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WWE Elimination Chamber 2014 Predictions & Preview: Orton defends, Shield vs. Wyatts, More!

Predictions for every match on the card RIGHT HERE.

WWE returns to pay-per-view (PPV) tomorrow night (Sun., Feb. 23, 2014) live from the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with its Elimination Chamber event starting at 7:30 p.m. ET with the free live streaming pre-show featuring the Rhodes Brothers taking on Rybaxel leading right on into the PPV main course at 8 p.m. ET.

It's a decent enough line-up.

For starters, we've got Randy Orton defending the WWE world heavyweight title inside the chamber structure against John Cena, Sheamus, Daniel Bryan, Christian, and Cesaro. Elsewhere, The Shield take on The Wyatt Family, the New Age Outlaws defend the tag team titles against The Usos, and more!

Luckily for you Cagesiders, our staff of learned wrestling blowhards is here to help figure out just how the event is going to play out with predictions for each match on the card.

Let's get to it.



Randy Orton vs. John Cena vs. Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Christian vs. Cesaro

The General: It's entirely possible we'll get some Authority nonsense to get Bryan out, Christian will go out right after, Cena will get screwed via Wyatt Family run-in, Cesaro will end up going late with a good showing, and Sheamus will survive to the end to put Orton over for the finish. Pick: Orton

Hulk Holland: I don't think it makes much sense to take the title off Orton at this point, not when we're this close to WrestleMania. The longer "The Viper" has it, the more "special" it will feel when Mehtista someone of consequence pins him for the strap. That said, a goofy finish would not shock me, especially with all the corporate shenanigans going on over the past few weeks. Pick: Randy Orton

Sean Rueter: Well, let's see. To the chagrin of me and at least two or three other peeps, it's not going to be Christian. Seriously, though, there's not much doubt or suspense about the winner. Or the fact that some sort of Authority-related shenanigans will doom our boy D-Bry. That was all already booked on Cageside Live. But I'm still interested in how what goes down in the Chamber will lead to what comes next for Cesaro, and if it sets up whatever they're going to have Cena doing at Mania. Plus, I get a kick out of the concept, and I like how it's their most protected match type these days. Pick: Randy Orton

Keith Harris: Randy Orton is currently on a major losing streak having been pinned on television by three of his Chamber opponents and losing to another by disqualification since the Royal Rumble. Could WWE have telegraphed who's going to win here any worse, unless The Viper has quietly been sent to the doghouse? Given WWE's parity booking on top, Orton is the safe bet to win here. Pick: Randy Orton.

Kanenite: At first glance it is obvious that Sheamus, Cesaro, and Christian have no chance to win this one. If WWE is really searching for a way to insert Daniel Bryan into the rumored Batista/Orton program at WM 30, then one obvious way to do it would include Bryan winning the championship here, and then having Orton execute his rematch clause for WM 30. But all of this build up in recent weeks relating to Orton's lack of momentum and his losing history in chamber matches seems to indicate that Orton will win this match. That would also send Bryan and Cena each into WM 30 with 3 consecutive PPV losses. Pick: Randy Orton

The Shield vs. The Wyatt Family

The General: I'm not sure what this match will look like once they actually get in the ring and lay it all out. I'm expecting big, big things, though, considering Bray Wyatt is apparently moving on to a feud with John Cena while The Shield are getting really close to breaking up. This match should further both causes, so the Wyatt clan is going over via some miscommunication within the hounds of justice. If they put this together and execute as well as usual six-man tags, though, this is going to blow the roof off the Target Center.

Hulk Holland: I think the Wyatt Family takes this one for no other reason than something happens to cause The Shield to lose. And by "something," I mean the kind of thing that would cause them to break up and let Roman Reigns have his run at the top. But will it be some dastardly deed orchestrated by Dean Ambrose? A pod-like replacement under the ring? The possibilities are endless ... and intriguing. Pick: The Wyatt Family

Sean Rueter: Do I have to talk about it? Can't it just happen already? One concern is that it somehow won't live up to the massive expectations that so many of us have for it, but I don't think that will be a problem given the Hounds track record of never having a bad match ever, even ones including Kane. No, my biggest fear is that they'll rush The Shield break-up and have Ambrose and Reigns come to blows. But the build has shown them to be focused on the task on hand, so they look smart enough to avoid that. No, I'm going to put my usual anxiety aside and just kick back and enjoy a special match. Pick: The Wyatt Family

Keith Harris: Breakups might be the theme of the show. If The Shield don't implode tonight, then they soon will and this match will be a piece in the puzzle of getting to that inevitable final destination. Meanwhile, The Family Wyatt has to look stronger than ever before, as Brother Bray has John Cena in his sights. It's obvious who has to go over here. Pick: The Wyatt Family.

