The first WWE PPV of 2005 was a Raw branded show that took place in Puerto Rico. It was the first time a WWE PPV event took place in Puerto Rico. I liked the concept behind the show because it was on the second Sunday in January, so it felt like it was kicking off a new year in WWE.
The big story in the match is that the World Heavyweight Championship was vacated after a controversial triple threat match on Raw a few weeks earlier. They decided to settle it in the Elimination Chamber. This was shaping up to be a one match show in a lot of ways because it was really about the Chamber match and not much else to look forward to.
WWE New Year’s Revolution
Coliseo de Puerto Rico in San Juan, Puerto Rico
This show has a TV14 rating and “S” for Sexual Content. Those Elimination Chambers are sexy.
The opening video package hyped up the six men in the Elimination Chamber match for the vacant World Championship.
There was a shot of the packed house in San Juan. The crowd was loud.
The announce team of Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler welcomed us to the show. They were seated to the right of the entrance. The Spanish announcers were shown at ringside.
Christian and Tyson Tomko entered for the first match. Christian was in his “Just Close Your Eyes” theme song phase.
William Regal and Eugene were the World Tag Team Champions that got a big ovation as they entered to Eugene’s theme song. Eugene was wearing a Hulk Hogan shirt that said “Eugene” on the front.
World Tag Team Championships: William Regal & Eugene vs. Christian & Tyson Tomko
Pre-match notes: Regal and Eugene were the face champions while Christian and Tomko were the heels.
Regal started with Christian. The crowd was hot for everything even an arm drag by Regal. Eugene tagged in with a wedgie for Christian, which drew some laughs. Eugene did some running headbutts followed by the piss taunt (raise the leg like a dog) that Junkyard Dog used to do. Tomko tagged in for the heels and he choked Eugene, so Christian was happy to go back in. Eugene slid out of the ring and greeted the fans at ringside during the match. The heels went after him on the floor, so Eugene went under the ring. Eugene went back in the ring, rolled up Christian and got a two count. Airplane spin by Eugene on Christian. Tomko snuck back in the ring with a spinning slam while the ref wasn’t looking, so the heels took over. Tomko worked over Eugene a bit, Christian back in, no selling by Eugene and a back drop by Eugene on Christian. Regal and Tomko tagged in, Regal was on offense for a bit, but Tomko stopped Regal with a clothesline. Christian worked over Regal with a punch followed by an eye gouge. Regal’s nose was bleeding. Tomko got in a cheap punch that the ref didn’t see. Tomko back in and he tossed Regal across the ring. Tomko grounded Regal with a front facelock. Christian went over to Eugene and pulled him off the apron to prevent a tag when Regal broke free. There was a collision spot from Tomko and Regal, so both guys were down. Tomko with a running splash to the back of Regal while he was against the turnbuckle. Tomko missed a corner charge and Regal tagged in Eugene.
The crowd was going wild for Eugene with a clothesline on Tomko and a punch to Christian. Eugene with a dropkick on Tomko. Eugene landed hard on his left knee and was in serious pain from it. Eugene managed to hit a flatliner that JR called a takedown from Christian. Regal was down while Eugene was grabbing his left knee. There was a double clothesline by the heels to send Regal out of the ring, Christian left the ring and Eugene did the ROLLUP OF DEATH~! on Tomko while grabbing the tights for the win. It went 12:22.
Winners by pinfall: William Regal & Eugene
Analysis: **1/2 It was an average match that was hurt by the legit injury suffered by Eugene. I was entertained by it due to the hot crowd that loved Eugene’s antics. The Eugene character is one of the most in WWE history, but when it comes to his performance you have to credit Nick Dinsmore for playing the character so well. He really did a great job with it. It’s just too bad he suffered that knee injury because they probably would have gone a few more minutes and it would have helped the quality of the match.
Post match, doctors and referees went into the ring to check on Eugene while Regal was there for him as well. Eugene broke character for this because he was so concerned about his knee injury.
Analysis: Eugene suffered a ruptured left patellar ligament (broken knee cap basically) and missed about six months of action. Eugene did make an appearance at WrestleMania 21 a few months after this, but that was just for a simple angle.
There was a video of Christy Hemme earlier in the day walking around the pool in a bikini.
