-This was a fairly big event for the E, featuring two elimination chamber matches to determine the Wrestlemania challengers for Randy Orton’s WWE title and Edge’s World Heavyweight title. They broadcasted live from Las Vegas, Nevada. Our hosts for the evening are Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler for Raw, Michael Cole and Jonathan Coachman for Smackdown, and Joey Styles and Tazz for ECW.
-On the last Smackdown, Rey Mysterio interrupted Edge’s wedding proposal to Vickie Guerrero. Rey attempted a West Coast Pop, but Edge ducked and Rey took out Vickie.
-Mike Adamle is backstage with Rey Mysterio, who will be facing Edge for the World Heavyweight title tonight. Rey says he didn’t mean to hurt Vickie. Adamle asks Rey about his most recent injury, a torn bicep (Rey’s arm is all red and ugly). Floyd Mayweather stops by to say hi, apparently he’s good friends with Rey.
-Chris Jericho is taping up his wrists in preparation of the Raw elimination chamber match.
Elimination Chamber match:
MVP vs. Big Daddy V (with Matt Striker) vs. The Great Khali (with Ranjin Singh) vs. Finlay vs. Batista vs. The Undertaker
The winner of this match will challenge for the World Heavyweight Championship at Wrestlemania 24. In a nice touch, Batista climbs each turnbuckle to do his entrance pose but also talks smack to the guys locked in the chamber cells. Taker and Batista start the match with a slugfest. Taker tosses Batista over the ropes onto the steel and drives his face into the chamber wall. Batista kicks Taker back into the ring and drops him with a clothesline. Cover by Batista gets one. Taker takes control with some slugging. After eating three dozen stomps, Batista rebounds with some smashing. They both connect with big boots and they both go down as Big Daddy V joins the match (after a hilarious miscue with the buzzer initially signaling for Khali). The Mastodon slaps both Batista and Taker around for a bit. Samoan drop on Undertaker by Big Daddy V, who then stands on the Dead Man. BDV goes after Batista, hitting a power slam and some slaps. BDV head-butts Taker, causing him to fall backwards through the door to ringside. Taker stumbles to the chamber, where BDV is waiting for him with a splash into the steel wall. BDV crushes Batista in the turnbuckles but misses the Samoan drop. Spinebuster on BDV by Batista and a clothesline over the ropes to the steel. DDT by Taker on BDV, but Batista makes the cover to eliminate the big man at 9:30. Big Daddy V served his purpose well.
The Great Khali is let out of his cell and wastes no time going after both Batista and Undertaker. The crowd serenades Khali with “You can’t wrestle” chants. Khali blocks an Undertaker chokeslam and his double chokeslam for a cover for 2.5. Khali goes after Batista, getting a near fall after a standing clothesline. Khali tries crushing Batista’s skull with the vice grip. Batista breaks free and connects with a spear. Taker knocks down Batista and takes a moment to kick Ranjin Singh off the chamber. Taker locks Khali into the gogoplata, and gets a submission victory at 12:40. Khali was basically playing the same role as Big Daddy V, but he didn’t embarrass himself or drag down the match, so huzzah. Taker and Batista return to their epic battle. Taker drags Batista across the steel on his back, which must be mildly irritating. Finlay joins the match but runs into a big boot from Undertaker. Taker charges with a head of steam, but Finlay dodges, leaving Taker to dive into the turnbuckles leg first. Celtic cross by Finlay on Undertaker gets a cover for 2.5. Finlay goes after Batista, but gets catapulted into the steel wall. Taker and Batista knock each other down, and Finlay tries to take advantage with a cover attempt on Undertaker. Finlay drives Taker into the steel wall. Cover by Finlay on Undertaker gets 2. Taker gets knocked into some cell walls, crashing through the “bullet proof” wall. Batista plants Finlay on the top rope and hits a big suplex.
