23rd Feb2021

‘WWE Elimination Chamber 2021’ PPV Review

by Phil Wheat

Welcome to this review of WWE Elimination Chamber 2021, the latest pay per view from the WWE. Well I say pay per view but this is yet another network PPV – apparently the last before WWE network programming moves over to NBC’s Peacock streaming service (at least in the US). Why am I telling you this? I have no idea, I’m just trying to fill this intro with whatever I can… Because there’s no way I can hype this PPV up after last weeks weak lead-in from Smackdown!

Kick-Off Show Match: John Morrison def. Mustafa Ali, Ricochet and Elias in a Fatal 4-Way to qualify for the Triple Threat US Championship Match

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

John Morrison prevailed in a chaotic Fatal 4-Way Match on the Elimination Chamber Kickoff, earning a spot in the United States Title Triple Threat Match against champion Bobby Lashley and Riddle. RETRIBUTION made their presence felt several times, though their involvement led to Morrison’s win. JoMo nearly tasted victory soon after hitting Moonlight Drive on Ricochet, but Ricochet later evaded Starship Pain and landed a 450 splash on Ali, only for RETRIBUTION to once again interfere on their leader’s behalf. Attempting to take them all out with a tope con giro, Ricochet found himself caught by MACE and T-BAR and battered into the steel post. With Ali preoccupied with RETRIBUTION doing his bidding, Morrison took advantage by stealing a pin out of nowhere for the chance to become United States Champion.

My Verdict: 2 out of 5 – An hour-long kick-off show featuring a match that was less than 7 minutes. A waste of everyone’s time, especially given it wasn’t hard to figure out that whoever won this match WOULDN’T be any threat to the US Championship match later in the PPV. And I know John Morrison (and his partner in crime The Miz) are posited as opportunistic but a roll-up finish? A roll-up? WEAK!

Match #1: Elimination Chamber Match – Daniel Bryan def. Kevin Owens, Cesaro, Sami Zayn, King Corbin & Jey Uso

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

Daniel Bryan is finally getting the chance against Roman Reigns that he wanted, but he went through hell and back to get it. The “Yes!” Man outlasted five other Superstars to win the Elimination Chamber Match for the right to challenge Reigns. Bryan went wire to wire to claim the win, starting the match against Cesaro, who was arguably the hottest competitor coming in. Bryan made The Swiss Superman quickly feel the wrath of the sadistic structure, launching Cesaro into the steel chains. But Bryan was soon favoring his left knee, and King Corbin, the first Superstar to emerge from a pod, targeted it viciously after pummeling both Bryan and Cesaro. Zayn entered next, though largely against his will. Already heated after having his documentary film crew ejected from ringside prior to the bout, Zayn forcibly kept his pod shut until Cesaro surprised him, entering Zayn’s pod from the other side and repeatedly bashing him against the paneling. Cesaro later elevated Zayn atop the pod containing Jey Uso and immediately chased him upward. With Zayn climbing across the chains in an attempt to flee, Cesaro stomped his hands, sending him crashing to the floor of the Chamber below. Cesaro remained on a roll, forcing Corbin to tap to the Sharpshooter for the first elimination.

Entering next was Kevin Owens, with whom Zayn immediately tried to negotiate a truce for old times’ sake, only to be sent flying into the pods by his former best friend. Owens dominated much of the action until the entry of the sixth and final man, Jey Uso. Owens and Uso teed off on each other right away with Owens getting the better of the exchange. KO then took out all four opponents with a spectacular moonsault off the pod before hitting a series of Stunners, including one on Zayn to eliminate The Great Liberator. But with Zayn exiting, Uso smashed Owens’ arm between the door and the Chamber, softening him up for a barrage of superkicks and a frogsplash before pinning KO, likely to the delight of Reigns. Bryan and Cesaro fought tooth and nail with The Swiss Superman hitting a massive gutbuster off the ropes. However, Cesaro ate a superkick out of nowhere from Uso and found himself eliminated by a frogsplash as well. Uso tried to seal the win as quickly as possible, following with another splash on Bryan, but The “Yes!” Man kicked out. Moments later, Bryan dug deep to connect with a Running Knee to claim victory, though it cost him dearly, and he was far from 100 percent for his ensuing matchup with Reigns.