Christian and Tomko were shown walking backstage when Edge was standing there. As most know, Edge was the former tag team partner of Christian. Edge told Christian he had an idea that involves him. Christian told him the last time he trusted Edge, he got jumped from behind. Edge mentioned being a World Champion and told Christian to walk with him, so they could talk about it. Christian and Tomko left with Edge.
Analysis: I remember being really excited about Edge and Christian working together four years after they split as a team, but it didn’t get very far as a storyline.
There was a video package about Women’s Champion Lita and her feud with Trish Stratus. It was the story with Lita being pregnant, Trish taunted her about it, Lita lost the baby and Lita took out her frustrations on Trish. Their Survivor Series match led to Lita breaking Trish’s nose and they had a Raw Women’s Title match in the main event of Raw on December 6, 2004. It was the first women’s match to main event Raw ever. The New Year’s Revolution match was Trish’s rematch.
Analysis: I liked this feud a lot. Trish was a huge bitch to Lita and it was easy to like Lita. Their roles were well defined. It was one of the best women’s feuds ever.
Trish Stratus made her entrance. She was a heel at this point. I liked her a lot as a face for most of her career, but I think she was better as a heel and more entertaining. Going into this match, Trish was a 5-Time Women’s Champion.
Lita got a loud ovation for her entrance. JR said he prayed that Lita didn’t do any more suicide dives because of the rough landing on her neck from their Raw match in December 2004.
Women’s Championship: Lita vs. Trish Stratus
They were both aggressive early on with Lita taking down Stratus and Stratus backed off. Lita dumped Stratus out of the ring and sent her to the floor. Lita went to the apron, she ran, jumped onto Trish on the floor and Lita grabbed her left knee. She was in a lot of pain. It was obvious that it was a serious injury right away. Stratus slowly grabbed Lita and sent her back into the ring. Stratus covered for a two count as Lita kicked out. Stratus mounted her and punched her in the face repeatedly. A replay of Lita’s leap was shown, which showed the rough landing. Stratus worked over the knee of Lita. When Lita tried to punch back, Lita collapsed. The ref told Trish to get back and gave her instructions. You could tell the ref was giving Lita instructions too. Lita tried a DDT, Stratus shoved her away and Stratus hit a Chick Kick to the head for the pinfall win after 3:46 of action.
Winner by pinfall and New Women’s Champion: Trish Stratus
Analysis: 1/2* It was an unfortunate situation with Lita suffering the serious knee injury about one minute into the match. They tried to continue a bit after that, but there wasn’t much Lita could do. I’m not sure how many minutes they were going to go, but it probably would have been close to ten minutes or more than that.
Post match, Stratus was given the Women’s Championship, which began her sixth reign as the champion. Doctors went into the ring to check on Lita’s knee.
Stratus celebrated with the title. She did a good job of acting like a heel by laughing about Lita’s injury. The announcers talked about how they have already had two injuries in the first two matches of the show.
Analysis: Lita ended up having a torn ACL in her left, which typically took somebody out for 7-9 months. Lita wasn’t off TV for that long, though, because she was part of a storyline at WrestleMania, she was paired with Kane again and then she became Edge’s valet after turning on Kane and in real life she cheated on boyfriend Matt Hardy with Edge. That’s a story we’ll get into more as I get through these 2005 PPVs.
Chris Jericho was shown in the locker room getting ready for the main event.
There was a shot of Maria Kanellis in a bikini at the pool from earlier today.
Edge was shown backstage with Eric Bischoff, who was the GM of Raw. Edge pointed out that he can’t win the World Title because Shawn Michaels is the referee that will screw him. Christian showed up and Edge said Christian can take his place in the Chamber match while the winner of the Chamber match for the World Title can face Edge tomorrow on Raw. Bischoff talked about how there are 14,000 people who bought tickets and millions of viewers. Edge said he didn’t care about that. Bischoff told Edge there is no way he is making any changes to this match. Bischoff told Edge he didn’t tell him to hit Shawn Michaels with a Spear at Taboo Tuesday, so he has to deal with it. Edge left the room. Shawn Michaels was there in a referee shirt. Michaels said his responsibility was to count the pinfall or call for a submission. Michaels said Edge have his word and told him to trust him. Michaels added that if something happens, he may have to retaliate physically. Michaels said if the opportunity were to arise, he’ll enjoy counting Edge’s shoulders to the mat: “uno, dos, tres.” Michaels wished Edge good luck.
Analysis: This was when Edge was really starting to gain traction as a heel that tried to whine and manipulate his way into situations that helped him. It took a year for him to become a World Champion, but from a character standpoint he was clearly on his way there.
Intercontinental Championship: Shelton Benjamin vs. Maven
Pre-match notes: Benjamin was the face IC Champion while Maven turned heel in late 2004 by attacking Eugene.
The bell rang. Maven kept backing away like a coward. Fans chanted something in Spanish at him. Maven left the ring to continue getting heat. Maven grabbed the microphone. Maven told the ref not to start counting and he claimed he had something to say. They chanted at Maven and Maven said he didn’t know what they were saying. The ref didn’t count even though the bell rang. Maven said he’s going to talk real slow because he didn’t know if they understood English. Maven said in order for him to be the Intercontinental Champion, he needs to concentrate and he can’t do that while they are talking gibberish. Maven said something and Lawler said he told the fans to shut their mouths. Maven said he was leaving while telling Shelton he’ll wrestle him in the USA. The ref finally started counting as Maven walked towards the back and Maven got back in the ring before the ten count. Benjamin with a rollup on Maven and he won the match.
Maven did a promo about how that did not count. Maven said he wanted a rematch right now. Fans were singing the “nah nah nah hey hey goodbye” song at Maven, so Maven said that Shelton has something in common with Trish because they’ve got a title and no juevos (balls).
Benjamin went back in the ring, the ref called for the bell, Benjamin hit a T-Bone suplex and pinned Maven to win.
Winner by pinfall: Shelton Benjamin
Analysis: No point in rating this. It was just an angle to get heat on Maven as a chicken shit heel. Maven’s WWE career did not last that long after he won Tough Enough.
There was a shot from the pool earlier in the day showing Candice Michelle rubbing lotion on Christy Hemme.
Chris Benoit was shown in the locker room getting ready for the main event.
There was a clip from the previous Monday’s Raw showing Muhammad Hassan and Daivari beating up Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler.
Muhammad Hassan and Daivari were interviewed by Todd Grisham. Hassan said that Lawler and Ross will get what they deserve. It is Hassan’s first PPV match. Hassan trashed Puerto Rico complaining about how he was detained in the airport for three hours.
Analysis: Hassan debuted about one month before this. Hassan was only 23 years old at the time with a good look to him. He was really well spoken, but he was very green in the ring. He wasn’t even an Arab-American, he was an Italian American, but he looked close enough so WWE put him in this role. I will cover more of his career as I go through 2005 PPVs, but his run on the main roster lasted less than a year. Daivari is a legit Arab-American, so he did promos in English and in a foreign language (I think in farsi) to get cheap heat.
Hassan made his entrance with Daivari to boos from the crowd.
Jerry Lawler entered and Jim Ross left commentary to join Lawler.
Muhammad Hassan (w/Daivari) vs. Jerry Lawler (w/Jim Ross)
Pre-match notes: Hassan was the heel and Lawler was the face. There is no commentary on this match, which is a terrible idea.
Lawler with a body slam. Hassan came back with five body slams in a row leading to Lawler rolling to the floor. Lawler came back with a boot to the face followed by a clothesline, so Hassan bailed to the floor. Hassan with a back elbow. Hassan pulled the turnbuckle cover off, the ref tried to put it back on and Lawler got a small package for two because the ref was slow to make the cover. Hassan had a weak headlock on and all we could hear was Daivari yelling at ringside because there was a camera right by him. Hassan slapped on a Camel Clutch submission although it wasn’t on very well. Fans were chanting “boring” as Hassan hit a suplex on Lawler for two. Hassan with another rest hold using a chin lock, Lawler got back up and Hassan hit a knee to the gut for two. Hassan with a neckbreaker that didn’t look right because Lawler landed more on his side. There were more “boring” chants. Lawler no sold some Hassan punches, pulled down the strap (now it’s getting serious) and hit Hassan with some punches. Lawler with a dropkick. Lawler went to the middle rope and jumped off with the first drop for two as Hassan kicked out. Lawler hit a DDT that Hassan sold well, but they set up the obvious foot on the ropes spot when Lawler moved him towards the ropes. Lawler went after Daivari on the floor and JR teased a punch, so Daivari went into the ring. Lawler threw Daivari’s coat at him. Hassan capitalized with a flatliner and pinned Lawler to win at 10:51.
