Welcome to the Wrestling Clique Roundtable,With the Elimination Chamber just 1 day away, six members from WrestlingClique.com were asked to talk about their thoughts on the upcoming pay-per-view..........get it because there's six competitors in a chamber match?..............screw you I thought it was clever
Seated at the Roundtable this month are:
Returning to the roundtable, the 2nd best mod in the WWE section – The Shockmaster
Because someone has to be pro-Cena/Kane – Tommy Rage
Everybody's favourite King, after King Mabel of course – King Steventon
Let’s hear it for the new guy – Flex Kavana
He doesn’t watch much wrestling, but he’s giving it a go for the craic – PS
And making up the numbers, the sixth man in the chamber roundtable – Santino Marella Ed
***NOTE – King Steventon and Flex Kavana gave their answers in before Santino-gate broke out earlier in the week, hence they have a super positive outlook on the SD Chamber match compared to the rest of us.
What are your thoughts on The Elimination Chamber as a gimmick match?
The Shockmaster: The best gimmick match in wrestling right now. It is actually harder to have a bad Elimination Chamber match than a good one. From the top of my head, the only bad Chamber match was the ECW Extreme Elimination Chamber, but that’s mostly because they booked it in such a way that it couldn’t possibly be a success. I think that match is proof that you have to actively try to make it bad. The rest are almost always good with a lot of them being great (the 2005 and SmackDown 2011 being the standout in my opinion). The concept allows some really interesting and imaginative booking techniques and storyline advancement such as: the build up to Batista’s title win, or Jeff Hardy’s pursuit of the title in early 2008. There’s no gimmick match in wrestling that I look forward to more than the Elimination Chamber.
Tommy Rage: I’m not sure if there has ever been a more reliable stipulation for match quality. There have been quite a lot of Chambers since it’s debut in 2002, and yet I really can’t think of a bad one. Even the December to Dismember one I remember being decent. The first one is slightly overrated but still good, and since then there have been some truly great Elimination Chamber matches and some fantastic moments. It basically guarantees a good match, and that’s surely the best that can be said of any gimmick match. The idea of giving the stip it’s own PPV was a very good one and it’s one of the gimmick PPVs which really works. It’s now a great step on the road to Wrestlemania, and I like the unpredictability of it. There’s often a title change in there at the last juncture.
King Steventon: I guess my feelings would be pretty similar to that of the Hell In A Cell. From a booking point of view, it's more or less been killed as a novelty because of overuse. The simple fact there's a mandatory TWO Chamber matches every year completely destroys the meaning of it as a "last-resort" stipulation that is only used when needed because it's so dangerous. To further break that illusion, how many careers have been ended or hurt because of the match? Heck, due to the blading ban they can't even bleed in a supposedly "super-duper-life-threatening" match. So from a booking/storyline point of view, it is meaningless and just another tacted on gimmick. As for what it actually presents as a match, it's a decent concept. The elimination format is always a useful tool for furthering storylines, pushing and protecting workers, etc. The random entrant system adds a nice layer of drama to the match and the structure itself is immense and has proven to be a good prop for workers. So yeah, it's a good idea that provides plenty of potential for a good match, even if the WWE has typical devalued it to the point where no one cares.
Flex Kavana: The EC is another gimmick like HIAC, TLC, MITB which has suffered by being scheduled with 2 matches a year on the PPV calendar. Kind of takes away the excitement of it popping up during a feud. BUT I still feel it is credible contribution and has become a welcome treat in the road to Wrestlemania. It is an exciting match to watch combining a battle royal with a HIAC match. I still enjoy it greatly but of course the quality of the match depends on the quality of the competitors.
PS: Initially when the Elimination Chamber was first brought into the WWE, it felt like something new and exciting with a lot of potential for some interesting spots but I’m starting to feel like having two every single year for the past few years, has been overkill and made me lose my interest in it! Like a lot of WWE gimmick matches, it’s becoming harder and harder to shock fans and come up with new and inventive spots, although last year’s SD Chamber wasn’t actually too bad. Maybe that shows there’s still some life in it yet!
Ed: I love it, I think you can always rely on it for a quality match and the elimination element to the match opens up a lot of possibilities for storyline progression. But Steve brings up a great point, it’s being hyped up as one of the most dangerous matches in the WWE, but in reality it hasn’t been booked that way for years. I imagine a good number of the superstars from the WWE title match will end up wrestling the next night on Monday Night Raw. Then when you factor in a lack of blood, and the fact that no one has ever retired, as a result of the match, it’s not really as dangerous as they make out. That said, they are usually a good point for a MOTYC from the WWE, regardless of it’s cons.
What are your favourite Elimination Chamber matches/moments?
