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WWE ELIMINATION CHAMBER PPV REPORT
FEBRUARY 17, 2019
AIRED LIVE ON WWE NETWORK
KICKOFF SHOW REPORT by Mike Meyers, contributor
-A video package previewed the event.
Kickoff Panel: Jonathan Coachman, Beth Phoenix, Booker T, Sam Roberts
After running down the matches for tonight’s main show, a pretaped Mustafa Ali promo was shown. Ali concluded by saying “Life ain’t easy for those who dream.” Ali gave his endorsement of Kofi Kingston, who took his place in Smackdown’s gauntlet match.
A heavily produced Braun Strowman promo was shown, where Strowman “told us a story” about a coward named Baron Corbin. Strowman narrated his storyline with Corbin, and video replays of their interactions were interspersed with his monologue.
The Bar (Cesaro and Sheamus) joined the interview panel and predicted the Usos would defeat Shane and Miz. Heavy Machinery soon appeared, and conversely went with Shane and Miz. The Bar and Heavy Machinery exchanged words, and a feud seemed to be brewing between these two teams.
A video from a “Road to Wrestlemania” house show was shown, where Charlotte brutalized Becky Lynch’s knee with a chair, further jeopardizing Lynch’s Wrestlemania aspirations.
The Riott Squad cut a backstage promo, claiming that they would win both the Women’s Championship and the Women’s Tag Team Championships tonight. Charlotte Flair appeared and urged Riott to destroy Ronda Rousey in tonight’s match.
An abbreviated “Moment of Bliss” was shown in the form a of a selfie video by Alexa Bliss. She predicted that Nia Jax and Tamina would win the inaugural Women’s Tag Team Championship tonight.
Panel discussions / Replays:
- Mustafa Ali and Kofi Kingston’s involvement in Elimination chamber
- Men’s Elimination Chamber match, including Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton
- Men’s Tag Team Championship match
- Women’s Championship Title picture
- Bobby Lashley & Lio Rush vs. Finn Balor, the Demon going MIA
- Women’s Tag Team Championship Title picture / Elimination Chamber match
- Daniel Bryan’s “Planet’s Champion” story
(A) AKIRA TOZAWA vs. BUDDY MURPHY (C) – Cruiserweight Championship match
Announce Team: Nigel McGuinness, Vic Joseph, Aiden English
The two exchanged arm bars, wrist locks, and reversals to start the match. Tozawa switched to firing multiple chops across Murphy’s chest, which seemed to merely amuse the Australian. Murphy attempted a chop of his own but Tozawa dodged, causing Murphy to swat the ring post. As Murphy stood outside of the ring, Tozawa ran and jumped through the ropes to spear Murphy, but Murphy caught him in midair and reversed the attack into a suplex to the floor. The announcers cited the unstoppable strength of Murphy, and how Tozawa is giving up 47 pounds to his opponent.
The Kickoff show cut to a backstage interview with the New Day while Tozawa and Murphy exchanged more chops in the ring. Woods and Big E indicated that Kofi was indisposed with “Mr. Bootysworth” but gave their support to their teammate. The cruiserweights used rest / submission holds while this video aired.
Tozawa got the upper hand and leveled Murphy with a missile dropkick and followed through with a big boot and a back drop driver. Tozawa landed a shining wizard and pinned Murphy for a two-count. Tozawa dragged Murphy into position on the mat, scaled the corner turnbuckles, but Murphy had the move scouted and rolled to safety. Both wrestlers were atop the top turnbuckle when Tozawa executed a super hurricanrana and another pin for a two-count.
Murphy fired back with a nice three-part combo against Tozawa: a face-first drop onto his knee, a knee strike to said face, and a snap suplex. This was good for a two-count. Both men recovered thoughtfully on the mat until Murphy got to his feet and began taunting Tozawa with slaps to the face. Tozawa, showing resilience, responded with more aggressive chops. Tozawa turned Murphy inside out with a massive clothesline, then landed a German suplex into a bridge for another two-count.
