WWE Elimination Chamber 2014: Seven things we learnt on the road to Wrestlemania

A look at how the final pay-per-view before the showcase event of the year played out

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The Shield and The Wyatt Family steal the show:

Going into the Elimination Chamber PPV, the battle between the two premier stables in WWE was tipped by many to be the match of the night. It didn’t disappoint. An all out war lasting twenty plus minutes, the six-man match  managed to both live up to  - and maybe even surpass - the hype, with all six men putting in fantastic performances.

While Roman Reigns and Bray Wyatt were given main billing and displayed why they are on their way to the main event, it was Seth Rollins who gave the performance of the match and the night as a whole. Rollins combined smooth ring work, great brawling and dazzling aerial manoeuvres, most notably after landing on his feet from a top rope German suplex followed by a roaring elbow through the ropes. With Dean Ambrose brawling into the crowd but not returning, leaving Roman Reigns vulnerable to a three-on-one attack following Rollins exit through a table The Shield’s combustion storyline took a clever twist  and Reigns’ brave battle gave him both sympathy and crowd support. It will be hard to top this match this year.

Batista feeling the backlash:
If it wasn’t bad enough that Batsista was jeered out of the building on his supposedly triumphant return at the Royal Rumble, he felt the rough edge of the crowd’s frustration at Elimination Chamber too, despite spending the majority of the match on the defensive after Alberto Del Rio’s sneak attack. Unless something drastic happens between now and Wrestlemania (read: Daniel Bryan inserted into the main event), Batista can expect the roughest night of his career in New Orleans on 6 April.

Elimination Chamber 2014 results: Wyatt Family steal the show

Has Daniel Bryan been finally accepted as ‘The Guy’ by WWE?  
In what seemed like a throwaway line by Michael Cole at the start of the Chamber match, he proclaimed that Daniel Bryan’s crowd reactions were now “as large as John Cena’s”. Given that the WWE announcers are basically the mouthpiece of Vince McMahon, is this an admission that Daniel Bryan is now seen as on the same level as the number one man in the company?

Wrestlemania plans take shape:
We now know that Orton will be the man defending against Batista at Wrestlemania following his tainted win in the Chamber match. Bray Wyatt and John Cena are set for a collision after Wyatt cost Cena for the second straight PPV. Roman Reigns’ star continues to shine and there should be a storyline on the back of him suffering the fall for his team. Title defences are also in line for Big E, AJ and the New Age Outlaws. And there is still space for The Undertaker vs Brock Lesnar as well as matches involving Cesaro, Sheamus and Christian, not to mention the return of Hulk Hogan as host and the culmination of the Daniel Bryan vs The Authority storyline.

Obvious does not equal uninteresting:
Randy Orton won as expected, but that does not mean that it should not have happened. If the WWE had gone with the crowd and put the belt on Daniel Bryan, while it would have been undoubtedly a feel good moment, it would have smacked of opportunism. But a victory at Wrestlemania for the belt? That would be a great resolution to the Bryan vs Authority angle which has been running for the best part of a year.

Wrestler of the night:

Seth Rollins, for putting it all on the line and showcasing his many talents, reminding a lot of people in the process that he can be a star in his own right.

Line of the night:
Jerry Lawler, not condoning Alberto Del Rio’s fake injury and subsequent attack on Batista by saying, “I can’t complain, I did that to Bret ‘The Hitman’ Hart once”, in a nod to their Summerslam ‘93 match.