WWE Elimination Chamber 2014: Projecting Order of Elimination
[Warning: Article contains spoilers based on SmackDown tapings from January 28, 2014]
With WWE creative under fire after a chain of events that left the Royal Rumble in shambles and CM Punk in exodus, WWE Elimination Chamber figures to be an intriguing pay-per-view.
All six participants booked in the chamber are each riding their own respective wave of momentum with the exception of John Cena, who doesn't need any.
The booking of the Elimination Chamber match will go a long way in setting the table for WrestleMania feuds while telling a story that figures to dictate the next several weeks of WWE TV.
Could WWE actually call an audible based on fan reaction to the 2014 Royal Rumble match? How far will Daniel Bryan actually go? Is this the pay-per-view where Sheamus finally turns heel? All are very reasonable questions with answers that could be the story of this pay-per-view.
Projecting the order of elimination is based on current momentum as well as likely WrestleMania plans per reports, which should dictate multiple falls.
The beauty of the Elimination Chamber is that it will either stay or change the course of WWE's product heading into its biggest show of the year.
Christian was not a perennial world champion during the prime of his otherwise decorated career. Now in his twilight, he'll be used as more of a mechanic to keep this match together.
Any heel in this match would benefit from pinning Christian, who remains popular with live crowds and is fresh off a return. With Chrstian spending much of 2013 injured, he should be a strong bet to be eliminated first as opposed to going far in a very physical match type.
Chrstian is one of the few wrestlers in this match without a path or a feud that will carry him to WrestleMania. His absence for most of last year will likely leave him on the outside of the Superdome looking in. It is unfathomable that WWE put the WWE World championship on him.
In year's past, the no-chance veteran in the Elimination Chamber has been R-Truth. This time around, Christian assumes that role. Fortunately, he'll benefit from one final pay-per-view payday before WWE Network goes live.
2. Antonio Cesaro
Antonio Cesaro and Sheamus are in desperate need of role reversals. Despite having an impressive moveset that's easy on the eyes, and finisher that just begs to be cheered by live crowds, Cesaro is considered a heel.
Despite being an over-sized brute whose best run was as a heel, and who continues to struggle to connect with wrestling fans, Sheamus is considered a face.
Cesaro has been a tag team wrestler for most of his career in WWE alongside Jack Swagger, and while he does have a bright future as a singles star, that future will not simply begin with a win at Elimination Chamber.
It's clear Cesaro is in such a big spot to get his feet wet. The multilingual strongman has yet to headline a WWE pay-per-view and is seldom in the world title picture.
An impressive showing by Cesaro, which is basically his ceiling, will only create future opportunities.
Given the scene created at the 2014 Royal Rumble, much of which was at Sheamus' expense, WWE wouldn't be drunk to book the Celtic Warrior as the winner of the Elimination Chamber.
This would set up a relatively awkward pairing of Batista and Sheamus, both of whom are current babyfaces who are not fully embraced by live audiences. That match alone could cause an in-stadium riot.
If a Sheamus-Bryan match is still the plan for WrestleMania, as was reported by PWInsider (via WrestlingInc) those wheels need to start spinning at the Elimination Chamber.
If unceremoniously eliminated by Bryan, Sheamus' stock would sink. But in an act of poor sportsmanship, Sheamus taking his frustrations out of Daniel Bryan would be a simple way to rekindle their rivalry.
Fresh off a return from injury, Sheamus is not on the short list of wrestlers who can win this match. Given his high-profile status on the WWE roster, however, this match will serve as a platform for his WrestleMania plans.
4. John Cena
John Cena always has a chance to go over in a world championship match, but his budding feud with Bray Wyatt will almost certainly be the reason he doesn't win.
Much like the past few weeks, Cena should come close to victory only to be distracted by the Wyatt Family.
If John Cena wins the WWE World Heavyweight championship, he would be paired with Batista. This would play out like a rerun, which is the last thing WrestleMania XXX should be.
Cena carried both major world championships in 2013, and fans may be burned out from seeing him carry another world championship.
According to PWInsider (via WrestlingInc), Current WrestleMania plans call for Bray Wyatt to face John Cena at WrestleMania in a career-defining showdown for Wyatt.
With this match hovering in the distance, the chances of John Cena winning the Elimination Chamber match are slim, although per usual he will be kept strong.
5. Daniel Bryan
The best case scenario for the "yes" movement is for WWE to call an audible and book Daniel Bryan to defeat Randy Orton in the Elimination Chamber. His rabid popularity should be a cause for concern at WrestleMania if he is not involved in the main event.
An Orton-Batista main event at WrestleMania XXX could be an abject disaster both in the ring and in terms of fan reaction. Should WWE appease this vocal segment of its audience, this would happen now.
Unfortunately for Daniel Bryan fans, WWE may be more tempted to use Bryan's popularity to make Sheamus as strong of a heel as possible.
WWE would kill two birds with one stone by booking Sheamus to cost Bryan the WWE World Heavyweight championship as Elimination Chamber. Not only would he be the biggest heel in the building, fans would be properly engaged in the match with Bryan in going all the way to the end.
As well-known as Vince McMahon is for changing his mind, he can also be very stubborn. The stagnation of fan favorites Zack Ryder and Christian are cautionary tales of why fans shouldn't be so certain that Bryan's own popularity will will carry him to the WrestleMania main event.