Short work weeks, and long weekends make for a nice way to recharge. Let’s see what matches Andrew managed to fit into his holiday schedule for the Top 5 this week.
Well folks in the States had Thanksgiving this past week, and the shows kinda proved it. Some generally uninspired or at the very least, average shows just kinda made the whole week feel like a food coma. Thankfully I enjoy Japanese wrestling and they don’t need no stinkin turkey, so what I watched of those shows still satiated my need for good wrestling.
Slowly getting to the end of the year, we added one more match to the November pool. Unsurprisingly, NXT Takeover dominated the votes but, Tommaso Ciampa vs Velveteen Dream, edged out the other matches.
Now let’s see what made the Top 5 this week.
5. MLW Heavyweight Championship Match: Shane Strickland vs Low Ki (c)
After dealing with Sami Callihan’s Death Machines for WarGames and general dismay the last few months, Shane finally gets his rematch. There’s the report that came out a little while ago that Strickland is being targeted by WWE, so this makes sense to get out of the way now.
It takes a little bit of time to get the match started since Salina de la Renta and Martinez are skulking about outside of the ring. The match was very much a game of cat and mouse. Shane tried to string some offense together, but Low Ki used ring positioning and rolling outside to his advantage.
Shane does manage to catch Low Ki when he was on the top rope and he falls forward headbutting the referee and knocking him out. Strickland jumps on the opportunity, lays out Low Ki, hits the Swerve Stomp, but there’s no ref. Shane looks towards the back, and a replacement ref eventually comes out, counts to 2 and then Low Ki kicks out. Martinez hops up to the apron to distract the referee, and Low Ki grabs Shane by the hair, ragdolls him a bit, pulls out some hair and cradles him for the pinfall victory.
The match wasn’t really what you’d expect, but this new thread of Low Ki trying to maim opponents before pinning them is unique.
Winner: Low Ki via Referee Distraction
Rating: *** 1/4
4. NXT UK: Toni Storm vs Jinny
Whether it’s the Lightning from Down Under or the Fierce Fashionista, The Mosh Pit Kid, Rhea Ripley, waits for the winner in the finals. How will the finals of this historic tournament take form after tonight?
The bell rings and fans sing for Storm. Toni and Jinny tie up and go around and around the ring. Jinny puts Toni in the corner, but backs off at 4. They circle again and tie up. Fans still sing for Toni as she and Jinny go around again. Jinny arm-drags but Toni holds on. They break as fans chant “Aussie Aussie Aussie! OI OI OI!” Toni and Jinny tie up again, and Toni gets a waistlock. Jinny resists as Toni lifts. Jinny breaks free to get a wristlock. She brings Toni down, but Toni gets up. Fans rally as Toni gets a headlock and takeover. Jinny endures the wrenching and rolls Toni over. TWO as Toni lets go. Toni goes after the facelock, but Jinny works her way out of that, back to a wristlock. Toni spins, bridges, rolls and reverses! Jinny endures as Toni wrenches more.
Jinny spins and throws a big forearm. Toni is rocked, and Jinny brings her in for a headlock. Toni powers out and things speed up, Toni boots Jinny down! Cover, TWO! Toni goes after the legs, for a deathlock STF! Fans chant for Jinny to tap but Jinny endures. Jinny works against the hold but Toni wrenches back hard. Jinny comes close, but grabs Toni’s hair. Toni wrenches Jinny more, but Jinny crawls for ropes. Toni rocks back and forth, but Jinny gets the ropebreak. The ref counts and Toni lets Jinny go, but with stomps! Toni stomps Jinny to a corner, then drags her up for big EuroUppers. Fans fire up with Toni as she runs in, but Jinny boots her away! Jinny gets Toni with the Japanese arm-drag, into buckles! Cover, TWO! Toni gets to the corner, but Jinny stomps a fashionable mudhole into her.
