There are several compelling storylines to keep an eye on as WWE heads into the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view on February 23. It serves as a crucial stepping stone to WrestleMania XXX on April 6, after all. We will likely see various bouts and storylines for that show take shape and solidified here.
So, in terms of just how much of an impact they will make on the on-screen product and WrestleMania XXX in general, let’s have a look at the five most intriguing angles to keep an eye on heading in to the show in Minneapolis.
Randy Orton has had an abundance of on-screen problems with Triple H and Stephanie since he officially turned heel back in August. Just a couple of weeks ago on Raw, the power couple were once again distancing themselves from Orton and telling him he couldn't rely on them anymore.
Come the pay-per-view, will The Authority relent and help the 33-year-old retain his belt in the Elimination Chamber? Or is “The Viper” on his own again?
Of course, Orton—and his title—has fallen so far from relevancy in recent months, it's difficult to truly care what is going on with him anyway. Hence why this is ranked so low on the list.
OK, so the recent hasty departure of CM Punk probably isn't a work. Vince McMahon and Punk would have to be fooling virtually everyone, including their own office workers, various advertisers and news sites like TMZ—a very difficult thing to do in this day and age. (Not to mention all the trust issues when it arises that they've been deliberately misleading people.)
But let's say that they are fooling everyone. Let's say this whole thing is a hugely elaborated, and expertly planned, storyline. In that case, we should probably expect “The Voice of the Voiceless” to do a shock run in during the main event—and get everyone in the wrestling world talking.
However, as mentioned, this isn’t that likely to occur and may just be fantasy booking at best—hence why it’s not listed higher here.
At the Royal Rumble, Bray Wyatt, Luke Harper and Eric Rowan ran in during the Randy Orton-John Cena match and cost Cena the win and the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
Yes, now that the Wyatt crew are done with Daniel Bryan, it appears they're aiming to corrupt and brainwash the face of the company. (Or maybe they just really dislike the Bella Twins and are going after their boyfriends out of spite? Who knows?)
Presumably, the trio will end up taking out Cena at the next pay-per-view again—Cena is scheduled to be one of the participants in the Elimination Chamber bout—setting the scene for a showdown at WrestleMania on April 6.
It's hard to call Batista a true main event babyface these days. The 45-year-old has found himself bombarded with loud boos and jeers everywhere he goes. His clothes, mannerisms and promos all scream “arrogant heel.” His antics at the Royal Rumble once the show went off the air weren't exactly fan-friendly, either, via WrestlingInc.
So, come the Elimination Chamber, will the company make the call to officially turn "The Animal" heel?
It's one possibility. Certainly, the star has always been more fun and entertaining as an obnoxious heel than as a bland babyface.
As Wrestling Observer Newsletter, via WrestlingInc, notes, Brock Lesnar vs. The Undertaker at WrestleMania XXX has been in the works for quite a while.
With The Undertaker due back on television soon to build up his match with Lesnar, could we see “The Phenom” make an appearance at the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view?
At present, Lesnar is not scheduled in a match for the show. Could he come out and cut a promo on “The Deadman” and how he intends to end the streak, only to be stunned when he actually shows up at the Target Center?
Considering that Undertaker-Lesnar match will likely be the highlight of WrestleMania XXX, this makes a possible confrontation between the pair on February 23 a natural choice for the top spot here.