We enter what is often the last ‘big’ game changer event before the Grandaddy of the All, as the Wrestlemania card normally takes shape within the Chamber. This year though, following… well… whatever that Saudi show was… we seem to be that bit further along the road to Wrestlemania than normal – meaning there’s less surprises to see.
There’s NO WAY that Goldberg or Lesnar are getting in a damn Chamber…
Let’s have a look at the card – and importantly, if there’s any money to be made.
Elimination Chamber Match for the Raw Women’s Championship Match at Wrestlemania
Natalya vs Liv Morgan vs Shayna Baszler vs Asuka vs Ruby Riott vs Sarah Logan
Firstly, of every match on the card, this is the one you shouldn’t be betting on who is going to win. “The Queen of Spades” Shayna Baszler in on a collision course with Becky Lynch at Wrestlemania and her appearance – and subsequent win – in the Chamber is all but a certainty. You can get odds of 1/10 for a Baszler win – meaning it’s just not worth putting the money on it for the potential return.
I’ll inevitably be talking about it in depth in a few months for my Wrestlemania predictor, but I’m looking forward to Lynch / Baszler. Shayna has consistently been fantastic in main events and in a number of ways is one of the most under-appreciated, under-rated wrestlers in the world. Whether her talents translate to a Wrestlemania win we’ll see, but her appearance on the show gets solidified in the Chamber.
Like The Royal Rumble though, Elimination Chambers do offer some interesting betting options if you look for a market outside of simply ‘who’s going to win’ with bets available on a range of further markets which could generate a decent return.
Baszler’s seemingly biggest opposition in the match is one half of the reigning WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions – The Empress of Tomorrow – Asuka. Asuka’s role in the match is going to be of note as we’ll likely start a programme for the Women’s Tag Title and Asuka will also likely be put in a strong positon in a losing effort. You can get odds of 3/1 for Asuka to get the most eliminations (certainly possible if Baszler enters last) as well as odds of 2/1 for her to have the longest stay. Both of these are worth a moderate bet as I’d be surprised if she doesn’t get at least one of the them (you’d only need one to earn your money back – and if Asuka does both and you’re quids in)
But stay away from the winner… that’s Shayna
Prediction – Shayna Baszler Wins
WWE Intercontinental Title – 3 on 1 Handicap Match
Braun Strowman © vs Shinsuke Nakamura, Cesaro & Sami Zayn
I’ll say it straight away (I’m pretty sure I’ve said it on the these write-ups before also)… I hate handicap matches.
There’s no way that *at least* one person doesn’t come out of it badly and in all likelihood many people will. When basic logic is applied to this – how does it make *any* sense that Braun Strowman could beat three men? Three professional wrestlers? And if he *can* what does this actually say about the three men? And equally, is they’re not good enough to beat someone three-on-one, is it really an achievement to do so?
When I was younger; me, my brother and two friends were convinced we could absolutely *batter* Irwin R Shyster… and we were eight. None of us had been in BOLA. None of us had been in a ladder match. And as far as I remember it, none of us had been IWGP Champion. We could still have battered IRS and we were eight years old. Handicap matches are stupid.
The Bookies are convinced we’re going to see a title defence with Strowman a ridiculous 1/5 to retain. If they’d wanted to book Strowman to retain, they really should have made it a straight up Fatal Four Way. At least in this scenario, it’s plausible that in-fighting between the team (as only one man could win the title) could lead to a Strowman win. But in this case, where it’s three on one we’re on a hiding to nothing.
I’m expecting Braun to win here (even though the booking makes no sense for him to) but a small bet on the 10/3 odds of a title change could be worth a small punt – just be prepared to lose your money.
Strowman will win here, making the whole of the opposition look useless and leading to a Wrestlemania match – possibly the aforementioned four way – where no-one will care as much as they would’ve… but Braun has already beaten them three on one….
Prediction – Braun Strowman Retains
Elimination Chamber Match for the Smackdown Tag Team Championship
The Miz & John Morrison © vs The New Day (Big E & Kofi Kingston) vs The Usos (Jey Uso & Jimmy Uso) vs Heavy Machinery (Otis & Tucker) vs Lucha House Party (Lince Dorado & Gran Metalik) vs Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode
Very much a match of two halves this one; with three teams who *could* win and three who won’t (two because they have other plans and Lucha House Party… Gran Metalik as Cruiserweight Classic Finalist seems like such a life-time ago. Hard to believe that he beat Zack Sabre Junior, isn’t it?)
RooDolph & Heavy Machinery don’t need the title right now as they have a Mandy Rose shaped story-line going on which screams “Tag Team on the Pre-Show” and will be continued here with each team leading to the others defeat.
Curious bet here is that both of these teams are 16/1 for most eliminations. Given that one will likely eliminate the other, they’d only need one more elimination to likely at least draw and creating a dead-heat winning bet(for example – Machinery eliminate LHP & RooDolph, Usos eliminate Miz & Morrison and New Day eliminate Usos & Machinery, you’d have a dead-heat bet – with two teams on most eliminations – and New Machinery would pay out 8/1). It’s a complex bet, but I’m convinced there’s a market there.
