PPV REPORTS CALDWELL'S WWE NO WAY OUT REPORT 2/17: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of PPV
Feb 17, 2008 - 9:51:14 PM
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By James Caldwell, Torch columnist
WWE NO WAY OUT REPORT
February 17, 2008
Las Vegas, Nevada
By James Caldwell, Torch columnist
They opened with a video package on the Road to WrestleMania leading men into darkness inside the Elimination Chamber and Randy Orton's mind. They included video on past Chamber matches where much blood was spilled.
Announcers: Jim Ross introduced the show and announced 15,120 in attendance tonight. Jerry Lawler talked about the Chamber matches on tap for tonight.
In-ring: As expected, they're opening with the ECW Title match. C.M. Punk came out first wearing a big t-shirt. They went to a video package on the Punk vs. Chavo feud. While they were showing the video, Tazz's audio feed from the arena was accidentally heard for about five seconds. Couldn't really make out much of what he said. Back in the arena, Punk waited for Chavo Guerrero to come out. He wasn't showing any lingering effects from the Gulf match.
1 -- ECW champion CHAVO GUERRERO vs. C.M. PUNK -- ECW Title match
"C-M-Punk" chant from the crowd after the opening bell. Punk started things off as the aggressor in the match. He then got caught on the apron and Chavo kicked him off the apron to the floor. Back in the ring, Chavo went on the attack. He locked on body scissors before Punk countered into a catapult that sent Chavo head-first into the corner turnbuckle. Punk then nailed a powerslam off the ropes at 3:00 for a nearfall. He went for the G2S, but Chavo countered in mid-air into a huracanrana. He followed with a Tornado DDT for a close nearfall at 4:00.
Punk did Eddie's salsa dance, then went for the Three Amigos suplexes, which all got booed. That was a mistake. Chavo blocked a third suplex, but Punk nailed a running bulldog for a nearfall. He then kicked Chavo off the ring apron to the floor. Punk then dragged Chavo back into the ring for another nearfall. He took Chavo up top and went for a top rope 'rana, but Chavo hooked the ropes to block the move. Punk collapsed to the mat and sold a knee-injury, then Chavo hit a top rope frog splash that got a babyface reaction. Chavo made the cover for the win.
WINNER: Chavo in 7:00 to retain the ECW Title. Well, I wouldn't expect the double-turn to play the same in other markets in future weeks, but Punk certainly didn't do himself any favors trying to channel the ghost of Eddie Guerrero. Fine opening match. (**1/4)
Announcers: Cole and Coach recapped the end of Smackdown, where Rey Mysterio face-planted Vickie and offered no remorse for his actions. They said an update on Vickie will be provided next week on Smackdown.
Backstage: Mike Adamle brought in Rey Mysterio to talk. Adamle asked Rey if he feels any remorse about what he did to Vickie. Rey said he's supposed to feel sorry and apologize, but he won't. Adamle then asked him about the biceps injury. The camera focused on Rey's arm, which was appeared to be seriously bruised up. He said there's nothing he can do about it right now, so he's just going to keep on fighting. Adamle asked how he'll wrestle with one good arm. Rey said he'll do it for his people, because they have always been there for him. Floyd Mayweather then came in and gave Rey good wishes for his match tonight. They hugged it up, and Mayweather told him to take home the gold tonight.
In-ring: They lowered the Chamber down to the ring, leading to ring entrances for the Smackdown Chamber match. U.S. champion MVP came out first. He went into one of the corner pods. Big Daddy V came out next, and he stepped into one of the pods. Khali, then Finlay were out next to fill the pods. So, it's Batista and Undertaker who will start the Chamber match. Batista came out fifth and went to all four corner pods to scream and yell at the opponents in a taunting manner. After a lengthy pause, Taker's entrance theme hit and they did the Taker special effects.
2 -- SMACKDOWN ELIMINATION CHAMBER MATCH -- MVP vs. UNDERTAKER vs. FINLAY vs. GREAT KHALI (w/Ranjan Singh) vs. BIG DADDY V (w/Matt Striker) vs. BATISTA -- #1 Contender match to World Hvt. Title
Taker and Batista started things off with a slugfest. Taker then flung Batista over the top rope onto the platform stage that serves as a walkway in between each pod. Back in the ring, Batista landed a clothesline for a nearfall. Taker came back and methodically took Batista's body apart in the corner with punches and kicks and body blows and stomps. Batista made his comeback, but got booed for his efforts. Interesting.
