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WWE Elimination Chamber 2014 PPV Predictions

February 22, 2014

wwe elimination chamber poster

And so it comes down to this.  Elimination Chamber 2014 will be the 297th WWE pay-per-view event and the last one before the launch of the fabled WWE Network.  WWE will no doubt be hoping that they can bow out of their traditional PPV model on a more positive note than last month’s Royal Rumble, which was turned on by the fans mid-way through the show.

wwe ellimination chamber match

WWE World Heavyweight Championship Elimination Chamber Match:

Randy Orton vs John Cena vs Daniel Bryan vs Sheamus vs (Antonio) Cesaro vs Christian

This has been said many times before but it bears repeating – the Elimination Chamber match should not take place in February.

The point of the Royal Rumble match is to determine the #1 contender for WrestleMania, with 30 men vying for that prize… except, no matter who wins it, five other guys get a shot at the title the following month regardless.  Having the Rumble in January and WrestleMania in March is nothing more than a hangover from years gone by, when WWE did not run a PPV each month.

If they had the Rumble the month before WrestleMania, it would do no harm to either show but would make the build up to WrestleMania more straightforward.  The Elimination Chamber can then be moved to some point in the latter half of the calendar year, which at present is sorely lacking in major selling points.

Case in point, here we have John Cena getting another title match.  This is despite him losing his version of the world title at TLC in December and losing his rematch with Randy Orton at the Rumble last month.  Twice a loser, ever a contender.  That’s WWE logic, which more often than not nowadays bears little if any resemblance to our Earth logic.

Furthermore, Cena lost that Rumble match courtesy of interference from the Wyatt Family.  They interfered in another one of his matches on Raw, this time enabling him to win by disqualification and get the title shot that he really didn’t deserve.  Ever since then, however, Cena has had barely any interaction with the Wyatts.  He has not switched into his patented Passionate Promo Mode to denounce the latest villains to cross his path.  He has not given any indication of being upset about no longer being champion, or about being screwed out of winning the title back, or of being excited about getting yet another title shot.

If the supposed hero of the day cannot be bothered about such things, why should the audience care?

Of course, if you ask the audience who their hero is nowadays the answer from most will be Daniel Bryan.  His popularity continues to grow, with even mainstream news outlets like the USA Today picking up on it.  In a simpler age, the most popular star in the company would win the Rumble, challenge for the title at WrestleMania and win the championship there.  Things have gotten muddled somewhere along the way here, for a variety of reasons.

Bryan almost certainly won’t be winning the title on this occasion.  With WrestleMania right around the corner, if WWE elects to make him the champion then they will save it for the big day.  That’s the traditional way of doing things after all.  The unique thing here, however, is that the story is not so much whether or not Bryan could become champion – he already has been.  The story is about whether or not he will be allowed to remain champion, or whether the dastardly overlords of the company will conspire to take it off of him again.

As evidenced by the poster for the show, the current overarching storyline in WWE is perhaps their most realistic ever.  All the supposed stars trying to please the malevolent McMahon puppet masters.  Perhaps certain people behind the scenes get a kick out of it.  For the audience, it has become repetitive and dire, with any temporary creative jolts of interest being brought to a sudden halt because of it.

So, here we are.  On the Road to WrestleMania with no particular sense of where to head or how to get there.  Cena, apparently heading for a random feud with the Wyatts that nobody on-screen or off-screen has shown an interest in.  Bryan at a fork in the road, either heading for the biggest win of the year or winding up tethered by the puppet strings again.  Oh, and let’s not forget Orton, the champion, who has been jobbed out to four of his challengers here over the past few weeks, his losses interspersed with endless, rambling segments in which he wrecks his character by sucking up to the McMahons.  His reign is fast plummeting to the depths of the first “undisputed” champion, Chris Jericho.  Any week now, Raw will be built around Orton taking Stephanie McMahon’s dog for a walk.

Not especially inspiring, is it?

