Hello everyone. This is a day late but that might be the norm for me going forward. I’m switching jobs and I have Mondays off, so there is a good chance you will see my columns up on Monday mornings going forward.
With that out of the way, I decided to go back in wresting history again. With the Elimination Chamber PPV this Sunday, the focus of this piece will be the Elimination Chamber match itself. I would say that as far as brutality goes, the Elimination Chamber match itself has passed the Hell In A Cell match. Of course, that is nobody but the WWE’s own fault. They watered down the Cell match by giving it its own PPV and not making it seem as important. At least the Chamber usually has a purpose, and they sell it as the fact that everyone in the match is going all out and sacrificing everything to get into the main event of WrestleMania.
So what am I doing with this brief but informative column? Going back in time to look at five other times the Elimination Chamber match would’ve worked in wrestling history. And this is not just since the Chamber’s inception. This is through all of wrestling history. So lets get to it!
1. Armageddon 2000- Kurt Angle vs Rikishi vs The Undertaker vs Steve Austin vs Triple H vs The Rock
-Why not get the obvious one out of the way first? This actually would’ve been the perfect way to debut a match like the Chamber given everyone involved in the match. Angle was the heel Champion going into the match and was putting his Title at risk against five other men. Sure, we wouldn’t have gotten Rikishi getting chokeslammed off the Cell by The Undertaker, but the WWE rarely replays that moment anymore as it is. This might have arguably been the most star-studded Chamber match that the WWE would’ve offered. It has all of the top stars of the Attitude Era, and Rikishi. But at least Rikishi played into storylines here with running over Austin and supposedly doing it for The Rock. A Chamber match in this spot would have been less all over the place compared to the Cell match.
2. WrestleMania 4- Hulk Hogan vs Andre The Giant vs Ted DiBiase vs Randy Savage vs Ricky Steamboat vs Greg Valentine
-Most people will tell you that the tournament idea at WrestleMania 4 was somewhat of a flop. Yes, it gave us Randy Savage winning the WWF Championship for the first time. But the tournament watered down the entire PPV and didn’t give us that great of a show. Hulk/Andre 2 was garbage and really wasn’t that necessary. Imagine if the Elimination Chamber was around for WrestleMania 4? Now I know during this time Hogan didn’t really take pinfalls, but there are ways you can get around it. Have DiBiase pin him while holding onto the ropes or other shenanigans. You could have this match here. Then let Jake Roberts and Rick Rude have a proper singles match. Sprinkle in some other singles matches then you have a better WrestleMania card.
3. Survivor Series 1998: The Rock vs Mankind vs Steve Austin vs The Undertaker vs Kane vs Big Boss Man
-Again, this takes away another long tournament idea. my favorite part of the Deadly Games tournament was that it gave us the awesome Deadly Games song. The WWE still could have accomplished what they ended up doing, which was the swerve of turning The Rock heel when Vince McMahon and Co. were trying to get the viewing audience to believe that they wanted Mankind to be their Champion. Again you have a pretty stacked Chamber match. Big Boss Man fits for the time period since he was working with Vince McMahon.
4. In Your House 1997: Bret Hart vs Steve Austin vs The Undertaker vs Vader vs Sid vs Ahmed Johnson
-Pretty much every wrestling historian will tell you that the build up to WrestleMania 13 was just a giant hot mess. Steve Austin won the Royal Rumble but was eliminated, and the refs didn’t see it. Shawn Michaels won the WWF Title at the Royal Rumble but forfeited it a few weeks later because of a knee injury, if that is the version you want to believe. The WWE was left in a hot mess. Originally a Fatal 4 was made to determine the #1 Contender, then it was changed to a match for the Title with Sid getting a Title shot the next night on RAW. A Chamber match would’ve been a great way to settle everything here. You could have Sid win the Title and everything that ended up happening at WrestleMania stays the same. I threw in Ahmed Johnson just so I could get it to six. Fake Diesel would’ve been a logical choice, but he was off TV immediately after the Rumble.
5. Vengeance 2001- The Rock vs Steve Austin vs Kurt Angle vs Chris Jericho vs The Undertaker vs Rob Van Dam
-It was the end of the Invasion angle and the WWE had two Champions, but they only wanted one. So they had a mini-four man tournament at Vengeance to crown a new Champ. An Elimination Chamber match would’ve worked here because again, it would have sold the idea that every competitor in this match was going to go all out and put their bodies and careers on the line to become the first Undisputed Champion in the WWE. Jericho could still make the claim that he pinned Austin and Rock in the same night to win the Titles. You add Undertaker and Rob Van Dam to the match to round it out. RVD was still over at the time.
So what about you? Do you have any other times when the Elimination Chamber could have worked in storylines? I was tempted to add the 1991/1992 time period. But the way the Rumble played out with the winner getting the Title was well done and one of my favorite Rumble matches ever.
Until Next Time,
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Tags: Andre the Giant, chris jericho, Elimination Chamber, Hulk Hogan, kane, Kurt Angle, Mick Foley, Randy Savage, sid, Steve Austin, ted dibiase, The Rock, the undertaker, triple h, Vader, WWE