So, interestingly enough, this was originally scheduled to be a regular WWE House Show, but it was decided a few weeks prior that this would be put together as a WWE Network Exclusive. It’s pretty cool to see that they’re actually using the WWE Network to put out exclusive content.
WWE Elimination Chamber 2015
Corpus Christi, Texas 5/31/15
1.) Stardust vs. Zack Ryder: *3/4
There’s really not much to say here. It was a pointless pre-show match that served absolutely no purpose. Stardust gets the win.
We did get something a little more noteworthy on this pre-show, as Daniel Bryan was a guest on Miz TV. Bryan had to vacate the WWE Intercontinental Title a few weeks prior after going down with an injury. The Miz is with Summer Rae, who is his co-star in The Marine 4. He takes credit for all of the success that Daniel Bryan has had in the WWE (as he was Bryan’s NXT mentor back when Bryan signed with WWE). Bryan says that his career is not finished (though, unfortunately, it would come to an end with his official retirement in early 2016). He hypes up his new book coming out, and says that Miz TV is boring. This leads to Bryan bring out The Mega Powers. The Miz attacks Macho Mandow immediately, but with the help of his partner, Curtis Axel, he’s able to take out The Miz.
1.) WWE Tag Team Titles – Elimination Chamber Match – The New Day (Big E, Kofi Kingston, & Xavier Woods) vs. Cesaro & Tyson Kidd vs. The Lucha Dragons vs. The Prime Time Players vs. The Ascension vs. Los Matadores (with El Torito): ***1/4
This is the first of two Elimination Chamber Matches tonight, and for the first time, the WWE Tag Team Titles are on the line inside this infamous structure. I was curious to see how this would play out, considering that there would be twelve people inside the Elimination Chamber. Actually, scratch that, there were fourteen people in this match, as Xavier Woods & El Torito were allowed inside the Elimination Chamber, for some reason. This was probably as good as it could have been. It had its good moments, but there were some sloppy moments in here as well. Los Matadores & The Lucha Dragons were both eliminated by The Ascension (in that order). After that, The Ascension, followed by Cesaro & Tyson Kidd, were both eliminated by The Prime Time Players. Finally, The New Day would eliminate Darren Young & Titus O’Neil to win the match and retain the WWE Tag Team Titles.
2.) WWE Diva’s Title – Triple Threat Match – Nikki Bella vs. Naomi vs. Paige: **
So after having conflicts with both Naomi & Paige over the past few months, Nikki Bella is defending her title against both in a Triple Threat Match. I actually had hopes that this could be good. In some ways, it was better than the usual Diva’s Match. On the other hand, there were a number of notable botches, including a messed up Tower of Doom spot, and a Reverse Rana attempt (that’s the key word, right there) by Naomi on Paige that just looked horrible. It’s honestly more memorable for those mistakes than some of the actual decent work in the match itself. Nikki Bella would get the win to retain her Diva’s Title.
3.) Champion vs. Champion Non-Title Match – WWE United States Champion John Cena vs. NXT Champion Kevin Owens: ****1/2
This was easily the most anticipated match on this entire show. A few weeks prior on RAW, then-NXT Champion Kevin Owens made his debut on RAW, and immediately made a statement by attacking, both verbally and physically, WWE United States Champion John Cena. I think a lot of people had high hopes for this match coming in, and I can firmly say that it definitely delivered. This match was awesome!! There was a ton of great back & forth action from start to finish. Owens is great at pretty much everything he does, and really shined here. Cena was able to hold his own here as well, and interesting enough, kind of wrestled a Kevin Owens/Indie-Style of match, with a lot of big MOVEZ (with a “Z”, of course). The big story here is that Kevin Owens won clean as a sheet in the middle of the ring. Its crazy to think that, just a little over a year prior, I saw Kevin Steen wrestle Shinsuke Nakamura in the Hammerstein Ballroom for ROH & NJPW, and then a year later, he’s beaten arguably the biggest wrestling star of the 21st Century. A really awesome moment, and an incredible match!!
