WWE Elimination Chamber 2012: The Best Matches from the No Way Out Era

Chris Humphrey@@_CBH_Correspondent IFebruary 9, 2012

WWE Elimination Chamber 2012: The Best Matches from the No Way Out Era

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    In an event that started out as one of the WWE's "In Your House" pay-per-views, No Way Out spent 10 years on the WWE pay-per-view schedule after becoming an official event starting in 2000 until being re-branded in 2010 into the current February event, Elimination Chamber.

    With some of the greatest matches in the WWE over the 11 years of the event, the following slideshow will spotlight the best match from every event in the history of the No Way Out series from the first in 1998 until the final event in 2009.

1998: Unsanctioned 8-Man Tag Team Match

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    At the first edition of the No Way Out series of pay-per-views for the WWE, the card was topped by the unsanctioned eight-man tag team match featuring the teams of Stone Cold Steve Austin, Owen Hart, Chainsaw Charlie and Cactus Jack against the New Age Outlaws, Triple H and a late replacement for Shawn Michaels, Savio Vega.

    After finally being tagged into the match, Austin hit the Road Dogg with a stunner for the win for his team along with hitting Billy Gunn and Chyna each with a stunner for good measure after the match to end the show.

    In one of the best parts of the match, Stone Cold, while on the apron of the ring, launched a trash can from the corner, catching Billy Gunn in the face as he was about to inflict more punishment on Chainsaw Charlie.

2000: Triple H vs. Cactus Jack, Hell in a Cell Match for the WWE Championship

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    Following their epic Street Fight a month prior at the Royal Rumble, Cactus Jack got his rematch for the WWE Championship against Triple H inside Hell in a Cell but with one condition: If Mick Foley lost the match, he would have to retire from the WWE even though we would see a lot more of Foley in the coming years.

    If it wasn't enough getting back-dropped through the roof of the Hell in a Cell, Triple H followed that up with a pedigree on the hardcore legend for the win to successfully retain his WWE Championship and end the career of his rival, Mick Foley.

2001: Triple H vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin, 2 out of 3 Falls Match

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    After the animosity built over the weeks between Triple H and Stone Cold Steve Austin, the two superstars met in a Two out of Three Falls match at the 2001 edition of No Way Out, where the falls consisted of a standard match, a street fight and a steel cage to settle the score between the Game and the Rattlesnake.

    In a match that left both men broken and bloody, Triple H fell on Austin for the pinfall after they both got hit by their respective weapon simultaneously in arguably one of the best matches in the history of the No Way Out pay-per-view. 

2002: Chris Jericho vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin, Undisputed Championship Match

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    After losing his chance to become the first Undisputed Champion in history at Vengeance two months prior, Stone Cold Steve Austin got his chance for revenge against Chris Jericho at No Way Out and to go to WrestleMania as champion for the first time in his career.

    Following a Stunner, Austin almost had the match won until the newly debuted New World Order made their way to the ring, costing the Rattlesnake the WWE Championship as Jericho stole another one from Stone Cold.

2003: The Rock vs. Hulk Hogan

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    Unlike their meeting at the Rogers Centre for WrestleMania 18, the Rock came in the villain for this match much like Hollywood Hogan did in Toronto in 2002, as Rock was showered with boos as he made his way to the ring in Montreal.

    With the aid of Vince McMahon and sudden loss of the lights in the Bell Centre, the Rock hit Hogan with a steel chair, which was given to him by the referee, and followed it up with a second Rock Bottom to get the win that night. 

2004: Eddie Guerrero vs. Brock Lesnar, WWE Championship Match

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    Following Chris Benoit winning the 2004 Royal Rumble and defecting to Raw, Paul Heyman, then-Smackdown general manager, made a 15-man battle royal to determine who would face Brock Lesnar at No Way Out, which Eddie Guerrero won on the January 24th edition of Smackdown.

    After a Goldberg spear and a DDT on the WWE Championship, Eddie Guerrero was able to climb the turnbuckle and hit his trademark Frog Splash on Lesnar for the victory as he won his only World Championship in his career before his untimely death in November of 2005.

2005: John Cena vs. Kurt Angle, No. 1 Contender's Match

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    In the finals of the No. 1 Contender's tournament to determine who would challenge for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania 21, John Cena and Kurt Angle made it to the finals, as Cena defeated Orlando Jordan and Booker T while Kurt Angle only had to defeat Rey Mysterio before receiving a semifinal bye to No Way Out.

    Even though he dominated the majority of the match, Angle tried to hit Cena with his trademark chain at the time, but Cena, thinking quickly on his feet, caught the Olympic gold medalist with an FU to get the win and a trip to WrestleMania to challenge for the WWE Championship.

2006: Kurt Angle vs. Undertaker, World Heavyweight Championship Match

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    When it seemed as though the Undertaker was going to win the World Heavyweight Championship, Kurt Angle countered the triangle choke submission maneuver into a pinning predicament to get the victory and retain his World Heavyweight Championship before losing it at WrestleMania in a triple threat match with Randy Orton to Rey Mysterio. 

2007: John Cena and Shawn Michaels vs. Batista and Undertaker

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    At No Way Out 2007, the team of Smackdown's Batista and the Undertaker faced off with Raw's World Tag Team Champions, John Cena and Shawn Michaels, in an inter-promotional tag team match a little more than a month-and-a-half before the two duos would fight each other for their respective brand's championship at WrestleMania 23.

    After Undertaker was abandoned in the match following a spinebuster by Batista, Michaels and Cena easily hit both of their finishers, Sweet Chin Music and Attitude Adjustment, on the Dead Man for the win, as the future WrestleMania opponents would work well together for the night.

2008: Raw Elimination Chamber Match

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    With a shot at the WWE Championship at WrestleMania 24 on the line, Triple H won the third Elimination Chamber match of his career after finally putting away Jeff Hardy with a second Pedigree onto a steel chair. This would send the Game to WrestleMania, where he would lose in a triple threat match alongside John Cena to WWE Champion Randy Orton.

    The elimination of the late Umaga would definitely be considered excessive after Shawn Michaels hit Sweet Chin Music, Chris Jericho's Codebreaker, Triple H's Pedigree and Jeff Hardy's Swanton Bomb off the top of a pod to finally eliminate the destructive Samoan bulldozer from the match.

2009: Raw Elimination Chamber Match

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    In the final No Way Out event in WWE history, Edge entered his second Elimination Chamber match of the night after attacking Kofi Kingston on his way to ring, as the ultimate opportunist eliminated then-current champion John Cena in addition to outlasting a late flurry by Rey Mysterio to win the World Heavyweight Championship.

    Earlier in the night during the Smackdown Elimination Chamber match, Edge was pinned by Jeff Hardy a little less then three minutes into the match with a quick roll up, prompting the Rated R Superstar to enter the second Chamber match of the night, as he walked out of No Way Out the same way he walked in, a champion.


    Chris Humphrey is a WWE Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. You can become a fan of him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter @_CBH_.