TJR Retro: WWE No Way Out 2009 Review (Triple H and Edge win Elimination Chamber Matches)

TJR Retro: WWE No Way Out 2009 Review (Triple H and Edge win Elimination Chamber Matches)

There were two Elimination Chamber matches at No Way Out 2009 with one match opening the show and the other match was the main event. Both Chamber matches were for the two men’s World Championships that WWE had at the time. By this point, WWE had fully embraced being a PG company again. There were three Raw matches on this show, one Smackdown match and one ECW match. Also, the women’s and tag team divisions were ignored on this show although Melina did Beth Phoenix in the dark match.

The year 2009 wasn’t necessarily a big one for WWE, but it was for me. I started writing my WWE Raw Deal review regularly in May 2009. Within a few years, writing about wrestling became my career and it still is. I did start writing about wrestling a decade before that, but it was in 2009 when I really pursued it as a career. Thanks for being on this journey with me.

This event did 272,000 buys on PPV. That was pretty good for 2009 although No Way Out 2008 did over 50,000 more buys likely because they had John Cena challenge Randy Orton for the WWE Title. When compared to other 2009 PPVs, No Way Out was the fifth-best that year. The No Way Out PPV name was used from 2000 to 2009, so this ended a ten-year run because WWE started calling the PPV Elimination Chamber instead. There’s also No Way Out of Texas in 1998 and No Way Out 2012, but this was the end of the streak of No Way Out PPVs.

For this review, what I wrote about the two Elimination Chamber matches is from 2018 when I wrote reviews of every Elimination Chamber match in WWE history. The rest of this review was written in 2021.

This event followed the 2009 Royal Rumble and was the lead-in to WrestleMania 25.

Here’s the synopsis on WWE Network:

“Edge defends the WWE Championship in the Elimination Chamber against the Undertaker, Triple H, Jeff Hardy, Big Show, and Vladimir Kozlov. John Cena defends the World Heavyweight Championship inside the Elimination Chamber against Rey Mysterio, Kofi Kingston, Kane, Chris Jericho, and Mike Knox.” PG (V)

Check out the full list of my WWE PPV Review archive right here. Let’s get to the show.

Here’s a DVD of the show featuring Vladimir Kozlov. Yes, really.

WWE No Way Out
February 15, 2009
From Key Arena in Seattle, Washington

The opening video package focused on Shane McMahon wanting payback on Randy Orton due to Orton’s attacks against the McMahon family. They said that “the son becomes the avenger” with regards to Shane. It also featured John Bradshaw Layfield setting up an “All or Nothing” match with Shawn Michaels. Also, two Elimination Chamber matches as John Cena defends the World Heavyweight Championship while Edge defends the WWE Championship as the road to WrestleMania goes through No Way Out.

The pyro went off in the arena and there were some signs in the crowd.

The Undertaker made his entrance to start the pay-per-view. That’s rare considering he is one of the biggest names in WWE history, but that’s what happens when you have two Elimination Chamber matches. The crowd was loud for his entrance like usual. Taker was the first man to enter a “Lexan pod” as JR called it. I just call it a pod with some kind of glass in front of it.

The Smackdown announce team of Jim Ross and Tazz called this first match. Big Show was up next. Show turned so much in his career it was hard to keep track what he was, but he was in a heel role at this point. Vladimir Kozlov entered with his funny looking march down to the ring. Tazz noted that Kozlov was undefeated in singles competition. This was when he was booked as a dominant heel as opposed to his run as a comedic face.  Triple H was the fourth man to be placed into one of the pods. There was a big ovation for him since he was in a face role. Triple H was on Raw most of the time during the original brand extension (he didn’t want to work Tuesdays as Paul Heyman famously told us), but by this point, he was moved to Smackdown. Triple H spit some water on Big Show as he posed the ring.

Jeff Hardy got a huge ovation. He won the WWE Championship at Armageddon in December 2008, but he lost it one month later at the 2009 Royal Rumble when brother Matt turned on him to help Edge win the WWE Title. Edge was the last man to enter. He was the heel WWE Champion.

Elimination Chamber Match for the WWE Championship: Edge vs. Jeff Hardy vs. The Undertaker vs. Triple H vs. Vladimir Kozlov vs. Big Show

Pre-match notes: Edge was the heel WWE Champion with Kozlov and Show as the other heels. The faces were Hardy, Undertaker and Triple H.

Hardy opened up with forearms on Edge, but Edge came back with a boot to the face. The crowd was hot as Edge hit a running cross body block to Hardy’s back while he was up against the ropes. Edge taunted Big Show by doing the Chokeslam hand gesture while fans chanted for Hardy. Headscissors by Hardy, atomic drop and a low dropkick. Edge avoided a Twist of Fate and then Jeff connected with it. Hardy up top, he jumped off with a Swanton Bomb and Edge moved, so Hardy hit the mat. Edge went for a Spear, Hardy grabbed an inside cradle and pinned him to eliminate Edge. The time was 2:59, so less than three minutes for the WWE Champion. Big pop from the crowd for that.

