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KELLER’S WWE ELIMINATION CHAMBER PPV REPORT
FEBRUARY 21, 2021
TAMPA, FLA. AT TROPICANA FIELD – “THUNDERDOME”
AIRED LIVE ON WWE NETWORK
Announcers: Michael Cole, Corey Graves
-A video package aired introducing the event.
-Cole introduced the event as the camera panned the ThunderDome. He gave credit to Triple H inventing the match back in 2002 and Eric Bischoff showed it to the world.
(1) KEVIN OWENS vs. SAMI ZAYN vs. KING CORBIN vs. JEY USO vs. CESARO vs. DANIEL BRYAN – Elimination Chamber match, Winner Faces Roman Reigns later in the night
Owens came out first. Then Sami Zayn. The referee ordered Sami’s documentary camera crew to the back. Sami threw a fit. Corbin came out. Then Uso. They aired a video package on the build-up to this match before Cesaro and finally Bryan made their ring entrances. Cesaro entered the ring startled Sami by banging on the pod he was in. Sami yelled back at him. Among the top thignsthis match will be remembered for, one of them might be Cesaro’s wrestling trunks.
Bryan battled Cesaro early with a good dose of back and forth offense. Cole said Bryan has done two of five Chamber matches he’s been part of. Cesaro settled into a leglock on Bryan mid-ring. Cesaro lifted Bryan for a suplex, then held him upside down a while before dropping down.
King Corbin entered third after a countdown clock reached zero. Interesting putting a heel in against two babyfaces. Corbin went after both Cesaro and Bryan, who were worn out from their exchanges. Corbin went after Bryan’s knee, but also jawed with Sami Zayn. Corbin wrapped Bryan’s knee around the ringpost and yelled at Uso at the same time, saying he’s going to get some. Corbin went back at Cesaro at ringside. Cole exclaimed, “Corbin is dominating.” Graves said Corbin is upset he isn’t given the credit he thinks he deserves going into this match. Corbin hung Bryan upside down in the corner and kneed him.
Sami was the fourth entrant. He held his door shut rather than enter the ring. Corbin tried to get Sami. Bryan charged at Corbin and kneed him from behind. Sami laughed and said that’s what he gets. Cesaro entered the pod from the other side. Sami turned and said, “What the hell?!” Cesaro beat up Sami for a while. Sami went for a Helluva Kick on Bryan, but Bryan ducked and Sami rammed him into a pod. Bryan went down hard, holding his ankle. Sami tried to escape to the top of a pod, but Cesaro pursued him. They climbed the side of the Chamber. Cesaro caught up with him and rammed him into the chains. They used the Omos Camera Angle – low aimed up to accentuate the height. Cesaro knocked Sami down and Sami crashed to the ground. The camera didn’t show his landing live. They showed it on replay as Cesaro did some pull-ups above him. Corbin then took it to Cesaro with a clothesline, knocking him hard into the ring. He followed with a chokeslam.
Cesaro made a comeback and landed a flying European uppercut off the top rope. He followed up with a Cesaro Swing. He then applied a Sharpshooter for the tapout win.
ELIMINATION #1: Corbin.
Owens entered the ring fifth. They had a cool overhead shot of the Chamber and the lights flashing until stopping on the entrant. Sami made a pitch to KO that they work together. He said WWE doesn’t see them as poster boys, so they should work together. Owens nodded, but then grabbed his hair and threw him into a pod. Sami exclaimed, “Oh my god, what are you…” Then bang, his head hit the pod. Owens threw him into opposite pods twice, then entered the ring and went after Bryan. Cesaro went after Owens. Bryan leaped onto Owens’ back and applied a sleeper. KO leaped backwards and broke the hold. He scored two counts on both Cesaro and Bryan. Cole said Owens badly wants to win and then get another shot at Reigns. Sami bit Owens’ arm. Cole said it’s legal and didn’t seem bothered by the tactic at all. Sami went for a top rope move, but KO moved and then superkicked Sami in the chin.
Owens landed cannonballs against all three opponents in three corners. Sami popped up and delivered a suplex. Cesaro delivered an uppercut. Bryan hit him with a running knee. KO gave Bryan a Pop-up Powerbomb. All four were down and slow to get up. When Owens got up, Sami begged off. Owens gave him a neckbreaker. Owens then sent after Cesaro as the clock counted down.
Uso entered last. Cole said some would note “how convenient” it is that Jey was the final entrant. Owens threw Jey into a pod and the back panel broke off. Everyone was back up and fighting. Owens climbed to the top and flip dove onto a cluster of everyone on the ringside platform. KO gave Stunners to Bryan, then Cesaro, and then Sami. He got a three count on Sami.
