Each and every Thursday I will look back at a different pay-per-view event from the past via the WWE Network. Want to see a certain event covered? Send your suggestions to @VaughnMJohnson on Twitter.
Last time, I covered the WWE Survivor Series 1991
WWE New Year’s Revolution 2006
Date: Jan. 8, 2006
Venue: Pepsi Arena (Now the Times Union Center), Albany, N.Y.
Some random notes
This was the second of only three New Year’s Revolution pay-per-view events.
By 2007, WWE had done away with brand exclusive pay-per-views, thus ending the Raw exclusive New Year’s Revolution.
Although the event had a short run, this one in particular will always be remembered as the most notable given how the show ended.
Joey Styles and Jonathan Coachman were on hand to call the matches. Jerry “The King” Lawler did not begin the show at the commentary table, as he was preparing for his match against Gregory Helms. He eventually did join them in time for the Bra and Panties match later in the show.
With that said, let’s get to the matches:
WWE Intercontinental championship – Ric Flair def. Edge via disqualification
Edge was challenging for the Intercontinental title, but walked into the match with something that carried even more significance.
That something was the black briefcase that contained Edge’s Money in the Bank contract that he won by winning the inaugural Money in the Bank match at WrestleMania the prior year.
Edge spent the rest of 2005 and the first week of 2006 carrying around the briefcase that contained the contract, which guaranteed him a championship match at any point of the next year.
There was no indication on when Edge would cash in the opportunity, and with WrestleMania a few months away, time was quickly running out.
On the other side was Flair, who had won countless titles during his illustrious career, but for the first time, was the Intercontinental champion.
Flair gloated with the title before the match, but Edge cut the gloating short by attacking him from behind to start the match.
The match was pretty standard. It featured all of Flair’s dirty tricks, including thumbing both Edge and Lita in the eye.
Flair eventually put Lita in the figure four, but Edge put an end to that by smashing his briefcase over Flair’s head, causing him to be disqualified and Flair to bleed.
Edge bashed Flair in the head even after the match was tossed out.
Edge didn’t seem to care about not being Intercontinental champion. Maybe he knew he had bigger fish to fry later in the night.
WWE Women’s championship – Trish Stratus def. Mickie James
The crazed fan storyline had been done before, but it was never done better than when James played the role of an obsessed fan of Stratus.
Both women were talented in the ring, but James played the role of a crazy person so well. She was so convincing.
James’ facial expressions were fantastic. She seamlessly switched from Stratus’ adoring fan to her sworn enemy during the match.
At one point, James thought about hitting Stratus with the women’s title, but weighed the options in her head and opted not to without saying a word.
James did hit Stratus with her own finishing move, but waited too long to go for the pin and the champion kicked out.
Moments later, Stratus hit James with a big kick to the head to end the match and retain her title. Although it was a clean loss for James, it still protected her because she only lost due to her own mistake of waiting too long to cover Stratus.
It was a sign that this story was far from over.
Jerry Lawler def. Gregory Helms
This was pretty standard match that probably didn’t belong on pay-per-view, but it is nice for Helms to say that he went against the legendary Lawler on a pay-per-view.
The most notable thing that happened during this match was Coachman saying that Lawler had more chins than “a Hong Kong phone book.” Jeez, that wasn’t racist at all.
Helms eventually joined Coachman on the headset to talk some trash about Lawler. None of that mattered, as Lawler beat Helms with a fist drop from the top rope.
The match was good, but wasn’t necessarily riveting enough for pay-per-view.
Triple H def. Big Show
Leading into the match, Triple H broke Big Show’s right hand by smashing it with a sledgehammer.
What Triple H didn’t anticipate was the cast that was placed on Big Show’s hand was the size of a human head and essentially became a weapon for the giant to use in their match.
Because of this, Triple H was very reluctant to get into the ring, as he insisted that Big Show’s cast be cut off, but it wasn’t.
Triple H finally entered the ring to begin the match and did everything he could to avoid Big Show’s cast. Triple H’s strategy eventually paid off when he the giant attempted to hit Triple H while he leaned against the ring post.
Triple H ducked out of the way and Big Show’s hand smacked the ring post, cracking the cast in the process. Triple H eventually got the cast off Big Show’s injured hand and immediately went to work on it.
Big Show eventually fended off Triple H and attempted to choke slam him, but his injured hand was unable to get Triple H up.
Big Show then inadvertently knocked down the referee, which allowed Triple H to go digging under the ring for his sledgehammer. Triple H found what he was looking for and brought it into the ring so that he could use it on Big Show.
Unfortunately for Triple H, Big Show broke the wooden handle of the hammer in half with his injured hand.
