WWE Flashback – WrestleMania 28: The Rock Wins, The Undertaker Survives

March 09, 2015 By: Category: Videos, WWE | Pro Wrestling

Originally posted April 1, 2012 – It was the old WWE guard that ruled WrestleMania 28. The Rock returned and finally settled his score with John Cena after a year, but it was Triple H and The Undertaker that stole the show and pulled off one of the most dramatic WrestleMania matches in WWE history.

The Rock pinned John Cena in a match that was made by the awesome crowd reaction in Miami. The crowd was about 75/25 in favor of The Rock. The atmosphere alone will certainly make this one a classic. The two opened up trading headlock combinations to a lot of Cena booing. The Rock went for a Sharpshooter early that was countered by Cena rolling out of the ring.

Back in the ring Cena wore The Rock down with a few shoulder tackles and then a clothesline. A “wicked clothesline” according to Michael Cole. Cena then applied an awkward looking bear hug to The Rock. The Rock punched out of it but wound up hitting the floor.

Cena dropped The Rock on the announcer’s table. The Rock was holding his ribs. Cena kicked the ribs and rolled The Rock back inside the ring for a two-count. Cena hit a belly-to-belly suplex on The Rock for another two-count. The Rock powered out but Cena went back to the bear hug. Yes, another bear hug. 1981 called and they want their rest-hold back. The Rock finally hit a DDT to break Cena’s momentum, yet he continued selling the ribs.

The Rock finally hit his usual set of moves and went for The People’s Elbow but was cut off by an STF attempt by Cena. Cena wound up regaining control and dropping a Five Knuckle Shuffle. The Rock slipped out of an A.A. and the two double downed on a clothesline.

Both guys got back up and traded punches. I should point out that Cena was in control for most of the early going here in the match, almost making this look like a squash match. Cena had an answer for everything while The Rock struggled. The fans stayed with it though which kept it strong.

The Rock hit a Rock Bottom out of nowhere for a close fall. Cena recovered again. I don’t even know why they bothered booking the match if they weren’t going to give The Rock much. It really came off like a big squash at this point.

The Rock tackled Cena and applied a Sharpshooter in the middle of the ring. Cena broke the hold on the ropes. Rock went back to the hold. Cena broke the hold again on the ropes. The People’s Champ went to the floor and dropped some elbows and punches on Cena. The Rock sent Cena into the steel stairs. Cena then flipped into the ring and caught The Rock in the middle with an STF.

Once The Rock got out of the STF he hit a Samoan Drop on Cena. Both guys were down. On their feet, both guys traded punches and kicks. The Rock hit a Spine Buster on Cena. It was People’s Elbow time! Cena rolled up The Rock for a near fall. Cena dropped The Rock and hit a slingshot into the turnbuckle, followed by a near fall. The Rock blocked what looked like a Superplex attempt by Cena. The Rock then hit a cross body block off the top, Cena rolled through, hit the A.A. and got a near fall. The crowd went absolutely nuts for this sequence!

Cena then went for a People’s Elbow. The Rock caught him with a Rock Bottom and dropped him for the three-count and the win! The place went nuts for the unexpected finish.

Obviously they are setting up a rematch here. I have to be honest, I have very little interest in seeing that. This was a fun match for the atmosphere alone but the match itself was a bit disappointing to me. To be fair, it is possible that they are saving their best for the rematch.

The Undertaker went 20-0 defeating Triple H in one of the most dramatic WrestleMania matches you will ever see. I can’t rave about this match enough. A bald Undertaker and Triple H started off the match with The Undertaker dropping Triple H with several right hands. They had a nice back and forth in the open in your typical pro wrestling brawl. The explanation about The Undertaker’s bald head was that he cut his hair off until Triple H accepted a rematch.

Triple H was the first to hit the cage as the Dead Man threw him to the fence while both were on the floor. The Undertaker pushed Shawn Michaels out of the way early as Michaels tried to check on Triple H. Triple H took the brunt of the punishment early on. The Undertaker also went “old school” and walked the ropes early as well.

Triple H finally got the upper hand using steel steps that The Undertaker brought into the ring. The Undertaker reversed a Pedigree attempt on the steps. I want to note how great the crowd was during this match. The audience was super hot and popping for everything they did. Hunter regained the upper hand after dropping The Undertaker with a Spine Buster on the steps. The Undertaker then grabbed Triple H in a triangle choke or “Hell’s Gate” as the WWE calls it which Hunter broke by slamming him.

Triple H then proceeded to absolutely brutalize The Undertaker with several chair shots to the back. Michaels told Hunter to cover him but he didn’t. Hunter then shoved Michaels aside and continued pounding The Undertaker with chair shots, telling Michaels to end it or he would. The Undertaker told Michaels not to stop the match as Hunter yelled “stay down!” Triple H finally went for a cover with no avail.

The story here was Hunter continually asking Shawn to end the match or he would. Triple H then brought the sledgehammer into the match and told Shawn he was ending it one way or the other. The Undertaker kicked out of a sledgehammer shot to a big ovation. Michaels finally grabbed the sledgehammer out of Hunter’s hands.

The Undertaker wound up choking Shawn Michaels with the “Hell’s Gate” when HBK went to check on him. The Undertaker did this to stop Michaels from stopping the match. Michaels was out at this point. Now Hunter was caught in the triangle choke but the match had no referee at this point. Hunter grabbed the sledgehammer and dropped it. Hunter was choked out at this point but Michaels was still out cold as well.

New referee Charles Robinson ran out to get into the match and take over. The Undertaker then choke slammed Triple H for a near fall. These guys had great drama going at this point. The Undertaker then choke slammed Robinson. The Undertaker pulled Hunter up for a Tombstone, Michaels nailed Taker with Sweet Chin Music, Triple H Pedigreed him, and Undertaker kicked out in a classic WrestleMania moment.

Triple H then tossed Michaels outside of the ring. The Undertaker nailed Hunter with several shots and dropped him for Snake Eyes and a big boot. The Undertaker Tombstoned Hunter for a near fall in another classic moment. The match was at a level above last year’s at this point and I loved last year’s match.

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After a back and forth Triple H nailed a Pedigree for another close three count. They had 60,000+ on their feet. The Undertaker had a chair and Hunter had his sledgehammer at this point. The Undertaker then proceeded to brutalize and pay back a Hunter with chair shots. The chair shots were so hard it bent the chair up. Triple H kicked out once again.

Triple H gave Taker a crotch chop sign and was then immediately dropped by the Dead Man. The Undertaker went for the Tombstone, dropped Hunter, and got the three-count for his 20th WrestleMania win in an absolute classic. I didn’t think they could do it but they topped last year’s match and more. Great match!

Both guys were laid out due to exhaustion as the cage went up. Michaels looked down at both men. Triple H was out cold and The Undertaker could barely get to his feet. Michaels pulled Undertaker up and the two hugged. There was a fireworks celebration that followed to celebrate 20-0. The Undertaker staggered around a bit after the fireworks. He and Michaels pulled up Triple H and walked him to the back.

CM Punk defeated Chris Jericho to retain the WWE championship. John Laurinaitis told CM Punk in the back before the match that he would change the WWE championship if Punk lost his temper and got disqualified. Jericho spent the early portion of the match trying to lure Punk into getting himself disqualified. Eventually the two wound up breaking into a pretty good match. The highlight of the match was Jericho suplexing Punk over the top from the ring to the floor.

The match was really hurt by following the Hell in a Cell match. It was a good match but the crowd really took awhile to get into the match. In all fairness the crowd seemed to be pretty into it towards the end. Punk won the match with the Anaconda Vice in the center of the ring. Jericho tapped out.

Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus for the WWE world heavyweight title opened the show. I loved the choice of going with Bryan vs. Sheamus, great way to set the pace of the show. Behind the scenes it was a great spot for them as they don’t have to worry about match time being cut. Bryan had a ton and I mean a ton of “Yes” signs in the house.

The match was over in a matter of seconds. Sheamus nailed Bryan with a Brogue Kick right after the bell was sounded for the win and the WWE world heavyweight championship in 18 seconds. I hated this. What a waste of one of the best workers in the company here. It reminded me of when I went to see a New Japan show live in the 1990s and was pumped to see Jushin Liger vs. Ultimo Dragon and yet they ended the match in about 90 seconds. I have one word for the booking here, “No!”

Kane defeated Randy Orton in a bit of a surprise. Orton was going for the RKO from the top but was instead chokeslammed from the second rope. I am not sure what is going on with Orton but it almost appears that the guy is getting buried. Quite frankly he was treated much better when he was an undisciplined troublemaker. I wouldn’t call it a bad match but it was certainly a waste of Orton in my opinion.

The Big Show defeated Cody Rhodes to win the WWE I-C title. Not a bad match, but more like your typical television bout. Most of the match saw Show throw Cody around until Cody worked over Show’s knee. The finish came on a second Disaster Kick attempt by Cody who was caught and dropped by The Big Show. Big Show pulled the strap down ala Jerry Lawler and knocked him out with the right hand. Show ends Cody’s 233 WWE intercontinental title reign. Show cried after the match and really put the win over nicely here.

Maria Menounos pinned Beth Phoenix to win the Divas tag team match. This was actually a bit better than I expected, not that I expected much. The biggest disappointment was the unflattering pants attire of Maria Menounos. Hey if you are going to force me to watch her wrestle, at least stick her in a bikini

The Miz pinned Zack Ryder to win the 12-man tag team match. John Laurinaitis will now have total control of SmackDown and Monday Night RAW as the G.M. The finish came when Zack had The Miz set up for the finish and Eve Torres came into the ring. The referee turned around and told Eve to leave. Zack confronted Eve, turned around, and received the Skull Crushing Finale. Eve kicked Zack in the groin after the match. I was expecting a lot more here, although to be fair they were following the Hell in a Cell match.

Overall I’d say it was a one match show. The Undertaker vs. Triple H match was so good that I would recommend the show simply for that. The Rock vs. Cena felt flat to me as a match, although the atmosphere made this at minimum a WrestleMania classic moment. The rest of the card was good but nothing else really stood out to me. I’d rate this one slightly better than last year but that isn’t really saying much now is it?

The elephants in the room here are Batista and Brock Lesnar. It was reported by numerous sources over the weekend that both were at WrestleMania. Most fans assumed that they would be a part of the show, specifically Brock Lesnar. I would be absolutely shocked if Lesnar does not appear on RAW tomorrow night in some major angle. The plan at this point appears to be to announce a big match tomorrow or at least set up a match tomorrow for next year. The WWE would generally shake up RAW the night after WrestleMania in the past with big angles. Look for that this Monday on RAW. Otherwise I have no explanation for the absence of Lesnar and Batista.

