-Liked WWE Elimination Chamber 2012, enjoyed both Chamber matches immensely, am not of the mindset that John Cena winning a main event match ruins an entire show. Also, just because no titles changed hands doesn’t automatically merit a thumbs down. You’ll be thanking WWE if CM Punk holds the title through SummerSlam, in the longest reign in five years. Or he could lose it tonight, what do I know…
-Live from Minneapolis, where being a great color commentator-turned-conspiracy wonk can get you elected governor.
Opening Segment: Eve spills the beans and reveals that she was just using Zack Ryder to get to John Cena, and that she’s really a conniving b#$ch. Why are all divas fifty percent hotter when they turn heel? Eve wants the Bellas to film her walking in on John Cena’s locker room, but oh ho ho, Cena was behind her the entire time. So much for that. Did Eve really risk being abducted (and worse) by Kane just to get Cena’s attention? She has some faith in SuperCena to make the timely save.
Man, for finding out that Eve played with his emotions, Cena’s sure able to hit his signature taunts upon hitting the ring. Just rolls right off his back like Teflon, yo. Ah, but here comes Eve to plead her case. To be fair, Trish was this bad of an actress in 2000, so there’s hope for Eve yet. Cena introduces “skank juice” to the lexicon. Cena “lost a Broski for a Ho-ski”, and the fans who Pavlovianly booed Cena are now chanting ‘Ho-Ski.” Make up your minds, you menopausal psychopaths! Anywho, Cena forgets his kid-friendly slant, and calls Eve a b*tch, which makes her cry. Wasn’t she just laughing at Ryder’s pain minutes ago? Cena feels bad and goes to make amends, but Eve swarms him like a stalker, prompting the referees to pull her away. “For your information, I’m disease –free, and I’d like to keep it that way!” Big oooooh. Eve continues her meltdown while the fans chant “Ho-Ski” some more.
Segment Rating: 7/10. Cena downplaying his sophomoric side, and embracing not hate, but “attitude”, was good. Makes me say, “Well, we’ll see what happens next,” and that’s the hallmark of good TV.
-Daniel Bryan vs. CM Punk tomorrow night on Smackdown? Guessing I’m DVRing the other stuff I enjoy on Tuesdays, like NBC’s primetime line-up. Wait, I don’t enjoy that. Nobody does.
Match 1: Sheamus vs. Mark Henry
Hey, I actually enjoyed this match at Summerslam. This time, I think we won’t have a countout finish. Jerry Lawler saying “Who does David Otunga work for?” makes me think of “WHO DO YOU WORK FOR, NUMBER TWO?” Sheamus shakes off Henry’s power onslaught and catches him charging with a boot, which he following with a diving shoulder block for 2. Sheamus fights back with IRISH FURY and potatoes Henry (see what I did there?), and the crowd’s cheering for even his clubbing blows. Brogue kick misses and Sheamus gets clotheslined down. World’s Strongest Slam is aborted, and Sheamus plants the Brogue Kick to win.
WINNER: Sheamus via Brogue Kick
Rating: 5/10. Good upper-card squash. If Henry’s still working with the leg injuries, then kudos to him. They have something special and organic with Sheamus. Keep my fingers crossed for the man.
-Laurinaitis: “No one’s talking about the championship matches!” Well, there’s your problem, right there. Anywho, Teddy Long shows up, and he isn’t happy with the attempted upheaval. HUGE “TEDDY” chant as Long paraphrases a Full Metal Jacket quote (about ‘stacking manure’). So it’s a battle royal for a shot at Punk, and Otunga vs. a Smackdown star of Long’s choosing. Bowtie jokes ensue.
-THE MEMORY REMAIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIINS! Now play “Leper Messiah” for Vince Russo and we’re set.
-The Rock is back next week! For reals! Imagine, he’s going to appear in person to build his match with John Cena. If you’re not understanding this crazy concept, lemme slow down and explain it again.
