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    Elimination Chamber 2019 Previews and Predictions

    Previews and Predictions for all the matches set to take place at Elimination Chamber 2019.

    Pay Per Views between the Royal Rumble and WrestleMania are a tough beast to tame.

    Ideally there wouldn’t be an event between the two, with a solid 2.5 to 3 months to build epic Mania matches that keep us on the edge of our seats.

    That’s a difficult thing to achieve in itself though, maintaining interest in a match without actually having the two competitors come to blows, and while it might have been doable in the 80s and 90s, audiences these days don’t have the same patience and would likely lose interest before we made it to the Grand-Daddy of them All.

    So the alternative is to have some padding in there and keep the majority of the matches not decided by the Royal Rumble (and even sometimes the ones that are) back until closer to Mania.

    The problem is this makes it quite difficult for the creative team to maintain the excitement and ‘anything could happen’ atmosphere that a Pay Per View should contain.

    In previous years the Chamber has been used to anoint a #1 contender for the title NOT being contested by the Rumble winner, but that has been scrapped this year in favour of putting the WWE Championship on the line (presumably because the Universal Champ is nowhere to be seen – huge surprise) and deciding who the inaugural Womens Tag Team Champions are going to be.

    That does add a bit of spice at least, but there are other matches on the card that are either painfully obvious when it comes to who will lose (*cough* Ruby Riott *cough* The Usos *cough*) and others where fans will be struggling to care anyway.

    I can’t imagine Fast Lane is even going to be worth watching at this point, but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.

    In the meantime, let’s dive in and see what Elimination Chamber has to offer…

    -:-:-:-

    Cruiserweight Championship Match

    Singles Match
    Buddy Murphy (c)
    Vs.
    Akira Tozawa

    This is one of the bouts that I doubt a lot of mainstream fans will care about and that’s no doubt why it’s on the Pre-Show.

    It’s the perfect pre-show match in many ways as it will definitely be an enjoyable, high tempo bout full of brilliant wrestling, but it won’t be one a lot of people are willing to buy a PPV to see.

    I don’t have time in my schedule to watch 205 Live, and as I said last month if I did manage to free up an hour or two I’d focus it on NXT before the Cruisers, but they do impress me every month on PPV and the 4-Way at the Rumble was a masterclass.

    It wasn’t Tozawa who caught my eye though (it was Itami more than anyone, but he has left the company now) so it’ll be interesting to see what he can do when it’s just him and Murphy carrying the bout.

    I’m ready to be impressed, but I just don’t know how these guys are going to top what we saw last month.

    Prediction:

    Murphy has held the title for quite a while now (Super Showdown back in October) but as far as I’m aware Tozawa isn’t exactly a huge name still and I just don’t see him winning it.

    That said, my knowledge of Tozawa only extends as far as his failed stint in Titus Worldwide, so maybe he’s improved since then.

    I’m sticking with Buddy though.

    -:-:-:-

    Smackdown Tag Team Championship Match

    Tag Team Match
    The Usos
    Vs.
    The Miz & Shane McMahon (c)

    I’m actually quite invested in where this Miz and Shane angle is going.

    They actually make a pretty convincing team but the plan can’t just be that they are going to hold the titles past Mania, lose them and then just amicably split… can it?

    I hope not.

    My original thoughts on this can be read in last month’s Royal Rumble Preview, but to help you out I’ll paste it here.

    Miz and Shane win the titles at The Rumble, they drop them to someone else at Elimination Chamber due to some huge miscommunication which Miz blames Shane for. Animosity begins to creep in, but they earn another title shot at Fast Lane… where Miz turns on Shane and they ramp up the build to Mania.

    This theory would still hold up given that the build between Miz and Shane and The Usos has been quite good, especially the promo on Smackdown and the Double Superkick.

    However, you may have seen in the media this week that Jimmy Uso got arrested for squaring up to a police officer after Naomi got pulled over on suspicion of drink driving.

    Although he obviously hasn’t been incarcerated in an Uso Penitentiary (sorry, couldn’t resist) I assume he will be in the dog house with the higher ups and that will scupper any chance he and his brother had of winning the silver here.

    The Usos are a massive 9/2 with PaddyPower, which is LONG considering there are no real future plans for the belts or the Participants for Mania.

    Prediction:

    I’ve put £5 on The Usos to win just in case something silly happens and the Champs get DQ’d or counted out or something.

