WWE held their latest Elimination Chamber show this past Sunday, March 8, 2020 from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Overall it was a good show, though the main event maybe didn’t accomplish what it meant to - more on that in a bit.
If you want to see the replay, you’ll want to subscribe to the WWE Network. Until then, here’s your Quixotronic review of the show.
Daniel Bryan vs Drew Gulak
Previously on Fanboy Wrestletronic: “I would love nothing more than for Drew Gulak’s scouting to have been correct and for him to score a victory over Daniel Bryan. Gulak could then go on to try and teach Bryan from the ground up, trying to rebuild the former champion in his own image.”
And now the conclusion: I’m a sucker for mat-based work, so I enjoyed this match. It started with a nice feeling out period between the two that led to Gulak getting the first take down and an early advantage. Gulak continued to reverse whatever Bryan could try, making Bryan visibly frustrated. Gulak continued to work both Bryan’s neck and head, his obvious weaknesses to continue the story of Gulak’s supposed prep-work before the match. However, Bryan was able to hook the Yes-Lock to pass out Gulak for the win. Post-match, Bryan saluted Gulak as a sign of respect, though Gulak did not appear to share his feelings.
And your winner: Daniel Bryan
Obligatory rating: Excellent. I thought the match told a good story and both guys played their parts perfectly. Gulak got A TON of offense in and Bryan made him look like a legitimate threat that hopefully will continue despite the loss. They allowed Gulak to stay strong from having him pass out (so he technically never gave up) which can easily lead to further Gulak/Bryan matches down the line - perhaps a rematch at WrestleMania?
WWE United States Title Match: Humberto Carrillo vs Andrade w/ Zelina Vega ©
Previously on Fanboy Wrestletronic: “Andrade gets a decisive victory that hopefully allows Carrillo to still look good and build his resume. Extra interference from Carrillo’s cousin Garza and further team ups between Andrade and Garza would be very welcome.”
And now the conclusion: We got a good review of the idea that Andrade and Carrillo have been trying to kill each other with DDTs onto the concrete over the last few months, causing each to be out for several weeks (and for Andrade to cover for his wellness violation). The match itself started a little ugly, but smoothed into some solid back and forth between the two. Further in the match Andrade started pulling the mats up on the outside, and Zelina Vega continued exposing the concrete later in the match. With Andrade and Vega working well as heels, the crowd was getting behind Carrillo, and its always good when the crowd reacts correctly to a face/heel dynamic. The match ended with a pin-attempt chain that led to a successful one by Andrade and a fistfull of tights.
And your winner, and STILL WWE United States Champion: Andrade
Obligatory rating: Good. This, as expected, as a fun and fast paced match. The crowd getting behind Carrillo made the match even better as I wasn’t sure if they would. He shows great promise in the ring, but I need a little something more from his character beyond plucky new kid. He’ll get there and so far he’s been in great company.
WWE Smackdown Tag Team Titles Elimination Chamber Match: Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode vs Heavy Machinery (Otis & Tucker) vs Lucha House Party (Gran Metalik & Lince Dorado) vs New Day (Big E & Kofi Kingston) vs Usos (Jey & Jimmy Uso) vs John Morrison & Miz ©
Previously on Fanboy Wrestletronic: “What if Heavy Machinery shocked the world at capturing the tag team titles, last eliminating Ziggler and Roode of course, avenging their defeat two nights earlier? Otis and Tucky would dedicate their gold to steaks and weights, and then hopefully close out their Mandy Rose-focused storyline.”
And now the conclusion: Strong start with the New Day and the Usos beginning as the first two entrants. They had some solid work before respectfully pausing while the third entrants were selected, the Lucha House Party. Metalik and Dorado hit the ground running and got far more offense than I was expecting continuing the show’s trend of actually using former-205 Live members. An early example was when Dorado climbed on top of a pod, followed by both Kofi and Metalik, and it led to Lucha House Party taking out both New Day and Usos. The champions came out fourth, and Gran Metalik was able to hit a hurricanrana on Morrison off the pod for a nice “This is awesome” chant. Then the big guns came in fifth: Heavy Machinery. Otis and Tucky cleared house. While they were busy, Dorado scrambled up the chamber and got to the near mid-point of the cage before splashing everyone from the top - an appropriate “holy shit” erupted. In the madness Heavy Machinery was able to eliminate Metalik. Finally Ziggler and Roode came in, pulling the focus onto them and Otis/Tucky. The big spot of the night was Otis running at Ziggler only to ram through the pod straight out of the chamber, causing another “holy shit” chant. Unfortunately Roode was then able to hit the Glorious DDT on Tucker to eliminate the heroes. They were then quickly eliminated by the Usos, leading to a lovely “nah nah nah nah, goodbye” chant. It’s amazing how much better wrestling is when the crowd is into it. This left the three obvious potential winners. Miz and Morrison were able to score pins on both New Day and Usos, retaining the titles.
