Facebook message received February 17, 2022:
“hey man any chance of you reviewing elimination chamber?”
Well, I’d love to, but about 5 months ago Scott made me a persona non-grata and deleted my account with all my archives. I have steadfastly refused to suck Tony Khan’s knobby kneecaps with the rest of the Interwebs, and that was frankly unacceptable for the Bog Of Gloom. Now his official stance is that it was a “cyber-attack” and my account accidentally disappeared, much like Jamal Khashoggi – but this is the same guy who claims he isn’t on the AEW payroll, so Scott’s about as credible as Saudi royalty. I’m on to you.
Long and the short of it means my archives are kaput, and embarrassingly, I don’t really save my writing. I dug through my old laptops trying to find the Saudi recaps, but I couldn’t find the original Crown Jewel, which was, in essence, MY Crown Jewel. Thankfully I’m a one trick pony with like 8 jokes in my back pocket, so if I ever decide to re-write it, you likely won’t even notice the difference from the original. It’s like trying to figure which Seth Rollins is the real one. It’s impossible. (In all seriousness – if through some miracle you can locate my Crown Jewel 2018 review for me, leave a comment below.)
In the meantime, if you enjoy my writing, I’d love for you to check out and subscribe to my YouTube channel. And if you don’t like it, then you should ironically subscribe just to stick it to me. If you start anywhere, might I recommend my review of Korean Fishcake Mozzarella Corndogs.
I’d tell you more, but we are LIVE from Jeddah! I have absolutely no idea what the card is. Since the last show in Saudi, I think I’ve watched that one nXt where the Scott Steiner / Buff Bagwell lovechild captured the championship. Turns out Big Poppa Pump’s hookup was the American Males, holla if you hear me. I also watched the Royal Rumble, and I liked it just fine in spite of you curmudgeons.
Today is the Elimination Chamber. Man, are the Saudi fans gonna be disappointed when they realize it’s just a cage. True fact: Germany calls this PPV “No Escape” – but the only ticket that name is printed on is the wrestlers’ plane tickets home.
MICHAEL COLE welcomes us to the biggest concrete structure in the world. He’s talking about the stadium, not the boots he’s wearing in case he even thinks about running. BYRON SAXTON and COREY GRAVES are also here, though I’d prefer they weren’t.
THE MISS (without Maurice) vs. REY MYSTERIO JR. (with Dominik Mysterio-Guerrero)
Rey is the babyface tonight because he killed Perro Aguayo. I appreciate that the build up involved Miz bringing up Eddie’s fatherhood, that’s good stuff. Rey comes out dressed like a glow in the dark condom, complete with reservoir tip. Dominik carries his father on his back, because he’s like a foot taller than Rey, and not because Rey has been shot. At least as far as I know. Miz might know something though, he goes right for the possibly bullet ridden leg of Mysterio, and screams at Dominik. His self-distraction lets Rey knock him to the floor, and then Mysterio slides into first base and on to Miz on the outside. Be careful Rey, going to second base with another man is a death sentence here. Miz looks to walk away, but Dominik throws him back in. Of course, Rey is bleeding out from the shotgun blast, so Miz ties him to the tree of woe and beats the hell out of Mysterio. Next up – a guillotine. Not a real one, let’s be clear. They go back and forth for awhile, until Rey gets the upper hand by giving Miz a rana headfirst into the ringpost. A dick to the face, followed by a superkick gets 2. Miz comes back with a pretty vicious looking DDT – I didn’t realize Miz had anything in his repertoire that looked like it hurt, including his words. Of course, selling is as dead as journalism in Jeddah, so Rey comes back with a 619, and Miz bails behind the Saudi announce table. He finds a weapon, which for Rey’s sake is ONLY a steel chair, but Rey stops an attack with a flying bodypress. Dom steals the chair away from Miz, so Miz throws himself into the ringsteps and sells a shoulder attack getting Dominik thrown out. Miz goes for the Skull Crushing Finale, but Mysterio rolls through the move and scores the pin at 8:20. Dominik then charges back in, and the Mysterios deliver double 619’s, and Dominik hits his dad’s signature Frog Splash for good measure. As does Rey, because he’s a cuck. This was a high energy bundle of fun. Let’s stop that now, I want a trainwreck. ***
Michael Cole welcomes us to the FINAL pay-per-view … before Wrestlemania!