Fans rally up but Jinny keeps on Toni with a double chop. Jinny stomps another mudhole into Toni in another corner. She stops at 4, but whips Toni corner to corner. Toni falls short and face first. Jinny is on her with more stomps, then drags Toni up. Snap suplex and float over, TWO! Jinny grows frustrated, but she puts Toni in an armlock with chinbar. Jinny thrashes Toni around as fans rally up. Toni gets up but Jinny throws her down by her hair. Cover, ONE! Jinny seethes as she clubs away on Toni’s back. “This is MY NXT!” Jinny goes back to the armlock and chinbar, but fans rally up again. Toni fights her way back up, and arm-drags Jinny off! Jinny fires off strikes, but Jinny chops! Toni headbutts, they both go down!
Fans fire up and chant for “NXT! NXT!” Then fans rally up as the two stir. Jinny is on Toni with a forearm. Toni throws a forearm back. Jinny hits, Toni hits. They brawl to their feet, back and forth. Toni gets the edge, then blocks Jinny’s kick, for a trapped-leg German! Jinny crawls to a corner and Toni fires up. Toni runs in, big hip attack! Then Perfect Plex! Cover, TWO!! Jinny survives but Toni isn’t stopping. Toni climbs up, but Jinny stops her with a high roundhouse! Jinny climbs but Toni headbutts her away. Jinny hits back, then climbs up. Toni forearms Jinny and sends her down with another headbutt. But Jinny dropkicks Toni’s legs out, then hits a draping facebuster! Cover, TWO!! Toni survives and Jinny is at a loss for words.
Jinny rains down rights on Toni, then drags her up. Jinny slaps Toni, then reels her out, but Toni dodges and underhooks. But Storm Zero is denied by Jinny’s rolling ax kick! Cover, ROPEBREAK! Jinny is furious, and she stomps away on Toni. Fans sing for Toni as Jinny runs in. Toni goes up and over, gets Jinny with the German! Then STORM ZERO! Cover, Toni wins!!
Winner: Storm via Storm Zero
Rating: *** 1/4
3. NOAH Global League: Katsuhiko Nakajima vs Masa Kitamiya
Well this match decided who wins Block A. If Nakajima could beat his former teammate, he’d win, or if he loses, Naomichi Marufuji wins Block A. These two are also the last two challengers for the GHC Heavyweight Championship, so that adds something to prove.
Nakajima tries to play head games early with Kitamiya, but he eventually gets sick of his shit and just goes after him. Nakajima kept his patented grin on his face for most of this match. Bobbing and weaving with some well placed kicks and trying to stay away from the power of Kitamiya.
Right when the match looks like Nakajima’s to win, he lights up Kitamiya, goes to the corner for a big Penalty Kick, but gets hit with a huge Spear from Kitamiya. Kitamiya tries the Jailhouse Lock, but Nakajima manages to get the ropes. Kitamiya hits a few chops blocks and tries for a Saito Suplex, but Nakajima counters out of that.
As he still nurses his knees, Nakajima tries to put together some offense, but gets caught, grounded and stuck in the Jailhouse Lock one more time, and that’s all it took. The cocky Nakajima was knocked out by the tag partner he thought he was better than.
Winner: Kitamiya via Jailhouse Lock
Rating: *** 1/2
AJPW Real World Tag League: Takao Omori & Manabu Soya vs Jake Lee & Ryoji Sai
Winner: Omori via Axe Bomber
Rating: *** 1/4
NOAH Global League: Mitsuya Nagai vs Kenoh
Winner: Nagai via Nagai Lock
Rating: *** 1/4
Impact: Eli Drake’s Gravy Train Turkey Trot: Eli Drake, Glen Gilbertti, Katarina, Jake Crist & Rohit Raju vs Fallah Bah, KM, Alisha Edwards, Kikutaro & Dezmond Xavier
Winner: Fallah Bah via Bonzai Drop on Gilbertti (Disco has to wear the Turkey Suit)
205 Live: Gran Metalik vs TJP
Winner: Metalik via Sunset Flip Pin
NXT UK: Rhea Ripley vs Dakota Kai
Winner: Ripley via Rip Tide
2. DDT Pro Special 2018 KO-D Openweight Title Match: Daisuke Sasaki (c) vs Masahiro Takanashi
Well this is one of those situations where I was just looking for something and found this. I’m not overly familiar with DDT, but I figured I’d give it a watch.
