WWE Elimination Chamber 2021
February 21, 2020
WWE ThunderDome at Tropicana Field
St. Petersburg, Florida
Watch: WWE Network
Meet Our Reviewers
Kelly Harrass: Kelly celebrated a birthday last week so he bought himself a bunch of Japanese snacks. Tonight he’ll be drinking a can of coffee with a Demon Slayer character on it and then will follow that up with a can of melon cream soda. Will pleasant snacks make for a pleasant review? Read on to find out. And don’t forget to follow Kelly on Twitter @comicgeekelly.
Sean Sedor: Sean also celebrated a birthday a few weeks ago, and sends a virtual high five to Kelly as we both have February birthdays. As a whole, Sean is looking forward to this show (as the Elimination Chamber is still one of his favorite gimmick matches), but it wouldn’t shock him if WWE booking ruins these matches. You can follow Sean on Twitter @SASedor2994, and you can check out his YouTube channel (just search his name) for some F1 video game content.
Steve Case: Steve celebrated a birthday in December, so this isn’t relevant at all! A pregnant woman is challenging for a title, and one of the chamber matches is a 2011 throwback. What else is there to say? Follow Steve @coachcase44
John Morrison def. Elias, Mustafa Ali (with Retribution), & Ricochet
Sean: So PWInsider originally reported that a Battle Royal would determine the third person in the US Title Triple Threat Match, but I guess WWE either didn’t like PWInsider leaking that, or they changed their minds at the last minute (a common occurrence in this company), because now we have a Fatal Four-Way Match. I didn’t realise this until the match started, but three of the four people in this bout are heels. This ended up being a pretty solid four-way contest, with some solid action in the closing stages. We did get some shenanigans towards the end of the bout, as Retribution interfered (though since there are No DQs in Fatal Four-Way matches in WWE, then you have to wonder why they didn’t interfere straight away) and took out Ricochet with a powerbomb on the floor. Hilariously, this led to a finish where Morrison rolled up Ali while Retribution were celebrating their attack on Ricochet. I suspect Morrison is just a body to get pinned by either Lashley or Riddle. ***1/4
WWE Universal Title #1 Contendership Elimination Chamber Match
Daniel Bryan def. Cesaro, Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, Jey Uso, and King Corbin
Kelly: For what was largely a boring match, this really did have some great stretches. The first was immediately after Corbin’s elimination and Owens’ entrance. I loved the initial interactions between Owens and Zayn. Having those two in the ring at the same time as Bryan and Cesaro, it really felt like a random 2008 ROH undercard match. There were moments where I really thought that Cesaro might win (and seeing how things turned out in our next match it was entirely possible). The closing segment of the match with Cesaro, Bryan, and Uso was the other great section of the match. Overall I have more positive to say about this match than negative, I just wish it had been a bit shorter. I’m writing this immediately after the match and there are already stretches that I’ve forgotten about. Bryan overcomes the odds of his injured knee and picks up the win. ***½
Sean: Having Cesaro and Daniel Bryan start off this match was an excellent choice. They had a solid opening period with some good back and forth action before King Corbin came in to slow things down a bit (because of course). Corbin ran wild for a bit, and then began targeting the knee of Bryan by ramming it into the pods. Sami Zayn was the next to enter, but he played the “reluctant heel who doesn’t want to leave his pod” until Cesaro knocked him out of the pod. We then get Cesaro chasing Sami up to the top of a pod, which eventually led to Sami getting knocked off the Chamber wall. Shortly after this, we get our first elimination, as Cesaro forced Corbin to tap to the Sharpshooter.
Kevin Owens was the penultimate entrant, and after he slammed Sami into some of the pods (following an attempt by Sami to get Owens on his side), we got more good action from the four guys in the ring until Jey Uso made his way into the match. Owens nailed a big moonsault off one of the pods before eliminating Sami a short time later. Jey Uso then managed to trap the arm of Owens in the Chamber’s door, superkicked him a bunch of times, and then pinned him with a top rope splash. Bryan and Cesaro had some more exchanges before Jey Uso scored the shock elimination of Cesaro (I say shocking because he was definitely one of the favorites to win). Bryan then managed to block a big splash from the top of a pod, and followed up with the running knee to score the win.
