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WWE Elimination Chamber

February 20, 2011

by Samoa Rowe

-From Oakland, CA. Our hosts are Michael Cole, Josh Mathews, and Booker T.

Alberto Del Rio (with Ricardo Rodriguez) vs. Intercontinental Champion Kofi Kingston

Del Rio cuts a promo beforehand, mainly insulting Oakland, bragging about his Rumble win, and destiny. Del Rio hides from an aggressive Kofi in the ropes as the fans chant for him. Ricardo distracts, allowing Del Rio to pop out of the corner and attack Kingston. Kofi retakes control briefly before Del Rio shoves him into the ring post. Del Rio establishes his control by driving Kingston into the ring steps. Alberto wears Kofi down for a while. Desperate flying cross body off the turnbuckles by Kofi. Kingston makes his patented comeback, complete with the Boom Drop. Trouble In Paradise misses, but Kofi improvises with a swinging kick. Del Rio counters a flying cross body. Missile drop-kick by Kingston gets 2. Gut buster by Alberto, but Kofi comes back with a swinging DDT. Ricardo distracts the referee, costing Kofi the win. The SOS connects for only 2. Del Rio counters with a neck breaker off the turnbuckles. The cross arm breaker ends it at 10:26. I like the chemistry here. Good opener, ***.
Winner: Alberto Del Rio

-Todd Grisham interviews Edge backstage. After the stressful month he’s had, the Elimination Chamber will seem like a relaxing Sunday. He knows the odds are against him tonight but he plans on retaining his World title. Drew McIntyre sarcastically applauds Edge and blames him for costing Kelly Kelly her job. Edge says that the World title and Kelly have something in common: they’ll never be seen with Drew. Ouch. Looking back, it’s surreal to see McIntyre in this spot.

World Heavyweight Championship (Elimination Chamber):
Edge © vs. Kane vs. Drew McIntyre vs. Wade Barrett vs. Big Show vs. Rey Mysterio

Teddy Long announces Big Show as Dolph Ziggler’s replacement. I know, stop the presses. Edge and Rey are the first two entrants and square off. Rey gets back dropped onto the steel platform. Rey shakes it off and nails a top rope head scissors takedown. Edge repeatedly shoves Rey into the cage wall and bats him against a pod. Wade Barrett is the first fresh entrant and goes right after Mysterio. Edge goes after Barrett but soon eats a side slam. Barrett enjoys a stretch in the driver’s seat. Rey plays Spider-Man on the wall and counters with a head scissors over the ropes. Edge prevents a 619 with a hard big boot. Kane is out next and unleashes the hate on all the participants. This backfires, as Kane gets triple teamed. Kane regains his momentum as McIntyre is released. Drew immediately lawn darts Mysterio into a cell. Barrett and McIntyre work together to punish Kane. Drew serves Barrett a low blow and drives him through a cell wall. Edge counters with a DDT on McIntyre. There’s a flurry of near finishers and Mysterio is once again sent flying into a cell, this time by Kane. After clearing the ring, Kane and Edge put each other down with big boots. Big Show is out and destroys everyone in his path. Show finally catches Barrett and thrusts him through a pod with one arm. The KO blow finishes Barrett at 18:43. Kane drops Show with a flying clothesline, setting him up for an Edge elbow drop. Future Shock DDT on Show by McIntyre. Rey has climbed onto a pod and delivers a seated senton on Big Show! Show eats 619 and the spear. Kane’s choke slam finishes Show at 20:48. Kane choke slams McIntyre to eliminate him at 21:03. Kane tosses Edge but suffers a tornado DDT from Rey. Springboard leg drop by Rey only gets 2. Mysterio nails 619 but Kane counters, holding him in place for Edge to spear both of them! Edge pins Kane at 22:45. Kane attacks both Edge and Rey before taking his leave. They struggle to their feet and Mysterio counters the spear. Edge rolls through a springboard cross body and gains a near fall. Bulldog by Rey gains another 2 count. Edge catches Mysterio in mid-air for a power bomb counter! Rey counters to set up 619, but Edge counters back into a modified sharp shooter. Rey reverses into a pinning predicament. Edge misses one spear but connects with another. REY KICKS OUT! 619 connects and Rey drops the dime for only 2! Edge eats another 619 but Rey flies into a spear! Edge pins Rey at 31:21. I absolutely loved the story of Edge and Rey surviving the entire pack until the very end. This match fired on all cylinders and had a fantastic finishing sequence, ****½.
Winner and still World Heavyweight Champion: Edge

