It’s time for the first of two stops on the way towards WrestleMania 35, because for some reason there are two pay per views between the Royal Rumble and the biggest show of the year. First up we have Elimination Chamber, though I’m not sure you would know that after this week’s Monday Night Raw, which mainly focused on WrestleMania. There is however a pay per view card to look at, with a pair of major matches. Let’s get to it.

Kickoff Show: Cruiserweight Title: Buddy Murphy(c) vs. Akira Tozawa

Was anyone realistically expecting this to be on the main show? The Cruiserweight Title is all but guaranteed to be on the Kickoff Show anymore, though I can go for the idea of having them get a little extra time so things can be fleshed out. Tozawa won a four way match on 205 Live to earn the shot against Murphy, who is becoming quite the top level Cruiserweight Champion.

I’m thinking that’s enough to keep the title on Murphy, who seems almost guaranteed to have a major title match at WrestleMania (on the Kickoff Show match of course). Tozawa is a very fun talent to watch, but I don’t think he’s the kind of guy who is taking the title from a monster like Murphy. This should be a hard hitting match, but it’s the kind of match that can only end in one way, which is Murphy retaining.

The champ waits for Tozawa:

Tozawa vs. Alexander vs. Carrillo vs. Rush - Fatal 4-Way Match: WWE 205 Live, Feb. 5, 2019

SmackDown Tag Team Titles: Shane McMahon/The Miz(c) vs. Usos

Well this is suddenly a lot more interesting. As you probably heard, Jimmy Uso got arrested earlier this month for disorderly conduct, which means things are probably going to be shaken up a little bit. At the same time though, the Usos might be trying to leave WWE and if they are, a Tag Team Title reign might slow them down a bit. Also at the same time (it’s a busy time), McMahon and Miz aren’t exactly subject to the same rules that govern most wrestlers.

That being said, I’ll take the champs to retain, as this seems to be something that we need to get to heading into WrestleMania. I don’t know if they lose the titles there or face each other there, but neither is exactly a thrilling outcome. The Usos deserve better, but after what happened last week, that needs to be put on hold, at least for the time being. For now, more McMizAmania.

This is now the strange one:

"McMiz TV" gets heated between The Usos and Shane McMahon & The Miz: Feb. 12, 2019

Raw Women’s Title: Ronda Rousey(c) vs. Ruby Riott

This company loves some alliteration. This one is about as easy of a winner as you can get and there’s nothing wrong with that. As Rousey may be leaving the company in about two months, it’s cool to see them getting in as many matches as she can have against a variety of opponents. Riott and the Squad haven’t gotten to do very much with Rousey, but the match itself should be fun.

Of course Rousey retains here, because what else is going to happen? Rousey is already slotted in for a title match at WrestleMania, but at the same time there’s a spot for Riott. If you let her get close here and almost have Rousey beat, there’s a way to set her up to face Asuka in April for the SmackDown Women’s Title. Riott loses here, but she could be up for something else in the future.

Rousey does remember this match exists right:

Becky Lynch and Ronda Rousey brawl with The Riott Squad after Raw: Raw Exclusive, Feb. 11, 2019

Braun Strowman vs. Baron Corbin

This is No DQ and….I have no idea why I would want to see this match. It’s a feud that has been going on for months now and I’m really not sure why I’d want to see it happen again, especially on a pay per view. The story has lost its way a long time ago and it’s much more “they were fighting a few months ago and they’re still fighting now”. There’s a good chance that Drew McIntyre and Kurt Angle get involved here, because we didn’t get enough of that match on Monday Night Raw.

For some reason I think Corbin wins here, because it’s been too long since he’s won a match of note and gotten more of a push that defies any and all logic. McIntyre and Angle will probably run in to make it a bigger mess than it’s already going to be and we move towards the big showdown between Angle and Corbin at WrestleMania. How that can be Angle’s last match is beyond me, but WWE loves Corbin for reasons I don’t want to comprehend.

They’ve been having issues of late:

Braun Strowman & Kurt Angle vs. Baron Corbin & Drew McIntyre: Raw, Feb. 4, 2019

Intercontinental Title: Bobby Lashley(c)/Lio Rush vs. Finn Balor

Now this one scares me. All signs point to Balor winning the title, but I don’t think they’re going that way just yet. For some reason I think we’re likely to see it at WrestleMania, which normally would be fine but I don’t think there’s anywhere near enough steam in this feud to get them that far. Hence the inclusion of Rush here, though again I’m not sure how interesting that can get.

I’ll go with Rush and Lashley retaining here, though I’m almost terrified to see how they get to that conclusion. There’s a good chance it’s some kind of a screwy finish to keep the title on Lashley, like Rush helping with a double pin or something, but having Balor lose is a rather bad idea. Then again it’s not the brightest idea to stretch this out, but for now it’s as good as we can get. Lashley retains, eventually losing the title to Balor down the line.

He’s done it to one of them:

Finn Bálor vs. Lio Rush: Raw, Feb. 4, 2019

Women’s Tag Team Titles: Elimination Chamber

For the inaugural titles and really, there are only a few teams with a real shot. You can eliminate Naomi/Carmella, the IIconics and Fire and Desire. You know, the SmackDown teams. That leaves you with the three Monday Night Raw teams, who have been the favorites all along. You could go multiple ways with the three remaining teams, but one stands out.

I’m going with the Riott Squad winning the titles here. I just can’t imagine having the Samoans win the titles, leaving you with two real options. Bayley and Sasha Banks have been treated as the main stars, but with Banks still being banged up and the possibility of this feud actually going on until the two of them are piles of dust, I can’t picture them winning the first titles. Maybe they win them at WrestleMania, but for now it’s the Riott Squad getting the titles.

Boss N Hugs N Slaughterhouse:

Sasha Banks & Bayley vs. Nia Jax & Tamina vs. Liv Morgan & Sarah Logan: Raw, Feb. 11, 2019

WWE Championship: Elimination Chamber

This felt like the biggest layup in the world until Tuesday when Kofi Kingston had one of the best performances of his career. I’m not sure I can imagine Kingston getting the title this soon, but he certainly has momentum right now and with the C level pay per view Fastlane not very far away, there’s a chance that he’ll get a one on one title shot there. But against who?

That would be Daniel Bryan, who I think retains the title with the help of either Rowan or someone else, possibly even a returning Luke Harper. Bryan isn’t likely to lose the title here as his new heel character is hot enough to keep around, but he’s going to need some help to survive and advance down the road. A few things could come out of the match, but I can’t imagine one of them is a new champion.

A Star Is Kofi:

Kofi Kingston vs. Daniel Bryan - Gauntlet Match Part 1: SmackDown LIVE, Feb. 12, 2019

Overall Thoughts

I’ve made no secret of the fact that I don’t see the need to have two pay per views between the Royal Rumble and WrestleMania, but Elimination Chamber sounds far more interesting than Fastlane. This show at least has two big matches and those two should be enough to make things work a little better. If things go well, we could have a rather entertaining night, just with the level of action alone.

Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 50,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 5,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at, or check out his Amazon author page with 28 wrestling books. His latest book is the the Complete 1997 Monday Night Raw Reviews.

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