Date: May 21, 2015
Location: Norfolk Scope Arena, Norfolk, Virginia
Commentators: Tom Phillips, Jerry Lawler, Byron Saxton
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
We're already coming up on Elimination Chamber and the top of the card is already set. It's pretty clear that we're getting Rollins vs. Ambrose for the title. However, tonight is more about Payback fallout as we'll hear from Roman Reigns for the first time since he lost yet another main event. Let's get to it.
We open with a recap of the end of Raw with Ambrose fighting the Authority and coming up a bit short.
Here's Reigns to open things up. Reigns has some bad news and some good news: he lost at Payback but he had a great time. Anytime you punch Seth Rollins in the mouth, it's a great night. The Shield Triplebombed Orton through a table and he got to go toe to toe with his brother. However, Payback is gone so it's time for some big news: he's entering the Money in the Bank ladder match and you can believe he's going to win.
This brings out Dean Ambrose, who heard Payback mentioned so his ears started burning. After finding a bucket of ice to dunk his head in and making a wrong turn at catering, here he is. He heard Reigns mention something about Money in the Bank though, and that doesn't sound like a bad idea. Reigns saw what happened Monday and wants Ambrose to have an exit strategy against the Authority next time.
Kane comes out before this can go anywhere, but Reigns says he barely recognized Kane off his back. Kane chuckles but says Reigns isn't in the Money in the Bank ladder match, because Reigns has lost his last two title shots. If Roman wants another title shot, he has to prove his worth to Kane. Ambrose calls Kane the Authority's redheaded stepchild and wants to know if Kane eats from a bowl like the lapdog he is. That's not cool with Kane, who makes Ambrose vs. Wyatt again tonight. Reigns can have the night off.
Los Matadores vs. Lucha Dragons vs. Cesaro/Tyson Kidd vs. Ascension
Prime Time Players/New Day are all on commentary (with only Woods talking) and the Players get Lawler to do the Millions of Dollars dance. New Day has some special clapping gloves for the commentators. Could these guys be any more awesome? Cara and Kidd get things going with Tyson trying some kind of a double arm hold but getting lifted up into a powerbomb for his efforts.
We look at the commentators for about fifteen seconds before cutting back to Viktor slugging Tyson down. Fernando replaces Viktor and almost gets caught in the Sharpshooter but Torito and Natalya get in a fight to distract Kidd. Off to Konnor for a Dominator into a DDT and we take a break. Back with Konnor keeping Tyson in trouble but Kidd stumbles over for a tag to Cara. Things speed up as Titus promises sweaty and musky guys in the Chamber. Cara wristdrags Konnor down but Viktor comes in and stomps Cara into the mat.
A nice tiger bomb plants Kalisto but Diego tags himself in for the cover. Everything breaks down and Woods is way too excited. Cesaro comes in for the first time to a very nice reaction, setting up the running European uppercuts to Viktor. Kidd comes in with a dropkick but Cesaro has to stop Diego from stealing the cover. Kalisto gets a quick two off the hurricanrana driver but Ascension makes the save. A big series of dives is capped off by Cara corkscrew diving onto a bunch of people, only to have Kalisto jump backwards into hurricanrana to Fernando for the pin at 8:41.
Rating: B-. Total insanity here and that's exactly what it should have been. I'm digging the Dragons a lot lately as they're exactly what's advertised: high flying and fast paced offense where you can actually tell them apart. However, the more interesting thing here was the commentary. Titus and Woods were GREAT at hyping up the Chamber match here as they spent the whole match talking about how they can't wait to get to the match and all the violence and carnage that's coming in less than two weeks. That's exactly what guest commentators are supposed to be doing here and they nailed it.
We look back at Rusev dumping Lana and her hooking up with Ziggler later in the night.
We get a clip from WWE.com where Rusev promises to eat Ziggler's American heart.
Ziggler is used to girls kissing him and dealing with ex-boyfriends, but he's never been locked in a Chamber with one of them. Tonight he has King Barrett....and here's Lana to wish him good luck. Dolph asks Renee to give them a minute and tells Lana that he knows the game she's playing. He's fine with it because she's good at the kissing thing.
King Barrett vs. Dolph Ziggler
No entrance for the King. Dolph tries to take him to the mat to start and gets a boot and headbutt to the face for his efforts. The Stinger Splash and neckbreaker put Barrett down and the bit elbow drop gets two. Barrett comes right back with his spinning suplex out of the corner for two and Dolph is in trouble.
Back from a break with Ziggler fighting out of a chinlock but missing another Stinger Splash. Wasteland gets two and Barrett takes Dolph outside for a toss into the barricade. They head back inside and a boot to the face gets two but the Bull Hammer is countered by a superkick to the arm. The Zig Zag connects on the staggered Barrett for the pin at 8:02. Another day, another clean loss for Barrett.
Rating: C. Nothing to see here but it was a way to set up more of the Chamber match. At the end of the day, you can only watch so many of these matches that mean nothing before we get to another big match later on. It doesn't help that the same midcarders have been fighting each other for years now and the matches are almost interchangeable.
Lana comes out to watch, drawing speculation that she's trying to get inside Ziggler's head for Rusev's sake.
We look back at Paige coming out to help the Bellas, only to nail Nikki with a Rampaige. Thankfully that doesn't come off as a heel turn.
