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It’s Elimination Chamber Sunday and this is also the last post for my Elimination Chamber reviews. I started posting these a few weeks back and you can read them all in the Elimination Chamber archives. There are three more Chamber matches left to finish off my reviews of all 20 matches, so at the bottom of this post you can see my rankings of the 20 matches.

The 2015 Elimination Chamber event featured the first ever Tag Team Elimination Chamber and also the first time the Intercontinental Championship was on the line in the Chamber. The Tag Team Title match aired on the show that I reviewed live three years ago, so here is that review.

WWE Elimination Chamber
Corpus Christi, Texas
May 31, 2015

Here’s the order of entry for tag teams: The Prime Time Players, Los Matadores with El Torito hanging out on top of the pod, Cesaro & Tyson Kidd with Natalya, The New Day trio of Kofi Kingston, Big E & Xavier Woods are all in the match. The final two teams are Lucha Dragons and The Ascension, so they start the match.

Elimination Chamber for the WWE Tag Team Titles: The New Day vs. Tyson Kidd & Cesaro vs. Prime Time Players vs. Los Matadores vs. Lucha Dragons vs. The Ascension

It looks like there was plenty of room in the pods even for the three New Day guys. No tags in this match. Lucha Dragons started with The Ascension and they dominated early on.There was a big move where The Ascension did a double slam move on Sin Cara. Kalisto tried to climb a pod, but he got his leg trapped in the cage. Sin Cara climbed a pod and hit a Swanton Bomb on Viktor. He was too hurt to cover. Kalisto was attacked by New Day, but then he broke free. They yanked down his leg so he was trapped again.

The 3rd team in the match are Cesaro and Kidd. Uppercut into a suplex move by them. Cesaro hit a forearm to the back of Viktor and then another uppercut by Cesaro on Konnor. Kidd went after Kalisto and then Cesaro hit a massive uppercut on him. Cesaro did a superplex off the top rope and off the top of the pod to bring Kalisto in the middle of the ring. Kidd hit a springboard elbow for a two count. Cesaro tossed Cara onto the cage outside the ring. Viktor slammed Kidd. Cesaro broke that up and then Kidd came back with a Sharpshooter on Viktor although Konnor made the save. Cara hit a spinning armbar on Cesaro as Lawler accidentally said JR, so Cole mocked him for that. Kalisto was sent into the cage, so he scaled the side of the chamber while Cara hit a slam on Kidd for two. Konnor hit a Dominator like move for a two count on Cara.

The 4th team in the match are Los Matadores, so El Torito hit a hurricanrana off the pod onto Cesaro. Kalisto climbed to the center of the cage. Everybody looked up at him, so he jumped down with a dive to take everybody out. It’s a spot John Morrison has done in the past, but it’s not easy to do. It looked like a nasty fall for Kalisto. El Torito also climbed to the top of the cage, but when he jumped off he was caught by The Ascension. The Ascension teamed together to hit the Fall of Man on one of Los Matadores to eliminate them.

Los Matadores eliminated by The Ascension

Lucha Dragons got some offense in, but it didn’t work. Kalisto was slammed down hard and then The Ascension hit Fall of Man to eliminate them.

Lucha Dragons eliminated by The Ascension

The 5th team is the Prime Time Players duo of Darren Young and Titus O’Neil. O’Neil dominated Viktor by slamming him into the cage repeatedly. Young hit a Gutbuster on Viktor and pinned him to eliminate The Ascension.

The Ascension eliminated by The Prime Time Players

Two teams left as Cesaro hit a huge clothesline to take down O’Neil and then a dropkick to Young, who was on the top rope. That was very impressive to get high enough to dropkick a guy that high up. They did a unique tower of doom style spot out of the corner with Cesaro giving Young a gutwrench suplex while O’Neil did the powerbomb part of it. Spinebuster by O’Neil on Kidd for two. All four guys were down in the ring as the clock wound down.

