WWE Elimination Chamber 2017 Reaction
By Nicholas Jason Lopez
Back in the Pay-Per-View fold after a year’s absence, the infamous Elimination Chamber was all a part of the blue brand’s WrestleMania build.
With Royal Rumble winner Randy Orton in the wings for a Title shot, six of the best would battle it out to see who he’d face, a few in the first Chamber match of their careers.
On a night where a few undercard talents had their moment, other bouts got lost in the shuffle, but as always, SmackDown delivered when it counted.
The Pre-Show Breakdown
– Nothing sounds more pre-show than a Mojo Rawley-Curt Hawkins encounter. Literally no substance. At least Hawkins got to keep that cool cane of his, but his voiceover entrance is eh. A live mic would be better off. We’ll assume that Rawley gets the edge here, because what’s in it for Hawkins? There was a little goofy part where Hawkins went to throw Rawley into the barricade, but couldn’t because of camera personnel and awkwardly whipped him around into the apron instead. A good sign was that the crowd reacted to Rawley’s offense, as they oohed and ahh’d. Hawkins got more offense than we expected. A stiff right hand into the tilt-a-whirl slam finished off Hawkins. That was about right. We forgot the irony that both guys are associated with Zack Ryder as former and current tag partners.
– The opening video obviously focused on the grim Chamber and the phrase, “Beauty as cold as steel.” We also loved the shot of music notes that faded into the chain links. They also mixed in soundbites from all the contenders, who all have legit cases to walk away Champion.
– The Becky Lynch-Mickie James match was a welcome opener, with a tightly crafted storyline which was “Bitter Veteran Vs. Passionate Present.” Lynch looked for some payback ever since James revealed herself as La Luchadora and cost her the Title. We started with the world’s longest collar-and-elbow-tie-up that actually carried itself outside the ring. James targeted the left arm with a snap DDT and some holds. We liked the idea that suggested she mocked Lynch’s usual tactics. These two got into a groove as they exchanged forearms. James did a seated senton for a two as her elbow was noticeably busted open on the landing. Great finish as Lynch pinned James as she rolled her up when James avoided the Disarmer. Guess they go with the payback angle. Wouldn’t quite call it the biggest win of Lynch’s career like Commentator JBL did, but that was good.
– The cut to Carmella/James Ellsworth in the Skybox, which was a recurrent theme throughout the show. She’s say something and then Ellsworth would echo the same thought. She did this first as she suggested James should’ve won.
– The 2-On-1 Handicap Tag match between Dolph Ziggler and Apollo Crews/Kalisto revolved around the faces’ intentions to teach Ziggler a lesson on respect. There were a lot of chair shots in the buildup and they played up Ziggler’s troubles to take them both on. Ziggler came out as he ambushed Kalisto from behind and threw him into the LED screen, which actually tore a strip from it. The crowd only loved Ziggler more for it. Crews’ angry rage came through for the few moments after and that was good. The two settled in and a few minutes passed without anything important. Kalisto battled back out as Crews hit a hard enziguiri. Kalisto showed off some handspring maneuvers and leaned back into the ropes, as Crews tagged in. Kalisto did a Matrix-like move and kicked Ziggler into Crews, who then hit his finisher to get the three. Poor Ziggler. Post-match, Ziggler attacked Kalisto and did the same to Crews. What did we even accomplish here? Crowd was loud, but for the wrong reason. Ziggler wrapped Crews’ ankle in a chair and stomped on it twice. Alright then.
