For the third year in a row, Elimination Chamber will serve as the last pay-per-view before Wrestlemania XXVIII.
There are only four matches scheduled for the event, which takes place Sunday night in Milwaukee, but there will be two matches inside the Elimination Chamber. One will be for Daniel Bryan’s World Heavyweight Championship, while the other is for CM Punk’s WWE Championship.
The Elimination Chamber match was in existence before the pay-per-view began, but at the self-named pay-per-view a WWE/Heavyweight champion has only won one time. Edge successfully defended his World Heavyweight Championship last year at Elimination Chamber.
The four matches should make for a great night, and one that builds up storylines leading up to Wrestlemania.
WWE Divas Championship Match: Beth Phoenix vs. Tamina Snuka
Beth Phoenix won the Divas Championship in October by defeating Kelly,and has not been challegened since. She dominates the entire Divas division in the WWE and is the best athlete in the division, which makes her easy to market as the champion
However, Phoenix does face a legitimate challenger in Tamina Snuka, who is the daughter of Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka. She sent a message to Phoenix on Friday Night Smackdown with a kick to the upper body, which knocked Beth out of the ring.
Deciding the winner of this match is tough, as the storylines in the Divas division are never as fully developed as those in the rest of the WWE. For this match, I feel that it will have major implications for Wrestlemania. If the WWE wants to make the match at Wrestlemania interesting (spoiler alert: the writers for the WWE decide the outcomes) they should have Beth Phoenix win this match. This would set up a title rematch, which could see Snuka end Phoenix’s reign as champion.
- Prediction: Beth Phoenix defeats Tamina Snuka, but the fued will continue to last.
Ambulance Match: John Cena vs. Kane
The Cena-Kane feud has been gaining traction as of late, with Zach Ryder being the main victim of the feud. He is continually injured by Kane, and has seen his girlfriend Eve kiss John Cena. Last Monday on Raw, Ryder (in a wheelchair) was wheeled off the side of the stage by Kane. This was done to make Cena “embrace the hate”, but the Ryder part of the feud is beginning to get a little foolish.
The two fought at Royal Rumble, but the match ended in a double count out. This result foreshadowed the match that will take place at Elimination Chamber.
In order to win an “Ambulance Match”, one wrestler must put the other in the back of an ambulance, which is then driven out of the arena. There are no pinfalls, submissions, or count outs, so it is a match where anything is legal. The only match ever wrestled under these rules came at Survivor Series in 2003, which saw Kane put Shane McMahon in an ambulance.
This time around, current storylines may prevent Kane from winning. John Cena is already scheduled to take on the Rock at Wrestlemania XXVIII, so this feud with Kane has to end soon. This may be seen as a good thing, as the feud is running out of angles to take on. Maybe having Eve join forces with Kane could keep it going, but Cena is going to start a feud with The Rock anyway, so why even bother.
- Prediction: John Cena defeats Kane
Elimination Chamber Match for the World Heavyweight Championship: Daniel Bryan vs. Wade Barrett vs. Cody Rhodes vs. Big Show vs. The Great Khali vs. Santino Marella
The biggest name missing from this lineup is Randy Orton, who has a (storyline) concussion. He likely has a real injury, so the concussion was made up to cover up for that.
When Orton was taken out of the match, Smackdown GM Teddy Long announced a Battle Royal for the last spot in the Chamber match. Santino eliminated David Otunga to win the final spot.
I originally was going to pick Orton to win this match, but with him out there are several ways the match could go. One way is for Daniel Bryan to regain his title. This could set up a scenario where Sheamus challenges him to a match at Wrestlemania, as the two had a brutal match on Friday that ended with Sheamus being disqualified.
The other way I could see it going is for Big Show to win the title. This could then set up a feud between him and Bryan that could last for a significant amount of time, or at least until Orton comes back.
It would be tough to market Rhodes, Khali, and Marella as champions, which still makes Barrett a wild-card pick for some to win. I do not see it happening, especially this close to Wrestlemania.
- Prediction: Daniel Bryan retains World Heavyweight Championship
Elimination Chamber Match for the WWE Championship: CM Punk vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Chris Jericho vs. The Miz vs. R-Truth vs. Kofi Kingston
The buildup to this match has been taking up most of the airtime on Raw, with the exception of the Cena-Kane storyline. This one seems like it is easier to predict, but anything can happen in the WWE.
The two biggest stars in this match are obviously Punk and Jericho, but The Miz showed last year that he is capable of being marketed as the WWE Champion.
Ziggler can’t win, because a screaming Vickie Guerrero by his side would just be too annoying to handle. R-Truth is insane, and Kofi Kingston is just not at the Champion-level yet.
A win by Punk could set up a feud with Jericho, which could lead to a great match at Wrestlemania. As long as Ziggler loses, the WWE Universe will be satisfied.
- Prediction: CM Punk retains his title.