Tonight’s Elimination Chamber PPV is coming live to us from the Target Center in Minneapolis and represents the last big stop on the Road to WrestleMania XXX. It’s certainly been an interesting month following the fallout from the Royal Rumble and many question have been asked.
Hopefully many, if not all of these questions, will be answered tonight including: the Main Event of ‘Mania, the inevitable breakup of the Shield and the success/ineffectiveness of the Yes! Movement.
Before our official Kickoff Match, we go to our Elimination Chamber panel Josh Matthews with his three guests, all former WWE Champions and Chamber match participants: Mark Henry, the newly married Miz (congrats buddy) and Rey Mysterio.
All three guests say they’re looking forward to seeing who will become the Champion of Champions. Miz adds that he’s also interested in the other two championship matches: IC and Tag Team. Rey talks about the Shield and Wyatts.
But before the gold is put on the line, we have our kickoff match. Miz says that any time two brothers are in a tag match together, there’s the potential for great chemistry. Rey likes that three of the four participants are second (or third in Axel’s case) generation professional wrestlers.
Mark Henry says there hasn’t been this much excitement in the tag division since the Attitude Era. While that might be a bit generous, the tag division has definitely shown a lot of improvements over the past five or six years.
We go backstage to Zeb talking to both Real Americans. Of course, with Cesaro in the Chamber match and Swagger facing Big E, there’s a chance both men could walk out as World and IC champions, respectively.
JBL comes to the ring, looking like the cat that swallowed the canary. We show a recap of Batista and ADR’s issues over the past few weeks. King comes to the ring and before the kickoff match starts, we get the instructional video with the Bellas explaining how to use the WWE Network (which launches tomorrow at 9am EST).
Kickoff Match: Tag- The Rhodes Boys (Cody and Goldust) vs. Curtis Axel and Ryback
Joining Team RyBaxel is Curtis’ grandfather Larry “The Axe” Hennig. He still has that 22-inch neck if you’re wondering. A little FYI is that 60 years ago Larry became the Minnesota High School Heavyweight Wrestling Champion in Robbinsdale, MN (about 10 miles away).
The match starts out with Cody and Curtis. Ryback gets the tag in and the “Goldberg” chants start. I will say that if Cody and Goldust face off at ‘Mania, it might simply be them wanting to know who is the best, rather than as enemies. I say this because they still look great together and were able to pull of a very impressive double-team move during the match. Ryback and Curtis both got tossed out of the ring and Cody and Goldust hit their men with simultaneous diving moves. Wow.
We go to a quick promo about the Chamber Main Event and return with Rybaxel now in control. Goldust gets an extended beatdown and is finally able to make the hot tag after Ryback get knocked out of the ring. Cody goes for the Moonsault but only gets a two count.
Cody loads up for the Alabama Slam but Ryback pulls him out of the ring. Cody is able to use the steel steps to hit Ryback with a Disaster Kick. Cody gets to the top rope to deliver a dropkick but Axel counters into a powerbomb but only gets two. Ryback and Goldust get into a scrap outside the ring and Cody is able to hit Cross Rhodes on Curtis for the victory.
Winners by pinfall…The Rhodes Boys
We go backstage to Byron Saxton, who is talking to the Usos.Jimmy and Jay, of course, are pumped about tonight. They remind us that 35 years ago, their uncles, the Wild Samoans, held the titles, as well as their father Rikishi, who was a tag champ three times. They know the abilities of the Outlaws but have just two words for them regarding their title reign: It’s over.
We go back to our Elimination Chamber panel on their final thoughts of tonight’s main event. Rey says that Cesaro will pull off the upset. Mark Henry votes for Sheamus and the Miz agrees with Rey, but says he wouldn’t be shocked if Bryan is able to come out the champ.
Match 1: Singles- Intercontinental Title Match-Jack Swagger w/ Zeb vs. Big E (c)
Zeb decides to forgo the signs tonight as he speaks his mind. Zeb says the E in Big E stands for “Enough” and asks exactly what Big E has done as IC champion that in any way benefits the North American continent. Zeb says he hasn’t done anything in the three months he’s been champ. He goes a little off the rail, saying something about illegals contributing to the polar vortex. (I’m just as confused as you are).
Lots of high impact moves by both men to start off. Both men go outside the ring and Langston spears Swagger using the steel steps for added damage. Swagger doesn’t back down, hitting Big E with a nasty clothesline but can’t pin the champ. The match goes back and forth with both men knocking each other down.
