The Way Too Long Review of Elimination Chamber 2010

February 21, 2010 from St. Louis, one time capital of professional wrestling, now reduced to showing matches featuring Maryse and MVP.

Match #1: WWE Championship, Elimination Chamber Match
(c) Sheamus vs. Kofi Kingston vs. John Cena vs. Randy Orton vs. Triple H vs. Ted DiBiase

After fifteen minutes the bell finally rings.  Kofi starts with Sheamus, who misses his big kick and gets his legs knotted up by Kingston.  Crossbody gets one for Kofi.  Standing dropkick gets two.  Kofi winds up Sheamus’ arm and kicks away for two.  Sheamus clubs him down as the fans chant for Randy Orton.  There’s one babyface turn I didn’t see coming.  If the WWE doesn’t capitalize on this fan-dictated turn, they’re fucking fools.  Period, end of story.  To the corner where nothing of note happens.  Kofi fights back with some random brawling.  Shoot-off and Sheamus lowers his head into a kick, but catches Kofi with a shoulderblock.  Running shoulderblock by Sheamus to huge heat.  Sheamus tries to hiptoss Kingston on the steel but Kofi sticks the landing and hits a kick and a crossbody for two.  Brawling and Sheamus shoots Kofi to the corner, but misses a charge.  Kofi goes for a rollup but Sheamus holds the ropes and brawls him down for one.  Meanwhile, the fans give Cena holy hell.  I’ll talk about this after the match.  Choke on the ropes by Sheamus, and then they brawl on the steel floor.  Sheamus shoves Kofi into a pod, and then stomps away.  Uranage into a backbreaker by Sheamus gets two, then random brawling as it’s time to release someone else.

Triple H enters.  Huge pop for this match-up.  Big stare down by Trips and Sheamus.  Trips shoves Sheamus away and slugs it out.  Sheamus with a knee to the gut and some punches.  Trips misses a clothesline but hits the flying knee and a knee drop for two.  Clothesline in the corner by Trips, then stomping.  Short-arm clothesline gets two.  Trips dumps him over the ropes and onto the steel, then tries to cage him, but Sheamus blocks it and tries for it himself.  Trips blocks that and dumps him back into the ring.  Neat spot.  Sheamus kicks Trips in the gut and goes for the Celtic Cross, but Trips kicks free and hits a DDT for two.  Kofi is alive and hits a clothesline off the top on Sheamus for two.  Chops for both, then a dropkick to Sheamus to send him to the corner.  Kofi whips Trips into Sheamus, sending Trips up and over Sheamus and to the steel.  Ten-punch by Kofi and a running clothesline, then the Boom Drop over the top rope onto Trips on the steel.  That hurt Kofi too.  Sheamus takes advantage and clotheslines Kofi for two.  Knee drop to Kofi as it’s time to release someone else.

It’s Randy Orton, who’s feuded with pretty much everyone in the match.  Huge pop and he wastes no time to go after Sheamus.  Stomps in the corner, clothesline to Trips and stomping between the legs.  Garvin Stomp to Sheamus, which Trips interferes with and gets punched down and stomped.  Knee drop to Sheamus gets two.  Sheamus gets lightly dumped to the steel, then a kick to Triple H’s ribs.  Orton cages Sheamus three times to a huge pop.  He cages Trips three times and the fans love that too.  Stomp and choke to Sheamus.  Kofi climbs and takes out everyone with a crossbody.  Orton rolls back in the ring and catches Kofi coming off the ropes with a dropkick for two.  Stompery to Kofi, but Trips is up and slugs it out.  Shoot-off but Orton lowers his head into the facebuster.  Trips bounces off the ropes and gets caught in a powerslam from Orton, who now has to take the time to sell his gimmick.  Hopefully we’re seeing the end of this.  Orton coils for the RKO, but Trips pushes him off into the path of Kofi, who misses with the Tornado Kick and sends Orton back into the path of the KICK WHAM PEDIGREE~!! but Orton backdrops out of that and Trips bounces hard on the steel flooring.  Very cool sequence.  Kingston charges and gets dumped on the steel floor as well.  Orton goes for Sheamus and gets whipped into the post.  It’s time to release a new wrestler.

It’s Ted DiBiase.  No reaction for him.   The IWC seems to have mostly given up on his as well.  Part of me wants to take credit for that, but instead I’m going to take full credit, being the egomaniac I am.  Clothesline by DiBiase to Trips and mounted punches, and then fist drops like his Daddy did, only with about half the style.  Teddy offers Orton a hand up so they can work together.  They double up on Trips and stomp away in the corner.  Orton posts Sheamus while DiBiase goes to work on Kofi.  Teddy and Randy then shove Kofi’s head THROUGH the chain link fence of the cage.  DiBiase hooks in Boston Crab on Kofi from this position while Orton kicks away at him.  I’m not sure if this is good strategy or a hate crime.  Now it’s time to double up on Trips again.  They brawl him around and dump him to the steel.  They ram his back into the cage a couple times.  Orton sets up for the rope DDT, but then DiBiase tells him to turn it around and do it on the steel.  Orton likes the sound of it and does it to a huge reaction.  Everyone is out cold, and it’s time to release Cena.  Orton and Teddy wait for him.

