The Road to Wrestlemania is officially here, and the first major stop is in the form of the most hellacious structure in the WWE: the Elimination Chamber. This show will see the official contract signing of Ronda Rousey to Monday Night Raw. Also, for the first time ever 7 men will enter the titular chamber – three men start the match, and four wait in pods surrounding the ring – with the winner receiving a chance for the WWE Universal Championship against Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania. John Cena, Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, Finn Balor, The Miz, Elias and Braun Strowman will all take part in the dangerous match-up, and every one of them will be looking to build momentum towards Brock Lesnar, the Universal Championship and Wrestlemania. Also for the first time, six women will enter an Elimination Chamber of their own, as Alexa Bliss defends her Raw Women’s Championship against Bayley, Mickie James, Sonya Deville, Sasha Banks and Mandy Rose. Two more huge grudge matches will take place, as Matt Hardy battles Bray Wyatt while Nia Jax goes one on one with Asuka, and The Bar, Sheamus and Cesaro, will defend the Raw Tag Team Championships against Titus World Wide, Apollo and Titus O’Neill.
+ John Cena vs Roman Reigns vs Seth Rollins vs Finn Balor vs The Miz vs Elias vs Braun Strowman (Winner will face Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania) (Elimination Chamber Match): this went pretty much exactly as you’d expect. The technical guys were technical, the douchebags were douchebags and the power guys did some great power moves. Braun Strowman was the huge highlight, as you should have come to expect, but everybody in this match was on their A-game, and it showed
+ Nia Jax vs Asuka (If Jax wins, she will be added to Asuka’s championship match at WrestleMania 34): these two had a great match back in NXT a few years ago, and this was very similar, with a different ending. Asuka is great, Nia Jax is somewhat underrated, and this was a good match with a stupid stipulation
+ The Bar (Cesaro & Sheamus) (c) vs Titus Worldwide (Apollo & Titus O’Neil) (w/ Dana Brooke) (WWE Raw Tag Team Championships): I may be in the minority, but I have enjoyed every one of the TWW versus The Bar matches over the past few months, and this was no exception. Something about both teams just clicked, despite the crowd chanting instead for beach balls and CM Punk
+ Alexa Bliss (c) vs Bayley vs Mandy Rose vs Mickie James vs Sasha Banks vs Sonya Deville (Elimination Chamber Match for the WWE Raw Women’s Championship): I was dubious that Deville and Rose were the best choices for this match, but Deville ended up being the MVP. This match really picked up with just the final three remaining, with a few twists and turns to keep it interesting
+ Ronda Rousey contract signing: this was actually pretty enjoyable, with the same shenanigans there always are. Kurt Angle was a highlight as the Raw GM, and they managed to hide Rousey’s less-than-good microphone skills well enough, but it was not a great promo debut from Rousey
– Woken Matt Hardy vs Bray Wyatt: the crowd once again ruined a good match, but the horrendous commentary did this match no favours either. I don’t know whythe WWE bothers persisting with these feuds when they obviously don’t care about it
– The Club (Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson) vs The Miztourage (Bo Dallas & Curtis Axel): this was a pre-show tag match. What do you want me to say?
> I can’t stand how horrible a friend that Sasha Banks is, because they insist on keeping her as a good-guy. Just let us hate her, like I already do
Should you watch this event: There was no surprises at all here, in regards to the match outcomes, but almost all of the matches were fun enough that it didn’t matter. Both Elimination Chamber matches were great, with the Women’s Chamber in particular being a surprise standout. This was a predictable, but fun to watch show.