The 2013 rendition of the Elimination Chamber PPV seemed to tidy things up before Wrestlemania, and officially kicks the greatest time of year in pro wrestling into full swing. The card seemed underwhelming with only 6 matches on the main card, but the PPV had some memorable moments thanks to three key match ups. Despite the predictability of the main event it was still enjoyable. Check out the full review after the jump.
Pre Show: Brodus & Tensai vs The Rhodes Scholars
WWE’s tag division seemed to be on the upswing. They had plenty of teams, entertaining champions and combinations that made sense. These was the “last time” The Rhodes Scholars would be teaming up, which is a shame. Ultimately they never had their due as a team, but each one has such upside as a singles star that this doesn’t sting to much. The team of Brodus and Tensai makes sense as neither had anything to do, Tensai is never going to get over as a monster heel, and again they have nothing to do. The monsters go over, they will win the tag titles before Mania.
World Heavyweight Championship: Alberto Del Rio (Champion) vs Big Show
Anyone else sick of Big Show? The dude doesn’t need to come near a title for the rest of his career. They had a solid match at Royal Rumble with the help of the Last Man Standing gimmick, but the feud should have ended there. ADR can’t get good matches out of Show, not many people can. The whole I am really big gimmick is over and done with, and he is more limited in the ring lately then he ever was before. Luckily this seems to be the blow off. Apparently this match wasn’t nearly as good as their Royal Rumble bout, and Del Rio provided a Botchamania worthy moment with a bucket. I didn’t catch this one as I didn’t start watching until the chamber match. Glad it’s over. ADR can move on to better things and Big Show can just move on. Also, I am sick of the World title opening up the shows. I prefer the older format, World title match and then WWE title match, or vice versa.
U.S. Title Match: Antonio Cesaro (Champion) vs The Miz
What did Miz do to deserve the pleasure of working with former ROH greats? First Daniel Bryan, then CM Punk, and now Cesaro. If there was ever a man truly out classed and out worked in those match ups it is the Miz. Cesaro picks up the win, which is the right thing to do. He has actually had a good reign with a belt that isn’t relevant and delivers every night. This face Miz seems to forced for my taste as well. End this feud, and let Cesaro move on to something better for Wrestlemania, the dude has earned it.
Elimination Chamber World Heavyweight Championship #1 Contenders Match
Jack Swagger vs Daniel Bryan vs Chris Jericho vs Kane vs Randy Orton vs Mark Henry
Easily the match of the night. Although the Chamber has lost it’s luster over the years (these gimmick match PPVs kill shit), this match still delivered in my eyes. Every guy looked pretty impressive and had their moments. The true stand out here is Jack Swagger. Not only because his new gimmick could be the next big thing in the company, but because the man bumped all match and looked dominate as well. Honestly his new “right winger” gimmick could be extremely interesting with the face/heel dynamic that will happen in different parts of the country (if done right). Mark Henry was another man who looked amazing. He got two eliminations and loved him attacking the rest of the contenders after he was eliminated. Chris Jericho turned in another good performance nearly lasting the entire match. Orton was booked well and got his usual spots in. Kane and Bryan seemed lost in the shuffle. Would have loved more interaction between the two, possibly having one eliminate the other, creating some more tension for the inevitable break up and match. Loved the finish, as Swagger got the quick roll up on Orton, after Randy had eliminated Jericho. Mark out moment of the night after that. Awesome to see Swagger get his due. The ensuing feud with Del Rio could be an interesting one and it will be nice to see how far Dirty Dutch can push things within the WWE limit.
Dolph Ziggler vs Kofi Kingston
Just like the other 100 times these men have wrestled each other. Dolph gets the win, rightfully so. Big E is pointless. He has no reason for being with Dolph. If they have ever explained why he is with Ziggy I missed it. I don’t want to see a Big E/Kofi feud. Seems like they are lost with what to do with Dolph. Alberto Del Rio is just starting to become a hot babyface champion, and Swagger is becoming the new #heel. I doubt they want Ziggler to cash in on either one and ruin the momentum of their hottest new heel and face. Will be interesting to see when the briefcase finally comes into play.
The Dream Team vs The Shield
Honestly didn’t see this finish coming. But it was a pleasant surprise to see the Shield go over. I thought the group would shortly be finished after this PPV. Pretty good little match. Seemed a tad bit short though. The Shield looked surprisingly strong against the Super Men of WWE, and had some great team work. Cena moves onto the Rock after this, but it seems Sheamus and Ryback will still be caught up with the Shield. Possible Mania match? Good to see this group still has some legs.
Divas Championship: Kaitlyn (Champion) vs Tamina
Standard Divas fare. If you aren’t going to let these women have a personality (or last names), or wrestle for more then 5 minutes, or have an actual built up feud, then do not do it at all. I like to think that given the direction and time the Divas division could be relevant, as they have talented women on the roster. But you would actually have to invest time into the women, which seems to much to ask. Kaitlyn retains, which is dandy.
WWE Championship: The Rock (Champion) vs CM Punk
Another solid bout between these two men. Not quite as good as their Royal Rumble match (I was there). But still good. At least WWE teased like the stipulation was going to mean something in the match. I believed Punk was going to regain his beloved WWE title, but alas The Rock prevailed. WWE wet our appetites with a serve, with the multiple referees and Punk’s underhanded tactics but didn’t pull the trigger. The Rock moves onto Cena (haven’t we seen this one before?) and CM Punk moves onto……the Undertaker? Perhaps. It seems more likely that the dead man will return this year to face the second city saint. What else does Punk have to do? He has won every title in WWE, was the longest reigning champion of the modern era, and main evented Summer Slam, Survivor Series and, the Royal Rumble as WWE Champion. The Undertaker and the streak is the only thing he has left to conquer.
All in all it was a solid PPV. The three good matches made up for the rest, and it seems to set things more in motion towards Wrestlemania. Despite peoples objections to Rock vs Cena II, the WWE is doing the safe money bet, which I can’t blame them for. It is a business after all.