After a week of dealing with fallout from an international assassination story in my day job, I welcomed the idea of turning to WWE for some cool headed, highbrow, relaxed entertainment (Hey, it’s all relative!). And then I remembered that WWE seems to think that the audience is so stupid that they can’t remember that Elimination Chamber matches take place at No Way Out, so in another brain fart they renamed the February event Elimination Chamber. But this will not stop the Pulse team from getting together and providing our predictions for the only four advertised matches for this show. Here are our picks.
World Heavyweight Championship Elimination Chamber Match:
Undertaker (C) vs. CM Punk vs. John Morrison vs. Rey Mysterio vs. R-Truth vs. Chris Jericho
Steven Gepp: Iâ€™m actually going to go into forward thinking mode here, with the road to Wrestlemania in mind. I think Jericho wins, to set off the Jericho-Edge title match for WM (which I hope will blow the roof off the place). I think Undertaker will be somehow distracted by Michaels, maybe even eliminated by him. How? I can see Michaels attacking John Morrison on the way down to the chamber, pillmanising Morrisonâ€™s already damaged ankle, and thus getting in (yes, repeating last year with Kingston) but this could well lead to he and â€˜Taker pt2 (and we all know how much better sequels are than the originals, donâ€™t we?
Winner: (And NEW champ!) Chris Jericho.
Raffi Shamir: This match has no excuse not to blow the roof off the joint. Four of the participants always deliver in the ring, and the other two can be carried to good things. Even if Morrison is out, odds are he’ll be replaced by Michaels and that can't be a bad thing. All signs point to Jericho winning, which leads to his eventual match with Edge at Mania, where the two of them will steal the show.
Winner: Chris Jericho
Andrew Wheeler: Well, itâ€™s the last PPV before Wrestlemania, and with so many variables at play, this show always has a â€œmust watchâ€ feel attached to it. Thankfully, the WWE was generous to those of us who do the Roundtable and pretty much telegraphed the entire card from top to bottom. But hey, we make the most with what we have. To start off, the Elimination Chamber matches are pretty much broken down into three categories: 1) Guys who are the candidates to win 2) guys who would win if they didnâ€™t already have a program and 3) guys who have no shot at winning but are getting chances for the sake of putting them on PPV. First, Iâ€™ll start with category three, and here thatâ€™s pretty much John Morrison and R-Truth. Truth surprised me as the sixth entrant, as I figured it was going to go to Drew McIntyre. In hindsight, it makes sense to keep Drew away from the proceedings because the WWE doesnâ€™t want him to have to take a fall of any kind. Hell, he lost his qualifying match without even being pinned, which is evidence of the fact that heâ€™s still the â€œman of destinyâ€. I then figured the slot was either going to go to a combination of Matt Hardy, Kane, Dolph Ziggler or Mike Knox. Instead, the WWE is taking a gamble and putting R-Truth in a main event match on a fairly important PPV. Maybe heâ€™ll surprise everyone and pull out a great match. In reality, I think heâ€™ll do a flippy move or two before being eliminated early. The fans donâ€™t buy him in a main event capacity, so heâ€™s just here as a litmus test to see if maybe the audience is willing to think of him as a main event guy. Spoiler alert: he isnâ€™t. Sure, he gets a decent pop for his singalongs, but I havenâ€™t seen him do anything spectacular in the ring to warrant this slot. Next in category three is John Morrison. Morrison had a shot at being a main event fixture over the summer when he was the fourth man along with Jeff Hardy, CM Punk and Rey Mysterio, but for whatever reason he was shuttled down the card to languish in the middle of the pack. Oh wait, I remember why! Because the fans just donâ€™t buy the smily-faced John Morrison the way they bought the smarmy, dickish heel John Morrison. Can anyone honestly say that Morrison has truly benefitted from this current face push, when you consider that since his shot at the title and some great early MOTY matches in the summer, all heâ€™s done is consistently job to Drew McIntyre and wrestle in meaningless six man and eight man tag matches. Jesus, whose bag did he eat chicken over? Anyway, heâ€™s got this ankle injury gimmick to protect him so that he can justify having his boyhood dream taken away from him. Unfortunately, his ankle injury angle will limit what he can do in the ring, which might make sense from a â€œhey, he didnâ€™t lose cleanly because he had an excuseâ€ point of view, but it hurts him in the â€œhey, heâ€™s in the main event and canâ€™t show the fans why he deserves to be thereâ€ point of view. Category two is CM Punk, Rey Mysterio and The Undertaker. I for one would love to see CM Punk win the Chamber and use his whole Straight Edge Society gimmick to cut amazing promos against Edge and his opportunistic attitude and sex addiction, but alas the WWE is opting instead to give us yet another Reyâ€™s mask versus fill in the blank at Wrestlemania. Iâ€™m all for Punk/Mysterio as a MOTN contender, but the unbelievably predictable finish will end in a bald CM Punk. Since I already touched on Mysterio, I think I can have some faith in your deduction skill and move onto The Undertaker. See, Taker/Shawn went from â€œplease donâ€™t try it againâ€ to â€œthey have no choice but to give it to us again.