At least there is Cesaro.  To quote Will Ferrell in Zoolander, he’s so hot right now.  Check out his victory over Orton here before the WWE Network patrol removes it from Youtube:

Not content with that stellar performance, Cesaro had yet another in a narrow defeat to Cena this past week on Raw.  In WWE, having great matches with both Cena and Orton is akin to getting guaranteed life-long employment.  The future will always have some surprises in store but right now it is shining bright for the former Antonio.  He’ll likely get a lot of time to shine during the Chamber match as well, possibly even being the runner-up.  With Hulk Hogan soon returning to WWE, a very obvious Real American thematic link between him and Cesaro, plus Cesaro’s steady increase in popularity, could a major babyface turn be in the near future for the Swiss Superman?

Finally, Christian and Sheamus are also individuals who are involved in this match.  (Really, really, nothing more that needs to be said about them here.)

Winner – Randy Orton

wwe elimination chamber shield wyatts

The Shield vs The Wyatt Family

One of the WWE’s biggest success stories in the past couple of years has been the Shield.  That story is about to come to an end as the impending implosion between Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns draws near.  (The status of Seth “Millhouse” Rollins remains to be seen.)

But first!  The inevitable collision of one three-man team the audience gives a shit about with the other three-man team the audience gives a shit about.  It’s a unique encounter and one rare example of WWE having a six-man match come about at the same time of year as the Elimination Chamber gimmick is brought out of storage.  For whatever reason, however, this appears to be just a regular tag match instead of being held within the Chamber.

Nonetheless, this has all the potential in the world to be a show stealer.  Heel versus heel matches are a rarity in WWE nowadays, although in reality this is five heels plus Reigns en route to his formal babyface turn.  In all likelihood, he will wind up on the losing side here courtesy of Ambrose biting off more than he can chew.  After all, that’s the story that has been told in the Shield’s mini-feud with Mark Henry over the past few weeks.

The Wyatts getting another win also keeps them strong heading into the apparently-still-happening WrestleMania program between Bray and Cena.  Again, the Wyatts have given no indication as to why they bothered attacking Cena and seem to have forgotten all about it over the past three weeks.  The main selling point for WrestleMania this year is the WWE Network, so the actual line-up doesn’t matter as much as in normal years, but this whole Bray/Cena concept still seems like a bizarre way to use the company’s biggest star at their biggest event of the year.

Then again, take a look around at the other heels WWE has to offer whoever comes out of WrestleMania as champion.  Ignore the part-timers like Brock Lesnar and Triple H.  Ignore Orton and Batista, who we’ll get to in a minute.  Other than the not-yet-ready-for-prime-time likes of Ambrose, and the downhill-trajectory types like Del Rio, there really aren’t any heels anywhere near as over as the Wyatts are at present.

Good thing Bray is starting to be able to hold his own in these big match environments then.

Winners – The Wyatts

wwe elimination chamber batista alberto del rio

Batista vs Alberto Del Rio

Batista’s big comeback has very quickly descended into an exercise in damage control.

Much of this is WWE’s own fault.  The news of his return broke in December when his name was listed in local house show advertising.  WWE admitted it was true and so the opportunity for Batista to be a major surprise entrant in the Royal Rumble was squandered.  Had he made his grand return in that manner, it is very likely indeed that the audience would have loved every Daniel Bryan-free second of it.  He could have ridden that wave of popularity all the way through to his inevitable WrestleMania title victory.

Instead, his momentum was ground to a halt by word getting out early.  That made his Rumble triumph a little too predictable for a whole lot of people who would indeed have preferred the newer, fresher Daniel Bryan to get the Rumble win en route to his own WrestleMania title victory, thus paying off the past nine months worth of storylines.

None of this was helped by Batista’s first actual appearance back on WWE programming seeing him come out to hugs and smiles with Triple H and Stephanie McMahon, ostensibly the heel puppet masters at work here.  A weird way to try to put over the supposed top babyface championship contender indeed.

Plus, let’s be frank here, people’s memories of Batista were far kinder than the reality of his act.  During his original run as a main event fixture, he had a great feud with Triple H to start with and a fantastic run as a douchebag heel to end with – and several years worth of tedious filler in between.  The obvious thing to do with him right now is to restore that great heel character, building the turn around his ego getting even bigger courtesy of his recent successes in Hollywood.

