In a match fit for WrestleMania, The Wyatt Family and The Shield collide in what promises to be the most thrilling bout on the Elimination Chamber card.
Each trio's propensity for in-ring greatness and the rumbling energy that exists between them will combine to make this the most memorable clash on the pay-per-view. The WWE Championship match inside the Elimination Chamber itself will be fun, complete with Daniel Bryan's frenzied offense and Antonio Cesaro's shot to flourish in the spotlight.
But that match doesn't have the visceral appeal of The Wyatt Family vs. The Shield.
Travel back to Nov. 13 of last year. Bray Wyatt and his followers were both set on devouring Bryan and CM Punk in front of the Raw audience. Tension between them rose when Luke Harper and Seth Rollins began to bark at each other.
The crowd stopped chanting and watched with eyes widened. When arguing morphed into brawling, fans erupted.
WWE pits wrestlers and teams together every night hoping for a reaction like that. Fans are often appreciative and entertained, but rarely are they so psyched. That is sure to carry over once these two stables meet on Feb. 23.
The company has done well to revisit and add gasoline to the fire that began back in November. Wyatt addressed his foes on the Jan. 31 edition of SmackDown, saying that war was his favorite game.
Cackling, he told them, "My soul smiles at just the thought of your quivering hands waving those white flags."
There are still over two weeks to increase the animosity between the groups. WWE would be wise to keep the physicality to a minimum before they meet at the pay-per-view. Speeches like Wyatt's and tense staredowns will be plenty to get fans impatient to hear the opening bell ring.
Once it does, expect greatness.
Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose have excelled on a regular basis. Reigns and Rollins vs. Cody Rhodes and Goldust at Battleground was hailed as one of the best matches of the year. The three-team tilt that featured the Rhodes brothers and The Usos against The Shield earned four stars from F4WOnline.com's Dave Meltzer (via ProFightDB.com).
The Wyatt Family's recent resume is equally as impressive. Harper and Erick Rowan have been compellingly brutal against The Usos and others.
However, the memory of what Wyatt accomplished at the Royal Rumble is most fresh in fans' minds. Against Bryan, Wyatt had his best match by far in a captivating classic that had each man tearing at the other.
That performance was light-years ahead of what we had seen from him against Kane at SummerSlam and in various other singles bouts. That was a star-making showcase that made it clear Wyatt is destined for big things.
He gets a chance to follow that up with his bearded brutes at his side against a team that seems to hit home runs just about every time it appears on pay-per-view.
The result will be akin to throwing two packs of wolves into a pit together and pointing a camera at the ensuing melee. Intensity will be the match's hallmark as each group tries to prove its dominance.
Add the fact that The Shield has shown signs of splintering, and there is intrigue aplenty for this showdown. Ambrose tried to eliminate Reigns at the Royal Rumble. He and Reigns fought over who got to pin their opponent on the Feb. 3 Raw.
Rollins played peacekeeper each time, but the audience goes into this match wondering if this will be the moment The Shield implode. Will the strain of dealing with a force as brutal as The Wyatt Family be what does them in?
That uncertainty is a bonus element to a match already teeming with potential.
WWE has given fans a compelling reason to buy the final pay-per-view before the WWE Network launches. The Wyatt Family vs. The Shield is set to be a roaring fire of a conflict, one that will be what fans talk about once Elimination Chamber is over.
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