Our weekly WCW Chairshot Classics series continues with the inaugural Spring Stampede!
Open: ‘Mean’ Gene Okerlund is in the arena and he introduces Aaron Neville to sing the National Anthem.
Match #1: Johnny B. Badd vs. Diamond Dallas Page w/The Diamond Doll
Page has a small black bag that he gives to The Diamond Doll. It appears she gives it to Bobby Heenan. Page ambushes Badd and they go right to work. Victory roll by Badd and he can’t catch him early. Badd clotheslines Page outside and drags him right back in quickly, going to the wrist lock. Page pulls him down and stomps the mid section. Duck under takedown by Page and Badd kicks out. Front facelock by Page, Badd reverses into a hammerlock and drops his knee into the back. Badd rolls him over but can’t get 3.
He hangs on to the hammerlock as they work back to their feet. Page breaks it with an elbow and drops Badd with a shoulder block. Badd kicks him away and scores with an arm drag, cranking on the arm down on the mat. Page goes to the eyes and takes Badd over. Johnny bridges out on the headlock, lifts his feet in the air and uses his momentum to roll DDP over. Dropkick by Badd and a lateral press for two. Page baits Badd and throws him head first into the turnbuckle. Page lays in some elbows. Belly to back suplex by DDP and he’s feeling it. He continues to kick Badd while he’s down. To the ropes, a kick to the midsection and a gut buster by Page.
Snap suplex by Page and Badd kicks out again, DDP moves quickly into the reverse chinlock. Page with a nerve hold as the crowd rallies behind Badd. Up to vertical, Badd lays in some elbows and it’s his turn for a belly to back. A right to the midsection and Badd somersaults away from contact. Inverted atomic drop and a clothesline from Badd. He sends Page for a back body drop, to the ropes again, Badd gets up with a head scissors. He hits him with a left hook and Page tumbles to the floor. Flying cross body by Badd and he rolls DDP back in. To the top rope, Badd lands a sunset flip and that’s all he needs.
Winner: Johnny B. Badd (Top Rope Sunset Flip)
- EA’s Take: It’s our first PPV look at DDP’s real (at the time) wife, Kimberly Page, known of course at this point as The Diamond Doll. Shortest match on the card, but dense with action – no wasted moves. Both of these guys are about to come into their own over the next 12-18 months, so this is just a small preview of that as they both start to increase their profiles.
In the Arena: ‘Mean’ Gene is standing by with Jesse Ventura. They plug the WCW Hotline, Jesse’s ready to call right now. He’ll be available to talk to fans on Wednesday and he has plenty of dirt that can’t be talked about on the air.
Match #2 for the WCW World Television Championship: ‘Flyin’ Brian Pillman vs. WCW World Television Champion Lord Steven Regal w/Sir William
There is a 15 minute time limit. Brian wastes no time and he throws Regal into the turnbuckle and lays in a variety of strikes. Irish whip, Regal stops short and tries a single leg pickup but Brian stays on offense. They exchange roll ups, and Regal tries to slow it down. Pillman drops to his knees to get on Regal’s level and slaps him across the face. He sends the champ face first into the canvass. To the ropes, leapfrog by Pillman and an arm drag. Regal bails to the floor, Pillman gives chase but he’s been baited. Pillman protects himself from the railing and sends Regal into it instead. Lord Steve retreats into the ring, Pillman slingshots his arm over the top rope.
In the corner, they jockey for position, Pillman takes him down with a hammerlock and drags Regal to the post where he continues work on that left arm. Pillman stalks Sir William away, giving Regal a chance to get in the ring. Chop from Pillman but Regal pulls the hair. European uppercut and an arm drag by Regal. He stays on the wrist. Pillman works his way back up and chops out of the wrist lock, but the champ slows the momentum. They hit the ropes, Pillman tries a Thesz Press, Regal catches him and flips him onto his back. Regal is slow to cover and Pillman kicks out. Forearms across the back by Lord Steven, Pillman fights back from his knees. It’s Regal keeping the upperhand and he lifts Pillman up on his shoulder.
Pillman maneuvers out of it and surprises with a small package, Regal kicks out. Single leg takedown by Regal, he grapevines the legs and maneuvers into a crossface. He switches into a half nelson on the mat. Regal grinds away with some mat work before picking Pillman up for some uppercuts. Pillman tries to reverse into a backslide but can’t pull it off. Regal lifts Pillman with a surfboard submission. He hangs on with a reverse chin lock. They exchange chops and hit the ropes, Pillman wants a back drop but Regal stops short with a forearm. The champ jackknifes Pillman up, but Flyin Brian counters with a head scissor take down.
Regal gets his shoulder up at two. Pillman attempts a crucifix, Regal makes it to the ropes, he stands back up and drops him with a Regal roll, Pillman kicks out at two. Modified abdominal stretch on the mat by Regal. Regal tries a crossbow but only gets one leg. Pillman breaks the hold with right hands. He goes to the ropes but Regal stops him with a single leg and a half crab. Pillman with some desperation chops and Regal lifts his boot to the challenger’s face. He tries a roll up with a handful of trunks but Pillman escapes. Back to a crossface by Regal. USA chants break out in favor of Pillman. Up to their feet and they exchange shots. Pillman gets the better of it in the corner but Regal won’t give. Desperation headbutt by Pillman but it seems to take more out of himself.
Forearm between the shoulder blade and an upper cut by Regal. Desperation drop kick by Pillman and both men are down. To the ropes, Regal catches Pillman’s drop kick, tries a Boston crab but Pillman throws him aside. Enzigure by Pillman, reacting to Regal’s single leg pickup attempt. Pillman tries a monkey flip, Regal tosses him off but misses with a knee drop. Regal goes to the middle rope as it’s announced there is 1 minute left in the time limit. Regal leaps but Pillman catches him with a drop kick. Pillman sends him for the ride and a back body drop. Pillman is fired up and he delivers rights in the corner.
To the ropes again, Pillman stops short of a hip toss and pulls Regal face first on the mat. Pillman runs for a cross body, Regal catches him out of midair, stumbles toward the ropes and both men tumble over the top and to the floor. Pillman is up first, he fends off Sir William and heads back to the ring. He gives Regal a vertical suplex back into the ring, but time has expired.
Winner: Time Limit Draw
- EA’s Take: Dean Malenko may be the ‘Man of 1,000 Holds’, but Regal is right there with him. His creativity on the mat is definitely in the highest percentile. I find myself using the word “modified” a lot during his matches because it’s as if he has 7 different variations of any given hold. The TV Title was treated a lot like the IC Title, often going to the reliable technicians. In the belt’s 27-year history, the top five guys in terms of combined reigns were Arn Anderson, Ricky Steamboat, Tully Blanchard, Lord Steven Regal and Mike Rotunda. Steve Austin comes in at #6, so I think that’s some solid evidence for my assertion.
Backstage: ‘Mean’ Gene is joined by Col. Robert Parker and his new client, Bunkhouse Buck. Parker feels like the greatest promoter of all time. He has a lot to look forward to, but the one he’s looking forward to the most is Buck’s showdown with ‘The Natural’ Dustin Rhodes. Buck says he hasn’t showered in a long time, he’s dirty and smelly because that’s the way Daddy used to do it.
Match #3 – Falls Count Anywhere Chicago Street Fight: WCW World Tag Team Champions The Nasty Boys (Brian Knobbs & Jerry Sags) vs. Cactus Jack & Maxx Payne
The brawl starts right on the entrance ramp. Sags and Payne take it to the ring, Payne with a spine buster. Sags rolls to the floor and Payne chases. Knobbs beats Jack with a foreign object while Sags is thrown into the railing. Jack takes the baton and takes control of Knobbs in the ring. Jack sets him up, clotheslines Knobbs to the floor landing on the apron himself. Sags takes a chair to both his opponents and he beats Jack with a pool cue. Jack takes control of the chair and all four just have an all out brawl on the floor. Jack runs Knobbs into the entrance ramp, Payne drops two elbows on Sags. Sags takes the pool cue into the ring and beats Jack on the side of the head.
Payne and Knobbs take their battle toward the entrance ramp. Headbutt from Payne and he throws him into the ramp. Inside the ring, Sags measures Jack and uses the cue to send him over the top. Knobbs and Payne have made their way to a souvenir stand and Knobbs uses a trash can on him. Jack and Sags have rolled back to the floor and they’re fighting amid the fans. Jack delivers a chair shot across the head while Payne lifts Knobbs and sends him through a merchandise table. Payne stuffs a t-shirt down Knobbs throat, he tries a pin but Knobbs won’t let up. Sags joins his partner but Jack is right behind him. Cactus is tossed over the safety rail. The Nasty Boys double team Payne through the back of the souvenir stand.
Sags grabs a table and beats Jack over the top of the head. Up on the entrance ramp and Jack hits Sags with a neck breaker. He drops the table across the mid section of the tag champ. He goes for a pin but Knobbs cuts him off with a shovel. Knobbs climbs up to clock him again, but Payne makes the save. He grabs the shovel and assaults Knobbs. with it. Jack and Sags stand up on the table, it appears that Sags wants a piledriver, but the table gives way. He instead simply throws Jack over the side. He takes the shovel, clocks Cactus across the skull, makes a pin on the concrete and that’s enough for the win.
Winners: The Nasty Boys (Sags/Foreign Object)
- EA’s Take: You had to know exactly what you were in for before this match even started, just an ugly, unhinged free-for-all. I think battle royals are easier to sensibly call in a format like this. That spot on top of the table when it just broke on them was absolutely hilarious.
Backstage: Jesse Ventura is joined by Johnny B. Badd. Slamboree is a month away, DDP is a good wrestler but he’s a Badd man, and he wants a shot at the winner of the following United States Championship match.
Match #4 for the WCW United States Championship: The Great Muta vs. WCW United States Champion ‘Stunning’ Steve Austin w/Col. Robert Parker
Austin backs away from a karate kick and takes his time to move in. Collar and elbow, waistlock by Muta and Austin breaks it on the ropes. They lock up again, side headlock takedown by Muta and he hangs on. Austin twists out to a top wristlock but can’t completely escape. Stunning Steve is forced to go to the ropes again. Austin ducks the collar and elbow and hits a double leg takedown, delivers a stomp and picks Muta up for a right. To the ropes they go and it’s Muta who catches Austin in an abdominal stretch. Austin reverses but Muta lays in an elbow. Collar and elbow, waistlock by Muta and he tries a schoolboy. Side headlock takedown by Muta and he hangs onto the headlock.
Austin tries grabbing the hair by the referee catches him. Austin lifts for a belly to back suplex, but Muta takes him back over again, not relinquishing the lock. Up to their feet again and this time Steve’s successful. Austin tries a vertical suplex, Muta blocks and delivers one of his own. He lays in an elbow and moves back to the headlock. Austin is slow to his feet, they hit the ropes, Muta with a shoulder block, Austin leapfrogs but then eats a drop kick. Muta with another side takeover, Stunning Steve counters with a head scissor submission. Muta escapes and Austin rolls out to check in with Parker. Austin rolls back in on the near side. Back to the neutral position, Austin tries hooking a schoolboy but can’t get the pin. Drop toe hold into a front face lock, Muta counters into a hammerlock.
