16 Elimination Chamber Matches WWE Fans Will Never Forget

Cage matches are a semi-regular occurrence in the world of professional wrestling, which isn't that surprising. Locking two or more competitors inside of a steel structure when a rivalry becomes particularly heated or there's championship gold on the line can build a lot of hype around a match. Not to mention, it gives those involved more to work with in order to tell an even more fleshed-out story. Of course, then there are Elimination Chamber matches, which take the tenets of the standard steel cage match, dial them up to 11, and toss in even more variables for good measure.

Introduced in 2002, Elimination Chamber matches are in a league of their own. Six wrestlers enter the massive steel structure and four are locked in clear pods positioned behind each turnbuckle. Two competitors start in the ring and one by one, more individuals enter the match. As the name implies, these bouts are contested under elimination rules, meaning a single pinfall or submission doesn't end the match. It merely removes the person who's pinned or submitted from contention. The last man standing wins whatever prize is up for grabs, be it a championship or a future title match.

Many Elimination Chamber matches have taken place over the years, and of them all, these 16 stand out as particularly memorable for one reason or another.

No Way Out 2008 (World Heavyweight Championship opportunity)

On the road to WrestleMania XXIV, No Way Out took place in February of 2008 and featured two Elimination Chamber matches. The first included members of the "Raw" roster — John Bradshaw Layfield, Shawn Michaels, Triple H, Chris Jericho, Umaga, and Jeff Hardy — competing for a WWE Championship match at "The Show of Shows." The other EC match that night was similar in that the prize was a World Heavyweight Championship match at WrestleMania, but unlike the "Raw" bout, this one was a tad different. It was comprised of members of both the "SmackDown" and "ECW" rosters.

Big Daddy V, Montel Vontavious Porter — aka MVP — the Undertaker, Batista, Finlay, and the Great Khali stepped into the Elimination Chamber, hoping to secure a match against World Heavyweight Champion Edge at WWE's biggest event of the year. Despite the odd lineup of superstars involved, the match was entertaining enough by Elimination Chamber standards. Of course, right from the opening bell, it was clear either Batista or Undertaker would secure the win since they were the only real main-eventers involved. Sure enough, "The Deadman" picked up the victory.

Taker's win at No Way Out 2008 in the first-ever Elimination Chamber match where a championship wasn't involved led to an incredible match with Edge at WrestleMania XXIV. Sure, this was far from the strongest EC match, but it supplied a WrestleMania classic in the end.

Elimination Chamber 2015 (WWE Intercontinental Championship)

Before the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view would take a one year hiatus from the WWE calendar, the 2015 edition of the event took place in May of that year. Not only is this the first Elimination Chamber show to take place after WrestleMania instead of right before it, but it's also the first to stage a match inside the titular structure that didn't revolve around a World Title. Instead, the only singles title contested inside the Elimination Chamber was the Intercontinental Championship, which Daniel Bryan was forced to vacate due to a career-threatening injury after he won it at WrestleMania 31 in late March.

With one of the most prestigious championships in WWE history on the line, Sheamus, King Barrett, R-Truth, Dolph Ziggler, Ryback, and Mark Henry boldly entered "Satan's Structure." Even though the lineup included more than a few midcard heavy-hitters, this Elimination Chamber match wasn't that great. It wasn't helped by the fact that one of WWE's many failed main event experiments, Ryback, walked away with the gold. After the bout, Bryan even presented "The Big Guy" with the Intercontinental Championship — his first singles title in WWE up to that point in his run.

At the time of this writing, WWE has yet to put on another Intercontinental Championship Elimination Chamber match. Until that happens, Elimination Chamber 2015 will live on as the only event where fans can see one.

Elimination Chamber 2021 (Universal Championship opportunity)

Near the end of 2020, the WWE Universal Championship wound up around the waist of Roman Reigns. After returning at SummerSlam, Reigns won the championship at the Payback event a week later, and little did fans realize that they were in for a lengthy title run. He'd waste little time tearing through the competition as he made it his mission to make the entire WWE acknowledge him. However, when the Elimination Chamber 2021 event rolled around, he didn't compete in the match itself. Instead, the "SmackDown" EC match offered up an immediate title match for all involved to try and secure.

Cesaro, Daniel Bryan, Kevin Owens, Jey Uso, Sami Zayn, and King Corbin battled it out inside the Elimination Chamber with a shot at Reigns on their minds. Every competitor brought their A-game for this one, going above and beyond to try and eliminate their opponents so they could take the title opportunity for themselves. Bryan won in the end by eliminating his final foe, Uso, thus granting him a shot at the Universal Championship. Reigns made his way down the ramp, entered the ring, and in less than two minutes, successfully retained his title against a very worn out yet determined Bryan.

