The John Report: WWE Elimination Chamber 2023 Review
It’s WWE Elimination Chamber 2023 featuring Roman Reigns facing Sami Zayn, two Chamber matches, a mixed tag and Lesnar-Lashley one more time!
The big story going into Elimination Chamber is that Roman Reigns will defend the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship against a former member of The Bloodline, Sami Zayn. It’s been an incredible story to watch develop over the last nine months or so. Now we get to see this huge match in Sami’s hometown of Montreal. They were very loud on Smackdown in support of Zayn and strongly against Reigns, so it should be a very vocal crowd at Elimination Chamber. As a Canadian myself, I love seeing WWE shows in Canada. We have great fans all over this amazing country.
We are officially on the Road to WrestleMania with that big show taking place on Saturday, April 1st and Sunday, April 2nd in Los Angeles. I’m on Twitter @johnreport as usual. Let’s rock.
The Women’s Elimination Chamber Match is up first.
WWE Elimination Chamber
From Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada
February 18, 2023
There was a great opening video package as usual focusing on all the matches with a lot of attention paid to the Reigns-Zayn match in the main event.
There was no pyro display to start the show. Michael Cole welcomed us to the sold out Bell Centre saying there were 17,271 people in attendance. It was Cole on commentary with Corey Graves welcoming us to the show.
It was time for the Women’s Elimination Chamber match with Asuka up first wearing the headgear along with the Kana-like face paint. The fans were cheering for her. Carmella was up next with Corey Graves getting excited for his wife’s entrance with Graves picking her to win. That’s not a shocking prediction. Raquel Rodriguez was third with a mild reaction while showing off her muscles. Nikki Cross was fourth to enter making crazy faces as usual. Natalya was next to a big ovation as the lone Canadian in the match. We love our Canadians in this country. Liv Morgan was up last to a good ovation. That meant that Liv and Natalya were starting the match.
Women’s Elimination Chamber Match: Asuka vs. Raquel Rodriguez vs. Natalya vs. Carmella vs. Liv Morgan vs. Nikki Cross
The winner of this match will get to challenge the Raw Women’s Champion Bianca Belair at WrestleMania 39.
It was Natalya and Liv starting the match with Natalya running her over with a shoulder tackle. Natalya and Liv each got nearfalls. They left the ring onto the padded area where Liv slammed Natalya into the cage a few times. Liv charged leading to Natalya sending her face first into the corner of a pod. Natalya threw Liv into the pod a few times with the crowd chanting “one more time” ahead of the last one. Natalya sent Liv into the cage and pulled back on her arms against the cage.
Raquel Rodriguez was #3 in the match with punches for Natalya along with a shoulder tackle. Raquel with a clothesline on Natalya. Raquel sent Liv into the turnbuckle. Raquel tossed Natalya across the ring along with a fallaway slam on Liv. Raquel with a running boot to Natalya’s face on the padded area outside the ring. Raquel slammed Natalya’s back into the cage a few times. Natalya did a creative sunset flip on Raquel to send Raquel and Liv into the cage. Liv and Natalya exchanged holds, Raquel caught Morgan and Natalya hit a neckbreaker on Liv while Liv hit a double knee attack on Raquel. Natalya got a two count on Raquel.
Nikki Cross was excited as the #4 participant in the match. Cross hit running splashes on all three women and avoided a charging Raquel, who hit the turnbuckle. Cross sent Natalya out of the ring and the same for Liv onto the padded area. Cross launched Liv face first into the corner of the pod. Cross rammed Raquel into the cage repeatedly. As Cross put Raquel’s head against Carmella’s door, Carmella mocked Raquel saying she looked so cute. Cross climbed to the top of the pod and hit a cross body on the three other women in the match.
Carmella was #5 with the other four women down around the ring selling the cross body block for a long time. Carmella taunted Asuka in her pod. Carmella hit in the pod to avoid fighting Cross. Raquel picked up Cross and tackled Cross into a screen. That always sounds and looks bad. Carmella hid in another pod. Back in the ring, Raquel pinned Cross to eliminate her. They didn’t have a good angle of it with Cole thinking it was a two count. They replayed it to show Raquel pinning Cross.
Nikki Cross has been eliminated
Raquel tackled Natalya into the turnbuckle while Liv climbed up to the top of the pod near where the other two women were. Natalya tried a Powerbomb on Raquel, who blocked that and Liv hit a sunset flip Powerbomb off the top of the pod on Raquel! That only got a two count for Carmella on Raquel.
