The John Report: WWE Elimination Chamber 2020 Review

TJR Wrestling

Welcome to the TJRWrestling review of WWE Elimination Chamber 2020. It’s the last WWE pay-per-view before WrestleMania 36, which is four weeks away.

The Kickoff Show match saw the Viking Raiders beat Zack Ryder and Curt Hawkins in about five minutes.

WWE Elimination Chamber
From Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
March 8, 2020

There was a video package to start the show as usual. That was followed by an impressive pyro display in the arena and the Philadelphia fans were shown looking ready to go for the show.

The Elimination Chamber structure was shown hanging above the ring as Michael Cole welcomed us to the show. Daniel Bryan was up first for the opening match as the fans greeted him with the familiar “YES” chants.

The Smackdown announce team of Michael Cole and Corey Graves were at ringside to call the first match. Drew Gulak entered as Bryan’s opponent with the crowd popping a bit when they announced Gulak is from Philly. The Spanish and German announce teams were also shown at ringside hoping that their tables won’t be broken.

Daniel Bryan vs. Drew Gulak

It’s a matchup between two guys with short hair and similar beards. Gulak with a shoulder tackle. Gulak used his legs to trap Bryan, then Bryan turned it into a crab submission briefly and when Gulak tried a hold, Bryan kicked him in the head repeatedly. They battled on the bat over a leg submission with kicks to the head and then they went into the ropes leading to a break. Bryan slapped on a surfboard submission on Gulak on the mat, but then Gulak countered as he put Bryan in the surfboard. Bryan got out of it with a kick to the back of the leg of Gulak. Bryan with a kick, Gulak with punches and chops, then a dragon screw leg whip by Gulak and Gulak wrenched on the left leg of Bryan. Gulak with something that was like a short piledriver, but not as bad as that. Gulak spun Bryan around on his shoulders leading to a slam for a two count. They did a spot where they battled over a suplex leading to Bryan suplexing Gulak onto the apron and then they both went crashing on the floor. Bryan had some welts on his back after that tumble. Gulak with a belly to back suplex with Bryan grabbing his neck and right arm after the fall. Cole mentioned Bryan had a match stopped several years ago because of a neck injury, but Bryan kept on going here. Bryan hit a bridging Dragon Suplex for a two count. Gulak with a bridging German Suplex for two. Gulak with a release German Suplex for a two count with Bryan landing on the back of his head/neck with a rough landing. Ouch. Bryan rolled to the floor, then went back in at the nine count to beat the ten count.

Bryan got some momentum with a running clothesline. Bryan worked over Gulak with kicks to the chest against the turnbuckle. Gulak avoided a Bryan attack and set him up on the top rope. Gulak hit a reverse superplex off the top rope, so Bryan took the bump onto his chest/knees for the landing. Gulak wanted a Dragon Sleeper, Bryan fought out of it and Bryan slapped on the Yes Lock (LeBell Lock) and Gulak sold it like he was passed out, so the referee called for the pain to give Bryan the submission win at 14:20.

Winner by submission: Daniel Bryan

Analysis: ***1/2 This was a very good technical wrestling match with Gulak looking credible with a lot of offense. There were some scary moments in there with Bryan landed high on his neck/head in a way that was scary. I really don’t want to see Bryan doing bumps like that when they are unnecessary and could really hurt him again. Bryan winning made sense since he’s the bigger name, but I like that it was such a competitive match and as they got going, the crowd got into it more. The first few minutes were slow with a lot of technical wrestling, but then they picked up the pace with the crowd reacting strongly for the rest of the match. Bryan is the best. Feature him more on every major show.

Post match, Bryan celebrated the win while leading the crowd in “YES” chants. Bryan pointed over to Gulak as if to say he did a great job and led the crowd in more “YES” chants.

This Daniel Bryan promo after the match was great too.

Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode were interviewed backstage by Kayla Braxton. Roode said that they will walk out of their match as the new Smackdown Tag Team Champions. Kayla Braxton said good luck, Ziggler said they don’t need luck and there was some blue/white envelope graphic on the TV behind them. Ziggler did a shoutout to his babe Mandy Rose, he’ll dedicate the match to her and they’ll steal the show.

The Raw announce team of Tom Phillips, Jerry “The King” Lawler and Byron Saxton took over for the next match featuring Raw superstars.

Andrade was up first as the United States Champion with Zelina Vega. Humberto Carrillo entered as the challenger. They have attacked eachother in the past and Carrillo pinned Andrade in a tag match on Raw to earn this title shot.

