The John Report: WWE Elimination Chamber 2018 Review

TJR Wrestling

The WWE Elimination Chamber pay-pay-view is here featuring the Raw brand. The two main matches are the 7-man Elimination Chamber match for a Universal Title match against Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania and the first ever 6-women Elimination Chamber for the Raw Women’s Title held by Alexa Bliss. There’s also an appearance from Ronda Rousey signing her Raw contract.

I dare you to watch this show while doing a drinking game every time somebody points to or stares at the WrestleMania sign. Good luck to your liver.

The Kickoff Show match started about 20 minutes before the top of the hour.

Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson vs. Bo Dallas & Curtis Axel

Anderson was in control against Axel. Dallas made a blind tag, Anderson was on the middle ropes and Dallas knocked him off to send him to the floor.

A commercial aired advertising the Elimination Chamber event.

Back from the short break, Axel tagged in with a rolling neck snap on Axel followed by an armbar. Axel hit a dropkick on Anderson as the heels remained in control. The Miztourage guys stomped away on Anderson while he was against the turnbuckle. Dallas with a back elbow on Anderson to keep him down. Anderson broke free with a back suplex. Axel tagged in, Anderson with a running kick and Gallows got the hot tag. Gallows with two clotheslines, corner splash and a kick to the shoulder. Gallows with a running splash. Anderson tagged back in, Axel saved Dallas and Gallows punched Axel. Dallas whipped Anderson into a knee to the face by Axel, which got a two count. Anderson hit a spinebuster on Dallas, Gallows tagged in and kicked Dallas out of the ring. Gallows and Anderson hit the Magic Killer on Axel to win the match by pinfall. It went about 10 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson

Analysis: ** It was just an average match to put over the bald faces. Miztourage isn’t there to win matches. They just put people over, so that’s what they did. The crowd was dead for most of this, which is what happens when you have no storylines.

The Revival were interviewed backstage and didn’t say much.

The Kickoff Show panel shilled the rest of the lineup.

Paul Heyman, the advocate of Brock Lesnar, did a quick one minute interview at the Kickoff Panel’s desk hyping up Lesnar facing the winner of the men’s Elimination Chamber match.

WWE Elimination Chamber
February 25, 2018
T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada

The opening video package focused on the two Elimination Chamber matches and how important they are on the road to WrestleMania. Plus, Ronda Rousey will be there to sign her Monday Night Raw contract.

There was a shot of the live crowd in Las Vegas. The Elimination Chamber structure was already around the ring. It’s the 21st Elimination Chamber match in WWE history and you can read my reviews of the first 20 Elimination Chamber matches at this link.

The Raw announce team of Michael Cole, Jonathon Coachman and Corey Graves were shown on camera. The women’s Elimination Chamber match is up first.

A video package aired about the women’s Elimination Chamber match. The story going into the match wasn’t very strong aside from Alexa Bliss possibly working together with Mickie James. It focused on promos from the women talking about how they intend to walk out as champion.

Here are the rules of the match.

Alexa Bliss walked out first. She is the Raw Women’s Champion and she made her way into one of the four Lexan pods. Bliss was in full “make an angry face” mode since she has to defend the title against five women. Cole mentioned Bliss has been champion for 181 days. I noted on Twitter earlier that her last title defense on PPV or television was October 30. Nearly four months between title defenses on TV or PPV. Bad booking.

Sasha Banks made her entrance with her purple hair. Cole noted that if Banks wins she is the fourth 5-time Women’s Champion in WWE history with Trish Stratus, Mickie James and Melina as the others with 5 or more.

Mickie James, my favorite in the match, made her entrance looking great like usual. She was wearing some Wonder Woman style gear that was red and gold. She looks awesome of course.

The Absolution group of Sonya Deville and Mandy Rose walked out together along with Paige. Paige only went onto the stage and then she went to the back. Rose went into a pod, so Deville is starting the match.

Bayley was up last because she’s starting the match. There was a good ovation for Bayley, who got into the ring and stared at all the other women.

As we saw last year, the steel grating outside the ring was replaced by mats, so it’s not as hard on the body.

Raw Women’s Championship: Alexa Bliss vs. Sasha Banks vs. Bayley vs. Mandy Rose vs. Sonya Deville vs. Mickie James

Bayley and Deville faced off to start the match. The bell rang with Cole saying it was “history in the making” because WWE loves driving that point home. It is history making. They wasted about one minute with Deville going for a takedown, didn’t get anything with it, Bayley tripped her up and hit a bulldog. Bayley sent Deville into the turnbuckles. There’s a camera guy positioned inside the Chamber getting the best shots of the action while other cameras are outside the cage. Deville with a slingshot that sent Bayley into the Chamber, but Bayley climbed up the Chamber a bit. Each woman avoided being sent into the cage. Back in the ring, Bayley sent Deville face first into the top turnbuckle and Bayley hit a back suplex for two. Bayley went up top, Deville crawled out of the ring and Bayley hit an elbow drop off the top onto the mat outside the ring for two. The pinfalls have to be inside the ring, which is not how it has always been, but it has been in recent years. The clock ticked down for the next entrant.

