Forgive me, readers. It has been five months since my last article.
Cutting right to the chase, here is the line-up for tonight's WWE No Way Out 2009 pay-per-view event:
Champion Jack Swagger vs Finlay
Shawn Michaels vs JBL
Randy Orton vs Shane McMahon
Elimination Chamber - World Heavyweight Championship
Champion John Cena vs Kane, Kofi Kingston, Rey Mysterio, Chris Jericho, & Mike Knox
Elimination Chamber - WWE Championship
Champion Edge vs Undertaker, Triple H, Big Show, Vladmir Koslov, & Jeff Hardy
I would first like to say that this looks like half of a pay-per-view card. While there are two chamber matches, which will likely eat up a full hour or more of the show including promos and introductions, this still doesn't look much like a purchase-worthy card.
Unforgiven 2008 Prediction Average: 3/6: .500
All-Time: 9/14: .643
Swagger def. Finlay
With Christian coming into ECW and immediately pinning the champion, look for Swagger to want revenge. Unless there is some other heel to feud with him as the champion, there's no real reason for Finlay to win the championship tonight. Swagger will likely retain the title, and feud against either Christian or Tommy Dreamer at WrestleMania, with the other appearing in the Money in the Bank match.
JBL def. Shawn Michaels.
This feud isn't quite over yet, and I expect it to end in a big way at WrestleMania. I predict that at WrestleMania the Undertaker will face either Layfield or Michaels, as an extension or off-shoot of the employment storyline.
Randy Orton def. Shane McMahon
I am not sure if there are any stipulations around this match, but Orton is red-hot these days, having won the 2009 Royal Rumble and being one of the top heels in the company.
I expect him to be pushed strongly, but he will have a surprisingly equal-offense match with Vince Jr., as Shane has always delivered in big pay-per-view matches. This match will steal the show and will probably involve everything but the kitchen sink.
John Cena wins Elimination Chamber
I can't see Orton challenging for anything other than Raw's championship, for some reason, and I can't see anyone in this match winning the belt from Cena, aside from possibly Chris Jericho.
They would not book a heel vs. heel match for WrestleMania, so Cena will win. Mike Knox winning here, although unlikely, would be an oddly-pleasant surprise given his recent breakthrough as a bearded man-beast reminiscent of crazy powerhouses of the past—in the vein of Bruiser Brody. I really can't see Rey, Kofi, or Kane (at least not with how he's been booked lately) ever having title reigns either.
Edge wins Elimination Chamber
I just can't see anyone winning the championship in this chamber either. To me, it would not make sense and might not make for good options for WrestleMania matches. There is not much else to say aside from a prediction that Edge will retain in some sort of underhanded manner.