No, it was not Mike Tyson versus Buster Douglas at the Tokyo Dome in 1990. There was no upset at Elimination Chamber (we knew what this was going into the match). But as John “Hannibal” Smith said on the A-Team, I love when a plan comes together.
This Montreal crowd hung on every strike, move, ounce of smack talk – everything. It is exceptionally executed from Roman going to Sami’s wife and somehow blaming Sami for leaving the Bloodline, and those 2.99 near falls. Even when the result is clear as day, the best wrestling storylines leave the door open just a smidge for you to believe.
That’s what this ten-month accumulation of a well-plotted out story can get you. Near falls to the max, ref bumps that didn’t take away from the match, and each part had meaning to the story that was going. You had to expect that Jimmy was going to ride for Roman, but there was some hesitancy on Jey’s part (especially given their history. This is how the Bloodline started).
With Sami accidentally attacking Jey and KO making that save, but not giving that reunion moment just yet – there are a lot of stories to be told. As much as things are about Roman and Sami, it’s just as much about Jey and Sami. Eventually, the Bloodline has to fall. Then there is the added sauce of Jey looking at Roman sideways; You have a good stretch before the big dance.
Now, think about this – I know everybody wanted that storybook moment where Sami won the title at home. I get that, and I’m not going to say they are wrong for it. However, you are not going to end a 902-day title reign on the pay-per-view before Wrestlemania. It wasn’t going to happen. Also, a triple-threat at Wrestlemania wouldn’t be the way to go in terms of Roman Reigns and Cody’s title match. It deserves Cody’s story of obtaining the one thing that’s been elusive to him and Roman’s ultimate fall.
Sami and Kevin Owens capturing the tag titles from the Usos will be special also. Two best friends having a moment together on the biggest stage in sports entertainment. And it’s not like you can’t go back to Sami Zayn for, say, a Money In The Back or Summerslam. Everybody in the circumference of this Bloodline Emmy drama is way better for it and can go so many ways after it concludes. That’s how you make stars.
Some quick Elimination Chamber thoughts for the ride home:
- The men's and women's elimination chamber matches did a great job showcasing all the talent involved. And I mean everybody from Johnny Gargano, Bronson Reed, Raquel Rodriguez, Nattie, etc. There was a spot to showcase every single person without it overstaying their welcome. Liv Morgan and Montez Ford came out looking like stars. If you keep Liv involved in the title picture, the double submission where she doesn’t tap out is how you do it. I think Montez is gearing up to take on Austin Theory for that US Title – it’s time to push him into single stardom. (Unless John Cena wants to take a crack at it).
Asuka winning was the right call. You don’t turn her into the Kana-version of her unless you have her pointing to that sign at the end. She and Bianca Belair will have a great title match where it’s anybody’s guess as to what happens. Seth is going to have his hands full with Logan Paul (a match that might surprise many people in terms of quality come Wrestlemania).
2. I’m not sure what was going on with the finish of Brock Lesnar and Bobby Lashley. The match was entertaining up to that point, but will Bray Wyatt go after Lashley now? Are they going to run this match back for a fourth time? I would like to see Brock face off against Gunther in Los Angeles. That’s a huge match that can stand on its own merit.
3. The Edge/Beth and Rhea/Finn match were entertaining. The crowd hated Dominic (he gets more considerable heel heat than most heels on the regular shows). You protect Rhea by her not taking the pin, and Finn and Edge will have some unfinished business that will probably end with a singles stipulation match at Wrestlemania.