The 6th and final team was The New Day trio. They did a very choreographed spot where the four faces suplexed the three heels at the same time. Cesaro and Kidd tossed Woods into a pod to trap him there. They did the Cesaro Swing spot into the Kidd dropkick on Kingston. Immediately after that, Young did the ROLLUP OF DEATH~! on Cesaro and that was enough to eliminate Cesaro.

Cesaro and Tyson Kidd eliminated by Prime Time Players

Big E helped Woods out of the pod, so they worked together on the PTPers with Woods hitting a huge clothesline followed by Kingston hitting boots to the face on O’Neil. Young avoided a Big E slam attempt, then knocked down Woods and Kingston off the top rope while Big E missed a corner charge, so he hit the ring post as well as the pod. O’Neil and Young dominated by tossing the three New Day guys around, but Kingston took down Young with a hip toss onto the cage. O’Neil slammed Kingston into the cage repeatedly. O’Neil hit multiple clotheslines on Big E. Young hit a Gutbuster on Kingston for two. Looks like Kingston was grabbing the rope when he kicked out too. Big E hit a belly to belly on Young outside the ring. O’Neil with a huge slam on Big E. Woods jumped into O’Neil’s arm, then Kingston hit Trouble in Paradise and all three New Day guys covered for the win. The match went 23:40.

Prime Time Players eliminated by The New Day

Winners by pinfall: The New Day

Analysis: *** There’s nothing to really compare it to since that’s the first tag team Chamber match in WWE history. Good work by everybody in the match although it was tough to follow at times too. I was surprised the Lucha Dragons weren’t booked stronger because I thought they were next in line, but WWE chose to push the PTPers a bit more. It was a cheap win for New Day since they had three guys in the match and they also got to enter last. They have been champions for a little over a month, so it makes sense that they would retain.

(This was early in The New Day’s run as a heel team that was given the titles a bit earlier than most of us, but it ended up being a good decision in the long run because of their work in the ring as well as their personalities. It’s the second shortest Chamber match ever with the SummerSlam 2003 match holding the record as the shortest due to Triple H’s groin injury limiting him. My three star rating is the same as when I saw it live.) 

FACTS & OPINIONS

Wrestler that lasted the longest: The Ascension at 13:30.

Most Eliminations:  Prime Time Players and The Ascension with two.

Best Performers (3): Prime Time Players

Cesaro and Tyson Kidd

The New Day

Most Memorable Moment: Kalisto climbing the top of the cell and landing on a bunch of dudes.

Match Rating: *** out of five.

 

Former IC Champion Daniel Bryan was at ringside and a video of him relinquishing the IC Title was shown.

The Chamber was in place for the IC Title match. Mark Henry is the surprise replacement for the injured Rusev and he’s out first followed by Sheamus, R-Truth and Ryback. That means King Barrett and Dolph Ziggler are starting the match.

Elimination Chamber Match for the vacant Intercontinental Title: Sheamus vs. R-Truth vs. Ryback vs. Mark Henry vs. King Barrett vs. Dolph Ziggler

Barrett and Ziggler started the match. I missed a few minutes because I timed by bathroom break poorly. When I returned, Barrett was dominated Ziggler by tossing him into the cage. The clock ran down with Barrett ready for the next guy.

The 3rd man in the match is R-Truth, who was attacked by Barrett immediately. Barrett tossed Truth into cage to knock him down. Ziggler’s offensive attempt failed as Barrett nailed him with a boot to the face and then tossed him into the ring post. Truth hit a boot to the face followed by a missile dropkick for two. Front suplex by Truth followed by a scissors kick. Truth hit a corner splash and then Barrett hit the Winds of Change slam for two. Two kicks by Barrett on Ziggler earned a two count. Barrett drove Ziggler into Henry’s pod and it broke.

Henry entered the ring so apparently he’s the 4th man in the match. Shortly after that, Ryback entered as the 5th man in the match. That’s pretty rare to see two guys enter consecutively like that, but it’s a unique booking idea. Ryback was on fire as he went after Henry and then hit a spinebuster on Barrett. Ziggler got a creative rollup on Barrett for two. Barrett hit Wasteland on Ziggler for two as Henry broke up the pin by going after Barrett. There was a sequence with the four faces working together to eliminate Barrett with R-Truth hitting the Lie Detector on him for the elimination. Poor Barrett may be the most poorly booked King of the Ring winner ever.

