Elimination Chamber 2023 Review

In today’s main event: Stew Vs Sciatica!

February has been a rough month for ya boy. I caught my first sickness I’ve had in other 3+ years with a relatively minor cold to start the month. But THEN… I cough or sneezed my back out of place, and I was laid up like the elderly man I am for a few days.

Almost two weeks later… I’m BARELY any better.

But hey, now I have steroids to take. And they are awful. I’ve never had pills before that start dissolving the SECOND they touch my tongue. So every time I have to take them, I get that god awful pill taste in my mouth.

Anyway, I’ll heal up. Or I won’t and I’ll die, I guess. Whichever! It’s Elimination Chamber time! Sami Zayn versus Roman Reigns!

I’m writing this during the pre-show, and I’m DYING to see how the build here shapes up. I’m FIRMLY in the “Sami Vs Roman At Mania Or Bust” camp. I have no idea how you get there, but there are multiple paths. I simply can’t see Sami Zayn–the most over man in the company–being reduced to a tag team match at WrestleMania. That’s beneath him. Imagine Daniel Bryan in a tag match at WrestleMania 30. It’s inconceivable.

But I know this is a divisive issue. So I’m curious to hear what people think.

I’m not saying they replace Cody. Cody deserves this shot, too. But whether they do a Triple Threat match or one title defended on each night… I feel like Sami HAS to be fighting Roman. You don’t settle the biggest story and the hottest feud in the company–one that has been building for over half a year–at Elimination Chamber. And make no mistake: the story is Sami vs Roman. Not Sami vs The Usos.

But again… that is divisive!

So depending on how this show tonight ends, let me know in the comments how YOU feel. With that said, let’s get into the show!

Well, it’s only 7:20pm, and I still have time before the show. While I’m waiting, I STRONGLY recommend you check out the newest episode of the Stew World Order podcast where we discuss X-Men Origins: Wolverine.

We discuss cool guys not looking at explosions, THAT version of Deadpool, and the time Wolverine met… Superman’s parents? Available anywhere you get your podcasts!

8:05pm: We are starting off with the Women’s Elimination Chamber match! This pretty much HAS to be either Raquel or Asuka, right? Although I feel like Asuka is only halfway through her transformation, so I can see her losing here to further that.

Speaking of, Asuka is introduced first, and I really need to look up some of her KANA work, don’t I? I gotta see her prime as the killer clown.

8:13pm: Liv out here in a Canadian tuxedo version of her gear, haha. Or she is a big fan of Bluetista today.

8:17pm: The first three ladies in the match are all the Smackdown talent.

8:20pm: As Nikki enters the chamber, Natalya, Liv, and Raquel had a nice little three-woman stretch of attacking and doing move combinations. Good match so far!

8:23pm: This has been a fantastic match so far. Nikki has been a complete wrecking crew since she entered. Good modern era violence. And here comes Carmella, who used to have better entrance music than she has now. Carmella adds what she can, which is some classic chickenshit heel tactics. Taunting and hiding.

8:30pm: Liv is simultaneously killed by submissions from Asuka and Natalya, and Liv even then gets eliminated by passing out / being unable to protect herself. Great stuff! Down to Asuka, Raquel, and Mella.

8:32pm: Asuka and Mella obliterate Raquel with kicks, then they both pin her at the same time.

8:33pm: ASUKA WINS! Can Asuka finally–FINALLY–win a match at WrestleMania? To end the amazingly strong reign that Bianca that has been on? I… honestly doubt it. It feels like a lot of titles might be due to change hands at ‘Mania, so some champs have to retain. I can see Bianca doing so, but then… who is left to face her? Well, Charlotte and Ronda, I guess. Raquel if they draft her over to Raw.

Still… it’s sad I don’t think Asuka can win at Mania. She really deserves to.

8:43pm: It’s Lashley/Lesnar time, and… this feud has not been doing it for me. I have long since forgotten the match where Lashley beat Brock for the title was even a thing. Their Saudi show match was bland. And their other confrontations have just been… there. I don’t know why, but this just isn’t working for me. And their combined age is, what, JUST a hair under 90? So who is getting a rub?

I guess that’s overrated. Feuds don’t always need to be about moving someone up the card. Sometimes you can just have two top level guys go at it. But… I don’t know. I feel like WWE keeps trying to recapture Brock’s last feud with Goldberg, and they can’t quite do it.

8:49pm: Lashley legit has one of the worst Spears in wrestling history. It always looks like he is half rolling off the guy. I guess I only started noticing this recently, so maybe it wasn’t always true.

8:50pm: Bobby kicked out of consecutive F5’s! That’s a rarity for anyone! I feel like Roman has done it. MAYBE Drew McIntyre? Not sure there.

8:52pm: Oh, we are likely to get some kind of no-disqualifgication match at WrestleMania between these two? Brock just takes the DQ loss to get out of the Hurt Lock.

You know what’s funny? During Brock’s most dominant years, how often did we see an opponent turn the tide due to a low-blow when the referee wasn’t looking? Brock probably just figured that shit is legal with as much as it’s happened to him.

Lesnar ends the match by MDK-ing the referee and putting Bobby through the announce table.

8:57pm: Seth Rollins and Becky Lynch with a Batman/Joker promo for WrestleMania. It was… a thing. Has HHH adopted the Vince thing where he hears about movies years after they come out?

9:00pm: Commercial for M3GAN, and if you haven’t read about the SINGLE WORST MOVIE THEATER EXPERIENCE I’ve ever had, go check that out! It was incredible. Ly bad.

