Monday, March 9, 2020

WWE Elimination Chamber 2020

By Steve Ward

The final stop on the Road to Wrestlemania arrived this evening to the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. Some of the luster was removed from the event as the men’s Elimination Chamber to determine who would compete for the Universal Championship was cancelled. Apparently it was already a foregone conclusion that Roman Reigns would end up receiving the opportunity so he simply walked out on Smackdown two weeks ago, declared he’s “next,” and there you have it - Roman Reigns vs. Goldberg at the Showcase of the Immortals. Don’t fret though because tonight’s card still featured two chamber matches among the seven bouts on the card.

Daniel Bryan vs. Drew Gulak
Winner: Daniel Bryan via submission

This evening’s main card opened with two competitors boasting prominent technical IQs - the leader of the rejuvenated YES Movement Daniel Bryan and Philly’s own master of the PowerPoint presentation Drew Gulak. While not conducive towards evoking a rousing crowd reaction at times, these two men put on a grappling clinic for the fans in attendance. Despite being one of the best matches I’ve ever seen Gulak put on, Daniel Bryan was able to cinch in the YES Lock solidifying his victory as Gulak passed out.

United States Championship
Andrade (c) w/ Zelina Vega vs. Humberto Carrillo
Winner: Andrade via pinfall

Andrade appeared to be in dire straits late in this contest after Carrillo executed an awe-inspiring vault over the referee and the top rope that put Andrade on his back. Carrillo subsequently rolled up Andrade in a pinfall attempt, however, it was reversed as Andrade grabbed his tights to steal the victory and retain his title.

Smackdown Tag Team Championship Elimination Chamber Match
The Miz & John Morrison (c) vs. Robert Roode & Dolph Ziggler vs. Lucha House Party vs. Heavy Machinery vs. The New Day vs. The Usos
Winners: The Miz and John Morrison via pinfall

The Miz and Morrison were immediately thrown into the fire as the first defense of the titles they just won at Super Showdown was in the sadistic confines of the Elimination Chamber. The New Day and The Usos were tasked with the distinct disadvantage of  kicking off the match. The first team to be released from their chamber was the Lucha House Party. After the Lucha House Party scaled to the top of one of the pods to clear out their adversaries with some of their signature acrobatics, the defending champs Miz & Morrison were the next to enter the fray. The two proceeded to dismantle the other men in the ring with a proficient display of tandem offense reminding the WWE Universe why they were such a proficient team years ago. The next team to emerge from their respective chamber was Heavy Machinery. Just after Otis executed the Caterpillar followed by the elbow drop, Lince Dorado climbed to the top of the chamber in American Gladiators fashion and dropped to the ring taking out all of the other competitors in the ring. Heavy Machinery emerged then to hit the Compactor on Gran Metalik to eliminate the Lucha House Party. Roode and Ziggler then became the final team to enter the contest after winning the tag team gauntlet on Friday Night Smackdown this week. 

Otis attempted to exact revenge on Ziggler for ruining his Valentine’s Day date with Mandy Rose, however, it backfired and he ran through the pod landing out on the floor as Dolph evaded him. Tucker was left to fend for himself, however, Roode and Ziggler were too much. Roode drilled ASU alumni Tucker Knight with the Glorious DDT to eliminate Heavy Machinery. Their brief celebration didn’t last long as The New Day laid waste to Roode and Ziggler setting up The Usos to dive from opposite pods setting up the pinfall and leaving us with three teams. Our next elimination arrived after Kofi attempted a dive of his own off the top of one of the pods only to find his target moved. Miz and Morrison proceeded to pick up the scraps and piled on Kofi for the pinfall. This left us with the defending champs and one of the first teams to start this match in the Usos as our final two. Shortly after executing Starship Pain on Jimmy Uso, The Miz rolled him up and Morrison launched over the top rop for a tandem pinfall to retain their titles.

