The Elimination Chamber:
Steel Cage matches have been traced back to the 1960’s but their true lineage is unkown at least to this columnist but I do know the purpose of the match and why it is the longest lasting gimmick match in wrestling. As we all know the cage surounds the ring and it is set up to keep the wrestlers in and the interference out. It was made to end a feud, it is and was intended to be the last straw.
Now the ways to win have changed over the years as it started with just a pinfall of submission and then the WWF in the 1970’s determined that the only way to win is to escape and now the WWF has adopted both ways of winning while most promotions only use the pinfall or submission as an objective for winning but no matter which way you win, the way in getting your victory has been just about the same. All cage matches have been no disqualification so you could use the structure as a weapon and in fact that was the whole idea. Whether it was as simple as throwing man into the cage or something as crazy as superplexing your opponent off the top of it the object is to use the structure itself as a weapon to beat the crap out of your opponent so that then and only then are you assured that you will win the match and settle the feud.
Now look at the Elimination Chamber. The purpose is different as here you’re not setteling a feud but you are setteling uncertanty as we figure out who is the absoulute best of six but the application is exactly the same. I told what you what it was made of but think about this. It is chains, four plexyglass chambers with its own top, and probably most importantly a steel floor that holds the chambers and is even with the ring. Now the fact that it is a chained grid that makes up the walls makes it easier for the wrestlers to climb if they please and jump off of and of course you can use the traditional monouvers such as irish wipping your opponent into them. The chambers you can drive your opponent through the plexy glass, you can jump off the top, if your standing on top you can kick the guy who is in there right in the head or if you’re the guy in the chamber you can grab the opponent who is on top of it. The floor itself you can do anything that you would on the canvas and what this also has done is that it makes the chamber impossible to escape and you can’t get anything from under the ring. What this does is it makes you use the structure as a weapon just like the intention of the steel cage.
I have seen both Elimination Chamber matches and to me the first one was better because it was much more innovative and the structure was used as it was intended to be used and that was as a weapon. RVD clinging to the chains and pulling the spider man, guys getting slammed and backdropped onto the steel floor, Kane throwing Chris Jericho through the chamber, RVD hitting the 5 Star off the top of a chamber and people being thrown into the chains are all perfect examples on how the Elimination Chamber is the most dangerous weapon of them all. In a Hell In A Cell Match you can go under the ring and get weapons and in a War Games match I remember guys bringing weapons into the double cage with them but here you must be creative and you must be innovative as you think of new ways to beat your opponent and eliminate him and the only way you do that is to use the structure as a weapon. I feel that the Steel Cage Match will never go away and while it has produced some impressive offspring I feel that if the Steel Cage got to have a say in what would be its successor I think it would be the Elimination Chamber because it is truly the evolution and possibly the next generation of the steel cage.
It started in ECW in the mid 90’s as American fans would throw streamers for the Japanese Wrestlers that were touring to make them feel at home. Masato Tanaka and the Great Sasuke are noted examples of this. Then in 1999 at ECW’s Anarchy Rulz the fans threw streamers directly at Taz when he came to the ring to face Tanaka. They did this for two reasons; first it was to show their support for Tanaka and second to show their distain to the fact that Taz was leaving for the WWF. After ECW folded it would be two years before we saw the streamers in the states again. Enter Ring Of Honor. This promotion a lot like ECW incourage fan creativeness and fans decided that streamers would be the way to go as popular Japanese stars like Samoa Joe and Jushin Liger would get streamers thrown for them but it has taken a different step. ROH fans do not throw streamers all the time but like to for special occasions such as Paul London’s last match in ROH or to give a wrestler some individuality and extra heat or praise to its character. A group of fans have now for months been throwing Pink Streamers at Jimmy Rave as it was to show that they were a fan and also give Jimmy Rave some notoriety as he is not a big talker or a flashy wrestler. The pink streamers have now become synomomous with the Embassy’s young gun.
I feel that this could work in the WWF especially to save a character like Rob Van Dam. A man who has spent a ton of time in Japan and of course sports the Ying and Yang on his singlets and is a big part of his character. Tajiri could get streamers thrown at him, the possibilites are endless but the problem is the WWF prohibits fans from throwing anything towards to ring and I think that is a good rule but a party streamer isn’t going to hurt anybody in fact it looks fantastic on television and it gives fans a much needed interaction with the show. Wrestling fans especially crave to be into the show as much as they possibly can be and this is a great way to let them do that. Fans can show their like or dislike towards a wrestler plus it could help wrestler get over as the creative team sees how popular they really are with no doctored noise or crap like that. This is a brainstorm of mine that I think would be awesome in the WWF and I know that at indy shows this is encouraged because it is another way to show that the fans care about who is in the match and the show itself. The cheering and chanting is great but this helps excentuate the fans interaction with the wrestlers and the show itself and would do nothing but good in the WWF.
