Elimination Chamber thoughts
WWE threw in a twist in the form of an impromptu match for the WWE title immediately after a new champion was crowned in the Raw Elimination Chamber match on Sunday’s pay-per-view, but by the end of the night, the match-ups most fans are expecting to see at WrestleMania XXVI appear very likely to be happening.
After John Cena won the WWE title in the chamber, Vince McMahon announced that he would have to defend the title against Batista right then and there. “The Animal” made quick work of Cena to become the new champion.
It remains to be seen how Bret Hart and McMahon figure into the WrestleMania equation, but it seems probable that there will be a title match between Batista and Cena. So either McMahon and Hart will be in the corners of Batista and Cena, respectively, or there actually will be a singles match between them. I still find the latter scenario hard to believe given the physical limitations of McMahon and Hart.
As expected, Shawn Michaels caused The Undertaker to lose the world heavyweight title to Chris Jericho in the Smackdown Elimination Chamber match. However, the speculation that John Morrison would be too injured to compete in the chamber and Michaels would take his place proved incorrect, as Morrison did indeed participate in the match. Michaels made his “surprise” appearance late in the contest, coming up from under the steel platform.
So it looks like it’ll be Michaels vs. Undertaker, and Jericho vs. Edge for the world title at WrestleMania.
Both chamber matches were good, but the other three matches on the card came off as filler.
Here is a match-by-match look at the show:
Chris Jericho won the world heavyweight title in an Elimination Chamber match: R-Truth and CM Punk started the match. I think R-Truth’s entrance lasted longer than he did, as Punk hit the GTS and pinned him in less than four minutes. So much for that R-Truth push I was looking forward to. Just as he did in the Royal Rumble match last month, Punk cut a promo during the match. Unfortunately, he only got to do it once, as Rey Mysterio was in next and he eliminated Punk after hitting a hurracanrana onto the steel platform followed by a slingshot splash. So the build for a Punk-Mysterio match at WrestleMania continued. Jericho and John Morrison were the next two in, and Morrison took out Mysterio with Starship Pain. The Undertaker came in last. For a brief period, Jericho and Morrison worked as a team against him. As the final three went at it, there was a loud chant for The Undertaker, a lesser chant for Jericho and no chant for Morrison. Morrison had been moving fine on his “injured” ankle, but he was clutching it after landing a flying kick on The Undertaker. While The Undertaker and Morrison were battling, Jericho took refuge in one of the pods. That was tremendous. The Undertaker eliminated Morrison with a chokeslam. Morrison made a good accounting of himself in the match. It was down to “The Dead Man” and Jericho, who had a bloody right cheek. The two remaining stars went at it for about seven minutes, with The Undertaker surviving both The Walls of Jericho and The Codebreaker. The Undertaker rallied to hit The Last Ride and was about to follow up with a Tombstone Piledriver. At that point, Shawn Michaels popped up through the steel platform and hit Sweet Chin Music on The Undertaker. As Michaels stood over The Undertaker, a shocked Jericho covered him for the win at the 35-minute mark. The show ended with Michaels still standing over the fallen Undertaker.
John Cena won the WWE title in an Elimination Chamber match: Unlike the other chamber match, no eliminations took place in this one until after all six men were in the ring. Sheamus and Kofi Kingston started the match. In a nice touch, Kingston twice looked behind him when he was making his entrance (he was jumped from behind by Edge and taken out of one of the chamber matches last year). The other four competitors entered the ring in the following order: Triple H, Randy Orton, Ted DiBiase Jr. and Cena. Orton was a house of fire when he got in. Once DiBiase got into the match, he and Orton worked as a team. At one point, Orton stuck Kingston’s head through one of the chain links in the cage while DiBiase had Kingston trapped in a Boston Crab. Orton later hit a DDT on Triple H onto the steel platform, but he didn’t follow up with a pin attempt, which made no sense. Cody Rhodes eventually came down to ringside and tried unsuccessfully to get Orton’s attention. Rhodes threw a steel pipe into the ring, which DiBiase picked up. While Cena had Orton set up for an Attitude Adjustment, DiBiase looked as if he was trying to hit Cena with the pipe, but he nailed Orton instead. He then hit Cena, too. After a moment of indecision, DiBiase covered Orton and pinned him at the 24-minute mark, further inflaming the tense situation involving the Legacy members. I would have never guessed that Orton would be the first one out. Suddenly, the eliminations began occurring rapidly. A minute after Orton was gone, Kingston pinned DiBiase with Trouble in Paradise. Right after that, Sheamus eliminated Kingston with the Celtic Cross. Two minutes later, Triple H pinned Sheamus after landing a low blow and hitting The Pedigree, leaving just “The Game” and Cena. Finally, the belt is off Sheamus. Cena quickly caught Triple H in the STF and forced him to tap out, winning the match and the title at the 30-minute mark. As it stands now, it appears unlikely that Triple H will be in a world title match at WrestleMania, which I consider a bit of an upset.
Batista defeated WWE champion John Cena to win the title: As Cena was selling the effects of being in the brutal match, Vince McMahon appeared on the stage and said that Batista was getting a title shot right now. Batista landed a Batista Bomb and pinned Cena in less than 30 seconds to steal the title. It’s obvious that McMahon had guaranteed Batista a title shot against the Chamber winner in return for his help against Bret Hart. As it turned out, Cena – Batista’s rival as of late – was the unlucky victim. My question is, what would have happened if McMahon’s son-in-law Triple H had won the match? Would McMahon have sent Batista out to beat him, too? There also is the issue now of both world champions being on Smackdown, but those situations always take care of themselves.
Intercontinental champion Drew McIntyre defeated Kane: There was nothing wrong with this match, but it followed the Raw chamber match and the angle with Batista winning the title, so the crowd was dead for it. McIntyre won after catching Kane with a thumb to the eye and then hitting the Future Shock DDT.
U.S. champion The Miz defeated MVP: This late addition to the show was the best of the three non-chamber matches. The Big Show and Mark Henry were outside the ring rooting on their tag team partners. There was a big spot on the floor in which Henry charged at Big Show, but Big Show moved and Henry went crashing through the barricade. Miz and MVP had a solid back-and-forth match that picked up in the final minutes. Miz came out on top after The Big Show hit the knockout punch on MVP behind the referee’s back. During the match, Miz’s forehead was busted open from a head-butt that he delivered to MVP, but the action continued. It wasn’t until after the match was over that the medic came into the ring and attended to Miz. At that point, why not just wait to do it backstage?
Michelle McCool and Layla defeated Gail Kim and Maryse: Kim and Maryse were about to lock up in their match for the vacant Divas championship when suddenly … “Excuse me!” Vickie Guerrero showed up and announced that she was postponing their singles match. Guerrero said she didn’t appreciate Kim and Maryse’s disparaging remarks as of late about the Smackdown divas, so she was forcing the two rivals to team up to face Michelle McCool and Layla in a tag team match. Man, is the Kim-Maryse match ever going to take place? The tag match only went about four minutes. Maryse never got in the match. When Kim went to make a tag, Maryse pie-faced her, which allowed McCool to hit the Faithbreaker for the win. After the match, Maryse hit The French Kiss (DDT) on Kim.