The Shockmaster: I’ll say that my favourite match remains the 2005 Chamber, with SmackDown 2011 and SmackDown 2010 being second and third respectively. The 2005 Chamber has so much going for it: star power, great storyline advancement and near-perfect booking. As for my favourite moments, there’s so many to choose from. I’m a huge fan of Goldberg squashes, so as soon as he enters the 2003 Chamber and runs through everyone it’s really fun. Then you’ve got Batista’s elimination of Benoit and Jericho followed by HHH’s reaction when he finally realises how dangerous this guy is. And then you’ve got Drew McIntyre last year tearing down everyone in the match. But for me, my favourite moment has to be Rey Mysterio’s one-man show in 2009. I don’t think the Raw 2009 Chamber is particularly special, but Rey really makes it with his crazy spots and bumps throughout the match. He throws himself around the Chamber like a madman and then it’s topped off by an excellent finishing sequence with Edge.
Tommy Rage: Although the original is overrated somewhat, Shawn Michaels winning was obviously a great moment. In terms of overall matches, I thought both of last year’s Chambers were really great, but my favourite is probably the 2009 RAW chamber. You had the surprise of Edge taking out Kofi before the match began, the amazing elimination of Cena mid-way through, and best of all the fantastic finishing stretch between Edge and Rey, something they played off in the 2011 Chamber with the same final two. I actually thought the 2003 Chamber with Goldberg destroying everybody was pretty damn awesome too, though I kind of agree in hindsight that a Goldberg win might have been the better option. I loved the finish of the RAW chamber in 2007 with HHH beating Jeff Hardy after he put up a hell of a fight. Great stories are told in the Elimination Chamber.
King Steventon: Are we talking the PPV or the stipualation here? If we're talking about the PPV, 2010's was a pretty terrible show (outside the start of the Batista-Cena feud), but last year had a strong show. The opener and tag were filler, but the big 3 matche were all very good, if not blowaway great matches. Drew destroying everyone in his way, the crowd reaction for Lawler and everything Punk in the main were all tremendous. I think in the Best Of 2011 vote I rated the RAW chamber the highest of the 3, but they were all roughly on the same level. Even with the filler it was a strong show. Oh, and Lawler throwing Miz into Cole, with Booker's reaction. That was hilarious.
Flex Kavana: My favourite match still remains the debut of the EC match. I try to be biased because it was fresh and new but as a standalone match it was very entertaining. Suing guys thrown through the Perspex and watching RVD jump off the cells were all enjoyable spots. The match was then complimented by seeing the Heartbreak Kid claim the title after a long time out of the game and kick started arguably the best years of Shawn’s career.
Other great moments include Goldberg having to deal with Evolution in the Chamber while there were still at their best. Edge losing his title in one match and entering the 2nd Chamber to win the other title. A year later HBK hitting Taker with the SCM to allow Jericho the win and set up their feud.
Arguably the EC has picked up a lot more unpredictability since featuring in the road to Wrestlemania which has improved the product. It’s not just a gimmick match anymore but a way into the Mania main event.
PS: The first Chamber match at Survivor Series has got to be my favourite. Although there were apparently problems with timing and entries, it still felt so fresh, exciting and innovative at the time. The guys in it were all pretty big names at the time, and the atmosphere from the NYC crowd was pretty good as well if I’m not mistaken. Plus, I was delighted to see Shawn Michaels as a World Champion again!
The other one which for me comes close is the 2005 NYR Chamber, though it may not always get enough credit in WWE land due to Benoit’s involvement in the match, it was actually very good as well.
As for favourite moments in the Chamber, RVD’s frog splash off a pod in the first one was exciting, though looking back it was a pretty terrible frog splash! Morrison climbing the Chamber structure then sort of falling onto Sheamus was pretty cool and something I hadn’t saw before too, so that’s worth a mention.
Forgetting about big spots in the Chamber now, and moving onto actually shocking happenings, HBK costing Undertaker the World Title to ensure he would get a rematch at ‘Mania was very good. Edge cashing in his MITB briefcase after a Chamber match to win his first World Championship was another great moment. But the best for me, as I’ve already mentioned, was HBK winning the World Championship in the first ever Elimination Chamber. It was just a fairy tale moment!
Ed: Being a Shawn Michaels mark, 2002 stands out for obvious reasons, but I think it goes beyond Michaels winning his last World Championship. I think there’s an element there of it being the Elimination Chamber’s debut and feeling that buzz of watching something totally new in wrestling. In fact another one of my favourite moments from the Elimination Chamber is from 2010 when Michaels screwed Undertaker out of his title to set up the Wrestlemania rematch, and Michaels wasn’t even part of the match.
It’s not strictly a ‘Chamber’ moment, but when Edge cashed in MITB on John Cena after he just defended his title inside the structure was brilliant, the best storyline they ever ran with the MITB, really sold the ‘unpredictability factor of the briefcase.