Full WWE WrestleMania 28 results & winners
Primo & Epico defeated Justin Gabriel & Tyson Kidd and The Usos in a Triple Threat Tag Team match for the WWE Tag Team Championship
Sheamus defeated Daniel Bryan for the World Heavyweight Championship
Kelly Kelly and Maria Menounos defeated Beth Phoenix and Eve Torres
Team Johnny (David Otunga (captain), Mark Henry, Dolph Ziggler, Jack Swagger, The Miz, and Drew McIntyre) (with Vickie Guerrero) defeated Team Teddy (Santino Marella (captain), R-Truth, Kofi Kingston, Zack Ryder, The Great Khali, and Booker T) (with Hornswoggle)&Aksana vs. in a 12-Man Tag Team match to determine General Manager of both the Raw and SmackDown brands
Kane defeated Randy Orton
The Big Show defeated Cody Rhodes for the WWE Intercontinental Championship
CM Punk defeated Chris Jericho to retain the WWE Championship
The Undertaker defeated Triple H Hell in a Cell match with Shawn Michaels as Special Guest Referee
The Rock defeated John Cena

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Flashback: Alberto Del Rio Wins the WWE Royal Rumble 2011

January 14, 2015 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

Originally published on January 30, 2011. The 2011 WWE Royal Rumble winner wasn’t who was expected and that is a good thing. Alberto Del Rio won the Royal Rumble and a trip to the WrestleMania 27 main-event against a WWE champion of his choice. Del Rio eliminated Santino Marella to win the Rumble and earn his title match.

Rey Mysterio, Kane, Wade Barrett, John Cena, Alberto Del Rio, and Randy Orton were the final six of the Rumble or were they? Mysterio eliminated Kane and was then quickly tossed out by Barrett. The announcers pushed the RAW vs. SmackDown theme of the final four.

In the shocker of the night, John Cena was eliminated by The Miz. Yes The Miz was down doing commentary and wound up running in. Alex Riley distracted Cena and The Miz wound up tossing Cena over. The ref never “saw it” and only caught Cena on the floor, thus eliminating Cena. Barrett, Orton, and Del Rio are final three. Del Rio eliminated Randy Orton, started to celebrate, and was then attached by Santino.

Santino emerged from under the ring and the place went ballistic. Santino Marella was never officially eliminated when he appeared early on. The announcers went nuts saying it would be the biggest upset of all time. For a second I kind of wanted to see it. Del Rio soon recovered, eliminated Santino and officially won the Rumble and the championship match of his choice.

CM Punk entered the Royal Rumble as #1. Punk was soon jumped by members of Corre. The RAW GM (how did he have power here?) chimed in and ordered Corre to the back. Daniel Bryan then entered as the official number two. Punk and Bryan started off which I am sure appealed to their hardcore following on the Internet.

Kevin Nash made a long awaited return to the WWE entering the Royal Rumble at #32. Nash entered as his old character Diesel with a black haired dye job and his old Diesel gear. Nash got a nice reaction but it was nowhere close to the reaction that Booker T received. Nash did his trademark Diesel moves but was eliminated pretty shortly by Wade Barrett. Nash and The Big Show walked by one another as Nash left and Show entered. It could have been a prelude to a WrestleMania match but let’s hope not. Hey Paul, don’t let him powerbomb you this time. Hey may try and finish the what he couldn’t do at Souled Out.

No Triple H for the record. Not sure what he is waiting for at this point but I have to admit that I was hoping to see him come out at #40 instead of Kane. No Undertaker either.

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Nash’s fellow Main Event Mafia partner,  Booker T also returned to the WWE. King Booker entered the Royal Rumble earlier at #21. Booker T got a huge pop and entered the ring to face four members of Nexus. Unfortunately the numbers got the best of him and Booker T’s return lasted for about 90 seconds before being eliminated. I am not a big proponent of seeing Booker T back but the fan reaction sure made it a great Rumble moment. The former TNA stars got nice reactions but were limited with short appearances in the Rumble match which was probably for the better.

CM Punk was looking like the favorite for awhile. At one point Punk and three members of Nexus just wound up eliminating everyone and continued to throw away future entrants. They just looked unstoppable after eliminating Booker T in less than two minutes. John Cena wound up entering at #22 with his Superman cape and eliminated all of Nexus including CM Punk. I was fairly certain up to that point that Punk was going to be Final Four if not the winner altogether.

John Morrison may have had the best Royal Rumble spot I ever saw. Shortly after entering the Rumble Morrison was tossed over the top rope. However, instead of landing on the floor he landed on the barricade like Spiderman avoiding elimination. Morrison than leaped from the barricade to the metal steps and returned to the ring. The spot and sequence have to be seen to be believed.

Randy Orton entered at #39 and eliminated Sheamus and Kofi Kingston. He and Cena had a stare down that was designed to get a big reaction. Guess what? Nobody seemed to care. Maybe because WWE fans have seen Cena vs. Orton on and off for the last three years. I can’t imagine anyone having any interest in seeing Cena vs. Orton in any way, shape, or fashion in 2011 (or 2012, 2013, 2014).

Overall I thought the Rumble match was excellent. I never felt like it dragged and it had some pretty cool spots. I thought that 40 guys would be too much but it really wasn’t. If you missed the show, I’d go out of your way to try and get a copy of the match. It certainly wasn’t the best Rumble match of all time but it was far from the worst.

On a totally random note, listening to 40 WWE entrance themes is a reminder at how God awful WWE entrance music is in 2011. Well, 39 because Booker T’s music is still pretty damn good.

It would appear from the WWE championship match that CM Punk vs. Randy Orton is a highly likely WrestleMania match. Randy Orton vs. The Miz ended after interference from Nexus which saw Punk nail Orton with the GTS. The Miz capitalized and pinned Orton to win the match.

On yet another random note, I think I was vindicated for everything I have said about The Miz and his inability to be a successful WWE champion. He is not over at all! I have gotten a lot of criticism for a blog I wrote entitled “Is The Miz the worst WWE champion ever?” People told me that I don’t know what I am talking about, he is awesome, and I am in the minority. I think I stand corrected. He is now a day over two months as WWE champion and if he hasn’t been able to sell anyone by now, he isn’t going to sell them by WrestleMania. Guess what happened when he came out for the biggest match of his career? Nobody cared or reacted to him like a champion and quite honestly, the match wasn’t that good. The lesson learned here is just because a guy can go out and cut a 15 minute “great” (Wow the standards have dropped enormously) promo and deliver witty lines doesn’t make him a great champion.  The point being is that nobody believes in him as a champion and the fans see right through it. Sure you can blame the booking but he is just not championship material no matter how “funny” you may think he is.

I love the decision to go with Alberto Del Rio as this year’s winner. Del Rio is fresh and one of the best characters I have seen the WWE develop in years. Unfortunately I don’t know how much interest I have an Edge vs. Del Rio match. Quite frankly I don’t know how much interest I have an Edge vs. anyone WrestleMania title match. If it ends with Del Rio winning the championship and becoming the star of SmackDown, I like it.

An early look at WrestleMania 27 probably looks like…
The Miz vs. John Cena for the WWE title
Edge vs. Alberto Del Rio for the WWE world heavyweight title
Randy Orton vs. CM Punk
Nexus vs. Corre
Big Show vs. Kevin Nash

2011 WWE Royal Rumble results:

Edge defeated Dolph Ziggler to retain the WWE world heavyweight title
The Miz defeated Randy Orton after interference from Nexus and CM Punk
Natalya and Eve Torres defeated LayCool

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5 WWE Superstars Who Could Transition To MMA

May 15, 2014 By: Category: lists, Sports, UFC | Mixed Martial Arts, WWE | Pro Wrestling

30 years ago the debate would be which pro wrestler was the toughest of the locker room. Today, it is about which pro wrestler could jump over to the UFC. So I thought I would have a little fun and take a look at 5 WWE superstars that have the intangibles to fight in the UFC.

Please keep one thing in mind with this entire list. I am certainly not saying that all of these guys would jump into the UFC or MMA and have the success that Brock Lesnar. All I am saying is that these five guys have the background and skills to at least attempt a jump to MMA without embarrassing themselves.

So with that said, let’s dive deep into the resumes of your favorite WWE superstars and take a look at who has a shot…albeit a long shot of jumping into the octagon. Whether they would be Brock Lesnar or Bobby Lashley will always be up for debate until the day comes when they bite down on the mouth guard and throw down in the world of MMA.

Wade Barrett – For those of you unaware, Wade Barrett is probably one of the most street-tough superstars in the WWE. Barrett is a former bareknuckle boxer. In other words, Barrett boxed for years in his native England…but without gloves. I have no doubt that Barrett could jump into the octagon tomorrow and at least be competitive on his feet.

On the ground is another story. Barrett has no amateur wrestling in his background as far as I know. This would make him vulnerable to the ground attack of almost any MMA fighter. This isn’t to say that Barrett wouldn’t have a puncher’s chance of catching someone shooting in with an uppercut or right hook. It just means that Barrett would have a lot of work to do if he ever decides he’d like to try his hand in MMA.

Santino Marella – How ironic is it that one of the toughest guys in the WWE is portrayed as one of the wimpiest? Forget about the guy you see on RAW and SmackDown (well barely), Santino is one tough dude. Santino also has minimal experience in MMA which makes you wonder about how well he’d fare at this stage of his career.

Santino is well experienced in judo, practicing judo for over 20 years. According to one report, I saw that he had a 6-1 record but I haven’t seen much else. Santino said in an interview awhile back that the only reason he left Japan and MMA was that he overstayed his Visa. If that is the case, he is one guy that could do some serious damage if he was to jump back into the world of MMA.

Dolph Ziggler – You would never believe it watching him in the ring but Dolph is one of, if not the most accomplished amateur wrestler in the WWE. Dolph was a standout high school and collegiate wrestler. Even better, he was teammates with Gray Maynard who appears to have done pretty darn good with his transition into MMA.

How good was Dolph as an amateur wrestler? Ziggler scored an unbelievable 82 pins which is a record in high school. At Kent University, Ziggler holds the second most wins in school history at 121. He is as legit as they come. He would certainly have to work on his standup and submissions, but the guy appears to be a prodigy of sorts. Even better, imagine the fun confrontations between Vickie Guerrero and Dana White!

Alberto Del Rio – Alberto like Santino, is the only man on this list to actually have MMA experience. Unfortunately Del Rio’s success in MMA wasn’t quite the same, going 9-5 overall. However, I think it is fair to say that he has more actual MMA experience than anyone in the WWE right now. Who knows how well he would do if he returned to the sport.

Alberto’s amateur wrestling background is one of the most impressive in pro wrestling history. Alberto is a Mexican national champion freestyle, won the Greco-Roman bronze medal teenage world championships; 1997, and placed 5th at 214 pounds Pan American Games.

Well quite frankly I don’t think he’d do that well at all. He does hold a record of 7 wins by submission which is none too shabby. He even put together a six fight win streak before joining the WWE. However, at 34 and after a few years inside the WWE, he probably has the least shot of making any real waves than anyone on the list. Ironic because if there was anyone that could certainly give it a go tomorrow, it would be him.

Jack Swagger – If Jack Swagger jumped into the world of pro wrestling 30-40 years ago, he would probably have had several NWA world title reigns by now and be regarded as a pro wrestling legend today. That is because Swagger is boasts an outstanding amateur wrestling record and with his size, he would have been a top draw for years throughout the territory.

Swagger was a two sport athlete in college, and this wasn’t just any college. This was the University of Oklahoma. At Oklahoma, Swagger took part in both wrestling and football. He concentrated on wrestling full time after his freshmen year and became one of the most successful wrestlers in school history. Swagger was a true All-American and set a single season record for most pins at 30.

With his size and his athletic background, Swagger could conceivably be a powerhouse in MMA. Of course he would have to train hard and develop a standup game, but he could certainly hold his own on the ground. His background shows a guy that is great at anything he sets out to do athletically. He’d also be fighting as a heavyweight, which doesn’t always have the best athletes. At 6’6, 263, and 29 years old he has all of the tools to jump into the octagon with some training and make some real noise in the MMA world.

