Thursday, 21 February 2013

Elimination Chamber 2013

Elimination Chamber 2013

WWE Elimination Chamber broadcast live on Pay per View on Sunday 17th February 2013 from the New Orleans Arena in New Orleans, Louisiana. As the fourth annual Elimination Chamber event would this PPV give a chance for a new star to rise through just weeks leading into the company’s biggest event of all time, Wrestlemania? Would it line other options for those who did not win and showcase a pleasing, intense and supportive card?

World Heavyweight Championship
Alberto Del Rio (c) w/ Ricardo Rodriguez Vs Big Show

Hmmm. Where to begin. Michael Cole claimed from the offset of this match that Big Show was a bully. Eh?! Big Show was a bully ambassador not so long ago. Be A Star! Regardless, now Big Show is a bully and hurting down on Del Rio in a chance to recapture the gold taken from the beast’s slumber months beforehand, the start was general. The change became Big Show crawling on the floor, something new, to beat a near ten count and stand to his feet. This regular match after their Last Man Standing crawl fest at the Royal Rumble just weeks ago took new pace.

Soon enough Rio clasped on his powerful golden thighs with the leg lock, cross armbreaker, whatever its called nowadays causing pain to Show. Though Show was too powerful for that. Big Show rose through the catacombs to ascend like the incredible bulk of glory to slam the arm of poor technical whizz and defending champion ‘Bertie. Though Alberto Del Rio would not be undone and soon reversed the action swiftly in order to squeeze the arm lock on one more time with sheer force to tap the Big Show out and remain World Champ once again after a lengthy twenty minute battle.

United States Championship
Antonio Cesaro (c) Vs The Miz

Just as the pair were getting ready to come in, WWE cuts to Josh Mathews in the audience to talk to some lovely blonde lady and a brunette guy. Oooh, hi baby… Josh chose to talk to the female. L She was an exuberant essence of pleasure for a few split seconds and unable to really make much of an explanation as to why we were seeing them, but, whatever. They later appeared in the same spot on Raw the following evening in which lead journalist and clever man Michael Cole told us Josh Mathews was with them again. Josh Mathews quickly melded into Matt Striker. ! Perplextion personified. Nevertheless, back to the PPV now, this blonde female is a DJ, by the way and a co-star of The Rock’s, I think. No Josh Mathews were harmed in the process of this interview.

We now got back to the non-entities marred by the process on the pay per view having what Antonio Cesaro has constantly build as a prestigious championship on the line.

Cesaro impressed with a up, flip arm, drop leg swift transition on The Miz in this match.

Miz entered with a bandaged arm from the brutal destruction by Brock beasty Lesnar the following week on MizTV on Raw. Cesaro worked over the weak spot well throughout the beginning on the outside with the barricades and a hard shoulder smash. Miz was decked with boots and slams in a dominant and pleasing way for both stars to work with. Miz soon returned fire with a shove into the steel steps once outside again on Antonio. This affected ‘Tonio’s knee causing Miz to work him over now inside the ring and attempt the torch handed Figure 4 Leg Lock from Ric Flair in December on Raw. Some fans gave a “Wooooooooooooo!” of approval. Cesaro heard what was coming and kicked Miz in the leg to wrest free however Miz then hit a naughty knee drop into Antonio Cesaro’s goolies! This was debated on Raw the following evening, as to whether Miz intentionally attacked his rival’s most precious appendage area.  Cesaro pointed to the ref of pain to his netheregions and ended the match in Antonio Cesaro’s favour by disqualification. After the match Miz definitely kicked Cesaro in his undercarriage intentionally.  Shame on you Miz. Poor Antonio. I’ve told WWE before, this is why I need to be on standby as physiotherapist/nurse/groin supporter for the staff. You don’t need no medical insurance, neither.

World Heavyweight Championship
Elimination Chamber, Number One contendership at Wrestlemania XXIX

Jack Swagger w/ Zeb Colter Vs Kane Vs Mark Henry Vs Randy Orton Vs Daniel Bryan Vs Chris Jericho

After a lengthy speech before the beginning with Zeb Colter, no, I don’t know who he is either, all the participants hid into their glass pods as Chris Jericho and Daniel Bryan started the match off. It wasn’t going to be Mark Henry or bumbling Swagger, was it?