At 5:00, Big Daddy V entered the scene and went right after Batista. Then, to Taker for a flesh-ripping slap across the chest. And the same to Batista. Daddy then caught Taker off the ropes with a Samoan Drop, but Daddy didn't make a pin attempt. He instead opted to take Taker near the ropes and choke the life out of him by standing on his chest. Daddy then knocked Taker against the Chamber door and Taker fell through the door to the outside. That looked rather awkward, which would imply it wasn't a planned spot. Taker made his way back into the Chamber and Daddy smashed him into the Chamber door. He then smashed Batista in the corner with a splash. The story here was Daddy opting not to make covers on his opponents. Batista suddenly came back with a giant spinebuster that got the crowd behind him. He clotheslined Daddy to the platform area and Taker dropped him with a DDT. Batista covered him for a pin - falls count anywhere inside the Chamber.
***Big Daddy V eliminated in 10:00***
Right after the pin, Great Khali came out and we have another monster five minutes. The fans greeted him with a "You Can't Wrestle" chant. Taker teased a chokeslam, but Khali nailed the two-hand chokebomb for a close nearfall. He then clotheslined Batista for a nearfall. Taker accepted a Giant Gonzales chop to the head, then Khali slapped the Claw on Batista. Batista fought out with a back kick, then he speared Khali. After kicking Singh off the Chamber structure, Taker slapped his submission hold on Khali, who tapped out. Khali came up with the appearance of blood from his mouth.
***Great Khali eliminated in 13:00***
Taker and Batista went after each other again. He then raked Batista's back across the pod platform. At 15:00, it was Finlay's turn to get himself some action. Finlay hopped right into the ring and ate a knee-lift from Taker. Finlay took a hard whip to the corner, then Taker missed with a big boot attempt. Finlay went for the Celtic Cross on Taker and connected. He covered him, but Taker kicked out in two. Batista then caught Finlay on the platform and catapulted him head-first into the steel. That took Finlay out of commission for a second, but he snuck in a cover on Batista after Taker knocked Batista down. Finlay then flipped Taker onto the platform and rammed him torso-first into the steel cage. He made a cover for another two count. Finlay went a different route and rammed Taker face-first into the pod glass.
At 20:00, it was MVP's time, but Taker was waiting for him. Taker unloaded with right hand blows on MVP, who couldn't even get out of his pod. And now it's Final Four of Taker, MVP, Batista, and Finlay. MVP eventually got into the action and dropped folks with the Chono boot, including Taker, who kicked out of a pin attempt. MVP took off his "decorative chain," as Cole called it, and choked Finlay before making a cover for a nearfall. MVP then went over to Taker and tried to open up his forehead with some ice shots to the head. Taker sat up, though, with blood from the forehead, and MVP continued to nail right hand blows. Taker told him to keep it coming as the fans came to life behind Taker. MVP then jumped onto the top of the pod to run away from Taker, but Taker followed him up. This is a great scene. MVP continued to nail Taker with the chain, but Taker grabbed him around the neck and tossed him off the top of the pod into center ring. The crowd popped big for the reverse chokeslam. Finlay made the cover on MVP for the elimination.
***MVP eliminated in 23:00***
Hornswoggle suddenly peeked out from under the ring and slid a shillelagh to Finlay, who nailed weapon shots to the face. Batista then went for a Batistabomb, but Finlay smacked him in the face with the shillelagh in mid-air. He collapsed on top of Finlay on the way down, and nearly scored a pin. Taker then chokeslamed Finlay onto the steel platform and covered him for another elimination.
