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In six days, Randy Orton, John Cena, Daniel Bryan, Cesaro, Sheamus & Christian will collide in the Elimination Chamber. That is, if tensions between the six competitors don’t boil over into chaos first. It very nearly came to that in the opening moments of Raw, when an address by John Cena turned into a six-way standoff between the Chamber Match participants. Before the situation could escalate into a melee, though, WWE Director of Operations Kane – running Raw in The Authority’s stead – made a move to restore order: The Chamber foes would be separated into three pairs for singles matches. The already-announced Orton vs. Sheamus would be joined by Cena vs. Cesaro and, immediately, Bryan vs. Christian.
One more win for Daniel Bryan, this time at the expense of Christian in a tense back-and-forth contest that nearly left the “Yes!” man injured when all was said and done. Bryan was battling from behind after Christian hurled him shoulder-first into the steel steps before the bell even tolled. Christian’s frustration over his loss to Randy Orton – the only one in The Viper’s Chamber Match gauntlet – boiled over into an aggressive plan of attack centered around painful holds (and, at one point, a barrage of punches) that aggravated Bryan’s injured shoulder.
Fighting with one arm largely robbed Bryan of his submission efficiency, so Bryan turned instead to his legs after a dive to the outside gave him some much-needed breathing room. The submission master blasted Captain Charisma with kicks to the torso, though Christian countered with a spinning elbow off the turnbuckle. A last-gasp effort spurred Bryan to victory when he employed an unorthodox roll-up reversal of the Killswitch, but his relief was cut short when Kane – who had remained at ringside – grabbed hold of the mic to announce another match for the former WWE Champion: Against the Director of Operations himself.
Oh, hell no: Daniel Bryan may have gotten his second victory of the night, yet the win certainly rang hollow thanks to the manner in which The Beard found himself beaten to a pulp by his former tag team partner. No small package could save Bryan from The Devil’s Favorite Director of Operations this time; Kane’s repeated targeting of his former friend’s injured shoulder meant Bryan didn’t have a hope in hell of mounting a significant offense.
The WWE Universe’s chants of “YOU SOLD OUT!” didn’t prevent Kane from pummeling Bryan against the turnbuckle. The “Yes!” man briefly found daylight with a missile dropkick, though Kane snuffed his hopes out with authority (or Authority) by wrenching Bryan’s arm against the turnbuckle until he was disqualified. A ruling, by the way, of which Kane was very much aware and not at all sorry for.
Encore, encore! Fandango repeated his victory over Santino Marella from last Monday’s Raw by defeating The Italian Stallion for a second consecutive week, despite the energetic presence of Emma in the former U.S. Champion’s corner. Santino fared much better in his efforts against Fandango than he did last week, though it was, ironically enough, Emma who cost him the match: Santino was seemingly smitten with his companion and even attempted to steal a kiss from her. Alas, his overtures gave a reeling Fandango time to recover, and the devious dancer snatched victory from The Milan Miracle with two boots to the face and a sit-out suplex for three.
The Hall of Pain will have to wait for Roman Reigns, who narrowly avoided joining Mark Henry’s list of conquered foes when he defeated The World’s Strongest Man in the latest statement win of his young career. Reigns – looking to one-up Dean Ambrose’s efforts from the previous week – certainly walked tall heading into the match, though a giant boot to the face from Henry wiped the smile off his face fast. Despite a bone-rattling headbutt from Henry, the “heavy artillery” muscled his way into the match with a Samoan drop and Superman Punch, following up with a spear for the victory.
Ambrose, looking to upstage his teammate, began an attack of his own on Henry that was cut short by an address from The Wyatt Family on the TitanTron. Reigns, fed up with the shadow games, dared the Family to face them in person and was happily obliged, though Bray, Harper & Rowan stopped short of a full-on confrontation. This Sunday will be another story.
Looks like Jack is back on track. Jack Swagger, he of the recent struggles in the Real Americans’ camp, shook off the cobwebs and got down to business on Raw, following up his Fatal 4-Way victory on SmackDown with a singles win over Kofi Kingston en route to his Intercontinental Showdown with Big E. Swagger made quick work of The Boom Squad General, manhandling the former Intercontinental Champion in an impressive display.
Moments away from a vicious defeat, Kofi cut Swagger short with a springboard missile dropkick and nearly got the win with the S.O.S., though the former World Heavyweight Champion barely saved himself by reaching the ropes. A rolling Kingston took to the skies with a soaring lateral press, but Swagger rolled free of the pinfall attempt and applied a Patriot Lock that finally forced Kofi to tap ... though Big E's sudden entrance for his own match caused the No. 1 contender to make himself scarce in a hurry.
Maybe it should be 3M-E. The reigning Intercontinental Champion Big E shredded two of 3MB’s members, defeating Drew McIntyre & Jinder Mahal in Handicap Match action following his singles bouts with each man on WWE Main Event. Even with the support of “The Maharajah,” McIntyre found himself tossed unceremoniously from the ring within moments. Zeb Colter’s trash-talking distracted Big E long enough for “The Chosen One” to re-enter the fray, and the tandem found their groove long enough to bring the champion to his knees. A backdrop to Mahal opened the match up for Big E, who tossed McIntyre over the ropes again and tossed Jinder into Drew with a belly-to-belly suplex before executing a pair of Big Endings to bring the match to, well, a big ending.
