Sunday, February 12, 2017

WWE Elimination Chamber 2017 commentary






Updated @ 11:02 pm

Match 7: Elimination Chamber Match - continued

Wyatt is going vicious with the ground-and-pound on Styles.

Styles hits a sliding dropkick to Wyatt's left knee.  Forearm and a cover, but no luck.

Wyatt back bridges up though.  Sister Abigail attempt, but AJ counters.

Phenomenal Blitz by Styles, but he's clotheslined by Wyatt.

450 by Styles on Wyatt, but that doesn't do it.

Styles removes his elbow pad.  Jumps up but Sister Abigail.

1, 2, 3 -- Bray Wyatt wins!

Winner: Bray Wyatt (new WWE World Heavyweight Champion)

I'm surprised, but I'll take it.  Hopefully he does good things in his reign

---

Updated @ 10:57 pm

Match 7: Elimination Chamber Match - continued

All three men are down on the mat right now.  Sister Abigail on John Cena.  Wyatt eliminates Cena!!


---

Updated @ 10:56 pm

Match 7: Elimination Chamber Match - continued

AJ Styles and Wyatt team up (or appear to) for  a bit, but that ends quickly.  Cena dishes out some punishment on Styles and Wyatt.

Double 5 Knuckle Shuffle onto Wyatt and Styles.

Attitude Adjustment to Wyatt.  Styles Clash on Cena!

He kicks out though.

Styles leaps onto the top rope but ends up taking an Attitude Adjustment.  He kicks out!  Whew.

He's still in it.

---

Updated @ 10:52 pm

Match 7: Elimination Chamber Match - continued

Corbin is in and the action continues to be all over the place.

Corbin ends up being the first one eliminated though.  Before he takes his leave he does some damage to Ambrose for good measure.

Ambrose is the next one out.

The Miz takes his spot in the match and takes advantage of the already worn-down competitors.

Clothesline in the corner to Cena.

Skull Crushing Finale on Wyatt after that.

Cena lands an Attitude Adjustment on The Miz, though.  He's outta' here as the crowd boo's Cena.

---

Updated @ 10:41 pm

Match 7: Elimination Chamber Match - continued

Uh oh.  Styles and Cena are climbing up the cage.  What's going to happen here?

Cena ends up falling to the platform below.  Styles, meanwhile, goes to the top of one of the pods.  Ambrose joins him up top though.  He throws A.J.'s head into the fiber glass up on top.  Ambrose leaped onto Bray, but Bray got a fist into the mid-section.

Bray is talking to himself or talking to Ambrose.  Not sure which.

Ambrose and Wyatt fight on the top turnbuckle, but AJ climbs down and we get a  unique Tower of Doom-style spot.

---

Updated @ 10:39 pm

Match 7: Elimination Chamber Match - continued

Ooh! We get a two man german suplex.  Cena germans Styles at the same time that Styles germans Ambrose.

Cena tries to go for two FU's, but gets stopped both times.  This action is fast!  And here comes another entrant.

It's Bray Wyatt!  Clothesline to Ambrose, cross body to Cena, suplex to Ambrose and then he takes out Styles.

Bray tries to run into A.J., but instead his shoulder goes into the turnbuckle.  Styles then delivers a leg drop from the inside to the outside.


---

Updated @ 10:33 pm

Match 7: Elimination Chamber Match - continued

Dueling "A.J. Styles, Let's Go Cena!" chants as these two pick up where they left off at the Rumble.

A.J. with the Argentine backbreaker and spins it out into a slam.  Doesn't get the 3 though.

Holy crap!  Cena with a sunset flip power bomb -- the kind that Melina and Rey Mysterio used to do. First time I've seen him do that.

Cena goes for the 5 Knuckle Shuffle, but the countdown stopped him.  Out comes Ambrose and he goes right after Cena!

---

Updated @ 10:26 pm

Dasha is back to interview Carmella.  Elsworth takes care of business, as Carmella is getting annoyed, and tells Dasha to scram.

Match 7: Elimination Chamber Match

Alright, Corbin, Ambrose, Miz and Wyatt are all in their pods.

That means it's A.J. Styles and John Cena starting it out in the ring.

