Views from the Hawke's Nest: WWE Elimination Chamber 2013
Posted by TJ Hawke on 02.18.2013
The Rock is not a great wrestler anymore.
February 17, 2013
New Orleans, LA
Youtube Pre-Show Commentators: Matt Striker & Tony Dawson
The Rhodes Scholars (Cody Rhodes & Damien Sandow) vs. The Dancing Bears (Brodus Clay & Tensai)
Tensai and Brodus were in control early. Tensai danced at one point. Tensai is not moving too well. Cody managed to cut Tensai off with The Beautiful Disaster. The Scholars got the heat on Tensai for a bit. Tensai was eventually able to tag out to Brodus, who ran wild for a bit. Tensai and Brodus displayed some teamwork. They gave Cody a double body splash: 1…2…3…wow.
Brodus Clay and Prince Albert pretty much just squashed Damien Sandow and Cody Rhodes. I don't understand it. Match Rating: *
PPV Commentators: Michael Cole, JBL, & Jerry Lawler
Big Show overwhelmed Del Rio in the early goings. Del Rio came back by taking out Show's left knee and then hitting several boots to the face. Del Rio got an early nearfall with a kneeling superkick. Show came back with a spear for a nearfall of his own. Show got the heat after that. Show hit a shitty Vader Bomb for a nearfall. Del Rio caught Show with a cross armbreaker out of nowhere. Show made the ropes despite Ricardo working to prevent him. Del Rio hit a hurricanrana and a tope suicida. Show almost got counted out. Show got back in the ring, but he ate a seated senton from Del Rio: 1…2…NO! Show came right back with a chokeslam: 1…2…NO! Del Rio avoided another chokeslam attempt and hit a DDT: 1…2…NO! Del Rio hit the step-up enzuigiri: 1…2…NO! Del Rio locked in the cross armbreaker again. Show reversed it into a Rampage Powerbomb. Show attacked Ricardo and picked up Del Rio's bucket. Del Rio went to enzuigiri the bucket into Show's head, but he missed it. Hashtag Maffew. Del Rio repeated the spot. He then hit a couple more kicks to the head before locking in the cross armbreaker. Show tapped out!
The botch took out a lot steam from the finish, which made this match end on a rather flat note. Del Rio's babyface offense is pretty fun, but this match just didn't do a lot for me. It felt unsubstantial basically. Match Rating: **1/2
The Miz kicked Cesaro in the nuts again after the match.
The Miz is the worst wrestler in the world. This match was smartly laid out, but it's impossible to be invested in the Miz at all right now. The finish sucked something fierce for a PPV match. I guess this is leading to a rematch at Wrestlemania, which will probably air on the pre-show. Match Rating: **
Kane and Daniel Bryan agreed to work together tonight in the Elimination Chamber.
Elimination Chamber Match Jack Swagger (w/ Zeb Colter vs. Kane vs. Mark Henry vs. Randy Orton vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Chris Jericho
Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter got promo time before the match started, which certainly supports Ben Turpen's theory that Swagger is winning this.
Daniel Bryan and Jericho started the match, which was nice of the WWE. I would book this match as such: Kane is number 3, and Team Hell No work over Jericho. Orton enters the match and runs wild. Swagger enters the match and helps out the bad guys. MARK HENRY ENTERS LAST AND PINS EVERYONE AND BEATS THE ROCK IN THE WRESTLEMANIA MAIN EVENT. Mark Henry = #BestInTheWorld.
Jericho and Bryan went back and forth for a bit. Neither man had much success at establishing an advantage until Jericho sent Bryan into the chained structure. Jack Swagger entered the match and ran through Jericho and Bryan. Jericho came back on Swagger with a dropkick and series of strikes. Swagger got the advantage back shortly after that though. Bryan came out of nowhere with a diving knee on Swagger. Bryan and Jericho squared off again. Kane entered the match and ran through Swagger and Jericho. Team Hell No worked together. Bryan schoolboyed Kane for a nearfall out of nowhere. Kane was not happy. Bryan asked for a hug. Kane said no. Bryan piefaced Kane. Kane punched Bryan. Bryan hit an IED dropkick and a series of kicks. Kane went for a chokleslam. Bryan went for the No Lock, but Kane hit a sidewalk slam for a nearfall. Kane and Jericho hit the Doomsday Device on Bryan. Swagger covered Bryan: 1…2…NO! Randy Orton entered the match and received a John Cena PPV reaction. Orton hit Kane with an elevated DDT onto the steel. Swagger and Bryan ate superplexes right after each other. Everyone was laid out, and Mark Henry was chomping at the bit to get into the match. Mark Henry entered the match! Best in the world! Henry destroyed everyone! Best in the world! Henry gave Daniel Bryan the World's Strongest Slam: 1…2…3! Daniel Bryan was eliminated.
