The WWE decided to give Network subscribers, including those on the free month trial of May one last treat to close out the month with a Network Exclusive event. The Elimination Chamber PPV was removed from the 2015 lineup in place of FastLane so the WWE decided to throw it into the end of May just two weeks after Payback.
The event initially seemed that it would only comprise of a couple of Elimination Chamber matches, but the event quickly evolved into essentially a regular PPV, which could only have been seen on the WWE Network.
A new Intercontinental Champion was decided, we got the first ever tag team Elimination Chamber match with the titles on the line, a Divas Championship triple threat, a reliable Rollins/Ambrose matchup for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, and finally a treat of a matchup between John Cena and Kevin Owens. That’s what we had going in, but how did the event unfold?
Here’s the entire match card:
(Pre-Show) Stardust vs. Zack Ryder
– WWE Tag Team Championship Elimnation Chamber Match:
The New Day (C) vs. Cesaro & Tyson Kidd vs. Los Matadores vs. The Ascension vs. The Prime Time Players vs. The Lucha Dragons
– Neville vs. Bo Dallas
– Champion vs. Champion: John Cena vs. Kevin Owens
– WWE Intercontinental Championship (Vacant) Elimination Chamber Match:
King Barrett vs. Sheamus vs. R-Truth vs. Ryback vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Rusev
– WWE Divas Championship: Nikki Bella (C) vs. Paige vs. Naomi
– WWE World Heavyweight Championship: Seth Rollins (C) vs. Dean Ambrose
Let’s break this one down. Did the WWE Network exclusive deliver?
** Spoiler Alert, the match results are included
Stardust vs. Zack Ryder
In an impromptu pre-show match, we get Stardust and Zack Ryder. Stardust got some early offense in, before Ryder fired back with some dropciks and armdrags.
Stardust eventually lands the Rhodes family uppercut. Stardust keeps wailing on Ryder, but the Long Island Iced Z fought back with a neckbreaker. Both men struggle to get to their feet, but Ryder gets the upperhand.
Stardust eventually goes for a pin, but gets caught using the ropes as leverage. While being scolded by the referee, Stardust hist a Side Effect. Ryder is able to turn the tables on Stardust and lands a Broski Boot. Ryder goes to finish off Stardust with the Rough Ryder, but misses and gets countered into the Queen’s Crossbow. Stardust scores the pin.
Match Rating: 5/10. Decent match, typical throwaway pre-show match.
Other Pre-show highlights:
– Miz TV with Daniel Bryan as a guest. The two exchange some words. Miz berates Bryan for pandering to the audience, dressing like them and offers his help to make Bryan a bigger star. Bryan rejects his offer and soon brings out Macho Mandow and Axelmania to attack Miz.
The New Day (C) vs. Cesaro & Tyson Kidd vs. Los Matadores vs. The Ascension vs. The Prime Time Players vs. The Lucha Dragons
The event kicks off with the first ever tag team Elimination Chamber match, with The New Day’s tag titles on the line. Prior to the show, Kane rewarded The New Day by allowing all three members to compete in the match (wow, all three guys squished together in the pod can’t be comfortable).
The Ascension and The Lucha Dragons open the match with the other four locked in their pods. The Ascension get the early hand, but the Dragons answer with some high flying double team moves. The Dragons catapult themselves to the top of the pods. Sin Cara delivers a swanton from the top of the pod. Kalisto tries to jump off, but The New Day pulls Kalisto down from their pod, with Kalisto landing on the steel.
Cesaro and Tyson Kidd enter the match. European uppcerut to Sin Cara is followed by a couple to The Ascension. Kidd climbs the pod to superplex Kalisto. Kalisto fights him off, but Cesaro climbs it and uppercuts him, then hits the superplex. A springboard elbow by Kidd follows, with a cover, but it’s broken up by Sin Cara.
