SmartMark15 Posted February 13, 2019 Report Share Posted February 13, 2019 Gauntlet matches are an easy sell for me because no matter how you look at the individual segments, they all bleed together to form a cohesive whole that allows one to affect the next and so on. Same goes here as this match had a very simple goal from the outset: convince us that Kofi Kingston can leave the Elimination Chamber as WWE Champion. Towards that goal, we had an excellent opening segment with Bryan and Kofi going back and forth. Bryan, of course, looks amazing on offense with his brutal strikes and submissions. I also liked the rising sense of frustration from Bryan as he allowed his offense to escalate the more pissed he was that he couldn't put Kofi away. I enjoyed Rowan's brief interference spots but those were made extra excellent with Kofi's insane bumping. Bryan gets hoist by his own petard as his interfering heavy allowed just enough time for Kofi to recover to nail a Trouble in Paradise to counter the running knee. Then, we get a brief segment where Kofi and Jeff trade high flying moves which was fun and didn't overstay its welcome. Joe comes in next and flexes his awesome badass douchebag character as he takes Kofi lightly the whole way through. We get more crazy bumps from Kofi off the top and to the floor. We also get the classic Hart-Austin '96 to finish to grant Kofi a believable win over Joe. Joe's attack allows for more character moments as AJ tries to give Kofi the chance to take forfeit and Kofi denies him in a fantastic moment that really gets you to believe in Kofi and his quest to believably take the title home this Sunday. It was nice to see AJ play the heel in this segment as the fresh aggressor against the worn down iron man. Some of the bumps in this segment looked brutal like Kofi taking that snap backbreaker on AJ's knees as well as missing his meteora and crashing into the ringpost and to the floor. AJ locks in one of his most brutal Calf Crushers to get the tap out victory, leading to a standing ovation for Kofi's efforts. The finish is exactly how it should have ended. They did it leading into the Royal Rumble and it's a nice lead into the Chamber as well. It's simple but the crowd was spent after Kofi's journey and it was a good close to the show. This match was all about Kofi and everyone played their roles perfectly to make him look like a legitimate contender. Excellent hour of TV wrestling and one of the best matches of the year. ****1/2 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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