Welcome to KB’s Old School (and New School) Reviews. I’ve been reviewing wrestling shows for over ten years now and have reviewed over 5,000 shows. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I’ll be posting a new review here on Wrestlingrumors.net, starting today. It could be anything from modern WWE to old school to indies to anything in between. Note that I rate using letters instead of stars and I don’t rate matches under three minutes as really, how good or bad can something that short be?

Elimination Chamber 2014
Date: February 23, 2014
Location: Target Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Commentators: John Bradshaw Layfield, Jerry Lawler, Michael Cole

Tonight is the final big stop on the Road to Wrestlemania with six men possibly leaving with the WWE Championship. It’s actually a wide open field tonight with at least three people having a realistic shot at walking out with the belt. However there might be an even more interesting match on the card with the Wyatt Family vs. the Shield in a very well built story. Let’s get to it.

Pre-Show: Cody Rhodes/Goldust vs. Ryback/Curtis Axel

Axel comes out with his grandfather Larry the Ax Hennig. Goldust and Curtis get things going with the painted one taking over with some armdrags. Off to Cody vs. Ryback with the big guy throwing him around like it’s nothing. Axel comes in again and but gets sent to the floor. Ryback is tossed out as well and the brothers dive on both guys as we take a break.

Back with Ryback stomping away on Goldust and there’s a tag off to Curtis as his grandfather looks very pleased. A delayed vertical suplex gets two for Ryback and Goldust rolls Axel up for the same. Goldust and Axel clothesline each other but Ryback breaks up a tag.

Ryback charges at Goldust but gets backdropped to the floor, finally allowing for the hot tag to Cody. Rhodes takes Axel down with a knee to the face and the moonsault press gets two. Cody’s springboard dropkick is countered into a powerbomb for two as Goldust and Ryback fight to the floor. Curtis tries his neckbreaker but gets countered into Cross Rhodes for the pin at 8:58.

Rating: C-. This could have been any match on any given Smackdown. As has been the issue for the division since it was resurrected: it doesn’t matter how many teams you have if they’re all just trading wins back and forth with no one getting anywhere as a result. It’s nice to see Goldust and Cody get a win though.

The opening video talks about being willing to fight anyone in order to achieve your dream.

Intercontinental Title: Big E. vs. Jack Swagger

Swagger is challenging and Colter does his usual schtick before the match. Big E. shoves him into the corner to start and runs him over with a hard shoulder block, sending Swagger to the outside. Back in and some overhead belly to belly suplexes put Jack down but he bails to the floor again to avoid a charging champion. This time Big E. follows him outside and sends him into the steps but the champion goes after Colter.

The distraction doesn’t work though as he spears Jack into the steps in a painful looking spot. Back inside and Jack low bridges Big E. out to the floor and takes over with some running knees in the corner. After a WE THE PEOPLE it’s off to a front facelock for a few moments. Big E. fights up and a double clothesline puts both guys down again. Swagger avoids a charge and Big E. goes shoulder first into the post, drawing a WE THE PEOPLE chant from the crowd.

Back up and Big E. runs Swagger over with clotheslines and a belly to belly suplex but the champion charges into a powerslam for two. The running Vader Bomb is caught in the Big Ending but Jack makes it to the apron. That’s fine with Big E. as he spears him through the ropes in a big crash. Back in and the Warrior Splash gets two so Big E…..goes up top? Jack catches him with a right hand and runs the ropes for a belly to belly superplex and a VERY close two.

Swagger takes out the leg and puts on the Patriot Lock but Big E. kicks his way out. The gutwrench is countered but Big E. runs him over and takes down the straps. Jack grabs another Patriot Lock but Big E. fights up and hits an enziguri of all things, setting up the Big Ending to retain the title at 11:50.

Rating: B. I liked this far better than I was expecting with Swagger putting up a great fight and making it much closer than he had any right to. It’s nice to see Big E. get a win on PPV and a successful title defense over a former World Champion never hurt anyone. It should be interesting to see where the Real Americans go from here.

Bad News Barrett pops up and talks about Russia winning more medals at the Olympics, further proving European dominance. Is this character ever going anywhere?

We look back at Daniel Bryan’s shoulder injury from Raw at the hands of Kane.

Daniel Bryan asks some questions about the Chamber, such as will his opponents go after his shoulder and will he give this everything he has to become WWE Champion. Take a guess as to what the answer is.