Edge eliminated by Jeff Hardy

Edge was freaking out about getting pinned. JR correctly pointed out that this means we are guaranteed to see a new WWE Champion. There was a great shot of Triple H laughing at Edge during Edge’s freak out. The crowd was cheering loudly at the shock of Edge getting eliminated so early in the match. Edge left the Chamber and was in shock about it.

Analysis: That was one of the most creative eliminations in Elimination Chamber match history. To have the WWE Champion lose in less than three minutes was rare. Great booking, though. The crowd reacted to it in a big way.

Kozlov was #3 as he entered with aggression against Hardy. When Hardy tried an attack off the ropes, Kozlov headbutted him in the ribs. Kozlov sent Hardy into the cage a few times. Kozlov drove Hardy back first into the cage two times and then hit a fallaway slam that sent Hardy into the ring to give Kozlov a two count. Kozlov set up Hardy on the top rope followed by a kick to the ribs. Kozlov hit another fallaway slam for a two count. Kozlov with a backbreaker for a two count. Kozlov went for a powerslam, but Hardy slipped out, hit a dropkick to the back and a dropkick while Kozlov was against the turnbuckle. Hardy hit his Whisper in the Wide attack off the ropes. Both guys were down the clock counted down to zero.

Big Show was #4 in the match. Show worked over Hardy with punches followed by a toss across the ring. Show with a headbutt on Jeff and Kozlov with three headbutts on Hardy. Show with a punch to Hardy and Kozlov with a knee to Hardy. The big men were staring at eachother. Show with a body slam on Hardy. Kozlov followed up with a body slam on Hardy. When Hardy tried to fight back, Big Show dropped him with a headbutt. Show with a hard chop to the chest of Jeff. Show nailed another chop on Hardy. When Show turned around, Kozlov hit him with a headbutt to the chest to put an end to this staredown from the heels. Show missed a corner attack when Kozlov moved and it was time for the next man in the match.

Triple H entered as #5 to a really good ovation from the crowd with Hunter nailing a facebuster on Show and a running knee on Kozlov. Show missed a corner splash on Hunter and Hunter hit a spinebuster on him. Triple H decked Hardy with a clothesline followed by a low-bridge by the ropes that sent Kozlov crashing onto the steel grating. Kozlov missed an attack and hit one of the pods. Triple H wanted a Pedigree on Kozlov, but Show stopped that with a chop on Triple H. Show worked over Hunter with punches while Kozlov worked on Hardy. The heels in control took place for about two minutes as the fans chanted “Undertaker.” When Show tried a Chokeslam, Triple H slipped out of it, but Show came back with a press slam. Show whipped Triple H into the cage. Hardy hit some move on Kozlov, but we didn’t get to see it. Show grabbed Hardy, sent him into Triple H against the wall, but Show missed a splash against the cage and he went down. Jeff and Hardy hit a double team suplex on Kozlov. Hardy with a dive off the ropes onto Triple H as the clock counted down.

The Undertaker was the last man in the match as #6 and he went right after Big Show with punches. Undertaker sent Kozlov into the top turnbuckle followed by a running boot. Corner clotheslines by Taker on Hunter and Hardy. Boot knocked down Kozlov. Show hit Taker from behind, but Taker came back with a leaping clothesline followed by a sit up. Taker battled Show on the steel grating and Taker hit a DDT on the steel. Taker with the Old School punch off the ropes to Hunter, boot by Taker to Jeff and Kozlov hit a running headbutt that looked like a really sloppy tackle. Kozlov stood on the middle rope with elbows, so you knew what was coming and there was Taker with the Last Ride Powerbomb out of the corner that he did in nearly every match. Taker covered Kozlov to eliminate him.

Vladimir Kozlov eliminated by Undertaker

Analysis: I like Taker a lot, but he did that Powerbomb out of the corner way too often.

Show was dominant as he hit a Chokeslam on Undertaker and he threw Hardy onto Triple H on the steel. Show whipped Hunter into the cage. Show tried to toss Hardy into the cage, but Hardy tried to climb away and Show tripped him up at the top of a pod. Taker hit Show with a superplex off the middle rope. That was impressive. Hunter capitalized with a Pedigree on Show with no cover because he was tired. Hardy stood on top of the pod, the crowd was going wild for it and Hardy nailed Show with a Swanton from the top of the pod for the pinfall elimination.

Big Show eliminated by Jeff Hardy

Analysis: They did the same spot at the Elimination Chamber match one year earlier when they eliminated Umaga.

Hunter battled with Undertaker with JR calling them three of the most popular stars in WWE, which was true. Taker whipped Hunter into the ropes leading to Hunter doing his top rope bump over the top onto the steel. Undertaker tried to walk the ropes, but Hunter tripped him up leading to Taker getting crotched on the top rope. Hardy jumped off Taker’s back to jump over the top onto Triple H who was on the steel. Taker grabbed Hardy and hit a Tombstone to pin him.

