Elimination Chamber 2021 closed with a surprise: The Miz cashed in his Money in the Bank contract and won the WWE Championship against Drew McIntyre. He did it with the help of Bobby Lashley, who after losing his United States Championship appears to have a feud with Drew McIntyre heading into WrestleMania.
He closed a strong PPV, which opened with a fantastic Elimination Chamber match won by Daniel Bryan. In what would become a show theme, Bryan was immediately defeated by Universal Champion Roman Reigns in the fight that followed.
On the other hand, Sasha Banks and Bianca Belair failed to capture the Women’s Couples Championships, and Riddle won the United States title by beating John Morrison.
Read on for a complete rundown on Elimination Chamber.
The Miz cobra, becomes WWE Champion
Bobby Lashley ambushed Drew McIntyre after the Chamber, destroying him outside the ring and then putting him in Hurt Lock. Miz’s music played and he ran into the ring, officially cashing in on his Money in the Bank contract.
The bell rings. Miz got a count of two after a DDT, but got the win after a Skull Crushing Finale. The show goes off the air when The Miz celebrates their championship.
Drew McIntyre retains WWE Championship
In the show’s main event, Drew McIntyre retained his WWE Championship by winning the Elimination Chamber match. McIntyre last eliminated AJ Styles to retain his championship.
The fight turned into a showdown between Sheamus and McIntyre, with Sheamus being the last participant in the fight. Sheamus took out Kofi Kingston with a Brogue Kick, and McIntyre took out Jeff Hardy with a Claymore Kick, so it looked like the two would clear the house and fight to close the fight. That was not the case, as Sheamus was pinned down by AJ Styles after a phenomenal forearm.
Randy Orton was the first to be eliminated, which was also a surprise. Kofi Kingston entered the Chamber fourth and quickly caught Orton with a creative roll up. Following his pin, Orton RKOed Kingston and Hardy before leaving. AJ Styles, who had not yet officially entered, took the opportunity to instruct Omos to break down his chamber door. Omos did, and AJ ran from outside and through the Chamber door and tried unsuccessfully to immobilize Kingston and Hardy. Note that this does not make any sense, as AJ is not a legal man until his Chamber door is unlocked. Poor me.
The fight was good, but much more disjointed than the first SmackDown match. This is especially true during the period when five men were still active (AJ, McIntyre, Sheamus, Kingston, and Hardy), where there were often stocks in multiple areas. But it improved after Hardy and Kingston were eliminated, when AJ, Sheamus and McIntyre closed strong.
Rating: 3.5 stars.
Shayna Baszler and Nia Jax retain tag titles
Nia Jax pinned Sasha Banks with a Samoan Drop after a strange distraction thanks to Reginald, Carmella’s sommelier.
The fight started out slow, with Nia Jax fighting Banks and Bianca Belair. Things got better once Baszler came in, and we finally got some solid action courtesy of Baszler and Banks’ excellent wrestling. The end came when Jax and Banks were the legal women. Reginald arrived in the ring with some fancy champagne and a glass, and he rolled the champagne into the ring while telling Banks to break it up with Jax. Sasha declined and was hit by Jax, Samoan Dropped, and then pinned down.
The distraction was artificial, Banks seemed silly, and Jax’s execution was sloppy.
Rating: 2 stars. It seems highly likely that Banks will face Belair at WrestleMania, so this match suffered from the knowledge that Jax and Baszler would surely retain. He was even more hurt by a bad ending and Jax, who is generally not particularly fun to watch. However, Shayna Baszler absolutely rules and was the highlight of the match.
Riddle wins the United States Championship
John Morrison replaced Kieth Lee in this USA Triple Threat match, which also featured Riddle and champion Bobby Lashley. Riddle won the fun match by pinning Morrison.
It started with Lashley being a monster, easily destroying both Riddle and Morrison. Riddle and Morrison decide to team up to take down the beast. At first, even this doesn’t work, but they eventually take hold of Lashley and incapacitate him on the outside with a tandem offense.
