It's time for another spot of deja vu, for a DVD review of a pay-per-view I've already reviewed, and this time around we're going back to last February and the second stop on the road to Wrestlemania 29 and C.M. Punk's attempt to regain the WWE title from the Rock at Elimination Chamber 2013.
The show began with championship action as the Big Show challenged Alberto Del Rio for the World title.
The story behind this one was simple. Having beaten the big man in two last man standing matches Del Rio was looking to prove himself by beating Show in a straight up encounter, and as far as openers go this was a pretty decent match.
It had all of the usual elements from these two, with Del Rio using hit and run tactics while Show simply overpowered his opponent, looking very impressive in the process. We also had the attempted interference from ADR's buddy Ricardo Rodriguez when he attempted to distract the big man, and one of these actually led to Show's downfall.
After Show had knocked Rodriguez off the ring apron he held ADR's spit bucket, but before he could launch it the champ came up from behind and connected with an enziguri, knocking the bucket into Show's skull. It was then that Del Rio went for his submission hold of choice when he took Show down and applied the cross armbreaker. Show barely escaped from this hold the first time around, but his luck escaped him second time around when he was forced to tap out, giving ADR the title-retaining submission win.
The title action continued with Antonio Cesaro defending the United States title against the Miz.
Miz came into this one with his shoulder heavily bandaged, having sustained an injury at Cesaro's hands a few days before, and that was like a red rag to a bull for the man from Switzerland. The always impressive Cesaro began working over the should almost from the off, and at times it looked like Miz made a mistake in taking the match.
The challenger made a few brief comebacks, but when the action spilled to the outside and Miz pushed Cesaro knees first into the ring steps the situation became a little more even. Back in the ring Miz began working over the injured wheel before going for the figure four leg lock.
Cesaro managed to fight off the hold at first. A frustrated Miz then began to stomp away at Cesaro's bread basket, but when the champion kicked his challenger's legs away Miz's knee hit Cesaro south of the border, and when the referee saw what had happened he called for the bell, giving Cesaro the disqualification win, despite the Miz's protests, and when those protests fell on deaf ears Miz delivered another low blow as Cesaro celebrated his win.
The only Elimination Chamber match on the show saw Zeb Colter's boy Jack Swagger, Tag Team Champions Kane and Daniel Bryan, Mark Henry, Randy Orton and Chris Jericho fighting it out for a shot at Alberto Del Rio's title at Wrestlemania.
What we had here was pretty much what everyone expected it to be. It began with Jericho and Bryan putting together some nice technical exchanges before the others came in at regular intervals. Surprisingly there were no eliminations when the last men entered, which led to some very interesting situations later on. As for the eliminations.....
Bryan was the first man to go. Henry, the last man to enter the match, did so when everyone else was the worse for wear, and after taking care of a few of the others he took Bryan out with the world's strongest slam for the pin.
Kane followed his tag partner moments later. After Henry sent Orton crashing into one of the pods he duked it out with the other monster in this match, and after a few hard-hitting exchanges another world's strongest slam and pin saw Kane heading for the showers.
It then took three men to eliminate Henry. The strongman had continued his rampage after Kane's elimination, and only a temporary alliance between Jericho and Swagger took him down. After those two went at it for a while Henry came back into the match, but just when it looked like he was about to clean house again Jericho and Swagger teamed up again to take him down before a now-recovered Orton applied the finishing touches with an RKO for the pin.
We then had a moment of destruction when Henry returned to the ring and took out the three remaining competitors with world strongest slams, and it was only when Smackdown GM Booker T and his assistant Teddy Long arrived on the scene that the big man finally left.
When the three of them finally recovered Jericho was the next man eliminated. After numerous near falls from both men Jericho countered Orton's RKO attempt to send him crashing to the mat. Orton came back quickly though and soon took his man down with the RKO at the second time of asking.
The final elimination came just seconds later. As Orton looked down at the fallen Jericho Swagger came up from behind and rolled him up. A three count later and Swagger booked his place at Wrestlemania.
Normal action resumed with John Cena, Sheamus and Ryback taking on Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns of the Shield.
