Less than four years after debuting on the main roster, Bray Wyatt accomplished the ultimate goal of any WWE superstar last night at Elimination Chamber.
Wyatt outlasted John Cena, AJ Styles, The Miz, Baron Corbin, and Intercontinental Champion Dean Ambrose inside the chamber to capture his first WWE championship. The crowning moment came when Wyatt — who eliminated Cena with Sister Abigail to ensure a new champion — pinned Styles with the same maneuver to win the match. Wyatt Family member and ally Randy Orton stared down the new champion as Elimination Chamber went off the air.
— WWE WrestleMania (@WrestleMania) February 13, 2017
Orton, who defeated former Wyatt Family Luke Harper earlier in the show, won his second career Royal Rumble match a few weeks ago, ensuring him a title match at Wrestlemania 33. For months, numerous reports have suggested that Wyatt will face Orton for the title on WWE’s biggest stage, possibly resulting in a babyface turn for Orton.
However, WWE’s official website was careful with its language in discussing Wyatt’s career night and direction headed into the showcase of the immortals.
“Following his faithful follower Randy Orton winning the 2017 Royal Rumble, The Wyatt Family doubled down on their success when Bray Wyatt walked away from the Elimination Chamber Match as the new WWE Champion. However, amid The Eater of Worlds’ championship celebration, the WWE Universe has collectively begun to ask one simple question: Will he and Randy Orton actually clash at this year’s WrestleMania?
“It is, of course, tradition for the Royal Rumble Match winner to take on the champion of their brand at The Grandest Stage of Them All. However, in this case, there are many variables. Will Wyatt and Orton want to face each other at WrestleMania? And will that point become moot if John Cena invokes a rematch clause for the WWE Championship between now and WrestleMania? As Daniel Bryan put perfectly on WWE Network’s Talking Smack, a lot can happen in the seven weeks leading up to WrestleMania.
The preview mentions Cena’s rematch clause, which he can invoke for an opportunity to regain the title. Should Cena capture the WWE Championship again, he will break Ric Flair’s record of 16 world titles. Cena captured the title weeks ago at the Royal Rumble in San Antonio, Texas, after defeating Styles.
However, reports have claimed that Cena’s Wrestlemania 33 role will be an intergender tag team match, teaming with his real-life girlfriend Nikki Bella to face The Miz and Maryse. That rumored program reportedly kicked off last night when Bella accidentally bumped in Maryse while brawling with Natalya backstage, resulting in powder getting all over Maryse’s outfit.
— WWE (@WWE) February 13, 2017
Later in the night, Cena pinned The Miz inside the chamber, thus eliminating the former WWE Champion from the match. The Miz and Cena faced each other at Wrestlemania 27 in Atlanta, Georgia six years ago — The Miz pinned Cena after interference from Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
So, if this program kicked off last night and it carries over to SmackDown Live this week, Cena invoking his rematch clause may have to wait until after Wrestlemania 33.
Orton could conceivably challenge for the WWE Universal Championship on RAW, but reports over the past few weeks suggest that current champion Kevin Owens will drop the title to Goldberg at WWE Fastlane. It’s expected that Goldberg vs. Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania will be for the title, so Orton does not fit into the equation.
After joining the Wyatt Family last November, Orton’s career received an injection of interest. It was his first time as a heel since 2014 and another dimension to his character. The culmination came at WWE TLC when Orton and Wyatt defeated American Alpha for the WWE SmackDown Live Tag Team championships. It was Orton’s first tag team title in a decade and Wyatt’s first WWE title.
Dissension over the past few months in the Wyatt Family has driven a rift, excommunicating Harper, and now leaves Wyatt vs. Orton on the verge of the main event at Wrestlemania 33.
[Featured Image by WWE]