Gutteridge's "Man vs. Machine" WWE Elimination Chamber 2014 Predictions: Can the WWE steer clear of a bland Wrestlemania main event? Will this be the end of The Shield? And did WWE 2K14 actually out perform me?!?
By Darren Gutteridge
Can Dot Net contributor Darren Gutteridge predict the outcomes of pay-per-view matches with more accuracy than the WWE 2K14 video game simulator? Let's find out.
Is it just me who has yet to feel that Wrestlmania feeling in the air? I usually start getting hyped up near the Rumble, but the fallout from the disastrous booking on that show scuppered that this year. But even as we go into the penultimate PPV, I'm still not feeling it. Now, that could all change tomorrow with what is looking like a stacked Raw, but I worry bad booking decisions threaten to once again spoil the next few weeks of TV.
Said bad booking decisions last time out led WWE 2K14 to bring home a win. In kidding myself that Bryan was going to win, I put Batista as my second choice, and that has cost me my hopes of a clean sweep. The game has now pulled one back to make the overall score 2-1 to me.
Pre-Show: Cody Rhodes and Goldust vs. Curtis Axel and Ryback. By the way, what an awful undercard, huh? There's more filler here than a Europe concert. But is this match a sign of it being The Final Countdown for the Rhodes Brothers? (Oh how I just laughed at my own hilarity). If the team is being diminished to this low a point, the only value left in them soon will be a breakup angle, which I'm not sure I want to see given the quality of their tag work. I do think this team will finish in the next year however, as Cody deserves to be given a fair crack of the whip at being a singles main eventer. Because there has been no tension in the build up to this match in particular, I'll go for the Brotherhood.
Prediction: Cody Rhodes and Goldust defeat Curtis Axel and Ryback
WWE 2K14: RybAxel defeat The Rhodes brothers
Darren Young vs. Titus O'Neil. I really don't know where all of this is going. I don't see either man as a top guy, so the split will likely just lead to the already bloated mid card gaining two extra hands. I foresee a five minute squash from O'Neil, as they seem to have more interest in him straight off the bat.
Prediction: Titus O'Neil defeats Darren Young
WWE 2K14: O'Neil defeats Young
The New Age Outlaws vs. The Usos for the WWE Tag Team Titles. I'd like to think The Usos win here, as they have long been deserving of some title recognition, and the crowd are bound to be into it, but if the change goes down, I have to ask the question – what was the point of this NAO run? It HAD to be a set-up for a storyline, as why else would you have a nostalgia act beat two guys in the Rhodes brothers who had been lighting up the division?
I know, I'm trying to apply logic to a company devoid of it for the most part, but without a storyline payoff (which this title switch wouldn't count as, as they haven't had a real rivalry), the NAO run can be deemed nothing less than an abject failure.
Prediction: The Usos defeat The New Age Outlaws to win the WWE Tag Team Titles
WWE 2K14: The Usos defeat the NAO to win the WWE Tag Team Titles
Big E vs. Jack Swagger for the Intercontinental Title. Interesting match up of styles here, so I'm looking forward to this clash more than most I suspect, but it does feel like a Raw TV match more than a PPV one due again to the lack of build. Big E needs a win, but it will do damage to the Real Americans if Swagger loses here and Cesaro steals the show in the Chamber. A case could be made for Swagger winning here, and have he and Cesaro break up and face off at Mania for the belt, but I already have a “tag team break up feud with mid-card title thrown in” match booked on my Mania predictions, so I'll go against it here.
Prediction: Big E defeats Jack Swagger to retain the Intercontinental Title
WWE 2K14: Big E defeats Swagger to retain the IC title
Batista vs. Alberto Del Rio. I can't think of a duller programme for me personally in WWE right now. . . until our predicted Wrestlemania main event, of course. This is going to be a grind. My Hollywood Dave apathy almost completely distracted me from what was otherwise an interesting, quirky trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy. I hope his black hole of fun is offset by Chris Pratt being on top form.
Prediction: Batista defeats Alberto Del Rio
WWE 2K14: Del Rio defeats Batista
The Shield vs. The Wyatt Family. This PPV is like a dry, plain sponge cake, with two jumbo sized cherries on top. Zim pointed out that some of the Wyatt Family's in-ring deficiencies took away from the prospect of this match being as spectacular as I'm hoping for, but there is a way to address that in-balance – abandon all pretence of this being a standard 6-man, and make it a no DQ WAR. The Shield burst onto the scene in a chaotic TLC match against Ryback and Team Hell No in 2012, so it's only fitting they bow out in a similar style with a no holds barred brawl.
Oh yes, I think this is the day we all dreaded. The Shield have had one hell of a run, but all good things must come to an end, and it's better to burn out here than fade away. I see it as an inevitability that a moment of false bravado from Dean Ambrose cost the Shield this match, and afterwards, Roman Reigns will lay waste to both Ambrose and Seth Rollins, all geared towards a Triple Threat US Title match at Mania. I'm really, really sad to see them go, but I can't pretend I'm not excited for their last blow out match and subsequent feud.
Prediction: The Wyatt Family defeats The Shield
WWE 2K14: The Shield defeat The Wyatts
Elimination Chamber for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship: Here are my ranked choices for the winner of this match.
Joint 5th Choice – Christian and Sheamus. There always “also-rans” in Chamber matches, and neither of these guys has really caught any momentum since returning. Christian will be cannon fodder, but Sheamus has a chance of scoring an elimination before bowing out.
4th Choice – Cesaro: It's been an unexpectedly awesome week to be a Cesaro fan. Two big matches in one week have put him above two former World champions here, but the push has come too late for him to really force his way into contention. Though stranger things have happened (just see team mate Swagger's win last year), I expect Cesaro to put on a show, and then follow it up with a phenomenal match with Sami Zayn on NXT arRIVAL. . .
Think I got away with an NXT plug there. . .
3rd Choice – John Cena. It's stupid to ever bet heavily against Cena in any situation, but a match up with Batista? Yawn, though admittedly not as yawn worthy as another potential headline match. I could see Cesaro pinning him if plans have changed for the Swiss Superman this week, but I think a match with Wyatt at the big dance seems more likely right now for Cena.
2nd Choice – Daniel Bryan: It's undeniable that some of the wind has been taken out of Bryan's sails following the Rumble, and I worry even more would be taken out should he WIN the title here. The way WWE has worked for years is that stars are made at Wrestlemania. A win here will feel premature, because that's not the story people want to see told – winning the title at Mania carries a lot more excitement than retaining it does. A great Chamber match may change my perception, and I'm certainly pulling for Bryan to win to save us from the alternative, but I'm afraid I have to go with . . .
1st Choice – Randy Orton: This. They better have the greatest undercard in history planned should they actually go with Batista vs. Orton, because it can't just be me who sees that and shrugs their shoulders.
Prediction: Randy Orton pins Bryan to retain the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
WWE 2K14: Cena pins Sheamus to win the WWE WC Title
Thanks for reading. If you have any comments or thoughts on the show or this review, add me on Twitter via @Dazatheg , where I’ll be live tweeting during the PPV
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