Wednesday, February 29, 2012

WWE Elimination Chamber 2012

WWE Elimination Chamber 2012
February 19th, 2012
Bradley Center, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Attendance: 15,306

Well we're on the road to Wrestlemania and all that jazz, and this here would be our last PPV stop before the big show in little over six weeks time. Tonight we've got the two World title Chamber matches of course alongside an ambulance match with John Cena against Kane (shudder) and...well that's it actually. Oh wait we've got a diva's title match, because I know you were dying to know that. Let's see how they're going to kill nearly 3 hours with only four matches, shall we gang? The attendance is reported to be 15,306 according to Cole as we open the show.

Your hosts are Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler, and Booker T

WWE Title Elimination Chamber Match
CM Punk
© vs. Chris Jericho vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. The Miz vs. R-Truth vs. Kofi Kingston
Jericho earned the right to enter the match last after winning a six pack challenge on RAW a few weeks back. Punk and Kofi are our starting two and they go right into a great leapfrog sequence that results in Kofi leap-frogging over the top rope to the steel floor surrounding the ring. They trade several rollup and cradle attempts and Kofi again starts leap-frogging all over the place before hitting the leg lariat on Punk. Punk tries to suplex Kofi onto the steel but winds up getting dumped upside down onto the steel with a back suplex instead. Punk catapults Kofi face-first into Jericho's pod. Punk gets his own suplex onto the steel and then hits a tope con hilo onto Kofi back in the ring. Next man into the chamber is Ziggler, who's rocking some gloriously pink tights. He elbows Punk and then climbs halfway up the chamber fence to do some ab exercises before dropping a leg onto him. Punk and Kofi both have the same idea of spring-boarding into the ring to take out Ziggler but wind up crashing into each other in mid-air in a cool spot. Next out is R-Truth who goes right for Ziggler and hip-tosses him out of the ring before slingshot splashing him on the steel. Truth hits the scissors kick on Dolph for a two count. Punk hits the Macho Man elbow on Truth and eliminates him at 11:45. Is that a record for the shortest Chamber appearance by Truth there? Punk rolls up Ziggler but gets absolutely destroyed by the sickest Trouble in Paradise I've ever seen from Kofi for a two count. Kofi leaps onto the steel fencing like Spiderman and then DDTs Ziggler off of it! Next out is The Miz of course and he cleans house on the exhausted participants, tossing Punk into a steel post and then slamming Kofi onto the steel floor. MIz sets Kofi up on the top rope only to dump him to the floor again, dragging him back into the ring for a two count. Punk and Miz tease their finishers on one another but Miz settles for a DDT. Punk gets a two count off a powerslam on Miz and then transitions into the Anaconda Vice on him as our final entrant Jericho is released from his pod. Miz hangs on and Jericho and Punk have a stand-off. Jericho nails a dropkick and then tries for the Walls of Jericho, but Punk escapes it and tries unsuccessfully for the GTS. Jericho hits a bulldog and then hits the Lionsault on him, but Punk kicks out! Ziggler tries to interfere and eats the Codebreaker from Jericho, which is enough to eliminate him at 19:19. Punk catapults Jericho out of the ring into the steel and then just starts slamming his head into the nearest pod. Jericho thumbs Punk in the eye and then tries to seal himself back inside his pod in classic chickenshit heel fashion. Punk gets him back out but Jericho just destroys Punk's shoulder with several slams of the pod door over it. Nasty. Kofi sneaks up behind Jericho and hits him with the S.O.S. on the steel but Miz steals the pin for a near fall. Miz and Kofi struggle on the top rope until Punk power-bombs Miz off the top for a two count. Kofi climbs on top of one of the pods next and hits a flying cross-body on both men off the pod! Jericho grabs Kofi and locks him in the Walls of Jericho though and Kofi taps out at 25:35. Jericho won't release the hold though and when he finally does he dumps Kofi out of the ring and slams him into the cage, continuing the beatdown. Jericho tosses Kofi out of the ring and Punk sneaks up behind him to nail him with a kick and send Jericho flying out of the ring as well into a cameraman, seemingly knocking him unconscious. After a bit of a lull in action as the refs call for a doctor for Jericho, apparently eliminating him around the 27:00 minute mark, Punk nails Miz in the ring with the same spin-kick for a hot near fall. Punk leaps off the top rope right into the Skull Crushing Finale from Miz, but Punk kicks out! Miz gets weirdly into Punk's face in the corner to tell him he's nothing and lays in a series of knees to his mid-section. Miz misses a spear into the corner and goes head first onto one of the pods. Miz stumbles out right into the GTS from Punk and that's enough for Punk to retain his title at 32:39. Very fun Chamber match to open the show, not quite on the level of some of the best Chambers in years past, but full of creative spots, hot match-ups, and dramatic near falls, so not far off. ***3/4

We get footage of Santino Marella winning the battle royal on Smackdown for entry into the Chamber tonight and then cut to the man himself backstage doing his best Rocky impersonation by chugging a glass full of raw eggs and then puking them back up off-camera.

