|Date||March 8, 2020|
|Venue||Wells Fargo Center|
|WWE Network event chronology|
|Elimination Chamber chronology|
Elimination Chamber (also known as No Escape in Germany) was a professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) and WWE Network event produced by WWE for their Raw and SmackDown brand divisions. It took place on March 8, 2020 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It was the tenth event under the Elimination Chamber chronology.
Eight matches were contested at the event, including one on the Kickoff pre-show. In the main event, NXT's Shayna Baszler won Raw's women's Elimination Chamber match to become the number one contender against Becky Lynch for the Raw Women's Championship at WrestleMania 36. On the undercard, Aleister Black defeated AJ Styles in a no disqualification match, Sami Zayn, Shinsuke Nakamura, and Cesaro defeated Braun Strowman in a 3-on-1 handicap match, with Zayn pinning Strowman to win the WWE Intercontinental Championship, and The Miz and John Morrison retained the SmackDown Tag Team Championship in SmackDown's tag team Elimination Chamber match. This was also the first Elimination Chamber event with no world title matches contested on the card.
Elimination Chamber was the last WWE pay-per-view to have taken place in front of a live ticketed crowd before the COVID-19 pandemic took effect, when the promotion moved the majority of its shows to the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida with no fans in attendance. From August, they had virtual fans by way of the WWE ThunderDome bio-secure bubble, which was first hosted at Orlando's Amway Center before relocating to Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida in December and finally the Yuengling Center in Tampa, Florida in April 2021. On January 16, 2021, WWE announced that WrestleMania 37 would take place on April 10 and 11, 2021 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa in front of a live ticketed audience, and in mid-July, would be returning to live touring, with the first PPV on this tour being Money in the Bank.
Elimination Chamber is a gimmick pay-per-view first produced by WWE in 2010. It has been produced every year since except in 2016, and is generally held in February; the 2020 event was the second to not occur in February, but the first to be done in March. The concept of the show is that one or two main event matches are contested inside the Elimination Chamber, either with championships or future opportunities at championships at stake. 2020 was the tenth event under the Elimination Chamber chronology and featured wrestlers from the Raw and SmackDown brands.
Since 2011, the show has been promoted as "No Escape" in Germany as it was feared that the name "Elimination Chamber" may remind people of the gas chambers used during the Holocaust.
The show comprised eight matches, including one on the Kickoff pre-show. The matches resulted from scripted storylines, where wrestlers portrayed heroes, villains, or less distinguishable characters in scripted events that built tension and culminated in a wrestling match or series of matches. Results were predetermined by WWE's writers on the Raw and SmackDown brands, while storylines were produced on WWE's weekly television shows, Monday Night Raw and Friday Night SmackDown.
On February 17, a Raw-branded women's Elimination Chamber match was scheduled for the event to determine the number one contender against Becky Lynch for the Raw Women's Championship at WrestleMania 36. Announced for the match were Natalya, Liv Morgan, Asuka, Ruby Riott, Sarah Logan, and NXT's Shayna Baszler, who reignited her feud with Lynch from Survivor Series by ambushing her on the previous week's episode of Raw.
On the January 31 episode of SmackDown, Braun Strowman defeated Shinsuke Nakamura (with Sami Zayn and Cesaro in his corner) to win the Intercontinental Championship. On the February 28 episode, a contract signing for a title match at Elimination Chamber was held. Tired of hearing Zayn's rants, Strowman signed the contract, stating that regardless of who else signed it, he knew he would basically be facing all three at the event. Zayn seized the opportunity and he, Nakamura, and Cesaro all signed the contract, making it a 3-on-1 handicap match for Strowman's Intercontinental Championship at the event.
At Super ShowDown, The Miz and John Morrison defeated The New Day (Big E and Kofi Kingston) to capture the SmackDown Tag Team Championship. The following night on SmackDown, it was announced that Miz and Morrison would defend the title in a tag team Elimination Chamber match at the event. The challengers announced for the match were The New Day (Big E and Kingston), The Usos (Jey Uso and Jimmy Uso), Heavy Machinery (Otis and Tucker), Lucha House Party (Gran Metalik and Lince Dorado), and Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode. The following week, Ziggler and Roode won a tag team gauntlet match to enter the chamber last.
