“It’s a little like a Cage match, it has aspects of Hell in a Cell, with characteristics of the Royal Rumble and Survivor Series rules thrown in for good measure.” Sure, I’m paraphrasing a little, but that was how then-GM, Eric Bischoff first introduced the Elimination Chamber match to the WWE Universe. The first-ever match was held at Survivor Series 2002, yes, that’s right, we’re just a few months away from twenty years of the Elimination Chamber. Feel old yet?

While initially exclusive to the RAW brand as a stipulation, the Chamber appeared at PPV’s including SummerSlam and New Year’s Revolution before branching out into SmackDown and the relaunched ECW. The Chamber wouldn’t get its own PPV until 2010, but it has been a staple in the WWE calendar ever since, usually with at least two Chamber matches per show, and has usually been a stop on the Road to WrestleMania, deciding Champions, number one contenders and breaking hearts along the way. To date, there have been 28 Chamber matches, but never before has one taken place outside of the United States.

Enter Saudi Arabia. Now, it’s no secret that WWE is currently into their fourth of a ten-year deal to hold regular shows in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, a fact that splits opinion among the audience, but those are issues that we won’t be going into here. The fact of the matter is that WWE make an eye-watering sum of money for this deal and this has led to a number of high-profile names making rare appearances. The Undertaker worked his only non-WrestleMania matches, since 2016, in Saudi Arabia. Even Shawn Michaels came out of retirement for a one-off match at Crown Jewel in 2018. As a result, there are times when the Saudi shows have felt almost separate from the rest of the WWE canon. While Undertaker vs Goldberg may have been a marquee attraction, there was no storyline or feud to lead to the match. But things feel a little different as we go into this show, with every match feeling like it serves some sort of purpose if this is the last stop before WrestleMania 38.

Note: Predictions are pure that, predictions. Nobody at SteelChair has heard anything ahead of time, we promise.

Rey Mysterio w/ Dominik Mysterio vs The Miz w/ Maryse

The Miz’s search for the respect and admiration he believes he deserves has set him on a collision course with Rey Mysterio. The A-Lister felt slighted when Mysterio and not himself was chosen to be on the cover of WWE 2K22, and he disrespected The Ultimate Underdog in front of his son Dominik during a heated “Miz TV.”

The war of words came on the heels of The Miz getting Rey Mysterio ejected from ringside thanks to some underhanded tactics to pull off a victory against a distracted Dominik Mysterio. With tempers reaching their boiling points following a snide remark by Miz, Rey Mysterio returned the favour to cause The A-Lister to lose a rematch against Dominik.

The back-and-forth continued on Monday Night RAW as The Miz joined the commentary table during The Mysterios’ match against RAW Tag Team Champions Alpha Academy. The A-Lister’s antics ended up costing Rey & Dominik the victory, and Miz capped it all off by delivering a brutal Skull-Crushing Finale to The Master of the 619. Will The Miz show the WWE Universe why he deserves respect, or will Rey Mysterio prove why he is a cover star?

Danny Cause’s Prediction: Rey Mysterio – right before the release of the long-awaited WWE 2K22, of which Rey is the cover star, this seems like an ideal opportunity to give him a win as part of the game’s promotion.

Steph Franchomme’s Prediction: The Miz.

Falls Count Anywhere Match
Drew McIntyre vs Riddick “Madcap” Moss w/ “Happy” Baron Corbin

It’s the Day 1 rematch that nobody realised they even wanted. Drew McIntyre’s run on SmackDown has felt rather lacklustre in comparison to most of his recent time on RAW. While his last two years on the red brand were spent either as World Champion or in the hunt, the scenery of the Blue brand has seen him stuck in the mid-card. McIntyre decisively defeated Moss at the New Year’s Day Premium Live Event, but Madcap Moss and Happy Corbin got their revenge later in the night when they attacked McIntyre backstage. Drew then needed to take the time to recover from his injury but made a shock return at the Royal Rumble.

McIntyre may have felt that he could move on from the two jokers, but it turns out there is a little more unfinished business. Madcap Moss has tried to duck this rematch with the Scottish Warrior, but his attempt at feigning an eye injury was in vain. Last week on SmackDown, McIntyre vowed to get the ultimate revenge when he declared that this rematch would be Falls Count Anywhere. However, is there a possibility that McIntyre has made a mistake here? Seeing as this match will be no disqualification, that opens up the floodgates for Happy Corbin to get involved on his buddy’s behalf.

Danny Cause’s Prediction: Drew McIntyre – It appears to me that we’re headed towards McIntyre vs Corbin at ‘Mania, but right now Moss seems to be the gatekeeper to that match. McIntyre needs to make short work of the sidekick here.

