PHOENIX — In a chaotic prelude to the first-ever Seven-Man Elimination Chamber Match this Sunday, the seven competitors lined up, one after another, for an epic Gauntlet Match on Raw, and Braun Strowman emerged as the last man standing after what seemed, at first glance, to be the longest match in WWE history.
The Monster Among Men’s arrival, however, was presaged by a Herculean performance from Seth Rollins, who laid it all on the line in his ongoing effort to re-establish himself as “The Man.” The Kingslayer entered at No. 2 and competed without interruption for an hour and five minutes, eliminating Roman Reigns (No. 1) and John Cena (No. 3) in the process. A fresh Elias picked Rollins off with Drift Away after The Kingslayer used the last of his energy on a series of high-risk maneuvers; Finn Bálor answered by exploiting Elias’ battered ribs with an incredible Coup de Grace.
The presence of The Miztourage allowed The Miz to fend off Bálor down the stretch with a Skull-Crushing Finale, but Strowman took control of the match from the second he arrived as the final entrant. The Gift of Destruction chased down the Intercontinental Champion through the arena and bench-pressed his way out of a Skull-Crushing Finale en route to a match-ending Running Powerslam.
During a post-match interview, Strowman did not hesitate to predict a repeat performance in the Chamber on Sunday, to say nothing of a victory over Universal Champion Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania. He ended his evening with a series of Running Powerslams to The Miztourage that functioned both as an exclamation point and a warning of things to come. Sunday, the Elimination Chamber competitors won’t just have to contend with the structure; they’ll have to survive the fresh monster who will roam the confines.