This was written live on the day of the show. I have added in some 2021 thoughts in blue font because there’s always more to say. I don’t plan to re-post all February PPV reviews this month. I just felt like re-posting this one since it was a great show. Here was the banner I used in the review that day.
WWE Elimination Chamber
New Orleans, Louisiana
February 17, 2013
There was a pre-show. Other than recaps here is what happened.
Randy Orton did an interview backstage conducted by Josh Mathews. Orton said he’s more dangerous than the Elimination Chamber. There wasn’t much else to it.
Prior to their match, Damien Sandow and Cody Rhodes did a promo. Sandow said there was a public outcry about a Team Rhodes Scholars reunion. Rhodes said they’re going to give us what we’ve been clamoring for, which is their reunion. Brodus and Tensai entered. Tensai had on a beret. The pre-show announcers are Tony Dawson and Matt Striker.
Team Rhodes Scholars (Cody Rhodes & Damien Sandow) vs. Brodus Clay & Tensai w/Cameron & Naomi
The “Cody’s Mustache” chant made it to New Orleans. Tensai hit a splash in the corner, but Team Rhodes Scholars worked together to take him down with Rhodes hitting the Disaster Kick. Sandow hit the Elbow of Disdain. Tensai made the hot tag to Clay, who hit a big splash in the corner on Rhodes. Sandow came in with a dropkick, which led to Tensai hitting a splash with Clay at the same time. Double headbutt. Clay and Tensai hit splashes at the same time to win the match at 4:07.
Winners: Brodus Clay & Tensai
Analysis: * Basic tag match. I think the winners did a good job of working together and looking like an actual team rather than just heading out there as two singles wrestlers who happened to be teaming up. I would have liked to see Team Rhodes Scholars win, but their run as a team is over much to my dismay. I would expect the push of Clay & Tensai to continue going forward. They could be future tag team champions.
(Remember when Tons of Funk was a thing? Scary times!)
There were more video packages including the one about the Elimination Chamber match. There was also the video package about The Rock’s match with CM Punk. That’s the end of the pre-show.
The opening video package mentioned that there was a price to pay before heading to WrestleMania. That price? The Elimination Chamber, of course. Another match they focused on was The Shield vs. John Cena, Sheamus & Ryback. Finally, the opening video ended by looking at the match between The Rock and CM Punk.
The pyro went off as the sold out crowd in the New Orleans made a lot of noise. The announcers for the show are Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler and John Bradshaw Layfield.
The first match is for the World Heavyweight Title. No video package about the feud. Just a quick one from Smackdown a few weeks back. We also got to meet the Spanish announce team.
World Heavyweight Title: Alberto Del Rio (w/Ricardo Rodriguez) vs. Big Show
Should this match go on first? I wouldn’t put it first. It doesn’t bother me too much, though. Show was very aggressive at the start of the match with a series of chops. Del Rio slowed down Show by going after his left knee. A hard kick to the face knocked down Show for a two count. Show threw Del Rio into the ropes and then Show hit a spear for two. Show continued to dominate the action with clothesline followed by a boot to the ribs. Apparently “World Title” is trending, so congrats on that. Show hit Del Rio with a Vader Bomb splash off the middle rope. That move doesn’t look that great from the angle they shot because all you could really see was Show landing on his knees well before his body hit. Del Rio applied the Cross Armbreaker out of nowhere as Rodriguez tried to pull the ropes away from Show, but he was able to get his foot on the bottom rope. Show applied a bear hug to slow things down. Del Rio countered a powerbomb with a hurricanrana, which is an impressive bump for Big Show. Del Rio hit a dive between the middle and top rope that took out Big Show outside the ring. Show got back into the ring at the count of nine. Del Rio hit a seated senton off the top rope for two. Since Del Rio has been a babyface he has added some more athletic offensive moves to his arsenal, which is smart. Del Ro went for a kick, but Show caught him and he hit a Chokeslam. That got a two count. Great nearfall.
