Date: February 17, 2019
Venue: Toyota Center (Houston, TX)
The 2019 Elimination Chamber features TWO Elimination Chamber matches, as Daniel Bryan defends the WWE Championship in one while the first-ever WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship is decided in the other. Also on the show Finn Balor challenges for the Intercontinental Championship in a handicap match against Bobby Lashley and Lio Rush, Ronda Rousey defends the RAW Women’s Championship against REAL THREAT Ruby Riott, and more! Hopefully it won’t be seventy hours long, but you never know.
- WWE CHAMPION: ‘The New’ Daniel Bryan
- WWE UNIVERSAL CHAMPION: Brock Lesnar
- WWE INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPION: Bobby Lashley
- WWE UNITED STATES CHAMPION: R-Truth
- WWE CRUISERWEIGHT CHAMPION: Buddy Murphy
- WWE WOMEN’S TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS: VACANT
- RAW WOMEN’S CHAMPION: ‘Rowdy’ Ronda Rousey
- RAW TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS: The Revival (Scott Dawson & Dash Wilder)
- SMACKDOWN WOMEN’S CHAMPION: Asuka
- SMACKDOWN TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS: The Miz & Shane McMahon
- ELIMINATION CHAMBER: The Boss ‘n’ Hug Connection vs. The Riott Squad vs. Nia Jax & Tamina Snuka vs. Naomi & Carmella vs. Sonya Deville & Mandy Rose vs. The IIconics for the WWE WOMEN’S TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP (****)
- The Miz & Shane McMahon [c] vs. The Usos for the SMACKDOWN TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP (**1/2)
- HANDICAP MATCH: Bobby Lashley [c] & Lio Rush vs. Finn Balor for the WWE INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPIONSHIP (**1/4)
- Ronda Rousey [c] vs. Ruby Riott for the RAW WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP (SQUASH)
- No-Disqualification Match: Braun Strowman vs. Baron Corbin (1/2*)
- Elimination Chamber: Daniel Bryan [c] vs. Randy Orton vs. AJ Styles vs. Jeff Hardy vs. Samoa Joe vs. Kofi Kingston for the WWE CHAMPIONSHIP (****3/4)
-The opening video is told from the POV of the Elimination Chamber. Its voice sounds like a kidnapper asking for ransom money.
The Boss ‘n’ Hug Connection (Bayley & ‘The Boss’ Sasha Banks) vs. Riott Squad (Liv Morgan & Sarah Logan) vs. Nia Jax & Tamina Snuka vs. Naomi & Carmella vs. Sonya Deville & Mandy Rose vs. The IIconics (Billie Kay & Peyton Royce) for the vacant WWE WOMEN’S TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP
We’re starting off with some history here, as this match will decide the first Women’s Tag Team Champions in WWE since the 1980s. Man the Jumping Bomb Angels were great. I want The IIconics to win SO BAAAAD but as long as Nia & Tamina don’t take it. Aw man they’re gonna take it, aren’t they? Michael Cole, Corey Graves, and Renee Young are joined on commentary by HOFer Beth Phoenix. I know she’s super happy for the women’s division to be taken seriously now, but you gotta assume she’s also mad that they get to have actual matches instead of the nonsense she had to do.
Boss ‘n’ Hug and Deville/Rose start due to losing triple threat matches last week. Deville and Rose are wearing matching black and gold and it looks so gooood. Bayley drops Rose with a clothesline, Banks drops Deville with a dropkick. Stereo strikes but Rose and Deville kickout of stereo lateral presses. Banks splashes the former Absolution members on the padded grate outside. Banks tries a float over, Deville counters into a powerslam for a two-count. Rose bends Bayley over with a backbreaker for a two-count as well. Deville and Rose send Boss ‘n’ Hug crashing into the Chamber cage. This is apparently the first tag team Chamber since 2015 which makes sense because this is already chaotic and there are only two teams so far. Deville misses a knee and hits cage while Rose has her foot caught, opening herself up to a neckbreaker from Bayley.