King Barrett eliminated by R-Truth

It was time for Sheamus to enter, but the referees couldn’t open the door for to enter the match. They tried rollups on eachother. Ryback hit a clothesline on Henry, Truth hit a forearm smash on Henry, Ziggler hit a superkick on Henry and Ryback hit a spinebuster on Henry. Then Ryback took down Ziggler. Ryback nailed Shellshock on Truth to eliminate him.

R-Truth eliminated by Ryback

Ryback hit a delayed suplex on Ziggler while Sheamus was still stuck in his pod. Ziggler nailed Ryback with a superkick as all three guys were down. Sheamus picked the lock with the celtic cross he had, so it’s selling the idea that he could have got out at any time. Sheamus slammed Ziggler into a pod and went crashing into the glass. Henry knocked down Sheamus with a forearm shot followed by a big splash for two. Sheamus did an eye gouge and then hit a Brogue Kick leading to the pin on Henry.

(The real story with Sheamus was he used his cross to keep himself in the pod longer, but WWE did not tell that story well to those of us watching at home.) 

Mark Henry eliminated by Sheamus

The crowd just isn’t into this match as Sheamus went after Ziggler with a suplex into a slam. This match is pretty boring and the crowd really isn’t into it. Ziggler countered a slam into a rollup for two. Ziggler avoided a corner charge and then hit a DDT for the two count. Ziggler superkick on Ryback. Sheamus hit a Brogue Kick on Ziggler to eliminate him.

Dolph Ziggler eliminated by Sheamus

It comes down to Sheamus and Ryback. The crowd was chanting “feed me more” for Ryback. Sheamus hit a powerslam on him and then he pointed at the IC Title at ringside. Ryback dropped Sheamus with a slam followed by forearm punches. A running powerslam by Ryback. Ryback wanted his clothesline, but Sheamus went out of the pod. Sheamus tried to go into his pod again for some reason. Sheamus came back with White Noise on the steel outside the ring. That earned Sheamus a two count back in the ring. Sheamus went for his forearm shots, but Ryback overpowered him. Sheamus hit a rolling senton outside the ring. Ryback fought back with a Powerbomb into the side of the cage and then a Powerbomb into the ring. Ryback hit the Shellshock in the ring and covered for the victory at 25:12.

Sheamus eliminated by Ryback

Winner by pinfall and New Intercontinental Champion: Ryback

Analysis: *3/4 The crowd was dead for the match and I don’t really blame them because it was below average. The work was pretty good, but it was one of the worst Chamber matches. The problem was there just wasn’t much in terms of storylines going into it, so it was hard for the crowd to be invested in anything that went on. Ryback was my pick to win just because I felt like it would make for a good story with him winning his first title in WWE. Plus, with Daniel Bryan there to present the title it makes more sense for a face to win.

(I don’t think I was harsh enough in my analysis there. It’s a bad match that had a lot of mistakes along the way. My original rating was **, but I took 1/4* off to make the lowest rated and worst Chamber match ever.)

Post match, the Chamber went up and Daniel Bryan was in the ring with the IC Title. Bryan said that congratulations are in order to “The Ryback” – that’s what he calls him. Bryan asked the crowd if he deserved it. Then Bryan said he thought he deserved it, which led to “yes” chants. Ryback said that Bryan’s not just an inspiration to the people, but he’s an inspiration to “The Big Guy” too and he thanked him for it.

Analysis: They used to travel together when Bryan started in WWE and before Bryan was with Brie Bella, so they’re close friends. “The Ryback” is Bryan’s unique name for him. Cool moment for them.

FACTS & OPINIONS

Wrestler that lasted the longest: Dolph Ziggler at 20:25.

Most Eliminations:  Sheamus and Ryback with two.

Best Performers (3): Ryback

Dolph Ziggler

Sheamus

Most Memorable Moment: The final sequence with Ryback beating Sheamus was good. Most of the match was forgettable.

Match Rating: *3/4 out of five.

