Elimination Chamber match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
Randy Orton (c) vs. John Cena vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus vs. Cesaro vs. Christian
Simple psychology here, Cagesiders. WWE World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton has lost to John Cena, Daniel Bryan, Cesaro and Sheamus in the run up to tonight's Elimination Chamber match. Surely then, this is the night that he'll finally lose his coveted title as there's nowhere for him to run or hide in the mammoth cage?
Probably not, as the only title opponent they've teased for the 2014 Royal Rumble winner Batista at WrestleMania 30 is his former Evolution buddy, the old Legend Killer.
John Cena beating everyone he's been put against in the pay-per-view buildup is usually a sign that they're protecting him before he has to do a rare job.
Daniel Bryan comes into the event with an injured shoulder at the hands of corporate Kane, who'll surely screw him again if the unthinkable occurs and he's on the brink of championship victory.
The infighting between Sheamus and Christian will likely cost both men dear.
Although Cesaro has received the biggest push of his career in the last four weeks, he just seems to be here to make up the numbers and make the real stars look good.
The road to Elimination Chamber
The Authority wasted no time after the Royal Rumble in immediately announcing on the Jan. 27th Monday Night Raw that Randy Orton would have to defend the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, which he retained against John Cena at the pay-per-view thanks to the interference of the Wyatt Family, in an Elimination Chamber match at the event named after that gimmick.
Then they dealt with the permanent goat faced thorn in their side, Daniel Bryan, mocking his losing effort to Bray Wyatt and explaining their warped logic in keeping him out of the 2014 Royal Rumble match. Pushed to his boiling point, Bryan got in Triple H's face and told Hunter that he wouldn't leave until he put him in the Elimination Chamber:
But The Cerebral Assassin had a trick up his sleeve left to play, calling on his hired help The Shield to teach him a lesson and get him out of his hair for good, which was scuppered when John Cena and Sheamus came to Bryan's aid:
This led to a trios match between the two rival factions where the winners would be entered into the Elimination Chamber. Despite Roman Reigns powering out of John Cena's STFU finisher, the good guys were victorious by disqualification when The Wyatt Family attacked The Cenation Leader again:
On the Jan. 31st episode of Smackdown, Randy Orton's other two Chamber opponents were determined thanks to two qualifying matches. First, Antonio Cesaro cleanly defeated former World Heavyweight Champion Dolph Ziggler with the giant swing and the Neutraliser:
However, Cesaro's Real American comrade Jack Swagger failed to join him in the cage when he lost to the returning Christian after a top rope splash put him down for the three count:
A paranoid Randy Orton claimed on the Feb. 3rd Raw that The Authority by booking him to defend the WWE title in an Elimination Chamber match were clearly out to get him. Miffed by his constant complaining, Triple H suggested that his intransigence may cause them to back another pony as the face of WWE and Stephanie McMahon told him he would have to face all his Chamber opposition in non-title singles matches before the pay-per-view event.
First up was Daniel Bryan who took out The Authority's Director of Operations Kane with a drop toe hold into the steps before pinning Orton with his Busaiku Knee finisher. However, Kane got his revenge after the match by chokeslamming Bryan straight to corporate hell:
The emerging feud between Bryan and his former tag team partner Kane continued on the Feb. 7th Smackdown, despite a disingenuous apology by The Authority's powerful henchman. Kane booked Bryan in a match with Antonio Cesaro, which he won with the Yes Lock, but the corporate stooge distracted the hairy troll during his victory parade, allowing Cesaro to attack him from behind and plant him with the Neutraliser, and then Kane gave him another chokeslam for good measure:
Meanwhile, Randy Orton got back on track by pinning Christian with the RKO in the same good match they've had dozens of time before:
By the Feb. 10th Raw, Orton had got the message as he was back to kissing The Authority's asses. Equally as unsurprisingly, Daniel Bryan had not, demanding an immediate match with Kane, but Stephanie McMahon revealed that he was conveniently on administrative leave for the week and had been sent a strongly worded letter of reprimand for attacking Bryan twice last week. The leader of the Yes Movement then tried to stir the pot by reminding Hunter of Orton's past assault of Stephanie, leading The Viper to ask permission to punt him in the head, but Triple H told him that wouldn't be necessary as he was giving Bryan the night off due to his agitated state.
Later that night, Christian and Sheamus formed an unlikely alliance heading into Elimination Chamber and defeated The Real Americans when Sheamus pinned Jack Swagger with the Brogue Kick:
Despite his administrative leave, Kane still appeared on the show, sorrowfully accepting his punishment and claiming he had acted of his own volition in an ill-advised manner, which allowed Daniel Bryan to get a small measure of payback by beating him up as the crowd chanted "Yes!" in unison:
The main event of the evening provided more evidence that Orton would need The Authority on his side to retain the title at Elimination Chamber, as he lost to John Cena by pinfall after a top rope leg slice and the AA:
Cracks already started appearing in the union between Christian and Sheamus on the Feb. 14th Smackdown when they teamed up with Daniel Bryan to face The Shield. One accidentally misplaced Brogue Kick to Christian's ugly mug was all it took for Dean Ambrose to pin Captain Charisma, as Roman Reigns took care of the distracted Celtic Warrior with a quick Spear out of nowhere:
Cesaro then proved himself as a real threat to win Randy Orton's belt by convincingly defeating The Viper in the main event with a top rope sunset flip powerbomb, running European uppercut and the Neutraliser:
Back from his suspension, Kane was in charge on the Feb. 17th Raw and he booked Bryan vs. Christian, Cena vs. Cesaro and Sheamus vs. Orton in a preview of this Sunday's action.
Bryan kicked things off by defeating Christian despite an injured shoulder from all the chokeslams he had taken of late by countering a Kill Switch attempt with a skillful rollup:
However, Kane trying to stack the deck against Bryan, then booked himself in an immediate match with the victor, in which he intentionally took the disqualification loss in order to further injure Bryan's shoulder by bending it on the ring post and throwing and kicking it into the steel steps:
Cesaro couldn't follow up his big win over Orton with another one against Cena, but he took him to the limit in an amazing match before falling victim to a stiff clothesline and the AA:
Finally, Sheamus defeated Randy Orton by disqualification when The Shield attacked him as he was preparing to hit the Brogue Kick on the champion, which led to a giant schmoz involving all the Elimination Chamber participants, The Shield and The Wyatts brawling as the show went off the air:
A taped up Daniel Bryan had to wrestle twice on the Feb. 21st Smackdown too. First he came back from behind to defeat Jack Swagger with the Busaiku Knee:
Kane then booked Bryan to face Cesaro again, which he won via disqualification when Kane chokeslammed him for the third time, allowing the Swiss Real American to leave him laying with another Neutraliser:
The Elimination Chamber hype concluded with Sheamus gaining some much needed momentum for tonight's cage match by pinning Christian thanks to countering the Kill Switch with the White Noise, but shockingly was pushed off the top rope by the frustrated Canadian from behind as he celebrated his big victory:
What's at stake?
The WWE World Heavyweight Championship, the opportunity to take on the returning movie star Batista in the official main event of WrestleMania 30 and the right to be considered the face of WWE in the run up to their biggest show of the year, of course, Cagesiders.
For the losers, their opponents at Mania will likely be determined by the manner of their defeat in the cage. For example, the Authority and The Wyatt Family could both respectively get involved somehow to cost Daniel Bryan and John Cena the gold.
Thus, you really should stay tuned to CagesideSeats.com tonight for complete results and live coverage of the entire Elimination Chamber event.