Somewhere in the match Swagger got popped in the mouth and his lip is bleeding. Jack hits Langston with a spinebuster but a lackadaisical cover lets Big E kick out. Big E goes for the Big Ending but Swagger is able to step out of the ring. This ends up being a bad idea as Big E spears Swagger (à la Edge on Mick Foley in WrestleMania 22). The “Holy $&[email protected]” chants start and they are well deserved.
For some reason Big E goes to the top turnbuckle but Jack is able to beat him to the match and suplexes Big E across the ring, but can’t get the three count. Jack gets the Patriot Lock on but Langston is able to power out. Swagger goes for the gutwrench powerbomb but Big E counters. The straps come down for Big E but Swagger locks in another Patriot Lock.
Langston gets up to one foot and hits an enziguri, freeing himself. We then get the Big Ending and that’s all she wrote for this one. If this is a sign of the matches to come tonight, we are in for a good show.
Winner by pinfall……and STILL Intercontinental Champion Big E
Cut to Bad News Barrett’s music and #BNB comes out. He reminds us that in this Olympics Russia won more gold medals than the US. That means another four years of waiting, but when the ‘18 Olympics start, Russia will once again “prove European sporting supremacy”. He did forget to mention the one medal Russia didn’t get that they really wanted (congrats Team Canada for the gold sweep in hockey yet again).
If you haven’t been paying attention over the weekend, Hulk Hogan is making his return to the WWE and will be hosting WrestleMania XXX. Hogan will be appearing on Raw tomorrow night.
We get a recap of Daniel Bryan’s tumultuous week and then go backstage as Saxton interviews Bryan. Daniel’s left shoulder is still bandaged up. Daniel says it doesn’t matter if he’s 100 percent or 10 percent, he’s going to give it everything he has. He can’t say if he’ll win the title tonight but does promise the WWE Universe a few things: this match will be painful, his opponents will go after his injured shoulder and that Bryan will scrap and claw his way toward headlining ‘Mania. We then get the Yes! Movement of the crowd, and our next match is about to begin.
Match 2: Tag- Tag Team Title Match-New Age Outlaws (c) vs. The Usos
You can’t have a match with the Outlaws without Road Dogg’s great introduction. JBL says that Cole is only rooting for the Usos because of what the Outlaws did to him with a Super Soaker all these years ago. If you don’t get the reference, the good news is you should be able to watch that on the WWE Network tomorrow.
Both Outlaws avoid getting superkicked and are smart enough to get out of the way of a potential double suicide dive by the Usos. Things start to go south for the Usos when Road Dogg launches (I believe) Jay into the turnbuckle, hitting his ankle on the turnbuckle itself.
We’re told that #WWEChamber is the top trend in the world right now. Jimmy gets a hot tag and the pace quickens.Road Dogg pulls Billy out of the ring to save him but Jimmy hits a suicide dive on Dogg for his troubles. Jimmy hits Billy with a superkick but only gets a two count. Road Dogg tries to interfere, Jimmy kicks him but Billy is able to get the sneaky schoolboy pin for the victory.
Winner by pinfall……and STILL Tag Team Champions The New Age Outlaws
Barrett’s music hits again, but this time his podium stays at ground level. Barrett says he wants to deliver some bad news to Daniel Bryan fans. Bryan is not going to leave the Chamber as the champion and that means the Yes! Movement will cease to exist. You can guess exactly what this does to the crowd on hand.
Match 3: Singles- Darren Young vs. Titus O’Neil
Now that the Prime Time Players are no more, it’s time to see who will play the role of HBK and who will be Marty Jannetty. Cole asks JBL if he ever thought of dumping Ron Simmons the way Titus did with Darren. JBL basically says it was probably Ron who would have done said dumping and there would have been nothing he could do about it.
As you would expect, we get Titus’ power against Darren’s quickness. It goes back and forth for a while but in the end, O’Neil is able to hit Young with the Clash of the Titus spinebuster and picks up the clean victory.
Winner by pinfall……Titus O’Neil
Yet again, another Bad News Barrett segment. Are they going to do this after every match? Barrett says the electricians in Minnesota are as bad as the NFL team because they can’t get his podium raised. Anyway…Barrett reminds us that Hogan will be this year’s WrestleMania host but the bad news is that Hogan’s appeal can’t compare to Barrett’s.
We go back to the Chamber panel on their thoughts. Mark says he’s glad that Titus got a singles win on a PPV, but since he mentored both him and Darren Young, he isn’t too happy with the state of the former PTP. Miz talks about the IC match and Rey talks about the tag team match.
We get a package going over the last month and the issues with the Wyatt’s and the Shield. It’s time for one of the most anticipated six-man tag matches that I can remember.