It’s Mandy Rose at #3 and she was met with a neckbreaker by Bayley. Neckbreaker by Bayley on Deville as well. Fans were chanting for Bayley, who hit shoulder tackles on Rose and Deville followed by an elbow on Deville. Bayley hit an elbow smash on both women at once. Bayley fought off both women with forearms, but Rose decked Bayley with a forearm and Deville tackled Bayley while on the mats outside the ring. They rolled Bayley into the ring leading to two counts. Running knee by Deville on Bayley. Rose with a jumping knee attack off the middle ropes on Bayley for a two count. The Absolution women trapped Bayley against the cage and worked her over with kicks. The clock ticked down again.

It’s Sasha Banks at #4 as she worked over Deville with punches. Banks whipped Rose into the pod a couple of times. Deville saved Rose briefly, but Banks punched Deville and hit her with double knees. Back in the ring, Banks with the double knees for a two count. Banks continued to clean house as she sent Rose into the turnbuckle and Banks hit the double knee attack on Deville while she was against the turnbuckle. Deville came back by sending Banks face first into the middle turnbuckle. Hard kick to the ribs by Deville on Banks. Bayley and Banks sent Deville into the Chamber two times followed by a double team hip toss that sent Deville back first into the cage. Rose drove Bayley back into the cage. Rose tossed Banks back into the ring. Rose with a running clothesline on Banks followed by a sitout face first slam. Banks avoided a Rose kick and a Bank Statement submission. Bayley running knee on Deville and Rose tapped out to Banks.

Mandy Rose eliminated by Sasha Banks

Analysis: That makes me sad, but I’m not that surprised considering Rose’s experience level.

Mickie James is #5 and she cleaned house early on. Banks rolled up James for a two count, but James countered her and James hit a neckbreaker. James with a flapjack on Banks. Deville slowed down James with a knee to the ribs and she sent James into the cage. James sent Deville into the cage, but Deville came back by driving James into the cage two times. Mickie did a sweet headscissors on Deville while she was holding onto the cage. James tried to climb up a pod, Banks grabbed her and James kicked Banks. Bayley climbed after Mickie for some reason and they battled a few feet off the ground with James kicking Bayley off the Chamber. James went on top of a pod. James jumped off the pod and took Deville with a dive. Wow that was impressive. It was like a Thesz Press she does off the top. James pinned Deville.

Sonya Deville eliminated by Mickie James

James celebrated that moment, so Banks hit a Backstabber on James and Bayley hit a Bayley to Belly suplex on James to eliminate her. Boo that! Bliss was shocked in her pod.

Mickie James eliminated by Bayley

The buzzer went off and Alexa Bliss entered as the #6 woman in the match. Bliss tried to climb away from the women, but Banks and Bayley were able to track her down. When Bayley was on the side of the cage, Banks kicked her down. Fans chanted “yes” for that as Banks had a sinister grin on her face. The announcers put over that it’s every woman for herself. Bayley came back by sending Banks face first into the turnbuckle. Bliss with a forearm on Bayley. Bliss worked over Bayley with punches. Bliss stomped away on Bayley’s head. Bayley came back with a snap belly to back suplex on Bliss. Bayley tried to work over Bliss, but Banks drove Bayley into the corner. Bayley hip toss sent Banks into the turnbuckle and Bayley stomped away on Banks. Cole put over Bayley’s intensity. Bliss took Bayley down. Banks went up top and hit a splash on Bayley. The announcers called it a Frog Splash even though it was just a regular splash. Banks sent Bayley into the turnbuckle. Bayley hit the Bayley to Belly suplex on Banks, but she was too tired to cover and Bliss rolled up Bayley to eliminate her. It was not a ROLLUP OF DEATH~!, but a similar move where she held Bayley’s arms down.

Bayley eliminated by Alexa Bliss

Bliss covered Banks, but Banks kicked out. Bliss went up top with the Twisted Bliss, but Banks got her knees up to block it. Banks worked over Bliss with knees while against the cage. Bliss avoided a kick and sent Banks’ head against Bliss’ knee. Banks was recovering on the mat outside the ring, Bliss went on top of a pod and Bliss hit the Twisted Bliss onto a standing Banks. That wasn’t sold at all. What? She jumped off a pod! Anyway, Banks rolled through with the Bank Statement. They went into the ring with Banks still holding onto the submission. Bliss fought out of it. Banks kicked down Bayley with a double kick to the face. Banks looked up to a pod, she went climbing and Bliss tripped her up sending her into a pod. Bliss hit a draping DDT off the top rope and pinned Banks. The match went 30 minutes.

