WWE PPVs CALDWELL'S WWE ELIMINATION CHAMBER PPV RESULTS 2/20: Complete "virtual time" coverage of live PPV - Miz vs. Lawler, two Chamber matches
Feb 20, 2011 - 9:56:45 PM
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WWE Elimination Chamber PPV Results
February 20, 2011
Live from Oakland, Calif.
Report by James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor
On the free-for-fall preview broadcast, Korpela and Stanford said there will be a sixth member in the Smackdown Elimination Chamber match replacing Dolph Ziggler, which counters WWE's website saying there will only be five.
The second WWE PPV of 2011 started with a video package introducing the Chamber affecting the Road to WrestleMania. Edge, Shawn Michaels, and Michael Cole were heard from before an ominous voice-over man narrated the "destruction and damage" aspect of the Chamber standing in the way of headlining WrestleMania.
Arena: Inside the arena, full pyro shot off and they showed the stage, which was shaped like a Chamber. Michael Cole introduced the PPV as the camera focused on the actual Chamber structure hanging above the ring. Cole went silent for several moments before Tony Chimel introduced Ricardo Rodriguez to big heat. Rodriguez then introduced Alberto Del Rio, who Cole noted is already in the main event at WrestleMania. Del Rio honked his horn pulling up in the stage area as Ricardo made an Oakland Raiders reference in Spanish. Josh Mathews was heard talking up Del Rio's ride. They cut to the announcers where Booker T was writing down notes as Cole introduced him. Booker was so excited that he couldn't speak. Cole noted Jerry Lawler is not ringside because he's getting ready to face WWE champion The Miz later tonight.
In-ring: Del Rio's music stopped and Del Rio did his standard name introduction to boos. Del Rio continued the Raiders theme noting he's "Committed to Excellence," unlike the people in Oakland. Del Rio said six men are going to put themselves through a lot of pain...just to have the honor of losing to him at WrestleMania. Del Rio addressed Kofi Kingston, saying he's a piece of trash. Dirt. A fool. Nothing. Kofi's music interrupted, prompting groans from Cole. Kofi bounced to the ring with the IC Title belt slung over his shoulder as Cole continued to rant & rave about Kofi.
1 -- Intercontinental champion KOFI KINGSTON vs. #1 contender ALBERTO DEL RIO (w/Ricardo Rodriguez) -- non-title match
Booker said Kofi has something to prove tonight after Del Rio beat him on Smackdown two weeks ago. Otherwise, where will he go? Early on, some of the vocal males loudly chanted, "Del-Ri-o." Del Rio showed off some mat-based wrestling taking it to Kofi with an aggressive approach. Kofi then knocked Del Rio to the outside and Del Rio sold that he was woozy. Ricardo waved a towel over him, trying to re-vive him, then Kofi smacked Del Rio with a kick to the back. Back in the ring, Kofi smacked Del Rio in the face, then tried a top rope move, but Del Rio shoved him into the ringpost and Kofi fell to the outside. Del Rio then rammed Kofi stomach-first into the ring steps.
Back in the ring, Del Rio re-focused his attack on Kofi, looking to soften up Kofi for the arm-breaker. Kofi made a comeback moments later with a running turnaround forearm smash from the top rope. He then hit the Boom Drop and set up for the Trouble in Paradise, but Del Rio ducked. Del Rio then came back with a mid-air gutbuster for a close nearfall. Kingston came back with another nearfall, then Del Rio landed another gutbuster for a nearfall. Booker predicted Kofi would "pull this thing out," which was your giveaway on the opposite finish.
Kofi then had a pin, but Ricardo had the ref distracted. Kofi scored the visual three, then Kofi approached Ricardo, giving Del Rio an opening. Del Rio and Kofi traded a nearfall a piece, then Del Rio smashed Kofi with a neckbreaker from the corner turnbuckle. Del Rio followed right up with the cross arm-breaker, but Kofi blocked Del Rio's full application of the hold. Del Rio smashed Kofi's fingers, which allowed him to apply the submission in-full for the tap out victory. Post-match: They stayed with Del Rio for several moments to show him celebrating his pre-Mania victory.
WINNER: Del Rio via submission at 10:28. Ugh on Booker following the standard WWE color commentator habit of giving away the finish right before the finish. Otherwise, very good opening match. There was definitely energy in the building and the wrestlers delivered a fast-paced, nice back-and-forth match. (**1/2)
Backstage: Randy Orton was shown pacing in anticipation of the Raw Chamber match tonight. Back ringside, Booker said Orton is a future Hall of Famer and he thinks he can get it done tonight in the Chamber.