Tag Titles: New Age Outlaws vs. Usos

The Usos are challenging. Jimmy shoves Billy around to start and some armdrags and hiptosses send Gunn outside. The Usos load up their double dive but the Outlaws move before the jump. Back in for Dogg vs. Jey with the champion’s headbutt hurting him instead of Jey. A hiptoss sends Jey into the corner and he looked to injure his knee or leg. The shaky kneedrop gets two and it’s back to Gunn for a two count.

The CM Punk chants start up as Dogg shrugs off some right hands and knees Jey down again. We hit the chinlock for a bit until Jey fights up and superkicks Jey back down. Hot tag brings in Jimmy to speed things up leaving Jimmy vs. Gunn in the ring. Road Dogg pulls his partner away from the running Umaga attack but Jimmy dives onto Roadie. Back in and a superkick gets two on Gunn but Jimmy has to go after Road Dogg, allowing Billy to grab a rollup for the pin at 8:34.

Rating: D+. This is more about frustrating booking than a bad match but the wrestling was nothing great either. I’m not sure if the Outlaws are holding the belts because they’re friends of HHH or because this company thinks there’s more to nostalgia than anyone else, but I don’t get the appeal of the Outlaws getting clean pins on top tag teams.

Bad News Barrett pops up again without the raised podium to say Daniel Bryan’s shoulder will keep him from winning the title.

Time to hype the Network. Apparently there will be over 50 documentaries in addition to the PPVs. Nice addition.

Darren Young vs. Titus O’Neil

Basic story here of a team losing and splitting due to a heel turn by Titus. Darren gets in Titus’ face to start but is knocked down by a hard forearm. The fans want Lesnar as Titus works on a headlock. Titus bails to the floor and Darren is right on his heels as the fans chant Fruity Pebbles. Darren charges into the corner but gets backdropped out to the floor followed by having his back rammed into the post.

Back in and it’s time for a bearhug, backbreakers and an abdominal stretch. Titus slaps Darren in the ribs before charging into a boot as the announcers talk about JBL being cheap. Darren comes back with some basic offense for two as the fans boo the kickout. Thankfully they get the hint and a quick Clash of the Titus ends Darren at 6:17.

Rating: D. This was about what I was expecting and it showed the problem with Young. He’s basically the modern day Scotty Riggs, meaning a guy who was in a tag team with a much more charismatic guy and then had nothing interesting once he was on his own. Titus looked good here though and won clean in the right ending. Thankfully they went home quickly like they did.

MORE Bad News Barrett who talks about being more talented than Hulk Hogan.

We look at the pre-show match and the rest of the show with the expert panel.

Recap of Shield vs. Wyatt Family. The Family cost Shield a spot in the Elimination Chamber and the feud has spiraled into a battle over who is the greatest faction in WWE today. Ambrose and Reigns have been having issues lately as well.

Wyatt Family vs. Shield

The Wyatts take their sweet time as is their custom and we get a long staredown as the fans think this is awesome before busting out the dueling chants. This is what you get when you actually build up a feud to the point where you can’t imagine either team going down clean. Ambrose jumps the Family and the Shield clears out the ring before the opening bell.

Rowan vs. Rollins gets things going with Erick being drokicked into the Shield corner before it’s off to Reigns for a pop. He’s out just as quickly as it’s back to Rollins who gets his head taken off with a clothesline. Harper comes in for some hard right hands before it’s off to the boss for some knees in the corner. Rollins is thrown into the corner and the tag brings in Reigns. You can feel the fans get excited for this showdown.

They trade right hands with Bray getting the worst of it so a tag brings in Harper. Luke can’t suplex Reigns so Roman counters into one of his own and brings in Dean. Ambrose pounds away in the corner before it’s back to Reigns for two off a HARD right hand. Dean gets two off the dropkick against the ropes and it’s back to Seth for a headbutt to Luke’s back. The Shield starts their fast tagging with Dean coming in to rake his forearm over Luke’s face. A middle rope elbow to the jaw puts Luke down but Rowan offers a distraction, allowing Harper to hit a dropkick of all things.

Bray gets the tag to pound away on Dean as the Family takes over again. A running splash in the corner crushes Dean and it’s back to Rowan for the head vice with two fists. Rowan gets two off a side slam and brings Harper back in, only to have Dean grab a swinging neckbreaker to get a breather.

