The last big stop on the road to
has arrived, and it's time to determine once and for all who will main event WWE's biggest annual show. It's
"WWE Elimination Chamber"
and, if prior versions are any indication, it's going to be a vicious night.
Here's the card for the show:
- "Elimination Chamber" match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship (Randy Orton vs. John Cena vs. Cesaro vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus vs. Christian)
- Batista vs. Alberto Del Rio
- The Shield vs. The Wyatt Family
- The New Age Outlaws vs. The Usos for the WWE Tag Team Championships
- Big E. vs. Jack Swagger for the Intercontinental Championship
- Darren Young vs. Titus O'Neil
- Kickoff: Cody Rhodes and Goldust vs. Ryback and Curtis Axel
The match to watch, obviously, is the "Elimination Chamber" spectacle. Randy Orton is most likely going to walk out with the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, then go on to meet Batista at "Wrestlemania," but anything is truly possible. Will WWE surprise the fans with a title change?
"WWE Elimination Chamber" kicks off at 8 p.m. ET on pay per view. Follow along with
as we live blog the show, along with the kickoff. All times are Eastern.
7:30 - The kickoff show panel consists of Rey Mysterio, The Miz and Mark Henry. One day before the WWE Network launch, there's a fancy new set for it too.
7:40 - JBL's dancing during his entrance will never, ever get old.
Cody Rhodes and Goldust vs. Ryback and Curtis Axel
7:45 - Axel's grandpa, Larry "The Ax" Hennig is escorting Ryback and Axel to the ring. This should be interesting.
7:55 - The four men put on a fun, fast-paced match, which is a bit surprising considering Ryback was in the mix. In the end Cody hits the Crossrhodes on Curtis for the win, leaving the latter's grandfather looking angry.
Winners: Cody Rhodes and Goldust
"Elimination Chamber" is up next!
Big E. vs. Jack Swagger for the Intercontinental Championship
8:03 - With how racist the Real Americans team comes across, why do the fans chant along with them? It sounds like Zeb Coulter blamed the polar vortex on U.S. Immigration issues.
Ricardo Rodriguez is at ringside as part of the Spanish announce team. If that comes into play during the Alberto Del Rio match, that will be a very long-term payoff to an old storyline.
8:10 - Swagger roughs Big E. up outside the ring, showing how physical he can get when need be. He should be showing that fire all the time.
The two big guys continue to toss each other around, with Swagger staying on the offensive more often than not. He's also bleeding from his mouth for some reason. A lot more blood on WWE programming these days.
8:18 - Swagger continues to dominate, even getting the Patriot Lock set in. However, Big E. eventually counters and goes for the Big Ending. Swagger gets the Patriot Lock once more, but Big E. stands up, hits the enziguri and a Big Ending to retain. That was a really fun match from those two.
Winner: Big E.
Oh joy, Bad News Barrett is here to deflate the mood after a great match. He's just here to tell Americans that Russia won more gold medals.
Backstage, Daniel Bryan admits he's not 100% but he's going to give his all to go onto "Wrestlemania." Lots of "Yes" chants.
The New Age Outlaws vs. The Usos for the Tag Team Championships
8:26: Road Dogg doesn't have a microphone in his hand. What is happening? Oh, he just grabbed one when he got to the ring and did his normal shtick. It's weird when men in their 40s tell you to "suck it," right?
8:34 - And there's the CM Punk chants. With Billy Gunn and Jimmy Uso tagged in, The Usos take control, as Road Dogg and Jey are down and out, outside the ring. Still, Billy surprises with a quick rollup to retain the titles. It looks like Billy had a handful of tights to make it happen.
Winners: The New Age Outlaws
Oh no, Bad News Barrett is back again. Is this going to happen after every match? This time he's there to say Daniel Bryan won't win tonight and fans will turn on him. This is the most obnoxious gimmick.
Darren Young vs. Titus O'Neil
8:43 - Darren Young is wearing a NO H8 hoodie. How could he possibly lose this match?
