The Elimination Chamber pay-per-view has come and gone, and the road to WrestleMania added further drama on the journey. Between the first-ever women's Elimination Chamber match, the debut of former UFC champion Ronda Rousey, and tons of other action, fans now have a lot to look forward to as the Grandaddy of Them All approaches.
That said, let's get right into the takeaways!
Balor Club is coming
The preshow featured a tag team match between Gallows & Anderson and Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel, representing the Miztourage. I know it was the preshow and was filler for the minutes leading up to the main card but based on what we've seen on TV recently, one thing is certain. This was no ordinary preshow match.
Consider this: Finn Balor is probably facing The Miz for the Intercontinental Championship at WrestleMania in April and given how he missed the Showcase of the Immortals last year as he recovered from shoulder surgery, smart money says he will go over the eight-time champ in New Orleans. How do Gallows & Anderson fit into this equation? Well, glad you asked.
The last three WrestleManias have all featured a ladder match, with last year's being for the Raw Tag Team Championship. Gallows & Anderson entered that match as the champions, only to lose to the returning Hardy Boyz. By having a ladder match for the same titles again, and including the Miztourage in it as well, this rivalry gets some more to its overall story and gives Balor Club major credibility as a stable.
Even though Balor himself wouldn't be the Universal Champion, he and his comrades each having a belt already ups their stock tremendously.
The first women's EC was amazing
From pacing to finish, this match was damn near perfect. We might have finally gotten the long-anticipated Sasha Banks heel turn against Bayley, and the spots were everything they needed to be. Mickie James, in full Wonder Woman garb, made a huge dive off the top of a pod. In-ring chemistry was excellent on all ends and Alexa Bliss not only came out with her belt, but also delivered an epic promo that made us think she was turning babyface, only to go full heel at the tail end.
Not only that, Bliss's win means the state of the Raw women's division can go in multiple directions right now. The big question answers itself if Royal Rumble winner Asuka stays on Raw, but what if she defects to SmackDown Live for a match with Charlotte Flair? Maybe Sasha, Bayley, and one of the ladies from Absolution go up against Alexa and they do what they did last year in having a Fatal Four Way Elimination match. Maybe a new contender is established via a match on Raw.
Either way, the Women's Evolution took another huge step forward.
Bray Wyatt meets his match
It's official, folks. "Woken" Matt Hardy has out-crazied Bray Wyatt. The Eater of Worlds used his usual swamp boogeyman gimmick to just show up in the ring spontaneously, only Hardy was nowhere to be found. Cue a suddenly invisible Hardy taunting Wyatt on the mic, only to show up a few minutes later as the match progressed.
Wyatt took the victory and that watered down what was otherwise a fairly boring match, but this will probably end with a Wyatt victory at WrestleMania. Jeff Hardy is about to return as Brother Nero, so this sets something up in Final Deletion territory. Under the right circumstances, that can be highly exciting.
Rowdy Ronda arrives
The pop that Ronda Rousey received was everything it had to be. Triple H and Stephanie McMahon did a great job of setting up her entrance to the company as one who runs her own show and won't be a lackey of The Authority. Between Triple H going through a table, Stephanie slapping Raw's latest superstar, and Kurt Angle flubbing on the mic (again), what should be a mixed tag team match could get a huge pop at the Superdome.
Buckle up, kids. Ronda is here, and she's brought hell with her.
The men's EC was great
The match was predictable from the first elimination. Braun Strowman would eliminate everyone except Roman Reigns, but everyone shone in their own way. The Miz actually took bumps. Finn Balor got in some great offense on Strowman. Rollins was a warrior and Elias and Cena did what they had to do.
Oh, and did I mention that we're probably getting a Triple Threat at WrestleMania? Strowman attacking Reigns all but confirms he will also be part of the main event, which now looks like it will be of epic proportions.
What were your favorite moments of Elimination Chamber? Let us know in the comments below!