Will any of these guys make the leap to MMA? I don’t think so. But it would be interesting if they did.

Note: This was originally published on October 13, 2011

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WrestleMania XXVIII: A Portrait in Wrestling History

April 04, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

From SunLife Stadium in Miami, FL
April 1, 2012

It’s been purported that each WrestleMania event is generally planned a year in advance, and the booking is written backwards to support what they want to present on the grandest stage. While recent WrestleManias seem a bit more thrown-together at times, owing to an increasingly frenetic Vince McMahon being known to make constant changes, WrestleMania XXVIII was an event where a year-long plot was used, this time as an actual storyline.

One night after WrestleMania XXVII in Atlanta, John Cena called out The Rock. Rather than thrash the previous night’s guest host for costing him his World Title match against The Miz, a calm and happy-go-lucky Cena simply challenged Rock to a match at next year’s big event, giving both men one year to prepare for the clash of the ages.

The idea was unique for a modern time frame in which that $45 secondary PPV that you’re being offered has but two matches booked sixteen days before the event. It’s a little hard to get up for those shows (and buyrates seem to agree), but a WrestleMania where the main event is entrenched in everyone’s brains for 363 days?

Those “in-the-know” fans who balked at WWE’s most overexposed star, and most overexposed part-timer, getting a full calendar of non-stop billing would be rewarded by the successes of their heroes.

WWE was becoming a different place, as CM Punk and Daniel Bryan, who’d each passed through Philadelphia’s Murphy Rec Center on the way to the top, won the WWE and World Heavyweight Championships in 2011.

In spite of all of the social media blitzes, irksome moments from Michael Cole, and use of gimmickless FCW/NXT castoffs, it seemed WWE was crafting a WrestleMania unique among the pack. Between a year-long main event build, and two “workrate” champions, the everyday mold was finally being broken.

Cena and Rock crossed paths prior to the WrestleMania main event, as Rock’s movie schedule allowed him to wrestle at Survivor Series 2011. That night at Madison Square Garden, he and Cena formed a super-team that annihilated The Miz and R-Truth. Afterward, Rock dropped Cena with a Rock Bottom as a reminder that, in four months, they’d each engage in a defining match in their careers.

After Cena was sidetracked by a hard-boiled feud with Kane through early 2012, he and Rock criss-crossed on the remaining road to WrestleMania, insulting each other in their typical juvenille fashion. Rock would host one of his trademark “Rock Concerts” laden with entendres and jibes toward the current company flagbearer, while Cena reinstituted his “Doctor of Thuganomics” persona, ripping into Rock with some lines that would make the kid-friendly sponsors cringe.

The match was even given a TV special on USA Network to promote the history of the icons, giving this match, dubbed “Once in a Lifetime”, a super fight feeling like no other in recent memory.

As if the dream match wasn’t enough to churn buyrates, the “end of an era” was also promised. The Undertaker, 19-0 at WrestleMania, wasn’t happy with how he barely eked the win out over Triple H one year earlier, and demanded a rematch with COO of the company.

Hunter initially balked, but The Dead Man persisted, eventually goading the man technically his boss into a fight. The Game agreed on one condition: that it be a Hell in a Cell match. Shawn Michaels, who’d had his career ended by Undertaker, was made guest referee as one last twist of the screw.

Sheamus was the winner of the 2012 Royal Rumble, last ousting a quizzically-acting Chris Jericho. The Celtic Warrior waited three weeks before deciding which championship to challenge for, ultimately deciding on the World Heavyweight title held by an increasingly-self-indulgent Daniel Bryan.

Bryan was an anomaly, winning the title as an underdog hero on December 18 via briefcase cash-in, but slowly took on a portrayal as an egomaniac jerk. Not only did he ignore the affection of girlfriend AJ Lee, but Bryan began to praise himself more and more for minor victories, many of them tainted. He even allowed AJ to be injured by a stampeding Big Show, all just to keep his title.

As for the WWE Championship, anti-hero CM Punk would face the winner of a ten man battle royal that took place on February 20. Jericho would win, and thus be afforded a chance to continue his vague “end of the world” crusade via the company’s top champion.

Jericho first began the mind games with Punk by claiming the “Straight Edge Superstar” had stolen his “Best in the World” moniker, which Punk gladly challenged Jericho to try and take back. With the champ not fazed, Y2J resorted to revealing the ugly family history of Punk, complete with the addictions his family members all once had. Jericho promised to lead Punk down the road of self-destruction en route to taking his title.

Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler were the evening’s commentators, joined by a now-goateed Jim Ross for the Hell in a Cell match. For the third time, Lilian Garcia performed America the Beautiful. The Hall of Fame Class of 2012 consisted of Edge, The Four Horsemen (dual induction for Ric Flair), Ron Simmons, Yokozuna, Mil Mascaras, and celebrity inductee Mike Tyson.

World Heavyweight Championship: Sheamus def. Daniel Bryan in 18 seconds to win the title
(And we stumble out of the gate. Boy the fans at SunLife dumped on them for this decision. I’ve said it in other mediums: it’s not the treatment of Bryan that made this moment suck; it was the belief by the company that Sheamus was going to look stronger as a result. The people who run WWE couldn’t find the pulse of the fans if they had a GPS)

Kane def. Randy Orton in 10:56
(I don’t know who this “Daniel Bryan” fellow is, but he sure got a lot of chants during this match. Decent contest that ended with a flying chokeslam)

WWE Intercontinental: Big Show def. Cody Rhodes in 5:18 to win the title
(The build was entertaining, with Rhodes showing film of Show’s WrestleMania embarrassments to psyche him out, but the match was all too brief. Rhodes actually reigned as champion for eight months)

Maria Menounos/Kelly Kelly def. Eve Torres/Beth Phoenix in 6:49
(All of these women are gone from WWE, which is a commentary on how women would rather do “something else” than work there. But I’d take a stinkface from Miss Menounos, at least)

Hell in a Cell/”End of an Era”: The Undertaker def. Triple H in 30:50
(Opinions of this one are a little divided. Some call this the greatest match in the history of the galaxy. Others think it was stupid to have Triple H assault Undertaker with basic moves, and have Michaels nearly “stop the match” because Taker couldn’t continue. Because Hunter’s so bad ass. Eh, 20-0 is 20-0, even if was slower and more plodding than Heaven’s Gate)

David Otunga/Mark Henry/The Miz/Dolph Ziggler/Jack Swagger/Drew McIntyre def. Kofi Kingston/Santino Marella/Great Khali/R-Truth/Zack Ryder/Booker T in 10:38
(As a result of this, John Laurinaitis won complete control of Raw and Smackdown from Teddy Long. Oh, and Zack Ryder looked like a useless tool. That’ll learn em)

WWE Championship: CM Punk def. Chris Jericho in 22:21
(A highly physical and intense battle that took some time to find second gear, I still found it to be the best match of the night. The battle at the end over the Anaconda Vise, with Punk refusing to give up on the hold, despite Jericho’s vicious struggle, was a nice touch)

“Once in a Lifetime”: The Rock def. John Cena in 33:34
(Nice throwback to the big-time WrestleMania main events of old, even if it was preceded by a six hour concert featuring Flo Rida and anorexic Shannon Moore. Cena’s undoing came as he tried a People’s Elbow, only to be Rock Bottom’d. Some said it was boring, but I actually liked it. Whether Rock has the endurance for another 30 minute match is another story)

It’s hard to argue with 1.22 million buys, a WWE record, so some would say that a year-long build is the way to go. Rock would remain a part of WWE in a limited capacity, sticking around to challenge for the WWE Title at the 2013 Royal Rumble, but we’ll get to that next year.

The show began disastrously, and the fans largely didn’t come out of their anger-induced coma until the Hell in a Cell match. As many people who remember that match, and Rock and Cena’s epic showdown, equally remember how the show opened with the misstep of Sheamus and Bryan, possibly the worst WrestleMania booking since Hogan went over a tired Yokozuna at WrestleMania IX.

It wasn’t a terrible show, but it wasn’t a home run in any way except financially (undoubtedly important, despite our gripes). For the official “portrait” of the show, my pick will be a split screen. On one side is Shawn Michaels and Undertaker holding up a semi-conscious Triple H on the stage, while The Rock stands tall on the other side. WWE more than ever lives off of the past, as it can’t create an exciting present. Logically, their imagery should make you think you’re in 1998.

Justin Henry has been an occasional contributor to Camel Clutch Blog since 2009. His other work can be found at and He can be found on Twitter, so give him a follow.

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WrestleMania XXV: A Portrait in Wrestling History

April 01, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

From Reliant Stadium in Houston, TX
April 5, 2009

There have been many to criticize WWE for not knowing their history, often distorting facts and erroneously relaying anecdotes with the frequency of a con man on the witness stand. But this time, WWE is going to be taken to task for its poor math skills as well.

WrestleMania XXV was dubbed “The Twenty-Fifth Anniversary of WrestleMania”, which implies that WrestleMania began in 1984. While one may argue that the idea for event’s inception may have come from the year of Ronald Reagan’s re-election, the first event, clearly, took place in 1985.

“The Twenty-Fifth Anniversary of WrestleMania” was a repeated phrase, used dozens of times per broadcast in the weeks leading to the April 5 bonanza. It seemed almost apropos that a company would get something wrong, and then to their guns, continuing to get it wrong night after night, week after week, in every medium in which WrestleMania was advertised.

WWE can make its audience run a gamut of emotions, from “high satisfied to the point of pledging lifetime loyalty” to “wow, what made them think THAT was a great idea?” A misnomer in advertising would merely be the tip of the iceberg for a show that held high expectations.

Since WWE was demonstrating their ability to make continued miscalculations, it makes sense that they would bungle a number of other roads to their grand spectacle.

In the two world title matches, one would feature a nonsensical home invasion incident that would serve to take the story’s villain and reduce him to being a weakened oaf. The other would see the hero reveal a love triangle that featured the champion, his shrill authoritarian wife, and a seven foot monster.

Thankfully, there was one historically great match that would keep the show out of the landfill of wrestling’s mismanaged atrocities.

Randy Orton would win the 2009 Royal Rumble, adding another brick to his well-built newer persona. Orton had ditched his generic “evil jock” routine, and was now bent on playing an unstable creep, whose deplorable random acts of violence were facilitated by intermittent explosive disorder (IED). The condition came to the forefront six days before the Rumble when Orton, about to be fired by Vince McMahon for insubordination, struck the boss, and then delivered a vicious punt to his head.

Orton would then target the McMahons further, horribly injuring Vince’s son Shane, and then dropping daughter Stephanie with an RKO. The latter act was done as a message to the WWE Champion, Stephanie’s husband Triple H.

After Hunter broke into Orton’s house and attempted to maim him with a sledgehammer, Orton one-upped the champion by DDTing Stephanie a week later, while Hunter was handcuffed to the ropes. Then, to punctuate his misdeed, Orton kissed Stephanie’s lifeless face while Triple H could only scream at him helplessly.

Over on Smackdown, Edge had finagled his way into becoming World Heavyweight Champion the same night he lost the WWE Title. After being eliminated from Smackdown’s Elimination Chamber at No Way Out three minutes into the match, Edge attacked Kofi Kingston and took over in the Raw match, outlasting champion John Cena and others to win the title.

