Elimination Chamber 2015 came and went without any real occurrences…apart from, of course, the Kevin Owens vs John Cena match! Everything apart from that screamed filler event (I can’t even call it a PPV!). The two elimination chamber matches felt disjointed and thrown together in a rush (especially the Intercontinental Championship match). The only other notable match was the main event, but even that didn’t have a great feel about it. Two weeks isn’t enough to build a Special Event! But, at the end of the night, it was all about Kevin Owens vs John Cena…
The New Day (c) vs Cesaro/Kidd vs The Ascension vs Los Matadores vs Prime Time Players vs Lucha Dragons-Elimination Chamber match for the Tag Team Championships
The Lucha Dragons and The Ascension started off. The Ascension have been treated like a joke since their debut on Raw, so why should we care about them? The Lucha Dragons made the first five minutes exciting with their high-flying offence, and Ceasro/Kidd continued to put on an impressive show when they entered the chamber. But as soon as Los Matadores entered, the match fell apart. Kalisto took ages to climb the chamber, and then even longer preparing himself to fall onto the participants below. The wrestlers below him waited at least two minutes for him to fall, which looked like amateur hour. The Ascension took all of the excitement out of the match by quickly eliminating the Dragons and the Matadores. Then the Prime Time Players entered, further deflating the match. However, some impressive spots stood out, such as the suplex from Cesaro onto Darren Young from on top of a pod. And when The New Day entered, a massive quadruple suplex involving all the remaining teams deserved applause. However, the elimination of Cesaro/Kidd also eliminated any suspence about the match’s outcome. Who thought the PTP would win the match? No long after, The New Day pick up the win. Apart from three or four great spots, the match felt like a normal match stuck inside the chamber.
WINNER: The New Day
VERDICT: 6/10. Cluttered yet somewhat dull at times, the match was saved by big spots that stood out among the mediocrity. Better tag teams are needed…
Nikki Bella (c) vs Naomi vs Paige-Diva’s Championship Match
Another better than average Diva’s match that just needed more time! Instead, they rushed through big moves in a race to the finish. I also think Paige was knocked silly after landing hard on her head after Nikki’s Alabama Slam, which didn’t help matters. Again, like the previous match, a few spots stood out among the dullness. A powerbomb/German suplex combination from the top rope involving the three ladies didn’t look great, but was at least an attempt to spice up the match. Naomi’s reverse Frankensteiner on Paige didn’t go well either, and Paige landed hard on her head again. Nikki won the match with ease after hitting the Rack Attack on Naomi. A decent match, but nothing more.
WINNER: Nikki Bella
VERDICT: 5/10. This match needed more time! The average short women’s match with a few nice spots.
John Cena vs Kevin Owens
This was the match I most anticipated. The others held intrigue for me, but even with the two week build, this match seemed like the main event to me. And it should have occupied the main event slot! What a match. Kevin Owens made a huge impact during the match. We’ve only seen the bully side of Owens in NXT. We saw the pure wrestling side of Owens against Cena. A moonsault, a senton bomb, a hanging fisherman buster (is that what it’s called?)…and who else marked out when Owens set up his Package Piledriver? Of course, he modified it into a slam, as only the Undertaker can execute a piledriver in the WWE. But Owens moved with the finesse and grace of a smaller wrestler. Compared to Owens, some of Cena’s offence looked terrible. The springboard stunner, in particular, needs to be expelled from Cena’s move list. But, in all fairness, Cena carried his side of the match quite well.
Match of the Year contender? I sure think so! It descended into big moves/near falls fest towards the end and suffered for a lack of selling, but that is a small qualm for the quality on show in the match. The near-falls were heart-stopping! And, of course, Owens defeated Cena…cleanly! The second Pop-Up Powerbomb put Cena down for the three count. It’s a moment that left me staring at the TV in disbelief. Did my eyes deceive me? Was there some screwiness involved? No, there was no deception. After a brilliant match, Owens cleanly pinned John Cena. Wow. Just wow!
WINNER: KEVIN OWENS!!!
