WWE Elimination Chamber 2012 Preview By John Canton, Andrew Johnson & Christian Michael
John Canton: Welcome to the Elimination Chamber preview by the TJR crew. This year's February PPV features two Elimination Chamber matches with both the WWE Title and World Title on the line. There's also what the Ambulance Match that will likely be the blowoff match in the John Cena/Kane "Embrace the Hate" feud. Does this year's Elimination Chamber event excite you?<!--more-->This year's Elimination Chamber PPV doesn't excite me too much, but make no mistake about it I'm genuinely excited for WrestleMania this year. I think WrestleMania 28 could be one of the best WrestleManias of all time as long as the card shapes up like a lot of us are expecting. I'm literally counting down the days until my plane lands in Florida so I can enjoy the experience. It's just that this show, the way it's been built up, has not done a great job in terms of making me want to watch Elimination Chamber. That doesn't mean I think it will be a bad show. I just don't think they've done a great job in terms of making it an unpredictable show. A lot of the matches don't make me care about this show. They make me care more about WrestleMania. Joining me for the preview are TJR's Andrew Johnson & Christian. We'll run down every match on the advertised four match card and let you know who we think will win every match on the show. I'd expect an additional two or three matches added to the PPV although I'm not about to guess what those matches will be. Let's roll. World Title: Smackdown Elimination Chamber Match - Daniel Bryan vs. Big Show vs. Cody Rhodes vs. Wade Barrett vs. The Great Khali vs. Santino
Christian Michael: This match might contend with the Elimination Chamber from the awful December to Dismember PPV as the worst Elimination Chamber Match ever. You knew it wasn’t going to be pretty when the WWE inserted The Great Khali into the mix but with Randy Orton now out with an injury and his replacement being Santino Marella, this could be awful. The sad part is after taking a look at the roster, Jack Swagger is the only real viable option if you consider that Christian, Alberto Del Rio and Mark Henry are injured and they’re keeping Sheamus out of the match because he won the Royal Rumble. There’s only so much Daniel Bryan, Cody Rhodes and Wade Barrett will be able to do to make this one entertaining. The Big Show is decent in spots but not someone that can carry a match. I think the door is wide open for Daniel Bryan to get his first credible win as World Heavyweight Champion. It would do wonders for him heading into WrestleMania if he could get The Big Show to tap out to end the match. I really don’t see any other options than Bryan walking out as Champion.Projected Winner and STILL World Heavyweight Champion - Daniel BryanAndrew Johnson: Oh my God, I have so many things I want to say about this, mainly the Santino being in it part. But, if I tell you now then I won't have anything to say for my Smackdown Review, so you're just going to have to wait. But, there are a few other things I'd like to talk about.First, It's no secret that the talent roster is pretty shallow at this point, and the people in this match prove it. Don't get me wrong, for the most part I really like this line-up. Daniel Bryan, Wade Barrett, and Cody Rhodes are personal favorites of mine (especially Cody) and Big Show is very capable and entertaining when he wants to be. Four out of six isn't bad. The problem is that for most other people, especially the casual viewer, who is there to cheer for? You've got Big Show who will most likely get the majority of cheers, The Great Khali whose idea of dancing is moving his arms up and down, and a guy with a stocking designed like a cobra on his arm. A cobra. I know Mick Foley won the WWE Title with a sock on his hand, but that was after spending 2 years in death matches and getting his ear ripped off by a combination of physics and f**king Vader. All Santino has done is march around the ring playing an invisible trumpet and growing a unibrow. It's not really the same thing. My point is that while I'll enjoy it because it has three guys I heart against one guy I like, one guy I'm ambivalent about, and one Punjabi nightmare, most other people might not feel the same way. What I think is going to happen is it's going to reflect in crowd reactions and buyrates, and WWE will do what they always do; panic and lay the fault on the shoulders of the one guy that always gets the blame; the champion. So yeah, make sure you cheer loudly for this match if you're going to be there, because if you don't we might get a 3 way dance at Mania for the title between The Big Show, Randy Orton, and Shaquille O' Neal. Anyway, since I think the triple threat at Mania is the most likely possibility at this point, let's go with Sheamus vs. Randy Orton vs...Winner: Daniel BryanJohn Canton: If Daniel "YES!" Bryan doesn't leave this match as the World "YES!" Heavyweight "YES!" Champion then the creative team is making a big mistake. The Smackdown roster is full of injuries with guys like Rey Mysterio & Sin Cara out with long term knee injuries, Christian out with an ankle injury although he could make a surprise return, Mark Henry dealing with a number of different ailments and Randy Orton being out with a concussion. As far as I've been told by somebody that would know, the concussion is legit. As a result, this match is filled with two guys in Khali & Santino that should be nowhere near this match, really. You can justify the spots of Rhodes, Barrett & Big Show obviously, but the other two are there for comedy in Santino's case and because Vince loves big guys in Khali's case. That hurts the match before it even begins. After Sheamus won the Royal Rumble, I said that would likely mean Bryan vs. Orton vs. Sheamus for the World Title at WrestleMania 28. I thought they'd get there by having Orton win this match, but that can't happen now. They can find some other way to get there. For that to happen, Bryan has to win here. I think he will. Winner: Daniel BryanWWE Elim Chamber 2012: Bryan v Barrett v Rhodes v Khali v Santino v Big Show. Who wins?
