Powell's WWE Elimination Chamber Preview and Predictions: Will Rock lose the belt via cheap finish to set up a Triple Threat match at WrestleMania 29? Who will win the Elimination Chamber for a title shot at WrestleMania 29?
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By Jason Powell
The Rock vs. C.M. Punk for the WWE Championship: WWE added the stipulation that Punk will win the title if Rock is disqualified or counted out. Does this mean we will see a title change without Rock being pinned to then set up a Triple Threat match with Punk defending the WWE Championship against Rock and John Cena at WrestleMania 29? I doubt it. Rather, I believe the stipulation was added to plant a seed of doubt regarding the outcome of the match. Keep in mind that Paul Heyman agreed to give Vince McMahon whatever he wants in return for the stipulation being added. That could mean Punk will be forced to wrestle Undertaker at WrestleMania 29. It could be a setup for Brock Lesnar being forced to wrestle Triple H at WrestleMania 29. I imagine we will find out soon enough.
As for this match, I believe it will be better than their Royal Rumble encounter. I was caught off guard by the false finish and restart, so it worked for me more than it did for many. Still, it did create an awkward finish, as did the odd decision to have the match conclude with a People's Elbow rather than a far more memorable Rock Bottom finisher. My guess is we'll get that Rock Bottom finish here. I am curious to see what they do to protect Punk since this will presumably be back to back losses to Rock, and he's obviously still a big player in WWE. By the way, is there a reason Heyman or The Shield wouldn't attack Punk the moment the bell rings with the intention of getting Rock disqualified?
Prediction: The Rock retains the WWE Championship.
The Shield vs. John Cena, Ryback, and Sheamus in a six-man tag match: There was plenty of speculation that this would be an Elimination Chamber tag match, but that didn't materialize. I am hopeful they didn't go in that direction because it would have required a decisive winner and loser. WWE wants Cena to go into WrestleMania 29 strong so there's no way he was going to lose. I would have been surprised if Ryback or Sheamus lost clean. The alternative would have been to have The Shield lose clean inside the chamber, and that would have been a mistake. The lack of the chamber structure gives WWE a chance to have a cheap finish of some kind. It could be outside interference or a DQ or a count out. Either way, the babyface trio can still perform their simultaneous finishers spot after the match and no one will be worse off.
Prediction: A cheap finish, likely with Cena, Ryback, and Sheamus winning.
Alberto Del Rio vs. Big Show for the World Hvt. Championship: The silly direction the feud took with hotel brawls, stolen cruiser wheels, and orange paint really killed my interest in their feud. Fortunately, they work well together in the ring. I think there's a better chance of Dolph Ziggler cashing in his Money in the Bank contract successfully than there is of Big Show ending the night as World Hvt. Champion. There just aren't any intriguing singles title matches for Show at WrestleMania. Okay, so a battle of the super heavyweights Show and Henry holds some appeal, but it doesn't appear to be in the cards since both men are heels. Ziggler vs. Jericho would be the obvious title match if Dolph cashes in successfully. I'm just playing it safe and going with no title change.
Prediction: Alberto Del Rio retains the World Hvt. Championship.
Mark Henry vs. Jack Swagger vs. Chris Jericho vs. Randy Orton vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Kane in an Elimination Chamber match for a WrestleMania 29 shot at the World Hvt. Championship: This could be one hell of a Chamber match. I'm looking forward to this as much as anything on the show. If Del Rio is the champion coming out of the show, then either Henry or Swagger win the match. Swagger and Zeb Colter's characters are sure to have a long program with Del Rio at some point. However, I'd rather see WWE take their time to establish those characters more and make that a post WrestleMania program. Henry is ready now. Fans know his gimmick and it only took him a few appearances to remind viewers what a bad ass monster heel he is when he's booked properly. If WWE surprises us by having Ziggler cash in his MITB contract successfully, then Jericho would become the favorite to win here. By the way, I have them listed above in order of the favorite to least favorite to win the match.
Prediction: Mark Henry wins the Elimination Chamber
Antonio Cesaro vs. The Miz for the U.S. Championship: Last month's free preview match cracked the main pay-per-view card. Cesaro beat the holy hell out of Miz on Monday, which leaves me worried that Miz scores the upset win here. Even if he does, I don't believe he would have a long reign. Honestly, I don't care. I enjoy Cesaro as the U.S. Champion and my guess is that he retains here, but creative did major damage to my interest in the secondary title belts by having both champions lose too many non-title matches to top guys whose characters have no interest in challenging for the U.S. or Intercontinental Titles.
Prediction: Antonio Cesaro retains the U.S. Title.
Kaitlyn vs. Tamina Snuka for the WWE Divas Championship: This has buffer match written all over it. The match was just thrown out there without much recent television time. Will they use this match to somehow set up the "get all the Divas on the WrestleMania card" match?
Prediction: Kaitlyn retains the U.S. Title.
Brodus Clay and Tensai vs. Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow: Rhodes and Sandow are supposedly teaming for the last time. If that's the case, then why would they win? Then again, Clay and Tensai aren't exactly a hot tag team act, so does it really matter who wins? I was hoping The Shield attacking Clay and Tensai on Smackdown would lead to WWE inserting the New Age Outlaws in their place for the free preview match. They've been working with Rhodes Scholars at some house shows and that would certainly grab more attention for the free preview. No luck. It will be okay as long as Sandow gets plenty of mic time beforehand.
Prediction: Brodus Clay and Tensai win.
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