If the idea of the Road to WrestleMania is to set everything up for the big show on April 7, the Elimination Chamber has a lot of work to do in order to put the pieces in place.
That sounds like this show is getting the short end of the stick, since it is being used to get from one show to the other, but credit WWE for doing as good a job as possible with just three weeks to build the event.
As we prepare for the final event before WrestleMania, here are the things that need to happen at the Elimination Chamber in order to set up what we think WWE wants to happen at the biggest show of the year.
Rock retains the WWE championship over CM Punk
Bringing Rock back for all three pay-per-views before WrestleMania only to have him lose the championship at the second one would be ridiculous, even by WWE standards. The creative team might feel the desire to craft some drama, but it needs to get the main event set up right away.
John Cena has already stated that he will challenge whoever the WWE champion is. CM Punk has done a remarkable job of making himself into a worthy adversary for Rock over the last two months, but his time in the bright spotlight will come to an end on Sunday.
WWE has gotten into a habit of setting up the main event for WrestleMania as far in advance as possible. It was a detriment last year, as there were too many weeks of Rock and Cena just talking about nothing before the big show.
Hopefully this year those two can find a way to spice things up, since they will have seven weeks of television to get through before WrestleMania.
Dolph Ziggler cashes in MITB briefcase; Chris Jericho wins Chamber Match
Of all the possible scenarios for the world heavyweight title at WrestleMania, there really seems to be only one that will generate any kind of interest, and it doesn't involve either of the two men wrestling in the match (Alberto Del Rio and Big Show).
It is time for Dolph Ziggler to cash in the briefcase. He has had it since July, and fans have been chomping at the bit for him to use it. He was one of the standout performers in the Royal Rumble last month and deserves a high-profile WrestleMania match.
The best opponent for Ziggler, by far, is Chris Jericho. He returned as the No. 2 entrant in the Royal Rumble, wrestling Ziggler one-on-one for a few minutes before the next participant. These two had a great rivalry last summer and need to keep it going with a WrestleMania moment.
No disrespect to Big Show or Del Rio, who can be very good in their own right, but there is no desire to see either one of them defend the world title against anyone at WrestleMania.
Put The Shield over in the six-man tag match
Of the scenarios that need to happen, this is the one I am least confident in actually happening since The Shield has to contend with John Cena on the other team.
I would completely understand if WWE wants to put Cena over strong (not that he needs it) since he will be in the WrestleMania main event. But it is precisely because Cena doesn't need the rub now that they should put The Shield over.
It is a simple booking solution, as the creative team could just have the members of The Shield pin either Ryback (likely) or Sheamus. Cena doesn't look "weak" because he doesn't get pinned, and you elevate The Shield in the process.
WWE has shown a strong desire over the last two months to make The Shield into a dominant faction that the fans need to take seriously. It is going to be a process to get the group over big, but what better place to start than with a victory in the group's biggest pay-per-view match to date.