Does the Roman love continue in Philadelphia? Andrew gives us his take for WWE Raw and SmackDown Live!
How do we build off the return of the Big Dog? Does the inevitable Shield reunion happen again? Does Baron Corbin stop sucking?
I could also ask questions about SmackDown, but we all know they’ll cover their bases. Yay SmackDown!
Well let’s get to the WWE stuff.
- Finn Balor, Braun Strowman & Kurt Angle vs Drew McIntyre, Baron Corbin & Bobby Lashley: Lashley wins via Spear – ** 1/4
- Natalya vs Ruby Riott: Nattie wins via Roll Up – ¾
- Gauntlet Match: Heavy Machinery vs B Team, The Ascension & Hawkins & Ryder: Heavy Machinery beats all of them – * 3/4
- Elias vs Dean Ambrose: Elias wins via Drift Away – **
- Tamina vs Sasha Banks: Tamina wins via Superkick – * 1/2
- Raw Tag Team Championship Match: The Revival (c) vs Aleister Black & Ricochet: Revival retain via DQ – **
SAMOAN SEX MACHINE! He struts out to a chorus of cheers in Philly, so you know the game has flipped. Talks about the Universal Title picture and calls out Seth, regarding some kind of hurdle. Seth thinks it’s to take his shot at Mania, Roman shrugs that off like “now dumbass I’m happy for you”, but he wants to get the band back together since Ambrose might be leaving. This is a very relatable and real angle since we’ve all had buddies that we wish we could chill with one last time, or want one last party before going separate ways. Ambrose comes out and gets blinded sided by an Elias guitar.
We get the 6 man, that really feels like filler. Still not sure why they’re using Angle so often when he’s not really involved directly in an angle, but it keeps them all relevant for Fastlane and the Road to Mania…so whatever. As much as I hate Lio, he did have decent timing on a trip and got murdered through the barricade, so those were kind of highlights to an uninteresting match.
Backstage with Heavy Machinery and the losers of the tag division teasing Dozer, causing Dozer to break goofy character and say something like “I’m sensitive”. This is dumb and bad comedy attempts with the bottom of the barrel for the tag division. So why do I care? Oh yeah, I don’t.
Nattie rolls up Ruby. So the woman they tried to make look like a contender for Ronda, got smashed at Chamber, had a slightly better showing the following Monday but lost and now loses to Natty who hasn’t really been setting the world on fire lately. So I don’t even know what to make of this. Judging from Twitter maybe Nattie will be Lacey Evans first challenge, but blah, Lacey walking out was the best thing about this.
Two imbeciles from SNL, which is a shell of itself, will be the guest hosts or something for Mania, and they had to be at Raw tonight. Jost is an overacting loser who’s about as funny as a fire in an old folks home. Everything involving them was painful, I won’t mention them again.
Triple H cuts a promo on Batista. Now I’ll lead by saying, it wasn’t bad…but it also was formulaic. A few 4th wall breaks, ‘inside jokes’ and a raise in intensity to prove he means business is basically every Triple H promo the last few years. Again, not bad, but nothing that struck me as poignant.
Oh now we get the Gauntlet of Losers. This is basically WWE’s version of the Home For Infinite Losers (Dragonball Z fans will appreciate that). Again, I don’t care, of course Heavy Machinery goes over…but it doesn’t matter and wasn’t even good.
Torrie Wilson officially inducted into the Hall of Fame. Anyone questioning why doesn’t really understand that WWE doesn’t have a criteria, so anyone that moved the needle is eligible and Torrie was a big draw regardless of why. So don’t diminish her effect on late Attitude Era/Ruthless Aggression era.
Charlotte…ugh…while I’ll admit she has presence, she has horrid delivery. I can’t stand her promos most of the time, this is one of those times.
Elias actually gets through his anti-Philly song! It was great. The match was alright as well. One of the best ones of the night, though that’s not saying much. Elias has great timing on the Jumping Knee he’s been using. It seems to hit well every time.
