Segunda Caida

Phil Schneider, Eric Ritz, Matt D and occasional guests write about pro wrestling. Follow us @segundacaida

Sunday, February 21, 2021

WWE Elimination Chamber 2/21/21 Not Quite Live Blog

Elimination Chamber used to be my favorite gimmick match, probably because it's only seen once per year and the Rumble match has gotten far more formulaic over the past decade. The on paper lineups don't look great for this year's Chamber matches, but it's a match type that has had several great matches with so-so on paper participants. Any Chamber match has the chance to be good, so that's a good thing have going into a show. 

Mustafa Ali vs. John Morrison vs. Ricochet vs. Elias

ER: I like it when the pre-show matches have some kind of immediate implications, here the winner gets a spot in a three way match later on the PPV, makes this match feel like there are at least some stakes. The match, sadly, stinks. It's got all the problems that the weakest multiman matches have, guys getting in each other's way or lingering noticeably long in one spot waiting for someone else, and a lot of the sequences come off a little messy. Ricochet works hard trying to take folding bumps off everyone's offense, and it helps, and there's a fun moment where Retribution catches Ricochet on a dive after saving Ali. But the chained sequences felt a little off, the big moments weren't there, it mostly fell flat. 

Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn vs. King Corbin vs. Jey Uso vs. Cesaro vs. Daniel Bryan 

ER: This match had some nice highs, but had some problems with pacing and some overly scripted multiman stuff. Bryan and Cesaro are a great pair, but their starting section felt kind of rote, which is a things that's happened a lot in big WWE gimmick matches the past few years. A lot of sequences are ripped directly from other, non-gimmick matches, and it's a boring way to work a gimmick match (even if what you're doing looks good). Nobody wanted to see a War Games where guys are working their normal singles match spots, and that's what happens through a lot of this. Most would probably scoff at the idea of Baron Corbin joining a Daniel Bryan/Cesaro match and improving it, but that's what happens. Corbin beating the hell out of both of them was maybe my favorite run of the match, especially when he was ramming Bryan's knee into the support corners of the chamber pods. Corbin even smashed Bryan's face into the chains and punched him hard in the side of the head. Zayn was a fun addition but also added distracting moments that everyone else had to just sell quietly during, and I don't think his cage climb was worth the time it took to knock him off, even though Cesaro doing pull ups at the top of the chamber was a cool visual. Still, Zayn took harder bumps overall than anyone in the match, and it's important to have that guy in a chamber match. I thought Corbin's elimination was handled poorly, as he had been such a wrecking ball and then essentially got put away after a big swing and a sharpshooter. Almost right before that Corbin had caught Cesaro and slammed him into the cage, dropping him across the turnbuckles, clotheslined him back into the ring, and had taken far less damage during his time in the match. Didn't like that at all. Uso was a real highlight, and him slamming Owens' arm into the chamber exit and teeing off with superkicks was awesome, my favorite part of the match, great way to take someone out. I thought the overall quality of the match was lower than most chamber matches though, and it never really felt like it gelled as a whole match. Chamber matches have a high floor, but this leaned a little bit much into the things I don't love about chamber matches. 

Daniel Bryan vs. Roman Reigns

ER: This was a good angle to either continue a feud while beating Bryan quick, and Reigns looked strong in his quick steamrolling. The more they book Reigns as Brock Lesnar by having him work mostly PPV matches, the more special the opportunities at his belt seem. Here you get Bryan working a long match and getting immediately ground and pounded, but not before nearly getting Reigns with a flash Yes Lock. It really seemed plausible that Bryan could have tapped him, and even when Reigns lifted him up for a hard powerbomb I was expecting a Bryan triangle. However, I couldn't care much less about Edge challenging for a title.  

