THE TWO SHEDS REVIEW by Julian Radbourne – now in it’s 10th year!
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No Way Out is no more, and in it’s place is one of the greatest gimmick matches ever devised, with WWE presenting the first Elimination Chamber pay-per-view, shown live on Sky Box Office in the early hours of this past Monday morning here in Britain, with Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler and Matt Striker handling commentary duties.
The show began with the first Elimination Chamber match, as Sheamus defended his WWE title against John Cena, Ted Dibiase, Randy Orton, Triple H and Kofi Kingston. Beginning with Sheamus and Kingston, this certainly proved to be a dramatic match. The main drama for me concerned the dissention between Legacy buddies Orton and Dibiase. Entering the match forth and fifth, they worked together as a unit until Cody Rhodes tried to interfere again by throwing a lead pipe into the ring. Dibiase got hold of the pipe and clobbered Cena and Orton, pinning Orton moments alter. The eliminations came thick and fast after Triple H eliminated Sheamus with the pedigree, Cena applied the STF to the Game, with Cena getting the title winning submission as Triple H tapped, ending a very good effort from all concerned.
Cena’s night wasn’t over though, as Vince McMahon appeared on the stage and ordered Cena to defend his newly won title against Batista. Cena didn’t stand a chance. He managed one punch until the animal took him down with a spear and a Batista bomb. A three count later and we had our second WWE champion of the evening. Something of a surprise, but the execution was perfect.
Then it was back to regular action as Drew McIntyre defended the Intercontinental title against Kane. An entertaining encounter, and another good way of establishing the Scotsman by pitting him against the veteran. McIntyre put on another good performance, able to keep up with the big red machine as he made McIntyre look great. The champion got the pin in this one, countering Kane’s choke slam attempt with a good old fashioned poke to the eye before taking the big guy down with the future shock DDT. Nice match.
The final of the Divas title tournament was next, with Maryse going up against Gail Kim. Well, that’s what it was meant to be until Vickie Guerrero changed it to a tag team match putting Kim and Maryse against Michelle McCool and Layla. So what could have been a good singles match turned out to be a slightly disappointing tag match, with Kim getting beaten up as Maryse refused to tag in, with McCool taking Kim down with the styles clash to get the winning pin. Another reason why the Knockouts are so much better.
So having missed out on title action in the last match the Miz, accompanied by the Big Show, defended the United States title against MVP, accompanied by Mark Henry. An entertaining back and forth encounter between two guys who, once again, proved that they’re well suited to each other. Both men put in good performances here with a little spice added by a brief brawl between the two big men at ringside. The Miz retained the here, getting the pin after the Big Show knocked MVP out with his big right while the Miz distracted the ref. A little overlong, but a good match nonetheless.
The last match of the evening was the second Elimination Chamber match, with the Undertaker defending the World title against Rey Mysterio, John Morrison, Chris Jericho, C.M. Punk and R-Truth. Of course, this match will be remembered for what happened during the Undertaker’s entrance, so kudos to the big man for going ahead with the match in the first place. Unlike the first chamber match, we didn’t get all six men in the match at the same time, with Punk pinning Truth and Mysterio eliminating Punk early on. The three way action between Jericho, Morrison and Mysterio look great, with Morrison taking out Mysterio after starship pain. Things got turned up a notch when the Undertaker finally entered the fray, but the most dramatic moment came in the final few minutes. By then the Undertaker had eliminated Morrison with a choke slam, leaving him alone with Jericho, and after the dead man had taken Jericho down with the last ride, Shawn Michaels emerged through the steel floor of the chamber and took out the Undertaker with sweet chin music. A groggy Jericho then seized his chance to get the title winning pin, with Michaels standing over them as the referee made the three count and declared Jericho the new World Champion. Good performances all round here, but for me this just wasn’t as good as the first chamber match.
In conclusion – so was the first Elimination Chamber pay-per-view a success? Well, the two chamber matches certainly delivered in varying degrees, and the majority of the undercard was entertaining in it’s own way, so while this wasn’t the best pay-per-view I’ve ever seen, it was good, with some nice dramatic twists that warmed things up for the grand daddy of them all next month. So as many of my old teachers would say it was good, but could do better.