WWE Elimination Chamber 2011
February 20th, 2011
Oracle Arena, Oakland, California
Attendance: 19,000 +/-
February 20th, 2011
Oracle Arena, Oakland, California
Attendance: 19,000 +/-
We arrive now at the last PPV stop before Wrestlemania 27 in Atlanta. The big matches tonight are, of course, the two brand Elimination Chamber matches, the first of which is for the World Heavyweight Title and the second of which is for the #1 Contendership to the WWE title, presumably at Wrestlemania. We've also got The Miz defending the WWE title against an emotional Jerry "The King" Lawler less than a week after the passing of his mother as well as a few other matches to round out the card. Looks like a solid show on paper, so let's get to it.
Your hosts are Michael Cole, Josh Matthews, and Booker T
Alberto Del Rio vs. Kofi Kingston
Del Rio and Kofi have been feuding on and off over the last few months, and Del Rio didn't have a match set up so this was booked a few days back. Intense lockup to start us off and a Kofi chant starts up almost immediately, only for the smarks to start up with a "Del Rio" chant. Ricardo Rodriguez is at ringside and distracts Kofi long enough for Del Rio to hit a backbreaker. Kofi avoids a backdrop but Del Rio slams him into the steel steps at ringside. Cradle back inside the ring gets Alberto a quick two. Del Rio wraps his legs around Kofi in a body scissors and tries for a rear naked choke but Kofi elbows out of the hold. A big flying forearm off the top from Kofi gets Booker T feeling nostalgic about his own career on commentary. Kofi is fired up now, hitting his trademark Boom-drop. He tries for the Trouble in Paradise but Del Rio moves. Kofi comes off the top with a big flying body-press, but Del Rio gets the knees up and gets the cover for another close two count. Superplex attempt by Del Rio is blocked and Kofi comes off the top with a big missile dropkick. 1-2--NOO! Del Rio kicks out. Del Rio hits a huge gutbuster reminiscent of something Roderick Strong would use, but again Kofi kicks out at two. Back body drop attempt is blocked and Kofi hits a big DDT, but the ref is distracted by Ricardo Rodriguez at ringside long enough for Del Rio to kick out. Kofi misses a seated senton and Del Rio gives him a nasty neckbreaker out of the corner, and then slaps on the deadly armbar and Kofi has no choice but to tap at 10:30. Good, fast-paced opener here as both men had alot of energy going and got the crowd fired up to start the show off. These are just the kind of victories that Del Rio needs to be built up as a proper threat when his title shot at Wrestlemania comes around. ***
Backstage we get a quick view of Randy Orton, sulking as usual.
Elsewhere backstage Todd Grisham catches up with the World Heavyweight champion Edge for a few words about his upcoming Elimination Chamber match. Drew McIntyre of all people interrupts but gets quickly put in his place.
We get a Wrestlemania 27 promo followed by a hype video for the Elimination Chamber match while the Chamber is being set set up and lowered for our first World title match.
