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June 01, 2015

WWE Elimination Chamber: Kevin Owens makes a huge statement and pins John Cena clean

Wrestling Elimination Chamber
060115_owens_WWE WWE/Twitter

Kevin Owens made a huge impact in his first match on the main WWE roster.

Elimination Chamber came to us live from the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, Texas on Sunday night, and we saw the birth of what should undoubtedly be an amazing WWE career for NXT Champion, Kevin Owens.

Not only did Owens provide a fantastic performance in his debut WWE match, but he went over John Cena clean, and then lambasted him on the mic afterwards. That just doesn’t happen in WWE in this day and age. Owens will soon outgrow NXT and will be a huge draw for WWE in the future. I’m positive they realize they have something special in Owens, and this night was absolutely all about him.

While the card overall I would say was good, the Owens-Cena match was great, and if you haven’t seen it yet, I highly suggest going out of your way to catch it.

Elimination Chamber Kickoff Show

Zack Ryder vs. Stardust

Stardust has really fallen down the card, and that could be directly attributed to the injury his brother, Goldust, received and recently underwent surgery for on his right shoulder. There’s really no direction for Stardust, so they’ve put him in an angle with “Arrow” star, Stephen Amell, which began last Monday on Raw. At least he’s back on the winning track.

Your winner: Stardust by pinfall via the Queen’s Crossbow.

Daniel Bryan was then a guest on Miz TV during the Kickoff Show, marking both Bryan’s and Miz’s return to WWE television. This crowd left a lot to be desired in terms of how excited they seemed to be. They just learned two weeks ago this live show would be turned into a pay-per-view caliber show, but you wouldn’t think so judging by the noise level of the crowd, which was maybe at a 3 on a scale of 1 to 10.

Anyhow, back to the segment. The Miz insinuated Bryan’s career was over, which Bryan emphatically denied. I like how they played up the past these two have together when Miz was Bryan’s mentor on the first season of NXT in 2010. Bryan mentioned he’s written a book to be released July 21st titled, “Yes! My Improbable Journey to the Main Event of WrestleMania.” Miz ran down Bryan, how he looked, how he dressed, his fans, and Miz ordered Bryan to listen to his advice. Bryan answered that by introducing the Mega Powers, “Macho” Mandow and Curtis Axel, who eventually got the better of Miz and posed in the ring with Bryan. Axelmania is runnin’ wild!

Also, during the Kickoff Show, Dean Ambrose addressed his match against Seth Rollins for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship in a backstage promo, and Roman Reigns appeared. He told Ambrose to focus on Rollins and he would focus on the rest. A little foreshadowing? No.

WWE Tag Team Championship Elimination Chamber Match

The New Day (c) vs. Cesaro and Tyson Kidd vs. Prime Time Players vs. Los Matadores vs. Lucha Dragons vs. The Ascension

The Ascension and the Lucha Dragons were the first two teams to wrestle inside the Chamber, and it was relatively entertaining. The New Day, all three of them in the pod, grabbed Kalisto’s leg after he was ready to go for a high fly maneuver from the top of the pod in a brilliant move. They actually were able to grab him twice and ruin his high fly attempt.

Kidd and Cesaro were the first team out of the pod and Cesaro wasted no time in superplexing Kalisto off the top of one of the pods.

Los Matadores were the second team released from the pod, and El Torito, who was just chilling atop their pod, hit Cesaro with a hurricanrana. No disqualification, folks! Kalisto, who had scaled to the very top middle of the Chamber structure, then jumped onto a congregation of superstars, and it was met with a “This is awesome!” chant from the crowd.

Los Matadores were eliminated after The Ascension hit Fall of Man on Diego and pinned him.

Did WWE make Elimination Chamber The Ascension’s coming out party? It certainly seemed like it because they were able to eliminate the first two teams of the match and looked impressive in doing so.

Lucha Dragons were eliminated after The Ascension hit Fall of Man on Kalisto.

The Prime Time Players were the third team released from the pod, making all three members of The New Day the last team from the pod. Perhaps a little Authority corruption going on here? I mean, Kane did allow all three members to be involved in this match as a thank you for helping them attack Ambrose and Reigns on SmackDown Thursday night.

The Ascension were eliminated after Darren Young pinned Viktor after hitting him with a gutbuster.

