When Bray Wyatt debuted in 2013, he seemed destined to be on the fast-track for the WWE title. It took him 3 ½ years, but finally it has happened. When the dust settled in the aftermath of the Elimination Chamber, Bray Wyatt was your WWE champion.
Yes, Bray Wyatt defeated John Cena, AJ Styles, Dean Ambrose, The Miz, and Baron Corbin in the new (and maybe improved?) Chamber. Baron Corbin was the first to be eliminated, as Dean Ambrose caught him in a rollup. That led Corbin to attack Ambrose, leaving him for dead as The Miz picked up the scraps to eliminate him. Miz would be the next to go, leaving Cena, Styles and Wyatt as the final three. After a flurry of moves and reversals between the three, Wyatt caught Cena in the Sister Abigail to eliminate the champ. Wyatt and Styles then had a great back-and-forth, that once again ended with Wyatt connecting with Sister Abigail as Styles attempted the Phenomenal Forearm. Wyatt celebrated as Randy Orton came to the stage, and the shot was complete as we saw Orton staring at Wyatt with the title, with the Wrestlemania sign in the background.
Bray Wyatt winning did not come as a surprise to most people. This was the only possible outcome for WWE. No, I don't mean it was literally the only possible outcome, but let's be honest for a minute. Once Randy Orton won the Rumble, Bray Wyatt winning was almost a certainty. Orton and Wyatt need to face each other at Mania, so unless they made it a multi-man match, this was happening.
But the predictability didn't make this any less special. Bray Wyatt has been over pretty much since the moment he arrived on the WWE main roster, in Baltimore, in the summer of 2013. The fact that he hadn't won any singles titles, let alone the big one, is the shocking aspect of this. So, knowing the path that he's gone through, the big match after big match that he's lost, it was a very cool to see him holding the title at the end of the night, particularly after pinning both AJ Styles and John Cena fairly cleanly.
So we have the match that Smackdown has been setting up for six months now. Randy Orton vs. Bray Wyatt at Wrestlemania. There are still seven weeks til Wrestlemania, so we see how exactly we get there, but that should be the match. And for those seven weeks, no matter what happens at Mania, wrestling fans should enjoy the run that we have, as the reign of Bray Wyatt officially begins.
The Rest of Elimination Chamber:
-Bray Wyatt wasn't the only person that fans got to say “finally” about. Naomi beat Alexa Bliss to become the Smackdown Women's champion. Just like with Wyatt, it seemed like Naomi was going to win the title time after time and always fell short. This week, it seemed like everything WWE did was pointing toward Naomi winning the title and yet, most people found it hard to believe Naomi would win based on the fact that she had fallen short so often. However, WWE decided to pull the trigger, and put the belt on Naomi when her character is as hot as it has ever been. The fans chanted “You deserve it” at the end, and when you look back, it's hard not to agree. What's next for her and how long will she hold the belt? Those are the big questions as we move toward Wrestlemania.
-Randy Orton beat Luke Harper in a strong match. I was a bit surprised there wasn't any interference in this match, either from Bray Wyatt or a returning Erick Rowan. However, Harper looked good in the match, so him hanging around as we build toward Orton/Wyatt wouldn't be a surprise.
-Nikki Bella and Natalya fought to a double-countout. They continued to brawl up the ramp as officials tried to separate them as the segment came to a close. Later on in the show, Nikki Bella was cutting a promo backstage, when Natalya attacked once again. They ended up rolling into Maryse, who was getting her makeup done. This is interesting for a couple of reasons. The first is that it doesn't end the storyline between Nikki and Natalya. Secondly, I don't think that Maryse's inclusion is random. There have been rumors of a mixed tag match for Wrestlemania with Cena and Nikki facing Miz and Maryse. This could be the start of that.
-Becky Lynch beat Mickie James. This was a match that really allowed Mickie James to shine and show the fans who weren't familiar with her original run what she could do. She looked strong, and was caught in a reversed rollup to give Becky the win. It keeps both of these women on the same level as we head toward Wrestlemania.
-Apollo Crews and Kalisto beat Dolph Ziggler. Before the match, Ziggler attacked Kalisto, knocking him out for most of the match. However, Kalisto was able to limp down to the ring and factor in the finish.
-American Alpha retained their titles in the tag team turmoil match. They last defeated The Ascension, though the big storyline move was The Usos attacking American Alpha midway through the match, after they were eliminated. It would not be surprising to see those two teams feud for the next month, possibly into Wrestlemania.
-Mojo Rawley beat Curt Hawkins on the preshow.
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