Monday, February 20, 2012

2/19/12 Elimination Chamber

CM Punk vs. Chris Jericho vs. The Miz vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. R-Truth vs. Kofi Kingston (Elimination Chamber; WWE Title): ****

Beth Phoenix vs. Tamina Snuka (Divas Title): **1/2

Daniel Bryan vs. Cody Rhodes vs. Big Show vs. Wade Barrett vs. Santino Marella vs. Great Khali (Elimination Chamber; World Heavyweight Title): ****

Jack Swagger vs. Justin Gabriel (U.S. Title): *1/4

John Cena vs. Kane (Ambulance): ***

Hmm. When was the last time the WWE title was on the line in the OPENING match on a PPV? Sue me, I got a short memory. Jericho out first, then Miz, Dolph, Truth, Kofi, and Punk. Wow. Punk and Kofi are starting, so Punk will have to go the entire way. Love it. Remember, Jericho comes in last.

Punk's clean-shaven after doing a promo appearance on Friday. Damn. Kofi with a vertical OVER the top rope and landing feet-first on the steel chamber floor. That's serious height. As usual, a lot of painful spots and many counters. I especially liked the tornado DDT from Kofi onto Ziggler...on the steel. Truth was out first, but that's probably no surprise (he wasn't winning anyway). The other five battled. Jericho took two guys out (Ziggler and Kofi), so that's what...10 career Chamber eliminations for Jericho? Kofi did the high-risk spot. Crossbody from the top of the pod -- and Miz helped catch Kofi! Punk kicked Jericho out of the chamber, and Y2J couldn't continue. Miz and Punk left. I don't think they would have wanted Jericho and Punk to be last anyway; they're already meeting at Mania. Strong showing from Miz, either staying alive or trying to get a win. False finish with Miz hitting SCF but Punk kicked out. Nice finish. Fairly long chamber match, which was great.

Beth paying homage to Piper with the plaid belt. Tamina doesn't get much of a pop this time. Very good comeback from Tamina. Thought it was over after the superfly splash. Solid finish. People say Kharma is next for Beth, but if so, I hope Tamina doesn't get lost in the shuffle again.

Santino with the Rocky vignettes. Awesome.

Laurinaitis was shaky on the mic. Alberto Del Rio is back! Glad to see him. Mark Henry and Christian (with facial hair) also make appearances. All back Laurinaitis for permanent RAW GM and GM for Smackdown. It's time for a change in WWE? Don't copy Owen Hart's material!

Daniel Bryan started in one of the pods for the chamber match. Wish he coulda started, but it's smart booking for his heel role if he comes in last. A little surprised that Barrett and Show started. Show displayed some wrestling moves this time, but still too slow a pace for me. Liked how Show stared DB down but got Cody instead. Good high-low move from Barrett and Cody to get Show down. Nice to see Barrett aggressive on Rhodes. Crowd was really going nuts for Santino. Glad they saved Khali for later in the match. He did what, three moves before a Show spear nuked him? I think that's about the shortest Chamber appearance in history. Looked like another car crash after that one.

Show stared down DB. DB taunts Show. Big mistake. Show busts through the top of the pod and gets in! Loved that. One of the best spots of the match. Not often you see someone just break in like that and start kicking someone's ass. DB escaped for like five seconds and Show threw him through the pod. Vintage EC carnage! Not Big Show-proof! Nice work from Wade and Cody to take Show out. I marked when Santino pinned Cody. DB took a lot of the punishment in this one. Nice booking to let Santino pin Wade. Great stuff to have Santino at the end with DB. DB with the "ha, this will be easy" look, while the crowd goes bonkers for Santino. That was an excellent last few minutes. Cobra for the false finish. Santino nearly getting out of the LeBell Lock. Love it. Best booking they probably coulda done.

Sheamus has apparently picked DB to face at Mania. Obvious.

Hornswoggle with cheese. Oh no, Natalya. Yeah, she "cut the cheese." Still hate this whole flatulence gimmick.

Swagger and Gabriel basically was a filler match. Meh.

Ambulance match is main event. Predictably a physical match with weapon use. Crowd split as usual for Cena. It wasn't the most technically sound match, that's for sure. Cena hit Kane with a wheelchair, lovely. Cena wants to be in Booker's Fave Five, and he just may get it. Love the physical Cena. Kane nuked with the steps. Cena through the Spanish table. It was quite entertaining. To the top of the ambulance! AA off the top of the ambulance, probably onto some padded hidden area. Good that Cena won because he needs all the momentum he can get for Mania.

Ambulance match is not a match that is designed for wrestling. It got its point across. The right person for storyline purposes won. I was entertained with weapon use and the crowd was involved. Sounds like a respectable match to me.

Divas match was better than I thought it would be. So is Kharma next for Beth? I wish Tamina would get another shot...don't want her to suddenly get lost in the shuffle again. I mean, they even changed her name to reflect the Snuka pedigree.

Elimination Chamber matches did their job. I was skeptical about the Smackdown match, but Khali did very little, Show was awesome on DB, and, of course, major props to Santino. Santino and DB put on a good show at the end. The crowd was going nuts on that. Mad respect.

A good PPV. Glad the next one is Mania. Rock should be on WWE TV way more now. ***1/4

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