The Ascension work their way back into the match, and the three teams exchange offense. Kalisto again climbs the chamber, with action still going on in the ring. Los Matadores then enter the match. El Torito jumps off a pod and gives the hurricanrana to Cesaro. Kalisto has now climbed to the peak of the chamber. He hangs off, and drops in a steep cross body from the summit.
El Torito attempts the same, but The Ascension catch him and launch him into his team. They score the pin on Diego following a Fall of Man.
The Dragons try to go high again, but Victor and Connor stop them and soon eliminate The Luchas as well by hitting the Fall of Man on Kalisto.
The Prime Time Players enter the match. Titus uses his power to drive Victor into the cage. Darren Young hits the Gut Check to eliminate them.
Kidd and Cesaro then get the upper hand on Darren and Titus. Cesaro gutwrenches Darren from the top rope but is powerbombed by Titus simultaneously. Titus hits a spinebuter on Kidd. The New Day enters the match last with both opposing teams still groggy.
The four opponents are wailed on for a while but eventually all four hit a triple suples on New Day. Cesaro and Kidd then throw Xavier Woods into a pod and lock him in. Cesaro swings Kofi, but Darren rolls up Cesaro from behind to score the quick pin. We’re left with New Day and Prime Time Players. Big E gets Woods out of the pod. Now essentially a 3-on-2 handicap match, The New Day attacks Darren and Titus. They drag Titus to the cage wall, sticking his neck through the chains and stomping away. Darren manages to fight off Kofi and Xavier, and dodges a Big E spear, with Big E crashing into the corner.
Titus cleans some house, throwing Kofi into the cage and knocking down Big E. Darren Young hits the Gut Check on Kofi, but Kofi kicks out at two.
Big E delivers a belly to belly to Darren on the steel floor. The New Day gang up on Titus in the ring, with Kofi hitting a Trouble in Paradise. They swarm Titus for the pin to get the win.
Winners: The New Day (C)
Match Rating: 8/10 – Great opening match with no shortage of action. A little too much of a spot-fest at times. Are Darren and Titus no.1 contenders going forward?
Nikki Bella (C) vs. Paige vs. Naomi
Brie Bella and Tamina are banned from ringside (damn). Nikki forearms Naomi, but Paige tackles the champion. Naomi whips Nikki into the announce table then misses a cross body on Paige. Paige goes on the attack, hitting a fallaway slam on Naomi for a near fall.
Nikki makes her way back in and soon and hits an Alabama slam on Paige. Naomi takes advantage and throws Nikki into the turnbuckle. She throws Nikki out of the ring. Naomi hoits Paige to the top rope. Another Tower of Doom spot comes, with Nikki powerbombing both opponents, getting a near fall.
Nikki goes for a Rack Attack on Paige, but Naomi hits a Rear View on Nikki, with the count broken up by Paige. Naomi reverses an electric chair drop into a reverse half-hurricanrana (not sure what it was supposed to be, looked a little sloppy). Nikki sneaks up behind Naomi and hits the Rack Attack for the victory. Brie comes out to celebrate with her twin.
Winner: Nikki (C)
Match Rating: 6/10
John Cena vs. Kevin Owens
Perhaps the most intriguing match of the night, given that it was a fresh matchup, we get the United States Champion John Cena against the NXT Champion Kevin Owens. We get the NXT champ’s debut match on a main roster show.
Chain grapple leads to a Cena shoulder block. Owens pops up and the two circle again. Crowd goes into a typical split Cena chant. Owens knocks Cena down. Cena hits a running bulldog but Owens quickly pounces on Cena again. Owens slows the pace of the match and builds some heat with high impact strikes.
Cena breaks out of a sleeper, goes for the AA, but it’s reversed into a DDT for a near fall. Owens hits Cena with a boot to the face. Owens taunts him, but Cena comes with the schoolboy for a near fall. Owens quickly goes back onto the attack, knocking Cena down. The match seems to be building up Owens as a brawler.
