This was written a few days after the show and I am leaving it as is for the most part. For the Elimination Chamber matches, I have inserted the more detailed reviews that I did in our Elimination Chamber section.
WWE Elimination Chamber
February 19, 2012
By John Canton (Twitter @johnreport)
I’m late with this. I missed it last Sunday. I know the results going in, but I want to review every current PPV so let’s get to it. It won’t be a full play by play of every move, but I’ll be sure to hit all the high points.
The show started with clips of the Elimination Chamber matches from the past and pointing out that the Road to WrestleMania goes through the Chamber. Somewhere the No Way Out PPV name is doing well in its future endeavors. Good video.
The announcers for the show are Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler & Booker T. The chamber was lowered for the first match of the night. It was for the WWE Title. Most thought this would go on last. I thought it would be that or the Cena match.
Elimination Chamber Match for the WWE Title: CM Punk vs. The Miz vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. R-Truth vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Chris Jericho
The first two competitors were CM Punk and Kofi Kingston, so the story was that the champ had to go the distance to win the match. Nice athleticism by Kingston early as he jumped over the top rope to avoid a whip. They had a really fast-paced pinfall sequence that showed off how quick they could go in the ring. Kingston gave Punk a back suplex and Punk crashed on his right leg and hip. I assume he was supposed to land on his feet there, but couldn’t get them around. Punk gave Kingston a slingshot into Jericho’s pod followed by a suplex onto the steel outside the ring. He got a two count. Punk was favoring his right leg, which had a nice red scar thanks to the bump on the steel.
The #3 man in the match is Dolph Ziggler, who is rocking some pink tights. Ziggler hit a leg drop on the back of Punk’s head for a count of two. Ziggler hit a splash on Kofi in the corner while Jericho made angry faces from his pod. Ziggler missed a splash so Punk and Kingston took turns hitting him with moves. They each went for springboard attacks, Ziggler moved and Kingston & Punk collided. That was a nice spot. All three guys were down.
The #4 man was R-Truth, who went after Ziggler right away with a hiptoss over the top rope onto the steel grating outside the ring. Then he hit a springboard splash over the top onto Ziggler. Truth hit the scissors kick on Ziggler for two. Nice nearfall there. Punk got a nearfall on Truth after a knee to the face and a superplex. Punk threw Kingston over the top where Kingston crashed into the steel. Punk hit the top rope elbow on Truth. That was enough to eliminate R-Truth at 12:02.
R-Truth eliminated by CM Punk
Punk rolled up Ziggler and as he did that, Kingston came out of nowhere to hit Punk in the head with the Trouble in Paradise. Ziggler went after Kingston, essentially saving Punk. Kingston threw Ziggler out of the ring. Kingston covered Punk for a two count. The delay in the pinfall was caused by Ziggler, so it was a good out to not kill Kofi’s finisher. Kofi jumped onto the side of the cage and then leaped onto Ziggler, who received DDT on the steel by Kingston. Damn that was a great spot worthy of “Holy Shit” chant the crowd gave it.
The #5 man is The Miz. He threw Punk and Kingston into some of the empty “glass” pods. Miz slammed Kingston onto the steel outside the ring. Ziggler charged at him and Miz threw him out of the ring so he crashed onto the steel again. Lots of painful bumps by Ziggler so far. Miz shoved Kingston off the top rope and he crashed onto the steel too, which got a two count for Miz. Miz got a good nearfall on Punk with his DDT variation. Ziggler and Kingston were selling injuries outside the ring. Nice powerslam by Punk on Miz. Punk had Miz in the Anaconda Vice.
The #6 entrant was Chris Jericho, who faced off with Punk as the crowd went wild for it. Jericho got a dropkick for two on Punk while everybody else was down. Jericho actually hit a Lionsault, which got a two count on Punk. Ziggler rolled up Jericho with the tights for two. Jericho fired back with the Codebreaker to eliminate Ziggler at 22:31. Ziggler’s bumps were awesome.