It was Asuka time as the #6 and final woman in the match. Asuka went after Carmella with spinning back fists and punches. Carmella avoided a kick, but Asuka went into the ring and hit a running kick on Carmella. Asuka hit a German Suplex on Carmella. Raquel with a shoulder tackle on Asuka. Raquel tried a move, Asuka sent her into the turnbuckle and Liv hit a missile dropkick on Asuka for two. Liv with double knees to Liv. When Liv went for Oblivion, Carmella superkicked her. Natalya put Liv in the Sharpshooter, the fans popped for that and Liv tried to fight it, but Asuka joined in by pulling on Liv’s right arm. Liv passed out, so the referee called for the bell.
Liv Morgan has been eliminated
Natalya went for a Sharpshooter on Asuka, but Carmella hit Natalya with a superkick for the pinfall.
Natalya has been eliminated
Asuka and Carmella each kicked Raquel consecutively to eliminate her. There were two superkicks by Carmella and two roundhouse kicks by Asuka leading to both women pinning Raquel.
Raquel has been eliminated
The final two were Carmella and Asuka, who were the last two women to enter the match. Carmella with a superkick on Asuka for a two count. Asuka and Carmella each went for pin attempts, Asuka broke free and applied the Asuka Lock pulling back on the arms. Carmella gave up, so Asuka gets the win at 19:30
Carmella has been eliminated
Analysis: ***1/2 The match was pretty good with a lot of action most of the way leading into a bunch of quick eliminations in the final moments of the show. I think when you do so many fast-paced eliminations like that it’s hard to really set up the moments that follow because it’s just so many eliminations consecutively. There were some fun spots in the match like Morgan’s sunset flip off the pod although Raquel had to wait for it in an awkward position. The end result looked great at least. I’m glad Natalya had some moments to shine in the match because she deserved it while it took a double team attack to eliminate Raquel, which protects her a bit. Carmella had a nice showing as a cowardly heel at times, but it was also a strategic attack on her part. Lots of superkicks by Carmella in that match. Asuka winning is what I expected as soon as the match and that’s fine with me because she’s awesome.
The graphic was shown for WrestleMania 39 with Bianca Belair defending the Raw Women’s Championship against Asuka. That also led to Asuka pointing at the WrestleMania sign.
Analysis: There could be a title change in that Bianca-Asuka match. If Bianca wins then that means she’ll hold the title for more than a year, which is certainly possible as well. They are both awesome.
There were some commercials including the WWE shows returning to A&E this Sunday.
A video aired about Ronda Rousey. This is what airs during PPV/PLE shows because some people have Peacock with commercials, so the rest of us get profile videos like this.
The video package aired for the Brock Lesnar-Bobby Lashley match.
Bobby Lashley was up first with the fans cheering him since he is in babyface mode even though he has teased about being a heel. Brock Lesnar got a massive ovation as soon as his music hit. Brock actually lives in Canada in Saskatchewan, but WWE isn’t pushing that story with Lesnar wrestling in the country that he lives in. Lesnar got a big ovation as he saluted the crowd when he got into the ring.
Brock Lesnar vs. Bobby Lashley
Lesnar powered Lashley into the turnbuckle followed by a belly-to-belly suplex across the ring. Lesnar clotheslined Lashley over the top to the floor. Back in the ring, Lashley hit a Spear for two as Lesnar got his left shoulder up. Lashley hit a second Spear with the fans booing Bobby as he set up for more. Lashley went for the Hurt Lock submission and Lesnar hit an F5 for two. There’s a finisher two minutes into the match! Lesnar picked up Lashley with a second F5 for a two count. Lashley countered an F5, he bounced off the ropes and hit a third Spear. Lashley applied the Hurt Lock (Full Nelson) submission, Lesnar tried to break it, then Lesnar hit a low blow back kick to the groin and the referee Chad Patton saw it, so the referee ended the match right there. Lesnar was disqualified for it. The match went 4:45.
Winner by disqualification: Bobby Lashley
Analysis: ** It was all about the big moves as usual for Brock Lesnar’s big matches these days. Lashley had Lesnar locked in the Hurt Lock just like he has done in the past, Lesnar couldn’t get out of it and did the cheap low blow rather than give up in the hold. It’s a lame way to end the match, but also a way to likely set them up for another match. I’m not that surprised that they went for the non-finish route although I can understand if people complain about it too.