Tozawa set up Murphy again on the mat near the corner, but Murphy caught sprung to his feet and blocked Tozawa‘s ascent. Murphy backed up, charged the corner but Tozawa intercepted with a back kick. Tozawa then executed a reverse hurricanrana. Murphy rolled out to ringside, allowing Tozawa to successfully land not one but two running spears through the ropes and out to the floor. Murphy got back into the ring and Tozawa landed a flying senton to the back of the bent-over Murphy. Another two-count and the crowd really began to heat up.
Tozawa reversed a Murphy maneuver into an octopus hold, which didn’t last but two seconds: Murphy again used his strength advantage to effortlessly hoist up Tozawa and spin him into his Murphy’s Law finisher which was good for the three count.
WINNER: Buddy Murphy by pinfall.
(Meyers’s Analysis: WWE continues its new trend of airing backstage videos during would-be important matches. It appeared that this video did not air in the arena during the match. Apart from this disrespectful gesture, the match was exciting start-to-finish. Murphy’s strength and quickness are truly impressive, and no example was cooler than his catching of Tozawa in midair on a suicide dive. Tozawa got in a fair share of explosive offense and the near falls were believable as potential match finishers. This was a good match to start the night, and as such it got the crowd pumped up at the right times.)
A new Kevin Owens selfie video was shown from inside his vehicle with a pizza on the passenger seat. Owens smiled and let us know that he’s about a month away from returning, and that he’s excited to watch Elimination Chamber at home with his family. He indicated that it’s hard to explain why his kids enjoy pineapple on their pizza – and proceeded to take a bite anyway. His baby face persona continues to develop.
Mark Henry was introduced on the stage to the live audience to a nice ovation in his home state. He applauded the Cruiserweight match that just went down, and gave some thoughts on the Elimination Chamber. Henry predicted the Iconics and Kofi would win their respective matches.
FINAL THOUGHTS: It‘s refreshing to hear Sam Roberts‘s outsider analysis on a main roster Kickoff panel. He keeps his content safely on the rails for WWE programming, but he is just contrarian enough to raise your eyebrows, and he refuses to be strong-armed by WWE staff. It’s suspect that everyone on the Kickoff show had different predictions for winners. The Cruiserweight match was very good, if not brief, and should be sought out by fans of 205 Live.
MAIN PPV REPORT by Wade Keller, editor
Announcers: Michael Cole, Renee Young, Core Graves
(1) WOMEN’S ELIMINATION CHAMBER MATCH TO CROWN WOMEN’S TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS
Naomi & Carmella came out first, which was a little awkward for the announce team. Then Riott Squad’s Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan. Then the IIconics, who looked at the structure with some concern, but then suddenly went back to their cocky swagger until they were locked in the pod, at which point they suddenly looked worried again. Tamina & Nia Jax came out next. Then Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville came out. Graves interrupted Renee and said she was ruining things for her and said Mandy shouldn’t be in an unsanitary environment like a pod. Then Sasha Banks & Bayley. Beth mentioned that they were proponents of the Women’s Division for so long, so this is a big moment for them.
Bayley and Sasha opened against Deville and Rose. Bayley scored an early two count on Deville after a Sasha dive onto Deville on the steel platform at ringside. Cole talked about there only being one prior tag team match in the Chamber. Graves gushed about Mandy and Sonya, but the subtle change was he wasn’t drooling over Mandy in a lustful way, which always felt weird for a married man (and really, too over the top for anyone to the point of always seeming uncomfortable).
The first to leave a pod when the horn sounded were the Riott Squad members. They all knocked each other out. They went to an overhead shot of all six bodies down and not moving. The IIconics were then released from their pod. They eagerly went after the other women with an aggressive attack. They worked over Sasha and scored a near fall. They threw a screeching fit when Sasha managed to kick out. The crowd seemed restless with the way the match was playing out with so many women down and the IIconics just screeching obnoxiously with a methodical continued attack on Sasha and Bayley.
