Pre-Show: Brodus Clay & Tensai bt. Team Rhodes Scholars (Damien Sandow & Cody Rhodes)
World Heavyweight Championship Match: Alberto Del Rio (champion) bt. Big Show
United States Championship Match: Antonio Cesaro (champion) bt. The Miz
Elimination Chamber Match: Jack Swagger bt. Chris Jericho, Daniel Bryan, Kane, Mark Henry & Randy Orton
The Shield bt. Ryback, John Cena & Sheamus
Dolph Ziggler bt. Kofi Kingston
Diva’s Championship Match: Kaitlyn (champion) bt. Tamina Snuka
WWE Championship Match: The Rock (champion) bt. CM Punk
Welcome to Elimination Chamber, and we’re well on the way to Wrestlemania – tonight we’ll get two matches lined up for the Show of Shows: who will John Cena challenge in his bid to reclaim the WWE championship – The Rock or CM Punk? Also, will it be Alberto Del Rio or Big Show facing the winner of the brutal Elimination Chamber match? And can the big-name team of Cena, Ryback and Sheamus defeat The Shield (who still remain unbeaten in the WWE)? We’ll find out tonight…on commentary duties tonight we have Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield and Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler
World Heavyweight Championship Match: Alberto Del Rio (champion) (w/ Ricardo Rodriguez) bt. Big Show
An angry Big Show makes his way to the ring, and he probably has every right to be after being covered in gunge by Del Rio the other week, as well as being beaten by Del Rio in two Last Man Standing matches and having the wheels removed from his tour bus. Michael Cole makes the point that Del Rio hasn’t actually pinned Big Show during his title reign as yet – mind you, that’d take some doing and I don’t think you can duct tape your opponent to the ropes during a straight one-on-one match. Show goes straight to it, but Del Rio is game for it and has to be pulled away from the challenger while raining blows on him in the corner. Show comes back with some big chest chops, and soon has Del Rio on the mat. Show misses a big splash to the corner, and Del Rio goes for the legs, and it’s the champion’s turn to ground the big man with some kicks to the head. He goes for a cover, but Show flings Del Rio off like a rag doll. Del Rio goes early for the Cross Armbreaker, but Show reverses and lands a thunderous spear which he gets a near-fall from. Show goads Ricardo from inside the ring while Del Rio is down, but this gives the champion time to recover, only to get floored again with a super kick from Show. The challenger goes to the second rope and splashes his weight down on Del Rio, but the champion kicks out at two. Del Rio catches Show unawares as he gets up and flips into the Cross Armbreaker, and despite Ricardo trying to pull the rope further away from Show, the challenger gets a foot on the ropes, breaking the hold. Del Rio gets caught as he leaps off the second rope and lands in a Big Show bearhug, which isn’t a good place to be. Show breaks the hold as Ricardo gets on the ring apron, and then goes back to work on Del Rio. He gets Del Rio into a powerbomb position, but Del Rio reverses into a hurricanrana, before taking a diving leap through the ropes and knocking Show to the floor – both men are now down on the outside of the ring. Show just manages to get back to the ring at nine, and is attacked by a top rope Seated Senton from Del Rio, who gets a two count. Del Rio attempts a running kick, but Show catches the champion in a huge chokeslam, which the challenger gets a two count from. Show signals for the Knockout Punch, but Del Rio scurries from the ring, only to get grabbed by his hair and pulled to the ring apron, before being thrown back in the ring. Del Rio tries a Sunset Flip pin, but is stopped by Show, only to reverse it again into a DDT, and a near fall for Del Rio. As Show pulls himself up into the corner, Del Rio lands a big Enziguri kick and gets another close fall. Del Rio again goes for the Cross Armbreaker, and Show is far from the ropes. With some effort, Show manages to stand and pull Del Rio up, slamming him to the mat and breaking the hold. The giant stands and urges Del Rio to do the same and face his Knockout Punch. Ricardo is kicked from the ring apron, and Del Rio lands an Enziguri kick as Show is about to throw Ricardo’s spit bucket. Once more he catches the big man in the Cross Armbreaker, but Show is much nearer the ropes this time. Show looks to be holding on, but at the last second taps out, meaning Del Rio will be going to Wrestlemania as World Heavyweight Champion to face the winner of the Elimination Chamber!