Matt Riddle vs. John Morrison vs. Bobby Lashley 

ER: This was mostly a typical bad three way, though I liked Lashley running through and treating Riddle and Morrison like tackling dummies. Morrison had a bunch of dumb overly flippy bumps off Lashley offense that didn't need flowery bumping, but Lashley's explosiveness made it all work. Riddle took a big high backdrop bump on the floor, Lashley caught Morrison with a huge uranage slam, and the two corkscrew topes to take Lashley out looked good. But the Riddle/Morrison martial arts exchanges looked stupid and too telegraphed, things were always better the simpler they kept it. Something like Riddle hitting a running elbow smash looked way better than any of their "missed kick/spin around" sequences, of which there were several. I thought the finish was really weak, Riddle and Morrison overshot their rope flip finishers, Lashley felt absent from the action too long, and then apparently the match was No DQ? MVP is sitting at ringside the whole match with a crutch, the match is apparently No DQ, and MVP spends the match not interfering? That's pretty dumb. 

Shayna Baszler/Nia Jax vs. Bianca Belair/Sasha Banks

ER: Another underwhelming tag from the Baszler/Jax team, another reminder that there should be more chemistry there, but there just doesn't seem to be any. I keep waiting for it to work, but I just don't think it will. This started out rough, with a bit too much acting and reacting that needs better timing to work, but when it settled into Baszler working over Banks I think it peaked. Baszler was mean bending Sasha's wrist around, but they abandon it all too early so it doesn't evolve into anything important. Sasha's comeback is good, but more because she works well with Baszler, and not because of where it came in the match. It felt like Sasha just took Baszler's offense for awhile, and then she decided to do her own. The nearfalls and backslide and cradles looked good, but they didn't really feel earned. The finish was no good, didn't need the Reginald involvement, just made Banks look like a dummy. Jax's timing continues to look completely off since her return from injury, and that seemed like it was throwing off Belair too. Belair feels stuck in a rut, and I don't anyone came out of this match looking better. 

Drew McIntyre vs. AJ Styles vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Sheamus vs. Jeff Hardy vs. Randy Orton 

ER: This was pretty easily the match of the night, even with some minor issues, as it's really the only match of the night that was good. If a show goes out on its best match, it tends to leave a better impression in my mind. I'm simple. But this was good, and it was a great long Drew McIntyre title defense. I thought they did a good thing getting rid of Orton early, with a flash high leverage Kofi roll up, because him giving RKOs to Hardy and Kingston gave us an interesting wrinkle. Styles gets in the match before he needs to be in, trying to get a pin on either of them. I like that it took him convincingly long enough to break out of his pod and get to them that they were able to kick out. Everybody was hitting hard, with Drew especially throwing huge chops and forearms with his full weight. Kingston took some big spills and hit a great tope en reversa off a pod onto everyone. I think McIntyre/Kingston/Hardy/Styles did a great job filling time until Sheamus came in, and I thought the match did a good job at building to the Sheamus/McIntyre showdown. I think a pretty strong case could be made that Sheamus and McIntyre have been the best WWE in ring guys of 2021, and it felt like a big deal when they finally went at it. The slug out looked good, both guys throwing potato shots, and I thought they did a good job of actually making any of the final 4 look like they had a shot. I was believing Hardy could win, and loved when he hit the swanton on Styles only to get his legs buckled by a Claymore. They did a good job of making the killshots unexpected, like Sheamus getting hit with a Styles flying forearm right after nailing McIntyre with a brogue kick. They did the strong form of WWE finisher chaining, the kind that are chained but feel like their bursting in unexpectedly from a blind side of the camera. 

I think the post-match attack by Bobby Lashley was good, and the way they handled the Miz cash in felt strong too. I liked the angle more than the actual result. I like all six guys in the actual chamber match and Lashley more than I like the Miz in ring, and I'd rather see main event matches with any of them instead. But, I like that this sets up a ton of worthy challengers for Miz, and there could be a lot of good matches there. 

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Blogger Yerfuneral said...

Elimination Chamber has a lot to live up to after the very excellent NXT Takeover but I am expecting a more gimmick heavy weekly show. The build up was wonky and you're having competitor changes up to the very last minute with Lee and Evans having been pulled.
Hoping for some friendly violent fun with the Chamber and hopefully some kind of direction provided by the rest because we are on the road to Wrestlemania.

