Hello everyone, and a happy new year to all my readers. Hope you're not all too hungover to read this! Here's my No. 2 match of 2010, as we head back to February 2010 as six of Smackdown's best went at it, in the demonic, Elimination Chamber structure.
The Undertaker vs Chris Jericho vs Rey Mysterio vs CM Punk vs John Morrison vs R-Truth (Elimination Chamber Matchfor the World Heavyweight Championship)
Morrison made it inside the pod without HBK beating him up as many of us expected. Cole said Jericho has never won an Elimination Chamber match, but he did win his first World Title in St. Louis.
Punk, who was accompanied by Serena and Luke Gallows, cut a pre-match promo about the fans being locked in a "prison of addiction." He said the four wrestlers in the pods were locked inside the chamber with him. He said that when they are nursing the wounds that he and the chamber have caused, he wants them to think of it as him setting them free. R-Truth's overplayed entrance theme interrupted Punk's promo.
"The Elimination Chamber, that's what's up," Truth concluded.
Punk and Truth started the match. Truth got some offense in, but Punk hit the GTS.R-Truth was eliminated by C.M. Punk at 3:40. The announcers pointed out that Punk has additional time because the pods open every five minutes. He took the mic and said Taker better pray his pod opens last because he's going to make him tap again. Punk delivered more mic work and invited fans watching at home to put their hands on the screen and feel his presence flow through them.
Harrison's Analysis: They're giving Punk more mic time? Excellent. He really is gold on the stick.
Mysterio entered the match at 5:15. Rey was in control early and scored a couple of near falls that the live crowd bought into. Rey went for a huracanrana on the floor, but Punk caught him and swung him into the steel chains. Cole, an avid baseball fan, compared it to Albert Pujols swinging a baseball bat.
Rey made a climb onto one of the pods, but Punk caught him. They jockeyed for position and Punk tried to get in position for the GTS, but Rey hit a huracanra off the ropes and onto the steel grating. Rey followed up with the springboard splash a moment later. C.M. Punk was eliminated by Rey Mysterio at 9:55.
Chris Jericho entered the match around 10:15. Rey went for a springboard off the ropes toward Jericho, who was standing on the steel outside the ring. Jericho ducked, but Rey caught himself on the chains. Cool move. Jericho took control of the offense and slowed down the pace. Cole was nice enough to remind us that an elimination counts as an elimination.
At 14:40, Rey caught Jericho in a Dragon Sleeper. Striker fired up for it, but the live crowd didn't share in his enthusiasm. Jericho fought out of it and applied the Walls of Jericho. The clock expired and John Morrison checked into the match at 14:40. Morrison immediately broke up Jericho's submission hold.
The three wrestlers traded offense. Striker said it's almost like everyone in the building knows who is next. The live crowd was really flat and only reacted to big moves. Rey went for a huracanrana on Jericho, who spun around and hit a backbreaker.
Jericho applied the Walls of Jericho on Morrison as the clock counted down. Morrison hit Starship Pain on Rey. Mysterio was eliminated by Morrison at 20:00. Taker started pounding on the glass. Fortunately, the announcers didn't claim it was bulletproof this time around. Taker entered the match at 21:20. He didn't get the big ovation, but no one really was getting big pops at this this point.
Taker hit Snake Eyes on Jercho and clotheslined Morrison. Taker went for a double chokeslam, which received a rare strong reaction from the live crowd, but Jericho and Morrison fought him off. Jericho and Morrison squared off briefly and Jericho came up bleeding from the cheek.
At 23:40, Taker went after Jericho, who entered one of the pods and tried to close the door. Hilarious. Taker stopped him and punched him repeatedly inside the pod. The plexiglass piece slid outside. Morrison hit the Chuck Kick on Taker, but came up holding his ankle as the announcers reminded us of his storyline ankle injury.
Taker went to work on Morrison. Jericho locked himself inside the pod as Taker fought with Morrison. Taker slammed Morrison on the steel and then dragged him back inside the ring for a very anticlimactic pin. Morrison was eliminated by Taker at 28:30.
The match came down to Taker and Jericho. At 32:00, Jericho put Taker in the Walls of Jericho. Taker countered with the Hell's Gate submission hold, but Jericho reached the ropes. At 33:00, Jericho hit the Codebreaker on Taker. Striker noted that it was the same move Jericho used to beat Taker on Smackdown. Jericho went for a cover, but Taker kicked out.
At 34:20, Taker hit the Last Ride on Jericho. "It's crunch time," Cole said. "It's overtime." Taker did the throat slash gesture. Suddenly, Shawn Michaels emerged from underneath the steel grating. HBK entered the ring wearing street clothes and hit Taker with Sweet Chin Music.
A surprised Jericho looked up at Shawn and eventually covered Taker for the 1-2-3 as Michaels stood expressionless over them. Undertaker was eliminated by Chris Jericho with help from Shawn Michaels at 35:35. Shawn stood over Taker and looked down at him to close the show ...
Winner and NEW World Heavyweight Champion: Chris Jericho (35:36)
Harrison's Analysis: What a freaking awesome match for so many reasons. Many of the guys were mid-carders on Smackdown, but R-Truth played his role very well, and Morrison really stepped up to deliver one of his best performances of his career, surviving nearly thirty minutes.
Mysterio and Punk showed why they were so good in their later feud with some great chemistry, including a hurricanrana from the Top Rope, to the steel floor of the chamber, in the spot of the match.
And of course, who could forget Shawn Michaels popping up out of the steel right at the end, to cost Taker the match, and his World Championship, to set up their match at Wrestlemania XXVI. All those little things made the match better than the sum of its parts, and one of the best of 2010.
Harrison Match Rating: **** ½ Stars
I'll be back at Midnight tonight (GMT), to post what was my No. 1 WWE Match of 2010 ... I think most of us smart fans already know what it is...But I'll hang on until then anyway. I've been Andre Harrison, thanks for reading, Sayonara!