LOS ANGELES, February 23, 2014 — Tonight, World Wrestling Entertainment will have their Elimination Chamber pay per view. This is the penultimate pay per view of the WWE’s season before their season finale extravaganza, WrestleMania 30, in New Orleans. The matches tonight will be used to start and further minor and major storylines. Some of tonight’s matches could lead to major ramifications, especially in the WWE title scene. There are seven matches announced tonight, along with one match on the WWE Kickoff.
First up on the Kickoff match is the Rhodes Brothers (Goldust and Cody Rhodes) vs. Ryback and Curtis Axel. The Rhodes Brothers are looking to regain their momentum since losing the Tag Team Championships to the New Age Outlaws last month at the Royal Rumble. Fans of historical facts will enjoy this match because it features three second Generation Superstars of WWE Hall of Famers. Cody and Goldust are the sons of “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes and Curtis Axel is the son of “Mr. Perfect” Curt Hennig.
Prediction: The Rhodes Brothers get the win and get the crowd ready for the Elimination Chamber. An interesting side note here is that a Goldust/Cody WrestleMania match has been in the works for the last two years. Since they are still technically on the same page as a tag team, a singles match may not happen this year. Unless during this match, the wheels for a WrestleMania grudge match are set in motion. 85% Rhodes Brothers win clean, 10% Rhodes Brothers lose and fight like all brothers do, 5% Ryback/Axel win via cheating.
Possible Elimination Chamber first match will pit the freshly returned Batista against Alberto Del Rio. Since Batista has returned from his Hollywood sabbatical for a few years, he has been given the royal treatment, carte blanche, and the key to the city. Fans have not taken to Batista’s return to the WWE like the WWE would have hoped they would. Why? Fans are smarter than they are given credit. Batista has returned seemingly out of the blue after being away for three years.
Fans had generally believed the 45-year-old had left for Hollywood’s greener pastures acting in such films as “The Man with the Iron Fists”, “Riddick”, and the unreleased “Guardians of the Galaxy”. Here is where wrestling conspiracy nuts are having a field day. “Guardians of the Galaxy” is the next Marvel Comics super-blockbuster that will hit theaters this August. This is a superhero movie that is vastly different from any superhero before. The Guardians do not have any household name superheroes like a Wolverine or Batman or Captain America or Iron Man. Many people believe that the sudden Batista return is a result of getting exposure for both the “Guardians of the Galaxy” from the WWE’s fan base and the WWE from mainstream media.
Needless to say, Batista and Del Rio shared fighting words on Twitter before Batista returned to the WWE. In this business, fighting words lead to an actual match in the ring. During the Royal Rumble, when Batista entered the ring, he quickly eliminated Alberto del Rio on his way to winning the Rumble and getting his title shot at WrestleMania 30. Fans are not happy with Batista’s return and perception that a part time wrestler gets a title shot the moment he comes back to the WWE.
Prediction: This will be Batista’s first singles match since returning to the WWE. He looked noticeably winded in the Royal Rumble, so Del Rio’s job will be to make Batista look like a million dollars and not be booed out of the building. There is no chance Del Rio wins this match, as the WWE would like Batista to look like the unstoppable “Animal” he did a few years ago. With the way the fans have simply booed Batista for just being here, will Alberto Del Rio (a bad guy/heel) be cheered wildly for every offensive move he lands on Batista?
Next up should be The New Age Outlaws (Road Dogg and Billy Gunn) defending their tag team titles against The Usos. Jimmy and Jey, former WWE Superstar Rikishi’s twin sons, have quietly become one of the most exciting tag teams over the past couple of years. While the New Age Outlaws are relics from “The Attitude Era”, the Usos represent the youth of the new generation. The New Age Outlaws returned in January during “Old School RAW” and competed for the first time as a team in the WWE for fourteen years. The Outlaws captured the tag team titles at the Royal Rumble and have held them ever since. For the build-up of this title match, Both Usos won their singles matches against the Outlaws. Will they win now that the gold is on the line is the real question.