Sasha Banks eliminated by Alexa Bliss

Winner: Alexa Bliss

Analysis: ***1/2 The match was pretty good for the most part because they told several different stories in the 30 minutes. That’s what happens when you get that much time to have a match. It would have been nice to have James last longer because she was awesome in there and then they took her out before Bliss even entered, so all that build amounted to nothing. The action was good with James hitting that impressive press off the pod, there was Bliss hitting a move off the top and when Banks went for something similar, it ended up costing her the match. The spots with Banks and Bayley were good. I think a heel turn from Banks is still coming, but in this match it was more about every woman for herself. I’m not surprised by Bliss getting the win. It’s what I predicted and so did most people.

Bliss celebrated with the Raw Women’s Championship with Cole screaming she is going to WrestleMania. Isn’t everybody going to WrestleMania? Anyway, Bliss looked happy.

Bliss was interviewed by Renee Young in the ring while Banks sat on the steps outside the ring. Fans chanted “you deserve it” to Bliss and she said thank you. Bliss said this victory isn’t about her, it’s about every woman, every little girl at home and everybody that has ever dreamed big. Bliss held up the title in the air. Bliss said this proves that you can be whatever you want to be, so dare to dream and dream big. Bliss said she’s looking at the fans and the reality is none of you will ever accomplish any of your dreams. Bliss talked about how the odds were against her and she still won. Bliss said nobody believed she can win, but she did. She said she proved there is one true goddess in WWE. Banks was still on the steps looking sad.

Analysis: It sounded like Bliss was about to turn face with that promo talking about dreams and inspiring people, but then she went back to her heel ways, which is fine because she’s good at it.

A commercial aired that I didn’t pay attention to.

Ronda Rousey’s locker room was shown. Kurt Angle knocked and went inside.

There was a cell phone promo from Braun Strowman for the men’s Chamber about how he’s going to win.

The tag teams entered for the title match. The Spanish and German announcers were at ringside.

Raw Tag Team Championships: The Bar – Sheamus & Cesaro vs. Titus Worldwide – Titus O’Neil & Apollo (w/Dana Brooke)

The heel champs attacked before the bell, but the faces fought back with Apollo hitting a cross body block off the top onto both heels. The ref rang the bell.

Sheamus hit a clothesline on Apollo on the floor to give the heels control. The heel champs slowed it down as Cesaro slapped on a headlock on Apollo. There was a double team clothesline by the champs to knock Apollo down. Quick tags by the champs. Sheamus kept Apollo grounded with a knee drop followed by an armbar. Cesaro slapped on a headlock. The crowd was dead while Brooke tried to get them into it. Apollo sent Cesaro out of the ring. Sheamus tagged back in, Apollo tried really hard to tag, it took a long time and Sheamus knocked Titus off the apron. Apollo managed to get a sunset flip cover for a two count. Sheamus missed a corner charge when Apollo moved and Sheamus hit the ring post. Titus got the hot tag against Cesaro with barely a reaction. Titus whipped Cesaro into the corner, forearms to the chest and a toss across the ring by Titus. Titus splashed Cesaro in the corner, he kicked Sheamus off the apron and a boot by O’Neil got a two count. Cesaro jumped off the ropes, Titus caught him, Cesaro broke free, Sheamus tagged in, Sheamus slipped on a misstep, the crowd laughed and he told them “no” about it. Sheamus jumped off the ropes, Titus caught him, Cesaro back in, the heels went to the floor, Apollo got the tag and he hit a somersault dive onto the heels on the floor. Back in the ring, Apollo with a cross body off the top for a two count on Sheamus. Apollo moonsault blocked by Sheamus leading to a two count by Sheamus. Cesaro sent Titus into the ring post. Apollo kicked Sheamus, Cesaro blind tag, Cesaro clipped the knee of Apollo and the champs hit a double team White Noise for the pinfall win after 11 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Sheamus & Cesaro

Analysis: ** It was a basic tag team match to put the champs over. The crowd was quiet for most of the match because Apollo and Titus are not that popular. It’s also because the match has taken place several times in the last two months. There wasn’t a point in the match where the crowd thought there might be a title change. The finish was anticlimactic because there were not many exciting moments leading up to it.

A commercial aired for the Andre the Giant documentary on HBO co-produced by WWE. It was the same trailer released a few weeks ago. The documentary airs on April 10, so that’s two days after WrestleMania.

