The final stop on the Road to WrestleMania came and went last night in Oakland, California. There were only five matches on the card and frankly, all of the winners could have easily been predicted by anybody.
But why is that such a bad thing?
Yes, the match results were predictable, but that is only because they were booked logically. Logical booking is something that has become very rare, so maybe we've all forgotten about it. But let's just run through it again:
The first match was Alberto Del Rio vs. Kofi Kingston. I mean, come on, the 2011 Royal Rumble winner versus SmackDown's mid-card champion. Of course Del Rio was going to win – it was the most logical way for it to go.
Del Rio needs to keep building momentum leading up to WrestleMania and a solid bout with Kofi ended with both men looking good. It was great back and forth action and a very entertaining match. So what if we could predict the winner? At least we got a good pay-per-view match.
The SmackDown Elimination Chamber match was an excellent one, despite a few slow moments towards the end. Of course Big Show was the sixth participant, who else would it be?! Christian? Well, we'll get to that later.
Edge had to win that match because he was the only name out of the six men who could logically go up against Del Rio at WrestleMania.
Did anyone see Christian coming back at the end? Well even if you did, it was a great moment. Who knows, we could even get Christian vs. Edge vs. ADR for the World Heavyweight Championship at 'Mania.
Trish Stratus also returned last night. Nobody saw that coming, not even the extremely credible dirtsheets. Hell, I would never have even considered her as a Tough Enough trainer. Her return was one of the highlights of the entire pay-per-view and I was not expecting it at all. Her saving the now re-hired Kelly Kelly against LayCool was another great moment. Trish kicked some serious ass, and in heels too. Her and Layla did a good job of saving the Stratusphere spot too.
Trish and Kelly Kelly vs. LayCool now looks like a likely WrestleMania match which would be great. I take it the WWE wants Kelly Kelly as their next big Diva babyface (maybe even the next big Diva for this generation in general) and what better way to do that than to team her up with the most over Diva ever.
Speaking of over Divas, K2 got an amazing crowd reaction. Say what you want about her wrestling, you could probably count on one hand the amount of current Divas who get any sort of reaction. Plus, she's one hell of a hard worker, so I would love to see her get put over in a big way. She's here to stay, we might as well get used to it.
Then we had Santino and Koslov up against Corre members Justin Gabriel and Heath Slater for the Tag Team Championships. The fact that this match was on the card showed that there would be a title change. Santino and Koslov held the titles for months and The Corre taking the gold (or bronze) home boosts the faction and instantly makes them look more important
They had to win because it was the logical way. Again, this was a good match and the fact that Gabriel and Slater won clean makes them look like a bigger threat.
The Miz vs. Jerry Lawler for the WWE Championship. Didn't most people think Lawler would take home the gold? Even if you didn't, The Miz won clean in what was one of the best booked match ending he has had as a champion thus far. The two men put on a very good show and Lawler throwing Miz into Michael Cole at the announce table was a great moment.
The WWE have clearly been leading up to a Miz-Cena WrestleMania match for months and that can only happen if The Miz is still champion.
The final match of the night only really had one ending. John Cena was clearly going over here and that made all the sense in the world. CM Punk and Randy Orton are still feuding, R Truth will never headline a WrestleMania, Sheamus is a heel and when it comes down to John Morrison and John Cena, there is only one person the WWE trust enough to co-headline a WrestleMania.
This one was another great match. CM Punk's antics and Morrison's endless spots and bumps were incredible and definitely worth paying the money for (even though us UK fans got it for free).
Blood? Who cares about blood when those six men (okay, mostly five men) put on a terrific show?! There were some sick bumps throughout and the same goes for the SmackDown Chamber match. The slices on Punk's leg had me cringing. That looked awfully painful.
So John Cena won and we have Cena vs The Miz for the WWE Championship in a few weeks time. Who else was it going to be?!
All in all, yes, these match endings were predictable. But the thing is, the only reason they were so predictable is because they were the – wait for it – logical results. The last PPV on the Road to WrestleMania is the one that helps to shape the card and as wrestling fans, as WWE fans, we should know by now what we are going to get.
I mean, if you want illogical and oddly booked for the sake of being oddly booked pay-per-views, then please, TNA is there for you. But this wrestling fan wants quality wrestling that is not overshadowed by ridiculous stipulations and booking. And seeing as all the matches last night were very good wrestling matches and surprisingly well booked, I thoroughly enjoyed the pay-per-view from start to finish. Not to mention Christian's surprise return, Trish's even more surprising return and CM Punk's existence made the show tops in my eyes.
Last year's TLC was a great PPV. The 2011 Royal Rumble flatlined. The 2011 Elimination Chamber was an excellent pay-per-view that involved our WWE Champion actually going over clean! I had my doubts, but now I can solidly say I am looking forward to WrestleMania, one that I think could be the best in years. Isn't that what us wrestling fans want?
Elimination Chamber, although predictable, gave us some great matches and many amazing moments. I give it a 8/10 overall.