United States Championship: Andrade (w/Zelina Vega) vs. Humberto Carrillo

Andrade with a running kick, Carrillo moved and Andrade hit a back elbow to the face for a two count. Andrade with a back body drop. Carrillo with a dropkick followed by a clothesline to send Andrade over the top to the floor. Carrillo sent Andrade back into the ring and headbutt off the top onto the shoulder of Andrade. Carrillo with a springboard arm drag, Andrade came back with a move where he snapped the neck of Carrillo against the ropes and Andrade with a kick to the face. Andrade grounded Carrillo in an armbar. Carrillo with an arm drag followed by Andrade hitting a running back elbow. They left the ring with Andrade looking for the mats on the floor to expose them, Carrillo tried to stop that and Andrade drove Carrillo back first into the ring post. Andrade whipped Carrillo back first into the barricade by the timekeeper’s table. Carrillo got back in at the count of nine to beat the ten count. Carrillo sent Andrade over the top to the floor, then back in the ring with a backbreaker and Carrillo hit a springboard kick. Andrade drove Carrillo back first into the turnbuckle. Andrade went for the running attack, Carrillo moved, Andrade to the apron with a forearm, Carrillo with a kick while Andrade was on the top rope and Carrillo jumped off the top with a super hurricanrana for two count. That was a great nearfall after the move was executed perfectly. The fans chanted “this is awesome” for them. Carrillo went for a moonsault off the ropes, but Andrade moved and sent Carrillo into the turnbuckle. Andrade with the double knees against the turnbuckle for a two count with Andrade and Vega shocked that it wasn’t good enough to win. Vega pulled a mat up at ringside, Andrade wanted a DDT on the exposed cement floor, but Carrillo countered into a back body drop. Carrillo went back into the ring, he ran the floor and hit a somersault dive over the ref on Andrade on the floor. Andrade and Carrillo each got two nearfalls. Carrillo got a nearfall again, then Andrade landed on top of Carrillo with a handful of tights for the pinfall win at 12:21.

Winner by pinfall: Andrade

Analysis: ***1/4 A cheap win for a heel champion, which is how heels should win matches like that if you want to keep the other guy strong. Carrillo has had multiple title shots without winning them, which isn’t good for him in terms of trying to make him look credible as a contender. I thought Carrillo might win, but obviously WWE likes Andrade holding the gold even though he was gone for a month after a suspension. These guys work well together.

AJ Styles was interviewed by Charly Caruso. Styles said that Aleister Black has no friends, he sits in a dark room, listens to weird music and Styles continued ripping on Black. Styles said that Gallows and Anderson will be in his corner. Caruso asked if this will even be a fair match. Styles said it’s not a fair match when anyone is in the ring with him. Styles said if anybody is going to get disqualified from this match it’s him, which was weird since it’s No DQ and then Styles left.

A commercial aired for WWE Game Night on Youtube sponsored by Jumanji.

A graphic aired for WrestleMania 36 letting us know it is 28 days away. I think the Kickoff Show already started.

The six teams entered for the Smackdown Tag Team Title match inside the Elimination Chamber. We know Ziggler and Roode will enter last. The New Day and The Usos will start the match. The entrances took about ten minutes or least it felt that long.

Elimination Chamber Match for the Smackdown Tag Team Championships: The Miz and John Morrison vs. Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode vs. Lucha House Party (Gran Metalik and Lince Dorado) vs. Heavy Machinery (Tucker and Otis) vs. The New Day (Kofi Kingston and Big E) vs. The Usos (Jimmy and Jey Uso)

Two teams start in the ring, the other four teams are locked into pods until it is their time to enter the match.

Big E brawled with Jey against the turnbuckle while Kingston hit a jumping elbow on Jimmy for two. Jimmy with a monkey flip, but then Kingston got him with a dropkick. Big E with a shoulder tackle on Jey followed by the belly to belly. Jimmy wit ha cross body block off the top on Big E. Kingston went for a cross body block, he slipped off the top, so it was like a tackle on Jimmy. The Usos worked over Kingston with chops on the turnbuckle. Big E saved Kingston by tossing Jimmy out of the ring, but then Jimmy saved Jey from a double team move. The Usos backed away in one corner against New Day as the clock counted down for the third time in the match.

The next team to enter the match were Lucha House Party, so there were three babyface teams. Metalik jumped off the top on Big E and it was a slip, but it was sold like a tackle. Metalik with a kick to Jey, Dorado with a springboard Stunner and Metalik walked across Dorado’s shoulders for a splash that got a two count. Dorado and Metalik hit three straight moonsaults on Jimmy, but Jey saved his brother to avoid the elimination. Big E launched both LHP guys over the top onto the mats outside the cage. It used to be steel there, but they replaced it with padding several years ago. Big E launched Kingston onto the LHP guys on the mats. They sent Big E out of the ring. Jey shoved Dorado towards the cage and Dorado managed to hang on against the cage. Dorado went up on a pod, The Usos were knocked down going after him and Kingston went after Dorado. Metalik attack Kingston up there. Dorado hit a cross body block on both Usos on the mats and Metalik with a somersault dive on the New Day guys in the ring.

