10 Elimination Chamber One-Hit Wonders
Forty-four Superstars, past and present, have tempted fate by entering the cruel, unforgiving steel domain known as the Elimination Chamber, to date. Of those athletes, slightly more than half — 24, to be precise — can boast having competed in exactly one Elimination Chamber contest. ( VIEW ELIMINATION CHAMBER MATCH PHOTOS)
These men are the Elimination Chamber one-hit wonders.
The reasons vary as to why these Superstars limited their Chamber outings to one. In some instances, there’s reluctance to re-enter such a barbaric contest if the rewards aren’t work the risk. (“Mr. Money in the Bank” Dolph Ziggler, a Chamber one-timer who’s already guaranteed a World Title Match, said as much on the Feb. 1 SmackDown.) In other cases, the prominence of certain Superstars diminishes after their Chamber debut, causing them to be left off subsequent Elimination Chamber Match lineups. Sometimes, it’s simply a matter of timing: Some one-hit wonders listed here entered their first and only Chamber Match in the twilight of their WWE careers.
No matter the reason, these warriors all have one thing in common: When it comes to Elimination Chamber Matches, they’re one and done … so far.
Booker T (Survivor Series 2002)
Booker T is a five-time (“five-time, five-time, five-time, five-time, five-time”) WCW Champion, but did you know he is also a one-time Chamber participant? Though SmackDown’s main man only competed in a single Chamber, he made it count, taking part in the very first Elimination Chamber Match all the way back in 2002. More than a historical footnote, Booker T was responsible for the Chamber’s first official elimination when he ousted Rob Van Dam with a missile dropkick. Unfortunately for Booker, he didn’t fare much better than Van Dam: After eating a Chokeslam from Kane and a Lionsault from Chris Jericho in succession, Booker T found himself the second Superstar to be eliminated.
Goldberg (SummerSlam 2003)
In the second Elimination Chamber Match, held at SummerSlam 2003, one-hit wonder Goldberg accomplished just about everything short of wresting the World Heavyweight Championship from Triple H. Despite being the sixth and final entrant into the bout, the goateed gladiator managed to put away a stunning three opponents before being downed by Triple H, setting the record for most eliminations by a Superstar in a single Elimination Chamber contest. (Since then, the feat’s been accomplished only twice, and it has yet to be topped.) He may not have come away with the win, but Goldberg did provide a highlight-reel-worthy impact, spearing Jericho into a pod and shattering glass in the process.
Carlito (New Year’s Revolution 2006)
Three years after Goldberg set the record for most eliminations, Carlito (brother and cousin of current WWE tag team Primo and Epico, respectively) tied the impressive accolade the one time he was granted entry into the dreaded Elimination Chamber. With the help of fellow Chamber one-hit wonder and then–tag team partner, Chris Masters, the apple-spitting, second-generation Superstar put away Kane. From there, Carlito individually eliminated Shawn Michaels (via neckbreaker) and Masters (via low blow).
Also like Goldberg, Carlito failed to claim victory, despite an impressive showing: He ended up falling to the eventual winner of the Elimination Chamber Match, John Cena.
Kurt Angle (New Year’s Revolution 2006)
Kurt Angle did not eliminate a single competitor in the WWE Championship Elimination Chamber Match that took place at WWE New Year’s Revolution in 2006, but that doesn’t mean his lone Chamber appearance wasn’t remarkable. Few Superstars have matched Angle’s intensity coming out of the pod that night. With John Cena, Carlito and Shawn Michaels in the ring, the Olympic gold medalist charged into battle and performed six consecutive release German suplexes within a span of 20 seconds. ( WATCH)
“No bridges, gentlemen,” Joey Styles exclaimed to his fellow commentators. “He’s punishing his opponents with purpose.”
Not yet satisfied, Angle followed up his house-of-fire attack by propelling HBK over the ropes and onto steel with a belly-to-belly suplex before launching Carlito over the ropes with a similarly styled German suplex. Unfortunately for the four-time WWE Champion, the surge of suplexes wasn’t enough to muster a pinfall, and he was eventually felled by an HBK Superkick to become the evening’s first elimination.
Bobby Lashley (ECW December to Dismember)
Of the 24 Superstars who have competed in a single Elimination Chamber Match to date, only two have victories to their name: Daniel Bryan, who’s slated to return to the Chamber on Feb. 17 ( MATCH PREVIEW), and Bobby Lashley. At the newly relaunched ECW’s December to Dismember event in 2006, Lashley eliminated two Superstars en route to winning the Chamber Match, which holds the distinction of being the only “extreme” Elimination Chamber Match in history. (Unlike traditional Chamber matches, the ECW version included weapons, such as barbed wire baseball bats and a crowbar, inside the pods.) Though the match and December to Dismember are generally viewed in hindsight as examples of where the ECW relaunch failed, there’s no denying the Extreme Elimination Chamber Match represented a high-water mark for Lashley, as it earned the muscle-bound bruiser the ECW Championship.
