The first SmackDown exclusive pay-per-view of the year rolls into Phoenix, Arizona on Sunday night and it sees the return of the Elimination Chamber match.
WWE replaced Elimination Chamber with FastLane back in 2015 and even though there was a Chamber event later in the calendar, the concept was completely forgotten last year.
It seems the revival of the SmackDown brand has allowed WWE to bring back Satan’s Structure and now it will play a huge role in determining who will be heading into WrestleMania as the WWE Champion.
Not only that but for the first time in the history of SmackDown there will be three females matches on a pay-per-view as well as matches that will have a huge impact on WrestleMania in less than two months time. This is SmackDown’s final pay-per-view stop on the Road to WrestleMania so expect it to be explosive.
10. Dean Ambrose Will Be At Home Inside The Steel
Dean Ambrose is The Lunatic Fringe and he is happy in matches where the odds are stacked against him and where he can truly cause his opponents some damage. The Intercontinental Champion himself stated that he was going to make some ‘bad decisions’ inside the steel on Sunday night, and it could well be interesting to watch.
The likes of AJ Styles, Baron Corbin, Bray Wyatt, John Cena, and The Miz make up the numbers in that match and even though the odds are stacked against the former World Champion, he will definitely be the stand out performer in this match.
9. Luke Harper Will Invade The Chamber
While this has been done before, it isn’t too much of a stretch to see Luke Harper break into an Elimination Chamber match for the second time. Harper has been the black sheep of the family for the past few weeks and if he manages to defeat Randy Orton earlier in the evening, then it would be easy for him to find a way into the Chamber later on that night.
Harper along with Bray Wyatt and Erick Rowan broke into the Chamber back in 2014 to cost John Cena the World Championship. This time, there is nothing stopping Luke from invading the Chamber and costing Wyatt what could be his best chance at the title to date.
8. Mickie James Will Defeat Becky Lynch
Mickie James made her return to WWE a few weeks ago and has made it her goal to go after all of the women who think that they started the Divas Revolution when she feels that she did many years before.
Becky Lynch was a member of this revolution and Mickie has already cost The Lass Kicker the Women’s Championship when she interfered in her Steel cage match with Alexa Bliss a few weeks ago. While Becky will want revenge, it seems that Mickie needs the win much more if she is still hoping to prove her point.
7. American Alpha Will Retain Their Tag Team Championship
American Alpha were one of the best things in NXT for a very long time. They should have been given the SmackDown Tag Team Championships a long time before they were and now that they have them, WWE can’t be thinking of allowing them to drop the titles in a glorified Gauntlet match.
Many of the teams in this match are only there to make up the numbers. The Ascension BreeZango, and The Vaudevillians have hardly been part of SmackDown for the last few months. The Usos have already had their chance and Heath Slater and Rhyno are not expected to be together for much longer, which means that American Alpha are the only real winners here.
6. Dolph Ziggler Will Defy The Odds
Dolph Ziggler’s heel turn was one of the best creative decisions that WWE has made in a long time. Ziggler had nowhere left to go on SmackDown as a face so the heel turn made sense.
Since he decided to turn heel on Kalisto, the duo has continued to feud over the past month and Apollo Crews decided to step in to help his friend. Ziggler has been able to defeat these two individually, but he will be put to the test on Sunday when he faces them in a Two-on-One Handicap match. Dolph will defy the odds, as he has his entire career as Apollo and Kalisto are no match for The Show Off.
5. Luke Harper Will Prove He’s The Dominant Family Member
After what was a beautiful promo on SmackDown this past week, Luke Harper will face off against former family member Randy Orton on Sunday night as he tries to prove that Orton slithered like a snake into his family and turned them against him.
Harper needs to defeat Orton here to have something to move forward into. Orton already has a WrestleMania main event, Harper has nothing. Although Erick Rowan was said to have been out of action for up to six months in August, it has been six months, so Harper could well have the help of another family member on Sunday night.
4. Tamina Snuka Will Make Her Return
Mickie James has been talking about making a point when it comes to all the women who were involved in the Divas Revolution. Even though she played a small part, Tamina was still part of the revolution and she could well return and come to the aid of Becky Lynch.
This would lead Tamina turning face for the first time in a number of years. But WWE needs to add a dynamic to their current storyline because there is so much going on. Putting all the women onto the same path would be the perfect way to fix all their current problems.
3. Nikki Bella And Natalya Will End Their Feud
Nikki Bella and Natalya were part of an embarrassing video package this week on SmackDown were Natalya decided that if she wasn’t married then John Cena would obviously want her.
This rivalry has become deeply personal and it seems that it could well come to an end this Sunday night with a winner decided between the two women. Nikki hasn’t fared as well as Natalya when it comes to promos with Natalya airing all Nikki’s laundry out for all the world to see. Nikki should defeat Natalya on Sunday and finally end the issues they have between them.
2. Alexa Bliss Will Retain Her Women’s Championship
Of all the women who were promoted to the SmackDown roster from NXT back in July, Alexa Bliss has been the most impressive. She has stepped up her game and as Women’s Champion and she is leading SmackDown in a way that Becky never could.
Alexa faces Naomi on Sunday night, a woman who hasn’t even held the Divas Championship in her lengthy career so it’s unlikely that she will be able to dethrone Alexa Bliss here. Mickie James could also interfere in the match on Alexa’s behalf if she is victorious earlier in the night.
1. The New WWE Champion Will Be A Shock
Let’s be honest, nobody wants to see John Cena and Randy Orton main event WrestleMania again do they? If Bray Wyatt doesn’t win the WWE Championship then it leaves a number of men who could. Baron Corbin eliminated Braun Strowman at the Royal Rumble and then won the Fatal Four-Way between all other competitors this week on SmackDown.
Is it too soon to give Baron the Championship? Could former Champions Dean Ambrose and AJ Styles be in line for another shot? Or could The Miz finally be getting the prize he deserves for his incredible work on the Blue Brand over the past few months. It could well be anybody’s match.
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