WWE Elimination Chamber 2018 Results & Thoughts
Last night, WWE delivered Raw‘s last PPV before Wrestlemania and I thought it was a pretty entertaining show for the most part. Besides going out on a limb with my prediction for the main event just for the hell of it, I predicted all the winners! Not too shabby! Then again, I’m sure most people did as well. Here are my thoughts on the show!
Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson vs. The Miztourage – Kick-Off Show
It was what it was – a regular TV tag match to get Gallows & Anderson over. It also looks like they’ll be heading into a program with The Revival, which should be good.
Winners: Gallows and Anderson
Women’s Elimination Chamber Match
I figured they’d start the show with this match, and I was correct. It seems the big story here was the “sudden” turn of Sasha Banks on Bayley. I don’t really think it’s a story because the match was all women for themselves. On Raw tonight, I’d like to see Banks and Bayley team up after they talk out last night’s scuffle only for Banks to really turn on Bayley, or vice versa. I can’t see Bayley be a heel and Banks needs to go back to being the obnoxious bad-ass from NXT. Then again, Bayley’s character has been so butchered, the crowed will probably eat up anything a “heel” Banks does to her. I guess we’ll see how it plays out.
Mickie James was embraced by the crowd very well and her spot off the top of the chamber onto Deville, to eliminate her, was impressive. It’s too bad Bayley got immediate heat by taking James out of the match. The crowd chanted “we want Mickie” and I wanted more, too.
I think both members of Absolution did well for one of their first main PPV matches and being in the chamber. I think Deville is going to be a stand-out in a few years and if they build her correctly, I could see a showdown between her and Rousey.
Alexa Bliss was a real stand-out this match, too, although she was the last one to join. The whole cat-and-mouse game she played with Bayley and Banks was good. Once Bayley was eliminated, I thought Banks and Bliss put on a good show and Bliss really held her own. It shows, again, how much she’s grown by leaps and bounds over the short time she’s been on the main roster. Who would have thought?
Speaking of growing, the whole after match interview Bliss gave where it looks like she was turning face just to turn on the fans near the end was such good work. There are many women and men on the roster that should be studying Bliss’ mannerisms and delivery if they want to be a good heel – or how to at least deliver a promo with any sort of authenticity (cough, Reigns). After this bout, I’m looking forward to a Bliss and Asuka match at Wrestlemania, that is even IF Asuka challeges Bliss. We could potentially see Charlotte vs. Asuka and leave Jax and Bliss for ‘Mania.
Winner: Alexa Bliss
Cesaro & Sheamus (Champs) vs. Titus Worldwide – Raw Tag Team Championship
Here was another filler Raw TV match. The match had some decent spots and kept my attention for the most part, but there was just no real investment on my part here knowing full well that Titus Worldwide wouldn’t be winning this match.
Winners: The Bar
Asuka vs. Nia Jax
I wasn’t a fan of this match. Nia looked decent but Asuka looked pretty weak throughout. I know they were booking Asuka overcoming a huge obstacle here, but I think she looked too overpowered and out-maneuvered here. I’m sure Jax has no problem with that!
There was a spot where Jax was lifting Asuka up from an arm-bar and actually had Asuka’s shoulders pinned to the ground for a good two-count. I’m sure many saw that and figured Jax could have just put her weight on Asuka for another second and won the match easily. On the flip-side, when Asuka pinned Jax, the ref started counting when Jax’s shoulders weren’t even on the mat! I found it to be sloppy.
Jax looked strong even after the match with the attack on Asuka while Askua looked worse by having to be carried to the back – a first from what I can remember. It wasn’t a good final glimpse of Asuka on the PPV. I still feel the crowd who only watch Raw and Smackdown still don’t know what to make of Asuka. I know the rabid Wrestlemania crowd will be behind her, but until that event, WWE has to do something to get the causal audience behind Asuka. I think more people will be cheering for Bliss or Flair.
“Woken” Matt Hardy vs. Bray Wyatt
First thing first: fuck off with the beach balls at these events. Quit disrespecting the talent in the ring by bringing these in or taking part in the “fun.” Same goes with “the wave.” Yes, this feud hasn’t been built well and Wyatt’s character has been damaged beyond repair. Hell, look where Wyatt was this time last year compared to now!
