In mere hours, WWE will present the annual Elimination Chamber event live from New Orleans, in the final pit stop before WrestleMania 29. With seven matches being advertised for tonight's show, each contest looks to be enjoyable in its own right.
Unlike years past, the pay-per-view will be headlined by only one Elimination Chamber match, where the winner will advance to WrestleMania 29 to contend for the World Heavyweight Championship. A match pitting current World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio against Big Show will be held as well.
Furthermore, the conclusion of the broiling The Rock and CM Punk rivalry comes to a climax when the two arch rivals meet for the WWE Championship. 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 SiD and newcomer Joseph Hernandez, otherwise known as the Evolution of Bleacher Report (with the exception of Nate Scaccia and Daniel Massey who couldn't participate this time around), for the most jam-packed prediction article ever conducted!
GSM: As much as I enjoy Team Rhodes Scholars, there's no point in putting them back together only three weeks after they parted ways. Both guys have very bright futures as singles competitors, but they've been utilized as nothing more than enhancement talents in recent weeks.
The only reason I see them reuniting here is because Brodus Clay and Tensai need an additional heel team to beat. That being said, expect Clay and Tensai to go over here with Rhodes and Sandow continuing to flounder.
SiD: In the pre-show for the night, the Funky Japanese take on the team of intellectually gifted superstars in Rhodes Scholars. This match is an un-creative presentation in how WWE has nothing to do with Rhodes and Sandow, and that's why they broke them up, and re-united them.
But expect this match to be nothing more than a crowd pleaser, with Brodus Clay and Tensai easily picking up the win with the Brodus Clay splash, plus the Tensai senton. On a side note, Tensai's face turn might have been the best thing to happen to his career ever since returning from Japan.
Hernandez: I predict the Monsters of Funk to go over. Seems obvious since Rhodes Scholars are reuniting for only one night. Plus, WWE wants to push this new team.
Overall Consensus: Clay/Tensai—3, Rhodes Scholars—0
GSM: This feud hasn't been built consistently in recent weeks, but it's significant enough for people to care about it. Antonio Cesaro has made for an excellent United States Champion since capturing the title last August, so I see no reason for him to drop the title here.
The Miz doesn't need the strap, and his deltoid injury should give him an out for the loss. Their match together at Royal Rumble last month was solid, so I expect more of the same in the rematch.
SiD: On one side, we have WWE's second most likable face (right behind Alberto Del Rio. Sorry, baby-face John Cena) and on the other, we have the "guy-who-loves-America-but-hates-Americans" Cesaro, who has had one of the most impressive U.S. Title reigns we've seen in a while.
WWE has a tendency to continue their good feuds, which causes them to be bland and outlandish, and sadly, this feud isn't an exception. Antonio Cesaro has been dominating the United States Title scene at the moment, with demolishing every challenger till now, but he always loses to big stars, a la Randy Orton.
Miz is busy on the other side, hosting Miz TV with big stars and revealing their secrets: for what? The answer is, nothing, because Miz has nothing going on and is forced to being feuding with Cesaro, who has nothing to do with Miz either.
Now, with Swagger and Henry back on the roster, I'd love to see Antonio feud with one of them, but as for this match, I honestly expect Antonio Cesaro to retain again and continue to be a great United States Champion, but without any direction.
Hernandez: I'm predicting Cesaro. Ending the feud once and for all here as well. He's been such a great champion, I really do not see the point in taking the belt of him anytime soon, unless they have big plans for him already.
Overall Consensus: Cesaro—3, Miz—0
GSM: The Divas division seemed to be headed in the right direction late last year but took a turn for the worse after Kaitlyn captured the Divas Championship from the departing Eve last month on the 20th anniversary of Raw. Although I'm fine with Kaitlyn as champion, the Divas have hardly been featured on television since she won the strap.
This feud between Kaitlyn and Tamina is basically nonexistent to those who don't have the WWE App (like me), so how does WWE expect anyone to care about this match? Kaitlyn should be Divas Champion heading into WrestleMania in order to defend against her former friend AJ, so she's my obvious pick here.
