POLLOCK’S NEWS UPDATE: WWE Elimination Chamber 2019 Preview

A preview of the Elimination Chamber card tonight, former champion signs new deal with Impact Wrestling, Fenix returns, WWE acquires War Games trademark, Bellator 216 notes, Cain Velasquez vs. Francis Ngannou tonight & more.


**Wai Ting and I will be going live tonight immediately after the pay-per-view with our WWE Elimination Chamber POST Show.

If you are a Double Double, Iced Capp or Espresso member of the POST Wrestling Café then you can watch the POST Show live with a link posted prior to the show. We will also be taking phone calls and Skype calls after the review. For those that are not Patrons, we will have the audio version posted late tonight.

**Prior to OTT’s Homecoming show today, we did a Q&A with video editor Shaun Ryan of the Crooked Gentlemen production outlet. Ryan is the editor behind the excellent hype video for the match between Jordan Devlin and David Starr for today’s match. Ryan chatted with us about the production process, influences in his style of editing, coming up with the story of the match, and other notes.

**Nate Milton has the latest edition of The Rocky Maivia Picture Show up with a review of “The Rundown” from 2003 with OSW Review’s Jay Hunter and V1 that we highly recommend.

**Here is our preview of the WWE Elimination Chamber show from the Café Hangout this week with guest Nate Milton:


**The WWE’s Elimination Chamber card takes place from the Toyota Center tonight in Houston, Texas. It isn’t a deep card and I’d say the performance from those in the men’s Elimination Chamber match is going to dictate how the show is evaluated. The men’s Chamber match should be excellent based on those involved and could be a lengthy one. The second biggest match on the card is Ronda Rousey’s title match with Ruby Riott, although the match feels like a backdrop for an angle involving Charlotte Flair, who will be seated in the crowd, and possibly Becky Lynch. With the company returning on March 10th with the Fastlane card, there isn’t huge pressure to set up the WrestleMania card with this show, but hopefully, those directions become apparent.

Here is a preview of tonight’s show, which begins with the kickoff at 6 pm Eastern.

Daniel Bryan vs. AJ Styles vs. Samoa Joe vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Jeff Hardy vs. Randy Orton in an Elimination Chamber match for the WWE title

There is a lot of talent in the match and this is the match that needs to carry the show.

The WWE title match at WrestleMania is one that could take many turns. I would expect Daniel Bryan to retain the title and I’ve said many times that I’d be putting Rey Mysterio against him at WrestleMania. It would be a big match for those two, it’s fresh and there is no better babyface on SmackDown today than Mysterio.

Randy Orton is entering the match last and it would appear Orton will be tied with Styles after the ending of the Gauntlet match on SmackDown.

Kingston should be in the spot where he starts the match and goes long to build off Tuesday’s performance.

The odd men out on SmackDown are Joe and Hardy, who had their program halted abruptly and haven’t had much going on since. Joe has been excellent over the past year but now finds himself underneath Bryan and Orton as the top heels on SmackDown and without a program.

I’m expecting Bryan to retain.

Bayley & Sasha Banks vs. Nia Jax & Tamina vs. Liv Morgan & Sarah Logan vs. The IIconics vs. Naomi & Carmella vs. Sonya Deville & Mandy Rose for the women’s tag titles in an Elimination Chamber match

This match has an uphill battle and would seem like a match that will need lots of preparation ahead of time. You’re missing a lot of the top performers on the roster with Asuka, Natalya, Mickie James, and Ember Moon (injured) not involved. I felt this would have been a great way to introduce Kairi Sane and Io Shirai and would have helped the match tremendously both in the ring and promotionally.

The favorites should be Bayley & Banks and Jax & Tamina with the two teams programmed together coming out of this. They’ve introduced Banks’ injury as part of the story with Bayley doing the heavy lifting solo in the leadup. There are arguments for either team to win as Bayley and Banks are the biggest stars in the match and make the titles feel important, while Jax and Tamina are your lead heel group that Bayley and Banks can chase.

My expectations are not high for the match, but if it’s laid out well and everyone is on their game, perhaps it will surprise people. There will obviously be a comparison to the men’s match and it’s not even close.

Ronda Rousey vs. Ruby Riott for the Raw women’s title

This feels like the most inconsequential match Ronda Rousey has had on pay-per-view since arriving. It’s a shame because I’m very high on Ruby Riott and she could have been promoted significantly better as a challenger instead of the last stumbling block before the “real challenges” at WrestleMania.

