Elimination Chamber, a Tournament, and Unpredictability: How We Can Get to WrestleMania While Still Keeping Things Fresh

With the Elimination Chamber PPV coming up Sunday, doesn't everything feel a bit predictable? I mean, we're all thinking the Rock is pretty much guaranteed victory Sunday, right? From there, prevailing feeling is that we're looking at Rock/Cena and Triple H/Lesnar rematch builds until April 7. I don't know about you but all that seems pretty dry to me. We've seen these matches before. We also have a pretty good idea how they'll turn out once we see them again. But what if it didn't have to be that way? What if, this one time, WWE Creative got, well, creative?

Much of this would swing on the very real possibility that the Undertaker just isn't healthy enough to work WrestleMania. Let's say that going into the EC PPV, the higher ups in WWE know that Taker isn't going to make 'Mania. I know, I know. BOOOOO!!! But hear me out. A big whole is shot dead center in their biggest event of the year. The fans will be left with two stale rematches that do, however, contain big names that can draw. Let's not waste these big draws in rehashed matches. Let's utilize them. As Vince would say: It's time to shake things up!

At the Elimination Chamber, chicanery is afoot. The Rock is disqualified or counted out via the machinations of Paul Heyman (and possibly Brock Lesnar) in hotly contested back and forth affair. Punk is holding the WWE title once again (YAY!). On the TitanTron, an image appears of Vince live (on tape) from a hospital bed. He says something about reading the fine print in the contract and Punk will not be the champion. But neither will the Rock. The WWE title is now vacant heading into WrestleMania.

On Raw the next night, it's announced that there will be a six man tournament (SQUEE!!!) at 'Mania to determine the next WWE champion. Three spots are already filled. The Rock, CM Punk, and the winner of the Royal Rumble John Cena (keeping in mind that winning the Rumble just guarantees an opportunity to compete for the title of one's choosing at 'Mania) are all automatic entrants into the tournament. Based on the circumstances, the Rock and Cena are granted first round byes in the tournament. Punk screams that he should be the recipient of bye to no avail. The three remaining spots will be determined by qualifying matches to be held on Raw in the coming weeks.

These qualifying matches could be done any number of ways but the three names that I propose coming out of them are: Brock Lesnar, Chris Jericho, and everybody's favorite show off Dolph Ziggler. I think that these wrestlers, in addition to the three that were already announced, would set up for the most compelling tournament. There would be so many points of intrigue. Where do Paul Heyman's loyalties ultimately lie? Can Jericho pull off a huge title coup one more time? Will it be Punk and not Cena that overcomes the odds this time? If Ziggler loses, does he go all out to cash in for the WHC out of sheer frustration? Does The Shield make their presence felt and, if so, on who's behalf?

All these questions lead to an air of unpredictability that this year's WrestleMania seems to be sorely lacking and, man, I just love a wrestling tournament. I realize that this would take up five matches on the card but I think it would be worth it. Would WWE do something like this? I highly doubt it. But if they did, it would be the most anticipated WrestleMania in recent memory, for me at least. I would love to hear everyone else's thoughts on this ambitious fantasy booking.

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