WWE Elimination Chamber

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WWE Elimination Chamber
WWE Elimination Chamber Logo.png
WWE Elimination Chamber logo used as of 2021
Other name(s)No Way Out (2010, 2012; in Germany)
No Escape (2011, 2013–present; in Germany)
Created byTriple H and Eric Bischoff
Promotion(s)WWE
Brand(s)Raw (2010–2011, 2018–present)
SmackDown (2010–2011, 2017, 2019–present)
205 Live (2019)
First event2010
Signature match typesElimination Chamber match

WWE Elimination Chamber is a professional wrestling event produced by WWE, a Connecticut-based professional wrestling promotion. It is available only through pay-per-view (PPV) and the WWE Network. The event was established in 2010, replacing No Way Out as the annual February PPV. The concept of the show is that one or two main event matches are contested inside the Elimination Chamber, either with championships or future opportunities at championships at stake. The Elimination Chamber match itself had been created in 2002 and held at various other WWE pay-per-views before the establishment of the namesake event in 2010.

The 2014 event was notable for being WWE's final event to air exclusively via traditional PPV outlets due to the launch of the WWE Network the next day, as all PPV events since have aired on both PPV and the WWE Network. The following year, the event's February slot was replaced by Fastlane, with the 2015 Elimination Chamber instead being held in May. That year's event also saw the first tag team Elimination Chamber match. The event did not occur in 2016, but it returned in 2017 with a revamped Chamber design making it less cylindrical and safer with wooden floors instead of mesh grates. The event also returned to the February PPV slot. While the eponymous match was originally only for male wrestlers, the 2018 event featured the first-ever women's version, as well as the first seven-man Elimination Chamber match. The 2019 event determined the inaugural holders of the WWE Women's Tag Team Championship. The 2020 event was notable as it was WWE's final PPV event held before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused all of WWE's shows to be held behind closed doors until mid-2021. The 2020 event was also moved to March as Super ShowDown was held in February, but the event returned to its February slot for the 2021 event, which was WWE's final PPV held before the American version of the WWE Network merged under Peacock.

To coincide with the brand extension, the events in 2010 and 2011 featured wrestlers from the Raw and SmackDown brands before the brand split ended in August 2011. Following the reintroduction of the brand split in mid-2016, the 2017 event was held exclusively for wrestlers from SmackDown. The 2018 event was then Raw-exclusive and was the final Raw-branded PPV of the second brand split, as following that year's WrestleMania 34, WWE discontinued brand-exclusive pay-per-views. The 2019 event in turn featured wrestlers from both the Raw and SmackDown brands, as well as 205 Live, while the events afterwards have just featured Raw and SmackDown.

In Germany, Elimination Chamber is known by a different name to avoid connotations of the gas chambers used during the Holocaust in World War II. In 2010, it retained the "No Way Out" (German: Kein Ausweg) name, which was also used for the event in 2012, but in 2011, it was called No Escape (German: Kein Entkommen), which became its permanent German name in 2013.[1][2]

History[edit]

The Elimination Chamber match was established by World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) in 2002 with Triple H and Eric Bischoff noted as the creators of the match.[3] It was first held at that year's Survivor Series pay-per-view (PPV).[4] Over the years, the match was held at other PPV events, including No Way Out. After Elimination Chamber matches were featured at the 2008 and 2009 No Way Out events,[5][6][7][8] WWE ran a survey in September 2009 indicating a possible renaming for No Way Out. Voted by fans via the promotion's website, Elimination Chamber became the name of the February 2010 pay-per-view event, winning against Heavy Metal, Battle Chamber, Chamber of Conflict, and the original No Way Out name.[9] Despite the poll, it was later announced that Elimination Chamber would not be considered as part of the No Way Out chronology and would instead be a new chronology, which in turn became the annual February PPV.[10] The inaugural Elimination Chamber event was held on February 21, 2010, at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Missouri.[11] To coincide with the brand extension where the promotion divided its roster into brands where wrestlers exclusively perform, the 2010 and 2011 events featured wrestlers from both the Raw and SmackDown brands.[11][12] In April 2011, the company ceased using its full name, with "WWE" becoming an orphaned initialism, and in August, the brand extension ended.[13]

