The inaugural WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions will be crowned tonight after walking out of the grueling confines of the Elimination Chamber as victors.
Three teams from Raw scratched and clawed their way into the match: the Boss ‘n’ Hug Connection of Sasha Banks and Bayley, Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan of the Riott Squad, and Nia Jax and Tamina. Three teams from SmackDown just kind of said they were going to be in the match: Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville, Billie Kay and Peyton Royce of the IIconics, and Naomi and Carmella. Five of these tag teams have been working together for some time, many of them for years. Naomi and Carmella have not. Their partnership seems to be based entirely on the fact they can both dance. On the other hand, they come in just behind Banks and Bayley for most women’s titles per team.
Whoever wins this match will make history, but with so many variables at play, and with little prior history to guide us, it’s really hard to say what’ll happen. But I’m going to try anyway. We know that Banks and Bayley will start in the Elimination Chamber with Rose and Deville. Here’s how I see the rest of the match playing out.
First Entrants: Naomi and Carmella
Naomi and Carmella will enter relatively early, in part to shake off the notion that they’re an afterthought. Naomi will focus all her attention on knocking off Mandy Rose, and Sonya Deville and Carmella will have to fend for themselves against the united strength of the Boss ‘n’ Hug Connection. This could theoretically give Banks and Bayley plenty of opportunities to knock off some strong competitors early, but I suspect the booking will give them more of an underdog arc. I predict no eliminations until the fourth team enters.
Second Entrants: Nia Jax and Tamina
Nia Jax and Tamina will come out of their pod like a tsunami, laying out everyone they can get their hands on. Tamina will get bogged down in a fight with the Boss ‘n’ Hug Connection, or may even be targeted in a momentary Deville/Carmella alliance. Crucially, the introduction of these two powerhouses will do nothing to distract Naomi from her single-minded pursuit of Rose. She’ll even manage to pull off a near fall. Unfortunately, Jax will break it up to get an elimination of her own.
First Elimination: Naomi and Carmella
Jax will have her choice of Rose and Naomi to pin, and she’ll pick Naomi because, even if Rose and Deville are a better tag team, Naomi is a two-time women’s champion. Jax would be foolish to just leave a two-time women’s champion in the mix, and she’d eliminate another former women’s champion in the bargain. Rose and Deville will regroup and we’ll have three united tag teams squaring off against each other. If this were a battle royal situation, you might expect everyone to team up against Nia, as they usually do, but Tamina will make that impossible. Instead, the three teams will just face off as teams, possibly with a huge brawl in the middle. The numbers aren’t right for a down-the-middle brawl, as there are only two face teams in the match to four heels, but I’m pretty sure there’s gonna be a big brawl in the middle of the ring at some point during Elimination Chamber. Maybe when the fifth team enters the fray.
Third Entrants: The Riott Squad
The Riott Squad will get a great position in this match, if not the best. They will throw themselves right into fight, going hard, going fast, and probably doing something mad. Sarah Logan, known as Crazy Mary Dobson on the independent circuit, is a death match veteran, and Liv Morgan loves to take a big bump. Morgan could do some ludicrous headscissors takedown off a pod. Logan could just straight-up punch someone else directly through the roof of one. Truly, the sky is the limit for the Riott Squad, at least in this regard. I expect they’ll target the weakest team, in their eyes, and let the others waste their energy on each other. That means a Riott Squad vs Fire and Desire scrap while Boss ‘n’ Hug try to grind down Jax and Tamina. The latter is an unstoppable force meets an immovable object situation. But the former will have a clear winner.
Second Elimination: Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville
The Riott Squad will eliminate Rose and Deville, but I’m not sure how. Well, it’ll be a pin, but I’m not sure who’s getting pinned. Sonya has secured a few strong wins in the past couple of months: combine that with her recent casting in Total Divas and I suspect WWE will be pushing her for the foreseeable future. That might suggest that Mandy will be pinned, but I actually think it’ll be Sonya precisely because she’s getting a push. Mandy will blame the loss on Sonya, even though Sonya had to spend lots of the match on her own because of Mandy’s stupid vendetta against Naomi. This won’t be the thing that breaks up Rose and Deville, but it will be one more crack in their foundation.
The Riott Squad will immediately turn their attention on their Raw colleagues, possibly forming a momentary alliance with Boss ‘n’ Hug against Jax and Tamina. The Riott Squad have had plenty of beef with Boss ‘n’ Hug, obviously, but at this point in the match, everyone will be just sick to death of having the two biggest women in WWE throwing their weight around the Elimination Chamber, and they’ll want to get rid of them as quickly as possible. But they won’t succeed, because of the IIconics.
Fourth Entrants: The IIconics
The IIconics will get the plum position in the match, and honestly, godspeed to them, they need it. Rather than join in the tactical alliance against Jax and Tamina, however, I expect them to be extremely short-sighted and opportunistic and target the Riott Squad and/or Boss ‘n’ Hug. Whoever they don’t target will end up trying to fend off Jax and Tamina on their own. The IIconics will go for like five or six desperate pins without much work to earn them, and scream really loudly every time someone kicks out at one. Let’s say they attack the Riott Squad, trying to steer clear of anyone who’s held a title. The Riott Squad will hold their own, but they won’t be able to seal the deal on the IIconics either, and then Jax will break away from her scrap with Boss ‘n’ Hug to bowl through the other teams and score another elimination.
Third Elimination: The IIconics
Earlier in the match, I predicted Jax would eliminate tactically when given the choice between Naomi and Rose, but here, she’ll be tired and angry, and the lazy, entitled part of her personality will come to the fore. She’ll take the easiest pin here, probably Billie Kay, and eliminate the IIconics to establish the momentum is on hers and Tamina’s side. But she’ll regret ditching her partner.
Fourth Elimination: Nia Jax and Tamina
While Jax is busy with the IIconics and the Riott Squad, Banks and Bayley will get the better of Tamina, and eliminate her almost immediately after Jax eliminates the IIconics. Specifically, Tamina will tap out to the Bank Statement while Bayley stops Jax from breaking it up. Jax will go ape over it as Tamina rolls limply from the Elimination Chamber. She will refuse to leave the structure and lay out Banks and Bayley before the officials force her out. The battering will seemingly give the Riott Squad an advantage in the final act of this massive match: fresher than Banks and Bayley, and having had more time to recover from their own encounter with Jax, they’ll take the lead for a hot minute. But if you’re a fan of the Riott Squad, you know that hope is for other people.
Final Elimination: The Riott Squad
Bayley will pick up the pin on Liv Morgan after some awful bump off the pod or something similar. Boss ‘n’ Hug will score two eliminations, one from each partner, so people don’t worry they’re gonna revive the tedious, anticlimactic almost-feud between Banks and Bayley by giving either one reason to feel the other didn’t put in enough work.
Winners: Sasha Banks and Bayley
Sasha Banks and Bayley will walk out of Elimination Chamber as the inaugural WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions. Personally, I’ll be pretty happy with that, even if a part of me will be super mad that, once again, the Riott Squad will be used as mere stepping stones in someone else’s story, especially when Ruby taps out to Ronda. But this defeat will be less egregious than Ruby’s and will set Banks and Bayley up nicely to defend their titles against Trish Stratus and Lita at WrestleMania 35.
Or maybe not. How do you think the Women’s Tag Team Championship match will play out at this year’s Elimination Chamber? Sound off below, and don’t forget to check in after Elimination Chamber to see how I did and/or make fun of me for being so wrong.