Christian and Mark Henry are two of the most underrated and under-appreciated superstars on the entire WWE roster. Both of them have been out of action for a significant amount of time due to injury, but with Elimination Chamber approaching, the WWE would be wise to reintroduce them if they are medically cleared.
Christian hasn't been utilized since August due to a shoulder injury, while Henry has been sidelined since May with various ailments. There are no concrete updates on either of their conditions, but both were expected to be back by now, so there is obviously a chance that they're both ready, but the WWE is picking its spots and waiting for the perfect opportunity to bring them back.
If that is the case, then the next two weeks represent the best time to make that happen. One return is already set to occur on this week's edition of SmackDown as Jack Swagger will be back on WWE programming for the first time in nearly five months, according to SmackDown spoilers on WrestleNewz.com.
Swagger announced that he wanted to be placed in the Elimination Chamber match to determine the No. 1 contender for the World Heavyweight Championship. SmackDown general manager Booker T told Swagger that he had to impress him first and The All-American American proceeded to defeat Kofi Kingston. That would seem to suggest that Swagger will be a part of the match at the upcoming pay-per-view.
With Swagger back in the fold, the WWE could do something similar with Christian and Henry over the next two weeks. Since Alberto Del Rio and Big Show figure to face off in a separate match at Elimination Chamber, there could be a lack of star power in the Chamber match. Sheamus and Randy Orton are obvious choices, but Dolph Ziggler removed himself from consideration, Team Hell No may have to defend their Tag Team Championships, and it's hard to say what the plans are for Chris Jericho.
Rather than putting someone like The Great Khali or Santino Marella in the match like last year, a returning Christian and a returning Henry would suddenly make the Chamber match quite compelling. Prior to their respective injuries Christian and Henry were major players on SmackDown as they both held the World Heavyweight Championship in 2011. SmackDown lacks depth and big-name talent in a lot of ways, but Christian and Henry would change that.
I had high hopes that Christian, Henry or both would return as surprise entrants in the Royal Rumble, but that didn't come to fruition. Bringing one absent superstar back per week on SmackDown is a better angle, though, if that is indeed what the WWE is planning on. Since WrestleMania is inching closer, it would make sense for these guys to want to return from a storyline perspective.
Every wrestler wants to compete for a world title at WrestleMania and that could be the motivation behind Christian and Henry potentially returning. This is obviously contingent upon both men being healthy and capable of working, but the fact that Christian and Henry were supposed to be back by the end of 2012, according to WrestleZone.com, tells me that it's only a matter of time until they're back.
In fact, I like the idea of the Chamber match involving only former World Heavyweight Champions in order to bring a bit more credibility and importance to the title. Sheamus, Orton, Swagger, Christian and Henry are all former world titleholders and someone like Jericho, who is also a former world champion, could be added for good measure provided there aren't other plans for him.
There are a lot of things going on in the WWE right now, so it's easy for the likes of Christian and Henry to get lost in the shuffle. The fact of the matter is; they're very important cogs in the machine when they're healthy, and they would instantly make the product better upon returning regardless of what role they play.
If the WWE is only planning on having one Chamber match, then it has to be a good one. Spots can't be wasted on undeserving superstars who have no chance to win. Both Christian and Henry would be legitimate contenders, and it would be essentially impossible to predict a winner. On top of that, the returns of Christian and Henry would definitely increase fan interest in the bout.
I have no inside information when it comes to the health of Christian and Henry, but various reports suggested that they should have already been back by now. Their returns need to be impactful, though, and coming back to be a part of the Elimination Chamber would make them relevant immediately.