Cesaro looked to have knocked himself out after hitting Young with a gut wrench suplex off the top rope combined with O’Neil hitting him with a powerbomb. You could see it in his eyes that he was not all there, and it took Cesaro a while to come to and get re-involved in the match.

The New Day were the last team released from the pod, and they were met with a triple suplex by the other two teams. Kidd and Cesaro used teamwork to lock Woods back in the pod, but Big E got Woods out of the pod after the next team was eliminated.

Kidd and Cesaro were eliminated after Darren Young rolled Cesaro up for the pin.

The New Day shoved Titus O’Neil’s head through one of the chain link squares in the Chamber structure, but partner was able to hold them at bay as O’Neil was able to get his head free. However, three guys proved to be too much for the Players.

The Prime Time Players were eliminated after all three members pinned O’Neil after Kingston was able to hit him with Trouble in Paradise.

Your winners and STILL WWE Tag Team Champions: The New Day

Predictions: 1/1

The Prime Time Players aren’t done with The New Day yet.

Triple Threat Match for the WWE Divas Championship

Nikki Bella (c) vs. Paige vs. Naomi

Despite a few botches, I think this Divas match was well-paced and rather impressive for Naomi and Nikki. Paige was lucky to avoid serious injury with the reverse hurricanrana by Naomi. That was really impressive-looking, but I’m sure it was scary to perform. I still think Nikki should’ve lost the title in this match, preferably to Naomi, so Paige could win it from her later this summer. Having Nikki hold onto the belt does nothing for the division and I would rather see a new champion, anyway. Maybe we’ll see a title change on Raw tonight. I can hope.

Your winner and STILL Divas Champion: Nikki Bella by pinfall via the Rack Attack on Naomi.

Predictions: 1/2

John Cena (c-US) vs. Kevin Owens (c-NXT)

This is what professional wrestling is all about. WWE was billing this as a Champion vs. Champion match, which was pretty cool to see. Sure, Kevin Owens is the champion of NXT, but to play it as being on par with the United States Championship wasn’t discrediting the U.S. title at all, but was further elevating the importance of being NXT Champion.

And the two had an incredible match, complete with Cena kicking out of Owens’ pop-up powerbomb, Owens kicking out of the Attitude Adjustment, and even Owens giving Cena an Attitude Adjustment of his own, and kicking out of it. Cena’s springboard stunner reappeared, but Owens was able to kick out at two. Owens countered with this:

Owens would then go on to hit a second pop-up powerbomb to stun the wrestling world and pin Cena clean. Near fall after near fall, this match absolutely lived up to its hype. Owens then took the mic and trashed Cena and left the ring triumphant in his first ever match on the main roster. We witnessed something epic on Sunday night, and years from now we’ll probably be asked, “Where were you when Kevin Owens made his mark?” I was sitting in my living room recliner, somewhat shocked, but moreso ecstatic. I told you I wanted to be wrong about predicting Cena to win this match.

Your winner: NXT Champion, Kevin Owens by pinfall via a pop-up powerbomb.

The only thing I worry about is how Rusev and Cena’s feud had the same beginning, with a fairly decisive victory for Rusev. He would then go on to lose three straight to Cena. I’m not sure they’ll do the same thing to Owens, though. Owens went ahead and proved all of his critics wrong Sunday night.

Predictions: 1/3

Neville vs. Bo Dallas

This had to be the worst match placement of the night for Neville and Dallas, especially considering this is where the Divas match would usually be booked. After that Owens/Cena match, nothing would prevent the masses from relieving their bladders or getting that last beer before the last two matches of the night, so we had this match. And it wasn’t a bad match by any means, but there’s a reason this wasn’t just stuck on the Kickoff Show.

Your winner: Neville by pinfall via the Red Arrow.

Predictions: 2/4

Ambrose and Reigns were talking backstage when Triple H confronted both of them. He told Reigns if he got involved in the main event, Ambrose would be disqualified.

WWE Intercontinental Championship Elimination Chamber Match

King Barrett vs. Ryback vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Mark Henry vs. Sheamus vs. R-Truth

Mark Henry made his return to action and took the place of and injured Rusev in this match. Ziggler and Barrett started off the action. When R-Truth would be the first one released from the pod, Barrett greeted him with huge punches in his pod before he could exit.