Steph Franchomme’s Prediction: Madcap Moss.

Naomi & Ronda Rousey vs. SmackDown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair & Sonya Deville

This tag team match sees two long-running feuds intertwine. One is a feud that feels like it’s been going on for years, the other is Sonya Deville vs Naomi. The problem that Sonya has with Naomi hasn’t even been hinted at, yet it’s eaten up a lot of screen time over the previous months. Deville, currently still a WWE authority figure, has been abusing her power, constantly stacking the deck against Naomi, changing the rules mid-match, and generally just making life miserable for her. It would help if the audience were told why, but it’s beginning to seem that we may never find out. Things do seem to finally be coming to an end as Vince McMahon has recently spoken up (via Adam Pearce) to let Sonya know that her abuse of power won’t be tolerated any longer. One can’t help but wonder what took Vince so long, plus it is a little rich, considering his history of using his role in the company to his own advantage.

Elsewhere, Ronda made her shock return by winning the Royal Rumble, having not been seen since WrestleMania 35. It’s no secret that the Baddest Woman on the Planet has been busy raising a family, but now she’s back to kick ass and blow bubblegum. It would seem that Rousey has unfinished business with both Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch. With both women currently holding Championships, Rousey did have a big decision to make, but she made it clear that Charlotte’s is the first arm she wants to take. Ronda made the save last week on SmackDown when Charlotte and Sonya were double-teaming Naomi, so a tag-team match seems like a fitting opportunity for a blow-off match before we get to that big Championship match at WrestleMania, but Ronda may have to do this one with an arm tied behind her back.

Danny Cause’s Prediction: Ronda Rousey & Naomi – if the odds are stacked against them, that’s even more reason for them to pick up a major win, get the last laugh over Sonya and put the fear in Flair.

Steph Franchomme’s Prediction: Flair & Deville.

Elimination Chamber Match – The winner earns an opportunity at the RAW Women’s Title at WrestleMania 38
Liv Morgan vs. Rhea Ripley vs. Bianca Belair vs. Doudrop vs. Alexa Bliss vs. Nikki A.S.H.

Rhea Ripley, Bianca Belair, Liv Morgan, Doudrop, Nikki A.S.H. and Alexa Bliss will battle inside the career-altering Elimination Chamber for the right to challenge the Raw Women’s Champion at WrestleMania. Belair, Ripley, Bliss and Nikki are all former Women’s Champions.

Doudrop and Morgan have also recently challenged Becky Lynch for the RAW Women’s Title and have come within an eyelash of unseating the champion. Of course, whether the winner will challenge Lynch on The Grandest Stage of Them All is still contingent on whether Big Time Becks can overcome WWE Hall of Famer Lita in a one-on-one championship showdown at WWE Elimination Chamber.

Danny Cause’s Prediction: Bianca Belair – the EST is well overdue a one-on-one rematch with Becky Lynch ever since she was dethroned at SummerSlam. Bianca winning this match seems the logical route to that match. Although, the return of Alexa Bliss would also make for an interesting swerve.

Steph Franchomme’s Prediction: Bianca Belair.

SmackDown Tag Team Championship Match
The Usos (c) vs The Viking Raiders

The Viking Raiders will look to knock Jey & Jimmy Uso off the top of the mountain in a highly anticipated showdown for the SmackDown Tag Team Titles.

After they barreled their way onto SmackDown as part of the 2021 WWE Draft, the explosive tandem of Erik & Ivar soon earned the right to challenge The Usos in a turbulent Fatal 4-Way Match several weeks ago on SmackDown. The former RAW Tag Team Champions represent a whole new kind of threat to The Bloodline as they boast a combination of immense size, power, agility and a rather unhinged sensibility.

Claiming the gold will be no easy task, however. Standing in their way will be the longest-reigning SmackDown Tag Team Champions in history. Although they may be outspoken and often employ questionable tactics, The Usos have proven time and again to indeed be The Ones.

Danny Cause’s Prediction: The Usos

Steph Franchomme’s Prediction: The Usos.

RAW Women’s Championship Match
Becky Lynch (c) vs Lita

The term ‘Diva’ may be a dirty word in the current product of WWE, but it would also be ignorant to not consider the history of the division among the wider WWE landscape. Throughout the Attitude Era, Trish Stratus and Lita were two names that managed to rise above the era of bra-and-panties matches and lingerie pillow fights to transcend the term ‘Diva’. Trish and Lita laid the groundwork for what the Women’s Division is today. With that in mind, it seems a shame they haven’t been able to enjoy it in the same way, but at least Trish did get a couple of matches in the last few years, including a SummerSlam match against Charlotte Flair, so it seems like this is Lita’s turn.