---

Updated @ 10:07 pm

Match 6: Smackdown Women's Title Match - Alexa Bliss (Champion) vs. Naomi - continued

Alexa Bliss kicks out of the Rear View.  However, Naomi is positioning her for the split-legged moonsault.  Alex quickly puts an end to that by grabbing Naomi's legs and then delivers Insult to Injury -- the handstand/backflip knees to the stomach move she utilizes.

Alexa pulls Naomi to the corner and goes up top.  Naomi jumps up and kicks Bliss right in the face.

Alexa gets a DDT and --- no, not the win.  Tantrum time for Alexa.

Bliss goes for Twisted Bliss, but misses and Naomi connects with a moonsault to win the gold!!

Wow!  Well my predictions aren't doing too well tonight, huh?

WWE going with the Cinderella story for Naomi going into Wrestlemania in her hometown of Orlando.

Renee Young is out to interview Naomi in the ring.

A Mickie James run-in, maybe?  Or will they let her have her moment?

Naomi cries as the crowd chants, 'You deserve it!'

---

Updated @ 10:00 pm

Before the next match, Natalya and Nikki Bella fight backstage.  Maryse is watching, but during the brawl she gets covered in makeup that gets tossed off the table during the brawl.  I guess that's going to set up the rumored Nikki/Cena/Miz/Maryse mixed-tag?  Alrighty then.

Match 6: Smackdown Women's Title Match - Alexa Bliss (Champion) vs. Naomi

Naomi is out with her glow-in-the-dark entrance.  It is pretty epic.  She took what Lita and The Hardyz did for a while in 2001 and cranked it up to 1000.

Alexa reminds me of Melina in that when her music hits, there tend to be a good amount of cheers mixed in with the boo's.  It's not because she's not doing a good job as a heel, but because she's that good as a heel.

Big fight ring announcement to give the Women's Title some credibility.

And here ... we ... go!

Little Miss Bliss flips her hair into Naomi's face, but Naomi goes for a quick roll-up.

Naomi bulldogs Bliss into the middle turnbuckle.  Kick to the side of the head.  Naomi goes for the springboard, but Alexa stops her and throws her to the mat.

After some back-and-forth, Bliss gets Naomi in a submission hold.  It doesn't last long, though, as Bliss jumps off the rope with a flip and rollup.

I feel like this match's time may have been cut short a bit.  Both women seem like they are on fast forward mode compared to the previous matches tonight.

---

Updated @ 9:49 pm 

Match 5: Randy Orton vs. Luke Harper - continued

Orton got his DDT and appeared to be setting up for a RKO, but Harper hits Orton with a superkick -- not once, but twice!

2 count by Harper.

Kick to the mid-section by Harper and then a sit-out power bomb!  Still, just a two count.  The crowd is into the match.  WWE is giving Harper much more offense than I would've anticipated.  I'm happy to see that this is the case, but I am surprised.

Meanwhile the crowd is chanting, "This is awesome!" as both men are lying on the mat.

Both men make it to their knees and exchange punches and forearms.

Now they exchange European uppercuts.

RKO!  And it's over.

Winner: Randy Orton

It was an expected outcome, but Harper still comes out better off than he did before the match.

---

Updated @ 9:45 pm

Match 5: Randy Orton vs. Luke Harper - continued

I'm kind of surprised but Orton is getting over as a heel against Harper.

Harper gets worked over by Orton, but eventually Orton goes for the mid-rope DDT.  Harper escapes that.

He slingshots Orton in between the bottom and middle ropes.

Harper appeared to have been going for a suicide dive through the ropes but Orton forearms his face.

Ah!  Harper goes for it again and connects!

It wasn't the most graceful of suicide dives, but for a man his size, it was impressive.

Orton changes the pace of the match, once again, with his powerslam.

Harper has Orton in the ropes on the turnbuckle.  Not sure what he was going for, but Orton put a stop to it.

Oron climbed to the top and got a superplex.

---

Updated @ 9:34 pm

Match 5: Randy Orton vs. Luke Harper

Back and forth to start the match off, with Harper eventually getting the better end of it.

He even threw a dropkick!

