WWE Elimination Chamber 2015 Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights

Ryan Dilbert@@ryandilbertWWE Lead WriterMay 31, 2015

WWE Elimination Chamber 2015 Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights

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    Credit: WWE.com

    WWE Elimination Chamber 2015 was at its best when it ventured outside of the steel.

    The card's two best matches needed no metal gratings or Plexiglass pods to engage. Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins added another enthralling chapter to their feud. Kevin Owens, meanwhile, began his WWE story with an echoing statement in the ring.

    Those bouts outdid the match that gives the Elimination Chamber event its name.

    The two-week buildup and some lackluster performances in front of a lackluster crowd led to a mostly underwhelming show. The following is a look at WWE's latest offering, complete with grades, highlights and reflections.

Zack Ryder vs. Stardust

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    Fans who were filing into the arena caught a previously unannounced clash of midcarders.

    Zack Ryder frustrated Stardust early. A series of arm drags and a dropkick off the ring apron had Ryder smiling. Stardust responded, though, by slowing the pace and taking control.

    The heel focused on Ryder's back, cracking his knee against his spine and bending him backward. He finished off the former U.S. champ with Cross Rhodes.

    Result

    Stardust wins via pinfall.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    Ryder nails Stardust with a flying elbow off the ring apron.

    John "Bradshaw" Layfield acts as if Cross Rhodes is a new move dubbed "The Queen's Crossbow."

    Grade

    C-

    Analysis

    This was a decent opening match, considering the lack of narrative beforehand. A few near-falls made for some bursts of excitement, but this was nothing special.

    The announcers seemed uninterested in the action. They joked around and discussed other matches, rarely focusing on the bout on hand.

    It's worth noting that the commentators did bring up Stephen Amell of Arrow. That will only fuel speculation of a battle between him and Stardust at SummerSlam.

Daniel Bryan on 'Miz TV'

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    After welcoming Daniel Bryan to Miz TV, The Miz wished his former foe a speedy recovery. He didn't let Bryan talk, though, instead dishing about how he created Bryan.

    The Miz offered to revamp Bryan's image. Bryan shrugged him off, announcing he was at the arena to present the Intercontinental Championship to whoever won it.

    Bryan introduced Damien Sandow and Curtis Axel, who manhandled The Miz and cleared the ring to celebrate.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    The Miz emerges wearing a sleeveless hoodie/dresslike outfit.

    "My career is not over. I will be back."—Bryan

    "Are you wearing makeup? You need to."—The Miz

    Grade

    C

    Analysis

    The Miz maximized what would have otherwise been a goofy scene following a chance for Bryan to plug his book. His character entertained; the segment overall did not.

    It was good to hear that Bryan still has a career left ahead of him, but this fell flat. The Sandow and Axel version of The Mega Powers is swinging and missing. And WWE and Bryan still not being more upfront about what is keeping Bryan out of action made the interview feel less significant than it could have been.

Tag Team Championship Elimination Chamber Match

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    The Prime Time Players, Los Matadores, Cesaro and Tyson Kidd and The New Day all began the match watching from inside their respective pods. The Ascension and The Lucha Dragons kicked things off in the ring.

    Kalisto and Sin Cara handled The Ascension early on. Cesaro and Kidd beat up on Viktor and Konnor as well. 

    The match momentarily grew crowded as Los Matadores entered. El Torito got involved, but that didn't prevent the bullfighters from falling to a double pin from The Ascension. Viktor and Konnor then took out Kalisto to cut the field to four teams.

    The Prime Time Players joined the fray, swinging away as soon as they stepped out of the pod. In short time, they knocked off The Ascension.

    All three members of The New Day entered. They soon had few opponents to worry about. Darren Young rolled up Cesaro to steal a pinfall.

    Xavier Woods and Co. all piled onto Titus O'Neil to end the battle.

    Result

    The New Day retain the tag titles.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    The New Day pull Kalisto into their pod.

    Sin Cara hits a senton onto Viktor from the top of the pod.

    Cesaro superplexes Kalisto off the pod.

    Kalisto climbs to the top of the chamber and falls onto his foes.

    Cesaro dropkicks Young, who was sitting dazed atop the top turnbuckle.

    Cesaro and Kidd lock Woods in a pod.

    The New Day shove O'Neil's head through the cage wall.

    Cesaro, Kidd and O'Neil triple-suplex The New Day.

