Sunday night not only marked the long-awaited return of the Road to WrestleMania staple Elimination Chamber PPV event, but also the debut of a new structure to represent the new era. Sporting a brand new shape, brand new pods and a much taller design, the six SmackDown Superstars were entering the demonic structure for a chance to become WWE Champion.
Bray Wyatt eventually walked out as the new Champion after enduring the metal structure for most of the match but the real question on everyone’s lips was ‘is this new Chamber better or worse than the old one?’ I will aim to come to a conclusion after discussing the pros and cons of the new design.
It is well known that the original Elimination Chamber was a logistical nightmare in terms of transporting and setting up. So, taking this into account, it seems that the designers went for more of a square shape, which one can only assume helps the technicians dismantle and store it in more of a flat pack kind of way.
I’m in no way suggesting that Elimination Chambers will be available at your local IKEA any time soon, but it has to take up less space than the round shape of the old cage. This, in turn, would allow the ring technicians to set up the structure much faster when they arrived at the arena.
Despite the cost involved in designing and building a new chamber, there will be a big saving on the man hours and transport in the long run. There is no doubt that this Chamber is much better than the old one for the ring technicians. They must have thought all their Christmases had come at once!
Aesthetically, it is an interesting design. The WWE logo on the roof is fantastic when the next competitor is being chosen. It looks really cool and will probably be easy to replace should WWE rebrand in the future.
The addition of LED lights down the side of the Chamber and on the roof of the pods keeps it in line with the new presentation nuances that we’ve seen with the introduction of the new stages.
Some may disagree, but I think that the old Chamber looked much more menacing. I think the new Chamber is slightly too high and I think it takes away from the claustrophobic effect a structure like this should have.
The same thing happened when they made a new Hell in a Cell. They made it taller but it lost its gritty, close look and the presentation looked too polished. I understand that it helps with the high flying spots in the Chamber but that has come at the cost of some of the Chamber’s identity.
Sticking with the presentation, the new one looks a bit cobbled together. The old Chamber looked smooth, helped along with the rounded pods and rounded edges. The domed roof capped it off nicely.
The sharper edges around the square pods are not pleasing to the eye and it’s clear to see where the edges have been protected to safeguard against injury. It reminds me a bit more of a kids’ playset than an unforgiving structure of torture.
What really doesn’t help this fact is the addition of mats outside the chamber to protect the wrestlers from the metal floor. I’m all for the safety of our Superstars but you can’t wrap them in cotton wool. When the newer Chamber was hanging from the ceiling, you could see that the wooden slabs made up the floor rather than metal anyway.
I mean, the WWE could have at least painted them black to give the impression that the Chamber was still dangerous.
In previous Chamber matches, Superstars would purposefully try and avoid going outside the ring area because they knew the hurt that awaited them should they find themselves in trouble on the metal grating. And it was just plain metal grating as well, with no protection and you could see through it to the mat outside.
It looked awesome, it sounded awesome and it represented everything threatening about it. It was truly unforgiving.
The bland thud on the mat just didn’t sound right last night, although I’m sure that the wrestlers very much appreciated the new changes made by WWE’s Health and Safety Officers.
In conclusion to the safety features of the new Chamber, it is better than the old one for the wrestlers that have to compete in it but for the viewer, it has taken away the danger factor that we so crave.
However, the new design seemed to give wrestlers much more freedom to fly around the cage like monkeys in a zoo. Cena went flying off a pod as did Ambrose and there were even a couple of spots with wrestlers hanging on to the side of the chain-link that were really good.
It was certainly exciting and I was glad to see a Lexan glass spot. Baron Corbin going mental and shoving Dean Ambrose through the pod was one of the best spots of the night. It still had the sickening sound the old one did and really helped to put Baron over as a badass!
Now don’t get me wrong, I was happy to see one of my favourite pay-per-views make a return last night and I haven’t changed my mind – it’s still one of the best features of the Road to WrestleMania.
I feel like the Champion should have to defend their Championship in this structure before going on to the Granddaddy of them All. However, I feel like the cons outweigh the pros in this new structure and they need to make it look a bit more menacing for next year.
There is even scope for a new layer now that it is higher so we can have two layers of action to look after. It would add another dimension to the match and would also take the focus off the fact that the Chamber has lost its scare factor.
Nevertheless, the new Chamber is here to stay and I don’t think the old one will ever see the light of day again. It’s something we have to deal with and it’s down to the wrestlers to now sell the structure like it’s as dangerous as the old one.
Send us news tips at firstname.lastname@example.orgPublished 14 Feb 2017, 10:19 IST