Post match, Lesnar gave referee Chad Patton an F5 to huge cheers from the crowd. Lesnar also gave Lashley another F5. Lesnar sent Lashley out of the ring, Lesnar cleared off the commentary table and Lesnar gave Lashley an F5 through the commentary table. Lesnar looked up and stared at the WrestleMania sign. Lesnar pulled referee Chad Patton out of the ring and gave him an F5 onto the broken table. Lesnar left with the fans cheering him.
Analysis: That was another ass-kicking by Lesnar. Since he gave the referee two F5’s they might run a suspension angle for him before he comes back at WrestleMania. I assume they go with Lesnar-Lashley in a Street Fight kind of match where they can use weapons. Since Bray Wyatt mentioned them in his promo on Smackdown maybe he’ll be involved in a triple threat match or perhaps there’s no Wyatt involved. Anyway, the crowd loved Lesnar even though he was cowardly with the low blow. The cheap attack by Lesnar sets up the next match against Lashley with some kind of stipulation involved.
There was a WrestleMania Goes Hollywood parody commercial with Seth “Freakin” Rollins dressed as the Joker like Joaquin Phoenix and his music playing while Rollins was dancing on the steps as well as jumping into a puddle. When Rollins reached the bottom of the steps, his wife Becky Lynch showed up in all-black attire asking what he was doing. Seth said he can’t stop thinking about WrestleMania. Lynch had a line about a man cave, then Seth said he didn’t know they had a man cave, which was a funny line since the audience knows they are a married couple. Lynch asked about his face paint, Seth said it was exfoliating and asked her about her voice. Lynch spoke with a unique low voice similar to the Batman character and said she’s The Man. She left on her own while Seth Rollins said “she is The Man” and laughed. The WrestleMania logo appeared after that.
Analysis: That was cool. I am glad they are doing the movie parodies like the last time they were in Hollywood for WrestleMania in 2005.
#WrestleMania Goes Hollywood!@WWERollins & @BeckyLynchWWE are ready! Are you?! pic.twitter.com/ZgTCoL5sYF
— WWE (@WWE) February 19, 2023
A commercial aired for the WWE 2K23 video game.
There was a Cody Rhodes profile video.
They showed UFC legend Georges St. Pierre and MMA reporter Ariel Helwani watching from ringside. GSP shouted out Sami Zayn since he’s going for him to win. Cole called Helwani “unbiased” and added that he “asks the tough questions whether you want to answer them or not.” That was a reference to a recent online spat by Helwani and Tony Khan, which we covered here.
There was a video package for Edge/Beth Phoenix vs. Finn Balor/Rhea Ripley in a mixed tag team match.
The Judgment Day made their entrance with Finn Balor & Rhea Ripley joined by Dominik Mysterio. They were in their usual black/purple attire. On this day I see clearly because it’s Edge and his fellow WWE Hall of Fame wife Beth Phoenix making their entrance. Huge pop for The Grit Couple. Edge is yet another Canadian on this show.
Edge & Beth Phoenix vs. Finn Balor & Rhea Ripley (w/Dominik Mysterio)
It was mentioned by Cole that it’s been 17 years since Edge has wrestled in Montreal. The crowd sang Edge’s catchy entrance song. Graves mentioned Beth was paying homage to Bull Nakano with her face paint.
