It has now been a year since I've been writing Fanboy Wrestletronic - our first preview article was about last year's WWE Elimination Chamber 2020. If you check out the first post, you'll see a lot of what I've stuck with - backgrounds of each match including links to WWE's (and AEW's) results pages and fantasy booking of those matches. Obviously not too different from most other wrestling show previews out there, and that's the beauty of wrestling - the storytelling within it leads to fantasy booking because we all want the story to go somewhere. I hadn't roped fellow Quixo-writers Tim and Ryan into it yet in an attempt to have some friendly competition, and I originally was writing reviews of each show as well (here's my review of WWE Elimination Chamber 2020), but quickly decided I don't care about reviewing any of this - I just like fantasy booking and random wrestling stats. In terms of reviewing, it was usually "eh I liked it, they seemed like they tried, but they didn't hit the story beats I wanted." It's hard to repeat that for most matches on a card.
As a small celebration of our 1-year anniversary, every match preview is accompanied by a semi-sorta-related match from the archives - they're all from WWE/NXT/other promotions official YouTube pages so if you end up here in a few months, they should presumably still work. That's why I err on the side of using links directly to WWE/AEW - they hopefully won't disappear. Enjoy?
Last year's WWE Elimination Chamber 2020 was also the last in-person wrestling PPV show before the pandemic and when we all went into #quixotine - a joke (?) that has stuck around far longer than I expected and I'm sure is just as funny as it started. I will still use it on Twitter even if none of you cowards join me. And while this article is the 1-year anniversary of this series, the day of this year's show will be the 1-year anniversary of another event - the last live wrestling show the Quixo staff was able to attend in person: NXT Live at Turner Hall in Milwaukee, WI, on February 21, 2020.
Looking up the card, here's what we saw that night:
-NXT Tag Team Titles Match: Matt Riddle & Pete Dunne © defeated Bobby Fish & Kyle O'Reilly
-Cameron Grimes defeated Rik Bugez
-Finn Bálor defeated KUSHIDA
-Bianca Belair defeated Kayden Carter
-Velveteen Dream defeated Roderick Strong
-NXT North American Title Match: Keith Lee © defeated Damian Priest and Dominik Dijakovic
-Mia Yim, Rhea Ripley, & Tegan Nox defeated Chelsea Green, Dakota Kai, and Raquel González
-NXT World Title Match: Adam Cole © defeated Milwaukee's own Tommaso Ciampa
Amazingly, and presumably due to the #quixotine (and that NXT is on USA now instead of just the WWE Network), the card wasn't too different than the NXT we get right now despite a few call-ups. Seeing the Undisputed Era/reDRagon in action live was a treat, especially against the stallions Matt Riddle and Pete Dunne pre-heel turn. Despite his loss and the fact that he's not a ficture on TV yet, Rik Bugez has been hilarious in every live show we've seen him in. Bálor/KUSHIDA was excellent, obviously, and Belair showed she could work with (at-the-time) unknown talent and carry a match even then. Dream/Strong was hard hitting as the two were feuding, and Lee/Priest/Dijakovic was a fun preview of their April 1st NXT title match that they were working the kinks out of at the time. Ripley/Yim/Nox was a power team we got far less of than we should have as they beat the newly-established Kai/González a year before they'd win the first women's Dusty Rhodes Classic. And finally you don't have an NXT show in Milwaukee anymore without giving us a Tommaso Ciampa main event. Ciampa closed the night for us by talking about how his first NXT match as an unsigned prospect was at Turner Hall a few years back and how proud he was to have that match in his home of Milwaukee. They're cheap pops, but goddamnit if I don't love the fact that despite him usually being a bad guy that he still gets to be a good guy when he's in town. Hopefully we'll be able to attend another NXT Live show soon with Ciampa because we still need to convince him to join the Quixo bowling team. We can dream, right?
In theory the next guarenteed live show we have is an eventual episode of AEW Dynamite - our tickets were originally set for April 2020, but the #quixotine put that off to October 2020 when we were all still hoping this was all going to blow over. As of now we have tickets to a July 2021 show which despite vaccines ramping up I'm guessing may still be a bit early. Again, we can dream, right? We'll get you the full report whenever it finally happens, and we'll also let you know what Ciampa's bowling handicap is once the league play starts back up.
We should probably add a little bit about this year's Elimination Chamber card before we close out our Maron, right? We have a small card this time with only 5 official matches, and even 1 of those matches may not go according to plan. Keith Lee is still penciled into the WWE United States title match, but he wasn't on the February 15th Raw nor did he compete in the Royal Rumble. Hopefully everyone is safe and well as its always sad when Lee isn't gracing us with his glory on television. Also on the card was supposed to be Lacey Evans vs Asuka for the WWE Raw Women's title, but it has since been revealed that Evans is pregnant (in real life) so cannot compete. Since she has been feuding with Charlotte Flair (but not Asuka?) and aligned herself with Charlotte's father, Ric Flair, it looks like Ric is probably the father (not in real life)! The whole thing is taking an Asuka match away from us, but it gives me an excuse to bring in some Moira Rose action, so at least we have that. Perhaps we'll get a Big E/Apollo Crews match, or a Hurt Business/Lucha House Party match. Or a random Asuka-murders-and-dances match? The possibilities are endless...ish.
