Tonight, the WWE Universe beared witness to the Elimination Chamber for the twentieth time, and it was a very good show. Outside of one decision that truly baffles me, I enjoyed the show thoroughly.
The first match was Becky Lynch vs. Mickie James. It was very good, although I wish it had been longer as it clearly had the most potential out of the three women’s matches on the show. Because of that, while still really good, it probably didn’t reach the level I had wanted it to. I was hoping this would lead to Becky getting back in the title picture but I think we’re getting a fatal 4 way for BOTH women’s titles at Mania at this point.
Next was Dolph Ziggler taking on both Kalisto and Apollo Crews. At first I was into this because Dolph was smart and took out Kalisto during his entrance, but then he just came back and helped Crews win anyway so it’s a wasted opportunity. It’s not that the post match assault wasn’t entertaining, it’s just that Dolph needs to win matches.
The tag team turmoil match for the Smackdown tag titles was fun, although Slater and Rhyno eliminated two too many teams. And the Usos destroyed American Alpha so badly after they were eliminated that I almost thought that WWE was really about to have the Ascension win the tag titles, until they didn’t and Alpha retained. They set up a Revival debut so perfectly and didn’t do it, either.
Nikki Bella and Natalya had a video package for some reason and it was filled with weirdly dramatic music for such a garbage feud, but the match was actually kind of good once it actually started to pick up. I’m rather surprised it went to a double countout, but now it’s going to be silly that the whole reason the rumored Mania match Nikki is going to have is because a bunch of powder flew all over Maryse when Natalya attacked Nikki backstage later in the night.
Randy Orton vs. Luke Harper was a very good match and I was rooting so hard for Harper to win even though I knew the exact finish that was going to happen. But it’s still the biggest match of Harper’s career, and I still hope he gets into the title match.
And then, in the most baffling decision made in recent memory, Naomi defeated Alexa Bliss to win the WWE Blue Women’s Championship. The match was solid, although there’s no logical reason for Naomi to kick out of Alexa’s finisher or to, you know, win when she’s completely irrelevant and garbage. But I have to imagine that she won because Mania is in her hometown and we all know how much Vince loves having people lose in their hometown.
And finally, the main event, the Elimination Chamber match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. This match was very, very good – probably the best chamber match we’ve seen since maybe 2009. Really when I think about the Chamber, I think of the original one, and the two from 2009. First, I very much enjoyed Bray’s entrance and staring all of the three people in the pods – that was fun. Cena and AJ starting I think was a pretty good idea. They all used the chamber well, even if there was a few things I’d have liked to have seen. I wanted an End of Days on the Chamber floor on someone, I wanted a Sister Abigail face first into the glass of one of the pods, and a dive off the pod from A.J. But the match was great. I kind of wish Baron eliminated Dean instead of the other way around, but Baron destroyed him afterwards so it works. I was happy to see Bray pin Cena and that it came down to Wyatt and Styles because I couldn’t lose – either of my desirable outcomes would take place. I kind of think Styles pinning Cena would be smarter for A.J.’s thought process of why he wants to fight Shane after this – because his rematch should’ve been one on one, and if he pinned Cena, logically he would think he’s the rightful champion but because it’s not one on one as it should have been, he’s not. And alas, Wyatt won, which is also awesome.
Overall outside of Naomi winning, this was a very good show.
Overall Grade: B+
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