First pod opens and it’s…The Riott Squad! Boss ‘n’ Hug immediately attack but are fought off. Logan throws Banks into the cage and delivers a running-ish knee (there’s not a lot of room out there. Logan smashes Banks’ arm into the pod and headbutts Bayley. Back in the ring they stare down Deville & Rose. Morgan belts Rose in the side of the skull with a kick, Deville blasts Logan with a running knee. Morgan and Deville trade slaps, dazing Deville for a second until she cracks her in the face and sends HER down to the mat. Morgan with a kick, Deville kicks back and both fall to the mat. Bayley tries to take advantage by covering Morgan but she kicks out. Bayley with a back suplex to Logan and heads to the top. Deville and Rose go for a double suplex, Riott Squad comes in and TOWER OF DOOM, BAYBAAAAAY. Everybody dead. Banks still out of it after getting rammed into the pod.
Second pod opens and it’s…The IIconics. Kay and Royce quickly run out and try to cover anybody they can but everyone kicks out and they’re FURIOUS. Me too. The IIconics go to work with double team moves to anyone who tries to come near them. Banks finally reemerges, breaking up a pinfall attempt on Bayley. Banks with forearms to both IIconics but THE DAMNED NUMBERS GAME plays its course. They work over the arm and BOTH COVER for the 1…2…Banks kicks out and Kay freaks out. The IIconics squeeze Boss ‘n’ Hug against the cage, Royce with a slingshot senton on both, they roll them in and cover but Boss ‘n’ Hug STILL kick out. This isn’t fair. This is not fair to Flair.
Third pod opens and it’s…Naomi & Carmella. Audible boos from the internet fans, hahahaha. They stack the other teams in separate corners for some Bronco Busters and a moonwalk for flavor. Kay and Carmella climb the cage for no reason, Kay tries to power bomb her but it’s countered into a hurricanrana. Logan attacks Carmella, Carmella makes her pay with a superkick. Naomi with a split-legged moonsault on Logan for the 1…2…Morgan makes the save and tosses Naomi out of the ring. Everybody hitting everybody and everybody down. Fun spot, crowd going wild. Naomi & Tamina bang on the pod glass, wanting so bad to just pin all these folks. Carmella locks in the Cone of Silence on Deville, Rose breaks it up. Naomi pummels hated rival Rose, hitting a Rear View but in comes The IIconics for a double roll-up for the 1…2…3! YESSSS! NAOMI & CARMELLA HAVE BEEN ELIMINATED! The IIconics celebrate but are then stalked by the three other teams…as the countdown begins.
Final pod opens, unleashing Nia and Tamina into the fray. They dominate as everyone tries to attack, Nia throwing Rose into the ring like a ragdoll. They turn their attention to The IIconics, hiding in a pod and trying to keep the doors closed. Nia and Tamina pry the doors open and pull The IIconics out by the hair, swinging them like nothing into the cage. DANG. Double Samoan Drops for the 1…2…3. THE IICONICS HAVE BEEN ELIMINATED! And I no longer care who wins. Morgan with the Diamond Dust on Tamina for the 1…2…Nia shoves Logan onto her own partner to break the count. Deville and Rose try to double pin Nia but she kicks out. Boss ‘n’ Hug with stereo Thesz presses on Deville and Rose, flying corner knees to Tamina. Boss ‘n’ Hug slam both Riott Squadders to the mat and cover Logan for the 1…2…nope. Bayley sling shots Deville into the buckles but not Rose, who moved way before it happened. Double stack double knees, Banks covers Deville for the 1…2…nope. Nia and Tamina drop Boss ‘n’ Hug with stereo superkicks. Logan and Morgan hit flying crossbodies off a pod roof but can’t pin anyone. Morgan tries to climb back up, Nia picks her up and hits a SUPER Samoan Drop, Tamina with a Superfly Splash to both Riott Squad members for the 1…2…3. THE RIOTT SQUAD HAVE BEEN ELIMINATED!
Banks covers Tamina, Nia pulls her off and throws Banks on top of Deville’s knees. Nia tosses Bayley out on the opposite side. Nia charges at Bayley, Bayley dodges, and Nia goes right through the pod door plexi-glass. Now alone the other teams focus on Tamina. Meteora by Banks followed by a flying elbow from Bayley and EVERYBODY JUMPS ON TOP for the 1…2…3! NIA JAX & TAMINA SNUKA HAVE BEEN ELIMINATED!
