Austin Theory prevailed in the Elimination Chamber to retain the WWE United States Championship.
The action-packed Chamber match saw the rising Bronson Reed featured heavily before being eliminated by four Superstars. With a more experienced field (in terms of wrestling experience as four wrestlers made their Chamber debuts), the men received far more time than the women in what was a far superior match. While the women’s Elimination Chamber was essentially over before it started, this match was showered with multiple “this is awesome” chants.
The Elimination Chamber also focused on Montez Ford, who donned brand-new (more traditional) gear. Ford was showcased with multiple Chamber dives, and the announce team talked up Ford’s immense future as the Street Profits’ days finally seem numbered. After a valiant performance, Ford’s elimination led to referees (kayfabe) escorting Ford out of the ring. This literally opened the door for Logan Paul to pounce and cost Seth Rollins the match with a Buckshot Lariat.
WWE’s first Elimination Chamber to be competed for the United States Championship also meant an elevated platform for the budding Austin Theory. The United States Championship has been the de facto world title on Raw, with top stars Lashley and Rollins carrying the secondary title in 2022.
As recently as November 7, 2022, Theory seemed dead in the water after failing to cash in his Money in the Bank briefcase for the United States Championship. Despite that damning sentence, WWE immediately went to work on the Austin Theory reclamation project.
Theory went on to regain the United States Championship after his inexplicable failed cash-in, and entered this historic Chamber match as the odds-on-favorite. As of this writing, Theory is listed as a -350 betting favorite.
Theory’s profiles should only grow after arguably his biggest win to date. Waiting in the wings amid a star-studded WrestleMania season is none other than John Cena, who is expected to be Theory’s WrestleMania opponent. Theory and Cena have shared the screen to tease a potential feud in the past, with Theory taking subtle jabs at Cena by continuing to announce “the champ is here!”
A match, and preferably a win over John Cena, is exactly what Theory needs to be the top star WWE is grooming him to be. Though Theory’s bungled cash-ins was one of the rare black eyes of the Triple H Era, the recovery has been almost seamless, further qualifying the current regime as more creatively confident than the final years with Vince McMahon at the helm (for now).
With Austin Theory headed for a likely feud against John Cena, and Logan Paul destined for a match against Rollins this April, an all-time Elimination Chamber set up multiple WrestleMania programs.
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