We're officially on the road the WrestleMania! Elimination Chamber will be WWE's penultimate pay-per-view before WM35 and promises to be a very loud evening when it comes to in-ring drama.
While the Universal Championship won't be a part of the show, WWE will be using Elimination Chamber to set up the rest of their titles for WrestleMania. After Sunday, we'll have a pretty good idea of how the chips will fall April 7.
We'll be getting not one, but two Chamber matcher to decide the WWE Championship and crown the first ever Women's Tag Team Champions. But there's way more going on in WWE that just titles, so let's get into all of the narrative awaiting us Sunday night.
What Will Becky Lynch Be Doing on Sunday?
Jack Snodgrass: Probably jumping Charlotte Flair. Lynch doesn't have much reason to interfere with Ronda Rousey's match, other than just adding more chaos, so I don't see that happening. But Flair may be on the wrong end of an aggravated assault.
Connor Casey: Nothing. My money is on Lynch not showing up on television between now and the Feb. 25 episode of Raw for the "Ric Flair Birthday Celebration," where she'll likely trounce both members of the Flair family.
Ryan Droste: As Connor said, the best case scenario is that she is held off of television until Ric's birthday celebration. Let's hope the WWE has the discipline to follow through with this.prevnext
Should WWE Have The Usos Become SmackDown Tag Team Champions in Light of Jimmy Uso's Drama?
Jack Snodgrass: Shane McMahon and The Miz are destined for a split. The Usos' contracts are said to be expiring soon. AEW would love to nab Jimmy and Jey. These are three facts that will justify WWE's decision to no-sell Jimmy's run-in with the police and give The Usos WWE gold on Sunday.
Connor Casey: If the arrest really upset WWE, they likely would've scrapped the match already. They haven't, so it probably won't affect whatever plans they have for the Miz and McMahon's title run. I still have the Usos losing, but only because I think they'll wait for the Miz/McMahon split until at Fastlane.
Ryan Droste: I had the Usos winning before the arrest. I would definitely change that prediction now. It's a difficult position because as Jack said, WWE has to want to keep the team under contract so they don't deflect to AEW. That's why I initially predicted them to win the titles, because if they lose here, then what for the team? I suppose they could capture them at Fastlane but that arrest sure changed the trajectory of this team.prevnext
What Will We Remember from Ronda Rousey vs. Ruby Riott?
Jack Snodgrass: That this was Ruby Riott's graduation into the championship scene. She'll have to wait a while before she can nab the Raw Women's Championship, but I'll bet we leave Elimination Chamber knowing she's a star.
Connor Casey: Charlotte Flair at ringside looking smug as all get-out. I like Riott and think she should get more to do each week, but this is a filler match for Rousey between now and WrestleMania.
Ryan Droste: While Rousey retaining her title is the biggest "lock" on this show, I hope Riott is shown to be competitive in this match. She's a star with a ton of potential and I almost feel like she was cheated by having this match have virtually no build whatsoever. Let's hope Ruby gets a competitive match and we remember this as one of Ronda's best main roster matches.prevnext
Women's Tag Team Elimination Chamber Match: Who Will Win? Who Are You Rooting For?
Jack Snodgrass: Nia Jax and Tamina will win. People will hate it, which is exactly what WWE needs in order to appropriately build Sasha Banks and Bayley winning the tag titles at WrestleMania. But I'll be rooting for the IIconics.
Connor Casey: Jax and Tamina get the win. I think they'll give the big heel team the first run with the titles, setting up for a match between them and the Boss 'n Hug Connection. Personally, most of these teams don't really do anything for me, but I do find the IIconics consistently entertaining on SmackDown and social media each week, so I'll be pulling for them.
Ryan Droste: Everyone has been expecting Sasha and Bayley to win. It's just too obvious. For that reason, I am going with Nia Jax and Tamina. Even if they lose, Bayley and Sasha have to stay in the title picture, which leads me to believe it will be a RAW team who wins the titles. This means Mandy/Sonya and the Iiconics, the next most likely teams to win the titles, will come up short.prevnext
Scale of 1-10: How Interested in Bobby Lashley and Lio Rush vs. Finn Balor Are You?