ELIMINATION #2: Sami.
As Sami left, Jey raked Owen’s eyes and slammed the door on KO’s arm. Owens cried out in pain. Uso held the door against his arm, then superkicked him four times as he was trapped. Uso opened the door so Owens could roll back into the ring. Jey landed a frog splash in the ring for the three count.
ELIMINATION #3: Owens.
(Keller’s Analysis: There went one of the top picks to win, so this shakes up some people expectations for the rest of the match and the Reigns defense afterward.)
Uso clipped Bryan’s leg from behind. Cesaro caught him with an uppercut. He leaped off the top rope with a flying elbow for a two count. Cesaro then swung Jey back and forth into the wall of the cage. Bryan leaped at Cesaro, but Cesaro caught him and tossed him over the top rope into the ring. Cesaro leaped into the ring, but Bryan kicked him in the belly mid-air. Bryan waited for Cesaro to stand and did a “Yes!” chant. Cesaro countered. Bryan countered and rolled up Cesaro. He then kicked him in the face. Next, Bryan climbed to the top rope. Cesaro leaped at him with an uppercut. Cesaro leaped off the second rope and gave Bryan a lift-and-drop gut-buster. Next, he gave Bryan a single-legged Cesaro Swing. Uso broke it up with a superkick, then frog splashed Cesaro for the three count.
ELIMINATION #4: Cesaro.
Jey then gave Bryan a top rope frog splash for an immediate believable near fall. Jey climbed to the top of a pod and went for a leaping frog splash. Bryan lifted his knees. Bryan then gave Jey a running high knee for the pin.
ELIMINATION #5: Uso.
WINNER: Bryan in 34:00 to earn a Universal Title match. (****)
(Keller’s Analysis: Good match. Right where you’d want it to be quality-wise given the competitors in the match and the story they wanted to tell.)
-As Bryan was facedown in the ring recovering, Cole said he won on instinct alone. He said he hasn’t moved since the match ended. Graves said Bryan has been in the fire before and he might do it again.
-Roman Reigns and Paul Heyman walked out an minute later. Cole said it appears they’re going to have the Universal Title match now. “Exactly what Roman Reigns wanted!” said Cole. “When he proposed this, he knew the winner of the Elimination Chamber would be beaten to hell, nowhere near 100 percent.” Cole said Bryan can’t even stand after having his bad knee beaten up in that match.
(2) ROMAN REIGNS (w/Paul Heyman) vs. DANIEL BRYAN – WWE Universal Title match
The ref checked with Bryan. Bryan stood. Reigns went for a spear. Bryan side-stepped the spear and applied a Yes Lock. Cole exclaimed Bryan was going to win. Graves said it was WrestleMania 30 all over again. Reigns powered out and pummeled Bryan on the mat with vicious elbows to the head. Bryan was out cold. A “You suck!” chant rang out. Reigns then put Bryan in a guillotine and the ref called for the bell.
WINNER: Reigns in 2:00 to retain the Unviversal Title.
(Keller’s Analysis: It’s tough to tell if it’s a lock that Bryan faces Reigns at Fastlane in a rematch in a more fair set of circumstances. It made sense to have the masterplan of Reigns and Heyman to work, which was to give Reigns an easy victory against an exhausted wrestler. I wasn’t expecting more, but there’s a chance some viewers will feel shortchanged on a full-fledged match.)
-When Reigns stood and his music was playing, Edge speared him. Edge leaned in, hands behind his back (as Reigns did on Friday’s Smackdown), and whispered something to him. Reigns gasped and moaned in pain. Edge looked down at him with an intense look, then pointed at the WrestleMania sign. Pyro blasted on cue. Cole said it appears Edge has made his choice. Graves said Edge couldn’t have made it more clear. Reigns sat up as Edge look back at him from the stage. Cole said it appears Reigns and Edge both got their wish.
(Keller’s Analysis: It was time to just get that announcement made. I liked Edge whispering to Reigns after the spear, just as Reigns whispered something to him on Friday. I wonder if we’ll ever been told what was said by either or both of them.)
-After commercials, Graves talked about Bad Bunny’s appearance on Saturday Night Live last night as they showed images of him on the show. Graves said it’s a thrill to have him in WWE.
-Backstage, Sonya Deville told Bad Bunny that he cracked her up on SNL last night. She said if he needs anything, step into her office. The Miz walked up to him and said he saw him on SNL last night. He said he thinks he and John Morrison should have been on the show. He asked what he’s doing there. Bunny asked Miz what he’s doing there, since he’s not a champion. Miz shoved Bunny. Bunny slapped him. When Miz turned back around, Damian Priest was standing there. Bunny chomped his gum behind Priest. Miz walked away. Priest smiled with Bunny.
