Geektified's WWE Elimination Chamber Review 2.13.17
By Anton Ware
-WWE Elimination Chamber is LIVE from Phoenix, Arizona.
-Mauro Ranallo, JBL, Tom Phillips, and David Otunga are your hosts for this evening.
-Pre Show Match: Mojo Rawley vs. Curt Hawkins: Zack Ryder’s new bro vs. Zack Ryder’s old bro. A pre-recorded promo about Mojo Rawley by Curt Hawkins is played in the arena while he’s walking down to the ring. I don’t understand what Hawkins was trying to accomplish with that. A basic match between the veteran Hawkins and the young upstart Rawley. Mojo showed his usual fire and energy while Hawkins utilized a surprising number of power moves against the big man, including a Downward Spiral. Hawkins even teased a Spear in tribute to his mentor Edge. Rawley would get the win with the running turnbuckle punch (which JBL calls the Right Hook From Hell) and a tilt-a-whirl powerslam for the win. Mojo has improved and shows promise as a future star in the company.
-Becky Lynch vs. Mickie James: On the January 17th edition of Smackdown, Becky Lynch would get another chance at Alexa Bliss’ Smackdown Women’s Championship by facing the champ in a steel cage match. During the match, a woman in a mask named La Luchadora would interfere on Bliss’ behalf and help her retain the Women’s Title. After the match, Lynch would gain control and reveal La Luchadora as former Women’s Champion Mickie James. After weeks of confrontations, Lynch would finally get her match and here we are. Another experience vs youth match, as the near 18-year veteran James takes on Lynch. Decent match with James working Lynch’s arm throughout the contest while hitting some of her patented offense such as the Seated Senton and the Mick Kick. It wasn’t enough to put away the Lass Kicker as the ending saw Lynch attempt the DisArmHer submission only for James to counter into a rollup which Lynch reverses into her own rollup for the pin and win!
Random Moment: Mauro Ranallo makes a Scooby Doo reference with the Mickie James mask unveiling and JBL has no idea what he's talking about.
-WWE Champions App promo video
-2-on-1 Handicap Match: Dolph Ziggler vs. Apollo Crews & Kalisto: On an episode of Smackdown, Dolph Ziggler would come up short against Baron Corbin in a singles match. After the match, Corbin wanted to inflict more damage to Ziggler, but Kalisto would make the save. Enraged by his ongoing losing streak, Ziggler attacked Kalisto followed by a brawl with Apollo Crews backstage. Ziggler would battle both men in singles matches over the next few weeks with each match seeing Ziggler dish out post-match assaults. General Manager Daniel Bryan was tired of Ziggler’s antics and made this is match as a form of punishment. Before the match started, Ziggler attacked Kalisto during his entrance and took him out of the contest. By doing this, Ziggler made things 1-on-1 between him and Crews. The match was paint-by-numbers until an injured Kalisto came back out to make it a 2-on-1 affair as planned. Kalisto gets the tag and comes in with his fury of flashy offense. Apollo Crews would then get the tag and hit his modified Blue Thunder Bomb for the win. After the match, Ziggler attacked Kalisto and Crews and would injure Crews by snapping his ankle with a steel chair to the delight of the crowd. This match was all about the post match altercation. Ziggler continues to show his evil, ruthless side.
Random Thought: Referees are useless during beat downs.
-WWE Fastlane Promo
-Smackdown Tag Team Turmoil Title Match: American Alpha (c) vs. The VaudeVillians vs. The Ascension vs. Breezango vs. The Usos vs. Heath Slater & Rhyno: On the December 13th edition of Smackdown, American Alpha defeated The Wyatt Family to win the Smackdown Tag Team Titles. American Alpha would then dominate the Smackdown Tag Title Scene for a number of weeks. So much so, they issued an open challenge to any team wanting a shot at their gold. When they issued the challenge, the entire tag division answered the call and now we have this match. Turmoil is basically Gauntlet rules. Pin to win, to stay in, until the end! I should’ve been a rapper. Anyways, here are the highlights:
-Slater and Rhyno and Breezango start.
