Please surprise us on Sunday – By Bob Bamber
Maybe it's my fault for running through in my head every possible option for Sunday's Elimination Chamber Pay-Per-View, but for the life of me I can't see any other outcomes than wins for Edge, John Cena and The Miz. I've always said that predictability often isn't a bad thing, but it's hard to get up for a PPV if, even with 6 people in each match, there seems only one likely outcome.
It's quite strange given that, at last years show, there were two swings in direction. First John Cena, then Batista staked their claim for the WWE Title, setting up a title match between the two at 'Mania, leaving current Champion Sheamus to feud with Triple H in a non-title program going through and out of the other side of mania.
On the Smackdown side of things Undertaker was screwed out of his title by Shawn Michaels, which setup new Champion Chris Jericho to face Royal Rumble winner Edge. It's not necessarily to say that either of these switches was a massive shock, or that they were anything other than predictable, but I think it gave people who bought the show enough reasons to go home contented.
I contrast that with this years show, and I'm really struggling to find a reason to get up for the show. Not that I won't be watching, Elimination Chamber is one of my favourite PPV's (Sky Sports giving it to UK viewers for free helps too!), but I look at all of the options in the match, and I don't see anything but the three wins I outlined at the top.
Edge vs Del Rio looks a certainty – even WWE.com is advertising it as the Wrestlemania main event. Now that to me looks a really good Wrestlemania match on paper, but isn't that the problem? That's the match I'm envisioning. Sure, Rey Mysterio could pull off a surprise, and that match might even draw a bit more attention to 'Mania than the Edge one would. But Del Rio vs Ziggler, Del Rio vs Kane, Del Rio vs Drew McIntyre, Del Rio vs Wade Barrett. Sorry, but if one half of the Wrestlemania main event is a heel, then sticking 4 more of them in what is effectively the qualifying match isn't going to fill me with hope of an open match.
The Raw side isn't much more promising. Cena vs The Miz has been simmering since The Royal Rumble. The King could well get a Wrestlemania match, but it won't be as WWE Champion. In the Chamber, it won't be R-Truth and Sheamus has been handled far too badly. Morrison's first title run isn't too far away, but it won't begin in the run up to Wrestlemania. The only surprise would be Orton or Punk winning, leaving Cena and Miz to have a program worked together with The Rock, which didn't include the title.
I'm not asking for a killer, Russo-esque swerve. As I said, predictability often isn't a bad thing at all, but by being so stiff and (seemingly) leaving so little room for other plausible options, it's hard to be exited about this PPV. To be fair, if the WWE have something up their sleeve, then fair enough – but they wouldn't have sold me enough on the idea of a title change to make we want to buy the show if it wasn't free for UK Viewers.
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