Bradley Center – Milwaukee, Wisconsin – February 19, 2012
Michael Cole, Hall of Famer Jerry “The King” Lawler, and Booker T are on commentary.
MATCH #1: WWE Championship Elimination Chamber Match – CM Punk vs. Chris Jericho vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Kofi Kingston vs. The Miz vs. R-Truth
Punk has been the Champion since 11.20.11, and this is his fifth defense. This is Jericho’s seventh time in the Chamber with one win, Miz’s first time, Ziggler’s first time, Truth’s third time, Kingston’s second time, and Punk’s fourth time. This is the fourteenth Chamber match in WWE history, dating back to 2002. Only three times has a Champion gone into the Chamber and retained the title. Former World Tag Team Championship partners Punk and Kingston start the match. Cole picks Jericho to win.
Both men are cautious in the early going, anticipating they’ll be there for a while. Kingston shows off his athleticism and Punk gives him props for it. They go back and forth a bit and Kingston hits a leaping back elbow for a two-count. Kingston goes for the Boom Drop but Punk blocks it with a kick to the face. They take the fight outside the ring and Kingston drops Punk’s leg on the chamber floor. Kingston tries to catapult Punk into the one but Punk counters and catapults Kingston into Jericho’s pod. Punk hits a suplex and Kingston is writhing in pain. Back in the ring Punk hits a slingshot senton for two. Punk remains in control as the time winds down and Ziggler is the third man in the chamber. Ziggler goes right after Punk and displays some impressive athleticism. Punk avoids a Stinger Splash and then he and Kingston double-team Ziggler for fun. Kingston and Punk try Terminal Velocity but Ziggler avoids both of them and they collide. Moments later R-Truth joins the match and he takes it to Ziggler. That’s not smart, Punk and Kingston were more worse for wear. Truth hiptosses Ziggler over the ropes and onto the chamber floor. Ouch. Truth follows Ziggler out with a slingshot splash and appears to have hurt himself as well. Back in the ring Truth hits the Scissors Kick on Ziggler for two. Punk drills Truth with the running knee in the corner and then hits a superplex for a two-count. Kingston misses a Trouble in Paradise and Punk throws him to the floor. Punk slams Truth and goes up top to hit Hail to the King to eliminate Truth at 11:43. Kingston hits Punk with his second Trouble in Paradise attempt, but Ziggler tries to steal the pin so Kingston throws him to the floor. By the time Kingston covers Punk is able to kick out. Kingston tries to leap off the chamber wall onto Ziggler but gets caught and slammed hard! That was cool. Miz is the next man out and he targets Punk right out of the box, or pod as it were. He turns his attention to Kingston and abuses him using the chamber. Miz also throws Ziggler onto the chamber floor. Man, Ziggler has taken some nasty bumps tonight. Miz continues to dominate but can’t eliminate anyone. Punk traps Miz in the Anaconda Vise right as Jericho is about to enter the match.
Jericho goes after Punk so Punk breaks the hold. The crowd is juiced to see Punk and Jericho go at it. Jericho is much fresher so he clearly has the advantage. He hits the Lionsault for two. Ziggler tries to intervene but Jericho catches him in the Codebreaker and eliminates him at 19:18. Punk and Jericho resume their battle and Punk sends Jericho to the floor with a catapult. The champ throws Jericho into the pods so Jericho thumbs him in the eye and then takes a breather back inside his pod. I love it. Punk forces the door open and takes the fight inside the pod. That proves to be a mistake as Jericho uses the pod door to attack Punk’s arm. Kingston gets back in the fray and hits Jericho with the S.O.S. On the floor. Damn, son. Miz tries to steal the pin but Jericho kicks out. Kingston goes to the top of a pod and wipes out Punk and Miz with a cross body block. He covers Miz but only gets two. Jericho grabs Kingston in the Walls of Jericho (the real one) and Kingston taps out at 25:32. Just to be a jerk Jericho throws Kingston out of the chamber to the floor. Punk catches Jericho with a kick to the head that sends Jericho crashing to the arena floor. That actually takes Jericho out of the match. What a buzzkill. That leaves us with Miz and Punk. Miz goes for the Reality Check but Punk avoids it and hits a kick to the head. The same kick that eliminated Jericho only gets a two-count on Miz. Weak. Punk takes the knee pad down and hits the high knee/bulldog combo for two. He follows with the springboard lariat but Miz catches him in the Skull Crushing Finale! Punk kicks out at two! Great near-fall there. Miz climbs the second rope to dish out some punches and then he drops down for some knees. He charges into the corner but Punk moves and Miz crashes head-first into the pod. Punk hits Go 2 Sleep and Miz is done at 32:36. Cole actually says Punk survived over 32 minutes, which is way more accurate than they normally are with stuff like that. This was the usually good chamber match with some awesome spots, but Jericho’s elimination really dragged the match down. I have nothing against Miz and the storyline of him wanting to go back to the main event of WrestleMania is fine, but people wanted to see Punk versus Jericho and that’s where the money was. I’m glad Punk didn’t drop the title, but they should have done more with him and Jericho and not made Jericho look like such a vagina.
