On This Day: January 9, 2005 – New Year’s Revolution 2005: The Perils Of Single Brand Pay Per Views

New Years Revolution 2005
Date: January 9, 2005
Location: Coliseo de Puerto Rico, San Juan, Puerto Rico
Attendance: 15, 764
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

So for no apparent reason, we’re in Puerto Rico for this one. This is more or less all about one match: the Elimination Chamber. The title has been vacated (a Puerto Rican tradition) because there had been a double pin in a match with HHH, Edge and Benoit.

Jericho, Orton and Batista are being thrown in there because we need six people and they’re the other three big guys on Raw at the moment. Shawn is guest referee for no apparent reason. Other than that the big match is Kane vs. Snitsky. See what I mean when I say it’s about one match? Let’s get to it.

The opening video is the epitome of generic. It just says that the Chamber is big and bad and all that. There’s nothing else mentioned about the rest of the card at all which isn’t likely a good sign.

Raw Tag Titles: Eugene/William Regal vs. Christian/Tyson Tomko

Regal and Eugene are past their peak of intrigue but at least it’s about to end. However it’s because Eugene destroys his knee in this and is out for about 6 months because of it. For once the Spanish announce team serves a perfect function. I have no idea what I mean by that either. Christian is completely lacking credibility at this point but he’ll be heading to TNA later in the year.

Eugene is wearing a Hogan shirt for no apparent reason. It’s a comedy match in case you didn’t get it. This is where the Eugene character needed to go away. Good night Christian deserves better than this. And Eugene hits the floor and slaps hands with the fans for no apparent reason. He follows this up to dive under the ring. I already hate this match. We get an airplane spin as I would love to hear Gorilla and Jesse argue over Eugene.

The intellectually challenged one Hulks Up and tags Regal in. Well at least he’s willing to let someone else in for the glory part. Oh man Christian gets a shot in on the nose and Regal is bleeding badly. Too much cocaine I guess. Christian pulls Eugene off the apron and Regal gets there for a tag but there’s no partner. Can I get some Wah Wah Wah music? This is running way too long at this point.

Eugene gets a big old pop for the hot tag. He cleans house but lands totally on his knee, ripping it to pieces and putting him on the shelf for six months. He’s more or less dead weight now and I don’t think the others know it yet. To his credit though he hobbles up and gets a bad rollup on Tomko whose shoulder was up but to be fair he did what he could. He gets taken out on a stretcher.

Rating: B-. It was a formula tag match but the ending changes the whole thing. It’s fairly clear that the champions retained here, but I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt and say B-. It wasn’t terrible but it wasn’t great either. Eugene gets bonus points for finishing the match though so there we are.

In the back, Christian and Tomko run into Edge. Edge says he has an idea.

We recap Trish and Lita, which makes me think I have to give them credit for coming up with a story rather than saying we know we’ve got nothing else so here you go. Trish is the heel here and had been all evil when Lita lost her baby. She responded by breaking Trish’s nose.

Trish says she’s ready.

Womens Title: Trish Stratus vs. Lita

How many times did these two fight, about a million? Ross calls it a tag title for no apparent reason. I love her theme song actually. Trish’s cleavage is big enough to hide a small country in. They fight for a bit before Trish goes to the floor. Lita goes to the apron and throws a Thesz Press at Trish, and rips HER knee to shreds.

Literally, two matches and two torn knees. She would be out for a few months also as she ripped her ACL. They actually continue the match though for about another three minutes before Lita just has nothing left and the Chick Kick gives Trish another title.

Rating: N/A. Not fair to grade them on this at all. As for a grade, I’d go with DD. That’s of course for Dogma and Dreams, which was my textbook in my political theory class. What did you think it was for?

Edge wants out of the Chamber and offers his spot to Christian, Bischoff says no and Shawn shows up to say he’ll call it fairly. Thanks for your presence here Shawn. Again, why aren’t you in the actual match?