Match 4: Six-Man Tag- The Shield vs. The Wyatt Family
Bray looks a little more disturbed than usual. During his entrance, his face starts twitching and Bray then gets his men ready. The bell hasn’t even rung and the crowd is already chanting “This is awesome!” This should be interesting…
The six men stand face to face for a minute or so, jaw jacking each other. The ref finally gets the men to start going to their respective corners, but before that happens, Dean Ambrose cheap shots Bray and all six men start unloading on each other. The Shield cleans house quickly and the Wyatts regroup outside. Like the “Let’s Go Cena/Cena Sucks” chant, we get a “Let’s go Wyatt’s/Let’s go Shield” and we’re informed that ShieldvsWyatts is trending on Twitter. Again, the match hasn’t even started yet.
Seth Rollins and Erick Rowan start off the match. Reigns gets a quick tag when Rowan is tossed into the Shield’s corner but quickly tags out after unloading on Erick. Luke Harper gets in the match and then Bray joins the fray.
Seth is able to tag in Roman and we get Bray vs. Roman. As you can imagine, lots of power moves by both men. Harper gets the tag. He tries three times to suplex Reigns but is countered each time before Reigns suplexes Harper. Finally Dean Ambrose gets his first tag in and all three Shield members go to town on Harper, using a bunch of quick tags.
Now it’s time for the Wyatts to return the favor. Harper is able to hit Dean with a dropkick (you read that correctly) and tags in Bray, who levels Dean. Rowan comes in, hits Dean with a sidewalk slam, but gets just a two count. Harper now gets the tag and goes back to work on Dean. Cole compares Luke Harper’s style to the late great Bruiser Brody and JBL agrees with the assessment.
Rollins gets the tag and Harper works on him. Rollins gets caught on the top turnbuckle. Harper goes for a superplex, but Rollins is somehow able to land on his feet and then knock Harper out of the ring which he follows up with a suicide dive. It looks like those crowd chants of “This is awesome” were well deserved.
Bray gets the tag and takes Rollins out of the ring as Roman and Dean stare down Bray. Rowan comes in. The Wyatts get an extended beat down on Rollins. Ambrose comes in to stop Bray from getting the pin but Harper kicks him in the head for his troubles and the beat down continues on Rollins.
Reigns finally gets the hot tag and goes to town, hitting the Superman Punch and a Samoan Drop on Rowan. Harper tries to intervene but Reigns continues on. The match starts to get chaotic as both teams start swinging for the fences. Luke Harper hits a suicide dive of his own on Ambrose and not to be outdone, Rollins hits a 360 spinning dive on Harper. I think it’s safe to say this is a contender for Match of the Year.
We go back to the two legal men in the match: Erick Rowan and Roman Reigns. Reigns goes for a schoolboy pin but Rowan kicks out. Both men hit each other with running clotheslines. As the big men are still down in the ring, Rollins clears the Spanish announce table but Bray hits him. Bray and Harper prepare to drive Rollins through the table but Ambrose makes the save as he and Bray goes over the crowd barrier and start fighting in the crowd.
Rowan and Reigns finally get up and start unloading on each other. Roman gets driven into the ringpost and then hits another Superman punch on Reigns. Bray returns from the crowd and he and Harper prepare Rollins to go through the announce table. Reigns is knocked out of the ring and all three Wyatts go over to Rollins. Luke and Erick pick up Rollins and hit a double powerbomb on Rollins through the Spanish announce table. More chants of “Holy $&[email protected]” fill the arena.
The tables are now officially turned. Roman Reigns in the only Shield member left in the ring. This time, he’s surrounded by the Wyatts. Harper and Rowan both hit Reigns with a few high impact moves before they defer to Bray to finish off the job.
Bray goes for the Sister Abigail, but Reigns powers out. He hits Bray with a Samoan Drop and a Superman Punch on both Rowan and Wyatt. Roman prepares for the spear but Harper sacrifices himself to allow Bray to hit Sister Abigail for the three count.
Winners by pinfall……The Wyatt Family
We’re shown a recap of the carnage that just took place. Reigns is down in the ring, Rollins is still by the announce table and Ambrose is nowhere to be seen.
We go backstage with Renee Young talking to Christian about the Chamber match. It’s what you would expect from Christian. He says nobody will remember those loses after he wins the title tonight.He says he’s being underestimated and that makes him very dangerous.
AJ Lee comes to the ring with Tamina. She grabs a microphone and informs us that she’s been the Divas Champion for 252 straight days, the longest reigning Divas champ of all-time. With Naomi out of action after she broke her orbital socket, AJ says she’s ready for her next match against whoever it is. I was hoping for Tamina to be the surprise opponent, but alas, it’s Naomi’s friend, Cameron.