8:47 - Titus is using his size and power to his advantage, tossing Darren around like a rag doll. This one wasn't much of a contest at all, which is a bit surprising.
Winner: Titus O'Neil
The crowd was not into the match at all, and just to make matters worse, Bad News Barrett is back again. It's going to be a really long night.
The Shield vs. The Wyatt Family
9:01 - The emergence of Roman Reigns as leader of The Shield has been really interesting to watch. As the two teams come face-to-face, the crowd is chanting "This is awesome" and they're right.
The crowd is wild with chants for both teams. This is a special WWE moment. Instead of all the chants being pro- or anti-one guy, like John Cena, the audience is strongly behind both sides of this contest.
The Shield starts things off in control.
9:11 - As the crowd goes wild for both teams, Michael Cole calls the fans "the lunatic fringe." That makes sense, calling fans of your product lunatics. That'll soften the blow when Bray Wyatt does the job for John Cena at "Wrestlemania."
At every turn, The Shield seems to be getting the better of the Wyatts. Something about this smells fishy. Is there a turn on the horizon? More "This is awesome" chants from the "lunatic fringe." Suddenly, Harper hits Seth Rollins with a big sidewalk slam.
9:15 - Now the crowd is chanting for tables as the Wyatts slowly tear apart Rollins. Finally, Reigns gets tagged in and he goes to town, beating down Rowan. Harper tries to save his partner, but fails. Wyatt and Dean Ambrose then get involved and soon enough, it's an all-out war and the crowd is eating it up.
Harper even dives out of the ring, followed by Rollins, leaving Reigns and Rowan in the ring. Rollins starts to get the Spanish announce table ready to put someone through it, but Bray stops him. Before he can go through it, Ambrose saves the day again and tackles Wyatt into the audience.
9:24 - Wyatt reappears without Ambrose and he works with Harper to set Rollins up on the table, while Rowan and Reigns continue fighting in the ring. Rowan tosses Reigns from the ring and the three Wyatts slam Rollins through the table. That leaves Reigns by himself.
Though he falls victim to the numbers game, Reigns powers out of Sister Abigail's Kiss and hits a Samoan Drop. Superman Punches take out the Wyatts, leaving Reigns ready for a spear. Harper gets it, but Wyatt then hits Sister Abigail's Kiss for the win.
Wow, what a match. Al six of those men should be proud for what is probably the best match of 2014, so far. Excellent work all around.
Winners: The Wyatt Family
You've got to feel bad for everyone else on the card, because it's not going to get better than that match and the audience was with them every single step of the way. Just great. And it looks like no Bad News Barrett. For The Shield, the conflict will come with wherever Dean Ambrose disappeared to.
A WWE Network commercial starring Hulk Hogan? That's a win.
A.J. Lee vs. Cameron for the Divas Championship
9:32 - A.J. gets CM Punk chants. At least she's near her boyfriend in that way. She's been Divas Champion for 252 days, the longest of all time. That would be more impressive if the Divas Title was older than 5 or 6 years.
Who knew following a fantastic match with a last minute Divas Championship defense wouldn't excite the crowd? The CM Punk chants come back, because the audience doesn't have much else to do.
Tamina tries to kick Cameron and hits A.J. instead, which should mean DQ. Instead, the match continues and Tamina then breaks up a pin. That should also be a DQ but it wasn't. Then Tamina hits Cameron and the referee calls for a disqualification. Who needs logic?
Winner: Cameron by disqualification
Ugh, everyone loses because Bad News Barrett is back. This is killing the show. Backstage, Santino Marella and The Great Khali are playing with LEGOs, because why not? Thy're joined by Emma, El Torito and Los Matadores.
Batista vs. Alberto Del Rio
It's time for a slaughter!
The crowd goes nuts with mostly indifference for Batista, surely the kind of reaction WWE is hoping for going into "Wrestlemania." At least there are fewer boos than at "Royal Rumble."
