5/31 Powell's WWE Elimination Chamber PPV results and review: Kevin Owens vs. John Cena, Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, Elimination Chamber matches for the vacant IC Title and the WWE Tag Team Championship
By Jason Powell
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WWE Elimination Chamber 2015
Aired live on WWE Network
Corpus Christi, Texas at American Bank Center
The Kickoff Show highlights included Daniel Bryan announcing he is not retiring and will be coming back (he did not list a date), the announcement that Rusev is out of Elimination Chamber, and Stardust defeated Zack Ryder. Find the detailed report on the main page...
An Elimination Chamber video opened the show... Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler, and JBL were on commentary...
Ring entrances for the tag title match took place. It was announced by Kane on the Kickoff show that all three members of New Day would be allowed to enter the match. Eden Stiles ran through the rules of the match, which call for pods opening every four minutes, and teams can be eliminated at any time. Cole noted that the first entrants would be locked inside the pod to start the match...
1. New Day vs. Tyson Kidd & Cesaro (w/Natalya) vs. The Lucha Dragons vs. The Prime Time Players vs. The Ascension vs. Los Matadores (w/El Torito) in an Elimination Chamber match for the WWE Tag Team Championship. Natalya had purple hair. El Torito stood on top of his team's pod. The Ascension and The Lucha Dragons opened the match.
There was a clever spot early with Kalisto going to the top of New Day's pod only to have them pull his legs through the chains to stop him from performing a move. He freed himself and had a chance to jump off, but instead he started yelling Lucha and pumping his fists like a moron, so New Day pulled his legs through again.
At 4:15, Kidd and Cesaro entered the match. Cesaro ended up superplexing Kalisto off the top of the pod. Kalisto eventually climbed all the way to the top of the Elimination Chamber structure. At 8:15, Los Matadores entered the match to groans, but Torito performed a huracanrana off the top of the pod. Kalisto let go and fell onto a group of wrestlers in the middle of the ring. The fans chanted "this is awesome" a short time later. "This is absolutely horrible," JBL replied.
Torito attempted a dive from the roof of the cage, but Ascension caught him and slammed him. They hit Fall of Man on one of the Los Matadores members and pinned him. Los Matadores were eliminated by The Ascension in 10:20. The Ascension hit Fall of Man on Kalisto and pinned him. The Lucha Dragons were eliminated by The Ascension in 11:20. Cole said this is the best The Ascension have looked in WWE.
At 12:40, the Prime Time Players entered the match. They hit their finisher on Viktor. The Ascension were eliminated by The Prime Time Players in 13:40. At 16:40, all three members of New Day became the final entrants in the match, which also contained Kidd & Cesaro, and the Prime Time Players. The four babyface wrestlers teamed up to suplex all three New Day members.
Kidd and Cesaro roughed up Woods, threw him inside a pod, and closed the door. Kidd and Cesaro teamed up to hit their finisher on Kingston, but Darren Young rolled up Cesaro and pinned him. Kidd and Cesaro were eliminated by The Prime Time Players in 18:30. The match came down to New Day and the Prime Time Players.
Late in the match, Big E performed a wicked suplex on the grating outside the ring. New Day cut off a move that Titus O'Neil was going for and then all three men piled on top of him to win the match and retain the titles...
New Day eliminated Prime Time Players in 23:40 to retain the WWE Tag Team Championship.
Powell's POV: A train wreck opener that held the crowd's interest. There were some crazy spots and it felt like TNA's Thunder Dome )or whatever the hell they called that domed structure these days) than it did a typical WWE Elimination Chamber match. It was a bit risky to have Young pin Cesaro, as Kidd and Cesaro were the fan favorites and if that had been poorly received the fans would have been left with two teams they disliked. They weren't as hot for the Players as they were for Kidd and Cesaro, but they disliked New Day and liked Titus O'Neil's power moves.
A video hyped Money in the Bank, and Cole noted that it's only two weeks away. He said they would reveal some of the participants in the MITB match later in the show. They also addressed the news that Rusev is out of the Elimination Chamber match. Cole said Rusev suffered a fractured foot during his match against Ryback on Smackdown...
Backstage, Lana spoke with Dolph Ziggler, who said when he comes back as champion "it will be about us." Lana said she would really like that...
2. Nikki Bella vs. Paige vs. Naomi in a Triple Threat for the WWE Divas Championship. No one is allowed at ringside per an earlier announcement. Things fell apart a bit around 2:40 when Nikki threw a kick coming off the ropes at no one, though it looked like Paige was racing to get into position. They came back with a crazy tower of doom spot with Nikki throwing Naomi off, resulting in Paige being suplexed from the top of the tower.
