Last month’s WWE Payback was completely awesome—it looked great on paper, but totally out-performed my expectations. Just two weeks later we have arrived at the surprised WWE Network-exclusive Elimination Chamber! This should be an awesome action-packed show with two matches taking place inside the chamber. This even has only had two weeks of setup, but they’ve been damn effective and, on paper, this might be the best PPV of the year. Can this possibly live up to its potential? Check me out on Twitter this Sunday as I live tweet the show and hit the jump to read my picks!
NEVILLE vs BO DALLAS
I really love this match-up. I think Bo Dallas is one of the best gimmicks that the crowd hasn’t really latched onto yet, not to mention the fact that he is a fantastic wrestler. Neville is absolutely killing it since jumping to the main roster. The two of these had an awesome match at the first NXT Takeover special and I look for them to bring the same magic here. This could easily be the match of the night and, hopefully, will give Bo Dallas a bit of rub. I’d like to see this feud carry on for the next several months. Neville has proven that the crowds will still love him with a loss and they’ve set up the injury to his knee, so I think Dallas has to win here. It will elevate him as a heel, but he’ll likely do it in an underhanded way to an injured opponent, which protects Neville. This is going to be a fun one and I really hope that the crowd gets into it!
Prediction: BO DALLAS
LOS MATADORES vs PRIME TME PLAYERS vs LUCHA DRAGONS vs CESARO and KIDD vs THE ASCENSION vs NEW DAY ©
WWE Tag Team Championship
This match is going to be so much fun. I am beyond excited. Aside from the stupid gimmick of Los Matadores and the poor usage of the Ascension, every single wrestler in this match is totally awesome. You have 12 amazing wrestlers that will be in this match, plus three great performers on the outside that will provide some added fun—you simply cannot go wrong. The tag team title matches were the highlight of the last two events and this match could be even better. I’m glad to see the Prime Time Players back in the forefront. Lucha Dragons are always amazing. And let’s face it, there is no team better in the ring than Cesaro and Kidd. This will be non-stop action with the weasel team of the New Day picking up the win. The New Day are too good at this gimmick to take the titles off of them now.
Prediction: THE NEW DAY
KEVIN OWENS vs JOHN CENA
Champion vs Champion
This is the most bizarre feud that I have ever seen. Kevin Owens is the NXT Champion and the most dominant wrestler on the “developmental” roster at the moment—not to mention the fact that he is currently embroiled in a feud on NXT with both Samoa Joe and Sami Zayn (and has a match scheduled against #1 contender Finn Balor). John Cena is the United States Champion and is dominating his way through the main roster. The two really shouldn’t be feuding, but here we are with one of the most entertaining feuds currently going. This match has put the spotlight on NXT—the most entertaining wrestling in the US right now—and has made Kevin Owens look completely unstoppable. While I take a lot of issues with some of John Cena’s promos, he has really put over Owens and the importance of the feud. He has put Owens head-and-shoulders above just about everyone he has feuded with. That is totally awesome and makes Owens legitimate. As long as we don’t seem Super-Cena crushing Owens with a no-sell comeback (which undermines any selling Cena does during the match), this is will do so much to elevate everyone involved. Owens needs to win and go back to NXT for a final gauntlet of feuds before returning to the main roster as an immediate star. Owens is so good. Please don’t screw this up, WWE.
Prediction: FIGHT OWENS FIGHT
PAIGE vs NAOMI vs NIKKI BELLA ©
WWE Divas Championship
I know that it is not fair to compare the main roster and NXT women’s matches, but we are only a week out from perhaps the greatest women’s wrestling match I have ever seen—Becky Lynch against the incredible Sasha Banks. That match at last week’s NXT Takeover: Unstoppable is something you absolutely must see. If you have the WWE Network, stop reading this right now and watch it. We’ll wait… … …Great, wasn’t it? Now, the bar has been raised and they absolutely need to start reaching for it on the main roster. This needs to be the turning point for the main roster and the one thing that they need to do so is time. Paige, Naomi, and Nikki are the right women to turn things around and the storyline here is solid. We just need a long, well executed match. This won’t be Lynch/Banks, but it could be the best WWE “divas” match in a long time. As for the winner, Naomi has more than earned it and is in the perfect position to take the title here.
DEAN AMBROSE vs SETH ROLLINS ©
WWE World Heavyweight Championship
I cannot get over how great this pay-per-view is going to be and this match is just one more layer of icing on the delicious cake that will be Elimination Chamber. I could watch these two wrestle every single month and never get bored, plus they have done a fantastic job of building this feud in just two weeks. I heard someone refer to these guys as Batman and the Joker, which I think is a great comparison—they’ll forever be enemies and we are enjoying the spoils. I look for this to be wild, violent, and full of shenanigans. I see Rollins as a long term champion, possibly until Reigns is finally ready to ascend to the throne so as much as I would love to see Ambrose as champion, Rollins will keep the belt.
Prediction: SETH ROLLINS
KING BARRETT vs R-TRUTH vs SHEAMUS vs ZIGGLER vs TBD vs RYBACK
This is the biggest wildcard match of the event. With deserving competitors (now that Rusev has been removed due to injury) and one unknown in the ring, really anyone could leave with the title. Well, anyone but R-Truth. I could make a case for any single one of these guys winning the belt and I feel that, for once, in a multi-man match, they haven’t made it obvious who is going to pick up the win. Sheamus seems like the obvious choice to me, though now that he has been cast in the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle movie, I’m not sure how his schedule will fit with the win (we need a champion on television). Barrett as both champion and King of the Ring is a solid fit, but every time he has the belt, he does nothing but lose. Ryback is long overdue for his first title in the WWE. You can never go wrong with Dolph Ziggler. You can always surprise everyone with whomever takes Rusev’s place (my choice would be Zack Ryder after his big match Monday against Cena). Hell, you could shock the world with R-Truth. Since I have to choose, I’m going with Sheamus, but I am not exactly betting the house on it.
What are your thoughts? Share them here or tweet them to me at @RyanSchrodt!