    Young sends Big E headfirst into a pod.

    Grade

    B

    Analysis

    The New Day's gleeful celebration was a welcome sight. The same goes for all the big spots the bout contained.

    Psychology and pace suffered, however. The wrestlers below Kalisto all looked like they were waiting around for Kalisto to fall on them. Cesaro, for some reason, saved Sin Cara from getting pinned. Several spots felt forced.

    The match also lacked urgency at times.

    It's good to see The Ascension allowed to make a big impact. WWE has too often made them look weak. The Prime Time Players received some unexpected spotlight as well.

    The heart of the match occurred when the field shrank. That allowed The Prime Time Players and The New Day to work a better, more fluid portion of the action.

Nikki Bella vs. Paige vs. Naomi (Divas Championship)

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    The Authority banned both Brie Bella and Tamina Snuka from being at ringside. That left Nikki Bella to fend for herself against two hungry challengers.

    Early on, Naomi and Paige focused on the champ. The strategy soon morphed into chaos, though. Collisions between each woman came often.

    Naomi hit a Rear View while Nikki went for the Rack Attack to Paige. Paige went for the PTO but suffered a hard strike from Naomi instead. The champ managed to take advantage of a brief one-on-one situation and hit her finisher on Naomi.

    Result

    Nikki wins via pinfall.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    Naomi hurls Nikki into the announce table.

    Nikki powerbombs both Naomi and Paige.

    Naomi drops Paige on her head on a failed reverse hurricanrana.

    Grade

    C+

    Analysis

    As has so often been the story in the women's division, the women worked hard to make the most of limited ring time. A short match didn't allow the drama to build here. The women provided solid intensity, but the bout felt incomplete.

    The stipulation that no one was allowed at ringside didn't add to the story at all.

    And it's unclear what WWE is doing with Naomi. Losing as she did slows her momentum. A post-match tantrum or attack would have helped counterbalance that.

Kevin Owens vs. John Cena

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    John Cena and Kevin Owens both proudly held up their respective championships before going to battle.

    Owens rocked Cena with hard right hands and a flurry of kicks to the gut. The NXT champ then dominated, keeping Cena grounded.

    Cena's attempted comebacks fell short each time; Owens continued to plant Cena into the mat. The United States titleholder wouldn't stay down, though. Even a pop-up powerbomb didn't net Owens a three-count.

    Owens managed to kick out of the Attitude Adjustment, showing off resiliency of his own.

    Each man then threw out signature move after signature move, each time not doing enough damage to topple his foe. The clash grew intense, with the strikes getting harder. Owens ended it with a pop-up powerbomb.

    Owens then bragged about the win, telling Cena it's time to go.

    Result

    Owens wins via pinfall.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    Owens urges Cena to hit him on the chin.

    Owens hits a springboard moonsault from the top rope.

    Mocking Cena, Owens goes for the Five-Knuckle Shuffle and then hits an AA.

    Cena nails Owens with a hard tornado DDT.

    Owens hits a huge modified brainbuster from the top rope.

    "Your time is up."—Owens to Cena

    Grade

    A

    Analysis

    What an impression Owens made in his first match on the main roster. What a bold, welcome choice from WWE.

    Rather than go the typical route of avoiding a Cena loss, the company wisely used Cena's star power to catapult a new face onto the scene.

    WWE treated Owens as if he is going to be a major player going forward. He not only debuted against Cena but was also allowed to manhandle the star for much of the bout. He kicked out of the AA and the springboard stunner.

    He didn't just push Cena; he matched him step for step.

    Excellent booking elevates excellent action. Both men delivered a great match. WWE can go to this pairing again with confidence.

    A full-fledged Cena-Owens feud promises to be stellar.

Bo Dallas vs. Neville

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Neville was a blur early on. He had Bo Dallas reeling with his high-flying moves.

    Dallas, though, took control after distracting his foe by begging from his knees. A crash-landing into the turnbuckle slowed Dallas soon after.

    A Red Arrow from Neville ended the short match.

    Result

    Neville wins via pinfall.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    Neville hits a moonsault on the outside of the ring.

    Dallas flings Neville out of the ring.

    "I'll bet Bo Dallas thinks he's in there with an octopus right now."—Jerry Lawler

    Grade

    C+

    Analysis

    Neville vs. Dallas served as a cooldown bout after the emotional thriller that was Kevin Owens vs. John Cena. It featured solid action and the usual fun offense from Neville.

