Date February 21, 2010
|Sponsor(s) National Guard|
song(s) "Rise Up" by Cypress Hill|
Promotion World Wrestling Entertainment
Elimination Chamber (2010) (also known as No Way Out (2010) in Germany) was a professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) event produced by World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), which took place on February 21, 2010 at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Missouri. It was the first event in the Elimination Chamber series. Six matches were aired on the broadcast and one dark match occurred prior to the live broadcast.
- Production and concept
- Pyrotechnics accident
- Preliminary matches
- Main event matches
The concept of the event was that the two main event matches, one each for the World Heavyweight Championship and the WWE Championship, would occur in an Elimination Chamber. Each match featured six competitors: the defending champion and five challengers. Sheamus defended the WWE Championship against Triple H, Ted DiBiase, Randy Orton, John Cena, and Kofi Kingston in the Raw Elimination Chamber. In the SmackDown Elimination Chamber match, The Undertaker defended the World Heavyweight Championship against Chris Jericho, John Morrison, Rey Mysterio, CM Punk, and R-Truth. On the undercard, Drew McIntyre defended the WWE Intercontinental Championship against Kane, The Miz defended the WWE United States Championship against Montel Vontavious Porter, and Maryse and Gail Kim competed against LayCool (Layla and Michelle McCool) in an interbrand Divas tag team match.
The event received 285,000 pay-per-view buys, an increase on the figure earned by the 2009 No Way Out pay-per-view. Despite the increased number of buys, the event received generally negative reviews, with reviewers criticising the undercard of the show as being "weak" and consisting of "filler" material.
Production and concept
In late 2009, World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) held a poll on their official website to allow fans to choose a name for their February pay-per-view. The choices included Elimination Chamber, Heavy Metal, Battle Chamber, Chamber of Conflict and No Way Out, which had been the name of the preceding Elimination Chamber-based event. The name Elimination Chamber won, but the event was still promoted as No Way Out in Germany.
The concept of the show was that each main event match was to be contested as an Elimination Chamber match. The Elimination Chamber is a circular steel cage, consisting of chains and girders, that surrounds the ring. Four 'pods' are enclosed within the chamber, one behind each ring post, which are on a steel platform surrounding the outside of the ring. Six wrestlers compete in the match; four are enclosed within the pods and released at random at specific time intervals, and two start the match. Wrestlers can only be eliminated via pinfall or submission, and the last wrestler left is the winner. For the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view, both WWE world championships, the WWE Championship and the World Heavyweight Championship, were to be defended in separate Elimination Chamber matches.
Just prior to the commencement of the World Heavyweight Championship Elimination Chamber match, The Undertaker was involved in a pyrotechnics accident during his ring entrance. He was temporarily engulfed in flames on three occasions when the pyrotechnics were mistimed, and his jacket briefly caught on fire. He suffered first- and second-degree burns to his neck and chest, and according to a WWE spokesperson the injury "looked like a bad sunburn". He was only allowed to participate in the match after being cleared by a ringside doctor and was given bottles of water throughout the match to douse himself with to alleviate the discomfort. Chris Jericho, who also competed in the match, has told on multiple occasions how the pyrotechnician responsible was relieved of his employment with WWE and escorted from the arena at the behest of The Undertaker.
The professional wrestling matches at Elimination Chamber featured professional wrestlers performing as characters in scripted events pre-determined by the hosting promotion, World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). Storylines between the characters were produced on WWE's weekly television shows Raw and SmackDown with the Raw and SmackDown brands—storyline divisions in which WWE assigned its employees to different programs.