Del Rio avoided a KO Punch by rolling outside the ring, so Show hurled him back into the ring. Del Rio hit a DDT out of nowhere for a two count. Running enziguiri in the corner by Del Rio got a two count. JBL did a good job of putting over how Big Show has said Del Rio has not pinned him. Del Rio applied the Cross Armbreaker in the middle of the ring as Cole said it’s all about going to WrestleMania as the World Champion. When they go there will they open that show too? Show countered the move by picking Del Rio up and slamming him to the mat to break free. Rodriguez went on the apron, so Show kneed him off. Show held up the bucket that Rodriguez had with him. Del Rio missed a running enziguiri as he slipped on the ropes. He did it again where he kicked the bucket into the side of the head of Show. In the other turnbuckle, Del Rio hit another running enziguiri. Del Rio applied the Cross Armbreaker again. Big Show tried to fight it, but he couldn’t do it and he tapped out. Del Rio won via submission at 13:05.
Winner: Alberto Del Rio
Analysis: *** I fully expected Del Rio to win and he did. I thought they would have a finish where he pinned Big Show because they pushed that idea so hard in the weeks leading up to it. Their chemistry was very good as usual. I thought the nearfalls they had very were very believable and the crowd bought into them. They might use Ricardo’s attempted interference as a way for Big Show to get another match on television, but I’d prefer it if this feud was over now. We’ve seen enough of their matches. Big Show did a great job of putting over Del Rio in this feud. No sign of a Dolph Ziggler cash in either. I didn’t expect it here.
(They really wanted Del Rio to get over as a babyface World Champion and Big Show was the guy that put him over multiple times to try to help Del Rio get there. They did manage to have several good to great matches together.)
There was an ad for the new GI Joe movie starring The Rock.
At ringside, Josh Mathews talked to DJ Cotrona & Adrianne Palicki. Who? They are co-stars of The Rock in the GI Joe: Retaliation movie. US Title is up next.
United States Championship: Antonio Cesaro vs. The Miz
The Miz had his left shoulder taped up from the attack on Raw last week when Cesaro repeatedly went after the shoulder of Miz by throwing him into the security wall at ringside. Cesaro hit a shoulderbreaker. Miz tried to come back, but Cesaro went after his arm some more. They should stop talking about Miz being in a reality show. He’s been on the main WWE roster longer than half the roster by this point. He’s way more famous for this than he was for being on some MTV show. Cesaro decked him with a clothesline. Miz got a boot to the face to gain some momentum followed by his corner clothesline. He went for a double axe off the top, but Cesaro grabbed him and applied a submission on the arm. Miz fought out of it followed by a back body drop over the top to the floor. Miz shoved Cesaro into the steel steps so that Cesaro hurt his knee. Back in the ring, Miz continued to work on the left knee. He hit a DDT followed by a dropkick to the knee. The crowd yelled “woo” as Miz worked on the knee. Cesaro kicked him in the leg as he was trying to apply the Figure Four and Miz hit his knee into the groin of Cesaro. Cesaro was in a lot of pain as he pointed at his groin. The ref Charles Robinson called for the bell and gave Cesaro the win via disqualification at 8:21.
Winner: Antonio Cesaro via disqualification
After the match, Miz kicked Cesaro in the groin on purpose.
Analysis: *3/4 It was okay. Their chemistry wasn’t great and the finish was flat too. The story was that Miz was a fighting challenger dealing with the shoulder injury. Cesaro couldn’t put him away, so he got out of it by making a big deal out of the groin shot. The announcers argued about it with JBL saying the ref made the right call while Cole said it was an accident, which was true. That finish would suggest a rematch in the future.
(Bad finish. I guess you could say it was a rare finish because they didn’t do those kinds of endings that often. Miz as a face wasn’t that good either.)
Backstage, Kane and Daniel Bryan had a talk. Bryan mentioned Kane was giving him the silent treatment. Kane said he wasn’t grumpy – he’s focused. Kane said he’s been in WWE for 15 years and he’s never been in a main event at WrestleMania. Bryan said that in the Elimination Chamber they should watch each other’s back. They hugged. Kane told Bryan to watch his back. Kane also said he’ll watch his own back. He left while Bryan was confused.
Analysis: The World Title match may be called a “main event” but I don’t think any fans really buy that.
The Elimination Chamber began to lower, so that match was next. They aired the Elimination Chamber video package.
