Fresh off one of the most entertaining Royal Rumble PPV’s in recent memory, WWE is bringing the Elimination Chamber to Las Vegas for two very important matches with major WrestleMania implications. Also on the show, Ronda Rousey will sign her WWE contract in the same building where she ended her UFC career back in 2016.
Let’s take a match by match look at WWE’s final RAW exclusive PPV and give you some predictions while we’re at it.
Tag Team Match (Pre-Show)
Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson vs. The Miztourage (Bo Dallas & Curtis Axel)
This is a match that was made for a PPV pre-show. Gallows and Anderson, two of the coolest kids in the room during their New Japan days, have unfortunately become shells of their former selves with this obnoxious PG “Nerd” gimmick. These are two guys, particularly Anderson on the mic, who just haven’t been given the time or the freedom they would need to break out and become a must see act. That said, at least they’re getting paid. I see them getting a W here over Dallas and Axel since there’s really no reason for the latter squad to ever get a win. Anderson and Gallows should be kept strong to put The Revival over, whom we could see interfere in this match.
Prediction: Gallows & Anderson
Asuka vs. Nia Jax
The undefeated ‘Empress of Tomorrow’ takes on Nia Jax in a match that — should Nia win — she will be added to Asuka’s WrestleMania title match to make it a triple threat. Asuka earned the right to challenge for a world title by winning the inaugural women’s Royal Rumble last month in Philly but was interrupted by Ronda Rousey when it came time for her to choose a champion to face at Mania. Get it? Do you understand? Because I’m still not clear on what’s going on here. And WWE may not be either. Regardless, it really doesn’t matter because Nia won’t be competing for a title at WrestleMania. Asuka stays undefeated and ends up challenging either Charlotte Flair, your current SmackDown Women’s Champion, or the winner of the RAW Women’s Chamber match at WrestleMania.
RAW Tag Team Championship Match
Cesaro & Sheamus (c) vs. Titus Worldwide (Apollo & Titus O’Neil w/ Dana Brooke)
Dana Brooke is clearly the X-factor here. Will all of those sleepless nights she’s spent crunching numbers as the Titus Worldwide statistician pay off for Titus and Apollo as they attempt to put an end to Cesaro and Sheamus’ 4th tag team title reign? They’ve certainly had their number so far. I just don’t see it happening on this particular night. What I’d like to see would be a title unification match between the RAW and SmackDown tag champs at WrestleMania. The Usos versus Cesaro and Sheamus would be the way to go if that is the case. If we are doing away with brand exclusive PPV’s — there’s really no point in having two tag team champions when you only have a handful of active tag teams.
Prediction: Cesaro & Sheamus retain
‘Woken’ Matt Hardy vs. Bray Wyatt
We need something here. WWE hasn’t even given us a sniff a the ‘Broken’ brilliance we saw from Matt Hardy in Impact. This has been yet another one of those feuds involving Bray Wyatt that went from fantasy booking to just—who cares. But it can still be salvaged. Turn it up a notch here and just let these two go nuts. Either that, or just “Delete” it all together and let’s move on.
Prediction: ‘Woken’ Matt
Women’s Elimination Chamber Championship Match
Alexa Bliss (c) vs. Bayley vs. Saha Banks vs. Sonya Deville vs. Mandy Rose vs. Mickie James
Another historic moment will take place when five women challenge RAW Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss in what will be the first ever Elimination Chamber match for the women of WWE. Here’s what would happen if this were a perfect world.
The Turn—Sasha and Bayley’s friendship comes to an end and we get to relive the magic that was the 2015 feud of the year in all of wrestling. Again, all roads lead to New Orleans, which means there is no better time to set up a match with something major on the line between these two. Will it be for a world title? Well, this isn’t a perfect world. Hopefully, if this does go down tonight, we at least get a major stipulation match.
Making a prediction for this match is actually rather difficult, which is a good thing. It seems like Alexa would retain since she’s on a major roll over the past year but I’m going to go a little outside of the box here. I like Mickie James to become a 7x world champion and Asuka to choose her for WrestleMania. Let’s recreate a little bit of that NXT TakeOver: Toronto magic in April.
Bold Prediction Alert: Mickie James is going to WrestleMania
Men’s Elimination Chamber Match
Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins vs. John Cena vs. Finn Balor vs. Elias vs. Braun Strowman vs. The Miz
On the men’s side, seven men will compete for the right to challenge for Brock Lesnar’s Universal Championship at WrestleMania. Seth Rollins is coming in hot fresh off a history making performance this past week on RAW. Rollins set a record when he lasted an hour and five minutes in a Gauntlet match that would going two hours in total, making for a refreshing change of pace on a Monday night. It was the longest performance by any wrestler in the 25-year history of RAW — Monday Night Rollins indeed.
So, let’s be honest here. This is a two-man match. For Elias, who is set to enter the match last, it will be all about theatrics. He can entertain us from his pod with some play-by-play as he strums his guitar. I’m all for it. For Miz and Strowman, you’re probably going to get something that will set up a WrestleMania feud between the two from the looks of it. They cancel each other out, but Strowman will get his licks in. For Balor, well, who knows what becomes of him. Let’s move him over to SmackDown and let him become a headliner already. Cena will put someone over and move on to his Mania feud with Undertaker which leaves us with Rollins and Reigns.
Rollins is far too hot right now to lose this match and Reigns has been tapped to take Lesnar in New Orleans since what seems to be the beginning of time now. So what in the world do we do? I feel like this is going to be one of those “Tune in tomorrow night to see who will face Brock at WrestleMania” moments.
Prediction: There will be no clear winner. Reigns and Rollins both remain in the running for a title shot after some shenanigans and confusion. See you on Monday.
Ronda Rousey Contract Signing: We begin Rousey’s road to Mania with a contract signing that is being advertised as her simply putting pen to paper to join Monday Night RAW. But as well all know, this is professional wrestling folks. Nothing is ever that simple.
Expect the signing to go south in order to set up a mixed tag match —mixed tag matches are all the rage right now in WWE—with Stephanie and Triple H on one side and Ronda and TBA on the other.
Is The Rock available for Mania? Will a returning Bobby Lashley get the nod? Or, could Braun Strowman be used in this situation? Strowman has shown incredible chemistry with Alexa Bliss on Tuesday nights Mixed Match Challenge but I’m not sure that’s what WWE is looking for when it comes to Rousey.
If The Rock is unable to work Mania, Lashley would be the right choice when you consider his MMA pedigree. Hunter and Lashley will put on a great match with Rousey getting the armbar submission on Steph at the end after tossing her around a bit. Or, maybe Rousey ends up getting an immediate title shot. Maybe she’s more ready than we think.
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