My Verdict: 4 out of 5 – Cesaro was the star of this match, even without the win. Some great storytelling between Jey Uso, Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn kept this match interesting, though it did feel – at times – like Bryan and Corbin were an afterthought in this match.

Match #2: Universal Championship – Roman Reigns def. Daniel Bryan

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

The Head of the Table is still Universal Champion, though his toughest challenge yet may be imminent at WrestleMania. Roman Reigns easily defeated an already exhausted Daniel Bryan by referee’s stoppage but was left lying afterward by Edge. Seeking to pick the bones like a vulture following a brutal Elimination Chamber Match, Reigns immediately attempted a Spear, only for Bryan to masterfully counter into the “Yes!” Lock. But Reigns quickly powered out and blasted Bryan with right hands before locking on a Guillotine that sapped the last bit of energy Bryan had left. It was one of the most ruthless displays of dominance the WWE Universe has seen from Reigns, but his night wasn’t over. The Rated-R Superstar surprised Reigns with a massive Spear, giving The Big Dog a receipt after taking a Spear from Reigns this past Friday night. With a point to the WrestleMania sign, the 2021 Royal Rumble Match winner appeared to make his intentions clear for The Grandest Stage of Them All.

My Verdict: 0.5 out of 5 – A squash is a squash is a squash. And on a pay per view no less. Criminal.

Match #3: United States Championship – Matt Riddle def. Bobby Lashley & John Morrison

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

Bro-lieve it — Riddle is the new United States Champion. Riddle cleverly one-upped Bobby Lashley and pinned John Morrison in a Triple Threat Match to capture his first singles title in WWE. Lashley looked virtually unstoppable for much of the bout, overpowering both foes early. Even after forging a temporary alliance of necessity, Riddle and Morrison struggled to slow down The All Mighty. Riddle eventually caught Lashley in a head scissors to send him to the outside, and Lashley was hit with a corkscrew splash by JoMo, followed by Riddle’s Floating Bro. Lashley reemerged but felt another Floating Bro, only for Morrison to level Riddle with a knee and hit the champion with Starship Pain for a two-count. Finding himself in a shouting match with MVP at Ringside, Morrison grabbed The Hurt Business’ CEO’s crutch and errantly swung at Lashley, only to end up in The Hurt Lock. The Original Bro saw the perfect opportunity and snapped the crutch across Lashley’s back to leave him alone with Morrison. Connecting with the Bro Derek, Riddle got the pin and quickly fled the WWE ThunderDome to leave Lashley in disbelief with the end of his nearly six-month title reign.

My Verdict: 3 out of 5 – The only surprising thing about this match was that it wasn’t a surprise at all. Morrison was always going to be the one to take the pin in this match as neither of the other competitors have been positioned as “weak” over past weeks. Plus Lashley is Vince’s boy so he’s never NOT going to look strong, even in defeat.

Match #4: Women’s Tag Team Championship – Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler def. Sasha Banks & Bianca Belair

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

The potent duo of SmackDown Women’s Champion Sasha Banks & Royal Rumble Match winner Bianca Belair flourished as a team but couldn’t unseat Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler as WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions. And give an unintentional assist to Reginald. Banks & Belair looked the part of a seasoned duo early with quick teamwork before Baszler took control and isolated Banks in her team’s corner. The Boss eventually escaped their clutches and exchanged several blind tags with Belair to keep Jax & Baszler off balance. Belair even dropped Baszler with the K.O.D. only for Jax to break up the cover and avert disaster. Banks found her way back into the ring with another blind tag, dropping The Irresistible Force with a top-rope Meteora for a near-fall. Reginald made his way to ringside and handed Banks a bottle of champagne, seemingly for use as a weapon. With Banks bewildered and refusing to oblige, Jax took advantage and flattened her with a Samoan drop to retain the titles.

