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February 22, 2010

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.

Posted by Kevin Eck at 9:35 AM | | Comments (52)
        

Comments

So HBK helps his good buddy Jericho win the belt. "Excuse Me" but didn't Michaels and Jericho have a major fued not too long ago that was never really settled. Once again, VKM treats his fans as idiots and shows them no respect. I have never missed a WresleMania but, I think I'll pass this year.

RESPONSE FROM KE: The story will be that he didn't do it to help Jericho. Shawn was obsessed with wrestling Taker at Mania, so he did what he had to do. By costing him the title, he knows Taker will want revenge.

Maryse never got in the match.
That was the only good thing about it.
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.
I think the crowd was dead mostly because McIntyre is not over.
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.
Maybe that was just another way of the WWE to fool the internet fans.
Thank god, Sheamus lost the title, thank god.

HHH not being in the title match is the McMahon equivalent of sleeping on the couch.

What did you make of Morrison's performance? Why the ankle angle? What about HHH tapping out?

This show was a bit all over the place, the SD chamber match was the only one I really enjoyed, Miz and MVP was fairly good, but Randy Orton was the only good thing about the opener and he was out first.

"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?"

Batista probably would have been sent after the winner of the other chamber in that case. I'm sure the fact it was Cena who won, lead to Vince picking the WWE title to give to Batista, because not only did it fulfill their deal, it screwed Cena as well.

My question is why does Raw never end up with two champions? This happened last year as well, that both champions were on Smackdown--though at least last year it was obvious Triple H would be drafted to Raw, not sure how it will work this year.

What are your thoughts on Undertaker being set on fire during his entrance? He sure came off as a true Deadman because he was completely ablaze for two seconds which is why he came down to the ring in such a furry and hurry.

I wonder what the WWE would have done if someone got busted hard way in the Elimination Chamber. Jericho took a shot but he was far from a bloody mess. I'm talking crimson mask here. Would they have opened the cage and stopped the match while the medic attended to the bleeding superstar? I suppose for a few years, when the extreme craze was at its peak there was a lot of red to feed the bloodthirsty crowds. And if the WWE wants to scale it back a bit and make their product more PG to target a younger audience, that's totally fine. But having a doctor run into the ring whenever a wrestler bleeds takes away from the moment and really deflates the energy that the superstars work so hard to build. And for whatever it's worth, blood really does add a different element to some wars -- especially those held in steel cages.

On another note, did the WWE really just build Sheamus up hard just to do the job to Triple H at this years Wrestlemania?

Did you see that the undertaker was hurt during his pyro entrance?? I did not see the PPV, but Undertaker went onto wrestle the whole match with major burns on his arm and chest.

Hey Kev, love the blog. Long-time reader, first time I've commented.

Did you hear about the pyro malfunction during Taker's entrance? I didn't order the PPV so I don't know if it was shown on TV, but judging by the fan footage I've seen on YouTube, it looks like he had a lucky escape. Scary stuff.

Both chamber matches panned out in the way I had hoped, ie Sheamus no longer WWE champ and Jericho winning. As a result, the WM26 card is looking pretty good now, Edge-Y2J and HBK-Taker II should be absolute showstoppers, provided that's the way things are headed. I'm sure this week's Raw and SD will reveal all.

Keep up the good work!

Orton couldn't have made a pin attempt on HHH, he was outside the ring...

Besides, that's not the most confusing thing. Jericho broke the walls twice to attack someone entering the ring, but why would he need to, it's not like they would attack him to break the walls.

RESPONSE FROM KE: Couldn't he have dragged him in the ring and pinned him?

This was a really entertaining pay-per-view and it certainly accomplished it's goal of keeping me interested as we get closer and closer to the big show at the end of March. I thought the Smackdown Chamber match was just ok, but I thought the Raw one was actually pretty great. To be honest, I thought it would be the other way round. But I thought the action that the six guys on Raw produced was really good, and I liked how no one was eliminated until all six men were in the ring. I think that's what let the Smackdown match down a little bit. I would never have guessed that Orton would be the first one out. Having DiBiase eliminate him was a fun twist. The stuff Orton's doing now with Legacy is much more entertaining and intriguing than the stuff he and Triple H were doing this time last year when building their Wrestlemania Main Event. I was praying that neither Sheamus nor Triple H would win the title, so I wasn't too bothered when Cena won, and I thought it was excellent how Big Dave came out and made very short work of him.

