The plan was clear as the WWE Elimination Chamber match developed Sunday night: Give anybody not named John Cena and Randy Orton a good share of the glory, no matter who won the pay-per-view main event.
Coming off a Royal Rumble show in which Cena and Orton were all but booed out of the building -- not for any dastardly deeds but due to fan apathy after the main events -- the pair would have to wait to make any impact.
The match began with international foes Sheamus and Cesaro, with a new combatant coming out of four pods in five-minute increments. The two men's stiff styles produced a big-fight feel in the first segment of the match.
Daniel Bryan came in next, adding some flying flurry to the action by opening his attack with a flying dropkick on both Cesaro and Sheamus. Christian came out next, and continued the previous beating on Bryan that established him as one of the match’s bad guys.
Cena then entered the fray, as usual fragmenting the crowd’s rooting interests. All five men were down but not eliminated by the time Orton became the final man to enter the match. They quickly cornered champion Orton, but Orton responded by locking himself back in his pod.
While the Minneapolis crowd offered a chant questioning Orton’s manhood, Sheamus had a better way to deal with the cowardice, using a brough kick to smash the pod open and drag Orton into the fight.
Ironically, Sheamus was the first one eliminated, after a splash by Christian off one of the pods finished him off. Christian then was taken out of the match, thanks to a running knee by Bryan.
Cena then made Cesaro tap out to the STF, but soon after the Wyatt Family's opening graphic played and the arena went black. When the lights came back on, the Wyatts were in the chamber. They gave a beating to both Cena and Bryan. The help allowed Orton to eliminate Cena, but then director of operations Kane came to ringside to get the Wyatts out of the encounter.
Kane was only interested in justice for a moment, as he pulled the ref away from the pin when Bryan had Orton prone. Kane later delivered a cheap shot to Bryan, allowing Orton to delivering his RKO and retain the title.
If there are no other swerves, the result means Orton will face Royal Rumble winner Batista for the WWE world heavyweight title at WrestleMania 30 in New Orleans on April 6.