Key Arena – Seattle, Washington
MATCH #1: Elimination Chamber Match for the WWE Championship – Edge vs. Triple H vs. Undertaker vs. Jeff Hardy vs. Big Show vs. Vladimir Kozlov
In qualifying matches: Undertaker beat Mark Henry (Smackdown 1/30); Big Show beat Festus (Smackdown 1/30); Triple H beat Vladimir Kozlov and The Great Khali in a three-way match (Smackdown 1/30); and Vladimir Kozlov won a 15-man battle royal (Smackdown 2/6). Edge has been the champion since 1.25.09, and this is his first defense. It’s not too often that Undertaker comes out first on a pay-per-view. Edge gets fantastic heel heat.
Hardy and Edge start the match, and Hardy wants revenge. The challenger is on a roll right away, knocking Edge down with a series of clotheslines. Edge comes back with a big boot. He tries to put Hardy away but can’t do so just yet. Hardy comes back with a headscissors, and hits his legdrop and a dropkick to the face. He’s able to hit the Twist of Fate, but then misses the Swanton. Edge tries a Spear, but Hardy rolls him up in an inside cradle and Edge is gone at about 3:04! The crowd pops huge as they both get the satisfaction of Edge getting some comeuppance and the realization that a new WWE Champion will be crowned. Edge is livid. Hardy gets a few moments to rest before Kozlov is released from his cage. Kozlov levels Hardy with a big boot and then drives shoulders into his midsection. Hardy fights back and tries a leap off the second rope but Kozlov gets a battering ram right into the sternum. Kozlov takes the fight to Hardy outside the ring, ramming him into the chamber wall, and then dumping him back in the ring for a two-count. The Moscow Mauler is dominating here. Hardy slips out of a powerslam and dropkicks Kozlov into the turnbuckle and hits the corner dropkick. He follows up with Whisper in the Wind, and while both men are down Big Show enters the fray. Show goes right after Hardy while Kozlov regroups. Hardy is in big trouble now, getting double-teamed by Show and Kozlov. After several minutes of working together, Kozlov knocks Show down with a shoulderblock. Show gets up and they trade shots. The next man in the match is the Game. He goes right after Show with a knee to the face, and has one for Kozlov as well. He even hits Show with a spinebuster! Hardy comes in and tries the Twist of Fate on Triple H, but the freshest man in the match avoids it and hits a clothesline. He then dumps Kozlov to the steel and tries a Pedigree, but Show breaks it up for some reason. Show hits a side suplex on Triple H for a two-count. The crowd gets fired up for the waiting Undertaker, while Show hits a press slam on Triple H and Kozlov abuses Hardy. Show takes Hardy and Triple H outside the ring, and misses a charge into the wall. Triple H and Hardy then double-suplex Kozlov, and then Hardy hits Whisper in the Wind. Finally Undertaker comes out and he tears into Show. The crowd is pleased. Undertaker is an equal opportunity butt-kicker here, going after everyone. He takes Show down with a big clothesline and then grabs Triple H and goes for Old School. He changes flight mid-move and jumps onto Show outside the ring, and hits a devastating DDT! That was awesome. Kozlov stops Undertaker’s momentum and drives him into the corner. He stupidly goes for mounted punches and Undertaker hits the Last Ride to eliminate Kozlov at 23:00.
Show recovers and hits Undertaker with a Chokeslam. Triple H goes for a Pedigree, but Show backdrops him onto the steel. Show then hurls Hardy right into Triple H as Kozlov is making his way out of the chamber. Hardy winds up getting crotched on top of one of the pods in an awesome spot. Show tries to grab Hardy off the top of the pod, but Undertaker comes up and hits a superplex. Triple H nails Show with the Pedigree. Hardy then comes off the top of the pod with a Swanton Bomb, and Triple H grabs the pin to eliminate Show at 26:13. Undertaker whips Triple H over the corner and onto the steel, and then turns his attention to Hardy, who has been in this match much longer than either of the other two competitors left. Triple H breaks up an Old School attempt and everyone is down. Moments later Undertaker nails Hardy with the Tombstone to eliminate him at 28:32. Undertaker takes first advantage, slugging away at Triple H in the corner. He misses a charge in the corner and they take the fight to the steel outside the ring. Triple H whips Undertaker into the wall and they go back to the ring. He tries jumping off the top rope but he gets caught in an Undertaker chokeslam for a two-count. Undertaker hits Snake Eyes, but Triple H comes back with a spinebuster for two. They migrate back to the steel and Triple H tries a Pedigree. Undertaker blocks it and catapults Triple H into the wall. He then pulls Triple H back into the ring with a Tombstone, but Triple H gets hit foot on the bottom rope! They struggle back to their feet and Triple H hits a Pedigree, but Undertaker kicks out! They get up and trade punches. For some reason Triple H goes for the Mounted Punches and Undertaker tries the Last Ride but Triple H avoids it! Triple H hits another Pedigree and this time gets the pin and wins the Title for the thirteenth time at 35:58. That was an awesome match with some really cool spots both involving and not involving the chamber. I also love the booking of taking Edge out just minutes into the match. Everyone worked hard here, and the final stuff between Triple H and Undertaker was great stuff.
