Chamber of Horrors: 10 most vicious moments
Let’s get this straight, right off the bat: Competing in the Elimination Chamber Match is not a pleasurable experience. Superstars speak of the caged dome with great reverence, occasional regret and maybe even, once in a while, excitement. But absolutely no one finds it a welcoming battleground.
“Hell in a Cell is brutal because of what the guys who are in it do to each other,” Triple H told WWE Magazine. “The Elimination Chamber is brutal because the chamber itself is brutal.”
In his second book, “Undisputed: How to Become the World Champion in 1,372 Easy Steps,” seven-time Chamber participant Chris Jericho went so far as to call the structure a “vile contraption.”
“You could tell whoever built the Chamber had never wrestled a match in their life, as it was awkward, unforgiving, and just plain painful,” he wrote.
These statements are not without foundation. Set your eyes to stunned and read on as we present 10 distinct moments from past Elimination Chamber Matches that helped give the Chamber its reputation as “Satan’s Prison.”
Kane launches Y2J glass over teakettle
For a guy who’s had so many run-ins with fire, you’d think Kane wouldn’t hesitate to break glass in the case of an emergency and, evidently, he didn’t. Unfortunately for Chris Jericho, instead of a hammer, The Devil’s Favorite Demon chose to use Y2J as his projectile during the inaugural Elimination Chamber Match. It didn’t take Kane more than a minute in the bout to send The Ayatollah of Rock ‘n’ Rolla cruising through a Plexiglas pod. Though the savage act called into question claims that the pods had been constructed out of bulletproof glass, it probably offered Jericho little comfort to know he helped demystify the assertion.
RVD goes for the throat
Rob Van Dam’s Five-Star Frog Splash off a pod and onto Triple H may seem relatively benign in the spectrum of Elimination Chamber incidents. Though RVD amplified the maneuver by opting to leap off the pod instead of the top rope, it’s not like he ran The Game through glass and steel en route to performing it, so why even include it on this list? For the simple fact that the splash crushed Triple H’s larynx. Watch as gravity yanks Van Dam down to earth, with RVD’s left knee slamming across Triple H’s exposed throat. In an amazingly gutsy performance from a guy known for them (torn quad muscle, anyone?), Triple H not only avoided pinfall after suffering the injury but also continued fighting for more than 20 minutes.
Glass: 2, Jericho: 0
Poor Chris Jericho. Who knows what it was about Y2J that made running him through the Elimination Chamber’s glass pods such an enticing objective for other Superstars. Whatever the reason, Jericho holds the dubious distinction of not only being the first individual pushed through a pod, but also the second. Less than a year after Kane thrashed him at Survivor Series 2002, Jericho was speared by Goldberg through a pod at SummerSlam 2003. Perhaps Goldberg simply remembered how Y2J routinely mocked his security entourage in WCW years earlier.
Belly-to-belly meets back-to-steel
Kurt Angle started his Elimination Chamber appearance at New Year’s Revolution 2006 with bad intentions, delivering six German suplexes — two each — to John Cena, Shawn Michaels and Carlito in rapid-fire succession. Seemingly hell-bent on using a classic wrestling maneuver to put away competition in a supremely unorthodox battleground, Angle then threw HBK with a belly-to-belly suplex over the top rope. Michaels’ landing place was the uncompromising steel floor next to the ring apron. As HBK writhed in pain, you could almost imagine WWE Hall of Fame announcer Gordon Solie calling the series of throws in classic French pronunciation (“su-play”) before extolling the danger of Satan’s Prison.
A towering chokeslam
At No Way Out 2008, Montel Vontavious Porter found out firsthand what it’s like to stare death in the face. With a chain wrapped tightly around his fist, The Ballin’ Superstar slugged away at The Undertaker inside the Elimination Chamber, but despite landing punch after punch, The Deadman refused to back down. More than that, he pushed the pace, prompting MVP to scamper up the turnbuckles and seek shelter high above the ring, atop a pod. Confined by the Chamber’s caged dome roof, MVP soon realized there was nowhere to run and nowhere to hide as The Undertaker, perched upon the top turnbuckle, grabbed The Franchise Playa by the neck and hurled him to the canvas. We’re pretty sure the heart-stopping tumble is the reason the “rewind” button was created.
