10th Mar2020

‘WWE Elimination Chamber 2020’ PPV Review

by Nathan Favel

Welcome to this review of WWE Elimination Chamber 2020, right here on Nerdly. I’m Nathan Favel and we have the big show before the major one, so let’s see if there’s any real build to Wrestlemania or not.


Match #1: The Viking Raiders def. Zack Ryder & Curt Hawkins

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

It seems strange to say the Viking Raiders are coming off something of a drought, but after losing the Raw Tag Team Titles to Seth Rollins & Murphy and falling to The O.C. at WWE Super ShowDown, it may have been fair to wonder if Erik & Ivar lost a step. Elimination Chamber Kickoff, then, served as notice from the former Raw Tag Team Champions that they’re as dominant as ever, despite an impressive effort from Zack Ryder & Curt Hawkins. To help get their mojo back against a team that has run roughshod over them, Ryder & Hawkins opted for an unusually aggressive tactic, mugging Erik in a two-on-one attack that stretched the rules to their breaking point. They began to panic when Ivar received the tag, and Ryder’s aggression got the better of him when he accidentally dropped Hawkins with his own Rough Ryder. The Ultimate Broski’s shock didn’t last long, as he fell to the Viking Experience moments later and wasn’t in much of a position to feel much of anything. A noble effort, but the story between these two teams remains the same.

My Opinion: 2.8 out of 5 – This was a decent few minutes, but it was all just begin-and-end with no real middle part. Hey, at least they got a buck or two thrown at them for this. Why does War Machine still have that stupid name? Zack must be getting a lot of dough to stick around Bull-S— Boulevard this long. Okay, moving on.

Match #2: Daniel Bryan def. Drew Gulak

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

For one night only, the Wells Fargo Center turned into the Dallas Sportatorium, and the bells and whistles of sports-entertainment melted away when Daniel Bryan and Drew Gulak locked up in an old-school battle that seemed time-warped from NWA circa 1982. And for all Gulak’s insistence that his was the superior wrestling mind, it was Bryan who schooled the former NXT Cruiserweight Champion, though it’s fair to say The Philadelphia Stretcher kept the match razor-close. In a match that almost took place entirely on the mat and where you could count the number of rope-runs on one hand, Gulak kept things basic and brutal. When he wasn’t twisting Bryan’s legs into pretzels, he was viciously targeting his surgically-repaired neck to set up his Gulock dragon sleeper. He got there eventually, but the five-time World Champion saved the match with a last-gasp effort, grabbing hold of a wrist, somehow rolling into the “Yes!” Lock and claiming the win when Gulak passed out. Bryan couldn’t help but show some respect with a nod to the Philly product after the match, and there’s no point in disputing the props. If tonight was any indication, Gulak may well have the superior mind. The heart, however, is another story.

My Opinion: 4 out of 5 – Now this was good to the last drop. Getting about fifteen minutes, this fight had the mind to go with the body. Like Sandra Lee in a fish bowl filled with poor people…I don’t have any-thing for that one. There’s lots of smart, strong wrestling to counteract the normal WWE style of “Mash the buttons!” Did that video game reference work? I could date a chicken…make dinner easier. Bryan and Gulak is such an easy pairing that a bad one between the two would be bigger news than a hit. I want this pair to get back together for another round of wrestling action, very soon. Also, Keith Olberman is an ugly m——f—–.

Match #3: Andrade (Cien Almas) def. Humberto Carrillo – WWE United States Championship Match

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

Give Humberto Carrillo credit for persistence. The daring, dimpled scion of Latino wrestling greatness has doggedly chased the United States Championship almost since the second he came to Monday Night Raw. But for all that heart, it seems like Andrade simply has his number, as he once again turned back Carrillo at WWE Elimination Chamber to hold firm to the title as WrestleMania approaches. As ever, Carrillo kept the match close. (He’s very, very good.) Charges into the ring post, sprinting back elbows and a full-bore set of running knees into the corner couldn’t keep him down. Neither could the threat of another Hammerlock DDT to the arena floor. But a familiar sequence of events led to Humberto’s defeat, as Andrade — much like Humberto’s own cousin Angel Garza — stacked up his challenger after a series of roll-up attempts and grabbed a handful of tights to steal the win. And for Carrillo, the story remains the same where the U.S. Title is concerned: So close, and yet somehow, farther than ever.

