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Csonka’s WWE Elimination Chamber Review 2.12.17

February 12, 2017 | Posted by Larry Csonka
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Csonka’s WWE Elimination Chamber Review 2.12.17  

Csonka’s WWE Royal Rumble Review 2.12.17

Kickoff Match: Mojo Rawley defeated Curt Hawkins @ 8:12 via pin [**¼]
– Becky Lynch defeated Mickie James @ 11:45 via pin [**¾]
Handicap Match: Kalisto and Apollo Crews defeated Dolph Ziggler @ 7:30 via pin [**]
Smackdown Tag Team Championship Turmoil Match: Champions American Alpha defeated The Usos, Heath Slater & Rhyno, FaBreeze, The Ascension and The Vaudevillains @ 15:20 via pin [**]
– Natalya vs. Nikki Bella went to a double countout @ 13:30 [**]
– Randy Orton defeated Luke Harper @ 17:20 via pin [***½]
Smackdown Women’s Championship Match: Naomi defeated Champion Alexa Bliss @ 8:55 via pin [***¼]
Elimination Chamber WWE Championship Match: Bray Wyatt defeated AJ Styles, The Miz, Dean Ambrose, Bray Wyatt, Baron Corbin and champion John Cena 34:40 @ via pin [****½]

Kickoff Match: Mojo Rawley vs. Curt Hawkins: The early portion o the match was Hawkins running away, scoring a cheap shot and then Mojo firing up and taking Hawkins to the floor and working him over. Hawkins cut him off, slamming him to the apron. Mojo beat the count as we took a commercial break. Post break, Hawkins attacked the knee, grounded Mojo and took the heat. Mojo cuts him off, hits some shoulder blocks, a lariat, corner splash and a version of the flapjack. Eye poke by Hawkins, and hits a downward spiral for 2.They picked things up a bit, Hawkins got a few near falls until Mojo hit him with a running forearm and finished it with the tilt a whirl slam. Mojo Rawley defeated Curt Hawkins @ 8:12 via pin [**¼] This was a house show match on the kickoff, which in theory is fine. It was better than expected, but I keep hoping for these guys to use these matches as a chance to work hard and deliver. At the end of the day, this was an average and perfectly acceptable match for the kickoff show. The good news was that this was likely Mojo’s best performance on the main roster so far.

Mickie James vs. Becky Lynch: The crowd is into this early, as they lock up and battle to the floor. Lynch looks to work the arm, but James slickly escapes; Lynch sends her to the floor. Lynch sends James to the post and follows with a diving forearm to the floor. Back in, but James cuts her off on the way in and plants Lynch with a DDT. James then works the arm, nice clean work by James here. James continues her assault on the arm, looking to one up Lynch by beating her at her own game. Lynch fires up with forearms and uppercuts, but James goes right back to the arm and posts Lynch. Lynch escapes, they trade strikes, and Lynch hits the clothesline and a leg lariat. The XPLODER follows for Lynch, but James fights back, heads up top and hits the seated senton for 2. Lynch hits the kick out of the corner, follows with the missile dropkick and covers for 2. James counters a pump handle slam, hits the head kick but Lynch is in the ropes. James pulls her away, covering for 2. James follows with ground and pound, telling Lynch it’s over, but Lynch counters the DDT and looks for the arm bar, they trade pinning counters and Lynch wins with the jackknife pin. Becky Lynch defeated Mickie James @ 11:45 via pin [**¾] I thought that they worked a pretty good match in terms of the action, but the booking of match and finish made it appear, to me, that Lynch stole a win and wasn’t exactly on James’ level.

Handicap Match: Kalisto and Apollo Crews vs. Dolph Ziggler: This entire deal feels like such a bad idea; the Ziggler heel turn was like a good idea, but they are doing it against two guys that no one cares about. In recent attacks, featuring Ziggler being a complete dick and using chairs, the crowd felt so much sympathy for the faces that they cheered for Ziggler to continue the attacks. So now your going to book a backwards handicap match, where the faces have the advantage, and the “valiant heel” vowed to beat them both. Unless we’re getting another heel turn here, this doesn’t help Kalisto and Apollo Crews in any way. If they win, it took two guys to beat Ziggler. But if they lose, they continue to be a bunch of goofs. Ziggler attacked Kalisto during his entrance to make this one on one. Crews took the fight to Ziggler right away, but Ziggler quickly fought back and worked over Crews in the corner. The neck breaker followed for 2. Crews blocked a superkick, but Ziggler grounded him and worked rights and stomps. Ziggler used his amateur wrestling skills to keep Crews grounded, Crews slowly fought back, hits a superkick, but Ziggler hit another neck breaker. Kalisto is alive and makes his way to the ring. Barely. Crews hit an enziguri; Kalisto joins the fray and hits the seated senton. The back handspring kick follows, but Ziggler shoves Kalisto into Crews, who tagged in and hit the powerbomb for the win. Kalisto and Apollo Crews defeated Dolph Ziggler @ 7:30 via pin [**] In terms on in ring action, this was ok, but did absolutely nothing for any of the three guys. Post match, Ziggler hot his heat back by attacking both to cheers, and then Pillmanizing the ankle of Crews, to chants of “one more time,” so he did it again to cheers of “thank you Ziggler.” Yes, this worked out so well. This more of an indictment on creative in their continued effort to fail Crews in the booking department.

