WWE Elimination Chamber 2014: Worst Booking Decisions in History of PPV
WWE Elimination Chamber is traditionally a well-booked pay-per-view. It serves as WWE's final chance on pay-per-view to get all its ducks in a row before WrestleMania.
The rumored WrestleMania lineup annually leaks (Credit: PWInsider via WrestlingInc) months before the event. Even when it doesn't, WWE makes it quite obvious to the active viewer where it's going with most of the top matches.
This renders the Elimination Chamber—the final piece to the WrestleMania booking puzzle—relatively predictable. Still, the pay-per-view is not without its booking faults whether or not one could see them coming.
From championship shake-ups, to strange matchups or whack-job gimmicks, the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view has had its faults.
After all, this is the same franchise that hosted an Ambulance match between John Cena and Kane in the vaunted "embrace the hate" feud.
Poor booking decisions in Elimination Chamber history stem from outcomes and storylines that adversely affected the WrestleMania buildup and, in most cases, devalued major championships by night's end.
5. The Miz Defeats Jerry Lawler in 2011
The Miz was expected to retain his WWE championship against 61-year-old Jerry Lawler at the 2011 Elimination Chamber pay-per-view.
But Lawler's improbable run toward the top of the WWE title picture had become such a feel-good story, for it to come to an end shy of a WWE Championship was deflating.
Rather than win his first championship of any kind in the WWE, Lawler's loss was the catalyst for a WrestleMania match against longtime broadcast colleague Michael Cole.
Despite Lawler winning over 160 championships, he had never worked a WrestleMania match to that point in his legendary career. Lawler would finally break that dry spell against Cole, indicating glaring depth issues with WWE's roster as a match between the Raw announce team was one of WrestleMania's top attractions.
WWE brilliantly told the story of Lawler's journey to an elusive WWE Championship victory, and even with a raucous Oracle Arena ready to explode had Lawler won, the King fell short.
The Miz would go on to headline a largely forgettable WrestleMania XXVII main event. Literally. Miz would concuss during the match, and during an interview with Sirius Satellite Radio, he went on to admit he didn't remember anything past his concussion.
4. John Cena Loses the WWE Championsihp Minutes After Winning It (2010)
WWE undermined the concept of the Elimination Chamber after John Cena's WWE Championship victory was immediately usurped by Batista.
That night, the WWE Championship changed hands two times in six falls.
Cena outlasted a field of top-tier talent in a grueling match, but shortly after, it was announced by a vengeful Vince McMahon that Cena was to defend the title against Batista.
Following a Batista win, the stage was set for a proper rematch at WrestleMania XXVI. The novelty of the match lost steam early due to their first impromptu encounter.
The WWE title does not look as prestigious when it is prone to abrupt change, creating the illusion that anybody can win it on any night based on McMahon's temperament.
From Elimination Chamber to WrestleMania XXVI, the WWE Championship went from Sheamus, to Cena, to Batista and back to Cena. By the time it got back to Cena, in a WrestleMania match not worthy enough to close the show, it was merely a prop, sure to change owners when WWE was in need of different scenery.
3. Sheamus Loses at 2010 Elimination Chamber
Sheamus' shocking WWE Championship victory over Cena at WWE TLC at the end of 2009 was supposed to mark his arrival. When all is said and done, it just may mark his peak.
Sheamus' WWE title reign was a farce, to say the least, filled with cheap victories that did not suit his monster heel persona.
When time came for the Celtic Warrior to defend his championship in a no-disqualification group cage match, he would last almost half an hour before being pinned by Triple H.
Sheamus has never quite recovered since his short-lived WWE title reign. He currently finds himself as a babyface with no character development to boot.
As mentioned in a previous slide, Cena went on to win this match only to have Batista sweep in and lay claim to a title victory himself. In hindsight, it would have made more sense to keep the title on Sheamus rather than play hot potato.
A match between Cena and Batista, arguably the two biggest stars of the post-attitude era, sells itself. It hardly needed a WWE Championship to help draw interest.
Sheamus went on to face Triple H that year at WrestleMania in another losing effort. Had Sheamus walked into that match as a WWE champion and won, he would have easily been legitimized as a credible top star.
2. Chris Jericho 'Unable to Continue' During 2012 Elimination Chamber
Based on in-character tweets (Credit: Twitter via Prowrestling.net) and comments made by Chris Jericho about CM Punk, the two seemed bound to face off at WrestleMania.
Even though this was the destination WWE had for Jericho when he returned in 2012, the promotion used every possible detour to string fans along until the last minute.
A heavy favorite going into the 2012 Royal Rumble, Jericho would be the final entrant eliminated as he watched Sheamus nab the surprising win. The following month, Jericho was booked to be unable to continue the WWE Championship Elimination Chamber match after being knocked out by CM Punk.
Jericho lost steam, as a strong challenger to CM Punk's lengthy title reign, with each disappointing loss. His failure to finish the Elimination Chamber—where only the strong are supposed to survive—made him seem weak and an unworthy opponent for CM Punk.
By the time Jericho finally secured his title shot in a Battle Royal on free TV, the writing was on the wall that Jericho would be chum bait for CM Punk.
1. John Cena and Kane Square off in an Ambulance Match
As Cena awaited a historic match against The Rock one year in the making, he was booked in a placeholder feud against Kane.
The feud accomplished nothing outside of ruining Zack Ryder's career and placing Cena in an ill-advised cartoon rivalry.
Slam! Wrestling gave the match a lackluster four out of 10 rating. Apparently, the only positive coming out of the gimmick match was that it signified the end of the Cena-Kane feud.
Going into the biggest match of his career, the last thing Cena needed was a conflict of this nature that was almost impossible to take seriously. Kane insisting Cena to "embrace the hate" had promise early. It fed into the popular notion that WrestleMania XXVIII could be the night Cena turned heel.
In the end, it was nothing more than a bad warm-up for a much more high-profile match against The Rock.