Cena gets released and somehow takes out both Teddy and Randy.  In the ring, shoulderblocks and the Protoplex to Orton.  Five-knuckle shuffle to Orton and a blockbuster to DiBiase.  Standing leg drop off the top by Cena.  He loads DiBiase up for the FU, swings him around to knock out Orton, then plants Teddy on the steel with it.  Orton dumps Cena to the steel, but gets reversed on a whip and sent into the cage.  STFU to DiBiase, but Orton makes the save.  Wrap-around backbreaker by Orton and he coils down for the RKO.  BUT WAIT~!! because here’s Cody Rhodes with a lead pipe.  He passes the pipe to DiBiase while Cena loads up Randy for the FU.  DiBiase in, only he decides to hit Orton with it.  Cena completes the FU and gets hit in the gut with the pipe by DiBiase, then pins Randy Orton to the biggest reaction of his career.  Wouldn’t be shocked if it’s all downhill from here.

Sheamus now mounts DiBiase with some punches, but that goes nowhere and Sheamus is suddenly out cold.  Weird.  Maybe DiBiase has bad breath or something.  Actually, it’s because DiBiase was supposed to have a stare down with the exiting Randy Orton, and Sheamus was getting in the way of that.  So now Sheamus goes to work on Kofi, but in an amazing visual, Kingston does a body-scissors over the ropes and into the ring on Sheamus, then hits the Tornado Kick on DiBiase to eliminate him.

Kofi turns around straight into the bicycle kick from Sheamus.  Kofi eats the Celtic Cross and that’s it for him.

Sheamus punches Cena onto the steel flooring, and then hits a kneelift against the ropes.  Cena loads up for the FU but Sheamus hits the Ura-breaker (that’s my new name for it, make note) and a powerslam for two.  Sheamus slams Cena’s back into the corner and leaves him hanging in the tree of woe.  Sheamus lightly brawls him there, then loads up for the Celtic Cross, but Trips punches him in the balls and Pedigrees him for three.  Hope you enjoyed your run as Midcard Jobber Champion of the Universe or whatever Sheamus, because I sincerely believe it was your last.  Next stop: US Championship at best.

Cena and Trips are out cold for no damn reason, so Cena recovers and quickly slaps the STFU on Triple H.  Trips claws towards the ropes, but can’t make it and he taps.  Lame ending that came out of nowhere, but that’s what happens when it takes fifteen fucking minutes to get to the start of the match.

**** Fast paced and entertaining, with decent (but not spectacular) use of the chamber.  I think having all six guys active in the match at the same time might have been a bit of overkill, and perhaps they could have knocked Kofi and Orton out before Cena made his entry, because all the eliminations in short order didn’t seem to quite fit the storyline they were aiming for, or maybe that’s just me.

So in this match, you have the fans practically telling the WWE “Randy Orton is pretty cool, you guys better make him a babyface.”  That’s fine.  The WWE’s two most successful wrestlers of the last twenty years made their fortunes because of fan-dictated babyface turns.  I wouldn’t bet the farm on a guy like Orton being successful on their level, but then again who would have guessed Steve Austin would end up being bigger then Hulk Hogan on the grounds that he cussed and flipped the bird a lot?  So hopefully the WWE doesn’t lose its guts or try to trick the fans by turning Orton back into a heel.  Unlike in 2004, the fans demanded it this time.

On the flip side of that, the WWE should turn John Cena heel.  Why not?  If the fans have chosen Randy Orton on their own, give him a chance to be the big merchandise mover.  It’s a proven fact in wrestling that the more they hate you as a heel, the more they can’t wait for you to turn good.  The last five years of John Cena have been like a bizarro version of the most basic and simple logic in wrestling: listen to the fans.  John Cena might move merchandise for children… who cares?  Do you think those kids have an income?  They don’t.  It’s their parents buying it for them.  And if John Cena becomes a villain, then those kids will just latch onto whoever is the next top babyface.  If you decide to listen to the fans and make it Randy Orton, the kids will ask Mommy and Daddy to buy them a Randy Orton T-Shirt the next time WWE comes to town.  Meanwhile, smart IWC type fans might represent only 30% tops (that’s the rough estimate) of the people at live WWE events, but they wouldn’t be caught dead wearing one of John Cena’s god-awful shirts.  But if someone like Randy Orton moves into the top babyface spot because of a fan-dictated face turn, logically then he’s more likely to be a bigger seller at the gimmick table then the guy who as much as a third of those in attendance can’t stand.  You can’t argue with the WWE using logic, so throw those numbers at them: 66% potential penetration for your products at these live shows versus close to 100%.  It seems like a no-brainer to me, but then again so was CM Punk’s title run and they fucked it up too.

