Powell's WWE Elimination Chamber Hitlist: The Shield beats Ryback, John Cena, and Sheamus, Jack Swagger wins the Elimination Chamber, Mark Henry shines despite losing, The Rock vs. C.M. Punk 2

Posted in: Powell Editorials, MUST-READ LISTING
Feb 18, 2013 - 02:42 PM

By Jason Powell

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WWE Elimination Chamber Hits

Elimination Chamber match: The match was solid yet fairly routine. It kicked into gear once Randy Orton entered, and then went into overdrive when Mark Henry checked in and kicked the asses of all of his opponents. Henry was great and the other wrestlers did a hell of a job of selling for him. Zeb Colter's pre-match promo left me thinking there was a good chance Jack Swagger would win, but I was still surprised when Henry was eliminated. Henry was the star of the match even though he was the third man eliminated. Henry looked absolutely dominant and the announcers did a good job of immediately pointing out that it took three men to beat him. The exchange with Orton and Chris Jericho was good and I bought into their near falls. It was fairly obvious that Swagger was going over once Henry was eliminated, yet it was still a really fun ride. I love the way they've made Swagger and Colter relevant so quickly.

The Shield vs. John Cena, Ryback, and Sheamus: The most surprising outcome of the night and it was right there with the Chamber match for most entertaining match. The finish was a gem. We just saw the babyface trio perform their simultaneous finishers on Monday, so I was settling in and expecting to see Cena and Ryback hit their finishers back to back when Roman Reigns came out of nowhere with the spear. The Shield get a huge win and continue to look like a heel force. I loved the way Ryback showed frustration after the match as it opens the door to numerous possibilities. He could just be angry over losing to The Shield again. He could blame Sheamus for not taking care of Roman Reigns since Sheamus was still selling at ringside, which allowed Reigns to be free to perform the spear. I would be surprised if this led to a heel turn at this point because WWE is loaded with heel talent and has a need for strong babyfaces. I don't know where it's going, but I really hope this doesn't lead to a gauntlet match with Ryback vs. The Shield members at WrestleMania.

The Rock vs. C.M. Punk: The match did not benefit from the crowd being brought down by the impromptu match and the Divas match being placed before it. The crowd was flat as a result of those matches and they did not rally behind Rock while he spent the bulk of the first ten minutes selling. Those first ten minutes felt slow and uneventful. I was surprised that Rock appeared as winded as he did when he and Punk went face to face just a few minutes into the match. I enjoyed the match once they picked up the pace. I liked the restart last month because I bought into the possibility that Punk was leaving with the title. The silliness with the ref bumps in this match was just too much. Punk got the visual pinfall on Rock and he has too good of a case when it comes to the second referee staying with the fallen referee even though a trainer was tending to him and a pin attempt was taking place in the ring. Throw in the second ref bump and it all felt completely overbooked. The key missing elements from Rock vs. Punk 2 compared to their Royal Rumble encounter is the big match feel was gone as was any sense of mystery as to which wrestler was leaving with the WWE Championship.

Alberto Del Rio vs. Big Show: Big Show continues his streak of strong pay-per-view performances. He is delivering the best work of his career at a time when most guys his size would be settling in (or breaking down and being forced to settle in) as a novelty act. The missed kick to the bucket by Del Rio was unfortunate. It did take viewers and the crowd out of a good match just before the finish. I assume he threw in that kick in the corner to put some time between the blown spot and the actual finish. Good move. The bucket spot was disappointing, but it didn't ruin the match for me.

Overall show: The two filler matches and the first ten minutes of Rock vs. Punk dragged things down, but that wasn't enough to erase the strong Elimination Chamber and six-man tag matches, and the other solid Hits listed above.

WWE Elimination Chamber Misses

Dolph Ziggler vs. Kofi Kingston: A four-minute filler match. I have no problem with Ziggler going over, but it is sad to see Kingston back in no man's land after WWE got our hopes up with his Intercontinental Title run. The Big E Langston attack was good and I assume he and Kingston will feud, but I don't expect that to end well for Kofi either. A.J. was with Ziggler, yet this is about as low profile as she's been since her character started to take off.

Kaitlyn vs. Tamina Snuka: A throwaway Divas filler match (yes, I did go back and watch it after blowing it off during the pay-per-view). It was sad when they showed the shot of the other five Divas watching the match on a backstage monitor. Two of the five Divas were dressed like cheerleaders and lack of star power in the division was showcased. Most fans seem to have lost all interest in the division and they seem to be around just to kill time. This isn't a knock on the women in the division as much as it is a statement about how poorly they are utilized. I realize they've lost a number of talented Divas, but perhaps that would not have been the case if the division had been treated in a more meaningful way.

Antonio Cesaro vs. The Miz: They lost me with the finish. Obviously, they want to keep the feud going, but I'm still not even sure what the idea of the finish was. Since when does a guy get disqualified for an inadvertent shot to the groin? That doesn't even happen in MMA. It was just a cheap and confusing finish.

Brodus Clay and Tensai vs. Rhodes Scholars: Did anyone who was on the fence about ordering the pay-per-view tune in for this match and suddenly feel inspired to make the purchase? The backstage segment with Clay and Tensai was dreadful. Sweet T?

Dot Net Members are listening to the 79-minute audio review of WWE Elimination Chamber that Jason Powell and Chris Shore recorded on Sunday night. They will also be listening to the member exclusive WWE Raw audio review later tonight. Join them by taking advantage of our membership sale before it expires tomorrow.

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