Rock holds off Punk at Elimination Chamber
MATT BISHOP - SLAM! Wrestling
After a disputed outcome at the Royal Rumble, The Rock and CM Punk were destined to meet again at Elimination Chamber. In the main event, The Rock overcame obstacle after obstacle to retain the WWE Championship, setting up a WrestleMania main event showdown with John Cena.
Elimination Chamber featured four championship matches, but none bigger than the one-fall match for the WWE Championship with The Rock defending against CM Punk in a bout where, if The Rock was disqualified or counted out, he would lose the title.
Punk came to the ring seconded by Paul Heyman, who was carrying the WWE Championship. They coerced Justin Roberts into announcing Punk as the "people's champion."
Early on, Punk trying to do what he can to get Rock disqualified so he easily wins the title. He slaps him, then spits a giant loogie in his face. Rock infuriated. They spill to the outside and Rock throws Punk into the barricade and then hits a big clothesline. But as the action goes back into the ring, Punk takes over.
Punk works a chinlock, making sure the referee knows it's that and not a choke. Punk with a springboard clothesline for two. Punk tries to get going with some strikes, but Punk pushes off and hits a jumping knee. He hits the corner knee and bulldog and hits the big flying elbow for two. They go to the outside the Punk starts to clear off the announce table but Rock counters and rams Punk's head into another table.
They go back into the ring and Rock wants a Rock Bottom but Punk counters with a big kick for two. Again, Punk throws Rock to the outside and puts him on the announce table. He grabs him and hits the Rock Bottom on the table. Rock is struggling to get back and barely beats the count back. Punk mounts Rock and punches away. Punk hits the ropes but Rock counters with a Samoan drop. Both men down.
Rock with a big punch. They start slugging it out. Rock with a big boot the gut and a DDT. He lines Punk up for the Rock Bottom but Punk elbows out to the head and then lays them in to the body. Punk goes again for the springboard clothesline but Rock catches him with the Rock Bottom, but Punk kicks out at the final moment.
Punk spills to the outside and Rock follows. They go back into the ring and Punk sidesteps Rock and Rock hits the referee to the floor. Punk hits the GTS on Rock but the referee is nowhere to be found. Punk wants it again but Rock counters into a spinebuster. He follows with The People's Elbow but a second referee is slow making it back to the ring and Punk kicks out at two.
Now the second referee gets his ankle rolled over and goes to the outside. Punk hits a head kick. Now Heyman grabs the title belt and hands it to Punk. Heyman goes over and grabs Rock, but Rock ducks and Punk hits Heyman. Punk turns around and walks right into the Rock Bottom. Chad Patton back in and he makes the count to end it.
The next WWE pay-per-view is WrestleMania 29 on April 7.
Following a video package, Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler and John Layfield welcome us to tonight's show, a seven-match affair from New Orleans, La.
Match #1 - World Heavyweight Championship - (c) Alberto Del Rio (San Luis Potosi, Mexico) vs. The Big Show (Tampa, Fla.)
Del Rio hits a suicide dive that keeps Show on the outside, and show barely beats the count. Show gets going and loads up for the KO punch, but Del Rio slips out of the ring. Show picks Del Rio up, but Del Rio turns it into a DDT. He hits the corner kick for two with Show barely kicking out.
Del Rio swings through and locks in the cross-armbreaker with Show right in the center of the ring. Show is fighting it and gets his back off the mat and rolls, slinging Del Rio back and slamming him to the canvas, breaking the hold. Show first to rise and he wants the KO punch but Ricardo Rodriguez hops on the apron. Show shoves him down and grabs the bucket, but Del Rio comes up from behind, and on a second try, hits an kick to the head. He follows with a super kick, a corner kick and then again locks in the cross-armbreaker. Show again fights it, and he's closer to the ropes this time, but can't maneuver his body correctly to get it and is forced to tap out.
Winner via submission and STILL World Heavyweight Champion: Alberto Del Rio
Match Rating: 7/10
Match #2 - WWE United States Championship - (c) Antonio Cesaro (Lucerne, Switzerland) vs. The Miz (Cleveland, Ohio)
Cesaro showing his power game early, working over Miz's injured shoulder. Miz tries to come back and comes off the top rope, but Cesaro grabs him into a shoulder lock. Miz fighting it and escapes, sending Cesaro over the top. Cesaro tries to load Miz up, but he slides out and sends Cesaro knee-first into the steel steps.
