February 7, 2014
Wells Fargo Arena, Des Moines, Iowa
Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
the main story this week is Randy Orton running the Elimination
Chamber gauntlet as he has to jump through another Authority hoop to
be the face of the WWE, whatever that means anymore. His opponent
tonight is Christian which should be fun given their past encounters.
Let’s get to it.
sequence, which we don’t get that often anymore.
Daniel Bryan to get things going. On Monday, the Authority said that
he would be the face of the WWE if he could beat Randy Orton, but
that’s not what Bryan wants to be. He wants to just be himself, but
it doesn’t matter because the Authority showed their true colors by
sending down Kane to chokeslam him after the match. We get a clip of
the end of the match with Bryan fighting off Kane and hitting the
running knee on Orton for the pin, only to be beaten down after the
says that he’s put up with Kane doing his corporate thing since he
joined the Authority but he can’t do that anymore. He wants Kane to
come out here right now and explain himself, so here’s the Devil’s
Favorite Libertarian In A Suit From Mens’ Warehouse. Side note:
Kane’s current look reminds me of Bull Shannon from Night Court.
Kane stops on the stage but Bryan says he can’t hear him so Kane
should come to the ring.
stays where he is and gives a scripted apology but Bryan cuts him off
again. He reminds Kane of the HELL NO days and I AM THE TAG TEAM
CHAMPIONS and hugging it out. That Kane was his friend and Bryan
wants him back. Get rid of the suit and tie, go put on your mask and
become the monster again. Kane says they do have history, but that’s
all it is. He’s turned in the undisclosed location for a corner
office and is glad the HELL NO days are over.
used to be friends and the old saying in wrestling is you can make
friends or you can make money, and Kane is doing well for himself
right now. Bryan says he’s doing well too, but that’s because he has
an arena full of friends right here. If Kane and Bryan aren’t
friends, why doesn’t Kane come down here right now so they can settle
this like people who aren’t friends? Kane declines but gives Bryan a
match with Antonio Cesaro.
announcers explain the Elimination Chamber.
vs. Dolph Ziggler/Kofi Kingston
Reigns/Ambrose here with the home state boy Rollins on commentary.
Ambrose grabs a headlock on Kofi to start as the fans chant for
Rollins. Kofi trips him up and hits a quick splash for two before
it’s off to Ziggler for no reaction at all. Dolph ducks a
clothesline and punches Ambrose down before dropping the ten elbows.
He speeds the spot up by not getting to his feet after each elbow and
dropping them from only a foot or so, which is a smart change.
comes in and runs Ziggler down to take over before it’s quickly back
to Ambrose. Kofi gets the tag as well to speed things up again but
Dean trips him up, setting up a SWEET running dropkick from Reigns
where he starts on the floor and lands on the apron. That’s the best
I’ve ever seen that move look and it takes us to a break.
with Dean getting two on Kofi off a butterfly suplex and cranking on
a reverse chinlock. Dean tries it again from the middle rope but
Kofi knocks him down and hits a high cross body to get a breather. A
spinning kick to Ambrose’s head is enough to make the tag to Dolph
but Reigns is in as well.
starts cleaning house with dropkicks and neckbreakers but walks into
something resembling Cena’s spinning slam. Roman loads up the spear
but Dean gets caught trying to tag himself in. The distraction lets
Ziggler get two off a jumping DDT as Ambrose takes out Kofi on the
floor. Ziggler can’t hook the Zig Zag and it’s the Superman Punch
and spear to knock Ziggler into next week. Reigns tags in Ambrose
and lets him get the pin at 9:58.
C+. This was more about
storytelling but it’s getting more and more obvious that Reigns is
getting the huge push soon. They’ve even got signature spots set up
for him, each one more high impact than the previous. He’s a fun guy
to watch and that can help a lot when you’ve got a rocket strapped on
match the Wyatts show up on screen with Bray talking about how the
Shield is bickering like children. They believe Bray is a joke and a
facade. The hat comes off and Bray gets serious. If you could see
the evil behind his eyes, you would know what kind of a monster he
really is. Harper says those that will not follow them will be the
first to burn. Follow the buzzards.
open with a discussion on Sheamus possibly wearing steel toed boots.