SAMOAN JOE (with Paul Heyman and Several Usos) vs. GOLDBERG (for the WWE Universal championship)
Roman legitimately gets a thunderous ovation from these fans, while Graves carries on about this being the modern equivalent of watching Hank Aaron hit a home run. “GOD MODE!” he screams. Speaking of God Mode, I’m getting Goldberg again?!? HELL YES! I’ll s--- if Goldberg wins. I mean, I might either way, I had that new Flaming Hot Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Taco earlier, and my body is none too pleased with me. Roman demands acknowledgement, and I certainly will not – I’ve been done with this cat for about 7 years, a heel turn ain’t suckering me back in. Goldberg comes out still looking more ripped than most of the active roster, and thicker than Lexington Steele – this dude is ready to rip. Unfortunately, the ovation was a lot lesser than Roman’s, but let’s be real, if he’d caught on fire in the sprinklers they’d have lost their minds – so don’t listen to them. For a throwaway, this has a pretty big fight feel to it, and NOW the fans are rooting for Goldberg! Roman gets the early advantage, but they fight to the outside, and Goldberg throws some elbows to rock the champ. Unfortunately, he re-enters the ring like an old man, and the eternity lets Roman fully recover. The tribal chief throws some hamfisted punches, but I don’t think he’s a real tribal chief because he can’t dodge a spear? The Jackhammer is blocked, and Roman hits Rock Bottom for 2! A Superman punch hits, and Goldberg’s bleeding from the top of his head for some reason. Goldberg hits a second spear, but Roman blocks the Jackhammer again, this time locking in the Khoshoggi Khiller, and Goldberg turns purple until he passes out. Just like Jamal. Roman retains at 6:00. -***** for not giving me the Saudi experience and putting Goldberg over.
BIANCA BELAIR vs. DOUDROP vs. RHEA RIPLEY vs. NIKKI ASH vs. LIV MORGAN vs. ALEXA BLISS (in an elimination chamber match for the number 1 contender to the RAW women’s title if we allow it because let’s face it women have no rights)
Big upgrade for the ladies – they’ve traded in their piles of laundry for latex body suits. I believe this is the first time I’ve recapped an Alexa Bliss match, and let’s not mince words; I’d drink her bath water. She was crushed when her pet pig Larry Steeve recently passed away – and let me be the first to volunteer to take his place. Nikki and Liv Morgan start off; I hate it when former tag-team partners can’t get along anymore. Liv is also a camel toe short of replicating Britney Spears’ “Oops! I Did It Again” costume. Sadly there are no camels on stage to help her out this time around. Doudrop is the next in, and attacks Nikki before giving Liv a Fireman’s Carry. Doudrop honors local culture pushing Liv’s neck into the cage, but Nikki breaks that up and poses. Rhea’s in fourth, and Nikki bails. Of course, there’s literally nowhere to run except up the cage, which she does. Ripley is right behind her looking like the Catwoman, and faceplants her to knock her down. Back in, Riptide ends Nikki at 6:20. Well then!
In comes Alexa, and Ripley begs off from the 4 foot tall goddess. Alexa crushes everyone, and almost pins Morgan after a double knee smash. Liz shows off her ass, and Doudrop grabs a couple of fistfuls, which Rhea doesn’t appreciate because that’s her move. Doudrop fights her off the top, but Liv comes in and hits a sunset powerbomb off the top for the pin at 8:50!
