|This better be part of a story.|
Elimination Chamber happened a while back, and like much of the WWE of late, it excelled when it’s most exciting stars were on screen and was OK to dull when they weren’t
Buddy Murphy vs. Akira Tozawa (Cruiserweight Championship): I think Murphy has to retain this.
And he did, in another instance of the cruisers stealing a not insignificant part of the show from all the way back in the pre-show. There’s now an eight-man tournament amongst the usual suspects to see who faces Murphy at Mania and it’ll probably be Cedric Alexander. (1/1)
Nia Jax/Tamina vs. Riott Squad vs. Mandy Rose/SOnya Deville vs. Naomi/Carmella vs. IIconics vs. Bayle/Sasha Banks (Elimination Chamber, Women’s Tag Championships: First Champs is a historic prize, though, and I don’t see them handing the historic prize to anyone except Boss and Hug.
Yep. This match was fantastic, with lots of great moments for everyone involved. I especially enjoyed the way the Iiconics entered the match. The finale was a little odd, as they did a weird role reversal with Banks winning to help an “injured” Bayley. Next up is Tamina and Jax, so Tamina’s job will continue to be safe as long as she can protect Jax by eating pins for their team. (2/2)
MizMahon vs. The Usos (Smackdown Tag Championship): I don’t want to pick MizMahon here but I have to.
I guess I didn’t have to? It says something about what this championship has done to the Smackdown tag scene that I got it wrong in the predictions. It was the Usos, not The Bar, in this match, and they’re the new tag champions in what seems to be a “please re-sign and don’t go to AEW” reign much like The Revival’s, except on Smackdown, the tag champs don’t lose to NXT sortacalluips two weeks in a row. (2/3)
Finn Balor vs. Bobby Lashley and Lio Rush (Intercontinental Championship): I’m going to say (Finn) wins the belt.
Hooray! Finn Balor, Intercontinental Champion! Boo! Finn Balor, Intercontinental Champion, still fucking around with Rush and Lashley afterwards. I hope that by beating Rush and by Lashley moving on to more shenanigans with McIntyre and Corbin and now Elias that Finn will have a new opponent soon. (3/4)
Ronda Rousey vs. Ruby Riott (Raw Women’s Championship): Rousey. Duh.
I feel bad for Riott. Like so many women right now, they’re the victims of WWE not being willing to tell any stories outside of Becky/Ronda/Asuka. This was a squash furthering that story. Yes, Riott got a competitive match the next night. Yes, Becky Lynch beating the shit out of Ronda and Charlotte with a crutch was awesome and one of the great moments of this event. But WWE is still doing wrong by it’s women to a very large degree. (4/5)
Braun Strowman vs. Baron Corbin (No DQ): The no-DQ this time is to give a bunch of heels with nothing to do at Mania the ability to beat up on Strowman setting up some kind of cluster filler match at Mania.
This is exactly what happened, except the cluster-filler appears to be being set up for Fastlane. (5/6)
Bryan vs. Styles vs. Hardy vs. Orton vs. Joe vs. Kofi (Elimination Chamber, WWE Championship): Bryan retains.
And he did, but the story here is really about the rise of Kofi Kingston. Kingston filled in and took the injured Mustafa Ali’s spot in this angle, going nuts in the pre-match Gauntlet on Smackdown, lasting until the end of the Chamber, almost beating Bryan, getting his rematch at Fastlane, then having Vince McMahon take him out of the match in favor of the returning Kevin Owens in a gender-swapped version of the Becky Lynch storyline. The fans have rallied behind Kofi, who’s truly one of the all time greats finally getting his due. I hope this goes where it should - Kofimania. (6/7)