In mere hours, WWE will present the annual Elimination Chamber event live from Milwaukee, WI., in the final pit stop before WrestleMania 28. Despite only four matches being advertised for tonight's show, each contest looks to be enjoyable in its own right.
Similar to years past, the pay-per-view will be headlined by two Elimination Chamber matches, each being contested for the WWE and World Heavyweight Championships respectively. Both brutal bouts will decide who walks into the show of shows golden, and who walks out empty handed.
Furthermore, the conclusion of the broiling John Cena and Kane rivalry comes to a climax when the two arch rivals meet in an Ambulance Match. With major WrestleMania implications at stake, look for this to be another intriguing aspect heading into the show.
Here, I am once again joined by the past, present and future of Bleacher Report to help me analyze tonight's electric pay-per-view with their intelligent insight on all things wrestling.
Without further ado, please allow me to introduce the recognizable talent of RiZE, Daniel Massey, and Nate Scaccia, otherwise known as the Evolution of Bleacher Report, for the most jam-packed prediction article ever conducted!
GSM: This feud has grown less intriguing by the week for this viewer, so I'm glad to finally see the end to it. Their match at Royal Rumble was a bit sloppy for my taste, so fingers crossed they can deliver a better bout given the ambulance stipulation.
I don't see either Zack Ryder or Eve turning here, but I wouldn't be surprised if they got involved. With his pending WrestleMania match with The Rock on the horizon, I fully expect to Cena be the victor here.
RiZE: To be honest, I’d grown displeased with this program before the latest edition of Monday Night Raw. It seemed as if the WWE was just recycling the storyline each week. Kane would attack Ryder or stalk Eve while Cena would show signs of a heel turn. However, he would just revert back to his normal self the following week. That being said, the WWE sparked my interest through the events of last Monday’s edition of Raw.
The brief moment of affection between Cena and Eve followed by the resentment of Zack Ryder because of Cena’s “betrayal” made for entertaining (and humorous) programming. John Cena will win the ambulance match Sunday while continuing to show signs of a heel turn. Honestly, Cena finally reaching his breaking point and turning heel wouldn’t surprise me either.
Massey: An ambulance match in this PG era is unlikely to be as violent as we all want it to be, yet I do believe veterans like Kane and Cena can make a good match out of it. Expect Cena to be more fired up than usual and to possibly act more aggressively towards Kane.
I predict Cena will finally embrace the hate while winning the match. Kane’s work will be done and we will have a clear face and heel for WrestleMania when Cena faces the Rock.
Scaccia: What to do with this match? This is the hardest one to predict because if Kane loses again, then his return and this storyline is pretty much wasted. What needs to happen here is this storyline needs to end. Cena can't continue this going into WrestleMania with The Rock. What role will Eve play in this match? Will Kane use her to influence Cena? Will a major swerve happen and Eve turns on Cena?
While the latter will be very interesting, I think the former is more likely. Cena gets Kane in the ambulance, but something happens and Kane escapes without Cena’s knowledge. If Kane losses cleanly, then his return and this storyline is pointless. If Cena loses, then how will he be able to build up his match with The Rock? He can’t come on Raw after only twenty four hours removed from an ambulance match.
Overall Consensus: Cena-4, Kane-0
GSM: After months of inactivity from Divas Champion Beth Phoenix and the same old contenders in Kelly Kelly and Eve, it feels fresh to finally get a new face like Tamina in the title picture. The second-generation Diva has gotten quite the number of victories over the last couple of weeks, and her bout with Phoenix is actually somewhat intriguing.
With a Kharma/Phoenix match highly anticipated for WrestleMania, the Glamazon needs to retain here to make that dream bout come to fruition.
RiZE: I must say, I find it extremely pleasant for someone like Tamina to take on Beth at Elimination Chamber. While the WWE isn’t known for its consistency nowadays, I must commend them for steadily building Tamina up. This isn’t a random title match as Tamina has run rampant through every WWE Diva currently portraying a heel role.
There’s only one Diva standing in her path and it just so happens to be the champion herself. As far as who will win this match goes, I think the Glamazon will retain her title in a decent Divas match-up. I also expect a valiant performance on Tamina’s part.
