It’s time to go back to 2007 for the first PPV of that year, New Year’s Revolution presented by the Raw brand. This was the third year where WWE used the New Year’s Revolution. It was also the last time WWE used the name.
What I remember most about this show was that for whatever reason, WWE thought it was a good idea to bring Kevin Federline in (the former husband of Britney Spears) and have him feud with John Cena. Federline even pinned Cena on Raw six days before this show thanks to help from Umaga. The end of that show saw Cena give Federline the FU, so he got his revenge. On the plus side, they did push a new heel against Cena because Umaga got to main event New Year’s Revolution and Royal Rumble against Cena.
This show was also famous for Triple H suffering a torn quadriceps injury for the second time in his career. He went on to return at SummerSlam, so it was nearly eight months out of action for him. I’ll cover that more when we get to the match.
New Year's Revolution did 220,000 buys on pay-per-view, which was not a good number. It did beat a few PPVs that year, but it wasn't a big number by any means. Perhaps that low number is why WWE felt like they should just stop doing this PPV.
WWE New Year’s Revolution
January 7, 2007
From Kemper Memorial Arena in Kansas City, Missouri
There was an impressive pyro display to start the show, the crowd was loud and it looked mostly like a full house. Jim Ross and Jerry “The King” Lawler welcomed us to the show as the Raw announce team at ringside. The steel cage lowered for the first match.
The opening video package aired while they were setting up the steel cage, which was a smart way to start the show. They focused on the DX vs. Rated RKO and Cena vs. Umaga matches.
Johnny Nitro made his entrance along with the lovely Melina. Ross and Lawler were shown on camera welcoming us to the show. Ross pointed out that Nitro was a two-time IC Champion that lost the title both times to Jeff Hardy. Good pop for Jeff Hardy, who was the IC Champion for the third time in his career.
Steel Cage Match for the Intercontinental Championship: Jeff Hardy vs. Johnny Nitro (w/Melina)
Pre-match notes: Hardy was the babyface Intercontinental Champion while Nitro was the heel challenger. I’ll try not to write Morrison for Nitro.
The match can be won by pinfall, submission or escaping the cage by going over the top or walk out the door.
They got into a slugfest early and then Hardy whipped Nitro into the turnbuckle. Hardy did the ten punches against the turnbuckle followed by a corner dropkick for two. Nitro with a front slam and then Hardy came back with a front suplex. Hardy missed a corner charge, so Nitro followed up with a springboard kick off the ropes. Hardy with a Slingblade neckbreaker, which was not called that yet, but we see it in WWE all the time now. Mule kick by Hardy knocked Nitro down. Hardy went up top to try to climb, but Nitro hit a dropkick and a neckbreaker on the top rope. Melina did a loud scream to piss off the fans. Nitro with running knee attacks that drove Hardy back first into the cage. Both guys were on the top rope, so Hardy hit a dropkick that knocked both guys down. Hardy was whipped into the turnbuckle, so he climbed up the cage and Nitro stopped him. Nitro gave Hardy a belly to back suplex off the top rope that sent them back into the ring. Nitro charged so Hardy launched him into the steel beam part of the cage. Each guy climbed to the top rope where Jeff brought Nitro down with a side Russian legsweep off the top. They went up to the corner of the cage, Jeff was standing on the top and Nitro hit a sunset flip into a Powerbomb that sent Hardy hard into the mat. That was an impressive spot.
Nitro climbed up the cage, but Hardy stopped him with punches. Nitro put his feet into some of the holes in the top of the cage, which was ridiculous to do. Nitro pulled himself up to free himself and went back into the ring. Melina used a belt to hit Hardy while he was trying to climb. Nitro went up top and hit a missile dropkick on Hardy. Nitro with a neckbreaker. Nitro, who was by the door, went up top, jumped off and Hardy caught him with a front powerslam. Hardy, who was also by the door, went up top and hit a Swanton Bomb on Nitro. Hardy with a slow cover for a two count because Nitro got his foot on the bottom rope. Hardy with a back body drop. Nitro managed to climb up the side of the cage, but Hardy brought him back in and tried a Twist of Fate on the top, but Nitro blocked it, which sent Hardy crashing to the mat. Nitro did another slow climb up the cage, Melina tried to block the door, but Mike Chioda moved Melina out of the way. Nitro was on the outside of the cage, right by the top of the door and Hardy kicked the door, so Nitro was crotched on the top of the door! That was creative. Anyway, Hardy crawled out of the door and landed on the floor to win the match at 14:50.
