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Mr. Tito's PHAT WWE Elimination Chamber 2017 Review with Match Results & Show Grade
By Mr. Tito
Feb 12, 2017 - 11:05:06 PM

Follow Mr. Tito on @titowrestling

Welcome to Mr. Tito's PHAT WWE Elimination Chamber 2017 review exclusively here at / and posted instantly after the Pay Per View ends. Who else delivers that kind of service? Well, a few people... But you're getting my review instantly which always pulls no punches with opinions. Never has.

Heading into this show, I was somewhat excited. The 6 way Elimination Chamber match is quite credible, Women's matches could be interesting, but that's about it. Smackdown's weakness is its depth within their midcard whereas the opposite is true on RAW (better midcard, weaker up top). Thus, the expectations are low for the undercard but the expectations were high for the Main Event.

Onto the review:


Opening match was Mickie James vs. Becky Lynch, which is logical because we have THREE Women's matches... And guess what? That's OK. The feuds are pretty good... Becky Lynch has a flesh colored shirt on tonight with some black in the front... Looks like she's wrestling without a shirt on tonight. Pretty even match to start but then Mickie takes over the match as the heel. Can I say that it's very surreal to see Mickie in a WWE ring again? Should have never left... By the way, I've had a few of you wonder if Mickie James vs. Nikki Bella will ever happen. Yeah, you notice those "retirement" rumors of Nikki lately? Beautiful kick by James following the Pumphandle Slam counter. Match ended with Mickie countering Becky's armbar submission with a roll-up but Becky escapes that and pins Mickie (pin between her legs, with Becky digging her feet into the ring canvas for leverage). Not bad... [ *** ]

Apollo Crews/Kalisto vs. Dolph Ziggler is up next. This match makes Apollo look really weak because he needs a second person to challenge Ziggler. You know, a guy who has lost repeatedly for the last 3 years. However, Ziggler might be saving Apollo by immediately attacking Kalisto during his entrance to thus make it Ziggler vs. Apollo. Interesting... Effective way to get some quick heat on Ziggler, to WWE Creative's credit. We're repeating the same blueprint tonight, as the two started off with some back and forth and then the heel Ziggler takes over the match. This is where Apollo shows his weakness when he's forced to sell heel moves for a longer period of time. He has to work on his psychology to convince the fans that he's in real pain and in trouble. Not very convincing in the ring, yet... Of course, just as Ziggler continues his heel beatdown of Ziggler, Kalisto limps down to the ring. Ziggler is distracted and that allows Apollo Crews to hit a flying slapkick to his head. Then, Apollo tags in Kalisto who suddenly sells NO EFFECTS of the beatdown given to him before this match. Tags in Apollo and he hits a modified Powerbomb from an Atomic Drop position. That looks decent. Poorly booked match that exposed Crews. WWE Creative needs to reconsider how they are using him. [ *1/2 ] Afterward, Dolph Ziggler attacks with a chair. So what? He just lost to 2 wrestlers... Why should he be mad at such a stupid disadvantage? If Apollo Crews is going to struggle to sell moves in the ring, then send him back to NXT for more work. Based on the matches of his that I saw down there, he didn't look like he was learning beyond his spotty Indy style.

TAG TEAM TURMOIL is up next... Breezango vs. Rhyno/Slater are up first. OK mini-match with Slater & Rhyno winning via Rhyno GORE. Vaudevillains are up next and they foolishly run to the ring. Why? Conserve energy guys... But I guess that's just the heels being to arrogant or cocky to think about that? Vaudevillains didn't last long as Slater pinned one of them. So long... Usos are up next and these guys should be pushed harder as heels than they currently are. They have tons of experience and pedigree. What is lacking here, Creative? Want an idea for heat? Have both come out in bullet proof vests like their cousin... Usos beat Slater/Rhyno and it's American Alpha out next. Of course, it's Gable playing the "face in peril" because we haven't seen that before. American Alpha aren't getting a stronger reaction because they are presented to be exactly the same in ever single match in WWE. Basically, you see the same formula with Big Cass & Enzo on RAW. Alpha finds a way to defeat the Usos but the Usos attack American Alpha. What, are we repeating Creative ideas tonight? Ascension are up next, obviously taking advantage of the weakened American Alpha. NO HEAT because the fans aren't impress with what happened. Alpha eventually overcomes the Ascension and hit their finisher. [ ** ] We're just lacking "interesting" in this Tag Team division and mashing all of the teams together won't solve it.

