Dean Ambrose walked out of the WWE Network exclusive Elimination Chamber with the WWE World Heavyweight Championship after defeating his former Shield cohort Seth Rollins, but the Lunatic Fringe can’t celebrate his reign at the top of the ladder just yet.
Ambrose isn’t actually the champion, given that he won via disqualification after The Authority intervened in the match and Rollins used the underhand tactic to pull the referee into the path of a flying Ambrose to defend himself.
Despite a second referee running down to the ring and making the count to crown Ambrose the champion, he soon relayed the message that the victory was via disqualification, much to Ambrose’s defence.
However, The Authority didn’t stand and celebrate, as they quickly took the attack to Ambrose. But Roman Reigns, the third figure in the Shield triumvirate that took WWE by storm only to fall apart when Rollins joined The Authority, rushed to Ambrose’s aid and allowed him to steal the WWE World Heavyweight title before going for a celebratory drink with Reigns – “the beers are on me” laughed Ambrose.
The shock of the night had already come earlier in the night though. NXT upstart Kevin Owen took the fight to reigning champion John Cena, who by now must have had the most title defences of any US champion to hold the belt for little over two months.
Owen ground Cena down with his relentless punches that saw him warned by the referee time and time again, but when Cena elected to go to take the fight to his opponent and spring off the ropes, Owen quickly made him rue his decision.
Owen nailed a second Pop-Up Powerbomb of the night and held on for the three count to legitimately defeat Cena – something rarely seen in the WWE – and provide the springboard for what could be a rapid ascension to the top.
In Owen’s words: “John, it’s time for you to leave. Because your time is up, and my time is now. The champ is here!”
The Elimination Chamber match for the vacant Intercontinental Championship saw six men go head to head in the daunting metal structure. With the former champion Daniel Bryan at ringside, King Barrett and Dolph Ziggler opened proceedings, with Mark Henry, R-Truth, Ryback and Sheamus all locked away in their respective pods.
One by one they entered the affray, beginning with R-Truth. However, when Barrett throws Ziggler into Henry’s pod, the World Strongest Man takes advantage to intervene in the match early, despite the best efforts of the referees.
Ryback soon follows, but Sheamus does his very best to stay in his pod and by himself some more time, utilising his Celtic Cross necklace to lock himself in. Eventually the fighting Irishman enters, but by this point King Barrett has already been eliminated by a combination of Ziggler and R-Truth.
While Sheamus dallies, Ryback eliminates R-Truth, and the Irishman finally makes his impact felt with a Brogue Kick to Henry to end his hopes of success. Ziggler tries to take the fight to Ryback, but Sheamus seizes his chance and lands a second Brogue Kick to eliminate the Show Off.
Down to two, Ryback tries to hit Sheamus with the Shell Shock on the metal floor, but Sheamus counters to land White Noise. He goes for the Brogue Kick, but Ryback counters into a powerbomb and lands the Shell Shock to win the title.
The first match of the night saw The New Day hold on to their Tag Team Championships, though the bizarre 13-man-plus-a-mini-bull-in-El Torrito match was swayed in their favour given all three were able to compete.
Having started the match against The Ascension, Lucha Dragons look to take their high-octane style and combine it with the Chambers’ elements, and soon enough Los Matadores are the first to be eliminated, although the Lucha Dragons quickly follow them.
The Ascension are the next to be eliminated, and the fans breath a huge sigh of disappointment when the Brass Ring Club of Cesaro and Tyson Kidd are knocked out of the running by Titus O’Neil, leaving the Prime Time Players and The New Day. With the odds in their favour, Kofi Kingston hits Trouble in Paradise on O’Neil before all three men pile on to pick up the win and retain the belts.
Elsewhere, Neville picked up an easy victory over Bo Dallas, and Nikki Bella retained her Divas Championship in a triple threat match with Paige and Naomi.
The New Day DEF Los Matadores, Prime Time Players, Cesaro & Tyson Kidd, The Lucha Dragons and The Ascension
Nikki Bella DEF Paige and Naomi
Kevin Owens DEF John Cena
Neville DEF Bo Dallas
Ryback DEF Mark Henry, Sheamus, King Barrett, R-Truth and Dolph Ziggler
Dean Ambrose DEF Seth RollinsReuse content