â€ I was firmly in Camp A, believing that the two forty-something men donâ€™t have what it takes to do it again. Unfortunately, by portraying Taker/HBK 2 as the only match that fans should want to see, why would they care about seeing anything else. Short answer: they wonâ€™t. This means that the WWE has to give us this match or fear alienating the fans. So, we now face yet another complication with the Elimination Chamber: the run-in factor (yes, I am aware that I am using an exorbitant amount of colons). See, Shawn Michaels has vanished from television so that we will forget that he exists, which means heâ€™ll probably have to run in and cost Taker his title. The only problem is that I fully expect a Batista run-in and maybe an Edge run-in either here or on RAW, which kind of damages the idea of an impenetrable fortress. Eh, I guess weâ€™ll live. So, this means that when you take into account all three categories, there is only one man left: Chris Jericho. Jericho/Edge works as a main event match for Wrestlemania, though it is hardly as sexy a match-up from a marketing perspective as Cena/Batista or Taker/Shawn. My guess is they will be the main event title match but Taker/Shawn will probably be the actual main event. Hey, Iâ€™m not going to complain, as I would love to see the deserving Chris Jericho main event Mania, especially against an opponent that he could put a great match on with.
Winner: Chris Jericho
Matthew Michaels: I really love the idea of thinking someone surprising could come out of this type of match as winner, but let's face it, there's no way R-Truth or John Morrison is going into the Mania main event. Perhaps by writing that I've made it so, but whatever. The money match for WM is Jericho/Edge, so let's get Mr. Jericho a win here. Will there be interference from an HBK or Edge or Batista? Ya never know. But I'm thinking either way, Chris is victorious.
Winner – Chris Jericho
Widro: All signs point to Chris Jericho coming out of this Elimination Chamber with the title, as he's been put over strong on TV in recent weeks, and a match against Edge at Wrestlemania 26 seems likely. WWE does like to swerve on obvious match results, but they do it less often with Wrestlemania build.
Winner – Chris Jericho
WWE Championship Elimination Chamber Match:
Sheamus (C) vs. John Cena vs. Triple H vs. Randy Orton vs. Ted DiBiase vs. Kofi Kingston
Steven Gepp: I donâ€™t think Cena will win, just because the Wrestlemania thing with Batista is being set involving McMahon and Hart. And DiBiase is there to make up numbers. Kingston is there so people who are not 14 yr old girls will have some-one to cheer. So does Sheamus stay champ into WM? Sort of. I donâ€™t think there will be a clear winner. I think the ending will be in dispute, the title will be held up, and weâ€™ll see a 3-way at WM between HHHHHH, Shame-us and Aw-ton.
Raffi Shamir: The situation here is different than the Smackdown chamber. There the winner is sort of predictable based on who the challenger at Mania will be, here we have to go the â€œeliminationâ€ route. Cena is busy with Batista and the whole Hart/McMahon thing. Randy Orton and Ted DiBiase are bust with Evolution’s breakup. Kofi Kingston had his push cut and if he wins here there is no natural challenger at Mania. This leaves us with either Triple H or Sheamus. Unless Triple H is headed towards a match with Michaels at Mania, then he has nothing to do there, which puts him in his default Wrestlemania position â€“ challenging or defending a championship. And since Sheamus doesn’t have any plans for Mania, I guess Triple H will challenge him then.
Andrew Wheeler: Foregone conclusion Elimination Chamber Match 2, here we go. Again, three categories: 1) Guys who will win 2) Guys who should win but have other stories and 3) guys that are just in there for the sake of filling a chamber. Category three is obviously Kofi Kingston and Ted DiBiase (even though Teddy could be category #2). Kofi is not as undeserving as Truth, but letâ€™s be honest, since his one push against Randy Orton, he hasnâ€™t done too much. Kingston doesnâ€™t make sense to win here as he has no logical conclusion and no groundswell of support. Heâ€™s in there to bounce around and do a cool flippy move or two, but heâ€™s cannon fodder and nothing more. Teddy will probably enter into a feud with Randy Orton and Cody Rhodes, but Iâ€™m not going to elevate him to category two because there is no chance that he would actually win. Teddy and Kofi arenâ€™t ready to be champions; just because the WWE rushed Sheamus to the title doesnâ€™t mean everyone should be rushed to the title. They might be champions someday, but not today. Category two is Randy Orton. And ONLY Randy Orton. Orton will enter into his Legacy feud, which is a nice way to give him something to do at Mania without putting him in a title match. Category three is Triple H, Sheamus and John Cena. Yes, John Cena. Everyone has penciled in Triple H versus Sheamus for the WWE Title as the underwhelming title match for Mania, and it will probably happen, but it doesnâ€™t have to. The WWE could very well put the title on John Cena and set up Cena/Batista for the WWE Title to main event Wrestlemania. Itâ€™s pretty clear after the car accident angle that Bret doesnâ€™t feel like he can wrestle, so why not do John Cena with Bret Hart versus Batista with Vince McMahon. Now THAT is the kind of sexy match that advertisers would clamor for. Unfortunately, I think that they are going to do that match without the belt on the line, which means Sheamus has to retain to look strong. Bah.
