The SmarK Rant for WWE Elimination Chamber 2015 – 05.31.15
Live from Corpus Christi, TX
Your hosts are Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler & JBL
WWE Tag titles: The New Day v. The Ascension v. The Prime Time Players v. Cesaro & Kidd v. Los Matadores v. The Lucha Dragons
The New Day gets to compete with all three guys in the match, because of reasons. We start with Ascension v. Lucha Dragons, and the Dragons quickly dominate with double-teaming and a pair of sentons on Konnor. The Ascension tries to work Kalisto over, but he jumps on top of the New Day pod, where they grab his leg and beat on him. Both Dragons fight off the heels and Sin Cara hits Viktor with a swanton from the top of the pod, but New Day keeps pulling Kalisto down. Well, that was lame. So the Brass Ring Club is the next team in and they beat on Konnor with a 3D and Cesaro goes flying up to the top of the New Day pod to hit Kalisto with a forearm. He brings Kalisto down with a superplex into a Kidd flying elbow that gets two. The Ascension and BRC trade some stuff and Kidd gets the Sharpshooter on Viktor, but Konnor saves. Kalisto plays Spider-Man on the fence for some reason while Konnor hits a Dominator on Sin Cara for two, and the Matadores are the next ones in. Kalisto hangs from the very apex of the cage while everyone pools in the center, and he dives onto them in a really dangerous spot. I’d call that really needlessly reckless. And then the bull also climbs up the cage, but he lands on the Ascension and gets torpedoed out of the ring. Fall of Man finishes a matador at 10:33. Fall of Man finishes Kalisto at 11:24. This is some weird ass booking. Prime Time Players are in at 12:44 and they too fall victim to the, uh, awesome dominance of the Ascension, until Young suddenly hits his double knees finisher on Viktor to finish at 13:35. So what was the point of the Ascension running through 2 other teams? So Cesaro slugs it out with Young and hits a top rope gut wrench while some poor bastards try to start a “this is awesome” chant. It’s really not, guys. New Day is in with the other teams all beat up, and we get a wacky suplex with all the babyfaces suplexing all the heels. Cesaro tosses Woods into his pod and locks the door, evening things up, and we get the Giant Swing on Kofi into the dropkick, but Young rolls up Cesaro for the pin at 18:34 to suck the life out of the crowd. New Day chokes out Titus, but Young comes back and sends Big E into the pod and the Players make the comeback. Titus throws guys into the cage and Young hits his finisher on Kofi for two, but Big E suplexes Young onto the steel grating and the New Day triple-teams Titus to retain at 24:00. Yeah, this kinda sucked compared to most Chamber matches. **1/2 It was really disjointed and didn’t build to anything in particular that people wanted to see. Like why give the Ascension all those shine spots and then beat them a minute later? There were some good spots, but it wasn’t really a good match.
Meanwhile, Lana (who is rapidly losing her accent) wishes Dolph luck in the main event tonight.