SiD: I can sum this match up in three words: another pointless Divas match. I love Kaitlyn, but I have no interest in watching this match. As long as WWE does not care about the Divas, the fans will continue to do the same. Kaitlyn obviously wins, since none of these Divas have any direction.
Hernandez: I'm predicting Kaitlyn to retain the title. Nobody will care about this match so a title change will be worthless. Plus, Kaitlyn really looks like she can be of worth if she can be built right.
Overall Consensus: Kaitlyn—3, Tamina—0
GSM: Personally, I find this is to be the most exciting match on the entire card. For the first time in a great while, all the participants in the Elimination Chamber make sense and earned their way into the bout by qualifying. Each individual should add something interesting to this match, hence why I expect it to be very entertaining.
Team Hell No are still WWE Tag Team Champions and have shown dissension in recent weeks, so they're the least likely winners of this contest. Jack Swagger has looked great since his return to television, but he hasn't garnered enough heat yet to be considered a legitimate threat to the World Heavyweight Championship.
There's a chance Randy Orton might win, but a match with either Alberto Del Rio or Big Show isn't all that appealing. This means we're down to Mark Henry and Chris Jericho.
Henry is another talent that has been booked dominantly in the last few weeks, and I wouldn't mind if he emerged victorious here, but having Jericho contend for the World title against Dolph Ziggler at WrestleMania 29 makes the most sense to me.
SiD: The first, and ONLY, Elimination Chamber match of the night, and not even contested for a title, the SmackDown roster competes in a chamber to earn a WrestleMania ticket, and a championship match for the event. Six superstars are ready to put their bodies on the line for one shot to glory, at WrestleMania.
Out of the six superstars, I honestly feel that four of them have excellent chances, while others have no scope of winning. The contenders are Mark Henry, Jack Swagger, Randy Orton and Chris Jericho.
In the following, however, predicting the Chamber is extremely difficult, but my gut tells me that Dolph Ziggler will cash in his briefcase at the PPV, and then Jericho will win the Chamber, causing a Ziggler/Jericho/ADR match at WrestleMania for the World Heavyweight Championship, which will be an amazing match.
Hernandez: I'm predicting Mark Henry. Every dominant as of late and I can totally see him winning here. If this is his last run, why not let him achieve something like winning his first Elimination Chamber match? He's an awesome talent.
Overall Consensus: Jericho—2, Henry—1
GSM: This feud has certainly cooled off in recent weeks, but at least they managed to make Big Show look somewhat like a threat to Alberto Del Rio. The Last Man Standing stipulation was the only thing that kept their matches entertaining last month, so I'm anxious to see how they'll go about outdoing themselves this time around.
Of course, Del Rio will retain here, but I expect to see Dolph Ziggler finally cash in his Money in the Bank briefcase following the bout and win the World Heavyweight Championship to defend against Chris Jericho at WrestleMania 29.
SiD: Boy, WWE has a hard time creating new feuds, doesn't it? First, Miz and Cesaro were put in a match together, Rhodes Scholars were reformed, and now the Big Show has nothing to do, so he gets another match for the World Title, against Alberto Del Rio, who's getting the biggest pops, and doing some of his best work currently.
Putting these two in a match together has attributed success to the WWE, but the same formula does not work for the third time. They say that the third time's the charm, but what happens if the first and the second times were the charms?
The third bout is set to be a disaster. Alberto Del Rio's matches are usually nicely paced and worth watching, but pairing him up against the Big Show will be dismantling to watch. This will be like imagining David vs Goliath, except David has defeated Goliath multiple times, and Goliath is asking for rematches and whining because he lost.
Anyway, the result is simple: Del Rio will retain the World Title here, in some fashion. But, the biggest question is, will Dolph Ziggler cash in his briefcase? That's for the readers of this article to think about.
Hernandez: I'm predicting Del Rio to retain. I wouldn't be surprised if they extended this feud to WrestleMania, but I hope not. Del Rio has barely taken off as champion, I feel he has yet to establish himself as the WHC. So with that being said, I don't see Ziggler cashing in successfully and taking the title.