There was no Elimination Chamber match in 2016, so let’s go to 2017 with last year’s match.

 

WWE Elimination Chamber
Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, Arizona
February 12, 2017

The Elimination Chamber structure is different this time. There’s less room outside the ring, but there is still enough room for guys to take bumps outside the ring. There is a difference in the material outside the ring, though, because it’s padding like a mat instead of the steel. WWE probably wants to make it a softer landing, which is good for the wrestler’s bodies. It is more of a square shape instead of a circle.

Here’s the order of entrance. Dean Ambrose was out first to a big ovation. Baron Corbin was up next to boos. The Miz walked out alone without his lovely wife Maryse. That’s a shame because I like her. Bray Wyatt was the fourth man to enter a pod.

AJ Styles made his entrance. He received mostly cheers even though he’s supposed to be a heel. The last man in the match is the WWE Champion John Cena. Mixed reaction for Cena like usual, but mostly cheers.

WWE Championship Elimination Chamber Match: John Cena vs. AJ Styles vs. Bray Wyatt vs. Baron Corbin vs. The Miz vs. Dean Ambrose

Cena with a shoulderblock. Styles kicked him in the leg. Styles avoided a corner attack. Styles picked up Cena on his shoulders and hit a spinning slam for a two count. Cena powered Styles by launching him into the air and sending him to the mat. Cena hit a sunset flip Powerbomb (aka the Code Red) for a two count. The fans chanted for both guys. Styles with the Ushigoroshi (sunset flip into the knee to the back) for a two count. Cena with shoulder tackles followed by the spinning back suplex. The clock counted down as we hit the five minute mark. The #3 man is Dean Ambrose.

Ambrose was aggressive as he went after Cena. A big difference with this new structure is there’s no longer a steel grating outside the ring. It’s more of a mat. Ambrose gave Styles a suplex into a slam onto the mat outside the ring. Ambrose went on top of the pod and nailed a flying elbow smash to knock down Cena out of the ring. Styles wanted a German Suplex on Ambrose. Cena snuck up behind them and it was a double German Suplex, which drew a big “ooohhh” reaction from the crowd. The fans started a “Let’s go Cena/Cena sucks” chant. Styles nailed a kick to the head of Cena and Ambrose with a clothesline on Styles. The clock counted down for the next man. It’s Bray Wyatt at #4 in the match.

Wyatt cleaned house as soon as he got in the ring. Running cross body block on Ambrose. Styles went for an attack, but Wyatt sent him into the chain. Styles avoided an attack leading to Wyatt hitting the turnbuckle. Styles hit a leg drop to the back of Wyatt. Styles and Cena climbed the side of the chamber for some reason. They exchanged punches on there. Cena crashed onto the padding below.  Styles went onto a pod Ambrose met him on the top of the pod. Ambrose sent Styles head into the side of the structure. Ambrose tried to jump on Wyatt, but Wyatt nailed an uppercut punch on Ambrose. They did a unique Tower of Doom spot with Ambrose doing a powerbomb on Wyatt out of the corner and Wyatt tossed Styles over his head with an overhead suplex like move. What a move! That was unique. Corbin is #5 in the match.

Corbin sent Ambrose face first into the cage. Corbin hit the Deep Six slam on Ambrose in the ring. Corbin sent Wyatt face first into a pod (it didn’t break) and a boot to the face by Corbin. Corbin with a STO on Wyatt on the padding outside the ring. Corbin hit End of Days on Styles. Cena went back into the ring and he went for a STF on Corbin. Corbin powered out of it and hit End of Days on Cena. Ambrose with a missile dropkick on Corbin followed by a clothesline. Ambrose whipped Corbin into the chain several times. Corbin came back by sending Ambrose into the chain as well. Corbin avoided Dirty Deeds, Ambrose went for a move off the ropes, but Corbin shoved him off and sent him into the chain link. Corbin was the only man standing as Miz was #6 to enter.

Miz stayed in the pod. Ambrose snuck up behind Corbin and did the ROLLUP OF DEATH~! to eliminate him. Really? Yes, really.