The Miz and Morrison were next as the defending champions. Miz whipped Big E into the cage while Morrison choked Kingston with his knee. Miz sent both Usos into the cage. Miz and Morrison with a double team slam on Dorado, Morrison with a knee, Miz with a boot and Morrison with a standing SSP for two as Metalik saved his partner. Miz worked over Metalik with the kicks and Morrison with a twisting kick on Metalik against the turnbuckle. Miz and Morrison hit a double team DDT on Jimmy for two as Jey broke up the pin. Jey fought back against Morrison and Miz with punches, but then Miz/Morrison did the double team neckbreaker/double foot stomp for two on Jey Uso. Morrison spun Dorado around into a slam for two as Metalik broke up the pin. Metalik up top, then he went onto the top of the pod and Metalik hit a hurricanrana off the pod onto Morrison off the top for a two count because Miz broke up the pin. That was an incredible spot as fans chanted “this is awesome” for them. Kingston back in with a dropkick and forearm on Miz followed by a boom drop leg drop. Morrison with a springboard kick as Miz held Kingston and Big E broke up the pin attempt. Big E with a belly to belly suplex on Morrison. Miz with the chest kicks to Big E, but then Big E caught him and Kingston hit the double foot stomp off the top onto Miz for a two count because Morrison broke up the pin.

The Heavy Machinery team of Otis and Tucker were next with each guy hitting shoulder tackles to knock everybody down. Both Usos were sent out of the ring, so Heavy Machinery splashed The Usos into the cage about six times. Dorado was up top, then he went onto the pod and Tucker hit a sidewalk slam on Metalik. Heavy Machinery hit a double team splash on Big E. Otis hit his Caterpillar walk into an elbow drop on Big E and that got a two count. There were a bunch of guys brawling in the ring, Dorado was climbing at the top of the chamber and he spun around leading to a diving attack on the pile of wrestlers. That was awesome! Heavy Machinery hit the Trash Compactor on Metalik to eliminate his team after Otis pinned Metalik.

Lucha House Party eliminated by Heavy Machinery

The clock went down to zero leading to Tucker and Otis facing off with Ziggler and Roode. Miz and Morrison saved their fellow heels. Ziggler and Miz sent Otis into the cage while Morrison and Roode pounded on Tucker in the ring. Otis and Tucker managed to take control by knocking the heel s down. Ziggler climbed up the cage to avoid Otis, so Tucker climbed up the other side of the cage to go after Ziggler Tucker tossed Ziggler into the glass. Tucker tossed Ziggler off the cage and Otis sent Ziggler throat first across the top rope. Tucker did a somersault off the top of the pod onto The New Day and Usos on the mat. That was impressive for a 320 pound guy like Tucker. Tucker fought off a double team from Ziggler and Roode as he knocked both guys down with clotheslines. Roode wanted a Glorious DDT, but Otis gave him a back drop on the mat outside the ring. Otis ran at Ziggler, who moved and Otis went through the pod as well as out of the door on the other side of the pod! Otis went tumbling to the floor. Otis sold it like he was hurt on the floor while Tucker tried to tell him to get up, but Otis wasn’t able to do it. Tucker went after Roode and Ziggler, but Ziggler kicked him to drop him to the knees. Ziggler managed to hit a superkick on Tucker and Roode hit a Glorious DDT on Tucker to eliminate Heavy Machinery. The crowd booed that because they loved Heavy Machinery.

Heavy Machinery eliminated by Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode

Otis was helped to the back while Ziggler and Roode celebrated their elimination. Kingston with the Trouble in Paradise kick on Ziggler and Big E with a Big Ending on Roode. The Usos each went up top and pinned Ziggler/Roode at the same time to eliminate Ziggler and Roode.

Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode eliminated by The Usos

The fans sang “na na na hey hey hey goodbye” at Ziggler and Roode as they left.

There are three teams left: The New Day, The Usos and the championship team Morrison/Miz. New Day and Usos stood side by side to show that they wanted to work together against Miz and Morrison. The two face teams stomped away on the champions. Morrison and Miz were tossed over the top to the match. There were superkicks that knocked down Big E and Jey. Jimmy launched Kingston into the air for a Samoan Drop by Jey. Big E with a uranage on Jimmy and Jey with a Samoan Drop on Big E for two. Kingston went up top, then to the top of the pod and Kingston jumped off with a cross body block, but Jey moved. Kingston hit the mat hard, so Morrison and Miz covered Kingston at the same time to eliminate him.

