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The Wyatt Family def. Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose & Chris Jericho

HOUSTON — Chris Jericho has waged some hellacious battles over the past quarter-century, but nothing could quite prepare the decorated veteran for the latest, horrific incarnation of The Wyatt Family at Night of Champions. At the sold-out Toyota Center in Houston, Bray Wyatt, Luke Harper and imposing newcomer Braun Strowman earned a decisive victory over Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose and the brothers-in-arms’ mystery partner, Y2J.

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Using quick tags to wear down The Eater of Worlds and his kin, Reigns, Ambrose and Jericho — three men with long, brutal histories with The Wyatt Family — seized an early advantage in this emotionally charged bout, but momentum shifted dramatically when “The Black Sheep” entered the fray. After shrugging off a two-on-one attack by the former Shield brethren, Strowman lifted Jericho high above his head and hurled him onto Reigns and Ambrose at ringside in a stunning show of force. 

Like a buzzard feasting on carrion, Wyatt seized on the opportunity created by the so-called “New Face of Destruction” and picked Ambrose apart until the battle shifted once again to pit The Big Dog against Harper. After nailing the bearded oddity with a huge Samoan drop, Reigns stunned Harper with a succession of right hands in the corner that knocked “The New Face of Desolation” to the floor. Moments later, however, Wyatt’s distraction left Reigns vulnerable to a Harper superkick that dazed the juggernaut and nearly took him out of the fight entirely. Fortunately, Reigns and Ambrose’s secret weapon was about to turn the tide in this chaotic clash … but only for a moment.

WWE Network: Watch Jericho vs. Wyatt at SummerSlam 2014

After Y2J unloaded on Wyatt and trapped the backwoods preacher in the Walls of Jericho — which was broken up by Harper — he  ultimately tagged in Ambrose who collided with The Eater of Worlds with a thunderous double clothesline. Then, it came down to each team’s powerhouse as Reigns and Strowman were tagged in. Connecting with two Superman Punches on the behemoth, Reigns then took down Strowman with a Spear as Ambrose neutralized Harper with a dive to the outside. Then, as The Big Dog seemed poised to pick up the victory with a second Spear, an overzealous Jericho tagged himself in and hit Strowman with a Lionsault that yielded a mere two-count.

As Reigns and Wyatt brawled outside the ring, Y2J attempted the Codebreaker on Strowman, who countered the maneuver and drove Jericho’s skull into the canvas. Then, the massive swamp monster squeezed the life out of Jericho with his horrific submission hold, causing the veteran to pass out and lose the match for his team.

Afterward, Jericho’s partners were visibly frustrated with Jericho, who shoved his way past his tag team allies to take a solitary walk up the entrance ramp.

After Reigns and Ambrose’s mystery partner proved ineffective against The Wyatt Family, how will The Big Dog and The Eater of Worlds combat this lingering threat in WWE?