There was a clip of Nia Jax attacking Asuka on Monday’s Raw. Their match is up next.

An Asuka match was shown backstage. A foot stepped on it and of course it was Nia Jax.

A video package aired to set up Asuka vs. Jax that focused on some Asuka stats and hyped up her undefeated streak since she started in NXT in October 2015. It also featured Jax comments about how Asuka will be the empress of yesterday.

Jax made her entrance first. She’s not like most girls. The international announce team was shown in the arena: Portuguese, Russian, Japanese (hey Funaki thanks for telling everybody TJRWrestling is your favorite site), Hindi (sorry no Jinder Mahal), French (hey Ray Rougeau) and Mandarin.

Asuka made her entrance to a great reaction like usual. It’s still one of the better entrances in the company.

Nia Jax vs. Asuka

If Jax wins, she gets added to Asuka’s championship match at WrestleMania.

Jax with a headbutt and she sent Asuka into the turnbuckle. Jax tossed Asuka across the ring. Jax charged, Asuka ducked and Jax was sent out of the ring. Asuka missed an attack, Jax kneed her in the spine and kicked her in the spine. Alexa Bliss was shown watching on a TV backstage with her title on her shoulder. Jax stepped on Asuka’s back to send her face into the mat. Jax with a backbreaker followed by a splash in the corner and an elbow drop. Jax sent Asuka into the turnbuckle. The crowd chanted “Let’s go Nia/Let’s go Asuka” so they supported both women. Asuka went for a submission, but Jax countered with a suplex into a body slam almost like a Jackhammer that Goldberg used. Jawbreaker by Asuka on Jax followed by kicks to the chest and Jax caught Asuka with a Samoan Drop. Jax went for a leg drop, Asuka moved and Asuka hit a running knee for a two count. Asuka kicked Jax in the head a few times leading to a two count. Asuka went up top, Jax went after her, Jax punched Asuka down and Jax went for a Banzai Drop, but Asuka moved, so Jax hit the mat. Asuka ran the ropes and Jax nailed a clothesline to knock her down. Jax with a flipping dive, Asuka moved and Jax hit Asuka’s legs. Jax missed a corner splash and Jax hit the turnbuckle. Asuka slapped on the armbar on the right arm of Jax. Jax picked up Asuka and drove her back first into the turnbuckle. That was impressive. Jax pointed at the WrestleMania sign saying she’s going to WrestleMania. Jax went for a move, Asuka countered into a rollup, Asuka sat on top and Asuka covered for the pinfall win. It went about 10 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Asuka

Analysis: **3/4 Good effort by both ladies. It was an average match that followed the pattern I mentioned in my preview with Jax on offense for about 80% of it and then Asuka came back to win. The win was with a counter move rather than a submission move. They have had better matches in the past.

Asuka’s music played as the winner of the match. Bliss was shown watching backstage on the TV.

After the match, Jax attacked Asuka with a clothesline. They went out of the ring with Jax shoving Asuka into the ring post. With Asuka standing up against the barricade, Jax charged in and tackled Asuka through the barricade. Cole called Jax a sore loser. Bliss was shown watching and nodding in approval.

Analysis: It was just a cheap heel attack by Jax to get her heat back after losing a close match.

Alexa Bliss was interviewed by Renee Young. Bliss was happy about what Jax did to Asuka after the match. Bliss said that nobody is ready for Alexa to put her own twist on Asuka’s catchphrase.

Asuka was shown getting helped to the back by the referees as replays aired of the Jax attack.

Analysis: Asuka could choose to face Charlotte for the Smackdown Championship and that’s what the rumor is, but the announcers didn’t even mention that possibility. I guess we’ll find out soon.

Roman Reigns was interviewed by Charly Caruso. Reigns did a confident promo about how he’s going to win Elimination Chamber and beating Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania.

A video package aired to set up Matt Hardy vs. Bray Wyatt.

The start of the match was different because Hardy wasn’t at ringside even though his coat was there, but then Hardy showed up with an attack to the back. The bell rang from there.

