We’re just a day away from WWE Elimination Chamber. I’m hyped as it’s one of my favorite pay per views, excuse me premium live events, of the year, but also, I’m very confused about a lot of things. Ordinarily, I feel like I have a sense of where WWE may be going with a plotline (CC: 2022 Royal Rumble), but heading into Elimination Chamber, I have no idea what the hell Vince McMahon and company will choose to do in the title men’s match. To be honest, I don’t even know what they should do. I keep going back and forth. So, let’s talk this out, specifically as it relates to Brock Lesnar and Bobby Lashley.
Yes, I realize other people are in the Elimination Chamber, but in my opinion, there are only two possible outcomes here that make sense. One, WWE can keep the belt on Bobby Lashley and let him continue to develop as one of the key players in the company. Two, WWE could let Brock Lesnar win the Elimination Chamber and make the WrestleMania main event a title versus title match with Roman Reigns. There are serious pros and cons to both of these approaches. So, let’s break it down…
Will Bobby Lashley Win?
Let’s put aside the Lesnar stuff and talk about Lashley here for a minute. In my opinion, he has developed a ton over the past few years. His general aura is very intimidating and champion-like. He has a confidence and swagger about his work both inside and outside the ring. That’s huge because his promos used to be a little stiff, which is why he relied so much on MVP. Not anymore. I’m not saying he’s The Miz or even Chad Gable, but he more than holds his own now.
I think he could be a star with many long, extended title reigns in his future. The idea of knee-capping his momentum right now does not sit well with me. I want to see him keep developing and stay at the top of the card. If he’s improving on a monthly basis, maybe he can keep going to the point where you develop another long-term star. And besides, why would you give him back the belt only to have him drop it a month later?
That being said, Lashley doesn’t really have an obvious opponent for WrestleMania. There’s not a ton of time here to set up a meaningful title match. That doesn’t mean it can’t be done. There are other great wrestlers who will need something to do at ‘Mania, but it’s not ideal for your WWE Champion to defend his title at the biggest event of the year in a match that doesn’t have a ton of heat. Maybe they can set something up in the time between Elimination Chamber and ‘Mania that will be compelling. Maybe they can use the Elimination Chamber match itself to launch something – maybe with Seth Freakin’ Rollins? I’d say Riddle, but we need to see Alpha Academy and RKBro at ‘Mania.
Will Brock Lesnar Win?
Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar are, I think pretty clearly, the top two draws in WWE right now. With all due respect to Ronda Rousey and Charlotte Flair, this is going to be the match WWE sells WrestleMania on, and there’s nothing Vince McMahon loves more than turning the dial up as much as possible on WRESTLEMANIA (said in that over-the-top way Vince prefers). Having a champion versus champion main event would be a great way to hype this already big match up even further.
Plus, even if you set aside the champion versus champion part of it, WWE wants to make Lesnar look as strong as possible heading into ‘Mania. Roman Reigns is going to roll over Bill Goldberg at Elimination Chamber (or at least he better…), and there would be no better way to make Lesnar look strong than by having him win the Chamber match. And conversely, you don’t want to make him look weak by losing. He can’t get pinned cleanly after a heads up fight with Austin Theory as a precursor to ‘Mania.
All that being said, I don’t really think Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar need the title versus title angle to make it interesting. There’s already the Paul Heyman angle, and there’s already the fact that both of these superstars have a good buzz around them. People are already hyped (like my co-worker). Plus, it’s hard to imagine Lesnar holding both titles at once. I mean how often is he even going to wrestle post-’Mania? I can see him holding one belt, but he’s not going to carry the torch for both Raw and Smackdown. So, in a way, the title versus title thing, I think, makes him even less likely to win at WrestleMania. So, really, the whole purpose would be to make Roman look even stronger (which I don’t hate because he’s amazing).
WWE, for some strange reason, does not allow me to book the matches. I’ve also been wrong more times than I can count about WWE’s creative choices; so, the short answer is I don’t know. The long answer is I think Bobby Lashley is going to win the Elimination Chamber. I think he deserves to extend his run at the top of the card, and I think WWE is going to resist the urge to unify the titles because of the long-term complications it would cause (though I’d take an upcoming WrestleMania IV style tournament for the vacated title).
I expect Lesnar to look really strong in this match. I think he’ll pick up several clean pinfalls, but the confrontation between Lesnar and Lashley will be cut short thanks to interference from Roman Reigns. That’ll escalate the tensions between the two ahead of ‘Mania. It’ll keep Lashley as WWE Champion, and it’ll give WWE an excuse to revisit Lashley vs Lesnar down the road since their last two matches ended with interference.
Enthusiastic about Clue, case-of-the-week mysteries, the NBA and cookies at Disney World. Less enthusiastic about the pricing structure of cable, loud noises and Tuesdays.