At Super ShowDown, Seth Rollins and Murphy retained the Raw Tag Team Championship against The Street Profits (Angelo Dawkins and Montez Ford). On the following Raw, The Street Profits were given one final opportunity where they defeated Rollins and Murphy to win the title. Later backstage, Rollins and Murphy challenged The Street Profits to a rematch for the title at Elimination Chamber, which was made official.
On the February 24 episode of Raw, The O.C. (AJ Styles, Luke Gallows, and Karl Anderson) attacked Aleister Black backstage. Black then challenged Styles to a match for the following week, however, Styles said that Black would have to defeat Gallows and Anderson before he could face Styles. Black defeated both Gallows and Anderson in separate matches, after which, Styles faced and defeated Black. A no disqualification rematch between Black and Styles was then scheduled for Elimination Chamber.
On the Royal Rumble Kickoff pre-show, Andrade (accompanied by Zelina Vega) retained the United States Championship against Humberto Carrillo. Carrillo then won a rematch on the following Raw by disqualification due to Vega's interference. Following the match, Carrillo performed a Hammerlock DDT on Andrade onto the exposed concrete, just as Andrade had previously done to Carrillo back in December. With Andrade absent over the next month, Vega brought up her new associate, Angel Garza from NXT, Carrillo's real life cousin. The two then feuded where Garza defeated Carrillo at Super ShowDown. On the March 2 episode of Raw, Carrillo teamed with Rey Mysterio to face Andrade and Garza, where Carrillo pinned Andrade. This earned Carrillo another United States Championship match against Andrade at Elimination Chamber.
Backstage during the February 21 episode of SmackDown, Daniel Bryan was approached by Drew Gulak, who claimed to know all of Bryan's weaknesses. On the March 6 episode, Bryan challenged Gulak to a match at Elimination Chamber, which was later made official for the event.
|English commentators||Michael Cole (SmackDown)|
|Corey Graves (SmackDown)|
|Tom Phillips (Raw)|
|Jerry Lawler (Raw)|
|Byron Saxton (Raw)|
|Spanish commentators||Carlos Cabrera|
|German commentators||Carsten Schaefer|
|Ring announcers||Greg Hamilton (SmackDown)|
|Mike Rome (Raw)|
|Pre-show panel||Jonathan Coachman|
During the Elimination Chamber Kickoff pre-show, The Viking Raiders (Erik and Ivar) faced Curt Hawkins and Zack Ryder. The end saw The Viking Raiders perform the Viking Experience on Ryder, and Ivar pinned him to win the match.
The actual pay-per-view opened with Daniel Bryan facing Drew Gulak. In the end, Bryan applied the Yes Lock on Gulak, who passed out, thus winning the match by technical submission.
Next, Andrade (accompanied by Zelina Vega) defended the United States Championship against Humberto Carrillo. During the match, Vega removed the floor padding to expose the concrete and Andrade attempted to perform a Hammerlock DDT on Carrillo onto the concrete, however, Carrillo countered and performed a suplex on Andrade. In the end, after exchanging roll-ups, Andrade pinned Carrillo, while holding his tights, to retain the title.
After that, The Miz and John Morrison defended the SmackDown Tag Team Championship in SmackDown's tag team Elimination Chamber match. The challengers were The New Day (Big E and Kofi Kingston), The Usos (Jey Uso and Jimmy Uso), Heavy Machinery (Otis and Tucker), Lucha House Party (Lince Dorado and Gran Metalik), and Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode. The Usos and The New Day started the match. Lucha House Party entered third, followed by Miz and Morrison, and then Heavy Machinery. Lucha House Party were eliminated by Heavy Machinery after they performed the Compactor on Dorado. Due to winning the gauntlet match on the previous episode of SmackDown, Ziggler & Roode entered last. They began to target Heavy Machinery, specifically Otis, who attempted to perform a clothesline on Ziggler, who was inside a pod; however, Ziggler avoided Otis, who obliterated the pod and ended up outside the chamber. Tucker tried taking on Ziggler & Roode himself, but was overpowered and Roode performed a Glorious DDT on Tucker to eliminate Heavy Machinery. Big E then performed a Big Ending on Roode, followed by double splashes from The Usos on both Ziggler and Roode to eliminate them. Then Miz and Morrison pinned Kingston to eliminate The New Day. In the climax, after exchanging roll-ups, Miz and Morrison pinned Jimmy, with Morrison pinning Jimmy with a roll-up and Miz's legs on the rope to retain the title.