Sheamus runs Ryback over with a shoulder block but a Curtis Axel
distraction lets Ryback get in some cheap shots. The rolling
fireman’s carry puts Ryback down and Curtis gets a Brogue Kick.
Sheamus gets back on the apron and tries the ten forearms but Ryback
pulls him inside to break it up. I don’t remember anyone ever
countering that move.
hits a splash for two and we hit the chinlock for a bit. Sheamus
fights up and gets caught in the over the shoulder Stunner followed
by Ryback going up top (?!?) but missing a splash. Sheamus comes
back with right hands and gets all fired up with a powerslam. The
Brogue Kick is countered into a powerbomb for two and Sheamus is in
trouble. That trouble is short lived though as he counters the Meat
Hook with the Brogue Kick for the pin at 5:43.
C+. How sad is it that Ryback
is a jobber to the stars less than a year after he was #30 in the
Rumble? This match could have easily been on Wrestlemania last year
and now it’s a surprisingly good match on Smackdown. Ryback looked
better than he has in months out there, because he was wrestling the
same style that had him main eventing PPVs in 2012 rather than the
whining that wastes his natural skills.
week’s sitdown interview with HHH talks about Orton running the
gauntlet to make him better. Also on Monday: Orton vs. Cena.
Del Rio is in the back and we take a look at the brawl with Batista
from Monday. Del Rio wants
a piece of the Animal. The less talking in this feud, the better it
is for everyone involved including the fans.
Bryan vs. Antonio Cesaro
grabs a front facelock to start but Antonio drives him into the
corner for some chops. Bryan comes back with knees and kicks to the
chest but walks into a European uppercut for two. Bryan bridges up
to block a pin and Cesaro can’t break it even by jumping on top of
Bryan’s body. Cesaro spends too much time shouting WE THE PEOPLE and
gets caught in a short arm scissors but Cesaro easily lifts him into
the air and drops Bryan down for the break.
pounds away in the corner and hooks a chinlock but Bryan comes back
with the running clothesline. A
top rope hurricanrana gets two on Antonio and there are some YES
Kicks but Cesaro counters the last one into a tilt-a-whirl
backbreaker for two as we
take a break. Back
with Bryan in a chinlock before
a bit boot sends him
flying across the ring.
misses a charge and falls to the floor but Bryan’s knee off the apron
hits Swagger instead of Antonio. Back in and Daniel’s missile
dropkick is countered by an uppercut but he grabs the rope to avoid
the Swing. Cesaro loads up the Neutralizer but Bryan counters into a
YES Lock attempt. That’s countered as well but Bryan comes out of
the corner with a headscissors to drive Cesaro into the mat for the
YES Lock (think the original Sin Cara’s La Mistica) and the
submission at 10:39.
B-. Good stuff here with both
guys countering everything thrown at them. The ending was awesome as
well with Bryan not being able to get Cesaro into the YES Lock by
muscle so he used a quick stunning move to get it on instead. I love
thinking during a match like that and these two are great at it.
comes out post match and the distraction lets Cesaro hit a
Neutralizer on Bryan. A chokeslam leaves Bryan laying as well.
Orton says one loss to Bryan doesn’t make up for the losses Bryan has
suffered to him. He’ll win
in the Chamber and confirm that he’s the best in the world.
Ladd Black History Month video.
Rusev and Lana are coming.
