WWE Elimination Chamber 2017 Results and Thoughts
Last night’s PPV seemed like an extended Smackdown episode without commercials at times, but with a crucial and exciting main event, it made up for the whole show. Here’s what happened along with my thoughts on the matches.
Mojo Rawley vs. Curt Hawkins (Kick Off Show Match)
Nothing more than a TV match here. I feel so bad for Hawkins because after months of promoting his return, they’ve done nothing but bury him. No wonder WWE has a hard time creating new stars.
Winner: Mojo Rawley
Becky Lynch vs. Mickie James
This was the right match to start off the show. It wasn’t anything better, in my mind, than a standard TV match with some near falls to try and get the crowd into the match. In the end, Lynch countered James and scored the quick pin. I have no reason why they put Lynch over James here because having the heel chase the face because they want to avenge their loss doesn’t make for quality storytelling. They should have had Mickie win to remind people of her past dominance in the division so it sets up something more meaningful in the future when Lynch would finally get the win over her. Instead we got Mickie James on Talking Smack discussing, calmly, how she’s “fix” her loss. Boring and stupidly booked.
Winner: Becky Lynch
Apollo Crews & Kalisto vs. Dolph Ziggler – Two on One Handicap Match
This was a backwards-booked match that was a snoozer. Ziggler attacked Kalisto on his way up to basically set up a one on one match vs. Apollo Crews for the majority of the quick match. Ziggler seemed to be in control until Kalisto stumbled to the ring and helped Crews score the win on Ziggler. Kalisto got beaten up and thrown outside the ring while Ziggler put Crew’s ankle in a steel chair and stomped on it twice to give the illusion that he damaged or broke it. The crowd cheered for Ziggler for doing this and chanted “Thank you, Ziggler!” as they faded to a vignette. Do you blame the crowd? I don’t! I’ve said it so many times: WWE has done nothing to make anyone care about Apollo Crews (and Kalisto doesn’t currently have much stock, either). Add that most fans still like Dolph Zigger and you just knew this is what the fan reaction to this match and aftermath would be. Ziggler deserves better than this.
Winner: Apollo Crews & Kalisto
American Alpha (Champs) vs. The Usos vs. Breezango vs. The Vaudevillains vs. Heath Slater and Rhyno vs. The Ascension –
Tag Team Turmoil match for the Smackdown Tag Titles
While there were some good spots here for most of the teams, I could have cared less about this match. I thought WWE were setting up a title change when after The Usos were eliminated, they beat down American Alpha to set up The Ascension to get the win. WWE made The Ascension look worse than usual here because even with the beat down, and American Alpha in the ring for a long time, they still couldn’t get the job done on a downed team. Ridiculous but at least it made American Alpha look like the stars and champs they are. Let’s get into some meaningful feuds with some story-telling within the tag division, please.
Winners: American Alpha
Nikki Bella vs. Natalya
I really liked the aggression and the promos these two had been unleashing on each other before the match. This is the first feud for both these women I’ve had any interest in in quite a long time. The match was good for what it was – a brawl. The only thing I didn’t like was Nattie pandering to the crowd so much to try and get more heat as it took away from what she was trying to do: beat Nikki and prove she is the better wrestler.
The double count-out finish is OK with me because I want to see where this goes. Even after the match was finished, these two went at it backstage. Could a cage match to finalize this feud happen? There has to be some big payoff to this, right?
Side note: with all the rumours of a potential Nikki Bella retirement and Cena/Nikki vs The Miz/Maryse match at Wrestlemania, it was funny to see how Maryse was the one who got her outfit messed up due to Nattie and Nikki fighting backstage. I wonder if that’s some good ol’ foreshadowing happening.
Winner: Double count-out
Luke Harper vs. Randy Orton
If you’ve read my wrestling features, you know I’m not a big fan of Orton. I respect his in ring work most of the time, but I just can’t get into him whether he’s a face or heel. That being said, I was extremely bored during the first half of the match. The fans weren’t excited either until things picked up. I thought, especially when posing for the crowd during the match, “this is the response Orton is getting and he’s in a main event at Wrestlemania? Oh boy….”