The filler matches in the middle were just decent, and I agree that the impromptu MVP/Miz match was the best one of the bunch. I like how the Miz referenced his NXT "rookie" Daniel Bryan in his pre-match promo. It's good that he acknowledged that Bryan was a huge draw on the indie scene, and I'm pleased that the announcers were talking up the unusual pairing of the two. I'm excited to see what the new show on Tuesday night will be like.

As I said before, I think the Smackdown chamber match had too many quick eliminations, which took a lot away from the whole thing. But I'm so pleased with the outcome, and I can't wait for the inevitable Edge/Jericho match at 'mania.

It's as if WWE is actually trying to make me less and less interested in the Divas matches every week. I wasn't even bothered about seeing the Kim/Maryse match, but I didn't mind because the title was on the line. But making it a pointless tag match? No thank you. I turned over at that point.

Very disappointing PPV. Punk cutting a promo in the chamber worries me. It was great at Rumble, probably the best thing about the Rumble this year but I really hope they don't start having him cut promos in the middle of all his big matches now. Punks still a wrestler, and a good one too.

Don't think they needed to give Cena the belt for the feud with Batitsta either, seemed there was enough heat there already.

With this PPV being fairly predictable as far as building for Wrestlemania, I was really most interested in how Kofi, DiBiase, R-Truth, and Morrison would perform. How would you grade their performances?

This was a fun show. I agree that the non-chamber matches did appear to be filler. I personally thought that Morrison came out looking very strong. It was disappointing that the crowd didn't seem to care.

I'm saddened that Undertaker-Michaels will likely happen again. I don't see any way that they top or even equal last year.

I was mildly impressed with Sheamus. He came off a whole lot better than Kozlov last year, but I still don't think he and HHH can put together an entertaining singles match.

The bit with Kingston's head through the cage was a bit ridiculous. They picked the wrong opening and pressed and squeezed then moved over one opening and Kingston's head went right through. Orton and DiBiase should have strugglend a little bit with the spot first.

This should be a fun next few weeks to Wrestlemania.

How can Vickie Guerrero keep making matches? Aren't "consultants" supposed to advise management rather than actually make decisions?

Sheamus is no longer champion!

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God almighty, we are free at last!

What did you think of the Undertaker and Morrison going right for Jericho when they were released from their pod? Jericho had the walls of Jericho locked on someone both times. Wouldn't it make more sense to sit back and see if that person will tap?

Also, I wanted to get your opinion on these 5 minute title reigns. Cena adds a championship reign to his resume last night but only had the belt for maybe 5 minutes. This is an often occurrence now with the money in the bank. So many guys are accumulating title reigns in this fashion that the numbers are going to get skewed, if they aren’t already.

And speaking of MITB, I hope the rumors aren’t true about taking it off of WrestleMania. That would be a huge disappointment. I am not sure MITB having its own PPV would be the same.

I am a Jericho mark, but it shows you what angles are more important, when after the show, and Jericho capturing the belt, the final image of the PPV is HBK standing over Taker, not Jericho with the belt.

Hey Kev, what do you think of the rumor making rounds now that at WM it will be a tag team match of Vince/Batista vs Hart/Cena and whoever gets the pin wins the title. Supposely Batista and Cena could do most the work and somehow have Brett pin Vince and win the title. Then Brett would retire Monday night on Raw and say histor has been corrected to what it should and would have been had Vince not gotten worried. Vince is still a 'heel' and Brett gets his moment.

I don't understand the hate for Sheamus. I understand that you don't think he deserves a title run so early in his career which I agree with.

But his matches the past couple of weeks including the RR have been pretty enjoyable and along with his mike skills, he should be a star for a while as a heel.

At this point in their careers I feel like he has easily surpass Triple H in in-ring ability.

Also, does anybody have a scouting report on Triple H? Why do they always go for a back body drop when he is always looking to do that facebuster off the ropes?

Maybe I am the only one who sees it, but maybe the Batista/Vince McMahon vs. Bret Hart/John Cena angle will end up a little something like this...

