Top 5: Elimination Chamber Matches
The final stop on the Road to WrestleMania, Elimination Chamber is fast approaching.
The Elimination Chamber has been testing WWE superstars since 2002 and in this list, we’ll look back at what I consider to be the best five showings the Devils Playground has had since it’s inception.
V – February 21st 2010: World Heavyweight Championship
The first ever “Elimination Chamber” branded pay per view saw both the WWE and World Heavyweight Championship defended inside the demonic structure. We’ll be focusing on the World Championship match that featured The Undertaker defending his gold against John Morrison, Rey Mysterio, CM Punk, R-Truth and eventual winner Chris Jericho. Taker ruled supreme in the match and looked as though he would hang onto his title, that is until Shawn Michaels emerged from under one of the chamber’s steel panels and flattened The Deadman with Sweet Chin Music; allowing the opportunistic Jericho to capitalise. This match marked the first time an outside party has physically entered the chamber and also marked the fourth time that a new World Heavyweight Champion had been crowned in the match.
IV – February 17th 2008 – Winner Faces Edge at WrestleMania 24
There was no gold on the line during this match, however the opportunity to wrestle for it was hanging in the balance. Featuring both SmackDown! and ECW superstars MVP, Big Daddy V, Finlay, The Great Khali, Batista and winner The Undertaker this match is perhaps remembered for it’s creative finish. Some might say it’s the most creative finish in chamber history. It came down to “The Animal” Batista and The Undertaker, Batista attempted to throw The Undertaker head first into the steel chain outside the ring holding him in a powerslam position. Taker however fought his way out and fell back into the ring, in the process positioning Batista for a Tombstone Piledriver and finishing him off once and for all. The Undertaker went on to win the World Championship at WrestleMania, this match making his journey to get there that much more satisfying.
III – February 15th 2009 – World Heavyweight Championship
It was a difficult decision deciding between this match, or the match that proceeded it earlier in the night. I find this to be the more memorable though, even from the get go which saw Edge attack Kofi Kingston and steal his place. John Cena went into this bout as the defending champion against Mike Knox, Rey Mysterio, Chris Jericho, Kane and winner Edge. In perhaps the most shocking Elimination Chamber elimination ever, John Cena was eliminated at the 22 minute mark after a barrage of finishing moves; leaving Chris Jericho, Rey Mysterio and Edge to battle over the gold. In the end we saw The Rated R Superstar flatten Rey Mysterio with the spear and go on to WrestleMania. However, Cena wouldn’t be left lying and eventually won back the title at the event itself.
II – January 9th 2005 – Vacant World Heavyweight Championship
This was the first and only Elimination Chamber bout to take place outside of the United States thus far and also the only to feature a Special Guest Referee, Shawn Michaels (winner of the original Elimination Chamber) The World Heavyweight Championship had been vacated back in November and Chris Benoit, Chris Jericho, Randy Orton, Batista, Edge and Triple H fought for over 30 minutes to try and claim the gold. Perhaps remembered most for Chris Benoit’s diving headbutt from the top of an internal pod, or Shawn Michaels superkicking Edge leading to his elimination, it was Triple H who stood victorious when it was all said and done claiming his 10th World Championship. This match was the beginning of the end of Evolution, as Batista would soon turn on his long time friend and capture the World Championship he won in this very match at WrestleMania 21.
I – November 17th 2002 – World Heavyweight Championship
Trying to outdo Stephanie McMahon’s SmackDown!, Eric Bischoff was the on screen mastermind behind the creation of the Elimination Chamber. Nobody knew what to expect going into this match, but when all was said an done; history had truly been witnessed. This match was all about Shawn Michaels, wrestling his second match in over four years. Chris Jericho, Rob Van Dam, Kane, Booker T, Triple H and Michaels himself battled it out in front of the rowdy Madison Square Garden crowd with The Game’s World Championship on the line. From RVD’s spider-man jump from the top rope to the chamber wall itself, or his Five Star Frog Splash from the top of the pod. Shawn Michaels’ elbow drop from the top of the pod, Shawn Michaels being thrown through the glass, Triple H bleeding throughout the entire match; so many moments to remember. When it was all said and done, Shawn Michaels became World Heavyweight Champion for the 4th time in his career and although he would go on to lose it the next month at Armageddon. The sheer emotion and delivery of this inaugural match, still holds it up as the best yet.
Elimination Chamber 2011 is set to feature two Elimination Chamber matches, will they set a new standard for the Devil’s Playground or will the sheer undertaking of having to compete in the most brutal match in WWE history prove too much? One thing is for sure, it’ll be a treat to watch.