WWE’s first PPV on the road to WrestleMANia sees us step into the chamber twice tonight. One of them should be excellent, one will be historic… possibly not so good. I’ll let you work out which is which. But hey maybe we will be shocked. I’ve a feeling this show is going to be odd, I don’t know why but given recent WWE PPVs it should certainly be eventful.
I didn’t see the pre show but in the sole match on the kick off part of the PPV Buddy Murphy successfully defended his Cruserweight Championship against Akira Tozawa in what I hear was a fine match typical of previous Cruserweight showcases on the big PPV.
The main show began with a fun video package before Michael Cole kicked off the main show as we looked upon the Elimination Chamber structure that had already been lowered. it appears a Chamber match will begin the main card (this may have been outlined on the kick off show but I didn’t see that on this occasion and likely wont for Fastlane either).
‘The Boss N Hug Connection’ (Sasha Banks & Bayley) defeated ‘Fire & Desire’ (Sonya Deville & Mandy Rose), Nia Jax & Tamina, ‘The Riott Squad’ (Liv Morgan & Sarah Logan), ‘The IIconics’ (Peyton Royce & Billie Kay) and ‘Fabulous Glow’ (Naomi & Carmella) in an Elimination Chamber Match to become the first ever WWE Women’s Tag Team champions
The announcement of the match from the ring announcer got a decent pop. Lets see how long that crowd momentum lasts… CARMELLA (OF ALL FUCKING PEOPLE, TRUST ME PUT HER NAME AND COREY GRAVES INTO YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA SEARCH BOX AND IT’LL MAKE SENSE)… anyway her entrance music hits first and as a babyface she is lightly booed despite her doing her usual act. Nobody on commentary is saying a word… pretty much until Naomi’s music hits. Renee Young speaks next… somebody else on commentary is certainly very silent right now… Seems Graves is going to be business as usual tonight. Expect the internet to pick up on a couple of lines he says about a certain someone in this match… ANYWAY… Where were we? Ah yes, a pretty historic match…. so yes ‘Fabulous Glow’ are out first, followed by Sarah Logan and Liv Morgan of The Riott Squad. Should mention also Beth Phoenix is on commentary I presume just for this match. Why we constantly need 4 people on commentary and why the women need the token ex Female superstar to commentate on every first women’s match I don’t know? Seems a bit too much to me… The IIconics, who if the world is fair as the longest team in this match in terms of time together they should really win, are out next (BREAKING NEWS: PEYTON HAS DYED HER HAIR) followed by Nia Jax and sidekick Tamina who get their usual PPV reaction from the crowd (I will react as bad if not worse than I did when Shane and Miz won the tag belts if these two win this match). Sonya Deville and Mandy Rose and finally Bayley and Sasha Banks (who gets a BIG pop coming out) enter last. Maybe intelligent that those 4 begin the match given they have the experience of being in the first Women’s Elimination Chamber match last year. Everyone in the match is wearing matching gear to their partners, I rate these kind of minor details. Bayley and Sasha brawled with Mandy and Sonya to start us off with neither team getting a clear advantage until the clock ran down whilst Mandy and Sonya were down hurt and Bayley and Sasha were exhausted. Logan & Morgan came in next, Logan smashed Sasha’s hurt shoulder into one of the pods which looked a horrible bump to take. Logan hit a pop-up headbutt on Bayley (as you do) before The Riott Squad turned to Mandy and Sonya. Morgan and Logan and Mandy and Sonya then fought one another in the ring. Some hard looking strikes with Morgan and Deville exchanging, Morgan even knocking down the former MMA fighter at one stage to which Deville immediately got back up and went to hit back, only for Liv to do a bridge but apparently it was a hit but it didn’t look like that. It started well but their selling towards the end looked silly and kind of ruined the exchange. Bayley came in and covered Morgan for a nearfall then hit strikes on everyone. Sasha is still down selling the arm smash by Logan and possibly her running injury from the past few weeks. Michael Cole exclaims how Bayley is ‘fired up’ which of course sees Mandy then hit her with strikes as she was on the top rope. Deville and Rose then hit Bayley with an assisted