Muta tries getting the shoulders down but Austin fights out of it. Side headlock by Muta and they hit the ropes, Parker grabs the leg and Austin blindsides him with a knee. Austin runs a distraction and the Colonel takes advantage, choking Muta. Austin rolls out and sends Muta into the ring post. The champ sends Muta into the railing. Back in the ring, Austin stays on him with knees and kicks. Snapmare by Austin and he follows with a knee to the forehead. Lateral press and Muta kicks out. Austin moves into an abdominal stretch, the ref checks in but Muta’s not interested in quitting. Austin grabs the rope for leverage.
Nick Patrick catches him doing it and kicks him away, Muta lifts him with a hip toss to break the hold. Muta blocks a right and lays shots into the champ. Into the ropes but he misses with a drop kick. Austin lays in a knee from the middle rope and Muta kicks out at two. He hooks the leg but still can’t get him. Austin hangs Muta across the bottom rope and the ref backs him off, Parker takes a cheap shot. Muta blocks a buckle shot and gives one to Austin instead. Spinning karate kick by Muta. He sends Austin for a back body drop, following it with a vertical suplex. Standing drop kick by the challenger and he’s heading for the top rope. He tries a drop kick but no one is home.
Austin tries the Hollywood and Vine submission but Muta escapes. To the ropes and Muta is the one who hits the Stun Gun across the top rope. Irish whip and a back splash by Muta. He seats Austin on the top turnbuckle and lands a hurricanrana. Parker is up on the apron and he eats a spinning kick. Austin charges him, Muta reacts with a back body drop over the top rope, prompting a disqualification.
Winner and STILL WCW United States Champion: ‘Stunning’ Steve Austin (Disqualification)
- EA’s Take: Good match. For the first couple of minutes I was asking myself who was the heel and who was the babyface. It should be obvious that Austin is the heel champion, but the fans do like him and the backstory was that Muta wanted to take the United States Championship back to Japan. At the end of the day, the fans were still behind the Japanese star.
Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
Chairshot Classics: WCW World War 3 ’95 – 60 Men…3 Rings…3 Giants…1 Battle Royal
Our weekly Chairshot Classics WCW PPV series continues with World War 3 ’95!
Open: “WCW declares war with the biggest battle royal in wrestling history. World Championship Wrestling wages World War 3. Sixty international superstars from around the globe prepare for combat as never seen before. It’s all out war with three rings, three giants and one battle royal. It’s WCW’s World War 3.”
In The Arena: ‘Mean’ Gene Okerlund is standing by with Hulk Hogan, ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage & Sting, The Hulkster saying something bad always comes from something good. He talks about the Hulkamaniacs sticking by him as he walked through the darkside, explains he now knows who his friends are and tonight the darkside of himself will be no more. He tears off his black shirt and reveals the red and yellow once again, it burns in a garbage can and Hogan claims he will never again question Sting or Savage. The Stinger proclaims the black is gone for good, Macho Man says that when you’re wrong, you’re wrong and apologizes to Hulk. The Hulkster thinks it’s funny people have claimed Savage is legitimately injured, claims it was just a plan and says that between the three of them, the WCW World Heavyweight Title will wind up with the Hulkamaniacs.
Video: We take a look at the history between Diamond Dallas Page and Johnny B. Badd, which led to The Diamond Doll putting herself up as a prize in tonight’s match, making it clear that she was sick of the mistreatment from DDP.
Match #1 is for the WCW World Television Championship & The Diamond Doll’s Services: Diamond Dallas Page w/The Diamond Doll vs. WCW World Television Champion Johnny B. Badd
Page has some words for the champion while poking him in the chest, Badd swats his hand away, they lock-up and Page backs Johnny to the corner as the bell rings to make it official. The referee calls for a break, DDP smacks the champion on the chest and taunts him, they tie-up again and end up on the outside, Johnny connects with a right, but Page goes to the eyes to take control. He looks to drive Badd head-first into the ring post, the champion slips free and shoves DDP into it instead, chases him back into the ring, but gets caught coming in.
The challenger sends him to the ropes for a clothesline, Johnny scores with a crossbody, Dallas switches the momentum and gets a count of 2, then quickly delivers a shoulder block. He hits the ropes and the champion leapfrogs over, powers him up for a samoan drop that gets 2, then brings Page to the canvas with a side headlock. DDP works to a standing position, counters to a top wristlock, Badd begins to overpower him, but Page grabs a handful of hair to rip him down. Johnny reverses his way out to a wristlock, Dallas again uses the hair to pull the champion to the mat, locks in an armbar, then switches back to a wristlock. Johnny rolls through and the challenger again grabs the hair, Badd kips up to his feet, returns the favor and gets scolded by the referee.
DDP tries to ambush him from behind, the champion sees it coming, low-bridges the top rope to send him to the floor, lines up for an outside dive, but puts on the brakes, then slingshots over the top with a crossbody. He calls for the Tutti Frutti, Dallas pulls The Doll in front of him to avoid it, pushes her into the champion, catches him with a sucker punch, then shoots him into the barricade. He deposits Johnny back inside and whips him sternum-first into the turnbuckles, plants him with a back suplex, puts the boots to Badd, then shoots him to the ropes for A Trip To The Diamond Mine. Page calls for a “10” from The Doll and she refuses, he turns back to the champion, peppers him with forearm shots, sends him to the ropes for a kick to the abdomen, but it’s blocked.
Badd spins him around, gets leveled by a clothesline, Dallas with a lateral press for 2, corners Johnny and whips him across. He charges in with a shoulder to the ribs, calls for a “10” and again The Diamond Doll won’t do it, DDP shoots Badd back across, rushes in for another shoulder, but this time nobody’s home and he hits the ring post. He regroups and looks for a kick that misses the mark, scores with a punch, hauls Johnny up and sends him to the ropes for a back body drop, but Badd prevents it with a kick. The champion pulls himself to his feet in the corner, catches Dallas walking in with a kick, splits him with an inverted atomic drop, fires away with lefts hands, then hits the ropes for a big right. He looks to shoot the challenger to the ropes, DDP reverses it for a kick, Johnny blocks it, spins him around, ducks a clothesline and delivers one of his own, then calls for a “10”.
The Diamond Doll holds up the “10+” sign, Johnny plants Page with a sit-out powerbomb for a near fall, sends him to the corner and follows in, but eats a back elbow. DDP stacks him up, puts his feet on the ropes and still can’t finish it, whips him to the ropes for a tilt-a-whirl side slam, crawls into a cover for 2, gets surprised by a roll-up off the kick-out and Johnny nearly steals it. DDP quickly goes to the breadbasket with kicks, whips him to the ropes and gets caught by a tilt-a-whirl headscissors, Badd steps out to the apron, slingshots in with a splash, but Dallas gets the knees up. The challenger gives himself a “10”, cracks the champion with a gutwrench gutbuster for a near fall, hooks Badd for another, Johnny slips out for a german suplex, but gets rocked by a back elbow.
Page lifts him up for A Trip To The Diamond Mine, the champion counters out, spikes him with a tombstone piledriver, but Dallas just barely kicks out at 2. The champion lines him up, connects with Tutti Frutti, DDP spills to the outside, Johnny flies over the top with the Badd Mood, rolls him back into the ring, then slingshots in from the apron with a leg drop to retain.
Winner and STILL WCW World Television Champion: Johnny B. Badd (Slingshot Leg Drop)
- After The Bell: The Diamond Doll looks stunned and makes her way into the squared circle, giving Johnny a big hug. ‘Mean’ Gene plugs the hotline with details on the WWF steroid scandal as he awaits Johnny & The Doll, the champion says Dallas has no idea how to treat a lady and he plans on showing him how it’s done, telling her that she will have the chance to be his manager or do what’s in her own heart. The Diamond Doll tells him she will think about it, but for now she’s just happy that the better man won.
- EA’s Take: So for the second pay-per-view in a row now, these two have opened the show with a pretty good effort and left it all out in the ring. DDP is really on the cusp of becoming a top star while Johnny continues to be among the best the WCW mid-card has to offer. There’s still a lot more to come between these two over the coming months as DDP was not satisfied with this loss and moreover, the loss of The Diamond Doll. Johnny would grant The Doll her freedom and we would finally get to call her by her real name, Kimberly, by the time they’d meet again on PPV at SuperBrawl in February.
Match #2 is a Taped Fist Challenge: Big Bubba Rogers vs. ‘Hacksaw’ Jim Duggan
Duggan sprints down the aisle and ambushes Bubba as he makes his entrance, clobbers him with right hands, rolls Rogers into the ring, then calls for a 2×4 shot. Big Bubba tries to beg him off, the official tries to stop it and succeeds, Rogers surprises Hacksaw with a shot to the breadbasket, sends him to the ropes for a clothesline, but Duggan ducks it and delivers one of his own. Bubba is reeling, Hacksaw connects with another clothesline, still can’t get him off his feet, goes to the ropes for one more and Rogers is sent over the top to the floor. Duggan goes out in pursuit, unloads with more fists, sends him inside another ring, hammers him with more punches on the apron, then sandwiches his head in-between the two ring posts.
Rogers falls to the floor, Hacksaw steps out to the apron, looks to come off with an elbow, Bubba avoids it, Duggan driving himself into the barricade. Big Bubba heads back into the center ring, hits the ropes and slides outside to deliver an uppercut, throws Hacksaw back in and pelts him with a barrage of heavy fists. He chokes Duggan with the bottom of his boot, Hacksaw spills to the floor, looks to escape to another ring, Bubba gives chase and they begin to exchange punches. Rogers looks to come back with a kick that’s blocked, brings the other foot around for an enzuigiri, hits the ropes for a big uppercut, pulls out some more tape to re-wrap his hand, then unloads with blows to the ribs. Hacksaw starts to battle back with lefts-and-rights, shoots him to the ropes for a shoulder block, they collide and Big Bubba falls to the outside.
Duggan steps out after him, walks into a right to the abdomen, they make their way back to the center ring, Rogers pulls the tape back out and wraps Hacksaw’s arm to the top rope. He unloads with heavy shots, Hacksaw drags himself back to his feet, Bubba hits the ropes and rushes in, Duggan sticks his fist out and Rogers runs right into it. The official tries to untie Duggan and can’t free him, Big Bubba staggers back to his feet, charges in again, this time getting elevated over the top to the floor. Hacksaw finally gets loose and goes out in pursuit, decks Rogers with a couple of right hands, deposits him into the squared circle, shoots him to the ropes and delivers a body slam.