United States Championship Match: Antonio Cesaro (champion) bt. The Miz by disqualification
After a clip of The Rock’s new film – not sure that’s one for me, really – Antonio makes his way to the ring to begin his next defence of his US championship. To plug the movie further during his entrance, work experience boy Josh Matthews has two other actors from the film at ringside and pesters them with an interview and how they’re supporting The Rock. Enough already! I’m not going to see the movie! Leave it! I can’t see this being a difficult match for Cesaro – his title has never really been in doubt against anyone he’s faced, and I don’t see it being much different against an injured Miz, who has his ribs and chest taped after an attack by Cesaro last week on Raw. It seems Cesaro wants to start this one technically, but Miz goes for strikes and quick offence in the first instance, and gets a quick fall attempt on the champion which he can’t capitalise on. Cesaro has been caught a couple of times in the opening minute here, but now looks to be establishing himself, catching Miz in a shoulder-breaker on his injured side. Cesaro goes to work on the taped area of Miz, firmly in control. Caught in an arm lock, Miz is going nowhere fast, but manages to fight back with a knee lift and a running kick to grab another quick fall. Once more though, one power move to Miz’s injured side winds him and allows him some time to goad the crowd. Cesaro works again on the shoulder, hitting some submission offence on the challenger and getting a two count of his own. Cesaro pulls Miz’s arm across the ring rope, and after another quick fall goes right back to the arm, this time bending his hand back against the joint. Miz retaliates with an elbow to the champion and a big kick to the head, buying him some time. Miz now rains kicks down on Cesaro, before landing a flying clothesline on him. He ascends the top rope, but as he leaps down, Cesaro catches the arm and goes straight into an arm-lock, taking Miz down, but the challenger switches his weight getting a quick two-count, before using Cesaro’s momentum to fling him over the top rope. Miz again tries a cross-body splash but is caught by Cesaro. He attempts a powerslam on the outside, but Cesaro is flung into the ring steps. Back in the ring, Miz is on a roll, and hits a huge DDT – but he can’t get the pin. Miz lands a dropkick to Cesaro’s knee which he injured on the ring steps, before trying to slap a Figure Four Leglock on the champion. Miz goes for a knee drop, but appears to have caught Cesaro with a low blow! The referee sees this and calls for the bell, disqualifying Miz! The replay shows Cesaro trips Miz and he simply falls into his groin, which caused the disqualification. After the bell, Miz lands a real low blow on the champion, who falls out the ring with his belt. A disappointing end to the bout as Miz was building a head of steam, but there you go. Cesaro retains again, and seems unbeatable in title matches…
Backstage, Kane and Daniel Bryan are arguing about the Royal Rumble, and in a great comedy moment Bryan calls Kane ‘grumpy’, to which Kane says Bryan looks like ‘one of the seven dwarves’. Kane says he’s focused and wants to main event at Wrestlemania – Bryan suggests they look out for one another in the Elimination Chamber, which Kane counters by saying Bryan should watch Kane’s back and he’ll watch his own. The Elimination Chamber descends – all ten tons of it! You’d not want that falling on your head, so it’s just as well it’s got some decent supports on it as it lowers. We get a rundown on the rules – you know them by now surely.
