Predicting Biggest Winners and Losers of WWE Elimination Chamber 2021 Match Card
The WWE and Universal Championship pictures will dominate headlines Sunday night as Vince McMahon's wrestling empire presents Elimination Chamber, another pay-per-view stop on the Road to WrestleMania 37.
The top two prizes in the industry will be up for grabs, and the scenarios in which champions Drew McIntyre and Roman Reigns defend their gold will produce both definitive winners and losers.
Which Superstars will come out of the event with momentum on their sides while others are left questioning exactly what their roles will be at the April 10 and 11 extravaganza?
Find out with this preview of Sunday's event.
2021 Royal Rumble winner Edge will announce his WrestleMania opponent at Elimination Chamber, presumably Roman Reigns, making official the first blockbuster match for the biggest card of the year.
In doing so, the 2012 Hall of Famer will continue an improbable comeback that will set him up to compete in one more main event match.
Edge is one of the most celebrated in-ring performers of his generation and will add a legendary presence to the show. Unlike others who have returned for one-offs here and there, Edge has proved he can still hang with the best in WWE today.
We will see how he holds up against an increasingly physical Reigns, but making him a central figure of Sunday's pay-per-view, by way of his major announcement, ensures Edge will be one of the night's biggest winners.
Losers: The SmackDown Chamber Competitors
WWE Creative has done everything it possibly can to signal it will be Edge vs. Reigns for the Universal Championship without announcing it.
The tense confrontations we have seen between The Rated R Superstar and The Head of the Table have not-so-subtly suggested that will be the main event of WrestleMania 37. And with that being the case, it is difficult to consider the six men who will compete in the SmackDown Elimination Chamber anything but losers.
Daniel Bryan, Kevin Owens, Cesaro, Jey Uso, King Corbin and Sami Zayn have all been significant parts of SmackDown's excellence in recent months, but not one of them is a threat to dethrone Reigns after winning Sunday's Chamber match, particularly when all signs point to other plans for The Big Dog.
They will, instead, put their bodies through hell inside the Chamber, only to lose to Reigns and return to their spot further down the card.
They will be applauded for what is almost certain to be an extraordinary match, but that will hardly be consolation.
In the midst of the hottest streak in his WWE career, Cesaro will shine and may be a winner in the moment. Owens will kick ass and stun his way to the end of the contest. Bryan will remind everyone why he is one of the most beloved performers in wrestling history.
But none of it will matter, at least for their WrestleMania prospects.
Winner: Drew McIntyre
Drew McIntyre has a knack for successfully defending his title in grueling WWE Championship matches and will continue that trend Sunday night, defeating five former titleholders to retain his gold and cash his ticket to WrestleMania.
WWE has done an excellent job of highlighting McIntyre's tenacity and toughness, as he has gutted out wins over everyone from Seth Rollins to Goldberg over the course of his reign as the top star on Raw. On Sunday, he will defeat Randy Orton, The Miz, AJ Styles, Kofi Kingston and Sheamus to add to his lengthy list of conquests.
A gritty competitor who has remained over through the toughness he has displayed while winning those matches, he will head into WrestleMania the conclude a year that has seen him hold the top prize on Raw for all but one week.
Despite having no clear path to the biggest show of the year, an indictment on a creative team that has left him hanging in favor of pet projects, McIntyre will tally another major PPV victory and earn himself winner status.
Sheamus' shocking betrayal of McIntyre just 24 hours after the Royal Rumble should have meant more.
It should have been the grand payoff to a monthslong storyline that returned The Celtic Warrior to the main event as a genuine threat to his former friend's title reign.
Instead, it feels more like the setup to a one-off—the emphasis for Sheamus to appear in the Elimination Chamber and lose his first world title shot in what feels like an eternity.
The Celtic Warrior attacked and defeated McIntyre Monday on Raw, earning the last spot in Sunday's WWE Championship match. He will be a key player in that match and probably the last Superstar pinned by the champion.
But he will be defeated. Sheamus' brief flirtation with the top of the card will, for all intents and purposes, come to an end Sunday. Anyone expecting some magical run for the 43-year-old will be greatly disappointed.
Worst of all, fans will be robbed of a high-profile singles match between The Celtic Warrior and Scottish Psychopath, a war of attrition over the WWE Championship that probably should have been saved for The Showcase of the Immortals.