The Elimination Chamber has come and gone, which means the last roadblock before WrestleMania is finally out of the way.
Elimination Chamber turned out to be fairly entertaining roadblock, however, with two great matches and a sort of forgettable undercard.
Here are the quick results from every match on the card:
- Pre-show: Cody Rhodes & Goldust defeated Ryback and Curtis Axel
- Big E defeated Jack Swagger to retain the WWE Intercontinental Championship
- New Age Outlaws defeated The Usos to retain the WWE Tag Team Championships
- Titus O’Neil defeated Darren Young
- The Wyatt Family defeated The Shield
- AJ Lee retains WWE Divas Championship via disqualification
- Batista defeated Alberto Del Rio
- Randy Orton won the Elimination Chamber to retain the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
Now, let’s get to my observations from what occurred at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota Sunday night:
Daniel Bryan was screwed again
For the 30th time in the last six months (at least it seems that way), Daniel Bryan was cheated out of the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. However, this time it felt a little different.
The Elimination Chamber came down to Bryan and Randy Orton. Kane had stepped into the chamber to check on John Cena after the Wyatt Family attacked him (We’ll get to that later).
Bryan came from out of nowhere and attacked Kane. Kane returned the favor later in the match as he cost Bryan the title just when it looked like he had the win in hand.
Orton got the pin and successfully retained his title. From here, the story can go one of two ways.
The first way is that someone will stand up to all the injustice that has happened to Bryan during the last six months and shoehorn him into the title match at WrestleMania. This would make a lot of people happy.
The other way is to segue into a feud with The Authority, specifically Triple H. This would not make everyone happy, but if Bryan gets the win over Triple, it would be a nice consolation.
What won’t make anyone happy (except maybe Triple H) is Orton going up against Batista one-on-one in the title match at WrestleMania
With the way Michael Cole was so adamant on commentary about Bryan being cheated once again, I’m sort of leaning toward Bryan getting into the title match, but time will tell.
Randy Orton versus Batista cannot happen at WrestleMania
There is no way WWE can put Orton against Batista in a one-on-one match for the title at this point. Not after Batista was booed out of the building again, this time in Minneapolis.
Despite its rich wrestling history, Minneapolis isn’t known to go rogue like Philadelphia or Chicago does, which should make it very telling to WWE how people really feel about Batista at this point.
People even took to Twitter with the hashtag, “MoreOverThanBatista”. It garnered some pretty entertaining responses.
#MoreOverThanBatista The Shockmaster
— Darcy Armstrong (@DArm91) February 24, 2014
#MoreOverThanBatista- Ruben Amaro Jr. in Philadelphia.
— Jay Floyd (@PhoulBallz) February 24, 2014
— Dave (@HurkaDoesSports) February 24, 2014
Even I got in on the fun.
The Mulkey Brothers #MoreOverThanBatista
— Vaughn Johnson (@VaughnMJohnson) February 24, 2014
(The Mulkey Brothers were a jobber tag team from the 1980s.)
If WWE leaves that match as is, it would take a Herculean effort to put any positive heat into the match. The match as is has heat right now, but not the good kind. Not the money making kind.
The craziest thing is that neither guy is really at fault.
Despite retaining the title at Elimination Chamber, Orton is still not taken seriously as the champion. It’s not all his fault. The Authority belittles him on a weekly basis.
Batista is simply a victim of bad timing. He’s done basically nothing (besides flip off fans in Pittsburgh) to draw the ire of the fans besides be in the spot that people think Bryan rightfully deserves.
Even if people didn’t boo Batista on a weekly basis, I don’t see him and Orton putting on a match worthy of the WrestleMania main event anyway.
So what do you do? Slide Bryan into that match. It has to be done. There’s no way around it. I don’t know if Batista had an agreement with WWE that he would win the title at WrestleMania, but if he did, an audible has to be called.
Because if WWE sticks to plan, if it sticks to its guns and have Orton goes against Batista in the main event of WrestleMania XXX, I would expect more than 70,000 fans in New Orleans to voice how angry they are during the match. It would not make for a good main event to the biggest WrestleMania to date.