Kanenite: This is the match with all the major buzz surrounding it. The Shield are on the clear path of eventually splitting up, so the Wyatts seem to be the safe bet to win this one. However, I don't think the full-blown Shield breakup will occur just yet. Ambrose is going to try to take the spotlight away from Reigns late in the match, and this miscommunication will lead to a Wyatt victory. I think the formal split of The Shield will be saved for a TV angle later on the road to WrestleMania 30. Pick: The Wyatt Family

Batista vs. Alberto Del Rio

The General: If this is anything more than a glorified squash, I'll be shocked. Then again, I'll be impressed if Del Rio can manage to create some doubt of the eventual outcome during this match. Pick: Batista

Hulk Holland: Man, if they allowed you to bet on professional wrestling matches, I would wager my entire collection of vintage WWF magazines on the outcome of this waste of time (and space). Vince didn't spend millions of dollars on a budding movie star just to have him lose his first "official" match back. And Alberto Del Rio winning wouldn't even be considered a swerve, because no one cares either way. Fuck this match. Pick: Mehtista

Sean Rueter: I'm trying to think what could make me care, and I can't decide if I would be more into it if they just had a shoot fight, or if Dave came out in Drax make-up and Bertie wore his Dos Caras, Jr. mask. I know! A shoot fight between Drax and Dos Caras, Jr! Pick: Batista

Keith Harris: If Batista is a little chihuahua, then Del Rio by comparison must be dog food then. He's going to get guzzled up again here. They can't job CM Punk out, but they can his Mexican counterpart. Pick: Batista.

Kanenite: There is no way in hell that Batista will be booked to lose this fight. This one should honestly just be 4 minutes of endless skinny jean Batista Bombs. If instead it goes 12 minutes, then they are going to have to plan for 50% of the match to be rest holds because Batista probably can't go more than a few minutes right now without falling apart. Can they stick Rey Mysterio on the apron so that a blown-up Batista has someone to tag in? I'd much rather see Del Rio versus Mysterio. Pick: Batista

Big E vs. Jack Swagger

The General: There is no good reason for Swagger to win this match and, in turn, the Intercontinental title. Big E has been treading water lately, though, and the mid-card is in turmoil as far as the two titles sitting there. The original idea, to unify the Intercontinental and U.S. titles, is something they could go back to for WrestleMania, especially if The Shield are broken up by then. But that makes this a stop gap. Seems clear to me. Pick: Big E

Hulk Holland: Not only did Jack Swagger do nothing to earn this title shot -- outside of subbing Kofi Jobston -- there's absolutely no reason for him to be a champion. He's in a tag team with Antonio Cesaro (for now) and just needs something to do while his partner plays with the big boys. To that end, what little credibility is left of his name will be a nice rub for the champ, who retains and makes Zebby mad in the process. Pick: Big E

Sean Rueter: The champ needs some time to establish himself as a character. But as much as I think it would be easier for him to do that without the seemingly cursed white and gold strap, there's nothing in Swagger's ascent to #1 contender status that makes me think he'll be the one to part Big E from his title. No, the Oklahoman probably will disappoint Zeb yet again. And then Creative may or not remember to use that story point in the future. Pick: Big E

Keith Harris: Although Swagger's stock has risen in the past month solely by virtue of being Cesaro's tag team partner, who's been on a roll since the Rumble, that rub only goes so far. The only plan in his future is to be a stepping stone for Cesaro when he turns babyface. WWE management sees a much brighter future in Big E, thus he retains. Pick: Big E.

Kanenite: I guess Big E should be the obvious winner here. WWE has tried and failed so many times with Swagger already; there's very little upside in feeding Big E to Swagger. However, Big E has no story right now. He just walks out on Raw, gives bad commentary and awkward promos, gets pinned in 6-man tags, and then beats jobbers on Main Event. Meanwhile, Swagger has the "Zeb slapped him in the face for motivation" story going on. The rise of Cesaro also elevates the importance of Swagger at least a little bit, as Swagger could win the title here and have bragging rights over a Cesaro who fails to win gold in the chamber match. This could lead to a split between Cesaro and Zeb/Swagger and a feud over the IC Title. Sorry Big E, but you don't need the IC Title to continue beating jobbers on Main Event. Pick: Jack Swagger

New Age Outlaws vs. The Usos

The General: The entire idea behind bringing back the New Age Outlaws and putting the tag team belts on them was nostalgia for the Attitude Era as WWE inches towards the launch of the Network. Well, that happens Monday night, so while The Usos should win the titles soon enough -- maybe they hold off until WrestleMania for that -- they won't do so here. Pick: Outlaws

Hulk Holland: Uh huh. There is nothing "new" about these "outlaws" and I think that became apparent about two matches into this surprisingly protracted title run. And here I thought I would never have anything negative to say about Old School RAW. Sigh. Anyway, the expiration date reads 1999, so expect the young high flyers to grab the gold and yell all sorts of Samoa-type things in the process. Pick: U! So!

Sean Rueter: I desperately want The Usos to win. They're over, they've shown steady improvement in the heart tells me they deserve their first taste of WWE gold. But my cynical, cynical mind thinks that tag wrestling is still an afterthought for the powers-that-be, and the proof of that is that the last three champions have featured Attitude Era stars that Creative didn't have anything else for rather than organic teams of young wrestlers. But I'll go with my heart and hope for the best. Pick: The Usos

Keith Harris: This is a clash of the past against the future of the WWE tag team division. But what does the present bode? Given The Old Age Outlaws friends in high places, the future will have to wait. Pick: The New Age Outlaws.

Kanenite: All logic and common sense dictates that The Usos should finally capture the gold here. But the Usos have walked away as losers in every single PPV match of their WWE career, starting back in 2010. And when you consider that Jimmy and Jey each scored singles victories over the Outlaws during the week leading up to this show, the rules of opposite momentum mandate that the New Age Outlaws will escape Elimination Chamber holding the gold. Pick: New Age Outlaws

Darren Young vs. Titus O'Neil

The General: I've enjoyed everything they've done so far but I'm worried the actual match is going to die a slow death if it's given any real time. Even if they want to, fans haven't been given much reason to care about Young. O'Neil is charismatic as all get out but his heel work isn't nearly as entertaining as his babyface stuff. I expect the feud to end here, even if it shouldn't, so the good guy wins. Pick: Young

Hulk Holland: Well, Titus O'Neil got his push, probably just to shut him up, but I still think he loses to Darren Young. It's easy to book a heel off a loss, because they can bitch and moan about getting robbed and cheated. But if the face falls on the big stage, especially one with lukewarm heat like Young, than it validates all the stuff his ex-partner said about being dead weight and essentially buries him. Too risky. Pick: Darren Young

Sean Rueter: Somebody's getting their "sink or swim" moment, and someone's needed at Be A STAR rallies. Pick: Titus O'Neil

Keith Harris: Apparently, O'Neil has been lobbying Vince McMahon for ages for a heel turn and singles push. Finally, his boss gave in and this is his time to shine. Sadly Young's only purpose in life seems to be to tread water on the WWE undercard so they can roll him out for their Be A Star anti-bullying campaigns. Pick: Titus O'Neil.

Kanenite: This is a match that the crowd will be completely dead for because WWE has spent the last few years telling us that these two guys aren't worth caring about. It is going to take more than a few weeks of mid-card booking for that perception to change. Titus will win here because he is the potential future star of the duo. Pick: Titus O'Neil

Cody Rhodes & Goldust vs. Ryback & Curtis Axel

The General: Word on the street is WWE is getting word out to make new merchandise for Ryback. My hope is this means he's about to get a push, though I'm not entirely sure I would want that push to happen if he continues tagging with Axel. There are even bigger questions regarding what's next for the Rhodes brothers. They could band together, win a few matches, and challenge for the titles at WrestleMania. Or they could break up and finally do that feud Goldust wanted so badly not long ago. I'll go with the former, which means the heels go over here. Pick: Rybaxel

Hulk Holland: This could actually turn out to be one of the better bouts on the card ... and it's free! Especially if Ryback does the air-keyboard down the entrance ramp and then goes back up to the top rope during the match. Cody Rhodes and Goldust can both put on a show, Curtis Axe-dull can hold his own and we have THE BIG GUY. What's not to like? Probably the finish, which goes to the faces so we can saunter into the PPV feeling good about life. Pick: The Rhodes Bros.

Sean Rueter: Ryback's gimmick needs a push, but Cody and Goldy shouldn't be booked like chumps just weeks after they were champs. I suppose it comes down to whether you believe that Dusty's boys will face each other at Mania, and I'm leaning towards no, if for no other reason than I don't know that they'll make it onto the schedule. Pick: Cody Rhodes & Goldust

Keith Harris: Are we really supposed to believe Goldust when he says he won't face his brother at WrestleMania, even though they teased their breakup in the Royal Rumble match? Given that most things uttered on any WWE performer's Twitter account about storylines is a work, the odds don't look good for the Rhodes Brothers here. Pick: Ryback & Curtis Axel.

Kanenite: There's really no story here, so I hope something is added to spice this match up a bit. Maybe Miz will get involved and complain about being left off of his usual spot on the pre-show. Maybe Wade Barrett will offer live commentary during the match and dump all over Curtis Axel's nipples. Maybe Fandango and The Great Khali will come out and turn the match into a dance off. Or maybe nothing extra will happen and it will simply be a straightforward win for the good guys. I don't think Cody and Goldust are going to break up in a pre-show match where nothing is on the line. Pick: The Rhodes Brothers


Those are our predictions, Cagesiders. What are yours?

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