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WWE Elimination Chamber 2013
February 17, 2013

by The Rick
Undisputed Lord and Master of OOWrestling.com


Sorry, kids, but you'll get no real PreRamble here tonight. I suffered a cutlery-related finger injury late last week. At the time, I thought it was well worth it, as it was a minor laceration and the dinner was f'n delicious, if I do say so myself. Today was the first day without the band-aid, however, and I shit you not: I re-opened the cut about 3 minutes before I started typing this. In fact, I re-opened it AS A RESULT of having to type this. I mishandled the keyboard in exactly the perfect way, and started gushing blood from my fingertip.

It's not that painful, but in order to stop the bloodletting (which was somehow just as bad as the initial injury; what am I? a hemopheliac?), I've had to apply a band-aid again, wrapped very tight around the very tip of my index finger, which makes my standard 80-words-per-minute touch typing very difficult. I have no touch! If I can't feel that little bump on the "F", it means I'm out of position on EVERYthing, and it stars a cascade effect of crappy typing that I have to delete and redo. So: no 5-paragraph preRamble for you! Also: there will be typos. More than usual, and caused by mortal disfigurement, insteady of by whiskey! Woe is me! Help me feel better about things, if you can.
Anyway, to the best of my ability, here's what happened at the just-completed Extreme Rules 2011 pay-per-view:

  • On the Pre-show... Brodus Clay and Tensai beat the Rhodes Scholars in a short match. Of note: the fat men are now being called "The Dancing Bears" by Matt Striker, which I can't imagine will stick unless I've WAY underestimated the WWE audience (it's happened before). Also: Striker did an extended riff on how Sandow's family is super-connected, and the Sandows were  a huge part of Andrew Jackson's win in the Battle of New Orleans, and now Damien is seemingly a part of a "secret society." Another random bit of silliness from Striker, or a new character quirk for Sandow? If the latter, I really hope it's NOT something that ends up with him being stablemates with Swagger... Swagger can use the tea party whackjob mouthpiece, Sandow is awesome because he can speak for himself.

  • Video Intro and Opening Theme/Pyro/Etc... the standard PPV 3-man booth of Cole, JBL, and King welcome us to both New Orleans AND the on-going Road to WrestleMania, and then waste absolutely no time turning things over to the always easy-on-the-eyes Lilian Garcia, for our opening match....

  • Alberto del Rio beats BIg Show via submission to retain the World Heavyweight Title. Out of the gate, Big Show is angry and dominant, causing the announcers to question just how wise it was for Alberto to rile him up.  Del Rio gets a quick flurry after chopblocking Show and working over his knee. But after about 90 seconds of that, Show said "No sale," and re-took the advantage with a big spear.

    Begin slobberknockery. Show is in command for the standard heel beatdown, landing big blow after big blow (including the always impressive SHHHHHH! Chops). Convincing near fall after a Vader Bomb, but Alberto is able to grab the ropes at the last second. Hope spot for del Rio, when Show lazily reaches down to pick him up, but Alberto quickly cinches in the cross armbreaker. Just as quickly, Show gets to the ropes for a break. Seconds later, Show cinches in a bearhug to slow things down again.

    After a bit more of beatdown, del Rio reverses a power bomb attempt into a hurricarana, which always looks impressive when Big Show is the guy on the receiving end. Both men down and out for a referee count, then both men up, and it seems like it's time for End Game.

    Close near fall for Alberto after a seated senton. Tables are turned, and Show gets 2 and 9/10ths after a chokeslam. More back and forth. Next big near fall is Alberto's run-up-the-ropes enziguri. Show kicks out, but Alberto immediately cinches in the cross armbreaker again. This time, it's in the middle of the ring, so Show just uses pure Man Power to deadlift Alberto from the mat and hit him with a powerbomb to break the hold. Neat.

    Show loads up the WMD, but Ricardo interferes. Ricardo eats the KO Punch, but tosses his bucket into the ring. While the ref is checking on Ricardo, Alberto manages to hit Show with the bucket. Show stays on his feet. Alberto hits a second run-up-the-ropes enziguri. Show still on his feet. Kick to the head, and Show stumbles, and Alberto immediately grabs his arm and locks in the armbreaker one last time. Show fights it, but finally taps out. Pretty solid little 15 minute opener, even if it did -- by any objective metric -- pale in comparison to their previous Last Man Standing matches.