Rollins comes back in with a nice running dropkick but he gets caught on the top rope. Luke loads up a reverse superplex but Seth lands on his feet and sends Harper to the floor for a suicide dive. Back inside and the top rope knee to the side of the head puts Harper down again and Seth has a fired up look in his eyes. Harper kicks his head off for a very close two and it’s back to Bray after the best sequence Rollins has ever had in WWE.

Bray sends Rollins outside and hits the running backsplash on the floor before it’s back to Rowan. The dueling chants begin again before the fans say they want tables. Back to Harper who hammers away in the corner and scores with a running clothesline. Wyatt demands to be tagged in but runs into a boot in the corner. Rollins goes to the middle rope, only to dive into a chokeslam of all things for two. Ambrose tries to make the save but Harper kicks his head off, sending him to the floor.

Rollins finally gets in a shot to Harper’s head and the hot tag brings in Reigns to clean house. A Samoan drop puts Rowan down but Harper saves his partner. There’s the dropkick from the floor for two on Erick as everything breaks down. Dean takes Bray down and hammers away before dropkicking him out to the floor. Harper dives through the floor to take out Ambrose but Rollins hits a swanton dive over the top to take Luke out. Reigns rolls up Erick for a VERY close two but they clothesline each other down.

Seth loads up the Spanish announce table but Bray decks him from behind. Ambrose saves Rollins from being sent through the table and takes Bray into the crowd with another charge. AWESOME stuff here. Rowan and Reigns slug it out and Roman goes shoulder first into the post, only to come back with a running clothesline for two. Rollins hits Harper with a monitor to the ribs but Bray comes back and loads up the other announce table. Rowan takes Reigns down in the ring and sends him to the floor with a fallaway slam.

The Family has Rollins surrounded and the monsters double chokeslam him through the announce table. Ambrose is still gone so it’s pretty much Reigns vs. all three Family members. They slowly get back in the ring and Roman sees what he’s up against. He goes right for Bray but the numbers are too much for him.

Harper kicks Reigns’ head off and drops to his knees for the tag off to Wyatt. Bray does his upside down thing in the corner but Reigns powers out of Sister Abigail and Bray is terrified. Reigns goes into Beast Mode and Samoan drops Bray before hitting Rowan and Bray with Superman Punches. The spear puts Harper down but Wyatt runs Reigns over, setting up Sister Abigail for the pin at 22:45.

Rating: A+. When you expect a match to be one of the best match you’ve seen in a long time and get blown away, you’ve seen something special. This was outstanding stuff and had me glued to the screen which doesn’t happen every day. Outstanding match where neither team looked bad at all. Find this match if you didn’t catch it tonight.

Network ad with Hogan and Cena schilling its awesomeness. No they’re not on camera together.

Christian says his losses make him dangerous and dares us to underestimate him.

Divas Title: AJ Lee vs. Cameron

This is a bonus match due to fill in some time and let the crowd catch their breath. AJ is defending of course and says this was supposed to be Naomi’s match but she broke her face. Cameron gets in a quick shot to the face but gets taken down by a neckbreaker for two.

AJ puts on a modified dragon sleeper but spends too much time skipping around and gets rolled up for two. Cameron is quickly sent outside and AJ steals her pompoms for a little dance. Tamina screws up by kicking AJ in the face but still breaks up the pin attempt at two. That’s not enough for Tamina as she pulls Cameron outside and takes her head off for the DQ at 4:00.

Rating: D. This was a necessary step down after the masterpiece we saw a few minutes ago. Cameron was the logical choice for the replacement here but at the end of the day, no one cares about her at all. She’s a whiny little pest on Total Divas and there’s no reason to care about her.

Bad News Barrett says everyone is going to lose their jobs, children will be expelled from schools, rats will move into homes and the government will condemn the houses. Why? BECAUSE EVERYONE WILL BE MESMERIZED BY THE WWE NETWORK!

Santino, Emma, Khali and Los Matadores play with the new toys.

Batista vs. Alberto Del Rio

Batista is back to black trunks instead of the shorts from the Rumble. He gets a decent reaction here and nowhere near what it was last month. It seems more like indifference than anything else. Del Rio comes to the ring in workout clothes, wearing a neck brace and using a crutch. Sign in the crowd: “Batista = ZZZ”. Del Rio says he can’t compete and of course jumps Batista with the crutch. Fans: “SI! SI! SI!”