double superplex and Morgan and Logan helped Rose and Deville on their way down with powerbombs. It fell apart in the middle of the spot but it did leave all the women down which I guess was the end goal. Countdown ends for the next entrants and it’s The IIconics who given all the women are now down it gives the opportunistic heels a potential opening. They run in and go for pin attempts on everyone and everyone kicks out. They moan at the ref which was funny, before going around double teaming everyone. They gave Morgan an ‘alley oop’ and she landed right on her face, they did the same to Logan just after who took it very differently (AKA the right way) and funny enough didn’t hold her face afterwards… They get a nearfall on Bayley which is broken up by Sasha Banks. Sasha fights them off but The IIconics double team her. Their screaming is making me laugh, Billie Kay is hilarious and I don’t think she’s supposed to be. The IIconics then push Bayley and Sasha’s face against the chamber wall to show their more brutal side. The IIconics are really being booked strong so far which surprises me. They get nearfalls on both Bayley and Sasha. Before turning their attention to Rose and Deville and then to Logan and Morgan by throwing them each into the chamber wall. Next in is Naomi and Carmella… They go after the heel teams, The crowd are chanting something I can’t make out but can presume what it’s about… Carmella meanwhile is climbing the chamber wall with Billie behind her as Naomi and Morgan fight in the ring. Billie Kay had Carmella in a powerbomb position but Carmella countered with a hurricanrana to ‘send Billie into the chamber wall’ in what may have been the softest bump of any Chamber match I’ve seen. Carmella superkicks Logan before Naomi does her moonsault to get a nearfall that’s broken up by Morgan. Everyone in the match is getting spots in now in the ring. One would presume until Nia and Tamina come in and clear house… Highlight of that exchange by everyone was Sonya Deville’s Spear which looked awesome. Funny enough everybody is down… and then Nia and Tamina after showing their frustration at not being able to enter sooner are not entered in and the active participants exchange more moves. Then after Naomi and Mandy resumed their storyline; Billie Kay came in and attempted a schoolboy pin on Naomi before Peyton came over the top to hold down Naomi’s feet so she couldn’t kick out and in very creative fashion Naomi is pinned by The IIconics. Presume it was planned beforehand but Carmella’s involvement in the match was minimal. The IIconics celebrate gleefully but are slowly surrounded by everyone else in the match but before a brawl emerges Nia and Tamina enter and chaos ensues. The IIconics have by now locked themselves back in a pod until Nia and Tamina turn around and notice (this was funny). Of course the two monsters surround them and eventually grab them back out of the pod before rag dolling them into the chamber walls. Nia and Tamina then hit Samoan Drops and pin both Billie and Peyton. Immediately after Morgan and Logan go after Tamina and Nia, and kind of looked good doing so. Deville and Rose then come in to try and take the giants down. Bayley and Sasha then go after Rose and Deville. Crowd seemed disinterested although they may just be waiting for the end to see who the last 2 teams are. Sasha is still selling her shoulder. Tamina and Nia Jax re enter the match and flatten Bayley and Banks. Meanwhile Morgan and Logan have climbed on top of one of the pods to try and escape from Jax and Tamina below. Mandy and Sonya try to fight off Tamina and Jax until Morgan and Logan dive off either side of the pod to take the two below down on each side. Crowd liked that spot. Logan gets a nearfall on Deville. Nia chases Morgan and hits a Samoan Drop from the second rope and then Tamina hits the big Splash made famous by her Dad on Logan and Morgan before pinning both. Tamina and Jax, Mandy and Sonya and Bayley and Sasha remain. So would presume one of the heel teams will go out next then? … Bayley and Sasha double team Nia and then Tamina. Jax then drops Sasha onto Rose and Deville on the outside. and then launches Bayley outside too. Jax then waits for Bayley to get to her feet (you can see where this is going… oh god…) and as she does Nia charges Bayley but Bayley moves and Nia runs into the chamber pod smashing the (perspex) glass of the pod door and selling it like she’s knocked out. That didn’t look fun to take at all. Tamina looks on in shock and devastation. Rose, Deville, Bayley and Sasha all team on Tamina. This is really smart booking to protect the two giants if it leads to Tamina getting pinned here (although some would say Nia looks stupid maybe). Indeed Bayley hits her big elbow and all 4 women pile on Tamina to pin her. Crowd have woke up a little now. Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville OR Bayley and Sasha Banks will win this match. This I like. Crowd are YES chanting so clearly they agree. Graves just said “I know my daughters are glued to the TV knowing we are going to witness history” … yikes… both teams exchange strikes. Banks hits a backstabber on Sonya into a Bayley to Belly but Mandy breaks up the pin as Sasha can’t believe it. Mandy then climbs the chamber wall as Bayley and Banks chase after her. Eventually Mandy is on a chamber pod as Sasha strikes her on the pod also. It is noted on commentary what happened on that exact same pod in last year’s women’s chamber match when Sasha looked to turn heel on Bayley for the 999th time that turned out to be nothing long term… Sasha helps Bayley up and commentary tease there will be a turn again which of course means there will not be. Instead they look to launch Mandy from the top of the pod to the floor of the ring below, but Sonya Deville climbs up in time for the save. All 4 women are near the top of the pod, until Bayley and Deville are left to brawl below with Mandy and Sasha still on top of the pod. Sasha climbs down to tend to her injured teammate, Banks is then teamed on by both Rose and Deville, Rose hits Tomasso Ciampa’s finisher (which if I’m Triple H I’m putting a stop to her using that move right away) but Banks kicks out at 2. Twice. Deville then goes to spear Sasha put hits Mandy instead. Banks then gets Devile into the Bank Statement but can’t lock it in fully due to her hurt shoulder so Deville forces her way out, but Sasha uses her legs to lock in the hold again instead which looked cool (the moment was a little spoilt by Corey just before stating that Sasha needed to call an audible… and then she did…). Deville then did indeed tap out and the crowd popped. Sasha and Bayley win!!! They hug and cry after which was heart warming. They told a great underdog, hard working babyface story with these two in this match. Hopefully their run as champions now really leads to and means something. This match was fine, sloppy in parts but it was OK. It did feel like it went too long although the finishing stuff was fine. I said in my mind before this that if Sasha and Bayley won and the match was above 2 3/4 stars I’d deem it a success… it was probably around just that. Charley Caruso interviews them both in the ring afterwards, they both seem genuinely overwhelmed as the crowd cheer. Sasha struggles to speak, they were crying a lot and it came across as very genuine what she had to say about their journey and women’s wrestling. So this was cool. Crowd loved it. This was a really nice happy yet emotional way to begin a WWE show. Great formula to begin. It took us a long and at times plodding match to get us to this moment but FIFTY minutes into the main show we have our moment we all wanted. The match was probably just a shade above how good I expected it to be, so guess I can’t have too many complaints other than it dragged at times, but at least the right team won. If it went shorter I’d have probably loved it. I have seen far worse Elimination Chamber matches mind you. Seems people liked this way more than me, it just dragged was my only issue.
Miz and Shane vs Usos video package… They’re building this up as the unlikely, odd-couple vs one of the best tag teams of all time. And when you look at it those billings for The Usos maybe right given their past accomplishments and quality of previous matches. Lets see how they do here… Miz comes out and gets on the mic congratulating Sasha and Bayley and then dedicating the match tonight to his dad, his daughter and his wife. Maryse then makes her way out. Miz then announces that they have a ‘really big announcement’, Maryse then says they are having another baby. That’s nice. Somebody in the crowd says ‘you still got it’ to which Miz says ‘yes I do’ which made me laugh. Fully convinced now The Usos will win.