1) US Title spot four-way match

3 guys I keep waiting for some kind of positive push and John Morrison. As an opener it was all right but except for some strong stuff from Ricochet it was forgettable and an easy conclusion to pick with Morrison being in the Bad Bunny stuff.
I hope their is a genuine good reason Keith Lee was removed from the later US title match.

2) Smackdown Men's Elimination Chamber

I tried to get into it but with the Reigns stuff included it was hard for me to care. It was likely a face was going to go over so it came down to can they come up with something and just didn't work for me.
The heels had their moments but the taking the break after a guy gets eliminated for some reason killed momentum for me constantly.
I just hope they continue to give more positive shines on Cesaro in the coming weeks. I understand going with the more obvious Bryan or Owens but with actions in the follow up match would be a great way to spotlight someone newer in the picture with a big win.

3) Universal Title match

For what they did Bryan was probably the best choice for the little bit of action they wanted before having Edge revealing he wants Reigns at Wrestlemania.
It kept the heat on Reigns but with the Edge stuff like I said could have given a rub with a big EC win.

1:19 AM  
Blogger Yerfuneral said...

4) US Title Triple Threat

I been liking the Hurt Business stuff. Was looking forward to two beefy dudes go at it. I wanted to see how friendly Riddle and Lee would be. Basically I had a match I wanted and was looking forward to replaced.
I like Morrison but his move set falls in with many of the cruisers and guys like Ricochet. I don't want to see it week to week and being paired with the Miz you pretty much see it week to week. It also didn't work well with what Lashley and Riddle bring to the table. Elias probably would have worked better for me.
Happy for Riddle but where the Hurt Business is at not sure now was the time to make the change.

5) WWE Women's Tag Team Title

Probably my fave action of the night but more for Banks vs Baszler which had some moments between the two. Belair and Banks also had some tandem stuff I like in tag wrestling but you got the Reginald stuff which is to close to the Billy Kaye stuff. Both angles are even on the same weekly show.
I am glad we still don't know what Belair is going to do though with her not traveling between shows like Edge it seems more of a forgone conclusion she won't be going after Asuka or Io.
Caruso seemed to hint Asuka was still going to do something this ppv during the pre show but nothing happened. They could have had an open challenge and have one of Stone Brand girls come out only to be laid out by Belair to at least tease possible Asuka vs Belair.
WWE has left so much on the table with the everyone forced to work in Florida. So much could have been teased and better work between all 3 shows.

6) WWE Title Elimination Chamber

This had the best build up of the two chamber matches and was the better of the two. I was happy they kept Fiend out of it. After Edge's declaration all could think about was well what can they do with McIntyre at 'Mania. They just did the legends thing with Goldberg. So the Miz cash in and winning was a nice surprise even though until they show their cards WCW Arquette came to mind since they been leaning on Bad Bunny so much when it come to Miz.
The storytelling was better and all these guys gelled. You had the over the top moment of Omos though it took to much time for Styles to get around to believe he really had any kind of pin advantage on Orton's carnage of RKO victims.
I got every little bit of fun I was hoping for in a chamber match.

The ppv in the end really did nothing to create a direction for Fastlane much less Wrestlemania. That would be fine if the big two weekly shows weren't coming across like a rudderless boat at sea. This had enough highlights in each match and a strong main event to being a totally bad show.

2:03 AM  
Blogger Yerfuneral said...

Oh yeah. Forgot to mention they proved mewrong with the Lashley stuff at the end. If this is the direction they go with the Hurt Business rather than weeks if not months trying to regain the US Title all for it.
Now if they could do something with Cedric and Shelton to move them out of the midcard would be wonderful. I been waiting for a group, gang, or posse to be a threat.

2:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Surprised you liked the main event so much. I thought it was really boring. Probably my least favorite match on the show. A group of really stale wrestlers doing the same shit they always do. There were a couple high points but I thought the Smackdown Elimination Chamber match was easily better.

There was nothing in the Raw match that I enjoyed as much as Corbin smashing people or Uso's fun elimination of Owens.

I did like the post match though, and am interested in what's next from here.

8:16 AM  

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