Well, Tough Enough is really shaping up. Last night at the Elimination Chamber, Trish Stratus was announced as one of the trainers for the show, joining Booker T and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. She cut a short promo, debuting a hybrid catchphrase that borrowed from The Rock and Booker. Later in the night, after Teddy Long rehired Kelly Kelly, Trish made another appearance. As LayCool was putting the boots to the newly rehired Smackdown diva, Trish hit the ring to make the save. She delivered a botched frankensteiner and a Stratusfaction to the members of LayCool, and reminded everyone of who the best female performer in the history of wrestling is.
For me, this was the highlight of the show. I was always a big Trish fan, and I cannot wait for Tough Enough to begin airing. As for the rest of the Elimination Chamber? Well, the wrong guy won the main event, there are some new champions, and there was another big return. Full recap after the jump.
- In the opening match, Alberto Del Rio scored a victory over Intercontinental Champion Kofi Kingston. A win here for Del Rio was essential in preserving his momentum headed into WrestleMania, and thankfully, that’s what we were given. Kingston looked strong, and both guys should benefit from this match moving forward.
- The Smackdown Elimination Chamber match was the second bout of the evening. I don’t think I was alone in anticipating Christian as the last entry to replace Ziggler, but unfortunately, it was not to be. Teddy Long announced the Big Show as the 6th competitor, an inclusion that did nothing to better the match. Wade Barrett was the first wrestler eliminated, which was unexpected and disappointing. They continued the Show vs Corre angle. Rey Mysterio took a beating in this one, being thrown through pod doors and into the sides of the chamber on a number of occasions. Good to see Drew McIntyre taken seriously. Edge picked up the win, last eliminating Mysterio. Interestingly, they were the same two competitors who started the match.
- After the Smackdown chamber match, Del Rio hit the ring to attack Edge. As he had the champ locked in an arm bar, Christian’s music hit and he stormed the ring to exact some revenge for the torn pectorial muscle Del Rio dealt him months ago. Christian demolished the #1 contender, and in the process helped out his former tag team parter Edge. I wouldn’t be surprised if the World Heavyweight Title match at WrestleMania ends up as a triple threat between these guys.
- The tag team title match was up next, and new champions were crowned. Heath Slater & Justin Gabriel won the straps cleanly. It was an odd but welcome change to see the Corre win a match without cheating.
- The Miz successfully retained his title against Jerry “The King” Lawler. King looked pretty good and gave Miz a better match than I assumed he would. Alex Riley got the boot from the referee early after a little interference. The highlight of this one came when Lawler tossed Miz into his number one fan, Michael Cole.
- In the main event, John Cena outlasted five other superstars in the Raw chamber match to become the #1 contender to the Miz’s WWE Championship. John Morrison was the show stealer here. He had a couple highspots in the match, not the least of which involved him climbing across the top of the chamber, and he had what was easily the most entertaining performance on the entire pay-per-view. Unfortunately for JoMo, John Cena will be heading into his seventh consecutive WrestleMania main event title match. CM Punk’s evil genius gimmick continued to develop in the chamber, and he had quite an impressive showing himself, eliminating Randy Orton and John Morrison. Through a series of events involving a malfuntioning pod door and an email from the annonymous general manager, Punk also managed to be both the first and the last man eliminated.
It was certainly great to see Trish back. Christian, too. For me, it would be an understatement to describe John Cena’s victory in the main event as a disappointment. I fully expected him to walk out as the #1 contender, but I was really pulling for Morrison. It would be nice to see someone other than Cena and Orton get their time in the spotlight. Outside of that match outcome, though, there’s nothing I can really complain about here. Expecting a BIG followup Raw tomorrow night.