The New Day eliminated by The Miz and John Morrison

The final two teams faced off with both Usos hitting double superkicks on Miz and Morrison. The Usos went up top, Jimmy hit his splash on Morrison and Miz countered the pin attempt by Jey, so each team got a two count. Miz wanted a Figure Four Leglock, that was countered and Miz hit a Skull Crushing Finale for two as Jimmy kicked out. Miz slapped on the Figure Four Leglock on Jimmy while Morrison hit Starship Pain on Jimmy for two. Jey with a rollup on Morrison, then Jey hit superkicks on both champions and got a pin attempt on Morrison for a two count. Morrison got a jackknife cover on Jey and Miz covered using the ropes, which is legal so Miz/Morrison pinned Jey at the same time and got the pinfall win at 32:57.

The Usos eliminated by The Miz and John Morrison

Winners: The Miz and John Morrison

Analysis: ***3/4 I thought it was a great match with some very creative crazy spots. Some of those spots were Dorado hitting a SSP off the top of the Elimination Chamber, Tucker’s dive off the pod, others going off the pod and Otis went crashing through a pod to the floor. The fans were really into the match with Heavy Machinery out there, so it’s fair to say that Otis has the fans in his corner for the rivalry with Ziggler. If you read our PPV preview then you know I picked Miz and Morrison to win, plus Usos to start and make it to the finish before losing. Good call by me. It was a well booked match.

Post match, The Miz and Morrison did their lame “Miz and Morrison, hey hey ho ho” chant.

A commercial aired promoting WWE Network is the home for every pay-per-view along with other WWE Network shows.

There was a plug for Steve Austin on Raw on 3/16 day.

Shayna Baszler was shown taping up her left arm. Asuka was also shown getting ready with Kairi Sane.

Natalya was interviewed backstage by Charly Caruso, who asked about Beth Phoenix, who was RKO’d by Randy Orton. Natalya said that Beth was one of the strongest women she’s known while adding that Edge will get his hands on Orton on Monday. Natalya said that there is nothing that Edge and Beth take more pride in than being amazing parents. Natalya said that Edge and Beth are like family to her while adding that she’ll unleash her legacy because she was born to do this.

Analysis: I think the promo was fine, but some of the dialogue was weird. It’s not normal for somebody to say a phrase like “unleash my legacy” on another person.

AJ Styles made his entrance with his OC buddies Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson. Styles did not have tape on his left shoulder the way he did on Raw. Aleister Black made his slow entrance as the opponent.

No Disqualification Match: Aleister Black vs. AJ Styles (Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson)

They did some mat wrestling for a couple of minutes and then Black took control with a kick to the chest. Black kicked at the back of the left leg of Styles. Gallows distracted Black, Styles with an attack to the leg, Anderson on the apron and Styles went after the left leg. Styles kept attacking the left leg by kicking him in the leg repeatedly. Styles stomped on the left knee of Black followed by some dreaded leg wrenching on the mat. Styles rolled out of the ring, he grabbed a kendo stick and went back into the ring with a kendo stick shot to the back of the leg. Styles with a second kendo stick shot to the left leg, Black avoided the third attempt and kicked Styles in the head. Styles with a dropkick that sent Black out of the ring. Styles tried a leap over the top, but then Black connected with a knee to the ribs. Black pulled out a table from under the ring, which drew a pop from the crowd. Styles came back with a chair to the left knee and a chair to the back. Styles wedged the steel chair against the turnbuckle followed by an enziguri kick to the head. Styles continued to work over Black with a kick to the chest. Black came back with a headbutt to the gut, then a back elbow and a jumping knee strike. Black charged in, but Styles took him down with a Calf Crusher submission on the left leg that Styles has been working on all match. Black got a hold of the kendo stick, he put it against AJ’s face and that broke the hold.