Cesaro notched a potentially star-making win when he defeated Randy Orton on SmackDown, yet the “dark horse” of the Elimination Chamber Match found himself beaten – barely – by John Cena when he faced the 14-time World Champion on Raw. That said, the former U.S. Champion certainly did not go quietly, living up to his self-ascribed “throwback” label by grounding Cena with headlocks and hip tosses before opening the bout up with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker.
Cena, for all his bravado, seemed wary of his mighty opponent and Cesaro capitalized with offense as fast as it was brutal. Cena took advantage of Cesaro’s own mounting momentum by hurling him into the ropes and hitting a Five-Knuckle Shuffle on his dazed opponent, but Cesaro rallied with a jaw-jacking Very European Uppercut. The 14-time World Champion’s own resilience was nothing to scoff at; he twice reversed the Cesaro Swing and later kicked out of the third, successful attempt at the maneuver. Cesaro’s escape of the Attitude Adjustment forced Cena into a last-minute adjustment and he delivered, clocking his foe with a clothesline and finally hitting the AA to capture the win, but boy, was it close.
Collectively, Sin Cara & Los Matadores fly higher than a flock of buzzards. Still, the colorful competitors found themselves turned into a three-course meal by The Wyatt Family, who battled their way to a Six-Man victory less than a week before they go to war with The Shield. The Matadors attempted to trade in their typical theatrics for a harder-hitting game plan and were met with brutal force by The Wyatts, who isolated Diego for minutes on end until he blasted Like Harper with an enziguiri.
Sin Cara stormed in off Diego’s tag to bring Harper down, though Erick Rowan saved him from a pinfall attempt. Los Matadores kept The Wyatts’ resident monster down with a simultaneous suicide dive and Sin Cara used his agility to set Harper up for a senton. The big man dodged the move and clobbered his foe with the discus clothesline, though, tagging Bray Wyatt moments later to administer Sister Abigail to The International Icon. Buenas noches.
Oh, you didn’t know? The New Age Outlaws may well be in trouble now that they’ve come up short twice against the No. 1 contenders for their WWE Tag Team Championships. Even former King of the Ring Billy Gunn wasn’t able to rally the duo from their SmackDown misfortune and stop a rare solo effort from one of the Samoan brothers, Jey Uso.
Jey had Gunn at a disadvantage from the beginning, confounding the Attitude Era veteran with his unpredictable offense (Jimmy did his part as well, stunning Road Dogg into silence on commentary). A brief strategy session helped Gunn get some momentum back, though Jey saved his best maneuver for last by reversing the Famouser into a roll-up pin, following it up with a two-pronged attack on the cocky champions that was truly “Bad Ass.”
Redemption is … not quite Randy Orton’s. At least not yet, thanks to a wild brawl that brought the Champion of Champions’ must-win match against Sheamus to an inconclusive end. Orton, looking for a victory after falling to three of his five Elimination Chamber Match opponents, was immediately besieged by the Irishman’s “blunt-force trauma,” so much so he had to take a few breaks in the middle of the match.
Even though Sheamus kept pace with The Viper, Orton scored the big move of the match by putting the Irishman through the announce table in an attempt to score a count-out win, though Sheamus made it back in at nine to stay alive. A few chest clubs later and it was Orton’s turn to dig deep and stave off White Noise with a backbreaker and hanging DDT. A failed RKO spurred Sheamus into a rage; The Celtic Warrior executed three consecutive Irish Curses and called for the Brogue Kick … until The Shield swarmed him and closed the bout with a disqualification. The brawling Superstars were quickly joined by John Cena, Daniel Bryan, Sheamus, Cesaro and, finally, The Wyatts, who kicked off an all-out melee from which no one Superstar could escape. In other words, a perfect prelude to the chaos to come.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Daniel Bryan defeated Christian (11:11)
- Daniel Bryan defeated Kane by Disqualification (3:55)
- Fandango (w/ Summer Rae) defeated Santino Marella (w/ Emma) (2:43)
- Roman Reigns (w/ Seth Rollins & Dean Ambrose) defeated Mark Henry (2:49)
- Jack Swagger (w/ Zeb Colter) defeated Kofi Kingston (4:41)
- Big E defeated 3MB (Drew McIntyre & Jinder Mahal) in a Handicap Match (4:17)
- John Cena defeated Cesaro (w/ Zeb Colter & Jack Swagger (19:08)
- The Wyatt Family (Bray Wyatt, Luke Harper, & Erick Rowan) defeated Los Matadores (Fernando & Diego) & Sin Cara (w/ El Torito) (5:35)
- Jey Uso (w/ Jimmy Uso) defeated Billy Gunn (w/ Road Dogg) (3:22)
- Sheamus defeated Randy Orton by DQ (14:55)
Other on-screen talent