He calls for the Three Point Stance, levels Bubba with the clothesline and we see V.K. Wallstreet sneaking his way down to ringside with a chain around his fist. He climbs up to the apron, Duggan goes for the 2×4, buries it into Wallstreet’s midsection, but the chain falls to the mat. Bubba picks it up, wraps it around his fist, surprises Duggan with an uppercut, stuffs the chain down his pants and makes it to his feet to beat the count.
Winner: Big Bubba Rogers (Foreign Object)
- EA’s Take: In case you hadn’t figured it out because you skipped over reading the play-by-play, this one was an ugly brawl. I never got the concept behind the Taped Fist Challenge. I understand that loading your fist up with tape would make for a more devastating punch, but it just didn’t get over with me and never really seemed to with the rest of the wrestling world either. Also, Schiavone said that “this one has been building for a while”, but I don’t recall it ever being a part of at least the last four episodes of Nitro leading into this feud-ending bout.
In The Arena: Gene Okerlund is joined by ‘Nature Boy’ Ric Flair, The Nature Boy claims the whole wrestling world knows he will style and profile over Sting, stating that whether you like it or not, it just happens to be the best thing going today. Flair says his master plan has come together with all his enemies in the building at the same time, proclaiming that after World War 3 he will rule WCW again.
Match #3: Cutie Suzuki & Mayumi Ozaki vs. Bull Nakano & Akira Hokuto w/Sonny Onoo
Mike Tenay has joined commentary for this contest. Akira & Bull go on the attack at the bell, they shoot Ozaki to the ropes for a double clothesline, clobber her with a double big boot and Nakano stays in the ring. She launches Mayumi across the ring by the hair multiple times, makes a tag and Hokuto comes off the top with an elbow to the back. She taunts Suzuki on the apron while holding Ozaki in a side headlock, switches to a wristlock, Bull grabs the other arm and they proceed to sink their teeth into Mayumi’s wrists.
Nakano tags in and continues biting the arm, snapmares her to the mat by the hair, Akira comes inside and baits in Suzuki, the ref having to work Cutie back to the apron as Bull rips Mayumi back down by the hair. She lifts Ozaki up by the throat, Hokuto comes off the top to drive Mayumi down to the canvas, Bull goes into a cover for 2, Suzuki coming in late to try and break it up. Nakano hauls Ozaki back up and Mayumi tries to fight back, Bull absorbs the shots, flattens her with a clothesline, ties her up in the ropes and and tags out. Hokuto steps in and shoots her to the ropes, Mayumi springs off the 2nd rope with a forearm, hits the ropes and spikes her with a DDT, then finally reaches a tag.
Cutie hits the ring and shoots Akira to the ropes for a dropkick, covers for a count of 2, quickly hooks on a single-leg crab, Bull steps in to try and break it up, Ozaki cuts her off with a double leg takedown, then slaps on a single-leg crab of her own. Thye both release the hold and order is restored, Suzuki puts the boots to Akira, drives all of her weight down on the right leg, then goes back to the single-leg crab. Nakano sneaks in and rips her off by the hair, Akira quickly rolls to her corner to make the tag, Bull sends Cutie to the ropes, Suzuki ducks under a clothesline and Ozaki grabs Nakano by the arms to hold her. Cutie rushes in for a dropkick, Bull side-steps it and Mayumi gets hit instead, Nakano plants Suzuki with a powerbomb, heads upstairs for a moonsault, but nobody’s home.
Ozaki pulls herself to the top turnbuckle, comes off with a double stomp, Cutie hgoes up for one of her own, then they both go back up to do it again for a near fall. They set Bull for a double suplex, Nakano blocks it and hits one of her own, Akira gets the tag, comes in from the top with a crossbody that’s off the mark, Suzuki & Ozaki kick Nakano to the floor, then prop Hokuto on the top turnbuckle for a double superplex. Bull rolls back in, rips them both down to the canvas, holds them for Akira who scores with a crossbody. They pick Suzuki & Ozaki back up, send them to the ropes simultaneously, get surprised by in-sync hurricanranas for a double cover, but they only get 2.
They ascend up opposite corners, connect with crossbodys in succession, Suzuki with a lateral press of Akira for 2, then tags out. Ozaki re-enters the match, plants Hokuto with the Tequila Sunrise and still can’t put it away, shoots her to the ropes for a clothesline, Akira ducks under it, drives Mayumi down on the back of her head with a german suplex and makes a tag. Nakano comes in and sends her to the ropes for a clothesline, Cutie comes in to break up the cover at 2, gets clocked by a big right hand for her troubles, Bull drags them both up, then sends them to the ropes for a double clothesline.
Suzuki & Ozaki duck under it, here comes Akira off the top with a double missile dropkick, Suzuki & Ozaki spill to the outside, Hokuto goes back up top and flies off with a somersault senton. She tosses Mayumi back into the squared circle, Nakano picks her up onto her shoulders, Hokuto goes to the top rope and they hit a doomsday device, Bull makes the cover, but Cutie just barely saves the match. Akira kicks her back down to the floor, scoops Mayumi up for a body slam, Nakano comes off the top with a Diving Guillotine Leg Drop and that’s all she wrote.
Winners: Bull Nakano & Akira Hokuto (Nakano/Diving Guillotine Leg Drop)
- EA’s Take: Akira Hokuto & Bull Nakano are legends of Japanese wrestling and women’s wrestling to a certain extent, but this was just absolutely dreadful, moves for the sake of moves. This is the kind of wrestling that drives me up a wall today with hardly any selling and just a complete cluster of confusion. WCW was continuing to make business dealings with the promotions in Japan, which we will see hit its peak the following month, but women’s wrestling still had basically zero interest here in America. Some fans may have been familiar with Bull Nakano, but in America for this time period women’s wrestling still didn’t stand a chance with a mainstream audience.
In The Arena: ‘Mean’ Gene plugs the hotline again, which of course he can’t talk about on the air, therefore you have to give them a call. He welcomes in Lex Luger & Jimmy Hart, Jimmy mocks ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage, informing him that he might be looking at the next World Champion. He claims Luger has it all including himself by his side, Lex stating that he is the flagship of WCW. He warns Savage that he will break him into a hundred pieces, will leave him unable to compete in World War 3 and he will become the new champion.
Match #4 is for the WCW United States Championship: ‘Crippler’ Chris Benoit vs. WCW United States Champion Kensuke Sasaki w/Sonny Onoo
Collar & elbow tie-up to start off, they jockey for position and Benoit backs the champion to the corner, doesn’t break clean and unloads with chops and kicks. He snapmares Sasaki over for a shot to the head, Kensuke regroups, they lock-up again, this time the champion backing The Crippler to the corner. He fires away with chops of his own, snapmares him over for a kick to the spine, Benoit now taking a breather. Another tie-up and the challenger goes to a waistlock, Sasaki tries to counter out, gets taken down by a drop toe hold and The Crippler grounds him with a hammerlock. He switches to a front facelock, Kensuke works to his feet, tosses Benoit away with a back body drop, they regather again and now go into a test-of-strength.
The champion gets the better of it and The Crippler bridges back to a vertical base, brings Sasaki down with a top wristlock, then tries to force his shoulders to the mat. Kensuke finds his footing and they back into the test-of-strength, Benoit works into a straight-jacket hold, the champion battles his way out of it, scoops the challenger up for multiple body slams and covers for a 1 count. He slaps on a rear chinlock to wear Benoit down, The Crippler makes it back to a standing position, pushes him off to the ropes and gets knocked down by a shoulder block. The champion goes back to the ropes, Benoit leapfrogs over, slides underneath, gets caught by a boot to the midsection, Sasaki then powering him up for a military press slam.
He hooks The Crippler for a double leg takedown, the challenger uses his leg strength to roll him away, Kensuke rolls to the outside, Benoit builds a head of steam and flies through the ropes with a suicide dive. He drives the champion spine-first into the ring apron, deposits him back inside, steps in for a snap suplex that only gets 1, then grinds Sasaki down with a headscissors. Kensuke fight his way out of it, shoots the challenger to the ropes for a powerslam, gains a count of 2, lifts him for a vertical suplex, The Crippler slides out of it, plants him with a german suplex, maintains his grip for another, goes for a third, but gets rocked by a back elbow. Sasaki hits the ropes and flattens Benoit with a clothesline, thinks it’s over and sets for a tombstone piledriver, the challenger counters out and spikes him with one of his own.
He ascends the corner to the top, connects with the Diving Headbutt, still can’t put it away, peppers the champion with chops, then props him on the top turnbuckle for a super hurricanrana. Kensuke barely kicks out at 2, The Crippler puts the boots to him, Sasaki blocks one, drives him into the canvas with a one-arm powerbomb, then slaps on the Strangle Hold. The challenger quickly reaches the ropes with his foot to force the break, reverses an irish whip to the ropes, scores with a clothesline, Sasaki absorbs it, delivers a clothesline of his own, scoops Benoit up for the Northern Lights Bomb and picks up the win.
Winner and STILL WCW United States Heavyweight Champion: Kensuke Sasaki (Northern Lights Bomb)
- EA’s Take: This one started out a little too slow for my liking, but certainly picked up steam the further it went along. You can see the potential in Benoit and WCW recognized it by putting him in The Four Horsemen not long before this, but early on like this match, he would seem more like a distant member and wasn’t around the other three much. Sasaki, who had defeated Sting in Japan for the title just 10 days prior, really becomes the “top guy” for the incoming wave on New Japan Pro Wrestling stars leading into Starrcade.
In The Arena: Gene Okerlund is alongside The Taskmaster, The Giant & Jimmy Hart. The Taskmaster says The Dungeon Of Doom isn’t just a part of tonight’s Battle Royal, but they will take no prisoners, warning Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage & Sting that they’ve got friends as well. He claims The Giant is without a doubt the next World Champion, Jimmy stating that they aren’t going to run and hide because Hogan is wearing red and yellow again. Gene questions if the rest of The Dungeon won’t be out to get the title for themselves, Sullivan retorting that it doesn’t matter who it is because The Dungeon will prevail. The Giant says he knows it will be himself and Hogan in the end, which means he will launch The Hulkster over the top to reclaim the title.
Video: “From the beginning, ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage never trusted Lex Luger. He accused Lex of a personal agenda and even a cheap shot at War Games. A few face-to-face meetings during Nitro prompted the two to a showdown in the ring. Luger won that match with unexpected help from The Giant. Was Luger a secret member of The Dungeon Of Doom? Did he have a secret agenda as Savage had claimed? It all came to light at Halloween Havoc. Savage showed he was a true friend to Hulk Hogan, Lex Luger showed he was something else. Then two weeks ago on Nitro, Luger & The Dungeon Of Doom attacked.”
In The Arena: ‘Mean’ Gene is joined by ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage, Macho thinks it is what it is and in just a few seconds, Lex Luger will find out just who ‘The Total Package’ is. Savage believes he’s at a million percent physically despite his arm, says he likes to stay positive, then heads to the ring.