‘The Usos’ (Jimmy Uso & Jey Uso) defeated The Miz & Shane McMahon (C) to become the new Smackdown Tag Team Champions
Miz and Jimmy start. fine stuff. Jimmy tags to Jey. Miz dodges a superkick. Miz tells Shane he’s ok and doesn’t need to tag. Jimmy and Miz exchange moves. Shane tags in to a mini-pop. Shane goes up top looking for his classic dropkick to the corner move, but with the ref seeing Miz holding the Uso down it allows for Jey to distract Shane and eventually Shane bats him off . Miz tags in as it is noted how well ‘Mac-Miz’ are working together so far in this match… I’m already confused which Uso is which so I’m going to just say Uso from now. Both Usos are on the outside as the champions are in the ring. The Usos gather on the outside as they plot their plan. Miz hits Jey (I think) Uso in the corner with the It Kicks, Jimmy tags in and they double team Miz to gain the advantage. The Usos isolate Miz now… which we all already know is going to lead to a big hot tag from Superman Shane… Jimmy Uso rips off Miz’s tag team shirt and throws it into Shane McMahon’s face before going back to beat up The Miz with one of his own moves. Miz though is able to regroup and knock Uso down, both tags are made. Notably not much of a pop for Shane. Of course he’s all over The Usos, completely misses contact on a big kick but of course its sold as if it did, Shane continues to beat up both The Usos on his own… Shane has The Usos set in opposite corners and then does his double dropkick Coast to Coast to one, and then slowly climbs up to do the other, but is caught with a superkick. Jey climbs up for the big splash, but Miz runs in to break up the pin (at least Shane didn’t kick out I guess). I don’t know if it’s just me but the crowd seem really flat for this show so far. Miz wills Shane to get the tag, Miz climbs in and does a springboard attack followed by a series of strikes until a Samoan drop puts him down. Miz though hits a DDT for a nearfall not long after. On the outside Miz clears an announce table, before dodging a flying Uso that left both Jimmy and Jey down. Oh god I’ve just realised what’s going to happen… Miz directs Shane to the top rope as Miz puts one of The Usos on the announce table… and then… indeed the huge flying elbow off the top through the announce table. Both Shane and Jey Uso are down laying. This leaves Miz and Jimmy to fight in the ring. After a brief exchange Miz is caught with a superkick and a splash but Miz catches him off the splash and rolls him over with a cradle pin for a nearfall. Then they both get to their feet, Miz hits the Skull Crushing Finale and gets a nearfall but is then rolled over himself for the win for THE USOS!!!!!!!!!!! I might be the only person not called Uso that is smiling at that result. Surprising though for sure, interested to see where The Miz – Shane story goes now. And anytime The Usos win tag team gold is a good time so can’t complain. For sure though a surprise given all reports going in to the show reported all titles would be retained. So somewhat of a shock. The match was about of the level it would’ve been expected to be. After The Usos had gone to the back and their music stopped, Miz had mouthed “I’m Sorry” to Shane who was sat on the outside, Miz looking horrified and Shane gutted. Miz goes out to Shane and helps him up, Shane shows appreciation for Miz’s helps and efforts as the two walk to the back. No turn then…. just yet…
Paige plugs her movie.
The ALL-MIGHTY Bobby Lashley and Lio Rush are interviewed backstage. They are asked if we could see a 3rd new champion crowned tonight and if Lio is the weak link is this team. Until WWE come up with better questions for their backstage interviewers to ask I’m no longer going to waste my time on writing about what is said. In short Lio and Bobby seemed defiant on confident. I will say I saw Lio Rush wrestle on a ROH house show in Leicester in a small basketball arena in November 2016. Now he’s on a WWE PPV wrestling in February 2019. That makes me happy.
Lio Rush and Lashley then come to the ring. Finn gets a big pop coming out. I really, really want him to win. I’ve felt for a long time the Intercontinental Championship was made for Finn Balor to hold forever…. Finn Balor is unbeaten in singles matches on PPV so is this handicap match how they keep that run alive, or is it a way to take the title off Lashley without him getting pinned?
Finn Balor defeated Lio Rush & ‘The All-Mighty’ Bobby Lashley (C) in a 1 on 2 Handicap Match to become the New Intercontinental Champion
Rush tags out immediately. Lashley beats on Balor. Balor brief comeback. Finn makes Lashley retreat to the outside and as Bobby and Lio are regrouping Finn holds off from his big dive and Lashley comes back in and takes charge. As Lashley ends up on the outside Lio pulls Finn’s foot to stop him doing his big dive, this sees Finn chase Rush round the ring until Balor runs into Lashley who drives him into the barricade. Lashley having taken down Balor now tags in Lio Rush. A very coal Rush now taunts and beats on Balor, until Finn makes a mini comeback that sees Rush immediately tag out again a soon as their is danger. Lashley gets a nearfall before tagging in Rush again, Lio has Finn in an abdominal stretch until Balor throws him over to escape the hold. Rush eventually acrobatically makes a tag and Lashley immediately charges Balor. Already this match seems very repetitive. Lashley hits a huge chokeslam like move to put Finn down, then as Lashley had his back turned Rush tagged himself in much to Bobby Lashley’s surprise. Rush suggesting to his partner that he could get the job down now Balor was down, Rush is on the top and misses his frog splash as Balor moves out the way (who saw that coming…), Lashley screams to Lio to recover and tag back out, Finn smiles at a shocked Rush knowing he is between him and a tag out. Finn blocks him on a few occasions before pulling him away and then hitting strikes to Rush and Lashley followed by his footstomp to Rush and then a slingblade to the Intercontinental Champion who had entered the ring and then sending Lashley and Rush to the outside and hitting his big dive move to take both men down. Finn wisely wastes no time in rolling Lio Rush back in to the ring, he does the dropkick to Rush into the corner, sets up the Coupe de Grace, HITS IT, goes for the cover and WINS!!!!!!!!!!!! Lashley comes out after but Finn retreats with the belt. Crowd loved that result. Lashley in the ring is furious. He is not happy with a downtrodden Rush, crowd are practically begging for a turn at this point, chanting for Lashley even, Bobby grabs Lio but puts him down. Lashley pulls him up but then indeed slams him down. Crowd get what they wanted. This match was kind of flat and repetitive but it had Finn Balor being Finn Balor in, and the rush – Lashley dynamic was at times fun to watch unfold. But this match as a whole aside from the big pop for the finish was kind of just… there…
They plug a Mark Henry documentary on the Network which should be excellent.
