Tha Sports Junkies 101

Ashley Sweetly Writes: Results and Reaction to 2018 Elimination Chamber

Elimination Chamber 2018 Wrestlers Tube, via Flickr


Ashley Sweetly Writes: Results and Reaction to 2018 Elimination Chamber

And another pay-per-view is in the books. Now, we are only 42 days away from WrestleMania, and the only pay-per-view between then and now is Fastlane. That pay-per-view, of course, is courtesy of the SmackDown Live brand. Hopefully, the WWE will be able to accomplish more in storytelling for the red brand than they did for this year’s Elimination Chamber. Let’s get a break down of what we were subjected to last night, shall we?

Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson vs. Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel (Pre-Show)

In true Curtis Axel fashion, it is no surprise that the Miztourage took the loss here. Reports recently stated that Anderson and Gallows shut down any rumors that they were unhappy working for the WWE. I’ve got to admit, I’m happy that they don’t plan on going anywhere.

But putting them on to a pre-show doing nothing much isn’t my cup of tea, either. When they first came to support AJ Styles, they were serious threats to his opponents. The WWE missed some serious potential with them. And now, they could be helping out another former [Bullet] Club member, Finn Balor. Instead, they’re tossing Bo Dallas around.

Luckily, there was an immediate cut scene to the backstage, where the Revival gave a short interview. Scott Dawson said that this wasn’t his kind of tag-team wrestling. Dash Wilder said that the match was a mockery. The RAW Tag Team Division does need help, and I’m hopeful that we’ll see more serious contenders. I wouldn’t be mad at a Revival/Club rivalry, either.

Women’s Elimination Chamber Match: Alexa Bliss (c.) vs. Sasha Banks vs. Mickie James vs. Sonya DeVille vs. Mandy Rose vs. Bayley

Alexa Bliss went into this elimination match at the top of her game. She does great heel promo work, and she did that all the way up to this event. Although the odds were stacked against her as she’d lose her belt if she did not win, Bliss definitely looked the part of a Champ.

We started off with Sonya of Absolution as well as Bayley. One thing I noticed is how green in the ring Sonya still looked. During the last NXT: TakeOver, Shayna Baszler caught my eye. She was a monstrous heel and a grapple machine. I feel that this is exactly what Sonya needs to be, but for some reason isn’t. I couldn’t help but think that there might have been someone better suited for the part.

On the flip side, Bayley showed an aggressive side that we haven’t seen in a long, long time. Unfortunately, the crowd still didn’t get behind her. She did put on a nice showing of making Sonya look like a newbie, and wasn’t really phased when Mandy Rose was the next to come out of her pod.

I noted as well that Mandy got a nice pop from the crowd. Yet, I also feel that she’s extremely similar to Eva Marie. Her move set is limited, she’s hesitant, and she’s beautiful. But the crowd seemed to like her, which is interesting.

Also, I wonder why Paige was not at ringside.

Bayley is relieved when Sasha Banks is out of her pod to help her take on Absolution. Mandy Rose gets caught in Sasha’s submission, and Sonya is taken out by Bayley. Mandy has no choice but to tap.

Mickie James was the shining star of the match. Sure, she’s a veteran, but she looked fantastic. She was pulling moves out of her arsenal that I didn’t even know she did. She was fearless, jumping from the top of a pod and somehow pinning Sonya with that. Unfortunately, the great move quickly turned into an elimination for Mickie as well.

Alexa Bliss is without any possibility of an alliance as her pod opens. Sasha and Bayley are rounding on her like a pack of hyenas. Hilariously, she just shuts the door to her pod. After Bayley and Sasha manage to get it open, a game of cat and mouse ensues.

Looks like trouble for the Champ, right? Well, the WWE likes to swerve us. Or at least, they like to think that they are swerving us. Everyone knew that Bayley was going to get screwed over by Banks, who has heel tendencies. Why couldn’t it have been the other way around?

Somehow, Bliss is able to get a quick pin on Bayley, who does a great job at selling disappointment. She looks like a kid whose balloon is drifting away into the sky. Banks and Bliss carry on the match regardless.

Even though they have admitted to not “seeing eye to eye” outside of the ring, they did an excellent job working together here. Alexa picked up the win with a DDT from the top turnbuckle. While Sasha Banks sat on the ring apron and pouted, Bliss gave yet another fantastic heel promo. She fake cried, gave some baloney about following your dreams, history was made, do what you want to do…but nobody will ever be better than she is.

Excellent performance by the women, and the build up was decent. Originally, it looked like everyone had someone to align with. It will be interesting if we see Sasha Banks turn full heel before WrestleMania, because we already know what Bayley and Sasha can do together in the ring.

It did cross my mind that Carmella might cash in on Alexa here, as she’s running out of time to do so. I really have no interest in Asuka against Bliss, and she technically hasn’t chosen which belt she was planning on going after. Sadly, there was no cash in. I am still hopeful that Asuka will head to take on Charlotte at WrestleMania 34.

RAW Tag Team Match: The Bar (c.) vs. Titus Worldwide

I admit that I barely paid any mind to this match. Part of me would love for the WWE to push Apollo and Titus, but the other part of me knows that there is no way they’d be taking the belt off from a more established team.

This is where I wonder why Titus Worldwide was in this match and not Anderson and Gallows. Or shoot, the Revival, for that matter.

I’m still trying to figure out Dana Brooke’s purpose. While it’s great that she’s doing something, this shows me that the creative team doesn’t really have anything for her. I find myself missing her teaming up with Emma on NXT.

No surprise that Sheamus and Cesaro retain their belts.