Del Rio of course has his trunks underneath and goes after Batista’s knee. He says ring the bell and Batista comes back with right hands as the booing begins. We might as well be in Mexico City right now. Fans: “Boo-Tista! Boo-Tista!” Even Lawler has to acknowledge the chants. Batista is sent shoulder first into the post and Del Rio puts on the armbreaker in the ropes. We hit the hammerlock as the fans chant for Bryan and Punk.

The Codebreaker to the arm puts Batista down again and it’s a Y2J chant. Del Rio misses a charge into the post and the BORING chants begin. Del Rio gets in another shot to the arm to take over and the corner enziguri gets two. Batista is knocked to the floor as the chants go from RVD to Lesnar. The announcers are acknowledging most of them at this point.

Del Rio throws him back inside and gets speared down for two (face pop). A powerslam is countered into the Backstabber for two but Alberto misses a top rope backsplash. Del Rio escapes the powerbomb and takes out the knee before the low superkick gets two. The armbreaker is countered and Del Rio is sent into an exposed buckle (when did that happen?) and the Batista Bomb is good the pin at 7:13.

Rating: D. I’m at a loss for words here as the fans are clearly not accepting Batista, but it’s not just because he’s a face. He literally had less than ten offensive moves here and was getting squashed until the very end. They expect him to be able to work a 20+ minute match in just six weeks? I can’t imagine that at all.

Network ad.

Expert panel predictions. Miz can’t make up his mind, Henry picks Sheamus and Mysterio picks Cesaro.

The Chamber is lowered.

Video on the Chamber.

WWE Title: John Cena vs. Randy Orton vs. Christian vs. Cesaro vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus

Orton is defending and of course it’s two people for five minutes to start and a new one is added out of a pod every five minutes. Last man surviving wins. Sheamus and Cesaro will be starting which is quite a way to get things going. Cesaro quickly dropkicks Sheamus out to the steel but can’t ram him into the wall. Back inside but it’s a quick backdrop to send Sheamus onto the steel again. Cesaro loads up a charge but Sheamus slingshots in with a shoulder for two.

Now it’s Cesaro being sent onto the steel and they fight over a suplex but Sheamus lands on his feet. Cesaro quickly puts him down and a middle rope double stomp crushes Sheamus’ ribs as Orton casually watches from the pod. They brawl into the corner and Sheamus tells him to bring it on. That’s fine with Cesaro as he uppercuts Sheamus down, but Sheamus pulls himself to the top rope. Another uppercut staggers the Irishman but he comes back with the flying shoulder.

Daniel Bryan is in third and the fans are fired up. Bryan has a bad shoulder coming in but starts fast with his usual stuff, including the running clothesline and YES kicks to Sheamus. Cesaro gets some kicks as well and the roundhouse kick sends him to the steel. Daniel puts Sheamus in an Indian deathlock and manages to suplex Cesaro for two without breaking the hold. Cesaro catches a diving Bryan in a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for two and things slow down a bit.

Sheamus is sent over the ropes again and Cesaro just rakes Sheamus’ head against the steel with a knee. Bryan is sent shoulder first through the pod and looks to be more in shock than pin. Cesaro and Sheamus slug it out until Sheamus hits the rolling fireman’s carry on the steel. Bryan is back in the ring as the dueling Cena chants begin. The clock speeds up a bit so Christian can come in fourth.

Christian goes right after Bryan’s shoulder by sending it into the cage wall over and over. He rips the tape off and slams the pod door on the shoulder for two. Sheamus is back up now and slams Christian’s back into the post a few times, only to be countered into the reverse DDT on the steel. Cesaro loads up Swiss Death on the outside but Christian grabs the cage to avoid massive amounts of pain. Instead Cesaro pulls him down and powerbombs him against the pod glass for two.

Cesaro sends Sheamus into the broken pod and it’s Cena in fifth. He immediately cleans house but gets taken down by a top rope hurricanrana from Bryan. There are the YES Kicks but Christian breaks up the big one with the Killswitch for a very close two. Cesaro loads up the Swing on Christian but Cena breaks it up with a cross body, sending Christian into the buckle off a slingshot. White Noise gets two on John and it’s back to Cesaro vs. Sheamus. Christian catches Sheamus with a kick to the face but Sheamus backdrops out of the Neutralizer.