Winner: Jeff Hardy
Analysis: ***1/4 It was a pretty good cage match. There are always logic holes in WWE cage matches because climbing out of the cage never makes sense when you can just go out the door, but you have to suspend disbelief a bit. It’s just weird that they didn’t try to use the door until the finish. They could have built up that final spot better. I liked some of the big spots they did like the sunset flip Powerbomb and the finishing sequence was unique. The crowd was into the match and reacted well to Hardy winning the match.
The Rated RKO duo of Edge and Randy Orton, who were the World Tag Team Champions, were interviewed by Todd Grisham. Edge said they formed as a team because they wanted to take DX out. Edge ripped on the McMahons and Big Show for not being able to take out DX. Edge said that DX’s run is over. Orton talked about the violent attacks they have done against DX while saying they are fighting for their livelihoods and their future. Edge said that DX’s run was fun while it lasted and they sold a lot of t-shirts, but tonight they put a painful and definitive end to DX.
Analysis: That final statement ended up being true due to the injury that Triple H would suffer. It was the end of DX for about three years or so.
Next up was the Tag Team Turmoil (or Gauntlet) match. The winners get a shot at the World Tag Team Titles. The announcers called it a bonus match, so it wasn’t advertised before the show.
Tag Team Turmoil #1: World’s Greatest Tag Team (Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin) vs. The Highlanders (Robbie and Rory McAlister)
The Highlanders hit a double team suplex on Haas, then Rory with a trip and Robbie with an elbow drop. Rory sent Haas into the turnbuckle, Benjamin pulled Haas out of the corner and Haas hit a clothesline on Rory. Benjamin ran the ropes leading to the double team splash to the back. Benjamin gave Rory a body slam onto Haas’ knee for a two count. Benjamin with a jumping knee to the back of Rory. Benjamin scooped up Rory, who landed on top for two and Rory got an inside cradle for two. Benjamin took down Rory, but then Rory broke free and Robbie got the tag. Robbie with body slams on both guys, then dropkicks on both guys and a clothesline on Benjamin over the top to the floor. Robbie with a belly to back suplex on Haas. Rory wanted to slam Robbie off the top, but Haas moved and Benjamin went up top and hit a superplex on Robbie for the pinfall win.
The Highlanders are eliminated
Tag Team Turmoil #2: World’s Greatest Tag Team (Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin) vs. “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan and Super Crazy
The fans loved Duggan with the “HOOOOOO” chants as Duggan hit a clothesline on Benjamin, but Haas hit a knee to the back. Benjamin with a running knee to the face of Duggan. Haas with shoulder tackles on Duggan followed by Benjamin choking Duggan with the tag rope. Duggan fought back with a running clothesline on Haas. Crazy got the tag with two dropkicks on Haas, a snapmare and a running dropkick. Crazy with a standing moonsault. Benjamin with a punch to the face of Crazy, who didn’t see it coming and Haas with a bridging German Suplex on Crazy to pin him.
Jim Duggan and Super Crazy are eliminated
Tag Team Turmoil #3: World’s Greatest Tag Team (Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin) vs. Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch
Cade and Murdoch attacked as soon as they got down to the ring. Cade worked over Benjamin as JR put over Cade’s physique because Cade looked more muscular (or at least thicker in his upper body) than ever at this point in his career. Cade held Benjamin leading to a running boot to the face by Murdoch. After Murdoch slapped on an armbar, Cade tagged in and hit a neckbreaker. Murdoch back in as Cade lifted him with Murdoch hitting a leg drop on Benjamin. Benjamin countered a suplex with a neckbreaker on Murdoch. Haas with a back body drop, a dropkick and an overhead suplex on Cade. Haas went up top with a missile dropkick on Murdoch. The referee tried to get Benjamin out of the ring, so Cade jumped off the top with a poor looking elbow on Haas and Murdoch covered for the win.
Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin are eliminated
Tag Team Turmoil #4: Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch vs. Cryme Tyme (Shad Gaspard and JTG)
Cryme Tyme got a decent pop as a face team. They are the final two teams. Gaspard with body slams for both guys and then JTG hit a splash on Cade for a two count. The heels took over with Murdoch hitting a clothesline on JTG, then JTG with backslide pin attempt and Cade came back with a hard clothesline on JTG while Murdoch hit the leg of JTG for a high/low combo. Cade with forearms across the back of JTG. Murdoch with a running back elbow on JTG and Cade worked over JTG some more including a punch to the face. They did a spot where JTG got cradle on Murdoch, but Cade distracted the referee to prevent a count. Cade and Murdoch with some quick tags, Murdoch took too long on the middle ropes and JTG hit him with a boot to the face. Cade got the tag, he knocked Gaspard off the apron and JTG fought off a suplex leading to Gaspard getting the tag. Gaspard with a double clothesline, then punches for both guys, a running clothesline and then Cade hit a back elbow followed by a Murdoch clothesline. JTG tripped up Murdoch and pulled him out of the ring. Gaspard held up Cade on his shoulders leading to a neckbreaker from JTG for the double team finish and Shad covered Cade for the pinfall win. The whole thing went 19:03
Winners: Cryme Tyme (Shad Gaspard and JTG)
Analysis: **1/4 The whole match was okay with the babyface Cryme Tyme team finding a way to win the match. I thought Benjamin and Haas were the most impressive team while some of the others were not that interesting to watch. Cryme Tyme was a popular act although they never did win the Tag Team Titles in WWE.
Vince McMahon was in the locker room with Jonathon Coachman while talking about the problems in the world. Vince spoke about “my good friend” Donald Trump and Rosie O’Donnell arguing. Vince mentioned their trash talk, Coach said it’s almost something coming out of WWE and Vince said they should resolve this with physical abuse. Vince claimed that’s the way everything should be resolved. Vince said “Donald Trump vs. Rosie O’Donnell” on Raw and Coach said it was brilliant. Vince said he’ll make it happen while talking about the publicity and the television ratings. Coach talked about how Vince said “you’re fired” better than anybody else, Vince was annoyed with him and he left. Ron Simmons showed up to deliver a “DAMN” to him.
Analysis: The Raw match that saw Trump face Rosie was a terrible match featuring bad actors impersonating the two celebrities. It was very forgettable.
Kenny Dykstra made his entrance in a robe to mock Ric Flair. This was after Kenny’s run with the Spirit Squad group. A clip aired from the previous Raw when Randy Orton and Edge beat up Ric Flair with an RKO along with the Conchairto. Dykstra said that Flair is still recovering, then he mocked him for it and said as somebody 37 years younger, he would still beat Flair anyway. Dykstra said he’ll beat Flair, he’ll make his mark and then all you people will show him the respect that he deserves.
Ric Flair got a big pop from the crowd for his entrance. JR noted that Flair won four of his 16 World Titles before Kenny was born.
Ric Flair vs. Kenny Dykstra
Pre-match notes: Flair was the face while Dykstra was the heel. There’s a big age difference because Flair was 57 and Dykstra was 20.
Dykstra hit a running shoulder tackle followed by a Flair strut and Dykstra hit a dropkick for two. Flair got some offense going with chops to the chest, a whip into the corner and a back body drop. Flair with a back elbow followed by a chop that sent Kenny over the top to the floor, so credit Kenny for the good bump there. Dykstra pulled Flair out of the ring leading to Dykstra hitting a suplex on the floor. Back in the ring, Dykstra with another suplex for two. Dykstra slapped on the Boston Crab submission although the form with which it was applied wasn’t that great. This hold was on too long and since it wasn’t applied well, it was hard to believe it might be the finish as Flair got to the ropes to break the hold. Flair came back with hard chops to the chest, but Dykstra hit him with punches to knock Flair down. Flair got an inside cradle for two leading to more chops to the chest. Flair worked over Dykstra with chops, then a back elbow and Flair went up top. Dykstra slammed him off the top, which was the norm for a Flair match since that was a typical Flair bump. Dykstra with a missile dropkick off the ropes for two. Flair with a thumb to the eye followed by a chop block to the back of the left leg and another chop block to the lower leg. Flair slapped on the Figure Four Leglock in the middle of the ring as the fans popped huge for it while wanting Dykstra to tap out. The fans really got into it at this point. Flair was aggressive with punches and chops against the ropes, the referee pulled him back, Dykstra with a low blow punch and then an inside cradle for Dykstra got the pinfall win at 10:02.
Winner by pinfall: Kenny Dykstra
Analysis: **1/2 The match was just average with the younger guy Dykstra picking up the win as you might expect in a matchup like this. It was standard stuff with the heel Dykstra controlling most of it, Flair coming back with the crowd getting into it and Kenny cheating to win. That Boston Crab spot didn’t work because Kenny didn’t apply the move well.
Post match, Dykstra celebrated the win while selling the knee injury with the referee helping him to the back. JR complained about Dykstra beating Flair three times in a row.