Sufficed to say, it was a good thing to randomly watch this. DDT is known as the comedy place where Kota Ibushi and Kenny Omega wrestled a blow up doll, but this match was pretty damn solid.
Takanashi has some interesting technical transitions for a Rings of Saturn submission, as well as, a few other interesting moves. He also seems to be a big fan of the Code Red, trying it from the apron, the top ropes and the normal style in the middle of the ring a few times before finally hitting one for a near fall.
Daisuke’s moveset is amusingly reminiscent of WWE wrestlers. Elbow Drop Macho Man Style, Pedigree and a Crossface all were busted out at some point, but to no avail. After Takanashi hit a Satellite Crossface, Daisuke worked through it and then hits a Huricanrana (an actual one, not a Frankensteiner) for the pinfall victory.
Much better than what I expected. A few transitions and spots were clunky, so they tried them again instead of moving away, so that dropped it down a little rating wise for me. But it was still enjoyable.
Winner: Sasaki via Huricanrana
Rating: *** 3/4
1. AJPW Real World Tag League: Kento Miyahara & Yoshitatsu vs Jun Akiyama & Daisuke Sekimoto
Well YoshiKen finally got a win on the show before this, which hopefully turns around their early run of bad luck. Akiyama and Sekimoto haven’t wrestled as many matches as everyone, but have looked very good so far.
The fun part of this match, was the fact it looked like Uncle Jun was shooting a bit on Yoshitatsu. We have to keep in mind, Akiyama was trained in Baba’s All Japan and was a protege of the Four Pillars of Heaven, so he’s cut from a different cloth. A lot of stiff strikes, no selling, walking through moves and just lighting Yoshitatsu up, made the tone of the match shift.
Both teams pulled off their tandem moves, the Codebreaker/German Suplex from YoshiKen got a near fall. But the best spot is Sekimoto grabbing Akiyama while he’s trying the Exploder Suplex someone, German Suplexing Akiyama to help “assist” the Exploder. I don’t know if they have a name for it, but it definitely feels like the “I’m Helping” Tandem Suplex.
Kento tries his best to drag the team back, laying out Jun with a Blackout knee strike, but Yoshitatsu can’t make a tag and Sekimoto sends them both spilling to the outside. Jun hits the Wristclutch Exploder to give a heavily favored team their third loss. In a tournament where each team gets 10 matches, 3 losses isn’t a death knell, but it doesn’t leave much wiggle room.
Winner: Akiyama via Wristclutch Exploder
Rating: **** 1/4
We had a somewhat uneventful week, but hey it was a holiday, so I’m okay with it. However, the AJPW Real World Tag League Match, that is one of the best matches of the tournament so far. So I wouldn’t feel right to pick anything else over that one.
Should be interesting to see how people vote, since a lot of what’s on the Top 5 isn’t exactly heavily followed.
WWE Fears AEW
Are Vince McMahon and WWE running scared from AEW? The signs, for Juan, point to yes.
Are Vince McMahon and WWE running scared from AEW? The signs, for Juan, point to yes.
For the last 18 years WWE has controlled the wrestling world with an iron fist but in recent years poor decisions booking wise made promotions like NJPW and ROH rise and gain popularity. Now WWE has with AEW a direct competitor that in just one month has shaken the wrestling world for the better. Like it or not WWE fears the potential AEW could have in the wrestling world.
The shirt scandal
The best example WWE not only fears but has taken notice of AEW, is the fact they banned AEW shirts in some WWE events for a limited time, but this ended very quickly. This showed WWE in a weak position and afraid of having a direct competitor as it once had with WCW.
This controversy made AEW the underdog of the situation and, in reality WWE made them a favor by giving them the title of ‘’rebels’’ against the evil empire. People like to cheer and support the underdog and now that brief controversy made WWE look bad in all ways possible. Also, the Being The Elite show made a reference to this events and most fans understood the reference very quickly.
Talent want to leave
Is no secret that WWE’s booking and talent management has been terrible in the main roster and the talent had no choice but to stay in WWE. The birth of AEW has challenge the wrestling business in a big way. With AEW, wrestlers have more options to see their career change for the better or they can just use AEW as a business strategy to make more money from WWE.
