PPV REPORTS KELLER'S New Year's Revolution PPV report 1/9: Ongoing "virtual time" analysis of live event
Jan 9, 2005 - 9:37:00 PM
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By Wade Keller, Torch editor
WWE NEW YEAR'S REVOLUTION PPV REPORT
JANUARY 9, 2005
SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO
-Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler introduced the show. Then they went to the Spanish announce team who got their intro face time.
1 -- EUGENE & WILLIAM REGAL vs. TYSON TOMKO & CHRISTIAN -- World Tag Team Title match
Eugene dressed up as "The Hulkster" (as Jim Ross called him, rather than Hulk Hogan). Eugene led the crowd in a chant of "Christian sucks." Lawler said if he dresses up as his idols, he should wear a crown next week. After some initial offense, Eugene sold for a few minutes. He then Hulked up, pointed at Christian, backdropped Christian, and then tagged in Regal at 6:00. Tomko, though, quickly took over offense on Regal. Christian tagged in and settled into a chinlock. Regal began bleeding from the nose after a forearm by Christian. Tomko gave Regal a forearm. They double-teamed him as the ref was preoccupied with Regal. At 13:00 Regal hot-tagged Eugene and went to work on Tomko with Hogan's style of punches. The crowd was totally into everything. Eugene clutched his knee after he threw a dropkick. Ross said he might have blown it out. He hugged it and wouldn't budge. Tomko tried to lift him, but Eugene wouldn't go up with him. Eugene hopped on one leg and rolled up Tomko for the win. He then kept gripping his knee afterward. It looked legit and serious. Three refs came to tend to him. The fact that he went into the cradle finish was gutsy and resourceful. He worked his way to the ring apron where he screamed in pain when he moved. He seemed totally out of character with his facials, just concerned with not being in terrible pain.
WINNERS: Eugene & Regal at 16:00 to retain the tag titles.
STAR RATING: *1/2 -- Pretty formula match that never really shifted out of first or second gear. Okay, though.
-Backstage, Edge told Christian backstage that he wanted to talk to him about perhaps becoming World Champion. Ross and Lawler wondered what that could mean. They then threw to a video package of the Lita-Trish Stratus feud. That "baby picture" of Lita and Kane's baby still cracks me up.
2 -- LITA vs. TRISH STRATUS -- Women's Title match
Lita dove onto Trish at ringside with a Thesz press, but landed awkwardly on her left knee. She clutched it just as Eugene had earlier. They tried to work a match with Trish working over Lita's knee as a strategy, but then they just went right into a DDT for a clean pinfall win, surely quicker than was planned. It sure appeared in replays that Lita's knee buckled on the landing. She just can't get a break. "I'm feeling a little uneasy about things right now," said Lawler. Lita was in great pain as she was helped out of the ring. She was fighting back crying in pain and disappointment. This was a big match for her, so it's understandable that she'd be as frustrated mentally as she was hurting. Lawler said, "I don't mean to say I told you so, but these are the things that happen you do these dare-devil moves and go to the well too often." That's a shoot comment from Lawler, and right now it has some merit except that Eugene's injury came from a simple dropkick. In Lita's case, given her near neckbreaking dive a few weeks back and this week's knee injury, she might be best to take Lawler's advice and change her approach. Sometimes it's not so much the style that's dangerous as there are certain people who physically just aren't made to try to execute a high-risk style. Lita may be one of those people who just isn't built for it.
WINNER: Trish at 3:47.
STAR RATING: 1/4* -- Not enough time to amount to much. That's unfortunate, too, because I'm sure they put a lot of time into planning out a true showcase match given the intensity and build-up for their feud.
-They showed scenes of Puerto Rico. Lawler said all it takes to get a driver's license in Puerto Rico is the ability to honk a horn.
