We are less than one hour away from the WWE Elimination Chamber on PPV. I'm expecting a good show, at least from a wrestling standpoint. We should also get a clearer look at the Road to Wrestlemania after tonight's show. Follow along!
The Rhodes Scholars vs Brodus Clay and Tensai
After a brief exchange between Sandw and Clay, Rhodes and Tensai came in. Cody caught Brodus with a Goldust upper cut and tagged in Sandow. After Sandow worked him over Cody caught Tensai with a Disaster Kick. The heels took turns working over Tensai until he began coming back. Tensai tagged in Brodus. He hit a splash on Cody but Sandow stopped a suplex with a dropkick. Tensai came in to even the odds. They hit double splashes, with Clay pinning Cody to pick up the win.
WINNERS: Brodus Clay and Tensai
After the traditional opening video package, the World Title Match was announced to start the show.
World Heavyweight Championship: Alberto del Rio (c) vs Big Show
After both men got in some quick offense, Big Show got a couple of chest slaps in. Show hit a bodyslam then another slap in the corner. Del Rio ducked a Show charge in the corner, then grabbed Show's leg and hit it with a kick. Del Rio hit a kick to the head for two. Show countered an early cross armbreaker attempt and hit a Spear on Del Rio for two. Del Rio tried fighting back but walked right into a Big Show boot. Big Show hit a Vader Bomb. Show took his time getting to Del Rio, allowing Del Rio to apply the cross armbreaker. Show was able to get his foot on the ropes.
Del Rio went to the top but Show caught him and applied a bear hug. Show broke the hold when he saw Ricardo on the apron. Show went for a powerbomb but Del Rio countered with a hurricarrana. Del Rio hit a suicide dive to the outside. Back in the ring Del Rio hit a seated senton for two. Big Show hit a quick chokeslam for two. Show went for a KO Punch but Del Rio bailed to the outside. Show brought him back in the ring. Del Rio countered a pin attempt into a DDT for two. Del Rio hit an enziguri for two. Del Rio applied another cross armbreaker, but he picked up Del Rio and broke the hold with a powerbomb. Show knocked Ricardo off the apron. Del Rio missed an enziguri the first time, but hit the second one connecting and hitting the bucket into Show's head. Del Rio another kick then applied another cross armbreaker. Big Show tapped out.
WINNER: Alberto del Rio
Match Analysis: **3/4: Decent opening match. The slow pace, while I don't like it, can be expected early on in a Big Show match. That botched enziguri spot kept it from being three stars for me. Horrible botch. Pace picked up a bit at the end of the match. Really surprised about no cash in. Del Rio is (for now) headed to Wrestlemania as World Champ.
United States Championship: Antonio Cesaro (c) vs Miz
Miz took down Cesaro early on with an elbow then a knee lift. Cesaro hit a knee right to Miz's injured shoulder then a shoulder breaker. Cesaro applied an armbar to Miz's bad shoulder. Miz got out then hit a knee to the gut and then face for two. Cesaro came right back and went to work on Miz's injured shoulder. Cesaro dropped Miz's arm on the ropes. Miz ducked a Cesaro clothesline and caught Cesaro with a kick to the face. Miz hit a corner clothesline. He went to the top, but Cesaro caught him and applied an armbar. Miz countered with a pin attempt for two, then dumped Cesaro to the outside. Cesaro caught Miz on the outside, but Miz got out of his grasp and shoved Cesaro into the steps. Miz started working over Cesaro's legs then hit a DDT. Miz went to apply a Figure Four, but Cesaro kicked his legs out. Miz's knee went right into Cesaro's junk. Cesaro complained and Miz was DQ'd. Miz hit a real low blow after the match.
WINNER: Antonio Cesaro via DQ
Match Analysis: **: Okay mid-card match with Cesaro focusing on Miz's injured shoulder. Cheap finish, meaning we may get a continuation of this feud. I would rather just see Cesaro move on already. Miz still isn't working as a babyface.
Kane and Daniel Bryan argued backstage. Bryan said they should team up in the Chamber. Kane said he will watch his own back.
Elimination Chamber Match
Jericho and Bryan started the match. Jericho hit a couple of armdrag then a headlock. Jericho hit a Shoulder Tackle. Both men went for their respective submission holds but couldn't apply them. Bryan hit some kicks in the corner. Bryan went to suplex Jericho on the Chamber, but Jericho countered. Jericho catapulted Bryan into the chain. Jack Swagger made his entrance next. After a takedown he hit a Swagger Bomb on Jericho for two. He then rammed Bryan into the chains. Swagger shoved Bryan's face into the grates of the Chamber with his knee.
