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CALDWELL'S WWE NO WAY OUT REPORT 2/15: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of Elimination Chamber PPV

Feb 15, 2009 - 9:45:11 PM
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By James Caldwell, PWTorch.com assistant editor

WWE NO WAY OUT REPORT
February 15, 2009
Seattle, Wash.


WWE PPV started with a shot of SuperShane. Cue up the over-done "TNA PPV intro" with a lot of adjectives and funny, disjointed statements describing Shane's quest to avenge his father's beating at the hands of Randy Orton. Transition to clip of Michaels vs. JBL program that culminates tonight in all-or-night. And, of course, the Elimination Chamber match.

Announcers: Jim Ross introduced the show, then The Undertaker's music hit. Taker starting a PPV broadcast? Wow. Apparently they're book-ending the show with Chamber matches. First up, Smackdown. Undertaker, Big Show, Kozlov, and Triple H were the first four men out to the structure to enter the pods and wait their turn. So, we're starting with Jeff Hardy vs. Edge. No facepaint for Hardy tonight. Apparently he's dropping that gimmick for now, as he didn't have the paint on the Smackdown episode two nights ago. Edge came out last to defend the title. All of this took 15 minutes, so we finally get an opening bell.

1 -- SMACKDOWN ELIMINATION CHAMBER MATCH -- Edge defends WWE Title

Hot opening with Hardy and Edge exchanging control while the four big men watched. Hardy hit the Twist of Fate on 2:00, but missed with the Swanton Bomb. Edge tried to follow with a spear, but Hardy surprised him with a sweet inside cradle for the pin. Crowd popped for the surprise early pin. Edge was shocked - shocked! - and tried to figure out what in the world happened. Hunter laughed through his pod. Show flashed his pearly whites in happiness. Edge pulled his hair out trying to make sense of the situation, but he eventually left the Chamber with knowledge there would be a new champ. No Vickie to make the save.

At the first 5:00 interval, Kozlov came out and went right after Hardy. And went after him some more. Hardy needed some help, as Kozlov beat him down before settling into a ground-based waistlock. Hardy finally had some offense just before the 5:00 interval ended with Big Show coming out. Kozlov and Show started working over Hardy by circling around the lifeless carcass, then Hardy fought back on Show until walking into a headbutt. Very slow action until Kozlov suddenly charged Show and gave him a big headbutt to the gut. Show was not pleased, so he slowly got up and shoved Kozlov down. Two big men battled center ring until Show missed with a corner splash.

At 15:00, our next participant was Triple H. Hunter went after Kozlov, then turned his attention to Show with a big Double A spinebuster. Hunter then pulled the top rope down on Kozlov, who ate the chain inside the Chamber. Hunter wanted the Pedigree on Kozlov, but Show frying-pan-like chopped Hunter back into the ring. Taker started banging around on his Pod itching for his entry into this. More slow-it-down action while fans chanted for Taker. Show wanted a chokeslam on Hunter, but Hunter slipped out and walked into a big press slam. Standing on the chain area outside of the ring, Show smashed Hunter into the chamber wall, then threw Hardy onto Hunter. Show tried a huge double splash, but they moved and Show ate chain.

Back in the ring, Hardy and Hunter doubled up on Kozlov for a back body drop before Hardy hit the Whisper in the Wind on Hunter. Finally, Taker got his entry and went right after Show before turning his attention to Kozlov for snake eyes and the big boot. A little awkward, as are most things with Kozlov. Taker then wanted a double chokeslam on Hunter and Hardy, but Show clubbed him in the back from behind. Show and Taker moved to the Chamber area outside of the ring and Taker landed a nice DDT on the steel. Back in the ring, Taker went after Kozlov and gave him the Last Ride powerbomb off the top rope for a pin. KOZLOV ELIMINATED AT 23:00.

Show then scooped up Taker and gave him a big chokeslam before back body dropping Hunter over the top rope onto the steel area. Show wanted Hardy, but Hardy climbed on top of Taker's former Pod. Show crotched him, though, then Show climbed up the Pod to start clubbing Hardy with big right hands. Taker then joined them on top of the Pod. Taker turned it into a sweet superplex from the top turnbuckle that shook the ring when Show hit the mat. Meanwhile, Hardy balanced himself on top of the Pod as Hunter hit the Pedigree on Show. Crowd came to its feet as Hardy came to his feet. Hardy paused, then nailed a Swanton Bomb right on Show's stomach. Hardy rolled out of the way, then Hunter draped an arm over Show for the pin. BIG SHOW ELIMINATED at 26:15.