But guess what, people? It’s creative’s fault. It’s Vince’s fault. It’s the writing! They are going out there to perform with the material that was handed to them and what WWE Creative have given them up to that point. I know some may think it sends a message that what creative is doing isn’t working or that the feud may not be where it should be, but I just find it so insulting to the talent in the ring more than anything. If the story does pick up after this, it’s not because of your lack of respect, it’s because we have a few more weeks to get these two to Wrestlemania to see what has been planned.
While the match wasn’t anything to write home about, it was no worse than the other singles matches before it. I’m glad Hardy tried to play up that he was feeding off the crowd’s antics or pretending to actually be the catalyst to the behaviour. It was better than the awful camera angles we were being given to hide what was happening and the announcer’s fed lines they were spouting that no one would buy if you were paying attention to what the crowd was doing.
Let’s see where this goes, if it’s not completely halted due to last night. I actually liked Wyatt looking dumbfounded that all his usual tricks and mind games were being used against him or laughed off. It may make Wyatt take a different direction – something sorely needed.
Winner: “Woken” Matt Hardy
Ronda Rousey’s official Raw Contract Signing
I knew Stephanie McMahon would be involved in last night’s segment but once Triple H came out and then Kurt Angle started running his mouth once the whole segment got going, you knew exactly where this was heading. I thought WWE would have waited for the whole HHH & Steph gang-up to start on tonight’s program but I guess WWE knew what the rabid Los Vegas crowd would be like and they needed to pull out all the stops to get Rousey over.
I had no idea the crowd would be so against Rousey! Maybe this has something to do with UFC that I don’t know about? For someone so dominant and hyped to come to WWE, she sure didn’t get a good welcome from the crowd. I really like how HHH pointed out how Rousey didn’t want anything specific or perks in her contract and she stated she wanted to work for everything and be treated like everyone else. I think that was wise – especially if they’re not making her a heel. The icing on the cake was Rousey putting HHH through the table and saving the hands-on with Steph for later on down the road. I’m surprised HHH stayed down as long as he did, though.
While Rousey does need to work on her mic skills and came across as too amateurish here with her delivery, it will come when she gets more opportunity and studies others. She’ll learn fast. I think it turned out to be a successful segment and I’m curious how they’ll now stretch this out until Wrestlemania.
Men’s Elimination Chamber Match
This was a long match with a lot of action and spots in it. Make sure to check it out, if you missed it (same goes for the women’s bout in the chamber). I found most of what happened to make sense except for certain parts during the match where the wrestlers got themselves into certain positions just to take certain moves.
The biggest offender was when all the men in the chamber at the time just happened to all be hurt enough to end up in a circle, on their knees at the same time, while The Miz slowly pointed to each one of them and then proceeded to kick them all. It was just bad and that overly scripted stuff really take me out of the disbelief needed when watching wrestling.
Speaking of disbelief, I am in awe over how they built up Braun Strowman during this match. It was wonderful. Strowman taking so much offensiveness – bit by bit – was good booking and each time he took each competitor out, it was believable.
That leads us to the end where it was just Strowman and Reigns left. There was a piece of me, I admit, that thought WWE was actually going to give us Strowman vs. Lesnar for something different and not send the man, who will bring a chorus of boos with him, to Wrestlemania. Well, they didn’t, and in typical Reigns comeback fashion, Strowman fell to Superman punches and spears. Oh, goodie. Now, I will say that Strowman got enough punishment handed to him throughout the match to go down from Reigns quick offense at the end, so I can at least buy into it a bit.
Strowman getting the better of Reigns at the end was a nice touch to send the crowd home happy after seeing someone the majority didn’t want to win come out as victorious. Unfortunately, Reigns was on Talking Raw not even 30 min after looking fine, composed, and not hurt at all. Ugh.
I can’t understand why we’re getting Reigns and Lesnar in the main event of Wrestlemania again (or Reigns headlining his fourth show). I’d LOVE to see the crowd stand up and walk out of a WWE main event if they are unhappy with the participants. If WWE is going to put in a lazy, overpriced, and under worked champ (who will probably be leaving the company again) against someone people they don’t want to see in the main event at the biggest show of the year, I don’t know if booing will send the message anymore. That’s another story, I guess.
I’m excited for Raw tonight to see what story lines will be developed for those with no path to Wrestlemania. John Cena said during Talking Raw he was going to do something more outside the box and unorthodox to get a spot on the card. This alone has me intrigued. Who would have thought I’d be already more interested in what John Cena will do on Raw to get to Wrestlemania than the now advertised main event of the show?