Cena gets a rematch at WM26 with Batista with Hart in Cena's corner and McMahon in Batista's corner. The outcome is determined when Hart somehow screws Vince and costs Batista the title.

Just an observation due to the increasingly predictability of the WWE.

I'm just confused while the Batista Cena match has to involve the world title. They already had the feud, why add the title? Triple H needs a match (I know the majority of the IWC hates him, but he is one of the biggest stars), and Sheamus seems to fit, but without the title, what's the beef?
Also, what do you know about MITB this year, Kev? There is now going to be a MITB ppv later this year and some are speculating that means no MITB at Mania, which would be a shame.

I'm very glad Jericho won. I was so afraid they were going to do a swerve for the sake of a swerve and we were going to wind up with something like Edge v. Sheamus at Mania just for the sake of having a surprise.

Kev, also didn't see your thoughts on what happened to Taker during his entrance

Whoever was in charge of the pyro backstage is probably looking for a new line of work as I'm typing this since he almost killed The Undertaker last night. I can only imagine the media coverage if that accident was much worse.

It looks like things will turn out exactly as it looked like it heading for Wrestlemania with Cena and Batista, Taker and HBK, Edge and Jericho, and Orton vs Legacy. As for Triple H, he will probably feud with Sheamus up until Wrestlemania since it was Triple H who low-blowed and eliminated Sheamus. I just hope that Sheamus will play the vicious heel in the feud and isn't getting squashed at Wrestlemania by Sheamus.

With so many matches already on the board, I'm thinking Punk and Mysterio are going to take their feud in the MITB match....I just hope Punk does't win ANOTHER MITB.

But to be honest I was hoping for a Triple H vs HBK feud but seeing as how both HBK and Taker are in rough shape it would make sense to have the two fight it out again...and bow out quietly again.

As things stand now I am quite interested in what part Sheamus and triple h will play at wm. I too assumed it would be them going head to head (Although like everyone else, I didn't want to see it) but without the championship there is no way anyone would pay to see that match.

Also I am curious as to what you meant by

'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'

An upset for the fans or for triple H? I myself am happy he is not hogging the spotlight.

RESPONSE FROM KE: An upset in the sense that it wasn't likely to happen

As you said Kevin, the eliminations in the Raw EC came way too quickly as the match was coming to its end.

I was really surprised about the the reaction of the crowd when Ted DiBiase pinned Randy Orton. He got a huge pop. DiBiase and Orton both supposed to be face?

And finally, the big red-hair machine is no longer WWE Champion!

THAT WAS AWWWWWWWWWWWWSOME!!!!!!

Will be attending wrestlemania for the first time since WM IX in Vegas (possibly the worst ever, but wouldn't have known since I was a kid.)

I am thrilled that the cards have fallen where they are, but am concerned for Taker/Michaels II. Any chance it becomes a casket match, with an emphasis on taker ending Michaels' career after he thought he did it in their previous casket/WM encounters?

Kevin,
We were at the PPV last night and it was entertaining. You are right about the crowd being cold for the McIntire-Kane match. It was pretty cold for the Diva's tag team, and only a bit better for MVP-Miz. I will say though that McMahon, Vickie and Regal all made mention of how hot the crowd was during their commentaries.
After the show finished, we were all waiting for some kind of interaction between HBK and Taker, but Shawn just stood in the ring for an extra minute or so and then left. Taker made several attempts to get up and out and then he left to his music. We were hoping for more, but no luck.

I saw on si.com and they had video of the undertaker gettng caught in the pyro, ala James hetfield of Mettalica, during his intro. Did you see this and was he showing an effects of this happenning during the match?

Kevin, I totally understand your explanation of my previous entry. However, by having Jericho be the one HBK helps out, Vince would have us believe that all is well between those two. I find it insulting. Actually, it smells of the TNA, you know, moving on to another story line without closure to the previous one.

Any chance that Vince is setting things up for a triple threat at WM26 between Taker-HBK-Jericho for the title? That would be something to see!

I've seen a thousand million times people tagging each other touching their backs.
Why when Marysse touches Kim's face it didn't count as a tag?

"So much for that R-Truth push I was looking forward to."