Divas Title: Beth Phoenix vs. Tamina Snuka
Christian Michael: This one could surprise a lot of us. Tamina is pretty solid in the ring and we all know how great Beth is. This could turn out to be one of the better Divas matches we’ve seen in a while. The truth is that Tamina is just a hold over for Beth until the Glamazon puts the silver butterfly on the line against Kharma at WrestleMania. Or at least that’s what I hope.Projected Winner and STILL Divas Champion- Beth PhoenixAndrew Johnson: I've been on the Tamina band wagon a couple of weeks now, and regardless of how in-experienced some people on message boards might claim she is, I think she's a perfectly suited opponent for Beth. She's got a legit lineage that she can fall back on (see sudden addition of a last name) she's gives off a really cool Klingon vibe that makes me think she's going to rip out her opponents jugular with her teeth, and I like her Snuka Splash, regardless of the fact that it doesn't look like a Snuka Splash. She's f**king Congo, fellas. She's a beast. Just give her some leopard print trunks and have her carry a spear and this whole thing will go from a prospectively decent women's match to a possible time-traveling lesbian fight porn. Anyway, she's not winning. I like her, but it's not happening. Say hello to Awesome Kong for me when you see her at Mania, Beth.Winner: Beth PhoenixJohn Canton: Congrats to Tamina for getting enough of a push that she now has a last name. Much like Kelly, Eve & Alicia, she will fall to the dominant divas champion. It could be a pretty good match because Tamina has improved rapidly, but it will end with the Glam Slam for the champion. I'd expect to see Kharma back on Raw on Monday night to set up the build for the Beth/Kharma showdown that is likely to happen at WrestleMania 28. No farting, please.Winner: Beth PhoenixWWE Elim Chamber 2012: Beth Phoenix vs. Tamina Snuka. Who wins?
Ambulance Match: John Cena vs. Kane
Christian Michael: It seems people are pretty split on the story surrounding John Cena and Kane. I actually like it. As soon as Eve jumped out of the ambulance I knew she’d wind up kissing Cena but it showed a heelish side to Cena that he let the kiss go on and not try and pull away. You can’t be making out with your boy’s girl. That’s one of the rules of The Bro Code. I can see Cena finally snapping by the time WrestleMania rolls around with all the stuff going on around him. As for the match, I thought their Royal Rumble encounter would be a fun brawl and it sucked so I have no expectations for this match. Eve will probably play some part in it but anything other than Cena winning would be the wrong move this close to his showdown with The Rock.Projected Winner- John CenaAndrew Johnson: I love how WWE has completely discarded all rationality when it comes to this story. The Kane/Eve/Cena/Ryder love (Square? Rectangle? Diamond? I don't know) whatever has recently gone from terrible horror movie trope to absolutely INSANITY. It makes you wonder what Kane's goal was all along here. Was the plan to get Eve and Cena to fall in on-camera love so that Ryder could be broken both physically and emotionally? Is Kane using his Red Lantern ring to make Cena see that hate is brewed from true love's kiss? Is Eve a Star Sapphire? Is Cena a confused Hal Jordan? If so then Zack Ryder is either a Blue Lantern and his back brace is just a construct of blue energy powered by hope, or he's a Black Lantern because he should be f**king dead by now. I'm leaning more toward the latter. Either way, it's all very confusing. But, that doesn't mean I haven't been enjoying this train wreck in a Troll 2
kind of way. It doesn't really matter though, because this feud is just a place-holder anyway. I think on Monday John Cena is just going to wake up in bed, discover The Rock taking a shower, and realize the past few months have just been a horrible dream. Winner: John CenaJohn Canton: Embrace the hate! I like Cena. I like Kane. I don't really like this feud. Kane has a lot of feuds like this that are either really good or really poor for a number of reasons. Remember the feud with Edge when the babyface Edge kidnapped Paul Bearer and was kind enough to take him to every show while he was kidnapped as a way to torture Kane? That was an awful feud. It's all about the writing, peeps. There were good moments in this feud like when Cena saved Eve from an attack around ringside and assaulted Kane with the steel steps. It made Cena look very heroic. I applauded WWE for doing that. Too often, though, it's come off as cheesy like when Kane tried to kidnap Eve on Raw, she kissed Cena, Zack Ryder saw it and Kane claimed that Cena embraced the hate because he went after Zack's girl. Then it ended with Kane throwing Ryder off the stage while he was still in his wheelchair. Now we're supposed to pay money to watch Cena get vindication for the guy that he once treated like a friend, but this past week treated like an idiot when he decided to make out with his girl crush? Odd feud. Cena has to win here. He should have won last month too. The shady finish was silly. He's in the main event of WrestleMania. He should be beating everybody in an easy manner going into the match against The Rock. There shouldn't be DQ's or countouts as results. He should win matches. The Ambulance Match stipulation is okay, but Last Man Standing would have been better. It would have been more beneficial to Cena to beat Kane by beating him so bad that he couldn't stand up anymore. The Ambulance stipulation means he has to put the guy into an Ambulance and close a door. It's not that exciting from the visual standpoint isn't it? Anyway, Cena will win here as he should. Then the focus will be on WrestleMania 28 with The Rock, who returns to Raw in two weeks. That's what I'm looking forward to. By the way, don't be shocked if this match goes on last. It's not the WWE Title match, but it is a John Cena match that he's likely going to win. He's in the last match at WrestleMania. It would be wise to put him in the last match here too. Cena wins. Winner: John CenaWWE Elim Chamber 2012: John Cena vs. Kane. Who wins?
