Good morning, fine readers. I’m back with another fresh Fantasy Book leading up to Wrestlemania. This week, we will fantasy book the weekend’s pay-per-view offering, Elimination Chamber. Smackdown Live! has been nice enough to put together a little event on short notice so we can consider our travel plans to the big show in a couple months.
I will admit that I had a few thoughts about how I wanted to fantasy book Wrestlemania before the Royal Rumble happened. Obviously, with the incredibly questionable booking decisions in WWE, those plans have been set on fire and disappeared into smoke. Instead of going back and telling you what I would have done, I am going to roll with it and try to steer this Fantasy Book bus back onto the highway.
Let’s start with Luke Harper versus Randy Orton. Randy Orton has a main event title match scheduled for Wrestlemania due to winning the Royal Rumble. But we just saw Orton versus Cena last week on Smackdown Live!, so no one expects us to see that match again at Wrestlemania. Franky, I think Vince would love to see that match main event his biggest show, but here we can not fantasy book that with good conscience. Luke Harper, on the other hand, appears to be starting a singles push. A push that is long overdo, I might add.
As I type, I realize that this sounds like I am previewing the PPV. I must stop that. Sorry. Let’s just get to the fantasy booking.
So, in order to continue the Luke Harper push, let’s give Harper the victory here. How about some ill-timed interference from Bray Wyatt that backfires and allows Harper to get the victory. Dissent between Orton and Wyatt can be teased and Harper now has a victory over the guy who is supposed to be main eventing Wrestlemania.
Next, we get a bathroom break as Dolph Ziggler takes on Apollo Crews and Kalisto in a handicap match. No one cares about this match at all. In fact, Ziggler’s career has actually gotten worse since his heel turn. He was main eventing PPVs just a couple months ago. Now he is fighting two young jobbers with no end game in sight. Am I giving up on Ziggler? Oh, I would really like to, but he does have a lot of talent in between the ropes. So let’s do this – Ziggler loses this match when he gets hit by Kalisto and Crews’ finishers in quick succession. After the match, Ziggler grabs a chair and beats down both guys because that is the only thing he has done lately.
All of a sudden, John Cena’s music hits and the champ comes charging out to stop the beatdown. After chasing Ziggler off, Cena cuts a promo talking about how Kalisto and Crews are young and hungry and just because Ziggler can’t handle that, he is trying to end their careers before they really start. Then Cena starts getting personal with Ziggler, asking him why he is even here since he loses all the time. Ziggler will just shake his head from the ramp and walk backstage. Cena then will continue talking, switching over to the Elimination Chamber and running through his typical Cena promo.
Becky Lynch versus Mickie James will be next. And this match may just challenge for match of the night honors. James will keep frustrating Lynch with some old school heel cheating techniques. Eventually, Lynch will lose it and the match will turn into a crazy brawl. James will pick up the cheap victory as Lynch puts her in the Dis-Arm-Her while James is tied up in the ropes. The referee will call for the break multiple times, but Lynch will refuse to let go, earning her a disqualification. Where this will lead going forward is still uncertain for now, but both competitors will come away looking very strong.
Speaking of where things might go in the Smackdown Live! Women’s division, the title is on the line next as Alexa Bliss defends against Naomi. The match will go on a lot longer than it needs to, and will end when Naomi misses a high cross body block from the top rope and Bliss uses that mistake to take over. Bliss will dominate from that point forward and retain the title in fairly easy fashion.
The tag team turmoil match is next, and honestly, I have no idea why this match is taking place. But it doesn’t really matter, as the tag team division on Smackdown Live! is pathetic. Here’s what I will book here – lots of craziness and big spots early on. Everyone will get to show off a little bit. The Vaudevillains will be eliminated first, probably after a Rhyno gore. Slater and Rhyno will the be eliminated by The Ascension, building off their victory this past week. Breezeango and The Ascension will both be eliminated by American Alpha. At that point, the Usos will sneak in and steal the victory with a roll up and handful of tights. The Usos will hold the tag titles moving along towards Wrestlemania, where American Alpha will get their rematch on the big stage.
Nikki Bella and Natalya will go next, and this will spill outside quickly. This match will turn into a garbage brawl, prompting Daniel Bryan to come out and restart it as a No-DQ, Falls Count Anywhere match. The women will make their way to the backstage area where Nikki Bella will get the pin after driving Natalya through the catering table. There will be some random wrestlers around backstage watching the fight, and one of those will be Dolph Ziggler. After Nikki gets the pin, the camera pans to show Ziggler clapping and congratulating Nikki.
Finally, it will be main event time as the Elimination Chamber is lowered. Bray Wyatt will be the first into the structure and Randy Orton will come out to the ring with him, looking very unhappy. The rest of the contenders will enter and then Cena will make his way out. The actual Chamber match will be less interesting than the storylines which develop. Baron Corbin will make Dean Ambrose his main target, getting the best of him for most of their time in there together. Ambrose will also be the first person eliminated, but it will be by Bray Wyatt, not Corbin.
Corbin will then start to focus on Cena, but will get caught by The Miz, just coming out of the pod, in a small package (in an Elimination Chamber match?) and eliminated. This move by Miz will have the announcers at each others’ throats as half of the team thinks it was weak for Miz to do and the other half praising Miz for finding a way to get an elimination without getting himself too banged up.
The Miz will beat on Cena for a while until an A.A. out of nowhere, eliminates Miz. Now three men are left with Cena facing down Wyatt and Styles. Wyatt and Styles took turns teeing off on Cena while Orton watched from outside the structure. Finally, after several Super Cena comebacks, Wyatt was able to hit Cena with Sister Abigail. Wyatt paused after the move to tell to Orton that they will be main eventing Wrestlemania together. But Styles slammed Wyatt into the Chamber’s wall and then covered Cena for the pin. With Cena eliminated, Styles quickly went back over to Wyatt before he could recover and hit him with a Styles Clash. AJ Styles gets the pin and regains the WWE World title. As Styles celebrates, Orton sneaks into the ring and hits him with an RKO and then holds the belt over his head to end the show.
At this point, we would be looking towards a Wrestlemania with Randy Orton challenging AJ Styles for the World title and American Alpha looking to regain the tag team belts from the Usos. The rest of the Smackdown Live! contingent is still uncertain of their plans. But the Fantasy Book will move them along the Road to Wrestlemania as well in the next few weeks, so be on the lookout for that.
Until next week…
Tags: AJ Styles, Alexa Bliss, American Alpha, apollo crews, Baron Corbin, Becky Lynch, dean ambrose, Dolph Ziggler, John Cena, Kalisto, Luke Harper, Mickie James, Natalya, Nikki Bella, Randy Orton, The Miz, usos