-Anyway, so John Cena celebrates, acting like he’s been to hell and back despite the fact that he basically took two major offensive moves: a shot to the gut with a lead pipe and the Ura-Breaker from Sheamus.  But of course Vince McMahon shows up and decides to be a dick and gives Batista a title shot on the spot.

Match #2: WWE Championship
(c) John Cena vs. Batista

Well after all that grueling action in the previous match Cena had to… basically sit through come to think about it… he’s downright pooped.  The WWE already did this with John Cena in 2007.  At the end of that match, he was bloodied, bruised, and battered.  Here, he hasn’t even broken a sweat.  Michael Cole hypes that he was in a forty-five minute Chamber Match.  Okay, first off we’re only 48:16 into the DVD.  The first fifteen minutes were the opening video, the cage lowering, and then entrances.  Then, once the match got going, Cena was the last person to enter and he took a grand total of two moves.  This is officially the dumbest angle ever.  It makes no damn sense.  Why is he so hurt?  Indeed, he doesn’t even get more then a single punch in here as Batista spears him and powerbombs him to win the Championship.

SQUASH Following the Hogan set, I got requests to not rate non-match squashes with DUDs or No Ratings because it throws out the perception that it’s not a real match or something, so I’ll roll with that.   But this was dumb.  Really dumb.  It made Cena look like a fragile pussy, and the WWE has enough of those.

Match #3: Intercontinental Championship
(c) Drew McIntyre vs. Kane

Drew gets no reaction.  Much like Ted DiBiase, he’s a guy the IWC was high on because in reality your average “smart mark” is really just a mark who has access to a computer.  When the WWE says someone is the next big star and a heel, the IWC picks up on it, because (1) new guys are cool and (2) heels are cool and cheering for them at live events makes you smarter then the seven year old you’re sitting next to wearing a “You Can’t See Me” shirt.  They did it with Ted DiBiase and it took over a year before the IWC figured out that he was crap.  McIntyre was never as over with the internet types as DiBiase, but still a lot of guys think he actually is going to amount to something.  He isn’t.  Unlike DiBiase, Drew is a pretty decent wrestler in general, but adapting to the WWE’s style and having to work with guys like Kane or John Morrison, that aren’t as good, is kind of something he doesn’t seem totally comfortable with.  He’s used to having thirty minutes to put on classics or wrestle the European style that the WWE seems to frown upon in general.  If he had been on NXT, he would be one of those guys that people forget about quickly.  So he’s hit-and-miss in the ring.  That’s fine.  But he has no charisma, and that’s absolutely essential to being a top star in the WWE.  Only Bret Hart and Chris Benoit were able to break through while lacking it.  And McIntyre has even less charisma then they do.

To the match, where Drew slugs it out to start, then slugs it out some more.  Drew charges into an uppercut and does he cool knee-buckle bump off it.  I will say this, the kid knows how to sell.  Kane slugs it out, then snapmares him over and dropkicks his face for two.  Headlock-takeover by Kane, which goes on for a while.  Shoulderblock by Kane gets two, then back over to the headlock-takeover.  It goes on for a bit, and then Drew pushes off but lowers his head into a neckbreaker for two.  Kane misses a charge in the corner and Drew brawls it out with some stiff stuff.  Kane no-sells a club to the throat and catches Drew charging with a clothesline.  Light brawling by Kane and a shoot-off, but Drew ducks a slow motion back-elbow and brawls Kane into the corner.  He almost gets backdropped out of the ring, but he sticks the landing on the apron and hits a slow motion shoulderblock and an armbreaker on the ropes.  These guys are moving around like a couple of geriatrics.

They slowly brawl to the corner, where Kane throws a punch, but McIntyre gets an armbar-takedown for two.  Armbar now by Drew, which he works like a pro, then Kane muscles him over the top rope and to the floor for an interesting double KO.  The WWE waits until Drew is getting back in the ring to show a replay, and Kane throws a punch during it which means…

Instant Replay Challenge Penalty #3
$50 Removed from Fund ($850 Remains)
Spent On: Red Steel 2 (Wii)

Thank you, WWE.  Decent game.  Kane shoots off Drew but lowers his head into another armbar-takedown for two.  And now back to the armbar.  Thankfully one thing Drew is good at is working holds, so he moves around on it, grinding his knee into Kane’s face and throwing punches.  Kane escapes and shoots McIntyre off, but Drew hits a running boot and loads up for the double-arm DDT.  Kane backdrops out of it and boots McIntyre in the face.  Clothesline in the corner, but Kane charges into a boot.  Kane catches him coming off the ropes with an uppercut for two.  Shoot to the corner and a sideslam for two.  Flying clothesline by Kane and he calls for the chokeslam, but Drew wiggles free and rolls to the apron.  Kane prevents something and sends Drew into the post, then goes to the apron and boots him in the face.  Brawl on the outside, with Kane tossing him into the stairs.  Back in, Kane boots Drew in the face and stomps some more, so McIntyre tries to bail on the match.  Kane blocks a shot and slams him into the rail, then tosses him back in the ring.  He calls for the chokeslam again, but this time Drew gets to the ropes.  The referee’s view is obstructed and so Drew thumbs Kane’s eye and hits the double-arm DDT for the pin.