WWE lately in an attempt to make talent happier has been giving pushes left and right to wrestler in a way to stop them from living and going to AEW. The Revival, Almas and other cases are the example of this strategy from WWE’s part. Other cases like AJ Styles whose contract ends soon has yet to re-sign with WWE in the best position to take the best offer possible right now. Other wrestlers in a similar case like Styles are Gallows, Anderson and Nakamura whom WWE creative has not been kind to them recently.
AEW are the rebels
WWE and AEW have this dynamic of the evil empire and rebels like I mentioned previously. AEW is taking advantage of this ‘’gimmick’’ in a way to be the real alternative the wrestling business has been looking for years since the death of WCW.
WWE being this evil empire has been the norm for years now and people considered NJPW and ROH the rebels, but they never were able to compete directly with WWE but AEW in just two months has been able to get in the head of Vince McMahon already, making them a huge threat to his wrestling monopoly.
AEW needs to live up to the hype
Not everything is perfect in AEW. The promotion needs to deliver in a big way in this Double or Nothing show in a way to show the world they are the alternative to WWE. For now, AEW has been doing the right moves and signing all kinds of interesting talent.
WWE Week in Review: February 11-17, 2019
Tiffany gives us her thoughts on the Elimination Chamber week in review!
Tiffany gives us her thoughts on the Elimination Chamber week in review!
Becky Lynch vs The McMahons: Since this was an episode long story, I’m just going to include it all here. This was pretty much Austin vs McMahon with less swearing and middle fingers. I think everyone knew that the whole apology thing was BS before they finished saying it, but seeing Becky mull her options was interesting.
That said, I’m NOT happy about Charlotte Flair being shoehorned into this. She’s excess baggage in a match that doesn’t need her. Becky Lynch was the talk of sports, not just wrestling, SPORTS, last year, not Charlotte Flair. All WWE had to do was not screw up Rousey vs Lynch and they screwed it up MASSIVELY. Hopefully, this will get fixed before April.
Boss Hug Connection vs Riott Squad vs Nia and Tamina was a go-home match with stakes attached: the loser will be the first entry in the Elimination Chamber, meaning that they’ll have to stay in the longest of the six teams involved.
It was a really good match, Liv Morgan showed herself to be very scrappy, taking on Nia Jax who outsized her in every respect. Normally, I would say that Boss Hug Connection losing means that they’ll win at Elimination Chamber, but I really think WWE’s going to build Nia and Tamina as an unstoppable team for WrestleMania.
Elias/Lucha House Party was a weird segment considering all the commercial breaks and cut aways. It makes me wonder if there were some technical problems that they were trying to work out. Add in the absolute randomness of LHP coming out and it not being for a match. It was just a weird segment and I’m not sure what the point was.
Drew McIntyre vs Finn Balor/Six Man Tag went WAY too long and was BORING on top of it. I sort of got the McIntyre/Balor thing because McIntyre is allied with Lashley, but the whole run-in and thing with Angle and Strowman and the six man was just…UGH!
Speaking of Angle, this is really hard for me to say but, he needs to retire. I get that he wants to give back and get the young guys over, but it was pretty obvious that the Wrestling Machine can’t go the way he used to and it was really sad to watch.
Kevin Owens: I’m not a Kevin Owens fan, so his segment didn’t do much for me, personally, but I’m glad he’s recovered from his surgeries.
Nikki Cross vs Ruby Riott was a match straight out of NXT, where they actually did have a rivalry when Nikki first debuted with SaniTy and it was really great. I was a little disappointed that Nikki lost, but Riott needs the momentum for her match at Elimination Chamber, so her winning didn’t hurt my feelings and she and Nikki looked great.
Seth Rollins’ segment alone and with Heyman was really good. It’s still not clear that Seth will be able to beat Lesnar on his own, but he made it clear that he’s willing to do whatever it takes to do so. I loved Rollins saying what a lot of people have felt about Brock Lesnar and his Universal Title runs.
Rumor is that Dean Ambrose changed the script of his segment with Rollins and what he said was more in character for Ambrose than whatever Vince had in mind. It also teases possible way for Rollins to beat Lesnar at WrestleMania.