-Edge and Christian approached Raw G.M. Eric Bischoff backstage. Edge proposed that Christian take his place in the Elimination Chamber and then whoever won the EC would face him in a title match on Raw tomorrow. Bischoff didn't like the idea, saying 14,000 fans paid to see the match and he had sponsors counting on the advertised line-up taking place. Edge was upset that Michaels was refereeing. Bischoff said it wasn't his fault that he chose to unnecessarily spear Michaels. Michaels walked up and told Edge that his job in the match is to call the pinfall and raise an arm. He gave Edge his word. Edge said his word is no good. Michaels said if someone put their hands on him, of course he would have to retaliate physically.
3 -- SHELTON BENJAMIN vs. MAVEN -- Intercontinental Title match
Ross announced that Eugene (Nick Dinsmore) suffered a dislocated kneecap. He said that happened to him in high school and it's painful. Lawler asked him if he suffered the injury roller skating. The crowd gave Maven a hard time, so he grabbed the house mic, stood on a chair at ringside, and said he had a message for the fans. He told the fans he doesn't know what they're saying. "I'm not sure how many of you all speak English, so I'm going to talk real slow." (Speaking of English, the proper phrase is "really slowly.") He told the crowd he needed to concentrate and he couldn't do that if the fans were chanting gibberish at him. He then said a phrase in Spanish that got the crowd to boo him. Maven was so upset, he said he was walking out on the match. "I'll take you on in the United States of America." He began walking away. When the ref began counting him out, Maven ran back to the ring. Benjamin scooped up Maven and scored a quick three count.
WINNER: Benjamin to retain the IC Title.
STAR RATING: n/a
-Maven said the match didn't count and he wanted a rematch. When Benjamin walked away, Maven said it appears WWE has two women's champions. Maven said neither of them have a set of balls. Benjamin charged into the ring and he T-Bone Suplexed Maven for another quick three count. This has been a debacle so far, but up until this point it wasn't WWE's fault necessarily. The booking of this match was bizarre and hard to figure out. Why not, I don't know, maybe have them actually wrestle a match? If one of them was injured, then so be it, but if not, that was ridiculous. I put more time and thought into previewing the potential of this match this weekend then they did actually executing it. Total ripoff.
-They showed for the third time women sun bathing at a Puerto Rico beach. They showed Chris Benoit warming up backstage. Ross then addressed the camera alone, saying Jerry Lawler was getting ready for his match later. Clips aired of the Arab-American debate from Raw last Monday.
-Todd Grisham interviewed Muhammad Hassan and Khosrow Daivari backstage. Daivari actually spoke English briefly. Hassan said he would have thought Puerto Ricans would have been sympathetic toward them since they are second-class Americans and are used to being treated poorly by other Americans. He said he was disappointed since they were detained for three hours in the airport and their hotel reservations were lost. As Hassan made his way to the ring, Ross said they do not represent Arab-Americans.
4 -- JERRY LAWLER (w/Jim Ross) vs. MUHAMMAD HASSAN (w/Khosrow Daivari)
Ross accompanied Lawler to ringside, which meant no commentary for the match. I'm not crazy about the no commentary gimmick. I guess it would be worse if Grisham did it since he knows squat about wrestling, but in a way it'd be funny to see him try. With Vince McMahon shouting in his ear, he could probably pull it off. The fans shouted negative comments at Daivari, who responded with a shoulder shrug, "I don't even know what that means." Funny. At 3:15 a frustrated Hassan bailed out to ringside and approached Ross. Daivari knocked Ross's hat off his head. Lawler cut him off and punched him. Back in the ring, Daivari took Lawler down with an elbow to the chest. Hassan shoved Lawler into a top turnbuckle which he had exposed earlier. He dropped a knee on Lawler's head and scored a two count. Hassan applied an abdominal stretch. The lack of commentary was a bad idea. It really felt dead. This show has been one fiasco after another. It might have been entertaining to put Daivari on commentary since they have him talking in English now anyway. The crowd began chanting "boring." Deservedly so. Hassan just methodically seemed to be filling time with a bland, slow-paced offense of punches. Lawler began to no-sell and make his Memphis comeback. Down went the strap. The Puerto Rico crowd popped for that. Lawler punched away at Hassan. Lawler threw a dropkick and managed to not dislocate a kneecap or tear a ligament. He followed with his signature second rope fistdrop for a two count. Daivari began bowing at ringside for some reason. Lawler gave Hassan a DDT at 9:45 for a two count. Daivari put Hassan's leg over the bottom rope. I'm baffled that in Hassan's debut match they'd portray it as if he couldn't beat Lawler fairly, and in fact would have lost if not for Daivari's interference. Very strange booking. Ross showed his fist to Daivari, so Daivari jumped into the ring to escape, since apparently he's booked to be scared of Ross. Talk about killing off a gimmick. Hassan then finished off Lawler inside the ring with an anticlimactic pin.