*** Honestly not bad.  I would have gone higher if they moved a little faster.  It’s clear that Kane should be hanging it up now.  He’s turning 43 and he’s lost whatever sense of speed he had.  Drew didn’t really carry here though, and these guys just put together a really decent, simple match that anyone could follow.  Very basic, but nowhere near as bad as I figured it would be.

-Meanwhile, Maryse acts all nice and sweet to Gail Kim but in reality she’s talking smack on her in French.  Turns out Gail speaks French.  They jaw some more.  And I just have to say this very quickly: I have never seen a chick in the WWE who looked more like a really seedy hooker then Maryse.  The pancake makeup, the way her hair looks, the way she dresses, and the perpetual look of cluelessness on her face… am I wrong here people?  Or maybe hooker isn’t the word I’m going for.  What is that word?

Ah yes… Tranny.

Match #4: Diva’s Championship, Tournament Final
Maryse vs. Gail Kim

BUT WAIT~!! because here is Vickie Guerrero to cancel the match and make it a tag team bout to somehow further the Raw vs. Smackdown feud.  It begs the question “How would a consultant for Smackdown be able to cancel a match between two Raw wrestlers on a neutral pay-per-view?”  The answer to that is… ah fuck the answer.  Either way Maryse looks like a tranny.

Oh, and it’s a bit silly of the WWE to advertise both this and the replacement match for it on the DVD case.  Seriously, what the fuck?

Match #4 Real
Maryse & Gail Kim vs. Michelle McCool & Layla

Gail starts with Layla.  Lockup and they telegraph a couple armdrags so much that they were sent by Morse code.  Kick to the gut by Gail and some shitty punches, but Layla rolls through something for a pin attempt.  Layla misses a charge and Gail gets a rollup for two.  Charge in the corner by Gail hits, but Maryse distracts the referee and McCool boots her off the apron.  I don’t get how the IWC can hate Michelle McCool so much when there’s so much more to hate about Gail Kim and Maryse.  McCool tags in and tosses Kim in the ring for two.  Ground and pound, then a chinlock.  McCool drops her weight on Kim and then uppercuts her.  Multiple knee drops and a shoot-off, but she lowers her head into a kick and a clothesline by Kim which lead to a double KO.  Maryse doesn’t make the tag and instead pie faces Kim into a big kick from McCool.  Faith Breaker finishes.  After the match, Maryse DDTs Kim and then does her evil pose.

DUD As much as I enjoy McCool, trying to get a good match out of Maryse and Gail Kim is like trying to tunnel to the center of Earth using the nail on your pinkie.

I would also like to propose that Maryse’s theme music is changed to “Walk Like a Man” by Frankie Valli And The Four Seasons.

-Meanwhile, the Miz jaws about Daniel Bryan on NXT.  Then MVP jaws with Miz and tells him that he has a title shot tonight.

-Meanwhile, William Regal is out to talk about NXT.  God damn is he looking old these days.  Anyway, he jaws with the fans, and then Edge’s music hits.  He shoots his pyro off and tears his hammy and dislocates his shoulder walking to the ring.  After fracturing his hip climbing into the ring, he gets handed the microphone and jams his thumb in the process.  Edge jaws with Regal, and somehow manages to break his jaw doing it.  He tells everyone he’ll pick the champion he faces tomorrow on Raw, chipping three teeth while doing so.  He then spears Regal down, ending up with anal cancer in the process.

Match #5: United States Championship
(c) The Miz vs. M.V.P.

Miz gets in MVP’s face and calls him “boy” which might effectively turn him babyface in the South.  So Monty gets pissed and stomps Miz to the corner, then hits some knees to the gut and a scoopslam.  Knee drop gets two and one.  Miz charges into an overhead throw and ends up sliding out of the ring on impact.  MVP bails to slam him into the guardrail, then tosses him back in.  Miz goes for a baseball slide but misses and MVP clotheslines him on the floor, and then tosses him in the ring for two.  Miz reverses a whip and hits a back-elbow.  This is enough for Matt Striker to declare that he’s ‘firmly in control’ of the match.  Yeesh.  To his credit, it’s not intentional hyperbole.  He simply wasn’t paying attention until now.

