Triple H and Stephanie McMahon Offered Becky LYnch an Ultimatum
WWE is playing up Lynch as the rebellious babyface perfectly by having her defy authority at every turn. She attacked Stephanie last week and slapped Triple H the next night, and now she's refusing to apologize to them. They offered to give her the WrestleMania match against Ronda Rousey and lift her storyline suspension as long as she apologized to them, so that was a nice hook for the remainder of the show. So much for a "suspension," though.
Nia Jax & Tamina def. Bayley & Sasha Banks and The Riott Squad in a Triple Threat Match
As a result of their loss, Bayley and Banks will now enter the WWE Women's Tag Team Championship Elimination Chamber first. Meanwhile, the SmackDown Live ladies didn't have to qualify for their spots in the Chamber, and now none of them will have to enter first, either. How fair is that? At any rate, this was a good Triple Threat match on the whole with the right team losing, just because it creates more doubt that Banks and Bayley will take the titles on Sunday. Banks once again had to be escorted away from ringside due to injury, so it will be interesting to see whether she will be cleared to compete by the pay-per-view.
The Lucha House Party Interrupted Elias
Elias was constantly being interrupted by commercials and backstage segments, and when it finally looked like he'd be given time to do his usual shtick, Lucha House Party crashed the concert. I'm not sure what purpose this was supposed to serve, other than give Elias some of his heat back after he was beaten down last week by Jeff Jarrett and Road Dogg. I still have no clue why WWE opted to turn him heel again seeing as how he was doing just fine as a face.
Finn Balor def. Drew McIntyre by Disqualification; Balor, Braun Strowman and Kurt Angle def. Intercontinental Champion Bobby Lashley, McIntyre and Baron Corbin
Balor vs. McIntyre wasn't much of a match, but it was decent while it lasted. It was obvious Lashley would interfere at some point or another, and once he did, it organically turned into a six-man tag team matchup with Angle, Corbin and Strowman getting involved. It was given a ton of television time, and I'm not sure if the mid-match interruption with Lashley "winning" only for the bout to continue was necessary. Despite that, everyone played their roles well and this successfully hyped two different matches at Elimination Chamber.
Ruby Riott def. Nikki Cross
These two actually have history from their NXT days (Riott debuted on the brand around this time two years ago and was immediately put in a feud with Cross) and have worked well together in the past. They had another solid encounter here, but unfortunately, the crowd couldn't have cared less. The predictable outcome had a lot to do with it (why would Riott lose ahead of her Raw Women's Championship match with Rousey?), as well as how fans have been given zero reason to invest in Riott. She's a great talent, but she (and the rest of The Riott Squad) have been booked like losers in recent months.
Paul Heyman Interrupted Seth Rollins
Heyman is at his best when he has other people to bounce off of, which is why this was such a strong segment. Rollins showed excellent intensity and Heyman was adamant (per usual) about Brock Lesnar winning at WrestleMania. The issue will be Heyman and Rollins not repeating the same material over the next two months, but this was a nice start. Dean Ambrose backing Rollins was interesting considering they were rivals as of two weeks ago, but then again, nothing Ambrose is a part of means anything at this point, so I didn't see the harm in it.
Dean Ambrose def. EC3
Last week's Ambrose vs. EC3 match was incredibly underwhelming, so part of me was hoping for something a bit better from them this week. Sadly, this was equally mediocre. It was on the shorter side, so they weren't given much of a chance to have the matchup they're capable of. Ambrose then went over with a roll-up, so for those keeping track at home, they are now tied with one win apiece. In other words, 50/50 booking strikes again and both guys are worse off for it.
The Revival def. Bobby Roode and Chad Gable to Win the Raw Tag Team Championship
First and foremost, it was stupid of WWE to hold this match so late in the show. It was no wonder why the crowd sat on their hands for it early on. Plus, their last three matches weren't anything special and I honestly expected this to be more of the same. Thankfully, that wasn't the case whatsoever and they made the most of their opportunity to shine. This was barn-burner of a bout was exactly what I wanted to see from them and I enjoyed every second. Of course, The Revival becoming the new Raw Tag Team Champions should have happened a while ago, but better late than never, I suppose. Now they just need to maintain this momentum and continue building off this phenomenal performance.
Mr. McMahon Replaced Becky Lynch at WrestleMania 35 with Charlotte Flair
The question all night long was whether Lynch would apologize to Triple H and Stephanie. Ultimately, she did, and it was a refreshing change of pace, because it would have been dumb of her character to do otherwise. However, it didn't matter anyway because Mr. McMahon emerged to tell Lynch she was suspended for 60 days and that she was being replaced at WrestleMania with Flair. It has been rumored for weeks that Flair would be added to that bout in some form or fashion, and I suspect this is it. It's better off one-on-one in my opinion, so hopefully it stays that way at WrestleMania. Flair can face Asuka for the SmackDown Women's Championship instead.
Don't get it twisted: Yes, the Raw Tag Team Championship changing hands was a pleasant surprise and Rollins and Heyman had an exceptional exchange on the mic, but everything else about this show bored me to tears, including the stuff with the women and the final segment. I understand WrestleMania isn't for another two months, but I'm sure they could do a better job of building anticipation for the event with these weekly angles. On the bright side, the Elimination Chamber hype was well done, and although it is bound to be a predictable pay-per-view, it has potential on paper to be entertaining, if nothing else.
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