Pruett's Pause: WWE Elimination Chamber 2013 - Punk vs. Rock II, Jack Swagger gets a new theme and a trip to WrestleMania, The Shield impress against the Super Friends, and more!
By Will Pruett
- This year's Chamber set looked far too much like the standard Raw set for my liking. I've grown tired of the cliche Elimination Chamber over the titantron they did for many years, but this attempt just seemed lazy.
- Am I the only person not bothered by the World Heavyweight Championship opening major show?
- Alberto Del Rio's tights looked very Christmas-like. Was this ensemble his ultimate apology for running over Santa Claus?
- When the replay of Big Show being covered in paint was played, my wife expressed sympathy for Big Show. This began a recurring theme on this show of "good" guys doing bad things.
- Here's hoping this match is not only the end of Alberto Del Rio and Big Show's feud, but also the end of Alberto Del Rio showing off his impressive Mexican Flag bucket collection. What kind of man trades in impressive and beautiful cars for a large collection of buckets?
- Big Show and Del Rio had a good match, but nothing they've done has matched the intensity and fun of their first encounter.
- I like the way Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler, and JBL made sure we knew the winners on this show would be going to WrestleMania. It's a small thing, but every match mattered more because WrestleMania was on the line.
- The best line of Jason Powell's live coverage last night was "The Miz made her entrance." It's funny because it says Miz is a girl.
- The Miz accidentally kicked Antonio Cesaro in the man parts after a slightly plodding match. This was fine and was actually a fairly creative finish. The Miz then proceeded to purposefully kick Cesaro in the man parts. Why should I cheer for him again? Good guys do the wrong things far too often in WWE.
- Is a WrestleMania main event today a bigger deal for Kane than his match with Undertaker at WrestleMania XIV? Their feud, which was the second from the top at the show, was one of the key reasons I became a wrestling fan.
- Did WWE invest in a company that makes jackets and vests with too many pockets? This is the only explanation for the wardrobes of The Shield and Zeb Colter.
- I'm happy to see WWE back off of the inherently racists statements from Zeb Colter for the moment. He's still implying racism, but it is just an implication. Hopefully as Swagger vs. Del Rio picks up steam, it won't get super racist in a failed attempt to garner heat.
- I say this on every show with it, but WWE's cage lowering music is the best.
- Chris Jericho and Daniel Bryan opened up the Elimination Chamber. I would have been fine with them going twenty minutes until the first pod opened.
- How frightening did Mark Henry look inside of the Elimination Chamber pod? He is a scary, scary man.
- WWE broke out a slightly more melodic music for the Elimination Chamber pod openings this year. I was not a big fan of it. Maybe I'm being a staunch chamber traditionalist here.
- Judge me all you want, when Kane and Daniel Bryan almost hugged in the Chamber, I was cheering. Team Friendship will live forever in my heart.
- I thought Mark Henry looked scary when he was just standing in the pod. He was even more frightening when he was banging on the lexan "world's strongest glass" Michael Cole loves to discuss.
- Shut up about lexan, everyone. We know going through the pod glass is one of the tropes of the Chamber match. It's fun and impressive. We don't need to hear about the strongest glass ever being broken.
- I was surprised to see Mark Henry taken out of this match, but I did question his readiness for a major match at WrestleMania. Henry has been in shorter matches thus far and seems to be moving gingerly at times. Would a major match with Del Rio had been a wise choice?
- Randy Orton's overness seemed to carry a large portion of this match. The crowd really bought into him as a big star in a way we haven't seen in a little while. I don't think it translates into most fans or people at home liking him more, but it was refreshing to see the crowd invest in him.
- Mark Henry slamming every man and forcing a sort of reset for the three men in the ring was a nice touch. It reminded me of Kane's reset in the Smackdown Elimination Chamber in 2011.
