This past week on Monday Night Raw the final three participants in Sunday’s Elimination Chamber match-up were determined, thus completing the list of combatants for the upcoming pay-per-view showdown.
Randy Orton, Daniel Bryan, Mark Henry, Chris Jericho, Jack Swagger and Kane will now be the six men challenging for a shot at the World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania XXIX.
Now obviously, any six-man match-up throws up a number of potential opportunities.
But the interesting thing about this Elimination Chamber match in particular is the back-stories surrounding each of the superstars.
With such history being taken into account, this article identifies and discusses five of the more likely outcomes of Sunday’s eagerly anticipated Elimination Chamber match.
One of the earliest names to be announced in this match was the WWE’s Apex Predator, Randy Orton.
Having fallen off the radar in recent months, there are many calling for the third generation superstar to return to his heel roots–a role that he is much more suited to.
And what better place for Orton to do so than in the sinister structure that is the Elimination Chamber?
Furthermore, such a development would make sense from a booker’s point of view, as it would set up a textbook feud with Alberto Del Rio.
Sure, we’ve seen Orton vs. Del Rio before, but it was a feud that was enjoying. Seeing it once more with each man’s role reversed would be intriguing, and thus, a Randy Orton heel turn is certainly a possible outcome of this Sunday’s PPV.
After what seemed like an eternity on the sidelines, Mark Henry recently returned to WWE programming and made an instant impact.
"The World’s Strongest Man" inducted Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara into his infamous Hall of Fame, and then in the same week, went on to pick up a big win over Randy Orton on SmackDown.
With Brock Lesnar rarely on television, and the Big Show’s involvement in the World Title scene in danger of becoming stale, Mark Henry could be the ideal candidate for being pushed as the company’s dominant monster heel.
As in the case of a heel-turned Orton, a subsequent feud with Alberto Del Rio for the title would be simple to book, and would represent a particularly fresh feud with all the potential to add to the hype of this year’s WrestleMania.
If the dominance exhibited in the early days of his return is anything to go by, don’t be surprised at all to see Henry with the gold around his waist in the near future.
Another man to have recently returned to action, albeit it slightly less emphatically, is former World Champion Jack Swagger.
Swagger’s All-American American gimmick has been pushed to greater heights than ever before since his re-emergence, which initially led many to believe that he could be challenging Antonio Cesaro for the United States Title.
But there was no face-turn to accompany Swagger’s return, and with WWE’s logic, a feud with Cesaro would not appear to be forthcoming.
However, a feud with Alberto Del Rio would be very much in keeping with the company’s heel versus face preference.
It may be a big step up for Swagger to have a World Title shot at WrestleMania, but his gimmick makes him a strong candidate to challenge Del Rio for the title at this year’s Showcase of the Immortals.
As it stands, the WWE Tag Team champions will be opponents this weekend.
While this may be something of an issue regarding the state of the company’s tag team division, that remains a story for another day.
Instead, the placement of the tag champs in a match against one another throws up a real possibility of an eventual confrontation between the two–particularly when one considers that WrestleMania is right around the corner.
After their squabble at the Royal Rumble last month, these two look set for a head on collision in the near future, and Elimination Chamber could just be the final straw in this duo’s love-hate relationship.
While it’s a shame not to see the Tag Titles defended on PPV, this could result in a hugely entertaining feud with the potential to really add to the quality of the WrestleMania card.
Perhaps a more farfetched outcome would result in arguably the most entertaining–a WrestleMania rematch between Jericho and Ziggler for the World Heavyweight Championship.
All it would take is for Jericho to leave the Chamber victorious and for Ziggler to finally cash-in his Money in the Bank contract on Alberto Del Rio.
This would of course be perfectly feasible to initiate, given that Del Rio’s opponent at the Elimination Chamber utilises a knock-out punch as his finishing manoeuvre.
It may be wishful thinking, but it seems a perfectly viable option for the WWE to pursue, especially given the fact that their feud has continued despite Jericho’s prolonged absence.
A WrestleMania showdown could be the perfect end to a wonderfully unselfish run in the company for Chris Jericho by elevating Ziggler to the top of the pile.
This will no doubt be one of the more popular options, but will the WWE be committed enough to push through with it?
Whether former allies or returning stars–there are a number of contrasting scenarios in this one that each combine to make for a hugely intriguing situation as we head into this weekend’s Elimination Chamber PPV.
WWE would appear to have booked this one very carefully, making the World Title picture hugely unpredictable – something that is very much needed right now given the state of the WWE Championship scene.
But which of the aforementioned options would you most like to see come to fruition?
Please feel free to comment below with your thoughts on the Elimination Chamber match, as well as any opinions you may have on the article itself.