WWE World Heavyweight Title Elimination Chamber Match
Edge (C) vs. Rey Mysterio vs. Kane vs. Drew McIntyre vs. Wade Barrett vs. Big Show
Dolph Ziggler was "fired" on Smackdown two days ago, so we have a vacant spot in this Chamber match. Let's see what kind of surprise the WWE has for us. And it's the fucking Big Show. What a total waste of a spot, alot of people were expecting a Christian return perhaps here but instead we get far-past competent Big Show. That totally just deflated all of the excitement out of this match. Edge and Mysterio start us off. Big flapjack from Edge gets a quick two count on Rey but it's obviously too early. Headscissors takedown by Rey but he gets a back body drop over the top to the steel cage floor. Frankensteiner off the top gets Rey a two count. Rey gets smashed into the plexiglass of one of the chambers and Edge gets a quick two count back inside. The clock starts counting down and next out is...Wade Barrett, who immediately goes after Mysterio. Edge tosses Mysterio into Barrett in a semi-sign of teamwork, but Edge then just flings Rey back into the steel again. Sidewalk slam from Barrett gets a two count on Edge. Barrett gets thrown over the top to the steel by Edge, who then turns around and eats a dropkick from Rey. Barrett grabs Rey off the top then and tries for his Waste Land finisher, but Rey escapes momentarily by climbing up the cage only to take Barrett back into the ring with the hurricanrana. HUGE boot from Edge takes Rey's head off as he attempts the 619. Countdown clock starts up again and next out is...Kane. Kane quickly cleans house and covers Wade, but only for a two count. Barrett, Edge, and Rey all take eachother out with a bizarre triple-clothesline. Big right hand from Kane ties Mysterio up in the tree of woe, and Edge dropkicks Rey in the face for a near fall. The countdown starts up again and next out is Drew McIntyre, who immediately grabs Rey Mysterio and launches him a lawn dart right through the plexiglass of the chamber he just stepped out of! Nice spot there. McIntyre tosses Barrett through the other end of the chamber he just threw Rey into and Drew is dominating right now big time. Snap suplex on Edge gets Drew a quick two count. McIntyre tries for the Futureshock DDT, but Edge counters with the Impaler DDT! He tries for a spear on Kane but evades, Rey tries for a 619 on the weakened Kane but again he moves out of the way and then launches Mysterio into his chamber! Kane and Edge then take eachother out with simultaneous big boots and the crowd is loving the action so far and I don't blame them. The last countdown goes off and the Big Show enters the ring as we've got all 6 men in now. Show quickly cleans house, laying in a chop on McIntyre's chest so loud I think they heard it outside. Show tosses Barrett through another plate of plexiglass and then just starts laying more big chops into Wade. Big knockout punch from Big Show and Barrett is eliminated at 18:47. Kane comes off with a clothesline off the top on Show, then Edge follows with a big elbow drop but Show easily kicks out. Futureshock DDT from McIntyre on Show! 1-2--NOO! Show kicks out. Rey is up on top of one of the chambers now and he dives off of it with a seated senton on the Big Show! 1-2--NOO! Rey gets thrown halfway across the ring by the kickout! Rey hits the 619 on Show, Edge follows it with the spear, and then Kane finishes off Big Show with the chokeslam at 20:48. McIntyre dives off the top, but Kane just chokeslams HIM and eliminates Drew at 21:07. Big tornado DDT from Rey on Kane gets a close two. Springboard legdrop by Rey, but again Kane kicks out at 2! Rey springboards right into a chokeslam, but counters it with a headscissors and then hits the 619 on Kane, only for Kane to catch him in mid-air and Edge spears BOTH of them! Edge covers Kane and he's eliminated at 22:50! It's down to Edge and Mysterio now, but Kane gives both of them a chokeslam before leaving. Edge goes for the spear, but Rey counters with a rollup. 1-2--NOO! Edge kicks out. Springboard body-press from Rey, but Edge rolls through and again gets a close two on Rey. Rey tries for a top-rope hurricanrana, but Edge catches him with the sitout power bomb! 1-2--NOO! Hot near fall there that the crowd nearly bought. Rey tries for the 619, but Edge grabs the legs and applies a modified sharpshooter! Rey counters with a cradle, but Edge kicks out again. Edge misses the spear once, but then rebounds and hits it this time but Rey kicks out at the last possible second! Crowd can't believe it. Rey hits the 619 and a springboard splash! 1-2--NOO! Edge kicks out! ANOTHER 619 from Rey and he tries for a splash off the top but Edge spears him in mid-air and retains at 31:25! HOT finish there, this one took a bit to get going but once McIntyre came out it was all action from there. Damn good match with an excellent finishing stretch by Edge and Mysterio. ***¾
After the match Alberto Del Rio hits the ring to attack Edge and slaps on his painful armbar. But out of nowhere CHRISTIAN'S MUSIC HITS! Big pop! He hits the ring and wipes out Del Rio! The refs try to break it up but Christian hits the Killswitch Engage on Del Rio. Del Rio was the one to kayfabe injure Christian months back, so it makes sense angle-wise, but this only re-iterates my thoughts from earlier---why the hell couldn't Christian have been the mystery 6th man in the chamber instead of Big Show? I'm just glad to see Christian back though and hopefully this will set up either a triple threat at 'Mania or perhaps the big Edge-Christian program everyone's been begging for since Christian's return to the company.
