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.
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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