ELIMINATION CHAMBER 2012 CARDThe Shockmaster: I’m generally not a fan of ambulance/last ride/casket matches and this is no different. I don’t think the Shane McMahon one from 2003 was that good, the only good casket match I can recall features two people that couldn’t have a bad match with one another if they tried (Undertaker and Michaels), so the stipulation is inherently bad, even if it makes sense in the context of the feud. As for the feud itself, what can I say that hasn’t already been covered? An embarrassment of a feud from start to finish. From Kane’s 15 minute monologue of “Cenaaaaaaaa ssuuuuuuuccckkks” to the latest drama with Eve, Ryder and Cena, it’s just been a complete disaster featuring some acting that makes cheap horror film acting look like Robert De Niro in Taxi Driver. At the very least, it has provided some great laughs, but for all the wrong reasons. It’s already a front-runner for worst feud of the year. As for the match itself, it’s a Kane match, so it’s never good. I’m hoping for some Eve/Ryder/Cena hilarity to drag the match to being perversely entertaining.
John Cena vs Kane
Prediction: John Cena wins via overcoming the hate
Tommy Rage: A match and feud that was always going to divide opinion. I can see why it is not to some people’s tastes, but this seems a perfectly fine way to end what to me has been a fairly enjoyable feud. The angle with Cena being tested by Kane’s actions is pretty interesting, and considering just how stale Kane was a year ago I think they’ve done a damn good job with him. We’ve not seen an ambulance match since I believe 2003 so that alone adds a certain level of intrigue to this. I expect John Cena to win since he has to end the feud and move on to the Rock now. Hopefully we see an entertaining match and a satisfying pay-off here.
Prediction: John Cena wins clean.
King Steventon: Thoughts: lol, this feud. This is the difference betwen how a feud sounds on paper, and how it is actually executed. On paper, this sounds like a great program. Having a monster heel goad the "Ultimate good guy" into turning by not only kicking his ass, but by turning his best friend and his fans against him. On paper that sounds like a really good idea. However the execution has been 2000-Nitro levels of comically bad. This week on RAW, Kane refered to Zack as "Cena's only friend". Who the hell believes that? That's just an example of how incredibly forced the feud comes off, not to mention how bad Eve and Cena's acting has been. Cena's bowel movement angryface, Kane raping Eve backstage, Kane throwing Zack off the stage in a wheelchair - all great comedy moments if you look at it from a different perspective. I can go on about the other stuff that makes this feud stink, but I'm sure everyone (outside maybe Tom ) already knows them.
As for how the match will turn out, my expectations are pretty low. Now, their match at the Rumble was actually pretty solid until the end, but this is still a big, goofy stipulation of a match. Cena as a brawler is hurt by not being able to blade and get creamed with big weapon shots, which is really the only offence Kane has which is monster-ish or compelling in any way. It'll likely be a typically lame WWE gimmick brawl with a bunch of props in place of any great brawling. Kane vs Shane was a mildly entertaining match, mostly because of Shane's willingness to do crazy ****. Cena will be working pretty safe so he doesn't get hurt, and Kane has never been one to take big bumps or take any big shots, so this will probably be a worse match than that. I can't imagine how they will introduce any drama or threat of either guy getting seriously hurt without some contrived set-peice. The only intrigue here is the outcome and where Cena's character goes. Does he Rise Above Hate and keep his integrity, or does he succome to the dark side and begin a more heel-ish route to Wrestlemania? I really don't have any idea, but the former idea sounds a little boring to me. Cena is going to get booed no matter what he does when he faces Rock, but then he was going to get booed no matter what against Punk in Chicago, and they were better off for keeping him an uber-babyface. So a heel turn is not necassary, even if it would only be a short-term move. One thing is for sure though: Kane isn't winning.
Prediction: After giving this a little more thought, I am pretty confident Cena goes over and he does indeed Rise Above Hate. I would like to think WWE won't be stupid enough to put Rock over Cena at Wrestlemania, and for Cena to go over he'll need to be as much of a babyface as possible. The more dislikable they make him, the less people will accept him beating Rock. That may sound contradictory because people dislike him FOR being such an uber-babyface, but Cena not giving in to the darkside and proving he is legit is a much better story in the grand scheme of things, and is more likely to win people over.
Flex Kavana: I was totally into this feud before he Rumble. Then they put on a god awful match which literally sent me to sleep and the feud has gone down a steep hill since. However I won’t dismiss the ambulance match and truly hope they make it entertaining. I’m not generally a fan of “put someone in something to win matches” but if these two beat the **** out of each other rather than “tickle” each other like at the Rumble then I’ll be happy.
Having said all that I don’t expect this match to be as entertaining as its predecessor (SS03).
Prediction: Cena HAS to win this just to put this feud to bed and set him up strong for the Rock. Anything other than a Cena win as a suicidal move from creative. Cena needs to stop mucking about now and show he can actually beat Rock at Mania; which so far has been in serious doubt. Cena wins.
PS: I can only think of one previous Ambulance match in WWE history, which also happened to involve Kane (against Shane McMahon). If I remember correctly, it was a terrible match so at least this match should go down as the best ever Ambulance match in WWE history, not that that's saying much! Interested to see if there are any big spots, pretty much doubt it though as they can't risk Cena getting hurt before Wrestlemania obviously which to me means this is going to be a pretty dull affair.
