The Elimination Chamber is a professional wrestling elimination-based match and held in the WWE promotion. The match was created by Triple H and was introduced by Eric Bischoff in November 2002. It features a large chain-linked circular steel structure or "chamber" which encloses the ring. The chamber's floor is platformed over the ringside area which elevates it to ring level and within the chamber are four inner enclosures outside each ring corner. While similar in profile and nature to WWE's original large scale steel-structured match, Hell in a Cell, the Elimination Chamber match is strictly a six participant match wherein two participants begin the bout in the ring as the remaining four are held within each inner enclosure and are released into the match at five minute intervals. The objective is to eliminate each opponent from the match via pinfall or submission. The winner is the last remaining participant after all others have been eliminated. As in the Hell in a Cell match, disqualifications do not apply. The structure itself is 16 ft (4.9 m) high, 36 ft (11 m) in diameter, weighs over 10 short tons (9,100 kg), and comprises 2 mi (3.2 km) and 6 short tons (5,400 kg) of chain. There have been sixteen Elimination Chamber matches in WWE since the concept's inception in November 2002.
Before the introduction of the Elimination Chamber match, WWE only promoted two matches in a caged environment, the steel cage and Hell in a Cell matches. The steel cage was the first type of cage-based match in professional wrestling and consisted of four fenced walls of steel surrounding the ring apron, while the Hell in a Cell was a taller roofed version that surrounded the ring and ringside area on the ground rather than the apron. In 2002, WWE announced the creation of the Elimination Chamber, a match that combined elements of WWE's Royal Rumble match, Survivor Series matches, Hell in a Cell matches and World Championship Wrestling's (WCW) WarGames matches, such as the countdown timer and time intervals from the Royal Rumble and War Games matches, the enclosed cage format of War Games, and the elimination process from the Survivor Series contest.
Brand and pay-per-view designation
In 2002, to exploit additional on-screen talent after buying World Championship Wrestling (WCW), WWE began a brand extension that divided the roster between the two primary television programs of WWE, Raw and SmackDown!. Former WCW President and then Raw General Manager Eric Bischoff formally announced the creation of the chamber during the October 21 edition of Raw and scheduled the match to feature participants from the Raw brand roster at the 2002 Survivor Series. The match was exclusive to the Raw brand for the first four matches and at joint-branded pay-per-view events, but upon the creation of the ECW brand in 2006, the match was instead promoted for the newly created brand at the 2006 December to Dismember. Beginning in 2008, the match became exclusive to the No Way Out pay-per-view, and two Elimination Chamber matches were featured annually for two years among the three brands. In 2010, WWE replaced their No Way Out event with the self-titled WWE Elimination Chamber, a new pay-per-view event which continued the tradition of its predecessor.
Triple H suffered a legitimate injury during the 2002 Survivor Series match with swelling on the inside of his throat which put pressure on his esophagus and trachea. This was caused after Rob Van Dam performed the Five Star Frog Splash off the top of one of the chambers. Triple H also expressed concern that he might have broken his wrist and noted anything could have caused it. Sheamus reportedly suffered a concussion during the Raw Elimination Chamber match in 2010.
The Elimination Chamber match is a variation of elimination-based matches which draws elements from steel cage and Hell in a Cell matches, in that the wrestling ring is surrounded by a large steel fenced cage supported by girders. The Elimination Chamber is a circular chain-linked structure that encloses the ring. Its floor is platformed over the ringside area around the ring which elevates and levels it with the ring mat. Within the Elimination Chamber, facing the outside of each ring post behind each ring corner, are four enclosures referred to as inner chambers. The match is contested by six participants, with two beginning the bout in the ring, while the other four are held within each inner chamber. Every five minutes, one of the four participants within a chamber is released into the ongoing match. In matches involving two three-member tag teams, two participants are released into the match once every ten minutes. This continues until all four have been released, and so an Elimination Chamber match typically lasts over twenty minutes. The objective of the match is to eliminate each opponent from the match by executing a pinfall or a submission, which can occur in the ring or on the chamber's elevated floor (starting in the 2012 event, however, all pinfalls and submissions must take place in the ring). Disqualifications do not apply in the process of elimination, except if the match is contested by women. The winner of the match is the last remaining participant after all others have been eliminated (or after all members of the opposing tag team are eliminated in tag team matches).
