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[2014-02-23-WWE-Elimination Chamber] Randy Orton vs John Cena vs Daniel Bryan vs Sheamus vs Christian vs Cesaro (Elimination Chamber)

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One of the better worked Chamber matches from start to finish, beginning with the best three workers and then turning into some great stories once all six guys got into the match. The finish, though...it's beyond stupid. You have BRYAN attack Kane? It was a great near fall when he kicked out of the RKO, but it became a moot point once Kane got his revenge and sent Bryan into the second one for the loss. It made Orton look extremely weak (and he's looking like the weakest champion in a long, long time at this point) and didn't help Bryan at all. Cesaro came away looking king-sized in this, and while people hated that he tapped, he took an AA on the steel, got pulled in and Cena REALLY wrenched in the STF for the quick tap, with Cesaro having been in there for a half hour. Even the Wyatt interference was awesome. That finish just sucked the wind out of the match, though. How a match that good could have a finish like that is beyond me.

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This is a match type I never get super excited for, but always really enjoy. We were missing Rey who is the maestro of the Elimination Chamber, but otherwise we had a damn good group of dudes. I am not sure why they have run 50 Sheamus v. Christian matches lately as the Sheamus v. Cesaro match up is one of my favorite match ups right now. Sheamus can get a bit repetitive but Cesaro seems to force him out of his comfort zone. Really liked Christian as he got to do all of the athletic spots which Rey normally does. His top of the pod dive was really nuts because he doesn't have the smoothness of other guys who have done that spot and it looked really out of control and nuts. The booking finish was pretty bad though, I suppose they were in a spot if they weren't going to give the belt to Bryan (which they shouldn't have, no reason for him to get it in a fluky multi man match like this before Wrestlemania) but the run ins have been so overdone, that it just killed the match dead. Still the vast majority of this was great, I can't in good conscious put it above matches with satisfying endings

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WWE World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton vs John Cena vs Daniel Bryan vs Cesaro vs Sheamus vs Christian - WWE Elimination Chamber 2014

 

The Royal Rumble, Money In The Bank and Elimination Chamber are matches I enjoy to watch live, but if I don't catch them that way, I almost never go back and watch them. I was curious about this one because it got some buzz, but then lost lost steam come end of year awards time. I really enjoyed this and this was far more character-driven than I expected. I thought Christian was the MVP with his desperate violence. If they booked all opportunist characters like this then they be far more interesting. Right from the outset, he taunts Sheamus while he is in the pod, which allows Cesaro to get one up on Sheamus. Then when he enters fourth, he shoves Sheamus off the top rope to the steel and then is laser focused on Bryan's arm. It made total sense, Christian is locking in on the weakest link and is looking to exploit it. The only problem is Sheamus hates him and Cesaro is a fucking rogue powerhouse. Cesaro had the second best character as the hot dog, arrogant show off. He was not wrestling with a High Wrestling IQ. He was constantly breaking up other people's chances to eliminate people. He would engage Sheamus in gnarly macho pissing contests. Why? Because he was out to prove he was The Man and that his raw power and sheer might would overcome even a shitty strategy. The first time we see that is Bryan has Sheamus in the Indian Deathlock and Cesaro comes at him which allows Bryan to hit the Northern Lights Suplex while in the Deathlock. This would be a constant thread throughout the match with Cesaro. Cesaro on at least two occasions stopped Cena from hitting FUs. Cena comes in and the secondary finishers go flying. Orton walks in too a mass of humanity laid out. Orton gloats as the crowd boos. He goes for the punt on Bryan, but whiffs. He is cornered so he retreats to the pod and the crowd chants "Pussy!". Holy shit, three heels acting like heels, I LOVE IT, MICHAEL~!

