3/8 WWE ELIMINATION CHAMBER KICKOFF SHOW: Viking Raiders vs. Zack Ryder & Curt Hawkins, Ruby Riott, Usos, R-Truth, Andrade and Zelina Vega

By Mike Meyers, PWTorch contributor



SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...

WWE ELIMINATION CHAMBER KICKOFF REPORT
MARCH 8, 2020
STREAMED ON WWE NETWORK
REPORT BY MIKE F. MEYERS, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR

Kickoff Panel: Jonathan Coachman, Peter Rosenberg, Charly Caruso, David Otunga

The panel members each explained their predetermined matches of interest before a video package was shown for Shayna Baszler and the women’s Elimination Chamber match. In the arena, the chamber structure was lowered around the ring.

Ruby Riott joined the panel. Regarding the Riott Squad fallout, Riott said she would be putting both Morgan and Logan in their place tonight. Talking to Riott, Peter referred to Baszler as a “flesh-eating monster.” Riott said she knew that everyone has their “favorite,” but she can’t understand how she hasn’t gotten her WrestleMania chance yet.

Miz and Morrison were interviewed via video. Miz expressed his disdain for having to defend their tag titles in an Elimination Chamber match. Morrison was sufficiently awkward, comparing their match tonight to “Cortez fighting the Spartans.” They were rude and obnoxious toward the panel, but the panel was made to react by giggling at these antics. Charly said, “I love those guys.”

Aleister Black was shown backstage. He said tonight was a no disqualifications match, which means there is no one who can save you (A.J. Styles) – a nonsensical statement. If anything, the match stipulation increase the likelihood that that Styles will be assisted by his crew.

Kayla interviewed Braun Strowman backstage. She asked if he was prepared for the three-pronged attack tonight. He declared Sami Zayn a clown, but admitted that Nakamura and Cesaro are “two of the baddest dudes in WWE.” In spite of those odds, he said he will defend his Intercontinental championship against any number of opponents. On the panel, David reminded the audience of the many vehicles Strowman has defiled on live television. To emphasize the importance of this title, Peter dropped the names of the most prestigious prior Intercontinental champions, and claimed that Strowman has reverence for the belt. Meanwhile, the Chamber structure had been lifted away from the ring.

R-Truth joined the panel. He was wearing a black turtleneck and had a bright green John Cena t-shirt draped over his shoulder. Truth was excited to see his childhood hero Cena wrestle the Fiend here tonight at WrestleMania. The panel explained that WrestleMania was next month. Truth responded by saying, “My bad – that’s what I was tellin’ ya’ll.” Truth went on to confuse Peter Rosenberg for Sam Roberts.

Next, the panel made it clear how inconsequential tonight’s card is by discussing the Goldberg vs. Reigns WrestleMania match.

Announcers: Tom Phillips, Jerry Lawler, Byron Saxton

(1) VIKING RAIDERS vs. CURT HAWKINS & ZACK RYDER

Ryder started against Erik. Lawler quipped that the Raiders should’ve been born in the Dark Ages, since they look bad in the light. Hawkins soon tagged in and was quickly leveled twice by Erik. Hawkins landed a suplex and covered for two.

Ryder tagged back in and hit a neckbreaker and covered Erik for two, then applied a chin lock. Ryder dumped Erik out to ringside, allowing Hawkins to hit him with a diving clothesline off the apron. He then suplexed Erik on the floor before rolling him back into the ring. Hawkins tagged in and applied another chin lock. Erik escaped and both wrestlers made hot tags.

Ivar briefly ran roughshod on both Ryder and Hawkins, and it wasn’t long before the Raiders executed the Viking Experience against Ryder for the pin and victory.

WINNERS: Viking Raiders by pinfall.

(Meyers’s Analysis: This was a Main Event-class match that wasn’t even listed on the card for Elimination Chamber leading up to the event. On the bright side, the Carillo-Andrade and Bryan-Gulak matches will both get rightful slots on the main card – I was anticipating either of these to appear on the Kickoff.)

Sarah Schreiber interviewed Andrade and Zelia Vega backstage. Vega pointed out that on Raw, Mysterio got illegally involved in Andrade’s match against Carillo. She claimed that Carillo took advantage of an injured Andrade, but that Andrade is 100% tonight. She said that Carillo will find success, but that it will never be at Andrade’s expense.

The Usos talked to the camera in a dark corridor backstage. The were confident in their chances in the tag team Eliminaction Chamber tonight. On the panel, Peter said the Usos were his pick to win. David went with the New Day, and cited “Kofimania” as a strength somehow. Coach wrapped up the show by making general comments about the magnitude of the Elimination Chamber for all of its competitors.

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