Jeff Hardy eliminated by The Undertaker

Final two were Triple H and Undertaker with Taker working him over with punches. Taker went for a running kick, Hunter moved and Taker was crotched against the turnbuckle. Hunter sent Taker face first into the cage that would have led to a blade job years earlier, but not in the PG era of WWE. Back in the ring, Taker hit a Chokeslam for a two count. Hunter came back with a spinebuster. Taker was back in control as they battled on the steel grating outside the ring and Taker sent him into the cage with a catapult. Fans were chanting for both guys. They did a great spot where they flipped back into the ring right into Tombstone position and Taker hit a Tombstone on Triple H for a two count because Triple H got his right foot on the bottom ropes since Taker was near the ropes. That was one of the better two counts you’re ever going to see. Triple H came back with a Pedigree, he covered a few seconds later and covered for one…two…no…Undertaker kicked out. That was a great nearfall too. JR: “My God, this match continues!” The two men exchanged punches. Triple H punched Taker while against the turnbuckle, so Undertaker tried the Last Ride Powerbomb, but Triple H slipped out of it, kick to the gut and a Pedigree by Triple H for the one…two….three won the match. It went 35:55.

The Undertaker eliminated by Triple H

Winner and New WWE Champion: Triple H

Analysis: ****1/4 It was a very good match with Triple H and Undertaker having a nice battle for nearly ten minutes. It was a preview of what their WrestleMania matches would look like in 2011 and 2012. I liked the Edge elimination early in the match because of how surprising it was. Nobody watching this show expected the WWE Champion to get eliminated in less than three minutes, so I give WWE a lot of credit for being creative. The worst parts of the match involved Kozlov, who looked way out of place with some of the other big names in there. My favorite part of the ending was when Triple H got out of the predictable Last Ride Powerbomb spot and won because of that. Smart booking from start to finish in this match.

SmackDown Elimination Chamber Match: No Way Out 2009

It was the 13th World Championship win for Triple H in WWE. He celebrated with the WWE Championship while The Undertaker looked frustrated about the loss. They had a long staredown and Taker left.

Analysis: Triple H ended up moving to Raw with the WWE Championship because his feud with Randy Orton headlined WrestleMania 25 that year. As for The Undertaker, he had the best WWE match ever (in my opinion) against Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania 25.

THREE RANDOM THOUGHTS

– I like how the match ended with the biggest faces in the match as the final three. They had the most star power and they were who the fans wanted to see. The final two sequences with Hunter and Taker lasted about eight minutes, so that’s one of the longest final two moments in the history of the Chamber. It’s rare to see guys kicking out major finishing moves in an opening match on a PPV, but that’s what they did in this match.

– The action was slow until The Undertaker got in there. It’s impressive to see how much energy The Undertaker had when he was nearly 44 years old at the time of this match.

– I’ll remember this match forever because of the Edge elimination spot. When you watch these kinds of matches you don’t expect the champion to get pinned early, so when that happened it made you think maybe they will do it again. I like creative ideas like that.

FACTS & OPINIONS

Wrestler that lasted the longest: Jeff Hardy at 28:28.

Most Eliminations: The Undertaker and Triple H at 2.

Best Performers (3): Triple H – The usual good job by him in this match.

The Undertaker – Taker was great in his mid-40s moving around really well.

Jeff Hardy – I think the fans wanted him to win more than anybody else, but it wasn’t meant to be. Jeff was arguably the most popular guy in the match.

Most Memorable Moment: Edge getting eliminated by a Jeff Hardy inside cradle at 2:59 was a big surprise.

Match Rating: ****1/4 out of five.

There was a backstage scene with Edge complaining to Vickie Guerrero, who told Edge it was his fault and he lost. She apologized for saying it. Edge was frustrated about what happened with Vickie saying she was so sorry. That would not be the last of Edge on this show.

The Raw announce team of Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler were on the call for the next match.

The video package aired for Randy Orton’s match against Shane McMahon. Several weeks earlier on Raw, Vince McMahon was going to fire Orton, but then Orton attacked Vince with a slap to the face and the dreaded Punt kick. Orton said that he had Intermittent Explosive Disorder (IED) claiming he was not responsible for his actions. Orton claimed that WWE knew of his condition and did nothing about it. Orton threatened Stephanie McMahon saying he would sue the company if she tried to fire him. Stephanie said that firing him would be too easy and said that they had bigger plans. Shane McMahon was back to fight on behalf of his family. Shane got into a brawl with Orton to set up this match. Shane was also attacked by Orton and his Legacy buddies Ted Dibiase and Cody Rhodes. Orton tried to do the Punt to Stephanie in the backstage area, but Shane saved his sister.

Analysis: The video left out the part of the brawl where Shane threw some really bad punches on Orton that looked bad and embarrassing. That’s what a lot of people remember about this feud.

