WWE Elimination Chamber 2017 Results: Worst Booking Decisions from PPV
WWE SmackDown Live's Elimination Chamber pay-per-view proved to be a crowd-pleasing one, highlighted by two deserving, longtime Superstars finally catching a break from WWE Creative and capturing their division's most prestigious championships.
Factor in a star-making performance by Luke Harper and three women's bouts that helped strengthen the case for the women's revolution and you have a show that represented the changing face of World Wrestling Entertainment.
Yet in the wake of the event, there are three booking decisions that stand out as problematic.
One of them centered around a championship change, another the treatment of a once-imposing tag team.
The final one involved a Superstar whose work in 2016 ranks among the best of his career and who is preparing for a high-profile WrestleMania main event but was thoroughly dismissed and disposed of in the night's main event like a piece of garbage.
The Ascension Are the Jobbiest of Jobbers...Just in Case You Didn't Already Know
American Alpha is undeniably the top tandem in the SmackDown Live tag team division and should carry the championships, yet one cannot help but look back at the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view and realize how booking Jason Jordan and Chad Gable so strongly was so colossally detrimental to The Ascension's Konnor and Viktor.
After defeating The Usos, Jordan and Gable were pummeled and left lying in a heap as The Ascension entered the match, the last team to compete in the Tag Team Turmoil match.
When they hit their Fall of Man finisher on Jordan, it appeared as though they were about to capture their first main roster titles. Then the pin was broken up and the face-painted Barons of the Wasteland went on to lose in short order.
Sure, the champions came out of the match looking like world beaters capable of overcoming any and all odds en route to victory, but the heels look like incapable buffoons who could not capitalize on a beatdown and pick up a win if it were gifted to them on a silver platter.
It is unfortunate for two performers who entered Sunday's match with intensity and energy only to be let down in grand fashion by a writing staff that has always been, and will always be, more inclined to create credible babyfaces at the expense of interesting villains.
Alexa Bliss Loses the SmackDown Women's Championship
Alexa Bliss was one of the breakout stars of the brand extension, a performer who exploded onto the scene as part of SmackDown Live and wasted little time earning acclaim for her work as the sassy villainess hellbent on capturing gold.
She did, beating Becky Lynch in a Tables match to earn her first SmackDown Women's Championship.
In the weeks that proceeded, she gained momentum for herself, performing strongly in competitions and in-ring promo segments. That is why her sudden and inexplicable loss of the title at Elimination Chamber makes even less sense in retrospect.
Yes, Naomi is deserving of an opportunity to run with the gold, but she was not nearly as hot nor was she as over as she could have been having worked a lengthier program with Bliss.
Now, the heel is in a position where she must chase after the women's title.
Rarely in pro wrestling is it beneficial to anyone for the baddie to chase a title. It almost always ends in a babyface looking bad or weaker than intended. It was a questionable decision and, furthermore, creates a scenario where the title has changed hands three times in the five months since its inception.
The Miz Is Dismissed from the Elimination Chamber
The Miz was the last man to enter the Elimination Chamber match Sunday and absolutely unloaded on John Cena, Bray Wyatt and AJ Styles with a bevy of drop-kicks right out of the Daniel Bryan handbook.
Unfortunately, they meant nothing in the long run as the Hollywood A-Lister was dismissed of in quick order, courtesy of an Attitude Adjustment by Cena.
Yes, there are rumors of an impending Cena/Nikki Bella vs. Miz/Maryse Mixed Tag Team match at WrestleMania, and that may very well have been initiated by the events of Sunday's main event, but there is no reason for the Cleveland native to have been disposed of in a manner that had him looking like an afterthought of sorts.
For someone who earned critical acclaim for his work in 2016, which saw him rebound from years of lackluster production to become a star capable of bringing prestige back to the intercontinental title, Miz deserved far better than he was presented with Sunday night.
Especially given how he was pinned after a single A.A., a move everyone and their grandmother has kicked out of over the last six years.