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WWE ELIMINATION CHAMBER 2023 KICKOFF REPORT
FEBRUARY 18, 2022
AIRED ON PEACOCK
REPORT BY MIKE F. MEYERS, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Kickoff Panel: Kayla Braxton, Jerry Lawler, Booker T, Kevin Patrick, Peter Rosenberg
Video package: Elimination Chamber concept
Kayla asked Barrett how to mentally prepare for the Elimination Chamber. He said you have to be prepared to face danger head-on, and that Liv Morgan has lost any concept of danger. Kevin said he was thinking of a wild card pick like Nikki Cross. Peter chipped in, calling Natalya a “wiley veteran” with a home field advantage. Barrett said Natalya has been a “Mother Goose” figure in the women’s locker room, but at present, she is only looking out for herself. He added that a first-timer, like Raquel Rodriguez, has a unique advantage in this match because she isn’t experiencing the dread that veterans feel going into the Chamber. When someone mentioned Carmella’s chances, Barrett interrupted, saying that Carmella dissed him on Smackdown last night, and he is casting a “Papa Shango curse” on her.
Video package: Edge & Beth Phoenix vs. Finn Balor & Rhea Ripley
Barrett said the key to Judgment Day’s success is the “numbers game.” Kayla said she was shocked at how disrespectful Dominik Mysterio has been toward Edge and Phoenix. Kevin said that Edge should be a “man possessed” tonight after seeing his wife in jeopardy. Peter was excited for the multi-generational matchup between Phoenix and Ripley.
Video package: Sheamus
Video package: Bobby Lashley vs. Brock Lesnar
Kevin recounted his commentary debut on Raw last October, where minutes into the broadcast, his preparation was ruined when Lashley and Lesnar destroyed the announce table. Barret said he was grateful he’s never had to step into the ring with Lesnar, and that even at his peak, he wouldn’t have been able to stop Lesnar. Peter used the classic cliche of “irresistable force and immovable object.” Barrett said that Lashley may be the only person on the planet who might have Lesnar’s number. Peter described Lesnar as a machine who doesn’t let emotions get in the way of his business. The panel made fun of Kevin for predicting a Lashley victory, saying that Lashley bullied him into that pick with the threat of unfollowing Kevin on Twitter.
Video package: “La Belle Province” by Ariel Helwani. This detailed WWE’s history in Montreal, then focused on Sami Zayn, Kevin Owens, and tonight’s main event: Zayn vs. Reigns
The panel reviewed the qualifying matches leading to tonight’s United States Championship match in the Elimination Chamber.
Byron Saxton was backstage with Austin Theory. Theory was supremely confident, and he ran down each of his five challengers.
Barrett said he may not be the man to give Chamber advice, as he’s been in three but has won none. He said he appreciates Theory’s cockiness and arrogance. Peter asked Barrett what he thinks about when he’s waiting his turn in the pod. He said he hoped for some malfunction of the structure that would prevent him from being involved in the violence. Kayla wondered who Theory would fear the most in this match – she suggested Seth Rollins and Johnny Gargano. Barrett said that Rollins needs to be on the WrestleMania card, and that tonight’s match may be his path there.
Video package: Charlotte Flair
Video package: Sami Zayn vs. Roman Reigns
The live crowd erupted into “Ole ole” chants at the conclusion of the video package. Ariel Helwani joined the panel. He said he loves Montreal with all his heart and he’s emotional being here. He mentioned the Canadiens being the last big winner for the city in 1993, and they want a win tonight with Sami Zayn. Ariel said he was in the 400 section during Survivor Series 1997, and that it was a dark day. He said he’s been hoping for Zayn vs. Reigns ever since they announced the location of this event.
Find Mike Meyers on Twitter: @themikeshow42