It’s time for the final Raw split-brand pay-per-view before everything gets put back together after WrestleMania. They will still be separate brands (for now) but the WWE Universe will all share the same big events.
Paige showed up on the kickoff show and kept her hands under the table the whole time as she put over her Absolution sisters. The reason she kept her hands hidden probably had a lot to do with the new “talk sh-t, get bit” tattoos she got on her hands. Seriously.
Matt Hardy popped up and cut a promo during the kickoff show which was just Wonderful. But at this point I’m afraid now that the WWE Universe finally has Woken Matt Hardy they realize what they’re getting and people are already starting to sour. But he’ll have a chance to do his thing against Bray Wyatt in Las Vegas.
Seth Rollins cut a promo backstage where he said his amazing performance in the gauntlet match on Raw didn’t matter. All that matters to him is facing Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania. Paul Rosenberg and Renee Young all put him over on the kickoff show panel. David Otunga just restated what Rollins said and Booker T said he was on the right track.
The Raw Women’s Title was at state in an Elimination Chamber match and the #1 contendership for the Universal Title was at stake in the other 7-man contest in the unforgiving structure. There were a couple other matches including a Raw Tag Team Title match where Titus Worldwide try to ignore hints of a split and face The Bar. Nia Jax and Asuka is also happening again and it could result in some WrestleMania changes.
Oh yeah, Ronda Rousey was in the house and who knows what can happen in a contract signing? Historically those things can escalate quickly.
So let’s get into it as the Raw brand does their thing in Las Vegas.
Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson vs The Miztourage
This was a typical kickoff show tag team match. Gallows got a huge “nerd” chant going at Axel which was very nice. Let’s hope that keeps growing because a candy sponsorship could be around the corner for The Balor Club if it keeps up.
Then Axel got the tag and started taking it to Anderson. But Anderson returned fire as Dallas made a blind tag and dumped Anderson off the top rope to the floor. The Miztourage kept on top of Karl Anderson after that point and Axel kept him grounded with a submission hold for a bit. He took a nice dropkick from Curtis and sold for a bit more until he hit a suplex on Dallas and after hitting a running kick on Axel, he tagged in Gallows to make everyone pay for coming to work that day.
Axel broke up the Boot Of Doom and after a double team from Miztourgae, Anderson kicked out of a two count. But The Club soon took control and hit a Magic Killer on Curtis Axel for the win.
Winners: The Club via pinfall
Alexa Bliss vs Sasha Banks vs Bayley vs Mickie James vs Sonya Deville vs Mandy Rose (Elimination Chamber match for Raw Women’s Title)
Absolution had one impressive entrance as they both wore white and taunted everyone in their pods. Sonya Deville and Bayley started off this match and it was sort of slow to begin until Sonya took Bayley down with some wrestling skills and tried to wrap The Hugger up but the former NXT Women’s Champion was able to get away.
Bayley tried to fight back but Deville knocked her down and dragged her outside. She launched Bayley into the chain-link chamber but The Hugger held on like Spiderman. I’ll bet she wanted to do that bit especially. But Devilled peeled her off and gave her a good beating.
Bayley flipped it around and brutalized Deville for a two count. “Let’s go Bayley” chants started when she took a little aggressive touch as she hit a suplex for another two count. Sonya crawled outside as Bayley was about to jump on her from the top so Bayley hit a top rope elbow drop on her to the side of the chamber which would have hurt a lot more back when it was a steel grating but now it’s a padded surface.
Then Mandy Rose joined the match 5 minutes and 7 seconds after the match started and Bayley was in trouble. They ganged up on her, but she fought both members of Absolution off as the “Bayley” chants rose up in Las Vegas. But Mandy would soon land a punch to Bayley on the outside and as soon as she turned around, Sonya was there to spear her down on the outside of the chamber.
They beat Bayley against the side of the chamber three times and taunted the crowd but Bayley kept kicking out. Mandy and Sonya kept working on Bayley in the ring as they stalked her but The Hugger never let the referee count to three.
As they hung Bayley up in the chamber, Sasha Banks entered the match around 4 minutes 16 seconds after Mandy’s entrance. Banks started running around and taking some pent-up aggression out on Sonya and Mandy and there were knees all around.
