The road to WrestleMania raged on through Elimination Chamber in what was a mixed bag of action ranging from excellent to barely watchable.
The pre-show set quite a steady tone to the night as Buddy Murphy successfully defined the Cruiserweight title against Akira Tozawa. Both men looked great here with Tozawa really stepping up and showing glimpses of what made him such an ‘Indy Darling’ before joining the WWE. As for the champ, we feel there is only so much more he can do on 205 Live before a main roster call up happens. Slotting into the upper mid-card on Raw could be the next step.
The PPV kicked off with the all Women’s Chamber match to crown the inaugural Women’s tag team champions. Expectations were very high going into this but unfortunately, the match never seemed to pick up any momentum. The right Women in Bayley and Banks won the match but this could have and should have been so much better.
More title action followed as The Miz and Shane McMahon defend the Blue Brand tag titles against multi-time champs The Usos. Again this was a case of should have been better but unfortunately wasn’t. The changing of the guard for the belts was a surprise, all things considered with the new champs, but made sense in terms of long term plans for what is now sure to be Mania match between the now former champs.
Up next saw Finn Bálor challenged for the IC strap against champ Lashley and Lio Rush, apologies for missing that in my preview, in a handicap match. Bálor looked typically good here but whilst the action was decent, once again this failed to live up to the hype. Notice a pattern here so far? Bálor winning the title was much deserved, if not surprising and maybe even underwhelming. Lashley turning on Rush however was not expected. See Raw results from last night to follow up on this.
Raw Women’s champ Ronda Rousey destroyed Ruby Riot. There’s really nothing much more we can add here. As predicted this didn’t last thing. The post-match appearance from Becky Lynch and inclusion of Charlotte woke up the subdued crowd at this point. Lynch standing tall further enforced the fact that she is as hot as any wrestler on the planet right now and is surely destined to the main event and leave WrestleMania as the Raw Women’s Champion. Amazing stuff here and worth going out of your way to see.
The penultimate match of the night was the No-DQ battle between Braun Strowman and Baron Corbin. Just when you think they are going to finally have Strowman destroy the former Raw GM and put this tiresome feud to rest, here comes Lashley and Drew McIntyre to spoil everything! Seriously though this was slow and plodding at times. Can’t say the continuation of this feud is giving anyone of us here a reason to rejoice.
The main event was the all Men’s Chamber match for the WWE title. This saved the show and in many ways exceeded expectations. One has to feel for Samoa Joe. After really establishing himself as a genuine main event level contender in WWE during the summer in 2017, he seems to have almost become a new version of Bray Wyatt in that he loses way more than he wins. His early elimination was a shame to see. The seeds were potentially set here too for a match at Mania between Styles and Orton. This could be brilliant or painfully average. Fans are calling for Kofi Kingston to have a run on top.on top now on the back of this performance and the effort he had on the previous edition of Smackdown. One can only feel this was purely a means to an end and Kofi’s spot here was always going to be what Mustafa Ali would have had if he hasn’t come down with an injury. Cynical maybe? The champ retaining was the best decision here as Daniel Bryan right now is on a hell of a run.
Overall baring the main event and post-Raw Women’s title match angle, this was what we said it would be and it’s a word we still don’t like to use, Filler. See you soon for the Fastlane PPV Preview.