Jack Snodgrass: A very hard 7. Which is great, because my resting pulse for Balor and Lashley is about a 5. I like Lio Rush a lot and think his addition has instantly made things more interesting.
Connor Casey: I'll go 6, only because I don't think they're giving the title to Balor just yet. I am excited to see if they let Rush do more in the ring, he's legitimately excellent.
Ryan Droste: It would seem Balor will come up short here and then capture the title at Fastlane next month. I'm not a huge fan of handicap matches in general, so for that reason I will go with a "6."prevnext
What Will Braun Strowman Be Doing at WrestleMania 35?
Jack Snodgrass: Probably winning a handicap match or something. After looking like the future of the company, injuries and booking circumstance have put the brakes on Strowman's runaway train. He'll be hot again later this year, but I don't see him doing too much at 'Mania.
Connor Casey: Well he should be defending the WWE Universal Championship, but WWE chickened out of pulling that trigger back at Crown Jewel so here we are. Let him win the Andre Battle Royal and let that be the starting point to rebuild his momentum heading into the summer.
Ryan Droste: Nothing of any particular note and that's sure depressing considering where this man was last summer. The ill-advised heel turn and then coming up short in a title feud he probably shouldn't have been placed in if he wasn't going to win the title have really neutered Strowman over the last six months.prevnext
Will Kofi Kingston be WWE Champion in 2019?
Jack Snodgrass: Yeah, I think that's pretty do-able. There aren't too many babyfaces like Kingston in WWE and the WWE Championship will need a hero eventually. The New Day is in need of an evolution, and Kingston ruling SmackDown would do more for them than just another turn as Tag Team Champions.
Connor Casey: I'd say yes. For as great as Daniel Bryan is as champion (you people who say Becky is the only good thing about WWE right now clearly aren't paying attention), a babyface will eventually come along and knock him down. Who better than a lovable veteran who just put on a 60-minute clinic? It may not be at WrestleMania (I still don't have a clue what they're doing there beyond the top two matches), but at some point this year Kingston will get his world title run.
Ryan Droste: Kofi was the star of the show this week on SmackDown. I thought he was tremendous in that gauntlet match and has been one of the most consistent workers in the company over the last decade. That said, no, I do not expect him to win the WWE Championship in 2019, though I agree it would be a great feel-good story.prevnext
Predict the WWE Championship Match for WrestleMania
Jack Snodgrass: Forgive my recency bias, but I'm saying it will be The New Day vs. Daniel Bryan, Erik Rowan, and Luke Harper - for the WWE Championship.
At this moment, there aren't many exciting options for Daniel Bryan and his title. He's been fantastic as a heel, but what good guy from SmackDown is ready for that type of stage? So since resources are low, WWE will have to get creative to give Daniel Bryan a worthy WrestleMania opponent. So why not let this be a faction war?
All of this will be upended when Bray Wyatt shows up on Sunday, though.
Connor Casey: Dang it Jack, that Wyatt angle is a good idea. But I'll keep it simpler and go Bryan vs. Wyatt with Rowan on one side and Harper on the other. Option B would be Bryan vs. Samoa Joe only because I'd love to see them try to obliterate each other.0comments
Ryan Droste: This is a very good question and it's one I don't think anyone really has any clue as to the answer right now, so perhaps that's a good thing to make things interesting as we head into WrestleMania season. I expect Bryan to retain the title at Elimination Chamber, just as he did back in 2012, and then carry it into Fastlane for what is currently being advertised as a triple threat between he, AJ Styles, and Samoa Joe in Cleveland.
The only way I see Bryan heading into WrestleMania without the title is if he is working a major match against someone like John Cena (which would be a great title match, as well). If Bryan is defending the title, the babyface side is pretty thin right now with challengers. We've seen him wrestle Styles so many times lately that it would seem unlikely we get that match. Perhaps a match against Kingston might be in the realm of possibility. I could also see Samoa Joe since, even though he is technically a heel, he's been kind of getting that "cool heel" type vibe of late because he is so great on the microphone. I'm going to say Bryan versus Cena, Joe, or Kingston, in that order.prev