Since 2002, the Elimination Chamber has been one of the nastiest, most barbarous matches in the WWE calendar.
With WWE's 2008 decision to place a moratorium on blood on TV to satisfy the advertisers, it may stand alone as the only truly vicious, violent gimmick the company has left. After all, cage matches without claret don’t have half the impact they used to, and the high spots in ladder matches tend to disguise the effect they have on wrestlers’ bodies.
The Elimination Chamber is different though. Unlike the hyperbole attached to simple gated cages like the Hell In A Cell structure, the Chamber - all corners and heights and, until 2017, grated floors - could legitimately be called an unforgiving "satanic structure".
Beyond the brutality, it's also quietly morphed into becoming a key part of WWE's Road To WrestleMania. Dropping between the Royal Rumble and the 'Show Of Shows', its importance has been elevated to that of a last chance saloon for Champions and Challengers with the year's biggest card looming in the distance.
With equal doses of violence and drama, it's been one of the few contemporary WWE stipulations to actually stick around for the long haul. And has more about it than first meets the eye...
10. That Random Order Was Telegraphed In The First Two Matches
Entry to the Elimination Chamber is of course supposed to be entirely random, with flickering lights flitting from pod to pod before eventually settling on the wrestler selected to enter next.
At Survivor Series in November 2002 and at SummerSlam in August 2003, the Elimination Chamber match was contested for the first and second time. During those matches, the ‘random’ staggered entry of each of the four other competitors was telegraphed by the order in which they came to the ring, which matched exactly to the order that they were released from their pods later on.
Now, there are all kinds of conspiracy theories surrounding this, the most likely of which is that no one told the agents until the third match at New Year’s Revolution 2005 that entry was supposed to appear arbitrary.
Of course, if you’re going to put this down to basic incompetence, then it’s fun to imagine that the production guys were the ones that screwed up, and set up the ‘random light generator’ effect without verifying it with the agents for the match first. Coincidentally, long time WWE production designer Jason Robinson - the man largely responsible for taking the basic design of the Chamber and making it a reality - was misidentified as WWE’s lighting director.