And your winners, and STILL WWE Smackdown Tag Team Champions: John Morrison & Miz
Obligatory rating: Excellent. This was match of the night for me. It started with two teams that always work well together, had refreshing work out of the Lucha House Party, and then transitioned into the main storyline of Otis vs Dolph in the middle. The eliminations all went down logically to tell the story, and everyone looked good. Great chamber match.
No DQ Match: AJ Styles w/ OC (Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows) vs Aleister Black
Previously on Fanboy Wrestletronic: “I would love to see Aleister Black sneak past the 2-time WWE champion and set himself up as a legitimate contender.”
And now the conclusion: Styles started the match off incredibly cocky, as you do. Weapons came out early as AJ pulled a kendo stick, Aleister pulled a table, and AJ followed up with a chair. AJ was able to work Aleister’s left leg, again focusing on what Black needs to pull off his Black Mass finisher. AJ attempted a tombstone piledriver, furthering his cockiness not only Black but his potential WrestleMania opponent, the Undertaker. Aleister is able to perform a double knee takedown onto AJ through the table, but when he tried to go for the Black Mass, Anderson and Gallows finally jumped in and the OC ganged up on him, three on one. And then: GONG. Light outs. Lights up. The Undertaker appears, chokeslams AJ, and then disappears. Black scores the pin.
And your winner: Aleister Black
Obligatory rating: Excellent. This match had solid progression and especially excellent selling from Aleister as he made you believe AJ had injured his leg for most of the match. Undertaker appearing was expected but welcome. Aleister winning was also an excellent choice. When Taker appeared, unless I missed something it looked like Aleister disappeared, only to swap places again when Taker disappeared. Perhaps Aleister’s tattoos allow him to transform? Please continue this dark magic storyline. And also let’s get another AJ/Aleister match with no interference.
WWE Raw Tag Team Titles Match: Buddy Murphy & Seth Rollins vs Street Profits (Angelo Dawkins & Montez Ford) ©
Previously no Fanboy Wrestletronic: “Kevin Owens showing up to ruin Rollins’ party seems like a solid bet if we’re running that feud to WrestleMania.”
And now the conclusion: Especially when following up the Undertaker teleporting in and out (or maybe Aleister transforming?), I enjoyed AOP coming out to look for Kevin Owens before the match. Also points to Rollins and Murphy for having matching tights and actually looking like a tag team - Ziggler and Roode could learn something from this. Each team was able to maintain control while in their own corners, putting the Street Profits onto the same level as the former multi-time WWE Champion Rollins. The call of the night came around this time with, and I quote: “between Big E, Otis, & Montez Ford, we have a lot of hip swiveling on this pay per view.” This is the way. Later in the match the Viking Raiders’ music hits and they fought to the back with AOP, finally making the match even. Of course with AOP gone, this brought out Kevin Owens who came down through the crowd with his popcorn. Surprisingly he didn’t have a ticket for the front row, instead taking a seat on the Mexican announce booth. Rollins didn’t take too kindly to Owens watching his match. Ford was able to secure the pin on Murphy, without Owens actually laying a finger on Rollins - only some popcorn. However, Rollins did eat a post-match Owens Stunner.
And your winners, and STILL WWE Raw Tag Team Champions: The Street Profits
Obligatory rating: Good. Another interference-heavy match but at least everything again told the story of Rollins’ group making a lot of enemies. I would have prefered some more space between this and the AJ/Aleister match because of the interference, but oh well. I loved that Owens didn’t actually touch anyone until they had already lost, make the loss on Rollins and Murphy, not on Owens.