As for the actual feud, I haven't really liked it from the get go. I understand what they're trying to do with Cena before he faces The Rock but I don't see how they're going to finish this feud without making Kane look stupid and weak. Kane's masked return (we don’t seem to have been given a reason for as to why it’s came back anyway!) has essentially been wasted on making Cena look like he has heel tendencies.
Prediction: Cena has to go over here for him to move on to the match with The Rock so I'd be shocked if he doesn't win. Not sure what role Ryder and Eve will play in this match but I'm sure they'll pop up somewhere at some stage. Surely if Ryder was injured so badly, he wouldn't be showing up at these shows all the time, just stupid in my eyes but whatever. I’m also thinking The Rock might show up here which could make the match a little more exciting at least!
Ed: I’m sorry, I like to look for the positives in everything that the WWE does, but I've got too much I hate about this feud and I’m not prepared to simply ‘rise above’ it. The storyline should have been, Kane feuds with Cena for a few months and it leads to Cean gaining some much needed aggression after being made to look like a little bitch by Dwayne at every opportunity so far in their feud. What we’ve got is a crappy horror story that makes no sense, why is Kane not trying to get revenge on Mark Henry for injuring him? Why does he have the mask again? When did Eve and Ryder because such a close item? Why is Ryder attending shows when he’s crippled? Why is Cena kissing his friend’s girl?. I just don’t understand what they are going for here, they’re making Cena out to look worse than Kane, Kane’s supposed to be a monster, and Cena is supposed to be about loyalty and respect, but he’s the one who’s got his tongue down a handicap’s girlfriend. The biggest crime about this whole storyline is they’ve almost killed Zack Ryder’s popularity, his push has certainly stopped and after months of building up his US title shot, he’s had a rather forgetful reign.
It’s just garbage
Prediction: Cena locks Kane in the ambulance to win the match – can’t imagine any big spots in the match either, why take the risk so close to Wrestlemania
The Shockmaster: I’ve seen nothing from Tamina Snuka to suggest this will be anything more than your average diva match. They’ve been trying to hype up Beth as dominant in recent weeks, but she’s been no different to usual and her entire run as champion has been a failure so far. I suppose it could be worse if she was the one that has fart jokes made about her. I beg the question: is her run significantly better than Kelly Kelly’s? At least they tried to highlight Kelly and at least she was over. In all honesty, until Kharma returns, it doesn’t matter who the divas champion is and who the challenger is because they’re still only going to get 2 minute matches. They’ll have Beth win to keep her going until Kharma returns and they have the only divas match that anyone could ever care about.
Beth Phoenix (c) v Tamina Snuka
Prediction: Ding Glam Slam Ding. Beth wins.
Tommy Rage: Compared to what we’ve seen from the divas recently this isn’t so bad. I don’t think Tamina is particularly good or anything but her background alone makes her more credible than the likes of Kelly and Alicia. However I fully expect Beth to retain here, as hopefully it is just a filler feud until Kharma sets her sights on Beth and they have a match at Wrestlemania, which would be the first diva match in years worth getting somewhat excited about.
Prediction: Beth wins via Glam Slam.
King Steventon: It's the divas. Who gives a sh*t? Total filler match both in terms of provding a bathroom break and tiding Beth over until Wrestlemania where hopefully she faces Karma in the only possible divas match I won't skip.
Predictions: Beth wins via the Glam Slam. The bell rings. People return from the concessions stands.
Flex Kavana: I am very happy that Tamina is getting a shot at the title. It’s a hell of a lot better than being fed Kelly Kelly and Eve for the past year. Unfortunately I don’t think she will amount to more than a stepping stone for Beth no the way to Mania. But they should be able to put on a reasonable match.
Predictions: I do expect Tamina to bring the fight but Beth is not going to drop the title here. Beth wins
PS: Don't follow the Divas too closely but I gather Tamina has been getting a bit of a push these past few weeks. I don't really know if she's any good by Diva standards but I'm sure she's better than the likes of Eve, Alicia, Kelly etc so if they're going to have a Divas match on PPV I guess throwing her into the mix can't be a bad thing. Ideally I'd have loved to see Natalya and Beth have a feud but presumably that isn't happening anytime soon as they continue to make a joke of Natalya.
Predictions: Guessing Beth picks up the win. Surely they have to have Beth v Kharma (she seems to have disappeared again since the Rumble?) whenever Kharma is ready to return so it'd make sense for Beth to keep up momentum before these two clash.
Ed: It’s funny, so many people have Kharma v Beth to be the Wrestlemania match for the Divas title, and have this title defence down as filler just to pass the time until Kharma returns – I feel like the whole division has been treading water waiting for her to have her baby! Tamina’s push our of nowhere seems to just be ‘do you know who my dad is? and hit a top rope splash on someone after every Divas match' I’ve got no reason to dig it. And don’t get me started on The Fart Dynasty
Prediction: This will be short and forgetful, Beth to win in 4 minutes.