Nia Jax vs. Asuka

Another confusing match. If Nia Jax wins, she’ll be added to the Women’s Championship match at WrestleMania. Again, Asuka still hasn’t decided on which belt she’s got her eye on.

Nia looked completely dominant here, and Asuka is quick to avoid a lot of her power moves. Still, Nia was intimidating and there were a few times I wondered if she could actually win this. But I know better, because the WWE announce team loves to remind us every couple of minutes that Asuka is undefeated. Realistically, I don’t see Nia Jax being the person to break the streak.

I expected Asuka to win with her armbar, but somehow, Nia powered out. Asuka managed to pin her with a roll-up, and Nia isn’t too happy about it.

So unhappy, in fact, that she attacks Asuka after the match and pummels her. Then, she throws her through one of the barricades before stomping back up the ramp. Sure, she doesn’t have a clear path to ‘Mania, but she looked like a threat.

Decent booking, but where does Nia go from here? And why even bother with the match when everyone already knew the outcome?

Matt Hardy vs. Bray Wyatt

I don’t know how many times we need to see this. Matt Hardy made this look good, at least. The mind games were plentiful.

Overall, Bray Wyatt looks lazy. And I love Bray. The match was disappointing and did not deliver at all. Hopefully, we can find a better feud for the Woken One.

‘Rowdy’ Ronda Rousey Signs with RAW

Kurt Angle heads down the ring, contract in hand. He looks weirdly nervous, I noticed. I laughed as he orchestrated the “You Suck” chants to his theme.

Enter Triple H and Stephanie McMahon, who got a mixed reaction. Stephanie McMahon looked great as always, and I think she should wear a suit more often. She really looks stiff and intimidating here. Steph also does a nice job welcoming Ronda, and I can only hope that Ronda’s promo skills are half as good as Stephanie McMahon’s.

And boy, what a let down. I understand that the WWE needs to fine-tune talent in the ring when they come from outside sources. That’s where NXT comes in. But it is clear to me right away that they didn’t teach her how to do a promo at all. Filled with awkward pauses and a lot of uncomfortable standing around, the entire scene made me cringe. I also wondered out loud why, if the WWE knew they didn’t have time to work on her mic skills, they didn’t at least write her a short script.

Thankfully, before she signed the contract, Kurt Angle came in with the save. He reminded the crowd that a few years back, Rousey embarrassed Triple H and Stephanie McMahon. He told her that Stephanie said Ronda was “washed up.”

I am so thankful that they are still going through with this storyline. Usually, the WWE pretends viewers have amnesia.

Although I really wanted The Rock and Ronda to take on The Authority, it looks more like seeds were planted for Kurt and Ronda to instead.

The highlight of this whole awful segment was definitely when Ronda crashed Triple H through a table before signing her contract. Here I was worried that they’d book her straight away as a heel. Nope, she’ll be as babyface as they come.

Men’s Elimination: Braun Strowman vs. Elias vs. Roman Reigns vs. Finn Balor vs. Seth Rollins vs. Miz vs. John Cena

The winner of this elimination match will be the number one contender for Brock’s title. All of the participants have rightfully earned their way into this match, and any of them would be a good fit for the match. I was personally cheering for Finn Balor.

Can he wear blue more often? Here’s hoping.

Kudos to the Miz for trying to ‘Too Sweet’ Balor in order to gain a friend. Of course, Finn denied him, so Miz tried again with Rollins. Instead, he suffered a mighty beatdown from them, who started the match off in the ring.

John Cena comes in to join the fun, and he manages to get both Rollins and Balor up on his shoulders. Looks like he’s about to adjust their attitudes. Instead, Balor wiggles free.

The jeers as Roman Reigns’ pod opens are deafening. The crowd had absolute no interest in the Big Dog entering the match. Luckily, we see a bit of an alliance. The pace of this match is significantly slower than the women’s. On a side note, the circle of ‘It Kicks’ by the Miz was brilliant.

Enter Braun Strowman, who destroys everything in his path. The Miz is the first eliminated, Braun’s slam thundering down in the arena.

The four other men know they’ve got to work together to slay the monster. Even with the alliance between them, Braun still powers out. All four of them tried to pin Braun, but he pushes them off easily.

But Elias is now in the match. Unfortunately, the other four guys are all asleep, so he faces elimination quickly.

And then, Braun eliminates Cena. Then Finn, then Seth. It came down to the two that everyone expected it to. Could Braun get the upset win?

Of course not. Sure, it took a few spears and punches, but Roman Reigns was the winner.

Final Thoughts

I’m going to more specifically focus on our main event here. I knew that Roman was going to win. Roman and Brock was the plan from last year. But I was hopeful.

I posted a Tweet about how Braun literally did all the dirty work, yet Reigns still got the win. I also said this was shameful booking. If you want a guy to get over, you need to make him look the part. Braun certainly did, but Reigns was average.

The keyboard warriors attacked me immediately. My point was not that the booking was bad as for Braun. He was great! His elimination count was record-breaking. But might I remind you the last time Roman and Brock got into the ring together? It was hot garbage. The WWE says that they want to cater to their fans. Yet, they are still pushing the only guy we don’t want to see.

The only thing that I think can save the match at this point is Paul Heyman turning on Brock. TSJ reported that the possibility isn’t far-fetched. Brock is likely heading back to UFC, and his contract with the WWE will end after ‘Mania. Heyman will need something to do, and pairing him with Roman could be the right answer.

Overall the Elimination Chamber was a predictable show. I give it a D+ as a grade, and only because of Alexa and Braun.

Social Media

You can now follow us on Twitter!

@TSJ_Sports and @TSJ_WWE

You can also follow me, the writer: