On This Day: January 8, 2006 – New Year’s Revolution: The First And The Best

New Year’s Revolution 2006
Date: January 8, 2006
Location: Pepsi Arena, Albany, New York
Attendance: 11,000
Commentators: Joey Styles, Jonathan Coachman

Ok, so quite a bit has changed in the last year or so. Cena is now the Raw Champion and yet again the main event here is the Elimination Chamber, which is fine as they’re just bringing it out once a year to kick it off in some style so I can’t complain on that front. Anyway, other than Cena against five fairly weak challengers, the other things on the card are Big Show vs. HHH which actually is intriguing and…uh…actually never mind. There’s nothing else worth mentioning at all on here. Let’s get to this.


The video is of course all about the Chamber as you would expect of it. Joey’s voice here is either great or terrible and I’m not sure which.

Intercontinental Title: Edge vs. Ric Flair

Edge has the MITB at the moment and Flair has the title. Flair being the IC Champion was kind of a cool thing as he never held the belt before. He also brought some prestige to the belt which it was sorely lacking. Now I don’t know how smart it is to have a guy pushing 60 holding the midcard title, but Flair was still almost bearable in the ring at this point so it’s ok I guess.

This is going on as Flair had legitimately had a road rage incident and Edge did a hilarious parody of it. At this point Flair’s personal life was such a wreck because of a nasty divorce that he more or less was staying in the ring to pay his bills. This is your run of the mill Flair match here as Edge beats him up for a good while and works on his back, as it certainly has never healed at all in over 30 years.

Since I can more or less call the next few spots, I randomly start singing Trish’s theme song. Flair has so much charisma it’s scary. And Flair puts the figure four on Lita for no apparent reason, making Edge hit him with the case for the DQ. Well that came out of nowhere. At least the ending makes sense a bit as he’s protecting Lita. Flair bleeds. No need for the case here as a stiff glare could crack his head open.

Rating: C-. Standard Flair match here and while the ending is a bit odd, it’ll make sense in a little while and if you’re not familiar with that, you’ll find out soon enough. It looks like tomato soup on Flair which is just stupid but whatever. Not a terrible match as it was more or less acceptable.

Angle, a heel here, says he wants America to lose the war in Iraq. Well he’s 1 for 1. He says he likes France, doesn’t like black people, and he wants to go back in time and make Jesus tap out. Apparently no matter what he says people will cheer for him because he’s so awesome. That’s clever actually.

Flair is STILL being taken out. I’d hate to see what chicken noodle would do. Apparently if you put your hands on Lita, you pay. Dang  that must be a poor locker room.

Recap of Mickie vs. Trish. Mickie was still insane and they would feud over the title for a good while, including at Backlash 2006 which I attended. Mickie beat Victoria for this shot. She was about to go nuts and heel at the same time after kissing Trish. It was interesting if nothing else.

Women’s Title: Mickie James vs. Trish Stratus

This is a weird match as Mickie is acting all honored to be in there and Trish is creeped out and annoyed by it. It’s a nice bit of storytelling that you rarely get in a lot of wrestling today, especially women’s wrestling. Trish does kind of a baseball slide and misses to let Mickie take over. James is WAY over here also as her character really was great. It’s weird as Mickie James is on Smackdown at the moment and she looks so different now and then.

She’s fat now? She looks about the same, but she’s wearing skirts here and jeans on Smackdown, that’s about it. This is more of a psychological match instead of based on wrestling which while hard to do can indeed work. Mickie hits the Stratusfaction as I’m liking the thinking of the match. Trish hits the Chick Kick out of nowhere for the pin. That’s a bit anticlimactic but it was good so I’ll take it.

Rating: C+. Not everyone is going to like this match as it’s not your standard match. They were going more for psychology and character development here and I’d say it was certainly a success. Fun match but this was really just a piece to the puzzle if that makes sense.

Maria interviews herself about the bra and panties gauntlet. She’s the ditzy blonde here so it’s a bit different but charming to an extent. Gregory Helms shows up to cut her off and he’s about as awesome as he’s ever been here as the ridiculously cocky heel.

Shelton Benjamin and his mother are here. This was somewhere between brilliant, hilarious and freaking stupid.

Edge doesn’t want to answer internet questions. He has Lita do it instead.

Self Destruction of the Ultimate Warrior DVD ad. This went about as ridiculously far into unfairness as you could possibly go as they bury this guy harder than they do anyone I’ve ever seen.

Jerry Lawler vs. Gregory Helms

This is more or less the same thing that they did with Hassan last year as they were just giving Helms this to get him over as a cruiserweight trying to fight heavyweight guys. Apparently Lawler said Helms sucked and he got slapped or vice versa, and I think it was the original. I love how Coach tries to act like he means something. The idea worked as I want to smack him already but then again I always do.

Helms is mostly dominating here so at least they’ve got that working right. In a funny line, Coach says he isn’t sure which chin Helms is grabbing. Helms pulls a Rock and does his own commentary in the match as this is going a bit long. Uh oh it’s strap time and here comes Lawler.

They say his fists are moving like pistons. That’s just amusing in general. Lawler shouts out piledriver and somehow Helms counters it. I wonder how he figured out what to do? And Lawler hits the middle rope punch….FOR THE PIN??? WHAT IN THE FLYING HECK WAS THAT???

Rating: F. Seriously, there is ZERO justification to put Lawler over clean here as this isn’t in Memphis. No way is this ok at all. This was a failure plain and simple. Not from a wrestling perspective but from a booking and thinking one.

Lita leaves the internet place and runs into Trish. Mickie follows her in and she has no issue with losing and is now implying she wants lesbian sex with Trish.

Mama Benjamin is at catering and says this won’t do. She bends over (she weighs probably 400lbs) and Viscera’s music starts up. He likes what he sees and thrusts his lower guy at her and then at the camera. Apparently his music and lights just follow him around and apparently she doesn’t notice any of this at all. Yeah this is dumb.

Quick recap of HHH vs. Big Show, which more or less is that HHH came back from an injury and turned on Flair which ticked off Show who fought him and then cost him a spot in the Chamber tonight. HHH broke Show’s hand, leading to this.

HHH vs. Big Show

I like this actually. It’s not something that’s been beaten to death and it has a bit of potential. That being said it’s likely to suck but what are you going to do? Show has a huge cast on his hand. We get a huge stall to start. You have to say huge in any match either of these guys have. Show is actually moving a bit here which is helping a lot. When he’s motivated he’s rather entertaining to watch although it has to be in doses.

Show is dominating here early on. HHH has had no offense about three minutes in. And then Show punches the post with the cast and HHH is suddenly fine. He’s really bad about that. He at least uses some psychology and works on the hand. And there goes the cast. Well at least they got it off early. It’s kind of basic but a lot of the time that’s all you need to do.

Another important thing to note here about it: HHH is mixing things up with strikes and holds. That’s a major perk as otherwise it just isn’t as interesting. Show makes his comeback to get us to even but misses a punch and knocks the referee out cold. Great looking shot there.

The hammer comes in but a chop goes through it. More or less it’s nothing but HHH using weapons on the hand now and Show fighting as hard as he can (ok not really but work with me here) to stay alive in this. A half sledgehammer shot to the head and a bad Pedigree ends this.

Rating: D. This started off as pretty good and then just fell off a cliff. The last 6 minutes of this or so are just freaking bad and there’s no other way to put it. This was like watching two matches and at the end you just wanted it to end. If you take four minutes or so out of this, it’s an easy C at minimum. Started out great, then just went down, which is a shame.

Coach and Styles could not have less chemistry if their lived depended on it.

And let’s have two minutes of replays to affirm that HHH is in fact, awesome (allegedly).

Masters is getting ready and Carlito comes up. They’re both in the main event tonight for no explainable reason. This goes nowhere.

Ad for the Rumble.

Lawler is back.

Shelton Benjamin vs. Viscera

Holy filler Batman! Something tells me this is going to suck and it’s going to suck hard. This is just boring. Seriously, who thought this was a good idea? Shelton is more or less powerless to do anything with this second rate Mark Henry, and that’s saying A LOT. His mother promises him a sweet potato pie for a win.

Do you see what I do for you freaking people??? She yells the entire match too and talks about getting the belt etc. Is this supposed to be funny? SHUT UP WOMAN! This is the dumbest thing I have ever seen. This is one of those angles that is only to amuse Vince and nothing more. She hits Viscera with the purse and he hits a spin kick to get the win.

Rating: S. As in the stiff drink that I want. This is easily the most ridiculous and annoying thing that I have ever seen on a wrestling show. It wasn’t funny at all but they kept this up for months. THANK GOD he turned heel soon after this and this idiocy ended.

Vince wishes Shawn good luck and Shawn lists off his accomplishments which really are rather impressive. This was the beginning of Shawn vs. Vince that wound up running all summer with DX reuniting.

Bra and Panties Gauntlet Match

It’s exactly what it sounds like and it will be just as worthless as you can imagine. The only good thing here is Lillian in a tied off jersey top. I have a thing for jerseys on women and more or less it’s a bikini top made of one. In short, she’s hotter than should be legally allowed. This is just a bra and panties match but then another comes out and they keep going. Candice and Maria starts.

Candice is about to be in Playboy here. I really hate these things. If I want to see hot women almost naked, I’ll look them up on the internet where I can see them actually naked. Maria wins. Torrie is next. Notice a trend here: they’ve all been in Playboy and most of them can’t wrestle to save their lives. Maria puts Torrie out. Victoria is next and she puts Maria out. And here’s Moolah and Mae as I want to shoot this. Screw it. Ashley winds up winning and of course strips anyway.

Rating: N/A. Give me wrestling please. It’s what you advertised.

Shelton and his mother again make me want to shoot someone.

We recap the Chamber and it’s just the main Raw guys other than Show and HHH in the Chamber after qualifying matches.

