Seizing an incredible opportunity against John Cena and Braun Strowman in Raw’s main event, Elias will be the last Superstar to enter the Men’s Elimination Chamber on Feb. 25, increasing his chances of winning the perilous bout and going on to challenge Brock Lesnar for the Universal Title at WrestleMania. But The Monster Among Men was not exactly congratulatory after the bout was over.
According to Bray Wyatt, Roman Reigns is a “failure,” but it was Wyatt who was left out in the cold at the end of a qualifying match for the Men’s Elimination Chamber Match, where Universal Champion Brock Lesnar’s WrestleMania opponent will be decided.
Fighting words aside, that’s a bitter pill for Wyatt to swallow, given that he won his first WWE Championship inside the Chamber last year and has been chasing those heights since losing the title at WrestleMania. Re-entering the site of his greatest triumph would have been the perfect launching point for him, and Wyatt fought like a man who understood the stakes, taking the match to the outside when Reigns began to gain the advantage.
Even when The Big Dog slowly but surely clawed his way back, Wyatt hung with him every step of the way, turning the match into a high-stakes war of attrition. Reigns regained the upper hand by kicking out of Sister Abigail to send Wyatt into a twitchy, wide-eyed frenzy and powering out of a second attempt in order to set up a match-ending Spear. The loss would have been bad enough for Wyatt, of course. But thanks to a post-match attack from “Woken” Matt Hardy, whom Wyatt cost a Chamber position last week, The Eater of Worlds’ night ended in something even worse than failure: Deletion.
According to The Miz, it is an astrological certainty that 2018 is his year. It’s a little early to say for sure, but between his Intercontinental Title win and now a Men’s Elimination Chamber berth, he might be on to something. The A-Lister once again backed up his boasts in a Chamber qualifier, turning away Apollo Crews despite an astonishing effort from Titus Worldwide’s resident workhorse.
The same maneuvers that nearly won Titus Worldwide the Raw Tag Team Titles made mincemeat of the Intercontinental Champion, who had almost no answer for anything Crews threw at him. But Miz’s kickout after two consecutive Standing Shooting Star Presses seemed to take the wind out of Crews’ sails a bit, and The A-Lister leaned on some crafty know-how to bring it home, changing an airborne Crews’ trajectory to land him groin-first on the ropes. One Skull-Crushing Finale later, and The Miz was off on The Road to WrestleMania.
Statistically speaking, entrants No. 5 and 6 are most likely to win the Men’s Elimination Chamber Match, and thanks to an upset of titanic proportions on Raw, Elias has positioned himself comfortably as the final Superstar to clock in at The Road to WrestleMania’s most formidable stopover. That said, Braun Strowman might not let him skate to The Showcase of the Immortals so easily.
The first three confirmed Chamber competitors — John Cena, Strowman and Elias — clashed with the opportunity to be the final entrant into the Elimination Chamber Match at stake. The bout, predictably, was all Strowman at the start; Elias and Cena got those hands in such monstrous fashion that the two rivals had to join forces to take The Monster Among Men out of the running. It took two trips into the ring post, one into the steps, a set of steps to the face, a guitar to the back and an Attitude Adjustment on the steps, but it finally did the job … for a while, at least.
Strowman did indeed return down the stretch, and when he did, Elias was ready. Elias dodged an incoming Five-Knuckle Shuffle, sending Cena sprinting straight into a Running Powerslam. One shove of Strowman through the ropes later, and Elias stole the pin for himself. Strowman got the last word, however, dishing out multiple Running Powerslams to both Superstars after the bell. Technically, Elias will have to walk the shortest path to WrestleMania of all his fellow Men’s Elimination Chamber competitors, but a monstrous obstacle remains.
In other action … Finn Bálor & Karl Anderson def. The Revival … Cedric Alexander & Mustafa Ali def. Drew Gulak & Tony Nese … Raw General Manager Kurt Angle announced the competitors for the Women’s Elimination Chamber Match … Asuka def. Bayley … Raw Tag Team Champions Cesaro & Sheamus def. Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns via Disqualification … Nia Jax def. Vanessa Floyd … and Mickie James def. Sonya Deville.