Dolph Ziggler eliminated by Chris Jericho
Punk went at it with Jericho. Punk won the fight, giving him a slingshot over the top rope that sent Jericho flying onto the railing. Punk rammed the back of Jericho’s head into one of the pods and then whipped him face first into one of them. Jericho locked himself in one of the pods to prevent an attack from Punk, but that didn’t work very well. Jericho then outsmarted Punk and rammed the pod door into the shoulder of Punk. Jericho and Kingston went at it. Kofi gave him the SOS on the steel. Finally Miz got back into the match as he dominated Kingston, but Kofi came back with a kick to the face. Punk got back to his feet and he gave Miz a powerbomb for two. Kingston went on top of one of the pods. He hit a crossbody onto Punk & Miz. They did a good job of catching him. Jericho put Kingston in the Walls of Jericho the badass way with his right leg on the back of the head on Kingston. Old school LION TAMER~! right there! Kofi tapped out at 26:32.
Kofi Kingston eliminated by Chris Jericho
After the elimination, Jericho whipped Kingston into the side of the cage. The door was open while this was going on. Jericho threw Kingston out of the door. Punk snuck up behind Jericho and kicked him into the back of the head. Jericho went crashing into the door. He fell onto the floor. Refs Scott Armstrong and Mike Chioda deemed that Jericho wasn’t able to continue due to being knocked out. A doctor checked on him. Jericho was eliminated 28:10 with the official ruling being that he was too hurt to continue while the announcers went into SERIOUS VOICES~! while they talked about the cameraman that got knocked down too. He was okay.
Chris Jericho eliminated by knockout
Back in the ring, Miz & Punk were the final two. Punk got Miz with a kick to the side of the head for two. Punk hit the running knee into the corner followed by the bulldog. Meanwhile, they checked on Jericho at ringside. He was still out. Punk went for the springboard clothesline, Miz avoided it and hit the Skull Crushing Finale for the two count. Great nearfall there. Miz continued to assault Punk in the corner while also trash talking him at every opportunity. Miz missed a charge into the corner, crashing into a pod. Punk hit the Go To Sleep for the pinfall win at 32:29.
The Miz eliminated by CM Punk
Winner: CM Punk
Analysis: ***1/2 I think most of us were expecting a Punk/Jericho finale, so when we didn’t get it the ending was a bit anticlimactic. Miz had been booked pretty weak going into it, so there wasn’t that much heat on the final two. They probably should have had Ziggler in the final two. I thought they did a great job of giving big moments to guys like Ziggler and Kingston, who despite not winning the match had some memorable spots. I was definitely worried about Ziggler when I saw some of the bumps he took, but he ended up being okay after all was said and done. Truth didn’t have much of an impact. Miz did okay too. In my preview, I thought that Jericho would win the match because it would give him a big win to set up the match with Punk at WrestleMania. There’s nothing wrong with Punk winning because he’s a good champion.
(I thought it was an entertaining match when I re-watched it, but I didn’t touch my original rating. Regarding the outcome, Jericho won a battle royal the next night to earn the WrestleMania 28 title match against Punk, which Punk won as the face WWE Champion.)
FACTS & OPINIONS
Wrestler that lasted the longest: CM Punk at 32:39
Most Eliminations: CM Punk and Chris Jericho with two.
Best Performers (3): CM Punk – He went the distance to win the match.
Dolph Ziggler – Like I noted in the review, he did some great bumps throughout the match.
Chris Jericho – As the veteran in the match, he played his role well.
Most Memorable Moment: Jericho’s elimination was memorable in terms of it being a unique elimination.
Match Rating: ***1/2 out of five.
They showed clips of Bryan attacking Orton & Show from the week prior on Raw. Randy Orton suffered a concussion after hitting the RKO on Show. It was legit. In storyline, they said it was Bryan that caused it. Then they showed highlights from the Battle Royal on Smackdown when Santino earned his title shot for the Elimination Chamber.
Backstage, Santino drank some eggs. Then he puked them out. It was their way of building him up as a Rocky story.