Undertaker meets MVP at his door as it’s opened and pummels him in his own cell. That was a great touch. Taker and Batista duke it out some more. MVP cleans house with his patented kick. Cover by MVP on Taker gets 2.5 (of course). MVP uses his decorative chain to choke Finlay. MVP wraps his chain around his fist to deck out Undertaker (busting him open in the process). MVP kicks everyone, but Taker is on his feet and pissed and dazed. MVP tries to knock the Dead Man down but climbs to the top of a pod to escape. Taker climbs up and chokeslams him off! AWESOME! Finlay gets the cover and MVP is gone at 22:30. Taker misses a top rope elbow drop on Finlay. Hornswoggle’s head appears through the steel and tosses a shillelagh to Finlay. Finlay nails Batista in the head (busting him open) but only gets 2.9 on the cover. Taker chokeslams Finlay onto the steel floor. Taker eliminates Finlay at 24:10. It’s down to just Taker and Batista, and they slug it out. Undertaker eats the Batista Bomb but kicks out of the cover! For those of you keeping track, that’s three finishers the Undertaker has kicked out of tonight. Batista mounts the turnbuckles to punch Taker, but Taker reverses into the Last Ride! Taker slowly gets the cover, and Batista kicks out. Batista escapes the Tombstone and tosses Undertaker to the steel. Taker is torpedoed head-first into the wall. Taker counters another attempt and inventively sets up the Tombstone in the ring, picking up the victory at 29:27. The match wasn’t always pretty, but was ultimately epic and satisfying, ***. Winner: The Undertaker
-Backstage, Edge is hanging out with Hawkins and Ryder. They are talking strategy for tonight, but Teddy Long interrupts and announces that he is in charge due to Vickie’s absence. He is banning Hawkins and Ryder from ringside for Edge’s title match.
-Highlights from a Playboy party, where Ashley Massaro is trying to get Maria to agree to pose in Playboy. She meets Hugh Hefner, who thinks Maria would be great in Playboy.
-Mr. Kennedy comes out for his match and cuts a promo on the stage. He hopes the fans brought their cameras (just not digital, right?) because he’s going to end Ric Flair’s career!
Career Threatening match:
Mr. Kennedy vs. Ric Flair
Kennedy is disrespectful, but Flair couldn’t give a damn. Flair connects with some chops, but Kennedy drop-kicks the knee. Kennedy stomps on the injured knee and twists into a half Boston crab. Kennedy keeps up the leg work, and I can hear an audible “goddamn you” from Flair. Kennedy locks up a figure four around the ring post. Kennedy slaps Flair across the face and gets a cover for 2. Flair tries to block the figure four but gets trapped in the hold. Kennedy reaches to slap Flair, what a douche. Flair gets the ropes, and Kennedy mocks the Flair strut. Kennedy slams Flair, tries again but Flair counters with a chop block to the knee. Another chop block by Flair. Flair’s figure four is blocked and Kennedy pulls the tights to get a cover (the crowd pops for Flair’s naked ass). Flair targets the leg, but Kennedy’s inside cradle almost ends his career. Flair reverses into a figure four and gets the submission win at 6:05. Kennedy was in sharp form here, unfortunately that means his loss wasn’t believable. *¾. Winner: Ric Flair
-Backstage, Vince McMahon barges in on Finlay in his locker room, recovering from his injuries. Vince is facing Hornswoggle tomorrow night in a cage match, and let’s Finlay know about the “tough love” Hornswoggle will be receiving. Yeah, there’s one angle I don’t miss whatsoever. Can you believe they kept the bastard son angle going from the summer of 2007 until February of 2008?
-JBL can be seen pacing, anticipating his elimination chamber match tonight.
-Trainers check on Rey’s arm, when suddenly Big Show makes his surprise return to the WWE. Big Show appears to have lost quite a bit of weight and proudly flaunts his figure to the crowd. Show says he’s glad to be back and promises he will be a champion again. Show then turns heel right away, attacking the injured Rey Mysterio at ringside. Show notices Floyd Mayweather at ringside and talks some smack. Show directs Rey to the ring and threatens to chokeslam Rey. Mayweather’s entourage tries to keep him from getting involved. Mayweather rushes the ring, making the save, but his people hold him back. Show wants a piece of Mayweather, and he gets it as “Money” connects with a couple of shots, breaking Show’s nose in the process. Shane McMahon stops Show from chasing Mayweather to the back. This was a great angle, as it felt really spontaneous and stirred up some big interest in Wrestlemania.
-Jeff Hardy can be seen warming up in the back.
-Mike Adamle talks about John Cena’s pursuit of the "WEF" championship. Anyone miss this guy?
-Orton poses with his championship as if he had earned a hard-fought victory.