Massey: Beth Phoenix is a shoo-in for this match as the opponent she is to face has hardly had any build up whatsoever. I don’t really pay too much attention to the Divas division, but if Natalya was more interested in the title than farting all the time, I think it would make for a better match.
Beth is sure to show her dominance tonight and quickly dispose of Tamina, who is likely to miss a Superfly Splash, causing her downfall.
Scaccia: Beth Phoenix will defend her championship against Tamina Snuka. This match needs to go longer than the typical Divas matches do. Both of these women can wrestle and they need to show it here.
I think Beth Phoenix comes away with a win here and retains her championship. We could see a rematch at WrestleMania or maybe Tamina will turn heel and side with Phoenix.
Overall Consensus: Phoenix-4, Snuka-0
GSM: Originally, I was excited for this match given the star power involved. Now, I couldn't think of it anymore as a joke. Daniel Bryan, Wade Barrett, and Intercontinental Champion Cody Rhodes all need breakout performances to save this contest from being a total disaster.
I'm hoping either Mark Henry or a returning Christian secures a spot in the Chamber prior to the bout, but I'm not getting my hopes up. Since the favorite, Randy Orton, won't be competing, this allows Bryan to successfully defend his belt and walk into WrestleMania 28 as World Heavyweight Champion.
RiZE: The SmackDown Elimination Chamber does possess that sense of unpredictability its counterpart blatantly lacks. The inclusion of Santino Marella is also a questionable move, but when you look pass the surface, you’ll find the answers you’re looking for.
Honestly, I did expect Randy Orton to regain the World Championship here and defend it against Sheamus and Daniel Bryan at WrestleMania. Now that the Viper is out of the equation, you would think a returning WWE Superstar would attack Santino before the matches commences. At this point, I am unsure of that but I won’t rule it out as a possibility. If not, I expect Daniel Bryan to retain his championship.
Massey: This SmackDown Elimination Chamber match has turned into somewhat of a joke. Daniel Bryan is certain to retain against all these competitors and eventually triumph over the Big Show, with whom he has been feuding over the past few months.
I can’t see Santino lasting long, but I think Cody will be there until the end. I hope Khali goes straight away.
Scaccia: Initially, I was excited about the original Smackdown Elimination Chamber lineup. But after Mark Henry and Randy Orton were taken out, the chamber match has gone downhill. The Great Khali will surely slow things down and make the match terrible. Santino Marella is also in the match, which is another lackluster addition if he fights. I say "if" because I am not so sure he will even make it to the match. I think Santino will be the last man out to the ring and be attacked by someone.
Mark Henry is my first choice, but I think Christian could make an appearance as well. I would love to see Drew McIntyre come out and attack Santino, but that is just a pipe dream. For the purposes of this article, I will predict that Mark Henry attacks Santino and takes his place. I like the unstoppable role the Big Show has played and I would like to see him make it to at least the final three. Cody Rhodes will not win this match. The WWE is not ready to push him to the main event at WrestleMania so he is out.
Barrett will also lose, but hopefully he makes it to the final three as well. Khali has no business being in the match so he should be the first eliminated. If Mark Henry does return, he needs to have a strong showing as well. So now we have a situation where four superstars could make it to the final three. Big Show, Daniel Bryan, Mark Henry (if he returns), and Wade Barrett all need strong showings here. Big Show should destroy everyone only to fall victim to a World's Strongest Slam from Mark Henry that puts the Big Show out of the match.
Wade Barrett should then eliminate Henry and be left with Bryan, who will come away with a victory by defeating Barrett. Bryan then goes on to WrestleMania to defend his championship against Sheamus who is still angry at Bryan for spitting in his face on SmackDown. After Bryan wins, Sheamus storms the ring and hits Bryan with a Brogue Kick and says that he will be challenging him at WrestleMania.
Overall Consensus: Bryan-4, Other-0
GSM: Of all the advertised matches on this card, this one looks to be the best wrestled, but also the most predictable. The Miz hasn't been relavant in months, and Dolph Ziggler hasn't won in a match in weeks either.
