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[2013-02-17-WWE-Elimination Chamber] The Shield vs John Cena & Sheamus & Ryback

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Pretty great match with a hot start before settling into a more traditional tag, with both Sheamus and Cena having runs as great faces in peril. The crowd REALLY wants Ryback to come in and clean house, and they make them wait for it to the point it gets a huge pop when it finally happens. Wow, this guy has fallen far in the last year. The last few minutes of this are as hot as in any WWE match I’ve ever seen, with Sheamus being taken out, Cena being neutralized and Ryback being pinned. Such a great tease of a babyface miracle at the end only for one not to happen.


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The Shield vs Ryback, John Cena, Sheamus - WWE Elimination Chamber 2013

 

The TLC debut match would lose a lot of its luster if in subsequent matches The Shield reverted to just another team in the WWE. Thus this match had the heightened importance of affirming and securing The Shield's uniqueness in WWE. Once again, the babyfaces do not know what has hit them. They are so used to the semi-respectful style of the WWE. Yeah, their opponents may cheat, but there has never such a full court press. This is like VCU's vaunted Havoc Defense (if that coach went to a school that could procure him better players that team would be one of the most fun in college basketball). Going into this match, Cena, Ryback and Sheamus expect saves from their opponents, but they don't expect that at first sign of trouble at absolute barrage of offense from their opponents like Reigns clothesline (so glad he switched to Superman Punch) or Rollins' sick springboard knee to Cena's temple (where has that move been?).

 

As a huge Sheamus fan, I am a little disappointed he was treated as an afterthought in this match, but given the time constraints and his partners I cant begrudge the layout. I loved the opening with triple delayed verticals on the Shield, reminiscent of the double/triple figure-4 in Horsemen tags. Sheamus was able to give us a small sample of his badass offense, before Reigns cutoff him off on the outside. I love the revolving door of dropkicks on Sheamus. Sheamus creates space with a non-finishing Brogue Kick and tags in Cena. Cena runs through offense on Reigns to a very mixed reaction and as he goes for the STFU, but Rollins smokes him with a flying knee to the temple. As much as I love Sheamus as an offensive dynamo, Cena proves his mettle in this segment why he is the top star because he is just that damn good at selling. There are some lulls, but spots like Ambrose wicked DDT starts up "Feed Me More" chants. The crowd was rabid for Ryback. How the fuck was he not in The Shield match at Wrestlemania? How stupid! Hot tag to Ryback and RYBACK SMASH~! Bodies go flying as Ryback proves he is one man solution to the Shield problem. Sheamus tries to get involved but suffers Kane's fate and gets speared through the barricade, which has Reigns selling and Ambrose was out too. This leaves Rollins with the Monster. Even though, Shield had controlled the vast majority of the match, it looked like the faces could pull it off. Here comes the Shield to save Rollins and they beat down Ryback. They call for the Triple Powerbomb, but they didn't see Cena! Cena goes for FU and Ryback shellshock Reigns spears Ryback and Rollins falls on top for the victory. What a finish! Due to WWE's penchant for babyface victories, you really bought into Cena & Ryback pulling this one out, but once again the Shield use divide and conquer more effectively than any team in WWE history. There are some lulls in the action in this one compared to TLC, but still one of the best matches in the WWE in 2013. ****1/4

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Easy to forget how Ryback was pretty over at one point. Though he didn’t seem to get as big of a reaction at WrestleMania. Think I liked the TLC 2012 match slightly over this but would need to rewatch that one to be sure. But it is a very good second match from The Shield and was nice to see them being kept strong and get the victory. Loved that finish with the Spear into Ryback who was about to do the Shellshock.


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This was the match that got me hooked on the Shield. The TLC match was really good, but you never really know how well it's going to translate outside of the craziness of the gimmick. I dig how the Shield, when they are in their fast tag offense, don't do a lot of running around that involves moving the victim or put themselves in between the victim and their corner. They are constantly positioning themselves in between their opponent and his corner. There's not a bunch of fancy offense. There's enough, but it's mostly hard-hitting and laser focused. That does make their use of rope-running and corner stuff almost an obvious signal that we're going to get a hot tag soon though. Ryback as the big hot tag was actually really good. He looks like a complete musclehead and classic WWE big man nonsense. But I suppose that he still could be in a long singles match. I liked Sheamus ripping off the protective vest on Ambrose a lot. As well as the kick out of nowhere. Cena was good as the face-in-peril and the avenger towards the end. One thing I really like about the way the Shield was booked is they always appear weaker than their big name opponents one on one, but manage to get somebody else down long enough to double or triple team whoever it may be into a bad spot.

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Now this one holds up. The babyface juggernauts got a triple vertical suplex right at the beginning, almost equivalent to a football team getting a kickoff return touchdown. But from there, this was all about the Shield. They masterfully cut the ring in half, constantly getting the numbers advantage in their favor. It was non-stop domination, but what made this so compelling is that because of the strong booking of the babyfaces, especially for Cena after all of his years as the face of the industry, it still seemed like at some point they would find a way back in.
 
Cena was tremendous playing the Ricky Morton face-in-peril here, and I laugh at anyone who questions this guy's wrestling ability. His selling both in body language and facial expressions was splendid. His hope spots were also great in making the audience believe that his team still had a chance. But the Shield were so focused, never once letting up, finding ways to bail each other out at the slightest hint of trouble. What a finish too to not only get this unit established as a force to be reckoned with, but to build up Roman Reigns. Oh yeah, since this is the big leagues, there weren't any of the stupid tag legalities I see in TNA and the indies. An instant classic. ****1/4

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