My Verdict: 2 out of 5 – Can we get actual tag teams in the Women’s Tag Team Championship race WWE? Please? Stop sticking singles competitors together for random matches that are only there to move story forward and not provide any real competitive action… That being said Banks and Belair made for a pretty good team at times, really flowing well together – unlike their opponents!

Match #5: WWE Championship Elimination Chamber Match – Drew McIntyre def. Kofi Kingston, Jeff Hardy, AJ Styles, Randy Orton & Sheamus

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

Drew McIntyre turned in perhaps his most grueling victory as WWE Champion to escape the Elimination Chamber Match with the title, though his reign didn’t last much longer. McIntyre was the third man in, as Randy Orton and Jeff Hardy, two Superstars with plenty of history. started the match. The Viper, one of the most prolific Elimination Chamber warriors of all time, immediately made use of his sinister surroundings to brutalize The Charismatic Enigma. McIntyre emerged first from his pod, entering the structure for the first time in a decade and immediately going to war with Orton to renew their heated rivalry. Hardy felt McIntyre’s fury too, as the Scottish titleholder launched him face-first into a pod. Kofi Kingston entered fourth and reignited his own rivalry with Orton, leading to perhaps the most shocking moment of the night. Kingston stunned Orton with a rollup to eliminate him, setting off The Viper like a firecracker. Orton didn’t leave before dropping Kingston and Hardy with RKOs out of frustration. Looking to capitalize, AJ Styles instructed Omos to rip out the back wall of his pod, allowing Styles to enter the chamber through the door as Orton exited. But Styles’ attempt at cheap pins on Hardy and Kingston came up short, and Adam Pearce arrived to eject Omos from ringside.

With Sheamus finally entering as the final man, he and former friend McIntyre traded bombs in a furious battle before Kingston took both men out with a high-flying attack. Kingston one-upped himself moments later, lying safe atop a pod as the other four combatants completed a Tower of Doom, only to be met by Kingston’s daring leap off the pod once they came back to their feet. #KofiMania2 was not meant to be, however, as Kingston took one too many risks. Sheamus caught another dive attempt, and while Kofi flipped out of his grasp, he ate a Brogue Kick and was eliminated. Hardy caught fire next, dropping the competition with a series of Twist of Fates before connecting with a Whisper in the Wind off a pod onto McIntyre and Sheamus. He followed with a Swanton on Styles, but Sheamus floored him with a Brogue Kick immediately afterward for his second consecutive elimination. Sheamus began to enforce his will on Styles and seemed to be poised for another elimination, only for McIntyre to catch him with a Future Shock DDT. But McIntyre’s ensuing Claymore attempt was met with a Brogue Kick. Ever the opportunist, Styles immediately hit Sheamus with a Phenomenal Forearm to finally end The Celtic Warrior’s dominant run. The Phenomenal One couldn’t find the mark on McIntyre, though, who countered Styles’ patented attack with a spectacular Claymore in mid-air, clearing the way for a victory-clinching elimination.

My Verdict: 4 out of 5 – I’m shocked. Two good, nay great, elimination chamber matches on one PPV. This one seemed a lot more brutal than the first, though we’ve not had any REALLY vicious chamber matches in years. Everyone here got a chance to shine, especially Cesaro’s “The Bar” tag partner Sheamus – apt that this former tag team duo would be the standouts in individual chamber matches!

News of the Night:

  1. Edge speared Roman Reigns after his match, signifying they’ll have a match at Wrestlemania 37 by pointing at the big pirate sign (please note the sarcasm)
  2. The Miz cashed in his (not his really) Money in the Bank briefcase, defeating a beat-down Drew McIntyre for the WWE Championship

Final Verdict: 3/5

This years Elimination Chamber PPV was undoubtedly saved by its two titular matches. Everything else was forgettable tosh. Though it was nice to see multiple Championships change hands here, with The Miz’s shock cash-in ending this pay per view on a surprising – and shocking – high note!

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