WWE Elimination Chamber
March 8, 2020
Wells Fargo Center
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Watch: WWE Network

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Joe Lanza: Nobody wanted to preview this show, so here I am, the boss, dusting off the keyboard for some ultra-rare non-paywall musings. Subscribe to our Patreon, where I do occasional random match reviews, in which I surely bury all of your shitty faves, including but not limited to such acts as Hideki Suzuki, “The Fiend”, Tooth Guy, and the entire Gatoh Move roster. 

Just kidding, only serial killers watch Gatoh Move. 

WWE United States Championship
Andrade (c) vs. Humberto Carrillo

This is the odds on favorite for match of the night. WWE curiously kept the United States title on Andrade despite being popped for a wellness violation, perhaps because they wanted his story with Carrillo to play out in whatever way it was originally planned, on whatever schedule it was planned to happen. That may be giving the company too much credit, since they seemingly don’t adhere to long term plans for things far more important in the pecking order than this mid-card title. Either way, the injury angle that wrote off Andrade for a month did add some heat to the feud, so from a storytelling perspective, it was probably a better decision than simply putting the title on Carrillo while Andrade was gone. I’ll pick Carrillo to win it here, for no other reason than why not? Prediction: Carrillo

No Disqualification
Aleister Black vs. AJ Styles

You might look at this matchup on paper and think that this could be the match of the night. I, an intellectual, know better, as AJ Styles, despite a well-earned reputation, whether due to age/injury or simply knowing you don’t have to work as hard in this environment (likely a combination of both) hasn’t been an elite wrestler for at least the last two years. Plus, the No DQ stip is a flashing neon sign that The Club will interfere. That interference will likely lead to a Styles victory, as they somehow have to get from here to a Styles/Undertaker Mania build, and there isn’t much time left for an extended program with Black before they begin to heat that up.   Prediction: Styles

WWE Raw Tag Team Championship
The Street Profits (c) vs. Seth Rollins & Murphy

Rollins & Murphy won in KSA, and the Profits took the titles in a rematch on RAW, so this is the rubber match. Rollins’ obvious Mania direction is some sort of bout against Kevin Owens, so it wouldn’t make sense to belt him back up here, unless Owens is taking on a partner and chasing the titles. I think a singles match is more likely, so I would expect to see Owens involved in this, somehow costing Rollins the match again, with the Profits retaining. I’m not a huge fan of Owens constantly stealing the Street Profits shine, but this is a scenario where Rollins vs. Owens is seen as the money match, so the Profits (and the tag titles) are positioned as a storyline prop to get there. Prediction: Street Profits

Elimination Chamber – WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship
The Miz and John Morrison (c) vs. The New Day vs. The Usos vs. Heavy Machinery vs. Lucha House Party vs. Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode

I have no idea what to say here. Any team aside from Lucha House Party could realistically win this, depending on the planned Mania direction, which very likely could be another multi-team bout anyway. This match, these titles, and this outcome doesn’t matter, so just root for your favorite team and shrug your shoulders if someone else wins. Prediction: Heavy Machinery

3-on-1 Handicap Match – WWE Intercontinental Championship
Braun Strowman (c) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura, Cesaro, and Sami Zayn

This is a giant pile of typical WWE bullshit. A title that means nothing. Three woefully underutilized guys being utterly wasted as geeks. A ridiculous 3 vs 1 stipulation. Braun Strowman, at one time on the brink of being a top babyface star, long since squandered and aimlessly flopping around the mid-card. This is sure to have some sort of dopey outcome, with either the heels sharing the title or Braun squashing all three of them after some painfully unfunny comedy. Shit like this is why WWE feels exceedingly dated and corny in a world where AEW now exists. It’s also a glaring example of WWE being a promotion that does the absolute least with the absolute most. Nobody else has the kind of resources or employs more people to think of ways to utilize the talent, yet a Three Stooges routine is the usage they come up with for one of the most charismatic wrestlers on the planet and two of the best wrestlers of the last decade. This is a level of wasted assets that only modern WWE could achieve while at the same time nobody acting surprised. Prediction: Strowman

Elimination Chamber – WWE Raw Women’s Championship #1 Contender Match
Natalya vs. Liv Morgan vs. Shayna Baszler vs. Asuka vs. Ruby Riott vs. Sarah Logan

Earlier this week, this outcome felt like a foregone conclusion, with Baszler moonwalking her way to a WrestleMania matchup against Becky Lynch. Now comes Dave Meltzer’s report that Vince McMahon is less than enamored with Baszler, so it feels like Asuka has a real chance to steal this. I’d stick with the original plan. It feels a little late in the game to switch things up, plus with Brock/McIntyre, Goldberg/Roman, and Cena/”The Fiend” already in place, a Lynch/Baszler bout wouldn’t be any higher than fourth from the top anyway, and realistically it will probably land even lower than that, with Styles/Undertaker likely to get stronger promotion too if that match does, in fact, end up happening. Toss in Charlotte/Ripley and whatever it is Bayley ends up doing, and Lynch’s match may not wind up being the top women’s bout. So with not a ton at stake, why not just stick to the plan, and see if Baszler can catch on? Prediction: Shayna Baszler