The buzzards are celebrating. For the first time in his career, Bray Wyatt has been crowned WWE Champion. Wyatt outlasted John Cena, AJ Styles, The Miz, Dean Ambrose and Baron Corbin and survived the diabolical Elimination Chamber to win the title.
Wyatt now seems destined to fight his own “family” member and the 2017 Royal Rumble winner Randy Orton in the main event of this year’s WrestleMania.
Not to be outdone, Naomi did the Smackdown women proud defeating Alexa Bliss for the SmackDown Women’s Championship. With WrestleMania being held in Orlando, Florida, Naomi will be defending the title in her hometown and home state. Naomi began her first ever reign as Smackdown’s Women’s Champion after crushing Alexa Bliss with her Split-legged Moonsault finisher after a back and forth match in which Bliss was caught trying steal a pin with her feet on the ropes.
Wyatt, the new champ, knows he will be headlining WrestleMania. Photo Courtesy: WWE Network.
For the Elimination Chamber match itself, the WWE rolled out a new Chamber, even though announcer Mauro Ranallo kept mistakenly calling it Hell in a Cell. It featured a higher roof which allowed the superstars to stand on the top of the pods with ease, the pods were square, there were cameras in the pods, each pod had two doors and more lights to signal who would be entering the match next. Taking on a more square shape, the new Chamber also did away with the elevated metal floor. They were replaced with what looked like rubber on thin metal.
Like the changes or not, the match itself was one of the best Chamber matches ever presented despite there being no blood whatsoever. Who woulda thunk it?
Former champion, John Cena and A.J. Styles began the match each trading two counts early on. Cena’s Five Knuckle Shuffle attempt was interrupted by new entrant Dean Ambrose. Ambrose devastated Cena and Styles who had held no punches against each other. Ambrose slammed both of their heads repeatedly into the steel chains before he powerbombed Styles on the Chamber’s elevated floor. Ambrose then leapt off the top of a pod delivering a flying elbow to Cena.
Next, it was Bray Wyatt’s turn to lay waste to everyone. As Styles tried a flying forearm off the ropes, Wyatt just grabbed him and threw him into the chains.
Styles takes it to Wyatt. Photo Courtesy: WWE Network.
For some bizarre reason, Cena and Styles decided to climb the cage together and trade punches. Cena eventually took a tumble and fell to the elevated floor. On top of a pod, Styles and Ambrose bounced each other’s heads off a plexiglass wall. As Ambrose went to powerbomb Wyatt out of a corner, Style climbed to the top of the ropes. Ambrose ended up German suplexing both Wyatt and Styles to the canvass.
Baron Corbin was set loose and he mauled everyone. Ambrose went into the chains. Cena received End of Days. Corbin threw Ambrose off the ropes and into the chains then into a pod. When it was time for The Miz to join the fray as the last man, he locked eyes with Corbin from the comfort of his pod. Ambrose snuck up and rolled up a distracted Corbin for the pin.
All of the microchips blew in Corbin’s brain. He hurled Ambrose through a pod, shattering it. He then beat Ambrose against the chains with brutal forearm smashes before dropping him with The End of Days. As officials corralled Corbin out of the ring, The Miz crept out of his pod and pinned Ambrose.
The Miz gave Cena and Wyatt his Daniel Bryan stiff kicks before dropping everyone with drop kicks in each corner. As The Miz dived at Cena from the top rope, Cena caught him in mid-air for an Attitude Adjustment. Cena then pinned The Miz.
This year’s Chamber was new and maybe improved? Photo Courtesy: WWE Network.
Styles and Wyatt double-teamed Cena for a minute or two before Wyatt turned on Styles punching him in the face. Cena put both men down and in a humourous bit, he hit a double Five Knuckle Shuffle.
Although he spiked Wyatt with an Attitude Adjustment, Cena fell victim to a Styles Clash but kicked out at two. Cena climbed to the top of a pod and bowled both Styles and Wyatt over with a flying crossbody. Wyatt countered Cena’s attempted Attitude Adjustment with Sister Abigail. Wyatt pinned Cena.
Naomi celebrates her win. Photo Courtesy: WWE Network.
As the last men standing, Styles and Wyatt garnered some close falls but it all ended for Styles when he leapt off the ropes for a Phenomenal Forearm, Wyatt seized him midair and drove him to the mat with Sister Abigail. Wyatt pinned Styles to win the WWE Championship.
As Wyatt celebrated in the ring, Randy Orton came walking out and stared him down ending the pay-per-view.
Elimination Chamber Results: February 12th, 2017
Mojo Rawley Vs Curt Hawkins
Hawkins gets clobbered. Photo Courtesy: WWE Network.
Even curtain-jerkers are kicking out of each other’s finishers? What has happened to the WWE universe and what is with Hawkins’ attire? You would think as an edgy persona he wouldn’t dress as a Power Ranger. Rawley hulks up, knocks Hawkins into Dreamland with a running haymaker and a tilt-a-whirl-slam for the pin.
Winner: Mojo Rawley at eight minutes.
Match Rating: 5 / 10
Becky Lynch Vs Mickie James
James takes control. Photo Courtesy: WWE Network.