WWE Intercontinental Title Handicap Match: The Artist Collective (Cesaro, Sami Zayn, & Shinsuke Nakamura) vs Braun Strowman ©
Previously on Fanboy Wrestletronic: “As much as I don’t want him to take the fall, I would have Sami and Shinsuke abandon Cesaro mid-match so that the Swiss Superman takes the fall.”
And now the conclusion: Sami told Cesaro and Nakamura that during their match they should hold back and maintain their posts - he would take care of Strowman for the team. We’ll see how that plays out. Zayn indeed started the match, but immediately tagged in Nakamura, proving he really is a chicken-shit heel. The collective was able to mostly keep Strowman at bay, with occasional outbursts from Braun. One special spot involved Strowman chasing Zayn around the outside of the ring, slamming Cesaro into the crowd while doing so. While chasing Zayn under the ring, the Collective were able to team-up on Strowman and throw him into his kryptonite: the steel stairs. They set up a three-man Helluva Kick and Zayn made the pin.
And your winner, and NEW WWE Intercontinental Champion: Sami Zayn
Obligatory rating: Good. I’m normally not a fan of handicap matches as I think they make everyone involved look weak. However, this match was fun, relatively short, and I love Zayn scoring the pin and title. There was no post-match drama over Zayn getting the pin, plus the group seems to finally have a name, so maybe this group is a little more long term than I’ve thought.
#1 Contendership Elimination Chamber Match: Asuka vs Liv Morgan vs Natalya vs Ruby Riott vs Sarah Logan vs Shayna Baszler
Previously on Fanboy Wrestletronic: “Shayna 2-Time is coming’. Get ready for legal murder in the cage.”
And now the conclusion: This match went mostly how I expected. Natalya and Ruby Riott started the match working primarily on the outside of the ring on the steel floor. Sarah Logan came out third and immediately went after Natalya but threatened Riott the whole time. However there wasn’t enough time for any resolution between the two as Shayna Baszler came out fourth and tapped Logan and Riott, eliminating each. She then threw Natalya into her pod and attacked her with the door multiple times. She followed it up with tapping Natalya. Shayna paced like a literal caged animal while awaiting Morgan and Asuka, and unsurprisingly Liv Morgan was fifth. Baszler slammed Morgan into the cage several times and then eliminated her when Morgan passed out in the Kirifuda Clutch. This cleared the way for the main show: Asuka vs Shayna Baszler. The two we able to get each other into their submissions but Baszler was able to again pass out Asuka, winning the match.
And your winner, and NEW WWE Raw Women’s Title #1 Contender: Shayna Baszler
Obligatory rating: Fine. First of all: I like who won, and I like that Asuka passed out to stay strong. I like the idea of pacing this match similar to the Brock Lesnar half of this year’s Royal Rumble, but that worked because the midpoint ended with Lesnar getting his comeuppance. However, this did not work as well. Part of that is that Baszler is still new to Raw, and as much as I think it’s nuts, there is not nearly as much crossover between the Raw/Smackdown audience and the NXT audience. Asuka vs Baszler in the NXT arena at Full Sail? Fuck yes, sign me up. However Raw Asuka, while she has been rejuvenated by her turn with the Kabuki Warriors, is a different animal than the dominant NXT Asuka. These two should have been able to fight for at least twenty minutes on their own, ignoring anything else from the match, but their time felt far too short. Perhaps when Baslzer had Asuka locked up, Asuka could have spit the green mist into the ref’s eyes, disabling him and allowing her to get more offense on Baszler before the eventual Shayna victory. And let’s have a neck bite to counter the green mist. And this is nothing of the fact that we didn’t get Riott, Logan, and Morgan in the chamber at the same time. I’m pretty sure these three aren’t going to get a blow-off match at WrestleMania, so this should have been the time to work on their storyline. I like that this match felt different than the earlier chamber match, but perhaps we were too dominant with a new combatant for a crowd that should have known more about her.
That’s it for WWE Elimination Chamber 2020. Thanks for coming back and I’ll be back in a few weeks for a preview and predictions for WWE WrestleMania 36. If you haven’t already, make sure to subscribe on Facebook and follow https://www.quixotronic.com/ for more questionable content.