The second ever WWE New Year’s Revolution pay-per-view event took place in early 2006 featuring the Raw brand. It was WWE’s way of kicking off the year with an early PPV. They did the first one in 2005 in Puerto Rico, but that was a cursed show with some serious injuries. In 2006, they decided to move it to the capital of New York in Albany. The main event of the show was considered pretty big because it was only the fourth Elimination Chamber match in WWE history and it was the first time the coveted WWE Championship was up for grabs for the winner of the match.
There were some other big matches such as Triple H vs. Big Show and Ric Flair vs. Edge, but the event was really built around the Elimination Chamber. I think a lot of fans remember this show because of what happened after the Chamber match. I won’t remind you of it here, but usually people will remember this moment when they think of the New Year’s Revolution name.
The company was two years away from going PG, so there was some raunchiness on this show since they booked the women in a Bra and Panties match.
WWE New Year’s Revolution
Pepsi Arena in Albany, New York
January 8, 2006
The show gets a TV14 and the “S” for Sexual Content. Considering there’s a Bra and Panties gauntlet match on this card, I think that “S” rating is appropriate.
There was a video package showing some of the brutality that has existed in past Elimination Chamber matches with comments from wrestlers talking about how brutal the match is. They also showed the competitors in the Elimination Chamber match to hype up the main event.
The pyro went off in the arena and it looked like a packed house in Albany. The announce team of Joey Styles and Jonathon Coachman were at ringside to welcome us to the show. Coach was a heel announcer most of the time. The Spanish announcers were at ringside too.
Edge made his entrance with the Money in the Bank briefcase with him. He had Lita with her and Lita looked incredible. Just saying. Ric Flair made his entrance to a good ovation with Coach noting that Flair was going through a lot including a divorce (that was wife #2 before he married #3 and #4 while he’s got a fiancée again) and a road rage incident, which led to a funny parody from Edge. Flair held up the IC Title before the match.
Intercontinental Championship: Ric Flair vs. Edge (w/Lita)
Pre-match notes: Flair was the face Intercontinental Champion. He was 54 years old at the time and turned 55 one month later. Edge was the heel that was really gaining a lot of momentum.
Edge attacked from behind with a forearm and the ref rang the bell. Flair came back with a back body drop. Flair chased after Lita outside the ring, so Edge decked Flair with a clothesline. Edge with a suplex on Flair on the floor. Edge worked over Flair while Coach said that 2006 would be a great year for Edge and that was a very good prediction. Edge with a hard whip into the turnbuckle followed by a clothesline. Thank you for the close-up shots of Lita. Edge grounded Flair in a chinlock. Flair came back with an atomic drop, Edge with a dropkick and a clothesline that sent Flair over the top to the floor. Edge went after Flair, but he was stopped by two chops by Flair and Flair sent Edge groin first into the barricade. They went back into the ring, Flair with a thumb to the eye on Edge and Flair did a thumb to the eye to Lita too. That was funny. Flair jumped off the top with a punch, so that’s a rare connection for him. Flair chopped the back of the left leg of Edge followed by a kneebreaker. Edge wanted a Figure Four Legdrop, Lita on the apron, Flair blocked a slap, did a groin thrust at her and Flair with a back body drop that sent Edge over the top to the floor. Flair brought Lita into the ring. Flair slapped on the Figure Four Leg Lock on Lita with the crowd cheering loudly. Lita was writhing in pain. Edge showed up with the Money in the Bank briefcase and hit Flair in the head with it. That led to the DQ finish called by referee Mike Chioda.
Winner by disqualification: Ric Flair
Analysis: **1/4 It was just an average match. I think the DQ finish was fine because I don’t think WWE wanted Edge to take a pin here while Flair’s reign continued for a bit longer. They had better matches including a memorable TLC match on Raw a few weeks after this, which is another reason why it ended in a disqualification.
Post match, Flair was bleeding and Edge worked over Flair with punches to the head. The story was that the briefcase was metal, so apparently we should think that would bust open somebody’s head. Flair loved doing blade jobs. Flair was announced as the winner while Edge posed over a bloody Flair. Lita limped her way out of there with Edge.
When Flair got to his knees, Edge went back in the ring and smacked Flair in the head with the briefcase again. Coach said that Flair got what he deserved because he put his hands on Lita. Edge and Lita left together while Flair was being checked on by referees.
Analysis: The blade job was silly considering it was just a briefcase to the head and not a sharp object. They did try to tell us that it was metal, though, so that’s why there was blood. I think they just did it to tell the fans that there was going to be more to this feud, which was true because there was a lot more.