I missed the first few minutes of the match because I got my Twitter account working again, so I had to do some steps to reactivate that. The fans were chanting “fuck you Dominik” as Beth hit a DDT on Ripley. Balor went under the ring and pulled Edge off the apron leading to a reverse DDT with an elbow drop on the floor. That allowed Ripley to remain in control of Phoenix. When Beth elbowed Ripley to break free, Edge wasn’t there to tag in so Beth remained in the ring. Beth battled Ripley on the turnbuckle leading to a superplex by Phoenix to a huge ovation from the crowd. The fans loved that. Edge was back up, so the 11-time World Champion Edge got the tag and hit a flapjack on Balor since it’s men against men in this match. Edge applied his Edgeucator on Balor, then Beth hit a Spear on Ripley and put the Edgeucator on Ripley too. Dominik distracted the referee, Ripley got back up and headbutted Beth. There were brass knuckles in the ring, Ripley punched Edge with them and the referee counted to two with Beth being late to break it up. The referee stopped counting even though it should have been three because Beth was a bit slow there. Balor went up top, Beth sent Dominik into the rope and Balor was crotched on the top. Ripley sent Beth back first into the barricade. The guys were standing on the ropes by the turnbuckle with Ripley hitting Edge with a Powerbomb while Beth gave Balor a Powerbomb too. The crowd was fired up as Beth and Ripley did a double clothesline spot. Balor was holding Edge in the ring while Ripley teased a Conchairto on Beth by the steps, but it was never going to happen from where they were positioned. Beth got out of that and gave Ripley a Glam Slam on the floor. Edge hit an Edgecution DDT on Balor. Edge followed up with a suicide dive on Dominik on the floor. Edge went for a Spear, Balor avoided it and hit a Slingblade neckbreaker. Balor charged and Edge hit a Spear. Edge and Beth hit a Shatter Machine on Balor for the pinfall win. That’s the finishing move of the former Revival aka FTR, who are good buddies of Edge and Beth. Nice way to end it. It went 13:50.
Winners by pinfall: Edge & Beth Phoenix
Analysis: ***1/4 It was what I expected with Balor taking the pin to protect Ripley since she’s getting the Smackdown Women’s Title match at WrestleMania. The big spot in the match that stuck out as a bad moment was when Balor got the two count on Edge, the referee should have counted to three, but since Beth was slow to break it up, the referee stopped the count and it just looked like an awkward situation. Anyway, the work in the match was very good, Phoenix looks like a regular wrestler even though she is only a part-timer and I liked her chemistry with Ripley a lot. Edge and Balor did very well as expected. I liked the match overall, but the botched nearfall spot is going to be something people remember about this.
There was a profile video about The Miz.
Roman Reigns, the Undisputed WWE Universal Champion, was shown backstage in his dressing room with Paul Heyman. Paul told Roman that Montreal will be the centerpiece of Roman’s Island of Relevancy. That’s the main event still to come.
The Men’s Elimination Chamber match for the US Title was up next. It was US Champion Austin Theory up first followed by Montez Ford to a great ovation, Bronson Reed was next and there’s Damian Priest as the fourth man in the pod. Johnny Gargano was the fifth man in the match leading to Seth “Freakin” Rollins up last with the fans singing along with his song as you would expect. The announcers put over Seth having by far the most experience of anybody in the match in terms of Chamber matches.
Elimination Chamber Match for the United States Championship: Austin Theory vs. Damian Priest vs. Bronson Reed vs. Montez Ford vs. Seth “Freakin” Rollins vs. Johnny Gargano
It was noted by Cole that this was the first time Rollins were in a match in WWE while Graves said he used to work with them before they were all in WWE. Gargano and Rollins did some nearfall exchanges with each guy getting two counts. Gargano went for a Spear into the ring, but Rollins caught him and teased a Pedigree. Gargano sent Rollins out of the ring and Gargano hit a Spear onto the padding outside the ring.
Austin Theory was #3 in the match with a kick Gargano and sent Rollins into the cage. Theory clotheslined Rollins over the ropes into the ring. Theory stomped on Rollins in the chest followed by Theory tossing Gargano into the pod. Theory gave Rollins a backbreaker followed by punches on Gargano. That led to Rollins and Gargano working together with punches on Theory repeatedly. Theory told Gargano that they only care about Rollins, so Gargano should work with Theory. Gargano shot that down with a forearm to Theory’s head. Theory tried to hide in the pod, but Rollins was there to deliver a punch. Rollins threw Theory into the pod repeatedly while Gargano joined Rollins in the pod so they each punched Theory repeatedly in the pod.
Damian Priest was #4 in the match with a running boot on Gargano. Priest rocked Rollins with an elbow smash. Priest hit jumping corner elbows on both guys, then a Broken Arrow on Gargano. Priest with a bulldog driver on Rollins. Priest hit an elevated flatliner on Gargano for two. Priest hit Rollins with an Unprettier (Killswitch) for a two count. Theory patted Priest on the back, but that led to Priest kicking Theory down onto the padding outside the ring. Priest hit a dive over the top onto Theory. Rollins with a step-up enziguri on Priest, Gargano kicked Rollins down, Theory with a dropkick on Gargano and Priest hit a spinning kick to knock Theory down. The fans chanted “this is awesome” as Rollins hit a superplex and Falcon Arrow on Priest for two.