Feud of the Year- Mick Foley vs Randy Orton: I love long feuds that have a rhyme and a reason to them and this was that. It started in December of last year as the cocky, young Randy Orton proclaimed himself as the legend killer and got under the skin of hardcore legend Mick Foley. What makes this feud so great is that it left you starving for the payoff and they gave it to us in two parts three and four months after the feud started. We got a tast at WrestleMania in the handicap tag match and then we got one hell of a battle at Backlash that saw the young lion defeat the old master.
Rookie of the Year-Eugene: A special boy with a special talent. We all thought that the WWF had lost its mind when they came up with this character but Eugene has quickly captured the hearts of fans worldwide with his great in ring work and his love to just have fun. Carlito Caribbean Cool would of have gotten this most likely if he did not get injured so quickly.
Tag Team of the Year-From Ring Of Honor the Briscoe Brothers: This was a very week category and unfortunatly I have not seen any team in the WWF worthy and despite being gone the last four months of the year Jay and Mark Briscoe were the signature tag team for ROH for most of 2004 holding their tag belts for six months and having a very entertaining feud with Samoa Joe. I really do not have a much better reason then this as while tag team wrestling has been great at an indy level these guys stick out the most.
Underated Star of the Year-Paul London: Arguably the most athletic and best acquistion of the year for the WWF as you have an athletic lightweight who can wrestle any style presented. He broke out in August when he and Billy Kidman won the SmackDown tag team belts and then got a one on one PPV match with Kidman at No Mercy. London is a guy who could put on a classic with anybody and if he was given the time the fans would see that. I would love to expect big things from Paul London in 2005 but this is the WWF and I am not holding my breath.
MVP-Eddie Guerrero: This is not the wrestler of the year award. This is the award for the most clutch man in the company and this year that is Latino Heat Eddie Guerrero. Last year’s Wrestler of the Year Eddie continued to step up when he won the WWF Title at No Way Out and then was able to make a three matches work out with Bradshaw and make him look like a credible contender and eventually a credible champion. Without Eddie SmackDown would be in shambles right now and Eddie Guerrero keeps it a float and that is why he is the MVP for 2004!
Diva of the Year-Trish Stratus: For the second straight year the Canadian Import takes the top female award as she had an amazing heel turn and became the first woman to be a five time women’s champion!
Douchebag of the Year-Rob Feinstein: The Founder of Ring Of Honor had to sell his promotion when he was caught soliciting sex with teenage boys. I have no problem with gay or homosexual people but petifiles and child molesters I cannot stand and while this man started the hottest promotion in wrestling he is most deserving of this award!
*Special Award* the first ever dumbest reason to pick a fight award goes to David Nubis Goold: Fellow IWC Member David Goold known as Nubis and author of the Ringside Surmon (New column out please check it out as it is a series on ECW) wrestled a bear for Strawberries. Runner up goes to my friend from college, Delve who is 5 ft 4 and tried picking a fight with 4 guys at the local sub shop while drunk but luckily my drunk ass was there to pick him up and put him in the car before anything happend.
Match of the Year:
10. WWF Title-JBL vs Eddie Guerrero Cage Match on SmackDown in July: It is simply the best match John Bradshaw Layfield has ever had and the match that gave us a hint that he was going to be the champion for a while. The match went for 30+ minutes and saw them use the cage as a weapon and really beat each other down. Eddie Guerrero hit a scintillating Frog Splash off the top of the cage but Kurt Angle dress and El Gran Luchadore shocked the world and prevented Guerrero from winning back the title!
9. Crusierweight Title-Chavo Guerrero vs Rey Mysterio-No Way Out: You give two of the best crusierweightts ever 20 minutes and they will produce absolute gold! Rey and Chavo had the fans on the edge of their seats and in the palm of their hands for the entire match as it helped save a pay per view that before that match was struggling. Chavo won the match and the belt with help from his dad as it again showed why you give the crusiers the time to preform and that they can deliver in the WWF!
8. World Title-Chris Benoit vs Shawn Michaels on RAW in May: An almost 40 minute battle dubbed the “Showdown in the Desert!” Chris Benoit and Shawn Michales battled in a technical wrestling war that saw HHH ruin the match by Pedigreeing Michaels and allowing the champion to retain. This match does eighth because the interference drove the wind right out of the fans sails but it was still a very good match.
