Updated: Feb 27
Reverse Hipster's Reviews
Goldberg vs. Roman 7.5/10 C
Roman delivered on his promise to Goldberg, Goldberg and he was the first person to defeat Goldberg via submission. The match was fine. Goldberg got in a couple of spears to make us think maybe he would win the match. However, I knew Roman wasn't about to end his 500+ day reign against Goldberg. Roman and Goldberg tried to have as best a match as they could in a short time, and they didn't just spam finishers, which I appreciated. Still, it was a short and limited match, where Roman made quick work of Goldberg.
Women's Elimination Chamber Match. 8.4/10 B
The match started off slow. One of my major knocks on this match was that there was a lot of standing around and waiting in the beginning. However, once everyone got in, the match really picked up, and there were tons of exciting spots. I felt like by the end, everyone had a moment in the chamber. Liv Morgan was the MVP of the chamber. She had the best outfit, and the best spot of the match when she jumped off the top and sunset powerbombed Doudrop. Also, Liv wasn't afraid to let other superstars use her to make their moments. Before they started this match, Michael Cole pointed out Liv was the most experienced in the chamber, and it showed. Alexa Bliss had a pretty great debut. She looked powerful in the ring and made it to the final two. However, Bianca Belair was the correct winner. She has unfinished business with Becky from SummerSlam.
Becky vs. Lita 9/10 A-
Becky didn't necessarily go to that dark place she promised, but she dominated the early part of the match and targeted Lita's neck. But, just when it looked like Becky was going to Brock Lesnar Lita, Lita came alive. Lita had a flurry of offense, and she looked phenomenal in the ring. Also, despite all my wrestling knowledge, when Lita hit the twist of fate and the moonsault, for a second, I believed she could be champion. She swept me up in the moment, which is an ability of great wrestlers. Becky kicked out, though, and then hit Lita with a surprise Manhandle Slam and won. I wish WWE wouldn't have done the shock finisher though. It felt like they should have built up to another finisher instead of just suddenly finishing it, which felt like a bit of a letdown.
Charlotte & Sonya vs. Ronda & Naomi 9.1/10 A
In my opinion, this was peak WWE and the match of the night for me. Ronda said she would compete with one arm behind her back to match Sonya's handicap. However, of course, Sonya revealed her arm was fine, after the match had already started. Ronda still competed one-handed and she was absolutely incredible to watch. She was demolishing Charlotte and Sonya with one arm tied behind her back. It was an excellent spectacle, and it put Ronda over a lot. Also, Naomi looked great as well. She continued to prove she belonged in these main event spots. Also, Ronda won the match, beating Sonya. So, both Sonya vs. Naomi and Charlotte vs. Ronda is preserved.
Madcap Moss vs. Drew McIntyre 8.8/10 B+
I was not a fan of the build of this match at all, but the match itself totally delivered. For the second PPV in a row, Moss proves against Drew that he has potential. Also, the falls count anywhere stipulation elevated this match immensely. Moss stood no chance against Drew. But, with no rules, it became more like Corbin and Moss vs. Drew, and that was more entertaining because it allowed me to buy into the fact that Drew might lose. Also, these guys were able to do more creative spots like Corbin sliding under Drew's giant sword swing. By the end of this match, I had a higher opinion of everyone involved. Drew, especially after knocking this match out the park, like he did, earned a huge WrestleMania match.
Men's Elimination Chamber Match 7.9/10 C+
The bulk of the Elimination Chamber match was forgettable. Seth Rollins buckle bombed Austin Theory into Bobby Lashley's pod and injured Bobby. Apparently, Bobby was already hurt, and this was done because he couldn't compete. However, at the time, I didn't know that, and the medical attention Bobby was receiving seemed more important than anything the wrestlers were doing in the ring. Ultimately, nobody got eliminated until Brock Lesnar busted out and started eliminating people one by one. It was boring and predictable, but then Theory was left, and the match became interesting.
First, Austin Theory tried to escape, and Brock violently ran him down through a pod. However, Theory hit Brock with a low blow, and it seemed like he had a chance, but that didn't stop Brock for long. When Brock recovered, Austin tried to run away and climb out of the top of the chamber, but Brock caught him.
