Friday, 14 October 2016

Elimination Chamber 2015

Image Source: Amazon
Written By: Mark Armstrong

Running Time: 186 Minutes
Certificate: 15
Number Of Discs: 1
Studio: Fremantle Home Entertainment
Released: July 27 2015

(To read a full event review of WWE Elimination Chamber 2015, click here.)

Elimination Chamber, once WWE's final PPV stop before WrestleMania, was a definite B-show in 2015; in fact, it was only announced less than three weeks beforehand. The card still ended up delivering some memorable action and a major upset victory, but rewatching the show on DVD (which incidentally is a UK exclusive), one can't escape the feeling that it was still a card of lesser importance.

The opening Tag Team Elimination Chamber match for the doubles titles has its moments, with some quite frankly insane stunts, but a couple of spots appear to be the subject of wrestler confusion (as in, the performers themselves didn't know where to be at some points), and the finish is a bit anticlimactic, resulting in an opener that is good but by no means great. The three-way match for the Divas Championship is okay, but Nikki Bella vs. Paige vs. Naomi won't exactly be brought up at the end of the year as a vintage showcase of the women's division.

In contrast, John Cena vs. Kevin Owens is a very good back-and-forth battle, which has the shocking conclusion of Owens - in his first match on the main roster - pinning 15-time World Champion Cena clean as a whistle, thus allowing KO to arrive with a bang. After that unforgettable battle - undoubtedly the highlight of the show - fans are slow to react to Neville vs. Bo Dallas, seemingly switching off altogether when Dallas is on the offence; that aside, the match is inoffensive filler.

The Intercontinental Title Elimination Chamber match unfortunately degenerates into a mess: Mark Henry's pod is broken open, forcing him to enter proceedings early, and at one point the action almost stops entirely, as it's clear that nobody has a clue what is supposed to happen next, presumably due to Henry's forced early entry. The participants were fortunate not to be performing in a smarky town like Philadelphia or New York, otherwise the reaction to these scenes could have been very nasty indeed (as it is, the fans appear to be just as confused as the competitors). At least they react positively to Ryback's victory, and to the post-match endorsement of The Big Guy by Daniel Bryan.

Lastly, Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose is an enjoyable main event, but the earlier B-show feel of this card is evidenced by the disqualification finish, which is clearly a tool to allow this feud to continue until the next PPV event, which would be Money In The Bank. On the plus side, the action was good and the fans reacted well to the tease of Ambrose winning the WWE Title, as well as reacting very positively to the post-match appearance by Roman Reigns. In hindsight, the enthused Corpus Christi crowd is one of the big positives about the entire show.

The DVD has a bonus Kick-Off Show match between Stardust and Zack Ryder (during which Jerry Lawler comes extremely close to making a rude joke involving fellow announcer John Bradshaw Layfield), as well as two interview segments involving Ryback and The Bellas. The menu music appears to be a slight re-mix of the old InsurreXtion theme, which may or may not be picked up on by fans who were watching the product during the Attitude Era.

While Elimination Chamber surpassed its fairly low expectations due to the Cena-Owen clinic and some standout moments elsewhere on the card, this is definitely a secondary PPV event. It was tough to watch the card back on DVD, to be honest, because so much of the show feels like filler. This is worth owning to see Owens become a real star with great assistance from Cena, but otherwise it's probably not worth you splashing out on this DVD.

Overall Rating: 6/10 - Reasonable

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