Commentators: Michael Cole & Jerry Lawler
Championship’s roll call: WWE Champion: The Rock… World Champion: Alberto Del Rio… Intercontinental Champion: Wade Barrett… United States Champion: Antonio Cesaro… Tag Team Champions: Team Hell No… NXT Champion: Big E Langston… NXT Tag Team Champions: Vacant… Diva’s Champion: Kaitlyn
His name is Paul Heyman and he’s in the ring to open the show. He says tonight is the last night we will ever see him; he’s been a lot in life but he’s never been the victim. Heyman adds that he is passionate but his passion has bitten him in the ass. He then talks about his passion delivering ECW and also sacrificing himself to help the next big thing, Brock Lesnar. Then, after that he saw a man who is the future of pro wrestling; the short-term and long-term, CM Punk. Heyman says he can see into the future and something REALLY BAD is going to happen to him and everyone around him, including Punk. He feels that his battles with the McMahons will be too large a distraction to Punk and his quest to become the WWE Champion again. Therefore, he’s tendering his resignation. The fans cheer so he berates them. He says that he loves Punk and will not stand in his way; he then “says goodbye.” Long pause… CM Punk comes out. They have a discussion that we can’t here and then Punk grabs a mic. He professes his innocence regarding the Shield and Brad Maddox and says it is Mr. McMahon’s perceptions that he did (as well as Lesnar’s attack). Punk tells him that there are a lot of Paul Heyman Guys out there. Paul says that if Punk thinks that what Vince did to him at the Rumble was bad, wait for the hell he’ll be put through when he returns. Punk says that Heyman will be in the corner of the champ, come Elimination Chamber. Heyman gets his testicles back and tells him he will be champ again and they share a long hug. Heyman’s tears are awesome; Paul is great. Jerry Lawler notes Heyman is trying to upstage the Pope. 6/10 I guess he’s not resigning. Heyman is so great and his ridiculous over-the-top acting here is what is missing in some heels nowadays. Entertaining opening segment.
The Great Khali (w/Natalya Neidhart & Hornswoggle) vs. Mark Henry: So Henry injured Rey Mysterio and is replacing him in the Chamber due to his win over Randy Orton on Friday. Khali backs Henry back into the corner and chops him a few times. Henry powers him back into the corner but runs afoul of an elbow and boot. Khali chops again; Henry fights back and splashes Khali in the corner. Henry drops the giant with one clothesline; he waits for Khali to get up and delivers the World’s Strongest Slam for the pinfall. Post-match, Henry notices Hornswoggle tending to Khali so he gives Hornswoggle a Strongest Slam as well. He should’ve given one to Nattie as well. 4/10 Boring crappy match but it was a great purpose server, watching him decimate Khali (and Khali). The WWE really knows how to push Henry the right way, probably the only no-nonsense heel in the company. Maybe this will keep Khali out of the Chamber.
Here is your winner… Mark Henry via World’s Strongest Slam pinfall
In the back, Booker T and Teddy Long are discussing the Chamber and are approached by Chris Jericho. He feels he should be in the Chamber, since he’s a former six time World champ. Long agrees but Booker feels he needs to prove his worth. Long has an idea but Booker feels the idea sucks; he books Y2J versus Daniel Bryan tonight. Elsewhere, Vickie Guerrero is interrupted by Paul Heyman. He asks for an additional stipulation to the WWE title match at the PPV. He kisses her ass but the phone rings and it is Mr. McMahon. She puts Vince on speaker; Heyman apologizes but Vince shuts him up. Vince wants to hear the stipulation. Heyman requests the DQ/countout rule be waived; Vince actually agrees to the stipulations and then hangs up on Paul.
Fandango is coming.