In order to keep Cena out of the title picture, Vickie Guerrero inexplicably announced that Edge would defend the World Heavyweight Title against Big Show at WrestleMania. Cena, however, interrupted the signing by whispering something to Vickie, who then canceled the signing abruptly. Cena then was inserted into the match, as it was revealed that Vickie and Big Show had been having a discreet affair, and Cena had used video proof to extort his way into the match.

Speaking of depravity, Matt Hardy had double crossed his brother Jeff, costing him the WWE Title in January. Hardy had tired of Jeff stealing the spotlight designed for both Hardy Boyz, and would sign to face him in an Extreme Rules match at WrestleMania.

Also on the demented side, Chris Jericho’s obsession with the movie “The Wrestler”, starring Mickey Rourke, had brought him to rail against legendary figures who hang on for too long. Jericho would violently assault Ric Flair, Jimmy Snuka, Rowdy Roddy Piper, and Ricky Steamboat, leading to him signing for a three-on-one elimination match against the latter three Hall of Famers. Rourke would be in attendance as well.

On February 16, Shawn Michaels def. JBL in a match where the winner would have the right to challenge The Undertaker for WrestleMania, with a chance to end his streak at stake. Michaels would try to outduel Taker with the mind games, pointing out how “The Phenom” never once pinned him, and also tried to get in his head with religious overtones. Michaels was content to break his nice-guy facade, one upping The Undertaker with sneak attacks in the winding weeks as well.

Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler, and Michael Cole called the entire event as a trio. Nicole Scherzinger performed “America the Beautiful”, while Kid Rock performed a song medley. The Hall of Fame saw inclusion of Stone Cold Steve Austin, Ricky Steamboat, Cowboy Bill Watts, The Funk Brothers, The Von Erichs, Koko B. Ware, and Howard Finkel

Money in the Bank: CM Punk def. Kane, Shelton Benjamin, MVP, Finlay, Christian, Kofi Kingston, and Mark Henry in 14:24
(The fans actually booed when Punk, still a face, won. That may have been the catalyst for one of my all time favorite heel runs in wrestling history. Match was solid, but nothing great, thanks to some very awkward spots)

25 Diva Battle Royal: Santino Marella won, last ousting Beth Phoenix and Melina in 9:26
(I refuse to dignify this crap any further. You can’t make me)

3 on 1 Handicap Elimination Match: Chris Jericho def. Rowdy Roddy Piper, Jimmy Snuka, and Ricky Steamboat in 8:53
(Jericho’s point about legends needing to go away was vindicated by Piper and Snuka wrestling like, well, Piper and Snuka. Steamboat looked amazing for having a 15 year layoff, and he and Jericho salvaged a crap match with just four minutes of work)

Extreme Rules: Matt Hardy def. Jeff Hardy in 13:13
(An underrated match sees both men have as violent a spotfest as possible. Hilarious moment: Jeff misses a pointless ladder leg drop, Matt hits a chair-wrapped Twist of Fate (which looked SICK), wins, and JR screams of how Matt has ruined the moment for Jeff. Uhh, Jim? Matt’s trying to win too)

WWE Intercontinental: Rey Mysterio def. JBL in 21 seconds to win the title
(The first time the Intercontinental belt is defended in the “WWE” era at WrestleMania, and it goes twenty one seconds. What a way for JBL to go. I did enjoy Rey’s “Joker” tribute though)

The Undertaker def. Shawn Michaels in 30:41
(If not for this match, we’d be talking about WrestleMania XXV the same way we talk about WrestleMania IX, or even an orphanage burning down. Just dramatic as could be throughout, and it deserved all the accolades that it received. It’s one of the five or ten greatest WrestleMania matches ever, and it saved the show)

World Heavyweight Championship: John Cena def. Edge and Big Show in 14:42 to win the title
(It wasn’t as bad as it could have been, as it did have a number of creative double teams and wild moments. But Cena winning (again), Show jobbing (again), and much of the action just seemed so derivative. It was alright)

WWE Heavyweight Championship: Triple H def. Randy Orton in 23:34
(They decided to blow off one of their hotter angles with a slow, awkward, punch-filled alleged brawl in which the crowd, all 70,000+ of them, was totally dead. Orton losing failed to get any kind of reaction, and you’ve noticed that Triple H hasn’t been involved in a major World Title program since)

There was a Tag Team Title unification match scheduled for the show, with John Morrison and The Miz taking on Carlito and Primo, but due to time constraints, the match was relegated to the pre-show. Those fans who didn’t check the internet during the show didn’t realize the match had already taken place until near the end of the night.

It seems about right that WWE would take four hard working young talents and excise them from the main card in favor of the Divas Battle Royal, which had a 10 minute concert that no one liked, followed by 10 minutes of insulting “wrestling”.

This is one of those nights where WWE seemed to not know what the fans wanted. Triple H won to no reaction. John Cena won, again, to the misery of his detractors. Piper and Snuka waddled through the motions while the two aforementioned teams got pushed aside.

But at least, with Undertaker and Shawn Michaels, the fans were treated to a half hour of no pointless swerves, no cutesy self-congratulation, and no overbooking to build to another show. Instead, two of the greatest wrestlers in history wrestled, and they wrestled well.

So at least we had that.

Justin Henry has been an occasional contributor to Camel Clutch Blog since 2009. His other work can be found at and He can be found on Twitter, so give him a follow.

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Ranking The WWE Elimination Chamber Matches

February 18, 2014 By: Category: lists, WWE | Pro Wrestling

It’s War Games, Survivor Series, and Royal Rumble all in one – it’s the Elimination Chamber? Devised in kayfabe by Eric Bischoff over a decade ago, the Chamber has been used to decide both championships and championship opportunities. The oft-stated forboding nature of this domed structure is palpable enough to have spun off its own annual PPV each February.

There have been 16 such Elimination Chamber matches to date, and here they are, from worst to best.

The Godawfully Ghastly

16. ECW Championship: Big Show (c) vs. Rob Van Dam vs. CM Punk vs. Bobby Lashley vs. Test vs. Hardcore Holly (12/3/06, December to Dismember)
WINNER: Lashley
MOST ELIMINATIONS: Lashley, Test (2)

Any hopes that ECW diehards had of their resurrected brand fulfilling the lost appeal of the original, died in Augusta, GA on this night. Vince McMahon monkeyed with Paul Heyman’s creation one last time before dismissing Paul E one day later, and the result was, in some ways, the beginning of the end of McMahon’s teflon-coated characterization

Crowd favorites Punk and Van Dam were eliminated early to set the stage for Lashley’s (in theory) Superman finish, where he plowed through Test and Show to win the gold. A mixed reaction met Vince’s next big thing, and Vince would soon enter a feud with him that was lukewarm at best. The addition of weapons to this Chamber couldn’t save it.

15. World Heavyweight Championship: Triple H (c) vs. Goldberg vs. Shawn Michaels vs. Kevin Nash vs. Chris Jericho vs. Randy Orton (8/24/03, SummerSlam)
WINNER: Triple H

Helmsley was saddled with leg injuries, and a noticeable gut, from a lack of his usual workout regimen. He performed exactly 2 minutes of physical work in the match, and scored the victory over Goldberg to retain the gold. Had WWE not been in a rut of dwindling ratings and putrid creative in 2003, Goldberg’s loss would have rivaled his WCW loss to Nash at Starrcade.

Many expected Goldberg to be what they knew him to be from day one: a muscle-bound bulldozer. And he was, mowing through Orton, Michaels, and Jericho to leave himself with the champion. But Ric Flair slid a sledgehammer to his charge, and after one simple knock to the head of “The Man”, a rather dismal SummerSlam ended on such a disappointing note.

14. WWE Championship: John Cena (c) vs. Shawn Michaels vs. Carlito vs. Chris Masters vs. Kurt Angle vs. Kane (1/8/06, New Year’s Revolution)

Journey back with me over 7 years to a time when Cena “overcoming the odds” was a fairly novel concept. Cena became the first man in the Chamber’s history (to be fair, this was the fourth such incarnation) to win the match from one of the two starting spots. The match is known more for its aftermath (Edge cashing in the briefcase) than the actual bout.

Angle was gone quicker than a flash, and Carlito and Masters would take over the match. Cena was busted open, and the midcard duo summarily eliminated Kane before Carlito scoring a surprising pin on Michaels. Then Carlito backstabbed Masters with a roll-up pin before Cena, in his crimson mask, rolled up Carlito seconds later to retain the title.

13. World Heavyweight Championship: John Cena (c) vs. Edge vs. Rey Mysterio vs. Chris Jericho vs. Mike Knox vs. Kane (2/15/09, No Way Out)
MOST ELIMINATIONS: Edge, Mysterio (2)

This was during the annoying period where both World Titles changed a combined 65 times in 3 weeks (give or take a dozen switches), and Cena’s 3 month reign (an eon in this era) ended in one of the rare times where you knew for sure he was cooked. And it all began when Edge attacked original entrant Kofi Kingston, and Vickie Guerrero allowed Edge his entry.

See, Edge was WWE Champion headed into the show, and he lost the Chamber earlier in the night in a matter of minutes (minor spoiler). So he, being the “Ultimate Opportunist” just finagled his way into this match, and you knew Edge would somehow win. Cena didn’t record a single elimination, amazingly, and Edge speared Mysterio to gain the other title.

The Appropriately Audacious

12. WWE Championship: Sheamus (c) vs. John Cena vs. Triple H vs. Randy Orton vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Ted Dibiase (2/21/10, Elimination Chamber)
MOST ELIMINATIONS: Everyone but Orton (1)

This may have leveraged its way up the list a little bit, had Cena not lost the title minutes later to Batista, per Angry Vince’s impromptu booking. As it was, this one was stocked with its share of interesting plot developments, notably in the form of Cody Rhodes interfering for Dibiase to get Orton out first, and a grueling Cena/HHH finish that coulda gone either way.

Sheamus’ first run as champion, before he was a grinning doofus with a latently racist mindset, ended after 2 months, when his real-life mentor Helmsley Pedigreed him. With the Celtic Warrior gone, HHH and Cena had a race to the wire, but Cena proved to be too much, and made Helmsley tap to the STF. And then it was off to put Batista over.

11. World Heavyweight Championship: Daniel Bryan (c) vs. Big Show vs. Great Khali vs. Santino Marella vs. Cody Rhodes vs. Wade Barrett (2/19/12, Elimination Chamber)

What began as a very mundane, very bland Chamber match (with the crowd even chanting their displeasure) turned into a rather exciting contest by the end, thanks to some surprising booking. Khali and Show were eliminated early on, leaving Marella as the only babyface if you don’t count the love for Bryan. And that’s when things began to get interesting.

Marella surprised Rhodes with a roll-up to eliminate the Intercontinental Champion, and then cooperated with Bryan to get rid of Barrett. In many cases, Santino Marella is merely the comedic patsy, but here, he won the crowd over as he nearly defeated Bryan on several occasions, building to a fever pitch where he finally tapped to the Yes/No Lock.

10. #1 Contender’s Match: Undertaker vs. Batista vs. Finlay vs. MVP vs. Big Daddy V vs. Great Khali (2/17/08, No Way Out)
WINNER: Undertaker

For the very first time, a Chamber match had merely the opportunity for a title match at stake, as opposed to actual gold. The idea that Khali and the former Mabel would be in position to have a chance to become champion is frightening enough, but they were fortunately done away with before they could bog down the works. With them gone, the real fun began.

