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WWE Elimination Chamber 2018 preview


Coming our way on the WWE Network from Las Vegas, NV, is Sunday's WWE Elimination Chamber -- the final Raw-only PPV on the road to WrestleMania that is built around two title matches and a contract signing.

The now seven-man Chamber match will decide who faces Universal Champion Brock Lesnar at Mania while the Raw women's title will be on the line in the first-ever women's Chamber match. However, the main attraction is former UFC women's star Ronda Rousey signing her WWE Raw contract.

The four matches that have been booked for this show will shape the Raw side of the WrestleMania card. However, there seems to be a very high level of predictability with the outcomes that often happens on PPVs between the Royal Rumble and Mania. Here's a look at how we arrived here and what's at stake on Sunday.

"Woken" Matt Hardy vs. Bray Wyatt

If this program between these two is going to raise these guys to the next level, this is the match where it needs to happen. It all started back in November when Wyatt defeated Hardy in a Raw match which was the final straw to Hardy becoming "woken". They had a three-minute throwaway match on the Raw 25 show, followed by both guys eliminating each other in the Royal Rumble match. You would expect this feud will not end here, but in order to keep people engaged, something needs to happen. Woken is definitely not Broken and before all is lost, Woken needs to wake up. 

Nia Jax vs. Asuka

The biggest threat to Asuka's long undefeated streak is Jax. These two will meet in Las Vegas with the stipulation that if Jax wins, she will be added to the Raw women's title match at Mania. Asuka beat Jax back in January when Nia was "unable to continue" while clenching her knee. I can't imagine that this is going to be the end of the Asuka win streak.

Women's Elimination Chamber: Raw Champion Alexa Bliss vs. Bayley vs. Mandy Rose vs. Mickie James vs. Sasha Banks vs. Sonya Deville

It's the first-ever women's Chamber match and the fact Bliss has to put her title on the line in a Chamber match but Brock Lesnar doesn't was the basis of her calling Raw GM Kurt Angle sexist on a recent edition of the show.

As for the actual match itself, it is the big stage for Rose and Deville. The two unlikely callups from the NXT brand have a chance to prove that they belong on the main roster. On a weekly basis, Deville has come across as the most likely of the two to have a breakout night.

Banks has looked great as of late in matches with Asuka and Bayley. She looks to get back the title she has held several times but never successfully defended. The two most unlkely winners are Bayley, who has struggled for relevancy but looks to be back up on the rise, and James, who aided Bliss on Monday.

All signs point to Bliss somewhat getting out of Las Vegas with the title still in hand. 

Men's Elimination Chamber: Roman Reigns vs. Elias vs. John Cena vs. Braun Strowman vs. Finn Balor vs. Seth Rollins vs. The Miz

After a nearly two-hour gauntlet match, the longest match in WWE history, that saw Seth Rollins grab all the headlines, one thing was certain: Reigns is definitely still winning this match. There are no signs that Vince McMahon & Co. are going to deviate from that plan. Kudos to the WWE for finding a new way to do the Chamber by getting one more person added to the match. This match will start with three guys like a triple threat instead of the standard two that have been in all other Chamber matches. 

After the injury to Dean Ambrose, Rollins was dying on the vine, stuck in a midcard program with Jason Jordan vs. The Bar over the Raw tag team titles. That all changed with Jordan's injury and the marathon match this past Monday as Rollins is back to being a main event guy. The same can be said for Balor, who hasn't done much since returning from injury. The first-ever Universal champion hasn't been this close to the title since he held it for just 24 hours after winning it. Elias has been developing a great response to his version of "WWE", but his matches haven't been generating a ton of buzz. This is a chance for him to shine in the main event spot that probably belonged to Samoa Joe.

No one has looked better and more impressive than Strowman over the last several months. The crowd is into everything he does whether it's his dropkicks, picking up vehicles, or destroying announcer tables. Strowman is the man the people love. This will be his first Chamber match and I look forward to what destruction he may cause (maybe a pod or two?). Since he isn't winning, look for something big to happen to him where he still ends up looking like the man despite not being the one to win the match. If The Miz vs. Braun Strowman at Mania for the Intercontinental title is the plan, I look for these two do something special. We also hope to get an answer to what is next for Cena as well...or at least a nod toward that answer.

But we all know that it's all about Roman Reigns at the end of the night.

Ronda Rousey signs her contract

By far, this is the moment I am looking the most forward to. Rousey is the most exciting thing the WWE has going on right now, and this moment is all about what is in store for her at WrestleMania. Will it be a title match? Will it be something with Stephanie McMahon & Triple H? This contract signing may not give us the answers officially, but it wil give us some strong indications.

Follow along with Dave Meltzer's live coverage of the Chamber on Sunday night.