Brawl by Miz.  He shoots off Monty but MVP ducks a couple things and clotheslines Miz down.  Horrible mounted punches and a cover for two by MVP.  Now a dragon sleeper.  Miz quickly fights out and kicks MVP around, then shoots him to the corner.  MVP tries to sling himself over Miz but he gets caught and hit with a stomach buster that looked a lot like the Code Breaker for two.  The announcers loved it, but it kind of looked like crap because MVP clearly had no idea what to do with it.  Miz brawls him around and hits a head of steam on the ropes.  Miz gets cocky and fires off a soccer kick for two.  Now to a chinlock.  MVP tries to elbow out, so Miz throws him into the mat.  Both guys seem to be at a loss for what to do next, so Miz stomps him between the legs.  MVP, looking downright gassed, telegraphs a kick-off spot and fires off a small package for two.  Miz gets pissed at this and kicks him in the face.  He leans on a cover, and much like the Raw match that set this up, MVP turns it around.  Unlike the Raw match, it only gets two this time.  Miz stomps away, and by God I don’t think MVP has been off the canvas in a while.  Maybe he’s trying to land an endorsement deal with Serta.

MVP explodes up with a clothesline, then an elbow.  He snores his way through a few shoulderblocks but gets whipped to the corner and clotheslined for two.  Now a camel clutch by Miz, which MVP turns to an electric chair for two.  Miz is up first from a brief double KO.  He cuts off MVP’s attempt to slug it out by punching him down to his knee, then fires off a DDT from there for two, then back to a chinlock.  MVP stands up on it, and it is weird seeing him on his feet during this match.  It doesn’t last long.  He charges into a big boot in the corner.  Kick by Miz and then a choke on the ropes, with MVP apparently snoring.  Holy shit, he really does sleepwalk through his matches.  Miz hits his diving clothesline in the corner and decides to climb.  MVP crotches him and loads up for a superplex, but Miz fights him off with a headbutt and splits himself open.  MVP runs back up the ropes and fires off an overhead throw from the top for two.  This leads to a slug-out on their knees.  MVP wins out and hits a flapjack on Miz and some lame ass elbows.  His super awful facebuster across the knee is followed by the Ballin’ Elbow for two as Miz gets a foot on the rope.  Big Show yanks Miz out of the ring to save him.  Mark Henry picks a fight with Show and ends up missing a charge, sending him through the barricade and into the timekeeper’s table.  When the most interesting thing to happen in the match takes place between the two non-participants, you might just have a problem.  Meanwhile, MVP misses the Yukaza kick in the corner and Miz starts to tee off on him.  The referee pulls Miz off and yells at him, giving Big Show a chance to hit the knockout punch on MVP.  Miz then covers for the pin.

Not sure what the referee was thinking.  I mean, when he pulled Miz off of him, Monty was conscious.  Then he turns around not a second later and there he is, tits up, lights out.  Maybe he thought MVP finally succumbed to that Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome thing the WWE Wellness guys crowed about finding.  Either way, Big Show and Miz’s post match celebration was hilarious, with Show’s hysterical laughing going on endlessly.  I hope their reign lasts quite a while because they have mad chemistry together.

* Match was horrible.  Miz really did try his best but MVP’s awful ring presence and total lack of talent kept taking me out of the match.  It was just so bizarre.  He spent 80% of the match either lying on the mat or on his knees.  Maybe he was trying to show the youth of America how they will spend their days if they fuck up like him and land themselves in prison.  That’s admirable if nothing else.  Seriously, how long is the WWE going to keep trying with this guy?  Hopefully he’ll settle for jumping to TNA when his contract is up so those of us that avoid that shit like the plague will get a well deserved break from him.

-And for those just tuning in to the pay-per-view they paid $49.99 for or the DVD they paid around $15 for, we eat up a few minutes by replaying Cena winning the championship earlier and then dropping it to Batista.

Match #6: World Heavyweight Championship, Elimination Chamber Match
(c) The Undertaker vs. CM Punk vs. Rey Mysterio vs. John Morrison vs. Chris Jericho vs. R-Truth

The lineup for this seems a bit lacking.  IRS (crossout) CM Punk jaws with all the other wrestlers for being tax cheats (crossout) addicts.  He starts the match with R-Truth and they lock up.  Shoot-off and Truth gets a shoulderblock.  He bounces off the ropes and eats a dropkick and a back suplex for two.  Brawl to the corner, then a shoot across the ring by Punk but Truth springs over him, ducks a clothesline and hits a dropkick for two.  Truth clotheslines Punk over the ropes and onto the steel.  Punk tries for something but Truth instead slingshots him into the cage, and then slams him into a pod.  Truth climbs and hits a flipping plancha at him.  Truth cages him a few times, including a spiffy spot where he Irish whips Punk off the ropes and into the cage.  Nice spot.  Back in the ring, Punk whiffs on a kick, and then Truth whiffs on a spinning shoulderblock.  High kick by Punk and the GTS eliminates R-Truth.  Well that was pretty much the best four minutes of his entire career there.  For a second I was like “Damn yo, give me some more R-Truth!”