Back in the ring, Miz goes to work on the knee with a chop block and stays right on it. He goes for the Figure Four but Cesaro fights it and escapes, but Miz hits Cesaro low and referee Charles Robinson calls for the bell. Cesaro might've gotten away with an acting job here.
Winner via disqualification and STILL WWE United States Champion: Antonio Cesaro
Match Rating: 6/10
Match #3 - Elimination Chamber - Jack Swagger (Perry, Okla.) vs. Kane (Hell, Fire & Brimstone) vs. Mark Henry (Silsbee, Texas) vs. Randy Orton (St. Louis, Mo.) vs. Daniel Bryan (Aberdeen, Wash.) vs. Chris Jericho (Winnipeg, Manitoba)
Bryan and Jericho start it out. Lots of catch-as-catch-can action here. Big kick to the gut lands for Jericho. He suplexes him into the ring and here we go, another participant in and it's Jack Swagger. He runs wild on Jericho, hitting him with a Swagger Bomb. He goes after Bryan and runs him into the steel.
Jericho back up with a big "Y2J" chant. He throws Swagger into the corner, but they spill out to the steel grate. Swagger up but Bryan slams him with a jumping knee. Bryan and Jericho in the ring and they go back and forth again. Here we go, another man coming in and it's Kane.
Kane comes in and he and Bryan start working together until Bryan tries to roll Kane up. ruh roh. Kane is not pleased. Bryan begs off and tells Kane to breath and then asks for a hug. Kane, though, points to the WrestleMania sign and makes the universal title sign. Bryan yells "YES!" and Kane "NO!" and Bryan pie faces Kane and hits a corner dropkick.
Bryan with kicks to the body but Kane ducks the one to the head. He wants choke slam but Bryan counters. Now we nearly get a tower of doom spot, but they pull out and Jericho has Bryan on his shoulders and Kane comes off the top and hits the Doomsday Device. Swagger hops on for the pin but Bryan kicks out at two.
Here we go, another man in. It's Randy Orton. He comes in on fire. Drop kick for Kane, slingshot suplex for Bryan. He goes after Kane on the grate and throws him twice into the steel and then hits a draping DDT on Kane right onto the grating.
Five men in, no eliminations thus far. Mark Henry is stewing. Now we get stereo superplexes as Jericho hits Bryan and Orton hits Swagger. All five men in the match down. And here comes Henry, salivating.
Headbutt for Jericho. He's getting everyone. World's Strongest Slam for Bryan and he's eliminated. Henry stalks Orton and throws him right through the plexiglass. He gone. Henry and Kane go after it. Kane with a corner clothesline. And another. He goes to the top rope and comes down, but Henry catches him with the World's Strongest Slam and eliminates him.
Now Jericho and Swagger double team Henry. They run him into the cage a few times and then double suplex him onto the steel grating. Now they go at it. Jericho clotheslines Swagger into the ring and goes to the top. He hits a crossbody for two. Swagger into the corner. Jericho charges but eats a boot. He goes for the gut-wrench but Jericho counters into the Walls of Jericho but Swagger quickly gets out.
Henry back into it and he throws Jericho around. He presses him onto Swagger. Now he stacks Jericho onto Swagger and goes up to the second rope. He wants a Vader Bomb but both men scatter. Swagger hits the ropes and hits a big boot, Jericho with a Codebreaker and Orton comes back in with an RKO and that's it for Henry.
So we're down to Jericho, Swagger and Orton. But Henry comes back in and gives World's Strongest Slams to all three men as six referees try to stop him. Now here come Booker T and Teddy Long. They tell Henry to go to the back and he does. Swagger covers Orton and Orton barely kicks out. Now Orton and Jericho team up on Swagger. They run him shoulder-first into the post and head-first into the pod.
Orton and Jericho now battling. Orton with clotheslines but Jericho with some shoulder blocks. He goes to the top but Jericho drop kicks him down. Two scoop slams for Orton. He wants the draping DDT on Swagger but Jericho drop kicks him for two. Jericho wants Codebreaker on Swagger but he counters into a belly-to-belly.