The Shockmaster: It’s an Elimination Chamber match, so it should produce a good match. People have complained mostly about two things in this match: the inclusion of the Great Khali and the inclusion of Santino Marella. The former, I have no problem with: Khali is absolutely fine in small doses and his performance in the 2008 SmackDown Chamber was inoffensive. Santino, I do have a problem with, mostly because I find him the most hideously irritating wrestler on the roster, but hopefully he doesn’t last too long. But there’s enough talent in the match to keep it going. Rhodes is possibly my favourite wrestler in WWE right now, Bryan is great, Big Show can be fun, Barrett is okay. Unfortunately, it exposes the lack of star power on SmackDown. The line-up looks good on paper, although taking out Orton (the 2011 Wrestler of the Year for me) and replacing him with the least entertaining wrestler in the company is a big blow. It should still be really good, and I see Bryan winning, leading to some sort of 4 way at Wrestlemania with Henry, Orton and Sheamus.
World Heavyweight Championship
Daniel Bryan v Big Show v Santino Marella v Cody Rhodes v The Great Khali v Wade Barrett
Prediction: Daniel Bryan via getting lucky again
Tommy Rage: They’ve been a bit unlucky in this match, as with Henry in it I think it would have been better. Randy Orton getting hurt, assuming that is legit (something which isn’t clear at this time) is also a massive blow. That said, I still can’t see this being anything less than good. The inclusion of Santino is beyond baffling on the surface, but thinking about it more I can’t see him actually competing. I think we could see a situation similar to 2009 with somebody attacking Santino before the match begins and inserting themselves into a pod. Hopefully we see Christian or even Alberto Del Rio return for that role. Either way, I think the match will be entertaining and I think Bryan will walk out Champion. That said it wouldn’t really shock me if he lost.
Prediction: Daniel Bryan wins, last pinning Big Show.
King Steventon: Thoughts: This is, on paper atleast, the Match Of The Night. I could go into detail about the six guys, but the short story is this - we have 5 guys who can go, and Khali. Now I don't utterly detest Khali, and he can have his uses, but he clearly does not belong here. The only worthwhile input he can have is if he gets eliminated in a way that puts someone over nicely. Orton and Show don't need it, so ideally I would have Bryan sub him. Even with the despicable weasel act, they've still done a good job making Bryan look legit and kept the idea of him being a "great wrestler" who can sub guys at any point, and him being the one to out Khali would make him look badass. The other five guys can all bring something good to this match.
Orton and Wade currently look like they will blow-off their feud at Wrestlemania, but at the same time I wouldn't be surprised to see Orton take home the gold. Bryan vs Sheamus doesn't need to be a big match, but.. it isn't. Orton is obviously more of a star and more likely to be in a Wrestlemania title match - even if Bryan makes far more sense from a storyline perspective. Cody, Wade, Khali and Show have no chance of winning. It's just a matter of wether they want Bryan or Orton to lose to Sheamus at Wrestlemania.
Prediction: I am going to be optimistic and say Bryan weasels his way to another win. If Orton doesn't win the match, Wade is his eliminator, and is he does, then vice versa.
Flex Kavana: Let’s get one thing out the way. Khali, they couldn’t find anyone else?
Anyway; moving swiftly on. How this match will play out currently rests with Randy Orton. Will he or won’t he be in the match? If not who do you replace him with. Christian would be the obvious bet but I would be ready for a Henry substitution.
Short of Khali there is a lot of potential in this match and the competitors hold quite a lot of talent between them. A lot of feuds will boil over and we will probably see Bryan fly through a good amount of Perspex.
I am particularly looking forward to see how Wade handles himself in the match, I feel he would do well in this kind of environment and should last a fairly long time in the Chamber.
Prediction: If the line-up goes ahead as advertised I would expect Khali to be taken out fairly quickly, probably by Randy Orton. Cody should be next to be eliminated followed by Orton eliminating Big Show, before eliminating Barrett. Who may screw Orton over allowing their feud to continue and Bryan to pick up the win, who will probably enter the match last. Bryan wins
PS: From what I read in the WWE section, I gather people hate the idea of Santino being in the Chamber and that he mightn't actually make it into the match at all. Well, I for one love it personally! I know he's not going to win so yes he's a waste of a spot but really looking at the 6 men involved, I can only see Bryan winning so by that theory, they're all wastes of spots! I'm actually looking forward to him doing something funny and then getting himself eliminated quickly. If WWE play it off like that then it's really no biggie! Great Khali is who I'm more annoyed about being in this. That guy is the biggest heap of crap ever! He can hardly even move and nobody should be intimidated of him really saying he's done nothing to make us believe he's a legit monster in almost 6 years! I hope Show takes him out quick in this so as we don't have to go through the pain of watching him.
If WWE were to bring someone different in, Christian is the obvious choice as he couldn’t be too far away from a return now and this would be the perfect opportunity, but like I said, if he isn’t ready yet I’m fine with Santino! Also, I'm hoping that Rhodes and Barrett are both made to look good in this match as I quite like the pair of them and think they both have big futures!
Prediction: Has to be a Daniel Bryan win. His "Yes! Yes! Yes" ego-trip heel persona is great right now and a match between him and Sheamus at Wrestlemania is ideal. With the Wrestlemania card already pretty stacked with main-event talent it lets two guys who are the future of the 'E play a big part without being required to be the 'main draws’, though they may throw Orton in to to make it a triple threat.
Ed: Alas, I had such high hopes for this match, even when Khali was announced as a competitor, they can package him just to show up for 2 minutes, clean house, then eat 3 finishers to lose. My problem is more replacing the wrestler of the year for 2011 IMO with the one superstar who should never be in this type of match. The Elimination Chamber is supposed to be this violent battle between 6 superstars, silly sock puppets and The Cobra aren’t welcome, they kill the mood of the match.
Daniel Bryan is pretty much the only reason to watch Smackdown now, he’s certainly the #1 reason at any rate. Last night’s Smackdown sounded like they were setting up Bryan v Orton in the future, but I doubt they’ll run for that when they’ve gotta fit Sheamus in the title picture somewhere. As long as the bulk of the match is done by Bryan, Cody and Big Show, this could be saved.
They could always replace Santino on the night with Mark Henry (why did he show up at Smackdown!), so maybe all this hate is premature, in fact I'm almost certain that's going to happen.
Prediction: Daniel Bryan wins, YES YES YES!
The Shockmaster: Again, the talent looks really good but there’s only 2 guys that even have a remote chance of winning. Ziggler, for all we wanted to believe would benefit from the Punk match at the Rumble, is right back where he was; Miz has been floundering around for months; Truth is a comedy midcarder. I think they might make Kofi look really good in this match, possibly being the penultimate guy eliminated, or even the last if they’re going to pull a title switch. They made him seem like a big deal on Monday, and it could do a lot if he pulls out a few eliminations and just loses out to Jericho. The match should be excellent, because it has three guys that are very good and some that are good in small doses, but I think I’m in the minority that believes Punk will retain and go into Wrestlemania as champion. I think they might do some kind of dodgy finish which gives Jericho a legitimate reason for getting a rematch. With the removal of Orton from the SmackDown Chamber, I predict this will be Match of the Night.
CM Punk v Dolph Ziggler v Chris Jericho v The Miz v R-Truth v Kofi Kingston
Prediction: CM Punk via last eliminating Chris Jericho
Tommy Rage: Now that Orton is apparently hurt (assuming that isn’t a work and he really won’t be a part of it) I see this being the better match of the two. The Smackdown one still probably has a better mix of guys as there is more variety with a couple of monsters in there (most chambers contain at least one so this is unusual) but I just have a feeling this one will be great. CM Punk, Chris Jericho and Dolph Ziggler are 3 of the best wrestlers in the company, and the other guys all have their moments and in are arguably better in small doses, at least in the case of the two faces. Their weaknesses won’t be as exposed in a match like this and they can add to the spectacle. I think and hope Punk will retain the title, but it will be interesting to see how much time him and Jericho spend in the ring together, and how they interact, with a likely Wrestlemania match coming up. For that reason I see Punk defeating Ziggler to retain with Jericho eliminated in a way which allows him to feel cheated. I can see him attacking Punk and maybe cutting a promo post-match too. I’m 90% certain Punk will still be Champ at the end of this but then there’s always that 10%...
Prediction: CM Punk pins Dolph to retain.
King Steventon: Thoughts: Total mixed bag of a match, but I'm struggling to get excited about this. Kofi will be good for one big highspot and nothing more. Truth is a fun character but still not a good in-ring worker. Miz seems to have taken several steps back as a worker and is totally uninteresting right now. Jericho looks no better than he did in his last run, where he was actively boring (a new jacket doesn't change that). Punk and Dolph are both legit great workers and two of the best wrestlers in the world right now, but in this type of match that isn't enough to carry things.
Inside the match, we have the Truth vs Miz feud, which is total filler and has been drawn out past the point of people caring. For internal feuds within the match, Orton vs Wade is also drawn out too far, but atleast is helping elevate Wade to main event status. Miz vs Truth is just there until they both get slotted into Money In The Bank. Kingston has done roughly nothing in about a year (tag titles mean didley squat) and is only there because they needed a sixth guy. For me the real loser of the match here is Dolph. The guy was getting pushed big into the Rumble, then got half-heartedly buried by the booking when they had Punk beat him like 5 times in the match, and made him an afterthought to the Punk-Ace feud which lead to nothing. Since then he's been cast aside for the Jericho feud and is soundly back in the mid-card, where he will likely stay until the Summer.
This is a two horse race between tha champ and Jericho. Ultimately it doesn't matter who wins because they will face at Wrestlemania, with Punk probably winning there.
Prediction: I am going with Jericho over Punk to win the strap, only because I can't see them having both champs retain, and they need to have some reason for the Wrestlemania match.
