Good morning, good evening, good afternoon, wherever you are in the world, and welcome to my No Way Out ongoing blog.
Comments during my last effort, the Royal Rumble live notes, asked for a little more detail on who won matches and how, so I'll endeavour to do that. If you have any suggestions, questions, predictions, joke, observations or anything, feel free to contribute - robthegreen(@)hotmail.com is the email address to use.
Decent opening video, as it usually is. encapsulated what we needed to know - although if you didn't know and you are watching the show, whats up with you??
By the way, this will be the last live blog for about two months, because (whisper it) I'M GOING TO WRESTLEMANIA. Not really a whisper, that, was it? Anyway, yes, there will be no Mania live blog because I will be in Houston, Texas on that day. Sorry about that.
Actually, I'm not really sorry. I'm going to Mania, baby!
I was expecting 'diddly-dee' style Irish fiddles and pennywhistles to open this show. Not an ominous BONG! The only person who would have expected this night to start with a bong would have been RVD.
Chamber to start, then, and the match I had pegged for main event is on first. So, will this point to the Raw chamber having a shocking twist and not be Cena emerging victorious? Or maybe Orton and Shane on last with something major happening there?
Don't forget at this event last year Floyd Mayweather turned up and clocked Big Show. No-one expected that at all.
Speaking of Big Show, here he comes, and my attention turns to whether my fantasy booking of this one works out. I'm bound to get something wrong,because I said Taker and Trips would start, I think. Oh well.
No time for an attack on Jeff before this match, either. Maybe Matt will show up during it?
Jeff and Edge to start then. Hardy survives the opening pyro, which is a bonus. Interesting to see that Jeff starts, so perhaps can use the excuse that he got punished throughout, where others didn't wrestle as long, if he doesn't win the match.
Also interesting to see that Edge, who you might feel (I certainly did) might be set to enter late and play up using his stroke with the GM.
Presumably they've asked the two more mobile workers to last the duration and have the rest make impacts in snatches. I don't expect Koslov to last long.
Damn! Do you think Edge has failed a wellness policy test or something? A fast start, including an early Twist of Fate and failed Swanton by Jeff set Edge for a spear. Hardy countered it into a cool looking small package and pinned him. Edge is gone.
Some might call this short-sighted. Right now I call it shocking, and a moment I genuinely gasped at. We're going to have a new champion.
Koslov is next.
I make it another minute or so before a new guys comes in. Koslov has dominated this section. Crowd are chanting for Undertaker.
Show comes in next with both Koslov and Hardy down. Show dominates Hardy, then Koslov is up, but the big guys work together. Pace has slowed to a walk from a blistering start. Triple H and Undertaker major, major favourites now.
Triple H is in. Just a small point about commentary. JR called the Harley Race Knee as he often does, but then went with the "Double A Spinebuster" when Hunter levelled The Big Show.
Not only did the move look awful because Show jumped into the Game's arms, but the whole point of the "Double A" reference in the spinebuster is that Arn Anderson used to turn through 180 degrees to hit the move. Triple H didn't. I know that's really picky, but I hate calls like that. JR is still the best, but I wish he a) wouldn't be so predictable and b) if he is going to be predictable, at least be accurate.
More action going on now, although the pace still isn't that quick. Perhaps because of Show. He does not look in good shape.
Taker in, and wow, what an entrance. Bursting to get out of his pod, straight into Big Show, and then a stiff kick for Koslov after the big Russian didn't go high enough for Snake Eyes. All Taker right now. I still think Trips will win, though.
And there goes Koslov, pinned by Undertaker. Sorry to be picky again, but I am often a critic of Undertaker's matches (not necessarily the man himself) because they are so formulaeic. When are his foes going to learn to not mount the ropes for the ten-punch in the corner, since it always ends in the last ride.
Show on top as I type, after stiff looking bumps by Triple H and Jeff Hardy on the steel outside the ring.
