Quite frankly, I’m always excited to see a WWE PPV. I’m stoked that Elimination Chamber is back — albeit, last second. But, let’s see what this show has to offer…
We start with a montage of the EC cage and how punishing it is along with small bits of each of the main feuds.
We are LIVE(!!!) from Corpus Christi, Texas for WWE ELIMINATION CHAMBER!!!
Cole, JBL and King are the guys at the main table while Carlos Cabrera and Marcelo Rodriguez man the Spanish Table.
MATCH #1: The Primetime Players (Titus O’Neil & Darren Young) (challengers) vs. Los Matadores (Diego & Fernando) (challengers) (w/ El Torito) vs. Cesaro & Tyson Kidd (challengers) (w/ Natalya) vs. The New Day (Xavier Woods, Kofi Kingston, & Big E) (champions) vs. The Ascension (Konnor & Viktor) (challengers) vs. Lucha Dragons (Sin Cara & Kalisto) (challengers) in an Elimination Chamber Match for the WWE Tag Team Championship
Got all that? The Ascension and Dragons start the thing. The Dragons take out The Ascension to start until Kalisto gets on top of the New Day pod. The New Day pulls at Kalisto’s foot and beats on him. Sin Cara is put on the grating outside the ring but gets up and starts to scale the chamber. Kalisto manages to kick The Ascension off him and Sin Cara hits a nice splash. Kalisto tries to leap off the New Day pod but they continue to pull at his legs. The first pod opens and it’s…
Cesaro/Kidd. They double team Sin Cara, then go after The Ascension with dual splashes and an uppercut. Kidd climbs up to grab Kalisto but gets knocked away, so Cesaro runs up the buckle and hits a huge uppercut — then hits a Superplex. Kidd goes for the pin but Sin Cara saves it. Cesaro dumps him, then presses Kalisto out of the ring. Viktor and Kidd get into it. Viktor hits a suplex and gets two. Cesaro saves the pin and Kidd puts Viktor in the Sharpshooter. Konnor breaks it. Cesaro dumps Konnor but Sin Cara hits a Hurricarana to send Cesaro out of the ring. Chaos ensues with bodies all over the place as we get our next team and it’s…
Los Matadores. They’re all over The Ascension. Kalisto, meanwhile, has climbed to the very top/center of the Chamber and then falls on top of the mass of bodies who just stare up at him like morons for about a minute. The Ascension gets up to take out one of the Matadores as Torito tries a similar spot as Kalisto. It’s terrible. They dump Torito after catching and hit the Fall of Man to eliminate the Matadores at 10:27. Fall of Man takes out the Dragons about a minute later at 11:24. Cesaro and Kidd take on The Ascension as our next team is released…and it’s…
The Prime Time Players. They go after The Ascension. Titus just whips Viktor against the cage and they eliminate The Ascension at 13:33. The Players go after Cesaro and Kidd. Titus drops Young on top of Cesaro but Kidd gets up and hits a suplex, then goes after Titus who boots him across the ring. Cesaro goes after Titus, then Young, hitting a drop kick to Young who was sitting on the top buckle. Cesaro hits a Super Gut Wrench Suplex off the top rope as the crowd starts a “THIS IS AWESOME” chant. Kidd gets up and goes after Titus who catches him and hits a Spinebuster. All four guys are down. Finally, it’s…
The New Day who ascends upon three of the four guys like locusts. It’s a rugby scrum with all seven guys huddling. It’s a huge suplex by the Cesaro, Kidd and the PTP. Cesaro and Kidd have had it and toss Woods in a pod, locking it. Cesaro and Kidd hit the Spin Dropkick — but Young rolls Cesaro up out of nowhere to eliminate him and Kidd at 18:13. The New Day gangs up on Titus O’Neil and uses the cage chains to choke Titus. Young is in the middle of the ring. Woods and Kofi climb the buckles for The 11th Hour but Young escapes and dives at Woods and Kofi, knocking them into a pod. Titus gets up and just takes out Woods with a boot. Young drops Kofi’s neck on the top rope. Titus rams E into the cage and tosses him into the ring. Everyone gets back into the ring. Titus hits a huge clothesline. Young grabs Kofi and hits a NICE gutbuster, nearly getting the fall. Young clotheslines E out of the ring but also falls out. E hits a Belly to Belly on Young. Titus hits a Powerslam on E. Woods flies at Titus but Titus catches him. E clips Titus’s knee and Kofi hits Trouble in Paradise to retain the titles at 23:42.