Big Daddy V (No Way Out 2008)
Though not necessarily one of the most decorated Superstars in terms of championship accolades, the 500-plus-pound Big Daddy V has nonetheless accomplished much over the course of his various stints in WWE. He’s fought in traditional Survivor Series Elimination Tag Team Matches and Royal Rumble Matches. In 1995, he prevailed in the King of the Ring Tournament and headlined SummerSlam in a WWE Title Match. As a member of Men on a Mission, he rapped and inspired thousands of WWE fans to throw their hands up in the air and wave them as if they didn’t care.
And yes, the deceptively agile super heavyweight has exactly one Elimination Chamber Match appearance under his 60-inch belt, though his single appearance wasn’t exactly a success. Entering third in a World Heavyweight Championship No. 1 Contender’s Elimination Chamber Match at No Way Out 2008, Big Daddy V was the first to be eliminated after he ate a DDT from The Undertaker on the steel floor.
Finlay (No Way Out 2008)
Double-tough and passionate about fighting, former U.S. Champion Finlay wasn’t exactly a stranger to doing battle in unorthodox environments. He was, after all, William Regal’s opponent in the now-legendary Parking Lot Brawl that took place on WCW Nitro in 1996. Three years later, Finlay competed in, and won, WCW’s infamous Junkyard Battle Royal (which was was, you guessed it, located in a junkyard).
Seemingly custom-made for the brutal, smash-mouth style of the Elimination Chamber Match, it might seem odd that Finlay only fought under the Chamber’s steel roof once, at No Way Out 2008. By all appearances, his sole experience there was painful: The Undertaker eliminated Finlay after chokeslamming him from the ring onto the steel floor. Even a veteran as grizzled as Finlay couldn’t mask the physical torment of such a hellish landing.
Ted DiBiase (Elimination Chamber 2010)
For a Superstar whose name is so closely associated with technical expertise and grappling acumen, Ted DiBiase (Jr.) looked perhaps surprisingly at home in the Elimination Chamber. Some portion of that comfort may be chalked up to the assistance he received that night from Legacy running mates Randy Orton (who was in the bout) and Cody Rhodes (who wasn’t). The son of “The Million Dollar Man” joined forces with Orton to run roughshod over much of the competition in the match, which was for Sheamus’ WWE Championship. Together, Orton and DiBiase double-teamed Triple H and Kofi Kingston. (In an inventive exchange, The Viper placed Kingston, whose head was lodged in the cage wall, in a Boston Crab, allowing DiBiase to stomp on The Dreadlocked Dynamo’s perversely bent back.)
After Rhodes slipped him a steel pipe, however, things really took a turn for DiBiase. With the days of a cohesive Legacy stable quickly coming to a close, DiBiase used the instrument to blast both Orton and Cena, and the weapon strike enabled DiBiase to pin WWE’s Apex Predator.
Drew McIntyre (Elimination Chamber 2011)
Today, Drew McIntyre tends to spend much of his time practicing air guitar and contemplating which nightclub to visit with 3MB bandmates Heath Slater & Jinder Mahal. But in February 2011, with the rub of having been Mr. McMahon’s “Chosen One” still shining bright, McIntyre took part in the World Heavyweight Championship Elimination Chamber Match. Though the Scottish Superstar entered the contest harboring a personal vendetta against then-champion Edge — McIntyre claimed The Rated-R Superstar was responsible for the firing of Kelly Kelly, the object of McIntyre’s desire — he failed to gain much in the way of retribution before being pinned and eliminated by Kane. During his time in the contest, however, McIntyre did turn heads by shoving Wade Barrett through a pod and even hitting an immense Future Shock DDT on Big Show.
Santino Marella (Elimination Chamber 2012)
Santino Marella’s inclusion in the 2012 World Heavyweight Championship Elimination Chamber Match was a feel-good story through and through … that is, until then-champion Daniel Bryan locked The Milan Miracle in the “No!” Lock and forced him to tap.
Perhaps the most shocking Chamber participant in history, Santino was a last-minute substitute for an injured Randy Orton, who was originally slated for the match. The Cobra master claimed his spot in the pod by winning an impromptu Wild-Card Battle Royal on SmackDown mere days before Elimination Chamber was set to take place. During the pay-per-view broadcast, the WWE Universe watched with building anticipation as Marella trained for his big opportunity in vignettes that were strangely reminiscent of the original “Rocky.” The training served him well, as Marella — perhaps to the surprise of everyone but himself — was responsible for two eliminations that night, rolling up Cody Rhodes and pinning Wade Barrett before succumbing to Bryan’s submission hold. ( WATCH)
With the list of Elimination Chamber one-hit wonders being a bizarre assortment that includes former World Champions, General Managers and more than a couple underdogs, there’s just no telling what awaits the WWE Universe Feb. 17, especially with vacancies still open in the No. 1 Contender’s Elimination Chamber Match. Could the next one-hit wonder to enter the dangerous match also be the Chamber’s next victor?