Backstage Matt Striker finds a solemn Jerry Lawler who cuts a great but bittersweet promo describing all of the emotions going on inside of him since his mother's death last week. King really pulled some heart-strings with this promo.
Afterwards Booker T hits the ring and he introduces us to one of the new trainers for this season of Tough Enough...and it's Trish Stratus! Wasn't expecting that, but she's still drop dead gorgeous. She does a little promo with Booker, doing a few of both Booker and Rock's catch phrase and saying she's here to see The King win the WWE title. That was a nice little unexpected surprise.
WWE Tag Team Title Match
Santino Marella/Vladimir Kozlov (C) vs. Justin Gabriel/Heath Slater
Yawn. We've seen this match literally on a weekly basis for the last few months, so it stopped being amusing a long time ago. Ezekiel Jackson is at ringside with Slater and Gabriel. Kozlov and Slater start us off but Santino quickly tags in and applies a side headlock. Gabriel tags in now and gets a quick cover on Santino. Kozlov tags back in as Booker T is trying to convince us that his wife is just as tough as the guys in the ring right now for some reason. Side headlock from Gabriel but Kozlov shoots him off the ropes and just rams him right out of the ring. Big jumpkick takes Kozlov out and Slater tags in with a slingshot splash on Koz, but only for a one count. Big northern lights release suplex from Kozlov and Santino tags back in. Santino gives the dreaded Cobra to Gabriel and then tries to cover Slater, but Heath kicks out at two. Gabriel tags back in again but misses the old Eddie Guerrero slingshot quebrada spot. Kozlov powerslams Gabriel but Slater gets the blind tag and takes advantage of a distracted Kozlov. This sets up Gabriel to hit the 450 Splash on Kozlov and we've got new tag team champions at 5:10! The same match we've seen on Raw almost every week for the past few months, just with a different finish. *
Backstage Todd Grisham gets a few words with the WWE champion The Miz.
Vickie Guerrero's music hits and she makes her way down to the ring to beg and plead that everyone start a campaign to get her boyfriend Dolph Ziggler re-hired. Teddy Long comes out and says he did re-hire someone, but not Ziggler, it's Kelly Kelly. Kelly hits the ring and attacks Vickie for a bit until LayCool make their way to the ring and make the save. Trish Stratus then comes out to make the save for Kelly, but she turns her back and LayCool attack her as well. Back inside the ring Trish hits a Lou Thesz press on Layla and then she nearly kicks McCool's head off and then nearly botches the a headscissors-takedown to Layla off the top. She finishes with the old Stratusfaction on LayCool, which I'm guessing will set up a tag match at Wrestlemania with Trish perhaps.
WWE Title Match
The Miz (C) vs. Jerry Lawler
Huge chants for King as the bell rings as everyone was already behind Lawler before his mother passed away, now there isn't a soul in the building that could be rooting for The Miz. It's a testament to how well the WWE has booked this particular feud that many of us, myself included, think Lawler has a real shot at winning the title here. Lockup to start and a quick rollup from the King, which shocks The Miz. Anyone but the King here and I'm not sure I'd enjoy this feud, but Lawler really is in terrific shape for his age and can take bumps nobody his age still can. Nice shoulderblock-hiplock sequence and King clotheslines Miz down for another near fall. Cross-body block gets King another two, and I think that's legitimately the first time I've ever seen Jerry do that. Alex Riley distracts the King long enough for Miz to shove him face-first into the steel ringpost. Back inside Miz takes control, laying in big forearms on a wounded King. Running clothesline into the corner from Miz and he has a look on his face that could only be described as a "shit eating grin". They fight to the top rope and King gives Miz a HUGE super-brainbuster off the top! 1-2--NOO! Miz kicks out. Damn that was an incredible move. Pair of DROPKICKS from the King! I tell you man, King can still work. Riley trips King from the outside, so the ref ejects him from ringside, which the crowd loves. Rollup by King, but again Miz just barely kicks out. King tries for the piledriver (I guess he's the only one in the company ever allowed to use it anymore) but Miz counters with a big boot. They start fighting to the outside and Michael Cole starts screaming in The King's face so the King just tosses The Miz right over the table and into Cole's lap for a nice pop from the crowd. King climbs to the top rope and hits a big forearm off the top. 1-2---NOO! Miz kicks out but the crowd totally bought that near fall. The Miz tries for a reverse DDT but King gives him a DDT of his own. Fist-drop off the second rope from The King! 1-2--NOO! Miz gets his foot on the ropes at the last possible second and again the crowd totally bought that near fall. King tries for the piledriver again but Miz evades. They trade rollups and then out of nowhere Miz hits the Skull Crushing Finale and retains at 12:10. Despite what the naysayers might have you believe this was a well booked feud and a damn good match that had drama and emotion off the charts. King didn't look this good in the ring back when he was wrestling Bret in '95, seriously! Miz gets another clean win that he needs and the world keeps turning. ***
After the match King gets a standing ovation from the crowd while Michael Cole harps on about how King is an embarrassment to the WWE in a manner so annoying it looks like Booker T legitimately has to use all of his composure to not bitch-slap Cole in the face.