WINNERS AND STILL CHAMPIONS: The New Day
RATING: **3/4. Kinda clunky, disjointed and a bit messy, but it was nice to see Kalisto have a nice spot off the ceiling and The Ascension looking semi-strong for a change. The Prime Time Players also looked great. The problem was that The New Day didn’t seem to be given much to do and, once Kidd and Cesaro were eliminated, there wasn’t much tension left in the last quarter of this match. All in all, not a bad start to the show.
ON SMACKDOWN: Rusev hurt his foot, so he’s out of the IC Title match.
Dolph Ziggler is backstage. Lana approaches him and wishes him good luck. He says that he’s sorry for Rusev not being in the match. Lana says it isn’t about him. Ziggler says that it doesn’t matter. He hopes it will be about him and Lana when the match is over. Lana says she’d like that.
MATCH #2: Nikki Bella (championship) vs. Naomi (challenger) vs. Paige (challenger) in a Triple Threat Match for the WWE Divas Championship
Nikki gets dumped into the Triple Threat Match Black Hole, so it’s Paige and vs. Naomi and her magical glow shoes. Paige clotheslines the hell out of her and hits a dropkick. She hits a Superkick but misses the second one. Naomi tries a cross body but Paige catches her for a Fallaway Slam. Two count. Nikki gets back in the ring and drops Paige’s face across her knee. She tosses Paige into Naomi in the corner and clotheslines Paige. Alabama Slam by Nikki and Naomi tries a roll-up pin, getting two. Nikki misses an Enzuguri. Paige covers for two. Naomi sends Nikki back outside and hits a suplex on Paige. Legdrop by Naomi. Naomi props Paige on the buckle and tries a Super Side Suplex but Paige elbows out. Nikki gets in the ring and hits a nice powerbomb, covering both Naomi and Paige for two. Nikki tries the Rack Attack, so Naomi hits the stupid Rear View. Paige saves it and grabs Nikki for the PTO. Naomi saves it and hits an awful looking Hurricarana off the the top buckle on a counter, getting two. Seriously, I’m surprised she didn’t break Paige’s neck. Nikki grabs Naomi and hits the Rack Attack and #NIKKIWINSLOL to retain at 6:05.
WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION: Nikki Bella via Rack Attack
RATING: *3/4. Is there a reason why Nikki still has this title? Where are we going with any of these three women?
Post-match, Brie makes an appearance to celebrate with Nikki.
We get the build-up for Cena/Owens.
MATCH #3: NXT Champion Kevin Owens vs. WWE United States Champion John Cena (non-title)
Huge fight feel for this one. Owens tries a side headlock but gets shoulder tackled by Cena. Owens kicks at Cena and then hammers on him in the corner. Cena comes back with a Bulldog. Owens counters by kicking Cena to the head when Cena tries a back body drop. He hits a chinlock on Cena but the ref tells him to break as it’s done outside the ropes. Owens tosses Cena into the corner and celebrates. He stomps Cena some more, then taunts and punches him for two. Headlock by Owens but SUPERCENA breaks it. He goes for an AA but Owens counters into a DDT for two. Owens continues to work Cena over and continues to celebrate. Cena rolls him up for two. Owens hits a clothesline and Reverse Senton. Two count. Owens tells Cena to punch at him. They exchange shots. Cena hits the first two Moves of Doom and then hits a version of Sheamus’s cross for two. Owens hits a flipping splash on Cena in the corner and it’s another two count. Owens tells Cena to “give up”. Cena comes back with punches but Owens grabs him for the Pop-Up Powerbomb. Cena escapes and it’s Moves 1 through 3. He hits the 5KS and goes for the AA but Owens breaks it and hits the Pop-Up Powerbomb for two. Owens is shocked and climbs the corner buckle. Cena gets up and stops the ascent and the two punch one another. Owens headbutts him off and misses a Moonsault.