Here's Paige with something to say. Paige says the last time she saw us, it was in her hometown of England....of London! She won a battle royal to become #1 contender to the Divas Title, but then this happened. We see a clip of Naomi attacking Paige after Paige won a battle royal last month, and that's when Naomi finally became relevant.
Then Naomi found herself a boyfriend in Tamina, but isn't she competing in the wrong division? This is Paige's division, this is her ring and this is her house. Cue Tamina and Naomi, with the latter saying she deserves the top spot in this division because of her natural talents. All Paige can do is scream a lot. Naomi says you have to take opportunities when you can and it's her turn now.
She removed Paige from the equation, quite easily she might add. Paige says she did more in one year than Tamina and the dancing dinosaur have done in their careers. Being a Diva means you have to has personality and good grief enough of the whining. Naomi needs to get over herself but she threatens to clean Paige's house. The beatdown is on and here's Nikki Bella for the save. Paige loads up the Rampaige on Naomi but Nikki forearms her down and hits the Rack Attack. I like the story here, but my goodness never let Naomi talk again.
Bray Wyatt talks about people thinking Dean Ambrose was possessed by demons. People used to talk that way and you know what? They were right. Tonight, Bray is going to prove that Ambrose has his inner demons. Dean is in his way so run.
Nikki vs. Naomi vs. Paige for the Divas Title at Elimination Chamber.
R-Truth vs. Stardust
Gah stop having these two fight already. No entrance for Stardust, which at least saves some time. Stardust jumps him to start and scores with a springboard dropkick for two. We're already in the chinlock which is quickly broken, followed by another chinlock. Truth fights up but gets sent into the buckle for two. Dark Matter gets the same so Stardust takes off a glove, which Truth throws into the air, setting up Little Jimmy for the pin at 3:30.
Rating: D-. This gets a hearty helping of “well at least it was short.” These two are stuck in the vortex of having nothing else to do so they're thrown into the same match over and over again with no one getting anywhere. At least there isn't a bag of plastic spiders deciding the finish this time.
Ryback talks about being in the Chamber the first time and promises to devour anyone who stands in the way of him and the Intercontinental Title. Oh and he has some high protein vegan recipes for Renee because the Big Guy is quite the cook. That sounded like a line that wasn't meant to make air.
We recap Cena and Owens from Monday.
We look at Owens vs. Zayn from NXT last night
Tough Enough videos.
Mega Powers vs. Adam Rose/Heath Slater
Mandow and Slater get things going with Heath being sent face first into the buckle but Adam and Heath hit a double suplex in the name of good taste. Mandow finally suplexes out and tags in Axel for the big boot and legdrop to pin Slater at 3:22.
Rating: D. It's not funny, it's not interesting, it's not creative, it's not getting either guy anywhere and my goodness I don't care. At least it's over a pair of nothing guys like Slater and Rose and the Ascension got to beat these guys. It's another case where the guys are doing the best they can but they're in a dead gimmick that isn't going to help anyone.
Bo Dallas isn't pleased with Neville bringing up the NXT Title loss but he's amused about attacking Neville on Monday. He tells a story about a colorful bird flying around his yard when he was a kid, but one day that bird hit a power line. Bo nursed it back to health because he Bo-lieved. Neville has a broken wing, but with Bo's help, he can fly right.
Bray Wyatt vs. Dean Ambrose
Dean takes him down by the leg to start and wraps the leg around the ropes. Bray gets out in just a few seconds though and nails a running right hand to stagger Dean. That doesn't last long as Ambrose knocks him to the floor for a suicide dive, only to get sent hard into the barricade as we take a break. Back with Dean fighting out of a reverse chinlock and having to avoid the backsplash. Dean counters the hanging suplex to the floor into a tornado DDT. For some reason that doesn't knock Bray cold so Dean clotheslines him back inside and fires off those back and forth punches of his.
Bray is draped over the middle rope and knocked to the floor, where he has to escape Sister Abigail into the barricade. Back in and the release Rock Bottom plants Ambrose for no cover but Dean dropkicks the knee out. Cue the Stooges for an attempt at the same ending from Monday, but Dean is ready for them this time. A double clothesline puts Dean and Bray down so here's Rollins. Before he can get to the ring though, Roman Reigns comes through the crowd for some Superman Punches. Bray gets one of his own and Dirty Deeds is enough for the pin at 11:47.
Rating: C-. I wasn't feeling this one for the most part, but a lot of that is due to there being no real reason for these two to be fighting again. However, it seems to set up Reigns vs. Wyatt, which could be a good feud for Roman. He needs someone to conquer, but unfortunately it means Bray gets another big loss.
Overall Rating: D+. This show died about halfway through and never recovered. The Elimination Chamber build is similar to the Royal Rumble build: once you establish the people involved, there's not much to do other than have matches between the participants that have no bearing on the big match itself. That's the point WWE has hit here, but thankfully there isn't a lot of time before the pay per view.
Lucha Dragons b. Los Matadores, Tyson Kidd/Cesaro and Ascension – Hurricanrana to Fernando
Dolph Ziggler b. King Barrett – Zig Zag
R-Truth b. Stardust – Little Jimmy
Mega Powers b. Adam Rose/Heath Slater – Legdrop to Slater
Dean Ambrose b. Bray Wyatt – Dirty Deeds
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