Prior to the Elimination Chamber match, Jack Swagger spoke. He has new music by the way. It’s pretty generic. I liked his old song, but I guess he needed a change. His manager Zeb Colter was with him. Swagger said that Zeb spoke the truth. Zeb said they are in a den of inequity. Zeb brought up Thomas Jefferson and the Louisiana Purchase on the eve of President’s Day. Zeb said he defended the nation with his life. Zeb complained about people crossing the American borders illegally, breaking laws and asking for a handout. “Together we will make things right.” He said that a “Real American” like Jack Swagger will win one for the good guys. Zeb mentioned that it would be the start of Jack Swagger’s America. He ended it by saying “We The People” and Swagger repeated that many times.
(They were really pushing this Swagger alliance with Colter and that’s why they were the only ones to get promo time before the match. It did get some good heat at this point.)
Swagger took his place in one of the four pods inside the Chamber. Kane was out next. Mark Henry was also in a pod. Last man in a pod is Randy Orton. That means Daniel Bryan and Chris Jericho will start a match. That’s not a surprise. I mentioned that in the preview. The two best workers opening things up is the smart thing to do. It’s amazing how that “randomly” happens huh? I don’t mind.
Elimination Chamber Match to Determine the #1 Contender to the World Heavyweight Championship: Daniel Bryan vs. Chris Jericho vs. Mark Henry vs. Randy Orton vs. Jack Swagger vs. Kane
The rules for the match are that every four minutes one of the men in the pods is released and joins the match. Five people will be eliminated by pinfall or submission. One man will win. Bryan and Jericho exchanged submission holds. Bryan hit a series of kicks to the chest of Jericho as the crowd chanted “yes” for every kick. Bryan tried giving Jericho a suplex outside the ring, but Jericho fought out of it. Jericho gave Bryan a slingshot into the chain. Back in the ring, Jericho hit a back suplex.
Four minutes into the match, Jack Swagger is the third man in the match. He attacked Jericho with a shoulderblock in the turnbuckle followed by a Swagger Bomb splash off the middle rope. Swagger picked up Bryan and drove him into the chain on the outside of the ring. Back in the ring, Jericho hit a dropkick on Swagger. Loud “Y2J” chants in support of Jericho. Jericho missed a splash attempt in the corner as Cole mentioned that Triple H has won four Chamber matches while Cena has won three and Edge has two. They’re the only ones to win more than one Chamber match. Swagger attacked Jericho outside the ring as they brawled on the steel grating. Bryan came out of nowhere with a knee attack off the top rope onto Swagger. That was a good spot. In the ring, Bryan missed his headbutt off the top onto Jericho.
The #4 man in the match is Kane. He worked with Bryan to take out Swagger and Jericho. Bryan hit his running dropkick in the corner. Kane threw Swagger over the top rope so that he landed on the steel grating. Bryan rolled up Kane for a pinfall attempt that didn’t work. Bryan tried to apologize. He wanted to hug it out. Bryan said “yes” while Kane said “no” and then Bryan shoved him. Kane decked Bryan with an uppercut. Running corner dropkick by Bryan on Kane. Kane came back with a sidewalk slam for two. Jericho and Swagger are basically chilling around the ring. Jericho put Bryan on his shoulders as Kane came off the top with a clothesline in a Legion of Doom/Road Warriors style Doomsday Device type of move. Kane hit a suplex on Swagger. Jericho dropkick on Swagger as the clock ticked down.
It’s Randy Orton in the #5 spot. Orton was on fire. He hit a lot of quick moves including a nice slingshot suplex on Bryan. Orton threw Kane into the chain repeatedly followed by a DDT off the middle rope with Kane’s head hitting the steel grating. Orton gave Swagger a superplex. Then Jericho gave a superplex to Bryan across the ring. All five guys were down. The announcers focused on Mark Henry, who was ready to enter the match.
Somebody gonna get they ass kicked as Mark Henry is the 6th and final man to enter the match. World’s Strongest Slam to Daniel Bryan and that’s enough to pin him. Bryan is out after 16 minutes.
Daniel Bryan eliminated by Mark Henry
Outside the ring, Henry threw Orton into one of the pods. Ouch. That looks painful. But I guess that’s the point huh? There was a showdown with Kane and Henry in the ring. Kane went for his top rope clothesline. Henry caught him. He picked up Kane and gave him the World’s Strongest Slam to eliminate him after 19 minutes.