Dean Ambrose vs EC3 was an okay match, but the important thing is that Ambrose won the match, even with a roll up, giving 3 a taste of his own medicine. Even though the crowd was DEAD after a very lackluster show, Ambrose got quite a pop when he won, so hopefully face!Dean will stick around for awhile longer.
Revival vs Rood/Gable: Last week, I voiced my frustration over the booking of the Revival and how they should’ve been tag champions by now and it FINALLY happened. After months of screwy, and sometimes downright STUPID, losses, the Revival are the RAW Tag Team Champions after a fantastic match with Roode and Gable.
Thoughts: This was a BORING RAW. The cuts and segments were all over the place. It was like they couldn’t figure out the show sequence and were just winging it.
Pedro Morales: Pedro was before my time, but in his day, he was a great babyface champion and took the title off of Ivan Koloff after Ivan’s shocking victory over Bruno Sammartino after Sammartino had held the title for seven years. He was also a two time Intercontinental Champion and holds the record for most days as Intercontinental Champion. Rest in Peace, Pedro.
Charlotte Flair: I’ve been pretty vocal about not being happy about Charlotte being shoe-horned into the RAW Women’s Championship match at WrestleMania, and I still feel that way. I don’t care if Charlotte vs Ronda Rousey was always the plan, plans can change and there’s no reason why Becky Lynch vs Ronda Rousey needs to be a Triple Threat when every other member of the Four Horsewomen got a one on one with Rousey. However, Charlotte did a good job of embracing the hate that she’s getting, but it’s clear that WWE’s really angered the fans with this decision and will have to tread carefully or they’re going to turn the fans completely against the show in general.
Mustafa Ali being out of the Elimination Chamber match SUCKS! However, I’m hoping the concussion won’t keep him out for too long.
Triple Threat Tag Match was a good bookend for the tag match on RAW, but why in the world were the IIconics not involved? They could’ve just done commentary or something. That said, it was nice to see Naomi finally get some revenge on Mandy Rose and get a pinfall win on her. Also, Naomi/Carmella has turned into my favorite SmackDown tag team for the Women’s Division.
McMiz TV was about what I expected it to be: cringey and over the top, but it was a good segment and I loved the Usos standing tall while casting doubts on McMiz’s chances on Sunday.
Elimination Chamber Gauntlet Match was amazing for one reason: Kofi Kingston. Kofi has been a staple of WWE TV for over a decade and it was nice to see him really get a chance to shine away from New Day. I could be wrong, but I believe Kofi set a record by lasting an hour in the match. After he was finally eliminated, the match was a lot less interesting, and Randy Orton’s sneaky win wasn’t a surprise when I realized that there was five minutes left and Kofi was still in. Do I think Kofi will be champion off of this? No, not really, because he’s been performing like this for a decade and it’s never gotten him closer than the Intercontinental Championship, and he hasn’t held that in years, but we’ll see on Sunday.
Thoughts: A solid show overshadowed by the Gauntlet Match, but got everything in place for the two big matches on Sunday. My biggest issue with SmackDown was that the Gauntlet match was really the only exciting match and that stopped after Kingston was eliminated. Other than that, the show was forgettable. Hopefully that will change next week.
Lucha House Party are always fun to watch in the ring, but I’ve never thought of them as compelling promo guys, but their in ring promo on Tuesday was pretty good.
Lince Dorado vs Jack Gallagher was a really good match, and it was nice to see Gallagher in action since WWE hasn’t seemed to know what to do with him and Gulak if they’re not feuding with Kendrick and Tozawa. Gulak’s gimmick still bothers me because he reminds me too much of RL politicians, but it makes it easy to hate him. Gallagher getting a win was a surprise, but it wasn’t an unwelcome one and it looks like it’s going to be LHP vs Party of Gulak for now.
Humberto Carrillo’s interview was really interesting. I’m still not a fan of the whole Gulak thing of showing a POC the ‘proper’ way to do something they’re obviously good at or saying that their style is lack, but Carrillo is a great wrestler and it makes for an interesting first feud for him.
Ariya Daivari’s promo was interesting. He basically bashed everyone he’s been attached to without naming names. I think he’ll make a great #1 Contender but I don’t see WWE doing a Heel vs Heel storyline for the Cruiserweight Championship just yet.
