2012 Elimination Chamber Preview: Panel Discussion
This Sunday’s Elimination Chamber event at the Bradley Center marks the WWE’s final pay-per view before the granddaddy of them all, WrestleMania. At the conclusion of this event, wrestling fans should have an even clearer indication of the direction and angles the company is going to build upon in the coming weeks as we approach Mania on April 1st.
With “The Road to WrestleMania” in high gear, PAC’s Sports has once again received input and predictions on the Raw and SmackDown Elimination Chambers matches from the panel (Aaron Waymire, Jon Davis, Rob Morello, BJR, and William “Drew” Cloninger). We decided to bypass the Kane/Cena match since regardless of the outcome, Cena will be shifting his attention to ramping up the storyline for his main event at Mania XXVIII matchup with The Rock.
Here’s what we came up with:
Elimination Chamber Match for the World Heavyweight Title
Daniel Bryan (c) vs. Wade Barrett vs. Cody Rhodes vs. Big Show vs. The Great Khali vs. Santino Marella
Waymire: I have to wonder if some sort of angle will be done before the match to get either Santino or Khali out of this match. Two guys I could see crashing the party are Mark Henry and Alberto Del Rio. Are they healthy enough to compete? If so, I say get them in there. As for the pick, I’ll go with Bryan weaseling his way into another victory. Bryan vs. Sheamus at WrestleMania could be a great match, though I’m worried Vince and co. will think that match doesn’t have enough sizzle to it.
JD: This is honestly a crap shoot, I mean I expect Bryan to win based on the work he’s done and the other participants but the possibility of someone like Barrett (more likely than Rhodes) and Rhodes winning it is also a realistic and plausible possibility. For a crazy and super awesome darkhorse, I’m going with the Milan Miracle himself (actually French Canadian) SANTINO MARELLA!!!!!!!!!!!! This match has the possibility to be awful based on the Khali and the Big Show being in a small cage.
Morello: Wade Barrett. He is the only heel I see winning since Sheamus is expected to go after this title (at Mania). It doesn’t make sense to have a face vs. face match at Mania, so that eliminates the possibility of Marella, Great Khali, or Big Show Rhodes winning.
BJR: This match is over before it’s even started to be honest, it has simply gone to waste and should make for a great time to go and tour the arena. I think Bryan retains and heads to Mania to face Sheamus after a pretty average unexciting Elimination Chamber Match. I mean really, we have Khali in there, is he going to walk around and karate chop everyone for 10 minutes, then get choked slammed by Show and pinned? Santino? He’ll get his butt kicked around, fight back to bring out that dumb snake sock, hit the Cobra and then get taken right out leading to a pin. For the heck of it, this is where we might see something unexpected. Maybe Wade Barrett or Cody Rhodes steals it, I think both of them have great things going as heels and it wouldn’t hurt anything if they had the strap. That’s highly unlikely, I could also see Big Show winning and then heading in to Mania to defend against Sheamus and Bryan in a 3 way dance, Big Show is due to get his spot in a main event at WrestleMania.
Drew: Originally I thought Randy Orton would win this which would set up a match with Sheamus at WM. Now that Orton is out due to a concussion (given to him by Bryan), I think Bryan will retain. This would allow for the concussion angle to come into play setting up a possible 3-way at WM with Orton, Sheamus and Bryan. I say Bryan continues his fantastic heel run by weaseling out another victory over Show.
PAC: Personally, I hope Cody Rhodes takes it. The former “Legacy” member has been on a roll since his “Dashing” Cody Rhodes gimmick of late 2010-early 2011, and I thought his match against Mysterio at last year’s WrestleMania stole the show. Still can’t believe he is only 26, feels like he has been around forever. At the end of the day though I think Bryan will overcome the odds and squeak out a cheap victory of some sort. His character has been generating a good amount of heat, and I’m betting VKM recognizes this. With Marella, Khali, and Show involved this very well could be the worst EC match ever.
Elimination Chamber Match for the WWE Title
CM Punk (c) vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Chris Jericho vs. The Miz vs. R-Truth vs. Kofi Kingston
Waymire: I’m going with Jericho here to shake things up a bit. With the Raw rating this week being under a 3, I have to think Vince wants to try something to spark some interest again. CM Punk was once hot, but there’s just not a whole lot interesting about him now that’s drawing viewers. Maybe watching him chase after Jericho and the title will do the trick.
JD: I think I have to go Jericho here with some kind of involvement from Johnny ACE. Punk needs to go into Mania chasing the title and not defending it, and we all know this is heading for a Punk/Jericho match at Mania. For a crazy dark horse scenario I’m going to go with Kofi as NO one would be expecting it and Vince sometimes has a hard on for messing with the IWC.
Morello: I agree with Davis here as I would also lean towards Jericho or CM Punk which will set up their title bout at WrestleMania. If I had to choose one I would go with Jericho.
BJR: This should easily steal the show, although my last match that I thought could do the same flopped! I’m going to go with Chris Jericho here. We can probably expect an early elimination of The Miz, history tells us when you’re on HHH’s bad side, gooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooood luck! I think they are going to put the strap on his waist one more time for a short run to lead in to Mania being chased by Punk. I think this is going to happen because the crowd will be much more in to watching Punk fight to get his belt back instead of defending. Then after he wins it back we will witness one of the greatest in crowd celebrations of all time. This is going to be like when he won the title in Chicago, that crowd was the best I’ve seen since the 1990s/early 2000s. As for the other guys, R-Truth will be tossed after Miz, followed by Kofi and then Dolph. Last prediction is a big spot during the match from Dolph.
Drew: Logic says it will either be Punk or Jericho to keep the feud going all the way to WrestleMania. These are the 2 hottest guys in the WWE right now and the buildup for their WM match could be great. Of course logic also said Jericho would win the Rumble and we all see how that turned out. I think Jericho wins the title here and continues the feud with Punk – setting up a revenge match at WM that allows Punk to regain the title on the biggest stage.
PAC: I’m going with Y2J. Miz is in the doghouse right now, and I just don’t see Vince giving Dolph, Truth, or Kofi a spot in what will be the 2nd or 3rd highest match on the WM card (which the winner of this will get). I originally thought Jericho was going to win the Rumble and then chose Punk as his Mania opponent, but him winning the title here would accomplish much of the same. Punk could then stalk Jericho in the weeks ahead and bait him into a match at WM. Given the in-ring ability of both of these men, Jericho vs. Punk could easily be the best match on the WM card if this comes to fruition.
EC Match for the World Heavyweight Title “odds”
Daniel Bryan: 2 to 1
Wade Barrett: 9 to 2
Cody Rhodes: 6 to 1
Big Show: 15 to 1
Santino Marella: 500 to 1
Great Khali: 1000 to 1
EC Match for the WWE Title “odds”
Chris Jericho: 3 to 1
CM Punk: 4 to 1
Dolph Ziggler: 10 to 1
The Miz: 20 to 1
Kofi Kingston: 30 to 1
R-Truth: 50 to 1
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