Backstage we cut to...John Cena eating a bowl of Fruity Pebbles, obviously referencing The Rock's insult to him last week on Raw. Todd Grisham catches up with him for a few words and John tells him he feels Yabba-Dabba-Delicious. Okay then, moving along.
Elsewhere Matt Striker interviews CM Punk, who reminds everyone that he's beaten John Cena clean the last 3 times they met. Nevermind that Cena pinned him clean more than once last fall.
Wrestlemania 27 promo while we set up for the next Chamber match.
#1 Contendership for the WWE Title Elimination Chamber Match
John Cena vs. Randy Orton vs. CM Punk vs. John Morrison vs. Sheamus vs. R-Truth
Winner gets a title shot at The Miz, presumably at Wrestlemania. Morrison and Sheamus start us off with a bit of a feeling out process, trading waist and headlocks. Sheamus just slaps Morrison in the face and JoMo is angry now and starts unloading shots on Sheamus. Morrison tries for a springboard kick but Sheamus moves and JoMo lands like a spider on the cage wall and just jumps off and gets the big kick anyways. Big "Let's go Cena" / "Cena sucks!" dueling chant starts up despite the fact that Cena isn't even in the ring yet. JoMo goes for Starship Pain but Sheamus just launches him into one of the chambers. The countdown starts up and the next man out is...Randy Orton. Big powerslams to both Sheamus and JoMo. Orton grabs Sheamus and gives him his trademark hesitation DDT from the second rope right onto the steel cage floor! Superplex off the top from Orton to Morrison. 1-2--NOO! JoMo kicks out. Orton then gives Sheamus a superplex, but Sheamus kicks out as well. The countdown starts up again and next out is CM Punk, who's so desperate to get out that he gets stuck halfway out of the door and Orton beats him down right then and there. He wriggles out finally but then gets hit with the RKO and Punk is eliminated at 9:01. Punk is gone before R-Truth? Before Punk is gone though the lights flicker and Cole has gotten an email from the anonymous GM, who declares that because of the malfunctioning pod Punk wasn't given a fair chance in this match, so the GM re-instates Punk back into the match, and he goes right back into his pod, laughing maniacally. Thank goodness Punk isn't gone that fast. Irish Curse backbreaker from Sheamus on Orton gets a two count back in the ring. Orton misses an RKO attempt and Morrison hits the big springboard kick, nearly taking Randy's head off. The clock countdowns again and next out is...John Cena! But Sheamus storms Cena before he can exit the pod and gives him the big boot. Cena tries for the AA on Morrison but Sheamus gives him a reverse DDT. Morrison springboards and takes both Cena and Sheamus out with a cross-body. Morrison and Cena start brawling on the cage floor, and Sheamus dives over the top rope and clotheslines the both of them! Wow incredible agility from Sheamus there. He gets thrown back in by Orton though who hammers away on him after a Lou Thesz press. The clock counts down again and next out is...R-Truth. Sheamus tries to ambush Truth like he did to Cena, but Truth is ready for him and smashes his head into the plexiglass and then gives him a big hip-toss on the steel floor! Front suplex on Orton by Truth followed by the jawbreaker on Morrison and then a flying forearm and Truth is on fire, or seemingly so because seconds later Sheamus hits the big Brogue kick and pins Truth to eliminate him at 17:32. Orton slams Morrison right through one of the chamber's plexiglass doors and then goes to work on Cena. The two biggest faces in the WWE are trading shots in the middle of the ring now and the crowd is eating it up. The countdown starts again just as Cena tries for the AA on the steel floor on Orton, but instead Orton RKO's Cena right there