Bianca is our final entrant, and picks up up Liv with one fist off the top, holding her right up by the junk like a human puppet. The fans chant “THIS IS AWESOME” in response to the Ivagination, while Belair and Ripley hit dueling suplexes on the other two. Belair celebrates, and Rhea slaps a bitch – ohhhhh s--- son. They start trading blows, Belair goes for the Torture Rack, but it’s blocked and Liv takes them BOTH out! Then Alexa casually hits Twisted Bliss to end Liv at 12:10, which is too bad. Ripley goes after Alexa, but she squirms away and the KOD out of nowhere from Belair ends HER at 12:45.
Bliss tries to finish with a Canadian Destroyer, but Bianca is not Canadian and kicks out. She should have tried the Arabic Destroyer, that’s where you steal Drew McIntyre’s sword and let nature take its course. Belair bounces Alexa around, living out my dreams. Alexa comes back, but Belair handsprings out of a DDT and hits a moonsault right into Alexa’s knees for 2! Alexa tries the Mandible Claw, but it’s turned into the KOD and Bianca’s headed to Mania for the second year in a row at 15:45. **1/2 Bianca makes like Willow Smith and whips her hair back and forth.
CHARLOTTE FLAIR and SONYA DEVILLE vs. IMOAN and RONDA ROUSEY (with one arm tied behind Ronda’s back)
Everyone’s in bodysuits except Rousey who’s cosplaying as Ernest Miller, both wearing a karate gi and threatens to whoop every fan in the building. Somebody call her momma! The referee calls for a rope, and every fan in attendance offers up everything from ropes, chains, zip ties, choke wire, and for some reason, Molotov cocktails. Ronda starts with Deville, and uses Sonya’s body as a springboard to kick her in the face. Charlotte quickly tags in, then tags Deville when Ronda gets too close. Naomi comes in against Deville, and slams Naomi off the buckle in the corner. Ronda comes back and tosses Deville around without a problem, going for a one handed armbar but Charlotte blindsides her with her enormous breasts which were passed down genetically from her dad. Charlotte donkey punches Ronda, and turns it back over to Deville. Together they work over Ronda’s one arm, but Ronda manages to fight Charlotte off and run for the tag. Charlotte pulls her back by the rope, but Ronda’s pissy and just kicks Charlotte until she can get loose and tag Naomi. Naomi runs wild, hitting a series of springboard kicks, and Charlotte takes a powder. Naomi doesn’t care for that, hitting a springboard corkscrew plancha to the floor, then comes back in with a bodypress for 2! That’s all she’s getting though, because a rana is blocked with a powerbomb, while Deville knocks Ronda off the apron on the other side. Sonya tries to finish with a running knee for 2. Ronda comes in, and hits Piper’s Pit to set up the armbar on Sonya, who taps immediately at 9:10. This never got going for me, the anticipation for the Charlotte / Ronda matchup never delivered – which I guess builds up Mania more, but I’d have liked to have seen them scrap a little bit to give us a taste of what’s to come. *1/2
I don’t want to peak at the card and be spoiled on anything coming, but I’m really starting to be concerned about Mansoon’s well-being. Where the hell is he?