Prediction: As much as it would be great to have the Usos finally become tag team champions at Elimination Chamber, that feel good moment probably will not happen until WrestleMania. Which means the New Age Outlaws will use cunning and strategy to cheat to retain the title against the younger, faster, more high flying Usos. New Age Outlaws retain via Disqualification and/or nefarious means to win, while at the same time keeping the Usos hungry for the gold.
Grudge Match time! The next match pits former tag team partners as Titus O’Neil fights Darren Young. The team of O’Neil and Young, collectively known as the Prime Time Players had run its course and O’Neil decided to turn heel and attacked Young making him bleed his own blood!
Prediction: Titus O’Neil gets the win, as he has slightly more charisma, better microphone skills, and a better look than Darren Young. Young is no slouch in the ring, but the microphone seems to be his downfall. Titus wins and his heel push begins.
The Intercontinental Championship is up for grabs when champion Big E (formerly Big E Langston) defends his title against Jack Swagger. Big E has been running over the competition since he captured the IC title on the November 18, 2013 edition of RAW. He is a physically impressive young wrestler with an extremely high upside. Big E will be one of the major cornerstones of the WWE for many years to come. On the other side of the IC match is Jack Swagger. Seemingly entrenched in the tag team division with his partner Antonio Cesaro as the Real Americans, Swagger will try to impress and show that he can be considered in the Intercontinental division. The wildcard in this all is Swagger’s manager Zeb Colter. Not usually known for interfering in his charges’ matches, but when gold is on the line, desperate men do desperate things.
Prediction: Big E is rolling along and getting good crowd reactions as Intercontinental Champion, but he has not had that one impactful feud since his WWE arrival. Could Jack Swagger be that feud? He is a former World Heavyweight Champion and has yet to hold the IC title. With Swagger’s tag partner occupied in the Elimination Chamber main event, this may signal two singles runs for tag partners without the tag team actually breaking up. 60% Big E retains, 40% Swagger wins the IC title. Regardless of who wins, this match will pit two Hosses against each other in a hard hitting affair.
Speaking of hard hitting affairs, this next match will be a doozy of a Six Man Tag Match. Irresistible Force vs Immovable Object eat your heart out. The Wyatt Family (think the country folk from the movie Deliverance) led by Bray Wyatt and his two lumbering followers Luke Harper and Erik Rowan battle Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose, and Seth Rollins, collectively known as The Shield. While both teams could be considered heels, they are both cheered, especially when they have been facing off against each other recently. Imagine two trains racing towards each other at break neck speed. Now realize that those trains are hauling gasoline, fireworks, super balls, confetti, cattle, TNT, more explosives, I think you get the picture.
Now picture those two trains traveling at full speed carrying all that dangerously delicious cargo and the fans have set up bleachers at the very place the two trains will collide. What a wonderfully awesome thing to witness in person. This is what the fans expect the match to happen. This feud was apparent to the fans the moment the Wyatt Family debuted in the WWE shortly after the Shield began to dominate their opponents.
At first they seemingly were on the same page when they were fighting the same opponents. However, the straw that broke the camel’s back was when the Wyatt Family interfered during a six-man tag match between The Shield and Sheamus, Daniel Bryan, and John Cena. The Wyatt Family attacked Daniel Bryan, thus the Shield lost the match and their spots to be in the Elimination Chamber match for the WWE title. Rightfully so, The Shield were not happy and challenged the Wyatt Family to a duel. The build-up for this match has been classic. Stare downs, promos, and up until this past Monday RAW, they had zero physical interactions with each other. This is a wonderful example of an old school way to build a feud.
Prediction: Bottom line, whoever wins this match, the fans will win. Two dominant teams of three young Superstars in what could earn the Match of the Night honor. There needs to be a winner, so with the rumors of The Shield breaking up and moving on to singles pushes and rumors of Bray Wyatt to fight John Cena at WrestleMania, the cult-like Wyatt Family should get the win. The Shield have the aura of being unbeatable, so the Wyatt Family will need the win more to strengthen their star in the WWE roster. Plans change all the time, so 55% Wyatt Family wins, 45% Shield wins, 100% of the fans win.
