The Elimination Chamber concept was created in 2002, with the returning Shawn Michaels winning Triple H’s World Heavyweight Championship in the first ever Chamber Match at that year’s Survivor Series. The concept was an immediate success, being very well received by WWE fans and critics.
Eight years later, WWE went one step further by introducing an actual yearly pay-per-view event named after the unique stipulation. Naturally, the matches held inside the barbaric structure are the main focus every year, but there have been some good non-Chamber matches held at the event as well. Here is the best from every single edition of the Elimination Chamber PPV.
2010: The Miz Vs. MVP
As expected when completing this list, not many above average matches that took place on the Elimination Chamber PPV that weren’t the four podded chains of doom themselves were found. The 2010 edition had some pretty below average action outside of the Chamber, with the best being a slightly average match between United States Champion, The Miz, and someone who seemed to be lost in the company at this point, MVP.
The match overall was fine, with Mark Henry backing MVP while Big Show backed Miz. Eventually, Miz would get the win with a Skull Crushing Finale to retain his championship.
2011: Alberto Del Rio Vs. Kofi Kingston
To open the second edition of Elimination Chamber, Royal Rumble winner Alberto Del Rio took on Kofi Kingston in a pretty good match. The crowd was surprisingly hot for this and these two put on some pretty solid wrestling. A surprising addition to the list and definitely the only good non-Chamber match from this particular PPV.
2012: John Cena Vs. Kane
Elimination Chamber seems to be a big pile of suffering before the Chamber matches, and here we have what somehow was the best match not inside the cage. This was an Ambulance Match that actually main evented the show. This was Kane’s first feud since his return to his masked self just a couple of months prior. I was the typical ‘super Cena beats the odds’ match, where he towers over Kane in the end. Unfortunately, it was better than anything else I could have put.
2013: The Rock Vs. CM Punk
Sometimes fans forget that a rematch between The Rock and CM Punk actually happened. Rock wrestled on the PPV before WrestleMania, where he would eventually meet up in another (even bigger) rematch with John Cena. In one man’s opinion, this was better than their Royal Rumble match with kore engaging action and a much more interesting story being told throughout. Overall, it was a very good way to close the show.
2014: The Shield Vs. The Wyatt Family
A highly anticipated war was finally realized with the two biggest three-man groups clashing in a 6-man tag team classic! What felt like a battle for the ages, this was a chaotic and fun brawl with an insanely energetic crowd backing it up. This might be the best non-Chamber match from the whole PPV series.
2015: Kevin Owens Vs. John Cena
When Kevin Owens first arrived on the main roster, he was red hot in his NXT title run. So naturally, you would think this is just a way to make NXT look cool without going too all out. You would be wrong to think that, though. Not only did Cena lose to Owens in his first match on the main roster, but he lost CLEAN. This was big for Owens, and thankfully, it was a follow-up to an absolutely fantastic contest that began their amazing trilogy. A show carrier for sure.
2017: Randy Orton Vs. Luke Harper
The Wyatts/Randy Orton storyline was certainly an interesting one, with Orton shockingly being a part of the group for a couple of months before splitting to pursue the World Title. Following Luke Harper’s face turn, Orton faced off with him in an extended semi-main event that was surprisingly really good. These two delivered some pretty well-done wrestling that felt consistent and was a good way to continue the storyline. Overall, it was a very good match.
2018: Asuka Vs. Nia Jax
The 2018 edition of the Elimination Chamber was, unfortunately, a bit of a downer with both Chamber matches undelivering and a below average midcard in-between both. The best of the midcard ended up being a pretty solid match with Nia Jax of all people being involved, although Asuka did always bring the best out of her. These two had a pretty okay clash with the best moment being the epic barricade spot, which is quite frankly the only memorable moment of the entire match if you think about it.
2019: The Miz & Shane McMahon Vs. The Usos
This PPV wasn’t much different to the previous one (midcard wise), but the Chamber matches luckily delivered. This was the best of the midcard bunch, with it being a pretty solid match with a shocking title change so soon after Miz and Shane’s triumph. They would later break the team up on the following PPV, Fastlane, so perhaps it should’ve changed there? Either way, it’s a solid contest.
2020: Daniel Bryan Vs. Drew Gulak
This edition of the PPV was very underrated, featuring some good matches quality-wise. Sure, the main event is a big pile of poo, but don’t let that distract you from the great undercard! Opening the show was a bit of a ‘veteran vs. newbie’ dream match with Bryan and Gulak having a shockingly brutal contest while displaying their best in-ring skill. The neck spots were painful to watch!
2021: Bobby Lashley Vs. Riddle Vs. John Morrison
The pandemic was a wild time in wrestling… this was originally set to be Lashley vs. Riddle vs. Keith Lee, but we all know how that went. A substitute for Lee was the athletic John Morrison, who brought some nice spots that made both of his opponents look strong. Riddle’s win was a surprising but welcoming title change to an overall solid match on a very underwhelming show.
2022: Drew McIntyre Vs. Madcap Moss
This edition held in Saudi Arabia is the absolute pinnacle of mid. Both Chamber matches respectfully are quite underwhelming, and the undercard is just horrid. This turns out to be the best of the bunch – a below average mess of a Falls Count Anywhere match. But at least it wasn’t as terrible as the rest of the choices on the table.
What are your favorite non-Chamber matches of the PPV series? Let us down below, and please consider supporting SmarKDown!