Since its inception for Survivor Series 2002, the Elimination Chamber match has provided for some of the most triumphant, heartbreaking, and downright painful moments. And with WWE Elimination Chamber 2022 in the rear view mirror on the Road to WrestleMania, I couldn’t help but think back to some of the most insane moments from the hellacious multi-man (and multi-woman since 2018) match from the past 20 years.
With shocking returns, WWE superstars putting their lives (and their opponents’ lives) on the line, and so much more, there’s a lot to unpack here from the painful history of this massive structure.
Brock Lesnar F5s Austin Theory Off The Chamber Pod (2022)
The prospect of Brock Lesnar walking into WWE Elimination Chamber 2002 and winning the WWE Championship became all the more likely when defending champion Bobby Lashley was ruled out of the match before even leaving his chamber pod. All that stood between Lesnar and a winner-take-all match against Roman Reigns at WrestleMania 38 was the remaining competitors, who didn’t stand a chance.
Austin Theory, the last of Lesnar’s four eliminations, tried in vain to escape but was pulled back down to reality when Lesnar pulled him from the chains and delivered a brutal F5 that sent Theory crashing down on the steel floor like a bag of grain at his Saskatchewan farm.
Bianca Belair Pulls Off Two KODs To Earn A WrestleMania Title Shot (2022)
The winner of the Women’s Elimination Chamber match in February 2022 was to be awarded a guaranteed shot at Becky Lynch’s Raw Women’s Championship at WrestleMania 38, and there were a lot of great options going in. But the match with the most potential at “The Showcase of the Immortals” was a rematch from SummerSlam 2021 between Lynch and former SmackDown Women’s Champion Bianca Belair.
The Women’s match, which was far more competitive than the Men’s Elimination Chamber, looked like it could have been won by anyone, but as time went by, Belair earning a WrestleMania title shot two years in a row looked more and more like a reality. Then it was all but guaranteed when the 2021 Royal Rumble winner pulled off two impressive KODs on Rhea Ripley and then Alexa Bliss to set up one of the most exciting rematches in recent memory.
Kofi Kingston’s Highflying Crossbody Falls Short (2019)
After more than a decade in the company, Kofi Kingston became one of the top players in WWE in early 2019 when he was a last-minute addition to the Men’s Elimination Chamber. Not only was this a great match that ended with a 12-minute show-stealer between Kingston and WWE Champion Daniel Bryan, it also kicked off the craze that would be known as Kofi-Mania.
In the final moments of the match, Kingston appeared to be closer than ever to becoming WWE Champion when he attempted to pull off a death-defying crossbody off the top of a chamber pod. But what was an empowering moment in the making one second became an agonizing defeat the next when Bryan rolled out of the way and countered with a flying knee to the face, putting off Kofi-Mania for a little while longer.
Alexa Bliss Pulls Of A Twisted Bliss In First Women’s Elimination Chamber (2018)
In 2018, WWE added a Women’s Elimination Chamber to the annual event, and the competitors in the Raw Women’s Championship didn’t waste any time testing their limits in the massive structure. And while there were some great moments featuring all six superstars (especially those involving Sasha Banks and Bayley), defending champion Alexa Bliss was the real show-stopper.
In the final moments of the match, Bliss knocked Banks to the ground and prepared to do the unthinkable: perform a “Twisted Bliss” to subdue her opponent. And though the Banks was able to put in some offense of her own after this, it was all in vain as she never regained the momentum.
Shawn Michaels Breaks Into The Chamber And Knocks Out The Undertaker (2010)
Even though Shawn Michaels wasn’t in 2010 Elimination Chamber match, his presence was still felt when he prevented defending World Heavyweight Champion The Undertaker from successfully defending his title. When only The Undertaker and Chris Jericho remained, Michaels snuck into the structure and gave the champ a brutal Sweet Chin Music superkick, allowing Jericho to snag a quick win.
Though there are probably better ways to go about setting up a match with The Undertaker at WrestleMania (which Michaels had been requesting since the met the previous year), HBK’s actions not only gave a badass moment that night but also set up one of the most electrifying main event matches of all time.
Edge Loses One Elimination Chamber But Wins Another (2009)
This one is more of a series of moments, but it was too good to leave off this list. At the No Way Out event in February 2009, Edge entered the night’s first Elimination Chamber match as WWE Champion but would end the event as the World Heavyweight Champion, pulling off one of the most insane and improbable situations in modern professional wrestling.
Basically, after he was shockingly defeated in the first Elimination Chamber match of the night, Edge (who was at the height of his run as a heel) attacked Kofi Kingston, stole his spot in the match, and then locked himself in his pod until the match started. It’s unlikely we’ll see anything like this again, so just rejoice in Edge’s greatness.
Goldberg Spears Chris Jericho Through The Glass (2003)
During his first of numerous runs with WWE, Goldberg found himself in the hunt for the World Heavyweight Championship at SummerSlam 2003 in only the second Elimination Chamber match to ever take place. And even though he would be pinned by reigning champion Triple H, Goldberg made a splash in one of his first marquee matches.
Near the end of the match when only a few competitors remained, Goldberg turned his attention to Chris Jericho on the steel floor of the structure. When a dazed Jericho turned around after taking a nasty fall, Goldberg was there to spear him into the chamber pod. The moment, which was incredibly painful, was made all the better with Jim Ross’ amazing commentary.
Shawn Michaels Hits Triple H With Sweet Chin Music To Win The World Heavyweight Championship (2002)
The inaugural Elimination Chamber match was held at Survivor Series 2002 at the world famous Madison Square Garden and saw a returning Shawn Michael compete in his first official WWE match in over four years (he had a non-sanctioned match with Triple H at SummerSlam 2002). The two former best friends found themselves as the final two competitors in the structure and gave the crowd some of the most personal and hard-hitting nine minutes in wrestling history.
At the end of the match, HBK and Triple H exchanged the finishing moves multiple times before Michaels got the best of The Game and put him down with one final Sweet Chin Music, and cemented his long-awaited return to WWE.
With WWE Elimination Chamber (the match and the show) around for the foreseeable future, expect to see more additions to this list. But if you want to revisit each of these moments and matches, you can do so right now with a Peacock Premium subscription.
Your Daily Blend of Entertainment News
Philip grew up in Louisiana (not New Orleans) before moving to St. Louis after graduating from Louisiana State University-Shreveport. When he's not writing about movies or television, Philip can be found being chased by his three kids, telling his dogs to stop barking at the mailman, or yelling about professional wrestling to his wife. If the stars properly align, he will talk about For Love Of The Game being the best baseball movie of all time.