This was a pretty heated encounter, and a pretty decent one as well. It began with a mass brawl as the good guys took the bad guys down with suplexes, and when the match began in earnest first Sheamus and then Cena took turns in the punching bag role.
It's hard to believe now that this was only the Shield's second match proper. Back then it seemed like they'd been around for ages, and their team work was great throughout as they worked over Cena.
Eventually Cena made it back to his corner to tag in Ryback, signalling the start of the second mass brawl. The most impressive part of this segment was when Reigns sent Sheamus crashing through the time keeper's barricade with a spear.
Back in the ring the Shield boys tried to put Ryback down with their triple powerbomb, only for the move to be spoiled by Cena when he pulled Reigns out of the ring. A short time later Ryback looked as if he was about the put Rollins away with shell shocked, only for Reigns to come back in and take him down with the spear. Rollins then made the pin, and the Shield had their win.
It was then that Dolph Ziggler made an appearance, complaining that he wasn't booked on the show. Smackdown GM Booker T then made another appearance to give Ziggler an opponent in the form of Kofi Kingston.
Short and sweet is probably the best way to describe this impromptu encounter. It began with Kingston pulling off his usual array of fast-paced moves before Ziggler took control and almost got the win with his sleeper hold.
Kingston managed to survive this scare and slowly worked his way back into the match, even taking out Ziggler's buddy Big E. Langston at ringside with a dive over the ropes. But when he failed to put Ziggler away with trouble in paradise Ziggler quickly took his man down with the zig-zag for the winning pin.
That wasn't the end of Kingston's troubles though. After the match ended Langston got back into the ring and clobbered him before taking him down with his finisher, whatever the hell it's called.
The penultimate match saw Tamina Snuka challenging Kaitlyn for the Divas title.
Well, this one was short, and it wasn't too bad I suppose. The exchanges looked a bit iffy early on before they settled down a little, with Tamina looking particularly aggressive when she rammed the champion into the ring post.
But when she missed the superfly splash from the top rope it was all but over. Kaitlyn connected with a spear, took the pin, and that was it.
The main event saw Paul Heyman guy C.M. Punk challenging the Rock for the WWE title, with the stipulation that if Rock was counted out or disqualified he could lose the title.
Having recently reviewed their Royal Rumble match again I can safely say that the first time is not always the best. For me this was the better encounter, and the drama was just as good.
The storytelling was simple. Rock was looking to get a measure of revenge after Punk had stolen the title belt on the previous Raw. He was also hampered by the stipulation that Heyman had talked Vince McMahon into adding.
The action itself was pretty good. Rock showed no signs of ring rust, and Punk was his usual self as he tried to use the stipulations to his advantage before taking overall control of the match.
The big impact moment came when the action spilled out to ringside and Punk took the champion to the Spanish announcers table. His version of the rock bottom didn't smash the table, but it did mean that Rock barely made it back to the ring in time to beat the referee's count.
Then we had the tale of the injured officials. The first one was knocked down when Rock accidentally barged into him. The second went down with a twisted ankle when Punk rolled over his leg while they were on the mat. In between this happening both men lost the chance to take that final pin.
But when Punk's attempt to use the title belt as weapon backfired and Heyman went flying off the ring apron Rock took Punk down with his second rock bottom of the match. The original official crawled back into the ring, and a three count later Rocky had booked his return match with John Cena at Wrestlemania.
DVD extras come in the form of Matt Striker interviewing Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter, and the pre-show match pitting Brodus Clay and Tensai against Team Rhodes Scholars.
In conclusion - so is the second time a charm as far as the Elimination Chamber is concerned?
This was a pretty decent show, and the perfect fore-runner for what was to come. As I said before Rock/Punk II was a lot better than their first encounter, the Chamber match had some nice moments, and the undercard wasn't that bad as well.
As for the match of the night no-prize I'm going to give it to the rather heated encounter pitting the Shield boys against Cena, Sheamus and Ryback. It's a great early example of the Shield's work, and a good pre-cursor of what was to come.
So with all of that out of the way there's just one more thing left to do, and that's to give this release the thumbs up.
With thanks to Fremantle Media and Fetch Publicity for supplying a copy of this release. WWE Elimination Chamber 2013 is available to buy online at www.wwedvd.co.uk.