WWE Elimination Chamber 2012: 10 Huge Surprises We Could See at the Upcoming PPV
This Sunday, WWE presents its third annual Elimination Chamber pay-per-view live from Milwaukee, Wisc.
With only four matches already announced for the show, the stakes are high as the company comes across the final stop before WrestleMania 28.
Similar to years past, this year's show will be headlined by two Elimination Chamber matches, with the WWE and World Heavyweight Championships being defended inside them respectively.
If history has taught us anything, it's that the steel structure is not only the most barbaric but unpredictable match stipulations in WWE history.
Will Cena finally embrace the hate, or will he be able to overcome the Big Red Monster and gain momentum going into his pending WrestleMania match with The Rock?
At last year's Elimination Chamber event, we bore witness to the surprising returns of Christian, Trish Stratus, and one of the best Chamber matches ever contested.
With that being said, what shockers could become a reality in a mere three days?
The Rock Makes an Appearance
Since the Royal Rumble pay-per-view a few weeks ago, WWE has been heavily hyping the highly anticipated Rock vs. Cena match at WrestleMania 28 through video packages and Twitter.
However, the last time we saw The Rock in person in WWE television was at Survivor Series last November, defeating Awesome Truth alongside his arch-rival Cena at the event.
With only six weeks left until the biggest show of the year, it's only a matter of time before the Great One makes his return to WWE once again to fuel his already heated rivalry with Cena going into WrestleMania.
Sure, he's already been advertised for upcoming Raw broadcasts in coming weeks, but there's no better way to make a shocking return than at Elimination Chamber this Sunday.
Honestly, their fights over the social-networking site give me little to no excitement regarding their match. One can only hope the fire is reignited under Rocky when he makes his comeback much like last year.
Kharma Targets Beth Phoenix
In a match just announced on this past Monday's Raw, Divas Champion Beth Phoenix will defend her title against the rising Tamina Snuka this Sunday at Elimination Chamber.
Unlike Phoenix's past bouts with Kelly Kelly and Eve, her upcoming title defense against Snuka feels fresh in comparison.
Despite the strong push she's received in recent weeks, the WWE Universe has been determined to see only person challenge for Phoenix's strap—Kharma.
Since making her return in the Royal Rumble last month, the possibility of seeing this dream match finally come to fruition has been the only thing on most wrestling fans' minds.
With her newborn baby already delivered, Kharma is more than ready to make her long awaited return to the ring relatively soon, targeting the Glamazon and the entire Divas division no less.
Zack Ryder Costs John Cena the Ambulance Match
After weeks and weeks of the uninspiring angle between John Cena and Kane, a new spark was finally lit this past Monday night when Zack Ryder found Eve planting a kiss on his best friend, John Cena, backstage.
An enraged Ryder stormed off (or rolled off rather) in denial and depression that his so-called girlfriend just cheated on him right before his eyes.
Later in the show, the Long Island Iced Z confronted Cena in the middle of the ring to settle the score by slapping him straight across the face. Before Ryder could get another punch in, the Cenation leader blocked the attack and nearly returned the favor.
Moments later, Ryder made his way up the ramp before being tossed off by Kane in a violent manner. Nothing has gone right by Ryder at all this year, and one would only assume he's only got Cena to blame.
In relationation, I'd be shocked to see the former U.S. Champion drive the ambulance that drives Cena away, indirectly giving Kane the victory.
This way, Ryder gets over big time with the audience and displays the ruthless aggression that we've been dying to see from his character for ages.
Eve Joins Kane by "Embracing the Hate"
Speaking of which, let's not forget about the major role Eve now plays in this ongoing angle.
In an unexpected turn of events, she purposely kissed her presumable boyfriend's best friend John Cena on the lips on this week's edition of Raw and has yet to apologize to the distraught Zack Ryder.
Instead of issuing a much-needed apology to Ryder, she instead dropped the inevitable "let's stay friends" line that absolutely no one wants to hear from the person they thought was in love with them.
When she emerged from the back at the conclusion of the show to show her concern for the injured Ryder, she was met with a chorus of boos from the crowd in attendance.
As Kane said during his speech on Raw, this is the exact situation where Cena could finally embrace the hate that's we've all been expecting for quite some time.
Now, I don't at all believe we'll see Cena turn heel anytime soon, so that leaves Eve to do the unexpected by tricking Cena in thinking she's the victim when really she's been in cahoots with the Big Red Monster the whole time.
At this rate, Eve is on her way of becoming the next Lita of the PG era.
Vickie Guerrero Walks out on Dolph Ziggler
While the Elimination Chamber may be known for having "No Way Out", it's no secret that it doesn't stop unwanted outsiders from interfering in the bout.
Of all the participants competing in this year's Chamber matches, Dolph Ziggler is the only competitor who has an aid in Vickie Guerrero to help him pick up victories.
After coming up short of winning the WWE Championship last month at Royal Rumble, Ziggler is still determined to capture the gold yet again this Sunday. However, what if we saw the unthinkable become a reality if Vickie were to cost Ziggler the bout?
Obviously, this scenario is a long-shot, given that they've shown zero dissension in recent weeks, but it's always possible seeing since Ziggler hasn't won a match in weeks while the more successful Jack Swagger is the current United States champion.
Personally, I hope to see this come to fruition sooner rather than later given that the bleached-blonde Superstar is in no longer need of Vickie's services as a manger.
Having her walk out on her once-dedicated boyfriend could be the perfect way to turn Ziggler from a hated heel to a fan favorite in an instant.
