Elimination Chamber is the final pay-per-view stop before WrestleMania. Even though it isn't viewed as one of the year's top events, the strong card, which features The Rock battling CM Punk for the WWE Championship, makes it a must-see show.
A Chamber match to become the No. 1 contender for the World Heavyweight Championship was bolstered by the returns of Mark Henry and Jack Swagger. The other match that's generated a lot of hype is John Cena, Ryback and Sheamus taking on The Shield.
All told, it's a terrific card, especially when you consider Elimination Chamber is normally viewed as simply a bridge PPV. This year, it should be memorable. Here's a look at the key information for Sunday night along with some superstars to watch.
Where: New Orleans Arena in New Orleans, La.
When: Sunday, Feb. 17 at 8 p.m. ET
Watch: Pay-per-view (local cable providers)
Live Stream: WWE.com has PPV for $44.99
Alberto Del Rio
As recently as early December, it seemed like Del Rio was a star on the decline. His Mexican aristocrat gimmick had become extremely stale, and the lack of crowd reaction was destroying any promo he delivered. Now, he's back on the rise.
Del Rio's face turn should have occurred awhile ago, but it finally started at TLC and has worked almost to perfection. He's set to defend the World Heavyweight Championship against The Big Show after taking the belt from him last month.
Not every character change succeeds. The Miz is a perfect example, because he attempted a similar face turn and fell flat, mostly due to the fact that he's a natural heel. Del Rio's has gone markedly better, and he should be rewarded for it with another marquee victory on Sunday.
As expected, The Rock returned to the ring at Royal Rumble and captured the WWE Championship to end CM Punk's extended title reign. The victory polarized the WWE Universe, which has an ongoing debate about the usage of part-time Superstars.
Overlooked is the fact that The Rock came back from an extended ring hiatus and held his own against one of the best wrestlers in the business. It's been a top-notch feud throughout, and the rematch should have no problem living up to the hype.
Given the WWE's desire to make WrestleMania as big as possible, giving a mainstream star like The Rock the main belt is a wise choice. It would be nice if he wrestled on Raw, though. Holding the title for over two months while wrestling just twice would be a stretch.
Ambrose has been the most impressive member of The Shield, which also features Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns. When the group eventually disbands, he will have the best chance to establish himself as a main-event Superstar.
While he's only begun to scratch the surface in the WWE, his combination of in-ring ability and mic skills are already evident. His success is no surprise to the diehard fans who knew of him before he arrived to the WWE, but now everybody is getting to see his potential.
The entire group's performance in the high-profile tag-team match against Cena, Ryback and Sheamus is crucial. Ambrose stood out during The Shield's first victory over Ryback and Team Hell No. And he's a strong bet to do it again at Elimination Chamber.
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