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Views from the Hawke's Nest: WWE Elimination Chamber 2014
Posted by TJ Hawke on 02.24.2014



February 23, 2014


Commentators: Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler, & JBL

Kickoff Pre-show

The Brotherhood (Cody Rhodes & Goldust) vs. The Axe Man & The Big Guy (Curtis Axel & The Ryback) (w/ Larry Hennig)
Why did Cody and Goldust lose the tag titles?

Cody and Goldust hit stereo dives right before a commercial break. Commercial breaks during PPV pre-show matches are still silly. When we came back, The Axe Man and The Big Guy were getting the heat on Goldust. Goldust eventually hit a diving hurricanrana on The Ryback. He then dumped The Big Guy to the floor and tagged in Cody. Cody hit Axel with The Bob Holly Slam and then gave The Ryback the Beautiful Disaster on the floor. They did some nifty stuff with all four men. Cody reversed an Axel neckbreaker into Cross Rhodes: 123

I enjoyed this match. The WWE agent responsible for this match deserves a bonus for managing to make a meh match on paper work out well in execution. The Rhodes brothers being an excellent tag team obviously have a lot to do with the success of this match as well. Thumsb up for this!
Match Rating: **3/4


PPV

Big E. vs. Jack Swagger (w/ Zeb Colter) [Intercontinental Championship]
I'm not entirely sure why Big E. needed to drop his last name, but I do not think it really matters.

Zeb Colter ran down Big E. for doing nothing for North America. Zeb theorized that illegal immigration and the polar vortex are connected. Seems like sound analysis to me. In all seriousness, Zeb is a great parody character. I do worry that the majority of the fans chanting "We the people!" along with them are doing it without irony though.

Big E. was running through Swagger to start the match. He even managed to overcome an early Colter distraction. Swagger cut Big E. off after he pulled him off the apron and onto the floor. Swagger then worked him over. It looked like Big E. was on the comeback trail, but he ate the Kurt Angle ringpost shoulder bump. Big E. blocked a corner charge and then made the proper comeback. Swagger hit a spinebuster for a nearfall. Swagger ended up on the apron, and Big E. speared him through the ropes and to the floor. Big E. hit The Big O for a nearfall. Swagger came back with a super belly-to-belly: 12匩O! What a delightfully good opener. Swagger took out the left leg and then got the ankle lock. Big E. made a Big Escape. Big E. avoided the Swagger Bomb and called for The Big Ending, but Swagger got the ankle lock. Big E. hit a Big Enzuigiri and then hit The Big Ending: 123

Wow, this was randomly really good. If there was a bit more substance (beyond good guy vs. bad guy) going on in the match, this could have been truly great. For a WWE style match between two midcarders who are not that interesting in the ring, that was as good as it gets. I really enjoyed this.
Match Rating: ***1/2

Bad News Barrett arrived after the match. He trolled the crowd about Russia winning more medals than the United States at the Olympics. That was fantastic. I love Bad News Barrett.



New Age Outlaws ("Road Dogg" Jesse James & Billy Gunn) vs. The Usos (Jimmy & Jey Uso) [WWE Tag Team Championships]
I dislike the New Age Outlaws and their existence on WWE PPVs.

NOA avoided a stereo dive attempt from the Usos early on. At least they're willing to be heels during the match if not during their introduction. Road Dogg cut off Jey with a hip toss into the corner. What an indie spot, Road Dogg. Jey then got worked over. There were CM Punk chants for some reason. The match was pretty solid, too. Luckily, the chants died off. Jey caught Road Dogg with an enzuigiri, and Jimmy then made a big comeback. Jimmy wiped out Road Dogg with a Deadman suicida. Jimmy got a nearfall on Gunn with a superkick. A Road Dogg distraction from the floor allowed Gunn to schoolboy Jimmy with a handful of tights: 123!

This was turning into a really solid tag team match until the unfortunate finish. The finish did not ruin the match or anything, but it definitely took away from what could have been an even better PPV match.
Match Rating: **3/4

Yay! Bad News Barrett returned and said Daniel Bryan would not win the title, tonight. I hate spoilers. BNB is truly a heel.



