. They made her look great, but I like the bottoms she previously wore. I will say that most teams looked like teams in there, not just people who had been thrown together, which is great to see after how bad the WWE has dealt with tag teams over the past decade or so.
The work in this ring was wonderful. Even those who are not good in the ring worked really hard to do all they could in this match. I won’t say that the IIconics were at all good here, but they were not as horrible as they normally are. Mandy Rose worked better than we’ve seen from her before. The rest of the women in this match totally killed it and made for a great opening to Elimination Chamber. I’ve said for a while now that putting the women in HIAC, Elimination Chamber, MITB, was all well and good, but they needed to continue putting the women in these matches and letting them prove themselves in there. That’s exactly what the WWE did and exactly what these women did in this match! I’m not at all surprised, but I am thrilled. Also, Nia sold going into that cell! That was an impressive crash and sell.
Get Arrested & Win Gold!
I have no issue with kayfabe and keeping personal lives separate from wrestling lives, but this seemed really strange to me. Strange, shocking, and earlier that I thought it would happen. Now, as we have said numerous times here on WR, we don’t know the whole story about what went down that day in Detroit, so we cannot praise Naomi while trashing Jimmy over it all, but Jimmy being arrested was still really bad press. There wasn’t any fallout the last time an Uso was arrested, and there doesn’t seem to be any repercussions coming down after this recent arrest. I’m quite shocked that the straps changed hands and even more shocked as to how it changed hands. I figured it would have to be Shane who lost the straps, making Miz turn on him. Since it was Miz to lose the gold, I’ll be interested to see how they build their feud from here. This should be a lot of fun all the way around.
What is not fun is Shane’s need to jump off everything and fly through the air. I know it’s his thing, but goodness it only gets scarier as each year passes.
I love that Balor is IC Champion. He has been so screwed since his injury the night after he won the Universal Championship. McMahon was willing to strap Balor and make him the very first Universal Champion, but has been screwing Balor ever since. If he’s blaming Balor for getting injured he needs to remember that Rollins injured others with the same move, including Sting. That injury wasn’t Balor’s fault, but he’s surely been held back since then. The IC Championship is a great step for Balor, and I know he will do all he can to make the strap more prestigious, which isn’t hard after Lashley had it! From here I hope Balor has a great opponent at WrestleMania.
Then there’s Lashley who has struggled since his return. When he went all heel with Lio things went well for a few weeks, but as annoying as Lio is, he’s better than Lashley at about everything but being a big guy. Looks like Lio will either be destroyed more by Lashley, or he will go back to 205 Live. What’s next for Lashley? I can think of a whole lot of things, but none of them include him staying in the WWE or going to AEW. He’s not a superstar, has never been a superstar, and will never be a superstar. He has an interesting look and a sick body, but that’s all he has. He has no personality, cannot talk, and really isn’t very good in the ring. I didn’t think he should be brought back when he was, or at all, and he’s more than proven my point as every storyline and feud he’s had so far has been a horrible mess, and it’s all because of him.
I understand that Ruby couldn’t win this match. I also understand that Ronda needs to look really strong in the ring, but to screw over the future of the Women’s Division that way was just ugly! If they wanted to do that, they should have put someone else in this match. There has to be someone who could take the fall here and it wouldn’t have hurt as bad as it hurt Ruby’s future in the WWE. Ruby is one of the top five women on Raw and she was totally destroyed for no reason. Mickie James would have been the perfect person for this. She’s older, should be putting over younger superstars, and she wouldn’t have lost anything by being destroyed by Ronda in this match. So not only did the WWE screw up by squashing so quickly, they royally screwed up by having that person be Ruby who has such a huge upside and only gets better each time we see her. Ruby is about as well-rounded as it gets. She has a very interesting look, her mic skills are solid, her ring skills are solid, and she oozes charisma. She shouldn’t be called the future, she’s the now of the WWE, and they trashed her for no good reason. I’m revolted by this.
Wrong Sized Crutches!
I split this off from the actual match as the match should be shamed for what it was and this segment should be rejoiced over. First off the crutches Becky was using were sized too short for her, but the hand holds were too high, so she looked a mess trying to walk on them. The WWE is so precise on so many things, but they have dropped the ball more often than not on crutches and it’s a pet peeve of mine. Add in that I had a nurse watching with me who was yelling at the TV that the injury was fake, all because of how bad the crutches were.
