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Ranking the BEST WWE Elimination Chamber Matches
Image: WWE

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Ranking the BEST WWE Elimination Chamber Matches

What is the best Elimination Chamber match?

Debuting in 2002, the Elimination Chamber quickly became a brutal annual match, and in 2010 morphed into one of WWE’s “gimmick” premium live events alongside Hell in a Cell and Money in the Bank. As it has become the only PLE between the Royal Rumble and WrestleMania, the show and the chamber matches have become a kind of last-ditch attempt to get onto the biggest WWE show of the year for many superstars. 

Ranking the chamber matches has been done before, and there doesn’t seem to be a strong consensus the further up the list you get. Rather than just giving an informed opinion by watching a lot of wrestling matches, perhaps a more straightforward way to choose the best of the best has presented itself. What if we could pit the winners of the top six Elimination Chamber matches against each other in an Elimination Chamber match? Ahead of this weekend’s Elimination Chamber PLE (where the Chamber matches aren’t even the highlights of the show), what follows is a best of the best scenario to decide, once and for all, who is the best Elimination Chamber winner – and, therefore, which is the greatest Elimination Chamber match. 

The Process 

Putting the list together was simply a matter of compiling a quick spreadsheet of ratings and lists from a number of sources, including Cagematch and OWN’s star ratings, and then watching the matches to make judgment calls where applicable. From there, a ranking was assembled. Given that there have been 30 Elimination Chamber matches to date, the top six all remain very watchable and entertaining compared to some of the lesser entries. The winners of the top six Chamber matches faced each other in an Elimination Chamber match in WWE 2K22 on Xbox Series X. The match was simulated, and any unavailable superstars were represented by create-a-wrestlers from the community. The outcome is a fun – but also definitive, inarguable, and unquestionable – answer to the question of which Elimination Chamber match was actually the best. Before we get there, however…the rankings. 

Alexa Bliss
Image: WWE

Honorable Mention: Elimination Chamber 2018, Raw Women’s Championship match: Alexa Bliss defeated Sasha Banks, Bayley, Mickie James, Sonya Deville, Mandy Rose 

The first for WWE’s women and the best so far, the 2018 women’s Elimination Chamber match built off a good storyline and capped with a great match. The build to the show – and the video package starting it off – was all about friendships dissolving. The Boss and Hug Connection, Absolution, and Mickie James and Alexa Bliss all had their connections with varying degrees of loyalty, but WWE was definitely pushing the narrative that somebody was getting betrayed in this battle. Sure enough, the most heartbreaking of those possible betrayals happened when Sasha Banks turned on Bayley. It wasn’t completely unexpected – aside from the heavy foreshadowing, Sasha also had eliminated Bayley in that year’s Royal Rumble. 

Mickie James had the fun highlight of jumping from the top of a pod onto a waiting Sonya Deville, but that quickly led to Deville’s and James’ eliminations. The Boss and the Hugger waited for Bliss’ pod to open, but Alexa countered by holding her pod door closed and then

climbing out of the reach of the tag team. Once Sasha caught Bliss, Bayley nearly reached them at the top of a pod when Sasha booted Bayley onto the mat. As Bayley dealt with Sasha’s heel turn, Alexa was able to take advantage and eliminate Sasha after Banks took Bayley out. 

Elimination Chamber 2011:
Image: WWE

#6 Elimination Chamber 2011
World Heavyweight Championship
Edge defeated Big Show, Drew McIntyre, Kane, Rey Mysterio, and Wade Barrett 

Rey Mysterio and Edge started this match off in what, at the time, could easily have been a main event on its own. However, the addition of Barrett, then Kane, McIntyre, and Show with no eliminations really sold the disadvantage Rey and Edge were at, both in stamina and size. Poor Mysterio, especially, was on the receiving end of some brutal violence. 

Big Show and Kane both had some great sequences in the middle of the match, and somehow Rey and Edge survived to the end to finish the singles match they started. Despite the brutality both men endured, they put on a great fight to close out the Chamber match. The finish, coming almost eight minutes after the final elimination, saw Edge spearing Mysterio out of midair to retain his championship – the same finish he used in his title defense against Rey in our next entry. Afterward, Edge was attacked by his future WrestleMania opponent Alberto del Rio, and saved by a returning Christian. It was a great epilogue to the match that moved the story forward without having to affect the finish. 

No Way Out 2008
Image: WWE

#5 No Way Out 2008
WWE Heavyweight #1 Contendership
Triple H defeated Chris Jericho, Jeff Hardy, JBL, Shawn Michaels, and Umaga 

Here’s a match that had a crowd favorite, a monster WWE was itching to establish, and a reviled villain throwing a tantrum after he was eliminated. Jericho and Michaels kicked things off, and were joined by Umaga after a bit. Umaga was in great form here, brutally tossing the other superstars around before JBL entered to do the worst thing anyone does in an elimination match – he broke up a pinfall. WHY? What reason could you have to not want one of the men standing (lying) between you and victory eliminated? 