Hunter, Taker, and Hardy are your final three. Taker wanted Old School on Hardy, but Hunter crotched Taker hard across the top rope. Taker really sold that as all three men recovered on the mat. Hardy then threw himself at Hunter before Taker scooped him up for a big Tombstone Piledriver. He covered Hardy for the pin. HARDY ELIMINATED at 28:40. So, we're down to Taker vs. Hunter to determine the next WWE champion. Hunter guaranteed victory on Smackdown. Let's see how it plays out.

Each man took control in the one-on-one exchange, then Hunter uncharacteristically went up top and walked into a chokeslam that Taker delivered with authority. Taker made the cover, but Hunter kicked out just before three. Ross, who has been awesome calling this to this point, said he would have bet his black hat on a pin for Taker there. Hunter avoided Snake Eyes, then hit a spinebuster at 32:00 that led to a close nearfall. Hunter and Taker battled to the steel area on the other side of the ring, then Taker did the spot of flipping Hunter over the top rope into a Tombstone Piledriver. Looked like the win, but Hunter put his foot on the bottom rope just before three. Crowd popped thinking Taker won, then gasped when they saw it was a two count only.

Hunter hit the Pedigree at 34:00, but Taker kicked out just before three in another amazing nearfall. Crowd caught its breath as Taker and Hunter regrouped and went back to their feet in battle. Hunter and Taker exchanged control, then Hunter hit one more Pedigree in center ring. Both men, exhausted, were on the mat, then Hunter rolled on top of Taker and made the cover for the win to re-capture the WWE Title for a thirteenth time. Afterward, Taker and Hunter slowly reached their feet. Taker looked back into the ring as Hunter met his gaze, then they locked eyes once again. Poignant moment between two of WWE's top stars. Taker left, then Hunter went to his knees and gazed into the WWE Title belt.

WINNER: Triple H at 36:00 to capture the WWE Title. What a match. Very slow ten minutes in there post-Edge pinfall, but what an amazing 15 minutes to close the match. The action was spread out so well with amazing nearfalls and one heck of a one-on-one battle between Hunter and Taker to close the match. Hunter doesn't guarantee victory on TV unless he's winning, so you knew it was coming. Excellent match. (****1/2)

Backstage: Edge was fresh and complaining to Vickie Guerrero about re-starting the match. "12 Rounds" poster was in the background. Haha. Vickie blurted out to Edge that it was his fault that he lost, which cut Edge off right mid-sentence of complaining. Edge then sat down on the couch and pulled his hair back to stare into space realizing she was right. Love hurts.

Video package: They focused on the Randy Orton vs. Shane McMahon feud with SuperShane's finest moments. ... Backstage: Randy Orton was shown staring into the camera. Orton looked smaller than on Raw. Perhaps it was the t-shirt. Or he's cycling. He addressed Shane McMahon that tonight, Vince and Linda's only son will be beaten and they can do nothing about it. He will then take his rightful place in the main event of WrestleMania.

2 -- RANDY ORTON vs. SHANE MCMAHON -- No Holds Barred match

Anything goes tonight. Shane came out first looking very determined to take apart Orton. The match opened with Shane bobbing and weaving to frustrate Orton, then Shane knocked Orton to the floor. Huge puddle of oil and sweat on the floor after Orton crashed to the padding. Shane tried to follow, but Orton smashed him back-first into the ring apron. Back in the ring, Orton took off the turnbuckle padding and went back to work on Shane. Orton slowly walked around the ring teasing that Shane was done, then he approached Shane, who suddenly busted out a Kendo stick to crack Orton in the face.

At 5:00, Shane repeatedly blasted Orton with the stick. Orton winced with every blow to the sternum, then Orton regrouped on the outside. Shane followed out and hit a running clothesline. You knew this was coming. Shane cleared the Smackdown announce table, then grabbed a TV monitor and cracked it over Orton's forehead. Point of the monitor caught Orton around the right temple and Orton came up bleeding. Didn't catch Orton leaning down to blade there, so it looked hardway. Could be wrong, though. Shane then went up top for a splash on Orton, but DiBiase and Cody Rhodes jumped into the ring. Cody then retrieved a chair to smash Shane, but Shane moved and DiBiase accidentally took the chair to the back. Cut back to Stephanie watching on a backstage monitor.

