POLLOCK’S NEWS UPDATE 2/25 – WWE Elimination Chamber Preview


**Wai Ting and I will be back tonight with a WWE Elimination Chamber Post Show to go over the entire card from Las Vegas, Ronda Rousey’s role on the show, the programs teased for WrestleMania, and we will take your feedback from The Forum. We will have shows three consecutive nights with Rewind-A-Raw and Rewind-A-SmackDown coming up Monday and Tuesday night.

**We will have live coverage on the main page of Elimination Chamber starting at 7 pm Eastern.

**There is a full report on the main page covering Saturday’s UFC on FOX card from Orlando and featuring Jeremy Stephens stopping Josh Emmett in the second round of their featherweight main event. The main discussion was a series of fouls in the closing seconds of the fight with Stephens connecting with two elbow strikes near the back of the head and a debatable knee to a downed opponent before Stephens finished Emmett with a series of elbows on top.

**We have several notes from a correspondent that attended the Lucha Underground television tapings on Friday night (contains spoilers).

**This Thursday, Keep It 2000 returns with Brian Mann and Nate Milton with a review of the June 19th, 2000 episode of WCW Monday Nitro.


**The WWE presents the Elimination Chamber card tonight from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada and is the final Raw pay-per-view before WrestleMania. The main event of the show is Ronda Rousey’s appearance to sign her Raw contract and likely shoot her WrestleMania angle.

Rousey was at the WWE Performance Center over the past week with a photo posted by Michael Mardones (Rousey’s photographer) with Rousey working with Norman Smiley, Wesley Blake, Jessamyn Duke, Shayna Baszler, Peyton Royce, Steve Cutler, Vanessa Borne, and Sara Amato. Travis Browne is also shown in the photo.

Below is a look at the matches tonight with the kickoff show at 7 pm Eastern:
*Roman Reigns vs. John Cena vs. Elias vs. Braun Strowman vs. The Miz vs. Seth Rollins vs. Finn Balor in the Elimination Chamber Match – This should be the best match on the card and likely goes on last unless the angle with Rousey is so significant that they want to end on that note, however, this is the likely bet to end the show. The handling of Braun Strowman is the most curious of the six eliminations necessary as they have avoided Strowman losing at all cost. The Strowman vs. Triple H feud has been iced ever since the Survivor Series and there has been no hint towards that program since. There is a storyline reason for Hunter to be at tonight’s show for the Rousey signing (I would expect Hunter and Stephanie to be all over that signing as they were the ones putting the deal together) and could set something up with Strowman, although the Chamber limits what you can do other than Hunter appearing from underneath the ring and that’s a tired angle. John Cena losing and then showing up on SmackDown to challenge Shinsuke Nakamura for Fast Lane as his last effort for a major spot at WrestleMania is an option I’ve seen thrown out and could easily happen. Cena is advertised for Fast Lane and Nakamura needs an opponent for that show. Rollins had such a great showing on Monday and I feel he should go long in this match by starting #2 with The Miz and lasting until the end before Reigns gets his win back. Balor and Elias feel like the odd men out without any clear direction set up for WrestleMania and Balor needs something coming out of this match. The booking will be intriguing and while it seems a lock that Reigns wins the match, the journey to get there should be compelling along with the spinoff stories for the remaining six.
*Alexa Bliss vs. Sasha Banks vs. Bayley vs. Mickie James vs. Sonya Deville vs. Mandy Rose in an Elimination Chamber Match for the Raw women’s title – This is best served going on first and keeping this fast-paced and shorter than the men’s match. The six-woman tag this past Monday was not a good match and this is a big position for Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville. I expect this one to be laid out very well and it won’t be left to drag. Alexa retaining and possibly screwing over Mickie James at some point to eliminate her seems likely. Given the success of the Gauntlet Match, it would not surprise me if they chose to come back with another match involving the women in two or three weeks and that is Nia Jax’s victory to get the title shot at WrestleMania. You couldn’t go as long as the men’s match did, but a 40-45 minute television match to carry the first hour of Raw with the likes of Bayley, Sasha Banks, and Mickie James carrying the lion’s share of the match seems a possibility at least.
*Asuka vs. Nia Jax – This may be the most interesting match layout to get a sense of how the WWE is going to position Asuka. So often, promotions are caught up in the minutiae of a how much a loss is going to “hurt” the opponent and not enough care to how a back-and-forth 50/50 match does nothing for either side and cools off the higher priority, which is Asuka. On the pecking order for WrestleMania, Asuka is the higher priority having won the Rumble and while this shouldn’t be a three minute destruction of Nia Jax, I think it is better to book with the mindset of building and elevating the top priority and this should be a clear win for Asuka over a credible and viable challenge in Jax and in the end, doesn’t hurt Jax but also emphasizes the level Asuka is at in relation to the monster of the division. As far as Asuka’s opponent for WrestleMania, that decision should be held off until after Fast Lane and the idea of a three-way with Asuka, Nia Jax and the champion doesn’t appeal to me at all.
*Matt Hardy vs. Bray Wyatt – This feud feels so cold and is reliant on the audience chanting along with Hardy to generate interest in the match. This isn’t connecting, if the feud is to continue they have to elevate the stakes and go all in with the Broken character or else there was no point in introducing it. If Jeff Hardy can return for WrestleMania, perhaps Bray finds a partner and that’s the WrestleMania program.
*Sheamus and Cesaro vs. Apollo and Titus O’Neil for the Raw tag titles – You would assume they would have more time on a pay-per-view setting but given the two Chamber matches, Rousey signing, and the Asuka vs. Jax match, I only see this reaching the level of their television matches and nothing more. The Bar desperately needs a new set of opponents and The Revival could be that team, but they’ve done a number on The Revival since they returned to television. We will see if the breakup tease involving Titus Worldwide will be acknowledged or if Mixed Match Challenge doesn’t exist.

