WWE Elimination Chamber 2020
Running Time: 251 Minutes
Number Of Discs: 2
Studio: Fremantle Home Entertainment
Released: May 18 2020
(Thanks to Fetch Publicity for arranging this review.)
WWE Elimination Chamber 2020 was the final PPV before WrestleMania 36, and the viewing experience on DVD is totally different from watching the show live, primarily because just days after this event, the world rapidly reached the stage with the Coronavirus pandemic whereby all forthcoming WWE shows would be held in front of no fans at the Performance Center for the forseeable future. Of course, crowds will return at some point, even if venues are only going to hold a fraction of their potential audiences as part of the transition towards sold-out arenas once again. If anything, this only enhances the appeal of rewatching Elimination Chamber 2020 since it’s refreshing to see actual people in the stands, though it’s also not exactly a great show overall.
Daniel Bryan vs. Drew Gulak is a very good opener, mind you. This hard-hitting technical wrestling battle increases Gulak’s stock greatly, and he would become Bryan’s on-screen coach as a result. Less appealing is what felt like the millionth United States Championship clash between Andrade and Humberto Carrillo; both men graft and some of their moves are definitely eye-catching, but fan interest in this feud had dwindled many weeks earlier, making this pure filler.
Then we come to arguably the highlight of the night, which is the WWE Tag Team Championship Elimination Chamber match. There are some sloppy moments, but overall this provides plenty of entertainment, not least due to the continuation of the rivalry between Heavy Machinery and the combo of Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode as it pertained to Otis and Dolph vying for Mandy Rose’s affections. Add to that The New Day, The Usos and defending titleholders The Miz and John Morrison giving it their all, along with Lucha House Party offering some bonkers spots, and the end result is a spectacle that warrants another viewing.
Aleister Black vs. AJ Styles under No Disqualification rules exists basically to set up interference from The Undertaker, and though his cameo was not exactly unexpected, it does result in a great reaction from the fans. The Street Profits vs. Seth Rollins and Murphy felt like a strange PPV attraction and it goes on a bit, but it’s still entertaining if you can avoid checking the time on your phone as it happens. Braun Strowman’s attempt to beat Sami Zayn, Shinsuke Nakamura and Cesaro wasn’t what it could have been, and his Intercontinental Title reign surprisingly ends in the process, though he’s in a much better position as I write this review, given his current status as Universal Champion.
Lastly, we come to the Chamber match to determine Becky Lynch’s opponent for the Raw Women’s Title at WrestleMania 36. Unfortunately but not surprisingly, this played out as most feared it will: a bout with a totally predictable outcome due to Shayna Baszler’s previous and emphasised attacks on Lynch and due to Asuka – who had just completed a lengthy rivalry with The Man – being the only realistic contender amongst a field that included all three former Riott Squad members, none of whom were even on the level of the sixth participant Natalya, never mind Baszler or Asuka. In other words, this is a dull bout and an anticlimactic ending, although Baszler does deliver a spirited domination of all five of her adversaries en route to victory.
There are a few noteworthy DVD extras here which extend this to being a two-disc release. There is the pre-show bout between The Viking Raiders and the combo of Curt Hawkins and Zack Ryder, along with two contract signing segments for the women’s Chamber and IC Title bouts (which suggests that this booking tactic is being employed far too often), and A Moment Of Bliss with the nWo ahead of a Hall Of Fame induction which will eventually happen, but with the date still up in the air.
Honestly, I have to judge this DVD on two elements of criteria. Watching it right now, at a time when there are still no fans allowed at WWE events, it’s both heartwarming and slightly sad to relive a card that occurred with people in the audience right before everything turned chaotic globally, but it’s more positive than negative. Upon future DVD viewings when fans are back in the arenas, though, WWE Elimination Chamber 2020 may not necessarily hold up so well. Check it out for Bryan vs. Gulak, the Tag Team Title Chamber match and maybe Black vs. Styles at a push.
Overall Rating: 6/10 – Reasonable