WWE’s road to Wrestlemania 29 is about to meet it’s biggest intersection of drama, action, and hopefully excitement with the 2013 Elimination Chamber Pay Per View. The show will feature movie star Dwayne 'the Rock' Johnson defend the WWE Championship in a rematch from last month’s Royal Rumble against the bitter CM Punk. Six superstars are fighting to win a Wrestlemania title shot for the World Heavyweight Championship with a hard-to-predict outcome. Alberto Del Rio will once again face the Big Show for the World title, and much more action. Whoever comes out of this show has the best shot for the biggest opportunities on the biggest show of the year, Wrestlemania. Read this full preview, breaking down each match and what might happen.
WWE Champion The Rock vs. CM Punk (If Rock is counted out or disqualified, Punk wins the WWE Title)
The Rock may have been funny this week on RAW with his story about ‘crackheads’ but his show-closing brawl with Punk made him look weak as Punk laid him out and left with the WWE Championship belt. The scene displayed the zealot attitude of Punk and his mad pursuit to regain the title before WM29. Rocky has the pressure on him as well with the added stipulation which could see him lose the title to Punk on on a countout or a disqualification, but it just seems like that is a soft swerve for a predictable outcome. The non-predictable factor is the fact these two main eventers are going to go all out to put a match that topped their Royal Rumble match which got mixed reviews.
Prediction: The Rock will defeat CM Punk but it will not be without controversy, giving CM Punk to claim is another ‘screwjob’ plotted against him by WWE officials.
John Cena, Ryback & Sheamus vs. The Shield
John Cena may be bound to face the Rock at Wrestlemania for the WWE Championship in an an epic rematch from WM28, but his power trio with Ryback and Sheamus are challenging the greatest widespread threat to WWE, the Shield. The trio of NXT upstarts Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, and Roman Reigns showed they can deliver in a big time matchup when they defeated Ryback and Team Hell No at the TLC Pay Per View in December in the match of the night. Here though the odds feel more even without the Tables, Ladders, and Chairs added to the mix that they had at their disposal in their first official match. Now they have to face WWE’s biggest superheroes in a straight up tag team match, this will be a change of pace for these three new wrestlers. Cena has to come out of this match strong and ready for Mania in New Jersey, if this match does not go his team’s way do not expect him to be the one to take the pinfall. The finish here is not easy to determine, as Cena needs the momentum and the Shield is still a developing new act in the WWE.
Prediction: The Shield falls to Cena, Ryback, and Sheamus in a strong showing for the losing team.
Elimination Chamber Match to determine the No. 1 contender for the World Heavyweight Championship featuring Chris Jericho, Kane, Damiel Bryan, Mark Henry, Randy Orton, and Jack Swagger
This story here has had a lot of moving parts with each entrant in the match coming in with their personal drive to win the precious title shot at Wrestlemania, and add to it there is not clear cut frontrunner to win this violent match. Team Hell No is once again at odds with each other, even though they are the WWE Tag Team Champions. Daniel Bryan and Kane starting this match or having a showdown is something to anticipate. Chris Jericho had a feel-good return at the Royal Rumble, and comes into this match a fan-favorite but insider news reports connect Y2J to Ryback in a Mania match with the former World Champion playing the heel. This news could Jericho will once again be the MVP here, putting on a thrilling performance which could end with him having a change of character. Jack Swagger seems like he’s least likely to win, or at least that’s the majority of fans looking at the lineup here. Swagger’s ‘Real American’ character got a hard boost from the addition of new manager in Zab Coulter (known to many wrestling fans as Dirty Dutch Mantel who worked in WWE in past). Still Swagger just needs to have a good showing here to retain a midcard position, meanwhile Mark Henry is going to be an all-out monster in this match. Look for the World’s Strongest Man to show off his unmatched strength inside the Chamber as he will eliminate more than one superstar here. Randy Orton just does not seem to be as dangerous as he once was, especially after serving his second suspension on the WWE Wellness Policy last year. Orton could get his venom back here with a victory and return to being the true Viper he was in 2011.
Prediction: Chris Jericho will triumph, thrilling the Big Easy with several superstars and outlasting the threat of Mark Henry when it’s all said and done.
World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio vs. Big Show’
The recent story line between World Champion Del Rio and the BIg Show has seen a hot TV segment followed by a stinker on the next show. Yet there still is some intensity there after two better-than-expected Last Man Standing Matches on Smackdown and Royal Rumble. Del Rio has quickly gotten himself over as the new World Heavyweight Champion, and Show ever the veteran of WWE was able to anger fans with his arrogance and monster-with-a-mind attitude. This will be the closing chapter in the Del Rio/Big Show will be closed tonight at Elimination Chambe, but the fallout is important with Wrestlemania in April.
Prediction: Alberto Del Rio conquerors the gigantic Big Show, but just barely. Cue Dolph Ziggler cashing in the Money in the Bank briefcase and snatching the World Heavyweight Championship like candy from a baby. This flip the script for Del Rio and put him on chase of the Show Off and the World title with several other Smackdown stars heading into WM29 in New Jersey.
United States Champion Antonio Cesaro vs. The Miz
Cesaro has been a part of the pack of NXT prospects who have seen early success on the main roster. His real-life discipline plays out in his thorough technical in-ring abilities which have seen him deliver the best consistent matches on RAW and Smackdown for moths. Yet the Miz comes into this match still looking weak getting whomped on by Brock Lesnar two weeks ago and getting swung into the the guard rail like a rag doll by Cesaro. The last time these two faced off in the Youtube live pre-show before Royal Rumble, it was a hot opener for a big show.
Also on the card for WWE Elimination Chamer 2013 Pay Per View tonight
Divas Champion Kaitlyn vs. Tamina Snuka
Brodus Clay & Tensai vs. Team Rhodes Scholars (Pre-Show on Youtube.com/WWE)