Originally Posted by wwe.com
After weeks of Superstars vying to qualify, the lineup for this Sunday’s World Heavyweight Championship No. 1 Contender’s Elimination Chamber Match is set, and for one of the six participants, entering the inhospitable Chamber may represent a return to championship greatness.
Following the news-making events of the Feb. 11 edition of Raw, Chris Jericho, Jack Swagger and Kane have been granted admission into the Chamber this Sunday. They join fellow former World Heavyweight Champions Daniel Bryan, Randy Orton and Mark Henry, all of whom qualified previously. Rey Mysterio, who had previously been slated for the bout, was forced to drop out after suffering an injury in an unprovoked attack by The World’s Strongest Man on Feb. 4.
In Jericho, this Sunday’s match now includes the most experienced Elimination Chamber competitor in WWE history. A seven-time participant in “Satan’s Prison,” Y2J directly lobbied to SmackDown General Manager Booker T for a place in the bout. Booker T agreed on the condition that Jericho must first defeat Bryan, which he did in a spectacular singles bout on Raw. With experience on his side, will Jericho prevail in the Chamber and challenge for his fourth World Heavyweight Title on The Grandest Stage of Them All?
Later that same night, “Real American” Jack Swagger added to his impressive string of recent victories by trouncing Zack Ryder. Conceding that Swagger has looked all but unstoppable since returning from an extended hiatus in February, Booker T gave the newly aggressive Swagger the green light to enter the Chamber. With redemption on his mind and newfound intensity on his side, can Swagger reclaim the World Heavyweight Championship gold he won nearly three years ago?
Also on the Feb. 11 Raw, Kane overcame Dolph Ziggler in a qualifying match to earn a spot in the Elimination Chamber. Though “Mr. Money in the Bank” originally stuck up his nose at the idea of joining the fray Sunday, he experienced a change of heart upon finding out that longtime nemesis Jericho would be involved. The Showoff nonetheless failed to muster a victory against The Big Red Machine. Kane will no doubt be cognizant of his WWE Tag Team Champion partner Daniel Bryan’s presence in the bout; how will the champions’ dysfunctional relationship play out inside the Chamber?
For Bryan, the Elimination Chamber Match may mean tapping into his old, ruthless reserves as a singles competitor. The submission specialist has been perched atop the tag division with Kane for some time now. But the Elimination Chamber is no place for teamwork and Bryan has not needed to resort to the kind of wily, underhanded tactics he employed to retain his own World Heavyweight Title last year in the same setting. He may well have to if he wants the opportunity to correct his 18-second defeat at WrestleMania XXVIII.
Henry, meanwhile, secured his place in the Chamber with a victory over Randy Orton on the Feb. 8 edition of SmackDown. According to The World’s Strongest Man himself, it was the Elimination Chamber’s golden opportunity that enticed Henry back into action after a nine-month absence. Returning unannounced on the Feb. 4 Raw, Henry smashed his way through fellow Elimination Chamber competitors Bryan and Mysterio, injuring the latter, in a stunning display of ruthlessness. The victory over Orton earned him a spot in the match, but could it also have been Henry’s first step toward reclaiming championship gold?
Not to be overlooked is The Viper. For Orton, the Elimination Chamber Match will necessitate as much cunning and ruthlessness as The Apex Predator has ever had to muster. The Viper is no stranger to the Elimination Chamber or overwhelming odds, but as Orton claws his way back toward the mountaintop, he’s facing no shortage of former rivals, enemies and partners who want to see the former champion trounced.
The path to WrestleMania, as always, is treacherous. But as these former champions prepare for a pit stop on Bourbon Street, the question they must answer rings louder than ever: What are they each prepared to do to challenge for the World Heavyweight Championship they believe they deserve?