Bronson Reed was #5 as the biggest man in the match in terms of weight. Reed lifted up Gargano for a slam onto Rollins. Reed hit a running splash on Gargano and Rollins. Reed had Rollins and Gargano both on his shoulders with a double Samoan Drop to knock them down. Reed covered Rollins for a two count. Priest tried a move on Reed as they fought outside the ring, but Reed slammed Priest into the cage. Reed hit a running splash onto Priest against a pod. Reed jumped off the top with a shoulder tackle to Theory.
Montez Ford was the #6 and final man in the match. Ford was aggressive against Theory with a jumping kick followed by a spinebuster. Ford teased a People’s Elbow, but Reed stopped that with a clothesline. Theory lifted up Reed on his shoulders, but Reed got out of that and hit a powerslam on Theory. Gargano went for a head kick, Reed avoided it and Gargano was on Reed’s shoulders leading to Rollins hitting a clothesline on Gargano into a Reverse Rana onto Reed! Johnny landed on his hands thankfully because that was scary. Ford got a two count on Reed with the fans chanting “this is awesome” for them.
Priest nailed Ford with a clothesline while they battled on the area outside the ring. Ford went onto the cage, climbed up a level and Ford kept on going up. Ford did a pull up onto the top of the cage and landed on top of the other guys in the match. That was a wild spot that is a bit silly with the guys just standing there to break Ford’s fall, but it’s still impressive.
The fans chanted “holy shit” as they replayed Ford’s great move. Reed was attacked by three guys in a row as Gargano, Rollins and Ford each kicked Reed to knock him down. Rollins hit The Stomp on Reed while Ford went up top and hit a Frog Splash on Reed. Ford pinned Reed to eliminate Reed from this match. The fans sang “na na na hey hey goodbye” as Reed was taken out of the match.
Bronson Reed has been eliminated
Rollins climbed up the cage as Theory went after him. The fans were signing Seth’s song again. Rollins sent Theory into the cage while Gargano knocked Priest down from a pod. Rollins and Gargano sat on top of a pod beside eachother. Rollins chopped Gargano, then they started brawling and Rollins sent the back of Gargano’s head into the fiberglass structure. Rollins teased a Powerbomb off the pod, but Gargano countered it with a hurricanrana that sent Rollins and Gargano crashing on the other guys in the match. The fans chanted “this is awesome” for that. Gargano hit a Tornado DDT on Priest on the padded area. Gargano hit superkicks on two guys after that. Gargano jumped over the top with a DDT on the padded area outside the ring. Priest got a hold of Gargano and gave him a Razor’s Edge to pin Gargano.
Johnny Gargano has been eliminated
Priest worked over Rollins with punches and a kick that knocked down Ford on the area outside the ring. Priest blocked a Rollins kick, then Priest delivered a kick to the head and Ford went up top. Priest punched Ford, then Rollins got a hold of Priest off the turnbuckle and Ford hit a Blockbuster off the top with Rollins doing a Powerbomb. Ford pinned Priest to eliminate him.
Damian Priest has been eliminated
It is down to Rollins, Ford and the US Champion Theory. Rollins and Ford exchanged punches, Ford with a kick to the body, Ford landed on his feet and Ford kicked Rollins out of the ring. Ford hit a somersault dive over the top onto Theory into the cage. Ford hit a somersault onto Rollins as well. Ford sent Theory to the outer section and Ford dove onto Rollins/Theory at the same time. Ford with a Rock Bottom/uranage slam on Theory. Ford went up top and went a Frog Splash, but Theory got the knees up. Rollins gave Ford The Stop on the outer ring area. Theory shoved Rollins into the cage and Theory pinned Ford.
Montez Ford has been eliminated
Theory and Rollins were the last two men left with the fans chanting “you suck” at Theory. Rollins hit a Liger Bomb on Theory for two. Referee Rod Zapata called for another referee along with some fake WWE Medical guys (indy wrestlers) to check on Ford. That opened the door in the Chamber. Ford was selling it really well. Rollins went for The Stomp, Theory avoided it, Rollins slipped out of a move and Rollins hit a Pedigree on Theory. Logan Paul showed up and hit his own Buckshot Lariat on Rollins as payback for Rollins trashing Paul for week. Paul gave Rollins The Stomp in the middle of the ring. Theory picked up Rollins and hit the A-Town Down slam onto his knee for the pinfall win at 31:30.
