Tuesday, 21 February 2012

WWE Elimination Chamber 2012 Review

It’s time for the last PPV before Wrestlemania. Last year, Elimination Chamber helped to solidify the great television that we were seeing in the WWE. Will this year’s event continue in that vein?

The first match was an Elimination Chamber for the WWE Championship? Wait, what? When Justin Roberts announced that, I was shocked. I thought that this match would end the PPV. Anyway, let’s put my shock to the side and watch this match. CM Punk was defending the title against Chris Jericho, The Miz, Dolph Ziggler, R-Truth and Kofi Kingston. We all know that Jericho had a huge advantage as he was going in at number 6, and Punk and Kofi started the match. There was a couple of nice bits with Kofi leaping over the ropes and Punk slingshoting Kofi into Jericho’s pod. After 5 minutes, Dolph Ziggler entered the Chamber and went after Punk and, being the show off that he is, starting doing knee raises while hanging off the cage followed by a leg drop. There was also a cool when Kofi and Punk tried to do jumping clothelines on Ziggler. Ziggler ducked and they collided in mid air. R–Truth then enters the fray and starts attacking Ziggler. However, a couple of minutes later, Punk eliminates Truth with a Macho Man elbow drop. After Kofi hits a Tornado DDT on Ziggler on the outside of the ring, The Miz enters the Chamber and attacks Punk before concentrating on Kofi. After Kofi and Ziggler get temporarily incapacitated, we get a few minutes of Punk and Miz fighting it out.

Just before the 10 count for Jericho to come in, Punk hits Miz with the Anaconda Vice but lets go of it when Jericho enters the Chamber. Jericho hits Punk with a Lionsault for a near fall. Ziggler comes back and tries to pin Jericho with a roll up but Jericho kicked out and hit Ziggler with a Codebreaker to eliminate Ziggler. Punk and Jericho continue their fight and Punk starts to get some momentum before Jericho pokes Punk in the eye then puts himself back into a pod to get some breathing room. Unfortunately, Punk gets the pod open and they fight it out in there before Jericho starts to use the pod door against Punk. Jericho hits Kofi with a DDT then Kofi and Miz have a brief battle between each other. Punk gets back into it and there was a nice spot when Kofi climbed onto the top of a pod and hit a crossbody on Punk and Miz. A couple of minutes later, Jericho puts Kofi in the Walls of Jericho and the way that he put Kofi in the move with his knee on the back of Kofi’s head, effectively immobilising him made sure that Kofi had no choice but to tap out.

Jericho then decides to humiliate Kofi further by throwing him out of the Chamber himself. However, after he done that and the Chamber door was being closed, Punk hit Jericho with a kick to the back of the head, sending him out of the Chamber, colliding with the cameraman and hitting the aisle barrier. After being checked over, referee Scott Armstrong deems that Jericho is unable to continue. On a side note, you can tell that the referees don’t give a fuck about the cameraman as they didn’t take a look at him for a good few minutes. With Jericho unable to continue, the match is now between Punk and The Miz. Miz hits the Skull Crushing Finale but only gets a 2 count. Despite the Miz’s best efforts, Punk managed to get the victory after hitting the GTS and retain the WWE Championship. I really enjoyed this match and it was a great way to start the PPV. It also gives Jericho a reason to challenge Punk at Wrestlemania as he wasn’t technically eliminated. It’s just that I’m not a big fan of World Championship matches starting a PPV (Royal Rumble excepted) and I’ll get onto that later on in my review. Anyway, well done to Punk on retaining the WWE Championship.
Winner: CM Punk                                         Predictions: 0 for 1

After a backstage segment with Santino and a video of John Cena about his match with The Rock at Wrestlemania, we get the Divas Championship with Beth Phoenix defending against Tamina Snuka. Beth decides to be a nice person and offer Tamina the chance to walk away. Tamina graciously declines by attacking Beth. Tamina tries to go for the Superfly Splash early but Beth pushes her out of the ring and starts to gain some momentum. After a while, Tamina fights back with a Samoan Drop and later on hits the Superfly Splash, in which Beth just kicks out. A couple of minutes later, Beth hits the Glam Slam to get the victory. This is one of the best matches that I seen from the Divas in quite some time and with Beth, Tamina, Natalya and Kharma, they have the potential to create a strong Divas Division.
Winner: Beth Phoenix                                   Predictions: 1 for2

Next we get David Otunga along with John Laurinaitis (did you know that he’s the Executive Vice President of Talent Relations and the interim RAW GM?) who starts to go on about Smackdown General Manager Teddy Long being possibly under review when he is interrupted by the arrival of Alberto Del Rio. Del Rio suggests that Laurinaitis not only be the permanent GM of RAW but also of Smackdown as well. If it happens, does that mean that I have to write did you know that he’s the Executive Vice President of Talent Relations, the RAW GM and the Smackdown GM? Del Rio’s suggestion gets some support from not only Mark Henry but a returning Christian. I really like the idea of Laurinaitis being the General Manager of both shows as I’ve never seen anyone do that before. This could be a great storyline with Laurinaitis now effectively having his own stable full of former World Champions. The best bit for me was when Otunga gets a picture of them and this is it:

A great moment and Otunga’s smile for me just makes it so much better.

After an interview of The Big Show by Josh “Bad Timing” Mathews, we get the Smackdown Elimination Chamber?! Wait, so we’re having the Ambulance Match as the main event?! Seriously, why the fuck have the WWE done that? You know what, I’ll bitch about that later and I’ll focus on this match. Daniel Bryan is defending his World Heavyweight Championship against The Great Khali, Cody Rhodes, Wade Barrett, The Big Show and Santino Marella(?!) Unfortunately, my dream of someone attacking Santino during his entrance and taking his spot was unfulfilled (bollocks!) The Big Show and Wade Barrett start off the match and they were pretty decent then Cody Rhodes (reluctantly) enters the match.

