Elimination Chamber 2023

|Date: February 18, 2023
|Venue: Bell Center |City: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
|Attendance: 17, 271

|tweet me: @BastionBlogger

A video package kicks us off, it’s vague but it covers most of the matches on tonight’s card. There’s a lot of focus on the two Elimination Chamber matches and the main event.

Michael Cole welcomes us to Montreal for the first major event held there since Survivor Series 1997. He’s joined by Corey Graves.

Asuka vs. Liv Morgan vs. Raquel Rodriguez vs. Carmella vs. Nikki Cross vs. Natalya – Elimination Chamber to determine challeger for Raw Women’s Championship at Wrestlemania

Background: On the January 30 episode of Raw, WWE official Adam Pearce announced that due to the women’s Royal Rumble match winner choosing to challenge for the SmackDown Women’s Championship at WrestleMania 39, Bianca Belair’s challenger for the Raw Women’s Championship at WrestleMania would be determined by an Elimination Chamber match, consisting of three wrestlers from both Raw and SmackDown each. The first qualifiers were confirmed as the four runner ups in the women’s Royal Rumble match: Asuka and Nikki Cross from Raw and Liv Morgan and Raquel Rodriguez from SmackDown. The fifth and sixth spots were decided in two fatal four-way matches. The first took place on the February 3 episode of SmackDown, where Natalya defeated Shayna Baszler, Shotzi, and Zelina Vega, while the second occurred on the February 6 episode of Raw, where the returning Carmella defeated Candice LeRae, “Michin” Mia Yim, and Piper Niven.

Previous PPV matches: This is a first time match between these six ladies.

Elimination Chamber PPV Record: Asuka is 1-1, Liv Morgan is 0-3, Carmella is 0-1, Nikki Cross is 0-1, Natalya has drawn one and lost on 1 and Raquel Rodriguez wrestles at this event for the first time tonight.

Match: It’s Liv Morgan and Natalya to kick off the match and there’s a nice back and forth between the two. It’s not long before Natalya is using the chamber itself, launching Liv into Nikki’s pod a few times. Natalya gets a good reaction as the hometown girl. Raquel Rodriguez is the third girl in the match. Raquel makes a big impact, tossing poth girls around the ring. A bit of double teaming from the blondes puts Rodriguez down. There’s a nice spot with the three girls hitting a neckbreaker and codebreaker. Nikki Cross is next to join the match. Nikki picks up the pace and throws everyone out of the ring. Nikki climbs on top of the Carmella’s pod and then hits a cross body on all three opponents! Carmella is the penultimate entrant and tries pinning everyone with no luck. Nikki goes after Carmella who hides in her pod. Raquel drives Nikki through Carmella’ pod causing Carmella to flee to another pod. Raquel rolls Nikki back into the ring and pins her to eliminate Cross from the match. Morgan climbs on top of Asuka’s pod as Raquel lays into Natalya. Liv then hits a big sunset flip on Rodriguez and Carmella pins Raquel for a near fall. Asuka enters the match and goes right for Carmella who got in her face earlier. Liv looks for oblivion on Natalya but Carmella kicks Morgan in the face. Natalya then applies a sharpshooter to Liv and Asuka helps Natalya, locking an armbar on Liv. Morgan passes out, she’s out!

Natalya and Asuka go it and Natalya applies a sharpshooter to Asuka but Carmella breaks it up with a superkick. Carmella then pins Natalya for the three! We’re down to Asuka, Carmella and Raquel Rodriguez. Asuka and Carmella kick Raquel down to the mat and both girls pin her for the three. The last two girls exchange pinfalls and Asuka applies the Asuka lock. Carmella submits, Asuka is going to Wrestlemania!

Result: Asuka makes Carmella submit to win the match.

Raquel Rodriguez eliminates Nikki Cross
Natalya & Asuka eliminate Liv Morgan
Carmella eliminates Natalya
Carmella & Asuka eliminate Raquel Rodriguez
Asuka eliminates Carmella

Review: This was a really fun match. All five girls got their spots in and the crowd was hot for it. You could argue the favourite won but I’m not against it at all. Asuka is a great opponent for Bianca and I love Asuka’s character change, it’s exactly what she needed. A good rub for Carmella here who made it to the end.