    I don’t see the belts changing hands though.

    -:-:-:-

    Intercontinental Championship Match

    2 on 1 Handicap Match
    Bobby Lashley (c) & Lio Rush
    Vs.
    Finn Balor

    I saw that this match had been announced by accident having checked Wikipedia prior to watching Raw and got annoyed because I thought I’d ruined some huge plot point.

    It turns out I hadn’t.

    Nope, no real explanation for this one.

    Sure Balor has been feuding with Lashley, and Lio Rush has been getting involved a bit more than usual, but no real reason this is a 2 on 1.

    It’s kind of an odd decision, because the match hasn’t explicitly been made by a corrupt authority figure and Balor didn’t request it (at least not that I’m aware) so it’s just a bout where the face is at a distinct disadvantage for no real reason.

    Especially as on the face of it Lashley should be more than capable of swatting Balor away given their size difference.

    Prediction:

    I really don’t care all that much either way.

    I have little interest in Balor (although the match with Lesnar was decent) and only really like Lashley because Rush has done such a good job of putting him over.

    For the sake of rationality I hope Lashley wins, because if he loses a 2 on 1 to Balor I’d say that’s his push done.

    -:-:-:-

    Grudge Match

    Singles Match
    Braun Strowman
    Vs.
    Baron Corbin

    Anyone REALLY care about this match?

    I mean given Corbin has cost Strowman the title twice (or at least cost him the title once and a second shot at the belt) I SHOULD be more invested in this match, I’m just not.

    So for those of you not aware, this rivalry dates back to when Corbin was G.M of Raw.

    Having failed to stop Strowman becoming #1 contender at Crown Jewel, Corbin attacked Strowman before the match began and gave Lesnar an easy victory against the man that should have been his toughest competition.

    Then, having been dethroned as G.M, Corbin led Strowman on a chase through the back before hiding in Mr. McMahon’s limo.

    Having been tipped off by a Elias, who was a good guy at the time, Strowman destroyed Vince’s limo trying to get to his rival.

    McMahon fined him, then stripped him of his title shot when little remorse was shown.

    That kind of brings us to where we are at Elimination Chamber, although it’s been so disjointed and forgotten about for weeks at a time you’d be forgiven for not knowing all that.

    Prediction:

    If it wasn’t for how sparse the PPV is at present (there are only 6 matches currently announced for the main card, which seems light even if two of them are Chamber bouts) I’d say this would be a squash, with Strowman just flattening Corbin in under a minute to get some much deserved revenge.

    If a US Championship, Smackdown Womens Championship or Raw Tag Championship bout is thrown in at the last minute I think that’s what will happen.

    If not, it’ll go a little while but Strowman wins either way up.

    -:-:-:-

    Raw Womens Championship Match

    Womens Match
    Ronda Rousey (c)
    Vs.
    Ruby Riott

    Oh boy, if ever a match wasn’t needed…

    This match has had no build, it has no real purpose and the outcome is so.. so… SOOOOO obvious it renders the match obsolete before the opening bell has even rung.

    We all know we’re getting Ronda Vs. Charlotte Vs. Becky at WrestleMania, right?

    So why throw Ruby Riott into a title match she’s ALWAYS going to lose?

    Just to put Ronda on the show? They could have had a non-title bout with Charlotte or Becky to hype the Mania match and the outcome would have at least been a bit unpredictable.

    Have the third woman interfere to end in a No Contest if you really want to protect both of them.

    This one just has interference written all over it, but nothing that will give Ruby the win I wouldn’t think.

    Prediction:

    Paddypower have Rousey at an absolutely ridiculous 1/66 to win the match.

    To put that into perspective, Taker at WrestleMania is only usually in the 1/50 range.

    That’s the level this match falls into though, and I can’t imagine the odds anyone would have to give on Rousey leaving with the title, they’d be closer to the 1/200 range I’d have to think.

    I can’t argue with them either.

    I’ve actually had £5 on Riott to win at 10/1 purely because I think there’s a chance Becky shows up to ruin the bout and she might hit Ruby first and cause a DQ victory for the Riott Squad leader.

    -:-:-:-

    WWE Championship Match

    Elimination Chamber Match
    A.J Styles
    Vs.
    Daniel Bryan (c)
    Vs.
    Jeff Hardy
    Vs.
    Randy Orton
    Vs.
    Samoa Joe
    Vs,
    Kofi Kingston

    Given the very short amount of time on offer to build this match, I think the writers have done a brilliant job.