And there goes Big Show. Undertaker with a great superplex from the corner/pod, then a pedigree sets up Show in position for a Swanton by Jeff from the top of a pod, after he had logically ended up there. The second great spot of the match, and Triple H covers to eliminate Show.
Down to the three most likely contenders, really. Triple H is taking a beating, by the way.
I seem to remember this happening last year, actually, in the Smackdown chamber. It started real slow and plodding (ignore the Edge elimination for a second) before ending really well. We've just seen a great combination which got rid of Jeff Hardy.
Taker got crotched on the ropes trying an old school, with Jeff in the ring and Trips on the outside. Taker on all fours meant a springboard for Jeff to hit the od poetry in motion to the outside on The Game, but Jeff leaning back on the ropes meant Taker could flip him over and pedigree him. Awesome looking spot, and they've done well with Jeff, because he hasn't looked weak.
Anyway think he'll beat Matt at Mania then go to Raw? Hardy v Cena, Hardy v Orton, Hardy v HBK. All appetising contests and feuds. .
I was about to lessen the mark for this match (not that I grade them) for basically stealing last year's finish of Batista and Taker with UT using the ropes to roll into a Tombstone, but Trips got a foot on the ropes. Taker now kicks out of a Pedigree, and we are still going here. Crowd are very pro-Taker - first boos for Hunter in months.
It's over. Triple H wins and is champion once again. Step one of the plan to take Randy to Smackdown goes in, if you believe that particular theory. Triple H, the cerebral assassin, went with the aforementioned punches-in-the-corner-into-last-ride combo, but evaded the powerbomb and hit a second pedigree with Taker sold terrifically. Match over.
Nearly an hour for the segment of the first match, 35-40 mins being the bout itself. If the Raw chamber goes that long then the 5-match card is a great decision.
Correspondance to bring to you - Colin in Fife writes.....
Rob, how's it going mate? You're doing well already I see! Trips kicks out of a chokeslam, gets the leg up on a tombstone and Taker has just kicked out of a pedigree! Anyone would think you had inside info.....
Anyway, I'm wondering if I'll get to the end of this email before HHH gets the win??!!
Answer, Colin, not quite. Or at least it hit my inbox AFTER the bell.
No inside info, but I'd defer any praise since my 'crystal ball' booking took in the end of the match, but very little else.
Decent match. Not as good as I remember the ones last year, but then time can sometimes make things feel better. I enjoyed the end of that, and it was booked as logically as could be really. Some really nice spots and a shock elimination of Edge kept things lively.
Orton v Shane is next, so Raw will surely provide the main event with their Chamber. Big swerve? Mike Knox for champ? Rourke as guest ref?
Rob, seriously, only 'decent'?? That was so good chamber match. What more could you ask for? Shock early champ elimination, kicking out of tombstones, swanton from the cell, sick bumping? That was an excellent match.
Ok, I'll upgrade 'decent' to 'good'. Maybe 'very good'. It was not 'excellent' to my mind, mainly because it had ten minutes of Koslov and Show plodding. If you break it into sections, the first was terrific. The second and third very boring, the four, after Trips entered, it picked up. The after Taker came in it was very, very good. The down periods brought it down, but I'm certainly not having a go at the match. I enjoyed it and am praising it.
Meanwhile, are you Brunzell or Blair? I gotta know......
Woah. Orton is busted open, and that's got to be hardway because the camera was on Orton the whole time as he got smashed in the head with a monitor while Shane was clearing the announce table.
However, Shane is withstanding a three man attack, in essence, because Cody and Ted have interjected. They stopped Shane going for the big elbow to the table he is famous for, but he fights them off by spinning a Cody chair shot intended for him into Ted, then hitting a DDT onto said chair and a coast to coast to Cody.
Missed the big elbow attempted now, though. A heavily bloody Orton avoids contact and goes to check on Cody. Tells Ted get Cody checked out. Which is odd considering the left side of his face looks like someone has tattooed a red forked lightning effect on it.
