Tonight, exclusively on the WWE Network, the Elimination Chamber returns to our screens! The Elimination Chamber used to be a rare treat on WWE, until they gave the structure a PPV of its own. Like Hell in a Cell, seeing the structure used twice in one show every year diluted its uniqueness. The Chamber almost always produced a decent match (and often much more), so it will be a pleasure to see it return! The card, on paper, is the best of the year. Among my most anticipated matches are Kevin Owens vs John Cena and Seth Rollins vs Dean Ambrose. But how will the matches turn out? Let me gaze into the crystal ball…
Neville vs Bo Dallas
Neville has gone from fighting John Cena to feuding with Bo Dallas? Does Vince McMahon loathe NXT superstars who graduate to Raw? Bo Dallas has nothing of significance for an age. Neville was getting hotter and hotter on Raw until he got involved with Bo Dallas. Yes, they have history in NXT. But I thought we were supposed to forget about a superstar’s NXT past? Example Number One: Adam Rose! This is the only match on the card that doesn’t appeal to me. I’m sure it will be a decent bout, but if Neville doesn’t win, what does that say about him? If you can’t beat Bo Dallas, then there’s not much hope for you on Raw.
PREDICTED WINNER: Neville
Nikki Bella (c) vs Paige vs Naomi-Divas Championship Match
Maybe three Chamber matches were enough for the PPV, but I would have loved to have seen a Divas’ Chamber match. It could have been a key selling point for the Special Event: the first ever Divas’ Chamber match! Anyway, I’m torn between Nikki and Naomi as the winner of the match. I’d be shocked if any titles change hands in Elimination Chamber, but Naomi is reaching a peak in her heel character, especially with Tamina in her corner. Naomi winning the title would spice up the Divas division. However, I’m putting my money on Nikki for the win. She’ll pin Paige so Naomi can claim a one on one match for the Divas championship.
PREDICTED WINNER: Nikki Bella
The New Day vs Cesaro and Kidd vs The Ascension vs Los Matadores vs Lucha Dragons vs The Prime Time Players- WWE Tag Team Elimination Chamber Match for the Tag Team Titles
First ever tag team Elimination Chamber match! It will be interested to see how the Chamber works in a tag team situation. Let’s face it; three out of the six teams are there just to make up the numbers. Maybe four including the Prime Time Players. The Ascension and Los Matadores don’t stand a chance. Lucha Dragons aren’t big enough in viewers’ eyes to merit a championship match. The real competition (and the final two teams) will be between The New Day and Cesaro/Kidd. The New Day are still rolling as the tag team champions, and the team of Cesaro/Kidd work better as chasers than champions against The New Day.
PREDICTED WINNER: The New Day
R-Truth vs Sheamus vs Dolph Ziggler vs King Barrett vs Rusev vs Ryback-Elimination Chamber for the vacant Intercontinental Championship
Daniel Bryan was supposed to relight the fire of the IC Championship, but due to his injury that burden will fall to someone else. Please God, don’t let it be R-Truth! The other competitors merit their involvement in the match. What the hell has R-Truth done to deserve it? Why not Bray Wyatt, or even Neville? I can safely say that R-Truth won’t win the match. Ziggler’s there to take big bumps, and nothing else. Ryback has been on a losing streak. I think those three can be safely ruled out. But it’s a tough prediction about who will win the match. Rusev could do with the victory after three straight Special Event losses to John Cena. King Barrett’s King of the Ring victory has not been followed by an extended push. Sheamus’ heel character needs something big like an IC Championships. But I think it really comes down to Sheamus and Rusev. Out of those two, I reckon Rusev will get the win. After what the booing team have put Rusev through, the IC Championship will be their apology.
PREDICTED WINNER: Rusev
John Cena vs Kevin Owens
Kevin Owens’ appearance and consequent destruction of John Cena almost gave me a seizure. Brilliant and unexpected, Owens owned the mike and owned John Cena. As always, Cena doesn’t seem to be taking the challenge very seriously (when does he ever?!??!), but Owens’ promotion of the match has been first class. His promo at the beginning of last week’s NXT was gold. Essentially, it’s Owens ‘The Family Man’ vs Cena ‘The WWE Man.’ Cena makes it clear all the time that the WWE is his life. Owens makes it clear that NXT is something to give his family a happy life. Cena’s seen as the veteran in this match, but Owens has been wrestling on the indie scene for fifteen years. Owens, as a heel character, should be booed, but when he trashes Cena, the crowd go wild! It will be interesting to see how the crowd react to both participants.
However, in giving us this match, the WWE have booked themselves into a corner. If Cena wins, it hurts Owens’ reputation as the big bully who can back up his taunts with beatings. If Owens wins, then the WWE is inferior to NXT. I can’t see either man winning clean as a result. Maybe Samoa Joe will distract Owens and hand Cena the victory? But I doubt Cena loses in any case.
PREDICTED WINNER: John Cena
Seth Rollins (c) vs Dean Ambrose-WWE Championship Match
A match with only two weeks’ build that feels like it’s a natural progression for both the wrestlers. Their hot feud came to an abrupt halt at Hell in a Cell last year, when Ambrose was paired off with Bray Wyatt (and look how that feud turned out!). After months in mid card limbo, Ambrose has burst into the main event scene as a natural opponent for Rollins. Done correctly, this could be a long-lasting and memorable feud. In that sense, I can’t imagine that Ambrose will get the victory here. Rollins will win in an underhanded manner to give us a rematch between the two at Money in the Bank. A clean victory for Rollins would be very much appreciated, as so far his championship reign has been mediocre. It’s focused more on Kane than it has the champion! But I don’t think a clean victory will come his way in big match situations…
PREDICTED WINNER: Seth Rollins