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WWE Elimination Chamber 2022: It’s all a setup! (for WrestleMania)

WWE Champion Brock Lesnar at Elimination Chamber 2022 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

WWE Elimination Chamber is the last major stop on the road to WrestleMania. This year’s show, which took place on February 19 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, was constructed specifically to get stars ready for April 2–3.

The wrestling Saturday was mostly good. While there were no real surprises, the card did its job. Everyone involved in the major WrestleMania matches were protected. Most were made to look as strong as possible. With an enormous AT&T Stadium to fill twice, it’s more important than ever for WWE to convince fans they will see a clashes of titans in April.

Fight Game’s Garrett Gonzales covered the event live, and you can read all the results here. 

Now we’ll look at some takeaways from the 2022 edition of Elimination Chamber:

Title vs. Title

The company always needs something special for WrestleMania. Selling 70,000–80,000 tickets each night for two nights requires more added attractions than usual. The setup for this began right off the bat Saturday. First, Roman Reigns beat Goldberg decisively to open the show. Goldberg is a star from the past the Saudi event organizers still see as a big deal, so he’s frequently added to these shows. But this time, the focus was not on him. In a quick match that saw Reigns kick out of the spear, hit a Rock Bottom (foreshadow alert) and avoid the jackhammer altogether, Reigns choked Goldberg out in short order. Goldberg is best in short, explosive doses anyway, but he never looked like he had Reigns in any particular trouble in this match. Reigns walked away from the ring having just decisively beaten a legend and looking dominant.

That led us to the men’s Elimination Chamber match later in the show. Brock Lesnar looked just as dominant in his match as Reigns looked in his. Lesnar broke out of his pod early, then proceeded to beat everyone else in the match in quick succession to regain the WWE title. Lesnar sold only a low blow from Austin Theory. Other than that, he was a human-shaped steamroller. Lesnar versus Reigns is the biggest match WWE has. With the Day 1 match being called off at the last second, these two matches at Elimination Chamber and the title versus title aspect added in, it has the feel of a major main event.

WWE still has Lesnar vs. Lashley down the road

Unfortunately, it turns out the WWE Champion going into the match, Bobby Lashley, was injured at the Royal Rumble and thus had to be written out of the story for a while. They did that by having Seth Rollins powerbomb Theory into Lashley’s pod (these pods don’t seem to be up to code), knocking him out of the match altogether and allowing Lashley to lose the title without losing the match or vacating it. We do not know how long Lashley will be away from the ring just yet.

The way it was handled sets up a potential match with Lesnar down the road since Lesnar lost the title to Lashley, then didn’t get a chance to beat him in the Chamber. That’s a solid main event storyline to have in the pocket for later this year once Lashley recovers.

Becky Lynch’s outstanding night

Lynch and Lita had a very good RAW Women’s title match at Elimination Chamber. It was a match that was going to go exactly as far as Lynch could carry it. Lita is a big name but was never on the level of the top WWE women of today. She stepped up and worked very hard in this match, but Lynch was excellent at keeping this match on track and moving. Her selling for Lita was top notch and her offense in particular was crisp and fast-paced. It was a good example of a strong worker carrying an opponent.

Lita did her part as well. She hung with one of the best workers out there. Her conditioning was good and her charisma helped keep the crowd in the match. Good work all around.

Lynch is now set up to face Bianca Belair at WrestleMania. Belair won an entertaining women’s Elimination Chamber match, pinning the returning Alexa Bliss in the final fall. The match felt like what an Elimination Chamber match would be as a house show main event. It was worked at a brisk pace. Everyone in the match worked hard and got to shine some. No one did anything too dangerous (that was saved for Theory’s F5 off the top of a pod), and a babyface went over clean at the end.

Belair went over Sasha Banks in an excellent WrestleMania event last year. Now she and Lynch will square off in another potentially great match if they are given the time.

A new, mostly effective presentation of Ronda Rousey

Ronda Rousey and Naomi defeated Sonya Deville and Charlotte Flair in a tag team match. The special stipulation was Rousey had to wrestle with one arm tied behind her back after “injuring” Deville on SmackDown. Of course, Deville was faking her injury, so she took her sling off as soon as the match began.

The Roddy Piper-inspired outfit and the space alien-inspired makeup were gone for Rousey. She wore a judo gi Michael Cole said was the one she wore when winning a bronze medal in the Olympics. The makeup was gone also and it was an improvement. Hopefully this will be closer to Rousey’s presentation going forward.

The match was fine. Naomi and Flair have good chemistry and the best part of the match was when they were in together. Rousey sold more than she should, but in the end she got hold of Deville and submitted her with one arm, while daring Flair to interfere. Flair let Sonya take the fall for her team, leaving the more intense confrontation with Rousey to come. The match was not a classic, but it accomplished what it needed to. It’s also worth noting Deville was competing in a country in which her lifestyle is illegal, which can’t be easy for any one on the crew dealing with those circumstances.

Madcap Moss scared the hell out of us

Moss was here to put over Drew McIntyre. It’s all to set up McIntyre getting to Happy Corbin eventually. Corbin interfered in the the Falls Count Anywhere, No-DQ match. This one had the ridiculous stipulation that Drew’s sword was also legal. The match was fine. Moss has shown potential and works fine with McIntyre, except he almost ended up with a broken neck. Moss tucked his chin while taking an Alabama Slam, and the bump was frightening. Luckily, he seemed to be okay. Don’t try this at home – or anywhere else – kids:

Final thoughts:

The Viking Raiders flew all the way to Saudi Arabia to be attacked before the bell, laid out in seconds, and have their match called off. At least the paycheck still cashes. Still, it’s hard to believe the former War Raiders are booked to look like such ineffective losers as they are now. The Usos flew a long way for very little work too, but at least they ended up looking good at the end.

After losing to Rey Mysterio via roll-up on the pre-show, the Miz teased he’d have a big-name partner coming in. Rumors began swirling it was Logan Paul, a celebrity with a massive following on social media who leans into the heel role. If it is indeed Paul, he’ll be added to the list of Johnny Knoxville and potentially Steve Austin as special attractions for WrestleMania. We seem set up for an intriguing buildup for the big shows to come.

The baggy T-shirts were gone from the women’s outfits, aside from referee Jessika Carr, who wore her shirt untucked. The women still had to be covered nearly completely. They made the best of it, and some very good designs were used, but it’s still a sad fact there are such restrictions.

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