Nikki set up for a Rack Attack on Paige, but Naomi hit her with the Rearview to break it up. Naomi covered Nikki, but Paige broke it up. Paige locked in the PTO on Nikki, but Naomi recovered and broke that up at 5:10. Nikki ended up hitting the Rack Attack on Naomi and pinning her. Brie Bella came out afterward and celebrated with her sister...
Nikki Bella defeated Naomi and Paige in 6:05 to retain the Divas Championship.
An ad for Swerved aired...
Powell's POV: The women worked hard, but there were some clunky moments, including Naomi's reverse huracanrana on Paige and that ghost that Nikki Bella kicked earlier. I appreciate the effort, but I'd rather see a crisper basic match than botched innovation. I'm also not crazy about Naomi losing here. They were doing an nice job of establishing her heel persona, but she needs wins to make it work. Paige could have absorbed the loss, but maybe the future booking plans will make this seem more logical in retrospect.
A video package recapped the John Cena vs. Kevin Owens feud...
3. NXT Champion Kevin Owens vs. U.S. Champion John Cena in a non-title match. Owens had the first prolonged stretch of offense. There was a loud "NXT" chant at 3:15. Cena tried to put Owens in Attitude Adjustment position, but Owens slipped away and DDT'd him and then covered him for a two count. There were dueling Cena chants right before Owens silenced the fans with a big boot to Cena's face.
Cena came back with a rollup, but Owens kicked out and then clotheslined Cena. Owens continued to dominate the match and performed a cannonball on Cena in the corner, then covered him for two at 7:45. A short time later, Owens went for the pop-up powerbomb, but Cena avoided it and connected with a shoulder block to take control of the match.
Cena hit the Five Knuckle Shuffle and then set up for the AA, but Owens shoved him off and hit the pop-up powerbomb for two. Cena avoided an Owens springboard moonsault from the corner, then hit the AA, but Owens kicked out at two.
At 11:45, Cena and Owens traded punches. Owens caught Cena with a superkick after ducking a Cena punch. With Cena down, Owens looked at the fans. He performed his own "You Can't See Me." Owens went for the Five Knuckle Shuffle, but Cena grabbed his leg and locked him in the STF. Owens crawled toward the ropes, but Cena tried to bring him back inside. Owens pushed Cena off.
At 13:10, Owens hoisted up Cena, did the "You Can't See Me" hand gesture, and put Cena down with the AA. Owens covered Cena for two. The announcers raved that Owens was backing up his words. Cena came back with a tornado DDT and got another two count at 14:05.
At 14:45, Cena performed a top rope leg drop to the back of Owens' head and got another two count. "These superstars are kicking out of everything," Cole said. Truer words have never been spoken. Owens came back and performed a powerbomb and got another two count. Owens showed frustration over not being able to put away Cena.
At 16:25, Owens punched Cena and then barked at him to stay down. Cena shot back with a big punch and they ended up trading punches. Cena performed the Springboard Stunner for a two count at 17:05. Cena went for a move off the ropes, but Owens countered into a suplex style slam and covered Cena for another good near fall. Owens followed up with a senton for yet another two count at 18:30.
Cena came back with a clothesline at 19:10. He followed up with a second clothesline and turned Owens inside out. Moments later, Owens caught Cena with a pop-up powerbomb and pinned him clean...
Kevin Owens pinned John Cena in 19:50.
After the match, Owens took the mic and recalled saying that anyone who didn't know him yet isn't worth his time. "Well, now everyone knows who Kevin Owens is," he said. "I'm the man who started a fight with John Cena, but I'm also the man who just finished that fight. And now that I've beaten John Cena, John I have some veteran advice. It's time for you to go because your time is way up, but my time is now because the champ is here!" Owens held up the NXT Championship and his music played...
Powell's POV: Wow! I did not expect to see a clean finish, but I absolutely love it. Obviously, it makes Owens a major player in his first main roster match. It also gives Cena a shocking loss and something to come back from rather than always being on top of the world. Here's hoping they don't even things up too soon. The longer Owens has the advantage, the bigger it will be when Cena eventually beats him. This had a big match feel and it will be hard to top it for match of the night and certainly for the most memorable moment of the night.
The pre-show panel spoke and acted shocked by Owens defeating Cena...
Bo Dallas cut a promo on his way to the ring. He said it's too late for Neville, and he's going to force him to Bolieve...
Powell's POV: I don't think the Owens win bodes well for Bo Dallas. I assume they try to get the crowd fired up again with a Red Arrow win for Neville. By the way, they did get some fun shots of shocked fans in the crowd following the Owens win.
4. Neville vs. Bo Dallas. There was an NXT chant to start the match, but it was smaller than before and faded quickly. The broadcast team spoke about what a big night it was for NXT, so they're not shying away from it. Neville had Bo in position for his finisher, but Bo rolled to ringside. Neville performed a moonsault from the top rope and onto Bo on the floor.