Harper tries to go up top but gets sent to the outside courtesy of an Orton right hand.

Randy poses for the crowd on the turnbuckle as Harper is at the 6 count on the outside.

He makes it back in and tries to take it to Randy, but Randy is on the offense here.

He tosses Harper outside on the other side of the ring and gives him a back body drop onto the announcers' table, which doesn't break.

---

Updated @ 9:22 pm

Match 4: Nikki Bella vs. Natalya -- continued

Natalya applies the sharpshooter.  Nikki goes to the ropes, but Nattie drags her right back in.

Nikki counters into the STF variation (apparently called the Fearless lock).

Nattie makes it to the ropes and both women end up on the floor.  Double count out coming?

Ref is at 8.  Wow.  Nikki tries to get in there but Natalya grabs Nikki just in time to prevent her from doing so.  Double count out!

Didn't see that one coming.

Are they ending it like this or will Daniel Bryan come out and order a recount?

Nope.  Instead we get a big Nikki Bella tackle onto Nattie.

Maybe they'll let this feud move onto Wrestlemania after all.

Winner: nobody

Carmellsworth back up in the Skybox eating popcorn.

Looks like it's time for Orton and Harper.

---

Updated @ 9:19 pm

Match 4: Nikki Bella vs. Natalya -- continued

Nattie is mocking the fans, telling the ref to 'shut your moth' and waving at Momma Bella.  She then tries to get a 'Nikki sucks' chant going, which prompts a handful of the fans to chant 'Let's Go Nikki!'

I just can't help but smile as Natalya finally gives the heel turn her all.  It's the most exciting Nattie match I've seen in years.

Natalya goes for the sharpshooter, but Nikki gets her forearm in.

Nattie kicks out!  Nattie kicks out!  I figured that might be the end of Nattie, but not so much.

Natalya counters the Rack Attack 2.0 but eats a spine buster instead.  This match is being given some time.  Then again, it is the culmination of a 4 month feud.

Nikki is on point tonight with her moves as well --- but I have no doubt that her opponent is a large reason for that.  Natalya is a great worker and she and Nikki are good friends, so it makes sense that they're comfortable in the ring together.

Superplex by Natalya from the ropes.

---

Updated @ 9:12 pm

Match 4: Nikki Bella vs. Natalya

Nattie/Nikki feud recap through a video package.  Out comes Nikki (she does look good).  Then Nattie -- wearing that dominatrix catsuit.  Ooh, she took a fan's sign and threw it in the railway.

She's going for some strong heel heat tonight.

After a mocking 'You Can't See Me' hand gesture, Nikki and Natalya exchange some aggressive holds.

Nikki gets the better of it with an arm breaker and a slap to Natalya.

Nattie gets irritated and starts to pound on Nikki.

But the showboating costs Natalya the advantage she had.

Nikki gives a diving clothesline to the outside floor.

Natalya lures her in by calling for a time out and then shoves Nikki into the ring post.  Heel Nattie is awesome!



---

Updated @ 9:01 pm

Usos getting a post-match attack in as well -- just like Dolph.  They couldn't have done that with Mickie James earlier?

Match 3: WWE Smackdown Tag Team Title Match (Tag Team Turmoil)

The Ascension aren't in any hurry to come out and put an end to this beatdown.  Nice setting up by WWE to make it seem like Ascension has a chance to win the titles tonight.

Hmmm...The Ascension have a new look since last time I saw them.  They almost get them infall on Jordan, but Gable makes the save.

Gable gets taken out of the equation and Ascension double teams Jordan.  Romero pointing out how they are looking to FINALLY win tag gold in WWE after being dominant in NXT.  I just don't see that happening tonight, though.

Gable is tagged in and -- after a well-timed double-team, American Alpha retains.

Winners: American Alpha (phew!  I finally got a prediction right)

---

Updated @ 8:55 pm

Match 3: WWE Smackdown Tag Team Title Match (Tag Team Turmoil)

I'm not sure which Uso is in the ring right now -- it's hard to tell these days.

Great Samoan drop by the one Romero calls Jey Uso, though!  Jimmy super kicks Slater into the 1, 2, 3.

Eliminated: Heath Slater and Rhyno

Out come the champs -- American Alpha.

