Tuesday, 22 February 2011

WWE Elimination Chamber on Sky Sports - TV Review

It was the one before the big one, where places could be booked and men in their 60’s earned a shot at the biggest title in professional wrestling at WWE’s Elimination Chamber, shown live in the early hours of this past Monday on Sky Sports here in Britain.

The show began with the number one contender to the World title, Alberto Del Rio, going up against Intercontinental Champion Kofi Kingston in a non-title affair.

How best to describe this one? Well, it looked a little sloppy in the opening few seconds but after that everything was perfect. Del Rio and Kingston once again put in tremendous performances in a match that literally had me on the edge of my seat.

So after plenty of near finishes Del Rio was finally able to take the win when Kingston tapped out to the arm breaker. An awesome way to start the show.

The first Elimination Chamber match followed as Edge defended the World title against Kane, Drew McIntyre, Wade Barrett, Rey Mysterio and the Big Show, replacing the fired Dolph Ziggler.

With Edge and Mysterio beginning the match this proved to be a hell of an action packed affair, with all six men putting in tremendous performances.

Monster of the match was Kane as the big red machine took everyone apart whenever he could. The Big Show looked like he was going to rival him in that respect, but when everyone else ganged up on him and Kane finished him off with a choke slam that was it for the big guy.

Despite everything that had happened Edge and Mysterio were the last two in the ring. This proved to be the most compelling part of the match as the two weary warriors pulled out their big moves, with each man kicking out after each other’s finisher. Edge finally got the job done when he caught Mysterio with a spear as the masked one came off the top rope.

Edge’s night wasn’t over though as his number one contender Alberto Del Rio made his second appearance of the evening, taking him down with a drop kick before applying the arm breaker, until none other than Christian made his return to make the save. Once again, awesome stuff.

After Booker T announced that Trish Stratus would be a trainer on the new Tough Enough series it was on to the second title match of the evening as Heath Slater and Justin Gabriel challenged Santino Marella and Vladimir Koslov for the Tag Team titles.

A short but very sweet encounter. Both teams did extremely well, and I must be one of the few people who really likes Koslov.

Once again Marella proved that he’s a very capable wrestler, but it wasn’t enough as the ever impressive Gabriel took the win and the titles after a 450 splash.

After a segment in which Vickie Guerrero pleaded with Teddy Long to re-instate Dolph Ziggler, only to be attacked by the re-instated Kelly Kelly, followed by interventions from Laycool and Trish Stratus, it was on to the next title match as Jerry Lawler challenged the Miz for the WWE title.

Without a doubt this has to be Lawler’s best performance in years. Unlike certain other wrestlers his age the King pulled out all the stops against his much younger opponent.

It made for enthralling viewing as Lawler rolled back the years and really took it to the champion.

But despite Alex Riley being sent backstage, and despite being thrown into Michael Cole the Miz came back, and after plenty of near falls Miz was finally able to put Lawler away with the skull crushing finale. Afterwards the fans gave Lawler a standing ovation, and rightfully so.

The it was on to the second Elimination Chamber match, featuring Randy Orton, R-Truth, C.M. Punk, John Cena, King Sheamus and John Morrison, with the winner getting a shot at the WWE title at Wrestlemania.

Beginning with Morrison and Sheamus this was just as good as the first match, but it wasn’t without it’s controversial moment.

When Punk’s pod failed to open properly because of a malfunction he got stuck in the door. Orton attacked his rival and took him out with a RKO moments later. However, Raw’s mystery GM announced that because of the malfunction Punk was reinstated in the match.

The WTF moment came when Morrison climbed up to the chamber ceiling, eliminating Sheamus after he came down with a cross body block.

After tons of great action it was down to Punk and Cena, and it wasn’t long before Cena got the pin after dumping Punk over the top rope onto the steel grill with the attitude adjuster.

In conclusion - let’s begin this by saying wow! This year’s Elimination Chamber show delivered big time. The two main matches were perfectly executed, while the undercard, especially the Miz/Lawler battle, were great supporting matches.

Kudos must also go to Josh Matthews and Booker T. Their presence at the commentary table was like a breath of fresh air.

So in all this show gets the big thumbs up, the perfect appetiser for what’s to come in six weeks.