It was announced on Monday Night Raw that there will be a special WWE Network exclusive pay-per-view event where the Elimination Chamber match will be returning. This will take place on May 31, 2015 at the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, Texas.
While the Elimination Chamber has previously only been contested for world title stakes (either the WWE Championship, World Heavyweight Championship, ECW Championship or #1 contender), this time around, there will be two matches for the Tag Team Championship and Intercontinental Championship.
In this post, we’ll be taking a look at the latter of those two. Daniel Bryan just relinquished the title, so it is currently vacant and up for grabs by theoretically anybody on the roster. At the moment, nobody has been announced for the match, so that leaves room for speculation. Who should fill those six spots? There are far too many people to list to break down the entire roster, but if I had to take a guess, I would look toward the following names.
The Four Guarantees = Dolph Ziggler, Sheamus, King Bad News Barrett and Neville
Over the past month, these four have been interlocked and having tons of matches with each other. Despite gimmicks like the Kiss Me Arse match and the King of the Ring tournament being thrown in their way, it seems as though their paths continue to cross. Therefore, I would be utterly shocked if the four of them aren’t the majority of the names we see involved in this contendership for the vacated Intercontinental Championship.
Two of those names are former Intercontinental title holders in their own right, with King Barrett having won it the most (five times at a combined length of 397 days), followed by Dolph Ziggler (4 times at 273 days). Sheamus is no slouch, though, having won the sister midcard title—United States Championship—twice for a combined reign of 230 days. Neville stands out as the odd man, but while he’s yet to win a title on the main roster, he is still the longest reigning NXT champion with 287 days as the top dog in that division. The accolades for these four can continue to be compared, but the bottom line is that they are staples of the midcard right now and that’s unlikely to change in the next few weeks.
At this point, it isn’t so much whether or not these four will be involved, but what placement in the match each one will have and who will be the two names that join them.
Options for the Two Empty Spots
If you rule out the tag teams (as they will be busy with the other Elimination Chamber match) as well as John Cena (who is likely to still be the United States champion come this time) and the main eventers that WWE will want to keep away from this, that still leaves a lot of names in the hat.
Since WWE loves to pair people up that are feuding with each other, an easy, albeit lazy duo to toss in the mix would be Ryback and Bray Wyatt. Both of them are at the proper level where they could win the belt and it wouldn’t seem like a stretch, but they can just as easily lose and it won’t kill their credibility.
This could be a good time to re institute The Miz, though, as he could be done with filming his latest movie by the end of the month. He is no stranger to midcard titles as a former multi-time United States and Intercontinental champion. Another name with a similar track record that could use more time in the spotlight is Stardust, who is responsible for bringing back the classic design of the belt that we currently have to begin with. He is currently without a story and is far too valuable of a talent to sit on the sidelines like this. If you’re looking for a jobber, R-Truth isn’t far off, and was a perfectly fine addition to the ladder match at WrestleMania and the King of the Ring tournament. Then, there are the less likely options of people such as Mark Henry, Fandango, and the man that got a huge pop when his name was mentioned by Daniel Bryan this week, Dean Ambrose. While The Lunatic Fringe would make a great replacement for Bryan, he’s not someone I would put a lot of hope into seeing involved in this match considering how he is better suited for the Money in the Bank ladder match to follow shortly after.
Also, keep in mind that WWE has been doing a lot with NXT stars by having them compete against John Cena during his US Open Challenge matches. Could we see someone like Finn Balor move up to the main roster in a big way by earning a placement in this match? Does Kevin Owens seem like a worthwhile challenger seeing as he’s the man on that show? There are a lot of different ways WWE can go with this one.
Which Six Should Compete?
If I were personally booking things and given the keys to the ship, the layout of this match would look different from what it will end up panning out to be. However, that’s not the case, so who would I assume makes the most sense based on WWE’s track record and previous creative decisions? My money is on the four locks of Dolph Ziggler, Sheamus, King Barrett and Neville being joined by Ryback and Bray Wyatt. Out of that bunch, if you’re looking for a winner, you should look toward Bray Wyatt or Sheamus as having the best chance. Barrett already has the King of the Ring going for him and the downside to any of the babyfaces winning is that they offer nothing that John Cena as the United States champion doesn’t already do at the moment. While this group is far from set in stone, I would be surprised to see someone like Fandango, Mark Henry, Rusev or some of the other alternatives make their way into the match instead.
Who are you hoping will make up the group of wrestlers fighting for the Intercontinental Championship at Elimination Chamber 2015? Which WWE superstar should win the vacated title and become the next to hold the white and gold strap? Tell us your booking ideas, predictions and thoughts in the comments below!