There were two Elimination Chamber matches at No Way Out 2009 and both of them were for the men’s “world” championships that WWE had at the time. By this point, WWE had fully embraced being a PG company again, so going into it I was interested in seeing if they would still bleed in the match or if they would take a more cautious approach.
I started writing my WWE Raw Deal review while also committing to writing full time in May 2009, so this was a few months before that. I didn’t write that much from 2006 to 2008 because life was pretty busy. By the time 2009 hit, I was ready to jump back into it.
The WWE Championship match featuring the Smackdown guys was the PPV opener, so that’s what I’ll start with. The Raw guys went on last, which was not a shock.
WWE No Way Out
February 15, 2009
Key Arena in Seattle, Washington
The Undertaker made his entrance to start the pay-per-view. That’s rare considering he is one of the biggest names in WWE history, but that’s what happens when you have two Elimination Chamber matches. The crowd was loud for his entrance like usual. Taker was the first man to enter a “Lexan pod” as JR called it. I just call it a pod with some kind of glass in front of it.
Big Show was up next. Show turned so much in his career it was hard to keep track what he was, but he was in a heel role at this point. Vladimir Kozlov entered with his funny looking march down to the ring. Tazz noted that Kozlov was undefeated in singles competition. This was when he was booked as a dominant heel as opposed to his run as a comedic face. Triple H was the fourth man to be placed into one of the pods. There was a big ovation for him since he was in a face role. Triple H was on Raw most of the time during the original brand extension (he didn’t want to work Tuesdays as Paul Heyman famously told us), but by this point he was moved to Smackdown. Triple H spit some water on Big Show as he entered the ring.
Jeff Hardy got a huge ovation. He won the WWE Championship at Armageddon in December 2008, but he lost it one month later at the 2009 Royal Rumble when brother Matt turned on him to help Edge win the WWE Title.
Edge was the last man to enter. He was the heel WWE Champion that was
Elimination Chamber Match for the WWE Championship: Edge vs. Jeff Hardy vs. The Undertaker vs. Triple H vs. Vladimir Kozlov vs. Big Show
Pre-match notes: Edge was the heel WWE Champion with Kozlov and Show as the other heels. The faces were Hardy, Undertaker and Triple H.
The announcers are Jim Ross and Tazz.
Hardy opened up with forearms on Edge, but Edge came back with a boot to the face. The crowd was hot as Edge hit a running cross body block to Hardy’s back while he was up against the ropes. Edge taunted Big Show by doing the Chokeslam hand gesture while fans chanted for Hardy. Headscissors by Hardy, atomic drop and a low dropkick. Edge avoided a Twist of Fate and then Jeff connected with it. Hardy up top, he jumped off with a Swanton Bomb and Edge moved, so Hardy hit the mat. Edge went for a Spear, Hardy grabbed an inside cradle and pinned him to eliminate Edge. The time was 2:59, so less than three minutes for the WWE Champion.
Edge eliminated by Jeff Hardy
Edge was freaking out about getting pinned. JR correctly pointed out that this means we are guaranteed to see a new WWE Champion. There was a great shot of Triple H laughing at Edge during Edge’s freak out. The crowd was cheering loudly at the shock of Edge getting eliminated so early in the match. Edge left the Chamber and was in shock about it.
Analysis: That was one of the most creative eliminations in Elimination Chamber match history. To have the WWE Champion lose in less than three minutes was rare. Great booking, though. The crowd reacted to it in a big way.
Kozlov was #3 as he entered with aggression against Hardy. When Hardy tried an attack off the ropes, Kozlov headbutted him in the ribs. Kozlov sent Hardy into the cage a few times. Kozlov drove Hardy back first into the cage two times and then hit a fallaway slam that sent Hardy into the ring to give Kozlov a two count. Kozlov set up Hardy on the top rope followed by a kick to the ribs. Kozlov hit another fallaway slam for a two count. Kozlov with a backbreaker for a two count. Kozlov went for a powerslam, but Hardy slipped out, hit a dropkick to the back and a dropkick while Kozlov was against the turnbuckle. Hardy hit his Whisper in the Wide attack off the ropes. Both guys were down the clock counted down to zero.
