Princess Pick: 2009 Smackdown Elimination Chamber

Two down, two to go, this ranting stuff is like riding a bike.

I was watching some old Royal Rumbles and I’m just curious how the 1990 Rumble never gets mentioned in the “best ever” category. It’s, at worst, a ****1/2 match. I get it, Hogan won and Mr. Perfect didn’t and that sucks for people that hate Hogan but the match is almost as good as the 1992 and the star power is damn near equal if not slightly better because guys like Andre, Dusty and Demolition were in it. There were a couple of moments that really stood out for me:

— When Piper entered (at No. 6 I believe) it set off a crazy two-minute sequence between Piper and Jake “The Snake” vs. Savage and DiBiase, which would have been a ridiculous tag match during that era – a crazy brawl at MSG or Boston that would have grown legendary on some Coliseum video compilation. The crowd exploded during this sequence and seemed to stay on their feet for the rest of the match.

— It was Andre’s last great performance. Even by his limited physical standards at that point he busted his ass in that match and sold for everyone. You ever want to see Andre selling offense from Bret Hart? It was in the 1990 Royal Rumble.

— The Hogan-Warrior showdown. Still cool 22 years later.

Anyway I think I’m alone in believing that’s a ***** match and at worse the third best Rumble in history. Just watch it again; it’s 60 minutes of awesome. I promise. Princess would never, ever, ever lie.

Smackdown Elimination Chamber from No Way Out 2009

Event held on February 15, 2009 from Seattle, Washington

Hosted by Jim Ross and Tazz

WWE Championship Elimination Chamber: Edge, The Undertaker, Triple H, Vladimir Kozlov, Jeff Hardy and The Big Show

Wow, remember the days when Kozlov was getting a main event push? He absolutely stunk during that phase but he gradually got better, at least good enough to be functional, and then they release him. Same thing happened to Chris Masters, who didn’t stink as bad, but still got better with time. It doesn’t always make sense to me. I guess it didn’t help that Kozlov looked like a cross between Eddie Munster and Jay Leno on HGH.

Undertaker, Big Show, Kozlov and Triple H get the pod treatment, which sort of sucks for Edge since he was the champion going into this thing. He will start the match with Jeff Hardy. Five minute intervals again.

Hardy jumps on Edge to start, hitting two sit-down clotheslines but Edge with a huge boot to end the rally. Crowd with a chant for Hardy already – a precursor to his big push in later months. Edge chokes Hardy on the middle rope and lands a splash for two. Hardy rallies with a head scissors, inverted atomic drop, double-legged splash, low dropkick combo. Hardy goes for the twist of fate but Edge tries to counter with the Edge-u-cation which is countered back into the twist of fate. These two had chemistry for the ages even though you knew who was going to win every encounter. Hardy goes for the swanton but Edge wisely scoots out of the way. Edge goes for the spear but Hardy catches him in a small package for three! Holy crap, I forgot they jobbed Edge out in four minutes. Everyone in the pods is highly entertained by this and Edge throws an awesome temper tantrum. Oh well, he figures out a loop hole later in the night. 10 seconds until next entrant.

Kozlov is next and he kicks Hardy right in the face. Kozlov’s issue was he only knew a few moves regardless of the situation and couldn’t sell so it was up to the guy he was in the ring with to make him functional. Luckily Hardy sells like a champion as Kozlov’s wide array of shoulder blocks seem effective. Kozlov tosses Hardy in the cage a couple times and gives him a fall away slam back inside the ropes for a two count. Kozlov drapes Hardy on the top rope, headbutts him a few times in the back and hits another fall away slam for two. Backbreaker from Kozlov gets two and now a bearhug. Hardy fights to his feet and fights out of the hold but a shoulderblock grounds him again. Kozlov with a running power…nope Hardy escapes and dropkicks him into the corner. Hardy with a slingshot double-leg kick in the corner that gets two. Hardy with the whisper in the wind as we hit the ten second mark.

Big Show is next and he just steps over Kozlov to abuse Hardy. Show with a headbutt and Kozlov joins in on the action as the guys decide to team up and beat down Hardy to the dismay of the crowd. Show with a body shot, Kozlov with a body shot as it’s a battle of one upsmanship. Show with a body slam on Hardy and now Kozlov with a body slam on Hardy. The pace of the match has slowed tremendously. Hardy tries to fight back but Show stops it with a headbutt. Kozlov with an elbow drop. Show adds a big chop as the two bigger men size each other up for a second and then decide to continue their abuse on Hardy. Kozlov makes the first move, knocking Show down with a battering ram and Show takes exception to it. Big man slugfest that Show wins but Kozlov blocks the suplex. Show misses an avalanche and Kozlov lands the shoulders as we hit the 10 second mark.

