Liv Morgan vs. Rhea Ripley vs. Nikki ASH vs. Doudrop vs. Alexa Bliss vs. Alexa Bliss Bianca Belair
Elimination Chamber match to decide the challenger for the Raw Women’s championship at WrestleMania
Less than a month ago, Ronda Rousey returned after three years in the Royal Rumble to win the match and earn a shot at either championship of her choosing at WrestleMania. Smart money was that she would choose Becky Lynch. Lynch is the only person to have pinned Rousey, doing so in the main event of WrestleMania 35 in a triple threat with her and Charlotte Flair. (And replay shows that a shoulder was likely off the mat, adding more reason for Ronda to want retribution.)
But alas, the Rowdy One is a coward given she opted to challenge Charlotte Flair instead, ducking Big Time Becks. That left WWE tasked to crowd a #1 contender for The Man’s title (as long as she doesn’t lost it to Lita) so they set up an Elimination Chamber match to do just that. This match will take place at the Elimination Chamber event tomorrow (Feb. 19) in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Let’s take a look at the women in the match, let you know what they’ve been up to, and run down their chances to win this match.
Doudrop just finished up a program with Becky Lynch, losing to her at the Royal Rumble. Now she’ll try to earn another chance.
Chances of winning: Slim to None
It would be quite a shocker if Doudrop were to challenge Becky Lynch at WrestleMania. They just had a match less than a month ago that the champ won clean. Plus, the heel vs. heel dynamic made that a tougher sell and it hasn’t changed in the weeks since.
Nikki has taken her superhero gimmick from lovable babyface to delusional heel, and she’s all the better for it. That character never worked for me as a hero. It was too cheesy. But as a villain, she can lean into the ridiculousness of it and unleash that vicious side that allowed her to shine in NXT.
This heel turn came at the expense of her former tag partner, Rhea Ripley, who will also be in this match. That feud seems to be pretty much over, with Ripley winning all of their encounters, but we could see that tension if they share the ring together tomorrow.
Chances: Very Slim
While I love what she’s doing with the character, I don’t see a title run for her right now. Or really anytime soon. She’s not too far removed from an underwhelming title reign, albeit as the babyface version of her character. And the heel vs. heel aspect wouldn’t make for an easy story to tell.
Liv Morgan’s sole focus is winning the Raw Women’s championship. There’s an issue though. She’s already tried and failed twice in recent months.
Becky retained the title on Raw in December illegally using the ropes as leverage. Because of that, they ran it back at the Day One pay-per-view where the champ won’t clean. Morgan couldn’t win the Rumble, though had an impressive 37 minute run in it, losing another opportunity.
Now she tries yet again to earn a third shot at the Lace Kicker.
Chances of winning: Slim
Liv Morgan showed a ton of growth throughout her feud with Becky, especially in the ring. However, she hasn’t shown enough to warrant running this match a third time on the biggest stage. While she demonstrated definite improvement, her weaknesses (mainly microphone work) also showed through. And there isn’t enough of a groundswell of support to pull off the underdog story where she keeps failing until she finally wins.
I believe she’ll end up winning the title in the future, but I don’t think that future is as immediate as WrestleMania.
As we touched on when discussing Nikki ASH, Ripley’s most recent action in WWE was as a tag parter alongside Nikki until the latter turned on her. (Rhea was ready to go her separate ways anyway, but Nikki made it an acrimonious split.)
Last Monday, Rhea shined bright in the gauntlet match to decide who earns the advantage of entering last in the Chamber. She started the match and defeated Nikki, Liv Morgan, & Doudrop prior to finally succumbing to a fresher Bianca Belair.
Rhea Ripley is being positioned as a strong singles star on Raw, and while she lost the gauntlet match on Monday, she was the standout. Her booking is usually reserved for someone with a title shot in the future. It’s just less likely to happen at WrestleMania because of other more likely options.
Little Miss Bliss is just returning to the ring after time away. She had gone fully down the Bray Wyatt rabbit hole as his sidekick and even ran with the demonic version of herself after Wyatt was released. But then Charlotte destroyed her evil doll and Bliss took time away.
We’ve recently watched her try to work out her issues with a therapist, though he seemed as interested in reuniting her with Lilly than he did helping her overcome her demons. (I wouldn’t be surprise if we see him accompany her to the ring at one point.)
She declared herself for the open spot in the Chamber on Monday when her therapist told her she was OK.
Chances: Pretty good
Alexa Bliss is a true wildcard here. She’s a former champion and someone who is often in the spotlight. In fact, it was surprising she never won the title during her horror movie iteration. A match against Becky is a possibility. They’ve got history from far back in their SmackDown Live days and are both strong enough performers to make whatever they’re given work.
The only reason Alexa isn’t the favorite is because the last entrant seems like a shoe in.
Bianca Belair has had a her eyes on Becky Lynch and her title since she lost the title to her at SummerSlam. (That was technically the SmackDown Women’s championship, but it’s since becoming the Raw championship due to an awkward title exchange that the less said about the better.)
Since then, Lynch has done everything she could to keep the gold from Belair. She retained the title one on one in November using a handful of tights. Then when Belair had another chance to face Lynch at Royal Rumble by winning a triple threat including Doudrop and Liv Morgan, Becky attacked the EST when she had the match won.
If Belair can get the job done tonight, and she has a good chance having won the right to enter last by winning Monday’s gauntlet match, Becky can no longer duck her.
Chances: The Favorite
No doubt Belair is the favorite here. The story they’ve been telling has always needed to come back to Belair getting another chance and getting the job done. After Becky prevented the EST from getting the Royal Rumble shot, it pretty much telegraphed that this would be the WrestleMania match.
The return of Ronda Rousey could have thrown a wrench in those plans, but they ended up sticking to the presumed prior plan. Ronda’s return could mean they keep the belt on Becky for that future match when they would have gone with a title change otherwise. But we’ll have to wait to WrestleMania to see if that is the case.
Six women will face off in the Elimination Chamber tomorrow at Elimination Chamber in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia starting at 12 PM ET. It can be watched on Peacock in the United States and WWE Network everywhere else. And keep it here to CagesideSeats.com for all your Elimination Chamber coverage.