Daniel Bryan Outlasts Kofi Kingston to Retain WWE Title at Elimination Chamber

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistFebruary 18, 2019

Photo credit: WWE.com.

Daniel Bryan defeated AJ Styles, Randy Orton, Jeff Hardy, Samoa Joe and Kofi Kingston at the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view on Sunday to retain the WWE Championship.

Kingston was far and away the fan favorite in Houston, and he and Bryan were the last two men standing in the match.

With the crowd firmly behind him, The New Day member nearly did the impossible, kicking out of Bryan's running knee on one occasion and reaching the ropes to escape the LeBell Lock. 

Kingston also hit Trouble in Paradise and SOS on Bryan, but to no avail.

Knowing he needed something special to put the champ down, Kingston went for a high-risk maneuver and attempted a splash from one of the Chamber cells. He missed, though, allowing Bryan to set up one final running knee for the win.

After Bryan beat Styles to retain the WWE Championship at Royal Rumble, Triple H put the former leader of the Yes Movement in a precarious position by forcing him to defend the title in an Elimination Chamber match against five of the top Superstars the company has to offer.

Prior to that announcement, Bryan introduced a new, eco-friendly title belt made out of hemp, wood, rocks and other natural materials.

That put an even bigger target on his back, as did his holier-than-thou attitude with regard to protecting and preserving the planet.

Even before then, Styles had his sights set on Bryan since he ended The Phenomenal One's year-plus reign as WWE champion.

On the final episode of SmackDown Live prior to Survivor Series in November, The Beard shockingly used a low blow to beat Styles for the title and has become one of the most dastardly villains in all of WWE since that moment.

He became even more hated at the Rumble on January 27 when he enlisted the help of Rowan in order to beat The Phenomenal One again and remain WWE champion.

With SmackDown Live possessing a stacked roster of top-level stars, Bryan's antics came back to haunt him in the form of having to defend his title against many of the best competitors in WWE.

Styles, Orton and Hardy are all multi-time world champions, Joe has developed into one of the most vicious and dangerous Superstars in the company, and Kingston entered Elimination Chamber as perhaps the most decorated Superstar in WWE history to have never won a world title.

Sunday's bout had the potential to be one of the greatest Elimination Chamber matches of all time due to the talent involved, and they delivered with a dramatic and highly entertaining battle.

Despite the odds being stacked against him, Bryan managed to emerge from the Chamber with his title reign intact.

The primary focus now shifts toward who he will defend the championship against at WrestleMania 35 provided he doesn't drop it before than.

No one Superstar stands out as an obvious choice, but everyone he beat at Elimination Chamber can make a case, and any of them would likely give Bryan a great match on The Grandest Stage of Them All.

             

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