Matthew Michaels: Edge isn’t challenging Sheamus at Mania, and while I don’t think he’s challenging the Raw champ at all, the possibility of that needs to remain SOMEwhat for me to make any sort of prediction. I very much want DiBiase to win this, and give his first defense to Orton at the big dance. But something tells me we’re getting the long-predicted Hunter vs. Sheamus match at Mania (hopefully one Sheamus wins, since wow, what a victory that would be for the young guy), so I’m picking Sheamus to defend, with HHH putting up a valiant effort to the end. (Unless they decide to go the HHH/Michaels route at Mania, in which case I expect Hunter screwed over here, and all bets are off for the winner.)
Winner – Sheamus
Widro: The Raw Elimination Chamber seems a bit more wide open. WWE promoted that HHH has won 4 Elimination Chamber matches, which seems to indicate he won’t win this one, but you can’t rule it out. It’s not a good Wrestlemania story for him to win the title here and defend against someone at mania. I think Sheamus will retain, setting up the match for Mania, with more storyline development with Randy and Ted and the Legacy implosion.
Winner – Sheamus
Drew McIntyre (C) vs. Kane
Steven Gepp: Tough call. Do they say thanks to Kane for all his hard work with a rumoured retirement imminent by giving him the IC title? Or do they use him as enhancement talent again? Being a nothing PPV, and with no-one in line for an IC title shot down the pike for either man, letâ€™s go with sentimentality, shall we?
Raffi Shamir: Oh please, what the hell can Kane do with the IC title? Having McIntyre drop the title here, even if he’ll go challenge Kane for it in Phoenix, will ruin his inexplicable push. And while I don’t get that push, I think that they at least go on with it before killing it off without having McIntyre in a stronger position.
Winner: Drew McIntyre
Andrew Wheeler: Well, this one was pretty haphazardly thrown together. Oh well, at least it gets the IC Title on PPV. I thought for sure they were going to do Shawn Michaels versus Kane, but I guess the WWE figured that they can get more value by keeping Shawn unadvertised. Anyway, Kane has always been the big imposing guy that can job and keep looking strong, which is what heâ€™s going to do here. Drew is going to beat Kane to keep his momentum, which makes this an insanely heel-heavy PPV.
Matthew Michaels: Boy am I ambivalent on this one. Kane doesn’t need the belt at all. Keep the push going.
Winner – Drew
Widro: Seems like a match thrown onto the card, doesn’t make much sense for Kane to pick up the IC title here.
Winner – McIntyre
Gail Kim vs. Maryse
Steven Gepp: Who cares?
Winner: Maryse (by coin toss)
Raffi Shamir: When in doubt, always go with the Canadian heel over the Canadian face.
Andrew Wheeler: Iâ€™ll go heel hat-trick and say that Maryse drops her whole BFF shtick and cheats to beat Gail Kim.
Matthew Michaels: I really wanna see Gail win this one. In fact, I’m secretly hoping TNA all-out releases Kong so we can see that feud in WWE.
Winner – Kim
Widro: Well built with the tournament and Maryse’s French language berating of Gail in recent weeks. Could be decent in the ring, but Gail has been pretty bad in WWE so far. Good test for both.
Winner â€“ Maryse
Don’t forget to join us on Pulse Wrestling for live, up to the minute updates from WWE Elimination Chamber on Sunday night.
Tags: batista, Bret Hart, chris jericho, cm punk, Drew McIntyre, ECW, Elimination Chamber, Gail Kim, Intercontinental Championship, john cena, John Morrison, kane, Kofi Kingston, Legacy, Maryse, Pay Per View, PPV, R-Truth, randy orton, Raw, rey mysterio, roundtable, shawn michaels, sheamus, Smackdown, ted dibiase, triple h, undertaker, World Heavyweight Championship, WrestleMania 26, WWE, wwe championship, WWE Divas Championship, WWE Elimination Chamber 2010