They aired a video of Cena training at his gym in Tampa along with other wrestlers that compete at FCW. It was a really good video that again pointed out how Cena was a regular guy and a leader that worked his ass off.
Divas Title: Beth Phoenix vs. Tamina Snuka
Before the match began, Beth told Tamina to leave the ring. The action picked up and Beth went for a headbutt, but that didn’t hurt Tamina. She’s Samoan, so her head is strong. That’s the rule in wrestling. Beth knocked her outside the ring where Tamina had a hard landing. Beth elbowed her in the back. Beth put her in a dragon sleeper and then Tamina powered out with the Samoan Drop. She climbed to the top again, but Beth punched her. Beth went to the middle rope and hit a superplex. That was impressive. You don’t see that in a women’s match very often. Tamina came back with some fire, hitting a clothesline and then a corner splash. Tamina hit an awesome superkick to knock Beth down again. Tamina went to the top for the Superfly Splash for the third time. She hit it. Beth kicked out at two. Nice nearfall there. Tamina went to the top rope again. This time Beth rolled out to the floor. Back in the ring, Beth shoved her into the middle turnbuckle and then Beth hit a Glam Slam. Crowd reacted big to the Glam Slam. The match went 7:19 in time.
Winner: Beth Phoenix
Analysis: *1/4 I was impressed with Tamina’s offense although you could tell she’s still limited too. The story was about Beth being the most dominant Divas Champion ever. This likely sets up the WrestleMania match against Kharma.
They aired the “Be A Star” commercial. I always laugh at the part when Alicia says “they called me a boy” just because of the way she delivered the line.
More of Santino’s Rocky-like training.
Backstage, Josh Mathews said he was trying to get a word with Chris Jericho. They showed Jericho getting looked at by doctors, so he wasn’t able to talk to Josh.
John Laurinaitis & David Otunga made their way to the ring. Laurinaitis needs a theme song. The crowd was chanting “WHAT?” during his entire speech. He brought up how Teddy Long was doing a bad job as GM of Smackdown. Suddenly, Alberto Del Rio’s theme song started up. His return drew a good reaction. Cole acted was as if he was surprised by the return and then he made sure to tell us what kind of car Del Rio was driving. Del Rio called Long a piece of trash. He suggested that Laurinaitis be the GM of both Raw and Smackdown. “Somebody gonna get they ass kicked…” started up as Mark Henry made his way to the ring. The story was that Mark was suspended by Long, so he called Long a bully. Henry supported the idea of Laurinaitis as the permanent GM of both shows. Christian’s theme song hit. I marked out a bit. I’ve missed this guy. Hopefully his ankle injury is all healed up and he’ll be back in action soon. JL gave him a hug. Christian said that Sheamus broke his ankle and Teddy forced him to compete. He called that negligence on Teddy’s part. He wanted JL to be the GM of Smackdown. Otunga decided it would be a good idea to take a picture. Lots of cheesy smiles. That was the end of that segment. It was okay for filler. Good to see Christian & Del Rio again. Here’s hoping they return from their injuries in the very near future.
Another training video of Santino. This time he was running up some steps Rocky style. He even did the trombone celebration when he reached the top of the steps.
Backstage, Big Show was interviewed by Josh Mathews who pointed out Big Show’s bad record at WrestleMania. He mentioned he’s won every title and even though he’s had a bad record at WrestleMania he believed he’d be successful here because he still had history to write.
Elimination Chamber Match for the World Title: Daniel Bryan vs. Big Show vs. Wade Barrett vs. Cody Rhodes vs. The Great Khali vs. Santino
The first two entrants in the match were Wade Barrett and Big Show. After Show opened it up with chops, Barrett booted him down to obtain control of the action. Barrett threw Big Show into the side of the cage. Barrett worked on Big Show’s knee. A very slow start to the match, which isn’t a surprise considering the combatants. That’s not a complaint. Just saying it’s slow in the early going, which is fine as long as it picks up. Big Show came back with a suplex for two. Booker T says Show should “try to get this boy out of here quick.” He likes saying “boy” a lot. Show threw him over the top so Barrett crashed onto the steel outside the ring. The clock ticked down for our next entrant as Show faced off with Daniel Bryan.