Usos go up the ramp to meet them and a brawl ensues.

All 4 men end up in the ring and Alpha gets stereo german suplexes.

Gable gets a cross body.  I was worried that was going to be a pinfall.

Not-so-random fact: Jimmy Uso is married to Naomi.  Lots of marriages in this match, huh?

JBL reminds us that there's still one team left -- so basically whichever team wins this pinfall wins the match because there is zero chance The Ascension gets the titles tonight.

Usos tagging in and out fluidly, showing that they've been tagging for over half a decade at this point.

Big Jason Jordan -- AKA Black Kurt Angle -- is waiting for that hot tag into the match.

And, not too long after, Gable eliminates The Usos.

Eliminated: The Usos

---

Updated @ 8:47 pm

Match 3: WWE Smackdown Tag Team Title Match (Tag Team Turmoil)

Out next are The Vaudevillains.  We'll see if this match picks up pace and sees some quick eliminations or if they're going to devote some time to these guys.

Second random fact: Aiden English is married to one of Eddie Guerrero's daughters.

English goes for the swanton on Slater, but Slater puts him away with a DDT.

Eliminated: The Vaudevillains

Out next -- those bad dudes ... the Usos.

One of them looks a little heavier than the other.  I don't know if that's muscle or just some additional weight.

---

Updated @ 8:44 pm

Well so much for my predictions panning out tonight, huh?  So far I'm 0-2.

Match 3: WWE Smackdown Tag Team Title Match: American Alpha (Champions) vs. The Usos vs. Heath Slater and Rhyno vs. Tyler Breeze and Fandango vs. The Ascension vs. The Vaudevillians

Out first is Rhyno and Heath Slater.  This is the first time I've seen Tyler Breeze and Fandango in a while.  Good Lord, they really have a Magic Mike gimmick going, huh?  The Fashion Police, their name is?

All kinds of commentary teams tonight.  Where are all these guys when you need an abundance of announcer's booths -- like at TLC?

How can you not cheer for Slater as Fandango is grinding and giving a salute??  lol

Slater returns the favor after a high hip toss -- doing some grinding of his own.  More of a comedic start to this match, but Rhyno comes in.

That means a vicious spine buster isn't too far off.

Shoulder block and a chop and Irish whip into the corner first though.  Short-arm clothesline and tagging out to Slater.  Where's that spine buster, man?

Random fact: I just found out last week that Tyler Breeze married former FCW and NXT Diva Audrey Marie.

Fandango is dropping fashion tickets on Slater's face as he grinds above him.  That's some powerful ... ummm .. hip action there.

Rhyno tagged in against Fandango.  This can't be good.

Gore!! 1,2, 3.

Eliminated: Breezango

---

Updated @ 8:33 pm

Match 2: Apollo Crews and Kalisto vs. Dolph Ziggler, continued

Heel Ziggler has the American flag on his tights tonight.  He's a patriotic heel, I see.

Nice jumping elbow drop by Dolph, who should probably be in the main event instead of a mid-card match.  Hopefully this heel turn will finally be a good sign for him in 2017.

There's Kalisto, making his way to the ring.  He gets tagged in.  Fury of offense there by the user-talented Dragon.

Crews makes the tag though.  Crews and Kalisto get the victory

Winners: Apollo Crews and Kalisto

So much for a Crews heel turn.

But Ziggler gets some revenge on Kalisto and Crews after the match.  There you go.  Make him the focal point.

Ziggler got an Edge-like quality right now from circa 2005.

---

Updated @ 8:23 pm

Match 2: Apollo Crews and Kalisto vs. Dolph Ziggler

We'll see if this match ends up in an Apollo Crews heel turn.  I'm hoping so because he's highly athletic but without a storyline or character.  Generic babyface Crews is boring.

Ooh!  Dolph attacks Kalisto on the stage.  So much for that handicap match -- unless Kalisto makes a triumphant return later in the match.

---

Updated @ 8:21 pm

Carmellsworth is in the Skybox for a quick interview with one of WWE's dozens of female interviewers.

Baron Corbin is punching the air backstage, prepping for his match later tonight.

