Let me get this out of the way early. My favorite WWE pay-per-view isn’t Wrestlemania. While The Grandaddy of Them All is touted to be the biggest wrestling event of every year, I think the Royal Rumble is the better pay-per-view. Now, you would think that Wrestlemania would be my second favorite WWE event but it isn’t. Wrestlemania is actually my third favorite pay-per-view. That’s because Elimination Chamber is my second favorite pay-per-view of the year.
The only issue I had with the Elimination Chamber shows were it happened just before Wrestlemania. And since the Wrestlemania matches are already made, it takes a lot of the surprise regarding what’s going to happen. But this year, WWE decided to place the event in June! Well, that means there’s a chance to be surprised with title changes and whatnot! So, let’s go through each match and see if they actually do that.
Match #1: Elimination Chamber for the Tag Team Titles: The New Day vs. The Prime Time Players vs. Los Matadores vs. Tyson Kidd and Cesaro vs. The Ascension vs. The Lucha Dragons
The first ever Elimination Chamber match for the Tag Titles!
This was actually the match I was excited for. I really love tag team bouts so having 8 tag team vie for the titles in an Elimination Chamber should be good. I was right for the most part. Some spots really look staged, like the one where Kalisto climbed to the middle of the Chamber and dropped down onto his opponents. There was an incredibly long pause before he dropped and it really looked like the other wrestlers were “prepping” for the fall. Cesaro pulled off some really fantastic stunts, like that leap onto the top ropes to deliver a humungous European uppercut!
Unfortunately, things slowed down drastically when Los Matadores and The Lucha Dragons were eliminated in quick succession by The Ascension. That’s not to say that The Prime Time Players, who were the 2nd to the last team to enter, didn’t have a good showing. It was nice to see them showing their more brutal side. The finish came after Kofi hit his Trouble In Paradise on Titus O’Neil. Got really clumsy at the end but still an exciting match overall.
Rating: 8 of 10 flying Kalistos
Match #2: Triple Threat Match for the Divas Title: Nikki Bella vs. Naomi vs. Paige
Dare I hope Nikki Bella loses the title this time around?
The reason why I don’t like Nikki holding onto the Divas title is not because I dislike the person… well, that part of it, honestly. But the biggest reason I hate her as the current champ is because nothing’s being done with her! Her feuds have been duds and she doesn’t work as a good guy/gal. Not only that, I honestly believe Paige and Naomi would be more interesting. They would give better matches, without a doubt.
This match pretty much proves my argument. When Paige and Naomi were in the ring, the match was good. When Nikki was in it, it just sucked! Nikki messed up a couple of moves as well! The finish came hit her Rack Attack finisher from out of nowhere to end the match without an ounce of drama and excitement the match deserved. Boo!
Rating: 4 of 10… please get the belt off the Bella Twins prayers
Match #3: United States Champion John Cena vs NXT Champion Kevin Owens (for absolutely nothing)
So… both of these guys have titles but none of them are on the line? What gives?
Love him or hate him, there’s no denying that John Cena can pull off fantastic work in the ring. I’ve been watching Kevin Owens over at NXT for a while now and I have to say, I’m incredibly impressed by the man! And this match… well, this match was exceptional! This was a phenomenal bout between two exceptional wrestlers!
There were just too many crazy and exciting spots to mention. The GIF above is just one of the them! But there were more. A lot more! The finish came when Kevin Owens ducked a clothesline from Cena, enabling the NXT Champ to hit the pop-up powerbomb, his finisher and pinning the Doctor of Thuganomics in a clean and extremely exciting match. Two thumbs up!
Rating: 9 of 10 pop-up powerbombs!
Match #4: Bo Dallas vs. Neville
Am I watching NXT?
Actually, I wish I was watching NXT. The matches between Bo Dallas and Neville had a lot of good spots and drama. The match they had during Elimination Chamber, however, was a snoozefest. While Neville managed to show off his agility and athletic skills and Bo Dallas was okay, nothing really special happened. The finish came after Neville escapes the Running Bo-dawg, kicks Bo Dallas in the head and performs his spectacular Red Arrow finisher. This was a match more suited for Raw… or even Main Event.
