By Thomas Brunt
WrestleMaina 29 plans being foiled, or up in the air is not good for business.
We are two months away from Pro Wrestling's Grandest Stage in their annual WrestleMania pay-per-view, and this year it's going to be the 29th time for it to take place. A month ago, or maybe even a week ago, the match card, while far from complete in reality, would have been more than what it is right now, because right-now the pay-per-view card looks undecided. This is in part to recently named new #1 contender Jack Swagger potentially screwing up the World Heavyweight title picture for Mania, after being arrested following the SmackDown tapings on Tuesday night. Let's not forget about the WWE Title picture, which is still up in the air for storyline purposes, but we will hopefully know who will be wrestling The Rock for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania by the end of Monday's next installment of Raw as Cena and Punk will have a match against each other to determine the Rock's contender. What else do we have here?
Oh yes, the Undertaker. The Deadman who is a perfect 20-0 at WrestleMania reportedly isn't in the best of shape to compete after having surgeries in the past, and pain taken from The Game, who has actually legitimately worn him at over the last two years. The only other thing here if anything, is seeing a rematch, which actually main-evented this past summer's SummerSlam pay-per-view with Triple H and Brock Lesnar, the predictability here after having Lesnar, surprisingly won the match back in August is pretty sky high, besides, we all know "Mr. Ego". Right now, a lot of WrestleMania 29's plans seem to be either screwed up or in the air. While Jack Swagger is responsible for himself and his actions, the creative writing team ultimately is responsible for having him win at this past Sunday's Elimination Chamber pay-per-view. With that being said, this can't be good for business, but we know Vince, he'll give us something, there isn't a question about it.
Student Sports-Writer/Sports Editor for the "Hawk Newspaper" at Birdville High School, as well as the lead NFL columnist to "intheneutralzone".com, and a pro-wrestling blogger for "Next Era Wrestling".
Follow his pointless sports-rants on Twitter: @ThomasSportsguy, and read his personal sports blog here: http://sportsguypressblog.wordpress.com/
By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Solid segment to kick off the show featuring Hulk Hogan and Bully Ray. It established the TNA World Heavyweight Championship match for Lockdown and the night's main event. I'm not huge on Ray being in contention for the title at this point in time, but as long as it leads to him winning the strap and subsequently turning heel, I'm completely content with it.
Entertaining eight man tag team match with James Storm, Joseph Park, Hernandez and Chavo Guerrero defeating World Tag Team Champions Bobby Roode and Austin Aries as well as Daniels and Kazarian. The exchanges between all eight competitors was enjoyable and everyone was able to get in their signature spots. This match didn't hold much significance, but it was fun for what it was worth.
CM Punk challenges John Cena to a match on next week's Raw.
Strong promo from John Cena and CM Punk to kick off the show. Cena is always at his best when he's taking the serious approach in his promos, so it was good to see that from him here. Punk's interruption was logical and mentioning that Cena has never beaten him (or least in a title match) was a nice touch. Cena came off as a moron for putting his WWE title shot on the line, but it was done in a way where it made sense and I don't have a problem with it. Punk vs. Cena is a major matchup, so I'm glad that they're hyping it for next week's show.
Basic squash match with Mark Henry dominating Sin Cara. Henry is an absolute beast, so having him decimate Sin Cara here came as no surprise. Now, why in the blazing blue hell would you have The Great Khali come out to fend off Henry? I understand that Henry took Khali out last week on Raw, but this is not a feud anyone wants to see. If a rivalry with Khali is what they have in mind for Henry at WrestleMania, then I've officially lost all faith in the Creative team.
Fine No Disqualification match between United States Champion Antonio Cesaro and The Miz. It was strange to see this match not hyped whatsoever, especially given the stipulation attached to it. The action was fine for what it was, but it was never given enough time to full develop into something memorable. Miz winning was logical in setting up a championship rematch for Mania, but I'd much rather see Cesaro take on a fresh face instead.