The #3 man was Cody Rhodes. Show chopped Rhodes in the chest and then he stared at Bryan. Show threw Rhodes outside the ring where he crashed onto the steel. Show went to splash him into the cage, but Cody moved. Cody went to the top, so Show threw him into the cage. That was a manly bump by Cody. Back in the ring, Barrett avoided the chokeslam by going after Barrett’s knee. I should point out too that Cole’s heel act has been toned down in a major way. Nice high-low double team as Barrett hit a clothesline while Rhodes took out his knee. Then Barrett hit a clothesline on Rhodes that sent him over the top to the floor. Barrett threw Rhodes into the cage three times, which caused Booker to yell: “Put it on that boy, Wade!” Rhodes got some offense in on Barrett by throwing him into the cage.
The #4 entrant was Santino. He got his hip lock and headbutt on Barrett. The crowd was excited for Santino. Big Show got back to his feet and went after Santino. Cody attacked the back of Show’s knee. Big Show recovered to throw Barrett & Cody out of the ring. Show tried to give a chokeslam to both guys on the steel, but they countered it to give him a suplex on the steel. That was impressive. They tried to pull Show into the ring to pin him because you had to do pinfalls in the ring. Rhodes went after Barrett and hit an awesome moonsault on Wade. Cody threw Wade out of the ring. Cody whipped Santino into the cage and then rammed his right arm into the cage, which I guess is his way to eliminate the deadly Cobra finisher of Santino.
The #5 man is The Great Khali. He hit chops on Rhodes and Barrett. The crowd didn’t react much to Khali. He hit the Punjabi Plunge on Rhodes and then Barrett. Then he hit a chop on Santino. Big Show got up, ran the ropes and hit a spear on Khali to eliminate him at 19:25. Khali was in the match for about one minute. Smart booking there.
The Great Khali eliminated by Big Show
Following Khali’s elimination, Big Show stared at Bryan who was still in his pod. Lawler theorized that Show should just start spearing everybody. Obviously he should do that or he should just punch them in the face, but that would end matches a lot quicker. Show climbed to the top rope and tried to break the chains at the top of Bryan’s pod. Bryan had a look of fear on his face as Show tried to create a hole to go in. Show broke in with his feet. During all of this, the other three guys were down. Crowd was loud during Show’s attack on Bryan. He went after him in the pod with punches, headbutts and boots to the face.
The clock counted down and Daniel Bryan officially entered the match as the #6 man. Bryan got out of the pod, Show grabbed him and threw him into the pod. Ouch. Finally, somebody else got up as Barrett got to his feet, but Show knocked him down with a headbutt. Show hit a butt splash on Bryan followed by a shoulderblock. Big Show hit a chokeslam on Bryan. Barrett came back with a boot to the face on Show. Barrett knocked Big Show out of the ring with a boot. Santino got a rollup on Barrett for two. Outside the ring, Cody hit two Disaster Kicks to the head of Show. Impressive moves there. Rhodes hit a DDT on Show. Barrett hit an elbow drop off the middle rope onto Big Show. Rhodes covered and that was enough to eliminate Big Show at 24:18. Rhodes celebrated as the match “favorite” was eliminated.
Big Show eliminated by Cody Rhodes
Analysis: It was a good way to set up Rhodes vs. Show at WrestleMania. I liked that elimination a lot because it put over the heels for being smart by working together.
As Cody was celebrating, Santino rolled him up and eliminated him at 24:18. Cody was pissed, so he gave Santino the Cross Rhodes before leaving. Cody was fantastic in this match, but that’s not new. The guy is on a roll these days.
Cody Rhodes eliminated by Santino
Analysis: The classic pin the guy right after he pinned somebody else spot strikes again.
