This Sunday, WWE will present the latest incarnation of the Elimination Chamber PPV. Since its inception in 2002, the Chamber has become an integral part of The Road To WrestleMania, giving us a whole host of memorable moments and helping to build feuds for The Grandest Stage of Them All.
Join me as I take a look back on some of the most iconic moments and matches from the Chambers history, in my Top 10 Elimination Chamber matches.
*cue concerned looks and plexiglass inspection*
10. 2012 - Daniel Bryan Amongst Mid Carders & Giants.
It all started off with a simple Money In The Bank cash-in. Daniel Bryan embarked upon his first-ever World Championship reign, which ultimately ended in just 18 seconds. On the way there he found himself inside the Elimination Chamber, defending against a somewhat underwhelming group of opponents: Cody Rhodes, Wade Barrett, Santino Marella, the Great Khali, and former champion The Big Show.
The real story here was the sudden emergence of Santino-mania, which never quite caught fire in the way the Yes Movement and Kofimania did, but for a brief moment in time the crowd went bananas at the thought that the Milan Miracle would strike again.
9. 2011 - Big Match John Heads To Mania While Morrison Soars.
With the Miz having his hands full with Jerry Lawler, the number one contender spot was up for grabs in the Chamber. Cena, Punk, and Orton were your bankable winners with R-Truth, Sheamus, and John Morrison as the dark horses put in there to create the moments.
Because Punk’s pod wouldn’t open right away, the RAW Anonymous GM (remember that mess?) negated his original elimination. But the big moment/spot in the match came when John Morrison scaled the Chamber almost all the way to the roof to drop down onto Sheamus, eliminating him from the match. Morrison not winning a world title off the back of this moment was absolutely criminal. John Cena would go on to defeat Punk and become number one contender for The Miz's title.
8. 2006 - The Birth Of The Ultimate Opportunist.
Edge cashing in the first-ever Money In The Bank briefcase in 2006 was truly monumental. But the level of talent that John Cena overcame before the Rated R Superstar earned his moniker as 'The Ultimate Opportunist' was monumental in itself.
Besides the young upstarts like Carlito and Chris Masters, Cena had to survive through the veterans like Kane, Shawn Michaels, and Kurt Angle. The match itself has a place in history as being the only Chamber match that the Olympic Gold Medalist competed in.
John Cena would pin Carlito, the last man in the match, before Vince McMahon came out to introduce Edge and state his intent to cash in the briefcase. A huge moment, signalling Edge's first World Championship reign.
7. 2002 - RVD Breaks a Throat, HBK Steals The Show.
The very first Elimination Chamber match was a complete comedy of errors as evidenced by this article. However, all new ideas have to start somenwere, and aside from RVD smashing Triple H’s throat and HBK’s pod not opening in the correct order, the first match was an instant classic as far as multi-man matches go and set the tone for the next 18 years.
HHH, HBK, Booker T, Jericho, Kame, RVD. A veritable who's who of WWE legends, and arguably the most impressive Chamber line up to date. Watching six veterans navigate this first-ever match was part of the fun, not to mention HBK winning the whole thing.
6. 2018 - Alliances Fall While The Goddess Triumphs
The first ever Women’s Chamber match had a full story told during this saga. Sonya Deville started the match with Bayley. Mandy Rose would came out next all guns blazing, or at least she tried to - Bayley decked her and did all she could to stop the double team.
Despite the four ladies in the ring working in their respective units, Alexa Bliss was able to survive them plus veteran Mickie James long enough for Sasha Banks to turn on long time friend Bayley. Alexa would take full advantage and pin them both to retain her title.
A landmark moment and from what I recall, the womens Chamber match was infinitely better than the men's this year. Great booking and great performances all round.
5. 2010 - HBK Breaks Hearts And The Rules.