Kane eliminated by Mark Henry
Henry tried to drive Jericho into the pod, but Jericho countered it and he worked with Swagger to throw Henry’s back into the chain repeatedly. They gave Henry a double suplex onto the steel grating outside the ring. That was an excellent move right there. Jericho got a two count on Swagger after a cross body block off the top. Orton was still sitting in a pod after getting thrown into it. Swagger used his legs to counter the Walls of Jericho. Bulldog by Jericho. Henry caught Jericho as he was about to go for the Lionsault. Henry threw Jericho in the chain. Ouch. That looked painful too. Henry threw Jericho back into the ring where he knocked down Swagger. Henry missed a back splash off the middle rope. Jericho hit him with a Codebreaker. Orton came back with the RKO to eliminate Henry after 24 minutes.
Mark Henry eliminated by Randy Orton
After his elimination, Henry went back into the ring. He gave the World’s Strongest Slam to Swagger, Orton and Jericho back to back to back. The Smackdown GM Booker T, his adviser Theodore Long and a bunch of referees went into the ring to get Henry out of there.
Swagger crawled to Orton for a cover, but Orton kicked out at two. Orton and Jericho worked together as they whipped Swagger shoulder first into the steel ring post. After an exchange, Jericho went for a move off the top rope only for Orton to counter it with a dropkick. Orton took down Swagger with a powerslam followed by a powerslam on Jericho as well. Jericho with a springboard dropkick on Orton. Swagger with a belly-to-belly suplex on Jericho for two. Swagger went for the Patriot Act on Orton, but Jericho hit an enziguiri on Swagger. Jericho countered a Patriot Act attempt into the Walls of Jericho. Orton broke that with a modified backbreaker for two on Jericho. The match was past the 30-minute mark by this point.
Orton gave Swagger a backdrop over the top rope onto the steel grating. He gave Swagger and Jericho his DDT off the middle ropes. RKO on Jericho didn’t work. Orton countered the Lionsault with his knees up. Then Orton hit the RKO to eliminate Jericho.
Chris Jericho eliminated by Randy Orton
Immediately after Orton’s pinfall, Swagger rolled up Orton with the ROLLUP OF DEATH~! and pinned him. One…two…three. That’s it. Swagger wins! The match went 31:18.
Randy Orton eliminated by Jack Swagger
Winner: Jack Swagger
Analysis: **** That was an excellent Chamber match. They told a lot of stories in there with Henry dominating the action as soon as he entered, Orton going on a roll and Jericho lasting over 30 minutes. Ultimately it was Swagger that got the win by capitalizing when Orton was vulnerable. The booking of the match was very good. I wish the crowd was louder for certain aspects of it, but they did react to everything very well by the end of it. As for Swagger, he has a new theme song. New manager. New gimmick. And now a victory that gets him a World Title match at WrestleMania. It makes sense because the gimmick he has is about how Zeb and Jack don’t like foreigners while the World Champion is a Mexican like Alberto Del Rio. They have seven weeks to build up that obvious story. As somebody that has always liked Swagger, I’m glad he’s getting this opportunity. My pick was Orton, but it made sense for Swagger to win too. I don’t mind it at all. It was an entertaining match.
(When you look at the names in the match, it’s hard to believe they would put Jack Swagger over all of them, but that’s what happened. It wasn’t that much of a surprise because it was rumored that WWE wanted to go with Swagger as a heel against Del Rio. It’s just an interesting choice when looking back on it now. I really liked the match. Lots of action and built up to the finish well.)
FACTS & OPINIONS
Wrestler that lasted the longest: Chris Jericho at 31:11
Most Eliminations: Mark Henry and Randy Orton with two.
Best Performers (3): Chris Jericho – He did well as the oldest guy in the match that carried a lot of it.
Jack Swagger – He lasted the second-longest in the match and only pinned one guy at the end when he won it. Clever booking.
Randy Orton – The main rival of Swagger for most of the match.
Most Memorable Moment: The sequence of Jericho with a Codebreaker on Henry followed by the RKO on Henry to eliminate the big man.
Match Rating: **** out of five.
There was a video package for Cena, Sheamus & Ryback vs. The Shield.