Randy Orton did a promo in the backstage area. Orton said that Vince and Linda McMahon are probably praying that their only son Shane will avenge what happened to Vince. Orton said that Vince is helpless as he watches Shane cry and cry out in pain as Orton takes him apart. Orton claimed that the carnage will not stop until he has destroyed the entire McMahon family. Orton said he’ll make his legacy at the expense of the McMahon family legacy. Orton said that the McMahons can watch Orton take his rightful place in the main event of WrestleMania.

Analysis: Nice heel promo from Orton.

Randy Orton made his entrance with an intense look on his face. Orton was the Royal Rumble winner also, so he was on his way to the main event of WrestleMania as well.

Shane McMahon made his entrance in his Shane O Mac shirt and track pants that was common for his wrestling gear. Stephanie McMahon was shown watching on a TV in her office backstage.

No Holds Barred Match: Shane McMahon vs. Randy Orton

Pre-match notes: Randy Orton was the heel while Shane was the face. The only way to win is by pinfall or submission. Anything goes in a No Holds Barred Match like this.

Shane connected with some punches to rock Orton early on. Those punches looked better than the bad ones that Shane did on Raw. Orton with some punches of his own, but then Shane connected with a punch that sent Orton out of the ring. Shane hit a baseball slide dropkick to knock Orton down on the floor. Shane grabbed a table and a garbage can from under the ring, which allowed Orton to come back with a modified backbreaker. Orton drove Shane’s back into the ring apron two times. Orton hit a belly to back suplex in the ring. Orton took the top turnbuckle pad off to expose the steel buckle. Orton whipped Shane into the exposed steel, so Shane’s upper back hit the steel. Orton kicked Shane under the bottom rope to send him out of the ring. After Orton walked around the ring taunting the crowd, Shane came back with a kendo stick to attack Orton in the head and back repeatedly. Shane with a hard kendo stick shot to the chest of Orton two more times. Shane with another kendo stick attack that sent Orton to the floor. Shane continued the attack with a clothesline on the floor. Shane cleared off the Smackdown announce table that wasn’t needed anymore since they called their one match. Shane hit Orton with a TV monitor to the head, which cut open the side of Orton’s left head. That was not a blade job. They were not having blood in matches at this point. It was a legit cut from the TV monitor to the head. Shane climbed to the top rope while Orton was on the table, but Cody Rhodes and Ted Dibiase showed up to attack Shane. They were both in their ring gear even though they were not in a match. Cody brought in a chair, Ted held Shane and Shane turned around, so Cody hit Ted in the back with the chair. Shane hit Cody with a DDT on the chair. Orton was still on the announce table with a lot of blood coming from the left side of his head. Shane set up a trash can in front of Cody and Shane jumped across the ring with the Coast to Coast dropkick into the garbage can that was in front of Cody’s face. Shane climbed the ropes and he jumped towards Orton on the announce table, but Orton had time to recover, so Orton moved and Shane went crashing through the announce table. Orton told Ted to get Cody out of there and make sure he is alright, so Ted left with Cody. Orton continued to have a lot of blood pouring down on the left side of the face.

Orton got a hold of Shane on the apron leading to the draping DDT off the ropes and that got a two count for Orton, who was shocked that it was only a two count, so he tried two more pin attempts. Orton set up a table in the ring. Orton set up Shane for a superplex through the table and Orton hit the superplex through the table. Part of Orton’s back went through the table, but it was mostly Shane taking the bump through the table, which led to Orton getting a two count. Orton stomped on Shane’s body followed by a knee drop for two. Orton charged at Shane, but Shane met him with a Spear. Shane hit Orton with a chair shot to the back. Shane used the chair to hit the left foot of Orton two times in arow. Shane did a third chair shot into the left ankle. Orton pleaded with Shane, the fans got louder and Shane hit Orton in the left arm to knock him down. Shane set up to go for The Punt, but Orton popped back up with the RKO OUTTA NOWHERE~! for the pinfall win at 18:16.

Winner by pinfall: Randy Orton

Analysis: ***1/4 It was a wild brawl early on and then it slowed down in the second half of the match. I like how aggressive Shane was from the beginning, then Orton took over and they brought it home with a lot of excitement. Those final few minutes were pretty good with Shane attacking the foot, but then he got greedy going for The Punt and Orton was there to drop him wit the RKO to win. It was obvious that Orton was going to win because they didn’t want to have him lose to a non-wrestler like Shane when Orton was going on to main event WrestleMania. The unexpected blood loss for Orton helped the match because he suffered during the match even though he was the winner.

After the match was over, Shane was on his knees in the ring with Orton behind him and Orton looked like he might attack, but instead he left the ring. Orton was selling the left leg injury as he limped towards the back.

Analysis: With Triple H winning back the WWE Championship, it was pretty much known at this point that he would face Orton at WrestleMania. It wasn’t a fresh feud by any means, but this time Triple H would be a face and Orton was the heel.

