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This was a fucking war. From start to finish, I can't think of a better story told in a wrestling ring for quite some time.The best part about the heat sections was the fact that both teams knew how to keep them interesting, with the highlight being the awesome boot spot between Harper and Ambrose, where Ambrose busted out the awesome sell job. Rollins crazy run in the middle of the match was very Bryan-like and was a good showcase for him. You had six distinct characters working six distinct stories, and once it got to Reigns as the hot tag and the stretch run began, it became otherworldly. There were near falls, but the match really didn't even need them. The story of the Wyatts becoming the superior trio by doing what the Shield had done for the past 15 months to win was really well done, and the decisive finish tease with Reigns making a nice last-ditch effort to come back before falling was fantastic. Match of the Year by a country mile right now.

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Super impressive match and a real testament to the WWE training program, no way Husky Harris/Thoruf/Brodie Lee v. Tyler Black/Jon Moxley/Leakee would be anywhere close to this good. I really loved how the Wyatt's out Shielded the Shield, as for over a year the Shield would win by isolating people and picking off the weak link, and here the Wyatts did it to them. It was like watch a fast break basketball team run into a team who can out run them. Man did I love Ambrose here, he always kind of had a Piper feel in promos, but here he really was wrestling like peak Piper, an out of control lunatic who was always popping off and throwing wild hands. I think the RAW singles match showed it couldn't work in big doses, but the Bray v. Roman battle of the bulls was perfectly pulled off here. It is too bad they rushed this feud a bit, I would have loved to see this a hundred different ways, really the best heel v. heel match in US wrestling history, and the rematch wasn't far behind.

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I loved this match so much. If there is a better WWE tag match in the 2000s I'd be surprised. I do have to say that I think it's the exact moment where the WWE decided both groups needed to be broken up. As over as both these teams were, I have to wonder at what reason they needed to break up the Wyatts so soon other than fear. They had been teasing the Reigns singles push forever and this was only another step in reaching that goal. I thought this match was a nice departure from Ambrose being the whipping boy of the Shield. Rollins would be great as a face in a main event tag program based on what I saw here. Love the match, hate the implications for the Shield given what came before it. And of course Wyatt is about to get the Cena kiss of death after the main event. I'll just have to watch this and the Raw match every so often to get my fix.

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The Shield vs Wyatt Family - WWE Elimination Chamber 2014

 

I watched this match and RAW rematch back to back and came away so thrilled about the rematch's chaos that it actually overshadowed this match initially. I went back and rewatched this one and just absolutely loved it even more when paying attention to all the little details. To me, this is the match to beat for WWE match of the year.

It is crazy to think that if they pulled the trigger on a Dean Ambrose/Bray Wyatt feud at this point, I would have lapped it up. By November, I was actively rejecting it as one of the worst things on TV. It tells you how cold the product has gotten and cooled off these two molten characters are now. Ambrose was just rocking it as the firebrand that was the trigger for the chaos. I loved when everyone was turning to go to their respective corners, Ambrose just jumped the Wyatts. The tag wrestling in this was better than in the rematch. I loved how strongly they emphasized getting their opponent into their corner. That's the Shield to exploit the numbers game, but they may have met their match in the Wyatts that will throw that strategy right in their face. Rollins opening with speed to get Rowan into the Shield corner was perfect with Rowan bowling him over to escape. It put over how much strategy mattered in this match.

 

Roman Reigns versus Bray Wyatt felt huge during their showdown and I loved how Reigns fought through everything. Nothing was given, he had to go through the Wyatts. The beatdwon of Harper in the corner was just classic Shield. That's tag team wrestling baby! They do a great transition where Ambrose's temper gets the best of him as he takes a swipe at Bray on the apron and eats a Harper dropkick. What follows is just badass. Ambrose bites Rowan, Harper steps on Ambrose head and claws at his face. I love it, Michael! The swinging neckbreaker transition is super weak though. Rollins was a great house of fire with great speed moves and climaxing on an excellent suicide dive that got the crowd rocking. He gets the drive by knee, but whiffs on the Curb Stomp and eats a swinging powerslam. The Bray Wyatt senton on the outside looked nasty. My favorite spot of the match was Harper had Rollins by the hair just playing with his food and Rollins slaps him in defiance and Harper slaps the taste out of his mouth. That was powerful shit.

