Elimination Chamber 2017: Match Card and Predictions
Before we can get to the biggest WWE event of the year, there are a couple quick stops on the road to Wrestlemania. The first one is the Smackdown brand-exclusive event, Elimination Chamber. There is a lot at stake here, as the winner of the final match will go on to face Randy Orton at the main event of Wrestlemania. Here are all the matches for the show as well as our predictions.
[Update 2/10: Mojo Rawley vs. Curt Hawkins was added to the card]
Mojo Rawley vs. Curt Hawkins (Kickoff Match)
To kick things off at Elimination Chamber, one half of the Hype Bros, Mojo Rawley, takes on Curt Hawkins during the event's preshow. The rivalry began when Hawkins mocked Rawley's friendship with New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski. Hawkins also took to social media to fan the flames, saying, "Yo, Rob Gronkowski. You didn't even play! You[r] involvement in the Super Bowl was kinda like Mojo Rawley's NFL career: nonexistent."
It’s finally nice to see both of these wrestlers involved in a rivalry that--at its very least--is entertaining. Considering that the Patriots just won the Super Bowl, we're predicting Rawley will win this one, with Gronkowski being involved in the match. The tight end is no stranger to WWE, as he used to show up to NXT tapings, when Rawley was a part of the developmental program.
Our prediction: Rawley wins after a Gronkowski distraction.
Apollo Crews & Kalisto vs. Dolph Ziggler (2-on-1 Handicap Match)
Kicking off the event is the recently turned heel Dolph Ziggler taking on both Apollo Crews and Kalisto. Ziggler is on the warpath, attacking everyone in his way; however, Kalisto and Crews will not stand for it any longer. Ziggler told Smackdown GM Daniel Bryan that he could beat both men, so Bryan booked this handicap match.
We're still in the "feeling out" period with Ziggler since his heel turn. A loss to Ziggler could continue this rivalry, but we see a better outcome. A win for Ziggler could further inflate his ego. The win would go to his head and help fill a midcard spot that the Miz seems to be leaving for the main event.
Our Prediction: Ziggler wins
Becky Lynch vs. Mickie James
Since Mickie James returned to the WWE, she's been making Becky Lynch's life a living hell. This storyline has been fantastic, especially when you consider it features someone from the Divas Era, which now feels like a dirty word. James was one of the highlights of her time, and she's raising the bar for the new generation of women's wrestling. We're thinking this will be one of the highlights of the night.
This match could go either way, but as you may have guessed with our Ziggler pick, we're giving this one to James for very similar reasons. Because we're building towards Wrestlemania, it would be better to have a heel (James) on top so the face (Lynch) can seek their revenge on the biggest stage of the year. Plus, having James with an ego boost until then will make for some really interesting television.
Our Prediction: Mickie James wins
Nikki Bella vs. Natalya
Ever since Survivor Series, a rivalry has been building between these two wrestlers. Natalya attacked Nikki Bella prior to the Survivor Series match, and the two have been battling each other in the ring and backstage for months. Come Elimination Chamber, these two will finally battle it out, one on one.
If this match wasn't on the card, you probably would have completely forgotten about the rivalry. There isn't a lot at stake here, aside from pride, so it's hard to call which way this is going to go. Regardless, we're giving this to Nikki Bella as this seems like the end of the story.
Our Prediction: Nikki Bella wins
American Alpha (c) vs. The Usos vs. Heath Slater & Rhyno vs. Breezango vs. The Ascension vs. The Vaudevillains
(For the Smackdown Tag Team Championships)
This match is going to be amazing or terrible. There will be no middle ground. Everyone wants the Smackdown Tag Team Championships, so every tag team from the brand will be involved in this match. They will not all be in the ring at once though. It begins with two teams, then when one is defeated, another team takes their place.
As much as we'd love to see Breezango or the Vaudevillains win the belts from American Alpha, we have a strong feeling that The Usos will end up winning this match. American Alpha has done a great job as champions, but the reestablished Usos will come out on top.
Our Prediction: The Usos win
Alexa Bliss (c) vs. Naomi
(For the Smackdown Women's Championship)
Elimination Chamber will have three women's matches on the card, which is huge. Naomi is one of the few Divas Era stars that has both tremendous talent in the ring and on the mic. Her spot during the women's tag match at the Royal Rumble was its only highlight. Now, she finally has a chance at the title, taking on Alexa Bliss.
It's apparent we're putting all of our money on Naomi here. We're really enjoying Bliss as champ, but this feels like the right time for the WWE Universe to "Feel the Glow." She's the most entertaining female ring performer on Smackdown and deserves to wear the title.
Our Prediction: Naomi wins
Luke Harper vs. Randy Orton
The last match to be added to the card was Luke Harper taking on Randy Orton. The Wyatt Family storyline has been the highlight of Smackdown as of late. Harper doesn't trust Orton, and it's made Harper turn on Bray Wyatt. This may not conclude the rivalry, but it's what we need to see to push the story forward.
After seeing Harper's amazing promo on Smackdown, we think he has a bright future ahead of him as a solo act, and this match is his opening push. However, we think that Orton is going to win this one, by way of interference by Bray Wyatt, setting up something bigger, come Wrestlemania.
Our Prediction: Randy Orton wins after Bray Wyatt interfers
(For the WWE Championship)
Finally, John Cena has to defend his WWE Championship in an Elimination Chamber match just two weeks after he won it at the Royal Rumble. He'll be taking on Baron Corbin, Dean Ambrose, AJ Styles, Bray Wyatt, and The Miz in the chamber, which is one of the most unforgiving matches in WWE.
There are lots of rumors that Cena is on his way out of the company. We'll most likely see him at Wrestlemania, but we don't think he'll be taking on Royal Rumble winner Randy Orton in the main event. We see Wyatt winning the belt, then going onto the biggest WWE event of the year to defend it against Orton, his current ally.
For a more in-depth look at the chances each competitor has to win, check out our Elimination Chamber match predictions video.
Our Prediction: Bray Wyatt wins