The X-Factor: Elimination Chamber '18 preview and thoughts
Submitted by Victor Mariscal on 02/24/2018 at 01:56 PM

Raw and Smackdown were in Phoenix this week, and I attended the former. The Gauntlet match opening the show was welcome, but did anyone expect it to take up two-thirds of the show!? More surprising than that is it was Vince McMahon’s idea, and Seth Rollins looked like a million bucks afterwards lasting over an hour.

During the women’s six women tag, there was this kid sitting two rows ahead of me in Row 1. During the match I think he shouted “I love you” to Paige. With the cameras pointed away from her she walked over and said “I love you more”. He wound up with her wristband.

Some of the best episodes or storylines of TV in general is when they take you out of your comfort zone. Don’t get any ideas people. They’re not overhauling the format, but it would be nice if they tried a marathon match on TV again.

The other big news was Jeff Jarrett. Surprising? Most definitely. For those unaware, Jarrett had to check into rehab last October for a drinking problem which WWE paid for. They do that for their former superstars. Perhaps that opened the door for them to mend fences.

Thing is, the wrestling world would look very different had Jeff been given a better spot in the WWF. The brass wanted a feud between him and Stone Cold Steve Austin who wasn’t keen on the idea. Stone Cold was one of the two biggest stars in the Attitude Era, but he wasn’t very professional. He also refused to put over Triple H. How did he respond? By going on his “Reign of Terror” in the Ruthless Aggression era. Jarrett did the same thing, winning 6 world titles in TNA.

Is Double J going to address how he left? Will he say why he extorted $250 – 300k from Vinnie Mac to drop the Intercontinental title to Chyna?

I guess we’ll find out.

The Andre the Giant battle royal, the Cruiserweight final, Reigns vs. Lesnar, Nakamura vs. Styles, Strowman vs. Miz, and Ronda Rousey’s debut match are locked down. She’s slated to face – with a partner – Triple H and Stephanie in a mixed tag.

I don’t know if Seth Rollins is the best choice, and I don’t mean his ability. He would be better suited for a singles match with his performance last Monday. Kurt Angle? Maybe. He needs a safe opponent and HHH is one. If Shane McMahon isn’t still feuding with Kevin and Sami then it should be him.

I’ve had my fill of Triple H and Stephanie’s ego-stroking. It would make me the happiest fan alive if Shane pinned Triple H or Stephanie tapped out to Ronda’s armbar. She’s long overdue for a good humbling.

Ok, let’s get on with the predictions.

Matt Hardy vs. Bray Wyatt
Either end this feud or put them in a tag team already. We’re over this.

Their best option after this is Jeff returning and embracing the Brother Nero gimmick again.

Winner: Matt Hardy

Asuka vs. Nia Jax

Oh Vince, don’t screw this up please.

They shouldn’t end Asuka’s undefeated streak so soon, but there also lies the question of how to give Nia Jax a title shot – if that’s still the plan – without Asuka losing straight-up.

A DQ or countout finish would protect her but of course people will bitch about it. I don’t know about this. Remember how much Bayley has suffered.

Winner: Asuka

Raw Tag Team Championship
Titus Worldwide vs. The Bar (C)

It’s hard for me to care. Nothing against Apollo and Titus but I’m just having a hard time accepting them as torch bearers for the tag division. Apollo is unusually agile for his size but he’s failed to truly impress. Titus has charisma but is not a skilled worker. If they go out tomorrow and impress I will be surprised. Maybe it isn’t too late for them, but I don’t see them winning.

Winners: The Bar

Men’s Elimination Chamber Match for Universal Title shot
The Miz vs. Seth Rollins vs. Roman Reigns vs. John Cena vs. Braun Strowman vs. Finn Balor vs. Elias

This is gonna do plenty to set things up in the Silverdo, uh, I mean the Superdome. One of them is already a given. It will probably start with three guys in the ring first, or maybe they’ll put two people inside a pod. That would be kinda funny.

Are they still aiming for Strowman vs. The Miz? Will Seth be Rousey’s partner? Where will Finn end up? Will ‘Taker show his face? Are they gonna swerve us? Questions.

What disappointed me about Reigns vs. Lesnar 3 years ago wasn’t the match itself, or the cash-in. It was the time it was given. That wouldn’t have been a problem had Triple H not sucked up so much of it. It was a great match despite it being shortened. There are those who want some closure, including me.

I imagine Braun will enter the match and utterly dominate, then the Miz will blindside him in some fashion, perhaps with the Miztourage.

Strowman winning the Universal title is a good idea, but he needs an opponent that isn’t Brock Lesnar. Those two have bad chemistry. If I had to pick another opponent for the Beast, I’d pick Cena. That would guarantee the fans would be hot for the match. Rollins and Balor would also be great choices. I’m not sure about Elias. He’s never been in that scenario before.

Unless they got something else planned, I’m going with the safe choice. Just let the hate go already.

Winner: Roman Reigns

Raw Women’s Championship
Women’s Elimination Chamber Match
Mickie James vs. Sasha Banks vs. Bayley vs. Mandy Rose vs. Sonya Deville vs. Alexa Bliss (C)

Right now, the betting odds have Alexa as a narrow favorite with Banks right behind her.

The potential alliance between Mickie and Alexa is a factor here which might be what counters Deville and Rose. Absolution will likely run rampant against the other ladies until they get taken out.

What I wanna know is will they set up other matches for New Orleans. The smarks have been dying to see Sasha turn heel again, which would make Bayley the ideal opponent. They both need something.

Asuka is likely headed to challenge Charlotte on Smackdown. It would be a good swerve if Banks wins. Probably not, but we’ll see.

Winner: Alexa Bliss

Don’t mess with the X.

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