It might have been a late addition to the WWE calendar but the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view is shaping up to be a great event with Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose headlining the show for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
The night is filled with great matches and we have two Elimination Chamber matches also taking place, including the WWE Tag Team Championships being defended inside of the steel structure for the very first time.
We will crown a new Intercontinental Champion, two former NXT Champions will battle it out, Nikki Bella has to fend off Paige and Naomi whilst Kevin Owens pays another visit from NXT in a bid to dismantle John Cena, here’s what we think will go down this Sunday.
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NEVILLE VS. BO DALLAS
NXT fans will love the fact that this match has been put together as two of the alumni’s will share the spotlight on the main roster. This feud has obviously been very short and is nowhere near the length we saw back on NXT but back then they had the NXT Championship on the line, this time it’s more a revenge mission for Bo Dallas and right now, Bo needs Neville.
Neville has taken the main roster by storm and has racked up one impressive win after another and the fans have been behind him all the way - that will definitely continue. Bo Dallas and his character have come to a bit of a standstill, there’s only so much his gimmick can achieve but he’s working well with what he’s been given, I believe a win for Neville here wouldn’t do anything but solidify his win at TakeOver: Arrival and prove it wasn’t a fluke, whilst a win for Bo Dallas would be a huge boost for him at this point in his career against someone so over; Bo Dallas wins at the Elimination Chamber.
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Fellow WWE Lead Writer Phillipa Hopwood shares a similar view...
These two had a fantastic rivalry down in NXT and I’m glad WWE has decided to rehash it and finally make Dallas relevant again. I think Bo’s gimmick needs work because he has hit a boring level now but I think someone like Neville can only help that.
He is playing a great heel in this feud and Neville’s injured knee seems to be an ongoing problem. Neville has done nothing but flourish on the main roster since his debut that night after WrestleMania and after a successful feud with King Barrett, I think this is the perfect rivalry to move into.
I think Bo Dallas needs the win a lot more than Neville after so much time away from the spotlight and a heel win will allow the storyline to continue.
INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPIONSHIP ELIMINATION CHAMBER – DOLPH ZIGGLER VS. KING BARRETT VS. R-TRUTH VS. RUSEV VS. RYBACK VS. SHEAMUS
On one hand it’s great to see the Intercontinental Championship getting another marquee match after the epic battle for the title at WrestleMania, but on the other hand it’s upsetting to see Daniel Bryan vacate the title and miss out.
Personally, I want Rusev to win the title and continue dominating but I don’t think it’ll happen, for me Rusev and Dolph Ziggler are already ruled out of the running as the likelihood is they will continue feuding with Lana stuck in the middle of it.
I don’t know why R-Truth is in the match and somebody like Neville isn’t; I understand Neville is involved in another match but he would have added entertainment and excitement to this event whereas R-Truth doesn’t really add much and he won’t be a serious threat. Ryback will probably continue feuding with Bray Wyatt as it looks unlikely that their feud will be cut short so it comes down to King Barrett and Sheamus.
It’s difficult to call this down the middle, Barrett is the King of the Ring and having the Intercontinental Championship on him would really solidify him as the King who gets it all his way, but I can’t look past Sheamus.
He’s already been advertised as champion in the last few weeks and he needs something to make his return as a heel star feel like it’s actually adding something to the roster, Sheamus walks out the new Intercontinental Champion.
Once again Daniel Bryan’s vacated title is set to be decided in a multi-man match, but this time it’s one that could go down to the wire. The curveball for me is Rusev, having never been pinned by anyone but John Cena in over a year, somehow the winner will have to pin Rusev in order to the lift the title, per Elimination Chamber rules.
I think the Dolph/Rusev rivalry will get brutal inside the chamber and Rusev will eliminate Ziggler, whilst R-Truth seems like a random addition to me and I can see him being replaced or even taken out completely.
It’s a hard one to call and apparently the WWE already leaked that Sheamus was set to win. With Barrett already the King, Rusev and Ziggler in a feud and R-Truth not really heading in any direction, you have to think Ryback or Sheamus will be the obvious winners and I think Sheamus is the easiest option.
WWE TAG TEAM ELIMINATION CHAMBER – THE NEW DAY © VS. LOS MATADORES VS. THE PRIME TIME PLAYERS VS. THE LUCHA DRAGONS VS. THE ASCENSION VS. CESARO AND TYSON KIDD
This is a match which could either steal the show, or end up a complete mess; here’s hoping it’s the former. It’s the very first time the tag team championships will be defended inside of the Elimination Chamber so fans will definitely be interested to see how this goes down. Los Matadores have done very little to suggest they deserve the championships so it looks likely they will probably be the first team to go, if they even reach the chamber.
I think The Ascension and The Prime Time Players are the dark horses here, I wouldn’t be surprised if they manage to pull one out of the bag and survive the chamber, The Lucha Dragons are entertaining and great to watch and will certainly add some more excitement to the match but I think they need to do a little more on the main card to warrant a championship run.
As much as I want Tyson Kidd and Cesaro to recapture the gold, I just don’t think it will happen. I believe the numbers game will prevail, and the fact the New Day have three members involved is the reason I believe they will hold on to their titles.
The first time ever that the tag team championships will be defended inside the Elimination Chamber and what an amazing match-up it’s set to be. The Lucha Dragons high flying style will no doubt be on display in the match as they use the cage and the steel chains to their advantage, whilst teams like The Ascension and Prime Time Players use the unforgiving steel and brute force to their advantage.
With six teams and twelve different wrestlers set to be involved in this match, it could go any way and the commentators are in a position where they could lose control of the match, luckily there are no rules, the only way to win is to pin every other team and I think The New Day could be the ones to do this.
