Sunday, February 25, 2018

2018 Elimination Chamber Predictions

The Road to Wrestlemania goes through the Elimination Chamber.  The question is what’s going to happen and what should happen.

Asuka vs. Nia Jax
Lukewarm Jonah: This isn’t a betting article, but if it was the odds on this would be Asuka an insanely heavy favorite.  Nia Jax isn’t beating Asuka for her undefeated streak, it’s just that simple. 

But what should happen?  I would go super against the grain here and have Nia Jax win.  Nia has become the “monster” who loses every single time anything is really on the line.  Have Nia win, make the Wrestlemania match a 3 way.  Asuka’s streak has to end sometime.  It should have ended in NXT in her first title match against Bayley or against Ember Moon on the way out, but it didn’t.  You can’t be undefeated forever, just rip the band aid off, establish Nia Jax as a real threat, and build the story of Asuka doubting herself going into Wrestlemania, where she can still win the title.

Joe: No way. Asuka’s first loss needs to be a big deal, and it needs to be for the title. You can’t build up this long of a winning streak and have it end in what is essentially a filler match so they have something for Nia to do without her being in the Chamber. 

Men’s Elimination Chamber Match: Roman Reigns vs. The Miz vs. John Cena vs. Braun Strowman vs. Elias vs. Seth Rollins vs. Finn Balor
LJ: Well this is another super easy match to pick.  99% chance that Roman Reigns wins the chamber and goes onto face Brock at Wrestlemania.  It’s been the plan forever, and it just continues marching on.  An oddly specific prediction I have for this match is that Reigns pins The Miz since Miz took his Intercontinental Title and technically won that feud, they’re going to have to make sure we know that Reigns is better than the Miz.  Not sure how Braun goes out of this one, but it’s probably either by everyone ganging up on him and hitting all their finishers on him, or my prediction for the Royal Rumble that never came true which was HHH coming back and getting those hands.  My personal prediction is that Strowman is disqualified for eating the chamber.

What should happen?  There’s actually a ton of interesting possibilities here.  Braun Strowman is the most over wrestler in the match and maybe in the WWE right now so having him be the guy to finally beat Brock makes a good amount of sense.  Seth Rollins is still super over and is on his quest to be “The Man” again.  Him winning the Chamber would be a good step towards that, and could lead to a heel turn for Reigns who feels that Rollins has now taken his Wrestlemania moment twice.  Finn Balor is the other guy in the match who could pull off a Wrestlemania main event based on overness.  He has been booked pretty terribly since he came back from his injury after his initial Universal Title win, but has still managed to remain one of the most over acts in the company.  Now he’s reformed the Balor Club, and The Demon vs. The Beast sounds like a fun matchup and looks great on a poster.  Even though Braun is my favorite guy on the roster right now, I’d pull the trigger on Balor.  It’s something no one would see coming and would put Balor right back at the top of the main event scene which is where he belongs.  If you pair off the other guys in matches at Wrestlemania you could have a really stacked card.  Rollins vs. Reigns, Braun vs. Cena, Miz vs. Elias, that’s three great matches plus the Universal Title match. 

What Roman losing losing would really do is provide a truly shocking moment for the WWE fans.  The WWE has become pretty predictable in the past few years and giving the people a true shocking moment before Wrestlemania could help build interest back up and also get the people behind Reigns more.  He can still be in a high profile Wrestlemania match with Rollins or Balor or Cena, but removing him from his assumed spot of the main event against Brock would build up some good will towards him. 

Joe: I know I’m thinking too much about this, but WWE has actually given me reason to believe that someone outside of Roman Reigns could win this thing. Like, this is 100% the time to pull the trigger on Braun Strowman to take on Lesnar at WrestleMania. They have unfinished business, and there would be nothing better than Strowman pulling a Brock and just destroying him in three minutes to take the title. 