Kurt Angle with Shawn Daivari was interviewed by Todd Grisham. Angle said he hopes the US loses the war in Iraq, the greatest country in the world is France, he’s not a fan of “the black people” and if he could make somebody tap out it would be Jesus. Grisham asked what he’s talking about. Angle said that the point is that he can say anything to these idiots and they give him a standing ovation every time. Angle said that all these fans know that he is the greatest wrestler in the world. Some fans cheered. Angle talked about how he was better than Cena, he’s beaten Shawn Michaels and Kane at WrestleMania while Chris Masters and Carlito aren’t even in his league. Angle said he won his first title right there in Albany and tonight he’s going to do it again.
Analysis: That was a cheap heat promo to start followed by Angle showing a lot of confidence. If you’re wondering about that first Angle WWE Title win, it was at No Mercy 2000 when he beat The Rock. It was less than one year after Angle’s television debut.
There was a shot of Ric Flair still getting helped out of the ring by referees. He was still the Intercontinental Champion.
The video package aired for Trish Stratus vs. Mickie James for the WWE Championship. It was early in this story with the story being that Mickie was her biggest fan of Trish and did everything she could to impress her. James beat Victoria to earn this title shot. They also had a memorable moment where Mickie kissed Trish under the mistletoe that was in the locker room. Trish thought it was awkward, so there was a question of mind games going into it.
Analysis: It was obvious that Mickie was going to turn heel in the feud at some point, but we didn’t know if it would be this match or later in the storyline.
Trish Stratus made her entrance as the Women’s Champion to a good ovation. Coach said that he’s never seen Trish as uncomfortable as she is when she’s dealing with Mickie James. James made her entrance to a quiet reaction. I don’t think fans knew what to think of her yet.
Analysis: On a personal note, they are my two favorite women in WWE history. At this time, Trish was clearly first as my favorite, but Mickie passed her. I think both are incredible in terms of their talent as well as their looks.
Women’s Championship: Trish Stratus vs. Mickie James
Pre-match: Trish was the face Women’s Champion and Mickie was a face that way too excited to be around Trish. Stratus was the Women’s Champion for 364 days this point because she beat Lita for the title at New Year’s Revolution one year earlier. Trish missed about four months in 2005 due to a back injury, but WWE kept the title on her.
They shook hands with Stratus looking aggressive as she did it as if to tell James that she was ready for this title match. When Stratus grabbed James in a headlock, James put her hand on one of Stratus’ breasts and that made me hate James a lot! Just kidding. Anyway, Stratus let go of the hold while they were in that awkward position. Mickie said, “I didn’t do anything.” That’s a good line to use. Stratus with a fireman’s carry, James with a rollup, which drew a pop because of her very short skirt that was showing a lot. They had a sloppy spot where James went for a hurricanrana that Stratus turned into a pin. It looked like they messed up somewhere there. Stratus was knocked to the floor, so James held the rope open to let her back in. James with a running shoulder tackle, Stratus tripped her up, they got into a forearm/punch exchange and James with a kick to the shoulder. James to the middle rope, she went for a Tornado DDT, Stratus landed on her feet and kicked James out of the ring. Stratus went for a dropkick, James moved and Stratus crashed on the floor. James grabbed the Women’s Title, she looked like she was going to attack with it, but then she put it down. Back in the ring, Stratus with a Thesz Press followed by punches. Stratus with forearms to the head, chop by Stratus, kick by James and Stratus hit the headscissors off the ropes followed by a spinebuster for two. James with a kick to the head, she teased going for Stratusfaction and James connected with it. James smiled with the crazy eyes look followed by a slow pin attempt that allowed Stratus to kick out at two. Stratus went for Stratusfaction, James avoided it, Mickie missed a kick and Stratus hit the Chick Kick for the pinfall win at 7:18.
Winner by pinfall: Trish Stratus
Analysis: **1/2 It was a good match for the time given and it would have been nice if they got a few more minutes. I like how hard hitting it was at times with each woman getting in a lot of strikes. There was a sloppy moment or two in there, but I think they got through it fine and having Stratus win was the right call. The loss didn’t hurt James too much because she was right back in the title picture for the big match at WrestleMania a few months later. The problem with a move like the Stratusfaction is that it’s way too obvious that the person doing the move is lifting the other woman towards the ropes, so when you see it twice in a match it just looks less effective. I always liked Trish and I don’t mind Mickie doing the move either, but I think sometimes the move just looks weak no matter who does it.
