WWE Elimination Chamber Review February 23rd 2014

  • Isn’t it great to have a PPV theme which isn’t just a generic rock song?
  • What’s with the name cull? No more “Antonio”, no more “Langston”. Who decided this? What’s the point? It’s dead eyed corporate thinking of the worst kind.
  • Swagger had one of his good days against Biggie. Sadly, the Big Ending is still an awful, anticlimactic finisher.
  • I thought Barrat’s improvised stuff about his cherry picker breaking down was miles better than his scripted stuff. Take note, WWE Creative: You are repeatedly less witty, funny and smart than the talent you order about.
  • The New Age Outlaws continue their great storytelling run. However, I would caution that the crowd clearly don’t buy them as champions.
  • Just as I expected, they’ve slightly altered Titus’s theme. Sadly, his match has zero heat. The Prime Time Players were getting heat, and their split has evaporated it. Just another day at the office for Creative.
  • The crowd is chanting “this is awesome” before the Wyatt / Shield match even begins. A clear sign that they want to see the new stars above all else. A plea, sadly, falling on deaf ears for the most part. This is a great, well structured match. Spoiled slightly, strangely enough, by substandard camerawork. The announce table spot is almost completely missed. The cameras also fail to follow Bray and Ambrose into the crowd. How strange.
  • The AJ / Cameron match is actually a brave show from Cameron, but she’s not got the heat or the experience to make this matter. I’m actually glad Naomi didn’t have to go out and work this. She is better in the ring, but the crowd isn’t invested in her yet. And why should they be? They know almost nothing about her aside from she’s a kind of disco cheerleader. Creative’s fault again, I’m afraid.
  • Say what you want about moleface; That’s a great entrance theme. Still, there’s no stopping the crowd rebellion. One of the nice things about the commentators having to bury the crowd is that they actually talk about the match. Which is fine, actually. Del Rio carries Dave quite a lot, but it’s far from a disaster. The crowd are hilarious. “Boo-tista” indeed. It would be great if Dave grabbed the mic and actually asked them if they were chanting “Boo” or “Boo-tista”. Sorry, I’m imagining that wrestling can be fun and spontaneous. Just ignore me.
  • The main event is excellent. Christian puts in a great performance and justifies his spot in the match, even after entering to absolute silence. Cesaro is wearing giant white y-fronts, but is really showing what he can do. My notes are full of “Cesaro and x work brilliantly together”, until I simply have to admit that Cesaro works brilliantly with everyone. There are some lovely spots, like Orton’s return to the pod, and the brogue kick through it. There’s great use of the structure throughout. The Bryan screwjob ending is just wonderful, with fantastic shots of the crestfallen crowd. This is how wrestling should be. In Bryan, WWE have found an amazing underdog babyface, and we can expect to see him getting screwed in ever more creative ways for a long time to come.

This was an almost unbelievably predictable PPV, but still fun. It’s kind of creepy to see the Wrestlemania card taking shape exactly as it was rumored last year: Orton / Batista. Bryan / Kane. Cena / Wyatt. We laughed then, but it’s actually happening right before our eyes. Mark my words: That card is a disaster waiting to happen. So much so, that I simply refuse to believe the company will persevere¬†with it.

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