Boss ‘n’ Hug and Deville/Rose remain, the same two teams that started the match. Rose counters a DDT attempt with a knee and rolls Bayley to the outside of the ring. Rose tries a double underhook, Bayley blocks and sends her right into a knee from Banks. Deville rolls Banks up with a handful of tights for the 1…2…Banks kicks out and Deville runs right into a knee from Banks. Banks hits the Backstabber, Bayley with the Belly-to-Bayley on Deville for the 1…2…ROSE BREAKS IT UP! OH SNAP! Rose climbs to the top of one of the pods BECAUSE REASONS. Bayley and Banks climb to the top, they go for a double superplex, but Deville starts climbing up. Bayley kicks her off, Rose knocks Bayley off as well. Deville spears Bayley into the pod support beam and goodbye spine. Banks checks on Bayley then throws Deville into the cage. Rose throws Banks HARD into another support beam and hits the double underhook facebuster for the 1…2…BANKS KICKS OUT. Oh damn. Banks dodges Deville, who accidentally spears Rose into the buckles. Banks fights through the pain of her shoulder and locks in the Banks Statement for the tap-out! SONYA DEVILLE & MANDY ROSE HAVE BEEN ELIMINATED!
The Boss ‘n’ Hug Connection defeated The Riott Squad, The IIconics, Nia Jax & Tamina Snuka, Naomi & Carmella, and Sonya Deville & Mandy Rose to win the WWE WOMEN’S TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP (32:56)
- I had no expectations going in but HOT DAMN was this a great opening match. A little chaotic due to the amount of participants but I never felt bored or worn out by any of it. All the teams got a chance to shine and the closing stretch had some great drama. The IIconics were the MVPs though, without a doubt. They are SO GOOD. Boss ‘n’ Hug winning was the obvious choice and they looked great in victory. Now will WWE stick with these titles or are they gonna go disappear like they did the first time they tried this? (****)
Charly Caruso breaks up the celebration like an annoying journalist to ask their thoughts. Chants of ‘YOU DESERVE IT’ and Banks cuts a rah-rah promo about the women’s division and how they are blazing trails and whatnot. Where’s Steph to come out and raise their arms in victory? She created women’s wrestling, I thought. Even Beth Phoenix is crying on commentary. This a truly big moment, and I’m happy for everyone involved.
-The SmackDown crew of Tom Phillips, Graves, and Byron Saxton take over on commentary for the next match. Cut to a video recapping the unlikely partnership between The Miz & Shane McMahon.
–The Miz makes his way out to the ring, mic in hand. Miz congratulates Boss ‘n’ Hug, then dedicates this match to his Dad, his daughter, and his wife Maryse…who makes her way out! They make a big announcement: they’re having another baby! Miz also dedicates the match to his unborn child.
The Miz & Shane McMahon [c] vs. The Usos (Jimmy & Jey Uso) for the SMACKDOWN TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP
I can’t tell the Usos apart because I’m a terrible person so I apologize ahead of time if I mix them up during this recap. Usos are AMPED THE F*CK UP for this one, I love it. Their theme song is such a banger. Uso with a side headlock and a shoulderblock that sends Miz to the mat. Miz escapes a Samoan drop attempt from Jimmy, Jimmy escapes the backbreaker/neckbreaker combo but gets caught mid-air. Miz goes for a Figure Four, Jimmy kicks out and tags in Jey. Miz dodges a double superkick and bails to his corner. Crowd is pro-Usos as they’re sort-of hometown boys (they trained here). Hey Jey has shorter hair, maybe I can tell them apart! Miz with a corner seated clothesline on Jey, Shane tags in and sets up for Coast to Coast but Jimmy runs interference…and pays for it. Shane catches Jey with a sunset flip from the apron for a two-count. Shane with his lame-ass punches and a back elbow, Miz tags in and hits a running kick. Miz-Mahon clothesline Jey to the floor, Jimmy gets sent out the opposite side. Champs in control as we go to co…wait my bad this a PPV.
