As WrestleMania inches ever closer, we’re not far off the most barbaric structure that the WWE has to offer. Admittedly, the padded floors make that claim rather dubious these days. It is of course, Elimination Chamber, with a serviceable card that is propped up by a thrilling WWE Championship match on paper. We’re guaranteed to see inaugural champs crowned in another Chamber, and there are intriguing offerings on display outside of the titular caged bouts. Let’s not waste any time, here are our 2019 Elimination Chamber predictions.
Cruiserweight Championship Match
Buddy Murphy (C) Vs. Akira Tozawa
After the outstanding fatal four-way match back at Royal Rumble, I don’t envy these men in trying to find new ways to dazzle the crowd. In the wake of Hideo Itami’s sudden release from the company, Akira Tozawa has a golden opportunity to be one of WWE’s top Japanese players. It all starts with putting on a show stealer with 205 Live’s Juggernaut.
Prediction: I’m not budging on my belief that Buddy Murphy will drop the title at Mania, though Tozawa wouldn’t be a bad pick here. I just wish we got to see this on the main show.
No Disqualification Match
Braun Strowman Vs. Baron Corbin
WWE’s effort to scupper all of Braun Strowman’s momentum is impressive even by their standards. The man who was once the hottest act in the company has fallen into the unfortunate spot of being just another big guy. And who’s he facing here? The epitome of just being another big guy. It feels like Baron Corbin’s rivalry with Strowman is never ending. Does it even matter who wins? They’re probably having a match at Fastlane.
Prediction: Betting against Braun Strowman when he’s not facing Brock Lesnar or Roman Reigns is a fool’s errand. However, after Corbin’s embarrassing fate at TLC last year, redemption might be the best course of action. Plus, it’s no DQ, so Corbin will probably get an assist in the shape of the suspiciously absent Drew McIntyre. I’m picking Baron Corbin.
SmackDown Tag Team Championship Match
The Miz & Shane McMahon (C) Vs. The Usos
It’s still so weird seeing Shane and Miz as tag champs. I don’t think I’ll ever get used to it. At the time of writing, this match is still scheduled to happen, but Jimmy Uso’s recent arrest for aggressively confronting a police officer might change plans. Assuming it’s going to go ahead, I’m sure we can expect an exciting, albeit ridiculous match. I just hope Shane doesn’t take a double superkick off of a scaffold or something.
Prediction: I feel like this Miz/Shane story is still leading to a Mania match, but are they really going to lose on their first defence? After all, they are the best tag team in the world. Sod it, let’s give them the win.
2-on-1 Handicap Match For The Intercontinental Championship
Bobby Lashley (C) & Lio Rush Vs. Finn Bálor
Sure, why not? Lio Rush has succeeded in getting Lashley over through sheer irritation, I suppose he should get in on a title match as well. My only question is whether Lio would become champ if he pinned Finn or not. Would Lio then have to face Lashley? Because that is something I’d pay to see. It looks like this will be the IC Title feud for the foreseeable future, even if Lashley’s credibility isn’t great compared to a man who almost defeated Brock Lesnar last month.
Prediction: I think Lio is a red herring. Finn pinning the less imposing man to win the title would protect Lashley, for sure, but he just won the thing. Okay, Bálor is obviously the better candidate to carry the gold, that doesn’t mean we should be hot potatoing it though. Bobby Lashley can still get the win here and not hurt Finn. He has an extra pair of hands, after all.
Raw Women’s Championship Match
Ronda Rousey (C) Vs. Ruby Riott
You know that Ronda Rousey is a special attraction when even her filler matches feel exciting. This match was thrown together with no build in order to get Ronda on the card. You know what, though? Ruby Riott is such a talented performer that she’ll be able to work with Ronda and craft an exciting story in the ring, without the aid of a premade narrative. Sure, we should expect better, but let’s make the most of what we’ve got.
Prediction: Ruby is sadly just another body for Ronda Rousey to rack up a solid defence with. It’s full steam ahead to Mania. Choo choo!
Elimination Chamber Match For The Inaugural WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship
Twelve people, maybe six of them with a chance of winning. Some teams feel random, some feel like a perfect fit. Regardless, the new women’s tag division is on the horizon and it needs its first rulers. Tag matches in the Chamber are not easy to pull off, there’s a reason why it’s only been done once before. Best of luck to all these ladies, it’s gonna be a rough night.
Prediction: It comes down to two very different choices for me. There’s the obvious route in Sasha Banks and her best mate, Bayley. It would be the culmination of what feels like the longest story ever told, but would also be such a feel-good moment. Then there’s the route that I feel is both a swerve and kind of ideal, The IIconics. They’ve been a tag team since the very beginning and are so good at playing heels who do the bare minimum to get the job done. Are Billie and Peyton truly destined for this? Let me tell you, I believe they are. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’m picking The IIconics to become the first ever WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions.
Elimination Chamber Match For The WWE Championship
Daniel Bryan (C) Vs. AJ Styles Vs. Jeff Hardy Vs. Randy Orton Vs. Samoa Joe Vs. Kofi Kingston
There are two things I care about as we head into this match: Daniel Bryan and his beautiful wooden belt, and Kofi Kingston. What started as a last-minute replacement for an injured Mustafa Ali has rapidly become WWE’s most enthralling underdog story. Kofi went for a full hour in a gauntlet match this week on SmackDown. Along the way, he pinned Daniel Bryan, Jeff Hardy and Samoa Joe, before exerting every last ounce of strength he had left to take the fight to AJ Styles. Kofi received a standing ovation for his efforts and created a narrative so compelling, that it dominates the entire pretense of this match.
Prediction: My heart says Kofi Kingston 100%. The crowd will be behind him more than anybody, and whoever eliminates him will have an ungodly amount of heat (Joe or Bryan, ideally). I’m so into this Kofi redemption story, that I’m all in on him winning the gold/brown from DBry at Mania. I do believe that the wooden belt’s gonna stick around a little longer, however, and have to predict Daniel Bryan will retain here.
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