by Craig Higham - February 13, 2014
With the Elimination Chamber just over a week away, I have my fingers crossed that I will not have buyer’s remorse after watching it. My concern is not after witnessing the past 12 months of WWE PPV’s (which has led to many people feeling they wished they didn’t order them), but rather the actual Elimination Chamber matches being either really good or average and predictable.
Over the years we have seen 16 Elimination Chamber matches with some of these Elimination Chamber matches having us on the edge of our seats for the 30 minutes of mayhem, such as the very first one in 2002 at Survivor Series. But we have also seen some terrible chamber matches such as World Heavyweight Chamber match in 2012 which we just wanted to hurry up and finish. Heading into this year’s Chamber, I do have high hopes, as long as the WWE doesn’t fall into the following poor Chamber habits?
Lack of star power – When in previous years you have WWE Superstars such as The Great Khali, R-Truth, Mike Knox or Vladimire Koslov entered into the Chamber you know that when it is these guys turn in the Chamber is going to be less enthralling. Sometimes we get surprised like Santino Marella’s & John Morrison’s performances in the Chamber, but generally these non-big name stars tend to be easy pickings for the main event players in the Chamber. Luckily this year we have 6 great performers in Orton, Cena, Bryan, Cesaro, Christian and Sheamus, which means there should be no dull moments during this year’s Chamber, especially if they have the likes of Daniel Bryan and Christian starting.
Predictable winner–With the winner if the chamber usually heading to Wrestlemania to defend their title or face the champion, you then do not want your chamber filled with participants you know have no chance in winning. In 2012 riding a huge wave of popularity, Santino Marella and Daniel Bryan are the last 2 left in the Chamber. As much as they tried to make Santino a possible threat, you knew he was not heading to Wrestlemania as a champion. The WWE Championship Elimination Chamber match also in 2012 had just as predictable ending when CM Punk walked away the winner. In 2008 The Undertaker and Batista shared the chamber with Big Daddy V, Finlay, The Great Khali and MVP…you didn’t have to be a rocket scientist to work out who would be the last 2 standing.
This year unfortunately we have a case where (based on rumoured possible Wrestlemania matches) again we only have really 2 superstars that have a realistic chance of winning. Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton, so we can expect these two to be the last two remaining.
Lack of use of the chamber – John Morrison showed us in 2010 what could be done in the Chamber, and we should at bare minimum expect 1 pod to be used and broken, but over the years what has disappointed many is the lack of use of the Chamber as a weapon. We have seen superstars slammed on the steel, but whatever happen to the good old face scrap on the side of the cage? Or even picking someone up and ramming them, head first into the side of the cage? Maybe it is the PG era, but the use of the actual Chamber structure needs to be used more in the match.
With both Christian and Daniel Bryan inside the Chamber I expect to see both of them using it to climb and come up with an unique move, Sheamus and Cesaro with their power are going to be the ones to use the Chamber as a weapon, and expect to see a Cena AA, or Orton DDT through the ropes onto the steel as well.
Hyped moment not happening – In 2012, everyone wanted to see CM Punk and Chris Jericho deliver a classic match-up inside the Chamber to set up their match at Wrestlemania. But the WWE creative decided to have Chris Jericho fall out of the Chamber and suffer a concussion ruining the moment for fans.
If Daniel Bryan is eliminated early then fans will riot, my prediction is he will start the match and be one of the last two remaining. He needs to get his hands on Randy Orton up some stage, and if he is to be screwed out of the victory then it needs to be done in a cool way, not just Kane entering the Chamber and choke-slamming him for an Orton win…….fans may still riot is he doesn’t win the match.
No big Surprise – Sometimes it is not the actual elimination match that makes the night memorable, it is an incident or surprise that fans did not see coming that has us excited about the night. Incidents such as in 2006 at News Years Revolution where the Chamber match won by John Cena was nothing to get to excited about, but Edge cashing in his Money In The Bank Contract (the first person to do so) straight after the match (pardon the pun) reeked of Awesomness. In 2010 Shawn Michaels cost The Undertaker the match setting up the rematch everyone wanted at Wrestlemania 26.
This year we could see Daniel Bryan get screwed out of winning by any of the Authority, or The Wyatt’s costing John Cena the title and match. The problem is any of these incidents would not be a shock to see, and therefore not a big surprise.
Final Prediction – I feel that 2014 Elimination Chamber will come down to two men, Randy Orton and Daniel Bryan, with Daniel Bryan being screwed out of the win, setting up his match with Triple H or Kane for Wrestlemania. After Smackdown this week, I see Christian and Sheamus also heading for a showdown at Wrestlemania with one of them returning to their heel Persona. Antonia Cesaro will put on a great show, and my wild card is John Cena. I cannot see 2 forms of interference, however The Wyatt’s may have to be involved somehow if a match against Cena at Wrestlemania is planned.
The Quality of performers in the Chamber this year does make it a must see, so I will be opening up my wallet to order this event.
I hope that Australia does get The WWE network at some stage!!
Who is your tip to win this year’s Royal Rumble?
Hooroo and see you next week.
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