Match #5: ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage vs. ‘The Total Package’ Lex Luger w/Jimmy Hart
Savage attacks Luger as he enters the ring and we’re underway, shoots him to the corner, Lex rebounds out and gets dropped by a back elbow. Macho chokes him over the top rope, wraps his hands around Luger’s throat, uses his boot to do some more choking, then drives him head-first into the top turnbuckle. He whips Lex back into the corner, unloads with heavy right hands, grinds the bottom of his boot in Luger’s face, then shoots him across to the opposite corner. Savage rushes in and eats a boot to the chin, The Total Package charges out with a clothesline, Macho ducks under it, delivers one of his own, then slaps on a Boston crab.
Luger’s too close the ropes and gains the break, rolls out to the apron, Savage steps out in pursuit, drops him to the floor with a right hand, then rams him head-first off the barricade. He rolls Lex back inside, slides in and scoops him up for a body slam, climbs up to the top rope for the Diving Elbow Drop, Jimmy Hart hops on the apron to distract the referee and Macho connects, then makes a cover. He realizes the official is occupied, hauls Luger up, looks to toss him into The Mouth of the South, but Jimmy avoids it and Lex spills to the floor. Savage goes out after him, drives him head-first off the barricade again, looks to whip him into the ring apron, The Total Package reverses it, sending Macho into it instead.
He rolls in-and-out of the ring to break the count, powers Savage up into the Torture Rack on the floor, finally releases it to break the ref’s count again, then deposits Macho Man inside. Luger slides in, drags Savage to the middle of the ring, hooks an armbar on the bad limb, the ref checks with Macho and there’s no response.
Winner: ‘The Total Package’ Lex Luger (Armbar)
- After The Bell: Lex refuses to release the hold after the bell, Sting comes running down to the ring, has a couple of words for Luger and The Total Package finally lets go.
- EA’s Take: Well, that was certainly an abrupt and unexpected ending. For as much of a feud as there’s been between these guys, kind of an uneventful way for this one to go. There’s still a lot of run left in the feud between Hogan, Savage and The Dungeon Of Doom however, whether we like it or not. This is also now the second PPV in a row where they squared off and it lasted less than 5:30.
Video: “Of the many matches between Ric Flair and Sting, the upcoming bout will be the most intense. It began when Flair lost to Arn Anderson at Fall Brawl. After the match, Flair looked to Sting for help, but The Stinger would decline multiple times before finally accepting, along with a stern warning. One week before Halloween Havoc, they were scheduled to team up, but Sting got cold feet. Flair would prove himself and later Sting would stand alongside The Nature Boy. Then came Halloween Havoc with Sting going to the ring alone as Flair received medical attention. The Nature Boy would finally arrive, showing his true colors once he was tagged into the match and revealing the charade.”
Match #6: ‘Nature Boy’ Ric Flair vs. Sting
They go nose-to-nose and they exchange words, The Nature Boy sticks his finger in Sting’s face, The Stinger nearly bites it, Flair tries to score with the first shot, but gets knocked down with a right. He rolls to the outside and slides into the adjacent ring, challenges Sting to bring it on, The Stinger obliges, drops Flair with another right hand, then shoots him to the ropes for a military press slam. The Nature Boy tries to beg him off, surprises Sting with a thumb to the eye, pelts him with fists and chops in the corner, taunts the crowd and whips him across. The Stinger rebounds off the turnbuckles with a clothesline, corners The Nature Boy and climbs to the 2nd rope to rain down punches, launches him across the ring with a hip toss, then connects with a dropkick.
Flair rolls to the floor, heads into the ring closest to the aisle, we see Col. Robert Parker & Sister Sherri on the stage and they make their way to the interview area to watch. Sting follows Flair into the ring, they tie-up and The Nature Boy backs him to the corner for chops, The Stinger absorbs them, unleashes a barrage of punches and lays him out. He clotheslines Flair over the top to the floor, The Nature Boy feigns walking off to the back, heads into the squared circle, they lock knuckles and Flair goes to a wristlock. He rips Sting down to the mat by the hair, The Stinger kips right back up, absorbs more chops, The Nature Boy hits the ropes and gets elevated again by a military press slam. He rolls to the outside and goes back towards the center ring, catches Sting coming in with a kick to the ribs, looks to shoot him into the barricade, but The Stinger puts the brakes on.
He turns back and charges Flair for a Stinger Splash, The Nature Boy side-steps it, Sting lands in the guardrail, Flair looks to go for a chair now, but the official takes it away from him. The Nature Boy drives Sting head-first into the barricade, rips at his eyes, steps back inside the center ring and The Stinger pulls himself in from the apron. Flair drags him up for a stinging chop, it seemingly wakes The Stinger up, he grabs The Nature Boy by the throat, Flair grabs the referee and delivers a low blow out of the official’s view. He buries kicks into Sting’s ribs, shoots him hard into the turnbuckles, scores with a knee drop, struts for the crowd and then starts to target the left knee with kicks.
The Nature Boy struts again and is in full control, deposits Sting over the top to the floor, steps out after him, continues going after the leg, connects with a chop and rakes the eyes before heading into the ring. He drags The Stinger in from the apron, cuts him down with a chop block, rips at his face, plants Sting with a back suplex, then locks on the Figure Four. Flair slaps him with the hold on and The Stinger gets fired up, rolls over to his stomach to reverse the pressure, The Nature Boy releases it, sends him to the ropes for a hip toss, but it’s countered to a backslide for a near fall. The Nature Boy takes out his frustration on the referee, Nick Patrick shoves him to his backside, Flair goes back after Sting, sends him to the ropes for a big chop, but it has no affect.
Flair rolls out and heads into a different ring, The Stinger stays in pursuit, whips him to the ropes for a military press slam, follows with multiple clotheslines, but gets caught by another thumb to the eye. The Nature Boy goes to the high-rent district, Sting surprises him with an uppercut, launches him off the top with a military press slam, sends him to the corner, Flair flips out to the apron, lands on his feet, but gets leveled by a clothesline. The Stinger pulls him back in, corners Flair and goes to the 2nd rope for a series of fists, The Nature Boy powers him out for an inverted atomic drop that misses the mark and gets rocked by a right hand. Sting props him on the top turnbuckle, brings him down the hard way with a superplex, hooks on the Scorpion Deathlock and Flair submits.
Winner: Sting (Scorpion Deathlock)
- EA’s Take: Personally, I always find Sting vs. Flair entertaining no matter how many times I’ve seen it because of the magnitude of their characters. The in-ring work is always solid, but by now if you’ve seen them face-off once, you’ve basically seen all the rest because they kept the same formula though the years. They would always cross paths every so often, meeting one more time at Starrcade before going their separate ways again.
Video: “Three rings, sixty men. The World War 3 Battle Royal is the most unique match in WCW history. When Hulk Hogan agreed to face The Giant at Halloween Havoc in two matches, little did he know that his longtime friend, Jimmy Hart, was plotting against him. Jimmy Hart would get Hogan disqualified, leading to a brutal attack and The Giant left with the belt. Jimmy would reveal that he negotiated that Hulk could lose the WCW World Title by disqualification. WCW officials stepped in and the rest is wrestling history. Now, three rings with the most prestigious title in wrestling history on the line.”
In The Arena: ‘Mean’ Gene welcomes in Hulk Hogan, The Hulkster says he’s focused on The Giant tonight, but the main thing is to take the WCW Heavyweight Title, which never should have been taken from him in the first place. He speaks about talking to Sting & ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage, states that they are friends, but if it comes down to the three of them, he will rip and tear his way to the title. Hogan talks about it being every man for himself, believes it is the most dangerous match in pro wrestling, but in one swoop he has the chance to prove Hulkamania is the greatest power in the universe.
Match #7 is World War 3 for the Vacant WCW World Heavyweight Championship – The Participants Are:
- Arn Anderson
- Alex Wright
- Brian Knobs
- Barrio Brother Ricky
- Squire David Taylor
- Scott Armstrong
- ‘Jumpin’ Joey Maggs
- ‘Pistol’ Pez Whatley
- Disco Inferno
- Stevie Ray
- Mark Starr
- Sgt. Buddy Lee Parker
- Lt. James Earl
- Lex Luger
- Eddie Guerrero
- The Giant
- ‘Mr. Wonderful’ Paul Orndorff
- Chris Kanyon
- Bobby Walker
- Earl Robert Eaton
- Chris Benoit
- ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage
- Marcus Bagwell
- The Yeti
- Hugh Morrus
- The Zodiac
- V.K. Wallstreet
- Diamond Dallas Page
- Scott ‘Flash’ Norton
- Brian Pillman
- Sgt. Craig Pittman
- One Man Gang
- Super Assassin #2
- Bunkhouse Buck
- Kensuke Sasaki
- Mike Winner
- The Shark
- Steve Armstrong
- Road Warrior Hawk
- Dave Sullivan
- Scotty Riggs
- Johnny B. Badd
- Big Train Bart
- Lord Steven Regal
- ‘Dirty’ Dick Slater
- Max Muscle
- Super Assassin #1
- Barrio Brother Fidel
- The Taskmaster
- Jerry Sags
- ‘Hacksaw’ Jim Duggan
- Booker T
- Big Bubba Rogers
- Ric Flair
- Hulk Hogan
We have one announce team per ring with Eric Bischoff & Dusty Rhodes, as well as Chris Cruise & Larry Zbysko joining for commentary. The bell rings and all Hell breaks loose in all three rings, the screen splitting three ways to show everything taking place, The Yeti gets eliminated very quickly and The Horsemen drags Sting outside through the ropes to do a number on him. Participants slowly start to get eliminated and the melee continues on, The Giant dominates everyone in ring two, The Hulkster staving off a group of stars looking to gang up on him. So far only The Yeti & Mike Winner have been sent packing, Sting saves Luger from elimination, Knobs sends Mark Starr to the floor, Cobra, Buddy Lee Parker & Lt. James Earl all spill to the outside at the same time.
The massive brawl wages on, Sting teams up with Knobs to send Disco on a trip to Pity City, Kanyon & Bagwell get tossed, Bart takes a nasty spill to the floor, Luger & Double-A battling on the floor, but are not eliminated. The Giant clears out a handful of guys in one swoop, ring two is down to 10 guys and merges into ring one, Wallstreet & Norton get sent on their way, all three rings combine and we’re now under thirty participants left. Joey Maggs hits the floor, Duggan gets Bubba rocked on the apron, pulls out the tape, wraps his fists and knocks him down. Bubba climbs back on the apron, drags Hacksaw over the top, one of the Armstrongs gets wheeled away on a stretcher, Disco & Dave Taylor both get eliminated.
