I did not see the PPV live. I was out for a friend’s birthday and here I am on holiday Monday (Family Day in Ontario) morning watching it. Let’s go.

WWE Elimination Chamber 2011
By John Canton
Follow me on Twitter @johnreport

The announcers for the PPV are Michael Cole, Josh Mathews and Booker T. Cole called Booker a five time World Champion even though it was six. It was five times in WCW and one time as World Champion King Booker in WWE. They bickered a lot through the show. Congrats to Mathews for climbing the ladder in WWE as an announcer. He’s earned his spot.

Alberto Del Rio vs. Kofi Kingston
I’m pretty sure Ricardo Rodriguez ripped the Oakland Raiders during his intro here. I loved that. A good choice for the opener since Kofi’s a very entertaining babyface. Kofi was dominant early, but Del Rio slowed it down with his submission based offense and the crowd was very hot throughout. Kofi came back with energetic offense and then ADR countered with an awesome double knee to the ribs of Kofi. That was like a Codebreaker onto Kofi coming off the top. Good nearfall for Kofi with the missile dropkick. He followed that up with a couple of other nearfalls. Then Del Rio dropped him with a sick neckbreaker off the top. That led to the Cross Armbreaker for the submission win for Del Rio. I like how Kofi fought it off before having to tap out.
Winner: Alberto Del Rio at 10:28

Analysis: **1/4 It was the right finish with Del Rio winning clean. He’s been booked so well since his debut. This match was pretty similar to the match they had on Smackdown a few weeks back. I like their chemistry. I’d like to see more from them in the future.

They had a backstage interview segment with Edge talking about how hard it was to walk out of Elimination Chamber as champion noting that no champion has walked out of the Chamber as champion in the past five years. Drew McIntyre showed up, they referenced Kelly Kelly’s firing and that set us up for the Smackdown Elimination Chamber match.

Before the match, Teddy Long announced Big Show as the sixth man replacing Dolph Ziggler. Not an exciting choice, but I didn’t expect it to be much of a surprise.

Elimination Chamber Match for the World Championship: Edge vs. Rey Mysterio vs. Drew McIntyre vs. Wade Barrett vs. Big Show vs. Kane
They started it out with Edge & Rey because they’re the best workers in the match by a wide margin. Good choice. At one point Booker called Barrett the youngest guy in the match, which was wrong because McIntyre is younger. Barrett’s had a shorter WWE career, though. I liked how Booker put over how physical the Chamber match is. Some people may not like him, but having a former World Champion as an announcer does add credibility to the broadcast. Barrett was the third man in the match. They did that sick spot Rey always does as Edge threw him under the bottom rope, crashing him head first into the cage. Ouch! I loved the spot with Rey trying to climb the cage, Barrett tries to powerbomb him off and Rey hurricanrana’s (is that a verb?) him back in the ring. Then he goes for 619 and Edge boots Rey down. That was tremendous. Kane was fourth. They did a nice sequence where all three guys did kick to the head spots to Kane, but he fought out of it. McIntyre was the fifth guy in the match and he threw Mysterio into a pod right away. It didn’t break cleanly. That had to have hurt like hell. Then Drew threw Barrett back first through one of the pods. Mathews tried to put over how the Lexon Glass was the strongest in the world, but they’re not using strong glass for a match like this. The quality of the counter wrestling in this match was fantastic. Just as I’m typing that Rey got thrown head first into one of the pods! Damn! Big Show was last to enter with everybody hurting, which was the perfect way to bring him into the match. He threw Barrett into one of the pods. Show KNOCKED HIM THE FUCK OUT to eliminate him.

With five guys left, Mysterio climbed up one of the pods. Kane hit a clothesline on show, Edge hit a top rope elbow on Show and Drew hit the Future Shock DDT for two. Mysterio came off the top of the pod with a seated Senton, but Show shoved him off. Wow. Great spots in this match. Kane eventually pinned Big Show with a chokeslam. Kane pinned McIntyre with a chokeslam immediately. I didn’t like that. They should have had Drew eliminate somebody. Rey took it to Kane, hitting all of his signature stops and Edge ended up pinning Kane after a Spear on both guys at once. Rey was upside down ready to give him a hurricanrana as Edge hit that Spear. After Kane got eliminated he gave chokeslams to both guys.

