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MCNEILL'S TAKE
Retaliation: McNEILL Previews WWE Elimination Chamber 2013!

Feb 17, 2013 - 5:04:12 PM
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By Pat McNeill, PWTorch columnist

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Wake the pets and call the neighbors, it's time for our exclusive WWE pay-per-view projections!

DISCLAIMER: Projections are based on what the columnist would do if he were booking this event, instead of Paul "I Got Bruno" Levesque, Stephanie "Under 40" McMahon Levesque and Tragically Hipless WWE President Vince McMahon. Projections are not predictions, because this is the column where everything's made up and the points don't matter. This preview has been sealed in a mayonnaise jar on Funk & Wagnall's porch since noon today. Some of our departing contestants will receive a supply of Schick Super II razor blades, the only twin blades with a Teflon coating, to get your face into Schick Shape. Remember, this is only an exhibition. This is not a competition. Please, please, no wagering. This lineup is based on the best available information as of this writing. These predictions are based on what the columnist would do if he had creative control over WWE, unless it's not funny enough.

Last month, it was the much anticipated return of The Rock, as he fought C.M. Punk for the WWE Heavyweight Title at the Royal Rumble. This Sunday night, it's the rematch. As you may know, sequels generally don't do as much business as the originals. It would be quite a surprise for this event to do WrestleMania-sized numbers. Also, it's on against some basketball game. No, not the Clemson vs. Miami game. A different one.

Also, words can't describe the feeling of having Jack Swagger, the guy who should be getting Mike Mizanin's babyface push, trapped in a dead-end Michigan Militia gimmick with Dutch Mantel. I like Dutch Mantel, and it's nice to see managers making a comeback in WWE, but not like this.

Before we talk about Elimination Chamber, let's get to this month's edition of the Wrestling History Lesson, because that's why many of you clicked here in the first place. What was happening on WWF Raw twenty years ago? I'm glad you asked! Back in the days, if you wanted three hours of Raw, you had to record three weeks of it on your VCR. Twenty years ago, on February 15, 1993, Monday Night Raw aired (pretaped) from the Manhattan Center in New York City. And there was a huge main event, as Brutus Beefcake faced "Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase in singles competition. Some other stuff happened too. Vince McMahon, Rob Bartlett and the late Randy Savage had the call.



Did you get to see this week's WWE Smackdown? No? Don't sweat it. In fact, skip the first 13 minutes and enjoy the opener as Randy Orton tangles with Mark Henry.



Fifteen years, we saw the first WWF No Way Out pay-per-view. On February 15, 1998, the promotion went to Houston, Texas for a huge show. A show that kicked off with The Headbangers taking on "Marvelous" Marc Mero & Goldust. (w/ Sable Mero Lesnar & Luna Vachon) Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler had the call.



Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler and John B. Layfield will probably be announcing this show. On with the projections!

Brodus Clay & Tensai vs. Rhodes Scholars: This is the pre-show match that will air on YouTube. No, I don't know whose cornflakes Rhodes and Sandow peed in to get moved into the opener against the Dancing Bearadactyls. Projection? Brodus pins Sandow after an entire series of classic moves reminiscent of the late John Tenta.

Antonio Cesaro vs. Mike Mizanin (WWE United States Title): One of the cooler spots on Monday's episode of Raw was watching The Miz get launched into the ringpost by Antonio Cesaro. Someone should explain to WWE that all Miz is doing is helping Cesaro get over as a babyface. On second thought, let's not explain it to WWE. Projection? Cesaro hits the Neutralizer (again) and beats The Miz (again) to keep the U.S. Title as we head into WrestleMania. Miz becomes a full time commentator until people forget what an awful babyface he is. Then Miz can come back and turn heel this summer. Really.

Kaitlyn Bonin vs. Tamina Snuka (WWE Divas Title): No one cares. Projection? Tamina beats Kaitlyn with the Superfly Splash. WWE calls up Sara Del Rey to take on Tamina at WrestleMania. Well, that's what *I'd* do, and this is my preview.

John Cena, Sheamus Farrelly & Skip Ryback vs. Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns:The Shield tries to hang on to its undefeated record against three WWE main eventers, while Ryback goes for his fifth straight pay-per-view defeat. Wow, he's like Reverse Goldberg. Projection? Cena pins Roman with the Attitude Adjustment. I enjoy The Shield, but there's no way WWE is dumb enough to have its WrestleMania headliner lose at Elimination Chamber. Right? RIGHT?

Daniel Bryan vs. "White Power" Jack Swagger vs. Chris Jericho vs. Mark Henry vs. Kane vs. Randy Orton Still Works Here (Elimination Chamber): Six of the top wrestlers who appear on Smackdown line up for a shot at the Smackdown Title. Projection? Kane eliminates Daniel Bryan in the early going. But it really doesn't matter what happens in the first twenty minutes of the match. Mark Henry is the last man releaser, and he destroys Kane, then destroys Orton to walk away with the WrestleMania title shot.

Alberto Del Rio vs. Big Show (WWE Smackdown Title): It's great that we've gone from a Last Man Standing match to another Last Man Standing match to, well, this. Projection? Show has Del Rio in all sorts of trouble, and is ready to lay in the knockout blow when Ricardo Rodriguez makes his great return and distracts show. Del Rio wins by submission with the flying armbar.

The Rock vs. C.M. Punk (WWE Title - Countout and Disqualification Rules Waived): It looks like the odds are stacked against Roadblock, but remember that The Rock is only going to lose one match on this tour. Rock's one loss is not going to be against C.M. Punk. Projection? Rock wins with the Rock Bottom after taking everything the Straight Edge Superstar can dish out. Lesnar comes out after the match to beat down Rock, but a suit-clad Triple H hobbles to the ring with sledgehammer in hand and wards off Lesnar.

Aftermath: It's WrestleMania season. Get ready for Alberto Del Rio defending his title against Mark Henry, C.M. Punk battling The Undertaker (or Sheamus, if Undertaker is not available), and The Rock defending his WWE Title against Royal Rumble winner John Cena.

***
Pat McNeill of Richmond, Va. has been a PWTorch Columnist since 2001. If the wrestling columnist from Grantland wakes up one morning with a horse's head at the foot of his bed, Mr. McNeill has an alibi.


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