Superstars Who Deserve Biggest Pushes Coming Out of WWE Elimination Chamber 2019
WWE Elimination Chamber 2019 will be one of the major roadblocks on The Road to WrestleMania 35.
Along with Fastlane, it is a pit stop that can make or break someone's path to greatness, as this is the time when wrestlers need to step it up and make serious headway while building to the biggest show of the year.
Every show is an important chance to gain momentum, but pay-per-views magnify that considerably, and Elimination Chamber is no exception.
Championships are on the line, history will be made and walking out of the monstrous cage without an injury is a daunting task on its own.
WWE needs to be careful in terms of which Superstars it positions to be in the best spots coming out of this event, as there won't be too much time to course-correct and rebuild the hype for WrestleMania if mistakes are made.
Keeping that in mind, the following Superstars are the ones WWE must make sure are given the biggest pushes at Elimination Chamber on Sunday to ensure the rest of the season runs smoothly.
Odds are that Daniel Bryan walks away from the Elimination Chamber with the WWE Championship still around his waist.
While he's one of the smaller competitors, he's the champion for a reason, and his past skills haven't diminished just because he's turned heel. If anything, he should have more of an edge, especially with Rowan by his side, despite the fact he'll be locked out of the cage.
Plus, Bryan was just given a brand-new belt that WWE wouldn't have invested in if he were going to lose it just a few weeks later.
The Beard is too popular, even in his New Daniel Bryan persona, to be ignored for WrestleMania. There's no bigger spot he can achieve at this point than defending the WWE Championship. He isn't even properly set up to challenge for the belt after losing it because that's more of a babyface thing to do.
He can be fighting from underneath throughout this match and putting over everyone else or he can enter the fray last and only score one elimination in order to retain his title. By hook or by crook, with or without help from Rowan or any other means of cheating, though, Bryan has to leave with the title.
Without that belt in his hand, his promos about saving the planet and how he's the man for the job to lead everyone into the promised land of the future won't mean as much. Nor will his future challenger have as much heat to work with.
Daniel Bryan's Future WrestleMania Opponent
SmackDown is consistently viewed as the B show on all sides of the argument to WWE management, no matter how often the promotion tries to pretend there isn't favoritism toward Raw. Just look at how Survivor Series went down for proof of that.
Even when the Universal Championship is held hostage by Brock Lesnar and the WWE Championship is the only world title on the card, the blue brand still struggles to main-event a pay-per-view.
With that in mind, it's a foregone conclusion that Daniel Bryan's match at WrestleMania stands no chance at being booked high on the lineup because it just won't be as important to WWE Chairman Vince McMahon as Seth Rollins vs. Lesnar and Ronda Rousey's match.
There aren't any obvious challengers for Bryan, so WWE is going to have to rush through March to do an entire build to set up his match for WrestleMania. And with less than two hours per week to dedicate to that, it's nearly impossible for it to come off successfully.
If he is going to face someone who is in the Elimination Chamber, the bout already has the stink of being a rematch on it, so there's no exciting "first-time-ever" buzz to carry the momentum into WrestleMania.
On the other hand, if Bryan is going to face someone like Rey Mysterio, WWE can't afford to not have him wrestle at Elimination Chamber. He would need to not only compete but also defeat Andrade to establish himself as the next in line to challenge for the belt.
If anyone in a weak state is limping up to Bryan to ask for a title shot, it's an uphill battle to build interest, and WWE won't be able to pull it off, meaning SmackDown's top match—and the WWE Championship—will feel even less important than it has in the past.
Asuka's Future WrestleMania Opponent
The SmackDown Women's Championship is in similar limbo to the WWE Championship in that the company clearly has the build to that WrestleMania match on the back-burner, for whatever reason.
Perhaps it's because the writers want to focus on making Elimination Chamber the best it can be without any other distractions. History has shown that's not the case, but it's worth mentioning and giving them the benefit of the doubt.
More than likely, the reasoning is because WWE hasn't decided what to do with The Empress of Tomorrow yet and figures once Elimination Chamber is out of the way, there will be time to decide.