Matt Hardy vs. Bray Wyatt

Hardy with a Russian legsweep. Wyatt charged in the corner, he did his upside down pose and Hardy applauded him for the effort. Hardy nailed a DDT on Wyatt for a two count. Wyatt ran the ropes, got his momentum going and hit a running cross body block that took down Hardy. Wyatt slapped on a headlock to keep Hardy grounded. The crowd was busy looking at something not in the ring, so Wyatt continued to grab the headlock. Wyatt with a headbutt to Hardy’s chest. Wyatt hit a DDT on Hardy on the ring apron. The fans were still more interested in the beach ball as they chanted “we want beach ball.” Wyatt nailed Hardy with a clothesline for two. Back in the ring, Wyatt got a two count. Wyatt decked Hardy with another clothesline. Wyatt sent Hardy into the turnbuckle. Boot to the face by Hardy followed by a Tornado DDT out of the corner. Graves just said the last time the crowd tried to get behind Hardy it didn’t matter, so silence may be better. Do not put over the silence. That’s not a good thing to do. Hardy with a corner clothesline followed by the Side Effect got a two count. Hardy with an elbow to the back, “delete” chants set up the Twist of Fate, but Wyatt shoved out of it, Wyatt hit the uranage slam and a senton splash for two. Fans were bored, so they chanted “Rusev Day” even though Rusev isn’t even on Raw. Wyatt went for a dive off the ropes, but Hardy moved. Wyatt with another clothesline. Wyatt took too long to for the Sister Abigail, Hardy fought out of it and Hardy hit the Twist of Fate for the pinfall win after 10 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Matt Hardy

Analysis: *1/2 It was a below average match from two guys that have been working for months at live events. The crowd was dead for it. The announcers were trying to explain the silent crowd, which is what they shouldn’t do because it puts over how dead the crowd was during the match. I’m fine if this feud ends here although I don’t know what either guy is going to do next. I got that prediction wrong because I thought Wyatt needed the win more. I guess not.

A commercial aired for WWEShop.

A commercial aired for Fastlane with AJ Styles talking about his 5-Way match for the WWE Title. It’s in two weeks on March 11. I’m going to a Raw live event that day as well.

A video package aired about Ronda Rousey because she’s up next. It’s the same video that was on last week’s Raw.

Ronda Rousey Contract Signing

Kurt Angle, the Raw General Manager, entered first for the contract signing. There was a red table in the ring with a tablecloth and four microphones. Triple H’s “King of Kings” music hit as he entered with his wife Stephanie McMahon. Hunter is the on-screen Chief Operating Officer and Stephanie is the Raw Commissioner.

Stephanie talked about a history making moment. Triple H said they scour the world for talent and he can’t remember a talent like this coming to WWE since Kurt Angle. Triple H spoke about Rousey’s background in judo, in MMA they created entire divisions for her, women look up to her and she has earned the right to be called the baddest woman on the planet. Triple H introduced “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey.

Rousey entered wearing all black with a leather jacket and a “Rowdy” Ronda shirt that WWE has put on sale for the last month. Rousey slapped hands with some fans on her way down to the ring. Rousey waved to the fans and entered the ring. Rousey shook hands with Hunter and Steph and hugged Angle.

Stephanie welcomed Rousey to WWE. The fans chanted something, but we couldn’t hear it. Stephanie said the fans want to hear from Rousey. Rousey said she’s not often speechless, but to be in the ring with them especially Angle, nobody can appreciate his accomplishment as an Olympic Champion more than her. Fans chanted “Ronda Rousey” for her. Rousey took a moment to soak in the cheers a bit. Rousey said that she wouldn’t be here at all without her hero “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, she said he was her inspiration for her MMA career and he wants to make him proud and the name he entrusted in her. Rousey said that she wants to earn our respect in this ring.

Triple H opened up the contract. Triple H said that to Rousey’s credit, she didn’t want anything special in this contract. Triple H talked about no special travel, no private cars and Rousey said she didn’t want anything different from anybody else. Triple H told Rousey she wants an invite to WrestleMania, but when she signs this contract she will be competing in a match at WrestleMania. Rousey said she appreciated the opportunity.

Rousey was about to sign the contract while Triple H and Angle were having a conversation. Rousey asked Angle if he had anything to say. Angle said that Triple H and Stephanie wanted Rousey to manipulate Rousey ever since Rousey attacked them at WrestleMania 31 (Angle said WrestleMania 21 first by mistake) and Angle pointed out earlier that Hunter said that it was three years in the making and now they own “the bitch.” Hunter claimed Kurt wasn’t feeling well, so he wanted to get him out of there to get him to a doctor. Hunter and Kurt left the ring.

Stephanie told Ronda that she did embarrass them at WrestleMania, but they were also impressed by Ronda. Stephanie said let’s make this official and make Ronda a WWE superstar. Angle pointed out that Stephanie said that Ronda was a has been and that Stephanie thinks even she could take her. Rousey stared down Stephanie in the ring. Triple H went back into the ring to break it up. Rousey had a staredown with Triple H. Stephanie left the ring with Hunter. When Hunter walked towards Rousey, she picked him up and put Hunter through a table with a belly to belly suplex. Stephanie slapped Rousey in the face. Stephanie yelled at her, fans chanted “you fucked up” and Rousey just stared at Stephanie, who backed out of the ring.

