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2/23 Zim's 2014 Elimination Chamber "Live Journal": DotNet writer Zack Zimmerman's real-time thoughts on the Elimination Chamber PPV

Posted in: MUST-READ LISTING, STAFF OPINION
By
Feb 23, 2014 - 06:25 PM

Diverting a bit from the usual live coverage style, this will be an ongoing thoughts and observations article. My opinion will be present throughout, as opposed to being contained within my "Zim Says" blurbs. Throw comments, questions, criticisms, or corrections @InVasionZim. With that out of the way, enjoy…

By Zack Zimmerman

Pre-Show Match: Cody Rhodes and Goldust vs. Ryback and Curtis Axel (w/ Larry Hennig)

- Cool to see Larry "The Axe" Hennig out with Curtis Axel for the pre-show match. I don't expect it to be a regular thing though; he doesn't seem like he's able to add much to the act.
- A "Curtis Axel" chant? He's peaked.
- Awesome double-dive to the outside from the Rhodes Brothers. They just keep getting better.
- A commercial during the pre-show match? Ugh.
- Good finish, but unfortunate to pin Axel in his hometown.
- The Rhodes Brothers are on top of their game.

Cody Rhodes and Goldust beat Curtis Axel and Ryback.

- Mark Henry, The Miz, and Rey Mysterio are not a trio they should bring back as a pre-show panel.

1. Jack Swagger (w/ Zeb Colter) vs. Big E for the Intercontinental Championship.

- Zeb Colter is great, but he seems to be struggling to come up with lines lately. Something about his act needs to be tweaked.
- Big E's title reign stands at 96 days according to Cole.
- Big E leapfrogged clear over Swagger. The dude may be green, but he's an unreal athlete with loads of potential.
- Cole plugged NXT Arrival! (February 27 at 8E/5P on the WWE Network)
- Swagger bleeding from the mouth; a common thread in many of Big E's matches
- Big E hit a wicked spear through the ropes and both guys went down hard to ringside. Great looking spot; scary looking bump.
- Huge belly-to-belly off the top rope by Swagger. These guys are going all-out here.
- Surprisingly good, physical match. Both guys are working really hard and definitely pulled the crowd into it.
- Big E wins clean in his best in-ring display to date.

Big E pinned Jack Swagger to retain the Intercontinental Championship.

- As tired as I was of seeing Hulk Hogan in TNA, a big smile swept across my face when WWE announced his return on Raw tomorrow.

2. The Usos vs. The New Age Outlaws for the WWE Tag Team Championships.

- I've only had to listen to the Outlaws intro schtick for a few months now and I'm already sick of it. Thank goodness I didn’t have to endure the Attitude Era.
- Michael Cole is such a professional in his role. The poor guy is flanked by a couple of goofs though.
- Wicked spot where an Uso went for the running hip attack in the corner but Road Dogg hip-tossed him full-speed into the turnbuckles.
- Loud "C.M. Punk" chant. The commentators, naturally, change the subject to Blackjack Lanza.
- Superkick! Superkick! Superkick!
- Usos did 96% of the work in the match; Outlaws win with a rollup.

The New Age Outlaws beat The Usos to retain the WWE Tag Team Championships.

- Second Bad News Barrett segment of the show. Barrett says Bryan won’t win, the fans will turn on him, and the Yes! Movement will be over. Crowd chants "No!" This struck me an attempt to condition the fans to hang in through a Bryan loss.

3. Darren Young vs. Titus O'Neil.

- D-Young came out in a No H8 hoodie. I hope they don’t overtly incorporate that into his character.
- Loud "We want Lesnar" chant.
- D-Young used Chris Hero's rope-whip rolling elbow as a transition spot; tragic.
- Titus had Young in an abdominal stretch and wailed away with five-stars. Is this a rib?
- Neckbreaker onto the ring apron by Young; Titus comes back 15 seconds later with his finish. Uh what?
- Not a very good match but they both tried.

Titus O'Neil defeated Darren Young.

- Bad News Barrett said he'll overshadow Hulk Hogan. Not likely.
- Awesome, awesome video package hyping Shield vs. Wyatt's.

4. The Shield vs. The Wyatt Family.

- "This is awesome" chant before the bell even rings. Dueling "Let's go Wyatt's/Let's go Shield" chants.
- Brawl breaks out and The Shield clears The Family from the ring.
- Bray Wyatt and Roman Reigns stare-down: possible PPV main event someday?
- The crowd is super into the action; the chants get louder each time they pick up.
- Luke Harper is the glue that holds The Family together. His portrayal is spot-on and he's by-far the most competent in-ring competitor of the trio.
- Seth Rollins is going to be an awesome babyface in the very near future. He's so impressive and the crowd was super into him here.
- They're doing 'movez' and its working! Thunderous "This is awesome" chant and more dueling chants.
- Multiple "We want tables" chants? Settle down, guys.
- Wyatt's isolate Rollins and slow the tempo. Great ebbs and flows in this match.
- Rollins' hot tags Reigns to a huge pop. Please keep those two as a babyface team; so much potential.
- Luke Harper hits a dive through the ropes, Rollins follows up with a diving senton, crowd explodes!
- Wyatt and Ambrose brawl through the crowd; Wyatt returns with no sign of Ambrose.
- Rollins preps Spanish announce table to establish The Shield as the clear babyfaces, but takes a double chokeslam from Harper and Rowan.
- Comes down to Reigns vs. The Family. Great storytelling throughout the match to this point.
- Wyatt sets up Sister Abigail but Reigns "Roman'd Up" and cleans house with Superman punches all around.
- Harper steps in the way of a spear headed for Wyatt, allowing Wyatt to wipe out Reigns and hit Sister Abigail for the win.
- Tremendous match telling a perfect story leading to the perfect ending. The door is open to Rollins and Reigns remaining together, or they could continue to fizzle out from here.
- Early Match of the Year candidate. Bravo.