The ECW announce team of Todd Grisham and Matt Striker took over for their one match on the show.

ECW Championship: Jack Swagger vs. Finlay (w/Hornswoggle)

Pre-match notes: Swagger was the heel champion that won the title over one month earlier. Finlay was the face with his storyline son Hornswoggle by his side although Hornswoggle started the match under the ring.

Finlay slapped on a half crab submission with the fans chanted “We Want Christian” who returned to WWE as part of the ECW brand around this time. Finlay tried attacking the leg against the ropes, but Swagger moved and Finlay hit the turnbuckle. Swagger kicked Finlay into the turnbuckle. Swagger slapped on an armbar on the left arm. Swagger hit a shoulderbreaker for a two count. The crowd was quiet for this match. Swagger kept on working on the left arm of Finlay with Finlay fighting back with a reverse DDT into a backbreaker. Finlay avoided a Swagger charge leading to a rollup attempt. Finlay hit a lefty clothesline. Finlay went to the middle rope, Hornswoggle emerged from under the ring and Finlay hit a cross body block on Swagger for a two count. Finlay with three clotheslines and a splash for a two count. Finlay picked up Swagger, who shoved Finlay into the ropes and Hornswoggle was on the apron, so Hornswoggle bumped to the floor. Swagger kicked Finlay in the back. Swagger grabbed a waistlock into a Gutwrench Powerbomb for the pinfall win at 7:53.

Winner by pinfall: Jack Swagger

Analysis: ** It was just an average match with a dead crowd after the emotional match that took place before this. Swagger was the younger guy in his mid-20s with Finlay as the veteran that was there to put over the younger guy. They probably could have made it more interesting by booking Hornswoggle to be more effective, but I guess the goal was to make Swagger look like a strong champion.

The announce team of Cole and Lawler noted that Shane McMahon was going in and out of consciousness with Lawler saying Shane was taken to a local medical facility (hospital was a banned word) with sister Stephanie joining him.

Shawn Michaels was shown praying before his match up next.

The video package aired for Shawn Michaels facing John Bradshaw Layfield. The story was that Michaels had money issues, so JBL gave him money and that meant Michaels had to work for him. This led to JBL getting a World Heavyweight Title against John Cena at Royal Rumble with Shawn superkicking JBL and Cena during the match with Michaels putting JBL on top, but Cena kicked out. Cena won the match moments later. JBL told Michaels that Shawn failed JBL. Shawn told JBL he wanted to kick his teeth down his throat. JBL suggested a match at No Way Out with JBL saying he’ll pay Shawn everything he owes him, but if JBL wins then JBL owns Shawn and Shawn works for JBL for the rest of his life. Shawn accepted the match while JBL told Shawn to bring his wife so JBL can show her what Shawn has become.

John Bradshaw Layfield made his entrance walking down to the ring. There was no limo entrance at this point in his career. Shawn’s wife Rebecca was shown watching at ringside. JBL stared at Rebecca in the crowd. There wasn’t much of a reaction to JBL, but he was booed of course.

Shawn Michaels made his entrance to a big pop wearing a cowboy hat. Shawn walked over to his wife Rebecca in the crowd as some fans were sitting behind her and excited about being close to Shawn. Cole noted that Rebecca was Shawn’s wife of ten years. They have a son and daughter together.

Analysis: Going into this match, it’s fair to say that most people assumed Michaels would win here to put an end to this ridiculous storyline. In WWE land, you never know for sure until it happens.

All or Nothing Match: John Bradshaw Layfield vs. Shawn Michaels

Pre-match notes: JBL was the heel and Michaels was the face. The big story here is that if Shawn won then he would get the money from JBL to help with Shawn’s storyline money issues, but if JBL won then Shawn has to work for JBL forever.

