Why Elimination Chamber's return is a good thing
The Elimination Chamber is a much needed stop on the Road to WrestleMania.
Over the last few years, we've seen a switch up in the Road to WrestleMania, with events such as Fastlane and Roadblock taking centre stage as we head into the biggest show of the year. They were both decent enough shows, but they didn't really feel like anything special, which is an issue heading into the showcase of the immortals.
So for 2017, we're set for an old favourite to return - the Elimination Chamber. If you aren't aware of this structure, six men enter with two starting out and four being placed in different pods. Throughout the match, one by one, the competitors in the pod enter until all six men are a part of the match.
It's a fascinating premise, and it's provided some great moments over the years.
So with its return comes a lot of questions from the WWE Universe. Does this mean that a Raw Superstar will win the Royal Rumble match? Will we see the title change hands before WrestleMania 33?
These and many more queries will continue to float around for the next few weeks, but for now, we can only speculate and look forward to the fact that the event will be returning to our television screens.
But why, you ask, is it such a good thing. Well, there are a number of reasons really, starting off with the actual purpose of the stipulation - to add unpredictability. Upon seeing the WWE calendar year in and year out, we as fans tend to map out when things are going to happen.
Starting off with the Rumble it always seems fairly obvious that the winner of the match will go onto WrestleMania, leaving everyone else to figure out their own storylines on free TV.
But now, the WWE Championship is going to be defended inside the Chamber just a few weeks prior to the big event. Could this mean a sudden change in the title holder? Perhaps we may even see someone return or a new feud will develop.
The possibilities are quite literally endless, highlighted by the fact that nobody even really knows who's going to be in the match yet.
Plus, allowing this to be a SmackDown exclusive pay-per-view is a really smart move. Raw has always been seen as the top brand by Vince McMahon, which is no secret, and as such, a lot of the bigger moments throughout the year come from the red show.
However, such has been SD's influence during the brand split that they have been awarded a pretty solid gimmick PPV that has much more of a lineage behind it than Fastlane.
Maybe that doesn't mean a whole lot to some fans, but when you consider the history of the Elimination Chamber it's a pretty big deal for SmackDown Live to host it. They could even throw a women's EC match in there too, which would make sense given how many different storylines there are going on in that division right now.
Then we come to the match structure itself - it's just fun. The design of the Chamber alone means that we're much more likely to see some real brutality, as opposed to the Hell in a Cell which has become a tad tame over the years. The pods are great and can be utilised in a number of ways, with the suspense of not knowing who's coming out next, providing for some great drama.
Plus, you never know who will end up lasting until the final pod is released, much like in the Rumble. You have as little as one or as many as five participants still in the match when the final entrant comes into the ring, and all of the mini rivalries that are able to get blown off make for fascinating viewing.
It allows for a number of interesting match-ups too, allowing some upper mid card talent to shine in the process. SD's roster depth isn't that great as we all know, so being featured in a match of this nature is a pretty big deal.
It's worked wonders for the likes of Cesaro, John Morrison and Kofi Kingston over the years, and the interplay they can have with the more established stars allows us to get a glimpse into potential feuds of the future.
Finally, and most importantly, it bridges that gap to WrestleMania better than any other concept could even dream of. Knowing that the Elimination Chamber is waiting smack bang in the middle of the road to ‘Mania, leaves a great deal of uncertainty in the minds of the fans, because if it was a run of the mill PPV like Fastlane then the status quo is much less likely to change.
You may not have enjoyed Chamber matches in the past, but when you think about the storyline progression on the blue brand in the last few weeks, you can't deny that this is going to be a can't miss event.
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