By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Pro Wrestling Boom Live returns today at 3CT/4ET with Jason Powell and Jonny Fairplay taking your calls coming out of WWE Elimination Chamber at PWAudio.net. If you can’t call in live, you are welcome to submit email questions via firstname.lastname@example.org
WWE Elimination Chamber Hits
Daniel Bryan vs. Jey Uso vs. Cesaro vs. King Corbin vs. Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens in an Elimination Chamber match for a WWE Universal Championship match: This was the better of the two Chamber matches. I liked that they started with Bryan and Cesaro, and the way that Bryan was able to go the distance to win the match. Zayn’s attempts to talk Owens into reuniting for the night were comical and Sami continues to be an entertaining heel. Uso trapping the arm of Owens in the Chamber door was a clever way to set up the exit of Owens. Will creative ever get around to unburdening Baron Corbin from the terrible King gimmick? He’s a good heel and the one dimensional gimmick is holding him back.
Drew McIntyre vs. Sheamus vs. AJ Styles vs. Randy Orton vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Jeff Hardy in an Elimination Chamber match for the WWE Championship: A solid Chamber match. It was hampered by the long gap between the first and second eliminations when it felt like there wasn’t much happening. Fortunately, the work and storytelling with McIntyre, Sheamus, and Styles as the final three was strong. I continue to enjoy Styles and Omos together, and I am curious to see what Styles ends up doing at WrestleMania.
John Morrison vs. Mustafa Ali vs. Ricochet vs. Elias for a spot in the U.S. Championship match: A soft Hit. The idea of these four wrestlers competing for a spot in the U.S. Championship match felt very random. And you had to figure that creative had something planned that required the U.S. Title match to be a Triple Threat, as they easily could have just made it a singles match once Keith Lee was ruled out. This match turned out to be fine and it felt like it mattered more than most Kickoff Show matches due something being at stake. But it sure is tough to take Ali seriously when he had all that help from his Retribution crew in a No DQ match and he still ended up being pinned. And so much for our suspicion that Ali would attack Kofi Kingston and take his place in the Chamber match.
WWE Elimination Chamber Misses
The Miz wins the WWE Championship: There was a time when I would have enjoyed Miz playing the transitional champion role, but he’s been so beaten down so badly that this was groan inducing. It didn’t have to be this way. Miz and John Morrison didn’t need to be booked as clowns who even lost when they had the man advantage in handicap matches. They were booked so poorly that they became channel changers and now it’s not even fun to have Miz in the role of transitional champion. It’s worth nothing that they showed MVP talking with Miz prior to the Elimination Chamber match for the WWE Championship, which has me wondering if it will be revealed that Miz promised Bobby Lashley the first title shot in exchange for his post Chamber match attack on McIntyre.
Roman Reigns vs. Daniel Bryan for the WWE Universal Championship: They played it right in the Chamber match by having Bryan go the distance before having to face Reigns immediately afterward. But I really felt like this match should have gone longer and given Bryan a few strong hope spots before his weariness caused him to lose to Reigns. They ultimately accomplished what they needed to by setting up the need for a fair fight rematch at WWE Fastlane, but it felt like this match could have been a lot more entertaining had it been given a few more minutes.
Bobby Lashley vs. Riddle vs. John Morrison in a Triple Threat for the U.S. Championship: I assume that Keith Lee would have won the U.S. Championship had he been available. Riddle took weekly beatings from Lashley going into the match and feels like a cold champion. The idea was obviously to have Lashley drop the championship without factoring into the finish. I assume this was done to free up Lashley for a WrestleMania match against Drew McIntyre. The question now is whether Lashley will enter the title match as the champion or as the challenger. I suspect it will be as WWE Champion given the timing of his U.S. Title loss.
Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler vs. Sasha Banks and Bianca Belair for the WWE Women’s Tag Titles: A disappointing match. This match looked fun on paper, but it turned out to be underwhelming as far as match quality is concerned, and the Reginald finish was lousy. I assume that Carmella is playing the puppet master and that Reginald isn’t truly in awe of Banks. Will it lead to Carmella getting another title shot at WWE Fastlane? That sure would beat the alternative of going with a Triple Threat at WrestleMania when the interest is in Banks vs. Belair in a showdown singles match.