In the fourth match, Aleister Black faced AJ Styles (accompanied by Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson) in a no disqualification match. In the closing moments, as Black attempted a Black Mass on Styles, Gallows and Anderson interfered, though Black fought them off. The three eventually ambushed Black. As Gallows and Anderson held Black in position for Styles to perform a Phenomenal Forearm, The Undertaker's gong sounded and the lights went out. When they illuminated, Undertaker was choking Gallows and Anderson. Styles then attempted the Phenomenal Forearm on Undertaker, who caught Styles and performed a Chokeslam on him. The lights then went out again with Undertaker vanishing after they returned. Black then performed a Black Mass on Styles to win the match.
Next, The Street Profits (Angelo Dawkins and Montez Ford) defended the Raw Tag Team Championship against Seth Rollins and Murphy (accompanied by Akam and Rezar). In the end, Kevin Owens appeared in the crowd and walked ringside eating popcorn, distracting Rollins which allowed The Street Profits to momentarily take out Rollins. Ford then performed a Splash on Murphy to retain the title. Following the match, Owens performed a Stunner on Rollins.
In the penultimate match, Braun Strowman defended the Intercontinental Championship against Sami Zayn, Shinsuke Nakamura, and Cesaro in a 3-on-1 handicap match. During the match, Nakamura and Cesaro subdued Strowman, allowing Zayn to tag himself in and attack Strowman; however, every time Strowman rose to his feet, Zayn retreated. In the closing moments, Nakamura and Cesaro held Strowman in place, allowing Zayn to perform a Helluva Kick on Strowman to win the match for his team. Since Zayn pinned Strowman, he won the Intercontinental Championship, which was his first title since his move from NXT in 2016 and his first title win since NXT TakeOver: R Evolution in 2014.
The main event was Raw's women's Elimination Chamber match between Natalya, Liv Morgan, Asuka, Ruby Riott, Sarah Logan, and NXT's Shayna Baszler in which the winner earned a Raw Women's Championship match against Becky Lynch at WrestleMania 36. Natalya and Riott started the match, followed by Logan as the third entrant. Baszler entered fourth and dominated her opponents, eliminating Logan, Riott, and Natalya each with the Kirifuda Clutch submission. As Morgan entered fifth, Baszler slammed her against the cage and the chamber pod, after which, Baszler also eliminated Morgan with the Kirifuda Clutch while taunting Asuka, who entered last. After Baszler and Asuka went back-and-forth in an attempt to apply their respective submission holds, Baszler applied the Kirifuda Clutch on Asuka, who passed out, thus eliminating Asuka to win the match and earning the Raw Women's Championship match against Lynch at WrestleMania. With this win, Baszler became the first Elimination Chamber match winner to single-handedly eliminate all other opponents, as well as tie the record for most eliminations in a single match at five (previously set by Braun Strowman in the 7-man Elimination Chamber match at the 2018 event).
The event received a generally positive response, with many of the matches praised for their storytelling and match quality.
The opening match between Drew Gulak and Daniel Bryan was highly praised. Brian Mazique of Forbes gave the match a perfect A+ rating, the highest of the night, stating that "from a technical standpoint, it had just about everything you could ask. The transitions, sells and move diversity were off the charts. Both Bryan and Gulak brought their personalities to the ring, and the chemistry between the two was apparent. Both men had their moments to shine, but Bryan rightfully got the victory in a match that showcased the two performers well. This was by far the match of the night." Chris Mueller of Bleacher Report gave the match an A rating (the highest rating of the night, shared with Andrade vs. Carrillo), stating: "These are two of the best technicians in WWE today, and this was exactly the kind of fight you would expect them to have", and hoped that the match was only "the first of many encounters between these two." Pro Wrestling Torch gave a rating of 3.5/5, calling it an "excellent mat-based match. Really compelling start to finish, even with a more deliberate pace than usual for the WWE style. Not crazy about those bumps Bryan takes on the back of his head, though." Elton Jones of Heavy also gave it a 3.5/5 rating, claiming that "Drew Gulak shined brightly here. I knew going into this dream match that this was meant to be a breakout moment for Drew and Daniel Bryan did everything in his power to help him reach that lofty goal. [...] This match was decidedly good, but it needed 10 more minutes to truly reach the level of great. Maybe we’ll get that extended time request in their rematch at some point. Even still, Drew came out looking better than ever thanks to Daniel’s unselfish efforts."