After the match was over, Stratus celebrated the victory. The announcers put over the match with Styles saying it was without question the toughest title defense in the career of Stratus. That kind of commentating is WWE’s way of telling you that the feud was going to continue because they put over James so much. Stratus left with the title while James sold the loss in the ring.
Analysis: Their story continued from here. James turned heel about one month before WrestleMania and that led to their memorable match there.
Maria was backstage for an interview. She interviewed herself because she’s in the Bra & Panties gauntlet match later. Gregory Helms showed up saying they shouldn’t waste time on her and he ripped on Jerry Lawler since he’s wrestling him. Helms walked away.
Shelton Benjamin was shown arriving with his “mother” and their luggage. She said she was going to get food, Benjamin said he wasn’t hungry and she made him go.
Edge and Lita were backstage about to talk to WWE fans on Instant Access on WWE.com, but Edge didn’t want to do, so Lita did it for him.
Jerry “The King” Lawler vs. Gregory Helms
Pre-match notes: Lawler was the face that was an announcer full time, but he wrestled occasionally. Lawler was 55 years old at the time. Helms was a heel doing a new gimmick after he was The Hurricane for several years. It was common for WWE to put a “new” heel against Lawler because they knew that fans liked and respected Lawler.
They exchanged punches early followed by Lawler hitting a hip toss followed by a back body drop. Lawler with punches followed by the Hurricane pose that drew some laughs. Lawler sent Helms out of the ring. Helms got back in control with punches followed by a leg drop to the chest. Helms with a sidewalk slam. Helms hit three vertical suplexes in a row for two count. Coach was making fun of Lawler’s weight while Styles said that Lawler looked the same as he did during the prime of his career. Helms worked over Lawler with a knee drop followed by a chinlock. Helms with a backbreaker, he jumped off the ropes, Lawler got a foot up and Helms stomped on him. Helms with a clothesline that sent Lawler out of the ring. Helms whipped Lawler into the ring post. Helms put a headset on saying he could do the announcing job better than Lawler. Helms hit a missile dropkick. Lawler avoided a corner attack, Coach kept on insulting Lawler’s weight and Lawler worked over Helms with punches. Lawler asked the fans if they wanted a piledriver, but Helms backed out of it with a back body drop. Helms went up top, Lawler tripped him up and Helms got crotched leading to the bump into the ring by Helms. Lawler jumped off the middle ropes with the fist drop to the face of Helms for the pinfall win at 9:32.
Winner by pinfall: Jerry Lawler
Analysis: *3/4 The match was okay, but probably went a few minutes too long. Lawler worked hard for a guy in his 50s while Helms did a lot of textbook moves to build up heat for Lawler’s comeback. I think Helms is one of those guys that was under appreciated for some of his career. I don’t think underrated would be the right word because most of us knew he was good, but Helms wasn’t utilized as much as he could have been. I liked this Gregory Helms run for him and as I go through 2006, I’ll cover it more.
Post match, Lawler put his crown on and Helms was mad about the loss.
Analysis: I remember thinking it was awkward that Helms lost as the younger heel. It ended up not mattering that much since Helms was moved to Smackdown later in the month.
There was a shot of Lita in the WWE.com Instant Access interview room. Lita was there and she had a staredown. Mickie James showed up to hug her. Stratus mentioned that James knows she lost, right? James talked about their hot, sweaty bodies together and the fans cheered. Stratus and James sat down to answer fan questions.
The mama of Shelton Benjamin was getting some sandwiches, then Viscera showed up as his “World’s Largest Love Machine” music played. Viscera hit on her and her big booty. Mama said she is Shelton’s mama, Viscera said Shelton is his boy and Viscera offered to be her daddy. Viscera went for some food, but Mama took it from her.
Analysis: That was an awkward segment to write about it. The Mama Benjamin angle was awful.
The video package aired for Triple H vs. Big Show, which is a feud I don’t remember at all. The story was that Triple H cost Show a spot in the Elimination Chamber because Show got in his face after Triple H bragged about beating Ric Flair with a sledgehammer. That led to Show costing Triple H a spot in the Elimination Chamber. That set up this match. When they had a contract signing, Triple H crushed Big Show’s right hand with a sledgehammer. Show returned with a huge cast on the right hand.
Big Show made his entrance. He was one half of the World Tag Team Champions with Kane, but the tag team division sucked at this point, so there was no title match on this card. Show had a ridiculously large cast on his right hand that was like a club on his hand.
