I’ve always been interested in “what if” scenarios. In a parallel reality where only one thing was different, how would things play out differently? Alternate concepts and fantasy booking opens itself up to a slew of discussions in pro wrestling, and with Elimination Chamber coming up this Saturday, the thought popped into my head: What if AEW had the Elimination Chamber at Revolution, rather than this being a WWE concept?
For argument’s sake, let’s say the entire roster is exactly the same it is right now. All the same champions are holding their titles, the feuds are still in tact, and so on.
The only real difference would be that instead of a Face of the Revolution Ladder Match that will likely be added to the card, AEW was able to put on one or two Elimination Chamber bouts, instead.
Who would be in them? What would they be for?
Let’s explore some ideas in this creative exercise!
Setup & Extraneous Factors
For simplicity’s sake, I’m going to book as much of an equivalent card as possible to what WWE is producing.
That means MJF vs. Bryan Danielson, which is already on the card, equals the Roman Reigns vs. Sami Zayn match.
Likewise, it means the two Elimination Chambers I’ll be focusing on are going to be for AEW’s equivalent of the United States Championship (aka, the TNT Championship) and a women’s match to determine the No. 1 contender for the top title in that division (Jamie Hayter’s Women’s World Championship, as opposed to Jade Cargill’s TBS Championship).
That means I’m not going to separate Samoa Joe vs. Wardlow. However, I’ll go ahead and say that I’ll keep the tag team four-way as is (at least, for what it is right now, while two teams are to be determined) and I’ll even keep Jon Moxley and Hangman Adam Page separate in a Texas Deathmatch to act as the equivalent of Brock Lesnar vs. Bobby Lashley.
There isn’t a mixed tag team match for me to jump straight into for a parallel to Beth Phoenix and Edge against Rhea Ripley and Finn Balor. However, I will state that I’m not including The Jericho Appreciation Society or Ricky Starks in the Elimination Chamber match. In my mind, that is too separate of a feud and it could act as a replacement for the mixed tag match, in theory.
With that in mind, let’s start breaking down my picks for the cage matches themselves!
AEW Women’s World Championship No. 1 Contender Elimination Chamber Match
Jamie Hayter is champion. She needs six women to be in contention to fight her down the line.
Ideally, these are the top six women on the roster, but I’d rule out Cargill. She’s already holding her own title and is on an undefeated streak.
Britt Baker is a definite for the list. Not only is she the gold standard of the division, her inclusion also gets the fans to wonder whether or not they’ll see Baker vs. Hayter.
Toni Storm would have to be in the mix, too. Obviously, they’re still feuding. Ignoring Storm wouldn’t make any sense.
Ruby Soho is stuck in the middle of this growing split between the roster. She’s a perfect dark horse to win this.
The other three are a little harder to pinpoint, for a variety of reasons.
Saraya is a candidate, but you don’t want to have her against Storm at any point. Plus, she needs to be treated delicately for her potential injuries. Tossing her in this cage isn’t a good idea. I’d rule her out. She can interfere and help Storm out or something.
I would go straight to Thunder Rosa being on here if she had returned from injury by now. Since she hasn’t, I guess she’s off the table. Unfortunately, Hikaru Shida, who would have made an EASY pick to be involved here, has been out of action the past two months from a finger injury, too. That rules out Kris Statlander as well as Willow Nightingale and even The Bunny. This is rough.
At this point, I think you’re looking at a group of three people who stand almost no chance to win. Funny enough, that is also what is happening with the Raw Women’s Championship title shot. There is no way Nikki Cross, Natalya or Carmella will win that match. So let’s try to find the equivalents of those three.
Just like how Nattie is thrown in when they need someone to fill a void, I think that could go to Nyla Rose. She’d be the tough “monster” of the match.
I’d also throw either Anna Jay or Tay Melo in there. Only one of them. My pick would lean more toward Jay, but Melo works just fine enough. They aren’t involved as directly in the Ricky Starks vs JAS feud, so I see no reason why they can’t be vying for a title shot.
That final spot could go to someone at random like Athena, Riho, Red Velvet, Leila Grey, Kiera Hogan, Penelope Ford, Serena Deeb or Madison Rayne. But I would take the opportunity to go with Julia Hart to give her some time in the spotlight she rarely ever gets.
Ultimately, the winner of the match would have to boil down to either Storm or Soho. Since I think the more interesting scenario is Soho turning heel and aligning with Storm and Saraya, let’s go with Ruby winning this and going on to fight Hayter.
AEW TNT Championship Elimination Chamber Match
Obviously, since Austin Theory is going into the United States Championship Elimination Chamber match, the AEW equivalent is Samoa Joe defending his TNT Championship. That takes care of one of the six.
Clearly, the second guaranteed member of the match is Wardlow. He’s not only the person Joe beat to win the title the first time around, he’s also the guy fighting Joe at Revolution as is.
Overall, I think Darby Allin makes sense for the same reasons. Having just beaten Joe for the belt and lost it right back, Allin would be in contention for another shot despite their whole “last match with no other chances” stipulation. Simply put, you just don’t have them say that. Plus, don’t we all want to see what shenanigans Allin would get up to inside this structure?
Finding three others isn’t difficult. The hard part is narrowing down the field when there are plenty names worth mentioning.
I’d rule out Orange Cassidy for having his own title, as well as The Elite as trios champions. The same goes for the ROH champions Claudio Castagnoli and Wheeler Yuta. Despite how I’d like to see someone like Miro return, since he’s MIA, I’m ruling him out, too.
Christian Cage’s return could have been held off a bit to allow Jungle Boy Jack Perry to be involved. He specifically wants to fight for singles gold this year, is a workhorse in the ring, and an underdog that would perfectly fit filling up a spot.
Eddie Kingston is a fan favorite who can brawl with the best of them. Put him in there.
One of the major options that stands out to me is Mark Briscoe. I can see an argument to not include him if you don’t want him to lose, but since he’s new to being able to wrestle on AEW television and has a lot of momentum on his side through Jay’s unfortunate passing, he’s a big name to not overlook. For argument’s sake, though, let’s just say that he could be replaced by a handful of others if you don’t want to put him in this position. A few suggestions would be Powerhouse Hobbs, Konosuke Takeshita, Brian Cage, Keith Lee, Swerve Strickland, Malakai Black and PAC.
While I’m not sold on the prediction that Theory will drop the United States title, I do think Joe is losing the TNT Championship to Wardlow. Simple as that.
What are your fantasy booking ideas for this “what if” concept? Drop your thoughts in the comments below!
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