Barrett then ran Ziggler into the side of Mark Henry’s pod, breaking it open and allowing Henry to escape his pod. That’s… bad news for Barrett. You absolutely saw what I did there. Ryback was the next one out of the pod due to what happened with Henry’s pod.

King Barrett was eliminated after R-Truth pinned him after the Lie Detector.

Sheamus was the last one out of the pod, but the door was apparently stuck and he couldn’t get out. Ryback and Ziggler then worked together to try to take out Henry, but quickly aborted that mission.

R-Truth was eliminated by Ryback after he hit him with the Shell Shock.

Ryback and Ziggler, fresh off their aborted mission to take out Henry, started going at it with each other. Sheamus then revealed he purposely used his Celtic cross to keep the pod from opening, exited his pod and dominated for a bit. Henry and Sheamus then went at it, with Sheamus getting the better of the exchange.

Mark Henry was eliminated by Sheamus after a Brogue Kick.

Someone had to have used this canvas as a slip ‘n slide before since each wrestler seemed to keep slipping after each high-impact maneuver.

Dolph Ziggler was eliminated by Sheamus after a Brogue Kick.

Sheamus and Ryback were the last two left to fight for the Intercontinental Championship, and since I chose Sheamus to walk out of Elimination Chamber with the title, it was just a matter of time before we saw the Celtic Warrior eliminate Ryback from the equation.

But that didn’t happen. Nope. Ryback caught Sheamus with a powerbomb into the chains, then back into the ring. He then hit him with Shell Shock for the win. And I’m shocked.

Your winner and NEW WWE Intercontinental Champion: Ryback

This is Ryback’s first major singles championship in WWE. Daniel Bryan presented Ryback with the championship belt after the match, and Ryback kept the good feelings rollins and said Bryan was an inspiration to him before holding his arm up. And we’re all warm and tingly inside now.

Predictions: 2/5. Without a doubt my worst prognostication record ever.

WWE World Heavyweight Championship

Seth Rollins © vs. Dean Ambrose

To revisit what happened earlier in the show, Triple H banned Reigns from getting involved or else he would disqualify Ambrose.

And to see these two former Shield members, with the third playing an integral role in the match, battle it out in the main event in 2015 is something special. The match wasn’t the best between the two that we’ve been used to seeing, but the finish is something that people will definitely tune into Raw tonight to see what happens next.

Ambrose hit the ref with an inadvertent knee off the top rope when trying to hit Rollins with an elbow drop, but Rollins moved the referee in the middle of Ambrose’s path, knocking him out to the outside of the ring. Another referee ran down while Ambrose had Rollins pinned after hitting him with Dirty Deeds, and counted to three. But something didn’t feel right about how the title win was being presented. And there’s good reason for that, because the original referee came to and disqualified Rollins for putting him in Ambrose’s crossfire. That meant Ambrose would win the match, but Rollins would keep the title.

Rollins, Kane and J & J Security attacked Ambrose to get the title back, and Reigns arrived to help take them out.

Your winner: Dean Ambrose by disqualification.

Ambrose and Reigns left through the crowd together, and one would assume they went and got a few brewskis together.

Triple H wants the belt back. Now. He says Ambrose has until the beginning of Raw tonight to return the title.

Predictions: 2/6. That’s a loss for me.

We’re only two weeks away from another WWE pay-per-view event. This time, Money in the Bank comes to us on June 14th and Sunday night, WWE decided to advertise two matches already for the card. We’ll see Owens/Cena II and six participants already involved in the Money in the Bank Ladder Match for the briefcase. Those six participants are: Dolph Ziggler, Neville, Roman Reigns, Randy Orton, Kofi Kingston and Sheamus. Michael Cole said those wouldn’t be the only ones involved in the match, so there could be at least two more spots added to make eight, or they could even go as high as having 10 superstars in the match. One would assume we’ll see another WWE World Heavyweight Championship match between Ambrose and Rollins, as well. Maybe Rollins’ title reign will get a little more interesting.

Tonight, Raw should be very interesting, especially following up on the Owens/Cena story and Ambrose stealing the WWE World Heavyweight Championship belt. We’ll have it all for you tomorrow morning on the Raw roundup right here.