Chair Shots: Elimination Chamber Preview Column
Feb 19, 2014 - 1:45:53 PM
Welcome back everybody to the column that took a bronze medal in the Winter Olympics in Team Snow Shoveling- Chair Shots! This Sunday, the WWE brings us the next PPV on the Road to Wrestlemania, the Elimination Chamber. Now over the years, with the advent of the PG-Era, the EC match has lost some of its brutality, but overall it remains one of the more entertaining gimmick matches in the WWE’s repertoire. The problem I have with this particular PPV though is that nothing of REAL importance happens during it. However, this year you may see something different. No, not in the match outcomes themselves, but in the way the WWE reacts to the fans in terms of their approval or disapproval of certain matches and wrestlers. A few short weeks ago, it looked like the WM card was firming up, but with CM Punk leaving, Batista’s lukewarm reactions, the continued Daniel Bryan support, and the yet unknown status of The Undertaker/Brock Lesnar match, a lot of things could still change when it comes to Wrestlemania. There will be a lot of eyes and ears watching and listening intently come Sunday night to determine what direction the WM card takes. As for the matches themselves, there are a few winners on here, but also some that don’t look very appealing. Let’s take a look
Pre-Show Match: RhodesDust vs. RybAxel
Once a PPV highlight, The Rhodes Boys have been relegated to the pre-show for the second straight PPV. While I truly enjoyed their storyline through a lot of 2013 into 2014, it appears that their time in the spotlight has passed. There are a lot of questions as to whether we will get a Goldust vs. Cody match as WM, and I think what happens in this match will be very telling as to whether or not that happens. The Rhodes’ are facing a team that has been more down than up in RybAxel, so logic would have the Rhodes winning this one easily, but I have a feeling we may see some dissention occur, or at least an error by one of the Rhodes boys that cost them this match, and eventually lead them down a path towards facing each other at the biggest event of the year. While I have no desire to see a Curtis Axel/Ryback push occur, this may just be a means to an end more than anything.
IC Title Match: Big E. vs. Jack Swagger
Big E. has come a long way since he first appeared next to AJ Lee. He’s developed some crowd support, has worked on his in-ring skills, and garnered himself a run with the Intercontinental Title. For me though, there’s a long way to go. This past Monday night Big E’s weaknesses were quite prominent in a handicap match against 3MB. Big E. is just not sharp enough to carry that kind of match, and quite frankly he looked weak against two wrestlers who haven’t won a match since……I really have no idea how long it’s been since 3MB won a match. Have they ever? His opponent on this evening is one half of the Real Americans, and former World Champion Jack Swagger. Swagger continues to improve in the ring after being pushed way too hard, way too fast upon his arrival in the WWE. The problem he has here though is that he’s still the #2 guy in the Real Americans. While I’m not a fan of breaking up tag teams, this may also be the beginning of the end as Zeb Colter will only take so much losing from Swagger. In what shouldn’t be any shock, I see Big E. coming out of this still champion with his IC title intact.
Winner and Still Champion: Big E.
Titus O’Neil vs. Darren Young
After months and months as a tag-team without getting much PPV attention, the former PTP’s get a PPV match against each other as the Titus O’Neil experiment begins. For quite some time, it was apparent that O’Neil has what it takes to be a singles competitor in the WWE. The question is whether or not he can rise to the challenge and show that he has the stuff to be more than a lower mid-card tag team guy. Darren Young will most certainly be fed to the wolves here, as there is only one reason at all for this match- to assert Titus’ dominance as a power player in the WWE. He has the tools, he has the charisma, but we’ve never really seen whether or not he has the stuff to excel in singles action. I’m personally rooting for the guy. He’s got potential. Will he ever be a Main Event player? Not likely, but he does have the ability to push towards a mid-card belt, possibly feuding with Big E. down the road. Good luck Titus, and well……it was nice knowing you Darren. Quite frankly, there’s not much of an upside for Darren Young now, and I see him becoming a casualty of war when all of this is said and done.
Winner: Titus O’Neil
Tag Team Title Match: New Age Outlaws vs. The Usos
At the end of 2013 in my Year-End column, I wrote of the tag-team that deserved the belts in 2013 and didn’t get them. That team was The Usos. These are two men who have gone from relative obscurity getting on Raw every now and then to becoming major players in the WWE landscape. I have all the respect in the world for the hard work that Jimmy and Jey have put in to position themselves to be contenders for the Tag Team Titles. Without a shadow of a doubt, The Usos are one of the most electrifying teams in the WWE today. They’re non-stop action, great teamwork and just plain fun to watch. They may have to step it down a notch in this one however as I’m not quite sure The Outlaws can keep up with them at this stage in their careers. The New Age Outlaws were a placeholder in my opinion and at the end of the night, we have new Tag Team Champions, and rightfully earned.