Rating: 7.5/10

There’s an ad break which includes ad’s for documentaries on A&E and a promo video for Ronda Rousey.

Video package next for Brock Lesnar and Bobby Lashley.

Brock Lesnar vs. Bobby Lashley

Background: At the 2022 Royal Rumble, Bobby Lashley defeated Brock Lesnar, thanks to outside interference. They had a rematch at Crown Jewel in November which Lesnar won, although Lashley dominated the match. At Raw is XXX on January 23, 2023, Lesnar returned from hiatus and cost Lashley his United States Championship match. The two then competed in the 2023 men’s Royal Rumble match where Lashley eliminated Lesnar. On the February 6 episode of Raw, Lesnar appeared with a contract to challenge Lashley to another match at Elimination Chamber. Lashley came out and stated that he would give Lesnar an answer later on after reviewing the contract. This prompted Lesnar to attack Lashley with two F-5s. A contract signing for the match occurred the following week, and after Lashley laid out Lesnar, he signed the contract to make the match official.

Previous PPV matches: This is the third PPV match between these two men, Bobby beat Brock at the Royal Rumble evnt last year and Brock got a win back at Crown Jewel.

Elimination Chamber PPV Record: Brock Lesnar is 1-0, Bobby Lashley is 0-3 at this event.

Match: Brock Lesnar takes control very early, forcing Bobby into the corner and hitting a belly to belly suplex. Lashley hits a spear out of nowhere for a two count and hits a second spear before looking for the hurt lock but Brock counters, hitting an F5 for a two count. Lesnar hits a second F5 for a near fall. Lashley counters a third F5 attempt and hits a spear to boo’s from the crowd. Bobby locks on the hurt lock but Brock breaks it up with a low blow! Right in front of the referee who immediatly calls for the bell!

Result: Bobby Lashley wins by disqualification.

Review: This match was a touch disappointing. It felt like it could have gone on a bt longer and the live crowd didn’t like it either. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t terrible, it was just a little short. These two have put on better matches in the past and given more time this could have been up with them.

Rating: 4.5/10

After the bell Brock hits the referee with an F5! He then takes Lashley out with an F5 before taking the fight to the outside and F5ing Bobby through the announce desk. Brock then hits the referee with another F5, this time outside the ring! Michael Cole says there isn’t a human being on the face of this earth as scary as Brock Lesnar. Are we going to see Bray Wyatt? Not tonight.

There’s a Wrestlemania Goes Hollywood ad with Seth Rollins as the Joker and Becky Lynch as Batman.

Edge & Beth Phoenix vs. Finn Balor & Rhea Ripley

Background: At Extreme Rules in October 2022, Judgment Day member Finn Bálor defeated Edge in an “I Quit” match after fellow Judgment Day member, Rhea Ripley, forced him to quit after threatening to attack Edge’s wife Beth Phoenix with a con-chair-to. Despite Edge giving up, Ripley still attacked Phoenix with the maneuver. At the Royal Rumble, Edge returned as an entrant in the men’s Royal Rumble match, where he faced off against Judgment Day members Bálor, Damian Priest, and Dominik Mysterio. After Edge eliminated Bálor and Priest, Edge tried to eliminate Mysterio, however, Bálor and Priest eliminated Edge. A brawl then ensued between Edge and Judgment Day on the entrance aisle. Ripley then joined only for Phoenix to make her return and perform a Spear on Ripley. On the February 6 episode of Raw, Edge and Phoenix challenged Bálor and Ripley to a mixed tag team match at Elimination Chamber, which Bálor accepted.

Previous PPV matches: This is a first time mixed tsag team match between these two teams.

Elimination Chamber PPV Record: Edge and Beth Phoeniex are both 1-0, Finn Balor is 1-1 and Rhea Ripley is 0-1.