Cena grabs him for the AA! Owens kicks out! The two men trade shots until Owens hits a nice Superkick to knock Cena down and out. Owens gets to his feet and then goes for the 5KS — but Cena grabs him on the run back and hits the STF. Owens nearly gets to the ropes. Cena breaks his own move and tries to lock it in again but Owens kicks out and hits an AA! CLOSE FALL. Owens runs at Cena who kicks Owens and hits a Tornado DDT for another close fall. Cena climbs the buckle and hits the Flying Legdrop for ANOTHER close fall. Cena tries the AA but can’t get Owens up. Owens picks Cena up and hits a Sitting Powerbomb of sorts. Two count. Owens grabs Cena again and belts him in the face, telling him to stay down. Cena fights back and hits the Springboard Stunner, nearly getting the fall. Cena gets to his feet first and then props Owens on the top turnbuckle. Cena goes for the Superplex but OWENS COUNTERS WITH A SUPER FISHERMAN’S SUPLEX! Two count! Reverse Senton by Owens! TWO COUNT. Owens runs at Cena who hits a clothesline. Cena gets to his feet and runs at Owens who hits the Pop-Up Powerbomb for the WIN!!! Clock it at 20:02.
WINNER: Kevin Owens via Pop-Up Powerbomb
RATING: *****. This was outstanding on every single level. What a match.
Post-match, Owens has the mic. He says that everyone now knows who he is. He’s the man who started a fight with John Cena and he’s also the man who finished it. He says that Cena’s time is up and his time is now. It’s time for Cena to go.
The CNN WWE News Desk of Doom discusses what just happened. Booker doesn’t say anything stupid this time, so there’s that.
Bo’s out for his match. He says he’s gonna force Neville to believe tonight.
MATCH #4: Bo Dallas vs. Neville
Dallas and Nevill exchange holds to begin. Neville flips across the ring and kicks Bo as he comes running at Neville. Neville goes for the Moonsault. Dallas moves outside. Neville hits the Moonsault to the outside anyhow. They get back in the ring. Neville continues to attack. Dallas gets to the ropes and tells Neville to back off, then screams at him, saying that he was only trying to help Neville. Neville kicks him, then tries to kick him again. Dallas grabs his leg and tosses him outside. Dallas puts him back up on the mat and clubs away at him. Back in the ring, he drops some knees and it’s a two count. Front facelock by Dallas. Neville fights back but Dallas just knees him in the face repeatedly. Dallas elbows Neville in the face twice. He misses a third, Neville breaks free. Dallas rushes him but Neville throws him into the ringpost and outside the ring. Dallas gets in to beat the ref’s count. Nevill hits his quick kicks and the Standing Shooting Star Press for two. Neville goes to follow up but Dallas dives at Neville, hitting him in the gut, then hits a quick DDT for two. Dallas tries the Bo-Dog but Neville breaks it and hits an Enzuguri. Neville hits The Red Arrow for the win at 8:51.
WINNER: Neville via Red Arrow
RATING: **1/4. Not a bad match. Both men are pretty over with the crowd.
Triple H bumps into Ambrose and Reigns backstage. He says that he can’t allow Reigns to be at ringside. He explains that Kane is only out there because he’s “an official”. He wishes Ambrose luck anyway.
The Elimination Chamber lowers and Daniel Bryan is at ringside as he’s going to present the title to who ever wins it tonight.
With that, we get the clip of Bryan giving up the IC Title 3 weeks ago on RAW.
MATCH #5: Mark Henry (challenger) vs. Sheamus (challenger) vs. R-Truth (challenger) vs. Ryback (challenger) vs. King Barrett (challenger) vs. Dolph Ziggler (challenger) in an Elimination Chamber Match for the vacant WWE Intercontinental Championship
Ziggler and Barrett start us off. The two men try for quick pins on one another. Barrett gets an advantage and hits a snap suplex. He belts Ziggler in the corner and taunts Mark Henry, asking if he likes what he’s seeing. Barrett kicks Ziggler in the ribs and it’s a two count. Headlock by Barrett. Ziggler breaks an hits a dropkick, Stinger Splash and neckbreaker. Elbow drop. Two count. Barrett botches a chest kick and sends Ziggler outside to the METAL GRATING THAT HURTS PEOPLE LIKE JBL TOLD US. He tosses Ziggler into Ryback’s pod, then taunts Ryback. Barrett throws Ziggler into the chains and punches at him. He screams at Sheamus as our four minutes are up…the next person is…
R-Truth. Barrett won’t let Truth out of his pod and kicks him. Barrett just clubs away and kicks at him, then throws him into the chains over and over. Ziggler gets to his feet but Barrett hits a Big Boot, knocking him down. He tosses Ziggler into the ringpost and celebrates. Truth finally gets into it and knocks Barrett down. Truth hits a Missile Dropkick off the buckles for two. Truth hits a Sitting Reverse Suplex and then a Scissors Kick. Barrett rolls to the corner. Truth splashes him, then runs at him again. Barrett grabs him for Winds of Change for two, which honestly surprises me. Ziggler rolls Barrett up for two. Superkick to Ziggler. Two count. Barrett tosses Ziggler at Mark Henry’s pod, breaking it. The ref tells Henry to get back in the pod — but it’s no-DQ. He’s in. He kicks the crap out of Barrett and splashes him for two as the next contestant is…
Ryback. And Henry is officially in this thing because why not? Ryback’s all over him, then slams Barrett against the turnbuckle. He hits a Spinebuster for two. He goes for a Powerbomb but Barrett counters and sends him outside. Ziggler ambushes Barrett and hits a nice pin for two. Barrett grabs him for Wasteland but Henry saves the pin and puts Barrett in the corner, beating him up and telling Barrett that he shouldn’t have taunted him. Barrett breaks out of the corner and tries the Bullhammer on Ziggler. Everyone gets a spot — and Truth hits the Lie Detector AND ELIMINATES BARRETT?! Am I living in an alternate universe?! Clock it at 11:04. It’s Pier 6 with Henry beating on Truth and Ryback and Ziggler in the other corner. Final contestant is, of course…
Sheamus…but his pod won’t open. Ruh-roh. All hell breaks loose and it’s a series of distraction roll-ups. Refs try their hardest to let Sheamus out but nothing is working. Ziggler, Ryback and Truth, meanwhile, work together to beat on Henry until Ryback takes out Ziggler and hits Shell Shock on Truth to eliminate him at 13:59. Sheamus is still stuck in the pod. Meanwhile, Ryback hits a Delayed Vertical Suplex on Ziggler, keeping him in the air for about half a minute before falling. He goes for the Meat Hook but Ziggler hits the Superkick. And…ok, Sheamus now gets out because he rigged the pod with his cross and waited for everyone to be unconscious. He clotheslines Ryback out, sends Ziggler into the pod and then beats on Henry before goes for a WSS which Sheamus somehow breaks because, suddenly, the WSS requires tossing your opponent on your shoulders. Sheamus hits a Brogue to eliminate Henry at 17:18.
