The Wrestlemania season is in full swing. The Rock has returned. The Undertaker will be coming next week and he is certain to bring along another megastar. Lots of mysteries will unravel at the next episode of Raw and the card of Wrestlemania will be complete.
However, there is a trifle matter of one PPV - The Elimination Chamber, before all that happens. We all including the WWE, are a little bit busy with bigger things, yet let us take some time out to have a look at how this PPV shapes out to be.
Over the years WWE has introduced many gimmick matches. Elimination Chamber is one of the standout matches of them. Naturally in the wave of Gimmick PPVs, WWE introduced Elimination Chamber themed PPV as well and replaced No Way Out with it. Thankfully, WWE showed rare maturity to have only top two championships or their top contender spot being defended in the chamber. Therefore every year we have cream of both the brands battling it out in the chamber.
This year is no exception to this rule.
In the Raw elimination Chamber we have John Cena, Randy Orton, CM Punk, Sheamus, John Morrison and R-Truth gunning for Miz’s WWE championship, where as Miz will be defending his belt against Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler.
In the Smackdown elimination chamber Edge will defend his World heavyweight Championship against Wade Barret, Drew McIntyre, Kane, Dolph Ziggler and Ray Mysterio.
In other matches, Eve will defend Diva’s title against Michelle McCool or both the members of LayCool. Kofi Kingston will most likely take on Alberto Del Rio in non title bout. Daniel Bryan would defend his US title against Ted DiBiase.
This card seems well stacked up. But it is much more than the velocity of card that assures great matches and overall an awesome PPV. Mix of Storylines, Chemistry of superstars and some unforeseen events is what makes it special.
Therefore, with this lengthy backdrop let us proceed with the potential analysis of all the matches.
Disclaimer – this article includes no predictions as to who might win.
Honestly there is not much to talk about here. Eve is the current champion. There are not many challengers since WWE has only two heel divas in contention 1. Lay and 2. Cool. It is not that there are no other divas but it is doubtful if they would wrestle on a PPV.
Speaking of the Lay-Cool, On successive episodes of Smackdown we have seen Layla and Michelle having some differences. It is quite likely therefore that we would be seeing a triple-threat match between LayCool and Eve by the courtesy of Raw GM.
A second possibility involves addition of Beth Phoenix to the match. This would be done only in case Awesome Kong is debuting. Otherwise involvement of Beth is only a slim possibility.
In respects of Storyline and Wrestling potential, there is not much. If it is three way match it be passable, with addition of Beth it would be enjoyable. We have seen this this match before and there is no scope for drastic improvement. Just to clarify, debut of the Awesome Kong does next to nothing to the actual match quality, since she would be debuting after the match.
Match Potential :- ** Maximum
This match is not announced yet. In fact, tag team championship match is hardly ever announced in advance these days.
Here we have even less to talk about than Divas match. The challengers are going to be from the Corre, Heath Slater and Justin Gabriell. So far we have seen this match for probably 37 times, and this time it will still be the same.
So far, the champions have been as weak as possible. They have not pinned the Corre in clean fashion in past few weeks. Supposedly that is the main storyline, yeah that is it. I know it is sad case indeed.
Wrestling-wise there is literally nothing to talk about. One thing however is guaranteed that the venomous Cobra will not strike. Expect a short affair as always.
Match Potential :- ** Maximum
In most likelihood, this match will take place. WWE cannot really have both the secondary titles not being defended at such a PPV.
Daniel Bryan so far has had a really nice run with the US title. He has brought the lost prestige back to a good extent. The only problem that now appears is, he is kind of stuck with it due to lack of challengers. He needs a heel challenger.
A very talented superstar sans any charisma, Ted DiBiase Jr. finally seems to have come out of the limbo he was in. He is the most logical challenger to Daniel Bryan at this moment. Already we have seen several face offs between the two. This time however, it would be for the title.
Both these superstars are fabulous athletes and they can most comfortably put on a match of the night. They can wrestle for 20-25 minutes without any hint of dragging the match.
There is a rumored Wrestlemania storyline brewing with match as well. It involves Michael Cole and Lawler. Since it is off the topic, there is no need to elaborate on that. I have discussed it in my previous article here.
Apart from that both Bryan and Ted suffer from two common ailments, lack of productive momentum and problematic girlfriends. Therefore, this match is in no way pointless and assures to be very entertaining.
Match Potential :- **** 1/2 (possible)
us.wwe.com has announced this match. Therefore, let us first of all thank WWE for giving us a great match and some air time to Kofi.
It still makes sense to have this match. Kofi is the intercontinental champion and Del rio is the Royal Rumble winner. Both are really good draws. There has been a little feud brewing between these two for last three weeks. However, Del Rio has a WHC match at Wrestlemania, where as Kofi is a certain participant in the MITB ladder match. Therefore, both of these men can try to settle the score at Elimination Chamber once and then resume their feud after Wrestlemania. Otherwise, this very promising rivalry will lose all its steam without a single match.
Storylinewise, this has been a fresh feud. To be very fair, Kofi has been the one to show heelish traits. Del Rio had every right to celebrate his RR win. He had promised he would win and unlike other heels he actually did. Kofi later on gatecrashed Del Rio's party. He caused him immense emotional pain. He harassed Del Rio with Kendo stick, only to later tap out. Therefore now Kofi has a chance to avenge that tap out loss at Elimination Chamber.