Barrett went to cover Santino, but Santino got his shoulder up. The crowd was chanting for Santino. Barrett threw him into the cage repeatedly. Barrett tied him up into the cage and gave him a kick to the head. After a whip into the ropes, Bryan slipped on the middle turnbuckle, but they improvised and Bryan came back with a rollup on Barrett for two. They fought on the top rope and Wade crotched him on the top. He followed that up with a hard clothesline. They went outside the ring and Barrett gave Bryan a powerbomb into the cage. Ouch. Barrett put Bryan’s head in one of the doors and slammed it on his head. He rolled him back in the ring for a two count. Barrett put Santino down with another stiff boot to the head. Wade worked on Santino with knees to the kidney. Bryan attacked Barrett from behind with a knee off the top followed by hard whips into the pods. Bryan went to the top, but Barrett was able to counter it by attacking him on the top rope. Santino went after Barrett, who was able to overpower Santino. Barrett missed a top rope elbow. Bryan went up and hit a top rope headbutt. Santino covered Barrett to eliminate him at 30:37. Barrett lasted over 30 minutes in the match. Very impressive.
Wade Barrett eliminated by Santino
We’re down to two with Bryan facing off with Santino. The crowd was hot, cheering for Santino. Bryan hit a nice dropkick in the corner. Bryan followed up with his series of kicks to the chest. Bryan charged in the corner, but Santino moved out of the way and rolled him up for two. Great nearfall. The crowd thought that was it. Bryan put him down again and went for the headbutt. Santino pulled out the Cobra and hit Bryan in the head with it. One…two…no! The crowd thought that was it. Bryan grabbed Santino’s right arm and put him in the LeBell Lock as Santino tried to fight out of it. The crowd was really loud in their support for Santino. After fighting the hold for about 30 seconds, Santino tapped out at 34:04.
Santino eliminated by Daniel Bryan
Winner: Daniel Bryan
Analysis: ***3/4 It was slightly better than the first one although the pace at the beginning was a little slow. I thought Bryan carried it with Santino doing a great job too. The work of Rhodes, Barrett and Show was very good as well. Khali was just there to get eliminated quickly, basically. The story was the survival of the “underdog” World Champion who keeps finding ways to retain his title. Santino’s battle with Bryan at the end was a lot of fun because the crowd really beloved Santino had a shot. That’s good booking. He was mostly a joke character, but they believed he could win and that’s what you want out of a performer in this match. They have to have the believability factor. Santino had it here.
(Seeing Santino do well was a big surprise because he was booked like such a joke for most of his career. Bryan was the heel champion that was booked like a bit of a fluke, so this was a way to make him look good as the champ and prove he could get the job done in a big match.)
FACTS & OPINIONS
Wrestler that lasted the longest: Wade Barrett at 30:37.
Most Eliminations: Santino with two.
Best Performers (3): Daniel Bryan – I would have liked to see him in the match longer, but he did great while he was there.
Santino – A pleasant surprise to see him booked strongly for a change.
Cody Rhodes – Even though Barrett lasted longer, I thought Rhodes did better.
Most Memorable Moment: The nearfall of Santino nearly beating Bryan stands out. I remember that moment well.
Match Rating: ***3/4 out of five.
Post match, Sheamus attacked Bryan with his new finisher that was actually Finlay’s old finisher. At that point the announcers pointed out that Sheamus would go after Daniel Bryan’s title at WrestleMania. I would have had Sheamus cut a promo about how he’s already been WWE Champion twice before, so he wanted to be World Champion this time. At least give us a reason why he’s doing what he’s doing.
Backstage, Hornswoggle was eating cheese. He held some cheese towards Natalya, asking her to cut the cheese, which is of course a fart joke. Suddenly, she farted. It was such a comical farting noise. She left the scene embarrassed. I’m embarrassed for her. Justin Gabriel walked into the shot and so did Jack Swagger as Hornswoggle mentioned “jack cheese” and cottage cheese, pointing to Vickie. Teddy Long showed up to make a match between Swagger and Gabriel. Swagger said Laurinaitis should be running both shows and Long said that he’s the one should be. Then Long made it a US Title match. Would Swagger really be upset about having a match considering he’s barely been on TV for the past month? You decide.
