Mostly, I deplore gimmick Pay-Per-Views; I believe a feud should create the gimmick match, rather than the gimmick force two wrestlers to wrestle a match that is not in keeping with the progression of their feud.
For instance, a Hell in the Cell Match is a feud for two wrestlers that have a vendetta. If the feud has been based on who is the better scientific wrestler, the Hell in the Cell match is unnecessary.
Additionally, the other reason I dislike most gimmick PPVs is that the aura of the gimmicks lose their merit. Knowing a gimmick match is coming up takes the magic away, and seeing too many of the same gimmick matches over the course of a few years, makes it lose its luster.
However, the Elimination Chamber match is certainly an exception.
Before Elimination Chamber, there was No Way Out. Sometimes No Way Out was both an above-average show and a sound transition show heading towards the ‘Grand Daddy of Them All', WrestleMania. Conversely, it was predominantly a filler show. Most of the time, it felt like a chore for WWE to build up the PPV largely because they were concentrating on WrestleMania instead.
Although, ever since the Elimination Chamber took No Way Out's spot, the shows have dramatically improved. Unlike most gimmick PPVS, the Elimination Chamber can never be out of context. It is like the Royal Rumble, to be honest. Could the Rumble ever be an out of context match? Exactly.
I like the dynamics behind the Chamber match from a kayfabe standpoint too. Instead of the champion having an easy task-getting the night off, or competing in a non-title match-they have to compete in a hazardous structure with a number of other men. It almost feels gladiator-ish, men competing in the tiger den to win a chance to main event the glorious phenomenon called WrestleMania.
Yes, I am disappointed that this year the titles are not on the line the Chamber. However, that will not be a major hindrance when it comes to whether or not this PPV is worth viewing.
Despite the myriad incoherent and muddled ways of earning a spot in the SmackDown Number One Contenders Elimination Chamber Match, this match looks promising.
Last week, we were shocked to see the return of the ‘World's Strongest Man', Mark Henry. He was coming off an injury that put a halt to some of the best work of his career. He embodies his character to the nth degree. Henry has something that is really lacking in wrestling these days: aura.
When people hear Three-Six Mafia's music play, the lyrics to the song could not be truer--somebody is going to get their ass kicked.
His believability as a dominating, mean-spirited beast not only suspends our disbelief, but also, more importantly, compellingly draws us into what he does. I think that is why the ratings increased when he was champion. Well, that and because the babyface chasing the gold is more thrilling for the masses.
Henry was the favorite, or so I thought, until it was announced that Dutch Mantel would be managing Jack Swagger and then cut a racist promo about immigrants, foreshadowing a match between Swagger and Del Rio at WrestleMania. I have always believed Swagger has tremendous athletic ability, but his inability to structure/dictate a match as a heel and, more importantly, talk on the microphone was his two downfalls.
Mantel however, has an old-school mindset, so he may be able to teach Swagger the secrets of being a good heel. At this juncture, I am already calling Dutch Mantel the key to Swagger's future, largely because he has desperately needed a mouthpiece and Mantel is a natural at getting heat.
The other participants in the match do not have a snowball's chance of winning. Nevertheless, there is a good amount of talent involved and a few interesting sub-plots-‘Jack Swagger's Rebirth', ‘The Hall of Pain', and ‘The Kane and Daniel Bryan Saga'.
Then again, perhaps Mantel's promo was a swerve to make us think that Swagger has a legitimate chance of winning. I still believe that the writing team will cultivate this angle further before they allow Swagger to co-main event at WrestleMania (which is the appropriate thing to do since Swagger has flaws, which still need to be polished). As a result, I anticipate Henry will triumph, leading to a promising feud and matchup at WrestleMania with Alberto Del Rio.
Honestly, I am disappointed about The Shield vs. The Three Faces six-man match. After all, Triple H pitched an idea similar to War Games that was rejected. Triple H has been a firm believer for a while now that WWE should bring back War Games.
However, someone in the company does not want to pull the trigger on it. I think it is Vince McMahon. It is inconceivable to think that he would sacrifice a probable profit idea just because of his massive self-esteem. Truly, CM Punk's vendetta promos could never be truer: Vince McMahon is a millionaire who could be a billionaire, if not for his ego.
Besides that, this feud has been well booked. The Shield has been attacking wrestlers to enact justice, but Cena put together a group to put a stop to their beat downs. Once the sides are even though, The Shield is not as powerful as they want to believe. Cena's group has gotten the advantage in both encounters, although The Shield has managed to get away relatively unscathed. Subsequently, the audience is going to pay to see The Shield in a match where they cannot run or hide, and hope they get the comeuppance they deserve.
Neither team can afford a loss here, which makes the match more interesting to see how it concludes. I predict WWE will book Cena to look strong heading towards his marquee matchup with The Rock at WrestleMania. To be honest, though, I would not be surprised if The Shield manages to pin either Sheamus or Ryback. This would allow The Shield to continue their quest for justice, in addition to giving them extra momentum for their saga with Paul Heyman and CM Punk.
The least-anticipated matchup, in my eyes, is Alberto Del Rio vs. Big Show. I am not a fan of either wrestler. I must admit, though, that their SmackDown match was actually quite impressive. Still, I just do not understand the internal logic of this match. They have a Last Man Standing match to set up a regular match. That is some backwards, TNA-logic booking. Del Rio ought to win. Then, hopefully, these two never have a match again.
The Main Event--CM Punk vs. The Rock--has been solidly built, in spite of Rock being absent on an important show. (If you are a Rock fan, you may not want to read what I have to say.) Honestly, the Rock's return has been a catastrophic disappointment. He has had two average matches since his return. Bearing in mind that those were two marquee matches, he is 0-for-2 in single matches. He was the reason the matches were average too, since he was obviously blown up roughly five minutes into the matches.
The Rock continuously talks about "bringing it". Well, he needs to start bringing it, because he is in far too important of matches to bring such a lackluster effort.
Conversely, CM Punk and Paul Heyman are easily the most entertaining members of the roster. Both have been compelling in playing their roles and cutting promos. The dynamics of this whole Paul Heyman/Shield/ Brock Lesnar story is very appealing because there are many different directions it can go.
Ultimately, I project the entire group will unify, becoming the anti-establishment of WWE and therefore trying to destroy it. The Rock is the undisputed favorite heading into this match. I suppose CM Punk could win, which would set up a Triple Threat at WrestleMania. That is highly unlikely but what might be possible is The Undertaker returning by saving The Rock from an attack by The Shield which would cost CM Punk the match and lead nicely into a match at WrestleMania.
The question is whether this Pay-Per-View is worth watching. By no means is this a necessary buy. I mean to pay whatever WWE asks for a PPV nowadays for four matches is insane, especially when they have multiple feuds brewing. Where is Wade Barrett and Bo Dallas or Dolph Ziggler? This card is severely under booked. Moreover, I am disappointed that neither title match is a Chamber match.
That being said, this PPV does look good for what it is on paper, so I must recommend watching this PPV. After all, three out of the four matches could likely be above average. In fact, I could realistically see even Big Show vs. Del Rio being good. Therefore, you should somehow find a way to watch this show (legally, of course. I would never ever push someone to watch something illegally.)
Thanks for reading. Join me next time, as I will be analyzing the Elimination Chamber PPV for this Sunday (Feb. 17).
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