The last ten minutes or so went to Edge and Rey. This felt like a match in itself. They have had a lot of great matches over the years, even as a tag team. It was set up nicely with each guy taking forever to get their feet. They didn’t use the steel part much, but they focused on near falls. There were a lot of dramatic two counts that the crowd was going nuts for. Rey countered the Edgecution submission with a great rollup too. Edge hit a Spear after Rey bounced off the ropes and Rey kicked out after two. Rey came back with his offense, hitting a springboard splash for a great two count. These nearfalls are amazing. Rey goes for the 619 and he hits it. He goes to the top rope, leaps off and Edge Spears him out of the sky for the win! Wow! That was a ridiculous finish.
Winner: Edge at 31:30

Analysis: ****1/2 An amazing match. It’s the match of the year so far, topping the Miz/Morrison match from Raw. Fantastic work by Edge and Mysterio in carrying the match. Drew McIntyre looked like a star in the making too. You can tell that management is really getting behind him again. I just wish he lasted longer. Everybody worked their ass off, though. It’s the perfect kind of match for guys like Show and Kane because they can stick with their power moves without tiring out. It’s the perfect environment for guys like that. Best Elimination Chamber match ever? It might be. I don’t remember them off the top of my head, but a match of this quality is pretty rare. Whoever put this match together did a tremendous job. I imagine it was a joint effort. They really planned all the spots well. I loved it. I look forward to watching it again. The crowd was hot for all of it too.

Post match, Alberto Del Rio came out to attack Edge. He hit him with a dropkick as Edge was holding the belt. He put on the Cross Armbreaker while the refs were trying to pry him off. Mark out time as Christian’s music plays! He’s in his street clothes! He’s due back any time now from his torn pec injury. They reference that he’s friends with Edge. We’re not allowed to remember the brother thing, of course. Christian put him down with the Killswitch. “Payback is a mother,” says Booker. That’s an edited version of the saying. Great reaction for Christian, who is one of my favorites. That was really well done. Edge ended it with a Spear on Del Rio.

Backstage, Matt Striker talked to Jerry Lawler. His mom died a week ago and he’s dedicating his WWE Title match to her. He mentioned how he’s never held the WWE Title or wrestled at WrestleMania, but if he can win this match he gets to do both. The tone of this segment was well done.

They had Booker T. introduce a special guest to the audience. It’s one of the trainers from WWE Tough Enough along with Steve Austin and Booker T. It’s Trish Stratus. Yes! Oh yes! Trish! Canadagasm time! Haha. She looks amazing as always sporting her Stratusphere Yoga shirt. She goes: “Finally The Trish has come back to Oakland to deliver Stratusfaction to the millions…suckaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!” As much as I love Trish this wasn’t a great segment. The crowd wasn’t into it too much. However, my interest in Tough Enough is very high since Steve Austin, Booker T. and Trish Stratus are coaches on the show. She said she was there to watch Lawler win the title.

WWE Tag Team Championship: Santino & Kozlov vs. Heath Slater & Justin Gabriel
The Corre’s theme music sucks. Ezekiel Jackson was at ringside with The Corre. I give credit to both Gabriel & Slater for improving over the course of the last year since they’ve been on TV regularly. I’m especially impressed by Gabriel. The majority of the match saw the heels working over Kozlov, which isn’t the most exciting thing to watch. He got the hot tag to Santino, who woke up the crowd. He hits The Cobra onto Gabriel, who wasn’t legal. The “One Man Rock Band” is a terrible nickname, by the way. The heels got control with typical heel tactics thanks to a blind tag. That led to Gabriel scoring the pinfall with the 450 splash. New tag champs.
Winners: Heath Slater and Justin Gabriel at 5:08

Analysis: *1/2 This was a TV match basically. The heels got back the belts they lost a few months ago to Santino & Kozlov although now they’re part of The Corre instead of Nexus. Could this lead to a possible Corre vs. Nexus match at WrestleMania? Heel versus heel doesn’t really work.

Are they going to add more names to the Hall of Fame? It’s only six weeks away. Shawn Michaels as the main event is great. I could see Booker or Trish being added along with rumored names like Arn Anderson, Ron Simmons and the Fabulous Freebirds.

Todd Grisham talked to The Miz. He cut the same promo he always does cutting down everybody else saying it’s his time. He ended it saying he’s earned the right to say “I’m The Miz and I’m Awesome.”

