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TUCKER'S INSTANT REACTION - Elimination Chamber 2/17: Was this month's PPV worthy of a thumbs up?

Feb 18, 2013 - 12:35:55 AM
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Instant Reaction - WWE Elimination Chamber PPV 2/17
By Benjamin Tucker, PWTorch TV specialist


Overall Score - 8.0

Elimination Chamber is a pay-per-view that rarely disappoints, and I thought this year's installment was no exception. With two strong hours of wrestling and an okay third, there was a lot to enjoy tonight. WWE also succeeded at furthering their current youth movement, with the continued pushes of both The Shield and Jack Swagger.

Speaking of Swagger, having him win the Elimination Chamber match was by far the best move of the night. I love Mark Henry like no other, but not only was he highly protected tonight, this is a great opportunity to get a young talent over. Some might call this a move that devalues the World Title match at WrestleMania, with an essentially unproven wrestler with a brand new gimmick thrust into the challenger position, but let's face facts. The World Title is today's version of the Intercontinental Title of the early 1990s. It's important, but it isn't close to being on the same level as the WWE Championship. Facing the possibility of being the opening match on pay-per-view three years and three months in a row, it certainly isn't a title that should be above Swagger at this point.

The Chamber match itself started out slowly, but once Henry entered the match it met expectations. He looked like a monster, Orton actually appeared to be invested in the match, and Jericho looked good in defeat. I mean, he lost. Again. But, still, it's something. The finishing sequence was especially well crafted, making up for the slow start to the match.

The six-man tag was the second major highlight of the show. It was a surprise to see Shield get a relatively clean win, and while the shenanigans got somewhat out of hand by the end of the contest, it provided a solid set-up for the end. At the same time, the ref looked like an absolute moron for not trying to create a sense of order, simply standing like Earl Hebner until there was a pin taking place, but otherwise the match was well-executed.

Well-executed. A term that Alberto Del Rio does not know well, considering his badly botched enziguiri with Big Show. While a bad segment, the two guys still managed to have another surprisingly good match with each other. Sadly I can't say the same for either the Divas match or Dolph vs. Kofi, but at least in the latter case it was simply an issue of not having any time to tell a story.

As for Rock-Punk II, it was what it was. A slow start that lost the crowd, some good nearfalls, and a Vince Russo-esque finish with ref bumps and cheap shots galore. I assume it went down the way it did so Punk could have a way to make it into the WrestleMania title match if Taker can't go, but there were so many other ways to get there. In this case, Punk is legitimately screwed out of the title and Rock looks bad because of it. The match wasn't too memorable, but still good, making the segment as a whole okay. It probably wasn't as good as their first encounter, but it was good enough to be considered the main event.

All in all? A good continuation of the Road to WrestleMania. The main event didn't wow, but very little on this show was actually bad. WrestleMania is finally taking shape, and it's not looking half bad.

Questions? Comments? Reactions? Find me on Twitter @BTuckerTorch, where I talk about wrestling and...stuff!


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