Henry sent Orton through a pod, which got a nice pop. Kane went for his diving lariat, but Henry blocked it and hit a World's Strongest Slam: 1…2…3! Kane was eliminated.
Mark Henry! Best in the world! Jericho and Swagger attacked Henry together. They gave him a suplex onto the steel. Jericho got a nearfall on Swagger with a diving crossbody. Swagger avoided a Walls of Jericho. Jericho hit a bulldog. Jericho went for the Lionsault, but HENRY CAUGHT HIM! Henry sent Jericho into the chained wall! Henry went for a Vader Bomb on both of them, but he came up empty. Henry then ate a boot from Swagger, a Codebreaker from Jericho, and a RKO from Orton: 1…2…3. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! In a grave miscarriage of justice, Mark Henry was eliminated.
Mark Henry decided to not leave the match and give everyone World's Strongest Slams. YES! Booker T, Teddy Long, and some goofs came out to escort Henry out of the ring. Orton and Jericho attacked Swagger. Orton and Jericho squared off. Jericho got a nearfall on Orton with a Silverking dropkick. Swagger blocked a Codebreaker from Jericho and hit a suplex for a nearfall. Swagger locked Orton in the Drunk Lock. Jericho saved Orton by hitting an enzuigiri. Swagger then got Jericho into the Drunk Lock. Jericho revered it into a Walls. Orton made the save. Even the clods on commentary are pointing out that everyone is acting stupid. Orton hit both of them with an elevated DDT. Jericho avoided a RKO. Orton avoided a Lionsault. Orton hit a RKO on Jericho: 1…2…3 Chris Jericho was eliminated.
Swagger rolled up Orton: 1…2…3 Jack Swagger wins the Elimination Chamber.
I thought this was a really enjoyable match, as most Elimination Chamber matches tend to be. However, I strongly disagree with the booking. Jack Swagger's new character just isn't very interesting, and he's not really getting over. His out-of-nowhere meteoric push is so typical of the WWE. He's buried for YEARS as a geek, and now, everyone is just supposed to accept him as a main eventer? Why? Because he's now really racist? Jack Swagger vs. Alberto Del Rio for the World Title does absolutely nothing for me. Also, Mark Henry = Best in the World. Match Rating: ***1/2
John Cena, Sheamus, & The Ryback vs. The Shield (Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns, & Dean Ambrose)
The Shield came through the crowd again. The match started as a brawl outside the ring. The action quickly spilled into the ring. The babyfaces hit musical vertical suplexes. A trios tag match broke out after that. Sheamus took off Ambrose's protective vest and attacked his chest. The Shield managed to cut off Sheamus, and they worked him over for a bit. The crowd was not very hot for this. Sheamus hit Ambrose with a Brogue Kick. Cena and Reigns tagged in. Cena ran through Reigns. The Shield illegally used their numbers to cut off Cena, and they then got the heat on him. The crowd was more into this. The Shield got several nearfalls on Cena, but he survived them all. Cena eventually dumped Ambrose to the floor. Cena tagged out to Ryback. Ryback made a hot tag. The crowd was into it. Rollins ate a powerbomb. Ambrose got scoop slammed into Rollins. The match broke down. Reigns tackled Sheamus through a barricade. Rollins went for a diving crossbody on Ryback, but Ryback caught him. Ambrose saved Rollins from the Shell Shock. Cena took out Reigns. Cena hit Ambrose with a FU. Ryback had Rollins up for a Shell Shock, but Reigns hit Ryback with a spear. Rollins covered Ryback: 1…2…3…Wow!
This was a really fun match. The crowd was initially a little lukewarm on the match as it settled down. However, the Shield working over Cena got the crowd back into the match, and the closing stretch was a ton of fun as a result. I'm greatly surprised that Ryback ate the pinfall, but I guess he'll finally get a win over the Shield at Wrestlemania (which, in front of the hardest of hardcore wrestling fans, should get over like a lead balloon). Match Rating: ***1/2
Dolph Ziggler, AJ Lee, and Big E. Langston came out. Ziggler discusses how awesome he is. Booker T came out and said Ziggler had a match.