WINNER: Hassan at 10:55.
STAR RATING: DUD -- The booking of Lawler as Hassan's equal seems to counterproductive given that Lawler rarely wrestles and isn't considered a top level wrestler. I can't believe the decisions made on this show so far. The worst I've seen in a long time from WWE.
-A commercial aired for the "Rise and Fall of ECW" on PPV during January as part of the WWE Fanatic Series.
-Grisham interviewed Batista. Randy Orton stepped in and said he had a question for Batista. He said he had a question everyone wanted to know. He asked if he was going to go after the title or just be Triple H's stooge. Orton told Batista that Hunter doesn't give a damn about him; all he cares about is the World Title. He said the only reason he recruited either of them for Evolution was to protect his ass. Orton said he helped Hunter and look at how he betrayed him. He referred to him as "Dave Batista" to try to portray that this was "real." He asked, "Are you going to kiss his ass or kick it." Batista told Orton to stop worrying about what he was going to do to Hunter and start worrying about what he was going to do to him. Batista then answered his question, saying if he had the opportunity, he would go for victory.
-A 1996 WrestleMania recall aired of Shawn Michaels pinning Bret Hart. It only took 20 seconds of the clip for me realize how much I don't miss Vince McMahon's play-by-play.
-Ross said he can speak for Lawler in saying they didn't get the job done, but they tried. Then they went into a video package of the Kane-Lita-Gene Snitsky feud. I've had enough of the recaps of this feud.
5 -- GENE SNITSKY vs. KANE
Coach joined Ross on commentary. After some lumbering heat-less action in the early minutes, Kane backdropped Snitsky at ringside at 2:45. Back in the ring Kane went to the top rope. Snitsky caught him with an extended boot to the face and then went on sustained offense. Snitsky applied a bear hug which took the wind out of the crowd. Kane fought out of it and teased a comeback. He sat up. The crowd popped for that. Snitsky kicked Kane to the mat. Kane sat up. They did that sequence two more times. Snitsky then dragged Kane to ringside and whipped him into the stairs. Snitsky then ran at Kane with a chair, but Kane kicked Snitsky in the chest first. Kane threw Snitsky into the ring. Kane hit a sidewalk slam, a big boot, and a clothesline off the second rope. The crowd popped as Kane showed nice fire. Snitsky kneed Kane to slow him down and then gave him the worst hot-shot in the history of wrestling, a perfect fit for the rest of this horrendous PPV. Ross said, "This may not be Kane's night." Perhaps it's not WWE's night. Certainly not WWE fans' night so far. They both went for chokeslams. Kane then hit Kane's ear. Ross said, "That man's a cannibal." Kane then gave Snitsky a Tombstone for the win.
WINNER: Kane at 11:34.
STAR RATING: DUD -- Lumbering, boring match. A good example of why WWE's current talent policy backfires when it comes time for the payoff match. A very anticlimactic match that I think the vast majority of WWE fans saw through as being just terrible.