My Opinion: 3.6 out of 5 – This was a fine match that delivered more lucha action in a league that doesn’t specialize in that kind of wrestling. I thought the former La Sombra was going to lose the title Dave? Screw it… I liked this like I like watching George McCrae rock a baby hard enough for it to disco dance. There was an intensity here that was on par with a goof-ball from a short yellow bus getting to see Jennifer Lopez’s ass and then farting so hard that the bus driver’s credit rating shoots-up 200 points. I didn’t like the roll-up finish, but that’s all Vince knows how to book anymore. Okay, let’s get to the next one.

Match #4: The Miz & John Morrison won the SmackDown Tag Team Title Elimination Chamber Match

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

The Miz & John Morrison are still SmackDown Tag Team Champions, having been the first Superstars of the night to survive the dreaded Elimination Chamber Match against one of the more stacked fields in recent memory. The champs had the benefit of some crazy-good fortunes. For all the agony the Chamber dishes out, they entered the match fourth out of six to a field that had entirely taken itself out. Lucha House Party thrilled the WWE Universe with a high-octane, death-defying performance, highlighted by Lince Dorado’s jaw-dropping backflip plunge from the roof of the Chamber. The eliminations came soon thereafter, with Heavy Machinery taking out the Luchas to record the first ouster. Unfortunately, Heavy Machinery were the next out, as Tucker fell to Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode after Otis plowed through the wall of the chamber in an attempt to obliterate the date-stealing Ziggler. New Day and The Usos joined forces to toss Ziggler & Roode moments later, but their temporary alliance quickly fizzled, and the champions again capitalized by swooping in to pin a battle-worn Kofi Kingston after he missed his target with a leap from the top of a pod. Miz & Morrison found the road harder in a straight-up battle against The Usos, but they used the anything-goes lawlessness of the Chamber to their advantage, earning the deciding pinfall with a jackknife rope-assisted double roll-up of sorts. That’s the name of the game with this anything-goes match, and especially this team. Nobody should be jealous of what they did to keep the titles, but unfortunately, everyone must simply be jealous that they still have them.

My Opinion: 3.7 out of 5 – There’s lots of action here, so that’s cool. Otis was the big star here, which is actually pretty damn cool. If there was any-thing worth talking about in here, Otis probably involved in it. Oh, everybody else was great too. The match needed a bit more logic in certain spots and some timing issues with the Chamber made certain things feel to slow or too fast. Well, at least this was fun to watch.

Match #5: Aleister Black def. AJ Styles – No Disqualification Match

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

AJ Styles sent a message to The Undertaker, and The Undertaker must have been listening. The Deadman once again reared his head in the deciding moments of Styles’ No Disqualification bout against Aleister Black, thwarting The Phenomenal One for the second straight pay-per-view and giving Black a measure of payback against the Superstar who handed him his first-ever post-NXT singles defeat. Styles didn’t exactly hide the fact that Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson were going to be at ringside, and the 3-on-1 advantage came into play at the tail end of a match that had already included Kendo sticks, tables and chairs. Black finally sized up Styles for the Black Mass when the good brothers interfered, dropping Black with a Magic Killer and holding him in place for the Phenomenal Forearm. The gong tolled before Styles could soar, and The Deadman appeared in Black’s place, snatching AJ out of midair for a Chokeslam before disappearing from whence he came.

My Opinion: 3.6 out of 5 – This was really good, but a lame crowd reaction would make you think otherwise. I don’t know, but maybe AJ, who is a natural face and major star, being booked as a heel, is screwing with the people too much? Who wants to boo AJ Styles? Why waste booking and promotional time on AJ as a villain? Seth Rollins is a villain; Bray Wyatt is a villain; Brock Lesnar is a villain; Randy Orton is a villain/tweener/jack-ass. Square pegs don’t go in round holes, even when the hole is bigger than the peg. Stop shoving AJ into heel category and you will have fantastic matches with great crowd reactions. Also, Black was great here, but needs to be allowed to really go off the rails in order to sell his Undertaker-lite shtick.

Match #6: The Street Profits def. Seth Rollins & Murphy (Buddy Murphy) – Raw Tag Team Championship Match

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

Seth Rollins came into WWE Elimination Chamber hoping to reclaim the Raw Tag Team Titles alongside Murphy and get his mission back on track. Instead, The Monday Night Messiah found himself besieged by a series of nonbelievers who thwarted the plans of the self-styled prophet, allowing The Street Profits to retain the titles and keep Rollins’ crusade stuck in first gear. The first interlopers were The Viking Raiders, fresh off a win over Zack Ryder & Curt Hawkins on the Kickoff show, who charged down the ramp and neutralized AOP, brawling with the former Raw Tag Team Champions to the locker-room area. The second was Kevin Owens, who marched down from the concourse with a box of popcorn, casually took a seat atop one of the announce tables and threw a handful of the snack into the face of an incensed Rollins. Angelo Dawkins did the rest, pouncing The Monday Night Messiah into the barricade and leaving Murphy with no backup. The Street Profits dispatched the former NXT Cruiserweight Champion with a combo of a spinebuster and Frog Splash, and Owens provided the exclamation point, Stunning Rollins after the match and dumping popcorn on Murphy as he exited. Rough week for he who would change the world, but nobody said changing hearts and minds was easy.