Match 2: R-Truth/Kofi Kingston vs. The Colon Cousins (Non Title)
I hope Kofi and Truth are pulling double duty to add credibility to the #1 contender’s battle royal. Then again, Kingston and Truth could be good champs if Bourne’s getting booted. Primo and Epico dominate Truth with some early double teams while I silently come up with possible combo names for Truth and Kofi. Best I’ve come up with is “Truly High.” Kofi gets the hot tag, Boom Drops Primo, but gets throated by Epico. Kofi recovers in time to hit Trouble in Paradise for the win, because consistent teams can’t beat makeshift ones that were brutalized inside a domed cage.
WINNERS: Truly High via Trouble in Paradise.
Rating: 3/10. This was there. Oh, and the battle royal entrants are all of last night’s Chamber losers. WWE should have Khali win, just to steal viewers from TNA’s Ring Ka King project.
-Congrats to Ron Simmons on his Hall of Fame induction. I look forward to the shortest induction speech ever.
-Chris Jericho is aghast at the travesty of the tristful anathema from the Elimination Chamber, and he will usufruct the opportunity to avenge the loss.
Match 3: David Otunga vs. Ezekiel Jackson
I think Ezekiel Jackson should hop into a Delorean, go back to 2003, and be Long’s “Thuggin and Buggin” heavy. Simmons should come back and lead a new Nation with these two. Wait, that’s not racist, is it? Jackson hits lots of clotheslines, but Otunga wins cleanly with the Verdict. Wow, surprised!
WINNER: David Otunga via The Verdict
Rating: 3/10. Serviceable quickie, which means Otunga’s about to get a dry run push. Cole’s congratulations of Johnny Ace, and Ace texting during the match, were chuckeworthy.
-HHH/Shawn recap. Oh, and Undertaker is walking slowly backstage, no face shown.
In Ring Segment: The Undertaker and Triple H
IT’S GIANT EMO STONE COLD! Oh no, wait, it is indeed Undertaker, albeit with a hood fitting of The Search For the Holy Grail. I’m gonna really miss the eerie entrance when he’s gone for good. He says he’s lived the beating from last year’s WrestleMania every single day. Yeah, if I had to live with that overrated match, I’d wear a fright wig too. Undertaker laments HHH turning down the challenge. Undertaker: “This has to come to an end.” I agree. Undertaker says he and HHH are the last of their kind, which draws some wild applause, and that HHH’s corporate persona covers who he really is. So he calls out The Game. Paulie Suit indeed shows up, begins to talk, and gets “SHUT UP’d” by Taker. He’s tired of the excuses. HHH wants Undertaker to be the torchbearer of his generation, while HHH fears that beating Undertaker will ruin that. Undertaker then one-ups HHH by insinuating that Hunter may be afraid of falling short a third time. HHH downplays that notion, saying that the past should remain there, and that they’ve both moved on. HHH thinks Undertaker wants the “Old Yeller” treatment from him, and he won’t give it to him. Undertaker plays the “coward” card, which winds Trips up. HHH invokes “Vince Voice” and almost accepts out of anger, with the crowd chanting coward at him, but hits the brakes before he can say yes. Triple H walks off, but Undertaker has a revelation: he knows Triple H can’t do it, because Shawn couldn’t do it, and Shawn is better than HHH. SCORE. Hunter freezes in his tracks, removes the jacket, removes the tie, loosens the collared shirt, storms the ring…..and angrily says Shawn has nothing to do with this, because he KNOWS he can finish Undertaker. “PROVE IT” chant erupts. Hunter removes the “layers” and lays it out: challenge accepted! Huge pop for that one. But there’s one condition: HELL IN A CELL! Finally, the gimmick is useful! Undertaker leaves, satisfied.
Segment Rating: 10/10. If you have any reservations about this segment, you’re not a fan. It’s true.
Match 4: Daniel Bryan vs. Santino Marella (non title match)
Even D-Bry fans know he can’t follow that last segment. And why must they waste this match now? You can build up Santino in a few months for a title shot. Cobra comes out early, but Bryan’s all ‘screw that.” Marella gets a roll-up, but Bryan gets the Lebell Lock for the quick win. Kinda wasteful.
