Before WWE’s top superstars can experience the glory of WrestleMania, they must go through the brutality of the Elimination Chamber. The devil’s playground will be is use for two matches on the show, on of which will involve six of SmackDown Live’s best tag teams as they vie for the SmackDown Live Tag Team Championships recently won by The Miz and John Morrison. With several smaller stories coming to a head inside the Tag Team Chamber, tempers are sure to fly, and fireworks are to be expected. The second Chamber match of the evening will feature six of Raw’s top female competitors, as a challenger for Becky Lynch’s title will be determined by the end of the night. The Interconintental Championship will be defended by Braun Strowman in a handicap match against Shinsuke Nakamura, Cesaro and the returning-to-action Sami Zayn, and the new Raw Tag Team Champions, the Street Profits, will face the former champions, Seth Rollins and Murphy.
+ The Street Profits (Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins) (c) vs Seth Rollins & Murphy (WWE Raw Tag Team Championships): like all the other non-chamber matches on the show, this was fine, but we’ve just seen it too much, in this case including not even a week ago on Raw. Surely this match should have been the ‘last chance’ match from Raw, with the Profits winning the titles after a proper build up? But what do I know
+ Aleister Black vs AJ Styles (w/ Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows) (No Disqualification Match): this was fine, but after the way Black has been treated on Raw it was hard to feel too much excitement. Some predictable moments were somewhat underutilised, and frankly made both guys look pretty bad. Black is a unique star, in looks and performance, and he really could be something special if they wanted him to be
+ Andrade (c) (w/ Zelina Vega) vs Humberto Carillo (WWE United States Championship): this was fantastic, as you should have come to expect. Any combination of these two, Rey Mysterio and Angel Garza is guaranteed to be a great match, and I really hope we see more of all four of them sooner rather than later
+ Daniel Bryan vs Drew Gulak: seeing this on the card had the makings for a good evening, grapple fans. Gulak is a long time favourite of mine, and a severely underrated wrestler, character and talker, and Daniel Bryan is one of the best of all time. A few terrifying throw in this match had me gasp, hand over mouth, but this was still absolutely the best WWE match so far this year
– Asuka vs Sarah Logan vs Liv Morgan vs Shayna Baszler vs Ruby Riott vs Natalya (Elimination Chamber Match to face Backy Lynch at Wrestlemania): gosh, this was not good. I truly expected far better from everyone involved, especially whoever thought to put this all together. Shayna has been the only real option for this since her debut, biting Becky, so to see this go the way it did was incredibly disappointing. This was one of the worst ends to a PPV in a long time
– Braun Strowman (c) vs Shinsuke Nakamura, Cesaro & Sami Zayn (3-on-1 Handicap Match for the WWE Intercontinental Championship): this was garbage. All four of these guys, but particular the trio of Nakamura, Cesaro and Zayn could be tearing up the main event scene rather than this stupid storyline. I hated this
– John Morrison & The Miz (c) vs The New Day (Kofi Kingston & Big E), The Usos (Jimmy Uso & Jey Uso) vs Heavy Machinery (Tucker & Otis) vs Lucha House Party (Gran Metalik & Lince Dorado) vs Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode (Elimination Chamber for the SmackDown Live Tag Team Championships): the opening several minutes of this match were incredible sloppy, and I was ready to hate this. Thankfully it was perhaps not as bad as it could have been, but that sloppiness never went away, and there were lots of mistimed moves and moments, which really took away from the match
– The War Raiders (Erik & Ivar) vs Curt Hawkins & Zack Ryder: who could possibly care about this match. The War Raiders’ fall from grace since their undefeated run and mini-feud with The OC is disheartening for fans of the those BIG BOIs, and I mean, it’s a five minute pre-show match against the Edgeheads. What do you expect?
> the way the camera guys do that whistle to get the talents’ attention is usually pretty subtle, but that tag Elimination Chamber was full of very distracting whistles
> the theme song for the event was Dead Posey’s “Don’t Stop the Devil”, one of my favourite songs. It’s a very good video package song
> I could have sworn Lacey Evans was meant to be in the Women’s chamber, and not Sarah Logan. Am I crazy, or was that announced?
Should you watch this event: This show started to well, but fell off a cliff quickly. Even if you consider the tag team Chamber match a success, which it so nearly was in my book, everything following was not worth watching. The lack of either top champion and their number one contenders, no John Cena or The Fiend, no Sheamus, no Ricochet, no Rey Mysterio or Angel Garza, no Charlotte or Rhea Ripley and no Becky presence was a waste of time.