Hogan tosses Sags & Booker T to the outside, throws The Taskmaster over the top, Luger & Savage go to another ring to fight one-on-one, then out onto the floor. Regal gets knocked off the apron, Johnny B. Badd dumps DDP over, Page hangs on and brings Badd to the floor with him. Benoit & Kurasawa are eliminated next, Meng gets clotheslined over the top, Pillman shoots Zodiac to the ropes, Hugh Morrus elevating him to the outside with a back body drop, but gets quickly eliminated in-turn. Pillman gets tossed over the top, tries to drag Sasaki down to the floor from the apron, Hawk hangs on to help him out, but Hogan comes up from behind to send them both outside.
He powers Mr. Wonderful over the top rope, we’re down to our final nine, Guerrero connects with a top rope dropkick to Anderson, Flair quickly picks the leg, locks Eddie in the Figure Four, but Sting grabs Arn for the Scorpion Deathlock. The Giant body slams Savage, Double-A reverses a whip to the ropes from Guerrero, plants him with a spinebuster, Hogan & Sting go to work on Flair, Guerrero getting tossed out on the other side. Sting sends The Nature Boy to the corner for a Stinger Splash, The Giant steps in to help Flair, splits The Stinger with an tomic drop, then grabs Macho Man and plants him with a Chokeslam. Anderson & Flair, set for a spike piledriver on Sting, The Stinger sweeps Arn’s legs, catapults him into The Nature Boy on the top rope and Flair falls down to the floor.
The Hulkster clotheslines The Enforcer over the top, Hogan & Savage look to team up against One Man Gang, Luger & Sting doing the same to The Giant. They get the big man rocking with multiple double clotheslines, Giant teeters nears the ropes, Luger & Sting start to topple him over the top rope, Hogan comes up from behind and dumps them all to the ground. The Giant drags Hulk to the floor under the bottom rope, Savage eliminates One Man Gang and the ref calls for the bell.
Winner and NEW WCW World Heavyweight Champion: ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage
- After The Bell: Hogan can’t believe it and slides back in to argue with the official, explains he went outside under the bottom rope, Macho says he didn’t see it and The Hulkster plays to the fans to plead his case. Gene Okerlund steps in to confer with the referee, offers him his glasses, but he raises Savage’s hand. Hogan states that he never got thrown over the top, Macho Man tells Hulk that they are friends and he values his opinion, but didn’t see what happened. He talks about the motto “it is what it is” and wonders if The Hulkster can handle that, Hogan asks the people again to prove him right, Savage claims this was his dream since he came to WCW and it’s not cool if there’s a black cloud over that. Hulk says that there is because neither one of them went over the top, Savage wants to see the footage and Hogan tells him he can see it tomorrow night on Nitro.
- EA’s Take: This feels like a great idea on paper or just when you think about it, but the problem with World War 3 is there’s almost too much action for me. It’s so difficult to follow anything before it gets down to one ring, so it’s a bit of overkill. Especially considering that you know who the match is going to come down to in the end. Additionally, they couldn’t give Savage the clean win and had to make it controversial so that Hogan still could lay claim to the title, but wouldn’t regain it until late-summer of the following year and instead looked to clean up his issues with The Dungeon of Doom. Meanwhile, Savage’s first WCW Title run would lead him into a rivalry with a very familiar foe from his WWF days.
EA’s Finisher: While the concept of the World War 3 match feels like a good idea, overall it’s a little too much for my taste as the action can be hard to follow and the ring is so filled with bodies, whatever’s happening likely isn’t worth watching anyways. The undercard carries this show which is going to become a running theme for WCW heading into the future, as DDP and Johnny B. Badd have the best match on the card and one of the more entertaining bouts for two events in a row now. Benoit vs. Sasaki is not executed to perfection, but still showcases some great action from a future World Champion and one of the mainstays from New Japan, while Sting & Flair give another entertaining effort even if the manuscript was written long ago. At the same time, you still have the Taped Fist Challenge and the Women’s Tag to give you some of that “bad WCW” to go along with the good, so this is probably just under Halloween Havoc if I were ranking how enjoyable they were to watch.
Top Three To Watch
1 – Johnny B. Badd vs. Diamond Dallas Page
2 – Chris Benoit vs. Kensuke Sasaki
3 – Ric Flair vs. Sting
Chairshot Classics: WWE Elimination Chamber 2017
As we approach this year’s Elimination Chamber, we look back at one from the past with this SmackDown-exclusive from 2017!
Kickoff Match: Curt Hawkins vs. Mojo Rawley
The bell rings and Mojo chases Hawkins out to the apron, Hawkins steps back inside, ducks in the ropes to create separation, then delivers a cheap shot right hand. Rawley absorbs it, levels him with a clothesline, shoots Hawkins into the corner, then chops him down with a tackle to the knee. Hawkins rolls outside and Mojo goes out in pursuit, drapes him over the apron to drive him chest-first off the mat, throws him back into the squared circle, but gets caught coming in with a kick to the midsection. Mojo falls back to the floor, Hawkins goes out after him, drives him sternum-first into the ring apron, then slides in the ring and allows the referee to count.
Rawley slides in at 9, Hawkins is there to meet him with fists, puts him in the corner and stomps away as we head to break….We come back and Mojo battles up from a rear chinlock, hits the ropes, Hawkins follows him in and slides to the outside with a leg sweep, steps back in and hits a vertical suplex for a count of 2. He hooks a rear chinlock back on to wear Rawley down, Mojo works to his feet and escapes with a jawbreaker, hits the ropes and gets floored by a clothesline for multiple 2 counts. Hawkins starts talking trash and connects with fists, Rawley absorbs the shots and returns fire, whips Hawkins to the ropes and scores with multiple shoulder blocks. He flattens Hawkins with a clothesline, measures him in the corner for a splash, plants him with a fireman’s carry facebuster and nearly puts it away.
Hawkins tries to crawl out of the ring and Mojo grabs him by the foot, the official forces a break, Hawkins sneaks in a cheap shot, delivers a reverse STO and covers, but still can’t finish it. He start to shoot his mouth off and sets for a DDT, Mojo slips out, attempts a clothesline, Hawkins ducks it, connects with an enzuigiri and gets another 2 count. He gets set in the corner for a spear, Rawley powers him back into the turnbuckles, hits the ropes for a heavy right hand, plants Hawkins with a tilt-a-whirl powerslam and gets the win.
Winner: Mojo Rawley (Tilt-A-Whirl Powerslam)
- EA’s Take: Yikes, this one really started out pretty sloppy, but turned out to be what I would call decent to finish it out. This one was basically thrown together after a backstage segment last week on SmackDown Live and you could feel that, although Mojo is more over with the crowd than I thought. I’m not necessarily a big fan, but I can see the appeal. Hawkins was essentially brought back to the company to put guys like this over and as much as I am a fan of his previous work, this was the right move unless you want to turn this into a longer program.
Open: “Beauty, it’s everywhere. It’s the warm glow of our aspirations, but it can also be cold as steel and that’s beautiful. Tonight inside the steel beast, opportunity is a beautiful thing.” This is Elimination Chamber.
Match #1: Becky Lynch vs. Mickie James
Collar & elbow tie-up to begin, both ladies jockey for position down to the canvas and to the outside, finally breaking away and rolling back into the squared circle for a staredown. They tie-up again and Becky hooks on a wristlock, Mickie cartwheels through for a wristlock of her own, switches to a hammerlock, Lynch counters out back to a wristlock and Mickie grabs the ropes to force the break. She quickly slaps on an armbar The Lass Kicker sends her outside to break free, invites Mickie to step back in, grabs her on the apron and rams Mickie head-first into the top turnbuckle. She scores with a slingshot sidekick to drop her to the floor, comes off the apron with a flying forearm, tosses Mickie back in the ring and climbs up, Mickie surprises her with a kick coming in, spikes Lynch with a DDT and gets multiple 2 counts.
She wraps Becky’s arm up in the ropes and goes to work on the shoulder joint, snapmares her out and grabs a modified key-lock, drops a leg on the shoulder and then buries a kick to the face for another 2 count. Mickie stays on the left arm and wrenches it up in the ropes again, hooks on a hammerlock to ground The Lass Kicker, Lynch fights to a standing position, scores with forearms and levels Mickie with a clothesline. Irish whip to the ropes is reversed, Mickie delivers a boot to the jaw, drives Becky shoulder-first into the ring post, climbs to the 2nd rope and hits a hurricanrana. She starts to toy with The Lass Kicker, Lynch tries to fight back and gets kicked back down for 2, Mickie employs a half-nelson to grind her down, Becky battles back to a standing position and arm drags her away.
They trade-off forearm shots, The Lass Kicker blocks a kick, scores with multiple clothesline, drops Mickie with a leg lariat, then tosses her with a Bexploder for a 2 count. Mickie pulls herself up in the corner, Lynch charges in with a Flying Firearm, Mickie side-steps it, plants her with a flapjack, kips up to her feet and then climbs to the top turnbuckle. She hits a Thesz Press that almost puts it away, looks to ram Becky shoulder-first into the ring post again, Lynch puts on the brakes, cracks her with a back elbow, executes a springboard back kick, then comes off the top with a dropkick for a near fall.
The Lass Kicker hooks Mickie for a pumphandle suplex, Mickie slips out of it, clocks her with a Mick Kick, covers and only gets a 2 count. She mounts Lynch and hammers her with right hands, calls for the Mickie-DT, Becky reverses out with a back body drop, looks for the Dis-Arm-Her, Mickie counters with a roll-up, Lynch reverses right back and stacks her up for the victory.
Winner: Becky Lynch (Roll-Up)
- EA’s Take: As Mauro said on commentary, this was a wrestling clinic between arguably the two best technicians on the SmackDown Live side. I picked Mickie to get the win here because I don’t like having someone come in and start losing right away, but I understand that is likely the reason why she returned to begin with. I just have a feeling we haven’t seen the last of these two taking each other on, especially considering how it ended after a real back-and-forth battle.
In The Arena: Carmella & James Ellsworth are watching the show from a skybox when Dasha Fuentes comes in for comment, The Princess of Staten Island stating the wrong woman won the last match.
Match #2 is a Handicap Match: Apollo Crews & Kalisto vs. Dolph Ziggler
Ziggler ambushes Kalisto from behind as he makes his way to the ring, drives him into the LED board on the stage, Crews leaves the ring to check on The King of Flight and Dolph heads to the squared circle through the crowd. Apollo marches to the ring and we’re underway, Crews powers The Show Off into the corner, unleashes a flurry of right hands and puts the boots to Dolph. The referee separates them, Apollo rushes back in and meets a back elbow, Ziggler charges out and Crews delivers a back elbow of his own, then scores with more heavy punches. He delivers a snap suplex, Ziggler rolls to the apron, Apollo reaches out to grab him, gets surprised by a hot shot, The Show Off following up with a neckbreaker through the ropes.
