Countdown to WWE Elimination Chamber
By JON WALDMAN -- SLAM! Wrestling
WWE presents Elimination Chamber as the final PPV stop on the Road to WrestleMania, and now that the Olympics are complete Canadian fans will start to pay attention to the mat wars again.
The interesting thing this year is that the Chamber itself is seemingly coming up second in interest to a remarkable build to the 6-man Tag Team Match pitting The Shield against The Wyatt Family. I can't remember a time where there has been such anticipation for a first-time (and likely only-time) bout universally, especially for what are essentially two heel groups.
The consensus going in is that the Wyatts will come out on top, which is important going into the much-rumoured program between Bray and John Cena. Where the chatter becomes interesting is in the future of The Shield, with speculation being that this is either their swan song as a group with Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins splitting in one way, shape or form thanks to miscommunication of some sort.
Here, WWE has the power to legitimately create three individual superstars, something we likely would not have thought a year ago. Certainly, there was feeling that Reigns wasn't going to break out, but now he's looking like the stud of the group and with signature moves like the Superman Punch, he has a lot of fan buzz behind him.
I don't think the split will happen here, instead taking place on Raw, and we will get the rumoured Triple Threat Match at 'Mania with the US Championship on the line.
Now onto the Chamber match, and the build has been fairly solid, with Orton very much looking like the underdog after numerous losses. Let's breakdown each competitor:
John Cena is headed to the Wyatt match, so count him out.
Sheamus seems destined for a battle with Christian, so eliminate him (as well as Christian).
Cesaro will no doubt have the rocket on his back and could go into 'Mania vs. Big E (after Swagger falters tonight) for the IC Championship, which is in desperate need of elevation especially in light of the big-two-title merger.
Going with this scenario, this leaves Orton and Daniel Bryan, and with the much speculated inclusion of Bryan in the WWE WHC match, it makes sense for there to be some sort of screwy finish involving the two, perhaps with Kane costing Bryan the match and some sort of over-ruling on Raw, giving Bryan entry into the big bout. What it also does is keep the belt on Orton, which may not seem like the smartest move but there does have to be a decisive heel with Batista being a middler.
And there's the important parts of your card tonight. For the other bouts, take Big E over Swagger with a possible abandonment by Zeb Coulter after, Darren Young to be ousted by Titus O'Neil, The Usos to lose to the New Age Outlaws and Batista to steamroll Alberto Del Rio.
Enjoy the action!