Vickie Guerrero came out saying “Excuse Me” in a much more serious way than she usually does. She said it was a tragedy that Dolph Ziggler got fired. In case you’re wondering it’s not legit. She admitted that Dolph took out Long, but that it was a “crime of passion” for her. Haha “please excuse me.” Vickie’s great. Teddy Long came out. Vickie tells him: “You look amazing!” Teddy says he’s in a hiring mood. She assumes it’s Dolph, but he says no. He hired back somebody else…”holler holler holler.” It’s smiling Kelly Kelly. What a shock that she got re-hired after a two week absence. Kelly puts her down with a kick and slams her head to the mat. Here’s Laycool to save Vickie. Out for the save is Trish Stratus. Laycool attacks her. Trish comes back with a Thesz Press on Layla and a kick on McCool. She didn’t hit her hurricanrana on Layla perfectly. Must be tough in six inch heels. She hits the Stratusfaction bulldog on both Laycool members to end the segment. Is this a possible WrestleMania match? I have no idea, but I am fine with Trish being back on WWE TV.

WWE Championship: The Miz vs. Jerry Lawler
Alex Riley comes out wearing an “I’m Awesome” shirt as well as his ring attire. Why does somebody need to wear their ring attire when they aren’t wrestling? And why is he still carrying a briefcase? It’s not like he’s Irwin R. Schyster ready to do taxes. He quickly got thrown out after interfering a number of times. I’m happy about that because Miz shouldn’t need help to beat Lawler. The best moment of the night might have been when Lawler threw Miz into Cole at the announce table. Booker was laughing his head off. I enjoyed that spot. Haha. The crowd was very much into everything that the King did. They wanted him to win the belt and believed he actually could. Late in the match he hit a DDT on Miz to put him down, he went up top, pulled the strap down and hit the first drop. Miz got his foot on the ropes. They even did some great pinfall reversal sequences that the crowd really believed. Miz eventually put him away with the Skull Crushing Finale for the clean win. Post match, Michael Cole went into the ring to raise the hand of The Miz.
Winner: The Miz at 12:09

Post match, Cole really put Miz over on commentary while the crowd chanted “Jerry” out of respect for The King. That was a very genuine moment. Cole ripped him, saying he shouldn’t even be allowed to be an announcer at WrestleMania.

Analysis: **3/4 A very solid match considering Lawler’s 61 years old. Lawler worked his ass off and was in great shape. The fans were eating it up. They wanted him to win. I’m glad Miz won clean. That’s what should have happened. I’d expect Lawler to be in some kind of match at WrestleMania. I doubt they do Lawler vs. Cole, but maybe a 5 minute match against Riley that ends with Lawler punching Cole. That would go over big with the crowd.

They had a corny bit with John Cena backstage eating a giant bowl of Fruity Pebbles. It was cheesy, but it was funny too. I like that Cena’s able to laugh at himself. His promo on Monday’s Raw is going to be very important, though. They need it to be more serious than it is funny.

Elimination Chamber Match for the #1 Contender to the WWE Title: John Cena d. CM Punk, John Morrison, Randy Orton, Sheamus & R-Truth
Good to see Scott Armstrong back as ref. He got fired a year ago and apparently just got re-hired this week. Morrison and Sheamus started the match, which was predictable considering their feud. It also allowed Morrison to shine. That’s fine by me. Orton was the 3rd man. He quickly threw Morrison into a pod. Those bumps never look like fun. The fourth man was CM Punk, but the pod door wasn’t opening. Orton literally pulled him out of it. He quickly pinned him. The GM buzzed in to say that the elimination didn’t count. He must type really fast. Or it’s on a piece of paper on the laptop. For some reason. A lot of people hated this, but to me it only adds to the Punk character. It also makes me think the GM is a heel, whoever it is. Punk went back into his pod and he waited for his turn to get back in. Cena was fourth to enter the match. R-Truth was 5th and he lasted about two minutes before being eliminated. Why was he even in the match? I guess somebody needed to lose early. After Punk eliminated Orton with the Go To Sleep a “CM Punk” chant started. It was a great crowd that was very smart the whole night.

