Ever since the inaugural contest at the 2002 Survivor Series, the Elimination Chamber has been one of the WWE's most popular gimmick matches. One of the few stipulations yet to be driven completely into the ground, the vicious steel structure always guarantees hard-hitting action.
With three weeks to go until the event and not a single Elimination Chamber match announced yet, the creative team will need to work flat-out to build sufficient storylines that will persuade people to part with their cash. Personally, I think we will see a World Heavyweight Championship match inside the structure, and that The Shield will take on John Cena, Ryback and Sheamus.
Since the advent of the annual Elimination Chamber pay-per-view in 2010, it could be argued that the match is fast-losing its luster. However, there have only been 15 of these matches in WWE history and this article will rank every single one of them.
So read on for a recap of every Elimination Chamber match in WWE history!
The Big Show vs. Bobby Lashley vs. Hardcore Holly vs. CM Punk vs. Test vs. Rob Van Dam
The first Elimination Chamber match from the ECW brand suffers the ignominy of being the worst match in the gimmick's history, on the lowest-grossing WWE pay-per-view ever, and spelled the beginning of the end for the 'extreme' show.
The match played out to general indifference, despite the addition of weapons to each chamber pod. CM Punk was arguably the most over star in the match, yet he was the first one eliminated and the final three men in the match were Test, Bobby Lashley and The Big Show; which pretty much summed up how much WWE cared about the ECW brand.
In the end, Lashley pinned 'The World's Largest Athlete' to win the match and capture the ECW Championship.
The event drew a catastrophic 90,000 buys, and 24 hours after the event Paul Heyman was removed from the creative team, with Vince McMahon laying the blame at his feet for the show's dismal performance. Heyman then left the company, and both Tommy Dreamer and Stevie Richards unsuccessfully offered their resignations.
Although the match isn't the sole reason for December to Dismember's infamous place in history, it is still the worst Elimination Chamber match in WWE history.
Batista vs. Big Daddy V vs. Finlay vs The Great Khali vs. MVP vs. The Undertaker
The quality of most of the competitors hardly set this one up to be a classic and while the match had its moments, it was an overall sluggish affair.
With a World Heavyweight Championship match at WrestleMania 24 up for grabs, the audience knew only Batista or The Undertaker had a shot at winning, making the bulk of the contest entirely meaningless.
The high point of the match came when MVP took a huge chokeslam from the top of the chamber pod from The Undertaker, and Finlay also received a nasty-looking chokeslam to the steel floor. Big Daddy V and The Great Khali just plodded around the ring as per usual, and managed not to ruin anything.
Batista and The Undertaker were both the first and last two competitors in the match, and the contest finally built some momentum as two of the company's biggest stars traded blows. 'The Phenom' hit the tombstone to seal the victory and went on to WrestleMania to defeat Edge for the World Heavyweight Championship and extend The Streak to 16-0.
While the in-ring action wasn't offensive, Big Daddy V and The Great Khali are not talented enough to compete in this kind of match, so credit goes to MVP and Finlay for picking up the slack. Fans were hot for the exchanges between The Undertaker and Batista, and it seemed the rest of the match just got in the way.
Daniel Bryan vs. Wade Barrett vs. Cody Rhodes vs. The Big Show vs. Santino Marella vs. The Great Khali
Despite seeing Daniel Bryan retain his World Heavyweight Championship, this match isn't one of the Elimination Chamber's greatest moments.
No disrespect to the other competitors, but it seemed that only The Big Show had a realistic chance of winning the match. The rest of the field were mid-card performers, which only highlighted the dearth of quality in the World Heavyweight Championship scene at the time.
The Great Khali lasted mere seconds, making his involvement in the match totally pointless. Cody Rhodes put in a great performance, and managed to eliminate 'The World's Largest Athlete.'
The questionable booking of Daniel Bryan's World title reign continued as comedy act Santino Marella scored an incredibly close near-fall, before the submission specialist forced the 'Italian Stallion' to tap out.