No Disqualification Match
AJ Styles w/ Gallows & Anderson vs. Aleister Black
Winner: Aleister Black via pinfall

Black “earned” his shot at The Phenomenal One after The O.C. laid waste to him this past week on RAW. Aside from the no disqualification stipulation, one was also left to wonder whether the Undertaker would make his presence felt after he easily defeated Styles in the final match of the gauntlet at Super Showdown in addition to Styles continued mocking of The Deadman - most notably how he emulated Taker’s signature pin on Black Monday night. This turned into a brutally contested bout as Styles was unable to put Black away. Frustration on the part of the O.C. spilled over as they brought the numbers game into play and proceeded to beat down Black. Just as he appeared doomed, the lights in the arena faded to black as the ominous “gong” echoed through the Wells Fargo Center. As the lights came back up, The Undertaker was standing with his hands wrapped around the throats of Gallows and Anderson. Styles attempted to attack The Undertaker from behind with a Phenomenal Forearm, however, he was caught in midair and suffered a vicious choke slam. Just as quick as the Undertaker appeared, the lights faded, the bell tolled, and he vanished. Black then capitalized on the opportunity and tattooed Styles with the Black Mass for the victory.

RAW Tag Team Championship
The Street Profits (c) vs. Seth Rollins & Murphy w/ AOP
Winners: The Street Profits via pinfall

After Kevin Owens cost Rollins and Murphy their tag team titles on Monday night, they promptly enacted their rematch clause this evening. The Monday Night Messiah attempted to stack the deck in his favor this evening as the Authors of Pain joined him at ringside. This advantage was swiftly neutralized as The Viking Raiders made their way to ringside and the two teams proceeded to brawl their way out of the arena. Late in the contest, Kevin Owens entered through the crowd to ringside where he posed just enough of a distraction towards Rollins that allowed the Street Profits to take control of the contest. Montez Ford put the finishing touches on their title defense as he landed the frogsplash for the victory. After the contest, Kevin Owens grabbed Rollins from behind as he berated Buddy Murphy for being pinned to suffer the fate of a Stunner in the middle of the ring seemingly setting up their date at Wrestlemania.

Intercontinental Championship Three On One Handicap Match
Braun Strowman (c) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura, Cesaro, and Sami Zayn
Winner: Sami Zayn via pinfall

The Monster Among Men found himself in this predicament after Sami Zayn twisted his words at the contact signing for this bout and had it changed into a handicap match. After allowing Nakamura and Cesaro to do all of the heavy lifting for a majority of the bout, Zayn was there to pick up the scraps in the end. After he was dealt a Kinshasa by Nakamura, Strowman was left dazed. Zayn proceeded to tag himself in as Nakamura and Cesaro hoisted Strowman up and delivered a Helluva Kick as he was dropped to the canvas. Zayn then covered Strowman for the shocker of the evening crowning a new champion in the process.

Women’s Elimination Chamber Match
Natalya vs. Liv Morgan vs. Shayna Baszler vs. Asuka vs. Sarah Logan vs. Ruby Riott
Winner: Shayna Baszler via submission

The main event of the evening pit six women against each other in the visceral Elimination Chamber with a shot at Becky Lynch’s RAW Women’s Championship at Wrestlemania hanging in the balance. Natalya and Riott kicked off this match and Natalya wasted no time taking her to the platform of the chamber where she quickly cinched in a Sharpshooter to no avail. Sarah Logan was the next to enter the bout and she immediately propelled herself at Natalya with a double knee strike so she could focus on her former cohort Ruby Riott. Baszler next entered the match and after launching Natalya into a ring post, the Queen of Spades proceeded to eliminate both Sarah Logan and Ruby Riott in a span of less than 60 seconds with back-to-back Kirifuda Clutches. Baszler then redirected her attention to Natalya and brutalized her with the door of one of the empty pods. With Natalya beaten senseless, Baszler cinched in another Kirifuda Clutch for yet another submission elimination. Liv Morgan was the next to enter the match and attempted to mount some offense but it didn’t phase Baszler. Baszler then dragged Morgan to the corner in front of Asuka’s pod and locked her in another Kirifuda clutch until she passed out. Finally after a few minutes of Asuka shouting at Baszler in Japanese, she made her way into the match as the final entrant. Asuka was game for Baszler, however, the Queen of Spades overcame the Asuka Lock to finally cinch in yet another Kirifuda Clutch. While Asuka didn’t tap out, she eventually passed out solidifying Shayna Baszler as Becky Lynch’s challenger in 28 days at Wrestlemania.

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