Welcome to KB’s Old School (and New School) Reviews. I’ve been reviewing wrestling shows for over twelve years now and have reviewed over 6,000 shows. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I’ll be posting a new review here on Wrestlingrumors.net. It could be anything from modern WWE to old school to indies to anything in between. Note that I rate using letters instead of stars and I don’t rate matches under three minutes as really, how good or bad can something that short be?
Elimination Chamber 2021
Date: February 21, 2021
Location: Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Florida
Commentators: Samoa Joe, Byron Saxton, Tom Phillips, Michael Cole, Corey Graves
The long Road to Wrestlemania continues here as we have one of the two pay per views between the Royal Rumble and Wrestlemania. This time around they are doing something a little different with the Elimination Chamber matches as the Raw World Title is on the line, but the winner of the Smackdown Chamber gets an immediate title shot. Let’s get to it.
Kickoff Show: Ricochet vs. John Morrison vs. Elias vs. Mustafa Ali
The winner replaces Keith Lee, who is out thanks to an attack by Bobby Lashley, in the US Title triple threat match. The rest of Retribution is here as well. Morrison and Elias are knocked to the floor to start so Ricochet can hammer away on Ali. The other two get back in and Elias chops Ricochet in the corner. Elias grabs a reverse DDT on Ricochet but Morrison grabs a reverse DDT on Elias, leaving Ali to neckbreaker Morrison and drive everyone down.
Back up and Elias’ running knee gets two on Ali with Slapjack making the save. Ricochet knocks Elias to the floor but walks into the Moonlight Drive to give Morrison two. Starship Pain misses though and all four are down in different corners. It’s Ricochet up first to knock everyone down, including a bridging half nelson suplex for two on Morrison. Ali is back up with his tornado DDT on Elias but Ricochet hits a 450, with Ali needing Retribution to make the save. Ricochet’s big flip dive is cut off though and a powerbomb sends him into the post, leaving Morrison to roll Ali up for the pin and the title shot at 7:00.
Rating: C. Fun match, though I’m more annoyed at the fact that it needed to happen. How WWE has managed to drop the ball with Keith Lee amazes me to no end yet I can’t say I’m surprised. Morrison works just fine as a replacement, but if WWE/Vince can’t stand Lee this much, just send him back to NXT where he can do a heck of a lot more for you.
The opening video focuses on the Elimination Chamber, talking about how it is an obstacle to the ultimate goal. Everyone looks nervous about getting in but the prize is worth it.
For those who keep track: Cole only calls the Thunderdome award winning, as it has lost its critical acclaim.
Jey Uso vs. Kevin Owens vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Cesaro vs. King Corbin vs. Sami Zayn
Inside the Chamber and the winner faces Roman Reigns for the Universal Title later in the night. Also of note: Cole says that HHH invented the Chamber but Eric Bischoff debuted the concept. New one on me, but are you really surprised? We get a video on the participants and Roman Reigns during the entrances. Cesaro is in at #1 and Bryan is in at #2, with Cesaro starting fast with a backbreaker for two. Bryan comes back with some uppercuts and strikes for two of his own but seems to tweak his knee. Owens: “HIS KNEE! HIS LEFT KNEE!”
Bryan tries to go after the arm but has to settle for some uppercuts. Cesaro shows him how to throw an uppercut but has to shake some feeling back into the arm. A delayed vertical suplex shows that the arm is just fine but it’s King Corbin in at #3 (Owens: “WHY HIM???”). Corbin takes both of them down, including cutting off Cesaro’s uppercut train with the Deep Six. Bryan is taken to the outside where Corbin rams the banged up knee into the pod. Owens: “NOW TAKE HIM INSIDE, PUT A HOLD ON HIM AND GET RID OF HIM!”
Instead Corbin punches Cesaro down and takes them both back inside. With Bryan knocked out again and Cesaro tied in the Tree of Woe, Sami Zayn is….well not in at #4 as he holds his pod door closed rather than fight Corbin. Bryan jumps Corbin but Cesaro comes in through the other side and drags Zayn out. Zayn sends Cesaro into the pod door but Bryan sends Zayn into the Chamber.
