The WWE’s Elimination Chamber took place on February 25, 2018, at the T-Mobile Arena near Las Vegas. This Elimination Chamber was significant because it featured the first women’s elimination chamber match. In previous years, only men fought in elimination chamber matches. Since Elimination Chamber is usually the only special event between Royal Rumble and WrestleMania, WWE Superstars use it to secure their spots at WrestleMania.
On Monday Night Raw on January 29, Stephanie McMahon advised Royal Rumble winner Asuka to wait to choose her WrestleMania opponent because there would be a women’s elimination chamber match at the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view and Alexa Bliss would defend her Raw Women’s Championship. Sasha Banks, Bayley, Mandy Rose, Sonya Deville, and Mickie James joined Bliss in the chamber. Rules: 2 women started the match in the ring and 4 others were in pods around the ring. A pod door opens randomly every 5 minutes, and the woman inside joins the match. The pods are emptied until all women are in the match. Submitting or being pinned eliminates a wrestler. The final woman becomes Raw Women’s Champion.
The women’s Elimination Chamber match opened the show, which increased hype. Alexa Bliss, Sasha Banks, Mandy Rose, and Mickie James were in the pods while Bayley and Sonya Deville wrestled. Sonya and Bayley started the match well, especially in avoiding the chain walls. Mandy Rose was the first female pod escapee. Absolution tag team Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville beat Bayley together.
Bayley quickly turned things around and looked like she could defeat Sonya and Mandy alone. Mandy and Sonya used the numbers game to reenter the match, disappointing Bayley fans. Sasha Banks entered next and attacked Mandy Rose due to their history. Sasha and Bayley briefly teamed up to fight Sonya and Mandy, who were still using their friendship to their advantage.
Sasha’s Banks Statement eliminated Mandy Rose first. Bayley defeated Sonya when she tried to help Mandy. Mandy tapped out seconds later after this much time in the Bank Statement. Mickie James was released from the pod next and entered the match after one woman was eliminated and the other three were starting to tire. James climbed onto a pod and onto Sonya Deville in the ring below to eliminate her. Mickie eliminated Sonya by pinfall. Sasha’s backbreaker and Bayley’s Bayley to Belly Suplex eliminated Mickie James seconds later.
Before Champion Alexa Bliss entered, three women had been eliminated. Before Alexa entered the match, Bayley and Sasha avoided fighting to team up on Little Miss Bliss. Alexa barricaded the pod door and ran out the side to climb the chamber to avoid Bayley and Sasha when she entered the match. Sasha Banks turned on Bayley and let her fall from the pod instead of helping her up. Bayley and Alexa threw Sasha into the turnbuckle, knocking her out of the match. Alexa used her freshness to attack Bayley but couldn’t pin her.
Sasha healed and returned, making for a great triple threat match. There were many near-falls and incredible moments as each woman gave her all. Alexa Bliss pinned Bayley next. Bayley jumped up to the top rope and gave Sasha a Bayley to Belly suplex as Sasha attempted a frog splash. Alexa Bliss rolled up Bayley as she was about to pin Sasha for elimination. Sasha and Alexa were the last two standing and fighting for the Raw Women’s Championship and a spot at WrestleMania. Alexa Bliss defeated Sasha with a spike DDT to win the first women’s Elimination Chamber and retain her Raw Women’s Championship.
After the match, Renee Young interviewed Alexa in the ring, and she gave what everyone thought was a heartfelt victory speech, saying it was for everyone who had ever dreamed. However, she quickly changed her tune and began berating the audience for not believing in her and boasting about how she won despite the odds. The elimination chamber was a huge success and showed that women belong in men’s matches.
The live audience and home viewers enjoyed the match. It was one of many “first ever” women’s elimination chamber matches. WWE’s women’s roster has improved greatly since 2018. Stipulation matches are running out of “first ever” matches, which is good because we’re giving women the same opportunities as men.