Well, here it is! The aptly redundantly named PPV promises a battle. A few of these leave us scratching our heads in confusion, and a couple leaves the door open for grand opportunities. Everyone is fighting; for contendership, for championships, for honor. Who will win?
Kofi Kingston vs Alberto del Rio
Steven Gepp: Time to make Alberto look like championship material leading into Wrestlemania. This is your â€˜foregone conclusionâ€™ match of the night. Having said that, judging by the Smackdown match these two had, if Kofi can bring the intensity, I expect a good match. No, I really do.
Stipulation this match is crying out for: Kendo stick match
Winner: Alberrrrto del Rrrrrrio
Matthew Michaels: I never understood non-title matches in these situations. Alberto del Rio has a title shot at Mania no matter what, right? So why not give him the IC belt too, to give him more rub heading into the big show? Worked for Warrior/Hogan, anyway. And if Del Rio wins, doesn’t it make the IC Champion look bad? And if Kofi wins, shouldn’t HE be the one with the Mania title shot? My head hurts.
Winner: Del Rio
Rhett Davis: Given that the Intercontinental Championship is not on the line, the winner seems fairly obvious (if it wasn’t at first). Kofi winning would help him tremendously, but he didn’t win the Royal Rumble and he isn’t going to WrestleMania in the main event. Therefore no real reason for Kofi to win so…
Winner: Alberto Del Rio
Kelly Floyd: I really wouldn’t put it past the ‘E to say, “hey! This guy just won the Rumble, is headlining Wrestlemania, and we’ve made him look unstoppable for months. So let’s have him lose to Kofi Kingston!” But I think that might be just too ridiculous. Alberto will achieve this next bragging right, and advance on to bigger and better things. Like, you know, the championship.
Winner: Alberto del Rio
Vladimir Kozlov and Santino Marella (c) vs Heath Slater and Justin Gabriel – Tag Team Championship
Steven Gepp: Please let this be the end of the comedy moron. The Cobra is the stupidest finishing move ever. Yes, worse than the Garvin Stomp, the Peopleâ€™s Elbow, even the W-O-R-M. Okay, maybe not the Worm. Second stupidest finishing move ever. I digress. But in order to make Corre seem worthwhile, they need a title. And this is as good as any. And, for the record, I think they could use Corre to re-establish a tag division if they wanted to. And they mightâ€¦ just to dick with TNA. As is Vince McMahonâ€™s wont.
Stipulation this match is crying out for: Squash Match. No stipulation, just short, sharp, shiny and totally dominant
Winner: Heath and Justin
Matthew Michaels: I love Santino, but let’s start putting tag championships on actual teams, shall we?
Rhett Davis: With the winners of NXT getting a Tag Title shot (at Mania I do so believe), the Tag titles will change hands as I kinda see Daniel Bryan and his rookie winning. Just to be in spite of The Miz who hasn’t had a winner rookie yet. This way its Bryan/Bateman vs The Corre and possibly vs The New Nexus at Mania. Not to mention The Corre lost their tag titles due to Cena’s interference and they were robbed of their belts.
Winner: Gater or Hustin Slabriel or The Corre
Kelly Floyd: I said this on Thursday night, I’ll say it again. You know your reign is over when you’re forced to face the biggest jobbers the WWE has to offer on Superstars. I’m surprised they had it this long anyway.
Winner: J-Gabe and Slater
John Cena vs. Sheamus vs. Randy Orton vs. CM Punk vs. John Morrison vs. R-Truth
Elimination Chamber Match (Winner receives title shot at Mania)
Steven Gepp: Am I allowed to say that not only am I looking forward to this match, but that I think the build up for it has been very good? There have been so many storylines and interconnectivity here it has made sense that this happen. And to add in the Wrestlemania payoffâ€¦ yes please. I hope this goes on last and they give time to tell a good story. Out of this I can see the Punk/Orton feud coming along nicely for WM. Maybe a programme with Sheamus and Morrison revisiting their past hostilities (especially if HHH goes after Undertaker for costing Michaels his career) can also be re-established. That leaves 2â€¦ and, sorry, but Killings ainâ€™t headlining anything but 2012â€™s ‘Where Are They Now â€“ Wrestling Edition’ TV Show.
Stipulation this match is crying out for: Elimination Chamber. Yep, they got the stip right.
Matthew Michaels: Miz vs. Cena seems to be the way to go, now doesn’t it? And those just so happen to be the two wrestlers Rocky mentioned in his electric promo on Monday. Do I smell… special guest ref Johnson? (For the record, Miz/Morrison or Miz/Danielson would be my choices, but they just don’t fit this year.)
Winner: John Cena
Rhett Davis: I could see this one going a few different ways. R-Truth and Sheamus don’t have a chance to win this match. R-Truth won’t because he sucks and he can’t put on a good match with Miz as we’ve proved. Sheamus won’t win unless someone else is thrown in and he has had his eyes averted from the WWE Title picture anyways. Randy Orton or CM Punk might win but then the match at WrestleMania would become a Fatal-4-Way. JoMo and John Cena are the most likely picks though. JoMo could continue their hatefest feud and John Cena would be pursuing the WWE Title therefore…
Winner: John Cena
Kelly Floyd: This may as well be a Freeze Dance competition. I have not kept current with Raw happenings, and they’re pretty lazy with their contender choices. I sincerely hope Lawler does not walk away champion later, so that means that the winner must be a face. JoMo’s good, but no way will he win this. So, there’s really only one man who makes sense.
