WWE Elimination Chamber 2018 Review and Repercussions – Triple Threat POV | Smark Out Moment

WWE Elimination Chamber 2018 Review and Repercussions – Triple Threat POV

Posted by Jonathan Maldonado Thursday, March 1, 2018
Welcome to another edition of Triple Threat from Smark Out Moment, where three of us get together to discuss three questions based on one big topic going down in the week of professional wrestling.

This week, Jonathan Maldonado, Jordan Chaffiotte and Ben Guest will be giving their thoughts on the 2018 Elimination Chamber results, Ronda Rousey's WrestleMania future and whether or not the main event is set for New Orleans.

Question 1: Alexis Bliss retained the Raw Women's Championship inside the Elimination Chamber. How'd you enjoy the match and where does this leave us heading into WrestleMania?

MALDONADO: Hats off to Alexa Bliss building credibility to her championship run in this solid debut for the women in the Elimination Chamber. Although she favorably entered last, her cat and mouse game with Sasha and Bayley and her subsequent one-on-one with Sasha provided for a really entertaining affair. The Twisted Bliss from the top of one of the pods was one of the real spot stealers of the night. Kudos also to the other participating women; Sonya Deville, Mandy Rose and Mickie James. All three women performed admirably in the first half of the match, but I just couldn't buy into any of them pulling off a swerve.

Now that Alexa is set to head into WrestleMania as the Raw Women's Champion, it's time to build her opponent up. The only problem is we don't have a clue who that is yet. Rumors are circulating that Asuka will end up choosing Bliss, but we're still a bit off from a definitive answer even after she defeated Nia Jax at EC, preventing Jax from securing a spot for the title at Mania. Now that we know Ronda Rousey is definitely not in the title picture for Mania, the marquee matchup left in the women's division for a title is Charlotte vs Asuka. We'll have to see what's brewing for the women's division on SmackDown before we start to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  

CHAFFIOTTE: This was by far my match of the night. Too often WWE gets caught up in the whole history making thing and overbooks these matches. Hell in a Cell is a great example, had they just let Sasha and Charlotte do their thing (preferably without tables) it wouldn't have fallen short. Sunday felt well designed, the story of Sasha and Bayley was masterfully told, down to Sasha's Scar moment pushing Bayley off the top of the pod. I do wish she had sold the Twisted Bliss off the top of the pod better, which probably goes back to the documented tension between herself and Alexa. Aside from that, every woman, possibly with the exception of Mandy Rose, looked incredibly strong. Bayley probably benefited the most from her performance, reminding everyone why she belongs here. There's got to be a spot for her in the Mania card.

At the end of the day, Alexa is a great competitor. She may not be the prototypical wrestling prodigy who cut her teeth in the indies, but she is a worthy champion. Alexa fits into a unique spot in the WWE women's wrestling timeline, she was brought in for much the same reason as the 2000's Divas, she was beautiful, charismatic, and athletic. The landscape and the expectations were changing so drastically as she was first training. Although she may never have the ring proficiency of someone like Sasha, she found her fit in the division. No one can out talk her these days and no one plays the part better. She deserved to retain. As for WrestleMania, Asuka vs. Alexa Bliss doesn't quite feel big enough, so we have to make it bigger. No, not by adding in Nia Jax, but by making it a big fight story. There's only one way to do it: a double turn. Alexa has been teasing face, and could fight from underneath, be humbled by the far superior Asuka and show her heart. Meanwhile, Asuka can cheat to retain after Alexa outsmarts her, much like she did against Ember Moon. As a monster heel, Asuka will be downright scary.

GUEST: I thought this match was too rushed and just having three people in the ring when Bliss came out felt weird. Despite that, it was still a good match and it told a good story, with the right people teaming up. Sasha's turn was perhaps a little bit too early, but it made it more surprising and Bliss' post match promo could be a contender for promo of the year. As Jordan said, this match didn't seem like it was here purely for the sake of being historic, even if the commentary suggested otherwise. It had the right build up, the match itself was put together fairly well and the in-ring performance was exactly what we've come to expect from 6 very good wrestlers. Not my match of the night, but certainly no complaints.

As for the build up to WrestleMania, they seem to be suggesting, without actually saying, that Asuka is wrestling Bliss, but I still think they're going for Asuka vs. Charlotte for the marquee match and Bliss vs. Nia Jax as a more story driven match. I don't think anyone on SmackDown can really match Charlotte's name, unless they build Becky Lynch properly after Fastlane. On Raw, Bliss, Nia, Sasha and Bayley all deserve a big Mania spotlight, but I think that needs to be divided into Bliss vs. Nia for the title and Sasha vs. Bayley in a match where they're allowed to put on the quality of match we saw in NXT, even if that relegates them to the Kickoff for timing purposes.

Question 2: Ronda Rousey put Triple H through a table in her first move as a WWE superstar, setting up their WrestleMania feud. Are you looking forward to the return of The Authority on Raw?

MALDONADO: I'm always a fan of The Authority, they reserve the power to do whatever they want with their story line and push boundaries where appropriate. It was the feud between Seth Rollins and Triple H last year that saw a mini NXT invasion by the former, opening the doors to some interesting storytelling. They are the best heels in the company and consistently put over talent at WrestleMania.