Daniel Bryan flip over, using chain on Jericho, Michael Cole drops the “wrestling” notion. On the steel. Daniel Bryan submission leads to a toss. Flipped by Y2J. Swagger is then released into the fray and assaults Jericho with shoulderblocks and slams. They soon battled on the steel structure. Bryan then dive with a knee drop charge on Swagger from the turnbuckle above, though missed headbutting Y2J. This was timed perfectly for Kane to enter the frucuous. He took out Swagger, before being rolled up by ever tense relationship with partner Daniel Bryan. He attempted an apolgy to Kane who had none of it! Bryan opened arms for a hug as Kane disimissed “No!” and planted an uppercut on Bryan instead. They had a little interaction of dysfunction before Jericho was slammed by Kane. Jericho soon hoisted Bryan up as Kane chose to use the flying clothesline on Bryan in a Legion of Doom Doomsday Device moment. Kane suplexed Swagger as Y2J dropkicked Swaggz after.  

Randy entered after a much needed burst of interest. He instantly took everyone out to sheer elation of the audience all over. He dropped down Y2J after though Kane slapped on a grasp to halt the deadly viper. Orton escaped as quickly as it was on and nailed a perfect dropkick on the Big Red Monster sending him down before moving on to suplex Daniel Bryan in another fantastic display of skill and star quality. Orton smacks Kane with a DDT drop, then head bashes him into the steel wall.

An interesting double suplex moment arose where Orton superplexed Swagger while Jericho dropped the other on Bryan. Then all five were down to pave the way for the final sixth man. Yes, great momnets just end to carry other breaks in the chain.

The calamitous beast of return Mark Henry was free to roam the Chamber as the next entry.

Y2J/Orton and lamb to the slaughter Daniel Bryan pin. Henry just came in, picked up Daniel Bryan and gave him the World’s Strongest Slam to eliminate him from the match. Bryan was out that simply. Henry then carelessly hurled Orton through the breakable translucent window shattering the glass as he went through it! Oh no! Henry is on fire! Yeah, right…

Henry then walked to the centre of the ring to grab Kane after the monster did the work to catch him and smash the World’s Strongest Slam on Kane to extinguish his flame with a three fall elimination.

Jack Swagger and Jericho double suplex Henry now to take out the big man of pain. Swagger was then dismissed from action as the big guys battled it out prompting one question. Oh my god, is Jack Swagger gonna be carried by this?! Jericho soon turned on Swagger. Chris charged for the Lionsault though catch by Henry and hurled into the chain walls instead. Both then went for Randy Orton somewhere amid the confusion after more exchanges. Orton then focused on Henry. Randy dropped the ravishing RKO on Henry to finally remove him from the match with an elimination.

Henry left the steel structure only to charge back in delivering the World’s Strongest Slam in retaliation onto Swagger, Orton and Jericho after Henry was eliminated and refused to comply with dignity and leave. It was utterly pathetic and sold no-one, nor the match and it did not get Henry over in the slightest. It failed.

Oh no! Are you alright Randy? Don't be hurt, babe!
Jack Swagger scrambled for a two fall on Orton amid the confusion. Orton and Jericho went on the attack. Jericho was flipped over the ropes by Orton in which Jericho scurried  over, up to the turnbuckle in quick succession. A two fall on Jericho only after Orton sent him crashing down to the ground. He followed with a hard scoop slam on Swagger twice. Jericho jumped up and kicked Randy in the head following with a two fall. Jericho then turned attentions to Swagger but as caught by the blonde boredom slamming a belly to back suplex on Y2J for his troubles. Swaggz locked his fabled anklelock onto Orton now to wear down the viper. Jericho returned with an enzuguri for revenge on Swagger though Swagger again caught Jericho in the follow up move in yet another repetition, flipped over and rolling around, Jericho soon had Swagger in the Walls of Jericho. After a tense time, Randy Orton broke the submission and gave a hard backbreaker onto Jericho only maintained with a two fall. Orton had enough and pounded Jericho with the ever ending RKO to finally eliminate the Ayatollah with the final three fall of near falls. Jack Swagger ran up from behind out of nowhere and rolled up Orton in a cheap and tacky pinfall which was granted a three count eliminating Orton on a petty pin that did not excel Swagger one iota. Swagger simply gained a tacky win.  