    Alberto checks on Ricardo, and once Ricardo clears the cobwebs, there's a small celebration. Nope, no Ziggler cash-in, if you're wondering.

  • Antonio Cesaro beats Miz via DQ to reain the US Title. Miz comes out with his shoulder massively taped-up, selling the awesome pendulum swing attack by Cesaro from Monday. As one might expect, Cesaro decides to target that injury, and does so quite successfully. Miz gets almost zero offense, as Cesaro just destroys his arm and shoulder, while the announcers are forced to fall back on "how much heart" Miz has to even show up and compete. The overall vibe is one of complete, unmitigated underdoggitude.

    Sadly, babyface Miz is just an obnoxious load, so it's hard for me to feel sympathetic towards him. I kind of like seeing him on the receiving end of a one-sided beatdown.

    Miz finally gets a bit of a break when he is able to drop down and send Cesaro flying out of the ring, over the top rope. Miz follows, and Cesaro tries to charge, but Miz dodges again, and Cesaro rams his knee into the steel ring steps. Now Cesaro has an injury of his own, and Miz tries to capitalize. Boo, says I, boo!

    But as much as I boo, it makes sense, since Miz's new finisher is the Figure 4... he keeps working over the knee, and starts trying to lock in the Figure 4. While the two are jockeying for position, a kick by Cesaro causes Miz to lose his footing and drop knee-first into Cesaro's ball-sac. Ref Charles "L'il Naitch" Robinson calls for the instant DQ. Because he's that loyal to Flair? We'll never know.

    Unobjectionable 8-10 minute match, but nothing you'll remember by tomorrow. Sadly, WWE probably wants us to remember, as Miz followed up with the unintentional sac-attack by PURPOSELY drilling Cesaro in the balls after the match. It's the feud that wouldn't die.

  • Jack Swagger wins the #1 Contender Elimination Chamber Match, last eliminating Randy Orton. Lilian explains the rules/format in detail. She's clearly reading off some kind of script, due to the ham-fisted nature of the exposition. Hilariously, some Writer Monkey put tons of effort into the spiel and opted to use the phrase "roughly every 4 minutes" to describe the entry intervals. Ummm, dipshits, you have a stopwatch, right? There's no reason why it should be EXACTLY 4 minutes. How does it add to the match to put it into the explanation that you aren't even gonna bother trying to stick to the rules you're explaining? Then again: forcing me to be upset over a retarded choice of words DOES stop me from getting confused as to why you'd drop the interval to 4 minutes, when 5 minutes seemed just fine. You win, WWE?

    Jack Swagger hits the ring first (with new Patriotic-y music, featuring more trumpets and fifes and snare drum than guitars), and quickly hands the mic over to Zeb Colter (yes, that IS the correct spelling, as per Pyro's SD Recap; I still say my reasoning for it being "Coulter" is way funnier).  Zeb craps on New Orleans, because it's full of people who are under the age of 40 and who enjoy having fun. He also establishes the relationship between himself and Swagger (Zeb and Swagger's dad served together in Vietnam). Other than that, it's just a few minutes of generic Tea Party whackjob nonsense based on the idea that America was better 200 years ago.

    Swagger then goes into one of the pods. Kane is next, and into a pod. Mark Henry: also into a pod. Then Orton meets pod.

    Excellent. That means there are only two, and they are my favorite two in this match, and the two who just had an awesome match on Monday. We're going to get at least 4 minutes of straight-up Jericho vs. Bryan. Sweet.

    Back and forth feeling-out/chain wrestling. Nicely executed, but the crowd seemingly doesn't care (in fact, all night so far, the crowd has been unreasonably dead; if they're just sitting on their hands waiting for The Rock, it could be a long night; if they're just a bunch of cynical loads, it'll be even longer).

