One night after WWE made history by holding the first Women’s Royal Rumble match, the promotion announced another first for their female competitors – the first Elimination Chamber match with the first competitor being Raw Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss.
On the Jan. 29 episode of Raw, Commissioner Stephanie McMahon announced that Bliss would defend her title at the Feb. 25 event – also named Elimination Chamber. The women’s match will be one of two Elimination Chamber bouts during the evening.
The other chamber match will feature six Raw superstars competing for the opportunity to challenge for the WWE Universal Championship at Wrestlemania 34.
— WWE (@WWE) January 30, 2018
Bliss’ opponents for the match are not confirmed at this time. One competitor who will not be in the match is the 2018 Royal Rumble winner Asuka.
On Raw, McMahon convinced Asuka to wait until after Elimination Chamber to challenge either the Smackdown women’s champion or the Raw titleholder, a right she earned after winning the first women’s Royal Rumble match.
WWE introduced the Elimination Chamber in 2002 as the brainchild of then-RAW General Manager Eric Bischoff, who likened the match a hybrid of Hell in a Cell, War Games and the Royal Rumble.
The Elimination Chamber match has six participants with two of them beginning the match. The remaining four are held within their pods and are released into the match at five-minute intervals. The object is to eliminate each opponent from the match by pinfall or submission. The winner is the last remaining participant after all others have been eliminated.
There have been 20 Elimination Chamber matches in WWE history with Triple H having the most victories (four), eliminations (six) and appearances (seven).
The match focused on the respective world championships – either by having wrestlers contest for a title or an opportunity to challenge for it at Wrestlemania.
On May 31, 2015, WWE held its first chamber match for the Intercontinental title, which was won by Ryback. That same night, there was the first WWE Tag team title Elimination Chamber match where both members of a tag team – or in the New Day’s case, three members – were in a match. The New Day retained the titles that night.
It’s not much of a surprise WWE would roll a women’s Elimination Chamber match so soon after a successful women’s Royal Rumble match. Fans would argue a chamber match featuring women is overdue.
It will be interesting to see how WWE lays out the groundwork for this match. Similar to WWE’s Hell in a Cell, the Elimination Chamber is touted as this brutal structure that is unforgiving to wrestlers competing inside of it.
Chamber matches are not usually five-star classic wrestling matches, but adding women competitors could bring a new dynamic.
As for the competitors, a heel Bliss could use the chamber as a way to outmaneuver her opponents. She could also use the structure as a weapon. The same could be said for Sasha Banks if she is in the match.
Having an Elimination Chamber bout is another step for women in WWE and this match could be one of the bright stops on the road to Wrestlemania.
NXT’s Adam Cole Discusses Creative Freedom
NXT Champion Adam Cole is at the height of his success with the promotion, recently defeating Johnny Gargano in another instant classic to capture his first NXT Championship, and he is talking about how things go down in NXT.
Unlike much of the main roster, where promos are often scripted and comedy-acts are more common, Cole says that superstars in NXT get a bit more creative freedom, as he had with Gargano for their match.
“One of the coolest things about NXT is we have a ton of creative liberties to come up with the story and the vision we have for the match” Cole said, during an interview with TalkSport. “Of course, there’s input and advice given and there’s suggestions or, you know ‘we need something this way’ (but) we do have a lot of freedom, which is great.”
Cole added that he and Gargano came up with the format for their two out of three falls classic at NXT Takeover: New York.
Rey Mysterio Praises Andrade
WWE superstar Rey Mysterio believes that the company has a big star on their hands in Andrade .
“This kid is awesome” Mysterio said, during an appearance on the WINCLY podcast. “I mentioned it before, in previous interviews, but, every time I’m in the ring with him, there’s an affiliation to how I would move with Eddie [Guerrero],” Mysterio said.
“This is how good he is! He’s thinking a step ahead before you even move. He already knows the positioning, and knows exactly what to do and how to do it. My hat goes off to Andrade, as he’s definitely the future of WWE.”
Mysterio sees all the tools necessary to succeed in WWE.
“Just like anybody else, once you can dominate the mic skills and English, then he is bound to become a star,” Mysterio continued. “I’ve seen him work on his English, and it’s a slow process, but he’s moving forward. Once he dominates his English language, he’s on his way to stardom.”
Fandango, Apollo Crews, Killain Dain Make Returns to NXT
WWE is starting to allow superstars on their main rosters to transition back to NXT, much like they did with Tyler Breeze, who recently returned to NXT, where he had his most success, following around 2 years of meandering on the main roster following his callup.
Fandango, Apollo Crews, and Killian Dain made their returns to NXT tv at Winter Park, FL at Full Sail University for Thursday’s NXT TV tapings.
Fandango, also making his return from injury, made the save for his Breezango partner, Tyler Breeze, who was on the receiving end of an attack at the hands of the Forgotten Sons. Crews made his return to take on Kushida in singles competition, and Dain made a brutal attack on Matt Riddle following Riddle’s win over Arture Rass.
Fandango had been out of action after suffering a shoulder injury back in July 2018.
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