Backstage: Todd Grisham noted Del Rio has advanced to WrestleMania to challenge for the World Title. He brought in the reigning World champ, Edge, who could be facing Del Rio at WrestleMania. Grisham asked Edge about his frame of mind tonight. Edge noted the ups-and-downs on Smackdown recently, and figured he could have a nice, easy Sunday, but he has to defend the title in the Chamber. He said champions typically don't walk out as champion, but he has a Chamber match victory under his belt.
Drew McIntyre then walked in and sarcastically applauded Edge, wanting to know about the causalities along the way on Smackdown. Notably Kelly Kelly. Mac said Edge took something from him, and tonight, he'll take Edge's most-prized possession. Edge said that's funny because the belt and Kelly have something in-common: they'll never be seen with McIntyre. Edge walked off and Mac gritted his teeth.
Video package: Next on the agenda was a full-length Chamber video package that aired on WWE TV leading to the PPV. Back in the arena, the Chamber was ominously lowered to the ringside area. The Smackdown Chamber match is up first.
In-ring: Kane was out first and Cole noted it's Kane's first Chamber match. If correct, that's an interesting item. Kane entered his pod after checking out the dimensions of the cage. Booker said his heart is pounding reflecting back on when he was in the Chamber. "This Elimination Chamber scared the hell out of me, man," Booker emphatically said. Out next was Drew McIntyre. Booker said he thinks Drew has a chance because it's a "young man's game," and he could more resilient than the other wrestlers. Mac decided to pick a fight with Kane, talking trash to him. Kane just laughed from the other side of the pod glass.
With Mac in his pod, The Corre's unbelievably generic rock music hit to bring out Wade Barrett. It just strips Barrett of his individuality coming out to that music. Mac was about to lose his mind, headbutting his pod. Barrett calmly entered his pod, then Teddy Long's music hit. Long walked out on-stage and noted he fired Dolph Ziggler on Smackdown two days ago. Long presented Ziggler's replacement...they cut to a shot of Mac staring through the cage walls. Pause. Pause. Murmuring in the crowd. Cue up Big Show's theme music. That's going to disappoint some folks, but WWE didn't heavily promote the empty slot, so they didn't raise general expectations for this. Congrats to the Torch readers who accurately predicted Show, who entered the Chamber and threatened Barrett, who told him to get in his pod.
Now for the first two men to start the Chamber. Rey Mysterio's music hit to a somewhat tepid reaction. Surprising. Mysterio came to the ring and the camera zoomed in on various pro-Mysterio signs in the arena. Edge's music then hit to a much, much stronger reaction. It's a pro-Edge crowd in Oakland. Edge bounced around on-stage, then made his way inside the Chamber to start things off vs. Mysterio.
2 -- SMACKDOWN ELIMINATION CHAMBER MATCH: World Hvt. champion EDGE vs. REY MYSTERIO vs. KANE vs. DREW MCINTYRE vs. BIG SHOW vs. WADE BARRETT -- World Hvt. Title match
Cole said he believes Edge is mentally prepared to run the gauntlet here because of the chaos Vickie Guerrero put him through the last few weeks on Smackdown. The two babyfaces, Rey and Edge, started things off trading some early offense feeling each other out. Rey took an early back-body drop onto the cage platform, but came back with a top-rope huracanrana on Edge. Mac continued to pound the glass ready to get a piece of someone as Edge regained control of the action.
At 4:06, the first addition to the Chamber match was revealed as...Wade Barrett. Barrett smashed the pod door demanding he be released, then he came in hot taking apart Rey. Edge then hit Barrett with right hand smashes. Rey and Edge then teamed up to drop Barrett before Edge slid Rey under the bottom rope head-first to the Chamber platform. Barrett quickly recovered and dropped Edge before going to work on both faces. Barrett made a cover on Rey, but only scored a two count. Barrett teased Big Show, prompting Show to smash the glass of his pod over and over warning Barrett when he gets in the match.
Barrett and Rey teased a high-risk move on the Chamber wall that Rey eventually turned into a huracanrana back inside the ring. Rey then wanted the 619 on Barrett, but Edge blasted him with a big boot to the face, giving the crowd a big emotional up-and-down. At 8:28, it was time for the next entrant: Kane. Kane went right after the champ, dropping Edge with an uppercut. Booker cut off Cole several times calling each move with one-word sentences. Cole wanted to know if Kane was...on fire...as he cleaned house on everyone in the match. Mysterio suddenly smashed Kane in the face and fell down on top of Kane to score a nearfall. Edge, then Barrett tried to follow up with pin attempts on Kane, who kicked out each time. Cue up the crash-and-burn with bodies piled up center-ring. Meanwhile, Drew continued to pace like a madman inside his pod.
