The Smackdown-branded Elimination Chamber pay-per-view had two huge title changes. Naomi, after nearly eight years in the company, finally added another WWE accomplishment to her Best Dance Moves of the Year 2013 Slammy Award: the WWE Smackdown Women’s Championship. And in the Elimination Chamber main event – which had a revamped design with a much more forgiving floor – Bray Wyatt became the new WWE Champion.
I’ve been talking about Bray winning the championship to set up his Wrestlemania 33 title match against Randy Orton since last month – as reported by the Wrestling Observer. But I found myself so drawn into the Chamber match, especially during the final three, there were moments where I started to mentally draft up excuses for being wrong.
But Smackdown did the right thing in the end. Wyatt looked incredibly strong in victory, pinning both AJ and Cena. Orton appeared at the top of the ramp – FROM OUTTA NOW-well, actually, it was probably from the back – to stare at Wyatt’s celebrations forebodingly. This Randy vs Bray feud has been patiently building since August last year.Just don’t get injured, Bray.
The Chamber match also appeared to set up a Dean Ambrose vs Baron Corbin programme, when The Lunatic Fringe got a shock roll-up elimination on The Lone Wolf. Corbin destroyed Ambrose in retaliation.
So with Corbin starting a feud with Dean, Bray and Randy in the Wrestlemania 33 title match, and AJ Styles potentially facing Shane McMahon, what’s next for The Miz and John Cena?
As has been reported, and feared, WWE began to sow the seeds for a Cena and Nikki Bella vs Miz and Maryse match at Wrestlemania 33 last night. Nikki and Natalya went to a double countout in their match, and continued to brawl in a backstage interview later on. A brawl that was so wild, they bumped into Maryse, knocking what I hope was make-up powder all over the A-Lister.
The best bump of the night, though, went to returning WWE superstar Tripp Bradshaw! After falling over one of the 27 announcers on an episode of Smackdown Live last month, JBL managed to trip over his own cowboy boots when dancing down to the ring at the start of the show.
— WWE Universe (@WWEUniverse) February 13, 2017
According to Dave Meltzer, another WWE superstar will be returning soon: Tamina Snuka, who’s been out recovering from her knee surgery since last May. PWInsider reported back in December that she had been medically cleared back then and was going to be added to the Raw brand. Tamina missed 2016’s WWE Draft, and currently isn’t attached to either roster. Not like that matters. Just turn up on Smackdown and promise to dig holes and take souls, and then start feuding with people on Raw.
That didn’t happen, though, and now, two months later, Meltzer has tweeted that Tamina is cleared and she’s booked on the Smackdown brand shows from March. She might not actually return to TV until after Wrestlemania, though, as the card is packed enough as it is. Tamina’s father, WWE Hall of Famer Jimmy Snuka, passed away last month.
One WWE star did make their in-ring return from injury over the weekend, though, where former Cruiserweight Champion Rich Swann returned to face Neville at a WWE Live Event in Alaska on Saturday night. Swann has been out with a foot injury since the 30th January – which meant 205 Live had to hold a Fatal Fiveway number one contender’s match to decide Neville’s WWE Fastlane challenger.
And finally, Chavo Guerrero Sr. – the father of Chavo Guerrero Jr and brother of Eddie Guerrero – passed away on Saturday aged 68. He had been diagnosed with liver cancer last month.
What did you think of last night’s Elimination Chamber show? Ask me ‘Elimination Chamber show? What Elimination Chamber show?’ because you’re still recovering from Saturday’s Takahashi vs Dragon Lee match in the comments below.