American Bank Center – Corpus Christi, TX – Sunday, May 31, 2015
Michael Cole, WWE Hall of Famer Jerry Lawler, and JBL are on commentary.
Stardust defeats Zack Ryder at 6:15. Ryder is coming off an impressive showing against John Cena in the United States Championship Open Challenge last week, and he’s trying to carry that over to this match. Stardust and Ryder are having a nice little match while the idiots on commentary talk about everything but what’s going on in the ring. The fight spills to the floor, but that’s not enough to get the idiots on commentary to mention it. Ryder connects on a Broski Boot but that only gets two. Stardust follows with The Queen’s Crossbow get the win. Decent preshow fare.
WWE Tag Team Champions The New Day (Big E, Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods) defeat Cesaro & Tyson Kidd, Los Matadores (Diego & Fernando) (w/ El Torito), The Ascension (Konnor & Viktor), The Lucha Dragons (Sin Cara & Kalisto), and The Prime-Time Players (Titus O’Neil & Darren Young) in an Elimination Chamber Match to retain the titles. New Day have been the Champions since 4.26.15, and this is their fourth defense. This is the twentieth Chamber match, Cole tells us. Lucha Dragons and Ascension start the match, but I swear I heard Kane say on the preshow that New Day was going to start. Oh well. The third team in is Cesaro and Kidd. Stuff happens and then more stuff happens. Los Matadores are the fourth team in the fray, and they get some help from Torito. The Ascension quickly dispatches of Torito, and then they hit one of the Matadores with the Fall of Man to score the first elimination at 10:22. Moments later, Konnor and Viktor score the second elimination with another Fall of Man, this one on Kalisto, the eliminate the Dragons at 11:20. The fifth team out is the Prime-Time Players. Young and O’Neil take it to the Ascension and Young hits Viktor with the Gut Check to eliminate the Ascension at 13:30.
We’re down to three teams now, one of which isn’t even in the match yet. Kidd and Cesaro battle the PTP and all four mean are looking worn down and ripe for the pickings. When the New Day makes their way in, they assault everyone, using their one-man advantage to their, well, advantage. Kidd wisely traps Woods back in the pod, which is neat. Cesaro delivers the Humongous Swing to Kofi, and then Young surprises by grabbing Cesaro in a schoolboy rollup for the elimination at 20:25. The New Day and the PTP engage in a handicap match now, and the PTP do okay for themselves. That is, until Kofi hits O’Neil with the Trouble in Paradise and the New Day pile on to get the pin and retain their titles. A lot of stuff happened here, and it certainly wasn’t boring, but it was just kind of a match with the Chamber around it. The Ascension was booked strongly to start, but it didn’t go anywhere.
WWE Divas Champion Nikki Bella defeats Naomi and Paige at 6:04 in a Triple Threat Match to retain the title. Nikki has been the Champion since 11.23.14, and this is her eighth defense. No seconds are allowed at ringside during this important title match. This is all action right from the bell, with each woman trying to isolate one of her fellow competitors. Eventually, Nikki hits Naomi with the Rack Attack and gets the pin. Not much going on here, unless you want to see an awkward and potentially injurious reverse rana attempt. Thank goodness Stephanie McMahon would invent the Women’s Evolution soon after this.
NXT Champion Kevin Owens defeats WWE United States Champion John Cena in a Non-Title Match at 19:57. This still blows my mind, having the NXT Champion on main roster programming in a feud with the Top Guy. Owens is aggressive early on, clearly wrestling with something to prove. He looks like a gigantic star right from the start just by how he carries himself and the way he dominates Cena early on. Every time Cena looks ready to fire up and make a comeback, Owens is right there to cut him off. Owens gets frustrated that he can’t put Cena away, even after hitting a vicious Pop-Up Powerbomb. He misses a moonsault and Cena hits the Attitude Adjustment, but Owens kicks out at two! The crowd is going nuts. Owens and Cena keep that going, trading big move after big move and near-fall after near-fall, whipping the crowd into a frenzy. Cena looks poised to put the finishing touches on when he levels Owens with a lariat. He goes for one more, and this time Owens ducks. Owens grabs Cena coming off the ropes and hits the Pop-Up Powerbomb to get the totally clean pin. The announcers lose their minds and rightfully so. I feel like the instructions for this match went something like this: “Kevin, you go out there and make yourself a star. John, you make sure Kevin looks like a star.” Both succeeded. Great story, amazing match.