Miz with ‘IT Kicks’ to Jey. Jimmy gets the tag and The Usos connect with a stun gun. Jimmy chokes Miz, Jey with a cheap shot from the floor. The Usos continue the assault on Miz, who is now a resident of the Uso Penitentiary I guess. Miz escapes a chinlock, Jimmy almost takes his head off with a lariat. GODDAMN. Jey tags in and we’re back to the chinlock. Jimmy throws Miz’s shirt in Shane’s face then belts Miz with a forearm. Jimmy adds insult to injury with Miz’s own seated corner clothesline, cheesy smile across his face. Jimmy charges again and this time runs into a clothesline. Shane gets the “hot tag” (crowd didn’t really pop), hitting Jey with a backdrop and does a little dance leading to a jab. Jimmy runs in and Shane hits both a DDT, covering Jey for the 1….2…kickout. He puts the Usos in opposite corners, COAST TO COAST to Jimmy. Shane climbs back up and tries to do it to Jey, but Jey counters with a SUPERKICK followed by a SUPERFLY SPLASH for the 1…2…Miz breaks it up just in time! Miz revs the crowd and begs for the tag. Miz gets the tag and hits a springboard double axhandle, surprising even himself. Miz charges, Jey with a Samoan Drop. Miz dodges a corner splash and spikes Jey with a DDT for the 1…2…JEY KICKS OUT. Miz with a baseball slide on Jey to the floor, and he clears the English announce team desk Jimmy tags flight and accidentally hits his own brother. Miz lays Jey on the table and holds him for Shane, who takes flight and PUTS HIM THROUGH WITH A FLYING ELBOWDROP. Both men are OUT COLD. Jimmy is somehow legal now and “hits” Miz with a superkick (he was a few inches away). Miz counters a Superfly Splash with a pair of knees and rolls him up for the 1…2…JIMMY KICKS OUT. Miz with the Skull Crushing Finale for the 1…2…Jimmy counters into a crucifix for the 1…2…3! New champs!
The Usos defeated The Miz & Shane McMahon [c] via pinfall to win the SMACKDOWN TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP (13:55)
- A lot better than I was expecting. Shane’s offense is pretty weak outside of his highspots, but those highspots were pretty damn good so I can mostly forgive him. Miz went full babyface on this one, all excitement and sh*t, but at the last second made an arrogant cover and it cost him. The Usos deserve the titles (again) so I’m into it. Now let’s set up Miz/Shane for WrestleMania. (**1/2)
A disappointed Miz helps Shane to the back, near-tears. That’s what you get for dedicating matches and getting too arrogant, bud.
-An ad plays for Fastlane, which takes place on March 10th. There’s ANOTHER one before WrestleMania? Maaaan.
–Paige introduces a segment on Fighting with My Family, the movie based on her life and road to WWE. Zelina Vega is playing AJ Lee in the flick, which is pretty cool.
-Intercontinental Champion Bobby Lashley and Lio Rush are talking strategy until they’re interrupted by Dasha Fuentes who insinuates Rush is the weak link of the team. Dick move lady, jeeez. Rush says Lashley’s the steak and he’s the sizzle. Fuentes brings up the fact Balor pinned him two weeks ago, Lashley calls the interview off to make their entrance.
‘The Almighty’ Bobby Lashley [c] & ‘The Man of the Hour’ Lio Rush vs. Finn Balor for the WWE INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPIONSHIP
Balor can pin or submit either Lashley or Rush to win the match and the title. Rush feigns starting but gets scared off and Lashley immediately tags in. Lashley dominates due to MUSCLES AND POWERRRR. Balor starts fighting back so Lashley bails to the floor to get some strategy from Rush. Lashley charges, Balor escapes and hits Lashley with a kick from the apron. Rush distracts Balor to prevent the Coup de Grace, Balor tries a sunset flip on Lashley but he easily escapes via kick due to his MUSCLES AND POWERRRR. Balor escapes a power bomb and sends Lashley to the floor. Balor wants to take flight, Rush (BAAAARELY) trips him up. Balor chases Rush and gets caught by Lashley who drives him into the barricade. Rush tags in and trash talks Balor as he stomps him down in the corner. Balor almost fights back so Lashley gets the tag and clotheslines him from the apron. Cobra clutch city. Balor escapes, Lashley flatlines him for the 1…2…NOPE. Rush wants to tag in, Lashley does so but is annoyed about it. Rush with a DEEP abdominal stretch. Balor escapes with a hip toss, Rush leapfrogs him and once again tags out to Lashley who muscles him around. Rush TAGS HIMSELF IN when Lashley sets up for the spear, and MISSES a Frog Splash. Rush tries to make the tag, Balor pulls him back in and connects with a right. Balor with a double stomp to Rush and a sling blade to Lashley. Both men to the floor, Balor flies with a senton. Balor quickly rolls Rush back in and hits the corner dropkick, heads to the top, COUP DE GRACE for the 1…2…3!