According to a WWE Magazine article in 2009 by WWE's production designer Jason Robinson, who co-designed the structure, several designs for the Elimination Chamber were considered. The structure was manufactured in Colorado Springs, Colorado and took six to eight weeks to make from design blueprints; it cost US$ 250,000 to construct.
The structure is made of black-painted steel with an outer structure of 16 frames, each weighing 300 pounds (140 kg). The chamber is 16 ft (4.9 m) high and 36 ft (11 m) in diameter, and weighs a total of 16 short tons (15,000 kg), 10 of which consists of steel. Each inner chamber consists of three large steel framed sheets of plexiglass, costing US$225 per sheet. The chains that surround the chamber stretch 2 mi (3.2 km) long and weigh 6 short tons (5,400 kg).
A 50 ft (15 m) flatbed truck is needed to transport the chamber. Assembly in the arena takes eight hours to complete, and eight motors are used to suspend the structure over the ring before each event. When not in use, the structure is stored at a dock in Newark, New Jersey.
The fifth match, held by the ECW brand at December to Dismember, was a slight variation called the "Extreme Elimination Chamber". In this variation, each chamber had one of four weapons for the competitors locked inside to hold on to. When each competitor's chamber opened, their weapon entered the match with them. The four weapons used in the match were a crowbar, a table, a steel folding chair, and a barbed wire-wrapped baseball bat.
The Elimination Chamber debuted at WWE's PPV event Survivor Series 2002 on November 17, 2002 at Madison Square Garden. Since the inaugural match, there have been 16 other matches (17 overall) as of Elimination Chamber 2014 on February 23, 2014. The Raw brand has been featured in the most matches, with nine; ECW has been featured twice, including its joint-branded match with SmackDown. The SmackDown brand has been featured 5 times including the joint-branded match with ECW. No Way Out and Elimination Chamber has featured more Elimination Chamber matches than any other pay-per-view, with four each. Chris Jericho holds the distinctions of being involved in the most number of Elimination Chamber matches to date (8) and eliminating the most wrestlers (10). Triple H has the most number of victories, with four. The majority of matches have been contested for a top-tier championship, with the World Heavyweight Championship being fought for the most in seven matches, while four matches in 2008,2011 and 2013 awarded the winner with number-one contenderships. The Elimination Chamber match has been contested only in indoor arenas in the United States and once in Puerto Rico. Since 2008, the match has been featured in February pay-per-view events only.
|#||The overall match number|
|Brand/Division||The WWE brand or division which was featured in the match|
|Stipulation||What each match was contested for|
|Match||The officially promoted match with all the participants|
|Event||The event promoted by the respective promotion in which the title changed hands|
|1||Raw||Shawn Michaels||World Heavyweight Championship||Triple H (c) vs. Booker T vs. Chris Jericho vs. Kane vs. Shawn Michaels vs. Rob Van Dam||November 17, 2002||Survivor Series (2002)||New York City, New York|||
|2||Raw||Triple H||World Heavyweight Championship||Triple H (c) vs. Goldberg vs. Chris Jericho vs. Shawn Michaels vs. Kevin Nash vs. Randy Orton||August 24, 2003||SummerSlam (2003)||Phoenix, Arizona|||
|3||Raw||Triple H||World Heavyweight Championship[A 1]||Batista vs. Chris Benoit vs. Edge vs. Chris Jericho vs. Randy Orton vs. Triple H
(with Shawn Michaels as the special guest referee)
|January 9, 2005||New Year's Revolution (2005)||San Juan, Puerto Rico|||
|4||Raw||John Cena||WWE Championship||John Cena (c) vs. Kurt Angle vs. Carlito vs. Chris Masters vs. Shawn Michaels vs. Kane||January 8, 2006||New Year's Revolution (2006)||Albany, New York|||
