The Elimination Chamber pay-per-view represents Smackdown Live‘s final chance at making a big impression before heading full force into Wrestlemania 33 season. WWE is hoping to make a big splash by bringing back the Elimination Chamber Match and making it for the WWE Championship. John Cena defends against former champions AJ Styles, Dean Ambrose and The Miz. Then, there’s also Bray Wyatt, who’s family also fight each other on this show. Finally, is the wildcard Lone Wolf Baron Corbin, who could throw a wrench in some plans.
The Smackdown Tag Team Championships are also on the line in a Tag Team Turmoil Match where American Alpha defend against the entire tag division. Then, an interesting aspect of this event is the three Women’s division singles matches. Nikki Bella and Natalya are embroiled in a nasty feud that’s gone beyond the ring. A returning Mickie James seeks to reclaim her spot by defeating Becky Lynch. While Naomi looks to win her first championship in a challenge against Smackdown Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss. Everyone’s attention is clearly on the main event, but the undercard could provide some interesting twists and turns. This is the W2Mnet WWE Elimination Chamber 2017 Preview. – Sean Garmer
W2Mnet WWE Elimination Chamber 2017 Preview
An Introduction to the Article
As someone that has quite a bit of experience doing these roundtable type articles, I wanted to do this a bit differently than some others. Instead of having numerous people all give thoughts on each match, I felt it better to assign one match to each person. So, one of our staff members will make the case for each person winning said match, then give their thoughts on the match itself, and finally predict a winner. This continues until the end of the article, when everyone gathers to give their overall thoughts on the event. – Sean Garmer
Contributing W2Mnet Staff
Sean Garmer, Co-Host of Wrestling 2 the MAX, W2Mnet Editor-in-Chief
Paul Leazar, Co-Host of Wrestling 2 the MAX, W2Mnet Wrestling Dept. Head
Noah Mooney, W2Mnet Wrestling & Football Contributor
Thomas Grim, W2Mnet Wrestling Contributor
Aaron Patel, W2Mnet Wrestling & Games Contributor
Pre-Show Kickoff Match
Mojo Rawley vs. Curt Hawkins
I’m not gonna pretend like there’s some great philosophical reason for this match. WWE realized they have a pre-show. Then, they realized there needs to be a match on said pre-show. Suddenly single Mojo Rawley has sort of been getting a push. Curt Hawkins quickly faced the facts after returning to WWE. What facts you may ask? Even if you come up with a gimmick, you are still a jobber. This is one of those times I can’t argue the other side. Quite simply, this is a match to make Mojo look good. – Sean Garmer
Winner: Mojo Rawley
2 on 1 Handicap Match
Apollo Crews & Kalisto vs. Dolph Ziggler
Recently heel Dolph Ziggler has been literally blasting Kalisto and Apollo Crews with chair shots, Super Kicks and whatever else comes into play. The problem is, no matter what shade Dolph currently inhabits, its difficult to care about what happens. I think we should give WWE’s creative credit here though, by having Dolph work with two lower card talents. Thus helping elevate them. Kalisto can always escape to 205 Live at any moment. However, Apollo Crews isn’t quite as lucky. He needs a feud to help get him somewhere positive on Smackdown. A singles feud with Dolph could be what gets him on the right track.
Generally, you don’t see this type of match very often. 99% of the time, it’s the face that’s the lone man. In fact, due to this, WWE runs the risk that the crowd could turn and side with Dolph because he’s used to being an underdog in this situation. Not to mention, Dolph is very electric in-ring. Kalisto and Apollo are equally talented in the squared circle, but the issue is, are people going to care about them. This is Dolph’s task in this match. Apollo and Kalisto winning would mean they get some revenge and likely the feud is ending soon. Dolph winning would be absolutely detrimental to what they are trying to accomplish here. So, I think Dolph keeps doing what he’s done this whole feud. Get frustrated and do something rash causing a disqualification. – Sean Garmer
Winners: Apollo Crews & Kalisto (Via Disqualification)
Other Staff Member Predictions: Paul: Apollo & Kalisto (Via DQ) Thomas, Aaron P & Noah: Dolph Ziggler
New Era vs. Old Era
Becky Lynch vs. Mickie James
If there is anyone who deserves the rub of a veteran, it has to be Becky Lynch. The most underrated Women’s wrestler in WWE has been a great asset for Smackdown Live. On the other hand, it is great to see Mickie James return. The brand can benefit from an injection of veteran talent. There maybe be more to this feud than meets the eye, for now I see Lynch winning this bout. – Aaron Patel
Winner: Becky Lynch
Other Staff Member Predictions: Paul & Thomas: Becky Lynch. Sean & Noah: Mickie James.