The Wyatt Family, The Shield tore the house down
Boy, this was a heck of a match.
The crowd in Minneapolis was so into the match, it was chanting, “This is awesome,” before the match even started. Before the two teams even touched each other.
Once the two teams did touch each other, wrestling greatness ensued. The match was physical. It was exciting and kind of surprising all at the same time.
Seth Rollins had an amazing showing with some crazy high spots. To be fair, all six men in the match did their part. It just goes to show that this match should have happened at WrestleMania. It was that good. The build to the match was that good as well.
One thing that surprised me was that Roman Reigns was the man pinned from The Shield. I understand the story aspect that Dean Ambrose and Rollins were both taken out by the Wyatts, but I figured since Reigns has been on a steady rise he would have been protected here. Instead, he was the last man standing from The Shield, which in essence still makes him look strong.
He put up a valiant fight, but eventually succumbed to the numbers game.
This was a great match all around and is an early contender for match of the year as a result.
The Wyatt Family cost John Cena the WWE World Heavyweight title again
The Wyatts weren’t done after their match with The Shield as they somehow found their way into the Elimination Chamber and took out Cena.
This is now the second pay-per-view in a row that they have cost Cena the title and essentially confirmed a Bray Wyatt-Cena match at WrestleMania. I’m certain will win said match, but getting there could be interesting.
New Age Outlaws-Usos finish leaves the door open for a rematch
The New Age Outlaws defeated the Usos with a relatively clean victory over the Usos to retain their tag team titles, but a distraction allowed for the win to happen. It was decisive by no means, which leaves the door open for the Usos to get another shot of some kind at WrestleMania.
I was okay with outcome because if the Usos are going to win the titles, it’s probably best saved for WrestleMania.
I doubt WWE will book another one-on-one encounter so it may add more teams into the mix, but expect the Usos to get another shot and win.
Bad News Barrett takes over Elimination Chamber
Barrett so many appearances on the show I stopped counting after 22. I say that in jest, but it was quite a bit. He appeared after almost every match.
During his first appearance, he debuted his new podium that went very, very high. But apparently his podium stopped working and he was forced to deliver some bad news from essentially ground level. Barrett blames Minnesota’s technicians for the podium failure and said they were as bad as the Vikings were this past season, which was pretty bad.
Barrett was entertaining overall, but I personally want him to start feuding with, you know, other wrestlers. This podium thing, although mildly entertaining, is getting kind of old.
Big E, Jack Swagger had a decent match
The Big E-Jack Swagger match opened the show and was better than I expected. It didn’t knock anyone’s socks off (unless you have really big socks on), but it served its purpose, which was fill up 10 minutes or so of time on the show.
The problem is that the fans are very lukewarm when it comes to Big E. The problem is that there’s no real reason to like him on television besides the fact that wrestles the bad guys. That’s not going to be enough to make him a legitimate star.
Titus O’Neal essentially squashed Darren Young
This was essentially a long squash match. Nothing more. Nothing less. It served no purpose other than to get O’Neal over as a heel and make him look credible, which is essentially the definition of a squash match.
This one happened to last longer than two minutes.
No sign of Brock Lesnar
I was kind of surprised that we did not get an appearance from Brock Lesnar Sunday night. I wasn’t totally surprised, but kind of. Minneapolis isn’t his hometown, but he went to the University of Minnesota and is essentially the hometown guy there for WWE.
I imagine he would pop up Monday night in Green Bay to kick off some program for WrestleMania.
Cody Rhodes, Goldust staying together after all?
It looks Cody Rhodes and Goldust are going to be teaming up a little long than everyone expected. There hasn’t been any signs of dissention, no signs of miscommunication and they defeated Ryback and Curtis Axel on the pre-show.
If WWE puts together a four-way for the tag team titles, Goldust could be one of the teams along with Ryback and Axel. The other two teams would of course be the New Age Outlaws and the Usos. Personally, I wouldn’t mind that, but I think a Rhodes-Goldust match would have been more intriguing.