-Rhyno’s Gore eliminates Breezango.
- Slater’s Jumping Spike DDT eliminates Vaudevillians.
-Usos Eliminates Slater and Rhyno with a Superkick.
-American Alpha eliminates The Usos with a rollup. Usos attack American Alpha after the match.
-American Alpha beats The Ascension with Grand Amplitude to retain the Tag Titles.
This was a fun contest as the face teams carried the bulk of the contest. The question is who will dethrone American Alpha since they’ve beaten the entire Smackdown Tag Team Division? Will they restart their rivalry with The Usos after the beat down? We shall see.
-WrestleMania 33 promo video. 48 days away!
-Grudge Match: Nikki Bella vs. Natalya: At Survivor Series, Nikki Bella was attacked before the RAW vs. Smackdown Women’s Match and was unable to compete, leading team captain Natalya to take her spot. For weeks, Nikki assumed that former rival Carmella was the culprit while Carmella denied the allegations. Carmella revealed that Natalya was the one who attacked Nikki who eventually confessed due to jealousy and wanting the recognition she deserves. Backstage brawls and verbal low-blows galore would soon follow which led up to tonight’s match. This match was fueled by hatred as both women showed an immense amount of urgency to put each other away throughout the contest. We got some hold-for-hold catch wrestling between the two which caught Natalya off guard. Natalya would take control of the match and taunted Nikki with Cena’s “You Can’t See Me” gesture and mocked Nikki Bella’s mom (who was sitting in the audience since we’re in Nikki’s hometown). Nikki eventually gained control of the match by hitting TWO wicked forearm shots, but it wasn’t enough to put away The Queen of Harts. Natalya locked Nikki in the Sharpshooter, but Nikki reversed it into the Fearless Lock (think of Cena’s STF, but more painful looking), only for Natalya to grab the rope to break the hold. Both women tumbled out of the ring as they continued to fight at ringside. Both ladies were counted out as they failed to get back in the ring before the ten count. It didn’t stop the chaos as Nikki chased Natalya off. This feud is far from over.
Random Moment: Carmella and James Ellsworth are in the skybox living luxuriously and giving their thoughts on all the women’s matches tonight. In actuality, it’s Carmella with the input as Ellsworth is just agreeing with what she’s saying.
-Randy Orton and Bray Wyatt give a quick promo to welcome everyone to the Wyatt Era. Run.
-Grudge Match: Luke Harper vs. Randy Orton: During their stint in the Wyatt Family, Randy Orton and Luke Harper constantly show disdain for one another as they tried to show Bray Wyatt who was the asset and who was the weak link. They would blame each other for losing the Tag Team Titles to American Alpha and would get into verbal and physical confrontations after losing a series of matches. Bray Wyatt finally decided to make the two men square off in a match on Smackdown to “blow off some steam.” Orton won the match after nailing Harper with an RKO. Wyatt kicked his longtime disciple out of the group after the match was over while cementing his loyalty to Orton in the process. Harper would eventually gain the confidence to fight back against Orton AND Wyatt and Smackdown General Manager Daniel Bryan would make this match to settle the score between the former partners. A damn fine, competitive contest between the two. This match was about Harper showing off his impressive agility for his size and one-upping Orton anyway he could while Orton was the confident, cocky snake that has won 12 championships. The ending saw Harper go for a Discus Clothesline only Orton to counter with an RKO for the win. Orton continues to building momentum heading into WrestleMania while Luke Harper continues to show why he’s one of the most underrated performers on the roster.
-WWE Network promo. $9.99 in case you forgot.
- Nikki Bella is interviewed backstage to give her thoughts on her match against Natalya. Natalya attacked her from behind. During the melee, they somehow get Maryse involved by covering her in makeup powder. Security breaks it up.
