This Sunday is WWE’s “Elimination Chamber” pay-per-view, which has actually become one of the “big four” annual WWE pay-per-views. The original big four WWE pay-per-views have traditionally been WrestleMania, Royal Rumble, SummerSlam and Survivor Series. When you look at the last few years of pay-per-view buyrate figures, you’ll notice that the Survivor Series pay-per-view is consistently beaten by the Elimination Chamber.
With that said, in my personal opinion, the Elimination Chamber doesn’t feel like a really big show this year. One could argue that people are looking forward to RAW the next night more than the actual pay-per-view, due to the returns of Hulk Hogan and The Undertaker. In fact, the Elimination Chamber might be third on the list of things WWE fans are anticipating in the next few days, as Monday’s RAW and the launch of the WWE Network both feel like a “bigger deal” than Sunday’s pay-per-view.
In any matter, it’s pay-per-view time, so let’s jump into some predictions and analysis of the 2014 Elimination Chamber event.
Goldust & Cody Rhodes vs. Ryback & Curtis Axel
Boone’s Breakdown: It feels like WWE is in the midst of demoting the brother-duo of Goldust and Cody Rhodes. After losing the WWE Tag-Team Championships to The New Age Outlaws, the Rhodes brothers seem to have less of a role on RAW and SmackDown each week. Their big segment on this past Monday’s RAW was a backstage skit where they played with toys to set up a quick “Bad News Barrett” promo. Regardless, the in-ring action from these two continues to be among the best of any tag-team in the company. Ryback and Curtis Axel are, well, whatever. This should be a decent little pre-show match. If they’re going to pull the trigger on the brother vs. brother match at WrestleMania XXX, one would assume the seeds would be planted here with Goldust costing Cody Rhodes the win, or vice-versa. They could always do a blatant heel turn as well.
Boone’s Prediction: Ryback & Curtis Axel
Titus O’Neil vs. Darren Young
Boone’s Breakdown: I’ve said it a bunch in the past, Titus O’Neil is someone I think could be a pretty big future Superstar for the company. He’s got the size and the look, his in-ring work is solid, and he has shown flashes of pretty good entertainment on the mic from time-to-time. Generally when a tag-team is together for a while, they have an exit plan. Shawn Michaels has noted in the past that he and Marty Jannety had the “Barber Shop” story line in their back pocket for a while as a way to split-off into singles careers. I’m sure O’Neil and Darren Young have discussed how they would handle a break-up before. Another factor is chemistry. When you work as a tag-team for a lengthy period of time, you certainly establish some in-ring chemistry. With that said, these two have all the ingedients needed to have a great match. I’m assuming everyone knows who’s going over in this one.
Boone’s Prediction: Titus O’Neil
Batista vs. Alberto Del Rio
Boone’s Breakdown: It’s time for “The Animal” to have his first official singles match in years. Will there be any ring rust? I guess we’ll find out on Sunday. Alberto Del Rio is an underrated talent, and one that generally has pretty excellent matches. He’s got his work cut out for him with Batista. Unless they pull an angle off to set up Batista’s road to WrestleMania here, this should be a pretty straight-forward match to predict. Del Rio will get a few moments here and there, but this will likely be a match designed to make Batista look like a monster heading into his WWE World Heavyweight Championship match with Randy Orton at WrestleMania XXX.
Boone’s Prediction: Batista
The Shield vs. The Wyatt Family
Boone’s Breakdown: This one is really interesting. I think WWE has done a great job building up this feud, and it’s almost a shame that they didn’t save it for WrestleMania XXX, as it really feels like a big deal. It’s pretty well known by now that WWE has big plans for Roman Reigns. Knowing that, and knowing WrestleMania is right around the corner, it might be time to pull the trigger on The Shield breaking up. That’s an easy way to have The Wyatt Family go over without hurting The Shield. I could see Dean Ambrose costing Reigns the match, or getting too greedy and ruining things for his squad. Basically, something along those lines. In the end, I’m pretty sure The Wyatt Family will get the “W.”
Boone’s Prediction: The Wyatt Family
WWE Tag-Team Championships
The New Age Outlaws (c) vs. The Usos
Boone’s Breakdown: Call me crazy, but I have a feeling that WWE might actually put the straps on The Usos in this one. I’m not sure if that will be my official prediction, but I have a funny feeling it’s a good possibility. Basically, I’m just setting myself up to be able to “sorta-kinda” say “I told you so” if they do get the nod. Ultimately, I’m going to lean with The New Age Outlaws, because as I understand it, the whole point of bringing them back and putting the straps on them was because they’re an “Attitude Era” team, and with that era being a large part of the focus of the WWE Network, they wanted a team from that era to have a strong role in the current product. With that in mind, I’m going to say The Outlaws retain here, however it wouldn’t shock me to see it go the other way.
Boone’s Prediction: The New Age Outlaws
WWE Intercontinental Championship
Big E. (c) vs. Jack Swagger
Boone’s Breakdown: I have next to zero interest in this one. Outside of seeing how they book Big E., as he’s one of the “darlings” of WWE management, I’m not sure that this match has a ton of importance behind it. It seems like they’re getting close to pulling the trigger on yet another split, much like The Shield and the Rhodes brothers, it looks like WWE is about to finally do something with Cesaro. They’ve also teased Jack Swagger letting down Zeb Colter a couple of times, so I’m assuming something similar will happen here.
Boone’s Prediction: Big E.
WWE World Heavyweight Championship (Elimination Chamber)
Randy Orton (c) vs. Sheamus vs. John Cena vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Cesaro vs. Christian
Boone’s Breakdown: And that brings us to the big boy — the Elimination Chamber match. As WWE’s version of WCW’s old “War Games” style cage matches, I’ve always enjoyed the match concept in general. This year, as I noted before, doesn’t feel like one of the bigger Elimination Chamber matches of all-time. Regardless, there’s a lot of strong talent included in this one, so it should turn out to be a great match. I believe the whole point of injuring Daniel Bryan’s shoulder at RAW on Monday was to set up an angle taking place in this match. Maybe Triple H comes out and costs Bryan the win here to set up their rumored showdown at WrestleMania? That’s certainly one possibility. They’ve had Randy Orton job to pretty much everyone in this match during the build up, and they continue to tease Orton sucking up to The Authority. I’m sure that will all play out in the finish to this one. It should be a good one!
Boone’s Prediction: Randy Orton
What do you guys think of Sunday’s Elimination Chamber pay-per-view? Who does everyone expect to win? Share your own predictions and feedback in the “Comments” section below. You can also hit me up directly at Facebook.com/MattBooneWZR.