***Finlay eliminated in 24:00***
So, now it's Taker vs. Batista once again. After both men slowly recovered to their feet, the brawl started in center ring. Yeah for Taker. Boo for Batista. Yeah, yeah, yeah, boo, big boo for a Batistabomb attempt. And he nailed the Batistabomb. Batista then crawled over to Taker and rolled him over for a cover, but Taker kicked out just before three to a big reaction. Batista then went for ten punches, and he just kept going to 12, but Taker lulled him into a false sense of security and nailed the Last Ride powerbomb out of the corner. Taker couldn't make an immediate cover, though, and Batista kicked out in time. Taker then mounted Batista on the mat and landed 10 punches to the face. He got up and signaled for the Tombstone, but Batista slipped out and threw Taker over the top rope to the platform. Batista gingerly picked up Taker and raked his face across the steel cage. He then lawn-darted Taker head-first into the cage. He went for a second lawn dart toss, but Taker blocked, landed on his feet, and flipped Batista over the top rope into the ring in perfect Tombstone position. He nailed the Tombstone and covered Batista for the win, then collapsed to the mat.
WINNER: Undertaker in 30:00. Oh my. I thought I had seen every variation of the Tombstone, but that was the greatest Tombstone spot ever. The last time I remember a spot like that where the crowd gasped, oohed, and all came to their feet at once was when Trish slapped on the Sharpshooter on Lita in her retirement match. Great Chamber match. Really well done, well-paced, and another MVP performance from Taker, with Batista playing a strong second. (****1/2)
Backstage: Edge was shown watching the match in disdain from his locker room area. Ryder & Hawkins broke the news to Edge that Taker is 15-0 at Mania. Edge sarcastically thanked them for the info. Teddy Long stepped in and said that since Vickie isn't here tonight, he's in charge. Long said that in Edge's match tonight, Hawkins and Ryder are banned from ringside. He told him good luck.
Announcers: Ross and Lawler talked about Mania, then Lawler talked about Maria and Ashley being at the Playboy mansion recently. Ross introduced a video package on the Playboy visit. They showed clips of Maria talking to people at the Playboy Mansion before Hugh Hefner gave her the seal of approval to pose.
In-ring: Time for the career threatening match. Lillian announced the stips, then Mr. Kennedy came to the stage. The mic dropped on the stage and he said tonight marks the end of an era. Kennedy said tonight, he single-handedly ends the career of Ric Flair. Flair then came out in a gold-sequined robe with the crowd bowing for him. They showed Floyd Mayweather in the front row cheering and clapping for Flair.
3 -- MR. KENNEDY vs. RIC FLAIR
Flair was sporting athletic tape on the left knee to bring attention to Kennedy's attack on Raw this past Monday. Black trunks and black boots and blonde hair on display here. Nice opening minute with Kennedy getting the early spot, but Flair came back with a hip toss and a smile. Kennedy then went to the left knee and kicked him square in the patella. At 2:00, Kennedy went right to work on the knee and Flair screamed out in pain. They bleeped an "oh s---" from Flair as Kennedy continued to work the knee. Kennedy even took a page from Bret Hart's playbook and slapped on the figure four around the ringpost. Kennedy re-entered the ring and got right in Flair's face to mock his painful cries and slap him hard across the face. What a great heel. Flair suddenly came back with a slap to the face, but Kennedy dropped him with a kick to the knee and slapped on the figure four in center ring. Flair eventually reached the ropes, then Kennedy went for the forward-roll slam, but Flair slipped out and nailed a chopblock to the knee. At 6:00, Flair with another chopblock, then he went for the figure four. Kennedy kicked him away, though, and then pulled Flair's pants down for a small package. The ref caught Kennedy with his feet on the ropes, though, and stopped his count. Flair covered the full moon and finally slapped on the figure four. Kennedy tapped out in about ten seconds. A little longer than MVP, who only lasted five seconds.
WINNER: Flair in 8:00 via submission. Surprisingly clean finish. Really strong match for only eight minutes. Good work from Kennedy, who tried to be as strong of a heel as possible, considering he was going to be losing. (**1/2)
After the match, Flair went to ringside and took the mic. He announced himself as the winner. Tazz couldn't stop smiling from ringside. Flair said he ain't never gonna retire. He then went over to his family ringside and grabbed a hug.