Triple H headed in shortly thereafter and ate a Clothesline from Hell that immediately led to JBL eating Sweet Chin Music and a pinfall. That prompted Bradshaw to get a steel chair and lay everybody out before eventually accepting his defeat, allowing Jeff Hardy to enter the Chamber to a bunch of corpses. Jeff was the fans’ pick here, evidenced both by crowd reaction and the online poll Jim Ross presented prior to the match. Umaga had other plans, and he laid Hardy out before absolutely destroying Jericho with a swinging Uranage followed by a hip attack that sent Jericho through a pod. Somehow, Y2J survived that and hit a Codebreaker on Umaga. That, followed by a HHH Pedigree, followed by Hardy’s Swanton Bomb off the top of a pod, was finally enough to put the big Samoan down. Quick eliminations of Jericho and Michaels led to a short finale between Trips and Jeff, but two Pedigrees, the last onto a chair, were enough to end both the match. This was one of the bloodier Chamber matches and had a good amount of action in the middle to keep things interesting.

Elimination Chamber 2019
Image: WWE

#4 Elimination Chamber 2019
WWE Championship
Daniel Bryan defeated AJ Styles, Jeff Hardy, Kofi Kingston, Randy Orton, and Samoa Joe 

On a PPV that featured the women’s Elimination Chamber match crowning the newly-introduced Women’s Tag Team champions, the men more than held their own in the last match of the show. The Kofimania storyline was building steam here, as Kingston pinned champion Daniel Bryan in a gauntlet match on the go-home SmackDown Live earlier that week. Kingston, it should be noted, was filling in for an injured Mustafa Ali in this match, and Kofi’s showing here definitely ignited the fans’ interest in Kofi as a legitimate title contender. 

Bryan, at this point the “Planet’s Champion” with the gorgeous wooden belt, did his best to avoid Samoa Joe to start this match after giving an impassioned speech belittling the fans. It…didn’t work, and Joe did what Joe does when he got his hands on Bryan. Kofi joined the fray to a huge pop, and got some fun offense chasing and attacking Bryan along the tops of pods and trust-falling onto both DB and Joe later for another explosive chant from the fans. The decision to have AJ Styles, and then Jeff Hardy enter next paid off as this smaller, more athletic Elimination Chamber lineup had a lot of innovative offense inside the giant structure. Randy Orton and Samoa Joe, not small men by any means, looked huge by comparison, although Joe was eliminated by Styles before Orton entered the ring. After Orton RKO’d AJ out of the match, Bryan eliminated Hardy and Kofi hit Trouble in Paradise to defeat Randy. The crowd then became white-hot for every near-pinfall from both Kingston and Bryan. Bryan was able to win via a Busaiku knee to Kofi’s face after Kingston missed a splash from the top of a pod, but the seeds were sown for Kingston’s historic championship WrestleMania run. 

New Year’s Revolution 2005
Vacant World Heavyweight Championship
Triple H defeated Chris Jericho, Batista, Chris Benoit, Edge, and Randy Orton 
Image: WWE

#3 New Year’s Revolution 2005
Vacant World Heavyweight Championship
Triple H defeated Chris Jericho, Batista, Chris Benoit, Edge, and Randy Orton 

The third-best Elimination Chamber match was only the third ever and the only one to be held outside the United States until last year’s in Saudi Arabia (and the upcoming event in Canada). Held in Puerto Rico, this match featured a solid selection of superstars competing for the vacant World Heavyweight Championship, an interesting twist for a match featuring three of the same superstars from the first two Chamber matches; Shawn Michaels served as special guest referee in this match, and Triple H and Chris Jericho participated in the first two alongside him. The Chamber match was set up by Raw GM Eric Bischoff after a triple threat match on Raw ended with a Randy Orton attack on Triple H and a simultaneous submission by Edge and pinfall by Benoit. It was an interesting way to set up the match before it became an annual affair at its own premium live event, and adding Triple H’s buddy Michaels and Evolution partner Batista to the match put a wrinkle into the match as Triple H and Big Huge Dave had a little tension in their relationship at that point. Dave had some great foreshadowing prior to the match, as a backstage segment set up Batista’s loyalty to Evolution.

