They are coming out of the woodwork, according to Booker T. The women of WWE are moving and shaking both brands, much to the delight of the fans who have been waiting for the continuation of the “revolution” this company promoted a year and a half ago.
On Sunday night at the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view, we saw just how solid the SmackDown Live brand has become, partly because of the three women’s matches we witnessed at Sunday night’s pay-per-view. And if that wasn’t enough, we Bray Wyatt unseats John Cena as the new WWE World Champion.
Overall there was beauty in brutality. The women’s matches where a major part of show, even stealing it to some extent. The ebb and flow of the night, with a better than average performance as a whole, should be a nice prelude to Orlando in April. Here are a few thoughts about Elimination Chamber from Phoenix.
Becky Lynch vs. Mickie James – This was a match seven years in the making. For some reason, I prefer watching these two in the ring over Charlotte and Bayley or Sasha Banks. There is so much to like about James and her style in the ring versus the aggression of the Irish Lass Kicker. I have said this before wrestlers need opponents who push them to their limit. James and Lynch do that for each other. Despite the fact that James controlled the match most of the night, Lynch’s win set the tone for the evening.
Apollo Crews & Kalisto vs. Dolph Ziggler – For the record, I really dislike handicapped matches. Apollo Crews and Kalisto defeat the heel that was once the first opponent for AJ Styles when SmackDown Live started its own brand. Oh how times have changed. Crews looked good, but not great. Ziggler is developing into a solid heel, but he still has nowhere to go because of lack of depth and direction. I do like the sadistic style of Ziggler, who took both Kalisto and Crews out after the match. Personally, I would love to see Ziggler and John Cena take a few laps around the ring.
American Alpha vs. The Usos vs. The Ascension vs. Heath Slater & Rhyno vs. Breezango vs. The Vaudevillains – A lot of action here. Am I the only one who is creeped out a bit by Breezango’s entrance? I’m a fan of their work, but the shtick doesn’t work for me. The Usos continue to get the shaft. Rhyno and Heath Slater continue to show they work well as a team and the Vaudevillains don’t get the recognition they deserve. American Alpha still remains the tag team champions by defeating the Ascension. When will the company get it right and put the straps on The Usos, who continue to get the shaft on the blue brand?
Nikki Bella vs. Natalya – OMG, it was better than I thought it would be. The story of these two being told has been done so well. And the fact Nikki Bella proved to be able to wrestle the mat technician was worth it alone. I love that Natalya was able to play to the crowd and take heat in and out of the ring. Seeing both women overcoming each other’s finishers was a perfect way to prove these two veterans were deserve another match. The intensity after the match with both women being counted out proved to be one of the better matches of the night.
Randy Orton vs. Luke Harper – Despite the fact Luke Harper lost the match, this is a program that should at some point after WrestleMania 33 be revisited. Now, Orton is on the way to WrestleMania 33 and Harper is now a face fans want to see more of. The match was slow in the beginning but both wrestlers out on a show. I thought there would be a lack of levelness between the two, but Harper held his own. This generation’s version of Bruiser Brody can move with agility and had opportunities to take down The Viper. We all knew Orton wouldn’t lose in his PPV match before Orlando, but it was a match that told a solid story.
Alexa Bliss vs. Naomi – Let’s just say Bliss has been better than I expected once she beat Becky Lynch for the SmackDown Women’s Title. Naomi was the perfect opponent in this situation. Again, another women’s match that lived up to the hype. Move and countermove. New Women’s Champion. There will be a rematch at WrestleMania 33, but Naomi walks into Orlando, her hometown, with the belt. The win by the challenger proves WWE is moving these women in the right direction. Finally, the best athlete on the blue team leads the charge of a new revolution.
Elimination Chamber Match (John Cena vs. AJ Styles vs. Bray Wyatt vs. Baron Corbin vs. Dean Ambrose vs. The Miz) – While I dislike handicapped matches like the one earlier in the event, I love these kinds of matches because of the feuds that come out of them. And I am still holding out hope for The Miz and Daniel Bryan in Orlando.
The real story was the crowning of a new WWE World Champion in Bray Wyatt. The match we all knew would happen will take place against Randy Orton. Wyatt is now the Leader of the Buzzards. It also sets up one hellacious main event in Orlando. From the match, we got Dean Ambrose vs. Baron Corbin and Cena possibly versus The Miz in April.