The main event for Elimination Chamber is the Elimination Chamber match itself. Randy Orton will try to defend his WWE World Heavyweight Championship against five worthy challengers. The ring is covered with a gigantic dome of metal, chains, and more metal. Think Mad Max: Beyond Thunder Dome, only Tina Turner is nowhere to be found. Much like Thunder Dome, five men enter, one man leaves. Two wrestlers will start the match and every five minutes a pod housing the remaining wrestlers will open. The object of the match is to eliminate your opponents via pinfall or submission until you are the last man remaining. Let’s meet tonight’s victims! Randy Orton defends his title against Christian, Sheamus, Cesaro, John Cena, and Daniel Bryan.
Prediction: The veteran and recently turned heel Christian has a 0% chance of winning, but a 100% of being one of the anchors for this match. He is a good ring general and should get some good spots. “The Celtic Warrior”, Sheamus, who recently returned from the Disabled List, is a former World Champion, but tonight will not belong to him. Sheamus gets a 30% chance of taking home the gold. The recently name shortened (Antonio) Cesaro of the Real Americans tag team is a dark horse candidate to get his “Eureka On” and strike gold tonight. Cesaro has quickly become the 2nd most popular wrestler on the WWE’s roster as of late. “The Swiss Superman” has won over crowds with his feats of strength during his matches and his impressively old school Airplane Spin move that has captivated crowds who count along with the rotations as Cesaro spins his opponent. In Cesaro’s matches, he has routinely had the crowd count up to ten. What if they ever had the chance to count to 100?
What if the crowd got to witness the handless UFO move Cesaro did with relative ease while on the Independent circuit?
The crowd would lose their collective minds and demand the WWE to hand Cesaro the title. He may be saving that move for his WrestleMania moment though. Cesaro gets a 55% chance to win tonight. John Cena, this generation’s Hulk Hogan and without a doubt the face of the WWE automatically gets a 60% chance in most title matches merely because his name is John Cena. Cena is not the favorite to win, but in the words of Vince McMahon, “anything can happen in the WWE!” Mid-match shenanigans may occur with the aforementioned Bray Wyatt and his Family with regards to Cena. They somehow may break into the impenetrable fortress of the Elimination Chamber and cause Cena to be eliminated. Next up is “The Curious Case of Daniel Bryan”. He has become the “Stone Cold Steve Austin” of this generation.
When “Stone Cold” Steve Austin was a bad guy, he was cheered and loved by the fans so much that the WWE was forced to turn him face so the crowd could continue to cheer him. The fans absolutely love Daniel Bryan. He is not the gigantically tall or bursting with muscles WWE wrestler template. He looks like a normal guy, a normal guy who happens to be the WWE’s best in-ring wrestler. The fans want him to be the champion and they will not take no for an answer.
At the Royal Rumble match last month, when they realized Bryan was not coming out for the Rumble match, they proceeded to boo, chant “DANIEL-BRYAN!” and hijack one of the WWE’s signature shows. The WWE has to do something to get Bryan into the title picture for WrestleMania or else the fans’ wrath will be enormous. Daniel Bryan gets a 75% chance of leaving with the gold tonight. The defending champion, Randy Orton, gets a 77% chance of retaining, simply because he is the champion going in. Is Orton still favorable in the eyes of Triple H and his wife Stephanie McMahon? Or do they favor someone else to be “Their Face of the Company”?
If Orton retains in this match, he will go on to WrestleMania to defend his title against Batista. This is not what the fans want, and they will not be shy about letting the WWE know. If Orton retains, look for Daniel Bryan to somehow get added into that match making it a Triple Threat. If that does happen, Daniel Bryan would be the odds on favorite to win the title at WrestleMania with a “feel good victory” placating the rabid WWE fans.