Bayley got to take a little break while Banks ran roughshod over Aboslotuion which was very nice of The Boss to let Bayley do that. Then Bayley and Sasha ganged up on Deville and sent her into the chamber several times. But Rose jumped both babyfaces and started taking some punishment to Banks.
But Banks soon locked on the Bank Statement and Mandy Rose tapped out making her the first woman eliminated from the first-ever women’s Royal Rumble and Elimination Chamber.
5 minutes and 17 seconds after the last entry, Mickie James joined the match and lit everyone up for a bit.
For some reason, Mickie started climbing and after fighting off Banks, Bayley joined her as they both climbed up. James knocked Bayley down and then got on top of a pod. James hit a dive on Sonya and pinned her. It wasn’t pretty, but it was fun.
Suddenly Banks hit a backstabber on James and Bayley hit the Bayley To Belly to eliminate her. Now it was just Bayley and Banks waiting for Bliss’s pod to open. Mickie James didn’t seem like she wanted to leave either as she stuck around for a bit and both babyfaces sold. Then they just stood there and waited for Bliss.
4 minutes and 56 seconds after the last bod opened, Bliss’ pod opened and she immediately closed it.
Alexa tried to get away by climbing up the chamber but both Banks and Bayley followed her. It was a game of cat and mouse for a moment until Banks laid Bliss out on the top of a chamber. Then Bliss kicked Bayley in the face and she fell off the chamber as she climbed up to join them.
Bayley jumped Sasha and sent her into the ring post as Bliss took advantage of Bayley’s distraction and took her mean streak to The Hugger for a two count.
Bayley and Sasha fought a little bit until Banks ended up in a tree of woe. Bliss superplexed Bayley while Banks hung there and then Sasha got on the top rope and hit a big frog splash on Bayley for a two count.
Sasha sent Bayley into the turnbuckle but The Hugger eventually hit Sasha with a Bayley To Belly off the middle rope but Alexa jumped in and rolled Bayley up for a surprise pin and got a three count.
Alexa then covered Banks for a two count. Bliss would soon try for a Sparkle Splash on Banks but Sasha got her knees up to block it. They ended up on the outside of the ring and fought on the padded area of the chamber.
Banks got her foot caught in the chamber after Bliss ducked a kick and Alexa hit a backbreaker while her leg was hung up. Then Alexa Bliss went climbing up the cage and perched on the top of a pod.
Bliss hit a Twisted Bliss on Banks off the pod but it was on the outside so there couldn’t be a pinfall but Banks turned it right into a Bank Statement. They rolled inside and Banks kept the move on however Bliss never tapped and soon got out of the hold.
Then Banks started to climb up the turnbuckle but Bliss shoved Banks’ head against the pod and an elevated DDT for the win.
It looks like Alexa Bliss is going to be the Raw Women’s Champion at WrestleMania.
Winner: Alexa Bliss
After the match was over, Renee Young got in the Elimination Chamber and interviewed Bliss as she cried and received a ton of “you deserve it” chants. She said this victory was for any little girl who ever dreamed big as she sobbed in the ring. “So dare to dream and dream big,” she said.
It certainly looked like this was a babyface turn for Bliss until she said: “and I look out at the crowd and I see that none of you will ever accomplish any of your dreams.” Then she cut a heel promo about how she won against all odds. This was a very cool promo after the match which ended in her saying there will only be one true goddess in WWE.
The Bar vs Titus Worldwide
Sheamus took Apollo down on the outside and The Bar took control from there for a bit. Cesaro kept Apollo down with a headlock as Titus tried to get people to cheer for them but it didn’t really work. The Bar kept things in a slow and methodical pace for a minute and that’s just what works for them.
They kept Apollo away from Titus for a while but once O’Neil got the tag he took it to Cesaro in a big way. Titus hit everyone with a big boot and caught Cesaro out of the air but The Swiss Cyborg got down, Sheamus got a blind tag but he was caught and O’Neil hit the Clash Of The Titus for a two count.
Apollo hit a moonshot over the top rope to the floor on The Bar as Jonathan Coachman asked if that was necessary. Once they got in, Apollo went for a standing moonsault but Sheamus got his knees up to block it. Cesaro got the tag and chopblocked Apollo.