He steps back inside and rips away at Crews’ face in the corner, plants him with another neckbreaker for a count of 2, drops an elbow to the back, hooks the leg and gets another 2. Ziggler hooks on a rear chinlock to ground Crews, Apollo finds his footing, Dolph goes to the knee with a kick, hits the ropes for a Famouser, Crews blocks and rolls him up for a 2 count. Ziggler staggers to the corner and Apollo rushes in, gets caught with a back elbow, The Show Off plasters him with stiff punches, uses a single-leg takedown for a 1 count, then jumps on his back to hook on another rear chinlock. Crews works back to a vertical base, Ziggler with another kick to the knee, sets for a neckbreaker, gets pushed away to the ropes and Apollo buries a kick to the midsection.
He can’t capitalize and The Show Off delivers another neckbreaker, Kalisto starts to limp his way back down to the ring and climbs on the apron, Dolph is distracted and Apollo explodes up with an enzuigiri. Crews crawls over and tags out, Kalisto clocks The Show Off with an enzuigiri from the apron, springboards in with a seated senton to the back, scores with leg kicks, irish whip to the ropes is reversed, but The King of Flight handsprings into an enzuigiri. He hooks Ziggler for the Salida Del Sol and gets pushes away, Apollo makes a blind tag, Kalisto flips under a clothesline attempt from Dolph, drills him with an enzuigiri, Crews follows with a Toss Powerbomb and finishes it.
Winners: Apollo Crews & Kalisto (Crews/Toss Powerbomb)
- After The Bell: Kalisto & Apollo celebrate, The Show Off catches The King of Flight on the apron with a leg sweep, Crews chases him around ringside and back into the ring, Dolph catching him with fists and kicks. He gets a chair and locks Apollo’s foot in it, stomps away and Crews writhes in pain on the mat, Ziggler then doing it again.
- EA’s Take: Personally I was excited when Ziggler jumped Kalisto before the match because I thought that would lead to him getting a win. As I stated with Doug Berrill on yesterday’s episode of the Top Of The Morning Podcast, I didn’t see what good this would do for any of the parties involved. Thankfully, the aftermath allowed Dolph to save face, but it makes Kalisto & Apollo look pretty stupid that they were still bested in the end by one guy.
Match #3 – Tag Team Turmoil for the SmackDown Tag Team Championships: Heath Slater & Rhyno vs. Breezango (Tyler Breeze & Fandango) vs. The Ascension (Konnor & Viktor) vs. The Usos (Jimmy & Jey) vs. The Vaudevillains (Aiden English & Simon Gotch) vs. SmackDown Tag Team Champions American Alpha (Jason Jordan & Chad Gable)
Slater & Rhyno will kickoff with Breezango, Fandango & Heath to start the match off. They tie-up and Fandango backs Slater to the corner, breaks clean and does a little dance, another collar & elbow and The Lord of the Dance slaps on a side headlock. Heath pushes him away to the ropes and gets knocked down by a shoulder, Fandango with another little shimmy, hits the ropes, The One Man Band leapfrogs over, delivers a hip toss and does a dance of his own. He ducks a clothesline and splits The Lord of the Dance with an atomic drop, Breeze tags in, swings wildly with a clothesline that misses and gets hit with an atomic drop for his troubles.
Heath rocks him with a right hand and makes a tag, Rhyno utilizes a wristlock, Prince Pretty breaks free after a kick to the midsection, hits the ropes and gets flattened by a shoulder block. The Man Beast shoots him to the corner and follows in with a shoulder to the ribs, flattens Tyler with a short-arm clothesline, brings Slater back in and they send Breeze to the ropes for a double back elbow. The One Man Band hooks in a side headlock, gets sent off to the ropes, Fandango makes a blind tag, Heath ducks a clothesline from Tyler, but The Lord of the Dance sweeps the legs from the outside. He slides in and rains down heavy right hands, drops Slater stomach-first across the top rope, tags Breeze and they deliver in-sync kicks to the head for a count of 2.
Prince Pretty puts the boots to Heath in the corner and makes a tag, The One Man Band fires up with rights, hits the ropes, Fandango ducks down for a back body drop, Slater counters with a sunset flip, but can’t pull him down and gets rocked by a punch. The Lord of the Dance tosses a stack of tickets in Heath’s face, The One Man Band rolls him up off the distraction for a 2 count, both guys up quick, Slater connects with a heel kick and covers, but Breeze is there to break it up at 2. Rhyno steps in and runs Tyler over with a shoulder block, Fandango dumps him to the outside, Slater with a roll-up from behind for 2, makes a tag off the kick-out, The Lord of the Dance with a roll-up from behind now, but he’s got the illegal man. The Man Beast steps in behind him, charges in with a Gore and finishes Breezango off. Breezango has been eliminated.
The Vaudevillains are up next, they drag Rhyno to the outside as they head to the ring, drive him into the barricade, Slater comes off the top with a crossbody, helps The Man Beast back inside and makes a tag to pull Gotch in. Aiden ambushes Heath from behind and puts the boots to him, delivers a knee drop for a count of 2, planks The One Man Band across the top in the corner, The Vaudevillains rocking him with a barrage of boots as Gotch tags in. The Gentleman Brawler buries a barrage of knees to the ribs, powers Slater on his shoulders, makes a tag and plants him with a rolling fireman’s carry and English heads upstairs.
Rhyno steps in and splits Gotch with a Gore, Aiden looks for That’s A Wrap on Slater, The One Man Band rolls out of harm’s way, spikes him with The Smash Hit and gets the pinfall. The Vaudevillains have been eliminated. The Usos come out next, Jimmy slides inside, Heath unloads with rights, Jimmy drops him with a kick to the abdomen, then scores with stinging chops and shoots him to the ropes. Slater explodes back out with a flying forearm and makes a tag, Rhyno looks to whip Jimmy into the corner, Jimmy reverses, The Man Beast hits the turnbuckles hard and Jimmy drives him into his own corner. Jey tags in, Jimmy holds Rhyno in place for Jey to deliver a flying forearm for a 2 count, whips him back into the corner, The Man Beast rebounds out with a clothesline, Slater tags in and comes off the top with an overhand chop.
He drops Jimmy off the apron, avoids Jey charging into the corner, fires away with lefts and rights, hits the ropes for a running boot, Jey side-steps it and plants him with a pop-up Samoan Drop. He makes a cover and Rhyno breaks the count at 2, Jey grabs The Man Beast from behind and deposits him out of the ring, The One Man Band pushes Jey to the ropes for a roll-up, but Jey hangs on and Jimmy makes a blind tag. Jimmy rocks Heath with a superkick, hooks the leg and gets a 3 count. Heath Slater & Rhyno have been eliminated. American Alpha is the next team up, The Usos go to the outside to meet them on the ramp and the brawl is on before they head in the ring.
The champions hit double german suplexes, Jordan clotheslines Jimmy near the ropes and they both spill over the top, Gable ascends the corner and hits Jey with a crossbody for a count of 2. He snatches a wristlock and looks to make a tag, Jordan tries to step in early and the official cuts him off, Jey shoots Gable to the ropes and Jimmy with a cheap shot from the apron to give his brother the advantage. He pushes Gable into his corner and runs in with a shoulder to the midsection, Jimmy tags in, Jey cracks Gable with a backbreaker, Jimmy follows with a top rope double axe and gets a count of 2. He whips Chad sternum-first into the turnbuckles for another 2 count, chokes him on the 2nd rope, the ref backs him off, Jey sneaks in an uppercut from the apron, Jimmy follows with a big chop and tags out.
Jey buries a kick to the ribs and immediately brings Jimmy back in, Jimmy with a leg drop for another 2, then looks to wear Gable down with a rear chinlock. Chad fights back to his feet, Jimmy rocks him with a headbutt, tosses him out of the ring, Gable climbs back to the apron, fights off both Usos and slides in through Jimmy’s legs to try and tag. Jimmy hangs onto Chad’s arm to prevent it, gets sent into the corner, Gable knocks Jey off the apron with a forearm, turns to deliver a clothesline, Jimmy’s thinking the same thing and they both connect, then crawl to tags. Jordan comes in with forearm shots for Jey, connects with a dropkick, Jimmy steps in and gets tossed by an overhead belly-to-belly suplex, Jordan following with another for Jey.
He powers Jey up for an electric chair and Gable tags, heads to the top rope, Jey slips away and rolls Jordan up, Chad rushes in with a roll-up and scores the fall. The Usos have been eliminated. The Usos sneak attack the champions after the pinfall, drive Jordan shoulder-first into the ring post, slam Gable on the floor, then deposit him into the steel steps and rolls Jordan in the ring. Jimmy heads up top, scores with the Uso Splash and multiple referees have to finally pull them away. The Ascension is the last team out, Konnor & Viktor stand over a fallen Jordan in the ring and measure for the Fall Of Man, hit it and Konnor covers, Gable just barely making it in to break the count at 2.
Konnor powers Chad up on his shoulder, drops him throat-first across the top rope, Viktor tags in, The Ascension puts the boots to Jordan, Viktor pulling him up for heavy chops in the corner. He shoots Konnor at Jordan with a corner clothesline, follows with a high knee, Konnor with a lateral press and gains a near fall. Tag back to Viktor for more stinging chops, lines him up for a splash, Jordan avoids it, tosses him with an overhead belly-to-belly suplex, then tries to crawl to his corner. Konnor steps in and rushes at him, Jordan ducks down to send him to the outside, reaches Gable for the tag, but Konnor rips him to the floor from the outside. Gable ducks under a clothesline and slides in, American Alpha hits Grand Amplitude and Chad covers to retain.
Winners and STILL SmackDown Tag Team Champions: American Alpha
- EA’s Take: Really entertaining match here that allowed every team to get a little bit of shine at the very least. I really thought my pick of The Ascension was going to be good after The Usos left the champions laying, then even more so after Ascension dropped Jordan with the Fall Of Man and by the sounds of the crowd, they thought the same. For those that missed Top Of The Morning yesterday, I talked about The Ascension coming up with a tweaked look and we saw it tonight, so remember…it pays to #GetOnTop. What’s next for the champs? I’m not sure because the attack by The Usos leads me to believe they aren’t finished, but the staredown with The Ascension could also be teasing something as well.
Match #4: Nikki Bella vs. Natalya
They go face-to-face at the bell and Natalya mocks John Cena, slaps her across the face and brings her down with a side headlock, Nikki counters out with a headscissors, but Nattie kips up to break free. She quickly hooks in a wristlock and does some trash talking, Nikki paintbrushes her with a slap of her own, rolls into a cross armbreaker, The Queen of Harts breaks free, but gets slapped again. She tackles Nikki down to the mat and bludgeons her with right hands, brings her to the mat with a waistlock takedown, buries a kick to the ribs, then delivers another waistlock takedown and poses for the people. She hooks Nikki for another waistlock takedown, Nikki blocks and rolls her into a knee bar, Natalya claws to the bottom rope to force the break, then rolls outside for a breather.
