Sunday, February 17th, the WWE presents Elimination Chamber from the New Orleans Arena in New Orleans, Louisiana. There's a lot of great matches on the card, but there is only one actual Elimination Chamber Match. While the Elimination Chamber Match looks like a good one, I'm a bit shocked that the Six Man Tag Match hasn't been slated to go down in an Elimination Chamber. All that being said, I think this will be an interesting PPV, and one step closer to WrestleMania! I also want to introduce Andrew. He's been joining us for the past couple months in the Live Blog and been throwing his short predictions into the mix. He's been in the mix regularly since the start of 2013, so it's time his short predictions are added in officially. I hope you welcome him with open arms.
Ken Predicts - Pre-PPV Tag Team Match – Brodus Clay & Tensai vs Team Rhodes Scholars (Cody Rhodes & Damien Sandow)
The big question is, "What is VKM thinking about tag teams this week?" I'm liking the growth and change of Tensai now that he's basically Albert hanging with Funkasaurus. It feels more organic for him, even though he was a tough guy in Japan, probably because that's the man I remember, and enjoyed watching, back in the day. I think that Tensai and Funkasaurus are just starting as a team, and they're comic relief, so I don't see as they have a big future with belts and all. Then again, how long are Rhodes and Sandow going to stay together after they formally broke up – because the WWE is saying it's 'One night only!', but The Rock vs Cena at WrestleMania was supposed to be 'Once in a lifetime!' - and will most likely really be going in the opposite direction after WrestleMania? Personally I hope Team Rhodes Scholars face Team Hell No at WrestleMania, but I don't think this is going to be their night. I have a feeling the big boys are just going to be too powerful for Rhodes and Sandow.
Ken's Predicted Winner – Funkasaurus & Albert
Stacy's Predicted Winner – Team Rhodes Scholars
Alex Predicts - Pre-PPV Tag Team Match – Brodus Clay & Tensai vs Team Rhodes Scholars (Cody Rhodes & Damien Sandow)
Why are Sandow and Rhodes teaming up? It's a tough time for single stars as Wrestlemania is right around the corner. Plus, their tag team division is a wreck. They just teamed them up to have an established heel tag team. Clay and Tensai are the new ones and I don't think WWE will mess around with them. Vince likes this kind of stuff so I can see them going over. This match benefits them more than Rhodes and Sandow.
Alex's Predicted Winner – Brodus Clay & Tensai
Brooks Predicts - Pre-PPV Tag Team Match – Brodus Clay & Tensai vs Team Rhodes Scholars (Cody Rhodes & Damien Sandow)
It seems as if WWE has decided that the one team they push per month is Brodus & Tensai, so I'm guessing they win this match. The too-soon reunion tour of Team Rhodes Scholars is pretty funny though, so maybe they want to flesh that out on TV a bit. But probably not. It seems like WWE has ended their tag team kick for now, so I guess one of these teams will beat Team Hell No soon and carry the belts for a nearly-dead division. It just seems like they'll want to give the newer team the momentum from this match, and further solidify Tensai's face turn.
Brooks' Predicted Winner – Brodus Clay & Tensai
Ken Predicts - United States Title Match – Antonio Cesaro (c) vs The Miz
As much as Miz has been pushed recently, and his new sexy Fig 4 will be a great torch for him to bring into the future, but I don't see gold in his future at this point. What the WWE really needs to do is get serious about this feud. It really feels to me that they've been pussyfooting around these two really stepping it up and taking each other down on an epic scale. Cesaro's playing tether ball swing with Miz was a big step in the right direction, but I want so much more from them. Moving them up from the Pre-Game Show was another big step in the right direction, but again, I want more, so much more, and I know they both have it in them. So much more! These two could give us so much more, and hopefully they will in this match so creative will bump up their feud for us. I want to see these two fighting it out at WrestleMania after a solid build between now and then.