You know really suck as an announcer when JBL, of all people, is correcting you. The pointless and useless David Otunga keeps mentioning throughout the bout how James must have some ring rust as she hasn’t wrestled in the WWE for seven years. Tired of Otunga’s idiocy and knowing James has wrestled persistently since leaving the WWE (indies, TNA, Global Force Wrestling), JBL finally puts the vapid void that is David Otunga in his place. A nasty, pretty ruthless bout with both women just clobbering each other senseless. James ends up with a bloody arm or elbow. Lynch is laid out with the Mick Kick but her feet are under the ropes so the referee breaks James’ pin. James drags Lynch away from the ropes for a two count. James pummels Lynch with punches. James is backdropped out of a Mickie-DT by Lynch who tries to lock on the Dis-arm-her but is rolled up by Mickie. Lynch counters with a roll-up of her own for the win.
Winner: Becky Lynch at 11 minutes and 35 seconds.
Match Rating: 7.5 / 10
James Ellsworth has treated Carmella to seats in a skybox. The running and tired gag throughout the night is Dasha Fuentes getting Carmella’s thoughts on the women’s matches. Ellsworth eventually throws Fuentes out of their box. The whole angle is just pure torture. Stop it, WWE. Stop it now!
Apollo Crews, Kalisto Vs Dolph Ziggler
Dolph injures Crews. Photo Courtesy: WWE Network.
Ziggler evens the odds in this two-on-one match by attacking Kalisto during his entrance and throwing him into the video wall. Kalisto receives medical attention. I just hope they can perform a personality transplant on this luchador as well. Crews goes ballistic on Ziggler in the ring but Ziggler is able to halt Crews’ momentum by targeting his neck. At about five minutes into the match, Kalisto reappears, hobbling to ringside. Kalisto tags in and brains Ziggler with a springboard kick to the head. Crews blind tags in and wins the match with his Spin-out Powerbomb. Ziggler goes cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs. He knocks Kalisto off the top rope to the floor. He then puts Crews’ ankle in a steel chair and stomps on it twice. Crews and the announcers sell an injury. All the while the fans are cheering…Thank you, Ziggler! How humiliating for faces Crews and Kalisto.
Winners: Crews and Kalisto at 7 minutes and 21 seconds.
Match Rating: 5 / 10
American Alpha (champions) vs The Ascension, The Usos, Heath Slater and Rhyno, The Vaudevillains and Breezango – Tag team turmoil match for the WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship
American Alpha ready to retain the belts. Photo Courtesy: WWE Network.
Slater, Rhyno versus Breezango start things off. At approximately four minutes in…Gore! Breezango is done. The Vaudevillains are out next. About two minutes later, another Gore! Buh-bye, Vaudevillains. The Usos easily kick the crap out of a drained Slater, Rhyno about four minutes later. The champs enter the match. After American Alpha pins The Uso, the sadistic Samoans take their pound of flesh. They throw Jordan into the steel post, Gable into the steel steps before mugging them some more. Jordan suffers a splash in the middle of the ring. A confident Ascension are the last team to enter Tag Team Turmoil. Proving they are now about as useful as a wooden frying-pan and despite American Alpha being beaten down, The Ascension still manage to lose. As the late, great Gorilla Monsoon used to say…stick a fork in them, they are done.
Winners: …and still Smackdown Tag Team Champions, American Alpha at 20 minutes and 55 seconds.
Match Rating: 7 / 10
Nikki Bella vs Natalya
Nattie says…You can’t see me! Photo Courtesy: WWE Network.
With Bella’s mom and brother at ringside, Natalya wastes a lot…and I mean A LOT…of the match and time taunting the crowd and Bella’s relatives. She even takes the time to skip around the ring like AJ Lee. Bella locks Nattie in a headlock, really a chokehold and the official does nothing. Remember when refs used to check the legitimacy of headlocks and whatnot to make sure a choke wasn’t being applied? Who is training these guys? Danny Davis? Nick Patrick? The match ends when both women hit the floor and brawl and brawl and brawl, throwing each other in to the barricade and just thrashing each other. Later on, the two are seen fighting backstage again.
Winner: A double count out at 13 minutes and 22 seconds.
Match Rating: 6 / 10
Randy Orton Vs Luke Harper
Randy is ready for WrestleMania. Photo Courtesy: WWE Network.
It starts off slow but man, does this one heat up. Harper mounts some uncharacteristic offense like leaping off the top ropes and through the ropes with suicide dives. Orton and Harper slam each other on the announce tables…which Mauro Ranallo calls “unforgiving”. I guess Mauro doesn’t recall how times those tables have been broken into splinters. Orton eventually puts an end to the punishment by countering Harper’s Discus Punch with an RKO.
Winner: Randy Orton at 17 minutes and 12 seconds.
Match Rating: 8 / 10
Naomi Vs Alexa Bliss (champion) – SmackDown Women’s Championship
Winner: …and new SmackDown Women’s Champion, Naomi at 8 minutes and 17 seconds.
Match Rating: 7 / 10
Bray Wyatt vs John Cena (champion) vs AJ Styles vs The Miz vs Dean Ambrose vs Baron Corbin – Elimination Chamber match for the WWE Championship
Winner: …and new WWE Champion…Bray Wyatt at 34 minutes and 34 seconds.
Match Rating: 9 / 10
Overall Event Time: 3 hours and 5 minutes.
Event Rating: 7.5 / 10
One of the founding managing editors of SLAM! Wrestling, John Powell is a veteran entertainment journalist currently covering Big Brother., Survivor for Shaw and the video game industry for G4TV.. Check out his comic book Cover 2 Cover blog and his Nerd TV YouTube updates here . John can be reached at [email protected] or @POW2112 on Twitter.