Welcome to another edition of WWE Heat Index, wherein we discuss the interest level for the various feuds heading into the pay-per-view events. This time around, we’re focusing on Elimination Chamber 2018 coming this Sunday night.
The way this works is a pretty simple three-way breakdown of Hot, Lukewarm and Cold. If you like something and you’re very interested in how WWE is setting up the program, it’s Hot (aka Good). If you’re a bit on the fence about it and see some problems, but it’s not awful, then it’s just Okay or Lukewarm. The ones that are the most problematic that you have no interest in are Cold (aka Bad).
Be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments section to let everyone know what your thermometer reads for each feud as I tell you what my thoughts are below!
Without further ado, let’s get started!
Men’s Elimination Chamber Match: Braun Strowman vs. Elias vs. Finn Balor vs. John Cena vs. Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins vs. The Miz = Hot
While I’m going into this with the expectation that my fears from this entire year will be confirmed and we’ll get Roman Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania, I’ve long since accepted the inevitability of that and it doesn’t sting as much as it used to, even if I’m still not a fan of it whatsoever.
Sadly, part of me is still holding on to some hope that Braun Strowman will be victorious here and will capture the Universal Championship in New Orleans instead, but I know that’s a fool’s wish at this point.
Despite that, I’m also interested to see how WWE manages to handle the seven-man situation as well as the interpersonal pairings that make up the bulk of this match.
Is The Miz going to eliminate one or two people? Will he be eliminated by Finn Balor, Seth Rollins or Strowman to set up an Intercontinental Championship match for Mania?
Will Balor be able to get a win over Cena to offset his loss to him with the initial qualifiers for this match? Hell, are those two going to fight at WrestleMania if the match with The Undertaker or the possible backup option of Samoa Joe are both no-goes?
I’m curious how this all works out, so WWE has my attention.
Raw Women’s Championship Elimination Chamber Match: Alexa Bliss (c) vs. Bayley vs. Mandy Rose vs. Mickie James vs. Sasha Banks vs. Sonya Deville = Lukewarm
Points are awarded for this being the first-ever women’s Elimination Chamber match, but that doesn’t immediately shoot it up to a super awesome top-level anticipation tier.
For the most part, if this ends with anybody but Alexa Bliss leaving as the champion, I’m going to look back on it poorly, but if it does end with Bliss retaining the title, part of me will just write it off as being predictable.
It’s a no-win scenario that I’m setting myself up for, and that’s a shame, but that’s what happens when half of you is attempting to analyze everything as a pundit and the other half is trying to enjoy it as a fan.
The fan part of me is excited to see this first-ever match go down and the uppity smark in me is looking at this with fear that it will be a mess that people only praise because it happens to involve the women’s division breaking down another barrier.
Basically, it balances out to somewhere in the middle range. I don’t think it will be horrible and I don’t think it will be fantastic, and I’m willing to let the end result speak for itself more than my projections.
Asuka vs. Nia Jax = Hot / Lukewarm
Part of me is EXTREMELY curious how WWE is going to find a way to handle the finish of this match not screwing up either woman’s momentum or the plans for WrestleMania, but an even bigger part of me is EXTREMELY anxious that they won’t be able to accomplish that goal.
Of course, this isn’t the end of the world or anything like that, but I can’t see this going down in a way that isn’t controversial in some fashion, and not in the sense of people being so wow’ed and astonished by how WWE could pull off such a massive feat, and more so in a way that fans are either scratching their heads wondering why WWE would book themselves into a corner, or being upset with what they were given.
Is it a no-contest? Does Asuka win and then jump over to SmackDown to challenge Charlotte Flair for no real reason? Does Nia Jax actually end the undefeated streak legitimately, or does she get some cop out DQ or count-out victory that makes everyone roll their eyes when they have to keep hearing how Asuka “has never been pinned or made to submit” forever past this point?
This could be a good match or it could be a booking disaster and a true nightmare waiting to happen.
Ronda Rousey Signs Monday Night Raw Contract = Cold
I’m very glad Ronda Rousey is going to be in WWE, but I frankly don’t care about this segment at all right now.
Contract signings on pay-per-views come off as giant wastes of time in my mind because they end up eating about 15-20 minutes worth of the event to dance around the inevitable confrontation that we all know is coming.
Rousey is assuredly having a match at WrestleMania, and it’s probably a mixed tag team match where she and a partner go up against Triple H and Stephanie McMahon, so all I’m expecting to come out of this is a lot of schmoozing and hype about how Rousey was so dominant in UFC and how she’s an amazing get, followed by some light brawling and a scuffle that we have to see repeated a million times over the next few weeks with the commentators having a spastic fit of excitement every time they reference it.
“Oh my!” – pass. Just tell me who Rousey’s partner is going to be and that’s all I really care about. Is it Kurt Angle, as I’m anticipating, or is it someone else? Beyond that, I’ll probably use the rest of this segment to catch up writing down my notes for my reviews to follow.
Matt Hardy vs. Bray Wyatt = Cold
I’m glad this is on the card, as the lineup needed another match and these two shouldn’t have sat on the sidelines, but it’s been pushed aside so much and not at the forefront of any prioritization that it’s hard for me to care too much about it.