There have been 22 Elimination Chamber matches in WWE’s history, dating back to the inaugural match in Survivor Series in 2002. There have been bad matches, there have been okay matches, and there have been bad matches. That said, there are clearly a set of Elimination Chamber matches that separate itself from the rest of the pack. With two historic Elimination Chamber matches on tap for tomorrow night, with the first ever Elimination Chamber match with 7 participants and the first-ever women’s Elimination Chamber match, there is a potential for new history to be made. That said, here is the list of what I believe to be the top 10 Elimination Chamber matches in the history of the stipulation. I’ve included links for all of you to watch for your reminiscing pleasure.
10. No Way Out 2008: Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Jericho vs. Triple H vs. Umaga vs. JBL vs. Jeff Hardy – WWE Championship #1 Contender’s Elimination Chamber Match
On the Road to WrestleMania, one of the more traditional stops in recent memory has been the Elimination Chamber match, and the No Way Out PPV for a couple of years was chosen as the inaugural pre-WrestleMania PPV to host the Elimination Chamber match, giving superstars one final chance to main event WrestleMania as world champion. In 2008, Randy Orton was WWE Champion and 6 of RAW’s top stars competed for the right to face Orton and Cena in a triple threat match at WrestleMania 24.
While the winner of the match was pretty obvious, the action leading up to that point was very well done. The match started out with Shawn Michaels and Chris Jericho, which would prove to be a bit of foreshadowing of what would be the best feud of 2008. RAW’s equivalent of Samoa Joe 10 years ago, Umaga, was able to showcase some freakish athleticism. Jeff Hardy used his high-flying ingenuity and resiliency to get him to last to the final two. Jericho was also able to get two eliminations in the match, showing crafty veteran instincts and Triple H used his experience in the Chamber match to his advantage. JBL also made his presence felt in the match as a quick elimination led him to get a chair and headshot everybody in sight. The reason why this is so low on the list is that of the rapid-fire eliminations which are a pet peeve of mine. Otherwise, it was a solid effort all around. Triple H would end up winning after needing two Pedigrees to put away Jeff Hardy, and he would lose at WrestleMania 24 in the triple threat match with Cena and Orton.
9. Elimination Chamber 2013: Mark Henry vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Kane vs. Randy Orton vs. Jack Swagger vs. Chris Jericho – World Heavyweight Championship #1 Contender’s Match
With the WWE Championship title picture crowded with CM Punk, John Cena, and The Rock, WWE chose to host an Elimination Chamber match to decide who the number 1 contender for Alberto Del Rio’s World Heavyweight Championship would be. The match featured Mark Henry, who had recently returned and looked to re-insert himself into the world title picture, the WWE Tag Team Champions in Team Hell No (Daniel Bryan and Kane) who were one of the hotter acts of the time, the seasoned and experienced veteran Chris Jericho, Randy Orton and a repackaged Jack Swagger. Each man was able to bring something to the table in this match and I believe that is what was able to carry the match along as it went over half an hour. WWE continued to play up the tension between Kane and Daniel Bryan in the match, as they not only worked together in the match, but they also ended up turning on each other. Because of this dissension, Mark Henry was able to take advantage and eliminate both of them in succession. Jericho was also able to carry himself along as well, carrying his experience and veteran wit into this match to help eliminate Mark at the hands of an RKO from Randy Orton.
The ending sequence with Jericho and Orton trading moves was fantastic stuff, and Orton was able to get the better of Jericho, but in great heel fashion, Jack Swagger remained alert and quickly rolled up Orton from behind to punch his ticket into WrestleMania in a genius finish that didn’t needlessly play things out. Unfortunately for Swagger, this win wouldn’t mean much, as he would end up losing to Alberto in a forgettable outing at WrestleMania, with the crowd more interested in whether or not Ziggler would cash in MITB after the match. His push also didn’t land him anywhere except being 2nd fiddle to Cesaro in The Real Americans.
8. Elimination Chamber 2010: Undertaker (C) vs. Chris Jericho vs. Rey Mysterio vs. R-Truth vs. John Morrison vs. CM Punk – World Heavyweight Championship
The dynamic was kind of interesting here if you really look at it. The Undertaker was the only real powerhouse in the match while everybody else was high-flying, technical wrestlers. Back in 2010, The Undertaker was bound to face Shawn Michaels in a rematch from WrestleMania 25, so while I’m sure that he was going to play in the finish, it would be interesting how WWE would have him interfere. This match was also infamous for WWE badly botching Undertaker’s opening pyro, as he damn near burnt himself to a crisp. The Undertaker had to quickly take off his robe and dust himself off, and instead of still playing it cool, making his traditional slow, methodical walk to the ring, he had an untraditional pep in his step. The funniest thing about all of this is how the announcers quickly rebounded.
The actual match was pretty well done. CM Punk was still doing his Straight Edge, no-shave gimmick and was able to get a pretty quick elimination on R-Truth, who was pretty much only there to be fed to somebody more prominent in the match. Rey Mysterio got a rather quick elimination on CM Punk, which would help facilitate their match at WrestleMania 26, but with this being only Rey’s 2nd Elimination Chamber match, he quickly adapted to the confined space and used it to fly all over the place. However, he was joined by another high-flyer in John Morrison, who many called the MVP of this match because of his unique style in the ring and carrying the triple threat dynamic with Jericho and Undertaker along. The final sequence with Jericho and Undertaker was very well done, and as we all see, HBK snuck up from underneath the Chamber and cost The Undertaker the World Title. From this sequence, this would not only lead to Undertaker and Shawn having their highly anticipated WrestleMania rematch, but Chris Jericho would end up defending the World Heavyweight Championship against the Royal Rumble winner of that year, Edge.
7. Elimination Chamber 2014: Randy Orton (C) vs. John Cena vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Cesaro vs. Sheamus vs. Christian – WWE World Heavyweight Championship
Despite this Elimination Chamber match having the most outside interference ever (which kind of defeats the purpose of the Elimination Chamber), the actual match carried along a great pace. Now, everyone was anticipating Daniel Bryan to win the Elimination Chamber, especially when it came down to him and Orton, but once Kane inserted himself into the fray, it was pretty obvious that Orton would be retaining. Seeing as how Daniel winning at WrestleMania 30 would prove to be a much a better moment, saving the win for that event as opposed to wasting it here made the wait well worth it. No one else except for Orton and Bryan really had a chance here. WWE built up this match by having Orton face each of the other five participants. Cena, Bryan, and Cesaro pinned him, while Sheamus beat him by DQ and Christian ended up being the only one not to beat Orton before the Chamber.