We’re on the road to Elimination Chamber and the ultimate test for Triple H – the test of avoiding the temptation for a re-enactment of the Montreal Screwjob. Tonight’s stop is in the home of NXT, Orlando.
Canadians start off the show with naturally-born hoser Edge, and Canadian-by-marriage Beth Phoenix. Both are decked out in red and black, the adopted colours of Raw. Before the pair can speak, we get a recount of Extreme Rules 2022.
Edge talks about how all the J-Day members are in a better spot than they were before, but Edge is feeling vengeful over what happened at ER22. Beth quickly jumps in and issues a challenge to Rhea Ripley and Finn Balor for a Mixed Tag Team Match at the Chamber PLE.
J-Day comes out and Dom Mysterio annoys me yet again. Edge shuts him up (thank god). The challenge is eventually accepted and we get a couple attacking Edge before the Street Profits come out to even the numbers. Dom gets tossed into the ring and eats a Glam Slam for his troubles.
Angelo Dawkins vs. Damian Priest (Elimination Chamber qualifier)
Priest hits a broken Broken Arrow early for two. Contrary to what Edge said, I feel like Priest has taken two steps back with his run in J-Day.
Dawkins continues his impressive progression in the ring, and I’ll admit that I was ready to write him off five years ago.
Priest hits a Suplex on the outside, then a leaping Mafia Kick off the steps in a nice utilization we don’t see often enough.
Back from break, both men are weakened but even. Dawkins goes into his spinning Moves of Doom. Exploder gets two. Priest turns the tables and gets a Flatliner for two in a nod moment that goes over 95% of the crowd’s head. Silencer out of nowhere from Dawkins gets two. A Swanton from Dawkins also gets two. Early botch aside this match is getting better and better.
Surprisingly, Priest finishes things with South of Heaven rather than The Reckoning, which I honestly don’t mind since it makes the move that much more of a liability.
Winners: Damian Priest
We head to earlier footage next, as Austin Theory arrives in a swank ride and his title belt… and nothing else.
Back from a break, Maximum Male Models officially sign their Raw contracts. Boy I’m happy that a certain someone else isn’t still with them. Yeah.
Chelsea Green then wanders into the frame, and is playing her role to a tee. Her versatility is astounding. She demands a match for tonight and walks off before Adam Pearce can even respond.
Baron Corbin vs. Dexter Lumis
Say what you want about Lumis, but he has the best Titantron visuals in WWE right now.
Corbin goes to the ground early with Lumis. and dominates early but Lumis turns the tide with some hard strikes. Lumis attempts his choke but Corbin backs him into the corner. Sit-out Uranage gets the duke for Lumis and JBL looks dismayed.
Winner: Dexter Lumis
Backstage, Becky chirps on Bayley.
Back to the arena, Brock Lesnar is out to a huge ovation. He talks trash about Bobby Lashley and challenges him to a match at Elimination Chamber. Lashley brings up how the two have split their matches thus far. Lashley will review the contract with some of his reps and confirm if it will happen. Segment ends emphatically with an F5. Fans instantly chat “one more time” like the bloodthirsty mongrels they are, and Lesnar obliges.
Backstage, Johnny Gargano meets Candice LeRae to wish her luck on her EC qualifier. Lumis is there and gives her a gift of a picture he drew, which for some reason includes Nikki Cross. She pops out from the background and then runs off. Okay, apparently she’s taken the place of Indi Hartwell.
Carmella vs. Candice LeRae vs. Michin vs. Piper Niven (Chamber qualifier)
Carmella is back to her hip hop style and music… or at least a variance thereof in the latter’s case.
Fatal four-way, first fall wins in this case.
Niven gets pushed to the outside after taking out Carmella, leaving Michin and LeRae, the latter of whom is wearing black armbands with LP on one and a name I couldn’t quite catch on the other. Poisonrana (which is starting to get overused) on Michin leads to Carmella trying pins on both Superstars multiple times to no avail. Niven hits a splash on all three and tries her own series of pins to no avail. Corey’s gushing over his wife is too much.
Back from break, Carmella continues to the the center of the match. Michin hits Eat DaFeet but Niven breaks up the pinfall. LeRae attacks Niven with a Missile Dropkick and a Lionsault for two until Michin breaks up the pin. Black Hole Slam by Niven on Michin gets two. Clusterfest needs to end sooner than it does. Carmella, by the way, has a Lita style bottoms ensemble. LeRae falls victim to a couple corner moves, including a Cannonball from Niven, which apparently is enough to give Carmella the duke.
Backstage, Corbin and JBL chat, or rather JBL berates Corbin and leaves him hanging, while in the background, we see MVP seemingly agreeing to things with Shelton Benjamin and Cedric Alexander.
Backstage, an injured LeRae is confronted by Niven, who berates her recent opposition until Michin gets in the way.
Hurt Business vs. Alpha Academy
MVP is out with Alexander and Benjamin.
Gable intercepts an Alexander attack and hits an impressive German Suplex. Otis is tagged in for a dual attack before Alexander takes his exit for Benjamin. Otis hits a front slam as Gable grandstands.
Benjamin gets a couple moves in but Otis takes over again. Eventually, Gable and Alexander are tagged back in and man is the crowd quiet until Cedric hits a basement dropkick to Gable’s neck. Neuralizer sends Gable to the outside. Gable takes over in the outside action and hits the Swandive for a near duke.
All four men are in the ring next. Shelton hits an impressive Samoan Drop on Otis, but neither are legal. Alexander is legal and hits the Lumbar Check on Gable for the surprise win. Good match but the crowd’s death sucked the life out of it.
Winners: Hurt Business
Backstage, Cathy Kelley talks about Rick Boogs with Miz. Boogs comes into the picture. Pearce comes in and makes a match between the two for next week. Chelsea Green reappears and demands a match again.
Chelsea Green vs. Asuka
Asuka’s music has been remixed to match her remixed appearance. Both WORK!
Racquel Rodriguez, Carmella, Natalya, Nikki Cross, and Liv Morgan are out to watch the action. Chelsea starts with some good strikes and hits what appears to be her finisher, but Carmalla gets distrated by all the on-lookers. Asuka rises from the ashes and gets whalloped quickly. Asuka looks rejuvenated in all senses of the word.
Facebreaker turns into the Rings of Saturn for the W.
Post-match, Bianca Belair struts her way out and taunts her potential challengers.
Cody Rhodes is out next. He talks up Sami Zayn until Paul Heyman interrupts. Cody harkens back to Dusty appearing on ECW television. Heyman is choked up, and talks up Dusty and all the superstars he trained, including Roman Reigns, but didn’t train Cody. Heyman ends by saying Roman is the son that Dusty always wanted. Cody threatens Reigns, basically stepping past Sami Zayn. The work here is masterful, and a match is now a feud.
Montez Ford vs. Elias (Chamber qualifier)
Austin Theory is at the commentary table.
Crowd is again whisper quiet, but I can’t blame them after the emotional ride Cody and Paul just gave them.
The match is very hard to follow given how dominant Theory is on the commentary. It doesn’t help that these two Superstars aren’t gelling whatsoever.
The crowd starts to heat up as Ford gets his comeback streak, but some of his goofy mannerisms need to go.
Standing Moonsault from Ford gets two.
Elias hits an Attitude Adjustment for two, and the crowd remains absolutely silent.
Tope Con Hilo over the ringpost wakes up the crowd. Five Star Frog Splash gets the duke mercifully to end the match.
Winner: Montez Ford
Are we on the way to the long-anticipated Street Profits split? We could very well be.
Out of nowhere, Seth Rollins attacks a gloating Austin Theory and finishes him off with a Stomp into the floor. Nice touch.
Bayley vs. Becky Lynch (Steel Cage Match)
The ladies have roughly 20 minutes to play with. This should be interesting.
Bayley takes a cheap shot and tries to climb. Not going to happen this early.
Bayley gets the second attempt to climb but Becky breaks it up with a dorpkick to the cage. Lynch takes over with heavey offence into the cage.
Becky climbs soon after, Bayley catches up with her. The two battle on the top until Bayley pushes her off then hits a Savage Elbow for two.
Back from a break, the Even Stephanie action continues. More action from the top rope with more cage smashing. Hangmans Legdrop from Becky gets two.
Bayley gets two off a Belly to.. back.
Bayley locks in a kneebar, but Becky crawls past the ropes to the open door, Bayley pulls her back in, and goes back to the kneebar soon after.
Becky gets to the top rope along the cage again, but Bayley catches her and hits a Belly to Bayley from the middle rope in a nice spot. It gets two.
Bayley climbes and gets one foot over the cage when Becky catches up. The two sit atop the cage for a bit before Becky gets knocked back down. Disarmer forces Bayley to break by falling back into the ring. IYO SKY blocks Becky from descending and indeed forces her back into the ring. Dakota passes Bayley her crutch in the interim, when Lita’s music plays out of nowhere, bringing her back to WWE yet again. She catches SKY on the cage and destroys her in short order, first with her fists then with the crutch. Twist of Fate puts SKY down. Manhandle Slam inside puts down Bayley for the duke.
Winner: Becky Lynch
Nice return by the first redhead to the second redhead.
Until next time, stay classy.