Raw World Title: John Cena vs. Carlito vs. Chris Masters vs. Kurt Angle vs. Shawn Michaels vs. Kane

Naturally it takes forever to get to this match but less time than last year which is at least a plus. Cena of course gets a lot of boos. This wasn’t even the most hated that he would ever get. He starts with Shawn. Cena isn’t ready to do that yet so this is nowhere near what it sounds like. Just 18 minutes between the ending of the last “match” and the bell in this one. The fans are ALL OVER Cena here.

The Chamber really does look awesome to say the least. Cena can sell really well. Kane comes in last due to winning a Beat the Clock Challenge. He’s the odds on favorite. That’s most amusing. In third is Carlito. He means nothing at this point either and no one really knew why he was in this. Nothing at all happens here other than some potential alliances. Finally Angle comes in to wake the crowd up by suplexing the living tar out of everyone in the match.

Styles saying Angle is all impact amuses me. I mean he must throw everyone 4-5 times each. I have never seen anyone wake a match up like Angle did. Shawn is busted after being thrown into one of the cells. Good night Angle throws a pretty suplex. I mean Angle is just completely dominating. He gets the ankle lock on Shawn and then on Carlito. Masters finally comes in for the save. We’ve fought 15 minutes or so at this point and look at how little I’ve had to say.

Masters comes in and takes an ankle lock. Cena makes a save for no apparent reason and goes for the FU but Angle reverses into ANOTHER ankle lock. He’s just on freaking fire tonight. And then Shawn kicks him in the head and pins him. Yeah seriously, that’s how they get rid of him. Give me a freaking break. Ok it’s not that bad but I hate the out of nowhere ones like that.

You can tell they’re just killing time at this point as nothing at all is happening. Kane comes in so they’re all in now. I seriously couldn’t care less. This thing is boring as any and all goodness. After some brief domination, Kane chokeslams everyone but like an idiot never covers them. Carlito and Masters double team him and amazingly…it works. They do a double DDT and then a press slam of Carlito onto Kane.

At this point, it becomes somewhat clear how this is going to end and it gets dumber and dumber every second. Oh I forgot to mention that Shawn is bleeding. The problem with this match: Carlito and Chris Masters are dominating. Still, this is better than the Extreme Elimination Chamber as Shawn and Cena are at least major star power. Four of the six here were legit title guys and Carlito and Masters were solid midcard heels at the time, so it’s forgivable.

Don’t get me wrong: it’s freaking dumb and it’s bad, but it could be worse. The other four being awesome balances it out a lot. Shawn gets Sweet Chin Music on Cena and Carlito hits a rolling cutter (Cody Rhodes’ finisher) on Shawn to pin him. Yes, the final three are Carlito, Masters and Cena. This is freaking stupid. No one bought Cena losing for a second.

I was reading WZ and was on AIM at the same time with a girl I knew who was a Cena fan and was telling her what was going on. She went to bed at this point as it was obvious to even her, a mark, that this was ending with Cena winning. The fans are now cheering for Cena as they see the alternatives. That’s rather funny. So they double team him for about 5 minutes until the Masterlock is put on. Carlito low blows Masters and rolls him up before getting rolled up by Cena to win the match.

Rating: D. Seriously, Masters and Carlito? This is short because literally the second the match ends, Vince’s music starts playing and it becomes clear what’s going on and why the Chamber sucking means nothing, so I won’t bother going into detail on it.

Vince says the show isn’t over yet and you can hear the crowd pop like a cherry over it. He has the cage raised up. And he says that while Cena did a great job, his night is not over yet, as Edge is cashing in his Money in the Bank contract and the match is NOW.

Raw World Title: Edge vs. John Cena

Cena is more or less dead and can’t even stand up. This is less than two minutes as Edge hits a pair of spears to win the title in a TOTAL shock.

Rating: A. I know I rarely grade matches this short, but this was absolutely brilliant. I mean NO ONE saw this coming and we all thought it was just Cena wins again and no one cares. This was legitimately shocking and it made the show ending awesome. Loved this and it’s one of the best moments of the modern era.

Overall Rating: D+. Again, this show just isn’t that good. The brand split shows were almost always awful because they have to have stuff like Viscera vs. Shelton for no reason whatsoever and no one cared but because they had 3 hours to fill and Vince was so obsessed with the split looking legit and everything that the fans got screwed over for nearly 5 years.

Flair vs. Edge and the whole ending sequence are I guess worth seeing, although the main event should really be watched if you haven’t seen it before as it’s not great at all but since it’s the Elimination Chamber and not the Extreme version it’s worth a one off look I guess. Overall though, this show just isn’t very good as it felt like a Raw with more of a budget.

This would thankfully end before too long but DANG man, this was just painful every month that wasn’t a big show. Not an awful show but just not that good. Better than last year by far though, even though I think I graded them the same. If nothing else, watch the Chamber through the end just for the crowd. I have never heard a crowd turn back and forth so much in 40 minutes in my life as a fan. Other than that, not worth it.


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