Big Show was #4 in the match. Show worked over Hardy with punches followed by a toss across the ring. Show with a headbutt on Jeff and Kozlov with three headbutts on Hardy. Show with a punch to Hardy and Kozlov with a knee to Hardy. The big men were staring at eachother. Show with a body slam on Hardy. Kozlov followed up with a body slam on Hardy. When Hardy tried to fight back, Big Show dropped him with a headbutt. Show with a hard chop to the chest of Jeff. Show nailed another chop on Hardy. When Show turned around, Kozlov hit him with a headbutt to the chest to put an end to this staredown from the heels. Show missed a corner attack when Kozlov moved and it was time for the next man in the match.
Triple H entered as #5 to a really good ovation from the crowd with Hunter nailing a facebuster on Show and a running knee on Kozlov. Show missed a corner splash on Hunter and Hunter hit a spinebuster on him. Triple H decked Hardy with a clothesline followed by a low-bridge by the ropes that sent Kozlov crashing onto the steel grating. Kozlov missed an attack and hit one of the pods. Triple H wanted a Pedigree on Kozlov, but Show stopped that with a chop on Triple H. Show worked over Hunter with punches while Kozlov worked on Hardy. The heels in control took place for about two minutes as the fans chanted “Undertaker.” When Show tried a Chokeslam, Triple H slipped out of it, but Show came back with a press slam. Show whipped Triple H into the cage. Hardy hit some move on Kozlov, but we didn’t get to see it. Show grabbed Hardy, sent him into Triple H against the wall, but Show missed a splash against the cage and he went down. Jeff and Hardy hit a double team suplex on Kozlov. Hardy with a dive off the ropes onto Triple H as the clock counted down.
The Undertaker was the last man in the match as #6 and he went right after Big Show with punches. Undertaker sent Kozlov into the top turnbuckle followed by a running boot. Corner clotheslines by Taker on Hunter and Hardy. Boot knocked down Kozlov. Show hit Taker from behind, but Taker came back with a leaping clothesline followed by a sit up. Taker battled Show on the steel grating and Taker hit a DDT on the steel. Taker with the Old School punch off the ropes to Hunter, boot by Taker to Jeff and Kozlov hit a running headbutt that looked like a really sloppy tackle. Kozlov stood on the middle rope with elbows, so you knew what was coming and there was Taker with the Last Ride Powerbomb out of the corner that he did in nearly every match. Taker covered Kozlov to eliminate him.
Vladimir Kozlov eliminated by Undertaker
Analysis: I like Taker a lot, but he did that Powerbomb out of the corner way too often.
Show was dominant as he hit a Chokeslam on Undertaker and he threw Hardy onto Triple H on the steel. Show whipped Hunter into the cage. Show tried to toss Hardy into the cage, but Hardy tried to climb away and Show tripped him up at the top of a pod. Taker hit Show with a superplex off the middle rope. That was impressive. Hunter capitalized with a Pedigree on Show with no cover because he was tired. Hardy stood on top of the pod, the crowd was going wild for it and Hardy nailed Show with a Swanton from the top of the pod for the pinfall elimination.
Big Show eliminated by Jeff Hardy
Analysis: They did the same spot at the Elimination Chamber match one year earlier when they eliminated Umaga.
Hunter battled with Undertaker with JR calling them three of the most popular stars in WWE, which was true. Taker whipped Hunter into the ropes leading to Hunter doing his top rope bump over the top onto the steel. Undertaker tried to walk the ropes, but Hunter tripped him up leading to Taker getting crotched on the top rope. Hardy jumped off Taker’s back to jump over the top onto Triple H who was on the steel. Taker grabbed Hardy and hit a Tombstone to pin him.
