Whether it’s in a scripted or non-kayfabe sense by factoring in everything from wins and losses, how much of an emphasis they’re given on the show, their momentum for the next TV episode, match performances and everything between, here’s my shortlist for who I think will be stealing the show at Elimination Chamber.
Women’s Elimination Chamber Match Winner
As it stands, there are six options for who will walk out of this event holding the Raw Women’s Championship, but in my mind, it really only boils down to one: Alexa Bliss.
For the life of me, I can’t imagine any scenario where Mandy Rose or Sonya Deville is ready to take on the responsibility of having the title heading into WrestleMania, and I can’t see WWE giving that spot to Mickie James right now, either.
Bayley and Sasha Banks stand a much better chance, but even they aren’t on the same level as Bliss at the moment in terms of controlling the division with promo work, as the champion is leaps and bounds above them for mic skills.
Plus, Bayley and Sasha seem to be in a feud of sorts, and Bliss is much better suited to feud with Nia Jax over their friendship and the title. At the very least, we could see Asuka jump ship over to SmackDown and either Jax, or a combination of these four fight each other at WrestleMania, but in all scenarios, I think Bliss is retaining the title in this particular Elimination Chamber match and remaining the focal point of the women’s division on the red brand.
Men’s Elimination Chamber Match Winner
Of course, the man who earns the opportunity to challenge Brock Lesnar for the Universal Championship at WrestleMania 34 is a given to be at the top of this card, too. That’s only natural, and it shouldn’t take anybody by surprise to say that, nor should it be any bit of a shocker to find out that I’m assuming Roman Reigns is the one who achieves this goal.
The more time that goes by without Braun Strowman being set up for another type of match at WrestleMania, though, the more I start to think that we could potentially see an ending marred in controversy that results in both Reigns and Strowman getting that match, forcing it to become a Triple Threat, but only if WWE intends to put the belt on Strowman instead of Reigns.
That is something I can’t realistically hope too much for, even if it’s my preference, so when push comes to shove, I have to go with The Big Dog being one of the five most prominent people for this card.
The Miz will have his time to shine, John Cena won’t look like a total chump, and there’s a chance Finn Balor does something neat, but this will be a Reigns and Strowman match that comes down to a choice between a singles or Triple Threat match happening at WrestleMania.
Asuka / Nia Jax
This one is so tough, as I’ve been rambling on and on for several articles around the internet about how the ending of this match could be disastrous.
The short form of those rants = if Asuka wins, what does Jax do at Mania? If Asuka wins and challenges Charlotte Flair, that hurts Jax for no reason and we have no No. 1 contender for Raw. If Jax wins, that hurts Asuka whether she stays on Raw or leaves for SmackDown (even worse for her at that point) and a no-contest or a count out or DQ ending is just a lame cop out to avoid other problems when WWE didn’t need to book this in any capacity.
I hope there’s a solid plan in place that works out, but I can see almost no scenarios that don’t hinder one of these two women, which perplexes me about which one will be prioritized and in what fashion.
Will Asuka keep her undefeated streak and simply beat Jax and send her back down the totem pole, whether or not she fights for the Raw Women’s Championship (leaving SmackDown with no solid contender) or will Jax somehow get a major push by knocking Asuka down a peg?
If Jax gets a victory, she shares equal footing, if not higher standing, than Asuka. Yes, even if it’s by a disqualification or count-out win. In any fashion, she’ll have been the first person to defeat Asuka, and there’s no way around that other than for Jax to lose.
However, what if they do something a little crazy here by having Jax lose this match, be furious about it, attack someone like Mickie James and replace them in the Elimination Chamber?
They just did that with the Tye Dillinger and Sami Zayn thing at the Royal Rumble, so I hope that’s not the case, but WWE has repeated themselves before and if that were to happen, Jax could be leaving the chamber with the Raw Women’s Championship in tow.
That would set up either a Triple Threat of its own with Alexa Bliss cashing in her rematch clause, Asuka opting to use her Royal Rumble victory, and Nia Jax being the champion. Or, it could just be Jax against Bliss if Asuka were to go over to SmackDown.
I would lean toward Asuka being the sole focal point of the two more than any of those scenarios happening, but there’s certainly a chance Jax comes out of Elimination Chamber looking pretty strong…
Duh. There’s no way Ronda Rousey isn’t one of the most prominently featured superstars on this pay-per-view. It’s sheer lunacy if you think anything other than that, and you’re going to be in for disappointment if you’re hoping to not have to see tons and tons of recaps of what she does in this contract signing segment going forward.
Even if she does nothing of noteworthy value and simply signs a piece of paper and then points at the WrestleMania sign again, WWE will still be advertising it like it was something over-the-top awesome for weeks.
That being said, she probably will do something, and it will probably revolve around setting up a mixed tag team match between she and her partner (Kurt Angle, I’m assuming) against Stephanie McMahon and Triple H, but she could quite literally do almost anything and she would still be marketed as one of the most important parts of the show.