By Rob Siebert
Editor, Fanboy Wonder
That’s right, the title said “A Game of Chicken.” As in, you’ve got two cars driving toward one another, and unless somebody yields and swerves off the road, you’re going to have a car wreck on your hands. WWE seems to be playing chicken with the main event of Wrestemania XXX. Or at least, that’s what they were doing when the Royal Rumble aired.
When Daniel Bryan did not enter the Royal Rumble match, we saw what many considered to be a full fledged revolt by the Pittsburgh crowd. To an extent, it was actually really cool to see the fans be that passionate about the WWE, and wrestling in general. Not only that, but Hall of Famers like Mick Foley and Stone Cold Steve Austin were calling WWE out for bad booking decisions. Heck, the response to the Royal Rumble match might have been a big factor in why CM Punk walked out on WWE.
So the Royal Rumble got a hugely negative response from the fans. They’re giving us Batista as the big babyface at Wrestlemania, when clearly the fans want Daniel Bryan in that spot. Elimination Chamber is the final pay per view before Wrestlemania, and the following night, the WWE Network launches. If WWE is going to make a change, now is the time…
The eyes of the wrestling world are on Minneapolis, Minnesota this weekend.
Cody Rhodes & Goldust vs. Ryback & Curtis Axel
I was heartbroken to read Goldust’s tweet earlier this month that he won’t be facing his brother Cody at Wrestlemania XXX. That seems like a waste of a perfectly good Wrestlemania match spot. Although I suppose he did have a point when he said it wouldn’t get the attention it deserves. If there’s ever a pay per view where good matches could potentially get lost in the shuffle, it’s Wrestlemania XXX. But the sad thing is, the Rhodes brothers might very well be lost in the shuffle already. Look who they’re working with, for cryin’ out loud. This month’s pre-show might as well be called Lost in Space, because everybody in this match is just sort of floating out in orbit, hoping to catch a tether that’ll lead them to someplace good. I see the Rhodes brothers picking up a win here. As lost as they are, they’re not quite as lost as the former Paul Heyman guys…
Rob’s Prediction: Cody Rhodes & Goldust
WINNERS: Cody Rhodes & Goldust
Darren Young vs. Titus O’Neil
As I’ve said, it’s a pleasant surprise to see this match on a pay per view card. It’s a hell of an opportunity for both guys. For the record, the Prime Time Players never did get their due. Titus O’Neil in particular, has such great charisma. That’s why, the more I think about it, the more I see this match as a platform to launch Titus to that next level. Darren has a great look, and he had an awesome moment last year when he became the first openly gay wrestler to be on the active WWE roster. But it’s always been pretty clear that Titus was going to be the breakout star of the team. Thus, Titus will go over here, and Darren will probably end up in another tag team eventually.
Rob’s Prediction: Titus O’Neil
WINNER: Titus O’Neil
WWE INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE MATCH:
Big E. (c) vs. Jack Swagger
This match seems to serve two purposes. Firstly, it gives Big E. (What does the E stand for, anyway?) another high profile victory. Secondly, it continues to take us toward yet another feud between former tag partners, i.e. Jack Swagger and Cesaro. WWE has been sending Jack in that “jealous tag partner” direction for weeks now. And I imagine a loss here, combined with what I can only assume will be a great performance by Cesaro in the main event, will be enough to finally break the Real Americans up. Yet another tag team that never really got its due. But then again, I’d say Cesaro is more suited for singles competition. As for Swagger, how he’ll fare from here largely depends on how well he can behave himself. He screwed himself out of what might have been the beginning of a World Heavyweight Title run at Wrestlemania XXIX. At this rate, he might not even make the show this year…
Rob’s Prediction: Big E.
WINNER: Big E.
WWE TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH:
The New Age Outlaws (c) vs. The Usos
The time is coming for the Usos. They’ve definitely earned it. They’ve been working at it since 2010, and as such their journey to the tag belts has an old school feel to it. They’ve honed their craft, and become the best tag team WWE has right now. But they’ll have to wait just a bit longer for their big payoff. The Usos should get their reward at Wrestlemania, in what I expect will be a nice passing of the torch moment with the Outlaws. WWE might wants to throw a couple of other teams in there and make it a fourway tag match to spice things up a bit. But as far as the tag team division goes over the next month or so, Elimination Chamber belongs to the New Age Outlaws, but Wrestlemania belongs to The Usos.
Rob’s Prediction: The New Age Outlaws
WINNERS: The New Age Outlaws
Batista vs. Alberto Del Rio
Boy, THIS is a hell of a match. Boring vs. Bland. It’s tough to remember a pay per view match I’ve wanted to see less. Or for that matter, was easier to predict. Batista beats Del Rio and goes on to do whatever he ends up doing at Wrestlemania. You’ve got to believe plans have changed in the wake of the Royal Rumble. Either way, I can almost guarantee you those plans don’t involve Alberto Del Rio. So let’s get this one overwith and move on with our lives.
Rob’s Prediction: Batista
The Shield vs. The Wyatt Family
Like a lot of fans, I’m thrilled we’re getting to see this match before the Shield breaks up, which could presumably happen any day now. As both these factions have been built up as unstoppable forces, this really feels like an epic collision. I’m hoping the fans will cheer this good booking decision as loudly as they booed last month’s bad ones. The only downside is that the winner is somewhat obvious. The Wyatts beat the Shield, leading to a blow up between Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose, leading to a United States Title Match at Wrestlemania. The only question is where Seth Rollins lands. He certainly doesn’t deserve to sit on the sidelines. He’s been too good at his job. In any event, the Wyatts will rightfully emerge from Elimination Chamber as WWE’s most dominant faction. And frankly, I’d be surprised if they didn’t have a say in what happens with John Cena in the main event. That is, unless plans have changed since the Royal Rumble. They may very well have, considering the Wyatts and Cena haven’t interacted very much on screen since that night.
Rob’s Prediction: The Wyatt Family
WINNERS: The Wyatt Family
ELIMINATION CHAMBER MATCH FOR WWE WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE:
Randy Orton (c) vs. John Cena vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus vs. Christian vs. Cesaro
It’s interesting to me that Christian is still in this match. Nothing against him, of course. But considering what happened on Raw this past Monday, and how they played up the fact that he was the only one who hadn’t pinned Randy Orton recently, it wouldn’t surprise me to see somebody beat him up and take his spot in the Chamber. I’m not necessarily expecting it, mind you. But it wouldn’t surprise me if Brock Lesnar, Kane, or (dare I even mention him…) CM Punk worked their way into the match.
The obvious winner here is Randy Orton. The original plan was obviously to send he and Batista to the main event of Wrestlemania XXX. The question is, has WWE decided to end this game of chicken with the fans, and actually put Daniel Bryan in that spot. But Daniel Bryan is in a similar position the Usos are in. The idea of giving him the belt at Elimination Chamber kind of sucks. He deserves to get it at the biggest show of the year. So I think what they need to do is have Orton win here, and then have something big happen the following night on Raw (the night the WWE Network launches) where someone comes out and changes the main event. At this point, they really don’t have a choice, do they? I don’t care how badly they want that cross promotion thing with Marvel, Batista, and Guardians of the Galaxy. Having the fans crap on what’s supposed to be the biggest match of the year, at supposedly the biggest event in 10 years, would be a terrible black eye on the brand.
Rob’s Prediction: Randy Orton
WINNER: Randy Orton
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