Divas title: Nikki Bella v. Naomi v. Paige
Naomi hauls Nikki out to get rid of her right away, but misses a cross body on Paige. Paige hits the clotheslines and a fallaway slam for two. Nikki comes back in and we get some really awkward missed stuff, including Nikki trying a high kick and basically swinging at air two feet away from either girl, but Naomi dumps her and comes back on Paige. They pile up in the corner and we get a Tower of Doom powerbomb spot, but Naomi hits the butt-butt on Nikki for two. She does a really sloppy backwards rana on Paige and gets two, but Nikki hits her with the Rack Attack to retain at 6:00. Apparently we are supposed to cheer this development. It feels like they should have just put the title on Naomi here because she’s getting over. Usual women’s match but dragged down with ridiculous botched moves that they shouldn’t even be doing. *1/2
John Cena v. Kevin Owens
Hey, thanks to everyone who immediately e-mailed me after this match and spoiled it for me. My phone going crazy in my pocket probably should have tipped me off to something big happening. Jerry Lawler, on a roll of brainfarts tonight, calls him “Kevin Steen” during the ring introductions. Owens beats him down in the corner to start, but Cena comes back with the bulldog, so Owens whips him around the ring. Owens with a chinlock, but Cena tries to power out, so Owens hits the DDT for two. Owens slugs away, but Cena rolls him up for two, so Owens puts him down with a senton for two. Cena fights back, but Owens gets a version of White Noise for two. Cannonball in the corner gets two. Cena makes the comeback, but walks into the Pop Up Powerbomb for two. Owens to the top, but Cena trips him up and hits the FU for two. They slug it out and KO puts him down with a superkick, then stops for some mockery, which earns him an STF. Owens powers out and hits own FU for two, but Cena gets a tornado DDT for two. Guillotine legdrop gets two. Owens with the powerbomb for two. Owens slugs away, but Cena gets the stunner for two. To the top, but Owens reverses to a fisherman’s suplex in mid-air for two, then goes up again with a swanton for two. Cena puts him down with a lariat, but the Pop Up Powerbomb out of nowhere finishes at 19:55! The icing on the cake is the shots of all the horrified Cena fans in the audience crying. Even my wife, who was sitting there mocking both guys during the match, suddenly goes “HE BEAT JOHN CENA?!” And the announcers made sure to play this up as a huge deal. Everyone immediately compared this to Cena v. Brock, but this was more like Sting v. Vader with Cena getting a bunch of offense and constantly fighting back, but getting overwhelmed in the end. ****3/4 This would have to rank up there with the best examples ever of a new guy getting turned into a top level star in one night, done deal.
Meanwhile, the panel of idiots is in SHOCK.
Neville v. Bo Dallas
Neville works the knee and flips into a moonsault to the floor, which gets two. Bo dumps him to take over and hits a clothesline for two while we get a weird transition to the Chamber graphic out of nowhere. That seems like it might have been a mistake. Bo with a lengthy facelock while the announcers continue their inane bickering, but Neville throws him out to CREATE SEPARATION. Neville makes the comeback and finishes with the Red Arrow at 8:55. Going nearly 10 minutes with Dallas shows you the level that Neville is on now. *
Meanwhile, HHH informs Roman Reigns that, sadly, he cannot sanction Reigns being at ringside for the World title match tonight.
Intercontinental title: Sheamus v. Ryback v. R-Truth v. Dolph Ziggler v. King Barrett v. Mark Henry
Rusev injures himself so they put Mark Henry in there instead? That’s like having Jake Roberts as your AA sponsor. Ryback has dedicated this match to some kid at a gas station, in case you were wondering about his motivation. So we start with Ziggler and Barrett, and Dolph gets a pair of wacky rollups for two, but Barrett beats on him in the corner for two. We hit the chinlock and Dolph fights back with a corner splash and elbow for two, but gets clotheslined to the grating. R-Truth is next in, but Barrett won’t even let him leave the pod. Barrett beats on both babyfaces, but Truth comes back with a dropkick for two. Barrett catches him with the Bossman slam for two, but Dolph rolls up Barrett for two. The crowd could not care less about these three midcard geeks trading near falls. Barrett throws Ziggler into Henry’s pod and manages to break the door, so Mark Henry comes in early and beats on Barrett, followed “officially” by Ryback. It’s probably best that they speed this one up. Ryback overpowers Henry for two and hits Barrett with a spinebuster for two, and Ziggler gets a crucifix on Barrett for two. Barrett with the Wasteland for two, but Henry breaks it up for some reason. Well that’s stupid. R-Truth has literally been laying around doing nothing for like 3:00. Everyone gangs up on Barrett and Truth finally does something, hitting Barrett with the Little Jimmy or whatever it’s called now and eliminating him at 11:15. So the babyfaces all pair off, but now Sheamus’s door is stuck. Now everyone gangs up on Mark Henry, but Ryback turns on Ziggler and finishes Truth with the Shellshock at 13:55. Ryback with a very delayed suplex on Ziggler and the crowd is still really bored by all this. Sheamus finally emerges due to something dealing with his necklace, in that he either fixed the door or was jamming it the whole time or something. They did a terrible job explaining what that was supposed to be about or why it was important for him to be stuck in there the whole time. Like, shouldn’t someone have called attention to the necklace earlier? Brogue Kick eliminates Mark Henry at 17:20. The boredom continues as Sheamus suplexes Dolph for two, but Ziggler gets a DDT for two. Fameasser on Sheamus, but the Brogue Kick eliminates him at 20:31. Ryback comes back and pounds away in the corner, but Sheamus bails to the grating to escape. White Noise on the outside gets two. They fight on the other side and now Sheamus gets the Regal roll on the grating, but Ryback catches him with a powerbomb back into the ring. Shellshock wins the title at 25:10. They seriously put a title on RYBACK? This was easily one of the worst Chamber matches ever, with a slow pace and a bored crowd, long stretches of nothing, and poor Dolph having to bump for four other guys. ** At least it was someone different winning, I guess. Daniel Bryan presents him with the title afterwards, which was kind of a tip-off that a babyface was winning anyway.
