There is an exciting card for this year's Elimination Chamber pay-per-view, so let's rank some of the top matches for this Sunday's event.
Here's a look at some of the top matches in no particular order:
The Rock (champion) vs. CM Punk for the WWE Championship.
The Shield vs. John Cena, Ryback & Sheamus in a six-man tag team match.
Alberto Del Rio (champion) vs. Big Show for the World Heavyweight Championship.
Let's go ahead and rank each of these big matches by order of importance to the company and its future.
4. The Shield vs. John Cena, Ryback & Sheamus: Six-Man Tag Team Match
While this match does have its importance in the grand scheme of things, it isn't as vital as the other three matches because there is no belt on the line.
Cena has called upon Ryback and Sheamus to help him put an end to The Shield and their antics of attacking some of the top names in the WWE—Cena and Ryback included.
If The Shield were to emerge victorious, it would go a long way toward cementing them as a top-tier group in the sport since their victory would be over three of the bigger names in the company.
If Cena, Ryback and Sheamus were to win, it may help silence The Shield and potentially end their run of attacking other wrestlers.
With little actually on the line in this match, The Shield should get the victory to help give them a major push moving forward. Granted, a victory for Cena, Ryback and Sheamus might put a stop to The Shield, but they don't have much more than that to gain from a win.
3. Alberto Del Rio (champion) vs. Big Show: World Heavyweight Championship
The winner of this match will go to WrestleMania to take on the winner of the Elimination Chamber match. This match loses a bit of luster because it will be the third and hopefully final showdown between these two for the foreseeable future.
Alberto Del Rio has received a big push by the WWE in recent months, and that push would no doubt continue if Del Rio can retain his belt.
On the flip side, the Big Show has one last opportunity to retain the belt he once held, and it might be awhile before he can get another crack at a top WWE prize.
If the trend of Del Rio becoming a bigger star hopes to continue, then he must win this match. It would be a major disappointment if the Big Show were to win because that would mean the company is going in the same old direction.
Del Rio must win this match in order to make it to WrestleMania as the champion and that would be a huge step forward for this wrestler's career and the future of the company.
2. Randy Orton vs. Jack Swagger vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Mark Henry vs. Kane vs. Chris Jericho: Elimination Chamber Match for No. 1 Contender for World Heavyweight Championship
This match is so important because it will set up a WrestleMania showdown between the winner and the WWE World Heavyweight champion.
With six participants in this match and everything on the line, there's just no telling which way it will go.
Old veterans such as Orton, Henry, Kane and Jericho have a golden opportunity to implant themselves back into the conscious of the WWE with a shot at the title. Any of these four would no doubt be a formidable and buzzworthy foe for whoever holds the World Heavyweight belt going into WrestleMania.
On the flip side, a victory for Swagger or Bryan would be a huge push as it would give either a crack at the belt on the biggest stage of the WWE year.
History buffs of the WWE would no doubt love to see any of the former wrestlers take home a victory, while new-age enthusiasts will look forward to Swagger and/or Bryant taking home the win.
The best bet here is for Del Rio to retain his belt against Big Show and go on to face one of the winning veterans of the Elimination Chamber match. That scenario would be just about as exciting and good as it gets for the company and Del Rio himself.
1. The Rock (champion) vs. CM Punk: WWE Championship
In their second title match in as many months, The Rock will look to once again top Punk for the WWE title after his victory at Royal Rumble in January.
Punk has criticized The Rock in the past month because he feels The People's Champ isn't legit as the titleholder because of how he won at Royal Rumble. The Rock would love to shut Punk up with a clean victory over the former champ.
The stipulation that Rock can lose the belt by either count out or disqualification no doubt stacks the deck against The Brahma Bull, and it will make things a lot easier for Punk.
The winner of this match will go on to face Cena in the main event at WrestleMania, but I expect something else to happen that will change the course of events heading into the biggest event of the year.
Fans simply don't want another Rock-Cena or Punk-Cena match since both of these bouts have occurred in the past. The seeming predictability of either match has made it absolutely necessary for the WWE to shake things up.
Something unexpected could happen that helps inject either a third or fourth superstar in the main event at WrestleMania, which is why this match is so important. If the WWE can at least start the process of making that happen, it will create an incredible buzz for the biggest pay-per-view of the year.
If the WWE hopes to avoid letting its fans down, they must make something different happen. Whatever comes from this match will determine just how big the main event at WrestleMania will be, thus making this the most important match of the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view.
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