The two are painted in a corner as the audience has been told not to expect anything until Charlotte Flair is involved, who has a larger presence in the match than the challenger.

Since WrestleMania is the focus, this doesn’t need to be 12 minutes of Rousey selling and doing her comeback, it should be short and building Rousey as the unstoppable submission machine going into the biggest show of the year.

Bobby Lashley and Lio Rush vs. Finn Balor for the Intercontinental title

I feel Balor wins the title by pinning Rush, it’s the only thing that makes sense by including Rush in the match.

They have started teasing the idea of a Brock Lesnar vs. Bobby Lashley match, which is always possible as Lesnar’s last stop before WrestleMania, although it’s a strange mix putting the two heels together in a match, despite that match being one everyone wanted when Lashley returned last year.

I wouldn’t mess around with Balor by having him fail again, especially in the fashion he did to Lesnar at the Royal Rumble by losing the match and being destroyed afterward.

Shane McMahon and The Miz vs. The Usos for the SmackDown tag titles

The pairing of Shane McMahon and The Miz has led to the company finding interesting chemistry between the two that just seems to work. Everyone expects the breakup, but they have done a strong job of making them actual friends that when it does happen, the audience will care. There are many ways to go where they could lose the titles, tease an issue and then lose a rematch that causes the rift, or they retain the titles tonight and keep going until Fastlane.

WWE’s response to Jimmy Uso’s arrest this week was very short. Regardless of tonight’s outcome, it would appear they will just let his legal process play out and stick to whatever the plans were prior.

Braun Strowman vs. Baron Corbin in a No Disqualification match

I hope there is a great idea behind this match because it feels like the world has reached its quota of matches between them.

The No DQ stipulation allows them to do a Braun Strowman brawl across the arena and likely feature the big stunt of the show. That’s smart to play to Strowman’s strengths. For all the criticism of Corbin, he is always hated by the crowd and even if you don’t believe it translates to business, that’s a feather in his cap to those that defend his positioning on the Raw brand.

Drew McIntyre and Kurt Angle aren’t on the show, so this is the match they could get involved in.

Buddy Murphy vs. Akira Tozawa for the Cruiserweight title

This will be on the kickoff show and it will be a great match, the audience will start quiet and be into it by the end and no one will remember it by Monday.

**OTT has their big Homecoming event from the National Basketball Stadium in Dublin today. The two big matches see Walter taking on PAC and the grudge bout between Jordan Devlin and Mark Starr. The winner of Devlin vs. Starr will challenge Walter next month at Scrappermania.

**The WWE Network will be premiering a documentary on Mark Henry following the Elimination Chamber tonight.

**On Saturday’s SmackDown event in Louisiana, Becky Lynch showed up during a match between Asuka and Charlotte Flair and they did an angle where Lynch re-injured her knee. While it could play into the next chapter tonight, I felt it interesting they did the injury on a house show as opposed to tonight’s show. It could be coincidence, but house show attendance and business has been a standout item on the last two quarterly reports and shooting angles at house shows and getting the clip online is one way to address attendance issues.

**PWinsider.com reported that MLW and the WWE have struck a deal over the rights to the War Games trademark. MLW secured the trademark and was the reason they could promote the match. MLW had no issue with NXT using the trademark for the TakeOver shows but did it to protect themselves and be able to use it. Mike Johnson’s report states that MLW will no longer be promoting War Games in the future.

**DDT held their anniversary card at Sumo Hall on Sunday. I was told the main event between Konosuke Takeshita and Daisuke Sasaki for the KO-D championship was great and worth checking out.

**Impact Wrestling announced on Saturday that Eddie Edwards signed a long-term deal with the promotion. Edwards joined Impact (then TNA) in January 2014 alongside Davey Richards as The Wolves. Edwards became TNA champion in October 2016 and has been doing a loose cannon character over the past year.

**Fenix wrestled on Friday night at the Impact tapings in Las Vegas following his injury last weekend during a tag match at the AAW event.

**Revolution Pro has already added Friday’s High Stakes card to their on-demand service. The show is highlighted by PAC taking on Will Ospreay and you can sign up with a free seven-day trial.