Chris Jericho, Rey Mysterio, John Morrison, CM Punk, and R-Truth were all vying or the Undertaker’s World Championship and the chance to headline WrestleMania XXVI with The Deadman. The defending champion was certainly in a fouler mood than usual, considering the pyro mishap that has since become infamous.
The Straight Edge Savior had been cutting a promo about the cage of addiction his competitors were in until R-Truth’s music hit. But after eliminating him, Punk actually had the audacity to finish his promo. The back and forth eliminating continued until the Deadman had entered the Chamber. Unfortunately for the champion, HBK had found a way into the Chamber and cost him the match, setting up Michaels’ swansong against The Phenom at WrestleMania in one of the greatest matches of all time.
4. 2008 - Brutality And Aerial Assaults.
There’s always a pretty eclectic mix of speed, agility, and power inside the Chamber. It's what makes it so intriguing. At No Way Out 2008, that was never more prevalent. JBL, Umaga and Triple H brought the brutal and powerful edge to the match, while HBK, Jericho and Jeff Hardy provided the thrills.
With all six superstars being big time veterans, it made this Chamber match for the title shot at WrestleMania seem all that more important. The match was filled with plunder and power spots. But the thrilling end continued the can you top this, matter of respect feud between Triple H and Jeff Hardy. Triple H would emerge victorious but the match did wonders for Jeff's stock, propelling him to superstardom.
4. 2003 - War Games
From 2002-2004, Triple H did his best to instill a little old school “Flair” when he started his newest faction Evolution. He entered the Chamber as the defending champion at SummerSlam 2003. All signs pointed to the former WCW wrecking ball Goldberg defeating all odds and winning the richest prize in the industry.
He mowed down the entire field of combatants in the match. But much like the War Games matches of old, Ric Flair was able to help stem the tide and help the Game lay waste to Goldberg with his trusty sledgehammer. Controversial finish aside, watching Goldberg plough through 4 of the 6 entrants is a sight to behold when you consider the caliber of talent on show.
2. 2014 - The Yes Movement Picks Up More Steam
The Yes Movement was in full effect. Every fan seemingly was thoroughly behind Daniel Bryan, except for the one person that mattered the most - Vince McMahon. Bryan stepped into Chamber with John Cena, Sheamus, Kane, Christian, Cesaro, and defending champion, Randy Orton.
In what seemed like his last shot to headline WrestleMania, his hopes and dreams were shattered when the lights in the arena went out. The lights came back on, revealing The Wyatt Family, who had their eyes firmly fixed on D Bry. Their interference, and the great equalizer the RKO, would see Orton walk out the winner.
1. 2019 - Kofimania.
One of the greatest stories ever told in WWE history. Easily.
With Mustafi Ali injured at the hands of Randy Orton, a spot in the Chamber needed to be filled, one that the always reliable Kofi Kingston was given the opportunity to fill. What followed was one of the most impressive performances of all time, with Kofi very nearly clinching victory, surviving an onslaught of offence from the very start of the match, before falling to Daniel Bryan.
The match itself was great, but the story that it told, and what it led to, are what make it the best of all time.
The crowd went crazy for Kofi, showing their appreciation for the highly underrated veteran. Over the following weeks, Kofi would be challenged by Vince McMahon to prove his worth. He was forced to participate in an amazing gauntlet match on Smackdown, with the crowd thoroughly behind the Dreadlocked Dynamo once again.
But still Vince wanted more.
Next up his cohorts Big E and Xavier Woods had to survive an equally as tough tag team gauntlet match to once and for all earn Kofi his Mania moment. This match brings a tear to my eye every time I watch it. Kofi's best friends earned him the title match he so deserved and KofiMania officially took over the entire WWE Universe.
Kofi would go on to defeat Daniel Bryan at Wrestlemania 35 and finally after 11 long years, win his first ever World Championship. I cried. You cried. We all cried.
One of, if not the, greatest moment in WWE history.
So there we have it. My personal top 10 Chamber matches. Do you agree? Do you disagree? Sound off in the comments!