Mar. 07, 2017
2017 WWE Elimination Chamber Review
The Road to Wrestlemania always takes a detour to the Elimination Chamber. This time, with the brand split and all, the menacing structure opened its doors to the superstars of Smackdown Live!, and with only two weeks after the Royal Rumble, you would think that the pay-per-view wouldn't disappoint. Well, at least the main event was interesting enough, especially at the end. Everything else either sucked, or was "meh" enough for me to watch. With the event done, let's see how I grade this edition of the Elimination Chamber.
Best Match of the Night: Bray Wyatt def. John Cena, AJ Styles, The Miz, Intercontinental Champion Dean Ambrose, and Baron Corbin to win WWE Championship (Elimination Chamber Match)
First off, the new Elimination Chamber itself looks great. It has a square shape, has cameras and LED lights inside the square pods, and the WWE logo at the top of it all. It's more viewer friendly for fans not near ringside. The match itself started with a bang, with WWE Champion John Cena facing off against AJ Styles. As the match continued, you saw a possible Wrestlemania storyline develop: after Baron Corbin was the first elimination by Dean Ambrose, Corbin snapped, effectively destroying the Intercontinental Champion and ending his hopes of being a dual champion after a pin by Miz. The final three: Styles, Cena, and Bray Wyatt, didn't sell as much as it should have. But after Cena was eliminated, it was back and forth between Wyatt and Styles. Wyatt brought Styles down with a Sister Abigail, and he walked out the new WWE Champion. This now means (provided nothing happens), that it will be Bray Wyatt vs Randy Orton for the WWE Championship at Wrestlemania. The Elimination Chamber match was as destructive as it was in years past, and although it wasn't the best, it certainly was memorable, and sets up storylines for Wrestlemania for the blue brand.
Worst Match of the Night: American Alpha def. The Ascension, The Usos, The Vaudevillians, Breezango, and Heath Slater and Rhyno for the Smackdown Tag Team Championships (Tag Team Turmoil Match)
Is the WWE trying to kill the Ascension? Because this match sure as hell did it. After American Alpha (the 5th team to enter) pinned the Usos, Jimmy and Jey vented their frustration in a vindictive beatdown. This left the Ascension to pin them and win the titles for the first time since being called up to the main roster, right? Wrong! American Alpha got the win. Since coming to the main roster, the Ascension haven't been able to do anything, like they did at NXT. This was the icing on the cake. The match was horrible all the way through, and the ending has basically told me that WWE has given up on the Ascension.
Moment of the Night: Carmella and James Ellsworth Watched the Event from a Skybox
This pay-per-view was so terrible, you even had this pathetic attempt of a comedic relationship with James Ellsworth and Carmella. The only reason this was the moment of the night was because it was the only thing that got fans to laugh. There was no other moments that stood out.
Overall Grade: D+
The ONLY thing that saved this pay-per-view was the Elimination Chamber match. You can make the case that Natalya and Nikki Bella was a good one, but it ended in a double count out, possible setting up a Wrestlemania storyline, and dragging out the bickering catfight between these two from now until April. The Women's Championship was won by Naomi, but the match wasn't good at all. Becky Lynch and Mickie James was terrible, and Kalisto and Apollo Crews beating Dolph Ziggler in a 2-on-1 handicap match was one that you could miss in it's entirety. At least the pre-show match wasn't a dud because of....Curt Hawkins! Just kidding, it was. I feel that if Smackdown Live! was giving more time than 2 weeks after the Royal Rumble to set up this show, it could've been better. Yet, they didn't, and overall, this is the worst grade I've given a Smackdown exclusive pay-per-view so far. Going into Wrestlemania, I expect better storylines and matchups, given that they have a month and a half to prepare for the Grandest Stage Of Them All.