The match quality itself is damn exciting as we are talking about two of the best in ring performers from Smackdown. Both of these have every singe tool to produce one heck of a match. We are actually discussing second match that can be a Match of the night. Let's hope that WWE not only arranges this match, they give it sufficient time too.
Match Potential :- **** 1/2
Over the past few months Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler is getting a lot of air time. He is supposed helping in putting over Miz as a Champion. In reality it is also a case of lack of main eventers. Few weeks back on Raw, Lawler won the ‘Raw Rumble’ to claim number 1 contender’s spot at the Elimination Chamber.
Miz on the other hand has been the WWE champion for considerable amount of time. Blame him or his booking; his reign has been average to be very kind. His title matches have been mediocre except for the fall counts anywhere bout with John Morrison.
Miz and Lawler have been numerous matches so far including a ladder match for the title. There has been a good chemistry between them. However, there are several factors that do not really promise us a great match.
Miz as a wrestler is generic. There is seriously not much to talk about his wrestling skills. Lawler was great in his prime. However, at 61 he is not even expected to be amazing. He is good for his age, but that does not say much.
Involvement of Alex Reilly and Michael Cole is granted in this match. This involvement adds nothing to the intrigue in any case.
If we look at the storyline of the match so far, it is a two layer battle. On one hand we have current Miz vs. Lawler and on the other hand there is Lawler vs. Cole. This match in most likelihood would terminate the first story and we will be moving ahead with Cole and Lawler for Wrestlemania.
Thus when we add up all the elements, we better expect less from this match. Do not expect a lengthy fight either, it can always look long enough.
Potential of the match - **1/2 at the most.
Smackdown elimination Chamber has a really nice mix of styles and some intriguing storylines going into it.
We have six superstars in the match. Edge, Wade Barret, Drew McIntyre, Ziggler, Mysterio and Kane will be fighting each other in the steel structure.
Here we have Edge and Ray, two of the biggest faces in the WWE. In Edge, Kane and Ray we have three of the veterans and on the other side we have three of the most promising young stars, who will much sooner than later hold either of the premium belt.
If we look at the styles of each performer then everybody brings in something unique. We have Kane the powerhouse, who can deliver a high bump and we have guys like Drew and Dolph who can take crazy bumps. There is a highflyer Mysterio and agile Dolph. Wade Barret and Drew can bring in the much needed ruthless aggression. Edge is a veteran, he has it all. This match lacks nothing. Speed, power and intensity, everything is there.
There are two main storylines. First is Edge vs. Dolph and Vickie Guerrero and secondly a rather complicated angle of Kelly Kelly, drew McIntyre and Edge, Vickie and Dolph. In the chamber, both storylines are bound to take a major turn. If any person can come out better from this then it is going to be Drew McIntyre. The intersection of storylines will benefit him the most.
Then on the nether layer, there are secondary stories between Corre and Mysterio. There is Cody Rhodes who can distract Ray.
The last element would be Controversy. Speaking of that one name comes to our minds and that is Vickie Guerrero. There already is a controversy now. I will not spoil it for the sake of analysis. Let us just say that there is some intrigue.
Overall this match seems rich in all the elements. So, the final verdict is below.
Potential of the match – could go on to be a **** match.
Raw elimination chamber will host some of the brightest stars from Raw. John Cena, Sheamus, Punk, Orton, John Morrison and R-truth will fight each other for the Number 1 contender’s spot inside the elimination chamber.
This match is heavy on the star power. Two biggest stars of the company Cena and Orton both of them are there. We have FOUR former champs who have held the title at least two times each. Then we have Morrison, who should have already been a champ and R-truth who will never be the champ.
In case of wrestling style, there are Sheamus and Cena, two powerhouses. We have aggressive Orton. Punk is gold and an outstanding performer. John Morrison will be the real spark of the match with his jaw dropping manoeuvres. R-truth is a good wrestler with some highflying offence but his average propensity of botching is too high. regardless of that, These styles match very well, and we should have an entertaining sequence for sure.
In case of storylines, all the faces in the chamber have had feuds with two of the heels. Currently we have Randy Orton vs. Punk and his puppies. John Cena is pretty much involved in the same angle as well. This would be the focus of this match. Sheamus and John Morrison have had a long feud and they are still not over completely. Both John Cena (immediate) and John Morrison (someday after Wrestlemania) have bone to pick up with Miz. R-Truth, well he is just there.
There are few promised run in’s here. We have Punk’s puppies aka New Nexus and Alex Reily to do the honours.
Overall even this match could be great. There is an immense scope for nice wrestling and entertainment.
Potential of the Match - ****
In the end, let us just summarize the potential of every match. Every match was given 1 to 5 stars to indicate how good it could be.
We have one match that could be ** ( Two star), Two matches that could be **1/2 (Two and Half stars). Two matches could be **** (Four Star) matches and another two could be ****1/2 (Four and Half stars).
In simpler language, Three matches would be average at the best where as Four matches are almost certain to be very good.
Therefore, if I decide to analyze like a nerd then i would say that Elimination Chamber would be a 3.7 stars PPV. However, since I am normal i will not do that.
Final Verdict: This PPV can range anywhere between GOOD to GREAT, but it will not dissatisfy.