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WWE had been in a drought for a long time, going as far bas as Summerslam. Month after month, WWE had consistently put out lackluster PPVs. No matter what the matches were, who was contending for the title, or what type of event it was going to be, WWE kept leaving fans disappointed. Elimination Chamber was far from perfect, but it was at least good enough to end this pitiful streak WWE had been on.
The Elimination Chamber started off as an exciting affair, only for it to fizzle out at the end. Having all six men competing in the chamber at once was a refreshing change from previous chamber matches, and for the most part, all the men put on a good show.
Christian really upped his game tonight as a heel. Previously, Christian was making his return from injury for the umpteenth time. Instead of just coming back as the veteran face like he had previously, Christian has quickly turned heel and really established himself as a possible main event wrestler down the road. These last few years, it has been easy to forget just how good Christian is at playing a filthy scumbag. Tonight, he took a major step in the right direction, and dare I say that he was the best heel in that match?
When the match came down to Cena, Orton and Bryan, we quickly saw the materialization of three big Wrestlemania matches. Cena was attacked by the Wyatts once again, for an unexplained-for-now reason. Cena vs Bray Wyatt is pretty much a go at this point, so it will be interesting to see if SuperCena actually does the job on the biggest show of the year.
When Kane entered the chamber, the result of the match was revealed. Kane screwed Bryan once again and Orton locked himself into a spot at Wrestlemania. The question still remains whether Bryan will face Kane at Wrestlemania, or Triple H. Bryan has really been feuding with Kane over the last month or so, and Triple H has remained distant from Bryan since the calendar turned, but there is still the idea that HHH has to have a match at Wrestlemania, and who else would he wrestle besides Bryan? Honestly, both matches would be a major step down for Bryan, who deserves nothing less than the main event spot on the show, but as WWE has told us over the last six months, that just isn't in the plans.
Orton will face Batista at Wrestlemania, in the main event, for the world title. At the current rate, the main event to Wrestlemania XXX is on pace to become the worst-received main event of all-time. Orton as a champion, despite his best efforts, has been booked as a very poor and weak world champion, and tonight didn't help him at all. And let's not even talk about that horrific turd that is Batista…
Batista vs Alberto Del Rio- * (1 star)
Since it would look weird if this match wasn't mentioned in the article, it has to be talked about. The only thing that really needs to be said is that no matter how hard WWE tries, Batista will never be over as a face by the time Wrestlemania rolls around. ADR basically did everything possible to get heat from the crowd, but they just kept right on cheering. Del Rio, who had never gotten a face pop throughout his entire career in WWE, had them rocking in the aisles tonight.
The problem is that fans are not just turning up their noses at Batista in one place. This isn't the post-Wrestlemania Raw or Madison Square Garden, where unordinary crowd reactions are known to happen, this is something that happens at every event WWE holds. It isn't going to go away any time soon, no matter how much WWE would like to think. If WWE wanted a main event that would get the fans to root for the face and to boo the heel, they have Bryan vs Batista in the main event. The fans LOVE Bryan and they also HATE Batista. This seems like the easy thing to do, but right now, nothing seems to be easy for WWE.
Naomi received a botched knee drop from Aksana and just like that, one of the more meaningful Diva's matches in a while was off the card. In its place, we got Naomi's less talented partner Cameron, who for no real reason received a title shot tonight. Cameron botched her way around the ring for three minutes, and then Tamina ran got AJ disqualified by kicking AJ in the face (not a typo, that is somehow what really happened). Snore.
The Wyatt Family vs The Shield- ****1/4 (4.25 stars)
The Wyatt family and The Shield brought something to WWE tonight that they really haven't really had in a while. Two stables that were actually cool. The Shield were cool, and The Wyatt's were cool and everything in the match was just awesome. The crowd was really into the match, split essentially right down the middle, and for once, it felt like a match that could have taken place in 1999 and not 2014. It was the best match WWE has had since Daniel Bryan vs John Cena at Summerslam, and it isn't even close.
There were not a lot of technical holds and chain wrestling moves in this match. No, instead this match felt like just a straight fight between two groups that REALLY didn't like each other. The big winner in the match was Luke Harper, who showed some and reminded others, that he is a plus worker, even when held to the same standard as smaller wrestlers. It looks like The Wyatt's are going to be involved with Cena in the future, which is disappointing because of how great a rematch would be at Wrestlemania, but at least WWE hit a homerun on it tonight.
Titus O'Neil vs Darren Young- * (1 star)
Simplest match on the night, one where as soon as the bell rang, you knew Darren Young didn't stand a chance. O'Neil will hopefully receive a big push upwards after this, since he seems to have all the conceivable tools that WWE would want in a star. The bad news is that Darren Young, who is an underrated worker, will probably be regulated to jobber status, just like JTG was when he broke up with Shad.
WWE Tag Team Championships: New Age Outlaws vs The Usos- ** (2 stars)
It seemed obvious that the Usos would capture the tag titles tonight, but it looks like WWE is holding off on that decision, probably for either Wrestlemania, or tomorrow night on Raw. The match itself was just okay and fairly short. The Outlaws are still really solid as a heel tag team for now, and they are making the right move in having them milk that for as long as possible, making the Uso's eventual title victory more meaningful.
Going into this match, some fans actually believed that Swagger could win the IC title, which made this Big E's most meaningful title defense yet. What looked like a potential bomb on paper actually turned into a pretty solid wrestling match, and a great kick start to the show in general. Swagger, for all of his faults, is a good worker, and him and Big E clicked nicely and put on a really good show, with Big E going over with the power game. This was a nice win for Big E, and it would be even better if he goes up a rung for Wrestlemania by defeating a former world champion (like Christian) with his title on the line.
To reiterate, Elimination Chamber was not a great show, and it wasn't even very good. Elimination Chamber was simply slightly above average, which going by recent standards, is a very significant success for WWE. The Wrestlemania picture is decisively less foggy then it had been previously, but with a huge Raw set for tomorrow and Wrestlemania still over a month away, it is an exciting time for WWE.