Then they hit a double team move and retained the titles.
Winners and STILL Raw Tag Team Champions: The Bar via pinfall
Nia Jax vs Asuka
Asuka tried her best but it seemed that Jax had an answer for everything she did which included tossing The Empress Of Tomorrow around like a ragdoll.
Asuka tried to lock on a submission hold, but Jax picked her up and launched her against the turnbuckle. Jax got Asuka up in a torture rack but she fought out of it but soon took a suplex from Nia.
Jax hit a Samoan Drop but missed a legdrop so Asuka jumped on top of her for a moment for a two count. But Asuka soon started laying in some kicks which sat Nia Jax down.
They fought on the top rope for a moment and Asuka fought out of a top rope Samoan Drop but Asuka was soon in position for a Bonzai Splash but Asuka moved out of the way sending Nia to the met on her own.
Asuka locked in the armbar but Nia picked her up and drove Asuka into the turnbuckle forcing the break.
“I’m going to WrestleMania!” Nia Jax shouted as she picked Asuka up but The Empress Of Tomorrow rolled her up for a pinfall.
Winner: Asuka via pinfall
After the match was over, Nia Jax jumped Asuka and tossed her to the outside. She followed her and no sold some punches from Asuka before driving her into the ring post and tackling Asuka through the barricade.
They showed Alexa Bliss backstage with her title and she looked very happy about how that last part went down. Bliss said she knows Nia is disappointed but Bliss isn’t disappointed with what happened after the match was over. Then she said, “nobody is ready for Alexa.”
Matt Hardy vs Bray Wyatt
Bray showed up in the ring once Matt came out but when the lights came back on, Hardy was gone. Then Matt came on the sounds system and he started singing the “Obsolete” song as Wyatt searched for him.
Suddenly, Matt showed up again and hit him with a dive and then the match was finally started. Hardy took some offense to Wyatt and the “delete” chants were pretty thick. But you could tell that people might not have been into this one too much.
There was some good comedy like when Matt Hardy applauded Bray’s strange upside down in the corner thing he does. Then he got everyone going with another “delete” chant.
Bray Wyatt took control and kept it with a stiff headbutt to the chest followed by a clubbing blow on the outside which sent Matt into the apron.
But Matt Hardy would soon come out as the winner of this one.
Winner: Matt Hardy via pinfall
Ronda Rousey’s signing
Things kicked off as this segment began as Triple H and Stephanie McMahon came out.
Triple and Steph really put Ronda over and Trips gave her a great into. It looks like they’re gonna keep paying Joan Jett for her song from now on too. Rousey was all smiles on her way to the ring and shook both Triple H and Stephanie’s hands.
It was quite a warm reception. Then Ronda took the microphone and stammered around saying she was speechless while the crowd started to eat her alive. It was pretty much a train wreck but people were still chanting “Ronda Rousey.” It looked like Ronda was getting teared up and emotional while she held her chest and said she wouldn’t be there without Rowdy Roddy Piper and how he was her inspiration.
Rousey said she just wanted to live up to Piper’s legacy and Triple H said to get down to business. He said she didn’t want anything special, no perks, no special travel, nothing that would see her treated differently.
Triple H said when Rousey signed the contract she would get a match at Mania. Rousey said she wanted to earn her title match at Mania. As Rowdy started to sign she asked Kurt if he wanted to say anything and Angle said he was just in awe of Steph and Hunter.
Then Angle said they wanted to manipulate Ronda for what she did at WrestleMania 31, he asked Triple H to repeat what he said before, “three years in the making and now we own the bi–” Hunter cut him off and said Angle had the flu and he just relapsed.
Then Steph admitted that Rowdy did embarrass them at Mania 31 but more than that she impressed them. Then she provoked Rousey to sign the contract again, Angle spoke up as he left and asked Steph is she said Ronda was a has-been and that she could take her.
Then Ronda started backing Stephanie into the ropes but Triple H pulled her off. This was very stiffly acted and didn’t seem organic at all. But what do you expect? Rosey shook Triple H off and stared a hole through him so McMahon left. Then Rousey put through Triple H through the table which should have been expected.