Shield time, it takes a while and a few dumb jump cuts to get there, but we get the 646845516846th Shield Reunion in 18 months. While I do understand why and I’m happy in a way for the people, I really don’t care. The match will be alright, and a smart way to ease Roman back into the ring, but I’m not expecting much beyond maybe the first drop in the bucket for the rumored Ambrose vs Reigns match at WrestleMania.
Whoever didn’t see Roode and Gable interfering after how insulted they’ve been the last few weeks – need their eyesight checked. The match was cut short before it got moving well. Black and Ricochet do their poses after some jawing to Roode and Gable, ok. Poses are cool I get it, the Power Rangers have dazzled 10 year olds for 25 years with that.
Okay so Hold Harmless signing. I like the usage of the same form since we’ve heard it in NXT and two years ago with Rollins and Triple H. So I have no problem with them sticking with something in the vernacular that people have grown to expect. Also the funny thing is usually the one signing the Hold Harmless wins the match.
Ronda showing up was fine, she’s right she never vacated the belt, she just walked off and left it. I had no issue with her getting mad, cutting the Heel affirmation promo where she’s done trying for fans since they don’t want her anyway. Yes she blitzed through the promo, but when she’s angry and frustrated, talking faster applies. Plus I think the “Damn the Man, Screw the Woo, No more Mrs. Nice Bitch” is her best line ever. The beat down went long and got a little odd at times, but regardless, I enjoyed that.
Overall Score: 4.5/10
Slightly below average because hell, even if I’m happy for Roman and his buddies…it’s still a hollow story that feels overdone. Plus the in-ring product was pretty lame, the SNL guys were like swallowing nails and made the show worse. Hell if I didn’t like the ending portion as much as I did, it would’ve probably tracked lower. Not a great episode, but not overly awful, just a chore to get through.
- The Miz vs Jey Uso: Miz wins via Skull Crushing Finale – * 1/2
- United States Championship Fatal 4 Way: R-Truth (c) vs Andrade vs Rey Mysterio vs Samoa Joe: Joe wins via Coquina Clutch – *** ½ – TITLE CHANGE!!
- Aleister Black & Ricochet vs The Bar: Riochet wins via 630 Senton – ** 1/2
- Naomi vs Mandy Rose: Rose wins via Bed of Roses– N/A
- Rowan vs Kevin Owens: Owens wins via DQ – N/A
Daniel Bryan opens things doing the smarmy heel thing well. Granted the fact all he’s got are fat jokes for Owens is lame, and I liked that when Owens came out even he made mention of that too. Daniel wasn’t overly clever but the opening segment was fine and caused a showdown with Rowan and Owens that set up a match for later.
The Usos are fantastic. They have a rap like flow to their promos, go back and forth in a playful way and even put Shane over a little with the shoe game comment. When Miz and Shane come out, they try to basically do the white version of the Usos’ back and forth and it comes off clunky and comical, which is the point. The match was fine, just a lot of extra stuff going on to help with the story and to make us think Shane and Miz have a shot. It set things up logically.
R-Truth returns with the Open Challenge since his hero John Cena keeps inspiring him. Joe, Andrade and Rey come out and before Truth can say anything, the announcers says it’s a Fatal 4-Way. It’s a damn good match, a lot of stuff going on, a few near falls with everyone looking good. Samoa Joe finally takes advantage of his situation and grabs his first main roster championship. Bout damn time!
Joe has an interview afterwards and the fact that he says he will be the anti-Cena basically, foreshadows towards Cena vs Joe for WrestleMania. It’s just a guess, but with all the mentions, it’s probably going to happen.
The thrown together NXT tag team and former champions. The match was fine, but I am a little annoyed at the constant wins. I get that they are a team for the Dusty Classic, so this helps to legitimize them on multiple levels, but with no real set up, no emotional connection to these characters…this streak comes off super flat. Hopefully Ricochet and Black lose at Fastlane, but it ends up being Revival pinning Roode or Gable. Cause these wins for the sake of winning does nothing for me.