Winner: *sigh* John Cena
Edge (c) vs. Drew McIntyre vs. Rey Mysterio vs. Kane vs. Wade Barrett vs. …..Â
Elimination Chamber Match (Heavyweight Championship)
Steven Gepp: I still expect Ziggles to come in here. Sigh! Not that he doesnâ€™t deserve it, but I think they are overplaying this Vicki thing so much itâ€™s become stale. Having said thatâ€¦ the winner is a right pick-â€˜em. Apart from Edge and Dolph, none of them really have history as such. And if they donâ€™t put Dolph in but, instead, maybe Big Show, Show and Barrett. Thatâ€™s not a lot to go on. Except they are fighting for the title which does make any combination of participants worthwhile. Letâ€™s seeâ€¦ Kane has had his â€˜thanks for being a company manâ€™ title reign already. Barrett is not going to headline WMâ€¦ yet. I donâ€™t think Ziggler has shown enough against Edge to warrant the position either. With Del Rio going, the heel McIntyre (who I think is getting better all the time) wonâ€™t get a look in. Soâ€¦ Edge or Rey? If rumours are correct, Rey wants Cody at WM (and that could be a good one), so the winner, by process of elimination is obvious.
Stipulation this match is crying out for: Money In The Bank Ladder Matchâ€¦ or a Monsterâ€™s Ball Match!
Matthew Michaels: Um, I have no clue here. I would have assumed the surprise to be The Undertaker, but the PPV is on 02.20.11 not 02.21.11, which is the Phenom’s advertised return. I think. Del Rio gets the winner, and all signs are pointing towards WWE wanting to give him the big push. I GUESS HHH could come back here and put Alberto over at Mania for a monster rub. But that has no backstory, and Hunter on Raw makes more sense to me. Jericho’s a wild-card and his book is out, so maybe he’ll be making an appearance. But he’s more a natural heel. Dolph’s been fired, so it’s not him. So all I can think of is the empty slot is used for angle-advancement, so let’s make it Cody Rhodes, who can go on to feud with Rey again, or Christian, who has a natural issue with Del Rio… and let’s have Edge retain here, and face his brother and Del Rio in a three-way at Mania.
Rhett Davis: The final man I doubt will be that big of a surprise. It will either be the newly rehired Dolph Ziggler, the newly masked Cody Rhodes, or the Biggest Waste of Space in a Chamber match The Big Show. My hopes is that they put Cody in there. This way Cody can exact some revenge on Rey and continue their feud. However, no matter who that other competitor in the match is, the winner will be Edge. Kane doesn’t need another terrible run and wouldn’t mesh well with Del Rio. Drew McIntyre is a new face as well as ADR and really wouldn’t be that great of a Mania match. Rey won’t win because he is feuding with Cody Rhodes. Wade Barrett won’t win because he’s a heel and ADR is as well. That just leaves the champ.
Kelly Floyd: Dolph’s firing on Friday really throws this off for me. They could do something truly great with that open spot, but chances are the Dolph will find a way to slither back in there, and he has a fair chance to win. Regardless, the person they get to replace him is going to be a force to be reckoned with, if they do it right.
Winner: [mysterious 6th entrant]
The Miz (c) vs Jerry Lawler – WWE Championship
Steven Gepp: You know, I reckon Lawler is about to get rewarded for (a) staying with WWE for all these years; (b) doing whatever stupid thing they ask him to; (c) asking no questions when playing whatever role they gave him; (d) putting up with Cole; (e) giving them the Memphis tapes; and (f) not being Ric Flair or Hulk Hogan. I think it was CB who said they were going to give him a 1 night, maybe a 1 week title reign. I agree.
Stipulation this match is crying out for: Cole in a Cage; or Loaded glove match
Winner: Jerry â€˜The Kingâ€™ Lawler
Matthew Michaels: The feel-good story here is definitely having The King win it, but then what? Does he go to Mania to face one of the two heels in the Elimination Chamber match (Sheamus or Punk – I mean they both have a story to tell – King vs. King or former announce partners facing off, but…)? Does Miz somehow get a title shot, making the Mania match a three-way? Does The Rock get involved? Michael Cole? As much as I’d love to see Jerry get his WWE Title moment, especially after a week that saw him lose his mother, it just doesn’t make any sense to me.
Winner: The Miz, I’m assuming with Cole getting involved again, leading to something between them at Mania
Rhett Davis: After weeks of believing that this was just a match to get over The Miz, I’m now torn. CB made a valid assertion that Miz might lose the title for one night to King due to outside interference. That would be a pretty dandy situation if it happened. But here’s me being a cynic and saying I’m torn… but not converted.
Winner: The Mizard of Oz
Kelly Floyd: It would definitely be a great moment if King won, but what the hell would he do with it? Honestly? I love King, don’t get me wrong. But his expiration date is so old and faded, you can barely read what it says, and you buy it anyway and get so sick that you die. I hope to god that Miz retains here.
Tags: 2011, cm punk, edge, Elimination Chamber, john cena, randy orton, rasslin roundtable, The Miz