Del Rio appears in a neck brace, on crutches. This should be interesting. He says he can't compete. When Batista turns away, Del Rio attacks him with the crutch. A good ol' game of possum.
9:53 - The crowd chants "Bootista," which is the most clever thing they've come up with tonight. There are also loud cheers for CM Punk and Daniel Bryan. Anytime Batista goes on the offensive, the crowd begins to boo. WWE needs to embrace this and turn him heel, but with "Guardians of the Galaxy" coming, Marvel probably won't allow that. In the meantime, there's also a "Y2J" chant.
9:56 - To deafening boos, Batista hits the powerbomb and ends the match.
The "Elimination Chamber" match is next. The massive structure is lowering.
'Elimination Chamber' match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
10:12 - Cesaro will start things off with Sheamus. It's time for the main event!
10:19 - The two waste no time taking the fight out onto the grates, but that doesn't last too long. The two men batter each other, before Daniel Bryan makes his entrance and the crowd goes wild. The "Chamber" music sounds a lot like the Wyatt Family theme song.
Bryan throws out a series of kicks, to the delight of everyone not in the match. Unfortunately, momentum turns around and Bryan is sent injured-shoulder first through the pod, which the announcers claimed was bulletproof. It's not bear-proof, it seems.
10:24 - Christian is next in and he immediately goes after Bryan's shoulder. The men take turns fighting in the ring, biding time for future entrances in the match. When Cena enters next, Bryan goes after him. Christian attacks the bearded one again, though, hitting a Killswitch. Cesaro goes for the Big Swing on Christian, but Cena knocks him over. Enter Sheamus, who hits White Noise on Cena for a two count.
10:33 - Cesaro nails Cena with a Very European Uppercut for two, which leads to Bryan, Cena and Cesaro trading blows in the middle of the ring.
10:34 - Finally, Orton enters the ring and hears the crowd chant "boring" at him, so he poses. He also tries to go after everyone, instead of picking one guy to eliminate. That doesn't work out, cause then t's everyone against him. Proving he's a fighting champion, Orton locks himself back in his pod. Cue the "wussy" chant.
Sheamus kicks through the pod and knocks Orton out. Once he's in the ring, Cena hits him with a sitout powerbomb and Cesaro brings out the Big Swing. Thirty rotations on that one. There's no time for celebrating as Bryan hits Cesaro with a gnarly powerbomb.
10:40 - Christian runs from Sheamus and ends up on top of a pod. Once the Celtic Warriror is laid out in the ring, Christian hits a huge frog splash to eliminate him from the match.
Christian is then quickly eliminated by Bryan, and then there were four.
10:42 - The faces take out the heels, then Cena and Bryan square off, one-on-one. Cena goes for the AA, but Cesaro reappears and German suplexes them both at once. He gloats a bit too much though and ends up tapping to the STF.
10:45 - Cena then puts the STF on Orton, but the lights go out and the Wyatts attack. Their rage is focused on Cena, which makes sense given "Wrestlemania." Sister Abigail to Cena and he's out for the night. Bryan is injured on the outside and Cena is down as the crowd chants "Thank you Wyatts." Orton goes for the pin and Cena is eliminated.
10:48 - Kane comes down to send the Wyatts away, but takes a knee to the head from Bryan. Bryan then starts laying kicks on Orton. You know how this will go: Kane's going to cost Bryan the match.
The crowd is loud and clear, chanting Bryan's name as he hits a top rope side suplex on Orton.
Running knee by Bryan only gets a two count because Kane grabbed the referee. Bryan kicks him away and Orton hits RKO, which Bryan kicks out of somehow. The crowd explodes.
As Bryan sets up for the win, Kane lands a cheap shot and Orton nails another RKO for the pin.
Winner: Randy Orton
If this means Bryan is going to face Kane at "Wrestlemania," that's a real disservice to everything Bryan has done in the company over the last couple years. He deserves so much more than a match with Kane, of all people.