Welcome, cats and kittens, to yet another installment of the blog that is still a rat in a cage despite all of it’s rage, Cewsh Reviews! We have a special treat for you tonight as we take the last speed bump on the Road To Wrestlemania at full speed and cover WWE’s Elimination Chamber 2013. As the biggest wrestling show of the year comes up quickly, the hopefuls who would like to secure their spot in history have to pass through enormous challenges and physical peril in order to get there, and that’s including the ones who don’t have to be in a ring with Brodus Clay. We have CM Punk, on the brink of insanity, battling to regain the championship that he held for all of 2012, the Rock looking to hold onto his newly found validation, and a whole bunch of guys ready to suffer through the elimination chamber for a last chance shot at history. Bodies will be broken, spirits will be crushed, and remotes will be throw at tvs, because this is the night that means everything for these boys and girls. Who will be left out in the cold? Only one way to find out.
Oh, and fair warning. There will be rhyming. Oh yes, there will be rhyming. I apologize in advance.
Psycho: I honestly don’t have much to say about Alberto Del Rio vs. The Big Show III. It was a good enough match on its own, but as someone who has seen all of their matches up to this point, it felt incredibly contrived. While the plot they had built between them called for a regular match that Alberto could get a definitive victory in, it stripped the match of the creativity that made their previous encounters so interesting. The whole fight came off as plain, the only noteworthy bits mostly consisting of rehashed spots.
I would like to say that I was into this match, but I just was not. It felt like a missed opportunity, but considering this rivalry was never going to light the world on fire, it succeeds as the match to make Alberto Del Rio look like a dominant, defending, and deserving champion. How about that alliteration, huh?
Psych Evaluation: C+
Fae: The Spanish announcers are back. I wonder how long it will take before their table is broken…
All teasing aside, Del Rio has been doing really well against Big Show. They have good chemistry together, and Del Rio has really come into a special place as a face. I was really tired of him during his feud with Sheamus, but this turn has really revitalized him. Although, he does not really get off to a good start in the match, and Show basically treats him like an annoying gnat. The crowd is really into this match, too, and it seems like it’s going to be a good start to the show.
On an aside, I love Ricardo’s tie. It’s absolutely adorable, all round and color coordinated.
Del Rio wins by the cross arm breaker, and the crowd goes crazy. It’s amazing just how over Del Rio has become as a face. He’s doing really well, and I’m really happy to see him having good matches and doing well after having such a tiring time against Sheamus. Good for him.
Fae: Dum Dum Duuuuuum. Wow, both these guys are really good at selling. Miz is really going all out on “being hurt”. They both do some really great limb work, and it was certainly an entertaining match. I love the ending too. Miz certainly gets his money worth there.
Psycho: In a complete contrast to the previous match, I was all over this match. Miz and Cesaro had not really done too much with the proposed feud between the two when it first came about, and it felt out of place. Yet as the weeks passed, these two really began turning things upside down, quickly climbing to one of the most interesting feuds that should lead into WrestleMania.
How do you not mark out for that?
This match is the peak of what makes this feud worth your time. Right out of the box, Cesaro manhandles The Miz in ways hardly seen in a WWE ring these days; perhaps ever. He is truly hitting his stride and having exposure heaped on him while its happening. One might think Miz ends up the slouch here, but now that he has “seen the light”(turned babyface for those initiated, turned good for those not), his ring-work has nothing but opportunity to improve, and he is capitalizing. The most must-see superstar hangs with Cesaro like it was second nature, selling his damage and knowing just what to do at the right moment…just don’t watch him do a Figure Four Leglock. It ain’t pretty.
Screwy finish or not, it set the stage for a final rematch, and if it is anything like that but with more minutes, we’ll have ourselves another Match of the Year candidate.
Psych Evaluation: B-
Fae: Ugh, who gave Emoswagger a microphone? I understand that WWE wants to make sure that you HATE their heels by making them the most odious, obnoxious, vile things you’ve ever heard, but I really just want Emoswagger and his “friend” to go away.
So the pods are full, and the first two wrestlers Bryan and Jericho. They spend a lot of time wasting time, but real fun comes up as soon as the countdown ends. And our first podling is Emoswagger (Emogger? Emowagger?) We have the three stages of beards in the ring right now: Beardless, Patchy and Lumberjack.
And I got distracted by chocolate cake and have no idea what happened next. I come back and Bryan and Kane are both gone, and Mark Henry is wrecking things. Jericho, Orton and Emogger fight it out for a while,and it’s actually good. Orton and Jericho both look pretty darn swanky. Emogger spends much of the match hiding in corners. And yet somehow, he’s still our winner.
I am angry. The match was really good, but the winner is not something I’m looking forward to seeing more of. I just hope that this doesn’t get over, and that after Wrestlemania, Emogger and his awful mouthpiece will fade away into an (un)happy memory.
Let’s get on to something better, shall we?