Match 5: Singles- Divas Title Match- AJ Lee (c) w/ Tamina Snuka vs. Cameron
Cameron actually gives it a good effort. Of course AJ stays in control, even knocking Cameron outside the ring. Here’s where the match gets interesting. AJ picks up Cameron’s pom poms and does a little mock cheer. Before AJ can toss Cameron back in the ring, Tamina “accidentally” hits AJ with a Superkick.
Cameron goes for the cover but Tamina puts AJ’s leg on the ropes to stop the count. Rather than go for another pin (as JBL and King both questioned) Cameron goes after Tamina who nails her with a clothesline, forcing the ref to end the match due to outside interference.
Winner by Disqualification…Cameron
AJ retains the title, but isn’t happy. She stares down Tamina but the two go backstage without any further issues.
We get yet another Barrett segment (Really guys?) The podium still hasn’t been fixed. Anyway, the good news is that the WWE Network launches tomorrow morning. According to Barrett, the bad news is that this will be so awesome that people won’t be able to turn it off which will result in people losing their jobs, kids kicked out of school for not paying attention in school etc.
Backstage we see Santino playing with the new WWE Smackdown toys. Emma comes in the room and asks what he’s doing. Santino tries to downplay it but Khali and El Torito (with Los Matadores) all come in to join in the fun. Santino runs out of the room while Emma joins in the fun with the toys.
Match 6: Singles- Batista vs. Alberto Del Rio
You can hear the boos from the crowd as Batista makes his way to the ring. We’re shown a package of Dave destroying ADR over the past few weeks so I think we all know how this one is going to end.
When ADR is announced, he comes out to the ring in warmups with a neckbrace and a crutch. He has trouble getting into the ring and picks up a microphone. ADR says he can’t compete tonight because of what happened. Right on cue ADR smacks Batista with the crutch and goes to town on him before the ref can start the match.
Finally the match starts and ADR is in complete control. The crowd is having none of this match. They cheer when Batista gets hurt and boo when ADR can’t put him away. Eventually Batista is able to hit the Batista Bomb on ADR and pick up the win.
Winner by pinfall……Batista
We go back to the Chamber panel. Josh asks if they think Orton will retain the title and all three members of the panel say no. The Chamber begins to lower and we get our Main Event package.
Main Event: Elimination Chamber Match- (in order of entrance) John Cena, Christian, Randy Orton (c), Daniel Bryan, Cesaro and Sheamus
Starting off the match will be Cesaro and Sheamus. JBL says that the key for these two men will be to simply survive until all six participants have entered the match. You can’t win the match at the beginning, but you can sure lose it.
The Chamber doesn’t come into play for the first few minutes. During this time both men get in some good shots on each other. Cesaro whips Sheamus into the corner next to John Cena’s pod. As Cesaro unloads on Sheamus, he mocks Cena’s “You can’t see me” which John applauds.
Daniel Bryan enters the match
The Yes Movement is alive and he goes to town, kicking the daylights out of both Cesaro and Sheamus. Bryan goes for a submission on Sheamus and Cesaro questionably breaks up the submission attempt for knocking Bryan down. Sheamus and Cesaro go back to work on each other.
The chamber finally gets used as Bryan tosses Cesaro into the chamber wall. Not to be outdone, Cesaro Irish whips Bryan into his empty pod, breaking the door, and more importantly, Bryan being driven through by his bad shoulder.
While Bryan is recovering, Sheamus has had enough of Cesaro and hits him with his running fireman’s carry on the steel grate, but only gets a two count. Sheamus turns his attention to Bryan but Daniel catches him before he can hit any moves.
Christian enters the match
Captain Charisma goes straight for Bryan and his injured shoulder. He uses everything at his disposal as a weapon including the ring ropes before he tears off Bryan’s shoulder padding. He hits a Tornado DDT on Bryan but only gets a two count. Christian goes outside the ring and Sheamus nearly drives him into a pod, but Christian counters and knocks Sheamus on the grate.
Christian goes for a Killswitch on Cesaro but it gets countered. Cesaro tosses Christian into the wall of the cage, then tosses him into the side of a pod, denting it, but still can’t get a pin. Cesaro and Sheamus go to town on each other including Cesaro hitting a modified gutwrench powerbomb outside the ring. It’s now time for lucky entrant number 5.