I am just a little sad Ronda Rousey is the star entangled with The Authority this year. Perhaps my expectations were too high for Ronda and I'm being impatient by wanting to see her go up against the best of the Women's division in her very first PPV match which also happens to be WrestleMania. Instead we're getting her in the ring across from a non-wrestler in Stephanie McMahon in a tag team match that will dedicate a significant time Triple H mixing it up with Kurt Angle. I guess I'll just have to throw all my expectations behind a solid story in this match and look forward to what Ronda is going to deliver as a regular on Monday nights.  

CHAFFIOTTE: I am forever Team Steph. She gets a lot of undue flak and seems much more invested in the success of the company than her beloved brother Shane. It was disappointing last year to not get her facing Sasha Banks after it was heavily teased. I'm looking forward to seeing her back in the ring. Inevitably, anytime the authority is back in town, it starts to spin its wheels a little bit and ends up feeling stale. They need to figure out something fresh to do with it this time.

Ronda Rousey may have been training for a while, and she may be surprisingly good in the ring. But the fact of the matter is she hasn't done this before. I do worry about the lack of reps leading up to their apparent match at WrestleMania. She needs to be on the road working house shows and getting the hang of it. Right now it seems like Kurt Angle will be Ronda's partner, and while I loved senile Uncle Kurt going rogue Sunday night, he may not be the best for this match. Seth Rollins is a known ring general and might be able to help guide Ronda to success if they paired the two up. I love the concept of Ring General Rollins teaching the rookies what's up, since Jason Jordan is out, Ronda could be his next protégé.

GUEST: Stephanie McMahon is one of the most underrated characters in WWE, as much as I hate her constant removal of kayfabe, when she's in a story, she's the biggest bitch on the roster and she is going to put Ronda through hell between now and Mania. I don't like The Authority being an overbearing presence, but for brief storylines like this, at this time of year, it can be good to see. I also like that they're going with (seemingly) Ronda and Kurt vs Triple H and Stephanie, because it means there is less time taken up than if they had two separate matches and it helps cover Rousey's
weaknesses.

Hopefully, they give Rousey the submission win, The Authority congratulate her and go back into the darkness for a few months. I even hope they give Rousey a slow build to SummerSlam where she probably beat an unstoppable Nia Jax for the title. I'm not particularly looking forward to this match, but I'm glad they've lumped the Triple H, Kurt Angle and Ronda Rousey match all together, so that there's more time for the actual stars of today.

Question 3: Roman Reigns won the Elimination Chamber, but the night ended with Braun Strowman standing over the victor after assaulting Reigns following the match. Will Reigns be the sole contender at WrestleMania for the Universal Championship?

MALDONADO: I am still hoping, and praying, for Braun Strowman to enter the Universal Championship match at WrestleMania. I am completely sold on that match delivering and it takes almost no effort to build the story over the next five weeks. However, in the back of my mind I know this is a pipe dream and will most likely not happen. Sigh.

Don't get me wrong. I am not a Roman Reigns hater at all and I do really enjoy his matches. His match with Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 31 was great. I just enjoy a good story and a crowd getting behind what they're watching. For me, Strowman is the missing ingredient here to make that happen at this WrestleMania. Roman is still early in his prime, and he's main evented every WrestleMania since becoming a singles star. I don't want Roman fatigue so early in what should be a long and decorated career.

CHAFFIOTTE: I hope so. I'm just really over multi-man matches. They're really determined to make this Reigns vs. Lesnar thing a reality, and who am I to take away the wishes of a 70 year old man?

I'm not against Reigns, I'm just bored by this song and dance. Roman Reigns is a great competitor but there are a lot of great competitors on the roster today. He's not inherently special, in part because they don't let him be. There's this sense that they're trying to turn him into the next John Cena, but the thing about that is no one manufactured John Cena. Which means shoving anyone into that mold, whether it's Reigns or Kurt Hawkings, isn't going to work. It's just not. So WWE needs to be thinking about what's new and fresh and different about Reigns. This match, one we've seen before and were anticipating since basically the night after WrestleMania last year, isn't how they find that. I'm perfectly happy to see him face Brock one on one and walk out champion, but frankly, I'm just tired of talking about it.

GUEST: Yes. Roman Reigns pins Brock Lesnar clean in a singles match. We've known this was coming for over 3 years, I'm not sure why everyone is still surprised or asking for something else. Let Vince have his way and Strowman will be champ by the end of the year. Plus, I quite enjoyed the match at WrestleMania 31. It was a good hard-hitting affair. I'm actually looking forward to it.

As for Strowman, the IC title will be good for him, he's still not a complete product in the ring so matches against good midcarders will help make him look good and this run of destruction can continue without affecting the main event picture too much. I really think this is the right way to go and makes the eventual Strowman vs. Roman match another thing to look forward to. Who knows, he might even beat Lesnar along the way.  

Those are our thoughts on the issue, but where do you stand?
Let us know your answers to these questions in the comments below!

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THIS POST WRITTEN BY: JONATHAN MALDONADO

Jonathan Maldonado is a lifelong wrestling fan from the Bronx, NY. He grew up during the Monday Night Wars and the Attitude Era and is a sucker for the flippy stuff and a good wrestling tee. You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

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