VERDICT: 9/10. I’m tempted to go for 10/10 just because Kevin Owens won…but I am not that much of a mark! A brilliant match, and a definite Match of the Year contender.
Bo Dallas vs Neville
It’s a shame this match had to follow Cena and Owens. The crowd were exhausted, and I was exhausted. They tried their best, but really, who cares about Bo Dallas? Neville was never going to lose this match. Neville always lights up an arena with his flashy moves, and I suppose I can’t complain that he was fighting Bo Dallas. A place on a Special Event is a worthy place, regardless of the match, right? But this had ‘filler match’ written all over it. But at least we got to see Neville’s Red Arrow.
VERDICT: 3/10. Filler filler filler!
Ryback vs Sheamus vs Dolph Ziggler vs R-Truth vs King Barrett vs Mark Henry-Elimination Chamber Match for the Intercontinental Championship
Yes, you read that right. WWE replaced the injured Rusev with Mark Henry. Immediately, that killed the match for me. Mark Henry? Really? What about Bray Wyatt? Or the winner of the previous match? What had Mark Henry done to deserve the match? The same can be said about R-Truth, of course. The match started out well with Ziggler and Barrett, but as soon as R-Truth entered, it was downhill from there. Nobody gelled, the action was terrible to average, and nobody seemed to know what was going on. To make matters worse, R-Truth eliminated Barrett! What has Barrett done wrong? Ziggler was hurled into Henry’s pod at one point, and Henry entered the match. Was that supposed to happen? Henry slowed down and muddied proceedings even more. Sheamus’ spot of being trapped in his pod left the other wrestlers scratching their groins. Ryback tried to waste time with a stalling suplex on Ziggler, but it only served to increase the crowd’s boredom. It came down to Sheamus and Ryback, and both wrestlers tried hard to re-engage the crowd after the turgid action they had witnessed. Admirable, but mistaken. Slamming each other on the chamber floor didn’t engage the crowd at all. They only became involved after Ryback hit Shellshock for the victory, and Daniel Bryan awarded the title to Ryback. The crowd were probably relieved that the match was over.
VERDICT: 3/10. A mess of a match. No one knew what they were doing. Mark Henry’s inclusion made no sense at all. Barrett was wasted in the match. So many things wrong…so little space to write about!!!
Seth Rollins (c) vs Dean Ambrose-WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match
In a peculiar start, the two wrestlers grappled and wrestled with each other. For a feud that stretches back to last summer, why didn’t it start with a brawl? It diluted my interest in the match for the first five minutes, until the action heated up. It developed into a very good, but not a great, match. The crowd, whilst fans of Ambrose, did not see this match as a main event. And neither did I, to be honest. Ambrose has been shoved into the main event as there are barely any main event babyfaces to fight Rollins. However, the two wrestlers gradually dragged me and the crowd into the match by their bloody hard work! The inevitable interference by Kane and co dragged things down a little, but it was nowhere near as distracting as it has been in the past couple of Special Events. Ambrose and Rollins work so well together that the match built to a crescendo towards the end, as it should.
However, straight after Rollins used the referee to take the brunt of Ambrose’s flying elbow, we all knew what was going to happen. Ambrose hit Dirty Deeds and got the pin after another ref made the three count, but the original referee overturned the decision. Ambrose won by disqualification, so Rollins retained the championship. The Authority attacked Ambrose, but Roman Reigns made the save. Ambrose escaped with the championship…
WINNER: Dean Ambrose by DQ, so Seth Rollins retains the WWE Championship
VERDICT: 7/10. The match took a while to get going, but when it got going, the action was very good. But it did feel like a match between two top mid-carders rather than two main eventers…
OVERALL VERDICT: 6/10. A Special Event only made special by one match: Cena vs Owens. The two elimination chamber matches were overblown and cluttered. The main event didn’t feel like a main event at all. However, we’ll all be talking about Cena vs Owens for a long time…or until Cena wins the rematch! Remember WWE, two weeks build does not make a Special Event.
(Click here for my review of the previous Special, WWE Payback)