Match goes on.....
Ok, you've got two schools of thought here, and you can tell me at robthegreen(@)hotmail.com which one you belong too.
On one hand, the most dominant heel in the business, as of three weeks ago, needed help and about half an hour to beat a part time 38 year old greying son of the boss. Shane has nothing to lose, isn't going to be built for a title shot and become a future megastar. Orton could have beaten on him, alone, for 15 minutes straight then pinned him, and it simply makes him a bigger star. Shane can afford to be brushed aside whereas other babyfaces on the roster can't.
He didn't need to kick out of so many nearfalls, Orton didn't need to have help assist him, Shane didn't need to get so much offense in. A wasted opportunity.
What a great match. Forget the build to anywhere else, forget logical booking and enjoy the match for what it was, which was an incident packed, hard-hitting back and forth contest which ultimately had the right ending. And the spots - The monitor, the coast-to-coast, the missed elbow, several chair shots, the suplex through the table and a phenomenal looking RKO to round things off. If you replace Shane with, say, HBK, and watch it as a one-off, people would be talking about a match of the year candidate.
Which side do you fall on?
Grisham and Striker just reference Jack Swagger as the 'second youngest ECW champion' - anyone care to venture the youngest. I can't think of one.
Lots of mat wrestling in this one. Crowd are not heavily into it, but perhaps they need a break after two quite emotional and high octane matches. And they may have two to come.
Meanwhile, although I've suggestions of Lashley and John Morrison, I'm thinking maybe it'll be in the old ECW, so maybe Mikey Whipwreck?
Swagger takes it reasonably clean. The champion pushed Finlay into the ropes as Hornswoggle jumped onto the apron, knockng the leprechaun off. Swagger soon grabbed Finlay and hit his gutwrench powerbomb. Straight 3-count and the win. No sign of Christian. Very little mention of him, either, save from an early call from Striker and a "we want Christian" chant near the opening bell.
HBK v JBL next.
The bell rings and this "all or nothing" match is underway. Rebecca, Shawn's wife, is at ringside.
I have a way for Shawn to start saving money - stop your missus using fake tan. Rebecca is a shiny orange hue which is not natural, not for a human being. An oompa-loompa, maybe. Not a person.
Still, Rebecca took the best punch of the year in 2008 from Chris Jericho, so I'll let her off.
Meanwhile, nice early touch in the match, as JBL offers Shawn a chair and tries to induce the DQ. Remember if he wins, Shawn is his bitch for life. They didn't say that in these PG days, but that's what they mean.
Too late to change a prediction. I've a feeling JBL may win. I can see this going a couple of ways.
JBL said to Shawn "One mistake" hinting that he thinks HBK will try to hard, make an error, and get beat. That's one possibility.
Or what about Rebecca herself running in to stop it. She has been on camera and mentioned so much by the commnentators it seems like they are building something up. How about JBL beating on Michaels so bad she hops the rail and hits Bradshaw, or covers up her husband?
I actually thought of a third reason for JBL to win during the match, but before I got to it, Shawn won. I should have shut up about changing predictions. Rebecca did get involved, though - should it have been stopped? Perhaps JBL will argue that her intervention should have meant a DQ was called for.
OK match without being sensational. JBL matches are never that amazing, so this was perhaps a better one. Fair enough ending (if it is so) to the saga, allowing Michaels to go to.........face Taker?
Jericho did a promo in which he sort of challenged Ric Flair to a match at Wrestlemania. He then took it back, so lets hope that's not true. We don't need to see that.
Meanwhile, Cole just said that the frequency of champions losing the belt in the chamber is 67%. I'm not sayin he is wrong, because I may have my numbers wrong, but I was under the impression that figure was 2 in 4 and therefore 50% before the first chamber match tonight. Edge lost, so that would mean 3 in 5. I'd make that 60%, then. What have I, or Cole, got wrong?