-They showed footage of Simon Dean shoving a fat guy into the pool. Then they showed Stacy and Val Venis playing in a pool. They called for a chicken fight with other WWE Divas and male wrestlers including Hurricane and Rosey. Maria's top almost fell off as Christy Hemme won. It just gets more embarrassing with each segment.
-I can't remember a worse first half to a PPV since WCW's worst dying days - and this is close to as bad as the worst of those events. The booking of Lawler as Hassan's in-ring equal as actually the most baffling because it's something they had control over. It was a conscious choice. The booking of a non-match with Maven and Benjamin is the second most baffling. The Kane-Snitsky bore-fest was more a result of bad decisions in terms of who to push, disregarding the ability of wrestlers to pull off a payoff match. This is the type of PPV that really does turn away fans from purchasing events in the future. The EC match has to be a match of the year contender to hope to erase the debacle that was the first 100 minutes.
-Hunter confronted Batista regarding his comments to Orton. Batista assured Hunter he was just telling Orton what he wanted to hear. He said if Hunter gets eliminated before he enters the match, then nothing will stop him from going after the title. Ric Flair was in the scene, acting as cheerleader for Hunter.
-Eric Bischoff walked to the ring. Now that's appropriate given how many horrendous WCW PPVs he was part of. He called the Elimination Chamber one of his greatest creations.
6 -- ELIMINATION CHAMBER: TRIPLE H vs. RANDY ORTON vs. CHRIS JERICHO vs. CHRIS BENOIT vs. EDGE vs. BATISTA with Shawn Michaels as special referee
Batista's routine on the entrance stage looked more like a videogame entrance than a real-life entrance. Benoit and Jericho began the match. Big surprise. Benoit got a pop from the lulled comatose crowd with a hard chop at 1:45. Benoit hit some German suplexes. It did have a feeling they were filling time until the next wrestler entered. It wasn't bad, but had no sense of urgency, either. After five minutes, Triple H entered the match. The sound effects and lighting were cool as it was revealed Hunter got to enter the match. Hunter took control on Benoit early as Jericho recovered in the corner. Jericho threw some chops at Hunter at 6:00. Hunter came back with a hard clothesline. Benoit bled from the forehead at 7:30. Jericho backdropped Hunter onto the steel grating part of the structure. "I've driven by car wrecks that look better than this," said Ross, referring to the scene in the EC, but applicable of the event on a whole.
The crowd counted down in Spanish the next entrance at 10:00. Edge entered next. He charged after Benoit and Jericho. Hunter was kneeled over in a corner. Edge gave hi a spear in the corner, then hit an Edgecution for a near fall. Edge looked at Michaels as if to accuse him of counting slow. Edge sling-shot Jericho into the chain link fence. Jericho clung to it like he was stuck. Hunter then attempted to Pedigree Edge, but Edge escaped and catapulted Hunter into the fence. He went to the top rope and hit a bloody Benoit with a clothesline for a two count. A bloody Jericho tried to regain his balance on the sideline as Edge punched away at Benoit's forehead. Jericho hit Edge with a running enzuigiri. A bloody Hunter spinebustered Jericho in mid-ring. Edge gave Jericho a northern lights suplex for a two count. Hunter gave Jericho a Pedigree.
At 15:00, Orton entered the match officially. He showed big fire as he went after Edge o the sideline, then leaped onto Hunter with a top rope crossbody. He followed up with a barrage of punches. The crowd chanted for an RKO. He gave it to Jericho. Benoit recovered enough to counter another RKO attempt and turn it into a Crossface. Hunter got in Orton's face and taunted him. Benoit had enough and let go of Orton and put Hunter in a sharpshooter. Benoit dragged him to mid-ring, but Orton gave Benoit an RKO to break up the sharpshooter. Coach pointed out that he just saved Hunter from losing the match. He said it was "inadvertent." I'd say it made Orton look dumb. Edge went for a spear on Orton, but he ducked and Michaels took the spear instead. Edge gave Orton a spear and went for the cover. Michaels was down and couldn't count. Edge shoved Michaels. Michaels superkicked Edge. The crowd popped. Jericho hit the Lionsault on Edge for the pin at 19:20. Benoit hit three Germans on Hunter, then went to the top rope. Then he climbed to the of one of the chambers and leaped off with a flying headbutt. He connected with Hunter, prompting Ross to shout, "Sweet mother of god!" Jericho applied a Walls of Jericho. Benoit applied the Crossface. Ross shouted, "The Game cannot last!"