 

People talk up Ambrose's fighting from underneath prowess, but Rollins should not be underestimated as he fights in the corner with great urgency only for nasty Bray headbutts to keep him at bay. This match utilized Bray better as the game changer for his team. I like the idea of him letting his heavies do the dirty work, but if ever gets out of hand, he is there to keep in check. Ambrose makes the save for Rollins and eats a hellacious big boot from Harper. Rollins hits an enziguiri to get Reigns in the match (I am not digging these transitions). Reigns is so great in these hot tag situations and not just the typical Reigns offense, there is a nasty back elbow to Rowan that keeps you on your feet. In an electric moment, Reigns is thrown outside and just runs around the ring to kick Rowan's head in. AMBROSE SWARM!!! KATIE BAR THE DOOR! There is a pier-six brawl a brewin'! Harper suicide dive and Rollins says two can play at that game. Ambrose and Wyatt tumble into the crowd and Rollins gets double chokeslammed through the table. Hey, come the monitors did not explode when they were ripper out of the announce table. After more than a year of The Shield picking their opponents off one by one, The Wyatts gave them a taste of their own medicine. Now Reigns was left alone surrounded by the Wyatts just as he surrounded so many others. Luke Harper serves a beaten Reigns to his master. I loved how Reigns blocked Sister Abigail and turned it into a test of strength. SUPERMAN PUNCH! Reigns goes for the spear on Bray, but Harper takes the bullet for his leader. In the chaos, Bray hits his wicked cross body and Sister Abigail to win.

 

I loved the finish. The Shield's strategy was predicated on two tenets: create chaos and divide and conquer. The Wyatts took out two members of the Shield leaving Reigns alone and then in the chaos that ensued Bray Wyatt took advantage to win the match. The match weaknesses: the transitions were lame & uncreative and I would have liked more chippiness. They were too willing to just let one guy have his segment and that be that. The rematch thrives on that chaos and full court press by both teams. I think if you could combine the best parts of this match and the rematch, you would have all-time classic that really could rewrite how North American tag team wrestling is executed and presented. As is, it is still an incredible match from both an action and storytelling standpoint as the Shield essentially get beaten at their own game. ****3/4

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The crowd is historically hot for this match, giving it the Joe vs. Kobashi treatment. That means the fans were already expressing their pure bliss at these two juggernaut units colliding before they even laid hands on each other.
 
What makes this such a special match is that it was probably the wildest we'll see from WWE in 2014. The past couple years, that nod has gone to Brock Lesnar's classics with John Cena and CM Punk. But this was chaotic, a true spectacle in every sense of the word.
 
Both trios did an absolutely phenomenal job of cutting the ring in half, with Seth Rollins stepping up to play a tremendous sympathetic babyface. It was a sight to behold seeing the Shield get a true taste of their style, often succumbing to the numbers game. In particular, Rollins's delivery and timing of his hope spots legitimately reminded me of Shawn Michaels.
 
While the Shield had come into this match with tension within their own unit, the Wyatt Family was quarterbacked by Bray Wyatt, calling the plays for Luke Harper & Erick Rowan. It was a wonderful contrast. Wyatt's disciples did a wonderful job in dominating this match.
 
But this was no squash. The hot-headed Dean Ambrose brought his chaotic sabotaging to what the Wyatts were doing, with Roman Reigns of course getting in his power moves. As the match kept going, the crowd never died, and rallied behind the Shield even while popping for the segments in which the Wyatt Family got the upper hand.
 
Ambrose and Wyatt brawled to the crowd, with only Wyatt returning, and then ordered his disciples to put Rollins through a table. Reigns put on a great solo performance once again, but this time couldn't capture the magic he had at Survivor Series 2013. As he went to spear Wyatt, Harper jumped in the ring and took the fall, allowing Wyatt to finish Reigns off in a beautiful example of teamwork.
 
This match will stand the test of time. Yes, it was something meant for WrestleMania. But it happened here, and it was a work of art, a piece of magic that these two teams may never duplicate together, even though I actually sense they could do better in a gimmick match environment. This was a mixture of Chikara gimmicks with golden age ROH/PWG action, complete with WWE producers' polishing. ****3/4

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The best heel vs. heel match I've ever seen in WWE and surely in the Top 5 for WWE tag matches? Right from the start this is a heated war between two fierce factions over who runs the yard and the crowd is hot as hell for it. Each person in that match manages to have their own identity within it, pretty impressive achievement for a 6-man.

Dean Ambrose is the emotional hothead flying in throwing rapid strikes at people's faces but his feistiness gets the better of him like when he runs straight into a big boot from Harper or when he charges over the barricade into a crowd brawl with Wyatt from which he never returns. Seth Rollins is the match's high-flying and Roman Reigns is the big warrior who fights until the end where the odds just get insurmountable.

Bray Wyatt is the guy least involved in the physicality but appears to be directly Harper and Rowan in his role as the cult leader. So for instance after Harper + Rowan put Rollins through a table he's standing by them looking brooding. Luke Harper is his lieutenant who occassionally needs to get Rowan out of control who gets whipped up his in his zealous defence of Wyatt.

The finishing stretch is such a lovely subvertion on The Shield trope we'd got used to by this point. The Wyatts have successfully taken out Rollins and Ambrose so Reigns is left on his own to fight them off. He actually gets the crowd believing that he's gonna pull it off as well, managing to brute force escape a Sister Abigail attempt and hitting a spear on Harper. Unfortunately for him it's just not enough, and eventually he gets taken out by Wyatt and pinned clean for the first time in WWE.


****3/4

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