Owens hits the Cannonball for a two count. Cena and Owens exchange strikes, Owens goes for the Pop-up Powerbomb, but it’s reversed into a shoulder tackle, suplex and five-knuckle shuffle. AA is revered and Owens hits the Pop-up Powerbomb, but Cena ‘shockingly’ kicks out at two.
Owens goes to the top, but Cena moves the ropes, crotching Owens on the top. Owens knocks him off the top rope, misses a moonsault and walks into an AA, but Owens kicks out at two. After an exchange of fists, Owens hits a superkick. He goes to deliver a five-knuckle shuffle to Cena, but Cena drop topeholds Owens into the STF. Owens escapes and hits an AA on Cena. Cena kicks out.
Cena soon perches to the second rope and scores a near fall off a tornado DDT. Cena follows it with a leg drop off the top. He goes for a second AA, but Owens reverses into a modified powerbomb for another near fall.
After an exchange, Cena hits a springboard stunner for a two count. Cena looks frustrated. He hoists Owens to the top, looking for a superplex. Owens somehow reverses it into his own, shifting 90 degrees. Owens hits a senton from the top for a near fall. The two get to their feet and Cena hits a clothesline.
Cena goes for another clothesline, but Owens ducks and hits a second Pop-up Powebomb for the 1…2…3! Owens defeats John Cena in his WWE debut match.
Owens cuts a promo after the match. He says, “now everyone knows who Kevin Owens is! I’m the man who started a fight with John Cena and I just finished that fight… John, I have some veteran advice, it’s time to go, because your time is up and my time is now. The champ is here!”
Winner: Kevin Owens
Match Rating: 10/10 – Owens delivers in his big WWE debut. Smart booking decision to have Owens go over, as he’s here to stay on the main roster. We likely just saw the first of many matches between these two.
Neville vs. Bo Dallas
Two fellow NXT alumni follow the NXT champ’s big win. Neville knocks Bo to the outside and his the moonsault to the floor. Bo shifts the momentum back in the ring and knocks down Neville, screaming to him “I was trying to help you!”
Bo knees Neville and taunts him. Neville turns the tables and lands some lightning quick strikes on Dallas. Hits a standing shooting star press for a two count. Bo gets up and hits a DDT.
Bo tries to hit the bulldog, but it’s reversed into an enziguri. Neville climbs the turnbuckle and hits the Red Arrow for the win.
Match Rating: The match was pretty pedestrian, save for Neville’s usual displays of freakish agility and air time. Inevitably a letdown after Owens/Cena.
Vacant Intercontinental Championship:
King Barrett vs. Sheamus vs. R-Truth vs. Ryback vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Mark Henry (in for injured Rusev)
Daniel Bryan is at ringside, ready to hand the vacated championship to the winner. Mark Henry comes out and is replacing an injured Rusev. Barrett and Ziggler start the match.
Barrett gets much of the early offense in on Ziggler, Ziggler turns the tables and delivers a neckbreaker and elbow drop for a near fall. Barrett knocks Ziggler to the outside and whips him into a pod, then the chains. R-Truth (why is he in this match?) enters, but Barrett pounces on him before he gets a chance to leave his pod. Barrett gets him in the ring, but is sidetracked by Dolph.
Truth takes advantage and hits a missle dropkick for a near fall. He follows it up with a scissors kick and corner splash, but Barrett hits a sidewalk slam. He then super kicks Dolph for a near fall. Barrett rams Ziggler through Henry’s pod. An angered Henry comes in and goes to town on Barrett. A leg drop gets a near fall (so he’s unofficially, officially in the match because his pod broke?) Ryback enters the match as well (officially) and wails on Henry and Barrett. Dolph gets back in and is soon met with a Wasteland by Barrett. Henry breaks up the count and resumes attacking Barrett. (crowd doesn’t really seem into the match.)
Dolph counters the Bullhammer and sends Barrett into a a barrage of finishing moves ending with R-Truth pinning Barrett (urghhh).