JBL backed Shawn into the corner saying all he needs is for Shawn to make one mistake and JBL can beat him. Shawn unloaded on JBL with punches leading to JBL bailing to the floor for a break. Shawn left the ring, JBL handed him a chair, Shawn put the chair down and attacked with punches. Back in the ring, JBL took over after a forearm to the back and JBL countered a sunset flip into a pin of his own for two. JBL with a shoulder tackle followed by an elbow drop. Shawn with a chop block to the back of the left leg and then a Figure Four Leglock, but JBL got his hands on the bottom rope to break the hold. Shawn slapped on the Crossface submission, JBL countered it into a pin attempt and got a two count. Shawn with chops and punches, but then JBL whipped Shawn into the corner with Shawn taking a big bump over the top to the floor. JBL drove Shawn back first into the side of the ring. Back in, JBL continued to dominate with repeated elbow drops for a two count. There was a short-arm clothesline from JBL for a two count. JBL unloaded on Shawn with punches to the face. JBL slapped on a bearhug for about one minute, Shawn broke free with punches and a swinging neckbreaker by Michaels, who was down selling the back injury. Michaels with an atomic drop two times, then some more chops and JBL did a hard corner whip with Shawn flipping upside down. JBL set up Shawn on the top turnbuckle, but Shawn knocked JBL off the middle rope and Shawn missed the patented elbow drop off the top because JBL moved. JBL went off the ropes and hit a running Clothesline from Hell for two. JBL was frustrated about that, then took his time waiting for Shawn to get up again and JBL hit another Clothesline from Hell with Shawn rolling under the bottom rope. JBL was staring at Shawn’s wife Rebecca and then JBL kicked Shawn off the apron to the floor. The referee Jack Doan counted Shawn out of the ring, but Shawn crawled back in before the ten count. JBL tossed Shawn over the top to the floor with Shawn landed right near where Rebecca was sitting. JBL went up to the barricade, Rebecca punched JBL and Shawn made the big comeback. Michaels hit the jumping forearm to the head and a Thesz Press leading to punches. Michaels with the body slam leading to Shawn going up top and connecting with the elbow drop. When JBL got back up, Michaels hit the Sweet Chin Music superkick for the pinfall win at 13:12.

Winner by pinfall: Shawn Michaels

Analysis: **1/2 It was a slow-paced match that was fitting for JBL’s style. I thought the story of the match made sense with JBL nearly winning with the Clothesline From Hell. After JBL failed, he focused on Rebecca, then she slapped JBL in the face and that’s when Shawn cranked up the offense. It was the classic moves of HBK that finished off JBL for the win here.

Post match, Shawn celebrated with his wife by getting a congratulatory kiss. Shawn and Rebecca walked up the aisle and ramp together. Shawn posed on the ramp to a big pop from the crowd. There were some replays shown. Shawn hugged his wife on the ramp and they walked to the back.

Analysis: I’m glad this story was over at this point because it was pretty silly. Michaels would go on to WrestleMania 25 to have that all-time great match with The Undertaker.

Chris Jericho was interviewed for the main event going into his fifth Elimination Chamber match. Jericho was in heel mode as he reminded us he is the best in the world at what he does. Jericho said he wanted Ric Flair to come out of retirement to face him at WrestleMania. Then Jericho said he won’t do that. Jericho guaranteed that he would win the Elimination Chamber match. Jericho bragged about being the Superstar of the Year in 2008 and he’ll become the Superstar of the Year in 2009 as well.

The Elimination Chamber lowered for the main event. It was noted by Michael Cole that 67% of the time a title was on the line in a Chamber match, the title changed hands.

John Cena made his entrance with the World Heavyweight Championship in his hands with Cole noting that he’ll be locked in one of those Lexan pod chambers. Mike Knox was up next. I don’t even remember him being in this match. Knox was part of the ECW reboot in 2006 and then later pushed on the main roster as a menacing heel. Kane was the third man that will enter one of the pods to start the match. He was in his heel run without a mask on.

Kofi Kingston entered as the fourth man to enter a pod. He was a new guy that was gaining a lot of popularity, but then Edge showed up with an attack from behind! Edge slammed Kingston into the steel steps. Edge grabbed a steel chair and did a Conchairto chair shot to the head of Kingston against the steel steps. Edge entered one of the pods. Rey Mysterio ran out to check on Kingston. The medical personnel checked on Kingston. Edge locked himself in one of the pods as Mysterio went after him, but Mysterio couldn’t get to him.

Analysis: Great angle that was fitting for the kind of heel that Edge was. It was a cheap attack that cost Kingston his spot and then Edge managed to get himself into the match.

Chris Jericho entered as the last man. He was in his “best in the world” heel persona at this point. It was the best run of his career and this was Jericho’s 5th Chamber match. Kingston was helped to the back. The refs locked the chamber up to allow Edge in the match.

Analysis: The attack by Edge was a huge surprise that nobody could have predicted. Technically, Edge was a Smackdown guy that was just mad about his loss earlier in the night and he was allowed to be in the match.

Elimination Chamber Match for the World Heavyweight Title: John Cena vs. Mike Knox vs. Kane vs. Edge vs. Chris Jericho vs. Rey Mysterio

Pre-match notes: John Cena was the face World Champion with Mysterio as the other face in the match. The heels were Jericho, Knox, Kane and the replacement Edge.

It’s Jericho and Mysterio to start the match. Mysterio took down Jericho with headscissors and wanted a 619, but Jericho avoided it and Mysterio jumped onto Jericho with an attack over the top rope. Mysterio sent Jericho back into the ring with a clothesline. Jericho sent Mysterio into a steel ring post in front of the pods, but Rey hit the glass and it made a loud noise. Jericho with a suplex on Mysterio. Back body drop by Jericho on Mysterio over the top rope that sent Mysterio into the steel. When Jericho sent Mysterio into the cage, Mysterio climbed the cage and jumped off with a hurricanrana on Jericho. Mysterio with a seated senton off the top into a cover for two. Mysterio with a bulldog on Jericho as the clock ticked down to zero.

