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The Smark Henry Pay-Per-Review: Elimination Chamber 2020


It's often the case that whenever WWE comes up with a lackluster build to a pay-per-view, the wrestlers are always there to save it with top-notch action. It's what keeps what little faith people have left in the company, especially after they've gone out and signed the world's best stars.

However, this just wasn't what happened at this year's Elimination Chamber—making what should've been a huge last stop before WrestleMania just a bump on the road.


Elimination Chamber had always been a bad idea for a PPV for reasons already mentioned many times over—for those new here, it's largely because it forces the creative to try (and fail) to justify having this gargantuan match when the people and the circumstances don't warrant it. 

It's exceptionally worse this year, as moving it from February to March (thanks, Blood Money) means it's really too late in the Road to WrestleMania to make much of a difference. Everyone already knows who's challenging for the top championships, even when they pretended they didn't, and coming off another PPV a week prior left them too little room to adjust. (Even when the move should have been to write around this setup.)

As a result, we're left with the most inconsequential Elimination Chamber PPV in its long and checkered history. It also didn't help that it was an event that should've been mercifully put to bed as fast as it can, but everyone was determined to stretch it out for as long as they could. That means matches that should've been doing all right suffered, and matches that should've turned out better really disappointed. 

The show peaked at the Chamber match for the SmackDown Tag Team Championship, and never really recovered after that. The Chamber match featuring all the women involved a bizarre creative decision that saw Shayna Baszler do nothing after dispatching everyone else already in the match, causing the fans to turn on the whole thing. While Baszler was meant to be booed, there definitely were better ways to pull it off—and we know there were, because we've seen how she's done things down in NXT. 

The only saving grace left now for WrestleMania season is WrestleMania itself. But with a projected 17 matches for an estimated seven hours, even with the best performances, is that really something everyone's looking forward to right now?


Elimination Chamber 2020 Grade: B-

Match of the Night



Sometimes, being in the midcard and not worrying about being in the main event has its perks. Bryan said after that match that wrestling Gulak made him feel alive, and after seeing this it's definitely not hard to see why. I'd rather give Gulak his due and have this rematch somewhere in the WrestleMania midcard than another Bryan/Sheamus match.

Photo from WWE


*****

Romeo Moran (@roiswaris the Editor in Chief of Smark Henry, one of the four hosts of the Wrestling-Wrestling Podcast, and is associated with Philippine Wrestling Revolution. He gets by in this hard knock life through working in publishing. Smark Henry was his and Stan Sy's original vision of a watering hole for local wrestling fans. He roots for the undersized guys who hit hard, and he likes taking your wrestling questions over on his Curiouscat account.

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