With the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view now firmly behind us, we’re well and truly on the homestretch straight to WrestleMania XXX.
A little under six weeks remain until the Shows of Shows, and thus there is still plenty that can change between now and then. But many of the initial foundations for ‘Mania have already been laid, thanks in no small part to the Elimination Chamber PPV.
It may not have been the most shocking of evenings, but nonetheless, the show gave us some very strong indications—dead certs in some cases—of what we can expect to see on the final card for the Apr. 6 extravaganza.
With said strong indications in mind, this article takes a look at five of the top talking points to come from Sunday night’s PPV.
One of the few real surprises of the night came when the New Age Outlaws retained their Tag Team Championships against Jimmy and Jey Uso.
Many viewed Billy Gunn and Road Dogg as transitional champs after their fairly unexpected victory over Cody Rhodes and Goldust, but apparently, their inevitable usurpation isn’t coming just yet.
In all likelihood, though, it can’t be too far away.
The Usos have steadily established themselves as one of the finest tag teams in the company. And more importantly, they’re a natural team rather than one hurriedly put together in order to fill out a card.
I’d expect to see a WrestleMania title win as a result. Not only would it be fully deserved on the Usos' part, but it would also give the Outlaws one last hurrah on the Grandest Stage of Them All.
Of course, with other teams such as the Wyatts sniffing around, such an eventuality may not in fact be forthcoming. So could this have been the Usos’ last chance at the titles? Or will their rise culminate in a huge WrestleMania win?
It was another huge night for Bray Wyatt and his "family."
They scored a massive victory over The Shield, in a match that has been widely recognised as the greatest bout on the card.
Not only that, the trio found themselves once again involved in the world title match. In jumping John Cena, they cost him the strap for the second successive PPV, and as a result, it seems certain that a WrestleMania showdown beckons.
For me, this rivalry looks set to be a pretty interesting one.
Wyatt will no doubt explain his actions, which promises to provide us with yet another piece of his brilliance on the mic. And furthermore, the roll that Bray has been on as of late would suggest that he could indeed be in store for a career-defining WrestleMania win over the poster boy for the company.
It’s difficult to imagine Cena doing the job at biggest show of the year, but surely the WWE wouldn’t have him beat Wyatt and halt the newcomer’s meteoric rise?
Another development to come from the WWE World Title match was the furthering of Daniel Bryan’s storyline with Kane.
The Director of Operations entered the Chamber to screw Bryan out of the title, in a turn of events that all but guarantees the former indie star will be feuding with The Authority heading into WrestleMania.
The big question is whether he will face Kane or Triple H himself. Obviously, it makes more sense for him to face the Game, and the possibility of getting a victory over the COO at ‘Mania would be a massive boost for Bryan.
But does that mean that his rivalry with Kane is simply for television purposes? It would be silly to have WWE forgo Bryan vs. Triple H after everything the two have been through, but at the time of writing, the two have had few recent alterations—unlike Bryan and Kane.
Personally, I think WWE has got to give Bryan Triple H at WrestleMania, with Kane being used somehow to further the former’s underdog storyline in the coming weeks. We’ve seen before, though, that nothing is straightforward when it comes to the company’s booking of Bryan...
Here’s hoping WWE gets it right this time, though.
Aside from the Usos’ aforementioned victory, there was little out of the ordinary in terms of results at Elimination Chamber.
Batista surprised nobody with his victory over Alberto Del Rio, and Big E picked up a routine win over Jack Swagger. Meanwhile, Orton fulfilled expectations by coming out on top after weeks of weak booking on television.
It’s a shame, because the format of an Elimination Chamber match throws up so many possibilities. But did anyone really think Cesaro was going to come out on top and head into WrestleMania with the gold?
I doubt it, but had the match occurred at some other point in the year, a victory for Cesaro would not have been entirely out of the question.
But alas, we were given a show in which most of the victors could have been predicted before the PPV.
On the positive side, though, we’ve got some really interesting storylines lined up for the final stage of the Road to WrestleMania. Hopefully, the upcoming weeks will throw up a few more twists than the last two PPVs did.
Given his limited contractual appearances, it was never likely that we were going to get a surprise showing from Brock Lesnar. But that doesn’t mean we can’t question his absence.
With the PPV taking place in Minnesota, Lesnar could have received a huge pop and created a truly memorable moment had he appeared in some capacity. Perhaps the company was reluctant to risk allowing a heel to garner such a favourable reaction from a hometown crowd.
It seems that WWE opted for a Royal Rumble appearance instead, which I suppose makes sense, as Lesnar’s victory over the Big Show really reinforced the behemoth as the company’s monster heel.
In another instance of predictable events, though, it would appear that Lesnar is now set for his much-rumored ‘Mania feud with the Undertaker, per Cageside Seats.
Lesnar will likely appear on Monday's Raw, according to Wrestle Zone's Nick Paglino, and reiterate his desire to challenge for the WWE title. With Undertaker set to make an appearance as well, per Paglino, my money would be firmly on an interruption from the Phenom, with the aim of shutting up Lesnar (or more likely Paul Heyman) and thus paving the way for a grudge match come April 6.
Still, despite my moaning, I’d be incredibly excited for a Lesnar vs. ‘Taker feud. Let’s just hope the WWE can book the build a little more creatively than it has done in the past.
With a preliminary WrestleMania card starting to take shape, it would be fair to say that the Elimination Chamber served its purpose of building up the biggest show of the year.
The WWE World Heavyweight title match looks to be a lock now, while upper-card feuds involving the likes of Cena and Bryan and their respective foes are well on their way to being officially booked.
Questions remain over The Shield, though; will the faction implode and end up infighting at WrestleMania?
And furthermore, what role will the returning Undertaker (and of course Hulk Hogan) play and the Granddaddy of ‘em All?
Answers will undoubtedly arrive on the upcoming episodes of Raw, but until then, please feel free to comment below with your thoughts on the article and any of the talking points covered.