One of the more intriguing matches at WWE Elimination Chamber 2013 is the match that will determine who gets a shot at the World Heavyweight Title in WrestleMania XXIX.
The title picture is up in the air at this point. Almost anybody in the Chamber match could be a realistic option for Alberto Del Rio or Big Show, no matter who carries the title into WrestleMania.
There's also the variable that is Dolph Ziggler and his Money in the Bank briefcase. The likeliest scenario at this point is that he cashes in the contract and walks out of Elimination Chamber with the belt.
As the pay-per-view approaches, here's how each Superstar in the Chamber match ranks in terms of how worthy they are, and the realistic chance they have of winning the match.
Nos. 5 and 6: Daniel Bryan and Kane
This is not a knock on Daniel Bryan at all. He is maybe the best thing going in the company right now simply for the way that he can make anything work, no matter how much WWE might stack the deck against him.
Where Would You Rather See Daniel Bryan at WrestleMania XXIX?
It's very unlikely that he wrestles anybody at WrestleMania XXIX other than Kane. The seeds of Team Hell No's dissolution were sown at the 2013 Royal Rumble.
The two are headed for a breakup, and it makes sense for them to have their blow-off match at the biggest show of the year. With the relationship that Kane and Bryan have built with each other, having the two face off would be a solid match, and one fans would get behind.
Bryan deserves another title run, just not at this point in the year.
No. 4: Randy Orton
It's hard to understand where Randy Orton is coming from at this point. He's stuck in a bit of purgatory as he remains a fairly big star, but he's stayed out of the title picture for the most part. With his level of popularity, though, he's remained a steady presence near the main-event picture.
Even without having competed for a major title, Orton has seemed perfectly happy with his place in the company. Maybe his complacency comes from the fact that he's accomplished so much already in his career that there's nothing left to achieve.
At the very least, he needs a major character change. He's never been a better face than heel. His delivery on the mic is very robotic, and that doesn't lend itself well to becoming a fan favorite. Sure he's popular, but Orton's potential is never fulfilled by being a good guy.
In terms of deserving a shot for the World Heavyweight title, Orton shouldn't be at the top of list considering his recent run of results.
No. 3: Jack Swagger
Here's one guy who has benefited greatly from a shift in character. Jack Swagger was a bit of a laughingstock when he took his hiatus back in September. Now he's returned with a new attitude and managed to look very strong in the ring.
Can Jack Swagger Become a Main-Eventer?
You forget that Swagger has already held the World Heavyweight Title on one occasion. He's a bit of a cautionary tale in terms of not having a wrestler cash in the MITB briefcase before he's ready.
Swagger's labored a bit under the fact that he shot up very quickly in the company, only to suffer an equally quick fall.
Now with Zeb Colter, Swagger can let his in-ring exploits speak for themselves, while a much better talker takes over the duties of furthering Swagger's agenda. With the way he's going, Swagger can see himself back in the main-event scene very soon.
No. 2: Mark Henry
Mark Henry is like a manifestation of so many fans' desires. First he comes in and destroys Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara. Then he World's Strongest Slams The Great Khali and Hornswoggle into oblivion.
He's been back in the company for less than a month yet has quickly become one of the biggest threats in WWE. The crowd is really starting to get behind him as well, legitimately appreciating his segments on Raw.
Henry had long languished as just a bland strong guy in the company for years. Then he ascended to a different level in 2011. Since that summer, Henry's become one of the best heels in the company. When he walks to the ring, you know somebody's gonna get laid out.
Even with so little time back in WWE, it would be just fine to immediately put Mark Henry in contention for the World Heavyweight Championship.
No. 1: Chris Jericho
Chris Jericho's return to the company was rather uneventful last year. It started out well with his trolling of the crowd and refusal to speak, but it definitely petered out, especially during his feud with Ziggler.
Who Do You Want to See as the World Title Holder At WrestleMania?
Jericho is a man who prides himself on reinventing his character each time he makes a return to television, but he brought nothing special to WWE last year.
With the quality of matches he's put on Raw recently, Jericho has shown that he hasn't lost a step in the ring whatsoever. Where he needs to improve slightly is on the mic. Jericho needs to transition away from the face who makes stupid jokes.
If Ziggler is to cash in his briefcase, it makes the most sense that Jericho would come out the winner. They have feuded in the past and could pick up right where they left off.