Elimination Chamber was the last major stop for SmackDown on the "Road to WrestleMania," and while there are still seven weeks to go before the "Showcase of the Immortals" on April 2, the biggest wrestling show of the year got a whole lot clearer after Sunday night's main event in Phoenix.
For Bray Wyatt, it was a matter of finally winning the big one. Wyatt pinned defending champion John Cena and AJ Styles -- the two hottest stars in the company -- in succession, to capture his first WWE championship. While his path to WrestleMania 33 now seems clear, with stablemate and Royal Rumble winner Randy Orton's appearance in the closing moments shaking any doubt of their respective destinies, exactly how the Wyatt Family gets there is anything but predictable.
In the first appearance of the Elimination Chamber since 2015, the newly redesigned structure provided the perfect backdrop for Wyatt's biggest moment. The confrontation between six men, four of whom had never entered the hellacious structure, lived up to any expectations that were set going in. After rivals Cena and Styles started things off inside the ring, the first man to enter was Dean Ambrose, followed by Baron Corbin, The Miz and finally Wyatt.
As each man showed varying levels of concern for the structure during their ring entrance, and stared down each of their opponents along the way, Styles arrived with his signature swagger. Cena, far and away the most experienced in this match, had a few moments of trepidation before pumping himself up for the moment and circling Styles inside Talking Stick Resort Arena.
Styles took the first big moment as he set Cena up in an Argentine torture rack and turned it into a spin-out power bomb, which led to a two-count. Cena got a two-count of his own after a code-red, and then Styles countered with an Ushigoroshi as he bounced Cena's head off of his knee.
Just as Cena sized up a five-knuckle shuffle, the countdown clock began. Ambrose stormed into the ring, tossing Cena over the rope before crashing into the chain link fence numerous times. After Styles got involved, Ambrose threw him around too. Styles got flipped inside out and landed hard on the outside of the ring. Ambrose then climbed to the top of the pod and dropped an elbow on Cena, who was standing below, to a roaring reaction from the crowd.
Cena hit a simultaneous German suplex on both Styles and Ambrose, leaving all three men prone and slow to get up. This set the stage for another entrance, as Wyatt rushed into the ring and cleaned house in his own right -- the highlight of which saw Styles prepare for a springboard and get thrown directly from the top rope into the fence.
Styles soon got his revenge, though, dropping a rope-assisted leg drop onto the top of Wyatt's head, which was resting on the outside of the ring. Styles and Cena seriously tempted fate, as each climbed to the upper reaches of the cage, with Styles getting the best of it by sending Cena crashing below. As Styles made his way over to the top of a pod, he was joined there by Ambrose, and they took turns smashing each other's faces into stiff Lexan glass. It led to another three-way maneuver, as Ambrose powerbombed Wyatt as "The Eater of Worlds" hit an overhead, belly-to-belly release suplex on Styles from the top rope.
With all four men prone, Corbin made his way in to pick up the scraps, immediately getting into it with Ambrose. With a clothesline and a Deep Six, Corbin seemingly had Ambrose on the ropes, only for Wyatt to get involved. As The Miz looked on from within his pod, Corbin countered a Ura-nage by tossing Wyatt into the steel of the structure.
Corbin hit an End of Days on Styles, but Cena hopped right on top of Corbin with an STF submission attempt. Corbin rolled through and hit another End of Days on Cena, but ended up getting back into it with Ambrose before he could attempt a pin. With Corbin staring him down directly, The Miz slowly made his way out of his pod, allowing a long-enough distraction for Ambrose to sneak up behind and roll up "The Lone Wolf." Ambrose eliminated Corbin via pinfall.
It was not the last of Corbin making his influence upon this match, as he pounded Ambrose by tossing him through the Lexan glass of the pod, into the steel, and capping it all off with an End of Days in the middle of the ring. After hanging back in his pod, The Miz rushed into the ring the moment Corbin was out and covered up the incapacitated Ambrose. The Miz eliminated Ambrose via pinfall.
The Miz, riding high on that energy, hit Daniel Bryan-style kicks on a prone Cena and Wyatt, before finishing it all with a basement dropkick to both men. He made his presence felt in a big way, hitting everyone with corner dropkicks and delivering a skull-crushing finale on Wyatt on the outside. The Miz lined up Cena for a top rope attack, but Cena rolled through and hit an attitude adjustment to put him away. Cena eliminated The Miz via pinfall.
With only Cena, Wyatt and Styles left in the match, the latter two men got to double-teaming the WWE champion. Once that fell apart, Cena was able to hit the ten-knuckle shuffle on both men. After nailing Wyatt with an AA, Cena got caught in a Styles clash, only to kick out of a pin at the last possible monet. After missing the phenomenal forearm, Cena returned the favor with an AA before Styles kicked out at two.
Cena began scaling the cage, though it didn't appear clear what his intention was. He eventually nailed both Styles and Wyatt with a cross-body from the top of a pod, and it left all three men lying on their backs in the ring. Cena and Wyatt were the first two to reach their feet, and after a brief struggle, Wyatt dodged an AA and caught Cena with a Sister Abigail to eliminate the WWE champion. Wyatt eliminated Cena via pinfall.
With a new WWE champion guaranteed, the Phoenix crowd in attendance fell briefly into a shocked silence as Wyatt and Styles started feeling each other out. They traded back and forth, as Wyatt countered Styles' blinding blitz of strikes with a vicious clothesline. Styles countered Wyatt's Ura-nage attempt with a Pele kick and a Busaiku knee -- slowly setting himself up for a springboard 450, which hurt his arm as well, and only earned him a near-fall.
Styles slowly rose to his feet and removed his armpad to set up a brutal edition of a phenomenal forearm. But he got caught, turned around and finished off by Wyatt's Sister Abigail.
Wyatt's first singles title win -- the WWE championship -- guarantees him the biggest match of his career at WrestleMania against Orton. After losing in one big match after another over the course of his career, Wyatt finally made a statement by eliminating Cena and Styles consecutively to win the Elimination Chamber match.
For full match recaps and ratings from WWE Elimination Chamber, click here.