Baron Corbin eliminated by Dean Ambrose

After the elimination, Corbin hit Miz in the back of the head with a forearm. Corbin whipped Ambrose into one of the pod, which broke. That is always an impressive looking and sounding bump. Corbin put Ambrose’s head up against the chain link chamber and hit a forearm to the back to the head. Corbin hit Ambrose with End of Days in the middle of the ring. Miz took advantage of that to pin Ambrose and eliminate him.

Dean Ambrose eliminated by The Miz

Analysis: That was likely done to set up Ambrose vs. Corbin for the IC Title.

The Miz did his Daniel Bryan mocking spot as he nailed kicks to the chest of Wyatt and Cena at the same time. Running dropkick by Miz on both guys. Miz nailed Bryan with kicks. Miz hit a corner dropkick on Wyatt, corner dropkick on Cena and Miz dumped Wyatt out of the ring. Miz with a corner dropkick on Styles as well. Miz with the corner clothesline on Cena. Miz hit the Skull Crushing Finale on Wyatt on the mat outside the ring. Miz jumped off the top and went for a cross body block on Cena, but Cena caught him and hit the Attitude Adjustment on Miz to eliminate him.

The Miz eliminated by John Cena

That left three men: Cena, Wyatt and Styles. Wyatt and Styles worked together against Cena briefly. Wyatt nailed Styles with an uppercut punch. Cena avoided a senton by Wyatt. Cena with shoulder tackles for Styles and a spinning slam for Wyatt. Cena hit Five Knuckle Shuffle on both guys. Cena hit the Attitude Adjustment on Wyatt. Styles back to his feet with a Styles Clash on Cena for a two count.  Styles went for a Phenomenal Forearm, Cena avoided it and hit the Attitude Adjustment for a two count. Cena was stunned that Styles kicked out at two. Cena climbed up one of the pods and jumped off with a cross body block that knocked down Wyatt and Styles. Cena went for a AA on Wyatt, but Wyatt slipped out and hit Sister Abigail to pin Cena. Crowd cheering and chanting “yes” for that.

John Cena eliminated by Bray Wyatt 

Analysis: That means there will be a new WWE Champion.

The match is at 30 minutes. Wyatt faced off with Styles. Wyatt was in control early. Styles came back with a forearm strike for a two count. Wyatt teased Sister Abigail, but Styles got a rollup for two. Styles nailed his striking offense and Wyatt decked him with a clothesline. Styles with a Pele Kick followed by a running knee attack. Styles nailed a springboard 450 Splash for a two count. Styles was grabbing his ribs for most of the match. I hope it’s just selling and nothing serious. Styles went for a springboard attack leading to a Phenomenal Forearm. Wyatt avoided it and hit Sister Abigail for the pinfall and the win. The match went 34:20.

AJ Styles eliminated by Bray Wyatt

Winner by pinfall and NEW WWE Champion: Bray Wyatt

Analysis: ****1/2 That was an outstanding match that was given a lot of time to tell the story of Wyatt outlasting everybody to win his first WWE Title. I loved the story with Cena and Styles having to outlast everybody, but they couldn’t do it. I also thought it was brilliant to have Wyatt pin Cena and Styles. It put him over in a huge way because he beat the two former WWE Champions. It gives Wyatt credibility immediately. Some finishers were kicked out of by Cena and Styles, but I didn’t mind it based on their amazing match at the Royal Rumble. They did a good job of utilizing Miz, Corbin and Ambrose in the match as well because it set up Corbin and Ambrose for a feud. Miz wasn’t in there for long, but at least he got a pinfall on Ambrose. As for Wyatt, I’m genuinely happy for him after having so many stop and start pushes in his career. He deserves to be in the spot he’s in. The win wasn’t a surprise by any means. I’m just glad that it finally happened.

(I don’t have much to add there. I loved this match when I watched it again. The booking was really good and the execution by the talent was great. They didn’t have any eliminations until all six guys were in there, Styles eliminated nobody, yet he lasted the whole time and Wyatt was put over huge because he beat the last two WWE Champions to win the match. It was not a flukey win at all. Wyatt proved he was the better man, so that’s why the story worked so well.)