Batista then entered the match. The chamber didn't open at first. The ref was having rouble with the lock. It finally opened and Batista knocked Jericho and Benoit away from Hunter. He shoulder tackled Benoit. He threw Benoit and Jericho out of the ring. He then gave Orton a spinebuster. Hunter stood up. He and Batista went face-to-face. Ross said, "What are you going to do, Batista!? Do you want to be the man!? Do you want to live your dream?!" Ross really added drama to the moment. Before Batista could show his intent, he was attacked from behind by Benoit. Batista continued to dominate the match, throwing Jericho into a cameraman outside the ring. He then slammed Benoit and choked Orton. Benoit clipped Batista's knee from behind in a dangerous looking move. Batista collapsed and Orton fell onto him. They replayed the cameraman's bump which was one of the better of the night. Officials entered the chamber to help the cameraman. Inside the ring, Orton battled Jericho as Benoit punched away at Batista. "Some events don't live up to the hype," said Coach. "Tonight, and this match, has lived up to the hype." Benoit and Batista fought outside the ring. Benoit shoved Batista into the side of the cage.
At 26:00 everyone was sitting around, looking beaten and exhausted. Ross said whoever won deserved to be champion. "You'll see nothing like this anywhere else in the world but here!" said Ross. After some Benoit chops, Batista fought back with a spinebuster. Batista then powerslammed Jericho onto Benoit and scored the pin at 26:15 to eliminate Benoit. That left Batista, Hunter, Orton, and Jericho. Ross said if Batista didn't win the World Title tonight, he'd be shocked. There's Vince McMahon feeding Ross lines that hit the audience over the head with a transparently not-gonna-actually-happen prediction by an announcer. Batista gave Jericho his Batista Bomb for a pin at 27:30. Orton backdropped Hunter on the steel grating outside the ring, then he punched at Batista. Hunter catapulted Orton into the side of the cage. Orton hadn't quite finished blading as he was still gigging as he was shot into the chain wall of the cage. Hunter clotheslined the now-bleeding Orton back into the ring. Batista powerbombed Orton for a near fall. Ross said, "It's gonna be over." Of course, Orton kicked out. Hunter gave Orton a spinebuster for a two count. Basically, Batista and Hunter took turns beating on Orton at 30:00. Coach said it was "only a matter of time before young Randy Orton was eliminated."
Batista set up Orton for a BatistaBomb at 32:20 and hit an RKO for the three count at 32:30. A big portion of the crowd actually booed loudly, disappointed Batista was eliminated. That left Hunter vs. Orton. Orton rammed Hunter into the side of the cage several times. He then gave Hunter an RKO in mid-ring. Ric Flair ran into the ring. Batista nailed Orton with a clothesline as Michaels tended to Flair. Ross said the door was open as they were letting Batista out of the ring. Orton was motionless as a quivering Hunter slowly crawled toward Orton. He set up Orton for the Pedigree. Orton's lifeless body went down for the Pedigree face-first into the mat. Michaels counted to three. Batista held Hunter on his shoulders after the match. The wind was taken out of the fans' sails as everything had given them hope that Batista wouldn't side with Hunter.
WINNER: Triple H at 34:58.
STAR RATING: **** -- Nothing really particularly special about the match that had really high expectations, but it came through as a worthy gimmick main event match. The finish was pretty much predictable and anticlimactic if you're familiar with WWE booking over the years. While everything was well executed, it felt a bit familiar and by-the-numbers. Logical, but not novel.
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