The Road to WrestleMania continued to heat up as WWE presented Elimination Chamber. It’s a show that has caused WWE’s creative team several headaches over the past week with both Lacey Evans and Keith Lee being officially pulled from the show just hours before it went to air.
A fatal four-way match was announced for the kick-off show which would see Lee’s replacement in the United States Championship match revealed.
Elimination Chamber will see the WWE, Universal, Women’s Tag Team, and United States Championships defended, with Drew McIntyre being the only champion defending inside the structure.
Kickoff | John Morrison vs. Ricochet vs. Elias vs. Mustafa Ali
This was a strange match that saw three heels up against one face, but all four men were looking for a shot at the United States Championship. RETRIBUTION was at ringside to help Ali gain a psychological advantage and were able to involve themselves in the match several times.
There were several near falls including Elias almost picking up the win with a sit-out chokeslam, but he was pulled off the cover by Slapjack before Ricochet could take the pin. RETRIBUTION later pulled Ali out of the ring in the middle of a pin to save their leader from certain defeat.
Ricochet was sent into the steel post by RETRIBUTION on the outside, and while the team was distracted, John Morrison was able to roll up a distracted Mustafa Ali in the ring to pick up the victory.
Result: John Morrison Qualifies for the United States Title Match
Analysis: This was a last-minute addition to the card that seemingly didn’t make a lot of sense as three heels faced off against one face. John Morrison has been overlooked since his WWE return last year and hopefully, this is the start of a push for the former ECW World Champion.
#1 Contender Elimination Chamber Match for Universal Championship | Daniel Bryan vs. Sami Zayn vs. Cesaro vs. King Corbin vs. Kevin Owens vs. Jey Uso
The winner of the first match of the night would be handed a shot at the Universal Championship later in the night. Unlike the WWE Championship Chamber match, there was no match to determine the final entrant in this match, so all men began on an even playing field.
Cesaro and Daniel Bryan kicked off the match and gave the WWE Universe a technical masterclass. After neither man was able to find an advantage, King Corbin joined the fray. Sami Zayn became the fourth entrant in the match before Cesaro forced King Corbin to tap to The Sharpshooter.
Kevin Owens was the penultimate addition to the match before he was joined by Jey Uso. After handing out Stunners to all the men in the match, Owens was able to eliminate Sami Zayn. Kevin Owens was then trapped in the door by Jey Uso before the cousin of The Tribal Chief was able to eliminate him with a splash.
Jey Uso then eliminated Cesaro with a superkick followed by a frog splash, but Bryan was there to deliver the running knee to win the match and set up a meeting with the Universal Champion.
Result: Daniel Bryan becomes #1 Contender for Universal Championship
Analysis: The WWE Universe expected Cesaro to come out on top, but instead, it was the workhorse himself, Daniel Bryan. Reigns and Bryan have a long history against each other, and since Bryan had already taken out Jey Uso, it meant that he could be handed a clean shot at the title.
Universal Championship | Roman Reigns vs. Daniel Bryan
Daniel Bryan could hardly stand, but he was able to drag himself to his feet to challenge Reigns immediately after his Chamber victory. Bryan almost shocked the Champion when he locked in the Yes Lock but Reigns was able to fight out and lock in his guillotine to send Bryan to sleep.
Result: Roman Reigns retains Universal Championship
Analysis: This was a very short match that could easily have been more competitive later in the show. It appears that Reigns definitely has some pull backstage in order to have such an easy night.
United States Championship Triple Threat Match | John Morrison vs. Riddle vs. Bobby Lashley
John Morrison may have been a last-minute replacement, but he was prepared for the fight. Riddle and Morrison decided on a short alliance mid-way through the match in order to take Lashley down, but this didn’t last for long.
After an argument with MVP at ringside, John Morrison took MVP’s crutch and tried to use it on Lashley, but got locked in the Hurt Lock. Riddle took the crutch and attacked Lashley before hitting the BroDerek on Morrison to become the new United States Champion.
Result: Riddle becomes new United States Champion
Analysis: There were several botches in the match but WWE was still able to protect Bobby Lashley while handing Matt Riddle his first Championship on the main roster. This means that Keith Lee was initially set to take the pin, but this could lead to something for both Riddle and Lashley at WrestleMania.
Women’s Tag Team Championship | Shayna Baszler and Nia Jax vs. Bianca Belair and Sasha Banks
There were several combustible elements in this match considering the fact that many fans didn’t believe that Belair and Banks would co-exist. Despite this, the two women were on the same page throughout and could have won the Championships after Belair hit the KOD on The Submission Magician.
Reginald made his way out to the ring before Banks locked in The Banks Statement, Reginald then looked to hand Banks the bottle of wine but the distraction allowed Nia Jax to hit the Samoan Drop to retain her Championship.
Result: Shayna Baszler and Nia Jax retain Women’s Tag Team Championships
Analysis: WWE had so many options, from Raquel Gonzalez and Dakota Kai in NXT to Lana and Naomi over on Raw, but the company decided to go with Reginald, and the finish of the match didn’t make a lot of sense. Jax and Baszler will now look ahead of their title defense on March 3rd against the Dusty Cup winners down in NXT.
WWE Championship Elimination Chamber Match | Drew McIntyre vs. Sheamus vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Randy Orton vs. Jeff Hardy vs.AJ Styles
Randy Orton and Jeff Hardy started out the match before being joined by WWE Champion Drew McIntyre.
Kofi Kingston entered the match and was interestingly able to shock Randy Orton with a roll-up to eliminate The Viper from the match. Orton was fuming and hit RKO’s to all other men in the match, which led to Omos ripping the glass from Styles’ pod and allowing him to enter the match early. Styles was unable to eliminate any of his opponents, but Omos was removed from ringside by Adam Pearce a few minutes later.
Sheamus was the final entrant into the match and was able to eliminate Kofi Kingston with a Brogue Kick. Jeff Hardy was about to eliminate AJ Styles following a Swanton Bomb before he was hit with a Claymore and eliminated by McIntyre. Sheamus could have eliminated McIntyre with a Brogue Kick but Styles hit a Phenomenal Forearm to take the Irish star out of the equation. A few seconds later, McIntyre retained following a Claymore in mid-air to Styles.
After the match, Bobby Lashley delivered a spear to Drew McIntyre as he celebrated his win before unleashing a brutal assault on the Champion. The Miz then ran down and cashed in his Money in the Bank contract, and after a Skull Crushing Finale, he became the new WWE Champion.
Result: The Miz cashes in to become new WWE Champion
Analysis: Once again, WWE had several options in this match, it’s unclear why Randy Orton was eliminated so quickly or why this wasn’t the perfect time for The Fiend to make his return. Tonight’s show will definitely go down as a night full of missed opportunities for WWE.
The Miz’s victory will hopefully lead to an interesting angle for the WWE Championship heading into WrestleMania and not become another hit-and-miss angle for The Miz.