My Opinion: 2.8 out of 5 – This was…f— this s—. This was a lousy PPV match. Seth better be wrestling some people with talent at Wrestlemania, because the Street Profits may have potential, that potential hasn’t been met yet, so the matches just don’t hold-up.

Match #7: Sami Zayn, Shinsuke Nakamura and Cesaro def. Braun Strowman – Handicap Match For The WWE Intercontinental Title

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

Let this be a lesson to all who underestimate Sami Zayn: Don’t do that. Despite being all but counted out by Braun Strowman in an Intercontinental Championship 3-on-1 Handicap Match, The Great Liberator scored the deciding pinfall, bringing the title back to his stable around the waist of its very founder. That’s a little surprising since it was Shinsuke Nakamura who held the championship before Strowman, but nobody can say Zayn didn’t play this perfectly. He goaded Strowman into a frenzy the entire time, always allowing Nakamura and Cesaro to do the heavy lifting. Still, it was a true team effort that finally felled the Monster Among Men, with the trio executing a double suplex-Helluva Kick combo that dropped the big man. Zayn made the cover to win the title, much to Strowman’s visible, and understandable, anger. In a battle of brains over brawn (Braun?), it was clear who had the stronger strategy. It was also clear which of them was most willing to settle the score in a straight-up fight (Hint: It wasn’t Sami). But those are the rules of the match. To the victor, go the spoils.

My Opinion: 2.9 out of 5 – This was…bull-s—. Why not just do th…oh, f— it. At least Sami won a belt.

Match #8: (Main Event) Shayna Baszler won the Women’s Elimination Chamber to earn the right to face Raw Women’s Champion Becky Lynch at WrestleMania

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

Shayna Baszler is going to WrestleMania, and it wasn’t even close. With a Raw Women’s Title Match against Becky Lynch at stake, The Queen of Spades routed the entire field in the Women’s Elimination Chamber Match, eliminating all five of her opponents to earn the fateful match against The Man on The Grandest Stage of Them All. With all due respect to Natalya, Ruby Riott and Sarah Logan, their early scrap was just a preamble for Baszler’s entry at No. 4. The two-time NXT Women’s Champion submitted Ruby and Logan within the span of 60 seconds and brutalized Natalya with a Chamber pod door to set up her own submission. Liv Morgan put up a fight, but she went quickly as well, passing out in a Kirifuda Clutch in full view of Asuka, the last Superstar to enter the Chamber and the one who was hungriest to fight The Queen of Spades. While The Empress of Tomorrow briefly trapped Baszler in the Asuka Lock, The Queen of Spades escaped the hold and torqued Asuka’s injured wrist to leave the former SmackDown Women’s Champion screaming in pain. Shayna applied the Kirifuda Clutch to her as well, putting The Empress of Tomorrow to sleep and setting her WrestleMania match in stone. Needless to say, Becky Lynch had eyes on the match, watching from a monitor in the locker room area. The Man seemed somewhat satisfied that Baszler was the Superstar who escaped the Chamber to earn a fight against her at WrestleMania. It was, after all, exactly what she wanted. If tonight was any indication, however, anyone who seeks a fight with Baszler ends up much the worse for wear. As they say, be careful what you wish for.

My Opinion: 3.4 out of 5 – This worked as a matter of Shanya hurting people, but everyone else looked weak because of it and there was no drama either, nor suspense. A lot of chances to do something with the Riott Squad fighting each other were eschewed in favor of obvious things that did little to add to the match. Shanya won and should have, but it would have been nice if there was some doubt as to who was going to win.

News Of The Night:

  1. Sami Zayn won the Intercontinental Title.
  2. Undertaker continued to haunt AJ Styles after his match was over.

Final Verdict: 3.7/5

Two-thirds of this was really good, but the bad part was just depressing. Sadly, this show lost momentum by the last three matches, but the larger portion was a lot of fun.


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