Ronda Rousey to physically confront Stephanie McMahon as Roman Reigns and Alexa Bliss both triumph: WWE Elimination Chamber predictions
Ahead of Sunday's Network Special, a look at what to expect from the event and how things will unfold on the road to WrestleMania 34.
WWE's latest Network Special, Clash of Champions, takes place at the T-Mobile Arena in the Las Vegas Valley, in Paradise, Nevada, on Sunday. Ahead of the event here are the predictions on what will go down.
Ronda Rousey's WWE contract signing
Now, anyone who has ever watched much WWE programming knows that a contract signing rarely ends well.
There will be a lot of interest in Rousey's first appearance since she appeared at the end of the Royal Rumble, largely as it will make things clearer on where she is heading in terms of activity for WrestleMania 34.
A collision course with Raw Commissioner Stephanie McMahon seems most likely. It makes sense for McMahon to be there given her role. Plus they have history from when Rousey put her in an armbar hold at WrestleMania 31 almost three years ago.
Have McMahon insult Rousey during the signing, leading to the former UFC star pushing, or even trying to get another armbar on McMahon. This would lead to Triple H, McMahon's husband, getting involved, to protect his wife.
There is speculation of a mixed tag match at WrestleMania and this would set the ball rolling nicely. Rousey must stand tall though to ensure her momentum continues.
Roman Reigns to win the Men’s Elimination Chamber against Seth Rollins, Braun Strowman, John Cena, The Miz, Finn Balor and Elias to become the No 1 contender for the WWE Universal title
The WWE has been building to the coronation of Reigns for the past 12 months. Other than being part of a fatal four-way at SummerSlam the WWE have actively kept Reigns out of the title picture with Brock Lesnar occupied with Strowman, Samoa Joe and Kane.
Beating six other men in the Chamber is a good way, in storyline terms, of having Reigns earn his title shot and a rematch with Lesnar after their WrestleMania 31 showdown.
The Miz, Balor and Elias do not have a realistic chance of winning, and they are in there as good workers to help boost the match quality.
Cena will fail and be pinned cleanly, probably by Reigns, to continue the story of him losing his confidence and questioning himself ahead of a probable showdown with the Undertaker at WrestleMania 34.
The WWE have booked Strowman well over the past six months so how he is eliminated from this match will be fascinating. He can take a clean loss to Reigns, but outside interference is also possible, with Triple H getting revenge for his beatdown at Survivor Series being one option.
Seth Rollins is the outsider to win the match if it is not Reigns. But as good as he has been of late, and he was excellent in the gauntlet match on Monday, it will be his Shield brother Reigns who stands tall.
Alexa Bliss to win the Women’s Elimination Chamber for the WWE Raw Women’s Championship against Sasha Banks, Bayley, Mickie James, Sonya Deville and Mandy Rose
This looks like a two-horse race in either Bliss or Banks will leave the chamber with the title.
The WWE have teased a Banks heel turn for a while now, and having her win the belt in nefarious circumstances at the expense of her on-screen friend Bayley would be a major twist and set up either Bayley or Asuka as plausible WrestleMania opponents.
But, the Banks heel turn can still happen without her winning the title. If Banks is eliminated by Bayley during the match, ruining her hopes of being in the title match at WrestleMania 34 it can finally lead to ‘The Boss’ snapping.
The Absolution girls Deville and Rose are new on the roster and are not winning, while James is a red herring due to apparently becoming friends with Bliss, but their union will not last and it will not end with the veteran prevailing.
So that leaves Bliss. She has dominated the Raw title picture since joining the brand last April and she deserves to carry the belt into WrestleMania. Who she will face is less clear but it should be her going in as champion.
Asuka v Nia Jax to end in a double countout in their singles match
This is very odd booking as the WWE really have pushed themselves into a corner here.
Asuka, the winner of the Royal Rumble and yet to lose on WWE programming - both on the main roster and NXT - already has a lot of momentum and certainly must not lose her unbeaten streak before WrestleMania 34.
But the WWE are building up Jax and it seems odd to have her lose just to put over someone who is already very over.
A double countout is not ideal but it would work. Namely Asuka does not lose and if it does right she can look very strong coming out of the match if she takes Jax down, but just not in the ring.
The upside to Jax not losing is she can argue she is entitled to still being in the title picture. If, as is rumoured, Asuka chooses to head to SmackDown to face Charlotte Flair for that brand’s title, Bliss v Jax can be set up easily without having to ignore the stipulation of Jax needing to “beat Asuka” to get the title match.
Sheamus and Cesaro to beat Titus O’Neil and Apollo Crews to retain the Raw Tag Team titles
This is not yet officially announced but it will likely happen and will be the easiest match to predict. This is the classic champions lose on TV but win at the PPV scenario.
O’Neil and Crews have had a couple of wins over the champions and go into Sunday with some momentum.
But there is no way Sheamus and Cesaro are not retaining. They have been great value as champions, and with the Revival, the Club and the Hardy brothers all as potential opponents they will stay strong here.
Matt Hardy to beat Bray Wyatt in a singles match
It would not be unfair to say that the WWE’s incarnation of Hardy’s ‘broken’ gimmick has been a letdown to say the least.
Lack of time on screen and a general presumption that everyone knows the character from TNA has made it a damp squib so far.
Putting with Wyatt is not great. Wyatt is floundering and has not recovered from the awful booking of his feud with Randy Orton this time last year which culminated in one of the worst WWE World Heavyweight title matches at a WrestleMania in recent times.
Hardy should win here because, especially with his brother Jeff back from injury soon, there is more upside to him being kept strong then Wyatt.
WWE Elimination Chamber is on the WWE Network, which is available through OSN, with the action beginning from 4am UAE time.
Updated: February 23, 2018 10:22 PM