Hugh has joined me for WWE Elimination Chamber 2011. Scattered thoughts will be shared as the night progresses.
7:35 I watch the tail end of last night’s SNL rerun with Paul Rudd and Paul McCartney. It’s rare I actually listen to the musical guest but classic Beatles songs are irresistible.
7:40 SNL ends so I switch to the WWE recap show where Edge is facing Dolph Ziggler for the championship. I predict Dolph Ziggler will find a way back into the Elimination Chamber tonight. Edge will win though. Cena takes the RAW Chamber match and Miz retains. I’m not sure if Del Rio/Kingston is official but I will pick Del Rio.
7:52 Hugh actually arrives.
7:59 I check WWE.com to find Del Rio versus Kingston is official and the tag champs face Justin Gabriel and Heath Slater. No word if the titles are on the line. Expect Big Show to show up for the tag match.
8:00 Opening promo is nothing special.
8:02 Tonight’s sponsor is the National Guard. Announce team is Michael Cole, Josh Matthews and Booker T. The flat out Smackdown team.
8:03 Robert Rodriguez clues us in that Alberto Del Rio is opening the show.
8:06 Del Rio runs down people from Oakland.
8:13 Match is nothing special so far.
8:14 Kofi starts flying but Del Rio is able to hit key counters.
8:17 Rodriguez keeps Kofi from getting the pin.
8:18 Kofi fights off the Cross Armbreaker for a while but once it’s locked on Kofi is quickly forced to tap. Yeah we all saw that coming. The question is does WWE have enough faith in him to make him a champion?
8:21 Todd “Wasn’t I going to replace JR?” Grisham interviews Edge. Edge thinks the Chamber is a walk in the park compared to Vickie Guererro. Drew McIntyre interrupts to remind him about Kelly Kelly getting fired. Edge took something from Drew, Drew is going to take his most prized possession.
8:24 The Smackdown chamber is up now? I know one has to come early but why not the #1 contender match instead of the actual championship bout?
8:28 Kane enters and gets locked in first.
8:29 Drew McIntyre next.
8:31 Wade Barrett enters this heel heavy match next. My money is on Mysterio next. But Teddy Long comes out instead and we have to sort out the Dolph Ziggler situation. It’s not Ziggler, instead it’s… The Big Show.
8:35 The match is back to three faces but we’re starting with two in the ring, Edge and Mysterio.
8:41 Wade Barrett is the next to enter.
8:45 Entrant #4 is Kane.
8:50 Second to last is McIntyre. The only other Elimination Chamber match I remember Show in he entered last too.
8:51 McIntyre puts Barrett through the Plexiglas of an empty pod.
8:53 The chaos of five competitors spikes my interest level.
8:54 Show looks like he’s falling asleep before they let him in.
8:55 Show beats on Wade Barrett. Then hits him with Knockout Punch to eliminate him way earlier than Hugh expected.
8:56 Mysterio hits a Senton off the top of a pod but it’s not enough to take out Big Show.
8:57 Beat on Big Show night ends with a Chokeslam by Kane that takes him out. Then Kane takes out McIntyre to leave just three men left. Why is Kane being pushed so hard?
8:59 Kane catches Mysterio dropping the dime but Edge Spears both men and chooses to pin Kane. We’re back down to the first two but Kane doesn’t leave until he Chokeslams both men left.
9:04 Lots of two-counts.
9:06 Not even a Spear is enough to end this.
9:07 Rey hits 619 and tries to drop the dime again only to get Speared in midair. The Spear has very little build up behind it so it’s not as impressive looking as you would hope but it gets Edge the win and, for the first time in five years, a champion retains in an Elimination Chamber. Rey looked great here, Edge was solid, Barrett came off looking the worst, Kane was booked stronger than expected, Show’s time was brief but he looked strong and McIntyre was just there. Del Rio gets in the Chamber to attack Edge post match. The Cross Armbreaker is applied but here’s a surprise. Christian returns to make the save and get a measure of revenge on Del Rio for ripping his pectoral. Christian back is a good thing.
9:15 Matt Striker grabs a moment with Jerry Lawler. Jerry looks pretty torn up still. Can’t blame him.
9:18 Booker plugs Tough Enough by revealing another trainer TRISH STRATUS!!!! Trish reminds us all mic skills were not here biggest strength.
9:23 Tag champs are here. Jackson accompanies them but no Barrett. The titles are on the line.