The match is long but brutal, featuring a lot of submission and pin breakups, and the match got predictably shmozzy near the end, but the storytelling is really the point of this one. Batista is built up as a monster ready to break away from Triple H, who he celebrated with even after Hunter sat in the corner as Batista was hit with a low blow and an RKO by Orton for his elimination. After Trips hit the Pedigree on an unconscious Orton, Batista, and Flair joined him, and Batista lifted Triple H onto his shoulders in celebration – an image that would be turned on its head later that year when Batista turned on his former mentors. 

Image: WWE

#2 Survivor Series 2002
World Heavyweight Championship
Shawn Michaels defeated Triple H ©, Chris Jericho, Booker T, Kane, and RVD 

The first is nearly the best and still holds up twenty years later. For the first time anyone had seen a match like this, the number of spots we’d see perfected later was surprisingly plentiful. The inclusion of RVD almost guaranteed some high-flying insanity, and sure enough, he modified his Rolling Thunder and springboard attacks to the cage perfectly, making him a fantastic addition to this diverse lineup. Unfortunately, Van Dam’s attempt at a Frog Splash from the top of a pod resulted in him landing directly onto Triple H’s throat, crushing his larynx. Referee Earl Hebner threw up the ‘X’ signal, but somehow Trips was able to finish out the match. 

The pacing in this match is decent, but muc of that is owed to the structure of WWE’s multi-person matches, where two wrestlers battle while the others lie down, recovering their stamina bars. Kane provided a chance for the smaller guys to get a little break as they individually ate some offense from the Big Red Machine. Another spot seen in several future Elimination Chamber matches was introduced by Kane as he heaved Jericho through the plexiglass wall of one of the pods. It eventually took Sweet Chin Music, a Pedigree, and a Lionsault to take Kane out, but not before he chokeslammed each remaining superstar. Michaels then eliminated Jericho, which led to the dramatic finish between former friends HBK and HHH. The crowd was behind the Heartbreak Kid, booing every Triple H pin attempt while cheering Shawn to victory. 

Image: WWE

#1 2017 WWE Championship
Bray Wyatt defeated John Cena, AJ Styles, Baron Corbin, Dean Ambrose, and The Miz 

After 2015’s Elimination Chamber show featured a couple of poorly-received matches – the Tag Team match was a little clunky, and Ryback won the other – WWE took a year to rethink and revamp the chamber. The new look is definitely more steel cage than birdcage, with the Chamber and pods becoming less rounded and more squared off. It’s safer, adding padding to the unforgiving steel outside the ring; it’s also easier to move around, as the thing was so large and bulky that WWE had to take that into consideration when booking arenas to hold those matches. 

The revamp worked and gave us the single best Elimination Chamber match ever. Part of that was the booking – Ambrose and Corbin were great as damage-dealing brawlers, Styles flew

around attacking anyone in range as the ironman of the match, and the Cena versus Wyatt storyline paid off perfectly. One of the few times WWE has made a good decision regarding Bray, his defeat of both Styles and Cena to end the bout and win his first championship in WWE did a lot to solidify Wyatt as a threat and a force in the company. 

The Elimination Chamber GOAT Match 

While there’s something to be said for putting two versions of the current head of WWE creative into our Chamber GOAT match, the better option is to put the next highest-rated match with a unique winner. That’s 2021’s WWE Championship match, won by defending champion Drew McIntyre. CAWs of Daniel Bryan and Bray Wyatt were downloaded, completing our lineup. 

Our lowest-ranked winners started the match – McIntyre and Edge. Triple H, Daniel Bryan, Bray Wyatt, and Shawn Michaels all waited patiently in their pods, with their entrances matching their rankings from the list. The ring quickly filled with all six competitors, but Bryan was the first elimination, as McIntyre hit a Claymore while the other wrestlers all battled outside the ring. Michaels followed that up with a flying elbow to Drew, and he was the next man out. Edge speared Triple H to remove him from the match, and then the remaining competitors went back and forth, trading blows until Michaels performed about a dozen taunts, giving Bray time to perform his elaborate crab walk into a Sister Abigail, then pinning Edge. HBK was able to reverse out of that same move and follow up with Sweet Chin Music, but his exhausted pinfall afterward only got a two-count. A second superkick with the same pin, ended up getting him the win. Thus, the Heartbreak Kid is crowned the official Elimination Chamber GOAT in a fast-paced but exciting matchup, justifying his position as second overall but number one in our hearts.

Written By

Russ Good has gone through careers as a veterinary assistant and auto mechanic while always keeping one eye on professional wrestling's ever evolving stories since he first watched Survivor Series 1990 in his grandma’s basement. He's been published on wrestlinginc.com and tries to keep up with his personal blog, Let’s Watch Some Wrestling. Russ is supported in his endeavors by his incredible wife, three adorable dogs, and one disinterested cat.

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