Welcome to the Weekly Report from the guys here @TheTopRope, if you haven’t already checked out our Audio Shows, check out the two from this week where we review the week of wrestling and this weekends show which previews the Elimination Chamber and outlines what we think the card will be at Mania, you can download the shows on iTunes. Anyway, here are out thoughts on the crazy world of wrassling and our thoughts on the EC tonight.
Simon Iles – @Simon_TTR
Well, another month, another WWE PPV and another step along the Road to Wrestlemania. And another chance to set myself up for a fall by making predictions which inevitably will turn out to be incorrect! Nonetheless, here’s my breakdown of the card for Elimination Chamber:
WWE Divas Championship Match
I am going for a Beth win here. Mainly because I think Kharma will lay in wait for a match at ‘Mania, and thus, Tamina is merely filler to form some sort of momentum for Beth who hasn’t exactly been a regular on TV in recent months for one reason or another. Still, Beth to retain to go into Wrestlemania as the champion.
Normally this would be a tough one to pick, but I can’t see Cena being laid out as he needs to be around to interact with The Rock in the upcoming weeks on Raw. As James and I discussed on this week’s midweek edition of The Top Rope Wrestling Report (available on iTunes and Talkshoe!) we can see Eve and Zack getting involved. Some mutterings have been aired about Zack turning heel, but I can see Zack putting the Eve episode behind him to somehow distract Kane to allow Cena to pick up the win. Where this leaves Kane for ‘Mania is anyone’s guess, although I suppose they could have a match with him and Zack?
Smackdown Elimination Chamber Match
With Orton’s ‘injury’ putting him out, and Santino coming in, the first of the two Elimination Chamber matches looks rather thin, and does show how much Smackdown needs an injection of talent in the upper midcard and main event scenes. James suggested on the show this week that Santino won’t even make it into the match, perhaps being attacked by Drew McIntyre or, and James stuck his neck out on the line here, be replaced by a returning Captain Charisma. He picked Christian to win it, but I really hope Bryan goes into ‘Mania as champion and picture a Triple Threat with him, Orton and Sheamus for the World Heavyweight Championship at the big one. With that in mind, I see Bryan squeaking by with the title still around his waist. Just.
Raw Elimination Chamber Match
The Raw side of things, however, looks much more promising. The big question here is does Punk and Jericho need the title in their feud? Well, I think they do, so I expect the title to be on one of their waists at the end of Sunday’s show. I like title reigns of length so hope that Punk wins, perhaps causing Jericho to be pinned by one of the others through a distraction or something. However, I also appreciate that the feud may be better served by Jericho disposing of Punk, perhaps pulling off something distinctively dastardly to pin Punk to claim the title, only for the Second City Saint to win it back at ‘Mania. Nonetheless, I am going to stick with Punk winning, but Jericho remaining strong in the process. Maybe Jericho will return to attack Punk after he secures the victory to keep things going between the two of them.
Lee Charleton – @Leeleemu
Firstly, for some reason I just didn’t enjoy Smackdown, I think there is far too much repetition with certain storylines, there seems to be no sense of urgency compared to RAW at the minue and I think alot of it is down to Teddy Long, he just irks me for some reason. I just feel there has to be more to the script for tonight’s Elimination Chamber.
The reason being is that, most people have already predicted the top four matches at Mania and have even guessed the next 6 weeks of storylines in regards to those shows. Lets face it, Taker/HHH, Cena/The Rock and Punk/Jericho are nailed on matches however I think the surprise could be the WHC match at Mania with the surprise being its not Sheamus v Bryan. I think there is the possibility that Randy Orton, Alberto Del Rio and Christian could be involved with that match and theres a plethora of different scenarios.
1. Christian (c) v Daniel Bryan v Randy Orton v Sheamus
There has to be a reason that they have placed Santino in the match and I think its because his destruction before entering the Chamber won’t upset the fans. Think about Edge and Kofi in 2009, theres a hugely strong chance someone will emulate that and I think that could be Christian or Del Rio. If its Christian who “deserves one more shot”, not only would he return with a pop, he already has history with Sheamus and Randy Orton. Christian vs. Sheamus would make sense, however Bryan could demand a rematch at Mania and Orton would be able to get in on the basis Bryan cost him his chance of competing at EC due to the concussion angle.
Note: However, more likely would be two seperate singles matches, Christian vs. Sheamus for the WHC Title and Orton v Bryan in a revenge match, I just feel the Fatal Four Way would add a different dynamic to a Mania dominated by Singles matches.
2. Alberto Del Rio (c) v Sheamus
They teased Del Rio at the Rumble and he has been on house shows recently and his character is definitely one who would take advantage of an opportunity like this. Alberto sneaking into the EC would make perfect sense, back in October on a Smackdown Supershow, Del Rio and Sheamus came to blows with Del Rio never getting his own back. The man’s destiny could be to go into Mania 28 defending the title against the Royal Rumble winner as opposed to last year where he went into Mania 27 as the Rumble winner losing to Edge. I think Alberto needs a move to Smackdown and this provides the perfect opportunity. With this, as above Bryan would go on to face Orton in a Singles Match and Christian would appear in the MITB at Mania.
With so many of the matches already set in stone for Mania before the Elimination Chamber’s card was even announced, I think the WWE has to do something to keep us guessing and the WHC title picture gives them that opportunity and because of this, I will definitely be staying up LIVE to watch the show tonight as something big is bound to happen.
James Partridge – @GoofyVillain
Going to start with discussing the John Cena/Zack Ryder segments. It had it all, from humour (a flying Ryder!), to a kiss, and even a bromance falling apart. Makes me think they’re teasing a Cena heel turn, which won’t happen. I can only see a Cena win here, before he heads into his year long planned Wrestlemania feud with Dwayne.
As Raw started with a debate from the Elimination Chamber competitors, I thought “this will be dull”…boy, was I wrong! It got interesting fast, thanks to R-Truth, Chris Jericho and CM Punk. Add in the 3 singles matches between the 6 guys, and this helped build up to tonight’s PPV match well. I still see Punk retaining, possibly with a quick elimination of Jericho as soon as he leaves his “pod”.
Santino won the battle royal to replace Randy Orton in Smackdown’s Chamber. At first, I wasn’t keen on this due to not being a fan of him. Thinking on it though, maybe he’s the weak link to be removed for Christian to step in and take the title like I’ve predicted before? I stand by Captain Charisma returning and becoming Champion.
As much as I love Beth Phoenix, I have little to no interest in this match, and that’s mainly down to Tamina. I don’t see the appeal in her and find her matches dull. Beth to retain is how I see this going.
Having watched the TNA Pay Per View, 3 things stood out for me. First off, feel sorry for Jesse Sorensen after his injury during his match with Zema Ion. It looked a strange incident, and you could tell something was up immediately. It’s a shame to read about his injury, and could be out for a year. I wish him all the best in his recovery.
I was really pleased to see Samoa Joe and Magnus become new Tag Team Champions. They’ve really impressed me as a team, both in ring and on the mic, and I feel both have upped their game the past few months. I suggest keeping an eye on Magnus, this is his year.
Finally, Austin Aries vs Alex Shelley stole the show for me. I had high expectations going into this match due to being a fan of both guys, but it topped those expectations. Great fast paced action and close falls. Would love a rematch of this in the future!