Counterfeit Pennies: Booking the WWE Elimination Chamber and WrestleMania Main Events

This year’s Elimination Chamber PPV is shaping up to be full of intrigue. The two title matches alone are enough to spark my interest, and for me, there are many possibilities that could result from this if the booking is properly handled.

Below is my analysis of the two title matches:

SmackDown! Elimination Chamber for the World Heavyweight Championship: Undertaker (c.) vs. John Morrison, CM Punk, Chris Jericho, Rey Mysterio, and R-Truth:

So the Big Gold Belt is on the line here in what I consider to be the better of the two Chamber matches lined up for this card.

The biggest assumption I am going to make here is that Shawn Michaels either finds a way to get into the Chamber match itself, or that he somehow costs The Undertaker the title.

The clearest path for HBK to get into the match itself would be to simply take out one of the other participants and then lock himself in one of the pods, leaving Teddy Long no choice but to include an increasingly deranged Michaels in the match. If I didn’t read this week’s SmackDown! spoilers, I would have bet the farm on Michaels taking out R-Truth before the match. However, with John Morrison’s impending injury (not sure of it was a work or a shoot just yet), it seems like Michaels may now have a clear path to the Chamber by replacing Morrison.

If they decide to keep the Chamber match as it is currently booked, then Michaels may try to cost Undertaker the title during the match itself. I am not sure exactly how this would be done, and I would think that the way to go here would be to have a crazed HBK try to do everything he can to break through the Chamber to get to Taker but fail to do so. (You can’t really have someone break into a structure advertised as impenetrable, can you?) But even with futility can come some light, and the light for Michaels here would be the distraction he causes that leads to an Undertaker loss.

With or without the possible Michaels-Taker advancement, I still think the best Big Gold Belt title match we can have at Mania this year is Edge vs. Chris Jericho. Therefore, I would like to see Jericho weasel his way into a title victory at the Chamber, which would clear the way for the Edge-Jericho payoff at Mania. This would end any speculation as to who Edge wants to wrestle in the main event, and you could even have Edge declare this on the PPV as a dramatic final moment or on the next Raw / SmackDown! following the PPV.

If they do not go the Jericho route, my alternate pick here would be to have CM Punk win the Chamber, setting up a fresh feud between Punk and Edge that could be extremely entertaining. The promos alone would be worth the price of admission, and it’s a much more attractive alternative than anyone Edge would face on Raw. (No, I do not want to see Edge-Sheamus, and the other possibilities for Edge on Raw just wouldn’t make sense at this point.)

Ultimately, I do hope we see the culmination Edge-Jericho, but either way, I think Y2J or Punk will unseat Taker at the Chamber.

Raw Elimination Chamber for the WWE Championship: Sheamus (c.) vs. John Cena, Randy Orton, Kofi Kingston, Triple H, and Ted DiBiase, Jr.:

How funny would it be if Kofi Kingston got jumped again before the Chamber match and was then replaced by the person who attacked him? Not saying that this will happen, but if they ignore all the Taker-HBK drama and had Michaels take out Kofi instead, that would just crack me up. Needless to say, I don’t think that will happen here, and I honestly hope it doesn’t either.

From a storyline standpoint, it would probably make the most sense for DiBiase and Orton to keep each other occupied enough so that neither of them wins the title, for Kofi to hit high spots against everyone but ultimately pay for it by getting taken out of the match by doing one spot too many, and for Sheamus, Triple H, and Cena to really battle it out as the serious contenders here. As much as I love Orton, I just don’t think they will put the belt on him in the middle of a face turn as he battles Legacy. It would be too much of a resemblance to his Evolution face turn and it’s also an angle they can make “personal” without having the title involved.

With that in mind, and if we are left with Cena, Sheamus, and Triple H as serious candidates, I will say that it would make the most sense for Triple H to win the title here. Cena will likely be involved with Batista and/or the Bret-Vince storyline, and Sheamus jobbing to Trips would actually be a good thing in this case. We all know that Sheamus is too green (no pun intended) as the Champ, I can see him doing much better as the challenger / chaser against Hunter as we continue the Road to WrestleMania.

Of course, Triple H vs. Sheamus may not be enough of an attraction for WrestleMania, so I would assume that this would end up a Triple Threat match of some kind to make things interesting. And since HBK will be preoccupied with Taker and Orton will be busy with Legacy, the person I would love to see fill that third slot would be none other than Christian.

Christian cut a classic promo on Sheamus last week, and as the current and likely last ECW Champion (next week’s title match with Zeke notwithstanding), I think the perfect way to elevate Christian and reintroduce him to the big-time would be to throw him in the mix with Hunter and Sheamus at Mania. It would add some more star-power to the Raw main event, create an interesting dynamic, and even if Hunter wins it would be a great way to neutralize Sheamus’ ripeness in the ring.

And think about this for a minute: A lot of people think that the last snapshot of this year’s WrestleMania will be some kind of happy DX reunion after all the current turmoil. You know, send the fans home happy with a triumphant HBK and HHH celebrating together to close out the night.

But instead of that image, which is what we have gotten on Raw nearly every week up until recently during this Guest Host Era, how about this instead:

Edge and Christian, celebrating in the ring together, both as champions.

Now that is a Road to WrestleMania worth taking…

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