After the match, Sheamus came to the ring and attacked Bryan, which as we all know led to the 18-second embarrassment at WrestleMania 28.
Despite a typically great showing from Daniel Bryan and an encouraging performance from Cody Rhodes, the fact Santino Marella eliminated two other men and almost captured the World Heavyweight Championship damaged the value of both the Elimination Chamber concept and the World Heavyweight Championship itself.
Edge vs. The Big Show vs. Jeff Hardy vs. Vladimir Kozlov vs. The Undertaker vs. Triple H
Despite this match featuring some of the company's top talent fighting for the most prestigious title in the business, it remains one of the most forgettable Elimination Chamber matches in history.
Coming at the height of Vladimir Kozlov's inexplicable main-event push, the 'Moscow Mauler' looked way out of his depth against such established veterans.
Reigning WWE Champion Edge was gone from the match in three minutes, after Jeff Hardy surprised him with an inside cradle. 'The Charismatic Enigma' later performed a huge swanton bomb from the top of a chamber pod, which was the undoubted highlight of the match.
The final two came down to old foes Triple H and The Undertaker, before 'The Game' scored the decisive victory to capture a record eighth WWE Championship.
While hardly a bad match, there was a definite lack of excitement surrounding the contest, and Triple H's record-breaking title victory simply didn't get the reaction it should have.
Maybe it was because it was the first match on the card, or maybe it was because Edge's shocking World Heavyweight Championship win later in the night would steal the spotlight. Either way, this match remains one of the Elimination Chamber's biggest disappointments.
Sheamus vs. John Cena vs. Triple H vs. Randy Orton vs. Ted DiBiase vs. Kofi Kingston
Sheamus entered this match as WWE Champion, and saw his first run with the belt end with a whimper in a disappointing match, complete with a terrible finish.
Surprisingly, Randy Orton was the first man eliminated when former protege Ted DiBiase pinned him after Cody Rhodes has supplied his Legacy cohort with a steel pipe. The following four eliminations all came in the next six minutes, which relieved the closing exchanges of any real drama.
The finish came when 'The Celtic Warrior' officially lost the title after he was pinned by Triple H, before John Cena forced 'The Game' to submit to worst STF in the business less than two minutes later.
After the match, Vince McMahon came out and ordered Cena to immediately defend the title against Batista in an impromptu title match. Thirty seconds later and 'The Animal' was WWE Champion, making the Elimination Chamber match completely irrelevant.
Although the in-ring action was completely overshadowed by the finish, the match hardly delivered on that front either and it remains one of the Elimination Chamber's weakest contests.
Sheamus saw his credibility both as WWE Champion and a main-event talent damaged by looking so weak against Cena and Triple H, and the finish served only to tarnish the title and continue the John Cena overkill.
CM Punk vs. Kofi Kingston vs. The Miz vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Chris Jericho vs. R-Truth
This match saw CM Punk start the match with Kofi Kingston, and 'The Voice of the Voiceless' managed to leave with his coveted WWE Championship. While the match was a solid contest, most people knew Punk would defend the title against Chris Jericho at WrestleMania 28, which made the match that little bit less exciting.
All six of the competitors gave it their all, but the match didn't provide anything new. There is only so much in the way of innovation that this match offers, and it was running in short supply here. The finish came when Jericho was literally kicked out of the chamber by Punk, and was deemed unfit to finish the match. 'The Second City Saint' scored the decisive fall after hitting The Miz with the GTS.
Again, there was nothing inherently wrong with the match, it just lacked one of those special moments that can define an Elimination Chamber match. That said, the action was as smooth as you'd expect from six of the roster's more talented workers, and fans were happy with CM Punk retaining the title. Solid, if unspectacular.
John Cena vs. Sheamus vs. CM Punk vs. Randy Orton vs. John Morrison vs. R-Truth
Even though the predictable finish saw John Cena emerge victorious to gain a shot at WWE Champion The Miz at WrestleMania 27, this Elimination Chamber match featured some great action and a memorable performance from John Morrison.