Finn Balor defeated Bobby Lashley [c] & Lio Rush via pinfall to win the WWE INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPIONSHIP (9:27)
- Mostly dull but I liked the closing stretch and Rush tagging himself in LIKE A DUMMY and costing his best bud the championship like Dasha foretold in the scriptures before the match. I guess this is Finn’s first IC Title win. Good for him, may he be able to hold it for awhile and not have to give it up tomorrow due to injury. (**1/4)
Lashley berates Rush. Rush apologizes, Lashley slams Rush and walks off in a huff, crowd popping huge for it. BUT HE’S THE DULL ONE, DON’T BACK THE DULL ONE.
–Royal Rumble 2020 is being held in a baseball park next year as well. This is now the baseball park event.
-Clip from last Monday’s RAW of Mr. McMahon suspending Becky Lynch and replacing her in the WrestleMania main event with Charlotte Flair. We then cut to a house show last night where Lynch attacked Charlotte to save Asuka from an attack. Charlotte goes after Becky’s injured knee with a chair, re-injuring the thing. Rumor has it she left the building on crutches. UH-OH.
-Speak of the devil here comes Charlotte Flair to watch the next match. Charly Caruso interviews Charlotte about getting Becky’s spot at WrestleMania. Charlotte dodges the questions and says that last night she got to humiliate and decimate ‘The Man’, a thing she loves doing. Anyway blah blah blah she’s sitting ringside to see who she’ll face at WrestleMania. I kind-of tuned her out, my bad.
‘Rowdy’ Ronda Rousey [c] vs. Ruby Riott for the RAW WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP
This match has NO OOMPH to it whatsoever, so the commentators have to build it a bit during entrances. It’s worth a shot I guess, but we all know better. Rousey is in Sonya Blade gear to promote Mortal Kombat 11. As long as it stops her from tugging at her trunks every five seconds I’m cool with it.
Riott attacks at the bell but Rousey easily fights her off and throws her around the ring judo-style. Riott bails to the floor, Rousey talks sh*t. Riott climbs in, Rousey charges, so back out she goes. Riott charges, Rousey with a judo throw, Piper’s Pit, and the Armbar for the tap.
Ronda Rousey [c] defeated Ruby Riott via submission to retain the RAW WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP (1:41)
- Even quicker than I thought. Thanks for coming Ruby, I guess. (SQUASH)
Charlotte gets in the ring and goes face to face with Rousey. Suddenly out comes Becky Lynch, on crutches, through the crowd. Despite being suspended she’s allowed to come to the ring. Crowd goes nuts as she struggles into the squared circle. Charlotte obviously thinks it’s hilarious, crowd chants ‘SHE’S THE MAN’. Becky attacks Charlotte with a crutch, APPARENTLY HER KNEE ISN’T THAT HURT AFTER ALL. Rousey soaks it in for a bit then grabs the other crutch. Rousey stalks Charlotte, Becky beats her down as well! YESSSS. BECKY GONNA RUIN WRESTLEMANIA FOR THESE FRAUDS, I LOVE IT. Finally the officials and security come out, but Becky continues the assault uninterrupted. Y’all are so good at your fake jobs. Security finally escorts Becky back through the crowd. I wonder if this will be brought up tomorrow on RAW, live on the USA Network.
Ronda and Becky are still ringside recovering when Baron Corbin makes his way out for the next match? They running behind or something?