Next to enter were Naomi and Carmella. Lots of new potential team nicknames come to mind after the week these two have had. The action picked up, but it was those one-move-at-a-time parades while everyone else watched situations. Cole kept stressing that no one had been eliminated yet. Nia and Tamina pounded on the wall of their pod as everyone else struggled to regain their senses and stand up. As Cole talked about the Naomi-Mandy storyline when they faced off, Renee said Mandy deserves whatever beating she gets for stepping into the personal life of Naomi and her husband. Naomi hit a Rear View on Mandy, but the IIconics then rolled up Naomi for a leverage pin to eliminate her.
ELIMINATION #1: Naomi & Carmella.
Graves predicted the IIconics will win the entire match. The IIconics found themselves surrounded. Graves changed his prediction to there being no way the IIconics escape this predicament. Nia & Tamina came out next. Tamina and Nia were released from their pod and tossed everyone around. Nia let out a barbaric yell. The IIconics tried to hide in a pod. Nia and Tamina noticed and walked over and taunted them. The IIconics tried to convince them to beat up the others. Nia and Tamina eventually broke into the pod and yanked them into the ring. They hit stereo Samoan Drops to eliminate The IIconics.
ELIMINATION #2: The IIconics.
The rest of the women concentrated their attack on Nia and Tamina. Sasha and Bayley then got sustained offense against everyone else. They double teamed Mandy and Deville in a corner. Jax and Tamina took over again, taking out Sasha and Bayley. Riott Squad climbed onto the top of a pod. Renee called it a brilliant move to assess the situation and catch their breath. They dove off the pod onto Tamina, Jax, Rose, and Deville on the platforms outside the ring. Tamina came back and splashed both Riott Squad members for a three count.
ELIMINATION #3: Riott Squad.
Jax charged at ringside toward Bayley, but Bayley moved and Jax crashed thorough the walls of the pod. Yikes. She collapsed in the corner breathing hard but barely moving. Tamina looked on worried. Everyone went at Tamina. Bayley landed her flying elbow and all four covered her for the win.
ELIMINATION #4: Tamina & Nia.
The crowd was into it at this point, loudly chanting “Yes!” Graves said his daughters were glued to the TV knowing they were witnessing history. Fans sang “Na na na na good bye” at Tamina and Jax as they left. The pace and intensity picked up with the two remaining teams. Graves called Mandy “God’s Greatest Creation” when she saved Deville from a three count by Bayley. Bayley and Sasha climbed onto the pod to chase down Mandy. They rammed her into the wall and then set up a toss off the top. Deville began to climb to intervene. Bayley kicked her down. Mandy punched Bayley, knowing her to the platform. Deville then kicked Bayley into the support bean of the pod. Sasha dropped down to check on her. Mandy then gave Sasha a face plant for a believable near fall. She went right for another cover, but Sasha kicked out again. Deville went for a spear of Sasha, but Sasha moved and she speared Mandy instead. After Deville checked on Mandy, Sasha put Deville in the Bank Statement, but her shoulder hurt and it prevented the application of the hold. She shifted to using her leg instead and got the tapout.
ELIMINATION #5: Deville & Rose.
WINNERS: Bayley & Sasha in 33:00. (***1/2)
(Keller’s Analysis: It dragged a bit at the start, but the last half once everyone was in the match was really strong. Big spots, well-timed drama, and the right winners.)
-Charly Caruso interviewed Sasha & Bayley afterward in the ring. There were some boos. Then “You deserve it!” chants. Sasha cried. Bayley was too emotional to speak. After a long pause, Sasha said she is at a loss for words. “Nobody knows how hard we fought to get these. If you guys legit only knew, we don’t just do this for us, we don’t just do this for you, we do this for everybody in the back in in the Women’s Division. She said his is just the beginning of more change to come. She said they are there for a purpose and they’ll continue to do what they do best. Bayley and Sasha locked eyes and then hugged. Cole asked Beth how she feels. She said it means so much to her because they demanded this for years and the fans now feel the same way. Her voice cracked as she said how proud she is of everyone who made it happen.