Then, Brock did the most insane thing he could think of and delivered an F5 off the top of the pod. Theory flew through the air like a ragdoll before hitting the chamber's floor. Brock rolled him in the ring and won the WWE Championship. It was a stale use of the other three superstars, but it was an excellent use of Brock and Theory. Also, I'm not a fan of Brock vs. Roman being title for title, but at least this way, Bobby didn't have to lose to Brock, and he gets away with his win.
Roman Reigns vs. Goldberg (Universal Championship)
These two worked smarter, not harder. They didn't do anything over the top, but they worked the crowd well and let their star power be the spectacle—credit to the Saudi Arabia crowd for adding to this match. They have gone from mostly sitting idly to being more into the show than American crowds in just a few years. Roman Reigns winning is absolutely the right decision. He has a historic title reign ongoing and an already established feud with Rumble winner Brock Lesnar.
Final Grade: 6/10 Above Average
Women's Elimination Chamber Match
First off, credit to the costume department for getting these women better gear than 2XL t-shirts over tights. The new ring gear matched each of their characters perfectly and reminded me that we have gone from having no women's matches in Saudi Arabia to a Women's Elimination Chamber match. All of the women involved did great and played their roles perfectly. It was clear the crowd loved Rhea Ripley and Bianca Belair, and the return of Alexa Bliss added a lot to this match. The pre-established stories between the women added a lot of drama, and the final sequence between Belair and Bliss was just excellent. The only thing that hurt this match was that they shortened the intervals between entrances. The match was overall shorter and a little rushed. It didn't let them execute any big high spots or things they could only do in the Elimination Chamber. Belair winning is predictable but good. I feel like Becky Lynch and Belair have already wrestled a lot, but I feel optimistic that they can make a great story out of this again. The other women should be rewarded with more than just Battle Royal appearances at WrestleMania.
Final Grade: 7/10 Good
Ronda Rousey and Naomi vs. Charlotte Flair and Sonya Deville
This match sounds like a randomizer booked it, but it worked, promoting the SmackDown Women's Championship in a unique way, adding another bullet point on the Naomi/Sonya Deville story, and contributing star power to this Saudi Arabia show. It was the correct finish to have Ronda Rousey beat Deville. Now, WWE needs to decide what to do to make Rousey the clear babyface in a WrestleMania showdown with Charlotte Flair.
Final Grade: 5/10 Average
Drew McIntyre vs. Madcap Moss
Let's talk about the obvious brutal Alabama slam spot in an otherwise okay match. WWE production should be discouraged from showing unintentional, potentially career-ending spots in the future. It looked to me like it was Madcap Moss's fault, tucking his chin on a face bump. If that's true, Moss should be punished too and have to go back to complete more training before being in a high-profile match like this again. Of course, Drew McIntyre winning was the correct booking. If the rumor of WrestleMania for McIntyre and Happy Corbin is true, they will have to do a lot to make me excited.
Final Grade: 4/10 Below Average
Becky Lynch vs. Lita (Raw Women's Championship)
It seems like Becky Lynch is back in top in-ring shape. She shepherded Lita through this match while Lita proved she's still got it. They worked smart, but they still brought out more technical exchanges and high spots. Lynch won, which is absolutely the right decision to keep the championship on a full-timer headed to WrestleMania. Still, I have some complaints. In an interview earlier this week, Lita basically spoiled the result by saying she didn't have plans with WWE after Elimination Chamber. Why would anyone say that? Also, I loved their segment on Raw this week, and I feel like the match didn't tell that story at all. Lynch didn't really look conflicted at any point or look like she was out to take out her childhood hero.
Final Grade: 5/10 Average
The Usos vs. the Viking Raiders (SmackDown Tag Team Championships)
Why bother? Unless this is going to be a WrestleMania feud, which it doesn't have nearly the steam needed for that, there is no reason to use an attack angle to get out of this match. The Viking Raiders deserve so much better, and they should be considered a threat to the Uso's wellbeing, not the other way around. Succumbing to this attack made them look weak. It could have been awesome to do this attack as the reason the Usos win in a hard-fought match, but this was horrible.