They recap Becky Lynch getting suspended on Monday and getting replaced for the Mania match against Ronda with Charlotte by Vince. Michael Cole introduces footage from a Smackdown house show the night before of Becky ‘violating her suspension’ trying to get involved in a match between Charlotte and Asuka (yes Asuka remember her? CLEARLY WWE DON’T RIGHT NOW). It ended with Charlotte “re-injuring” Becky’s knee.
They then back at Elimination Chamber play Charlotte’s music and she gets a proper entrance… to sit ringside to watch a match… just in case Ruby Riott in this wasn’t already an afterthought… They have ‘FREE BECKY’ sings in the crowd (excellent stuff). Charley is interviewing Charlotte in the ring… everything you would expect and as good as HEEL Charlotte always has been. Crowd do their bit too chanting for Becky. Ronda makes her way out cosplaying Sonya Blade, the character she is voicing in the new Mortal Kombat game. Much I’m sure at long last to everyone’s delight Ronda gets to wrestle in something other than short-shorts she constantly has to pull at, and she has somewhat normal eye make up for once so all the little bitches online can calm their shit for one Ronda Rousey PPV match at least.
‘Rowdy’ Ronda Rousey (C) defeated Ruby Riott to retain the Raw Women’s Championship
Ruby opens up. Rousey with multiple arm drag takedowns. Ruby to the outside as Ronda talks shit to her. Ruby plays chicken shit heel. We are maybe a minute in and the crowd already are chanting “we want Becky”… Riott comesback with some strikes but Ronda quickly regains the advantage and hits the Piper’s Pit. She then points at the Mania sign, locks in the armbar and Ruby Riott taps. The match went under 2 minutes. RIP Ruby’s credibility although she was an afterthought anyway they gave her zero here.
Rousey poses with the belt looking at Charlotte (sat ringside) as she does so. Charlotte slowly makes her way in to the ring for a staredown as the “Becky” chants re-start. And then guess who appears in the crowd? THE MAN hobbles down on her crutches and hops her way to the ringside area. She makes her way into the ring (even commentary note how ridiculous her suspension is now that nobody in security stops her… yes I know it’s wrestling and we all love Becky… but this suspension from VINCE MCMAHON FFS is an absolute joke. Becky has violated it at every chance ffs). Anyway as Becky throws her crutches and then rolls into the ring, with the crowd chanting for here she gets to her feet with her crutches, Charlotte seems to mock Becky’s state. I believe this to be the first time all 3 women are in the ring at the same time which is cool. Becky then throws a crutch at Charlotte before hitting her with the other one as Ronda stands back. Becky is absolutely battering Charlotte here and the crowd are loving it. Becky is notably not selling her knee at all intentionally or not I presume not… Ronda looks on as if to say that Charlotte is getting what she deserves. Charlotte is doing a great sell job to be fair to her. Rousey then grabs one of the crutches and staresdown Lynch. Becky gives Ronda the chance to hit Charlotte herself with the crutch, Ronda talks shit to Flair, but as her back is turned Ronda gets hit by BECKY! The crowd obviously go wild but for god sake that’s such a heel move from Lynch so I’m confused. Becky is hitting both women with the crutch as the commentary team debate if she’s in the right or not. Eventually a tonne of refs and officials come down as Lynch hits Rousey again. Lynch then rolls out the ring and NOW starts limping again as security drag her out through the crowd. They cut to Ronda looking pissed. SO maybe they have Ronda demand Becky is bought back so she can beat her up. They’ve definitely done that kind of thing before. Although thinking about it Stone Cold used to beat up everyone around him even if they were a babyface as well and nobody cared then. So I guess from that POV of not trusting anyone it makes sense. Becky does want Ronda’s championship after all… we shall see… but I don’t think even WWE are blind enough to make Lynch a heel, more a good guy who just likes beating people up. Austin made a career out of that kind of character and was insanely popular so who cares. I think Ronda got cut on the top of her head. BADLY. Raw on Monday night should be fun.