Inside the ring, we have a great fight between Riddle and Morrison. Morrison is tragically underused. Finally, of course, Lashley returns to the ring. Riddle rocks him with a V-Trigger, but Lashley ends up cleaning the house. Morrison takes MVP’s crutches and tries to hit Lashley, but Lashley avoids him and puts Morrison in the Hurt Lock. Riddle takes the crutch and slaps Lashley on the back, the announcers hastily telling us that there are no disqualifications, causing Lashley to retreat and regroup outside.
Riddle then planted Morrison with his BroDerrick headstone hit for the win. He immediately ran away from Lashley, a true wrestling champion.
Rating: 3.5 stars. A fun match with three talented guys. It’s silly to see Riddle, a supposed baby face and real life tough guy, made to look so weak compared to Lashley. But it was nice to see Morrison’s talent on display.
Roman Reigns defeats Daniel Bryan
This match for the Universal Championship was short but sweet. Bryan, stumbling and barely able to walk, tells the referee to ring the bell. Roman immediately looks for a spear, but is countered when Bryan blocks the Yes Lock. Announcer Michael Cole is losing his mind, yelling that Bryan is going to perform a miracle. Fantastic moment.
However, that was not the case, as Reigns shut down and bombarded Bryan with mounted punches. He then hitched a Guillotine and strangled Bryan for the win.
Just like Bryan had no chance, neither did Reigns. It was launched by Edge, who announced that he would face Reigns at WrestleMania.
Daniel Bryan wins SmackDown Elimination Chamber
The main show opened with the SmackDown Elimination Chamber match. It featured Cesaro, Jey Uso, Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, Corbin and its eventual winner, Daniel Bryan. Bryan started the match with Cesaro and, after an excellent 50 minutes, eliminated Jey Uso one last time to win the match.
After five minutes of rock-solid fighting between Bryan and Cesaro, Corbin was the third to enter the Chamber. It was a wrecking machine, knocking them both down and demolishing Bryan’s knee. However, Corbin would eventually be the first to leave the Chamber, being eliminated by Cesaro’s sniper.
Zayn was in fourth place, followed by Owens and finally Uso. A high point came as Zayn climbed the Chamber, and he was followed by Cesaro. Cesaro, holding onto the links at the top of the Chamber, tossed Zayn to the floor of the Chamber. Zayn was the second to be eliminated, when Owens stunned and immobilized him.
Following Zayn’s elimination, Uso trapped Owens’s arm in the Chamber door and bombarded him with superkicks. He then pinned him down after a splash on the top rope.
After Cesaro took Uso out, we had some excellent back and forth action between Cesaro and Bryan. Just when it looked like Cesaro was going to take Bryan out, in the middle of a one-legged Giant Swing on Bryan’s injured leg, Uso scored him with a superkick. Uso then pinned Cesaro with a splash of top rope.
That left Uso and Bryan. Uso quickly tapped Bryan for two. He then scaled the top of a Chamber capsule and attempted a giant splash, but Bryan raised his knees and then hit Uso with his knee running like a pin, winning his third Chamber match.
The good news? Bryan wins a shot against Roman Reigns’ Universal Championship. The bad news? Roman Reigns comes out immediately to start that match. There is no rest for Bryan.
Rating: 4.5 stars. Excellent material. Bryan fans like me are likely to be disappointed – it looks like his win will be nothing as Reigns is now focused on his WrestleMania match with Edge. In fact, Bryan was likely chosen to win the House over Cesaro precisely so he could lose to Reigns. Regardless, this was an exceptional fight.
Kickoff Show Results
John Morrison defeated Ricochet, Elias and Ali to earn a spot in the United States Triple Threat Championship on the main show. Bobby Lashley will now defend his American title against Morrison and Riddle.
Morrison won the match by rolling up Ali while Ali was distracted by his Retribution faction attacking Ricochet from the outside.