WWE Elimination Chamber 2011 Pay-Per-View Review
By Phil Allely
The Elimination Chamber is one of the WWE’s best gimmick matches and one that harks back to the glory days of the cage match, where feuds ended inside the steel confines of the cage and old scores were settled with a lot of violence and hefty dose of blood. These days of course the WWE is PG rated and blood is something they try their best not to show on screen if they can. That however doesn’t stop cage and gimmick matches being intensely enjoyable and great live entertainment.
Following hot on the heels of the Royal Rumble Elimination Chamber 2011 was another step along the road to Wrestlemania for many involved and made for very good viewing too, as storylines continued, title chases built and some surprises kept us all on our toes.
Things kicked off nicely with Royal Rumble winner Alberto Del Rio facing off against Intercontinetal Champion Kofi Kingston. The action was crisp, Del Rio and Kingston blending well together to make a nice opener for the PPV. The rising star that is Del Rio finally winning with his arm breaker finisher to out the non-title match to bed and progress with momentum onto this years Mania.
Next up was the first Elimination Chamber bout, this one was the Smackdown brands chance to shine as Drew McIntyre, Kane, Rey Mysterio and Big Show (replacing the fired Dolph Ziggler) all went on the attack within the steel structure to wrestle the World Heavyweight Championship from Edge.
There were some pretty decent exchanges as each man entered the fray and the fight began to pick up speed. Edge held his own form the start and even as the bodies began being pounded, battered and flung onto as much exposed steel as possible it always looked as if he could achieve the impossible and leave the match as champion. As the eliminations started to reduce opponents it was Edge who was able to outsmart Mysterio to retain his gold.
His celebrations were short lived though, as Del Rio ran in to began to assault him, luckily Edge’s (storyline brother) Christian made his timely return to the WWE and chased off Del Rio.
Booker T then made his way to the ring to introduce another perosn who will join him as trainer on the upcoming Stone Cold Steve Austin hosted series of WWE Tough Enough, it was none other than former Women’s Champion Trish Stratus. Booker and Trish had some fun in the ring to the enjoyement of all in attendance before the action started again.
The unlikely and yet amazingly ‘over’ tag team of Vladimir Kozlov and Santino Marella were defending their gold against members of new faction The Corre (Heath Slater and Justin Gabriel), with Ezekiel Jackson in their corner too, things were one-side for the defending champs in this one. Kozlov and Marella did have their moments, but this was all Corre, Gabriel was able ti pull off the win and net the belts after a nice 450 splash on Kozlov.
A fun segment then saw Vickie Guerrero face off against Teddy Long over the firing of her beau Dolph Ziggler, Kelly Kelly made her return to the company. LayCool made a run-in to attack Kelly, fortunately Trish Stratus made the save and unleashed a beautiful double bulldog on the pair to round off a fun return by two of the fans favourite Divas.
Up next was the match many of us have been waiting for decades to see, Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler in a WWE Title match on PPV and this time he just may have a chance to raise the one title that has eluded him over the years. Lawler’s feud with WWE Titlist The Miz and colour commentator Michael Cole had already hit fever pitch by their point and the crowd were as pumped up as 61 one year old Lawler was.
The match itself was very good considering The King’s age and Miz’s relative newness to this level of bout. Both men traded the advantage, Lawler hit some nice moves for near falls and of course Cole and Miz’s second Alex Riley got themselves into the mix at times too. All of which set up nicely the finishing sequence, after missing a piledriver Lawler was hit by a big kick and then a ‘Skull Crunching Finale to see his dreams of WWE gold slip through his fingers one more time (although his now planned match with Cole at Wrestlemania will see him achieve that dream of appearing on the biggest event in the WWE year).
The main event was of course the Raw Elimination Chamber, there was no title belt on the lien this time, just the small matter of being able to go to Wrestlemania and take on the champ for the gold. With a prize such as that on offer hopes were high indeed for this one.
Shaemus and John Morrison started things off and got the pace going for the others. They were soon joined by Randy Orton, CM Punk, R Truth and eventually John Cena. A malfunctioning pod saw Punk get eliminated and re-instated (by the ever present RAW GM computer), this let everyone have a fair shot at the match it seemed and all went for it with gusto. The final three remaining were Morrison, Punk and Cena, after some nice sequences Punk eliminated Morrison and felt the force of an Attitude Adjustment from Cena on the steel for his trouble. Cena was then easily able to pin Punk and win his spot on the Wrestlemania card.
Elimination Chamber 2011 was a fun and interesting event, the build up to Mania was well paced and the return of Trish and Kelly were nice to see. The addition of Booker T to the commentating roster and the tag Title change are fresh and welcomed ones too. Miz not laying down for Lawler was a disappointment to many, the king fully deserves a title run, even a short one for his dedication to the sprt, but perhaps he himself is happy enough to be in a title match and to know that he will make it to Wrestlemania at long last.