Black was in control with the kendo stick in his hand as he worked over Styles with repeated kendo stick shots to the chest. Styles hit a Pele Kick to the head leading to both guys being down in the ring. Black sent Styles to the apron with the table behind him, Styles knocked back down and Styles hit a leaping forearm for two. Styles with a brainbuster for a two count. Styles did a slow climb to the top turnbuckle, so Black stopped him with a jumping knee to the face. Black with a leg sweep, a running knee and Black hit a moonsault press off the middle ropes for two. Black hit a bridging German Suplex for two as he continued to sell the left knee injury. Styles had Black on his shoulders leading to a slam off the shoulders into AJ’s knee. Black came back with a kick to the face, Styles caught him, teased a Tombstone and Black countered into a pin attempt for two. Black kicked Styles so that Styles bump into the turnbuckle where the steel chair was wedged against the turnbuckle. The fans chanted “we want tables” as the wrestlers battled on the floor by the table. Styles sent Black’s foot into the German announce table and then he did a running tackle that knocked Black over the announce table. Styles cleared off the announce table, they were near the table that was set up on the floor and Black kicked AJ to trip him up. Black hit a running double knee attack off the announce table and that drove Styles back first through the announce table. That was a creative spot that drew a big pop. Back in the ring, he wanted the Black Mass kick, but then Gallows and Anderson attacked. Black knocked down Gallows and Anderson initially, but then The OC trio worked together to take down black. Gallows and Anderson gave Black the Magic Killer double team move. Styles wanted the forearm, but that’s when the GONG hit and the lights went out as the fans were screaming for The Undertaker. That led to The Undertaker appearing in the ring with a double choke on G&A. Styles jumped off the top, Undertaker turned around and caught Styles, which led to a Chokeslam from Undertaker. The lights went out again, then they came back on and Undertaker was gone. Black and Styles each got back up with Black connecting on a Black Mass spin kick for the pinfall win at 23:15.

Winner by pinfall: Aleister Black

Analysis: **3/4 The match was okay although the expectations for it were that it would be a better match. This went on too long, so I think that hurt them. The psychology was good with Black selling the left leg the whole match, then making the big comeback, but then he got an assist from Undertaker. This will lead to a Styles/Undertaker match at WrestleMania with Undertaker getting the upper hand twice so far in that rivalry. I think if they structured the match differently with some bigger spots it would have been better. The result was a win for Black over Styles, which is the biggest win of Black’s WWE career so far, so it furthers the Taker/Styles story and gives Black a meaningful win.

A commercial aired for Raw promoting the return of Edge on Monday night in Washington, DC after Randy Orton attacked Edge’s wife Beth Phoenix on Raw last Monday.

There were highlights shown from Raw of The Street Profits beating Seth Rollins and Murphy to win the Raw Tag Team Titles. They won thanks to a Stone Cold Stunner from Kevin Owens to Rollins.

The Street Profits were shown in the Gorilla Position with the titles around their waist. They did a hyped up promo saying that they aren’t just one and done, so Trust the Process (a popular phrase for NBA fans in Philly) and “we want the smoke” ended it. The Street Profits made their entrance to a pretty good pop. They did their usual entrance of going into the crowd to make their way to the ring. There were fans with the red solo cups in the crowd.

Seth Rollins entered along with tag team partner Murphy and their buddies AOP joined them at ringside. The heels looked around ringside to see if Kevin Owens was there, but there was no sign of him.

Raw Tag Team Championships: The Street Profits (Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins) vs. Seth Rollins and Murphy (w/Akam and Rezar)

This is the third time these teams have wrestled on TV in the last ten days. Dawkins started with Rollins, who tagged out and Dawkins crushed Murphy with a shoulder tackle. Ford tagged in with a double axe smash on Murphy, Dawkins wrenched on the arm of Murphy as fans chanted “we want the smoke” for the champs. Ford with a double foot stomp on the arm of Murphy, then Murphy with a forearm and Rollins tagged in. Rollins sent Ford into the turnbuckle, Ford with two leapfrogs and two arm drags. Murphy tagged in with Ford slapping on an armbar on him. Dawkins in with a dropkick, then two hip-tosses and dropkicks by the champs. Dawkins sent Murphy into the ring, Murphy went back in, Rollins got the blind tag and hit a chop block to the back of Dawkins’ left knee. Rollins with a neckbreaker followed by a knee drop on the knee. Murphy tagged in to work over the left knee of Dawkins, but Dawkins managed to kick Murphy out of the ring and bring in Ford. Ford tried to land on his feet after a move, he slipped a bit, then he hit a DDT on Murphy and tossed Rollins out of the ring. Ford with a standing moonsault on Murphy for a two count. Ford hit a somersault dive onto Murphy and Rollins on the floor. Rollins distracted the referee, so AOP whipped Ford into the barricade. That led to the Viking Raiders making their entrance. Erik and Ivar got into a brawl with AOP where they were throwing hockey style punches and then backing their way up the ramp on their way to the back.

