Before I get started, it should be noted that the current SmackDown commentary team of Booker T, Josh Matthews, and Michael Cole did the commentary throughout the event. We also had various segments throughout the night to push various storylines (Kelly Kelly/Vickie Guerrero/Teddy Long) & promote the upcoming revival of Tough Enough with both segments featuring the return of Trish Stratus.
Kofi Kingston vs. Alberto Del Rio - Eventhough Kofi is the Intercontinental Champion, this was a non-title. Kofi was real aggressive here & went straight for Del Rio by taking the fight to the outside early. Alberto was working over Kofi's abdominal section with various moves like a body scissors, gutbuster, and countering Kofi's top rope splash with knees to the ribs. Kofi delivered various loud stiff kicks throughout the match such as a stiff one to Rio's back, a "Christian-like" double face kick in the corner, a spinning & a missile dropkick from the top rope. This was a real good back & forth opener with the unexpected twist of Alberto Del Rio getting some cheers from the fans.
Elimination Chamber Match: World Champion Edge vs. Rey Mysterio vs. Big Show vs. Kane vs. Wade Barrett vs. Drew McIntyre - With Dolph Ziggler being fired on the previous SmackDown, Big Show took his place. As expected, this match was full of various highlights such as Edge sliding Mysterio out of the ring to the chamber walls over the grated chamber floor, Kane's dominance including throwing Mysterio head first into the glass, Wade Barrett being cheered by the crowd, Big Show's chop to McIntyre that was so loud...it knocked the wind out of Josh Matthews, Barrett getting tossed through a pod by Show with one hand, everyone realizing they had to work together to take out the biggest threat in the match, Edge's double spear, and the showdown between the final two. The standout performance here though came from Drew McIntyre as we saw a more aggressive side of him than we've seen before as he had no problem getting in everyone's face before going into the pod, spearing Mysterio into a chamber pod's glass like a dart, throwing Barrett though another glass pod, and targeting Edge because of Kelly Kelly getting fired. Josh Matthews described this match perfectly, "Car crash after car crash!" Stay tuned afterwords as not only did the road to the World Championship match at WrestleMania start but we also saw the return of someone who also had unfinished business.
WWE Tag Team Champions Santino Marella & Vladimir Kozlov vs. The Corre - Ezekel Jackson was at ringside for this match as it was pretty short & not noteworthy past doing it's purpose in putting the belts on The Corre but I'll give this match credit in that it's the most watchable match I've seen from Santino & Kozlov.
WWE Champion The Miz vs. Jerry Lawler - Lawler went into this match with the story being that as long as his career has been & ever since he's been in WWE (since 1993), he's never been the WWE Champion & never wrestled at WrestleMania (he would have in 2001 but that's another story) however a week earlier, Lawler's mother passed away so he definitely came into this match as the sentimental favorite. Lawler tried to get quick falls early & was constantly in control before Alex Riley had to keep getting involved for Miz to get the advantage. Even Michael Cole got involved with his constant bickering towards Lawler was he punished Miz for it using the announce table & even using Miz to finally shut Cole up. At the end of the Day, Miz was able to overcome Lawler for the victory but it was a fun match eventhough I swear that Michael Cole's commentary was getting so "X-Pac Heat" annoying that I put it on mute.
Elimination Chamber Match: John Cena vs. Randy Orton vs. John Morrison vs. R-Truth vs. Sheamus vs. CM Punk - While the other match determined who would be a champion in one match going into WrestleMania, this determined who would the challenger in the other WrestleMania match. Various highlights here include Randy Orton throwing Morrison through a pod while later giving Sheamus a hanging DDT on the steel grated floor, what happened to CM Punk when it was time for his turn to exit to pod, the RAW GM getting involved in the match, Sheamus taking the fight to John Cena & having his moment of dominance, Cena getting an RKO on the steel floor, John Morrison showcasing his par-kor all over the chamber (and I do mean ALL over), Cena & Morrison doing a throwback to the Road Warriors/Legion Of Doom, and CM Punk getting slammed on the steel floor with an A.A. One thing to pay attention to for those who think that these type of matches are "watered down" just because WWE has a PG rating & it isn't a bloodbath, just pay attention to Punk throughout this match as you see the effects of the chamber take it's effect on him as he was bruised on his upper elbow while also injured his inner thigh as well. This was different than the previous Chamber earlier in the night but quality in it's own right.
In the end, this was a huge improvement from last year's event as I enjoyed everything on the card here so this is definitely an event to add to the collection.
on April 2, 2011
ELIMINATION CHAMBER 2011
The event that is the last stop on the road to Wrestlemania and what a fun event it was, full of action and surprises. We would see two great Chamber matches as well as some other great moments and matches. One chamber was for a title and the other was to see who would get a title shot. There was also a title match were the Miz would take on The King Jerry Lawler, as well as a return.
1.ALBERTO DEL RIO VS KOFI KINGSTON-I have to say that this was an excellent opener and the I-C title wasn't even on the line. Still they went at it like it was with Kofi flying all over the place and going after the Rumble winner. Missile dropkicks and all kinds of offensive maneuvers nail Del Rio but this is a back and forth match up. Del Rio works over Kofi from start to finish wearing him out like putting him in a body triangle. Which if you know anything about Jiu-Jitsu you know the pressure that puts on you for real. The match is fast paced but Del Rio lock in that arm bar and gets the win.
2.ELIMINATION CHAMBER [WORLD TITLE]EDGE VS BIG SHOW VS KANE VS DREW MCINTYRE VS REY MYSTERIO VS WADE BARRETT-Edge came in as the champ and as such had to start the match off with Rey Mysterio. Both of them go at it with everything trying to eliminate the other before another person comes in. Barrett would be the next to come in and started going to work immediately. Kane was the next and like Booker says he was "working that uppercut". Drew was next in and he went on a rampage, his first order of business was throwing Rey through the glass. Following that he took Kane out with Barrett only to turn on Wade and send him through the other side of the glass next to Rey. This match is just none stop action from start to finish and that is even between new people coming in. Once the Big Show gets in there he goes right after Wade Barrett, and although he tries to get away from him Show still slams him through the glass.
After that Show gives Wade the knock out punch and Barrett is gone, which personally upset me because I wanted him to win. Show is the next to go after every one goes after him, Kane choke slams him and Show is gone. Right after that Drew feels the pain of a choke slam from Kane and he is gone. Rey and Edge have to work together kinda to take Kane out but after a cool spear from Edge Kane is gone. Kane takes them both out after he is eliminated and leaves both of them laid out. Finally we are down to the final two and it is the two guys that started the match off. I mention all of that because after the first elimination they just happen one after the other. Rey and Edge battle it out with Edge nailing the spear at various times and Rey keeps kicking out. That is until Rey comes off the top and gets hit with the spear. But after Edge keeps the title Del Rio hits the ring and lays into him locking in that arm-bar. But Christian returns after a long lay off to help out Edge and go after the man that took him out.
After that match we get an interview with Jerry Lawler about his match and the passing of his mother. Another thing about the interview is that it is conducted by Matt Striker and that just reminds me of the fact that I miss him on the broadcast team.
Following that Booker T comes to the ring to introduce Trish Stratus back as they talk about the new season of "Tough Enough".
3.[WWE TAG TEAM TITLE]SANTINO MARELLA & VLADIMIR KOZLOV VS THE CORRE [JUSTIN GABRIEL & HEATH SLATER]-this is actually a very good match and one of the best over all in my opinion. I like all of the guys involved and the match was quick paced. The action was great and there was never a boring moment with four of them putting on a great showing. In the end we have new tag team champs as the Corre starts their climb to the top.
After that match we get an awesome interview with the Miz followed by Vickie coming out talking about Dolph getting fired. Teddy Long comes out and tells her Dolph is not getting rehired but Kelly Kelly did. After she goes after Vickie LayCool attacks her, which of course brings out Trish.
4.[WWE CHAMPIONSHIP]THE MIZ VS JERRY "THE KING" LAWLER-I was looking forward to this match so than any of the others. I love The Miz and I love Jerry so this one was going to be good no matter how it ended. I of course knew that Alex was going to get involved in this match and he does of course. It didn't matter too much though as the ref sends him back to the back. But the match its self was very good and one of the King's best showings in a while. This would be one of many times these two faced off in a match and it is one of the best. King really dominated a lot of this match and turned it into more of an old school style match and a some what brawl. Of course Cole was going off the whole time on commentary until Jerry sent Miz into Cole over the announcers table. Lawler was close to victory on many occasions with all kinds of near falls. But after Miz takes all The King can dish out ends up pulling off the win and keeping the title.
After that we get an interview with John Cena prior to the Elimination Chamber match.
5.ELIMINATION CHAMBER-JOHN CENA VS RANDY ORTON VS JOHN MORRISON VS R-TRUTH VS CM PUNK VS SHEAMUS-Sheamus and Morrison start this match off and what a great way to start it. These two have a great rivalry going on so it was perfect, Sheamus used the cage well here. Orton was the first man released from his pod and went on a rampage, even throwing Morrison through a pod. The most upsetting thing about this match is what happens to CM Punk, who is the guy I wanted to win was attacked by Orton while he was stuck in his pod. They couldn't get the pod open so Punk was stuck between it and was attacked. This of course leads to an RKO and Punk being eliminated, but thanks to the GM he is put back in the match, awesome. Cena was next to enter the match and was immediately rushed by Sheamus. R-Truth was next to exit his pod and was ready for Sheamus as he tried what he did to Cena.
Truth was ready though and took it to him until a few minutes later when he ate a big boot from Sheamus and he is the first guy eliminated. The action is all Orton for a while until Punk is released into the match, and after a quick go to sleep Randy is sent to the back. After that just like is Spiderman like performance at the Royal Rumble Morrison did another Spiderman like maneuver to take out Sheamus. After that it is not long until Morrison is taken out by the great CM Punk, by seconds later Punk is taken out by Cena. This was a fun match like one would expect from a match like this.
This was actually a very good event and better than I was expecting, don't know why I was doubting. Maybe because I knew my boy CM Punk was going to loose, still it was a really good event. Also you get another RAW episode [basically since it is most of the matches and the Rock's return, and also Cena's response form the next week]. This is an excellent set that I say go buy right now, the DVD/Blu-Ray combo is excellent.
on March 27, 2011
1. Alberto Del Rio vs Kofi Kingston: This was a very good way to start the show, very fast paced, some good high moves from kofi, excellent work from both guys ***1/2
2. Edge(c)vs Rey Mysterio vs Kane vs Big Show vs Drew Mcyntire vs Wade Barret WH Title Smackdown Elimination Chamber: What a match, just unbelievable, wasnt expecting this, such a great match, the match flows smoothly, rey takes a beating, the chamber comes to good use, each wrestler is given the right amount of time in the ring before being elimianted, and the last 10 minutes of this match is special, a must, must see match ****3/4
3. Santino Marrella/Koslov(c) vs Justin Gabriel/Heath Slater WWE Tag Team Titles: It wasnt given enough time, but this shows how much the WWE cares about the tag team division, this match is given 5 minutes and is a throw away match, worst match on the card **1/4
4. Miz(c) vs Jerry Lawler WWE Title: I didnt enjoy this match as everyone else, I thought it dragged and had a predictable ending, great to see jerry battling for the title and he put on a good show but Miz shouldnt be champion **1/2
5. CM Punk vs Randy Orton vs John Cena vs Sheamus vs Jon Morrison vs R-Truth Number 1 contender for wwe title at wrestlemania RAW Elimination Chamber match: Morrison was the star of this match and I was preying that he would win, he does some mental dives off the chamber, Punk cuts open his leg which looked cool, predictable winner but still an excellent match, again, every wrestler is given a chance to do their thing, a great main event ****1/4
Match of the Night: SMACKDOWN Elimination Chamber match
Worst Match of Night: Tag team title match
Moment of Night: Christian returns to attack del rio
Overall PPV: 8.5/10
Best PPV since wrestlemania 26, really enjoyable show!
on February 21, 2011
This was one hell of a ppv from WWE. Easily the best ppv they've done since Money in the Bank back in July. Aside from one match, the wrestling on this show was really great, capped off by two fantastic chamber matches. The booking went according to plan, and my predictions were spot on perfect. That's not necessarily a bad thing, as the booking made sense when you look at the directions that they are going in. Most of the main matches for Wrestlemania were set up on this show, and I gotta be honest, so far it's not the best looking card. But who knows, when Undertaker returns and when Triple H returns, things might turn around. Matches are rated out of 5 stars (*****).
1. Alberto Del Rio vs. Kofi Kingston
IC title is not on the line here, nor was it ever mentioned at all. Boy, how that belt has fallen off the credibility map. Alberto was quite massively over with the crowd in Oakland, CA, and cut a pretty good promo before the match about how it is his destiny to go to Wrestlemania, etc, etc. Kingston came out to a good pop as well, and the crowd was split with loud Kingston chants and Del Rio chants during the match. Match went back and forth early untill Del Rio posted Kingston and worked him over for a while. They had a pretty basic match from there, with Kofi making a comeback and getting some really good near falls. There were some real nice moves/ counters, such as when Kingston went for a cross body off the top, and Del Rio went with it but got his knees up. At one point Kingston had Del Rio pinned, but Ricardo Rodriguez distracted the ref and Kofi only got a 2 count. Alberto would later hit a sick looking top rope neckbreaker, and then he tried to lock in the cross armbreaker. Kingston fought and fought, but eventually Del Rio was able to lock in the hold, and picked up the submission victory. Good opener. ***1/4
2. World Heavyweight Championship Smackdown Elimination Chamber Match: Edge (c) vs. Rey Mysterio vs. Wade Barrett vs. Kane vs. Drew McIntyre vs. Big Show
Edge and Rey started the match, and the action, as expected, was very good. Wade was out next and dominated everybody, and the action continued to pick up and there were some nice three-way spots. Kane was out next and just cleaned house on everybody with his usual arsenal of attack, such a sbig boots and uppercuts. Still nobody eliminated and McIntyre came out next, and proceeded to murder Rey by throwing him like a lawn dart into one of the pods. This did not look like fun. He then double teamed Kane with Wade Barrett, but shortly afterwards he turned on Barrett and threw him through one of the glass pods. At this point everyone is just killing one another, especially Rey, who is bumping like crazy. Just as I say this Kane threw Rey head first into a glass pod. Oscar Gutierrez, aka Rey Mysterio, was 36 years old. Big Show came out last and murdered everyone with his bigness, including throwing Wade through yet another pod (I thought this was the strongest glass you could buy?), chopping him many times, then KO'd him with a punch and Barrett is eliminated. After this display, everyone just started giving Show their finishers, including a somehow-alive Rey Mysterio, who gave Show a seated senton off one of the pods. This only got 2, but a 619 by Rey, a spear by Edge, and a chokeslam from Kane was finally enough to eliminate Big Show. McIntyre was then immediately chokeslammed by Kane, and he was eliminated. Kane and Rey then went back and forth for a while, until Rey went for a headscissors on Kane. Kane caught Rey, and was about to hoist him up, when Edge came in and speared both men at the same time, and pinned Kane to eliminate him. Kane, who tends to be an angry man, chokeslammed both Rey and Edge for the injustice they served him. So now there were two. Rey and Edge proceeded to have an AWESOME ten minute match, with tons of near falls and both guys kicking out of each other's finishers. The crowd was going nuts. Rey then hit a 619, and decided to give Edge the splash off the top rope. However, as he was coming down, Edge hit a spear in mid air and was able to pin Rey for the three and retain his World Title. Tremendous Match, one of the best Chamber matches they've had. ****1/2
Alberto Del Rio ran in afterwards nand attacked Edge, putting him in the cross armbreaker. However, Christian returned to make the save, and beat on Del Rio before giving him the unprettier. Crowd went absolutely nuts for Christian and it was nice to see him back.
After the match, Booker T came out and introduced Trish Stratus as one of the coaches for the next season of Tough Enough. I don't know if the crowd had no idea who she was, or if they were burned out from the last match, but she got a shockingly small reaction. It didn't help matters when she proceeded to cut a pretty horrendous promo, and did a parody of one of the Rock's catchphrases. Crowd was not amused. So yeah, it's nice to see Trish back, but my God this sucked.
3. Tag Team Championship Match
Santino Marella (c) & Vladimir Kozlov (c) vs. Heath Slater & Justin Gabriel
Speaking of sucked, this match was really crappy. Kozlov was his usual self, and by that I mean you could smell his selling abilities down the block. Of course, they had the Corre get the heat on Kozlov instead of Santino, so we could see as much of Kozlov as possible. Crowd was completely dead, but they briefly got into it when Santino got the "hot" tag and went wild. He hit the cobra on Gabriel but he wasn't the legal man. Kozlov tagged back in and hit a powerslam on Gabriel, but he Gabriel had tagged out just before. Ezekial Jackson, who had accompanied the challengers out to the ring, pulled Gabriel out of the ring, which made Kozlov all confusled, and Slater came up from behind and hit a reverse DDT, followed by a 450 splash by Gabriel, and Slater and Gabriel are your new Tag Champs. Match had no flow and the crowd could not have cared less. *1/4
Time for another time-killing segment. Vickie Guerrero came out and was all sad, and defended Dolph's actions with Teddy Long as a crime of passion. She had her usual nuclear heat, and as usual, she was very good. She begged for Dolph to be reinstated, and Teddy eventually came out and reinstated Kelly Kelly instead. Kelly ran down and beat the atshay out of Vickie, which everyone seemed to enjoy. Laycool then ran down and attacked Kelly, so Trish came out to make the save. Trish was wearing these high heeled boots, and she was trying to do acrobatic moves. She screwed up a hurricanrana something feirce, but did manage to hit a double bulldog on Laycool. This was not a good night for Trish. Vickie was great as usual, but this was a segment that people were paying for, and should not have been on a ppv.
4. WWE Championship Match
The Miz (c) w/ Alex Riley vs. Jerry "the King" Lawler
Big ovation for Lawler when he came out. They had a total old school match, and it ruled. Lawler was going for near falls early with various cradles and pinning combinations, and Miz was getting frustrated. Eventually they went to the outside, and Riley distracted Lawler long enough for Miz to come up from behind and post him. After a scary superplex from Lawler got a 2-count, Riley interfered again and was ejected. The crowd went nuts for this, which is always hilarious. They brawled on the outside again by the announce table, and Lawler actually threw Miz over the table and into Michael Cole, which got a big reaction. They went back in the ring and went back and forth, with Lawler doing all his usual spots. He hit a flying punch, and a flying fist drop off the top, but was only able to get two. The crowd wanted Lawler to win this match so badly. Unfortunately for them, after a series of reversals, Miz was able to hit the Skull Crushing Finale and get the clean win. I was a little surprised they had Miz go over clean with no interference from Michael Cole, but at least it was a clean win for Miz. The crowd gave Lawler a standing ovation afterwards while chanting "JERRY!" This was a pretty damn good match with great psychology, especially considering Lawler is 61 years old. ***1/2
5. Raw Chamber Match to determine the # 1 Contendor for Miz's title at Wrestlemania: John Cena vs. John Morrison vs. R-Truth vs. Randy Orton vs. Sheamus vs. CM Punk
Sheamus and John Morrison started off the bout. Morrison did various parkour moves and it was great. Orton was in next, and he did some cool moves, including a draping DDT on Sheamus onto the steel. Punk was out next, so Orton went over a stalked him. Punk, however, got stuck in his pod because the ref couldn't get it open all the way, and Orton just pounded on him, brought him into the ring, and hit the RKO for the three. Just as I was about to vomit, the GM dinged in, and said that because there was a pod malfunction, Punk was not given a fair chance, and was allowed to return to his pod. Thank God. Cena came out next to a lot of boos, but he had his fans as well. CM Punk was the most over person in the match, and was getting loud chants even when he wasn't in the match. R-Truth was out next. Bro kick on Truth from Sheamus and he's eliminated. Punk came out next and was the last one in. He fought with Orton and hit the GTS to eliminate Orton, setting up their match at Wrestlemania. Morrison went on top of a pod, and then scaled the cage untill he was hovering over the middle of the ring. He then just sort of fell on top of Sheamus and eliminated him. I'm not sure if he was supposed to do a cross body or what, but that was absolutely horrifying. Everyone is bumping on the steel, and the back of Punk's leg is all cut up and burned from the grates. Morrison (who was the star of this match) was bumping around like crazy and started selling his knee. He missed the starship pain, and then Punk hit him with the GTS and eliminated him. Pretty much right after that, Cena hoisted Punk up for the attitude adjustment, and then gave the move to Punk to the outside onto the steel. This was just brutal. Of course, this was enough to get the three, and Cena (how surprising) is going to Wrestlemania. Match wasn't exactly crisp, but it was pretty darn brutal and was still a hell of a match. ****
This was a great pay per view offering from WWE. Almost every match was great, and the chamber matches really delivered in a big way. While the show was very predictable, it was still enjoyable none-the-less because of the overall quality of the wrestling on this show. Everyone worked their tails off and really took some brutal bumps. The non-wrestling stuff on this show was largely horrible, but it did not come close to taking away from the show as a whole. This is definately a show that is worth checking out.