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The women’s Elimination Chamber match is in trouble

WWE’s Elimination Chamber gimmick match debuted in 2002, and it took until 2018 until the women’s division was featured inside the chamber. That’s the same year that the first ever women’s Royal Rumble also took place. The women’s division has continued to get their own Royal Rumble and Elimination Chamber match each year since then, including Bianca Belair’s recent victory in the 2021 women’s Royal Rumble. But I’m looking at the current landscape for Elimination Chamber 2021, and it seems to me that women’s division might get left out of the chamber on the Feb. 21 card.

The big swerve, at least in my eyes, occurred earlier this week on Raw when Shane McMahon helped Adam Pearce announce that Drew McIntyre’s WWE championship will be on the line in the oldest Elimination Chamber match in history. Sheamus was done dirty on this one, because it looked like the champ originally promised him a singles match for the title.

Over nearly 20 years, WWE has never had a pay-per-view card with more than two chamber matches. Until WWE finally breaks that long-standing precedent, I won’t be bold enough to predict that it will happen. That means there is only room for one more chamber match on this card.

With Asuka booked in a Raw women’s championship match against Lacey Evans on the pay-per-view, as well as the ongoing feud over the Women’s tag titles involving Lana, Naomi, Shayna Baszler, and Nia Jax, it would seem that the Raw women’s division doesn’t have space for a chamber match right now. But that’s fine, because Raw was already given a men’s chamber match.

The remaining chamber match should come from the SmackDown brand. If the women’s division is going to get their own chamber match, it will have to include Sasha Banks defending her women’s championship. So, who else on the roster could join her in this hypothetical chamber match? Bianca Belair can be ruled out since she is getting a title shot at WrestleMania, and intends to wait until after Elimination Chamber to determine her opponent. That leaves the following women for a chamber match with Banks:

  • Bayley
  • Carmella
  • Natalya
  • Ruby Riott
  • Liv Morgan
  • Tamina
  • Billie Kay
  • Chelsea Green
  • Sonya Deville

I doubt that Sonya Deville and Chelsea Green are available for this match due to kayfabe and injury, respectively, so that leaves seven other women, five of whom must be chosen. Bayley, Carmella, and Natalya would have to be locks for the match. After that, take any two picks between the Riott Squad members, Tamina, and Billie Kay.

The main issue here is that there’s very little reason to think any of these women would defeat Banks in the chamber or be a credible challenger for Belair at WrestleMania. Sasha has recently dominated Carmella, while Bayley has been dominated by Belair. The rest of the wrestlers on this list are mostly presented as lower card talent.

To really add intrigue to this women’s chamber match, Rhea Ripley needs to debut on SmackDown and immediately get booked into the match. But there isn’t much time left to make that happen before Feb. 21, and I’m not holding my breath waiting for WWE to figure out what they’re doing with Ripley.

Yes, you can make an Elimination Chamber match for Banks’ title out of the names on the above list, especially if Ripley and Green are available. But the top booking priority on SmackDown is Roman Reigns and the Universal championship. With Kevin Owens once again attacking Roman on SmackDown last week, it would seem that their issues are not over yet, despite a TLC match, Steel Cage match, and a Last Man Standing match. There aren’t many more ways to up the ante in another singles match between these two men. But Owens fits right into an Elimination Chamber match as one of five challengers for Roman’s Universal title.

If Reigns is placed inside a SmackDown chamber match, here are some of the possible challengers who could be chosen to join the fray:

  • Kevin Owens
  • Daniel Bryan
  • Seth Rollins
  • Rey Mysterio
  • Big E
  • Cesaro
  • Shinsuke Nakamura
  • King Corbin
  • Jey Uso
  • Apollo Crews
  • Sami Zayn
  • Otis

Owens, Bryan, Rollins, and Mysterio are established top level talent who would easily fit into a chamber match. And even if Reigns and Owens instead go at it in one more singles gimmick match at Elimination Chamber, there is still plenty of depth here to book a chamber match for Big E’s Intercontinental championship.

Putting it all together, I think the women’s division has an uphill battle in getting their own Elimination Chamber match on the 2021 pay-per-view. Unless WWE breaks its precedent of no more than two chamber matches on a single card, the women’s division will be vying for the remaining chamber match against both Roman Reigns as well as the Intercontinental championship. Without a sudden Rhea Ripley debut on SmackDown, a hypothetical women’s chamber match for Banks’ title doesn’t look nearly as compelling as a chamber match for Reigns’ title. I’m not betting against the Head of the Table on this one.

How do you think WWE will book the remaining chamber match(es) at Elimination Chamber 2021?

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