The latest WWE Raw presentation of New Year's Revolution took place on January 8th in Albany, New York. The event runs
2 hours and 41 minutes, and contains a few surprises; some good, and some bad.
With my past WWE reviews, i've tried to be as non-specific about the outcomes as
I possibly could be. However, as evidenced by the whole Matt Hardy/Edge/Lita
internet saga, i've come to the conclusion that anyone who has anything
resembling an interest in the DVD (or, for that matter, the WWE) already knows
the outcome of the event. So, please be warned, while I might not come right out
and announce the winner of every single match, there's a possibility that it
could happen. Without further ado, here's the card:
Shelton Benjamin's Mama In Catering
- When I first read spoilers on the internet talking about Shelton getting a "mama", I
admit that my eyes rolled pretty far back in my head. However, Thea Vidale
has changed my mind about the character and she's not as annoying as I
assumed she'd be. It's a shame Vince didn't have Thea wrestle Viscera.
- Intercontinental Championship [Ric
Flair vs. Edge]
- There's going to be something wrong with the PPV you're watching if Ric Flair is the first match.
As i've stated in past reviews, he's a legend in the industry that can still
put on a great show. While I
realize it's a part of the script, Lita's interference stopped this from
being a better match than it could've been. However, Ric pulled off one of
the greatest figure fours that I have ever seen. Watch it and see. All of the Flair classics are
here: the Flair flop, the Flair chop and the Crimson Mask. Oh yeah, Edge
is wrestling too.
- Todd Grisham Interviews Kurt Angle And
- This is the interlude where Vince finally acknowledges that, unfortunately
for the WWE writers, no matter how many derogatory things they make Kurt say
or do in their effort to put Cena over, nothing short
of decapitating small puppies and drinking their blood on live television
will make the fans stop cheering for Kurt Angle.
- Women's Championship [Trish
Stratus vs. Mickie James]
- Mickie is a fairly recent acquisition to the WWE. On the one hand, this is
a good thing - since the mass firing after the last "Diva Search", Trish
really hasn't had an opponent that possessed any wrestling skills (other
than the woefully underutilized Victoria). On the other hand, they've
saddled Mickie with a recycled storyline where she's an overzealous admirer
of Trish's and taking on all of the same divas that can't wrestle. Now that
they're finally facing each other, this match starts out good, but towards the end
there are some botched spots that had me wondering when it would be over.
I've read that Mickie was a pretty good wrestler when she was known as
Alexis Laree, lets hope that this storyline soon comes to an end and we
could see Trish and Mickie (with Victoria thrown in for good measure) square
off more often.
- Maria Attempts To Interview
Herself/Shelton Benjamin Arrives With His Mama
- Jerry "the King" Lawler vs. Gregory
- This was the first "filler" match of the evening. After ditching his
partner Rosey (and his "Hurricane" gimmick), Gregory Helms, takes on "the
King" in this boring match. Greg's not a bad wrestler, but in light of
what was to happen at the Royal Rumble, the outcome of this match makes
absolutely no sense. Not that wrestling is supposed to make sense, right?
Big Show vs. Triple H
- Show attempts some payback after HHH injured his "showstopper" hand with a
sledgehammer on a previous edition of Raw. Unfortunately, HHH didn't realize
that he'd be responsible for giving Show a weapon that could be the
difference maker. Both wrestlers seemed as if they were just going through
the paces during this match and it really didn't hold my interest.
Carlito Strategizes With Chris Masters
Shelton Benjamin vs. Viscera
- Well, at least Shelton isn't jobbing anymore. Then again, the cost of
winning this match was to let Viscera dry hump him. Was it worth it Shelton?
Mr. McMahon Wishes Shawn Michaels Luck
In the Elimination Chamber
First-Ever Bra & Panties Gauntlet Match [Ashley
vs. Maria vs. Candice Michelle vs. Torrie Wilson vs. Victoria]
- After watching this match, I have come to the conclusion that Victoria has
pissed off SOMEONE in the front office. Since my expectations for this match
weren't that great, it didn't disappoint. In fact, it was slightly better
than I thought. The "rules" of the match state that once a "wrestler" is
stripped down to her bra and panties, she's out and the next participant
heads down to the ring. Maria and Candice start the match, followed by
Torrie, Victoria and Ashley. Maria comes close to pulling off a Shawn
Michaels-esque upset and I almost found myself rooting for her (I know she
can't wrestle, but I DO like looking at her). While Torrie didn't bother me
as much as she usually does and Victoria looked as great as always,
Candice's "wrestling" is as annoying as her voice. I won't spoil
the entire match for you, but I will tell you that Mae Young and the Fabulous Moohlah make
a ...memorable... appearance.
Elimination Chamber Match For the WWE
Championship [John Cena vs. Kurt
Angle vs. Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Masters vs. Carlito vs. Kane]
- Having seen all of the "Elimination Chamber" matches thus far, I have to
say that this one was the least impressive. Not that I found the concept to
be tired, it's not, I just don't think that Masters, Carlito or Cena should've been
anywhere near the Chamber - let alone inside of it. Also, with both
Kane and Angle wrestling with injuries (both known and/or speculated), they most
definitely didn't bring their "A" games. That left Shawn Michaels to carry
this match. As usual, he did his best effort to put on one hell of a show.
The crowd in Albany were definitely anti-Cena and it was pretty damn funny
listening to as they cheered
ANYONE that slammed, punched, kicked or inflicted any sort of pain to him -
the ending all the more satisfying, i'm sure.
WWE Championship [John
Cena vs. Edge]
- Edge finally turns in that damn briefcase he's been using to smack
everyone around. I have to admit that I don't care for either wrestler that
much, but damn if I wasn't satisfied with the outcome of this match.
In addition to the card above, we're treated to
four brief "bonuses":
- Mickie James Approaches Trish Stratus
Leaving the Arena
- Kurt Angle And Daivari React To the
Finish Of the Elimination Chamber Match
- Carlito Reacts To the Finish Of the
Elimination Chamber Match
- Todd Grisham Interviews Edge And Lita
- Edge discusses his post-show party plans. I'm surprised the following
night's Raw wasn't included as an extra. Then again, Vince has become QUITE
cheap when it comes to extras.
New Year's Revolution's picture was colorful and vibrant. Unlike some
of the recent
DVD releases, this one had hardly any compression issues. Perhaps it's due
to the fact that there wasn't too many pyro or graphic elements used. It's presented in the WWE's standard full frame 1.33:1 ratio.
Audio: The Dolby Digital 5.1 sound
was crystal clear and enveloped my living room while I was watching it.
Viewers are also given the option of watching the disc in Spanish.
Conclusion: Compared to last year's event, New Year's Revolution
2006 was a letdown. I'm an easy mark for the Elimination Chamber, but the
participants (sans Michaels) really didn't deliver as much as they could.
While I expect that much from Kane, Carlito and Masters, I was shocked (and
disappointed) at Angle's performance. As
for the rest of the card, there were ridiculous outcomes for some matches
(Helms/Lawler), painful things on display (Bra & Panties Gauntlet) and one
truly shocking moment (the post-Elimination Chamber outcome). All-in-all, it
was a typical WWE Smackdown! PPV. Oh wait, this was a Raw presentation? 'Nuff
Said. Rent It.