John Cena, Sheamus & Ryback vs. The Shield (Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns)
There was a brawl early on before the ref could even ring the bell. Cena, Ryback & Sheamus all hit delayed suplexes at the same time. Finally, the bell rang. Sheamus hit his ten forearms to the chest of Ambrose. Reigns distracted Sheamus, so Ambrose kicked him outside the ring. Reigns hit a clothesline on the floor. Rollins tagged in with a dropkick on Sheamus. Ambrose was in for his team, but Sheamus was able to get the tag to Cena who opened up with shoulderblocks on Reigns, who had tagged in. Spinning Suplex followed by Five Knuckle Shuffle by Cena. STF on Reigns, but Ambrose broke it up. Rollins attacked Cena from behind with a flying knee drop to the back of the head of Cena. That’s an awesome move. JBL said The Shield was the greatest three-man team in wrestling history. Lawler argued that point. There were a lot of quick tags for The Shield as they isolated Cena from his partners. Dropkick by Rollins got a two count on Cena. Running splash in the corner by Rollins onto Cena as the very familiar “Let’s Go Cena/Cena Sucks” chant started up. Reigns tagged in to hit a big clothesline on Cena for two as Sheamus broke up the pinfall attempt. Loud “Feed Me More” chants. Samoan Drop by Reigns on Cena followed by a chinlock.
Cena tried to make his comeback ten minutes into the match, but Reigns dropped him with a clothesline. Cena tried to break free of Ambrose. It didn’t work. Ambrose hit a very nice DDT to put Cena down again. More “Feed Me More” chants from the crowd. Ambrose charged in, so Cena dumped him over the top to the floor. The last five minutes of the match saw The Shield make a lot of quick tags as they worked on Cena. Hot tag to Ryback who hit a backdrop on Reigns and Ambrose. Powerbomb to Rollins. Powerslam by Ryback onto Ambrose, who went crashing into Rollins in the corner. Reigns went after Ryback, so Sheamus took out Reigns. Then Sheamus went outside the ring with Ambrose. Reigns gave Sheamus a spear outside the ring that drove him through the security wall! That was impressive.
Back in the ring, Ryback had Rollins isolated. Ambrose saved his partner. Then Reigns went back in. Cena prevented a three-man attack. Cena gave Ambrose an Attitude Adjustment. Reigns hit Ryback with a Spear as Ryback had Rollins up in the air for the Shellshocked. Rollins landed on top of Ryback to cover him and that was enough for the victory at 14:49.
Winners: The Shield (Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns)
Post match, The Shield left through the crowd. Ryback left the ring angrily. Cena and Sheamus were confused about what happened.
Analysis: ***1/2 The finishing sequence of that match was phenomenal. The timing by all of the guys involved with it was absolutely perfect. Cena hit his finisher moments before Reigns hit that spear on Ryback and Cena wasn’t able to break up the pinfall. The announcers reiterated JBL’s point that The Shield is an awesome team that works so well together to accomplish their goals. That was the perfect way to book the match. It’s a big win for The Shield because they beat three top guys in a decisive manner with a clean finish. I think if anybody was going to lose for the babyface team it would be Sheamus, so it made sense that it would end that way.
(The Shield were a new entity at the time since they debuted about three months earlier. This was a big win for them since they found a way to beat three of the top faces in WWE at the time. That spot with Reigns hitting the Spear on Sheamus through the barricade was excellent. I really liked how well WWE booked The Shield from the moment they debuted right until their split over a year after this. It’s not a surprise that Cena avoided being pinned here since he was the Royal Rumble winner that was headlining WrestleMania. The Shield should have won and I’m glad that they did.)
Dolph Ziggler’s music started up. He was in his ring gear and he had AJ Lee with him as well as Big E Langston. He had his busted up Money in the Bank briefcase. He complained about not being on the show. Ziggler said we should call the cops because he steals the show. The Smackdown GM Booker T showed up by the entrance. He complained about Ziggler wasting time. Booker said he knew a man that could do everything that Ziggler could do. It’s his opponent: Kofi Kingston.
Analysis: This might be the guy that Ziggler has faced more than anybody in his career. They’ve had so many matches over the years. They’re usually good.
Kofi Kingston vs. Dolph Ziggler (w/AJ Lee & Big E Langston)
Ziggler hit a dropkick early on. Kingston got some momentum back, so he hit a dive onto Ziggler on the floor. That didn’t work because Ziggler move, so he went into Langston. Kingston ended up hitting the Trouble in Paradise on Ziggler. That was good enough for a two count because Langston pulled Ziggler out. Kingston hit a dive off the top rope to take out Langston on the floor. Back in the ring, Kingston hit a cross body block. While they were on the top rope, Ziggler gave Kingston a move where he dropped his neck off the top rope in a stun gun type maneuver. Ziggler followed up with the Zig Zag to win the match at 3:55.
