The WWE Elimination Chamber PPV was one that has lost prestige by being positioned right before WrestleMania. The title wouldn’t change, and the only way for the match to work if it’s up in the air who could actually win. That’s why I think Money in the Bank has risen in importance. By moving the Elimination Chamber to a WWE Network special, it’s not technically a Pay-Per-View anymore, but aren’t over 90% of the people who watch WWE PPV’s doing so on the Network?
STARDUST def. ZACK RYDER – It’s a preshow match so it doesn’t matter if it isn’t very good.
Ranking the Elimination Chamber matches from Worst to First:
==Divas Title Match==
NIKKI BELLA (c) def. PAIGE & NAOMI – They treated Nikki like she was a bigger face than Paige. I don’t get it. Naomi’s reverse hurricanrana on Paige looked legit scary, and you could hear the ladies calling their spots. The main problem with this match is that Nikki is still the champ, and if the Bellas could just get away from the title scene, they have women like Paige and Natalya and Emma and Charlotte and Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch and Bayley who could kick butt in this division.
==Tag-Team Title EC Match==
NEW DAY (c) def. PRIME TIME PLAYERS, CESARO & TYSON KIDD, ASCENSION, LUCHA DRAGONS, LOS MATADORES – The positives of this would be that Ascension’s never looked better, and the last ten minutes were exciting when it had boiled down to New Day, PTP and Kiddaro. But there were sections of this match that were just awkward. Why was Kalisto tied up for most of his time? And then when he spidermanned from the top of the cage, three guys had to stand there and wait for him to fall on them. The pace was just awkward. This was the first time they’d done this with tag teams, and I get the feeling it’ll be the last too.
==InterContinental Title EC Match==
RYBACK def. SHEAMUS, DOLPH ZIGGLER, MARK HENRY, R-TRUTH, KING BARRETT – If those pods are so inpenetrable, then why was Mark Henry’s so easy to break open? It seemed to throw everything off. I don’t get why R-Truth keeps getting in these matches. We know he won’t win. Any reason why they can’t let Damien Sandow get these? I’m glad Ryback finally won gold in WWE.
NEVILLE def. BO DALLAS – The lack of crowd response was probably the biggest problem with this match. I’m glad the two NXT veterans were given to do a real match. I enjoyed it. I’m just glad Bo got a chance to wrestle a singles match on the main card.
==WWE World Heavyweight Title Match==
DEAN AMBROSE def. SETH ROLLINS (c) by DQ – The ending of this match was so ridiculous that it took me a few minutes to recover. I saw a lot of people refer to it as a “Dusty finish.” Apparently Dusty Rhodes really likes screwy endings like this to get more heat on the heel. There’s something that is ruining Rollins’ title run and that is having Kane and J&J Security interfere every match. It means there’s no point in the audience getting invested until the interference starts. Which is too bad. Seth vs. Dean by themselves would be a very good match. This was still a good match, and the emotional high of Dean winning was cool for a few seconds before the referee reversed it. But if the referee was really upset that Rollins had grabbed him, why would he reward him by overturning a pinfall ruling and making it a DQ?
KEVIN OWENS def. JOHN CENA – This was a basic 20-minute wrestling match, and it was the best of the night and one of the best of the year. It was back and forth, with a variety of spots and wrestling moves. Perfect pacing, with a couple “Wow” moments. I’ve never enjoyed Cena more than I do since he won the US title.
Then the next night on Raw, the problems with the schizophrenic Creative team really boiled over.
Nikki Bella was a face on Sunday and a heel on Monday. Nikki gets a win over Paige with “twin magic” but they don’t look alike at all these days. From Mike Chioda’s angle, you could see that he could clearly see Brie’s hair, completely different color from Nikki’s, as well as her face, but he called the 1-2-3 anyway. Remember how the ending of the Dean/Seth match was reversed? Ref didn’t care here. Why? Cuz Creative didn’t care. There are wrestlers and storylines that Creative just obviously doesn’t care about. They’re not sticking to fundamental storytelling, and they’re not giving the audience consistency.
Mark Henry was a face on Sunday and a heel on Monday.
Randy Orton vs. Sheamus should in theory be a good match, but I’ve never an audience invest in it. The whole plot thread with Roman Reigns was good, where he had to beat three guys in one night to keep his spot in Money in the Bank. I also really liked the back-and-forth with Owens and Cena. Although it did highlight to me how I can respect Cena the performer but still hate SuperCena the character. He actually gave the more heelish promo of the two.
Coming up in a week and a half is the next Pay-Per-View – Money in the Bank. It’s usually one of the best PPV’s, marred only recently by the booking decisions to have Cena win it, and to have Sandow in it but not successfully cash in on… Cena.
We know that Seth vs. Dean will be a ladder match. I would think WWE would want to keep the belt on Rollins, so Brock Lesnar can show up and get his revenge at the July PPV. The MITB particpants have some intrigue. I’ll rank them by odds.
7. KANE – No way they waste a briefcase on Corporate Kane.
6. NEVILLE – Too soon. He’s there for some cool high-flying spots.
5. RANDY ORTON – He won in 2013. It’d feel like a waste to give it to him again so soon.
4. DOLPH ZIGGLER – He’s also a previous winner. He’d be a good choice for a repeat, but the Creative team doesn’t seem to know what to do with him.
3. KOFI KINGSTON – This would really drive the heat behind New Day. And the heat’s been so hot, they just might give it to him.
2. ROMAN REIGNS – He might seem like the favorite but that might be too obvious. I can see him winning if he cashes in right after the Seth/Dean match.
1. SHEAMUS – He’s been a beast since he came back, and this would be a good way to keep him relevant. I can imagine him stalking Brock Lesnar.