This was a great Elimination Chamber match that's made a bit more memorable by the strange immediate title match stipulation. Not to mention, it began the build for the excellent Roman Reigns, Edge, and Daniel Bryan triple threat match at WrestleMania 37.

Elimination Chamber 2013 (World Heavyweight Championship opportunity)

When the night of Elimination Chamber 2013 finally came, fans were in for a somewhat disappointing event. Not only was this the first time an Elimination Chamber event only had one chamber match, but that bout didn't even feature a champion putting their title up for grabs. Rather, it included six competitors — Randy Orton, Mark Henry, Chris Jericho, Jack Swagger, Kane, and Daniel Bryan — vying for a World Heavyweight Championship match at WrestleMania 29. Alberto Del Rio defended the title in a match against The Big Show to kick off the main card, so whoever survived the chamber would face him at "The Showcase of the Immortals."

Instead of a proven main-eventer like Orton, Jericho, Kane, or Henry taking the spot, the championship opportunity went to an up-and-comer, kind of. Jack Swagger won the Elimination Chamber match and went on to face Alberto Del Rio at WrestleMania 29. With Zeb Colter — better known as "Dirty" Dutch Mantel — in his corner, Swagger adopted a new persona in this era. Gone was the smiley, arrogant "All-American American," replaced with a serious, aggressive "Real American" who fans could believe was a genuine threat to Del Rio's title reign. Be that as it may, he failed to win the title and lost a great deal of his recent momentum.

Following some real-life legal issues, Jack Swagger's push to the top of the card ceased for the second time. Swagger showed a lot of promise in this Elimination Chamber match, so it's just too bad it now endures as a part of his last gasp as a potential WWE main event talent.

Elimination Chamber 2012 (World Heavyweight Championship)

2012 is a year in WWE that's remembered for many things. The Rock and John Cena's first ever singles match against each other, the 1,000th episode of "Raw," the return of Brock Lesnar, and more all took place inside of that 365-day window. The same goes for the continued unexpected push of Santino Marella, who'd been a main roster regular since 2007 and quickly became the definition of a comedy act. Nevertheless, in 2011 into 2012, he became a key player on WWE programming and one of the most popular stars in the company. Thus, he came close to some huge professional achievements.

For one, in the 2011 Royal Rumble match, he stood as one of the final two competitors before being tossed out by winner Alberto Del Rio. Then, when Elimination Chamber 2012 arrived, he put on an impressive showing against some legitimate main event talent inside the titular chamber. In fact, he outlasted the Great Khali, Wade Barrett, the Big Show, and Cody Rhodes, making himself and World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan the last two competitors. Sadly for "The Milan Miracle," not even a strike from the hilarious yet feared Cobra could put Bryan down for the three count.

Overall, the 2012 World Heavyweight Championship Elimination Chamber match is fine, but Santino Marella's stellar performance makes it memorable. By modern standards, him making it to the end of the match may seem hokey, but he was on a hot streak back then — one that nearly brought him world title gold.

Elimination Chamber 2019 (WWE Women's Tag Team Championship)

In December of 2018, WWE announced plans to add a new title to its ranks, specifically for the main roster women's division to compete for: the WWE Women's Tag Team Championships. The company hadn't featured a prize for female tag teams since 1989, when the WWF World Women's Tag Team Championships were retired due to a lack of teams to compete for them. Come January of 2019, the brand new titles were shown off and it was announced that the inaugural champions would be crowned at the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view the following month. All they had to do was survive the chamber itself and five other teams.

Sonya Deville and Mandy Rose, The IIconics (Peyton Royce and Billie Kay), The Boss 'n' Hug Connection (Sasha Banks and Bayley), The Riott Squad (Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan), Carmella and Naomi, and Nia Jax and Tamina took part in the match. With a chance to make history before them, all six teams put their bodies on the line in the name of the WWE Women's Tag Team Championships, knowing that only one duo could take them home when it was all said and done. Bayley and Banks did so, more than ready to usher in a new era for female tag teams under the WWE banner.

The WWE Women's Tag Team Championships have already seen their fair share of ups and downs since debuting on WWE programming in 2019. Still, at least the match that crowned the first champions remains a worthwhile encounter.