Jericho surprised Swagger back in the ring and hit some kicks. Swagger ducked a Jericho dive and Jericho went to the outside. Swagger threw Jericho against the chains. While Swagger continued to work over Jericho, Bryan came off the top and hit a knee on Swagger. Bryan went to the top but missed a diving headbutt on Jericho. Kane entered fourth and went right to work on Jericho and Swagger. He threw both men into the corner and hit a splash, then Bryan hit a dropkick. The two worked together as a team, until Bryan went for a roll up on Kane. Bryan wanted to hug, Kane didn't. Bryan hit a dropkick and went for some kicks.Kane ducked one and came back with a sidewalk slam for two. Both men went to the top. Jericho took Bryan on his shoulders and Kane hit a clothesline. Kane hit a suplex on Swagger.
Randy Orton was in fifth and went to work. Orton hit his middle rope DDT on the Chamber grates. Jericho and Orton hit dueling superplexes on Bryan and Swagger. With everyone laid out, Mark Henry entered last. Henry went to work on everyone. He hit the World's Strongest Slam on Daniel Bryan, eliminating him. Henry threw Orton through a Chamber pod. Kane and Henry went at it in the ring. Kane hit some corner clotheslines, but Henry caught Kane coming off the top and hit the World's Strongest Slam, eliminating him. Henry went to work on Jericho. Swagger came in and helped Jericho throw Henry into the chains, then they hit a double suplex on the outside. Jericho and Swagger then went at it in the ring. Jericho hit a running bulldog. He went for the Lionsault, but Henry caught him and threw him into the chains. Henry threw Jericho into Swagger. He went for a double Vader Bomb, but both men moved. Swagger hit a big boot, Jericho hit the Codebreaker and Orton an RKO, eliminating Mark Henry. Henry came back in the ring and hit WSS on all three men. Refs, Booker T and Teddy Long came out to get him in the back.
Swagger went to pin Orton but he kicked out. Swagger went to work on both men before Jericho and Orton turned the tables. They threw Swagger into the Chamber pod. Orton and Jericho went at it. Orton caught Jericho with a dropkick. Swagger came back but walked right into an Orton scoopslam. Jericho caught Orton with a dropkick while going for a middle rope DDT. Swagger hit a belly to belly on Jericho for two. Swagger applied the Patriot Lock on Orton, then Jericho. Jericho applied the Walls, Orton broke it up with a backbreaker. Orton ended up in control and hit a double middle rope DDT. A fast paced finishing sequence saw Orton hit an RKO, eliminating Chris Jericho. Swagger then hit a roll up on Orton, eliminating him and picking up the win.
WINNER: Jack Swagger
Match Analysis: ***3/4: After Bryan and Kane were eliminated, everyting picked up. Henry looked like a beast throughout the match. The last ten minutes or so were very good. It looked like all three men had a good chance of winning at various points. I thought Swagger had an outside chance of winning, but I didn't think the WWE would go through with it. Swagger has been good since his return and a feud with Del Rio, given his current character, makes total sense.
John Cena, Sheamus and Ryback (THE SUPER FACES) vs The Shield
The match started with a big six man brawl. The faces all hit suplexes on The Shield. Ambrose and Sheamus started the match. Sheamus hit a high knee lift then his rope punches. Sheamus was distracted by Reigns, allowing Ambrose to hit a kick to the head. Reigns came in and worked over Sheamus. Rollins came in and hit a dropkick. Ambrose came in but ate a Sheamus kick. Sheamus tagged in Cena. He went into CENA MODE on Reigns. Cena applied the STF but Ambrose broke it up. Rollins caught Cena with a kick off the ropes.
The Shield took turns this time working over Cena. Reigns hit a headbutt on Cena. The pin was broken up by Sheamus. Cena broke out of a chinlock with a backdrop, but Reigns came right back with a clothesline. Ambrose hit a DDT for two. He charged at Cena but Cena tossed Ambrose over the top to the outside. Cena tagged in Ryback who cleaned house. The Shield came in as did Sheamus. They went to the outside where Reigns speared Sheamus through the barricade. Ryback caught Rollins in the air. The Shield attacked. Cena pulled Reigns out of the ring. Cena hit an AA, but Reigns speared Ryback before he could hit Shell Shocked. Rollins pinned Ryback to give The Shield the win.
