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The Elimination Chamber has only made four appearances in sports-entertainment history, and as such, not many men have stepped foot inside the dangerous structure. Tonight, when six ECW Extremists enter the Chamber to wage war over the ECW World Title, there will be one man with previous Chamber experience: Rob Van Dam.
Since being screwed out of the ECW World Title five months ago, RVD has been on a mission to regain what he feels is rightfully his. The quest has led him here to Augusta, Ga., to a structure he has been in once before. In November 2002 at Survivor Series, RVD was one of six Superstars vying for the World Heavyweight Championship in the first-ever Elimination Chamber. Despite the dangerous and unpredictable nature of this match, Van Dam feels that just one experience inside the Chamber is a heavy advantage.
"I know what I can take and I know how to survive in there, while some of the other guys may be questioning their durability," Van Dam confessed. "I know what it's like to get slammed on the steel floor around the ring; I know what it feels like to get thrown into the steel walls."
Van Dam also knows how to use the structure to his advantage. In 2002, he climbed atop one of the holding chambers and delivered a breathtaking Five-Star Frog Splash to Triple H. According to the ECW Original, that may happen again tonight.
"I was the first one who thought about doing creative moves in the Chamber and incorporating my moves into that environment.
So what is the key to surviving the Extreme Elimination Chamber?
"In a match like this, you have to be able to think on the spot and adapt to any situation," he said. With five other guys in there, you never know if you'll be on your feet in 30 seconds so you can't think too far ahead. And obviously, luck of the draw is very important, because if you're the last man in you have the greatest odds."
Still, there is one strategy that RVD and the other four challengers to Big Show's gold will be following.
"Obviously, everyone's going to try to take out the biggest target, which is Big Show. He might have Test on his side, and me and Sabu may do a double-team move or two ourselves, but that doesn't mean we won't turn our backs on each other. It's every man for himself and everyone wants that gold."
Before walking away, RVD promised that he would be in top form tonight.
"I'm about to have some coffee and go to the ring to check out the Chamber," he said while walking away, "I know what I bring to the table, and I'm going to see what I come up with. Whatever it is, it will be extreme."
Will December to Dismember be the final stop on RVD's road back to the gold? The world will soon find out.
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