Intercontinental Title: Shelton Benjamin vs. Maven

No backstory here at all as it’s more or less just a random title match. This was more or less the last ditch effort to make Maven mean a thing. Amazingly enough it didn’t work at all. Shelton is WAY over here as this was right before the hottest period of his career and four months before the match with Shawn that made him the hottest thing on the planet and is still his career highlight.

The heat on Maven is excellent. He cuts a promo in the middle of the match, saying that he doesn’t know how many people here speak English. He’s getting some very decent heat here. I’m almost impressed. He throws in a little Spanish, telling the fans to shut their mouths. This is a fine idea but this has gone on five minutes.

And now he’s leaving. He changes his mind at 9 and turns back to the ring. Literally 5 seconds after he gets in he gets rolled up for a pin. He gets on the mic and says he wants another match because that didn’t count. Shelton comes in, the bell rings, he hits the Exploder Suplex and it’s over in 5 seconds.

Rating: N/A. WHAT WAS THE FREAKING POINT OF THIS??? Literally this was ten minutes that just made no sense at all and there were two “matches”. What in the heck was going on here? I flat out do not get this, but if it was an actual match it would fail and fail hard.

Hassan says that Ross and Lawler are in trouble and that he’s not nervous. He calls Puerto Rico second rate. The crowd has been white hot all night so this gets them really going.

Muhammad Hassan vs. Jerry Lawler

To say Hassan was hated is an understatement. He actually was considered for a run with a world title and I was fine with that. The bell sounds really weird for some reason. And Ross goes with Lawler to the ring so there is zero commentary for this match. Um, ok? Lawler is of course completely over here and this is just a basic storyline to get Hassan over. The lack of commentary is just weird to see in a match.

It’s like watching the match in the arena which is kind of cool actually but it’s leaving me with far less material to go with. Daivari tries to steal Ross’ hat. Lawler gets in some basic stuff here but it’s more or less a total squash here and that’s just fine. This match does get some time and the best thing with that is they have Lawler get in some offense to keep Hassan from just dominating the entire time.

This is where Lawler is incredibly valuable: he’s still loved enough and in good enough shape that you can throw him in a match when you need to in order to put someone over or make someone seem evil. The fans however aren’t as enthralled by this as a boring chant starts.

I mean really, that chant is boring. Can’t they be the slightest bit original? Lawler survives the cobra clutch and we get the showdown with Lawler and Daivari. It winds up with Lawler walking into a downward spiral for the win though.

Rating: C-. The match should have gone a bit shorter but this was fine. It gave Hassan the win he needed and blew off the storyline so that’s all you can ask for I guess. This was fine I guess but it was really nothing special at the end of the day. The commentary thing really was weird and hurt it I think.

Orton and Batista have a really badly acted showdown. Orton wants to know if Batista is going to beat up HHH or kiss up to him. Why do I picture Vince drooling over the second possibility?

Wrestlemania Recall: Mania 12 and the iron man. I guess this was a way to let Ross get back to the announce booth.

Coach joins Ross for commentary until King gets back. I guess Ross is no Joey Styles.

We recap Kane vs. Snitsky. More or less Lita was Kane’s wife and was pregnant and in a match vs. a jobber named Gene Snitsky, Kane was pushed onto Lita and she lost her baby. Snitsky and Kane feuded, and Kane jobbed. And people wonder why no one takes him seriously.

Kane vs. Gene Snitsky

We get the Ross lingo of bowling shoe ugly, translating into we know it’s going to suck but it’s all we’ve got. And yeah it’s crap. The problem here is that no one cares about Gene at all and he and Kane are more or less the exact same style. When it’s Taker there’s at least the chance that he can shift things up a bit. Here that just isn’t going to happen as it’s nothing but big men using power moves and the occasional work with weapons even though there are disqualifications in this match.

There’s at least a reason this is happening but we’re at 8 minutes here and this is showing no signs of actually ending anytime soon. These guys should have no more than like 10 at the very most. And now we’re at 10 or so. Oh joy indeed. It’s the same exact stuff going on all day here too: power moves from both guys, one guy hits two power moves in a row, resthold, start it all over again.