It was Undertaker’s showcase, and not since he battered Mick Foley inside Hell in a Cell had he looked so violently dominant. MVP was killed off via a chokeslam off a pod, and Finlay met his end with a chokeslam on the grating. Taker remained with the man he had the best feud of 2007 with, and after brawling it out with his nemesis, a Tombstone put Batista way.

9. #1 Contender’s Match: Chris Jericho vs. Randy Orton vs. Jack Swagger vs. Kane vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Mark Henry (2/17/13, Elimination Chamber)
WINNER: Swagger
A shot at Alberto Del Rio’s World Heavyweight Title hung in the balance, so you’d figure a heel was winning this one. Being that Del Rio was blander than flavorless soup in his sudden turn as a lunch-bucket immigrant, it was appropriate that the equally bland Swagger would earn the shot, after suddenly returning as Rick Perry with muscles. Lucky us.
Still, the match was quite good, particularly when Henry entered and began demolishing everything in sight. The crowd lost its steam when Henry was downed by Orton’s RKO, and it seemed apparent that Swagger, inexplicably, was the only likely winner. After Orton RKOed Jericho out, Swagger indeed cradled Orton to win.

8. #1 Contender’s Match: John Cena vs. CM Punk vs. Randy Orton vs. John Morrison vs. R-Truth vs. Sheamus (2/20/11, Elimination Chamber)

A chance to face The Miz at WrestleMania XXVII, and a chance to be overshadowed by The Rock, hung in the balance. Consolation prizes included: teaming with Snookie, having your US Title match bumped from the big event, and being relegated to the pre-show battle royal. But rather than focus on the bass-ackward booking, let’s talk about the fun of this contest.

In a creative moment, Punk was eliminated seconds into his entrance, but was allowed to stay per the anonymous GM (remember that?) who ruled that Punk’s faulty pod door unfairly hindered him. Morrison landed a bizarre dive off the chamber’s concave roof onto Sheamus, which coincided a short push for him. Cena, of course, won in the end after AA’ing Punk.

The Excitingly Extreme

7. World Heavyweight Championship: The Undertaker (c) vs. Chris Jericho vs. CM Punk vs. Rey Mysterio vs. John Morrison vs. R-Truth (2/21/10, Elimination Chamber)
WINNER: Jericho
MOST ELIMINATIONS: Everyone but R-Truth (1)

Although Jericho’s victory would lead to a forgettable angle with Edge for the title (“SPEEEEEEEEAR”), and ultimately a title switch to Jack Swagger, this Chamber provided not only some fast-paced, brutal action, but the ending set up WrestleMania even moreso than Jericho’s title win, and it would lead to the exodus of one of wrestling’s greatest stars.

Truth and Punk were early exits, leading to Mysterio and Morrison to carry the body of the match with their typical stuntwork. Once they were gone, Undertaker was fixing to finish off Jericho, but Shawn Michaels popped up through the grating, and superkicked Undertaker, allowing Jericho to win. HBK got his rematch; the focal point of WrestleMania XXVI.

6. WWE Championship: Edge (c) vs. Triple H vs. Jeff Hardy vs. The Undertaker vs. Big Show vs. Vladimir Kozlov (2/15/09, No Way Out)
WINNER: Triple H
MOST ELIMINATIONS: Undertaker, Triple H (2)

As mentioned previously, this is the era where you’d wake up to a new champion seemingly every other day until Randy Orton, of all people, provided some stability over the spring and summer. But at least the matches weren’t always shoddy. Some of them, like this one, featured a number of main eventers at their hard-working peak. Also, Vladimir Kozlov was involved.

Edge was eliminated in under three minutes via fluke pin, so a new champion was guaranteed. Once Kozlov bit the bullet, you had four credible stars that could have each potentially walked out with the gold. The proceedings whittled down to Undertaker and HHH, who did more in 7 minutes than they did with 30 inside Hell in a Cell. A Pedigree gave Hunter his final World Title.

5. World Heavyweight Championship: Triple H (c) vs. Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Jericho vs. Booker T vs. Rob Van Dam vs. Kane (11/17/02, Survivor Series)
WINNER: Michaels
MOST ELIMINATIONS: Jericho, Michaels (2)

The first incarnation of the Chamber was not without its glaring botches. For one, Triple H had his throat sandwiched by an errant RVD dive, and could barely speak afterward. In another case, the production crew messed up the order of entrants, so Kane entered one spot early, throwing things into disarray. Otherwise, the match was fueled by a hot MSG crowd, and a great story.

It was Michaels’ second match back and, despite his turd-brown tights and Peter Stormare-hairstyle, the crowd was aching for a great comeback story. Michaels eliminated Jericho to bring it down to he and his old DX buddy, who’d brutalized him over the summer. Michaels won his final World Title with Sweet Chin Music, while the Garden, and Jim Ross, rejoiced loudly.

4. WWE Championship: CM Punk (c) vs. Chris Jericho vs. The Miz vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. R-Truth (2/19/12, Elimination Chamber)
MOST ELIMINATIONS: Punk, Jericho (2)

Jericho was unable to fulfill his “end of the world” proclamation at the Royal Rumble, being Brogue Kicked off the apron by Sheamus to send “The Great White” to WrestleMania. But fans felt that Jericho’s consolation prize would be to unseat Punk inside the Chamber, to pay off his highly unusual behavior since his return. Unfortunately, that wouldn’t happen either.

Jericho was a house of fire inside the Chamber, eliminating Ziggler and Kingston (the latter with a retro-fantastic Lion Tamer). But Jericho chose to remove Kofi from the Chamber himself as a grandstanding gesture. During this sequence, Punk roundhouse kicked him out of the door, and a wounded Jericho couldn’t continue. Punk then took Miz out with the GTS to win.

The Hallmark of Hellishness

3. World Heavyweight Championship: Edge (c) vs. Rey Mysterio vs. Big Show vs. Kane vs. Wade Barrett vs. Drew McIntyre (2/20/11, Elimination Chamber)

It doesn’t necessarily look like the lineup of a classic cage match, given the occasional lethargy of the 2 big men, and how McIntyre’s fallen down the card. While Edge and Mysterio put together the best finishing sequence in the match’s history, the rest of the match was pretty solid in its own right, with McIntyre shining in particular, baring a rarely-seen aggressive side.

The early eliminations were all rapid-fire, concluding with Rey and Edge doubling up to take out Kane. Once alone, the two traded near-falls for close to 10 minutes before Edge speared his former partner-turned-rival to retain. As a bonus, Christian made his return after the match saving his brother (not “friend”) from an assault by number one contender Alberto Del Rio.

2. #1 Contender’s Match: Triple H vs. Shawn Michaels vs. Jeff Hardy vs. Chris Jericho vs. Umaga vs. JBL (2/17/08, No Way Out)
WINNER: Triple H
MOST ELIMINATIONS: Jericho, Triple H (2)

This match may have meant a bit more if Hardy hadn’t been forced to the sideline weeks later after a drug failure. As it was, JBL and Umaga were eliminated early (with Umaga putting up a classic monster-heel performance prior to being pinned), and the match then centered on four well-regarded babyfaces. Well, three, as Jericho was eliminated seconds later.

Proving that the Chamber is every man for himself, Triple H eliminated Michaels, after Hardy had stuck Shawn with the Twist of Fate. After that, Hardy hung in there, surviving one Pedigree, and nearly struck with a Twist on Helmsley, but would fall victim to a second one onto a chair (JBL had brought chairs into the cage after his elimination) to give HHH the shot.

1. For the Vacant World Heavyweight Championship/Guest Referee: Shawn Michaels: Triple H vs. Randy Orton vs. Batista vs. Chris Benoit vs. Chris Jericho vs. Edge (1/9/05, New Year’s Revolution)
WINNER: Triple H

It was a lousy show before this match, but it’s not hard to see why: the entire main event tier was tied up with this one. Triple H dropped the title after a controversial finish in a triple threat match with Benoit and Edge, and had to go through Hell to get it back. His main henchman Batista, on the verge of a crowd-demanded face turn, was also at odds with him.

After Batista dispatched of Benoit and Jericho with assertive ease, “The Animal” worked with his boss to try and rid their former ally, Orton. But Orton dropped Batista with an RKO to eliminate him. Triple H, cunning as he is, didn’t make the save when he easily could have. Instead, an unknowing Batista took Orton out, and made it easy for Triple H to reign once more.

Justin Henry is a freelance writer who splits time between this site,, and He can be found via his wrestling Twitter at

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Top 10 Biggest WWE Upsets In History

June 20, 2013 By: Category: lists, WWE | Pro Wrestling

In this day and age of spoilers it is rare to see a surprise WWE result. Big upsets rarely happen in the WWE today but history shows that they are possible and here is a look back at ten of the biggest in World Wrestling Entertainment history.

When I say surprise result or big upset I mean a match in which the end result was just unthinkable. I recently did a similar blog looking at WWE championship matches but this is different. These are matches between two wrestlers that look completely lopsided on paper. Not only are these huge upsets but they are some of the most memorable moments in WWE history.

Ron Shaw defeats David Sammartino November 22, 1985 Philadelphia, PA I remember watching this as a kid and thinking, “WTF!” Ron Shaw was a perennial WWE jobber who was not given a push or big win ever up to this point. David had begun to flounder a bit but was still a name on the card due to his last name and push. The biggest surprise to me when this match started was seeing David Sammartino so early on the card. Shaw eventually won the match when David gave up to a bear hug, one of his father’s signature moves and that was no coincidence. What fans like me didn’t know is that Bruno Sammartino and Vince McMahon were at great odds behind the scenes and this was done as a big f-you to Bruno. For my money this may be the biggest upset in WWE history, at least the biggest I ever saw. Some have called this the phantom submission match but watching it again on YouTube nothing seemed strange about the result in regards to a screw job.

123 Kid defeats Razor Ramon May 17, 1993 New York, NY (RAW) The 20th anniversary of this classic WWE moment just passed and of all shocks this is probably the most memorable in WWE history. The Lightning Kid had been doing jobs for several weeks on WWE television yet had shown some promise. The idea of someone like Kid pinning Ramon at that time was unthinkable. Kid nailed a moonsault block and scored the upset on Monday Night RAW. Ramon (Scott Hall) did the job and Kid’s name was immediately changed to the 1-2-3 Kid. A star was born and the upset was ranked #20 by the WWE on its list of top 100 RAW moments.

Barry Horowitz defeats Bodydonna Skip June 28, 1995 Wilkes Barre, PA (WWE Action Zone) Horowitz was the lovable jobber for years in the WWE. Horowitz has some competitive matches but he was never given any kind of push. Skip on the other hand was a former WWE tag team champion along with Zip and was managed by the beautiful Sunny. The finish was great as Skip stopped to do pushups and show off for Sunny while Horowitz came from behind and cradled him. Jim Ross’ call of “Horowitz wins!” is one of the greatest of his career. Horowitz went on to beat Skip again at SummerSlam but didn’t find much success after his series with the late Chris Candido.

Ivan Koloff defeats Bruno Sammartino January 18, 1971 New York, NY This is a repost from my top 10 WWE Shockers blog. “Nobody expected it! Bruno once told me that he thought he went deaf after he lost because the place was silent. They were so shocked they were speechless! Behind the scenes Bruno wanted a reduced schedule and the plan was put in place to have Koloff transition to Pedro Morales. Koloff bodyslammed Sammartino, went up top, dropped the knee, and won the title in front of a stunned New York crowd ending Bruno’s seven year historic reign.”

