Raw Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss now knows the five opponents she will be facing at Elimination Chamber on Feb. 25.
Raw General Manager Kurt Angle ran down Bliss’ five adversaries: Bayley, Mandy Rose, Mickie James, Sonya Deville and Sasha Banks.
Last week, Raw Commissioner Stephanie McMahon announced the first Women’s Elimination Chamber bout with Bliss defending the Raw Women’s title. If Bliss wins the match, she will go on to defend the Raw Women’s title at Wrestlemania – making it the second consecutive year she has defended a championship at the Showcase of the Immortals. Last year Bliss defended the Smackdown Women’s Championship in a six-pack challenge, which was won by Naomi.
It’s not a surprise to the particular five aforementioned wrestlers added to the Elimination Chamber match. Bliss has been in notable programs – good or bad depending how a fan looks at it – with Bayley, James and Banks. All three wrestlers are capable of putting on a good match with Bliss, as well as each other, and this match could be a good stop on the road to Wrestlemania.
It makes sense to add Deville and Rose to boost up Absolution’s profile before Wrestlemania. This will be the second big match for Deville and Rose on the main roster, the first being the Royal Rumble.
However, unlike the Royal Rumble both Deville and Rose will have more time in the ring with their opponents. This gives them the opportunity to showcase how they have progressed since being called up from NXT.
There are different stories to be told in this match. Everyone will be gunning for Bliss, but fans could see Deville and Rose working together – or turn on each other during the match.
There’s also a chance Banks could come full circle with her heel turn and cost Bayley the match, or blame her if she loses, setting up their feud for Wrestlemania.
As for the Chamber itself, fans shouldn’t expect the women’s match to be as brutal as the men’s. It’s unlikely any of the pods will break like previous Elimination Chamber matches.
That said, the wrestlers could use the structure to pull off some impressive moves. Bliss could land a Twisted Bliss from the top of one of the pods.
The Raw Women’s title match isn’t the only bout for the women’s division scheduled at the event.
On Raw, Angle added another match to Elimination Chamber. Nia Jax will face 2018 Women’s Royal Rumble winner Asuka. If Jax wins the match, she will be added to the Raw Women’s title bout at Wrestlemania 34 – making it a triple threat match.
Speaking of Elimination Chamber, Roman Reigns qualified for the Elimination Chamber after he defeated Bray Wyatt on Raw. Reigns now joins John Cena, Elias and Braun Strowman. Cena, Elias and Strowman earned the opportunity to enter the match after winning their respective qualifying matches. There are still two open spots left in the men’s Elimination Chamber bout.
The winner of the men’s Elimination Chamber match will challenge WWE Universal Champion Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania 34.
Lio Rush Backstage Reputation
WWE superstar Lio Rush has been in the middle of a confusing wrinkle in his association with Bobby Lashley, who seems to be done with Rush, but still teaming with him.
Lashley attacked Rush following Fin Balor pinning Rush in their handicapped match at Elimination Chamber, which cost Lashley his Intercontinental Championship despite not being pinned.
It’s been an interesting direction for Rush’s character, and according to PWInsider’s Mike Johnson (h/t WrestlingNews.co) Rush may have a reputation backstage.
“It appears Lio Rush is done with Bobby Lashley. I can tell you behind the scenes there were not a lot of people surprised at that and not a lot of people surprised that Lio took the pin. There are times Lio has a reputation for rubbing people, including other workers, the wrong way. Whether that was being held against him and that was part of the reasoning for him losing or whether it was just a decision to protect Lashley and shift the belt to Finn Balor, I guess we’ll have to see based on how Lio is presented in the weeks and months to come.”
WWE Smackdown vs. Raw: Who won this week? February 11, 2019
For Raw, The Revival finally were able to become tag team champions. After months and months of seeing them go up against Bobby Roode and Chad Gable, it was about time WWE finally decided to shake things up in this rivalry. The tag team division got the attention it deserved this week and all of these guys were able to put on a great match. Hopefully, things start to go into a more intriguing direction now that the Revival are the champions.
For Smackdown, the gauntlet match they had between all of the competitors in the men’s elimination chamber was a great way to close out their show. Kofi Kingston ended up replacing Mustafa Ali after Ali announced he was injured and would not be able to compete in the match. Kingston put on a show as he defeated Daniel Bryan, Jeff Hardy, and Samoa Joe before losing to AJ Styles. Randy Orton ended up winning the gauntlet by hitting an RKO out of nowhere on AJ Styles to end the show. This match has really good build up going into the PPV and now after Kofi Kingston’s last minute placement in this match, it really does leave it up in the air who could win at the PPV.
For Raw, Ruby Riott beat Nikki Cross and it was a quick match, which was won by Ruby Riott. Riott has a match on the PPV against Ronda Rousey and there has been minimal effort to build up this match. Rousey is more focused on her Wrestlemania match than this one and it is clear by the WWE is looking at it.
For Smackdown, they had a promo with the women’s tag teams from Raw building up their elimination chamber matches, and one of them was so bad that it has to be mentioned. When it was Nia Jax and Tamina’s time, Nia Jax kept cutting off what Tamina was saying by talking over her. This happened a few times and who knows if WWE meant to do this or not, but either way, it was painful to see.
The Final Verdict
With these being the go home shows before Elimination Chamber, WWE seemed only to really focus on two matches for the whole PPV. Those matches were both the Elimination Chamber matches, which do have big implications. But, WWE still should at least put effort into building up the other matches. Some of these were announced the day of this week’s show. Smackdown had the better show this week as a whole. A great gauntlet match and proper time put into all of their brand’s matches is the main reason why. In conclusion, WWE is more focused towards Wrestlemania so expect any of these PPV’s in between to shake things up going towards the biggest show of the year.
WWE Smackdown vs. Raw: Who won this week? February 4, 2019
For Raw, the whole back and forth rivalry between Jeff Jarrett and Elias was entertaining. What started at the Royal Rumble and has carried over for the past few weeks, seeing Elias and Jarrett exchange guitar shots had a throwback feel to it. Along with that, Road Dogg being in the corner of Jarrett really brought times back. Lastly, Elias ended up winning the match, which helps give him momentum going into whoever his next rival will be.
For Smackdown, Mustafa Ali and Randy Orton put on the best match during their show this week. Ali’s high flying against Randy Orton’s slow attacking pace was a great matchup of styles and it showed. Orton ended up winning after hitting an RKO from the top rope and gives him the upper hand towards the Elimination Chamber match.
For Raw, the lack of featuring the tag team champions on their show this week was evident. While they did have a number one contenders match featured this week, the winners ended up being the Revival. This is a match that we have already seen one too many times and if there isn’t a different result this time around, then what is the point of the Revival facing off against the tag team champions.
For Smackdown, after R-Truth shocked the world last week by defeating Shinsuke Nakamura to win the United States championship, you would think that we would get a segment of him celebrating this victory the next week. Instead, he wasn’t even really on the show this week. As good as R-Truth is, at least a 30 second segment would’ve been better than nothing from him.
The Final Verdict
Both shows were average this week. They did help build the Elimination Chamber as well as still pushing Ronda Rousey versus Becky Lynch as the main event of Wrestlemania. But, there was lots missing from both brands this week. Both shows were missing champions this week and didn’t even bother mentioning them. As talented as the champions currently are, each one should get respective time. With that said though, I will have to say that Raw had the better show this week. A debuting EC3, a solid double match with Ronda Rousey, and a decent main event gave Raw a better show this time around. In conclusion, WWE still has some work to do when building up these next two PPV’s, hopefully, they can put on better efforts that they did this week.
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