Braun Strowman vs. Baron Corbin
Someone teach me how to fast forward time, please. Corbin throws his vest as Strowman for a distraction but he’s easily fought off. Corbin rolls to the floor and grabs a kendo stick, cracking Strowman with it repeatedly. Corbin sticks the kendo stick out like a pike and barely misses it when his Irish whip is reversed. Strowman breaks the kendo stick over his knee because HE DOESN’T NEED IT TO KICK CORBIN’S ASS. It would be nice though, keep things interesting. Strowman pounces Corbin into the barricade and HEY THE ANNOUNCE TEAM HAS A NEW DESK. Corbin uses the top half of the stairs to ram Strowman a bunch of times as the announcers remind us AGAIN that it’s perfectly legal. Ugh this all over again. Corbin seems to relish the fact no one likes him, but honestly I don’t think it’s the heat he thinks it is. Corbin takes too long gloating and gets swatted away then splashed by Strowman. Renee Young wants to see some PLUNDAH, and Strowman obliges by introducing a table from under the ring. He sets it up in the corner, Corbin thumbs the eye to escape the Running Powerslam. Corbin comes off the middle buckle, gets goozled, and Strowman puts him through with the Running Powerslam on the second attempt. Out comes Drew McIntyre, entrance theme and all, with a chair. Bobby Lashley attacks a distracted Strowman from behind, chair as well, and it’s a 3-on-1 situation. Strowman fights back until he doesn’t thanks to a spear from Lashley. McIntyre and Lashley bring both halves of the stairs into the ring. Strowman goozles McIntyre and Lashley, Corbin puts a stop to this with a chair to the back. TWO tables are brought into the ring and oh my god I feel like I’m watching RAW. Claymore Kick to Strowman. Tables are stacked on top of each other, TRIPLE POWERBOMB OFF THE STAIRS AND THROUGH THE WOOD for the 1…2…3.
Baron Corbin defeated Braun Strowman via pinfall (10:47)
- FAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAART. (1/2*)
Corbin, Lashley, and McIntyre pose on top of the stairs, throwing some thinly-veiled shade at The Shield. K. Moving on.
-Video plays hyping the 2019 World Games for the Special Olympics in Abu Dhabi next month. Some of these athletes (already living in TX) are in the crowd watching the show.
-Recap of The Usos winning the SmackDown Tag Team Championship earlier in the night.
-Shane McMahon is being checked on backstage. The Miz apologizes then FREAKS OUT because he couldn’t keep the promise he made before the match. Shane tells him to go home and chill out. A sour-faced Miz leaves.
–Lacey Evans turns the entrance ramp into a catwalk for NO F*CKING REASON and now it’s time for a WrestleMania video. The Cruiserweight Championship was relegated to the Kickoff show, by the way.
‘The New’ Daniel Bryan [c] vs. ‘The Viper’ Randy Orton vs. ‘The Phenomenal’ AJ Styles vs. Jeff Hardy vs. Samoa Joe vs. Kofi Kingston for the WWE CHAMPIONSHIP
Excited for this one, it has all the people I like and also Randy Orton. Bryan gets on the mic before the match, calling people ‘fickle’. A pair of refs come out and force Rowan to the back to Bryan’s chagrin. Bryan says he’s suffering for the greater good and the people/planet need him. I’M SO HAPPY DANIEL BRYAN GOT CLEARED AGAIN.
Bryan and Joe start this one off, the champ stalling for as long as he can. Finally they make contact and Joe immediately locks in a kneebar. Bryan grabs the bottom rope for leverage since it’s NO DQ, and escapes. Bryan chops Joe, which just makes him angry. Joe cuts him off and lights him up with chops against the cage. Back in the ring Bryan flips out of a suplex but walks right into a power bomb for the 1…2…Bryan kicks out, Joe immediately transitions into a modified Boston Crab then an STF. Joe grabs the other arm and pulls back, Bryan shifts his weight into a lateral press, which Joe kicks out of. Bryan exploits Joe’s once-injured knee and throws him out to the…mesh floor? I don’t know what to call it yet, maybe I’ll know by next year. Bryan whips Joe into the support beam of a pod then covers for the 1…2…Joe kicks out. Bryan chops, Joe chops back harder. Both chests are red AF. Joe charges at Bryan, who sends him into the buckles via drop toehold. Bryan stops kicking as the countdown starts.