Match: Finn and Rhea are accompanied to ringside by Dominik Mysterio. Edge gets a huge reaction in his home country. Edge and Finn Balor kick things off but it’s not long before Beth Phoenix and Rhea Ripley slug it out in a real power stuggle. Beth has facepaint remeniscent of Bull Nakano tonight. Ripley counters a glam slam attempt. Beth hasn’t lost a step. She throws Rhea into the ring steps but Dominik soon gets involved, essentially crotching Phoenix on the top rope. Edge then chases Dominik to the back. Ripley takes control and Dominik re-emerges from the back. Beth counters a rip-tide attempt as Finn Balor takes out Edge on the outside. We get a great angle of Beth hitting a superplex. Edge gets a hot tag and picks up the pace against Balor.

Edge applies an Edge-o-cator and Beth does the same to Rhea. Dominik throws some brass knuckles to Rhea who lays out Edge with them. Balor gets a near fall on Edge, no thanks to Beth Phoenix who was way off with her timing for the save. Finn heads to the top but Beth throws Dominik into the top rope to crotch him. Beth and Rhea powerbomb their male opponents before clotheslining each other down. Beth avoids a steel chair to the face on the outside before hitting Rhea with sa glam slam. Edge hits Balor with Edge-o-cution before diving out with a suicide dive to Dominik. Balor counters a spear attempt but Edge hits it the second time. Edge and Beth then hit shater machine on Balor before Edge hooks the leg for the win!

Result: Edge and Beth Phoenix win by pinfall.

Review: I really enjoyed this match. It had a good pace to it and in particular I really enjoyed Beth Phoenix and Rhea Ripley’s part. They stole the match really. This was a lot of fun and was everything it needed to be. Rhea has a big match at Wrestlemania so did she need the win tonight? Are we headed for Edge and Finn at Wrestlemania? It’ll be interesting to see where this all goes.

Rating: 7.5/10

There’s an ad break featuring WWE title belts and The Miz.

Paul Heyman and Roman Reigns are backstage with Heyman telling Roman that Montreal is his city.

Austin Theory (c) vs. Seth Rollins vs. Johnny Gargano vs. Bronson Reed vs. Montez Ford vs. Damien Priest – Elimination Chamber match for the United States Championship

Background: On January 30, it was announced that Austin Theory would defend the United States Championship in an Elimination Chamber match, marking the first time for the title to be contested in the structure. Qualifying matches began on that night’s episode of Raw, with Seth “Freakin” Rollins, Johnny Gargano, and Bronson Reed earning their spots in the match by defeating Chad Gable, Baron Corbin, and Dolph Ziggler, respectively. The last two qualifying matches took place on the following week’s episode, where Damian Priest and Montez Ford earned their spots by defeating Angelo Dawkins and Elias, respectively.

Previous PPV matches: This is a first time match between these six men.

Elimination Chamber PPV Record: Austin Theory is 0-1, Seth Rollins is 1-5, Montez Ford is 1-0, whilst Johnny Gargano, Damien Priest and Bronson Reed wrestle at this event for the first time tonight.

Match: Seth Rollins and Johnny Gargano kick off the match and there’s some lovely chain-wrestling between the two. Gargano counters an early pedigree attempt. Austin Theory is the next man to enter the match. Theory shows his aggressive side against both opponents until Rollins and Gargano take shots at the current United States Champion. Damien Priest is the next man to enter and has a good run until Seth hits him with a falcon arrow. No elimination as Bronson Reed enters the match. Reed is a big old unit and he goes right for Seth Rollins. Bronson hits a double Samoan drop on both Rollins and Gargano. This is a PPV debut for Reed who has similar facial expressions to Samoa Joe. Reed splashes Priest into the side of a pod. I’m not sure if they were supposed to go through the pod there.

Montez Ford enters the match. I look forward to his inevitable frog splash off the top of a pod. Ford lays into Reed and then Theory. Ford looks to hit a peoples elbow on Theory but Bronson Reed stops that from happening. Theory powers Reed up impressively. There’s a nice spot from Rollins and Gargano hitting a poison-rana on Bronson Reed. No eliminations yet. Six men who all came through NXT. Ford climbs up to the top of the chamber and then falls on all of his opponents below. Gargano, Rollins and Ford triple team Bronson Reed, resulting in a stomp from Rollins and a frog splash from Ford which is enough to pin Reed down for the three. Rollins and Gargano climb to the top of the same pod and have a rest before going at it. Gargano then hurricanrana’s Rollins off the pod and down to the rest of the field below. Gargano looked to get the worst of that.