Analysis: Dykstra was a guy that probably should have been a huge star in WWE, but it didn’t happen. He was gone within a few years even as a taller guy in his early-20s. I think there were backstage issues, but also WWE may have felt like he didn’t have the personality to be a big star. They brought him back with Mikey of the Spirit Squad for a short run a few years ago, but it wasn’t that long.
Johnny Nitro was in the trainer’s room with tape on his shoulder as Melina checked on him. Nitro told her to call Joey Mercury and tell him the Hardys will pay for what they’ve done.
Melina walked down the hall where Victoria walked up to her holding her checklist of Divas names on it. Victoria said she has every name marked off, but she didn’t have Melina’s name on there. Victoria said that they can be a team that can work together and take over the women’s division. Victoria told Melina if she helps her win the Women’s Title, she can get the first title shot and told Melina she can be champion.
A video aired showing highlights of Victoria beating up different Raw women over the last six weeks with victories over Candice Michelle, Maria and Torrie Wilson. Three weeks earlier, Victoria beat champion Mickie James in a non-title match.
Victoria made her entrance with her checklist in her hand that had all the names of the women she beat. Victoria left the list on the announcer’s table. Mickie James made her entrance as the Women’s Champion.
Women’s Championship: Mickie James vs. Victoria
Pre-match notes: Mickie was the babyface champion while Victoria was the heel. Mickie won the title at Survivor Series 2006 (when Lita retired), so it was less than two months into her reign as champion.
Victoria with a shove to start, James with an arm drag and Victoria hit a shoulder tackle. James tripped her up leading to two arm drags and a dropkick for two. Victoria with a corner whip, James tried a headscissors, Victoria sent her to the apron and Victoria kicked James off the apron to the floor. Victoria sent James face first into the top of the barricade. Back in the ring, Victoria yelled at Lilian Garcia for some reason and James got an inside cradle for two. Victoria with a kick to the head followed by some choking against the ropes. Victoria did a hair pull toss across the ring for two. Victoria missed a moonsault off the middle ropes when James moved. James came back with punches, a clothesline, a back elbow, a chop, more punches and a right-handed punch to the jaw for two. James with a back elbow followed by a headscissors out of the corner. Victoria was on the apron, so James punched her to knock her down. Melina went down to the ring, James punched her and James sent Victoria back in the ring. James with a clothesline on Victoria. Melina grabbed Mickie’s feet, the referee saw it, did nothing and Mickie countered a Victoria move into a sunset flip for two. Maria and Candice were at ringside to stop Melina from interfering again. Victoria went for a slam off the shoulders, but Mickie spun around and hit a tornado DDT like a MickieDT and James covered Victoria for the pinfall win at 6:50.
Winner by pinfall: Mickie James
Analysis: ** The match was just okay. It wasn’t like a typical match where you would think that Victoria would control most of it. It was more of an even matchup with James getting plenty of offense. I thought the spot with Melina trying to cheat for Victoria could have been executed better. It just looked sloppy. The spinning DDT that Mickie used to win looked great.
Post match, James got hugs from Maria, Candice and Lilian for the victory. Melina helped Victoria back to her feet.
Analysis: It was Melina who won the title from James on the February 19, 2017, episode Raw.
A video package aired to set up the World Tag Team Championship match with Edge and Randy Orton aka Rated RKO against Degeneration X’s Shawn Michaels and Triple H. The feud started when Edge and Orton beat up and bloodied Ric Flair while also giving him multiple Conchairtos. Edge and Orton continued the vicious chair attacks on Hunter and Shawn in the weeks that followed.
The Degeneration DX duo of Triple H and Shawn Michaels made their entrance and got a pretty good pop, as usual. They did their usual promo to hype up the crowd. Edge and Randy Orton entered as the World Tag Team Champions.
Hunter and Shawn went after Edge and Orton in the aisle before the bell rang. Hunter gave Edge a suplex on the floor outside the ring. Hunter gave Edge a back body drop on the ramp while Michaels sent Orton into the steel steps. Hunter was grating Edge’s head against the bottom of the ramp. Edge was sent into the ring to begin the match.
Analysis: It was a good way to start things because it showed that Hunter and Shawn wanted to get revenge for all of the attacks against them.
World Tag Team Championships: Edge and Randy Orton vs. Degeneration X (Triple H and Shawn Michaels)
Pre-match notes: Edge and Orton were the heel champions while DX were the faces.
