We’re going right into the matches on WWE Friday Night SmackDown again this week, and this time, it’s an Elimination Chamber qualifier.
MATCH 1-Elimination Chamber Qualifying Match: Dolph Ziggler vs. Antonio Cesaro (w/Zeb Colter)
Cesaro immediately nails a dropkick for 2. Ziggler rolls Cesaro up for 2. Cesaro hits a sunset flip for 2. They trade pins a few more times before Ziggler ducks a clothesline and rolls Cesaro up for 2. He follows up with a rocker dropper for another 2 as Cesaro rolls to the outside. Ziggler heads out as well and chases Cesaro around the ring. He blocks a kick, lands a punch and rolls Cesaro back in. Cesaro blocks a leapfrog with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for 2. Cesaro throws Ziggler to the corner, then follows up with a nice butterfly suplex for 2. Ziggler blocks a right and hits a few of his own before getting clotheslined to the floor. Cesaro heads out after a moment, dropping Ziggler chest-first across the barricade. He rolls in to break the count, and Ziggler crawls in at 9. Cesaro immediately covers him for a 2-count. Ziggler tries to come back with rights, but Cesaro quickly locks in a sleeper. Ziggler elbows his way out, nails a right, then misses a corner splash, causing him to roll to the apron. Cesaro pulls him up to his feet and hits a superplex off the second rope from the apron for 2. He quickly follows up with another pin attempt and a rear chinlock. Ziggler tries to get to his feet, but Cesaro pulls him back down to the mat while maintaining the hold. Ziggler counters with a jawbreaker, ducks a clothesline and pops up with a dropkick for 2. Cesaro blocks an Irish whip before hitting a series of forearms. Ziggler comes back with a spinning headscissors into a scissored sleeper. Cesaro counters into the gutwrench suplex in a nice spot. Ziggler recovers and Cesaro attempts to hit a pancake, but Ziggler counters mid-air into a DDT for 2. Ziggler goes for the Zig-Zag, but Cesaro holds onto the ropes and snaps Ziggler backwards. He locks in the Cesaro Swing, then signals for the Neutralizer. It connects, and Cesaro gets 3.
WINNER: Antonio Cesaro. Big win for Cesaro, and he won a damn good match in the process.
The Shield make their way down to the ring. Dean Ambrose says the Elimination Chamber is custom-made for the Shield, so make no mistake, the stakes on Monday night couldn’t have been any higher. Everyone knows if they had been unleashed in that Chamber, they would have walked out the WWE World Champion. Ambrose asks Roman Reigns if it would be him. He responds that he knows so. Ambrose disagrees, and he doesn’t apologize for trying to throw Reigns out of the Rumble. Reigns doesn’t apologize for actually throwing Ambrose out. It was every man for himself, so quit complaining. Ambrose says next time, maybe he’ll do it right to Reigns’ face. Reigns gets in Ambrose’s face, and Seth Rollins steps in the middle. He says they are the Shield, the most dominant faction in history. This is their yard, and they have intruders, talking about the Wyatt Family. They are the reason the Shield aren’t in the Chamber, and he doesn’t know why the Wyatts did what they did. Frankly, he doesn’t care. What he does know is they must be dealt with. He calls Ambrose the greatest US Champion he’s ever seen. Reigns has been spearing people since day one. Reigns broke the STF, and they were this close to winning that match. Ambrose says if the Wyatts want a new world, the Shield will give them one. If they aren’t going to win the title at EC, they’ll do the next best thing by wiping the Wyatts off the face of the Earth. Wyatts, consider that a challenge.
Before that can happen, Triple H interrupts her. She heads to the back as Trips makes his way down to the ring. He says he understands where they’re coming from, and he gets it. The Wyatts cost them a shot at the Chamber, and possibly a chance to be the WWE World Champion. But it’s water under the bridge. Let it go. There’s no profit in it. There is nothing to benefit or gain. Wrong place, wrong time, bad situation. All there is in this is loss and more problems. Just let it go. Rollins says that, with all due respect, Trips needs to look at it from their perspective. Trips says he has done that, but with all due respect, it wasn’t a request. He tells them to let it go once more. Reigns gets in Trips’ face, then says Trips doesn’t understand. They’re not asking for his approval. Trips smiles and says he can see by the looks in their eyes, there’s no talking them out of this. If that’s the way it’s going to be, if this fight’s going down no matter what, he might as well profit from it. The fans want to see the match, so Trips will do what’s best for business. At EC, it will be the Shield vs. The Wyatt Family. He hopes the Shield knows what they’re doing.