The Bitter Rivalry
Nikki Bella vs. Natalya
The Nikki and Natalya feud has been pretty cringe worthy in my eyes. I’m expecting Nikki to wreck Nattie on Sunday. There just is no other option with the way this has been built up because Nattie is surely not going to be doing anything of importance at Mania. – Thomas Grim
Winner: Nikki Bella
Other Staff Member Predictions: Everyone else also picked: Nikki Bella.
Wyatt Brother vs. Wyatt Brother
Randy Orton vs. Luke Harper
This match appears to be Randy Orton‘s stopgap before challenging for the WWE Title at Wrestlemania. Therefore, I don’t think this match reaches its potential with two great performers in the ring. Luke Harper finally has his big match with major competition without Wyatt. However, it won’t be what everyone wanted. Orton has a high likelihood of winning this because he is the current Royal Rumble winner and going to be in one of the main events of Wrestlemania 33. Harper could pull off the upset if management is serious about finally giving Harper the ball and telling him to run with it. However, that seems like a fantasy, as Orton will win this match and showcase his talents before going into one of Wrestlemania 33’s marquee contests. – Noah Mooney
Winner: Randy Orton
One of the most well done things in all of WWE has been the Wyatt Family feud. They’ve successfully turned it into something that could go many different ways. Randy Orton could turn on Bray. Leaving Luke Harper to be right about their being a snake in the grass. Perhaps this is all a ruse and Luke Harper turns on Bray and Randy. Then, we don’t even know where Erick Rowan fits into all this either. Rumors are that he’s currently back training once again after his injury.
Every week they do something interesting with this feud on Smackdown. I’m sure it has its detractors, but something with multiple branching points should be commended. That being said, although there’s a chance Harper could do something to get Orton disqualified. I don’t think WWE wants Orton losing on PPV leading up to Wrestlemania. Randy Orton hits the RKO outta nowhere to look strong and keep the story going. Especially, since both men probably find themselves involved in the main event later. – Sean Garmer
Winner: Randy Orton
Other Staff Member Predictions: Everyone else also picked: Randy Orton.
Smackdown Tag Team Championship Match
Tag Team Turmoil: (Champions) American Alpha vs. The Ascension vs. Breezeango vs. The Usos vs. Vaudevillains vs. Heath Slater & Rhyno
American Alpha hadn’t defended their titles for a month since winning them. They issue an open challenge and all the Smackdown tag teams come out to accept. This eventually leads to this match being made. If we go through the process of elimination, the Vaudevillains, Breezeango and Heath Slater and Rhyno have no shot. The former two teams have been jobbers since coming onto Smackdown. Slater and Rhyno had their time with the tag belts and were almost at the brink of breaking up at one point. It makes no sense for them to get them back now. This leaves The Ascension and The Usos.
Usos have a rivalry with American Alpha and turned heel to go against them. The Ascension looked strong with a win in a 12 man tag match on Smackdown itself. This is all a smokescreen though, as there’s just simply no case to be made for anyone but American Alpha. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if they make another open challenge for Wrestlemania while they are at it, as well. – Sean Garmer
Winners AND STILL CHAMPIONS: American Alpha
Other Staff Member Predictions: Everyone Else Also Picked: American Alpha.
Smackdown Women’s Championship Match
(Champion) Alexa Bliss vs. Naomi
A nice story was told with Naomi consistently getting wins on Alexa Bliss before Naomi’s untimely injury sidelined her. Then, upon her return, she gets the pin on Alexa in the six woman tag at the Royal Rumble to finally earn this match. Alexa Bliss has the character nailed down. She has a certain thing with her promos that just work. She sells the “I’m above you,” “I don’t know you” so well, it makes you feel bad for Naomi. On the flipside, Naomi has all the athleticism in the world, something Alexa lacks. However, Naomi may be feeling the glow, but Alexa outclasses her outside the canvas.
There’s always the chance that WWE pulls a surprise, just to do it. However, I can’t imagine WWE thinks Naomi is ready to carry that belt quite yet. Especially, since the future of this title is up in the air. Whereas, on RAW things seem set as to where they are going with the women, Smackdown could come up with anything. I feel they keep things the same for now. Alexa retains, perhaps with some shenanigans so they have another match to hype up on Smackdown Live. – Sean Garmer
Winner AND STILL CHAMPION: Alexa Bliss
Other Staff Member Predictions: Paul, Thomas, Noah Alexa Bliss. Aaron P Naomi.