Sheamus goes after Ziggler and tosses him into the ring. Sheamus hits short-arm clotheslines and then taunts Ziggler with kicks. Ziggler gets up and knocks Sheamus down, punching at him. Sheamus comes back with a quick shoulderblock and Suplex Throw for two. Sheamus tries another suplex but Ziggler counters into a small package for two. Ziggler hits a DDT and gets two. Ryback gets back up and tries a Powerbomb. Ziggler escapes and hits a Superkick, then a Fame-Asser on Sheamus. Sheamus gets up, counters a move and hits the Brogue to take out Ziggler at 20:25. It’s Ryback vs. Sheamus with Sheamus hitting a powerslam. Two count. Sheamus slaps at Ryback, taunting him, then points at Daniel Bryan at ringside. Ryback gets up and hits lariats and a powerslam. He clubs at Sheamus in the corner and then hits a Powerslam in Stride. He sets up for the Meat Hook but Sheamus rolls out of the ring. Sheamus starts fucking around with his pod and Ryback interrupts. Sheamus grabs him and hits White Noise. Close fall. Sheamus starts trying Ten Beats but Ryback pulls Sheamus out of the ring. Sheamus counters and tosses Ryback into a pod, then hits a Rolling Senton. Sheamus runs at Ryback who grabs him and powerbombs him back into the ring. Ryback hits Shell Shock to finally end this crap and win the IC Title at 25:12.
WINNER AND NEW CHAMPION: Ryback via Shell Shock
RATING: 1/2 a *. This was a whole pile of nope. No memorable spots, a new low reached with Truth eliminating Barrett, destroying whatever credibility Barrett had left, and some sort of botched “angle” with Sheamus and his pod. Incredibly disjointed as well.
Post-match, Daniel Bryan presents the Intercontinental Championship to Ryback, asking the crowd if he deserves it. The crowd, audibly, answers half and half.
We get highlights from Cena vs. Owens — and there’s a rematch between the two slated for Money in the Bank because WWE can’t leave well enough alone.
Also, the MITB match will feature Kofi Kingston because reasons.
We get the build-up for tonight’s main event.
MATCH #6: Seth Rollins (champion) (w/ J&J Security – Jamie Noble & Joey Mercury – and Kane) vs. Dean Ambrose (challenger) for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
The two exchange armbars and wristlocks. Rollins elbows out and snap mares Ambrose to the mat. Ambrose breaks. Rollins hits a shoulderblock but Ambrose hits nice Steamboat-esque armdrags and puts Rollins in a wristlock, then an armbar. Dean breaks it and Rollins rolls out of the ring. Rollins huddles with “Security”, then gets back into the ring. Rollins belts Ambrose in the face and stomps at him in the corner. Ambrose comes back with a cross body and hits a forearm in the corner. Ambrose hits two huge chops, then ties Rollins up with the top rope and dropkicks him. He hits a flying legdrop and gets two. They fight into the corner. Ambrose sends Rollins to the mat and goes for a high risk move. Security gets involved. Ref chases them off. Rollins gets on the top buckle while Ambrose hangs upside down on the top buckle and hits a Falling Stomp. Rollins kicks Ambrose in the head and hits a forearm once back in the ring. Two count.
Headlock by by Rollins but Ambrose breaks and sends Rollins to the mat. Ambrose runs at him but Rollins trips him and Ambrose heads into the ringpost. Ambrose gets back up and Rollins bounces around and punches him like Muhammad Ali. Ambrose comes back with a flurry of punches but Rollins flies at Ambrose and yanks him to the mat for two. J&J mock the ref for being blind as Rollins bleeds from the mouth. Rollins hits a Short-Arm Clothesline back in the ring. He tries another one but Ambrose escapes. The two men run at one another and collide in mid-air. Rollins gets to his feet, as does Ambrose. Ambrose hits some quick punches and chops and some shoulder tacklers. The two men roll each other up several times before Ambrose drops Rollins on his face, getting a near fall. Ambrose gets up and splashes Rollins in the corner. Security pulls Rollins out of the ring, so Ambrose dives at him and knocks him over the announce table.