Stephanie slapped Rousey and that just pissed her off. “Who do you think you are Ronda, who do you think you are?” Steph yelled as the crowd chanted, “you f-cked up!”
Then McMahon slid out of the ring as Ronda Rousey picked up her contract and signed it anyway.
Roman Reigns vs Seth Rollins vs The Miz vs Finn Balor vs Elias vs John Cena vs Braun Strowman (Elimination Chamber Match)
It all started out with Elias already in the ring and his guitar playing gimmick is very over at this point as he played a little song in the chamber to get the crowd going. Everyone wanted to Walk With Elias.
“I feel alive,” Elias said as he said he was going to watch while everyone tore each other apart since he’s the last to enter the Elimination Chamber, after all, he won that luxury a couple weeks ago on Raw. Then he sang a song dedicated to himself that he said he wouldn’t wait to hear.
His song was epic and he teased stopping but said he just hit the right pitch so he’ll keep going. It was pretty great until Braun Strowman came out to put a stop to it so Elias just got in his pod.
Finn, Seth, and The Miz started this one out. The Miz tried to too sweet Balor but he didn’t buy it. Instead, they sent Miz out of the ring so they could fight by themselves.
Miz got back up but Seth knocked him back down. Then Balor hit Miz with a basement dropkick after a sunset flip for a two count.
Miz missed a clothesline in the corner as Seth and Finn ignored him and fought on. There was a spot where everyone rolled each other up for near falls before Seth was lifted to the outside and came back with a springboard clothesline on The Miz. Seth hit the suplex into falcon arrow for a two count as they fought on.
Rollins hit a double blockbuster on both Finn and The Miz as John Cena entered the match 5 minutes and 45 seconds after the match started.
Cena stood toe-to-toe with Rollins and they had some smack talking and Cena shook off a slap then he hit a couple shoulder tackles and avoided a Revolution Knee from Rollins to hit a suplex and then he laid out The Miz to hit a double 5 Knuckle Shuffle. But Balor turned it around into a stomp to Cena’s midsection.
Balor hit a sling blade on The Miz but Seth rocked him with a kick to the head. Cena stopped Rollins in his tracked and got both Finn and Rollins up in a fireman’s carry but he couldn’t land a double AA like it looked like he was going for before The Miz attacked him.
Cena sent Finn out of the ring and followed him while Miz and Rollins fought on the other side of the ring. Finn climbed up the side of the chamber to land a big stomp to Cena’s chest but John Cena soon had Finn up for a superplex as Seth got The Miz in the same situation on the other side. They hit double superplexes as the clock started to count down from 10 for the next pod to open.
Roman Reigns entered the match 5 minutes and 17 seconds after the last pod opened and The Big Dog was fresh.
Everyone sat on their knees while The Miz kicked them all until Reigns fought back with a series of no selling and clotheslines. He took the pain to Balor next but couldn’t pin Finn.
Cena took a Samoan Drop from Reigns but he kicked out at two. Roman hit a sit-down powerbomb on The Miz but he kicked out at two as well.
The crowd started to chant “get these hands” as Braun Strowman prepared to enter the match. Braun entered the match at 4 minutes and 50 seconds after the previous pod opening and immediately took the pain to Seth and Roman. Then he laid out Finn and Cena. He backed Miz out of the ring and then knocked Cena down again. Everyone was getting those hands until Cena held him while Rollins punched Braun. Then Seth and John tried to double suplex Braun but he reversed it with one of his own sending the two flying.
Braun caught Finn and launched him into Roman Reigns as The Miz started to climb to the top but Braun climbed up too. Strowman grabbed The Miz and sent him face-first against the chamber before launching him onto everyone else in the match.
Strowman stood tall on the pod and raised his hands while yelling before climbing down.
Braun hammered The Miz down and did the same to Roman. Strowman was destroying a lot of people but not making any pinfalls.
Seth tried to jump Braun but he got those hands too and was tossed from the ring against the chain link fence. Then Braun hit a powerslam on The Miz for a three count.
Elias’ pod opened 4 minutes and 59 seconds after Strowman’s but he didn’t get out. Everyone hammered at Braun and then sent him down.
