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WWE RAW presents
New Year's Revolution
October 19, 2004

by The Rick
Undisputed Lord and Master of OnlineOnslaught.com


Well, WWE is one-for-one to start the year.  One-for-one in terms of serving up a bland, flaccid, and unsatisfying climax to what was close to being a very exciting show, that is. 
I was so fired up for the Elimination Chamber (hey, just witness the inspired Fantasy Booking I did on Friday; I has grooving on this concept!) that I actually ditched out on a UD Flyers game to watch this PPV instead. I mean, it shouldn't have come to this (flooding in Dayton caused the game to be delayed 24 hours), but once I knew I had this

schedule conflict, I quickly made the decision that New Year's Revolution would take precendence over the Flyers.

And while I gather that the game was rather ugly (a Flyers win, but not a really pretty one), WWE kinda has me second guessing myself. The main event was a microcosm of the whole show: starts out promising, but limped to an unsatisfying finish.  HHH, he's your World Champ.  Again.  Whee. 

Here are the full results of tonight's just-completed New Year's Revolution pay-per-view (with some additional editorial commentary tacked on in the customary red italics):

  • On Heat:  I have absolutely no fricking idea.  As noted above, I waited till the very last second to bolt to Hooters in the name of keeping tabs on the Dayton Flyers game. It seemed like we saw the entire RAW roster during the PPV, though, so who the hell else would there have been to work on Heat, anyway.  Well, for reasons unexplained we DID waste vast tracts of time on Diva Losers Poolside and never once glimpsed Victoria or Molly (who, lord knows, are completely incapable of inspiring raging boners the likes of which What's Her Name and Who's That Girl Again can), but honestly: women who can wrestle? In a wrestling company? That's crazy talk....  I'll wait for the Cubs Fan to tell me what I missed....
  • Opening Video Package/Music/Pyro/Etc.... and we're live in Puerto Rico, where our welcome from Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler lingers just a bit longer than usual on the Spanish Announce Team.  
  • William Regal and Eugene defeated Christian and Tyson Tomko to retain the Tag Team Titles.  Eugene came out in what I assume is his new T-shirt (yellow, with a chicken-scratched "Eugene" across the front, ala Hulk Hogan).  And Regal came out fucking en feugo.  This was seriously about Regal's best showing since his return; he was nimble, he was agile, he was bringing the charisma, everything.  He and Christian opened the match with some chain wrestling, and in that exchange, Christian surprised Regal by keeping up on the mat, but then Regal re-surprised Christian by busting out nip-ups and stuff like that.  Very cool.  Eventually we tag in Eugene, and settle in for a bit of comedy between Eugene and Christian. Then Tomko tags in (and Tomko's sporting a new look: the full moustache has been added to the goatee, so he looks about 30% less dumb; but he *does* look 100% like Ming, Emperor of Mongo, from Flash Gordon; for the time being, he remains "The Lovely Miss Tomko," but should he ever stop sucking, I'm fully prepared to change his name to "Tomko the Merciless"), and though some bit of chicanery, Eugene is put on the defense.  This goes on for a few minutes, and then Eugene "hulks up," but instead of going full speed ahead with a comeback, he just tags in Regal.  And in short order, Regal becomes the genuine Face In Peril (I think after his Decoy Hot Tag, Regal took a sloppy-ass clothesline from Tomko, and his nose was busted; that might not have been the spot, but in any case, Regal's nose was bleeding this whole time).  Regal was still showing good fire, though, and this kept up its pace through the Ricky Morton phase... and finally: HOT TAG TO EUGENE~!  I'm sensing that a genuine Hulk Up is coming, complete with Eugene ripping off the t-shirt (which he's still wearing), except that....  after a dropkick to Tomko, Eugene starts favoring his left knee, and can't even stand on it.  Can't put any weight on it at all. Regal regains his sense enough to confab with the ref, and they go to this spot where Christian and Tomko double team on Regal, putting him out over the top rope; Christian follows Regal out, but Eugene comes up behind the Lovely Miss Tomko, and quickly rolls him up for the quick win out of nowhere.  And the t-shirt was never ripped off, which is as good an indication as I can offer up that Eugene's hurt for real here, kids.  [Probably about a 15 minute opener, and really fun and entertaining.  Who cares that the story was nearly non-existent, these guys did a nice job with a fun little segment.  The end?  Clearly not a PPV Caliber finish, and I'm betting they had something cool for us, but for an improv job that got us where we need to be? Very nicely done.  We're off to a good start.]