Next, we had Nikki Bella vs. Natalya. It's PUT UP or SHUT UP between these two Women's veterans. If these two cannot pull off a strong match, then they should do nothing but enhancement matches after this. Nikki actually changed up the tights tonight going from the black & red to a bright orange and blueish purple top. I think. Decent match and the match honestly had some heat. Nikki is sorta over... But was it a great match? Given that both have lived out of each other's pocket for many years now, they should blow us away with a match. Goes to show you that neither were groundbreaking workers in their day before all of the NXT call-ups arrived. Natalya does have a nice Sharpshooter but Nikki counters that and hits the STF submission hold that Cena does. Just as the match gets stronger with brawling on the outside, the referee counts them both out for a Double Countout. [ **1/2 ] Natalya attacks Nikki afterward (recurring theme tonight) and then Nikki chases Natalya on the entrance way. The best part was at the very end and by then, it was too late to make a great match.

Randy Orton vs. Luke Harper was up next... As much as people want to hate on Executive Director Kevin Dunn, that was an excellent recap segment ahead of this match. He's been doing that for decades now... Sure, he has an influence on Vince for Creative, but Vince doesn't have to listen to him... It's nice to see a valid heavyweight match-up after the rest of the multi-person or women's matches so far tonight. Good brawling match between the two as the storyline to set up this match was pretty good. That, and Harper is highly underrated as a big man worker. Just has to stay healthy... Devastating Superplex by Orton on Harper. Picture perfect with a lot of impact. Orton is selling a little more in this match as you can tell he's fully invested not just in the match, but the storyline. Looks like he might know that he'll become WWE Champion at Wrestlemania 33... That through-the-ropes DDT should be someone's finisher. Oh damn, that was a beautiful Superkick by Harper! Then a Powerbomb by Harper! Wow! Now, the two are taking shots at each other like Rocky and Apollo Creed in the last few rounds... This is beautiful. PICTURE PERFECT finisher with Randy countering the Discus Clothesline into the RKO. I REALLY enjoyed that match, as it was the best Orton match in years and Harper is going to earn mad respect backstage for that one. [ **** ]

Backstage, Nikki Bella tries to get an interview in but Natalya attacks.

The Women's Title match between Naomi vs. Alexa Bliss (c) was up next. Alexa threw her gum at Naomi to start the match. I hope she keeps that up as a heel... Sort of like Scott Hall with the toothpick, only Gum presents the risk of sticking in your hair and not coming out! Naomi's kicks are just deadly! She's also displaying some nice athleticism in the ring, even hitting the Blockbuster at one point. CLOSE pinfall when Naomi hit Alexa with dat ass. Alexa goes on control and beats down Naomi for a while until Naomi does a nice move where he put both boots to Naomi while pulling Alexa down. Missed the Split Leg Moonsault but then Alexa missed her splash and Naomi tried another for the win. I'm very happy for Naomi winning Championship Gold as injury kept derailing her in the past. Solid match. [ *** ] Afterward, Naomi was interviewed in the ring for a nice moment to celebrate her victory. She seemed really happy to finally be champion.