The match continued with Ford getting a rollup, but Rollins took control with a clothesline and a headlock. Rollins with a Falcon Arrow slam for a two count. Murphy tagged back in with a headlock, Ford tried to fight back, but then Murphy hit a double knee attack on Ford for a two count. Ford with a back body drop on Murphy out of the ring. Rollins prevented a tag briefly, but then Dawkins got the tag. Dawkins with clotheslines, dropkicks on both guys and a flapjack into a slam. Dawkins with the spinning corner splashes on both guys followed by a bulldog on Rollins. Ford with a spinning splash and then a flipping neckbreaker on Rollins for two. Ford jumped off the top, Rollins avoided the attack and hit a Slingblade neckbreaker. Murphy with a rising knee on Dawkins and a double superkick on Dawkins. Ford jumped off the top with nothing leading to Rollins/Murphy hitting superkicks on him and Murphy pinned Dawkins for a two count. Rollins tagged in, he jumped off and Dawkins hit him with a forearm. Ford with a Frog Splash off the top, but Rollins countered into an inside cradle for a two count. Rollins with a forearm shiver, then a Buckle Bomb/kick combo and Murphy with a double knee attack for two. Rollins tried a dive on Dawkins on the floor, but Dawkins caught him and hit an overhead suplex on the floor. Murphy went up top, Ford slowed him down with a punch to the face and Dawkins got the tag. The Street Profits teased a double team superplex, but Rollins joined the party for a Tower of Doom spot out of the corner four a double Powerbomb/superplex combo. The crowd made a lot of noise as Kevin Owens walked down to ringside with some popcorn. Owens went over the guard rail and sat on the Spanish announce table while Rollins was on the floor. Rollins stared at Owens, so KO threw popcorn at him, KO pointed behind him and Dawkins hit a Pounce shove on Rollins into the barricade. That was a funny point from Owens. Murphy tried a dive on the champs, but the caught him and gave Murphy a double Powerbomb into the barricade. Dawkins with a corner splash in the ring, then a spinebuster and Ford jumped off the top with the Frog Splash on Murphy for the pinfall win at 18:30.

Winners by pinfall: The Street Profits (Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins)

Analysis: *** A solid tag team match with an obvious outcome. I think it went a few minutes too long, which has felt like a trend on this show. Their Super Showdown match was similar to this and the Raw match was a lot shorter, so it was different. Owens didn’t actually do anything physically to Rollins, but his presence is the reason why Seth’s team lost. It was the right call to have the Street Profits retain since they’re the actual tag team while Rollins is likely facing Owens at WrestleMania. Murphy taking the pin wasn’t much of a surprise. Ford’s Frog Splash is one of the most impressive looking moves in all of WWE because of the height he gets when he jumps off the top rope.

Post match, The Street Profits left with their titles. Murphy was on the floor, Rollins was mad about what happened and Owens turned Rollins around and delivered a Stone Cold Stunner to him. Owens left with the popcorn, but he dumped some of it onto Murphy as he left.

Analysis: It’s the second straight show where Rollins was humiliated and took a Stunner from Owens. I think Seth and KO will have a great match at WrestleMania, if it happens that way.

There was a commercial for WWE’s FCW documentary that’s now on WWE Network. A lot of current stars got their start in FCW in the late 2000s/early 2010s before the Performance Center opened. I haven’t watched it yet, but I will get through it at some point this week.

They showed highlights from the Kickoff Show match with The Viking Raiders beating Zack Ryder and Curt Hawkins.

There was a video package about Braun Strowman beating Shinsuke Nakamura for the Intercontinental Title. The feud continued with the three heels signing a contract for a 3 on 1 match against Strowman at this show.

Braun Strowman made his entrance first with the Intercontinental Title.

The trio of Sami Zayn, Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura were interviewed in the Gorilla Position by Kayla Braxton. Zayn said he was very confident. Zayn pointed out that Strowman has not gotten to him even once. Zayn said not one hair on his pretty little head has been harmed this entire time. Zayn claimed that tonight he’ll go toe-to-toe with Strowman, he’ll go man to man and he told his buddies to just stand on the apron. Zayn said he’ll make sure that justice will be served and the IC Title will come back where it belongs.

Analysis: Great promo. I must admit that as a fan of Sami during his entire career, I didn’t expect him to be one of the best talkers in WWE as a heel. Zayn was always such a natural face, but he has really done well in the heel role.

The international announcers were shown in the arena and this is usually done in the first hour rather than three hours into the show. The announcers were: Portuguese, Russian, Japanese (hey Funaki), Hindi, French and Mandarin. That ended with Corey’s usual joke about partying with the announcers by saying that he made plans with them, but they hung out with Michael Cole instead.

