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.
WWE Smackdown vs. Raw: Who won this week? January 7, 2019
For Raw, the main event between Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose for the Intercontinental championship was a great match and a good way to end this rivalry and move forward with both competitors. Ambrose ended up winning after Bobby Lashley interfered and attacked Rollins. This made sense as the show opened with Rollins and Lashley brawling and these two have been at each other for the past few weeks. What’s really good to take out of this is now Rollins can focus on the Royal Rumble and Ambrose can focus on who is next contender is for his championship.
For Smackdown, the push for Shane McMahon and The Miz to go for the tag team championship was an entertaining way to help build this match up at the Royal Rumble. After Shane expressed aggressiveness and prove worthiness to earn a championship match, the Miz tried to impress him by going out there and challenging the Bar to that match by himself. The challenge was accepted and even though that isn’t what Shane meant, they are getting the match that wanted when they first formed.
For Raw, the Braun Strowman and Brock Lesnar “face to face” segment fell flat. Strowman struggled on his delivery of insults to Lesnar, and the “face to face” was more of just Lesnar walking around the ring over and over again without getting in Strowman’s face. At this point, anybody but Brock Lesnar needs to hold the Universal championship in order to give it a more important feel.
For Smackdown, there was nothing they had that was really too bad. Smackdown was able to give proper time for all the rivalries they are building up.
The Final Verdict
Smackdown has been hitting on all the right cylinders with their shows for a while now. Once they establish a championship match for the PPV, they give proper buildup and interesting scenarios for each one. Along with that, when Smackdown wants to build up a rivalry just for their show, they are able to do that effectively as well. While Raw does try to do the same, there segments and matches just don’t have the spark that Smackdown is able to deliver. So, with that said, Smackdown had the better show this week. In conclusion, the Royal Rumble is one of the big 4 PPV’s for the year of 2019 for WWE, and so far it looks like everything is going right for Smackdown while Raw is still trying to find their footing.
Nikki Cross Posts Farewell to NXT
WWE superstar Nikki Cross is on her way to the main roster, looking likely to land on the SmackDown roster.
Cross posted the following farewell to NXT, where he has spent the past few years, on her social media page:
See you down the road @WWENXT
This isn’t goodbye…we caused far too much mischief and had too much fun doing it for this to be it… pic.twitter.com/0Fk8wEEUzX— Nikki Cross (@NikkiCrossWWE) January 10, 2019
Matt Hardy Hinting at In-Ring Return
Matt Hardy may not be done wrestling after all.
The WWE superstar, and future WWE Hall of Famer, had been rumored to been winding down his career and transitioning to a backstage role in 2018 as he was dealing with a number of nagging injuries.
Hardy also posted a couple of videos, and posts on social media, that echoed those intentions, at least they appeared to.
Now, Hardy seems to be hinting at an in-ring return in WWE.
Excited to check out the 1st #RAW of 2019 tonight, especially with all the interesting things that are advertised. Most importantly, I need to see where all the pieces are positioned & moving to on the @WWE chess board.
ALMOST TIME TO GET BACK INTO THE GREAT GAME…. AGEEN! pic.twitter.com/WFXeCiHb1h— #WOKEN, yet #BROKEN, Matt Hardy (@MATTHARDYBRAND) January 8, 2019
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