Kofi Kingston vs. Dolph Ziggler (w/AJ Lee & Big E. Langston)
These two worked a super-fast paced match, which suggests that this match won't last too long. Ziggler locked in a sleeper. Kofi managed to send Dolph to the floor. Kofi accidentally hit Langston with a tope suicida. AJ slapped Kofi. Ziggler almost ran into AJ. That allowed Kofi to hit a Trouble in Paradise. Langston dragged Ziggler out of the ring…in front of the referee. Kofi wiped out Langston with a springboard plancha. Back in the ring, Ziggler gave Kingston a gourd buster onto the turnbuckle. Ouch. Fuck. Ziggler then hit the Zig Zag: 1…2…3.
Langston destroyed Kofi after the match.
I guess the WWE realized they had four minutes to kill? These guys are capable of having great twenty minute matches. This pretty much just established Kofi as an undercarder. Dolph needs to go over some main eventers, sooner rather than later. Having complained about all of that, this match was a lot of fun for four minutes. Match Rating: **1/2
Kaitlyn got a couple of pinning combinations for nearfalls. Tamina sent her into a ringpost to cut her off. Tamina got the heat after that. The cameras showed the last remnants of the Divas division watching the match backstage. Lol. Tamina went for Superfly Splash, but Kaitlyn avoided it. Kaitlyn hit a "spear:" 1…2…3
Lol. Match Rating: Get rid of the Divas division if you're not going to bother making it good
Not much happened in the early goings. Punk spat in Rock's face. Punk was trying to get a DQ. Punk had control and locked in a chinlock. Rock escaped, but Punk hit a leg lariat for a nearfall. Punk went back to working over Rock. Rock started to come back, but Punk hit a high knee in the corner. Punk hit the diving elbow: 1…2…NO! Punk started to set up the Spanish Announce Table. Rock then sent Punk into the English Announce Table. Back in the ring, Rock went for a Rock Bottom, but Punk hit a roundhouse kick for a nearfall. Heyman had the ref distracted, and Punk gave Rock a Rock Bottom on the Spanish Announce Table. The table didn't break. Punk almost won by countout. Rock came back with a Samoan Drop out of nowhere. He's half-Samoan~! They traded punches. Rock hit his leaping lariat and a DDT. Rock called for the Rock Bottom, but Punk came back with a variation of the Bryan Danielson elbow strikes. Punk went for a springboard lariat, but Rock caught him with a Rock Bottom: 1…2…NO! Ref bump. Punk hit the GTS and got a phantom pinfall. Punk went for another GTS, but Rock escaped and hit a spinebuster. Rock then hit the Peoples' Elbow: 1…2…NO! Good nearfall. Another ref bump. Punk took Rock down with a roundhouse kick. Heyman gave Punk the WWE Belt. Punk went to hit Rock with the belt, but Punk hit Heyman by mistake. Rock then hit Punk with the Rock Bottom: 1…2…3.
I found this match to be really disappointing (and in retrospect, I way overrated his Royal Rumble match with Punk). It's become quite clear that The Rock just isn't anywhere close to being The Rock of old anymore. He looks good, he's definitely trying hard, but he's just not The Rock. The idea of him main eventing Wrestlemania and Summerslam in singles matches this year no longer appeals to me at all (never mind the idea of him main eventing Wrestlemania 2014). It would be easy to speculate about why The Rock is no longer all that special, **fake cough**cardio **fake cough** but instead, I'll just hope that he recognizes his deficiencies and corrects them before Mania. Match Rating: ***
The 411: Thumbs in the Middle for Elimination Chamber 2013. My favorite match was definitely the trios match followed by the Chamber match. However, the booking of the Chamber match really fell flat for me, so it's hard to get excited for recommending you check that match out. Rock vs. Punk II was fine, but again, it's hard to get excited to recommend it. Nothing else on this show is really worth the price of this PPV. I expected potentially big things on this PPV, but I left it only be excited by the fact that the WWE continued to keep the Shield strong before Wrestlemania.
WWE has a very clear direction for Wrestlemania right now, and it does not appeal to me whatsoever. Rock vs. Cena II is just not exciting (in the ring or creatively). The same goes for HHH vs. Brock II. After being a major player for over a year, CM Punk's options appear to be quite limited, as I'm not sure that Undertaker can have a great match now and no other potential program seems to be on the horizon. Ryback vs. Shield has a chance of being a good match, but I cannot imagine that stadium full of the hardest of hardcore wrestling fans will be excited for the Ryback to finally get some revenge on the Shield. Alberto Del Rio vs. Jack Swagger should be a fine undercard match, but it really reflects how poorly Smackdown and their World Title have been booked that that is the match they've been left with for Wrestlemania. All of those matches are "fine," but I just don't care about any of them.