5.26.2015

WWE Elimination Chamber 2015 Predictions

Photo courtesy WWE.com
We thought we had seen the last of it - and I, for one, wasn't too bothered by that - but somehow all of a sudden WWE has managed not only to schedule a last-minute Elimination Chamber special (on the last day of a free Network subscription month with only an hour to cancel afterward if you don't want to pay $9.99, how crafty), but they have also built it to be one of the year's most promising events.

Check out this 40-second trailer for Dark Departure Movies, then scroll down to get the lowdown on what will go down at Elimination Chamber.




Photo courtesy WWE.com
Bo Dallas vs. Neville
I began regularly tuning in to NXT with the first Takeover, so I missed all but the finale of these two former NXT Champions' initial feud. I can't help but believe (Bo-lieve?), however, that what we're seeing now is but a pale reflection of that storyline.
I have been a fan of Bo Dallas for his brilliant gimmick and it's nice to see him back on television, but the miniature feel of this renewed rivalry seems to be doing nothing for him while detrimentally stunting Adrian Neville's gravity-defying rise in popularity of late.
I want both of these men to succeed, but at the moment Neville's success feels crucial. Dallas cheating to win, or taking advantage of Neville's (kayfabe) injury again would only extend an angle that needs either longer segments (which it will not receive) or to be nipped in the bud. Give me a Red Arrow, a pinfall, and an entry in to the Money in the Bank ladder match... or at least Intercontinental Championship contention.
Winner: Neville


Photo courtesy WWE.com
John Cena vs. Kevin Owens
NXT really is taking over! In case you haven't been watching: Kevin Owens is kind of the man right now. His shocking appearance on Raw last week - which ended with Cena laid out in the middle of the ring - is one of the greatest surprises WWE has given me. There are a few tricky elements in the prediction of this match's outcome, though.
First, Owens is the current NXT Champion, after retaining in a no contest against Sami Zayn at Takeover: Unstoppable. Sure, the United States Title is not on the line here (and sure, Paige did win the Divas Title while still holding the NXT Women's Title last year), but a victory might imply a cemented main roster status... and where would that leave the NXT Championship?
Second, this is John Cena we're talking about here. Because of everything that has been debated to death regarding his well-deserved position in the company, Cena is not an easy man to beat.
Third, even if Owens did forfeit his NXT title for a spot on the main roster a la Paige (unlikely), he would be leaving with unfinished business. He and the newly reintroduced Samoa Joe are on a collision course, and it doesn't seem like one to be handled as an afterthought while Owens' focus is elsewhere.
On one hand this is a major star-making opportunity for WWE. On the other, it is difficult to envision them allowing Cena to roll over for Owens. This is why I'm thinking the match will wind up akin to Unstoppable's main event - evenly contested until Cena suffers a powerbomb on the apron, at which point Owens begins a ruthless onslaught leading to a ruling of 'no contest'. Owens continues the beatdown until Samoa Joe appears to save the day. Owens looks like a beast, Cena is protected, and NXT's hottest new feud is promoted. It's almost too specific a prediction to come true, but there it is.
Winner: N/A


Photo courtesy WWE.com
The New Day (c) vs. The Ascension vs. Lucha Dragons vs. Los Matadores vs. Prime Time Players vs. Tyson Kidd & Cesaro
Elimination Chamber Match for the WWE Tag Team Championship
The most compelling aspect of this match is its status as the first time 12 men will be inside the Elimination Chamber as opposed to six. I'm honestly surprised WWE isn't going with a 3-team, one-wrestler-per-pod scenario. What's more surprising is that Los Matadores are in this thing instead of the freshly reunited Luke Harper & Erick Rowan. I'm half-expecting the former Wyatt Family to take out the Puerto Rican bullfighters on their way to the ring and enter the match themselves.
Recently WWE's Tag Team Title picture has revolved around two teams at a time, so while Lucha Dragons et al. may appear for an acrobatic exhibition from time to time, it's difficult to imagine a more sidelined team leaving with the straps. With New Day's reign still in its infancy and the group's heat growing hotter and hotter, I can only imagine Xavier Woods will concoct some nefarious plot to steal yet another win.
Winners: The New Day


