At Elimination Chamber 2017 on Sunday night, John Cena, Randy Orton and the rest of the SmackDown LIVE roster will make their last PPV stop before WrestleMania 33. If Cena can survive the Elimination Chamber Match, he’ll move on to defend the title against Orton at Mania. But The Viper will have to go through Luke Harper at Elimination Chamber before he gets to Orlando in April.
Meanwhile, the SmackDown Women’s Division will have three separate matches, including a title match between Alexa Bliss and Naomi. Trying to remain relevant and atop the division will be the four females in singles grudge matches at Elimination Chamber, including Nikki Bella vs. Natalya and Becky Lynch vs. Mickie James.
John Cena (c) vs. AJ Styles vs. Dean Ambrose vs. Bray Wyatt vs. Baron Corbin vs. The Miz
WWE Championship Elimination Chamber Match
When trying to predict a winner for Sunday’s main event, there’s only one question that really matters: who does WWE want Randy Orton to face at WrestleMania 33 for the WWE Championship? There would be no real rationale for The Miz or Dean Ambrose to win. In fact, they’re more likely to face each other for the IC title at WrestleMania. Baron Corbin makes sense as the winner if WWE wants to pull a huge swerve. It could certainly be argued that AJ Styles is the best worker in the WWE right now, and he had arguably the best 2016 of anyone in the WWE. Bray Wyatt vs. Randy Orton would be the easiest match to build a feud around in six weeks. Of course, it’s been a few years since Cena was part of a truly marquee match-up at WrestleMania, and the WWE could try to sell John Cena vs. Randy Orton as a match-up equal to Stone Cold vs. The Rock or Hulk Hogan vs. Randy Savage.
The WWE Championship at WrestleMania 33 could very easily end up being a Triple Threat Match. Shane McMahon told AJ that he would get a rematch aside from the Elimination Chamber Match. If John Cena retains on Sunday, AJ could convince Shane to add him to the title match at Mania, setting up John Cena vs. Randy Orton vs. AJ Styles. If Bray Wyatt manages to capture the title, Cena could invoke his own rematch, setting up Bray Wyatt vs. Randy Orton vs. John Cena.
Prediction: Baron Corbin wins the WWE Championship
Alexa Bliss vs. Naomi
SmackDown Women’s Championship Match
With Charlotte Flair, Sasha Banks, Paige and Bayley all on the Monday Night Raw roster, the SmackDown Women’s Championship is sometimes viewed as the lesser of the two women’s titles. The update that Naomi gave her look and gimmick has made her the most popular with the WWE Universe that she’s been since the days of the Funkadactyls. If she’s ever going to win the title, now might be a good time for her to do so — that way, she can drop it at WrestleMania 33 to whoever WWE sees as the true future of the SmackDown Women’s Division.
Prediction: Naomi wins the SmackDown Women’s Championship
American Alpha vs. The Usos vs. The Vaudevillains vs. The Ascension vs. Breezango vs. Heath Slater & Rhyno
SmackDown Tag Team Championship Turmoil Match
American Alpha have really hit their stride in the blue brand’s Tag Team Division, and there’s no one else on the SmackDown roster who appears ready to take their place. After a successful Tag Team Turmoil Match, Chad Gable and Jason Jordan can start building towards their first WrestleMania moment.
Prediction: American Alpha retain the SmackDown Tag Team Championship
Randy Orton vs. Luke Harper
There is absolutely no reason to think that Luke Harper will get a win over Randy Orton on the last PPV before The Viper headlines WrestleMania. However, Harper has been known to step up and deliver a very solid match, and a good outing against Orton at Elimination Chamber could help elevate Harper to a higher level as he tries to establish himself without The Wyatt Family.
Prediction: Randy Orton defeats Luke Harper
Dolph Ziggler vs. Apollo Crews & Kallisto
It’s rare for the WWE to put a heel on the short side of a Handicap Match if they aren’t a monster like Braun Strowman. It doesn’t seem like Crews or Kallisto are really headed anywhere in WWE anytime soon, while Ziggler just went through his major heel turn. Ziggler has made repeated use of steel chairs while running into Crews and Kallisto, which means the most common of WWE weapons is likely to play into their match at Elimination Chamber. While it’s possible that Ziggler could simply get disqualified after growing frustrated with wrestling 2-on-1, it seems more likely that he’ll use it without the referee seeing.
Prediction: Dolph Ziggler defeats Apollo Crews & Kallisto
Becky Lynch vs. Mickie James
The winner of this match and the Nikki Bella/Natalya match have to be the two top contenders for the SmackDown Women’s Championship, especially if Alexa Bliss successfully defends her title against Naomi. While Becky Lynch may be the better performer of the two in 2017, Mickie James has to be considered one of the Top 5 women wrestlers of the Attitude Era, alongside talent like Lita and Trish Stratus. Either Lynch or James could very conceivably challenge for the title at Mania, especially with a win after this match.
Prediction: Mickie James defeats Becky Lynch
Nikki Bella vs. Natalya
With rumors surrounding Nikki Bella regarding her possible retirement and John Cena popping the question at WM33, it’s hard to tell what direction WWE is going to go with her career. It’s hard to believe that the Bella/Nattie feud will continue after Elimination Chamber, so it seems likely that Nikki will walk away with the victory here before beginning a new program on her way to Orlando.
Prediction: Nikki Bella defeats Natalya
Mojo Rawley vs. Curt Hawkins
Taking after his mentor Zack Ryder, Mojo Rawley managed to turn his social media buzz into some additional WWE airtime. After a Twitter exchange with Curt Hawkins over his Patriots fandom and friendship with Ron Gronkowski, Rawley and Hawkins managed to work themselves onto the Elimination Chamber 2017 Kickoff, which is certainly better than nothing at all. Curt seems to be paying his dues since returning to WWE, while Mojo looks to begin his first singles push since being called up from NXT.
Prediction: Mojo Rawley defeats Curt Hawkins
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Where to Watch WWE Elimination Chamber 2017
WWE Elimination Chamber 2017 airs live on Sunday, February 12 from the Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, Arizona. The show can be streamed live via the WWE Network beginning at 8/7c. The Elimination Chamber 2017 Kickoff will begin on the WWE Network and WWE’s other digital platforms at 7/6c. For fans unable to watch WWE Elimination Chamber 2017 live, it will be available to stream immediately on-demand via the WWE Network.
[Featured Image by WWE]