WWE Elimination Chamber 2014: Full Card And Predictions
Stop number two on the road to WWE's Wrestlemania is the fearsome Elimination Chamber. With an unusually hot card for what's generally considered a minor pay-per-view, WWE appears poised to maximize their hype leading into Wrestlemania and the launch of the WWE network.
WWE World Heavyweight Championship Elimination Chamber Match: Randy Orton(c), John Cena, Christian, Shamus, Daniel Bryan, and Antonio Cesaro:
It's great to see Cesaro finally making his way into the main event picture and, while he stands next to no chance of walking away with the gold, you can bet that he'll be at the epicenter of some amazing spots inside the chamber. So the question here is "who should take on Batista at Wrestlemania?" Unlike other pay-per-views, Wrestlemania is a mainstream event, which means the biggest stars typically headline. On that note, there are only three real potential winners: John Cena, Randy Orton, or Daniel Bryan.
Cena represents the company's comfort zone and it's most well-know star, but they'd really be testing the patience of fans by putting him into another lackluster Wrestlemania feud with a Hollywood actor. Daniel Bryan, on the other hand, is the hardcore wrestling fan's choice to headline, but there'd be little context in putting him into a feud with Batista and blowing off his rivalry with Orton at Elimination Chamber. That leaves Randy Orton. Whatever you may feel about the Viper overall, his heel reign has brought out the best in him. Orton Vs. Batista has context given their origins in Evolution and their ties to Triple H.
Prediction: Randy Orton take advantage of the chaos to retain the title.
Intercontinental Championship Match: Big E. Langston Vs. Jack Swagger
Yet another pay-per-view with a poorly built-up IC feud. While Cesaro's star is rising, Swagger appears stuck in the mid-card. Big E is getting better by the week, but Creative needs to invest in his character and storylines if they really want him to break out as the next big thing. That said, both men are powerhouses and quick for their size, leaving the possibility open that this match will be a sleeper hit.
Prediction: Big E retains with a clean pin.
Darren Young Vs. Titus O'Neil
While I'm glad to see both of these underrated men on the card, I think Titus's charisma is wasted on a heel run. The question here is which of these stars does WWE think has more potential? The winner may move up to the mid-card while the other remains "enhancement talent." Titus has the look and mic skills, while Young is the more well-rounded worker.
Prediction: Titus O'Neil puts the hurt on Darren Young and loses by DQ.
WWE Tag Team Championship Match: The New Age Outlaws(c) Vs. The Usos
I like the idea of the New Age Outlaws as Triple H's loser, arrested development who just won't get up off the couch. The veterans can only really be seen as transitional champs in the long run as nostalgia will only carry their championship run so far. The WWE really needs to get the belts on a natural, contemporary tag team and the Usos are as good a choice as any. However, it would make more sense for the Outlaws to drop the titles at Wrestlemania to maximize their impact.
Prediction: New Age Outlaws retain.
The Shield Vs. The Wyatt Family
A rare heel vs. heel feud that everyone's been hotly anticipating. The build-up to this match has been great, which puts a lot of pressure on all six men to be at the top of their games. The formerly unstoppable Shield has been fraying at the edges lately, torn between the slimy ego of Dean Ambrose and the growing confidence of Roman Reigns. Look for the Wyatts to exploit the holes in The Shield's teamwork.
Prediction: The Wyatt family wins due to Ambrose screwing over Reigns (or vice versa), setting up an intra-Shield feud for Wrestlemania.
Batista Vs. Alberto Del Rio
Despite the surprisingly interesting Twitter-based origins of this match, it's hard to imagine that this will be anything other than Del Rio being fed to Batista. Del Rio is one of the company's better workers, so it'll be contingent upon him to carry the ring-rusty Batista to a hopefully watchable match.
Prediction: Batista wins, lending credence to his spot on the Wrestlemania card.
The Brotherhood Vs. Ryback and Curtis Axel
There's not a lot going on here build-up wise, but Cody and Goldust have been putting on excellent matches as a tag team for months. Ryback and Axel have mostly been treading water since they parted with Paul Heyman, but I see them going over to help promote a growing rift between the brothers.
Prediction: Rybaxel win due to brotherly miscommunication.
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