Photo courtesy WWE.com
Nikki Bella (c) vs. Naomi vs. Paige
Triple Threat Match for the WWE Divas Championship
The weekly television segments have been hit and miss, and sure the Bellas' babyface turn was more obligatory than the last time Big Show turned face just because he came to the ring smiling, but for the most part I have found myself quite interested in the Divas Title picture in recent months. Nikki has improved immensely over the past year, and Naomi has performed her heel turn so well I legitimately don't want to see her win despite her storied talent! Also, Paige is Paige, and what more could you want there?
I could see this match going to either of the challengers, but my gut tells me Nikki will retain yet again. The Bellas have become an important brand that reaches beyond WWE's usual demographic, and keeping the title on Nikki - perhaps with the intention of breaking AJ Lee's record with the current "Divas" incarnation of it - seems like a business move the company won't resist.
If you're not a Bellas fan, look on the bright side: what better opponent for Charlotte Flair to crush?
Winner: Nikki Bella


Photo courtesy WWE.com
Dolph Ziggler vs. King Barrett vs. R-Truth vs. Rusev vs. Ryback vs. Sheamus
Elimination Chamber Match for the vacant WWE Intercontinental Championship
Well, if Daniel Bryan sadly cannot defend the midcard title he won at WrestleMania, I suppose the next-best thing to help it regain some lost luster is put it in a Chamber. How we're supposed to believe these wrestlers qualified for their spots in said Chamber is another story.
Several simmering rivalries aside, there's not much to say here except we can expect a hard-hitting match with a definitive victor.
R-Truth and King Barrett are fodder, and Rusev and Ziggler will likely cancel one another out with some kind of Lana involvement (a compelling storyline that Ziggler really has no business being a part of, except as a surrogate for Rusev to express his aggression upon). This leaves two strong-style behemoths likely to leave nothing but unrecognizable mounds of flesh behind in the ring - "The Big Guy" Ryback, and the newly invigorated (finally heel again) Sheamus. I dig both, and both have been pushed as different kinds of conquerors these past few weeks, but this is more or less a coin flip. With heels taking the other Chamber match I'm tempted to pick Ryback for his first WWE title win, but my gut is pointing me toward the Celtic Warrior - a man who just may need the win more than any of his opponents.
Winner: Sheamus


Photo courtesy WWE.com
Seth Rollins (c) vs. Dean Ambrose
WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match
Maybe it's because the renewal of Ambrose and Rollins' scintillating feud that was cut short yesteryear came as a pleasant surprise, maybe it's because we've only had two weeks of build-up to this particular match, or maybe it's because we know at least 300 other people will wind up interfering... but boy, it doesn't feel like this is real life!
During the days of The Shield we could only hope and dream of the day these two would headline a special event for the WWE Title, mano a mano. Rollins has been my personal favorite for a while now. Ambrose has been deserving of a main event spot - especially against Rollins - for just as long.  I feel like I'll only be "ready" for this once it's over and I'm able to look back on it as a whole.
None of that really matters, though, because it will be the shock of the summer if Ambrose actually manages to wrench the big one from his former partner's calculated grip. Rollins is the "beatable champion" we've seen so many times in professional wrestling, and there may well be moments where Ambrose has the cover but there's no referee to be found... but even 50 Roman Reigns clones at ringside wouldn't help me believe that Rollins won't hold on to his prize for at least several more months. Or, of course, maybe Roman turns on his friend Dean. I would disagree that this is the time for such a turn, but the deck seems to be dealing that hand. Remember, Roman and Dean are friends. They're friends, guys. Did Michael Cole mention they're friends?
Ambrose and Reigns can then fight over Money in the Bank (Reigns betrayal or no), for which Ambrose would make an ideal custodian. My money, however, is on Reigns. An explosive cash-in could do wonders in getting Reigns over as either a heel or a face. In fact, a wise route here may be a title rematch at the Money in the Bank event, leaving Ambrose fans less reason to boo a Reigns briefcase grab.
Winner: Seth Rollins

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