Miz & Morrison are favourites to win here (10/11) and I’m inclined to agree. I think we get a three way at Mania (Miz / Morrison vs New Day vs Usos) and shit-housing a win in the Chamber is a nice way to do this. It was in the Chamber last year that KofiMania was really launched, so expect Kofi to have a proper session in here – New Day are 2/1 for Longest Stay and 4/1 for most eliminations – both of which (especially the longest stay) are worth a punt. Despite this effort though, expect them to (much like Kofi did last year) come up short inside the steel
Prediction – The Miz & John Morrison Retain
RAW Tag Team Championship
The Street Profits (Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins) © vs Seth Rollins & Buddy Murphy
Bit of a shock this Monday gone The Street Profits got the biggest win of their young careers; beating Rollins & Murphy for their first WWE Tag Team Championship (adding to their NXT Tag Title reign).
Rollins & Murphy get the stereotypical ‘WWE Championship rematch’ here and should be a good match which will almost definitely end in shenanigans. It’s shorter odds for The Street Profits to leave as champions (2/7) than it is for them to actually win the match (4/11) suggesting that the Bookies think that Montez & Ford are winning – but feel there’s a possibility that they might lose the match by DQ (presumably via a Prizefighter and a large Samoan)
I’m not sure what the next outcome is here – I assume we get Profits vs Authors of Pain on the pre-show (or maybe some large multi-man nonsense) but where Rollins & Murphy go isn’t as obvious. Personally, I think we get Joe vs Rollins vs Owens at Wrestlemania where Rollins wins via Murphyference but it’s certainly not clear… yet. This is a story yet to be told.
However, I’m almost certain though that Rollins’ story is no-longer involving the Raw Tag Titles (Monday saw that off) so stick with the bookie’s favourite again here and I expect Ford & Dawkins to retain their newly won belts
Prediction – Street Profits Retain
NO DQ Match
Aleister Black vs AJ Styles
Before I looked at the odds for this write-up, I thought this was going to be a great place to earn some money. I’m backing an Aleister Black win here and presumed he would’ve been the underdog for the bookies. Styles is a former World Champion, and crucially is about to face The Undertaker so a pre-Mania win would normally make sense.
But – partly inspired by both Style’s jaded win on RAW as well as the no-disqualification stips, I think we get an Aleister Black win at the Chamber. Importantly, an Aleister Black win via (completely legal) Undertaker interference. This helps further the feud with Styles / Taker and also gives Aleister Black arguably one of his biggest wins in WWE.
There’s also a nice symbolic sight of the “Dead Man” helping the Gothic Satanist Aleister Black.
Sadly though, for the purpose of making money – the bookies have already thought of all of this and at 4/9 for a Black win it’s questionable whether this odds are still worth putting your money on. My gut says no (Styles could get the win via Good Brothers and Taker appears AFTER the match) but it’s – as always – your call.
I’m a massive fan of Aleister Black and hopefully this match gets a decent bit of time. His strong push on RAW (and oft mentioned support from RAW Head Paul Heyman) suggests that there are more plans for The Dutch Destroyer – perhaps either the US Title match (for an interesting dynamic of Black vs Almas – managed by Black’s real-life wife Zelina Vega) at Wrestlemania and I think he gets the win here
Prediction – Aleister Black Wins
WWE US Title Match
Andrade © vs Humberto Carrillo
Of all the matches on the show, the US Title defence is the match with the shortest odds all round. With Andrade at 5/11 and Carrillo at Evens – the book makers are convinced that someone is winning this match… they’re just not sure who.
And understandably so; a very strong case can be made for Humberto winning here – he’s been the “nearly man” of the US Title Scene with a number of high profile losses. It’s questionable whether he should be losing yet again. Not only that, but Andrade is on the back of a high profile suspension – maybe dropping the title here is going to be a message to him that such behaviour isn’t acceptable.
However – I’m still thinking that Andrade retains the title here – if only because I think the next chapter of the story kinda needs Andrade as champion. The more obvious route (as mentioned last month) is Andrade vs Garza vs Carrillo vs Mysterio but a secondary option was mentioned in the previous match…. I think we could well get Andrade vs Black for the US Title at Wrestlemania.
So what does Carrillo do? Well… after yet another high profile loss, I’d have him turn (possibly on Mysterio) and join his ‘cousin’ Angel Garza and Andrade as a faction of rebels. An Ungovernable faction you may say (probably need to google what ‘ungovernable’ is in Spanish though). Sod it… bang Mysterio in there too (have him cost Black at Mania) if you wanna go full hog with it.
Forgive the fantasy booking here, but I don’t see what the interesting story is with Humberto winning. As such, I predict Andrade to retain – even if the odds are short
Prediction – Andrade Retains
Those are our predictions, what are yours? Please leave them in the comments!