WWE’s Elimination Chamber has arrived, a little earlier than usual but that is a good thing. There is less time between the Royal Rumble and Elimination Chamber meaning we have a good six weeks to build off of the fallout from these two events leading into WrestleMania. This hasn’t been done in some time, we normally get a throwaway PPV, or Premium Live Event, before the show of shows. It seems that HHH’s idea of a reduced PPV/PLE schedule will result in a longer form story and also more concise storytelling and WWE TV.
I have personally been a big fan of the way WWE has been heading since HHH took over creative control of the company, and it shows in their viewership. RAW is still a slog but SmackDown has become must watch and I don’t miss a single episode. This might also be down to Sami Zayn, but we will get to him later on. Montreal is one of the hottest crowds they have had in a while, so let’s review this year’s Elimination Chamber.
Women’s Elimination Chamber | Winner Faces Bianca Belair at WrestleMania for the RAW Women’s Championship
We start the night off with the women’s Elimination Chamber match. The four women who will be entering the pods are, Carmella, Asuka, Raquel Rodriguez and Nikki Cross. Liv Morgan and Natalya start off the match with some beautiful chain wrestling before Morgan takes it to a brutal place. This is very in line with her new character and attitude. Soon enough the two are throwing each other into the chains and choking each other before Natalya throws Liv into a pod, repeatedly.
Next out is Raquel in her first-ever Elimination Chamber and she dominates. Nikki Cross is the next one out, ready to fight with everyone. This match has a lot of interesting moves and is thrilling. It’s great seeing the women show themselves off this way. Nikki Cross climbs to the top of Carmella’s pod and takes everyone out. Carmella is next out and tries to pin Liv and Natalya. She then hides in a pod from Nikki but escapes just as Raquel takes Nikki out, blasting through a pod before pinning her for the first elimination.
By this point, Carmella has hidden in another pod. This match is good and lots of fun while Carmella gets to show off her in-ring skill and comedy chops. Liv hits a sunset flip on Raquel from the top of Asuka’s pod. Carmella tries to pin but it’s a near fall. Auska is the last woman out and she takes it to Carmella. Auska squares up with Requel, which makes her happy cause she loves a challenge and gets her in an octopus stretch, which looks mean. Natalya gets Liv in a sharpshooter, she tries to fight back but Auska helps by grabbing her arms, Liv passes out and is eliminated.
Carmella somehow eliminates Natalya which is wild and amazing for her. Carmella and Asuka team up with a flurry of kicks and both pin Requel. Now it’s down to Asuka and Carmella and it’s a great mini-match. But she is not ready for Asuka.
Asuka will go on to face Bianca Belair at WrestleMania for the RAW Women’s Championship.
Bobby Lashley Vs Brock Lesner
Next is the grudge match between Bobby Lashley and Brock Lesner, which means we are getting big meaty men slapping meat. It’s intense and a short but good match. Lashley wins via DQ but Lesner goes crazy after the match is thrown out. They are setting up for WrestleMania. Hopefully, cause these two are not done with one another.
Edge & Beth Pheonix Vs Finn Balor & Rhea Ripley [Jugment Day]
Next is a mixed tag match between Edge and Beth Phoenix and Judgment Day’s Finn Balor and Rhea Ripley. Every part of me feels like Judgement Day should come out on top. But we will see.
Beth and Rhea are working very stiff here but from two powerhouses it’s exactly what you want to see. Balor looks great here as does Edge but this match is really about the women. It’s what fans really wanted for a while. Dominic is really good at getting nuclear heat and he’s really grown as a performer. We also get some actual man-on-woman action in this match which is amazing, intergender matches are always lots of fun and it’s great WWE is dipping their toe in that water.
Beth Pheonix and Edge get the win, which is slightly baffling, but at least the winner of the Women’s Royal Rumble isn’t the one pinned here. You need to keep her string going into WrestleMania and her match against Charlotte Flair.