Next we get a video package of John Cena working out with developmental wrestlers from FCW (including Tyler Black/Seth Rollins) to hype up his match with Cena at 'Mania by reminding us again of how hard working and swell of a guy Cena is.

WWE Diva's Title Match
Beth Phoenix
© vs. Tamina Snuka
I think this is the first time they've actually billed Tamina with the Snuka last name. Beth offers Tamina a chance to leave at the bell but takes a beatdown from Tamina almost immediately. She looks to go to the top for the splash but Beth dumps her to the outside floor and follows up with some punches. Tamina barely makes it back into the ring before the ten count and gets locked into a chinlock from Beth immediately. Beth follows up with a dragon sleeper for a bit until Tamina breaks it up and hits a Samoan drop. She tries to go to the top but Beth meets her up there and suplexes her off of the top rope. Stiff chops from Tamina followed by a Stinger splash in the corner and a big superkick. Tamina hits the Superfly Splash, but Beth kicks out! Beth rolls out of the ring and lures Tamina back in the ring, where she knocks her head off the turnbuckle and hit her with the Glam Slam to retain her title at 7:19. Started off slo-o-o-w but picked up nicely towards the finish. **

Backstage the Rocky tributes continue from Santino, who delivers the Cobra to a slab of meat hanging from the ceiling.

Elsewhere backstage Josh Matthews tells us he hopes to get a word with Chris Jericho soon as we can see Jericho being checked up on by two doctors in the background.

Mr. Electricity John Laurinaitis is out next alongside David Otunga and he apparently has a big announcement. Johnny starts running down Teddy Long's ability as the GM of Smackdown when he's suddenly interrupted by a returning Alberto Del Rio! Del Rio agrees with Johnny and says that Teddy Long is corrupt and a piece of trash.Del Rio says he wishes Johnny Ace could be the permanent GM of both RAW and Smackdown, when suddenly Mark Henry comes out to chime in his own agreements and praises of Laurinaitis. Suddenly they're interrupted by the returning Christian! Big pop for Christian. This was rumored this weekend and I'm glad to see Captain Charisma back and apparently healthy. Christian claims he would have been in the Chamber tonight if it wasn't for Teddy Long. He takes a stab at Randy Orton and then complains about Teddy Long some more before agreeing that Laurinaitis would be great as Smackdown GM. All four men get their picture taken with Laurinaitis to close out the segment. That was an onslaught of heelness and I dug it. Christian's return could have been better though.

We get footage of Santino running the steps outside the arena to further the Rocky homage.Elsewhere Josh Matthews is with the Big Show and asks him about his lackluster Wrestlemania W/L record. Show says he's got to win tonight in the chamber to go to Wrestlemania and that's all he can think about.

World Heavyweight Title Elimination Chamber Match
Daniel Bryan
© vs. Big Show vs. Wade Barrett vs. Cody Rhodes vs. The Great Khali vs. Santino Marella
What, were Christian and Del Rio busy? Big Show and Barrett start us off. Show gets some chops in on Wade but the Englishman targets the giant's knees and brings him down. Crowd seems utterly bored as these two lumber around the ring in what seems like slow motion. Finally the clocks comes up and our next entrant, Cody Rhodes, is released into the mix. Show just dominates both Rhodes and Barrett anyways with more clubbing fists before launching Rhodes off the top rope into the steel fencing. Barrett tosses Rhodes into the mesh a few more times for good measure Cody mounts a comeback as Santino is the next man into the match. Santino hits his hip-toss/diving headbutt combo on Barrett but turns around into the Big Show's face. He tries for the Cobra but Show just grabs his hand and smashes him into the corner. Cody is able to keep Show down momentarily with a few chop blocks but it's not long before the giant is dominating again, tossing Wade and Cody to the steel. He tries for a doible chokeslam on them, but they wind up giving him a two man suplex instead! A loud "boring" chant rings out so Rhodes shuts them up with a beautiful soaring moonsault off the top rope onto Barrett. Cody beats down Santino as the Great Khali is released from his pod next who, contrary to Booker T's claims, most certainly not a breath of fresh air into this match. Fortunately though Khali is almost immediately eliminated by a spear from the Big Show at 16:30. With everyone wiped out in the ring Show decides to claw at Daniel Bryan's pod. He manages to break a few of the chain links and is able to actually slide himself into Bryan's pod from the top and he takes it right to the champion. The clock counts down and Bryan is able to escape momentarily only to be tossed right through his own pod by Show! Show grabs Bryan and hit some running shoulder blocks and forearms on him back in the ring. Show chokeslams Bryan, but Barrett boots Show in the face before he can try for the pin. Rhodes hits the Beautiful disaster kick and knee strike twice on Show and then DDTs him. Barrett drops an elbow on Show and Rhodes covers Show and actually gets the pin to eliminate Big Show at 22:37.Santino sneaks up behind Rhodes while he's celebrating though and rolls him up for the shocking pin to eliminate Rhodes at 23:05. Cody gives Santino the Cross-Rhodes before exiting the ring as a measure of revenge. Wade tries for the cover but Santino kicks out and a huge "Santino!" chant starts ringing out as Barrett intertwines Santino's own arms into the mesh fence to string him up and then boots him right in the face. Back in the ring Bryan actually botches the jump to the top rope for his usual moonsault spot, but he locks Wade into the LeBell Lock to try and make up for it. Wade escapes the hold but eats several kicks from Bryan in the corner. Bryan tries for a hurricanrana but gets crotched on the top rope, where Barrett clotheslines him off. Wade follows up with a powerbomb right into the cage! Next he sticks Bryan's head in the pod and slams the door on his head! Barrett boots Santino in the face and while he's recovering Bryan hits a flying knee to the back of Barrett's head. Bryan slams Barrett face first into the pods and then goes to the top rope, where Barrett slams Bryan through the pod glass a bit. He tries for the Waste Land on Bryan from the top but Santino breaks it up and Barrett misses an elbow drop on Marella just as Bryan comes flying back in with a diving headbutt on Wade. Santino covers and gets the pin on Barrett at 30:36. CAN SANTINO DO IT?! Bryan laughs at the Cobra but gets tossed by Santino so he responds with a dropkick. Santino tries to roll him up but only gets two, and Bryan answers with a German suplex. He tries the diving headbutt off the top rope, but Santino moves! Santino hits The Cobra on Bryan but he kicks out of it! Bah gawd nobody kicks out of The Cobra! Bryan counters into the LeBell Lock and Santino nearly escapes it but winds up tapping out to have Bryan retain his title at 34:04. This was a very strange match that started off tediously boring before getting better and better as time went on. Having Santino in the match actually helped it a bit, adding some drama and a hot crowd who was all for him. ***