A tornado DDT gets two on Cesaro but Cena sends Christian into the steel. Cena goes after Cesaro but gets caught in Swiss Death for two. Bryan, Cena and Cesaro have a three way fight until Cena loads Cesaro up in the AA. Daniel kicks John down before kicking Cesaro in the corner which the announcers call a mistake. Sheamus sends Bryan into the cage wall but Cesaro does his awesome superplex from the cage floor. Orton comes in to give us all six at once, which might be a first.

The fans chant BORING so Orton stops to pose and point at the sign like a good heel should. Bryan avoids the Punt and Orton is suddenly cornered by all five guys. Orton wisely hides in the pod, drawing a certain feline insult from the crowd. Sheamus yells through the glass before Brogue Kicking through the pod and sending Orton into the cage wall over and over. Cesaro sends Sheamus in as well and Cena initiates his finishing sequence on the champion. Cesaro breaks it up and Swings Orton THIRTY TIMES. Bryan grabs a Rolling Chaos Theory suplex on Cesaro but there’s no cover.

Sheamus powerslams Christian down and loads up the Brogue Kick on Christian but hits Cena square in the jaw. Christian rolls up both guys for two and Sheamus is TICKED. He loads up the High Cross (running Razor’s Edge) into the pod but Christian escapes to the top of a pod. Orton catches Sheamus in a superplex and Chrisitan adds a top rope splash to eliminate the Irishman. Orton tries the Elevated DDT on Christian but the Canadian escapes, only to get caught by the running knee for the pin and the elimination.

We get a fourway standoff until Orton and Cesaro are knocked down. Cena and Bryan have their long awaited rematch with Bryan trying a quick YES Lock but Cena easily powers out. The AA is loaded up but Cesaro Germans Cena as he’s STILL HOLDING BRYAN but can only get two. Cena can’t get the STF on Cesaro but he counters the gutwrench into what was supposed to be a hurricanrana. An AA onto the steel sets up the STF and Cesaro taps in an awkward looking moment. There might have been an injury there.

Cena catches Orton in the STF and we’ve got Wyatts. The lights go out and Orton is out of the hold somehow as the Wyatts are in the Chamber. Harper kicks Bryan in the face but all three go after Cena. John is laid out (Fans: “THANK YOU WYATTS!”) and the Wyatts leave, giving Orton an easy pin. We’re down to Orton vs. Bryan and Randy wisely crawls out of the ring.

Kane comes out to eject the Wyatts but the Chamber door is still open. He comes in to check on Cena but Bryan comes off the top with a knee to Kane’s head. Orton sends Bryan into the broken pod but Daniel escapes a superplex and ties Orton in the Tree of Woe for some kicks to the chest. A baseball slide to the face has Orton in trouble a belly to back superplex gets two.

Randy grabs him by the beard (why has that not been done more often) and hits the Elevated DDT out of the corner. The RKO is countered and there’s the running knee but Kane grabs the referee. Kane gets kicked in the head but the RKO is enough….for TWO on Bryan. I totally bought that as the finish. Bryan gets another close two on a small package and a big kick to the head puts Orton down. Kane gets in another shot from behind though and the RKO retains the title at 36:50.

Rating: A. Another awesome match to wrap up the show here with all six guys looking good. Orton winning was kind of expected after he lost almost every match in the last few weeks because that’s how WWE booking works. I’m really hoping we don’t get Kane vs. Bryan at Wrestlemania as it would come off as a huge letdown for him, but it would work as a big Raw match.

Cole goes on a rant about how unfair this is to Bryan. This was the focal point of the end of the show.

Overall Rating: A-. This was a two match show and both matches hit it out of the park. WWE is on a roll right now with their PPVs but none of them matter with Wrestlemania just a few weeks away. The ending wasn’t a huge surprise but there are still a lot shows to go before we get to the big one. Hopefully a few things change but if Wrestlemania is this good, it’s going to be a success.

Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 50,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 5,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at kbwrestlingreviews.com, or check out his- Amazon author page with 30 wrestling books. Get the latest and greatest in professional wrestling news by signing up for our daily email newsletter. Just look below for “GET EXCLUSIVE UPDATES” to sign up. Thank you for reading!


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