WWE Elimination Chamber 2017 Review
Two weeks after a Royal Rumble that saw mixed results from the eyes of the fans, WWE came right back with the Elimination Chamber event in Phoenix, Arizona. While some matches were either average or below average three very good matches took place including an early match of the year candidate in the Elimination Chamber match.
The kickoff match was Curt Hawkins against Mojo Rawley in a match that felt very out of place. While this match should’ve been on the kickoff show, this match felt more like this should’ve been on Smackdown. Could the rivalry between these two continue or is this over? There is a very small chance that this rivalry continues, Mojo Rawley got the win with a tilt-a-whirl bodyslam after delivering a devastating right hand punch to the face. Match Grade: D
The pay per view started off with the first of three women’s matches as Becky Lynch took on Mickie James. The match was as good as we could have dreamed of and perhaps a little bit more. Neither woman looked out of place in this match and stayed with each other throughout the duration of the match. Mickie James is such an underrated heel we forget how good she can be as a heel and we got to see it in this match. The fans were behind Becky Lynch in this match which was a sign that the heel did her job. I loved the end of the match when James tried for a Twist of Fate but Becky reversed it and was able to get a quick roll up to get the pin and the victory in a very good match. Match Grade: B-
The second match was supposed to be a two on one handicap match with Apollo Crews and Kalisto teaming up against Dolph Ziggler. During the entrance of Kalisto, Dolph came from behind and attacked Kalisto and sent him into the stage that would take him out of the match for a bit. The majority of the match was a one on one match between Crews and Ziggler and while there were some good moments, the match felt bland for the most part. It wasn’t clicking in the ring and wasn’t clicking in the arena and wasn’t going anywhere. However, Kalisto would come back to the ring and we would have our handicap match and once he was tagged, he took over the match and Ziggler never got a chance to make a comeback. Crews got the pin on Ziggler to get the win in the handicap match, however after the match Ziggler attacked both men and then put a chair on Crews’ ankle and attempted to break it. While the match was bland the aftermath was very good and continues the story for Ziggler and maybe Kalisto. Match Grade: C-
Then we had the Tag Team Turmoil match for the Smackdown Tag Team Championship, while I won’t point out every single thing that happened I will point out some of my favorite parts of this match. The first thing I want to point out is how good Heath Slater was in the match, teaming with Rhino and competing against three different teams Slater looked really good in this match. Not to say that Rhino didn’t look good which he did, but the majority of those matches was focused on Slater and he has gotten so good since the brand extension that he is one of the hidden gems right now for WWE. The Usos did a very good job despite being in only two matches of the Turmoil and the aftermath of the match that had them eliminated made them look good with what happened after the match attacking American Alpha. They came out of this match looking like if any team could challenge for the titles towards WrestleMania or at WrestleMania it could be Jimmy and Jey Usos. Finally the tag champions American Alpha, despite being in only two matches looked very good. They are one of the best tag teams right now in WWE and they are perhaps the big fish in the small pond, they are so good as a team when they get beat up and can get together out of nowhere to win the match. American Alpha retains the Smackdown Tag Team Titles. Match Grade: C
We got the second of three women’s match and another grudge match as Nikki Bella took on Natalya. This match told different stories with the first story being some good wrestling and very good story telling. The other story that was told was the slow, methodic paced match and you can tell towards the end of the match. Natalya came off very good as a heel being annoying and mocking everybody, a side of her I have never seen before. Nikki Bella had an alright performance in the match but it didn’t feel like the focus was on her when it should be. The end of the match hurt the overall match as it ended in a double countout, however it did help continue the feud as there was no winner and it can go on for a little bit longer. Match Grade: C-
Randy Orton took on Luke Harper next and this was a performance making match for Luke Harper. This was such a good match as it was a physical brawl for some parts of the match with them going all over the commentary tables and then when in the ring told a very good story where each man would get so close to winning the match. During the match the fans were getting behind Harper thinking he has a chance to win this match, a guy that big with that much ability is scary. But it is a good scary, it felt like this was his coming out party even though Harper has had some very good matches with men like Dolph Ziggler and Dean Ambrose. Randy Orton looked very good in this match as well and had one of his best matches over the last several months, with extra motivation after winning the Royal Rumble. The end of the match saw Harper try for the discuss clothesline but would miss as Orton hits the RKO to get the victory. A great match, would’ve been the match of the night had it not been for the main event. Match Grade: B+
The Smackdown Women’s Championship was next as Naomi challenged Alexa Bliss for the title and this match was not very good. Going on after a very good match does hurt it a little bit but it felt like they could not get the attention of the crowd until the last several minutes of the match when they tried there finishing maneuvers. Alexa Bliss tried to steal a win with her feet on the ropes but got caught by the referee, Naomi tried moves from the top rope and missed. The end of the match saw Bliss try a dive from the top rope and missed then Naomi climbed the top rope and hit the split legged moonsault to get the victory and become the new Smackdown Women’s Champion. Match Grade: D
The main event of the show, the Elimination Chamber match was such an incredible match that it is right now an early match of the year candidate. There were some new features to the Chamber and changes, such as the structure is more square then round, the pods would be closed by a box like door, a small camera inside the pod which I really like and something fans pointed out on Facebook was the “steel floor” of the Chamber was padded. I think the reason for that is because of the concussion worries in case something wrong happened, but I can’t confirm or deny any of that. The match starts with John Cena and AJ Styles in the ring continuing the feud after an amazing match at the Royal Rumble and they didn’t miss a beat. Dean Ambrose came out next and would start using the Chamber to his advantage sending Cena back first into the Chamber several times, would send Styles face first into the Chamber and being comfortable in his environment. Bray Wyatt came out match and this is when it got really good with everybody going all over the place. Ambrose climbing the top of the pod and diving off onto people, Cena and Styles climbing the Chamber fighting to get control of the fight, Styles and Ambrose on top of a pod smashing each other on one of the plexiglass windows. Baron Corbin would come out next and would beat up everybody taking advantage of everybody lying on the ground and looked very good for the short amount of time he was in the match. The Miz was the last guy to come out and he wouldn’t go out of his pod seeing everything that has happened which was a very good part. Ambrose rolled up Corbin to eliminate him from the match but after the fall, Corbin attacked Ambrose and gave him End of Days and sent him into the Chamber and through the pod at one point. After Corbin left, Miz would move very cowardly out of the pod and pin Dean Ambrose to eliminate him from the match. After the elimination Miz would take control of everybody in the Chamber and tried a crossbody block onto Cena but got caught and would be pinned after being hit with the Attitude Adjustment, thus being eliminated. We come down to the final three of John Cena, AJ Styles and Bray Wyatt and nobody was missing a beat. Cena was double teamed early on but would manage to make a comeback hitting a ten knuckle shuffle onto both men. But as Cena attempted to hit the Attitude Adjustment on Bray, it would be reversed and Bray hit Sister Abigail on Cena to get the pin and eliminate him from the match, guaranteeing a new WWE Champion. Styles and Wyatt would go at it and was very good as both men tried to get rid of the other with everything that they have back and forth. But when Styles went for the Phenomenal Forearm, Bray caught him and delivered Sister Abigail to get the pin and become the new WWE Champion. The best Elimination Chamber match in a long time with a lot of excitement, suspense and an ending that was very good, should go down as one of the best Elimination Chamber matches of all time. Match Grade: A
Overall this show will probably get good reviews, wasn’t the best show but delivered big time on the main event, with a very good Harper-Orton match and another good women’s match with Becky Lynch and Mickie James. If you haven’t seen the show yet, take time out of your schedule to see the show. There are some parts that are slow but this is a show worth watching especially for the main event.