The Wyatt Family defeated The Shield.

- AJ points out the lack of talent in the Divas division. Cameron comes out for a title match. I laugh at the tragic irony.
- AJ's title reign stands at 252 days; the longest of all time according to Cole.

5. AJ Lee (w/ Tamina Snuka) vs. Cameron for the Divas Championship.

- Loud "C.M. Punk" chants.
- Tamina went for a superkick on Cameron but hit AJ accidentally.
- Tamina broke up the ensuing pinfall and clotheslined Cameron for the DQ.
- This match definitely happened. Now please bring Summer Rae, Emma, and Paige into the picture and take the division seriously

Cameron beat AJ Lee by DQ. AJ Retains the Divas Championship.

- Bad News Barrett said that the WWE Network is going to cause kids to fail out of school, adults to lose their jobs, and people's lives to fall to filth.
- El Torito can speak!

6. Batista vs. Alberto Del Rio.

- ADR comes out in a neckbrace and says he can't compete, then commenced to beating down Batista with a crutch.
- Match starts anyway, crowd chants: "Boo-tista," "Daniel Bryan," "C.M. Punk," "Y2J," "Boring," "RVD," "We want Lesnar,"
- Lawler asks why Mexicans don't eat beans the first time they fry them.
-BTW, Del Rio was in control of the match because Batista is a babyface (if you couldn't tell).
- Some of the crowd was into ADR, chanting "Si!" They've completely turned on Batista; nothing but loud boos.
- Batista Bomb finish. Crowd crapped on it. The two tried, but it just wasn't going to work.
- Batista looked genuinely disappointed he didn't get cheered.

Batista pinned Alberto Del Rio.

- None of the panel thought Randy Orton would retain the title. That means he's retaining, right?

7. John Cena vs. Christian vs. Randy Orton vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Cesaro vs. Sheamus in the Elimination Chamber for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.

- Sheamus and Cesaro started things out. No complaints from me; they work well together.
- Cesaro mocked Cena through the glass and the crowd popped big.
- Bryan was the first man out of his pod.
- Cesaro whipped Bryan through the glass of an empty spot. One day someone is going to get cut deep by one of those giant shards.
- Christian was out next.
- Cesaro took Sheamus' rolling senton onto the metal grating at ringside, and he just got that much sorer for his match with Sami Zayn at NXT ArRival.
- Cesaro is a beast! He caught Christian's diving rana attempt, powerbombed him through a chamber, and rocked him with the best uppercut in the business.
- These guys are taking some rough bumps on that metal grating.
- Cena was out next.
- Bryan kicked out of the Killswitch. Cena kicked out of Cesaro's Pop-Up Uppercut.
- Three-way trade-offs between Bryan, Cena, and Cesaro led to "Yes! Boo! And Yay" chants respectively. Funny.
- Randy Orton was out last and the crowd immediately let loose with "boring" chants.
- Orton locked himself back in his pod and the crowd broke out in a loud "pussy" chant. Hilarious.
- Sheamus kicked through the pod and wore Orton out.
- Cesaro caught Orton in a 30+ revolution Cesaro Swing, but Bryan caught Cesaro with a great rolling Chaos Theory suplex; awesome spot
- Orton used a superplex on Sheamus and Christian followed up with a splash from the top of a pod to get the pin.

Sheamus was eliminated by Christian.

- Daniel Bryan caught Christian with the Baisuke Knee.

Christian was eliminated by Daniel Bryan.

- Cena and Bryan faced off to loud "Yes!" chants.
- Wicked spot where Cesaro hit a German suplex on Cena who had Bryan on his shoulders
- Cena hit the AA over the top rope on Cesaro and forced the submission via STF.

Cesaro was eliminated by John Cena.

- Cena had Orton in the STF when The Wyatts' blip hit and they were in the ring. They took out Cena with Sister Abigail and the crowd chants "Thank you Wyatts!"
- Orton made the cover and got the pinfall.

John Cena was eliminated by Randy Orton.

- Corporate Kane came out to "check on John Cena" but Bryan struck preemptively with a diving knee to the head.
- Bryan fired up on Orton with running dropkicks, back superplex, and loud "Daniel Bryan" chants.
- Bryan hit the Baisuke Knee and had the match won, but Kane pulled the ref out of the ring.
- Orton hit the RKO, but Bryan kicked out at two.
- Bryan fires back and goes to the corner to set up the knee, but Kane hits him from behind. Orton hits the RKO and scores the win.

Randy Orton pinned Daniel Bryan to retain the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.

-Overall, a good match. But an ending that leaves a pit in your stomach and will likely lead to the crowd trashing the scheduled 'Mania main event that much more, assuming Bryan isn't involved.

-Elimination Chamber Letter Grade: B-. Would've been a solid B but I'm so sick of screwjob finishes.

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