WWE Elimination Chamber 2014, the last real “pay-per-view” before the WWE Network launches on Monday night, airs live this Sunday. It’s the second official stop on the “Road To WrestleMania,” which means the stories began at Royal Rumble become solidified into official, happening WrestleMania XXX matches. This is the show everyone will be watching, ESPECIALLY since you have to pay $50 for a show that’ll be $10 a day later.
In lieu of simply providing an open discussion thread on the day of the event, let’s take a look at the card and see if we can predict its winners, shall we? Here’s your full card:
WWE Elimination Chamber 2014
– Pre-show Match: Cody Rhodes and Goldust vs. Ryback and Curtis Axel
1. Darren Young vs. Titus O’Neil
2. Batista vs. Alberto Del Rio
3. WWE Tag Team Championship Match: The New Age Outlaws (c) vs. The Usos
4. Intercontinental Championship Match: Big E (c) vs. Jack Swagger
5. The Wyatt Family vs. The Shield
6. Elimination Chamber Match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship: Randy Orton (c) vs. John Cena vs. Sheamus vs. Christian vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Cesaro
Here are our official predictions, cobbled together from some combination of dirt-sheet rumor and wild guessing. Let us know who you think will win in our comments section below.
Pre-show Match: Cody Rhodes and Goldust vs. Ryback and Curtis Axel
What Should Happen: Two pay-per-view pre-shows in a row for the Rhodes Brothers. If we’re talking “what should happen” in general, WWE should pull the trigger on the inevitable Cody vs. Goldust feud and give them the match at Mania they deserve. Sadly it doesn’t look like that’s ever gonna happen, so I guess I’d like to see Cody and Goldust get a strong win over a team with so little momentum they might as well still be keg carrying and Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Rookie-ing down in NXT.
What Will Happen: The Rhodes Boys went from a team I always expected to win to a team I always expect to lose in a HEARTBEAT. How did THAT happen? In my brain, the match sees them get close to a victory when something goes wrong, and Rybaxel capitalizes to pick up a more-or-less meaningless win. Worst case scenario, it’ll be an excuse to celebrate Ryback’s new, horrifying Step Brothers singlet:
Those eyes are DEAD.
Darren Young vs. Titus O’Neil
What Should Happen: Darren and Titus should make up before the match, and/or decide that this feud is about the time one of them tried to buy a potted plant for Tamina on NXT Redemption. I think Darren Young has more upside than Titus, but Titus seems to be trying a lot harder, so a Titus win makes sense. As long as he gets to cut another shouty promo before, during or after the match, I’m in.
What Will Happen: I like when midcard feuds culminate in pay-per-view matches without a title being involved. Those are the ones you go back to years later and sorta fondly want to get into again, even if they weren’t any good. I’m guessing Titus goes over clean and strong here with the Clash of the Titus, which he should really learn to just pin a guy with in a sitting position. There’s nothing more awkward than when a guy does a sit-out powerbomb, then rolls around like a baby for 10 seconds trying to get into a lateral press.
Batista vs. Alberto Del Rio
What Should Happen: Alberto Del Rio should drive a car to the ring and run over Batista with it. He should then put on the cross armbreaker and get the win, but hold it on for too long after the bell, causing the referee to reverse the decision from “Alberto Del Rio wins” to “Alberto Del wins and is great.” Del Rio should come out of this NOT looking like an ineffectual nobody loser.
What Will Happen: Boredom, followed by a Batista Bomb, followed by slightly more boredom. Followed by, uh, the WrestleMania main-event.
WWE Tag Team Championship Match: The New Age Outlaws (c) vs. The Usos
What Should Happen: Originally I was thinking the Outlaws should drop the tag titles to the next applicable team as soon as possible, but their beef with the Usos and the resulting excited young man vs. nervous old man conversations have been wonderful, so maybe we should keep this going to Mania? I’d like to see the tag titles defended there in a proper, non-pre-show match, so maybe the Outlaws do something ridiculous to get themselves disqualified and stay as cowardly as possible until April. Give the Usos their WrestleMania moment after years of hard work, send the Outlaws off with some gravitas and maybe usher in that new golden era of tag team wrestling we keep expecting to happen.
What Will Happen: It feels like the Usos are going to win, and if they do, they might as well. The Outlaws beating Goldust and Cody was justifiable in my brain because they’re so obviously transitional champs, so following through on that makes a lot of sense. Worst case scenario, Triple H restarts the match, outs the Outlaws as a charity case and sets up something grander for later.
Intercontinental Championship Match: Big E (c) vs. Jack Swagger
What Should Happen: Big E Big Endings Swagger so hard he get his last name back. Big Endings him so hard that three ain’t enough, man, he needs a five count. But yeah, this is what should happen in most Big E matches.
What Will Happen: Does anybody see Jack Swagger getting a pre-Mania title run? Big E retains. Also, Zeb Colter continues to make us uncomfortable by spending five minutes yelling WE WILL OWN YOU at a black guy.
The Wyatt Family vs. The Shield
What Should Happen: Give them a 60-minute draw that necessitates a big elimination tag at WrestleMania. Do whatever it takes to make my fantasy booking of Bray Wyatt filling the dome with hillbilly cultists only for the Shield to rappel down through the roof via helicopters and fight them off with tear gas and swat batons a reality. Or machine guns, I don’t know, we can do it action movie style. No matter what, this is the reason I’m specifically missing a local wrestling show to watch the pay-per-view for, so if they give them 20-30 minutes and the match is great, I don’t really care what happens. If we’re this close to Mania, save the Shield breakup for then, at the very least. Roman going ape and murdering his own partners is a thing people are gonna want to see.
What Will Happen: A great match. I’m confident in that. This is a bad guy vs. bad guy faction feud that ended up being so over and popular it ended the go-home Raw. That’s crazy. Let these guys loose for half an hour and enjoy promoting wrestling in this beautiful world.
Elimination Chamber Match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship: Randy Orton (c) vs. John Cena vs. Sheamus vs. Christian vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Cesaro
What Should Happen: There are three acceptable finishes for the Elimination Chamber match:
1. Cesaro does like, fifteen ridiculous things you didn’t think a human being could do and wins the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, eliminating both John Cena and Randy Orton. Sheamus gets cheated out of things somehow, and we get a Sheamus vs. Cesaro title match at WrestleMania where they redefine what it means to giantly whomp the Christ out of each other.
2. Christian very slowly Killswitches everyone in the ring, possibly at once, and wins. I laugh forever and ever.
3. Daniel Bryan triumphs (finally) and goes on to defend his WWE World Heavyweight Championship against anybody in a 30ish minute showcase match in the main-event of WrestleMania. At no point is the match result turned over, the title stripped, a screwjob enacted or stupid stipulations like “guest referee Triple H” added. We are allowed to be truly happy, and that happiness continues for a short while so that we may enjoy it.
Technically I guess “3b” would be “whatever happens GETS Bryan into the title match at Mania, so he can win it there and truly make up for that 18 seconds nonsense a couple of years ago and we get our YESsing at Mania ending.”
What Will Happen: Two options:
1. Orton retains, faces Batista at Mania.
2. Cena wins (because Cena winning is always a possibility), faces Batista and/or Randy Orton at Mania.
Gotta stay realistic, folks.