WWE Elimination Chamber: Assessing the men's contenders
By Jefferson Lake, WWE Editor
Last Updated: 22/02/18 12:14pm
For the first time in Elimination Chamber history, seven men will enter the structure live on Sky Sports Box Office on Sunday night.
What is usually a six-man affair will become a contest between a magnificent seven for the right to face Brock Lesnar for his Universal title at WrestleMania.
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All of the seven are realistic winners and at this stage there is no stand-out candidate for victory.
We take a look at the men who will be entering the Chamber in Las Vegas this weekend…
The Kingslayer has been the talk of WWE this week following his marathon performance in the gauntlet match on Raw.
On that occasion, Rollins not only competed hard for 65 minutes but he also defeated Roman Reigns and John Cena in a huge surge of momentum going into the weekend.
Rollins was given a standing ovation for his efforts after the match and speculation has since been rife that this show of faith is a sign he is destined for the victory at the Chamber.
For Rollins’ iron man display at Raw this week, see Finn Balor’s Herculean Royal Rumble effort the month previously.
Both men are incredibly well-conditioned and are likely to be the workhorses of the Elimination Chamber match.
It is highly conceivable that one - or even both - could go all the way and for Balor the ultimate quest remains: to recapture a Universal title he never technically lost.
The Big Dog almost seems to be operating in the shadow of his Shield team-mate Rollins at the moment and of course took a loss to him on the go-home Raw show for this Sunday’s event.
It won’t have helped Reigns’ ego that he was beaten at the last moment by Shinsuke Nakamura in the Royal Rumble - a match in which he notably eliminated Rollins.
A WrestleMania showdown between Reigns and Lesnar has long been mooted as a potential ‘torch passer’ but is Roman’s true enemy closer to home as the Shield - with Dean Ambrose still injured - crumbles again?
John Cena’s storyline heading into Elimination Chamber is intriguing. His desire to beat Ric Flair’s world title record is leading him to become frustrated and increasingly desperate.
It is not as though time is against Cena - at 40, he is the same age as Lesnar and SmackDown champion AJ Styles, although he is (marginally) the eldest of the three.
But, as he pointed out on a recent Raw, he is currently without a WrestleMania match and time is running out for him to get one.
If you were basing an Elimination Chamber prediction purely on the build-up to the event, then your nomination would almost certainly go to Braun Strowman.
The Monster Among Men has conquered all before him on a weekly basis and has even had the notable honour of hospitalising Brock Lesnar himself.
The ‘blood and thunder’ style of the Chamber match type is also in Strowman’s favour and it should also be noted - with the fondness for unique WrestleMania matches in mind - that he only ever taken on Lesnar in one-on-one competition on one occasion.
If The Miz is to achieve his ambition of unifying the Intercontinental and Universal titles at WrestleMania he will have to complete an uphill struggle, with the dubious honour of being the first entrant in the Chamber being all his.
He does have the experience of being in two Chamber matches previously in his career and his popularity is such that he would be a credible winner.
But without the Miztourage to help him, a victory for the A-lister has to be very much placed in the ‘long shot’ pile.
Other than Strowman and possibly Rollins, no man is coming into the Chamber match on the crest of a bigger wave than Elias.
His vignettes and distinctive character have led to the ‘Walk With Elias’ concept gaining some great momentum with the fans.
And while his in-ring record is not great, he has proved himself a skilled competitor who can put on good matches on a consistent basis.
Will he get the chance to put that theory to the test against Lesnar? We’ll find out on Sunday night.