Hello everyone and thanks for coming to read this Elimination Chamber edition of Planet Kayfabe. The 2019 edition of this event took place live from the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. I guess I learned a lesson in lowered expectations because among a few surprises one of them was this event wasn't too bad. In fact, it was pretty good... for the most part. Of course there will be nits to pick and I'll get into all of that in a match-by-match rundown, so let's go.
*** PRE SHOW ***
Buddy Murphy (c) vs Akira Tozawa (Singles match for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship)
Winner and still WWE Crusierweight Champion: Buddy Murphy
Yeah, are you surprised? The might as well just make the pre-show 205 Live exclusive if this is going to be the norm. I find it funny how guys like Drake Maverick and Lio Rush, main roster MANAGERS get more main card matches than the f***ing Cruiserweight champion does. Can you tell me why they brought this division back other than to stockpile indy guys so they don't work for someone else?
The match went 13 and a half minutes. It was good but in the middle of the match they cut to the back where some chick was interviewing Kofi Kingston about his match tonight for the WWE Championship. This shit couldn't wait? The pre-show is an hour long and they have to do this now during the one match going on this hour? Murphy won with the Murphy's Law to finish. Sorry if that wasn't the most detailed review. Its the pre-show and if WWE is only going to half-care why should I do any more. Hey, I agree with Murphy himself. He does deserve better, but he's not the only one. On to the main card.
*** MAIN CARD ***
The Boss 'N' Hug Connection vs Carmella and Naomi vs Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville vs Nia Jax and Tamina vs The IIconics vs The Riott Squad (Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan) (Tag team Elimination Chamber match for the inaugural WWE Women's Tag Team Championship)
Winners and new WWE Women's Tag Team Champions: The Boss n' Hug Connection, Sasha Banks and Bayley
I hate that name "Boss 'n Hug Connection". Beth Phoenix was brought in for commentary. Of course it can't go unnoticed with the recent news of Corey Graves allegedly having an affair with Carmella, which he denies but the allegations were made public by Graves' wife, that the crowd would be hot for the wrong reasons during a certain portion of this match. Because it's a women's match we need to hear commentary act like a bunch of crying ass Kathie Lee Giffords out there putting over their daughters at home and how this is such a big moment. Oh f*** off. That shit is so forced. Shut up about your damn kids. WWE isn't a progressive force in advancing women's issues by creating these belts. If you think I'm coming in too stiff, wait until the end.
If you read my preview you know my expectations for this match were not high and I think it was the right move to have it open the show. In the end the match would exceed my expectations even thought I thought the first half was a bit of a shitty ass clusterf***. However it was well booked and they didn't over-expose the lesser workers in a match that can make a so-so worker look like a first year rookie. Carmella and Naomi, the team who had the week from hell it seems, were eliminated first. Smart move. There were chants of "Corey Graves" at Carmella. I see some people thinking that's unfair to her and people need to stop blaming her. Uhh... Why? She knows Corey has a wife. I'm not saying it is ALL her fault but she is 50% to blame as much as Corey is if its all true. I bet Corey's wife had no problem with fans heckling Carmella. In fact, that's probably exactly what her goal was when she decided to make this dirt public.
Nia and Tamina were the last team to enter the Chamber and acted as the monster heels as you'd expect. The IIconics went back into their pod scared as Nia and Tamina went after them. This reminded me of the scene in the first Jurassic Park where the T-Rex is trying to get at the kids in the Jeep but there is glass protecting them. IIconics were gone after this. Next Nia and Tamina eliminated the Riott Squad. Tamina hit her awkward Superfly Splash. Every time she has ever gone up on the top rope she has the posture of someone standing on a surfboard for the first time. The splash itself is equally as ugly. Nia did the Strowman charge spot through the pod trying to attack Bayley but she moved. People actually laughed but it looked like a nasty spot live. On replay Nia looked ok. Bayley hit her top rope elbow on Tamina and every remaining woman in the match pinned her to eliminate the team.
It came down to Sasha and Bayley and Mandy and Sonya who actually started the match. Sonya Deville looked so f***ing hot. I loved this outfit. I miss her skirt but she looked pretty badass here and I wouldn't mind it if this was her new regular gear since she kind of stood out as well. God... What a f***ing babe. I wonder if I'm her type.
