Every Superstar to win the Elimination Chamber Match from the No. 6 position
Ill-gotten pin or not, Elias has the most enviable position in the upcoming Men’s Elimination Chamber Match: He’ll be the last Superstar to exit his pod and join the fray at No. 6. Much like in the Royal Rumble Match, the last entrant has the advantage of being fresh after his fellow competitors have been bashing each other into steel grates for an entire bout. Of the 20 preceding Elimination Chamber Matches, five of the winners have entered from the No. 6 position. If Elias wants to be (yep) the sixth, he’ll have to follow in the footsteps of these Superstars.
Shawn Michaels (2002)
Even taking into consideration that nobody knew what to expect from the inaugural Elimination Chamber Match in 2002, the contest was a car crash of insanity the likes of which was almost never repeated in WWE. Trapped in what was then, in essence, a cage, the six entrants turned Madison Square Garden into the Thunderdome itself: Rob Van Dam obliterated Triple H’s larynx with a Five-Star Frog Splash off the top of his pod, Kane sent Chris Jericho hurtling through a pane of glass and No. 6 entrant Shawn Michaels kicked off his comeback from a serious back injury by winning the match and the World Heavyweight Championship along with it. And given that HBK dethroned his best friend Triple H in the process, the bout set the precedent that anything could happen in an Elimination Chamber Match. Over the ensuing 15 years, almost everything would.
John Cena (2010)
The chaos of the Elimination Chamber Match’s debut turned out to be anything but a fluke. From a stretch of dominance by Triple H to a wild, ECW-centric Chamber Match in 2006, the contest became more unpredictable as the years passed. But a No. 6 entrant didn’t win for another eight years following HBK’s triumph, until John Cena — then in the midst of his most dominant stretch in a career full of them — captured the WWE Championship in that year’s Raw Elimination Chamber Match. He got past a who’s who of talent to do it, outlasting Randy Orton, Kofi Kingston, Ted DiBiase, then-champion Sheamus and Triple H, who Cena submitted last with the STF to emerge victorious.
Daniel Bryan (2012)
These days, Daniel Bryan is immortalized as the fighting underdog who toppled the machine, but his run as World Heavyweight Champion in 2011-2012 was a masterpiece of conniving and sneakiness. There was no fight he didn’t try and weasel his way out of — against Big Show and Mark Henry, specifically — which makes it even more surprising that he won the 2012 SmackDown Chamber Match, entering at No. 6 (well, sort of — Show climbed into his pod and chased him out) to outlast one of the stranger fields in the match’s history and retain his title. But even if you’ve forgotten that Bryan’s opponents included Show, Cody Rhodes, The Great Khali and Wade Barrett, you likely remember the last one he beat: Santino Marella, a last-minute entrant into the match, who was forced to submit to the then-LeBell Lock after Bryan kicked out of The Cobra.
Randy Orton (2014)
This, on the other hand, was the Daniel Bryan who is remembered so fondly by The “Yes!” Movement. The Beard was in full-on fight-from-underneath mode in this 2014 WWE World Heavyweight Championship Elimination Chamber Match, but as had been the case for the preceding six months, forces conspired to keep him down against The Authority’s chosen champion, Randy Orton. The Viper won the Chamber Match at No. 6 thanks in large part to interference from The Wyatt Family (whose arrival resulted in John Cena’s ouster) and Kane, who crashed the Chamber to help subdue Bryan and tee him up for a fateful RKO. It was among The Apex Predator’s most thrilling escapes from The “Yes!” Man; as we now know, it would be his last.
The New Day (2015)
The New Day have permeated the record books in just about every way imaginable, but one accomplishment that has fallen by the wayside a bit is that they were the winners of the only Tag Team Elimination Chamber Match to date, which saw them retain their WWE Tag Team Championship. Ya boys didn’t just enter at No. 6; they had one key leg up on the likes of The Lucha Dragons, The Prime Time Players, The Ascension, Los Matadores and Cesaro & Tyson Kidd: All three of them were allowed to compete in the match. It’s safe to say Elias won’t have that big an advantage when he steps into the chamber (there aren’t three of him, after all), but if he’s half as canny as New Day, ruthless as Orton, lucky as Bryan, or possesses the force of will of a Cena or HBK, he might just drift his way into history yet.