Hello 411 guys, gals, enbies, and everyone else! Welcome to 411’s WWE Elimination Chamber 2020 preview! I’m Jeremy Thomas as always, and it’s time to take a look at the latest WWE PPV on the Road to WrestleMania. This year’s Chamber matches seem a little less thrown-together than we’ve had in recent memory, and while we only have five matches that will hopefully give the ‘E plenty of time to make the most of each of the bouts. Anyway, let’s jump in and see what’s currently on tap, shall we?
This is a very random, last-minute match put together assumedly to deal with the fact that Asuka vs. Lacey Evans doesn’t seem to be happening. (Of note: that match is still advertised on WWE.com but I don’t think Evans is in fighting shape anymore. Just saying.) It gives Belair and Banks a bit of time as they prepare to feud on their way to WrestleMania, but it’s also hard not to notice that it’s almost the same thing they did with Asuka and Charlotte Flair. I don’t think even WWE is going to be that cut and paste to have Banks and Belair pick up the win so they can lose them later to further their feud, so I expect the champions to retain, likely by babyface miscommunication. As for the match quality — listen, how much do we expect out of these Tag Title matches during Baszler and Jax’s reign? Belair and Banks will bump all they can, but this will be passable at best, with no likely title change.
WINNER: Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler (STILL WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions)
My first thought was that this would give Keith Lee a title win, before the report late last week that his status for the match is “up in the air.” That said, he is still advertised for the match and I have to go based on that. I don’t think WWE sees Riddle as ready for a title reign yet, as he’s certainly not being treated like much of a threat against Lashley. By the same token, it feels like Lashley desperately needs an opponent for WrestleMania and he’s had the title long enough that if they’re going to hotshot any title from the Chamber to ‘Mania, it would be this one. The match should be solid, as all three of these guys can go. I’m probably wrong here especially considering the questions about his status, but I will go out on an limb and say Lee becomes the new champion.
WINNER: Keith Lee (NEW WWE United States Champion)
I would honestly be surprised if the Smackdown Elimination Chamber match didn’t start the PPV. In WWE PPVs based around gimmick matches, the company does generally like to have one kick off the show and one close it (although there have definitely been exceptions). And between the Chamber matches, I think this has the least potential drama surrounding it because of what happens with the winner. There are a lot of talented performers in here, as well as King Corbin. Easy joke, I know, but if there is a “One of these things is not like the other” situation, Corbin is the guy who stands out as least able to put on a compelling match. And that’s fine; he’s just filler in this match to give it an equal number of babyfaces and heels. He’s not winning, nor are Sami Zayn or Cesaro who are in here to add an interesting element to the match. The only real potential winners are Owens, Uso, and Bryan; and the result depends on where Edge is going for his WrestleMania match. If he goes after Reigns, Owens makes the most sense to cap off their feud for now. If Edge challenges someone else, Reigns will need a match for WrestleMania and Uso or Bryan are possibilities. The match should be a lot of fun; Chamber matches usually are. I have a feeling we’re getting Edge vs. Reigns, so I’m going to go Owens here although I could be wrong.
WINNER: Kevin Owens
In my scenario, the TBD is of course Owens based on the above prediction. While they could wait and put this match on later, I think they will almost certainly have it take place immediately after the Chamber match to play into Reigns’ character. Now, going into alternate possibilities, if Bryan or Uso win I could maybe see them doing a shocking title switch, as Reigns’ hubris in setting this whole thing up comes back to bite him in the ass with a roll-up or the like. Or I could see Edge get involved and cost Reigns the win as payback for Smackdown’s ending, and thus giving us a Bryan vs. Edge match while Reigns goes on to battle Uso for not coming to his aid. While that bit of fantasy booking is intriguing, I still think that they’re going with Edge vs. Reigns and that puts Owens here. If it comes directly after the Chamber match, there’s no reason for this match to go on further. It’s just an angle to further Reigns’ dominance heading into WrestleMania, and Owens will probably get a bit of offense in but should fall in pretty short order.
WINNER: Roman Reigns (STILL WWE Universal Champion)
Would WWE take the Championship off Drew McIntyre just over a month before WrestleMania so that they can build a feud to the PPV? I very much doubt it. There is absolutely the possibility that we could get a Sheamus or AJ win here to set up one of them vs. McIntyre in a rematch, but the hotshot title switch doesn’t make much sense unless Vince wants to reeeaaally stretch out there to get McIntyre a WrestleMania title win with fans in attendance. At this point, McIntyre retaining would be just as big of a moment. Much like the Smackdown Chamber match, this has a lot of good hands and I expect it to be an enjoyable affair, as Chamber matches usually are. But also like the other Chamber, we have only a couple of options. Hardy and Kofi are there to be workrate horses, and Orton is still in his feud with The Fiend and Fiendess. That leaves Styles and Sheamus, and the smart money does seem to be on Sheamus since that’s the long-term storytelling that’s been set up. I expect McIntyre to retain, only to have Sheamus go apeshit after the fact and really destroy him to close out the PPV.
WINNER: Drew McIntyre (STILL WWE Champion)
And that’s all we have for the Elimination Chamber! It should be a good show, with a decent amount of focus and a couple of good titular matches. While there’s always the chance to disappoint, I’m feeling optimistic here (I know, a strange notion for the 2020s) so here’s hoping they can deliver.
Anyway, thanks once again for reading, and remember that we will have live coverage of WWE Elimination Chamber courtesy of the one and only Scott Slimmer, right here on 411mania.com. I’ve gotta run — no GIF this month, sorry. It’s been a hell of a weekend.