Hunter worked over Edge by gouging his eyes. Hunter sent Edge into the turnbuckle followed by a clothesline. Michaels with a chop to Edge’s chest, but when Michaels tried a corner charge, Edge moved and Michaels hit the turnbuckle. Orton tagged in, Michaels knocked him down followed by two kicks. Hunter back in with punches followed by a knee drop and elbow strikes while on the apron. Michaels hit a leg drop on Orton on the apron. Michaels was working over Orton with some eye-gouging while Orton was bleeding above the nose. I don’t think it was a blade job – some move must have cut him open and Triple H punched Orton repeatedly in the head. The announcers thought the Michaels leg drop caused it and that’s probably right. Edge got a cheap shot knee to the back of Hunter, Orton back in and Edge hit a chop block to the back of the left knee that the referee never saw. The heels were in control as Edge tagged in with punches to Hunter’s knee. Edge continued the attack on Hunter’s left knee, but Hunter came back with a kick to the butt that sent Edge shoulder first into the ring post. Michaels tagged back in with a flying forearm, an atomic drop and punches for both opponents. Michaels with a body slam, then Shawn went up top and hit the elbow drop to Edge. Orton went in illegally and hit Michaels with a clothesline as Hunter knocked Orton out of the ring with a clothesline. Michaels with a back body drop that sent Edge over the top to the floor. Michaels used the ropes to help him hit a dive over the top on Edge and Orton. Michaels was on that apron, Orton grabbed his foot and Edge hit a running shoulder tackle to knock Michaels off the apron to the floor. Orton hit Michaels in the head with a Tag Team Title, Shawn flipped over and did a blade job as Hunter went after Orton. When Michaels turned around, he had blood all over his forehead after he cut himself open.
Orton tagged back in with an inverted backbreaker as Michaels became the face in peril. There were quick tags from Edge and Orton as they worked over Michaels some more. Edge with a hard whip that sent Michaels crashing into the turnbuckle and Edge hit a backbreaker. Orton beat on Michaels with punches, kicks and the dreaded eye-gouging. Orton and Edge hit a double backbreaker on Michaels with Hunter going back in to break up the pin. Michaels got back up, he hit some chops and Michaels hit a belly to back suplex. Michaels with a chop to Edge, but Edge came back with a boot to the face to put Shawn down again. Orton tagged in, he tried an RKO, but Michaels managed to shove him away. Hunter got the hot against Edge with two clotheslines and the jumping knee. Hunter with punches on Orton, then the facebuster on Edge and a clothesline that sent Edge out of the ring. Hunter picked up Orton and gave him a spinebuster while Hunter was grabbing at his right knee immediately. There’s the torn quadriceps moment. It was such a fluke thing. You could just see Hunter rolling over in pain grabbing his right knee.
Edge went back into the ring and Hunter hit a spinebuster for two. The referee was checking on Hunter to see if he was okay. Orton tried an RKO on Hunter, but Hunter’s leg gave out so it did not look like an impressive move. Michaels hit Orton with a superkick and Edge knocked Hunter out of the ring. Edge with a slow cover on Hunter for a two count with Hunter getting the right shoulder up. Edge tried a Spear, Hunter moved and Hunter was limping around on that right leg. Hunter managed to hit a Pedigree that didn’t look great as Hunter bumped onto his left leg, but not his right leg. Hunter had a very weak looking cover on Edge, who kicked out at two. Michaels hit a suicide dive on Orton on the floor. Michaels went back into the ring and punched the referee. That’s the end of the match or at least where things pretty much stopped.
Michaels grabbed a steel chair and he hit Edge in the head with it with Edge getting his hands up to block. Michaels hit Orton in the head with a chair also with Orton getting his hands up as well. Orton was bleeding heavily after a blade job. Hunter hit Edge in the head with a chair and Shawn hit Orton in the head with a chair as well. Edge was bleeding too, so three of the four guys did blade jobs. Michaels and Hunter each beat on their opponents with chair shots. The referee was wiped out on the floor. Michaels cleared off the Spanish and English announce table. Hunter had a bloody Edge on the English announce table while Michaels set up Orton on the Spanish table. Hunter gave Edge a Pedigree on the English on the announce table that did not break the table. Hunter leaned on his left leg rather than the injured right leg. Michaels went up top and he hit the elbow drop off the top turnbuckle onto Orton to put Orton through the table. The referee Marty Elias was still down, so there was no official ruling. Let’s call it a no contest at 23:24.