Seth Rollins has been eliminated
Winner: Austin Theory
Analysis: ****1/4 I thought it was an outstanding Elimination Chamber Match. They booked it so well with all six guys getting moments to shine in the match. There were several creative spots that were not things we have really seen before like Ford coming off the cage onto the other guys and Gargano hitting a hurricanrana off the pod on Rollins onto the other guys. Reed was really impressive in the match looking dominant for most of it and then it took three guys attacking him at once to get rid of him. Gargano was so creative with the spots he did in the match. Rollins was the glue to the match since he started it and finished it while the Logan Paul attack obviously continues their story that will lead to a WrestleMania match. Ford had some big moments as well to show just how talented he is and what he could do some day if he gets a singles push. Theory didn’t do that much in the match really, but as a heel champion it was about letting the others get their moments and Theory capitalized on the cheap win. The spot to open the door to set up for Paul attacking Rollins was also well booked. Tremendous performance by everybody involved.
A commercial aired for WWE A&E programming plus some WWE Draftkings content.
There was a profile video about Bianca Belair.
There was a commercial for WrestleMania 39 on April 1st and 2nd. It is just 42 days away.
It was time for the main event, so they had a lengthy video package showing the Roman Reigns-Sami Zayn history. It was an outstanding video package as usual.
Roman Reigns made his entrance first as the Undisputed WWE Universal Champion with Paul Heyman by his side. It’s 902 days for Roman Reigns as Universal Champion. He hasn’t been pinned since December 2019. As Reigns got onto the apron, the fans were chanting “f**k you Roman” at him loudly. It was a very slow walk by Reigns as usual. While Reigns stood in the ring, the fans were singing the “Ole Ole Ole” song in support of Zayn.
What an entrance for Montreal's own @SamiZayn at #WWEChamber!#UndisputedTitlepic.twitter.com/6SEmlqnoUo
— WWE (@WWE) February 19, 2023
Sami Zayn made his entrance to a huge ovation from the crowd. They were singing along with his “Worlds Apart” song that is now back since Zayn is in babyface mode and it’s the right song for him in this role. Sami greeted some family and friends at ringside including his wife that was there. Zayn got into the ring and had a staredown with Reigns.
The wrestlers stood in the ring as Samantha Irvin did a tremendous job of doing the introductions. Sami Zayn was up first to a huge reaction from the crowd. Reigns was laughing at him and even mocked him by blowing a kiss. The fans booed during Roman’s introduction as The Tribal Chief held up the WWE and Universal Titles in his hands. The atmosphere was incredible going into this match.
Undisputed WWE Universal Championship: Roman Reigns (w/Paul Heyman) vs. Sami Zayn
Zayn was wrestling shirtless, which he doesn’t always do, but he looks to be in great shape and ready to go. Reigns stood in the corner for a lengthy staredown after the bell rang. They didn’t lock up for a few minutes after the bell rang. There was another “f**k you Roman” chant from the crowd. After about four minutes, they finally locked up with Reigns grabbing a headlock followed by a shoulder tackle. Zayn got a bit of offense and then there was more stalling by Reigns. Zayn sent Reigns into the ropes, Zayn with a dropdown and sent Reigns out of the ring. Zayn hit a somersault dive over the top onto Reigns on the floor. Back in the ring, Zayn worked over Reigns with a barrage of punches while they were against the turnbuckle. Zayn with an elbow smash off the turnbuckle for just a one count. Zayn went for the elbow off the ropes again, but Reigns came back with an uppercut punch knocking Zayn down. Reigns tossed Zayn out of the ring. Reigns sent Zayn into the apron leading to Reigns hitting his Drive By kick on the apron. There were loud “Let’s Go Sami” chants with Reigns laughing about it. Reigns worked over Zayn with corner clotheslines while taunting Zayn’s wife at ringside. Reigns tossed Zayn out of the ring right in front of Zayn’s wife at ringside. Reigns told Sami’s wife that it was never meant to be like this. Reigns trash talked Zayn in front of his wife saying it was Sami’s fault. Such a great champion. Roman is so good at this. Reigns sent Zayn back into the ring.
