There are certain times of the year when it is imperative that WWE superstars perform at the absolute top of their games. Even though the Elimination Chamber isn't one of the marquee events of the year, it does feed into the biggest show of the year.
WrestleMania is an event that every wrestler works to be a part of. The top stars are guaranteed the prime spots, so it is imperative that the mid- and lower-card performers are showing the creative team something to get added to a match.
Ideally the match should have a strong story and build to it, but sometimes beggars can't afford to be choosers. Here are the stars who came out of the Elimination Chamber looking like roses as the build to WrestleMania begins.
Dolph Ziggler (def. Kofi Kingston)
Even though Ziggler's match was an impromptu one that unfortunately received no pre-show hype, the fact that he continues to win and look good on pay-per-view only serves him well heading into the biggest show of the year.
Ziggler continues to tease that he will cash in his Money In the Bank briefcase, as he did Monday night on Raw. At some point, the match will be for real and Ziggler should win the championship.
It will be interesting to see the direction that WWE takes with Ziggler heading into WrestleMania. I can see WWE working a scenario where Ziggler and Chris Jericho are put together for a classic match between two bitter rivals.
So many options and so much time to figure things out. Hopefully, Ziggler gets the match he deserves.
The Shield (def. John Cena, Sheamus and Ryback)
We have been waiting a long time for WWE to get behind a new crop of young talent. Even stars like Ziggler, who have been around a long time and are on the verge of getting a big push, don't feel new because they have been around awhile.
The Shield is a fresh, new act that has the potential to do great things. Dean Ambrose continues to impress as a member of the trio, but the entire group works so well together that you don't want to single one individual out at this moment.
Even though there was some doubt about who would win this match, just because John Cena was on the other team, having The Shield go over was absolutely the right call. This group needs to keep building momentum and appear to be a real force to the audience.
Mission accomplished so far. WrestleMania could be their big breakthrough event.
In the biggest surprise on the show, Swagger's return to WWE just keeps getting more and more promising. He always had the talent to be a featured performer, but his gimmick and push (or lack thereof) were so bad that he had no chance to look like anything but a geek.
Now, even though it may not last long, WWE seems to understand what a tremendous talent Swagger is in the ring and is giving him a chance to show it off.
Despite winning the Chamber Match and earning the No. 1 contender spot for the world title at WrestleMania, I don't actually see Swagger going into the event in a title match. That seems like too much faith for WWE to show in him right now.
I would like to see it happen, especially since there are enough big matches that the show won't suffer in the world title is a match that gives lower-card stars a chance to shine. As long as the push continues, everything will be aces for Swagger.