MATCH 2: Xavier Woods (w/the Funkadactyls-Cameron & Naomi-and R-Truth) vs. Fandango (w/Summer Rae)
R-Truth is on commentary, just like the last time these two faced each other a couple of weeks ago. Fandango applies a side headlock before shouldering Woods off the ropes. They crisscross, and then Fandango turns around into a dropkick. Woods hits a legsweep for 1, then lands a knife-edge chop. He goes for a bodyscissors, but Fandango counters into a wheelbarrow suplex for 2. Fandango lands an elbow to the chest, followed by a couple of stomps and a short-arm clothesline for 2. Fandango applies a rear chinlock. Woods tries to fight out, but gets booted into the corner before being sent across the ring. Woods blocks the impact with his chest, rolls backwards into a bodscissors and snaps off a pretty fancy sit-out facebuster. Woods hits some snap jabs, a headbutt and a discus punch. He lands a mule kick and a seated dropkick, sending Fandango to the outside. Woods wipes him out with a somersault plancha as we see Emma “dancing” in the audience. Summer Rae grabs her sign and breaks it over her knee. Emma pulls out another one and continues “dancing”. Meanwhile, in the ring, Woods goes up top, but gets crotched. Fandango picks him up from this position and drops him into a falcon arrow for 3.
WINNER: Fandango. After the match, Fandango goes for the move again, but Truth comes in and nails Fandango with an Osaka Street Cutter. As the faces dance, Fandango throws a fit on the outside, trashing the remnants of Emma’s sign.
MATCH 3: Rybaxel (Curtis Axel and Ryback) vs. The Prime-Time Players (Titus O’Neil and Darren Young)
Young and Axel start the match, with Young immediately hitting a waistlock takedown into a front chancery. Axel counters into a hammerlock. Young does the same. Axel breaks it with an elbow to the head, but Young comes back with a right. Axel rams him into the corner and tags in Ryback. Young fights him off with forearms before receiving a boot to the gut. Ryback then launches Young to the outside. Young knocks Axel down on the floor and comes back in, but gets kicked in the face. Ryback nails the Meat Hook, then tags in Axel, who hits the Stone Cutter for 3.
WINNERS: Rybaxel. Titus stands on the apron after the match, looking irritated. Young appears to have a busted lip. Titus steps in the ring and begins to berate Young. Young asks what Titus is doing. They’re a team, and they’re like brothers. Titus knows that. Titus takes the mic and says they aren’t family. Ever since they partnered together, Titus has been known as a loser. He didn’t come her to be a loser. He came to WWE to win and be the man. He wants to be a champion, and he needs to get rid of the dead weight of Young. Young wants to go to the back to talk this out, but Titus decides to drop him with a running boot instead. Titus begins wailing on Young before stomping him down and booting him out of the ring. Titus then drops to the floor, picks Young up by his head and begins swinging him into the barricade.
We get a video for Alexander Rusev, who will apparently be managed by NXT diva Lana. This video reminds me of the old Brakkus promos.
MATCH 4-Elimination Chamber Qualifying Match: Jack Swagger (w/Zeb Colter) vs. Christian
Zeb joins the announce desk at the request of JBL. The bell rings, and Swagger knocks Christian into the corner before whipping him across the ring. Christian counters a charge with a pair of boots and goes for a middle rope cross-body, but Swagger catches him, presses him over his head and drops him over the ring post to the floor. Swagger hits a running knee against the barricade, then rolls Christian into the ring for 2. Swagger applies a waistlock, but Christian breaks free and hits a couple of elbows. Swagger shakes the blows off and shoves Christian chest-first into the buckles. He nails a forearm to the face, and Christian comes back with an uppercut. He hits a second one, then goes for the spear, but Swagger stops that with a kitchen sink. He follows up with a Swagger Bomb for 2. Swagger then stands on Christian’s chest before taunting the crowd. He nails a right in the corner before hitting a few kneelifts, then sets Christian on the top rope for a superplex. Christian fights him off, boots Swagger in the face and nails a tornado DDT for 2. They trade rights until Christian trips Swagger into the middle rope. He nails the inside-out uppercut, follows up with an inverted hotshot, then follows that up with a middle rope dropkick for 2. Christian hits a spinning European uppercut from the middle rope and goes for the Killswitch. Swagger quickly escapes, boots Christian and hits the falling Doctor Bomb for 2. Swagger argues with the referee, then goes for another Swagger Bomb. Christian blocks it with a pair of boots and hits a sunset flip from the middle rope for 2. He ducks a clothesline and goes for the Killswitch again, but Swagger escapes and goes for a back suplex. Christian backflips out, then gets pancaked, with Swagger locking in the Patriot Lock in mid-air. Christian rolls through into a pinning combination for 2. Swagger charges at him in the corner, but misses, going shoulder-first into the ring post. Christian heads upstairs, and Swagger tries to cut him off. Christian knocks him down and hits the frog splash for 3.
WINNER: Christian, who becomes the final entrant in the Elimination Chamber. Swagger, much like Darren Young earlier, has apparently busted his lip open.
You know, with all of the 6-man tag team matches WWE books, I’m surprised they haven’t reinstated the World 6-Man Tag Team Championship yet.
We see Christian walking to his locker room when Renee Young stops him to welcome him back, then asks how he feels about being in the Chamber. Christian says he earned this match like everything else he’s gotten in WWE. He’s going to be in the ring with five of the best in the world, but since he was out with an injury, he had a lot of time to think. During that time, he realized his window of opportunity was starting to close to become WWE World Champion and headline Wrestlemania. Christian is desperate, but he hopes that the other five he’ll be in the ring with will underestimate that desperation, because he is dangerous. He is now the most dangerous Christian that anyone’s ever seen.
