21. Edge (c) vs HHH vs Jeff Hardy vs The Big Show vs The Undertaker vs Vladimir Kozlov (Elimination Chamber match for the WWE Championship, No Way Out 2009)

Before Elimination Chamber was a yearly Premium Event/PPV, No Way Out was the traditional PPV before WrestleMania. And in 2009 it featured not one, but two Elimination Chamber matches for World titles! I remember this particular match more for the over-arching story line (which continues into the second Chamber match) than the bout itself. And since I’m following the WWE Championship storylines from late 2008 to early 2009, I thought I’d watch it again!

Here, the talent outweighed the dross. You only had The Big Show and Vladimir Kozlov (yes, he turns up again!) in the bout. However, these two make the middle (and longest) section a chore to watch. You’ve seen Big Show dominate his opponents before, and you don’t want to see Kozlov do anything in the ring but leave it. In fact, you could watch the first ten minutes of the bout, make a cup of tea, and come back for the last five/ten minutes of the bout and miss Kozlov and The Big Show entirely. You’d miss a few eliminations, but on the plus side…you wouldn’t see Kozlov botching almost every move he attempts. And you wouldn’t see Big Show move in slow motion slapping people. As usual, he (and Kozlov) elicit only boos from the crowd.

Edge and Jeff Hardy open the bout, giving us a fantastic five minutes (more than making up for their uneven clash at the Royal Rumble 2009…although Edge still has a noticeable limp.) And the closing sequence between Hardy, HHH and The Undertaker is absolutely riveting.

But the bout is far more memorable for the impact it has on the second Elimination Chamber than any in-ring action. And you can thank Kozlov and The Big Show for that! At the point in time, I’d tolerated Big Show for almost a decade in the WWE. But Kozlov? Vladimir Kozlov? Hours wasted building him for the main event….when he wasn’t ready to jerk the curtain. Thankfully he disappeared after this bout (or at least I think he did).

This, overall, is a middling Elimination Chamber match. Not great, not bad, just there…

Hammy’s Rating: *** (out of 5)

(Click here for more of ‘A Wrestling Match A Day‘)

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