Adam Pearce brings out Shane McMahon, who announces Drew McIntyre will defend the title in the Chamber against, Miz, Sheamus, Randy Orton, AJ Styles, Jeff Hardy. 5 guys get a WWE title shot three weeks after Edge overcame 29 people to get a title shot. It will never make sense to me. It would make a lot more sense to me if the Chamber was for a title shot. That way going through a bunch of people in a dangerous structure would seem like a hurdle to get that opportunity. Or just move the show to later in the year. Drew McIntyre tells Shane he thought he'd be facing Sheamus at the Chamber, Shane says he wanted something bigger. If they had to go the WWE Title in the Chamber three weeks after the Rumble method, I feel like having five qualifying matches over the next couple of weeks would have went a long way over the six hours of Raw they have.
Ali could attack Kofi Kingston and take his spot here. Drew McInyre being pissed that Shane announced Elimination Chamber qualifiers instead of him vs. Sheamus would have been great. You could have had Sheamus vs. Keith Lee, and Drew costs Lee the match because he wanted Sheamus in the Chamber so bad. It sets up Lee/Drew later too.
AJ Styles (w/ Omos) defeated Jeff Hardy
So why should we care about this match? AJ Styles does a good job destroying the knee of Jeff Hardy at least. The Calf Crusher compounding all of this is really great. Hardy stops a Phenomenal Forearm, but misses a Swanton. Eventually, Hardy has to tap out to the Calf Crusher. Jeff Hardy has had an underrated ability to deliver in cold matches over the last couple of years.
New Day defeated Retribution (w/ Mustafa Ali)
Mustafa Ali is on commentary and is raising hell. Xavier Woods is really excited about the Russian leg sweep/dropkick combo. Daybreak gets the win after a solid match. Xavier Woods still wants to fight Reckoning. Between Kofi returning, all the in-ring being good and Ali being hilarious on commentary, this was fun.
Top Contendership For Lacey Evans
Lacey Evans (w/ Ric Flair) defeated Charlotte Flair
Ric Flair is tired of hearing about Tom Brady and Charlotte Flair. Charlotte comes out and Lacey tries to be her tag team partner and is rejected. Charlotte doesn't care who Ric manages, but is trying to build on the Flair legacy. Lacey says if she beats Charlotte, she gets a title shot. Lacey attacks Charlotte and says the match is on soon. I'd say I probably liked that Lacey/Charlotte segment more than any of their others.
Lacey is mocking Charlotte and gets her ass kicked for it. Charlotte and Lacey seem one step off of each other. I don't know what it says that a 12-time world Champion constantly gets booked to be distracted by the same thing each week. I dunno what Lacey Evans was going for, but it wasn't a Figure Four. Charlotte Flair puts her hands on the official, and gets DQ'd. I fully expect them to put the title on Lacey and build to Charlotte vs. Lacey for the title at Mania.
Damian Priest (w/ Bad Bunny) defeated Angel Garza (w/ Miz and Morrison)
Edge comes out and says that he's going to wait until the dust settles after Elimination Chamber. Miz, Morrison and Angel Garza are out together. Edge makes fun of Miz for telling him what he's going to do. Edge tells Miz he's not "content being Awesome" because he already did that 20 years ago. Woo boy, this was good.
I LOVE Bad Bunny coming out with Damian Priest all the time. Angel Garza is the only part of the Garza/Andrade/Theory/Zelina act on Raw or SD anymore. This is Garza's first Raw match since December 21, and only his second since mid-October. It felt like they made up half the show in the Raw PC days. Damian Priest rules. Stop having him get distracted by goofs. Damian Priest wins thanks to Bad Bunny thwarting interference. Bunny has been one of the best celebrity integrations thus far.
Keith Lee defeated Riddle
Riddle tells Keith Lee he binge watched all the Air Buds. They do some friendly back and forth. This was pretty good. The match was even better. MVP is on commentary, and this is downright outstanding from all aspects. Riddle's strikes and transitions, Lee's big man offense. The chemistry is off the charts. Lee picks up the win, and he and Riddle are on the same page. Lashley attacks both, and he REALLY attacks both. This Lashley is the one I'll consistently care about. The spinebuster on Lee was nothing short of incredible.
Lana (w/ Naomi) defeated Nia Jax
Nia Jax dominates until Lana makes a comeback, which is quickly cut off. Lana goes to huracanrana Nia over the top, but Nia has to climb over. Nia breaks her ass on the ring apron, and Lana pushes her through a table at ringside. Shayna Baszler comes down to attack after the match. I'm just saying.... Lana hasn't been pinned in her last 8 matches, dating back to November
Naomi (w/ Lana) defeated Shayna Baszler
There's a match immediately after, but Nia Jax takes a hike to get medicala attention. We're supposed to believe Lana didn't see Shayna Baszler sliding out of the ring to beat that ass? Okay. The pace in this match is really high. Naomi gets the win with a small package.
Bianca Belair pops up and laughs with Asuka about Lacey Evans not being ready for Asuka. I love the integration of crossing the brand split lines when it makes sense and there's a reason behind it. There was a reason for Bianca Belair's.
Drew McIntyre vs. Randy Orton
WWE constantly has their top stars look dumb by getting distracted. Sheamus ran to the ring like he was in a WCW/NWO Revenge battle royal. The action in this one is good, but we've seen this match a bunch, and seen them wrestle a bunch, and it was an odd thing for WWE to book again. Elimination Chamber will be Orton's fourth title shot since August. Sheamus causes a DQ by accidentally Brogue Kicking Orton, and Drew kicks him. What's the point?
10- Perfect, 9- MOTY Territory, 8- Excellent, 7- Great, 6- Good, 5- Average to above average, 4- Slightly below average, 3 or below: Poor
Each match starts at a 5 and slides up and down based on entertainment, execution, time, environment, reaction and stakes. The ratings are in no way an indication of a "star rating," which is a completely different system. A standard, non-offensive "TV match" lands at a 5. The gap between 5.75-6 is generally the largest, with anything reaching 6 being recommended viewing.
These are opinions, and incredibly inconsistent ones that may change upon a second viewing, or sitting on the match for a period of time. Don't take them too seriously, and have (and share) your own!