**Impact is holding their final night of television tapings in Las Vegas tonight.

**A new episode of Total Bellas airs tonight at 9 pm Eastern on E! They are facing a lot of competition tonight.

**Conrad Thompson recently spoke to Emily Pratt at Uproxx about the upcoming Starrcast convention and the three podcasts he hosts with Bruce Prichard, Eric Bischoff, and Tony Schiavone. Thompson said he expects “Something Else to Wrestle” with Bruce Prichard to return for a second season on the WWE Network.

**Stardom held a card at Korakuen Hall on Sunday with Momo Watanabe and Utami Hayashashita retaining the Goddesses of Stardom titles over Mayu Iwatani and Arisa Hoshiki. Hazuki defeated AZM on the same card to retain the High-Speed title.

**On this date in 2002, the New World Order contingent of Hulk Hogan, Kevin Nash, and Scott Hall returned to the World Wrestling Federation at the No Way Out event in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It was Hogan’s first appearance for the company since 1993 and Nash and Hall’s return since leaving in 1996. It was also on this date in 2008 at the event of the same name that they shot the big angle with Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Big Show to set up their WrestleMania match. Mayweather threw a punch that legitimately broke Show’s nose and led to a crazy scene that kicked off the angle tremendously.


WWE Elimination Chamber 2018
Sunday, February 25th

Las Vegas, Nevada at the T-Mobile Arena
*Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson over Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel
*Alexa Bliss over Sasha Banks, Mickie James, Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville in the Elimination Chamber match to retain the Raw women’s title
*Sheamus and Cesaro over Apollo Crews and Titus O’Neil to retain the Raw tag titles
*Asuka over Nia Jax
*Matt Hardy over Bray Wyatt
*Roman Reigns over Braun Strowman, John Cena, Seth Rollins, Finn Balor, AJ Styles and Elias in the Elimination Chamber match for a title shot at WrestleMania 34


**The UFC will hold their first full card on ESPN tonight from the Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, Arizona. The card is going head-to-head with the NBA All-Star Game and the Elimination Chamber show. The timing could work out well if the NBA game ends and enough people are curious to tune over and watch Cain Velasquez fight.

The main event is an intriguing one because there are questions to be answered about Velasquez not fighting since July 2016. The blueprint to beat Francis Ngannou was authored by Stipe Miocic and that’s the type of fight I’m expecting. Ngannou is very dangerous because of his power but knowing the threat of the takedown is there, will he be willing to let his hands fly early on when Velasquez will be capitalizing on any openings?

The winner of the fight would not appear to be the frontrunner for a title fight. Obviously, Velasquez isn’t fighting Daniel Cormier and I cannot see Ngannou being ready for a title fight even if he beats Velasquez, although that does present a great story if Ngannou knocks out Cormier’s teammate. Cormier wants Brock Lesnar but you can’t bank on Lesnar coming back until he puts pen to paper and makes a commitment beyond re-entering the USADA testing pool. Stipe Miocic is standing on the side of the road with his thumb out, hoping the UFC stops to give him his title rematch, which he should get but doesn’t mean he will and the longer he stays idle there is a greater chance he is passed over if a better option becomes available.

Renan Barao, Jessica Penne and Manny Bermudez missed weight on Saturday. Bermudez missed by four pounds and will be fined 30% of his purse while Barao and Penne missed by two pounds and fined 20%. Below is the card and results from the weigh-ins:

MAIN CARD (9 pm Eastern on ESPN, TSN 2 in Canada)
*Cain Velasquez (248) vs. Francis Ngannou (258)
*Paul Felder (155.5) vs. James Vick (156)
*Cynthia Calvillo (116) vs. Cortney Casey (116)
*Kron Gracie (146) vs. Alex Caceres (146)
*Bryan Barberena (170.5) vs. Vicente Luque (171)
*Myles Jury (146) vs. Andre Fili (145.5)

PRELIMINARY CARD (7 pm on ESPN, TSN 2 in Canada)
*Jimmie Rivera (135) vs. Aljamain Sterling (136)
*Benito Lopez (135.5) vs. Manny Bermudez (140*)
*Ashlee Evans-Smith (126) vs. Andrea Lee (125.5)
*Nik Lentz (155.5) vs. Scott Holtzman (156)

PRELIMINARY CARD (5:30 pm on ESPN+, Fight Pass worldwide)