Triple H entered alone looking pretty big, but not necessarily in a ripped way. I’m not saying he looked fat. It’s just a different look for him. The gut was bigger a few months earlier.
Big Show vs. Triple H
Pre-match notes: Big Show was the face while Triple H was the heel. I use Hunter when talking about Triple H matches. Big Show had a huge white cast covering his right hand. Triple H hurt the hand, but Show was able to use the cast as a club.
Hunter ran away at the start of the match for a few minutes. Show finally caught him with some hard chops to the chest with the left hand. Show usually used the right hand for that. Show with a body slam followed by two elbow drops leading to Hunter bailing to the floor. Show with a headbutt. They went back in the ring, Show whipped Hunter into the turnbuckle leading to the bump over the top to the floor that Hunter did all the time. Show with a lefty chop and he rolled Hunter back in. That led to a knee by Hunter that knocked Show off the apron to the floor. Show came back by sending Hunter back first into the steel ring post. Show went for a punch, Hunter moved and Show punched the ring post with the right hand that had the cast on it. Show was yelling in pain. Back in the ring, Hunter stomped away on the cast and whipped it into the turnbuckle. Hunter grabbed the right hand with the cast and whipped it into the steel ring post. Hunter ripped off the cast off the right “broken” hand on Show, which had red marks on the knuckles. Hunter with a knee drop onto the right hand of Show. When Show charged, Hunter ducked and Show went crashing over the top to the floor. Hunter sent Show hand first into the steel steps followed by a mocking of Show’s hand gesture and yell. Hunter pulled on the fingers of Show. Hunter jumped off the ropes with a knee to the hand. Hunter with a knee drop to the hand. They left the ring again with Hunter whipping Show’s hand into the ring post. Hunter grounded Show while pulling on the fingers. Show managed to toss Hunter across the ring. Hunter jumped off the ropes and Show hit a lefty forearm to the face.
Show with two headbutts followed by a sidewalk slam. Show with three running back splashes against the turnbuckle plus a running shoulder tackle. Show did his yell to signal for a Chokeslam, but the Chokeslam attempt didn’t work because his hand hurt. Show punched, Hunter ducked and Show knocked the ref Mickey Henson down. Hunter grabbed the sledgehammer from under the ring. Show blocked that sledge attempt, then show broke the wooden shaft of the sledgehammer and a kick knocked down Hunter. They left the ring with Show whipping Hunter into the steel steps at ringside. Hunter hit a low blow kick outside the ring followed by a chair shot to the right hand that was against the steps. They do it that way because there’s more noise when he hits the steps. Hunter attacked with a chair, but Show tackled him with a Spear where Show’s left shoulder hit Hunter in the gut. The referee was still down with Coach claiming Show was showing more heart than ever. Show held up the left hand for the Chokeslam. Hunter came back with the sledgehammer to the head of Show. Hunter hit a Pedigree, the ref woke up and Hunter covered for the pinfall win at 16:11.
Winner by pinfall: Triple H
Analysis: **1/2 It was a match that was heavy on the story because of Hunter working over the right hand of Show for most of the match. It was a bit silly that kept favoring his right hand while acting as if he didn’t have a left hand even though he used it at the start of the match. I thought that it went too long, but that happened often with Triple H matches because he could go as long as he wanted. My point is it’s rare to see a Triple H match where you think it went short. It’s good to marry well. Anyway, Show did a good job of selling the hand injury, but I don’t think it was that interesting. Hunter winning in cheap fashion made a lot of sense since he was in the WrestleMania 22 main event a few months later, so he should have won this match.
Carlito and Chris Masters were in the locker room talking about the Elimination Chamber match for later. Carlito asked what Cena, Angle, Michaels and Kane had in common. Masters said none have broken his Masterlock and Carlito no, what they have in common is they have been WWF Champion. Carlito said that if they work together, they can’t be stopped and they can take the other four guys out. Masters said that sounds cool. Benjamin slapped Masters’ chest that was loaded with baby oil. Awkward.
Analysis: They were young guys on the rise that wanted to work together to try to take the others out. A good plan in theory.
Jerry Lawler joined the commentary team for the rest of the show.
Shelton Benjamin and Mama Benjamin made their entrance. They complained about the way Viscera talked to Mama and she told Viscera to bring his ass out there to take this ass whooping. She said her boy is going to kick his ass and Shelton didn’t want to do it. Anyway, Viscera made his entrance with his big robe.
