Titles Most Likely to Change Hands at WWE Elimination Chamber 2018

Anthony Mango@@ToeKneeManGoFeatured ColumnistFebruary 4, 2018

Credit: WWE.com

The annual Elimination Chamber pay-per-view is set to take place February 25 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

While there are still several weeks to go before the event, the championship scenes on Monday Night Raw are already open for discussion.

This will be WWE's last best opportunity to alter many Superstars' directions ahead of WrestleMania 34, as a title change on Monday Night Raw following the Elimination Chamber event would come off as too rushed.

Here, on the other hand, there is a legitimate chance the landscape could change, meaning what could be seen as a slight pivot at another time of the year could have drastic consequences on title hunts.

Which champions are going to leave Elimination Chamber with their titles still around their waists, and which ones are in danger of dropping their belts?

Let's take a look at how the champions may fare.

                    

The Universal Championship Is Going Nowhere

As the men's Elimination Chamber match will be to determine the No. 1 contender for the Universal Championship at WrestleMania 34, the belt will stay around Brock Lesnar's waist.

Credit: WWE.com

Considering his track record of not appearing at every event, combined with the logic of giving him a break and maintaining his status as champion for the WrestleMania build, The Beast Incarnate is guaranteed to be safe and sound.

Every possible contender will be in the Elimination Chamber match, and anybody else left to compete wouldn't stand a chance at taking that belt from him even if he were to wrestle on the card, which is about as likely as seeing him go a whole match without doing a suplex.

                 

The Raw Women's Champion Is in Danger

Often, one of the best ways to gauge an upcoming title change is if WWE has booked the roster into a corner, and that might be the case with the Raw Women's Championship.

Asuka has yet to declare which championship she wants to fight for at WrestleMania, which is highly suspicious given Shinsuke Nakamura immediately called out AJ Styles following his Royal Rumble win.

This could be done because WWE merely wanted some intrigue over the next few weeks and didn't want to answer every question too quickly. It could also be because there are other plans that have to be sorted out.

Asuka will have a championship match at WrestleMania. That is certain. But it's unknown whether she will go after Raw or SmackDown Live's top title.

If Ronda Rousey is being set up to face Charlotte Flair, Asuka will challenge the winner of this Elimination Chamber match, but if Rousey is set to do something else, that opens Flair up to The Empress of Tomorrow.

The situation with Rousey and Asuka will dictate what happens with the Raw Women's Championship because of two women on the red brand: Alexa Bliss and Nia Jax.

It might seem like Sasha Banks is getting some special treatment, what with her performance during the Royal Rumble and recent match with Asuka, but she will not win this title here. Nor will Bayley, Mickie James, Dana Brooke or anyone else save for Jax.

Recently, there has been a three-women story going on, with Bliss manipulating Jax into taking out Asuka because she knows the former NXT women's champion is a threat to her title reign.

If this continues, Asuka wouldn't just be destroying Bliss at WrestleMania, but she would also be fighting Jax, who would need to find some way to insert herself into the title scene.

Winning the championship in the Elimination Chamber is the best way for her to do that, as Bliss could then call for her obligatory rematch to be at WrestleMania, forcing a Triple Threat to take place.

Alternatively, if Asuka is going to be challenging The Queen on SmackDown and not involved in the Raw title hunt, Bliss will likely retain her belt so she can defend it against Jax at WrestleMania. There, she would be the villain awaiting her comeuppance for treating her friend so poorly, which would effectively turn Jax babyface.

The Goddess is on borrowed time with the Raw Women's Championship no matter what. If she doesn't lose it in the Elimination Chamber, she's bound to drop it at WrestleMania.

                 

The Intercontinental Championship Is Staying with The Miz

The Miz recently regained the Intercontinental Championship from Roman Reigns, which is an impressive feat considering The Big Dog is WWE's golden boy.

While he's won numerous titles during his career, The Miz has carved out a niche for himself with the Intercontinental Championship and has established himself as one of the primary Superstars to be associated with that belt.

His efforts to restore prestige to the title have had a major effect on keeping it relevant when WWE has proved so many times in the past how easy it is for the creative team to push it aside.

Since he recently captured the belt for the eighth time, it's highly doubtful this pay-per-view will see the end of that title reign, particularly if nobody is built up enough to take it from him.

WrestleMania is a different story, with the chances of him dropping the title drastically increasing. But he should be safe at Elimination Chamber.

Along with that, there are still three spots open for the No. 1 Contender's Elimination Chamber match. If The Miz were to secure one of those for himself, his title wouldn't be defended. And while he wouldn't be guaranteed to win his match, he would at least be set when it comes to remaining a champion.

                          

The Cruiserweight Championship Isn't Even Up for Grabs

Since Enzo Amore vacated the title upon his release from WWE, there is no cruiserweight champion.

It was announced the process to rectify that problem would be a 16-man single-elimination tournament that would culminate at WrestleMania in the crowning of a new titleholder.

This means that unless WWE changes the plan, there won't be a Cruiserweight Championship match on the Elimination Chamber card. But a title change is guaranteed for the next time it is up for grabs by default.

It's hard to imagine there won't be at least one match featuring the 205 Live roster at Elimination Chamber, although it will either be another step forward in the tournament or something that has no bearing on the road to finding a new champion.

              

The Raw Tag Team Titles Are Anybody's Guess

Just like The Miz's situation, The Bar only regained the Raw Tag Team Championships at the end of January; if they were to drop the titles at Elimination Chamber, it would feel as though they had a pointless transitional reign.

Credit: WWE.com

This is made significantly harder to accept knowing their challengers will more than likely be Seth Rollins and Jason Jordan, who are entitled to a rematch, per the normal rules whenever titles change hands.

Try as it may, WWE attempted to keep the feud between Rollins, Dean Ambrose and The Bar going for as long as possible even without The Lunatic Fringe by bringing Jordan into the program and turning it into a storyline about two teammates who can't get along. But it simply hasn't worked well enough.

Now The Bar are the champions once more, it's doubtful Jordan and Rollins will find themselves becoming two-time champions purely for the sake of a surprise.

However, nothing is set in stone. Jordan and Rollins won't necessarily be the ones to challenge for the titles at Elimination Chamber, as evidenced by Titus Worldwide's opportunity on Raw.

Rollins and Jordan may find themselves in the Elimination Chamber instead after losing a rematch on a normal episode of Raw in the weeks leading up to the pay-per-view.

With Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows and The Revival champing at the bit, if another team steps up to the challenge, a title change just may happen just to keep fans on their toes.

Yes, it would be shocking to play hot potato with the belts, but in 2017, WWE had a nasty habit of doing just that, and it might be a booking strategy that pops up again here.

Unless WWE officials have something interesting up their sleeves for how Jordan and Rollins can make their run with the belts worthy of a WrestleMania spot, The Bar are either retaining or the straps are going to a more fresh and exciting team.

                 

It will be interesting to see whether any twists and turns take place for the red brand's champions, but in the meantime, tell us your predictions of how things will work out in the comments section below.

                    

Anthony Mango is the owner of the wrestling website Smark Out Moment and the host of the podcast show Smack Talk on YouTube, iTunes and Stitcher. You can follow him on Facebook and elsewhere for more.

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