Views From The Turnbuckle: Elimination Chamber Preview

The Elimination Chamber PPV really only has one purpose: To set up the remaining feuds for Wrestlemania. While it seems like a gimmick PPV such as Elimination Chamber would be better served at a later date, WWE has traditionally held the Elimination Chamber match during this period, so it has pretty much become a tradition. The Wrestlemania picture this year is particularly foggy, so this year the PPV has a lot of work to do.

The main event of the show will be the Elimination Chamber match, which will be for the WWE WHC. The match features two company stalwarts (Randy Orton and John Cena), the most popular star in wrestling right now (Daniel Bryan), an up-and-coming star (Cesaro) and two wrestlers caught in no man's land (Sheamus and Christian). In theory, this is probably the most loaded Elimination Chamber match since at least 2005. Christian and Sheamus are basically just fillers, for when you consider that fillers in the past have been Santino Marella and The Great Khali, having two former world champs in Sheamus and Christian is pretty good.

Obviously, Christian and Sheamus don't have a snowballs chance in hell of winning the match, and they will probably be the first two out of the match. Outside of those two, Cesaro remains a very intriguing competitor. It is highly unlikely that he ends up being the winner and headlining Wrestlemania, but it is also unlikely that Cesaro leaves this match without making a big impact. Cesaro's popularity has really blossomed over the last month or so, and WWE has noticed, putting him in this match, allowing him to take John Cena to the limit and letting him pin the champion. It wouldn't be surprising to see Cesaro make it all the way to the final two or three, and I definitely think that he will eliminate a man or two. Cesaro isn't going to be the champion going into Wrestlemania, but a strong performance here could definitely put him on the right track to getting a title shot after Wrestlemania.

Daniel Bryan is easily the man that fans would most like to see wrestle in the main event of Wrestlemania, but at this rate, that is unlikely to occur. Bryan is currently in a feud with The Authority and more specifically, Kane. Unlike any of the other wrestlers in the match, Bryan is in the midst of another feud entirely that does not center around the world title. Bryan is the one guy, outside of Batista, that is pretty obviously keyed into a match at Wresltemania. The match will probably be against Triple H, or even worse, Kane. Clearly, this is a step down for Bryan, but unless he ends up battling Orton and Batista at Wrestlemania, this is his destiny for early April.

It doesn't really make a ton of sense to have John Cena win back the world title, but then again, you can never rule out John Cena winning anything in WWE. Cena could very well win the world title Sunday, and then challenge Batista at Wrestlemania, while Orton goes down to face Bryan. WWE knows that they messed up by having Batista win the Rumble (why else would he barely get any TV time?) and a possible idea to fix that problem would be to move Orton out of the title match and put Cena in it, so at least SOME of the fans will be cheering. Sure, it doesn't make a whole heck of a lot of sense to have Cena in the main event when the fans are screaming for Daniel Bryan, but WWE likes to use Cena to fix a lot of their problems.

Another reason Cena has a decent chance of winning the title Sunday is that he doesn't seem to have anything else set-up for Wrestlemania right now. Rumors have circled around that Cena will be taking on Bray Wyatt, or Brock Lesnar, or even the Undertaker, but so far those have just been rumors. When you think about it, it starts to make more sense on why Cena has a really good chance on winning Sunday. Cena would, at least in theory, be in the biggest match at Wrestlemania. A John Cena match would involve a lot of build-up, probably more than what a month-or-so's worth of Raws. Cena taking the title off of Orton and facing Batista (or facing Batista AND Orton) would certainly be an important match, and it could take the Orton/Cena storyline and make it full-circle. Cena might not win the match Sunday, but he has a much better chance than most people probably realize.

The champion Randy Orton is the prohibitive favorite heading into the match, mostly because it makes more sense to have the champion heading into Wrestlemania have a few successful title defenses under his belt than it does to have a fresh, untested champion. Orton's title reign so far has been poorly booked and confusing, but at this point, it seems like WWE is pretty dedicated to having Orton in the main event of Wrestlemania.

The problem with that thinking is that if the Wrestlemania main event were to be a heel Orton vs a face Batista, WWE would just be asking for the fans to turn on the main event. Batista probably has more heat than any wrestler in WWE, yet WWE is going to try and get the fans behind him in the next month in hopes of not laying an egg at Wrestlemania.

The smartest decision WWE could make, and I 100% believe that this is what WWE should do, would be to have Bryan dethrone Orton at the Elimination Chamber, and have him face a heel Orton and a face Batista in a triple threat match at Wrestlemania. This way, WWE can actually satisfy their fanbase (imagine that) while still keeping Batista in the main event and act like this was the plan the entire time. If Bryan were to be the champion going into Wrestlemania, Batista could still technically be a face, but WWE wouldn't have to rely on him to create the normal baby face atmosphere (like getting people excited about the match).

In the end, I do think that Orton will end up retaining the title Sunday. Kane will cost Bryan the match and Orton will sneak by Cena and go into Wrestlemania as champion. Cena does have a decent chance of winning, but Orton probably needs to put Cena in the rear-view mirror at least for a little while in order to give him some more credibility. Orton will win and then face off against Batista the following night on Raw, and if that goes poorly, well then WWE will undoubtedly have to do some booking on the fly.


Back To Top