CM Punk was eliminated by Randy Orton in the early going, but the Anonymous General Manager re-inserted him into the match. Orton dominated the middle section of the match with some huge power moves, but he was eliminated by Punk after a GTS.
Morrison hit the move of the night, eliminating Sheamus with a breathtaking dive from the roof of the chamber and after his elimination at the hands of CM Punk, 'The Monday Night Delight' was given a great ovation by the fans.
Cena hit the Attitude Adjustment to Punk on the steel floor to secure the victory, both Cena and 'The Voice of the Voiceless' showing a glimpse of the terrific in-ring chemistry they would put to such great use later in the year.
Despite most fans predicting the outcome long before the match had ended, the six competitors put forth a great effort in this entertaining contest. Particular credit goes to John Morrison, who stole the show with a dazzling performance.
John Cena vs. Kurt Angle vs. Carlito vs. Chris Masters vs. Shawn Michaels vs. Kane
Most people only remember this match for the aftermath; Edge finally cashed in his Money in the Bank briefcase on John Cena to win his first WWE Championship, and kick-start the best feud of 2006. The chamber match itself was a hugely enjoyable spectacle, featuring surprises aplenty.
Cena and Shawn Michaels started the match, but things really picked up with fourth entrant Kurt Angle, who went on a suplexing rampage. Shockingly, 'The Olympic Hero' was the first man eliminated after being rocked by Sweet Chin Music. Relative newcomers Chris Masters and Carlito both impressed, and dominated the middle section of the match by working together.
After isolating Cena in an attempt to win, Carlito struck Masters with a low blow before eliminating him with a roll-up. Moments later, 'Caribbean Cool' got a taste of his own medicine when Cena rolled him up for the decisive pinfall. Following the match, Vince McMahon announced Edge was to cash in his Money in the Bank briefcase and two Spears later, Edge was the new WWE Champion.
Although 'The Rated R Superstar' claimed all the headlines with his shocking title win, the match that immediately preceded it deserves praise of its own. A combination of established veterans and younger talent allowed for a nice blend of styles, with Carlito and Chris Masters showing previously-unseen proficiency.
The Undertaker vs. R-Truth vs. John Morrison vs. Rey Misterio vs. Chris Jericho vs. CM Punk
Things didn't get off to the best start for reigning World Heavyweight Champion The Undertaker, as a pyro malfunction momentarily set him on fire on his way to the ring. Despite looking mightily pissed off, 'The Deadman' put in an impressive performance in a heated Elimination Chamber match.
Starting things off, CM Punk managed to eliminate R-Truth in less than four minutes, allowing him time to cut a quick heel promo as part of the Straight Edge Society. Second entrant Rey Mysterio quickly punished 'The Straight Edge Savior' for his arrogance, pinning him in a matter of minutes.
John Morrison once again utilised the chamber to craft some innovative offense and managed to eliminate Mysterio with Starship Pain before he was sent packing by The Undertaker, leaving 'The Deadman' and Jericho as the final two competitors.
In a shocking conclusion, Shawn Michaels found his way into the chamber and levelled The Undertaker with Sweet Chin Music, allowing Jericho to capture the World Heavyweight Championship.
In one fell move, the WWE had set up two huge matches for WrestleMania 26; 'The Phenom' in a mouth-watering rematch against 'The Heartbreak Kid,' and former tag partners Edge and Chris Jericho squaring off for the World Heavyweight Championship.
The finishing sequence of the match provided a huge amount of drama, so much so that it ultimately overshadowed the rest of the match. However, the in-ring action was of a very high standard and resulted in a massively entertaining Elimination Chamber match.
Edge vs. Drew McIntyre vs. Rey Misterio vs. Kane vs. Wade Barrett vs. The Big Show
Once again, Rey Mysterio put in a show-stealing performance inside the Elimination Chamber that saw him start the match alongside World Heavyweight Champion Edge. However, it would be 'The Rated R Superstar' that would retain the title, in one of the best title defenses of a Hall of Fame career.