It was really nice to see Harper get some great offense in and actually hear the crowd get behind him. I think the future is brighter now for Harper, especially after this match, but it all depends on what happens with him next. Harper “won” here even with the loss in the eyes of the fans.
I still don’t think Harper is walking away from Bray Wyatt and and how he factors into the road to Wrestlemania and the inevitable showdown between Orton and Bray Wyatt remains to be seem. Oh, I like the suspense!
Winner: Randy Orton
Alexa Bliss (Champ) vs Naomi – Smackdown Women’s Championship Match
This was my least favourite match featuring the women on the show. It was just so-so. There weren’t any bad spots or really anything that made me cringe, but I just wasn’t excited. Although I like Bliss’s promos leading up to the match, there wasn’t a lot of build to this match. With Naomi winning (which was a feel good moment), there really isn’t a story to tell next for fans to get behind. It goes back to the same thing I mentioned about the Lynch/James match – no one is really excited for a story when the heels are the ones looking for the retribution.
I’m really surprised there was a title change here because I thought it would happen for Naomi at Wrestlemania and I can’t see these two fighting over the championship at the biggest show of the year with just under seven weeks to go. I’m sure a new challenger will emerge or we’ll see a triple threat or fatal four-way for the championship at Wrestlemania.
John Cena (Champ) vs. Dean Ambrose vs. AJ Styles vs. Baron Corbin vs. The Miz vs. Bray Wyatt – Elimination Chamber Match for the WWE World Championship
Man, on man! This was one of my favourite chamber matches in a long time. There were great spots (low and high) and some seeds were planted for upcoming feuds. I first have to give props to my fave, AJ Styles again, for making so many of the spots in the match.
Baron Corbin was the first to get eliminated by Dean Ambrose. Corbin took out his frustration on Dean Ambrose, totally pummeling him before exiting the chamber. This allowed The Miz, who had finally been released from his chamber, to sneak in for the quick pin. All this opens the door for a Corbin/Ambrose feud or even an Ambrose/Miz rematch.
The Miz then went on an aggressive spree nailing Wyatt, Styles, and Cena with a bunch of major offense. I was so impressed and I actually thought The Miz may be around to the final two. I was just in the midst of texting my cousin to say how impressed with how strong WWE Creative was allowing The Miz to look and that’s when Cena nailed him with ONE Attitude Adjustment and scored the pin. So much for lookin’ good!
The match really moved forward from this point on and in the midst of more spots and back-and-forth action, Bray Wyatt put Cena in the Sister Abigail out of nowhere and pinned Cena. The crowd went absolutely ape-shit crazy because Cena was no longer the champ. At that point I was excited to see if WWE was going to pull the trigger with the rumoured Wyatt win or if AJ Styles would become a two-time champ.
Both men had some near falls, but when Styles went for his springboards off the rope to hit his Phenomenal Forearm spots, I knew the end for him in the match was coming. Too bad it was so similar to how the Styles/Cena match ended at the Royal Rumble. Wyatt also countered Styles in the Sister Abigail and pinned Styles for his first ever WWE Championship.
I’m all for Wyatt for finally have some championship gold. For me, though, I just hope it’s not all a vessel to give Randy another run with the title. If anything, if there is a WWE Championship match between Orton and Wyatt at Wrestlemania, it should be to make Wyatt look strong and build up his character. He just pinned two former champs in one match, so that’s a hell of a start!
I say IF because we are just under seven weeks away from Wrestlemania and A LOT can happen between now and then. Could Wyatt lose the belt before then? Could a third party like AJ Styles get involved to make the match a triple threat? Where does Luke Harper fit into things? Is Erick Rowan coming back into the picture? So many questions and I like that!