Then Balor, Cena, Rollins, and Reigns all picked up Strowman and hit a massive Shield-like bomb but he kicked out. Strowman kicked out of an AA and then he kicked out of a Spear from Reigns. Rollins hit a Blackout on Strowman and he rolled out of the ring where Balor hit a Coup De Gras.
Cena hit Roman with an AA and everyone laid out after a moment in a flurry of finishing moves. Meanwhile, Elias who still hadn’t left this pod yet ran in and covered everyone one-by-one but there were kick outs every time.
Then Elias climbed on top and landed an elbow on Rollins for a two count. Elias hit a sitdown powerbomb on Roman but he kicked out of a pin. Strowman was sent into the ring post and Elias tried to get Braun up but he took a powerslam too and was eliminated. That was a decent run in this match for Elias.
There were 5 people left in the match and it was 11:05 PM but they were in Las Vegas so theoretically they could run as late as they wanted.
Braun got Roman up for a powerslam but Seth came off the top rope for a knee to Roman’s face. Then Cena jumped off the top and Braun caught him for a running powerslam. 1-2-3 and there is still no clear path to WrestleMania for John Cena and at this point, Cena is just putting everyone over leading me to wonder what kind of Road To WrestleMania does John deserve at this point?
Roman laid out Roman and Seth and then he called Finn a “little man” but Balor fought back with some mule kicks in the corner and then he climbed up top but was caught but avoided a powerslam. He hit the shotgun dropkick to the corner and landed a Coup De Gras to the back of the head for a two count.
Seth and Finn traded shots and Balor hit a 1916 on Seth for a two count. Roman caught a sling blade from Balor and then Finn sent Reigns into the turnbuckle. Finn hit a Coup De Gras on Reigns but he couldn’t pin him before Braun picked him up and landed the powerslam for a pinfall.
Seth tried to get Roman to stand up as they bump fists and surrounded Braun. They both hammered away at Strowman as Seth lowered the top rope and sent Strowman to the outside. Seth stomped away at Braun as Roman did the same. They bounced Braun’s massive body off the side of the chamber twice but he didn’t look too phased. Suddenly, Seth did the same to Reigns and tossed him inside to hit a springboard clothesline.
Rollins blocked a Superman Punch and hit a bucklebomb but Reigns returned fire and landed a Superman Punch with his momentum. Braun got to his feet and grabbed Seth. He picked Rollins up but Seth grabbed the side of the Chamber and climbed up as Braun followed him up.
Roman came up under Braun and lifted Strowman up for a Samoan Drop. Braun rolled inside as Seth perched himself on a pod. Rollins looked at the WrestleMania logo hanging from the ceiling before hitting a super frog splash on Braun. 1-2- kick out!
Rollins and Reigns tried to hit a double Shield powerbomb, but Braun kicked Roman out of the ring. Seth rocked Braun with two superkicks but Braun picked up Seth and hit another powerslam. 1-2-3 and Seth Rollins was eliminated leaving just two men in this match with Braun Strowman claiming every elimination so far.
Braun took the straps down of his tank top and stood toe-to-toe with Roman Reigns before The Big Dog started firing off right hands. Braun sent Roman outside the ring and Braun picked him up but Roman squirmed out and sent Braun into the cage.
Roman jumped over the ropes and hit Strowman then he sent Braun into the pod as it busted. Roman hit a Superman Punch and then he hit another one once they got in the ring. The place started booing so loud as they saw the end of this match in sight.
Roman yelled at the ceiling and went in for a spear but Braun picked him up in a running powerslam and the place went ballistic. However, Roman squirmed out of that too.
Then Roman hit two spears in a row and won the match. Yup. This was very expected but they did a good enough job getting us there.
Winner: Roman Reigns
So the match that has been written in stone for over a year is now official. Brock Lesnar will defend his Universal Championship against Roman Reigns at Wrestlemania 34.
But Strowman didn’t like how this ended at all. He scooped Roman up after the match and hit a running powerslam. Then he picked him up and did it again because the crowd chanted “one more time.”
After that, Braun dragged Roman out of the ring and sent Reigns through the glass of another pod. So Roman Reigns won, but he didn’t end the night looking too hot after that post-match assault.