WrestleMania season continues with WWE Elimination Chamber

Elisa D’Egidio, Contributing Writer

The World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) Elimination Chamber pay-per-view event, which took place in the WWE Thunderdome on Feb. 21 at Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, FL. was live-streamed on the WWE Network, starting at 6 p.m.

The Elimination Chamber match is a multiple-participant event that begins with two superstars in the ring. Surrounding them is a steel cage holding the four other superstars in pods. Every five minutes, a remaining participant is randomly introduced into the match. To eliminate an opponent, the participant must be pinned or tapped out via submission. The last person standing is the winner.

The WWE Championship was on the line in the night’s main event. Champion Drew McIntyre was defending his title against WWE Raw superstars AJ Styles, Jeff Hardy, Randy Orton, Sheamus and Kofi Kingston. Orton and Hardy started off the match, with McIntyre being the first released from a pod. McIntyre then outlived the other five men, retaining his WWE Championship.

McIntyre’s celebration was cut short as former U.S. Champion Bobby Lashley attacked him from behind. The two took the short fight all around the ring until Lashley hit McIntyre with a spear. Suddenly, Mr. Money in the Bank, The Miz came running to the ring and cashed in his contract.

The Money in the Bank briefcase contains a contract that says that the holder can “cash in” their briefcase at any given time for any title of their choosing. Hitting McIntyre with his signature maneuver, a Skull Crushing Finale, The Miz became the new WWE Champion.

The headlining Smackdown Elimination Chamber match followed. Cesaro, Daniel Bryan, King Corbin, Jey Uso, Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn competed in which the winner would go on to face Universal Champion Roman Reigns later in the night for a title opportunity.

Bryan and Cesaro started off the high-energy match, dominating until the end. All superstars were given their time to shine with intense action combined with several different storylines between the competitors. Bryan’s Running Knee connected allowing him to pick up the win, earning his championship opportunity.

As soon as that match ended, champion Roman Reigns rushed to the ring, starting his attack on Bryan. With multiple hard blows and a powerbomb, Reigns retained his title. Reigns’ celebration was cut short as Edge came out of nowhere and speared him to the mat. Edge stood tall over the champion, pointing to the WrestleMania sign allowing fans at home to see he had finally chosen his competitor for his WrestleMania match.

The U.S. Championship was also on the line, where the original match was Champion Bobby Lashley defending against Riddle and Keith Lee. However, Lee was pulled out of the match earlier in the day because of an injury. A Fatal 4-Way match was then scheduled on the Kickoff Show to decide who would replace Lee in the U.S. match.

A Fatal 4-Way match has four competitors in the ring simultaneously, and the first man to pick up a pinfall or submission is victorious. With this stipulation, a champion does not have to be pinned to lose their championship.

Mustafa Ali, John Morrison, Ricochet and Elias competed in the last-minute match. Morison picked up the win, landing him a title shot.

Lashley, Riddle and Morison then went head-to-head-to-head in this Triple Threat Match. By using MVP’s crutch, a member of Lashley’s entourage, Riddle was able to win the match becoming the new U.S. champion.

Women’s Tag Team titles were retained as Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler went up against SmackDown’s Women’s Champion Sasha Banks and the women’s 2021 Royal Rumble Winner Bianca Belair. Banks was handed a champagne bottle to use as a weapon from Reginald, causing a distraction from the referee. This allowed Jax to pick up the win.

The Raw Women’s Championship match was also supposed to take place against Champion Asuka versus Lacey Evans. Evans announced that she is pregnant explaining why the match had been scrapped.

WWE Elimination Chamber could be viewed on the WWE Network.