The frightening structure known as the Elimination Chamber first made an appearance in November of 2002. It was during the Ruthless Aggression Era that this occurred. The type of match was the brainchild of Triple H and was first introduced by Eric Bischoff.
The aforementioned era was a time for innovation and a departure from where the company had already been. The Chamber was a way to do that in a sense. They definitely pushed the boundaries and the Elimination Chamber was surely a way to push those boundaries.
As it would turn out though, the Chamber wasn’t embraced by one and all – specifically some of the wrestlers that had to get in there to wrestle. Booker T was one such wrestler who had a problem with the match and so much so that he didn’t want to participate in what he thought was a very dangerous situation. He said as much on the Hall of Fame podcast.
“I did not want to be in that match. I knew somebody was going to get hurt. You can slip down, brace yourself and literally hit your elbow and be out for six months. That’s how much steel was around that grate. It was nuts. It was like a monstrosity. There was no way you could go in that thing and not get hurt.
People don’t really realize how serious that match was that night as there was no way around going out there and not being a stuntman. You’re just going to take it. You’re going to be hurting the next morning. It was scary.
That’s why you never saw me in a whole lot of those matches because I never really lobbied to be in those kinds of matches. Of course, these guys today thought they could go out and do those same moves in the Elimination Chamber. No way. You saw my face. My face was scared like I don’t want to do this.
Today it’s a really nice chamber. You’re still going to go out there and it’s not going to be a cake walk, but I don’t think there’s anywhere near as many ways to get hurt.”
In the end the same can be said for a lot of WWE’s product overall. Many matches are safer than they once were. This can be seen specifically at this year’s installment of Extreme Rules. There were no extreme matches at all.
Many have since wondered why the event hasn’t had a name-change. It sure is a different product and yes, even merely going back 10 years. That’s perhaps why so many people like to look back on the epic moments from years gone by.
*Thanks to wrestlingnews.co for the quote.