-Shawn Michaels pays Triple H a visit. They are opponents tonight in the elimination chamber and they make it clear to one another that they will win the match at all costs, even if it means going through each other.
Elimination Chamber match:
Triple H vs. Umaga vs. JBL vs. Jeff Hardy vs. Chris Jericho vs. Shawn Michaels
The winner will face Randy Orton for the WWE Championship at Wrestlemania 24. Chris Jericho and Shawn Michaels start the match. They trade wrestling holds. Shoulder block by HBK and then some exchanging of chops. They trade pinning combinations. Northern lights suplex by Jericho gets a near fall, HBK bridges the back and backslides Jericho for 2. Backbreaker by Jericho. They exchange shots and HBK connects with a flying clothesline. Atomic drop by HBK and a body slam sets up a flying elbow, but Jericho blocks. Michaels blocks the lionsault, but Jericho transitions into the Walls. Michaels blocks and attempts the sharpshooter, but Jericho counters into a pinning predicament. They are fitting a lot of action into the four minutes they have alone. The pace picks up and both men collide, leaving them down as Umaga joins the match. Umaga cleans house. Umaga gets both men on his shoulders for a double Samoan drop! Umaga goes back and forth between punishing HBK and Jericho, climbing the wall to drop his rear on Michaels. Jericho fights back with some chops, and Umaga misses a flying head butt. Michaels hit’s a flying elbow drop on Umaga’s back. Jericho locks the Walls on Umaga, and HBK assists with a crossface.
JBL is let out and he breaks up the double submission (hey Bradshaw, it would have benefited you for Umaga to be eliminated). JBL cleans house on Jericho and Michaels. The match breaks down to JBL working over Jericho and Umaga working over Michaels. Jericho counters JBL and gets a near fall, but JBL retakes control. Triple H joins the match and immediately tackles Umaga. HHH nails a face buster on JBL and another on Umaga. Spinebuster on Jericho by HHH and another on Umaga. Triple H hits JBL with a DDT and gets a cover for 2. Umaga whips Triple H but misses a charge. Triple H sends Umaga crashing head first into a pod. Bulldog on Triple H by Jericho, but he misses the lionsault. JBL clotheslines Triple H while trying to pedigree Jericho. Codebreaker on JBL by Jericho, who makes the elimination at 13:48. JBL is upset and brings a chair into the chamber and lays out Jericho, Michaels, and Umaga. Everyone is down and most of them are bleeding. Jeff Hardy joins the fray and cleans house. HHH and HBK double team Hardy, but both eat the Whisper in the Wind. Hardy walks into a thrust kick from Umaga. Umaga slams Jericho and places Triple H in the tree of woe. Umaga whips Michaels into HHH and continues to clean house. Umaga charges into Jericho propped against the bullet proof pod wall, and they both crash through it! Umaga’s luck is out, as he takes a series of finishers, including a swanton off the pod by Hardy! Umaga is gone at 19:49.
Chris Jericho eats some Sweet Chin Music, but it’s Hardy who makes the cover, eliminating Y2J at 20:10. Triple H tosses Hardy over the ropes and pedigrees Michaels, making the elimination at 20:30. Triple H and Hardy are left alone and they slug it out. HHH tosses Hardy onto the steel floor. Hardy blocks and slams HHH into the wall and DDT’s him onto the steel. Hardy repeatedly slams HHH into the steel wall. Hardy leaps off the turnbuckles and counters a pedigree onto the steel. Hardy misses a swanton! Triple H nails the pedigree, but Hardy kicks out! HHH takes one of JBL’s chairs and prepares to Pedigree Hardy onto it, but Hardy counters with a low blow. HHH counters the Twist of Fate, sending Hardy crashing onto the chair. Triple H nails the Pedigree onto the chair and gets the win at 23:56. This was an absolutely crazy, chaotic war, just what these elimination chamber matches should be, ****¼.
Winner: Triple H
Final Thoughts: It felt like overkill having two elimination chambers on one show, but the Smackdown and Raw guys did an effective job of making both matches feel different from one another. While the Smackdown EC match was basically Batista and Undertaker trying to beat each other and having to deal with some distractions along the way, the Raw EC was a crazy MOTYC. There were some forgettable undercard matches, but the enjoyable Cena/Orton outing rounds things out nicely.
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