Finally, our long national nightmare is over and Bray Wyatt is, at last, WWE World Champion. In the climax to last night’s Elimination Chamber match and PPV, the Eater of Worlds eliminated then-WWE World Champion John Cena and former WWE World Champion AJ Styles to win the richest prize in Sports Entertainment. Wyatt is now slated to face Royal Rumble Winner and tag team partner Randy Orton at WrestleMania. Let’s run down the Chamber match and the rest of the evening of graps action.
Elimination Chamber Match for the WWE World Championship: Bray Wyatt defeated John Cena, AJ Styles, The Miz, Baron Corbin, & Dean Ambrose
AJ Styles and John Cena started the match, packing a mini version of their Royal Rumble match into the first period of action before being joined by the third entrant, Dean Ambrose. Ambrose wasted no time upping the craziness by being the first man of the evening to jump off of the roof of one of the pods in the redesigned Chamber. Speaking of the “all-new” Chamber, the re-design made for some excellent camera angles during the broadcast including an excellent moment with Dean Ambrose and AJ Styles smashing each other into new clear portions of plexiglass above each pod.
Next into the Chamber was the eventual winner Bray Wyatt at #4, followed by Baron Corbin at #5. Corbin had a dominant run in the match laying out Cena, Ambrose, Styles, & Wyatt before taunting and waiting on the Miz to enter the match at #6. As the Miz demured, Dean Ambrose was able to roll up Corbin for the first elimination of the match. Corbin, upset with the elimination, raged against Dean Ambrose by slamming him into a pod and hitting the End of Days to set up Ambrose for the second elimination by the Miz. Corbin is now positioned either in the short-term or for WrestleMania as an Intercontinental Championship challenger.
With the Miz falling to John Cena as the third elimination we were down to the final three of Bray Wyatt, AJ Styles, & John Cena. After a number of near-falls between Styles & Cena trading finishers, Cena attempted to finish off both men with a dive from atop a Chamber pod. Seemingly in control, Cena attempted to AA Wyatt, only to be countered into Sister Abigail for the elimination.
Down to Wyatt & Styles, after an excellent sequence of back and forth moves, Styles attempted a Phenomenal Forearm but was caught and hit with a Sister Abigail for the victory. After the match, Wyatt and now challenger Randy Orton stared each other down from their respective positions in the Chamber and on the stage.
Overall, the match was excellent and the retooled Chamber looked great on television. Wyatt’s coronation as champion was strong and smartly done as he eliminated the current champion and the former long-time champion, making him the clear legitimate title holder.
Naomi defeated Alexa Bliss to win the SmackDown Women’s Championship
A bit of an upset in my mind, as Naomi got the victory with a second split leg moonsault. The third women’s division match of the evening, this match suffered from having to follow the excellent Orton/Harper match.
Randy Orton defeated Luke Harper
Orton, as expected put a very game Luke Harper away after blocking the discus clothesline and hitting the vaunted RKO out of nowhere to end possibly the match of the night. In defeat, Luke Harper put in a star-making performance, with suicide dives, superkicks, and a number of near falls exciting the Phoenix crowd.
Nikki Bella and Natalya went to a double count-out
In an odd bit of business, a rivalry that had been building since Survivor Series didn’t get a blow off on pay-per-view as both Nattie and Nikki were counted out while brawling on the outside of the ring. With Nikki rumored for a mixed tag team match with John Cena at WrestleMania, perhaps the blow off will come on a future episode of SmackDown Live.
Tag Team Turmoil Match for the SmackDown Tag Team Championship: American Alpha defeated The Ascension, The Usos, Breezango, The Vaudevillains, & Heath Slater and Rhyno
American Alpha retained their championships entering 5th and eliminating The Usos and The Ascension. The Usos were set up as the next challengers for American Alpha by laying them out after their elimination. The match started with Heath Slater and Rhyno eliminating Breezango and The Vaudevillains in the first two matches. Beauty and the Man Beast eventually fell to the fourth entrant, the Usos.
Apollo Crews & Kalisto defeated Dolph Ziggler
Ziggler took out Kalisto during his entrance to initially turn the 2 on 1 into a 1 on 1 match with Crews. Kalisto eventually recovered to turn the tide and allow Crews to hit his sit out powerbomb for the win. Ziggler attacked both men after the match with special emphasis on Crews’ ankle, “Pillmanizing” it several times with a steel chair.
Becky Lynch defeated Mickie James
James dominated much of the match but got rolled up for the pin after reversing Lynch’s arm bar.
Kickoff Match: Mojo Rawley defeated Curt Hawkins
Rawley got the victory with a tilt-a-whirl slam.