The stage has been set for the 2013 WWE Elimination Chamber pay-per-view to be one of the best shows all year, but it’s the excellent card top-to-bottom that has the majority of the WWE Universe ecstatic for the event.
From the main event featuring two of the biggest names in the business today, to a midcard full of interesting matchups, WWE has done a great job building interest for a show that is so important to the buildup to WrestleMania 29.
WWE Champion The Rock vs. CM Punk
The stipulation was added to this WWE Championship match between The Rock and CM Punk that if Rock were to be counted out or disqualified, Punk would win the title, but there is no way that this can be the end of the story.
WWE is stacking the deck against The Rock to make it appear Punk has a chance to steal a win on Sunday, but there is little question that Rock will be holding the title heading into WrestleMania 29.
This match will have a major swerve, but no matter how it ends, The Rock walks away WWE champion.
Prediction: The Rock retains the WWE Championship
John Cena, Ryback and Sheamus vs. The Shield
John Cena, Ryback and Sheamus are already three of the strongest faces in WWE, but a win at Elimination Chamber would send them toward the biggest show of the year with the momentum they need.
As much as these three main-event stars need the win, The Shield needs this victory even more to get the fresh faces over with the crowd. So what does WWE do?
Whether it’s with the help of an outside source—Brock Lesnar or Paul Heyman—or just by attacking the good guys with weapons, The Shield must lose the match by disqualification. The trio would stand tall to close the match and the faces would get the win they need.
Prediction: John Cena, Ryback and Sheamus win by disqualification
Elimination Chamber Match to Become No. 1 Contender for World Heavyweight Championship
The fact that six former world champions (Mark Henry, Chris Jericho, Randy Orton, Jack Swagger, Kane and Daniel Bryan) will be locked inside the dangerous Elimination Chamber structure with the chance to fight for the World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania 29 on the line makes this one of the more intriguing chamber matches of all time.
There is no clear-cut favorite in this match, making the outcome of the bout even more relevant to the long-term booking decisions of WWE. As much as the majority of the WWE Universe would like to see Y2J win, it will likely be Mark Henry getting another shot at the title.
Prediction: Mark Henry wins
World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio vs. Big Show
The battle between the newly turned face, Alberto Del Rio, and the Big Show has likely reached its last chapter, and that means Del Rio will likely be the one who walks away from Elimination Chamber victorious.
Unless WWE wants to make it a triple-threat title match at WrestleMania, Del Rio will fight the winner of the Elimination Chamber match at WrestleMania 29 after beating Big Show and successfully retaining his title.
Big Show will be relegated to an upper-midcard feud for a few months.
Prediction: Alberto Del Rio retains the World Heavyweight Championship
United States Champion Antonio Cesaro vs. The Miz
Antonio Cesaro has blossomed into one of the best all-around stars WWE has, and a feud with an upper-tier star like The Miz is exactly what the United States champion needs to show he is worthy of a top spot in the company.
Cesaro will shine once again Sunday, and he will likely retain his title, but this feud will be far from over.
The Miz would likely challenge Cesaro for one last match—this time with the caveat that the stakes would be raised with a stipulation—and take the US title at WrestleMania. That whole idea starts with Cesaro winning at the Elimination Chamber event.
Prediction: Antonio Cesaro retains the United States Championship
Divas Champion Kaitlyn vs. Tamina Snuka
WWE has treated the women’s division so poorly over the years that it’s impossible to get behind this title match. Kaitlyn will likely retain because WWE has no long-term plans for anyone in this division, and until the company develops a plan, I’ll just watch Shimmer when I get the urge to watch real women's wrestling.
Prediction: Kaitlyn retains as the Divas Champion
Brodus Clay and Tensai vs. Team Rhodes Scholars (Pre-Show)
The unlikely duo of Brodus Clay and Tensai is working on a very silly level, but Sunday will expose just how much WWE cares for the newly formed tag team. With Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow broken up, a loss for the duo wouldn’t hurt them at all, and it would only help the fans get behind Clay and Tensai.
Prediction: Brodus Clay and Tensai win
For more wrestling talk, listen to Ring Rust Radio for all of the hot topics you just can’t miss (some language NSFW).