Dean Ambrose def. WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins via Disqualification

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas  Seth Rollins is still WWE World Heavyweight Champion. Kind of.

On the one hand, yes. Rollins retained his title against Dean Ambrose in the main event of WWE Elimination Chamber by disqualification, ensuring he lives to fight another day as WWE World Heavyweight Champion even as he technically lost his defense. But he’ll have a hard time finding anything to defend, as The Lunatic Fringe made good on his Elimination Chamber Kickoff promise to “take” Rollins’ title, absconding with The Architect’s crown jewel moments after the bout and leaving Rollins a titleholder with no title.

He did WHAT?!:  Watch The Lunatic Fringe's most brazen heist yet

How the contest got there is a complicated story involving two referees, an errant knee and a potentially eaten hat, so it’s appropriate that things started off innocuously enough: Rollins, flanked by J&J Security and Kane — acting in their “official” capacity — standing across the ring from a solitary Ambrose, whose planned backup of Roman Reigns was forced to steer clear of the bout or risk Dean’s disqualification. The Lunatic Fringe didn’t seem hampered by the lack of reinforcements; in fact, he appeared energized at the opportunity to take Rollins down by himself, tossing The Architect to the mat and plying a series of holds to weaken the champion in the opening moments. Once the advantage was established, Ambrose went old school to press the advantage, pulverizing Rollins’ chest with chops and a running dropkick before spiking him cranium-first into the canvas by way of a top-rope leg drop.

Photos:  Hall of WWE World Heavyweight Champions |  Relive Rollins' epic victory on WWE Network

The strategy wasn’t pretty, but it worked, which is partially why things turned south when Ambrose went fancy with an attempt to superplex Rollins off the top rope. Thanks to an assist from J&J Security, the champ wriggled free of his former Shield brother’s grip and plunged The Lunatic Fringe — himself entangled in the Tree of Woe position — into the mat with a stomp to the sternum.

The WWE Universe didn’t take kindly to Rollins’ tactics, showering him with derisive “Justin Bieber” chants that only drove the champion to play a more savage tune on his challenger. Rollins muscled Ambrose to the mat with a chinlock and, moments later, followed up with a textbook STO into the turnbuckle. With Ambrose knocked loopy, Rollins took the opportunity to pepper his old buddy with a few punches to the face and a corkscrew neckbreaker, the subsequent two-count of which led to a tense face-to-face between Rollins and veteran official John Cone, who will become very important to this story.

 

Dean Ambrose def. WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins via Disqualification

Denied his pinfall, Rollins continued to batter Ambrose around the ring, though, it turned out Dean-o was merely just getting mad. A crossbody collision brought the fight back to an even ground and The Lunatic Fringe capitalized first, confounding the champion with rollup after rollup (Rollins, no slouch, answered in kind) and, ultimately, a wheelbarrow facebuster that pancaked The Architect face-first on the mat.

Photos: Relive the entire Ambrose-Rollins match |  Watch Elimination Chamber on demand

J&J picked this moment to interfere again by hauling their champion out of the ring and Ambrose followed suit instantly, lawn-darting the titleholder over the commentary table with a suicide dive. Rollins wouldn’t be taken down so easily, reversing a rebound clothesline into a backslide, though Cone caught The Architect’s foot on the ropes and stopped the pin count at two. An outraged J&J attempted to interfere and Ambrose dispatched them yet again, this time by simply shoving Rollins into both of his henchmen at once. The preoccupation gave The Architect a second wind, however; Rollins escaped a schoolboy and superkicked a kneeling Ambrose before climbing the ropes for a potentially match-ending attack.

Exclusive interviews:  Ambrose's maniacal past |  Why Rollins is the future

As Rollins began to dig deep into his well, Ambrose decided to keep it basic, simply punching Rollins in the face to counter any potential maneuver. Phoenix Splash? Punch him in the face. Sunset flip into a running buckle bomb? Punch him in the face. It was a one-stop shop strategy, true, but it had a shelf-life as well: Rollins recovered during a scrap outside the ring, hoisting Ambrose up and finally completing the running powerbomb, this time into the barricade. From there, Rollins set about once again emptying his arsenal, but didn’t account for Ambrose’s resilience: Each maneuver only got the champ a two-count. 

 

Dean Ambrose def. WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins via Disqualification

What seemed to really drive The Lunatic Fringe into overdrive, though, was the trash talk: “It was never about you,” Rollins sneered during a particularly tense moment in the corner. So Ambrose decided to make it personal, clobbering the champ with a running forearm and a tornado DDT off the second tope. From there, Ambrose went for his leg drop again — miss — and Rollins countered with a flying knee — miss — and an enziguiri — got ‘em — that knocked Ambrose backward and straight into another rebound lariat — jackpot — that still only managed to get a two-count. Dean’s flying elbow again only notched two, but the champion was clearly on his heels and J&J ran immediate interference, giving Rollins life via a suicide dive that sent Ambrose into the turnbuckle.

