The Punk: Elimination Chamber Review
by, 02-18-2013 at 01:09 PM (7441 Views)
Christmas is only 7 weeks away for wrestling fans. Yes, Wrestlemania 29, unquestionably the biggest pro wrestling event of the year is fast approaching. WWE Elimination Chamber has been used for the last few years as a launch pad for key matches to be made. This year's card is filled with that same potential but with WWE set on a rematch between The Rock and John Cena, can the rest of the card produce any surprises?
We are live-ish from New Orleans and the crowd is hot for this popular PPV. Lilian Garcia jumps straight into the action without a visit to the announcers table.
Match One - World Heavyweight Championship
Alberto Del Rio (c) vs. Big Show
For the second time in as many months, a world title match gets us underway. Unlike their initial PPV encounter at the Rumble, Show/Del Rio II lacked the same bite as it's predecessor which is completely understandable considering the nature of this return match. Despite this, the two participants still work well together and this was manifested in a pretty decent back and forth curtain jerker. Show's offense seemed a little more counter based than usual and the match did become a little repetitive towards the end with Del Rio utilising his signature armbreaker submission a few too many times. A botched finish didn't help the overall match rating either. More than anything, Del Rio and Show never fail to engage the crowd, which is probably the reason for their continued pushes within the organisation.
Winner and STILL champion: Alberto Del Rio via Submission (Cross Armbreaker)
Match Rating: 3.5/5
Match Two - United States Championship
Antonio Cesaro (c) vs. The Miz
This match had all the ingredients necessary to be a quality midcard match and thats what we got for the most part. Cesaro continues to impress with every passing event and once again put on a great showing against his injured opponent. The match had an old school feel to it, thanks mainly to the injury targeting cliche and the numerous traditional holds and moves utilised by the reigning champion. As with the first match however, the ending was poor. Not because of a botched move like last time though, this match came to an abrupt end when the Miz was disqualified for accidentally landing on Cesaro's man bits. A weak ending to an otherwise great match. Lets hope the two have an opportunity to square up again in seven weeks time.
Winner and STILL champion: Antonio Cesaro via DQ (Illegal Low Strike)
Match Rating: 4/5
Backstage: Kane and Bryan discuss their strategy for the upcoming chamber match. Could we see Team Hell No split tonight?
In the Arena: The chamber begins to lower as Jack Swagger makes his entrance with Zeb Colter in tow. The two cut a pretty decent promo which manages to generate heat from the crowd. Swagger has looked great since making his return and actually has an outsiders chance in this match.
Match Three - Elimination Chamber Match - Winner faces World Heavyweight Champion at Wrestlemania 29
Jack Swagger vs. Kane vs. Mark Henry vs. Randy Orton vs. Chris Jericho vs. Daniel Bryan
In recent years, the Elimination Chamber has been a way to get either John Cena or Triple H to the main event of Wrestlemania. The chamber has always been promoted as a last resort where combatants place their bodies, and even their careers on the line for a shot at the big time but previous matches have lacked the urgency and importance you would usually expect. Simply put, we haven't seen an exciting, completely unpredictable chamber match in a long time, and that surprisingly changed last night.
For nearly 30 minutes, six superstars beat the living hell out of each other in a contest which rekindled the spirit of the first chamber matches. Every participant was allowed their time to shine, especially Mark Henry who entering last, proceeded to annihilate his competition. Orton's slow heel turn might have started to show signs of acceleration as he refused to co-operate with Jericho and Team Hell No look like they are on course for a collision at Mania. Swagger's win comes as a slight surprise; his return has been executed very well but to compete for the title just over two months after a repackage? We haven't seen this kind of push since Ryback!
