Corpus Christi was given the Elimination Chamber two weeks prior to the event’s announcement. What was surely derived to drive up WWE Network subscription numbers turned into a pretty good wrestling show. In fact, I’d be willing to say it challenges WrestleMania 31 for ‘WWE Show of the Year’ honors. Here’s what we learned according to yours truly, Stoney Keeley:
1. The Mega Powers are more entertaining than we are willing to admit
I hear your complaints – Curtis Axel and Damien Sandow are too good to fall into perpetual comedy gimmicks. I agree to an extent. These guys are two solid in-ring performers, and in Sandow’s case especially, have upper midcard written all over them.
Still, they’ve really taken the ball and run with it. Sandow…excuse me….Mandow continues to show his ability and willingness to tackle any project given to him. Axelmania is really hitting his stride in that regard as well.
It keeps them fresh. It keeps them on the show. I’m okay with that – and besides, I crack up every time they perform the Mega Powers handshake during their entrance.
2. Smart booking made the Tag Team Championship Elimination Chamber
Not everyone in the prestigious Internet Wrestling Community thought this match was as good as I did. To that point, Kalisto looked like a deer in headlights on a couple of occasions. There were missed spots, and for the life of me, I can’t understand why anyone would break up a pin attempt in a chamber match.
I’m looking at you, Cesaro.
Still, this match accomplished quite a bit for the tag division. The New Day continue to be the hottest thing going in this regard, but The Prime Time Players were established as legitimate contenders. The Ascension, in desperate need of some credibility, eliminated two teams. Cesaro & Tyson Kidd had a good showing as well.
3. The Divas division continues lackluster match streak
Blame Nikki Bella. Blame a lack of attention. Blame bad booking – whatever you want. The Divas division just isn’t clicking right now. Naomi’s push was the most interesting thing going for the ladies, but she keeps losing. How long before people stop caring? Did they even care to begin with?
4. Cena did the job
Like him or not, John Cena did the honors for Kevin Owens last night in a big way. This contest could be in contention for match of the year, and is definitely the best Cena match we’ve witnessed in a long time. Huge win for Owens; Huge nod from Cena.
The powers that be in WWE are clearly behind Owens, like many of you reading this article.
5. Neville/Dallas shined in a tough spot.
How do you follow a match the caliber of Cena/Owens? More often than not, you don’t. In a spot usually reserved for a ‘reset button’ of sorts for highly emotional contests, Bo Dallas and Neville put on the epitome of the transitional match – fun, entertaining, refreshing.
6. A Tag Team Champion is in the field for Money in the Bank
So, Kofi Kingston was announced as a competitor in the Money in the Bank ladder match, despite being one-third of the WWE Tag Team Champions. Why? What business does a tag team specialist have being in a ladder match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship?
Maybe I’m in the minority here, but that spot should have gone to someone else.
7. The chamber can sometimes inhibit ring chemistry.
Just ask Ryback and Sheamus. What should have been the pinnacle of Ryback’s career was marred by a collective sigh of relief that the jumbled up, awkward Intercontinental Championship Elimination Chamber was over. This match will go down as one of the worst chamber matches in WWE history.
8. Ambrose/Rollins is the next Rock/Austin, Hart/Michaels
Every generation seems to have that go-to rivalry when time is short and quality is important. In the mid-90s, it was Bret Hart vs. Shawn Michaels. During the Attitude Era, it was Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. The Rock. In the mid-2000s, it was John Cena vs. Randy Orton.
In 2015, it appears that rivalry is Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins. Who’s complaining about that? I could watch these two go at it at every pay-per-view for the next year.
9. WWE is taking the right course of action with Roman Reigns
Roman Reigns’ run to the top was derailed because of negative fan reaction. It seems as though the WWE realized Reigns wouldn’t be provided any favors by shoving him down our throats. Instead, they’ve removed him as the focal face of the company, and given him opportunities to improve and impress.
In the period of time following WrestleMania, Reigns has had two memorable pay-per-view matches, and has now aligned himself with the popular Dean Ambrose.
Maybe the WWE has finally been convinced that patience is a virtue. In the case of Reigns, patience is working.
10. Dean Ambrose is going to win the WWE Championship, and it’s going to be awesome.
A while ago, Vince McMahon stated that Dean Ambrose was one of only four wrestlers he believed could be major wrestling superstars. You wouldn’t know that if you watched WWE programming over the last few months.
Ambrose hasn’t exactly been featured as the face of the future, but we got a small glimpse of what it would be like with Ambrose as WWE World Heavyweight Champion.
Last night’s event provided reassurance that Ambrose has long-term star power potential, and the WWE sees it, too.
Stoney Keeley covers the WWE for WrestlingNews.co, and is a Tennessee Titans Staff Writer for Pro Football Spot. You can follow him on Twitter at @StoneyKeeley and the SPOT’s Tennessee Titans Twitter feed at @spot_titans.