Becky Lynch has been very vocal throughout her career about the fact that Lita was a major inspiration in her becoming a wrestler. So, when Lita announced that she had one good run left in her, and a return at the Royal Rumble, this is a match that many fans previous only dreamed would ever happen, and while it’s not quite a WrestleMania match, it could well be the next best thing. Becky Lynch keeps talking about how she never lost the RAW Women’s Championship (she previously vacated it when pregnant) and brags about her combined title reign being well over 500 days. It almost seems like Lynch could be looking past Lita. Is Big Time Becks getting too big for her boots?

Danny Cause’s Prediction: Becky Lynch

Steph Franchomme’s Prediction: Becky Lynch.

Elimination Chamber Match for the WWE Championship 
Bobby Lashley (c) vs Brock Lesnar vs Austin Theory vs AJ Styles vs Seth Rollins vs Riddle

The purpose of an Elimination Chamber match on a card like this is an attempt to create a feeling of unpredictability. While we know that Brock Lesnar (as the winner of the Rumble) will likely be challenging Roman Reigns for the Universal Championship at WrestleMania, the WWE Championship picture is currently wide open. In theory (no pun intended), any of these six men have a chance of winning the Chamber and heading to Mania as the reigning WWE Champion. That’s in theory, at least. But we know from history, that the Chamber can be unpredictable.

There’s a good mix of talent in this match, starting with Austin Theory and Riddle. While it seems they only have an outside chance of winning, at best, you can never rule them out to upset the odds and become a star overnight. For Austin Theory, who seems to have his fair share of daddy issues, a victory would make Vince McMahon very happy. Then there’s AJ Styles and Seth “Freakin” Rollins. Both veterans and former multi-time World Champions, except neither of them has held a World title for quite some time. They must be starving, ravenous, and know that only one match separates them from glory again. It’s a pity that one match is among the most brutal of them all.

The All-Mighty Bobby Lashley continues to prove himself, becoming a two-time WWE Champion and having defeated Brock Lesnar to do so, even if there is an asterisk next to that win. Lashley intends to have a stranglehold on that title and has no intention of relinquishing it, especially so soon. And finally, there’s Brock Lesnar. A man closing in on twenty years since his WWE debut and yet he has never stepped foot inside the Elimination Chamber before. But that won’t faze the Beast Incarnate, who can often find himself at home in even the most sadistic of structures. Plus, the Beast is stung, wounded from the betrayal of Paul Heyman at the Royal Rumble. That may make the Beast the most dangerous he’s ever been. Pity the five men who are locked inside with him.

Danny Cause’s Prediction: Brock Lesnar – to set up a Championship vs Championship match at WrestleMania.

Steph Franchomme’s Prediction: Brock Lesnar.

WWE Universal Championship Match
Roman Reigns (c) vs Goldberg

It’s the WrestleMania match that was promised two years ago, only now a showdown worthy of The Grandest Stage of Them All will take place at Elimination Chamber instead as Roman Reigns and Goldberg go head-to-head for the Universal Championship for the first time ever. The two titans of WWE were set to collide at WrestleMania 36 before Reigns pulled out of the match due to health concerns, returning months later to claim the Universal Championship at WWE Payback and begin his current record-breaking reign.

The ever-growing list of current and future Hall of Famers that The Head of the Table has left in his wake is long, but as Goldberg noted when he confronted Reigns on SmackDown, it is missing one prominent name: his. The legendary Goldberg may perhaps be the only other WWE Superstar with a streak and list of victims as long as Reigns’, dominating the competition for years with the two-time former Universal Champion most recently defeating Bobby Lashley in a No Holds Barred Match at WWE Crown Jewel.

With Goldberg chomping at the bit after their WrestleMania Match that never was, can he be the one to finally dethrone Reigns, or will The Head of the Table add another name to his list?

Danny Cause’s Prediction: Roman Reigns – The Tribal Chief claims he’s going to out-Goldberg Goldberg. Expect a brief but hard-hitting affair.

Steph Franchomme’s Prediction: Goldberg (no, I’m joking…), Roman Reigns of course.

WWE “Elimination Chamber” is streaming this Saturday at 5 PM GMT on the WWE Network. The Kickoff Show begins at 4 PM GMT on WWE Network and WWE social platforms.

All pics and videos courtesy of WWE 

By Danny Cause

Wrestling fan and nerd of almost twenty years. Outside of wrestling, Danny enjoys writing and reading, to excess, TV shows, movies as well Manchester United and the Minnesota Vikings (for his sins).

Leave a Reply