It’s that time of the month again, as WWE travels to Albany, New York for it’s second New Year’s Revolution show.
We began with a bout for the Intercontinental title, as Ric Flair defended the belt against Edge, who as always had the lovely Lita at ringside, although a bit heavy on the eyeliner love! A short bout to start the show, with some interference from Lita which saw Flair flipping her into the ring and synching in a figure four leg lock. This was only broken when Edge came into the ring, briefcase in hand, and clobbered Flair over the head, earning himself a disqualification and Flair the victory. After the bell, Edge clobbered Flair with the case again, leaving the Nature Boy lying in the ring with a head wound. Not a bad little opener here, one to get the crowd going.
Backstage, Todd Grisham interviews Kurt Angle and Daivari. Angle insults everyone from blacks to Jesus, and goes on to sat that no matter what he says, the stupid fans will cheer for him anyway, because he’s the best wrestler in the world at the moment.
Our second title match of the evening follows, as Trish Stratus defends her Women’s title against future bunny boiler Mickie James. Another good little match here, with both girls showing solid wrestling skills, and James even trying to use some of Stratus’ own signature moves to put the champion away, including the Stratusfaction and the Chick Kick, but Stratus decked James with a kick of her own for the win. I’m looking forward to seeing these two against each other again.
We then returned backstage, as Maria tried to interview herself about the bra and panties gauntlet match. At last she’s found her intellectual equal. She’s soon interrupted by Gregory Helms, who vows to send Jerry Lawler to the hospital.
Shelton Benjamin then arrives with his big Mamma, and is lectured about not eating properly. Shelton tries to protest, but soon realises that he’s fighting a losing battle.
Edge then tells Lita that he’s not interested in talking to the fans on the WWE website, because he had other things on his mind.
Promo for The Self Destruction of the Ultimate Warrior on pay-per-view in America. Even if you’re a fan of the Warrior, I’d recommend seeing this. It’s a first-class hatchet job.
Next up, The King takes on the former super-hero. Our commentators, Joey Styles and Coach remind us that Lawler is a former AWA World Champion, although Coach spends a great deal of time reminding us how old Lawler is. I guess he’ll be giving Flair the same treatment next month. An okay kind of match, but I miss The Hurricane. Helms tries to end things by going to the top rope, but Lawler knocks him off balance, sending him crashing to the mat. Lawler then goes to the second rope for the fist drop and the win.
Trish and Lita stare each other down as Trish goes to give an interview to the internet, before Mickie James comes bouncing in. More innuendo from James about her flesh touching Trish’s during the match, before both girls sit down to talk to the internet nerds.
Mamma Benjamin goes looking for some food for her baby boy, only for Big Viscera to appear on the soon looking for a little MILF action. Needless to say, Mamma isn’t that impressed, and shouts big Vis down. Never thought I’d see the big man put down in this way.
Then it’s time for Triple H, deep in the middle of the mid-card, to take on the one-handed Big Show. The father-to-be tries to get the ref to get the Big Show’s giant cast off his hand, but it isn’t long before Triple H does the job himself after smashing Show’s arm into the post. Despite having a severely weakened right arm and hand, Show still manages to fight back. After the ref takes an accidental hit, Triple H gets his usual tag-team partner, but Show breaks the handle with his broken hand. But The Game soon comes back, and as the big guy goes for a choke slam with his left hand, HHH clobbers him with what’s left of the sledgehammer. A Pedigree later and he’s got the win. A good bout with a good story here, probably the best Big Show singles match I’ve seen for a couple of years.
Backstage, Carlito and The Masterpiece agree to work together in an attempt to eliminate all the other former or current champions in the Elimination Chamber.
Shelton and Mamma Benjamin come to the ring. As Shelton demands an apology from Viscera, Mamma demands that Shelton kicks his backside, so we then get a bonus match between Shelton and Viscera. Viscera uses his usual power moves against the former college standout, but with Mamma screaming encouragement from ringside, Shelton comes back, and using his speed to good advantage, picks up the win with a wheel kick - after Mamma has clobbered Viscera with her purse! Just like the old World of Sport days.
Backstage, Vince McMahon goes into Shawn Michaels’ dressing room to wish him luck. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see these two going at it at Wrestlemania. Who knows, maybe Bret Hart will come in as a special referee.
Time for Jerry Lawler to mark out next at the bra and panties gauntlet match. Usual stuff here, with Moolah and Mae Young making an appearance, and the doddery olds dears doing their usual stuff, before Miss Charisma herself, Ashley Massaro, gets the win. Meh.
Backstage, Shelton goes to chat to the internet nerds, and Mamma reveals that she was carrying a brick in her purse.
Then it’s time for our main event, as champion John Cena, Shawn Michaels, Kurt Angle, Carlito, Chris Masters and Kane got at it in the Elimination Chamber. After the previous stellar efforts in past chamber matches, this match had a lot to live up to, and it succeeded. Carlito and Masters kept to their game plan, and worked well as a team here, while Angle, getting what seemed like the biggest cheer of the night, was like a wrestling machine, and it seemed a little sad when he was the first man eliminated after a Michaels super kick. Kane, the last man to enter the bout, was the next one to go, after some good double-team work from Masters and Carlito. They both pinned the Big Red Machine just to make sure. The two young lions then teamed up again on a dazed and bloodied Michaels to take him out, leaving the two of them against the champion. For a while it looked like we could have a new champion in this bout, until Carlito turned on Masters with a low blow and a schoolboy roll-up. Seconds later, Cena scored with a schoolboy of his own for the win. He had retained his title in the brutal chamber. Good stuff all round here.
But the night wasn’t over. Vince McMahon then came to the ring, ordered that the cage should be raised, and announced that Edge was cashing in his Money in the Bank title shot there and then. The dazed, bloody and battered Cena didn’t stand a chance. After two spears, Edge pinned Cena, and was crowned the new WWE Champion.
In conclusion - the best WWE pay-per-view of the year so far. Hey, I know this was a crap joke, but I really enjoyed this show. From top to bottom, almost every match was well put together and highly entertaining, and they all told good stories, and Edge’s surprise WWE title win also freshens up the main event scene, and gives John Cena a fresh opponent to feud with over the next few weeks. My only major criticism was the commentary. Joey Styles and Jonathan Coachman, sans Jerry Lawler, seemed to be working very well together, and it seemed a shame that Lawler returned to his usual commentary role a short time after his match with Gregory Helms. They should have just left the two of them alone. But in all, a good effort from the WWE crew here.