Kane began pounding away on Barrett, blasting him on the Chamber platform while staring down Mac. Barrett ate the steel surrounding the platform, then Rey landed a headbutt to Kane before Kane smashed Rey with an uppercut that hung him upside down. Edge followed with a dropkick on Rey, resulting in a nearfall. Rey is a bump machine for Edge tonight. Next up at 13:10, it was...McIntyre finally getting his shot. Mac went right after Rey, lawn-darting him into his pod. "Holy...McIntyre," Cole said. Nash, Rey, NWO, and Nitro flashbacks there. Drew then formed a temporary alliance with Barrett before absolutely smashing him through his gimmicked pod. The crowd popped for Mac's feat of strength and the big sound effect of "broken glass."
Mac focused on Edge, teasing the Future Shock DDT, but Edge blocked and hit a DDT. Mathews noted Rey was alive as he started to stir after being Kevin Nash'ed into the pod. Edge then readied for the Spear on Mac, but Kane blocked with a chokeslam attempt, only to have Edge block. Rey then wanted the 619, but Kane moved and Kane smashed everyone in his path. Kane then absolutely smashed Rey into a pod. Goodness, Rey may need to retire after this PPV. Eventually, everyone was down and out as the crowd buzzed following some roller-coaster sequences.
The countdown clock finished up at 17:12 to bring in the final entrant, Big Show. The crowd popped as Show came in ready to clean house. Bodies started flying, including Mac being chopped over the top rope to the Chamber platform. Barrett then played cat and mouse with Big Show after weeks of teases on Smackdown. Show then sent Barrett through another pod before chopping the crap out of his back and chest. This was like Chris Benoit lighting up Daniel Puder in the '05 Rumble. In the ring, Show warmed up the KO Punch on Barrett and delivered flush. Show with the cover on Barrett for the first elimination.
*Barrett eliminated by Show at 18:48*
Rey decided to climb on top of a Chamber pod to watch some action inside the ring. Mac hit the Future Shock DDT on Show, but Show kicked out. Rey then readied himself and came flying off the top of his pod with a big seated sentaun, but Show press-slammed Rey halfway across the ring to kick out of a pin attempt. At 20:00, Kane dropped Show across the middle rope for Rey to hit the 619. Edge then dropped Show with a spear, but Kane cleaned house instead of pinning Show. Kane wanted to finish Show for himself with a chokeslam, and he executed it. Kane with the cover and that was good for the pin. Good booking with everyone needing to hit their finishers on Show to eliminate him, protecting a potential Mania attraction like Show. Kane then dropped Mac with a chokeslam and pinned him for the next elimination. A bit abrupt for Mac, who had a very nice showing in this match.
*Show eliminated at 20:54, Mac at 21:09, both via Kane*
It's Kane, Rey, and Edge now. Kane teased finishing off Edge, but Rey took out Kane with a DDT for a nearfall. Rey then went for a springboard guillotine leg drop and connected on Kane for another nearfall. Rey then walked into a chokeslam, but Rey countered into another 619. Kane stumbled to his feet and Rey tried a huracanrana, but Kane blocked. Edge then speared both men as they were hanging in the air. Edge with the cover on Kane and he was gone.
*Kane eliminated by Edge at 22:50*
After being eliminated, Kane took out his frustration on both Rey and Edge with chokeslams. The ref finally got Kane out of the Chamber and Kane left to boos. Both Rey and Kane were slow to their feet as the crowd rallied behind the two men who started the match. Booker was good here talking about who wants it more going to WrestleMania. Rey and Edge eventually made it to their feet at 25:30. Edge charged Rey for a spear, but Rey countered with a small package for a nearfall. Big gasp from the crowd before the two men recovered to their feet. Rey came flying at Edge with a cross-body, but Edge rolled through into a nearfall.
Edge was up first and walked into a boot to the face. Rey then hit a wheelbarrow-into-a-bulldog for another nearfall. Both men recovered on the mat again as Cole noted both men started this off and are the last two men. Rey slowly crawled to the turnbuckle for a high-risk move, but Edge cut him off. Rey then fought off Edge and tried a top-rope move, but Edge countered with a powerbomb for a close two count. Mathews posed the question of what the men are willing to do in order to get to WrestleMania.
Edge was up first again and wanted another powerbomb, but Rey countered with a head scissors into another 619 attempt, but Edge blocked. Edge then dragged Rey to center ring and applied a cross between a Sharpshooter and a Walls of Jericho. Rey screamed as Booker noted everything Rey has gone through tonight and he can't quit tonight. Rey then countered into a roll-up for another close nearfall. Edge was the first one up and measured Rey for the spear, but Rey ducked. Rey then bounced off the ropes, but Edge rebounded and nailed the spear. One, two, kick-out by Rey. The crowd could not believe it. Edge couldn't believe it.
At 30:15, Edge picked up Rey, who nailed a dropkick to the middle rope. This 619 connected. Rey then hit his trademark top rope splash and made the cover, but Edge kicked out. Tit-for-tat on kicking out of the finishers. The men recovered as the crowd sold exhaustion. Rey wanted the 619 again and he connected again. Rey then went up top for a big splash as the crowd roared, but Edge countered with a mid-air spear. Edge made the cover and this time, it was good for a three count.
