This won’t be a full play by play recap. It’s more of an extended thoughts type of deal. I watched my fellow Canadians lose to the US in hockey first, then I saw the main event of the PPV in full. The game ended at 10pmET, so it was perfect time because I caught the full SD Chamber match at that time. I’ve gone back to re-watch the first two hours of the show and I’m posting it now after 1am. Here we go.
John Cena won the WWE Title in the Raw Elimination Chamber Match (***1/4)
I thought it was well booked for the most part, but nothing amazing. The spots with Kofi showing his athleticism were really good because they could have just buried the guy. Instead, he got some good spots in there. I think they also did a good job of making a big deal out of the big bumps on the steel. The match picked up with Dibiase being the fifth guy in there. He worked together with Orton for a bit. It was interesting to see no eliminations in all that time. Kofi’s head getting squeezed through the cage was pretty gruesome, yet awesome at the same time. There was a big KO spot as Orton did his through the ropes DDT on Triple H onto the steel. That was pretty sick (in a good way). It even led to SERIOUS VOICES~! from Lawler. They really booked Orton strong for the match. It wasn’t really as a babyface or a heel, it was just as the dominant guy in the match. Cody Rhodes came out with a steel pipe, which he put through the Chamber. Dibiase hit Orton with it in the head first. Then he hit Cena in the gut. He pinned Orton and the crowd went nuts. They played it up as a huge moment. Great spot. A couple of minutes later, Kofi woke up and pinned Dibiase. Moments after that, Sheamus pinned Kofi with the move that they don’t call the Celtic Cross anymore. Sheamus was about to finish off Cena when HHH saved him with a low blow. He pinned Sheamus with a Pedigree leaving it to Cena and HHH. I thought for sure HHH was winning here to set up the rematch with Sheamus at WM26. I was wrong. Cena put the STF on HHH, Hunter tried his best to fight it off, but he couldn’t do it and he tapped out clean. Cena enjoyed the moment. It didn’t last long. The match went about 31 minutes.
As Cena was celebrating, Vince McMahon announced that Cena had to defend the title against this man: Batista.
Batista won the WWE Title (NR)
Michael Cole said Cena went through a 45-minute match. Then Striker said it was 50 minutes. Yes, it was 50 minutes after the show started, but Cena was in the match for about ten minutes. The match started, Cena threw one punch, Batista hit the spear and the Batista Bomb to win the title. It ended in less than one minute. I love how Lawler said Cena can kiss WrestleMania goodbye. How? We all know he’s getting the match against Batista.
That certainly went differently than I envisioned. I don’t hate it. I still think Cena vs. Batista and HHH vs. Sheamus are happening. It’s just that the title will be in the Cena/Batista match most likely rather than the HHH/Sheamus one. Fine by me.
They showed the Bret Hart video from Raw again. They said it was a broken leg with tendon and ligament damage. At least they didn’t try to say it was the worst night of his life.
Drew McIntyre d. Kane (*1/4)
Yep, the McIntyre entrance gets better every time I see it. Very star like entrance. It’s different from the norm, which is what you want for a future main eventer. It was like a TV match that got just under 10 minutes. They had one on Smackdown a couple weeks ago that was a little better than this. I love how he always does the thumb to the eye as his setup for the Future Shock DDT. Drew winning was the most predictable thing on the card. What’s next for Drew? I don’t know, but I enjoy him as a performer and I look forward to seeing what’s to come.
Maryse talked to Gail Kim backstage and Gail admitted that she knows French. Of course she does. They force us to learn it here in Canada. Maybe that’s why we lost in hockey tonight! Ugh. She told Maryse she would beat her later in the night.
Instead of the Maryse/Gail match we had Vickie Guerrero come out to announce Michelle & Layla vs. Maryse & Gail because the Raw girls were talking junk about the Smackdown ones. They never want this tournament to end, do they? It’s the longest tournament in the history of eight person tournaments.
Michelle McCool & Layla d. Maryse & Gail Kim (*)
The heels worked over Gail, she tried to tag in Maryse, but Maryse bailed on her. Michelle ended up pinning her with the Faith Breaker/Styles Clash for the pin. At least they mentioned the Michelle/Mickie James-Canton match on Smackdown this week. That should be good if they give them some time to have a good match this time. Would have been nice to see Mickie here. Oh well, I’ll survive. Post match, Maryse her French Kiss DDT to Gail. These two will meet at some point for the title. Maybe in 2012.
They talked about WWE NXT. Matthews interviewed Miz. They had The Miz say that Daniel Bryan (aka Bryan Danielson, one of the best workers in the world) was the king of the indies and an internet sensation, but he looked like a nerd. He said he was a big loser like the St. Louis Rams! My team! Isn’t he from Cleveland? Yeah, he can’t talk. At least we won a Super Bowl. MVP came in to say they had a US title match later in the night and that Miz could tell his NXT rookie that he was going to lose the belt with personality.
