Friday, March 27, 2020

WWE: Elimination Chamber 2020 Review

WWE Elimination Chamber
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
March 8th, 2020

Taking a break from my Ruthless Aggression Project 2002 reviewing to finish off the most recent WWE PPV offering. 

1) Daniel Bryan vs. Drew Gulak

This is a random match opening a throwaway PPV with very little build and dear god these two destroyed each other. Best WWE match this year next to Bryan/Wyatt from last month. The story is Gulak training Slater and Axel to take down Bryan, but failing despite getting to his head. Bryan challenged Gulak and Gulak accepted bc he knows Bryan's weaknesses because he has watched and studied his whole career pre-WWE and all. These two traded grappling holds and submissions and wrestled each other with a stiffness that isn't often seen in WWE. Bryan made Gulak look like a monster and super strong in defeat as he wrung his neck with the Yes Lock until he passed out. Very aggressive battle that left both men with scrapes, marks, and bloody bruises across their face and body. Bryan continues to be the GOAT.

Match rating - ****

Dolph Ziggler & Bobby Roode are backstage for an interview. That weird static thing popped on the screen during it. Ziggler & Roode hype up their chances in the tag title chamber match later.

2) Andrade (c) vs. Humberto Carrillo - United States Title match 

The series of match these two, Garza and Mysterio have been having are tough. They're always fun and entertaining but lack the proper focus/level of importance in the build to put them over the top. None the less, this was still another good effort. Nothing outside of the usual box but still everything you'd expect. Andrade wins using the tights. Assuming this will mean we get another match between them. 

Match rating - ***1/2 

3) The Mix & John Morrison (c) vs. The Usos vs. The New Day (Big E & Kofi Kingston) vs. Lucha House Party (Lince Dorado & Gran Metallik) vs. Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode vs. Heavy Machinery - Elimination Chamber Match for the WWE Tag Team Titles 

I honestly don't even know where to start with this one. So many high points but so many low points. Starts off dead. Lucha House Party comes in and lights it up. Crazy shooting star press from the ceiling of the chamber spot by Lince Dorado and a hurricanrana coming off the top of a pod to the mat by Metallik. Heavy Machinery killed it also. Lots of heat behind the Otis/Ziggler story. That's what should have gotten the forefront here heading into Mania. Otis plows through a pod and busts out of the chamber entirely which is a moment that will be replayed forever. But these highs were capped with the best two teams getting eliminated first along with Ziggler & Roode to follow. At which point, the crowd and myself lost interest again. That's why it's hard to rate this one. But Miz & Morrison retain in the end and all in all, this is worth a look for all the crazy, crazy moments but might be best to watch a highlight reel to avoid the filler lol. 

Match rating - ***1/4 

4) AJ Styles vs. Aleister Black 

Slow but solid first half that built up pretty well into a good middle/closing portion. Styles went after the legs bc of Black's kicks and to set up the calf killer like usual and it worked well. It was a little slow at points but they stayed on point and the finish with Undertaker showing up popped the crowd hard and was done perfectly. Styles tries to forearm him but gets chokeslammed. Black hits the black mass, Styles sells it amazingly and Aleister gets a big victory. 

Match rating - ***

5) The Street Profits (c) vs. Seth Rollins & Buddy Murphy - WWE Tag Team Title Match

The WWE Universe is just as over this as the rest of us. I hate it for Murphy & the Profits bc they deserve this higher end push, but putting them with Rollins at this point is borderline a deathwish. Crowd is super dead for this match that otherwise woulda been decent in front of a hotter audience. The work was fine, but I think everyone finds it hard to care about this story rn.

Match rating - **

6) Braun Strowman (c) vs. Sami Zayn, Cesaro, & Shinsuke Nakamura - Intercontinental Title Match

This is so dumb. Cesaro, Zayn & Nakamura and hell, even Strowman deserve better than this. A handicap singles title defense? Well at least it's entertaining despite the dumb concept. And Sami Zayn wins and gets his first singles title win in WWE. Too bad it's virtually meaningless aside from it's lineage. 

Match rating - *3/4

7) Shayna Basler vs. Natalya vs. Ruby Riott vs. Sarah Logan vs. Liv Morgan vs. Asuka - Women's Elimination Chamber Match

This was a feeding ground for Shayna Basler. Great booking to make her look like super dominant heading into Mania (even if the vampire shit from a few weeks ago was STUPID). Shayna eliminates literally everyone and will challenge Becky Lynch at WRASSLEMANIA.

Match rating - ***

Final thoughts: Well, despite the lackluster build and how thrown together this was card was - on paper, it had potential. And it started off STRONG with Bryan/Gulak then slowly fell to it's death. Worth a look for Bryan/Gulak, the Taker appearance, Zayn's title win (if you like him), and Shayna's run through everyone that was super well booked. This will also be known as the last PPV before the corona virus shut everything down for a while. 

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