The Helluva Kick only hits pod and Zayn is down, leaving Corbin to crotch Bryan on top. Cesaro and Zayn climb up onto the pod with Cesaro uppercutting away, sending Zayn crawling horizontally away, because climbing down is too complicated. Cesaro gives chase and kicks him down before doing some pullups from the roof. After dropping down, Cesaro gets clotheslined by Corbin and there’s a chokeslam to Bryan.
Cesaro posts Corbin though and it’s a top rope corkscrew uppercut to set up the Swing. The Sharpshooter makes Corbin tap at 17:40 (Owens: “BYE!”) and it’s Kevin Owens in at #5 (at just over 18 minutes as the intervals are all over the place). Zayn says hold on a second and tries to get the old team back together one more time, earning himself a face first trip into the pod. Bryan gets German suplexed and it’s time for the exchange of uppercuts with Cesaro. An enziguri drops Cesaro but Bryan grabs a sleeper.
That’s broken up with a Backpack Stunner as the two land on Cesaro for a crash. Zayn gets superkicked and it’s time for a bunch of Cannonballs. It’s Zayn up first with the half nelson suplex to Owens, setting up a parade of finishers to put everyone down again. Owens’ pumphandle brainbuster onto the knee gets two on Bryan and Jey Uso is in at #6 (at 23:06, as they aren’t even trying with the intervals here). Owens sends him straight into the Chamber and hits the big flip dive onto the pile. The Stunner gets rid of Zayn at 25:20, leaving us with four.
Owens goes to throw Zayn out but Jey slams the door onto Owens’ arm, leaving Owens vulnerable to a bunch of superkicks. The Superfly (not frog Cole) Splash gets rid of Owens at 26:39. Cesaro uppercuts Uso and hits a top rope elbow for two, followed by some Swings into the Chamber. Bryan kicks Cesaro out of the air and grabs a backslide for two more. Another kick to the head gets another two and Bryan stomps away. The running knee is countered into the torture rack but Bryan slips out for another kick.
Cesaro uppercuts him off the top and a super gutbuster sets up a Swing, only on the bad leg for a great twist. Uso breaks it up with a superkick though and the Superfly Splash gets rid of Cesaro at 32:36. Another Superfly Splash gets two on Bryan but another one off the top of a pod hits raised knees. The running knee finishes Uso to give Bryan the title shot at 33:55.
Rating: B. The best thing here was I wasn’t sure who was winning until the end. That’s a great feeling to have as they really could have gone in about four directions and any of them would have worked. Bryan coming in as an underdog will work just fine and hopefully the match with Reigns will live up to even most of the hype. Rather good stuff here and Bryan winning was a pretty nice feel good moment as he hasn’t been in the main event as much of late.
And so much for waiting.
Smackdown World Title: Roman Reigns vs. Daniel Bryan
Reigns is challenging and has Paul Heyman with him. Bryan says YES he can go and counters an early spear into the YES Lock but Reigns powers out. Some heavy right hands and forearms knock Bryan silly and the guillotine choke finishes him off to retain the title at 1:35.
Post match Edge spears Reigns down and we see the Wrestlemania sign, with pyro going off. Cole thinks this might be Edge’s decision, because only in WWE can the obvious need an official announcement for the obvious.
We look at Bad Bunny as the musical guest on Saturday Night Live, where he had the 24/7 Title.
Miz doesn’t like Bad Bunny being the guest when it should have been Miz and John Morrison. He asks Bunny why he’s here and slaps him in the face, earning a harder one from Bunny. Miz is ready to fight but runs into Damien Priest, who scares him off.
US Title: Riddle vs. John Morrison vs. Bobby Lashley
Lashley is defending and has MVP, on a crutch, with him. They start fast with Lashley cleaning house on both of them but Riddle grabs a sleeper. That’s broken up and Riddle is sent outside, allowing Morrison to hit a Flying Chuck to the champ. Morrison gets knocked outside and posted but Riddle dives off the steps onto Lashley. That earns him a nasty backdrop onto the floor, but at least the dive looked nice.
All three are back in and a double kick to the face rocks Lashley….who knocks them both to the floor. Riddle and Morrison try coming in from different sides but Lashley drops them again. MVP: “WHATEVER YOU WANT TO DO!” Riddle avoids a charge to send Lashley to the floor and a kick from the apron staggers the champ. A pair of dives take Lashley down, leaving Riddle to hit a Pele to send Morrison into the corner. The t-bone suplex sets up the Broton into the Penalty Kick to rock Morrison again.