Winner by pinfall: Muhammad Hassan
Analysis: -* Awful match. That’s negative one star. The crowd was dead for all of it and Hassan’s offense was so basic. He kept going to the rest holds too much. If this was three or four minutes shorter it would have helped. The “boring” chants were well deserved. Lawler tried hard, but he was an older wrestler and not the type of guy that was needed to make Hassan look good in his PPV debut match. It was stupid of WWE to have no commentary team for the match. They should have put Eric Bischoff and Jonathon Coachman there for one match or something like that. Having no commentary on a show where every match has commentary hurts this match more than it helps.
Batista was interviewed backstage. Randy Orton showed up to ask Batista if he’s going to go after the World Title in the Elimination Chamber match or if he’s going to be Triple H’s stooge. Orton wondered if Batista would kiss Hunter's ass or kick it. Batista told Orton to worry about what he might do to him. Batista said if he has a shot to become World Heavyweight Champion he’ll take it. More staring to end it.
A WrestleMania moment clip aired of Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania 12 in 1996.
Jim Ross was back on commentary. Jonathon Coachman joined him on commentary to replace Jerry Lawler.
A video package aired to set up Kane vs. Snitsky. Kane was the babyface fighting for revenge after Snitsky killed Kane and Lita’s baby when he hit Kane in the back with a chair and Kane fell on top of Lita. That led to Snitsky’s catchphrase: “It wasn’t my fault.” Snitsky took out Kane at Taboo Tuesday a few months earlier, so this was Kane’s return.
Analysis: Kane was out for a few months to film his first movie with WWE, which was See No Evil. This storyline was good in terms of debuting Snitsky as a heel, but it doesn’t mean I was looking forward to the match. It was so weird how Kane became a face after he forced himself upon Lita in the storyline.
Snitsky entered first to boos. There was a good response for Kane.
Kane vs. Snitsky
Kane with a clothesline early on followed by a leg drop. Kane’s right boot was untied. Uppercut punch by Kane followed by a powerslam for two. Snitsky took over with two clotheslines. Snitsky pulled off the mat outside the ring to expose the concrete floor. Kane went after him, Snitsky teased a powerbomb and Kane hit a back body drop on Snitsky on the cement. Back in the ring, Kane went up top with a clothesline attempt, but Snitsky blocked it with a kick to the ribs. Snitsky with a hard whip into the turnbuckle. Snitsky pulled Kane’s back against the ring post followed by some crazy faces from Snitsky. There was a body slam from Snitsky followed by an elbow drop by Kane. Snitsky with a bearhug. Kane fought back with punches with the crowd getting into it. Snitsky blocked a Chokeslam attempt, hit a body slam, Kane sat up and Snitsky kicked him down. Kane sat up again, so Snitsky kicked him again leading to Kane sitting up for a third time leading to another Snitsky kick to the head. They left the ring with Snitsky whipping Kane into the steel steps. Snitsky grabbed a chair, but Kane kicked him before he could use it. They went back into the ring with Kane working over Snitsky with punches. Kane with a corner clothesline followed by a sidewalk slam. Kane with a boot to the face. Kane went up top with a top rope clothesline that he does in every match. Snitsky with a stun gun where he sent Kane throat first into the top rope followed by a clothesline. They battled over a Chokeslam and Snitsky bit Kane’s ear. Kane kicked Snitsky in the arm while Snitsky was going for a clothesline. Kane sat up. Kane picked up Snitsky and hit a sloppy looking Tombstone piledriver for the pinfall. That didn’t look good, but he did protect Snitsky. Kane won the match at 11:38.
Winner by pinfall: Kane
Analysis: ** It was just a decent match. Kane got revenge after Snitsky took him out for a few months. The crowd was hot for it, so that helped make up for the lack of action. The finish could have been a lot better because it came out of nowhere with Kane just hitting the Tombstone without much of a setup before it. A kick to the arm set it up? That could have been done better. It just wasn’t a very exciting match. Kane worked better against smaller opponents while Snitsky was not known for having good matches.
