After not having the event in 2016, WWE is bringing back Elimination Chamber to be a Smackdown Live exclusive pay-per-view. The Chamber has always been synonymous with pain, brutality, and destruction and for the six men who will enter the hellacious structure on Sunday, they know they must do whatever they can to walk out as WWE champion. Besides the Chamber match itself, the card looks very good. We have three women’s matches on the card which is the most women’s matches on a WWE pay-per-view card ever, the Smackdown Tag Team titles will be on the line in a tag team turmoil match and Randy Orton looks to silence Luke Harper. Here is who I and the rest of the pro wrestling staff think will walk out the winners.
Apollo Crews & Kalisto vs Dolph Ziggler
Now this is definitely one of the more odder matches anyone has seen on a PPV card in a while. Dolph Ziggler has been on fire ever since turning heel on Kalisto weeks ago and now he has a chance to get back at two men who have been thorns in his side. Throwing Apollo Crews into this storyline is good, I guess, because it gives him something to do while WWE tries to figure out how to unlock his true potential and build him into a star. Again this match may seem weird but all three participants are good performers and will certainly try to make something out of nothing. I am going with Ziggler to win here because to solidify him as a top heel on Smackdown, he needs to clobber both of these guys. I’m not saying this will be a squash match but I would love it is. Having Ziggler crack both of these guys will make fans want him back in the title picture.
Nikki Bella vs Natalya
This rivalry has been boiling for weeks and at Elimination Chamber it will reach its breaking point. Ever since Natalya attacked Nikki Bella at Survivor Series causing Nikki to miss her match, the two Total Divas stars have been clashing in the ring and even backstage. I have always liked Natalya as a heel because her promos are never bad. She almost shoots on her opponents and the way she verbally attacked Nikki a few weeks ago was brilliant. Nikki has had an OK return to the WWE ever since coming back at SummerSlam but she could be doing a lot better. It is not to say she has lost a step because she hasn’t but instead she looks to be slowing down a bit more in the ring. Regardless of if Nikki is slowing down or not, I am going with Natalya to win this match. I think that with a win Natalya will be next in line to challenge Alexa Bliss for her Smackdown Women’s championship and propel her heel status even higher.
Randy Orton vs Luke Harper
I’m going to keep this nice and to the point since this is probably the fifth time WWE has done this match within the last month. Randy Orton is coming off a Royal Rumble match victory so there is no way he loses, Luke Harper looks to be out of the Wyatt Family so there is no way he wins and lastly, Orton needs to win here so he can continue to look strong on the road to WrestleMania. I expect this match to be solid, nothing more.
Becky Lynch vs Mickie James
When Mickie James was revealed to be La Luchadora, many fans were in shock to see the former Women’s champ back in WWE. She then took out Becky Lynch to help Alexa Bliss retain her title now the Irish Lass Kicker has her eyes set on the former champion. I honestly think that this match was WrestleMania worthy considering how well both women work in the ring. We have all seen in years past that Mickie James can turn a good match into a great one and now that she is going up against a member of the four horsewomen she looks to shut down the straight fire of Lynch. Becky is gunning for her vengeance against James for costing her opportunity after opportunity and while she will put in a good showing, she will ultimately lose this match. I think James wins by a roll up or finds another way to cheat to win. Either way, Lynch will lose another match which will only fuel her fire.
Smackdown Women’s championship: Alexa Bliss vs Naomi
I like the idea of having Naomi in the title picture because she is one of the most promising talents on the roster today. She is an extremely underrated superstar and has really earned her spot in this match. But as good as Naomi has gotten, Alexa Bliss has gotten even better. Bliss has really come into her own ever since her call up from NXT in the summer and her reign as Smackdown Women’s champ has been very impressive. Ever since defeated Becky Lynch for the strap a few months ago Bliss has been the best women heel on the Smackdown roster and reign will continue into WrestleMania. There isn’t really a good enough reason for Naomi to win or for Bliss to lose. This could be the start of a rivalry between the two and hopefully it culminates at ‘Mania but for now Alexa Bliss will walk out of Elimination Chamber still the Smackdown Women’s champ.
Tag Team Turmoil match for the Smackdown Tag Team championships
Now this match may seem a bit underwhelming at first but it does have the random chance for a shock outcome. There have been rumors that American Alpha could drop their titles to a random team then regain them at WrestleMania but I don’t see that happening. The only team that could really have a solid chance at winning is The Usos but other than that, not one of these underwhelming teams will dethrone Chad Gable and Jason Jordan as the champs.
Elimination Chamber match for the WWE championship
Six men step into Satan’s Structure and one survives it to walk out the WWE Champion heading into Wrestlemania. Although, John Cena just won the WWE Championship for the record tying 16th time I strongly believe this reign was meant to be a transitional one. Although I think Styles could have remained champion and lost it in the Chamber and Cena’s historic 16th reign could have started later, I think with my prediction of who wins this match, its more effective if Cena is the champion. The Royal Rumble in Aladome will always be special because of that moment too. Also with the lack of focus creatively during the build up for the match where Cena won the title for the 16th time I feel like they were trying to down-play the moment because it was going to be a transitional reign. The fact that we got the Royal Rumble winner Randy Orton against the Champion John Cena on Smackdown this week also makes me believe that we won’t be getting the same match again at Wrestlemania. As much as I’ve been enjoying The Miz lately, I don’t see him being WWE Champion and headlining Wrestlemania this year. I wouldn’t be shocked to see him as Champion again eventually with the roll he’s been on but not yet. As for Baron Corbin, who has been growing on me a lot this year I don’t think he’s really cemented his spot yet to be a WWE Champion or to headline Wrestlemania. Although I am still not ruling out Baron Corbin vs. John Cena at this years Wrestlemania. Dean Ambrose is the Intercontinental Champion and personally I see him going into Wrestlemania as the Intercontinental Champion. That is that for Dean Ambrose. I have absolutely no idea what AJ Styles will be doing at Wrestlemania. The rumor ithat he’ll be facing Shane McMahon and I still don’t know how I feel about that. I would love to see AJ Styles vs. Randy Orton and I am sure we’ll see that in 2017 some point but I don’t see Styles winning the title back after just losing it last month. The most logical choice for winner here is Bray Wyatt. It’s also fitting that the new Face of Fear wins his long overdue first WWE Championship in Satan’s Structure. Will it be with some shenanigan’s or something, most likely but it’s the prediction that makes the most sense. Bray Wyatt vs. Randy Orton at Wrestlemania for the WWE Championship. Maybe throw Luke Harper in the mix and we got a recipe for an interesting Wrestlemania match.
Here is who the rest of the staff think will win!
Colin: Bray Wyatt, The VaudeVillians, Naomi, Natalya, Randy Orton, Becky Lynch, Dolph Ziggler
The Cheese: Bray Wyatt, American Alpha, Alexa Bliss, Becky Lynch, Nikki Bella, Randy Orton, Dolph Ziggler
Annabelle: Bray Wyatt, American Alpha, Alexa Bliss, Nikki Bella, Mickie James, Dolph Ziggler
Szabo: The Miz, American Alpha, Alexa Bliss, Natalya, Mickie James, Randy Orton, Dolph Ziggler
Jesse: Bray Wyatt, Breezango, Alexa Bliss, Mickie James, Nikki Bella, Randy Orton, Dolph Ziggler
Justin: Bray Wyatt, American Alpha, Alexa Bliss, Natalya, Mickie James, Randy Orton, Dolph Ziggler
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