As Daniel Bryan is celebrating after the match though Sheamus comes out to give him the Finlay Celtic Cross. Just to remind us of Sheamus challenging for the World Heavyweight title at Wrestlemania. Bryan vs. Sheamus should be solid and ironic.

Hornswoggle is backstage in a little restaurant eating some of Wisconsin's fine cheese when the camera pans out to reveal Natalya and, yeah you know the subsequent fart joke that comes here. Nattie runs off and Justin Gabriel walks up to talk to Hornswoggle. Jack Swagger and Vickie Guerrero walk by and they get into it so Teddy Long shows up just in the nick of time to book a US title match between Swagger and Gabriel, next.

US Title Match
Jack Swagger
© vs. Justin Gabriel
I'm shocked they're actually having Jack defend the US title, I thought they had forgotten it existed. Swagger gets a waistlock takedown to start and then powerbombs Gabriel on a rana attempt. Jack hits the Swagger bomb out of the corner and then applies an armbar. Gabriel counters with a reverse DDT and hits a spinning kick on Swagger in the corner. then springboards back into the ring for a near fall. Swagger hits a chop block to Gabriel's ankle and then just slaps on the ankle lock to make Gabriel tap out at 3:06. Short filler match here obviously, but it wasn't terrible..*

Ambulance Match
John Cena vs. Kane

No clue why this is the main event here. Big brawl to start between the two and it's only a matter of seconds before they're outside of the ring, fighting up the aisle. Kane has the ambulance backed up to the entrance area and they trade shots on each other with some of the plunder inside. They brawl lazily back towards the ring where Kane gets sent shoulder-first into the ring steps. Back in the ring they trade some more right hands before Kane hits a side-slam. Kane tries for the clothesline from the top but Cena hits him in the knees with a dropkick on his way down. Cena hits a shoulder-block and then delivers the Five Knuckle Shuffle. He tries for the AA but Kane counters into his lame glove-over-mouth claw hold he's been using since returning. Kane drags Cena's limp body out of the ring and pulls a wheelchair out from under the ring to try and wheel Cena into the Ambulance, but Cena gets up and fights back halfway up the aisle. Cena puts Kane in the chair and slams him into a barricade before nailing him over the back with a steel chair. Cena sends Kane over the guard barrier again and then nails him with a microphone before asking Booker T at ringside if that will get him in his "Fave Five". Look at Cena taking cues from The Rock. He slams the steel steps into Kane twice and then sets the steps up next to one of the commentary tables to try for the Attitude Adjustment, but Kane blocks it and instead chokeslams Cena through the announcer's table off the steps! Kane hauls the stretcher all the way back from the Ambulance and manages to get Cena nearly into it before John pops back up to fight him off. Cena climbs onto the roof of the ambulance and then lures Kane up onto it, where Cena hits him with the Attitude Adjustment off of the ambulance to the floor! Cena hauls Kane's limp body into the back of the ambulance to win the match at 21:21. Compared to their last encounter this was practically Steamboat/Flair, but that was mainly because they had a good finishing spot planned. This was tediously boring to start but got increasingly better as they got to the real bulk of the match, so definitely a step above the terrible bout they had at the Royal Rumble. **3/4

Bottom Line: As usual with the Chamber PPV your enjoyment here depends on how much you like the Chamber match gimmick itself. Both chamber matches were fairly entertaining and since that's the main draw of the show I'd have to say this was a success, but there's really nothing here outside of that and it certainly pales in comparison to the last few years. We'll go with a minor Thumbs Up here for the 2012 Elimination Chamber.

Score: 6.0/10


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