From as long as I can remember, I’ve been ranting and raving about giving championships and opportunities to talents that have earned it and changing things up for Wrestlemania during the pay-per-views (PPV) post-Royal Rumble. Well, the WWE shut me up in one fell swoop last night at the 2017 Elimination Chamber.
For the most part, the WWE Universe has seen Wrestlemania plans etched in stone after the Rumble winner is declared, but this year things have been shaping up different; and I couldn’t be more pleased. Last night’s PPV may have not been the best in history, but the Elimination Chamber match was incredible and the outcome was even better. To place that WWE World Heavyweight Championship on Bray Wyatt’s shoulder, in such a clean fashion, was not only a testament to how the WWE views Bray for all the dues he’s paid, but also speaks volumes around the current push he is experiencing.
Heel Wyatt not only won the WWE title last night, he did so cleanly and by pinning not only John Cena, but also AJ Styles. This is huge. Two of the biggest names in pro wrestling for this generation, WWE or otherwise, and Wyatt pinned them both, in one night … one match … one after the other. And not only is Wyatt champion, but he’s heading onto the Grandest Stage of Them All to headline Wrestlemania; an event where he only participated in a promo last year and was beaten down by The Rock and John Cena. An event he’s generally been an afterthought for. An even he’s never been able to truly shine in. It would be incredible to see him close the event, but at this point, where ever his match falls, I consider it a huge success and a clear indication that Wyatt has finally climbed that WWE mountain and nailed it. Will he stay on top? Again, while I’d love to see a long and strong, reign, how he won and where he’s headed is a huge milestone for this superstar. Without a clear indication on how things are going to roll out come Tuesday – will a feud unravel between Wyatt and Orton, who will turn on whom (does it matter) – for now I am quite content about the results of the Elimination Chamber and where Bray Wyatt stands.
Speaking of standings, I’m shocked that my own little prediction of Naomi becoming the next SmackDown LIVE Women’s Champion actually came to fruition. Yes, leading up to the event I was hoping and praying. I also saw the betting odds on the Sunday morning before the PPV, but did fluff it off, and while I was hoping for a Naomi win; I wasn’t holding my breath. Leading into the Elimination Chamber match Naomi had two wins on Alexa Bliss, which almost reads as a guaranteed loss in most WWE storylines when approaching a PPV match. Alas, Naomi surprised us all and is now the champ. Well-deserved and you can tell just how much, based on the outpouring of tweets that exploded after she pinned Bliss last night.
Im crying!!! The struggle baby!! You did it @NaomiWWE
— notorious SB (@SashaBanksWWE) February 13, 2017
— Charlotte Flair (@MsCharlotteWWE) February 13, 2017
— Nia Jax (@NiaJaxWWE) February 13, 2017
So proud of @NaomiWWE for becoming the new SmackDown Women’s Champion! It’s been a long journey and so well deserved!! Love you girl! -Brie
— Nikki & Brie (@BellaTwins) February 13, 2017
— Nattie (@NatbyNature) February 13, 2017
Naomi is headed to Orlando, her home town, as women’s champion to walk down that ramp for a hero’s welcome. She is absolutely living not only her dream when she does this, but the dreams of many of her fans and other superstars that can only wish to have the same happen to them (if and when) all the moons and stars align: to not only have a spot at Wrestlemania, not only be the champ, but perform in front of your home town. #Goosebumps I’m very interested in seeing what kind of championship reign is in store for this woman who has waited patiently for the spotlight … and is sure to shine.
But above all this, it feels like we, the WWE fans, are living in a dream, when it comes to the new era. This time last year, did it ever seem possible that Bray Wyatt, Naomi, Alexa Bliss, Kevin Owens, or even AJ Styles could hold high-level gold within the company? What about Dean Ambrose? Yes, a year makes a huge difference, not only with how far superstars have come, but also with the direction the WWE is going. This new era, this breakdown in two separate brands, has truly opened doors for many superstars to shine; doors that may not have been afforded with the limited number of titles considering the amount of talent on the main roster. It ends up being a win-win situation. Main event talents are honed, each superstar is allowed the ability to connect with fans and their own specific demographics, merchandise is positively affected, but moreover fans get a taste of seeing their favs achieve the ultimate success. It creates a positive feeling for all involved, as their success feels like ours as well.
While the only minor downfall maybe a feeling of quickie titles reigns, that cheapen the title win, if Creative makes an effort to produce quality programs within these championship runs, and continues to push superstars (like in the case Wyatt’s win against Cena and Styles), or break records (such as Cena’s 16-time historic Royal Rumble win), perhaps these reigns can still create a huge impact in the grand scheme of things, down the line.