Johnny Gargano fires up on everyone until Priest hits him with a razor’s edge for the three. Priest counters a pedigree from Seth and then battles Montez Ford on the top rope. Here we go. Rollins and Ford hit a double blockbuster on Priest which is enough to eliminate him from the match. Montez Ford picks up the pace against both opponents, diving out at them multiple times. He counters an a-town down attempt from Theory before heading to the top and looking for a frog splash but Theory gets his knees up. Rollins then hits a stomp on Ford and Theory pins him for the three. We’re down to Austin Theory and Seth Rollins. Referee’s and trainers come out to see to Montez Ford leaving the chamber door wide open. Seth hits a pedigree on Theory but out comes Logan Paul who hits a springboard clothesline on Rollins. Paul hits a stomp and Theory hits a-town down on Rollins to win the match.

Result: Austin Theory retains the United States Championship, last eliminating Seth Rollins.

Montez Ford eliminates Bronson Reed
Damien Priest eliminates Johnny Gargano
Montez Ford eliminates Damien Priest
Austin Theory eliminates Montez Ford
Austin Theory eliminates Seth Rollins

Review: This was a great match, I really enjoyed it. There were moments when you thought someone like Montez Ford or Johnny Gargano could win but in the end it was Austin Theory who won with help from Logan Paul. Seth Rollins and Logan Paul will go on to meet at Wrestlemania but who will step up as an opponent for Theory?

Rating: 8/10

There’s ads for a rivalries series, draft kings and a Bianca Belair promo video.

Video package next for the main event.

Roman Reigns (c) vs. Sami Zayn – Undisputed WWE Universal Championship match

Background: After Roman Reigns retained the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship at the Royal Rumble, The Usos (Jey Uso and Jimmy Uso) and Solo Sikoa attacked Reigns’ opponent, Kevin Owens, while honorary Bloodline member Sami Zayn watched on in uncertainty, as Owens was Zayn’s former best friend. As Reigns was about to attack a defenseless Owens with a steel chair, Zayn pleaded with Reigns to stop. Reigns then instructed Zayn to attack Owens with the chair to prove his loyalty to The Bloodline. After being berated by Reigns, Zayn turned on Reigns and attacked him with the chair instead. Zayn apologized to Jey for his actions only for Jimmy, Sikoa, and Reigns to attack Zayn. An emotionally distraught Jey, who initially took a liking to Zayn, watched on before leaving the ring as the rest of The Bloodline continued the assault on both Zayn and Owens. On the following episode of SmackDown, as Reigns tried to address the events at the Royal Rumble, Zayn attacked Reigns from behind and stated that he initially did not want anything from Reigns, but he now wanted the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship. Jey was absent that night, and Jimmy and Sikoa attacked Zayn, after which, Reigns accepted his challenge, stating that since Zayn hurt his family, he would hurt Zayn in front of his own family in Montreal.

Previous PPV matches: This is a first time PPV match between these two men.

Elimination Chamber PPV Record: Roman Reigns is 4-1, Sami Zayn is 1-1.

Match: Against tradition it is the champion Roman Reigns who enters first. The crowd go nuts for Sami Zayn. Lots of derogatory chants towards the champion. Roman dominates most of the opening moments of the match with Sami getting a couple of nice shots in. Reigns is slow and methodical in his domination and talks smack to Sami’s wife who is sat in the front row. Zayn starts a comeback, beating Reigns right in front of Sami’s family. Sami hits a sunset flip powerbomb for a near fall. Roman hits a big urunage for a near fall. Sami counters a spear and hits an exploder suplex into the corner before looking for a helluva kick but Roman counters with a superman punch for a near fall.

