Elimination Chamber 2014: Full match card and who to look out for

A look ahead to this weekend's pay-per-view event in Minneapolis

What is the Elimination Chamber?
The last stop before Wrestlemania, the Elimination Chamber is a hybrid of a cage match (its closest cousin being the Hell in a Cell) and an Elimination Match. Six men enter, two men start.

At five minute intervals, the other combatants are, one by one, released from their pods which are stationed at each corner of the ring. What starts off as a one-on-one match can quickly spiral into a triple-threat or a fatal four way, and sometimes a six-way brawl. Elimination occurs by pinfall or submission. There are no other rules and any part of the Chamber is active (meaning you can throw people out of the ring onto the steel that surrounds it, climb the pods and even throw competitors through the ‘bulletproof’ Plexiglas that protects each pod). Whoever wins Sunday’s Chamber bout will defend the WWE World Heavyweight Championship against the Royal Rumble winner, Batista, at Wrestlemania 30.

Who is taking part in this year’s main event? 
The Elimination Chamber class of 2014 features defending WWE World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton, John Cena, Daniel Bryan, Sheamus, Cesaro and Christian. Quite the cast.

Who is most likely to win?
Despite his recent run of mostly losses, don’t be surprised to see ‘The Viper’ Randy Orton walk out of the Elimination Chamber with his WWE title held high. Orton appears to have had the odds swung in his favour in more recent times, particularly with The Authority’s quest to keep Daniel Bryan away from being champion. The Wyatt family having John Cena’s card marked could also have a part to play in the outcome of the main event.

Who is the one to watch?
Despite Daniel Bryan’s ‘Yes Movement’ making him as popular as any star in the WWE at the moment, it is Cesaro who has come out of the build up to the EC with the most momentum. Fresh off two fantastic bouts with Randy Orton and John Cena (the latter being rewarded with a standing ovation from both the live crowd and the superstars backstage), Cesaro is in the run of his career and, perhaps more importantly, feels fresh in comparison to most of the other characters on display. Don’t put your mortgage on him leaving as champion, but a shining performance inside the Chamber will put him well on his way to a big time Wrestlemania match – possibly with Sheamus.

The Elimination Chamber - who will escape victorious? The Elimination Chamber - who will escape victorious?

What about the other matches?
Many people see the titanic clash between The Wyatt Family and The Shield - WWE’s two best stables - as being on par with the Chamber match itself, and with good reason. With an intriguing build up, two stars on the road to superstardom in Bray Wyatt and Roman Reigns, as well as the continuing dissension in the ranks of The Shield, expect this match to be one for the ages. While the focus may be on Bray and Roman, don’t forget the incredible ring skills of Seth Rollins (arguably the best wrestler taking part in the match), the unhinged antics of Dean Ambrose and the ever improving Luke Harper and Erick Rowan.

The other major match sees Alberto Del Rio takes on Batista, marking the latter’s return to singles competition since re-joining the company.

What are the ramifications?
Randy Orton’s potential survival against five other men who have mostly beaten him over the last few weeks could be overshadowed by antics involving The Authority and the Wyatt Family, both of whom may end up interfering in the main event.  The Shield’s inevitable implosion could happen, with many expecting Roman Reigns to break free from the group and start a new life as a fan favourite. And what will become of the former Prime Time Players, who square off after ending their mainly underwhelming run as a tag team? Batista will want a strong performance on his return to singles action, but don’t be surprised if he shows a bit of ring rust.

How can I watch it?
Live on Sky Sports 1, Monday morning at 1am, with repeats throughout the week.

What EC matches should I check out for reference?

  • The original 2002 match featuring Shawn Michaels’ redemption story fulfilled and HHH’s gutsy performance after having his trachea crushed (yes, this happened) by Rob Van Dam
  • The Summerslam 2003 match featuring an (at the time) white hot Goldberg and one of the most frustrating endings to a match in WWE history
  • The 2009 Raw Chamber (when there were two EC matches on one show) to see a masterclass in villainy from Edge.
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