Somewhat surprisingly, WWE Elimination Chamber 2021 ended up being more entertaining than a show with such a lackluster build had any right to be.
We say two good Elimination Chamber matches and the non-Chamber bouts gave fans plenty of fun in-ring action to keep them engages throughout.
Still, the show didn’t get everything right, and these are three of the moments that stood out as the low points of the show.
These are the three things WWE got wrong at Elimination Chamber 2021
3. The finish to the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship match
For some reason, WWE tried to tell the “Will these two wrestlers get along?” story in the Bianca Belair and Sasha Banks vs. Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship match even though Belair and Banks have shown no signs of dissension.
Furthermore, Belair and Banks meshed well as a duo in what was a solid championship encounter with the heel titleholders. However, most fans knew the climax wouldn’t start until Carmella’s sommelier Reginald, who has seemingly aligned with Belair and Banks, made his appearance.
He indeed walked down to the ring toward the end of the match to hand Banks an unopened wine bottle to use against Jax, but “The Boss” refused and the pause in the action allowed Jax to hoist Banks up and squish her with a Samoan Drop for the pin.
WWE booked that finish to “protect” Banks and Belair in defeat, but it only highlighted how pointless this match was AND how unnecessary Reginald’s involvement in this storyline is.
This is a classic case of WWE believing they need to add elements to extend storylines out, and on this occasion, it led to an underwhelming finish.
2. RETRIBUTION are still massive dorks and WWE still books faces and heels incorrectly.
As this Fatal 4 Way to determine who joined Bobby Lashley and Riddle in the Triple Threat United States Championship Match showed, it won’t matter how many great promos Mustafa Ali cuts on Raw Talk if he and the rest of RETRIBUTION are booked like total losers.
The match itself was a lot of fun, particularly whenever Ali and Ricochet squared off, but the finish — John Morrison rolling up Ali for the victory — made Ali look like a goof for diverting his attention away from the task at hand to admire his RETRIBUTION stablemates taking out Ricochet. Also, why didn’t the rest of the group just take out the other wrestlers in the match and let Ali pick up the scaps? It’s not like Ali would’ve been disqualified (the match was no-DQ) and it would’ve garnered some much-needed heat for the faction.
Worse yet, with Morrison hooking Ali’s tights to score the pinfall, Ali now has a legitimate gripe in the aftermath of this match. You know, like all great heels have! Why give fans a tangible reason not to like a villain when you can just make them 100 percent justified in their actions? Yet another example of WWE failing to properly present babyfaces and heels.
1. Miz as WWE Champion
Look, in the grand scheme of things, Miz’s second reign as WWE Champion will be a historical footnote, especially if he loses the belt in the next week or so. And yes, him holding the belt is probably just a means to transfer the championship over to Bobby Lashley, though a match where Lashley goes into WrestleMania 37 as the dominant United States Champion and Drew McIntyre goes in as the long-reigning WWE Champ would’ve been far more effective than this game of Hot Potato WWE is about to play. But the fact that there was even a kayfabe scenario for Miz to win the title in the first place illustrates how little everything in WWE matters from a narrative standpoint.
In fairness, Miz was a tag team champion as recently as last April prior to him winning the WWE Title, so it’s not like he’s a complete non-factor when the bell rings, in-storyline, but it’s pretty telling, and not in a good way, that a guy who won a grand total of two singles matches in 2020 — the last coming in October 2020 — even had the Money in the Bank briefcase, let alone a chance to win the title.
For wrestling promotions, championships are the most vital tool a booker has to get new stars over. But when wrestlers that have been presented like Miz has for the last few months win the title, even if it only lasts for a few days, it chips away at the credibility necessary for that star-making process.
Then again, when you’re a company that once put your world title on an actual perennial jobber, you’ve already established that this stuff doesn’t matter that much to you anyway.