Wyatt was handed the WWE Title. He had a big smile on his face. The crowd was mostly cheering even though he’s a heel. Replays aired of the key spots of the match with Wyatt getting the big pinfalls on former champs John Cena and AJ Styles.

The arena was darkened with Wyatt pointing to the WrestleMania sign. He had the WWE Title in his hands as the “fireflies” in the crowd lit up the arena. Randy Orton showed up in the entrance area to have a staredown with Wyatt. The show ended with Wyatt posing with the WWE Title in the ring.

Analysis: Good way of teasing the Wyatt vs. Orton match at WrestleMania.

(The tease was good, but the match at WrestleMania and the feud sucked.)

FACTS & OPINIONS

Wrestler that lasted the longest: AJ Styles at 34:20.

Most Eliminations: Bray Wyatt with two.

Best Performers (3): AJ Styles – He was the glue that kept the match together and made it great.

Bray Wyatt – He was in there for over 20 minutes and this was definitely one of the best matches of his career.

John Cena – An important role as the guy that walked into the match as the WWE Champ and then put over the future champ.

Most Memorable Moment: Wyatt winning the match was the most memorable part of it because we all thought it was probably happening, but until you see it you can’t really mark out for it. The ovation for him was pretty huge.

Match Rating: ****1/2 out of five.

Ranking The Elimination Chamber Matches
It’s very tough to come up with an order for these matches especially at the top because I have three matches at ****1/2 out of five. Since I have watched them all recently, it makes it even more difficult. I’m going with last year’s Chamber match won by Bray Wyatt as the best of them all because of the booking, the near flawless work in the ring and the incredible story it told. The 2011 match won by Edge was mostly the Edge and Rey show with others involved, but it was really about those two. I liked the 2008 match won by Triple H a lot although not at the same level as the 2017 match. Anyway, here’s the order from best to worst.
  1. Elimination Chamber 2017 WWE Championship won by Bray Wyatt – ****1/2
  2. Elimination Chamber 2011 World Heavyweight Title (Smackdown) won by Edge – ****1/2
  3. No Way Out 2008 WWE Championship #1 Contenders (Raw) won by Triple H – ****1/2
  4. Survivor Series 2002 World Heavyweight Title won by Shawn Michaels – ****1/4
  5. No Way Out 2009 WWE Championship (Smackdown) won by Triple H – ****1/4
  6. Elimination Chamber 2014 WWE Championship won by Randy Orton – ****1/4
  7. No Way Out 2009 World Heavyweight Title (Raw) won by Edge – ****
  8. New Year’s Revolution 2005 World Heavyweight Title won by Triple H – ****
  9. Elimination Chamber 2011 WWE Championship #1 Contenders (Raw) won by John Cena – ****
  10. Elimination Chamber 2013 World Title #1 Contender won by Jack Swagger  – ****
  11. Elimination Chamber 2012 Wolrd Heavyweight Title won by Daniel Bryan – ***3/4
  12. Elimination Chamber 2010 WWE Championship (Raw) won by John Cena – ***1/2
  13. Elimination Chamber 2012 WWE Championship (Raw) won by CM Punk – ***1/2
  14. Elimination Chamber 2010 World Heavyweight Title (Smackdown) won by Chris Jericho – ***1/4
  15. New Year’s Revolution 2006 WWE Championship won by John Cena – ***1/4
  16. No Way Out 2008 World Title #1 Contenders (Smackdown) won by The Undertaker – ***1/4
  17. Elimination Chamber 2015 WWE Tag Team Titles won by The New Day – ***
  18. SummerSlam 2003 World Heavyweight Title won by Triple H – ***
  19. December To Dismember 2006 ECW Championship won by Bobby Lashley – **
  20. Elimination Chamber 2015 Intercontinental Championship won by Ryback – *3/4

 

That’s a wrap. My reviews of the first 20 Elimination Chamber matches are available in our Elimination Chamber archives in case you want to read or reference them at any point. Thanks for reading!

John Canton – mrjohncanton@gmail.com

Twitter @johnreport

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