Elimination Chamber (also known as No Escape in Germany) was an professional wrestling pay-per-view and WWE Network event produced by WWE for their Raw and SmackDown brand divisions. It took place on February 21, 2021 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. It was the 11th event under the Elimination Chamber chronology and feature WWE's virtual fan viewing experience called ThunderDome.

Production

Background

Elimination Chamber is a gimmick pay-per-view first produced by WWE in 2010. It has been produced every year since except in 2016, and is generally held in February. The concept of the show is that one or two main event matches are contested inside the Elimination Chamber, either with championships or future opportunities at championships at stake The 2021 event will be the eleventh event under the Elimination Chamber chronology and feature wrestlers from the Raw and SmackDown brands.

Since 2011, the show has been promoted as "No Escape" in Germany as it was feared that the name "Elimination Chamber" may remind people of the gas chambers used during the Holocaust.

Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, WWE had to present the majority of its programming for Raw and SmackDown from a behind closed doors set at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida beginning mid-March 2020, although in late May, the promotion began using Performance Center trainees to serve as the live audience, which was further expanded to friends and family members of the wrestlers in mid-June. On August 17, WWE announced that all future shows and pay-per-views would be held at Orlando's Amway Center for the "foreseeable future," beginning with the August 21 episode of SmackDown. Furthermore, the shows now feature a new fan viewing experience called the "ThunderDome," which utilizes drones, lasers, pyro, smoke, and projections. Approximately 1,000 LED boards were installed to allow fans to virtually attend the events for free and be seen on the rows and rows of LED boards. Arena audio is also mixed with that of the virtual fans so that chants from the fans can be heard. After their contract with the Amway Center expired, WWE relocated the ThunderDome to Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida, which began with the December 11 episode of SmackDown.

Storylines

The show comprised of matches that result from scripted storylines, where wrestlers portray heroes, villains, or less distinguishable characters in scripted events that build tension and culminate in a wrestling match or series of matches. Results are predetermined by WWE's writers on the Raw and SmackDown brands, while storylines are produced on WWE's weekly television shows, Monday Night Raw and Friday Night SmackDown.

After Sheamus was drafted to the Raw brand in the 2020 WWE Draft, he re-established his old friendship with WWE Champion Drew McIntyre. However, on the February 1, 2021 episode of Raw, Sheamus turned on McIntyre, declaring that he was not his friend and wanted the WWE Championship. Later, McIntyre accepted Sheamus' challenge for a one-on-one match. The following week, however, WWE officials Adam Pearce and Shane McMahon announced that McIntyre would defend the WWE Championship against five former WWE Champions in an Elimination Chamber match at Elimination Chamber, which included Sheamus, as well as Jeff Hardy, AJ Styles, Randy Orton, and Mr. Money in the Bank The Miz.

In early January, Lacey Evans aligned herself with Ric Flair in an attempt to taunt Ric's daughter, Charlotte Flair. This would continue for several weeks, including Evans and Ric interrupting Charlotte's matches, which included causing Charlotte and Raw Women's Champion Asuka to lose the WWE Women's Tag Team Championship on the Royal Rumble Kickoff pre-show. On the February 8 episode of Raw, Evans stated that she respected Ric and his legacy, unlike his daughter. Charlotte came out and lambasted Evans for using her dad to move forward. Evans then stated that she had her sights on the Raw Women's Championship and challenged Charlotte to a match, with the stipulation that if Evans won, she would earn a shot at the title. Evans subsequently defeated Charlotte by disqualification to earn a Raw Women's Championship match against Asuka at Elimination Chamber.

In December 2020, Riddle began a feud with United States Champion Bobby Lashley. On the January 4 episode of Raw, Riddle defeated Lashley in a non-title match to earn a title match the following week, however, Riddle lost to Lashley. On the January 25 episode, Riddle earned another title opportunity against Lashley by defeating Lashley's fellow Hurt Business stablemates in a gauntlet match. Riddle received his title match the following week on Raw where Riddle would defeat Lashley by disqualification, but did not win the championship. The following week, Riddle confronted Keith Lee, where he stated that he needed to win the United States Championship. Lee, however, took issue with Riddle losing his title matches and then stated that it was time for someone else to step up to Lashley. Lee then stated that he would defeat Lashley and he could also beat Riddle. Later that night, Lee defeated Riddle. Following the match, Lashley attacked Lee and Riddle. Lashley was subsequently scheduled to defend the United States Championship against Lee and Riddle at Elimination Chamber.