|5[A 2]||ECW||Bobby Lashley||ECW World Championship||Big Show (c) vs. Bobby Lashley vs. Hardcore Holly vs. CM Punk vs. Test vs. Rob Van Dam||December 3, 2006||December to Dismember (2006)||Augusta, Georgia|||
|6||SmackDown/ECW||The Undertaker||World Heavyweight Championship match at WrestleMania XXIV||Batista vs. Big Daddy V vs. Finlay vs. The Great Khali vs. Montel Vontavious Porter vs. The Undertaker||February 17, 2008||No Way Out (2008)||Las Vegas, Nevada|||
|7||Raw||Triple H||WWE Championship match at WrestleMania XXIV||Jeff Hardy vs. Chris Jericho vs. John "Bradshaw" Layfield vs. Shawn Michaels vs. Triple H vs. Umaga|||
|8||SmackDown||Triple H||WWE Championship||Edge (c) vs. Big Show vs. Jeff Hardy vs. Vladimir Kozlov vs. The Undertaker vs. Triple H||February 15, 2009||No Way Out (2009)||Seattle, Washington|||
|9||Raw||Edge[A 3]||World Heavyweight Championship||John Cena (c) vs. Edge vs. Chris Jericho vs. Kane vs. Mike Knox vs. Rey Mysterio|||
|10||Raw||John Cena||WWE Championship||Sheamus (c) vs. John Cena vs. Triple H vs. Randy Orton vs. Ted DiBiase vs. Kofi Kingston||February 21, 2010||Elimination Chamber (2010)||St. Louis, Missouri|||
|11||SmackDown||Chris Jericho||World Heavyweight Championship||The Undertaker (c) vs. R-Truth vs. John Morrison vs. Rey Mysterio vs. Chris Jericho vs. CM Punk|||
|12||SmackDown||Edge||World Heavyweight Championship||Edge (c) vs. Drew McIntyre vs. Rey Mysterio vs. Kane vs. Wade Barrett vs. Big Show[A 4]||February 20, 2011||Elimination Chamber (2011)||Oakland, California|||
|13||Raw||John Cena||WWE Championship match at WrestleMania XXVII||John Cena vs. Sheamus vs. CM Punk vs. Randy Orton vs. John Morrison vs. R-Truth|||
|14||Raw||CM Punk||WWE Championship||CM Punk (c) vs. Kofi Kingston vs. The Miz vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Chris Jericho vs. R-Truth||February 19, 2012||Elimination Chamber (2012)||Milwaukee, Wisconsin|||
|15||SmackDown||Daniel Bryan||World Heavyweight Championship||Daniel Bryan (c) vs. Wade Barrett vs. Cody Rhodes vs. Big Show vs. Santino Marella vs. The Great Khali|
|16||WWE||Jack Swagger||World Heavyweight Championship match at WrestleMania 29||Jack Swagger vs. Chris Jericho vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Kane vs. Mark Henry vs. Randy Orton||February 17, 2013||Elimination Chamber (2013)||New Orleans, Louisiana|
|17||WWE||Randy Orton||WWE World Heavyweight Championship||Randy Orton (c) vs. John Cena vs. Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Cesaro vs. Christian||February 23, 2014||Elimination Chamber (2014)||Minneapolis, Minnesota|
|Rob Van Dam||2||0||1|
|The Great Khali||2||0||0|
|Big Daddy V||1||0||0|
In July 2010, WWE released Satan's Prison: The Anthology of the Elimination Chamber, a DVD featuring every Elimination Chamber match as of Elimination Chamber 2010. The European release of the DVD is titled Iron Will.
- The championship was vacant for this match.
- This edition of the match was promoted as the Extreme Elimination Chamber, which featured a weapon in each inner chamber.
- Kofi Kingston was originally scheduled to be part of the match, but due to a scripted attack by Edge during his entrance, he was unable to take part. Edge was allowed to take his place.
- Dolph Ziggler was originally scheduled to be part of the match, but was replaced by Big Show before the match due to being fired (kayfabe) on SmackDown 2 days earlier.
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- "Preview: Raw Elimination Chamber Match". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved 30 January 2012.
- "Satan's Prison- The Anthology of the Elimination Chamber DVD". WWE Shop.com. Retrieved 3 February 2011.
- "Iron Will: The Anthology of WWE's Toughest Match DVD". Silver Vision. 24 June 2010.