MATCH #2: Divas Championship Match – Beth Phoenix vs. Tamina Snuka
Phoenix has been the Champion since 10.2.11, and this is her fifth defense. It’s nice to have a cool down match after the Chamber. Phoenix offers Snuka a chance to just leave but Snuka will have none of that. The challenger unloads on the champion with strike-based offense. Snuka appears to be going for the Superfly Splash early but Phoenix pushes her off the apron and Snuka crashes hard on the floor. Back in the ring Phoenix goes to work on her much less experienced opponent. Snuka fights back with a Samoan Drop. Booker T continues to sound dumber by the minute on commentary. Snuka goes up top again but this time Phoenix joins her up there and hits a superplex. They rise to their feet and slug it out. Snuka gets the better of it and hits a Stinger Splash and a big superkick. She goes up top and finally hits the Superfly Splash but Phoenix kicks out at two! Snuka goes back to the top and Phoenix rolls to the floor to avoid her. Back in the ring Phoenix is able to land the Glam Slam to get the victory at 7:18. Phoenix looked dominant without making her opponent look like a jobber and they kept the story relatively simple so this worked well enough.
MATCH #3: World Heavyweight Championship Elimination Chamber Match – Daniel Bryan vs. Big Show vs. Cody Rhodes vs. The Great Khali vs. Santino Marella vs. Wade Barrett
Bryan has been the Champion since 12.18.11, and this is his fifth defense. This is Khali’s second time in the chamber, Rhodes’ first, Marella’s first, Bryan’s first, Barrett’s second, and Show’s fourth. Randy Orton was originally scheduled to be in the match but got injured in a match against Show last Monday on RAW, so Marella won a battle royal on SmackDown to take his place. Rhodes is the current Intercontinental Champion. This is the fifteenth Chamber match in WWE history, dating back to 2002. Only four times has a Champion gone into the Chamber and retained the title. Show and Barrett start the match.
The World’s Largest Athlete dominates from the get-go. Barrett comes back by going low and then kicking Show in the face repeatedly. He covers and barely gets a one-count. Show fights back with a suplex and starts throwing his weight around again. He hits the Hog Log as the clock winds down. Rhodes is the next man out and he doesn’t appear to be in a hurry to face Show, and with good reason since he’s been antagonizing him lately about his WrestleMania past. Show continues to dominate both Rhodes and Barrett. He tries a Chokeslam but Barrett slips out and goes back to work on the leg. Rhodes joins in and they double-team the biggest man in the match, which is good strategy. Barrett is the first man to dissolve the partnership by clotheslining Rhodes to the chamber floor. Rhodes fights back as the clock winds down again. This time it’s the sentimental favorite Marella entering the fray. Marella takes it to Barrett with his unique offense. He then comes face-to-face with Show, who shows no mercy to the Milan Miracle. Rhodes recovers and goes after Show’s leg some more. Show starts throwing everyone out to the floor as the crowd chants “Santino.” Rhodes and Barrett are able to team up to suplex Show on the chamber floor. They try to get Show in the ring and then start fighting each other instead. Rhodes goes up and hits a beautiful moonsault for two. He throws Barrett to the floor and then turns his attention to Marella. The clock hits zero again and Khali is loose. Khali starts throwing the small guys around and then Show cuts him off with a Spear! Show pins Khali for the first elimination at 16:41. I think Khali lasted about a minute total. Show now waits for Bryan to be let out. Bryan taunts him, so Show climbs to the top rope and starts dismantling the roof of Bryan’s pod! Show climbs through Bryan’s pod and starts clubberin’!