Mandy and Naomi, well…sure. Corey has a good line regarding Naomi looking like she should be directing traffic (all yellow outfit). That was the most entertaining part of the match too since one distraction later, Bed of Roses and the match is over. Asuka shows up as the Sonya and Mandy are walking off victories and beats on them. So that’s always nice.
AJ Styles being the consummate good guy, Orton makes a snide remark that isn’t really wrong. I like the slower build to this eventual match.
Well yeah, Daniel Bryan gets involved after repeating coward like 13 times. So Daniel was just unoriginal as hell tonight, DQ happens. Mustafa Ali shows up to make the save, which is nice since we haven’t seen him since before Elimination Chamber. I think we all wanted Sami Zayn, but Ali isn’t bad for now.
Charlotte calls out Becky and well, honestly I usually bash Charlotte’s promos but she wasn’t bad here. The condescending bitchy tone and cadence worked well. Becky is still over huge, took the beating in stride, shook it off in her promo and when the brawl happened she even got the best of Charlotte and put her in the Fujiwara. So this is really the only match that is a question mark at Fastlane.
Overall Score: 7/10
Above average show, a few slower/redundant moments hurt the show from being really good. But in typical SmackDown fashion, they advance stories just enough and logically to make people happy. Plus we got a title change and a solid match out the show. This is just such a more streamlined product. Fox should be happy with what they’re getting.
Cook’s Top 5: Miz Moments
Cook brings the most must see Top 5 of the week! Is it obvious or a MIZtery?
This week is all about our new WWE Champion, The Miz!
Let’s be honest, Miz might not hold the Championship for too long. He’s got a big match with Bobby Lashley next week. We wish him luck, and maybe something unlikely will happen resulting in Miz holding on to the title longer than anybody expects. Still, I feel the need to get this particular edition of the Top 5 out there as soon as possible.
Here are the Top 5 Miz Moments!
5. Main Eventing WrestleMania
The match itself…not so great. Miz was obviously the third most important person in the match. He also suffered a concussion. But the guy still main evented WrestleMania and beat John Cena, which is something that not too many other people can say. This will remain Miz’s biggest WrestleMania match unless they get Bad Bunny to wrestle him this year.
4. A Ladder Match with Dolph Ziggler
Miz & Ziggler have quite a bit in common. Both hail from the Cleveland area. Both prefer to think of themselves as being from Hollywood. They’re both egotistical characters that make up for what they might lack in size with ego. They’ve been in WWE forever with limited changes to their character, pretty much on the same level of the card. Naturally, they get along pretty well & have good chemistry.
2016 saw the best incarnation of their on-screen issues, with Miz & Ziggler trading the Intercontinental Championship back & forth. The Ladder Match ending the feud at TLC is considered by most to be Miz’s best match. I don’t have a ton of other options off the top of my head, so we’ll go with that.
3. The First MITB Cash-In
You always remember your first. At this point in time, much like here in 2021, Miz wasn’t seen as the most believable choice to be WWE Champion. However, the man had a briefcase, and, importantly, this was back before the briefcase gimmick was completely run into the ground. So when Miz ran down at the end of Raw to cash in on Randy Orton, it got a tremendous reaction.
People were either really happy or really angry. I was on the angry side of the spectrum, especially since I had a cold and was writing a news column during all of this. Man, I remember when the week or so a year I would a cold was the only time I really felt like crap.
What can I say, Miz has grown on me over the years.
2. Feuding with The King
A lot of old school wrestling fans found it hard to believe that The Miz had become WWE Champion when more deserving wrestlers from their childhood never had been. Heck, Jerry Lawler, a God of Memphis rasslin who piledrove Andy Kaufman into oblivion, had never even gotten a shot at that title, even though he’d worked for WWE for nearly twenty years. Seemed wrong to a lot of people, but nobody expected that wrong to be addressed.
