That's just the wallpaper again. Click on it if you want it. 1600x1200. ALL CREDIT TO WWE NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT INTENDED. If I turn it backwards that means I'm in the clear! I hate you people.
Alberto del Rio v. Kofi Kingston
This was alright for an opener. Del Rio really isn't much in the ring and boy is he getting tougher and tougher to buy as the world's #1 contender to the world's heavyweight championship, but his grounded limitations do tend to make Kofi's endless jumping look better than usual. Alberto wins as you would expect, and the commentary (Cole, Mathews, Booker) is schizophrenic right from the start as nobody can actually figure out what their role really is supposed to be, which is really a problem. I know times change and all, but they're distracting and tiresome to listen to far too often.
Smackdown Elimination Chamber: Edge (c) v. Rey Mysterio v. Kane v. Wade Barrett v. Drew McIntyre v. Big Show
Big Show takes Ziggler's place and he's all :)! Really doesn't fit with this SATAN'S PRISON shit they go overboard with over the rest of the show. Edge and Mysterio both put in incredible performances, starting the match together and winding up the last two in the ring. Big Show really does nothing, but furthers his program with Barrett. McIntyre gets a few really strong moments, and Kane is another of those incredible rarities who seems to never get better or worse over a very long period of time. Kane's as good as he's booked, and he was booked to look like a wrecking ball in this match, so he looked like a wrecking ball in this match. But the match was all about Edge and Rey, two guys who have limited time remaining in the SPORT!!!!!!!!!!!!121!!!1!11!! OF PROFESSIONAL WRESTLING!!!2q11! and look pretty determined to go out riding high if possible. A bunch of really good near falls before Edge finally gets the pin on Rey. After the match Alberto attacks Edge and Christian makes the save. Please, please, please God -- look, I know that Edge-Alberto isn't going so hot and needs the help, but the three-ways are SO ATTITUDE ERA and I have no desire to see Edge-Alberto-Christian. As for this match, it was really great.
Then Trish Stratus came back and nobody gave a shit and her promo sucked. She'll coach on Tough Enough.
WWE Tag Team Title: Santino Marella & Vladimir Kozlov (c) v. Heath Slater & Justin Gabriel
Filler match, but a decent filler match unless you're like me and you kind of tire of watching matches over and over. When a tag team division basically consists of two teams at any given time, is it really a tag team division? This goes for the historically overrated TNA tag team division, too. Fuck this shit. Tag team wrestling in major promotions is dead and if nobody's going to do it right, I'd be just as happy if they all quit pretending. If I'm dying to watch tag team wrestling in the present day I'll find some Kings of Wrestling matches. Slater & Gabriel won the belts, so maybe Marella and Kozlov will be distraught and feud on Superstars.
Teddy Long reinstated Kelly Kelly after Vickie pleaded to have Dolph reinstated. I'm glad the incredible Kelly Kelly is back, but then LayCool came out for whatever reason, which led to Trish Stratus trying to do wrestling spots wearing high heels, which went about as well as you'd expect. I have nothing in the world against Trish Stratus, but overall I think it would have been hard to have a worse comeback than hers.
Match of the night for me because I actually give a crap about Lawler. The production team did their usual excellent job on the pre-match video package and Lawler's pre-match promo was very good. They did plenty of good stuff early with Alex Riley interfering before Mike Chioda threw that turd out of there, which gave Lawler hope. All in all they really pulled out a great match. Lawler proved he could hang with Miz, except Riley was interfering. Then Riley is gone, and Miz himself actually turns it up a little, and you start worrying that Michael Cole is going to interfere. But Lawler stays step-for-step with Miz. You have to give Lawler, at 61, a huge amount of credit for working very hard to make this look good. I'm not one of these doofuses whining about his age, because I don't really care, but fact is he's 61 and most guys his age really cannot go at all. Compare him to Flair and it's night-and-day. Modern day Lawler is 50 times better than modern day Flair. A lot of that is that Lawler didn't break his body down quite as much, of course, but whatever, Lawler still looks legitimate in the ring and Flair looks like a completely broken shell of what he used to be. Even look back at Flair-Michaels at WrestleMania, which was an incredible story and well-executed, but if you strip it down to just the match itself, Flair looked awful. Lawler doesn't have that going. He would if he worked a lot, I'd guess, but he doesn't.
Also, I got no real love for muppet face Miz, but he did a great job with this match, too. In some ways he carried, in other ways he went along for the ride with The King, and both guys made the other guy look good. I bought a couple of the near-falls here, probably because I really hoped they'd give Lawler a 24-hour title reign, but Miz retained clean and what can you do? That's just how it is. I'd rather see Undertaker-Lawler than Undertaker-HHH.
Raw Elimination Chamber: John Cena v. Sheamus v. John Morrison v. R-Truth v. Randy Orton v. CM Punk
Nowhere near as good as the SD chamber, but a fun match because chambers are hard to fuck up. I'm running low on motivation to talk much about this match, so let's go LIST STYLE
- John Morrison sure is good at...that. Everyone's creaming over his performance, but it wasn't for me. I admit it's athletically impressive but if athletically impressive was one of my foremost interests, I'd have just watched LeBron James do silly shit in the All-Star Game.
- CM Punk is the best professional wrestler in the world and proved it again tonight.
- R-Truth only lasted about 40 seconds.
- Randy Orton didn't make anything worse and his feud with Punk is good enough to be carried by Punk.
- Sheamus added nothing. That poor guy.
- Randy Orton's whole persona grates on my nerves.
- Parkour is retarded.
- John Cena wins. It had to be done because it's the only opponent for Miz that makes sense for Mania. And Cena put in his usual determined performance. But then he did a Marine salute -> "you can't see me" w/ :) and ;) to close the show. I don't hate John Cena because it's cool. I hate John Cena because he's a goober, and I can't remember a single time I've ever wanted to see John Cena kick a man's ass. If you can't ever get me to want to see you kick a man's ass, you are not my type of professional wrestler. Name a wrestler from the last 25 years and I've probably wanted to see that guy kick a man's ass at SOME point, or see someone want to kick hiss. I don't even want to see John Cena get his ass kicked. In fact, I don't hate John Cena. I'm just totally indifferent to John Cena. He does nothing for me other than make me groan occasionally. I also hate motherfuckers who smile a lot. "Happy wanderers" as Tony Soprano described them once. Fuck people like John Cena.