Match Result: No Contest
Analysis: ***1/4 They were on their way to having a pretty good match, but then Hunter’s right leg got injured and then it went off the rails a bit because they had to improvise another finish. A title change seemed possible until the injury. I really respect how much Triple H continued to try to wrestle after getting hurt. Michaels was terrific in the match as usual while Edge and Orton worked so well together as a heel team. The injury was brutal to see because it put Hunter on the shelf for over seven months and in the short term, it meant the end of this great feud that was brewing. The original plan was for Rated RKO to win the match.
Here's a good shot of how bloody Orton was in the match.
The Degeneration X music played as Hunter and Michaels celebrating their attacks. They didn’t win the match, but they won the war, so to speak. There were replays of the big spots. Michaels and Hunter went up the ramp to the back with Hunter favoring the injured right leg. Orton was a bloody mess at ringside while Edge was down as well.
Analysis: Even though DX lost the match, they looked dominant by the end of this. I’ll have more on the Triple H injury towards the end of this review.
The WWE Champion John Cena was interviewed backstage by Todd Grisham. It was mentioned by Grisham that nobody has been able to beat Umaga, so he wanted to know Cena’s thoughts. Cena did an over the top promo saying something’s got to give and said there can only be one. Cena was sarcastic saying that lightning will shoot out of his ass and he did an Umaga impression as if Umaga will say he got his ass kicked. Cena said he’s facing a man that has never been pinned or submitted and now he has his sights on the WWE Championship. Cena said he’ll do the only thing he knows how to do. Cena said that everybody knows he is damn proud to call himself the WWE Champion. Cena said that nothing lasts forever, nothing is impossible and nothing will stop him from walking out as the WWE Champion.
Analysis: Good fired up promo from Cena there.
The announcers were talking about the mess at ringside with all the blood that was there after the tag team match.
Carlito made his entrance with Torrie Wilson accompanying and she had her dog Chloe with her too. Torrie looked fantastic as usual. They showed a clip of Chris Masters putting the Masterlock submission on Torrie on Raw a few weeks earlier, which led to Carlito making the save. Chris Masters made his entrance followed his posing routine showing off the muscles.
Chris Masters vs. Carlito (w/Torrie Wilson)
Pre-match notes: Masters was the heel. Carlito was a face who was paired with Torrie to try to get him more fan support since Carlito was more of a natural heel. They were former allies. I don’t think Carlito liked being a face.
Carlito with a bulldog off the middle ropes, but then Masters came back with a whip into the ropes followed by a back body drop. Masters with a body slam. Carlito hit a dropkick followed by a double springboard moonsault onto a standing Masters for a two count. Good spot that drew a pop from the crowd. Masters went for the Masterlock submission, but Carlito got to the ropes and Masters hit an overhead suplex across the ring. Masters hit a backbreaker for a two count. Masters with another backbreaker followed by a submission where he was stretching Carlito over his knee. Carlito missed a corner charge and Masters hit a clothesline for two. Carlito came back with a springboard elbow followed by a running knee left, clothesline and a flapjack got two. Carlito went for a sunset flip type move, but Masters sat on top and grabbed the tights (the referee didn’t see it) and that was enough for the cheap win at 5:55.
Winners by pinfall: Chris Masters
Analysis: * This was a boring match by two guys that didn’t have much chemistry. Carlito hit a couple of cool moves. Yes, I said cool on purpose. The crowd was dead for the match because the match before it had a lot of drama. The finish was weak.
Post match, Masters put the Masterlock submission on Carlito while staring at Torrie at ringside. The crowd was so bored that they didn’t even boo or react to it at all. Masters left triumphantly and the fans reacted to him with boos. When Masters was in the aisle, he saw Torrie went into the ring, so he thought about going after her again, but Torrie left. Masters left as the victor.
Analysis: The feud didn’t help either guy. As I mentioned earlier, Carlito was miscast as a babyface and Masters got midcard heat as a heel, but he was never able to break through.
The video package aired for John Cena’s WWE Title match defending against the challenger Umaga. It was set up with Armando Alejandro Estrada saying that Umaga was challenging Cena and Cena accepted. Umaga was an undefeated heel as there were questions of whether Cena could be the first guy to defeat Umaga.
Umaga made his entrance with manager Armando Alejandro Estrada with JR noting that Umaga was undefeated after making his debut after WrestleMania last year, so it was about nine months of being undefeated.
