Thursday, February 16, 2017

WWE Elimination Chamber 2017

So I suppose the good news is that we've averted another John Cena vs. Randy Orton match main eventing a Wrestlemania. Thank heavens for small favors, as the old saying goes.

The bad news, however, is that this was a completely and utterly worthless PPV showing. Unfortunately, you could pretty much say that about any PPV outing from WWE in the months between the Royal Rumble and Wrestlemania. Quite frankly, it'd probably be best if we killed off the February and March PPVs and just settled for a long, seed-planting build on the TV shows. Who knows? Somebody might actually watch the damn things for once.

But in any event, here're my quick thoughts on this Elimination Chamber PPV event that, sadly, didn't hold my attention for too long.

Becky Lynch defeated Mickie James with a roll-up. Not bad for an opening contest and nice to see that Mickie can hold her own just fine with the younger folks. Should WWE decide on giving her another title run, I would not be opposed to that one bit. All in all, this match was fine.

Apollo Crews and Kalisto defeated Dolph Ziggler in a handicap match that started with Ziggler tossing Kalisto into the LED wall, incapacitating him for a good chunk of the match which left us with Apollo vs. Dolph and that was about as exciting as watching paint dry... actually, that's a lie. Watching paint dry is a bit more fascinating. Despite eating a pin, Dolph didn't take it lying down and attacked the winners, going so far as to try and pillmanize Apollo's ankle to the delight of the crowd. It should be noted that Dolph is the designated bad guy and people are cheering him for his heinous acts.

Smackdown tag team champions American Alpha retain the tag titles in a Smackdown Tag Team turmoil match featuring a bunch of tag teams who don't matter. I wish I could show a bit more enthusiasm, but I have none to show, so...

The match between Nikki Bella and Natalya ended in a double countout when both women brawled on the outside and didn't bother to come back to the ring. I was taking a piss during this match, so that should tell you something right then and there.

Randy Orton defeated Luke Harper with an RKO. This was actually a far better match that I was expecting and the biggest surprise here was that this was a classic case of Ric Flair vs. a broomstick, with Randy Orton playing the broomstick. Goddamn, how is it that all the neckbeard guys are putting on good showings all of a sudden? Honestly, this was the greatest thing I've seen, but I actually paid a little more attention than I was expecting and it kept me awake for once. So that's something.

Naomi defeated Smackdown Women's Champion Alexa Bliss to win the title in a match that was clearly made to be filler and it showed. Nothing against the women here, but the match didn't really hold my interest all that much... and that's a shame.

So they debuted the brand-spanking new Elimination Chamber and it looks more square than before. Honestly, it's not much of a change aside from the obnoxious LEDs and WWE logo added on the roof, but they moreorless kept the basic layout of the thing.

Bray Wyatt defeated AJ Styles, John Cena, The Miz, Dean Ambrose, and Baron Corbin in an Elimination Chamber match to win the WWE title. If you take the string of names Bray defeated and put them in reverse order, you have the precise order of elimination that took place in this match. Despite his sign-pointing abilities and starring role in Total Divas or whatever the fuck it's called, John Cena was the second to last man eliminated, narrowing the final two to AJ Styles and Bray Wyatt. Two weeks is small potatoes for Cena World title reign #16, but it's already more prestigious than Ric Flair's 16th, which last precisely half an episode of Monday Nitro.

The match itself was pretty good. I liked that bit where Baron Corbin was eliminated with a roll-up while distracted by Miz and then he demolished Ambrose as a result before leaving. I liked that Miz went for the easy pin on Ambrose. I don't like that the chambers are made from a very obvious hard plastic and it looks flimsy as shit. Listening to the announcers trying to sell that as a devastating blow is almost humorous if it wasn't so sad. Cena not being the last guy eliminated was a nice surprise; see, not every elimination match has to have the champ as the other remaining guy before losing.

As for Bray winning the title? I can't say I'm surprised... and in all honesty, I'm happy to see that Bray finally won SOMETHING on his own and in grand fashion; pins over Cena and Styles is no small feat. It's just too bad that I have this nagging feeling Bray's first reign as WWE Champion will be a rather short one... perhaps until Wrestlemania. I'll say this much, though; there's some minor intrigue in the Bray Wyatt/Randy orton story, so that's gotta be worth something, right?

So to sum this show up, the Chamber match is good, the rest is forgettable, and nothing of value is lost if you skip out on this show. Oh well.

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