Sami once again counters a spear attempt and once again hits an exploder suplex. Zayn mocks Roman and hits a superman punch and a helluva kick for a near fall. Reigns rolls out of the ring to avoids a helluva kick and instead Zayn looks for a tornado DDT but gets caught with a right hand. Reigns then looks for a spear through a barricade but Zayn sidesteps and Roman goes through the barricade himself. Back in the ring and Sami hits a blue thunder bomb for a near fall. Reigns backs Sami into the corner, squashing the referee in the process. Sami then hits a helluva kick and hooks the leg of the champion but the referee is out. Jimmy Uso emerges from the back and superkicks Sami three times before hitting a big splash. Another referee comes out and counts a near fall for Roman.

The two men slug it out, Sami avoids a superman punch, throws Reigns out of the ring and then hits a helluva kick on Jimmy Uso who is back up on the apron. The distraction is long enough for Reigns to get back into the ring and hit a spear for a near fall. Sami avoids a superman punch and Reigns clocks the referee. Reigns asks Heyman for a chair and the wise man obliges. Jey Uso then appears in the ring and Reigns hands him the chair, telling his cousin to pick a side. Jey hesitates and Roman grabs the chair out of his hands. Roman then shoves Jey. Sami looks to spear Reigns who moves and Sami takes out Jey Uso! Roman then lays into Zayn with the chair before hitting a spear for the victory.

Result: Roman Reigns retains the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship by pinfall.

Review: This was a good match that got better as it went on. I love all the chaos, give me referee bumps in every main event. Roman was the predictable winner, he was the right winner and we got the story we expected and wanted. I fully expect The Usos to defend the tag team championships against Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens at Wrestlemania.

Rating: 8/10

After the match Jimmy Uso continues to lay into Sami Zayn until Kevin Owens music hits and out walks KO. Owens takes out Jimmy on the outside and then hits both Roman Reigns and Jimmy Uso with stunners. KO powerbombs Jimmy Uso through the announce desk. Owens grabs a chair and Paul Heyman attacks Owens from behind so Owens stunners him too. Sami hits Roman with one more helluva kick. Owens leaves and Sami stands tall in the ring to end the show.

And that was Elimination Chamber 2023. Only five matches tonight but for the most part it delivered. The women’s Elimination Chamber was good, I enjoyed it, I thought it was well planned out and had a good pace to it. It wasn’t the greatest EC match we’ve ever seen but it was an entertaining watch and that is what matters. Asuka won which was predictable but I look forward to Bianca and Asuka at Wrestlemania. Brock Lesnar and Bobby Lashley had the most disappointing match of the night, it wasn’t terrble but it didn’t live up to the high expectations I had. The match resulted in a DQ win for Bobby Lashley and presumably one of them will go on to meet Bray Wyatt at Wrestlemania. Unless we get a rematch between these two or a triple threat with Wyatt. Edge and Beth Phoenix beat Finn Balor and Rhea Ripley in a really enjoyable match. I wasn’t sure if Rhea would have been the better winner here, contining her momentum into Wrestlemania. But if this is the end of this feud then it was the right way to finish it.

The men’s Elimination Chamber match was next and was won by Austin Theory. Another fairly predictable winner but it served the prupose of building up the rivalry between Seth Rollins and Logan Paul. This match gave a spotlight to the likes of Johnny Gargano and Montez Ford who stole the show in this one. Austin Theory and Seth Rollins look set for big matches at Wrestlemania but maybe this match will help the likes of Gargano get on the card too. This was a good match. The main event was also a classic with Roman Reigns defeating the hometown hero Sami Zayn to retain the big one. The psychology in this match was incredible and everything up to the closing moment was perfect. You wonder why Kevin Owens didn’t come out to help Sami earlier. And what will be of Jey Uso? Was that the right time to tease Roman and Jey? What we do know is that Roman Reigns will go on to defend his title against Cody Rhodes at Wrestlemania.

Overall Rating: 71/100 (ranked joint 9th out of 421 PPVs & #1 for Elimination Chamber events)

Match Of The Night: The men’s Elimination Chamber match and Roman Reigns vs. Sami Zayn
Worst Match Of The Night: Brock Lesnar vs. Bobby Lashley
Surprise Of The Night: Bobby Lashley wins by disqualification
Worst Booking Of The Night: N/A
Superstar Of The Night: Sami Zayn
Elimination Chamber 2023 Will Be Remembered For: Roman Reigns vs. Sami Zayn

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