There was a commercial for the Rise and Fall of ECW DVD. That DVD sold well, which is what set up the One Night Stand 2005 PPV and the ECW brand relaunching in 2006.
Jerry Lawler was back on commentary in his ring gear.
There was a shot from earlier in the day of Stacy Keibler, Maria Kanellis, Christy Hemme, Candice Michelle in their bikinis at the pool. Simon Dean showed up. Some random guy was standing by the pool, so Dean pushed him in. Wrestlers like Val Venis, Rob Conway, Rosey and Hurricane put the four girls on their shoulders for a chicken fight where you win by pushing the girls off the shoulders. Christy got the win.
Analysis: It was just a waste of time. At least the girls are pretty. I don’t have much more in terms of analysis.
A video package aired to set up the Elimination Chamber match in the main event. I wrote about this in February when I wrote about every Elimination Chamber match.
There was a match on the 11/29/04 edition of Raw between World Champion Triple H, Chris Benoit and Edge. Randy Orton took out Triple H with a chair attack, which led to an ending where Edge pinned Chris Benoit while Benoit had Edge in a submission hold, so two referees saw it differently and it was a pinfall/submission at the same time. Vince McMahon said the World Title would be vacated, much to the dismay of Triple H. That meant the World Heavyweight Title was vacated with the winner of the match becoming the new champion. The six men in the Elimination Chamber match had singles matches and Batista won his match the fastest, which meant that Batista got to enter the Chamber last out of the six men. That led to some friction between Batista and Triple H with Batista telling Triple H that he was pissing off Batista. Shawn Michaels was announced as the special referee. He was out for a few months due to a knee injury.
The Chamber was lowered around the ring.
Triple H and Ric Flair talked to Batista in the locker room. Triple H got mad at Batista for thinking that he was going to win the match for himself. Batista said first and foremost, he’s a member of Evolution, so they will watch each other’s backs. Batista said if Triple H is eliminated before Batista gets in the match, nothing is going to stop Batista from getting that title.
Eric Bischoff, the General Manager of Raw, walked out with the World Heavyweight Title for a promo.
Shawn Michaels entered first as the special guest referee for the match. Big ovation for him.
Edge made his entrance and was mad about Shawn Michaels being the referee. Edge entered one of the chambers. Triple H, the former World Champion, was up next with Ric Flair by his side. Fans cheered him even though he’s a heel.
Randy Orton got a nice response since he was in his babyface days. I miss the “hey nothing you can say” song. The current song is fine, but I always liked this song. Orton yelled at Triple H, who was in one of the chambers. Orton was only 24 years old at the time. Batista was up next and he got a good reaction because he was a star on the rise. We knew he was #6 to enter the match.
Chris Jericho made his entrance. He was also in the first two Chamber matches along with Triple H. Chris Benoit was the last man to enter the match. Jericho and Benoit each good reactions from the crowd.
Elimination Chamber Match for the World Heavyweight Championship – Triple H (w/Ric Flair) vs. Edge vs. Batista vs. Chris Benoit vs. Randy Orton vs. Chris Jericho – Shawn Michaels is the referee
Pre-match notes: Triple H was the main heel. Batista was a heel that was still aligned with Triple H in the Evolution group and Edge was a heel too. The faces were Orton, Benoit and Jericho.
The announcers for the match are Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler and Jonathon Coachman.
Jericho and Benoit started the match, which made sense since they were the two best in-ring performers in the match. Benoit crushed Jericho with chops, which drew a big reaction and a running forearm by Benoit. Jericho came back with chops of his own. Benoit tried for a Sharpshooter early on, but Jericho rolled out of it and Benoit nailed Jericho with a German Suplex. Jericho went for the Walls of Jericho, but Benoit fought out of it. Jericho with a clothesline followed by a back suplex for two. Fans chanted “HBK” for Michaels. They battled on the top rope with Benoit nailing a superplex. The clock counted down for the third man in the match after five minutes of action.