The bridging German suplex gets two but Lashley is back in, only to get taken down with the Final Flash. The Floating Bro mostly connects but Morrison knees Riddle in the head. Starship Pain barely grazes Lashley for two (MVP: “YOU REALLY THOUGHT THAT WAS GOING TO PIN THE ALMIGHTY??? Morrison: “Shut the h*** up!”) and Morrison is so annoyed that he grabs MVP’s crutch. Lashley slaps the Hurt Lock on Morrison but Riddle breaks the crutch over Lashley’s back. The Bro Derek gives Riddle the pin and the title at 8:40.
Rating: C+. I liked the story here and it gives Riddle the big win that he has been needing for a long time now. Above all else though, it gets the title off of Lashley and, in theory, should let him go after the World Title. What in the world is there left for him to do otherwise, save for maybe put Riddle over in a singles match? Also, and I have absolutely no idea if this is the case, but if that knee injury was faked (MVP denied some of the rumors about it) to set up that finish, well done indeed.
Wrestlemania is coming in 48 days, exclusively on Peacock. Maybe they’ll have announced the ticket information by then.
Bianca Belair and Sasha Banks are ready for the Women’s Tag Team Titles, with Reginald offering them some champagne after their win. Belair likes the idea of holding the title and toasting her Wrestlemania decision.
Women’s Tag Team Titles: Bianca Belair/Sasha Banks vs. Nia Jax/Shayna Baszler
Jax and Baszler are defending and Jax starts with Belair. Some early charges miss to frustrate Jax, meaning it’s off to Banks. That’s fine with Jax, who throws her at Belair for a catch and toss back. Baszler comes in and is taken down for an early Meteora from Banks, who is sent to the apron for a standing splash from Jax. We settle down to Baszler taking Banks down by the arm and stomping away at said arm, which is cranked back hard.
A clothesline gives Baszler two and it’s time for more am cranking. Jax slams Banks down for two and we hit the cobra clutch. Banks fights up and rolls Baszler into the corner, only to knock Belair off the apron by mistake. A knee to Baszler’s face allows the tag to Belair but what looked to be a Glam Slam is countered into a not quite complete Glam Slam. Banks tags herself in and hits a frog splash for two on Baszler with Belair being stunned by the kickout.
The KOD hits Baszler and Belair makes sure to feed her leg back for Jax to pull her out at two (WWE can be really, really bad at telegraphing something like that). Everything breaks down and the Samoan drop hits Belair. Banks comes back in with the top rope Meteora but here’s Reginald with a bottle as the Bank Statement has Jax in trouble. The rope is grabbed so Reginald hands Banks the bottle, which she isn’t using. Instead Jax decks her from behind and hits the Samoan drop to retain at 9:35.
Rating: C-. To recap: one of the Women’s Champions, who is teaming with the Royal Rumble winner who can challenge either of the champions, just got pinned by another champion thanks to botched interference by the official wine person of a woman not involved in the story and who also pinned the champion who pinned the champion. I remember when Brisco and Funk did that same story back in 78 but they didn’t have the hair working as well. The match felt rushed, but at least Jax got her heat back after losing to the wine guy on Smackdown.
Miz and MVP have a chat we can’t hear.
Video on Drew McIntyre defending the Raw World Title in the Elimination Chamber.
Raw World Title: Jeff Hardy vs. Randy Orton vs. Sheamus vs. Kofi Kingston vs. AJ Styles vs. Drew McIntyre
Inside the Chamber with McIntyre defending, Omos is here with AJ, and Sheamus will enter last. Jeff Hardy is in at #1 and Randy Orton is in at #2 with Hardy knocking Orton outside. A thumb to the eye cuts Hardy off as Joe says “they say the Chamber is the providence of those who dare.” Since when are there Elimination Chamber philosophers? Back in and Orton knocks Hardy down, setting up some stomps to the ribs.
We hit the chinlock but Hardy is back up for the legdrop between the legs. The splash gives Hardy two but the Twist of Fate and RKO are both blocked. Drew McIntyre is in at #3 (at about 4:32, as the weird intervals have carried over). A belly to belly suplex takes Hardy down and there’s a neckbreaker to Orton. McIntyre launches Hardy face first into the pod wall, though he did make sure to tell the cameraman to move. McIntyre: “I told you to move!” Back in and Orton stomps McIntyre down in the corner and a neckbreaker gets two more.
