HOUSTON (Heartland Newsfeed) — The road to WrestleMania is well ablaze as they make their second to last pay-per-view stop in tonight’s Elimination Chamber event live from the Toyota Center in Houston, Tex.
In the pre-show, WWE Cruiserweight Champion Buddy Murphy retained his championship in a match against Akira Tozawa. The pre-show panel comprised of “The Coach” Jonathan Coachman, Sam Roberts and WWE Hall of Famers Beth Phoenix and Booker T.
A breakdown of the entire pre-show broadcast is courtesy of WWE on YouTube.
Fights on the main Elimination Chamber card are as follows:
- Bobby Lashley (c) & Lio Rush v. Finn Bálor (Handicap Match for the Intercontinental Championship)
- The Miz & Shane McMahon (c) v. The Usos (Smackdown Tag Team Championship)
- Ronda Rousey (c) v. Ruby Riott (Raw Women’s Championship)
- Braun Strowman v. Baron Corbin
- Sasha Banks & Bayley v. Sonya Deville & Mandy Rose v. Naomi & Carmella v. Nia Jax & Tamina v. Liv Morgan & Sarah Logan v. The Iiconics (Elimination Chamber for the Women’s Tag Team Championship)
- “The New” Daniel Bryan (c) v. AJ Styles v. Jeff Hardy v. Mustafa Ali v. Randy Orton v. Samoa Joe (Elimination Chamber for the WWE Championship)
Women’s Tag Team Elimination Chamber for the new tag team championship
It makes me wonder what the match booker was smoking when this was put on the card. An Elimination Chamber match for the newly-minted Women’s Tag Team Championship? Not only is this a historic moment for WWE, but the match for tag team titles has to be the dumbest idea ever concocted.
The match started off with the Boss & Hug Connection (Sasha Banks & Bayley) and the team of Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville. Riott Squad and The Iiconics are also in action. The remaining two teams enter action.
The team of Naomi & Carmella entered fifth and were the first team eliminated by The Iiconics via roll-up pin at the 17:10 mark.
Three minutes and five seconds later, The Iiconics would be the second team eliminated at the hands of the battle cow Tamina Snuka and Nia Jax as a result of a Samoan Drop by Jax.
Tamina and Nia eliminate the team of Liv Morgan & Sarah Logan, again as a result of another Samoan Drop from Jax off the second rope. (UPDATE: WWE Network claims to have had technical issues and have not reported an official time.)(SECOND UPDATE: Official time marked as 25:05; not reported by WWE.)
The remaining teams gang up on Tamina and pin her for the team’s elimination at the 26:36 mark (official time pending). Tamina Snuka and Nia Jax out of the match with two eliminations. (UPDATE: Official time 27:05.) It is not clear who did the elbow drop on Tamina, but the remaining teams piled on for the elimination soon afterward.
Boss & Hug in head-to-head action against Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville for the title. Official elimination was via submission in the form of Banks’ signature Bank Statement.
Missed final details of the match, but the Boss & Hug Connection are the inaugural Women’s Tag Team Champions.
Length of match: 33:00
Remarks: I believe the match was too long. The format of the match was asinine, as if the booker and prep staff for the PPV just got off a bad DMT trip. This could have been more interesting as a regular six-way tag team battle, either under regular tag rules or tornado tag elimination rules. Not impressed at all.
Smackdown Tag Team Championship: Shane McMahon & The Miz (c) v. The Usos
It seems there’s some internal bad blood between the members of the tag team champions for the Smackdown brand. Can McMahon and Mizanin (Miz’s real last name, duh) put those issues aside to retain the title?
I actually had to step out for this match.
Length of match: 14:10
Remarks: McMahon and Miz can go onward to be the same pompous jackass they’ve always been if they wish. Will they invoke the rematch clause? That is a decision yet to be determined. Still really wasn’t that great of a match.
Rating: Inconclusive – not worth rating
Handicap match for Intercontinental Championship: Finn Balor v. Bobby Lashley (c) with Lio Rush
AFK for match.
Length of match: 9:30
Remarks: Full detail likely not necessary. Never cared for Bobby Lashley in the current era. Much better wrestler during the Attitude Era, didn’t need a talentless hack as a manager then. Any match that Finn Balor automatically pops, but did not pop enough to warrant a five-star rating.
Singles match for the Raw Women’s Championship: Ronda Rousey (c) v. Ruby Riott
To be honest, I was too busy updating the live blog to pay attention. To my understanding, Rousey retained the title via submission.
Length of match: 1:40
Remarks: Not even worth watching. Only thing notable in this match is that Rowdy Ronda retains to fight another day with intent to defend at WrestleMania.
Rating: Inconclusive – not worth rating because it wasn’t worth watching
No Disqualification match: Braun Strowman v. Baron Corbin
Sadly, the only non-title main card match I’m not that interested in, other than seeing some highlights for Strowman to get some stress relief from Corbin constantly screwing him on TV and title matches on RAW.
Another match not worth rating.
Length of match: 10:50
Remarks: Not even worth watching. Did BotchaMania decide to start early? Corbin still sucks ass.
Rating: 0/5 – match terribly booked, not worth watching
Elimination Chamber match for the WWE Championship: Daniel Bryan (c) v. AJ Styles v. Jeff Hardy v. Randy Orton v. Samoa Joe v. Kofi Kingston
So, apparently prior to the match, Mustafa Ali was taken out of the match and replaced by Kofi Kingston. No details as to why the change took place, unless Kingston attacked Ali.
The defending champion Bryan and Samoa Joe started off action. I got as far as Kofi Kingston and AJ Styles entering the match and missed the entries of Jeff Hardy and Randy Orton.
AJ Styles secured his only elimination of the match hitting Joe with the Phenomenal Forearm before getting the pinfall at the 14:35 mark.
Three minutes, 25 seconds later, Daniel Bryan secured his first elimination of the night, hitting Hardy with a running knee before securing the pinfall at the 18:00 mark.
The eliminations via pinfall continue at 22:25 when Orton hits a RKO on Styles and the subsequent pinfall.
It wasn’t long until Kingston took his opportunity, hitting Orton with Trouble In Paradise and securing the elimination at 24:05, less than two minutes after Styles was eliminated.
The final two in the match are Kofi Kingston and Daniel Bryan.
It took 12 minutes and 35 seconds for Bryan to successfully defend his title, hitting Kingston with a running knee to secure his second and final elimination at 36:40.
Length of match: 36:40
Remarks: Still not certain about the background of the Ali/Kingston last-minute swap. Bryan held his own from second one. Shameful — in a way — that AJ Styles and Jeff Hardy didn’t end up in the final three in the match. I did miss some of the match due to post-production duties for the Heartland Newsfeed Radio Network to get late evening programming in line, but it was pretty good up to that point. Looking at various recaps, I missed quite a bit. The match could have lasted longer, as the overall PPV sold fans short on what they promoted.
Rating: 4/5 – match partially viewed averaged in with missed action ratings
Overall rating: There were two matches that I refused to rate because of the pathetic manner of the matches. Four of the matches were rated on a scale of 5. Many disappointing portions of the show, bringing into question the talent and skills of the back office, writing staff and show booking staff. I give Elimination Chamber a 2.13/5.
Jake Leonard, a broadcast media and journalism veteran, is the editor-in-chief of Heartland Newsfeed. Leonard is also GM and program director of Heartland Newsfeed Radio Network, wrestling editor and contributing writer for Ambush Sports, a contributing writer for My Sports Vote and Midwest Sports Network, and a former contributor to Bleacher Report and Overtime Heroics. He resides at home in Nokomis, Ill. with his dog Buster.