Posted by James Tee
Hello everybody, and welcome back to Wrestlingnews.net. We are less than two hours from the WWE’s second PPV of the year; Elimination Chamber, and we once again will get to see one of the most demonic structures in all of Sports Entertainment. But how good is the Elimination Chamber itself, and is it the best gimmick match in the history of Wrestling?
It all started back at Survivor Series 2002. At the time, H was in the middle of dominating the WWE in terms of title reigns and story-lines, and Shawn Michaels had recently made a comeback after overcoming a career threatening back injury. At Summerslam that year, the two men met in an unsanctioned Street Fight; a match HBK won before a shocking attack from The Game after the match. It was originally thought that Hunter had wanted a revival of the WCW War Games style double cage, although that was soon turned away by WWE management. Instead, several match concepts were combined; the enclosed style of Hell in a Cell, the countdown concept of the Royal Rumble with the ad bonus of steel flooring surrounding the ring.
Finally, on November 17th 2002, we saw the debut of the chamber. Immediately, we found out how dangerous the match was. Triple H was the victim of a botched Five Star Frog Splash from Rob Van Dam that damaged his throat. The Game got up to complete the match, although he was ultimately unsuccessful. In the end, it was Shawn Michaels who will go down in history as the first winner of the Elimination Chamber, and in turn, HBK won his final World Championship.
The match was a massive success, and a second chamber match was almost guaranteed to occur. That match would take place at Summerslam 2003, with The Game once again entering the match as World Heavyweight Champion. This time, he would face five men he had had history with. His former Kliq member Kevin Nash, former rivals Chris Jericho and Shawn Michaels, Evolution colleague Randy Orton and new enemy, Goldberg. Many people saw the match as an opportunity to put the World Title on Goldberg.
However, Triple H made up for his loss in the first chamber match, by pinning Goldberg, with a little help from Evolution colleague Ric Flair. Indeed, it is Hunter who holds the record for the most wins inside the structure, with four, and on top of that, only John Cena and Edge have won more than one chamber match.
So why do I think that this match is the best gimmick match in professional wrestling?
When the first match was introduced eleven years ago, the Hell in A Cell match was losing it’s appeal. After the legendary match between The Undertaker and Mankind at King of the Ring 1998, the matches didn’t have the same impact on many fans.
The Elimination Chamber represented a new match for a new era of Sports Entertainment. I remember watching that first match, having taped it the night before and being amazed by this new concept. Being twelve years old at the time, the risks that the superstars were taking were outrageous to the pre-adolescent me, and even now, some of my favourite memories have come from the chamber.
One of these memories is, arguably, one of the most impressive moves ever seen in a wrestling ring. In 2008, The Undertaker and Batista were the last two men in the Smackdown Elimination Chamber match, in an effort to become the Number One contender for the World Heavyweight Championship at Wrestlemania.
With Batista about to slam Taker head-first into the Chamber wall, The Deadman reversed the move, flipping both men over the top rope, and after landing on his feet, Tombstoned The Animal, winning the match.
(For those interested in seeing the move, head over to The Undertaker section of wrestlingnews.net where you can find other Undertaker videos and trivia.)
As I finish typing, the PPV has now started, and maybe, we will see yet another classic. But when you ask me why I think the Elimination Chamber is the best gimmick match in history, it is simply the moments it creates that no other match can.
Many thanks for reading, and all comments are welcome as usual.
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