The main event matches for the Elimination Chamber event consisted of two Elimination Chamber matches, with Raw's WWE Championship defended in one and SmackDown's World Heavyweight Championship defended in the other. Qualifying matches were held on the February 1 episode of Raw to determine the five challengers who would face the WWE Champion Sheamus in Raw's Elimination Chamber match. In qualifiers, John Cena defeated Cody Rhodes, Triple H defeated Jack Swagger, Randy Orton defeated Shawn Michaels, Ted DiBiase defeated Mark Henry, and Kofi Kingston defeated The Big Show by disqualification. In the weeks prior to Elimination Chamber the participants faced off in several matches, which included DiBiase vs. Cena ending in a no contest, Sheamus defeating Orton by disqualification, DiBiase defeating Kingston via pinfall, and Cena vs. Triple H ending in a no contest due to Sheamus interfering and attacking both participants. The February 5 episode of SmackDown saw the five wrestlers qualify to challenge The Undertaker for the World Heavyweight Championship in a similar fashion. John Morrison defeated Drew McIntyre and Kane in a triple threat match. Throughout the rest of the episode, this was followed by R-Truth defeating Mike Knox, CM Punk defeating Batista via countout, Chris Jericho defeating Matt Hardy, and Rey Mysterio defeating Dolph Ziggler. In the following weeks, the six wrestlers faced off in different combinations in singles matches that saw Mysterio pin Punk, Morrison vs. R-Truth end in a no contest due to Morrison suffering a storyline ankle injury, and Jericho defeating The Undertaker. On the February 19 episode of SmackDown, Morrison and R-Truth teamed up to face CM Punk and his 'follower' Luke Gallows in a tag team match, which Morrison and R-Truth lost via referee stoppage.
In late December 2009, WWE Divas Champion Melina tore her anterior cruciate ligament, and was forced to vacate the championship. As a result, it was announced in January 2010 that a single-elimination tournament would be held to determine a new champion. The tournament began on the January 4 episode of Raw, when Maryse advanced to the semi-finals by defeating Brie Bella. She was followed into the semi-finals by Gail Kim, Alicia Fox, and Eve, who defeated Jillian Hall, Kelly Kelly, and Katie Lea Burchill respectively. In the semi-finals, Maryse defeated Eve and Kim defeated Fox. It was then announced on the February 8 episode of Raw that Maryse and Kim would face one another in the final at the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view.
On the February 12 episode of SmackDown, the WWE Intercontinental Champion Drew McIntyre faced Kane in a non-title match. After the match went to a double-countout, Kane chokeslammed McIntyre. It was announced the following day on WWE's official website that Kane and McIntyre would meet at Elimination Chamber for the Intercontinental Championship. The following week, on the February 19 episode of SmackDown, Kane defeated Dolph Ziggler in a singles match. Following the match, he was attacked by McIntyre, but Kane was able to fight back and fend off the attack.
Prior to the live broadcast of the pay-per-view, Christian defeated Ezekiel Jackson in a singles match by pinfall.
The first match that aired on the pay-per-view was the Raw Elimination Chamber match, which involved Randy Orton, Triple H, Ted DiBiase, Kofi Kingston, John Cena, and Sheamus. Sheamus and Kingston started the match. Triple H was the first wrestler released, followed by Randy Orton, Ted DiBiase, and finally Cena. After Cena entered the match, Cody Rhodes, an ally of both DiBiase and Orton went to ringside, and threw a steel pipe into the cage. DiBiase used the pipe to hit both Orton and Cena, and then covered Orton to eliminate him from the match after approximately 24 minutes. Kingston used his finishing move, "Trouble in Paradise" (a 540 kick) to eliminate DiBiase after 25-and-a-half minutes. Immediately afterward, Sheamus eliminated Kingston by pinfall, before being eliminated himself by Triple H after a Pedigree at approximately 29 minutes, leaving only Cena and Triple H in the match. Cena used a submission hold, the STF on Triple H to eliminate him from the match via submission. As a result, Cena won the WWE Championship for the sixth time, his eight world championship overall.
Immediately after the conclusion of the match, WWE Chairman Vince McMahon interrupted to cut a promo. He told Cena that he would be going to WrestleMania XXVI, only if he could beat Batista, and then ordered Cena to face Batista in a previously unannounced match for the WWE Championship. Batista speared Cena, and then performed a "Batista Bomb" (a sitout powerbomb) on him to earn a pinfall victory, making Batista the new WWE Champion.