Bo came back and put Neville's head under the top of the ring apron before throwing several punches at his head. Neville eventually came back and hit the Red Arrow for the clean win...
Neville defeated Bo Dallas in 8:50.
Powell's POV: These guys were put in a tough spot considered the crowd was pretty shocked by the result of the previous match. If you like the Bo Dallas character as I do, then it was nice to see that it wasn't a lopsided squash match. YOu had to know that Neville was going over, though, given the result of the previous match.
Backstage, Triple H approached Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns. He brought up Kevin Owens and said what a fight. Hunter said he overheard Reigns saying earlier that he would be at ringside. He praised their bond, but he said Reigns doesn't have the authority to be there. Hunter said Kane will be there in an official capacity, but he can't allow Reigns to be there. Hunter said that if Reigns gets involved in the match, then Ambrose will be disqualified. "But, hey, good luck, I've got a good feeling about this," Hunter said...
Powell's POV: Is there a reason that Reigns or especially the wild card Ambrose character wouldn't just punch Triple H in the face instead of listening to him stack the deck? At least they waited until the show started to tell us that Kane would be involved in the title match on the third straight live special. I don't think I could have taken even two weeks of questions about what Kane would do overshadowing the title match.
The Elimination Chamber structure lowered around the ring... The broadcast team set up footage of Daniel Bryan relinquishing the Intercontinental Title match... Eden Stiles handled the ring introductions for the IC Title match. Mark Henry was the first entrant as the man replacing Rusev...
5. Mark Henry vs. Sheamus vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Ryback vs. King Barrett vs. R-Truth in an Elimination Chamber match for the vacant Intercontinental Championship. Ziggler and Barrett started the match with the other four locked inside their pods. The crowd was very quiet as the match started. Ziggler took Barrett down and let out a primal scream to liven up the fans at 2:40.
R-Truth was the next entrant, which did nothing to liven up the crowd. In fairness to Truth, he didn't get much of a chance, as Barrett waited for the door to open and then attacked him before he could even walk through the door. Truth came back with a dropkick on Barrett for a two count. Truth followed up with a scissors kick, and Barrett rolled away. Truth performed a splash in the corner, but Barrett came right back with Winds of Change for a two count.
Barrett tried to taunt Henry by ramming Ziggler into his pod. However, the pod door broke and Henry was able to enter the match. Ryback entered the match a short time later. Barrett ate a superkick from Ziggler and Snake Eyes from Ryback, then a Lie Detector from Truth before being pinned. Bad News Barrett was eliminated by R-Truth in 10:45.
At 13:00, Ryback, Ziggler, and Truth all teamed up on Henry. However, Ryback clotheslined Ziggler at 13:25, then followed up with Shellshocked on Truth. R-Truth was eliminated by Ryback in 13:35. The announcers said Sheamus is supposed to be in the match, but his door was stuck.
Ryback set up for the Meathook Clothesline, but ran into a superkick from Ziggler. At 15:35, Sheamus smiled as he removed his Celtic Cross from his pod door. "Are you not entertained?" he asked the crowd. Sheamus slammed Ziggler into a pod, then taunted Henry.
Henry performed a running splash on Sheamus, who kicked out at two. Henry went for his finisher, but Sheamus slipped away and then Brogue Kicked him. Mark Henry was eliminated by Sheamus in 17:15.
At 19:40, Ziggler caught Sheamus with a DDT for a two count. Ryback recovered after a long layoff, but Ziggler superkicked him. Ziggler dodged a Brogue Kick and then caught Sheamus with the Fameasser, but Sheamus got up and Brogue Kickedhim. Dolph Ziggler was eliminated by Sheamus in 20:25.
The match came down to Ryback and Sheamus. The crowd, which was fairly quiet throughout the match, started a brief Feed Me More chant. Sheamus pointed at Daniel Bryan, who was seated at ringside next to the Intercontinental Title podium.
At 23:00, Ryback prevented Sheamus from trying to return to his pod, but Sheamus came right back with White Noise on the grated area. Sheamus rolled Ryback inside and covered him for two.
At 24:55, Ryback slammed Sheamus into the fencing and then powerbombed him. Ryback followed up with Shellshocked and pinned Sheamus clean...
Ryback defeated Sheamus to win the Intercontinental Championship in 25:10.
After the match, Bryan entered the ring with the title belt and pointed at Ryback. "I think a congratulations is in order to the Ryback," Bryan said. He asked the fans if they think he deserves it, then said, "You know what, I think he deserves it." Bryan led the crowd in a Yes chant and then handed Ryback the belt. Ryback shook Bryan's hand and then said that Bryan is an inspiration to "these people" and to "the big guy"...
