Randy Orton booked his place at Wrestlemania with a famous victory in the Elimination Chamber match, but it was the Wyatt Family who stole the show.
Their involvement throughout the pay-per-view made sure it was one to remember, as they claimed victory against the Shield before they affected the outcome of the main event; the Elimination Chamber match.
The Elimination Chamber pay-per-view kicked off with Big E Langston’s Intercontinental Title on the line. His opponent, Jack Swagger, dominated for most of the match and looked likely to end his opponent’s 96-day title reign.
Langston, however, proved too much for the ‘All-American’ and showed fantastic resilience to retain his belt. Kicking out of Swagger’s ‘Patriot Lock’ twice, Big E finished the match in a typical powerful manner, delivering a ‘Big Ending’ to retain his belt.
Oh you didn’t know? Another title defence followed, with six-time “Tag-Team champions of the world”, New Age Outlaws taking on the energetic Usos in an exciting encounter.
The high-flying Jimmy and Jey have been impressive in recent weeks and were fully deserving of a title match at the pay-per-view event. But the Attitude Era legends made sure that they would continue their impressive return as champions, and Billy Gunn, as well as telling everyone to ‘suck it’ in his patented manner, completed the victory with a schoolboy pin.
The next match on the cards was hardly a classic, but looked to settle the score in a rivalry recently spawned between former tag-team partners Titus O’Neil and Darren Young. The match provided O’Neil with a big victory.
Believe in the Wyatts
The Shield’s clash with the Wyatt Family was highly anticipated as two of the most dominant factions of the last year in the WWE collided on the big stage.
Before the match had even begun, chants of “this is awesome” echoed throughout the arena, reflecting on how much excitement had been created in the build-up of the rivalry. The ante had been upped.
The match was definitely a classic, with continuous action and chaos wowing the spectators, who were gripped by the exhilarating encounter.
At times the bout was a brawl, with juggernaut of ‘The Shield’ Roman Reigns showing his brutal strength to overcome the maniacal Bray Wyatt. It also provided surprises, with 300-pound superstar Luke Harper showing the full extent of his wrestling ability, delivering dropkicks and launching himself over the ropes to attack Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins.
Rollins was smashed through a table (of course the Spanish announcer's) and it gave the Wyatt’s the numbers advantage which they duly capitalised on. Reigns did his best to hold off his attackers, but Bray Wyatt was able to deliver the ‘Sister Abigail’ to claim victory in an enthralling battle.
The next two matches that would follow could not capture the same level of excitement or engagement from the crowd, however.
AJ Lee defended her Divas title against ‘Funkadactyl’ Cameron and due to the interference of Tamina Snuka, the match was won by Cameron. AJ Lee retained the belt however, due to the nature of the victory.
Royal Rumble winner Batista was next in action, competing in his first singles match since his return to the WWE. His opponent, Alberto Del Rio entered the ring with a neck brace and a crutch claiming he would not be able to compete.
The Mexican superstar then showed his true colours as he attacked Batista with the crutch before the match had started. The crowd certainly enjoyed the ‘heel’ Del Rio’s brutal actions, but Batista was eventually victorious.
Chants of ‘boring’ and constant booing for anything Batista did gave a clear indication of how the match was received and meant that the main event inside the Elimination Chamber had to deliver as much as excitement as the Wyatt/Shield clash already had.
The Viper’s Pit
The main event had a lot to live up to, and began with Cesaro and Sheamus squaring off, while Daniel Bryan, John Cena, Christian and champion Randy Orton waited their turn to enter from the four sealed chambers surrounding the ring.
All the pressure was on Orton of course, whose recent bad run of matches before Elimination Chamber meant that many were questioning if he would retain his WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
The crowd were behind Cesaro as he brawled with Sheamus but they made it clear who their favourite was when Bryan became the first to be released from his chamber.
The lethal terrain of the chamber provided many exciting and dangerous moments and Bryan was the first to be slammed through one of the ‘holding pods’. Christian then entered, followed by Cena, creating a five-man brawl in the ring while the champion Orton watched on.
Orton eventually followed, taking advantage of his tired opponents. Strategy proved to be extremely important and Orton attempted to protect himself by placing himself back in his pod. A ‘brogue kick’ through the plastic from Sheamus, however, put an end to the coward tactics from the champion.
The match started to see eliminations, with Sheamus (pinned by Christian) and Christian (pinned by Bryan) gone in quick succession. Cesaro began to dominate, but was eliminated when he tapped out after Cena locked in the ‘STF’.
Then, out of nowhere the lights went out and The Wyatt Family made their presence felt once again, appearing inside the chamber, attacking Cena and Bryan.
Orton took advantage, pinning Cena, leaving Orton and Bryan to fight for the title. Kane appeared to restore order and remove the Wyatt’s from the situation, but he became a target for Bryan, who launched himself at the Director of Operations with a flying kick.
Bryan began to take advantage of Orton and looked like he was to claim victory, but Kane, still on the floor of the chamber, pulled the referee away denying him victory.
Kane’s presence ultimately decided the victory, hitting Bryan to give Orton the opportunity to retain his belt. The Wyatt’s involvement was also key, as their unexplained involvement enhanced the champion's odds of winning.
A main event significant for Orton, but the pay-per-view was without questioned dominated by the notorious Wyatt Family.
Big E Langston def Jack Swagger by pinfall
The New Age Outlaws def The Usos by pinfall
Titus O'Neill def Darren Young by pinfall
The Wyatt Family def The Shield by pinfall
Cameron def AJ Lee by DQ
Batista def Alberto Del Rio by pinfall
Randy Orton def Daniel Bryan, Sheamus, John Cena, Antonio Cesaro and Christian in the Elimination Chamber