Honestly, I was about to say that the belt should stay on Cesaro until WrestleMania, because he needs the push to continue, and after Miz dropped Punk on his head (being the #2 man, he might have issue with Miz being strapped after last weekend, even though I'm sure it was an accident, and Punk really shouldn't be that petty – not saying he is, just that he shouldn't be), but maybe it would be good for Cesaro to drop the strap and go after Miz to get it back. It could really light a fire under both of their tushies. So, while this could be a loss for me, I'm going with Miz winning the US Title cleanly over Cesaro!
Ken's Predicted Winner – Miz
Stacy's Predicted Winner – Cesaro
Alex Predicts - United States Title Match – Antonio Cesaro (c) vs The Miz
I had no idea this match was going to happen, but thanks to Kendra, she told me. I know it is easy to forget a match, but WWE only has about 6 matches announced for this PPV and they did a horrible job advertising it. It is easy to forget a match when there are 8 or 9, but 5-6? Usually this would be the pre-PPV show match, but I am pretty sure it is the tag team match. Usually I would go straight to the point and say Cesaro will win, but I haven't seen him getting this big push he has been having before. Cesaro has been losing and has been embarrassed by the hands of Miz. I know they are trying to get Miz over, but Cesaro has great potential. Miz was WWE Champion 2 years ago and now is he going for the United States Title? Funny how things turn out sometimes. I still think WWE has some energy in Cesaro. I mean, why make him lose now? They could do some heavy pushing during this time to show everyone what he is all about. They need to capitalize on the opportunity with the viewer boost because of Rock and Brock. I have to go with Cesaro here.
Alex's Predicted Winner – Cesaro
Brooks Predicts - United States Title Match – Antonio Cesaro (c) vs The Miz
It's been fun, fellow Cesaro fans. We had a good ride. Cesaro is definitely not done. He's probably on to bigger and better things. He's been nothing but impressive in WWE so far, and I can't believe I believe this with all the times the ball has been dropped with other guys, but I absolutely do not think WWE will stop Cesaro's push. He's money, and they know it. Unfortunately, The Miz needs some momentum. He's boring, uninspired, and can't properly do a submission hold that we've all known how to do since we were 5, but he's got the office's blessing, so we're going to be seeing more of Miz. They may save his big title win for WrestleMania, but with the thrashing he received on Monday, it seems like now is the time for The Miz to Overcome The Odds(tm).
Brooks' Predicted Winner – The Miz
Ken Predicts - Divas Championship Match – Kaitlyn (c) vs Tamina
Kaitlyn is one of the strongest Divas on the roster, and I think we've seen only a tiny bit of what she has to offer. That being said, Tamina is also a very strong woman, and I think we've only seen a tiny bit of what she has in her arsenal. After watching Tamina on Smackdown this week, I feel that she needs to place her opponent a bit further from the corner before she climbs and flies, as it feels like she has to hold back when she flies. This is something I noticed previously, but it really seems to have become a habit to her. Some could call me petty for bringing this up, but I did it to prove that Tamina is so strong, and has proven she has talent, and that's the only big negative I can say about her ring work.
I think it's too early for Kaitlyn to drop the strap, but I also think it's crappy that we've seen so little of her since she became Champ. I think she could be a very positive role model for girls, and she deserves a chance to show that side of her on WWE TV. I'm hoping she retains her Divas Title, at least for the time being.
Stacy says he guesses the outcome matters, he guesses, maybe. To me that not the way any championship should be looked at, but that's what the WWE has turned the Divas into of late. He had no good reason to pick Tamina, but he needed to decide between the two.
Ken's Predicted Winner – Kaitlyn
Stacy's Predicted Winner – Tamina
Alex Predicts - Divas Championship Match – Kaitlyn (c) vs Tamina
I really don't have any idea what is going on in the Divas division. Were they even on this past week's Raw? Ah, I don't know, but I know Kaitlyn won it against Eve. Eve is gone and I think that is enough to give Kaitlyn the nod to keep the title a little longer. I like Tamina but Kaitlyn has WWE's eyes.