Chris Jericho vs. Daniel Bryan: This should be a good matchup. If Chris wins he’s in the SmackDown Chamber. Y2J opens with a schoolboy for a nearfall; he controls with a pair of armdrags. Bryan elbows free but Jericho runs the ropes to try to keep the momentum; it fails and Bryan nails a kneelift. Michael Cole mentions Bryan’s first ever WWE match was against Jericho. Bryan drops knees and gets a one count. He works the arm but Y2J reverses. Jericho pounds away but Bryan backdrops him (in theory) over the top; they fight on the floor but Jericho catches Bryan reentering on the apron. He tries the springboard dropkick but Bryan ducks and Jericho takes a tumble. Bryan flattens him with a suicide dive as we head to break. We return with Jericho cradling Bryan with an O’Connor for two. Y2J with a clothesline as the fans chant for him; Bryan fires back with a running No Dropkick in the corner. Bryan flips off the top but gets caught with a Jericho knee; he rushes off the ropes but Daniel sidesteps him and tosses him onto the apron. Chris heads to the top but misses the sledge off the top and Bryan nails a running clothesline. The fans begin the “yes” chants enraging Bryan; he almost falls to the Walls of Jericho but he kicks him away. The Lionsault meets knees and Bryan heads up top but Jericho interrupts him; he tries a superplex but Bryan pushes him off and nails the Flying Goat for two. Bryan switches to No Knees but Jericho counters into the Walls of Jericho. Bryan fights… ASK HIM! Finally, Bryan reverses and almost gets the No Lock; Jericho counters that into another Walls try but Bryan rolls free and kicks his head off. How that didn’t get three is beyond me. Bryan is frustrated and yells “no” at everyone. He begins the No Kicks but Jericho sneaks in a schoolboy for two. Bryan runs right into a Codebreaker for three and qualifies for his eighth Elimination Chamber match. 7/10 I knew this would be a good match; he and Bryan had a great counter-counter match, qualifying for the Chamber.
Here is your winner… Chris Jericho via Codebreaker pinfall
John Cena, Sheamus & Ryback vs. 3MB: I don’t see this going well for the band. Ryback opens with Slater; Heath air guitars and then PUSHES his former Nexus teammate. Ryback kicks him in the gut and press-slams him. Sheamus tags in as does McIntyre; Sheamus pounds away in the corner. Drew gets a knee up in the corner but Sheamus deposits him onto the apron and gives him O’Clubbering. Here’s Cena but he gets to face Mahal. Jinder SLAPS Cena so he gets pulverized with a clothesline, Proto-bomb and Five Knuckle Shuffle. The rest of 3MB run in as do the other babyfaces. Cena, Sheamus and Ryback nail their respective finishers on 3MB in unison and Cena gets the pinfall on Mahal. Post-match, Ryback says that he will feast on the Shield on Sunday. Sheamus believes the three of them will serve justice tonight. Cena says he knows the Shield is here so he challenges them to come get some. 5/10 The match was just a squash to put these three in the ring together. The promo was short and to the point as well.
Here are your winners… John Cena, Sheamus & Ryback via AA pinfall
Earlier today, Alex Riley and Yoshi Tatsu were making fun of Big Show so he showed up and knocked them both out. After the break, an angry Show comes out. Matt Striker is about to ask him a question but Show knocks him out too. He has trouble coming up with something to say and takes forever to say anything… and doesn’t, he just drops the mic and leaves. 3/10 Big Show is really mad and Alberto Del Rio’s title is in serious jeopardy.
More Bruno Sammartino highlights are shown.
Zack Ryder vs. Jack Swagger (w/Zebekiah Coulter): Coulter is Dutch Mantel. Swagger scoops up Ryder and slams him; he props Zack on the top but Ryder manages a missile dropkick. He tries the Broski Boot and actually nails it, for a one count. Swagger heads to the floor so Ryder pescados onto him… and gets (barely) caught and belly-to-belly slammed on the floor. Back in the ring, Swagger gets two; he continues to maul Ryder with knees in the corner. He charges one too many times and meets knees. He tries the Rough Ryder but Swagger turns it into a turnbuckle bomb. The Doctor Bomb and Patriot Act taps Ryder shortly after. Post-match, Swagger introduces a great American, Zeb Coulter. Coulter cuts a Southern conservative promo and complains what’s wrong with America. He talks Vietnam and subtly says that we need to get rid of foreigners. He says we have to protect our land and defend it; he concludes with “we the people.” 6/10 Total dominance from Swagger and he’s got a manager now in Dutch Mantel. The Southern conservative character is one that JBL used to carry, but Mantel’s character is even more in depth that Bradshaw’s was.
Here is your winner… Jack Swagger via Patriot Act submission
In the back Booker T puts Jack Swagger in the Chamber; Dolph Ziggler decides to show up this week and complains about former running buddy Swagger and rival Chris Jericho in the Chamber. Ziggler NOW wants to be in the Chamber since Jericho. Big E Langston reiterates to Booker that Ziggler wants in. Booker puts him in a match with someone else who wants in, which I assume is Kane… and I’m right.