Winner: Dolph Ziggler
Post match, Langston punched Kingston in the ribs a few times. Langston hit a running body attack to knock down Kingston. Langston gave him his finishing move, The Big Ending. That’s the name of it. Get it? Has “Big E” in it.
Analysis: *1/2 This was a short match to put over Ziggler in a PPV match. I would have liked to see Ziggler in an advertised match on the card, but this was fine. The crowd wasn’t emotionally invested in it.
(That was a lot shorter than their usual match. Just a way to give Ziggler a win.)
Michael Cole plugged the WWE App again. He showed the video demonstration that was on Raw a couple of weeks ago. JBL and Lawler made fun of Cole for having a pic of Cole & Lawler as his background. Lawler said he had a pic with his girlfriend as his background.
There was a backstage segment with Brodus Clay, Cameron & Naomi playing with those WWE Power Slammers toys. Tensai showed up – Clay called him “Sweet T.” Clay asked Tensai what the words were on his face. Tensai said he thought they were Japanese words of honor. Then all four of them danced.
Analysis: That was a painfully bad segment.
Divas Title: Kaitlyn vs. Tamina Snuka
Before the match they showed some clip from the WWE App between them. Also Kaitlyn did a pre-match promo saying she’ll still be Divas Champion. There was barely any build to this match. Suplex by Kaitlyn followed by a rollup for two. Backslide got two for Kaitlyn. Backstage, the other divas were watching on a backstage monitor. It was Natalya, Layla, Alica Fox, Cameron & Naomi. The best of that bunch is Natalya of course. While they were fighting on the apron, Tamina threw Kaitlyn into the ring post. Tamina gave her a boot to the face for a two count. Tamina went for the Superfly Splash, but she took so long that Kaitlyn moved. Kaitlyn came back with a Spear for the win after four minutes.
Analysis: * The crowd didn’t care, but it was okay. It was a basic story with Kaitlyn avoiding the finisher of Tamina to counter with her finisher to win the match. If you had to go to the bathroom during the show this was the time to do it.
(Bad match that was really short, which was common in this era. It took two more years for the women’s matches to get more time. Kaitlyn was certainly likable as a face, but this just didn’t work that well.)
We got the video package for the WWE Championship match.
CM Punk and Paul Heyman made their entrance. Heyman had the WWE Title in his hands. Of course Punk isn’t the WWE Champion. He stole it from Rock on Raw this past week. Punk went to ring announcer Justin Roberts and made him announce him as “The People’s Champion CM Punk.” Cole argued that Punk wasn’t the champion while JBL was saying he has earned respect. The Rock made his entrance to the biggest reaction of the night.
WWE Championship: The Rock vs. CM Punk (w/Paul Heyman)
The stipulation is if Rock gets counted out or disqualified then CM Punk wins the WWE Title. There was a slow pace early. Paul Heyman was counting points outside the ring. That was a nice touch. Very funny. Rock hit a couple of arm drags. Punk bailed to the floor like the great heel that he is. Back in the ring, Rock went after him with punches. Punk spit in Rock’s face. Rock aggressively threw him out of the ring. Rock threw Punk into the security wall and then gave him a clothesline. Rock threw him onto the announce table. The idea is that Punk is trying to get him mad so Rock could get disqualified. Heyman distracted the ref while Punk raked Rock’s eyes. It’s not like Punk would get DQ’d for that outside the ring. Back in the ring, Punk was in control with a chinlock. There was “Let’s go Rock/CM Punk” chant. Punk hit a jumping side kick for two. Heyman mentioned Punk got a 1.5 before and now he got a 2, so now he’s closer. Brilliant haha! Rock charged into the corner, Punk got his boot and then Punk hit a top rope clothesline for another two count. Heyman said it was a 2.5 that time. Punk applied a chinlock as Rock came back with punches. The ref broke up Rock’s punches in the corner, so Punk hit a running knee in the corner. Punk hit another running knee in the corner followed by a clothesline. Punk hit a Flying Elbow off the top for a two count as we have passed the ten-minute mark.