Andrade vs. Carrillo was also praised, although most reviewers criticized its booking, pointing out that Carrillo's repeated losses against Andrade hurt the feud's credibility. Forbes gave it a B- rating, calling it "well-wrestled" but stating: "Why has Carrillo been given this opportunity to repeatedly challenge Andrade if he’s never going to go over? That’s not to say Andrade shouldn't still be the U.S. Champion, but at this point, all of the matches in this program are beginning to look the same. Both men are strong workers with great athleticism, but it’s time for a new feud." Heavy gave it a 3.5/5 rating, stating that while the match was good, seeing Carrillo lose to Andrade again made it "disappointing". Conversely, Bleacher Report praised the feud, stating "It almost seems impossible for Andrade and Carrillo to have a bad match. Every encounter has been better than the last and this was no exception." He gave the match an A rating.
The tag team Elimination Chamber match was praised for its performances, storytelling, pacing and memorable spots. Bleacher Report gave it a A- rating, stating "The more people you add to a match, the harder it is to keep track of everything. Even when it got up to 10 Superstars in the chamber at once, they did a great job making sure we could follow the action. [...] This won't go down as the best Chamber match in history, but it had a lot of fun moments and told multiple stories at the same time. It kept the momentum going for what was already a great show. Forbes gave the match a B+ rating, stating that "the performers made it look about as good as possible. Also, the Otis, Dolph and Mandy Rose element added some additional layers that helped increase the enjoyment." However, he pointed out that the result was predictable and took some of the tension away. Heavy rated the match 4/5, calling it "great" and praising its storytelling and performances, in particular from Lucha House Party; they later named it match of the night.
Styles vs. Black was praised for its physicality and the two's performances, as well as for its booking. Bleacher Report gave it a B+ rating, stating: "Black and Styles worked well together and Taker's involvement was a nice surprise. The Deadman and Styles appear to be heading toward a match at WrestleMania, but for now, Black picked up a big win to give him some momentum." Forbes gave the match a C+ rating, calling it "fairly entertaining, but I wish it hadn’t been forced into place amidst the obvious setup for Styles vs. The Undertaker at WrestleMania 36. [...] Quite honestly, a Styles-Black feud would be so much more interesting, and we saw evidence of that on Sunday in this match." Heavy rated the match 3.5/5, stating that "This match truly came to life once the action headed to the outside – we got a pretty sick table spot to boot. Everyone in the arena knew The Undertaker was coming out at some point, which thankfully happened once The O.C. jumped all over Aleister. His fun run-in and that nasty Black Mass Aleister delivered to AJ to finish off this bout was pretty cool to watch unfold."
The women's Elimination Chamber match received mixed reviews. Bleacher Report gave the women's elimination chamber match a B- rating." Brent Brookhouse of CBS Sports gave the match a B+ rating, stating: "If the intention of the Elimination Chamber was to establish Baszler as a threat to Becky Lynch's Raw women's title reign, this match cleared that bar by a mile. It may not go down as the most memorable or action-packed Chamber match in WWE history, but in telling the story of the new force in town, it was effective." Forbes gave the match a B rating, stating: "It was a performance that was about as dominant as you’ll ever see in the EC, and it showed how much WWE believes in Baszler as a supervillain." Wade Killer of Pro Wrestling Torch called the women's Elimination Chambers "the least entertaining match of the night" and stated that "it took away a lot of whatever benefit Baszler got for dominating like that." Heavy gave the match a low rating of 1/5, calling the match predictable, stating that "It started off with some uninspired action, didn’t get any more interesting once Shayna started tearing through a bunch of jobbers and even resulted in a disappointing first time meeting between Shayna and Asuka. This completely shit the bed and has severely hampered Shayna and her hype heading into ‘Mania 36 against Becky Lynch."
Elimination Chamber would be the final WWE pay-per-view to be held in-person with spectators before the COVID-19 pandemic took effect. On March 12, WWE canceled all touring shows indefinitely, and moved Raw, SmackDown, and future pay-per-views to the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida with no audience beginning March 13. NXT's shows continued to be held at NXT's home base of Full Sail University in Winter Park, Florida, but also with no fans. In August, the company relocated Raw and SmackDown's shows to a bio-secure bubble called the WWE ThunderDome, which was first hosted at Orlando's Amway Center. In October, NXT moved to the Performance Center in a similar setup called the Capitol Wrestling Center. The ThunderDome was then relocated to Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida in December and then the Yuengling Center in Tampa, Florida in April 2021. WrestleMania 37, which was held on April 10 and 11, 2021, was WWE's first event during the pandemic to have live ticketed fans, and in mid-July, WWE will resume a live touring schedule with Money in the Bank being the first pay-per-view on this initial tour.