Triple H eventually got his hands on a steel chair and used it to smash Big Show’s injured on the steel steps. That still didn’t stop Big Show, as he speared Triple H outside of the ring.
Once back in the ring, Big Show attempted to choke slam Triple H with his left hand instead of his injured right one, but Triple H used the top half of the broken sledgehammer to clock Big Show in the head.
Triple H followed that up with a pedigree and pinned the giant to end what was a pretty good match.
Shelton Benjamin def. Viscera
Benjamin and his momma — lord have mercy.
Despite being arguably the most physically gifted guy in the company, WWE felt it was necessary to give Benjamin a manager to lend him some personality.
Someone came up with the idea of turning him into a momma’s boy and have his momma accompany him to the ring and boss him around.
But this could not be an ordinary woman. This had to be a stereotypical southern African woman that. WWE has a long history of playing on racial stereotypes and this was just another example of it.
The role of Momma Benjamin was played by comedienne Thea Vidale. She had debuted on WWE television only six days prior to this event. Vidale also played the role of another cliché of an overbearing mother that constantly babied her grown son.
For what she was asked to do, Vidale did a good job. She even got a couple of chuckles out of me during her interaction with Viscera.
She was essentially the momma we all have heard about that told their kids, “You better whoop him/her or I’m going to whoop you.”
This match wasn’t even advertised ahead of time, but came about because Viscera was macking on Benjamin’s mom while she was in catering trying to find something to eat for her baby.
Benjamin’s momma took offense to Viscera’s advances and brokered a match between her son and the big man.
Benjamin was only looking for a public apology, but his momma insisted on her son putting a whooping on Viscera. Benjamin was not for that at all.
Vidale yelled for a baby during the entire match. She even had her purse with her the entire time and used it to hit Viscera in the head with during the match. Unbeknownst to anyone was that the purse was loaded with what looked like the same brick Ice Cube used at the end of Friday.
Bra & Panties gauntlet match – Ashley Massaro def. Maria, Torrie Wilson, Victoria & Candice Michelle
I never realized until this match that Maria Kanellis once used Alicia Fox’s current theme song.
In order to win this match, a woman had to be the last participant with her clothes on. Once the clothes were ripped off one woman, she was eliminated and replaced by another woman.
The women were beautiful, but the wrestling here was ugly. Let’s not kid ourselves, though, this was not about the wrestling. This was about seeing a beautiful woman damn near naked.
While I have no qualms with seeing any these women in their bra and panties, it was still another in a long line of examples of how WWE primarily used women as objects to satisfy the company’s apparently large demographic of sex-depraved men and their kinky fantasies.
I know, I know. Sex sells. I get it, but I am glad that WWE has gotten away from that in recent years and focused on the athleticism and talent of their women instead of simply how they look in their bikinis.
It’s weird how it took so long for a wrestling company to finally require that their women know how to actually wrestle instead of simply look pretty.
That’s not to say that today’s women in WWE aren’t beautiful because they certainly are, but that is secondary to their in-ring prowess. I like it that way and I know the women do, too.
I’ll give the women in this match this much credit — they tried. They did what they had to do earn a living under the bright lights of WWE. I don’t fault them at all. I applaud them for making the best of what in hindsight wasn’t the best situation in the world.
Michelle was the first to go after Maria ripped off her clothes. Wilson was the next to join the fray, but she was stripped down to her bra and panties as well by Maria.
Out next was Victoria, who was undoubtedly the most talented in-ring performer of the group. She was very attractive, too. That’s never a bad thing.
Victoria quickly disposed of Maria, which brought out the Fabulous Moolah and Mae Young. My god.
Moolah and Young got into the ring and it didn’t take long for Young to begin taking off her clothes. Young seemed like an awesome woman, but I don’t understand for the life of me why Vince McMahon always insisted on seeing her half naked.
I must admit that this was pretty funny, but I couldn’t help but think that this was part of the reason that this match got more time than the women’s title match.
Before Young and Moolah could leave the ring, Victoria attacked the former. The two older ladies ganged up on Victoria and ripped her bra off.
This brought out Massaro, who quickly pulled down Victoria’s shorts to win the match. Although Massaro won the match, she still took off her clothes anyway.
WWE championship (Elimination Chamber) – John Cena def. Carlito, Chris Masters, Shawn Michaels, Kane & Kurt Angle
This was the fourth Elimination Chamber match in WWE history.
Cena was walking into his 280th day as champion, which was tied for the longest WWE title reign of the decade with John Bradshaw Layfield — the man Cena defeated to gain the title.
By this point, Cena was starting to get the polarizing reactions that have become so synonymous with his career.
