Elimination Chamber (2020) – Setup To Mania

Elimination Chamber 2020Sunday night WWE held its 10th annual Elimination Chamber event at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. Sadly my brother wasn’t feeling well so he didn’t join me to watch the show, which I didn’t start until about 10:30 PM. This is the last show on the Road to WrestleMania so it stands to reason that it was a ‘set up’ show. Did it accomplish what it set out to do? Let’s find out…

(All photos courtesy WWE.com)

The Viking Raiders Defeated Curt Hawkins and Zack Ryder

Just one match on the pre-show (for me to not watch). I was talking to a co-worker this AM about this show. He was a fan back in the day but hasn’t watched in years. He happened to watch this show last night and asked me why everyone was a big dude with a beard. Thinking about it, he’s right. After all… Vince loves big dudes.

Daniel Bryan Defeated Drew Gulak

Elimination Chamber (2020) Bryan vs. Gulak

This was 14 minutes of super technical wrestling by two dudes that if you didn’t look closely, you may have a hard time telling them apart. I’ve not been a huge fan of the Daniel Bryan character over the past several years but no one can say he’s not an incredible in ring performer. He put on a really great ‘wrestling’ match here and Gulak more than held up his end. Great way to start the main PPV. Not sure I’d want to see it again next month at Mania but wouldn’t shock me if we did.

Andrade Defeated Humberto Carrillo To Retain the WWE United States Championship

Elimination Chamber (2020) Andrade vs. Carrillo

This match falls victim to the fact that I don’t watch much non PPV wrestling these days. Both of these guys, for me, are just sort of ‘meh’. That said, this was a GREAT match. I don’t know the backstory but when you see two athletes this good the story really doesn’t matter. Not sure where they go with this story, maybe add Rey Mysterio and do a three way at Mania? That would be match worth watching.

The Miz and John Morrison Defeated The New Day, The Usos, Heavy Machinery, Lucha House Party, and Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode to Retain the WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship – Elimination Chamber

Elimination Chamber (2020) Tag Team Chamber Match

I’m not a huge fan of tag team wrestling and I’m typically not a fan of multi team matches. Lots going against this one but it was a half hour plus of really tremendous wrestling. The fact that Miz and Morrison held onto the titles was a nice twist that I didn’t see coming.

Aleister Black Defeated AJ Styles – No Disqualification Match

Elimination Chamber (2020) Black vs. Styles

This was a decent enough match, but it was long for what it was… us waiting for The Undertaker to show up. It would be interesting to see what these guys could do without Taker looming cause, like I said, they put on a 20+ minute match that was really good. Not sure where Black goes on the Mania card but Styles will be dancing with the Dead Man. Taker is my all time fav and well past his prime but if anyone can get a good match out of him it’s AJ.

The Street Profits Defeated Seth Rollins and Murphy To Retain the WWE Raw Tag Team Championship

Elimination Chamber (2020) WWE Raw Tag Team Championship

If you’re going to get a tag team over they need to get solid wins over solid opponents. The Profits got the win here but I won’t go so far as to say it was a good win. Lots of outside interference leads to the feeling of them just holding on to the titles rather than defending them. They were in a tough spot on the card following not only the far superior tag team Chamber match but also the appearance of the Undertaker. As I said in the intro this is a set up PPV for Mania and the inclusion of the run in here for Owens serves that purpose.

Sami Zayn, Shinsuke Nakamura, and Cesaro Defeated Braun Strowman To Win the WWE Intercontinental Championship –  3-on-1 Handicap

Elimination Chamber (2020) - IC Title

I’m not sure if I missed the explanation but since Sami Zayn pinned Strowman, he won the championship. Let’s not bury the lead here though. We’ve got to talk about how Zayn is 100% channeling Skinner right? And being an old school WWF fan I loved it. This was good for what it was I spose. Strowman looks silly wearing the IC belt and let’s be honest, he doesn’t need it. As we’re setting up Mania matches having him chase the title is much better than having him go into the event as the champ. I also wouldn’t be shocked to see Nakamura and / or Cesaro turn on Zayn setting up a three way for the IC belt. For the time being this trio is super entertaining.

Shayna Baszler Defeated Natalya, Liv Morgan, Asuka, Ruby Riott, and Sarah Logan – Elimination Chamber

Elimination Chamber 2020 - Women's Chamber Match

OK… as Chamber matches go this one wasn’t great. But when you think about what it set out to do it was a huge success. This match was built completely to build Baszler as a beast and a legit threat to Becky Lynch headed into WrestleMania and it did just that. Between the vampire bit on Raw a few weeks back and this performance I think it’s safe to say that The Man is being booked as the underdog heading into Mania even though she’s the champ. Baszler looked REALLY strong here even with several of the girls tapping out WAY too soon to her choke submission. Come on ladies… sell that shit. In any case, Shayna and Becky should be a terrific match at Mania though I’m not sure it’s strong enough to where the ladies will close the show.

Final Thoughts

This was a solid show. Many times the PPV in this slot (the one right before WrestleMania) has that sort of ‘speed bump’ feel where we just have to get through it. This one told several stories and built nicely toward the ‘Grand Daddy of em All’ next month. I’ve read quite a few folks that have said this was a predictable show but I’m not sure that’s a bad thing this year. What would you have preferred? If you take a step back and look at the results in retrospect everything ‘makes sense’. Now that we’re only a couple of weeks out our WrestleMania 36 Drinking Game will really start to solidify and as anticipation grows this is the best time of the year to be a wrestling fan.

Upcoming WWE PPV Schedule

  • WrestleMania 36 – 4.5.2020
  • Money in the Bank – 5.10.2020
  • Extreme Rules – 7.19.2020
  • SummerSlam – 8.23.2020

Did you watch Elimination Chamber? Let me know what you thought in the comments below!

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