WWE Elimination Chamber 2014: Full Card Predictions After Royal Rumble
Going from chaos to to a cage, the victors and leads of the Royal Rumble will soon find themselves in an unforgiving steel structure at WWE Elimination Chamber 2014.
Randy Orton outlasted John Cena and now waits for a new challenger. The New Age Outlaws dethroned the Rhodes brothers, but they will soon have to face a hungry, focused duo. Roman Reigns needs a way to follow up on his record-breaking performance at the Rumble.
Picking apart foreshadowing and digging through backstage reports reveals an early picture of what the Elimination Chamber card will look like and which Superstars will fill those roles.
Dean Ambrose vs. Big E Langston (Unification Match)
Another pair of championships are set to merge.
Neither Big E Langston or Dean Ambrose have defended their respective titles in weeks, a clear sign of WWE's struggle to book both midcard champs effectively. Elimination Chamber offers a chance to combine the United States title and the Intercontinental Championship with a pair of foes whose animosity is far from new.
It's a matchup that WWE is reportedly planning on.
F4WOnline, via WrestlingInc.com, reported that "a title unification match between WWE United States champion Dean Ambrose and WWE Intercontinental champion Big E Langston is likely for the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view next month."
Allowing either Langston or Ambrose to have the honor of becoming the second man to hold that unified title is a wise move as both are promising stars in need of resume-building moments. There's also a ready-made rivalry to use since these two have battled before, including their Hell in a Cell bout that left each wrestler in need of stitches.
AJ Lee vs. Naomi (Divas Championship)
Naomi has been closing in on AJ Lee and will certainly get a title shot at some point.
The two Divas have clashed in tag matches and non-title action. Tensions between the champion and the Funkadactyl have grown as a result. With no other clear challengers, AJ has to face the athletic Naomi at Elimination Chamber.
F4WOnline, via WrestlingInc.com, reported that WWE had been thinking of adding Naomi vs. AJ at the Royal Rumble depending on time constraints. Apparently there wasn't enough time, and so fans will have to wait until February to see this title bout.
Sheamus vs. Roman Reigns
After breaking Kane's Royal Rumble elimination record, Roman Reigns is in need of a stage to have an encore. Sheamus, who returned at the Rumble after being out of action for several months due to a torn labrum, is a warrior without a rival.
Pitting these two against each other is both a homage to the past and a launching pad for the future.
"The Celtic Warrior" had several run-ins with Reigns and The Shield last year. There will be no issue selling the dislike between these two men. Sheamus' championship pedigree makes him the kind of opponent that can help boost Reigns forward.
After WWE had Reigns play the star of Survivor Series and make history at the Rumble, he's destined to get more one-on-one matches with increasingly prestigious foes. In the midst of The Shield's infighting, Reigns will break away and look to fight battles on his own.
The hard-hitting Sheamus makes an ideal opponent for him, one likely to produce a great match with the powerhouse.
The New Age Outlaws vs. The Usos (Tag Team Championship)
Cody Rhodes and Goldust may get another shot at The New Age Outlaws, but don't expect them to get their titles back. Goldust eliminating Rhodes at the Rumble is likely the first step en route to their anticipated match at WrestleMania.
The brothers' failure provides an opportunity for a team on the rise.
The Usos have looked great against The Wyatt Family, The Shield and in any six or eight-man combination WWE has thrown at them. They have shown more personality as of late too. The electric warriors have come off as legit title contenders, which will lead them to a showdown with Road Dogg and Billy Gunn.
The New Age Outlaws' age leads one to believe that they won't hold onto the belts long. That provides an open door for Jimmy and Jey Uso to leap through.
Alberto Del Rio vs. Batista
Batista checked one major item off his to-do list—win the Royal Rumble.
Before the championship match at WrestleMania that win affords him, Batista is going to need a warm-up opponent. The trash-talking Alberto Del Rio is the ideal Superstar for that role.
Del Rio took issue with Batista even before his Jan. 20 arrival. After "The Animal" powerbombed him on Raw and eliminated him at the Rumble, count on Del Rio to look for revenge.
He won't get it in the end, though. Batista will use him as a stepping stone to Randy Orton or whoever holds the title come April 6. WWE has to remind folks of Batista's power before that showdown, so bet on him flexing his muscles against Del Rio at the Elimination Chamber.
Elimination Chamber Match (WWE World Heavyweight Championship)
Daniel Bryan vs. Kane vs. CM Punk vs. Brock Lesnar vs. Randy Orton vs. John Cena
A single match offers a way for Lesnar to get the shot he has demanded, for the Punk vs. The Authority angle to evolve and for Bryan fans to have someone to root for in a championship match.
Capping off the Elimination Chamber with a mega main event inside the metal structure is a wise way to create intrigue at the pay-per-view. With Batista awaiting the winner, all of the top title contenders battle Orton. Kane adds himself thanks to an abuse of power, leading to more animosity between Punk and The Authority.
The crisscrossing rivalries would give this match an unparalleled energy.
Bryan and Orton, Punk and Lesnar and everyone and Cena all have contentious histories. It's a far more interesting route than Orton vs. Lesnar and leaves the fans unsure of who will end the night as champion.