Santino Marella defeats Umaga April 16, 2007, Italy (RAW) Fresh off of having his head shaved at WrestleMania 23, Vince McMahon picked Santino “out of the crowd” to get in the ring and wrestle Umaga in a No Holds Barred Match. McMahon mocked Santino for a few minutes before unleashing the beat Umaga. Umaga dominated Santino for a few minutes before Umaga’s rival Bobby Lashley hit the ring. Vince tried to counter with a chair but ran out of the ring once Lashley grabbed it. Lashley nailed Umaga on the head with it three times, hit a spear, and then put Santino on top for the upset (remember Vince made it No DQ). Like the Hororwitz upset, Jim Ross was awesome here when calling it the “upset of the century.”

The Blue Meanie defeats JBL July 7, 2005 Sacramento, California (SmackDown) My old buddy The Blue Meanie pulled off one of the biggest upsets in WWE history. Meanie had an incident with JBL two weeks before at the ECW themed One Night Stand pay per view where JBL shot on Meanie over a misunderstanding. Meanie was booked two weeks later for an unlikely No DQ match with JBL. Meanie tells the story in a recent RF Video Shoot Interview about he and JBL burying the hatchet before the match. The B.W.O. reunited on this night but it was Batista’s interference which helped Meanie get the notch in the win column. Batista came in and gave JBL a spine buster as the crowd went wild and put the Blue Guy on top for the unlikely 1-2-3.

Shelton Benjamin defeats Triple H March 29, 2004 Cincinnati, OH (RAW) Benjamin was teaming with Charlie Haas at the time but was drafted away from his partner to RAW for singles competition. At the encouragement of Steve Austin, Benjamin challenged Triple H to a match. Triple H was the big dog in town and while fans expected a fun match, nobody expected Hunter to lose. Benjamin got the pin with a Stinger splash after being nailed by Ric Flair and appeared on his way to a monster push. Instead he was jobbed regularly to Hunter and Evolution so badly that the upset didn’t even matter a few months later.

Maven defeats The Undertaker February 5, 2002 (SmackDown) Maven was the first winner of Tough Enough and received a big push when he eliminated The Undertaker during the 2002 Royal Rumble. The elimination sparked a feud which was overshadowed by Taker’s other feud at the time with The Rock. The two wound up wrestling on SmackDown in a Hardcore Title match. Taker was destroying Maven until The Rock came down, nailed the Dead Man with a steel chair, hit a Rock Bottom, and left the ring. A beaten Maven crawled on top of The Undertaker to score the upset in front of a rabid crowd and win the hardcore championship.

Kevin Federline defeats John Cena January 1, 2007 Miami, FL (RAW) – I completely forgot about this one until I started doing some research for the blog. The WWE did a tremendous job of building up a K-Fed vs. Cena feud for several months which culminated with a big match on New Years’ Day 2007. Cena toyed with Federline for awhile and looked like he was on his way to an easy win before Umaga hit the ring. Umaga spiked Cena as he held Federline up for the AA and nailed Cena with the belt. Federline then laid on top of Cena for the unlikely victory.

The Hurricane defeats The Rock March 10, 2003 Celeveland, Ohio (RAW) – This was a crazy upset and maybe the biggest on the list depending upon the era in which you grew up watching wrestling. The Rock was at his peak as a heel and feuding with Stone Cold Steve Austin at the time. Rock and Hurricane had some confrontations in the back with Rock mocking Hurricane’s gimmick. Rock dominated most of the match but was caught off guard when Austin came out and distracted The Great One. The Hurricane took advantage of the distraction and rolled up Rock for arguably the biggest win on RAW since the 1-2-3 Kid-Razor match in 1993.

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WWE Wrestler of the Week: April 19th – 25th, 2013

April 26, 2013 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

WWE Wrestler of the Week returns and this week there is no debate. There is only one winner this week as only one WWE superstar finished this week with a 2-0 record. To some WWE fans, the winner will not come as a surprise. This superstar has begun a revolution since redebuting as a new character. Luckily, this week’s winner cannot blame me for pronouncing his name incorrectly since I am simply just writing it. This week’s winner is the man formerly known as Johnny Curtis and now known as Fandango.

Fandango’s week began on the April 19th edition of Smackdown where he defeated Santino Marella. Although WWE is clearly feeding Fandango jobbers to build him as a winner, the choice of Santino was a wise one. Marella is WWE’s comedy jobber who provides a funny accent and mispronunciation. Pairing him up with a new character whose gimmick is about mispronouncing his name was brilliant. The outcome was never in doubt as Fandango continues to win.

Then, on Raw in London, Fandango faced William Regal in another victory for this week. Regal was another wise choice for Fandango’s opponent. Regal is rarely seen on WWE TV, as he spends most of his time with NXT. However, since Raw was in London, the choice of a British superstar was another brilliant move. The choice of the hometown hero guaranteed that the crowd would be against Fandango. Since Fandango became even more popular the night after WrestleMania (due to the crowd), WWE had to make sure that he stayed a heel.

Fandango had a rough start to his WWE career, but the future may be bright for the dancing heel. While many fans were beginning to hate Fandango for refusing to wrestle his matches, WWE made some great choices. The point of a heel is to hate him and that’s exactly what Fandango was becoming. His debut finally came at WrestleMania of all shows. Thankfully, WWE had him win against Chris Jericho.

However, as mentioned before, something happened the night after WrestleMania. Myself and others in attendance at the Izod Center in New Jersey for Raw, began humming and dancing to Fandango’s music. His entrance music became a hit in both USA and the UK. While it had more to do with his entrance music than himself, Fandango’s push began.

His promo on the following Raw was weak, but changes around the company may have been put into place for Fandango. Antonio Cesaro lost his United States title to midcard lifer Kofi Kingston. The new champion’s win was surprising, but it could mean something for Fandango. If WWE is serious about pushing Fandango, a midcard title may be a good move. The midcard titles have been treated terribly as of late, but perhaps Fandango can change that.

Will Fandango be the next United States Champion? What does the future hold for him?

Please share your thoughts on this week’s WWE Wrestler of the Week in the comment section below. Be sure to check out Camel Clutch Blog each and every Friday for a new winner.

Seth M. Guttenplan is a WWE Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report and host of OH YOU DIDN’T KNOW!? PWPRadio’s weekly radio show covering all wrestling news and rumors. To read more from Seth follow him on twitter (@sethgutt) and check out You can also like GWP on Facebook here.

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WWE SmackDown Results February 8 and Report

February 09, 2013 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

This week, WWE Friday Night SmackDown! stars will attempt to impress GM Booker T in order to gain entry into the Elimination Chamber. There are three spots left.

The show opens with The Big Show’s private bus pulling into the parking lot. He gets off and immediately heads into the building. After the opening theme song, Show is headed into the arena. Show has one more match with Alberto Del Rio for the World Championship at Elimination Chamber. Show tells the crowd that things around here are completely unacceptable. He’s tired of the way he’s being treated, and all of the double standards around here. He gets that no one likes him. Is it a crime to be unpopular? Because he’s not popular, it’s okay for him to be forced to put his title on the line a month ago in a Last Man Standing Match? He supposes that it’s okay that a Latin maniac like ADR can ambush him in his hotel room, too. You cheer the champion for acting like a criminal. He guesses that’s why people like ADR want to be on your good side, because when you’re popular, you can do what you want. Show doesn’t get the fans. He tries, and just doesn’t get it. When he fights like a man and decimates ADR and Ricardo Rodriguez, people call him a bully and a bad person. He tries to conduct himself like a businessman and refrains from confrontation with ADR, and people call him a coward. ADR can attack him, and people cheer the champ? Well, he’s got some news: before ADR attacked him, he signed a championship contract. That means at EC, the World title is coming back where it belongs. The double standards around here? Big deal. ADR gets suspended for the week. Woo-hoo. He gets a night off. One person is responsible for everything around here, and that’s Booker T. Book is jealous. He’s jealous of Show’s accomplishments, ability, wealth, but most of all, he’s jealous because Show is still an in-ring, dominant, competitive force, and Book is a sad man behind a desk, pushing a pencil.

As you would expect, Book makes his way out on this note. He asks Show what his problem is. Show has everything he asked for. ADR granted a rematch for the title at the Royal Rumble, and Show blew it. ADR doesn’t like bullies, and neither does Book. And Show continues to bully Ricardo. That isn’t going to get Show anywhere. Show wants to know who gave ADR his hotel information, accusing Book of doing it. It’s all about Book. The only way he stays relevant is by taking down one of the greatest stars in SD! history, and that’s Show. Book says he treats everyone equally, and that’s why the champion isn’t here tonight. He suspended ADR for the week. Show doesn’t care about that, and still wants to know who gave ADR the hotel info. Book points out how big Show is, meaning he stands out. Anyone could have given ADR that information as a result. Show shouldn’t be concerned with Book tonight; he needs to be concerned with his opponent. Show isn’t surprised. Book just dropped this on him without calling or emailing him. Book will take this under advisement, and just to make Show feel better, he knows his opponent. There’s good news and bad news tonight. Good news, his opponent lost on RAW. Bad news is, he’s in a bad mood and is looking to impress Book to get into the Chamber. That opponent is Kane. Book knows Show can dig that, sucka.

MATCH 1: Kofi Kingston vs. Cody Rhodes
We get a cut-away with Rhodes. He says he and his friend Damien Sandow have mutually decided to part ways. But, when one door closes, one opens, and behind that door is a vision everyone wants to see-Rhodes at the top of WWE. Kofi thinks he can stand in Rhodes’ way. Think again. Match starts with a Kofi waistlock. Rhodes fights out, and Kofi comes back with a monkey flip. He sends Rhodes to the floor, then hits a baseball slide. Back in, Kofi goes for a corner splash, but Rhodes moves out of the way. Rhodes covers Kofi, getting 2. He drops an elbow to the neck from the middle rope, then throws him to the corner. Kofi fights his way out, then hits a chop. Another chop, followed by a jumping clothesline. Boom Drop connects, and he calls for TIP, but Rhodes falls back into the buckle. Kofi charges in, so Rhodes moves out of the way. Kofi lands feet-first on the middle buckle, hops to the top and hits the cross-body for 2. Kofi goes for the SOS, but Rhodes shoves him off, ducks a TIP, and goes for the Cross Rhodes. Kofi slides out and goes for TIP once more, but hangs onto the ropes. Rhodes throws him outside, and as Kofi gets back on the apron, Rhodes hits the Beautiful Disaster. Back in, Cross Rhodes connects for 3.

WINNER: Cody Rhodes.

We see Kane in his locker room when Daniel Bryan walks in. He apologizes for what happened on RAW. Kane accepts and orders him to leave. Bryan says he didn’t intend to cost him his match against Sheamus, and he’s sure Kane didn’t mean to cost him against Damien Sandow. He forgives Kane, and he thinks he should come out with Kane to support him in against his match against Show. He once beat Show in 45 seconds, and it wouldn’t hurt Kane to be seen with someone who is already in the Chamber. Kane threatens to annihilate him before telling him to shut up. Not another word. Not “yes”. Not “no”. Nothing! The next word out of Bryan’s mouth will be “congratulations” after he chokeslams Big Show into oblivion later tonight.

