Smackdown: Cesaro proves he belongs in the Elimination Chamber
DALE PLUMMER -- SLAM! Wrestling
Elimination Chamber is 9 days away, but who really cares? The big event is a day later; the launch of the WWE Network! There will be some building toward the Chamber and maybe even Wrestlemania, but tonight is Valentine's Day so expect some heart themed shenanigans. Michael Cole and JBL bring us all the action from Ontario, California, tonight.
The Flight of the Valkyries works the crowd into a frenzy as Daniel Bryan kicks off the show.
Match #1 - Daniel Bryan, Christian and Seamus vs. The Shield
Oh yea, with six men in the Chamber were are going to see various permutation of matches and teams featuring the superstars that are facing off a week from Sunday. The referee prevents the match from devolving into brawl before the commercial. Reigns gets knocked of the ring and Bryan delivers a dive through the rope. Rollins follows, taking out Bryan. Sheamus takes out Rollins with the Brogue kick as Ambrose counters a Kill Switch from Christian. Sheamus sizes up Ambrose, who ducks, and Sheamus catches Christian with a Brogue kick. The Celtic Warriors turns into a spear from Reigns and Ambrose quickly covers Christian, the legal man, to get the win.
Winners via pinfall: The Shield
Antonio Cesaro, who goes by just Cesaro now, tells the new backstage reporter that he will prove to everyone he can and will become the new WWE Heavyweight Champion when he beats Randy Orton, tonight.
If you needed another reason to order the WWE network, you will be able to watch the entire WWE Hall of Fame ceremony on April 5th. And speaking of the Hall of Fame, Lita was named on Monday as the next inductee.
Match #2 – Mark Henry vs. Rey Mysterio vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Jack Swagger - Fatal Four Way Intercontinental Title #1 Contender Match
The IC title holder, Big E Langston, joins the announce team. Kofi low bridges Swagger after Kofi tossed him toward the ropes with a head scissors. Kofi takes out Rey and then flies over the ropes to drive Swagger to the floor. Rey follows, taking out Kofi. Mark Henry is alone in the ring, but wants to fly. Luckily, Swagger is able to get back in the ring and cut the big guy down with a leg tackle. Rey is able to drop Swagger into the ropes, hit the 619 and follow with a seated senton. Kofi breaks up the pin. Rey charges Kofi, who dodges, and Rey eats the ring post and falls to the floor. Kofi drops the Boom on Swagger and looks for the SOS. Rey distracts Kofi, allowing Swagger to catch him on the turnbuckle. Henry is able to stop Swagger and lay him out with a power bomb. Swagger hits Henry with a chop block and applies the Patriot Lock. Henry kicks him off, but then walks into a 610 and an SOS. Swagger shows off his strength buy hitting Kofi and Rey with a German suplex at the same time. Rey blocks the Patriot lock and looks for the 619, but runs right into Trouble in Paradise. Kofi kicks Henry off the apron and into the announce table. He goes for the Trouble in Paradise, but Swagger catches him mid kick and applies the Patriot Lock. Kofi taps out.
Winner via submission: Jack Swagger
Bad News Barrett is back and he has a fancy new podium. He announce that American women will eat too much candy on Valentine's Day and wake up ashamed.
Match #3 - Goldust, Cody Rhodes and The Usos vs. The New Age Outlaws, Ryback and Curtis Axel.
This cluster of a match ended with Jey flying over the turnbuckle to take out Billy Gunn, Ryback and Axel on the outside, allowing Jey to splash Road Dogg from the turnbuckle and cover for the win.
Winner via pinfall: Goldust, Cody Rhodes and The Usos
Renee Young is backstage with WWE Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton and asks him if he thinks he has been treated unfairly. Orton says the Authority has always had his back and this series of matches is making him stronger. Orton says the Authority wants the Viper and that is what Cesaro is going to get. (I hope he's talking about his persona.)
In case you missed the news, the next WWE Hall of Fame inductee is Jake "The Snake" Roberts.
Match #4 – Damien Sandow vs. Darren Young
Titus O'Neal, Young former tag team partner, joins Cole and JBL at ringside. Cole tells O'Neal that turning on Young was uncalled for. He defends himself, but then calls the beating Young gave him last week uncalled for. Darren Young counters a full nelson slam and is able to roll up Sandow to get a quick win.
Winner by pinfall: Darren Young
After the match, Titus attacks his former partner, but Young is able to fight him off. O'Neal is furious outside the ring, mainly because he is now missing half his pants.
The Bella Twins walks us through how to watch the WWE Network. Listen, if you don't know how to hook up a game system to your TV you probably aren't in the WWE's target demographic.
Match #5 – Fandango w/ Summer Rae vs. The Miz
Fandango is dominating the Miz, when Santino and Emma crash the match. Summer Rae is not happy and tries to order them to go back. Summer takes offense at Emma's dance moves. Emma pushes her and Summer responds with a slap. CATFIGHT! CATFIGHT! Fandango checks on Summer, only to have Santino strike him in the throat with the Cobra. Miz is able to roll up Fandango and gets the win.
Winner via pinfall: The Miz
Match #6 – Cesaro w/ Zeb Colter vs. Randy Orton
Cesaro doesn't waste any time, going for an early pin and chasing Orton from the ring. Cesaro takes Orton down with a waist lock and shows off his mat wrestling knowledge. Cesaro follows with a suplex. Orton is whipped into the corner, but bounces out, nailing Cesaro with a clothesline. The fight spills to the floor, with Orton slamming Cesaro into the security barrier. He leaves Cesaro on the floor to pose in the ring and we go to break.
After the commercials, Orton and Cesaro are trading blows in the middle of the ring, until Orton takes down Cesaro with a back elbow. Orton takes it to the floor, smashing Cesaro into the ring apron. Cesaro answer back, exploding into Orton with a clothesline. Cesaro gets caught on the ring apron, but counters the DDT into the big swing. Orton is able to get to the ropes, but it doesn't get him a reprieve. Orton gets caught again, and Cesaro takes him for a ride. Orton can't get to his feet and Cesaro calls for the Neutralizer. Orton counters and Cesaro shoots off the ropes into a power slam. Orton powers Cesaro into the ropes and drops him with the elevated DDT. Orton calls for the RKO, but Cesaro decks him with an uppercut. Cesaro delivers another uppercut, but cannot get the pin. Orton connects with a standing drop kick and covers. Cesaro kicks out at two. Orton knocks Cesaro into the ring post and pulls him up on the top turnbuckle. Cesaro fights back with a sunset flip powerbomb. Orton gets to his feet, only to take another uppercut. Cesaro sets up the Neutralizer, delivering it to the champ. Cesaro covers and gets the win.
Winners via pinfall: Cesaro
Cesaro points to the Wrestlemania sign. Orton is now one and three versus his chamber opponents and still has to face Sheamus on Monday Night RAW.
Dale Plummer has been writing for SLAM! Wrestling since 2003. Dale sent several Divas Valentine Day cards only to get several restraining orders in return. Taunt Dale on Twitter @Dplummer627