9:05pm: Time for the Mixed Tag Team Match. Which I assume is the Canadian Feel Good Moment of the show.

9:06pm: It feels like with the Usos strangle-holding the tag belts, Roman as a heel holding the world title equally as hard, and Austin Theory also being a heel with the US Title, The Judgment Day has been in this weird holding pattern. They have been feuding with Edge for an eternity. At least Rhea is moving up, but if she wins the Smackdown Women’s Title, does she leave the group to head to Friday night?

9:11pm: Beth with the Bull Nakano homage. Nice!

9:13pm: I love that for all the stereotypes about the politeness of Canada, their wrestling fans are rabid. Dominik has enough heat to merit a vulgar chant.

9:16pm: Dom runs in terror from Edge, gets a “Hey Hey Hey Goodbye” chant, then returns to the disdain of the crowd. Vulgar chant resumes! This kid is OVER. You love to see it.

9:21pm: Whoof, Beth was supposed to break up a pinfall attempt from a brass knuckles shot, and EVERYONE was late. The ref had to just stop his own count. Pretty blatant screw up.

9:24pm: Edge and Beth win with The Shatter Machine / Big Rig to Finn? That’s an odd choice… I mean, not for the booking. It protected Rhea and gave the fans one of the few happy endings they are going to have tonight. But the use of that movie. Curious.

9:32pm: US Title Elimination Chamber Match! I don’t see any way Theory loses this. Logan Paul is going to cost Rollins at some point presumably.


Seth wins and Seth vs Paul is a title match at WrestleMania. Hmmm!

9:39pm: Johnny Gargano with a remix/cover of his entrance music. That’s not new; he has had it for weeks. I just really don’t like all the music everyone has had recently. His older music was better. Carmella’s older music was better. Asuka’s older music was better (but at least her change came as part of a repackaging).

9:43pm: I mentioned during The Rumble that Johnny seems to have a hard time connecting on the main roster, but he just got a good Johnny Wrestling chant. Get there, Johnny!

9:48pm: Actual laugh-out-loud moment where Theory tries to lock himself in the pod to hide from Johnny, but Seth just walks in the other side.

9:53pm: Bronson Reed is the 5th man, and I’m surprised they didn’t do the Monster Enters Last spot.

9:56pm: I LOVE Montez Ford and want him to get a single push, but he needs to knock it off with the DX chops and get his own thing. Then again, what do I know? Bullet Club co-opted the Too Sweet to great success.

9:57pm: Did Rollins/Johnny/Reed just do a springboard Doomsday Device into a poisoned rana?! WOW.

10:00pm: Ford, Johnny, and Seth all work together to hit six superkicks and three finishers to take out Bronson Reed. And this is moments after Ford hit an insane splash from the top of the structure. This match is amazing.

10:03pm: Johnny huracanranas Seth off the top of a pod onto everyone, and he seems to have hit his own face/head pretty hard. This match is insane. IN. SANE.

10:10pm: Neither Ford nor Gargano make the final two, but make no mistake: they both came out of this looking far better than they did going in. Hopefully the momentum they built tonight keeps up.

Referees have to open the cage to help Montez out, and is this how Logan Paul enters the match, right?

10:12pm: Yes. Yes, it is.

Still: that wax pretty easily the match of the night. Maybe we can build to Theory/Montez for WrestleMania? I’d be here for that!

And really? Seth vs Paul is going to be SO DAMN GOOD.

10:23pm: Are you ready for some of the biggest pops you might ever hear?

10:26pm: This is one of those nights where you have to be contrarian as hell to argue against the contender being introduced second, right? This place is going to ERUPT in a few minutes.

10:30pm: Oh, Graves just called that out, saying it is Champion’s Prerogative to enter first if HE wants to. Nice touch.

10:35pm: Sami and Roman are just playing these introductions perfectly. Perfectly. Roman being a cocky asshole. Sami being overtaken by emotional fire.

10:37pm: I probably will be too engrossed to note much here, but I just want to say: I’m not sure how long it’s been since I’ve wanted to see a match so much as this, just strictly on a storyline build purpose.

They still need to rematch at WrestleMania!

But still. Even knowing the result… I WANT to believe.

I’m such a mark, my friends.

11:02pm: What percentage of Roman Reigns matches have had KO’ed referees in his title reign, do you think? Like… more or less than 66%?

11:05pm: And there goes the BACKUP referee, haha. Overbooking at its best! Time for Jey to appear?

11:09pm: Okay, so how do I feel about that ending? It did feel abrupt, and you can tell the crowd didn’t quite think that was going to be the end, either. They were a bit too stunned to react.

Let’s see how the aftermath goes…

11:15pm: Okay, some Kevin Owens stuff. No return from Jey after the Spear mishap.

I’m so desperately, direly concerned they really are going to waste Sami in a tag title match at WrestleMania. I mean… there are several weeks to go to move these pieces in any direction. But the KO stuff at the end seems to edge things in that direction. I almost feel like that last post-match Heluva Kick and the playing of his music was supposed to be Sami’s retribution against Reigns, and… I sure hope not.

The match was good. The emotion was great. Reigns dominating and Sami staying with it through luck, grit, and fan support made sense.

Elimination Chamber did a lot of what the Royal Rumble did. It was wonderful and really made me happy I’m a fan, but it also filled me with trepidation for WrestleMania.

But what about you? What do you think? And what do you want at ‘Mania? For Sami? For Roman? For The Usos? Let me know in the comments.

And until next time… take care!

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