A plug for Rock’s new DVD. Haven’t seen it yet, but will do that when I get some time for it.
United States Title: Jack Swagger w/Vickie Guerrero vs. Justin Gabriel w/Hornswoggle
This is the worst title in the company in terms of how it is being used. Swagger’s barely on the show anymore. Gabriel used his speed early, but Swagger dropped him with a powerbomb. Jack hit the Swagger Bomb off the second rope and then did pushups on Gabriel’s back. Gabriel got a two count off of an elbow drop to the chest and then spin kick in the corner. Gabriel hit a springboard crossbody off the top for two. A dropkick by Gabriel sent Swagger to the floor. Gabriel hit a press on the floor. The crowd was dead even with Hornswoggle and Vicky making noise at ringside. Swagger caught Gabriel’s boot and rammed it into the ring post. In the ring, Swagger applied the ankle lock and Gabriel tapped out at 3:06.
Winner: Jack Swagger
Analysis: * Okay for a filler match. No heat because there was no story going in. They need to do more with both guys, especially Swagger.
They had a dueling Rock/Cena promo for WrestleMania.
We got the extremely long video package for the Cena/Kane Ambulance Match.
Ambulance Match: John Cena vs. Kane
The idea here was you had to beat your opponent up so much that you had to be able to put them in an ambulance. Good pop for Cena although the “Let’s Go Cena/Cena sucks” chants started fairly early. Kane knocked him out to the floor. Cena attacked him up the aisle. There were a lot of punches thrown as they took turns being in control. They fought by the side of the ramp where the ambulance was. Cena hit Kane in the head with a backboard that was in the ambulance. The slugfest continued as they made their way back to the ring. I guess they fought that way early to show us where the ambulance was. That’s so nice of them. Cena whipped Kane into the steel steps. Back in the ring, Kane decked Cena with a right hand to the jaw. Kane hit a big boot to the face followed up by more fists. Kane hit a clothesline in the corner. The crowd went into the dueling Cena chants because it was pretty boring at this point. John went for a comeback, but Kane caught him with a side slam. Kane went for his clothesline off the top and Cena countered it with a dropkick to the gut. Cena hit his shoulderblock followed by the spinning back suplex. Cena hit the five knuckle shuffle because if you’re in a violent feud that’s one of the moves you want to do a guy. Kane countered the Attitude Adjustment by putting his hand on Cena’s face to suffocate John while the announcers used SERIOUS VOICES~! to talk about how Cena was out. Kane dragged Cena out of the ring and then pulled out a wheelchair that was under the ring. Who placed a wheelchair there? I guess Kane has buddies on the ring crew like he has buddies on the video production crew. I’m not being picky. It’s sarcasm more than anythi. Kane pushed Cena on the wheelchair, but John woke up and tried to fight out of it.
They made their way back to the ambulance where John won a fight and threw Kane into the ambulance. Cena grabbed the wheelchair, folded it up and hit Kane in the face with it. Wheelchair to the face! That’s probably the first time I’ve ever written that in my years of writing about this crazy business. Cena put Kane into the wheelchair and threw him into some boxes. Not as painful as when Kane threw Zack off the ramp. Kane fired back by hitting Cena with a laptop as well as the wheelchair. Cena fired back with a chair to the back. They fought around the technical area that was also in the crowd. Cena whipped Kane over the barrier and they were back at ringside. Cena hit Kane in the head with the microphone. He asked Booker if that would earn him a spot in the fave five. Booker: “You in, dog!” Congrats on that. Cena hit Kane in the head with a monitor and then he hit him in the head with the steel steps. It was time to wreck the Spanish Announce Table as John put the ring steps beside it. Cena hit him in the head with the steps again. Cena put Kane on his shoulders and carried Kane up the ring steps that he put beside the table. Kane countered it with a chokeslam sending Cena through the table. Nice bump. Come on Milwaukee, where’s the “Spanish Table!” chant there? Kane walked back to the ambulance and grabbed the stretcher. Then he walked back. A thrilling two minutes of action there. They mentioned Kane won the only other Ambulance Match as Lawler brought up Shane McMahon’s name. Oh right, that guy. The Vince kid that doesn’t work there. Kane put Cena on the stretcher and pushed him all the back to the ambulance. He put Cena in, but John’s foot blocked the second door from closing. John morphed into Super Cena mode and rammed Kane into the side of the ambulance. Cena climbed to the top of the ambulance. Kane followed. Kane grabbed him for a chokeslam, John slipped out of it and gave Kane the Attitude Adjustment into some convenient padding right beside the ambulance. There wasn’t even a sound when Kane landed. We didn’t have a good view of what Kane landed into, but it was still a good visual with a 10 foot drop or so. Cena grabbed Kane from whatever he landed in (we never saw it) and threw Kane into the ambulance for the win at 21:21.