However, time is what WWE doesn't have, as there will only be seven episodes of SmackDown to set up a No. 1 contender, establish that woman as a credible threat to Asuka, build any personal issues between the two and get people buzzing about the confrontation.
Looking at the roster, there isn't a single woman on SmackDown who can step up to the plate and knock it out of the park with ease. All of them, as talented as they are, need as much help as they can to set up this match.
If The Empress is going to face someone like Lana or Zelina Vega, who are not featured on the Elimination Chamber card, they will seem like afterthoughts not worthy of challenging for the title against someone who was undefeated for the majority of her WWE career.
Likewise, if Asuka is set to face someone who competes in the Women's Tag Team Championships Elimination Chamber match, that woman must not be made to look like a fool. She needs a good showing and must look strong, even in defeat.
Buddy Murphy or Akira Tozawa
Much like SmackDown, it's obvious WWE doesn't prioritize 205 Live as a brand worth investing in. It's more of a sideshow attraction to put in filler spots than anything officials care about.
This is sad to see, as the cruiserweight division is capable of putting on some of the most consistently amazing matches, but they are essentially ignored by the WWE Universe because of the company's treatment of the brand.
Why would anybody want to get interested in something WWE itself doesn't seem to watch?
This is why Elimination Chamber is pivotal for building any interest for the Cruiserweight Championship come WrestleMania.
Buddy Murphy and Akira Tozawa, whether they're on the kickoff show or the main card—hopefully the latter—will want to work their butts off to steal the limelight and prove they're worth watching in an attempt to gain as many viewers as possible.
They will strive to find their way out of the pre-show, which they seem doomed to be relegated to, and the only way to do that is to allow the victor to leave Elimination Chamber with enough of a push that it gets people talking.
If this goes down exactly as typical 205 Live PPV bouts, there's going to be just as little fanfare surrounding the division come Fastlane and WrestleMania, and WWE will blame it on the performers for not breaking through the glass ceiling.
Most likely, this will still be Murphy's championship, and he will thus be entrusted with the responsibility of the WrestleMania match. But if he's not given the tools to succeed, he will leave Elimination Chamber with less momentum than the losers in the rest of the matches.
Bayley and Sasha Banks
It seems a foregone conclusion Bayley and Sasha Banks will be victorious in the Elimination Chamber to capture the Women's Tag Team Championships.
Being predictable isn't always a bad thing, as they are the right women for the job and deserving of not only that accolade and title reign but also a prominent spot on the WrestleMania card.
In order to get to that, the first step is booking them to win the match and not do so in any kind of inadequate fashion, such as scoring one cheap pin at the end and nothing else. That would just make them look like weak champions.
Ideally, The Boss 'n' Hug Connection should start the Elimination Chamber match and last until the end, battling it out with every other woman and still managing to come out on top.
That way, over the course of March, they would look like credible champions and as though they could hold their own in the ring against the likes of Trish Stratus and Lita, who seem to be the most plausible contenders for a big match at WrestleMania.
The Raw tag team division has been the biggest mess in WWE over the past 12 months, which is saying a lot when you recall how poorly the United States Championship has been used since 2017.
Of all the things going on with those tag titles, last year at WrestleMania, a 10-year-old ended up being a champion. Things didn't get much better than that, sadly, so it can't happen again this year.
Bobby Roode and Chad Gable are fantastic performers, but they are an awful tag team that has no place holding the belts and being the representatives of the A show's tag team division heading into the biggest show of the year, whereas The Revival can do the titles justice.
Although WWE has refused to book them as such since their main roster debuts in 2017, Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder were the elite tag team in the company when they tore the house down over and over in NXT, proving they have the ability to elevate the division if they are allowed to run with the ball.
While it hasn't been made official that they will receive their title shot at Elimination Chamber, now is perhaps the last opportunity to restore some balance to not just the Raw Tag Team Championships but also The Revival themselves.
If WWE wants fans to have faith in the supposed changes that were promised at the tail end of 2018, as well as hope The Revival will serve an actual purpose if they stick around rather than leaving for All Elite Wrestling, it has to start here.
The Revival must win the Raw tag titles and be allowed to put on as good a show as possible so the healing process can begin and the belts aren't an afterthought come WrestleMania.
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.