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Published: February 18, 2013
By Jared Silberkleit -
Elimination Chamber was a very strong PPV outing from WWE. The wrestling was consistently good up and down the card, with all of the main event matches delivering PPV-quality efforts. The show didn’t throw any curveballs at fans as Wrestlemania looms, but it did do a solid job building guys up and advancing current storylines. With strong match quality and mostly logical booking, the PPV earns a recommendation.
It was very strange to see these two blow off their feud in a normal singles match after having two last man standing matches, but this was a very solid way to open the PPV. Del Rio used a series of kicks at the start before Show took control after a spear. Del Rio got a hope spot with the cross arm-breaker but Show got the ropes. Del Rio countered a powerbomb with a hurricanrana and followed with a suicide dive and top rope seated senton for 2. Show used a chokeslam and Del Rio used an enzuigiri and DDT for near falls. Del Rio applied the cross arm-breaker again but Show slammed him down to break it after a struggle. Del Rio botched his running enzuigiri in the corner, but recovered and hit the move in another corner along with several other kicks. Del Rio applied the cross arm-breaker a third time and Show tapped after a very lengthy struggle. Good match to open the show aside from the blown spot, well paced and the crowd was into the near falls. Match Time: 13:04 Star Rating: ***
Miz had his shoulder taped up from the attack on Raw and Cesaro targeted it throughout the match, using a hammerlock shoulder-breaker and several submission holds. Miz makes a comeback but Cesaro catches him off the top and slaps on a Fujiwara armbar. Miz fights out and goes after Cesaro’s knee. He tries for the Figure 4, but Cesaro sweeps out his leg and Miz lands on Cesaro’s groin. The ref rules it a low blow and disqualifies Miz. Afterwards, Miz gives Cesaro an intentional low blow. What a terrible finish. Is there any need for this feud to continue? The match was just an extended heat segment before the brief exchange in the last minute or two. Match Time: 8:21 Star Rating: *1/2
Zeb Colter cut another promo for Jack Swagger before the match started, similar to his first one on Raw. Bryan and Jericho started the match and had a really solid exchange, which included Jericho catapulting Bryan into the chain wall. Swagger entered third and ran wild, tossing both into the chain wall. Bryan hit a flying knee to Swagger on the outside but missed a diving head butt. Kane entered next and briefly worked together with Bryan before Bryan rolls him up for a near fall. They then argued and went at it with each other, Bryan hit his kicks and Kane hit a side slam. Kane hit a crazy doomsday device on Bryan off the top with Jericho holding him up. Orton entered 5th and hit a spike DDT to Kane on the steel floor. Orton and Jericho both hit superplexes to Jericho and Bryan. Henry entered last and the match suddenly became awesome. He went on a rampage, eliminating Bryan and Kane with the World’s Strongest Slam and throwing Orton through one of the pods. Jericho and Swagger then double-teamed Henry, sending him into the chain wall and suplexing him on the steel floor. Jericho hits a cross body to Swagger and tries for a Lionsault, but Henry catches him and throws him into the chain. Henry stacks Swagger and Jericho on top of each other and tries for a Vader Bomb, but misses. Henry is then eliminated after a Codebreaker from Jericho and an RKO from Orton. After leaving, Henry comes back down the ramp into the ring and hits the WSS on the 3 remaining men. Several referees, Teddy Long, and Booker T come out to escort Henry away.