– The WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship Tag Team Turmoil match started with Heath Slater/Rhyno and Breezango (first time we’d seen their entrance in a while) as whoever won between those two would move on to face the next team. Rhyno got a big reaction when he tagged in and “ECW” chants all over. Fandango dropped some “tickets” on Slater, one of them said “Ewww” on it. Funny. Fandango didn’t know Rhyno was legal and got speared for the loss. It was now The Vaudevillains in. We’ll go with Slater/Rhyno here. A big “He’s got kids” chant grew. JBL broke out, “He said he has more in the winter.” Simon Gotch broke out some muay-thai knee strikes. Slater got the pin on Aiden English with a DDT. Next came The Usos. Uh oh. Commentator Mauro Ranallo slipped and called the main event the “Hell In A Cell.” Slater was wiped out with a superkick as Usos advanced. Here came Champions American Alpha, as this was what we were hoping they’d build to. Long time coming. With The Ascension (who actually won a match on the go-home show) due next, hope wasn’t high for The Usos. Chad Gable got the roll-up pin on one of the twins after a lull. After that, Usos assaulted AA. We know a big payoff’s coming with those two teams. This also sets a hill for the Champs to climb. A Samoan splash was done to Jason Jordan. Ascension hit Fall of Man on Jordan, as Gable saved the pin at the last second. It also should be noted that Ascension only wore black colors. Grand Amplitude suddenly turned the tide as AA retained. Good, time-filling stuff.
– The Nikki Bella-Natalya match started all the way back at Survivor Series when Bella was attacked backstage from behind, eventually revealed by Carmella to be Natalya. They tried to blend the “Total Divas” storyline into the feud, but it fell short. Despite a few great brawls (merchandise stand mayhem comes to mind), it was a lifeless war of words. It probably also helped Bella that she was in her home state of Arizona. Natalya instigated things as she mocked Bella with her husband’s catchphrase/gesture and slapped her. Bella did a flying clothesline off the apron. Natalya answered back as she pushed Bella into the post. Natalya has the sharpshooter and Bella countered into the STF. Natalya looked to do a powerslam as she slammed Bella to the floor. It went to a double countout, which is always lame. Natalya cheap shotted her and Bella came back to spear her on the ramp. More brawling. Yay. Sigh.
– Cut again to CarmEllsworth, as she said they were “out of control” and it was repeated by her Cheetah Boo.
– A fog promo from Bray Wyatt/Randy Orton had Wyatt announce they’d go separate ways and then reunite. Interesting they mention that.
– The Orton-Luke Harper match had potential as Harper was breaking out as the outcast babyface of The Wyatt Family, now officially shunned. Orton was on the verge of a Mania Title shot, as the feud video package showed some nice zooms on Harper’s paranoid expressions when Orton spoke fondly of Wyatt. This sibling rivalry would finally get its payoff, with Harper on his own. Orton’s “Wyatt music” was skipped in favor of his usual. Did someone slip at production? The match’s intention seemed to be to broaden Harper a little bit to the fans, as he showed some versatility in his repertoire. Orton dropped Harper on his back on the announce table and he rolled over his neck and fell onto ringside personnel. Harper hit a senton atomico and a big boot for a two. Harper did a tope suicida that sent Orton over to the next announce table. He then dropped Orton on the table back-first. Orton countered with a scoop powerslam on the floor. Orton’s superplex was also a highlight. JBL quoted JR without naming him. Orton headed for an RKO and was superkicked twice for two. A sit-out powerbomb by Harper for two. Didn’t expect this match to be this good. They were on their knees wailing at each other. A Discus Clothesline attempt was thwarted in favor of the RKO for the three. That match may had just about made Harper.
– Backstage, Bella talked about the match when she was attacked again by Natalya from behind. Even we saw that coming up. They brawled and Bella crashed into Maryse, who got powder all over her. We’re going to guess that will start something.
– The WWE SmackDown’s Women’s Championship match between Naomi and Champion Alexa Bliss was actually well-structured in terms of the build. Naomi was established as a late threat and pinned Bliss twice recently. It was also brought up that Mania would be in her hometown of Orlando, FL. and she had dreams of going in as Champion. Gritty start as hair was flipped, gum was thrown and Naomi tumbled to the canvas as she was tossed from the top rope by Bliss. Bliss used the hair to her advantage. Some impressive athleticism on both ends. Twisted Bliss was met with the knees and a springboard split legged moonsault meant a new Champion. Oh damn. Crowd was hot for that. Post-match, she was approached by Renee Young and had “You deserve it” chants. Her brief promo was good. Emotional feel-good stuff.
