At Elimination Chamber on Sunday, the WWE World Championship will be up for grabs inside the titular structure. Here’s how the eliminations should occur.
Elimination Chamber is this Sunday, February 12, from Phoenix. The SmackDown Live exclusive event is the last big stop for the Blue Team before WrestleMania.
In the main event, the Elimination Chamber itself will house a WWE World Championship match. John Cena will defend against AJ Styles, Dean Ambrose, Baron Corbin, The Miz, and Bray Wyatt.
The rules of a chamber match are pretty straight forward. Out of the six competitors, four are locked in small pods in the corners of the structure. The other two begin the match. At regular intervals, the pods open, and another competitor joins the fray. You get eliminated if you’re pinned or made to submit. When one man is left, he wins the match – and, in this case, the WWE World Title.
One way to pass the time before Elimination Chamber is to try and figure out what order the eliminations will occur. Who will be the first to go? Who will the final two competitors be? And who will find Royal Rumble winner Randy Orton waiting for him at WrestleMania?
The best way to throw chaos into the mix is to have the defending champion go out first. Then the entire match is up in the air, and anything can happen for the remainder.
There’s honestly no reason for John Cena to retain the championship here. He’s already equaled Ric Flair’s record of 16 world title reigns. Last night on SmackDown, Cena and Orton faced off “for the first time ever” (on SmackDown Live), so that potential WrestleMania match is a waste of time.
And let’s not forget that Cena and Orton have done battle more times than the Ninja Turtles and Shredder. Does anybody really want to see that match yet again?
So if Cena isn’t going to leave Phoenix with the championship, why not give him an early exit? Someone who’s not winning the match – say, Baron Corbin – can defeat Cena very early in the match. He can get the rub of “[INSERT NAME HERE] has pinned the WWE World Champion!” Maybe it can happen before another pod is even opened.
After he’s out of the world title scene, the build to Cena’s WrestleMania match can be started in earnest. With six weeks till Orlando, there’s plenty of time for that situation to materialize.
The good thing for The Lone Wolf is that he’s a big guy, and he handles himself exceedingly well in the ring. He can have a monster push in this one – like, perhaps, eliminating John Cena one on one. That automatically legitimizes him for future world title opportunities, while still giving him time to get comfortable as a main eventer.
The question becomes, how do you eliminate a guy like Baron Corbin while protecting him for the future? I think the “anything goes” aspect of a chamber match can be a big help for that. Say Corbin takes out Cena, and next in is Dean Ambrose. Those two can tear it up a bit, and AJ Styles enters next. AJ is capable of playing the tweener role, and despite differences with Ambrose can work with him to get rid of the bigger threat. A couple of finishers on the steel grating, and Corbin takes a powder.
Let’s be honest: As amazingly cool as it would be to see The Miz go into WrestleMania as world champion again, it ain’t happening.
An unquestionable pick for 2016 MVP in WWE, The Miz enters Elimination Chamber on one of the hottest streaks of his career. Since last year’s WrestleMania, in fact, Miz has been one of the bright spots in all of WWE programming. A spot in the main event here is clearly a reward for that.
But think about where Miz’s story has brought him. His major feud is with the general manager of his show, Daniel Bryan. In the infamous Talking Smack promo, Miz was furious that Bryan called him “safe” and “a coward.” In response, Miz began mocking Bryan, using his moves and mannerisms in matches.
How does that tie into a victory in Elimination Chamber? It doesn’t.
You could argue that Miz winning the title would quiet the naysayers, but I don’t agree. Just because you’re “safe” doesn’t mean you can’t be successful. And that’s how I would envision Bryan responding if it came to that point.
No, The Miz needs to go out fairly quietly in this one, so that some bigger storyline can come his way. A mid-match elimination serves that purpose, and leaves us with three.
I really want Styles to make it to the end of this one. But for predictions, you have to toss away what you want and go with your gut feeling. And my gut is telling me it comes down to Ambrose and Wyatt.
With Styles dropping the title at Royal Rumble, his immediate future is up in the air. What does he do come WrestleMania season? Last year, he had a good match in a nothing feud with Chris Jericho. Hopes were high for this year, and now he’s in limbo.
As much as I may like to see it, Styles vs. Orton is not a match it seems WWE has any interest in putting on. So there goes AJ picking up a win here. And, from a purely historical standpoint, Ambrose and Wyatt make the most sense for a one on one encounter.
If he’s not winning, it makes the most sense for Styles to leave before the final two. It’s the best way to avoid the fans voicing displeasure over the result. Even as a heel, AJ is one of the more popular superstars in WWE. Lots of people want to see him win the title back. Falling juuuuuuust short may not go over well. Better to keep him further away from it and let the final two do their thing.
As of press time, Dean Ambrose is currently the Intercontinental Champion. There’s no way we’re going to see a double champion heading into WrestleMania season. He is not winning this match.
But based on everyone else involved, he kind of has to go all the way to the end. Out of six competitors, there’s only two true babyfaces: Cena and Ambrose. Styles is a tweener on his best day, and Miz, Corbin, and Wyatt are clearly on the heel side.
Would you book a main event, special attraction world championship match that came down to nothing but bad guys in the end? It’s insane.
If the shock value of Cena being first eliminated is the route they’re going, then Ambrose has to last until the end, so the fans have someone to pull for. It’s the only logical way to lay out the match.
And for it to come down to Ambrose vs. Wyatt in the end, we get a bit of a rehash of the old Shield vs. Wyatt Family feud. Those matches were always fantastic, and even in a one on one capacity we can relive a little of that. Just no ghost children, or exploding TVs, or anything like that.
Again, though: Ambrose is not leaving with two championships.
So this leaves us with Bray Wyatt walking away with the WWE World Championship. It’s something fans have been wanting for seemingly forever. Through every misuse and misstep the Wyatt Family took over the years, the hope was always for Bray to make that leap to main event status. But it never really happened, and he’s floundered in the midcard.
But now, with fellow Family member Randy Orton as the world championship challenger at WrestleMania, what better time is there to capitalize on a Wyatt title run? Six weeks of Wyatt Family promos may become a bit much, but think of this match at Mania! Bray gets to enter as world champ. Orton will likely be motivated. Luke Harper is lurking in the darkness somewhere. Erick Rowan might be healed up to get involved. The possibilities are endless.
If there’s ever a time to pull the trigger on Bray Wyatt, this is it. He’s stopped and started so many times, he may never get rolling like this again. This is Bray’s time to shine, and I think he’ll finally get it.
Besides, Goldberg vs. Lesnar is going to be the main event world title match at WrestleMania. Wyatt vs. Orton can get buried somewhere in the middle of the show.