Reigns remained in control as Zayn delivered some punches, but Reigns kicked him in the ribs. Zayn did a leapfrog off the ropes followed by a clothesline. Zayn with punches, then a running clothesline and another clothesline that sent Reigns over the top to the floor. Reigns was in front of Sami’s wife again at ringside except this time Sami was punching Reigns repeatedly. Sami kissed his wife and the fans popped! Back in the ring, Zayn climbed up top and Reigns met him with an uppercut punch. Reigns was on the middle rope, Zayn delivered punches to the ribs, then forearms to the back and Zayn hit a sunset flip Powerbomb off the top for one…two…and no! Reigns got his left shoulder up. Great nearfall there. Reigns blocked a slam attempt with elbows to the neck and Reigns hit a uranage slam for a two count. Reigns set up in the corner, Zayn avoided a Superman Punch and Zayn gave Reigns an Exploder Suplex into the turnbuckle. Zayn charged, but Reigns bounced back with a Superman Punch for two. That’s always a great nearfall spot for Reigns. Reigns charged for a Spear, Zayn jumped over him and got a rollup for two. Zayn hit another Exploder Suplex into the turnbuckle. Zayn delivered his own Superman Punch followed by the Helluva Kick for one…two…and no! That was beautiful drama. Zayn tried to attack again, but Reigns bailed to the floor. Zayn went for a leaping attack through the ropes onto Reigns, but Reigns hit him with an uppercut punch. That’s a spot that Zayn used to do. Reigns ran around the ring, he charged for a Spear and Zayn moved, so Reigns went crashing into the barricade. Back in the ring, Zayn hit a Blue Thunder Bomb for…one…two…and no again! Reigns got the shoulder up. Zayn had a visible scar on his chest. They did a spot where Reigns backed Zayn into the turnbuckle, Reigns delivered back elbows and they squashed referee Dan Engler against the ropes. Zayn hit a Helluva Kick on Reigns again and went for a cover…but there was no referee there. Zayn went to the referee, who fell out of the ring. Jimmy Uso showed up with multiple superkicks on Zayn and an Uso Splash on Zayn. Jimmy put Reigns on top and referee Brian Tran slid in to count the fall with Zayn getting his shoulder up at two! The spot always works, but the logic failure is that the new referee saw Jimmy interfere and did nothing about it other than count the fall.
Reigns trash talked Zayn against the ropes. Zayn came back with a punch. Reigns nearly hit the referee with a Superman Punch, then Zayn knocked Reigns out of the ring and Zayn kicked Jimmy off the apron. Reigns was back in and he hit a Spear for one…two…and Zayn kicked out. Reigns trash talked Zayn saying he was nothing without him. Reigns said he helped Zayn, he elevated him. Reigns did some light slaps to the face, so Zayn slapped him in the face. Reigns went for a Superman Punch, Zayn moved and Reigns punched the referee. Zayn with a Superman Punch on Reigns and Reigns hit a Superman Punch on Zayn. The fans were looking towards the entrance area. Reigns was handed a steel chair from Heyman with Cole saying nobody could stop Reigns. That led to Jey Uso entering the ring and standing face to face with Reigns while Zayn was down on the mat. Reigns told Jey it was either him or it’s Zayn. Reigns wanted Jey to use the steel chair while the fans chanted “no” in reaction to that. Reigns walked towards Zayn, so Jey had the chair in his hands and Reigns was snapping his fingers for Jey to do something. Reigns bullied Jey by shoving him in the face. Zayn back up, Reigns moved and Sami hit a Spear on Jey. Reigns hit Zayn with multiple chair shots to the back. Reigns set up in the car, he did the big yell and Reigns hit the Spear. The original referee Dan Engler was back up to count the one…two…and three. Roman Reigns wins…again. It went 32:20.
Winner by pinfall: Roman Reigns
Analysis: ****1/2 It was an absolutely outstanding match and an incredible story with an ending that I wish was something different, but I certainly don’t have a problem with Reigns. There was so much drama with a lot of nearfalls by both guys throughout the match including Zayn getting them after hitting his Helluva Kick. The fans bought it as a finish, but obviously it wasn’t enough to put Zayn away. It’s tough for me to rate this five stars when there are two referee bumps in the match. The ref bumps are part of big matches like this, but there is a bit of a logical issue with them since you have the second referee run in after Jimmy Uso ran into the ring and hit Sami with a bunch of moves. Shouldn’t the referee react to what Jimmy did because he saw Jimmy do that interference? I’d rather see that second referee say he’s not counting because saw Jimmy interfere. That’s more logical to me. Anyway, the drama picked up again from there. The result didn’t surprise me obviously. I just think there were some people watching this that thought maybe Zayn would win. It just wasn’t going to happen. What I will add lastly is I thought Jey Uso might cost Zayn, but they didn’t do that and instead, Zayn hit Jey accidentally with a Spear. That just added more to the story. It’s a phenomenal match that I will watch again without writing about it because it was such a fun atmosphere that reminds us all why we love watching this stuff.
