Monday, June 1, 2015

Elimination Chamber Review

So this show as a whole has been polarizing, but this match has especially been that way. I've seen it called one of the worst matches of the year and I've seen it called the best Elimination Chamber match in history. I'm not vehemently in either corner, but I did enjoy it. The idea of 13 people in one Chamber did make it a clusterfuck, but I thought it was really fun. Everybody worked hard to entertain. Hell, even El Torito was bumping for the short time he was around. Kalisto busted out some cool spots and Tyson Kidd and Cesaro were on point. My biggest gripe was that the Prime Time Players eliminated the crowd favorites, Kidd and Cesaro. That made it so the fans weren't really behind them to dethrone New Day. New Day would retain in just under 24 minutes. It went a tad too long but was still fun. ***1/2

Up next, we got the Divas Title match as Nikki Bella defended against Paige and Naomi. Now, Nikki has really good chemistry with Paige, while Naomi and Paige have decent chemistry and Naomi and Nikki have next to none. That made for an awkward match. You could hear them calling spots loudly, (mainly Paige), and Naomi was insanely sloppy. She nearly killed Paige on a tower of doom spot that they should not have done since there was one in the opener. Nikki wasn't really on her game either, making all of the girls responsible for this match not clicking. They tried some things but none of it really worked. Nikki retained in about six minutes. *

I don't know that I've ever seen a non-title match that was bigger than this. Early on, John Cena calls spots incredibly loud, but that dies off the longer we go on. We got the typical Kevin Owens methodical attack and Cena sold it rather well. Owens brought out everything from a Marc Mero springboard moonsault to a package piledriver variation that nearly had me jumping out of my seat. I do think there were a few too many near falls, especially with the popup powerbomb not working the first time. However, having Owens beat Cena clean is insane. He's only the third heel, behind Khali and Brock, to beat Cena straight up since he became the man. Kudos to both guys here for how hard they worked and how they made a star in Owens. Hopefully, Owens doesn't go the route of losing all of the rematches, but this was a big deal and a great 21 minute match. The best singles match on WWE PPV all year. ****1/2

To bring the crowd down after the high of the previous match, we got Neville and Bo Dallas. The two former NXT Champions got the chance to go one on one on a Pay-Per-View and were given time. I was surprised at this considering Neville beat Bo a few weeks ago in short order. However, with all of the leg work that had been done in recent weeks, it made sense that Neville looked a bit out of it. Bo was in control throughout, which is fine to help him look good, but it was kind of dull. It was hard to get into this following the previous match. Neville wins in about eight minutes but it was nothing to write home about. **

The injured Rusev was replaced by Mark Henry in the Intercontinental Title Elimination Chamber match. This was insanely dull. Something about it just didn't click at all. In a cool little heel move, Sheamus used his chain to jam the Chamber door shut so he wouldn't have to come in on time and get extra rest. Unfortunately, the crowd couldn't tell and commentary did a poor job of explaining it. The crowd hasn't been very good all night but they are extra dead here because the match absolutely sucks. Easily the worst Chamber match in history. Ryback is able to eliminate Sheamus to win his first title at around the twenty-five minute mark. This lazy, poorly thought out and just flat. The Ryback moment was nice but the match sucked. 1/2*

I've loved nearly every single match between Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins so far. Thanks to the previous match killing my interest, I wasn't as into the beginning of this as I'd hoped. However, as things went on, I got more into this. Dean seriously needs to cut back on how many rebound lariats he does because I've grown to dislike the move. They made fans pop hard when Dean was announced as the winner in just over 21 minutes, only to pull out he dusty finish and have the referee go for the DQ. This is something the company doesn't use often but it can work. Dean still left with the title with Roman Reigns and they kind of seem to be building towards Reigns winning MITB and cashing in on Dean if he wins at that show. I could be totally wrong with Brock Lesnar coming back soon. Anyway, the match was good, but the finish does hurt the score a bit. ***1/4

Overall, I felt this was a decent show. As I stated earlier, people are split on the show. I've seen people call it shit and some say that it was the best show outside of WrestleMania this year. I rank it as a middle of the pack show. The opener and main event were both solid and fun, but the Owens/Cena match is easily the best match by far. The rest of the card was pretty bad, including the worst Chamber match I've ever seen. Three good matches, three bad ones. 6/10.