Backstage: Finlay was getting his back looked at on the training table, then Vince McMahon walked in and teased Finlay about the steel cage match between himself and Hornswoggle on Raw tomorrow night. Vince said that as bad as Finlay is hurting now, it's nothing compared to the tough love he's going to give his son. ... Backstage: They showed JBL pacing around backstage.
Announcers: Cole and Coach talked about the Edge vs. Rey match. It's up next. They went to a video package on the Edge vs. Rey build-up.
In-ring: Rey Mysterio came out first for the title match. He was in another wacky PPV outfit, with a silver mask ala El Santo, and gladiator chest and waist guards. He had a red Under Armour elbow guard covering his injured right biceps. Edge then came out alone, looking confident.
4 -- World Hvt. champion EDGE vs. REY MYSTERIO -- World Title match
Rey snapped off a head scissors in the opening minute, but he came up grimacing in pain. Rey went for a corner mount and landed four left hand blows. He then walked into a big boot to the clavicle. Rey went to the outside to take a breather, and Edge walked around the ring before suddenly landing a dropkick through the ropes. Edge then smashed Rey's right arm into the ring steps. Rey recovered on the floor, then Edge brought him into the ring and the ref asked Rey if he wants to continue. Rey said he wanted to keep going, then Edge went back on the attack. He hung Rey upside down in the corner and went for a basement dropkick, but Rey moved and Edge crotched himself into the ringpost. Rey then came off the top with a moonsault for a nearfall. He followed with a Tornado DDT and had a pin, but Edge managed to get his foot on the bottom rope. Rey then nailed the 619 at 5:00, but he couldn't get up to Drop the Dime. He simply rolled back into the ring and went for a springboard move, but Edge speared him in mid-air for the pin and the win. After the match, Rey rolled out of the ring and trainers checked on his right arm. He cried out in pain as they removed the elbow brace.
WINNER: Edge in 6:00 to retain the World Title. Well, the announcers did the best they could to give Rey an excuse for losing clean and so quickly. (*1/2)
Suddenly, Big Show's music hit and Big Show walked out on stage. Well, that was random. Big surprise pop for Show. He appears to be in great shape. Show entered the ring and flashed his now-in-shape body. He feigned a Hulk Hogan pose, then took the mic. He said, "Guess who's back." Show said the honest truth is that he missed this place. He said he can't think of any better way to introduce himself again, then to say he will be champion again. Show said he doesn't care whether it's Raw, Smackdown, or ECW. They cut to Rey being helped away from ringside. Show said he's already been champion - Raw, Smackdown, and ECW - so it's only a matter of time until he becomes champ again. Show said he lost 108 pounds and now he's faster and meaner. Show looked down at Rey, who was still being helped by the trainers.
Annoyed, Show left the ring and grabbed Rey around the neck. He then teased Mayweather about doing something. Show then rolled Rey into the ring and teased a chokeslam while Mayweather had to be held back by his people. Good heat for this. Show then lifted Rey into the air, and Mayweather jumped the railing and came storming into the ring. Man, he's got hops. Mayweather and Show went face-to-face while Mayweather's entourage and WWE officials stood in the ring. Show rolled up his sleeves as Mayweather looked up at him. Show then shoved him in the chest and Mayweather fell backward. Show, laughing, went down to both knees to get on Mayweather's level. Mayweather then came over and straight rocked him in the face with three clean blows to the face. Suddenly, Mayweather and his crew jumped out of the ring like they were being chased and Show chased after them over the guardrail onto the floor.
Suddenly, Shane McMahon stepped in and held Show back. Show's face was busted open. Holy cow. Show then spit blood on the floor as Shane backed him away. Show did not look happy. He then walked away as he was booed heavily. Show returned to ringside with his nose busted wide open. Show kept spitting blood down on the entrance ramp as Shane escorted him up the entrance ramp. Tyson and Austin! Tyson and Austin! Shane and Show had a brief conversation that upset Show. They showed a replay of the blows, and boy, did Show get nailed in the face. Show stood on top of the ramp with blood pouring from his face. He was still getting booed, and he answered the boos with a smile to flash the blood coming from his mouth. Oh. My. We have ourselves a big time pro wrestling angle tonight.
