WWE Elimination Chamber: Does Kevin Owens break out, become next top heel?

wweWWE hastily scheduled the 2015 Elimination Chamber, adding the pay-per-view to the schedule just earlier this month, not giving creative much, if any, time to build up storylines with Payback having taken place just two weeks ago.

Maybe not surprisingly, then, the focus in the walk-up to the big show hasn’t been on the gimmick Chamber matches for the Intercontinental title and tag team titles, but rather the champ-versus-champ match between U.S. champ John Cena and NXT champ Kevin Owens.

Owens is already being advertised for main-roster house shows and Monday Night Raws through the summer, so we know that the big guy is getting a big push.

The question heading into Elimination Chamber: does the push include an upset win over Cena for the U.S. title?

It would be intriguing to give Owens main-roster cred by having him beat Cena for the strap, setting up a summertime feud between the two that could culminate with some sort of finale to a series at SummerSlam.

Owens would then become a legitimate top player on the main roster, and could go anywhere creative would want him after SummerSlam as a top heel.

Owens, a former Ring of Honor champ, has shown that he can take the ball and run with it in ROH and NXT, with solid workrate and excellent mic skills.

But does WWE want to take the strap off Cena, who has elevated the U.S. title since winning it at WrestleMania 31 with his weekly open challenge that has served its purpose well, giving new talents like Owens and Sami Zayn the chance to work themselves into the spotlight?

It might actually make sense to do so. It seems clear that WWE is about to put the Intercontinental title on Sheamus, a heel, and the WWE title is on Seth Rollins, who will almost certainly retain the belt in his match with Dean Ambrose at Elimination Chamber, pointing toward a SummerSlam match that should involve Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns in some way, form or fashion.

Giving the U.S. title to Owens means the three major singles titles are on heels, giving faces up and down the roster plenty to start chasing after.

The chase, for fans, is the fun part of wrestling. Reigns and Lesnar chasing Rollins, Dolph Ziggler and Adrian Neville chasing Sheamus, Cena chasing Owens, all reasons for fans to buy tickets to house shows, to sign up for WWE Network – to see if the good guys can give those mean ol’ bad guys their rightful comeuppance.

 

The rest of the card: Yeah, there are actual Chamber matches. Of the two in the six tons of steel, the one that has my rapt attention is the tag match, which should end with New Day and The Prime Time Players in some sort of schmozz that has them feuding for the next few months over the tag team titles. Any other ending is a missed opportunity.

Sheamus is the prohibitive favorite in the Intercontinental title match, which suffers a bit from the absence of Rusev, who was injured Tuesday night at the Smackdown taping, taking away the subplot that has been emerging between Rusev and Ziggler.

The Divas match has had nice buildup between champ Nikki Bella, top contender Paige and interloper Naomi. It would make sense to have Naomi pull the upset and thus create a third strong force in the Divas division, which could use an injection of talent from NXT (Charlotte, Bayley and Emma are head and shoulders better than anyone in this match).

Bo Dallas and Neville … at least they get to work.

– Preview by Chris Graham

 

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