WWE Elimination Chamber 2012 Results: Was It Worth the PPV Money?
Pay-per-views like the Elimination Chamber are what make a large amount of money for the WWE. It generates a majority of the revenue.
It doesn't hurt that the pay-per-view is part of the road to WrestleMania, creating a lot of buys just because of its very nature.
But was this Elimination Chamber worth it? There are times when events aren't exciting.
It doesn't mean that the wrestlers didn't try or the storylines were unimaginative, though that does happen, but that doesn't mean it was lame.
It just means that it didn't connect with its audience the way the WWE product should. At the end of the day, that is what is most important—the feeling fans have of plunking down a little over half of a hundred dollars and not feeling that they were ripped off.
Here are grades for each aspect of the PPV. Did the WWE fulfill its obligations last night?
The Announcing: C
This is something that needs to change.
The commentary was far from terrible last night, but it just doesn't help that Michael Cole, Booker T and Jerry Lawler were on commentary.
Michael Cole is a great heel.
As a manager he could draw an amazing amount of heat.
If he were attached to the Miz, I believe he would rekindle the faux-hawked wrestler's career.
As a commentator, he just takes away from the product. It is his job to do so, but it comes off as annoying and stops the wrestlers and the matches from getting over with the audience. It continued last night.
As for Lawler, it is tough to say what is wrong with him. He has had a storied career as an announcer, but his tenure is starting to remove him from the common fan. He is a little older, and while there is nothing wrong with that, he is still trying to be "cool."
His attempts at doing so are dated, and he needs to change his approach if he is going to do it.
Booker T is still growing as an announcer and there is hope yet, though it is something he will have to grow into.
There could have been worse commentary, but it ended up being average.
The Twists: C-
There weren't really many twists at the Elimination Chamber.
CM Punk and Daniel Bryan both retained, which was a slight shock in the case of Punk considering Chris Jericho was in the match, but not terribly amazing in either case.
There really wasn't a solidified story about how either champion was in danger going into the match that made the fans question their chances.
The only possibility for Punk was losing the title to Jericho to have them meet at WrestleMania and prove that Punk was the best in the world.
The best twist of the night included Punk knocking out Jericho but not eliminating him. That is bound to be mentioned on RAW tonight, and it will be interesting to watch.
Other then that, Beth Phoenix retained her title, and John Cena beat Kane in a match right before Cena's bout with the Rock at WrestleMania.
One of the biggest moments was John Laurinaitis indicating his intent to oust Teddy Long (SmackDown GM) and become both the RAW and SmackDown general manager.
Overall, the show was predictable.
RAW Chamber Match: A-
There may be bias in this, as CM Punk retained his title and Chris Jericho was in the match.
Nostalgia and having favorite wrestlers in a match can do that.
Kofi Kingston also had a great spot with jumping onto the cage and then hitting the tornado DDT in a move that used the infrastructure and made it feel like the Chamber was a part of the match.
Not one wrestler ended up looking weak that night except for R-Truth, something he can bounce back from, and it was a great way to sell the talent as tough and dangerous competitors.
It felt visceral and had an electricity that made it believable.
The SmackDown Chamber Match: B-
Any match that includes the Great Khali is already not going to get an A.
It is impossible, even if he lasts just a few minutes.
Luckily, that is what happened last night, and fans weren't subjected to having to see him wrestle.
The other deduction is partly because of a bias. It is fine that the WWE doesn't want to show Daniel Bryan as a strong champion, but he didn't eliminate one wrestler other than the last man in the ring.
To have him only take out one competitor—and only because he needed to win the match to do it—weakens his character and takes away from the finish.
It doesn't mean that he had to look dominant in the match, but allowing him to capitalize on other wrestlers' work wouldn't have been terrible, either.
Overall Enjoyment: B+
For all the detractors mentioned and for how obvious the twists and turns of the pay-per-view were, the show was fun.
It was exciting, and if fans could allow themselves to suspend their disbelief, they could have fun.
The diva match was longer than most and filled with wrestling, the Chamber matches at least gave fans a reaction either positive or negative, and Kane and Cena gave a brutal match by PG standards.
The PPV had something for every kind of wrestling fan, and in the end that is the best kind of show, where everyone has a point that they enjoyed.
It may not have had any moments that swerved the audience or shook the company, but not every PPV should. Otherwise, those moments would mean nothing.
In the end, fans got a great show and a great buildup to WrestleMania.
There isn't much more that you can ask for.
Matthew Hemphill writes for the MMA and professional wrestling portion of Bleacher Report. He also hosts a blog elbaexiled.blogspot.com that focuses on books, music, comic books, video games, film and generally anything that could be related to the realms of nerdom.