Bray Wyatt claims his first ever singles title in WWE as SmackDown LIVE’s exclusive pay-per-view Elimination Chamber is in the books, but was it a good event or did it disappoint?
We started off on the kickoff show as Mojo Rawley laid waste to Curt Hawkins in a relatively typical pre-show match.
In the women’s division, we saw Naomi become the new SmackDown LIVE Women’s Champion as she overcame Alexa Bliss in a very engaging contest. With still seven weeks until WrestleMania, there’s bound to be a rematch or two between Naomi & Bliss. So don’t be surprised if Bliss does in fact become a two-time Champion heading into the showcase of immortals.
‘The Irish Lass Kicker’ Becky Lynch defeated the recent returnee, Mickie James in a very entertaining and technical performance. I see one, if not both of these women being apart of the women’s title scene going into ‘Mania 33. Lynch and James are both big draws for the company and extremely talented females. We also witnessed a double count out in the feud between Nikki Bella and Natalya. The match itself was a very average match and heading into Tuesday’s SmackDown LIVE I believe WWE will end the bad blood rivalry and then we will see some new matchups in the very proficient SmackDown women’s roster.
As Apollo Crews and Kalisto made their way down the ramp, Dolph Ziggler attacked Kalisto which took the high flyer out the majority of the match. Ziggler and Crews, both put on a great performance before Kalisto got back in the mix and helped Apollo Crews pick up the pinfall victory. After Ziggler’s loss we saw him brutally assault Crews with a chair potentially side lining him for a storyline for the two heading into WrestleMania.
The Tag Team Turmoil match ended with American Alpha overcoming odds by winning the match, beating The Ascension who truth be told, looked like they were going win their first tag titles on the main roster as The Usos decimated Chad Gable & Jason Jordan (American Alpha) after eating a pin by the pair. The match started off with Heath Slater & Rhyno pinning Breezango first and The Vaudevillians shortly after. The Usos were next to enter the ring, where they crushed Heath & Rhyno leading to American Alpha coming out fourth. Heading into ‘Mania 33 it seems like WWE are planning on having American Alpha defend their Titles against The Usos. It really is the only logical match due to the lack of tag team draws on SmackDown LIVE.
The match of the night in terms of singles matches was definitely Luke Harper and Randy Orton’s contest. A very back and forth bout which ended in Orton picking up the win but still left Harper looking strong. Being the 2017 Royal Rumble winner we’re obviously going to see Orton in the WWE championship match with Wyatt at WrestleMania 33. For Harper, what’s next for him I do not know, but speaking on my behalf, he’s a great in ring performer and can deliver great promos as shown in his short feud with Orton.
The main event saw John Cena’s record 16th title reign come to a short end as Bray Wyatt pinned AJ Styles to win his first WWE championship. The chamber match, for me was my pick for match of the night. There were many great spots inside the chamber and plenty of seeds planted for potential WrestleMania matches. Earlier in the night after Nikki Bella’s match against Natalya, Nikki was being interviewed by Renee Young when from behind, Natalya attacked her and we had a moment during the attack where Nikki fell into The Miz’s wife and former Diva’s champion, Maryse.
During the chamber match, Cena eliminated The Miz which seems like it’s going to set up a mixed tag team match between Bella & Cena Vs. Miz & Maryse. We also had Dean Ambrose evict Baron Corbin out of the match. Corbin then brutalised Ambrose which then The Miz got rid of Ambrose who is the current Intercontinental Champion. Ambrose Vs. Corbin is looking like the match at ‘Mania for the title.
As for the conclusion to the night we had a great spot where Wyatt was celebrating his victory and then an intrigued looking Randy Orton came out onto the stage and stared down the new WWE Champion.
To conclude, tonight’s event was a very weak looking card which actually turned into an above average pay-per-view, the night had great spots and seeds planted for WrestleMania. But what I would like to find out more than anything is, what’s next for the likes of AJ Styles, Becky Lynch and Mickie James? Ultimately, SmackDown LIVE needs more star power as soon as they can get it. Maybe a particular Japanese individual…..
image credit – WWE
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