The venerable Elimination Chamber match has been around for over a decade. Here are the five best matches from its illustrious history.
Way back in 2002, WWE had finally vanquished its Monday Night War rival World Championship Wrestling. They now had an unprecedented stake in the pro wrestling market, having outlasted all of their major competitors such as the NWA and ECW.
They also had a huge roster of talent, having absorbed many WCW and ECW stars after the fall of those companies. In short, they had numerous talented wrestlers, all of whom were deserving of being in the main event picture and world title contention.
The Elimination Chamber was the brainchild of Triple H. He had fond memories of the Tower of Doom match in WCW, a multi-competitor triple-stacked cage that unfortunately, while a novel idea, didn't quite work, mostly due to the small size of the middle and top cages.
He went back to the drawing board and developed a solution. Instead of three separate cages, WWE would present the match inside of a massive, domed chamber. The match was meant to evoke Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome with its overall look and feel.
The first Elimination Chamber was a resounding success, so much so that the WWE has continually revisited the match type over the years.
Here are the five best Elimination Chamber matches in WWE History.
#5 New Year's Resolution 2006
On our first match of the countdown, we travel back in time a decade and a half to 2006. The Ruthless Aggression Era was in full swing, and John Cena had emerged as the dominant force.
Cena had reigned as Raw's World Champion for roughly a year, turning back each and every challenger who came his way. When he was booked to defend his title against five other men in the Elimination Chamber match, many people believed that it would be the end of his title reign at last.
Kurt Angle, perhaps the favourite to win the match, was taken out relatively early by a superkick. Then Carlito and Chris Masters realized they were in over their heads and made a pact to work as a team until they are the two finalists. They managed to eliminate HBK and Kane before turning their attention to an outnumbered Cena.
Cena was beaten and battered, bloodied and bruised, but Carlito's treachery against Masters evened the odds a little. Cena managed to defeat Carlito, defying the odds once again and proving he is Super Cena.
But then, Edge, who was the first-ever Money in the Bank winner, decided to cash in his contract. Edge had held onto the contract for so long people had assumed he would wait until Wrestlemania to guarantee a main event spot.
Edge instead cashed in on a severely weakened Cena, easily defeating him to claim the championship. This match not only was a spectacular piece of storytelling, but it also set the precedent for MITB winners to cash in on wearied opponents.