Intercontinental Championship: Braun Strowman vs. Cesaro, Sami Zayn and Shinsuke Nakamura

Zayn started the match, but then he tagged out before Strowman could touch him. Strowman decked Nakamura with a clothesline. Strowman with a running splash on Nakamura, then he went after Sami, but Sami dropped to the floor. Nakamura with a dropkick to the knee and a kick to the head. Zayn nailed Strowman with a cheap shot punch to the head. Zayn stomped on Strowman a bit, then when Strowman nearly got up, Sami brought in Nakamura, who choked Strowman against the ropes. Zayn drove his foot into the throat of Strowman. Cesaro hit a running kick to the face of Strowman. Zayn back in with punches, Strowman nearly got back up, so Sami brought in Nakamura again. Nakamura slapped on a chinlock and Strowman slammed him down. Graves was calling Sami’s group the Artist Collective, but I don’t know if that’s the official name. Cesaro in, Strowman with multiple shoulder tackles and he tossed Cesaro into the turnbuckles. Nakamura back in, Strowman punched him in the chest and knocked him down. Cesaro and Nakamura were on the floor, Zayn punched Strowman in the back and ran away. Strowman chased Zayn around the ring, which led to Strowman hitting shoulder tackles on Nakamura and Cesaro. Zayn hid under the ring, so Strowman went after him and Nakamura/Cesaro sent Strowman into the steel steps. Back in the ring, Nakamura with a running knee to the back of the head of Strowman for two. Cesaro tried a Neutralizer, Strowman fought out of that, Zayn saved Cesaro and Strowman hit a running attack, Cesaro moved and Strowman hit the ring post. Nakamura hit the Kinshasa knee to Strowman against the ring post while the referee was making Cesaro move back. Zayn got the tag, Cesaro and Nakamura picked up Strowman for a double suplex and Zayn hit the Helluva Kick on Strowman for the pinfall win at 8:32.

Winner by pinfall AND NEW Intercontinental Champion: Sami Zayn (w/Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura)

The win for Zayn is his first championship win on the main roster (Raw or Smackdown). Zayn was an NXT Champion earlier in his career.

Analysis: *3/4 They did a decent job here although it was hardly a great match. Strowman was on the defensive for most of it and then the heels worked well together to get the win after Strowman went into the post. That was a result I didn’t expect even in a 3 on 1 setting because with Strowman involved, the belief was that he would win to keep the title. As a fan of Zayn, I’m happy he won the title even though it was in a cheap way. The story of the match was that Strowman hasn’t been able to get his hands on Zayn and that continued throughout the match. That should mean the story will continue with Strowman finally getting his hands on Zayn perhaps at WrestleMania, so maybe this is just a four week title run for Zayn and Strowman will get the title back at WrestleMania.

Post match, Zayn celebrated with the title along with his buddies. Cole ripped on Zayn for running during the entire match. Strowman was down selling the attack in the ring, Zayn stood on the ropes and held up the title to taunt the big man.

Kevin Owens had a nice shoutout to his best friend Sami on Twitter.

Analysis: I’m very happy for Sami too. I know Sami hasn’t been wrestling that much in the last year due to his shoulder issues and he didn’t even take a bump in this match, but I’m glad he got this moment.

A commercial aired for Steve Austin on Raw on March 16 for #316Day. That should lead to a very good TV rating.

The announcers did a rundown of the key matches for WrestleMania in four weeks.

The video package aired for the Women’s Elimination Chamber featuring women from Raw. There is not even much of a story here, but they still got a video package.

Analysis: This is one of the most poorly booked PPV main event matches there has ever been. That statement has nothing to do with the wrestlers. I’m just saying WWE has done a weak job creatively to make this feel like a big match.

The entrances took place for the Women’s Elimination Chamber match. It took a long time through six entrances and the crowd barely reacted to anybody. The lack of strong faces in this match was evident by the weak reactions.

Women’s Elimination Chamber Match: Ruby Riott vs. Natalya vs. Liv Morgan vs. Sarah Logan vs. Asuka vs. Shayna Baszler

The winner of this match gets to challenge Becky Lynch for the Raw Women’s Title at WrestleMania.

Riott got a rollup on Natalya early, then some forearms and Natalya sent Riott into the cage. They left the ring with Natalya hitting a suplex on Riott on the mat outside the ring. When that was a cage there it was a lot more brutal, but it’s safer now. Natalya slapped on a Sharpshooter, but Riott countered by sending Natalya back first into the Lexan pod. Becky Lynch was shown watching backstage on a TV. Riott climbed up the cage and jumped back onto Natalya, which led to a two count in the ring. Riott with an STO trip on the mat and Riott whipped Natalya into the cage. Natalya got Riott on her shoulders as they battled by the cage and Natalya sent Riott back first into the cage.

Sarah Logan was the third woman in the match as she hit a running knee attack that sent Natalya back first into the Lexan pod. Riott climbed up the cage, Logan went after her and Logan gave Riot a headbutt. Natalya pulled Riott down and gave her a sitout Powerbomb on the mat. Logan jumped off the top with a cross body block and Logan’s right knee hit Natalya in the face. That looked brutal. Logan went for a superplex on Riott, so Natalya went over there for a Tower of Doom spot with a powerbomb/superplex combo. That’s the second Tower of Doom spot in the last three matches.

