WWE Elimination Chamber 2012: Top 10 Moments in the Match's 10-Year History
The true 10-year anniversary of the Elimination Chamber match concept won't come until November, but since the WWE has provided the match with its own pay-per-view, 2012 won't see another Chamber match after Sunday.
So let's just celebrate now!
Originated in 2002, the Elimination Chamber is a unique combination of violence, acrobatics and drama that combines elements from the Hell in a Cell, WarGames, the Royal Rumble and Survivor Series.
The match consists of six men, four pods, nearly 12,000 pounds of metal and two miles of chain.
Like Hell in a Cell and other standard cage matches, the surrounding chamber serves as a brutal weapon to batter opponents with.
The difference between Hell and a Cell and Elimination Chamber, however, is that there is no padded floor surrounding the ring—there is only more unforgiving steel.
In the 13 Elimination Chamber matches in the last decade, we've seen wrestlers ruthlessly slammed onto the backbreaking steel, we've seen high-flyers leap from the highest of heights atop the pods and we've seen wrestlers torpedoed through the pod plexiglass in a variety of ways.
As a tribute to this decade of vicious savagery, here are the top 10 moments in the history of the Elimination Chamber match (plus five more honorable mentions that just missed the cut).
10. CM Punk Gets a Redo, Elimination Chamber '11
Not often does a wrestler get a chance to erase a loss from the record books and get another chance, but CM Punk did just that at Elimination Chamber 2011.
Punk was slated to enter the Chamber at No. 4, but his pod door jammed. This allowed Randy Orton to assault Punk as the latter was wedged in between the pod opening.
Orton quickly eliminated Punk after an RKO, but the anonymous Raw general manager notified Michael Cole that Punk would receive a reprieve because of the faulty door.
Punk, who was embroiled in a bitter feud with Orton after costing him his WWE Championship match at the Royal Rumble, eventually eliminated Orton from the Chamber match.
Punk ended up as one of the final two in the match after initially being eliminated first.
9. Defending Champion John Cena Gets Eliminated, No Way Out '09
World Heavyweight Champion John Cena was a pretty good bet to at least last until the final two at No Way Out 2009.
After all, in Chamber matches that had a title on the line, the defending champion was one of the last two in the match in four out of five; the one exception had come earlier in the night, when WWE Champion Edge was eliminated first.
Sure enough, Cena entered at No. 6 with a flurry of shoulder blocks, suplexes and clotheslines, and then had Edge up for the Attitude Adjustment.
Just as it looked as though Super Cena had arrived, Chris Jericho jacked his jaw with a codebreaker, Rey Mysterio hit a 619 and Edge finished Cena off with a spear, shockingly eliminating the champion less than two minutes after he entered.
8. Rob Van Dam Frog Splashes Triple H from Top of Pod, Survivor Series '02
In the first Elimination Chamber match at Survivor Series 2002, six superstars had a chance to attempt things no other wrestler had before.
Rob Van Dam accepted that challenge, climbing up to the top of the pod as a raucous Madison Square Garden exploded with excitement.
Van Dam leapt off with a Five-Star Frog Splash as flashbulbs went off all over the arena.
Even though RVD botched the move and ended up driving his knee into Triple H's throat, he still was the first man to soar off of a pod in an Elimination Chamber match, something that several superstars have attempted to duplicate since then.
7. Undertaker Chokeslams MVP from Top of Pod, No Way Out '08
MVP found out that inside the confines of the Elimination Chamber, there's only so far you can run.
He ventured up the pod to get away from the Undertaker, but he couldn't escape the Deadman's grasp.
Undertaker grabbed MVP by the throat and reversed chokeslammed him all the way to the mat, where he was pinned by Finlay.
Hopefully, MVP at least got some peanuts and a movie on that flight.
6. Undertaker and Batista Flip over Top Rope into Tombstone, No Way Out '08
Since the SmackDown Elimination Chamber at No Way Out 2008 included Big Daddy V, Finlay, MVP and the Great Khali, it was decidedly predictable that the Undertaker and Batista would reach the final two.
What wasn't predictable was the ending.
