On Sunday, we were given WWE Raw’s last stop on the road to WrestleMania: Elmination Chamber! Yes, this year, Raw was given the privilege of having the Elimination Chamber. On paper, it looked like a decent PPV. The first ever Women’s Elimination Chamber match included two fairly green wrestlers in Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville, but the other four wrestlers could carry the bout. The men’s Elimination Chamber match was stacked with talent. But for the other matches? I could take them or leave them! As it stands, Elimination Chamber was…average!
Inaugural Women’s Elimination Chamber Match (WWE Raw Women’s Championship: Alexa Bliss (c) vs Sasha Banks vs Bayley vs Mickie James vs Mandy Rose vs Sonja Deville)
When it comes to ranking Elimination Chamber matches, this match will obviously be in the Top 10. Not because of its quality, but because it’s the first ever Women’s Elimination Chamber match. It felt rushed, at least until Rose and Deville were eliminated. Their inexperience hurt the first portion of the match. After that, I grew with excitement to see Mickie James and Alexa Bliss build on their on-going storyline…but James was eliminated before Bliss entered the match! Why? The final stretch between Bliss, Bayley and Banks was filled with quality wrestling, but questionable booking. Why have Banks turn on Bayley before they had eliminated Bliss? Why not eliminate a common enemy before turning on your friend? It felt like the bookers didn’t quite know how to execute Banks’ betrayal, so just did it in a slapdash manner. Oh, and why have Alexa Bliss hit the Sparkle Splash from the top of a pod onto Banks, only to have Banks no-sell it and lock in the Bank Statement? I enjoyed the match, but it’s not a Chamber match I’d return to in the near future.
WINNER: Alexa Bliss
VERDICT: 7/10. An above-average Chamber match that will be remembered for being the first ever Women’s Chamber match rather than anything else.
(Bliss’ post-match promo was the best thing on the card by a country mile! Delicious)
The Bar vs Titus Worldwide (WWE Raw Tag Team Championship Match)
Let’s face facts: Titus Worldwide are not in the same league as The Bar. Apollo Crews has plenty of potential and looked great in this match. Unfortunately, he’s tagged with Titus O’Neill, who may be a great father but he’s a below-average wrestler. Cesaro could wrestle with an arm and a leg missing and be better than Titus. This was a Raw-level tag team match, half a decent match but nothing more.
WINNERS: The Bar
VERDICT: 6/10. An average tag team match. The Bar tried to drag Titus Worldwide up to their level, but Titus O’Neill cannot even be dragged to a mediocre level.
Asuka vs Nia Jax
Why was this match rushed? It had potential to be something very good, but instead was cut short when it was reaching boiling point. Asuka and Nia Jax had some great matches in NXT and this could have been another great match. Jax looked dominant, and Asuka looked mortal. It took a quick roll-up for Asuka to defeat Jax. Here, Asuka survived the match. Post-match, Jax battered Asuka. That’s the part we’ll remember. However, they repeated the post-match antics for the Raw Chamber match…
VERDICT: 6/10. Jax and Asuka looked to have a gripping bout, but the David vs Goliath action was cut short. Why did it need to be rushed? But Jax looked like a fantastic monster heel here. That’s a positive!
Woken Matt Hardy vs Bray Wyatt
What a dull, dull match in a string of dull, dull matches that this dull feud had produced. Let’s hope this is the end of the feud.
WINNER: Matt Hardy
VERDICT: 3/10. This match was just there. The Rusev Day chants and beach ball throwing was much more entertaining.
Elimination Chamber for the No.1 Contendership for the WWE Universal Championship (Braun Strowman vs Finn Balor vs The Miz vs John Cena vs Seth Rollins vs Elias vs Roman Reigns)
I think the predictability of this match slightly ruined it for me. I’ve nothing against Roman Reigns, but does he need yet another Mania main event? I guess Strowman has already been beaten by Lesnar in short fashion last year. But why not build on Rollins performance last Monday? But WWE/Vince are determined to make Reigns the next big thing, and if his victory at Mania means Lesnar leaves WWE, then count me in! Lesnar needs to leave. But that’s a blog for a different time.
Considering the talent involved, this was very slow to start off. In fact, I couldn’t wait for Braun to unleash some destruction. And when he eventually entered the match, he elevated it. Rollins and Balor may have been the workhorses of the match, but Strowman was the man of the match. He took as much punishment as he delivered. He took finisher after finisher, kicking out again and again. He eliminated everyone but Reigns to leave just him and Reigns…but we knew who would win that battle. Yes, after getting rid of everyone else, Reigns speared Strowman twice to win the Chamber match and secure his fourth Mania main event in a row. Just like the Asuka/Jax match, post-match Strowman battered Reigns and hurled him through a pod to regain some of the momentum he’d just lost via a pinfall. But that’s just shoddy booking in my view.
Oh, another point of shoddy booking: copying the Banks turn on Bayley by having Rollins turn on Reigns! Yes, Rollins and Reigns teamed up to take on Braun when it was only the three wrestlers left. But, inexplicably, Rollins turned on Reigns! Why not wait until they’d both eliminated Strowman?
WINNER: Roman Reigns
VERDICT: 7/10. We all knew Reigns would win. We all thought this would be a mind-blowing Chamber match, thanks to the talent involved. It was good, but nowhere near great.
OVERALL VERDICT: 6/10. From top to bottom, this card had predictable finishes. No one will remember anything about this PPV apart from the Chamber matches that bookended it. But even then, those Chamber matches weren’t in the top tier of Chamber matches. Yes, the Women’s match will be remembered for being the Inaugural Women’s Elimination Chamber match, but it won’t be remembered for being great. Both matches were good, but that’s all they were. In fact, the best part of this PPV was Bliss’ post-match promo!
Oh, there was also a segment about Ronda Rousey signing her WWE contract. They could have done this on Raw, to make more time for the matches on the PPV. But instead, we saw Rousey being uncomfortable on the mike, Angle fluffing his lines and HHH/Steph working overtime to put the mediocre angle over. Are we really going to get HHH and Steph vs Rousey and Angle at Mania? What a waste of HHH and Angle!
What did you think of Elimination Chamber 2018? Leave your thoughts/comments below!
Click here for my review of Royal Rumble 2018
Great father/ Below Average wrestler was a great line.
Yeah this was totally average and way too predictable. It’s hard to stay invested in WWE the last half year or so.
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