by BROCK KOLLER
It’s time for WWE Elimination Chamber, which means we are just one month away from WrestleMania! I can’t believe it’s WrestleMania already. It feels like the last Mania was just two months ago…wait, what? Oh, right, it was. So this means the WWE Elimination Chamber event is no longer tied to WrestleMania season and can happen whenever it is needed. I like that.
For this WWE Network exclusive non-pay-per-view pay-per-view, the chamber itself comes into play for two matches. One is for the vacated Intercontinental Championship. The second is for the Tag Team Championships which have holders in the form of The New Day (New Day!).
Is a vacated IC strap a good reason to have a chamber match? Sure. At least it’s a reason. Back when EC was the penultimate event before Mania, they would just have WWE and World Heavyweight title matches in chambers just because it was February. No rhyme. No reason. Just calendar.
As for the Tag Team Championships? It’s never been done before. So that’s reason enough. But they have also made a solid effort to show that each team is a believable threat to the champs – even Los Matadores. I think.
Of course, the main reason (I believe) there is an Elimination Chamber event tonight is because it’s the last day of a ‘Get WWE Network for Free’ month. It’s a pawn in the game of subscribers. But what an enthralling pawn it’s shaping up to be.
U.S. CHAMPION JOHN CENA vs. NXT CHAMPION KEVIN OWENS
I want to see this. I’m a wrestling fan. I want to see this wrestling match. No titles need be defended. No satanic structures need be constructed. Just put these two athletes in a squared circle. Cena, as previously blogged, is more appealing to watch as U.S. Champion than he has been in years. And Owens, whether it was during his rapid rise in NXT or his well-earned push to the majors, is must-watch TV. Not only his ring presence and wrestling style, but his character, his promos, and the way he carries himself. It’s like no other Superstar on any roster. Owens plays the excellent villain because he tells the truth. He is a veteran. He is a father working to support to his family. But he’s still a villain because he cheats and backstabs. It’s Captain America vs. Mr. Freeze, kids.
Because it’s not for titles, Owens has a better chance of winning this one, but I can’t see that happening just yet. And I would not be surprised if Samoa Joe makes his first WWE pay-per-view (WWE Network exclusive non-pay-per-view pay-per-view) appearance to save Cena at the end.
I can’t believe I just wrote a paragraph about Kevin Owens, John Cena, and Samoa Joe. Wow. What times we live in.
WINNER: John Cena by DQ
WWE WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION SETH ROLLINS vs. DEAN AMBROSE
By gawd, Ambrose, Ambrose is back in the main event picture! For some reason, I needed to start this out in J.R. voice. But I am thrilled Dean is back vying for the richest prize in the game for a second straight event. He won’t win it, mind you, but at least he’s fighting for it. And he hasn’t looked too silly in this short buildup. Now, I see this ending with an interfering Roman Reigns inadvertently costing Ambrose the match. With that said, and with that short-lived Shield reunion at Payback, I see that much demanded Shield triple-threat match just over the horizon.
WINNER: Seth Rollins
DIVAS CHAMPION NIKKI BELLA vs. NAOMI vs. PAIGE
The Divas can continue their momentum and put on quite a show tonight. While Nikki’s allegiances are sketchy – still unclear how she became a babyface again, at least Naomi and Paige are somewhat defined in their characters. Should be a good match. Should be some Tamina trickery. Should be a new champion.
NEVILLE vs. BO DALLAS
A past NXT feud makes it to the big stage. But Neville will prevail this time, too. … What? Ok. Fine. He will win because he’s the new sensation. There, I said it. Let’s move on.
ELIMINATION CHAMBER MATCH for INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPIONSHIP
So let’s do this logically. Rusev is injured. R-Truth seems to be put into multi-wrestler title matches and then vanishes for months. Barrett is doing his king routine. Ziggler is involved in a romantic storyline with Lana. Ryback is Ryback. So it’s Sheamus. Yep, it’s Sheamus. OR it’s whomever replaces Rusev – which could be Bray Wyatt. But Wyatt could just make himself and Ryback disappear in which case Sheamus would still win. It’s Sheamus. Definetly, Sheamus.
ELIMINATION CHAMBER MATCH for TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIPS
The New Day was just in angle on Smackdown with The Authority. No need to discuss this in detail. They will retain the titles, but the bigger question is how is this match going to work?! There will have to be eliminations before all teams enter the chamber, otherwise it will just be too crowded in the chamber. Speaking of crowded – how are two people fitting in those pods? Are they extra-large pods? Is this a new chamber? Help. I need an explanation, right now!
WINNER: The New Day
And there you have it. A WWE Network exclusive event two weeks after one pay-per-view and two weeks before another. Plus, they just gave us King of the Ring (which I asked for last month).
Maybe in 4 weeks, we’ll be getting Cyber Sunday? You heard it here first.
Enjoy the show!