For anyone with a general sense of how 'Wrestlemania' is shaping up, there likely won't be a great deal of surprises at 'Elimination Chamber'. Still, with CM Punk and The Rock facing off again, The Shield in a match, and the Chamber match itself, there is quite a bit of incentive to watch, this Sunday. And who knows? Maybe WWE will pull a few swerves. That brings us to the Sports Media 101 PPV Panel:
And, of course, Chris Arney @WWrestling101, expanding his lead at 33.5 points.
Brodus Clay & Tensai vs. Team Rhodes Scholars
ME: The pairing of Tensai with Brodus Clay is sickening since now the WWE is wasting two big guys to a silly and stupid gimmick. For their sake, Team Rhodes Scholars wins.
PS: These new "Monsters of Funk," as Brodus has dubbed them, are on a roll and Team Rhodes Scholars is reuniting for one night only. Expect Clay and Tensai to win this
BK: Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow are not on the same page, for whatever reason. Plus, everybody wants to see Tensai dance a little bit more, right? Clay & Tensai win.
CA: Rhodes and Sandow have been jobbing hard lately. They'll put over the team that's going to stick together for a bit.
Kaitlyn (c) vs. Tamina Snuka
ME: This match has seemed to come from nowhere, as many Diva matches do nowadays. The Diva's division will have better spark if a heel has the title, so Tamina wins here.
PS: Tamina will give Kaitlyn all she's got, but the title won't change hands again so quickly. Kaitlyn retains.
BK: Finally, FINALLY, a reason to be interested in Diva's competition: Tamina Snuka. No more yawning. This won't be a particularly entertaining match, but there's no more denying that it's time for ladies' wrestling to go in a new direction.
CA: Kaitlyn. Next.
United States Championship
Antonio Cesaro (c) vs. The Miz
ME: The Miz gets another shot at Cesaro in what has been a good rivalry. Cesaro will retain here, though, and carry the belt into 'WrestleMania'.
PS: Well, they have moved from pre-show to the mid-card, now, but still expect this feud to go into 'WrestleMania' with Cesaro the champ.
BK: Miz has been pushed as a scrappy underdog in recent weeks, which gives the impression that it's time for the U.S. belt to change hands. Although it's clear who the better wrestler is, all the pressure is on Cesaro, and he won't handle it well.
CA: Why did they give this away in the pre-show of the last PPV, with a clean winner? Cesaro isn't dropping the title until they find somebody who will have something to gain by winning it from him. The Miz is not that person.
World Heavyweight Championship
Alberto Del Rio (c) vs. Big Show
ME: Alberto will retain here, heading into 'WrestleMania' as the champ, unless Dolph Ziggler cashes in his 'Money in the Bank' contract, which could be a possibility, since Ziggler is not on the PPV card.
PS: All of the antics that Del Rio has pulled have been hilarious and the title won't be changing hands now. Del Rio retains.
BK: Del Rio doesn't make for a very compelling champ, at least as a face. Also, as angry as he has made Big Show in the past month, he won't win in a second straight pay-per-view.
CA: Can Del Rio fight somebody else, already? He's not losing the title prior to 'Mania' unless they pull a swerve by having Ziggler cash in, which seems unlikely.
No. 1 Contendership Elimination Chamber
Randy Orton vs. Mark Henry vs. Chris Jericho vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Kane vs. Jack Swagger
ME: Rule Swagger out right away and also Bryan and Kane because they are tag champs. That leaves Orton, Henry, or Jericho to win. Mark Henry, who recently returned and has been dominant, will head to 'WrestleMania' as the number one contender for the World Heavyweight Championship. He could put on a good show with Del Rio if he retains the title.
PS: This one seems to be about bringing Mark Henry square into the World Title picture for 'WrestleMania', so he wins, but it will also be interesting to see what happens to the Tag Team Champs if they face off against each other (another 'Mania' match?)…
BK: A match like this is always a toss-up. However, only one participant enters this contest with momentum AND a mean streak, and that's Mark Henry.
CA: It's odd that a guy who wasn't around a month ago and whose 15 minutes had seemingly passed will likely be in the World Title match on the big stage, yet it seems to be a reasonably safe bet that Henry will win this. Jericho is tied to whatever Ziggler does at 'Mania', Orton isn't getting pushed right now, Swagger's just trying to stay relevant, and Bryan/Kane aren't main event singles stars right now.
John Cena, Ryback & Sheamus vs. The Shield
ME: Three of the biggest faces in the business right now will not lose to The Shied in this one. The Shied deserves a beat down and then a change in their story or at least some evolution to it.
PS: If this turns into an Elimination Chamber match, as Ryback let slip, then The Shield is doomed. If it stays a regular six-man tag match, then they have a chance, but only if some other rogue member of the locker room comes to their aid… otherwise Cena, Ryback and Sheamus win.
BK: The Shield has barely wrestled a match and has no one to interfere on their behalf, since they're the ones who do the interfering. Chalk this one up to the good guys.
CA: Their singles stars have to look strong going into 'Mania', which is why The Shield has next to no chance of winning. Also, as Mark said, they need to start doing something a little differently, so it makes sense for them to get their comeuppance here.
The Rock (c) vs. CM Punk
ME: The Rock won't lose the title back to CM Punk before 'WrestleMania', which will set up a rematch with John Cena for the title. It's not out of the question, though, that Punk could be involved with a Triple Threat.
PS: There will be a three-way dance at 'WrestleMania' between these two and John Cena, so the Rock will retain, hopefully "cleaner" than the ending at 'Royal Rumble'.
BK: The Rock can't be planning on sticking around that long, even if he does want to make it through another 'Wrestlemania'. With Punk 'reclaiming' the title, The Rock doesn't win, here. Creative will keep it interesting.
CA: While it WOULD be easy to disagree about the Triple Threat at 'Mania', the lack of The Undertaker suggests that they might have to go that route just to keep Punk in a relevant match. Regardless, The Rock wins.
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