  • Backstage: Christian and Tomko are storming down a hallway when they bump into Edge.  Hooters being Hooters, I can't really make it out clearly, but the gist SEEMS to be: Christian, remembering the last time he attempted to reconcile with his brother, tries to tell Tomko to attack Edge, but Edge defuses that by making Christian some kind of offer... and all three leave together.
  • Trish Stratus beat Lita to win the Women's Title for a record sixth time. Sadly, the match never got past 2 or 3 minutes. And you could tell that if it had, it was gonna get REALLY good, cuz there was good heat on even the simplest stare-downs.  But after some back and forthy, Trish bailed out of the ring, and Lita tried to leap off the apron onto Trish, and apparently landed badly (it was rather underwhelming in real time, but replays showed a nasty hyperextension of Lita's left knee).  They tried to limp through a few more spots, but Lita couldn't even throw a punch (well, even less so than usual)... so they just rushed to a spot where Trish reversed out of an attempted DDT by Lita, and then she plastered Lita in the face with a Buzzsaw Kick, and that was it.  Like I said, maybe 3 minutes.  [VERY disappointing, and it felt very weird having the two opening matches both end anticlimactically due to left knee injuries. I will say this: when they cut back to Lita being helped from the ring, I did feel awful for her.  Cuz I picked her to lose because HER CHARACTER is based on being a victim, on never being happy, on having to fight against the odds... but the real person behind the character doesn't deserve this: you know she wanted to go out there and top the RAW match from a month ago, and give her fans their money's worth. And for as often as I joke about Lita hurting herself in a match, I never WANT for it to happen. So I hope everything's cool and this turns out to be something minor....  I'm also probably an awful person for IMMEDIATELY turning to a friend and kvetching about how "Lita probably just ruined the Kane/Snitsky match, too," and then going into a second tangent about how "If Lita's hurt bad, then FUCK WWE~! for firing half their women's roster in the last 2 months. Cuz now we're doing to three female wrestlers."]
  • Backstage: Edge confronts GM Eric Bischoff about something. Again, I'm sorry if I get this wrong, but don't blame me, blame Hooters... but I think that Edge is saying that he wants out of the Chamber match because he doesn't want anything to do with Shawn Michaels. Instead, he offers up Christian as his replacement, and asks for a guaranteed title shot against the winner at the Royal Rumble.  Bischoff says no, and tonight's match will go on without substitutions.
  • Shelton Benjamin beat Maven to retain the IC Title. Even without being able to really make out the sound, this was vastly amusing.  I guess Maven was being chanted at in Spanish, so after some posturing in the ring, he went outside and grabbed a mic, and addressed the crowd for a good 3-4 minutes (telling them he needs to concentrate, so they should be quiet and let him do his job).  He seemed to close with some phrase in Spanish, which I'm just gonna guess might have been "Kiss my ass" or something.  I swear, I was sitting there talking to a friend, and acting all smart because I told him, "This is how WWE is killing time to make up for the 10 or 15 minutes of match time they lost due to injuries in the first two matches; but wait till they hook it up, this'll be a decent match."  I thought Maven was just killing time, for real.  So eventually, Shelton FINALLY has heard enough and starts chasing Maven around the ring, and Maven just hightails it up the ramp, saying he doesn't want any of this noise.  Shelton waits in the ring.  The ref starts counting.  But just before the ref can get to 10, Maven dashes back into the ring.... and IMMEDIATELY gets schoolboyed for a quick three count.  So much for that idea of Maven killing time before a 20 minute wrestling match, eh?
  • After the match: Shelton celebrates and leaves the ring, but Maven gets a mic and says "That doesn't count."  He wants an immediate rematch.  Shelton ain't interested, he proved his point already.  But then Maven hits below the belt with some riff that I'm guessing was pretty funny (but which I didn't fully hear) about how it looks like now WWE has *two* women's champions: Trish... and Shelton....  after a line about how Trish and Shelton have two things in common (titles, but NO BALLS), Shelton charges back into the ring, ostensibly to give Maven his Instant Rematch, and....