_________________________________

I am not against a push for R-Truth, but I don't want it to come at CM Punk's expense. It's a fact that not everyone can be pushed. What's that theory about reactions and equal, opposite reactions? If X moves up the card, then it stands to reason that Y moves down it.

RESPONSE FROM KE: I wasn't expecting Truth to win, but I didn't want to see him pinned three minutes into the match either.


The undercard was awful, but that's OK since the Elimination Chamber matches were entertaining enough to sell the event. The lack of appeal of the undercard should serve as a reminder to WWE that they need to build up their roster depth.

Was the bump that Morrison took crazy or what?

I'm very upset at how wwe is treating the divas division. After the joke Mickie James / Mc cool at Rumble, now this!
I think I've never saw in my life a championship match in a main event turning into a tag team match with no title at stake. Is maryse injured?

I agree with your assesments Kev...& glad you recapped the pay-per-view last night as I was a bit disracted as I had the chance of watching the pay per view with Christy Hemme ! She appeared at a place with Hacksaw Jim Duggan & was sitting right next to my table..what a sweety ..she autographed my TNA Knockouts dvd very nice and made some interesting comments on the show...The way the crowd was cheering for Orton - Kev, don't you think its a mistake to not have him in the main event at Wrestlemania ? Right now he looks will be having a a glorified mid card match

RESPONSE FROM KE: Well, WWE does have about eight "top guys," and they'll can all be in the main event.

2 questions: who do you think hhh will face at wm26?

do you think shawn will beat undertaker this time around?

RESPONSE FROM KE: Sheamus. No.

Eh, the whole Batista-Cena thing was a rehash of Edge cashing in on Cena at New Year's Revolution in 2006. The thing is, it worked much better back then due to the visual of Cena being bloodied and battered. Besides, Cena was only in the Chamber for about 15 minutes and barely did a thing...

Some of the wrestler's actions didn't make sense? Why does a face just entering the Chamber break up a pin/submission attempt from a heel on another guy?

Can we please stop making last minute changes to the PPV? Announce them beforehand, give the matches time. It's also pathetic that the WWE had to use most of the second hour as a commercial-free commercial for WWE NXT. They could have done that on Raw if they weren't doing idiotic guest host skits.

Let me say I'm a Punk mark. That being said, how many times is Punk going to job to Mysterio before eventually jobbing to him again at WM? It's sickening how Mysterio gets booked like SuperCena; he gets beaten up, his head thrown into the posts over and over again, but then he hits his splash and wins immediately.

Jericho hiding in the pods was priceless.

I didn't get what was the purpose of morrison's injury. Any ideas?

I think, both the Chamber matches were very good. The creative made a good job, about "teasing" us with the JoMo injury. Everybody believed that HBK would be replacing him. I think, that was a great twist.

As far as the Raw Chamber match is concerned, again: "Well done, WWE!". Batista walking out of his qualifying match with Punk now makes perfect sense. We (me and many others that made comments on your blog) supposed, that it would result in McMahon giving him a title-opportunity, but I must admit that I was a bit surprised to see it happen at yesterday's PPV, and not at Wrestlemania.
And thank God, finally they got the belt off Sheamus.

You're dead on. The other matches came off as filler, but I liked the Mcintyre - Kane match much better than the others.
I don't why, but I'm starting liking Mcintyre. It must be because of his entrance theme.
And I liked the way he was booked in his match yesterday. Unlike Sheamus, he doesn't come off as a "Super wrestling prodigy" who destroys much more deserving stars like Christian (at least not yet, and not in the way like Sheamus).

I liked how Striker's constituted the fact, why it is right that Miz is the mentor to a Indy-wrestling veteran like Daniel Bryan. He said, when Daniel Bryan walks down the street, nobody recognizes him and he lookes more like an accountant. But when the Miz walks down the street, everybody whispers: "That's the Miz, from WWE!".
And he's right about that. It will be interesting though, to see the relationship of this Mentor-Rookie pairing on NXT.

Overall, in my opinion, an interesting PPV.

Well for those who enjoy seeing the same wrestlers year after year getting championships and huge pushes, congrats to you. You got your wish.

It looks like everything is finally shaping up I just hope that Jericho doesn't lose the title hopefully he just gets DQ or something to further along the story line.

