The final Monday Night Raw brand pay-per-view (PPV) before going to dual branded shows starting after WrestleMania 34, Elimination Chamber, is scheduled for this Sun., Feb. 25, 2018, at the T-Mobile Arena in Paradise, Nevada. The show is built on three matches and a contract signing, and looks about as predictable as any show the company has ever produced.
The men’s Elimination Chamber match features seven participants with the promise that the winner will headline WrestleMania 34 in a Universal championship match against Brock Lesnar. Roman Reigns has headlined every WrestleMania of the past three years and there is nothing to indicate he won’t headline this one. That’s even without taking into account various rumors and reports (from places like the Wrestling Observer) stating the plan for many months has been just that.
The women’s Elimination Chamber match is the first of its kind. Alexa Bliss will defend the Raw women’s championship. The issue in this match is each possible outcome is equally unsurprising. The Raw women’s championship has existed for just under two years and changed hands a total of 11 times. However, those 11 are spread among just four women: Charlotte, Sasha Banks, Bayley, and Bliss. Charlotte is, of course, on SmackDown (where she is champion). This, then, creates a scenario where it seems likely Bliss will retain her title but it wouldn’t be at all shocking if Banks won and would be somehow just as unsurprising if Bayley emerged victorious.
Then we have a match pitting Nia Jax against Asuka, the Royal Rumble winner who has yet to choose which title she’ll challenge for at WrestleMania 34. Oh, and she’s also undefeated. They added the stipulation that if Jax wins she’ll be added to the Raw women’s title match at WrestleMania, whatever that may be, but the reality is Asuka losing here would be promotional malpractice.
There are surely plans in place to spice up Ronda Rousey’s contract signing, making it the one unpredictable attraction on this show. The undercard was so unimportant to WWE they didn’t finalize it until just today.
A WWE show doesn’t need to be unpredictable to be good, and it’s entirely possible the matches deliver in such a way that you get plenty of bang for your entertainment buck.
But it sure would be nice if we didn’t already know who was going to win all these matches, wouldn’t it?