Backstage: They showed Jeff Hardy preparing for the Chamber match. ... Ringside: Mike Adamle did an intro for Cena vs. Orton. They went to a video package on Cena vs. Orton's feud build-up.
In-ring: Lillian Garcia announced the title match, then the boos started. Cena's music hit after a lengthy pause, and Cena came out to a passionate mix of boos and cheers. He's sporting that great Nintendo t-shirt of his FU move. That's going to sell like hotcakes. Cena's music stopped and the boos came down. After another pause, Randy Orton's music hit and the champ confidently walked out to defend his title. Once Orton was in the ring, the crowd got real hot for this. Definitely a big fight feel tonight.
5 -- WWE champion RANDY ORTON vs. JOHN CENA -- WWE Title match
Cena scored a quick one count on an inside cradle attempt after an initial lock-up. Cena with a waistlock into a pin attempt for another one count. "Let's go Cena" vs. "Let's go Orton" chants in the opening minute. Dang, this is hot. They milked the crowd reactions for a second, then Cena landed an elbow drop for a two count. Orton answered with a kick to the chest, then nailed him with a right hand blow to the face. Cena fell flat on his back and seemed to be KO'ed, which gave Orton a false sense of security. Cena then surprised Orton with a quick roll-up for a two count. Orton caught Cena in the ropes and landed more knockdown punches and forearm blows. Cena recovered on the apron while Orton peered into the audience with his snake-like eyes. Cena took advantage of Orton's slow attack and kicked him away into the corner. He then came off the top with a leaping Fameasser for a two count. Cena then went for the FU, but Orton slipped out and nailed a European Uppercut when it looked like he was going for an RKO. Orton then surveyed his fallen victim and stomped Cena's legs. Orton went for a knee-pad-less drop to the head, but Cena moved in time. Orton and Cena struggled for leverage in a unique spot, which led to Orton slapping on a very good-looking headlock.
Cena eventually broke free at 10:00 and nailed leaping shoulderblocks. He then dropped Orton in center ring and set up the Five Knuckle Shuffle. Cena dropped the move and called for the FU, but Orton slipped out and rolled to the outside. Cena gave chase and landed a right hand blow to the head. They traded blows on the floor while the ref applied his ten count. The ref reached nine, then suddenly both men looked at the ring and jumped into the ring right before ten. That was unique. They had a ten-second staredown at each other, then Orton slammed Cena and grabbed his knee in pain. He hobbled over to Cena and covered him for a two count. Orton took Cena up top for a superplex, but Cena shoved him down and went for the Fameasser again. This time, Orton moved. Orton then slithered across the ring toward Cena and stalked him for the RKO. Such greatness in how deliberate he is. Orton waited for Cena to get up, but Cena blocked the RKO. Cena then slammed Orton and slapped on the STFU in center ring. The fans came to their feet and popped huge. Orton crawled around the ring looking for the ropes as Cena locked in the hold tight. Orton reached out for the bottom rope, then he finally got it after a good 15-20 seconds of intensity.
Orton rolled to the outside and said his knee is hurt. He told the ref to count him out. Cena walked into the trap on the floor and Orton surprised him with the RKO right on the floor. Orton then rolled back into the ring as the ref talked to him. Cena was KO'ed on the floor, but the ref hadn't started his count. He then started counting. Cena didn't stir until eight, then he finally reached the apron and slid into the ring just before ten. Huge pop for someone breaking a ten count. Suddenly, Orton went over to the referee and slapped him across the face. Cena looked at the ref and told him not to call for the bell. The ref called for the bell and DQ'ed Orton. Orton smiled his sinister smile.
Cena pleaded with the ref to re-start the match, but the ref bailed from the ring. Cena then dropped Orton with the FU and slapped on the STFU. Orton tapped furiously, but Cena kept the hold locked in for a good 20 seconds. Orton stopped moving, then Cena eventually dropped the hold. He frustratingly looked up at the WM24 sign hanging above the arena, then grabbed his hair in frustration and left the ring. Cena was officially announced as the winner, with Orton still WWE champion. More boos than cheers for Orton, as he held up the WWE Title post-match.