Six Man Tag
John Cena, Ryback and Sheamus Vs The Shield (Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins)

The match begins with all three of the goodies ambushing The Shield. Rrright… All three suplex the three Shielders they have managed to catch with ease for a photo opportunity. After the bell rang, Sheamus clubs ten blows to Ambrose’s chest. These spots do not sell Sheamus as powerful, it makes him look ever more tedious and wait till ten is over. It is wasted opportunity. Rollins was tagged in with a dropkick on Sheamus shortly. Rollins proved again to have a lot of technique, skill and style here. Lots of good tag communication with Rollins involved occurred which was right in this instance. The Shield were also allowed to dominate for once against the trio of brick muscle meatheads. They managed to distance Cena with the tagging process and have a place on the card. Rollins took numerous levels of exceptional work in this match. Reigna later gained tag entry smashing a ferocious clothesline on Cena showing how to enforce actual power without over enhanced idiocy. Reigns takes a two fall until Sheamus saves the match.

After time passing to roughly ten plus minutes SuperCena is permitted an appearance.  Staging his comeback was finally stalled by Reigns with another powerful clothesline. Ambrose soon had Cena in his clutches of which Johnny Boy could not break. Ambrose dropped an impressive DDT. It changed in n instant as always. Cena, out of nowhere, dropped Ambrose over the top rope to the floor, just like that, without any explanation. This allowed Cena to tag in the ever needed powerhouse beast that is Ryback. The ever calamitous liability that is Ryback carelessly again backdropped Reigns and Ambrose in swift timing, then delivering a powerbomb to Rollins. He still doesn’t know how to work. Ambrose was hurled into the corner into Rollins. Bursting “mindless Neanderthal” (Waltham: 2012) Ryback was taken down by charging Reigns. Sheamus then dealt with reigns instead. Sheamus then went outside with Ambrose. Reigns nailed a spear onto Shea’ which flew him through the barricade! Oh my goodness, the carnage! The barricade spot was of course, implemented at last month’s Royal Rumble PPV - Big Show spot, as well as previously beforehand. Hmmm. For Reigns, however it was something that worked, but just too repetitive that it marred how impactful it could have been instead of a ‘here we go again’ motion.

Ryback was inside the ring as Rollins was alone. Ambrose saves his bud, as Reigns re-joined. Their three man beat down was halted by favourite saver extraordinaire John Cena. Cena instantly stuck the Attitude Adjustment on Ambrose. Roman Reigns soon smashed a spear into Ryback after countering the Shellshock air lift in a good exchange from Reigns. Corner interaction with two on one situation with Ambrose in trouble saw an excellent drop display of Seth Rollins charge the turnbuckle behind Ryback, once in position with Dean Ambrose, allowed Rollins to smash down on top of Ryback and score the pinfall in a superb finish that really put The Shield on impressive levels.  Ryback was a little upset following the end result. It seems Cena could have potentially made a save for the hungry beast but declined to assist. Caveman Ryback walked off in a huff as Cena and Sheamus were confused why Ry-b had his feelings hurt. Awwwwwwww.

Impromptu Match
Kofi Kingston Vs Dolph Ziggler w/ AJ and Big E.Langston

We were now treated to another impromptu match. This one was filled with ever dependable fellow Kofi Kingston against the ‘I can climb over the last hurdle’ force that was Dolph Ziggler.
All you need to know, is Kofi Kingston lost and Dolph Ziggler ‘won’.

If Ziggler needs to win jobber matches to become the star he is supposed to be by the WWE Universe and can’t do it well, shouldn’t this tell you he has reached his point and can’t go any further? He won’t be the star so move on to a newer one with better option. Let’s face it this is the best Ziggler can muster. At least WWE gave him something to do and didn’t strain it out too long.

Newsflash! Michael Cole can use an iPad! (Finger point, open mouth El Generico insertion here. Ole!)

Unified Women’s Championship
Kaitlyn (c) Vs Tamina

Katy-lyn was shown doing a promo gabbing on about still being the champ after the match. While there were many options to make this a hearty match, WWE could not be bothered. It just put them out there and decided to let them mess around for a bit and make the best they can of it.

Kaitlyn began with a suplex and backslide to get two near falls twice, one after the other. WWE then showed us the Divas backstage watching the match. WWE revealed its entire Divas division. Seven. Yes, seven divas! Layla, Cameron, Naomi, Natalya and Rose Mendes were viewing the match.

Rejoining the action Tamina thrust Kaitlyn into the steel post. Shoving her boot in the face to then take a two fall for Tamina only. Tamina chose to scale high up going for the Superfly Splash drop, however upon landing the defending champ moved as Kaitlyn charged a spear at Tamina to down her for a three fall and remain champion in a rough four minute collision. Time was against them, however both put on a fair show for what was expected of them.