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SmackDown Tag Team Championship Turmoil Match: American Alpha vs. The Usos vs. Heath Slater & Rhyno vs. FaBreeze vs. The Ascension vs. The Vaudevillains: Heath Slater & Rhyno vs. FaBreeze started off the match. Slater and Rhyno controlled early, Rhyno took control, working over Breeze. Slater in, and he’s immediately cut off by a Fandango trip. FaBreeze work double teams, and keep control. Fandango then gave Slater tickets for fashion violations; Breeze makes a save as does Rhyno. Tag to Rhyno, GORRE to Fandango and FaBreeze are gone at 4:30. The vaudevillians enter the match, attach Rhyno but are taken out by Slater. English cuts off Slater and work him over in their corner. Rhyno in and gores Gotch, allowing Slater to hit the DDT on English for the elimination at 6:55. The Usos are in next. They go after Slater, but he fights back and tags in Rhyno. Rhyno is quickly cut off; Slater tags on to make the save but runs into the pop up Samoan drop. Rhyno is tossed; a blind tag and a superkick finish Slater at 9:45. American Alpha is next. They brawl on the floor, and in the ring Alpha hits suplexes and Jimmy is sent to the floor. Gable hits the high cross on Jey, but the Usos quickly take control and work the heat on Gable. They work him over with double teams in their corner. Gable fights back, looks for the tag but got cut off. We get a double down; Jordan gets the hot tag and runs wild. Dropkicks and tosses for both Usos. Alpha looks for the doomsday bulldog, countered but Gable in for the roll up and the Usos are gone at 15:30. The Usos then beat down alpha after their elimination, slamming Gable to the steps. They then hit the top rope splash on Jordan, and the champions were both down. The Ascension were the final team scheduled and made their entrance. They hit fall of man on Jordan, but gable dives in for the save. Gable is quickly tossed to the floor as the Ascension lay the boots to Jordan, work double teams but Jordan survives. Jordan avoids a corner splash, hits an overhead suplex. Jordan sidesteps Konnor to the floor, grad amplitude hits and Alpha retains. Champions American Alpha defeated The Usos, Heath Slater & Rhyno, FaBreeze, The Ascension and The Vaudevillains @ 15:20 via pin [**½] This was a desperate attempt to get some attention on the division, which has been largely ignored since the Wyatts left the scene. The issue is that none of the teams, including the champions are over. They tried to paint the champions as the guys who could overcome the odds and retain, which is not bad in theory, but the match was largely a mess; it had no sense of flow, no real drama outside of a few minutes towards the end, and I don’t feel that it did anything to really help get Alpha over as the champions. If you weren’t going to have then start and run through the teams to create some real dominance, you would have been better off just having Alpha and the Usos go out there and have a good match in this time given. This was an average at best match, that felt way too long.

Natalya vs. Nikki Bella: So they have been viciously attacking each other, and Natalya has been making this personal and saying very bad things. So they basically work a back and forth grappling battle. Natalya finally slams her down, repeatedly, and lays in some kicks. Nikki then rolls into a knee bar, I get that Nikki wants to prove herself as a wrestler, but there is no real aggression to reflect the set up to the match. Nikki hits a clothesline off the apron, Natalya begs off and Nikki is stupid enough to stop and gets posted. Natalya takes control back in the ring, laying the boots to Nikki in the corner. Natalya works a slow and bland heat, yelling “you like Nikki?” a lot. Natalya follows with John Cena taunts, allowing Nikki to roll her up for 2. Natalya then works the leg, Nikki escaped into her STF/fearless lock. She followed with a shoulder lock and a face buster. Natalya cut off the forearm, hit a Michinoku driver, but only got 2. Natalya survived the Nikki forearm, but escaped the rack attack 2.0. Nikki hot a spinebuster, hit the disaster kick and got a near fall. Nikki up top, cut off by Natalya, who hits a superplex for the double down. Natalya looks for the sharp shooter, locks it in and pulls Nikki back center ring. Nikki counters out into the fearless lock. Natalya fights and gets the ropes. They spill to the floor, Natalya slams her to the barricade and they brawl back and forth. Natalya stops Nikki from getting back in, double countout. Natalya attacks post match, lays Nikki out and leaves. Nikki then attacks on the ramp, spearing Natalya; Natalya then runs away. This feud must continue. Natalya vs. Nikki Bella went to a double countout @ 13:30 [**] I have no clue why this feud has to continue, judging by the match they had here, I can’t imagine they have a big blow off planned. Or maybe they do but thy have their hopes set too high. Natalya continues to feel miscast as a heel, and considering the attacks before we got here and the fact that they made this “so personal,” this lacked heat, aggression and any sense of urgency (until the final 10-seconds or so). It the context of the feud, this was a disappointing match on an overall disappointing PPV. Considering the build, the finish was not satisfying at all.