Triple H is in and it’s game time. Let the knees fly! Knee smasher for Show, the Harley high knee for Kozlov. Massive spinebuster on Show and Hardy tries to stop the rally so HHH clotheslines the shit out of him. Kozlov charges and HHH ducks and lets him go flying out of the ring. HHH sends Kozlov into the cage and goes for the pedigree on the steel but Show drags HHH back into the ring and roughs him up in the corner. Crowd chanting for HHH. Show with a sidewalk slam on HHH gets two, Kozlov roughing up Hardy in the corner. Kozlov with his 40th elbow drop of the match on Hardy. Crowd ready to see the Undertaker. Show goes for the chokeslam but HHH fights out only to run into a press slam. Show and HHH go out to the steel platform and Show sends HHH into the cage. Show avalanches HHH and then catches Hardy trying to sneak attack him and sends him into the cage. Show tries to avalanche both men but misses. Hardy and HHH back in the ring and give Kozlov a double suplex. Hardy and HHH fight each other and Hardy hits a whisper in the wind as we are down to 10 seconds.

Here comes Mr. McCool and it’s a rare time that five of the six are in the match. Usually they max out at four. Undertaker goes right after Show and then beats up on Kozlov, who botches the hell out of snake eyes. How the fuck do you botch that move? Undertaker dominating and was about to hit a double chokeslam on Hardy and HHH until Show interferes. Flying clothesline for Show and Undertaker takes HHH to old…nope he audible and jumps onto Show, who was ready but Taker still hits the DDT on the steel. Now he takes HHH to the old school. Big boot for Hardy but Kozlov hits a shitty spear and goes back to the shoulder blocks. I tell you Kozlov keeps it close to the vest. He gives Undertaker some corner punches and that’s not a smart move because about 30 seconds later he takes his last ride and heads back to the USSR. Show chokeslams Undertaker. HHH tries for a pedigree and Show back drops him over the ropes and on to the steel. Hardy tries to attack Show and he catches him and sends him into HHH. Show sends HHH into the steel and tries to do the same with Hardy but Hardy sticks the landing and climbs the pod. Show climbs after him and Undertaker climbs after Show. Undertaker with a superplex on Show and HHH hits a pedigree on the prone show while Hardy recovers and hits the swanton from the top of the pod! HHH covers Show for three and we’re down to three!

Undertaker escapes Hardy’s whisper in the wind and starts brawling with HHH, sending him over the corner and out onto the steel again. Undertaker tries to go old school again but HHH shakes the ropes from the outside and knocks Undertaker off. Hardy uses the Undertaker’s prone body to do a leap of faith on HHH but gets caught with the tombstone on his way back in to end his night and a hell of an effort. Down to two.

HHH charges and Undertaker hits him with the big boot and roughs him up in the corner but HHH escapes a running big boot and they go tumbling to the steel. HHH sends Undertaker into the cage and back into the ring. HHH to the top and he jumps right into a chokeslam for a near fall. HHH tries to rally but Undertaker hits snake eyes, however, HHH catches him with a spinebuster coming off the ropes. I love when two guys know each other’s moveset so well they can use logical counters. The spinebuster gets two. We go back out to the steel as the crowd has dueling chants, which is pretty cool and appropriate as it was split 50/50 for this segment. HHH goes for a pedigree on the outside but Undertaker counters with a slingshot into the cage. Undertaker goes for a tombstone, HHH counters and they flip into the ring but Undertaker counters THAT and hits the tombstone but HHH’s foot is on the ropes at two and three-quarters. HHH hits a pedigree out of desperation and THAT only gets two. They stand and slug it out in an epic scene. Undertaker wins the slugfest but HHH sends him into the corner and does corner punches, Undertaker tries for the last ride but HHH escapes and hits the pedigree for three! Holy shit that was an awesome finish!

(HHH wins Elimination Chamber via pinfall over Undertaker, ****1/2, once Kozlov was gone that sucker got damn good. I remember wanting to see Undertaker-HHH at Wrestlemania after this short encounter. Unfortunately we got Shawn Michaels instead and…well…that didn’t suck either. As for those of you wondering about Edge he would sneak attack Kofi Kingston before the World Championship match, take his spot and win that title.)

Princess Pick: ECW Extreme Elimination Chamber

In preparation for my Wrestlemania project this year, which is going to be special stipulation matches, I wanted to knock a few Elimination Chamber matches out of the way and I have a couple more rants I’m going to do before the end of the month.

Anyway I’ll do four EC matches, the 2006 ECW Extreme one, the 2009 Smackdown Chamber and both the RAW and Smackdown Chambers in 2010.

We start with the ECW one from December of 2006. Enjoy.