A different, equally vicious, chokeslam
With only The Undertaker and Batista standing between him and a World Heavyweight Championship opportunity at WrestleMania XXIV, Finlay went on a Shillelagh spree during the waning moments of SmackDown’s Elimination Chamber Match at No Way Out 2008. Having been slipped the weapon by Hornswoggle, The Belfast Bruiser alternately clubbed The Animal and The Deadman before The Undertaker broke Finlay’s stride, gripped his neck and lifted the Irish Superstar high overhead before sending him crashing onto the steel floor. To the sound of a sickening percussion, Finlay’s thick 233-pound frame bounced off the steel, and the subsequent pinfall was all but a foregone conclusion. ( WATCH | WATCH FINLAY TALK ABOUT THE CHAMBER)
A Viper bite inside the Chamber
One of the most heinous moves in all of WWE, the draping DDT has become a cornerstone of Randy Orton’s arsenal. Under the best of scenarios, it’s a maneuver that other Superstars try to avoid at all costs, but inside the inhospitable Elimination Chamber, Orton’s DDT takes on seriously perilous overtones. Sheamus found that out the hard way at Elimination Chamber 2011. Rather than simply DDT’ing The Celtic Warrior on the mat, The Viper — inspired by the insidious design of the Chamber — chose to reverse his traditional technique and drive Sheamus’ spiky-haired head straight onto the steel floor.
Cena adjusts the AA
If there is one common trait that bonds all great Elimination Chamber performers, it is the ability to adapt. For all its hazards, the devious structure also offers Superstars new and exciting options for inflicting pain on their competition, and it was perhaps with that in mind that John Cena hoisted Ted DiBiase from the onto the steel floor with an Attitude Adjustment in 2010. The WWE Universe has witnessed the Cenation leader deliver Attitude Adjustments off the roof of a car, off an excavator and off an ambulance, but it was without the benefit of a really high platform that Cena executed one of his most painful-looking Attitude Adjustments of all time. DiBiase fought mightily, grabbing hold of the top rope and trying to wiggle free, but it was all for naught. The force of Cena’s Attitude Adjustment was such that DiBiase’s body rotated more than usual, causing his tailbone to snap against the steel upon landing. ( DIBIASE DISCUSSES ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT)
Nowhere to land for Rey
One of the most fascinating finales in Elimination Chamber Match history occurred between Edge and Rey Mysterio at No Way Out 2009. With the other four Superstars eliminated, The Rated-R Superstar and The Ultimate Underdog were left to battle it out to decide who would exit the Chamber as World Heavyweight Champion. After a stunning back-and-forth — which saw Edge boot Mysterio off the top turnbuckle and Rey hit a reverse 619 (which Jerry “The King” Lawler called a “916”) — Mysterio charged at Edge while both Superstars were on the steel floor. In a brilliant display of quick thinking and ruthlessness, however, The Ultimate Opportunist launched Mysterio overhead and into a pod. One spear later and Edge embarked on his fourth reign with the World Heavyweight Title.
Innovation creates devastation
For much of his WWE career, the affable Kofi Kingston has battled the perception that he lacks the intensity needed to be a serious contender to a World Title. At Elimination Chamber 2012, The Dreadlocked Dynamo unleashed a move so vicious that it made even most stubborn naysayers eat their words. With Dolph Ziggler standing on the Chamber’s steel floor, the acrobatic Kingston springboarded from the top rope to the cage wall, and from there, he spun into a Tornado DDT on The Showoff. Spiking Ziggler head-first onto the steel, The Boom Squad General proved it’s possible for a move to be both aesthetically amazing and physically punishing.
These 10 hand-selected moments, though, represent only a fraction of the toil Superstars have endured inside the Elimination Chamber. With the Elimination Chamber Match slated to return this Sunday, Feb. 17, who’s to say what horror awaits the six Superstars when they enter Satan’s Prison? ( HOW TO WATCH)