Announcers: Tom Phillips, Corey Graves, Byron Saxton
(2) THE MIZ & SHANE MCMAHON vs. THE USOS – Smackdown Tag Team Title match
Miz stepped out and dedicated the match to his daughter, his dad, and Maryse. Then out came Maryse. Miz said they have another big announcement. “We’re having another baby!” she shouted. Miz and Maryse seemed genuinely excited to share the news. Fans chanted “You still got it!” Miz said, “Yes, I do still got it!” Shane McMahon came out next, wearing the Smackdown Tag Title belt as he danced out. They opened with Miz against Jey Uso. Miz stayed in his Miz & Mac button up shirt. The Usos tried to double super kick Miz, but he backed out of range into his corner.
Shane tagged in a minute later. He rolled up Jey for a near fall. He threw some punches and an elbow and then tagged Miz back in. Phillips praised the early teamwork of Miz & Shane so far. They clotheslined both Usos over the top rope to the floor. The Usos reentered and took control, settling into a chinlock on Miz. Shane led the crowd in clapping. Miz eventually hot-tagged Shane who knocked over Jimmy and then attacked Jey in the corner. He turned and pump kicked Jimmy which showed a lot of light. He backdropped Jimmy and then danced around him. He got some boos. Then he punched Jimmy. Jey entered and Shane gave him a DDT. He did the same to Jimmy for a two count. Shane climbed to the top rope and delivered the Coast to Coast on Jimmy. Not much a crowd pop. Shane climbed to another top turnbuckle went for a Coast to Coast on Jey, but Jey kicked him and then top rope splashed him. Miz broke up the pin attempt at two.
Miz tagged in and went after Jey and scored a two count after a DDT. They took it to ringside. Miz began taking apart the Smackdown announce desk and cleared it of equipment. Jimmy dove at Miz, but hit Jey by mistake. Shane leaped off the top rope and elbowed Jey through the announce desk. Neither moved much after impact. The ref checked on them. Miz threw Jimmy not the ring and went for a Skull Crushing Finale. Jimmy escapade and superkicked Miz with a kick that showed a lot of light. Jimmy landed a top rope splash for two count. Miz then hit a Skull Crushing Finale. Jimmy leveraged Miz’s shoulders down for the victory. Graves said Shane and Miz fought their hearts out, but it didn’t work out for them.
WINNERS: The Usos in 14:00 to capture the Smackdown Tag Team Titles. (*3/4)
(Keller’s Analysis: Not a match you’d want to show at a video clinic for crisp smooth wrestling that looks realistic. This was mainly a showcase for Shane to hit three big spots. It was awkward for the crowd who weren’t really sure who to root for or against, which worked against a lot of crowd heat and the general psychology of the match never found a groove.)
-After the match, Miz looked down at Shane. Shane looked frustrated with the situation as he sat up from the crushed table. Miz went to help Shane up. Shane was sweating profusely. Miz helped Shane walk to the back. No standing ovation or anything. The crowd seemed indifferent.
-A commercial aired for the Paige movie.
-Dasha Fuentes interviewed Bobby Lashley and Lio Rush backstage. She asked Lio if he’s a weak link on the team. She said they have the advantage, yet if Rush was isolated by Finn Balor, Balor could pin Lio without beating him. Rush took exception to the narrative. He said nobody is stronger and more dominant than Lashley and him. Lashley shot him a look. Lio said, “You’re the steak, I’m the sizzle. Tell them big man.” Dasha asked Lio if he’s nervous because Finn pinned him two weeks ago. Lashley said the interview is over.