Rousey picked up the contract, signed it and the crowd cheered. Rousey put the contract onto the fallen Triple H. Rousey left to her theme song.

Analysis: It went well. They did everything they needed to do to get the story over. The rumors for months were that Triple H and Stephanie would face off against Rousey and a partner. It looks like that partner will be Kurt Angle, which is certainly fine. The table spot popped the crowd huge as well as Stephanie’s slap and Rousey staring at her. It’s an easy way to get over Rousey as a face by putting her against veteran heels like Triple H and Stephanie. The start of Rousey’s promo wasn’t very good early on because she was so nervous. She managed to get through when talking about Piper. I liked the way Angle was used to point out how Triple H and Stephanie were not being honest. Save Rousey’s first match for WrestleMania and build up the anticipation for it that way. Like I said, early on it was a little shaky with Rousey’s promo, but the end goal was accomplished because of how well the crowd reacted to Rousey’s interaction with Triple H and Stephanie. They can follow up on it on Raw this week as well.

The video aired about WrestleMania taking place in 42 days.

A commercial aired about Mixed Match Challenge on Tuesday nights.

The announcers talked about the Rousey segment, the Fastlane PPV in two weeks and set up the main event.

The Chamber lowered for the main event. A video package aired about the men’s Chamber match.

The rules were explained for the men’s Elimination Chamber. The difference is three guys start the match with four guys in the pod, so it’s a twist with the extra man.

Elias was in the ring for a pre-match song. We know he’s the seventh and final man to enter the match. Elias did his “who wants to walk with Elias?” bit to cheers. Elias had a good line about how it’s weird being inside the Chamber, but the fans are used to seeing somebody they love behind bars. Elias talked about how he’s going to win this and face Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania. Elias did his bit about how WWE stands for…and the fans chanted “walk with Elias” for him. Elias tried to sing his song, but the crowd booed him. Elias said maybe he won’t sing and he’ll go sit in his pod, which led to “yes” chants. Elias sang some more and Strowman’s entrance interrupted.

There was a big ovation for Braun Strowman’s entrance. Elias went into his pod quickly. Strowman went in another pod in the chamber. John Cena was the next man up with the usual mixed reaction for him. The announcers talked about how important this match is for Cena. Roman Reigns was up next as the fourth man that will be in a pod to start the match.

The Miz, the Intercontinental Champion, made his entrance. It was mentioned by Cole that Raw Talk would air on WWE Network after the show with Renee Young hosting with Peter Rosenberg and the guests are Stephanie McMahon as well as the winner of the men’s Chamber. Miz taunted all four guys in the pods as he got in the ring. Seth Rollins was up next with the announcers talking about his incredible 65 minute performance on Raw last week. Finn Balor was up as one of the three men to start the match. Balor had blue trunks and boots, so maybe he wants to be on Smackdown? Kidding. Maybe.

Analysis: From when Elias started singing to when the bell rang it took about 16 minutes. It felt like 45 minutes.

Elimination Chamber Match to Face Brock Lesnar For the Universal Championship at WrestleMania: The Miz vs. Seth Rollins vs. Finn Balor vs. John Cena vs. Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman vs. Elias

Balor and Rollins worked together at the start with a back elbow on Miz and then Balor tossed Miz out of the ring. Balor worked against Rollins with Balor hitting a dropkick on Rollins and a dropkick for Miz too. Miz missed a corner attack on Balor and Balor kicked Rollins in the back for a two count. Rollins came back with a knee to the ribs with Graves saying the pace a little slower than expected. All three guys did rollups for two counts. Rollins with a backbreaker on Balor. Rollins with a springboard clothesline on Miz, suplex on Miz and a Falcon Arrow suplex for a two count. Rollins hit a double Blockbuster on Miz and Balor at the same time as the clock counted down to zero.

John Cena is #4 in the match as he slowly walked out of the pod looking ready for Rollins. The fans were hot with the “Let’s go Cena/Cena Sucks” chants with Cena telling Rollins he isn’t going to do it tonight. Cena with the flying shoulder tackles, Rollins avoided the suplex, but Cena managed to hit the suplex. Rollins went for a kick, Cena avoided it and hit another suplex. Cena with a spinning suplex on Miz. Cena with the Five Knuckle Shuffle on both guys. Balor back in with a double foot stomp to Cena for two. Balor rollup on Miz for two followed by the Slingblade by Balor on Miz. Rollins nailed Balor with a superkick. Cena hit a splash on Rollins and Balor at the same time. Cena went for a double AA, he sent Rollins feet into Balor and Rollins hit an enziguri on Cena. Miz hit his backbreaker/neckbreaker on Rollins for a two count. The guys paired off with Rollins sending Miz into the cage while Balor stomped on Cena repeatedly. Miz with the corner clothesline on Rollins. Cena had Balor up for a superplex while Rollins had Miz up for a superplex and they did the superplexes back to back. All four guys were down as the clock counted down again.