Punk has a couple free minutes so he grabs a mic and jaws with Undertaker, making grandiose threats and acting so delusional that I can’t believe there’s people out there that aren’t entertained by this guy.  I actually wish he would tone down the whole “everyone is an addict” crap because it really is getting obnoxious in an annoying kind of way.  Wrestling promoters have always had a tendency to confuse annoyance and villainy.  In Punk’s case, he really does come across like IRS, and that part of his gimmick is already starting to wear thin.  On the other hand, making over-the-top threats and recalling imaginary tapouts against a guy who basically had his way with him over the course of three pay-per-views is brilliant.  The WWE needs to tone down the drug stuff and turn up the ravings.  Serena plays her part perfectly too.  She’s smoking hot, but also seems to channel a creepy zombie religious zealot vibe that I get from the Jehovah’s Witnesses that seem to show up to my house every couple weeks despite the signs on my porch that clearly say “No visits from Jehovah’s Witnesses” and even after I dumped out my dog’s water dish on them the last three times they knocked at 8:00 AM on a Saturday morning.  Meanwhile, Luke Gallows seems a bit out of place, like he’s not convinced himself about the gimmick working.

Mysterio is released from his pod and he’s a house of fire.  Seated senton and a springboard crossbody for two.  Punk goes for a sunset flip but Mysterio rolls through it and dropkicks his face for two.  Mysterio catches Punk charging and preps him for the 619, but Punk snatches him in a powerslam for two.  CM loads up for the GTS but Mysterio turns it into a snap-rana for two.  To the steel floor where Mysterio flips up on Punk and tries for a rana, but Punk blocks and swings Mysterio into the support beam, then into the cage.  Awesome spot.  Fucking awesome.  Back in the ring, he slowly covers for two.  Running kneelift by Punk, then he posts Mysterio into a pod and covers for two.  Punk loads Mysterio up on the top rope, but Rey fights back and pushes off.  He tries to climb on top of a pod but Punk catches him and both guys drop a blank of sorts.  Actually, I think they had a plan and then realized it wasn’t feasible.  Instead, Mysterio hits a hurricanrana off the top rope and onto the steel, and then rolls Punk in the ring and hits the timber splash for the pin.  These guys have INSANE chemistry together and the fact that we only got five minutes here and six minutes at Wrestlemania is so criminal that someone should go to jail for it.  Give these guys fifteen minutes at Backlash or Extreme Rules or whatever the fuck it’s called these days and they’ll give us a Match of the Year contender.

Time for a new pod to open, and since Mysterio is a babyface and Jericho is the only heel left, it’s a no-brainer.  Not that I’m complaining, because these guys also have mad chemistry.  Monkey flip by Mysterio, then they trade reversals, ending with Jericho hitting a clothesline for two.  Kick to the face and a whip off the ropes for a body drop by Jericho.  He goes for the Lionsault but sticks the landing when Mysterio rolls out of the way, only for Mysterio to drop-toehold him and hit the 619.  Jericho rolls to the outside of the ring, so Mysterio goes for a springboard.  Jericho ducks and Rey sticks to the cage like he’s Spider-Man.  Jericho yanks him off it and Mysterio’s face ends up splattered on the floor.  Jericho goes to cage Mysterio but we don’t see it due to a replay of that move we just saw five seconds ago and thus…

Instant Replay Challenge Penalty #4
$50 Removed from Fund ($800 Remains)
Spent On: WarioWare D.I.Y. (Nintendo DS) and Data East Arcade Classics (Wii)

Hey, I loves me some Burgertime.

We come back from replay to watch Jericho whip Mysterio into the cage again.  He rolls Mysterio into the ring and hits a slingshot splash for two.  He stands on Mysterio and yanks the ropes for leverage, then taps on the Undertaker’s pod to mock him.  The announcers agree that Chris Jericho is insane.  Snapmare and a chinlock to Mysterio, and wow does this not hold up after watching Punk and Mysterio go at it.  Rey fights back and hits a springboard moonsault for two.  Modified dragon sleeper by Rey but Jericho slams him into the corner and slaps on the Walls.  Mysterio holds on while he waits for the next pod to open.