Powell's POV: A flat Elimination Chamber match. It doesn't help that WWE failed to make the title feel important going into this match. Sure, they sent some poor production assistant to Home Depot to pick up that little podium for the title belt, but they did nothing beyond that to make it feel important. The announcers played up that Ryback won his first title in WWE. That would have meant something if they had played that up before now. I like the post match with Bryan endorsing the Ryback win.
An ad aired for the Steve Austin interview with Paul Heyman that airs after Raw on WWE Network tomorrow... A Money in the Bank commercial aired... The announcers recapped the Owens win over Cena...
Kevin Owens vs. John Cena II was officially announced for Money in the Bank...
Dolph Ziggler, Neville, Roman Reigns, Randy Orton, Kofi Kingston, and Sheamus will compete in the Money in the Bank match. Cole stressed that these are not the only participants who will be in the match...
Powell's POV: Congratulations to Roman Reigns on winning MITB unless there's a shocker name added or they go with someone who isn't going to cash in successfully.
A video package set up the main event...
Ring entrances for the main event took place. Seth Rollins, Kane, and J&J Security were out first, then Dean Ambrose made his solo entrance to a really nice pop before Lilian Garcia handled the in-ring introductions for the title match...
6. Seth Rollins (w/Kane, J&J Security) vs. Dean Ambrose for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Rollins grabbed control around 7:00 and there was a light "let's go Ambrose" chant. Rollins slapped and punched Ambrose, who bounced off the ropes and returned fire with several punches.
At 10:15, Ambrose had a flurry that resulted in a couple of near falls that the live crowd didn't really but into. Ambrose went for a bulldog, but Joey Mercury pulled Rollins to the floor to break it up. Ambrose performed a suicide dive that sent he and Rollins crashing over the broadcast table. The suddenly easy crowd chanted "this is awesome."
Rollins performed a backslide and used the ropes for leverage as he went for the pin until the referee caught him. Ambrose rolled him up for a good two count, then ate a superkick from Rollins who got a two count of his own.
At 14:05, Rollins performed a, well, barricade bomb on Ambrose at ringside. Back inside the ring, Ambrose kicked out of a cover, then ate a flying knee to the head for another two count.
Rollins taunted Ambrose in the corner by asking if he really thought he was championship material. Rollins said he's the future. They took turns hitting running forearms. Rollins came back with a really good tornado DDT for another two count.
At 18:20, Ambrose hit his big clothesline coming off the ropes and got another two count. He went up top and performed his flying elbow for yet another two count. Rollins took advantage of a J&J distraction to retain control and performed a suicide dive, then rolled Ambrose back inside the ring and buckle bombed him. However, Ambrose came out of the corner and clotheslined him.
Ambrose fought off Kane and J&J Security as they attempted to interfere. Ambrose went up top and ended up diving onto J&J Security and Kane. Rollins went to ringside and ate a clothesline. They headed back to the ring where Ambrose went for another elbow off the top rope, but Ambrose hit the referee on the way down.
With the referee bumped, Ambrose performed Dirty Deeds and had Rollins pinned. A second referee ran out and counted the pin at 21:40. Lilian Garcia introduced Ambrose as the winner and new champion. A graphic listed Ambrose as the new champion.
Ambrose celebrated with the title belt. The original referee returned to the ring and indicated that Rollins had pulled him in for the big bump spot earlier. The second referee went to ringside and informed the ring announcer that Ambrose won the match by DQ.
Dean Ambrose beat Seth Rollins by DQ in a WWE World Heavyweight Championship match in 21:40.
Ambrose looked stunned, and Rollins celebrated as if he was also surprised. Rollins and his crew attacked Ambrose, and Rollins took the belt back. Roman Reigns came out and delivered Superman punches and/or spears to Rollins and his crew, then gave Ambrose the title back and celebrated with him in the ring.
Ambrose went to ringside and took the mic. Ambrose said he won the match and he's taking the title belt with him. Ambrose and Reigns left through the crowd and celebrated with the title belt as Rollins threw a fit in the ring over not having his belt. Ambrose and Reigns celebrated with the fans in the aisle before heading into the concourse to close the show...
Powell's POV: The return of the Dusty finish! And I really don't mind it since I didn't have any expectations of a title change and because it's been a long time since that finish was run into the ground via repeated usage. Rollins and Ambrose both sold it perfectly when Garcia made the announcement of the referee's ruling, and the post match celebration was done well enough that it seemed like the live crowd was content with the finish. Overall, this show peaked with the Owens vs. Cena match, and the Elimination Chamber matches were disappointing, yet I still came away feeling like I saw a good setup for the Money in the Bank pay-per-view. Thanks for watching along with me tonight. Jake Barnett and I will be back later tonight with an audio review for Dot Net Members.
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