Then there was the attack and all the greatness that came with it. Now, I didn’t mention it before about Charlotte on mic and ringside, but it made so little impression on me, especially compared to this segment, that I blew right past it. I loved this attack, not only because of the feud and storyline, but because these three work stiff. Ronda ended up with blood on her head and serious welts on her body. Charlotte was holding her elbow and also had some serious welts. They want to entertain the fans, make it look as real as the possible, and prove that they are the top women in the WWE today. Along with a couple of the women in the Elimination Chamber and Bliss, they did just that!
What A Cluster!
I’m all for a great Hardcore Match, but this was lame! Strowman deserves so much better than he’s been getting for the past year, even before his elbow injury. Now, I don’t think it was as lame as my visiting friends who really don’t get wrestling. He was going on and on about how lame the whole thing was, but he’s not a fan and doesn’t really understand why they were doing what they were doing. She watched Mad Dog Vachon (Luna’s uncle) when she was a child, and wrestling has changed in a HUGE way since then. I get that they’re not fans and only stayed through the Elimination Chamber because we wanted to spend more time together, but they don’t get it. Actually, she watches my weekly show live most week to support me, even though she’s not a wrestling fan.
Watching this match through their eyes makes me laugh about how they’d have freaked during the Attitude Era, but more than that, I could see how absurd of a mess this match really was. Further, we don’t need another Shield! On top of that McIntyre doesn’t need to be part of another faction! He doesn’t need them! What he needs is to continue building himself as a top guy and scary force, so that he can attack Rollins on April 8th and start a feud to go after the Universal Championship. It’s just the way it needs to be if they are going to continue building McIntyre to be a viable top guy.
Miz tweaking out the way he did with Shane sending him home was interesting. I thought they were going to snap apart, but more teasing! I love it when they draw things out like this.
Why did Lacey walk out, down the ramp, then back up and out? If they are going to remind us that she’s on the roster, why not put her in a match with Nikki Cross? Now that would be leaps and bounds better than the two matches we saw before this one!
Kofi Proves His Prowess
I was worried that Kofi wouldn’t last in this match very long, even after the greatness from SD the week before. Further, most of us knew Bryan would retain in this match, but we were mostly focusing on Kofi. There were a lot of great superstars in this match, and most of them did great work, but it appears as though this is Kofi’s time. I know he took over for Mustafa Ali due to injury, so he ran with the booking of another wrestler, but this is more than that. The WWE fans have been all a-buzz over Kofi as we started to head into the Royal Rumble Match. Kofi has made himself into the must-see feature of the Royal Rumble Match, because of his athleticism. All those years ago when Orton destroyed any chance Kofi might have had to be a main event player, we never thought we’d see this. Between Kofi’s hard work, the fans wanting more, and Ali having to be pulled, there was real question about Kofi possibly beating Bryan for the WWE Championship. Kofi was really the only one in this match who could have beaten Bryan and built any feud going into WrestleMania.
Other than Kofi and Bryan, AJ and Joe both looked great in this match and worked their bums off. Sadly I cannot say the same about Jeff Hardy or Randy Orton. They could have been replaced by any number of superstars who would have worked their bums off for the fans. Hardy just cannot go to the level he used to, and Orton is just useless in the ring.
At this point I’m hoping for Bryan versus Kofi at WrestleMania with Kofi defeating Bryan cleanly for the WWE Championship, and I know I’m one of MANY who really want to see this happen.
This PPV was such a roller coaster! The Cruiserweight Championship Match, first Elimination Chamber Match, and IC Championship Match were all stellar, as was the final Elimination Chamber Match. Everything between was a travesty and should be erased from our memories, moving on so we can watch great matches to fill in the time we spent watching that horror. It was bad enough that I actually wrote most of this, all the bad stuff, before coming back and writing the candy bar matches. You know, those matches that taste so good that they make your mouth water before, during, and after they happen. I left those for last as they were fun and not the tedious mess that the rest of the matches were. Hopefully Fastlane will be better and WrestleMania will be stellar, as all the WWE brands and shows have been getting better recently. Well, NXT is always great, but Raw and SD have grown by leaps and bounds recently, so I expect the PPVs to do the same.