Bella vs. AJ Lee
picks AJ up in a choke to start before hitting a nice slam. AJ
throws on a sleeper to put Nikki down before kicking her down into
the mat. Nikki comes back with a facebuster and a bad looking
backdrop before the seconds get in a fight on the apron. Tamina is
knocked to the floor and Nikki throws AJ into Brie by mistake,
setting up the Black Widow to give AJ the submission win at 2:40.
look back at Titus O’Neil turning on Darren Young last week to split
up the Prime Time Players.
interviews Renee Young (yes that’s right) but Titus won’t let her
talk, saying he could have won a lot more titles on his own while the
Players were a team. Young has nice hair but Titus looks better,
smells better and has a great smile. He sends Renee running along
when Darren Young jumps him from behind and beats O’Neil up, shouting
that he isn’t dead weight. Nice beatdown segment, but at the end of
the day he’s just Darren Young and there aren’t many ways around
vs. Bray Wyatt
inset interview from the Rhodes Brothers says they’re desperate and
will be taking more risks to get back where they belong. Goldust
tries the deep breath and gets kicked in the face. Bray leans upside
down in the corner and Goldust doesn’t know what to think. All Bray
to start as he runs Goldust over and hits some uppercuts from the
hit a nerve hold on Goldie but he fights up and nails a back elbow
off the middle rope to get a breather. A middle rope hurricanrana
sends Bray to the mat again and Goldust follows up with a
spinebuster. Wyatt bails to the floor and Goldust hits a running
flip dive to take him down. The Family goes after Cody as Bray gets
angry. He takes Goldust’s head off with a clothesline and Sister
Abigail is good for the pin at 3:55.
C+. Another good match here
with Goldust continues his comeback tour while Bray is just a freaky
dude when he turns it on. They’ve kept him looking strong since
he debuted and the character has worked far better as a result. Why
WWE insists on never letting people be kept strong is beyond me when
the results can be this strong.
pops up on screen post match and says yeah, they’ll full of pride
because they’ve earned the right to be. Rollins says they’re not
afraid and he’ll be scraping their beards off his boot. Reigns says
they could have been WWE Champion and it’s time for justice. Believe
in the Shield. Bray shouts that he’ll believe in the Shield when
their eyes are battered shut.
Orton vs. Christian
Christian hits a quick shoulder block to start but Orton comes back
with knees and fists to the head. Orton
runs into a back elbow and gets backdropped to the floor, followed by
a top rope cross body as we take a break. Back
with Christian trying to crotch Orton against the post but Randy
pulls his legs forward to send the Canadian into the steel instead.
is dropped back first onto the barricade for two back inside. A
few stomps have Christian in trouble and Orton whips him across the
corner a few times. We get a pose with a shot of the Wrestlemania
sign but Christian comes back with a right hand of his own. Orton
dropkicks him down again and hooks a chinlock as the fans think Randy
sucks. Christian belly to back suplexes him down and they slug it
out with Christian getting the better of it.
Canadian rains down right hands in the corner but Randy comes back
with a running clothesline. Christian clotheslines him right back
and hits a top rope cross body for two. A top rope back elbow to the
jaw looks to set up the Killswitch but Orton snaps off the powerslam
for another two count. Christian
is sent shoulder first into the post but he’s still able to counter
the Elevated DDT. He can’t hit the frog splash though and the second
attempt at the DDT connects. The RKO and Killswitch are countered
but Christian’s sunset flip out of the corner is caught in the RKO
for the pin at 11:53.
B. These two always have
chemistry together and I’ve yet to see them have a bad match. The
ending, while done before, still looks good as Orton can time that
RKO out of the air almost perfectly. Christian doesn’t have a chance
inside the Chamber but he’s a great hand and can make you believe he
could pull it out.
Rating: B. I’m
not sure what has Smackdown on this roll as of late but I’m not
complaining at all. It’s either Wrestlemania or the upcoming TV
deals but the show has been great for most of this year. There were
two big matches, good build towards the six man and Sheamus vs.
Ryback in a good match. What more can you ask for on a supplemental
b. Kofi Kingston/Dolph Ziggler – Ambrose pinned Ziggler after a
spear from Reigns
Lee b. Nikki Bella – Black Widow
Bryan b. Antonio Cesaro – YES Lock
b. Ryback – Brogue Kick
Wyatt b. Goldust – Sister Abigail
Orton b. Christian – RKO
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