There was really good wrestling throughout this Elimination Chamber, but it never really reached a level where it could be considered great. I was glad they got Corbin out of there first, and we did get a number of strong segments throughout. Cesaro was my pick to win, since he was a guy who could easily lose to Reigns, so seeing Daniel Bryan win was a slight surprise. Not the worst Elimination Chamber match in the world, but it certainly won’t be one that’s remembered in the long run. ***1/2
Steve: With the Thunderdome, the lights, and the chamber, this physically hurt my eyes. There’s just too much going on and it’s all too busy. Add in Cesaro’s tights and I had a headache at the start of this. I found myself thinking up until Corbin got eliminated, that this match would rule five years ago with all involved outside of WWE. It’s well worked, but nothing is really happening, and everyone is sort of going through the motions. Outside of duller than dirt Corbin being eliminated first, the highlight has been Sami Zayn, who I just find to be a hilarious delight in his current role. Things picked up a bit with Bryan, Cesaro, Owens, and Zayn in the ring. Can you believe that!? The Owens elimination by Uso was pretty creative, catching Owens in the door and spamming superkicks. The second extended period with Bryan/Cesaro was even better than the first, as these two could go for 30 alone and I’d be cool with it. Cesaro did the Dean Malenko gut buster spot which looked great, only to be promptly eliminated by Uso 30 seconds later. I liked the finish as well. Uso got greedy trying a splash from the top of the pod, Bryan got the knees up, shining wizard, pin. Simple, clean, effective. Really slow start, but really picked up on the back end. Bryan vs Reigns CAN be great. ***3/4
WWE Universal Title Match
Roman Reigns (w/Paul Heyman) © def. Daniel Bryan
Kelly: For what it was, this was fantastic. Roman was a real dickhead here, beating Bryan after his grueling Elimination Chamber match. The hope spot with Bryan catching Roman in the Yes Lock was so well done. Following Roman’s victory, Edge hit him with a spear and declared his intentions to challenge for the Universal Title at WrestleMania. Of course, Edge pointed at the sign and pyro went off. I’m not rating this one because it was more of an angle than a match and rating it would do more to challenge the validity of star ratings than anything else. This match isn’t a five star classic, but didn’t it do exactly what it set out to do? Is it a perfect match in that regard? See, these are the things that I don’t have time to ponder. NR
Sean: Bryan immediately countered a spear attempt into the Yes Lock, but Reigns was able to fight out of it. Reigns then did some ground ‘n’ pound, powerbombed Bryan, and then locked him in the guillotine choke. Bryan passed out, and the match was over just like that. I guess this served the purpose of making Reigns look strong. Obviously can’t rate a match that went two minutes (if that), but the story immediately shifted from the quick win by Reigns to Edge, who came in from behind and nailed Reigns with a spear. Edge vs. Roman Reigns for the WWE Universal Title is officially your title program on the SmackDown side for WrestleMania. N/R
Steve: Of course Roman comes out right after the Chamber match. Bryan getting the hope spot locking in the Yes Lock counter on the spear was tremendous. As was Reigns working like Brock and pummeling Bryan with ground and pound and powerbombs. In a perfect world, this would be a great start to Bryan starting his climb to the Mania main event to beat Roman, but nope we get ancient Edge instead. Gag me. Solid squash though. **
WWE United States Championship Triple Threat Match
Riddle def. Bobby Lashley (c) and John Morrison
Kelly: This was my monthly reminder that Matt Riddle doesn’t have a first name anymore. That’s still such a weird decision to me. Anyways, this match left little to no impression on me. Lashley works in his role as a big dominant champion so it makes sense to keep him from getting pinned if you want to move the title over to someone else. Solid enough action, but nothing to write home about. **¾
Sean: Of course, Keith Lee was originally scheduled to be in this match, but he got pulled from the show, and John Morrison won the four-way earlier in the night to take his spot. The fact that they had to keep this a Triple Threat Match made me think that Riddle was 100% winning this, as that serves as a way to put the US Title on Riddle without pinning Lashley. I still find it totally hilarious that WWE is protecting Lashley for seemingly no purpose or reason. When the dust settled, my prediction ended up being right on the money, so put that one in the “Sean Was Right” folder. Lashley dominated this match in the early going, but it became more competitive once Morrison and Riddle started working together for a bit. Just as I predicted, Riddle pinned Morrison to win the US Title by pinning the third man, which meant that Lashley being this super-protected secondary champion for all these months amounted to nothing, as he lost the title to a comedy geek without getting pinned. If Lashley just moves on from this and goes after Drew McIntyre (for instance), then his booking is fine. If he doesn’t, then his protection in the booking literally serves zero purpose. ***