-Edge is recovering when he’s ambushed by Alberto Del Rio! Edge is trapped in the cross arm breaker when Christian makes his surprise return to make the save! Christian tackles Del Rio and stomps a mud hole into him. Christian fights off a pack of referees to put Del Rio down with the Killswitch. I’m always glad to see Christian.

-Matt Striker interviews Jerry Lawler backstage. Jerry is mourning the loss of his mother but he knows he still must face The Miz, ready or not. He’s received an outpour of emotion from his fans and doesn’t want to let them down.

-Booker T introduces new Tough Enough trainer, Trish Stratus. Trish says she’s excited to be back and reveals her new catchphrase, which is a rip-off of Rock’s “Finally…” She steals Booker “suckah” line as well. I’m honestly stunned. How did I not once see this clip in the last two years? Trish says she’s mainly here to see Jerry Lawler win the WWE Championship. Okay, moving on then.

WWE Tag Team Championship:
Santino Marella and Vladimir Kozlov © (with Tamina) vs. Justin Gabriel and Heath Slater (with Ezekiel Jackson)

How are these two teams STILL feuding over these belts? Sure, they are the only two tag teams in all of WWE, but that’s beside the point. Kozlov tosses Slater into position for a tag to Santino. Slater reverses a headlock with a head scissors. Gabriel tags but Santino surprises with a back heel trip. Kozlov tags and tosses Gabriel around. Gabriel turns it around with an enziguri. Kozlov tosses Slater to make something resembling a hot tag to Santino. Marella hip tosses Gabriel onto Slater and dishes out the Cobra. Kozlov plows through Gabriel but Slater makes a blind tag. Kozlov is confused and eats an inverted neck breaker. Gabriel’s 450 splash finishes Kozlov at 5:06. This was slightly better than their previous forgettable outings, *¾.
Winners and new WWE Tag Team Champions: Heath Slater and Justin Gabriel

-Todd Grisham interviews The Miz, accompanied by Alex Riley. Miz proclaims 2011 to be the year of the Miz. He’s not worried about Jerry Lawler and is already looking ahead to the Raw Elimination Chamber winner.

-Vickie Guerrero comes out to waste some time. She’s depressed over the firing of her boyfriend, Dolph Ziggler. Vickie appeals to the fans to demand that Teddy Long reinstate Ziggler. Long shows up on the stage and reveals he’s in a hiring mood. Vickie takes that to mean Dolph has his job back, but Long surprises her with the returning Kelly Kelly. Kelly beats Vickie up in pathetic fashion until Michelle McCool and Layla run in for the save. Trish Stratus runs in for a save and manages to fight off LayCool (unfortunately botching a head scissors takedown on Layla).

WWE Championship:
The Miz © (with Alex Riley) vs. Jerry “The King” Lawler

Lawler almost steals it with some early roll-ups. They block hip tosses and Lawler nails a clothesline. Crossbody press by King gets 2. Lawler delivers a series of closed fists and dumps Miz to ringside. Riley distracts, allowing Miz to shove King into the ring post. Miz takes control with wear-down offense. Lawler retaliates with a superplex! They trade punches and King delivers some drop-kicks. Lawler builds some steam with a back drop, but Riley trips him from behind. The referee has had enough and sends Riley packing. Lawler goes for the piledriver but Miz counters with a big boot. King sends Miz crashing to ringside, but gets distracted by an irate Michael Cole. Lawler repeatedly slams Miz into the announce table and throws him on top of Cole. Flying closed fist by King gets a believable near fall. Lawler counters into a DDT. Another closed fist by Lawler but Miz gets the ropes. Miz counters the piledriver and they trade pinning predicaments. The Skull Crushing Finale finishes it at 12:05. Nothing fancy, but they got the crowd invested and put on a solid show, **½.
Winner and still WWE Champion: The Miz

-Cole raises Miz’s hand in victory. Lawler lingers behind for a standing ovation.