It’s John Morrison.  Jericho has to release the Walls and deal with him.  Morrison comes out swinging and its dropkicks for all.  Jericho charges and gets sent onto the floor.  Morrison lowers his head into a kick from Mysterio, but ends up backdropping Mysterio to the flooring.  Mysterio sticks the landing and starts to springboard, but Morrison drills him with a kick.  John shoots off Jericho but gets caught in a rollup for two.  We get a replay of the kick spot on the ropes while Jericho works on Morrison and thus…

Instant Replay Challenge Penalty #5
$50 Removed from Fund ($750 Remains)
Spent On: Perfect Dark (X-Box Live), Cave Story (WiiWare), and Endless Ocean 2 (Wii)

I’m not even sure what the point of the replay was unless they were trying to make the previous spot look lamer then it originally did.  That’s another beef I have with the instant replay.  Sometimes the original angle that catches the move is perfect, and then they show you it a different way and you can see how weak it actually was.  Many a time have I watched a pay-per-view with a gathering of friends and seen people mark out for a high spot, only to see the replay and have their exhilaration vanish when they see what the move really looked like.  Come on WWE, use some fucking common sense.  Anyway, I cap penalties at two a match, but we’re only two pay-per-views into the year and a quarter of the fund is gone.  Those poor kids at Make-a-Wish.  At least Maria is doing well by them on the Apprentice.  A little too well, as it turns out.  She’s not the retard the WWE wanted her to act like on the show to preserve non-existent kayfabe and that’s the reason she got fired… or so the rumor goes.

So Jericho brawls Morrison to the corner, then shoots him across the ring and gets caught with a boot.  Morrison climbs but Rey returns the favor from earlier by kicking him off the top and into a pod.  Mysterio comes off the top with a headscissors on Jericho to prep him for another 619 but gets backdropped onto the steel.  A whole lot of nothing happens until Morrison wipes out Jericho and Rey with a flying clothesline.  Mysterio and Morrison end up in the ring and a standing shooting star press gets two for John.  Headscissors by Mysterio to Morrison preps him for the 619, but Jericho comes in and catches him with the shockwave for two.  Chopkick to Jericho, then Rey hits another headscissors on Morrison.  He tries for a top rope rana but Morrison blocks it by holding onto the ropes and then finishes Mysterio with Starship Pain, actually hitting it too.  That said, this match has really gone down the toilet

Morrison and Jericho seem to be at a loss of what to do next.  Morrison takes his eyes off of Jericho and ends up getting snatched in the Walls of Jericho, but it’s time to release the Undertaker.  And man is he pissed that Jericho tapped his glass.  Punches and a whip to the corner, followed by a clothesline.  Snake eyes and the running boot to Jericho, a clothesline to dump Morrison to the steel, and a leg drop on Chris for two.  Undertaker loads up Jericho and Morrison for a chokeslam, but they block it and double suplex him.  They dump him on the steel, then Jericho misses an enziguri on Morrison and gets caught in a magistral cradle for two.  Jericho rolls to the steel and backdrops Morrison over the ropes.  Jericho feather-dusters the Undertaker, which is just asking to death.  Taker gets pissy and so Jericho runs into a pod and tries to seal himself in.  Taker ends up breaking the door attacking him.  Taker feels good about this beating and goes back to Morrison.  Meanwhile, a couple poor referees need to hold the broken door up so that it doesn’t end up falling into the front row.  Clotheslines in the corner by Taker and the snake eyes, but Morrison catches him bouncing for the running boot and hits a picture-perfect chopkick.  Huge pop for that, but Morrison’s bad ankle acts up.  He still goes for the Starship Pain but Undertaker gets his knees up.  Zombie sit-up by Taker as Jericho inches his way out of the pod.  The door is back in now so he cowers back inside and seals himself.  And possibly soils himself too.  Taker tosses Morrison into the pod door, and then smashes his face up against the glass to show Jericho how dead he is.  Taker loads up Morrison for the Last Ride but Jericho saves while Morrison clings to the cage.  Jericho rams Taker into a pod door, and then Morrison comes off the cage with a crossbody on him, leading to a three-way knockout.  The fans care about future star John Morrison so much they cheer for Undertaker.  In the ring, a kick by Morrison gets two on Jericho.  Taker is up and he chokeslams Morrison over the top rope and onto the steel in a sick bump, then slowly rolls him into the ring and does the casket pin to eliminate him.

Undertaker is dying for a piece of Chris Jericho, so the straps come down.  Jericho keeps his sweet distance here.  Jericho finally charges and gets punched down.  Taker places him in the corner and works his body with punches.  Running knee in the corner, but a running boot misses and Taker crotches himself.  Jericho loads up for a superplex and hits it for two.  Knee drop across the face and mounted punches as the fans are dead.  Taker grabs a chokeslam but Jericho rolls through it and goes for the Walls of Jericho, but Taker turns it into the Hell’s Gate, but Jericho somehow blocks it and gets the Walls of Jericho.  The announcers totally ignore the fact that Jericho is the first person to counter the Hell’s Gate.  Taker struggles for a bit and then hooks in the Hell’s Gate, but again Jericho escapes by getting his feet on the ropes and leveraging out.  Taker loads up for the Tombstone, but Jericho turns it into the Code Breaker… for two.  Jericho whips him into the ropes and then seems to suffer brain damage because he tries a ten-punch, a move which 99 times out of 100 results in the Last Ride and 1 out of 100 times results in a Last Ride attempt that gets countered into a move that fails and ends with a Last Ride anyway.  So Taker isn’t satisfied that Jericho would be beaten by the wedgie bomb and so he calls for the Tombstone, BUT WAIT~!! because Shawn Michaels pops out of a trapdoor and hits the superkick on Undertaker, then stares him in the eyes as Jericho crawls over for the pin.  Fans are pissed into silence.