(Keller’s Analysis: Pretty clear we’re heading toward a tag match at WrestleMania with those two pairs.)
Announcers: Tom Phillips, Samoa Joe, Byron Saxton
(3) BOBBY LASHLEY (w/MVP) vs. RIDDLE vs. JOHN MORRISON – Triple Threat for the U.S. Title
As Riddle came out, they went to the Smackdown announcers on camera. Then they went to a clip of Morrison winning against Ricochet, Mustafa Ali, and Elias earlier on the Kickoff Show, ending when he rolled up Ali. (Kind of a strange choice to have Morrison beat a heel and gloat about it when he’s positioned as a heel against Priest & Bunny.) Lashley came out third as Phillips touted some sponsors.
Lashley dominated right away for several minutes. Riddle and Morrison fought back and took Lashley out at ringside with a Riddle kick and a Morrison flip dive
Riddle and Morrison battled for several minutes next. Riddle scored a near fall with a bridge. Lashley re-entered the ring and swung at Riddle. Riddle ducked and hit a Final Flash knee. Lashley went down again. Riddle went for a Floating Bro. He overshot on it. Morrison stopped Riddle’s cover attempt, then landed Starship Pain for a two count.
MVP yelled at Morrison from ringside, asking if he really thinks he was going to win with that. Morrison took MVP’s crutch from him and threatened MVP with it. He swung it at Lashley in the ring, but Lashley ducked and applied a Hurt Lock. Riddle then bashed Lashley with the crutch twice. Phillips noted the (utterly ridiculous) rule in a Triple Threat that anything goes. He then hit the Bro Derek on Morrison for the win.
WINNER: Riddle to win the U.S. Title in 8:00. (**)
(Keller’s Analysis: Why should anyone think WWE titles mean anything when you win a match like that – using a crutch legally and pinning an opponent who’s not the champion? These Triple Threat rules are just so dumb. This does free up Lashley to go after Drew instead at WrestleMania without having lost the U.S. Title, which might be the point of having this Triple Threat match to begin with and having someone fill in for Keith Lee rather than just making it one-on-one.)
-WWE hyped WrestleMania and the announcers noted it would be available on the Peacock streaming network.
-Kayla interviewed Sasha Banks & Bianca Belair backstage. She asked how they’d coexist. Reginald interrupted. He said Belair is the EST of WWE, and “someone as beautiful as Sasha should be draped with as much gold as possible.” Reginald offered to put a bottle of his finest Champaign on ice for her tonight. Belair said after their win tonight, maybe they can toast her decision as well. She gave Banks a sly knowing look.
(4) NIA JAX & SHAYNA BASZLER vs. SASHA BANKS & BIANCA BELAIR – WWE Women’s Tag Team Title match
Several minutes in, Belair tried to lift Jax. Jax resisted and slammed Belair. Sasha broke up the cover with a stiff kick. Banks kneed Baszler off the ring apron. Jax lifted Belair, but Jax didn’t realize it. Jax gave Belair a Samoan Drop. Banks caught Belair with a leaping Meteora for a two count. Reginald walked out with Champaign and two Champaign glasses. Banks was briefly distracted by him. Jax went after Banks, but Banks countered into a Bank Statement. Jax reached the bottom rope. Reginald slid her a bottle to use as a weapon. The ref took it from her as Banks yelled down at Reginald that she didn’t want that. Jax “attacked” Banks from behind and then gave her a Samoan Drop for the win. Cole said things backfired for Reginald. After the match Reginald entered the ring and apologized. Belair chewed him out.
WINNERS: Baszler & Jax in 10:00 to retain the WWE Tag Team Titles. (**)
(Keller’s Analysis: Basic decent match. Seems like Reginald might be faking his crush on Sasha to cost her victories. Or he’s a simp.)
-A commercial aired for WWE Fastlane, the next PPV event.
-MVP chatted with The Miz backstage. Miz had his hands on the Money in the Bank briefcase.
-A video package aired on the Raw Chamber match set-up.
(5) DREW MCINTYRE vs. A.J. STYLES (w/Omos) vs. KOFI KINGSTON vs. RANDY ORTON vs. SHEAMUS vs. JEFF HARDY – Elimination Chamber match for the WWE Universal Title
Drew came out first, then Sheamus, Styles, and Kofi. Orton and Hardy began against each other. Drew was the first to enter from the pod about five minutes in. He went after Orton with hard clotheslines. He overhead tossed Hardy. Then he gave Orton a neckbreaker (Orton bumped early for it and it looked bad.) Drew tossed Orton to the platform at ringside. Drew beat up Hardy. Orton came back with a draping DDT for a near fall on Drew.
