The Big News:
The entire show was built around a storyline where Dean Ambrose had to sign a contract in order to receive his title shot against Seth Rollins. Ambrose got arrested on trumped up charges in the first hour. If you bet on Ambrose returning in the final segment in a police van to beat up the heels, give yourself a gold star. Kevin Owens showed up again, which was the only thing of value tonight.
HHH, Stephanie McMahon, Seth Rollins and J&J Security opened the show. Rollins said Dean Ambrose made the decision to give Ambrose the shot at the WWE Heavyweight title shot under duress and the Authority could take away that title shot from Ambrose, or even fire him. However, Rollins said he asked them not to fire him because Ambrose isn't a threat to him. Who talked Rollins into burying an opponent before a title mat...oh, yeah...
HHH said if Ambrose wanted the title shot against Rollins, he would have to come out and sign a contract. Ambrose came out and delivered some Cena-like line about going to sleep by counting how many times he gets to punch Rollins in the face. Ambrose joked when he wins the title, J&J Security can walk around barefoot like any other hobbits, Kane could wear a collar like a good lapdog and Rollins could drunk dial Selena Gomez because he'll always be "our Justin Beiber."
Rollins started comparing himself to Beiber, saying Beiber is the most successful artist of his generation, rich, famous, and has to beat girls off of him with a stick and everyone wishes they could be like him. Rollins called Ambrose a cockroach and said he would merely survive but never thrive. Again, Rollins dared Ambrose to come down to the ring and sign the contract. Ambrose made mention of rather being a cockroach that being on the wrong end of the Authority's Human Centipede. Somebody on the writing staff likes morbid cinema.
Ambrose got to ringside when Roman Reigns came out of the crowd to join him. Stephanie said Ambrose had until the end of the night to sign the contract and arranged a match with Reigns and Ambrose vs. Rollins and Kane immediately.
Michael Cole made mention of the Nassau Coliseum being one of the buildings that hosted WrestleMania 2. Booker T. chimed in that was one of his favorite WrestleManias. That's like someone naming their favorite Metallica albums and they start with "St. Anger."
Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns defeated Seth Rollins and Kane (12:52)
Ambrose pinned Rollins after a backslide. It was supposed to be a big deal that the champion got pinned, but Rollins does a job on Raw and Smackdown every few weeks, so it's hard for it to feel special. Plus, it all but gives away the finish to Sunday's match. Solid match overall with a good near fall where Ambrose gave Kane a Superman's punch into the flying elbow from Ambrose, leading to a Rollins' save.
Renee Young interviewed Ambrose and told him that he still needed to sign the contact tonight to face Rollins. J&J Security walked in. It bears mentioning that Jamie Noble took a Superman punch from Reigns just moments before and he wasn't even selling it. Ambrose and J&J Security started brawling with Ambrose getting the best of it. Then Ambrose felt someone coming up behind him and punched him, but it was the cameraman. J&J bolted while Ambrose checked on the camera guy.
Cole explained that Rusev has now moved back to Bulgaria so his Russian gimmick is dead. He's also officially dumped Lana. That's going to be a tough road for Lana now as a babyface. Is she going to wrestle? Sasha Banks and Charlotte are already light years ahead of her as a worker. Is she going to be a babyface manager? How many successful female babyface managers can you name? The list is: 1. Elizabeth. There is no #2.
The cast of "Entourage" pulled up in a limo.
Rusev defeated R-Truth via tapout (1:00)
Rusev won with the Accolade. 1 minute submission job for R-Truth and he's one of the six men in the Intercontinental Elimination Chamber match.
Postmatch, Rusev called down Lana saying he owed it to her after they came from Mother Russia. What the hell? Lana came out to new music. Rusev said he understood why Lana kissed Dolph Ziggler, caught him his match against John Cena, because she's like any other woman, trying to get him to pay attention. That actually got some cheers. Rusev said they can still accomplish the dreams they had together. He asked her to take his hand and all will be forgotten. Lana took Rusev's hand and they hugged and smiled.
Then Rusev asked her to say three magical words: "I was wrong." Lana wasn't smiling anymore. She left. Rusev objected, but Lana said she wasn't wrong because he quit. Rusev said he never quit and she needs to know her place. He said he owns her and ordered her to get back in the ring. Lana got back in but called him a liar and a quitter. She said she belongs to no one and she is no longer a victim and would never listen to his thickheaded, moronic, cruel mouth again. She left to a good but not great pop. As she walked own the ramp, Ziggler came out and they kissed again while Rusev raged in the ring.
HHH and Rollins approached Ambrose in the locker room to sign the contract. The cameraman that Ambrose hit earlier came in with two policeman. The story was HHH and Ambrose forced the cameraman to press charges against Ambrose and he was arrested by the police for simple assault and lead away. So we're back to 1998 where the babyfaces have to get over by getting arrested.
Ambrose was taken away into a police van while HHH, Noble, Joey Mercury and Kane all taunted him.
Ryback defeated King Barrett (3:53)
King Barrett hit Wasteland and tried the Bullhammer Elbow, but Ryback stayed down. Ryback got up and hit the Shellshock. Booker said Ryback was playing possum.
HHH said Ambrose was being taken to central booking and he wouldn't be back in time to get the contract signed. The stars of Entourage came in and greeted Stephanie McMahon and HHH. Kevin Dillion made a crack about Jeremy Piven getting ready for Summer Fest. Jerry Ferrara started talking about doing a scene where Ronda Rousey put him in an armbar and asked Stephanie if she knew what that was like. HHH and Stephanie seethed and told the guys where their dressing room was. Adrian Grenier, Kevin Connolly and Dillion all scolded Ferrara about saying that.