(3) BOBBY LASHLEY & LIO RUSH vs. FINN BALOR – Intercontinental Title match
They threw to some other announce teams during ring entrance. Rush opened against Balor, but then tagged out before any contact. Lashley took Balor down and then flexed his arms. Balor came right back with a flying forearm. Rush dropped to the floor. Lashley joined him to regroup. Back in the ring Lashley took over for a minute until Balor avoided his charge, leaped over the top rope, and surprised Lashley with a kick. Rush distracted Balor, then Balor attempted a sunset flip. Lashley held onto the top rope and then took control again. Balor backdropped Lashley to the floor. Rush grabbed his leg as he ran the ropes. Balor went after him at ringside. Lashley caught Balor and shoved him back-first into the ringside barricade.
Lio tagged in and kicked away at Balor in the ring. Lashley and Rush tagged in and out, working over Finn for several minutes. Balor eventually came back against Rush, and wouldn’t let him tag out to Lashley. He cornered him and then grabbed his leg to keep him from reaching Lashley. When Lashley interfered, Balor clotheslined him to the floor. Balor then flip dove onto both Lashley and Rush at ringside. He threw Rush back into the ring and immediately hit him with a running dropkick. He then hit the double stomp off the top rope for the three count. Cole said Balor just became IC Champ for the first time. Graves said it’s a tainted victory as he beat the hype man, not the actual champ.
WINNER: Balor at 9:30 to capture the Intercontinental Title. (**1/2)
(Keller’s Analysis: The match was okay, but nothing special. It had some nice athleticism with Balor and Rush, but in the end it felt gimmicky and the victory for Balor did feel like something less than a big statement win.)
-After the match Rush apologized for losing. Lashley grabbed him by his neck, then let go. The crowd booed. Lashley helped him up, but then slammed him down hard.
-A video hyped the Mark Henry documentary debuting on WWE Network after the PPV.
-They replayed Vince McMahon’s announcement last week on Raw inserting Charlotte into the match and suspending Becky Lynch. They then went to a clip from a house show last night where Becky Lynch attacked Charlotte. Charlotte attacked Becky with a chair. The announcers made it seem like this was a setback for Lynch’s knee. “Rumors have it Becky Lynch actually left the arena on crutches,” Cole said.
-Charlotte walked out to the ring next. Caruso interviewed her mid-ring as fans booed Charlotte. She asked Charlotte whose idea it was and when she found out. Charlotte said she’s going to WrestleMania, and last night she got to do what she loves, which is humiliate and decimate The Man. Charlotte said Becky got herself suspended and just can’t let it go. She said Becky panders to the fans and needs their attention and their cheers. She said all the approval she needs comes from looking in the mirror. She said she knows she is the best. A loud “Becky!” chant broke out. She said she’s going to sit ringside and see up close whom she will face at WrestleMania in the main event. She pointed at the sign.
(4) RONDA ROUSEY vs. RUBY RIOTT – WWE Raw Title match
Riott came out first without anyone by her side due to the Chamber match earlier. Ruby charged at Ronda and took her down with punches. Ronda whipped Riott down with two judo throws. Ruby rolled to the floor and caught her breath seconds into the match. They showed Charlotte watching at ringside. Fans chanted “We Want Becky!” as Rousey began working over Riott. She applied an armbar and Riott tapped out quickly.
WINNER: Rousey in 2:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Not a lot to that. It’s not a bad idea to keep Rousey looking really strong, but it seems Ruby could have been spared being the person here to lose so unceremoniously. It’s tough to recover from a loss like that, not just because of how quickly she lost, but how she was treated as just a body filling a slot with almost no hype before and no expression of surprise afterward she lost so decisively. She was treated as a serious threat, and the real question coming out of the match is what she did to earn a title match in the first place.)