Jeff Hardy eliminated by The Undertaker
Final two were Triple H and Undertaker with Taker working him over with punches. Taker went for a running kick, Hunter moved and Taker was crotched against the turnbuckle. Hunter sent Taker face first into the cage that would have led to a blade job years earlier, but not in the PG era of WWE. Back in the ring, Taker hit a Chokeslam for a two count. Hunter came back with a spinebuster. Taker was back in control as they battled on the steel grating outside the ring and Taker sent him into the cage with a catapult. Fans were chanting for both guys. They did a great spot where they flipped back into the ring right into Tombstone position and Taker hit a Tombstone on Triple H for a two count because Triple H got his right foot on the bottom ropes since Taker was near the ropes. That was one of the better two counts you’re ever going to see. Triple H came back with a Pedigree, he covered a few seconds later and covered for one…two…no…Undertaker kicked out. That was a great nearfall too. The two men exchanged punches. Triple H punched on Taker while against the turnbuckle, so Undertaker tried the Last Ride Powerbomb, but Triple H slipped out of it, kick to the gut and a Pedigree by Triple H won the match. It went 35:55.
The Undertaker eliminated by Triple H
Winner and New WWE Champion: Triple H
Analysis: ****1/4 It was a very good match with Triple H and Undertaker having a nice battle for nearly ten minutes. It was a preview of what their WrestleMania matches would look like in 2011 and 2012. I liked the Edge elimination early in the match because of how surprising it was. Nobody watching this show expected the WWE Champion to get eliminated in less than three minutes, so I give WWE a lot of credit for being creative. The worst parts of the match involved Kozlov, who looked way out of place with some of the other big names in there. My favorite part of the ending was when Triple H got out of the predictable Last Ride Powerbomb spot and won because of that. Smart booking from start to finish in this match.
It was the 13th World Championship win for Triple H in WWE. He celebrated with the WWE Champion while The Undertaker looked frustrated about the loss. They had a long staredown and Taker left.
Analysis: Triple H ended up moving to Raw with the WWE Championship because his feud with Randy Orton headlined WrestleMania 25 that year. As for Undertaker, he had the best WWE match ever (in my opinion) against Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania 25.
THREE RANDOM THOUGHTS
– I like how the match ended with the biggest faces in the match as the final three. They had the most star power and they were who the fans wanted to see. The final two sequences with Hunter and Taker lasted about eight minutes, so that’s one of the longest final two moments in the history of the Chamber. It’s rare to see guys kicking out major finishing moves in an opening match on a PPV, but that’s what they did in this match.
– The action was slow until The Undertaker got in there. It’s impressive to see how much energy The Undertaker had when he was nearly 43 years old at the time of this match.
– I’ll remember this match forever because of the Edge elimination spot. When you watch these kinds of matches you don’t expect the champion to get pinned early, so when that happened it made you think maybe they will do it again. I like creative ideas like that.
FACTS & OPINIONS
Wrestler that lasted the longest: Jeff Hardy at 28:28.
Most Eliminations: The Undertaker and Triple H at 2.
Best Performers (3): Triple H – The usual good job by him in this match.
The Undertaker – Taker was great in his mid-40s moving around really well.
Jeff Hardy – This was his last Chamber match. He was arguably the most popular guy in the match.
Most Memorable Moment: Edge getting eliminated by a Jeff Hardy inside cradle at 2:59 was a big surprise.
Match Rating: ****1/4 out of five.
Ranking The Elimination Chamber Matches
Here are my ratings for the Elimination Chamber matches from best to worst on the five star scale.
No Way Out 2008 WWE Championship #1 Contenders (Raw) won by Triple H – ****1/2
Survivor Series 2002 World Heavyweight Title won by Shawn Michaels – ****1/4
No Way Out 2009 WWE Championship won by Triple H – ****1/4
New Year’s Revolution 2005 World Heavyweight Title won by Triple H – ****
New Year’s Revolution 2006 WWE Championship won by John Cena – ***1/4
No Way Out 2008 World Title #1 Contenders (Smackdown) won by The Undertaker – ***1/4
SummerSlam 2003 World Heavyweight Title won by Triple H – ***
December To Dismember 2006 ECW Championship won by Bobby Lashley – **
Next up: The second Elimination Chamber match from No Way Out 2009.
Thanks for reading.