4.) Neville vs. Bo Dallas: **3/4
The two men who had the unenviable task of following Kevin Owens vs. John Cena ended up being Neville and, of all people, Bo Dallas. To be fair, this was actually a pretty decent match. These two did work together in NXT (they were the Main Event of the first NXT TakeOver Special), so there is some experience there. The only criticism I have is that I think Bo Dallas was in control for a little longer than he needed to be. Other than that, this was fine for what it was. Neville would get the win with the Red Arrow.
5.) WWE Intercontinental Title – Elimination Chamber Match – King Barrett vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. R-Truth vs. Mark Henry vs. Ryback vs. Sheamus: **1/4
As I mentioned earlier, Daniel Bryan had to vacate the Intercontinental Title a few weeks prior due to an injury. These six men were selected to fight it out inside The Elimination Chamber to decide who would be the new champion. I believe Rusev was originally scheduled to be in this match, but he suffered an ankle injury (if I recall correctly), and was replaced by Mark Henry. Unfortunately, this match was not that good. In fact, I’d say this was the worst Elimination Chamber Match ever held. The Elimination Chamber is one of my favorite matches in WWE. No matter who is involved, they’re usually always good. That changed on this show. This was just not good. There wasn’t a lot of good action, guys were breaking up pin attempts (which is counter-productive in an elimination-style match) the crowd was silent for the most part, and it was, as a whole, just boring. Sheamus tried to “cheat the system” a little bit, by using his metal cross to jam the door shut, so he could enter the match at just the right time. King Barrett would be eliminated first (hasn’t done much of note since becoming “King”…except lose), followed by R-Truth, and then Mark Henry. Dolph Ziggler would then be eliminated, and finally, Ryback eliminated Sheamus to win the match and the WWE Intercontinental Title. For Ryback, it’s his first title win in his WWE Career.
After the match, Daniel Bryan came out to congratulate and celebrate with the new Intercontinental Champion.
6.) WWE World Heavyweight Title – Seth Rollins (with The Authority) vs. Dean Ambrose: ***1/2
Following Payback, Dean Ambrose resumed his feud with his former Shield partner Seth Rollins. This time, the feud involves the WWE World Heavyweight Title. Now, earlier in the night, Triple H made a decree that if Roman Reigns interfered in the Main Event, Dean Ambrose would be automatically disqualified. Now the match itself was honestly not that bad. The action was pretty solid, and there were some cool spots. Unfortunately, there was interference from both Kane as well as J & J Security. Then, there was the finish. Towards the end of the match, the original referee gets taken out when Rollins pulls him in front of an incoming Ambrose. A second referee comes out, and shortly thereafter, counts the pin for Dean Ambrose, who has seemingly won the WWE World Heavyweight Title!! However, the original referee recovers, and rules that Dean Ambrose has won the match by DQ, meaning that Rollins retains the WWE World Heavyweight Title (and from that, we get one of the most ridiculous facial reactions EVER from Seth Rollins). Like I said, the match was good, but this was a typical Dusty Finish, and I think it pissed a lot of people off.
After the match, The Authority beat down Dean Ambrose, until Roman Reigns comes out to make the save! He cleans house, and Ambrose proclaims that he’s taking the WWE World Heavyweight Title, which Rollins left in the ring. He & Reigns then exit through the crowd with the title belt to close the show.
This was the definition of a one-match show. John Cena vs. Kevin Owens was an instant classic, and easily one of the best matches we’ve seen on WWE’s Main Roster in 2015 (up to this point). The build was really good, and Owens became a star by pinning Cena clean in the middle of the ring. Unfortunately, there really wasn’t much else on the main card. The Main Event was solid, but a variety of shenanigans and storyline stuff brought it down, in my view. Both Elimination Chamber Matches were ultimately disappointments, with the WWE Tag Team Title Elimination Chamber being good, but sloppy, while the WWE Intercontinental Title was extremely disappointing. There wasn’t anything overtly bad on this show, but it wasn’t that good, for the most part. This show is only worth checking out for Cena vs. Owens, and you can pretty much skip everything else.