Monday, 20 February 2012

Elimination Chamber 2012 In Review

And the final PPV before WrestleMania is upon us. Not that I'm being negative but this usually has the habit of being WWE's worst PPV of the year, mostly because there's barely any matches and instead just endless segments setting up possible storylines, or else just killing time. Nonetheless I watched the PPV with high enough expectations so let's get going.

1) Raw Elimination Chamber Match For The WWE Championship:
Wow, I was not expecting the Raw match to open the show. But I like it. It's cool that Smackdown gets to have the upper card placement, though strange considering the Raw match was full of legitimate world title contenders (well Kofi is probably borderline). Anyway first of all can I say about Vickie Guerrero...DAYUM. The actual opening exchanges between Punk and Kofi were nice to see, though unusual to see guys actually wrestling in an Elimination Chamber match. I can't remember if Punk and Kofi ever had a full blown match before since they were always on different brands. I loved that mid-air collision off the springboard. R-Truth surprised me with how fast he moved. He's not really known for moving around that fast. I honestly was expecting Kofi to be the first one out but I found Truth's elimination to be a bit abrupt. I mean, this is someone who WWE wants to do serious things with. I wasn't expecting Dolph Ziggler to be out so early either but that DDT from Kofi was nice. He lasted longer than I expected him to and he gave Jericho the required build up to make him a big heel. I might be clutching at straws but could this signal the start of a Kofi/Jericho match at WrestleMania? I'd prefer that to Punk/Jericho anyway. Interesting move to have Jericho eliminated without being pinned or submitted. The end exchanges between Punk and Miz were great and I want these two to go at it at WrestleMania so bad. Really good Chamber match. 8/10

I liked these Santino skits but there were a little too many of them considering how few matches were on the card. Lol at Eugene's music making an appearance.

2) Beth Phoenix* vs Tamina Snuka (Divas' Championship):
I wasn't expecting that much from this match for obvious reasons but it wasn't terrible. They gave it a decent amount of time and Tamina showed some remarkable improvement. Obviously not as fun as Beth's matches with Eve and Kelly, this one was respectable enough. Tamina showed a lot of charisma and I especially liked that moment where Beth tried to headbutt her, it didn't work and Tamina headbutted her right back. Beth was really entertaining with all her antics like how she mocked Jimmy Snuka's pose. Props to Tamina for taking the superplex and her splash looked good tonight as well. Beth got a great rub from kicking out of it and looks very strong and dominant coming out of the match. Interesting to see her Glam Slam someone as big as Tamina. Hopefully Beth can feud with Natalya now. 6.5/10

Wasn't a big fan of the in-ring promo since a match would have been preferrable. Though I was amazed that Christian managed to cut a decent heel promo. I thought Alberto Del Rio was looking a bit faceish to start off and wasn't sure if he was returning as one. I expect this is setting up a match for WrestleMania to decide who gets control of both shows. I doubt it'll be Teddy Long vs Johnny Ace (at least I hope not) but rather them picking a wrestler each to represent them. Or maybe a team of Christian, Del Rio and Mark Henry vs Teddy Long's team. I'm predicting Santino but can't think of anyone else.

3) Smackdown Elimination Chamber Match For The World Heavyweight Championship:
I thought this one was actually a lot better than the Raw match, which is surprising considering half the participants didn't have any right to actually be in there. Great Khali being in there was a complete waste of time since he was the first out and I think he clocked the least amount of time in a Chamber ever. I know there's a LOT of people in India but I doubt they'd all tune in just to see Khali in and out in less than three minutes. Really enjoyed everything done by Cody Rhodes and Wade Barrett in this match because they are two of the best heels in the company right now. I seriously want them both to get serious matches at WrestleMania. Cody got a great rub by beating Big Show and his credibility was preserved with Santino eliminating him via distraction roll-up. Speaking of the Milan Miracle, he really impressed in this match. This reminds me of Jeff Hardy's ladder match against the Undertaker where you knew there was no way in hell he was going to win and yet for a few moments it seemed possible. The crowd were so into this and that made it all the better. Naturally Santino made it to the finals because he's someone WWE don't care about jobbing out to Daniel Bryan. As for Big Show, I thought he did great in this match with the whole breaking into Daniel Bryan's pod. Really happy that both champions retained their titles tonight because both of them deserve to headline WrestleMania. 10/10

As I said on Twitter yesterday, Natalya can play "pull my finger" with me anyday. You make fun of Vickie's appearance when Hornswoggle is in the room?

4) Jack Swagger* vs Justin Gabriel (United States Championship):
File this one under waste of time. But that's not their fault. WWE gave them a three minute match on a PPV that was filled with pointless excessive hyping for the main event, a dumb promo for The Rock and John Cena's feud which will doubtlessly be repeated three times on every Raw and Smackdown until Mania, and of course the dumb segments. They did the best they could to make the match entertaining but it just seemed sloppy and badly thrown together. The spot of the match of course is Gabriel's suicide dive closely followed by his spinning kick in the corner. I think there's just no hope for Swagger anymore. He's got no mic skills, no charisma and not even Vickie has been able to get him heat. Give these two an actual feud and you know, actual effort into booking him as a champion to change my mind. 4/10

5) John Cena vs Kane (Ambulance Match):
50% of this match was lame. Kane's Ambulance Match with Shane McMahon at Survivor Series 2003 was much more exciting. Typical Cena getting beaten down then making a comeback with his five moves of doom. Though when the match got to ringside things picked up heavily and I was actually interested. I'm a sucker for garbage wrestling so the various weapons were pretty inventive like the wheelchair and the ring steps. I'll admit I marked out a little for the chokeslam through the Spanish announce table. Predictably Cena wins to end this feud and move onto The Rock at WrestleMania. I was honestly expecting Zack Ryder to interfere at the end but I guess we'll see him on Raw. Not so good at first but more exciting as it went on. 6.5/10

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