The 2014 event, which was held on February 23, was WWE's final event to air exclusively via PPV,[14][15][16] as the following day, WWE launched their online streaming service, the WWE Network, and events since have aired on both PPV and the Network.[17] In 2015, the event was initially replaced in February by Fastlane because many arenas were not able to physically support the Elimination Chamber structure, thus making it easier to book the February pay-per-view event without the structure.[18] However, the 2015 Elimination Chamber event was later announced to be streamed exclusively on the WWE Network in the United States on May 31 and was available on PPV elsewhere.[19] The event did not occur in 2016, but returned in 2017 and featured wrestlers exclusively from the SmackDown brand, following the reintroduction of the brand split in mid-2016. The 2017 event also moved Elimination Chamber back to its regular February slot with Fastlane instead being held in March.[20] The 2018 event was then a Raw-branded show.[21] It was also WWE's final Raw-exclusive PPV of the second brand split, as following that year's WrestleMania 34, WWE discontinued brand-exclusive pay-per-views, thus the 2019 event featured wrestlers from both the Raw and SmackDown brands, as well as 205 Live, although it was the only to include 205 Live.[22] The 2020 event was moved to March as Super ShowDown was held in February,[23] but Elimination Chamber returned to its February slot in 2021.[24]

The 2020 event, held on March 8, would be the final WWE pay-per-view to be held in-person with spectators before the COVID-19 pandemic took effect. Beginning March 13, Raw and SmackDown's shows and pay-per-views were moved to the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida and held behind closed doors.[25] In August, the company relocated Raw and SmackDown's shows to a bio-secure bubble called the WWE ThunderDome, which was first hosted at Orlando's Amway Center.[26] The ThunderDome was then relocated to Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida in December,[27] which is where the 2021 Elimination Chamber was held.[24] In mid-July 2021, WWE resumed a live touring schedule.[28]

In March 2021, the American version of the WWE Network became a premium channel under NBCUniversal's streaming service, Peacock. As a result, the 2021 Elimination Chamber was the final pay-per-view to air on the American version of the WWE Network before the launch of Peacock's WWE Network channel.[29][30] After a brief transitional period, the standalone version of the WWE Network in the U.S. shut down on April 4, with future events only available via Peacock's WWE Network channel and traditional PPV. This did not affect other countries, which maintain the separate WWE Network service distributed by WWE.[31][32]

In October 2021, WWE revealed their PPV calendar for 2022, and Elimination Chamber was not included. However, the exact events for some scheduled dates were not revealed, including to be announced events for February and May, months that previous Elimination Chamber events have been held in.[33]

Concept[edit]

The Elimination Chamber event centers around the Elimination Chamber match, and the event typically includes one or two main event matches that are contested inside the structure, either with championships or future opportunities at championships at stake. The match is generally contested by six participants (or six tag teams for a tag team Chamber match), with two beginning the bout in the ring, while the other four are held within a smaller chamber within the structure. In the case of a seven-person match, which occurred at the 2018 event, three wrestlers begin the match instead of two. Every five minutes, one of the four participants (or teams) within an inner chamber is released into the ongoing match. This continues until all four have been released, with the match typically lasting over twenty minutes. The objective of the match is to eliminate all opponents via pinfall or submission, which originally could occur in the ring or on the chamber's elevated floor outside the ring, although in 2012, this was changed so that all pinfalls and submissions must take place in the ring. Disqualifications do not apply in the process of elimination. The winner of the match is the last remaining participant (or team) after all others have been eliminated (for tag team Chamber matches, only one person of a team must be eliminated to eliminate the team itself).[34][35]

Elimination Chamber matches[edit]

From 2010 to 2012, the event featured two Elimination Chamber matches, usually one for each brand until August 2011 when the brand extension ended. In 2010, Raw's Chamber match was for the WWE Championship while SmackDown's Chamber match was for the World Heavyweight Championship.[11] In 2011, the Raw Chamber match determined the number one contender for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania XXVII, while the SmackDown Chamber match was again for the World Heavyweight Championship.[12] In 2012, although the brand extension had ended, there were still two Chamber matches with one each for the WWE Championship and World Heavyweight Championship, respectively.[36] In 2013, only one Chamber match took place with the winner receiving a World Heavyweight Championship match at WrestleMania 29.[37] Following the unification of the WWE Championship and World Heavyweight Championship as the WWE World Heavyweight Championship in December 2013, the 2014 event had only one Chamber match, which was for the unified championship.[14][15][16] In 2015, there were two Chamber matches. The first featured the first-ever tag team Chamber match, which was for the WWE Tag Team Championship (now Raw Tag Team Championship), while the second Chamber match was for the vacant WWE Intercontinental Championship.[38]