Then we get a WWE video game commercial.  Anyone else think they kind of downsized Ric Flair's nose in that commercial??

---

Updated @ 8:19 pm

Match 1: Mickie James vs. Becky Lynch - continued

Hey!  Network goes out as Mickie and Becky are on the outside.  When I get it back up and running, Mickie is in control inside the ring.  It's like one of those unwanted, pointless WWE Network commercial breaks!

This match is going really well, but it's not as fast-paced as I thought it would be.  Becky isn't the quickest worker in the ring and Mickie was working as a heel, so she slowed it down a bit.

Good back-and-forth forearms there!

Uh oh.  Bex-ploder suplex.  Mickie moves out of the way of Straight Fire and goes up top.  Sit-out Lou Thesz connects.

Becky's hair really is orange, isn't it?  Quite the mishmash of orange tonight.  lol

Spinning Mick Kick connects, but Mickie isn't able to pin her quickly enough.  The ref's black gloves come out because Mickie's elbow is bleeding.

Mickie goes for the DDT, but it is predictably countered.  Disarm-her but no luck.  Becky gets the quick pin.

Your winner: Becky Lynch

That's a mistake in my opinion.  Way to kill some of Mickie's potential heel momentum.  To make matters worse, they didn't even let Mickie do a post-match attack to regain some heat.


---

Updated @ 8:11 pm

Match 1: Mickie James vs. Becky Lynch:

This one starts off the show.  Not a bad decision.  A face that the crowd cares about and a heel that the crowd cares about.

Personally, I'm all about Mickie James, but if they're going the heel route here with her, they need to give her some new entrance music -- something less happy-go-lucky.

Long collar-and-elbow tie-up there.  That'll sometimes happen in matches, which looks more fake than realistic in my opinion.

They get into the action nicely though with some nice exchanges that eventually ends up with Mickie on the outside.

Then the Network goes out on me and I miss about a minute of the match.


----

Updated @ 7:55 pm

Mojo Rawley vs Curtis Hawkins:

Not a bad match, but unfortunately it served to push Mojo Rawley as opposed to giving the more talented Curtis Hawkins any shine.

Awkward moment there when Hawkins went to throw Mojo into the barricade, but that pesky camera crew was in the way -- so the veteran, Hawkins, throws Mojo into the ringside apron instead.  Mojo didn't seem to catch onto that until after it happened though.

Mojo's finisher is pretty good.  I'll give him that.

-----

I figured, now that I'm an official WWE Network subscriber, I'd give a shot at providing some real-time notes on Elimination Chamber tonight.

With any WWE pay-per-view (they're still calling them pay-per-views, right??), you've got to start with some predictions.

Disclaimer: it's been something like 13 years since I last predicted winners of a WWE pay-per-view.
2nd Disclaimer: I haven't seen a full episode of Smackdown leading up to Elimination Chamber. I've scanned the results of each Smackdown Live! episode and watched a few highlights on WWE.com or YouTube, but I haven't actually watched an episode.

So ... with that being said, we'll give these predictions a shot:



Pre-Show Match: Curt Hawkins vs. Mojo Rawley

Mojo Rawley is going over here, no doubt. They seem to be making his character a little more serious after Zack Ryder's injury. A new direction for Mojo means they're going to want to keep his momentum going.

 He made an appearance in the Rumble, but he didn't make a memorable impact there, so I've got to think WWE officials will give him the win here. Plus, his opponent is Curt Hawkins. How many appearances has that man even made since returning to WWE?

That's not a knock on Hawkins, by the way. It's a knock on WWE. He's a good wrestler. While many Superstars are flourishing on Smackdown, Hawkins isn't one of them. I'm afraid he'll be an eternal jobber while in WWE.



Mickie James vs. Becky Lynch

I'm not sure which match will start off the show. My guess is Mickie vs. Becky, Alexa vs. Naomi or the tag turmoil match. Looking at past pay-per-views, WWE likes to start them off with tag team turmoil matches. But, this is a Smackdown pay-per-view in the New Era and they like to do things a little differently.

Regardless of where they are at on the show, I think Mickie vs. Becky could be one of the more memorable matches on the card and the best of the three women's singles matches on this pay-per-view card (a first for WWE!). It'll be the first time the two have worked together and hopefully not the last.

