The Elimination Chamber match is one of my favorite stipulated matches, because it features six superstars in a confined space, and it forces the competitors to have to be creative. Surrounded by steel chain and unrelenting surfaces, along with the solid glass covering each of the chambers. The Elimination Chamber is home to some of the greatest memories that WWE has to provide, and there is the potential for more memories to be made tomorrow night as Baron Corbin, The Miz, Bray Wyatt, Dean Ambrose, AJ Styles and the WWE Champion, John Cena, steps inside the Chamber tomorrow. When special stipulated matches such as these come up, I can’t help but feel a bit nostalgic. With that said, I’d like to share my five favorite Elimination Chamber matches.
5. Elimination Chamber 2010: Undertaker (C) vs. John Morrison vs. Chris Jericho vs. Rey Mysterio vs. R-Truth vs. CM Punk – World Heavyweight Championship
What I loved about this Elimination Chamber match is that it featured some great storytelling in the fact that it built towards eventual WrestleMania matches. It was sort of interesting because The Undertaker was the only big man in the match and all five of his challengers for the World Heavyweight Championship were small by comparison. However, I thought it worked out fabulously. High-flyers such as John Morrison and Rey Mysterio were able to use the Elimination Chamber to their advantage by using their speed to pull off some high difficulty moves. Chris Jericho and CM Punk were the heels in this matchup and provided a good balance and foil to the faces. R-Truth was just an add-in, but his contributions worked out for the better in this matchup as well. The work between Chris Jericho and The Undertaker towards the end also was a great sight as the two displayed great chemistry, (as exemplified by their one on one matchup a few weeks prior to that Chamber match). Shawn Michaels appearing from underneath the chamber and screwing over The Undertaker after the duration of the match sort of ruined the purpose of the chamber, but it was perfect as it set up Shawn Michae’s final match at WrestlMania 26. With this chamber match, we also got the booking in play for Mysterio/Punk and Jericho/Edge at WrestleMania as well.
4. Elimination Chamber 2011: Edge (C) vs. Rey Mysterio vs. Wade Barrett vs. The Big Show vs. Kane vs. Drew McIntyre – World Heavyweight Championship
I put this match on the list because of the work of Edge and Rey Mysterio, who were the first two and final two competitors in this matchup. I thought both men did a tremendous job of carrying this match from the starting point to the end, because the rest of the field, despite featuring two other former world champions in Kane and The Big Show, was lacking in star power. However, they displayed encouraging chemistry, especially with all of the near-falls that occurred towards the end of the matchup. The Big Show and Kane provided veteran experience as well as playing the roles of insurmountable monsters. This also gave the young guns like Wade Barrett and Drew to show off what they had and they gave passable performances. I thought in terms of the dynamic of the match, this was well done from start to finish, despite the fact that the winner of this match was probably predictable.
3. No Way Out 2009: John Cena (C) vs. Edge vs. Chris Jericho vs. Mike Knox vs. Kane vs. Rey Mysterio – World Heavyweight Championship
One of the reasons why Edge was my favorite character was because his moniker of being the Ultimate Opportunist wasn’t just some sort of catchphrase. He actually meant it. Prior to this chamber match, Edge was the WWE Champion, set to defend his title against Triple H, The Undertaker, The Big Show, Vladimir Kozlov and the man who pinned him early in the match to eliminate him, Jeff Hardy. Distraught and determined to not leave the night empty handed, he jumped Kofi Kingston from behind, foiling his chance to become the World Champion, and took his place, forcing the officials to put him in the match to make an even six competitors. All of the men in this match played serviceable roles and played their respective parts well. The feud of the year in 2009, in my opinion, was Rey Mysterio vs. Chris Jericho. These two showed off some of their best moments in the ring together in this match, followed by the cunning of Edge. Surprisingly, John Cena never looked more vulnerable as he didn’t really last all that long in the chamber. He was eliminated in short order when he took a Codebreaker, a 619 and a spear all in subsequent fashion to be eliminated by Edge. Towards the end of the match, it was down to Edge and Rey Mysterio once again, and Edge got the better of Rey Mysterio to win the World Heavyweight Championship, making him the only man in WWE history to enter a PPV as WWE Champion and leave as World Champion. This was one of my favorite moments of Edge’s career, and this was a very well done chamber match, both in the ring and in storytelling.
2. New Year’s Revolution 2005: Triple H vs. Randy Orton vs. Edge vs. Batista vs. Chris Jericho vs. Chris Benoit – World Heavyweight Championship
Arguably the most star-studded Elimination Chamber field ever, this Chamber match should be on any WWE fan’s list. Six of the greatest superstars in WWE history in their physical prime is what we got here, and what I loved the most about this field was the balance of the competitors. There were distinct styles displayed throughout and it augmented the abilities of others. Chris Jericho and Chris Benoit brought the technical aspect, Edge and Randy Orton used their athleticism and Triple H and Batista were the powerhouses. This also resulted in an excellent Elimination Chamber match. Edge, Chris Benoit and Triple H had a triple threat match over Triple H’s World Heavyweight Championship that ended indecisively, so then RAW GM Eric Bischoff, decided to add those three along with three others inside the Elimination Chamber. This chamber match was really used to tease the eventual match between Triple H and Batista at WrestleMania, but if you watch this match, I think it pretty much displayed how an Elimination Chamber is supposed to be used. The blood throughout the night also helped carry home the point. The steel chain was used often, the environment was utilized to a great degree, and they managed to have good story-telling compacted into one match as well. The ending is something I could have done without, because interference in the Elimination Chamber just never made sense to me, but overall, not many chamber matches compares with this. Except, of course, one.