City Milwaukee, Wisconsin
|Date February 19, 2012|
Venue Bradley Center
|Theme song(s) "This Means War" by Nickelback|
Elimination Chamber (2012) (also known as No Way Out (2012) in Germany) was a professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) event produced by WWE. The third event under the Elimination Chamber chronology, it took place on February 19, 2012 at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
The event garnered 178,000 pay-per-view buys, down from 199,000 buys the previous year's event received.
Elimination Chamber featured professional wrestling matches that involved different wrestlers from pre-existing scripted feuds, plots, and storylines that were played out on Raw, SmackDown, and WWE Superstars—WWE's television programs. Wrestlers portrayed villains or heroes as they followed a series of events that built tension, and culminated in a wrestling match or series of matches.
The first match was announced by Interim Raw General Manager John Laurinaitis on January 30, 2012, on WWE's website. The announcement stated that there will be a Raw Elimination Chamber match for the WWE Championship. In the match, CM Punk will defend his championship against Dolph Ziggler, Chris Jericho, The Miz, R-Truth, and Kofi Kingston. The following week on Raw, Jericho won a Six-Pack Challenge featuring all six Elimination Chamber participants to earn the right to enter the match last.
On February 3, 2012, it was announced that there will also be a SmackDown Elimination Chamber match for the World Heavyweight Championship. In the match, Daniel Bryan will defend his championship against Cody Rhodes, Wade Barrett, Big Show, The Great Khali, and Santino Marella. Originally, Mark Henry was named as a participant in the match, but was removed from the contest and suspended indefinitely by SmackDown General Manager Theodore Long for threatening him. The Great Khali replaced him in the match. Randy Orton was also originally a participant in the match, but suffered a concussion after World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan hit him over the head with the title belt on the February 13, 2012 episode of Raw. His replacement would be Santino Marella, who won a battle royal on the February 17, 2012 episode of SmackDown.
John Cena and Kane began feuding in December 2011, with Kane targeting Cena due to his T-shirt slogan, "Rise Above Hate". To play psychological games with Cena, Kane began targeting Cena's friend Zack Ryder and his on-screen girlfriend, Eve Torres, attacking Ryder and cornering Eve in a variety of situations, all in an effort to make Cena "embrace the hate." On February 6, an Ambulance match stipulation was announced for the match between Kane and Cena.
Before the event aired live on pay-per-view, a dark match took place between Alex Riley and Hunico, which Hunico won.
The first match to air on pay-per-view was the Raw Elimination Chamber match between reigning champion CM Punk, Dolph Ziggler, Chris Jericho, Kofi Kingston, R-Truth and The Miz for the WWE Championship. Punk started off the match with Kingston. Punk sent Kingston into a Chamber Pod and performed a Suplex on Kingston onto the chamber floor. Ziggler entered at #3, targeting Punk. R-Truth entered at #4, being eliminated by Punk after a diving elbow drop. Next was Miz followed by Jericho, who won the right to enter last after winning a Six-Pack match on Raw. Jericho eliminated Ziggler after a Codebreaker and eliminated Kingston after forcing Kingston to submit to the Walls of Jericho. Jericho was then knocked out after a roundhouse kick by Punk, leading to him falling out of the chamber (which had been opened to let Kingston out after he was eliminated) and accidentally landed on a camera man,thus being deemed unable to continue by the ringside trainers. Punk and Miz were the final two, after Punk kicked out of the Skull Crushing Finale, Punk performed a G.T.S. on Miz to score the final fall and retain his championship.
Next was the Divas Championship match between reigning champion Beth Phoenix and Tamina Snuka. After a back-and forth-contest, Snuka would performed a Samoan drop to set up the Superfly Splash. Phoenix countered by superplexing Snuka from the top rope. Snuka then scored a superkick-Superfly Splash combination to Phoenix, leading to a close near-fall. Phoenix performed a Glam Slam on Snuka to score the pinfall and retain her title.
Next was the SmackDown Elimination Chamber match between reigning champion Daniel Bryan, Big Show, The Great Khali, Cody Rhodes, Wade Barrett and Santino Marella for the World Heavyweight Championship. Barrett and Big Show were the first two in the ring, attacking one another. Rhodes entered at #3, who worked with Barrett for much of the match, attempting to slow down Big Show. Marella entered at #4, who immediately got attacked by Big Show. Khali entered at #5, who got speared by Show straight away and pinned. Show climbed Bryan's pod, ripping off the chains and attacking him. When Bryan got out, Rhodes and Barrett immediately attacked Show. After a DDT by Rhodes and a driving elbow drop from Barrett, Rhodes pinned and eliminated Big Show. Rhodes was eliminated by Marella after a roll-up. Barrett was eliminated by Marella, following a diving headbutt by Bryan. The final two were Bryan and Marella, who scored a close near-fall after performing The Cobra. Santino was shocked that Bryan had kicked out and while he was in shock, Bryan forced Marella to submit to the LeBell Lock, retaining his championship. After the match Sheamus ran in and attacked Bryan, in retaliation for Bryan spitting on him on the previous episode of SmackDown. This indicated that Sheamus had selected to challenge Bryan for the World Title at WrestleMania XXVIII, which Sheamus won the right to do after his 2012 Royal Rumble victory.
Next was an impromptu United States Championship match between Justin Gabriel (with Hornswoggle) and champion Jack Swagger (with Vickie Guerrero). Gabriel gave Swagger an intense challenge but Swagger eventually applied the Ankle lock and made Gabriel submit to retain the championship.
The main event was the Ambulance Match between John Cena and Kane. They fought out of the ring for most of the match where Cena attacked Kane repeatedly with the steel ring steps. As he attempted to give Kane an Attitude Adjustment off the ring steps through the announce table, Kane countered and chokeslammed Cena through the table instead. With Cena down, Kane placed him onto a gurney and loaded him into the ambulance. Before Kane could shut the door, though, Cena fought his way out of the ambulance and took the fight to the top of the vehicle, where he finally finished off Kane with an Attitude Adjustment off the ambulance onto the equipment area. Cena then loaded Kane into the ambulance to score the victory.
The Canadian Online Explorer gave the event a mixed review with an overall rating of 5 out of 10. The Elimination Chamber matches were particularly praised, with the WWE Championship match given an 8 out of 10 rating and the World Heavyweight Championship match a 9 out of 10. In contrast, the United States Championship match was criticized as it "seemed to be shoehorned into the card" and was given a 2 out of 10. The Divas Championship match and the Ambulance Match were given a 4 out of 10.