MADCAP MOSS (with Happy Corbin) vs. DREW MCINTYRE (with Giant Sword) (in a falls count anywhere Mexican hardcore match)
Corey Graves tells his Madcap Moss joke of the day: “What’s red and white and black all over? Half a zebra!” The Saudi royalty would be doubled over at that one, falling out of their recliners. And speaking of half a zebra, if that sword doesn’t factor into the finish of this match, then this ain’t the Jeddah I used to know. Corbin attacks Drew from behind off the bell, while the pile of laundry representing referee JESSICA CARR throws her sleeves up in aggravation. They fight to the floor, and McIntyre gives Moss a Glassgow Kiss. Corbin is chased out of the building by McIntyre, and Moss is thrown into the giant LCD board. Of course, Drew thinks he’s got it good, which brings Corbin back into play, and the heels go right back to double teaming the former champ. Madcap poses in his lederhosen, reminding us if this wrasslin thing doesn’t work out, he’s got a fine future serving beer at Ladies Night. Back in the ring, Drew gives Moss the Alabama Slam backwards, dropping Moss ON HIS HEAD! Holy hell, THAT can’t be safe! If you’re trying to kill the guy, the sword would have been a lot quicker. They replay it, and I can’t believe he’s walking, he went noggin first into the mat and his body crumpled under its weight. Corbin gives Drew a receipt with a steel chair, then tosses Drew through the security wall getting 2 for Moss! Moss keeps holding his head, and I’m legitimately concerned for him. Like, to the point I’m uncomfortable watching this go on, I’m not sure the guy is ok. They head back in, Moss goes up which seems unwise – and indeed, Drew hits a superplex for 2. Drew goes for a (well protected) Future Shock, grabs the sword(!!!!!!), swings it at Corbin, then threatens to cut off Moss’ head! It’s legal here, and the man is concussed anyway, you’re doing him a favor! Unfortunately, he just hits the Claymore and poses with the sword for the pin at 9:00. A beheadah in Jeddah would have got the full monty, but because I spent most of the match uncomfortable for Moss’ head trauma, I’ll go *.
Backstage, THE MISS needs to make a phone call. If this is the last time we ever see him, it’s a hell of an opening to a Dateline episode.
LITA vs. BECKY LYNCH (for the Smackdown women’s title)
The announcers claim that Lita was a huge influence on Becky, but don’t expand. Did she give Becky the confidence to dye her hair fire red? Change her gimmick to Miss Congeniality? Take a locker room wide golden shower? Lita works a side headlock, but Becky wriggles loose, so Lita hiptosses her around. An early Twist of Fate is blocked, and Becky takes over, stomping away in the corner. Becky drops a leg across the back of the neck, focusing on Lita’s lifetime of neck injuries, and also cuz attacking the neck is just what you do around here. Lita tries a comeback, throwing some awful looking punches, and a bodypress out of the corner gets 2. Lita locks a sleeper in, and rolls Becky to the middle of the ring – but Becky spends half her life rolling out of the clutches of weirdo fans and gets to the ropes with ease. Lita hits a powerbomb for 2. Lita tries a Stratusphere out of the corner – and completely blows the spot, which Becky sells anyway. A Twist of Fate is blocked, so Lita keeps going and hits the Flatliner for 2! Up top, and Becky’s had about enough, pulling Lita back to the middle of the ring, applying the Disarmher. Lita makes the ropes, so Becky instantly hits her with the Manhandle Slam … for 2! Lita barely got a foot on the ropes! Becky straight rages, beating the piss out of Lita and goes to finish with the Litasault … except Lita dodges, hits the Twist of Fate and heads up! Litasault, 1, 2, Becky kicks out! Holy hell, I thought they were gonna pull the trigger. On changing the title, not snipers in the rafters. Manhandle Slam immediately ends the dream at 12:10. Lita bawls very real tears, and I have to think that was probably her retirement match. Cole: “Talk about turning back the clock!” Hell yeah, Lita was way over, blew tons of spots, it was 2004 all over again! The match also lacked flow, it was just a bunch of spots without a natural transition, but the fans were way into it, so I’ll go **1/2.
Meanwhile, the Undertaker will lead the 2022 hall of fame class. What did that guy ever do? They’ll put any old part-timer in there these days. Kid Rock’s “American Badass” makes his first appearance since early 2001, so that’s fun. I would have loved if the production team didn’t understand the memo and played “Legs” instead though.
ERICK AYBAR vs. THE USOS (for the Smackdown tag-team titles)
The Usos attack the former Angels shortstop on his way to the ring, powerbombing all 400 pounds of Ivar onto Erik. And that’s that, no match. Oh. ***** for saving me from having to see Ivar’s crotch pelt.