Elimination Chamber 2018 (Universal Championship opportunity)

There was an air of intrigue about Elimination Chamber 2018, especially on the "Raw" side of things. Then WWE Universal Champion Brock Lesnar wouldn't defend his title inside "Satan's Structure," though the match would determine his opponent at WrestleMania 34. The match included a who's who of high-level "Raw" talent, and for the first time ever, hosted seven instead of six competitors: Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, Finn Bálor, John Cena, Braun Strowman, Elias, and the Miz. On paper, nearly everyone in that match could deliver a WrestleMania-quality match against Lesnar, but who would earn the shot?

The ever-dominant Reigns scored the victory, going on to lose to Lesnar at WrestleMania 34. Although, while one might imagine the future "Tribal Chief" scored at least a handful of eliminations in pursuit of the Universal Championship opportunity, that wasn't the case at all. Strowman actually came out of the chamber looking like a star, having eliminated everyone else in the match besides Reigns, who ultimately eliminated him. This is an unprecedented level of destruction in the Elimination Chamber match, and at the time of publication, no one in the men's division has matched the five eliminations "The Monster Among Men" scored that night.

In the wake of Elimination Chamber 2018, Strowman didn't get a lot to do as WrestleMania 34 approached. He memorably won the Raw Tag Team Championships from The Bar (Cesaro and Sheamus) with WWE referee John Cone's son, Nicholas, as his partner at the event. That's quite a gear shift from his remarkable Elimination Chamber performance.

Elimination Chamber 2020 (Raw Women's Championship opportunity)

Two years after Braun Strowman steamrolled the competition inside the Elimination Chamber, the 2020 edition of the pay-per-view saw another record-setting performance take place. At the time, Becky Lynch was the Raw Women's Champion, and like many champions in WWE before her, she didn't put her title up for grabs on this night. Instead, Asuka, Shayna Baszler, Liv Morgan, Natalya, Ruby Riott, and Sarah Logan braved the chain link walls and steel floor of the Elimination Chamber with every intention of becoming the number one contender for Lynch's gold at WrestleMania 36.

As this Elimination Chamber match unfolded, it became increasingly obvious that there was one competitor out of the six who was simply on another level compared to her opponents: Shayna Bazler. First she eliminated Logan, then Riott, then Natalya, then Morgan, and finally Asuka, staking her claim to the number one contendership. In terms of women's Elimination Chamber bouts, this is the single most eliminations anyone has ever pulled off in a single match. If it proved anything, it's that Lynch's title reign was in serious jeopardy at WrestleMania.

When the first night of WrestleMania 36 came, Baszler couldn't secure her first main roster WWE title after a rather brief match against Lynch. If nothing else, at least she'll go down in history as one of the most dominant women to ever step foot in the Elimination Chamber.

Elimination Chamber 2015 (WWE Tag Team Championships)

By 2015, the Elimination Chamber match hadn't been explored too thoroughly. Most of the matches followed the same basic six-wrestler elimination format with next to no variation. WWE attempted to counteract this monotony at Elimination Chamber 2015 by booking the first-ever tag team Elimination Chamber match. The WWE Tag Team Champions, The New Day (Big E, Kofi Kingston, and Xavier Woods), had to fight an uphill battle to defend their titles from The Ascension (Konnor and Viktor), Los Matadores (Diego and Fernando), The Lucha Dragons (Kalisto and Sin Cara), Cesaro and Tyson Kidd, and The Prime Time Players (Titus O'Neil and Darren Young).

With a whopping 13 people in the match, it had the potential to go off the rails pretty quickly. Although, compared to other Elimination Chamber bouts, this one was pretty tame. There were some high spots, but overall nothing too dazzling. The Ascension eliminated Los Matadores and The Lucha Dragons, The Prime Time Players eliminated The Ascension and Tyson Kidd and Cesaro, and to keep their WWE Tag Team Championships, The New Day defeated The Prime Time Players. Seeing as all three members of the faction were able to compete in the match, it's not too surprising that they held onto the gold.

As the first-ever tag team Elimination Chamber match, this contest is just adequate. Nothing too exciting to write home about, but far from a bad watch if you enjoy tag team wrestling, The New Day, or Elimination Chamber matches as a whole.

No Way Out 2009 (WWE Championship)

Ahead of No Way Out 2009, the "SmackDown" Elimination Chamber match for the WWE Championship filled out nicely. The current champion, Edge, would have to defend against some of the biggest names in WWE at the time: Jeff Hardy, Triple H, The Undertaker, The Big Show, and Vladimir Kozlov. Suffice to say, "The Rated R Superstar" more than had his work cut out for him if he wanted to walk into WrestleMania 25 as the WWE Champion. Any hope of him doing so dissipated in just over three minutes, though, when Hardy ensured he was the first elimination of the match.