MATCH 5: Kofi Kingston vs. Damien Sandow
We get a cut-away promo from Sandow before the match starts. He says he’s sure all of you mouth-breathing knuckle-draggers in the WWE Universe are having a laugh at his state of affairs. All great men in history have had trials; this is his trial by fire, and he assures us he will emerge stronger than ever. The match starts with Kofi applying a waistlock. Sandow breaks free and hits a jackknife for 2. He follows up with a side-Russian legsweep for another 2, then misses a corner splash. Kofi hits a few kicks, but then receives a kitchen sink off the ropes for 2. Sandow applies an abdominal stretch, but Kofi counters with a hiptoss. Sandow recovers and hits a sunset flip, but Kofi rolls through and lands a kick to the chest. Kofi hits a pair of double chops and a dropkick, sending Sandow to the corner. Sandow avoids a splash, but Kofi lands on his feet on the middle rope, hops to the top and goes for a cross-body, but misses. Sandow covers him for 2, but Kofi recovers with a roundhouse. He goes for TIP, but Sandow ducks. He goes for the Terminus, but Kofi shoves him off and hits the SOS for 3.
WINNER: Kofi Kingston.
MATCH 6: Cody Rhodes (w/Goldust) vs. WWE Tag Team Co-Champion the Road Dogg (w/Billy Gunn)
Rhodes backs Dogg into the corner with a lock-up, giving a clean break. Dogg answers with a boot and a punch before getting hit with a misdirection clothesline for 1. Rhodes takes a breather on the outside, then comes back in, applying a hammerlock. Dogg kicks him in his bad arm (from Monday night), and now Dogg is tying it up in the ropes. Dogg applies a mounted armbar, then snaps Rhodes down with an arm wringer. He applies a hammerlock and sends Rhodes shoulder-first into the buckles. Rhodes fights back with rights, but gets kicked in the bad arm before Dogg goes back to the armbar. Rhodes counters a corner whip with an Oklahoma Roll for 2, and then the two collide in the middle of the ring off a crisscross. Rhodes gets back to his feet, ducks a clothesline and hits one of his own. Dogg now ducks one, but runs into a high knee. Rhodes hits a boot and the Goldust Uppercut, then hits Dogg with Hardcore Holly’s old suspended boot before landing a seated missile dropkick. Gunn tries to interject himself, but Goldust pulls him back down to the floor. They brawl until Gunn nails a clothesline. He gets on the apron, where Rhodes hits him with the Disaster Kick. Dogg rolls Rhodes up in a schoolboy, but only gets 2. Rhodes ducks another clothesline and hits the Disaster Kick for 3.
WINNER: Cody Rhodes. After the match, Gunn nails Rhodes from behind. Goldust enters the ring and knocks Gunn to the floor with rights. Rhodes begins nailing Dogg in the ring as Goldust rolls Gunn back in for some stomps, booting him back to the floor. Dogg and Rhodes fight on the other side of the ring before the New-Age Outlaws eventually retreat to the back.
MATCH 7: The Shield (WWE United States Champion Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins) vs. Sheamus, Rey Mysterio and Daniel Bryan
Sheamus and Rollins start the match with a lock-up. Sheamus quickly hits a hip throw before shouldering Rollins off the ropes. Reigns tags in and locks up with Sheamus before applying a side headlock. He shoulders Sheamus off the ropes, then boots him in the gut. Reigns nails a right, then attacks Sheamus in the corner. Sheamus blocks a hiptoss and hits a clothesline before kicking Reigns in the back and hitting a neckbreaker for 2. Reigns comes back with an uppercut, then chokes Sheamus over the top rope as Ambrose tags in. He headbutts Sheamus down in the corner, then stomps him. Sheamus tries to fight back, but Ambrose ties him up in the ropes for a right hand. Sheamus hits a forearm to the back off the ropes, then drop Ambrose gut-first across the top rope, hits him with a kneelift, then ties him up for some forearm shots to the chest. Sheamus then nails both Rollins and Reigns as they try to interfere. Ambrose eventually climbs back into the ring after taking a breather, and Sheamus tags out to Bryan.
So, once again, my computer crashes, because it’s a giant piece of sh*t and I don’t have the money to replace it right now. As a result, I’m skipping ahead a bit and going straight to the end of the match. Basically, all the wrestlers hit their signature spots until Mysterio (he and Reigns were the legal men) sets Reigns up for the 619. Reigns quickly recovers and cuts through Mysterio with a spear mid-run and gets the 3.
WINNERS: The Shield.
End of show.
Sorry my recap of the main event sucks, but I’m too pissed off with my computer to go back and watch the match again to give it a detailed recap. Plus, if you knew what I had to deal with just to get these recaps out every week, you wouldn’t blame me for a second.
Dustin Nichols is a freelance writer, and you can keep track of all of his work on his Facebook page, which can be found at www.facebook.com/DustinNicholsWriter. You can also follow him on Twitter at @XDustinEFLX. Oh, and if you like bodybuilding, check out his mom’s official site by clicking the banner below:
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