-John Cena enjoys a bowl of Fruity Pebbles backstage. Todd Grisham asks for his thoughts on the last Raw. Cena is focused on the Elimination Chamber, which is “yabba dabba delicious.” And this is why people hate Cena.

-Matt Striker interviews CM Punk and asks him about Cena. Punk has beaten Cena in all of their recent outings and can’t see anyone but himself winning the EC.

#1 Contender for WWE Championship (Elimination Chamber):
Randy Orton vs. R-Truth vs. CM Punk vs. John Cena vs. King Sheamus vs. John Morrison

Sheamus and Morrison are the first two participants and resume their feud. Morrison springboards onto the wall and bounces off with a kick to the head. Sheamus counters Starship Pain, shoving Morrison into a pod. Randy Orton is released and cleans house, back dropping Morrison over the ropes onto Sheamus. Orton threatens Punk and throws Morrison through a wall. Orton hits Sheamus with a spike DDT onto the platform! Orton delivers superplexes to both Sheamus and Morrison. CM Punk is out next but gets stuck in the door, allowing Orton to dish out some punishment. Orton plants Punk with the RKO and Punk is gone at 8:56. Punk is crawling out when Cole gets a message from the anonymous Raw GM. The ruling is that Punk didn’t get a fair chance due to a malfunctioning pod and is reinstated. Punk is allowed back into a pod and laughs it up. Orton is pissed and is an easy target for a Sheamus backbreaker. Orton ducks a Brogue Kick but eats a springboard kick from Morrison. John Cena’s door is opened but Sheamus ambushes him inside the pod. Cena AA’s Morrison over the ropes but gets ambushed by Sheamus. Morrison landed on his feet and drops them with a flying clothesline. Sheamus delivers a slingshot shoulder tackle on Cena and Morrison but gets attacked by Orton. R-Truth is out and ducks a Sheamus ambush. Truth delivers a hip toss to Sheamus on the platform. Truth delivers a flurry of offense but Sheamus puts him away at 17:25. Orton builds some steam, but Cena matches him shot for shot. Orton nails Cena with the RKO on the platform, as Punk’s pod opens. Punk surveys the damage and goes after Orton. The GTS finishes Orton at 21:25. Sheamus shoves Punk into a pod wall to end his momentum. Morrison climbs on top of a pod, but Sheamus trips him up. Sheamus attempts a High Cross but Morrison kicks him down. Morrison climbs the top of the dome and surprises Sheamus with a flying cross body to eliminate him at 25:05. Cena goes for the AA on Punk on the platform, but Morrison flies onto them. Morrison misses Cena and crashes into a pod, seemingly injuring his knee in the process. Anaconda Vice on Cena, but Cena muscles to his feet, allowing Morrison to wipe Punk out in an electric chair. AA on Morrison, but Punk kicks Cena in the head. Punk hurts himself on a flying clothesline on Cena on the platform. Morrison counters a slingshot with a head kick on Punk, but Starship Pain misses. The GTS finishes Morrison at 32:41. Cena goes right for the AA and drops Punk on the platform. Cena pins Punk at 33:02. This wasn’t as satisfying as the earlier EC, but still contained plenty of great action. Morrison turns in yet another should-have-been-a-star-making performance, ****.
Winner: John Cena

Final Thoughts: Normally I advise that you wait for compilation sets to see the Elimination Chamber matches, but this was an enjoyable show from start to finish (minus the goofy Trish promo, perhaps). Both EC matches delivered big time and the rest of the show wasn’t plagued with filler like in the past. Big thumbs up here.

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