We get highlights of Brock Lesnar destroying the Miz last week, which segues into…
The Miz vs. Cody Rhodes: Antonio Cesaro is on commentary. Cody works a headlock and hits a shoulderblock. He tries a sunset flip but Miz rolls through and kicks the moustache off Cody’s face, for two. Miz applies a front chancery in the ropes, predicating referee Scott Armstrong to break it up. Rhodes comes back with a Hollycost and then punches him in the face; Rhodes stomps away and hits trapped knees in the ropes. He NAILS him with a running knee and applies an armlock. Cesaro explains why he has an American flag with him: he conquered and captured the American flag; no American has been able to take it from him. Where is Jim Duggan to defend the USA and then job to Cesaro? Miz tries to fight back as Cesaro backs Rhodes. The comeback is triggers and he hits clotheslines; the Vintage Neckbreaker is countered and Cody winds up on the apron. He tries to nail Miz but he slides through the wickets and plants Cody’s face onto the apron. He jaws with Cesaro at the announce table and beats up Cody in front of him; Cesaro tries to attack but Miz boots him in the face. He tosses Rhodes back in the ring but Antonio regains his wits and tosses Miz into the post drawing a DQ. Post-match, Cesaro busts out the Big Swing into the ring barricade over and over; that was unique. 3.5/10 The match was nothing and poor Cody looked like a chump and just a jobber third wheel in the feud rather that a legit opponent.
Here is your winner… The Miz via DQ
“Funkasaurus” Brodus Clay & Tensai (w/The Funkadactyls) vs. Primo & Epico (w/Rosa Mendes): I knew these two would be a team eventually. The Dactyls are in cheerleader type outfits tonight. Primo and Tensai starts and Tensai powers him down and hits a DANCE MOVE uppercut. Clay tags in and they babyfaces almost miscommunicate but they stop short of clunking heads. Primo tries the double noggin knocker but it is blocked and he eats a double head-butt. Primo counters a backdrop with a kick and tags in Epico who gets launched with the My Bad Suplex. The Funky Avalanche and rhino head-butt sets up the Tensai running senton for the quick pinfall. Post-match, Rosa tries to interrupt the dance party but Cameron and Naomi dispatch of her. 3/10 I figured that this team would form since neither of them is doing anything of not anyway. This was a disturbingly fast squash of the Colóns too.
Here is your winner… Brodus Clay & Tensai via running senton splash pinfall
The Shield enters through the crowd to address the WWE Universe; the commentators feel that they are “exposing themselves” to an attack. Ambrose notes they are united in shielding against atrocities in the WWE. Rollins adds that John Cena, Ryback and Sheamus fired threats at them; when they want to make a point they do it through actions. Reigns questions the logic of threatening the Shield and calls out Cena. Ambrose calls it empty threats; Reigns notes that Cena failed to take the Shield out with help of the ENTIRE roster. Rollins calls Cena a failure at life and will fail in ending the Shield on Sunday. Ambrose feels Cena lives in a bubble where actions have no consequences and they call it the “John Cena Problem.” Reins calls them “the solution.” Rollins says Cena paved the way for the Sheamuses and Rybcaks for the past decade. Ambrose says that they will drown Cena on Sunday… BELIEVE IN THE SHIELD! They call out Cena and Company once again but no one answers… until the lights go out and Cena, Ryback and Sheamus are in the ring brawling. Ryback KILLS Ambrose with a Meat Hook; the Shield makes a hasty escape in the crowd but they babyface give chase and a huge brawl breaks out among the people. 7.5/10 That was some promo from these three; the brawl was also a fantastic way to build the six-man tag at the Chamber.
Alberto Del Rio (w/Ricardo Rodriguez) vs. Damien Sandow: Pre-match, Sandow rips on the Grammys and says it is bad that the WWE is in Nashville; he makes fun of country music and calls it shameful that people do not listen to Bach and Mozart. Sandow kicks at the bell and goes right into the rapid-fire knees into the Russian leg sweep into the Cubito Aequet. ADR comes back with clotheslines and tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. He KILLS him with a kneeling superkick for two. Del Rio begins the “sí” chants and snags Sandow in the cross-armbreaker for the immediate tapout. Post-match, ADR calls Big Show’s promo perfect since he didn’t say anything. Del Rio says that the time for talk is over and he says he’s going to WrestleMania (as champ). 2/10 Well that was surprisingly quick disposal for Sandow there; I get that ADR is the champ but still, Sandow and Cody Rhodes have becomes Team Rhodes Jobbers since breaking up.