*** Tough version of the Chamber to rate.  On one hand, the opening two eliminations were first-rate all the way.  After CM Punk’s elimination, the pacing and use of the Chamber grounded to a screeching halt.  There were a couple moments where the pace picked up and the guys remembered they were in a gimmick match, but they were just short bursts.  Ultimately, the match was just barely acceptable.  I felt like the final four guys had major issues coming up with stuff.  The fans were super hot going in and were totally dead around the halfway mark.  I don’t know if it was a communication breakdown or they didn’t talk enough before the match, but these guys didn’t have a good game plan during the match and they’re lucky it turned out as good as it did.

I don’t know what it is about the Elimination Chamber, but it seems to bring out the worst in talent.  It’s had its moments where everything clicks and guys end up with a pretty good match, but in general I feel like I’m watching guys get handed a set of blue prints and then being unsure where to start construction.  The cage itself is big, scary looking, and gimmicked enough to innovate with, and yet guys get in there and seem to be at a loss for what to do with it.  And I don’t think the problem here was the new violence code in the WWE, because the Chamber has had these issues long before the PG era began.  More then likely the problem has to do with legitimate pain.  Everyone has talked about how they would rather take bumps on cement then on the metal flooring of the chamber, and how the chain fencing is too rough on the body because it’s not smooth and there’s no solidity about it.  I believe it.  Thus the guys end up banged up more than they would in a standard match or even a normal cage match.

The problem with that is, these things do not come across as such in an audio-visual way and thus while the wrestlers feel more pain, it doesn’t necessarily reach the viewers.  When someone gets caged in a normal steel cage match, it’s loud and you can see more of what is going on because there’s more room for the cameramen to get better shots, plus the cage gives more so you can see the impact more.  The chamber is less noisy and has less give, so stuff like momentum and force is lost in translation.   If a person crashes through a table, while realistically it is way less painful to experience, there’s a visual satisfaction with it.  Meanwhile, situations like John Morrison taking a no-protection chokeslam on the steel floor of the Chamber is fifty times more painful and yet it doesn’t have the visual happening going for it and gets half the reaction that a simple table spot would get.  This leaves only the pod doors to carry the high spots, and even then the cage is built in a way where at least a quarter of the fans in attendance won’t have the best look at it.

Overall, I think the Chamber was a novel idea that has run its course.  Although I think the majority of Chamber matches have been decent, with some that I would classify as good (such as the WWE Championship match from this show), the WWE either needs to build a new cage that is less limiting physically or retire the gimmick altogether, because we’ve pretty much run through all the spots that can be done in it and I’m sick of watching guys get in there and drawing blanks on what to do next.

BONUS FEATURES

-Chris Jericho brags about winning his match single-handedly, and man does he look and sound fucked up.  He promises to hold the belt forever, or at least until the WWE goes off their nut and decides to elevate a jobber-to-the-stars into being World Champion out of nowhere.

-Edge comes out on Raw the next night to announce he’s facing Chris Jericho at Wrestlemania, and somehow his left leg falls off in the process.

-Finally, you get Shawn Michaels once again challenging the Undertaker to a match at Wrestlemania 26.  The Undertaker accepts on the grounds that Shawn’s career is on the line.  “Don’t you get it Undertaker?  If I can’t beat you, I don’t have a career.  Besides, this hair thing I’m doing won’t last forever and people will end up seeing that the Heartbreak Kid has a bald spot the size of a melon.  My back exploded twelve years ago and I’m one wrong bump away from being in a wheel chair.  And if my eyes go any more cross I’ll have to have a surgeon switch which eye socket they’re in just so I won’t be starring at my own nose all day.  Of course I accept!”

Actually, you don’t get that interview.  Instead, you just get the video package that opened Raw that night.  Well that’s lame, yo.

BOTTOM LINE: Tough call.  This was billed as a two-match show, and only half of those matches I would call main event quality.  Of the five full matches here, three of them get passing grades, but really, are two borderline decent matches and one good match worth your hard earned money?  It’s not like the opener was knock-your-socks off in quality.  And while McIntyre/Kane wasn’t the sewer I expected, the final Chamber match was too much of a stop-and-go affair for my tastes.  I don’t think there’s anything here that is worth sitting on your DVD shelf for, so I’m going thumbs down.  Not a terrible show by any means but simply not enough here to justify a purchase.  However, it would be a quality rental if you haven’t already seen it.

Thanks to Red for Editing.

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