Darren Young vs. Titus O'Neil
I have a feeling that the streak of fun matches is about to come to an end. I have no idea why this tag team was split up.

Titus quickly cut off Young and then worked him over. Young came back with a rolling elbow and then did the Cactus clothesline to the floor. Titus cut him off again though. Young made a lifeless comeback. Young randomly hit an apron neckbreaker. Young must be a fan of PWG. Titus came back with Clash of the Titus: 123

This was a boring match featuring two poor singles wrestlers who should have not split up in the first place. This match was worthless.
Match Rating: ½*

Bad News Barrett came out and buried Hulk Hogan. I do love this gimmick. I don't watch WWE TV though, and I can see finding him grating if I watched him multiple times per week.



The Shield (Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, & Roman Reigns) vs. The Wyatt Family (Bray Wyatt, Luke Harper, & Erick Rowan)
The hype video for this match was SO FUCKING GOOD! I AM SO HYPED FOR THIS MATCH! CAPS LOCK IS THE LOWEST FORM OF COMMUNICATION!

There was a brawl before the match. I like how the threat of The Wyatt Family has forced Ambrose and Reigns to ignore their tension. The teams went back and forth for a while. Harper went to give Rollins a super German, but he landed on his feet and then gave Harper a tope suicida. Harper then avoided a Curb Stomp and gave Rollins a Black Hole Slam. Wyatt tagged in and gave Rollins a senton on the floor. Rollins was worked over for a while. Wyatt got a nearfall with a chokeslam. Ambrose had to make the save, but then Harper booted his head off. Rollins caught Harper with an enzuigiri and then tagged out to Reigns. Reigns made a big comeback. Harper took out Ambrose with a suicide dive! Rollins then wiped out Harper with a tope con hello! Reigns and Rowan then went down after a double lariat spot. Rollins tore apart the SAT. In the highlight of the show, Ricardo Rodriguez pleaded with him to use the other table. Wyatt and Ambrose brawled into the crowd. Wyatt seemingly won that battle. Rowan and Reigns were still going at it in the ring until Reigns fell out after a fallaway slam. Rowan and Harper gave Rollins a double chokeslam through the SAT. Reigns was all alone against The Wyatts. Reigns was taken down, but he powered out of Sister Abigail and gave Bray a Samoan Drop. Reigns gave Bray and Rowan Superman punches. Reigns called for a spear on Bray, but Harper ended up eating it instead. Bray tackled Reigns and gave him Sister Abigail: 123

Not only was this a great match, but it's a match that felt so unique in the WWE environment. I cannot even think of another instance of the WWE having two stables that were so fresh in and out of the ring that clashed on PPV in this manner. Both teams basically just tried to have the best match humanly possible, and they absolutely did that. On top of that, this a heel vs. heel match that ended in a clean fashion AND continued the arcs of both stables. How can the WWE pull something like that off and produce utter shite 95% of the rest of the time? It has to be an accident. This was very nearly perfect.
Match Rating: ****1/2



AJ Lee (w/ Tamina) vs. Cameron
Apparently, Cameron's fellow Funkadactyl, Naomi is injured and cannot compete. AJ cut off Cameron early on. Cameron made a comeback. The match was sloppy at nearly every turn. They ended up on the floor. Tamina accidentally superkicked AJ. Cameron pinned her in the ring, but Tamina blatantly interfered. Cameron went to the floor, and Tamina hit her with a lariat. Cameron won via disqualification.

DUD
Match Rating: DUD

Bad News Barrett delivered some ironically bad news about the WWE Network coming.