Here is your winner… Alberto Del Rio via cross-armbreaker submission
In the back Wade Barrett is headed towards the Gorilla Position but he gets blindsided and attacked by Bo Dallas
Kofi Kingston vs. Wade Barrett: Kofi is able to get over on Barrett since he was weakened earlier; Barrett nonplus comes right back with a boot to counter a backdrop. He hits a reverse elbow and stamps Kingston in the corner. He nails a series of knee strikes and clothesline for two. He applies a chinlock; Kofi fights back and hits dropkicks and tries the S.O.S. but Wade pushes him into the buckles. Kingston comes back with a second rope splash to Barrett’s back and gets two. Kingston hits a pendulum kick and frog-crossbody for two. Kofi tries a springboard move but Barrett avoids and hits the Winds of Change. Barrett winds up the Bull Hammer but misses; Kofi tries Trouble in Paradise but comes up empty as well. Barrett then pulls up the ring skirt over Kofi’s head to take over. He nails him with the Bull Hammer, knocking him out, for the pinfall. 4/10 Clever ending there as the IC Champ gets a win; Kofi’s free fall continues as he appears to be headed in Zack Ryder’s direction. He’ll probably wind up in another tag team soon.
Here is your winner… Wade Barrett via Bull Hammer pinfall
Kane vs. Dolph Ziggler (w/AJ Lee & Big E Langston): Winner is the sixth and final participant in the Chamber. Kane, of course, beats the shit out of him at the bell. He pummels him in the corner and gets a one count. Kane hits a suplex slam for two. Kane tries his low dropkick but Dolph counters with his own dropkick. Ziggler pounds away in the opposite corner until Kane briskly fights back. He takes Dolph out with a flapjack; Kane signals for a chokeslam but Ziggler hits the floor as we hit the break. We’re back with Kane entangled in a chinlock; he pushes Dolph off and hits some corner clotheslines. Dolph gets a knee up and tries to come off the second rope but Kane uppercuts him all of the way to the floor. Big E provides a presence distraction allowing Ziggler to toss him into the post. Back in the ring, Dolph catches him with a neckbreaker reentering. Dolph drops the Showoff Series for two. Dolph goes back to the chinlock. Kane eventually powers up and catches Dolph in a crossbody; Ziggler slips free however and plants Kane with the Dolph DDT. Ziggler misses a splash in the corner and gets footprinted in the face for (a close) two. Kane builds momentum with corner clotheslines but Dolph slips out of the sideslam and slaps on the sleeper hold. Kane monsters himself free but gets planted with a Namedropper for two. He goes for the Zigzag too close to the ropes and Kane counters into the sideslam. Kane goes up but AJ distracts; Dolph charges but Kane moves and he collides with AJ. Lucky for Dolph, Big E caught her… not lucky for Dolph, he gets planted with a chokeslam for the pinfall, sending Kane into the Chamber. 4/10 Dolph jobs again and he will be the jobbiest of jobbers when he cashes in the briefcase. I understand that Dolph does not need to be in the Chamber to get a title shot, but it’s WrestleMania.
Here is your winner… Kane via chokeslam pinfall
Here’s the champ, the Rock, to close out the show. FINALLY the Rock has comeback to Nashville. The Rock is going to tell a story; in 1987, a fifteen-year-old Rock and his family moved to Nashville. He signed up for McGavock High School; the Rock was big for his age and kicked puberty in its candy ass. He also got no girls because they thought he was an undercover cop. He was in a bar, when in walked someone magical… not Jeff Jarrett. But in walked… a crack head. This crack head asked if anyone wanted to buy a car; everyone ignored him save for the little Rock. Rock bought the car for forty bucks but unbeknownst to him there was another crack head in the back. He kicked the crack head out and came to the realization that the car was possibly stolen; so the Rock, at two in the morning, he ditched the car and went back to the bar. Two morals: don’t buy a car from a crack head and don’t be like the Rock at fifteen. Everyone should be like the Rock at twenty-five, that’s when he had his first match and realized his dream. CM Punk interrupts with Paul Heyman. The Rock tells Heyman and his stipulations to bring it; he tells Punk he’s going to beat his punk ass on Sunday. He also says he’ll beat his ass tonight too. Punk heads towards the ring… and he bulrushes the ring. Punk and Rock trade punches until the Rock hits the Pinebuster. He tries the People’s Elbow but Heyman interrupts by grabbing his foot and Rocky stumbles into the GTS. Punk takes the WWE Championship belt and leaves with it. Punk grabs a mic and tells him story time is over and he brought it and took it. 5.5/10 The story time with the Rock was fun but it did not really go anywhere; Punk takes the belt and will probably take it to the Chamber match, that’s an old school development, haven’t seen the heel steal a belt in years. This was a pretty good way to promote the PPV.
OVERALL 4.5/10 This was a rather pedestrian show. A LOT of squash matches, almost felt like a REALLY long version of a 1994 Raw (90% squash with a few (or one) competitive matches thrown in). It did complete the SmackDown Chamber match and Mark Henry beat up a few people but other than that this Raw did not have much substance to it.