IN LAIMAN'S TERMS: 30 Thoughts About... Elimination Chamber 2012
1. I got to the usual viewing location of Pay-Per-Views right at eight, figuring “hey, it’s not a major Pay-Per-View, I don’t need to be there early, right?” Dana Carvey WRONG! I was really surprised at the turnout, given the four-match card, but I’ll be damned if they didn’t fill the place.
2. In my past Pay-Per-View references, you may remember me mentioning “Burger King Kid”, the guy who looks, dresses, and tries to act like CM Punk, carrying the belt and everything. Because of the turnout, a random group of six of us ended up sitting at a table together rather than standing and waiting for something to open up, so I got to figure out that the embarrassed and annoyed feeling is pretty universal. Not to mention, sitting that close to him made me realize he has a clap that induces headaches it’s so loud.
3. I was really surprised to see the WWE title Elimination Chamber open the show. I was expecting the Smackdown one to do so, given the difference in star power, but I guess they were giving Smackdown’s Chamber a chance to shine.
4. Dolph Ziggler keeps finding innovative ways to show off; this time using the chains on the Chamber to do leg rises. It’s definitely creative; a lot moreso than say, someone who just does push-ups once a match.
5. Not that it wasn’t the right decision for the first elimination, but I was really surprised to see R-Truth go out so early, especially after getting a clean win over Dolph Ziggler last Monday night. I don’t think he’ll be anywhere near the world title picture for a while, but I have enjoyed the character. Perhaps the debate on Monday night was a hint toward a feud between these two?
6. Ziggler went out surprisingly early as well. For all those heat reports on the Miz, he had a pretty decent performance in the Chamber. Granted, I have a feeling he wasn’t supposed to be the last one in there with Punk, but they had to improvise, and I think they did it rather well.
7. Kofi Kingston of course got the token high spot of the match, but an interesting development with Jericho continuing to kick the shit out of him afterward. If we’re headed to Punk/Jericho at WrestleMania as rumored, it’s a shame that Kofi won’t get a chance to avenge that attack. Oh well, there’s always Money in the Bank, as it’s rumored to be returning to the WrestleMania Pay-Per-View where it belongs.
8. The reason that I don’t think Miz was supposed to be in there that long was Jericho’s headbump with a stage light appeared to be accidental. I did see Punk give the “X” sign, and Jericho stayed there a pretty long time. I was expecting at any second after Punk got the title victory for Jericho to make a dastardly sneak attack, but it was not to be so. I sure hope he’s okay.
9. You could tell where the indy fan table was, because the minute the name “Seth Rollins” appeared on screen, the “Tyler Black!” screams started appearing. This was one of the better vignettes in recent memory, as it appeared to actually build Cena’s character, and at the same time, get a few developmental names on screen for the first time. I believe I saw Xavier Woods too.
10. Tamina and Beth Phoenix managed to put on a pretty good divas match, although I don’t think anyone in the crowd really noticed. I suppose part of that is the fact that Tamina got all of one eight-diva tag match to build her up before the showdown, so no one really knew anything about her. We know she’s Superfly’s daughter, but does that really mean anything to a majority of the audience anymore? Plus, it didn’t work out so well for Sim Snuka.
11. Beth Phoenix has been built up on a pretty incredible dominant streak. Therefore, if she doesn’t face Awesome Kharma at WrestleMania, it will be a disappointment, no matter what it is. Two of the guys beside me were clamoring for a lingerie pillow fight, and I had to be very nice and not bury my head and roll my eyes.
12. We got to see two big returns in the midst of the John Laurinaitis “Kiss My Ass Club” segment. I have to wonder though; doesn’t a big announcement imply that something is actually going to be… you know… announced? Not just suggested?
13. We might be headed into a six-man tag match for control of both brands at Wrestlemania, featuring Christian, Mark Henry, and Alberto Del Rio against three faces on Theodore Long’s side. I am quite all right with this idea. The aforementioned three would also make an interesting stable.
14. Interesting that the Smackdown Elimination Chamber was on the midcard. You would figure at the Pay-Per-View named after Elimination Chamber, the main event might be an Elimination Chamber match. I suppose it would’ve been more aptly titled “Ambulance Siren”… Shit, I really hope I didn’t just give them an idea for a concept Pay-Per-View, goddammit!