Mickie proved, beyond any doubt, that she never lost it during her match with Asuka in November. Anyone who watched her matches with Impact Wrestling should've known that, though. She was really hitting her stride when she left that company a few years ago.

So who gets the win? Mickie should get the win. She's the one who needs the win. Becky lost her Women's Title a while ago, yes, but she hasn't lost much of her standing in the women's division. She's still the most over babyface (sorry, Naomi) in the division and she was booked strong in her rematches against Alexa. In fact, it was only after interference from Mickie that Becky ended up losing that steel cage match.

If this were WWE of old (or even a Raw pay-per-view), I'd go with the babyface because it would be the expected result. This would be the end of the Mickie James/Becky Lynch feud. This would be where Becky gets her revenge.

Thankfully it's a Smackdown pay-per-view, though. That means Mickie gets the win, their feud continues on to Wrestlemania (probably in a tag match or multi-woman Title match) and Becky's big feud-ending victory comes later this Spring.



WWE Smackdown Tag Team Title Match: American Alpha (Champions) vs. The Usos vs. Heath Slater and Rhyno vs. Tyler Breeze and Fandango vs. The Ascension vs. The Vaudevillains

I was a little torn on this one. There were two possible teams I figured could come out on top here.

First, though, let's rule out the ones who won't be winning. Heath Slater and Rhyno have made a decent run considering they started off as a very thrown-together tag team without any reason to team or tag chemistry. I don't see them becoming the first ever two-time Smackdown Tag Team champions though.

Tyler Breeze and Fandango? Nope. Haven't been used as serious tag team since they paired together.

The Ascension still has potential but I don't see WWE doing anything big with them here.

The Vaudevillains could be really good as well. While they probably have a better shot than The Ascension, they're in the same boat of NXT call-ups that didn't work as well in WWE as they did in NXT.

So it really comes down to American Alpha, who won their silver-plated, blue belts on the Dec. 27, 2016 edition of Smackdown, and the heel Usos. Given that the Usos haven't had a heel run with the belts, I wouldn't be shocked to see them win. I think WWE will probably hold off on a heel push for them until after Wrestlemania though. I would think maybe end of April or mid-May for those two.

That leaves American Alpha walking away as the retaining champions. In some ways, I'd probably prefer an Usos win because it would be more fun to watch American Alpha chasing The Usos to regain their titles.

American Alpha is one of those teams that works better as babyface who are trying to capture the championships than the team that is defending the titles as the top tag team in the division.



Nikki Bella vs. Natalya

Ugh. This feud. It'll be the end of it (I hope!) (and thankfully!), which means Nikki Bella goes over the more talented Natalya. Given the rumors that Nikki may be taking some time off due to her neck and then working more of a part-time schedule down the road, Natalya should be the one who wins.

It would make more sense, in my opinion, to give Natalya the victory since she'll be sticking around longer. Plus, she's been shining in this feud. She has finally been doing some good mic work and she's the only who brought any believability to the feud.

 I respect that Nikki Bella became a better worker during her second WWE run, but she does not rise to the level of any of the other women.

With Eva Marie absent and Maryse in a managerial role, Nikki Bella is the weakest link of the division. She'll go over in this feud, though.



Apollo Crews and Kalisto vs. Dolph Ziggler

I'm not sure how this match came about, honestly. Like I said in my disclaimer above, I haven't seen Smackdown (no cable TV subscription or Hulu subscription). I do scan results each week and read columns over at Lords of Pain, but I don't recall much setting this match up.

Without knowing too much of the history here (if there is one), I'm predicting a Crews/Kalisto victory

Dolph had his heel turn, so it would make sense to give him the win and extend a feud to some kind of Wrestlemania showdown, but I feel like WWE has more interest in the mode of pushing Kalisto as the next Rey Mysterio than they do in giving Dolph a legitimate push to main event status. Then again, maybe we have a Crews heel turn?

That'd serve both he and Dolph well.



Luke Harper vs. Randy Orton

Well this one seems like a no-brainer. I know that I've been touting how unpredictable Smackdown's pay-per-views have been compared to standard WWE booking, but Randy Orton just won the Royal Rumble. He is a big name, main-eventer. He's not losing to Luke Harper.