WINNER: Cena via DQ in 16:00; Orton retained WWE Title. Very good title match. Everything was very deliberate and made sense. TNA needs to pay attention to how you book a match with a non-clean finish, as WWE put together a match where every little thing seemed very important throughout. Orton gained a ton of credibility points in this one for how he presented himself as a heel, and not just for the finish. (***3/4)
Backstage: Triple H was seated in his locker room looking very serious. Shawn Michaels then walked over and said this is usually where they sell some merchandise, but now isn't the time. Michaels apologized ahead of time for whatever goes down inside the Chamber. Hunter said no apology is needed. He said that if he has to go through him to get what he wants, then he will. Michaels smiled and said that's why their relationship has stood the test of time: they're always on the same page.
Announcers: Ross and Lawler broke down the voting for who will win the Raw Chamber match. Jeff Hardy - 38 percent. Triple H - 31 percent. Shawn Michaels - 21 percent. Chris Jericho - 7 percent. Umaga - 2 percent. JBL - 1 percent. Good to see that Meredith checked in.
In-ring: Triple H came out first for the Chamber match. He went into his pod, then Umaga came out and went right over to Hunter and screamed at him through the glass. Umaga was eventually guided into his pod by the refs. JBL came out third and stared down Umaga before pointing a finger at Hunter, who just remained calm through all this. Lawler plugged JBL's wife, Meredith's, financial career. Jeff Hardy came out fourth to a strong reaction, so it will be a WM 19 re-match of Jericho vs. Michaels to start things off. Chris Jericho came out fifth and taunted JBL through the glass. Shawn Michaels then came out sixth to round out the field. Based on when most WWE PPVs end, this is going to be shorter than the Smackdown Chamber match, as the opening bell sounded at 9:28 p.m. Ironically, the last Chamber match PPV ended exactly at this time for the ECW PPV in December 2005.
6 -- RAW CHAMBER MATCH -- TRIPLE H vs. UMAGA vs. SHAWN MICHAELS vs. JEFF HARDY vs. JBL vs. CHRIS JERICHO -- #1 Contender match to WWE Title
Michaels and Jericho started things off with pin attempt exchanges, then Jericho landed a Northern Lights suplex for a two count. Michaels regained control and went up top for an elbow drop at 3:00, but Jericho pulled his knees up and Michaels ate knees. Jericho went for a Lionsault, but Michaels got his knees up. Jericho knew the counter to that, though, and went right into the Liontamer. Michaels blocked and went for the Sharpshooter, but Jericho rolled him up for a two count. Nice action early on. They had an in-ring collision ten seconds before the first pod was opened.
At 5:00, the third entrant in the match was Umaga. Just following the pattern of bringing a monster into the action to put the babyfaces in jeopardy. Jericho and Michaels went for a double clothesline, but Umaga clotheslined both of them. Suddenly, Umaga had both men up on his shoulders and he landed a double Samoan drop that got oohs and aahs from the crowd. Things slowed down for a few moments after the big spot, then Umaga ended up on his back and Jericho slapped on the Walls of Jericho. Michaels then came over and slapped on a Crossface while Jericho maintained the WofJ.
Ten minutes elapsed, and JBL joined the action with Umaga still in the hold. He kicked Jericho in the head with a big boot to save Umaga, then JBL short-arm clotheslined Jericho in the corner. Michaels was busted open from the forehead here. The fans chanted for Hardy as JBL took Jericho to the corner. They traded slaps and punches, then Jericho landed a Tornado DDT. All four men ended up fighting on the steel platform in between the pods, with Michaels sporting the crimson mask. Umaga just kept beating on Michaels.
At 13:00, Hunter came out as the fifth entrant and cleaned house on the heels. He rammed Umaga into JBL, then Jericho walked into a spinebuster. Umaga took a spinebuster. JBL took a DDT. Hardy kept watching as Hunter covered JBL for a nearfall. Hunter then planted Umaga face-first into one of the glass pods. Jericho missed with a Lionsault on Jericho, the Hunter went for the Pedigree on Jericho, but JBL dropped him with a Clothesline from Hell. Jericho then dropped JBL with the codebreaker for the pin and the first elimination.
