The eleventh Elimination Chamber pay-per-view in WWE history takes place this Sunday – these three superstars need to leave the event with their hands raised.
With the Royal Rumble in the rearview mirror – we are officially on the road to WrestleMania.
Currently, WWE has confirmed five matches for the show. Drew McIntyre will defend the WWE Championship inside the chamber, Roman Reigns is set to face the winner of the SmackDown chamber match for the blue brand’s top prize, and Bobby Lashley will put his United States title on the line against Keith Lee and Riddle in a Triple Threat Match.
The majority of these matches have WrestleMania implications – this is not an ordinary B show event.
These three competitors have to be victorious at Elimination Chamber – heading into WrestleMania 37 with momentum is crucial.
Bobby Lashley must overcome the odds and retain the United States title
Triple Threat Matches put the champion at an immediate disadvantage, they do not need to take the fall to lose their title, so Bobby Lashley will need to pull out all the stops to beat Riddle and Keith Lee.
In life, there is a saying that goes, “if it’s not broke, why fix it”, that is exactly how WWE should view Bobby Lashley’s United States title reign.
Since beating Apollo Crews for the US title in August last year, Lashley has been on a path of destruction in WWE. He has beaten Sami Zayn, Mustafa Ali, Slapjack, Apollo Crews, Jeff Hardy, R-Truth, and Riddle. Lashley has only been pinned twice in seven months – one of those was against Drew McIntyre at Backlash last year.
Lashley has not looked better since returning to WWE in April 2018 – his impressive streak must continue until he is given another shot a the company’s most prestigious title. If a match with the WWE Champion, at Fastlane or WrestleMania 37 is not on the horizon, WWE would not have fully capitalized on Lashley’s push. It is great to see him in this spot, he has elevated the United States Championship, but he is capable of more. That title also gives The Hurt Business some credibility – they will lose some of their aurae if he loses this Sunday.
Riddle is one of the two people who have beaten Lashley recently, The “All-Mighty” got his win back a few weeks later.
Lee and Lashley went one-on-one during the November 23rd episode of Raw. That match ended in disqualification when Montel Vontavious Porter attacked the Limitless One.
Lashley has imposed his physical will over both these men. He made Riddle pass out with the Hurt Lock on more than once occasion and put Lee through the announce table two weeks ago on Raw.
Both challengers will win singles gold in 2021 but Elimination Chamber is not the right time for that to happen. Lashley should retain and move onto whoever leaves the red brand’s chamber as WWE Champion.
Cesaro needs his moment in the spotlight – he should win the SmackDown Elimination Chamber match
The Cesaro Section has enjoyed the “Swiss Cyborgs” unexpected push recently – it is refreshing to see Cesaro getting the shine his talent deserves after years of being pigeonholed as a tag team wrestler.
WWE has given Cesaro the platform to express himself on SmackDown. He cut a superb promo on Talking Smack recently, detailing how he feels about getting the chance to fight for the Universal Championship at Elimination Chamber. The passion he showed in that segment is one reason why fans rally behind him – they are desperate to see him succeed in the company.
During that Talking Smack interview, Cesaro said he could not remember the last time he had a title shot – that is probably because his last (televised singles) one was for the Intercontinental Championship against Roman Reigns in 2017.
Currently, WWE does not view Cesaro as Universal Champion material, however, they have realized he is much better than they have been booking him. He could win the belt in the future – especially if he continues on this run.
In this match two years ago – Kofi Kingston had his breakout moment. WWE should do something similar with Cesaro this year. If Cesaro wins the number one contender’s match, after being one of the first to begin it, and lose to Reigns later in the night – it would give him an out.
The former 7-time tag team champion would look strong in defeat, protected as he should be. He was defeated by “The Tribal Chief”, after going through a grueling battle and would have a case for a rematch at Fastlane next month.
WWE has stumbled upon something good with Cesaro in 2021 – which is ironic because he has been with the company for a decade. It is better late than never – but they have to follow Cesaro’s renaissance with a huge win this Sunday. As a solo star – he has a solitary United States title to show for his hard work, he needs to be reward with another honor.
SmackDown fresh lacks challengers for Reigns’ title – Cesaro is the perfect candidate to fill that spot.
Drew McIntyre is a great WWE Champion – he must keep hold of his title.
WWE is often cited for not creating new stars – that accusation can not be leveled at them when it comes to Drew McIntyre.
After winning the 2020 Royal Rumble – McIntyre defeated Brock Lesnar for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania 36 and held that title until October 2020, a whopping 213 days. He was without the title for just three weeks before winning it back. Since reclaiming the gold, McIntyre has beaten the likes of Keith Lee and Goldberg, the definition of a fighting champion.
Elimination Chamber will be his biggest test since recapturing the title. The “Scottish Warrior” defends against five former WWE Champions – including Randy Orton and Sheamus, two of the three men that have pinned him in the last 13 months.
McIntyre is a great champion. He has done his best during difficult surroundings, known as the ‘Pandemic Era’, and came back as soon as possible after contracting Covid-19. He is a locker room leader, that dedication should be rewarded with another lengthy title reign.
The master of the Claymore Kick has earned the right to defend his title on The Grandest Stage of Them All – taking it away from him at this stage does not make sense.
The Scotsman retains and moves onto Sheamus. The Irishman defeated McIntyre on the Go-Home episode of Raw, the latter will seek revenge at either Fastlane or Wrestlemania 37. This rivalry is years in the making – the bitter Irishman chasing his former best friend for the WWE Championship will make for some interesting viewing.