Neville defeats Bo Dallas at 8:54. This is a rematch of the main event of NXT ArRIVAL. Dallas tries to avoid Neville early on, but “The Man That Gravity Forgot” can attack from many angles so he’s undeterred. With this match, the prior match, and the main event, four present or former NXT Champions are on this show. Dallas successfully slows the pace and wears Neville down. He tries the running Bo-Dog, but Neville counters out and hits an enziguiri. Neville follows with the Red Arrow to get the pin. Fine match, but I’m still unsure what it was doing on pay-per-view.
Ryback defeats Dolph Ziggler, King Barrett, Mark Henry, R-Truth, and Sheamus at 25:10 in an Elimination Chamber Match to win the vacant Intercontinental Title. The Intercontinental Title has been vacant since 5.11.15. Henry is a last-minute replacement for Rusev. Sure, why not? Ziggler and Barrett start the match. They do some stuff. R-Truth is the next man in and Barrett attacks him right away. Barrett throws Ziggler into Henry’s pod and it breaks, so Henry is just like “f it” and gets in the match. Moments later, Ryback makes his way into the match as well. This is a complete mess. Henry seems particularly lost out there, which for as long as he’s been in the business is inexcusable. Truth hits Barrett with the Lie Detector for the first elimination at 11:04. When it’s time for Sheamus to enter the match, the door to his pod is stuck and he can’t get out. What a shit show. Ziggler is literally trying to explain to everyone, including the referee, what to do. Ryback hits Truth with Shell Shocked to eliminate him at 14:00. Sheamus hits Henry with a Brogue Kick for another elimination at 17:20. Minutes later, another Brogue Kick, this one on Ziggler, is enough for the elimination at 20:25. We’re down to Ryback and Sheamus. They brawl around for a bit, and then Ryback hits Shell Shocked to get the pin and win the Intercontinental Title. Total mess of a match.
Dean Ambrose defeats WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins (w/ Jamie Noble, Joey Mercury & Kane) by disqualification at 21:49. Rollins has been the Champion since 3.29.15, and this is his third defense. The two former teammates in the Shield start with some chain and mat wrestling. Now I really feel how mad they are at each other! They battle back and forth, and Mercury and Noble distract Ambrose whenever they can. Every time Ambrose makes a comeback, Rollins has an answer for him, or the gaggle of geeks on the floor is there to help. The crowd has been pretty quiet so far, but when the pace picks up they start to sound interested. They fight to the floor and Rollins hits the powerbomb into the barricade and Ambrose manages to not injure himself. Ambrose finally grows tired of all the interference and starts attacking everybody, taking them all out with a cross body block from the top rope to the floor! The referee gets bumped, and Ambrose hits Rollins with Dirty Deeds! A new referee comes in and makes the count of three! Ambrose wins the title!
But wait! Lilian Garcia announces Ambrose the winner by disqualification, so Rollins retains his title! What in the hell? Rollins and his cronies beat down Ambrose, but Roman Reigns comes to the rescue! The crowd is cheering! Reigns and Ambrose clean house and stand tall. The match was very good, but lacked a certain spark that should’ve been there for these bitter rivals. Not sure what the deal is there. The finish sucked, but in the era of WWE Network PPVs I’ll allow it.
The main event here is very good but they’ve done better elsewhere, and the Chamber matches are pretty disappointing. Cena v Owens is amazing though and well worth going out of your way to see.
Tags: dean ambrose, Elimination Chamber, ryback, seth rollins, WWE