411's Instant Analysis 2.23.14: WWE's Elimination Chamber
Posted by Tony Acero on 02.23.2014
Randy Orton retains the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, The New Age Outlaws best The Usos, Big E Langston hangs onto his title and more! All this and more in 411's Instant WWE Elimination Chamber Analysis!
Hey kids, I'm Tony Acero, and this is 411's Instant Access: WWE Elimination Chamber. Instant Access is the companion piece to 411 Live Pay-Per-View Coverage and features immediate reaction to wrestling pay-per-views. The focus in Instant Access is on first thoughts and initial reactions instead of play-by-play with the goal of providing you with instant access to ONE writer's thoughts on the show. Here's the team for Elimination Chamber:
Okay kids, enough with the explanations. Let's get to the wrestling.
INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH JACK SWAGGER vs. BIG E LANGSTON
Match Result: BIG E LANGSTON Match Length: 11:46 Match Analysis: TONY ACERO: Beautiful match from these two, with a hell of a showing from Big E! We all know that Swagger could go, but to see Big E match and even surpass him was a sight to see. From the spear to the outside and even the Enziguri, Big E showed some spunk in the match, and made this thing worthy of an opening match. The crowd was invested, and the right man won. Neither man slouched, and although Swagger winning wasn't in question, there were some slight doubts near the tail end of the match. Interesting to see Barrett interrupt the celebration only to not even mention Big E, but perhaps this spells Barrett going for the IC Title soon? [Edit: It appears Barrett will be here for a few segments...] Match Rating: TONY ACERO: ***1/2
WWE TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH THE NEW AGE OUTLAWS vs. THE USOS
Match Result: THE NEW AGE OUTLAWS Match Length: 8:18 Match Analysis: TONY ACERO: Mannnn, I forgot how fun the New Age Outlaws were! Tons o fun, that's how much! I'm pretty disappointed in The Usos not getting their moment, but perhaps it's just not their time. This was another fast-paced and fun match that is surprising mostly due to the New Age Outlaws being a solid part of it. I enjoyed the little things that Road Dogg and Mr. Ass did in the ring. On one hand, I think it's time for The Usos, but on the other, I'm not too upset with the NAO holding onto the belts. I question, however, why they have the titles in the first place if Cody and Goldust won't be doing their one-on-one come Mania. Back to the match, it was average but made fun due to the excitement from The Usos and the shenanigans of the New Age Outlaws Match Rating: TONY ACERO: **1/2
TITUS O'NEIL vs. DARREN YOUNG
Match Result: TITUS O'NEIL Match Length: 6:29 Match Analysis: TONY ACERO: I'll give Titus some credit; he looked beastly in this match the way he tossed around Young like nothing. Boy's got some strength. And those slaps during the abdominal stretch? It's the little things, folks. Still, the match was perfectly average. I think I predicted in the 5&1 that this would be a short match that saw Titus do some squashing, but Young got himself some actual offense in, and didn't look too bad doing it. He needs to work on selling injuries from two minutes prior, but still did his thing for the most part. King pretty much summarized my thoughts when he said that Titus didn't think it would be as tough as it ended up being, but the end was pretty much never in question. Match Rating: TONY ACERO: **
SIX MAN TAG TEAM MATCH THE SHIELD vs. THE WYATT FAMILY
Match Result: THE WYATT FAMILY Match Length: 22:37 Match Analysis: TONY ACERO: I have long since beleived that a true four to five star match conists of an intriguing storyline, an emotional impact, and some balls to the wall action. This match gave all of that and then some. Not only are these two teams practical masters of the six-man tag - they've been doin it for long enough - but they're also every bit as bad ass in their own ways. Each of the six men's personalities shone through the match, and there was so much awesomeness to contain. Even the video package was sick! THIS IS AWESOME chants before the match even begins? Sick. Bray and Roman's first exchange was brutal, and I loved the intensity of it. The Shield showing some unity in the corner - I especially loved Seth's grabbing of Harper's shirt to keep him in the corner. Speaking of Seth; if he didn't have his own little break out moments. What about Harper with a dropkick and a suicide dive?! Or Ambrose with his insane Lou Thesz?! There was too much going on here, and I mean that in the best possible way. Amazing match. The ending was a surprise, too, with Reigns looking like the superman push was in full swing until Harper played distraction and Wyatt took over from there. It would have been nice to see him win, but the Wyatt's taking the win means more, and follows with my prediction for the card. Match Rating: TONY ACERO: ****1/2
