The Shield vs. The Wyatt Family
It had to happen somewhere. It had to happen sometime. What better place than here, at WWE Elimination Chamber at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota? What better time than now, Sun., Feb. 23, 2014, at 8 p.m. ET live on pay-per-view (PPV)?
The road to Elimination Chamber
These two groups had been wondering along on two separate paths, only ever crossing over once while united against common enemies. It was there that tension was teased but never followed through on.
Fans were really hot for it. So hot, in fact, that everything else in the main event took a backseat, if only for a short time. That meant this would undoubtedly be revisited and, sure enough, it took a small straw to break the camel's back and get each team in each other's crosshairs.
It happened during a hugely important six-man tag with the added stipulation that the winners would receive entry into the WWE world heavyweight championship Elimination Chamber match. Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose, and Seth Rollins were taking on Sheamus, Daniel Bryan, and John Cena, and the Wyatt Family had to go and stick their noses in where it didn't belong.
This led to The Shield demanding a match between the two. Retribution must be had. Justice must be done. The hounds must be released to do what they do best.
The response came quickly, through Bray's always eloquently haunting words:
"I admire your courage. Surely normal men would lose sleep at just the mere thought of dancing with reapers. But war, justice; that's y'all's game, man. I dig it. I like games too. War? That's my favorite. My soul smiles at just the thought of your quivering hands waving those white flags in the air. I would advise y'all to be careful inviting the devil into your backyard. Because he may just like it and decide to stay."
And Harper getting in on the fun:
"You reap what you sow. You three boys picked a beautiful hill to die on."
Rowan with a word (literally) of advice:
Talk is talk, but when the time was right the two sides came face-to-face for what was one of the most electrifying battle of wills we've seen in some time. Neither side wanted to blink, though the Wyatt Family eventually backed away, saving its energy for the fight to come later.
Naturally, they would tease us some more, with Bray delivering yet another beautiful sermon promising destruction:
"As our day of reckoning inches closer, I can't help but feel this child-like excitement building up in me. The clock is ticking. Your defeat, it will not come in vain. Your shattered bones will pave the streets of my kingdom. And from my throne, I'm going to turn them all. And I can't help but wonder, Shield, I must ask you: In the end, was all of this worth it?"
Yet and still, no physical contact.
Not until later that night, at least, following a match between Randy Orton and Sheamus.
Raw that evening went off the air with the two sides finally brawling it out in a brief but insanely exciting preview of what will happen later on tonight in Minnesota.
What's at stake?
Supremacy in the non-existent trios division. Bragging rights. Momentum for WrestleMania. Ownership of the yard the dogs have been barking over for so long now.
Really, you could argue the future of The Shield as a team is at stake more than anything. The seeds of dissension have been planted and petty bickering has given way to outright challenging each other's standing within the group. Three alpha males can only exist together for so long before a clear leader emerges and establishes his dominance.
But what happens when the others aren't on board with that?
What's more, what happens when that apple cart gets so upset, the success of the unit takes a backseat to the individual's need to prove himself superior?
This is going to be awesome.
Stay tuned to CagesideSeats.com for complete results and live coverage of the entire Elimination Chamber event.