Nikki hits a baseball slide frm behind, steps out to the apron and jumps off with a clothesline, sends Nattie back in the ring, but The Queen of Harts rolls back out and calls for a time-out as Nikki is in pursuit. Natalya shoves her spine-first into the ring post, throws Nikki back into the squared circle, steps in, hauls her up by the hair and delivers a snap suplex, then drives a kick into the back. The Fearless One pulls herself up in the corner, The Queen of Harts puts the boots to her, taunts Nikki, snapmares her over and scores with a basement dropkick to the spine. She utilizes a rear chinlock to wear her down some more, Nikki fights back to a vertical base, arm drags Nattie away, but gets flattened by a clothesline.
The Queen of Harts mocks Cena again and walks over Nikki, gets surprised by a schoolboy from behind for a count of 2, Nattie quickly drops her with a kick to the abdomen, rams her face-first into the mat, then goes to work on the left leg with an inverted figure four. Nikki slaps Nattie across the face and slips out for an STF, Natalya quickly reaches the ropes to gain separation, misses with a clothesline and Nikki delivers a shoulder tackle. She connects with a dropkick, cracks The Queen of Harts with a modified jawbreaker for a count of 2, measures for a forearm shot, but walks into a kick to the breadbasket. Nattie follows with a Michinoku driver for a near fall, hooks her for the Sharpshooter, Nikki kicks her away and levels Natalya with a stiff forearm that almost finishes it.
Nikki picks her up for the Rack Attack 2.0, The Queen of Harts slips out, looks to shoot her to the ropes, Nikki reverses and plants her with a spinebuster, but can’t put it away. She springs off the 2nd rope with a roundhouse kick and gains another near fall, Nikki heads out to the apron, catches Nattie charging in with a shoulder to the midsection, scores with a knee lift and heads to the top turnbuckle. The Queen of Harts is there to meet her with right hands, plants her into the mat with a superplex, staggers to her feet and slaps on the Sharpshooter. Nikki rolls out of it and hooks on the STF, Natalya crawls to the ropes to force the break, grabs Nikki by the hair and they spill to the outside. The Queen of Harts drives her into the barricade and pummels her with right hands, Nikki fires back, deposits Nattie into the barricade, they continue to battle the ref’s count reaches 10.
Winner: Double Count-Out
- After The Bell: Natalya tosses Nikki back in the ring and argues with the official, Nikki rises to her feet and has some words for the ref, Nattie clocks her with a forearm and starts to walk away. Nikki rolls out of the ring, spears The Queen of Harts on the ramp for a barrage of fists, Nattie breaks free and sprints away.
- EA’s Take: Pretty vicious battle here which I expected and to be honest, I was surprised this was just a basic match and didn’t have a stipulation like No DQ. I suppose that’s the reason for the double count-out, this feud has been too good for it to end here and I can’t imagine we don’t get something better from them in the coming weeks on SmackDown.
In The Arena: Carmella & James Ellsworth are still watching on from the skybox and Dasha Fuentes asks for comment, The Princess of Staten Island stating Nikki Bella & Natalya have been out of control, Ellsworth echoing her sentiments.
Backstage: Bray Wyatt & Randy Orton are in a dark, smoky room in the back, The New Face of Fear saying that in order to be victorious tonight, they must go their separate ways. The Viper warns that everybody should run.
Match #5: Randy Orton vs. Luke Harper
Collar & elbow tie-up to begin and we have an early stalemate, they tie-up again with the same result, another lock-up, they jostle for position and Harper hooks on a side headlock. Orton pushes him away to the ropes and gets knocked down by a shoulder for a quick 1 count, The Apex Predator rolls out of the ring to regroup, Harper goes out after him, intercepts him with uppercuts, drives Randy into the barricade, then bounces him head-first off the announce table. He tosses The Viper back inside and Orton staggers to the corner, catches Harper walking in with a back elbow, Randy hits the ropes, Harper explodes up with a dropkick, then heads upstairs.
The Apex Predator drops him to the floor with a big right hand, Harper bounces face-first off the apron, Luke drags himself back inside and gets hammered with fists in the corner. Orton shoots him across hard into the turnbuckles and dumps him to the floor, heads after him and rams Harper head-first off the announce table, then drops him on it with a back suplex. He throws Luke into the ring and gets a count of 2, grabs a rear chinlock to grind the big man down, Harper makes it back to his feet, The Viper clubs him across the back, then drops him gut-first on the top rope. He climbs to the 2nd rope and poses for the people, rakes his boot across Harper’s face, stomps away in the corner, then drags Luke out and goes back to a chinlock.
Harper fights back to a vertical base, rocks Randy with uppercuts, The Viper returns the favor, shoots him into the corner, but the big man explodes back out with running forearms. Irish whip back to the corner is reversed, Harper leaps out to the apron, drops The Apex Predator with a forearm, then slingshots back in with a somersault senton. He floors Orton with a big boot for a 2 count, grabs him by the leg, The Viper kicks him away, grabs Harper by the jeans to send him to the apron, then hooks him for the elevated DDT. Luke fights it off, catapults Randy throat-first into the 2nd rope, The Apex Predator rolls outside to catch his breath, Harper hits the ropes for a suicide dive, but gets clocked by a forearm shot.
Orton looks to dump him to the outside, Harper turns the tables and sends Randy out instead, takes flight with a suicide dive and The Apex Predator flies over the announce table. Harper picks him up and drops him on the announce desk with a back suplex, lines him up and charges in, The Viper planting Luke on the floor with a powerslam. He rolls back in the ring and grabs Harper on the apron, Luke surprises him with a forearm shot, climbs the corner for a suplex to the outside, The Viper slips out of it, crotches Harper on the top turnbuckle and executes a superplex to the inside. Randy crawls to a cover and only gets 2, pulls Harper up, they exchange shots, Orton ducks one fot he RKO, gets pushed away, but counters a clothesline for a full nelson slam that gains a near fall.
Harper rolls out to the apron, The Apex Predator spikes him with a rope-assisted DDT, gets set for the RKO, but Luke explodes up with a superkick. He connects with another superkick and nearly puts it away, hauls Randy up for a powerbomb, The Viper slips out for the RKO, Harper blocks it again, but gets kicked in the abdomen. The Apex Predator hits the ropes and runs into a kick to the breadbasket, Harper plants him with a sit-out powerbomb that almost finishes it, “This Is Awesome” chants take over the crowd, both guys struggle to their knees and trade-off right hands back to their feet. Harper gets the better of it, hits the ropes for the Discus Clothesline, Orton blocks it, delivers an RKO and gets the victory.
Winner: Randy Orton (RKO)
- EA’s Take: Tremendous match and I don’t think it’s a stretch to say these guys just stole the show, which I had mentioned previously was a strong possibility. I am surprised Bray didn’t get involved here, but I suppose that was addressed with his previous promo of having to be separated from Orton tonight. Harper showed a lot tonight although we already knew he could do it, he just has never been given a chance to really shine. The Viper may have won the match, but Harper was the real winner here in the long run as long as the company does something with him to follow up.
Backstage: Renee Young is standing by with Nikki Bella, Nikki states things are far from over with herself and Nattie, but Natalya ambushes her from behind. They battle into the hallway where Maryse is near a makeup table, The Queen of Harts bounces Nikki’s face off of a production box and Nikki falls backwards into Maryse, causing powder to go everywhere. Nikki tackles Natalya and a group of referees finally separate them.
Match #6 for the SmackDown Women’s Championship: Naomi vs. SmackDown Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss
Alexa with some trash talk for the challenger at the bell, attempts to slap her across the face, Naomi surprises her with a schoolboy and gets an early 2 count. The champion pulls out her gum and tosses it in Naomi’s face, The Glow Queen grabs her by the hair, drives Bliss multiple times head-first into the top turnbuckle, climbs up top, but gets pushed down to the apron. She lands on her feet and rocks Alexa with a roundhouse kick, looks to springboard in the champion grabs a handful of hair, slams her down to the mat, then unleashes a series of rights for a count of 2. She puts the boots to the challenger in the corner and chokes her with her foot, chokes Naomi on the 2nd rope now, charges in with double knees to the back and gains another 2 count.
Bliss tries to ram her head-first into the top turnbuckle, The Glow Queen blocks it, attempts to bulldog Alexa into the turnbuckles, but gets pushed away. The champion wraps Naomi’s hair up in the ropes and rips away, covers for another count of 2, stands on the challenger’s hair, then pulls her up by the arms, this time getting a 1 count. She slaps on a rear chinlock to wear Naomi down, The Glow Queen works to a standing position, arm drags the champion away, rushes her in the corner, but runs into a back elbow. Alexa hooks her by the arm and goes to the 2nd rope, the challenger tries to hip toss her down to the mat, Bliss flips to her feet, rolls her up for 2, Naomi with a roll-up of her own off the kick-out, but can’t finish it.
Both ladies are up quick and Naomi looks for a kick, the champion blocks it, attempts to clock her with a right hand, Naomi delivers a roundhouse at the same time and they both go down. Both women stagger back to their feet, The Glow Queen ducks under a clothesline and hits the ropes for one of her own, drops Bliss with a jumping back elbow, irish whip to the corner is reversed, Alexa charges in, blocks Naomi putting the boots up, but gets drilled by an enzuigiri instead. The challenger follows with a stiff kick to the abdomen, hits the ropes for a somersault clothesline, measures the champion in the corner and charges in, gets elevated over the top, but lands on her feet and scores with a forearm shot.
Naomi ascends the corner and connects with a blockbuster, hooks the leg and nearly finishes it off, Alexa crawls to the ropes for some reprieve, the challenger grabs her by the foot, but gets kicked away. Bliss pulls herself back up in the corner and rushes out, The Glow Queen catches her with the Rear View, hooks both legs, but still only gets a count of 2. She positions the champion near the corner for the Split-Legged Moonsault, Alexa grabs her by the foot, Naomi kicks free, Bliss tries to beg her off and ducks into the ropes. The referee gets in between to create separation, the champion with a cheap shot, slams Naomi to the mat by the hair, delivers Insult To Injury, covers and gains a near fall. Bliss hammers the challenger with right hands and heads to the high-rent district, The Glow Queen pops up with an enzuigiri, Alexa falls to the floor, Naomi gets set for an outside dive, but the champion climbs on the apron and cuts her off with forearm.
She steps back in, spikes The Glow Queen with a DDT and covers, the challenger just barely kicks out at 2 and Bliss starts to show her frustration. Alexa pulls Naomi up, gets surprised by a modified jawbreaker, tries to follow with the Split-Legged Moonsault, the champion rolls away to avoid it, rolls her up and puts her feet on the ropes. The referee counts to 2 and notices it, stops the count, Alexa argues the call, pummels the challenger with fists, then goes back up top for Twisted Bliss. The Glow Queen gets the knees up, follows with the Split-Legged Moonsault and we have a new champion.
Winner and NEW SmackDown Women’s Champion: Naomi (Split-Legged Moonsault)
- After The Bell: Renee Young enters the ring for comment, a “You Deserve It” chant breaks out and Naomi is brought to tears, The Glow Queen states she’s envisioned this moment for many years and Alexa was a great champion, but she’s taking the title home to Orlando at WrestleMania.