At 8:00, Shane grabbed a trashcan and placed it over Cody in the corner. Shane wanted to go coast-to-coast on Cody after delivering it on DiBiase on Raw. Shane measured Cody, then went all the way across the ring in mid-air with a dropkick square in the face. Meanwhile, Orton was bleeding heavily while still on the Smackdown table. Shane, having SuperShaned on Cody and DiBiase, went back up top for the dive on Orton. Orton was playing opossum, though, and Shane ate the table, then the floor when Orton moved. Orton went back into the ring and told DiBiase to get Cody out of here to make sure he's okay. Just do it man!

At 11:00, Shane slowly returned to the ring and took the horizontal DDT off the middle rope. Crowd was quiet as Orton beat down on Shane after setting up a table in the corner of the ring. Orton then took McMahon up top for a Cowboy Bob superplex and Orton connected right through the table. Very violent PPV so far tonight. Orton slowly made his way over to Shane for a cover, but SuperShane kicked out before three. Orton, frustrated, slammed Shane's head into a broken part of the table. Another cover, but Shane kicked out at 15:00.

Shane then went on the offensive and grabbed the chair Cody tried to use earlier. Shane bashed Orton across the stomach, body, and legs. Orton hobbled and cried out in pain, then he begged off Shane, who measured him for a direct chair blow. Camera cut away real quick, so it was hard to see if it was a direct blow to the head or upper shoulder area. In any event, Shane wanted one more smashing shot via The Punt, but Orton suddenly snapped to his feet and nailed the RKO for the pin and the win.

WINNER: Orton at 18:18. Sweet finish from Orton, who lulled Shane into a false sense of security before busting out the RKO. As expected, Shane beat the crap out of Orton because he's SuperShane, then Orton scored the eventual three count. Brutal, brutal match, as Orton's face was messed up pretty badly. The problem with this is that Shane raises the bar so high, but he only does this once a year, so he's not on the road traveling and doing this every night. The other wrestlers doing this 150 times per year would burn out and develop pain pill addiction every night trying to kill themselves for a crowd reaction or a storyline. Not fair to the rest of the roster for Shane to be allowed to do these type of matches to put himself over. (***)

In-ring: Swagger came out to defend the ECW Title, then Finlay and Hornswoggle came out.

3 -- ECW champion JACK SWAGGER vs. FINLAY (w/Hornswoggle)

Early on, a smattering of "We want Christian" chants. Todd Grisham acknowledged them, saying Christian returned to WWE on last week's ECW show to challenge the winner of tonight's match. It's going to be tough for Swagger and Finlay to follow an hour and a half of brutal, but competitive action with a slow-it-down ground-based match. MVP tonight is a Santino poster in the crowd featuring a take-off on the famous Barack Obama "HOPE" profile shot. Swagger dominated early, then Finlay made a comeback as Hornswoggle kept acting up. Hornswoggle then got on the apron for no apparent reason and Swagger bumped Finlay into Hornswoggle. Finlay then backed into Swagger, who hit the gutwrench Swagger powerbomb for the pin and the win.

WINNER: Swagger at 8:10 to retain the ECW Title. Very slow match that didn't move out of first gear. Unfortunately, they were following two brutal gimmick matches, so this was a popcorn match in the middle of the show. Swagger and Finlay didn't get a real fair shake. (*)

Announcers: Cole and Lawler said Shane McMahon has repeatedly been going in and out of consciousness. Steph's concerned. They'll provide an update when available.

Backstage: Shawn Michaels was shown standing next to a traveling case praying with his hands folded. Michaels then opened his eyes and put his Cowboy hat on to walk to the ring for his do-or-die match against JBL.

In-ring: After a video package aired on the JBL vs. Michaels feud, the "Dallas" theme hit and out walked JBL sans limo. They showed Shawn Michaels's wife sitting ringside looking very concerned on the front row. She looked very different than the Summerslam angle with Chris Jericho. After a pause, Michaels's music hit and he slowly walked out to the ring. He stopped next to his wife Rebecca on the front row and shared a few glances. No embrace or touch, then he returned to the ring to face JBL with his career on the line.

4 -- JBL vs. SHAWN MICHAELS -- JBL owns HBK if he wins

An initial lock-up led to JBL shoving Michaels into the corner to scream at him that "one mistake is all I need" to own Michaels. Lawler said a lot of people can relate to their boss bullying and brow-beating them. Michaels had enough of JBL's bullying, so he finally fought back against his employer for the first time for an early crowd reaction. JBL rolled to the outside to regroup, then tried to get HBK to use a chair on him, but HBK thought better of it and took the action back into the ring. Michaels slapped on the figure four leglock, but JBL grabbed the ropes for a break. Ref reprimanded him for nearly taking too long on a rope break. JBL then sent Michaels upside down in the corner and Michaels spilled to the floor where JBL rammed him into the ring apron.

