Far too much filler and that Rousey segment was way too stilted, clumsy and inorganic and just came off as pretty cringe when they could've arrived at their desired outcome in a far smoother fashion. As per usual with WWE main roster shows, the commentary functions as a detriment against the in-ring work and is a net-negative.
- Best Match: Men's Elimination Chamber - Not blow away, but for this card, I was pretty entertained.
- Worst Match: Women's Elimination Chamber Match - Not awful but too much down time with spotty work from Sonya and Mandy Rose, neither of whom are particularly ready or over for this spot with the fans and it showed when every time they threw an offensive move, the camera would cutaway to not expose the holes in their work Some stuff looked clumsy early on and Bayley was booked to look like a foolish dork again(Not a surprise). I thought Mickie came across really smooth with her work and enjoyed her moments in the match, but it just dragged and didn't have enough substantial talents or build-up/stakes for the match to mean anything.
- Jeff Parker
Thumbs in the middle.
No best or worst match, everything is in the middle or okay which I guess is better than bad.
The crowd killed the show in many ways for me as a TV viewer. I was at NXT: St. Petersburg last week and witnessed the racist statements made by some in the crowd in person but somehow I thought this Vegas crowd was a worse in a professional wrestling sense. Arrests and stupid beach balls killed the magic.
- Christopher M. Hendricks
Thumbs in the middle
- Best: Women’s Elimination Chamber
- Worst: Matt Hardy vs. Bray Wyatt
A traditional WWE Raw PPV -- solid action that gets screwed up by horrible booking that then gets the crowd to turn on the show. “We want beach balls” was the funniest yet saddest crowd chant ever.
- Nick Randall
- Best Match: Men's Elimination Match
- Worst Match: Matt Hardy vs Bray Wyatt
Women were put in a showcase with two matches. One delivered, the other didn't. Too many inexperienced women thrown into the mix too soon or in too high a position. Surprising considering the number of talented female performers on the roster, but then again the talent promotions are still Vince McMahon's call, not HHH.
- Jeff Cohen
Thumbs UP for sure. A great show!
- Best Match: Men's Elimination Chamber match. (Bryan Alvarez is right -- the Drifter's act before the bell rings is hot!) The match was laid out well enough that I thought by the end that plans changed, and Strowman was going over. The very ending sequence was just not good -- pinning Strowman that way made no sense. Nevertheless, a lot of good moments in this match, and nothing super dangerous.
- Worst Match: Hardy v. Wyatt. Placement hurt it; it wasn't terrible. I think there is still equity in Wyatt as a non-conformist, anti-consumerist working class hero. I would love to see his former proteges, the dominant Bludgeon Bros., take Bray under their wing, and set him back on the right path. It is a story (the successful students come back to help the teacher who has lost his way) that resonates, but hasn't been seen in the WWE in quite a while.
Honorable mention goes to Sasha Banks, who gave a terrific performance in the Chamber match. She works very strong from underneath. Nia Jax and Asuka was also a good match considering we had a much smaller wrestler who was heavily favored. Outcome helped both of them (Asuka beat a giant; the Giant showed the undefeated winner is still vulnerable) -- which is rare.
I liked the Rousey segment, and the mixed match that was obviously set up makes sense for her first big match. Still, I feel somewhat disappointed that we probably already know the finish of that match (Rousey pins Stephanie is the only thing that makes any sense.)
It seems like there is something missing with Apollo. He is just a generic smiling babyface with no personality. He has to somehow break out with his character. He can be very good in the ring.
I have nothing but respect for John Cena. But he is such an authentic character at this point that when he has to do BS acting ("how can I get to WM?") it just doesn't work.
- Richard Orloski