MATCH #2: No Holds Barred Match – Shane McMahon vs. Randy Orton
Orton walks right into a punch in the face to start the match, and then another one. Shane hits more punches and Orton doesn’t hit any. Alas, I spoke too soon – Orton comes back with a bunch of punches. They take it to the floor and start bringing the weapons out. Orton hits that inverted backbreaker he does, and then rams Shane into the ring apron. Back in the ring the fight continues, slowly. Shane fights back with a kendo stick, and the fight spills back to the floor. He takes Orton down with a clothesline, and then cranks him in the face with a TV monitor. He sets Orton on the table and goes up top for the big elbow, but Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase come out and put the boots to him. Legacy tries to use a chair, but Super Shane fights them off while Stephanie watches on backstage. Orton is a bloody mess. Shane sets Rhodes up for the Coast to Coast and hits it. Since Orton is still lying on the table, Shane goes back up top and goes for the elbow, but Orton moves and Shane crashes through the table. Orton gets back in the ring and sends Legacy to the back to make sure Rhodes is okay. Shane struggles back to the ring, and Orton hits the spike DDT for two, of course. Orton sets up a table and superplexes Shane through it. That gets just another two-count. Orton sets up for the Punt but Shane stops him with a spear. Shane grabs the chair and goes after Orton’s ankle. He’s set to pounce on Orton, but he comes charging in and Orton grabs an RKO to get the pin at 18:15. They tried hard and did a lot of big spots, but the match as a whole wasn’t very cohesive.
MATCH #3: ECW Championship Match – Jack Swagger vs. Finlay
Swagger has been the champion since 1.13.09, and this is his second defense. Why is the champion coming out first? Finlay is accompanied by Hornswoggle. He takes Swagger down right away and goes to work on the champion’s left leg. Swagger comes back and targets the arm. The crowd is not interested at all. Finlay counters a powerslam with an inverted DDT on the knee for a two-count. Swagger comes back and drives Finlay into the corner. He charges and Finlay sort of gets a rollup for a sort of near-fall. Swagger once again drives Finlay into the corner. He sets Finlay on the top turnbuckle, and Finlay knocks the champion down. Finlay gets control and goes up to the second rope for a cross body block for two. Hornswoggle comes out from under the ring apron and briefly distracts his dad. Finlay hits an Earthquake splash for two. Hornswoggle gets up on the apron, and ends up getting knocked down by his own father. That gives Swagger the opportunity to hit the Gut Wrench Powerbomb (that thing needs a name) to get the pin and retain the title at 7:59. I really like Swagger, but following a match with as many gimmicks as Orton and Shane had didn’t do any favors for the ECW Title match. And the Hornswoggle stuff just needs to stop.
MATCH #4: All or Nothing Match – Shawn Michaels vs. JBL
I think everyone breathed a sigh of relief when they announced they were blowing this match off on this show instead of WrestleMania. JBL tries to intimidate his employee, but Michaels fires back with a series of shots much to the crowd’s delight. He goes to the floor and tries to bait Michaels into using a chair, but HBK will have none of it. Back in the ring JBL blocks a sunset flip for a two-count. Michaels gets a backslide for one, and then JBL knocks him down with a shoulderblock. JBL hits an elbow drop for two. Michaels comes back and goes for the leg, locking JBL in the figure-four. JBL reaches the ropes, so Michaels then locks on the Crossface, which JBL counters to a pinning predicament for two. Michaels tries an Irish whip into the buckle but JBL reverses it and Michaels crashes to the floor. Back in the ring JBL hits a series of elbow drops for a near-fall. The much larger JBL overpowers Michaels for several minutes as the crowd tries to encourage HBK. JBL locks Michaels in a bearhug, but Michaels powers out and hits a swinging neckbreaker. Both men get back to their feet and Michaels gets a few shots in. JBL reverses a whip and sends Michaels flipping into the turnbuckle. He sets Michaels up top and goes for a superplex. Michaels blocks it and sends JBL down to the canvas. He tries the top-rope elbow but JBL moves out of the way. They get back to their feet and JBL hits the Clothesline from Hell for a two-count! JBL hits another one, and shoves Michaels to the floor. Michaels barely makes it back to the ring at the count of nine. JBL hurls Michaels back to the floor, and follows him out. He goes over to Shawn’s wife Rebecca, who slaps him right in the face. That fires her husband up, and they take it back to the ring. It’s Vintage Shawn Michaels all over the place. Michaels hits the Sweet Chin Music to get the pin and earn his independence at 13:19. The finish was fun because the crowd always gets hyped up for Shawn’s comebacks, but most of the match was as dull as most of JBL’s matches are.