Flex Kavana: I’m still debating which Chamber match would walk away with MOTN. I feel the Smackdown one may be held back by Khali and for a small part Big Show. This match however has great talent throughout. I am fairly certain of the winner of the other match but this one is a lot harder for me. I am certain that Punk and Jericho will be the last two men standing but unsure who will win. Do they let Punk defend the title at Mania or have him fighting to get his title back? It’s a very tough call.
Further down the line I expect Miz to be the first one out as he has been on a slow journey down the ranks this past year and I don’t expect him to get much from the match. Kofi will be one to watch and I look forward to see how he implements the cell as he can be very creative with his spots. Kofi should eliminate truth before Ziggler takes him out and we are down to the last 3.
This will be a further test as to whether or not Ziggler belongs in the main event as he will likely feature in the top three. But now the decision comes….
Prediction: Does Ziggler get hit with a GTS by Punk who swiftly eats the codebreaker to lose the title to Jericho. Or will Jericho hit Ziggler with the codebreaker only to receive a GTS for Punk to retain? Dam this is a tough one to call. Jericho ahs the last man to enter advantage but I don’t see Punk loosing at Mania so would they give Jericho the title just for a month?
This is really hard and I’m going for… Jericho for the win. He was favourite to win the Rumble and I think creative will give him his “thanks for coming back” by having him go over her. But it’s really tough call. Jericho wins.
PS: Initially, it looked like the SmackDown! Chamber was going to be the better of the two but due to injuries it now looks like the RAW one will be, on paper at least.
There's a lot of pressure on The Miz to perform in this match after the rumours that Trips has told him to buck his ideas up. He really needs to show he can perform here but he might not get the chance as I'm thinking he might be made to suffer for his recent poor showings by being the first out!
R-Truth and Kofi don't interest me. R-Truth's gimmick just bores me now, and Kofi has been in the mid-card for a long while recently and is suddenly in the Elimination Chamber? Seems weird but at least he can add some high-flying spots to the Chamber. Hope these two are eliminated pretty early all the same.
This leaves Jericho, Dolph and Punk, three of my favourite guys right now. Obviously it's going to come down to Punk and Jericho but I hope they keep Dolph looking strong as he's done well in the main event recently. What they do with Jericho and Punk, I have no idea but I'm really looking forward to it. As bad as I think Jericho's return has been at times it still gets me excited to see what he's going to do next!
Prediction: As I say, I see Jericho and Punk as the final two. Not sure who they'll put the belt on. I'd like Punk to keep it as I hate seeing the belt hot potatoing about but for me, storyline wise, Jericho winning it then Punk going after a rematch at 'Mania makes more sense! Either way Jericho will surely have to win the Title at some stage or his return will be an even bigger fail than it already has been?
Ed: Due to injuries, this is now the chamber to watch, it has the better balance of superstars, doesn't have a predictable winner and should rightly close the show for me. After ****ing up against Truth in the 6 pack challenge last week, I fully expect Miz to be the whipping boy in this match and end up eating the first pin. Of course everyone knows there’s only 2 realistic winners, and that’s the WWE Champion, or the first ever Undisputed Champion, the best in the world, or the best in the world at what he does.
I don’t buy this theory that Jericho has to win because it’s ‘easier’ to set up a match between the two of them at Wrestlemania 28 – Jericho is good enough on the microphone to pull a good storyline out his arse to set up a match. That line is probably coming from the same people that said he had to win the Royal Rumble to set up his feud with Punk.
Prediction: Really tight call, I'll go with Jericho to win the title because usually you get at least one title change on this ppv, and there's about 0% chance of Bryan dropping the title.
Do you think any bonus matches will be added to the show?
The Shockmaster: Yeah, but the question is what? Sheamus vs. Christian would be nice, if Christian is able to wrestle, and if they’re going to do any Sheamus match I think that’d be it. But outside of that, what else could I be interested in. Maybe Usos vs. Epico and Primo in the obligatory “here’s your four minute tag title defence”. The big problem with the Elimination Chamber concept is it sometimes can really take away from the rest of the card in terms of stars, and with so many injuries too, they’re a little stuck. I reckon they’ll fill the show up with a lot of Rock/Cena videos like they did at the Rumble. The Chamber matches and Cena/Kane will take up a very large chunk of the show, so they might be able to get away with just 5 or 6 matches.
Tommy Rage: I think we’ll see one, plus a segment. Although both Chambers will be long, I think the ambulance match will be reasonably short and the diva match will only be 5 mins or so, so there’s time for more. I like it when they do a big in-ring segment at the February PPV, as Mania draws closer, as a way to set up a match, the best example being the Mayweather/Show confrontation in 2008 which just came across so well. I can possibly see another segment involving Undertaker and HHH, or perhaps something with a returning wrestler. Sheamus doesn’t NEED a match on this show, but as he is most likely winning the title at Mania I think it would be good to see him in action, and I think we will, though I’m struggling to think of a good opponent for him.llllllll
King Steventon: Naturally. There's four matches announced! Brodus seems to have fallen off the face of the Earth already, but hopefully he gets a squash. They also have left Sheamus, the guy who is supposed to be in a title match at Wrestlemania(!) off the card. And they will wonder why the young guys don't draw...