“THE ALMIGHTY” BOBBY LASHLEY vs. “THE FUTURE OF TNA” AJ STYLES vs. MATT RIDDLE vs. AUSTIN THEORY vs. SETH “SETH” ROLLINS vs. “SMILIN” BROCK LESNAR (in an elimination chamber match for the WWE world heavyweight title)
…who in the hell is Austin Theory? He’s taking a bunch of selfies, presumably to leave a trail for the feds when he turns up missing in like an hour. Riddle, from inside his cell, happily obliges with pictures alongside this guy. Lesnar’s entrance sees the roof blown off … because of cheers, not gunfire. Nice to see Lesnar throw it back to the Smilin’ gimmick. Even better, he walks right up to Lashley’s chamber, steams it up with his breath, then writes a big X across the front of it. Y’all can be as sick of this guy as you want, I never want this push to stop. Rollins starts with Theory; which makes sense, since this Austin guy looks like the literal definition of “already in the ring”. Rollins takes out Theory, then trash talks AJ – classic bully move, find the smallest guy you can. Lesnar is just burning a hole through both of them, knowing full well he can, and will, pin both these guys and their dumbass “movesets” in like 5 seconds. Rollins continues to tee off on the job squad, and powerbombs him THROUGH Lashley’s pod and either Bobby’s selling like a champ or he’s legitimately hurt. Riddle gets the call, clears Seth quickly, takes a shot at the jobber, and turns back to Rollins. Seth cuts him off on the top rope though, and stomps him in the tree of woe. The officials gathered around Lashley really make me wonder if this is a work – but I’m not sure, because Lashley is having a hard time with his leg and is being taken out. The replay shows his leg was buckling when Theory hit him.
Styles is the fourth guy in, and he takes out everyone. Has the future of TNA finally arrived? Everyone in the ring seems completely thrown off, so either they’re waiting for a Lesnar demolition, or they’re killing time while figuring out what to do with Bobby, who’s still lingering nearby outside the cell. Riddle hits a Floating Bro on the second coming of Duane Gill, but only gets 2. He gives Rollins and AJ double DDT’s, the fans are fired up as Riddle goes into his viper pose, but we’re due another cell and …. It’s Bobby’s turn. So instead of waiting, Lesnar just kicks down his pod, F5 to Seth – goodnight. Lashley is confirmed out with a concussion. Riddle, F5, see ya! AJ, takes a spinebuster, and Lesnar’s laughing his ass off now. AJ gets suplexed and flies about 80 feet in the air, which sets up the F5, hilariously leaving us with Lesnar and Already In The Ring! Absolutely amazing. The kid runs for the door as AJ’s leaving, but Brock gets in his way and makes damn sure it’s locked. Theory begs for his life, and hides in a pod, but Lesnar just kicks his way through the plexiglass and launches Theory into next week. He holds him for the end, but Theory, showing a last gasp, punches Lesnar in the pooter, and Lesnar’s balls are crushed! Theory hits a DDT, ain’t nobody buying this, and indeed Lesnar kicks out at 1.5 and Lesnar sits up, purple faced and PISSED! Theory climbs up, and his skinny ass actually fits through the chain and he’s headed to the roof! Lesnar catches him before he gets out though, so Lesnar stands on top of a pod and just slams Theory’s face into the plexiglass over the pod, over and over and over and over, and I’m getting way too much joy watching this! F5 OFF THE POD ON TO THE STEEL FLOOR! Wipe him off the mat, he’s done. And indeed, Lesnar pins him at 15:00 to reclaim the belt once again! This is the Saudi carnage I wanted! **** for that whole Lesnar sequence at the end, just effing glorious.
Tens of thousands of explosions start – but not to worry, it’s just fireworks to celebrate THE BEAST! Brock then poses for selfies, dripping buckets of sweat all over the front row.
Damn y’all, they’re on quite a run of Saudi shows, and I’m not sure I can handle this. This show was missing awful wrestling, beyond questionable results, Shane McMahon, Mansoor, prayer sessions, lounge chairs, Yokozuna appearances, Babatunde, Hiroki Suma, The Kane.
But I did get LESNAR SMASH which is enough to send the Internet into an aneurism, so not all was lost. See you in 6 months.