The RAW Elimination Chamber was billed heavily as the last chance for six superstars to try and main event WrestleMania for the WWE Championship against The Miz. It was hyped to potentially be the better chamber match during Sunday's pay-per-view.
In fact, it had me shaking my head. I had three things to hope for from the RAW Elimination Chamber match: Dolph Ziggler screws John Cena, R-Truth gets attacked before entering like Kofi Kingston was two years ago, and John Morrison wins the match. None of these three things happened.
The match began with Sheamus and Morrison, which I predicted to see. They had some of the best matches of the last year, especially in their pay-per-view encounters. Morrison was thrown all over the place as expected. He became this match's foil of Wade Barrett from earlier in the night when he was thrown into a bunch of plexiglas. I suppose that WWE is tired of using shots of chamber matches that include Mike Knox and Goldberg.
I expected R-Truth to come out next just to get his dreadful showing out of the way. However, it was time for Randy Orton to go after Sheamus. The two of them brawl with Morrison showing signs of life throughout the five minutes. It was the most forgettable five minutes of the match. I can't even remember what actually happened then.
Fast forward to CM Punk's pod opening. Even R-Truth is shocked that he is still in this match. Punk's pod is only open slightly. He's sticking out halfway, which Orton hardly takes advantage of. Considering that this is the same guy who once shoved Kofi Kingston's head in between chains that made up the chamber walls, I was a little disappointed in the creativity of The Viper.
Punk looked truly stuck for a moment while referee Mike Chioda seemed confused by the idea of chain and a lock. This after Chioda refs the WWE title match and kicks out Alex Riley under the grounds of being certain he attacked Jerry Lawler. This was done instead of calling a DQ on the spot. A less than memorable night for Chioda. Suddenly, it is just Punk's foot stuck inside until he slips it out with ease, which was Punk's way of telling us that he was tired of selling it.
Suddenly, Punk is down for the count and is out very quickly. R-Truth's chances improve dramatically, but not really. The chamber's door opens for Punk to leave. We all anticipate the New Nexus, but we get the RAW GM instead. Michael Cole, still with a happy face from having The Miz thrown on top of him for a minute earlier, reads that Punk is getting a do-over. Happy about the call, Punk crawls back into his pod. Chioda locks the pod again, which seems like a bad idea considering that was the problem the first time around.
My pessimistic mind predicts that Punk's pod opens again the next time around, defeating the whole point of giving him a new chance. After what seemed like ten minutes after Punk was stuck the first time, it was John Cena, who got greeted immediately by Sheamus. They brawled as Cena and Sheamus exchanged blows and Irish whips into things. Then it was time for R-Truth to say "What's Up". He got to the "Wha" part before Sheamus attacked him. However, R-Truth fights back and finishes it with a hip toss, which is slowly turning into a move for wrestlers who are being built as better than they should be. Isn't that right, Santino?
Before long, R-Truth was slowed down by Sheamus, who pinned Truth and we are down to five. All of the fans who thought R-Truth was going to win the match are stunned. All both of them. I'm pretty sure of them was Booker T. More brawling occurred until CM Punk was finally able to get out of his pod. Orton and Cena took one another out just before Punk's pod could open. This didn't stop Punk from hiding in his pod, waiting roughly ten seconds before actually coming out to attack a weakened Orton. A GTS later and Orton is the second one gone.
We had been waiting for that John Morrison moment in the Elimination Chamber and we were about to get it. Morrison is on top of a pod and Sheamus looks to do a High Cross from that height. Morrison leg locks through the chain and knocks Sheamus off. Now, Morrison climbs like he's on a live episode of Impact. Take notes, Homicide. And yes, that was a TNA reference in my article. Don't get used to them.
Morrison flies onto Sheamus and we are down to three. I know that it was something we hadn't seen before but there wasn't much excitement from it. Even the replay of it showed the spot from a very bad angle. The most forgettable great spot that I have seen in quite some time. At this point, I'm expecting the New Nexus to come to the ring and attack Morrison and Cena, but it doesn't happen. Are they even in Oakland? Did David Otunga hook them up with seats to the NBA All-Star Game instead?
Cena would go through his routine once again before stopping shy of a finisher. Punk rolls out of the ring after the Five Knuckle Shuffle and Cena looks like he doesn't know what to do next. Morrison comes back into the picture. His knee intended for Cena hits a pod instead. Morrison clutches his knee and sells the injury hard.
Cena gets slingshot into a pod but not through. Plexiglas knows better than to cave in to John Cena. Morrison is set up for the same fate until he leaps from one end to another. It was probably his best spot of the night in my opinion. Morrison then gets caught in a GTS. With all of the emphasis on Morrison's injured knee, I was expecting an STF by Cena or something. There goes Morrison and the chance of a Miz/Morrison title match at Mania. We are down to Punk and Cena and we all know how this one is going to end now.
Cena then grabs Punk for the Attitude Adjustment but Punk grabs a rope. After thinking about it, Cena realizes that there is more pain if you throw your opponent onto steel than in the ring itself. The rest of the match is a simple formality. Cena covers for three and it is Cena vs Miz at Mania, just like The Rock told us a week ago.
The rest of the pay-per-view was unusual. Cena acted like he was expecting the New Nexus to come down and attack but they never did. The Miz held his belt in the air backstage, which meant nothing since Cena couldn't see it. They cut back to the ring and show Cena all happy. Three minutes later, The Miz was still holding his title in the air.
At this point, I reflect on the fact that in pay-per-views, television and house show appearances, John Cena's very first victory of 2011 had just taken place. Why not wait until the big stage of WrestleMania where his losing streak could be used in the hype? Right before the end of the show, the announcers make it a point to say that Miz vs Cena was the match that the world was looking forward to. Really? That's news to me.
We all brace ourselves for some sort of attack or run in, but Cena just stands triumphant. Not one person runs in to beat down Cena, who seems to be on the bad side of anyone on RAW. Even the Smackdown chamber ended with Alberto Del Rio and a returning Christian. However, WWE refuses to take the spotlight of the end of a pay-per-view from John Cena. Expect some of the same in six weeks at WrestleMania.