Up until that main event, I was prepared to write off the 2019 Elimination Chamber as just a basic middling show – not great, not awful, just one of those so-so events with a tacked on gimmick match that you forget about within three or four days. Yes, Finn Balor’s win was nice, Becky Lynch’s appearance worked (as did Charlotte’s unrepentant self-indulgence), the women’s Chamber ended well, and the pre-show gave us a smashing-good Cruiserweight bout. I wasn’t expecting a high-level WrestleMania, nor did I get it, and that’s fine. Just kind of a throwaway show with a few notable points, nothing wrong with that.
But my goodness, when Kofi Kingston eliminated Randy Orton in the WWE Championship Elimination Chamber match, and it came down to he and Daniel Bryan, I was in lockstep with the fans in Houston: I wanted to believe he was going to win. Even if it was a little measly two-day Christian ’11 reign that saw him drop it back to Bryan, I just wanted him to stand tall, and pay off one of the most electric crowds I’ve heard for a WWE main event in ages.
It’s matches like that that make a decent show just a smidgen more memorable. Here’s what I learned watching the 2019 Elimination Chamber…
10. Great Cruiserweight Title Matches Can Take A Backseat To Interviews
All told, I’d say that Buddy Murphy and Akira Tozawa’s Cruiserweight title battle on the Kickoff show was the second best match of the evening. It was your typical Murphy match where he resiliently fights back from the babyface’s most potent blows, dives, and drops, and ekes out the victory with a well-executed Murphy’s Law. And by “typical”, I mean, “It ruled the school,” as the kids say.
But I know I wasn’t alone when that mid-match split-screen interview with Big E and Xavier Woods irked me. No disrespect to the New Day members, but this has been a common occurrence on WWE programming, especially during go-home week, when they cut away from a match to show a 30-second PPV commercial. If we’re watching the match, then it’s probably because we want to watch the match, and making it feel secondary to an ad or a promo…well, it tells us that WWE sees it secondary as well.