  • Shelton Benjamin beat Maven to retain the IC Title.  As Shelton's sprinting back to the ring, the ref rings the bell, and it's official.  And the INSTANT Maven tries to attack Shelton, Shelton just ducks it, counters it, and turns it into a T-Bone Powerslam.  1, 2, 3, and Shelton wins again!  This time Maven's really hurt and won't be asking for a rematch, so Shelton celebrates his Double Win.  And The Rick INSISTS on being awarded TWO decisions in the PPV Predictions Battle!  I am now a BETTER THAN PERFECT 4-for-3~!  [Hey, I won't lie: as a wrestling match, these two could sleepwalk through better... but for entertainment? Excellent.  I did think all the talking and the bogus first fall was just killing time to cover for the earlier injuries, but when Shelton beat Maven in less than 10 seconds the second time? I just put my drink down and applauded along with the rest of the place out of pure reflex to something cool and surprising.  Really fun.  My biggest problem with this match is that nobody cares enough about Maven for him to really be in this spot: but a night like this, he GOT the people caring enough about him, and then he lost in such a way that it was massively amusing, and though it'd never have occured to me to book it this way, I'm very entertained by the results.  Probably about 10 minutes total time for the segment, and less than 30 seconds of actual wrestling, but still vastly amusing.]
  • Backstage: Benoit is doing push-ups.  Nice work, maggot.
  • And Speaking Of: Muhammad Hassan and Khosrow Daivari have an interview, and the gist of it seems to be that Hassan though that here in Puerto Rico (where the people are a US territory, occupied, you might say, like 2nd class citizens) he might be welcomed, but he wasn't.  A kind of ham-handed attempt to make sure that the Puerto Ricans got personally insulted by Hassan before his match so he'd have some heat.  Note: it didn't work.
  • Muhammad Hassan beat Jerry Lawler.  Jim Ross accompanied Lawler to ringside (ostensibly to counteract Daivari?), and it sounded like we had no commentary this whole time.  And "this whole time"? Jesus Christ, it seemed like about 15 minutes.  It might have been slightly less than that, but not by much.  And in that 15 minutes? About 3 minutes of action. If that.  You had Hassan paying homage to past enthocentric characters with the Iron Sheik's Camel Clutch and Sgt. Slaughter's Cobra Clutch, and then also adding in a few other rest holds.  Just awfully boring and methodical.  Lawler eventually made his fire up, and hit a DDT and a Fist Drop, but nobody was buying it. Daivari helps Hassan get the advantage back, and then gets stalked by JR... but when Lawler comes to JR's aid in cornering Daivari, Hassan has enough time to recover and hit Lawler with... shit, I don't even remember... I think a neckbreaker, maybe?  1, 2, 3, Hassan wins.  [Very bad. A 3 minute squash for Hassan against somebody capable of selling Hassan's full moveset would have been better for the guy.  15 minutes against a guy who has a hard time contorting his ancient body enough to make a Cobra Clutch look convincing is just NOT the way to get him off to a good start.]
  • Backstage: Tough Questions Todd Grisham tried to interview Batista, but Randy Orton interrupted.  I think the gist of this was, "when the time comes, Batista, are you gonna kick HHH's ass or kiss it?"... and Batista nebulously responded that if he had a chance to win the World Title, he'd take it.
  • Kane beat Gene Snitsky.  Prematch, two things... first, Coach joined Jim Ross on commentary, but King was nowhere to be seen... leading me to wonder where Coach was for the entire last match.  I have to imagine it was awkward for home viewers to have no white noise.  And second: Kane lights his corner pyro BEFORE the match, and I immediately become terrified that this means he will lose.  Match starts, and Kane has some offense, but then somehow Snitsky gets control and targets Kane's ribs and back.  This, obligatorialy, includes a 38 minute bear hug.  Or possibly it was less than that, but really, this had no sizzle or pace to it at all. Kane started his comeback, causing Snitsky to go outside for a steel chair, but Kane even countered that with a boot to the face.  Somehow, Snitsky briefly regained control (note: Snitsky throws the worst "knees to the gut" in the history of the bidness), but then Snitksy went for chokeslam, and that dog won't hunt monsignor.  Kane is about to counter with a chokeslam of his own, but Snitksy recounters with biting the ear. Holyfield/Tyson this was not (Kane didn't even bother with a light blade job to sell it).  While Snitsky goes around pretending to spit out pieces of Kane's ear, Kane just recovers, hits a few moves, and then win the match with a Tombstone Piledriver.  Blargh.  [Felt like about 15 minutes again. But at least this time, they had maybe 6 minutes of action, so this was only half as dreadful as the preceding match. In this case, I'm kinda thinking that they had something different planned, but maybe Lita was involved, and when she couldn't hobble out to the ring, they just hacked this together.  Which I can probably forgive.  But it didn't make this match any more watchable.  If nothing else, even in the absence of Lita, couldn't you have come up with some way to give us Decisive Snitsky Deadness?]