The MAIN EVENT finally arrived and it was the Elimination Chamber WWE Title match between Dean Ambrose, Bray Wyatt, Baron Corbin, AJ Styles, the Miz, and John Cena (c). The match we've all been waiting for... Cena and AJ Styles start off first with the other 4 in the pods. Works for me. Crowd is RED HOT now and they should be. LOOK AT THAT TALENT IN THE RING! Hilarious how AJ Styles has the Human Torture Rack before he flips his opponents around for a slam. As a kid, I loved me some Lex Luger hitting that as a submission and then my teenage self marked out when Luger beat Hogan for the WCW Title during 1997. Cena begins to dominate AJ Styles until the countdown begins. Dean Ambrose the first out and we have the last 3 WWE Champions in the ring. Also the only 3 Smackdown LIVE World Champions as well since the Brand Split. Ambrose unleashes on both and even climbs on top of one of hte pods to drop an arm on a standing John Cena. CRAZY German Suplex from John Cena on AJ Styles who was trying to German Dean Ambrose. Styles, Cena, and Ambrose work perfectly together as a trio. Bray Wyatt is out of the pod next and goes on the immediate attack. Just tosses AJ Styles into the chain fence, nice. AJ somehow recovers and lays a beatdown on Wyatt around the corner. AJ Styles climbs the cage and Cena follows... Brawling while both are hanging there and then Cena takes a hard bump. Then, AJ is on top of the pod and Ambrose meets him. Styles gets his head slammed into the glass a few times. Love it. Ambrose tries to jump at Wyatt but Wyatt swings away... Then, we get a CRAZY combination of Ambrose powerbombing Wyatt while tossing AJ Styles from the top rope. I can't explain it, but it was cool. Baron Corbin's pod opens next and he goes after Ambrose immediately. Then, he brawls with Bray Wyatt and handles him quite well. Corbin back into the ring and fights with AJ Styles and John Cena. NICE End of Days hit on John Cena! Ambrose and Corbin at it again... Wrestlemania match-up for the IC Title? Makes sense to me... Corbin cleans house and he's staring at Miz as the last entrant into the Chamber. However, that distraction allows Dean Ambrose to roll-up Corbin for the 1, 2, 3. Pissed off Corbin then tossed Ambrose through a pod and the glass breaks loose! Rams Ambrose into the chain fence and then hits the End of Days. Miz, still hiding in his pod, sneaks out and pins Dean Ambrose. We're down to Miz, Cena, Styles, and Bray Wyatt. Miz then taunts Daniel Bryan by imitating his "Yes!" kicks. Miz, the fresh man, just unloads on all 3 men in a different corner with dropkicks and clotheslines. By the way, it's interesting to see Miz and Bray Wyatt fighting... I don't recall ever seeing that. After hitting a Skullcrusher on Bray Wyatt, Miz enters the ring and a revived Super Cena unloads on him and hits the Attitude Adjustment to eliminate the Miz. That was a bit anti-climatic. Geesh. Bray, Styles, and Cena remain and we see a brief alliance between Styles & Wyatt until Wyatt quickly turns. Don't recall ever seeing Styles and Wyatt wrestling... Hmmm... Styles once again displays some immunity to the Attitude Adjustment as he kicked out of one once again. Cena gets bold and climbs up to the top of the pod and body splashes Styles & Wyatt together. John Cena tries to hit an Attitude Adjustment on Bray Wyatt but Wyatt reverses it, Sister Abigail, and BEATS John Cena! Holy cow! Huge moment for Bray Wyatt and it guarantees a NEW WWE Champion tonight between either Wyatt or Styles. Nice back and forth between the two and Bray Wyatt becomes the NEW WWE Champion by countering the Phenomenal Forearm into the Sister Abigail. Damn that was a GREAT Elimination Chamber match! [ **** 1/2 ] Pretty scary that Meltzer was able to scoop the entire Wrestlemania plans by predicting Orton would win the Rumble and then Wyatt wins the WWE Title to set up when WYATT POWERS COLLIDE! Afterward, Randy Orton is in the entrance way and stares on...

LAST WORD: WWE has to fix their midcard on Smackdown. First and foremost, promote the Revival to the Smackdown roster from NXT and PUSH THEM HARD as a the #1 heel team. Secondly, someone needs to work closely with Apollo Crews. Seems like he didn't get the WWE education down at NXT and he needs retooled. Unless it's a non-stop spotfest, he'll look exposed everytime. However, Smackdown is top heavy and it became thicker tonight by Luke Harper proving himself to be elite tonight. He pulled a great match out of Randy Orton! Seriously... 2 of the Women's matches weren't bad, Harper vs. Orton was the surprise of the night, and the Elimination Chamber was quite badass. Otherwise, the rest of the show was lacking... But those high points are REALLY good and worth watching this Pay Per View. [ B+ ]


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