Sheamus enters the match last. The door gets stuck and Sheamus can’t leave the pod. Ryback cleans house in the ring, delivering a Shell Shock to Truth for the pin. Sheamus is still stuck.
Ryback hits a hanging vertical suplex to Ziggler and winds up for the Meathook but Ziggler counters with a kick. Sheamus picks the lock on the pod with his Celtic Cross. He throws Ziggler through the pod’s glass.
Sheamus taunts Henry but suffers a splash for his troubles. After kicking out, he rakes Henry’s eyes and eliminates him with a Brogue Kick. We’re down to three. Ziggler and Ryback take turns absorbing punishment from Sheamus.
Ziggler is able to get the upper hand with a DDT to Sheamus, but he soon suffers a Brogue Kick to eliminate him. We’re down to Sheamus and Ryback.
Sheamus powerslams Ryback for a quick near fall. Sheamus points to Bryan at ringside as he sets up for a Brogue Kick, but Ryback powers back with some knockdowns. He hits a powerslam of his own. Ryback goes for Shell Shock on the outside, but it’s revered into a White Noise on the steel. Sheamus rolls him back in and gets a near fall. Sheamus goes for more damage on the outside, but gets caught. Ryback powerbombs Sheamus back into the ring and hits Shell Shock for the win.
Winner: Ryback, NEW Intercontinental Champion
Match Rating: 6/10 – Didn’t quite measure up to the previous chamber match, but a solid outing by all participants. Daniel Bryan congratulates the Big Guy and hands him the IC title belt.
Seth Rollins (C) vs. Dean Ambrose
Ambrose gets the upper hand and Rollins rolls to the outside to regroup with his entourage. Rollins momentarily gains momentum, but Ambrose regains it, continuing his unorthodox offense and stays on Rollins. Rollins catches Ambrose in a tree of woe thanks to a distraction by J&J. A double foot stomp to his sternum leads to a near fall.
Rollins starts slapping Ambrose arounds and hits a spinning back elbow, in complete control of the match. A double cross body knock both men down and the ref begins a 10-count.
Back on their feet, Ambrose begins a barrage of fists and chops. The two chain into multiple pin attempts, but neither can score the pin. J&J pull the champ out of the ring, but Ambrose hits a suicide dive through the ropes. Ambrose brings Rollins back in the ring and the two exchange covers on roll-ups again, with Rollins caught putting his feet on the ropes.
Ambrose gets Rollins perches on the top turnbuckle and goes for a superplex. Rollns rolled through going for a powerbomb, but Ambrose fights his way out of it and the two end up on the outside. Rollins powerbomb tosses Ambrose into the barricade, rolls him back in the ring and gets a near fall.
Rollins hits a flying knee off the top rope, followed by a curtain call. Ambrose soon regains the momentum and gets a near fall following a tornado DDT. Ambrose stays on the attack and scores a couple more near falls. Ambrose goes for Dirty Deeds but a distraction by J&J allows Rollins to regain the momentum. Ambrose fights off Rollins and launches himself from the top to the outside to take out J&J and Kane. A
mbrose jumps off the top to hit Rollins, but Rollins pulls the ref in the way, knocking him out. He goes for the Pedigree, but it’s fought off and Ambrose hits Dirty Deeds. A second referee runs down the aisle and counts, 1… 2… 3! Ambrose shockingly wins the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, or does he?
The first referee comes back in the ring, explaining to the second official that Rollins deliberately put him in harm’s way and explains the decision. Rollins is instead disqualified and thus retains the championship. The Authority then attacks Ambrose, but Roman Reigns comes out to save his former Shield brother.
Ambrose grabs the mic and says he’s taking the WWE World Heavyweight Championship with him.
Winner: Dean Ambrose via DQ – Rollins retains the title
Match Rating: 7.5/10 – Good match, although we’ve seen better from these two. The DQ will inevitably result in more title matches between these two and Ambrose has built even more sympathy with the audience. This feud could carry the next couple of PPVs.
*** Solid event overall, considering it was thrown together in a span of two weeks.
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