Ryback (a.k.a. Skip Sheffield) Finally Debuts
In August 2010, Nexus member Skip Sheffield suffered a brutal ankle injury that has required three surgeries and a year and a half of his in-ring career. Sheffield has since been repackaged as Ryback, a "Terminator" from the future that dominates anything in his path.
He returned to action defeating Alex Riley two months ago at a Raw house show, but has yet to resurface on television.
There must have been a reason WWE has opted to keep Sheffield around despite his sidelining injury, while other stars such as Chris Masters, Vladimir Kozlov, and David Hart Smith were cut instead.
Reports indicate that Vince McMahon has big plans for Sheffield in the very near future, as his return date was originally set for early 2012.
Well, we're well into February, and there's still no sign of the Sin City Cyborg.
Personally, I find great potential in Sheffield as a monster heel, and making his first impression on live pay-per-view could certainly get him noticed on his first night back in WWE.
The Next Hall of Fame Announcement Takes Place
So far, only four Hall of Fame candidates have taken place including Edge, Mil Mascaras, the Four Horsemen and professional boxer Mike Tyson.
Of course, WWE usually waits until after the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view to make more announcements regarding the next legend to enter the prestigious hall, but having it take place at the pay-per-view itself will make it seem all the more meaningful.
Typically, the Hall of Fame announcements are advertised in advance to boost ratings, but shocking the world with a video package during this Sunday's show could be ground-breaking.
Potential candidates range from Yokozuna and Ron Simmons to the deceased "Macho Man" Randy Savage.
This is something I'd much rather see on Raw to increase the exposure of the major announcement, but knowing the WWE usually books certain things, the extra swerve must be worth it to them in some way.
Ever since Christian was sidelined with an injury this past November, I've been hoping to hear "Just Close Your Eyes" hit the arena to a massive pop every time I watch SmackDown.
Despite being fully recovered, Captain Charisma has yet to make his highly anticipated comeback.
Instead of making him the No. 30 entrant in this year's Royal Rumble, that role was filled by the anticlimactic Big Show. A few days later, the returning Great Khali was announced as Mark Henry's replacement in the SmackDown Elimination Chamber due to the World's Strongest Man being injured, once again overshadowing Christian as a possibility.
Just this last week, Randy Orton also suffered an injury that will keep him out of this Sunday's Elimination Chamber. Although Christian was the favorite to be named as Orton's replacement, the spot was instead given to Santino Marella.
Yes, I said Santino Marella.
I highly doubt Creative is waiting for the opportune moment to bring Christian back, as it's more of the fact that they have nothing for him to do at the moment.
In a fashion similar to Edge in 2009, I have my fingers crossed that the former World Champion will replace Santino in the Chamber and make his return at the event for the second year in a row.
Daniel Bryan Submits the Big Show
At the dawn of 2012, World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan initiated a slow heel turn that has made him into SmackDown's hottest heel at the moment. He's done everything it takes in order to retain that belt, including screwing Big Show out of the title on more than one occasion.
Although Bryan was able to lock in the LaBelle Lock on Show during their match, he was unable to score the submission victory.
That being said, the American Dragon hasn't picked up a clean win in quite some time, and forcing a giant such as Show to tap out in the Elimination Chamber this Sunday could give him the credibility he desperately needs.
From what I can recall, the last time Show was forced to submit was when John Cena defeated him in a Submission Match three years ago. Having Bryan repeat that feat could silence the naysayers and solidify his spot as a main event player on Friday nights.
Since the rivalry between these two has been the focus of the blue brand for the past two months, I'd certainly be shocked to see Bryan lastly eliminated Show with the LaBelle Lock to successfully walk out of the Elimination Chamber still the World Heavyweight Champion.
Chris Jericho Wins the WWE Championship
When the mysterious vignettes started to air on episodes of Raw late last year, the immediate reaction was that the man behind it was none other than the returning Chris Jericho.
In time, the video packages relayed a cryptic message that the figure was returning to take back what was rightfully his, obviously referring to the WWE Championship.
On the night following the Royal Rumble, Chris Jericho set forth one of the most anticipated rivalries over the title in years when he attacked CM Punk during his match with Daniel Bryan.
His promo the following week certified speculation that he is indeed targeting Punk as well as the WWE title, which he plans to win in the Elimination Chamber on Sunday.
Later in the show, Jericho defeated the five other participants competing in the Raw Elimination Chamber to earn the spot as the sixth entrant, giving him the ultimate advantage going into the bout.
While it's greatly predicted Punk will walk into WrestleMania 28 as champion, expect to see Y2J foil that plan and walk out of the Chamber for the second time in two years as a World Champion.
Since I don't have my hopes up high for the upcoming Elimination Chamber pay-per-view, I fully expect WWE to pull out all the stops in order to make the final event before WrestleMania 28 feel explosive.
If last year's Elimination Chamber event was any indication, shockers are bound to occur, given this is when we least anticipate them.
With only four matches advertised for the card, I wouldn't be surprised if additional bouts were featured on the show in order to kill some time.
That being said, I hope to see the Elimination Chambers respectively outshine their potential and provide an enjoyable 30-minute bout that will no doubt leave the audience intrigued by the end of it.
Thanks for reading, Bleachers, and make sure to drop a comment below with any surprise you hope to see come Sunday or any additional analysis on the ones already provided.
As always, your criticism and overall feedback is greatly appreciated.