It’s Triple H at #3 as he entered with punches for Benoit followed by a hard whip into the turnbuckle and a running high knee on Jericho. Triple H with a hard whip that sent Benoit sternum first into the turnbuckle. Jericho with some chops on Hunter, but Hunter came back with a clothesline. Triple H tossed Benoit onto the steel outside the ring followed by a face first whip into the cage. Hunter tossed Benoit onto the steel outside the ring. Benoit was busted open after a blade job, so Hunter worked him over with punches. Hunter whipped Benoit into the cage again for a two count. Jericho back in with a forearm to Triple H. Jericho with a back body drop on Triple H that sent Triple H back first onto the steel outside the ring. Jericho slammed Triple H onto the steel again. Jericho suplexed Hunter back in the ring for a two count. Benoit decked Jericho with a hard chop. Neckbreaker by Benoit on Jericho as the clock counted down for the next man.
Edge is the #4 entrant in the match. Edge with shoulder tackles against the turnbuckle for Jericho, Triple H and an Edgecution DDT on Hunter got a two count. Edge with a belly to belly suplex on Benoit. Edge with a back body drop on Hunter and Jericho nailed a dropkick on Edge. Springboard dropkick by Jericho on Edge on the steel. Edge with a catapult that sent Jericho into the cage. Edge also did a catapult that sent Triple H into the cage. Edge clothesline off the top onto Benoit for a two count. Jericho did a blade job and so did Triple H. That’s three out of the four men in the match. Jericho back in the ring with an enziguri on Edge for a two count. Hunter back with a spinebuster on Jericho for two. Hunter was bleeding by the nose, so not a typical blade job from the forehead. Benoit with a Northern Lights Suplex on Edge got a two count. Triple H with a Pedigree on Jericho, but he was too hurt to cover him. The clock counted down for the next man in the match.
It’s Randy Orton at #5 to a good reaction. Orton sent Edge back first into the cage and Orton up top with a cross body block on Hunter. Orton sent Hunter over the top to send him onto the cage and Orton sent Hunter into the cage. Orton continued to work over Triple H by sending him into the cage and then back in the ring with a powerslam. Orton with a RKO on Jericho. Benoit blocked a RKO attempt and Benoit slapped on the Crippler Crossface although it was more of an aggressive choke. Benoit tripped up Triple H and slapped on a Sharpshooter with the crowd going wild for it. Orton broke that up with a RKO on Benoit. Coach pointed out that Orton inadvertently saved Triple H. Edge wanted a Spear, Orton ducked and Edge nailed Michaels with a Spear instead. Edge ran the ropes and hit a Spear on Orton, but Michaels was too hurt to count. Edge helped Michaels up, he slapped him in the face and Michaels hit a superkick on Edge. Jericho with a Lionsault on Edge and Michaels counted the pin that was a three count. The crowd popped huge for it.
Edge eliminated by Chris Jericho
Analysis: That whole sequence was well done with the accidental Spear, then Edge had a pin on Orton, but no ref and Michaels got his revenge on him. It worked because Edge had issues with Michaels as well.
Benoit nailed Triple H with three German Suplexes. Benoit climbed up one of the pods. Benoit jumped off and nailed a headbutt onto Triple H. Jericho slapped n the Walls of Jericho n Triple H and Benoit slapped on the Crippler Crossface at the same time as the last chamber opened.
Batista entered as the #6 and final man in the match to take care of Benoit and Jericho from the double submission attempt. Batista with a shoulder tackle on Benoit. Batista tossed Jericho and Benoit over the top onto the steel outside the ring. Batista hit a Spinebuster on Orton. Batista had a long staredown with Triple H, who was now bleeding from the forehead as well as the nose. Batista with a double clothesline on Benoit and Orton. Batista tossed Jericho onto a cameraman that was inside the chamber. Powerslam by Batista on Benoit. Batista choked Orton, so Benoit hit a chop block to the back of the leg of Batista. The door of the chamber opened up to get the injured camera man out of the chamber. Triple H sent Orton into the cage and Jericho hit a bulldog on Triple H on the steel grating. Benoit escaped a slam and shoved Batista into the cage. Triple H stumbled into the ring did a face first Flair style bump, which drew some laughs. Batista nailed a huge spinebuster on Benoit and a Batista spinebuster on Benoit led to Batista pinning Benoit to eliminate him.
Chris Benoit eliminated by Batista
The crowd was chanting for Batista and Ross said if Batista doesn’t win the title here then he’ll be shocked. Jericho caught Batista and hit a front forward slam. Batista hit a Batista Bomb on Jericho. Batista covered Jericho and pinned him to eliminate him.
