By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Join me for live coverage of WWE Elimination Chamber beginning with the Kickoff Show at 5CT/6ET. Dot Net Members will hear the WWE Elimination Chamber audio review hosted by Jake Barnett and I later tonight. For membership information, visit PWMembership.net.
It feels like a mostly straight forward and predictable night. WWE could always throw us a curveball or two, but I’m playing it safe with my picks, which were made with no help from the betting lines. As always, I’m guessing just like you are.
Daniel Bryan vs. AJ Styles vs. Jeff Hardy vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Randy Orton vs. Samoa Joe in an Elimination Chamber match for the WWE Championship: This should be an entertaining match and it will certainly eat up a lot of pay-per-view time. The outcome seems fairly predictable in that it hasn’t been long since Bryan won the WWE Championship, and they just created a new hemp title belt for him. I guess you can never say never regarding a quickie title change to shock people, but I assume Bryan will be champion going into WrestleMania.
Daniel Bryan retains the WWE Championship.
Ronda Rousey vs. Ruby Riott for the Raw Women’s Championship: What a shame. WWE didn’t even try to make this match feel important. Riott is terrific and deserves better than to be a speed bump on Rousey’s road to WrestleMania. Here’s hoping the match is constructed in a way that helps Riott gain something in defeat. The real focus of the match is Charlotte Flair being at ringside and the likely angle involving her, Rousey, and Becky Lynch. WWE ran an angle with Flair aggravating Lynch’s storyline knee injury at last night’s house show, so we’ll see how that plays into whatever happens tonight.
Ronda Rousey retains the Raw Women’s Championship.
The Miz and Shane McMahon vs. Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso for the Smackdown Tag Titles: It’s hard not to assume that Miz and Shane retain the tag titles following the recent arrest of Jimmy Uso. Sure, it’s an opportunity to swerve everyone, especially when reports indicate that the Usos contracts are up in April. As I noted above, I’m playing it safe. I will be watching closely to see if we see any type of crack in the foundation of the Miz and Shane alliance, as I still assume they will split up in time for a singles match against one another at WrestleMania.
The Miz and Shane McMahon retain the Smackdown Tag Titles.
Nia Jax and Tamina vs. Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan vs. Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville vs. Peyton Royce and Billie Kay vs. Sasha Banks and Bayley vs. Naomi and Carmella in an Elimination Chamber match for the new WWE Women’s Tag Titles: There has to be a reason the company kept Banks and Bayley together for so long, right? We know they will enter the match first and I suspect it’s leading to the duo getting a feel good win to become the first WWE Women’s Tag Champions (yes, they had WWF Women’s Tag Champions in the past). Opening the match also gives Banks and Bayley (I refuse to use their hideous tag team name) an out for coming up short if the company wants to take that approach. I actually wouldn’t mind seeing the company take that approach by having Jax and Tamina win here to set up a rematch with Banks and Bayley at WrestleMania, but I’ll keep it simple.
Sasha Banks and Bayley win the WWE Women’s Tag Titles.
Bobby Lashley and Lio Rush vs. Finn Balor in a handicap match for the Intercontinental Championship: The handicap stipulation sets up a couple of potential scenarios. Rush could take the loss for his team if they want to move the title to Balor without having Lashley be pinned. Or they could simply be trying to save the Lashley vs. Balor singles match for next months Fastlane or even WrestleMania. I don’t see a good reason to take the title off Lashley so quickly. If they wanted to put the title on Balor, they easily could have had him be the person who defeated Dean Ambrose.
Bobby Lashley retains the Intercontinental Championship.
Braun Strowman vs. Baron Corbin in a No DQ match: Does Drew McIntyre’s interference cost Strowman the match or does Kurt Angle counter McIntyre enough for Strowman to get the win? I wish I cared. Where’s my trusty pick’em coin? Eh, too much work.
Braun Strowman wins.
Buddy Murphy vs. Akira Tozawa for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship (Kickoff Show): There are now three certainties in life: death, taxes, and WWE moving the cruiserweight title match to the kickoff show. Insert my usual line about how this will be a good match and yet it won’t lead to anyone new watching 205 Live. Okay, so that’s not true this time around. Anish V needs the week off, so I will be watching and reviewing 205 Live this week. One viewer at a time!
Buddy Murphy retains the WWE Cruiserweight Championship.
Check below for the new Pro Wrestling Boom with Jason Powell and guest Mick Karch discussing the AWA Appreciation event on February 23, Paul Heyman’s role in helping Mick land a longtime hosting position, his friendship with Nick Bockwinkel, Billy Robinson slapping a fan on live television, and much more.
The new edition of the Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and guest Will Pruett on the Roman Reigns whodunnit angle, WWE heading into SummerSlam, AEW's October 2 premiere on TNT, the New Japan Pro Wrestling G1 Climax Tournament through Day 11, and more (77:45)...