Ambrose vs. Rollins: Round 1 ends in chaos | Lumberjacks swarm in Round 2 |  Round 3 goes to "Hell"

The Lunatic Fringe would not stay down. After the fight returned to the ring and as JBL cried that he’d eat his hat if Ambrose took the title — remember those words — the No. 1 contender recovered from another buckle bomb, exploding into a clothesline that literally turned Rollins end-over-end. He even neutralized the champ’s equalizers, punching J&J and Kane off the apron before taking flight with an elbow that laid waste to the gathered Authority.

With the brawl having spilled beyond the ropes, Ambrose continued his all-access tour of clothesline city by flattening Rollins with yet another lariat before taking the fight back inside the ring. As The Lunatic Fringe took flight for another elbow, Rollins dodged the attack and hauled referee John Cone into harm’s way instead. The official took the full brunt of the cartilage that was meant for the champion, removing him from the action and therefore unable to record the count when Ambrose dodged a Phoenix Splash and executed Dirty Deeds on Rollins. Luckily, a replacement referee was, reaching the ring in time to make the three count and give Dean Ambrose his first WWE World Heavyweight Championship.

At least for a few moments.

 

WWE Network: Dean Ambrose walks off with the WWE World Heavyweight Title: WWE Elimination Chamber 2015

After Dean Ambrose's victory over Seth Rollins, The Lunatic Fringe leaves with the WWE World Heavyweight Title in tow: Courtesy of the award-winning WWE Network.

While Ambrose celebrated his win in the ring with the WWE Universe, Cone came to and conferred with his replacement, leading to a slight change to the decision: While Ambrose had won, the win was via disqualification and therefore Rollins was still the champion. The Lunatic Fringe, understandably beside himself, refused to surrender his title and was swarmed by The Authority for his defiance … until Roman Reigns’ music stopped the beatdown cold.

With no stipulation to restrain him, The Big Dog thundered into Corpus Christi and laid waste to the entire Authority, ceding the spotlight to Ambrose to make a dramatic exit as only he could: With a final kiss-off to the man who betrayed him — “I won this match. That means I’m taking the WWE World Heavyweight Championship” — and an exodus through the crowd with stolen property in hand.

In other words, JBL’s still gotta eat his hat. And WWEShop’s got just the barbeque sauce for the occasion. 

Exclusive videos: Ambrose departs Corpus Christi |  Triple H issues a warning to The Lunatic Fringe

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Dean Ambrose def. WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins via Disqualification

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas  Seth Rollins is still WWE World Heavyweight Champion. Kind of.

On the one hand, yes. Rollins retained his title against Dean Ambrose in the main event of WWE Elimination Chamber by disqualification, ensuring he lives to fight another day as WWE World Heavyweight Champion even as he technically lost his defense. But he’ll have a hard time finding anything to defend, as The Lunatic Fringe made good on his Elimination Chamber Kickoff promise to “take” Rollins’ title, absconding with The Architect’s crown jewel moments after the bout and leaving Rollins a titleholder with no title.

He did WHAT?!:  Watch The Lunatic Fringe's most brazen heist yet

How the contest got there is a complicated story involving two referees, an errant knee and a potentially eaten hat, so it’s appropriate that things started off innocuously enough: Rollins, flanked by J&J Security and Kane — acting in their “official” capacity — standing across the ring from a solitary Ambrose, whose planned backup of Roman Reigns was forced to steer clear of the bout or risk Dean’s disqualification. The Lunatic Fringe didn’t seem hampered by the lack of reinforcements; in fact, he appeared energized at the opportunity to take Rollins down by himself, tossing The Architect to the mat and plying a series of holds to weaken the champion in the opening moments. Once the advantage was established, Ambrose went old school to press the advantage, pulverizing Rollins’ chest with chops and a running dropkick before spiking him cranium-first into the canvas by way of a top-rope leg drop.

Photos:  Hall of WWE World Heavyweight Champions |  Relive Rollins' epic victory on WWE Network

The strategy wasn’t pretty, but it worked, which is partially why things turned south when Ambrose went fancy with an attempt to superplex Rollins off the top rope. Thanks to an assist from J&J Security, the champ wriggled free of his former Shield brother’s grip and plunged The Lunatic Fringe — himself entangled in the Tree of Woe position — into the mat with a stomp to the sternum.

The WWE Universe didn’t take kindly to Rollins’ tactics, showering him with derisive “Justin Bieber” chants that only drove the champion to play a more savage tune on his challenger. Rollins muscled Ambrose to the mat with a chinlock and, moments later, followed up with a textbook STO into the turnbuckle. With Ambrose knocked loopy, Rollins took the opportunity to pepper his old buddy with a few punches to the face and a corkscrew neckbreaker, the subsequent two-count of which led to a tense face-to-face between Rollins and veteran official John Cone, who will become very important to this story.