Steve: Wait. Did I just see a slow-mo replay of Matt Riddle kicking off his sliders? Like…..I just….ugh. Have they finally gotten Lashley right? He looked like a killer in this match. The structure also made sense as Riddle and Morrison teamed up to try and take Lashley out, but to no avail. A couple cool dives from each finally got Lashley out of the way, where the two of them had a pretty nice sequence themselves. The finish of this one kind of stunk, where Riddle used MVP’s crutch on Lashley, then hit his finish on Morrison to win the title. A Lashley/Riddle feud could be really good with this Lashley and if Riddle is allowed to work. It could also be corny bullshit. Stay tuned I guess? ***1/4
WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship Match
Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler © def. Bianca Belair & Sasha Banks
Kelly: Very happy to see my boy Reggie on the show tonight prior to this match. Sadly he ended up costing Sasha and Bianca the match when he distracted Sasha with a bottle of champagne. Reggie was just trying to help, but he’s seemingly bad at everything that isn’t choosing wines and occasionally wrestling. You’ll get them next time, Reggie. Oh, the match? It was fine whenever Nia wasn’t in the ring. She’s just irredeemably bad. **
Sean: For those of you who missed what happened on SmackDown, Bianca Belair and Sasha Banks got this title shot after they (along with Reginald) beat Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler in a three-on-two handicap match after Reginald pinned Nia. Yeah….that actually happened. As far as the match goes, it was going along decently enough until the finish, which saw Reginald cost Sasha and Bianca the match when he tried to get Sasha to cheat. Bianca and Sasha looked very good together as a team, and even though the “wrestlers in an upcoming title match winning the tag team titles” thing is such an overdone WWE trope, I was kind of hoping they would actually win the titles here. Alas, we can’t have nice things, and I suppose Reginald’s gimmick is that he’s a super athletic guy who constantly screws things up for anyone he’s associated with. **1/4
Steve: Nia Jax is an awful AWFUL wrestler. This was all pretty sloppy and messy from the beginning. There was no flow and there were many times when it looked like the ladies didn’t know what was happening. The Reginald stuff was also dumb at the end. This didn’t accomplish anything. *1/2
WWE Championship Elimination Chamber Match
Drew McIntyre © def. AJ Styles, Jeff Hardy, Randy Orton, Sheamus, and Kofi Kingston
Kelly: The best part of this match was when Drew angrily said “I told you to move” to the camera guy after he was nearly taken out by a flying Jeff Hardy. I wrote that last sentence very early into the match and my opinion of things didn’t change as it went on. This was an incredibly boring match. I’d like to apologize to the opening match for calling it boring. That was unfair when you compare it to this. The only bit of the match I ever really got into was the slugfest between Drew and Sheamus when Sheamus entered the match. Everything else felt so slow. It was like watching the match at half speed. I also kept forgetting that Jeff Hardy was in the match. Originally I wanted to complain about the way that AJ Styles entered the match, but if they don’t care about the structure of their own match, I guess I shouldn’t either. My greatest fear was that they were going to stretch out this match until the top of the hour and thankfully they didn’t. The coffee has worn off and this match made me want to go to bed. Oh hey it’s Bobby Lashley. **
Sean: Jeff Hardy and Randy Orton started this Elimination Chamber match off. They had an ok opening period before Drew McIntyre entered the match. He ran wild for a bit (even ramming Hardy into one of the pods) until Orton cut him off with a draping DDT. Kofi Kingston was up next, and he almost immediately rolled up Orton for the first elimination. Orton then took out Hardy and Kingston with RKO’s while Omos broke open the pod that AJ Styles was in from behind so he could enter the match early. Adam Pearce quickly ran down to eject Omos from ringside.
