WWE had advertised Bobby Lashley defending the United States Title against Matt Riddle and Keith Lee in a Triple Threat Match at the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view event.
It was reported that WWE would have to pull Lee from the contest, which ended up happening as WWE stated Lee is dealing with an injury. Thus, John Morrison vs. Ali vs. Ricochet vs. Elias took place on the pre-show with Morrison winning. As a result, he replaced Lee in the title match.
The finish of the title match featured Riddle hitting Lashley in the back with MVP’s crutch, which forced Lashley to get out of the ring. This allowed Riddle to hit his finisher to Morrison to win the title.
Dave Meltzer mentioned on today’s Wrestling Observer Radio that the decision to keep the triple threat format for this title instead of just making it a singles match between Riddle and Lashley was due to WWE wanting to stick with their original plans of having a title change without Lashley taking the pinfall. Lee’s replacement could’ve been any wrestler, but it turned out to be Morrison.
“Now you know why they didn’t do a singles match and why they were adamant…you know, originally if Keith Lee was not in…but that just wouldn’t work for what they were trying to do, so that’s why they had to get Morrison in the match, or somebody. Could have been anyone in that third man spot, but they needed…”