With the champion gone, this Elimination Chamber match really picked up steam. Would Kozlov capture his first title in WWE? Would Hardy defy the odds to become WWE Champion for a second time? Or would multiple-time world champions Triple H, Big Show, or Undertaker add another belt to their trophy case? As the herd thinned, "The Game" and "The Deadman" stood as the final two, and they didn't hold back as they tried to take WWE's richest prize for themselves. After a lengthy back and forth that had the Seattle, Washington crowd on their feet, Triple H's hand was raised in victory.

This was Triple H's fourth win inside of the Elimination Chamber — the most wins in history. Not to mention, it's among the most entertaining EC matches out there, which isn't too surprising considering the talent involved.

Elimination Chamber 2018 (Raw Women's Championship)

For 16 years, the Elimination Chamber match was exclusive to WWE's men's division, and for some time, it seemed it would remain that way. However, as the WWE Women's Evolution — a movement within the company to put female superstars on the same level as the men — blossomed, it came time for a change. At Elimination Chamber 2018, the women of "Raw" took part in the first-ever all-female Elimination Chamber match. Raw Women's Champion Alexa Bliss would have to overcome not only the structure itself, but Mandy Rose, Bayley, Sasha Banks, Sonya Deville, and Mickie James to keep the title around her waist.

While this Elimination Chamber match is a landmark bout in WWE's women's division, as far as Elimination Chamber matches go, it's pretty good. Banks scored the first elimination by making Rose submit, James then took Deville out of the equation, and a few seconds later, Bayley eliminated James. This made Bliss, Bayley, and Banks the final three competitors, and the odds weren't in Bliss' favor given the chumminess of her two opponents. Defying the odds, Bliss eliminated Bayley and Banks to retain her championship and earn the title of the first female Elimination Chamber winner.

The women's Elimination Chamber match at the 2018 event isn't the most jaw-dropping or incredible EC match to ever take place in a WWE ring. With that said, it's a historic bout that endures as a testament to how far women's wrestling has come.

Elimination Chamber 2017 (WWE Championship)

At the 2017 Royal Rumble event, John Cena and AJ Styles put on a breathtaking match for the WWE Championship, which the leader of the Cenation won. Now a 16-time world champion, Cena once again found himself with a massive target on his back as the "SmackDown" roster eyed his gold. Thus, at Elimination Chamber 2017, he had to weather the storm of Styles, the Miz, Dean Ambrose, Baron Corbin, and Bray Wyatt if he wanted to enter WrestleMania 33 as champion. No stranger to adversity, Cena walked into the new and "improved" Elimination Chamber structure with fire in his eyes.

Despite his best efforts, Cena couldn't escape the Elimination Chamber with his historic 16th title reign intact. Near the end of the match, he was eliminated by Wyatt, who then eliminated Styles to win it all. After years of orbiting the main-event picture and only coming close to becoming WWE Champion, "The Eater of Worlds" finally won the big one in a hard-fought match against some of the company's finest. Sadly, his run as champion wasn't long thanks to his former ally Randy Orton, who took the title from him at WrestleMania 33 in a rather disappointing one-on-one confrontation.

For all of those who'd stuck by Bray Wyatt through all the ups and downs of his first WWE run, Elimination Chamber 2017 was an unmatched victory. Sure, the new EC was tough to get used to, and the title reign that followed wasn't great, but at least the match itself was great and the moment it spawned was memorable.

December to Dismember 2006 (ECW Championship)

In 2006, WWE made the bold decision to revive the defunct yet immensely popular Extreme Championship Wrestling promotion as a third WWE brand. That meant weekly television, a roster all its own, and pay-per-view events for diehard ECW fans to enjoy. After all, the first two ECW One Night Stand events were successful, so what could possibly go wrong? Well, look no further than 2006's December to Dismember: an event so disastrous that it's still widely-regarded as WWE's worst PPV of all time. It even managed to deliver a bland Elimination Chamber match, if you can believe that.

Dubbed the "Extreme" Elimination Chamber, this match tried to spruce up "Satan's Structure" to fit ECW. As if the chamber wasn't dangerous enough, all four of the pods contained a weapon of some kind. The six competitors involved — CM Punk, Rob Van Dam, The Big Show, Test, Bobby Lashley, and the last-minute replacement for an "injured" Sabu, Hardcore Holly — did their best to deliver an entertaining bout for the Augusta, Georgia crowd, but this one missed the mark. Lashley walked away as ECW Champion in the end, much to the chagrin of fans who wanted to see actual ECW stars stand victorious at an ECW event.