    After 4 minutes, Swagger is in, and immediately dumps Bryan out of the ring, onto the steel platform, then hits a few quick moves on Jericho. Then outside the ring to toss Bryan into the steel Chamber structure a few times. But Jericho has now had time to recover, and breaks that up. Jericho in command until Swagger low-bridges him and Jericho flies out onto the steel floor. Now, it's Bryan who's had time to recover, and catches Swagger from behind with a sneaky running knee to the head. Bryan assess the situation, and decides Jericho's still riper for the pickin's, and tosses Jericho into the ring.

    Bryan tries for a few near falls, but then whiffs on a missile dropkick, and both guys are vulnerable when Kane is released from his pod. Kane immediately goes after Jericho for a few easy shots. Then Swagger tries to get involved, and Kane immediately sends him flying out of the ring.  Then Bryan gets to his feet, and it's time to wonder how Team Friendship is gonna co-exist. Friends or foes?

    Friends, at first, as they team up on Jericho. But as soon as they dispatch Swagger again, Bryan hits a schoolboy roll-up on Kane, and Kane kicks out at 2. Also: Kane is very angry. Bryan gestures (Broadly) that he's sorry and he wants to hug it out. Kane just points at the WrestleMania sign and conveys the message "I want to headline the biggest show of the year, so screw you." Bryan quits acting repentent, and attacks Kane.

    Now that they know where they stand, they go back and forth for a bit, until Kane goes up top. Bryan tries to catch him, but Kane shoves him off. Then Jericho hoists Bryan up on his shoulders, and Kane gets back to his feet on the top turnbuckle, and it's a Doomsday Device on Bryan. Nice. Swagger swoops in, and tries to pin Bryan, but instead, earns the ire of Jericho and Kane. Then Jericho and Kane can't decide who'll pin Swagger, so they go at it.

    Then Orton is un-podded, and immediately hits a sequence of moves on Jericho, Kane, and Bryan. It climaxes in Orton hitting his Hangman DDT on Kane. But instead of doing it in the ring, he did it onto the steel floor. Ouch.

    At this point, the announcers marvel that there have been no eliminations, which might be a first for a Chamber match. With Kane powdered out, Orton pairs off against Swagger, and Jericho against Bryan. That leads up to a neat little spot where Orton and Jericho hit Stereo Superplexes, seemingly without collaboration. The Superplexes take as much out of the suplexer as the suplexee, and so all five men are down when Mark Henry is unleashed.

    Henry comes out and starts headbutting anything that moves. Then he hits Bryan with the World's Strongest Slam. Down to 5.

    Then he tosses Orton through the plexiglass of one of the pods. Ouch, again. But you can't pin a guy inside a pod.

    So Henry starts trading blows with Kane. Kane decides to try his top rope clothesline. Henry just grabs him out of mid-air for another WSM. See ya Kane. Down to 4.

    Jericho's the next to test Henry. It's not going well, so when Swagger offers to help, Jericho accepts. Jericho and Swagger hit a double team suplex on Henry ON THE STEEL FLOOR. Holy shit. But again, no pinfalls outside the ring, so Jericho immediately turns against Swagger. Some nice back and forth for a few minutes, but then Jericho goes for a Lionsault... and he goes for it by springboarding off the the side of the ring where Mark Henry has now had time to recover.

    So when Jericho goes for the springboard part, Henry is standing there and grabs him by the throat and just tosses him all the way across the chamber floor and into the chainlink wall. Then he press slams Jericho's carcass onto Swagger's carcass. Then he taunts just a little too long.

    He stacks Jericho onto Swagger, and goes for a Vader Bomb, but both guys move, and Henry lands hard. Swagger lands a boot to Henry's head, and Henry stumbles directly into a Codebreaker by Jericho. Henry is still stumbling around when Randall Orton decides to rejoin the match by hitting an RKO Out of Nowhere. Henry is pinned.

    As the refs herd him out of the ring, Henry actually gets a babyface ovation from the crowd, which Mark seems to heed. He makes a 180, and goes back into the Chamber, where he immediately hits a series of WSMs, one each on Jericho, Swagger, and Orton.

    GM Booker T eventually has to come out (with more referees), to convince Henry to leave the ring. But the damage is done: all three remaining men are down and wounded. But at least they are all equally wounded. Sort of. Even though they all just got a WSM, Jericho's actually been in the match since the start, which means he's most at-risk.