At 8:35, JBL took Michaels up top for a superplex, but Michaels fought him off. He then wanted a top rope elbow smash, but JBL moved and Michaels ate the mat. JBL popped up to his feet, then nailed the Clothesline from Hell, but Michaels kicked out in time. JBL then went to one knee and talked trash to Michaels before landing yet another Clothesline from Hell. Michaels collapsed to the mat, then JBL stared down at Rebecca, who covered her face. Instead of making a pin, JBL rolled Michaels to the floor. Ref started a ten count, and Michaels got up at seven to make it back just before ten.

At 11:30, JBL chucked Michaels over the top rope once again. He then followed to the floor and started talking trash to Rebecca this time. Some fan shouted, "You piece of s---." Suddenly, Rebecca punched JBL to pop the crowd ringside and fire up Michaels, who took JBL back into the ring and started wailing on him. Michaels with a scoop slam, then he went up top and delivered an emphatic elbow smash. Michaels was out of control as he fired up the crowd, then he started tuning up the band. Michaels smashed JBL with Sweet Chin Music, JBL tipped over like a tree in the woods, then Michaels made the cover for the win to earn his freedom from JBL.

Post-match: Rebecca's mascara was running as she cried tears of joy. Michaels then slipped out of the ring and hugged his wife. He took her over the guardrail, then gave her a big kiss before walking up the ramp hand-in-hand. Michaels went down to his knees on stage and celebrated before they replayed the finish. Michaels and Rebecca embraced once again on stage before leaving.

WINNER: Michaels at 13:20. Pretty good match. Still difficult to follow the first hour and a half of brutality, but they told a really nice story with an effective use of Rebecca for a feel-good moment on the PPV. Now, we get legit Michaels on TV, presumably. Mike Roe points out that Rebecca interfered in the match, which should have been a DQ. We'll see if there's follow-up on Raw. (**1/4)

Backstage: Grisham brought in Chris Jericho after suggesting John Cena's World Title is in jeopardy after what happened in the opening match. Jericho looked deep fried from the tanning bed. He then said when he wins the Chamber match, he will ask Ric Flair to come out of retirement and face him at WrestleMania for a chance at 17 World Titles. Jericho paused, then said nope, not doing that. He wasn't serious about that. Jericho is serious about his guarantee to win the Chamber match tonight, though. He said he will be the Superstar of 2009 after winning in 2008.

In-ring: WWE World Hvt. champion John Cena came to the ring first for the Raw Elimination Chamber main event. He popped a squat in his Pod, then Mike Knox came out second. Kane came out, then Kofi Kingston came out fourth. Suddenly, Edge stormed Kofi from behind and smashed him into the Chamber. Edge snapped and retrieved a chair before KO'ing Kofi with a chair shot to the back of the head. Edge suddenly jumped into Kofi's Pod and Rey Mysterio stormed ringside to check on his buddy. Medics came to ringside to check on Kofi as Rey went after Edge, but Edge hit in his Pod. Chris Jericho's music hit, then Jericho came out to face Rey to start things off. Lawler asked whether Edge is allowed to do this. Officials discussed it, then said we have a match to start, so they locked the Chamber and called for the opening bell.

5 -- RAW ELIMINATION CHAMBER MATCH

Rey and Jericho to start. Rey hit a flip-over dive onto Jericho on the steel area inside the Chamber, then back in the ring, Jericho avoided a corner dive and Rey crashed hard into Kane's pod. Sounded really nasty and ref Kiota reacted with a gut reaction of concern. Replay showed Rey hitting his head on the exterior of the Pod, but making a huge crashing noise with his hands. Rey sold a head injury, but recovered with a crazy huracanrana after climbing the Chamber walls. At 5:00, we get Kane as the third man in the ring. Kane approached Rey, but didn't do anything. Kinda froze. Apparently Kane wanted to dance, but then he decided to uppercut Rey.

Rey wanted the 619 on Jericho at 9:00, but Kane blocked with a chokeslam attempt on Rey. Only problem is that Rey countered the chokeslam into a drop toe hold for the 619. Jericho then hit the codebreaker on Kane. Rey took Jericho to the caging outside of the ring, then climbed to the very top of Kane's Pod. He came off the top with a big splash on Kane, then covered him for the pin. KANE ELIMINATED AT 9:43.