William Regal came out to talk about WWE NXT. He’s a mentor even though he wasn’t originally named one. He mentioned how he’s the most experienced and tenured of all the pros on the show. He demands respect. Cue to the babyface to interrupt…it’s Edge. He mentioned that tomorrow night on Raw he’s going to announce who he will challenge at WrestleMania. Then he gave Regal a spear. Just a time killer segment.
The Miz d. MVP to retain the US Title (**)
Just like last month, an unannounced match between these two. Big Show came out with Miz while Kool-Aid man Mark Henry came out with MVP. They really put over Daniel Bryan in commentary saying he had ten years of experience in the indies. I’m glad they mention that. They really worked hard and Miz busted out some cool spots including the one out of the turnbuckle. The crowd wasn’t into the match as much as they’d probably like although they got into it towards the end. Ten minutes in, havoc ensued with Henry missing a spear on Undertaker and crashing through the wall into the crowd. KOOL AID SMASH! Big Show KNOCKED THE FUCK OUT~! of MVP when the ref wasn’t looking and that led to the finish. It was also cool to hear Striker actually say “KTFO” when it happened. Forgot to mention Miz got cut during the match and they had the trainer fix him up post match. At least it wasn’t during the match.
Chris Jericho won the World Title in the Smackdown Elimination Chamber Match (***3/4)
Undertaker got caught on fire during the entrance, so he ripped off the jacket and went into the ring quickly. That was an unintentionally funny moment. This was booked differently than the first Elimination Chamber match. They had Punk start it off and he pinned R-Truth in about four minutes. I don’t think we’ll ever see R-Truth in a main event level match again although I do like him as a performer. This allowed Punk to cut a promo, which is fine by me. Next up was the Punk/Mysterio interaction. I love their chemistry already. It makes me really want to see the match at Mania. Mysterio was able to pin Punk in about five minutes just as the next pod opened. It was Jericho. Hey, Jericho vs. Mysterio? Seen it a bunch, but I’ll never complain about those two together. They had a cool spot at the five minute mark where Rey had Jericho in a dragon sleeper with Striker going nuts about it although the crowd had no idea how to react because we never see that move. To the shock of nobody, Morrison was in 5th leaving the Undertaker to be the last guy. There was a nasty bump by Morrison head first into one of the pods after he took a kick from Mysterio. They had Jericho and Morrison each hit some big moves on Mysterio, weakening him to the point that Morrison could pin him with the Starship Pain for the win. That left us with three guys as Undertaker came out when Jericho had Morrison in the Walls of Jericho. I liked seeing the interaction between Undertaker and Morrison. They worked well together, which isn’t a shock because Undertaker’s fantastic at working with athletic wrestlers. Morrison was selling his ankle injury (a work, as mentioned) well. I loved how when Undertaker sat up, Jericho freaked out and hid inside a pod in fear. That was hilarious. Yes, that was vintage Jericho greatness. He came back at the right time to attack Undertaker. Undertaker was able to capitalize on a Morrison high risk move and chokeslammed him onto the steel outside the ring. That finished off Morrison. It left us with Jericho vs. Undertaker. I loved their work. They really did a good job of counter wrestling with Jericho getting the Walls while Undertaker got him in Hell’s Gate. Neither guy tapped. Undertaker went for a Tombstone, Jericho countered and hit the Codebreaker for the long two count. Undertaker was able to counter with the Last Ride powerbomb. He couldn’t cover, though, so he did the throat slash and there was Shawn Michaels. He popped out from underneath the steel structure in street clothes. Nice hiding spot. Undertaker turned around and Michaels destroyed him with the Sweet Chin Music. Jericho was stunned, staring right at him. Then he covered Undertaker as Michaels stood there only staring coldly at the Deadman. That’s how they are setting up the match, people. Michaels costs Undertaker and the Deadman wants him at Mania. Predictable ending? Sure. I don’t care. I love the end result. It was the smart thing to do. The match went 35 minutes and the PPV went off the air 17 minutes before the top of the hour.
I have to say I marked out pretty hard for the Jericho win even though it was predictable. That doesn’t matter to me. It’s all about seeing the World Heavyweight Title on the best wrestler in the world. It was a great sight to see. I look forward to his promo as champion. Nobody deserves it more even though it’s likely he’ll drop it to Edge in a month. I don’t care. I’m enjoying the moment. Plus, it was a victory for Canada on a day when we lost to the US in what is our best sport. I’ll take it.
It was a newsworthy PPV in that we got two new major champions with three title changes in total. The non chamber matches were just okay at best while the two chamber matches were okay. I like that they were both booked differently with Raw’s match taking a while to have eliminations while the SD’s had quicker eliminations in the early going. If you missed it did you really miss that much? I would say no. It was fine, though.
I’ll give it a decent 5.5 out of 10 for generally good booking in the big matches, plus some memorable moments on the show overall.