on the steel floor! Punk finally comes out of his pod and tries to get the sneaky pin on Orton, but only for two. Punk starts mocking Orton's whole Viper-pounding-the-mat routine and then hits the GTS and eliminates Orton at 21:35! Wow, shocking they'd actually let Punk get a clean pin on Orton like that, but I love it. Big "CM Punk!" chant starts up among the smarks in the audience. Punk hits a few knees on Sheamus but then gets tossed into the plexiglass again. Back inside the ring Morrison hits a leg lariat on Sheamus and then climbs to the top of one of the pods, but Sheamus follows him up there and tries for his finisher, but Morrison kicks him down but instead of jumping there Morrison starts climbing the chamber to the center, TNA X-Division style! Flying forearm from the LITERAL top and center of the dome from Morrison! Sheamus is gone at 25:20! That was a pretty god damn crazy spot from Morrison there. Punk and Cena go at it now at full-speed in a hot sequence, Cena hits a few of his big moves and then hits the old 5 Knuckle Shuffle. Cena tries for the AA to Punk on the steel floor, but Morrison hits Cena with a flying forearm, letting Punk get a two count on Cena. Morrison tries for a huge running knee to Cena, but Cena moves and Morrison's knee goes crashing through the plexiglass of the pod in painful fashion, leading Morrison to scream out in pain. Booker thinks he's may have blown his knee out and Morrison sells it well enough to make you actually consider. Punk applies a leg vicegrip back inside the ring on Cena, but Cena uses his power to just stand up with Punk on his shoulders and Morrison flies off the top with the Doomsday Device! 1-2--NOO! Punk kicks out! Morrison continues to sell the leg in excellent fashion as Cena hits him with the Attitude Adjustment, but Punk knees Cena right in the face and he can't take advantage. Punk hits a springboard forearm (that he nearly botches before saving himself) for a two count and then just catapults Cena face-first into the plexiglass of one of the pods! Punk tries to catapult Morrison now but JoMo climbs the pod again and comes off with a big spinkick! He misses the Starship Pain though and Punk finishes him with the GTS at 32:53! Incredible showing from Morrison. Cena hits a HUGE Attitude Adjustment right there on Punk onto the steel cage floor and that does it for Punk as well, winning Cena the title shot at 33:13. Phew, incredible match. This was a star-making performance from John Morrison, perhaps even moreso than his performance at the Royal Rumble as that spot off the top of the chamber was SICK and he still kept bumping around like a madman until he was eliminated, selling the leg excellently all the way. Throw in a blazing hot finish with Punk and Cena who are rapidly developing an incredibly chemistry together and this was by a large margin the match of the night in my eyes. ****¼
After the match Cena celebrates while The Miz watches on backstage, clutching to his WWE title, presumably setting up our title match for Wrestlemania.
Bottom Line:This was an excellent show all-around and continued the hot streak the WWE has been on over the last few PPVs. The worst match of the night was only about 5 minutes and easily forgotten, while every other match not only delivered but exceeded my expectations in most cases. Kofi and Del Rio had a solid opener, the Smackdown Chamber was great with the finishing stretch between Edge and Mysterio being excellent, a 61 year old Jerry Lawler worked a high-drama title match with The Miz perfectly, and we close out the show with a star-making performance from JoMo in the Raw Chamber alongside great performances by everyone involved (especially Cena and Punk). Incredibly easy show to recommend, obviously a Thumbs Up.