WWE Cruiserweight Champion Buddy Murphy def. Akira Tozawa (Kickoff Match)
I can't imagine many people were surprised by this being bumped to the Kickoff show, but I was surprised WWE opted to air a backstage promo during this match in the corner of the screen. It essentially sent the message that fans shouldn't take the Cruiserweights seriously, which is a massive shame because they put forth an excellent effort every time they're given the chance to shine. They got the crowd invested in the action by the end and even had them chanting "This is awesome!", so kudos to them for that. This was a tremendously fun sprint, and as much as I'd like to see the 205 Live guys on the main card at WrestleMania, I'd assume the odds are slim as of now.
Sasha Banks & Bayley def. Sonya Deville & Mandy Rose, Nia Jax & Tamina, The Riott Squad, The IIConics and Naomi & Carmella in an Elimination Chamber Match to Win the WWE Women's Tag Team Championship
I had my reservations about this match, if only because there were so many competitor involved and I feared it would be a mess (a la the tag team Elimination Chamber from 2015 with the men). Thankfully, that wasn't the case whatsoever. Instead, it was wisely laid out and the order of eliminations was well done. I liked that Naomi and Rose were able to further their feud, Jax and Tamina dominated for a bit down the stretch (but not to the point where it was nauseating), and Banks and Bayley were the glue that held this thing together. Bayley and Banks becoming the inaugural champs was the right call, but I was glad Rose and Deville lasted as long as they did.
The Usos def. The Miz and Shane McMahon to Win the SmackDown Tag Team Championship
First and foremost, congrats to Miz and Maryse on announcing the upcoming birth of their second child. Monroe Sky was born just under a year ago, so I'm sure they're thrilled that their kids will be close in age. As for the match itself, it was a treat. Shane is probably at his best in tag team situations at this stage of his career considering how limited he is and how Miz is able to do most of the in-ring work, so I'm bummed that their partnership will likely be over sooner rather than later. The outcome was slightly shocking coming off Jimmy Uso's arrest last week, but then again, their contracts are reportedly up in April, so perhaps this was WWE's way of trying to get them to re-sign.
Finn Balor def. Bobby Lashley and Lio Rush in a 2-on-1 Handicap Match to Win the Intercontinental Championship
It was heavily teased coming into the show that Balor pinning Rush would result in him capturing the Intercontinental Championship, enough to where I figured Lashley was retaining the title. Well, I was wrong... again. Lashley losing the belt after only a month was disappointing, but it could be leading to something between him and Brock Lesnar either at Fastlane or after WrestleMania. This was decent, even though I hate Handicap matches (especially when a title is on the line). We'll see if Balor can make the strap any more important than it was before.
Raw Women's Champion Ronda Rousey def. Ruby Riott
Charlotte Flair's pre-match promo did an effective job of following up on the events that transpired last Monday on Raw with Becky Lynch and herself. Granted, it was along the same lines of what she said on SmackDown Live, it was good, nonetheless. Everyone and their mother knew Riott wouldn't win, but this was just pointless. A two minute squash? Seriously? Riott gained nothing, though I'm sure that was far from the intent). The angle afterward was solid, but they should have kept it at that and skipped the match all together. By the way, "suspensions" mean absolutely nothing when the Superstar shows up anyway.
Baron Corbin def. Braun Strowman in a No Disqualification Match
I wouldn't have been opposed to this match running two minutes instead. I'm only half-joking when I say that. Part of me was optimistic that this would benefit from the No Disqualification stipulation, but it ended up being nothing special and it was all downhill once Lashley and Drew McIntyre interfered. I somewhat expected that, but Kurt Angle (or virtually anyone else) not making the save was stupid. I guess that means Strowman has no friends and is also a loser seeing as how he can't win on pay-per-view to save his life. This whole storyline sucks.
WWE Champion Daniel Bryan def. Kofi Kingston, Randy Orton, AJ Styles, Jeff Hardy and Samoa Joe in an Elimination Chamber Match
The outcome never truly felt in doubt, but Kingston definitely did his best to make everyone in attendance believe that he was going to win the WWE title. I loved how he looked so strong in defeat by kicking out of Bryan's running knee finisher early on and took Bryan to the limit before finally losing. The reaction he received from the crowd afterward was really cool, so it's possible WWE will go back to him as a championship challenger eventually (Fastlane maybe?). If they haven't put the belt on him by this point, though, it's unlikely they ever will. The rest of the Chamber was very entertaining and closed out the evening on a high note. On a side note, look for Styles and Orton to be a collision course toward WrestleMania coming out of this.
Without the two excellent Chamber matches, this would have been a pretty pedestrian pay-per-view. Corbin vs. Strowman was a dud and Rousey vs. Riott was a waste of time, but at least The Usos, Balor, Banks and Balyey winning gold (unexpectedly, too) made it a fairly newsworthy event. Tozawa vs. Murphy is also worth checking out from the Kickoff show. I stand by my opinion that these mid-WrestleMania season events are unnecessary, but this could have been way worse.