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Elimination Chamber 2019: WWE Insiders Pick

By Chuck Carroll

(CBS DFW/CBS Local) -- The road to WrestleMania will roll through Houston on Sunday, as WWE presents Elimination Chamber. There will be plenty of jostling for position on the grandest stage of them all, with six titles up for grabs at the pay-per-view, including for the first time ever the WWE Women's Tag Team Championships. Six teams will enter the imposing steel structure, but only one will come out carrying the inaugural gold.

Also at stake: The WWE Championship, as Daniel Bryan returns to his familiar role as underdog to defend against five others inside the steel chamber. The holder of the fully customized vegan eco-friendly title has a 1-2 all-time record in the match, having successfully defended the title in 2012 but coming up short the following two years.

Although she's not on the card, all eyes will be on Becky Lynch after being served with a 60-day suspension and subsequently stripped of a shot at the RAW Women's Championship against Ronda Rousey at WrestleMania. The match would have likely been the main event. After levying the suspension, Vince McMahon instead inserted Charlotte Flair into the vacant challenger position for the outdoor bout at MetLife Stadium. The Queen is also absent from the Elimination Chamber card, but it wouldn't be a surprise to see either interfere in Rousey's title defense against Ruby Riott, who is, for all intents and purposes, being thrown to the wolves as a sacrificial lamb. Keep in mind that the plans for Rousey to defend the title against Lynch and Flair at WrestleMania have been made for months.

Here is a look at the rest of the card and betting odds along with how things should unfold. Joining me to make picks once again is Aaron Oster from The Baltimore Sun and Rolling Stone.

Chuck Carroll (@ChuckCarrollWLC) – Pro wrestling contributor, CBS Local Sports

Record YTD: 6-3

Aaron Oster (@TheAOster) – Pro wrestling contributor, Rolling Stone and Baltimore Sun; Host, Jobbing Out Podcast

Record YTD: 7-2

(Note: All odds as of Thursday morning.)

>>MORE: From the world of Pro Wrestling

Daniel Bryan attends WWE SummerSlam Press Conference at Beverly Hills Hotel on August 13, 2013 in Beverly Hills, California. Daniel Bryan (Photo Credit: Valerie Macon/Getty Images)

Elimination Chamber Match for WWE Championship
"The New" Daniel Bryan (c) vs. AJ Styles vs. Jeff Hardy vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Randy Orton vs. Samoa Joe
Odds: Daniel Bryan (-600), AJ Styles (+500), Samoa Joe (+800), Randy Orton (+1000), Kofi Kingston (+1600), Jeff Hardy (+1600)

Chuck: Kofi Kingston put on a WrestleMania-worthy performance at the go-home show on Tuesday and should have the entire WWE Universe pulling for him. But the strong showing did little to improve his chances of winning. There's a reason that Daniel Bryan is a heavy favorite to retain the title here. Don't expect to see him drop the gold — or wood in this case — before April 7. Pick: Daniel Bryan

Aaron: I'd like to tell you that there could be a surprise here and that Samoa Joe or (even better) Kofi Kingston could come away with the win. But that's not happening here. The result isn't in doubt, it's simply how to get there. Does Daniel Bryan get outside assistance? Do they set up something heading towards WrestleMania? Or do they simply use this to get everyone out of the way so someone else (like a certain person you can't see) can enter the picture heading towards WrestleMania? Pick: Daniel Bryan

>>MORE: 14 Things You Didn't Know About WWE Superstar Randy Orton

Elimination Chamber Match for Women's Tag Team Championship
Nia Jax & Tamina vs. Sasha Banks & Bayley vs. Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville vs. The IIconics vs. Liv Morgan & Sarah Logan vs. Carmella & Naomi
Odds: Bayley & Banks (-250), Nia Jax & Tamina (+450), The IIconics (+500), The Riott Squad (+800), Rose & Deville (+800), Carmella & Naomi (+1200)

Chuck: The Boss and Hug Connection seem like the obvious choice here with Banks having been given medical clearance to compete in the match. I get the sense that one of them is going to turn and blow the dust off their old rivalry. If I'm booking, I'm having Rose & Deville and Carmella & Naomi as the final two teams. From there, Naomi gets her payback on Rose for trying to break up her marriage. Pick: Carmella & Naomi

Aaron: This one is far trickier to predict than the WWE title. The belts are going to Sasha Banks and Bayley in the near future. Does it make more sense to put it on a heel first though? Have someone like the IIconics or Riott Squad win, and then allow Sasha Banks and Bayley to win the titles at WrestleMania? Personally, that's the way that I would go. However, often times the easiest solution is the one to go with when it comes to WWE. They want the belts on Sasha and Bayley soon, so might as well do it here. And as this is a prediction and not fantasy booking, I'm going with that. Pick: Sasha Banks & Bayley

Ronda Rousey of the US prepares to take to the octagon for the UFC bantamweight title fight against compatriot Holly Holm in Melbourne on November 15, 2015. Ronda Rousey (Photo Credit: Paul Crock/AFP/Getty Images)

