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 2019 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!
Women’s Tag Team Championship Elimination Chamber Match: Bayley and Sasha Banks vs. Nia Jax and Tamina vs. The Riott Squad vs. Naomi and Carmella vs. The IIconics vs. Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville= Hot
Any time WWE sets up a gimmick match with a new championship making its debut and the guarantee of new champions being crowned, it’s going to garner quite a bit of interest.
This particular match isn’t going to be the absolute best of the card, but it’s one of the major selling points to the event, and something that I’ll be keeping an eye on, for sure. That’s even despite the predictable outcome.
I’m curious about the eliminations. Who will be booked strong and who will just be fodder? Will there be a situation like with Braun Strowman where he beat everyone except for Roman Reigns, making him damn near the winner even in a loss? Or is this going to be a straightforward balancing act with no one team being dominant?
Whatever decision WWE makes on booking this, they have my attention just because it’s happening.
Prediction: The Boss and Hug Connection wins.
WWE Championship Elimination Chamber Match: Daniel Bryan (c) vs. AJ Styles vs. Jeff Hardy vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Randy Orton vs. Samoa Joe = Hot
Elimination Chamber matches are fun and I’m a fan of all six of these guys in this match, to varying degrees.
The build for this has been very barebones, so I’m not super pumped like I would be for a one-on-one epic encounter at WrestleMania or anything, yet it doesn’t need to be that type of a storyline for me to be invested.
Basically, I treat this like I treat the Royal Rumble. The gimmick and the participants inside the cage are what makes or breaks this, rather than any interpersonal plots. I do like Samoa Joe looking strong recently, but even if they did less, I’d still be game.
There’s also the element of not knowing exactly how this will go down. I trust that the title isn’t going anywhere, but WWE has pulled out some tricky swerves in the past.
Prediction: Daniel Bryan retains the title.
Raw Women’s Championship Match: Ronda Rousey (c) vs. Ruby Riott = Cold
This match is filler. It serves no purpose other than to give Rousey another victory on the Road to WrestleMania, and even though I’d certainly book it on the card if they gave me a writing job last week, it doesn’t mean I have to be thrilled about it.
There’s nothing to this, and as such, there’s nothing to get excited about. Rousey will win, it’ll be fast enough that they won’t take up too much time, and that’ll be the end of things.
Prediction: Ronda Rousey retains the title.
Intercontinental Championship Handicap Match: Bobby Lashley (c) and Lio Rush vs. Finn Balor = Lukewarm
I’m not super super into this feud quite yet, as it’s pretty basic, but I do appreciate that it’s a simple enough thing going on that WWE hasn’t tried to make too complicated. I also appreciate the attempt to do something slightly different by having the title on the line in a handicap match.
That in itself poses an interesting scenario. If Finn Balor wins the title because he pins Lio Rush instead of Bobby Lashley, there’s more than enough of a reasoning to justify Lashley wanting a rematch and being granted it, as he’d have lost in a way that he looks strong. On the flip side, if Balor loses, he just faced two men, so of course he had the disadvantage.
Basically, it’s a win-win scenario. Nice job in that regard, WWE.
Prediction: Bobby Lashley retains the title.
SmackDown Tag Team Championship Match: The Miz and Shane McMahon (c) vs. The Usos = Lukewarm / Cold
The Usos are one of the best tag teams WWE has, so there’s a chance they can pull out a decent enough match here against The Miz and Shane McMahon.
However, I’m not too enthusiastic about this, overall. I don’t have the biggest confidence in the world that it will be anything more than just okay on a B-level pay-per-view.
Likely, it’ll be fine, and we’ll all forget about it after a few days, if not by the end of the night.
This isn’t meant to be some barnburner major bump in the Road to WrestleMania, so I’m not judging it with those expectations. But hey, maybe I’m wrong and it’ll be both great and there will be a surprise title change. It could happen.
Prediction: The Miz and Shane McMahon retain the titles.
Cruiserweight Championship Match: Buddy Murphy (c) vs. Akira Tozawa = Lukewarm / Cold
I hate being down on 205 Live, as I feel they don’t get anywhere near the credit they deserve from the average fan, as well as WWE in general, but I have to admit that this does nothing for me.
Fundamentally, I know Murphy and Tozawa have the potential to put on a good match. They’re talented guys and I trust their abilities. But this could have been something much more interesting.
Murphy has already beaten Tozawa when these two faced off with Hideo Itami and Kalisto at Royal Rumble. This match at Elimination Chamber doesn’t add anything to the mix, it just takes two people out of the equation. That’s a downgrade, rather than an upgrade.
Since I don’t think Tozawa is winning the belt, the only positive is the in-ring action. I would have rather seen someone new and fresh in the title hunt, like The Brian Kendrick or Noam Dar, who could have filled the same role of losing to Murphy, but would have been a change of pace, rather than a repeat with Tozawa again.