|A victorious Edge with the World Heavyweight Championship after the Elimination Chamber Match at WWE No Way Out at the Key Arena in Seattle, in February 2009. Photo by R.P. Strickland, firstname.lastname@example.org
Six superstars will enter the Elimination Chamber on Sunday in New Orleans for WWE's 16th edition of the match, as Mark Henry, Daniel Bryan, Jack Swagger, Kane, Chris Jericho and Randy Orton look to advance to WrestleMania to challenge the World Heavyweight Champion.
There's no doubt the Chamber has brought some memorable moments. SLAM! Wrestling's Matt Bishop and Nolan Howell give their thoughts on the top-five Chamber matches of all time.
NH: Raw Elimination Chamber - No Way Out 2008
Proven Elimination Chamber veterans in Triple H, Shawn Michaels, and Chris Jericho were thrown in newcomers Jeff Hardy, John Bradshaw Layfield, and the monster known as Umaga. All three men brought it that night and put on a notable match that saw Triple H taking home the win to go to WrestleMania
MB: Raw Elimination Chamber - SummerSlam 2003
Of the 15 Chamber matches that have taken place to date, only two have featured casts where all six participants had either already won or were future WWE world champions. This was one of them. With Triple H, Goldberg, Chris Jericho, Kevin Nash, Randy Orton and Chris Jericho, this could be argued to be the most star-studded Chamber to date. The story here was Goldberg and Triple H, but after Goldberg ran wild, an injured Triple H put him away with the help of Ric Flair and a sledgehammer.
NH: Raw Elimination Chamber - Elimination Chamber 2011
Not looking to pale in comparison, the Raw brand put on a show in the Elimination Chamber as well. In a match full of solid talent, John Cena ended up clinching the spot at that year's WrestleMania by taking home the win. However, five of the six participants still remain some of the most popular stars on the WWE roster and this match is a good demonstration of why to root for each man.
MB: Smackdown Elimination Chamber - Elimination Chamber 2012
As a match, this really wasn't much, but it gets on my list because of final few minutes. The match built up Santino Marella as the ultimate underdog, as he pinned both Cody Rhodes and then Wade Barrett to reach the final two with World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan. The crowd at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wisc., came unhinged, especially as Marella got a roll-up for a near-fall and then hit the Cobra, but Bryan kicked out and eventually made Marella tap out. Fantastic pro wrestling.
NH: SmackDown Elimination Chamber - Elimination Chamber 2011
Edge was in top form in this match where he retained the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. With names like Rey Mysterio and Big Show as proven talents and young guns like Drew McIntyre and Wade Barrett, the match was meant to show the best SmackDown had to offer. Fortunately, it did just that.
MB: Raw Elimination Chamber - No Way Out 2009
If for nothing else, this match spawned the saying "big fat failure turtles" thanks to Edge's surprise World Heavyweight Championship win here. After losing his WWE Championship in short order earlier in the night in the other Chamber match, Edge attacked Kofi Kingston and took his spot in this match. The final few minutes between Edge and Rey Mysterio were absolutely electric and memorable.
NH: Raw Elimination Chamber - New Year's Resolution 2005
This match sticks out because of it reflected some of the best WWE had to offer and talents that were on their way to make huge impacts in the organization. Chris Benoit, Chris Jericho, and Triple H had been putting on consistent matches since the new millennium, while Edge, Batista, and Randy Orton were all hitting their stride en route to the top. Add Shawn Michaels as the special referee and this was a match to be remembered.
MB: Raw Elimination Chamber - New Year's Revolution 2005
As Nolan pointed out, look at the talent in this match. Absolutely insane. This match continued Batista's rise to the top, and the World Heavyweight Championship, even though he fell short here. This match was especially suspenseful since it was to crown a new World Heavyweight Champion after the title was vacated in late 2004. The ending, in which Triple H didn't save Batista, set the table for the company's biggest feud of the first half of 2005.
NH: Raw Elimination Chamber - Survivor Series 2002
Without a doubt, the first Elimination Chamber set the precedent for the matches to come. Rob Van Dam was hitting the pinnacle of his popularity in the WWE and the moves he performed more than explain why. In the end, it was all about the resurgent phoenix known as Shawn Michaels taking home the belt in the end.
MB: Raw Elimination Chamber - Survivor Series 2002
Ricky Bobby once famously said, "If you're not first, you're last." Well, Eric Bischoff's vision certainly delivered in the first iteration of the match, held at Madison Square Garden, and it has stood up as the best to this day. The ending, seeing Shawn Michaels capture the World Heavyweight Championship in only his second match back after four years off due to injury, will go down as one of the all-time great moments in wrestling history.
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