Batista vs. Alberto Del Rio
Del Rio pretended that he was too injured to compete. Then he attacked Batista with his crutch and revealed to be perfectly healthy. Batista got some offense as soon as the match started, and the crowd booed him. They even chanted "BOOTISTA!" Del Rio cut him off and went after the arm. Daniel Bryan chants. Del Rio was in control for a bit. The crowd entertained themselves. Batista caught him with a spear, and the crowd booed. Del Rio hit a backstabber, and the crowd cheered. Batista avoided avoided a Togo Senton. Del Rio avoided a Big Dave Bomb and hit a kneeling superkick. Batista avoided the armbreaker and hit the Big Dave Bomb: 123

Lol, this was so bad (and in a completely different way from the last match). Batista does not look especially good in the ring, and the circumstances of his return have unfortunately only made him seem worse. Batista needs to turn heel so fast. At this rate, Batista vs. Orton is going to be one of the least cared about WWE Championship matches in Wrestlemania history, but it will be incredibly entertaining to experience.
Match Rating: DUD



Randy Orton vs. Daniel Bryan vs. John Cena vs. Cesaro (w/ Zeb Colter) vs. Sheamus vs. Christian [Elimination Chamber match for the WWE Championship]
On paper, this looks to be one of the best Chamber matches in history.

The match started with Sheamus and Cesaro. It was fine, but clearly Bryan should have been one of the first two. Daniel Bryan, with his taped-up shoulder, was the next one in, thankfully. Bryan essentially made a hot tag, and it was very good. Cesaro sent Bryan right through a pod. He did it injured shoulder-first. Sheamus and Cesaro then went at it again. Cesaro ate a Finlay Roll on the steel. Christian was the next out. He was booed. Wait, why is Christian a heel? That is so stupid. Did no one in the WWE watch Summerslam 2012 or WWECW!?!??! Christian went after Bryan. Christian being a heel is just about the most annoying thing I can think of. Shenanigans. Tomfoolery. Christian gave Sheamus a reverse DDT on the steel, but Cesaro then gave Christian a powerbomb into the pod. John Cena was the next one in. Christian gave Bryan the Killswitch: 12匩O! I was genuinely worried there for a second. Cena blocked a Giant Swing on Christian, because a WWE agent apparently wants Cena to be hated more. There was a lot of back and forth action. Orton was in his chamber for seemingly much longer than he was supposed to be. Randy Orton was finally in the match. He quickly retreated to his pod. The crowd chanted "pussy" and confirmed that they were chanting "We the people" without irony earlier in the show. Sheamus Brogue Kicked the pod glass into Orton and then broke through the glass. Orton ate the Giant Swing! Bryan then gave Cesaro CHAOS THEORY~! Christian climbed on a pod to avoid a Razor's Edge from Sheamus. Sheamus then ate a superplex from Orton and a Superfly Splash from Christian: 123!
Sheamus was eliminated.

Christian then ate the Busaiku Knee from Bryan: 123
Christian was eliminated.

Christian being a heel has really thrown some shade on this match for me. Cena reversed a gutwrench bomb into a Cenarana. Cena then gave Cesaro a FU onto the steel and then applied the STF. Cesaro tapped out. Derp.
Cesaro was eliminated.

The Wyatt Family appeared out of nowhere in the chamber. They mauled Cena. Cena ate Sister Abigail, and the crowd chanted, "Thank you, Wyatts!" Orton covered Cena: 123
John Cena was eliminated.

republiKane came out to run off the Wyatts. Bryan hit Kane with a diving knee. Orton sent Bryan into a pod, but Bryan then trapped Orton in the Tree of Joey Lawrence. They went back and forth. Bryan hit the Busaiku Knee: 12匩O! KANE PULLED OUT THE OFFICIAL TO SCREW BRYAN! RKO: 12匩O! Wow. The crowd now believes Bryan can win. Bryan caught with a small package for a nearfall. Kane punched Bryan, and Orton hit the RKO: 123

I enjoyed a lot of this match, but the key eliminations toward the end were really deflating and unsatisfying. I do not have much else to say, except that stuff like that has made me very cold on watching WWE PPVs since Summerslam.
Match Rating: ***



The 411: The whole show was a breeze to watch (for one reason or another), but it was just okay overall. Unfortunately, that is what I've come to expect from WWE PPVs. I command all of you to seek out the trios match at the very least though. That was something special.



Thanks everybody for reading! You can send feedback to my Twitter or to my email address: Shabang728@gmail.com. Also, feel free to check out my own wrestling website, FreeProWrestling.com. Check out a full/organized list of all the wrestling show reviews I've done at 411mania.





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