-WWE Smackdown Women’s Title Match: Alexa Bliss (c) vs. Naomi: On the January 24th edition of Smackdown, Naomi was scheduled to face Natalya, but Nikki Bella attacked her before the match. Naomi issued an open challenge. Bliss would answer the challenge, but decided to belittle Naomi instead. What would follow was Naomi getting two pinfall victories over Bliss in tag competition and those victories were enough to impress Daniel Bryan into giving Naomi a title shot. A decent match as just when it was about to show some fire and intrigue, it ended abruptly. The ending saw Bliss go for her Twisted Bliss Splash, only for Naomi to block and hit her Split Legged Moonsault for the win and title! Renee Young interviewed Naomi post match. Naomi gets a “You Deserve It” chant from the crowd and burst into tears. She says she’s ready to take the title into her hometown of Orlando, Florida for WrestleMania!
Random Thought: Before this match, Mauro Ranallo would make a reference of the rap group Migos. I wonder if Vince McMahon listens to Ranallo and wonders what in the world he’s talking about.
-WWE Fastlane, March 5, on the WWE Network. Headlined by Goldberg vs. Kevin Owens for the Universal Title!
-WWE Title Elimination Chamber Match: John Cena (c) vs. AJ Styles vs. The Miz vs. Dean Ambrose vs. Baron Corbin vs. Bray Wyatt: At the Royal Rumble, John Cena defeated AJ Styles to win his 16th world title. With Cena looking at WrestleMania 33 to defend his title he isn’t home free yet because Smackdown head honchos Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan would put Cena and some of his most famed rivals inside the Elimination Chamber for the championship.
Note: This is NOT AJ Styles’ rematch clause as he will get one-on-one title opportunity at a later date.
-The chamber has a new design to it as it’s bigger with a square design, it has interior lighting around the pods, and the WWE logo is sitting on the top of the structure.
GREAT, fun match. Everybody involved played their part well and added to the match. Highlights include Ambrose hitting his Asylum Elbow Drop off the pod, a triple German Suplex, a Tower of Doom spot, and John Cena with a cross body off a pod onto his opponents. Baron Corbin was eliminated first by Ambrose with a rollup. Enraged by his elimination, Corbin attacked Ambrose by hitting him with the End of Days and tossing him through one of the pods. The attack allowed The Miz to make the pin on Ambrose. John Cena would take out Miz with an AA for the third elimination. Bray Wyatt would hit Sister Abigail on Cena giving us the fourth elimination and a guaranteed new champion. It would come down to Wyatt and AJ Styles where Styles hit a flurry of offense on Wyatt to keep him down, but it wasn’t enough to keep The Eater Of Worlds down. The finish saw Styles go for another Phenomenal Forearm only for Wyatt to block it and hit Sister Abigail for the win and title! NEW CHAMPION! The Wyatt Era has truly begun.
-After the match Randy Orton comes out and we have a stare down between the stablemates. Our Smackdown main event for WrestleMania looks to be official.
PPV Thoughts: This was a solid outing for the blue brand. No bad matches and no shenanigans in any of the matches makes for a good PPV. The two highlights were the Orton vs. Harper match and the Elimination Chamber match. Both matches were entertaining and were the saving graces of the show. What was great about the Elimination Chamber was what I loved about the Styles/Ambrose TLC match a couple of months back. Anytime you have the elements of Styles’ athleticism and Ambrose’s reckless risk taking, you’re going to have a great match and this was no different. Luke Harper also deserves praise for his performance as well. I’m curious to see what the future holds for him as a singles competitor. We saw glimpses of that when he was Intercontinental Champion a couple of years ago, but this time there’s no Wyatt Family for him to go back to. He’s on his own so let's see if he can flourish against the elite in WWE.
Personal Enjoyment: Naomi and Bray Wyatt as new champions. Both individuals have been put to the side and overlooked for years and tonight was their moment in the spotlight. It's always great seeing hard working talent getting recognition. The question now is can they make the most of their new opportunity and make Smackdown better and more must see?
-So what did you think of the show? Hit or miss. Let me know in the comments section. Thanks for reading!