Curtis Axel & Ryback vs. Goldust & Cody Rhodes
They needed something to put on the pre-show, and here were some guys fans would probably recognize that weren't doing anything anyway, so...
The road to Elimination Chamber
The WWE.com preview for this match describes the history between the two teams as "minimal", and, well, they ain't lying. In January, in a world where CM Punk still appeared on WWE television but Batista had not yet made his triumphant return, on a night you might remember for its finish more than a middle-of-the-show, filler match designed to make the then tag champs look good, this storied rivalry was born...
In the month or so since, The Brotherhood lost their belts and the rematch for those belts to New Age Outlaws. Heck, Cody almost lost his life. Meanwhile, the former Paul Heyman guys have, well, still mostly been losing. But at least there have been no signs of dissension between them, which differentiates them from 99% of the other tag teams on the main roster now.
So, hey, Ryback will probably tweet something hilarious and/or concuss someone, Axel will work a solid, unremarkable match that will infuriate Geno Mrosko, Goldust will work as if there's a year difference between he and his brother's ages instead of sixteen and Cody's going home to Brandi, so who cares what else goes on with him.
What's at stake?
In kayfabe, the winning team would move closer to a shot at the bronze eagles that will be worn by either The Usos or New Age Outlaws come Monday morning.
In the real world, this is a nice showcase for all four men. A well-worked match that gets the Minneapolis crowd warmed up for the main show and converts some traffic from free internet viewing to paid television viewing will mean more and higher profile opportunities for them in the future.
Be sure to watch the free stream along with you fellow Cagesiders, and stick around before and after for all your Elimination Chamber news and analysis!