 

Dean Ambrose def. WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins via Disqualification

Denied his pinfall, Rollins continued to batter Ambrose around the ring, though, it turned out Dean-o was merely just getting mad. A crossbody collision brought the fight back to an even ground and The Lunatic Fringe capitalized first, confounding the champion with rollup after rollup (Rollins, no slouch, answered in kind) and, ultimately, a wheelbarrow facebuster that pancaked The Architect face-first on the mat.

Photos: Relive the entire Ambrose-Rollins match |  Watch Elimination Chamber on demand

J&J picked this moment to interfere again by hauling their champion out of the ring and Ambrose followed suit instantly, lawn-darting the titleholder over the commentary table with a suicide dive. Rollins wouldn’t be taken down so easily, reversing a rebound clothesline into a backslide, though Cone caught The Architect’s foot on the ropes and stopped the pin count at two. An outraged J&J attempted to interfere and Ambrose dispatched them yet again, this time by simply shoving Rollins into both of his henchmen at once. The preoccupation gave The Architect a second wind, however; Rollins escaped a schoolboy and superkicked a kneeling Ambrose before climbing the ropes for a potentially match-ending attack.

Exclusive interviews:  Ambrose's maniacal past |  Why Rollins is the future

As Rollins began to dig deep into his well, Ambrose decided to keep it basic, simply punching Rollins in the face to counter any potential maneuver. Phoenix Splash? Punch him in the face. Sunset flip into a running buckle bomb? Punch him in the face. It was a one-stop shop strategy, true, but it had a shelf-life as well: Rollins recovered during a scrap outside the ring, hoisting Ambrose up and finally completing the running powerbomb, this time into the barricade. From there, Rollins set about once again emptying his arsenal, but didn’t account for Ambrose’s resilience: Each maneuver only got the champ a two-count. 

 

Dean Ambrose def. WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins via Disqualification

What seemed to really drive The Lunatic Fringe into overdrive, though, was the trash talk: “It was never about you,” Rollins sneered during a particularly tense moment in the corner. So Ambrose decided to make it personal, clobbering the champ with a running forearm and a tornado DDT off the second tope. From there, Ambrose went for his leg drop again — miss — and Rollins countered with a flying knee — miss — and an enziguiri — got ‘em — that knocked Ambrose backward and straight into another rebound lariat — jackpot — that still only managed to get a two-count. Dean’s flying elbow again only notched two, but the champion was clearly on his heels and J&J ran immediate interference, giving Rollins life via a suicide dive that sent Ambrose into the turnbuckle.

Ambrose vs. Rollins: Round 1 ends in chaos | Lumberjacks swarm in Round 2 |  Round 3 goes to "Hell"

The Lunatic Fringe would not stay down. After the fight returned to the ring and as JBL cried that he’d eat his hat if Ambrose took the title — remember those words — the No. 1 contender recovered from another buckle bomb, exploding into a clothesline that literally turned Rollins end-over-end. He even neutralized the champ’s equalizers, punching J&J and Kane off the apron before taking flight with an elbow that laid waste to the gathered Authority.

With the brawl having spilled beyond the ropes, Ambrose continued his all-access tour of clothesline city by flattening Rollins with yet another lariat before taking the fight back inside the ring. As The Lunatic Fringe took flight for another elbow, Rollins dodged the attack and hauled referee John Cone into harm’s way instead. The official took the full brunt of the cartilage that was meant for the champion, removing him from the action and therefore unable to record the count when Ambrose dodged a Phoenix Splash and executed Dirty Deeds on Rollins. Luckily, a replacement referee was, reaching the ring in time to make the three count and give Dean Ambrose his first WWE World Heavyweight Championship.

At least for a few moments.

 

WWE Network: Dean Ambrose walks off with the WWE World Heavyweight Title: WWE Elimination Chamber 2015

After Dean Ambrose's victory over Seth Rollins, The Lunatic Fringe leaves with the WWE World Heavyweight Title in tow: Courtesy of the award-winning WWE Network.

While Ambrose celebrated his win in the ring with the WWE Universe, Cone came to and conferred with his replacement, leading to a slight change to the decision: While Ambrose had won, the win was via disqualification and therefore Rollins was still the champion. The Lunatic Fringe, understandably beside himself, refused to surrender his title and was swarmed by The Authority for his defiance … until Roman Reigns’ music stopped the beatdown cold.

With no stipulation to restrain him, The Big Dog thundered into Corpus Christi and laid waste to the entire Authority, ceding the spotlight to Ambrose to make a dramatic exit as only he could: With a final kiss-off to the man who betrayed him — “I won this match. That means I’m taking the WWE World Heavyweight Championship” — and an exodus through the crowd with stolen property in hand.

In other words, JBL’s still gotta eat his hat. And WWEShop’s got just the barbeque sauce for the occasion. 

Exclusive videos: Ambrose departs Corpus Christi |  Triple H issues a warning to The Lunatic Fringe