John Cena enters the match
Cena picks up Christian for the AA. Before he delivers hit, he swings Christians legs to knock down Cesaro, then hits the AA on Christian who lands on top of Cesaro. John goes to the top turnbuckle, but Bryan catches him and hits a sunset flip on Cena. Before he hits his roundhouse kick, Christian hits Bryan with a Killswitch, but only gets 2.
Cesaro loads up Christian for the Cesaro Swing but Cena hits Cesaro with a crossbody dive. This ends up turning the swing move into a catapult as Christian goes face first into the turnbuckle. Cena motions for the Five Knuckle Shuffle, but Sheamus hits White Noise on Cena for a long two count. Each man in the match gets a chance to shine with a bunch of near falls.
Randy Orton enters the match
Orton finally gets in decides to pose for the crowd, all while the other five guys are laying on the ground. Orton goes for the punt against Bryan but Daniel gets out of the way. Now Orton is cornered and all five opponents surround him. Orton goes back into his pod and is safe for the time being. The WWE Universe starts chanting that Orton is acting like a cat. I’ll let you figure out the exact word being used, but it’s clearly audible throughout the arena.
While this is happening, Orton continues to goad Sheamus. Telling him that he’s being outsmarted etc. Sheamus turns away for a moment to collect his thoughts, then hits the Brogue Kick on the pod, breaking it open and knocking Orton silly.
Cesaro gets Orton inside the ring and loads him up for the Cesaro Swing. I counted 24 complete rotations, Cole says there were 30 of them (I was counting with the cameras going back and forth so I can’t say for sure). Bryan, Cena and Christian all get shots in on each other.
Sheamus goes for the Brogue Kick on Christian, but he ducks it and Sheamus hits Cena instead. Christian goes for a pin on both Sheamus and Cena but can’t get either. Christian then runs on top of one of the pods to get away from Sheamus. As that happens, Orton hits Sheamus with a superplex and Christian follows up with a splash from the top of the pod for the first elimination of the match.
WWE trainers help Sheamus out of the Chamber and Cole tells us that Sheamus lasted 26 minutes in the match. Orton goes for the leveraged DDT on Christian but Captain Charisma counters it, tossing Orton out of the ring. Bryan then hits the running knee on Christian and we’re down to four participants just like that.
The four remaining wrestlers each get in their own corner. Cena and Cesaro attack each other while Bryan and Orton have at it. Cena and Bryan take out their respective opponents on the steel grate and then eye each other from across the ring and the significant others of both Bellas face off.
Cena gets Bryan up for an AA but Cesaro is able to grab Cena from behind (with Bryan still on his shoulders) and deliver a belly-to-back suplex on both men, but can only get a two count on Cena. Both Cena and Cesaro go for various power moves but each is able to counter until Cena AA’s Cesaro outside the ring onto the grate and then locks in the STF inside the ring, forcing Cesaro to tap out.
John goes for the STF on Orton, but as he locks it in the Wyatt’s music hits and the lights go out. When they come back on, all three Wyatts are in the Chamber. Daniel Bryan goes for a running knee but Luke Harper kicks Bryan down. All three Wyatts then focus their attention on Cena. Bray hits Sister Abigail on Cena and with their work done, and the crowd chanting “Thank you Wyatts” the trio leaves the chamber. Orton slithers into the ring, picks up the easy pinfall victory and we’re now down to the Face and the Beard.
As Cena starts exiting, Kane comes down to the Chamber. He yells at the Wyatts and tells them to get backstage. Kane goes inside the Chamber to check on Cena as the trainers help him leave. This allows Bryan to get to the top turnbuckle and hit his former tag partner with a flying knee.
Right after, Orton tosses Bryan into a pod but Daniel is able to put Orton in the Tree of Woe and delivers three running kicks to Orton’s midsection. Bryan goes for a side superplex off the turnbuckle but only gets a two count. Bryan goes for another high impact move but Orton catches him, turning it into the elevated DDT.
Orton prepares the RKO, but Daniel ducks out of the way and hits the running knee. He goes for the cover. As the ref is counting, Kane stops the ref, who then pushes Kane back. Orton hits the RKO, but Bryan kicks out at two. The Yes! Movement is strong, Bryan goes for a small package, and follows it up with a kick to the back of the head.
Bryan gets ready for another running knee, but Kane sucker-punches him, allowing Orton to hit another RKO, this time for the win.
Winner by pinfall……and STILL WWE World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton.
Overall PPV rating: 8/10
Orton holds both titles over his head triumphantly as he exits the chamber. The camera crew does a great job showing all the members of the WWE Universe in utter disbelief that Orton won the way he did. As we go off the air, the question remains: will Bryan finally get retribution, or was this is last best chance at it?