    Some three-way fisticuffs gives way to a temporary Orton/Jericho alliance, and they send him into a second plexiglass pod.  Back and forth with Jericho and Orton until Swagger rejoins the fight just in time to save Jericho from a Hangman DDT. A few exchanges, and then Jericho makes a save when Swagger's about to lock in the Patriot Act on Orton.  Another exchange, and Orton makes the save when Jericho's about to cinch in the Walls of Jericho on Swagger.

    Then, Orton seems to be in control, after he takes both guys and hits a DOUBLE Hangman DDT. Always entertaining. Orton focuses his attention on Jericho, and they do a nice quadruple reverse-y spot that ends with Orton hitting an RKO for the elimination.

    But just as soon as Orton stands up, Swagger's there to hit the schoolboy roll-up for the win. Wow. Nice, exciting finish to a very good 30 minute match.

    And surprising, too. I sort of led the call for the Fox Newsification of Swagger, but even I didn't think it should be quite THIS fast of a rocketship to the stars (WrestleMania Season is a time for rewarding proven acts, not hotshotting something new)... still, an out of touch Tea Party gimmick isn't exactly hard to figure; as long as Dirty Mexican Alberto del Rio is the SD Champ, a feud between him and Swagger makes perfect sense. Jack Swagger's on a quest to be your grandparents' favorite wrestler!

  • The Shield beat John Cena/Ryback/Sheamus, cleanly, via pinfall. No last second Chamber/WarGames twist, despite my wishes and Ryback's own tweets. So it'll be a straight-up tag match. Which doesn't seem like it'll be as exciting, given that the Shield's value is in the Chaos Mode and the Swarm Attacks. But whatever. Let's see how this goes....

    Babyfaces enters first, separately. Shield enter together, and as soon as they hit the ring, the faces attack for a brief moment of chaose, ending with a sweet spot: all three good guys hoist a bad guy up into position for a suplex. And then they hold them there as long as they can. Sheamus gives up first, after about 10 seconds. Then Ryback and Cena give up after about 15. Impressive.

    Ref finally gets some order, and it's Sheamus and Ambrose as the legal men to start. Sheamus in command (including landing the 10 of Clubs earlier than any match I can remember), until a distraction by Reigns allows for an Ambrose cheapshot and a tag out to Rollins. Just like that, we are in Textbook Cut The Ring In Half Mode. Sheamus never gets within 10 feet of his corner, and the Shield make frequent tags.

    After about 3 minutes, however, Sheamus hits a Brogue Kick out of Nowhere (also earlier than in any match I can remember), which gives him just enough time to make a tag to Cena. Ambrose (recipient of the Kick) also makes a tag, so Cena doesn't have a total free pass. Cena rattles off a few nice moves, but once Reigns puts his stamp on thigs, the Shield are right back in control. JBL opines that the Shield are working as a team, not as three individuals, and that's why they're going to win. Cole calls him on this (because the good guys are all mega major superstars), and JBL doubles down by saying the Shield are the best 3-man unit EVER. When specifically pressed, yes, even better than the Freebirds. This almost gives King a stroke, but JBL stands by it. Now that's some good face/heel hyperbolic announcing!

    Also: it doesn't stop what's happening in the ring, which is the Shield making frequent tags, and turnning Cena into our Face in Peril. Per usual, half of the crowd disputes the "face" part of that label, but regardless of of the "Let's Go Cena"/"Cena Sucks" chants, the standard format still applies. The Shield really do play the part well: their teamwork is nice, and they trade off on big spots in such a way that they all look equally good (yes, even Reigns, who is a bit less skilled than the other two). Sheamus helps by doing the "dumb partner" act, letting himself be goaded into the ring at the wrong moment, allowing for heel double-teaming while the ref is distracted. Tremendous old school tag stuff.

    Meantime, Ryback starts getting increasingly animated in begging for a tag, and the crowd starts heating up with "Feed Me More" chants. So the more the Shield keeps that tag from happening, the more anxious prickly heat there is. Even under standard tag rules, they've been able to keep their "strength in numbers" vibe, which I wasn't sure they could do. Good times.

    When Cena is finally able to backdrop Ambrose over the top rope, he has enough time to make the tag, and Ryback goes to town. En feugo. House afire. Name your cliche. He cleans house for a minute or so, then it just breaks down into a total Pier Sixer.

