5 Superstars WWE should have included in the SmackDown Elimination Chamber match
Just like RAW, SmackDown will also be getting an Elimination Chamber match at the upcoming Elimination Chamber PPV. Instead of crowning a potential future challenger from SmackDown to face Roman Reigns, the current Universal Champion will face the winner at the Elimination Chamber PPV itself.
Traditionally, WWE has booked at least one Chamber match to produce a title challenger for WrestleMania. Instead, WWE has opted to prolong the decisions of both Edge and Bianca Belair who won their respective Royal Rumbles. By having at least one winner declare their intent, however, WWE could have booked one of the Elimination Chamber matches to produce a Championship opponent for the Show of Shows.
For RAW’s match, it was announced that all of the competitors were former WWE Champions. While that would be harder to do with the Universal Championship, they could still have involved former World Champions. Instead, Jey Uso and Kevin Owens were simply announced for the match. Others, like King Corbin, Sami Zayn, Daniel Bryan and Cesaro, had to earn their spots. Owens and Bryan are former Champions but had different paths to get into the Chamber.
Every Chamber match usually has a blend of heels and faces and both matches for 2021 accomplish that. There are, however, some names that could have been included in the match due to current storylines or angles that have taken place following the Royal Rumble. Here are five SmackDown Superstars that WWE should have involved in the Elimination Chamber match.
#5 Superstar WWE should have included in the SmackDown Elimination Chamber match – Dolph Ziggler
Since the tag team division on SmackDown is rather thin, the current SmackDown Tag Team Champs tried to finagle their way into the Elimination Chamber match. Instead, they were put into a match against Cesaro and Daniel Bryan for the right to enter the match. Ziggler and Robert Roode lost.
Ziggler is a former World Champion and is in great shape. He is among the best sellers in WWE and that aids him to help get others over when they join the main roster. Due to his title history in every division, it would have been akin to RAW adding Jeff Hardy to the RAW Chamber match.
The Show-off could have started the match and had a good run, because he’s had long runs in several Royal Rumble matches and has the appropriate stamina. It would have also allowed WWE to forgo trying to throw together a match/feud for the SmackDown Tag Team belts. Ziggler would have made everyone look great, as he usually does.
#4 Superstar WWE should have included in the SmackDown Elimination Chamber match – Rey OR Dominik Mysterio
WWE is at a bit of a crossroads on SmackDown regarding the direction for Rey and Dominik Mysterio heading towards Elimination Chamber. Since coming out of their feud with Seth Rollins, they have both been embroiled in an ongoing series of matches against King Corbin. Dominik even eliminated Corbin from the 2021 Royal Rumble.
The father and son duo battled Sami Zayn and Corbin for the right to enter the Elimination Chamber match. They lost, allowing Corbin and Zayn to qualify instead. This is a shame, considering the Mysterios could have provided some high-flying entertainment off of the pods.
The more dramatic move would have been to have the Mysterios face each other for the the chance to earn a spot in the Elimination Chamber match. That would have been a different storyline for both men, causing the loser to try and cope with falling short against a family member. If Rey had won, it could have facilitated a heel turn for Dominik. If Dom had won, then it could have been a “passing the torch” type of moment.
#3 Superstar WWE should have included in the SmackDown Elimination Chamber match – Shinsuke Nakamura
Shinsuke Nakamura is another big name left off the list of SmackDown Elimination Chamber combatants. The Japanese star enjoyed a face turn in a gauntlet match on SmackDown a few weeks ago. The match was to determine the challenger for Roman Reigns at the Royal Rumble. He was the iron man of the bout and it looked like his career was getting back on track after predominantly being in a heel tag team for the last year or so.
The simple fact why Nakamura should have been included in the Elimination Chamber is simple – he was attacked at the end of the gauntlet match on SmackDown by Jey Uso and Roman Reigns. That attack alone should have forced Nakamura to get some revenge on the Tribal Chief for stealing a title shot from his grasp.
Having Nakamura in the Elimination Chamber match would have held continuity with that storyline, but instead, he was battling Big E for the Intercontinental Championship on the latest SmackDown. Did he forget that he was brutally attacked and robbed of a potential shot at the Universal Championship?
By including Nakamura in the Elimination Chamber, it would have provided another potential face challenger and one that has legitimate beef with the current Champion on SmackDown. Since he was excluded, it seems a bit strange to put him into a different angle without addressing his attack at the hands of the Tribal Chief.
#2 Superstar WWE should have included in the SmackDown Elimination Chamber match – Big E
Rather than include Big E in the SmackDown Elimination Chamber contest, it appears that WWE is setting him up for another triple threat or multi-person match for his next PPV defense. Apollo Crews has received the Randy Orton treatment from Big E – several title matches leading to losses. Crews then demanded another one, despite having already lost a handful.
One way that WWE could have worked a few feuds from SmackDown into the Elimination Chamber match is if Big E was involved. He could have a solid run and eliminate someone, or someone could eliminate him. That would then lead to a program around the IC title leading up to WrestleMania.
When WWE blends a few different feuds into a match like the Elimination Chamber, it makes the storylines and eliminations mean more than if they feel spontaneous. If Big E lasted until the end and was unceremoniously eliminated, it would also provide the framework for a future shot at the Universal Championship. That would have been twice as effective if Jey Uso and/or Reigns had a hand in his dismissal from the match.
They might be saving Big E for a future shot at the Head of the Table, if he retains past WrestleMania. There were not a lot of potential face challengers on SmackDown after the 2020 WWE Draft, but a lot has changed in the last few weeks.
#1 Superstar WWE should have included in the SmackDown Elimination Chamber match – Seth Rollins
Seth Rollins returned to SmackDown after a hiatus of a few months, but has not been added to the Elimination Chamber. He made his official return to WWE during the 2021 Royal Rumble and he had the same “savior” character upon his entrance into the match.
Things appeared to be a bit different as he entered the Thunderdome to his old entrance theme “Burn It Down,” which hinted at a possible face turn. His promo was also heading that way until he started to spew his usual rhetoric of being the leader of the locker room.
It was more of the same from a performer who really could have used a change of character. Rollins is already one of the top performers throughout all of WWE, so not including him in the Elimination Chamber match is a tad strange. Perhaps creative wants to ease him back into things, instead of throwing him right back into a big match like the Elimination Chamber.
Had Rollins been involved, it would have provided a big moment for whichever Superstar eliminated him. Someone like Big E or Daniel Bryan could have pinned the former Universal Champion, leading to a program for WrestleMania. Instead, he attacked Cesaro on SmackDown, which seems to be his current direction for now.