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    Tuesday, February 23, 2021

    The Smark Henry Pay-Per-Review: Elimination Chamber 2021

    Jey Uso and Kevin Owens in WWE Elimination Chamber 2021

    Last year, the Elimination Chamber PPV was next to worthless. It had taken the place of Fastlane in March, but without the acceptable level of unpredictability that usually surrounds that time in the Road to WrestleMania. This year's event makes up for a terrible 2020 event, but it still doesn't really justify the existence of the pay-per-view.

    If anything, it felt like WWE knew all of this was a chore—like it was tired of holding forced Elimination Chamber shows around this time of year, realizing that they'd booked themselves into a corner with this new tradition. This year's event holds the perfunctory two Chamber matches and not much else, not really bothering to fill in a minimum of three hours. There's no live audience to give their money's worth with a full four hours of showtime, so why bother? And we're all better for it.

    In fact, it felt like the company was so done with the Elimination Chamber format that the Chamber matches themselves were highly uninspired. Can you blame anyone, though? After almost 20 years (20 years!) of Elimination Chambers and just one evolution of including weapons in the ECW Elimination Chamber, there's really not much else left to do. People get slammed into the chain-link walls, the plexiglass, the steel frame outside; people jump from the top of the pods or from the chain-link roof; other than that, the action is your generic pro wrestling match done inside an imposing structure.

    Even the big moments were done outside of the namesake match. Universal Champion Roman Reigns wisely skipped the Chamber match, preferring to do his business the normal way. Edge makes his decision after that. WWE Champion Drew McIntyre survives the Chamber, but ends up getting cashed in on afterward when the structure has been lifted to the rafters.

    Let's be real—the event was entertaining, but it seemed pretty plain in everyone's mind that we don't really need the Elimination Chamber anymore to tell the stories they need to tell. Yes, we're glad it only shows up once a year, but even that might be too much at this point. It's got to go the way of the old blue cage.

    Elimination Chamber 2021 Rating: B+

    Match of the Night

    I'll give these honors to the first hour, which is the SmackDown Elimination Chamber and the succeeding Universal Championship match between Daniel Bryan and Roman Reigns. While I can't say one set of guys was hungrier than the other, you can definitely sense a different kind of energy between the two lineups. Knowing that you're getting utilized efficiently really goes a long way in the kind of work you put in—as well as being part of better stories.

    Photo from WWE

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    Item Reviewed: The Smark Henry Pay-Per-Review: Elimination Chamber 2021 Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Romeo Moran
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