Stephen Ammell from "The Arrow" was at ringside where Stardust taunted him. Oddly, nothing ever came of this.
Neville defeated Stardust (3:16)
Neville won with the Red Arrow. Bo Dallas came out during the bout. Crowd chanted "NXT" early, which was a crowd response that any other match has received so far.
Postmatch, Neville sold his injured knee. Dallas taunted him about being able to Bolieve, then drop kicked Neville on his bad knee.
The Entourage guys ran into Summer Rae, Alicia Fox, and Eva Marie. Ferrara talked with Zack Ryder and said there was something that Ryder had to do tonight since it was going to be their last time in the Nassau Coliseum. They talked behind closed doors.
Sheamus defeated Dolph Ziggler (10:21)
Sheamus won after a Brogue Kick when Rusev distracted Ziggler. Lana came out midway through the match. Ziggler got a near fall when Rusev came down. Sheamus spent most of the match on offense.
Afterwards, Rusev put Ziggler in the Accolade while Lana looked right at him. Rusev screamed at Lana as he held Ziggler in the Accolade, basically telling her it was her fault Ziggler was suffering.
Cena came out to mostly boos. He based his entire promo based on the divided fan base regarding him over the last ten years. He acknowledged the fans that supported him over the last ten years. Then he turned his attention to the fans who chanted "Cena Sucks" at him, who have watched one hopeful and another lose to him over the past decade. Last week, their newest hopeful arrived in Kevin Owens, who broke the internet with his Raw debut. Cena said when he wrestled Owens on Sunday, the fans chanted against him wouldn't be saying "Cena Sucks." They would be saying "Fight, Owens, Fight." But that doesn't mean "Win, Owens, Win."
Cena brought up the U.S. Open Challenge. The cast of Entourage came out like one of them was going to wrestle Cena. Instead, Ferrara introduced Ryder as the challenger.
John Cena defeated Zack Ryder to retain the U.S. Championship (4:05)
Ryder actually got the biggest babyface pop on the show. Cena was about to hit the Five Knuckle Shuffle when Dillon ran in for a distraction. Cena was about to deck him when Grenier pulled Dillon away. Ryder hit the Killswitch, Broski Boot and Rough Ryder, all for two counts. Ryder missed the 450 splash and Cena won with the AA. Cena raised Ryder's arm after the match and the rest of the Entourage guys joined them. The Entourage crew was actually very good.
After everyone left, Owens ran out of the crowd and gave Cena a Pop-Up Power Bomb to a big pop. Owens stomped on the U.S. Title again and raised the NXT championship.
Stephanie talked about how impressive Owens looked and complimented her husband about choosing prospects. Rollins mentioned knowing Owens for years. Young came in and asked about the status of Ambrose. Stephanie said they would abide by their rules if Ambrose showed up to the building tonight and sign the contract, then he would wrestle Rollins on Sunday. Otherwise, Rollins would get a night off at Elimination Chamber.
Tamina defeated Paige (3:37)
Nikki and Brie Bella were out on commentary. Brie was asked about going to therapy after the injury to Daniel Bryan. She said it was very enlightening, whatever that meant. Paige tried a series of clotheslines on Tamina and it looked awful. Naomi interferred. Tamina got the pin with a Samoan Drop. Bad match.
The Rock was shown on the opening of "San Andreas" where the announcers put it over as his next blockbuster.
The New Day came to the ring and complained about defending the tag team titles against five other teams at Elimination Chamber. Big E. took the obligatory shots at the New York Islanders when Kane came out and said New Day would face Los Matadores, Lucha Dragons, the Ascension, Cesaro and Tyson Kidd and the Prime Time Players in a 10-on-3 handicap match.
WWE Tag Team Champions The New Day defeated The Ascension, Lucha Dragons, Los Matadores, Tyson Kidd & Cesaro, The Prime Time Players by DQ (:56 aired)
Xavier Woods taunted the opposing corner. Everybody ran in and did their finishers on each other. Sin Cara and Kalisto did dives from oppsite corners on everyone. After New Day was announced as the winners, Cesaro gave Woods an eight-revolution Giant Swing into a Kidd dropkick. A waste of time.
The main event segment started with another angle of the Ambrose angle from earlier, where it was shown that Rollins pushed the cameraman from behind into Ambrose. The Authroity, Rollins, Kane, Mercury and Noble came out again. Stephanie said the cameraman was the father of newborn triplets.
HHH was about to announce that Ambrose would miss the Elimination Chamber match when Reigns came out. The four heels beat down Reigns, who tried to make a comeback until Kane chokeslammed him. Then the police van was shown driving through backstage. It was Ambrose driving the van carrying two knifesticks, which he used to clean house. Reigns and Ambrose teamed to clear the ring, including a Superman Punch to Kane, followed by Dirty Deeds. Ambrose finally signed the contract to set up the main event.
The show didn't make me interested in seeing Elimination Chamber. The only thing of interest to me is the Cena-Owens match. For years, a program with John Cena is a path that leads potential stars straight to the midcard. Ask Wade Barrett, R-Truth, Bray Wyatt, The Miz and Mark Henry. Right now, this company needs a strong new heel face. Owens fills that role and it's time for Cena to do the job of a true Champion Emeritus and make a new star.