*Jodie Esquibel (115.5) vs. Jessica Penne (118*)
*Renan Barao (138*) vs. Luke Sanders (135.5)
*Emily Whitmire (116) vs. Alexandra Albu (114.5)

**Michael “Venom” Page defeated Paul Daley in the main event of Bellator 216 on Saturday to advance to the semi-finals of the Welterweight World Grand Prix. It was not the fireworks display everyone anticipated with a more tactical fight strategy implemented by Daley. It was an easy fight to score with Page winning Rounds 1, 4 and 5 and Daley taking Round 2 and 3 with all three judges scoring it 48-47 for Page. John McCarthy called it the smartest fight he had ever seen Daley in but also noted the hypocrisy that Daley would constantly complain about wrestlers using wrestling to win fights and not standing and engaging. When $1 million is on the line, you become more open to strategic fighting.

Overall, the card on Saturday was not a great one with a dreadful fight between Cheick Kongo and Vitaly Minakov earlier in the night. Kongo was announced as the #1 contender for Ryan Bader’s heavyweight title and with nine wins in a row, it’s hard to argue him even though his style is a major turnoff and was the chief reason he was left out of the Heavyweight Grand Prix despite his record.

One fighter to watch is Valerie Loureda, who is a 20-year old Tae Kwon Do black belt and made her pro debut on the card. She wasn’t facing a tough opponent in Colby Fletcher, who was 1-2 going into the fight and had not fought since 2015. This was a complete showcase for Loureda, who displayed good striking but is a major work-in-progress and not the best opponent to make serious judgments from. That said, she certainly has a lot of charisma and is so young that she could evolve into a bigger star for the promotion if she can fight better opposition.

**On the Bellator 216 broadcast, they confirmed the following for the May 11th event at the Allstate Arena in Chicago:
*Michael Chandler vs. Patricio “Pitbull” Freire for the lightweight title
*Douglas Lima vs. Michael Venom Page in the semi-finals of the Welterweight Grand Prix
*Jake Hager vs. TBA

**Bellator returns next Saturday with a card from Dublin, Ireland headlined by James Gallagher taking on Steven Graham. The card will air live at 9 pm Eastern on the Paramount Network and DAZN. There is also a UFC Fight Night card from the Czech Republic but that will air live on Saturday afternoon and they won’t be going against each other.

**The next Welterweight Grand Prix fight is on April 27th with Rory MacDonald defending the welterweight title in his opening round fight against Jon Fitch. The winner of that fight will face Neiman Gracie in the second round. The title will be defended throughout the Grand Prix with all the fights set for five rounds.

**Here are the results from Invicta FC’s card on Friday night from Memorial Hall in Kansas City and streaming on Fight Pass:
*Caitlin Sammons def. Christina Ricker by TKO at 3:02 of Round 2
*Courtney King def. Holli Logan by rear-naked choke at 4:46 of Round 2
*Victoria Leonardo def. Jamie Milanowski by rear-naked choke at 2:45 of Round 1
*Tracy Cortez def. Erin Blanchfield by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
*DeAnna Bennett def. Miranda Maverick by unanimous decision (29-28 all)
*Karina Rodriguez def. Milana Dudieva by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
*Vanessa Porto def. Pearl Gonzalez by technical decision due to an eye poke (40-36, 39-37, 39-37) to win the vacant Invicta FC flyweight title

Porto suffered an eye poke to the left eye in the fourth round and was unable to continue. Because the fight had gone long enough, they went to the scorecards and she was ruled the winner. Porto posted a graphic image of her eye after the fight on Instagram.

**CM Punk was in Atlantic City, New Jersey on Friday to call his second CFFC event on Fight Pass. While he was there, he took photos with wrestlers Jun Kasai (in town for Game Changer Wrestling) and Ring of Honor’s Sumie Sakai. The two wrestlers were there with Naoki Inoue, who fought on the prelims Friday and lost by unanimous decision to Sean Santella.

**Speaking of CM Punk, he did an interview with ESPN Radio earlier this week to discuss his role as an analyst on the CFFC broadcasts and also discussed some of tonight’s UFC fights in Phoenix.

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John Pollock and Phil Chertok review UFC 234 from Melbourne with Israel Adesanya vs. Anderson Silva after losing the main event due to Robert Whittaker undergoing emergency surgery.

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About John Pollock 5598 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling. He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.