By Al Norcal
16 feet high, 36 feet in diameter, over 2 miles and nearly 10 tons of chain and steel, the Elimination Chamber is one of the most detrimental PPV’s of the year. Since the introduction of the chamber in 2002, there have been 16 winners and only 5 of those winning Superstars remain in WWE. The Elimination Chamber has not only been a demanding PPV, but it is also the last PPV before Wrestlemania and is considered the Super Bowl of the Wrestling world.
The way the Elimination Chamber match works, those of you new to both the Wrestling world and the Elimination Chamber itself, is that two superstars start off the match in a regular fashion. There are 4 Plexiglas “pods” where the remaining entrants await to join the match. Every five minutes, lights will start flashing in all the pods and once the light stays on that particular pod, that superstar enters the match. This goes on until all superstars have entered the match. The winner of the chamber will be the last remaining superstar who either wins by pinfall or submission. (No Disqualifications in this match)
Unlike previous Elimination Chamber matches, where there were two Chamber matches (both one for Raw and one for Smackdown for two different titles) the 2014 match has a unique situation. Not only is it the last PPV before the new WWE network is launched, not only does it have the potential on unifying both Championship belts, but also one of the top Superstars and a fan favorite, CM Punk walked out of WWE on his own terms. His walk out came about after he was assigned by Kane the #1 entrant in the Royal Rumble and didn’t like where he was in the rankings within the company. CM Punk almost beat the odds and was the last 4 superstars in the Rumble Match only to be eliminated by the very man who assigned him #1. The last Elimination Chamber match that CM Punk was in he won and retained his WWE Championship belt in the Raw 2012 Elimination chamber match against, Kofi Kingston, The Miz, Dolph Ziggler, Chris Jericho and R-Truth.
Will CM Punks absence this year leading to Wrestlemania put a damper on Vince McMahon and the creative team? Will we see a new champion vs Batista at Wrestlemania or will WWE still go with Orton? Will we see a breakout star in Reigns in singles competition? Will we hear the infamous Undertakers Bell toll?
2014 Elimination Chamber card consists of:
Elimination Chamber Match: Orton (c) vs Cena vs Byran vs Cesaro vs Christian vs Sheamus
Adding both Christian and Cesaro maybe a little of a head scratcher to some but I think Christian has always been one of the fan favorites and we could always count on him to be entertaining. Cesaro is a very technical wrestler ,(especially with his stellar 20 minute match against Cena on Raw) and would be nice to see him, and Bryan start off the chamber match which will give fans 5 minutes of excellent, technically wrestling. Sheamus is also another fan favorite and has the brogue kick that has brought down many superstars in the past, (i.e. eliminating Jericho to win the 2012 royal rumble) I just don’t see Sheamus winning here though. We don’t need to get into the drawing power bot Cena and Bryan have because they are the top faces in WWE today. Will Cesaro and Christian be catapulted in the main event status? Will Orton over come the odds and retain the belts? Will top superstars Cena and Bryan, the faces of WWE, capture the belts?
Prediction: Daniel Byran
Big E (intercontinental champion) vs Jack Swagger for the Intercontinental title.
This match has zero build up and Swagger only received this shot due to winning a fatal four way on Smackdown. Big E has been the Intercontinental title holder since his November 2013 win over Curtis Axel. Will one of the Real Americans surprise us with a win or will the former record breaking National power lifter retain?Prediction: Big E retains
Batista vs Alberto Del Rio
This feud has been building somewhat since Batista was announced he was returning to the WWE. ADR has been giving his reasons why the fans should not be concentrating on someone who quit WWE many years ago and focus on what’s in the now. Batista won the Royal Rumble which many fans are still upset with WWE because (Daniel Bryan was not in the Rumble match itself) earning his title shot at Wrestlemania. Will ADR ruin those dreams or will Batista just use ADR as a big name stepping stone to get himself more over?