WWE Championship Match
Elimination Chamber Match: (Champion) John Cena vs. AJ Styles vs. Dean Ambrose vs. Bray Wyatt vs. Baron Corbin vs. The Miz
The Not So Contenders
We have a bunch of interesting things going on in this one. Obviously, Baron Corbin stands on his own. They’ve done a decent job over on Smackdown of letting you know that he pretty much hates everybody. I’d wager that he gets an elimination or two (possibly eliminating Dean to set up an IC Title feud.) Despite that, he isn’t winning.
Both Dean and The Miz still seem to have some tension, and that’s all well and good. Dean had some choice words on Smackdown for Miz, and that does seem like it does still have some steam left in it. However, we all know that Dean won’t become a double champion, and I wouldn’t mind seeing him and Baron work some over the IC Title. I think The Miz is primed for a feud for the WWE Championship. Although, Cena has no chance in hell of walking out with the title. So, I don’t know that Miz matches up well with anyone else. Cena and Miz have so much history, they could have a much different feud based on whre they are now. Leaving lots of call backs from their earlier feuds. In short, neither The Miz or Dean are walking out of the chamber with the belt.
AJ Styles and John Cena seem to be in constant orbit around each other, and when you watch them work together, it’s not hard to understand why. They have fantastic matches, segments, promos, and pretty much anything else as well. I’m sure AJ will get the big high spot in the match, and it could very well be to Cena. However, I think that neither of them walks out of the Chamber with the belt either. In fact, I think Cena eliminates Styles, and leaves himself alone with Bray at the end.
The Real Winner
This brings us to Bray Wyatt. The Eater of Worlds has been involved in the most interesting feud on Smackdown for some months now. It seems we are destined for a Wyatt vs. Orton for the strap at Mania. In my opinion, the feud absolutely deserves it. Bray pinning Cena, also would be a nice win, going back to when he lost to Cena at Wrestlemania XXX. – Paul Leazar
Winner AND NEW WWE CHAMPION: Bray Wyatt
Other Staff Member Predictions: Thomas Grim: AJ Styles. Sean, Noah, Aaron P Bray Wyatt.
Overall Thoughts Part 1
I am looking forward to this PPV. To me, Smackdown have beaten RAW for every brand exclusive event. Having one Chamber match shall be more than beneficial to the overall picture. There could potentially be a few swerves thrown at us too. Especially being WrestleMania season and all. Anything can happen in the WWE….. Anything. – Aaron Patel
The show itself has a chance to be pretty good. The determining factor is the plethora of women’s talent all over it. This could make the show a good show or a really bad show. – Thomas Grim
Overall Thoughts Part 2
On paper, this show looks to be a one match card. However, the rest of the card does a great job of showing off the other strong part of Smackdown’s roster, their Women’s Division.
All of those matches are well built. Even if the build for Nikki and Nattie seems like something you’d see on Jerry Springer. I’m particularly looking forward to the Women’s Title match, (pending that Naomi doesn’t try to go overboard, as she can get botchy when she does.) Mickie and Becky could be great too. Sadly, the tag team division needs a ton of work. I’m hopeful we get somebody else besides American Alpha looking strong in the Tag Turmoil. Overall, I’m excited for the show. But I remain wary about how underwhelming the undercard could be. – Paul Leazar
Overall Thoughts Part 3
While the Elimination Chamber match should be a fun extravaganza, the event as a whole is a bit murky. Tag Team Turmoil could be a good, chaotic affair, but it could also be a sloppy and overcrowded mess. All three women’s contests have potential, but without proper time, they could also end up on the wrong side of mediocre. Orton vs. Harper is great on paper, but due to it being a stopgap for Orton before headlining Wrestlemania, it has an obvious finish in a match we’ve seen all too often.
Ziggler vs. Kalisto and Apollo Crews also has good talent within it. However, the bout seems upside down with the heel being forced to wrestle 2-on-1. The Chamber match should be fun too. There’s also a chance this event may be lackluster. However, Smackdown Live has proved me wrong before. Especially, when it comes to putting on a great show. – Noah Mooney
Farewell For Now
This concludes our WWE Elimination Chamber 2017 Preview. Thank you for reading and we will be back in March for WWE Fast Lane. You can also listen to Sean, Paul and Gary Vaughan preview Elimination Chamber 2017 on the latest Wrestling 2 the MAX episode.