First pod opens and it’s…Kofi Kingston! Kingston is a house of fire, flattening Joe like a pancake with a splash to the back for the 1…2…Joe kicks out. Bryan hangs Kingston out to dry across the top rope. Bryan to the top and hits a flying knee across the back of the neck for the 1…2…Kingston kicks out. Joe chops Bryan, Bryan runs away and climbs on top of a pod. Bryan sits down to watch things. Kingston hops up, Bryan begs for mercy but only gets punches. Bryan scales across a support beam, Kingston in pursuit. They kick one another, Joe pulls Bryan off while Kingston kicks Joe away. Kingston drops like a stage dive and flattens Bryan and Joe, popping the crowd. WHY NOT KOFI, WWE. DO IT, YOU COWARDS. Bryan with a hard shoulderblock, Kingston leapfrogs and belts him with a flying back elbow for the 1…2…Bryan kicks out. Joe with a senton on Bryan and a snap suplex on Kingston into a lateral press for the 1…2…Kingston is still in it. Joe with MORE chops to the already bruised chest of Bryan.
Second pod opens, bringing AJ Styles into the fray. Styles belts Joe with a lariat, Bryan attacks from behind. Styles and Bryan trade jabs, Styles with a moonsault and an inverted DDT position, Kingston runs in and he gets put in regular DDT position and Styles takes both out! Styles tries a cover but Kingston kicks out. Styles splashes Joe, Bryan climbing the cage in the background. Styles sees him and hits him in the back with a Phenomenal Forearm. Down goes the eco-friendly WWE Champion. Styles with a sunset flip, rolling through into a Styles Clash but Kingston escapes. Kingston charges, Styles with a Ushigorishi (I think I spelled that right?) for the 1…2…nope. Joe rebounds Styles off the cage and tosses him into the ring. Joe applies a Coquina Clutch on Kingston, Kingston rolls through and shifts his weight for the 1…2…unlike on SmackDown this time he kicks out. But he’s not up for long as Styles catches him with a Phenomenal Forearm for the 1…2…3! SAMOA JOE HAS BEEN ELIMINATED!
Third pod opens and it’s Jeff Hardy. Hardy with the legdrop in the midsection followed by basement dropkick on Styles for the 1…2…kickout. Bryan gets kicked out to the mesh, Hardy with a face-first sitout suplex on Kingston. Hardy uses Kingston to belt Bryan with Air Sabu. Bryan rams Kingston into the cage while Styles and Hardy jockey for position on the top turnbuckle. Hardy kicks his legs out of his legs and he crashes down. Bryan puts Kingston’s arm between the cage holes and WRENCHES BACK on the arm. Ouch. Hardy to the top of the pod, SWANTON TO THE BACK OF STYLES WHO IS LAYING ON THE TOP TURNBUCKLES. Hardy goes to cover but Bryan immediately belts him with a Busaiku Knee for the 1…2…3. JEFF HARDY HAS BEEN ELIMINATED! Styles in a tree of woe, Bryan crotches Kingston on the top turnbuckle above. Bryan goes for a superplex, Styles drops them both with a German suplex. Well that’s just poor planning from Daniel Bryan on that one.
Final pod opens and it’s time for Randy Orton to pick the carcasses. Clothesline to Kingston, stomps to Styles who’s still in that tree of woe. Bryan counters an RKO into a backslide for the 1…2…Orton kicks out and drops Bryan body-first across the top rope. Kingston dropkicks Orton, then gets bent in half via backbreaker by Styles. Styles sets up for the Phenomenal Forearm but Orton catches him FROM OUTTA NOWHERE with the RKO for the 1…2…3! AJ STYLES HAS BEEN ELIMINATED! Kingston misses Trouble in Paradise and climbs to the top, Orton sweeps the legs and hits a hanging DDT. He sets up for the RKO, Bryan charges and Orton hits him with a snap powerslam. Kingston escapes the RKO and hits Trouble in Paradise for the 1…2…3! RANDY ORTON HAS BEEN ELIMINATED!