Flex Kavana: We didn’t see any kind of tag match at the Rumble so I feel this could feature tonight. Other than that there will probably be a Funkasaurus squash.
PS: Most probably as four matches doesn’t sound like enough for a PPV, even if two are Chamber matches. I’m not really sure what filler matches could be added though; maybe Swagger could defend his US Title or Sheamus could run someone over to keep himself relevant?
I personally wouldn’t mind if they didn’t add any more matches as that would mean both Chamber matches would be getting at least 30 minutes each, and that would hopefully allow the guys in them a chance to shine!
Ed: These types of pay-per-views always have their segments to fill time, and I’ll be damned if we don’t see Sheamus coming out for an interview, being interrupted, he challenges the interrupter to a match and calls him an arse, and an impromptu match is set for the night and Sheamus wins it with the Brogue Kick. He doesn’t need to wrestle on the show, but it might be a good idea; couldn’t hurt at any rate
What are your overall thoughts on the Elimination Chamber - Will it be worth watching?
The Shockmaster: It’ll definitely be worth watching. WWE Pay-Per-Views are almost always good these days and the Elimination Chamber is one of the most reliable matches of the year. So we’re guaranteed 2 good 30 minute+ matches. The problem, however, is that we know nothing on the undercard which could be any good: Cena vs. Kane won’t be; the divas match won’t be. So the undercard is weak, but two great Chamber matches will make it at least worth watching, because they tend to give at least one MOTYC on this event.
Tommy Rage: Yes. Aside from the Rumble and Mania I think this is my favourite PPV of the year, even ahead of Summerslam and Survivor Series, so you can see why I love this time of year. The Chamber matches ALWAYS deliver, and I don’t think this year will be any different. The show for me is always worth ordering just for those matches alone. On top of that we have a potentially really fun payoff match in a stip we haven’t seen in years, and I imagine some more Wrestlemania build. I think this will be a very good show, and unusually, both Champions will emerge victorious… They better anyway…
King Steventon: Honestly... I'm leaning towards no. On paper, this show blows outside the Smackdown chamber. The RAW chamber is 2/3 mediocre, Cena vs Kane will be a lame, goofy brawl only interesting by the outcome, and nothing worthwhile is likely to be added to the show on the night. Currently the build to Wrestlemania is as uninspired as it has been in years, and that is reflected on this show. However, to end on a positive note, I will once again say the SD chamber has potential to be really good and the first truly standout WWE match of the year.
Flex Kavana: Absolutely, like I said before the EC means more now because people are fighting to be in the main event at Mania. The talent in both chambers is incredible and both should put on a good match. The outcomes of both are also tricky to call. I think Bryan will win his match but only 80% on this and the Raw chamber is 50/50 down the middle.
The undercard is mostly filler and I hope Cena and Kane can step up their game an make up for their dire match at the Rumble.
This is the next big stop on the Road to Wrestlemania and hopefully it will set up some feuds/matches for Mania quite nicely. Also I kind of have a gut feeling that a certain basketball star may appear? Either way I am looking forward to the night.
PS: Truthfully, I never really have the opportunity to watch PPVs live due to my job but even if I did, I still don’t think I’d be watching this one live anyways! Not much is jumping out at me to make this PPV a must-watch.
I’ll read the results the next day and then if anything stands out I’ll watch it. Really the only match I think is going to be any good is the RAW Chamber match so I’m guessing that will be the only match I actually bother to watch!
Ed: If you really like the Elimination Chamber and it’s matches in the past, then this is the ppv for you. I’d agree that the WWE really hit the sweet spot at the start of the year, so the Rumble and Chamber are generally highlights in a bright couple of months for the company.
This year looks poor though I have to say, I have little interest in Kane v Cena, Tamina v Beth is going to be poor as hell, and The Elimination Chamber matches have weaker line ups compared to previous years.
But don’t fret, I’m not abandoning ship, I’ll be watching the show live and hopefully taking part in the LD. It’ll be a tough watch at times, but I’m confident the two chamber matches will deliver and be worth the hassle to stay up late for.
Let’s check the Roundtable predictions archive:
Jim: 100% correct (6/6)
CGS 75% (3/4)
Tommy Rage: 70% correct: (7/10)
The Shockmaster: 50% correct (3/6)
Monsoon: 50% correct (3/6)
Crocker: 50% (2/4)
Ed: 40% correct (4/10)
If you are planning on watching the pay-per-view live, why not join in with the Live Discussion thread during the event?, it's always a good laugh
Thanks for reading this months edition of the roundtable, next month is the big one, Wrestlemania 28, so make sure you put the effort in over the next few weeks if you want that invitation to the roundtable (yes I'm talking to you Nash)
Ed and Shock.