Roman Reigns is #5 in the match with Cole calling him “the big dog” like usual. Reigns cleaned house with punches for Balor, Miz and Cena. Rollins and Reigns had a face off with Cole noting that Rollins beat Reigns in the gauntlet match on Monday. Miz shoved Reigns into Rollins and Miz hit a DDT on Rollins for two. The four faces were all on their knees as Miz tried to figure out who to kick, so they all just kneeled in front of Miz as he kicked all of them with more kicks for Reigns, but Reigns came back with three clotheslines on Miz. Balor hit a flying forearm to take down Reigns. Balor sent Rollins over the top rope onto the mat outside the ring. Reigns hit a clothesline on Balor for a two count. Reigns with corner clotheslines on Balor. Reigns nailed a one arm slam on Balor and a Samoan Drop on Cena. Reigns blocked a Miz kick and hit a Sitout Powerbomb. The fans chanted “get these hands” for Strowman. Reigns set up for a Superman Punch as the clock ticked down. Strowman is next.

Braun Strowman entered as #6 with strikes for everybody including except Miz, who ran away as much as he could. Cena held Strowman as Rollins punched Strowman. Double suplex was countered as Strowman hit a suplex on Cena and Rollins at the same time. Strowman caught Balor in his arms and tossed him into Reigns. Miz climbed on top of a pod to get away. Strowman climbed up after him. Strowman sent Miz face first into the side of the chamber. Strowman tossed Miz off the top of the pod onto the three guys that were already in the ring. Fans cheered loudly for Strowman. Strowman had a staredown with Elias. Strowman punched Miz in the chest to knock him down. Strowman punch to Reigns. Strowman tossed Rollins over the top onto the mat. Strowman picked up Miz and hit a Running Powerslam to pin Miz. It was just under 20 minutes as the clock ticked down.

The Miz eliminated by Braun Strowman

The buzzer went off as Elias stayed in his pod as #7 because he didn’t want to battle Strowman. That led to Reigns, Balor, Rollins and Cena working together to knock down Strowman with punches. Reigns wanted them to pick up Strowman, which led to Cena and Cena Roman working together to Powerbomb Strowman with Rollins and Balor assisting. Strowman kicked out. Cena covered with the Attitude Adjustment, but Strowman did a power kickout. Reigns with a Spear on Strowman for a two count. Rollins hit a Stomp on Strowman for a two count. Balor with a Coup de Gras on Strowman on the mat. Cena with the Attitude Adjustment on Reigns. Rollins kicked Cena. Balor with a Slingblade on Rollins. Elias finally got into the match with two counts on Rollins, Balor, Reigns and Cena consecutively. Elias with a running clothesline on Balor followed by a kick on Rollins and a jumping knee on Cena. Elias went up top with a Flying Elbow smash on Rollins for two. Elias countered a Reigns move and hit a sitout Powerbomb on Reigns for a two count. Strowman was back in, but Elias avoided an attack and Strowman hit his shoulder on the ring post. Elias tried to lift Strowman, that was a big mistake and Strowman hit a Running Powerslam on Elias to eliminate him around 25 minutes into the match, so Elias was only in there for about 5 minutes.

Elias eliminated by Braun Strowman

Strowman picked up Reigns for a Powerslam, but Rollins jumped off the top with a knee, Balor dropkick on Strowman, Reigns with a Superman Punch, Cena jumped off the top and Strowman caught him with a Running Powerslam. Strowman pinned Cena to eliminate him.

John Cena eliminated by Braun Strowman

Analysis: That wasn’t much of a showing from Cena.

Strowman decked Reigns and Rollins with punches. Balor got in Strowman’s face, two boots to the face by Balor and a leaping kick to the face. Balor up top, Strowman grabbed him by the throat, but Balor broke free with a dropkick that sent Strowman to the corner. Balor with another dropkick that sent Strowman down. Balor up top with a Coup de Gras double foot stomp to the back of the head for a two count. Rollins battled with Rollins with each man hitting an overhead kick. Balor with the 1916 slam for a two count on Rollins. Balor with a Slingblade on Reigns followed by a dropkick that sent Reigns into the turnbuckle. Balor up top and he hit the Coup de Gras on Reigns. Strowman back in with a Running Powerslam on Balor to eliminate him.