The final four guys were Punk, Cena, Sheamus and Morrison. The most memorable spot of the match (maybe the year?) saw John Morrison climb across the top of the cage and he leapt onto Sheamus with a crossbody block. That was an insane spot. He pinned Sheamus with that one. We need to see that on replays on Raw to put over how athletic this guy is. Morrison did a great job of selling a knee injury the rest of the match too. He followed it up by hitting a running knee into one of the pods. That looked painful no matter what that pod is made out of. I also loved Morrison’s spot where he jumped from the pod to the side of the cage and into a side kick. He went for the Starship Pain, missed it and Punk hit him with the Go To Sleep for the win. Cena quickly capitalized with the Attitude Adjustment from inside the ring onto the steel outside the ring. Good finish.
Winner: John Cena at 33:12

Analysis: **** A very good match with a lot of people looking really strong by the end of it. Cena wins, so he looks amazing as he overcomes the odds again. Orton pinned Punk and then got eliminated by him, so they have a major issue going into WrestleMania. CM Punk and John Morrison starred in this match. Punk’s character is so ridiculously good at this point. The way he maniacally laughs and has so much confidence in his ability works really well. Morrison is also as good as he’s ever been and you can tell the company is finally behind him. They put over his athleticism really well. Cena won, but he didn’t dominate. I’m fine with how this was booked.

PPV Final Thoughts
Was it predictable in terms of the results? Yes. I went perfect in predictions. So what? It was the right booking. Cena’s main evented WrestleMania a lot, but do you really think Vince isn’t going to put his top guy in the title match? Of course Cena’s getting the title shot. Edge winning was predictable too. So what? We got a ****1/2 match from those guys in the Smackdown Chamber. It’s the match of the year so far. The two Chamber matches really delivered. I was pleasantly surprised to see both Trish Stratus and Christian, two of my all-time favorites and fellow Canadians of course. I wish the material they gave Trish to say was a lot better than it was, though. Miz beat Lawler clean, which he should have. Del Rio beat Kingston clean, which he should have. The tag titles changed. That’s fine. They don’t matter anymore. The last thing is that the crowd in Oakland deserves a pat on the back. They were great.

Five Stars of the Show
1. Edge – Tremendous job in carrying the best match.
2. Rey Mysterio – Same as above.
3. CM Punk – He was the best part of the Elimination Chamber
4. John Morrison – His athleticism is amazing. Push this man.
5. Christian – I’m happy to see him back. That was a lot of fun.

I really enjoyed this show. It ended at 5 minutes before the top of the hour, so it was a 2 hour, 55 minute PPV. Fine by me. Just because the outcomes are predictable doesn’t make it a poor show. The work was very good. Kudos to everybody involved with this show. They worked their asses off. Call it a 8 out of 10 and I’d recommend that you watch it if you missed it.


A look ahead to WrestleMania 27:

WWE Title: The Miz vs. John Cena – Cena will likely end the show as the WWE Champ. There’s a chance that another match goes on last although the outcome of this one is very obvious. I’d expect The Rock to raise Cena’s hand as a way to endorse him and really put him over. I think they’re going with the “tough love” route with them.

Edge vs. Alberto Del Rio – A lot of people think Christian could get added to this to make it a triple threat. Not me. That cheapens Del Rio’s Rumble win. You can’t just give a title shot to a guy. Christian’s a favorite of mine, but they don’t need to add him here. He can be involved in the story, though. Del Rio wins the belt.

Randy Orton vs. CM Punk – It’s WrestleMania, so the babyface Orton will go over and I think the feud will continue at Extreme Rules also. This feud is very good for Orton. It’s a lot better than his feuds with Sheamus and Miz.

Undertaker vs. Triple H with Shawn Michaels as referee – This is a rumor. It could go on last too. We’ll know more after this week’s Raw, I’m sure.

Money in the Bank – John Morrison has to win this. If anybody else wins that’s simply the wrong choice. Give him the rub that Money in the Bank has given so many others. He has earned it.

The rest? We don’t really know. I’m hoping the tag titles and other secondary titles get defended in proper matches, but I have no idea. I assume Lawler has a match. Those are your likely top five matches, though. Throw in The Rock as WrestleMania guest host as well as likely appearances from Steve Austin, Trish Stratus and others and you’ve got my interest more than you did a few weeks ago. I’m not 100% sure yet, but I’m likely going to the show. Road trip! It could be a lot of fun.

Keep visiting thejohnreport.net on the Road to WrestleMania for a lot of great articles from our team of fantastic writers. Also check out the brand new YouTube channel at Youtube.com/thejohnreport.net for audio takes on The Rock, Triple H, Alberto Del Rio and more content added multiple times every week.

I’ll be back for The Raw Deal live tonight at TJR. It’s WrestleMania season. Excitement is in the air. Thanks for reading.

John Canton – john@thejohnreport.net
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