- EA’s Take: Not a bad match in my opinion, but there were certainly a couple of spots that didn’t look great, the finish for example. Naomi has always been one of my favorites and very underused in my opinion, so I absolutely agree with the crowd and the “You Deserve It” chant. It’s been a long-time coming for her and I called for this to happen, mostly because of WrestleMania being in her hometown, which gives her that “feel-good” moment. Certainly Alexa will get a rematch and the way things are going, I still feel as if we’re headed towards multi-person title matches for both Women’s Divisions at the Showcase of the Immortals.
In The Arena: Carmella & James Ellsworth continue watching the show from the skybox, Dasha Fuentes tries to get comment, but The Princess of Staten Island says she’s sick of being bothered while trying to watch the show. Ellsworth tells Dasha to scram, sits back and puts his feet up.
Match #7 – Elimination Chamber Match for the WWE Championship: WWE Intercontinental Champion Dean Ambrose vs. Baron Corbin vs. The Miz vs. Bray Wyatt vs. AJ Styles vs. WWE Champion John Cena
Styles & Cena are going to begin, collar & elbow tie-up to start, the champion goes to a side headlock, AJ pushes him off to the ropes, but gets dropped by a shoulder block. They lock-up again and this time Styles hooks in a side headlock, Cena sends him off to the ropes, drops down, leapfrogs over and AJ scores with a leg kick. The Leader of the Cenation battles back with heavy rights, whips him to the corner and rushes in, The Phenomenal One side-steps out of harm’s way, powers him up on his shoulder and delivers a spin-out torture rack bomb for an early 2 count.
AJ looks to set for the Styles Clash, Cena powers out, launches him into the air, lets him drop face-first to the mat, then follows with a sunset flip bomb for a 2 count. The Leader of the Cenation pulls Styles up and they exchange shots, the champion takes The Phenomenal One down for the STF, AJ kicks him away, scores with the Ushigaroshi, hooks the leg and gains a near fall. Cena pulls himself to his feet in the corner, Styles rushes in for a flying forearm, the champion avoids it, hits the ropes for multiple shoulder tackles, ducks a clothesline and delivers a spin-out back suplex. He calls for the 5 Knuckle Shuffle, the countdown begins and Cena decides against it as Dean Ambrose enters the match.
He ducks a right hand and levels Cena with a flying clothesline, tosses him out over the top, drives the champion multiple times into the chain link, then stomps away. AJ comes out after them and The Lunatic Fringe rams him into the chain, clotheslines Styles back in the ring, kicks him to the apron, and sets for a suplex back inside. The Phenomenal One blocks it, looks to suplex Dean out on the chamber floor, Ambrose slips out, drops him with a release vertical suplex on the floor, Cena climbs up top, but The Lunatic Fringe drops him down with a forearm shot. He climbs on top of one of the pods and flies off with a diving elbow to the champion, tries to drag Cena into the squared circle, AJ grabs him with a waistlock, standing switch from Ambrose, Styles switches back, but the champion comes in and plants them both with a double german suplex.
The Leader of the Cenation picks Dean up for an AA, The Phenomenal One charges in, Cena drops Dean, lifts AJ for the Attitude Adjustment, rocking The Lunatic Fringe with Styles’ feet in the process. AJ counters the AA by landing on his feet, clobbers the champion with a kick, Dean rebounds off the ropes and floors Styles with a Lunatic Lariat as the timer hits zero. Bray Wyatt steps out and drops Dean with a right hand, flattens Cena with a running crossbody, tosses The Lunatic Fringe with a release vertical suplex, then charges AJ near the ropes and gets dumped outside. Styles tries to springboard out after him, gets thrown into the chain link, goes into the Spider Crawl for Sister Abigail, but The Phenomenal One slips away and shoves him into one of the pod doors.
He pulls Wyatt through the 2nd rope in the corner, hops in the ring and slingshots out with a leg drop to the back of the head, The Leader of the Cenation picks him up for an AA outside, but AJ breaks free and clocks him with forearms. He climbs the side of the cage and Cena goes up after him, they battle on the side of the wall, Styles clobbering the champion with fists and drops him to the chamber floor. The Phenomenal One climbs on top of The Miz’s pod, Ambrose scales up to meet him, rams Styles face-first off the plastic part of the wall, jumps off at Bray, but gets caught with a right hand on the way down. The Eater of Worlds tosses him in the ring, props The Lunatic Fringe on the top turnbuckle, climbs up for a barrage of headbutts, Dean slips down for a powerbomb, Bray grabs Styles in the process and tosses him across the ring as he gets planted into the mat as the clock ticks down again.
Baron Corbin comes in next, The Lunatic Fringe meets him with a flurry of forearms, hits the ropes, The Lone Wolf flattens him with a clothesline, deposits Dean to the outside, then rams him face-first off the chain multiple times. He throws Ambrose back in the ring and charges him in the corner, The Lunatic Fringe side-steps out, rushes in with a forearm, looks to follow with a running bulldog, but gets pushed away. He charges back in at Baron and gets planted by Deep Six, rolls out under the bottom rope, Corbin goes after him, but Wyatt attacks from behind and hooks him for a uranage. The Lone Wolf blocks it and sends Bray face-first into Miz’s pod, drops him with a big boot, slams him into the floor with a modified STO, then heads back inside.
The Phenomenal One meets him with a flurry of right hands and hits the ropes, Corbin cuts him off with End Of Days, Cena quickly grabs Baron by the leg and slaps on the STF. The Lone Wolf powers out of it, plants the champion with End Of Days, Ambrose comes off the top with a dropkick, then clotheslines Baron over the top and drives him into the chain numerous times. The Lone wolf finally puts on the brakes and returns the favor, launches Dean face-first into the wall, rams him head-first into one of the pods, then sends him back in the ring. He powers The Lunatic Fringe over his shoulder, Ambrose slides out behind, hooks him for Dirty Deeds, Corbin blocks it, tries to drive him into the corner, Dean holds up from hitting the turnbuckles and catches him with a back elbow. Ambrose climbs to the top rope now, The Lone Wolf pushes him off, The Lunatic Fringe hits the chain link face-first and the last man enters the match.
The Miz is in no hurry to step out of his pod as Corbin is waiting for him, Dean grabs The Lone Wolf with a schoolboy from behind and gets the 1-2-3. Baron Corbin has been eliminated. Baron is less than pleased, bludgeons Ambrose from behind with a clothesline, throws him through the plastic of one of the pods, props him up against the chain link, then unloads with forearms to the back of the head. He tosses Dean in the ring, plants him with End Of Days, multiple referees come inside and The Lone Wolf finally leaves, Miz quickly stepping in the ring to pin Ambrose. Dean Ambrose has been eliminated.
The A-Lister points to the WrestleMania sign and mocks a “Yes” chant, drills Cena & Bray with his Yes Kicks, hits the ropes and takes them both down with a double dropkick. Styles steps back in the ring and Miz puts him in the corner for another barrage of kicks, Cena & Wyatt stagger to opposite corners, The A-Lister delivering running dropkicks to everyone in the ring and dumping Bray to the outside. He crushes the champion in the corner with an Awesome Clothesline, climbs to the top turnbuckle, The Eater of Worlds drags him down to the floor for a clothesline, Miz blocks it and plants him with a Skull Crushing Finale.
The A-Lister heads back up top for a crossbody to the champion, The Leader of the Cenation rolls through, powers him onto his shoulders for the Attitude Adjustment and ends his night. The Miz has been eliminated. Bray & AJ attack Cena from behind and put the boots to him, The New Face of Fear holds the champion up for AJ, The Phenomenal One scores with right hands, poses for the crowd and Wyatt clocks him with an uppercut. He looks for a running senton to Cena and misses, drops Styles with multiple shoulder tackles, delivers a spin-out back suplex, catches Bray with one for his troubles, then hits them both with a double 5 Knuckle Shuffle. He scores with an AA to Wyatt, powers The Phenomenal One up for one, AJ slips out of it, connects with the Styles Clash, but only gets a near fall.
AJ rolls out of the ring and measures for a Phenomenal Forearm, The Leader of the Cenation ducks under it, delivers the Attitude Adjustment, but Styles just barely kicks out at 2. The champion looks stunned, steps to the outside and climbs on top of a pod, jumps off with a crossbody to wipe-out Styles & Wyatt, all three guys now down. Cena staggers back to his feet, hauls Bray up for an AA, The Eater of Worlds slips out of it, scores with Sister Abigail and covers for the 1-2-3. John Cena has been eliminated. Styles pulls himself to his feet and charges out at Bray, gets clocked by a forearm, The New Face of Fear batters him with right hands to the back of the head, throws AJ into the corner and charges in, but gets cut off by a dropkick to the knee.
The Phenomenal One follows with a basement forearm for a count of 2, Bray Spider Crawls back to his feet, snatches Styles for Sister Abigail, AJ breaks free, rolls him up and gains a near fall. He quickly scores with the Phenomenal Blitz, Bray comes right back and turns him inside-out with a clothesline, hooks the leg, but can’t put it away yet. He pulls AJ up for a uranage, Styles battles out of it, clobbers him with a Pele Kick, hits the ropes for a shining wizard, then rolls outside and springboards in with a 450 splash. He hooks the leg and The New Face of Fear just kicks out at 2, The Phenomenal One rolls back outside, pulls his elbow pad off, springboards in for a Phenomenal Forearm, Bray catches him in the air, hits Sister Abigail and finishes it.
Winner and NEW WWE Champion: Bray Wyatt
- After The Bell: Randy Orton comes out to the stage and watches on as Bray celebrates the win.
- EA’s Take: What an amazing match, I think we just saw the best Chamber match in WWE history. I have to admit, at first when I saw the padding on the outside of the ring instead of the usual steel grating we had in the old chamber, I was not overly enthused. The participants completely made me forget about that very quickly however and it allowed them to do so much more with less risk of injury. I’ve called for so long to have Bray get his big moment and we finally saw it, but we also saw some other interesting things take place which will shape for WrestleMania such as Corbin & Ambrose. I dare RAW to follow that, but I just know they can’t.
EA’s Finisher: Obviously the namesake of this pay-per-view is the big standout of the evening, but we also had another great moment in Naomi finally getting her just due by becoming the SmackDown Women’s Champion. While I wouldn’t call the undercard poor by any means, I truly could have lived without the Handicap Match personally. I think the Tag Team Turmoil was highly entertaining and showed why SmackDown Tag Team Division is far superior to RAW, meanwhile the women showed they have a lot more depth on the blue brand, which is not news to anyone. Overall, a very entertaining event that I think RAW will really have a hard time following up at FastLane.
Top Three To Watch
1 – Elimination Chamber
2 – Luke Harper vs. Randy Orton
3 – Tag Team Turmoil