WINNER: Edge at 31:30 to retain the World Title. Wow. Just wow. Amazing drama from bell-to-bell, terrific action, good performances, good character interplay, Mac made a name for himself with his performance, and Edge and Rey had an exchange for the ages. There's always the issue of wrestler health with these matches, but purely looking at the in-ring performance, this was easily an early Match of the Year contender. (****1/2)
Post-match: Both men sold pure exhaustion as referees checked on them. They went to a replay of all the big moves in the match, then they cut back to Edge clutching his World Title belt. Alberto Del Rio suddenly stormed the Chamber and smashed Edge to send a message for WrestleMania. Del Rio slapped on the cross arm-breaker as referees tried to pull Del Rio off Edge. Booker said they need some damn security.
Suddenly, Christian's music hit and Christian stormed the ring to tackle Del Rio to a huge pop. Christian blasted Del Rio with right hands over and over. Christian punted Del Rio in the gut, looking for revenge on Del Rio taking him out six months ago. Christian then picked up Del Rio and sent him into the middle turnbuckle. Referees eventually pulled Christian away, but he broke free and grappled Del Rio to nail the Unprettier center ring. The crowd popped as Christian was pushed out of the Chamber by the referees. Christian sold intensity as he backed away and pounded his chest to show he was all-good from the torn pec. In the ring, Del Rio recovered to his knees and gasped for breath, selling the finisher. That was a hot 35+ minutes of PPV action right there.
WrestleMania video package: They showed clips of The Rock returning on Raw to announce he's guest-hosting WrestleMania. Back to the announcers, they set up the WWE Title match up next.
Backstage: Jerry Lawler was shown warming up. Matt Striker walked in and quietly asked Lawler for his thoughts tonight. Lawler took a deep breath, then talked about his mom passing away last week in a very normal, low tone. He said it's impossible to put it into words, but he realizes things have to continue on. Lawler said this match is going to take place whether he wants it to or not. He said he's never won the WWE Title and competed at WrestleMania. This is his chance to accomplish both goals. Lawler said he doesn't want to let anyone down and he'll do whatever he needs to do to win this match. The key phrase is "win the match," hinting at a possible DQ finish.
Announcers: Cole said tonight could be the night Jerry Lawler's dreams come to an abrupt end. Justin Roberts then introduced Booker T for the buffer segment. Booker entered the ring and introduced a special guest. Someone, who along with himself and "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, will be one of the trainers on Tough Enough.
Cue up...Trish Stratus's music. The crowd needed a moment to recognize the theme music before she entered the ring. This would have been huge in Canada. Booker welcomed Trish back before asking her what's up. Trish said they're looking for the next WWE Superstar or Diva. Trish said she's been working on a new catchphrase. She took off her jacket and did The Rock's arm cock. "Finally...the Trish has come back to Oakland," she said. Booker looked down at the mat, not liking what he was hearing. Trish then mixed Rock and Booker's catchphrases. Kind of odd. Booker noted Tough Enough will be premiering on the Raw after WrestleMania. He then asked Trish why she's here tonight. Trish said she's here to see Jerry Lawler win the WWE Title. That interestingly drew a mixed reaction. Booker said he can dig that, then he signed off for Trish. Cole heeled on Trish and Booker's segment. "Give me a break!" he said. That segment probably looked a lot better on paper.
Movie trailer: "The Chaperone." They included a bunch of "dot dot dot" quotes from critics trying to find anything positive to include in a feature on the movie. (In-person perspective in Oakland: no reaction.)
In-ring: WWE tag champions Santino and Kozlov came to the ring with Tamina to defend the Tag Titles. Corre's music hit to bring out Justin Gabriel, Heath Slater, and Ezekiel Jackson as their back-up. How about a replay of the Chamber match instead?
3 -- WWE tag champions SANTINO (w/Tamina) & KOZLOV vs. THE CORRE (HEATH SLATER & JUSTIN GABRIEL w/Ezekiel Jackson) -- WWE Tag title match
Fast pace early on. Corre isolated Kozlov, who eventually hot-tagged Santino. Santino executed his trademark offense before hip-tossing Gabriel onto Slater. Santino then warmed up the Cobra and dropped Gabriel. Santino then covered Slater, the legal man, for a nearfall. The challengers then isolated Santino, but Santino escaped and brought in Kozlov, who just ran over Gabriel with out-of-control strikes before powerslamming him. Slater made a blind-tag, though, and chopped Kozlov at the knees. Slater followed with a dropkick to Santino, sending him flying to the floor. Slater tagged in Gabriel, who came off the top with a 450 Splash. Booker said he would kick out, but Kozlov took a three count and there are new tag champs.
WINNERS: Gabriel & Slater at 5:08 to capture the WWE Tag Titles. TV-quality tag match designed to bring the crowd down prior to the main event Raw brand matches. Related to NXT, it looks like babyfaces Bateman & Bryan could win NXT, then challenge the heel Corre members for the Tag Titles. (*1/4)
Hall of Fame plug: Shawn Michaels headlines this year's Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
Backstage: Grisham brought in WWE champion The Miz, with Alex Riley. Grisham asked Miz if he's nervous about a title changing hands again tonight. Miz said it's not 1983 when it was Good to be The King and it's not 1999 when people were smelling what The Rock was cooking. Miz said he'll address Rock at a later time, but he's focused on dashing Lawler's dreams tonight. Miz said the winner of the Raw Chamber match will suffer the same fate Lawler will tonight at WrestleMania. Miz did his catchphrase as Cole nearly wet himself. Back to the announcers, Cole excitedly talked about being able to call Miz's big moment at WrestleMania.
Suddenly, Vickie Guerrero interrupted. "Vickie!" Cole said, selling somewhat frustrated with his lady friend interrupting him. Vickie quietly excused herself before entering the ring. Vickie, despondent, said Smackdown suffered a horrible tragedy two nights ago when Dolph Ziggler was fired. She said it may be true that Ziggler committed this "unlawful attack" against Long, but she can explain. Vickie said they were dealing with some serious issues. "Excuse me, please!" she shouted over the crowd.
Vickie said Dolph has an uncontrollable temper. IED? His state of mind was confused. He just wanted to show her how much he loves her. Instead, he committed a crime of passion. She is here to apologize and he is so, so very sorry. Vickie asked the crowd to - "please, excuse me!" she interrupted herself. She continued by pleading with the fans to ask Long to give Ziggler a second chance. "I deserve some compassion; a little bit of love," she said. Vickie told the fans to beg Long on Facebook or some other means.
Long's music interrupted and the Smackdown GM came out on-stage telling Vickie she's embarrassing herself. Vickie said they're all so, so very sorry. "Oh my God, you look so amazing!" Vickie said. She asked Long to look inside his big heart and re-hire Dolph. Long said lucky for her, he's in a hiring mood. Vickie thought it was for Dolph. "Quiet!" Long told her as she rambled about how excited Dolph will be. Long said he did not hire Dolph back. But, he did hire someone back and he gave this person to personally thank Vickie for all her time as acting GM.
As expected, Kelly Kelly's music hit. Vickie's jaw dropped to the floor as Kelly slowly made her way to the ring. Vickie bailed from the ring and Kelly chased her back into the ring. Vickie tried to play nice, but Kelly kicked her in the gut and landed punches to the back. Suddenly, Lay-Cool made the save and sent Kelly to the floor. Trish Stratus then made the save and Lay-Cool sold leaving ringside. But, they came back with a sneak attack on Trish. Back in the ring, Trish came back with a Chick Kick on McCool. Head scissors to Layla. Double Stratusfaction to clear Lay-Cool. Trish and Kelly then stood tall for a curtain cool.
Video package: First was a lengthy video on WWE champion The Miz, including clips of legendary and big-name former champions, suggesting Miz in the same category as Flair, Funk, Race, Austin, etc. Next was a lengthy video on Lawler's career in and out of WWE.
In-ring: Miz and Riley came to the ring as Michael Cole stood up and talked up Miz's big week in California. Mathews just leaned on his head while Booker sold boredom with Cole's ranting. Booker told Cole to be objective. Cole said he won't and he has reasons for that. Lawler then came out in full robe and crown in-hand. Mathews said it's been a tough week for Lawler, but he knows what's at stake. Justin Roberts handled the formal ring intros as champ and challenger paced the ring. After the formal intros, the crowd chanted, "Jerry, Jerry" before the bell sounded.
4 -- WWE champion THE MIZ (w/Alex Riley) vs. JERRY "THE KING" LAWLER -- WWE title match
Lawler out-quicked Miz in the opening seconds, scoring a quick nearfall that freaked out Miz. Lawler with a backslide for another two count. Inside cradle for a nearfall. Miz tried a hip toss, but Lawler with a clothesline for another nearfall. Four pin attempts for Lawler in the first 1:15. Make it five in 1:30. Lawler then landed ten punches to the forehead in the corner before clotheslining Miz over the top rope to the floor. Lawler tried to follow on the outside, but Riley drew Lawler's attention, giving Miz an opening to shove Lawler into the ringpost.
Lawler sold being KO'ed as Miz rolled him back into the ring for a nearfall. Miz then placed Lawler on the middle rope and Riley landed a cheap shot that Lawler sold like the biggest punch in history. Miz followed up with a corner clothesline and Lawler fell face-first to the mat. Miz wanted a top-rope move, but Lawler blocked. They traded blows standing on the middle turnbuckle before Lawler delivered a superplex for a close nearfall. Lawler followed with a dropkick for a close nearfall.