RAW Women's Championship
Ronda Rousey (c) vs. Ruby Riott
Odds: Ronda Rousey (-5000), Ruby Riott (+1200)

Chuck: As the longest of long shots, if Ruby Riott manages to win here somebody is going to über rich. But you'd be a fool to go with the Hail Mary bet. Rousey will retain and go on to main event WrestleMania in a three-way match against Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch. Speaking of which… "The Man" will more than likely make an appearance, but it won't be enough to alter the outcome of the match. Pick: Ronda Rousey

Aaron: I get that there isn't much they could do to make this match interesting. We know Ronda Rousey is taking the belt to WrestleMania. At the same time I wish they had done something to make this match a little bit more interesting. They had Rousey in multiple segments on Monday and didn't have her mention this match once. Yeah, it wouldn't make us think she was losing, but at least it would feel like it mattered. Pick: Ronda Rousey

>>MORE: Is Ronda Rousey Leaving WWE?

SmackDown Tag Team Championship
The Miz & Shane McMahon (c) vs. The Usos
Odds: Miz & McMahon (-600), Usos (+350)

Chuck: Am I the only one that smells a Miz vs. McMahon match at WrestleMania? Of course not. Even if WWE is going to go that route with "The Best Tag Team In The World," a title change isn't required here. There is plenty of time to take care of that down the line. Perhaps a seed or two will be planted though. The titles will return to the Uso Penitentiary down the line. Pick: The Miz & Shane McMahon

Aaron: Everyone is waiting on Miz and Shane to explode here. That's where the storyline is going, so the question isn't if, but it's when and who. I can't answer the who yet, but I can almost certainly tell you the when. Fastlane is in Cleveland. Miz is from Cleveland. That is when it's happening. Thus, it's not happening here, and The Miz and Shane McMahon will retain the titles. Pick: The Miz & Shane McMahon

Intercontinental Championship
Bobby Lashley (c) & Lio Rush vs. Finn Bálor (Handicap Match)
Odds: Finn Bálor (-170), Bobby Lashley & Rush (+130)

Chuck: Bálor is long overdue to be a title holder and is coming off of an A+ performance against Brock Lesnar at the Royal Rumble. The Universal Title wasn't in the cards that night, but the Intercontinental Championship will serve as a solid consolation prize. A loss here would risk erasing his strong push of late. And after floundering around the mid-card for months on end, it is time for Bálor to get his due. Pick: Finn Bálor

Aaron: I really felt like Lashley was going to carry the belt into WrestleMania. It made so much sense to have him have a decent-length reign to give a face a big moment at WrestleMania. So why make this specific match? This setup is almost always to have the face pin the manager to win the title. Otherwise, it just makes more sense to have Lashley win with outside interference by Lio Rush. At the same time it feels early. This is tough. I'll go with history though, and history says the face wins in this type of match. Pick: Finn Bálor

Braun Strowman reacts during to the WWE Live Duesseldorf event at ISS Dome on February 22, 2017 in Duesseldorf, Germany. Braun Strowman (Photo Credit: Lukas Schulze/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Braun Strowman vs. Baron Corbin
Odds: Braun Strowman (-600), Baron Corbin (+350)

Chuck: This one seems straight forward, but I'm not sold that the former General Manager of Monday Night RAW is going to "get these hands." Baron Corbin is like a cockroach who just won't go away, while Braun Strowman's career has been stop and go like rush-hour traffic. I'm going with Corbin to pull off the upset, thanks to a little help from Drew McIntyre. Pick: Baron Corbin

Aaron: I'm getting a major feeling of déjà vu with Braun Strowman. Last year he was one of the hottest acts in the company, and they couldn't find anything to do with him for WrestleMania, leading to Nicholas. What is the WWE doing here? The only thing he is involved with is this endless six-man situation with Corbin, Drew McIntyre, Kurt Angle, Lashley and Finn Bálor. So maybe McIntyre comes out here and helps Corbin win, leading to that match at WrestleMania? It wouldn't be the worst thing in the world... but Braun Strowman deserves so much more. Pick: Braun Strowman

>>MORE: 15 Things You Didn't Know About WWE Giant Braun Strowman

WWE Cruiserweight Championship
Buddy Murphy (c) vs. Akira Tozawa
Odds: Buddy Murphy (-700), Akira Tozawa (+400)

Chuck: Buddy Murphy is closing in on becoming the longest-reigning Cruiserweight Champion since the title was resurrected in 2016. He recently surpassed the 130-day mark, which is already the third-longest of the 205 Live era. Only Cedric Alexander (180 days) and Neville (196 days) have held the title longer. Don't expect for the gold to change hands here. Keeping the gold around his waist and going for the record adds more fodder to a title defense at WrestleMania. Pick: Buddy Murphy

Aaron: Buddy Murphy has had a near-perfect reign for a heel champion. He's held it to a point that I think it would be a really big deal when he's dethroned by a face. Akira Tozawa isn't that guy. So Murphy retains here. Pick: Buddy Murphy


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