Ambrose and Rollins get up. Ambrose tosses him back in the ring. Rollins tries a backslide putting his feet on the ropes. Mercury gets on the mat and yells at the ref for catching it. Ambrose rolls Rollins up. Rollins kicks out and quickly hits a Superkick. Rollins goes top rope but Ambrose gets up and punches at him. He tries for a Superplex but Rollins grabs him for a Buckle Bomb. Ambrose fights out and both men spill outside. Security tries to get involved and Rollins takes over again, hitting the Buckle Bomb against the crowd barrier. He rolls Ambrose back in the ring for a two count. Rollins hits a Flying Kneedrop for another close fall. Ambrose gets up as does Rollins. He puts Ambrose in the corner and taunts him. He runs at Ambrose, hitting a forearm. Ambrose hangs on the second rope. Rollins picks him up and hits a clotheline in the corner. Ambrose follows with his own. Rollins misses a splash. Ambrose hits a DDT.
Ambrose gets to his feet, ties Rollins up on the top rope again — but misses the Flying Legdrop. Rollins sends Ambrose into the ropes for the Rebound Clothesline. Two count. Ambrose goes top rope and hits a Flying Elbow for a close fall. Ambrose gets up and picks up Rollins. Security gets involved for the 47th time and Rollins takes over, sending Ambrose out of the ring. He dives at Ambrose, then sends him back in. He tries the Buckle Bomb but Ambrose hits a clothesline. Security and Kane get involved. Ambrose beats them all back, then dives at all three of them. Back in the ring, Ambrose gets to the top buckle but Rollins grabs the official and it’s a ref bump. Several counters later, Ambrose hits Dirty Deeds with no ref — but, WHOA! Here comes one — and Ambrose gets the pin to win the title! Mark it around 21:25. Why do I suddenly get the sneaking suspicion that this isn’t gonna stand…please don’t tell me they’re going where I think they’re going…
WINNER AND NEW CHAMPION: Dean Ambrose via Dirty Deeds
RATING: ***1/4. Severely overbooked. Please let this stand. Please don’t fuck this up. Please…
Post-match, it’s a fucking Dusty Finish. The ref who wakes up says that Rollins held on to him and Ambrose clocked him, so it’s a DQ with Ambrose the winner. Still champion, however, is Rollins. Crowd is FURIOUS, chanting “BULLSHIT” at the top of their lungs and I don’t blame them.
What’s more fun than a Dusty Finish? Ambrose not giving up the title. So Rollins, J&J and Kane do the mudhole stomp until Reigns finally shows up to take the title away from Rollins, give it to Ambrose and fight off Security, Rollins and Kane. Ambrose grabs a mic and says that, as far as he’s concerned, he won the Championship — and he’s leaving with it. Ambrose and Reigns escape into the crowd as Rollins screams at Ambrose from inside the ring, so that makes up for things…but not by much.
Here’s the amended results, if you care:
WINNER: Dean Ambrose via DQ
STILL CHAMPION: Seth Rollins
RATING: **1/4. Andy PG pinged me on Facebook and weighed in, saying that the Ambrose/Rollins “rematch would be nuclear”. I totally agree — but this finish was ridiculous. It doesn’t ruin the show by any stretch — and I love the angle with Ambrose basically saying “fuck you” and taking off with the title which — but, overbooking aside, the Dusty Finish was played out in the 80’s and it often pissed off a lot of people. This is no different. It’s bad enough that this is WWE fucking around with the booking for the second time with these two. You’ll recall last year when Ambrose and Rollins were scheduled to fight — but WWE dumped their match at the last second, pissing off fans who had paid to see them jump in the ring together.
We finally go off the air.
OVERALL: Cena and Owens owned this show. It was the only thing on it that is worthy of repeat viewings. The Tag Title match was decent but the Diva’s match and IC Title match were cringe-worthy affairs. The big title match wasn’t bad until the Dusty Finish which, while it makes Ambrose or Rollins not look weak, it’s just another example of why fans have issues with the current product. I will go **3/4 for the show as a whole. One great match doesn’t correct everything else.
And, before we go…The Best of the Internet Water Cooler: