Welcome to the latest WWE review and the first one in a few weeks, this time is quite a weird one as it’s of a Double Feature DVD set and not just two small DVD’s like in the olden days where they used to put compilations together occasionally, this time it’s two PPV’s in the form of Elimination Chamber and FastLane, billed as the last two PPV’s before Mania these two have final implications before the big event and now that they are RAW and SmackDown separate it makes sense to slap them in a Double Feature Set.
For me of course it means more work as both are around 3 hours each so I was glad I received these a week or two earlier as otherwise I would struggle to get a review out this week, I am glad that it’s double feature though as I would usually have to review both separately anyway so it is better to have both at the same time! Due to there basically being two reviews in one, I will refrain from my usual long winded review and keep it short and simple but my recommendation and rating will be the same format in the end!
The first event is Elimination Chamber which includes John Cena vs AJ Styles vs Baron Corbin, Dean Ambrose, The Miz and Bray Wyatt inside the Elimination Chamber, Randy Orton taking on Luke Harper and Alexa Bliss vs Naomi as well as my favourite women’s wrestler Becky Lynch vs the returning Mickie James in quite a short Pay-Per-View in truth.
First of all, we had Becky Lynch vs Mickie James to open the show which was a good match with James spending most of the match working on the arm of Lynch to weaken her down and prevent her from getting her submission which of course is her biggest threat so it was good from Mickie there. Lynch ended up getting a bit of momentum and won the match overall after countering a roll up and she then made a cover using her legs and then ended up winning thus. This was surprisingly to hear probably because I don’t watch WWE as much as I would like to her first match back on a WWE PPV since her return, I was surprised when Mickie left in the first place and I think her returning could pave the way for other Females of the past few years to return to the company like her and Maryse have including Maria and dare I say it maybe AJ Lee one day. I think we will see another match between the pair with James winning and then there being a rubber match to end it all off.
Next off we had a weird match between Dolph Ziggler vs Apollo Crews and Kalisto, it was quite poor and was just a quick match to try and hype the crowd up but it didn’t work especially on the part of Apollo Crews who didn’t garner the reaction of the crowd. Kalisto got a good reaction but that was only when the match was coming to an end which is due to him being attacked by Ziggler and him coming in late. Kalisto got the team closer to the victory with a handspring roundhouse kick followed by tagging in to Apollo Crews who hit a powerbomb for the victory. Overall a poor match that you should skip over to be honest.
3rd match was the SmackDown Tag Team Turmoil match with American Alpha the champions taking on Breezango, The Vaudevillains, Heath Slater and Rhyno, The Uso’s and The Ascension so basically the whole SmackDown tag division. American Alpha ended up retaining as expected, a good match showcasing the whole tag team division which embodies a final chance before WrestleMania as anyone can win the tag titles and as they always say the odds are stacked against the champions. American Alpha vs The Usos was the best part and I would say it was good to see the likes of The Ascension who don’t get that much of a showcase. Compared to the previous match well worth the watch.
Next match was between Nikki Bella and Natalya, this was held in Phoenix, Arizona and with Nikki from Scottsdale which is nearby she garnered a very good reaction from the crowd. This match was good in my opinion, the fact it ended in a double countout didn’t bother me as such as I know that this way it shows the feud is still proper hot and keeping going. As a result of Natalya grabbing Nikki so she wouldn’t return kept the animosity up which followed up with a brawl on the ramp. Overall a very good match that felt more like a brawl and like a good feud should be that there are some real problems between the pair that so much so they end up counting each over out and fighting some more. I can’t wait to see the next match between these two thus to see where the feud ends.
Following this was Randy Orton vs Luke Harper which as expected was very very good, some great near falls as expected and surprisingly for me Harper got lots of great offence in and it was believable that he was going to pick up the win up to the final few seconds when if he would have executed the discus clothesline he would have won but Orton came through with his signature RKO to get through to WrestleMania. One of Orton’s best matches in quite a while and Harper put in a very good performance, before the Pay-Per-View I thought this might be just okay or maybe a bit rubbish as I am not a big fan of either wrestler but this impressed me, give it a watch and you won’t be disappointed.
Sub main event was between Alexa Bliss and Naomi, to be honest I am not a massive fan of either. I like a lot of males think Alexa is very attractive but I have never been that enamoured by anything she has done in the ring and am a bigger fan of the likes of Becky Lynch and Charlotte and even Nikki Bella. This match was okay but not as good as the first women’s match which was on the card in my opinion. Naomi ended up winning the SmackDown Women’s Championship which in my opinion is long overdue with Naomi one of the most deserving of a title on the roster right now. I would say that I was surprised that Alexa’s reign lasted for such a short time but I guess maybe a switch to RAW after Mania with Charlotte coming to SmackDown to feud with Naomi could be the main reason. In terms of the finish to the match Bliss went up to the top for a moonsault and Naomi blocked it and then hit a split legged moonsault off the ropes for the victory which shows of course that it could have gone either way like the previous match.
The main event to the first show was the Elimination Chamber match between John Cena, AJ Styles, Bray Wyatt, Baron Corbin, The Miz and Dean Ambrose so a stacked line up. Baron Corbin first was eliminated which didn’t surprise me as he is probably the weakest in the match but he was eliminated by a roll up of all things by Dean Ambrose which of course weakens Baron that he can be eliminated so easily. Dean Ambrose was next to be eliminated, Corbin stayed in and hit Ambrose with the End of Days which allowed The Miz to potentially not only set up a feud between Corbin and Ambrose but also an elimination for himself. The Miz paid for this shortly after wards though. Miz went to the top and went for a cross body block but was hit with an Attitude Adjustment which eliminated him. Next up was the most surprising part in a way and that was Cena being eliminated by Wyatt meaning a new WWE champion would be crowned. Cena got some great offence on both Styles and Wyatt but when he went for an AA on Wyatt to eliminate him basically he got out of it and hit Sister Abigail which made the crowd react well to Cena’s elimination. AJ Styles was the final elimination when it looked like he was on the edge of winning. He tried hitting a Phenomenal Forearm but Wyatt avoided it and then hit Sister Abigail to get the victory and become the new WWE champion which for me was a big surprise but not in the context of him deserving it as he does and has done for a long while. He will be a great champion and will allow Cena to team with Nikki at Mania. A great match overall.
FastLane was next on the set.
First match was between Samoa Joe and Sami Zayn, this was a good match that was of course mainly a showcase of how good Samoa Joe is to hype him up. This about a year ago would main event any NXT show or TakeOver so it shows how opposite on the scales both men are that Samoa is booked in a kind of dominant role with Sami the one to take the brunt of it and be walked over which is a shame as if this was a bit more even and went even longer it would be brilliant. Joe got his Coquina Clutch submission to win after Zayn went for the Helluva Kick to be stopped. I expect to see Joe become WWE Universal Champion very soon after this mega unstoppable push is over and I think he would be a very good well suited champion.
Second match was between Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson and Enzo Amore & Big Cass which was pretty poor to be honest, it was the typical Enzo and Cass match we are used to where Enzo ends up getting proper fired up to then tag in Big Cass followed by Cass getting back in and losing the match, I am looking forward to seeing The Hardys at WrestleMania which is a bit of a spoiler as in my opinion they will breathe life into quite a stale RAW tag division so to know this will only really go on one more time for a while is good.
Next up we have Nia Jax vs Sasha Banks which was a good match in my opinion, Nia ended up dominating for the most part which in all honesty I kind of expected due to her size compared to Sasha but it was Sasha who grabbed the win after Nia went for a Samoan Drop but was countered with Sasha getting a bridged pin for the win. It was quite a surprise that Nia lost in all honesty though as it would have been like Sami winning in the opener but I guess we will have a final match after their one at the Rumble down the line at some point with someone becoming the definitive winner and maybe even getting a title shot but we should wait and see.
Next we have Cesaro vs Jinder Mahal which was poor which wasn’t Cesaro’s fault, Jinder Mahal got no reaction from the fans in attendance and even chants of boring were heard. Cesaro was good and was the only saving grace I would say in this match and executed an uppercut to grab the win after about 8 minutes after being distracted by Rusev who was at the announce table. Rusev ended up getting into the ring and punched Mahal a few times followed by a running superkick to set up another feud which will probably be boring let’s face it when it’s these two. Time will tell.
Speaking of Rusev, he was next in action was Big Show and this match was alright with Big Show going over which didn’t surprise me one bit with him meant to be on the way out to go to retirement after Mania it seems like they are trying to give him a good send off at WrestleMania and that includes this win against Rusev. This of course had no relevance to a feud and as a result was a downside to it as it’s basically just a filler match. Show ended up winning without much fuss after getting out of the accolade with 3 chokeslams followed by his Weapon of Mass Destruction a.k.a WMD KO Punch for the win. I am going to miss Big Show as he was definitely a favourite of mine growing up and is someone I will always associate with my childhood.
Neville vs Jack Gallagher was next which was brilliant. Gallagher who I say time and time again is a BWR alumni and I am very proud of that killed it here with some great offence including headbutts and a great back suplex off the top rope. Neville ended up winning with the Red Arrow to end a good match which kept Neville strong but also made Gallagher out to be a major title contender in the future as opposed to squashing him. I have always been a big fan of both men so I didn’t mind how this one panned out at all compared to the previous two this one was worth a watch.
Next up we had Roman Reigns vs Braun Strowman which without Owens vs Goldberg would be the main attraction and a potential main event spot but in this case, it is 3rd from main event. This was a good match between two of the best powerhouses in the WWE at the minute. The spot with the powerslam through the table showed that and made it out to be a proper fight. Also, other notable moments included Reigns executing a spear for a near fall followed up with two Superman Punches by Reigns before Strowman tried for the victory with a Diving Splash but was promptly speared for his undefeated streak to end and for Reigns to win. Reigns was kept strong due to his match with the Undertaker at Mania and this is no surprise. This like most of the matches on the card had no storyline meaning to it but this one at least was good so even though it didn’t mean much it would hype the crowd up a bit.
The sub main event was between Bayley and Charlotte who in my opinion are the two best females in the WWE right now and I really like how much the women have been elevated so much so that they have gone from opening the show to closing it and props have to go to WWE, Stephanie McMahon and Triple H mostly who have elevated not only women’s wrestling in the WWE but also the young talent in NXT and with talents such as Nixon Newell, Evie, Ruby Riot (Heidi Lovelace), Kimber Lee etc coming through or about to join up with WWE as well as Asuka holding up NXT’s women’s division it represents a great time for the women’s division both in WWE and NXT. This was a good match, not amazing but good none the less. Charlotte dominated proceedings almost punishing Bayley including a forearm to start off with before leg vices, knees to the back, neckbreakers and moonsaults to try and weaken her with her even asking Bayley where Sasha was to help her. When it looked, like Charlotte had got the win through Natural Selection but got a 2 count, Sasha came down prompting Charlotte to go after her and thus help Bayley retain the title through a Bayley to Belly for the second time which thus represented the end to the streak for Charlotte. This obviously sets up a match between the three alluded to. Like I say a good match and a good time for women’s wrestling.
Finally, we got the poor end to the show that we were all expecting. Goldberg challenging for Kevin Owens’ title and what happened was exactly what happened to Brock Lesnar previously with Goldberg getting the job done in quick time. Chris Jericho’s music hit as a distraction followed by him coming out and as a result Goldberg stalked him and speared him followed by a Jackhammer to win in only 21 seconds. It’s good for the storyline development between Goldberg and Lesnar as it means we get the rubber match at WrestleMania but something like this could hurt Owens and is annoying to fans who want to see a good match but are left with a 20 second demolition job again.
Elimination Chamber – 7/10 – An alright Pay-Per-View and the better of the two, the Elimination Chamber was very much a highlight with Alexa Bliss vs Naomi and Apollo Crews & Kalisto vs Dolph Ziggler being the poorer matches in my eyes. Worth a watch but not the best pay per view of the year by any means
FastLane – 5/10 – Pretty poor PPV with only Reigns vs Strowman, Neville vs Gallagher and Bayley vs Charlotte really saving it a worse rating. It was a bunch of nothing matches that didn’t mean much and this all lead to the main event which speaks for itself in only lasting 20 seconds. If you’re going to pick one to watch, pick Elimination Chamber.
Elimination Chamber/FastLane 2017 Double Feature is out now from wwedvd.co.uk and participating retailers for the price of £14.99
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