-Charlotte entered and stared down Rousey afterward. Becky made her way through the crowd on crutches. Security let her go by. Graves said she has no business here. She rolled into the ring. Becky struggled to even stand once she rolled into the ring. Fans chanted “Becky! Becky!” All three stood together and stared. Charlotte trash talked Becky a little. Fans chanted “She’s The Man.” Becky attacked Charlotte with her crutch as Ronda stood by and watched. Becky focused on Charlotte’s left arm. Graves called for Houston P.D. to come stop this. Rousey walked toward Charlotte, who begged off into the corner. Becky attacked Rousey from behind with her crutches. Rousey held up one crutch to block her, but Becky was relentless. Graves exclaimed, “This is not how you deal with things!” Two security guys and two referees entered. Becky was escorted out of the ring. Becky had a big smile on her face. Rousey was bleeding from above her right temple at her hairline.
(5) BARON CORBIN vs. BRAUN STROWMAN – No DQ match
When the ref signaled for the bell, Corbin threw his vest at Strowman and then attacked him. Strowman easily defended himself and knocked Corbin out of the ring. Corbin took control with a kendo stick. Strowman got the stick, said he didn’t need it, and broke it over his knee. At ringside Corbin threw an office chair at Strowman, but Strowman caught it. When Strowman charged at ringside, Corbin side-stepped him and threw him into the ringside steps. He lifted the top of the stairs and bashed Strowman with them. Back in the ring Strowman eventually took over. He brought a table into the ring and leaned it in the corner. Strowman powerslammed Corbin through a table in the corner. Drew McIntyre and Bobby Lashley attacked Strowman with chairs. The no DQ stips came into play at another level here. They set the bases of the ringside steps next to each other in the ring and then triple teamed Strowman. Drew landed a Claymore kick. They set up a table, then stacked another one on top. They dragged Strowman onto the base of the stairs and then helped Lashley powerbombed him through the stack of two tables. Not much crowd response. Corbin made the cover and scored the three count.
WINNER: Corbin in 11:00. (*1/2)
(Keller’s Analysis: The heels didn’t really prove anything here because of the three-on-one nature of the win, other than outsmarting the babyface in a match where it was legal to do so.)
-They replayed the end of the Miz & Shane loss to the Usos. Shane was being treated with ice by a trainer in the back. Miz apologized. Shane said it was okay. Miz yelled that he is better than that. He said he made his dad, his daughter, and his wife a promise. Shane sat up and yelled at Miz to calm down and chill out. Miz gathered himself and left. Shane said he’d see him Tuesday.
-Cole hyped the 2019 Special Olympics World Games taking place March 14-21 in Abu Dhabi. A video package aired on it, and then they showed some athletes in the crowd.
-Lacey Evans sauntered out. Graves wondered what this was about. She walked to the bottom of the ramp, then turned and returned to the back.
-A WrestleMania video aired. Then the Smackdown announcers talked about WrestleMania and the two singles title matches announced so far.
-A WWE Fastlane commercial aired.
(6) MEN’S ELIMINATION CHAMBER MATCH – WWE CHAMPIONSHIP AT STAKE
Bryan opened against Joe to start. Joe went for an early kneebar. Bryan rolled out of it and broke free. He cornered Joe and chopped him. Joe no-sold it. Bryan bailed out to ringside. Joe chased after him and chopped him against the chain fence. Joe grounded Bryan in the ring tried to submit him early. The screen noted that #WWEChamber is the no. 1 trend in the world. Kofi came in third and went on the attack on Joe. Phillips said there’s no way Kofi is 100 percent after what he went through on Tuesday. Bryan took some shots at Kofi, then climbed to the top of a pod and looked down at Joe. He sat and rested as Joe went at Kofi in the ring. Kofi leaped onto the pod and went after Bryan. Bryan walked sideways across the crossbeam mid-way up the side of the Chamber. Joe yanked him down. Kofi stomped on Joe’s hands to knock him down. Kofi then dropped off the side of the Chamber onto both Bryan and Joe. He sold pain from the landing. Graves said Kofi might’ve taken the worst of it.