Shelton Benjamin (w/Mama Benjamin) vs. Viscera
Pre-match notes: They were both faces, I guess. The bookers were not faces for booking this crap.
This is not going to be good. It’s a Viscera match plus the Mama Benjamin comedy at the same time. Ugh. Viscera hit a huge spinebuster. Mama was loudly encouraging Benjamin to get back to his feet. Benjamin left the ring for a break, he went back in with a knee to the face and kicks to the legs of Viscera. Benjamin with a low dropkick to the left knee. Benjamin up top and he connected with a top rope clothesline for a two count. The camera was on Mama the whole match with her yelling loudly. Viscera kicked Benjamin out of the ring. When Benjamin went back in, Viscera hit a Samoan Drop. Mama threatened Benjamin by saying she’ll whip him with her belt. Viscera with clotheslines and a body slam. Viscera looked exhausted. Elbow drop by Big Vis got a two count. Viscera hit a Bossman Slam and he looked really tired as he slowly got back to his feet. Viscera hit his Visagra move where he bounced his body against Benjamin. I forgot how bad that was, but it’s brutal to watch. Viscera with a clothesline and splash missed because Benjamin moved. Mama hit Viscera with her purse, Benjamin hit a spin kick and Benjamin covered for the pinfall win at 7:48. The ref saw her hit Viscera with the purse and did nothing about it.
Winner by pinfall: Shelton Benjamin
Analysis: 1/2* That was really bad, but Benjamin’s efforts kept it from being negative stars. The worst thing is they got almost eight minutes. Three minutes would have been enough. I legitimately feel sorry for Benjamin for having to go through that crap because he is a good wrestler, but nobody would have succeeded in this situation. I assume Vince McMahon found the Viscera love machine gimmick and he probably thought Mama Benjamin was a good idea even though it was the worst thing that happened in Benjamin’s career. I can’t believe I wrote that much. This was brutal to watch.
Shawn Michaels was shown getting ready in the locker room. Vince McMahon showed up saying that no one has ever entered number one in Elimination Chamber and won the match. McMahon wished him good luck. Michaels pointed out that before him, nobody had ever won the Royal Rumble from #1 and Michaels pointed out he had the first ever Ladder Match at WrestleMania while adding he had the first Hell in a Cell match. Michaels said there’s a first time for everything when he’s involved. Vince laughed. Vince said that if Shawn does that tonight it will be like the first time that Hell freezes over. Vince wished him good luck.
Analysis: It was a slow build to Shawn vs. Vince at WrestleMania. They actually wrestled at several PPVs in 2006.
It’s time for the “first ever, bra and panties gauntlet match” according to announcer Lilian Garcia. First ever! That is so important, right? Sure.
Bra and Panties Gauntlet Match
Pre-match notes: Two women start, you remove clothes so that a woman is down to her bra and panties and that means that woman is eliminated. It’s technical wrestling at its finest!
Part 1: Candice Michelle vs. Maria
Maria was up first and you could already see her panties showing in her pants. I’m just being descriptive. Candice Michelle was up next looking great. She was a few months away from the Playboy push.
Michelle worked over Maria early. Candice ripped off Maria’s top leaving her in her bra. Maria tripped up Candice and took off her top to leave Candice in her bra. Michelle choked Maria. Michelle did an upside down choke against the ropes, but Maria countered by pulling off Candice’s pants off.
Maria eliminated Candice Michelle
That made me sad because Candice is a favorite…but wait there’s Torrie Wilson. I’ll be okay.
Part 2: Torrie Wilson vs. Maria
Wilson worked over Maria with a kick to the ribs followed by a suplex. Maria went for a pull the pants off move, but Wilson countered with a dropkick. Maria charged, Wilson with a knee and Wilson hit a handspring elbow. Maria kicked Wilson out of the ring. Back in the ring, Maria with a boot to the face and Maria pulled off Torrie’s black top. Wilson with a Spear followed by a hair pulling spot where they rolled over the referee. Jack Doan, you lucky man. Doan was smiling. Wilson tried to slap the referee, so Maria pulled Wilson’s pants off and that was it for Wilson.
Torrie Wilson eliminated by Maria
Part 3: Victoria vs. Maria
Victoria was the most experienced in this group as a wrestler. Victoria’s shirt said: “Let’s get this over with.” Good idea. Victoria worked over Maria with punches, she blocked Maria’s attempt at taking off the shorts of Victoria and Victoria came back with a moonsault. Victoria took off Maria’s pants to eliminate her.
