This Sunday is the final speedbump on the road to WrestleMania, the annual Elimination Chamber event. Coming less than 2 weeks after WWE's last pay-per-view, Super ShowDown, this year's edition seems a bit underwhelming compared to the hype we've seen in previous years.
The concept of the Elimination Chamber happening just before 'Mania is a great one, being used as an effective tool to set up some big matches for the Show of Shows. Even during its early days away from WrestleMania season, the Chamber was extremely fun.
It is essentially a hybrid of all of WWE's greatest gimmick matches -- Royal Rumble, Hell in a Cell, and the traditional Survivor Series elimination matches. The Chamber has had some tremendous drama within its terrifying confines, including some iconic moments that happened before, during or even after the match.
The best Elimination Chamber matches tell a solid and consistent story, sport a good lineup, and host some fun action. The ending is ideally satisfying as well, unless there are bigger things in wait post-Chamber.
Here are the five best ones in the history of this product of genius, the Elimination Chamber. But first, a couple of honorable mentions.
- New Year's Revolution 2005 (World Heavyweight Championship)
- Elimination Chamber 2011 (World Heavyweight Championship)
- Elimination Chamber 2019 (Women's Tag Team Championship)
#5 Survivor Series 2002 (World Heavyweight Championship)
Participants: Triple H, Shawn Michaels, Rob Van Dam, Booker T, Chris Jericho, and Kane
The first Elimination Chamber match was a tremendous success. It was unique and fresh at the time, with almost everything going right. Triple H, at the beginning of his era of domination, defended his World Heavyweight Championship against the top stars on RAW.
His primary feud was with Shawn Michaels, who had made his in-ring return after 4 years away from wrestling a few months earlier at SummerSlam. It was a simple story of good vs. evil. However, The Game put on a very gutsy performance, continuing the match for nearly 20 minutes after having his larynx crushed from a massive Frog Splash from Rob Van Dam.
Also, there was an issue with the order of the pod doors opening. There were some kinks in the first edition of the Chamber, as you would expect in a match of this magnitude, but that did not matter too much, as evidenced by the mostly seamless action. In the end, Michaels stood victorious and won the world title from his real-life best friend.
A lovely feel-good moment to kick off the legacy of this haunting structure. This bout was great in places and holds up as one of the better gimmick debut matches in WWE history.