Rating: 5 of 10 Bo-lieve chants
Match #5: Elimination Chamber for the vacant Intercontinental Championship: Dolph Ziggler vs. Bad News Barrett vs. Sheamus vs. Ryback vs. R-Truth vs. Mark Henry
If you saw the poster for the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view, you already have a good idea who’s gonna win.
Too bad Rusev couldn’t join the party as he’s out with an injury. I was honestly hoping that either Bray Wyatt, Luke Harper or Erick Rowan was going to take his place. But I guess Mark Henry is a good substitute considering he’s from Texas and the event is being held in the same state. Still, I think Rusev not being able to compete threw a huge monkey-wrench in the WWE’s plans for this match as, boy, was it rough!
There were a lot of spot wherein all the participants looks lost and didn’t know what to do! At one point, Mark Henry’s pod was smashed open so Mark decided to jump into the bout! Not sure if it was scripted or not but it really looked awkward so I’m going to say that wasn’t planned. At one point, Dolph Ziggler was just pointing around the ring for God know why! It was just a confusing mess! The finish came when Ryback hit Shellshock on Sheamus for the win.
Really sloppy. I expected more from these veterans wrestlers, especially Dolph Ziggler! Unfortunately, this was a God-awful mess of an Elimination Chamber match.
Rating: 4 of 10 smashed Mark Henry pods
Match #6: WWE Heavyweight Championship match: Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose
Apparently, we still can’t get enough of the Authority. Seth Rollins was flaked by Authority lackeys, which included Kane and J&J Security. Roman Reigns was banned from ringside by Triple H as he may “interfere” in the match. Which, of course, meant The Authority flunkies could do pretty much what they wanted.
However, Ambrose was still able to make a huge comeback at the end, taking out Rollins with a flying elbow even if Rollins partially blocked the attack with the referee. Ambrose then hit Dirty Deeds while the ref was knocked out… but, lo and behold, out comes a second referee to count the pin! And, to my surprise, Dean Ambrose won the WWE Heavyweight Championshi… hold on.
The first ref then comes in and reverses the decision. Dean Ambrose did win the match but by disqualification and not by pinfalls. As the title can’t change hands via disqualification, Seth Rollins is still champion! But Dean refuses to let go of the belt! The Authority attack but Dean is saved by Roman Reigns! Dean Ambrose then proclaims he’s keeping the belt and leaves through the crowd alongside Reigns!
Okay, the ending is kind of crappy but I can see the WWE doing a lot of things with this. Also, it kind of suits Dean Ambrose’s personality to hold onto the belt even though he didn’t win it on a technicality. After all, he did the same thing with the Intercontinental Title just before Wrestlemania! Overall, this was a fun match marred by a terrible ending to close out the Elimination Chamber PPV.
Rating: 7 of 10 Seths retaining due to a technicality
Overall Review for Elimination Chamber (2015)
Honestly, this was a very uneven event. It was marred by the awful Triple Threat Divas match and a rather lackluster Elimination Chamber match for the Intercontinental belt. Even when the WWE tried to counterbalance the entire affair with the excellent John Cena vs. Kevin Owens bout, it was hard to get the awful aftertaste the bad matches had.
The WWE really needs to work on their finishes. One of the reasons why the Cena-Owen match worked well was because it ended cleanly. While it’s nice to get a few screwjobs in, that shouldn’t be the norm. Yet, the WWE insists on making complicated finishes every chance they get. Sometimes, it’s necessary to keep things simple.
Rating: 6 of 10 missing Rusevs
So, is Elimination Chamber still my second favorite PPV? Well, let’s see what they have in store next year… I can’t have one lackluster show sour my disposition just yet.
What did you think of this years Elimination Chamber pay-per view? Let me know in the comments section below!