Last night’s WWE Elimination Chamber was a predictable, but fun show that saw Raw’s Wrestlemania plans taking shape. While the match outcomes and predictions have come true, that doesn’t mean the Raw side of Wrestlemania is any less exciting.
For starters, Roman Reigns won the men’s elimination chamber match to challenge Brock Lesnar for the WWE Universal Championship at Wrestlemania.
— WWE (@WWE) February 27, 2018
Fans have known the plan of Reigns-Lesnar II for quite some time. It wasn’t a surprise to see Reigns win, however after a dominant performance by Braun Strowman – where he eliminated all but Reigns – the Big Dawg’s victory was underwhelming to some fans.
However, their match at Wrestlemania 31 was brutal and physical – up until Seth Rollins cashed in his Money in the Bank briefcase – and this year’s Wrestlemania bout will be just as physical.
— WWE (@WWE) February 26, 2018
Alexa Bliss retained the Raw Women’s Championship to seemingly solidify her spot on the card. I write seemingly because it is unclear if 2018 Women’s Royal Rumble winner Asuka will challenge her at the Showcase of the Immortals.
If the Empress decides to challenge Charlotte Flair for the Smackdown Women’s title, it will have Bliss without a challenger for the event.
There is speculation that Bliss will face Nia Jax for the title while Asuka will face Charlotte. Had Jax defeated Asuka at Elimination Chamber, she would have earned a spot at Wrestlemania. There is still a chance Jax could win a match of some sort where the stipulation is a Raw Women’s title shot.
Then there’s the 900 pound gorilla that is Ronda Rousey’s Wrestlemania debut. The former UFC women’s bantamweight champion signed her WWE contract at Elimination Chamber. During the segment, she tossed Triple H through a table and was slapped by Stephanie McMahon. Prior to being Rousey’s throwing dummy, Triple H said Rousey would have a match at Wrestlemania, but it would not be for either the Raw or Smackdown women’s titles.
The segment set up what will probably be a mixed tag team match between Triple H and McMahon against Rousey and a partner of her choice. Potential partners for Rousey include Raw General Manager Kurt Angle, WWE Legend The Rock and former world champion Seth Rollins.
There are a few other Wrestlemania bouts in the works. Intercontinental Champion The Miz will potentially face Strowman. The seeds for the feud were planted when they teamed together for WWE’s TLC event. Things have escalated in the last couple of weeks after Strowman eliminated Miz in both the gauntlet match on the Feb. 19 episode of Raw and the Elimination Chamber.
John Cena doesn’t have his Wrestlemania match at the moment, but there’s a chance he could face The Undertaker or Finn Balor.
There is also the finals of the 205 Live WWE Cruiserweight championship tournament. While 205 Live is a seperate show, the cruiserweight division is exclusive to Raw.
Wrestlemania is a month away and Raw’s creative staff have more than enough time to give good build up to all of these matches.
As for Smackdown Live, only one match is confirmed so far – Shinsuke Nakamura challenging for the WWE title. Whether he faces current champion A.J. Styles or one of the other four men challenging the Phenomenal One at Fastlane – Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, Dolph Ziggler or Baron Corbin – remains to be seen.
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.
The Hart Foundation To Be Inducted in WWE Hall of Fame
The original group, and the ones being honored, includes WWE Hall of Famer Bret ‘The Hitman’ Hart, Jim ‘The Anvil’ Neidhart, and WWE Hall of Famer ‘The Mouth of the South’ Jimmy Hart.
Sadly, Neidhart will be inducted posthumously as he passed away in 2018 at the page of 63.
WWE Smackdown vs. Raw: Who won this week? January 28, 2019
For Raw, the ending segment between Seth Rollins and Brock Lesnar was an awesome way to close out the show and start the build for this match at Wrestlemania. After Rollins won the Royal Rumble on Sunday, he had to make a decision on which champion he would face. Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar told Rollins to choose Daniel Bryan over Lesnar because he didn’t want to fight with Lesnar, which led to Rollins responding by igniting a brawl. Overall, great way to help ramp up the intensity for what could be the main event of Wrestlemania.
For Smackdown, we have a new United States champion and this moment really came out of nowhere. R-Truth went one on one against Shinsuke Nakamura for the championship and he won via roll up. Soon after Truth won, Rusev then came out and challenged Truth to defend his newly won belt. Truth won again via roll up, which led to both Nakamura and Rusev attacking him after. Its a fresh start with the US championship and somebody with as much charisma as Truth is a good way to hit the reset button for this belt.
For Raw, who knows what they are trying to do with Kurt Angle. After losing to Baron Corbin in about five minutes, this leaves lots of questions on where Angle stands with WWE. Ever since he has came back to the ring, he has lost over and over again. This shouldn’t be happening with a hall of fame of his status. But, this could lead to an interesting story considering how good Angle is.
For Smackdown, while it was a feel good moment to see the Miz and Shane McMahon win the tag team championship, their celebration on the show this week wasn’t that compelling. At the PPV, when they won the match, they celebrated with the Miz’s father. Then, during this celebration, it was the same thing as the Miz’s dad came out and celebrated with them along with a video package being played. This could’ve been done better and differently considering we already saw this type of celebration during the PPV.
The Final Verdict
Overall, both shows were really good this week. Not only are they starting to layout some of the big matches for Wrestlemania, but they are also starting to implement matches for their upcoming PPV, Elimination Chamber. Smackdown felt a little crammed though as they were trying to fit in promos during superstars entrances and having promos during commercials. While Raw, on the other hand, was able to announce two huge matches for Wrestlemania as well as help build up some rivalries going into Elimination Chamber. Raw had the better show this week for a few reasons. A solid ending, a great beginning for the Ronda Rousey versus Becky Lynch match, and an entertaining segment with Elias help Raw deliver this week. In conclusion, 2019 continues to be good for WWE so hopefully they can continue this pace going into their next big PPV of the year.
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