As Flair and Rousey are still selling the attack, Baron Corbin’s music begins for the next match (god I hate when they do that). Someone in the crowd had a sign which read “Boring Corbin”. Accurate.
Baron Corbin defeated Braun Strowman in a No DQ Match
Corbin throws his jacket at Braun to try and distract him as the bell rings but Strowman quickly flattens him. Corbin comesback with kendo stick shots. Eventually after failing multiple times to retrieve the kendo stick Corbin is shocked to see Braun grab it instead. The Monster Amongst Men that screams at Corbin “I don’t need a kendo stick to whip your ass”. Correct. Braun then snaps the kendo stick in two over his knees. Braun then does his running charge on the outside on Corbin. He then goes for his full running charge only to be halted by an office chair launched at him by Corbin. Braun just swats it away like it was a fly. Corbin sidesteps as Braun runs into the steel steps. Baron Corbin then smashes Braun with the steps before doing a running charge of his own to hit Strowman with the steps before doing a mockery of Braun’s roar. Corbin beats on Braun in the ring with hard punches as Corbin’s boxing background is noted. Eventually of course Braun takes control back, Strowman gets a table from under the ring, he sets it up in the corner, Corbin rakes the eyes to escape a running powerslam, Corbin goes for a clothesline off the top but is caught, set up for the powerslam again and then driven through the table. The just as Braun goes for the pin the music of Drew McIntyre hits. Braun looks on to see the Scottish Psychopath coming to the ring armed with a steel chair. But as Braun is looking at Drew… Bobby Lashley hits Braun across the back with a chair. Drew and Lashley then destroy Braun with chair shots. Braun fightsback against both men before Lashley downs him with a Spear. Corbin dishes out instructions, Drew and Bobby each bring in steel steps to the ring, then as Braun again can’t cope with the 3 v 1 they get another 2 tables out, they set one up as Drew hits Braun with a Claymore. The other table is set up on top of the previous one in the middle of the ring, Drew and Corbin then lift up Braun as Lashley steps on top of the steel steps… and they then hit a triple powerbomb made famous by The Shield on Braun through both tables. Corbin then gets the pin. Where on earth were any babyfaces to help out Braun? Where were Angle? Balor? Anyone? WWE reverting to type again of the dark period in WWE of November-December 2018… *sighs* … pretty much exactly what I expected/feared match and result wise.
They promoted the special Olympic world games in Abu Dhabi. Then they recapped Miz and Shane losing the tag titles earlier in the show. Shane is then showed getting medical treatment backstage as Miz again apologizes. Miz iz upset with himself as Shane tries to calm him down. He tells Miz to go home and chill and he’ll see him Tuesday.
OH DEAR GOD… So…….. Lacey Evans’ music hits…. she comes swanning out, walks up and down the ramp one time, and then the camera cuts to black and they cut to a Mania ad… WHAT?! … OK then…
There were then adverts for a few things WWE related.
As the chamber again lowered we were again told the rules of the match.
Big E did the usual New Day entrance monologue as him and Xavier Woods welcomed Kofi Kingston out. ‘Kofi’ chants from the crowd. Jeff Hardy next. Randy Orton, AJ Styles, Samoa Joe and finally The New Daniel Bryan accompanied by Rowan followed. Bryan cut a promo and it was awesome. The refs demand Rowan goes to the back. This should be great. Good god it needs to be.