    Due to the time constraints no time was wasted in selecting the members of this match by way of matches, which normally I’d not be so much of a fan of, but here I get it.

    These are Smackdown’s top 6 guys (well, top 5 guys and Mustafa Ali originally) so it makes sense to just throw them all in to the match.

    I’m surprised Andrade and Mysterio weren’t in the mix, maybe they were considered but Ali got the nod.

    Anyway, we’ve seen some nice interactions between the 6 guys and I think they handled the last-minute switch from Ali to Kingston perfectly as well.

    When Kofi (or more accurately a member of The New Day) got announced as the replacement at the start of Smackdown this week I immediately thought one thing; no chance.

    I had Kofi down as the rank outsider when it came to winning at Elimination Chamber, which was the natural thing to do at that point.

    He was coming into a match last-minute, replacing another guy who had no chance of winning in a match where the Champ is almost certain to retain.

    Why would I give him a chance, right? Why would anyone?

    Well I guess the writers were thinking exactly the same thing and that was the reason for the Gauntlet match on Smackdown.

    I can’t imagine the original plan was for Ali to go over an hour in a Gauntlet, so kudos to WWE for changing it up to make Kingston into a true contender.

    Before I make my prediction, let’s take a look at each participant one at a time.

    Daniel Bryan

    I’ll get DB out of the way quickly.

    He’s favorite. He’s favourite not only because he’s the Champion but because he’s Daniel Bryan.

    He’s over as hell as a heel right now, despite actually standing for something that is quite morally correct.

    Rowan has to be a factor, as even though it’s always claimed that the Chamber is impenetrable, it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that Rowan might either break into the cage part way through the bout or even start in there, caging himself in with Bryan from the start.

    Plus they made that ugly looking belt for Bryan and I can’t see them taking it away from him so quickly.

    Kofi Kingston

    Because I’ve just spent so much time talking about Kofi I’ll get to him next.

    He’s actually second-favorite to win this bout now, which is crazy considering he’s only been a participant in it for around 5 days.

    At one point in the Gauntlet Kofi looked dead on his feet following a beating from Samoa Joe. A.J Styles gave him the option of calling it a day but he stood up and said he’d been around for 11 years and it was his time.

    I’m starting to think that might be a bit of foreshadowing.

    Kofi has ALMOST made it to the big time once in a rivalry with Randy Orton, but it didn’t go over all that well and he has been upper mid-card at best ever since.

    This could be his time, and what a surprise it would be to see The New Day going into Mania as WWE Champion.

    Randy Orton

    Speaking of The Viper, he won the right to be last out of the pods on Sunday which should be a massive advantage.

    It doesn’t mean a whole lot though if there are no plans to back it up, and I just don’t see Orton taking the title into Mania or who he would go up against to make an interesting rivalry at this point.

    I think we’ll see RKO’s aplenty but just not one to claim the belt.

    Samoa Joe

    I wanted Joe to win the Rumble, and I’d love to see him pick up the title here but I just don’t see it happening.

    The only person I think he’d square off well against would be A.J and we’ve seen that a few times already.

    Sadly I think Joe is destined to go without a World Title run in the WWE.

    A.J Styles

    Styles should probably have kept the belt until Mania in my opinion.

    That’s not to say I’m stubborn enough to dismiss how well the Bryan title reign has gone, it’s worked perfectly.

    Would I put the belt back on A.J here? Probably not now.

    If the belt went back on A.J the Mania match would have to be him Vs. Joe or him Vs. Bryan and as I said earlier we’ve seen both of those things a lot already.

    Jeff Hardy

    The bookies give Jeff absolutely no chance at all, and neither do I.

    He’s there to make up the numbers and take a few big hits before getting eliminated.

    Prediction:

    I have to go for Bryan in this one I think.

    His push just isn’t done and he’s owed a proper WrestleMania build and moment when you look back at his history with the event.

    I’d love to see Joe take the win but he won’t.