He received a mixed reaction during his entrance, but was flat-out booed during the match. This might have been the first instance of the “Let’s go Cena! Cena sucks!” chants we are so accustomed to today.
Cena wasn’t the only participant in this match that was on the verge of a milestone. Masters turned 23 years old on this very night meaning that he could have been the youngest WWE champion in history if he won the match.
Cena and Michaels began the contest with a pretty standard wrestling match.
The next man in was Carlito, who received a massive ovation once he stepped into the ring, mostly because he immediately attacked Cena.
Carlito, Cena and Micheals duked it out amongst each other until Angle entered the fray and cleaned house.
The 2006 version of Angle was arguably my favorite because he was at his most badass. He began rocking the black singlet; the low cut boots and the thick mouthpiece that just made him look more menacing.
Angle immediately ran into the ring and began German suplexing everyone in sight. It was like watching a Brock Lesnar match today.
Angle eventually catapulted Michaels into the side of the chamber, which cut him open. Angle wasn’t done, as he rammed Michaels’ head into the side of one of the pods.
Angle then managed to get Carlito in the angle lock, but Masters broke it up once it was time for him to enter the match. Masters and Carlito had agreed to work together before the match and Masters enacted that plan by breaking up the Angle’s ankle lock on Carlito.
Like Angle, Masters jumped into the ring and began tossing everyone around, but his run of momentum came to a swift end when he attempted to put Angle in the Master lock.
Angle countered and slapped on the ankle lock. For whatever reason, Cena broke that up and attempted to hit Angle with what was then known as the F-U. But Angle countered that as well, and put Cena in the ankle lock.
In another strange turn of events, Michaels broke up the ankle lock by hitting Angle with sweet chin music. Michaels pinned Angle and sent him packing.
With Angle gone, the match turned into a tag team contest with Carlito and Masters working together against Cena and Michaels.
Unfortunately for Masters and Carlito, Kane entered the match and emphatically put the kibosh on their plan. Kane’s run of dominance came to an end, however, when Masters and Carlito got on the same page and found a way to eliminate him.
A bloody Michaels found a way to thwart Carlito and Masters and even hit Cena with sweet chin music. Instead of being able to cover the champion, Carlito and Masters ganged up on him and eventually pinned him to send him to the showers.
Now it was down to Cena, Carlito and Masters. It was classic Vince McMahon booking. Stack the odds against the babyface so that he could somehow overcome them.
The odds became seemingly insurmountable for Cena when Masters hit him with a DDT on the steel grate outside of the ring, causing him to bleed. Masters even got Cena in the Master lock, but Carlito double-crossed him by hitting him with a low blow and rolling him up to eliminate him.
But before Carlito could turn his attention to Cena, the champion rolled him up for the pin to win the match. Somehow, someway the hero overcame the ridiculous odds, which makes some fans shake their heads, but others buy into it — classic Vince McMahon booking.
Angle may have lost on this night, but he went over to Smackdown and won the World Heavyweight championship in a battle royal two days later. Batista was the champion, but was forced to relinquish the title due to an injury, forcing WWE to reshuffle its plans.
The plan WWE settled on had Angle be a surprise entrant in the battle royal and win the match.
WWE championship – Edge def. John Cena
Before Cena could celebrate retaining his title and walk into his record-breaking 281st day as champion, Vince McMahon’s music hit.
Vince McMahon walked out onto the stage and told everyone to stay in their seats and to raise the cage. McMahon congratulated Cena for retaining his title, but said there would be one more match because Edge was finally cashing in his Money in the Bank contract right then and there.
Edge walked out with Lita and handed the briefcase he had been carrying for nearly a year over to McMahon and charged to the ring.
A beaten and bloodied Cena could barely make it to his feet before the bell rang, but once it did, Edge ran over to him and peppered him with punches.
Edge attempted to pin Cena twice, but the champion kicked out. Edge eventually backed into a corner to set up the spear and hit it. Edge went for another cover, but Cena kicked out yet again.
The hero couldn’t go down that easy, but Cena eventually did, as Edge speared him one more time and pinned him to win his very first WWE championship.
Since the Money in the Bank was brand new thing, this was very shocking back in 2006. Even more shocking was that Edge was suddenly the new WWE champion. He had finally ascended to the top of the card after being with WWE since 1998.
No, Edge’s rise to the main event scene is nothing like what Jinder Mahal just accomplished on Smackdown Live. Even by this point, Edge was a former Intercontinental champion, tag team champion and King of the Ring winner.
Mahal has yet to accomplish any of these feats, but I digress.
For whatever reason, Edge’s title run came to an abrupt end at the Royal Rumble 21 days later at the hands of Cena.
Fortunately for Edge, he would win 10 more world titles over the next five years before retiring as champion in 2011.