The WWE is on the road to Wrestlemania 34 at full speed. Four recent shows have exemplified that and have advanced many storylines that will reach a peak at the “Grandest Stage of Them All.” Here’s an abbreviated look at the biggest news in and out of the ring.
Elias gets huge victory, The Miz and Roman Reigns qualify for Elimination Chamber
In a triple threat match to decide who enters last in the namesake match at the Elimination Chamber event later in February, Elias topped other qualifiers John Cena and Braun Strowman. After pinning Cena. Elias gained eligibility to enter the chamber as the freshest man, helping his odds of earning No. 1 contendership to Brock Lesnar’s Universal Championship.
As for the other spots in the six-man field, The Miz and Roman Reigns qualified after strong victories against Apollo Crews and Bray Wyatt, respectively. Kurt Angle, the Raw general manager, also announced a fatal-four-way match among Wyatt, Crews, Matt Hardy and Finn Balor for next week’s Raw to decide the final entrant.
Entrants announced for first women’s Elimination Chamber match
Just more than a week after the first women’s Royal Rumble match, WWE is once again making history with the women’s division. The first women’s Elimination Chamber match was announced, and this past week, Kurt Angle confirmed the competitors vying for the Raw Women’s Championship. Along with current champion Alexa Bliss, Mandy Rose, Sonya Deville, Mickie James, Bayley and Sasha Banks will make history on Feb. 25th. Asuka, who is already guaranteed a championship match at Wrestlemania, will face Nia Jax at the Elimination Chamber. If Jax somehow wins against the undefeated Empress of Tomorrow, then she will also receive a championship match at ‘Mania.
Jordan messes up championship match … again
After dropping the Raw Tag Team Championships to The Bar (Sheamus and Cesaro) at the Royal Rumble, Seth Rollins and Jason Jordan were set to receive their championship rematch. Jordan was not cleared to compete due to a legitimate neck injury, though, and instead Reigns teamed with Rollins in the match. As Reigns and Rollins, former Shield members, came close to winning the championships, Jordan came out to support and got in a brawl with The Bar, disqualifying Reigns and Rollins. After the match, WWE announced Jordan underwent neck surgery, and he has been written off of television and live events indefinitely.
Zayn, Owens weasel their way into another championship match
More than a week after Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens failed to defeat WWE Champion AJ Styles at the Royal Rumble as a team, Zayn and Owens faced each other to decide the new No. 1 contender to Styles’ championship at Fastlane. Toward the end of the match, Zayn pushed Styles, who was ringside, and Styles retaliated, attacking both members of the match. The match was thrown out, and Daniel Bryan, Smackdown general manager, announced Styles will defend against Zayn and Owens in a triple threat match at Fastlane.
Rusev fails to win U.S. Championship
After Rusev’s ictory in a fatal-four-way match last week to become the No. 1 contender to Bobby Roode’s United States Championship, Rusev was unsuccessful in his title shot. The Bulgarian Brute fought for 15 minutes to the tune of loud “Rusev Day” chants from the crowd but ultimately fell victim to Roode’s Glorious DDT. After the match, Randy Orton came to the ring and RKO’d both superstars, sending a clear message.
Cruiserweight Championship tournament rolls on
Although the Cruserweight division and show has been widely ignored lately, it’s experienced somewhat of a revival the last two weeks. Last week, Drake Maverick (aka Rockstar Spud) was brought on as the new general manager of 205 Live. In his first order of business, Maverick announced a 16-man tournament to crown a new WWE Cruiserweight champion. In two of the matchups this past week, Kalisto topped Lince Dorado, and Roderick Strong outlasted Hideo Itami. Strong and Kalisto join TJP and Cedric Alexander in the quarterfinals. Also, former WWE UK Championship tournament competitor Mark Andrews will make his 205 Live debut next week, facing Akira Tozawa in another tournament match.
Gargano to get one more shot
In the aftermath of a legitimate five-star match between Johnny Gargano and Andrade “Cien” Almas at NXT Takeover: Philadelphia, Gargano came out to address the NXT crowd. Almas then emerged with his manager, Zelina Vega, and Gargano asked them to give him one more shot at Andrade’s NXT Championship. The duo complied after a brief scuffle but with a stipulation that if Gargano loses, he will never return to NXT.
Sanity wins another battle
Entrenched in a long-standing feud, the factions of Sanity and the Undisputed Era were set to collide once more across two separate matches. As the Undisputed Era made an entrance for the NXT Tag Team Championship match, the three members of Sanity attacked the Undisputed Era members from behind. To stop the chaos, William Regal, NXT general manager, canceled the originally scheduled matches and made a six-man tornado tag match between the Undisputed Era and Sanity for the main event. For those unfamiliar, tornado tag matches mean all participants can be in the ring and no tags are necessary. After a crazy, all-over- the- place battle, Killian Dain of Sanity put the team on his back and pinned Bobby Fish. The feud between the two factions, though, seems far from over.