WWE ELIMINATION CHAMBER PPV PRIMER 2/21: Javier’s preview & predictions for the Raw and Smackdown Elimination Chamber matches, Riddle vs. Lee vs. Lashley, and more

BY JAVIER MACHADO, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR

PHOTO CREDIT: WWE

SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...

February 21, 2021 will see the eleventh iteration of the Elimination Chamber PPV. It comes to us from the Thunderdome at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. The elimination chamber is a giant cage with four cells that each house a wrestler. Two wrestlers start the match and after a set amount of time, the cells open up at timed intervals. A wrestler is eliminated by pinfall or submission (and occasionally other silly reasons) and the last wrestler remaining wins. It is one of those kinds of matches that “changes you forever”.

Drew McIntyre (c) vs. AJ Styles vs. Jeff Hardy vs. Randy Orton vs. Sheamus vs. Kofi Kingston, WWE Championship Elimination Chamber match 

Story in a nutshell: Drew McIntyre defends his WWE Championship against five challengers inside the brutal and uncompromising Elimination Chamber.

Adam Pearce and Shane McMahon announced that Drew McIntyre would defend his title against five former WWE Champions inside the Elimination Chamber. Of the five men selected, the Miz rescinded his opportunity, expecting his cohort John Morrison to replace him in a scheme to use the Money in the Bank contract to win the championship from the weakened winner. Kofi Kingston ended up winning his way into the match instead, hoping to repeat the story that led Kofi to his championship run.

Sheamus betrayed a lifelong friendship with Drew McIntyre in order to secure a shot at his title for… reasons. Sheamus outlasted his five opponents in a gauntlet match to win the right to be the last man to enter the Elimination Chamber.

Randy Orton has been feuding with Alexa Bliss over his immolation of the Fiend. Last time we saw Bliss, she was sitting inside of a pentagram speaking an incantation and then making her presence felt during the gauntlet match causing Randy to be eliminated.

AJ Styles has Omos, a really, really tall guy with him. I mean he’s REALLY tall.

Jeff Hardy is also in this match.

Prediction: The only outcome that makes sense for the match as is, is Drew retaining unless they are going to hot potato the belt between him and Sheamus which I don’t see happening. I expect the Fiend’s presence to cost Orton. I won’t discount a replacement for one of the wrestlers – particularly Kofi. He took Mustafa Ali’s spot in the chamber in 2019 when Ali was injured, leading to Kofi’s championship run. I can see Ali taking revenge and necessitating a replacement, someone like a Braun Strowman perhaps. 

Kevin Owens vs. Jey Uso vs. King Corbin vs. Sami Zayn vs. Cesaro vs. Daniel Bryan, Elimination Chamber match 

– and –

Roman Reigns (c) vs. winner of the Smackdown Elimination Chamber, WWE Universal Championship match 

Story in a nutshell: Six men battle in the Elimination Chamber with the winner earning a shot at Roman Reign’s WWE Universal championship later that night.

When Adam Pearce attempted to institute the same stipulations for the Smackdown Elimination Chamber match that he and Shane McMahon had for Raw’s, Paul Heyman and Roman Reigns quickly put the kibosh on that idea, only agreeing to defend the title against the winner, “magnanimously” offering to do it the same day (with the expectation that the winner would be beaten and battered).

Of the participants involved, Kevin Owens has had a long running feud with Reigns. Despite repeatedly losing to Reigns, KO keeps finding ways to keep coming back for more much to Reign’s vexation. Jey Uso, meanwhile, was placed into the match by Pearce for the possibility to have the cousins fight each other again.

Cesaro and Daniel Bryan have had several matches against each other leading the two men to develop respect for each other.

Finally, King Corbin and Sami Zayn are also in the match.

Prediction: Roman Reigns wins against the field. His opponent is most likely Kevin Owens. I would like to think there would be a bigger build for a match between Reigns and Bryan unless this is the start of a feud heading into Fastlane, but I doubt it. Cesaro looks like he’s headed to a feud with Seth Rollins. As much as King Corbin getting thrashed would be cathartic for those who lived through the “dog food” angle, I don’t think it’s time to turn Reigns babyface. Sami Zayn was treated like a joke heading into this match. Finally, Jey makes no sense. He’s been completely subjugated by Reigns and it isn’t time to have Jey exert any hint of independence. Plus, its fairly obvious Edge is Roman’s opponent at WrestleMania. 

Bobby Lashley (c) vs. Riddle vs. Keith Lee, WWE United States Championship match 

Story in a nutshell: After being dominated by Bobby Lashley for months, Riddle gets another shot at his title only now Keith Lee wants a shot too.

Riddle has been feuding with Bobby Lashley and the Hurt Business for months now finding himself rag-dolled on several occasions until he “earned” a title shot by winning when Lashley was disqualified for beating Riddle up too much. Enter Keith Lee who pointed out that Riddle kept losing to Lashley and that it was his turn now. Lee beat Riddle in a match to get a shot at Lashley. Now it’s a triple threat.

Prediction: Regardless of whether Keith Lee even shows up (his appearances on TV have been rather sporadic as of late), I still have Riddle winning by stealing a pin. This frees Lashley up to hopefully feud with Drew McIntyre for WrestleMania. 

Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler (c) vs. Sasha Banks & Bianca Belair, WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship match 

Story in a nutshell: Reginald, Carmella’s sommelier, pinned Nia Jax to earn Sasha Banks and Bianca Belair a title shot.

During an episode of Ding Dong Hello, Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler were putting down Sasha Banks and Bianca Belair prompting Reginald to defend Banks’s honor. Banks and Belair told Reginald that they can hold their own and things got a bit tense between Banks and Belair. To defuse the situation Reginald booked a match between Jax, Baszler, and Bayley and Banks, Belair, and himself. Reginald got the pin on Jax and thus this match is now happening. Belair and Banks are destined to wrestle each other at WrestleMania so that’s where the drama of this match will be coming from.

Prediction: For the love of all that is holy please let the champs retain. I don’t want to see the two women who will be facing each other at WrestleMania holding the titles. Nia Jax and Baszler to go over here.

Asuka (c) vs. Lacey Evans, WWE Raw Women’s Championship match 

Story in a nutshell: Lacey Evans, with Ric Flairs help, defeated Charlotte Flair to get a shot at Asuka’s title, only Lacey has revealed that she’s pregnant.

Lacey Evans, with Ric Flair’s help, has been feuding with Charlotte Flair, eventually earning herself a shot at Asuka’s title. There was a lot of sexual innuendo in Evans’s description of her ongoing relationship with Ric (although there is enough wiggle room to reveal their relationship is totally wholesome). However, during a tag team match against Charlotte and Asuka, Lacey refused to enter the match and claimed she was pregnant (reportedly for real), so this match is likely not happening, so what then?

Prediction: Asuka comes out and lays out an open challenge, Charlotte comes out and accepts. Ric Flair comes out mid-match only this time he is there to help his daughter and Charlotte captures the WWE Raw Women’s Championship. On Raw, Ric reveals that while he was training Lacey (and that it was the only thing going on between them, it’s you “nasties” that were reading an ulterior motive into the things Lacey and Ric said and did), he was also training Charlotte who was too easily distracted by her personal life and too “nice.” Only now is she ready to be the Dirtiest Player in the Game. Charlotte then says no one can stop her and out comes Rhea Ripley. 


CATCH-UP: Sami Zayn highlights what he enjoys about the Elimination Chamber, talks Roman Reigns

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