Winner: Jack Swagger
Full Elimination Results
Daniel Bryan (1) by Mark Henry (6) via Pinfall (World's Strongest Slam)
Kane (4) by Mark Henry (6) via Pinfall (World's Strongest Slam)
Mark Henry (6) by Randy Orton (5) via Pinfall (RKO)
Chris Jericho (2) by Randy Orton (5) via Pinfall (RKO)
Randy Orton (5) by Jack Swagger (3) via Pinfall (Roll-up)
Match Rating: 5/5
Match Four - Six Man Tag Match
The Shield (Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns)
John Cena, Sheamus & Ryback
If you know WWE by now then you would be forgiven for thinking this match would only end one way. John Cena has buried a lot of talent over the years with the Nexus being the most famous. The Shield impressed in their last outing at TLC and this match, despite the more traditional setting, proved no different. Even with the tagging rule established, the trio used their gang warfare work ethic to great effect, dismantling their Superstar opponents with relative ease. While not boasting the same carnage seen in their last match, the clever use of tagging and interference tricks resulted in an entertaining and chaotic contest. The dominance of Cena, Sheamus and Ryback kept the feeling that a turnaround was inevitable but it never came. Reigns, the difference maker here, took Sheamus out with a HUGE spear through the barricade and then popped up again with another on Ryback, gifting the team a massive upset victory. Did John Cena job to a team of "Rookies"? Impossible!
Winners: The Shield via Pinfall
Match Rating: 4/5
In the Arena: Dolph Ziggler, Big E and AJ Lee make their way to the ring for a promo. Booker T quickly interrupts Ziggler and makes an impromptu match, stating that his opponent is a man who can do everything the "Showoff" can and a little more. Please, please be Christian. Please.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Kofi Kingston (Dammit!!)
Don't worry folks, I'm sure Christian will turn up at some point this decade. Despite my reservations over the opponent, Kingston and Ziggler have tremendous in-ring chemistry so a quick filler match between the two made perfect sense. As you would expect from the two, this match was fast paced and featured plenty of exciting offence from both with big moves from Kofi and some wonderful selling from Ziggler. The result was pretty predicable but didn't stop this from being a nice little surprise.
Winner: Dolph Ziggler via Pinfall (Zig-Zag)
Match Rating: 3.5/5
Post match beatdown of Kingston by Big E. Don't know what the point was unless we are actually going to see Langston wrestle on a regular basis?
Backstage: Brodus Clay and Tensai plug the new WWE action figures (That look absolutely shit if you were wondering). Clay then makes fun of Tensai before they finish the segment with a dance. Painful viewing.
Match Six - Divas Championship
Kaitlyn (c) vs. Tamina Snuka
Another quick match with both competitors attempting to make the best out of their limited ringtime. Kaitlyn and Snuka are actually the more talented on the Divas roster so it might be interesting to see these two engage in a longer bout down the line.
Winner and STILL champion: Kaitlyn via Pinfall (Spear)
Match Rating: 2/5
Match Seven - WWE Championship - If the Rock gets disqualified or counted out, CM Punk will automatically win the title
The Rock (c) vs. CM Punk
I thought last months Royal Rumble was a great way to kick of the year. A lot of fellow fans who didn't appreciate Punk's great, but ultimately doomed title run ending didn't for this exact reason. At the end of the day and as much as I hate it, WWE is a business now where wrestling doesn't matter anymore; it's all about making those blockbuster matches happen. The Rock vs. Cena II is a massive match with a lot of financial potential so it would be mad for the organisation not to run with it. Not taking anything away from the participants, Punk and Rock wrestled a good match filled with multiple near falls and clever reversals, but again it never felt like the champion was ever going to lose. Add to this a really annoying referee angle which conveniently benefitted The Rock and an inadvertent, seen it way too many times, title shot to the head of Paul Heyman, this rematch was another extremely predictable affair. WWE even showed a graphic advertising Rock/Cena II mere seconds after the match ended!
Winner and STILL champion: The Rock via Pinfall (Rock Bottom)
Match Rating: 3.5/5
Overview: Despite it's flaws, mainly the main event match, Elimination Chamber was an entertaining PPV featuring a few surprises in it's quality matches. Each and every performer appeared to put in the efforts expected of them which, in turn, made for a number of memorable moments. We are now certainly on the Road to Wrestlemania, a road which will probably be predicable as ever...but fun filled nonetheless.
Match of the Night: The Elimination Chamber. Without question.
Move of the Night: Roman Reign's devastating spear on Sheamus.
Lowlight of the Night: The finale of The Rock/Punk and the immediate hyping of Rock/Cena II.
PPV Rating: 4/5
That'll do for this month folks. Hope you enjoyed this, slightly controversial review. Remember to check out the site and, if you want more misinformed opinions and news, follow me on Twitter.