The time expires so the pod opens and Bryan tries to run but Show throws him through another pod. Show is on a rampage here. He hits Bryan with a Chokeslam but Barrett comes to the rescue for some reason. Why wouldn’t he let Show pin Bryan? Makes no sense. Rhodes hits Show with the Beautiful Disaster twice, and then plants him with a short DDT. Barrett hits an elbow drop off the second rope and Rhodes covers to eliminate Show at 22:36! Marella then surprises Rhodes with an O’Connor Roll to eliminate him at 23:04! Rhodes hits a Cross-Rhodes on the man that just pinned him because he’s a sore loser. Barrett takes advantage and starts throwing Marella into the chamber walls. Bryan recovers and tries to trap Barrett in the LeBell Lock but Barrett avoids it. They fight on the top rope and Barrett hits a Nigel McGuinness-like clothesline. Barrett powerbombs Bryan into the chamber wall and then traps his head in a pod door and squeezes it, then slams the door! Has anyone ever done that before? Barrett goes for Waste Land on Marella but can’t hit it. He abuses Marella in other ways, but doesn’t see Bryan flying off the top rope with a knee to the skull. Bryan throws Barrett into the pods. He goes up top but Barrett knocks him down on his crotch. Barrett goes for Super Waste Land but Marella breaks it up. Marella tries a superplex but Barrett shoves him down. Barrett tries the elbow but misses. Bryan hits a diving headbutt and Marella steals the pin at 30:37! We’re down to Bryan and Marella. The smirk on Bryan’s face is awesome. Marella goes right after the Champion and the crowd is behind him. Bryan reverses the momentum and hits an IED. Marella gets a quick schoolboy rollup but only gets two. Bryan goes for the diving headbutt and misses. Marella hits the Cobra and the crowd buys it! Bryan traps Marella in the LeBell Lock and it’s over at 34:02. What a match. They did everything right here – kept Khali’s involvement to a minimum, let Show look dominant, let Barrett and Rhodes look smart, let Bryan look like a worthy Champion, and got the crowd invested in Santino Marella as a legitimate threat to the title. If that doesn’t speak volumes about how great Bryan is, I don’t know what else to tell you. I was surprised that this was better than the RAW counterpart, but it was.
After the match Sheamus comes out and hits Bryan with the White Noise, since they will face off at WrestleMania. What kind of babyface attacks the heel after a long grueling match? That’s weird.
MATCH #4: United States Championship Match – Jack Swagger vs. Justin Gabriel
Swagger has been the Champion since 1.16.12, and this is his first defense. This match was set up earlier in the evening when Swagger and Gabriel encountered each other backstage when Hornswoggle was eating cheese. I could explain it better, but does it really matter? Swagger has Vickie Guerrero in his corner, Gabriel has Hornswoggle. It’s sad that this is how the United States Title gets on the show. Swagger dominates to start, and when Gabriel tries to quicken the pace Swagger drops him with a powerbomb. The All-American American hits a Vader Bomb and drives elbows to the gut. Gabriel comes back with a tilt-a-whirl inverted DDT for two. He hits a spin kick in the corner a la Savio Vega, and then a springboard cross body block for two. Gabriel dropkicks Swagger to the floor and hits a slingshot twisting plancha. He tries a kick but Swagger catches it and throws the leg into the post. Back in the ring Swagger puts on the Ankle Lock and Gabriel quickly taps out at 3:06. I like both of these guys but that was barely even a Superstars caliber match.
MATCH #5: Ambulance Match – John Cena vs. Kane
EMBRACE THE HATE! Cena starts off slugging and the crowd goes mild. Kane quickly throws Cena to the floor as the “Let’s Go Cena / Cena Sucks” chants start up. They fight over by the ambulance and Kane brings the gurney out. Cena gets the backboard and uses it as a weapon to take control. Back in the ring Kane goes on offense and the crowd dies. Kane tries the clothesline off the top rope but Cena cuts him out of the air with a dropkick. Cena unleashes a flurry of offense including the Five-Knuckle Shuffle, but he can’t connect on the Attitude Adjustment. Kane suffocates Cena with his giant gloved hand, which is a unique maneuver. They go outside and Kane puts Cena in a wheelchair and wheels him up the aisle a little ways. Cena fights back. Yawn. Cena throws Kane into the ambulance and then hits him with the wheelchair. He puts Kane in the chair and wheels him into some equipment. Cena also uses a chair to further abuse Kane. They make it back up to ringside and Cena grabs a monitor and bashes it into Kane’s face. Cena hits Kane in the face with the steel steps, twice. He then sets both stairs over by the Spanish Announce Table and takes Kane up for the Attitude Adjustment. Kane slips out though and Chokeslams Cena through said table. Kane goes and grabs the gurney and puts Cena on it. He wheels Cena back toward the ambulance and throws him in the back. Cena won’t let him close the doors though and he fires up. They take the fight to the top of the ambulance and Kane tries a Chokeslam. Cena counters to the Attitude Adjustment and drops Kane off the top of the ambulance to the floor below. That’s enough for Cena to throw Kane in the back of the ambulance and close the doors for the win at 21:20. Who gave that match over 20 minutes? That was pretty dull and a poor choice to close the show.