Randy Orton vs. Luke Harper: I am excited for this one, it has the chance to turn the show around. They battle for position early, with Harper getting the early advantage. They went to the floor, brawled at ringside with Harper lighting up Orton with palm strikes. Back in, Harper hits a dropkick to keep control. Harper up top, but Orton cuts him off, knocking him to the floor. Orton attacks, slamming Harper to the announce table and then dumping him onto it. Tables continue to not break for Orton. Orton grounds the bigger Harper, using the side headlock. Orton takes time to pose before using the stomps. Unfortunately they strayed from the layout that they used on their Smackdown match, opting for the usual Orton chinlockfest. Harper made a comeback with the slingshot senton and big boot, Orton looked for the draping DDT, but Harper counters that. He hits the catapult in the ropes, sending Orton to the floor; Harper followed with the suicide dive, and things are thankfully picking up. Harper then slams Orton to the announce table for some payback. Orton then hits the desperation snap slam on the floor. They worked back into the ring, and up top where Orton crotched Harper. The superplex by Orton follows, and we get a double down. Harper fought off the cutter, but Orton hit a full nelson slam for the near fall. Orton took control, looked to have things in control and set for the RKO. Superkick by Harper, another connects and Harper covers for 2. Harper picks up Orton, they work through some counters and Harper hits the sitout powerbomb or a great near fall. They traded strikes center ring, Harper then delivers palm strikes, looks for the spinning clothesline but runs into the RKO; Orton wins. Randy Orton defeated Luke Harper @ 17:20 via pin [***½] While there ha not exactly been a lot of competition, with pretty much everything sticking in second gear, this was easily the best match of the Elimination Chamber PPV six matches deep. It had a slow start, and was feeling a bit lethargic, but it thankfully picked up and ended up a very good match. The crowd didn’t seem to care all that much to begin, but were buying into Harper by the end, They gave Harper a lot in the loss, and I really hope that he gets to be a player in 2017; he has the skills and can work with anyone, no matter the size; he is a gifted big man who has been under utilized.

– Natalya attacks Nikki backstage, sending her in to Maryse and spilling powder on her. Well there you go then.

Smackdown Women’s Championship Match: Champion Alexa Bliss vs. Naomi: Naomi looked to run wild, had some success, but Bliss turned the tide, staying one step ahead of her. Bliss maintained control, stepping on Naomi’s hair and trying to rip her hair out. Fair play as Naomi threatened to snatch her bald. They worked some nice counters into pinning attempts, but Naomi cut her off with a high kick. Naomi followed with clotheslines; hit another head kick out of the corner, and then the somersault clothesline. Naomi then follows with the blockbuster for a near fall. Naomi then hit the rear view, scoring another near fall. Bliss tried to stop the split legged moonsault, followed with a cheap shot, and hit the moonsault into the double knees. Bliss up top, Naomi cuts her off with a kick and then looks for a dive, Bliss cuts that off, hits a DDT and that gets 2. Bliss throws a tantrum, Naomi hits soul food and then the split legged moonsault, but Bliss survives. Bliss up top, but twisted Bliss hits knees! Naomi hits the split legged moonsault and covers for the pin and wins the title. Naomi defeated Champion Alexa Bliss @ 8:55 via pin [***¼] Naomi has a ton of ability, but her issues has been that she’s inconsistent as a performer (on top of injuries happening at the worst time). She was on tonight, when she needed to be and I thought that she and Bliss worked really well together here and even complimented each other’s style. This was the best of the three women’s matches on the show, and second best of the night, only behind Orton & Harper. They exceeded expectations after some poor outings against each other in 2016. I have no issue with the title change, it wasn’t like Bliss was killing t as champion, she was doing well but they want to tell the story of Naomi returning home at Mania to defend her title.

– Naomi gets interviewed post match and gets “you deserve it” chants. She puts over Bliss, and then says she’s taking the title to Mania. Her reaction and joy felt so real, adding to the moment.

– The new Elimination Chamber is here. It’s squared off, has a hole in the top and looks a bit like TNA’s Asylum Cage. I half expected it to be painted blue to please fans of the old big barred blue cage. My best guess is that they changed it to make it lighter (so that they have more chances to use it at difference arenas), which had reportedly been an issue in the past.