The fourth entrant was Kingston. He went right after Orton. He surprised Orton with a leverage roll-up for a surprise early elimination.
ELIMINATION #1: Orton
Orton gave Kofi a quick RKO out of frustration. Then he gave an RKO to Hardy. Omos yanked off the back of Styles’s pod. The door was opened for Orton to leave. Styles ran into the ring and scored near falls on Kingston and Hardy. Phillips called it brilliant. Joe said he was circumventing the rules. Adam Pearce came out and yelled at Omos and ordered him to the back. Styles protested. Omos marched to the back. Kofi caught Styles with a leaping tornado DDT onto the ringside grating. Drew then went after Hardy with chops.
As the match continued, they often went to a view of Sheamus watching the match from his pod. He finally entered last. Drew stood mid-ring and waited for him. They exchanged a barrage of punches mid-ring. Drew threw hard knees and a forearm to Sheamus’s back. Sheamus came right back with return fire. Hardy recovered and went after Drew as Styles went after Sheamus. Drew and Sheamus tossed them aside, then went back after each other. Drew clotheslined Sheamus over the top rope, and tumbled over the top rope onto him also. Styles and Kofi battled at ringside next.
Sheamus set up Kofi for a move of the top rope, but Kofi fought free and climbed onto the pod roof. Drew grabbed Sheamus’s legs and knocked him off balance, crotching himself. Drew headbutted Sheamus. Styles intervened. Drew knocked him down and then suplexed Sheamus off the top rope. Hardy and Styles got up and pulled Drew down for a four-way suplex spot. A “This is awesome!” chant broke out. Kofi stood and leaped off the pod with a leaping turning back-first dive onto all four. He scored some two counts. Sheamus and Kofi battled, and Sheamus got the better of it with a Brogue Kick for the three count
ELIMINATION #2: Kingston
Hardy rallied with a Twist of Fate on Drew for a two count. Styles intervened. Hardy gave him a Twist of Fate. Hardy then climbed onto the pod and leaped off with a Twist of Fate onto both Sheamus and Drew at ringside. He went back after Styles in the ring and landed a Twist of Fate on Styles. Drew, though, caught him with a sudden Claymore for a three count.
ELIMINATION #3: Hardy.
Drew and Sheamus battled mid-ring. Shemaus caught Drew with a thumb to the eye and knee to the face for a near fall. Sheamus and Drew battled again. Sheamus landed White Noise. Both were down. Styles landed a springboard flip onto Drew for a two count. Styles landed a springboard 450 for another near fall on Drew. Sheamus was watching, then moved in on Styles. He gave Styles his signature forearms to the chest as Styles was bent backwards over the top rope. Sheamus leaped off the top rope with a clothesline on Styles. He then waited for Styles to stand, but Drew caught him with a DDT. Phillips talked about Drew being in the match since being entrant no. 3. Drew stood and went for a Claymore. Sheamus countered a Brogue Kick. With Drew down, Styles hit Sheamus with a Phenomenal Forearm.
ELIMINATION #4: Sheamus.
So it was down to Styles and Drew. Styles set up a Phenomenal Forearm, but Drew caught him with a Claymore for a three count.
ELIMINATION #5: Styles.
WINNER: McIntyre to retain the WWE Title. (***3/4)
(Keller’s Analysis: Another good Chamber match. Pretty straight forward execution start to finish. I wasn’t a fan of Styles bypassing the entry rules and being allowed to do it the way he did to get an advantage.)
-As Drew celebrated, Lashley speared him. Then he threw him into the ringpost at ringside. He rammed his head over and over into the announce table. The MITB contract backstage loomed large during this beatdown by Lashley, although the announcers didn’t mention it in order to maximize the surprise factor. Lashley applied the Hurt Lock and left Drew lying on the floor.
Miz’s music played. Miz ran to the ring and cashed in the briefcase. The ref checked on Drew as Miz anticipated the bell ringing. The bell rang.
(6) DREW MCINTYRE vs. THE MIZ – Money in the Bank cash-in
Miz kicked Drew and then DDT’d him for a two count. Miz then hit the Skull Crushing Finale for the three count. As Miz celebrated, Phillips said Drew’s path to WrestleMania just took a major detour.
WINNER: The Miz to become WWE Champion.
(Keller’s Analysis: Okay then. I assume Drew gets it back soon and ends up facing Lashley at WM, but if they’re willing to have Miz win, you can’t rule out anything at this point.)
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