Shayna Baszler was the fourth woman to enter the match. Baszler whipped Natalya shoulder first into the post. Baszler with a spinning slam on Logan, then a knee to the face and Baszler slapped on the Kirifuda Clutch. Logan tapped out quickly.

Sarah Logan eliminated by Shayna Baszler

Logan went after Riott with the same sequence of moves with a slam off the shoulders, a knee to the face and then the Kirifuda Clutch submission. Riott tapped out quickly.

Ruby Riott eliminated by Shayna Baszler

Baszler whipped Natalya into an empty pod so Natalya went back first into the glass. Baszler shut a door repeatedly on Natalya and Baszler slapped on the Kirifuda Clutch while outside the ring. Natalya tapped out from the pain.

Natalya eliminated by Shayna Baszler

Baszler waited in the ring for the next opponent as replays aired of Shayna’s first three eliminations. The fans were getting restless and booing as this dragged on.

Liv Morgan was the next woman to enter the match. Morgan kicked Baszler, but Baszler shoved her into the cage. Baszler caught Morgan and sent her into the cage back first. Baszler swung Morgan around with Liv’s upper body hitting the cage and the side of the pod, which made a loud noise. Baszler hit a running knee on Morgan. Baszler went over to Asuka, she taunted her and Baszler slapped on the Kirifuda Clutch while against the ropes. The move looked more like a chinlock. Morgan passed out, so that was it for her.

Liv Morgan eliminated by Shayna Baszler

Baszler waited for a few minutes and then Asuka was released from her pod.

Baszler avoided a kick, Asuka with a running hip attack and kicks to the chest. Baszler blocked a kick, tripped up Asuka and hit Asuka with three knees to the chest. Asuka tried a pin attempt, Baszler fought it and Asuka hit a kick to the head. Asuka went for the Asuka Lock, but Baszler rolled through and Asuka slapped on the Asuka Lock again. Baszler rolled out of the hold and Baszler sent Asuka back first into the cage three times. Baszler pulled on Asuka’s left arm against the ropes. Baszler slapped on the Kirifuda Clutch, Asuka tried to fight it and you can tell Asuka said something to her. Baszler with a kick to the arm and Baszler hit a slam off the shoulders followed by the knee to the face. Baszler slapped on the Kirifuda Clutch submission on Asuka, who passed out. Baszler wins it at 21:03.

Asuka eliminated by Shayna Baszler

Winner: Shayna Baszler

Analysis: **1/2 It was one of the most dominant performances ever in an Elimination Chamber match with Baszler eliminating all five opponents. This was the right way to book the match because if it was a longer match where Baszler struggled to win then it wouldn’t make her stand out heading into WrestleMania against Lynch. By having Baszler booked this strongly, it will make fans think that Baszler is unstoppable. It made sense to make Natalya and Asuka look like the toughest of the opponents, but this match did not help any of the three Riott Squad women. This wasn’t a PPV main event level match. It was just a dominant performance for Baszler to try to make her look like a credible threat to Lynch.

Baszler celebrated the win in the ring as a WrestleMania graphic was shown for her match against Becky Lynch. Baszler pointed and stared at the WrestleMania sign in the arena. That was the end of the show.

This event had a run time of 3:40:12 on WWE Network.

Five Stars of the Show

  1. The Usos
  2. The Miz & John Morrison
  3. Daniel Bryan
  4. Drew Gulak
  5. Shayna Baszler

Shoutout to Lince Dorado for the best spot of the night.

My WWE PPV Rankings for 2020 looks like this so far:

Royal Rumble – 8

Elimination Chamber 6

Super Showdown – 3

Final Thoughts

It gets a 6 out of 10 from me.

A lot of this show was what I expected and if you read the preview, my expectation was a 5.5 and I gave it a 6 after watching because the matches early on were better than I expected. I rated four matches at three stars (out of five) or better, so that tells you that there was good wrestling on the show. I thought the first half of it was a lot stronger than the second half. Some of the matches got too much time, so the show dragged on a bit. My favorite match was definitely the men’s Elimination Chamber match while the opening with Bryan/Gulak was very good especially in the final few minutes. I think going 3 hours, 40 minutes was too long. If they cut off 20-30 minutes, it probably would have been a better show. The two matches that really stood out as being too long were Black/Styles and the Raw Tag Team Title match.

It was a big night for the heels with four wins including both Chamber matches and Zayn winning the IC Title. One of the face wins was Aleister Black getting help from Undertaker while another face win was Street Profits getting another assist from Kevin Owens. The only face that really won clean was Daniel Bryan over Drew Gulak, who really isn’t close to Bryan in the pecking order of names in WWE.

I don’t think Elimination Chamber is a must-see event if you missed it. There was some good wrestling, though. Overall, it was just an average WWE PPV.


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Twitter: @johnreport

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