Cena and Knox are podded, so far.
Quite the night for surprises, then. It seems Rey and Jericho will start this one, but the story is that EDGE struck Kofi down, and gave him a conchairto against the steel steps. He then places himself in a pod and for some reason the refs allow it. Edge is in the match. Wow.
Great looking spot as Mysterio missed the shoulder charge in the corner and ends up headbutting Kane's pod. Whether head or hand that hit first, the sound was great.
Ever better spot as Rey ascends the chamber's chain link wall and leaps off onto Jericho, hitting a huracanrana.
Meanwhile, the commentators continually refer to Edge. Getting this much attention.......can he afford to lose this? I'd suggest he could very well win now.
Loads of you (well, two) have asked what my other JBL theory was. Well, I wondered if maybe someone would appear out of nowhere and attack JBL, seemingly feeling sorry for Michaels. This would mean JBL winning by DQ and getting Shawn's services. You could then play this for a week or two before revealing that the guy who did the run in was paid off by JBL. Shawn cries foul, and it sets up another all or nothing match, perhaps in a cage.
Still, it's irrelevant now, isn't it?
Kane's in by the way.......and now out 619 by Rey then Codebreaker by Jericho. It looked like they'd left Kane to survive, but Rey ascended a pod and hit Kane with a......."seated senton". That isn't the right description, but you know what I mean.
Now here comes Mike Knox.
Domination by Knox for several minutes, but Jericho comes up with a Codebreaker and Knox is history. I may have had Knox attack Rey again before he left, just for the hell of it.
Penultimate entry.......and it's Edge. Instantly attacked by Rey. That's why Knox didn't attack Rey.
Some cool interaction with Rey, Edge and Jericho, and now Cena is in. And there is not much love for him. This match has a much bigger feel to it with Edge in. His presence throws the seemingly obvious Cena victory into doubt.
Oh I say. 'pon me word, Cena is history. What did he last, two minutes? After a few unanswered moves, he had Edge set for an FU/Attutude adjustment, but fell foul to a Codebreaker, then 619 and then spear. 1-2-3 and he's out.
The hits keep coming. Tremendous sequence as Rey goes for a double 619. He only gets Jericho. Edge misses a charge on Rey and hits the turnbuckles on the outside. Rey springboards in 'seated senton' position but Jericho into a Walls. Reversal into a cradle by Rey and Jericho is gone.
While I was typing that Rey has had two really nearfalls. Oh my, this is quite some match now.
So Edge is the champion.......but on Raw. I've got to give WWE credit. That was compelling storytelling, and it was a terrific match. Some crazy action, including another phenomenal Rey bump into a pod after my last update, propelled by Edge over his own head. One spear later and this one is over.
Good stuff on commentary too. Asking questions like "Is Edge really champion?" "Does Raw have a world title?" and so forth ought to create a bit of intrigue for tomorrow's broadcast.
Mega thumbs up from me. Five matches, of which only Finlay and Swagger really disappointed, but that was likely only because the two matches before it were so good. HBK/JBL was good enough, with a satisfactory ending. Orton/Shane, if you remove the emotion that the booking of Shane is ludicrous, was a very good standalone match and spectacle. The first chamber exploded into life for a superb ending, and only fell short of a better rating from me because it dragged for too long.
And what can you say about the last match? As soon as Edge entered you fancied him to win, but until Cena was eliminated you couldn't say it with any conviction. Even afterwards Rey had sufficient nearfalls to raise the heartrate. Even if you are sitting there and saying "I knew Edge would win" when it was just he and Rey, I put to you that you are in a minority, judging by the live crowd, who were oohaing and aahing for every Rey nearfall.
Killab365 - that was Excellent, my friend. That match right there.
Fantastic main event to end a great show. WWE keeps it going with these awesome PPVs.
Monday, 16 February 2009