Examining How the PG Rating Has Affected WWE's Elimination Chamber

Ryan Dilbert@@ryandilbertWWE Lead WriterFebruary 5, 2014

Credit: WWE.com

The Elimination Chamber is not among the PG Era's list of victims.

WWE's change in rating has declawed Hell in a Cell and tempered the TLC match, but it has had far less of an effect on the violence in the Elimination Chamber. Minus cutting one's self to bleed onto the canvas, today's wrestlers can largely pull from the same bag of violent tricks in that match.

Fans who grew up on the Attitude Era often have a hard time adjusting to the safer, softer version of the WWE product.

The shift to PG-rated programming has taken away chair shots to the head, bleeding born by way of blading and incredibly dangerous spots like Mick Foley's fall from the top of the Hell in a Cell. The Elimination Chamber, a structure where every element of it is designed to hurt, has retained the majority of its brutality.

One of the more violent moments that a Chamber match can feature is when one man hurls another through one of the glass pods that stand in the corners of the structure. That has not gone away since the arrival of the PG rating back in the summer of 2008.

At No Way Out 2009, Rey Mysterio and Edge were the last two combatants in the Chamber match for the World Heavyweight Championship. Mysterio charged at Edge. "The Ultimate Opportunist" used that momentum to launch Mysterio into the pod.

The fact that the pod wall didn't break is likely just a result of Mysterio's size. Had it been Edge who took that headfirst flight, he would have probably crashed through it rather than thud against it like his opponent did.

Big Show did even more damage when he got hold of Wade Barrett in 2012. The big man pressed Barrett up against the pod before chokeslamming him through it. That spot looked a lot like one from the first-ever Chamber match, when Kane chucked Chris Jericho into the pod.

It's clear, then, that the more family-friendly rating hasn't taken away that weapon from wrestlers' arsenals. The grate that surrounds the ring is still in play during the PG Era as well.

Post-2008, Superstars can still produce the unnerving impact of flesh hitting steel.

With a shot at the WWE title on the line, Sheamus and Randy Orton battled on the outside of the ring. Orton hung his foe's feet on the ropes and delivered a nasty DDT on the grate.

A year earlier, John Cena delivered the Attitude Adjustment to Ted DiBiase on that same unforgiving surface.

WWE clearly doesn't mind using that part of the structure to create drama and generate "oohs" in the crowd. As often as some fans believe that Superstars are handicapped by the PG rating, it's not true in this case. Everything violent that the structure has to offer is still there.

They are also allowed to perform stunning spots similar to what Rob Van Dam and Shawn Michaels pulled off during the inaugural Chamber match.

In this clip of memorable spots from the bout's history, John Morrison climbs the Chamber's ceiling before dropping onto Sheamus.

That was from 2011, proof positive that the PG Era didn't clip high-flyers' wings. Jeff Hardy still soared off the top of a pod in 2009. Kofi Kingston still launched himself from atop a pod in 2012.

One would expect more of a change before and after WWE went PG inside a structure nicknamed "Satan's Prison." The reality is, there hasn't been much of one.

Apart from the victor emerging with blood dripping from his brow, there is little today's Superstars can't do inside that Chamber than they could before 2008. When Cena, Orton, Sheamus, Christian, Daniel Bryan and Antonio Cesaro all compete for the company's top prize, it won't be a watered-down version of that match.

They can send each other crashing through the pods, jump from great heights and force spine to meet steel on the outside of the ring. Most of what fans witnessed in the Chamber match at Survivor Series 2002 will still be an available weapon.

It's hard to recognize Hell in a Cell bouts today with as tame as they are. The Chamber, on the other hand, has held fast to its identity. Although they are now without crimson, WWE Superstars' bodies essentially go through the same rigors inside of that imposing structure.