Powell’s WWE Elimination Chamber Hit List: Roman Reigns vs. Sami Zayn for the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship, Brock Lesnar vs. Bobby Lashley, two Elimination Chamber matches, Edge and Beth Phoenix vs. Rhea Ripley and Finn Balor


By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

WWE Elimination Chamber Hits

Roman Reigns vs. Sami Zayn for the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship: A truly special main event with Zayn’s saga with The Bloodline climaxing with the showdown match with Reigns held in front of the challenger’s family and rabid hometown fans. It’s not often that you’ll find me raving about matches that featured two ref bumps and so much outside interference, but it all worked as far as the storytelling with Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso is concerned. Of course, none of that would have been necessary had the decision been made to have Zayn go over. I’m sure that decision will be debated for years to come.

And if there was ever a night for Sami to win the title, this was it. And I really wonder if he would have won had this show not taken place so close to WrestleMania. The risk of a Zayn win last night was that the story of the longest WWE championship reign in ages would have peaked with a payoff 42 days before the biggest show of the year. Of course, it doesn’t change the fact that they chose to go with Cody Rhodes over Zayn as the WrestleMania challenger, and it’s more than fair to debate whether they made the right decision. But considering the direction they chose, I thought they handled things extremely well.

The creative forces showed true storytelling discipline by not paying off everything at once. I predicted that Jey would choose Reigns and cost Zayn the match. I also predicted that they would send the crowd home happy with a full on Zayn and Kevin Owens reunion to set them up as the challengers to the Usos at WrestleMania. And I still assume that’s the direction, but the creative team wisely saved those major developments so that they will have their own key moments during the remaining build to WrestleMania as opposed to cramming in more than they needed to. As much second guessing as all of this will fairly generate, it continues to feel like the company’s creative direction is in good hand.

Austin Theory vs. Seth Rollins vs. Johnny Gargano vs. Bronson Reed vs. Montez Ford vs. Damian Priest in an Elimination Chamber match for the U.S. Championship: A great Chamber match. Everyone had a moment to shine and they came up with some really innovative spots. Ford was the star of the match and this felt like a preview of things to come with him eventually being cast as a singles star. He also did an amazing job of selling the Stomp spot that brought in the trainers and created a way for Logan Paul to enter the Chamber and cost Rollins the match. If there was one negative it’s that the finish once again cast Theory as an opportunistic pest heel when it felt like the whole point of his character growing up was to make him feel like something more than that. Of course, it’s something that can be fixed fairly quickly with a high profile win at WrestleMania.

Asuka vs. Raquel Rodriguez vs. Nikki Cross vs. Liv Morgan vs. Natalya vs. Carmella in an Elimination Chamber match for a shot at the Raw Women’s Championship at WrestleMania: A fun Chamber match with the right person going over in fairly dominant fashion. Asuka was clearly the most compelling possibility to challenge Bianca Belair at WrestleMania, and they even put her over strong in television matches that led up to the match. My biggest criticism of the match is that the final two lacked suspense. I honestly thought Carmella was going to be the first person eliminated. She’s a good heel who generates solid heat. I had no problem with Carmella sticking around and even being part of the final three, but it just felt obvious that Asuka was going to win once it came down to the two of them. While I still would have expected an Asuka win no matter who was in the final two, an Asuka and Rodriguez battle could have led to some second guessing and perhaps even given Rodriguez a boost in a competitive loss.

Edge and Beth Phoenix vs. Rhea Ripley and Finn Balor: Judgment Day lost most of their heat from their attack on Phoenix due to the long gap between the angle at Extreme Rules and this mixed tag match. And knowing that Phoenix couldn’t possibly get full revenge by getting the win because Phoenix is challenging for the Smackdown Women’s Championship at WrestleMania also worked against the match. Despite those issues, they came through with a crowd pleasing performance. It was unfortunate that Phoenix was late to break up the pin, which caused the referee to stop counting even though Edge was clearly still being pinned. I hope they have some fun with this on Monday by having Balor take issue with the historically lopsided officiating that occurs when WWE is in Montreal.

WWE Elimination Chamber Misses

Brock Lesnar vs. Bobby Lashley: It was a lot of fun while it lasted, but the low-blow finish was really weak. As much as they were able to win over the live crowd by having Lesnar destroy Lahsley and the referee after the match, the bad finish was still underwhelming to this viewer. I’m not sure where this leaves things after Bray Wyatt stated on Smackdown that the survivor of the match better run. My best guess is we’re headed toward a Triple Threat.


Readers Comments (4)

  1. The main event left me with mixed feelings. Too much to go into

    That said I just don’t see this as Cody’s time. I’d like to see Roman win, get to 1000 days and then maybe lose a rematch at SS. Cody winning at WM just seems too predictable and too soon based on his injury

    The men’s chamber was sensational. Everyone looked like a star. This was Fords moment tho and it’s time to set him up as a singles star while not making Dawkins into Jannety

  2. I have to disagree with you on the main event finish – it was dumb wrestling booking at its worst and spoiled the most anticipated main event in years. The first referee got slightly squished in the corner and was knocked out for what seemed like hours. The second referee stood watching the ring with his thumb up his ass while Jimmy Uso beat up Sami, then ran in as soon as possible to count the pin as if he hadn’t noticed. After Sami is finally beaten, his lifelong buddy thinks THAT is the right time to make an appearance. It was utter shit and a massive, massive disappointment after the best built story in decades. I hope crowning SuperCody is worth it.

  3. Agree with Shauny. Shambolic main event where what they should have done was ignored over their preferred narrative. Typical wwe. Owens coming out after sami had lost was a joke … as we’re the ref bumps and all the stuff done to sami ignored.

    All this to give superman the title at mania for a ‘mania moment’ that will mean nothing. A story rushed through in 2 months. They have to put the belt on him now otherwise what was the point of all this nonsense. This was Sami’s moment and superman’s could have waited. The place would have come unglued had they done what they should have done. Superman wins rumble from no30 … yawn predictable. Wins title in rushed story for a mania moment yawn predictable yet the obvious/predictable and right thing to do here was ignored. But yeah creative is in great hands. Nope it isn’t … because they can’t have anything other than force what they want. Its like danielson all over again. It’s been a great story with Sami … but they tore the ending out of the book and crossed his name out and stuck it in superman’s book instead. Joke.

  4. Agreeing with Shauny on everything except Owens finally showing up. To me, that was a spot of KO not getting involved and letting Sammy deal with the situation that KO had warned him about, to the bitter end. But then stepping in afterwards to help protect him once the lesson had been learned.

    Everyone knew that KO would make an appearance at some point, but if he had shown up before the 3-count, and Sammy had still lost, Sammy would have ended up looking weaker.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.