Whilst I'm hopeful Los Matadores are taken out backstage and Erick Rowan and Luke Harper then put themselves into the match, I could also see the two former members of The Wyatt Family winning, but this is a long shot and it's easier to go with The New Day.
JOHN CENA VS. KEVIN OWENS
Now this is the match I’m looking forward to the most. Being an NXT fanatic I’m ecstatic to see Kevin Owens appear on the main roster a number of times before getting the face of the WWE inside of the ring, at a pay-per-view.
It’s certainly been a meteoritic rise in the WWE for Owens who has been doing this for so long. What better way to mark your dominance on the main roster and to announce your arrival by taking down the face of the company a peg or two, hitting him with a pop-up powerbomb and disrespecting the United States Championship?
He’s had a lot to deal with recently, taking down Sami Zayn and retaining his NXT Championship, dealing with John Cena as well as having an eye on Samoa Joe, but he’s showing why he was a sought after talent by impressing every single week and I feel he’ll do the exact same at the Elimination Chamber.
Will Samoa Joe show up? I doubt it, he’s contracted to NXT and he’s still able to compete on the independent circuit so I believe he will be kept off the main card until he finishes his indy commitments, so this is going down to the wire with no outside interference.
This is a battle between the face of the WWE and the face of NXT, the United States Champion vs. the NXT Champion and being an NXT guy I have to stick with Kevin Owens and I not only think he will win, but I hope Kevin Owens pulls out with the win and makes a statement.
Champion vs Champion, the showdown we have all been waiting for, technically this could have been Seth Rollins vs Kevin Owens to retell their amazing ROH rivalry, but there is plenty of time in the future for that, right now it is the face of WWE vs the face of NXT.
Kevin Owens has been on the wrestling circuit for as long as John Cena has been in WWE. Formerly known as Kevin Steen, Owens was one of the most recognised guys on the Indy Circuit and he is here to prove that he has more pedigree than Cena.
John on the other hand has everything to lose, he has been at the top of WWE for the past decade and much like the Bray Wyatt feud, he has a legacy to protect. This is set to be a physical showdown between two of the biggest stars in wrestling today, and for me it is one of the most anticipated matches on the card.
John Cena will win after an interference from Samoa Joe.
DIVAS CHAMPIONSHIP – NIKKI BELLA © VS. PAIGE VS. NAOMI
How long will the WWE keep the championship on Nikki Bella? Her run as champion has gotten very dry now and at times you forget she’s even the champion, she seems like every other diva and she’s being upstaged by most of them.
There were rumours last year that Brie Bella was set to turn on her sister and that would have been interesting, certainly something worthy of the championship but I think it’s now time for change. Not just a title change, but a whole divisional change after Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch put on a wrestling clinic at TakeOver last week and continue to prove they are the divas to watch.
Paige has just returned, so I do think it’s too early for her to take it just yet and I feel Naomi needs to impress and Elimination Chamber is the night where she will take the gold. She has Tamina in her corner and a title win will actually make her heel turn something worth waiting for, I believe Naomi is our new Diva’s Champion.
Nikki has had a somewhat poor run as Divas Champion, it seems she was only given the title because AJ Lee needed time away from the company and subsequently retired a few months later. Nikki was trying to revolutionise the division, but it seems all her and her sister have managed is to show the WWE Universe how much weaker the main roster divas are when compared to the NXT girls.
I think the predictable thing to do here would be to give Paige the title back and make her a record equalling three time Divas Champion after just one year, I think this would be the wrong idea though.
Naomi deserves the title and deserves the chance to prove what she can do with the gold around her waist. I truly think her time is now.
WWE WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP – SETH ROLLINS © VS. DEAN AMBROSE
It’s great to see Dean Ambrose involved in the title picture when just a few months ago it felt like he wouldn’t reach this stage for a while. It’s been an entertaining run so far, he goaded The Authority into granting him the title match, he’s stolen a police van to return and sign a contract in typical Ambrose fashion and we know what these two are capable of inside of the ring.
I hope they are given enough time to show what they can actually do, I understand that Kane and J&J Security will play a role but that shouldn’t happen right at the start and slow down the pace of the match. It needs to be a right amount of technical wrestling and the right amount of carnage for the fans to be fully invested, and it’s very important that Ambrose comes close to winning a number of times and isn’t seen as a pushover, but at the same time Rollins hasn’t looked like a dominating champion so it’s important he looks good also.
Randy Orton and Roman Reigns could play a role here considering the Money in the Bank event is up next, fans are still calling for Reigns to turn heel and he might do that by turning on Ambrose. Only time will tell.
Either way, Dean Ambrose is the favourite to capture the briefcase this year and for that reason Seth Rollins retains his WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
Former Shield stablemates collide on pay-per-view for the first time since their history making match at TLC last year and this time it is for the World Championship.
Dean tricked Seth into giving him the match by using his own tactics against him and now we get to see the showdown that has been awaiting us since that fateful night after Payback last year. Roman has become Dean's own cheerleader and has lately been the protector of The Lunatic Fringe, but it seems this could all be coming to an end.
Roman wants the championship that Seth holds and right now he is happy for Dean to go against Seth because he doesn't think he will win, but what if he does? Dean and Roman can't remain friends if Dean has the championship and if Dean fails to win then Roman will once again go after Seth.
I think the usual people will be involved on Seth's behalf and Roman will come down to fend them off and help Dean, but don't expect Roman to play this role for long, he wants that title and he won't mind turning on his friend to get it, Seth Rollins will retain.