The Morning After: Studying The Aftermatch Of The Chamber
The Chamber is now over and we are finally heading towards WrestleMania. There were some big surprises last night (Batista) and some not so big surprises (Shawn Michaels costing Undertaker the title). All in all, it was a good show, considering it is the PPV between the Rumble and WrestleMania. And now that the show is over, we now get to piece the puzzle together that is Mania and continue to tune into Raw and Smackdown for the latest updates. But, before Raw gets on air, let's take a moment to study the cause and effect of the Chamber and try to piece things together ourselves.
The Raw Chamber match had quite a few surprises. First off, I did not see John Cena winning the title. I expected HHH or Sheamus to walk away as champion to set up a feud between the two. Now that neither has the belt, does a HHH and Sheamus match even sound interesting? Many people were already not looking forward to the match and now, without the strap on the line, I doubt anyone will be looking forward to this match at all. Sadly, this is about the best match either man is going to get for Mania, which isn't saying much. And with no real reason to this match, besides HHH pinning Sheamus, the days of HHH headlining WrestleMania are over.
Another big, but not surprising outcome of the Raw Chamber match had Ted DiBiase Junior pinning Randy Orton. This sets up a nice matchup between Teddy and Orton at Mania. No title is needed for this feud, of course, as it has been building over the past few months. There will finally be the big match everyone is expecting, but one has to wonder what role Cody Rhodes will play. He seemed very upset that Ted used the pipe on Orton, though a Rhodes turn to get into this match wouldn't be too shocking. The only thing I was saddened to see is that as soon as Orton was gone from the match, Kofi quickly took out Ted. It would have made sense to have Ted last to around the end to build his character up and show he could hang with the big boys. In my eyes, at least, Ted still looks weak and only got the upper hand on Orton because of the pipe. He also didn't have that strong of a showing inside the Chamber as he was teaming with Orton throughout his time in the match. As soon as Orton was gone, he was done.
Speaking of Kofi, what is his plans for Mania? With such a strong push the last few months, he is left without a feud. With the rumors of no Money in the Bank match at Mania, all the big name guys basically in some sort of match, could Kofi possibly miss the big Mania payday?
The biggest shock of the night, of course, was Batista winning the WWE Championship. After Cena won the Raw Chamber match, Vince came out and announced that Cena had to defend the title against the Animal right this second. This isn't the first time Vince had done this to Cena, as Edge cashed in on Cena in 2006. This was different, though, but it does explain Batista's actions as of late. With him knowing he was going to get a title shot that night, there was no need for Dave to try to get into the Chamber match itself. He's been working to getting the title for quite some time, so it was a bit strange that all of a sudden, he had no interest wrestling in the Chamber. The only downside is that if we do get a John Cena versus Batista match at Mania, the title wasn't needed. We already know about the Bret Hart and Vince McMahon storyline and that was enough for this match. One big question is that we know how Cena will get his match with Batista (champion rematch), but shouldn't Sheamus be thrown in this match? After all, he deserves a rightful rematch for his title, does he not? Rather you like him or not, one must feel bad for the Celtic Warrior as he had the title for quite a while and now he might not get his rematch? Seems a bit shady...
Drew McIntyre looked quite strong in his match with Kane as he was playing up the old school heel by trying to run away from the match and then going with an eye poke to retain his Intercontinental Championship. I believe he is still undefeated so, if indeed the Money in the Bank match isn't happening at Mania, expect a title defense from this man. Kane, R-Truth, Matt Hardy, and John Morrison can all be a contender for this match and it'll be good to showcase the title at Mania with a bit more respect than last Mania. Then again, the title hasn't been defended before that time since WrestleMania X8 which was in 2002. For a title with so much legacy, a good defense would be highly recommended.
The Divas. I don't even know where to begin. Currently, two Divas (Maria and Mickie James) have upcoming CDs coming out. Another one (Beth Phoenix) is supposed to be in a new comedy show with Santino. Then there is Layla, Michelle McCool, Gail Kim, and Maryse. Could we get a face versus heel big tag match? A battle royal? Two title defenses? There really is a lot of open choices which nothing set in stone so far. I honestly do not know what I want to see, bur hopefully it'll be better than that Diva battle royal we had to see last year.
Great plugs for WWE NXT last night. Now, if WWE doesn't get the ratings they need for that show, it isn't their fault. They plugged that show like no other. Hopefully it translate to ratings, but we'll find out this Tuesday. I'm excited, though, and cannot wait to see what WWE has in store for this show. It seems like they are banking on it and putting a lot of thought into this concept so it cannot fail.
Miz and MVP. What can I say. The feud is nicely built up, just the matches aren't as what one would hope. They always just add the match on the show instead of focusing a big match on the PPV by promoting it on Raw. I highly expect something big to happen with either the United States Championship or the Unified Tag Team Titles, though a part of me wouldn't be surprised to see both defended by the Miz. I want to see the tag titles defended just because WWE can add a team from Smackdown and more guys get to be on the Mania card.
Lastly, we got the Smackdown Chamber match. As expected, Chris Jericho walked away with the title to set up a match between Edge. While many are looking forward to this match, I'm not. The big reason as to why I am not looking forward to the match is because I do not want to see Jericho, probably the best wrestler today, just become the champion for a month and then handing the title over to Edge. Jericho shouldn't be used as a transitional champion and needs to retain the title at Mania so the feud can continue without Jericho looking weak, as he's been looking over recent months. If that happens, I'm glad the match is happening. If not, the best thing about this match is Jericho is the main event of Mania again, which is nice to see.
After much thought, Taker against Michaels has no interest to me. It's not because the match might lose the magic of the last Mania match as I didn't buy into all the hype about the match and also enjoyed their other encounters, such as the first Hell in the Cell match they had. No doubt in my mind they will once again try to steal the show. The thing is, we pretty much know the outcome. Taker is going to walk away with a victory, thus, there is nothing to gain from this match. And just in case Michaels walks out the winner, there will be a STRONG backlash against Michaels for ending the streak, as well as the other things he has done in the business. It's a lose lose situation here. A DX matchup would have been better suited here, but one cannot fault WWE for trying to relive the match they had last year.
There is already a build for CM Punk and Rey match. The sXe society jumped Rey on Smackdown after Rey got a win over Punk and at the Chamber, you could tell Punk was focusing on Rey. Rey also got pinned Punk inside the Chamber, so I can see Punk wanting to redeem himself. I don't see a Mask versus Hair match at Mania just because Punk needs to pickup a victory and Rey is supposed to take time off after Mania for his knee(s). So it'll be interesting to see what WWE comes up with.
There is quite enough time to build some interesting stories heading into Mania. Hopefully, more undercard matches will be focused upon. There's quite a few key guys that also do not have any clear matches coming away from the Chamber like Christian. I'm wondering if he will have any part of Mania seeing as he carried the ECW brand on his back for a whole year.
I'm excited to see what happens and hope that WWE brings out the big guns to blow WrestleMania out of the water. Tonight on Raw is a big start to see the direction they go in, conform big matches, and see if any champions get their rightful rematch. WWE, do not let us down.
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