The hanging DDT onto the Chamber floor connects and it’s Kofi Kingston in at #4. Kofi goes right after Orton….and rolls him up for the very fast elimination at 8:54. Orton lays Kofi out with an RKO so AJ orders Omos to get him out of here. Omos rips the Plexiglas off and runs in to cover Kofi for two. Adam Pearce comes out to eject Omos as AJ covers Hardy for two more. Kofi is back up with a tornado DDT to put AJ on the Chamber floor and everyone is down for a bit. Kofi and AJ slug it out on the Chamber floor with AJ getting monkey flipped into the wall.
McIntyre throws Kofi down without much trouble and then suplexes him into the Chamber wall, followed by a heck of a backdrop to Styles. That leaves McIntyre as the only one standing as Sheamus is in at #6 to complete the field (at 17:06, or about six minutes faster than it was completed in the first match). The slugout is in on a hurry with Sheamus getting the better of it and taking McIntyre outside. AJ and Kofi keep fighting as Hardy has been down for a pretty long time.
Kofi gets up and dives onto Sheamus and McIntyre. That’s enough for Kofi to climb a pod with Sheamus following him, only to get crotched down by McIntyre. With Sheamus up top, McIntyre loads up a superplex, which has Saxton wondering if Sheamus is thinking about a superplex. AJ and Hardy come in to make it a Tower of Doom (Hardy seems to be favoring his knee), setting up Kofi’s big Trust Fall onto everyone for a cover each.
Kofi hammers away on Sheamus but another Trust Fall is pulled out of the air. The Brogue Kick gets rid of Kofi at 23:47 and we’re down to four. Hardy is back up with a Twist of Fate each to the other three. A Whisper in the Wind takes out McIntyre and Sheamus, leaving AJ to take the Swanton. McIntyre is back in with the Claymore to eliminate Hardy at 25:33 and we’re down with three. The jumping knee gets two on McIntyre and there’s White Noise to put him down again.
AJ’s springboard…Swanton instead of a 450 (thanks to a bit of a slip) gets two on McIntyre. A full on 450 gets two but Sheamus comes off the top with a clothesline to drop Styles. McIntyre grabs the Future Shock on Sheamus but he’s right back up with the Brogue Kick. AJ hits a Phenomenal Forearm out of nowhere to get rid of Sheamus at 30:23 and we’re down to AJ vs. McIntyre. Another Phenomenal Forearm is loaded up but McIntyre Claymores it out of the air to retain at 31:12.
Rating: B. This was another good one as they had some options to win but the talent was a little better overall to make up for a few things. Granted it was annoying waiting around for Miz to run in and join the match but maybe they’re waiting for later on that. They gave it some time and the ending was a good way to go with the Claymore looking great. Sheamus vs. Drew could be fine as a Fastlane match but I’m not sure who that leaves for McIntyre at Wrestlemania.
Post match McIntyre celebrates….and Bobby Lashley jumps him from behind. The big beatdown is on and the Hurt Lock leaves McIntyre laying. Cue Miz with the referee and please let it be over.
Raw World Title: Drew McIntyre vs. The Miz
Drew is defending and the cash in is on with Miz hitting a DDT for two. The Skull Crushing Finale gives Miz the title at 25 seconds. I know Miz has been annoying for a long time and he isn’t keeping the thing long……BUT THE MONEY IN THE BANK BRIEFCASE IS GONE AND I CAN BE HAPPY FOR LIKE THREE MONTHS!!!
Miz poses with the title to end the show.
Overall Rating: B+. It’s a really weird show as you have six matches with two of them adding up to be about two minutes long. The important thing here was some big stuff happened (to put it mildly) and the two Chamber matches were both rather good. Throw in the briefcase FINALLY going away and the Wrestlemania match being set and it’s hard to complain that much, especially for a two and a half hour show.
The one thing that might not be a good sign: they have how many people sitting at home but Morrison, Bryan and McIntyre all wrestle twice? With Bryan and McIntyre’s matches following the exact same formula? They might want to work on that a bit, but that has been the case for so long now that it’s not even worth getting annoyed over. Very good show, based entirely on two matches and the death of a briefcase.
Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 60,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 6,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at kbwrestlingreviews.com, or check out his- Amazon author page with 30 wrestling books
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