Headed into the 2019 Elimination Chamber there are 4 main stories dominating the WWE:
1. The Women’s Tag Team Championships. Despite their being Women’s Tag Team Championships in the ‘80s, WWE is promoting this as the first ever women’s tag titles. The champions will be decided in an Elimination Chamber match between the Boss & Hug Connection (Sasha Banks & Bayley), Nia Jax & Tamina, The Riott Squad (Liv Morgan & Sarah Logan), Naomi & Carmella, the IIconics (Peyton Royce & Billie Key), and Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville. Sasha Banks & Bayley are easily the favorites to win, but putting the belts on a heel team would make a lot of sense heading into Wrestlemania season.
2. The WWE World Heavyweight Championship will also be contested inside the Elimination Chamber at this year’s event. Daniel Bryan will defend his newly debuted ‘Renewable Sources’ belt against AJ Styles, Jeff Hardy, Randy Orton, Samoa Joe, and the recently added Kofi Kingston. Kingston was named as a replacement for the injured Mustafa Ali this week on SmackDown Live. With Kofi and Hardy in this match, there will be no shortage of exciting spots. There’s no clear favorite to win this one, but expect to see some storylines coming out of this match that will carry into Wrestlemania. Daniel Bryan’s new gimmick is getting a tremendous amount of heat, so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him retain.
3. The absolute hottest story in WWE and possible all of wrestling right now is Becky Lynch. Lynch has been working her way towards a match with Ronda Rousey for months now, and at January’s Royal Rumble she earned her chance. She was slated to wrestle Ronda at Wrestlemania for the Raw Women’s Championship, but Monday night, Vince McMahon suspended her for 60 days for attacking Stephanie McMahon and Triple H the previous week. This should keep her out of the picture until after mania, so Vince replaced her in the match against Ronda with Charlotte Flair. In the coming weeks it’s likely that Lynch will somehow win her way back into the match making it a triple threat, and hopefully the first ever women’s match to main event Wrestlemania. However, neither Charlotte nor Becky are on the Elimination Chamber card. Ronda Rousey will defend her title against Ruby Riott of the The Riott squad, so it wouldn’t be too surprising to see one of them show up to attack the champion.
4. The WWE Universal Championship is the company’s main title, and with Brock Lesnar as the champ, set to face Seth Rollins at Wrestlemania, it’s incredibly disappointing, but not surprising, that neither the title nor either wrestler is on the card this Sunday.
The Cards Elimination Chamber Match for the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships: Nia Jax and Tamina vs. The Riott Squad (Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan) vs. Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville vs. The IIconics (Billie Kay and Peyton Royce) vs. Bayley and Sasha Banks vs. Naomi and Carmella
Prediction: I think WWE is going to do the right thing here and give the belts to Sasha and Bayley. I think they’ll likely lose them between Sunday and Wrestlemania, but those two women have been rock solid through some terrible booking over the last few years and it’s time to reward them for it.
Elimination Chamber Match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship: Daniel Bryan (c) vs. AJ Styles vs. Jeff Hardy vs. Randy Orton vs. Samoa Joe vs. Kofi Kingston
Prediction: As badly as I (and a lot of fans) want to see Kofi walk out with the belt, him being a late replacement makes that seem highly unlikely. Daniel Bryan has a fresh new gimmick that has gotten extremely over. His hemp and renewable source custom championship belt and his save the planet attitude has made him one of the top heels in WWE after being a top face for so long. There is no reason for him to drop the title right now and I see him retaining, not only here but all the way to Mania.
Smackdown Live Tag Team Championships: The Miz and Shane McMahon (c) vs. The Usos (Jey Uso and Jimmy Uso)
Prediction: I have to think the eventual goal of this Miz/Shane team is to have them breakup and face off at Wrestlemania.add to that the Rumors that have recently been swirling that the Usos are looking to leave the WWE, and it makes putting the belts on the twins make the most sense. Try to keep one of your top SmackDown Live tag teams happy, and kickstart a Wrestlemania program for two big names, The Miz and Shane McMahon. Yea, Usos take the titles and the Miz turns on McMahon after the match.
WWE Cruiserweight Championship: Buddy Murphy (c) vs. Akira Tozawa
Prediction: As always, this match will set the bar the for the event. There will be some incredible spots, especially if the chamber surrounds the ring for the entire event. The cruiserweights, while always impressive, never get enough time or recognition to show the world what they can really do. That being said, Murphy is likely to retain, but the fact that this isn’t on the preshow means that these athletes are starting to get people’s attention.
WWE Raw Women’s Championship: Ronda Rousey (c) vs. Ruby Riott
Prediction: I expect that Riott can get a really great match out of Rousey, but there is no way they are taking the title away from Ronda right now. She will stay the champ until Wrestlemania. Hopefully we get a post match beatdown from Charlotte Flair and maybe some interaction with Becky Lynch. I could see Becky coming to save Ronda from the Charlotte beat down, which leads Rousey to lobby for Becky to be added to the Mania match.
Intercontinental Championship: Bobby Lashley (c) and Lio Rush vs. Finn Bálor
Prediction: Personally, I do not understand the appeal of Lashley. Li0 Rush is an excellent heel on the mic, but that team just does nothing for me. Across the ring from them will be one of, if not THE, most under-utilized wrestler in WWE. My hope is that they make Bálor a champion, and if they do he will likely pin Rush to do it, that way they can keep Lashley strong. That being said, it is a handicapped match, so Lashley retaining seems most likely, although it does nothing for anyone involved.
Braun Strowman vs. Baron Corbin
Prediction: This will certainly be the low point of the night. Strowman was blasted out of a cannon into the main event, and over the last few weeks he has been squashed back to… well, this, a match against Baron Corbin. Braun will absolutely win this match, and hopefully will start heading back into the main event picture on Monday’s Raw.
Overall Prediction: There aren’t too many matches on this card, so expect the two chamber matches to go for 45 minutes or more. Hopefully the women absolutely steal the show and continue to grow the popularity of the Women’s division. We will likely see foundations start to be laid at the Elimination Chamber event, and the following weekly shows, for stories that will culminate at Wrestlemania, which is now less than 50 days away!