    In the chaos, Reigns spears Sheamus through the ringside barrier, in a wicked spot. Sheamus is done. In the ring, Cena and Ryback think they are finishing things off with dual FU/Shellshock. But Reigns was at large, and before Ryback could hit the Shellshock, Reigns hit ANOTHER wicked spear on him, and that was complicated by the fact that Rollins landed right on top of Ryback for a follow-up blow.

    The double shot had Ryback on his back and in a pin position... all while Cena was finishing up his FU on Ambrose and momentarily focused on other things. The ref dropped down and counted three on Ryback, and Cena was a step too slow to make the save. Whoa. I did NOT see that coming.

    I mean, I thought the Shield might win the match, but was less confident once it wasn't a Chamber/WarGames match. And on top of that, I would have said it was a 0.00000% chance of anybody other than Sheamus taking the pinfall. And yet, here we are: the Shield wins a standard 6-man, and Ryback takes the pin.  I repeat, "Whoa."

    Sort of by the numbers and formulaic, but like I said: I have no objection to the old school tag stuff being done so well.  Throw in a surprising and really well-executed finish, and I am happy.

  • Dolph Ziggler beats Kofi Kingston. This starts out with Ziggler cutting a promo complaining about  being the most talented man on the roster, and not even being booked for the PPV. Uh, Dolph, you dipshit, YOU asked off the card three weeks ago. Pick a narrative, and stick to it.

    Then Booker T comes out and declares that there's a difference between "stealing the show" and "wasting our time." And right now, Ziggler's doing the latter, so Booker's gonna give him a chance to do the former instead. Enter Kofi as Dolph's surprise opponent.

    Super-time-compressed (the bell rang at 10:01pm, eastern, so I'm not exactly surprised), but jampacked while it lasted. Kofi did get one nice, fairly convincing near fall, but it was mostly Ziggler-centric, ending with a new-fangled top rope move (Ziggler set up for a Superplex, but then dropped it down into more of a facebuster/X-Factor, where Kofi's gut hit the turnbuckle), followed by a Zig Zag.

    All told, 4 minutes, and at least it gets Ziggler on the show. Whee?

    After the match, Big E. Langston decided to administer a further beatdown, since Kofi had hit him with a plancha at one point in the match. It ends with his Dominator-esque move, at which point the crowd chanted "One More Time." Poor Kofi, he's Steamboat-quality babyface, but today's fans aren't as kind-hearted as they were in the 80s. Anyway, Big E. declines to give the fans what they want.

  • Interlude: the announcers try to sell the WWE App (Cole's an Apple man, King's an Android guy). JBL decides to counter Striker's previous declaration by saying that the dancing fat men's new team name is "The Round Mound of Sound." This gives way to a backstage skit in which Brodus gives Tensai a new name: "Sweet T." Which is horrible, and emasculating, except for the part where Cameron then smacked him on the ass and said "C'mon, lighten up, Sweet T" and danced for him. It might be horrible and emasculating, but if it got Cameron shimmying for me, I think it might put up with it.

  • Also: I'm starting to worry about CM Punk. He got hurt at a house show last week (a neck injury, during a match with Miz), but it was said it was just a stinger. Now, we're suddenly wasting time with 4-minute throw-away squashes, and a mostly-lame backstage/announcer bit. And we still have a women's match before the main event? I think Punk may be hurt worse than has been let on. Either that, or somebody with shitty temporal perception abilities is running the show tonight and let it run way late. You don't, on purpose, book things so that there's a 12-15 minute main event title match without a reason.

  • Kaitlyn beats Tamina to retain the Women's Title. Just for reference, it's 10:15pm when the bell rings for this one. We really are headed for an abbreviated main event.... my concern/indignation is offset by the fact that it's been 3 weeks since Kaitlyn's been on TV, and she looks very pretty. I'm man enough to admit that I missed her. And the tight  lo-rise pants. But mostly what's in the tight lo-rise pants.