Next out in the match was Mike Knox, who went right after Rey with a big boot to the head. After some basic exchanges from the men in the ring, Knox found himself on the receiving end of a codebreaker from Jericho. Jericho then covered Knox for a pin to eliminate the bearded one. MIKE KNOX ELIMINATED AT 14:45. Down to Rey vs. Jericho right now.

Next out, the light settled on Edge, who entered the Chamber match by taking a right hand blow from Rey, who bashed Edge's head repeatedly into the Pod wall. Rey then hit a springboard splash on Edge, but Jericho popped Rey with a surprise clothesline. Jericho smiled to himself, very happy with that move on Rey. Edge then wanted a spear on Rey, but Rey moved. Jericho wanted the codebreaker on Edge, but Edge blocked. Rey tried the 619 on Edge, but Jericho cut Rey off again.

Rey and Jericho battled up top, then Edge followed to set up a Tower of Doom spot. Deal went down with Jericho hitting a sunset flip powerbomb on Edge as Edge gave Rey a German Suplex off the top. Crash-and-burn spot was met with medium reaction from the crowd, which has seen everything to this point and is waiting for Cena. They cut to a shot of Cena squatting down inside his Pod while in deep thought.

After the countdown, Cena was ready to be released. He exploded out of his Pod to a mixed reaction and went right after Edge, who Lawler said shouldn't be here anywhere. Cena with a suplex on Edge, then a fisherman buster on Jericho. He then set up Edge for the Five Knuckle Shuffle and delivered it after smiling to the crowd. He wanted the FU on Cena, but Jericho surprised Cena with the codebreaker at 22:00. Suddenly, Rey hit the 619 on Cena. What? And Edge speared Cena right in center ring. What? Edge then made the cover on Cena and scored a three count. What? Oh my. CENA ELIMINATED AT 22:25.

Edge came up shocked with himself for eliminating Cena, then everyone caught their breath as Cena rolled out of the ring. Lawler was shocked. Rey dropkicked Jericho and Edge to the middle rope and Rey caught Jericho with the 619. Jericho then tried the Walls of Jericho on Rey, but Rey countered with an inside cradle and he pinned Jericho for another elimination. JERICHO ELIMINATED AT 23:55.

Edge crouched into a natural corner, then he wanted the spear on Rey, but Rey moved and rolled up Edge from behind for a very close nearfall. Oh dear, there was Rey's "save face" nearfall. Rey then hit a springboard dive on Edge and scored another close call. Rey and Edge came to their feet and battled in center ring. Rey kicked Edge in the face before making another cover for a close two count. Rey hit a DDT at 26:45, then made another cover for a fourth straight nearfall. Rey went up top, but Edge kicked Rey square in the jaw to knock him off his perch.

The action moved to the steel area ringside and Rey hit another 619 on Edge. Cole said Edge is going to need 911 tonight. Rey tried to charge Edge on the steel area ringside, but Edge lifted him up in the air and chucked him clear into the exterior of one of the Pods. Sick. Back in the ring, Edge measured Rey for another spear. This time, he connected in center ring. Edge then made the cover and scored the pin for the win.

Cole was beside himself angered by this whole thing. So, Hunter switches to Raw with the WWE Title? Lawler posed the question of what happens now with Raw apparently not having a World champ anymore. Does C.M. Punk have a briefcase to cash in tomorrow night? Edge celebrated with possession of the World Title. So, does Orton get Edge or Hunter? Where does Cena go? Edge "posed" with the WrestleMania 25 banner hanging in the camera shot to close the show. He then kissed the belt inside the Chamber to close the show.

WINNER: EDGE at 29:50 to capture the World Hvt. Title. Not at the level of Smackdown's Chamber match because of the star power involved in the opener, but there were some great spots, even if Rey tried to pull a SuperShane throughout this match and virtually crash and burn to get crowd reactions. Shocking moments and Rey's four straight nearfalls kept the crowd guessing leading to Edge with the title victory. Great dose of action to legit set up questions for Raw tomorrow night. (***3/4)

Note: Torch editor Wade Keller's cable TV is out tonight, so he will be posting a delayed PPV report later tonight. Join us later tonight for Post-PPV audio featuring myself, Bruce Mitchell, and Sean Radican.

We welcome your 0-10 score and comments on this show for a "WWE PPV Reax" feature in the Torch Feedback section of PWTorch.com. To contribute your thoughts on the PPV, click here.


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