The third match featured Drew McIntyre defending the WWE Intercontinental Championship against Kane. The match began with Kane taking the advantage over McIntyre by clotheslining him over the top rope to the floor. Towards the end of the match, McIntyre attempted to leave the arena and lose via countout, which would have allowed him to retain the championship, but Kane brought him back inside the ring. When re-entering the ring, McIntyre poked him in the eye and then performed his "Future Shock DDT" (a double underhook DDT) to win the match by pinfall and remain the Intercontinental Champion.
Main event matches
The next match was scheduled to be the final of a tournament to determine a new Divas Champion after the title was vacated. Maryse and Gail Kim had entered the ring when official consultant to the SmackDown General Manager, Vickie Guerrero interrupted. Guerrero stated that a result of the Raw Divas making disparaging remarks about the SmackDown Divas, she was changing the match to an interbrand Divas tag team match, with Raw Divas Kim and Maryse facing LayCool (Michelle McCool and Layla) from SmackDown. The story of the match was that Maryse and Kim could not work together, and Maryse attacked Kim, allowing McCool to hit her finishing move for the victory. Following the match, Maryse performed her "French Kiss DDT" on Kim. Following the match, The Miz was interviewed backstage by Josh Mathews about NXT, on which he was a mentor. He was interrupted by Montel Vontavious Porter, who informed The Miz that the two had a match next. This was followed by William Regal cutting an in-ring promo about NXT. He was interrupted by the winner of the 2010 Royal Rumble match, Edge, who stated that he would be deciding which championship to challenge for at WrestleMania on the next episode of Raw. Edge then speared Regal.
The fifth match was a previously unannounced contest which saw The Miz defend his WWE United States Championship against Montel Vontavious Porter. The Miz was accompanied by his tag team partner, The Big Show, while Porter was accompanied by Mark Henry, with whom he had regularly teamed. Porter took the advantage at the beginning of the match, before The Miz was able to fight back with a swinging DDT. When he climbed to the top rope, however, Porter knocked him off to regain the advantage. The Big Show pulled The Miz out of the ring to safety, and then threw Henry into the security barricade at ringside. With the referee distracted by this, The Big Show used his "Knockout Punch" on Porter, and The Miz was able to pin him to retain his championship.
The main event of the pay-per-view was the SmackDown Elimination Chamber match for the World Heavyweight Championship, featuring The Undertaker, CM Punk, Rey Mysterio, Chris Jericho, John Morrison, and R-Truth. Mysterio, Morrison, and Jericho entered first and were locked into pods. The Undertaker was the fourth to make his way down to the ring, but an accident occurred during his entrance when his pyrotechnics were mistimed, resulting in him being momentarily engulfed in flames. He was cleared by a ringside doctor to wrestle, however, and was able to compete in the match. The final two, who were to start the match, were CM Punk, who was accompanied by his stable, the Straight Edge Society of Serena and Luke Gallows, and R-Truth. Punk cut a promo on his way to the ring, but was interrupted by R-Truth's entrance. Punk was able to eliminate R-Truth in approximately three-and-a-half minutes, before any other competitor had entered the match, and finished his promo afterward. Mysterio entered after the first five minutes had passed, and eliminated Punk before the next competitor entered. The next entrant was revealed to be Jericho, and he and Mysterio wrestled for five minutes until Morrison was released. Morrison utilised his "Starship Pain" finisher (a split-legged corkscrew moonsault) to pin Mysterio and eliminate him from the match. The final entrant into the match was the defending champion The Undertaker, who was able to eliminate Morrison following a chokeslam onto the chamber floor after approximately 28 minutes. Shawn Michaels, who had requested and been denied a match with The Undertaker for WrestleMania, snuck into the chamber, and performed his "Sweet Chin Music" superkick on The Undertaker. This allowed Jericho to pin The Undertaker to win the match and the World Heavyweight Championship for the third time.
Following his interference in the Elimination Chamber match to prevent The Undertaker from winning, Shawn Michaels cut a promo on the next episode of Raw, stating that he interfered so that The Undertaker would agree to a rematch at WrestleMania XXVI to get revenge. The Undertaker accepted the match on the condition that if Michaels lost, he would have to retire, to which Michaels agreed. Two weeks later, the pair agreed to make the match a no countout, no disqualification match.
