How The WWE Made Elimination Chamber a Must-See Event

When the WWE announced that Elimination Chamber would take place two weeks after Payback, as a Network exclusive, the decision was met with a flurry of criticism.

“Two PPVs in one month? Stupid.”

“Why would they do that so close to the June PPV?”

“This is ridiculous! There is going to be absolutely no build to any of the matches…”

Yes, the decision to hold three PPV events in seven weeks may seem like an odd decision at first glance, but the Elimination Chamber has quickly shaped up to be an event that everyone wants to tune into.

All it took was the announcement of a few key matches. The Network exclusive special event suddenly has the internet wrestling community buzzing. The negative mentality surrounding this show has quickly vanished into thin air.

The “no build” comments were unfounded in the first place when you take into account that most of these matches have had months of building, some even longer.

The main event of Dean Ambrose versus Seth Rollins for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship is a prime example of that. Two years in the making, from the inception of The Shield, a three-man wrecking crew that couldn’t be stopped, to the betrayal of Seth Rollins just one year later, the history between Ambrose and Rollins writes this match all on its own. The two former comrades have butted heads since Rollins joined The Authority, and have been in the ring several times already, all of which Rollins got the best of Ambrose.

Dean Ambrose as a main eventer, for a second straight PPV show? This is something the internet has been begging for. Now you’ve got it, and he is being predominantly featured in episodes of Raw, to the extent that Stone Cold Steve Austin was in 1998. Think about it. Dean is around at the start of the show, featured in segments backstage, wrestles a match, and gets the spotlight in the final portion of Raw. That’s exactly how Austin became such a draw in the Attitude Era. He was the guy that people wanted to see, and the WWE gave them exactly what they wanted. The same can be said about Dean Ambrose.

The two Elimination Chamber matches have peaked the interest of the WWE Universe. For the first time ever, the Tag Team Championships will be defended inside the steel structure, with six teams added to the match. New Day will defend against Tyson Kidd & Cesaro, Prime Time Players, The Ascension, Los Matadores and the Lucha Dragons. All teams have seen action against each other over the last few months. The Ascension put to rest their jobber status by finally picking up a win, New Day beat the Lucha Dragons to earn their shot at the titles which eventually led to them beating Kidd and Cesaro, Los Matadores and Lucha Dragons have battled on a few occasions, and the Prime Time Players… well, they’ve been smack talking everyone. Point is, history is there. The tag team division has received proper build, going back several months.

Then there’s the Intercontinental Championship Elimination Chamber match, for the vacant title. Sheamus, Ryback, R-Truth, King Barrett, Rusev and Dolph Ziggler all look to become the next champion. Sheamus, Ziggler and Barrett all have a lengthy list of matches against one another. The notable absences in this match are Neville, who has quite the feud going with Barrett, and Bray Wyatt, who would have been a sight to see inside the structure, and the guy who would want to stop Ryback once again. R-Truth and Rusev seem to have been tossed into the match, but Rusev’s frustrations with his valet Lana have drawn Ziggler into the fold, when Lana placed not one but two kisses on Dolph before an angry Rusev intervened. In terms of pure aggression, there are plenty of big bodies that can cause damage.

Finally, there’s John Cena going one-on-one with NXT Champion Kevin Owens, who made a surprise appearance on Raw this week, answering Cena’s open challenge for the United States Championship. While he wasn’t there to fight, Owens had some choice words for the US Champ, going as far as to say that Cena had no right to give him veteran advice because Owens had been wrestling for a longer period of time. The battle of words ended when Kevin Owens delivered a big pop-up powerbomb to John Cena, laying out the champ, and then stomping on the US title. The arrival of the NXT Champion on the main roster was well received across the board, from those who watched on television, to the locker room in the back. Later that night, the announcement was made that Owens would fight Cena at Elimination Chamber in a non-title match.

As part of the NXT roster, and one of the biggest internet darlings out there, the idea of Owens getting a match on a big show, let alone it being his first match up on the main roster, has brought a whole new dynamic to the event. The few matches announced all have a great level of excitement, but when you involve the history of Kevin Owens, and put him opposite of the ring against a man like Cena, you turn your show into a must-see program, and nobody is more excited than Kevin’s son. A young boy who loves Cena, Owen Steen once asked his father during a live event why he wasn’t in the ring with the WWE. When Kevin couldn’t quite answer the question, Owen pondered the idea of his father one day wrestling John Cena.

Well, that day has come. Sooner than we all thought.

As a viewer sitting at home, the match of Owens versus Cena alone is worth the $9.99 price of admission. Then, you add the other matches, three championships on the line, and a guaranteed new Intercontinental Champion, and you’ve created an event that nobody should miss out on.