Wrestling Review: WWE Elimination Chamber (2023)

The last stop on the Road to Wrestlemania rolls through Montreal, Canada, for Elimination Chamber, when Sami Zayn returns to his home town, in his home nation, for the biggest match of his life. In the main event, Zayn will challenge the legendary reign of the Undisputed WWE World Heavyweight Champion, Roman Reigns, with the gold on the line. The story of Zayn and the Bloodline has been one of the most intense and personal stories in years, but tonight there can be only one winner, and only one champion heading into Wrestlemania main event against Cody Rhodes. Also on the show, Brock Lesnar and Bobby Lashley look to leave no loose ends as these two monsters collide one more time in singles competition. For the winner, however, an ominous challenge looms from Bray Wyatt who has give whoever comes out on top a simple message: run. Meanwhile, two huge Elimination Chamber matches will take place, one for the United States Championship in the toughest test of Austin Theory’s young career, and the other to determine who will face Bianca Belair for the Raw Women’s Championship at Wrestlemania. In the former, Theory must defend against five of Raw’s top superstars – Bronson Reed, Seth Rollins, Damien Priest, Johnny Gargano and Montez Ford – while the latter features six of the top women from across both Raw and Smackdown – Liv Morgan, Asuka, Raquel Rodriguez, Natalya, Nikki Cross and Carmella. Finally, a huge grudge match will take place when Hall of Fame couple Edge and Beth Phoenix face off with Finn Balor and Rhea Ripley of The Judgement Day in a mixed tag team match.

+ Roman Reigns (c) (w/ Paul Heyman) vs Sami Zayn (Undisputed WWE Universal Championship): the crowd was the real highlight of this match, as they never one strayed from the course of Roman being the biggest jerk in the world, and Sami being their all time favourite hero. I had some preconceived notions of how this match was going to go, and I can safely say I was completely wrong, and it makes whatever comes next all the more interesting. I liked this match, but I do also think that my own fantasy booking was better than what they did
+ Austin Theory (c) vs Seth Rollins vs Johnny Gargano vs Bronson Reed vs Damien Priest vs Montez Ford (Elimination Chamber match for United States Championship): this was fantastic, and had a bit of everything from everyone involved; power, high flying, technical skills, stiff strikes and of course a lot of excitement. Montez Ford and Bronson Reed were probably the highlights, with Ford’s high flying nature meshing perfectly with the steel walls and pods. Rollins, Gargano and Reed made me literally scream at one point, but that is certainly the sign of a good match. I also didn’t mind the finish of this match at all, and I look forward to where it’s all going
+ Edge and Beth Phoenix vs The Judgement Day (Finn Bálor and Rhea Ripley) (w/ Dominik Mysterio): despite the fact Beth looked a bit lost a few times, Balor and Ripley were both at their A game, and Edge has enough star power that the crowd was invested in him and Beth as a team. Dominik was the real star, as the crowd never once let up their immense hatred for him. Overall this was good, but I sure am sick of Edge facing off with The Judgement Day. I also found the immediate ending to be one of particular interest, both in part to the move itself and the way commentary called it
+ Asuka vs Liv Morgan vs Raquel Rodriguez vs Nikki Cross vs Natalya vs Carmella (Elimination Chamber match for Raw Women’s Championship match at Wrestlemania 39): just from the entrances, I couldn’t help but notice that Asuka’s face paint is so cool, and damn Liv was looking GOOD. I feel bad for the first person eliminated here, as it happened unceremoniously in the middle of a replay, but overall this was a good match. None of these competitors are bad, and anytime Asuka, Natalya or Nikki were involved, things were really good. I would say this was somewhat predictable, but there really were three women here that could have realistically won

Brock Lesnar vs Bobby Lashley: I was just getting into this when the ending came along, which was so horrible it made me angry. Seemingly every show that WWE puts on has a match end like this, and it just kills my interest

Should you watch this event: I really enjoyed this show overall. A hot crowd can make even mediocre parts of matched seem great, and this was proof of that, as every match ended up being good to great, outside of that waste of time that was Lesnar/Lashley. I am firmly of the belief that the more non-US shows WWE can do, the better.


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