So, if you happened to read my predictions for the Elimination Chamber then you realize something right off the bat.
I was wrong.
Yep, I’ll admit it. And not only with my predictions, but also with the fact that the finishes would let us down. And while a few matches ended up like we all expected, there were some curveballs throw our way. The kind of stuff no one saw coming. Wow, just wow. WWE, you have done it to us again. Let’s take a look back at the swerves and turns that was the Elimination Chamber.
Zack Ryder vs. Stardust (Pre-show match)
First off, I was just excited to see Ryder on a PPV. He’s getting more and more TV time and it’s well deserved. He’s over with the crowd, has a working gimmick and can go in the ring. And I know this match probably had more to do with the developing angle between Stardust and Steven Amell (Green Arrow) but it was a solid opening match. Stardust got the win but I’d like to believe that Ryder is beginning to elevate his game and garner more screen time. As for the Green Arrow/Stardust angle, I’m not sure how I feel about it. WWE has a history of being very good at bringing in outside, main stream talent to promote their product so it wouldn’t surprise me to see this match go down at Summer Slam like the rumors are leading us to believe.
New Day vs. Prime Time Players vs. Kidd/Cesaro vs. Lucha Dragons vs. the Ascension vs. Los Matadores (Tag Team title match in the Elimination Chamber)
It was a nice spin to put all three members of New Day into the match and just a good variation on the Elimination Chamber itself and even with the actual match being a bit sloppy, there were some very nice spots that kept the match exciting and interesting. This match went about as expected, except it was the Prime Time Players eventually losing to New Day instead of Kidd/Cesaro. I’m hoping this means that PTP is going to be featured more on TV. Both Darren Young and Titus O’Neil can work and are very deserving of more air-time in the ever grown Tag Team division in WWE. New Day would retain after all three members covered O’Neil.
Then on Raw: We saw a singles match between Dolph Zigger and Kofi Kingston turn into a 6-man tag. After New Day interfeared in the match, PTP would come to the rescue and it would be O’Neil eventually picking up the win. Again, great to see PTP getting some more time on TV and setting up a potential rivalry with New Day. Especially with a rumored injury to Tyson Kidd in a dark match before Raw.
Nikki Bella vs. Naomi vs. Paige (Divas Title Match)
This was just bad. No other way to say it. Blown spots and flying hair ran rampant throughout this match and it was very visible that the timing was just off. Maybe I’m just spoiled by the fantastic women’s matches we see in NXT, but main roster divas HAVE to step their game up with so much talent just waiting to take their spot. None the less, Nikki Bella retained her title on what looks like her march to dethroning A.J. Lee for the title of “longest reigning Diva’s champion ever”.
Then on Raw: Paige challenges Nikki to a singles championship match, which she promptly accepts. The match itself was a bit better but the finish was horrible. “Twin Magic” made another appearance as Brie Bella switched spots with Nikki and got the roll-up finish for Nikki to retain the title. Only problem, they look NOTHING alike anymore. I get it, suspension of disbelief and what not. But c’mon. Do better WWE.
Kevin Owens vs. John Cena (Champion vs. Champion Match)
Match of the
night… year… century. WOW. Just wow. In what could be argued as the greatest debut in WWE history, Kevin Owens did not disappoint. The build to this match has been quick but worked perfectly. Both these men were at the top of their game during this match and putting aside Cena’s 5 moves of doom, the spots in this match were fantastic. Owens was able to show off his strength and ruthless nature while Cena showed his toughness and resilience. With the length of the match and so many kick-outs, I’ll admit it looked like another win for Super Cena was coming. But it was Kevin Owens who walked out victorious and CLEAN I might add. The push Owens is getting is enormous and the rematch is already set up for Money in the Bank. Presumably, Cena gets the win this time around, but after what we saw at the Chamber, you just never know.
Then on Raw: Owens came out to cut a promo only to be interrupted but Cena and promptly taken to school. Cena did what Cena does and showed why he is still the best in the WWE on the mic. I did like Owens bringing his family into the dialogue, which worked very well in NXT. It makes it feel more real and there’s no reason to think it won’t work on the main roster as well.
Neville vs. Bo Dallas
A solid match that showed these two still have the chemistry they showed together back in their NXT days. It’s nice to see Bo Dallas once again getting a push. Combine that with the push Neville is getting and you have all the makings of a budding rivalry. Their differentiating styles play off each other nicely and keep the flow of the match entertaining. I also love Bo’s ability on the mic and it saves Neville from having to do too much talking (one of his weaker points) as well.
Then on Raw: The rematch happened. Short, quick and another win for Neville. Bo was also very short and sweet on the mic as well, showing an angrier side to his character. I’m hoping this match was just cut for time and they aren’t burying Bo Dallas once again. He’s too good not to be on Raw or SmackDown every week. Here’s hoping they don’t waste him like they have in the past.
Sheamus vs. Ryback vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Wade Barrett vs. R-Truth vs. Mark Henry (IC Title Match in the Elimination Chamber)
Mark Henry was the man elected to take the spot of the ailing Rusev, which was a solid choice. (I love me some World’s Strongest Man) The match itself though was a little clunky, a risk you take putting that many big men in one ring at the same time. I’m not sure if the Chamber getting destroyed and letting Henry out early was supposed to happen, but I liked it. The “screw this, I’m not waiting” look from Henry was gold! When all was said and done, Sheamus and Ryback closed the match with a few good spots and it was Ryback, much to my fellow writer’s chagrin (Ahem…. Joe) getting the win and being presented the IC Title by Daniel Bryan himself. It was nice moment for the crowd and an even better reward for Ryback, who has been busting his butt lately to work his way up the roster.
Then on Raw: Ryback was slated to defend the title vs. The Miz. But before it could happen, Weeeellllllll…. Well it’s the Big
Slow Show. Show made his return and put Ryback on notice. Sadly, this will probably turn into a rivalry that goes on way too long and disappoints us all. Still, happy to see Ryback with a title around his waist.
As expected, these two brought the house down. Forgive me for wrapping this up quickly, but I felt the ending was the most important part. Of course the crowd exploded when Ambrose got the pin. But it was to be foiled as the win was by DQ, which of course means the title couldn’t change hands. Still, Ambrose would leave the arena with the title, setting up a nice angle/feud with him having the belt yet Rollins still keeping the title as champion.
Then on Raw: The Authority opens the show and demands the title back. Reigns comes out and says Dean Ambrose wants a rematch at Money in the Bank. After a hissy fit, Seth Rollins accepts the LADDER match stipulation, against the Authority’s wishes and storms out. Later that night, Ambrose would show up and help a weary Reigns clean house before once again leaving the arena with the title in hand. Presumably, Reigns and Ambrose drank copious amounts of beer afterwards. A finish that would make Stone Cold proud.
So, there it was. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the Elimination Chamber and Raw in the comments section below.