After the brand extension was reinstated in mid-2016, the WWE World Heavyweight Championship reverted to being called the WWE Championship and became exclusive to SmackDown. The 2017 event was in turn SmackDown-exclusive and the main event was a Chamber match for the brand's WWE Championship.[20] The 2018 event was then Raw-exclusive and featured two Chamber matches. One was the first-ever women's Chamber match and it was for the Raw Women's Championship. The other was a men's Chamber match which was the first-ever seven-man Chamber match to determine the number one contender for the Universal Championship at WrestleMania 34.[21] After brand-exclusive PPVs were discontinued following that WrestleMania, the 2019 event featured both brands. There were two Chamber matches. One was a women's tag team Chamber match to determine the inaugural holders of the WWE Women's Tag Team Championship and featured three teams from each brand, while the other was a SmackDown-exclusive Chamber match for the WWE Championship.[22] Later that year, the Universal Championship and WWE Championship switched brands. The 2020 event featured one Chamber match for each brand. SmackDown's was a tag team Chamber match for the SmackDown Tag Team Championship, while Raw's was a women's Chamber match for a Raw Women's Championship match at WrestleMania 36.[23] At the 2021 event, the Raw Chamber match was for the WWE Championship, while SmackDown's Chamber match was for an immediate Universal Championship match that same night.[24]

Events[edit]

Raw-branded event SmackDown-branded event
# Event Date City Venue Main Event Ref.
1 Elimination Chamber (2010) February 21, 2010 St. Louis, Missouri Scottrade Center The Undertaker (c) vs. Chris Jericho vs. CM Punk vs. John Morrison vs. Rey Mysterio vs. R-Truth in an Elimination Chamber match for the World Heavyweight Championship [11]
2 Elimination Chamber (2011) February 20, 2011 Oakland, California Oracle Arena CM Punk vs. John Cena vs. John Morrison vs. Randy Orton vs. R-Truth vs. Sheamus in an Elimination Chamber match for a WWE Championship match at WrestleMania XXVII [12]
3 Elimination Chamber (2012) February 19, 2012 Milwaukee, Wisconsin Bradley Center John Cena vs. Kane in an Ambulance match [36]
4 Elimination Chamber (2013) February 17, 2013 New Orleans, Louisiana New Orleans Arena The Rock (c) vs. CM Punk for the WWE Championship [37]
5 Elimination Chamber (2014) February 23, 2014 Minneapolis, Minnesota Target Center Randy Orton (c) vs. Cesaro vs. Christian vs. Daniel Bryan vs. John Cena vs. Sheamus in an Elimination Chamber match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship [14][15][16]
6 Elimination Chamber (2015) May 31, 2015 Corpus Christi, Texas American Bank Center Seth Rollins (c) vs. Dean Ambrose for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship [38]
7 Elimination Chamber (2017) February 12, 2017 Phoenix, Arizona Talking Stick Resort Arena John Cena (c) vs. AJ Styles vs. Baron Corbin vs. Bray Wyatt vs. Dean Ambrose vs. The Miz in an Elimination Chamber match for the WWE Championship [39][40][20]
8 Elimination Chamber (2018) February 25, 2018 Paradise, Nevada T-Mobile Arena Braun Strowman vs. Elias vs. Finn Bálor vs. John Cena vs. Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins vs. The Miz in an Elimination Chamber match for a WWE Universal Championship match at WrestleMania 34 [41][21]
9 Elimination Chamber (2019) February 17, 2019 Houston, Texas Toyota Center Daniel Bryan (c) vs. AJ Styles vs. Jeff Hardy vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Randy Orton vs. Samoa Joe in an Elimination Chamber match for the WWE Championship [22]
10 Elimination Chamber (2020) March 8, 2020 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Wells Fargo Center Asuka vs. Liv Morgan vs. Natalya vs. Ruby Riott vs. Sarah Logan vs. Shayna Baszler in an Elimination Chamber match for a WWE Raw Women's Championship match at WrestleMania 36 [23]
11 Elimination Chamber (2021) February 21, 2021 St. Petersburg, Florida WWE ThunderDome at Tropicana Field Drew McIntyre (c) vs. The Miz for the WWE Championship in The Miz's Money in the Bank cash-in match [24]
(c) – refers to the champion(s) heading into the match

References[edit]

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