Analysis: I’ll give some background on Umaga since some of you reading this may not have been watching in 2007. Umaga (real name Eddie Fatu), who was Rikishi’s brother, started as Jamal in WWE in the early 2000s as part of the Three Minute Warning tag team with cousin Rosey (Roman Reigns’ older brother). After the team’s run ended after about a year, Jamal/Umaga was released and then brought back to WWE on the Raw after WrestleMania in April 2006 as Umaga. They put him with Estrada as his mouthpiece and gave him a big push leading to this WWE Title match. Umaga was released in June 2009 after a Wellness Policy failure and refusing to go to WWE sponsored rehab. Umaga died in December 2009 due to a heart while also having drugs in his system. Umaga was 36 years old when he passed away. It happened at a time when he was close to coming back to WWE. Umaga was very well-liked by his peers and his death saddened a lot of people, including wrestling fans because we knew how talented he was. The push of Umaga was well done by WWE because he beat everybody in his path on his way to this match.
John Cena made his entrance with the WWE Title to a pretty good pop. Cena was a 3-time WWE Champion at this point. Cena won the WWE Title in September 2006, so it was about four months into his title reign.
WWE Championship: John Cena vs. Umaga (w/Armando Alejandro Estrada)
Pre-match notes: Cena was the babyface WWE Champion and Umaga was the heel. Cena was 102 pounds lighter based on the announced weight before the match (Cena at 248 pounds while Umaga was 350 pounds). Umaga spoke perfect English, but he didn’t speak English as the character at this point in his career. Umaga just yelled random things.
Cena got some offense with punches and shoulder tackles followed by a bulldog. Umaga got right back up, he charged, Cena ducked and Umaga bumped to the floor. Umaga was on the apron, Cena charged and Umaga launched Cena over the top to the floor. That was a huge bump for Cena going over the top and landing right on his back. Umaga whipped Cena into the steel steps. Umaga charged, Cena with a boot to the face, but then Cena charged right into a clothesline from Umaga. Cena charged again, which led to Umaga hitting a Samoan Drop. Cena went to the apron, Umaga knocked him off the apron and Cena bumped into the announce table with his hand slapping the table to make more noise. Umaga sent Cena into the table, then they went back into the ring and Umaga missed a splash. Cena tried a body slam, but Umaga landed on top of him for a two count. Umaga with a leg drop followed by a kick to the chest. Cena choked Umaga throat first across the top, Cena went up top for a cross body block, but Umaga caught him and hitting a spinning sidewalk slam for a two count as Cena got his foot on the bottom rope. Umaga continued the offense with a headbutt and shoulder tackle. Cena got a burst with a kick followed by the blockbuster neckbreaker, but Umaga got right back up with a spinning heel kick that was very impressive for a super heavyweight like him. Umaga with a splash off the middle ropes as Estrada instructed Umaga did another splash. When Umaga tried it a third time, Cena got both knees up and the referee didn’t see the low blow. Cena picked up Umaga for the FU, but then he fell back down to sell the idea that Umaga was too big for him. Umaga sent Cena over the top to the floor again.
Cena went back in the ring as Umaga worked him over with punches. Umaga slapped on a nerve hold on the left shoulder as the younger fans in the crowd chanted for Cena. When Cena broke free, Umaga stopped the moment with a running back elbow to the face. Umaga looked at his thumb that was covered up for the Samoan Spike, he took way too long to jump off the middle rope and Cena moved out of the way. Cena got some momentum with punches, but then Umaga punched Cena in the ribs. Umaga with a corner charge, Cena moved and Cena sent Umaga into the ring post. Cena lifted Umaga leading to a spinning suplex. That led to Cena hitting the Five Knuckle Shuffle fist drop. Cena tried the FU again, but he couldn’t lift Umaga and Umaga hit a belly to belly suplex. The fans were chanting for Cena again while a lot of fans were standing around ringside. Umaga set up Cena upside down against the turnbuckle and hit a jumping headbutt. Umaga went for the running hip attack against the turnbuckle, but Cena kicked him in the face and Cena got the ROLLUP OF DEATH~! for the pinfall win at 17:20. Umaga kicked out right after the pinfall to show how close it was.
Winner by pinfall: John Cena
Analysis: ***1/2 A good match with Cena finding a way to win in a manner that set them up for a rematch. Umaga dominated most of that match, which makes sense considering the type of heel that he was where he was always booked to be strong. Cena’s selling was very believable when he was getting attacked and also when he was selling how big Umaga is when he would try to do power moves. Cena did the FU numerous times to Big Show, who weighed more than Umaga, but Cena selling that he couldn’t do it to Umaga made Umaga look more impressive. I think Cena didn’t even try to pin Umaga the whole match until the ROLLUP OF DEATH~! for the finish.
Cena left the ring and celebrated with the WW Title on the stage. Umaga was angry in the ring. Cena left to the back as they showed replays on the broadcast. Umaga was furious about the loss so he punched objects around the announce table. Cena went back onto the stage and posed with the WWE Title to end it.