Lawler was celebrating his sixty-first birthday the week after Miz defeated Randy Orton for the WWE Championship. One thing led to another, and Lawler got his very first WWE Championsgip opportunity. In a TLC match! They got the fans believing that Lawler could win the title…until that pesky Michael Cole kept Lawler from climbing further up the ladder.
It was nice to see the King get another important run on WWE television long after we thought it was possible. A large part of the reason it was possible? The Miz. He portrayed himself as just beatable enough that the title change could happen. Also held up his end of the bargin in the promos, which was never easy for Lawler’s opponents.
I know everybody likes a title change, but this was the best work Miz did during his first WWE Championship reign by a wide margin.
Honorable Mention: Marrying Maryse
You knew I had to mention this, right?
1. Talking Smack to Daniel Bryan
I’ve always been a Daniel Bryan guy. Back when he was Miz’s “rookie” on NXT, I thought the idea that Miz would have something to teach him was a bit outrageous. It was an interesting pairing though, and the Miz/Bryan relationship/rivalry has provided plenty of compelling moments over the years.
None moreso than the night where Miz did something that a lot of people didn’t think was possible: make himself seem right & Daniel Bryan seem wrong. The way Miz defended himself in this tirade was pretty much impossible to argue with. Maybe Miz doesn’t wrestle the way that hardcore wrestling fans would like, but he is pretty much the prototypical WWE Superstar of his era. He always works hard, is never hurt, and you don’t have to worry about him embarrassing himself or the company.
This promo raised Miz’s character to another level at the time, and definitely added some fuel to the fire for Bryan’s eventual return. If you want to see one Miz promo that sums up who he is & was, this would be it.
Bodeen’s Top 5 Moments: WWE Elimination Chamber 2021
Bodeen Green is back with your look at his Top 5 Moments from WWE Elimination Chamber!
Bodeen Green is back with your look at his Top 5 Moments from WWE Elimination Chamber!
Due to the short build between the Royal Rumble and Elimination Chamber, there was a general lack of excitement from fans heading into the Elimination Chamber Pay-Per-View, especially with the lack of established matches on the card. Despite this, the Elimination Chamber was still a solid show to watch, mainly due to both chamber matches being fun to watch, with the last chamber match, having a shocking but awesome twist. So as we leave the Elimination Chamber and take yet another step forward on the Road to WrestleMania, let us look at the top 5 moments that stood out on this short but solid show.
5. Riddle becomes United States Champion
Heading into this match, it seemed highly unlikely that Riddle would beat the United States Champion, Bobby Lashley. Even though the match was a triple threat match and Riddle did not have to pin Lashley to win the title, fans had seen Riddle lose to Bobby time and time again, making it seem the only real threat to Lashley’s title reign in the match was Keith Lee. However after Lee was taken out and John Morrison won a match on the pre-show earlier in the night, things seemed somewhat possible for Riddle.
All three men looked good in this match, as Lashley dominated the start of the match, helping fans get their breath back from the opening Elimination Chamber. This would force Riddle and John Morrison to team up on Lashley, despite being teamed up on Lashley would fight back and seemed to have things won as he put the hurt lock on John Morrison, only for Riddle to attack Lashley with the crutch belonging to MVP and pin John Morrison to become United States Champion
Yet again, special credit has to be given to MVP as a manager, he serves a purpose and actually looks like he’s being effective in helping Lashley. An example of this was MVP encouraging Lashley to stay outside the ring to recover as Riddle and Morrison treaded blows inside the ring.
4. The Tribal Chief reigns supreme for now
Instead of defending the Universal Championship inside the Elimination Chamber, Roman Reigns would use his power to face the winner of the SmackDown Elimination Chamber match, straight after the match. This was yet another great heel move from Roman as it once again showed how much power he has backstage due to his bloodline and role as a main-event player.
