PLE PRIMER – WWE ELIMINATION CHAMBER 2023: Preview and predictions for Reigns vs. Zayn, more


WWE Elimination Chamber 2023 kickoff show report


The Bell Center in Montreal, Quebec, Canada will host Elimination Chamber 2023 (aka No Escape in Germany) on February 18, 2023.The eponymous Elimination Chamber itself is a giant cage with four pods that each house a wrestler. Two wrestlers start the match and after a set amount of time, the podss open up at timed intervals. A wrestler is eliminated by pinfall or submission (and occasionally other silly reasons) with the last wrestler remaining being declared the winner. The Wrestlemania contender for the WWE Raw Women’s Championship will be determined in one Chamber match, while the WWE United States Championship will be up for grabs in the other. Montreal will cheer on their Sami Zayn as he faces Roman Reigns for the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship. Two long running feuds (hopefully) get rapped up when Finn Balor and Rhea Ripley face Edge and Beth Phoenix, and Brock Lesnar and Bobby Lashley face off.

Roman Reigns (c) vs. Sami Zayn – Undisputed WWE Universal Championship Match

Story in a nutshell: After Sami Zayn was beaten down by the Bloodline after he refused to attack Kevin Owens at Royal Rumble, he challenged Roman Reigns for the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship.

To finally fully accept Sami Zayn as an “Uce”, Roman Reigns tested Zayn by having him at ringside during Reigns’s Undisputed WWE Universal Championship match against Kevin Owens at Royal Rumble. After Reigns won, he and the Bloodline continued their attack on Owens. Initially refusing to take part, Zayn was forced to make a decision by Reigns. Zayn decided to turn on the Bloodline by attacking Reigns. The Bloodline set upon Zayn, only Jey Uso, who had finally accepted Zayn, walked out.
Later, Reigns accused Zayn of using his family for his advancement. Zayn refuted that and challenged Reigns to a championship match. Jey Uso (as the time of writing) has estranged himself from the Bloodline as he sorts things out. Cody Rhodes, who will be challenging the winner of this match due to winning the Royal Rumble match, has thrown his support behind Zayn.

Prediction: Reigns retains. Jey needs to make a decision regarding whose side he is on. I expect Zayn to be on the receiving end of a beat down leading to a save from Kevin Owens and/or Cody Rhodes.

Brock Lesnar vs. Bobby Lashley

Story in a nutshell: After Brock Lesnar cost Bobby Lashley the WWE United States championship, and Lashley eliminated Lesnar from the Royal Rumble match, the two settle their differences in this match.

At Royal Rumble 2022, Bobby Lashley defeated Brock Lesnar (albeit with help from Roman Reigns). Lesnar got his victory back at Crown Jewel despite being dominated in the match. Lesnar returned when Lashley was defending the WWE United States Championship costing him the title. Lashley then eliminated Lesnar from the 2023 Royal Rumble match sending Lesnar into a frenzy. Lesnar then signed a contract for a “final” match to settle things. Lesnar said he would first need to let his representation look the contract over first (teasing him realigning with MVP and likely some version of the Hurt Business). Eventually Lashley signed.

Prediction: I think the Hurt Business reforms in some fashion and costs Lesnar the match.

Edge & Beth Phoenix vs. Finn Balor & Rhea Ripley – Mixed Tag Team Match

Story in a nutshell: Edge formed the Judgment Day and has been trying to kill it for what seem like forever now only, in their last encounter, Edge’s wife, Beth Phoenix, was taken out.

Edge, in his never ending quest to destroy the Judgment Day, face Finn Balor in an “I Quit” match. Rhea Ripley threatened to take out Beth Phoenix, Edge’s wife who was there to counteract Rhea Ripley, forcing Edge to quit to save his wife. The Judgment Day still went through with their attack. Edge returned at the Royal Rumble match and eliminated Finn Balor and Damian Priest who, in turn, helped eliminate Edge. They fought to the back where Rhea Ripley tried to make a difference only to be speared by a returning Beth Phoenix. Edge and Beth then challenged Finn and Rhea to a mixed tag match.

Prediction: This is a hard one. How many times is Edge going to made out to be a loser facing these guys. (Not to mention how long this feud is going to go on for.) At the same time, Rhea Ripley won the Royal Rumble match so she’s challenging for a championship so pinning Beth Phoenix would be a statement heading to WrestleMania. I say go with Ripley.

Austin Theory (c) vs. Seth Rollins vs. Johnny Gargano vs. Bronson Reed vs. Damian Priest vs. Montez Ford – WWE United States Championship Elimination Chamber Match

Story in a nutshell: With Roman Reigns holding both main titles, it is up to Austin Theory to defend his WWE United States Championship in the Elimination Chamber match.

With the decision being made that Austin Theory would defend his WWE United States Championship in the Elimination Chamber, a series of matches to qualify for the match was held. Seth Rollins defeated Chad Gable, Johnny Gargano defeated Baron Corbin, Bronson Reed defeated Dolph Ziggler, Damian Priest defeated Angelo Dawkins, and Montez Ford defeated Ezekiel’s brother, Elias. Those five now face Theory in the chamber.

Predictions: With Theory likely facing Cena at WrestleMania, a braggadocious Theory could be the clarion call that summon John Cena. In the meantime, Gargano and Reed have has issues resulting from Gargano’s feud with Miz. I also expect Ford to go for a Kofi-like star-making performance in the chamber.

Asuka vs. Liv Morgan vs. Nikki Cross vs. Raquel Rodriguez vs. Natalya vs. Carmella – Number One Contender Elimination Chamber Match

Story in a nutshell: The winner of this match will face Bianca Belair at WrestleMania for the WWE Raw Women’s Championship.

With the winner of the women’s Royal Rumble match, Rhea Ripley, choosing to face WWE Smackdown Women’s Champion Charlotte at WrestleMania, it was decided that Bianca Belair’s challenger for her WWE Raw Women’s Championship would be determined in an Elimination Chamber match. The four runner ups from the Royal Rumble match, two from Raw and two from Smackdown, would automatically qualify. These were Asuka and Nikki Cross from Raw and Liv Morgan and Raquel Rodriguez from Smackdown. The other two participant needed to qualify in four-way matches. A returning Carmella beat Candice LeRae, Michin, and Piper Niven as Raw’s third entrant. Natalya defeated Shayna Baszler, Shotzi, and Zelina Vega as Smackdown’s third entrant. Both Bayley and Becky Lynch wanted in on the match, but Bianca showed up and said that they needed to win their way in. A triple threat was set up where if Bayley or Lynch won, they’d be added to the chamber. Since Belair won, neither would be added in the end.

Prediction: None of these seem like match-ups I’m too keen on. Asuka might be the best bet of getting the best possible match, plus Asuka and Belair (along with Alexa Bliss) teamed up against Bayley’s Damage CTRL, so there is some history there. And there is also Bliss lurking out there some where so perhaps there’ll be a triple threat amongst the three former allies.

CATCH-UP: Update on Elimination Chamber status of The Usos

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