World Heavyweight Championship #1 Contender Elimination Chamber Match: Jack Swagger (w/ Zeb Colter) bt. Chris Jericho, Daniel Bryan, Kane, Mark Henry & Randy Orton
It’s going to be Jericho and Bryan starting us off here, until the four minute mark, when another superstar will enter. JBL tells us the important thing is to survive the opening minutes, but both Bryan and Jericho are doing their best to land their submission finishers, with Jericho getting the closest before Bryan reverses it. Jericho gets hit with a flurry of kicks as Orton looks on from his pod, but Jericho fights his way back into it. Bryan tries to suplex Jericho to the iron grill flooring, and now both men are fighting on the outside. Bryan tries for the No Lock – I’m not sure if you can submit anywhere in the Chamber or just in the ring – but both men make it back to the ring where Jericho lands a back drop and gets a two count. We get a count down for the third entrant, who is…Jack Swagger! The All-American American goes straight for Jericho, landing a big splash in the corner and then dropping his body weight on Jericho, before chasing after Bryan, ramming him back first into the steel chain wall. He tries another splash, but Bryan moves out the way, only to have his face forced into the steel grilling. Back in the ring, Jericho lands a dropkick and goes to work on the newest entrant, but misses a cross body on the turnbuckle, falling to the outside. Swagger rams Jericho headfirst into the chain link wall, before forcing his face into it. Bryan is up on the turnbuckle and leaps onto Swagger, but both men pay the price as they hit the steel grill floor. Bryan and Jericho are back at it in the ring, with Bryan going up top again, but misses a flying headbutt. Jericho gets a two count, before hitting dropkick to the back of Bryan. Another countdown begins, and entrant number four is…Kane! Will we see Team Hell No joining forces here, or fighting against each other? Kane is clearing house, and Irish Whips Bryan into Swagger and Jericho where he hits a big drop kick. Swagger is sent crashing to the steel grill floor, and Bryan gets a quick roll up pin on Kane, but only gets a two count. He tries to apologise afterwards and signals for a hug, but Kane is having none of it, pointing to the Wrestlemania sign. They argue, before Bryan pushes Kane in the face, leading to the pair facing off with Bryan hitting a massive dropkick to the head. He lands a number of kicks on the bigger man, before Kane tries a chokeslam. He can’t nail it, but instead catches Bryan with a Sidewalk Slam before climbing the turnbuckle. Bryan knocks him off, before attempting a superplex. Jericho gets Bryan on his shoulders, and Kane leaps off and clotheslines his tag partner. Swagger bursts into life and tries to pin the downed Bryan, but he can kick out. Kane attacks Swagger, who gamely fights back, trying to land a suplex, but Kane can reverse it. Jericho interrupts proceedings with a kick to Kane’s head, and another entrant is beckoning…Randy Orton! He goes after everyone, clotheslining Swagger to the outside, and landing a big elbow on Jericho, before Kane slows him down only to get dropkicked for his trouble. Bryan eats a suplex, and Orton is now on the outside with Kane. Orton reverses a chokeslam attempt and slams Kane into the chain link wall. Orton sets Kane up for a DDT off the ropes onto the steel flooring, but has hurt himself in doing so. Bryan and Jericho are facing off in the ring, as Orton now goes after Swagger. Kane is still down recovering, as Orton looks to be trying for a superplex, as does Jericho. Bryan and Swagger get hit by the top rope moves, and now everyone is down on the mat. Mark Henry looks on, slamming at the glass of his pod, eager to get in and clean up. The countdown begins, and this doesn’t look good for anyone. He assaults all and sundry in turn, doling out headbutts and forearm smashes, landing a World’s Strongest Slam on Bryan and eliminating him immediately!
DANIEL BRYAN ELIMINATED
Orton is next for the Henry treatment, who gets slammed through the clear side of the pod, leaving him in a heap of body and a twisted pod door! Kane is up and facing off against Henry, who trade big blows in the middle of the ring. Kane reverses a big splash and hits a clothesline, then another. Kane goes up top, and only manages to land in another World’s Strongest Slam, and now Kane is eliminated!
KANE IS ELIMINATED
Jericho is next to be focused on, and gets flung to the steel flooring as the big man stalks him and chides him. Henry tries a slam on the outside, but Jericho reverses and rams Henry into the steel chain link with the help of Swagger. They both lands a massive double suplex on Mark Henry, but Jericho and Swagger are hurt as well. That had to hurt! Swagger and Jericho are up, but Jericho’s arm is hurt. Jericho manages to clothesline Swagger back into the ring however and hits a cross body off the top rope for a two count. Henry and Orton are both still down as Jericho eats a big boot from Swagger, who attempts his Gutwrench Powerbomb, but Jericho reverses into Walls of Jericho! Swagger powers out, but Jericho is back with a running bulldog to gain the advantage. As Jericho goes for the Lionsault, he leaps into an upright Mark Henry, who sends him crashing face-first into the steel chain link, before raising Jericho up high in a Gorilla Press and slamming him onto Swagger. Henry hits a big headbutt on Swagger, before dumping Jericho and Swagger in a pile near the turnbuckle. Henry clambers up, attempting to splash his weight down on both, both targets roll out the way and Swagger hits a kick to his head, Jericho hits a Codebreaker on Henry, before a reinvigorated Orton lies in wait and hits the RKO on Henry to pin him!
