#4 Cena vs. Edge vs. Chris Jericho vs. Rey Mysterio vs. Kane vs. Mike Knox (No Way Out 2009)
Memorable for its decorated lineup, big hits and shocking twists, the World Heavyweight Championship Elimination Chamber Match from 2009 got off to perhaps the most bizarre start in Chamber history: Edge, who lost the WWE Title in an Elimination Chamber Match earlier that very night, attacked Kofi Kingston before the bell and stole his spot inside a Chamber pod.
The Ultimate Opportunist’s presence was hardly the only surprise of the match. Consider Rey Mysterio’s unique brand of offense that, in this instance, consisted off a hurricanrana off the Chamber walls and a seated senton from the top of a Chamber pod. Then there was the remarkable sequence that led to World Heavyweight Champion John Cena’s stunningly quick departure from the bout: A Chris Jericho Codebreaker gave way to a Mysterio 619, which led to a Spear from Edge. After that trifecta of signature moves, the Cenation leader was down for the count.
The match eventually boiled down to just Edge and Kingston comrade Mysterio, and inside the Chamber, The Ultimate Underdog’s high-risk tolerance proved untenable. When Rey attempted a hurricanrana-type move on the steel grate, Edge reversed it, launching Mysterio through a pod. A Spear later, and Edge was once again a World Champion.
#3 John Cena vs. Shawn Michaels vs. Kurt Angle vs. Carlito vs. Chris Masters vs. Kane (New Year’s Revolution 2006)
The 2006 edition of the Elimination Chamber Match marked the first time John Cena entered the structure. Standing in his pod as WWE Champion, Cena stared down Kurt Angle, Shawn Michaels, Kane, Chris Masters and Carlito. Facing the current and three former WWE Champions — and witnessing the suplex-happy Olympic Hero and unpredictable Sweet Chin Music from HBK — Carlito and Masters formed an alliance that ultimately resulted in Kane’s elimination. Nevertheless, Carlito eventually turned on The Masterpiece and unexpectedly dominated the remainder of the bout.
Although Michaels managed to eliminate Angle, Cena suddenly found his title in jeopardy as Carlito — who defeated the Cenation leader for U.S. Title in his WWE debut two years earlier — eliminated Kane, Masters and Michaels. Certainly no one expected the king of cool to outlast HBK, the most experienced Superstar inside the Elimination Chamber. However, moments after eliminating Masters, Carlito was caught off-guard as Cena rolled him up to retain the WWE Championship and win his first Elimination Chamber Match.
#2 Triple H vs. Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Jericho vs. Randy Orton vs. Goldberg vs. Kevin Nash (SummerSlam 2003)
For all the wars that have been waged inside the Elimination Chamber, none of them boasted the immense star power of the physically intense contest at SummerSlam 2003 … and it was only the second one ever. The list of competitors was astounding. Locked inside was the Chamber’s first winner, Shawn Michaels, nWo revolutionary Kevin Nash, WCW savior Goldberg, a 23-year-old Randy Orton, the first Undisputed Champion, Chris Jericho, and the reigning World Heavyweight Champion, Triple H.
The web of rivalries among the opponents was as difficult to entangle as a Chekov play. Nash had been at odds with both Triple H and Jericho, while Y2J had clashed with Shawn Michaels at that year’s WrestleMania and also recently renewed his WCW conflict with Goldberg. And there was certainly no love lost among the three participating Kliq members. Thankfully for The Game, his Evolution cohort Orton was standing beside him.
Nash was sent packing first with a Sweet Chin Music that kicked Big Sexy right out of WWE for eight years. But the match truly belonged to Goldberg. The former Atlanta Falcon entered the contest last and went on a rampage. He handily took care of Orton, Michaels and Jericho, then literally punched through glass to get to Triple H. But Hunter’s pal Ric Flair passed along a sledgehammer to gain the advantage, permitting the champion to attack the Georgia native and retain his title. But it was far from the last Triple H would hear from the charismatic Bill Goldberg.
#1 Triple H vs. Booker T vs. Rob Van Dam vs. Chris Jericho vs. Kane vs. Shawn Michaels (Survivor Series 2002)
At Survivor Series 2002, inside The Greatest Arena in the World, Madison Square Garden, the first-ever Elimination Chamber Match was contested for the World Heavyweight Championship. It featured six of WWE’s most dangerous Superstars, including reigning titleholder Triple H, Shawn Michaels, Booker T, RVD, Kane and Chris Jericho. And once the WWE Universe got a taste of the career-changing structure, standing 36 feet in diameter and weighing 20,000 pounds, the squared circle would never be the same again.
The innovative Chamber redefined the meaning of the word pain, with all six competitors using the miles of unforgiving steel chain to absolutely tear each other apart. Before the contest was over, two warriors were hurled through the Lexan glass pods, and both a Frog Splash and Elbow Drop were launched from the top of pods. The former, performed by RVD onto Triple H, almost crushed The King of Kings’ larynx, though he somehow managed to continue defending his title in the contest for another 20 minutes.
Ultimately, HBK triumphed over The Game — his best friend- turned-bitter rival — to capture a much-deserved golden victory, and the last World Championship in his WWE Hall of Fame career. However, the lasting legacy created that night was one of horrific anguish; not only for the brave pioneers who ventured inside the Chamber that night, but also for anyone who would dare enter the structure from that point forward.