By Jason Powell, Prowrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
WWE Elimination Chamber 2018 Kickoff Show
Aired live February 25, 2018 on WWE Network and social media
Las Vegas, Nevada at T-Mobile Arena
-Renee Young, Booker T, Peter Rosenberg, and David Otunga hosted the show from their usual spot on the arena floor. They made a big fuss over Booker returning to the Kickoff Show, and Rosenberg made the obligatory joke about Booker and Corey Graves.
-Charly Caruso checked in from backstage and they showed footage of Ronda Rousey arriving at the building earlier. Caruso said the women of Raw are excited about her arrival, yet they are also apprehensive in terms of how she will affect them at the WrestleMania picture.
-A video package aired on the women’s Elimination Chamber match. Young ran through the rules of the match as a rules graphic was shown.
-Paige joined the panel. Paige said she is upset that she can’t be in the Elimination Chamber match, but she made the women’s revolution happen. Rosenberg asked if she had a preference. She said it’s that one of her women win the Chamber match. Otunga said there can be only one winner. She said she wins regardless of which one of the Absolution members win. Booker said Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville will have to make a decision. Paige said Absolution will make history.
-Young asked Paige about Rousey joining WWE. Paige said she loved that she was there. She said they fight twice a year in UFC whereas they fight hundreds of times in WWE per year.
-Backstage, Mike Rome interviewed Sasha Banks and Bayley. Sasha said Rose and Deville have a lot to learn and she’s the Boss. Bayley said the match is every woman for herself, but if she and Banks have to work together to make sure they are the last two women then that’s great. Bayley spoke about being able to go on to WrestleMania when she wins. Banks said she would win. Mickie James showed up and took exception to one of them saying she was being used by Alexa Bliss. James said this isn’t her first rodeo. She said the friendship of Banks and Bayley would end quicker than a hiccup once the Chamber door closes and the title is on the line.
-A Miz selfie style promo aired. He said he wasn’t happy about being the first entrant in the Elimination Chamber match, but he’s used to being number one and he would prove it by winning the match.
-Young was interrupted by a Matt Hardy promo. He said he will cast Sister Abigail back into the bottomless void from which she came and then he will delete Bray Wyatt.
-The video package on Asuka’s unbeaten streak aired along with a preview for her match with Nia Jax. Booker and Otunga picked Jax to win, while Rosenberg acted like they were crazy. Rosenberg also said Asuka had not made it clear which title she will challenge for at WrestleMania.
-Backstage, Caruso interviewed Seth Rollins, who said he didn’t know if he could top his performance in the gauntlet match. “It meant nothing,” Rollins said. “All that matter is tonight.” He said the important thing is winning Elimination Chamber and then beating Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania. “I’ll do my best,” Rollins closed.
-The hosts discussed the Raw Tag Title match. Otunga and Rosenberg predicted an Apollo and Titus O’Neil win, while Booker and Young went with Sheamus and Cesaro to retain.
-Kurt Angle checked in from the social media lounge to answer the very worst of the fan submitted questions. Angle said Jason Jordan’s surgery was successful and he should be back “immediately after WrestleMania.” Angle was asked who he expects to win the Elimination Chamber matches. Angle danced around giving an answer. Rosenberg asked if this is Cena’s last chance to make it to WrestleMania. Angle laughed and said no. He went back to talking about the Chamber matches and which man has the best chance to defeat Brock Lesnar. Angle was asked about Rousey signing with Raw rather than Smackdown. Angle said he was excited to have her and she would be a fantastic addition to their roster.
1. Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows vs. Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel. The Raw broadcast team of Corey Graves and Jonathan Coachman were on the call. Anderson and Gallows controlled the early offense, but Anderson was knocked down to ringside heading into a commercial. After the break, Anderson was isolated by the Miztourage members. He eventually made a hot tag to Gallows, who worked over Dallas. Anderson tagged in and they went for their finisher, but Axel broke it up. In the end, Anderson and Gallows hit the Magic Killer on Axel. Anderson covered Axel for the 1-2-3…
Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows defeated Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel in 8:50.
Powell’s POV: A basic match with the expected outcome.
-Backstage, Rome interviewed “The Revival” Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder about the match. Dawson said they had a lot of opinions that were not suitable for the broadcast. He ranted about how they don’t do any of the basic tag team strategy. Wilder agreed and they cut back to the broadcast team before he can say more than “exactly” twice…
-The hosts spoke about Rousey signing with WWE as a bunch of graphics showed mainstream news stories on her joining the company. Booker brought back the Shucky Ducky Quack Quack moment and said it went to Rousey for arriving in WWE. Rosenberg said he was excited that Rousey was in WWE, but he wondered how the other women in the division feel and assumed they have an added chip on their shoulder about it.
-Young set up a video package on the men’s Elimination Chamber match that emphasized that the winner will get a title shot at WrestleMania.
-Paul Heyman joined the broadcast team. He put over the seven entrants in the Elimination Chamber match by calling them all main eventers. He also hyped that the winner of the match will be confronted by Brock Lesnar on Monday’s Raw. The Elimination Chamber was lowering as Young closed the pre-show.
Join me on the main page for a separate story with live coverage of the WWE Elimination Chamber event.