Mason Epeneter takes a look at the long and trying career of Chris Benoit, the decorated time that ultimately led to his demise.
WrestleMania XX, Chris Benoit has the World Heavyweight Champion Triple H locked into the Crippler Crossface. Benoit has gone after the WWE World Championship before against The Rock and Kurt Angle but failed both times, a former WCW World Heavyweight Champion in his own right after he beat Sid Justice at the 2000 Souled Out event for WCW, but that was short-lived seeing he had vacated the title the next night due to disagreements with how World Championship Wrestling was managing business. After all that work, all the effort of almost 20 years, would Triple H tap out? He did. Chris Benoit was crowned the new World Heavyweight Champion in the Main Event of WrestleMania XX, and I will go into how he got there, and how he fell from there.
It all started with the Dynamite Kid. When Benoit went to his first wrestling show, he saw the recently deceased “Dynamite Kid” Tom Billington and that was when he decided not only that he wanted to become a wrestler, but he decided that he wanted to be just like his childhood hero, The Dynamite Kid. He got his start by going to shows early, setting up chairs, and eventually being invited into the ring. He got his reputation backstage by having the guts to speak to his hero, The Dynamite Kid. Later on in his career, Bruce Hart invited him to the Hart Dungeon where Stu had told him to come back once he finished high school, and that he did. During his time with Stu Hart and Stampede Wrestling, he won the Stampede British Commonwealth Mid-Heavyweight Championship four time and won the Stampede Wrestling International Tag Team Championship four times. It was in Stampede Wrestling that he met a man who would change his life, Bad News Allen (known to WWF fans as Bad News Brown).
Bad News Allen had suggested that Benoit go to New Japan Pro-Wrestling after Stampede Wrestling closed. He had spent a year training earlier in 1986 at the New Japan Dojo but he had matches under his real name and wasn’t made into anything special at the time. In 1989, he became The Pegasus Kid. The fans loved his matches with Jushin Thunder Liger. So much so that he eventually went onto win the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship from Jushin Thunder Liger in the Tokyo Dome on August 19, 1990. Jushin won it back on November 1 of the same year. As Pegasus Kid, Benoit went onto win the WWF Light Heavyweight Championship from Villano III I Mexico on March 3, 1991. Benoit went onto hold the title for an astonishing 560-days. He lost it back to Villano III on September 13, 1992.
During his WWF Light Heavyweight Championship reign, Benoit lost a mask vs. mask match against Jushin Thunder Liger, forcing him to become the Wild Pegasus. Benoit won the 1993 Best of the Super Juniors tournament after defeating El Samurai in the finals. On April 16, 1994, Benoit participated in the first edition of the Super J-Cup. Benoit, as Wild Pegasus, had a first-round bye. In the quarterfinals, Benoit defeated Black Tiger II (FKA Eddie Guerrero), in the semifinals, Benoit knocked off Gedo. In the finals, Benoit beat the legendary Great Sasuke in 18:46, becoming the first ever winner of the prestigious Super J-Cup. In 1995, Benoit made it to the semifinals of the Best of the Super Juniors tournament where he defeated Black Tiger II again, he went to the finals and had beaten Shinjiro Otani in the finals to win the 1995 Best of the Super Juniors tournament. To this day, the Pegasus Kid is a legend in New Japan and is often considered one of the greatest Junior Heavyweights of all time.
Benoit had started with Extreme Championship Wrestling in 1994 while working with New Japan. At the 1994 November to Remember event, Benoit accidentally broke Sabu’s neck and he earned the name that would make his career, “Crippler” Benoit. Benoit went through a moment of extreme guilt and worry that he potentially paralyzed Sabu. In 1995, at the Return of the Funker event, Chris Benoit teamed with Dean Malenko as “The Triple Threat” (ECW World Heavyweight Champion Shane Douglas was also part of this stable) to win the ECW World Tag Team Championships from Sabu and The Tazmaniac. This was Benoit’s first title within the States. The Triple Threat dropped the Tag Titles to The Public Enemy of Johnny Grunge and Rocco Rock on April 8, 1995. This match also including Rick Steiner and The Tazmaniac. The Crippler’s work visa expired, and Paul Heyman failed to renew it which caused Benoit to depart from ECW and to go back to working with New Japan.
Benoit had signed with World Championship Wrestling as a part of a talent exchange between WCW and New Japan in late 1995. He competed in the 1995 edition of the Super J-Cup where he received a first-round bye. He defeated Lionheart (Chris Jericho) in the quarterfinals, but fell to Gedo in the semi-finals. Ironically, long-time rival Jushin Thunder Liger went onto win this Super J-Cup. After this tournament, Benoit had impressed WCW management and Ric Flair to the point that Benoit was made a member of the legendary Four Horsemen.
Benoit was put into a feud with Kevin Sullivan that included a kayfabe affair between Nancy Sullivan and Chris Benoit, this lead to a real-life affair which caused animosity between Benoit and Sullivan backstage. After plenty of matches throughout this year-long feud, it finally came to the end at the 1997 Bash at the Beach event, in a retirement match. Benoit had successfully beaten Kevin Sullivan, which forced Kevin Sullivan’s in-ring WCW career to end.