If all the stars align, the title match at WrestleMania 30 will be a three way involving Orton, Batista and Bryan, with Bryan emerging victorious.  This will provide the impetus for Batista to lose his cool and embrace his heel side once again, leading to what could be a great series of David vs Goliath battles between him and Bryan.

For the meantime, let’s just see if Batista can make it through what had better be a short match against Del Rio unscathed.  It’s certainly far from the most exciting match-up that WWE has to offer.  Del Rio’s stock has plummeted in the past few months.  It is striking to compare him now with how he was presented back in 2011 – the fancy cars are gone, the personal ring announcer is no more, the sharp suits have vanished, even Alberto himself appears somewhat flabbier than before.  Now he’s just a pasty bloke in a shit T-shirt, like some sort of Mexican Sting.

Winner – Batista

wwe elimination chamber big e jack swagger

WWE Intercontinental Championship Match:

Big E (Langston) vs Jack Swagger

For the trivia nerds out there, this show will see Zeb Coulter become the first manager to ever have two clients going after the world and Intercontinental titles in separate matches on the same show.  Neither will win but that’s neither here nor there.

This is just a token midcard title defence for the reigning champion, Big E (Langston).  Yes, just like Swagger’s tag team partner (Antonio) Cesaro, Big E has also felt the back-hand of WWE’s patented random name changing machine.  Rumours that this will soon lead to the debut of Antonio Langston are unfounded.

big e langston name change

Winner – Big E (Langston)

wwe elimination chamber new age outlaws usos

WWE Tag Team Championship Match

The New Age Outlaws vs The Usos

As above, this is just more filler on the card.  There’s even more of that to come as well, so let’s just hope it will all be kept as brief as possible in order to give the Chamber and Shield/Wyatt matches as much time as they need.

The Usos earned their latest title opportunity when Betty White swung by to make Billy Gunn shit his pants.  Something like that, let’s be honest, nobody was paying that much attention.  Still, with the wily experience of the champions set against the vastly under-rated talents of the challengers, this should be a pleasant enough wee tag team match.

Odds are that the Outlaws retain here and go on to drop the titles to [pick a random team] in some form of multi-team match at WrestleMania.  Hunter’s buddies gotta get the big pay day!

Winners – New Age Outlaws

wwe elimination chamber titus o'neil darren young

Titus O’Neil vs Darren Young

Yes, the Prime Time Players explode!

For those keeping track, that’s one tag team down and many more to come.  The Shield are due to split-up soon, rumours of the Rhodes Brothers feuding continue to perpetuate, the Real Americans do not appear to be long for this world as Cesaro gets another singles push.  Oh, and who could forget the legacy of Tons of Funk?

No wonder they had to call in the Outlaws to help bolster the tag team division…

It’s a shame that the Players had to be broken up, though.  As a tall, muscular, shredded athlete, Titus O’Neil is the kind of bloke that raises more than just an eyebrow for Vince McMahon.  Unfortunately, much like Ezekiel Jackson and Mason Ryan and so many others before him, O’Neil has never quite been able to figure out how to construct a compelling wrestling match or character.

At 36 years of age, time is running out for him.  Having to do all of this in the build up to WrestleMania makes his chances of success seem even slimmer.  All of the audience and management’s attention is focused on the main event action, which leaves any undercard developments looking like filler no matter how hard the participants are trying.

So, good luck Titus.  At least we will be able to tell how excited you are making Vince courtesy of JBL’s moist-making commentary…

Winner – Titus O’Neil

wwe elimination chamber cody rhodes goldust ryback curtis axel

Cody Rhodes & Goldust vs Ryback & Curtis Axel

I kinda miss the moustache.  There’s not much point to this match so let’s just relax and take a look at quite possibly the single greatest action figure product WWE has ever had the balls to try to sell…

(Warning: One of these is not like the others…)

curtis axel is a legend

Winners – Cody Rhodes & Goldust

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From → Wrestling, WWE

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