Lawler wanted a patented fist drop, but Riley tripped Lawler from behind. The ref then tossed Riley from ringside and Riley ranted & raved on the way out. Cole said this is good for Miz to be able to prove he can do this alone. They reset with Lawler scoring another nearfall with a small package. Lawler wanted a patented piledriver, but Miz blocked and landed a boot to the face for a two count. Lawler suddenly transitioned into a crucifix pin for a close two that drew a gasp from the crowd.
Lawler and Miz moved to the floor in front of the announce table. Cole stood up and pointed his finger at Lawler, who approached him before Miz smashed Lawler from behind. Booker asked Cole what his problem is. Lawler then sent Miz flying over the announce table into Cole's lap, drawing chuckles from Booker. Cole was silent as the action returned to the ring. Lawler came off the second rope with a fist to the face, then made a cover, but Miz kicked out. They cut to a shot of Cole recovering on the floor ringside. Back in the ring, Miz wanted the Reality Check, but Lawler countered with a DDT. Lawler was slow to make a cover, then he went to the second rope and pointed to WrestleMania. Lawler dropped the strap, then hit the fist drop. Lawler made the cover, but Miz put his foot on the bottom rope to avoid the three count.
They reset and Lawler wanted the piledriver, but Miz back dropped Lawler. Pin attempt counters ensued before Miz blasted Lawler with a kick to the head. Miz then dropped Lawler center ring with the Skullcrushing Finale. It was good for a three count to end Lawler's drive to Mania. Ringside, Cole pumped his fists, selling pain and being near-tears at the same time.
Post-match: Cole entered the ring and raised Miz's hand triumphantly. Booker wanted to know what kind of investment Cole had made in Miz. They cut to Lawler selling that he was "this close." Miz stood on the entrance ramp and surveyed the crowd. Booker took satisfaction in a replay of Lawler sending Miz into Cole's lap. They recapped the close nearfall exchanges before emphasizing Miz's kick to the head setting up the finish. Suddenly, Cole hopped back on the airwaves to talk up Miz. Miz disappeared, then the crowd chanted, "Jerry, Jerry" as Lawler waved to the crowd. Lawler shook his head after looking at the WM27 sign, then his music hit. Cole said Lawler will now go to WrestleMania...buying a ticket because he doesn't think WWE will let him call the action. Cole said the best thing is he can finally stop talking about Lawler. Mathews leaned forward selling agony having to listen to Cole, who continued to rant & rave about Lawler being an embarrassment to WWE and himself. Lawler waved good-bye, then disappeared to the back.
WINNER: Miz at 12:09 to retain the WWE Title. Good match. The story got over because it's rare WWE plays this card with a "non-wrestler" challenging for the WWE Title and the crowd bought into the early nearfalls for Lawler, setting the stage for good drama throughout. They didn't quite set up Cole vs. Lawler for WrestleMania, but the seeds are firmly planted after Cole's ranting & raving. (**3/4)
2/21/11 Vignette: They went back to the third vignette from Monday's Raw teasing The Undertaker and perhaps a second mystery person involved in events on tomorrow's Raw.
Backstage: John Cena was eating a bowl of Fruity Pepples, playing up The Rock's promo from Raw. Cena said that's his favorite cereal. Cena stood up and Grisham wanted to get his thoughts on Raw. Cena said his thoughts are on the Chamber. He said he has to go through an unreal amount of punishment to earn a WrestleMania shot. He said that's why it's good he feels yabba dabba delicious.
Backstage: C.M. Punk, looking like Gordon Gekko with his hair slicked back, was joined by Matt Striker. Punk said he's 3-0 vs. Cena and he Can't See him beating him tonight. Punk said the only person he sees walking out of the Chamber as the winner is him. Striker quietly thanked Punk for his time.
In-person report: WWE's production team was frantically trying to fix the two Chamber pods that were smashed during the Smackdown Chamber match before they went to the main event.
Video recap: Smackdown Chamber match won by Edge.
In-ring: Justin Roberts introduced the Raw Chamber match main event. Randy Orton was out first to a strong reaction and he slowly entered the Chamber structure. Cole and Mathews bickered back-and-forth about Miz cashing in his MITB briefcase on Orton, who eventually found a pod to his liking. R-Truth's music hit and Cole said this works to his advantage entering near the end of the match and not being one of the two to start. Cole then heeled on Truth, saying he has no chance of headlining WrestleMania.