 

Sheamus blasts the pod down with a Brogue Kick because he is all man. Cesaro attacks Shemaus even though he has the upper hand. Then Cena hits the 5 Knuckle Shuffle on Orton, but Cesaro attacks again. Giant Swing on Orton for about 30 revolutions. THAT HOT DOG! Bryan hits Chaos Theory on Cesaro. It would have been great if he got eliminated there with his hubris getting the best of him. Sheamus Brogue Kick Cena. Christian ROLLS UP Sheamus! NO! Christian DIVES ON Cena! No! Christian being the best American Yoshinari Ogawa is awesome! Sheamus gets up and sees red and wants to kill Christian. Christian retreats to the top of the pod. Sheamus gives chase and Orton superplexes Sheamus. Christian SPLASH OFF THE POD! Complete with Here Comes The Pain sell into the cover! He eliminates Sheamus! YES! YES! YES! Bryan hits his exploding knee and eliminates Christian. BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!! NO! NO! NO! Daniel Bryan sucks! :)

 

Cena/Bryan showdown is fucking electric. I loved their strike exchange. They need to go back to that well for this year's Summerslam. Cena hoists Bryan up for the FU, but Cesaro Germans the both of them. Cena makes Cesaro pay with an FU on the plexiglass and then tap to the most vicious STFU ever. I would have liked Cesaro's arrogance really be exploited in his elimination, but this was good enough. The match really goes downhill at this point. The Wyatts appear to start the Cena program and attack Cena. Orton eliminated Cena after Sister Abigail. Kane is out to restore order and Bryan dives onto him. Bryan hits his exploding knee, but Kane pulls out the ref. RKO -> 1-2->NO! Bryan is alive, but Kane uppercut and Orton RKO takes care of that.

 

No reason to have Bryan win, but still it is a pretty lame ending. Better to just have Orton get the best of Bryan's shoulder in my opinion. Cena/Wyatts was lame. The three midcarders were awesome in this. Cesaro and Christian added a ton of interesting spots that made sense in the context of their characters. Sheamus is just fucking awesome and his exchanges with Cesaro ruled! ****

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I have never liked this match type. But this match worked all the way up until the Wyatts showed up. Christian's constant climbing of the cage when people try to pick him up out there is such a great chickenshit heel tactic. The dichotomy of Christian's character during the match is really fun, going back and forth between cowering and picking his spots to be a complete vicious bastard. Sheamus and Cesaro going right at one another every chance they got makes me want to track down every singles match available between the two of them. Orton hiding in the pod was the first thing he's done that garnered actual heel heat and not "we like Daniel Bryan/we don't like you or your constant push" heat. Cena wrestling smart was a nice touch given that he'd been in this kind of match before. Have I mentioned Cesaro comes out of this match looking like a BEAST?

 

I really wish the WWE had booked Orton strong enough to beat an Injured Bryan once it came down to it. Explain to me why you need Kane to be involved unless you're unhappy that your fans seem to be forcing you down a road you don't want to go down. And maybe if you have Kane piss Bryan off enough it's the most logical thing booking wise for Kane to be his next feud after the Mania win (which you're not overly happy about giving him.) So all those internet smart fans are going to have a tough time arguing with that program given their love of "logical booking" once you give them their precious Bryan win. This is the kind of thing that drives me nuts about the WWE. They can book really smart when it comes to getting themselves out of things that end up being necessary despite their not wanting them. But when it comes to setting up good feuds for midcard champs or hot acts to keep their momentum going, they seem to be clueless. I say seem to be because it is my firm belief that much of the "bad booking" that keeps midcarders shuffling around while the current guys are fed to the old guard is absolutely intentional. It is done under the guise of poor booking but accomplishes everything the WWE seems to want. I have a hard time thinking that it's in any way unintentional.

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Another excellent match for the night, and a major improvement over the prior year's Chamber match.
 
Here's why this worked much better than the year before: Nobody gave a shit about a Jack Swagger push. Here, the fans actually gave a shit about the majority of the competitors, D-Bry in particular.
 