Great match between World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio and Dolph Ziggler. These two have excellent chemistry with one another and managed to keep an exciting pace throughout the bout. However, this is the third time we've seen this match in the last three weeks, so it felt repetitive and obvious that Del Rio was going over. Ziggler's attempted Money in the Bank cash-in following the contest was unbelievable merely because Del Rio vs. Jack Swagger for the World title is set in stone for WrestleMania 29.
Meaningless promo from Intercontinental Champion Wade Barrett. All he did was air a trailer for a movie that he hardly stars in anyway. To make matters even worse, Sheamus basically made the entire segment feel like a complete waste of time, which it was anyway. If we're supposed to be getting Barrett vs. Bo Dallas for the Intercontinental title at WrestleMania 29 (a match I don't honestly want to see on the grandest stage of them all), shouldn't the build for that bout begin now?
Throwaway six-person tag team match with Brodus Clay, Tensai and Naomi defeating Primo, Epico and Rosa Mendes. The action was harmless for the most part, but it definitely came off as nothing more than filler. It's disappointing that this tag team division has been relegated to this following its resurgence a few months ago. I don't hate the pairing of Clay and Tensai, but they simply don't do anything for me.
Solid promo from Jack Swagger and Zeb Coulter. It tied in nicely with President's Day and Coulter's mic work was fantastic. Although some may see it as borderline racist, I'm personally fine with it since it does an effective job of garnering heat, which is what Swagger needs at this point. One of Swagger's biggest weaknesses has always been his way with words, so I'm glad that Coulter will be enhancing his act going into his World title match with Del Rio at Mania.
By Carson Koschik
Well, it's officially WrestleMania season. WWE's Elimination Chamber, which is the final PPV before WrestleMania, was last night and it was pretty damn good in my opinion. Even though the ending of the PPV was a little underwhelming, every match of the card delivered and set a good pace for WrestleMania. Now it's time to highlight the best of the best from the build-up to Elimination Chamber and the event itself.
Winner: The Rock vs. CM Punk
Even though this encounter was a lot more predictable than their first bout, the build-up was arguably a lot more intense. It just goes to show that CM Punk, as great of a wrestler he his, is way better character-wise when he's chasing the title, especially when he's convinced himself that he was still the WWE Champion. The Rock may not have been in peak performance mode, as some of his promos were a little odd (remember the "Crackhead" story?), but both men were successful in creating an interesting feud that led up to what was another must-see match.
By Drew Lapoint
What a wild and explosive night it was last night in New Orleans for the Elimination Chamber pay per view event. With every predictable action the WWE Universe witnessed, it seemed as though an unpredictable reaction soon followed. Its been said time and time again for far too long that the WWE has lost its ability to swerve the viewers, and that for years now when we see and event on paper, there's a good chance that we can see the outcome coming from a mile away. Last night was no different for me as a viewer. Sure I had high hopes that the booking team may take a chance on doing something different, but wasn't expecting anything out of the ordinary. Boy was I wrong on that one.
While victories for Alberto Del Rio and The Rock were widely expected, who really thought Jack Swagger would emerge victorious from the Elimination Chamber number one contenders match? Two weeks into his return, Swagger has seemed reinvigorated more so than I've ever seen him. He's always been great in the ring, but his "All American American" character certainly ran its course and after his world title push three years ago, Swaggers been swimming in obscurity ever since. During his most recent absence, it was widely speculated that Swagger was due his walking papers from the company. With all the new blood recently infused into the main programs, and the part-time legends around for Wrestlemania season, nobody really saw Swagger being any kind of important fixture aside from a couple Superstars appearances or getting squashed for the greater good of more popular superstars. Enter Zeb Coulter as his mouthpiece, and a new "Real American" gimmick, Swagger suddenly looks credible again, I just don't think anyone expected his moment in the sun would come so soon after returning, especially considering the star power that was in the chamber match. At this rate its sink or swim for Swagger and his road to Wrestlemania, and being a fan of his myself, I wish he and Del Rio all the best because I think their feud will be controversial to say the least, and if done properly, we have two bright, young stars ready-made for the future. WWE swerved us on this one, all we can do is let it play out to see where things are headed, but for the first time maybe since his debut, Swagger is a force to be reckoned with and has a character to go along with it.
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