MATCH #5: Elimination Chamber Match for the World Heavyweight Championship – John Cena vs. Rey Mysterio vs.
Kofi Kingston Edge vs. Chris Jericho vs. Mike Knox vs. Kane
In qualifying matches, Kofi Kingston beat Kane (Raw 1/26); John Cena beat Shawn Michaels (Raw 1/26); Rey Mysterio beat William Regal (Raw 1/26); Chris Jericho beat CM Punk (Raw 1/26); Mike Knox won a battle royal (house show 2/1); and Kane got into the match by convincing his half-brother Undertaker to fight Randy Orton on Raw (Raw 2/2). Cena has been the champion since 11.23.08 and this is his third defense. When Kofi Kingston makes his entrance, former WWE Champion Edge appears and throws Kofi into the stairs and cracks a steel chair across his head! Edge then takes Kofi’s place in the pod! That’s awesome.
Mysterio and Jericho will start the match. They trade some holds, and Mysterio gets the first advantage. Mysterio goes for an early 619 but Jericho avoids it. Even so Mysterio stays in control until he tries running into Jericho in the corner but Jericho moves and Mysterio crashes into Kane’s pod! That was cool. Jericho is firmly in control now, back dropping Mysterio onto the steel outside the ring. He tries a catapult, but Mysterio catches onto the wall and climbs up it to deliver an awesome headscissors. Back in the ring Mysterio hits a seated senton for two. Mysterio hits a bulldog, and Kane joins the match. Kane goes after everyone, and even intimidates Edge. He hits Mysterio with a side suplex for two. He then hits a low dropkick (!) for two. He clotheslines Jericho over the ropes to the steel and follows him out. It’s all Kane for several minutes until Jericho catches him with a Code Breaker. Mysterio dumps Jericho out of the ring, and then climbs to the top of a pod to hit Kane with a seated senton to eliminate him at 9:36! Moments later Knox joins the match and goes right after Mysterio. He also goes after Jericho, throwing everybody around. Knox goes for a Shellshock on Mysterio, but Jericho catches him with a Code Breaker to get the elimination at 14:40. Edge is the next one out, and Mysterio doesn’t wait for him to escape the pod! Mysterio is avenging his friend Kofi Kingston. Edge lies in wait and takes advantage when both Jericho and Mysterio are vulnerable. He tries a Spear on Mysterio, who moves, and Jericho tries the Code Breaker but Edge avoids it. Mysterio gets Edge in position for a 619, and Jericho again blocks it with a Spear. They do a Tower of Doom spot and everyone is down. Edge gets control and the Champ Is Here! Cena goes right after Edge, and has plenty for Jericho too. He goes for the Attitude Adjustment on Edge, but Jericho breaks it up with a Code Breaker. That sets Cena up to take the 619 from Mysterio. Edge then pins Cena to eliminate the champ at 22:18.
It hasn’t been a good night for the champions. Mysterio fights off both opponents. He hits a 619 on Jericho, but when he goes for a springboard rana Jericho catches him in the Walls of Jericho. Mysterio reverses that to a rollup and Jericho is eliminated at 23:50! Edge sets up for a Spear but Mysterio avoids it and gets a rollup for two! A moonsault gets another two-count. A kick to the face gets yet another near-fall for Mysterio. He tries another moonsault but Edge catches him, and Mysterio reverses again for a DDT for another near-fall. Mysterio goes to the top rope and Edge knocks him down to the steel. Edge tries a powerbomb but Mysterio reverses it to a facebuster! Mysterio executes a reverse 619. Mysterio charges at Edge and gets thrown into the pod! Back in the ring Edge hits a Spear to get the pin at win his eighth World Title at 29:43. Edge losing his title early on but then leaving with the other belt is pretty awesome, and builds intrigue, since both World Titles are in the hands of Smackdown wrestlers now. I thought they’d have trouble living up to the first chamber match, but they did it.