15. The crowd, at least where I was, seemed really into Big Show and Santino, and very anti-Bryan, which means they’re all doing their jobs well.
16. Did anyone notice during the Santino promos that Eugene’s old music was playing? Or am I just that much of a theme mark?
17. The crowd went apeshit when Big Show tore his way through the chains to get to that damn pesky Danielson. Kudos to both of them for building that angle so well for weeks. I hope the guy gets a chance for a win at WrestleMania sometime soon. His work over the past year has at least earned him that.
18. Wade Barrett and Cody Rhodes both had pretty standout performances, and looked like they belonged in the match. The slow rise to the main event for both of them has been very well done. I really enjoyed the double Disaster Kicks to Big Show as well.
19. I hate to say it, but Santino was over as hell as he came ever so close to winning the World Heavyweight title, a sentence I never thought I would have to type in my entire tenure as a wrestling fan. I’m not sure where they’re going with this, but to make a comedy relief that believable in a match like that in a span of all of two days is an amazing booking feat.
20. It appears we’re going to see the rematch of the match bumped off WrestleMania last year. It really shows how far both men have come in that span of time. I have to admit, I was a little disappointed to not see Sheamus Brogue Kick him in the head, but that’s just a personal thing.
21. They actually made poor Natalya run with that stupid gimmick on Pay-Per-View. The sad thing is, as I was feeling really bad for her, almost everyone else was laughing at it. I think that’s exponentially sadder than the gimmick itself. Fart jokes can make an entire restaurant laugh.
22. Not that I’m against an impromptu US title match, especially since I don’t think he’s defended it since the Ryder rematch, but Justin Gabriel of all people? I mean, good for him and all, but that just seemed… random. Of all the people left off the show on a four-match card, that was the extra match they came up with?
23. Where the hell is Brodus Clay?
24. The match itself didn’t turn out too badly, if a little quick, but it gave Swagger a chance to legitimize himself. Perhaps we’ll see a midcard title defended at WrestleMania this year?
25. I wonder what Kane will be doing after this angle? It’s not like I thought he had any chance in hell of winning this match. He’s the Foley to the Cena’s Rock before WrestleMania XV; put the one guy over before his huge match at WrestleMania, thus giving him something to do until that time. Hopefully this wasn’t the end of the road for him. It’d be a shameful thing (LOBSTERHEAD!) to see all that buildup wasted.
26. This match put over both men extremely well, as it showed Cena’s newfound aggression and determination against the mean streak of the remasked Kane. The last steel stair shot from Cena looked like he took his head off. Great work by both men.
27. The awesomeness of the chokeslam from the stairs was replaced by the silliness of the wheelchair return. It was supposed to make the attack on Ryder look dramatic, but it ended up being ridiculously funny. Seeing both Cena and Kane being rolled in it? Still really silly, especially when Kane had to sell getting gently bumped into a table as a legitimate shot.
28. Kane almost had the match won when Cena regained his full strength, and I can’t wait to see how many people compare it to Capitol Punishment against A-Ry and Miz, but it’s what all main-event faces do at some point or other. I do love the psychology of being beaten up badly and then, “hey, maybe I should follow him up there? What could happen?”
29. Kudos to Kane for taking that big bump off the ambulance. He’s no spring chicken anymore. Cena wins, as only he could. He couldn’t lose going into arguably the biggest match since Rock/Hogan, but even in the loss, Kane managed to look like a vicious heel who was only defeated after being Attitude Adjusted off a freakin’ ambulance.
30. All in all, this was a watchable, albeit a bit forgettable, Pay-Per-View. It served its purpose, to build up WrestleMania, but even coming out of it, only one match appeared to be added. I realize most of the buys this Pay-Per-View will garner will be because of the main event, but it’d be nice to not tune into RAW tonight and find four matches being booked immediately just because the last Pay-Per-View is over.
DID SOMEBODY ORDER A LARGE HAM?
1-9-12 – R-Truth
1-16-12 - John Laurinaitis
1-23-12 - William Regal
1-29-12 - Ricardo Rodriguez
1-30-12 - R-Truth
2-6-12 - Triple H
2-13-12 - Shawn Michaels
2-19-12 – Santino Marella
Santino’s Rocky segments to the old Eugene music were ridiculously hammy and over-the-top, but served their purpose well. I wonder where he’ll go from here, but props to him for getting himself that over for this night.