Rhodes starts to go into with Show before Show sends him over the top rope onto the steel. Barrett and Rhodes briefly team up against Show before they go up against each other. Santino then enters the match and goes after Barrett before encountering The Big Show. Show sends Santino flying across the ring before we get a bit of back and forth between all the wrestlers. The Great Khali enters the match and hits the Punjabi Plunge on Rhodes then Barrett. Show then spears Khali and eliminates him. Show then decides that Bryan, who is the only one left in a pod, should enter the match a bit earlier by breaking the chains at the top of the pod and destroying Bryan inside. Bryan manages to get out of the pod with Show in hot pursuit. Show sends Bryan back into the pod by throwing him head first through the bulletproof (but not wrestler proof) glass. Eventually, Rhodes hits a DDT on Show followed by a elbow drop by Barrett to eliminate Show. Rhodes starts to celebrate but that comes back to haunt him as Santino eliminates him with a roll up. Rhodes doesn’t take that too well and hits Santino with a Cross Rhodes before leaving. After a while, we get a mini match between Bryan and Barrett with Barrett powerbombing Bryan into the chains then using the pod door to choke Bryan before slamming the door onto Bryan’s head. A few minutes later, Bryan hits a splash on Barrett and Santino pins him, eliminating him. This now leaves Bryan and Santino (?!) Bryan dominates to begin with before Santino hits the Cobra and gets a very, very near fall. Bryan puts on the LaBell Lock and, despite Santino almost powering out of it, he had no choice but to tap out, meaning that Bryan is still the Champion. Afterwards, Sheamus congratulates Bryan by hitting him with the Celtic Cross, solidifying his challenge for the World Heavyweight Championship at Wrestlemania.

The match was not as good as the RAW match but it was still entertaining. I have to give credit where it’s due and I thought that Santino was really good in this match. I feel that with a bit more skill and an evolution of his character, he could be at the upper mid card level. My one criticism was that Bryan entered the Chamber last. I feel that Bryan should have entered the Chamber earlier was it would have made him look stronger.
Winner: Daniel Bryan                                     Predictions: 2 for 3

Next we go backstage with Natalya continuing the bullshit farting gimmick with Hornswoggle followed by Justin Gabriel arguing with Jack Swagger, which was defused by Teddy Long; who made an impromptu match between the two for the United States Championship.

Hey, look at that! The match between Jack Swagger and Justin Gabriel is on now. This match wasn’t that long and it was pretty decent with Swagger eventually getting the win after applying the ankle lock.
Winner: Jack Swagger                                  Predictions: N/A

Now we come to the main event with John Cena taking on Kane in an Ambulance Match. The match quickly goes to the outside, up the aisle to near the Ambulance and Cena uses a back board against Kane. The match goes back to the outside of the ring when Kane gets thrown into the steel steps and then thrown into the ring. Kane starts to dominate the match for a while before Cena fights back with a 5-knuckle shuffle. Kane smothers Cena, knocking him out. Kane then drags Cena out of the ring and brings out a wheelchair to help get him to the ambulance. Cena comes to when he is at the aisle and tries to get out of the wheelchair and starts beating up Kane. Cena slams Kane against the ambulance, grabs the wheelchair and starts using that as a weapon. Cena then puts Kane into the wheelchair and sends him into the technical area located to the side of the titantron. They both start using various pieces of equipment against each other.

The match goes through the crowd ending up back to the outside of the ring. Cena hits Kane twice with a microphone, then hits him with a monitor from the Spanish Announcers table then the steel steps twice to the head of Kane. Cena sets up the steps next to the Spanish Announcers Table, lifts Kane up and carries him up the steps in order to AA Kane through the table. Kane manages to get out of it and chokeslams Cena through the table. Kane goes to the ambulance and grabs a stretcher planning to use it to carry Cena to the ambulance. Kane puts Cena into the ambulance and almost shuts the door when Cena starts to rally against Kane then taunts Kane to follow him to the top of the ambulance. Kane attempts to chokeslam Cena off the ambulance but Cena countered it and AA-ed Kane off the top of the ambulance to the floor (well, some padding I assume. We don’t see Kane land). Cena then puts Kane into the ambulance, closes the door and wins the match. I enjoyed the match and it made both Kane and Cena look strong going into Wrestlemania.
Winner: John Cena                                       Predictions: 3 for 4

This was a decent event. All the matches were pretty good and I really enjoyed the RAW Elimination Chamber. I was impressed with Santino’s performance and he shows how good he actually is. I was also impressed with the Divas match and I hope that this could be the beginning of building a strong Divas division.

However, this event emphasised to me how important the match order is. I always believed that the main event should be a World Title match. There will be times when other matches will be the main event (Cena vs The Rock at Wrestlemania is a prime example), but those are special matches that deserve to be the main event.

I really don’t get why Cena vs Kane was the main event. I kinda get why as the WWE wanted the last image of the PPV to be a victorious John Cena standing near the Wrestlemania logo. However, the match, while good, was not a main event. It would be nice if the last image that we had would have been Sheamus crushing Bryan and having him standing by the Wrestlemania logo. It would have put the focus back on the Royal Rumble being an important event on the Road to Wrestlemania. Because of WWE’s decision to make the Cena Kane match the main event, they made what could have been a good PPV into an okay PPV.

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