WINNERS: The Shield
Match Analysis: ***1/2: Very surprised to see The Shield go over there. Ryback taking the pin was kind of interesting. Seeing Sheamus and Ryback walk off in disgust leaving Cena in the ring is kind of weird. Shield looked impressive in their match and once again held their own in a big time match on PPV. Reigns to me was especially impressive throughout the match. Rollins and Ambrose get all the hype, but Reigns impressed me tonight.
Dolph Ziggler vs Kofi Kingston
Dolph came out complaining he wasn't booked on the show. Booker came out and made a match against Kofi. After some quick action Dolph applied a sleeper hold. Big E tried to help Dolph, then A.J. Dolph almost ran into A.J, but he stopped himself. Kofi hit Trouble in Paraside for two. Kofi hit a dive onto Big E and Dolph on the outside. Kofi hit a crossbody for two. Dolph then hit a drop suplex on Kofi onto the turnbuckle then the ZigZag for the win. Big E took out Kofi after the match.
WINNER: Dolph Ziggler
Brodus Clay and Tensai had a backstage segment. Tensai said the words on his face were suppose to be words of honor, but with his luck, it was probably a sushi menu. They danced after.
Divas Championship: Kaitlyn (c) vs Tamina Snuka
Kaitlyn worked over Tamina early on. Tamina caught Kaitlyn with a punch coming back into the ring then rammed her into the post. Tamina hit a couple kicks, but missed the Superfly Splash. Kaitlyn hit a spear for the win.
WWE Championship: The Rock (c) vs C.M. Punk
Punk took Rock down with a shoulder tackle. After a headlock Punk took him down again. Rock came back with a couple of armdrags. The two trash talked in the ring. Punk slapped Rock and Rock went at Punk with a bunch of punches. The ref broke it up and warned Rock about a DQ. Punk slapped him again and Rock hit a clothesline. On the outside Rock threw Punk into the barricade and hit a clothesline. Heyman distracted Rock coming into the ring, allowing Punk to hit a clothesline. Punk applied a chinlock to slow down the match. Punk hit a suplex then another chinlock. Rock came back with some punches but Punk caught him with a boot and a springboard clothesline for two.
Rock fought out of another headlock and hit some punches, but Punk caught him in the corner with a high knee, and then another. Punk hit a Macho Man Elbow for two. Punk tossed Rock to the outside, but Rock smashed Punk's head against the announce table. Rock went for a Rock Bottom back in the ring but Punk caught him with a kick to the head. Back on the outside, Punk hit a Rock Bottom on the Spanish announce table on Rock. The table didn't break. Rock got back in at 9. Rock surprised Punk with a Samoan Drop.
Both men exchanged punches. Rock hit a clothesline then DDT. Rock went for a Rock Bottom but Punk fought out with some elbows. Punk went for a Springboard clothesline, but Rock caught him and hit a Rock Bottom but only for two. Heyman distracted the ref, and Rock ran right into him on the apron. Punk hit a GTS but there was no referee. Rock hit a spinebuster than the People's Elbow. Another ref came down and counted two. Punk rolled up on the ref's ankle and he went to the outside. Heyman gave Punk the WWE Title belt. Heyman held Rock, but Rock ducked and Punk hit Heyman with the WWE Title. Rock hit another Rock bottom for the win.
WINNER: The Rock
Match Analysis: ***: They did a lot to make C.M. Punk look strong in that match. Punk kicked out of a Rock Bottom and a People's Elbow. He also should have won if it were not for the ref bump. The match was again nothing to write home about. Lots of rest holds in the early going. If Rock wants to have a good match with Cena, that needs to be worked on. The split chants might be a concern for the WWE. Will the males just cheer the Rock when he is done with Punk?
I thought this was a good PPV for the most part. The highlights were the two matches that were the most unpredictable. The Smackdown Elimination Chamber was fun to watch, especially the last ten minutes. Swagger winning was a big surprise and sets up an interesting feud between Swagger and Del Rio. Seeing The Shield go over too was very good. It shows the WWE knows that a Shield loss could kill any momentum they have right now. It'll be interesting to see where The Shield goes from here. The ending to the WWE Title Match sets up a lot of possibilities. Punk could get another WWE Title Match either on RAW or at Mania. Punk could go irate on Heyman and set up Brock/Punk at Mania. Or Taker could come back after all and face Punk at Mania. We should find out tomorrow at RAW. Overall, a solid show with a lot of good wrestling. I'm giving it a 7.
Until Next Time,
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