    The New Sensation, though, has delivered far better matches since moving to the main roster. This lacked spark compared to his best work.

    There's potential to expand this feud. With more buildup, these two promise to make waves from the midcard.

Intercontinental Championship Elimination Chamber Match

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    Mark Henry entered first, officially taking the injured Rusev's place. Sheamus, R-Truth and Ryback followed, each stepping inside a pod.

    King Barrett and Dolph Ziggler occupied the final spots, beginning the action in the ring. Barrett alternated between clocking Ziggler and gloating. The Englishman soon made sure R-Truth didn't get off to a good start. He attacked him before the rapper could even get out of the pod.

    Barrett riled up Henry, which came back to haunt him. Ziggler's crash into the pod allowed Henry to leave his early and wallop Barrett.

    Ryback entered next, taking on Henry. The Big Guy soon helped the babyfaces knock off Barrett. 

    Sheamus was supposed to enter last, but his pod door wouldn't open. 

    Meanwhile, Ryback eliminated R-Truth, and the remaining opponents all flattened one another. Sheamus stepped in to pick up the scraps. A Brogue Kick then allowed The Celtic Warrior to take out Henry, before he took Ziggler out of the match.

    Ryback and Sheamus, the last two men standing, battled it out alone. After a long brawl, The Big Guy hit Shell Shocked for the win.

    Daniel Bryan presented the title to the new champ, trying to rile up the crowd. 

    Result

    Ryback wins the Intercontinental Championship.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    Barrett smashes Ziggler through a pod.

    Sheamus sends Ziggler through a pod.

    Ryback powerbombs Sheamus into the ring.

    Grade

    D

    Analysis

    ECW now has competition for the worst Elimination Chamber match ever. A sluggish pace, a lack of energy and minimal use of the structure made this a boring bout.

    It didn't have nearly the amount of highlights that the tag team version had. It felt lifeless for most of it.

    Not engaging earlier on made Ryback's win underwhelming. Rather than Ryback's first title victory feeling dramatic, it was just a relief that the match ended.

Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins (WWE World Heavyweight Championship)

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    Backstage, Triple H told Roman Reigns he was not allowed at ringside. Seth Rollins' posse was, however, allowed to stand in his corner.

    Dean Ambrose didn't look like he needed Reigns' support early on. He had the champion hurting, thanks to chops to the chest and forearm shots.

    Distractions from J&J Security helped Rollins gain control. He snarled as he beat down his former partner. The slow pace soon picked up.

    After trading near-falls, the two foes collided outside. They then flew at each other, both champion and challenger putting their feet on the gas.

    Ambrose survived Rollins' best shots. The Lunatic Fringe responded by nearly pinning the champ several times. He then looked to take out the men distracting him, flying onto Kane and Co.

    On his next flight, he knocked out the referee.

    Dirty Deeds kept Rollins down long enough for another referee to hop in the ring and count to three. Ambrose celebrated with the title in hand.

    The original referee, though, overruled the decision. He disqualified Rollins for pulling him in front of Ambrose. A beatdown followed.

    The Authority pounced on Ambrose until Roman Reigns came charging in. The Lunatic Fringe then stole the WWE title, taking it with him into the crowd.

    Result

    Ambrose wins via disqualification.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    With Ambrose tied up in the corner, Rollins hits a diving foot stomp.

    Ambrose crashes into Rollins, sending both men flying over the announce table.

    Rollins powerbombs Ambrose into the guardrail.

    "You think you're championship material? You think you can hang with me?"—Rollins to Ambrose

    Ambrose flips Rollins over with a rebound clothesline.

    Ambrose leaps off the top rope onto J&J Security and Kane.

    Grade

    B+

    Analysis

    Kudos to Rollins and Ambrose for managing to craft another compelling performance against each other. They have battled so often that it's surprising they can make each match feel different and special.

    It's the screwy finish that holds this back.

    Ambrose actually winning would have had fans buzzing, hungry to see more. Rollins taking advantage of the referee being out and cheating his way to victory would have had the heat fall on him, not the WWE writing team.

    As it stands, the ending lets much of the air out of the match and feels like WWE is just toying with fans. Still, there was plenty of action to savor here, and Ambrose walking around with a stolen title promises to be fun going forward.