For the second straight year, WWE brought two elimination chamber matches to their second ppv of the year, No Way Out 2009. A fitting name for the ppv since all of the competitors were locked inside steel cages. This time around, both ECM's(Elimination Chamber Matches) featured the Heavyweight Championships of the Rawand Smackdown brands.
The ECW heavyweight championship wasn't neglected, as Jack Swagger defended the title against Finlay in singles competition. No Way Out also continued the feud between Randy Orton and Shane McMahon. This rivalry began when Randy Orton assaulted and punted Vince McMahons head, thus, starting a war with the McMahon family. Therefore, this bout was being settled in a No Holds Barred match.
In an All or Nothing match, JBL issued a challenge to Shawn Michaels. This took place around Armageddon 08, when Michaels decided to work for JBL due to financial issues. JBL eventually blamed Michaels for his failed attempt to win the Heavyweight Championship. The stipulations are: if Michaels wins, then JBL will pay him all the cash he owes and Michaels is free to go. Should JBL win, he will own Shawn Michaels forever.
These are the rules for the ECM:
1) There are 6 contestants and two will begin the match while the other four are locked in small cages
2) Every 5 minutes a superstar will be released
3) Superstars are eliminated by pinfall or submission
4) The last man remaining will be the winner
1)Elimination Chamber Match for the WWE Championship Edge(C) vs. Triple H vs. Undertaker vs. Jeff Hardy vs. Big Show vs. Vladimir Koslov
This was Edges second ECM and he began the match with Jeff Hardy. They put together a pretty good match up with a shocking outcome very early. Later, the match soon stalls for a good while. This occured when Big Show and Vladimir were trying to out do each other by beating up on Hardy. Jeff played the rag doll for way too long, and he was practically punished for about ten minutes. Things picked up a bit later when the final two entered the match.
The match became quick paced and very entertaining, but I found a couple of spots to be too predictable, especially one high spot I saw from a mile away. The final two superstars brought their A game and delivered a spectacular finish to an already fantastic match. What kept this match from being truly great to me, was the one moment it began to stall. Other than that, it was a very good opener and I can see this reaching classic status one day. 4.5/5
2)No Holds Barred Match Randy Orton vs. Shane McMahon
This was the best storyline going on at the time, and the match chosen couldn't have been better. It had been almost two years since Shane had wrestled on ppv, and what better way for him to make his return, than in a match where all of the rules were thrown out. Shane is at his best in these type of matches. Unfortunately, when compared to many of Shanes "Hardcore" bouts, this one just doesn't hold up well. Especially, when compared to his matches with Kane which took place at Unforgiven 03 and Survivor Series 03.
The match started out pretty brutal with Randy taking some punishment and bleeding like crazy by a blade job from hell. But I felt the interference took away from the match a great deal. The ending was also predictable. Overall, this wasn't a bad match but I was a bit disappointed. 3.5/5
3)ECW Championship Match Jack Swagger(C) vs. Finlay
This match was put on at the right time, when considering the event began with two gimmick matches. This pure wrestling match was welcomed and it delivered. Jack Swagger utilized some very good chain wrestling working on Finlays arms. There weren't too many spots and I believe this match will mainly appeal to those who appreciate good straight wrestling. However, I feel this match could have been better. Finlay is capable of putting on a clinic in a blink of an eye. This is one of those times I believe his skills weren't properly used. 3.25/5
4)All or Nothing Match Shawn Michaels vs. JBL
Seriously, considering what was at stake, I doubt anyone bought into this stipulation. Still, the match was better than what I expected. JBL got in Shawns head early trying to draw the easy DQ for a very easy win. They later put together a decent match but I found the ending to be a bit too Hulk Hogan-ish for my taste. I just really couldn't get into the climax too much. 3.5/5
5)Elimination Chamber Match for the World Heavyweight Championship John Cena(C) vs. Edge vs. Rey Mysterio vs. Kane vs. Chris Jericho vs. Mike Knox
This isn't a typo, Edge competes in both ECM's. Edge was quickly pinned in the opening match. However, as the "Ultimate Opportunist", he injects himself into this match in brutal fashion, by thrashing Kofi Kingston who was originally suppose to be in the match.
This was definitely a nice twist to add to this match. Even though I believed Kingston was a very talented athlete at the time, however, along with Mike Knox, I couldn't help but wonder what qualified him to be in the main event anyway. Overall, I feel the addition of Edge worked out greatly.
Rey Mysterio & Chris Jericho kicked things off and carried the match almost the entire way. They put on a clinic and delivered some very good action. It's funny looking back at this encounter. Who could have guessed that these two would go on to feud, and later deliver some of the best matches of that year? This encounter was a foreshadow to the matches soon to come.
The match did have its dull moments, but the wait paid off. The last two superstars worked one hell of a match, and given their track records, it really wasn't a surprise. This was match of the night for me for a couple of reasons. First, a very crappy superstar made a quick exit. Therefore, the superstars who can go, got the time they needed to put on a clinic. Second, I felt it told the best inring story and developed another storyline that headed into Mania. 4.5/5
DVD Special Features Todd Grisham interviews the winner of the ECM for the World Heavyweight Championship
RAW 2-16-09 Unsanctioned Match Randy Orton vs. Shane McMahon
This is the follow up to their No Way Out encounter. There really wasn't anything too special except for the story being put over. It became a brawl very early that went into the stands and eventually to the ring. The predictable interference took place but the real talk was the outcome. Randy Orton delivered a vicious "RKO" to Stephanie McMahon, thus, continuing his dismantlement of the McMahon family. Which I thought was a great move because it gave Randy a reason to go after Triple H's title, instead of simply earning the right and choosing him by winning the Royal Rumble 09.
Overall, I felt this ppv was solid, and it was actually WWE's best event of that year. Even though most of the matches could have been better. I can't say there was a bad match on here, and I recommend this for either a purchase or a rental before all of their 2009 events.
Pros: -Solid booking, very good ECM's.
Cons: -No holds barred match didn't meet my expectations.
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