McIntyre pretty much dominated the rest of the field until Sheamus finally made his entrance into the match. McIntyre and Sheamus went after each other straightaway. They eventually built to a tower of doom spot that set up a big Kofi trust fall off the top of one of the pods. Of course, this meant that Kofi was getting eliminated soon, and sure enough, he ate a Brogue Kick a minute or two later. Jeff Hardy then ran wild with Twist Of Fate’s for all three of his opponents, and nailed a Whisper In The Wind off the top of a pod onto McIntyre and Sheamus. He then hit Styles with a big Swanton, but then immediately ate a Claymore Kick from McIntyre and got pinned…..because of course! This was followed by a weird bit with AJ where he wasn’t able to get the full rotation on a Springboard 450 (ended up being a Swanton). I guess to prove he could still do it, he went back and immediately hit a proper Springboard 450 for a nearfall on McIntyre.
McIntyre and Sheamus continued their exchange until AJ came in and managed to eliminate Sheamus after a Phenomenal Forearm (a bit of a shock elimination there). Styles was promptly pinned moments later after countering the Phenomenal Forearm with a Claymore Kick. There was nothing wrong with the actual wrestling in this match (in terms of it being cleanly wrestled with no real screw ups), but MAN this Elimination Chamber was not nearly as interesting as the first one earlier in the night. While it wasn’t really terrible by any means, it was even more forgettable than the first one. I don’t really have much else to say about this one. It was just there. ***
Steve: I love that they ran the same commercial with the same video of the same match on the same show that you’d only see if you were already watching the show. Who makes these decisions? This match was pretty boring for much of the first half, but Orton being eliminated first by Kofi was a nice touch. OMOS ripping apart the pod so AJ can enter the match early ruins yet another match stip. Ol’ Scrap Iron sent the big man packing though so we can get back to the plodding! The rest of this was….really a lot of nothing. This felt like they dragged it out to fill the time the cut women’s championship match would have had. There was no real drama, no one had a real chance to beat Drew, and it was just way too long. *3/4
The Miz def. Drew McIntyre ©
Kelly: hahahahahahahahaha what a way to finish Drew’s title run. The Miz, star of USA’s Miz and Mrs, cashed in the MITB and is your new WWE Championship. Very dumb, but on the upside, at least it wasn’t the Fiend. NR
Sean: So earlier in the night, they showed a clip of The Miz talking to MVP backstage. My initial reaction was that MVP had convinced The Miz to sell the MITB briefcase to The Hurt Business so that Lashley could cash in on Drew McIntyre after the Elimination Chamber match. MAN was my prediction looking REALLY GOOD for a good minute there. Lashley jumped McIntyre after the match and I thought “great, here we go”. The Miz’s music hits after Lashley has done all the damage and I thought “alright, The Miz is going to hand over the briefcase to Lashley, let’s do this”. Then The Miz cashed in…..and won the WWE Title from Drew McIntyre. To add a little context to this, The Miz cashed in the MITB briefcase on Randy Orton to win the WWE Title on the November 22nd, 2010 edition of RAW, and went into WrestleMania 27 in 2011 as the WWE Champion, and main evented the show. Ten years later…..we’re in the same spot. The Miz…ten years older….cashes in MITB to win the WWE Title in the leadup to WrestleMania. Time truly is a flat circle in the WWE. What a stupid company. DUD
Steve: THIS SUCKED. WWE is really really REALLY bad. LMAO