Match Point is an ongoing series at Last Word on Pro Wrestling, where we look at intriguing matchups in indie wrestling and beyond. They may be dream matches, first-time matchups, or hotly anticipated rematches. This Saturday, the WWE Championship will be contested in the Men’s Elimination Chamber 2022 encounter.
World Wrestling Entertainment’s “Road to WrestleMania” 2022 has been dominated by Brock Lesnar. Upon returning to WWE in 2021, “The Beast Incarnate” became embroiled in a feud with Roman Reigns for the Universal Championship. Despite several pay-per-view encounters, Lesnar failed to reclaim the Universal title. As 2022 dawned, Lesnar unexpectedly turned his attention towards the WWE Championship. Lesnar will be competing for the title once again in an eponymous Elimination Chamber match vying against current champion Bobby Lashley, Riddle, Austin Theory, A.J. Styles, and Seth “Freakin’” Rollins at February 19’s PPV, Elimination Chamber 2022.
Men’s Elimination Chamber 2022 – What to Know
Lesnar’s 2022 WWE Championship Run
The best-laid plans of mice and men went awry at WWE’s inaugural Day 1 event. While anticipation was subdued for Reigns and Lesnar to run back their match from October 2021’s Crown Jewel, plans for the rematch were snuffed by Reigns’s COVID-19 diagnosis. With Reigns unable to appear at Day 1, Lesnar was squeezed last minute into a fatal five-way for the WWE Championship against then-champion Big E, Rollins, Lashley, and Kevin Owens. Big E’s first WWE Championship reign, although initially hailed as a popular choice, had lost the plot in a haphazard feud with Rollins, Owens, and Lashley. Big E lost the title to Lesnar. In his sixth reign as WWE Champion, with Paul Heyman once again by his side as his “Advocate,” Lesnar paused his animosity with Reigns momentarily and focused his attention on a new adversary: Bobby Lashley.
Despite living curiously parallel lives, both having spent time as collegiate amateur wrestlers and MMA competitors, Lashley and Lesnar had yet to meet in singles competition in the arena of pro wrestling.
WWE has been heavily criticized for its repetitive match pairings, Lesnar and Reigns among them. Genuine anticipation greeted the blossoming of a feud between new foes Lashley and Lesnar.
The Royal Rumble
At January 29’s Royal Rumble, Reigns reemerged in Lesnar’s narrative, interfering in his match with Lashley for the WWE Championship. With aid from Heyman, Reigns spoiled the bout in Lashley’s favor, the title going to Lashley. An enraged Lesnar gatecrashed the titular Royal Rumble, entering as the surprise 30th entrant and emerging the victor, with a championship opportunity for WrestleMania 38.
Despite declaring his challenge for Reigns and his Universal title for WrestleMania, Lesnar once again finds himself competing for the WWE title against Lashley, Rollins, Styles, Theory, and Riddle. Rollins’ pursuit of both the Universal and WWE titles throughout 2021 and 22 has largely been a pretext for his inclusion in frontburner storylines. “The Visionary” hardly needs any more accolades at this point. Theory, though clearly a favored bluechipper, is too early in his main roster run for a serious title shot of any kind. Styles, like Rollins, is not seriously pursuing any further glory after a long career of accolades. Riddle, an immensely popular fixture of Monday Night Raw, has acquired both the United States and Raw tag team titles during his time on the main roster, but a solo run as WWE Champion would mean the end of the immensely popular RK-Bro tag team. It’s not likely that WWE is separating Riddle and Randy Orton any time soon.
That makes the men’s Elimination Chamber 2022 encounter largely a de facto runback for Lashley and Lesnar. With the WWE title so closely in Lesnar’s sights, speculation is high that he will seize it for the seventh time and, that when he and Reigns meet on the “grandest stage of them all” it will be in a Champion vs. Champion, or even a unification bout.
While that has not been confirmed by WWE, it would interject a fresh note of high stakes in the Reigns and Lesnar feud.
Stay tuned to the Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world, as well as to provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world. You can check out an almost unlimited array of WWE content on the WWE Network and Peacock.