    Disjointed back and forth for about 3 minutes, then Tamina went for the Superfly Splash. Kaitlyn moved. Kaitlyn hit the Spear. Fin. Nothing special, but it sure as hell was competently done, and didn't have the trainwrecky vibe of that lumberjill match three weeks ago between these two.
    So can we just skip ahead to the Kaitlyn/AJ feud, now? I'm pretty sure that could be really good. And that includes significant input from the parts of me that aren't in my pants.

  • The Rock beats CM Punk via pinfall to retain the WWE Title. Punk enters first, and despite being the challenger, he's got the title belt, and takes plenty of time to pose and preen with the strap. He even forces Justin Roberts to introduce him as "The People's Champion," milking even more time off the precious PPV Clock, and fueling my concers about an abbreviated match and the reasons why.

    Rock enters second, the un-belted Champion. We get full boxing-style ring announcements, including a special bit of exposition about the DQ/Count-out Stip. Bell rings at 10:32pm.

    The opening 3 minutes is nothing but trading headlocks and armdrags and armbars, the slow-build opening of a long-ish match. But looking at the clock, we know we won't be a long-ish match. It'll be 15 minutes, tops. Maybe less, depending on shenanigans/chicanery related to the Rock-can't-get-DQ'd rule.

    Then we get an interlude where Punk keeps bitchslapping Rocky, then spits on him, clearly trying to instigate said DQ. Punk then cowers, and the ref has to restrain the Rock and remind him of the stip. After another minute or two of stalling, Rock finally "snaps" and starts chasing Punk, and business picks up.

    Match spills outside, where Rock tries to put Punk through a table, but Punk rakes the eyes, and takes control. When Punk gets Rock back in the ring, he immediately cinches in a chinlock. When Rock is about to break it, Punk uses a handful of tights to cinch it back in. When Rock actually DID break it, Punk chopped him back down and re-applied the chinlock.  Three minutes of chinlock in a 15 minute match? D'oh.

    Aaaaaaaaaannnnnnd... make it a fourth chinlcok after a whole 30 second interlude of dynamism. The crowd, which had started out with raucous "Let's go Rocky"/"CM Punk" chants, is absoulutely non-plussed. Rock breaks the hold, and after a quick grapple, Punk hits his standard springboard clothelines, which makes me hope he's at normal strength. But then he locks in the FIFTH chinlock of the match.

    Ten minutes in, and I sincerely think half of that has been spent on chinlocks. King even notes the effect on the crowd saying something like "The Rock just hasn't gotten into it yet, and it sounds like it's trickling down to the fans." One could argue that Rock hasn't had any offense yet, and thus, by some convoluted Wanker Logic, CM Punk looks awesome and is being booked strong. But in reality: Rock hasn't gotten any offense, and Punk's done nothing but chinlocks. Nobody wins.

    Punk, despite hitting zero real, impactful wrestling moves, Gets cocky after the chinlocks, and goes for the Macho Man Elbow. And he hits it for a near fall, but it's not the same convincing near fall that it'd be if it was 20 minutes into a competitive match, rather than 12 minutes into a slog. Now, it's JBL's turn to try to explain the less-than-electric vibe, "I think the stipulation has gotten into Rock's head. He came in distracted by not losing the match, and now, he can't win."

    Punk does hit a Rock Bottom on the Spanish Announce Table, which would normally be a big ass Holy Shit spot, but (a) the match so far has been lacking and (b) the Spanish ANnounce Table no-sold it, and didn't break. Punk smirked and went back into the ring to await the count-out win (which makes sense for the stip), but Rock was able to make it into the ring to break the count.

    Quick exchange, ends with a Spine Buster for a convincing near fall. More back and forth, and Punk goes for a second springboard, but Rock grabs him out of mid-air for a Rock Bottom. Punk kicks out at 2. Another grapple, and Punk and Rock double-reverse an Irish Whip, causing Rocky to crash into the ref. While the ref is down, Punk nails a GTS, and the crowd counts to 7 before Punk gives up and gets up to berate the unconcsious ref.

    As a second ref shows up, Punk goes for a second GTS, but Rock reverses it into another spinebuster. Rock hits the People's Elbow. Second ref counts, but PUnk kicks out at 2. Rock's frustrated, and as Punk rolls away, he actually rolls into the second ref, causing him to twist his ankle and powder out.