Maria eliminated by Victoria
The duo of Fabulous Moolah and Mae Young made their entrance to an ovation. Oh dear. I don’t remember this part of it. They played the revealing music leading to Mae Young removing a shirt and showing off a bra. Oh God. That was brutal to watch. Victoria attacked Mae with punches and Moolah pulled down Victoria by the hair. Mae ripped off Victoria’s shirt. It looked like Victoria was wearing two bras and Mae grabbed one of them, but Victoria prevented a wardrobe malfunction.
Ashley Massaro was up last. She was the 2005 Diva Search Winner and was booked in a lot of things that led to her appearing in her bra and panties. I’m just saying. She has a generic theme song here because WWE didn’t want to pay for the “Be Yourself” song by Audioslave.
Part 4: Victory vs. Ashley Massaro
Ashley ran into the ring, Victoria beat her up easily and Victoria wanted the Widow’s Peak, but Ashley slipped out of it. Ashley tripped up Victoria and yanked off Victoria’s short brown shorts for the victory since Victoria was already in her bra.
Victoria eliminated by Ashley Massaro
Winner: Ashley Massaro
Analysis: 3/4* They looked good. It’s not like they out there to have a wrestling match. This was the kind of thing they did at the time and the women all looked great. Ashley was not good in the ring, so they had her do very little. Even though Ashley did nothing here in terms of bumps, she got the next title shot at Trish Stratus at the Royal Rumble, which was the next PPV later in January. My two favorites were Candice and Torrie in terms of who looked the best.
After the match, Ashley took off her top and posed in her bra. Then she took off her skirt to reveal the short panties. I told you that she was booked in bra and panties a lot.
The duo of Shelton Benjamin and Mama Benjamin were in the WWE.com Instant Access room celebrating the win. Mama revealed that she had a brick in the purse that she hit Viscera with.
Setting Up The Elimination Chamber
The video package aired for the Elimination Chamber. The Chamber match was announced by Eric Bischoff on December 5, 2005, which was the same night he was fired as the General Manager of Raw. They held qualifying matches to see who would join WWE Champion John Cena in the Chamber match.
The qualifying matches went like this: Kurt Angle defeated Ric Flair, Carlito defeated Shelton Benjamin, Shawn Michaels defeated Big Show by disqualification due to Triple H attacking Michaels with a chair to screw Show out of the win, Chris Masters defeated Viscera and Kane defeated Triple H due to Big Show helping Kane win with a double Chokeslam. Kane also had the shortest time in the Beat the Clock matches, so he got to enter the match last as the #6 entrant.
Kane was the first man in the match. He was without a mask during this era. Kane was also one half of the World Tag Team Champions with Big Show. He was in a face role at this point. Chris Masters was up next. He started on the main roster about a year before this and this was his 23rd birthday, so he was the youngest man in the match. Carlito spits in the face of people who don’t want to be cool and he was another heel that was making his debut in the Elimination Chamber. He was also a younger guy in the match at 26 years old at the time. Kurt Angle was up next with his manager Daivari. Angle was in his “wrestling machine” gimmick at this point with the mouthpiece. Fans chanted “you suck” for his entrance like usual.
John Cena, who was the WWE Champion, was up next and had a shocked look on his face as he made his way towards the Chamber. He was selling the fact that the odds of winning the match were slim. Coachman noted that nobody has ever started the Chamber match as one of the first two men and gone on to win the match. Cena had a bandaid on his forehead because he was busted open from an attack from Kurt Angle on the last Raw prior to this show. Shawn Michaels was up last to a good ovation as usual.
Elimination Chamber Match for the WWE Championship – John Cena vs. Kurt Angle (w/Daivari) vs. Kane vs. Chris Masters vs. Carlito vs. Shawn Michaels
Pre-match notes: John Cena was the face WWE Champion with Shawn Michaels and Kane also as faces. Kurt Angle was a heel along with Carlito and Chris Masters as heels. Carlito and Masters were allies.
There were some fans chanting “Cena Sucks” early on as Cena hit Michaels with a back elbow to overpower him. Michaels slapped Cena hard in the face, so Cena punched him and hit a back body drop. Michaels pulled Cena out of the ring to send him crashing onto the steel beams outside the ring. The fans chanted for both guys as Michaels worked over Cena with chops. Michaels took control by whipping Cena into the turnbuckle two times a row. Cena worked over Michaels with punches and a clothesline that sent Michaels over the top rope and onto the steel outside the ring.