Alex's Predicted Winner – Kaitlyn
Brooks Predicts - Divas Championship Match – Kaitlyn (c) vs Tamina
Not much to say here. I'd be all for making Tamina the new Big Bad in the Divas division, but there has to be more exposure and character development for that to work in any meaningful capacity. Right now, this is a nothing match. That said, I expect Kaitlyn to win, and I expect me to be drooling over Kaitlyn throughout the match.
Brooks' Predicted Winner – Kaitlyn
Ken Predicts - 6 Man Tag Team Match – The Shield (Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns) vs John Cena, Sheamus & Ryback
I actually think this could be the hardest match on the card to book. None of these guys can made to look weak at this point, so close to WrestleMania. I don't know what the plan is for any of these guys, other than Cena heading to face The Rock for the WWE Title. So, the bug question is will they have Ryback lose yet another PPV match, or will The Shield lose the match and much of their momentum. Sadly, at this point, Sheamus is the least of the questions in this match, but I'm sure he will regain some momentum after WrestleMania and the drive to keep us captivated with the big name part-timers who are only around for the biggest PPVs.
While I feel The Shield needs to win to continue their momentum, I think the need for Cena and Ryback to come out on top going into WrestleMania is too great. The Shield will bounce back from this loss, and they have more time to do it because they're not already scheduled for a huge match for something gold and shiny, so I don't think it will be too bad for them.
What I really wish is that they had set this up to be an Elimination Chamber Match. With six men it just lends itself perfectly to the namesake of this PPV. The WWE has really dropped the ball on that aspect of this match. Maybe they didn't think it would work, or that they could book it well, but I think this match lends itself perfectly to an Elimination Chamber. It would break up what could be an average tag match into something unusual and possibly show stealing because I know these guys could do a stellar job in the Chamber. Hopefully they will spring it on us the night of the show, but I'm not going to hold my breath.
Ken's Predicted Winner – Cena, Sheamus & Ryback
Stacy's Predicted Winner – The Shield
Alex Predicts - 6 Man Tag Team Match – The Shield (Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns) vs John Cena, Sheamus & Ryback
So far, this is just a regular tag team match. If it changes, I am sure I will hear about it and may have to change my views... in fact, I doubt that. It only makes sense that Cena, Sheamus, and Ryback go over. Why would Cena lose if he is going for the WWE Title at Wrestlemania? It doesn't make any sense. And what is this, The Shield's second match in the WWE? Lots of cluster going on, but I am pretty sure the safe bet is to go with the mega stars so they can carry the momentum.
Alex's Predicted Winner – John Cena, Sheamus, Ryback
Brooks Predicts - 6 Man Tag Team Match – The Shield (Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns) vs John Cena, Sheamus & Ryback
This could be bad. This could be very, very bad. Stables in WWE always start out by doing an interesting thing, but then continue doing that one interesting thing every week for months with absolutely no variation. Nexus beat people up every week and got boring. The Shield beat people up until Ryback comes out every week, and it's getting boring. I just can't see The Shield pinning these guys either. Unless there's another swerve, I just can't see it. I'm sure the office is thinking that John Cena has to get his pre-WrestleMania momentum. Ryback and Sheamus need their dose as well. The Shield has been a decently fun thing, but I hope they don't stick around for much longer. I hope the members of The Shield do, and keep doing their respective things in WWE, but I hope the group doesn't last much longer. There's not much else for them to do that would be compelling. The "combating injustice" thing is an interesting angle, but it was never fleshed out the way it should've been, and realistically, it probably never will be. The Shield's probably gonna lose here. "Buried" is the most misused word in the IWC. They won't be buried here. They'll be beaten decisively, sure, but they'll probably look decent, and they'll recover. I just have to keep telling myself it's not the end of the world. Who knows, maybe The Shield will bring The Sword.