‘The New’ Daniel Bryan (C) defeated Kofi Kingston, Randy Orton, AJ Styles, Jeff Hardy and Samoa Joe in an Elimination Chamber Match to retain the WWE Championship
Bryan begins trying to stay away from Joe. Joe demands he comes in the ring, taunting him to do so. Bryan continues to wait around the outside of the ring. Bryan kicks Joe in the legs as Joe laughs it off before going for kicks of his own. A knee bar is then locked in by Joe but Bryan escapes before the two exchange moves again. Joe hits Bryan with a series of chops, then a powerbomb for a nearfall followed by a Boston crab and an STF hold, into a crossface, then a form of armbar until Bryan rolled him over for a nearfall and then hit Joe right in his knee. Bryan launches Joe to the outside and then into a chamber pod edge. Bryan then tries to beat on Joe in the ring, but Joe takes a chop and then gives one back of his own to regain control. Samoa Joe rained down strikes including one HUGE chop, Bryan drop toe hold on Joe into the turnbuckle as he then follows with the kicks to Joe in the corner as the clock counts down. Next to enter is Kofi Kingston who attacks both men right away. Kingston displays some great looking moves on Samoa Joe earning a nearfall, before Daniel Bryan then attacks Kingston for a nearfall of his. Joe then again chops Daniel Bryan and chases him away. Bryan climbs and sits on top of a pod leaving Kofi and Samoa Joe to fight. Genius. As Joe whips Kofi into the corner Kingston then jumps up onto the top rope and then again onto the top of the pod where Daniel Bryan is. This looked really impressive. Kofi then laid in on Bryan who climbed across the cage away, and with Kofi and Bryan exchanging kicks whilst hanging on the chamber wall Samoa Joe below pulls down Daniel Bryan before Kingston kicks him down, and then Kingston dives on to the two men below and everyone crashed and burned. Crowd are really behind Kingston. Bryan kicked out of the Kingston pin attempt as did Samoa Joe. After exchanges of moves it was Joe who gained advantage hitting a huge Senton on Bryan and then getting a nearfall on Kingston as he took over the match. 4th to enter was AJ Styles. He goes after each man in the match right away, including a double DDT on Daniel Bryan and Kof Kingston that earned him nearfalls on both. Styles beat on Joe as Bryan climbed up the chamber again. Styles saw him though and hit a Phenomenal Forearm to the back of Bryan’s neck to knock him down. AJ and Kofi had an exchange in the ring, Styles got a nearfall and then turned his attention to Samoa Joe. Joe though eventually tossed Styles back in to the ring and went on the attack, hitting Kingston after absorbing strikes, Joe did get the choke hold in but Kofi pushed with his feet on the turnbuckle and got a pin attempt from it which Joe just kicked out of but kept the hold locked in… Kingston did a form of stunner move to get out of it, and then AJ Styles flew into shot with a Phenomenal Forearm and pinned Joe. That was cool. Jeff Hardy then entered the match and got into it right away with Styles and got a nearfall from it. Hardy then sent Bryan packing with a kick and then went after Kingston. A really fun spot saw Jeff use a downed Kingston to hit Daniel Bryan with the ‘Poetry in Motion’ move made famous by The Hardys. Jeff did the Delete gesture and went after AJ Styles. Styles countered a Twist of Fate attempt with a Pele Kick as Bryan and Kingston brawled on the outside with Bryan ramming Kofi’s head into the Chamber wall. Meanwhile on the other side of the chamber Jeff Hardy was thrown into the upper part of a pod by Styles as Hardy was on the top rope. Bryan continued his attack on Kingston as Jeff and AJ fought on the top rope before both falling (I’m not sure that was planned). Bryan trapped Kofi Kingston’s arm in the chamber wall and pulled on it, as Jeff Hardy got on top of the pod with Aj laying across the top rope below, Jeff then hit a Swanton to the back of Styles before Daniel Bryan came from out of shot with the Running Knee. This is the second time they’ve done that this match so far and we haven’t even had Randy Orton enter yet. Bryan pinned Jeff. Bryan then set Styles upside down in the corner and hit him with a series of strikes before his patterned running attack (a staredown with Orton along the way too). Bryan then put Kofi on the top rope above AJ, Bryan got on the top rope as if for a superplex, AJ got up and grabbed Bryan from behind as if for a German Suplex, and then everyone came down with AJ still stuck in the ropes. And with Kofi Kingston and Daniel Bryan down and AJ Styles hung in the ropes here comes Randy Orton. He methodically enters the ring before taking down Bryan, then