It’s Kane at #3 with a boot for Mysterio and a clothesline for Jericho. Kane with a sidewalk slam on Mysterio for a two count. Kane with a running dropkick on Mysterio got a two count. Kane worked over Jericho with punches followed by a clothesline that sent Jericho onto the steel. Kane rammed Jericho’s knee into the steel. Mysterio with a baseball slide dropkick on Kane. Punches by Kane on Rey. Mysterio came back with a flipping neckbreaker in the ring. Kane avoided a Lionsault by Jericho and kicked him down. Mysterio with a headscissors on Kane followed by a 619 and Jericho hit Kane with a Codebreaker. Mysterio took Jericho out of the ring. Mysterio went up to the top of a pod and hit a Seated Senton on Kane leading to a pinfall to get rid of Kane. The clock ticked down from there.

Kane eliminated by Rey Mysterio

Analysis: That was an impressive leap by Mysterio and Kane sold it great.

Mike Knox is #4 in the match with kicks for Mysterio and Jericho followed by a corner splash on Mysterio. Knox with a body slam on Jericho and a knee drop. Knox stomped on Mysterio to keep him down. Jericho with a back body drop sent Knox over the top onto the steel. Knox caught Jericho and drove him back first into the cage. Mysterio tried an attack, but Knox sent Mysterio into the cage as well. Knox hooked Mysterio’s foot between the chain links and pounded on Rey. Knox tossed Jericho back in the ring. Knox with a backbreaker on Mysterio. Jericho hit a Codebreaker out of nowhere and pinned Knox to eliminate him. Knox was in the match for just under five minutes as the clock ticked down again.

Mike Knox eliminated by Chris Jericho

Analysis: In terms of star power, Knox was by far the lowest on the totem pole in this match. It’s not a surprise that he had a short run. Knox was on offense the entire time until he ate that Codebreaker to lose the match.

Edge was the 5th entrant in the match with Mysterio going after him with punches. Mysterio with a springboard cross body block on Edge. Jericho decked Mysterio with a hard clothesline. Jericho hit the bulldog on Edge. Mysterio charged at Jericho and Jericho hit a back elbow. Edge took down Jericho with a neckbreaker for two. Edge sent Mysterio into the turnbuckle, but didn’t connect and Mysterio wanted a 619 on Edge only for Jericho to deck Mysterio with a shoulder tackle. The three men did a spot out of the corner where Jericho did a sunset flip on Edge, who hit a German Suplex on Mysterio, so it was like a Tower of Doom spot out of the corner. Edge tossed Jericho over the top rope causing him to go crashing onto the steel.

John Cena is #6 with the crowd going wild for him. Cena with shoulder tackles for Edge, clothesline for Jericho and a belly to belly suplex. Cena with a bulldog on Edge and he tossed Jericho onto the cage. Cena with a spinning suplex on Edge. Cena hit the fist drop on Edge. When Cena went for the AA on Edge, Jericho hit a Codebreaker on Cena. Mysterio hit a 619 on Cena and Cena stumbled right into the Spear from Edge for the pinfall loss. Cena is out of the match after just 2:22 of action.

John Cena eliminated by Edge

Raw Elimination Chamber Match: No Way Out 2009

Analysis: That was a huge surprise since Cena was obviously “the man” in WWE at this point, so to see him barely last in the match was a big surprise. Three signature moves in a row was a great way to get rid of Cena.

The crowd let out a big reaction to that with a mix of cheers and boos. Edge had a great facial expression to celebrate it. Mysterio nailed Edge with a dropkick followed by a headscissors on Jericho. Mysterio dropkick on Jericho. Mysterio hit the 619 on Jericho end Edge missed a charge on Mysterio. Mysterio countered a Walls of Jericho attempt and rolled up Jericho while sitting on top to eliminate Jericho.

Chris Jericho eliminated by Rey Mysterio

Analysis: That was a creative counter by Mysterio. Rey and Chris had amazing chemistry together. They had a great rivalry later in 2009 along with some great matches in WCW as well.

Edge set up for a Spear, took way too long and Mysterio avoided it leading to a rollup for two. The crowd thought that was it. Fans chanted “Rey” as he hit a cross body block on Edge for a two count. The fans bought that as a potential finish too. Mysterio countered a rollup attempt from Edge and nailed a kick to the head for two. Mysterio countered another Edge move with a DDT for a two count. The crowd bought that nearfall as a potential finish as well. Edge came back with a big boot that knocked down Mysterio on the steel outside the ring. Edge tried a Powerbomb on the steel, but Mysterio countered with an X-Factor facebuster. Mysterio with a reverse 619 to the back of Edge’s head instead of the front. Mysterio charged in, but Edge launched him over his head and sent Mysterio into the glass pod. Ouch. When Mysterio stumbled back into the ring, Edge hit a Spear. Edge covered Mysterio and the ref counted the three to give Edge the victory after 29:46 of action.