Swagger now with the Patriot Act on Orton but Jericho breaks it up, only to be put in the hold himself. Jericho rolls through, though, and locks in the Walls of Jericho. Orton grabs Jericho and hits the backbreaker for two. Now he hits a double draping DDT on Jericho and Swagger. Orton wants the RKO but Jericho counters. He goes for the Lionsault but Orton gets his knees up and hits the RKO for the pin. But before he can get up, Swagger rolls him up and gets the pin.
Winner via pinfall: Jack Swagger
Match Rating: 8/10
Match #4 - John Cena (West Newbury, Mass.), Sheamus (Dublin, Ireland) & Ryback (Sin City) vs. Dean Ambrose (Cincinnati, Ohio), Seth Rollins (Davenport, Iowa) & Roman Reigns (Pensacola, Fla.)
Cena and Reigns in and Cena is running wild. Shoulder blocks connect and the side suplex. He follows with the Five Knuckle Shuffle. Rollins runs into stop the Attitude Adjustment but he locks in the STF only for Ambrose to break it up. With the referee distracted, Rollins comes flying in with a springboard knee to the head.
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Didn't see it - 49%
Ambrose goes to work on Cena. Rollins in now and he starts pounding away. He hits a corner splash. Great teamwork by The Shield here, forcing Sheamus to run in and break up a pin. Reigns in and drills Cena with a Samoan drop for two. Reigns with a chinlock, but Cena eventually powers out and slams Reigns. Reigns, though, cuts Cena off before he can build any momentum with a vicious lariat.
Ambrose works a leg scissors on Cena. Cena works his way up, but Ambrose slips out and hits a big DDT. Ambrose charges Cena, but Cena backdrops him over the top rope and to the floor. Ryback wants the tag and Cena delivers. He comes in on Rollins and sends he and Ambrose into orbit with back body drops. Huge power bomb on Rollins and then he slams Ambrose into Rollins in the corner.
Ryback readies for the big lariat, but Reigns breaks it up. Sheamus hits Reigns and they battle to the floor where Reigns spears Sheamus right through the barricade in violent fashion. The Shield team up on Ryback and go for the power bomb but Cena grabs Reigns' foot and drags him to the floor. Cena comes in and grabs Ambrose and hits the AA. Ryback goes for Shell Shock on Rollins, but Reigns comes flying back in and spears Ryback with Rollins dropping on top of him. The referee counts three before Cena can make the save.
Winners via pinfall: Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose & Roman Reigns
Match Rating: 8/10
Dolph Ziggler, Big E Langston and AJ are out. Ziggler is ranting about not being booked when Booker T's music hits and he comes out. He makes a match.
Match #5 - Dolph Ziggler (Hollywood, Fla.) vs. Kofi Kingston (Ghana, West Africa)
Kingston hits the Trouble in Paradise and goes for the cover, but Langston pulls Ziggler out of the ring. Kingston doesn't like this and hits a big slingshot onto Langston and absolutely drills him. Ouch. Kingston with a crossbody, but he can't keep the momentum going, as Ziggler hits a suplex on the top turnbu and then the Zig Zag and that does it.
Winner via pinfall: Dolph Ziggler
Match Rating: 6/10
After the match, Langston comes back and crushes Kingston with a pounce and lays some knees into the gut. He hits his finish and leaves Kingston laying. The crowd chants "one more time!"
Match #6 - WWE Divas Championship - (c) Kaitlyn (Houston, Texas) vs. Tamina Snuka (Fiji Islands)
Tamina runs Kaitlyn right into the ring post, sending his crashing to the floor. Samoan drop connects for Tamina. She goes to the top for the Superfly Splash but Kaitlyn rolls out of the way and hits the spear and that does it.
Winner via pinfall and STILL WWE Divas Champion: Kaitlyn
Match Rating: 4/10
Match #7 - WWE Championship - (c) The Rock (Miami, Fla.) vs. CM Punk (Chicago, Ill.)
Winner via pinfall and STILL WWE Champion: The Rock
Match Rating: 7/10
Event Rating: 7/10
Live Report: Live, Elimination Chamber didn't live up to its billing
Countdown to WWE Elimination Chamber
February 16, 2013: Elimination Chamber matches have been memorable
February 15, 2013: Mark Henry aims to win the Elimination Chamber
Matt Bishop can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your name and hometown. Click here to follow Matt on Twitter. Should be a good one!.