Final Consensus: Del Rio—3, Show—0
GSM: Let me start off by saying that I'm fine with this match not being held inside an Elimination Chamber. It'd be bad booking to have a handful of your top guys getting eliminated, so I understand as to why this was kept a standard six-man tag team match.
The Shield has been a force to be reckoned with since arriving in WWE back in November, but sadly, I expect their reign of terror to end here. With John Cena more than likely headlining WrestleMania 29, it would only make sense for him to be booked strong going into the event. I'm hoping The Shield goes over via dirty tactics, but that's strictly wishful thinking on my behalf.
SiD: The Shield has been the most powerful force in the WWE since the Nexus. Consisting of Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns, this is the ultimate set-up to big things in the future for these three combatants. Unfortunately, in my opinion, their excellent run in the WWE will come to an end here.
Why? The answer is simple: Do my readers know the famous saying, "the unstoppable force meets the immovable object?"
The situation is the same here, except the team of Ryback, Cena and Sheamus are the immovable, and the unstoppable force, a la the Shield, is going to be stopped abruptly.
Sheamus, Ryback and Cena have consistently been bashed for winning all the time, and I'm imagining the same scenario after Elimination Chamber, when John Cena, Sheamus and Ryback will be the ones standing tall, while the three members of the Shield will be lying down: incapacitated.
Hernandez: I'm predicting the breakfast club to go over here. Cena needs the momentum heading into his WWE title match with the Rock at WrestleMania. As long as the Shield looks strong in defeat, I'm content with them losing.
Overall Consensus: Cena/Ryback/Sheamus—3, Shield—0
GSM: I, for one, was not all that impressed with their initial match at the Royal Rumble event, so I'm hoping their rematch at Elimination Chamber will make up for it. Nonetheless, the promos between The Rock and CM Punk have been fantastic to say the least and have gotten me very excited for this contest.
The added stipulation that Rock can't get counted out or disqualified is a nice touch and will convince casual fans that Rock might lose the title, but it doesn't change my prediction. With Rock vs. Cena II looming, the Great One is undoubtedly retaining the WWE title here.
It's possible Undertaker could make an appearance to cost Punk the match, but I'd expect to see him return on Raw the following night rather than in this bout.
SiD: The most anticipated match in history, the Rock faces CM Punk
at Elimination Chamber, where he defends the People's Championship, against the man who's against the people. This feud has been absolutely gold till now, and I expect the joyride to continue with this match. The Rock is going to win this match, but at what cost?
I'm a huge Rock fan, and I think that he's the greatest of all time, but I want CM Punk to win, so that we can have the Rock/Brock and CM Punk/John Cena as our WrestleMania matches.
The Rock/Cena II match is set in stone, but it will be extremely boring to watch, since we've already seen it once, and also, it will be extremely predictable. So, I hope the Shield/Brock Lesnar interferes, and causes Punk to win the title, and resulting in Punk/Cena at WM29.
But, in all seriousness, the Rock will defeat Punk, and we will have Once in a Lifetime, again.
Hernandez: Of course I'm predicting the Great One, The Rock to retain. I don't see Punk regaining the title anytime soon, let Cena vs Rock II happen!
Final Consensus: Rock—3, Punk—0
Overall, this looks to be like an entertaining show that could easily exceed my standards if booked correctly. Last year's event was a major dud in my personal opinion, so one can only hope this year is a vast improvement.
Although six matches are currently scheduled for the main card, I wouldn't be surprised to see last-minute filler matches added in order to kill time. Also, with the event occurring in New Orleans, there's also the likely possibility that the venue for next year's WrestleMania 30 will be announced.
As WrestleMania 29 quickly approaches, we are likely to witness a few feuds finally going full throttle with the show of shows right around the corner. This show is shaping up to be a good one, so fingers crossed it doesn't disappoint like past Elimination Chamber events have.
I'd like to thank SiD and Joseph Hernandez for collectively participating in my Elimination Chamber preview, both of whom 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.