On this week’s episode of SmackDown!, Teddy Long returned just in time to interrupt Dolph Ziggler’s World Heavyweight Championship coronation.
Instead of Dolph Ziggler leaving with the Big Gold Belt heading into the Elimination Chamber PPV, Dolph lost a WHC rematch to Edge and was then unceremoniously fired by Teddy Long mainly because Vickie admitted Dolph was behind Teddy’s attack a few weeks back.
So here we are, just hours before the PPV, asking the question, “Who will replace Dolph Ziggler in the Elimination Chamber match?”
CB’s World: Elimination Chamber Replacement Candidates for Dolph Ziggler
I am listing these in order of my personal preference:
1. Christian: Christian is likely making his return from injury any day now, and this would be the perfect spot for him to make an impact. Not only would it make sense to have another face in the Chamber match tonight to balance things out, but it also could lead to Christian believably winning the whole damn thing, securing his first World Heavyweight Championship just in time to resume the feud he started with Alberto Del Rio before he was injured. Del Rio vs. Christian would be a solid Mania match, and even more interesting (and likely) would be Del Rio vs. Christian vs. Edge in a Triple Threat. There’s a lot of history there between all three of them, and winning over Edge and Christian would be a credible way for Del Rio to win his first major title as is being rumored.
2. Cody Rhodes: Cody Rhodes was recently cleared for travel following successful facial reconstruction surgery, and what better way to start getting revenge on Rey Mysterio than to enter the Chamber with the sole purpose of eliminating Rey and costing him his dream of headlining WrestleMania. This would significantly raise the profile of the Rey-Cody feud, which is something that needs to be done in order for two wrestlers to have a successful one-on-one showdown on the grandest stage of them all.
3. Chris Jericho: This is more of a pipe dream than an actual pick, but if the WWE really wanted to make Alberto Del Rio’s first major title feud worth the price of admission on WrestleMania, they would do what it takes to sign Chris Jericho and get him in the Chamber tonight. Jericho has stated that if or when he does return to WWE, he wants to come back as a different kind of character, so gone will be the slow-talking, suit-wearing Chris Jericho that was draped in total smarminess. Well, by winning the Chamber and squaring off against Alberto Del Rio, Jericho would invade the Road to WrestleMania and automatically become the guy people root for against one of the best heel prospects WWE has had in years. And why would Jericho do this? Love of the business, book sales, and a chance to do something memorable on the big stage once again.
4. Awesome Kong: You want to have Awesome Kong make an impressionable debut in WWE? Have her enter the Elimination Chamber, hold her own for awhile, and then have the heels gang up on her to eliminate her. I would only have Kong wrestle the guys this one time as a novelty move for the purposes of establishing her presence in WWE, and also because this is something everyone would be talking about the next few days.
5. Dolph Ziggler: There’s a chance that with help from Vickie, Dolph can sneak into the Chamber and lock himself in the pod just before the match begins. However, I would only do this if Dolph was going to legitimately win the belt here, otherwise what’s the point?
So, there you have it, my five candidates to replace Dolph Ziggler at tonight’s Elimination Chamber PPV. Now, WWE can easily go with others too, but here’s what I feel about such honorable mentions as the Big Show, Triple H, the Undertaker and Diesel:
Big Show: This would make sense but it would be a letdown considering it’s not really any kind of surprise. Plus, Kane and Big Show in this match together would definitely slow the pace down to a crawl at some points.
Triple H: I don’t think Triple H is going to waste his last big return and likely his final run by joining the muddled title picture on SmackDown! Instead, I either see Trips resuming against Sheamus, or, as has been rumored, getting the call against the Undertaker and THE STREAK.
The Undertaker: They didn’t heavily promote Taker’s return on 2.21.11 to waste it the night before. After all, this isn’t TNA we’re talking about.
Diesel: I like the whole idea of using Diesel / Nash sparingly as an attraction, but they already fired that bullet from the chamber (no pun intended) at the Rumble. If anything, Diesel will be used for Hall of Fame induction purposes and perhaps with the Big Show in some sort of WCW-related Mania match in Atlanta.
Around the Pulse
Check out Pulse Wrestling’s WWE Elimination Chamber Roundtable. Kelly Floyd has done a great job compiling these recently, and my full slate of Elimination Chamber predictions are in the ‘Comments’ section this time around. Feel free to post yours too!
Kelly Floyd and M.C. Brown got you covered on SmackDown! here and here.
Mike Gojira’s The Stomping Ground is an awesome new column, and Chantal’s Hotties â€˜nâ€™ Notties is simply a treat to read every week.
Well, that’s all from me, until next time — CB.
Tags: alberto del rio, Awesome Kong, Big Gold Belt, big show, CB's World, chris jericho, christian, Cody Rhodes, Diesel, Dolph Ziggler, edge, Elimination Chamber, kane, PPV, Raw, rey mysterio, Smackdown, triple h, undertaker, World Heavyweight Championship, WWE