Rey Mysterio eliminated by Edge

Winner and New World Heavyweight Champion: Edge

Analysis: **** It was a pretty good match that was a lot of fun in the second half thanks to the work of Edge, Mysterio and Jericho. The first half of the match was not as interesting, but still interesting with Mysterio and Jericho telling an interesting story. The elimination of Cena was a huge story in the match because most people assumed Cena was going to win, so to see him get eliminated in under three minutes was a huge shock. It was almost as big of a shock as Edge being inserted into the match. There wasn’t much of a role for Kane or Mike Knox in the match. They are big guys, but neither guy was much of a factor in there. I liked the way Mysterio came close to beating Edge multiple times and the story became about whether Mysterio could find a way to do it. They ended the match in an emphatic way with Edge launching Mysterio into the glass covering the pod and using the Spear to end it. I like how it was booked. The big question from the match would be this: If Edge was not legally in the match, why was he able to take part in it? Because it’s WWE. They don’t explain things well. That’s my answer. By the way, this Edge/Mysterio ending was very good, but it was even better two years later at Elimination Chamber 2011. I loved that match.

THREE RANDOM THOUGHTS

– I liked the story of the match a lot with Edge forcing his way into it and finding a way to win. It was so cheap, yet when he got in there he played within the rules and when he left with the title, it got people talking in terms of what might be next. Could it have been explained better? Of course. As we all know, WWE is not very good at explaining logic or a lack of logic.

– The key part of the match was Cena’s elimination. Cena is always the favorite in his matches, so to have him get his minute of offense in there and then succumb to three signature spots in a row was an incredible story. The fans were stunned by it. There was this long, sustained reaction to it that showed how much of a big star Cena was.

– Poor Kofi Kingston. I remember people thinking this could be a breakout match for him in a main event spot, but then he was taken out of it.

FACTS & OPINIONS

Wrestler that lasted the longest: Rey Mysterio at 29:46.

Most Eliminations: Edge and Mysterio with two.

Best Performers (3): Rey Mysterio – Rey is such a great worker. He was the key to the match.

Edge – He was at his best during this heel run from 2005 to 2009. Nice job by him like usual.

Chris Jericho – He competed in more Chamber matches than anybody. This was during one of the best runs of his career and as usual, he did well.

Most Memorable Moment: John Cena being eliminated in 2:22 due to the Codebreaker, 619 and Spear combination. It was shocking.

Match Rating: **** out of five.

Edge celebrated with the World Heavyweight Title. It meant that Edge was an eight-time World Champion. Cole and Lawler wondered if this means that Raw doesn’t have a champion. They replayed the events from Edge’s night. Edge celebrated with the title as the show ended.

Analysis: What ended up happening was Triple H took the WWE Title to Raw due to Randy Orton’s feud with the McMahon Family. Edge defended the World Title against John Cena and Big Show at WrestleMania 25 with Cena winning it back. Edge got it back a few weeks later at Backlash due to Show interfering. Edge lost the title again, this time to Jeff Hardy a few months after that. It was a period where WWE loved booking title changes.

This event has a runtime of 2:45:42 on WWE Network.

 

FINAL THOUGHTS

Show rating (out of 10): 7.75

I think this was a great show built around the two Elimination Chamber matches that were booked as well as any EC matches in WWE history in terms of things that fans remember well. The first one had a memorable moment with Edge, as the WWE Champion at the time, losing to Jeff Hardy within a few minutes. Then in the second Elimination Chamber match, Edge attacked Kofi Kingston to gain entry into the match that Edge would win to leave as World Heavyweight Champion. Earlier in that same match, World Champion John Cena lost in less than three minutes in what was a shocking moment that was also exciting to watch. Both of those Chamber matches were outstanding too.

I also think Randy Orton vs. Shane McMahon was a pretty good Street Fight style match as well and at least Shane’s punches looked better here compared to those punches he did on Raw. I’m also glad that the Michaels/JBL feud ended here because it was pretty silly as an idea.

Shoutout to Mike Knox for main eventing and Vladimir Kozlov for being on the cover of the DVD of this show. Strange times, my friends.

 

FIVE STARS

1. Edge

2. Triple H

3. The Undertaker

4. Rey Mysterio

5. Jeff Hardy

 

OPINIONS

Best Match: Elimination Chamber Match for the WWE Championship: Edge vs. Jeff Hardy vs. The Undertaker vs. Triple H vs. Vladimir Kozlov vs. Big Show (****1/4 out of 5)

Worst Match: Jack Swagger vs. Finlay (**)

Most Memorable Moment: Edge attacking Kofi Kingston to gain entry in the second Elimination Chamber match. Edge would go on to win the match.

That’s all for me. Check out the full list of my WWE PPV Review archive right here. Thanks for reading.

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My contact info is below.

John Canton

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Twitter @johnreport