The Elimination Chamber is one of the most brutal matches ever conceived in the history of the WWE.
A ring surrounded by steel floors, plexiglass pods and walls of steel chains make for a dangerous environment for any WWE superstar, but for the fans, it creates an unpredictable and entertaining atmosphere, where many different things could happen.
On February 25th, seven more superstars will enter this match in the first ever seven-man Elimination Chamber, which will start off with three men in the ring, instead of two. Roman Reigns is the favourite for the bout that also features Braun Strowman, The Miz, John Cena, Finn Balor, Seth Rollins and Elias.
To date, there have been 20 Elimination Chamber matches, and today we’re going to look at the TWM top five.
- World Heavyweight Championship Elimination Chamber match, Elimination Chamber 2010
Let’s start at the beginning – it’s incredibly rare to see someone eliminated before anybody has been released from a pod, yet that’s exactly what CM Punk did to R-Truth in this match, before cutting a promo in his down time about how he was going to defeat everyone else. Cue to him being eliminated next by Rey Mysterio.
Not necessarily the most star studded match, this one featured R-Truth, John Morrison, CM Punk, Rey Mysterio, Chris Jericho and The Undertaker. However, with The Undertaker entering the match last, it was entirely feasible that any of the others could have been eliminated at any point, which kept the audience engaged.
However, the reason this match makes it on to the list is because of the ending. Shawn Michaels, who had been trying to get Undertaker to face him at WrestleMania, interfered and cost the Deadman the World Heavyweight Championship, with Chris Jericho getting the final pinfall. One of the most shocking ends to an Elimination Chamber match ever.
- World Heavyweight Championship Elimination Chamber match, Summerslam 2003
Gooooooldberg. Goooooooldberg. The crowd in Phoenix chanted as the man everyone wanted to see entered the fray. This was the match everybody wanted to see him in and, entering at number six, they finally did. Plowing through everybody from Randy Orton to Shawn Michaels, Goldberg showed what a dominant force he was, and then reason he had gone unbeaten for 173 matches in WCW.
As is always the case when facing the ‘Cerebral Assassin’ Triple H though, there was underhanded play which left the audience ultimately disappointed with the outcome of this contest, as The Game walked away with a victory after a sledgehammer was passed to him from the outside of the enclosure by Ric Flair and it was used to good effect on Goldberg.
This Elimination Chamber has to go down as one of the most stacked of all time, with every man inside either a current or a future Hall of Famer.
- WWE Championship Elimination Chamber match, New Year’s Revolution 2006
Looking at this one on paper compared to the match at Summerslam 2003 and you’d think it was a bit crazy to include this one on the best of all time list.
A match that featured Carlito and Chris Masters was a decent but predictable affair, especially once Kurt Angle, Shawn Michaels and Kane had all been eliminated, leaving the two less experienced stars against champion John Cena.
Carlito and Masters executed a good game plan, but with the two of them facing Cena, it was obvious that shenanigans were afoot and a double cross from Carlito on his partner left Cena with easy pickings, albeit after a gruelling match after starting said contest.
It was what happened after that made this such a revolutionary night. Ten months before, at WrestleMania 21, Edge had won his Money in the Bank contract and decided that with Cena down, covered in blood, that this was the ideal moment to capitalise, and that he did, cashing in, spearing Cena twice and winning his first ever world title. Combining this with his recent feud with Matt Hardy over Lita, and his live sex celebration the following night on Raw, WWE had found it’s new leading heel of the company.
- World Heavyweight Championship Elimination Chamber match, No Way Out 2009
If Shawn Michaels is Mr. WrestleMania, Edge is Mr. Elimination Chamber. After losing his WWE Championship in the opening Elimination Chamber of the evening, Edge then destroyed Kofi Kingston with a conchairto to the ring steps to insert himself into this match.
Boasting a plethora of talented superstars, you had the usual suspects Rey Mysterio, John Cena, Kane and Chris Jericho, along with Mike Knox, who was released just over a year later, this being the biggest match of his career. If you remember Mike Knox, well done, because he basically did nothing. Fun fact, he was released after losing to the legend that is JTG.
Anyway, back to the match itself, everybody played a decent role apart from Knox, who was just there to make up the numbers it seems. Poor Kofi. Mysterio eliminated Kane with some high flying spot, Cena had to take three finishers to be eliminated and Mysterio also eliminated Jericho.
If there hadn’t been such a big plot point about Edge coming in to the match, you would have thought Mysterio would have pulled off his ultimate underdog routine, but alas, Mr. Elimination Chamber Edge walked away with a new championship over his shoulder.
- World Heavyweight Championship Elimination Chamber match, Survivor Series 2002
It’s rare to see the first one of anything be considered the best, but WWE has a rare knack for knowing what they’re doing with these kind of things.
Starting with a line up of world champions, this match started with RVD and Triple H, and within the first five minutes, Triple H had been busted open after numerous shots to the steel, in order to show how brutal this match could be.
RVD was the first eliminated after doing a frog splash from the top of the pod and basically breaking himself in the process. It took a missile dropkick from Booker T to finish him off though.
Everything this match showed was how unpredictable it could be. While it didn’t have a cash in afterwards or a surprise entrant or foul play leading to the finish, the match itself had so much quality to stand over the rest. It even ended with Chris Jericho, Shawn Michaels and Triple H – three of the all-time greats – bloody and bruised, showing exactly what it is to be at the peak of your ability.
Also, Shawn Michaels winning his first championship in almost five years, and which turned out to be his last, was a joyous moment, which you could see from the audience reaction.