On the February 12 episode of SmackDown, WWE official Adam Pearce scheduled Universal Champion Roman Reigns to defend his title in an Elimination Chamber match at Elimination Chamber. However, Reigns' special counsel, Paul Heyman, pointed out that Reigns' contract only stated that Reigns had to defend the championship at the event, but not necessarily inside of the eponymous structure. To Pearce's displeasure, it was then decided that the winner of the Elimination Chamber match at the event would get an immediate championship match against Reigns that same night. Pearce named Reigns' cousin, Jey Uso, as well as Reigns' most recent adversary, Kevin Owens, as the first two participants for the match, with the other four spots determined by qualification matches that episode. Sami Zayn and King Corbin then qualified by defeating the Mysterios (Rey Mysterio and Dominik Mysterio) in a tag team match, and later, Daniel Bryan and Cesaro defeated SmackDown Tag Team Champions Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode in a non-title tag team match to fill the final two spots.

In early January, Lacey Evans aligned herself with Ric Flair in an attempt to taunt Ric's daughter, Charlotte Flair. This would continue for several weeks, including Evans and Ric interrupting Charlotte's matches, which included causing Charlotte and Raw Women's Champion Asuka to lose the WWE Women's Tag Team Championship on the Royal Rumble Kickoff pre-show. On the February 8 episode of Raw, Evans stated that she respected Ric and his legacy, unlike his daughter. Charlotte came out and lambasted Evans for using her dad to move forward. Evans then stated that she had her sights on the Raw Women's Championship and challenged Charlotte to a match, with the stipulation that if Evans won, she would earn a shot at the title. Evans subsequently defeated Charlotte by disqualification to earn a Raw Women's Championship match against Asuka at Elimination Chamber. The following week during a tag team match that featured Charlotte and Asuka against Evans and Peyton Royce, Evans revealed that she was legitimately pregnant. Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter confirmed that their match would not be taking place. During the Elimination Chamber Kickoff pre-show, it was announced that Asuka would still be defending her championship at the event, but against a different opponent.

Canceled match

In early January, Lacey Evans aligned herself with Ric Flair in an attempt to taunt Ric's daughter, Charlotte Flair. This would continue for several weeks, including Evans and Ric interrupting Charlotte's matches, which included causing Charlotte and Raw Women's Champion Asuka to lose the WWE Women's Tag Team Championship on the Royal Rumble Kickoff pre-show. On the February 8 episode of Raw, Evans stated that she respected Ric and his legacy, unlike his daughter. Charlotte came out and lambasted Evans for using her dad to move forward. Evans then stated that she had her sights on the Raw Women's Championship and challenged Charlotte to a match, with the stipulation that if Evans won, she would earn a shot at the title. Evans subsequently defeated Charlotte by disqualification to earn a Raw Women's Championship match against Asuka at Elimination Chamber. The following week during a tag team match that featured Charlotte and Asuka against Evans and Peyton Royce, Evans revealed that she was legitimately pregnant. While WWE has not officially announced the cancelation of the match with Asuka at Elimination Chamber, Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter confirmed that the match will not be taking place.

Event

Pre-show

During the Elimination Chamber Kickoff pre-show, John Morrison, Elias, Mustafa Ali (accompanied by his RETRIBUTION stablemates Mace, T-Bar, and Slapjack), and Ricochet competed in a fatal four-way match for the vacant spot in the United States Championship match on the main card. After an evenly contested match between the four competitors, Morrison performed a roll-up pin on Ali to win the match and advance to the United States Championship triple threat match.

Also during the pre-show, it was announced that due to Lacey Evans' legitimate pregnancy, Asuka would defend her Raw Women's Championship against a different opponent on the main card. However, the Raw Women's Championship match never occurred.

Preliminary matches

The actual pay-per-view opened with SmackDown's Elimination Chamber match between Daniel Bryan, Cesaro, Kevin Owens, Jey Uso, King Corbin, and Sami Zayn for an immediate Universal Championship match against Roman Reigns. Bryan and Cesaro started the match. Corbin was the third entrant, followed by Zayn. Corbin was eliminated by Cesaro after submitting to the Sharpshooter. Owens entered fifth and Jey entered last. Owens eliminated Zayn after a Stunner. Jey trapped Owens' arm in the main door of the chamber and performed multiple Superkicks before eliminating Owens with a Superfly Splash. After a back-and-forth battle between Bryan and Cesaro, Jey eliminated Cesaro after a Superfly Splash. In the end, Bryan countered Jey and performed the Running Knee on Jey to win the match.