Now years after it happened, the December to Dismember 2006 Elimination Chamber match lives on in infamy. A weak lineup, a poor attempt at making the match "extreme," and the wrong winner proved a recipe for disaster. It's no wonder the planned 2007 December to Dismember never came to fruition.

SummerSlam 2003 (World Heavyweight Championship)

The first Elimination Chamber match at Survivor Series 2002 turned out to be a massive success for WWE, with fans making it abundantly clear that they wanted to see more of the match type in the future. That was all the motivation WWE needed to do another one at SummerSlam 2003, where World Heavyweight Champion Triple H had to risk life and limb inside the hellish structure to remain champion. He lost the title in the previous EC match to his friend-turned-rival Shawn Michaels — a mistake "The Game" had no desire to repeat at "The Biggest Party of the Summer."

For the second year in a row, Triple H took on the cream of the WWE crop inside the Elimination Chamber. His longtime pals Shawn Michaels and Kevin Nash, Goldberg, Chris Jericho, and his Evolution stablemate Randy Orton took part in the contest, throwing everything they had at each other. In one of the match's most rewound moments, Goldberg speared Jericho through one of the four entrant pods. Speaking of Goldberg, he eliminated an impressive three people (Orton, Michaels, and Jericho) and whittled the field down to just him and Triple H. Although, he couldn't pull the World Heavyweight Championship from Triple H's grasp.

The six athletes involved in the SummerSlam 2003 Elimination Chamber match put on a great show with lots of big moments. Triple H's World Heavyweight Championship runs from this era aren't everyone's cup of tea, but there's no denying how enjoyable some of the matches during them were.

Elimination Chamber 2010 (World Heavyweight Championship)

WrestleMania XXV featured one of the single greatest matches in professional wrestling history: Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker. The two WWE legends left it all in the ring that night, with "The Deadman" winning to extend his WrestleMania undefeated streak to 17-0. 'The Heartbreak Kid" took the loss hard, but after he reformed D-Generation X with Triple H in the latter half of 2009, he got his spark back. That meant he wanted to redeem himself by facing and defeating Taker at WrestleMania XXVI. Sadly for him, though, "The Phenom" had no interest in a second go-around.

Moving on from Michaels, the Undertaker had a World Heavyweight Championship match at Elimination Chamber 2010 to prepare for. Inside the fearsome structure, he had to put his title on the line against John Morrison, Chris Jericho, Rey Mysterio, CM Punk, and R-Truth. Not only did a pyrotechnic incident during his entrance result in 'Taker suffering serious burns — something he wasn't too happy about, and understandably so — but he ultimately lost his title to Jericho. An interfering Michaels hit Taker with Sweet Chin Music, affording "Y2J" the chance to pick up an easy win.

In the aftermath, the Undertaker famously accepted Shawn Michaels' WrestleMania XXVI challenge, defeated him for the second year in a row, and retiring him in the process. Elimination Chamber 2010 was a key chapter in that story that fans have yet to forget. Of course, Taker's botched entrance pyro has aided in its longevity too.

Survivor Series 2002 (World Heavyweight Championship)

The atmosphere at Survivor Series 2002 was electric as WWE fans waited to get their first look at a brand-new match type: the Elimination Chamber. Announced weeks prior by "Raw" General Manager Eric Bischoff, the match would see World Heavyweight Champion Triple H battle Kane, Booker T, Shawn Michaels, Chris Jericho, and Rob Van Dam within the confines of a brutal, unforgiving structure. Those six unfortunate souls explored a new frontier in New York City's Madison Square Garden that night — one that would go on to plague WWE superstars for decades to come.

The Survivor Series 2002 Elimination Chamber match is an excellent example of how special chamber matches can be. Everyone had their wits about them and the bout couldn't have flowed more smoothly, or at least that's how it seemed. In actuality, the match was a mess (via ESPN). In a moment he still feels horrible about, RVD hit Triple H with a Five-Star Frog Splash off the top of an entrant pod and legitimately damaged his throat. Not only did the other superstars have to work around this, but later on when Shawn Michaels was supposed to enter the match, Kane's pod opened instead. Everyone in the ring then had to improvise until Michaels eventually entered.

Even though it presented some major unplanned obstacles, the Elimination Chamber match at Survivor Series 2002 is an all-time classic. Amazing spots, surprising moments, and a feel-good ending with Shawn Michaels winning the World Heavyweight Championship as part of his big in-ring comeback. It doesn't get more unforgettable than this.