Brooks' Predicted Winner – John Cena, Ryback & Sheamus
Ken Predicts - Elimination Chamber – Jack Swagger vs Chris Jericho vs Daniel Bryan vs Kane vs Mark Henry vs Randy Orton
I have to admit that I'm struggling with this one because there's so many ways they could go, but it's also very limited as to who could really go to WrestleMania in the main event and make it work. This also depends on what happens in the WHC Match. I absolutely do not want to see Orton win. As much as ADR had been at the top of my 'Poo List', Orton has taken his spot, and no matter how much shine is put on him, he's still a festering poo right now. I think Team Hell No has too much they need to accomplish as a team, and against each other, so I don't think it's time for either of them to win and go to WrestleMania – even thought Bryan really needs a big WrestleMania to come back from his 18 second defeat last year. Then there's Henry. I have made my feelings for Henry glaringly obvious since his return, and nothing has changed. Right now, for me, he does not deserve to be in a top spot going after the WHC. Further, I can't see Henry facing either ADR or Big Show for the Title. ADR is too small, so it wouldn't be a fight. Big Show might be of a size, but he is also a heel, and heel versus heel matches are notorious busts. The fans don't care who wins because they don't want to see either come out on top. Even if Henry didn't have his arrogance, bad attitude, and sloppy ring work taking him down, that he couldn't really work with either possible Champ makes him a terrible choice.
Then there's Jericho. Like Stacy, I'd love to see Jericho win and go to WrestleMania, facing either ADR or Big Show. It would work fantastically, but in the end it would be fairly obvious that Jericho either wouldn't win, or wouldn't retain for long because of his uber busy schedule. So as great as he would be winning this thing, it's his spotty future with the company that makes me worry.
There's two possibilities left for me. First off, someone – Ziggler – attacks someone – Orton – prior to the match and takes his place. The fact that Ziggler isn't already in a match on this PPV really annoys me. The man is well past time for a serious push, and I think he's ready to hold the WHC and run with it. I'd love to see him face ADR at WrestleMania, and I think the two of them – if ADR can really work on changing up his ring work, as he had been doing until this past two weeks – could tear up the show. This is one match I would be bummed to miss live, as there's no way I'm going to make it to WrestleMania, even though it's so close.
All that being said, I don't see Ziggler fighting, or worming, his way into this Elimination Chamber Match. That leaves Swagger. Hear me out! All the rumors said that Swagger wanted to leave the WWE because of how things were going for him. VKM convinced him to stay, and while I wasn't sure at the time, seeing his new fierceness and mouthpiece, I'm impressed. Dutch is a pro, but this past week he's proven that he's the right mouthpiece for Swagger. All the while Swagger was running with Vickie, he really was playing second fiddle to Ziggler. It made sense at the time because Ziggler and Vickie have a great chemistry, but now Ziggler is off with AJ and Big E and getting his own chances, so it's great that Swagger has Zeb to help him get over with the fans. Some might say that the heat is mostly because of Zeb, but I disagree. Swagger has really stepped things up and has been exuding power, anger and ferocity. It's all that, along with Zeb, that makes me have to jump on Swagger for the win here. I'm known for making slightly absurd predictions, but I would really like to see Swagger pull this one out. It would be so unexpected, and would throw a huge swerve into the WHC Match at WrestleMania!
Ken's Predicted Winner – Swagger
Stacy's Predicted Winner – Jericho
Alex Predicts - Elimination Chamber – Jack Swagger vs Chris Jericho vs Daniel Bryan vs Kane vs Mark Henry vs Randy Orton
This may be the hardest match to call. I can see almost everyone of these stars winning. I have no idea what WWE has for Jericho, so could they have him win to fight Rio... or Dolph? What about Bryan? He and Kane may be together, but I don't see either one of them going for the title. I will knock them out. Jack Swagger still has a long way to go to be in the main event again. WWE will work on him very slowly, so I think I can count him out. Mark Henry has this monster push and he wants to be in the main event. Orton is a main event star, but will WWE give it to him? I am going to narrow it down to Henry and Jericho. The question now is, who will hold the title? Will it be Rio or will Dolph cash it in? If Rio stays champion, I would pick Henry, but if Dolph cashes it in and wins, I have to say Jericho. With that being said... I think I have a much better choice to go with Henry on this one. I mean, why would Henry come back if he wasn't going to be in the main event?