9:29 Cobra on the illegal Gabriel.
9:30 450 Splash on Kozlov and The Corre now control the tag team titles. I don’t want The Corre appearing on both shows.
9:33 Grisham is with The Miz. Miz at least mention The Rock and promises to get back to him. For now it’s time to end Lawler and go on to beat the Chamber winner at Mania.
9:35 Uggh. Vickie Guererro. She seems sad so there’s a silver lining. She’s pleading for Dolph’s job and could we not have had a quick match instead of this? Teddy Long arrives to try to shut her up. Long decides to hire somebody. But not Dolph. He hired back Kelly Kelly. And Long gave her free reign to “thank” Vickie. We get a taste of violence before Lay-Cool make the save. But that draws Trish Stratus to run them off. But they sucker ambush her and it turns into a real fight. Stratus is not in shape for this and she does not look well. The six-inch heels don’t help. But Trish and Kelly come out on top for a feel good moment.
9:47 Why does Miz come out first? Alex Reilly is there. I predict Reilly costs King the match and at Wrestlemania we see Jerry Lawler in a Handicap Match against Alex Reilly and Michael Cole.
9:51 Booker T calls Lawler “in shape”.
9:58 Reilly gets ejected so there goes my c all.
10:01 Lawler throws Miz into Cole.
10:02 Flying Fist Drop but Miz gets a foot on the ropes.
10:03 Big kick to the head, Skull Crushing Finale, foregone conclusion. It wasn’t awful but there was never any real hope Lawler would win.
10:05 The crowd still loves Lawler.
10:07 Cena is eating Fruity Pebbles. Grisham wants to talk Rock but Cena, too, is focused on tonight.
10:08 Throw to Matt Striker and CM Punk. Pun can’t see Cena beating him. Punk can’t see Cena winning. Punk can’t see anyone winning but him.
10:12 Orton is out first.
10:13 Cole thinks Orton has never made excuses for himself in his career. That’s laughable to those of us who remember Evolution, Legacy and Rated RKO.
10:14 R-Truth is #2. Four faces here but will two start?
10:15 Punk also gets to start in a chamber.
10:17 Even Cena gets locked in.
10:19 That leaves Sheamus and Morrison to start. Morrison better impress me.
10:22 Great jumps start already.
10:24 Pod #1 opens to reveal Orton.
10:25 Rope Hung DDT onto the steel grating for Sheamus.
10:28 Randy stalks Punk as the time counts down but Punk gets stuck in the pod door at Orton’s mercy.
10:29 Punk gets RKOed and pinned. Wow, that was unexpected.
10:30 An email from the RAW GM. Due to the pod malfunction the GM allows Punk back in his pod and back into the match.
10:33 Once again we let someone in, but it’s Cena not Punk. Sheamus attacks Cena in his own pod. This is not illegal I guess. The pod worked after all.
10:36 The crowd is split on Cena.
10:36 Punk now gets to be last as R-Truth comes in. Sheamus tries another ambush but Truth turns the tables.
10:38 R-Truth doesn’t last long as he falls to a Brogue Kick as the first elimination.
10:39 Too many people have been thrown through the glass tonight. Why can’t people break out if the glass gives way that easily?
10:40 Punk is coming back. He closes his own door and Cena tries to AA Orton, only to get an RKO on the steel grating.
10:41 Punk is picking the scraps.
10:42 GTS on Orton and the Viper is done. Orton/Punk at Wrestlemania seems certain.
10:44 Tease of a High Cross off the top of a pod but Morrison fights Sheamus off and climbs clean to the top of the dome. He drops into Sheamus in a highly impressive spot that takes Sheamus out of the match.
10:53 Morrison catches himself in mid-air on a pod, leaps to the chains flies into Punk but misses Starship Pain and ends up in a Go To Sleep and we are down to two. But Cena comes in to Attitude Adjust Punk and, as predicted, Cena walks away the winner.
10:54 Miz has been watching and doesn’t look happy.
10:55 We’re rapping up. My picks were pretty spot on though the tag titles changing hands were a surprise. The Chamber matches had some nice stuff but weren’t as spectacular as they were in the pre-PG days. There seemed to be a lot of filler and I would have liked one more match on the card. But a night with no surprises other than Trish Stratus doesn’t blow me away. 42 days to build to Mania, I think it will go well.