– They cut to CarmEllsworth again, as she voiced her frustration at the constant interviews and wanted to watch the show. Glad they share the same thoughts as us.
– The Elimination Chamber match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship between Champion John Cena, AJ Styles, Wyatt, Baron Corbin, The Miz and WWE Intercontinental Champion Dean Ambrose began as it would be Styles-Cena, a fitting throwback to their Rumble match. Cena even pulled out that sunset flip destroyer again. The crowd dueled chants. First one out was Ambrose, who lifted Styles up and crashed him on the outside. A note on that in a little bit. Ambrose did an elbow drop from the top of the pod. Cena did a two-man German suplex. Mauro really said, “Super Cena.” Next out was Wyatt, as he launched Styles into the chain link. He played to the crowd as they sang, “He’s got the whole world in his hands.” A look at the steel grate and it’s actually padded. Little bit lame. Styles and Cena were suspended high on the links, before Cena was sent crashing down. Styles and Ambrose pushed each other into the glass atop the pod. Styles was thrown belly-to-belly by Wyatt, who was simultaneously powerbombed. Damn. Next out was Corbin. Styles was hit with End Of Days, but Cena applied the STF. EOD on Cena too. Corbin had everyone laid out as Miz entered. Ambrose scooped up Corbin to eliminate him. Some booed that. He attacked Ambrose after that and threw him through the pod. He finished with an EOD on Ambrose. Miz pinned Ambrose as he came out from hiding from Corbin. Miz mocked Genral Manager Daniel Bryan again, but was eliminated soon by an Attitude Adjustment. A 10-Knuckle Shuffle actually happened. A Styles Clash on Cena for two. An AA on Styles for two. Cena did a double crossbody off the pod. Sister Abigail on Cena eliminated him, as everyone was shocked. There’d be a new Champion for sure. Crowd was loud now. Down to Wyatt and Styles. Even a Wyatt clothesline was a buyable near-fall. He hit the springboard 450 for a two. A Phenomenal Forearm was countered for Sister Abigail as Wyatt finally did the impossible – become Champion. Better yet, he got separate pinfalls over Styles and Cena to do it. That sets up an Orton-Wyatt Mania scenario. Gladly, they remained focused on that as Orton watched solemnly from the ramp. This should be a fun month of buildup.
- Pre-Show – Mojo Rawley def. Curt Hawkins via pinfall
- Becky Lynch def. Mickie James via pinfall
- 2-On-1 Handicap Tag – Kalisto/Apollo Crews def. Dolph Ziggler via pinfall
- WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championships – Tag Team Turmoil – American Alpha (Champions) def. The Ascension, The Usos, The Vaudevillains, Breezango and Heath Slater/Rhyno to retain
- Nikki Bella and Natalya to a double countout
- Randy Orton def. Luke Harper via pinfall
- WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship – Naomi def. Alexa Bliss (Champion) via pinfall to become new Champion
- WWE World Heavyweight Championship – Elimination Chamber – Bray Wyatt def. John Cena (Champion), AJ Styles, Dean Ambrose, The Miz and Baron Corbin to become new Champion
Posted on September 11, 2017, in WWE and tagged AJ Styles, Alexa Bliss, American Alpha, Apollo Crews, Baron Corbin, Becky Lynch, Booker T, Bray Wyatt, Breezango, Carmella, Curt Hawkins, David Otunga, Dean Ambrose, Dolph Ziggler, Elimination Chamber, Heath Slater, James Ellsworth, JBL, John Cena, Kalisto, Luke Harper, Maryse, Mauro Ranallo, Mickie James, Mojo Rawley, Naomi, Natalya, Nikki Bella, Randy Orton, Renee Young, Rhyno, Sam Roberts, SmackDown Live, The Ascension, The Miz, The Usos, The Vaudevillains, Tom Phillips, WrestleMania 33. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.