R-Truth is pure comedy these days, while Kofi Kingston will indeed shine here but fall victim to elimination. CM Punk and Chris Jericho are the obvious top candidates, and it's more than likely Jericho takes full advantage of entering sixth in the chamber and stealing the championship, thus setting up the rematch for WrestleMania 28.
RiZE: Honestly, the buildup to the Raw Elimination Chamber has been very lackluster. Yes, the match looks great on paper but it’s predictable. The WWE hasn’t done anything to suggest that anyone other than Chris Jericho or CM Punk is going win this match. Dolph Ziggler will undoubtedly portray the iron man role in this matchup, while Kofi Kingston will be the entertainer. The Miz will be the first one to go while R-Truth provides a small dose of star power.
While all of those gentlemen are spectacular in their own right, this match revolves around Punk and Jericho. Simply put, the Elimination Chamber is being used to further along the Jericho/Punk program. In the end, I expect Y2J to win this match. However, Punk could easily retain but expect minimum to no interaction between these two.
Massey: I know a lot of people are probably rooting for Jericho but I think Punk will retain here. The Miz is in trouble with the higher-ups, Kofi Kingston is there to make up the numbers, Truth is there for comedic value and Ziggler is gaining some much-needed experience in big matches.
This leaves Jericho and Punk, who I believe will last until the end. I think the match will tease Jericho and Punk winning with near-falls, before Punk finally overcomes Jericho with a picture perfect GTS.
Scaccia: This should be the better of the two chamber matches. This one has an all-star lineup featuring Dolph Ziggler, Kofi Kingston, R-Truth, Chris Jericho, The Miz, and the WWE Champion CM Punk. I expect the first to competitors to be The Miz and R-Truth. With that being said, I do not expect Miz to win. He is in the dog house right now and will more than likely be the first one eliminated.
Kingston will have his moments in the match where he pulls off some amazing spots. We already know Jericho will be the last entrant due to his victory in the Raw six-pack challenge. Punk will be the second one out of the pod to give the match some star power. After him, Ziggler will come out and put on a strong showing. I think Ziggler will have an outing much like Drew McIntyre did last year in the SmackDown chamber match.
I would love to see Kingston make it to the final three and finally become a serious threat to the WWE Championship, but I don’t think the WWE will put there just yet. After Truth gets eliminated, Kingston will go next leaving Ziggler, Punk, and Jericho. Ziggler will look strong but fall short and be eliminated next, leaving Punk and Jericho. If the WWE wants to make Jericho’s return meaningful and all this “end of the world” talk useful, they will have Jericho win.
I predict that Jericho will win this match. Jericho bests Punk and sets up an interesting rematch at WrestleMania between Jericho and Punk. As far as WrestleMania goes, having Punk on the hunt for revenge will make the match more exciting than having Jericho lose at the chamber and coming back for yet another shot at CM Punk.
Overall Consensus: Punk-1, Jericho-3, Other-0
Overall, this looks to be like a mildly entertaining show that could easily exceed my standards if booked correctly. Last year's event provided plenty of surprises for enjoyment, so one can only hope this year does much of the same.
With only a mere four matches currently scheduled for the card, I strongly expect to see last minute filler matches added in order to kill time. Also, Interim Raw General Manager John Laurinaitis via Twitter that he will have a "huge" announcement to make during tonight's show, but I can't even begin to speculate as to what that might pertain to.
As WrestleMania 28 quickly approaches, we are likely to witness a few feuds finally going full throttle with the show of shows right around the corner. My only regret regarding tonight's pay-per-view is that it isn't taking place in my home state of Connecticut despite being originally penciled in, but that's nitpicking things.
I'd like to thank RiZE, Daniel Massey and Nate Scaccia for collectively participating in my Elimination Chamber preview, all of which put in valuable time and thought into making their respective predictions. Drop a comment with your thoughts going into the Elimination Chamber and be sure to tune into tonight for what will be the final stop on the road to WrestleMania.
Also, be sure to check out Nate's blog Infinite Sports for sports updates including updates on your favorite WWE Superstars!