MARK HENRY ELIMINATED
The remaining three take a time out, trying to recover, but first up is Henry – and he’s on his way out of the chamber! Before the chamber door closes however, Henry storms back in, hitting World’s Strongest Slams on Swagger and Orton, before landing a final one on Jericho, before referees, Booker T and Teddy Long storm the chamber and try and get the maniacal Henry out of there. He waves them away and leaves the chamber, but its a case of sour grapes for the former World Heavyweight Champion, who is escorted away by the General Manager and his assistant. The three men that are left are now severely weakened and only just stirring. Swagger crawls over to Orton and gets a two count, and Jericho is back to his feet. Swagger is back to work first, but Orton and Jericho are now teaming up, throwing Swagger head first into one of the pods. Orton and Jericho trade blows, with Orton landing some clotheslines, before Jericho battles back with some shoulder blocks. Jericho eats a dropkick as he jumps off the top rope, and Orton gets a two count! Orton powerslams an advancing Swagger and then also Jericho, before Jericho hits a flying kick on Orton and gets a two count. Jericho tries a Codebreaker on Swagger, but he reverses into a Belly to Belly suplex. Swagger locks in his ankle lock on Orton, but can’t quite get it locked in. Jericho lands an Enziguri kick to the back of the head, but Swagger gets the ankle lock on Y2J! Jericho reverses into the Walls of Jericho, and gets it fully implemented. Orton then hits a backbreaker on Jericho and gets a two count for his troubles. Swagger is backdropped to the steel flooring by Orton, and then Jericho and Swagger eat a DDT off the ropes and back into the ring! Orton has the crowd in the palm of his hand, and signals for the RKO, which he attempts on Jericho, and finally manages to land it, pinning him!
CHRIS JERICHO ELIMINATED
Straight after Orton pins Jericho however, Swagger runs over and rolls up Orton, pinning him quickly and winning the Elimination Chamber! Jack Swagger will be facing Alberto Del Rio at Wrestlemania for the World Heavyweight Championship!
RANDY ORTON ELIMINATED – JACK SWAGGER WINS
Six-Man Tag Team Match: The Shield (Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins & Dean Ambrose) bt. Ryback, John Cena & Sheamus
We get a recap of the Shield’s antics over the past few weeks, and their attacks on various superstars and their mission to bring justice to the WWE. I do like The Shield, and despite a fairly suspect name, they are perhaps one of the most exciting factions to emerge in the last few years of WWE, it has to be said. I’d also say there was a chance they could even recruit people into the group, a bit like The Right to Censor did around 2000-2001; remember them? As is now typical, The Shield make their entrance through the crowd, and I can see this one spilling out on control a little, and sure enough it does, with things kicking off before the bell even rings. It’d make more sense for this to be a Texas Tornado rules match, but I think order is being restored, after Ryback, Sheamus and Cena land simultaneous suplexes on the Shield. Ambrose starts things off against Sheamus, but is getting his ass handed to him somewhat in the early going, getting his chest clobbered, before having his black ring attire torn away and his bare chest beaten t a pulp. Sheamus then lands a shoulder block to Rollins on the ring apron, before Ambrose is rolled back in the ring. Reigns stares out Sheamus, and Ambrose kicks Sheamus in the head during the distraction. Reigns is now tagged in, and lands some stomps on Sheamus before Rollins is tagged in, getting a near fall on the Irishman. Sheamus is on the mat before being pushed back into The Shield’s corner, where he’s ganged up on before Ambrose is tagged back in. Sheamus hits a Brogue Kick from the corner where he was lying prone, and now Sheamus needs to tag, which he does to Cena. Reigns is also in, but is met with a flurry of Cena’s moves including a Five Knuckle Shuffle, but instead catches him in the STO, which Ambrose breaks up. Rollins hits a top rope move on Cena, allowing Reigns to get a two count on him. Reigns tags in Ambrose, and they’re in the process of picking off Cena now as they did with Sheamus. Ryback stalks back and forth across the apron as Ambrose goes for a cover, but he’s using the ropes for leverage and the pin is broken. Rollins comes in and goads Cena as he lands blows on him, Cena gets some fighting back in, knocking Ambrose