The two teams brawled and matched up well. Sonya too a backstabber into a Bayley to Belly but the pin was broken up by Mandy Rose. The breakup was kind of late but Sonya was smart enough to kick anyway. Bayley got tossed into the corner of the cage where a support beam is which looked rough. This left Sasha alone who took Mandy's finish for a very convincing near fall. Watching live I thought that was the finish, so well done by them. Mandy held up Sasha for a spear but she moved and Sonya hit her partner. Sasha was selling her shoulder here so she improved a bit with the Bank Statement hold using her leg to pull back on Sonya's neck which made it look even more brutal. Sonya taps. There's your match and a very good finishing sequence.
Okay. So, I'd give the match like 3.5 goth babes, but what almost spoiled it for my was the f***ing commentary. You have Beth Phoenix FAKE CRYING over this damn tag match and then you have Corey Graves pretending to be choked up a little but I think he ditched it when he knew he couldn't fake cry for shit. This was so over-the-top and embarrassing I rolled my eyes and almost didn't care about the last half hour of what I just saw. I get putting over these new titles as a big deal, but how about taking it down from an 11 to a nice 7.5? You'd think Sasha and Bayley just cured cancer by the way commentary was reacting. f***ing CRYING?! Are you kidding me? Get the f*** out of here. I mean, I hope it was fake crying, because if this triggered real crying I'd be concerned that they're even less emotionally stable than me.
The Usos vs The Miz and Shane McMahon (c) (Tag team match for the WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship)
Winners and new WWE SmackDown Tag Team Champions: The Usos
One of tonight's surprises, the Usos once again become tag-team champions. Even before the arrest of Jimmy Uso I was not expecting Miz and Shane to lose the titles this soon. Before the match Maryse came out to announce her and The Miz were expecting another baby, so congratulations to the Mizanin's.
The match went about 14 minutes. The signature spot here was Shane going from the post to the announcer's table with an Uso on it. I forgot if it was Jey or Jail Uso. Thinking it was Jey. Shane's jump looked kind of short, but he made it to avoid disaster. Miz in the ring hit Jimmy with the Skull Crushing Finale and took forever to pin him (gotta protect the finish, brother) Jimmy woke up and countered into a pin of his own while Miz tried rolling Jimmy over and there was your finish. A stunned Miz loses and the Usos are your new champions. The match was alright but it seems this was more about the angle than the work. Backstage a remorseful Miz tried making good with Shane who just told him to go home.
Finn Bálor vs Bobby Lashley (c) and Lio Rush (Handicap match for the WWE Intercontinental Championship)
Winner and new WWE Intercontinental Champion: Finn Balor
Another surprise. Love Finn getting the win. Hate this match concept. I also hate the booking despite Finn's win. They did this same shit when AOP lost the tag titles by having Drake Maverick, their manager, eat the pin in a handicap match. This is so f***ing cheap. Of course in the match, Finn got all his moves on Rush, but when Lashley was in the ring, ya know, the actual IC champion, he dominated Finn. In the end Rush wanted to be the star, so he tagged out his boy and paid for it with a Coup de Grace and losing the championship for his client. Way to go.
The fans loved Finn winning because they love Finn. Otherwise I hated this. I hate the title being on the line in handicap matches and WWE insisting that managers be in matches. Yessss I know I f***ING KNOW that Rush is a wrestler on 205, but that doesn't matter on Raw. On the main roster he is Lashley's manager who has no business being in the ring any longer than a minute with Finn Balor. Well, all's well that ends well. Finn beat the 5'4"/140 pound manager for to become the IC champion. Bravo.
Post match Lashley slammed Rush seemingly breaking their bond. This was a bit of a surprise too since like Rush's act or not he did bring out some interest in Lashley that he didn't have before as a babyface. Now just like that it's done. I guess in kayfabe it is smart of Lashley. I mean, if my manager lost my title belt for me I'd kill him too.
Ronda Rousey vs Ruby Riott (Singles match for the WWE Raw Women's Championship)
Winner and still Raw Women's Champion: Ruby Riott
Dude, what the f***. The match didn't even go 2 minutes before Ruby tapped out. Squashed out of the title match on PPV. I feel bad for her, but at the same time none of this had to do with Ruby and instead they quickly moved on to the Wrestlemania angle. Did it really have to be Ruby that took a squash job here? The only member of the Riott Squad that is somewhat protected? It's just weird to me, but that's WWE. Vince likes his blondes with big tits. Not tattooed girls with small tits. Ahh...well, Ruby if you follow my Twitter @PlanetKayfabe you know how I feel about you. Still a babe to me.
