The Elimination Chamber is much like a mini Royal Rumble.
Like the Rumble, much can be discerned about a Superstar's place in the WWE hierarchy by how long they stay in the Chamber, what kind of innovative spots they are a part of and whether or not they even have a chance of winning.
In any given Chamber, there are one to two wrestlers favored to win, one dark horse and around three sacrificial lambs.
This list is for the lambs.
Some of the worst performances in Elimination Chamber history are predicated on time spent in the Chamber, negative crowd reaction and minimal contribution to the match itself.
This is a gimmick that has literally seen the highest of highs—with wrestlers such as John Morrison scaling the intimidating structure for an aerial stunt—to lighting-quick eliminations approved by hostile fans.
This annual event is the final pay-per-view before WrestleMania; therefore, its is important that upper-echelon stars are protected. The cage match serves many purposes, from setting up WrestleMania feuds to keeping talent strong through impressive performances.
Oftentimes, those who are known to underperform in the Elimination Chamber have a long way to go in WWE's pecking order and are farther away from a world title than their 1-6 odds indicate.
There was certainly a method to the madness of Edge's super-fast elimination in 2009. Edge is one of only three WWE Superstars to win multiple Elimination Chambers, but on this night, he was booked as if he was R-Truth.
Edge started the 2009 Chamber match against longtime rival Jeff Hardy. After just three minutes, Hardy scored a surprising pinfall over the then-reigning WWE champion, causing his swift elimination.
The pinfall helped the pay-per-view for many reasons. It immediately engaged the crowd, as a new WWE champion was guaranteed to be crowned.
It also set the table for a climactic conclusion, as Edge, the consummate heel, would hijack Kofi Kingston's spot in the World Heavyweight Championship Chamber.
Edge would go on to win that match.
The calculated booking of Edge gives meaning to the old saying that one must break a couple eggs in order to make an omelette. An all-time great of Edge's ilk does not lose within the three opening minutes of the Elimination Chamber unless there is a plan.
On this night, the plan worked exceptionally.
R-Truth had no shot at winning an Elimination Chamber in a field where he found himself as the only participant to have never won a world championship in the WWE.
Truth drew CM Punk, both of whom were the first two entrants, and was eliminated in three minutes and 34 seconds, proving that popular notion.
Truth was sacrificed in the 2010 Elimination Chamber so that Punk, the leader of the Straight Edge Society at the time, could have time to deliver one of his entertaining Straight Edge sermons ahead of the next entry.
This same spot was booked in the Royal Rumble that year, with CM Punk dominating the early goings of that match, only to cut a promo each time he was alone in the ring awaiting his next victim.
R-Truth's career can actually be considered a success given his staying power and a brief main event run as a heel.
But staying power was far from the name of R-Truth's game in the 2010 Elimination Chamber. He barely stayed long enough to see the cage lowered.
The Great Khali was immediately skewered by the live crowd of Las Vegas, which peppered him with familiar chants of "You can't wrestle" upon entering the 2008 Elimination Chamber. This match type is not really built for monster heels, especially those with subpar wrestling skills.
Khali's stay in the Chamber was accommodating to fans who simply did not want to see him in such a high-stakes match.
After just three minutes, Khali was eliminated by the Undertaker via submission. Khali's entire tenure in this match can be reduced to a paragraph. During his live blog of the match, James Caldwell of PWTorch reported:
Great Khali came out and we have another monster five minutes. The fans greeted him with a "You Can't Wrestle" chant. Taker teased a chokeslam, but Khali nailed the two-hand chokebomb for a close nearfall. He then clotheslined Batista for a nearfall. Taker accepted a Giant Gonzales chop to the head, then Khali slapped the Claw on Batista. Batista fought out with a back kick, then he speared Khali. After kicking Singh off the Chamber structure, Taker slapped his submission hold on Khali, who tapped out. Khali came up with the appearance of blood from his mouth.
No monster heel whom WWE is even the least bit interested in protecting is booked to tap out, especially after spending a cup of coffee in a high-profile match. It was a damning sign of Khali's place in the world title picture.
Per James Caldwell of PWtorch, here's the Great Khali's stay in the 2012 Elimination Chamber in its entirety:
At 15:35, the fifth entrant was revealed as Great Khali, so Bryan gets the final slot. Khali delivered some trademark offense, clearing the ring of all competitors except for Show. Khali then came face-to-face with Show and ate a spear. Show made a cover and Khali was gone.
Khali had regressed from his last appearance in an Elimination Chamber match in 2008, and that appearance was also considered one of the worst performances.
Given his in-ring limitations, it was only fitting that the Punjabi Playboy was booked to come and go in the Elimination Chamber in the blink of an eye.
This pinfall was a story of two giants, with one being the dominant monster who looks strong in both victory and defeat and the other being the Great Khali.
Khali had no business being in either of the Elimination Chambers he was booked in. With two appearances on this list, it is safe to say the Great Khali may be the worst performer in Elimination Chamber history. The worst performance in match history, however, is reserved for someone else.
For someone who appeared on the poster for this very pay-per-view, Vladimir Kozlov sure did stink up the joint.
Many poor performers are mercifully eliminated quickly, but it was Kozlov's extended stay that made his appearance in the 2009 Elimination Chamber match at No Way Out that much more unbearable.
He seemed lost at times, bringing down an otherwise entertaining match.
Kozlov was eventually put out of his misery in the 23rd minute after being eliminated by Undertaker. Kozlov would not be pushed as a main event heel following his historically bad performance. This marked the beginning of the end of his uneventful run.