New Orleans Arena
New Orleans, LA
The last stop on the Road to WrestleMania! The final reason for you to drop $44.99 on wrestling PPV (because really, who the hell is actually going to buy the TNA PPV?). The Elimination Chamber PPV is another WWE concept match PPV and at times can be one of the most influential events as it is one month before WrestleMania. This year’s event feels kinda flat, with a WWE Championship rematch from Royal Rumble, and a 6-Man Tag match featuring John Cena (are you really picking against Cena in Mania season?), to the titular Chamber match which did not have a full 6 contenders until 6 days before the event. Any of that convince you to spend nearly $50 on Sunday? Even with the NBA All-Star Game as the only real competition? Let’s dive into the card and see how this one looks. But first, a quick look back at how we did predicting the Royal Rumble last month.
Paul: 3 for 5--@PaulHcle
Victor: 2 for 5--@weenusenvy
Brodus Clay & Tensai vs. Team Rhodes Scholars
If you’re really bored at 7:30PM this Sunday, by all means please tune in to this train wreck. This match is just pathetic. We have Tensai who suddenly turned face at Raw Roulette in Las Vegas & now dances worse than Brodus. Then, we have Rhodes Scholars, a team that disbanded to the point of spending a segment on Smackdown to tell General Manager Booker T. Now they are suddenly back as a team? This is haphazard WWE booking at its worse. Rhodes Scholars need the win to establish them both heading into the final stretch run to Mania.
My Prediction- Tensai & Brodus Clay win.
Victor’s Pick- Team Rhodes Scholars win.
Kaitlyn (c) vs. Tamina
This match was simply thrown onto the card during the final week, which is an insult to the performers & the fans. These two met in a throwaway divas match on Raw Roulette 3 weeks ago. A match that didn’t have a finish; it simply ended. How does that happen? WWE clearly doesn’t care one little bit about the Divas division, so why should anyone else?
Our Prediction- Kaitlyn retains (in a 2 minute match)
United States Championship:
Antonio Cesaro (c) vs. The Miz
The Preshow match from the Royal Rumble is being bumped up to the Elimination Chamber PPV. The match last month wasn’t terrible. And at least this match has a bit of a story. Miz hates Cesaro. Cesaro hates Miz. It really is as archaic as it sounds. One thing I am enjoying about this feud, though, is how the Main Event tv show on ion tv is being used to build the angle. The Main Event show might be the best show WWE produces each week.
Our Prediction- Antonio Cesaro retains.
6-Man Tag Team Match:
Sheamus, John Cena, & Ryback vs. The Shield
The Shield has popped up in matches for Cena, Sheamus, & Ryback since their debut at Survivor Series. Now, those 3 superstars band together to eliminate The Shield. This could be a bad night for The Shield. John Cena simply does not loses during WrestleMania season. In fact in the entire history of this event, Cena has 1 loss. And that loss came after he won an Elimination Chamber match to win the WWE Championship, which he subsequently lost to Batista. So shenanigans were afoot. I stand by my prediction, John Cena does not lose at this event.
Our Prediction- John Cena, Sheamus, & Ryback win.
World Heavyweight Championship:
Alberto Del Rio (c) vs. Big Show
A continuation of their feud at Royal Rumble, these two meet in a rematch. Show is knocking out anyone with a pulse and a WWE contract since he lost his Title. Del Rio has spent this time trying to embarrass Big Show, because pissing off a man who is twice your size in height & weight is always a good idea (life lesson). I really don’t give a damn about Big Show. This whole “iron-clad contract” gimmick has run its course. Show needs to lose, by submission, to put over Del Rio’s face turn.
Our Prediction- Alberto Del Rio retains.
Winner Gets World Heavyweight Championship Match at WrestleMania 29-
Elimination Chamber Match:
Randy Orton vs. Jack Swagger vs. Chris Jericho vs. Mark Henry vs. Kane vs. Daniel Bryan
The Tag Team Champions are in this match, so they won’t be winning. Smart money (who bets on pro wrestling?) is on Bryan vs. Kane at WrestleMania after dropping the Tag Team Championship in March. Jack Swagger is getting a push, but he’s not a draw, so he’s not getting a Championship match at WrestleMania. Mark Henry is back with a vengeance and is a legit threat to the World Championship. Randy Orton is a main-stay of WrestleMania & quite possibly the winner of this match. Original rumors had Orton vs. Sheamus for the World Title, but I doubt he will be the winner of the Chamber. When Chris Jericho returned as the #2 entrant of the Royal Rumble match, I kept thinking “Why?” Jericho didn’t return simply for another Mania match. He’s here to establish a star. But who? And how? The answer came to me after a great Daniel Bryan/Chris Jericho match on Raw. Jericho wins the Chamber. Then, Jericho wins the World Title at Mania. As he’s celebrating, Dolph Ziggler “cashes in” the Money in the Bank and wins, becoming the 1st person to “cash in” at WrestleMania. This leads to a Jericho vs. Ziggler match on tv for the Title shortly after, and then Ziggler runs with the Title.
Our Prediction- Chris Jericho wins.
WWE Championship- Title Changes on DQ or Count Out:
The Rock (c) vs. CM Punk
Can we get them to “emotional invest?” That’s the question wrestling promoters ask themselves at every show. That’s what pro wrestling/sports-entertainment comes down to. That moment when you, sitting on the couch, pop out of your chair and yell “What the hell was that?” or “Did you see that?” or something of the like. Many fans have voiced displeasure with CM Punk’s Title match loss at Royal Rumble, to the point where a man who was shot told local tv reporters the worst thing to happen to him that week was CM Punk losing the WWE Championship. That’s “emotional investment.” But with The Rock winning the WWE Championship-- and then not appearing on every Raw & none of the house shows-- it appears to undermine the work of the superstars who bust their asses everyday on the road. The lack of the Champion on shows is really unbelievable & insulting to the hard workers in the company who could be in that spot The Rock is taking. But Rock is on a collision course with Cena at WrestleMania. This match is to put over Rock, nothing more.
Our Prediction- The Rock retains.
Looks like Victor & I are pretty much in agreement this month on picks, which is not really a good thing. The unpredictability of wrestling is its biggest draw. I hope for some major twists & surprises this Sunday, but I’m not counting on it. Quick plug for The John Layfield & Michael Cole Radio Show on Layfield Report.com. Great show, well worth a download & listen. They cover a little bit of everything, from wrestling & politics to weird news & general opinion. It’s a great show & you should go check it out.
One more thing, I’d like to congratulate Triple H. What a spectacular job he did of convincing Bruno Sammartino of finally accepting the WWE Hall of Fame induction. Make no mistake about it. WWE has wanted Bruno in The Hall for years, going back to 2005. Bruno always turned it down. So then, why did fans bitch so much about him not being in The Hall? If Bruno was the one turning it down, why was The Hall “not legit?” I call bullshit. I’m not saying the WWE Hall of Fame is the ultimate wrestling HOF, but it’s all we have. The Class of 2013 is shaping up to be one of the best of all time, with Bruno, Mick Foley, Bob Backlund, & Trish Stratus so far. WWE should be commended for its hard work in legitimizing their HOF, but fans who claim otherwise because guys like Randy Savage & Owen Hart are not in are delusional. Extenuating circumstances are involved in both cases, and please don’t get me started on the Canadian grappler WWE has rightfully wiped from its history. Certain stars will never be in The Hall; let’s celebrate those who are.
Thank you, and if you would like to complain… @PaulHcle.
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