Wrestling Review: WWE Elimination Chamber (2022)

Two huge matches will determine the top champion and top challenger, respectively, at WWE Elimination Chamber, from the Jeddah Super Dome in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. In the main event, Bobby Lashley defends the WWE Championship against five of his top contenders on the Monday Night Raw roster: Seth “Freakin” Rollins, Riddle, Austin Theory, AJ Styles and Brock Lesnar. In the opening contest, a match originally scheduled for Wrestlemania two years ago will see two of the biggest and baddest superstars of WWE history go head to head, when Roman Reigns defends the WWE Universal Championship against Goldberg. Speaking of returning legends, Becky Lynch will face a legend in her own right, as Lita returns to in-ring action to battle Big Time Becks with the Raw Women’s Championship on the line. Meanwhile, fresh off winning the 2022 Women’s Royal Rumble Match, Ronda Rousey will be in action as she teams with Naomi to battle Rousey’s Wrestlemania opponent, Charlotte Flair, and Flair’s partner Sonya Deville in a tag team contest.

In the second Chamber match, a number one contender for Becky Lynch will be determined, as Bianca Belair, Rhea Riple, Liv Morgan, Doudrop, Nikki A.S.H., and the returning Alexa Bliss do battle inside the structure where only one woman can emerge victorious. Drew McIntyre will look to finally silence Happy Corbin’s laughing hyena Madcap Moss, presumably en route to getting his hands on Corbin himself, when McIntyre and Moss battle in a Falls Count Anywhere match across the entire stadium. And finally, the SmackDown Tag Team Championships will be on the line when Roman Reigns’ right hand men, The Usos, Jimmy and Jey Uso, battle Erik and Ivar of the dominant Viking Raiders in a match weeks in the making.

+ Drew McIntyre vs Madcap Moss (w/ Happy Corbin) (Falls Count Anywhere): this was a really poor match for Madcap Moss. Not because he’s a bad wrestler – far from it in fact, I’m a big fan of his and think he has great potential – but because he got the absolute shit beaten out of him the entire time, including a genuine near-death-at-worst experience that I hope had earned him more respect from his peers as it certainly has I. I like this Moss/Corbin duo, and I’ve a very long time fan of McIntyre, so I’ve enjoyed this story they have been doing, albeit I wish they would mix things up a bit and stop teasing the use of that sword
+ Ronda Rousey & Naomi vs Charlotte Flair & Sonya Deville: I have a lot of questions about this match, most of which I doubt will ever be explained. This was a Ronda showcase match, despite her being (I would argue) the least good wrestler in the match. Still, it was fine for what it was looking to accomplish, even though I wish they personally would do more with Deville
+ Bianca Belair vs Doudrop vs Rhea Ripley vs Nikki A.S.H. vs Liv Morgan vs Alexa Bliss (Elimination Chamber): with the winner facing Becky Lynch at Wrestlemania, there was realistically only two (maybe three) options for actual winners, which immediately put a damper on the match. None of the women here were bad, by any means, and frankly this was on its way to being better than anyone could expect – but it was just so short that it was hard to get invested in anything. Belair, Ripley and Morgan were the standouts, and as a sexy side note, had far more provocative (but not revealing) outifts than usual due to the Saudi rules regarding women’s clothing. I was a fan

Bobby Lashley (c) vs AJ Styles vs Riddle vs Austin Theory vs Seth “Freakin” Rollins vs Brock Lesnar (Elimination Chamber for the WWE Championship): I wanted to like this, but the whole thing felt so rushed that I never had a chance to get into these things. When you have the competitors against Brock Lesnar like you do here — the powerhouse Lashley, MMA striker Riddle, veteran AJ Styles, high flying Rollins, unlikely rookie Theory — you have to consider this a waste of a match, especially when you just know that people like Reigns, Goldberg and any other legend they can drag out is who Lesnar will have matches with. I just don’t see the point of Lesnar being in a match like this
The Usos (Jimmy & Jey Uso) (c) vs The Viking Raiders (Erik & Ivar) (SmackDown Tag Team Championships): this show, star to finish, was just shy of three hours. The combined time, bell-to-bell for each match on this show was just over one hours. Some quick math will tell you that that means there was a 2:1 ratio of wrestling to no wrestling on this show, and when you take that into account, what was done here was just mind bogglingly stupid and feels like a personal attack towards me
Becky Lynch (c) vs Lita (Raw Women’s Championship): this was fine, but frankly not what Becky Lynch needs to be doing at the moment. Lita did nothing in the Rumble match to deserve this match, the whole thing was seemingly built on one or two weeks’ notice, and without giving away the ending, nobody comes out of this looking any better than they did going in. I like Lita from back in the day, but I don’t know what the point of this was
Roman Reigns (c) (w/ Paul Heyman) vs Goldberg (WWE Universal Championship): this was horrendous, and as clear an example of Saudi money being worth more than a good product as you’ll ever see

> they sure are teasing a lot the idea of McIntyre cutting someone up with a sword. I don’t know if I like where that is supposedly heading

Should you watch this event: There were a lot of women on this show – and I say that as a very good thing, because they were overall the better matches on the show. Aside from McIntyre/Moss nearly killing each other, the Women’s Elimination Chamber was my favourite match. But I feel like a broken record, saying that painting yourself into a corner to have to have the Elimination Chamber show after the Rumble just seems dumb, especially without some sort of pre-written connection, such as “the last six remaining members of [whichever show doesn’t win over all] must fight in the Chamber to determine a contender”.

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