We get a cool video for Bruno Sammartino’s induction into this year’s HOF class. While I am glad Bruno is finally in, I am tired of everyone saying things like, “It’s about time Vince inducted him!” Sorry, but that’s not the case. The reality is that Vince has been trying to get him to accept for several years now, and Bruno has refused to budge. He was the one who finally had to change his mind, not Vince. While Vince is wrong a lot, no question, the fact is he swallowed his pride on this one years ago, and was waiting for Bruno to do the same. Having said all of that, Bruno is the single most deserving guy to go into the Hall that hadn’t already been inducted, if for no other reason than his championship track record.

MATCH 2: The Great Khali (w/Hornswoggle and Natalya) vs. Titus O’Neil
Josh Mathews just called Khali a future Hall of Famer. I just died a little bit. Khali hits Titus with a forearm to the head. Open-hand chop to the chest in the corner. And another. Titus comes back with strikes, then hits a running boot to the head for 1. Front chancery is applied, then hits a couple more strikes before Khali connects with the brain chop for 3.

WINNER: The Great Khali. Mark Henry’s music hits, and the “World’s Strongest Man” is back in WWE. He throws Titus to the floor, then throws him into the barricade before telling him, “Sit down! Grown folks gotta talk!” He gets in the ring, where they trade punches. Henry hits an avalanche in the corner before getting caught by a brain chop. He calls for the Punjabi Plunge, but Henry breaks out, shoves him to the corner and hits another avalanche. World’s Strongest Slam connects. Actually glad to see him back, as his World title reign was enjoyable.

After the commercials, Henry is still in the ring, and he tells the crowd that the “Hall of Pain” is now open. He’s bent on destruction. Are there any questions? As you can see, Khali and Titus didn’t have any questions. Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara, last week on RAW, if they had any questions, Henry thinks he answered every last one of them. See for yourself. We see video from RAW, where Henry destroyed both of them. Henry says that’s what he does, and all of this tonight as well as all of that Monday night could have been avoided. This is all Booker T’s fault. Book assembled an elite group of champions to be in the Chamber, but he made one mistake: he didn’t call Henry. He left Henry out. How do you forget the strongest man that ever lived? That was a critical time to overlook him, because he’s not to be looked over. He needs an explanation, because he can’t wrap his brain around this. Booker T, you owe him an explanation. Walk out here and answer to him, because if you don’t, he’s coming back there, and he’s going to destroy the entire SD! roster. Get out here!

Book comes out, sans music. He tells Henry he can’t just attack people and impress the GM. This is Smackdown! Henry tells him there’s no room in the Chamber for him. If Book doesn’t make room, then he’ll make room for himself. You know what that means, right? It means that if Book doesn’t, Henry will injure enough people that he’ll be the only one in the Chamber. Book says Henry has been out nine months, dawg. He has to know if Henry can still go. So, if Henry can beat one of the guys that’s already in, he’ll grant Henry a spot. Tonight, Henry will face Randy Orton one-on-one.

Show is outside, yelling at his personal bus driver/butler. Show shakes his head and stomps back towards the arena. We see Alberto Del Rio emerge from the side of one of the buses as Show leaves the area.

MATCH 3: WWE Tag Team Co-Champion Kane vs. The Big Show
Kane starts with rights to the face. Show sends him to the corner for a hip bump. Kane comes back with a shot, sending Show to the floor. Outside, Show slams Kane into the steps. He throws Kane in, then wraps his leg around the post. Show gets back in the ring and begins working over Kane’s left leg, applying a modified ankle lock. Kane boots him off, but gets speared for his troubles. Commercials.

We’re back, and Show hits a Vader Bomb for 2. He goes up again, but misses the second one. They trade punches before they both go for the chokeslam. Show breaks it with a kick, but gets hit with a DDT off the ropes. Kane goes up top for the clothesline, which connects. Kane’s left knee is hurting. As he gets up, Show hits the WMD for 3.

WINNER: The Big Show. As Show is leaving, ADR pops up on the TitanTron, and he’s still around Show’s bus. He says that, when he attacked Show in the hotel, he wondered what he was going to do. Then it occurred he could make a new friend, meaning the butler. ADR decided to help the guy, as well as make some changes. Show storms up the ramp, and he’s obviously headed to the parking lot. Outside, we see that ADR has put the bus up on blocks. Show throws a fit, and we see a bucket of orange paint get dumped on him from on top of the bus. A tow truck pulls up, and ADR is in the back. He tells Show that if he needs new tires, he knows a guy before speeding off.

MATCH 4: Jack Swagger vs. Justin Gabriel
Cut-away promo for Swagger. He says that a real American doesn’t take handouts, or wait for something to happen. A real American takes what he wants, and tonight, he shows Booker T why the Chamber needs a real American, why it needs Jack Swagger. Swagger immediately backs Gabriel into the corner, then hits a walking belly-to-belly suplex. Gabriel ducks a clothesline and rolls Swagger up for 2. Swagger pops up and drops him with a clothesline. Swagger hits some forearms to the chest, then throws him across the ring. Swagger Bomb connects, but Gabriel counters a corner charge with a pair of boots. Springboard cross-body connects, and Swagger rolls to the floor. He tries to trip Gabriel up from the apron, but Gabriel jumps and boots him away. He goes for an Asai Moonsault, but Swagger yanks him to the floor. Back in, Swagger hits a running chop block. Falling Doctor Bomb connects, and he applies the ankle lock, which is now known as the Patriot Act. Gabriel taps.

WINNER: Jack Swagger.

We get a “From the Vault” moment featuring the Bushwhackers vs. the Bolsheviks. Not sure why we’re seeing this right now. Not only that, but rather than just a clip, we seem to be getting nearly the whole match.

We’re already up to three “Please don’t try this” videos, which makes me wonder if reports of kids doing this are appearing more regularly lately.

We get a video for Fandango, aka Johnny Curtis. I can’t believe they still haven’t given up on this guy. Not only that, but he’s got an uber-douchey new look, styling his hair after Tobey Maguire in Spider-Man 3.

MATCH 5: Drew McIntyre (w/Jinder Mahal and Heath Slater) vs. Tensai
Drew hits some forearms to the back, and follows up with a mafia kick for 1. He slaps Tensai, so Tensai beats him down before hitting an avalanche in the corner and continuing the beatdown. He hits the Derailer and goes for the pin, but the other two members of 3MB assault him.

WINNER VIA DISQUALIFICATION: Tensai. 3MB triple-team Tensai until Brodus Clay runs down. The two destroy 3MB, then stare each other down. Clay’s music hits, and he begins to dance. He and the Funkadactyls ask Tensai to join them, and he eventually obliges. Looks like we have a new tag team. Fine with me, as both guys have been pretty aimless for a while.

MATCH 6: Sin Cara vs. WWE United States Champion Antonio Cesaro (non-title)
Cesaro has some of the best ring jackets I’ve ever seen. The Swedish rap entrance theme isn’t too bad, either. Cesaro starts with a back heel trip, but Cara comes back with a bodyscissors into an armdrag. He stomps Cesaro’s hand and goes for the twisting springboard armdrag, but Cesaro drops him to the apron before hotshotting him, sending Cara to the apron. Back in, Cesaro hits the deadlift gutwrench suplex and the double stomp. Kneelift connects, as does a kick to the spine. Cara blocks a corner charge and hits an amazing-looking version of the sunset flip for 2. No, really. It was damn beautiful. Cara sends Cesaro to the floor with a hurricanrana, and follows up with a suicide dive. Back in, Cara hits a kick from the apron, but when he comes off the top, he’s hit with a Very European Uppercut. Neutralizer connects for 3.

WINNER: Antonio Cesaro.

Matt Striker is in the locker room with Randy Orton. He asks about Mark Henry’s return and their match later. Orton points out Henry’s injury, then he comes back and puts out a bunch of guys, thinking he can just get what he wants. It’s a good plan, but tonight, he’s hitting a roadblock, that being Orton. He knows Henry is the world’s strongest man, but he’ll have to be the world’s luckiest man if he thinks he can go through Orton tonight. If he’s not careful, Orton will put him right back on the shelf.

Striker is now elsewhere with The Miz. He asks Miz about what happened on RAW between him and Brock Lesnar. Miz says that, in his time in WWE, he’s been through a lot of intense situations and moments. He’s been against the baddest superstars out there, but looking into Lesnar’s eyes, he saw something completely different. Something lethal. He’s still here. He’s still on Smack…Antonio Cesaro interrupts him, saying he loves this country. Only here, a guy like Miz can stick his nose where it doesn’t belong, then whine and complain about it. How typically American. Miz says maybe Cesaro is right. Maybe he should stick his nose where it does belong. He punches Cesaro, and now they brawl on the floor until referees separate them.

MATCH 7: Randy Orton vs. Mark Henry
Lock-up to start, with Henry backing Orton into a corner. Orton fights out with punches, then hits a corner clothesline. Henry knocks Orton down, then kicks him before throwing him to the floor. Outside, Henry clubs Orton across the back. He goes to lawn dart Orton into the post, but Orton slides out and shoves Henry into it. Henry no-sells it and gets back in the ring. Orton fights him in the corner, then mounts the middle buckle to hit some forearms to the chest from behind. Henry turns around and knocks Orton to the floor with one right hand. Back outside, Henry rolls Orton back in the ring for 2. Orton rolls to the ropes, and Henry stands on his chest. Henry applies a trapezius claw, but Orton fights out. Henry headbutts him before missing an avalanche in the corner. Orton takes Henry down with a clothesline and another. Henry rolls to the apron, where Orton connects with the suspended DDT. He coils up for the RKO, but Henry shoves him off and hits an avalanche. World’s Strongest Slam connects for 3.

WINNER: Mark Henry. Henry now has a spot in the Elimination Chamber.

End of show.

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WWE SmackDown Results February 1 and Report

February 04, 2013 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

This week on WWE Friday Night SmackDown!, the show opens with Alberto Del Rio pacing in the parking lot, carrying a wooden stick. He’s apparently looking for The Big Show.

In the arena, GM Booker T is in the ring, surrounded by a bunch of wrestlers and Teddy Long. He welcomes us to the show before reminding us that John Cena won the Royal Rumble last Sunday. Cena has made it clear he’s challenging for the WWE title at Wrestlemania 29. The question now is, who will challenge for the World title that night? That’s why we’re here. Every wrestler around Book has been the World Champion at some point (The Great Khali, Randy Orton, Dolph Ziggler-w/AJ and Big E. Langston, Team Hell No! and Sheamus), and he’s giving them each the chance to be champion once more. The only thing they have to do is win the Elimination Chamber. There are only six spots available…

Jack Swagger’s music hits. Bet you forgot he still worked here, huh? Swagger comes out, and he’s got a slightly different look. Looks like Book forgot about someone. Looks like he left someone out of this gathering of former champions. Book asks where Swagger has been, dawg. Swagger says he’s been living the life of a real American, and his eyes are open. He’s been watching everything while gone, and he’s disappointed in the direction WWE is heading. What he wants Book to do about it is put him in the Elimination Chamber, and he’ll do the rest. Book tells him he has to earn that spot like everyone else. As he was saying, there are six available spots in the Chamber. Ziggler cuts him off. He’s already Mr. MITB and has a guaranteed title match, and Book is proposing he compete in one of the most brutal matches there is, or he could sit back and enjoy his guaranteed title match. Here’s what’s going to happen: he’s going to win the title. He can cash in his briefcase where he wants, including Wrestlemania. No, thanks. Book calls Ziggler a chicken, and that’s fine. However, he still has a match tonight, and it’s against ADR.