After Daniel Bryan survived a brutal chamber match, Roman Reigns would come out straight after the match, giving Daniel Bryan little time to recover. Roman would go to spear Daniel, only for Daniel to reverse it into the Yes Lock, making the impossible seem possible, only for Roman to counter and punish Daniel, locking in the guillotine for the win.
After holding the Universal Title, Roman would be hit with a spear by Edge, who seemed to copy Roman from earlier on SmackDown as he whispered in Roman’s ear, before pointing to the WrestleMania sign, giving fans his answer on who he’s gonna face at WrestleMania.
3. An Awesome finish
After The Miz won the Money In The Bank briefcase at Hell In A Cell against Otis, it seemed like every Pay-Per-View he would give Drew McIntyre a threat, stating he was going to cash in, however as time went on, it seemed more unlikely he would ever successfully cash in the Money In The Bank briefcase and win the WWE Championship from Drew McIntyre.
Each after he pulled out of the Elimination Chamber match, it still seemed unlikely Miz would cash in successfully, especially with it being so close to WrestleMania. However, after we saw backstage footage of The Miz talking to MVP backstage before the Elimination Chamber match for the WWE Championship, things started to become interesting.
After McIntyre had won the Elimination Chamber match to retain his WWE Championship, Bobby Lashley would come out and dominate Drew, leaving The Miz to cash in on Drew, allowing Miz to win the WWE Championship, putting a massive twist on the Road to WrestleMania.
2. McIntyre survives the Elimination Chamber
The Elimination Chamber match was filled with heaps of sub feuds, especially with the WWE Champion, Drew Mcintyre who had old rivals in Randy Orton and AJ Styles, as well as a new feud with his former best friend Sheamus, despite this, Drew would keep a level head and dominate everyone in the match, before eventually hitting a claymore on AJ Styles to win the match and retain his title before The Miz would cash in.
Jeff Hardy and Randy Orton would start the match before Drew would come in and dominate both men. Kofi Kingston would come in next and hit Orton with a roll-up to score a shock elimination. Orton would RKO both Hardy and Kofi, allowing Styles to have an advantage as Omos helped destroy his pod, so Styles could enter early in the match. Kofi would be eliminated by Sheamus, as well as Hardy who was eliminated by Drew.
AJ, Sheamus and Drew would trade blows, with Sheamus hitting Drew with a Brogue kick, only for Styles to hit the Phenomenal Forearm on Sheamus to eliminate him. With Drew now battered and broken Styles would attempt a Phenomenal Forearm on Drew, only for Drew to hit a Claymore Kick in mid-air to survive and win a great Elimination Chamber match.
1. Daniel Bryan goes the distance
Despite the Elimination Chamber match for the WWE Championship being a great match I personally found the opening chamber match earlier in the night much more enjoyable. It felt much more smooth and natural than the later chamber match with all 6 men involved looking strong with Daniel Bryan, being the clear MVP of the match as he entered the chamber first with fellow dark horse Cesaro and went on to win his third Elimination Chamber match.
Cesaro and Daniel would start things off slow as they entered the match first. King Corbin would then come out, followed by an irate Sami Zayn who could not believe we entered forth. Corbin would be the first eliminated after Cesaro put him the Sharpshooter. Kevin Owens and Jey Uso would then come out with Owens eliminating Sami. As Sami exited the ring Jey would trap Kevin’s arm in the Chamber door, superkicking him then eliminating him.
Cesaro would then mount a comeback only for Jey to ruin his momentum as he superkicked Cesaro and hit a splash to eliminate him. Jey would then attempt a splash of a wounded Bryan, only for Bryan to get his knees up and hit Jey with the running knee to win the Elimination Chamber match.
These were my top 5 moments from the Elimination Chamber. What were your top 5 moments and what did you think of both Elimination Chamber matches? Let us know in the comments below.
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