Winners and NEW Tag Team Champions: The Usos
Batista vs. Alberto Del Rio
I don’t like Batista. I’ve made that fact relatively clear. I don’t like that he’s come back and been inserted in the Main Event at WM when there are other more worthy wrestlers out there. He hasn’t shown he has the ability at the moment to go just a few minutes without completely getting winded. Hustle, in his house show review, said he got winded just coming to the ring. This PPV match is most certainly a gauge as to what he can do in the ring with only a short amount of time left before the biggest PPV of the year. There are two schools of thought here. The first is that this is a complete squash, allowing Batista to come off as dominant without having him have to wrestle a long match and do too much in the ring. This could also play into Del Rio’s unhappiness with his position, and if he’s really considering leaving the WWE they would have no need to protect him as a Main Event player.
The second school of thought is that Batista has been put in the ring against arguably one of the WWE’s better in-ring workers in Del Rio, again to see what he can do in the ring heading up to the big one. If you’re going to get tested by anybody in the WWE, it’s going to be Del Rio. He’ll work stiff, he can go a long time, and he’s got great ring skills. If Batista can’t hang in this match, it will tell the WWE officials a lot heading further down the road to WM. One thing is certain though, and that is Batista gets the win here.
The Wyatt Family vs. The Shield
Who’s looking forward to this match? Raise your hands! Who gets a little bit of a chubby thinking about these two teams finally squaring off? Raise your hands! Dammit get your hands up, I know you do! Anyway, this is THE match that I’m most excited about in this PPV. For weeks we’ve had the stare downs, the confrontations, the brawls between two teams that have lit the WWE on fire over the past year. I fully expect this match to steal the show on Sunday night and quite frankly it doesn’t matter to me who wins. I’m a fan of both teams, and either getting the victory would make me happy. I just want a match that I’ll remember for the rest of the year. I want a MOTY candidate, and I don’t think that request is too far off base considering what both of these teams can do in the ring.
All signs point to The Shield breaking up, or at the least Roman Reigns breaking away from the group, so logic would serve that this storyline will progress, and The Wyatts pick up the win here. They need to come out of this looking stronger considering they are more than likely going to continue as a team, while The Shield may be dissolving, albeit slowly. Quite frankly, I don’t WANT The Shield to dissolve, and I think that they can establish Reigns as a singles star without that happening, but the WWE can’t help themselves. Will this lead to a Reigns vs. Rollins vs. Ambrose match at WM? Well if it does it will probably be one hell of a match. Whatever the case, expect a barn-burner on Sunday, and quite possibly a show-stealer as well.
Winners: The Fans (and The Wyatts)
EC Match: Orton vs. Cena vs. Christian vs. Cesaro vs. Sheamus vs. Bryan
Prepare to be disappointed again Daniel Bryan fans, as D-Bry is most certainly not coming out of this as the WWE Champion. If you follow the WWE Bouncing Ball, Randy Orton only beat one man in his EC opponent gauntlet- Christian. That generally means that somehow, someway, Randy Orton will come out of the Chamber still the WWE World Heavyweight Champion. But I don’t think that’s the real story here. I think what the WWE will be looking at is how the crowd reaction is to Daniel Bryan. Will he continue to get the massive pops that he has been for quite some time now, or is his momentum started to fade out a bit. Personally, I don’t see the latter, as he appears to be as popular as he’s ever been. It’s getting to a point where the WWE will have to stop ignoring the support he’s getting and pull the trigger on a sustained WWE World Heavyweight Title run. It won’t begin at the Elimination Chamber though. If we’re lucky, what we will get though is D-Bry to somehow be inserted into the Main Event at WM, or get a match against the winner of that bout immediately following their match at WM.
I can’t really speak for all of you, but personally a Batista/Randy Orton Main Event at WM doesn’t appeal to me at all. You’re looking at two men who traditionally have had a hard time carrying matches on their own. Add to that the apparently weak cardio of Batista and you have the makings of a Main Event that won’t go 20 minutes. I’d be cheated if that’s what I got for a WM Main Event. So will Daniel Bryan get his WM Moment? I surely hope so, but I also hope that the WWE looks at the other people in this match as well in terms of what happens in the upcoming WWE calendar year.
Cesaro has gone a long way to becoming a big time player in the WWE, and after his stellar match Monday night against John Cena, he apparently opened quite a few eyes backstage. Christian on the other hand was the only opponent to take a loss against Randy Orton. His inclusion in the Chamber surprises me to this day. I don’t see much left for Christian, and it wouldn’t surprise me if after the EC he either retires or gets released in the upcoming months. Sheamus needs to re-establish himself in the Main Event picture after a long injury absence and that won’t be easy to do with only one title belt now. He needs a character tweak, and a heel turn might just be in order for the Celtic Warrior. As for John Cena, well I’m of a mindset that Cena can do whatever Cena wants to do. He’s earned it. I’m not the biggest Cena fan, but there’s no denying what he can do for other wrestlers. He elevated Punk. He elevated Daniel Bryan. He elevated Cesaro. He’s about as unselfish a wrestler as I’ve ever seen. So until he wants to pack it in, I won’t ever say another bad word about John Cena. But that won’t stop me from saying bad words about the man that will walk out of the Chamber with the belts.
Winners and STILL Champion- Randy Orton
So there you have it my friends. I hope you enjoy the PPV if you plan on watching it. Try to take something positive out of it, because without wrestling, well what the hell are we doing on Lordsofpain.net?
Hit me up with your thoughts, comments, questions or death threats. As usual, thanks for reading!
Until next time,
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