7. World Title-Chris Benoit vs HHH vs Shawn Michaels at Backlash: The final encounter for Benoit’s title in his hometown was great! Much shorter then their match at WrestleMania but the fans are what really made this match what it was. Screaming for their hometown hero and firing You Screwed Bret Chants at Shawn Michaels and then Earl Hebner like they were paid to do it was unreal! Benoit making Michaels tap out to the Sharpshooter in Canada was an amazing thing to see in a very good matchup.
6. WWF Title-Eddie Guerrero vs Kurt Angle at WrestleMania: It started slow but wow did it ever pick up! Guerrero was the new champion and according to Kurt Angle a disgrace and Eddie had to show that he was worthy of being the champion and of being in the main event at WrestleManiaXX. Eddie did that! These guys hit move after move after move and you were never sure when it was going to end because neither of them could be denied! In the end Guerrero took his boot off while in the ankle lock and hit the small package on Angle and hooked the ropes with his feet to retain in a must see.
5. World Title-Chris Benoit vs HHH in an IronMan Match on RAW in July: Only the fourth ironman match in WWF history this was the first on RAW and it saw a very interesting battle between HHH and Chris Benoit. Benoit was up 1-0 but then trailed 3-1 with just about 20 minutes to go but then Benoit made the Game tap out twice. Once to the Sharpshooter and the other to the Crippler Crossface. The reason why this only goes to number 5 is because I didn’t like the interference and Eugene hit HHH in the head with a chair with three minutes left and Benoit scored the pin with five seconds left to win the match. It took too much time for that to happen and it just looked bad. A great match otherwise and I wish they would just make a DVD of the four Ironman matches in its entirety as it is a four hour DVD.
4. Intercontinental Title-Randy Orton vs Mick Foley in a Hardcore Match at Backlash: It was Mick Foley’s first shot at the IC belt in his last ever match and it happened to be against the man he had the feud of the year with, Randy Orton! Orton in the midst of his amazing eight month title reign got the crap kicked out of him by Foley as these two pulled out all the stops! In the end an RKO onto a barbed wire-baseball bat secured the win for the champion in a highly anticipated feud ender.
3. World Title-Randy Orton vs Chris Benoit at SummerSlam: Not much hype and not much needed as these two shocked Canada with an innovative 25 minute battle that saw Benoit miss a suicide dive and crash head first into the safety barrier, Orton hit a neck breaker out of a powerbomb, counter Benoit’s flying headbutt with his feet and out of nowhere hit the RKO to score the upset of the year and his first reign as Worls’s Champion.
2. WWF Title-Brock Lesnar vs Eddie Guerrero at No Way Out: Eddie was on a tear and earned the right at his first ever WWF Title shot at No Way Out but against the 295 pound champion, Brock Lesnar! People complained that there were no 40-45 minute classics anymore well here is one right here! Fantastic wrestling and a great story was told by both men and Goldberg’s interference was timed perfectly as Eddie was able to hit the Frog Splash and win his first title in an amazing match!
1. THE MATCH OF THE YEAR!!! World Title-HHH vs Chris Benoit vs Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania: I was disputing whether or not this was the match of the year but I have never seen a crowd hang on every move in a WWF match like I saw in this one. These three put on a battle that lived up to the hype and could indeed be the greatest Main Event in WrestleMania History! The fans were souley behind Benoit as his 18 year journey had culminated here in a classic. Benoit made HHH tap and then in one of the greatest moments ever, Eddie Guerrero and Chris Benoit in the ring celebrating together.
The Best Indy Match that I SAW this Year: CM Punk vs Samoa Joe 1 for the ROH Title: I didn’t see all of the matches this year but of the matches I did see this was the best! A 60 minute time limit draw as only these two could do it with both men giving it their all for the ROH Title!
SUPERSTAR OF THE YEAR-Chris Benoit: It has been the year of Benoit in the WWF. Drawing #1 and winning the Royal Rumble, jumping to RAW and winning the World Title at WrestleMania in the match of the year, and having a great title reign that produced five of the top ten matches of 2004 gives this award to the Crippler! The man earned everything and got even more popular then I think he imagined. He is now looked at as a man who can be champion at anytime! Congratulations to Chris Benoit, the 2004 Superstar of the Year!
That does it for the second annual BTB Awards!
What PPV happened on Thanksgiving Night?
Our Medium TimBoski’s are Stinger, Bryan C. and Clifton Harris! Congrats guys!!!
Now here we go with this week’s question if you think you know the answer please email it to me along with your feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org and away we go!
Name the Winners of the Royal Rumble Match from 2000-2004?
Well that does it for 2004 and our year end spectacular! I hoped everybody had a great and safe holiday and I want to thank all of you for your support this year as without you I would not be writing this column! So thank you! Remember please send all feedback to email@example.com and until next year LATER!
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