Sheamus and Cesaro once again brought their throwback brutality to each other to start the match, just awesome shit. And the match just kept being engaging, the action never getting boring. Most important are the moments that lead to WrestleMania XXX though of course. The Wyatt Family took out Cena, allowing Orton to pin him (and also reinforcing Sister Abigail as a legit finisher). Kane came out and D-Bry gave him a receipt for what happened six days prior (D-Bry getting his left shoulder fucked up, needing it taped for this match.) Orton once again got another dirty win, with D-Bry yet again getting screwed.
 
But what made this so special, and will be loved more as the years go by, isn't just how great the action was and the tremendous Twin Cities crowd it was in front of. In the post-match, Michael Cole absolutely went berzerk about D-Bry, and while Cole had of course been defending D-Bry since turning face after Jerry Lawler's heart attack in 2012, this signaled how valuable D-Bry had become in the WWE hierarchy, and it was nice for Cole to do a complete 180 in his passionate commentary when it comes to Daniel Bryan. ****

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For awhile, it was up there with the best EC matches ever.

 

When an Evanescence theme produced by TNA is a hundred time better than your current theme, it says a lot about how WWE productions have fallen off. Yeah, talking about Christian here.

 

Sheamus vs Cesaro. Holy shit, they beat the hell out of each other and go a hundred an hour. Which is basically the pace this match will end up being worked for most of its duration. Cesaro is a workhorse like no other. Sheamus has gotten a lot better. To add on, here's Bryan, who's over as all hell. Amazing how this guy was very clearly THE star at the time and the WWE had been tone deaf to that fact. They are still paying it today, really. He's all banged up which plays into the underdog character. And then again, Christian, who still looks excellent despite being on the way out. All these guys make a much better, more brutal and interesting use of the gimmick than it's been the case in the previous years too. Tons of cool stuff happening thus far, it seemingly never stops.

 

Cena gets in. Booed like all hell, but he still adds to the match himself, working like a mofo. This match is like the Royal Rumble 92, with Bryan working with everyone in sight.

 

Orton gets in after a sequences of big spots which has everyone more of less down on the mat. He beats them up. Crowd chants "boring". Ah ah. Good ol' Randy O. There's a stupid spot with a cool payoff, as Orton hides from Sheamus into the pod and they act like Sheamus can't open it. For fuck's sake, when Jericho did it, he was holding the door with desperation, as you CAN'T close back the pod. Anyway, it leads to a broke kick to fuck up the unbreakable glass, which is the most ridiculous gimmick since the doors get broken all the time (not the glass, well, not usually, but you get my drift).

 

Christian really outworks himself doing the Spiderman spot and the big dive off the pod too. Sheamus out then Christian out then Cesaro out finally. Then... the Wyatt appear. Well, they were hot fresh and new, so I don't have anything against that yet, despite the fact they interfere in a great match. In retrospect, yeah, it sucks, but they were supposed to be big, so a little Taker trick wasn't so bad.

Then again, the fact the match stopped forever because of it, and that KANE, motherfucking KANE had to be put into the mix to make it suck, really bothers me now. Plus, the whole spot that basically spots the match before the mast part or so is always annoying and has seemingly became a staple now. Not to mention the fact Randy Orton, after jumping on the KOed Cena, didn't attack Bryan. Why ? Because the booking says so, we have to watch the Wyatt go away, argue with Kane and shit. So yeah, it's illogical, likewise Bryan attacking Kane instead of working on Orton. Leading to the worst and most boring choice winning.

 

So, great match for 95% or it. Cesaro was JerichArn. Christian was the the one with the smartest and most spectacular work too. Bryan was the MVP for getting the heat and emotion along the work. Sheamus & Cena did really good. Randy O. was his ok ridiculous overacting yet bland self. Kane managed to get the match dow without being in the match itself. That guy is a wonder of suck. Very top EC match without the booking fart. I guess still top tier since the work itself was so hot.

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