Alex's Predicted Winner – Mark Henry
Brooks Predicts - Elimination Chamber – Jack Swagger vs Chris Jericho vs Daniel Bryan vs Kane vs Mark Henry vs Randy Orton
I don't think there's been an Elimination Chamber match where I've been a fan of every participant, until this one (I go back and forth on Randy Orton, but he's stepped up his game since 2011). Every elimination is gonna disappoint me, and that's exciting. No matter who wins, I don't think I'll be disappointed. Naturally, I'd love Daniel Bryan to win, but the angle that we're all expecting will probably happen. Bryan and Kane will have another breakup and cause the eliminations of each other. Randy Orton could very well make his return to the main event with a win here, but WWE doesn't seem to be very high on unexpected chamber winners, so I'd call him a dark horse at best. Jack Swagger's character is coming along nicely, and the old-school demagogue by his side seems great in his role. It's about time the racists in WWE were heels. That said, it's a little early to thrust Swagger into the WHC picture. That was a disaster last time, and they won't repeat that mistake. For me, it's between Jericho and Henry. My gut initially says Jericho. Maybe Dolph will cash-in leading to a big rematch between Ziggler and Jericho. That'd be great and logical, but I'm just not seeing it. I don't think Ziggler is cashing in before WrestleMania, regardless of what he says. I think Del Rio is keeping his belt until WrestleMania at the earliest, so a heel has to win here. Mark Henry was on the roll of his career before his injury. He could've retired then, but I think he was coaxed into coming back with the promise of another main event run. That run begins here. Jericho is inducted into the Hall of Pain as Mark Henry begins his road to WrestleMania.
Brooks' Predicted Winner – Mark Henry
Ken Predicts - World Heavyweight Championship Match – Alberto Del Rio (c) vs Big Show
I had to think through this match in conjunction with the Elimination Chamber Match. Obviously whoever wins one has to work well with the other. Considering who I picked to win the Elimination Chamber Match, I have to go with ADR to retain the WHC. I'm not going as far as saying that ADR will get the pinfall on Big Show. They made a big deal of ADR continuing to beat Big Show, but not getting a true pinfall. I think they can continue along that vein and make Big Show even more pissed, then turn and have ADR face the winner of the Elimination Chamber Match WrestleMania. I think it would continue to add tension to the WHC, and make things much more interesting leading to and at WrestleMania. So ADR will retain, but I'm not saying that he will win the match. It could be a Big Show DQ, count out, or something else obscure. I just don't think ADR can get a completely clean three over Big Show at this point in the game.
Ken's Predicted Winner – ADR retains WHC
Stacy's Predicted Winner – ADR
Alex Predicts - World Heavyweight Championship Match – Alberto Del Rio (c) vs Big Show
I don't understand how we worked backwards on this rivalry. I would have expected a Last Man Standing Match for this PPV, not the last. Since this is a regular match, I see Rio wining. He is on a role and I like how he is getting over. It's about time WWE has him in an interesting spot.
Alex's Predicted Winner – Alberto Del Rio
Brooks Predicts - World Heavyweight Championship Match – Alberto Del Rio (c) vs Big Show
I'm not expecting Ziggler to cash in, but I'm still expecting Del Rio to retain. He's got the freshest face character in the company right now, and there's no reason to pull the rug out from under him at this point. Let him get his WrestleMania moment. Big Show has played his role in this feud very well, but I'm still of the belief that he should never ever ever under any circumstance be world champion ever again. Despite being at least competent in just about every aspect of the business, I can just never get excited about Big Show. Hopefully this is the end of this feud and both guys can move onto different things. We've already had two Last Man Standing matches in less than two months. We don't need a big blow-off match at WrestleMania.
