This is to say that for the WWE the road to WrestleMania is long. Between January's Royal Rumble and April's Wrestlemania there are many weeks of television that have to be produced, in addition to two pay-per-views. Fastlane will take place next month, giving the WWE a chance to do any last minute course corrections to the event, while this weekend's Elimination Chamber, taking place on Sunday at the Toyota Center, is just sort of a thing that's happening.
To their credit, the WWE has at least thrown Houston a bone with a match to crown the first modern-era Women's Tag Team Champions, but the rest of the card is unlikely to shape things up
Rather than get into the great "who should headline WrestleMania this year?" debate — the answer is so clearly Becky Lynch versus Ronda Rousey (versus Charlotte) that it's hard to imagine that anyone, anywhere realistically thinks Seth Rollins versus Brock Lesner is the real money match — let us instead look at the two big matches in Houston and where the WWE should go from here.
Elimination Chamber: Nia Jax and Tamina vs. The
Who Should Win: The
Who Will Win: Nia Jax and Tamina
Now, it's obvious that Bayley and
But alas, Nia Jax — who I like quite a bit — also needs something to do at Mania, and with sponsors allegedly turning their nose up at the idea of letting her do intergender matches, the Woman's Tag Team Championships seem as good a place as any to put her. The WWE clearly love her, so her and Tamina picking up the win here
Elimination Chamber Match: Daniel Bryan (c) vs. AJ Styles vs. Jeff Hardy vs. Randy Orton vs. Samoa Joe vs. Kofi Kingston
Who Should Win: Daniel Bryan
Who Will Win: Daniel Bryan
This is not a match that exists to clarify what the Mania card will look like. In fact, up until about a week ago, I would have argued there wasn't really anything compelling about the match; Daniel Bryan is going to win, and at the time none of his opponents would make for a particularly interesting Mania match. Bryan versus Styles has been done to death, a match with Jeff Hardy would be fine but nothing earth-shattering narratively, heel versus heel means no Orton or Joe, and while a match with Mustafa Ali would be next level great, no one would believe Ali had a chance.
But Kofi Kingston, there might just be gold in them hills. The New Day has been one of the most popular acts in the company for ages now, and their constant stream of merchandise would actually make them perfect foils for a champion is a bad guy because he thinks consumerism is bad (the WWE is a weird place). And a Kofi championship win? Long overdue. The New Day could compete with Bryan in the ring and on the mike, plus there are plenty of tag team matches on the table now that Bryan has his own heavy in Rowan.
It's the most interesting option on the table, unless the plan is Bryan versus Rey Mysterio, hair (and title) versus
The Elimination Chamber is Sunday, February 17 at 5:30 p.m. at the Toyota Center, 1510 Polk. For information, call 866-446-8849 or visit houstontoyotacenter.com/events/detail/wwe-elimination-chamber. Doors open at 4 p.m. $25-$500.