Snitsky bites Kane’s ear in there somewhere for a reference to a boxing match nearly 8 years old. Oh and they’ve also managed to kill the best crowd I can remember in awhile. This is just boring. FINALLY Kane hits a tombstone to no pop to get the pin.

Rating: D-. Seriously, 12 minutes for these two? Are you freaking KIDDING me? Against a small guy, Kane might have maybe been able to make this passable. This was just freaking stupid though and it was painful to watch.

We get the ad for the 2005 Rumble: West Side Story version. For the life of me, someone made money for coming up with this. That blows my mind to this day. “We’ll step into the ring and reach an understanding. When the smoke has cleared I’ll be the last man standing.” I wonder why no one was watching back then.

Lawler is back.

We go poolside for some reason to see the Divas and Simon Dean from earlier in the day. Maria and Christy….wow. For no apparent reason Val Venis, Rosey, Hurricane and a guy I couldn’t see get a Diva on all of their shoulders and we have a big chicken fight. Christy wins by pulling Maria’s top off and shoving her in the water. They looked great, but what the heck was the point of this?

We go from that to a statue of the Virgin Mary. The irony here kills me as 3 of the 4 girls in there were in Playboy at one time or another. Oh never mind it’s Christopher Columbus. I’m a Protestant so there you are.

We recap the chamber which more or less is Benoit and HHH both pinned Edge so the title was held up. The other three were just thrown in so we could have a major gimmick match.

Raw World Title: Chris Jericho vs. HHH vs. Edge vs. Batista vs. Chris Benoit vs. Randy Orton

The order of the people coming in was preset through a Beat the Clock challenge. Not wild on that but I can certainly life with it as it’s not a terribly huge deal. HHH and Batista have been arguing as HHH thinks it’s about him and Batista is more or less the hottest thing on the freaking planet at this point with no one being able to even come close to touching him.

There was no way he was winning here though as that was clearly being saved for Mania. Ross is WAY too excited for this. Evolution argues a bit in the back before the match as we’re just killing time now. Bischoff does a big long intro as they might as well have him saying I’m stalling here. A LONG explanation of the rules from Lillian follows as at least she’s something to look at.

Shawn is the referee here and gets a great pop. Edge, HHH, Orton and Batista who is coming in last are all in pods. We’re at about 15 minutes since the last match ended and we’re not only halfway through the intros yet. Ok so 23 minutes after the Kane match ends, Benoit and Jericho get going. Good to see that they’re going fast here. Any combination of these two and Angle means entertainment so I can’t complain at all here.

With Shawn in there also, you’re looking at over 15 IC Title reigns if my math is right. Yep this is still awesome. Like I said, these two are really hard to mess up. I did say that didn’t I? Oh ok. Well this pairing is hard to mess up. So now, like I said, these two are really hard to mess up. Benoit gets the top rope suplex and lands on his head. That simply can’t be good. The chamber really is an awesome sight.

Oh I think the chamber order is random other than Batista. HHH is in third. Good night that’s a lot of IC Title reigns. He more or less destroys both Canadians as they can’t look good in the same match as HHH right? Well to be fair they’re both worn down so that’s fine. Benoit has a DEEP cut on his forehead. Jericho blocks a Pedigree to put HHH on the cage outside the ring. The Chamber really is an amazing spectacle.

Everyone is down and it’s Edge. Yeah it is random other than the final spot. I like that actually. He spears or hits Edgecutions on everyone. He needs to go back to that when he returns. Edge breaks out a belly to belly. That’s a new one on me from him. Jericho is having the tar beaten out of him by everyone but somehow HHH is standing tall. Who would have seen that? He gets another Pedigree countered and he hits the steal again.

