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By Chris Shore
The Rock vs. C.M. Punk for the WWE Championship: The fairly easy predictability of this match wasn't swayed by the announcement of the cheap finish title change stipulation. It's certainly possible that Brock Lesnar or The Shield interfere against Punk in a Paul Heyman orchestrated screw job that moves the title, but the reality is that there is little reason to expect a title change.
However, if anything gives me pause about this match, it's been the build. A clean pin by the Rock makes Punk look exceptionally weak. And while I have complete faith that Punk can get the majority of his heat back in one promo, I wonder if the poor build was done on purpose precisely because Punk is going to win. I still think Rock is the ultimate winner and goes on to face John Cena at WrestleMania, regardless of everything else, but you have to at least leave the door open for something screwy just based on everything that has gone on around this feud.
Prediction: The Rock retains the WWE Championship.
The Shield vs. John Cena, Ryback, and Sheamus in a six-man tag match: Perhaps the most interesting prediction from this match isn't who wins, but how WrestleMania is positioned by the results of this match. Everyone and their brother expects John Cena to face The Rock at Mania (except for the one CM Punk fan with an unnatural animosity to Blu-rays), so he won't be taking a loss here. In fact most would assume he takes the win here to look strong for that match against Rock.
But where does that leave everybody else? The truth is Cena doesn't need the win, even when you take his redemption story into account. He's already sent the Shield fleeing for their lives two weeks in a row. As long as he doesn't play into the finish at all he loses nothing, especially if he can be killing the monster Roman Reigns when the finish occurs. I see this match less about giving John Cena a lift and more about setting up Mania for everyone else. With that being the case, I think Vince McMahon wants Ryback to beat the Shield on the grandest stage of them all, so Shield has to remain string here. They get the win on a cheap roll up or after an illegal move the ref doesn't see.
Prediction: The Shield.
Alberto Del Rio vs. Big Show for the World Heavyweight Championship: Dolph Ziggler fans should probably rejoice because I'm not picking him to cash in tonight. Considering my "this is the month _____ happens" accuracy this just about assures his crowning tonight. But the reality is I'm not picking him because it seems like they think they have something with Del Rio and I don't think they will change horses here. It may be entirely possible that the plan was to have Ziggler cash in here all along and yet WWE has changed their minds because of Del Rio's quick popularity. Combine that with who the challengers are in the Chamber, and I think all signs point to Del Rio retaining here. I have no idea what they do with Big Show from here, though.
Prediction: Alberto Del Rio retains the World Heavyweight 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 Heavyweight Championship: I gave my confidence picks all of these guys on this week's Dot Net Weekly (which you can hear right now before the show starts by clicking the link above!), and I'm not changing them here. Mark Henry looks like the clear favorite, and rightfully so, with Jack Swagger the next logical pick. But one thing I thought about as I sat down to write this, Henry and Swagger both looked strong on Friday, while my number 3 pick, Chris Jericho, was knocked out clean. Booking 101 says to pick Jericho. If Ziggler were to actually cash in and win tonight (no, I'm still not picking it), don't rule out the Ayatollah of Rock-and-Rolla.
Prediction: Mark Henry wins the Elimination Chamber
Antonio Cesaro vs. The Miz for the U.S. Championship: It's hard to analyze a match like this. There's absolutely zero reason to believe Miz will win, and there is absolutely zero reason to think WWE would take the belt off Cesaro, and there is absolutely zero reason why WWE should take the title off Cesaro. So all I got is, "Glad Miz gets a paycheck."
Prediction: Antonio Cesaro retains the U.S. Championship.
Kaitlyn vs. Tamina Snuka for the WWE Divas Championship: Much like the previous match, there's little reason WWE moves the title here, but more than anything I want a good match here. If the little girls at house shows are starting to get into Kaitlyn , then I hope she doesn't get derailed here. Finding out how to engage the young female audience would be a gigantic boon to business for WWE. If Kaitlyn is at least making headway there, they need to stay with what they have, even if it doesn't have a great match here.
Prediction: Kaitlyn retains the Divas Championship.
Brodus Clay and Tensai vs. Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow: Part of me thinks Rhodes Scholars goes over just to be the catalyst to have Tensai turn on Brodus here, but the majority of me thinks Vince is getting a big kick out of the dancing fat guys. We've only seen it a million times in WWE history. Glad Cody and Damien get a check!
Prediction: Brodus Clay and Tensai.
Shore's WWE Elimination Chamber Preview and Predictions: Will stipulation lead to Rock losing WWE Title to CM Punk? Can Alberto Del Rio hold onto the World Title against Big Show? Will John Cena and friends believe in The Shield?
Feb 17, 2013 - 05:55 PM
Feb 17, 2013 - 05:55 PM
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