    So it's more anarchy, and Punk decides to consult with Heyman. They agree on a plan that involves using the WWE Title belt as a weapon, but it fails. Punk swings with the title, and misses Rock, and hits Heyman. Rock follows up with a Rock Bottom. The original ref gets in and counts to 3. Fin.

    An 18 minute main event. About 4 of them good. No swerves, no chicanery, no real excitement. The PPV ends with an already-prepared graphic of Rock vs. Cena II at WrestleMania, and fades to black in a rush, since you only get until 10:55 before you lose satellite time.

And so ends the show... color me not impressed by the ending. What's the point of the stip and all the weird drama on Monday, if you're just gonna do a straight forward Rock win? I have standards, and I don't really care much for the idea of a Rock/Cena match being for the Title, but I'm also a realist, and I know why WWE would want to do it.... but that doesn't mean that I want to get there in the lamest, least exciting way possible.

Story elements were put in place Monday, and they could have helped muddy the waters and tell a compelling tale tonight. But they weren't. Even if my little conspiracy theory about Punk being limited is somehow partially right, that's no excuse not to use them. In fact, it's more reason to use them. Instead, there's all of one (1) instance where it sorta kinda maybe seemed like Rock might get counted out, if you are the really gullible sort.

Boo. Not a strong main event at all. And you know my stance: the main event gets weighed more heavily than other matches in assessing the quality of the overall card.

Luckily, I can report that the overall card was still pretty solid. The Chamber match and the 6-man both exceeded expectations by quite a bit. Especially the Chamber, which I'd put among the best of its kind in the 10-year history of said Chamber. Henry really is a beast, and he looked like a million bucks even in defeat, leading to a surprise winner after a cool closing spot.

WrestleMania's starting to shape up... I think both title pictures are set (Right Wing Looney Swagger vs. Evil Foriegner del Rio vs. Ziggler in a three-way, and Cena/Rock), but you've got a lot of talent AND a lot of stunt casting available to deliver a sweet undercard, too. Less-than-thrilling main event aside, tonight's Elimination Chamber PPV leaves me still enthusiastic about the Road to WrestleMania.


SMACKDOWN RECAP: Bonding Exercises
RAW RECAP: The New Guy Blows It
PPV RECAP: WWE Night of Champions 2012
RAW RECAP: The Show Must Go On
SMACKDOWN RECAP: The Boot Gets the Boot
RAW RECAP: Heyman Lands an Expansion Franchise
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Losing is the new Winning
RAW RECAP: Say My Name
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Deja Vu All Over Again
RAW RECAP: Dignity Before Gold?
PPV RECAP: SummerSlam 2012
RAW RECAP: Bigger IS Better
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Hitting with Two Strikes
RAW RECAP: Heel, or Tweener?
RAW RECAP: CM Punk is Not a Fan of Dwayne
SMACKDOWN RECAP: The Returnening
RAW RECAP: Countdown to 1000
PPV RECAP: WWE Money in the Bank 2012
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Friday Night ZackDown
RAW RECAP: Closure's a Bitch
RAW RECAP: Crazy Gets What Crazy Wants
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Five Surprising MitB Deposits
RAW RECAP: Weeeellll, It's a Big MitB
RAW RECAP: Johnny B. Gone
PPV RECAP: WWE No Way Out 2012
RAW RECAP: Crazy Go Nuts
RAW RECAP: Be a Star, My Ass
RAW RECAP: You Can't See Him
RAW RECAP: Big Johnny Still in Charge
PPV RECAP: WWE Over the Limit 2012
SMACKDOWN RECAP: One Gullible Fella
RAW RECAP: Anvil, or Red Herring?
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Everybody Hates Berto
RAW RECAP: Look Who's Back
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Care to go Best of Five?
RAW RECAP: An Ace Up His Sleeve
PPV RECAP: WWE Extreme Rules 2012
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Sh-Sh-Sheamus and the nOObs
RAW RECAP: Edge, the Motivational Speaker?
SMACKDOWN RECAP: AJ is Angry, Jilted
RAW RECAP: Maybe Cena DOES Suck?
RAW RECAP: Brock's a Jerk
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Back with a Bang
RAW RECAP: Yes! Yes! Yes!
PPV RECAP: WWE WrestleMania 28




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