Back to the other six. They will all be in matches tonight. All they have to do is impress him, and he’ll decide what to do next. Now, to start the show off with a bang. The first match will be a tag team match. It will be Team Hell No! vs. Sin Cara and another former champion who wants into the Chamber, that being Rey Mysterio. Ugh. Here’s a face I didn’t need to see again. And since we’re in San Diego, it’s pretty much guaranteed he’s winning here.

MATCH 1: WWE Tag Team Champions Team Hell No! (Daniel Bryan and Kane) vs. Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara (non-title)
Cara has new gear, and Mysterio is dressed like Aquaman. Rey and Kane start the match, and Kane boots him in the corner. Rey counters a tilt-a-whirl into an Asai DDT for 2. Kane rolls to the floor, where Rey dropkicks him through the ropes. Back in, Rey dropkicks Kane in the knee before tagging in Cara, and they hit a pair of kicks to the chest and back. Cara goes for the pin, getting 1. Kane throws him to the corner and tags in Bryan, who hits some strikes. Cara comes back with a handspring back elbow and a hurricanrana off the ropes. Cara with a kick and a twisting armdrag from the top rope. Rey tags in, and the luchadores hit a double-team cannonball on Bryan. Rey goes for the pin, getting 2. Rey goes for a spinning headscissors, but Bryan counters into a modified lung blower. Kane tags in, hitting a corner clothesline for 1. Uppercut by Kane, and now Bryan is back in. Kane whips Bryan into Rey, and Bryan connects with a dropkick for 2. Rey hits the headscissors this time and looks for the 619, but Bryan slides to the floor. Commercials.

We’re back, and Bryan is working over Cara’s arm. Cara reverses a corner whip, but runs into a boot. Bryan mounts the middle buckle, and Cara hits him with a kick. Up top, Cara goes for a super hurricanrana. Bryan shoves him off, and he lands on his feet, where he is met with a seated dropkick from the middle rope by Bryan. Bryan goes for a surfboard stretch, then tags in Kane, who hits a low dropkick for 1. Sidewalk slam for 2. Kane sets him on the top rope, but Cara fights him off and goes for a cross-body. Kane catches him and goes for a powerslam, and Cara counters into a tornado DDT. Bryan and Rey tag in, and Rey gets the hot tag. He hits another cannonball and goes for a hurricanrana. Bryan rolls through into a sunset flip, and Rey continues to roll, hitting a seated dropkick for 2. Rey sets up for the 619, but Kane intercepts him. He boots Cara down and goes for the chokeslam, but Rey counters into a hurricanrana, sending Kane to the floor. Bryan grabs Rey and applies the No! Lock, but Cara dropkicks Bryan in the face to break the hold. Cara takes out Kane on the floor as Rey connects with the 619. Rey hits a falling splash off the top and gets the 3.

WINNERS: Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara. Bryan and Kane argue on the outside post-match.

Matt Striker approaches ADR in the parking lot. ADR says he’s just getting fresh air.

MATCH 2: The Great Khali (w/Hornswoggle and Natalya) vs. Jinder Mahal (w/Drew McIntyre and Heath Slater)
Khali forearms Mahal across the head, then hits an open-hand chop in the corner. Mahal dropkicks him in the knee, then applies a front chancery. Khali shoves him off and hits another chop to the chest. He hits a clothesline and a brain chop. He calls for the Punjabi Plunge, but Drew jumps on the apron for a distraction. He thrusts at Nattie, so Khali brain chops him. Slater chases Hornswoggle under the ring as Khali hits the Punjabi Plunge on Mahal for the 3.

WINNER: The Great Khali.

Book and Teddy Long are watching on the monitor. Long says tonight is going to be fun and unpredictable. Book says that Jack Swagger’s return was unpredictable. Long admits that Swagger’s return was his idea. The Rhodes Scholars walk in, and Rhodes says they are dissolving the team and returning to singles competition. Sandow says they will, however remain friends. As the French author Albert Camus once said, “Don’t walk behind me, I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me, I may not follow. Just walk beside me, and be my friend.” Rhodes and Sandow hug while telling each other things will work out. Book interrupts the hug and says he’s glad about this decision. That frees Sandow up to face the guy who put him through a table on RAW, that being Sheamus. Book tells him he’s welcome.

ADR is still pacing outside, waiting for Show.

MATCH 3: Sheamus vs. Damien Sandow
Sandow fires off some punches until Sheamus trips him and hits some of his own. Sandow rolls to the floor off an Irish whip, and Sheamus drops him on the outside. Back in, Sandow stomps Sheamus down, then hits some corner shoulder thrusts. Sandow hits a side-Russian legsweep, then drops a jumping knee. The Cobito Acqiuet connects for 1. They trade strikes, Sandow from a standing position and Sheamus from his knees. Sheamus eventually beats Sandow down in the corner, but Sandow comes back with more strikes of his own. Sheamus hits a shoulder in the corner, a running knee and a pair of Irish Hammers. He goes for White Noise, but Sandow slides out onto the apron. From there, Sheamus traps him in the ropes and hits the forearms to the chest. All of a sudden, The Shield’s music hits, and we see them make their way through the crowd. Sandow disappears.

WINNER: No contest. The Shield surrounds the ring, and Seth Rollins is the first in, who gets blasted with a Brogue Kick. Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns double-teams Sheamus, who is fighting back. He sends Reigns to the floor, but Ambrose trips Sheamus up. They continue the 2-on-1 attack until Rollins recovers. When he does, The Shield hit the triple powerbomb.

MATCH 4: Randy Orton vs. Intercontinental Champion Wade Barrett (non-title)
Orton ducks a clothesline and fires off some rights. He hits a clothesline and a dropkick, sending Barrett to the floor. Back in, Barrett with some strikes, punching Orton in the corner. Orton fires back before Barrett drops him with a boot for 2. Neckbreaker by Barrett for another 2. Barrett traps Orton in the ropes, where he drops Orton to the apron with a running boot for 2. Rear chinlock is applied, but Orton throws him off and goes for the Four Moves of Boredom. Barrett drops to the floor to avoid the DDT. Orton heads out, and Barrett cuts him off, slamming him into the post. He calls for the Bull Hammer, but Orton ducks, and Barrett hits the post. Orton pulls him to the apron and hits the suspended DDT. RKO ends the match.

WINNER: Randy Orton. That RKO looked absolutely awful.

Matt Stryker is in the back with Wade Barrett after the commercials. Barrett starts to talk, but sees someone off-camera. It’s Bo Dallas, and Barrett attacks from behind. They start brawling and Barrett eventually gets the best of it, stomping Dallas down behind an equipment box.

MATCH 5: Kofi Kingston vs. Jack Swagger
Swagger skips the pre-match push-ups. Swagger immediately tackles Kofi, then hits a waistlock takedown. Belly-to-belly suplex by Swagger. Kofi hits some strikes before running into a shoulder. Crisscross ends in a Kofi back elbow. Swagger shakes it off and throws Kofi across the ring. Swagger Bomb connects for 2. Kofi tries to fight back, but no such luck. Another throw by Swagger. Kofi hits some punches and a springboard cross-body by Kofi gets 2. Swagger recovers and turns Kofi inside-out with a clothesline. Swagger applies an armbar now, and Kofi fights out before Swagger applies it again. Kofi fights out again, but Swagger backs him into the corner and hits some kneelifts. Kofi manages to knock Swagger back, hits some chops and a dropkick. Boom Drop connects as the crowd has begun to turn on Kofi. He calls for the TIP, but Swagger catches him and throws him to the corner, where Kofi hits the Pendulum. Up top, Kofi goes for a springboard clothesline. Swagger ducks, as Kofi lands on his feet. Kofi rebounds and sends Swagger to the floor with a seated dropkick. Swagger avoids a baseball slide and sends Kofi into the steps. Kofi hops over them and charges back at Swagger with a jumping clothesline. He goes for TIP outside, but Swagger moves, and Kofi’s foot hits the announce desk. Back in the ring, Swagger applies the ankle lock to the bad foot, and Kofi taps.

WINNER: Jack Swagger. Nice to see WWE booking Swagger as a legitimate threat and not a comedy act this time around.

ADR is approached by security, telling him to throw his weapon down and come inside. ADR starts to agree until he sees a bus enter the parking lot. I guess it’s a pipe and not a stick. My bad. Anyway, the bus does indeed belong to Show, who we see getting off of it. ADR charges at him with the pipe, narrowly missing. Show fights back until ADR swings at him. Show moves, and the pipe hits the window of a car. Show kicks him away from the roof, and ADR trips him on the roof with the pipe. Show climbs into another car, locks the door and speeds away.

After Dolph Ziggler enters the arena, we see ADR walking towards the ring. Ricardo Rodriguez approaches him, wearing a neck brace. ADR tells him to stay back, but Ricardo doesn’t want to since they are a team. ADR tells him no since he’s hurt, and to trust him.

MATCH 6: Dolph Ziggler (w/AJ and Big E. Langston) vs. World Champion Alberto Del Rio (non-title)
Lock-up to start, with Ziggler going into an armbar. ADR reverses and forces Ziggler to the mat. Ziggler fights back, but ADR quickly recovers, knocking Ziggler down. He misses a moonsault, lands on his feet, rolls through and pancakes Ziggler down before hitting a thrust kick to the face for 2. Ziggler avoids a corner charge and hits a jumping DDT for 2. Neckbreaker by Ziggler for 2. Show-Off Elbow for another 2. Rear chinlock is applied, and ADR eventually gets to his feet. He ducks a clothesline and hits a German suplex. ADR goes up for the moonsault again, but AJ distracts the referee, which allows Langston to trip ADR and knock him back to the mat. Ziggler goes for the cover, getting 2. ADR ducks a clothesline, dropkicks Langston through the ropes and hits a flapjack on Ziggler. Langston jumps on the apron, so the referee ejects him. Commercials.

We’re back, and ADR & Ziggler are trading strikes. Ziggler levels ADR with a dropkick for 2. Ziggler goes up top, but ADR crotches him. ADR goes up, hitting a middle rope superplex. They trade punches, and Ziggler gets the best of it. ADR avoids a corner charge, causing Ziggler to collide face-first with the top turnbuckle. ADR with a pair of clotheslines and a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. ADR connects with a thrust kick, getting 2. ADR signals for the rolling jujigatame and goes for it, but Ziggler escapes and hits a rocker dropper for 2. Both men recover, and ADR manages to get Ziggler hung up in the corner, where he hits him in the back with several forearm shots and a hanging backstabber for 2. ADR goes up top once more, and he’s met with a dropkick by Ziggler for 2. ADR manages to avoid the Zig Zag and quickly locks in the rolling jujigatame, forcing Ziggler to tap.

WINNER: Alberto Del Rio.

The Big Show pops up on the big screen and says he’s back in the building, and he’s not alone. He has a friend with him. The camera pans out to see Ricardo Rodriguez standing next to Show. He tells ADR to stay in the ring, because if he doesn’t, Show will snap Ricardo like a piece of straw. He tells ADR that if ADR attacks him like that ever again, he will make ADR sorry he ever woke up that day. Show will hurt anyone and everyone who gets in his way. Ricardo falls to his knees, begging for mercy. Show pulls him back to his feet and says he’ll let him go, but not before connecting with a WMD. ADR runs to the back. Back to Ricardo, a referee is checking on him already. A trainer and ADR both show up as well. ADR is screaming for a doctor.

End of show.

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