Last night, the wrestling community received its annual dosage of the barbaric structure that is the Elimination Chamber. Whilst some may argue the necessity of a pay-per-view in-between the Royal Rumble and WrestleMania, there can be no denying that the Chamber offers gripping viewing and exciting matches without fail.
As always, all opinions expressed herein are exclusively my own opinions and, they do not reflect the views of other staff of Wrestling-News.Net
Raw Elimination Chamber Match. I’m surprised, to say the least, that this was the opening match. Personally, this would have been my main event. Punk is the hottest thing in WWE right now, and to not have him end the show holding the WWE Championship high above his head is an odd one to me. On to the match itself. This was a greatly done Elimination Chamber. The balance of wrestling and chamber spots was just right, and the order of entry was surprising but it worked. Having CM Punk and Kofi Kingston starting, allowed the match to build up pace instead of being a “filler” until the next entrant exited their pod. My only dislike about this match was the overly long pause after Chris Jericho was unable to compete. CM Punk’s look of almost concern as Jericho was unresponsive on the floor and the few minutes break seemed to break up the excitement for me. I feel obligated to highlight the ferocity in the way in which The Miz started this match. He seemed a bit overzealous when he exited the chamber and, at one point, I’m sure Kofi Kingston told him to “ease up” in what he was doing. Not a good performance from the man who main-evented last year’s WrestleMania who seems to have undone all his own accomplishments in recent weeks with his in-ring carelessness. Chris Jericho, until his exit, was booked great as the dominant Chamber veteran who was a step above the other competitors, it really “heeled” Jericho for me. He’s now a t a point where I would “get” a match with him and Punk, as up until now, there has been nothing justifiable to warrant that match at WrestleMania. Props must be given to Kofi and Dolph solely for the bumps that both men received. I’d be surprised if Dolph doesn’t turn up looking like he hada fight with a cheese grater. All in all, this was a great start to the show and Punk overcoming the odds of starting this match and walking out the victor got the crowd going for this pay-per-view.
Beth Phoenix vs Tamina Snuka. I was pleased with how this match turned out. It is a brilliant example of how far the Diva’s division has come despite the opinions expressed elsewhere on the internet. Tamina initially let her pay-per-view nerves show, but did eventually come into her own and put in a decent performance. Beth Phoenix’s wrestling intelligence continued to show in this match and, despite the continued improvement in the division, highlights that she needs some high calibre female talent to work with. With Beth having seemingly run out of competition, it seems that a collision course with Kharma may be more than likely, although that is mere speculation at this point.
SmackDown Elimination Chamber. This match has been universally heralded as match of the night for the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view, and with good reason. On paper, this match was seen as a sign that SmackDown is a brand lacking in talent, but despite the critics, this match delivered in a big way. Throughout the night, we were treated to vignettes of Santino training for his match in a Rocky-esqua way, which is something that I had “asked” for in this week’s Ask The Crew, and those were pretty well done. His involvement in the match for a man of his character was surprisingly “perfect”. The way his “training” paid off in allowing him to eliminate Barrett and Rhodes was great and, by the end, you were rooting for Santino to win the match.The match itself showcased most of the competitors in way that I highly liked. When all was said and done, Wade Barrett looked the strongest in the Chamber. From his opening dominance of the Big show, to his joint effort with Rhodes to eliminate the Big Show and his brutality in weakening Daniel Bryan and Santino, this Chamber match really showed the Englishman in a strong dominant light. One which should set him up nicely for the year ahead. The Great Khali looked rough just walking to the ring, and I wasn’t surprised about his quick elimination. His knees may be gone again, judging by his walk to and from the ring (he needed assistance down the steps, but I’m unsure if they were just selling the spear). I would have preferred Wade Barrett to emerge victorious from this one. With Punk vs Jericho seemingly set in stone, Wade seemed like the ideal choice for Sheamus to face at WrestleMania. and, his year to date capped off by his Chamber performance, would make Barrett a worthy candidate of a WrestleMania spot. I have no complaints with Daniel Bryan exiting as champ though as he is doing the best he can with the way he is being booked.
John Cena vs Kane. I still do not really get this feud at all, like seriously. The match itself was okay, but not pay-per-view main event quality by a long shot. The match was a good highlight of Cena unleashing his rage on the Big Red Monster and rising above whatever Kane could muster, including a chokeslam through the announce table, which he greatly undersold. There was a lot of non-action in this match, but the table spot and the A.A from the ambulance top saved it from being a total disaster. There isn’t much else to really say on it.
Other Musings. John Laurinaitis’ major announcement was anti-climatic. There was no great revelation in the matter, just a “Johnny for GM” advert, endorsed by the who’s who of the “We Hate Teddy Long” Club. Really unnecessary and one of a few time killers on this pay-per-view. Now WWE must know how UFC feel. The Jack Swagger vs Justin Gabriel was, well, it was pointless. I’m all for bonus matches on pay-per-views, but a 3 minute affair with a random Ankle Lock finish was a mood killer for the audience in attendance. Swagger needs more tv time as United States Champion, but that was not the way to do that. A visit to Planet Funk would have been preferred I think, Brodus squashing someone seems to get the crowd pumped. The match order was my biggest grievance with this pay-per-view. With the WWE Championship opening and John Cena vs Kane main-eventing, you would have thought Vince had his run-sheet upside down. If the match order had been reversed, this would have been a better pay-per-view, the order just seemed to kill the mood several times despite the valiant efforts of CM Punk and Santino Marella.
Taj Rating: 3/5 But it could have scored a 4/5 if the match order were different.
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