Carlito is the #3 man in the match and the fans cheered for Carlito punching Cena followed by a dropkick. Carlito with a senton over the top rope onto Michaels on the steel grating. Carlito hit a flapjack on Cena for a two count. Michaels up top, but Carlito slammed him down. Carlito with a back elbow on Cena. Carlito with a suplex on Michaels. Inside cradle by Michaels on Carlito got a two count. Cena sent Carlito into the turnbuckle and Carlito came back with a chop on Cena as well as a chop for Michaels. Carlito ran the ropes, but Cena and Michaels worked together with a flapjack to take down Carlito. Double team back body drop from Cena and Michaels on Carlito as the clock went down for a new entrant.
Kurt Angle is #4 and he was on fire with German Suplexes for Michaels, Carlito and Cena. There’s another one for Michaels, Carlito and Cena. That’s six German Suplexes for Angle. Belly to belly suplex by Angle onto Michaels over the top onto the steel grating. German Suplex by Angle on Carlito over the top onto the stale, but it was not a hard landing. Angle worked over Cena with a suplex. Angle with a catapult that sent Michaels into the cage/chain, which usually means a blade job is coming and Michaels was a bloody mess moments later. Angle sent Michaels face first into the glass covering one of the pods. Cena came back on Angle with punches, but Angle nailed him with a belly to belly suplex. Angle suplexed Michaels back into the ring. Angle went for the Olympic Slam on Carlito, but he slipped out and Angle slapped on the Ankle Lock on Carlito. The clock went down for the next entrant.
It’s Chris Masters as #5 in the match and he immediately saved Carlito with a forearm to Angle’s back. Masters with a powerslam on Cena and Gorilla Press Slam on Michaels. Masters went for the Masterlock on Angle, but Angle slipped through and slapped on the Ankle Lock. Cena went up to Angle, he went for the FU, but Angle slipped through and put the Ankle Lock on Cena. The crowd was going crazy for it wanting Cena to tap out. While Cena was fighting it, Michaels nailed Angle with a Superkick and pinned him to eliminate Angle. That drew a huge reaction from the crowd since they liked Angle even though he was a heel.
Kurt Angle eliminated by Shawn Michaels
Analysis: I was so upset about that at the time since I wanted Angle to win. It was surprising to see Angle was barely in the match. The main reason for that is they moved him to Smackdown on January 13, 2006 (taped two days after this show) and he won the World Title in a battle royal. That’s typical WWE booking where they write a guy off one show and debut him strongly on the other one.
Masters worked over Cena with a body slam while Carlito punched Michaels to keep him down. Cena whipped Masters into the turnbuckle and nailed him with a clothesline.
Kane is the 6th and final man in the match. Kane cleaned house with punches, kicks, a sidewalk slam for Carlito, a clothesline for Masters and Kane tossed Carlito over the top onto the steel. Kane with a powerslam on Masters. Kane got his top rope clothesline on Masters. Kane grabbed a bloody Michaels and nailed him with a Chokeslam. Kane with a Chokeslam on Cena led to loud cheers from the crowd. Masters saved Carlito and tried the Masterlock, but Kane fought out of it. Carlito back into the ring with a Backstabber on Kane. Double team DDT by Carlito and Masters on Kane led to Kane sitting up. Masters press slammed Carlito onto Kane, Carlito covered and Masters went up top to eliminate Kane.
Kane eliminated by Chris Masters & Carlito
Masters worked over Cena with punches while Carlito stopped away on Michaels on the steel outside the ring. Masters with a suplex on Cena in the ring while Carlito grinded HBK’s face against the cage. Masters dumped Cena over the top and onto the steel. The heels double teamed Michaels, but Michaels came back with a flying forearm, atomic drop by Michaels on Carlito and Masters and then a running clothesline on both guys to knock them out of the ring. Michaels with a body slam on Cena. Michaels up top and he hit a Flying Elbow drop onto Cena. All four guys were down around the ring. Michaels did a great job of selling the beating. Michaels hit the superkick on Cena, but Carlito and Masters worked over Michaels with punches. Carlito hit a neckbreaker on Michaels and pinned him to eliminate him.
Shawn Michaels eliminated by Carlito
The three youngest men in the match were the last three men left: Cena, Masters and Carlito. Cena took control with a double clothesline, a suplex for Masters, the spinning slam on Carlito and a Five Knuckle Shuffle fist drop on Carlito. Masters saved Carlito from the FU, which drew cheers. Masters sent Cena over the top rope onto the steel. Masters nailed Cena with a DDT on the steel. Cena was busted open just like he was on the Raw from the Monday leading up to this event. The heels sent Cena into the cage. Double team suplex by Carlito and Masters on Cena. The heels set up Cena on the top rope and hit a double team back suplex. Carlito told Masters to apply the Masterlock. Masters slapped on the Masterlock and the fans cheered because they don’t like Cena. Carlito went behind Masters and hit him with a punch to the groin. Low blow! Carlito with the ROLLUP OF DEATH~! on Masters to eliminate him.