Each competitor was given a chance to shine during the match, even Drew McIntyre, who was in the middle of a mini-push as Vince McMahon's 'Chosen One.'
The Big Show was the last entrant to the match and steamrollered through the competition, eliminating Wade Barrett to further his feud with the Englishman's Corre faction. 'The World's Largest Athlete' was the next to go, but only after being subjected to a barrage of finishing moves from his opponents.
McIntyre's impressive showing was ended at the hands of Kane, before 'The Big Red Machine' was eliminated by Edge. For the final 10 minutes of the match 'The Rated-R Superstar' and 'The Ultimate Underdog' put on a wrestling clinic, Edge scoring the decisive fall after a thunderous mid-air Spear.
Following the match, Alberto Del Rio attacked Edge to confirm his choice of World Heavyweight Championship contract for WrestleMania 27, before Christian ran in to make the save. An often-overlooked match amongst the more illustrious Elimination Chamber bouts, but a greatly entertaining contest nonetheless.
John Cena vs. Edge vs. Chris Jericho vs. Mike Knox vs. Kane vs. Rey Mysterio
Despite losing the WWE Championship in the opening match on the card, Edge made sure the spotlight was his after shockingly capturing the World Heavyweight Championship in the main event.
The opening exchanges between Chris Jericho and Rey Mysterio were nothing short of fantastic, including a spectacular huracanrana from 'The Ultimate Underdog' from the roof of the structure, before Rey scored the first fall on Kane after a stunning Senton from the top of a chamber pod. Thankfully the awful Mike Knox wasn't involved for long and was quickly dispatched by Jericho.
Reigning champion John Cena was surprisingly the third man to be eliminated, but only after he'd taken a Codebreaker, 619 and a Spear in quick succession, of course. The final two were Mysterio and Edge, with the 'Rated R Superstar' scoring the pin to win the title after Rey had taken a face-first dive into one of the chamber pods.
Chris Jericho and Rey Mysterio carried this contest with superlative performances, with Edge's shocking title victory a satisfying finish. One of the more underrated Elimination Chamber matches, this contest featured great action and some huge bumps, particularly from 'The Ultimate Underdog'.
Jeff Hardy vs. Chris Jericho vs. JBL vs. Shawn Michaels vs. Triple H vs. Umaga
With the opportunity of a WWE Championship match at WrestleMania 24 on the line, all six competitors put everything on the line in one of the most hard-hitting Elimination Chamber matches of all time.
Chris Jericho and Shawn Michaels began the match, treating us to some excellent technical wrestling in the opening exchanges. The style of the match changed instantly as Umaga entered the chamber, 'The Samoan Bulldozer' living up to his name and powering through his opponents. JBL continued the power-based offense, slowing the pace of the match.
After JBL was eliminated by Jericho, he decimated the remaining competitors with a steel chair, before Triple H entered the match and cleaned house. With each combatant unleashing a string of signature moves, the action built to a fitting crescendo with Jeff Hardy and 'The Game' the last men standing.
After hitting a Pedigree onto a steel chair, 'The Cerebral Assassin' pinned 'The Charismatic Enigma' to seal a spot in the main event of WrestleMania 24.
Although Triple H would come up short against reigning WWE Champion Randy Orton and John Cena in a triple threat match at WrestleMania, he earned his place in the match by surviving one of the most hard-fought Elimination Chamber matches in history.
Batista vs. Chris Benoit vs. Edge vs. Chris Jericho vs. Randy Orton vs. Triple H
Featuring six of the WWE's top talents, as well as Shawn Michaels as guest referee, this Elimination Chamber match always had the potential to be great. And with the vacant World Heavyweight Championship up for grabs, each competitor would be giving it their all.
Chris Jericho and Chris Benoit opened the match, and delivered some excellent technical wrestling to warm up the audience. With all six men in the ring, it was clear Triple H was at an advantage by having Evolution ally Batista by his side.
And with Batista's slow-burning face turn beginning to gain momentum, the audience wondered if this would be the moment he turned on his mentor.
