February’s WWE Elimination chamber is in the history books and we are finally heading on the final road towards Wrestlemania. 48 days and counting until the big event in New Jersy, how is it taking shape? Did the Elimination chamber do its job and provide a logical final pay per view before Mania?
The Elimination Chamber card kicked off with Alberto Del Rio taking on The Big Show. Let me start by saying I think this was poor judgment on the part of the company to have these two wrestle in a singles match with no stipulations after there first two encounters were both stipulated. Del Rio has got surprisingly over as a face and it does look as though he is set to go into Mania with the title whilst Big Show gets more boring every time I see him, hopefully he won’t have a role to play on next month’s card. The match itself wasn’t awful and Del Rio did get some nice moves in but the match was let down by a huge botch by Del Rio in the closing moments which made the matches finish look very clumsy. Having Show tap out to the cross arm breaker is a good way of getting the move over as a legitimate threat. Del Rio will go on to defend the title at Mania against Jack Swagger and the WWE now has 7 weeks to make this match something fans want to see.
Next up was The Miz vs Antonio Cesaro for the United States title. Cesaro is one of the best talents in the company right now whilst The Miz seems a bit lost with his new babyface gimmick. This match was a solid encounter between the pair right up until the ending which was just stupid. Miz accidentally hitting a low blow on Cesaro, really!? The post match low blow from The Miz to Cesaro is an indication that this feud is likely to continue into Mania season, unsure how I feel about that right now. These two can put on a decent match but The Miz needs a change to his gimmick and fast.
Next up was the elimination chamber match and one of the biggest talking points of the night. Starting Y2J and Daniel Bryan together was a great way to kick things off, these two put on a fantastic display to get a good pace to the match and I’d love to see more of these two in the future. Swagger was next to arrive followed by the Big Red Monster Kane. The inevitable fight between Bryan and Kane soon break out and it was relatively entertaining when it did. These two are likely heading towards a Mania match with each other when they have dropped the tag titles. Randy Orton came in and did his usual then finally Mark Henry made his entrance and destroyed everybody in the ring. The best thing about this match was the fact that everybody got their chance to shine and nobody looked as though they had been thrown in there for the sake of it. The match was incredibly well booked and the ending was fantastic.
The match came down to Orton, Jericho and Swagger and after a few minutes of back and forth action Orton managed to score a pinfall on Jericho following an RKO but before he got chance to turn around Swagger had rolled him up and booked his place against the world heavyweight champion at mania. This is a decision that seems to have confused a lot of people, Swagger has been absent for months and last time he was on the scene he was the whipping boy of people like Santino Marrella and Zack Ryder, so what’s changed this time around? For me the presence of Zeb Colter is a touch of genius. The unexpected arrival of a xenophobic heel in the WWE has created a lot of discussion and controversy in the last few weeks and is a great way of getting people interested in the World Heavyweight title picture. Everyone seems to forget that Swagger is actually a real talented in ring worker and Zeb is already proving to be excellent on the mic. Having the jingoistic heel facing the Mexican who is proud of what America has given him at Wrestlemania is a genius twist on the old American V Foreigner matches. They’ve now got 7 weeks to make Swagger even more interesting and I’m personally all for it.
Next up was the match of the night for me, The Shield Vs Cena, Ryback and Sheamus in a match which looked a foregone conclusion before the show. How wrong we all were. Last time The Shield were in the ring was at their in ring debut at TLC in what turned out to be one of the best matches of 2012, could they live up to that standard? Of course they could. Rollins, Ambrose and Reigns are three of the most talented superstars in the WWE right now and they showed it last night with an incredible performance against the three biggest faces in the WWE right now (excluding The Rock). The fact that the WWE is willing to put The Shield against these three show’s they have faith in them but to give them the victory is incredible. The match itself saw The Shield dominate from start to finish with the three men isolating each member in their corner and working them down, surely the inevitable hot tag and babyface comeback was around the corner? I spent the last five minutes of the match thinking it was on the way but alas when the tag was made Ryback become a victim of them as well. The finish was incredibly well worked and more importantly it was clean! They were made to look like a legitimate force in the WWE, was that Ryback’s first clean pinfall? Roman Reigns spearing Sheamus through the barrier was a great moment and the individual work of all three stars was superb, they managed to not only defeat these three but they also outshone them. Match of the night for me.
Next up was Dolph Ziggler Vs Kofi Kingston in an impromptu match which served no purpose whatsoever other than to set up a feud between Kingston and Big E Langston and to remind us that WWE haven’t forgotten about Ziggler just yet. Entertaining enough match but a total waste of time.
Following this was the divas match which effectively serves as a toilet break nowadays. Tamina is a talented performer but the division is in the worst state its ever been in and because of this I don’t enjoy watching it at all.
So onto the main event: The Rock Vs CM Punk 2. After last month’s overly booked match between these pair I was expecting a much better encounter this time around from these two but unfortunately there appeared to be no chemistry between them whatsoever. The match moved a long at a pretty boring pace and the ending was overly booked again with a number of referees getting knocked down and a number of finishers being hit before The Rock finally managed to hit a rock bottom whilst a conscious ref was about to seal the pinfall. I don’t know why I wasn’t into this match, perhaps its because the outcome was so obvious or perhaps it just didn’t reach the standards I expected but overall I felt a bit deflated after watching it. We all knew The Rock was going to win but I think I was expecting a much better match from these two this time around and I didn’t get it. The fact that they already had the graphic prepared for The Rock Cena ( Twice in a lifetime) at Wrestelmania this year was an indication of how much their focus is on that rather than this.
Overall the Elimination Chamber was a mixed bag. The Shield picking up the win was superb as was the match and the EC match itself was one of the most enjoyable in a long while. Other than that the card seemed to move by at a strange pace, the main event was an anti climax and some of the match finishes were absurd. The road to wrestlemania gets back underway tonight on Raw and it should be an interesting show.
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This article was first posted on February 19, 2013