Winner: John Cena
Analysis: **1/4 A predictable standup brawl with two guys who are known for having matches like that. They planned the big spots well with the big table bump and then the finishing AA into whatever soft padding that was over there. Cena winning was obvious. The obvious finish is okay. No need to swerve the fans here.
Post match, Cena went back in the ring to celebrate under the WrestleMania sign. Cole had this line: “John Cena overcomes the hate!” What a lame line that was. I miss Jim Ross even though I’m sure it was fed to Cole. Cena celebrated to end the show. Yes we see the WrestleMania sign. Thanks for pointing.
I give Elimination Chamber a 6 out of 10.
Five Stars of the Night
1. Daniel Bryan – Did a great job of being scared of Big Show and also finishing off two opponents.
2. CM Punk – He worked hard and did an excellent job of lasting the whole match after that painful bump early on.
3. Cody Rhodes – He’s in this incredible zone right now. Future top guy. No doubt.
4. Wade Barrett – Despite not winning, he was very impressive in his match.
5. Santino – Never thought he’d make a list like this, but he was booked great and delivered.
It was tough to leave off Ziggler and Show. Can’t include everybody.
I had predicted that Jericho would win the Raw EC match because I felt like he needed a big win to get him momentum going into WrestleMania. Instead, he lost here although he wasn’t pinned or made to submit. They gave him an out. Because there was no Jericho/Punk final showdown in the opener, the match lacked the kind of intensity I would have liked to see. On paper, it had the potential to be a match of the year contender. In execution, it was a very good match that fell short of being the classic it could have been if it was booked differently.
Smackdown’s Elimination Chamber match was basically a five man match. I wonder how it would have gone with Orton involved. Perhaps he would have been the final guy for Bryan to beat although I doubt that they would have had him tap out or lose clean to Bryan. Santino did a nice job, though. The fans actually believed he could win. Smart booking in that match.
The upper midcard heels on the roster like Rhodes, Barrett & Ziggler all fared well. The Miz did okay too although you can tell he’s losing his heat every time he gets out there. He needs something new to spark him.
Cena’s obvious win over Kane in the main event was the right call in my opinion. He’s in the main event of WrestleMania. He should go on last here. Like it or not, but that’s the way it is. The match was one of the most predictable matches of the year. At least they did some memorable spots to pop the crowd because otherwise it was a lot of basic wrestling.
I had no problem with the divas match. Another good win for Beth. The US Title has reached a low point in its existence as a title that means absolutely nothing. The heels campaigning for Laurinaitis sets up a story going into WrestleMania. None of those segments were that bad, so that’s why this PPV wasn’t a failure.
It was not a great show, but it was still an above average PPV because of the good work in the ring. Two 30+ minute matches of that caliber are usually going to lead to great success (I threw in a Borat-ism there). In terms of news, it was a show that lacked a major happening. That’s what happens without a major title change. In this case, though, I’m glad there was no title change. Punk and Bryan going into WrestleMania as champions is a great thing. A welcome change, that’s for sure. I think if you enjoy Chamber matches you should watch them. Everything else was pretty average.
Thanks for reading.