Winner: Daniel Bryan via Lebell Lock
RATING: 2/10. At least it made the champion look strong. There’s that, right?
Match 5: Bella Twins vs. Aksana/Kelly Kelly
One step forward last night for women’s wrestling, three steps back here. Aksana hits the WORST ELBOW DROP EVER. Bellas win with Twin Magic.
WINNERS: The Bella Twins via Twin Magic
Rating: 0/10. Stephen Hawking coulda hit that elbow drop in his sleep.
In Ring Segment: John Cena
Cena half rubs it in the crowd’s face that Rock’s not appearing this week, rather next week. Still doesn’t stop them front chanting Rocky’s name. Cena cracks whip on Rock for having an entourage. Oh please, Cena has his own entourage: Trademarc, John Cena Sr, and a framed picture of Corey Haim. Cena says he doesn’t respect Rock, because Rock doesn’t respect the people. Cena then buries his movies to make a point: he still showed up. I’m sure hanging with Danny Glover was a viable alternative. “The only reason Rock came back in the first place was to promote Fast Five and launch his Twitter account.” Duh. Cena gives a creepy statement about fighting for people who want to “stay” WWE Superstars. It’s like Warren Jeff’s church when you say it that way. Cena then guarantees victory to a pretty big pop.
Segment Rating: 7/10. I like Cena way better when he’s not doing the namby-pamby crap. More of this, please.
If you can’t guess the winner right now, you have no business calling yourself a fan. CM Punk’s here to do commentary, just to heighten the importance. Punk reads my mind and says Jericho’s jacket reminds him of a Lite Brite, even singing the commercial song. See, us eighties kids were the cool kids. Ziggler’s wearing a pink shirt as a tail for some reason. Predictably, a group effort eliminates Khali. Crap, no Punjabi Prison match for the WWE Title. After a commercial, Punk and Cole argue over the origin of Punk’s jacket (Punk says a shriner’s jacket, Cole says Century 21), and the athletic midcarders all do circus acts to avoid elimination. Abbey Rhodes (Wade and Cody) can’t dump Show, as Jeri-Show have a violent reunion. Miz cheats death several times, before Truly High dropkick him off the apron for elimination. A sequence of finishers all connect, and Santino manages to eliminate Barrett and Truth back to back. Ziggler takes a SICK elimination getting thrown into Barrett and Truth (Barrett swears on air, though muted. May be an injury). Barrett should get fired, right? Santino, Jericho, Show, Kofi, and Rhodes are left. Ziggler appears to be injured as well. Jericho shoves Kofi off as he attempts a springboard. CM Punk: “One of the EMTs looks like Rock n Roll Buck Zumhoff.” Damn it, I just cleaned this keyboard…. Santino goes Cobra and strikes Jericho, but Rhodes clotheslines Marella out. Show suplexes JeriCody, and Rhodes is throat shoved over the top rope. Jericho uses the Benoit Chancery from the 2004 Rumble, and Rhodes helps pull Show out to give Jericho the win.
WINNER: Chris Jericho (#1 Contender for WWE Title)
Rating: 6/10. Enjoyable match, aside from the scary injuries. I hope they’re not as severe as indicated. Punk/Jericho should be enjoyable.
-We get the epic staredown to end the show, and Punk offers a handshake, but Jericho declines. If should be noted that Barrett walked off under his own power during that segment.
Overall: An exciting show, save for some quick squashes in the second hour. The Taker/HHH segment was amazing, the second Cena promo was good stuff, Punk’s commentary and the battle royal were fun (minus the injuries), and Sheamus and Bryan got meaningful wins. It’s a thumbs up.
Next week…..The Rock returns.
Justin Henry is a freelance writer whose work appears on many websites. He provides wrestling, NFL, and other sports/pop culture columns for CamelClutchBlog.com, as well as several wrestling columns a week for WrestlingNewsSource.com and WrestleCrap.com. Justin can be found here on Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/notoriousjrh and Twitter- http://www.twitter.com/cynicjrh.