Edge returned from injury at the Royal Rumble as a surprise entrant in the Royal Rumble match, which he won, earning a guaranteed match for any WWE world championship. Following Jericho's victory in the Elimination Chamber, in which he won the World Heavyweight Championship, Edge speared him the following night on Raw and announced that he had elected to face Jericho at WrestleMania. Following this announcement, Edge began a campaign of surprise attacks on Jericho, spearing him on several occasions in an attempt to play mind games with Jericho. On the March 12 episode of SmackDown, Jericho hosted a special edition of his talk show segment, The Highlight Reel, with Edge as the guest. Edge attempted to spear Jericho again, but Jericho was able to avoid it and hit Edge with the World Heavyweight Championship belt instead.
After Batista won the WWE Championship from John Cena at Elimination Chamber, Cena requested a rematch. Mr. McMahon agreed, on the condition that Cena must defeat Batista in a non-title match that night on Raw. Batista intentionally low-blowed Cena during the match to get disqualified and set up their match at WrestleMania. To build up their match, Batista interfered in several of Cena's matches in the weeks prior to WrestleMania, both attacking Cena or distracting him so that his opponent could gain the advantage.
Tension within The Legacy faction had been growing since Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase accidentally cost Randy Orton the WWE Championship at the Royal Rumble. After DiBiase eliminated Orton from the Elimination Chamber match, with the help of Rhodes, Orton turned on Rhodes and DiBiase, and attacked them during a six-man tag team match causing The Legacy to lose. In the following weeks, Orton faced DiBiase in a singles match and DiBiase and Rhodes in a two-on-one handicap match, until the guest host of Raw, Steve Austin, booked a triple threat match between Orton, Rhodes, and DiBiase for WrestleMania.
After being eliminated from the Elimination Chamber match by Triple H, Sheamus attacked him on the March 1 episode of Raw in retaliation. The following week, Sheamus challenged Triple H to a match at WrestleMania, which Triple H accepted. On the final episode of Raw before WrestleMania, Sheamus teamed up with Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase to defeat Triple H and Randy Orton in a two-on-three handicap match.
The event received generally negative reviews. Writing for The Sun, Rob McNichol criticised the majority of the show as being "filler" and stated that the Divas match was "poor fare". Writing for Canadian Online Explorer's wrestling section, Dale Plummer and Nick Tylwalk also slammed the Divas match, rating it 0.5 out of 10, and stating that it "was pretty much a complete waste of time", a sentiment echoed by the Pro Wrestling Torch's James Caldwell, who stated that the match was a "throwaway". The non-Elimination Chamber matches on the show were mostly derided as being unimportant, with The Baltimore Sun's reviewer Kevin Eck stating that they "came off as filler".
Despite the generally negative reviews, McNichol praised the unannounced championship match between Batista and Cena, stating that "it was good storytelling and played out Batista's current character traits well". He singled out John Morrison's performance in the Elimination Chamber match as "impressive". His praise was echoed by Caldwell, who stated that Morrison had "some standout moments" throughout the match. Wrestling journalist Dave Meltzer praised the United States Championship match between The Miz and Montel Vontavious Porter, stating that it was "good". Eck agreed, stating that it was "the best of the three non-chamber matches".
Overall, Plummer and Tylwalk rated the event 5 out of 10, stating that it was "a strangely paced, uneven affair that dragged between its pair of namesake matches", but that it succeeded in building up matches for WrestleMania. McNichol agreed, praising the storyline developments in setting up WrestleMania matches, but ultimately calling the event "forgettable". He awarded the event 7 out of 10. Caldwell also criticised the pay-per-view heavily, stating that it was an "underwhelming overall PPV with a weak, weak mid-card".
17,000 people attended Elimination Chamber at the Scottrade Center, drawing a gate of US$850,000. The event received 285,000 buys on pay-per-view, an increase of 13,000 compared to No Way Out 2009's 272,000 buys. The DVD of the event was released on March 23, 2010.