In 1998, a feud between Booker T and Chris Benoit had started to develop over the WCW World Television Championship. This led to a Best of 7 series between the two to determine who would be the #1 Contender for the Title that Fit Finley had taken from Booker T. Benoit and Booker T had gone to a 3-3 split leading to their final match. Throughout much controversy, including an original match that neither men accepted the result of (Booker T won via disqualification due to the nWo trying to win over Benoit). The final match happened at the 1998 Great American Bash event, which Bookter T won and went onto defeat Fit Finlay later that night for the WCW World Television Championship.
At the 1999 Uncensored event, Benoit once again teamed with former teammate Dean Malenko to successfully capture the WCW World Tag Team Championships from the team of Barry Windham and Curt Hennig after losing to them previously in a tournament final to crown new Tag Team Champions at the SuperBrawl IX event. Benoit quickly entered the Four Horsemen again, this time with Dean Malenko, Arn Anderson, and Steve McMichael. Benoit and Malenko quickly dropped the title to the team of Rey Mysterio and Billy Kidman on the March 29, 1999 edition of Monday Nitro. Throughout the rest of the year, Benoit had many feuds (including a WCW United States Heavyweight Championship reign) but he started to become unhappy with management and the company as a whole. As a desperate attempt to keep Benoit, World Championship Wrestling had Chris Benoit win the vacant WCW World Heavyweight Championship at the 2000 Souled Out event against Sid Vicious. The next day, Benot vacated the championship and left the WCW for the World Wrestling Federation (WWF).
Benoit started out strong. In his first WrestleMania, after a few months in the company, Chris Benoit pinned Chris Jericho to win Kurt Angle’s Intercontinental Championship. That caused an incredible rivalry that spanned to the Royal Rumble event of the next year where Jericho won the World Wrestling Federation Intercontinental Championship in a ladder match. Throughout that feud however, the title changed hands on more than one occasion causing Benoit to become a 3x Intercontinental Champion within his first year with the company.
The next year at WrestleMania X-Seven, Benoit faced Kurt Angle, a match which Angle showed successful in. At the 2001 Backlash event, Benoit defeated Angle in critically-acclaimed “Ultimate Submission” match (Writer’s Note: I highly suggest you watch this match, it is a technical masterpiece). The feud culminated at the 2001 Judgement Day event when Angle got the upper hand on Benoit with the help of Edge and Christian in a Best of 3 Falls match. The next night on Raw Is War, Benoit teamed up with former rival Chris Jericho to challenge the World Tag Team Champions Stone Cold Steve Austin and Triple H of The Power Trip for the titles, a match Benoit and Jericho were successful in and became the new Tag Team Champions. They quickly dropped the belts to The Dudley Boyz less than a month later. Benoit’s Tag Title reign led him to two WWF Championship matches, both of which he lost.
Benoit returned from injury a year later and feuded with RVD for the Intercontinental Championship, a feud RVD would later go onto win at the 2002 SummerSlam event. Benoit reignited his feud with Kurt Angle quickly after. At the 2002 Unforgiven event, Benoit had finally knocked off his former rival… or so he thought. Things took a turn when Stephanie McMahon announced Benoit & Angle would be teaming together in a tournament to crown the inaugural WWE Tag Team Champions (currently known as the WWE Raw Tag Team Championship). At the 2002 No Mercy event, Benoit and Angle shocked the world when they overcame their years worth of differences and became the first-ever WWE Tag Team Champions.
Benoit and Angle had a somewhat of a lengthy reign before dropping the Tag Team Championships to the team of Edge and Rey Mysterio on the November 7 edition of SmackDown. Angle and Benoit quickly fell out when they lost the Tag Titles. Angle and Benoit quickly crossed paths again at the 2003 Royal Rumble event. Angle had once again captured the WWE Championship and once again, Benoit was chasing the belt. This match was also a fan favorite but after a long 20 minutes, Angle made Benoit tap out. WrestleMania XIX had come around the corner and Benoit was chasing after the title that he won first. A triple threat tag team match occurred for the WWE Tag Team Championships. It was the champion team of Team Angle vs Los Guerreros vs Chris Benoit and Rhyno. The champions retained after Shelton Benjamin pinned Chavo Guerrero.
The 2004 Royal Rumble event has come. Chris Benoit is entering the Royal Rumble match as the #1 entry. The odds of him surviving 29 other men are astronomical, the only other man to have done it before is Shawn Michaels in 1995. It didn’t help that the #2 entry was Randy Orton. But despite everything, Benoit survived everybody, now it was to just him and The Big Show. Could Chris Benoit defeat The World’s Largest Athlete or would he crumble? He did. Benoit held on from the apron, putting the Big Show into a headlock and eventually getting his body over the top rope. Benoit did the impossible, the Canadian Crippler was going to the Main Event of WrestleMania XX!
The day had come: WrestleMania XX. An incredible match by Triple H and Shawn Michaels and Chris Benoit that included a Hell of a lot of bloodshed. Benoit was crowned the new World Heavyweight Champion by the end of the night and had an emotional celebration with longtime best friend and WWE Champion Eddie Guerrero. This was the high point of Chris Benoit’s career. But, Benoit quickly started to fall. He lost the World Heavyweight Championship to Randy Orton at the 2004 SummerSlam event. He then deescalated into mid card feuds. Eventually, in 2007, Benoit was given a shot to be ECW’s World Champion. Tragedy struck, depression hit Benoit hard and he hung himself after so much brain deterioration from the Career that Crippled him. WWE refuses to ever recognize Benoit again. That is The Career That Crippled The Crippler.
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.