WWE Championship
CM Punk w/ Paul Heyman Vs The Rock (c)

Added was the stipulation that if The Rock becomes counted out or disqualified then the WWE championship will return to its rightful owner, CM Punk by default.

After a progressive build, Heyman was generously keeping score at ringside between the exchanges of Rock and Punk. It was another classy angle of brilliance from Heyman. He can do so little and carries numerous levels. After some hefty arm drags from The Great One, Punk took time out leaving to the outside. Once back in the ring CM Punk spat in the face of Rock. Dirty git. Doesn't do that to me in other areas… CM spat his Punky attitude at Rocky who saw red and brutally flew Punk out of the ring! Rock soon followed on the barricade wall and landing Punk on the announce table. Punk taunted Rock with no attack. Clever CM couldn't rile The Rock enough for a DQ however, as Heyman distracted said referee so Punk could rake Rocky’s eyes and change the pace somewhat  Punk planted a chinlock on Rock inside the ring to take control as both men had appreciation from the crowd as any wrestling match should be. Near falls and debatable decisions came after as Punk’s high octane elbow drop for a two fall sustained halfway point.

Who loves ya? baby!
Punk dismantled the Spanish announce table as Rock slammed Punk’s head into the broadcast teams instead. Punk countered the Rock Bottom as Punk then went outside to try the Rock Bottom on Rock over the table which filed to give way. Rock broke a nine count, returned a Samoan drop and then both knocked each over out for a tense count. What if neither reached their feet by ten? Both rose at nine. After some quick returns by each, Rock dropped the Bottom on Punk for a two count. Oh no! The referee took a bump! Punk slammed the GTS on Rock in a chance happening. Whoops! The EMTs and another ref checked on their fallen comrade, while Punk was desperately laid all over the sweaty, laid out Brahma Bull. Punk was livid and urged a count. Rock had enough time to recuperate and slammed a spinebuster on unimpressed Punk, who also felt The People’s Elbow right after.  As the new ref counted, Punk kicked out at two. Punk hit a kick to Rock’s head and the ref became hurt in some way with his ankle, who rolled to the outside. Man, where are some sturdy WWE referees when you need ‘em? This was opportunity for Heyman to throw the WWE championship into Punk’s grasp. Paul held Rock up in the ropes. Punk launched a WWE title to the head assault, as The Rock moved from the foreign object, in turn bashing Heyman in the skull with the gold. Oh no! :o Upon realising his mistake, Punk was deflated for a second where The Rock threw the Rock Bottom onto Punk to win the match with a clean three fall and remain as the WWE champion.

Overall Rating - 5/10

Men/Women of their matches – Alberto Del Rio, Antonio Cesaro, Randy Orton, Seth Rollins, Kofi Kingston, Tamina, The Rock

Man/ Woman of the PPV - Seth Rollins

Fans were annoyed only one chamber match was going on. Entry to this year’s chamber was World Champions only. A set up for Jack Swagger to charge to Del Rio as challenger for ‘Mania was redundant. While the idea there was of interest to make a new star as it should do, WWE chose the wrong one. Which highlights that while WWE can actually do what it is supposed to make new stars IF and when it chooses to push pride aside, it merely selects the wrong people to gear towards a future. Swagger is not that World title future. Swagger should have been released instead of a late chance saloon based on ridiculous American lined disintegration. The reason for one chamber, was due to a six man could not be inside a chamber and the WWE title was a one on one challenge. No one else was available should a second one go on. Getting off to a good start, Randy Orton was left to carry it once the start needed to be strong with Jericho/Bryan and then flounder with the support cast. All a mechanism to protect Mark Henry who made no headway and isn’t of interest is ridiculous to dispose of the real talent when they were supposed to look strong and add a newer dimension than be jobbed out to protect uninteresting stars. It didn’t help Henry nor anyone else. It was a wasted chance. WWE should have given it to Orton and had an interesting face off collision at ‘Mania with the added possibility but not turning at all fuel to its grand fire. It would have been a great match from both, drawed on both levels and had an eye cast over it built on what ifs.