Psycho: Here is what you need to know about this year’s only Elimination Chamber match: Every single participant has a built-in opponent and/or angle if they win. On top of that, no one competitor this year is void of talent, and all of them are hungry to prove they’ll make their way to WrestleMania by being the last man standing in this brutal structure. There is a lot of reason to be excited, and none of the men disappoint.
Where this match succeeds is keeping everything feeling fresh despite wrestling in a match-type that has happened on a yearly basis for quite some time now. I never truly felt they were running through the usual “Chamber Spots.” Bryan and Kane continue to build tension. Swagger shows that a few months away can absolutely transform a performer. Jericho proves that he’s the best he has been in years. Mark Henry does “what he does,” and it’s pretty amazing, if I can say so, while Randy Orton does “what he does,” which is…well, be just above average considering his capacity to be so much better. Essentially, this match is booked to a T, and its what makes this match feel special.
Where the match fails is taking a long time to really kick into a higher gear. Starting with Jericho and Bryan was smart, but everything slowed down a few minutes later until storylines were incorporated.
To top it off, the worst possible option for a winner was chosen in Jack Swagger. While his revamped character is both refreshing and impressive, pushing Swagger this hard this soon into his new push is incredibly risky. It is what ruined his original character, and they run a risk of that happening here.
However, I look at it objectively, both removed from my immediate reaction and a couple weeks into the WHC feud, and it makes plenty of sense. Jack Swagger and his new manager, Zeb Coulter, are going for the anti-immigration angle, and what better way to take advantage of that then having your newly-turned, Mexican World Heavyweight Champion defend his race by making the prejudiced asshole tap out on the biggest stage of all time. While it is not my preferred route(mostly due to the match being one of the least interesting options), the angle is stellar, and has potential to not only tread new ground for WWE, but truly make ADR a star as a Champion.
Plus, there is always room for a Ziggler Cash-In afterward. *winks*
Psych Evaluation: B-
Fae: By now, my undying love for Sheamus should be pretty apparent to anyone who reads this blog on a semi regular basis, but I do also like Cena and Ryback, so I’ve been looking forward to this match. I do not, however, harbor much affection toward the Shield. I think Roman can wrestle pretty good, but should never be allowed to speak, Dean Ambrose talks well, but can’t wrestle. And Seth Rollins can do neither (Cewsh disagrees with me there). Their saving grace in this ppv match is that Sheamus, Cena and (to a lesser extent) Ryback are all very practiced at making people look good. Cena’s had years to learn how to do that, Sheamus has been doing it for a long time too, and Ryback is increasingly getting experience in it. Mostly since he’s been feuding with the Shield. Perhaps I’m being unfairly mean.
The match starts off with our superstars dominating and starting off right by delivering vertical suplexes to all the Shield. I do have to give Ambrose credit for selling. He practically did a somersault after a boot from Sheamus. The choice to isolate Cena really does make it seem like the Shield has a chance to win. Seriously, Roman has, like, one of the better spears I’ve ever seen.
He takes out Sheamus through the barricade, and then does it to Ryback while he’s carrying Seth Rollins. And they win because Rollins falls on top of Ryback after Roman spears Ryback out from underneath him! Go back and read that sentence again. Cuz it was awesome. Just…yeah.
But the Spanish announce table is still standing.
Psycho: The Shield’s hot streak continues as they run through the WWE’s top stars with panache. With only two WWE matches under their belt at that point, they have already pushed their library into the “Best of the Year” category. No matter where any member is weak, as a unit, everything clicks more than almost anything in the industry has since HBK befriended Kevin Nash.
Fae: Wow, that was a really long way to go for a pun.
Psycho: I SAW THE OPPORTUNITY AND I TOOK IT, DAMN IT!!!
Unlike the majority of the IWC, though, I am willing to admit the value in their opponents. The Shield being in a match against John Cena as it is, let alone in a PPV setting, is a giant rub. Sheamus and Ryback are the two up-and-comers knocking at Cena’s door to take his spot as the company man. This creates an excellent dynamic that hinges on acclimating the crowd with the new generation, a process that WWE has been in for the last year. If we can take this as an indication of progress, I would say we are seeing a lot of success.
Ryback suffering the pin is absurdly inconsistent with the booking, but typing that sentence means one thing: The Shield actually won. I had long accepted the Super Friends dominating here, but they went with the unprecedented choice, having The Shield look strong in two high-profile bouts against top stars. With top-quality matches, solid booking, and oodles of talent, what is stopping The Shield from owning the wrestling world?
Psych Evaluation: B
Fae: I love Ziggles’ leapard print studded jacket. They match his speedo.
There’s not much to say about this one. Both Kofi and Ziggles are great wrestlers, and they look great against each other. And Big E, wow, just came out and wrecked Kofi. His finisher is really impressive. Hopefully, we get to see him have his own push soon.