Down to Bryan and Kofi, OH MAAAAAAAAN. Is tonight Kofi’s night? Eh probably not, but he’s got the crowd behind him at least. Bryan and Kofi hockey fight then trade hamstring kicks. Bryan ducks Trouble in Paradise and dropkicks him right in the left knee. Bryan with a series of YES! Kicks. Kofi ducks the final kick and hits SOS for the 1…2…BRYAN KICKS OUT! Aw man come on! Kingston misses a splash and goes into the post (NOOOO). Bryan with FOUR corner dropkicks, he goes for a fifth and Kingston with a double stomp for the 1….2…BRYAN JUST BARELY KICKS OUT! AHHHHH COME ON. Kingston measures Bryan, Bryan rolls out to avoid him. Kingston rams his head into the cage OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER. He goes for a battering ram into the support beam, Bryan sends him CRASHING into the plexi-glass door. NOOOOOO. Bryan measures Kingston and hits the Busaiku Knee for the 1…2…KINGSTON KICKS THE F*CK OUT. COME ON! COME ON YOU SON OF A BITCH! DO IT! DO IT! Bryan grabs Kingston’s arms and stomps him into a goddamn jelly for the 1…2…KOFI KICKS OUT AGAIN. Bryan yells at Kingston to get up, Kingston with Trouble in Paradise for the 1…2…Bryan with a small package for the 1…2…NO. Bryan with the LeBell Lock, prying at the face. KINGSTON GETS TO THE ROPES WHICH IS APPARENTLY A ROPE BREAK?!? I DON’T CARE, WHATEVER. Bryan to the top, Kingston with an enzuigiri. Bryan climbs to the top of the pod, Kingston follows him up and delivers a headbutt. Kingston smacks the back of Bryan’s head repeatedly into the plexi-glass and goes for a SUPER DUPER PLEX. Bryan blocks it, and smashes the back of Kingston’s head against the plexi-glass and now Bryan tries a superduperplex. Kingston blocks it, Bryan to the turnbuckles and Kingston kicks him off to the mat. Bryan ROLLS OUT OF THE WAY of the Superfly Splash (NO!) and follows up with the Busaiku Knee (NOO!) for the 1…2…3! (NOOOOOOOOO!)
Daniel Bryan [c] defeated Randy Orton, AJ Styles, Jeff Hardy, Samoa Joe, & Kofi Kingston to retain the WWE CHAMPIONSHIP (36:36)
- A stellar main event and a star-making performance from Kofi Kingston, who just became everybody’s new favorite wrestler in the past week after back-to-back gutsy performances. Towards the end I almost threw my laptop, I yelled at the screen (scaring my girlfriend half to death), and I almost started pulling my hair out from the stress. I haven’t felt this way about a match, or wanted someone to win THIS BADLY, since Bryan at WrestleMania 30. I can barely type right now I’m so blown away. As great as Kofi was, I also need to give props to Bryan who had the best match he’s had since returning from injury last year and not only came out looking like a star, but also built himself a potential new challenger from out of nowhere. It takes a special kind of talent to do that and Bryan is one of those people. Goddamn. GODDAMN. I love professional wrestling, and I hope to god that WWE realizes what they have here and don’t screw around for two years like they did when Bryan got hot earlier in the decade. (****3/4)
Rowan returns and helps Bryan to the back. Music stops and out come Big E and Xavier Woods to check on their New Day brother. A ‘Thank You Kofi!’ chant breaks out as he’s helped to his feet. The cheers continue on as The New Day pose one more time on the entrance stage to end the show.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Elimination Chamber delivered (AND THEN SOME) with both Chamber matches tonight, so instantly it has a thumbs up from me. Of course there was some dreck (IC Title Match, No DQ match) but you know what? I don’t give a f*ck because that WWE Championship main event was so good that it almost makes up for any negative things I could say. What a thing that was. Goddamn. If you do anything you need to see the main event, and watch Bryan and Kofi put on a goddamn master class in how to get over in both victory and defeat. Yes there were other folks in it too but who cares? Goddamn. GOD GOD GODDAMN.