At the final pit stop before WrestleMania 29, WWE delivered an exciting show in the form of WWE Elimination Chamber on Sunday night. The excellent action combined with some shocking outcomes undoubtedly made this a night to remember as we quickly approach the spring spectacle.
Here, I will analyze each significant segment presented on the show. I will also provide a combination of prediction and wishful thinking about what I hope to see in the coming weeks.
Brodus Clay and Tensai def. Team Rhodes Scholars (Pre-show)
Basic match with Brodus Clay and Tensai defeating Team Rhodes Scholars in the pre-show. It lasted mere minutes and was pretty formulaic tag team action.
The finish was never in doubt, but it's still a shame to see Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow reduced to this. I fear what place they will have on the WrestleMania 29 card after their latest loss, since both guys are deserving of a spot.
World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio def. Big Show
Good match with Alberto Del Rio successfully retaining the World Heavyweight Championship against Big Show. I was afraid that the action would be boring since there was no stipulation this time around, but they managed to work well together.
Of course, the noticeable botch with Del Rio failing to kick the bucket next to Show's skull hurt the overall blow of the bout, but it was still nice to see the World's Largest Athlete tap out for once. I was disappointed not to see Dolph Ziggler cash in his Money in the Bank briefcase here, which must mean he'll be cashing in at either WrestleMania 29 or further down the line.
United States Champion Antonio Cesaro def. The Miz by disqualification
Decent match with Antonio Cesaro successfully retaining his United States Championship against The Miz via disqualification. The action was good while it lasted, but it could've used a few more minutes to feel memorable.
The finish came out of nowhere, and Miz's "accidental" disqualification was vastly disappointing. Miz had an injury going into the bout, so why couldn't that have been his reason for losing clean here?
I just don't understand how you could have Cesaro win cleanly at Royal Rumble last month but not in the rematch. This apparently is heading towards a championship rematch at WrestleMania 29, which is something I'm not eagerly anticipating.
I'm glad the star-spangled prize will be defended at the show of shows, but can't Cesaro be given a fresh opponent to work with instead?
Jack Swagger won an Elimination Chamber match to become the No. 1 contender to the World Heavyweight Championship
Excellent Elimination Chamber match with Jack Swagger emerging victorious as the new No. 1 contender to the World Heavyweight Championship. I appreciated Chris Jericho and Daniel Bryan kicking off the bout, which made for an awesome exchange between the two.
The match treaded water until Mark Henry entered, who proceeded to single-handedly destroy each of the participants. Having Team Hell No be the first ones taken out from the bout was smart booking since no one believed they'd be the victors anyway.
I would have liked to see Henry last longer, but they protected him well by having him take three finishers and then decimate the remaining three Superstars before leaving. In all honesty, I did not see Swagger's victory coming, but I guess it's better than having Orton get the win here.
My only issue with Swagger winning is that he just returned a mere two weeks ago and isn't over enough to be considered a threat to the World title at Mania. Nonetheless, he's a fresh face in the title scene, finally has new entrance music and will make for a great opponent against Alberto Del Rio.
The Shield def. John Cena, Ryback and Sheamus
Solid six-man tag team match with The Shield defeating John Cena, Ryback and Sheamus. I wasn't impressed by most of the action in this bout, mostly because the finish of Cena's team going over felt inevitable.
However, I was extremely shocked to see The Shield go over here without the use of dirty tactics. The finish with Roman Reigns clobbering Ryback was well executed and I'm surprised to see Ryback take the fall here.
I'm not sure where this leaves The Shield going into WrestleMania, but things certainly got much more interesting.
Dolph Ziggler with AJ Lee and Big E Langston def. Kofi Kingston
Meaningless match with Dolph Ziggler defeating Kofi Kingston. I was hoping that Ziggler's promo was going to indicate that he'd be cashing in at WrestleMania to make the World Championship match a Triple Threat, but no such luck.
Kingston being revealed as Ziggler's opponent was a letdown, as I had my fingers crossed for a returning Christian. The match was well wrestled, but we've seen these two collide countless times in recent years. It was a nice win for Ziggler, but it felt more like filler than anything else.
Big E Langston's decimation of Kingston following the bout was random, but Kingston hasn't been booked this poorly in a great while.
Divas Champion Kaitlyn def. Tamina Snuka
Fine match with Kaitlyn successfully defending her Divas Championship against Tamina Snuka. It was kept short and sweet, which is all you can ever ask for from a Divas match.
Of course, the crowd was flat for the contest, but I can't blame them since this match wasn't hyped at all in the weeks leading up to the event. I remain hopeful that Kaitlyn will defend the Divas title against former friend AJ Lee at WrestleMania, but the Divas need to be featured on television more often in order for that to happen.
WWE Champion The Rock def. CM Punk with Paul Heyman
Great match with The Rock successfully defending his WWE Championship against CM Punk. This match told much more of a story than their previous encounter, and I feel the added stipulation that Rock couldn't get counted out or disqualified played a factor in that.
I loved the false finishes, which was something I felt was missing from their Royal Rumble match. Having Punk kick out of both the Rock Bottom and People's Elbow made him look strong in defeat for sure.
The numerous referee bumps made for some unnecessary overbooking, but at least it made for some nice suspense. Obviously, the outcome was clear from the start, but it was still extremely entertaining nonetheless.
For anyone disappointed at the lack of Undertaker, expect to see him on tomorrow's edition of Raw if he plans on competing at WrestleMania 29.
Overall, an extraordinarily enjoyable show that provided a number of pleasant surprises and solid booking. I wasn't satisfied with everything at the event, but at least it wasn't as predictable as past Elimination Chamber pay-per-views.
The action was excellent as a whole, with my only gripe being that the two buffer matches in the third hour slowed down the pace of the show. I may be biased because I was watching the event live from Buffalo Wild Wings, but this show was an absolute blast to watch live for the most part.
The stage is now set for WrestleMania 29, and I look forward to what other matches are confirmed for the show of shows in coming weeks.