Following the match, the Chamber structure lifted above the ring and Roman Reigns (accompanied by Paul Heyman) made his entrance for his immediate Universal Championship defense against Daniel Bryan. Bryan applied the Yes Lock on Reigns, who escaped by performing multiple forearm smashes. Reigns applied the Guillotine Choke on Bryan, who passed out, thus Reigns retained the title by technical submission. Following the match, men's Royal Rumble match winner Edge ran into the ring and performed a Spear on Reigns. He then pointed at the WrestleMania sign, signifying that he had chosen Reigns and the Universal Championship for his WrestleMania 37 world championship match.

Next, Bobby Lashley (accompanied by MVP) defended the United States Championship against Riddle and John Morrison. In the end, Riddle attacked Lashley with MVP's crutch. While Lashley was outside the ring, Riddle performed the Bro-Derek on Morrison to win the title.

In the penultimate match, Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler defended the WWE Women's Tag Team Championship against SmackDown Women's Champion Sasha Banks and women's Royal Rumble match winner Bianca Belair. In the end, Reginald came to the ring and handed a champagne bottle to Banks. Jax then performed a Samoan Drop on Banks to retain the title for herself and Baszler.

Main event

In the main event, Drew McIntyre defended the WWE Championship against Jeff Hardy, AJ Styles (accompanied by his bodyguard Omos), Kofi Kingston, Randy Orton, and Sheamus in Raw's Elimination Chamber match. Hardy and Orton started the match. McIntyre entered third, followed by Kingston. Kingston eliminated Orton with a roll-up, after which, an enraged Orton then performed the RKO on Kingston and Hardy before leaving. Omos broke open Styles' pod from the outside, allowing Styles to enter early through the Chamber's main door. WWE official Adam Pearce then came out and ejected Omos. Due to him winning a gauntlet match on the previous episode of 'Raw', Sheamus was the last to enter the match. Sheamus then eliminated Kingston with a Brogue Kick. After Hardy performed the Swanton Bomb on Styles, McIntyre eliminated Hardy with a Claymore Kick. Styles eliminated Sheamus after a Phenomenal Forearm. In the end, as Styles went for a Phenomenal Forearm on McIntyre, McIntyre caught Styles in mid-air with a Claymore Kick to retain the title.

Following the match, the Chamber structure was lifted above the ring and McIntyre was attacked by a frustrated Bobby Lashley, who applied Hurt Lock on McIntyre. The Miz then ran to the ring and cashed in his Money in the Bank contract. After a nearfall, Miz performed the Skull Crushing Finale on McIntyre to win the WWE Championship for a second time, last winning it in 2010, which was also via a Money in the Bank cash-in.

Match Preview

Fatal Four-Way Match Preview
SmackDown Elimination Chamber Match Preview
Bobby Lashley vs. Riddle vs. TBD Preview
Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler vs. Sasha Banks & Bianca Belair Preview
Raw Elimination Chamber Match Preview
Asuka vs. Lacey Evans Preview

Results

Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
(c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.

SmackDown Elimination Chamber match

Eliminated Wrestler Entered Eliminated by Method Time
1 King Corbin 3 Cesaro Submisson 17:45
2 Sami Zayn 4 Kevin Owens Pinfall 25:30
3 Kevin Owens 5 Jey Uso Pinfall 26:50
4 Cesaro 1 Jey Uso Pinfall 32:50
5 Jey Uso 6 Daniel Bryan Pinfall 34:20
Winner Daniel Bryan 2

Raw Elimination Chamber match

Eliminated Wrestler Entered Eliminated by Method Time
1 Randy Orton 2 Kofi Kingston Pinfall 8:55
2 Kofi Kingston 4 Sheamus Pinfall 23:35
3 Jeff Hardy 1 Drew McIntyre Pinfall 25:15
4 Sheamus 3 A.J. Styles Pinfall 30:15
5 A.J. Styles 4 Drew McIntyre Pinfall 31:10
Winner Drew McIntyre 3

Other on-screen talent

Commentators
Ring announcer
Interviewers
Pre-show panel
Referees

Also See

DVD release

  • Amazon.jpg [ Elimination Chamber 2021 on DVD]

External links

Elimination Chamber 2021 previews

Raw Elimination Chamber MatchSmackDown Elimination Chamber MatchAsuka v Lacey EvansBobby Lashley v Keith Lee v RiddleNia Jax & Shayna Baszler v Sasha Banks & Bianca BelairFatal Four-Way Match

Elimination Chamber
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2021 World Wrestling Entertainment pay-per-views

Royal RumbleTakeOver: Vengeance DayElimination ChamberFastlaneWrestleMania 37TakeOver Dublin

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