ECW Elimination Chamber from December to Dismember 2006

On December 3, 2006 in Augusta, Georgia

Hosted by Joey Styles and Tazz

ECW Championship Match: The Big Show, Test, CM Punk, Bobby Lashley, Hardcore Holly and Rob Van Dam

Big Show is the champion. He, Punk, Test and Lashley start out in the pods. Each pod has a weapon inside of it. Show has a barbed wire baseball bat, Test has a crowbar, Punk has a steel chair and Lashley has a table.

Holly and RVD, who had a **** encounter in the early days of the ECW television show start this one out. Five minute intervals for this one. They actually start out with some basic wrestling but that stops after about 30 seconds. Clothesline by Holly gets a one count and he roughs RVD up in the corner and tosses him out of the ring to the metal flooring. RVD rallies and goes for something off the top rope, Holly ducks it, RVD hangs on the fence and tries a cross body but Holly ducks that too. Holly sends RVD into the cage and body slams him on the steel. Holly goes to the top and but eats boot as we hit the two minute warning. RVD gives Holly the one-man rolling thunder on the steel. RVD tries to suplex Holly on the steel but Holly reverses and suplexes RVD back in the ring and gets a two count. Beautiful dropkick from Holly gets two as we hit the 10 second mark.

Next is in Punk, who gets a great crowd pop and a chant going right away. He hits Holly with the chair and has a springboard clothesline for RVD. Punk tries to toss the chair at RVD but he catches it and tosses it right back. RVD gives Punk the monkey flip on the chair but Punk rallies with a legdrop on RVD and a springboard back kick to Holly. RVD is busted open. Punk sends him into the corner (where a chair is) and hits a vicious kick to the side of the face. Punk goes for Holly but Holly catches him coming off the top and sends him into the cage. Holly covers for two. All three men are back in the ring and Holly gives Punk a side suplex. Holly with chops on Punk and a top-rope superplex as we hit the one minute warning. RVD covers Punk for two then Holly covers Punk for two. Punk reverses an irish whip and gives Holly a high knee but the bulldog is countered by RVD kicking Punk in the face.

Test is next in the match and he hits Punk in the chops with crowbar before digging it in against RVD’s cut. Kinda gruesome I suppose. He goes and chokes Punk away with the crowbar but Punk counters with a hangman. RVD clotheslines Holly twice and nails Test with the chair, one for Holly too and then a Van Daminator for Punk. RVD with the five-star for Punk and the three count. They didn’t really want to pull the trigger on Punk until allegedly Shawn Michaels told them to. Thank God that guy was around. Test has both RVD and Holly in a vulnerable position and hits the yakuza kick on Holly for a botched three count. Ref said that Holly got the shoulder up at two but still eliminated him. Announcers were rightfully confused but smartly ignored it after it was obviously botched. Meanwhile RVD is perched and hits Test with a flying kick. RVD climbs up onto a pod but it’s the Big Show’s pod and he holds RVD’s foot allowing Test to club him a few times with a chair and toss him from the pod. Test places the chair on RVD’s face and climbs the pod himself and hits the test elbow! Well you could have counted to a hundred there. And we are down to three and about a minute of dead time.

Finally the buzzer goes off but Paul Heyman’s goon squad attacks the official and keeps Lashley’s pod locked. So Lashley uses the table to bust through the steel chains on the top of the pod and he climbs out that way. Lashley catches Test with a top rope clothesline and sends Test into/through the pod. Lashley continues his grade-A shitkicking on Test with his very limited repertoire. Test tries to rally but about a minute later Lashley kicks a chair in Test’s face and brutalizes him with the crowbar before hitting a spear and ending Test’s night with a minute remaining before the Big Show enters. Lashley tosses weapons at Show’s pod in preparation.

Show is not exactly in a rush to enter to the ring and he grabs the gimmicked barbed wire bat first. Show attacks with the bat but Lashley blocks with the chair. Lashley ducks another shot and attacks with the chair. He tosses Show in the cage twice and then through one of the pods. Show is bleeding but rallies and beals Lashley back into the ring. He hits a huge clothesline but Lashley blocks the chokeslam and counters with a DDT. Show misses and avalanche but catches Lashley on an attempted cross body, Lashley escapes the powerslam, however, and hits the spear for the three count. Show was basically a transitional champion, winning the title when RVD got busted for pot, and he held it for a while until the guys felt like they found the right guy to replace him. Lashley was designated as that guy and they were not messing around with his push. Little doubt as to who was going to win this one.

(Lashley wins Elimination Chamber via pinfall over Big Show, **1/2, it was a decent match for this format with a couple of cool spots and a good enough pace. However, it wasn’t the balls-to-the-wall brawl it needed to be. Test was probably the most impressive man in the match. Definitely curious as to what would have happened to Lashley in the long run. They put him in some pretty high profile situations before he was injured and negotiated his release to do….whatever the hell he’s doing now.)