Thanks, Moira. Never change. Let's check the standings for the Quixotronic's Wrestling Shame Challenge™.
Previously on Fanboy Wrestletronic…
Standings going into NXT Takeover Vengeance Day
First Place: Kyle 63% (88-52)
Second Place: Tim 57% (52-39)
Third Place: Ryan 31% (21-47)
WWE NXT Takeover Vengeance Day results:
Women's Dusty Rhodes Classic Final: Dakota Kai & Raquel González vs Ember Moon & Shotzi Blackheart
Your Winners: Dakota Kai & Raquel González
Kyle: Ember Moon & Shotzi Blackheart (0-1)
Ryan: n/a (0-1)
Tim: Ember Moon & Shotzi Blackheart (0-1)
NXT North American Title Match: KUSHIDA vs Johnny Gargano ©
Your Winners, and STILL NXT North American Champion: Johnny Gargano
Kyle: Johnny Gargano (1-1)
Ryan: KUSHIDA (0-2)
Tim: Johnny Gargano (1-1)
Men's Dusty Rhodes Classic Final: Grizzled Young Veterans (James Drake & Zack Gibson) vs MSK (Nash Carter & Wes Lee)
Your Winners: MSK
Kyle: MSK (2-1)
Ryan: n/a (0-3)
Tim: MSK (2-1)
NXT Women's Title Match: Mercedes Martinez vs Toni Storm vs Io Shirai ©
Your Winners, and STILL NXT Women's Champion: Io Shirai
Kyle: Io Shirai (3-1)
Ryan: n/a (0-4)
Tim: Io Shirai (3-1)
NXT Title Match: Pete Dunne vs Finn Bálor ©
Your Winners, and STILL NXT Women's Champion: Finn Bálor
Kyle: Finn Bálor (4-1)
Ryan: Pete Dunne (0-5)
Tim: Pete Dunne (3-2)
And now the conclusion…
New standings after NXT Takeover Vengeance Day
First Place: Kyle (92-53)
Second Place: Tim (55-41)
Third Place: Ryan (21-52)
Who will survive!?
WWE Elimination Chamber 2021
WWE United States Title Match: Keith Lee vs Matt Riddle vs Bobby Lashley ©
The Background: Matt Riddle has had his eye on Bobby Lashley's WWE United States title lately. At WWE Royal Rumble 2021, Riddle and Lashley both participated in the men's Rumble match - Riddle came in at #16 and stayed in for 31 minutes, 16 seconds. Lashley came in later at #22 and stayed in only for 4 minutes, 3 seconds, though eliminated 3 men in that time - Damian Priest, Dominik Mysterio, and The Hurricane (!). Lashley was then eliminated by a 4-man team-up of Big E, Christian (!!), Daniel Bryan... and Matt Riddle with his only elimination (Riddle was later eliminated by a returning Seth Rollins). On the February 1st Raw, Riddle won a US title match with Lashley via DQ when Lashley refused to break his Full Nelson hold on Riddle. However, on the February 8th Raw, Keith Lee returned and defeated Riddle in singles competition to set up a triple threat match here. Unfortunately Lee was not on the February 15th Raw that saw Riddle team with Gran Metalik & Lince Dorado of Lucha House Party to defeat the active members of the Hurt Business (Lashley along with WWE Raw Tag Team champions Cedric Alexander & Shelton Benjamin). Hopefully Lee will return for the match on Sunday?
Fanboy Fantasy: Riddle and Lee team up on Lashley for the first few minutes though Lashley is able to power through most of what they give him. The alliance devolves after a miscommunication between the two lead to Riddle kicking Lee in the head. Lee, of course, takes this personally. Lashley is able to sneak out for a break while Riddle/Lee take over until Lee nearly pins Riddle and Lashley is forced to re-enter to break the pin. We get some actual three-way moves between them as all bets are off. Alexander and Benjamin start to try distracting both Lee and Riddle, but Lashley (and then MVP) actually tell them to stop and let the match happen. The finish sees Lashley spear Riddle into Lee, knocking Lee out of the ring and allowing Lashley to pin Riddle to retain. The next night on Raw, MVP makes Lashley's new intentions known - he will vacate the US title because no one can beat him and it is now holding him back. Freeing him up, he will officially be bringing the WWE World title home to the Hurt Business. A tournament for the vacant US title is set up with the final at WrestleMania 37 - featuring Riddle and Lee. Lashley goes onto have a dream cage match with Brock Lesnar like we booked in Quixo-WWE WrestleMania 37 before receiving the title shot that MVP has proclaimed.
Quixotronic Bullpen Predictions:
Kyle: Matt Riddle - I want to type "Keith Lee" but him missing both the go-home Raw and the Royal Rumble make me assume he's not pegged to win. Hopefully he can show up, take the pin from Riddle, and keep Lashley strong for a future World title shot while Lee and Riddle continue to fight over the US title. Fight forever?
Ryan: Keith Lee or Matt Riddle
Tim: Matt Riddle
BONUS MATCH from Beyond Wrestling (June 24, 2017):
Keith Lee vs Matt Riddle
WWE Women's Tag Team Titles Match: Bianca Belair & Sasha Banks vs Nia Jax & Shayna Baslzer