After the match Charlotte went into the ring to confront Ronda. There was a buzz in the crowd that signified the arrival of an injured Becky Lynch on two crutches. The crowd was hot for her. I was shocked. I'm sure the out of touch McMahons and everyone yes-man and asshole in creative are clinking their wine glasses thinking they got Becky Lynch over but no... She's still amazingly over despite of WWE's creative. I swear to f***ing God above I thought after this past week they killed Becky dead, but here the crowd still cared. I was hoping Becky would reveal that she was faking her injury and just go all out but she sold here throughout while beating down both Charlotte and Ronda with her crutches. These were some brutal shots. Some might say she was too stiff, but f*** it. After the past week of WWE seemingly trying to kill all of her momentum 2 months away from Wrestlemania f*** it. You better lay that shit in. It only took 5 or so minutes for WWE security to intervene and escort Becky out of the arena while she got a hero's applause. Crazy, f***ing crazy. I'm glad for her sake that the fans still cared because this company has done her no favors this past month tapping out at the Rumble and now apologizing to the McMahons. Christ...
Baron Corbin vs Braun Strowman (No Disqualification match)
Winner: Baron Corbin
This f***ing sucked. Not only was it in a dead spot, but it was pretty bad. Of course I was hoping Strowman would just win and we could move on but nope. About half way through Drew McIntyre's music hit so he could interfere because you can't run into a No DQ match without some production geek hitting your theme. Lashley would also come out to help take down Strowman. I hate this. HATE THIS!
Let me explain why: Remember a month or so ago when we all saw Drew McIntyre as the next big main event heel going into 2019? This is a pretty weak way to start your 2019. Drew McIntyre left a mid-carder to basically join a stable of other midcarders that are lower on the food chain than Dolph Ziggler. I mean, not by much, but still. Its not a step up either way. Plus, it doesn't even come off like McIntyre is the leader. Baron Corbin who is still wrestling in gear reminiscent of a Staples manager who looks like he played in a Nu Metal band in high school is perhaps the leader of this trio.
The finish saw them stack two tables while Strowman was lifted up for a triple powerbomb, Shield style, and put through for the pin. It made a cool sound, but that's about all the good I have to say about this. I wish McIntyre was on his own, instead he's a JAG in a group of JAGs.
There was a weird segment where Lacey Evans came out and pretty much just walked the ramp and back. Okay. Thanks for that, I guess.
Daniel Bryan vs AJ Styles vs Jeff Hardy vs Kofi Kingston vs Randy Orton vs Samoa Joe (Elimination Chamber match for the WWE Championship)
Winner and still WWE Champion: Daniel Bryan
The match officially went just under 37 minutes and was the match of the night in my opinion. Bryan came out and cut a heel promo about how it is our fault, since we, the WWE Universe, "are the authority" made him come out last that way he would be in the match first. Ha. That's hilarious. We are the authority? That hemp belt is really getting to Bryan.
It was Bryan and Joe to start, so two heels even though one is more of a likable bad-ass heel. Bryan tried to avoid Joe but Joe worked him over with with chops and holds. They brawled a bit as Bryan's chest turned red from all these chops which is a familiar scene. The next man to enter the match was Kofi Kingston coming off his strong showing on Smackdown. He was the most over babyface here and perhaps on this single show. Maybe even more than Becky. AJ Styles entered the match next and came out hot with striking attacks on everyone. He had the crowd behind him as well as they chanted his name. Joe went for the Coquina Clutch on Kingston who countered into a pin for two. Into that AJ hit the Phenomenal Forearm on Joe for the pin to eliminate him from the match first. A minor surprise of sorts, but its not like Joe has been booked very strong in WWE and protected in situations like this. Someone has to be first and Joe was here.
Jeff Hardy entered next to a fine reaction because he's a popular name but no one believed he was winning this match. After some group brawling Hardy hit a cool spot on AJ Styles where he was draped over the 2nd rope and Jeff hit the Swanton Bomb on AJ. However, into that Daniel Bryan came out of nowhere with the running knee on Hardy for the pin. Jeff Hardy is eliminated.