Analysis: There would be a Cena/Umaga rematch at Royal Rumble 2007 and that was better than this match was.
This event had a run time of 2:34:08 on WWE Network. That was about 10-15 minutes shorter than most PPVs in this era.
Epilogue – More on Triple H’s Right Leg Injury
It was a torn right quad for Triple H that required surgery. In May 2001, Hunter tore his left quad in a famous match on Raw and he missed over seven months.
Here are some comments from referee Marty Elias via The Sports Daily in 2018. Elias was the referee in the ring for this match where Hunter hurt his leg. Elias noted that the plan was for Rated RKO to win, but they changed it on the fly due to Hunter’s injury. Here’s what Elias wrote:
“It was during a spot (spinebuster on Randy Orton) that Triple H was injured. As it happened I vividly remember knowing instantly that something wasn’t right and went to check on Triple H. If you go back and look at the match, it’s obvious something went wrong. As Triple H delivered the move as he had done many times, it didn’t look right and was off. As I checked on Triple H after the move and he was down, I immediately asked if he was okay, and his reply was, “I’m f**ked, I’m f**ked!”
“As I asked Triple H again if he was okay, he said, “it’s my quad, it’s my quad, it’s gone.” No sooner had he told me that I raised the dreaded “X” as Gerald Brisco asked me in my earpiece if Hunter was okay. I shook my head no and continued throwing up the “X”! Brisco began asking me what was wrong with Hunter and I attempted to point to my quad area. As I was checking on Hunter, the match was still in progress and live on PPV and we had more match to get to. Brisco then instructed me to tell Hunter to “powder” and to “GO HOME!””
“As I relayed that to Hunter, he said, “I’m good to go, I’m going to finish.” Edge then got my attention and asked what was wrong, I told him, “Hunter’s hurt, it’s his quad! Let’s go home!” I then went to Shawn and told him what was wrong and Shawn said tell Hunter to “powder” Edge then tagged in and covered Triple H for a two count. Shawn then called an audible and said “smozz.” I then relayed that to Edge and Randy who went with it. Shawn then told me “take a bump” and proceeded to clock me and bump me out of the ring, and I was down “selling” (which is a lost art nowadays).”
Elias also shared what it was like after the injury.
“The aftermath of this match was very somber as we went to the back, everyone was surrounding Triple H and wondering to what extent was his injury. Hunter was calm as can be, telling everyone that it was his quad and he would be fine. One of the amazing things about Hunter is that he knew what his injury was and wanted to verify it. He said he if he was right he’d be back for SummerSlam, which he was!”
“There is a picture online floating around where Shawn is pushing Hunter in a wheelchair and I, along with Jack Doan and Chad Patton, are in the photo. I had no idea that photo was taken until a few years later. That photo tells the whole story of what the mood was backstage.”
It was also noted by Elias that the DX attack on Rated RKO was called on the fly rather than something that was planned. Elias credited the wrestlers for being professionals and making the best of a tough situation. In the same article, Elias also confirmed that Triple H was going to main event WrestleMania 23 in 2007 against John Cena just like he did the previous year, but due to the injury, it was Shawn Michaels who was put in that spot.
Here’s what Triple H had to say about the injury in a segment that aired on Raw.
“Basically, I detached the muscle at the front of my leg from the bone of my kneecap. It felt honestly like my kneecap just kind of blew over to the side of my leg, which wasn’t I don’t think my kneecap moving so much as it was just the quad ripping off and sliding over to the side.”
As I already mentioned, Hunter was back by SummerSlam 2007 (read my review here).
Show Rating (out of 10): 6.5
The show was good but not great. There were three matches that I liked at around the same level as being pretty good, but there weren't any memorable matches. Some boring matches hurt the card. The crowd wasn't hot for most of it, but they did get up for the bigger matches. I think what most fans would remember about New Year’s Revolution 2007 was how Triple H tore his right quad and had to miss significant time after this show. The Cena/Umaga match was the best of the night and that set them up for the rematch at Royal Rumble later in January 2007.
Best Match: John Cena vs. Umaga (***1/2 out of 5)
Worst Match: Chris Masters vs. Carlito (*)
Five Stars of the Night
- Triple H – For continuing the match after getting hurt. Respect.
- John Cena
- Shawn Michaels
- Edge/Randy Orton
Next up: Royal Rumble 2007.
Thanks for reading.
John Canton – firstname.lastname@example.org