The Shield vs The Wyatt Family
This feud started due to interference from the Wyatt Family during the Shield’s match vs Cena, Bryan and Sheamus, causing the Shield to not make it in the chamber match. The Shield has been seen recently being the “muscle” behind HHH and “The Machine” take over. The Wyatt family has always been the aggressive, backwoods group that would put fear into anyone they came across in, and especially, outside of the ring. Will The Shield overcome their tension within the group to take down the Goat mask wearing Wyatt family or will the Wyatt’s, who follow the buzzards, along with their mental games take down the machine?
Prediction: The Wyatt family
The New Age Outlaws (Tag Champions) vs The Uso’s
(I had a 3 way tag title match at the Elimination Chamber before Raw between NAO, Uso’s and the Rhodes Brothers). This match for the tag title could be an interesting one. The N.A.O. are not as mobile as they once were and when wrestling, have had botched spots and quirky bumps. Matching them with the hottest tag team, the Uso’s, could potentially hide a lot of those flaws. Will the hottest tag team win the titles heading into Wrestlemania? Or will the N.A.O. retain showing the HHH machine still stands tall?
Prediction: The Uso’s
Pre-Show PPV matches:
Titus O’Neil vs Darren Young Prediction: Darren Young (aka, Black Cena)
Rhodes Brothers vs Ryback and Curtis Axel
Prediction: Ryback and Curtis Axel
** My personal prediction matches**
AJ Lee (champion) vs Any Diva. (I personally think it should be a divas battle royal to determine the #1 contender for the Women’s Champion vs AJ Lee at Wrestlemania.
The only reason I say AJ Lee vs any WWE Diva is to give AJ Lee some PPV time before Wrestlemania. The women’s division is really just a filler match with little or not interest. I believe the only way to give it some interest is to have a battle royal but the WWE creative team has had a history of not being that creative.Prediction: AJ Lee
Lesnar vs Big Show (or Mark Henry)
I wouldn’t necessarily call this a match as it will finish in a no contest or a DQ. WWE is currently on the road to Wrestlemania and you can’t have Wrestlemania without………….The Undertaker and the streak. There have been rumors that The Undertaker will put his streak on the line vs Lesnar. A few years back when Lesnar was fighting in the UFC, Undertaker was in the stands strategically placed by McMahon to cause a stir when both Taker and Lesnar exchanged a few words. What better way to have The Undertaker start playing his usual mind games then at the Elimination Chamber PPV. I predict will we hear the Undertakers famous Gonging of the bell!
What WWE will end up doing:
Chamber match: Winner: John Cena is currently the face and the merchandise best seller in the WWE. WWE has had a horrific history in making John Cena out to be Super Cena and also has a tendency of screwing out the fans. Look at Daniel Bryan not being in the Royal Rumble match. Batista vs ADR: They’ve invested so much in Batista so early. I don’t see him losing to ADR because he’s been promised a Wrestlemania title match due to winning the Royal Rumble. Swagger vs Big E: What can I say about Big E, he will retain over Swagger. The SHIELD vs Wyatt’s: – The Shield and the Wyatts have been the best Trio in WWE/WWF since Demolition. I say a DQ finish because the Wyatt’s are a trio that still has a way to go with their story line and the Shield’s storyline is almost to its peek and we will see Reigns break away from the group. Tag titles: The New Age Outlaws: Again,WWE has a way of letting down fans and with Orton on top, Batista having a title shot, HHH buddies have the tag titles and will retain. Everyone surrounding HHH at this point is benefiting from the machine.
My personal Pre-Elimination Chamber potential Wrestlemania Card:
Bryan (c) vs Orton vs Batista…..Undertaker vs Lesnar…..Cena with 2 legends vs The Wyatts…..New Age outlaws vs The Uso’s(c)…..Ambrose(c) vs Sandow…..Albert Del Rio vs Mysterio…..Big E (c) vs Rusev…..AJ Lee vs (winner of battle royal)…..Cody Rhodes vs Golddust…..Reigns/Rowan vs The all Americans
** CM Punk vs HHH for authority of WWE
**If CM Punk comes back to WWE.
**Predicted matches for both the Elimination Chamber and potential Wrestlemania card are just an opinion. I base these predictions on my knowledge of WWE and rumors. Plus, a little bias time to time**