and Reigns from the apron before Rollins floors him yet again and gets another two count. A surprisingly loud ‘Let’s go Cena’ chant breaks out, as Ambrose tags in to continue The Shield’s good work on him. Rollins is tagged in again, before Reigns lands a big power move and another close fall results. A ‘Feed me more!’ chant starts up as Cena continues getting taken apart by Reigns, and he know has a chin-lock slapped on to wear him down. Cena fights out, but is dragged back towards The Shield’s corner. Cena begins fighting out again, but is a long way from his corner. He finally manages to slam Reigns down, but lacks the energy to crawl over and tag in a partner. As he gets up, Reigns again power-houses Cena down. Ambrose tags in, and works on Cena even more, before getting a two count after a neck-breaker. Lawler can’t believe that Cole and Layfield are ‘Shield supporters’, but they have been very impressive in this match. Ambrose lands a wicked looking DDT, but again Cena won’t stay down. The Shield look to be getting a little frustrated now, and as Ambrose charges Cena, he hoists him over the ropes, and now Cena really needs to tag someone else in. Ryback tags in, and the demolition begins. Rollins is sent high on a backdrop, as is Ambrose, who gets powerslammed into Rollins. It’s a one man wrecking job, before Reigns charges into the ring and knocks him down. Sheamus gets involved, and order is starting to he lost again. Reigns charges Sheamus through the guard rail, and the barrier smashes as both men lie prone in the wreckage. Roillins climbs the top rope and lands in Ryback’s arms, only for Ambrose and Reigns to recover and try and hit the trademark triple powerbomb on Ryback! Cena pulls Reigns from the ring, and Ryback gets Rollins up for Shellshocked. However, as he’s about to land it, Reigns charges back into the ring and lands a massive Spear on Ryback, causing Rollins to fall on him! Cena hits the Attitude Adjustment on Ambrose, but the referee counts Rollins in a cover on Ryback for the win! An unlikely victory given the circumstances, but in the confusion, The Shield have stolen this one after some great team work during the match! Just as Cena’s team looked to be turning the tables, The Shield have used their synergy to their advantage and claimed a win! After the match, Ryback storms off, leaving Sheamus and Cena in the ring looking all disappointed. Aww diddums, never mind.
Dolph Ziggler (w/ AJ Lee & Big E Langston) bt. Kofi Kingston
Not really sure of the mechanics behind this match, as apart from some battles over the Intercontinental title some time ago, there’s not really much back story to this. Ziggler takes the mic on his way down to the ring, claiming its a travesty he’s not been booked for the pay-per-view. Booker T interrupts his rant, and does his usual Smackdown schtick of telling someone off then booking them in an impromptu match that rather than wowing us, just has us going ‘oh, OK then’. In a fit of pique, he brings out Kofi Kingston for a one-on-one match to fill five minutes or so. Great, good job, Books.
Predictably, Kofi takes the match to Ziggler in the early going, trying to prove that The Show Off isn’t all that. Ziggler slows things down before Kofi goes all acrobatic on us, eventually being caught in Ziggler’s sleeper hold. Ziggler is flung over the top rope, and as Langston gets Ziggler to his feet, Kofi leaps through the ropes and collides with the big man. During the distraction, Kofi hits Trouble in Paradise on Ziggler, but he can kick out. Once again, Kofi lands a big spring board cross body off the ropes onto Langston, who this time gets floored. Kofi then hits a cross body on Ziggler, but can’t get the win. Kofi gets knocked off the top rope by Ziggler, who lifts him up and drops him on the top turnbuckle, before hitting the Zig Zag and grabbing the win. Inessential stuff really, but thanks for coming, Kofi. After the match, Langston takes it to Kofi, doing perhaps his first useful actions in WWE since he arrived some time ago by beating Kofi up by driving a few chunky knees into him and then hitting his (unnamed) finisher. I suspect this might set up a feud between the two, but we’ll have to see.
Tying in with some more product placement, we get a re-cap of Brodus Clay & Tensai’s win over Team Rhodes Scholars in the Pre Show segment, before a somewhat embarrassing backstage scene with Clay and his Funkadactyls (are they still called that?) playing with some wrestling figures and calling Tensai ‘sweet tea’. Brrrr, scary.