- The three most high profile victories of Jack Swagger's career have involved Randy Orton and Chris Jericho. He won the World Heavyweight Championship from Jericho on the Smackdown after WrestleMania 26. He defeated Jack Swagger at Extreme Rules 2010 weeks later. It was fitting for these two men to be in the ring with Swagger for another high profile victory.
- Does throwing Swagger into a feud with Del Rio right away mean his "Real American" character will be short lived? I expected a feud with Rey Mysterio to precede a Del Rio feud. There's a way to make this feud work and last a long while and I hope WWE does so.
- The Shield vs. Cena's Super Friends (John Cena, Sheamus, and Ryback) was tremendous. The match brought the chaos of The Shield's first match without the tables, ladders, or chairs the first match contained. I'm really intrigued by this style of match and excited to see if The Shield continues having matches like these.
- Ryback seemed pretty over in this match as John Cena was being destroyed by The Shield. I do worry about him taking another big pinfall loss here. Is WWE already losing the great thing they had going with Ryback? Would a transition to the World Heavyweight Championship picture in January have helped him?
- The triple vertical suplex spot was very fun, but also a little scary. I'm sure I wasn't the only meta-fan to think of The Miz dropping C.M. Punk on his head, even though neither man was in this match.
- The star made in The Shield vs. Super Friends encounter was Roman Reigns. Initially I was worried about Reigns' fit with The Shield, but those fears were eliminated at TLC. On this show, I saw Roman Reigns emerge as a true star in just two moves. His spear on Sheamus through the barricade was vicious and pretty beautiful. His match-closing spear on Ryback was also strong. Reigns will be a player for years to come.
- 2013 now has it's standard Dolph Ziggler vs. Kofi Kingston midcard pay-per-view match. When we first saw this match in 2010, we talked about how these guys would be the future. Now, we see these guys as under-utilized. Ziggler's had a lot of play lately, but time may be running out on Kingston.
- Big E Langston may be about to enter his first feud with Kofi Kingston. They should have a match for the right to use the colors of the Jamaican flag on their tights.
- Kaitlyn isn't lighting the world on fire in the ring, but she does do a killer spear. This allows me to forgive a lot of poor work.
- I wonder how people watching the pay-per-view on the WWE App felt about the instructions for how to download an app. Actually, I don't. These segments are awful.
- The entrances for Punk-Rock II were entertaining. They didn't seem as exciting as their entrances at the Royal Rumble, but I could be a poor gauge of that.
- The Rock vs. C.M. Punk seemed to cut a purposefully slower pace compared to last month's match. It's possible they planned this on purpose, since The Rock seemed to get tired very quickly during their initial match. This made the match feel a little slower than I would have preferred.
- For people who criticize Rock's matches with Punk for over booking, I urge you to watch The Rock's greatest hits. Aside from his match with Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania X-8, all of them were completely overbooked in the classic Attitude Era style. This is a little taste of that era.
- The Spanish announce table is a little bi-polar these days. Either it is collapsing prematurely in an odd form of table suicide, or it seems to be resilient until the end. It needs to find itself before it is called upon again at WrestleMania.
- While I won't complain about WWE protecting C.M. Punk with the visual pinfall, I have to wonder how it will play into future booking plans. Was the idea just to make Punk seem strong? Will Punk find a way to use it to find his way into the WrestleMania main event (I doubt it)?
- This show ended with John Cena vs. The Rock being promoted for WrestleMania. As much as this may lack excitement for some online fans, I truly believe it will capture the imagination of the casual fans again. I'm excited to see The Rock and Cena put together a different rivalry than their year long feud. Having the WWE Championship as a common goal will help them find a concrete grudge.
This show was pretty good. The Shield and the Super Friends stole the show, along with the Elimination Chamber. Punk vs. Rock was good, but it didn't impress me as much as last month's effort. WWE put together a strong show with the Road to WrestleMania in sight. They are finding a way to promote their full time wrestlers as well on this road, which is quite important.
Let's do some good old fashioned talking about this show! Feel free to email me at email@example.com or to follow me on twitter at twitter.com/itswilltime.
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