This week, WWE continues to travel the Road to WrestleMania by focusing on the Elimination Chamber and Fastlane Pay-Per-Views for Raw and SmackDown, respectively. Highlights for this week feature the Mixed Match Challenge, the Undisputed ERA defending their NXT Tag Team Championships against SAnitY, and Kevin Owens in a #1 Contender’s match against Sami Zayn.
Monday Night Raw (2.5.18)
The Elimination Chamber Pay-Per-View is only a couple weeks away and along with announcing the annual men’s Chamber match, the women will have their own version as well. Last week, three qualifying matches took place to fill up half of the men’s match. Elias defeated Woken Matt Hardy (thanks to an assist from Bray Wyatt), Braun Strowman destroyed Kane in a Last Man Standing match, and John Cena scored a victory over Finn Balor in the main event.
There are still three more spots to fill for the men’s Elimination Chamber match, but there is only one more qualifying match announced: Roman Reigns vs. Bray Wyatt. This seems like it will almost certainly go in the favor of Reigns. Wyatt just distracted Matt Hardy for a loss last week and Reigns is rumored to face Brock Lesnar for the Universal Championship at WrestleMania, which is exactly what the winner of the chamber match gets.
When it comes to the Women’s Elimination Chamber match, there aren’t exactly enough women to do five qualifying matches. The sixth entrant is already decided and it will be Alexa Bliss defending her Raw Women’s Championship inside the chamber. It would make no sense for Asuka to be in the match because she has the guaranteed title shot at WrestleMania, so there is only a handful of women to choose from. Regardless, it will be exciting if we get an announcement tonight.
SmackDown Live (2.6.18)
After weeks of being underwhelming (which almost dates back to November), this week’s episode of SmackDown Live might turn things around. While Monday Night Raw is building towards Elimination Chamber, SmackDown Live has Fastlane next month and one match tonight will already decide the show’s main event. Also, there is a title on the line as well.
Last week, Rusev defeated Kofi Kingston, Zack Ryder, and Jinder Mahal to become the new #1 Contender for Bobby Roode’s United States Championship. Roode’s reign as champion might be a short one because that championship match is this week. Rusev failed to capture the SmackDown Tag Team Championships alongside Aiden English, so this might be a good turnaround for the Bulgarian Brute.
In the main event, friends turned enemies turned friends Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens will go head-to-head with the winner challenging AJ Styles for the WWE Championship at Fastlane. If Zayn/Owens wins the title at Fastlane, they will head to WrestleMania to defend the title against Shinsuke Nakamura.
It seems like WWE is hinting at a future title match between The Usos and the Bludgeon Brothers based on a brief interaction last week. When it comes to the SmackDown Women’s Championship, it seems like they are still biding their time until Asuka makes her decision of what champion to face at WrestleMania.
WWE Mixed Match Challenge (2.6.18)
With three weeks of the inaugural Mixed Match Challenge in the books, we are already halfway through the first round of matches. Last week saw Braun Strowman and Alexa Bliss defeat Becky Lynch and Sami Zayn. This week, Goldust and Mandy Rose (replacing Alicia Fox) will take on the husband and wife combo of Naomi and Jimmy Uso. The winners will face Strowman and Bliss in four weeks.
205 Live (2.6.18)
Just like SmackDown Live, 205 Live is finally getting interesting again. Last week, new (and first-ever) 205 Live General Manager Drake Maverick addressed the vacant Cruiserweight Championship and announces a 16-man single-elimination tournament that will culminate at WrestleMania. The first two matches took place last week with TJP stealing a victory over Tyler Bate and Cedric Alexander scoring a win over Gran Metalik.
This week sees two more first-round matches for the tournament. Two luchadores will go head-to-head when former champ Kalisto takes on Lince Dorado. Also, Hideo Itami will take on NXT Superstar (and #1 Contender to the United Kingdom Championship) Roderick Strong.
WWE NXT (2.7.18)
Now that the post-TakeOver edition of NXT is over, the show can move forward. This week features the Undisputed ERA taking on SAnitY in an NXT Tag Team Championship title defense, while Adam Cole has to go one-on-one with Killian Dain. Johnny Gargano is also scheduled to make an appearance this week after losing to Andrade “Cien” Almas in Philadelphia.
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