Date: February 10, 2023
Location: Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville, Connecticut
Commentators: Michael Cole, Wade Barrett
We are just over a week away from Elimination Chamber and the main portion of the card is set. That is going to include a pair of Elimination Chamber matches, plus Sami Zayn challenging Roman Reigns for the World Title. Odds are the latter will get some focus this week so let’s get to it.
We open with a recap of Roman Reigns and Sami Zayn brawling last week, with Sami getting beaten down but also getting the Elimination Chamber title match.
Here is Paul Heyman to talk about Sami Zayn, who is not here this evening. Can anyone imagine Zayn as champion? It’s as insane as Cody Rhodes saying it was personal on Raw. Heyman: “YOU DUMBA**!” These championships are not just titles, but rather the centerpieces of the Island of Relevancy. They are the blood that flows through the veins of the Bloodline. Without these titles, there is no Roman Reigns.
Cue Zayn from behind though and Heyman knows this isn’t good. Zayn holds out his hand for the mic but don’t worry, because he won’t hurt Heyman. Isn’t that interesting? A month ago, Solo Sikoa and Jimmy Uso would have dropped him, but now Heyman is here by himself and Heyman probably knows why. Reigns’ days as Universal Champion are numbered and look at how he is acting. Look at how Reigns is treating everyone else.
Heyman has looked at Reigns for two years and it’s a little creepy. Now Heyman is talking about his days after Reigns so Zayn makes it clear: Reigns has eight days left. Heyman asks for the mic, but Zayn says Reigns doesn’t have to worry about Cody, because Zayn is taking him down first. With Zayn gone, Heyman looks shaken up. This stuff is still fire but dang it is going to be rough seeing it possibly cut off at the knees next week.
Hit Row vs. Sheamus/Drew McIntyre
This is due to Hit Row being made over not getting to face McIntyre and Sheamus as planned last week. McIntyre throws Adonis into the corner to start but Dolla breaks up the Claymore. Sheamus takes Adonis back inside, where a dropkick staggers him. Dolla gets in a shot of his own but Sheamus fights up. McIntyre Claymores Dolla and the Brogue Kick finishes Adonis at 2:52.
Post match we get a video from the Viking Raiders, who seem ready for a fight next week.
Jimmy Uso can’t find Jey, with the Tag Team Title match coming tonight.
Karrion Kross is ready to become the #1 contender to the Intercontinental Title by hurting Rey Mysterio. And two other people.
Lacey Evans vs. Cameron Harris
Evans doesn’t think much of Harris to start and whips her hard into the corner. Some pushups let Evans show off a bit, followed by the Woman’s Right and Cobra Clutch to make Harris tap at 2:05.
Jimmy Uso continues to panic about his lack of a twin brother. Paul Heyman wonders where Jimmy was when the psychopathic Canadian held him hostage in a casino. Jimmy shrugs it off and wants Heyman as his partner since Solo Sikoa isn’t here either. That doesn’t seem to work for Heyman, but Jimmy says it’s cool because his brother will be here.
Sonya Deville isn’t happy with not being in the Elimination Chamber. Chelsea Green interrupts and asks to see the Smackdown manager. Adam Pearce says he’s the Raw manager as well, which has Green accusing him of saying everyone looks away. Pearce is sick of this and puts them in a match together tonight.
Tag Team Titles: Usos vs. Ricochet/Braun Strowman
The Usos are defending, or at least Jimmy is as he comes out with no partner. Well hold on though as we get the Big Match Intros….and Jey comes through the crowd. Jey shoulders Ricochet down to start and then elbows him for a bonus. Ricochet manages a Tajiri handspring elbows for two on Jimmy, who smiles as Ricochet grabs a front facelock. It’s off to Strowman for the winning splash in the corner, with Jimmy needing a breather. Back in and a quick Samoan drop plants Ricochet, followed by a superkick to send him outside.
We take a break and come back with Ricochet still in trouble. He gets in a shot of his own though and it’s the hot tag to Strowman to clean house. Strowman gets sent outside though and a superkick rocks him again. Back in and a high crossbody makes it worse but Strowman gets over to Ricochet. Jimmy gets knocked down and it’s a powerslam into the off the shoulders Swanton for two, with Jey making the save. Strowman runs Jey over on the floor but Jey tags himself in. Ricochet hits Jimmy with the shooting star press, only to bounce off so Jey can hit the Superfly Splash to retain at 13:14.
Rating: B-. Well so much for the drama, as Jey came in before anything happened and they had an Usos match. In other words, it was a match without a ton of drama as the Usos have been presented as so far and away better than any other team. What we got here was good enough for a televised title match and that’s all it needed to be if they weren’t going to have any serious drama.
Rey Mysterio is ready to fight through Karrion Kross to get another shot at Gunther and the Intercontinental Title.
Jey Uso tells Jimmy that he’ll always have his brother’s back. As far as the Bloodline, he doesn’t know yet. Jey leaves and Paul Heyman comes up to ask what Jey said. Jimmy says Jey didn’t say anything and just left, which is fine with Heyman. Question: did we ever get an explanation for why Solo wasn’t here tonight? I know Reigns had faith in Jimmy to get Jey there, but he’s also the kind of person to have all his bases covered.