Styles entered next. Styles springboarded himself off the top rope with a forearm at Bryan on the side of the cage, sending Bryan crashing down. Kofi then then battled Styles. Joe recovered and went after Styles and Kofi. Kofi got the better of Joe briefly, but then Joe surprised Kofi with a Coquina Clutch mid-ring. Kofi pushed off the top turnbuckle and leveraged Joe’s shoulders down, but Joe powered out. Kofi broke free of the Clutch, but Styles surprised Joe with a Phenomenal Forearm for the pin.
ELIMINATION #1: Samoa Joe.
Jeff Hardy was released from his pod into the match next. Styles and Hardy battled in the ring as Bryan and Kofi battled on the platform at ringside. Hardy leaped off a pod roof with a Swanton onto Styles who was draped over the top turnbuckle. Bryan then surprised Hardy with a flying knee for the pin.
ELIMINATION #2: Hardy.
Styles back suplexed Bryan as Bryan was superplexing Kofi, and Kofi and Bryan crashed to the mat while Styles was caught up in the ropes afterward. The final entrant was Orton at this point. Bryan surprised Orton with a backslide for a two count. Orton popped up and suplexed Bryan onto the top rope. He turned back to the others only to get dropkicked by Kofi. As Styles went for a Phenomenal Forearm aimed at Kofi, Orton intercepted him with an RKO for the pin.
ELIMINATION #3: Styles.
Kofi schoolboyed Orton for a surprise near fall. Kofi climbed to the top rope, but Orton knocked him off balance. Orton then delivered a DDT to Kofi off the ropes. He played to the crowd and then pounded the mat. He gave a charging Bryan a powerslam and then set up an RKO on Kofi. Kofi surprised Orton with a Trouble in Paradise for the win. Fans popped for that pin and chanted for Kofi.
ELIMINATION #4: Orton.
Bryan went at Kofi with kicks. Kofi got fired up and went for a Trouble in Paradise, but Bryan ducked. Bryan then knocked Kofi down and threw Yes Kicks to Kofi’s chest. Kofi gave Bryan an S.O.S. and popped the crowd with a believable near fall. Fans believed Kofi might win here. Graves said the energy in the building he’s only experienced a few times in his career. “The world is believing in Kofi Kingston,” he said. Bryan rallied with some running dropkicks in the corner. Kofi popped out of the corner with a dropkick and then scored another high-drama believable pin. They showed the crowd reacting on a split screen replay. Bryan rolled out of the ring as Kofi got fired up. Kofi went after him.
Bryan took over and back in the ring landed a running knee for a believable near fall. Bryan stomped away at Kofi and made another cover for a two count. Bryan charged, but Kofi landed a surprise S.O.S. for a near fall. Bryan reversed the cover and the director inexcusably cut to a crowd reaction shot. Kofi kicked out. Bryan applied a submission on Kofi’s arm and then yanked on his chin for added leverage. Kofi yelled in pain and struggled to grab the bottom rope as fans chanted his name. Bryan let go, even though he didn’t have to, either out of habit or exhaustion. Fans chanted “This is awesome!” Bryan climbed to the top rope. Kofi kicked him off balance. More loud “Kofi” chants. Bryan climbed to the top of the pod to escape, but Kofi pursued him. They battled for a while up there. Kofi kicked Bryan to the mat. He then leaped off and went for a splash, but Bryan moved. Bryan then hit his running knee for the win.
ELIMINATION #5: Kingston.
WINNER: Bryan to retain the WWE Championship. (****1/4)
-After Bryan music played and he celebrated, Big E and Xavier Woods ran out to congratulate Kofi on his effort. They helped him up. Fans chanted “Thank you, Kofi!” It went on a while as the show ended.
(Keller’s Analysis: Excellent main event. The PPV clocked out at 3 hours 17 minutes.)