This week on Raw, Stephanie McMahon made yet another historic announcement concerning the women’s division, announcing that for the first time ever, there would be a women’s Elimination Chamber match at the upcoming pay-per-view of the same name. The match, like the women’s Rumble match, had been long rumoured online and the announcement won’t have come as a surprise to many people.
The women’s roster delivered a nostalgia-filled and hugely enjoyable Royal Rumble bout and the company will be very keen to capitalise on that momentum. The important thing for them heading into the Elimination Chamber is to get the right entrants and if they can do that, then the women could really deliver a classic chamber match. Let’s take a look at who should enter the first-ever women’s elimination chamber match.
Let’s get this one out of the way. Bliss is the current women’s champion and therefore the first confirmed entrant into the match. Is there a chance she will lose the title before the event? It seems highly unlikely, and even if she did, she would definitely be in the match regardless. The match will be used to set up Alexa’s bout at Mania, with either Asuka coming down after the match to confirm she is going to face her, or Alexa having an altercation with someone (Nia Jax, most likely) during the match that sets up a feud.
Bliss has been an excellent champion and is an integral part of the women’s roster, having her compete in this match gives her the chance to be a part of history as, obviously, she didn’t get a chance to partake in the first ever Rumble.
Sasha Banks is on fire right now. The former Women’s Champion was the iron-woman of the Rumble match, lasting an incredible 54:36 in the match and then, the following night on Raw, she delivered what I consider to be the best televised Raw match this year with Asuka. Banks has serious momentum right now and a feud with Asuka after Wrestlemania should be a must (if Asuka stays on Raw, that is.)
A heel turn looks to be on the horizon for Banks and the company should use the Chamber to cement that. Having Banks lose it and attack Bayley would be a great way to confirm her heel turn and would also be a nice way to see up a long-awaited WWE match between the pair at Wrestlemania. Banks is one of the most charismatic and talented women in the WWE today, she is definitely going to be in this match.
Sasha’s best friend Bayley is also a must for the Elimination Chamber match. Bayley is one of the most popular faces in the WWE today and she deserves to be a part of this history as much as anyone. She got a huge pop in the women’s rumble but didn’t really get to do anything very memorable, and with that in mind, she should get a good run in this bout here, possibly finishing as the runner-up. She could also eliminate Sasha, forcing Sasha to come back in and cost her the victory, cementing Sasha’s heel turn and setting the two up for a match at Mania.
If recent rumours are to be believed, Nia Jax is heading towards a match with Alexa Bliss at Wrestlemania, with Asuka jumping ship to Smackdown to face Charlotte. This decision would make a lot of sense and having Nia get robbed off a victory here would be a great way of setting up a match with Alexa at Wrestlemania. A feud between Nia and Alexa has been teased for a long time and having Alexa somehow manipulating Nia into doing her bidding into this match, only to then turn on her, would be a nice way of turning Nia completely face, and setting up a bout between the two at Wrestlemania. Nia would also be able to play the role of the monster in the match, and she is never better than when she is throwing the other competitors around like they are nothing.
Mickie James is not really in the discussion at the moment when it comes to viable threats to Alexa Bliss’ title reign. That being said, she is a huge part of the women’s history in the WWE and she is more than deserving of a place in this match. Expect her to be cannon fodder in the bout and to be one of the early eliminations, regardless, it will still be nice to see the WWE acknowledge her contributions and include her in the bout. The only other options they have to fill that slot is the likes of Absolution or Dana Brooke and I’d much rather see Mickie get a shot.
Was anybody really that surprised when Nikki Bella finished as the runner-up in the inaugural Women’s rumble? Her relationship with John Cena gives her plenty of political power backstage and I don’t imagine she’d want to miss the chance to make history once again in the women’s rumble. I highly expect the last spot in the company to go to a big name from the past, and while I’d loved to think that the company would reach out to the likes of Trish Stratus and Lita, I just don’t see either of them being game for a match as intense as the elimination chamber. Arguably, the spot should be reserved for an active superstar but Bella makes for a more interesting prospect than Dana Brooke or a lower card competitor.
Bella, from a kayfabe perspective at least, has more of a claim to the match-up following her performance in the Rumble and she is still fairly popular with the fans. Will her appearance be used to set up a Mania match? I don’t see it myself unless she is going to tag with Cena again and let’s be honest, nobody wants that. Unlike the Rumble, though, I expect her appearance here to be fairly short-lived as the company will want to focus on some other storylines during the bout, and the aforementioned intensity of the bout could prove tricky for a wrestler who has been away from active competition for so long.