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EditorialWhat If NXT Had Elimination Chamber Matches? 2022 Fantasy Booking

What If NXT Had Elimination Chamber Matches? 2022 Fantasy Booking



Elimination Chamber 2022 is coming up and any time there’s a gimmick pay-per-view, I like to play a game of fantasy booking.

What if that same gimmick match or concept was applied to a different set of circumstances? How would I write that scenario and what would I do if I were on the creative team?

As always, I invite everyone reading this to do the same in the comments below. Part of the fun of this is seeing how drastically different ideas we can all have, even if we agree on the lack of direction WWE or AEW has at any particular moment.

This time, let’s toss out a theoretical scenario that NXT decided to have an Elimination Chamber event at Vengeance Day instead of the current lineup?

Here are some ground rules to keep in mind:

  1. I know this isn’t actually happening. This is a thought experiment and a “what if” rather than a set of predictions for something that isn’t real.
  2. I’m looking at this as if WWE said to me a few weeks back “We’re doing an Elimination Chamber for NXT on February 15th. You’re head writer now. What do you want to do?” and I’m tasked to figure out the answer. Try to write your ideas with that in mind, too.
  3. Try to keep it realistic, but if you want to do something crazy, explain why you’d pitch that for an approval.

So without further ado, here are my “what if” fantasy booking ideas for Elimination Chamber matches that would happen for NXT.

Men’s NXT Elimination Chamber Match

The first question to ask is whether this is for the NXT Championship or another title, or if it is to determine the No. 1 contender. In my mind, it almost always works better if the champion isn’t involved. I like this as a gauntlet where someone has to fight to get the title shot, rather than a champion beating five of their potential opponents and running through the roster super fast with no one left to feud with afterward.

With that in mind, that means I’m not having Bron Breakker in this match. On this card, I would have played more into the Dolph Ziggler feud going on right now and that would be one of the big draws: Ziggler coming down from Raw to face Breakker.

That means we need six viable contenders to determine who will face the winner of Breakker vs. Ziggler (ie, who will face Breakker, as I wouldn’t book Ziggler to win the NXT Championship at this moment. Another time with another champion, yes, but not right now in February 2022.)

I count up to 15 worthwhile participants, with an emphasis on about 12 of them. That’s double the field, though, so we have to narrow them down. What’s the best way to do that? Qualifying matches!

First up is Tommaso Ciampa. He’s an obvious inclusion, attempting to win his title back that he lost to Breakker. I’d have him qualify after beating Joe Gacy by disqualification due to interference by Harland.

Pete Dunne’s in after beating Tony D’Angelo. I can’t take D’Angelo seriously yet and Dunne’s as great as they come in the ring, so why wouldn’t you want him in the match?

Santos Escobar would qualify after beating Cameron Grimes. No real story; just a qualifying match.

Let’s go with Grayson Waller winning a match over Dexter Lumis to settle that feud, or at least, put some fuel on the fire.

Duke Hudson should beat LA Knight. Knight and Waller need to be separated and I don’t think Hudson feuding with Dante Chen is going to go anywhere, but a program with Knight could.

Lastly, I’d put Roderick Strong in, after beating Andre Chase or Solo Sikoa. Take your pick on that one. But he’s here to be an anchor and a bit of a tweener who you’re wondering if he’s finally going to level up to the main event of NXT. Spoiler alert. He won’t. Particularly as I’m not imagining he’ll be in the company in a few months.

Entry order:

  1. Tommaso Ciampa
  2. Roderick Strong
  3. Pete Dunne
  4. Duke Hudson
  5. Grayson Waller
  6. Santos Escobar

Ciampa and Strong start off red hot. Dunne ups the ante. Hudson comes in and looks like a beast, eventually eliminating Strong. Waller comes in and teams with Hudson to fight Ciampa and Dunne, but Ciampa gets a roll-up on Hudson after something Dunne does, while Waller wasn’t looking out for his momentary teammate. By the time it seems Dunne and Ciampa will double-team Waller, Escobar is out to even the odds once more. Dunne’s gone from Waller. Ciampa takes out Waller and succumbs to Escobar.

Ultimately, Breakker’s next opponent would be Escobar, who I’d like to see go up to the main roster after WrestleMania. That’s also why I don’t have GUNTHER involved here, as he’s main roster material. Following an eventual win over Escobar, Breakker’s got Gacy he can beat and he can eventually lose the belt to either Waller or Hudson.

Women’s NXT Elimination Chamber Match

The NXT Women’s Championship is a bit of a different situation than the men’s. While there are lots of established men able to become a contender, the women’s division is struggling much more.

I had a grand total of 8 women I thought were worthy of being in here, with a possibility of a ninth, if you play around with some momentum shifts.

A few are locks, though. This is a last hurrah for some of the women I’d pick, and they’re among the top names, so they have to be in it.

That means Raquel Gonzalez, Dakota Kai and Io Shirai are obviously in. That leaves three spots.

Kay Lee Ray isn’t one of those, despite how it would make sense. In an ideal situation, we have a title defense for Mandy Rose, too, and since WWE was pushing KLR in this direction, let’s go with her as challenger to bypass this.

I’d toss in Cora Jade, Sarray and Ivy Nile. Jade’s been doing well and getting a lot of attention, so I don’t think that’s a crazy idea. She even had a recent title match at New Year’s Evil, so she’s well within contention.

Sarray and Nile aren’t on that level yet, but who else are you going to put in? Indi Hartwell and Persia Pirotta are busy as a tag team, Candice LeRae is on pregnancy leave, and I don’t think anyone in their right mind thinks someone like Lash Legend or Erica Yan is ready for this or would boost the match in any fashion.

I thought about Elektra Lopez, but she’s got a long way to go, too. Nikkita Lyons was almost in there instead of Ivy Nile, but I just haven’t seen enough of her to justify that.

I’d love to see Tiffany Stratton try to get a spot in the Elimination Chamber just because she’s spoiled, only to have it taken away from her by losing a qualifying match to someone like Jade or Shirai.

Entry order:

  1. Raquel Gonzalez
  2. Dakota Kai
  3. Ivy Nile
  4. Sarray
  5. Io Shirai
  6. Cora Jade

Gonzalez has to start as the biggest woman so she can be slowly beaten down throughout the match as an excuse for coming up short. You might as well start her off with Dakota Kai to cap off that feud. Ivy Nile is the most neutral person, so she comes in next to fight with both of them, only for Kai and Gonzalez to put aside their differences to team up against her and take her out. Sarray is in next and she’s able to fight them off separately. Shirai comes in to make it a total free-for-all. Finally, Jade, the other underdog with Sarray, enters toward the end, making you think she has a chance at winning. Gonzalez takes out Kai. We’re all babyfaces, so anyone can technically win, and since Mandy Rose isn’t dropping that belt to Kay Lee Ray, we know one of these four makes sense.

Jade and Gonzalez already had their shots and Shirai had been in the mix, too. It’s time for someone new. Sarray may not be ready for that responsibility, but she doesn’t have to win the title from Rose after this. So let’s take out Jade by Gonzalez, who falls to Shirai, who gets beaten by Sarray.

What would you book in these fantasy scenarios? Drop your thoughts in the comments below!

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