kicking at Styles and then taking down Kingston. Orton launched Kingston into Styles, Bryan went for the sneek attack, Orton missed an RKO attempt at Bryan got a crucifix pin attempt with a backslide. Orton then launched Bryan to the outside. Kingston in the ring now, still “Kofi” chants from the crowd before a nasty back-breaker from Styles. All the men involved started to sell more their efforts so far, and then AJ went for a Phenomenal Forearm on Kingston… but of course Randy Orton came in and yanked Styles down from off the ropes and hit the RKO. Orton pins Styles again. Kingston went for a roll up attempt on Orton but Randy kicked out, and then followed a really fast paced series of moves between two men who have wrestled one another for years and it showed. Everything here looked so crisp. Orton hit his draping DDT on Kofi, then signalled the RKO was near but instead caught Bryan with his powerslam move as the WWE Champion went for another sneak attack. Orton went back to Kingston to try and RKO but was hit with Trouble in Paradise and KOFI KINGSTON PINNED RANDY ORTON! Crowd really behind Kingston now. Bryan and Kingston had a long staredown before eventually going at it. Kofi showed his defiance during the initial striking exchange until being taken down and then Bryan his (YES) Kicks with the crowd chanting ‘NO’ at each hit, but he missed the last kick and eventually Kofi hit the SOS and got a very close nearfall. The crowd really are behind Kofi and seem desperate for the huge upset. Kofi goes face first into the turnbuckle after Bryan moves, before the champion lays in punches. More kicks from Bryan in the corner and hits multiple running kicks. Eventually Kofi charges up and hits a running stomp to Bryan for another nearfall. More crowd chants for Kofi as he waits for Bryan to get back to his feet, but Bryan chooses to roll to the outside of the ring. Kofi goes after him and the two go at it, with Kingston throwing Bryan into the chamber wall many times. Bryan regained advantage though by throwing Kofi against a pod as Kofi was going for a bulldog, he then rolled Kingston back into the ring. Bryan signaled the running knee was on its way, and he hit it big but KOFI KICKED OUT! WOW! Bryan cannot believe it. Neither can I. Bryan then did his big stomps he has begun doing again in recent weeks (he did them all the time years ago when he was in Ring of Honor). He covered Kofi who kicked out. Bryan went for the running knee again but Kofi hit Trouble in Paradise and went for a cover and at 2 Bryan rolled them over and got the pin attempt for himself. Essentially exactly what happened in the Smackdown Tag match. Only this time Kingston kicked out (the camera cut to a guy in the crowd in the middle of this which was odd). Kingston got a couple of strikes in on Bryan who then took him down and went for the Label lock, Kofi roared in pain as Bryan twisted. The crowd cheered for Kofi and he managed to reach the bottom rope to break the hold. Bryan made his way to the top rope but Kingston stepped up and kicked him, Bryan climbed away on top of a pod to try and escape but Kofi went after him. Kingston laid down strikes on Bryan on top of the pod and rammed his head into a perspex part of the chamber wall, he then looked below and then went to suplex both men to the floor below, but Bryan escaped multiple attempts and smashed Kofi’s head into the perspex. The exchange ended when Kofi kicked Bryan down, Kofi went for a big dive, Bryan moved out the way, hit the running knee and got the win. This was far better than the women’s chamber. The action with Bryan and Kofi to finish was great. Crowd seemed utterly deflated by Kingston not winning. They’ve seemed rather flat all show to me, but seemed they turned up to see Kofi Kingston win and then he didn’t. Nonetheless this match was really good.
Rowan came out to celebrate with Bryan. Kingston was left in the ring to end the show as Xavier Woods and Big E came down to console their teammate. The crowd chanted ‘Thank You Kofi’ as Woods and E got him to his feet. New Day then sat on the chamber steps as their music played. Last shot of the show was New Day stood on the ramp as the crowd chanted for Kofi.
As ‘B PPVs’ went this was about as expected. Lots of things that need to be answered going into the upcoming TV. The wrestling wasn’t exactly good. It was just ‘ a show’. This will not be one I demand My Uncle to buy when it comes out. An OK show. There was more good than bad. It started well, ended great and middle kind of just was there. So yes that was the show. I’ve no idea what any of the matches will be at Fastlane or what will happen on Raw or Smackdown so I guess from that POV the show did its job.