**The SmackDown crew has a house show in Ontario, California today and the NXT crew finishes up their Canadian tour with a card in Barrie, Ontario. Randy Orton is off this weekend but is working the Monday night house show in San Diego for SmackDown.

**Monday’s episode of Raw takes place from the Honda Center in Anaheim, California (the site of many of Ronda Rousey’s biggest fights, including her first UFC fight against Liz Carmouche five years ago this week). Brock Lesnar is scheduled for Monday’s episode.

**The major angle from the Honor Rising events this weekend featured The Young Bucks confronting The Golden Lovers after Kenny Omega and Kota Ibushi defeated Cody and Marty Scurll on the second night. Omega cut a promo calling them “the greatest tag team in the world”, which promoted The Bucks to come out, declare themselves the best team in the world and that they were moving up to the heavyweight tag division. This likely will lead to a match between the two teams next month in Long Beach at “Strong Style Evolved”. The Golden Lovers were so popular on these two shows and the reaction they received on the first night during this entrance must have been incredible to have been inside Korakuen Hall for and Kevin Kelly called one of the loudest reactions he has ever heard in the building.

**Trent Beretta is going to be taking time off following the Honor Rising events. Beretta worked the two shows with a right pectoral and left biceps injury, which he suffered during his PWG title match last weekend against Chuck Taylor in Reseda. Beretta still worked this weekend, although his ROH title match with Dalton Castle was turned into a three-way with The Beer City Bruiser on the second night. Beretta was scheduled to team with Taylor against Kenny Omega and Kota Ibushi at the WrestleCon Supershow on Thursday, April 5th.

**Kevin Kelly noted that they are in the process of providing commentary for the recent New Japan shows in Australia for future release on New Japan World. He added that it would be ideal to present the shows live the next time they tour Australia.

**There are supposed to be some upcoming match announcements coming from New Japan on Monday. I would assume the participants and first round matches of the New Japan Cup will be released on Monday. They are touring this week, leading up to the 46th Anniversary card on Tuesday, March 6th, which is headlined by Kazuchika Okada vs. Will Ospreay and Minoru Suzuki vs. Togi Makabe.

**Ethan Carter III and Drake Maverick were seated cage side at the UFC card in Orlando on Saturday night.

**Saturday was the fourth anniversary of the WWE Network’s launch.

**Ric Flair turns 69 years old today and it’s a true miracle he is celebrating one this year after last summer.

**A new episode of “Photo Shoot” will air on the WWE Network following Raw Monday night featuring Charlotte.

**There is a great Twitter thread on the history of Kenny Omega and Kota Ibushi from the past decade, which Omega even retweeted.

WWE Elimination Chamber (Smackdown only)
Sunday, February 12th, 2017
Phoenix, Arizona

*Mojo Rawley over Curt Hawkins
*Becky Lynch over Mickie James
*Apollo Crews and Kalisto over Dolph Ziggler in a handicap match
*American Alpha won a Tag Team Turmoil Match over The Ascension, The Usos, Heath Slater and Rhyno, The Vaudevillains, and Breezango
*Nikki Bella and Natalya fought to a double countout
*Randy Orton over Luke Harper
*Naomi over Alexa Bliss to win the SD women’s title
*Bray Wyatt over John Cena, The Miz, Dean Ambrose, A.J. Styles, and Baron Corbin in the Elimination Chamber Match to win the WWE title from Cena

BRITISH WRESTLING EXPERIENCE 2/22/18: OTT Homecoming, ICW Square GO, Progress Chapter 63, Tetsujin
REWIND-A-SMACKDOWN 2/20/18: Fast Lane Matches Announced, Buddy Murphy’s 205 Live Debut
REWIND-A-RAW 2/19/18: The Longest Match in WWE History; Jeff Jarrett Hall of Fame
POST ROUNDTABLE #2 (w/ VICE’s Damian Abraham)

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About John Pollock 5441 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling. He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.