The more things change the more they stay the same.Just like I feel about Peter Angelos is the way I feel about Vince McMahon.Arrogant,cocky.egomaniacs who can put the same product on time after time and still make a crapload of money.Well neither one of them will get any of mine and haven't for ten years.Hornswaggle could have preicted the outcome.Wait maybe he actually did.Maybe he made the matches.Who knows,and who cares.If Bret gets revenge on McMahon,then I'm a happy man.But I'm not shelling out my hard earned money to see it.Half of Monday Night Raw isn't even fit to watch anymore.

The WWE definitely dropped the ball on this pit stop along the Road to Wrestlemania. It’s pretty clear where the writers are heading with the WM card and, quite frankly, it’s worse than I imagined it could be heading into Elimination Chamber.

It was no surprise that Jericho won the World Title, setting up a WM match with Edge. The Edge/Jericho buildup will undoubtedly be outstanding and will culminate with a match that will likely steal the show at WM.

The way in which Jericho won the title, via Sweet Chin Music by HBK to Taker, all but guarantees Taker/Michaels II at WM. Why? What can these two possibly do to top their effort last year? The WWE could have added intrigue to this match by having Taker keep the title at EC and have HBK somehow get himself a title shot. A World title match at WM would have made the outcome less certain, however, after HBK cost Taker the title, in midst of his heel turn, the result of Taker/Michaels II is a foregone conclusion. If Michaels did not beat Taker last year, when he was over with the fans, why is there any reason to believe he would end “The Streak” as a heel?

The other main Smackdown storylines coming out of EC are Punk/Mysterio and Drew McIntyre’s undefeated streak. Punk/Mysterio would be an excellent WM match; however, I have no interest in the program leading up to the actual match. If (when) this match does go down, it will likely be billed as Hair v. Mask, which I also think is a mistake because it would make the outcome predictable (no way Mysterio, as a face, will lose his mask at WM).

After his win against Kane, Drew McIntyre is still unbeaten and likely (hopefully) about to enter a new program heading into WM. The best thing the WWE could do here is start a McIntyre/Christian feud (Christian could return to Smackdown with the goal of bringing charisma back to the IC title or something similar that highlights their contrast in personality). Christian, as an established champion and talented in ring performer, would give McIntyre an opponent that could help take him to the next level- if McIntyre were to beat Christian at WM it would really go a long way as “The Chosen One.” The WWE also couldn’t go wrong if Christian were to beat McIntyre for the title. Either way this feud would also benefit the WWE by increasing the value of the IC title, given that Christian is a former World champion.

The result of the Raw chamber takes the Road to Wrestlemania down the most boring and asinine path possible. The lesser of two evils first. Sheamus’ failure to retain the WWE Title means that his seemingly inevitable match with HHH at WM will be a non-title match. As much as I hate to admit it, Sheamus has grown on me lately, largely because of his in-ring work. I was actually hoping for Sheamus to retain the title at EC, setting up a title match with HHH, because I don’t see anyway the WWE can script a storyline good enough to make a non-title match between the two interesting. Certainly HHH/Sheamus for the title isn’t a headline match for WM, but it could have been a solid match that would have gone a long way in increasing Sheamus’ credibility.

The WWE decided to have Cena win the EC match and then immediately drop the title to Batista. Sadly, this all but ensures us that Cena/Batista will headline WM (Yawn). It is bad enough that the WWE decided to have these two compete in a single’s match (assuming the writers don’t come to the realization that neither of these guys can actually WRESTLE and make it a 3-way for the belt) but that isn’t even the worst part.

The fact that Cena and Batista have also been at the center of the Hart/McMahon feud means, in all likelihood, that Hart will be in Cena’s corner and McMahon in Batista’s. Having Vince and Bret represented by two guys who’s careers hadn’t even began when the Montreal screwjob occurred completely undermines the historical aspect of the storyline and is a kick in the b---- to Bret Hart fans who have waited 12 years for his return- how can the man known for being one of the best technical wrestlers ever be represented by a guy who has 6 moves and can’t carry a match for more than a minute at a time? What’s next, Stone Cold comes back in 5 years and has Dolph Ziegler represent him in a match against Vince?

Overall, this year’s WM card appears to be heading mostly for stale rivalries and poor writing. Luckily we have Edge and Jericho to look forward to.