Psycho: As much as I adore Dolph Ziggler, his promos are somewhat hit-or-miss, especially under live circumstances. It is still a little too early to tell if it’s a product of WWE’s tendency to script promos or Ziggler having an inability to cope without practice, but the answer probably lies somewhere in the middle. Even so, his pre-recorded work is nine out of ten times top-notch, and on the right nights, he rocks the live mic like a hurricane.
Psycho: CAN I NOT HAVE MY MOMENT?!?
Tonight is definitely one of those nights, but I wish not to bore you with the details of the promo. You should just go watch it. Then skip through most of the match that takes place until Ziggler wows you with a Gourdbuster onto the turnbuckle, followed by Big E. Langston laying Kofi out to a decent “ONE MORE TIME” chant.
Psych Evaluation: C
Psycho: I had said a long time ago that Tamina’s ring style is best suited for a heel role, because she is vicious and physical, picking her opponents apart until they are ready to go down for the pin. Kaitlyn is a wrestler who seems to slowly improved, but continues to float somewhere between average and full of endless potential. Unless they have a major plan, I’d like to see her keep the belt another month or two to see if she can really push herself to become a great performer, but at the moment, she isn’t really making history or anything.
Oh, right…they did have a match, didn’t they? It was good. Better than your average diva match, but considering some people have been saying that a lot recently, does that make it the average? If that’s the case, it’s still a step in the better direction.
Psych Evaluation: C-
Psycho: I loved it. I truly did. I loved it as much as I loved the first promo between The Rock and CM Punk. This was what I had come to expect from a match between these two, and without the ability to have a month to month feud, it would not be proper. People can complain about CM Punk losing the belt to The Rock, how a part-timer is stealing the main event spot, and everything is ruined now. There is a small bit of that I could even agree with, but seeing the longest reigning WWE Champion of the last two decades square off against one of the biggest icons in the entire industry is a major accomplishment.
It is a moment that will ring throughout the annals of time for years to come, and whether we will ever see Punk get any kind of retribution against The People’s Champion, he can at least brag about the scar, something most of the WWE roster can not do(except for Michael McGuillicutty and Curt Hawkins, strangely enough). Here, though, both men rise above the simple novelty of the event and actually create something that captivates you.
The Rock admittedly has less stamina than he did in his prime, but that has yet to stop him from actually producing a good match. Whether he has still “got it” or not, he has enough worth utilizing to put over today’s best in the world.
Psycho: Last one! I promise!!
As I was saying, The Rock can still hold his own, but if CM Punk truly is doing a carry job, he does one so well that you can not even tell the difference, and that’s what makes this match so enjoyable. Punk’s mannerisms are unique, and magnetic, drawing your attention to the most mundane of moments. His set-up for spots is astounding, and with a man like The Rock(who comes from an era of big spots), it feels so…natural. Like they were long-time rivals. It’s almost uncanny.
The over-booked finish, with all the ref bumps, might have been a bit excessive, but it effortlessly blends into the atmosphere, and at no point interferes with the pacing. There is hardly a dull moment other than one noticeable resthold, and the crowd ate it all up, which is always the priority of the utmost importance. You can nitpick all you want, but this match is nothing short of a great WWE Championship Match, and you should just except that.
However, if there is ever another match in the future…I know it will be their best one.
Psych Evaluation: A-
Almost, the table almost made it the whole ppv without being damaged, but before Punk can throw Rock through the Spanish announce table, Rock knocks Punk against the English announce table. Punk rock bottomed the Rock into the Spanish announce table, but didn’t break the table.
That was an amusing end and it keeps it open for more things between these two, because I’m sure Punk is going to come back and say Rock should have been disqualified and that he should have gotten that first pin with no ref. So we’ll see what happens. But I loved seeing Heyman get hit with the belt.
But you know who the real winner of this pay per view is? The Spanish announce table. That table was sick of being broken and taking everyone’s shit, so it manned up and was like “Nope, you’re not breaking me.” We could all learn something from that inspirational announce table.
Long live the Spanish announce table.
Psycho: I had a pretty strong feeling about 2012. Overall, it was one of the best years of the last 5 years when you consider the consistency in Pay-Per-View quality. In 2013, despite some undesired results, we’ve had two Pay-Per-Views that were filled with quality. Elimination Chamber, however, pushed the bar further by featuring jaw-dropping matches booked with most of WWE’s best talent without hardly taking a breath, leaving you drooling for more through the whole event. You have my attention, WWE. Let’s make this the real year of “revolution.”
Well that’ll do it for us this time boys and girls. We hope you enjoyed the WWE poetry corner, but since you almost certainly did not and now wish me physical harm, take heart! Our next review is of WWE Wrestlemania XVII, commonly considered the greatest wrestling show of the modern era. Will the show live up to the precious memories in the heart of every smark? Or will the 12 years (!) since it aired expose the weaknesses that were there all along. Only one way to find out. So until then, as always, remember to keep reading and be good to one another.