Eventually the 3 guys recovered and traded near falls. Swagger is sent headfirst into a pod and Orton dropkicks Jericho in mid air. Orton tries for the spike DDT on Swagger but Jericho hit his signature enzuigiri for 2. Swagger put both guys in the ankle lock but both times it was broken up. Jericho put the Walls on Swagger, but Orton hit his backbreaker to Jericho. Orton hit the spike DDT to Swagger and Jericho at the same time. There was an excellent sequence where Jericho blocked the RKO, and then Orton got his knees up for the Lionsault and hit the RKO to eliminate Jericho. Swagger then rolled up Orton for the win. This was a terrific match. The storytelling was excellent, the action never slowed, and the booking was great. The first 15 minutes of the match were good, but the match went to another level once Henry entered. He looked like an absolute powerhouse tossing guys around the Chamber, and was protected in defeat because he essentially lost in a 3 on 1 handicap scenario. The strong booking of Swagger upon his return continued, as he looks like a legitimate threat and is headed to a world title match at Wrestlemania. The last 5-10 minutes match featured an excellent exchange of near falls between Swagger, Orton, and Jericho that the crowd was really into. Overall this was one of the best Elimination Chamber matches of the last few years. Superb job by all 6 men. Match Time: 31:18 Star Rating: ****1/4
All 6 guys started fighting in and out of the ring before the bell. Shield got the heat on Sheamus for a couple minutes before he hit the Brogue Kick on Dean Ambrose and tagged in Cena. Cena made his comeback, but the Shield broke up the STF and worked over Cena for several minutes. Reigns scored near falls with a big clothesline and a Samoan drop. Ambrose got a near fall with a big DDT. Eventually Ryback got a hot tag and ran wild with his power offense, slamming Rollins and Ambrose into each other. The match broke down into a wild brawl and Reigns speared Sheamus through the barricade near the timekeeper’s area. Cena then hit the AA on Ambrose, but as Ryback was going for the Shellshock Reigns speared him for the win. Match really heated up once Ryback got the hot tag and the Shield kept things interesting during the heat with their aggressive and unique offense. This felt like a brawl with all 6 men showing great intensity and the right team went over. The Shield continues to build momentum as WWE continues to book them strongly. See how that works? Match Time: 14:49 Star Rating: ***1/2
Dolph Ziggler comes out for a promo, talking about how he’s not booked on the PPV and how Jack Swagger doesn’t deserve the world title match. Booker T then comes out and gives him a match right now. Kofi Kingston’s music hits and here we go.
This was a fun sprint. Action was fast and furious from the start. Ziggler got the sleeper, but Kofi fought out and hit the Trouble in Paradise for 2. Kofi hits a dive to Big E. on the outside and a high cross body in the ring to Dolph for 2. Dolph dropped Kofi with a crazy reverse suplex on the top turnbuckle and got the win with the Zig Zag. Short match but the action was good while it lasted. Match Time: 3:56 Star Rating: **1/4
Short Divas match. Tamina missed the Superfly splash and Kaitlyn won with a spear. Not much to it and nobody cared. Match Time: 3:15 Star Rating: *
This turned out better than their first match, though it took a while to get going. Rock got pissed after Punk slapped him in the face but Punk took control and slowly wore down Rock with chin locks as he worked over the neck. Punk hit 2 high knees in the corner and the Savage elbow for 2. Punk countered the Rock Bottom and hit a roundhouse kick for 2. They went outside the ring and Punk hit a Rock Bottom on the Spanish announce table. This time, the table didn’t break at all. Oh karma. Rock beat the count and Punk unloaded with punches. Rock hit a Samoan Drop for 2 before they traded punches. Punk elbowed Rock to death before Rock came back with the Rock Bottom for 2. Punk then whipped Rock into the referee who took a bump off the apron to the floor. Punk hit the Go to Sleep with no ref to count. Rock then hit the spinebuster and People’s Elbow, but Punk kicked out at 2. The ref remained down as Punk hit a roundhouse kick and grabbed the WWE title. He went to hit Rock but missed and hit Paul Heyman on the apron. Rock then hit a second Rock Bottom for the win. The stuff with the referee at the end got a little ridiculous but this was a strong main event. This had the dramatic exchange of near falls and signature moves that the Rumble match lacked, plus it didn’t have the restart nonsense. The pace was slow in the first half but Punk got to show off his aggression as he beat down Rock. They did tell a solid story and the fans got very hot for the near falls down the stretch. Rock and Cena Part 2 now appears set in stone for Wrestlemania. Match Time: 20:55 Star Rating: ***3/4
Overall Rating: 8/10
Tagged with: Cesaro, Chokeslam, Cross Arm, Curveballs, Ddt, Del Rio, Elimination Chamber, Fujiwara, Hurricanrana, Last Man Standing, Lengthy Struggle, Miz, Powerbomb, Quality Efforts, Storylines, Suicide Dive, Top Rope, World Heavyweight Championship, World Heavyweight Championship Match, Wrestlemania