This Sunday in Milwaukee, we find out who will head to the main event at Wrestlemania.
Overall, I’m a fan of the Elimination Chamber match. It’s a pretty cool concept, and there are usually several moments that leave you saying ‘DAMN.’ As long as someone jumps off the top of a pod, and someone breaks the the lexan glass, I’m usually satisfied. For my money, the best Chamber match was the first one in 2002, at MSG, with Shawn Michaels winning the World Heavyweight Title. I don’t know if any year will top that one, but the Raw match certainly has the talent to do it. Let’s take a look at the announced matches so far, and who will be heading to Miami:
Smackdown Elimination Chamber Match
Daniel Bryan will defend the World Heavyweight Title against: Randy Orton, Cody Rhodes, Wade Barrett, Big Show and the Great Khali. That’s right, the Great Khali…. That guy needs to go, get out of WWE, I can’t stand him, and now he’s just taking spots from up and coming guys that could use the exposure. Apparently Khali is popular overseas, and this is the only legit reason I see for him to be in the match.
The match quality should be good, given the fact that all these guys have been working together for months. Unfortunately, there’s really no one here that will be taking any crazy bumps, with the exception of Bryan, but I’m sure Big Show will be throwing people through pods like it’s his job, which it is…
There is no reason for Daniel Bryan to drop the Title in this one. WWE has been giving him a big heel push, and stopping his momentum now, makes no sense. Bryan will hold the title until Mania, where he will face Sheamus, and also potentially Orton and Barrett in a Fatal 4 way.
Ambulance Match – John Cena vs. Kane
I’m pretty excited for this one, apparently it’s the first Ambulance match in almost ten years, something that surprised me. I like this because it’s something different, and it goes hand in hand with the story lines the last several weeks with Zack Ryder’s injuries. The final segment on Raw Monday, was excellent. They brought Cena embracing the hate full circle, with kissing Eve, and Ryder turning on him.
Kane has also been great. When he first came back with the mask, I was skeptical that Cena was a good feud for him. But creative knew what they were doing. They managed to walk the line of not making Kane look weak, and boosting him and Cena at the same time.
The match itself will be brutal, but I don’t expect anything that we haven’t seen before. It’s too risky to hurt Cena with his big match with the Rock looming in 6 weeks. I expect some sort of appearance by Eve or Ryder, but in the end, Cena will prevail and continue to build momentum to Miami.
Raw Elimination Chamber Match
This match is loaded with in-ring talent, and has the potential to rival the 2002 match. CM Punk defends the WWE Title against Dolph Ziggler, the Miz, Kofi Kingston, R-Truth, and Chris Jericho. I have no doubt that this match will steal the show. You’ve got Kofi for any crazy aerial stunts, and the Miz should be taking a few big bumps, as a punishment for his recent screw up with R-Truth. That mat wrestling should be outstanding with Punk, Jericho, and Ziggler, anyone of which, can legitimately make a case that they’re the ‘Best in the World.’
When it comes down to it, it’s hard to say that Punk won’t win this. If anyone beats him, it’s clearly Jericho. I just don’t know if that’s the best move for business. Punk has looked really strong in recent weeks as champion, and I don’t know how I’d feel if he lost it.
However, there is an argument to be made for Jericho winning. If he held the title to Mania, it would make for great television. Ultimately, you’d think Jericho puts Punk over at Mania, because there’s no way Jericho is going to be around full-time. I see a scenario where Jericho gets a dirty win at Elimination Chamber, holds the belt to Mania, while really selling the fact he is the Best in the World. Punk beats Jericho at Mania, which sets up a return bout at Extreme Rules in Chicago, where Punk triumphs and sends Jericho packing.
The question WWE creative has to tackle, is the build to Mania better with Punk as champ or challenger? I think challenger makes for a better story, and the payoff at Mania is greater that way. I’ll take Jericho in this one, somehow, someway, pulling a victory out of his ‘heel’ bag of tricks.
Jericho winning is a wild-card, but something different has to happen. All of the outcomes seem so predictable, that I think Vince is going to throw a swerve at us, with a Chris Jericho victory…
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