    A Kingston win would be AMAZING and probably the biggest shock since Lesnar beat The Undertaker. I think you can rule it out, but never say never I guess…

    -:-:-:-

    WWE Womens Tag Team Championship Match

    Elimination Chamber Match
    Bayley & Sasha Banks
    Vs.
    Carmella & Naomi
    Vs.
    The IIconics
    Vs.
    Tamina & Nia Jax
    Vs.
    Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville
    Vs.
    The Riott Squad

    This is the crown jewel of the Pay Per View (pardon the terrible pun) for sure given the way things have been pushed in the run up.

    Sure the other Chamber match has had a fair bit of hype, but this one has been all over both shows with teams scuffling and announcing their formations each week.

    Let’s go through the teams involved and see who stands a chance, and who is there to just make up the numbers.

    Naomi & Carmella

    Team Fabulous Glow (eugh) are longest odds with the bookies and rightfully so.

    A team thrown together to fill a space, given a terrible team name and next to no time to bond had no chance of winning the match in the first place, but given Jimmy Uso’s indiscretions (see the Smackdown Tag Team Championship match) and the fact Naomi was supposedly driving at the time and MAY ALLEGEDLY have been intoxicated… I’m surprised they’re even still on the card.

    Then, just to stir the pot EVEN MORE, Corey Graves wife and mother of his 3 children revealed on twitter that he is ALLEGEDLY having an affair with Carmella.

    It’s not really any of the WWE’s business if they are, but bad publicity like that usually doesn’t go over well.

    If this team isn’t replaced on the night, then expect them to be the first eliminated and possibly even humiliated.

    Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville/The Riott Squad

    I’ve grouped these together partly because I’m running out of time but mostly because they are very similar, and always have been.

    They debuted at roughly the same time, both were backup to the leader of a faction when they did and I suspect they both still would be if it wasn’t for Paige’s injury.

    Unlike Naomi and Carmella they are at least both what I would consider to be ‘proper’ Tag Teams, having been together for ages with plenty of experience under their belts and an actual reason to be a team.

    Do they have a chance of winning the match? I doubt it.

    Mandy and Sonya won’t be together much longer I don’t think, so I’d put The Riott Squad at a slight advantage if I had to put one before the other.

    Nia Jax & Tamina/Sasha Banks & Bayley

    I’ve grouped these two together as well because they are both ‘semi-proper’ teams and the ones I consider favourites to win the bout.

    Sasha and Bayley have largely been cohorts since they came up onto the main roster, having a bit of a blip a year or so ago before resolving their differences with the help of none other than Dr. Shelby.

    It always feels like they are on the brink of another rivalry though and if they don’t win this match I assume they are going to fall out and face each other at Mania.

    Nia and Tamina seem to be much stronger, mostly because it’s obvious that Nia is the ‘star’ and Tamina is the tag-along enforcer that wouldn’t have a job if it weren’t for this pairing.

    I actually think they have more chance of winning despite being the longer odds with the Bookies, mostly because I can see a different path to Mania for Sasha and Bayley, but I can’t see one for Nia and Tamina, unless they are actually going to pull the trigger on Nia Vs. Dean Ambrose rather than just having them fight on house shows.

    I have a feeling your winners are in this group.

    The IIconics

    OK so I know the IIconics haven’t gone over well since making the jump to the main roster.

    Their humour is childish in the extreme (although I presume they aren’t writing it) but their in-ring work isn’t too bad and they have actual chemistry having teamed together since they were 15 and started training in Australia.

    I haven’t been their biggest advocates to this point, but I think if anyone deserves to have the title of first ever WWE Womens Tag Team Champions it should be these two.

    I’ve put my money on them just in case there is an upset and someone backstage feels the same as I do.

    Prediction:

    It’s probably going to be Sasha and Bayley isn’t it. In fact I get the feeling these titles are the only reason they even left them together because the Womens Tag Division is a little bare bones right now.

    As Smackdown have lost Charlotte and Becky to Raw (sort of) it would make sense for two Raw women to win the titles too so they could jump over to the Blue Brand.

    If it isn’t Sasha and Bayley I have to go with Jax & Tamina, much as I don’t think Tamina deserves to be a Champion.

    -:-:-:-

    The End Bit…

    So there you go!

    Elimination Chamber has the chance to really surprise us all tonight, but I just get the feeling it will be a run of the mill, by the numbers offering to get us one step closer to Mania.

    Join me from Midnight for our LIVE Coverage!

    Thanks for reading!

    - JayD

    Card as of 16/02/2019.
    Please note card is subject to change.



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