Brooks' Predicted Winner – Alberto Del Rio
Ken Predicts - WWE Championship Match – The Rock (c) vs CM Punk
I think Punk and Heyman, with the help of Maddox, The Shield, or even Brock, will try to cause The Rock to get counted out, or end up with a DQ in some way. It won't work. There was a stip added to their original match, and that didn't matter, neither will this one, even though Punk will try. My question is, Will Heyman turn on Punk? After the love shown on RAW, I think it's a great possibility. Or what about Taker? Or Austin? Either could absolutely show up and cost Punk the match. It's a swerve no one would be expecting! Actually, I'd love to see that happening, and I'm going with either Taker or Austin (I'd prefer Austin, even though I love Taker over almost anyone else) showing up and somehow costing Punk the WWE Title and setting up their match at WrestleMania! Otherwise you have Punk without the WWE Title, and without a direction going into WrestleMania. It's time for Punk's WrestleMania match to be revealed!
Ken's Predicted Winner – The Rock
Stacy's Predicted Winner – The Rock
Alex Predicts - WWE Championship Match – The Rock (c) vs CM Punk
I liked their first match last month, but the ending was unnecessary on many levels. This match may be even more bizarre. This is one crazy booking on WWE's part. Why would Vince make the title switch hands through DQ or count out? Wasn't he against Paul Heyman, Punk, and The Shield? Now he is begging them to come and interfere in the match. I have no idea what WWE will do to make this match a nightmare, but I am glad they haven't hyped it as much as last month's. Rock will go over as it is the only business decision to do.
Alex's Predicted Winner – The Rock
Brooks Predicts - WWE Championship Match – The Rock (c) vs CM Punk
They aren't even pretending Punk has a chance, so we know he won't win. There's a tiny chance that something like a no contest or screwjob will happen, leading to a Triple Threat at WrestleMania, but most likely, we'll see The Rock huff and puff his way to victory. Maybe he's just great at selling fatigue, but man, it seems like he gets gassed just walking to the ring. He's definitely ripped, but I don't know how much function has been sacrificed in the name of form. But I'm skinnyfat, so it's not like I have room to criticize Rocky's physique. In any case, I just want a decent match here. I've been underwhelmed with Rock since his return, and this may be his best remaining opportunity to get a good-to-great match from his latest run. I know he knows how to work a crowd. I know he can put on a good match. This is his chance. Let's see him silence the critics and put on a clinic with Punk. They don't have the novelty of a title change to get the people talking. To get a buzz about this match, they have to put on a great match. They can do it. Let's see it.
Brooks' Predicted Winner – The Rock
Guy Landau Predicts
Pre-PPV Match – Claysai
US Title Match – Cesaro
Divas Title Match – Kaitlyn
6 Man Tag Match – The Faces
Elimination Chamber – Jericho
World Heavyweight Championship Match – Del Rio
WWE Championship Match – The Rock
Gesus Oliver Predicts
Pre-PPV Match – Team Rhodes Scholars
US Title Match – Cesaro
Divas Title Match – Kaitlyn
6 Man Tag Match – Team Cena
Elimination Chamber Match – Swagger
World Heavyweight Championship Match – ADR
WWE Championship Match – The Rock
Pre-PPV Match – Clay & Tensai
US Title Match – Cesaro
Divas Title Match - Kaitlyn
6 Man Tag Match – The Shield
Elimination Chamber Match – Swagger
World Heavyweight Championship Match – Alberto Del Rio, then Ziggler cashes in
WWE Championship Match – The Rock
After writing my predictions, and reading what the rest of the guys are thinking about this PPV, I'm itching to see what happens. For some of the matches we're all over the board, but on others we mostly agree. My biggest question is what swerves will the WWE try to throw at us, and will anyone unexpected appear out of the blue? The WWE has really worked hard to shock us with unexpected appearances, and I'm hoping they'll pull off another at Elimination Chamber. Make sure you join the WNW writers and readers in the Live Blog during Elimination Chamber. Where better to hang out with other wrestling fans and enjoy Elimination Chamber?
KB, Stacy, Alex, Brooks, Guy, Gesus & Andrew