Last night at the WWE Royal Rumble, Shinsuke Nakamura was able to eliminate Roman Reigns and earn his spot in one of the main events for WrestleMania. After his match, Nakamura announced that he chooses to fight AJ Styles in what might be the best match on the entire show. However, that means that the number one contender to Brock Lesnar and his WWE Universal Championship needs to be determined and Kurt Angle announced the plans to determine Lesnar’s opponent in an interview released on WWE’s YouTube page today. According to Angle, the number one contender to Lesnar and the WWE Universal Championship will be determined at the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view in February.
Monday Night Raw Qualifying Matches
According to Kurt Angle, the challenger for Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania will not be given to any wrestler, and he will make the wrestlers earn the shot. As a result, the winner of the actual Elimination Chamber match in February will earn the title shot against Brock Lesnar. Tonight on Monday Night Raw, there will be three qualifying matches.
Those matches will see Matt Hardy take on Elias, John Cena battle Finn Balor, and Braun Strowman take on Kane in a Last Man Standing match. There will be three more qualifying matches coming at a later date to fill in the final three spots. One of those will surely include Roman Reigns, who is expected to fight Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania. WWE.com reports that the Big Dog is fighting Miz tonight in a rematch for the Intercontinental Championship.
The WWE Road To WrestleMania Starts Tonight On Raw
As always, the WWE Road to WrestleMania begins the night after the Royal Rumble and that is the case tonight. Those three matches will likely play a large role in the upcoming WrestleMania show, not only for the Brock Lesnar match but other matches as well. For one thing, John Cena is not expected to win the Elimination Chamber match and this is the time to determine if Cena or Balor will end up getting the shot.
John Cena eliminated Finn Balor from the Royal Rumble match last night. This match stems from that, but one wonders if Elias might be the better option. There is some speculation that John Cena vs. Undertaker is still planned for WrestleMania this year, and if Undertaker shows up tonight, he could cost Cena this match and his chance at Brock Lesnar and a record-breaking world title win.
As for Elias, he has suddenly gotten over huge as a heel and could elevate his status in the WWE even more if he beats Woken Matt Hardy and has a good showing in the Elimination Chamber cell.
The final match of the three should finally end the Braun Strowman vs. Kane feud and the image of Strowman in the Elimination Chamber is intriguing. However, the WWE has been careful not to have Braun Strowman lose by pin, and he would have to if he makes it to that match.
Regardless, almost all WWE experts realize that Roman Reigns will wrestle Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania as the WWE has set this matchup since the night after WrestleMania last year when Paul Heyman pointed out that they were the only two men who pinned Undertaker at a WrestleMania event and needed to see which is better.
WWE Monday Night Raw airs tonight at 8 p.m. EST on USA Network.