I see Orton winning and taking Luke Harper out of the Wyatt Family picture.

I hope this match is unexpectedly good though. I like Luke Harper, so, despite a loss, I'm hoping a surprisingly good match will increase his value in the company rather than writing him off to low-card or jobber status.




WWE Smackdown Women's Title Match: Alexa Bliss (Champion) vs. Naomi

I'm not as invested into this feud as I should be, but this seems to be more of WWE's typical booking rather than the innovative Smackdown booking that has been a pleasure to watch over the past several months. It seems like a throwaway title feud rather than a rivalry that actually means something.

WWE went the route of giving Naomi several victories over the past few weeks, to build her up I guess, but it seems like a rush job instead of a slow and steady build. I have zero doubt that Alexa Bliss will retain in this match, but I was hoping for a more exciting lead-in to the match.

Naomi could very well win the Women's Title in Orlando if WWE wants to go with giving the hometown girl a hometown pop (I don't see that happening either, honestly), but not at Elimination Chamber. It's only a filler feud at this point, but I'd hoped WWE would've been a little more creative than just giving Naomi the upper hand the entire way through it.

Nonetheless, it should be a good match. Alexa and Naomi had a great match on Main Event back in November, before Naomi got injured. With Naomi's athleticism and Alexa getting more and more comfortable performing on the main roster, it should be a good outing for both women.




WWE World Heavyweight Title Elimination Chamber Match: John Cena (Champion) vs. Baron Corbin vs. Dean Ambrose vs. A.J. Styles vs. Bray Wyatt vs. The Miz

As much as I didn't want John Cena to win the WWE World Heavyweight Title again, I figured it'd happen. WWE wasn't going to NOT have John Cena tie Ric Flair as having the most world title reigns in history.

As much as I hoped WWE would've let A.J. Styles retain at the Rumble, I'm glad Styles and Cena had a great match before he lost it. Styles was elevated in that match (despite the fact that he lost) by having a superb outing in a big time match in front of a large crowd. That bodes well for his future booking while in WWE.

In terms of the Elimination Chamber match, I'm excited to see these 6 guys get creative.

The winner? Well, there's no way that newcomer Corbin wins. Maybe next year, but not this year.

The Miz has had an incredible year, but he's not walking out as WWE Champion. He'd be my choice if WWE was going for shock factor because nobody would really be expecting it.

Dean Ambrose has the Intercontinental Title after coming out on the losing end of a title feud with A.J. Styles last year. They're not going to make him a double champion going into Wrestlemania.

That leaves A.J. reclaiming his gold, John Cena retaining it, or Bray Wyatt capturing it for the first time.

I had trouble deciding which one has the best chance of winning.

Styles becoming the first ever two-time WWE World Heavyweight Champion (since WWE's brand split) would show that he's a big-time player. Winning it again so soon after losing it would be reminiscent of the Charlotte-Sasha Banks feud over on Raw, but I don't think it's a bad way to go.

Rumors are that Cena is going to have more of a mid-card match at 'Mania (but those are just rumors on wrestling websites).

Bray Wyatt is apparently supposed to face Randy Orton at Wrestlemania, but is that a big enough match at Wrestlemania for the WWE World Heavyweight Title? The fact that the Title would be on the line would add a little bit more of a 'big time' feel to a match between Wyatt and Orton.

But does Wyatt, after not getting pushed for ages, really end up retaining one of WWE's most prestigious championships at their biggest event of the year? It seems unlikely to me. On the other hand, would Orton win ... just a month after Wyatt won it ... just a couple of weeks after Cena won it? That also seems unlikely to me.

I think it'd be a better story if Bray Wyatt lost the match and then tried to convince Orton to give up his number one contendership --- which Orton would refuse to do --- setting up a more intense rivalry for 'Mania.

I think the better way to go would be a multi-man match with John Cena going in as champion. It's not my preference, but given the alternatives, it is probably the best option. Therefore, I see Cena retaining in this match.

Be sure to check back later tonight for live, updated commentary on Elimination Chamber.


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