***JBL eliminated in 15:00***
JBL left the Chamber, but then he re-entered the ring with steel chairs and nailed Jericho, then Michaels in the face with chair shots. They at least had time to get their hands up. Umaga and JBL had a meeting, then Umaga thought they had an understanding. JBL then cracked Umaga over the head with an unprotected steel chair shot to the top of the head. Ugh. He left the ring as all four men were KO'ed in the ring.
At 16:00, it was Jeff Hardy's turn. He entered the ring and went right after Umaga. Hardy nailed a back kick, then a dropkick in the corner on Michaels. Hardy then dropped Jericho with a facebuster and ran off Jericho's back with a splash onto Umaga. Hardy then caught DX with a Whisper in the Wind off the corner turnbuckle. Nice. Umaga surprised Hardy with a crescent kick, though. He then gave Jericho a swinging Sidewalk slam. Umaga hung Hunter upside down in the corner, then whipped Michaels into Hunter. He followed with a leaping headbutt to Hunter's exposed body. Bodies were everywhere. Umaga then measured Jericho for a running hip attack into the glass and both men crashed through the glass into one of the pods. There was a big ooooh, then quiet. Umaga then measured Jericho for the Spike, but Michaels nailed a Superkick. Jericho with the codebreaker, then Hunter with the Pedigree. Suddenly, Hardy went to the top of one of the pods and came off the top with a Swanton Bomb onto Umaga. Jericho covered Umaga for a pin.
***Umaga eliminated in 20:00***
Right after, Michaels with Sweet Chin Music on Jericho. He covered Jericho for a quick pin. ***Jericho eliminated in 21:00*** Suddenly, Hunter gave Michaels the Pedigree after tossing Hardy over the top rope. He covered Michaels for the pin. ***Michaels eliminated in 21:00***
So, now it's Hunter vs. Hardy once again. Hunter flung Hardy over the top rope onto the platform area, then Hunter tried to throw him into the steel, but Hardy blocked and nailed a DDT onto the steel platform. Hardy became the aggressor and drew blood from Hunter, as he rammed him into the steel cage wall several times. Hardy then went up top for a splash, but Hunter blocked and set up the Pedigree. Hardy countered with a back drop into the ring, then Hardy went up top and missed with the Swanton Bomb. Both men recovered, then Hunter nailed the Pedigree in center ring. He rolled Hardy over and covered him, but Hardy kicked out! Oh my. That's a heck of a believable nearfall, especially up against the clock.
Hunter, with blood covering his face, then picked up a steel chair and brought it to center ring. He went for the Pedigree into the steel chair, but Hardy landed a low blow. He then tried to give Hunter a Twist of Fate onto the steel, but Hunter blocked and flung him onto the chair. Hunter then answered with the Pedigree onto the steel chair for the three count and the win.
WINNER: Triple H in 24:00. More star power for this one, and a main event that held its own, but the Smackdown Chamber probably gets a slight nod. Clearly, Hardy was the favorite for this one. The fans at home - via text voting - and in the arena wanted him to win, but, alas, the deal is to keep him strong on TV, but he doesn't win on PPV. It's also the same for Punk and Rey as the babyface formula. (***3/4)
On to Mania: Hunter vs. Orton, Edge vs. Taker. Probables, but not confirmed: Jericho vs. JBL re-match, Mayweather vs. Show boxing exhibition, Flair vs. Michaels, and Money in the Bank.
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Also, new exclusive top-shelf content every day including a new VIP-exclusive weekly 16 page digital magazine-style (PC and iPad compatible) PDF newsletter packed with exclusive articles and news.
The following features come with a VIP membership which tens of thousands of fans worldwide have enjoyed for many years...
-New Digital PWTorch Newsletter every week
-3 New Digital PDF Back Issues from 5, 10, 20 years ago
-Over 60 new VIP Audio Shows each week
-Ad-free access to all PWTorch.com free articles
-VIP Forum access with daily interaction with PWTorch staff and well-informed fellow wrestling fans
-Tons of archived audio and text articles
-Decades of Torch Talk insider interviews in transcript and audio formats with big name stars. **SIGN UP FOR VIP ACCESS HERE**