WWE Title: Raw Elimination Chamber Match - CM Punk vs. The Miz vs. R-Truth vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Chris Jericho
Christian Michael: The members of this match will make it much more entertaining than the SmackDown one, that’s for sure. This match is about two men though, CM Punk and Chris Jericho. It seems pretty obvious that’s where WWE wants to go with the WWE Championship Match at WrestleMania and that better be where they go. Who the hell cares that everyone knows? It’s all about the execution of the story. You can’t tell me you didn’t know that Batman would trump The Joker in The Dark Knight. And it still turned out to be one of the best movies I ever saw. Back on topic. I can’t decide if Punk will win and they’ll get Jericho the title shot another way or if Jericho will win and they’ll get to the match by Punk taking his rematch. This should be a lot of fun and the runaway Match of the Night but I think it would be better for Punk to carry the gold into WrestleMania so that’s who I’m going with.Projected Winner and STILL WWE Champion - CM PunkAndrew Johnson: I've started and restarted this paragraph a dozen times, but I keep deleting it because I really don't know what to say about this match that hasn't already been said by more talented people than myself. It's a chamber match, and it's full of guys that I like, but I'm not really excited about it. The reason being that in all honesty I can't really see anyone other than Jericho or Punk walking out as champion, and for me that's a problem. Now I need to be careful in these next few sentences because I might come across as someone that hates predictability, because I'm not. I'm hoping for a Jericho/Punk match at Mania just like a lot of other people are, and for WWE to throw a curve ball and have someone like The Miz win and defend against Punk at Mania would just for the sake of being unpredictable is stupid. A good story should never be sacrificed just because some of us can see the ending. But, it's a double edged sword, because this is a match that relies on unpredictability as it's ambiance. In all honesty it doesn't matter if Jericho or Punk win, because their only responsibility is to just get to WrestleMania with one of them as champion. For the others though, they're just filler. Dolph is great but he's not going to win, R-Truth is insane, Kofi is an on-screen admitted after-thought, and The Miz has been put in the dunce chair ever since he almost murdered R-Truth by mentally going over his grocery list (baby oil, spray-on tan, Linkin Park CD, TapOut shirt to wear to the gym and nowhere else) when he should have been catching the flipping crazy man.Will it be a good match? Probably. All of the performers are talented and capable Superstars, and it should be a lot of fun. But, there's no urgency, and I'm fine with that as long as I get the story I've been promised on television for the past few weeks. But, whatever, don't listen to me. I just want to have my cake and eat it too.Winner: CM PunkJohn Canton: I think they need to have one of the Elimination Chamber matches be a #1 contender match because in this case the winner really doesn't matter because we already know it's likely going to be Punk vs. Jericho at WrestleMania. There are very few people out there that believe Ziggler, R-Truth, Miz & Kingston have a chance in this match. Why should anybody believe in them? They haven't been booked as threats to win this match. They're there because they've sniffed the main event in the last year or in Kingston's case because he was a babyface in the midcard that can have a great match. This isn't me complaining about the wrestlers. I like all six guys. I think the quality of the match will be very good. It's just that when you have a match where six guys are fighting for the biggest prize in the company you have to book all of the guys in a strong manner. That hasn't happened here. The "debate" on Raw didn't do much to draw up interest either. When it comes to picking a winner there are really only two options: Punk or Jericho. Like Christian and Andrew pointed out above, the option is to either have Punk retain and somehow get Jericho the singles match at WrestleMania or have Jericho win with Punk getting his rematch at WrestleMania. I'm going with Chris Jericho winning here. Call it a hunch. I just think it makes things more interesting if Jericho's holding the WWE Title and Punk is the one that has to chase him for it. At WrestleMania, no matter who is champion going in, I'd expect Punk to win that match. Despite the predictability of this match, considering the talent of the guys involved I'd say it will be a very good Elimination Chamber match.Winner: Chris JerichoWWE Elim Chamber 2012: Punk v Kingston v R-Truth v Jericho v Miz v Ziggler. Who wins?
--------------John Canton: That's all for the preview. Enjoy it if you're watching on Sunday. I will not be seeing it live because I'll be out for a friend's birthday party, but I will watch it and hopefully write some kind of recap on Monday or perhaps later in the week. You can join TJR's Thomas Briggs on Sunday night at thejohnreport.net
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