By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
WWE Elimination Chamber 2020 Kickoff Show
Aired live March 8, 2020 on WWE Network and social media
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at Wells Fargo Center
-Jonathan Coachman and the panel of Charly Caruso, David Otunga, and Peter Rosenberg hosted the show. Caruso hyped that new WWE Network subscribers will get Elimination Chamber and WrestleMania for free.
Powell’s POV: And there it is, WrestleMania will be available on WWE Network this year. This is newsworthy because Vince McMahon hinted in the financial call at selling off WWE pay-per-view events to another streaming outlet and said the deal could occur as soon as the first quarter of the year.
-A video package focused on the entrants in the Elimination Chamber match for a shot at the Raw Women’s Championship at WrestleMania.
-The Elimination Chamber was lowered around the ring. A graphic listed the rules of the women’s Chamber match.
-Ruby Riott joined the panel. She spoke of putting former Riott Squad members Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan in their place and then securing her place at WrestleMania. Rosenberg brought up the possibility of her being distracted by the Riott Squad drama when Shayna Baszler is involved. A split screen shot showed The Miz and John Morrison for a moment. Riott vented about being overlooked for too long and said she wasn’t even mentioned on last year’s Chamber Kickoff Show.
-Smackdown Tag Champions The Miz and John Morrison stood backstage and were interviewed by Caruso. Miz grumbled about defending the tag titles against ten other men. Rosenberg noted that Morrison hasn’t been in the Chamber since 2011. Morrison spoke about the changes to the Chamber and how it’s bigger since he last had a Chamber match. Miz interrupted and they did their “hey-hey, ho-ho” bit.
Powell’s POV: The panel spent too much time giggling over the antics of Miz and Morrison for my taste. They should be acting annoyed by the heels rather than laughing at their comedy.
-Aleister Black delivered a promo from somewhere in the building. Black said he’d been attacked three different times and not once did he say die. Black said there are no disqualifications, so that means no one can save Styles. Black said that as someone who has fought alone for his entire life, it will be his pleasure to introduce Styles to how loneliness feels.
Powell’s POV: I don’t think Black knows how a No DQ match works. No rules means there’s nothing stopping Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson from interfering.
-A video package focused on Braun Strowman defending the Intercontinental Championship against Shinsuke Nakamura, Cesaro, and Sami Zayn in a handicap match.
-Braun Strowman was interviewed on the backstage interview set by Kayla Braxton. Strowman said Zayn is a loudmouth clown, but he put over Nakamura and Cesaro as “two of the baddest dudes in WWE.” He said anyone who comes for his title would “get these hands.”
-The panel recapped Drew McIntyre hitting Brock Lesnar with three Claymore Kicks on Monday’s Raw. They ran through the previously advertised WrestleMania matches.
-Coachman gave a big buildup for a special guest, which turned out to be R-Truth, who had a John Cena t-shirt over his shoulder. Truth thought it was WrestleMania Sunday. He also acted like he thought Rosenberg was Sam Roberts. Truth spoke about his new song “Set It Off” doing over a million views on World Star.
-The panel hyped Goldberg vs. Roman Reigns for the WWE Universal Championship for WrestleMania.
-The Raw Tag Title match was discussed by the panel.
1. “The Viking Raiders” Erik and Ivar vs. Zack Ryder and Curt Hawkins. The Raw broadcast team of Tom Phillips, Jerry Lawler, and Byron Saxton were on commentary. Phillips played up Ryder and Hawkins getting hot at this time last year and winning the Raw Tag Titles at WrestleMania. There was a picture in picture ad during the match for the women’s Elimination Chamber match. In the end, the Viking Raiders hit the Viking Experience on Ryder. Erik covered Ryder for the pin…
The Viking Raiders beat Zack Ryder and Curt Hawkins in 4:50.
Powell’s POV: I have no idea why this babyface vs. babyface match was booked for the Kickoff Show. It didn’t seem to serve much of a purpose, though I give them credit for at least coming up with the small hook that Ryder and Hawkins rose to the occasion around this time last year.
-The panel ran through the Elimination Chamber card. They said Daniel Bryan vs. Drew Gulak would be the first match on the main card.
-A WWE Network video package aired and focused on the pay-per-view events and the various shows and documentaries.
-U.S. Champion Andrade and Zelina Vega were interviewed by Sarah Schreiber on the backstage interview set. Schreiber tried to mention Humberto Carrillo beating Andrade on Raw, but Vega cut her off and blamed Rey Mysterio being in the ring illegally. Vega said Humberto’s success will happen, but it won’t be at Andrade’s expense. Andrade spoke briefly.
-The Usos spoke while walking through the backstage area. They listed the other teams in the Elimination Chamber match and said it’s their time.
-The hosts made predictions to close out the Kickoff Show.
Join me for live coverage of the WWE Elimination Chamber main card in a separate story available via the main page.
The Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features Kenny Herzog discussing his journalism career, his new Outside Interference podcast, doing a feature story on CM Punk, pro wrestling in the pandemic, WWE talk on Retribution, The Hurt Business, Roman Reigns as a heel, and much more...