Mike and Maria’s promo was much in the same vein as Daivari’s: Been working for x number of years and not gotten the recognition they deserved and is better than the people he lost to. I do like the whole ‘Not the losses but the process’ thing, but I think WWE still doesn’t know what to do with them and that really needs to change. Kanellis would be a great babyface challenger for Murphy.
Tony Nese vs Noam Dar was a fantastic main event for 205, which is par for the course for them. This started as a small feud, but it’s definitely the most interesting feud right now. I was a little disappointed that Dar lost, but if that means this feud continues, I’m all for it.
The only problem with 205 doing No DQ matches is having to work around SmackDown and/or dealing with a crowd that might be worn out from two hours of main roster wrestling.
Murphy vs Tozawa Contract Signing went about as well as any contract signing in WWE could be expected. There was a lot of trash talk and vows of victory. I was surprised that blows weren’t exchanged though, it’s almost become a staple of contract signings that someone gets beat up.
Thoughts: A pretty good episode of 205, but not a wowzer. It had goo matches, but nothing really jaw-dropping. Nese vs Dar was fantastic, but the crowd wasn’t into it after SmackDown, which is a real problem.
Toni Storm and Rhea Ripley’s promo was really fantastic. I’ve been a little disappointed that Toni hasn’t defended her title since winning it off of Ripley when Ripley defended the title almost ever week or so. WWE kept things simple by having Ripley use the usual heel excuse of dumb luck to explain the face’s victory, but Ripley stating outright that she hates Storm because of everyone comparing her to Storm was interesting as you seldom have a heel stating that they HATE the face for whatever reason. I loved the fight between the two and am really looking forward to the rematch.
Jordan Devlin vs Noam Dar was every bit as great as I thought it would be. Devlin’s done a great job of building his brand as a loud-mouthed heel, but there’s no denying that he’s super talented. Dar is extremely underrated, in my opinion. I was a little surprised that Devlin lost but having the loss be due to Travis Banks protected Devlin and got that feud back on track. Plus, it gave Dar a win he really needed.
Jinny vs Mia Yim: I believe I said last week that I don’t get Jinny and this week’s match solidified that feeling. I. Don’t. Get. It! There is nothing interesting about Jinny. She’s got an average look, average promo skills, and average in-ring ability, there’s really nothing about her that explains why she should’ve beaten Mia Yim, who is better than her in every respect as far as the ring goes.
That said, the match was good, but I’m not thrilled with Mia Yim getting beaten by someone she should’ve wiped the mat with.
Pete Dunne vs Wolfgang was a FABULOUS match! Wolfgang gets overlooked a lot since he joined Gallus, but it’s not often that you see a big guy that can move like he can. I found it odd that Walter, who is apparently being pushed to face Dunne didn’t get involved, but it was a great match and Pete Dunne looks unstoppable, so that’s all that matters.
Shane Thorne vs Dominik Dijakovic was exactly what I expected from any match with Dijakovic: Rough and tumble. It was a good match, but I can’t say I’m overwhelmingly impressed with Dijakovic since he almost never has a match longer than five minutes.
Undisputed Era’s promo was really good. Usually a faction losing all their belts is a sign that a split is coming, but that doesn’t seem to be happening with Undisputed Era, at least not right now.
Sky Pirates and Bianca Belair’s Promo was really good and established that Belair isn’t a face now, though her assertion that she’s still undefeated is kind of stupid.
Street Profits vs Humberto Carrillo and Stacy Ervin Jr would’ve been a good, if random, match if WWE had just let them wrestle instead of adding Ohno and Lee for no real reason and then having European Alliance and the War Raiders run in at the end. It just made the segment feel very disorganized.
Aliyah vs Taynara Conti: I’ve been saying for awhile that NXT needs to do something with Aliyah. She’s a great talent and is a great heel, but she tends to get overlooked. That said, I was shocked when she got Conti, a LEGIT blackbelt in Judo, to tap out to the Total Aliyanation, which isn’t the most elegant or impressive thing I’ve ever seen but it definitely did the job.