I thought this was a GREAT pay-per-view, and that's coming from someone who's been very down on WWE's programming lately.

Orton/DiBiase, the swerve with JoMo's ankle, Jericho hiding while 'Taker smooshes Morrison's face against the pod door... altogether, a program full of excitement. Interesting spots and solid performances throughout. Even though I kind of saw the Batista/Cena thing coming, I enjoyed every second of it.

A little disappointed by the Divas match, but otherwise I have nothing but praise for this PPV.

Meanwhile, live-tweeting the PPV on Twitter, JR found Matt Striker very annoying... some funny stuff: http://twitter.com/JRsBBQ

"Wish King would backhand Striker. Cole directing traffic. Chamber hard 2 follow. Striker's on an adjective rush. Intervention pls."

First, two things about the piece:
1) I do think it made sense that Orton didn't pin HHH after the DDT. I think the idea was that he planned to just wipe out everyone, then just pin them all one after the other.
2) About both title belts being on Smackdown superstars: I think it was announced a while back that Batista was moving back to Raw.

You predicted it pretty well, Kev.
I also did, but things had a little twist.
I was sure, going in, that Batista would end up involved in the Raw chamber. Why else would he walk away from the Smackdown one? He had to know something that we didn't. When Kofi did that look behind him, I was sure that Batista would emerge from some hiding place and take him out, it a call back to last year. When this didn't happen, I expected him to sneak in between eliminations, when the door was opened, and screw Cena. When it was over, I just assumed that was it. Honestly, until McMahon said that Cena would have to defend the title "right now", I hadn't sussed, but at that point, I knew Batista would come out.
For the Smackdown chamber, I expected Edge to interfere, in revenge for the shot he took from The Undertaker on Smackdown. By doing this, it would allow him to kill two birds with one stone: get a title shot and punish Jericho at Wrestlemania. Although I knew that Shawn Michaels had that Undertaker obsession going on, the fact that they'd built that 'Taker/Jericho/Edge thing on Smackdown made me sure that Edge would be the guy interfering. I actually think that the Morrison ankle thing helped. It seems weirdly irrelevant, some might say, but I thought that, with the ankle injury, Morrison would take ages to get out of the chamber, allowing time for Jericho to hit the Codebreaker, 'Taker to hit a big move, then Edge to get in and spear 'Taker. That Michaels snuck in through a panel was genius. I think that ankle thing subtly added to a little swerve. I think the idea was that nobody would think that anybody could get into the chamber, except between eliminations, so the Morrison ankle thing was a hint that it would take longer to get him out, then that was swerved with the hatch/Michaels sneaking in thing. Pretty clever.
Thought Drew McIntyre came over very strong against Kane. He looked like he was taking punishment all match, then took out Kane with a sneaky eye poke and the finisher. That a 7 footer goes down like that, makes the Futureshock DDT look powerful; that McIntyre got the chance to use it by underhand tactics makes him look wily; that he took all those shots and still won makes him look super tough.
The Miz vs. MVP was good again. Sad that it ended like that. Would've been better if Miz used his own conniving to win. He's beaten MVP clean(ish) twice before, once at the Raw at MSG, and once at the Royal Rumble, so it undermined Miz's talents a bit, but it does set up the tag team scenario with Show Miz vs. MVP and Mark Henry.
Disappointed by the Divas match. Recently, on TV, the women's matches have been better than most of the guys'. It just lacked spark. More story than action, in a way.
Overall, good PPV.

Forgot to say:

What was the big scar on The Undetaker's chest? Old wound? Never seen it before.
Is that the injury he's had for a while?
Or was he burned by pyrotechnics?

I loved the Elimination chamber matches.

I'm also reinvigourated by Triple H. I've never been one of his detractors for the obvious reasons, but I thought he was getting a little stale as of late. I loved his entrance into the ring from the pod - that facial expression combined with the lights was classic. I thought he put on a stellar performance, and in my opinion his best for a long time.

ALso loved Kofi, Mysterio and Morrison's performances. I hope they get rewarded for it in the near future.

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About Kevin Eck
The Baltimore Sun's Kevin Eck blogs about professional wrestling.
E-mail Kevin.
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