C.M. Punk was out third and they cut to a shot of Orton glaring toward the entrance ramp. Punk entered the Chamber and stared at Orton, who seethed on the other side of the pod glass. The fourth man out was John Cena, who made an "eating cereal" gesture on the stage before entering the Chamber to a mixed reaction. Cole said it's Cena's fourth entry in the Chamber and he has two wins (including last year). Punk bounced up and down in his pod as Cena did his usual ring intro. Sheamus was out fifth, so he'll start the match against John Morrison, who was the last man out to the Chamber. The announcers noted Morrison has a "parkour" advantage being able to use all dimensions of the Chamber to create offense.
5 -- RAW ELIMINATION CHAMBER MATCH: RANDY ORTON vs. JOHN CENA vs. JOHN MORRISON vs. C.M. PUNK vs. SHEAMUS vs. R-TRUTH -- #1 contender to WWE Title match
Sheamus quickly knocked down Morrison as a group of vocal males could be heard chanting, "Cena sucks." Morrison made a comeback and flew over the top rope with a flying forearm onto Sheamus, who was standing on the platform. The two men traded blows while standing on the platform, then Morrison spider-man'ed onto the Chamber wall for a swift kick to Sheamus's head, knocking him back into the ring for a nearfall. After a replay, suddenly the crowd was hot with dueling pro/con Cena chants. Sheamus then cut off Morrison, who came back with a fallaway kick to the face. Morrison teased Starship Pain, but Sheamus knocked him off the turnbuckle into a pod.
At 3:50, the first man to enter the match from a pod was...Randy Orton to a strong reaction. Orton cleaned house, including a powerslam on Sheamus. Then, one for Morrison. Booker called it a "scoop powerslam," combining Cole's "scoop" with the actual powerslam. Morrison suddenly went crashing through a pod via Orton. Close to getting diminishing returns on that visual and audio effect. Orton then dropped Sheamus with the classic DDT from the second rope onto the Chamber platform. The camera showed Punk looking on with glee watching destruction in front of him.
Orton followed up on Morrison with a big superplex out of Punk's pod corner for a nearfall. Not much focus on Cena in his pod here, mainly Punk and Orton. Orton then executed a superplex on Sheamus as they cut to a shot of Miz and Riley watching the match on a monitor backstage. Orton was in complete control as the countdown clock went down. Orton stood in front of Punk in case it was him. And it was. He's psychic. Punk couldn't get out of his pod, though. Orton just slowly inched toward Punk, who was completely stuck. Orton acted like he was calling an audible and unloaded on Punk with right hand blows. Ref Chioada desperately tried to unlock the pod from the outside and Punk eventually just slid out of his pod. Punk then found himself inside the match where Orton dropped him with the RKO. Orton with a cover and Punk was gone.
*Punk eliminated via Orton at 9:00*
Punk began slithering out of the Chamber, then the Raw GM suddenly buzzed in an interruption. Cole rolled his eyes and walked to the podium. Booker said he forgot the GM was here tonight. Cole read an email that due to a "malfunctioning pod," Punk was not given a fair chance to compete. Therefore, Punk has been reinstated to the match. Punk re-entered his pod and laughed maniacally as Orton stared inside. So, Punk is back in the Chamber match.
*Punk reinstated at 10:45*
Orton, Sheamus, and Morrison resumed the action trading finisher teases. Morrison sold an ankle injury landing on the Chamber platform, then Sheamus raked his face across the Chamber wall. The countdown clock expired again and this time it was...John Cena at 12:45. Sheamus wasted no time attacking Cena before Cena could leave his pod. Sheamus eventually dragged Cena into the ring and dropped him with a backbreaker across his knee. Morrison then came flying at Orton and Sheamus with a springboard splash. Morrison was selling about four different injuries to body parts as they cut to Miz and Riley watching backstage again.
Sheamus came flying over the top rope with a shoulder tackle on both Cena and Morrison, who were battling on the platform. Sheamus celebrated, so Orton smashed him from behind and the two men battled center-ring. Orton with a Thesz Press before landing right hand strikes. Sheamus absorbed the attack, then dropped Orton with a backbreaker. They cut to a shot of Gekko with his head tilted sideways observing the action. The countdown clock expired again and R-Truth entered at 16:20. Sheamus tried to attack Truth like he did to Cena, but Truth turned the tables and smashed Sheamus's head into the pod multiple times. Uncomfortable spot, especially since Sheamus suffered a concussion in this match last year.
Truth cleaned house on the other wrestlers inside the ring, including the Lie Detector on Cena. Sheamus then creamed Truth with a Brogue Kick and covered Truth for a quick exit. *Truth eliminated via Sheamus at 17:31* Four men in, Punk in a pod as they reset. The crowd resumed a dueling pro/con Cena chant as Orton and Cena took a breather while Sheamus and Morrison battled. Orton and Cena picked up where they left off at the Royal Rumble with a mid-match battle center-ring trading right hand blows. Orton won that battle and began a methodical attack on Cena.