After the match, Reigns wanted to beat up Zayn some more, so Jimmy Uso was attacking Zayn, but here comes Kevin Owens! Huge ovation for Owens wearing a Montreal Canadiens-KO shirt since he’s a local star just like Zayn in. The pop for Owens was incredible as usual. Owens hit Reigns with a Stunner! Jimmy went into the ring, Owens hit him with a Stunner too. Owens sent Jimmy out of the ring and Owens gave Jimmy a Powerbomb through the commentary table. Owens brought a steel chair into the ring. Heyman lightly punched Owens in the back, which was a bad move and Owens gave Heyman a Stunner as well. Heyman actually sold it well. Zayn was back up, so Owens moved out of the way and Zayn hit Reigns with a Helluva Kick.
Sami Zayn’s music played again while Owens left the ring. Zayn and Owens stared at eachother with KO on the floor. Reigns and Heyman had walked to the back by that point. Owens walked towards the back on his own as the fans sang Sami’s song and Sami looked distraught in the ring. Zayn turned towards the fans, who gave him a huge ovation in support. Cole shouted about how we are officially on the road to WrestleMania. They showed Zayn in the ring pointing at his heart about the love from the crowd.
Analysis: I was hoping for an Owens-Zayn hug at the end there, but we didn’t get that. Maybe they are saving the big reunion for Raw or Smackdown and that’s fine although the Montreal crowd would have loved it. Ending the show with Reigns and Jimmy getting their asses kicked by Owens and Zayn at least gave the fans a happy moment after they had to see Zayn lose the biggest match of his life.
A video package aired to end the show.
This event had a runtime of 3:16:59 on WWE Network.
Five Stars of the Show
- Roman Reigns/Sami Zayn – They earned this spot together.
- Seth “Freakin” Rollins/Montez Ford
- Johnny Gargano/Austin Theory
- Edge/Beth Phoenix
I’m going with an 8.25 out of 10 for this show.
It was an excellent show overall. There were only five matches with the last two matches being outstanding especially. The performances by Roman Reigns and Sami Zayn were incredible. Two referee bumps in a match is a lot, but it’s a way to put over the heel champion Reigns in a cheap way while giving Zayn an out because he didn’t lose clean. There was so much drama in that match with the heavy story carrying it the whole way. The Montreal crowd was incredible even though they got their hearts broken with Zayn failing to win. At least there was the return of Kevin Owens to save his friend and make end it on a happy note. I’m intrigued to see what’s next.
The two Elimination Chamber matches provided us with the results that I expected. The Women’s EC match had some fun moments with Asuka looking very strong as the winner to set her up as a challenger against Bianca Belair at WrestleMania. Other women in the match did well too, but Asuka was the star of it, that’s for sure. As for the men’s EC match, that one was outstanding. Seth Rollins was in there the whole match doing amazing stuff, Johnny Gargano had a breakout performance, Bronson Reed stood out with his power, Montez Ford had some cool spots, Damian Priest nearly had it won and Austin Theory escaped with the US Title because Logan Paul attacked Rollins to set up their WrestleMania match. Both Chamber matches were fun to watch, but the men’s match was more outstanding in my opinion.
The Bobby Lashley-Brock Lesnar match was more of an angle to advance their story that should lead to yet another match between them. I don’t know if what they did here is going to make people happy, but as an angle advancement, I guess it worked with Lesnar getting disqualified and causing destruction after the match.
Lastly, the Montreal crowd was terrific. They were absolutely incredible and interested in everything the whole night. That makes the show better because that energy and enthusiasm translates when we’re watching at home. Great job by the crowd.
As a reminder, I have a listing of every WWE PPV that I reviewed in order by year. Thank you for supporting us at TJRWrestling. We appreciate you.
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