Here is Natalya to talk about how she took Shayna Baszler’s spot in the Elimination Chamber. That’s because Baszler is nothing more than a Ronda Rousey knockout and Natalya is going on to win the Chamber next week. Cue Baszler to interrupt, saying she is tired of everyone dismissing her accomplishments. Natalya isn’t happy with Rousey….but here is Rousey to beat Natalya down. Shotzi’s save attempt fails as well and Baszler goes after Natalya’s arm to leave her laying.
Jey Uso runs into Sami Zayn, who says Jey has been having a rough time lately. Zayn knows what Roman Reigns can put people through and he thanks Jey for what he did at the Royal Rumble. Jey doesn’t have to go down with the ship and there is a way out at Elimination Chamber. Zayn acknowledges Jey, which gets a head snap. Jey tells Zayn to get out of here with that, but they do fist bump.
LA Knight doesn’t want to talk about the Pitch Black match because it’s all about the future and that is him. We have officially established that Knight is still alive.
Sonya Deville/Chelsea Green vs. Raquel Rodriguez/Liv Morgan
Liv sends Deville into the corner to start and hits a running knee. Deville is fine enough to kneel Morgan out of the air for two but she fights out of the corner. A missed right hand knocks Green off the apron and the hot tag brings in Rodriguez to clean house. Rodriguez brings Green in and sends her into Deville on the apron. The Tejana Bomb into Oblivion into a powerbomb to drop Morgan onto Green is enough for the pin at 4:07.
Rating: C-. Rodriguez continues to feel like one of the next big works in progress and it should be interesting to see where she goes. She still needs to work on some stuff in the ring, but you can’t argue with that size, strength and look. I’m not expecting this to be anything more than a one off, but Morgan as the replacement for Aliyah as Rodriguez projectile could be an upgrade over the hardcore stuff.
Madcap Moss, with Emma, is ready to win the four way. Emma has gotten him some better gear as well so he’s rather confident.
Earlier today, we got a sitdown interview with Charlotte, who isn’t worried about Rhea Ripley. Charlotte beat her at Wrestlemania three years ago and now Charlotte is still saying the same things about Ripley: she isn’t ready for this level. Three years ago, Charlotte taught her a lesson and she’ll put Ripley in her place in 50 days.
Karrion Kross vs. Madcap Moss vs. Rey Mysterio vs. Santos Escobar
One fall to a finish for a future Intercontinental Title show and Scarlett/Emma/Zelina Vega are here too. Moss and Kross slug it out to start before Escobar and Rey come back in to clear the ring. That leaves Rey vs. Escobar, which has Barrett rather interested. A backbreaker gives Escobar two but the 619 is broken up. Rey dives onto Kross and Escobar dives onto Moss as we take a break.
Back with Moss running all three of the others over and rolling Escobar up for two. Rey’s basement dropkick hits Escobar as Kross and Moss come back in too. The Phantom Driver gets two on Rey with Moss making the save. Escobar’s top rope hurricanrana gets two on Moss but Kross sends Escobar outside. Rey 619s Kross down but Scarlett makes the save, allowing Kross to blast Rey in the back of the head. Kross gets pulled outside though, setting up Moss’ top rope elbow for the pin and the title shot at 12:51.
Rating: C+. This was probably the best choice for an ending, as Gunther has already beaten Mysterio and he isn’t going to face Kross or Escobar. That leaves Moss as the next designated victim. At least his look is better now and if he gets a better name, they might have a little something with him. Kross continues to be just kind of there and Escobar is a good hand, meaning the talent was certainly here for this one, though it didn’t get up to that top level.
Paul Heyman comes in to see Jimmy Uso and says Roman Reigns is proud. The thing is, Jimmy has an assignment from Reigns next week: he wants Jimmy to stay home and watch the show on TV, because you get a different perspective from there. Sometimes you even hear things you don’t get otherwise. A slap at the Tag Team Title belt wraps us up. So, finally, after all these years, SOMEONE ACTUALLY WATCHED THE SHOW???
Overall Rating: B-. This show was good enough on its own, but what matters here is they set things up for next week. That is going to be rather helpful, as the Elimination Chamber card is set and there won’t need to be much major work done on the go home show. That is the kind of planning for the future that you did not get under the old WWE regime and it is working well here.
Drew McIntyre/Sheamus b. Hit Row – Brogue Kick to Adonis
Lacey Evans b. Cameron Harris – Cobra Clutch
Usos b. Ricochet/Braun Strowman – Superfly Splash to Ricochet
Raquel Rodriguez/Liv Morgan b. Sonya Deville/Chelsea Green – Powerbomb onto Deville
Madcap Moss b. Karrion Kross, Santos Escobar and Rey Mysterio – Top rope elbow to Mysterio
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with 30 different cheap wrestling books at:
Remember to check out Wrestlingrumors.net for all of your wrestling headline needs.