Jack Swagger's new look
The Punk / Rock rematch was a great match filled with campers in both areas. Both had sustained support and drove wrestling forward further for the product and its forgotten audience. Men, fans and crowds were tantalised back to the product, only slightly, however has re-piqued interest of those growing weary and mindlessly staying with in the hopes their childhood nostalgia finally reimburses itself willfully  Heyman finally adding to the melting pot with interactions added even more bubbles, though still downplayed to the higher potential WWE could put in. The series is a rushed and ending one for the Cena/Rock II Wrestlemania fa├žade that conned fans as a one-time, lifetime extravaganza that was devised months in advance with advertisers to gain money. This also questions whether the wrestling fan recapture in those mosquito nets are just attempts to sanitise them for the ‘big one’ and raise a quick buck for WWE to launch Cena again for the next calendar year after graciously ‘sitting out’ the last year.

"Antonioooooo, he's my looovverrrrrrr!"
For the low time and low interest they had, have you noticed that while WWE give the females low time to do something, Tamina always comes out with the goods, and at Elimination Chamber. Last year against Beth Phoenix in a surprisingly great match for fans, Tamina held the match together once again with the fractured Kaitlyn, thrust into the title picture too quickly, modelled on the Kelly Kelly clone of ‘wrestling’ and in trouble only one month into her reign. WWE really need to sort it out, but, they don’t know how to because Max Waltham has taken a hiatus, and WWE fail to listen through stubborn ideals. The end product is sufferance, as seen on screen. WWE need to hire those people who can help, gain more females, and direct a wrestling basis to its females above all else, if it really wants to have all areas catered for that make big bucks WWE think are of non-importance through ignorance. WWE have a record 10 females. The Divas – Rosa Mendes, Layla, Alicia Fox, Naomi, Cameron, AJ and Kaitlyn. Vickie Guerrero is in a league of her own and is a woman. Natalya and Tamina are the only wrestling females the company has, and it uses the as sporadic fodder than conforming the structured design to accentuate the product to its fullest potential. WWE has a record ten females. Scratch that. WWE have eleven. You almost forgot about Aksana, didn’t you?

Antonio Cesaro and Miz had a very good match, short and filled with good pace, pleasing moves and thought out constructively to accentuate both’s place, points, strengths and weaknesses to put on a show was a highlight. Even the ending, of which is usually a disaster, was a pleasure.

Dolph Ziggler will not be the star WWE or the audience hopes for. Take your eggs out of Ziggy’s basket and place them into a new star. Ziggler has reached his peak. He can’t go anywhere else and is main event challenger at best. He should head back to the mid card or just go. He has no options left. Even should he win the World title, it will be of no importance when he holds it. Transfer the case before the big one to someone else and give them the chance to win. Have Rio win at ‘Mania and either have a cash in of someone completely fresh and either win or lose. Or have them come out in April/May for the build-up of a series. Titus O’ Neil, Big E. Langston, Big Show, Mark Henry Ryback, Sheamus and Wade Barrett are not credible options.

As for Del Rio and Big Show there was nowhere to really have a powerful driving force to sustain much interest in the two’s feud process. In other words, it has been done and is well and truly over with. The pair needs to head separate ways. Rio needs better, sustainable and powerful opponents to also raise title profile and his own repertoire, which is working well, as one always explained. It’s confusing why WWE took so long to switch him. He now needs key opponents and clean victories unfilled with gimmicks and jokes that help nobody overall.

The Shield won their match as needed, but only at their expense once WWE made sure it protected its three powermonger brick muscle men who are completely useless at everything else and expect to be carried by the company for being on the big and tall checklist. Though minimal use of Ryback was preferred, Sheamus carrying the match was terrible and Cena is always a disaster waiting to occur once in the ring, whether he is aggressor or oppressed. WWE need to re-vamp the formula that benefits everyone, but they cannot know how to do this. The product will continue to suffer long-term, and yet, as we head into Wrestlemania, the very PPV itself is threatened. It has no lead. While Vince (can I call you Vince?) only wants ‘the big matches’ laying those foundations exposes the minor ones uncatered for. Exposed as previous ‘Mania’s have been, Wrestlemania XXIX is on collision course to fail once again. Three ‘Mania’s have been a failure, and this could well be the fourth. WWE must lose its ego and adapt to the future in order to have one. The very platform’s precipice is crumbling beneath its very eyes and with minimal resources, yet tons of money to do something about it, which WWE always likes to book for, it needs people more than it realises. It makes the ‘wrong’ choices everytime lately and is not anyway improving. People are growing up. They won't be sticking around with background characters and will be fed up once their returning heroes are in minimal action or haven’t any sustainable competition to watch alongside.  

© Max Waltham 21st February 2013

All Rights Reserved

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