Chris Jericho eliminated by Batista
Triple H gave Batista the “thumbs up” hand gesture and Orton gave Triple H a back body drop onto the steel. Triple H with a catapult that sent Orton into the cage. Orton was a bloody mess, so that’s four guys in the match were bloody. You could see Orton doing the blade while Triple H was sending him into the cage. Triple H and Orton worked over Orton in the ring. Batista hit a powerslam on Orton for a two count. Triple H hit a spinebuster on Orton for a two count. Triple H set up Orton and hit a running clothesline for a two count.
Orton fought back against the double teams with punches for both guys. Orton went for a RKO on Triple H, but Triple H shoved him into Batista and Orton countered a Powerbomb attempt with a low blow. Orton hit Batista with a RKO. Some fans booed that and others cheered.
Batista eliminated by Randy Orton
Analysis: The key thing was that while Orton did the pin, Triple H stood up and made no attempt to save Batista. Great job by WWE shooting that from an angle where you can see Triple H made no effort to save his ally Batista.
Triple H punched Orton from behind. Triple H tossed Orton over the top rope onto the steel outside the ring. Orton sent Triple H into the cage three times in a row until Triple H stumbled back into the ring. Orton hit a RKO on a stumbling Triple H. Batista tried to save Triple H, but Michaels prevented him, Flair went in, Michaels punched him and Batista nailed Orton with a clothesline. Orton was selling like he was out of it. Triple H was also exhausted, he picked up Orton and Triple H hit the Pedigree for the pinfall win at 35:02.
Randy Orton eliminated by Triple H
Winner and New World Heavyweight Champion: Triple H
Analysis: **** It’s a great match at four stars out of five with an interesting story where Triple H benefited from Batista’s help, but when Batista needed help, Triple H was not willing to do it. That played into their friendship ending over the course of the next month. The reason the story worked so well is because Batista was this midcard heel prior to this, but this match really elevated him due to his dominance and then the way Triple H screwed him over by not helping him. It is one of the better main event storylines that WWE did in the 2000s, that’s for sure. I also liked the angle where Edge got eliminated because he got involved with Michaels because it worked due to their history with eachother. Jericho and Benoit were in there to be the workhorses in the match with each man lasting over 25 minutes, but nobody expected them to win. Orton did a good job although you could tell his face run was dying. That’s why they moved him to Smackdown and he turned heel.
After the match was over, Triple H celebrated the World Title win with Flair and Batista. JR was yelling about how Triple H won because of Batista, which was true. Triple H hugged the World Title in his arms. It was the 10th reign of Triple H as World Heavyweight Champion.
Replays aired of the last eliminations with Triple H not helping Batista after the RKO. It showed Batista helping Triple H with the cheap clothesline to set up the Pedigree.
Triple H got a hug from Batista in the ring and they pose along with the World Title for another successful night from Evolution.
Analysis: The story continued from here with Batista winning the Royal Rumble a few weeks later. Triple H tried to keep abusing his power, but Batista got sick of Triple H and Flair using him, so Batista did the famous thumbs down scene where he made it clear he was going to face Triple H at WrestleMania 21. That’s where Batista became the World Heavyweight Champion for the first time.
This event has a run time of 2 hours, 33 minutes on WWE Network.
Analysis: That is shorter than normal. I’m not sure if they edited out a few minutes of content or if it just ended earlier due to the knee injuries to Eugene and Lita cutting their matches short.
Show Rating (out of 10): 4
It's a one match show. The main event was a four-star match that helped the event go from being one of the worst shows ever to something that was decent because of how good the main event was. I had forgotten how bad the rest of the show was. It was also a bit of a cursed show since Eugene and Lita suffered major knee injuries in the first two matches.
Best Match: Elimination Chamber match won by Triple H (**** out of 5)
Worst Match: Muhammad Hassan vs. Jerry Lawler (-*)
1. Triple H
3. Randy Orton
4. Chris Jericho
5. (tie) Edge
5. (tie) Chris Benoit
Next up: Royal Rumble 2005. Don’t tear a quad getting excited about it.
Thanks for reading.
John Canton – firstname.lastname@example.org
Check out my other retro WWE PPV reviews here as well.