Finn Balor eliminated by Braun Strowman

It’s down to Reigns, Rollins and Strowman. Reigns and Rollins worked together by sending Strowman into the cage repeatedly. Rollins sent Reigns into the cage. Rollins with a clothesline on Reigns. They each countered move and Rollins hit a Buckle Bomb into the corner, but Reigns came back with a Superman Punch, so both of them were in the ring with Strowman down on the mat outside the ring. Rollins battled with Strowman with Rollins climbing up the chamber. Reigns walked over to them and hit a Samoan Drop on Strowman on the mat outside the ring. Strowman rolled into the ring. Rollins went to the top of one of the pods. Rollins stared at the WrestleMania sign. Rollins jumped off the pod with a perfect Frog Splash on Strowman for a two count. Great nearfall. Reigns got back to his feet and Strowman fought off the double team attempt with a dropkick that sent Reigns out of the ring. Rollins hit two superkicks to stagger Strowman. Rollins ran the ropes and Strowman hit a Running Powerslam on Rollins to eliminate him after 36 minutes.

Seth Rollins eliminated by Braun Strowman

Analysis: That is five eliminations by Strowman with the same move for each of them.

It’s down to Strowman and Reigns. This was the feud that dominated Raw in 2017, so it makes sense that it would come down to this. Strowman tried a Running Powerslam, but Reigns sent him into the cage. Reigns jumped over the top and drove Strowman into the cage. Strowman charged at Reigns, Reigns moved and Strowman went crashing through a pod. Reigns hit a Superman Punch. The crowd was booing. They went into the ring with Reigns hitting another Superman Punch. Reigns charged in, Strowman went for a Powerslam, Reigns slipped out and hit a Superman Punch. Reigns hit a Spear and Strowman got back to his feet. Reigns hit another Spear and pinned Strowman to beat him and win the match after 39 minutes.

Braun Strowman eliminated by Roman Reigns

Winner: Roman Reigns

Analysis: **** I gave it four stars out of five. It was a very good match like most Chamber matches are because it’s easier to book a match like this when you go nearly 40 minutes with six pinfalls. The dominance by Strowman was the big story because he eliminated five guys with the same Running Powerslam. I’ve said in the past that it’s not the strongest finisher out there, but it’s a safe move and if you put it over as a tough move that others don’t kick out of them the move looks believable as a deadly finisher. I’m glad that Rollins got to be the Ironman match in terms of going the longest for 36 minutes. It would have been nice if he got to eliminate somebody as well, but obviously the booking was done to put Strowman over at the expense of others. The Reigns win was no surprise since he was expected to face Lesnar at WrestleMania going back to reports from last March, so of course he got the win.

Reigns celebrated the win with Cole saying that Reigns gets to finish what he started against Lesnar at WrestleMania three years ago.

After the match was over, Strowman picked up Reigns and hit a Running Powerslam on him. The fans chanted “one more time” so Strowman picked up Reigns and hit another Running Powerslam on Reigns. Strowman picked up Reigns and whipped him through one of the pods.

Analysis: It gets Strowman some heat back after a loss. I don’t think it was necessary because Strowman was put over so much already in the match.

Strowman left the ring. Reigns was shown in the pod with the Wrestlemania sign in the background.

Coming up on Raw Talk: Cena, Reigns and Stephanie McMahon were the guests.

This event had a run time of 3 hours, 24 minutes.

Analysis: If they shaved 30-40 minutes off that it would have helped.

I saw Raw Talk after the show while I was writing/editing. Raw talk hyped up Cena teasing retirement (lol) and making some statement on Raw (gong interruption perhaps from The Undertaker). Stephanie was on there talking about Rousey for Raw and Reigns wanting to confront Lesnar on Raw. It’s a big Raw this week. Also, one of my tweets was on there, so that’s nice.

Five Stars of the Show

  1. Braun Strowman
  2. Seth Rollins
  3. Roman Reigns
  4. Alexa Bliss
  5. Sasha Banks

Final Thoughts

It gets a 6 out of 10 from me.

It was one of the most predictable PPVs I’ve ever seen. The only match I got wrong was Wyatt because I thought maybe they’d put over the younger guy in that match, but they didn’t. Everything else was really obvious. It doesn’t hurt the show, but if you went into Elimination Chamber expecting to be surprised then you’re going to be disappointed.

The two Chamber matches were very good and well booked for the most part. I appreciate the effort of the talent, but the rest of the show was just average and it ran too long.

Pay-Per-View Rankings for 2018

Royal Rumble – 8

Elimination Chamber – 6


Thanks for reading this review. My contact info is below. I’ll be back during the week with Raw and Smackdown reviews as usual.


Twitter: @johnreport

Personal Facebook and TJRWrestling on Facebook