Elimination Chamber WWE Championship Match: AJ Styles vs. The Miz vs. Dean Ambrose vs. Bray Wyatt vs. Baron Corbin vs. John Cena: Styles and Cena to begin. The crowd is hot for the opening stretch with Cena and Styles. Styles worked leg kicks, Cena fired back, but Styles worked the torture rack into the powerbomb for a near fall. Cena quickly fought back, hitting code red for a near fall. They traded strikes, Styles hits the ushigoroshi and gets a near fall. Cena hit shoulder blocks and the proto bomb, and #3 is Ambrose. He attacks Cena, tossing him to the floor and shooting him to the cage repeatedly. He then works over Styles slams him to the floor, and the grating is covered now with wood. Ambrose on top of a pod and hits the elbow drop press to Cena. Good start here as the crowd is into it. Cena then Germans both Styles and Ambrose at the same time. We get a triple down as #4 is Bray, he runs wild on all three until Styles send him to the flooring. Styles goes for the springboard, but Bray send him to the cage. Styles works him over in the corner, he fights off Cena and climbs. Cena follows and they trade strikes, with Cena crashing to the flooring. Styles on top of a pod, Ambrose meets him and slams Styles to the plastic. Ambrose leaps off, eating an uppercut from Bray. Styles joins the fight and gets tossed off the top on a tower of doom style spot. #5 is Corbin. He brawls with Ambrose right away, hits deep six and Bray then attacks him. Corbin slams him to a pod, follows with the big boot and an STO on the floor. Styles attacks, but runs into end of days, Cena returns for the STF n Corbin, who escapes and hits end of days on Cena Ambrose dumps him, and they brawl on the flooring. Corbin tosses him to the cage, escapes dirty deeds and tosses Ambrose face first into the cage. Miz is finally in, Corbin challenges him to get in the ring, and that allows Ambrose to roll up Corbin to eliminate him. That was a bit lame. Corbin agrees and attacks Ambrose, and throws him through a pod as Miz is terrified. Corbin continues his beat down, hits end of days and the refs finally get him out of there. Miz sneaks in, covers Ambrose and eliminates him, that’s so Miz in the bets way possible. Miz works Bryan kicks to Bray and Cena, taking control. He dropkick both, attacks Styles with kicks and then hits shotgun dropkicks to Bray and Cena. He hits one on Styles, and follows with the corner clothesline to Cena. Bray cuts him off, but eats a skull-crushing finale on the floor. High cross to Cena, he rolls through, AA and Miz is done. Styles and Bray attack Cena, and work him over center ring until Bray attacks Styles. Cena fights off both, hits the 10-knuckle shuffle; AA to Bray and then Styles HITS THE CLASH but Cena kicks out. Styles looks for the springboard, jumps over Cena, and then eats an AA but he kicks out for a great near fall. Cena now climbs onto a pod, and hits a high cross onto Styles and Bray. Triple down now, Cena grabs Bray, but he escapes, hits sister Abigail and eliminates Cena. We’re down to Bray and Styles. They brawl back and forth; Bray takes him down and works ground and pound. Styles takes out the knee with a sliding dropkick, follows with a diving forearm for the near fall. Styles escapes the sister Abigail, lights up Bray with strikes, but Bray levels Styles with a lariat. Styles escapes the uranage, hits the PELE followed by the running knee strike. Styles looks for a springboard, hits the 450, covers but Bray out at 2! Styles is selling his ribs after that, looks for another springboard, caught by Bray, sister Abigail connects and Bray is the new champion! Bray Wyatt defeated AJ Styles, The Miz, Dean Ambrose, Bray Wyatt, Baron Corbin and champion John Cena 34:40 @ via pin [****½] This was an absolutely great match on a show that really needed it. We got a ton of great stuff from Cena and Styles, who continue to have absolutely great chemistry. The Corbin/Ambrose stuff ended up really well done, it allowed Miz to be a weasel and pick up a pin while also allowing Corbin to destroy Ambrose and set up an IC Title feud. I thought that the layout was especially strong, keeping the crowd invested, and also keeping a really good pace during the 30-plus minute match; it never felt slow, I was never bored and also felt that Wyatt out in a great performance in victory. Not only did he win, but I also felt he came out feeling like an actual force to deal with and looked like a player. This was a great way to close a lackluster show.

– Post match, Randy Orton appeared and looked on as Bray celebrated.

– End scene.

– Thanks for reading.

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“Byyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyye Felicia!”

The final score: review Average
The 411
The 2017 WWE Elimination Chamber PPV was an overall average event, with a great main event. The first have of the show was rather lackluster and lifeless, as almost nothing got out of first gear. Orton vs. Harper and Naomi vs. Bliss turned things around, but the main event was more than worth your time.