Men’s Elimination Chamber | United States Championship Match
The Men’s Elimination Chamber match is next. This is for the United States championship. The four men in the pods are Austin Theory, the current champion, Montez Ford, Bronson Reed and Damian Priest. That means Seth Rollins is starting the match against Johnny Gargano, inject it into my veins.
Reed, Priest, Theory and Gargano have a deep history surrounding the NXT North American championship, so this match should be fantastic. And I was right, Rollins and Gargano need to have a program together. Next out is Austin Theory who is so fresh that he takes out Gargano then takes it to Rollins. Rollins and Gargano team up on Theory, getting him into a pod and stomping him.
Next out is Damian Priest who looks incredible and just destroyed everyone in sight. These guys all together are great this is a NXT-level match from some of its best days. Now we have Bronson Reed who is just insanely powerful and destroys everyone. Montez Ford comes out and is just so fast and an absolute star. Oh, this match is fantastic. Oh, that spot with Gargano on Reed’s shoulders, where Rollins hits a heart attack only for Gargano to hit a Frankensteiner, is inspired.
Montez climbs to the top of the Elimination Chamber and just like Spider-Man, hangs upside down, hooking his feet into the chains at the top of the chamber before falling onto everyone. It’s a moment. Reed is eliminated when Gargano, Rollins and Ford hit superkicks, at the same time, following it up with hitting their finishes.
The Montreal crowd are insane tonight. I can’t even begin to explain how good this is and all the amazing moments. This needs to be watched. Gargano is eliminated by Priest which the crowd aren’t happy with but we have great things to come. Soon Montez eliminates Priest and now we are down to three. And what a three, but who will come out as the United States champion?
Theory pins Montez after a stomp from Rollins and this crowd are unhappy. This was a star-making performance for Montez Ford. Logan Paul shows up and hits Rollins with a buckshot lariat and a stomp, what a fantastic way to solidify that match for Mania. While Theroy retains.
Roman Reigns Vs Sami Zayn
To end the night we have home town hero Sami Zayn, a man born and raised in Montreal, Quebec Canada, take on the leader of The Bloodline, Roman Reigns. The champion, Roman Reigns comes out first with only Paul Hayman. Sami Zayn comes out to such a huge pop from his hometown crowd, they are singing his song and even if he doesn’t win tonight, he has proved to everyone why he deserves to be at the top of the card.
The two don’t even touch for at least five minutes cause the crowd is just in a frenzy. Roman starts off slow and methodical but soon enough we are at Sami Zayn’s pace and he is just beautiful with an over-the-top road plancha. We want Sami to crack out all the classics. It’s very back and forth but Reigns is a hard-hitting opponent but Sami fights back every time. This match is incredible and Sami makes you believe that he can do it, he’s always had that ability.
What a story and this won’t hopefully be the end of Sami’s story. The referee is down, classic for a Reigns title match, and Sami pins Roman for a five count. Five goddammit. This is so sad but this might mean it’s time for Sami to come to WrestleMania and the Main Event. I know a lot of people are hoping for this. Jimmy Uso is here and attacks Sami, dragging Roman on top of him but the ultimate underdog somehow kicks out.
The second ref is down, Roman has a chair and Jey has finally shown up. What will he do?
He takes the chair from Roman, with tears rolling down his face, he is torn between Roman, his family and the head of the table, and Sami, the man who in Jey’s words has seen him for who he is and made him a better person. He throws the chair down but Sami accidentally spears Jey and is attacked with the chair. This whole story is beautiful.
Reigns retains but Sami is an icon and came so close to winning that, maybe he should of, or at least should face Roman Reigns for one of his belts at WrestleMania. Jimmy attacks after the match but Kevin Owens is here to save the day and attack Roman. He gives them both a stunner. You gotta send the crowd home happy with Montreal’s favourite sons reuniting and taking Roman down. If only for a moment.
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