Final Grade: 2/10 Horrible
Men's Elimination Chamber (WWE Championship)
Seth Rollins, Austin Theory, Riddle, and AJ Styles all opened the match to high-level in-ring work, which is about the only good thing I can say about this match. Word online is that Bobby Lashley was injured before the match. If that is the case, the powerbomb through his pod spot was a lazy and inconclusive way to write him out of this match and lose his championship without competing. I would have rather seen an announcement and replacement. Kevin Owens would have made sense in the story. The Men's match seemed to have the traditional timing between entrants, which was blatantly sexist. It allowed them to tell more stories before Lesnar entered. Lesnar kicking out of the cage was a cool spot, apparently improvised, but it was just deflating to see him run over some of Raw's brightest stars again, just a month and some weeks after Day One. It was baffling to give Theory the only offense against Lesnar. It was a cool spot for him, but I would have way rather seen more established stars Riddle or Styles challenge Lesnar. And apparently, we are supposed to forget Rollins HAS beaten Lesnar and kicked out of much more than just one F-5. Theory's bump from the top of the pod was a horrible spot. It looked both legitimately dangerous and unimpressive compared to other spots from the pod.
Overall, I feel like the men used the Elimination Chamber much better than the women, but they had more time and likely more permissions in Saudi Arabia. I also feel like the new chamber has lost the lethal aura of the old one. The steel grates are covered in a thin pad, and the pods are so flimsy it seems like they can break through them accidentally. Lesnar winning was simply bad booking. He just lost the title to Lashley three weeks ago at the Royal Rumble, so it's clear WWE has no clue what they are doing booking-wise, and there is no plan. Lesnar already won the Royal Rumble, so this is just taking a spot from someone else. To think, this is the same reason CM Punk left in 2014. And this is the same company Cody Rhodes wants to rejoin now? Does being a top guy mean that any time Lesnar or another legend returns, they can run over you, and WWE expects fans to treat you as a legitimate threat year-round? Maybe they promised Rhodes a heroic return, a top guy run like Drew McIntyre had because that looks so good for McIntyre now? Lesnar and Roman Reigns did not need their match to be a double title match to be an attraction, and WWE knows that too. Their hesitancy to book literally anyone else will be their downfall. They keep asking where are all the future stars, but it's clear from this match that WWE is their own worst enemy. All their future stars are all either buried in matches like these or wrestle at another company because WWE fired them.
Final Grade: 2/10 Horrible
Stay Tuned for Final Thoughts and Grades below.
Fantasy Booking Chapter 6 Royal Rumble
Find out who I would book to win the Royal Rumble. Also, have you ever wondered what would happen if Brock won the IC Championship? Find out the answer to this question as well how I would book the Bloodline and Women's Tag Titles at Royal Rumble on Patreon. Join the Patreon, support the blog, and get access to this long-term fantasy booking of The Bloodline that will conclude at WrestleMania.
Reverse Hipster's Final Thoughts 84.5/100 B
This show was the best PPV since the last Saudi show, honestly. There are still problems with WWE's booking going into WrestleMania, but this PPV, in isolation, was a very entertaining watch.
Rob's Final Thoughts
I do not say this lightly when I say I think WWE is at one of their top 3 low points of the last 25 years. After seeing some spoilers online, I did not want to watch this Premium Live Event. I would not have watched it if it weren't for writing this, and I've watched every PPV/PLE since WrestleMania 30 in 2014. I've watched every WrestleMania live since 2005, and I think the only thing that has come close to this is ironically the last WrestleMania in Dallas in 2016. Most of the performers did their best. In fact, most of the matches were average, and the Saudi Arabia crowd was a pleasant surprise making this show more watchable than expected. But WWE has to go through a culture change, value their talent, and simply book better to make me excited for WrestleMania in just a couple of months. This show was just too predictable to be fun to watch.
Final Grade: 3/10 Bad