Then you have Seth Rollins who, outside of the Golden Lovers, is the hottest thing in wrestling this week. How sad is it that the WWE does such a great job of making us forget how talented their roster is at wrestling? I mean, is Kenny Omega definitively better than Seth Rollins? I don’t think so, yet you would not have considered Rollins even in the discussion for best wrestler in the world right now before this week. He’s super good at this stuff, and they have actually given him a compelling storyline going into the match. He is definitely the guy that could get the best match out of Lesnar. 

And then there’s Reigns who still has to be considered the favorite, but you CANNOT end WrestleMania with Reigns going over. It would make everyone forget all the positive things that happened on the previous 17 hours of WrestleMania. And if this isn’t the main event, what is? It ain’t Nakamura/Styles, and if it’s Undertaker/Cena....well, I probably just won’t watch the main event. That’s actually a fairly simple solution. But I don’t know how WWE handles the card if Reigns wins.

So my actual prediction? This one is so easy and obvious. They have already made it the first seven-man Chamber, so let’s just bump it up to eight, Triple H comes out, lines everyone up as a human centipede, Pedigrees them all at once, wins and taps out Lesnar at Mania. Everyone goes home happy, because Triple H is the coolest, best wrestling, super coolest, badass, extremely coolest, best crotch-chopping middle-aged man in pro wrestling history.

A part of me could see the above happening, which definitely makes me slightly ill to my stomach.

Women’s Chamber Match: Alexa Bliss (C) vs. Mickie James vs. Bayley vs. Mandy Rose vs. Sasha Banks vs. Sonya Deville
LJ: Alexa Bliss deals with sexism by having to defend the title in the Elimination Chamber unlike Brock Lesnar.  In all fairness, the last title defense I can find for Bliss was at TLC which was in October, so she is 4 months overdue for a title defense.  Anyways, the build to this match has been everyone pairing off to work together in the chamber.  Mandy and Sonya, Bayley and Sasha and the shaky alliance between Bliss and James.  This is the event where Sasha will officially turn heel and stab Bayley in the back.  I hope that Rose and Deville are put over as actual threats so that the women’s division gets deeper.  But Alexa Bliss is the pick here to retain.  Bliss retains and Asuka faces the evil heel at Wrestlemania.  The real question is how does Bliss retain?  My prediction is her mixed match tag partner Braun Strowman comes out and tips over the Elimination Chamber.  This confusion lets Bliss roll everyone up, and the world’s cutest onscreen couple continues rolling.

What should happen?  Bliss winning isn’t a bad match choice, the only other people in this match capable of defending the title at Wrestlemania against Asuka are Sasha Banks and Bayley.  Bayley is female Sting so Sasha will turn on her during this match, so it’s really down to Banks or Bliss.  A fully heel Boss Sasha Banks vs. Asuka at Wrestlemania is more interesting to me than Bliss vs. Asuka, especially since that match happened on Raw a month or two ago.  You could even use the time between the Chamber and Wrestlemania to build Bayley back to the wrestler she should be and find a reason to add her in to the match. 

Joe: So I think Sasha should win, and she should definitely do something underhanded to Bayley, but the problem is, who cares? If Sasha turns on Bayley, they aren’t going to be booing Sasha for that. It’s going to get her a huge pop. Bad guys are always best in numbers, so the most awesome way to turn Sasha heel is to have the Iconic Duo, Billie Kay and Peyton Royce to come out and help Sasha win the match. They’d still probably pop for the moment (at least I would), but they could easily establish themselves as heels against Asuka going into WrestleMania, and with Sasha having cronies, it adds to the possibility that she could end Asuka’s streak. God damn, I’m impressed with myself for coming up with that awesome of an idea.

The Main Event of Elimination Chamber
Joe: I can’t believe Jonah forgot the main event, but I’ll take this last one solo. Ronda Rousey will defeat a piece of paper in a “Sign Your Oppponent With a Pen” match. There will be hemming, there will be hawing, and it might just turn into an old-fashioned donnybrook, but I still say Rousey gets her first win in years in this match. Congratulations, Rowdy.

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