Batista hoisted the Undertaker onto his shoulder and tried to propel him head-first into the steel. However, the Undertaker pushed off the chamber, forcing Batista backwards towards the ring.
The two tumbled over the top rope, and the Undertaker suddenly had Batista perfectly in place for a Tombstone Piledriver.
It was a remarkable reversal of fortune for the Deadman, who went on to WrestleMania XXIV to face Edge for the World Heavyweight Championship.
5. Goldberg Spears Jericho Through Plexiglass, SummerSlam '03
Under normal circumstances, no superstar wants to find himself in Goldberg's crosshairs. That goes double when there's a sheet of glass behind you.
Unfortunately for Jericho, that's exactly where he was in the Elimination Chamber at SummerSlam 2003, stumbling to his feet outside of the ring as Goldberg sized him up for a spear.
Goldberg accelerated towards Jericho, caught him and drove him backwards.
The pod glass held up at first, but it didn't discourage Goldberg in his quest to break Jericho completely in half.
Goldberg's second effort destroyed the plexiglass, and Jericho along with it.
4. John Morrison Jumps on Sheamus from Chamber Roof, Elimination Chamber '11
In 2011, WWE announcers began to refer to Morrison as the Prince of Parkour, someone who could use all surfaces for an offensive attack, and he showed why at Elimination Chamber 2011.
As Sheamus picked himself off the mat, Morrison made like Spider-Man, ascending the Elimination Chamber like no man had before.
Morrison climbed to the top of the pod but didn't stop; he began to climb up the raised roof of the Chamber.
Sheamus looked around, confused as to where Morrison had gone. He then realized Morrison was directly above him, but it was too late.
The Prince of Parkour dropped down onto the Celtic Warrior, splashing him to the mat and eliminating him from contention.
3. HBK Appears from Under the Chamber, Elimination Chamber '10
After the Undertaker denied Shawn Michaels a WrestleMania rematch, winning the Royal Rumble was seemingly Michaels' only chance to get it.
Michaels lost the Rumble, but he found another way to get the match: costing 'Taker the title.
Near the end of the World Heavyweight Championship Elimination Chamber in 2010, Michaels suddenly appeared, lifting the floor of the Chamber and climbing into the ring.
Undertaker turned around, but before he could react, Michaels nearly knocked his teeth out with a Sweet Chin Music, allowing Chris Jericho to get the pinfall.
2. Edge Competes in 2 Chamber Matches in One Night, No Way out '09
Edge entered No Way Out 2009 as the WWE Champion, and he walked out the World Heavyweight Champion.
How did that little switcheroo happen? Well, Edge lost the WWE Championship in the first match of the night, becoming the first champion to not reach the final two in an Elimination Chamber match.
Instead of accepting that his night was over, Edge once again lived up to his "Ultimate Opportunist" moniker.
As Kofi Kingston was on his way to the ring, the dastardly Edge attacked him from behind, driving a steel chair into the back of Kingston's head while he was face-down on the ring steps.
Edge took advantage of another opportunity during the Chamber match, spearing John Cena after Cena had been stunned with a Codebreaker and a 619.
Edge would scratch and claw his way to the end, finally pinning Rey Mysterio after a spear to win WWE's other world title.
1. Shawn Michaels Wins Inaugural Elimination Chamber Match, Survivor Series '02
What a grand return to glory for the Heartbreak Kid.
After four years off healing his back, Shawn Michaels returned to the top of the mountain in the first-ever Elimination Chamber match.
Six superstars took their shots battering the other five men in the match for 30-plus minutes, using the cell, the steel floor and the plexiglass pod doors as tools in their brutality.
Michaels survived until it was just him and defending World Heavyweight Champion Triple H, and even when he appeared to be finished, Michaels didn't stop fighting.
HBK kicked out of a pinfall after a Pedigree by the Game, and backflipped Triple H when he attempted another.
Michaels then proved that four years away from the ring hadn't taken away his instincts, as he went right to the corner to set Triple H up for the Sweet Chin Music.
HBK hit the superkick, spun around half in exhaustion, half in relief, and fell onto Triple H for the one-two-three.
As confetti rained down on the new champion, we all rejoiced, thankful that HBK was back for good.
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