Jericho gets busted open but it’s a girly man cut. Edge avoids the crossface. HHH is bleeding on the nose. He’s also managing to control more of this match than everyone else is somehow. Now who would have predicted something like THAT? Jericho takes a Pedigree just in time for Orton to come in with everyone down. Orton had been hot as all goodness about 4 months ago so he was promptly given a one month reign to get the belt off Benoit to put it back on HHH.

Orton never beat him again in that run and he hasn’t been that hot since. But hey, HHH got another title reign out of it right? The fans are chanting RKO. See what I mean? More or less everyone in this whole match is over as free beer in a frat house other than HHH but whatever. Jericho gets an RKO as he’s just not having a good night.

Benoit gets a diseased crossface on Orton. He’s up on one knee and it’s really just a chinlock with the arm down. Benoit puts HHH in the Sharpshooter but Orton hits an RKO on him. Why he wouldn’t wait until HHH tapped is beyond me but whatever. Edge accidentally spears Shawn and then Orton but there’s no referee. He yells at Shawn and suddenly is out cold and Jericho hits a Lionsault after the chin music to put Edge out.

Jericho gets out of his second Pedigree. That’s three times he’s been set up for it. Dang does HHH just like having Canadians between his legs? Benoit hits a MASSIVE swandive headbutt from the top of the pod before being put in both the Walls of Jericho AND THE CROSSFACE. He hangs on FOR THIRTY SECONDS before Batista comes in for the save. Yeah, that’s not completely insane or ridiculous or anything like that.

He’s just been in a 15 minute mega cage match and then taken a former world champion’s finisher after being in the Sharpshooter for a decent while earlier and now has two MORE world champion finishing moves on him, but he can hang on for 30 seconds. Do you see why he’s so freaking hated? It’s ALL Batista here and the crowd is way into him. Oh and HHH is back up 30 seconds later. That is just freaking stupid on so many levels.

Batista throws Jericho into a cameraman to give us a cool camera shot. In a cool looking spot, Batista spinebusters Benoit and then spinebusters (spinebusts?) Jericho on top of him. That’s followed by an AWESOME Batista Bomb to eliminate Jericho and it’s an all Evolution final. Why my stars and garter belts, who would have seen this coming? So more or less it’s now Orton vs. the world. The crowd is relatively quiet but they’re popping at various times to make sure they’re still alive.

Orton stays alive and manages to get a low blow and an RKO to end Batista. HHH sits back and lets him get pinned which would become an issue on Raw later on. Orton gets the RKO but Batista stayed in and Flair gets in somehow so Batista can more or less end Orton with a clothesline that was a secondary finisher back in the day. Why did we need Flair to stop him? I mean it’s not like Shawn can do anything about Batista. Also why are referees so freaking dumb?

He saw the RKO and then Batista is behind him and all of a sudden Orton is down and HHH is in the same spot. How dumb are you man? The Pedigree ends this. A massive HHH worshipping festival takes us out.

Rating: B. Once Jericho was out, there might as well have just been a big celebration for HHH then as it was obvious he was going to win the whole thing. The drama was lacking badly for a long time here and in the end it was little more than a cheap way to get HHH his tenth title reign.

Edge, Benoit and Jericho had little purpose in this at all as it was always going to come down to those three. This was good though as the violence was all there and the gimmick is always cool. Not terrible but not epic like some others. The time here, 35 minutes, is about perfect though for one of these things.

Overall Rating: D+. This was just not a very good show at all. There is just nothing at all to talk about on it as it felt like something between a Raw and a PPV. The wrestling is ok at best and other than HHH getting his title back that he had already, nothing really happened here.

Hassan winning shocks no one, Trish gets another meaningless title reign and Eugene is hurt so the tag titles are changed soon after this. I mean, I don’t get it. What’s the appeal of this? The main event is good but by no means required viewing.

Other than that, take a rather large pass on this one. It’s not terrible, but it’s just not good. As much as people are going to get on me, it reminded me of Genesis a lot: decent wrestling throughout, but nothing at all that makes you really have to see the show.

 

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