Meanwhile, at Wrestlemania, Seth Rollins runs down to cash in the briefcase, then [something happens], and he’s the champion! Just to be clear, it’s OK to watch masked superhero Kalisto jumping from the ceiling of the cage and nearly dying, but stomping on another guy’s head is too hot for TV.
Kevin Owens v John Cena II at Money in the Bank, because they just can’t let anything build for a while before going right back to it. Also, the Money in the Bank match will feature Ziggler, Reigns, Kofi (?), Randy Orton, Sheamus, Neville, and more! The purpose of at least three of those guys is pretty transparently clear.
WWE World title: Seth Rollins v. Dean Ambrose
Ambrose controls with armdrags and Rollins bails for some support from the stooges. Back in, Ambrose puts him down with a chop and slugs away on the ropes, then follows with a guillotine legdrop for two. They fight to the top and Rollins gets a double stomp in the corner to take over and goes to the chinlock. The continue having a really dull match until they collide and Ambrose comes back with a powerbomb for two after some near-falls. J&J pull Rollins out of the ring to save him, but Ambrose follows with a dive and they go crashing into the tables. Back in, Rollins with a backslide for two, and a superkick for two. Now the crowd is doing “this is awesome” chants after sitting on their hands for 10 minutes. Not cool, Texas. They head up and Rollins tries a powerbomb out of the corner, but Dean slugs out of it and they hit the floor. Rollins sends him into the railing with a powerbomb and gets two off that, and the flying knee gets two. Curtain Call gets two. I kind of which they’d stop with having guys kick out of finishers in EVERY match. I mean, he powerbombed the guy into the RAILING! That should have been a months-long injury angle ala Sami Zayn. No wonder they can’t get any of this stuff over. Ambrose makes the comeback with a tornado DDT for two. Dean tries the guillotine again but misses this time, then comes back with the rebound lariat for two. Flying elbow gets two. Rollins puts him on the floor and follows with a dive, then back in with a turnbuckle powerbomb, but Ambrose no-sells and knocks the stooges off the apron. He hits them all with a dive, but now the ref is bumped on the way back in. Seth goes up and misses a dive, and Dirty Deeds gets the pin from a second referee at 21:55. No way this stands. Like this is the clearest Dusty Finish possible. And indeed, the first referee revives and it’s reversed to a DQ win instead. That’s a shit finish to a pretty good match. *** The Authority tries the beatdown, but Roman Reigns makes the save and Ambrose steals the belt. THEY JUST DID THAT STORYLINE. Nice to see some new faces in the main event, though.
Clearly this is a one-match show, but it’s a HELL of a match. Just subscribe to the network for June because you’re getting your $10 worth out of Cena v. Owens and the main event was pretty decent. The Chamber matches are both really disappointing, though, so be warned. Thumbs up regardless.