They were outside the ring as Punk cleaned off the Spanish Announce Table. Rock slammed Punk’s head into the English Announce Table a few times. Back in the ring, Punk countered the Rock Bottom and hit a roundhouse kick for two. Punk threw Rock outside the ring. Heyman distracted the referee. CM Punk gave Rock a Rock Bottom on the Spanish Announce Table. It didn’t break. It broke at the Rumble when they were standing on it, but not here. Rock rolled back into the ring at a count of nine, so Rock is still WWE Champion. Rock came back with a Samoan Drop. Both guys were out in the KO spot as referee Mike Chioda counted them down. They both got up at the count of nine. Rock decked Punk with a punch. Rock hit a clothesline followed by a snap DDT. Rock Bottom didn’t work because Punk elbowed his way out of it. Punk went for a springboard clothesline, but it didn’t connect. Rock gave him a Rock Bottom. Punk kicked out at two. Punk went to the floor, the ref admonished Paul Heyman. The ref got bumped all the way to the floor. Punk hit the GTS. No ref to count the pinfall. The doctor along with ref John Cone checked on Mike Chioda. Punk wanted the ref to count the pin. Rock hit a Spinebuster. Rock hit a People’s Elbow. Punk kicked out at two as ref John Cone counted the pinfall attempt. Punk gave Rock a kick to the head. Ref John Cone rolled out to the floor with a hurt ankle. Heyman handed Punk the WWE Title. Heyman held up Rock by the ropes. Punk charged in with the WWE Title as a weapon. Rock moved. Punk hit Heyman with the WWE Title. Rock hit the Rock Bottom leading to the pinfall for the win at 20:55.
Winner: The Rock
Analysis: ***1/4 This was another good match from them although the finish had a lot going on. I’m sure some will complain about it being overbooked, which is understandable because it was. I think that finish actually helped Punk as well as his story as a guy that believes things aren’t fair. Rock could have pinned him after one finisher and it would have hurt Punk more than anything. Punk kicked out of everything Rock had including the People’s Elbow and the Rock Bottom, but it wasn’t enough to get the win. Rock was able to overcome everything to win the match with a decisive Rock Bottom. I’m glad Punk was booked strong enough to kick out of his finishers. As for Punk, he can complain about how he had Rock beat after hitting the GTS, but due to the ref being down he wasn’t able to get the pinfall attempt. I still think it will be Punk vs. Undertaker at WrestleMania although there was nothing done on this show to set that up. They have seven weeks to get there.
(I liked their 2013 Royal Rumble match more. I rated that one four stars, so this was a bit below that, but still a pretty good match. The booking was a bit weird here. Everybody knew Rock was going to retain, so I guess they were trying to go for some different things with the referee bumping.)
As far as Rock vs. Cena goes, I’ve written about that as the WrestleMania 29 main event ever since the end of their WrestleMania 28 match. This time Cena will win and he’ll get the WWE Title too.
(And that’s what happened. It wasn’t a bold prediction by any means. It was obvious.)
Post match, Rock celebrated with the WWE Title. There was a graphic that told us in 49 nights it will be The Rock vs. John Cena for the WWE Title in the main event of WrestleMania 29. It was expected. Now it’s official. End show.
This event had a runtime of 2:49:12 on WWE Network.
Five Stars of the Show
1. Chris Jericho – Chris had the biggest role in the Chamber match, which was the best of the night.
2. The Shield – I’m cheating and giving it to the team. I love how they were booked.
3. CM Punk
4. The Rock
5. Jack Swagger
I guess that’s seven stars of the night. I’m allowed to bend the rules in my column!
Honorable mention goes to the Spanish Announce Table. It didn’t break. What a badass.
It was a fun show. Call it an 8 out of 10. When you can have four matches over the three-star level that makes for an entertaining product in my eyes.
The opener was a competitive matchup, the Chamber match was the best one on the show, the six-man tag provided an entertaining finish and the main event was an emotional roller coaster that didn’t hurt the loser that much because he has a legitimate complaint.
My favorite part of the show was how The Shield won their match. They timed it perfectly. Everybody played their parts well. I’m shocked they would have the superhero babyfaces lose in that manner. Excellent booking.
(I think that rating is a bit high as I look back at this show now. I’d probably go with a 7.25 or 7.5 out of 10 now.)
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