A fittingly brutal introduction to the Elimination Chamber concept. Rob Van Dam is the star of the opening half. With a great babyface shine really taking it to Triple H and then bumping around like crazy with great spots like the Spiderman dive and the Five Star off the pod. Jericho plays a fun chickenshit and his alliance with Triple H is a nice dimension that adds a nice wrinkle to the match. It also pays off nicely. Kane was a fun monster but he looked dumb not going for a pin after Chokeslam City. Shawn commands the last half of the match as a great underdog babyface bumping around for Y2J and HHH. He actually pulls off one of his best and most tense comebacks here as HHH tries to cut him off at every turn. Satisfying feel good finish for everybody!
A fun match with an absurd start. Zeus from No Holds Barred is out to hype his SummerSlam main event and knocks Hogan down to start the match. Boss Man drags Hogan back in and starts a working a simple but decent heat segment on him. The drama picks up quite nicely once Hogan Superplexes Boss Man off the top of the cage and both men are down. Loved Hebner coming in and not knowing how to call the match from there. Then you get Boss Man using a chain to try and get Hogan down and I really enjoyed Hogan's selling in this portion. Shenanigans ensue when Slick gets into the cage to try and help Hogan but Hogan ends up handcuffing Boss Man. The finish is kind of ridiculous. You can tell Boss Man could definitely get both feet out if he just pulled his hand a little closer so there is that. Still, it's a fun enough match with some cool twists in it to lend it some drama.
Piper starts out the match by hanging some posters of football players. No idea what the context for that is, I went into this match totally cold. Bruno comes in and is still incredibly over. The crowd were incredibly hot for Bruno and everything that he did. He comes in and tosses Piper into all four walls of the cage and busts Piper up early. Bruno rips up the posters and shoves them down Piper's throat and trunks which I thought was kind of funny. Then you have the attempts to escape the cage and it plays off a little more naturally than usual in this match. I thought the struggles to get out the door were actually quite fun. It's fun to see Piper ragdoll and sell for Bruno, literally showing ass for the guy. Thought the little things Piper did like low blowing Bruno to keep him from getting out or thumbing Bruno's eyes as he came back in were really good heel tactics. Ended on a great finish with Bruno low blowing Hot Rod off the cage and then nailing him with a chair as he struggled to get out. Fun stuff all around!
Sheer spectacle. That's what this was and I loved it. I really did. Braun has been on a tear in 2017 and he just keeps making the absolute most of every single opportunity that he's been given. He went out there tonight and just showed why he is an absolute monster. The dominance of putting Brock through two tables and throwing an office chair in the faces of both Reigns and Joe. Add to that one of Lesnar's best sell jobs bumping like a nut for Braun and selling his ass off for Reigns. Sure, Joe was just a bit of an afterthought and that's a shame, but man when this match was on it was ON. I'm honestly unsure how to rate this right now. The first few moments with Braun killing everyone dead was five star material easily. Things do slow down once Lesnar comes back from his stretcher spot but even then you get great moments like Braun kicking out and shoving Reigns to his feet and Lesnar eating three Superman Punches.This is a shade under five for me, because the second half just doesn't maintain the momentum but what a showcase for these guys.
I don't know, guys. I think they broke me. Perhaps I just understand the "grammar" of this style more now or perhaps they really just have finally refined this main event NJPW style to something that I completely enjoy because I LOVED THIS.
It starts off a little slow but without much of the meandering matwork that comes from matches earlier in the year. Here, they go right for the good juicy meaty stuff. Lots of mind games from both guys as expected and lots of personality. Both guys target the neck relentlessly and there are some pretty fantastic moments that surround it. Omega not being able to complete his usual kip up and springboard was MASTERFUL (5 star moment). Omega stayed fairly consistent with his neck selling all throughout the match too and god knows it played right into the finish as well. Naito meanwhile put in what might be one hell of a babyface performance. He looked amazing taking just a BRUTAL beating from Omega. I have so much love for Omega's repeated and deliberate V Triggers all building up to that glorious callback of Naito collapsing just as Omega went in for one more (5 star moment). It was a great spot at Dominion and it's a great spot here. Then you have that ridiculous top rope DDT into the ring post and a whole series of bumps that people really shouldn't be taking (face first into the turnbuckle off the top, top rope powerbomb countered into Rana, etc.). Loved the desperation of Naito at the finishing stretch trying to hit any variation of Destino possible to get a pinfall. He probably went for one too many but that is a minuscule nitpick to this match.
Is this the MOTY? It just might be. It really just might be. While Okada-Omega III had the blistering pace and the down to earth story, this seemed to perfect the more theatrical elements that something like the Dominion match aspired for.