It wasn't, but Batista still put forth a dominant performance in managing to eliminate both Benoit and Jericho. In fact, 'The Animal' made it to the final three but was eliminated by Randy Orton before he had a chance to square off against 'The Game.'
Following his elimination, Batista took out Orton with a huge clothesline, making Triple H's fifth World Heavyweight Championship victory a mere formality.
As well as featuring stellar in-ring performances from a half-dozen of the WWE's best, the match also provided great ring psychology.
All six of the performers had great history with each other and this was worked into the match, particularly in the case of Triple H, Batista and Orton. Despite another Triple H world title victory, it remains one of the best Elimination Chamber matches ever.
Triple H vs. Goldberg vs. Chris Jericho vs. Shawn Michaels vs. Kevin Nash vs. Randy Orton
Coming into only the second Elimination Chamber match in history, Goldberg was the overwhelming favorite. Reigning World Heavyweight Champion Triple H had done everything he could to avoid the monster, but now it seemed his time was up.
Chris Jericho and Shawn Michaels started the match, and were as smooth as you'd expect from two of the all-time greats.
Even Kevin Nash was solid during his few minutes in the match, before he became the first man eliminated. Fifth entrant Triple H was immediately knocked back into his chamber pod after being nailed by Sweet Chin Music, taking him out of the match.
Final entrant Goldberg destroyed the competition upon entering the match, much to the approval of a raucous crowd. Within minutes, he had eliminated Orton, Michaels and Jericho and looked every inch the unstoppable force. 'The Beast' Speared Jericho through one of the chamber pods, and burst his way through another to get to Triple H.
Unbeknownst to Goldberg, Ric Flair had handed Triple H his trusty sledgehammer, which he used to counter an attempted Spear and gain a tainted victory. The finish was a smart move, as it prolonged the feud between Triple H and Goldberg without making 'Da Man' come off as weak.
Still one of the greatest Elimination Chamber matches of all time after nearly 10 years, this contest provided action, excitement and drama by the bucket-load and each of the six competitors played their role to perfection.
Triple H vs. Booker T vs. Chris Jericho vs. Kane vs. Shawn Michaels vs. Rob Van Dam
Turns out that sometimes, you just can't beat an original.
The first, and greatest ever, Elimination Chamber match saw Shawn Michaels cap a remarkable in-ring comeback by capturing his first World Heavyweight Championship. As well as the feel-good ending, the match was packed full of action from start to finish.
Triple H and Rob Van Dam began the proceedings, and 'The Whole F'N Show' was the first man eliminated after injuring himself performing a breathtaking 5-Star Frog Splash to Triple H from the top of one of the chamber pods, making RVD easy pickings for Booker T.
The five-time WCW Champion was the next to go before it took Sweet Chin Music, a Pedigree and a Lionsault to put Kane down for the count.
The final two came down to old friends turned bitter enemies Triple H and Shawn Michaels, which added extra emotion to the finishing sequence. The most personal feud of 2002 had every fan on their feet willing 'The Showstopper' on to an unlikely victory in only his second match out of retirement. After almost 10 thrilling minutes, HBK hit Sweet Chin Music for the decisive victory.
The greatest Elimination Chamber of all time also benefits from being the first, as the audience were experiencing something completely new. However, that doesn't change the fact that the match was full of action, near-falls and drama, topped off perfectly when prodigal son Shawn Michaels returned to become world champion for the first time in over four years.
So there it is, the countdown of every Elimination Chamber match in WWE history.
Researching this article, I watched every single one of these matches and it struck me that they are of a consistently high quality. Bar one or two exceptions, the Elimination Chamber match is always guaranteed to be entertaining at the very least, making these rankings as subjective as any.
With that in mind, let's hear what you think.
Do you agree with the rankings?
Are some matches higher or lower than they should be?
What is your favorite Elimination Chamber match?
I'm looking forward to reading your opinions on one of the WWE's premier gimmick matches so as always; sign of in the comments below!