This year’s Elimination Chamber event took too long to get going. The whole first half crawled by, the big bore being a desperate attempt to make anyone care more than they already don’t about the Tag Team Championship. Things started off fairly decently with the first of three women’s division matches. The women’s div is the success story of the last year and a half – opening and/or closing PPV events now, no bit-part filler stuff but rather the main attraction. It’s impressive. This event opened with Becky Lynch defeating Mickie James. James is back in the women’s division after seven years and the booking of this match was a bit off, Mickie dominating and making it seem like a fluke that the champ got through. Hopefully smarter booking ahead will make for a decent feud. This was an okay way for the Elimination Chamber event to start off though. Unfortunately any momentum was killed by Kalisto and Apollo Crews in a pointless 2-on-1 handicap match against Dolph Ziggler. Ziggler can do anything – including the heel turn – but here we didn’t get much of anything. It wasn’t a great match and though it didn’t stick around for long it was a constant buzz-kill.
The aforementioned tag-team turmoil snore-fest was next. Good finish to this match – good finishing move – but too long waiting…
Nikki Bell and Natalya are locked in a bitter feud. No one really knows why – and Natalya isn’t much chop at playing the heel. It doesn’t fit, doesn’t suit and doesn’t mean anything. Nikki was better. If they can work this feud to a double-turn then it might mean something but this match ending in a double-countout did nothing to pick up momentum.
Randy Orton and Luke Harper did have a pretty great match, good chemistry and it was like finally the PPV was off. And running.
Noami won the WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship from Alexa Bliss – and this was a good match. And a good move. A genuinely emotional speech from Naomi played well too.
And then we had the big one – the main event, the only actual Elimination Chamber battle. Bray Wyatt, John Cena, AJ Styles, The Miz, Baron Corbin and Dean Ambrose were in the cage. And it was a great set of mini-battles leading up to the big showdown. Cena and Styles continued their winning chemistry. Corbin and Ambrose did some good stunt work while The Miz got to play his wily ways…
Wyatt took the title from Cena making for interesting times leading up to and into Wrestlemania.
The last three matches were good – but it was a slow crawl toward them. Meaning Elimination Chamber just gets a pass mark. Only just. I’ve seen better. Hopefully the kinks will be ironed out before the big, big show…
You can watch Elimination Chamber and any/all WWE content exclusively on the network at WWE.com