Chris Masters eliminated by Carlito
As soon as Masters was counted down, Cena rolled up Carlito with a ROLLUP OF DEATH~! on his own and pinned him to eliminate Carlito. The match went 28:25.
Carlito eliminated by John Cena
Winner and Still WWE Champion: John Cena
Analysis: ***1/4 It was an average match with a surprising ending because of the two rollups that were used to end it. I did not expect that kind of ending at the time. Cena was the ironman in the match that started with Michaels, was a bloody mess for the second half of it and only eliminated one guy. I think most people watching this match probably assumed Cena was going to leave with the title he had held for about seven months, but most of us assumed he would have been booked stronger. Cena didn’t dominate the match. The story was that Cena survived. Carlito turning on Masters wasn’t shocking, but having Cena beat Carlito immediately after felt a bit rushed. They should have had Carlito beat on him for a few more minutes before Cena wins. Shawn Michaels was amazing in terms of the selling after he was a bloody mess. He did a perfect job of looking like the older guy who was taking the most punishment in the match, he kept coming back and then it’s like he had nothing left when Carlito and Masters finished him off. Kane wasn’t much of a factor in the match. The double pin thing was unique at least. It would have been nice if Angle was in the match more just because he (along with Michaels) was the best in WWE at that point. It was not much of a surprise that Cena won. That’s what most of us expected.
BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE!
Vince McMahon appeared on the stage while a bloody Cena was handed the WWE Title. McMahon said this night is not over and told them to raise the cage. McMahon congratulated John Cena for retaining the WWE Championship. McMahon announced that Edge was there to cash in the Money in the Bank contract/briefcase that he won at WrestleMania 21. The crowd was going wild for this because as I mentioned all match, they did not like Cena. Edge walked out with Lita for the cash in.
WWE Championship: John Cena vs. Edge (w/Lita)
When Cena got back to his feet against the turnbuckle, ref Mike Chioda called for the bell. Edge unloaded on Cena with punches and got a two count. Edge set up for a Spear, Cena stumbled around and Edge nailed a Spear. Edge covered for a two count. Great nearfall that the crowd thought was the end of the match. Cena got back to his feet and Edge hit another Spear. Edge covered Cena, the ref counted and Edge won his first WWE Championship after eight years in WWE. It went 1:46.
Winner by pinfall and new WWE Champion: Edge
Analysis: * It was obviously just an angle to get the title onto Edge by using MITB at the right time. This set up the Cena vs. Edge feud that dominated much of 2006 and was one of the best feuds in the careers of both men. The way this Money in the Bank cash in was done was brilliant. It was the first MITB that WWE did and to have Edge cash in right after a bloody Cena won a grueling match was the perfect time for it. Great moment that set the standard for what we would come to expect from MITB cash-ins in the years that followed. I think this is probably the second best cash in ever after Seth Rollins at WrestleMania 31 in 2015, which means that this was the best for nearly a decade.
Edge celebrated with the WWE Title with Lita there to celebrate with him. A bloody Cena looked on from the ramp. You could even see tears in Edge’s eyes as he celebrated and the show went off the air.
Analysis: The next night on Raw, the celebration continued with the memorable “Live Sex Celebration” by Edge and Lita in the ring.
The show had a run time of 2:39:41 on WWE Network.
Show Rating (out of 10): 5
It was a boring show without a lot of good action, but I enjoyed the booking of the main event and Edge leaving as WWE Champion that I'll give it a 5 out of 10. I may be generous in doing that because a lot of the card was filled with crap. I just really liked that ending with Edge becoming a much bigger star due to winning that title the way he did as a dirtbag heel capitalizing on the opportunity. Like I mentioned in the open, a lot of people will remember Edge's first WWE Title win forever because it was memorable, but other than that this was a largely forgettable PPV event.
Best Match: Elimination Chamber for the WWE Title won by John Cena (***1/4 out of 5)
Worst Match: Shelton Benjamin vs. Viscera (1/2*)
2. John Cena
3. Shawn Michaels
4. Ric Flair
Next up: Royal Rumble 2006. Thanks for reading.