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[2002-11-17-WWE-Survivor Series] HHH vs Shawn Michaels vs Chris Jericho vs Kane vs Booker T vs Rob Van Dam (Elimination Chamber)

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A fittingly brutal introduction to the Elimination Chamber concept. Rob Van Dam is the star of the opening half. With a great babyface shine really taking it to Triple H and then bumping around like crazy with great spots like the Spiderman dive and the Five Star off the pod. Jericho plays a fun chickenshit and his alliance with Triple H is a nice dimension that adds a nice wrinkle to the match. It also pays off nicely. Kane was a fun monster but he looked dumb not going for a pin after Chokeslam City. Shawn commands the last half of the match as a great underdog babyface bumping around for Y2J and HHH. He actually pulls off one of his best and most tense comebacks here as HHH tries to cut him off at every turn. Satisfying feel good finish for everybody!

 

****3/4

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The tales of two matches. Well, three parts actually. RVD was clearly the MVP of the match, and kudos to HHH for taking those brutal bumps on the steel two. Blood. Wow, that was another era although it looks almost the same as today. RVD makes the most out of the gimmick, which also allows him to look better than he actually is. Jericho gets in and the match keep on focusing on RVD, with Jericho packing heat on him while working along HHH. Then Booker gets in. Well, he's not looking that good, but he's Booker. Then. Well, RVD gets eliminated and the crowd DIES. They didn't want that result at all.

From there, after the crowd has died, so does the match and it's only fitting that Kane is getting in to suck like only he can. What a boring worker this guy has been for 25 years. The only thing that save his part is Jericho being thrown through the "bulletproof" glass, which is a gimmick spot but a rather cool one, although it kinda make the announcer look like fools. Also, fucking up your structure in the very first match, well. And also, it makes the Shawn bump later less effective. Crowd couldn't give a fuck otherwise. They just wants HBK to get in.

 

And so he does, bad hair, awful pants (he didn't had his gear), small body. That's the 00's Micheals. Still looks pretty damn good though. HHH has been hiding forever at this point. Once the loads are out of the way, the match gets really good again. Micheals "saving" HHH doesn't make sense with the story the announcers were telling earlier about him only being there to make sure HHH would not win. HHH vs Micheals in 2002 almost feels like nostalgia already, but the final pop is crazy. Micheals in 2002 was a bigger star than anyone is today. Jericho was probably the best in-ring guy though, as the glue-worker, and RVD the most impressive as far as using the gimmick, but Michaels looked good considering it was his second match back in the company. HHH looked like his old solid self, picking his spots effectively.

 

Overall, an up and down match with a crazy first part and a really good finishing stretch, but a very mild and boring middle part with the usual Big Red work killer. So, we can call it very good as a whole, with a great unexpected finish. Clearly a success for this new gimmick but far from a great match.

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After a good start HHH taking on RVD, the match got a little boring for a long time until Shawn got in the match. Then the match got very good and Shawn/HHH had easily the best piece of wrestling they had in the entirety of their feud. The crowd was hot for it and so was I. It is a shame that the middle portion was a forgettable section because the start and end were great. ***3/4

 

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The first 10 minutes or so of this are some of the most violent in company history when you look at just how little give the surrounding areas and the chains had in this specific chamber. There’s huge indentations on HHHs back after a few minutes and then RVD is just getting smashed kidney first into the support beams, not even the chain-links and everyone is just taking gnarly bumps on the steel in these tight, confined spaces. And then, they don’t replay it but RVD getting no height on the splash from the top of the pod and landing, knee first on HHHs throat is absolutely sickening stuff. Full credit for continuing on. After that, it descends into some more plodding brawling which leads into a finishing stretch that gets the crowd really into it, even if I can take or leave HHH and Michaels’ finishing runs, even if here it was fairly fresh. The right winner for the crowd but sadly, it just couldn’t sustain the hot opening once RVD was gone.

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