Exceeding Expectations

On paper it didn’t look like much. So we didn’t expect much.  In fact we stated that this lineup was pretty poor for a SmackDown Live PPV.  How great it feels to admit, WE WERE WRONG!

Yes I will shout it from the hills.  I will scream it through the valleys.  Nick Anthony and The Boobs were wrong.  The 2017 Elimination Chamber was, to say the least, and in my journalistic opinion, damn near perfect.

From the initial preshow match which saw Mojo Rawley’s singles push begin in earnest, to the crowning of a new WWE World Heavyweight Champion, this card delivered in ways that paper could never do justice to.

Yes there were moments that I did not like, but that is the fan in me.  As a journalist and in hindsight, each match represented what is best to move the best damn brand that the WWE has to offer it’s fans, and yes that includes NXT, forward into WrestleMania 33 in Orlando.

Each match firmly put SmackDown’s talented roster in jockeying position to steal the show at WrestleMania 33.  I can now see a clear path to the main event, if things remain as they are now.

Courtesy of WWE

I finally feel that there is someone in WWE who does give a damn about what the fans want. And that someone is Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan.

After 9 years of struggle Naomi finally captured her first title in the WWE.  This woman deserves this and the WWE Universe let her know that in no uncertain terms.  The emotions of seeing Naomi finally be rewarded for all the hard work and struggle were genuine.  Not forced.  The tears flowed and the people now have a moment that will stay with us forever.

Courtesy of WWE.com

Watching Luke Harper and Randy Orton put on a five star match and stealing the show, well that was priceless.  I truly hope that everyone will now give Luke Harper all the credit he deserves.  This man so reminds me of the late Bruiser Brody. Maybe now it will be his time to shine and he will be able to capture gold at some point.  His departure from the Wyatt Family may well be the best thing to happen to his career. Funny how even in a lose Luke’s star soared, and soaring when your opponent is one of the best to ever step inside the squared circle in never an easy feat.

The introduction of a new Elimination Chamber was only one of the highlights in a main event that delivered and honestly, is only second to Harper and Orton.  This match is what an Elimination Chamber should be.  How perfect that Cena and AJ should be the first two combatants in the ring to continue what they started at The Royal Rumble.

But let’s talk about the structure itself.  If the original Elimination Chamber wasn’t demonic enough, this new chamber is something straight out of a madman’s mind.  This structure makes the Hell in A Cell cage look like a puppy pen.  At 28 foot high, I believe this is the largest structure ever used by the WWE.  The Chamber should allow for some spectacular moments in the future.  One could only hope that next year will bring the first chamber match involving the Women of SmackDown.

Back to the match and the shear perfection it delivered.

The continuation of the AJ Styles John Cena feud was a delight for all WWE fans. These two seem to really bring out the best in each other.  This leaves me wondering what sort of matches they may have been able to put together had AJ made it to the WWE years ago?  I am just happy that we, the fans, have finally been given the opportunity to see, what I feel, are two of the best wrestlers, and yes I am talking about John Cena, in the business at this time. I truly hope that we see more of this feud in 2017 as each time they have meet inside the ring, they have excelled to prove why they are both future Hall of Famers.

The establishment of a feud between Baron Corbin and Dean Ambrose that we can only hope ends with an IC Championship opportunity for the young upstart Corbin was executed to a tee and every I was dotted.  The vicious assault on Ambrose sets a clear path for Baron Corbin towards the Intercontinental Championship.  There are still 7 weeks until WrestleMania so there may be a change of guard in the IC division before Orlando, but only time will tell. I for one am anticipating seeing the brutality that Baron Corbin will dish out to Ambrose.

Courtesy of WWE.com

With the elimination of The Lone Wolf and The Lunatic fringe at numbers one an two, the match really opened up and allowed The Miz to show just how awesome he really is.  His Daniel Bryanesque assault on Cena, Wyatt, and Styles will remain one of my personal favorites for years to come. The Miz is one of those hidden gems that can really ad a depth to a match that is often unexpected. The continued mocking of SmackDown general manager Daniel Bryan makes one question if WWE will ever make the match between The Miz and Bryan? Reports are that Daniel is ready to return to the ring and feels that he can perform at the level needed to be an in ring competitor once again.  All we need is for WWE doctors to say YES! YES! YES!

The fall of John Cena to Sister Abigale was, in a word, wonderful.  Cena doing the honors for Bray was a moment that will forever be remembered by everyone. Even though Cena’s sixteenth championship reign only lasted 14 days, it will always be remembered as the one where Cena not only tied Ric Flair’s legendary record, but one during which he chose to pass the torch to a deserving competitor in Bray Wyatt.

AJ and Bray brought a climactic ending to what had been an opus of brutality and destruction. The look on AJ’s face as he stared across the ring at The Eater of Worlds realizing that he was locked inside this demonic chamber with Wyatt should be a commercial for MasterCard, Priceless.  The look of bewilderment and, dare I say, even horror is one of the best ever.  We often talk about an RKO out of no where, well, after this match we can now talk about the Sister Abigale out of No Where.

I would have loved to be inside the mind of AJ as he flew off the ropes for the Styles forearm and was caught by Bray and laid prone by Sister Abigale.  With the arrival of Sister Abigale and the counting of the 1-2-3, Bray Wyatt finally captured his first WWE singles championship.  This was HIS night.  This was OUR moment.  The era of Wyatt had begun.

If I have anything critical to say about this event it is the way the Tag Team Turmoil match was booked.  After the Usos beat the living hell out of American Alpha, that should have been it, The Ascension should have came to the ring and easily defeated Jordan and Gable.  No questions asked.  I am not going to fantasy book here, but I do feel that the WWE needs to finally let Viktor and Konner out of the dog house and allow them to become what they should be, the most dominate tag team on SmackDown.  As stated before, there are seven weeks left until the biggest event in all of entertainment and who knows.  Anything can happen in the WWE.

I invite everyone to listen in to Pro Wrestling 24/7 on prowrestling247.com @pw247net this Wednesday at 8p east / 5p west for more on the 2017 Elimination chamber and the Road to WrestleMania.

I am The Boobs and that’s my opinion.  After all, in the end, it’s the only one that matters.