The 2017 WWE Elimination Chamber should be all about Bray Wyatt, unless something gets changed at the last minute.
Bray Wyatt is one of the six WWE Superstars competing in the Elimination Chamber on Sunday. He’ll compete with Dean Ambrose, Baron Corbin, the Miz, and AJ Styles for John Cena’s WWE Championship.
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It’s one of the rare opportunities Wyatt has received for a World title, having been in the 2014 Money in the Bank Ladder match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship and the 2016 Royal Rumble bout for the same title. Other than that, it’s mostly been non-title programs for Wyatt, as he’s gone through the likes of Ambrose, Daniel Bryan, Kane, Roman Reigns, and the Undertaker, all of whom are big names.
Randy Orton won the 2017 Royal Rumble match, meaning he’s been gift wrapped a WWE Championship opportunity at WrestleMania 33. If you look at the possibilities for him to face at the show, no one sticks out more than Wyatt, and it’s obvious.
From the start of their feud in August 2016 to the alignment in October, all signs have pointed toward Orton and Wyatt eventually splitting to face off. Before the Royal Rumble, it seemed like a nontitle match would be in store, but that’s changed and makes the title being the one thing that separates these two. It’s not going to be about the Viper trying to get into the head of the Eater of Worlds either, which WWE fans had assumed the moment these two came together.
There’s more to this than the obvious Orton-Wyatt dynamic that everyone is expecting. If, for some reason, WWE goes in another direction, none of the other five competitors make sense for a title spot at WrestleMania 33.
Dean Ambrose is the Intercontinental champion and has shown little to no sign of dropping the belt. He won’t be Conor McGregor-ing it like Cageside Seats and others had rumored for Roman Reigns in December 2016, and will more than likely become the latest WWE Superstar to defend the belt in a multi-man ladder match. It’s become a WrestleMania tradition with the Money in the Bank Ladder match being used at the pay-per-view of the same name.
Baron Corbin is surging, but isn’t ready for a World title match at WrestleMania just yet. He may need a year or two of top-level build and main eventing a PPV or two before getting anywhere close to an opportunity. While his recent pinfall of Styles and match with Cena will be something fans point to, the Lone Wolf still needs time to establish himself as a main event player in WWE.
The Miz had his run at the top, but has done enough work to warrant a move back to that spot with his “never-ending” Intercontinental Championship reign after WrestleMania 32. He’s so good in his spot, though, that there’s little chance of him moving out of the upper mid-card scene on SmackDown. Plus, after WrestleMania 27 and how poorly the main event would be received, chances are WWE won’t be going back to the A-lister in a marquee spot as a selling point.
AJ Styles had a terrific WWE Championship reign, but ran into John Cena at the 2017 Royal Rumble. Now he has little direction for WrestleMania 33, which may be one of the most surprising developments of the upcoming show. After being in the main event picture and holding a title for much of 2016, it doesn’t seem like the Phenomenal One is going to be placed in a significant spot. WWE also doesn’t flip the World title around like they have done with the Raw Women’s, Intercontinental, and SmackDown Tag Team Championships in recent months.
That leaves us with John Cena. Before the January 31 episode of SmackDown, he vs. Randy Orton could have been realistic. Then the two traded pins on back-to-back episodes of the show. This should say plenty about where this is going.
So when the dust settles, it’s Wyatt standing out. Sure, plenty of it is due to a process of elimination, but no one else is in the spot that he is. Facing Orton at WrestleMania has been the logical path since October, and any deviation away from this wouldn’t make sense.
There’s no built-in storyline with any of the other five Superstars involved at the Elimination Chamber, which would add little substance to something like Orton vs. Ambrose or against Corbin. Only six weeks would remain before WrestleMania 33, which gives WWE little to no time to establish a lengthy backstory and give fans enough reason to care about what’s going on. An interpersonal conflict between the two Wyatt Family members would make the most sense for this; the background has been established since August and the WWE Universe placed their attention on this new version of the stable for months.
We’re getting to the point where the trigger is going to need to be pulled on Bray Wyatt if he’s ever going to ascend. He’s been in pretty much the same spot for the past three-plus years on the WWE main roster, hovering around the upper mid-card scene but never receiving the opportunity to go one step further. How many times can he do this before the fans lose all interest?