At 20:00, Booker said he sees Orton going to WrestleMania to see The Miz. And, so, the clock expired and Punk was the last man in. Cena cut off Orton, who measured Punk, but Orton dropped Cena with an RKO on the platform. Punk smiled, waited for an opportunity, and cut off Orton. In the ring, Punk mocked Orton's RKO warm-up and went for the G2S and connected. Punk made the cover and Orton is gone. Booker sold total surprise. Cole said he wasn't.
*Orton eliminated via Punk at 21:33*
The vocal males chanted Punk's name as Punk measured Cena for a flying knee. Sheamus then took a knee, but Sheamus came back with a double sledge to the forehead and the camera zoomed in on Punk's back after Punk ate the steel platform. Sheamus and Morrison started battling and they took the fight to the top of a pod. Sheamus drove a boot into Morrison's face before teasing the High-Cross from the top of a pod. The crowd reacted, then Morrison blocked and kicked Sheamus off the top rope onto the mat. Morrison then pulled himself up and measured Sheamus for a super-high-risk move. Morrison climbed onto the roof of the dome and spider-man'ed across the roof to the center of the roof. Sheamus had to wait for a bit as Morrison came flying onto him with sort of a flying clothesline. Morrison covered Sheamus for the next elimination.
*Sheamus eliminated via Morrison at 25:16*
The announcers sold that Morrison may have taken too much out of himself making the drop onto Sheamus. Cena and Punk took center-ring for the next exchange. Cena did the usual comeback routine, mainly to boos, and dropped the Shuffle on Punk. Cena waited for Punk to get up, but Punk rolled under the ropes to the Chamber platform. Cena stalked Punk for the Attitude Adjustment on the platform, but Punk elbowed out. Morrison then came flying onto both men, and all three crashed to the platform. Punk recovered first and covered Cena on the platform for a nearfall.
Back in the ring, Punk sold a shoulder injury. Back on the platform, Morrison went for a running knee smash on Cena, but Cena ducked and Morrison ate the pod glass. Morrison sold a right knee injury like crazy. Back in the ring, Punk covered Cena for a nearfall. Punk then applied a rear naked choke submission and landed Danielson elbow strikes as Cena closed his eyes and sold fading out. Cena transitioned into an electric chair, though, and Morrison came flying off the top with a one-legged clothesline. Not pretty, but Morrison made a cover for a nearfall. Morrison continued to sell the right knee as there was audible chatter in the ring.
Cena got up at 30:00, looking completely out of it. Cena dropped Morrison with the AA, but Punk smashed Cena with a knee strike to the face. All three men sold on the mat as there was more chatter in the ring. Punk then connected with a springboard clothesline onto the Chamber platform, but Cena kicked out of a pin attempt. Punk sold a right elbow injury/cut, then catapulted Cena face-first into a Chamber pod. Cena sold being completely lifeless as there was a hush in the crowd. Punk tried to catapult Morrison, but Morrison spider-man'ed onto the pod, then onto the Chamber wall, then hit a flash kick on Punk. Morrison tried to hit the Starship Pain, but Punk moved and grappled Morrison for the G2S. Punk with the cover and Morrison was gone.
*Morrison eliminated via Punk at 32:50*
So, it's Cena vs. Punk. Punk turned around and Cena teased the AA, but Punk grabbed the top rope. Cena then AA'ed Punk over the top rope onto the platform, creating a loud thud that drew a reaction. Cena quickly made a cover and it was good for a three count and a ticket to WrestleMania. Backstage, Miz stoically looked on, not affected by the decision. Riley looked on confidently as well as Miz held up his WWE Title belt. Cena got to his feet, acting completely out of it, and had his hand raised.
Post-match: They replayed the final big moments of the Chamber match before they showed Cena celebrating inside the Chamber. Back to a shot of Miz holding up his WWE Title belt. Cole said it's the match the whole world is waiting for at WrestleMania: Miz vs. Cena. Cena saluted a camera inside the cage, then Cole signed off the broadcast four minutes before the top of the hour (10:56 EST).
WINNER: Cena at 33:12 to become #1 contender to the WWE Title. Satisfying main event for Cena fans and some good sequences throughout for non-Cena fans. Sheamus had a McIntyre-like night standing out in defeat, Truth was eliminated quickly, and Orton and Punk continued their program to WrestleMania by trading falls here. The match didn't have a chance to top the Smackdown Chamber match, which had the right mix of athletes, high-flyers, and big men to create some eye-popping sequences. (***1/2)
OVERALL: Very strong PPV with good pacing, stars delivering, and great energy in the building from start to finish, which is an intangible an off-brand WWE PPV needs. The Smackdown Chamber match will be on year-end ballots for Match of the Year, WWE played it safe with the booking, which they should have, setting up Edge vs. Del Rio, Miz vs. Cena, and Orton vs. Punk as the Big Three matches (along with a Taker and potential Lawler-Miz special attraction matches).
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