For costing him his match against Aleister Black, AJ Styles taunted The Undertaker on the following night's episode of Raw by bringing up his wife Michelle McCool, blaming her for why Undertaker keeps coming back to wrestle. Styles then challenged Undertaker to a match at WrestleMania 36. A contract signing for the match was conducted the following week. Styles then challenged Undertaker to a Boneyard match.
Also on the following Raw, Seth Rollins challenged Kevin Owens to a match. Owens accepted the match at WrestleMania 36.
Dolph Ziggler continued to taunt Otis over his relationship with Mandy Rose. On the March 20 episode of SmackDown, Ziggler cost Heavy Machinery (Otis and Tucker) another opportunity at the SmackDown Tag Team Championship. Ziggler then challenged Otis to a match at WrestleMania 36 and Otis accepted.
On the March 27 episode of SmackDown, The New Day (Big E and Kofi Kingston) faced The Usos (Jey Uso and Jimmy Uso) to determine the number one contenders to The Miz and John Morrison for the SmackDown Tag Team Championship at WrestleMania 36 only for the match to end in a no-contest when Miz and Morrison attacked both teams. Miz and Morrison were then scheduled to defend the title against The New Day and The Usos at WrestleMania 36 in a triple threat ladder match, though because The Miz was injured, one member of each team competed in the match.
Daniel Bryan and Drew Gulak formed an alliance out of mutual respect for each other. New Intercontinental Champion Sami Zayn took offense, as Zayn had previously offered Bryan to join his faction, which Bryan initially declined. Bryan then challenged Zayn for the Intercontinental Championship at WrestleMania 36 and Zayn accepted if Gulak could defeat his teammate, Shinsuke Nakamura. Gulak defeated Nakamura on the March 27 episode of SmackDown to secure the title match for Bryan.
|1P||The Viking Raiders (Erik and Ivar) defeated Curt Hawkins and Zack Ryder by pinfall||Tag Team match||4:50|
|2||Daniel Bryan defeated Drew Gulak by technical submission||Singles match||14:20|
|3||Andrade (c) (with Zelina Vega) defeated Humberto Carrillo by pinfall||Singles match for the WWE United States Championship||12:20|
|4||The Miz and John Morrison (c) defeated The New Day (Big E and Kofi Kingston), The Usos (Jey Uso and Jimmy Uso), Heavy Machinery (Otis and Tucker), Lucha House Party (Gran Metalik and Lince Dorado), and Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode||Elimination Chamber match for the WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship||32:55|
|5||Aleister Black defeated AJ Styles (with Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson) by pinfall||No Disqualification match||23:15|
|6||The Street Profits (Angelo Dawkins and Montez Ford) (c) defeated Seth Rollins and Murphy (with Akam and Rezar) by pinfall||Tag Team match for the WWE Raw Tag Team Championship||18:30|
|7||Sami Zayn, Shinsuke Nakamura, and Cesaro defeated Braun Strowman (c) by pinfall||3-on-1 Handicap match for the WWE Intercontinental Championship
Since Zayn pinned Strowman, he won the WWE Intercontinental Championship.
|8||Shayna Baszler defeated Natalya, Liv Morgan, Asuka, Ruby Riott, and Sarah Logan by submission||Elimination Chamber match for a WWE Raw Women's Championship match at WrestleMania 36||21:00|
|1||Lucha House Party||3||Heavy Machinery||Pinfall||17:50|
|2||Heavy Machinery||5||Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode||Pinfall||23:45|
|3||Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode||6||The Usos||Pinfall||25:15|
|4||The New Day||2||The Miz and John Morrison||Pinfall||29:05|
|5||The Usos||1||The Miz and John Morrison||Pinfall||32:55|
|Winner||The Miz and John Morrison (c)||4|
|1||Sarah Logan||3||Shayna Baszler||Submission||7:50|
|2||Ruby Riott||2||Shayna Baszler||Submission||8:15|
|4||Liv Morgan||5||Shayna Baszler||Submission/Knockout||15:00|
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