WWE DIVAS CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH AJ LEE vs. CAMERON
Match Result: CAMERON VIA DQ Match Length: 3:52 Match Analysis: TONY ACERO: Impromptu match with AJ Lee? Oh yes.... Let's not lie, this thing was sloppy, and Cameron need not be anywhere near the ring with the likes of my beloved. In all actuality, neither impressed and this thing seemed like it really was thrown together at the last minute. Having Tamina costs AJ the win may begin the Nash/HBK storyline for them that could possibly give AJ a Mania match, but other than that there was nothing to see here. Still.....it's AJ Lee Match Rating: TONY ACERO: ****1/2
ALBERTO DEL RIO vs. BATISTA
Match Result: BATISTA Match Length: Match Analysis: TONY ACERO: Oh you sneaky man, Del Rio. It seemed like the crowd was still pretty upset with Batista, to the point of changing his name to BOO-tista. The crowd was chanting for literally everyone BUT the match going on in the ring which is most likely a bad sign for the main event of Mania. As for the match itself, it was one where the crowd really didn't help, and in some ways, deflated it. Similar (though not nearly as intensive as) to the Brock vs Goldber match, the crowd's uninterest in the match really seemed to slow things down in the match, and although Del Rio got a bulk of the offense, it was probably for the best. It seemed that any offense he would have got in would do him no favors. The match was average at best, and although Batista sold the beating pretty well, and still seems to have a firm grasp on wrestling, the crowd shat - and most likely will continue to - all over him. Match Rating: TONY ACERO: **
WWE WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH JOHN CENA vs. CESARO vs SHEAMUS vs DANIEL BRYAN vs CHRISTIAN vs RANDY ORTON
Match Result: RANDY ORTON Match Length: Match Analysis: TONY ACERO: No offense to Sheamus and Cesaro, but this match didn't start until Daniel Bryan got in, and I think the crowd had a lot to do with that. This doesn't mean that Sheamus and Cesaro didn't have a good start, but the anticipation for Bryan was at a high, and it didn't disappoint with the nice deathlock/suplex pin Bryan had. Of course, that was somewhat short-lived with Cesaro tossing him into the pod like nothin. Christian with some nice work on Cesaro. The match didn't slow down for more than 10 seconds, even when all six men were involved. Chaos everywhere, but in a good way. Orton played his role well, locking himself back in his pod, only for Sheamus to be all kinds of beastly. I'm not too happy with Cesaro tapping out, as I just couldn't believe in it, but it's not like he was going to win. The match carried at a great pace until Kane came out to send the Wyatts to the back. Once that point hit, I think there was a bit of a deflation within the crowd and match. Bryan and Orton brought it back near the end with the kickout of the RKO and Roll-up, but the writing was on the wall. I honestly don't think it hurt the match quality, just the end result of the PPV. I'm not too sure a Bryan win here would be the pinnacle of his career or the win that the legion of fans wanted. Match Rating: TONY ACERO: ***3/4
Match of the Night: TONY ACERO: THE SHIELD VS THE WYATT FAMILY (****1/2)
We knew coming in that this would be the match of the night, but I'm not quite sure we knew just how it would earn that title. Well, we saw just how. We saw the "lessers" of the team really shine. Harper with his dive and vigor; Rollins with his pop ups and unique athleticism in the ring; even Ambrose and his wild antics from the very start of the match to his crazy Lou Thesz that made him look like a rabid animal. All six men were on, and Reigns looked like a damned star once again.
Trash of the Night: TONY ACERO: BATISTA VS DEL RIO (**)
In all reality, the match was truly NOT a bad match. It wasn't anything great, and was somewhat boring, but it wasn't a BAD match. Still, the crowd, and maybe my own personal bias, could not be ignored. Starting off with Del Rio's attack should have been intense enough to keep the match on an even heel/face keel, but Batista, unfortunately, is not being bought as either – and only serves to piss the audience off for being in the spot that he is in. Del Rio never had a chance tonight, but tried his little heart out, and yet it simply never got off the ground.
Final Analysis: TONY ACERO: The card was only ever a one match card, and although I don't want to say that the one match was worth whatever was spent (or streamed), but at the same time, this is a definite Match of the Year candidate and will go down as a star-making moment for the men involved. This isn't to say they weren't stars before, but this was just more proof within the pudding…did I just say that? Man….that's slopy.