Randy Orton entered the match last and surveyed the match while the damage had already been done. AJ went for the Phenomenal Forearm but Orton grabbed AJ on the ropes and ht the RKO to eliminate him. You may remember Kofi Kingston's little push to the main event in 2009 in a feud against Randy Orton. Kofi was younger, obviously, and had a few slip ups in that big of a spot and his push was killed dead shortly after. Here Kofi got "revenge" of sorts hitting the Trouble In Paradise on Orton to eliminate him.
The match was down to Bryan and Kingston which is how I would have booked it myself and it was the right move if you listen to this crowd. Damn... The Houston fans were pretty hot for Kofi. I never once thought he was really winning. Daniel Bryan is kind of getting lost in the great performance by Kofi. As good as a story as it was, Daniel Bryan, one of the best workers in history, made Kofi feel like he belonged in a world title conversation after being the guy who was twerking and throwing pancakes and cereal around for 4 years. Kofi was treated like a legitimate threat, so basically Daniel Bryan did the opposite of what John Cena always did every time he had to be in the ring with a midcarder.
The two had a stare-down while the crowd got hot and the two exchanged moves. Kofi hit the SOS for a two count that got a good reaction from the crowd. Bryan went for his running dropkicks a few times but on the fourth time Kofi countered with a double knee to the chest. After some brawling around the structure Bryan his a running knee for a two count which only got the crowd hotter. Bryan sold it perfectly with the shocked look on his face which made it that much better. Bryan went for the LeBell Lock and even though there are no disqualifications (which means no referee forced rope breaks) Kofi got to the ropes anyway and Bryan released the hold. It was good drama and the fans popped when Kofi reached the ropes but someone on commentary did the leg work and put over that Bryan wasn't able to fully keep the hold locked in anymore since legally he never had to break it.
Bryan went to the top of one of the pods and Kofi went after him. They fought on the cage and Kofi teased a superplex spot and Bryan battled out of it. Bryan slammed Kofi's face into the Plexiglas barrier, but eventually Bryan was kicked off the pod. Kofi went for it all here diving off the pod, but Bryan moved. Hit the running knee and went for the pin. Bryan retains after 36 minutes of action.
The match was great and I'd say the best part of the show was when Bryan and Kofi were squared off one-on-one. There were times where it seemed like Kofi really did have a chance and this could possibly be the best match of his career, but I'm not entirely sure off the top of my head since New Day did have a great series with the Usos. After the match Woods and Big E came out to check on Kofi. A respectful crowd chanted "thank you, Kofi" for a great effort.
There's your show. I give it 7/10 Goth Babes. I'm not in the camp that WWE should have called an audible put the title on Kofi. What made this so great was that Kofi was a great challenger. Plus, Bryan is hot as a heel right now. Put the two together and you got a hot match. However, Bryan is a hot heel and we are a month out from Wrestlemania. Why end his run now? Just a couple weeks after debuting a new belt? It would make no sense. If they want to build up Kofi as a legit challenger, go right ahead. Maybe by SummerSlam he can win the title, but they need to do some work to have the guy who was dancing and throwing breakfast pastries around for 4 years be taken seriously as the WWE Champion. Read what I'm saying there. Yes, this crowd took him seriously as a CHALLENGER but what do you do after that? If your argument is "well, Jinder was champion" you're not helping your case. If Jinder turned out to be a great champion after being hot-shotted I'd listen to you, but that's actually a poor argument to just put a belt on someone just to say you saw it happen. Give it time, because even though the crowd was hot for this match it was not the right time to have a title change.
Tickets for the WWF Hall of Fame go on sale this Friday and they announced D-Generation X, as a faction, as the the headliners. This means HBK Shawn Michaels will be a two-time inductee into the WWE Hall of Fame. This is Triple H's first induction as well ass the New Age Outlaws and X-Pac. Also, of course this is the induction of Chyna into the Hall of Fame so that is newsworthy in itself right there. As you all know Chyna died on April 20, 2016 so she will be the one posthumous induction of the stable (no Rick Rude, who was already inducted by himself anyway) and I'm not sure who will speak on her behalf, but it is good that she is getting inducted as for the rest as well who all deserve it and DX as a faction of course deserve it as well. So, congratulations to them.
Thanks for reading this Elimination Chamber edition of Planet Kayfabe. Head over to Twitter @PlanetKayfabe where I live tweet all these shows and reply to like 95% of you. I enjoy engaging is discussions and casual pointless banter so if you're a lonely and depressed lump like me, go right ahead and hit me up. Take care and God bless. For NoDQ, this is Planet Kayfabe. See you next time.