Diva’s Championship Match: Kaitlyn (champion) bt. Tamina Snuka
Meh, as is normal practise for Diva’s matches in the current climate, this is pretty standard stuff which sees Kaitlyn retain the title after a Spear. Nice.
WWE Championship Match: The Rock (champion) bt. CM Punk
And so to tonight’s main event, where CM Punk will try to regain his title after being beaten at the Royal Rumble last month. We do of course have the rather convoluted stipulation that if Rock is counted out or disqualified, then he’ll lose the title. Hopefully we’ll get a cleaner finish to the match than the last one. CM Punk makes his way to the ring with The Rock’s stolen belt. A tentative start, with Punk sounding Rock out with some martial arts kicks before they lock up. Punk gets the early advantage with some shoulder charges before applying a headlock, which the champion fights out of, only to get charged down again. He comes back with some arm drags, before the challenger hightails it out the ring to compose himself. The pair exchange words in the ring, with Punk slapping Rock and incurring his wrath. Rock runs close to getting disqualified, which the referee reminds Rock of. Punk goes a step further by spitting at Rock’s face, and Rock now goes to town on Punk, throwing him from the ring and into the guard rail before nailing him with a clothesline. Rock slams Punk’s head off the announcer’s desk, before Punk rams Rock into the table and clambers into the ring to try and get Rock counted out. Punk takes advantage with a clothesline of his own and then a neck-breaker, but can only get a two count. Punk gets Rock into another headlock, before nailing a few elbow drops and going back to the headlock. Rock finds a way to his feet and fights back, but Punk catches him with a heel kick and a close two count. It’s true to say Punk is controlling the pace here, but Rock lands some big blows and sends Punk to the corner, only to get caught with a kick to the face and a springboard cross body for another close fall. Once again Rock fights out of Punk’s attempts to slow the match down, and a high knee ends this series of offence from the champion. Punk lands another high knee lift before going up top for a big elbow drop. He hits it, but can only get a two count. Rock is sent to the outside, and Punk starts dismantling the Spanish announcer’s table. Rock stops this however and rams Punk’s head numerous times off the desk and rolls him back inside, attempting the Rock Bottom, but Punk reverses and gets another two count. Punk once again dumps the champion outside the ring, and Heyman distracts the referee as Punk lines Rock up on the Spanish announcer’s desk. Punk hits a Rock Bottom of his own on the desk, who slides off the top and rolls around as Punk slips back into the ring, leaving Rock facing the referee’s count. On nine, Rock gets back in the ring, where he’s immediately assaulted by Punk. Punk runs off the ropes, but walks straight into a Samoan Drop, leaving both men on the mat. Both men eventually stir, with them trading huge blows with fists and forearms. The Rock comes out top by hitting a clothesline and a big DDT. Rock stalks Punk, waiting for him to rise, before trying again for the Rock Bottom. Punk batters Rock down though with a hail of elbows, and rolls away trying to compose himself once more. Punk springs off the ropes but lands straight in a Rock Bottom which gets The Rock a two count! Rock gets to his feet and follows Punk out the ring, rolling him inside. Punk uses Rock’s momentum to throw him into the referee who is on the ring apron admonishing Heyman. Punk hits the Go To Sleep and pins Rock, and would have comfortably got a three count if the referee were active! In frustration, Punk gets Rock to his feet as a second official tends to the referee. Punk attempts another Go To Sleep, but Rock reverses into a Spinebuster and then hits the People’s Elbow! Rock gets the cover as the new referee makes it to the ring, but can only get a two count! Both men have hit their best shots, and as Punk gets to his feet, he rolls onto the referee’s leg, injuring his ankle. The second official crawls from the ring for medical attention, and in the confusion, signals to Heyman to get the WWE championship belt. He slides it to Punk, who clutches it to his chest as Heyman gets Rock to his feet. Rock ducks as Punk charges at him with the title belt, and Heyman gets blasted in the head with it! Rock hits the Rock Bottom and covers Punk, but there’s still no referee! An official crawls into the ring with some effort and makes the three count, giving the win to The Rock!
So Rock will face Cena in a rematch of last year’s main event, but this time for the WWE title! Swagger will face Del Rio for the World Heavyweight title, and we can only guess what will happen in the days until the greatest show of the wrestling calendar. I’ll be sure to be there reporting on the events, so will see you there. Until next time, have a good one!