The Elimination Chamber is one of the great WWE claims to fame. While other gimmick matches have been created elsewhere in the world, the Chamber is a homegrown entity. In the years since 2002, the Elimination Chamber has become a staple of WWE programming. Usually wedged in between the Royal Rumble and Wrestlemania it has been a crucial stop on the road to Wrestlemania.
While the titular match has usually been the highlight of the evening, it has sometimes been overshadowed. There have been other matches on the card that have stolen the show and outdone the Elimination Chamber… Below we will take a look at 5 Non-Chamber matches that stole the show.
Non-Chamber Matches : The Wyatt Family Vs The Shield | 2014
The two most dominant groups on the roster were set for a collision course at some point. While both The Wyatts and The Shield were heel groups they ended up butting heads leading up to the Elimination Chamber. The Wyatts cost the Hounds of Justice their chance at entering the Chamber match and this led to their 6 man showdown at the Elimination Chamber PPV.
Once in the ring, we all got to see why these 6 men were destined for greatness. The action was fantastic throughout the contest. There was no downtime during the match, with the rest periods involving amazing high-impact moves. It was a testament to the shape that the 6 men were in that they were able to keep that pace up for close to 20 minutes.
Another great part of the match was the crowd reaction. From the opening bell, The Wyatts and The Shield had the Minneapolis crowd eating out of their hands. They were with them the whole way and erupted with every huge spot. It was great and helped to make this match something special.
Non-Chamber Matches : John Cena Vs Kevin Owens | 2015
Cena’s United States Open provided a great run for the former World Champion. It provided for some fantastic moments and gave youngers wrestlers a national spotlight. This is evident with the entry of Kevin Owens to the main roster. Answering Cena’s Open Challenge on Raw, Owens stated that he would fight Cena on his terms, then blindsided the champion. This attack set up the dream match for Elimination Chamber.
Neither title was on the line at the PPV but both men still put on a match of the year candidate. This was not your technical masterpiece of a match, this was a straight-up fight. Owens and Cena put on a fantastic brawl for the audience. It was not fancy but it was awesome. It was hard-hitting and showed that wrestling doesn’t need to be fancy to be effective.
The icing on the cake for this match was the unexpected finish. Kevin Owens managed to get the clean victory with his pop-up powerbomb. A clean victory over Cena was a massive deal in WWE and let the world know that Owens was a force to be reckoned with.
Non-Chamber Matches : Daniel Bryan Vs Drew Gulak | 2020
Leading up to the Elimination Chamber, Gulak was becoming a thorn in Daniel Bryan’s side. He was consistently telling Bryan that he knew all his weaknesses. This infuriated the leader of the Yes Movement and led to Bryan challenging Gulak to a match at the PPV.
It is a shame that this match is not thought of as fondly as it should. Gulak and Bryan were two of the best technicians in the world and we saw that first hand. Their match was not a fast-paced one but the ring knowledge is shown here was unmatched. Their mastery of every move was inspiring and one that younger wrestlers should aspire to achieve.
It was also a great bit of storytelling to have Gulak thwart Bryan at every turn. Gulak had an answer for every move that Bryan utilized. This added a great layer to their match as it truly looked like Gulak had Bryan’s number.
The finish came with Bryan getting the win with his Yes Lock but the rub for Gulak was still there. By not tapping out Gulak looked like one of the toughest men on the roster. It is a shame that WWE didn’t capitalize on this momentum.
Non-Chamber Matches : Randy Orton Vs Luke Harper | 2017
For months, Orton had been a snake in the grass of the Wyatt Family. Originally opposing the family Orton infiltrated the group and began to turn them against one another. Seeing this deviousness Harper turned on Orton, setting up their showdown at Elimination Chamber.
This was your classic WWE brawl. It was slow at points but the story being told more than made up for it. This was Harper’s coming-out party. Harper had always been in the Wyatt Family and this was his first foray on his own, and he nailed it. The program between Harper and Orton was spectacular and it transferred into a fantastic showing. The world saw the incredible athleticism of the big man and the crowd response to him was awesome.
This match also showed what Randy Orton can do when he cares. Having a reputation for being a lazy worker has followed Orton for years. If he is not into a match then there isn’t a point in watching it. In this match, Orton was selling Harper’s offence perfectly and took care to put on a hell of an entertaining match. RIP Brodie.
Non-Chamber Matches : Aleister Black Vs. AJ Styles | 2020
After a blindside attack, at the hands of the O.C, Black was looking for retribution. He challenged Styles to a match but had to go through Gallows and Anderson first. Black put both men down but that didn’t keep them from interfering in his match against Styles, costing him the contest. It was due to this that a No-DQ match was signed between the two men at Elimination Chamber.
The added stipulation was a great idea from WWE’s standpoint. Both men were able to get creative with the weapon used during the match. It added a freshness to the contest and set it apart from other No-DQ stipulations.
Outside of the weapons, this was an incredibly stiff contest. Both worked snugly throughout and it added a sense of realism to the match. The stiffness did slow the match down a bit and that lost the crowd but it shouldn’t have. The sell jobs by both were fantastic and it helped to bridge the gap for the final flurry. Having The Undertaker interfere and cost Styles the match was predictable but still a great moment. It made for a great ending and set up the final match of the Deadman’s career.