I HATED the Horsewomen running in on a match that didn’t concern them just to prove how ‘bad’ they were, especially since Aliyah, Borne, and Conti are tweeners/heels. Just a stupid ending to a really good match.
Ricochet vs Adam Cole was AMAZING, as I expected it to be. I really can’t think of much more to say than that. I wasn’t surprised by Ricochet’s win or the Undisputed Era standing tall. I was surprised by Aleister Black’s run-in, but I’m not against it. It at least gives Ricochet an ally against the UE.
Men’s Elimination Chamber Match for the WWE Championship: The men’s Elimination Chamber for the WWE Championship was the main event, and not a deserving main event, in my opinion. I think the Women’s Tag Championship should’ve main evented.
The match was okay. Elimination Chamber matches can be a little hit or miss and this was a hit. Styles being eliminated was a surprise because I really thought it would be down to him and Bryan. Kofi Kingston’s performance was AMAZING and it was a damn shame that WWE chickened out of giving the crowd a truly shocking moment on the Road to WrestleMania, but Bryan retained, just like I though he would.
Women’s Elimination Chamber Match for the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship: I have to admit that I was very unhappy about this match being starting match because it definitely had a lot more interest than the Men’s Chamber match.
Overall, this was a really good match, but it was ROUGH, as is usual for a Chamber match. Riott Squad were my favorites coming out of the box, but I still rooted for Boss-Hug Connection. I was SHOCKED when Boss-Hug won it, my money was on Samoan Dynasty or even the IIconics.
Intercontinental Championship: I’m going to be honest, I didn’t really care about this match. I like Balor, but Lashley bores me rigid and I don’t really care about Rush other than to say he’s annoying.
The match was okay, but I wasn’t into it. However, I am THRILLED that Balor won and FINALLY has a title after being on the main roster almost two years and with only a one day reign as Universal Champion to his name. The end of the Lashley/Rush feud was an unexpected bonus, but I’m not sure what they’re going to do with Lashley without Rush because Lashley has the personality of a dry mop.
RAW Women’s Championship: Not gonna lie, I skipped Charlotte’s promo because I’d rather have my eardrums ruptured than listen to her and because my wifi kind of stinks, I was a little behind. I LOVED that Ronda ditched her usual shorts because watching her tug at them drove me nuts.
I feel bad for Ruby Riott that that pitifully short match was all she got just so WWE can build a match we’ve already seen and nobody wants to see again. Thank God, Becky showed up to save us all. Watching her beat the living hell out of Charlotte AND Rousey was very satisfying, but the use of Riott was utter BS.
WWE Cruiserweight Championship: This was a really good, very physical match. I’m a huge fan of Tozawa and I was very impressed with his, and Murphy’s, performance. I was not surprised that Murphy won, but I was disappointed. Murphy’s a good champion, but it’s time for someone else to hold the belt.
Braun Strowman vs Baron Corbin: The neverending, feud between Corbin and Strowman got another airing as the two took each other on in a No DQ match. The match was every bit as bad as I expected it to be and worse, and my expectations were LOW. I can’t say the end was a shock, but I was hoping that this feud would end and it’s not. Mocking the Shield? Not cool and I hope Dean stays in WWE long enough for the Shield to beat all of them up.
SmackDown Tag Team Championship: First and foremost, congrats to Miz and Maryse on their second child!
I’m going to admit that I haven’t been feeling this whole Miz/Shane thing and I still don’t since Shane has never been the best wrestler in the world and Miz gets on my last nerve.
The match against the Usos was as good as can be expected. I was shocked, given what happened with Jimmy Uso last week, that WWE would put the belts on the Usos, but I’m very happy about it. It looked like McMiz would steal it from the Usos, but Shane’s bravado got the better of him.
This was another okay week for WWE, I can’t say it’s one of the best ones they’ve had on the road to WrestleMania. Every show had its solid points, but WWE was definitely playing it safe, which is understandable since the company’s biggest PPV is coming up.
Elimination Chamber was okay, it was definitely a B-PPV, but there were enough nice surprises to keep it from being a total snoozer. Now we have Fastlane in three weeks and WWE’s going to really have to ramp up the build to get people into WrestleMania.