  • At the Pool: OK, so all show long, they're cutting to poolside, where the Useless Diva Brigade are wearing swimsuits. And then OMG~! One Useless Diva begins rubbing lotion on Another Useless Diva, and CLEARLY we are mere moments away from strap-on dildos, so prepare your erections, 13-year-olds~! Not that 13-year-olds know what a strap-on dildo is~!  But you get the idea~! Cuz this was NOTT HOTT~!  Unless you are a total loser~!  Basically, while the 13-year-olds are being pandered to, I sit here and wonder why the fuck this is getting 10 minutes of PPV time.  The rest: Stacy Keibler says or does something and winds up in the pool on Val Venis' shoulders, then Spaz and Mic Stand are there, along with some other girl who's name I don't even care to remember, and then there's La Resistance and Hurricane and Rosey, and they play Marco Polo or something, and Spaz wins.  I think.  Spaz is a lot less amusing to me if she doesn't have her entrance music playing. And after a very amusing start to the show (tag match was really good, finish aside, and Maven/Shelton was really entertaining and crowd pleasing), we've just hit a fucking wall with these last two matches and then this poolside tripe.  I was honestly expecting Carlito Cool to saunter in to save the entire piece by spitting in the face of Spaz, but no... nothing... just unmitigated crap.
  • Backstage: HHH heard Batista's promo earlier, and wants to know what's up.  Batista says Orton just called him out, and in the heat of the moment, Batista said what he said; he's still a proud member of Evolution. HHH and Flair are happy to hear this.  But then, on his way out, Batista says something about how "If you don't last till the end of the match, though, I'm going after that title."  Oooohhhh.
  • Triple H wins the Elimination Chamber to win the Vacant World Title.  It's Benoit vs. Jericho to start, and that is a guarantee of five minutes of awesomeness.  Crowd seemed to be pretty well into it, especially once the two started chopping the living shit out of each other.  They go back and forth with a ton of cool reversal-y stuff (Jericho countered the Sharpshooter, Benoit countered the Walls), but basically for five minutes they take each other to the limit... so when we get to the 5 minute mark, and HHH enters, it's easy pickin's for The Game.
    HHH comes in and goes on a tear, including sending Benoit into the chain mesh of the Chamber (drawing our first blood of the match). But then Jericho got in control, sending HHH crashing into the steel floor of the Chamber for the first time (of an estimated 46 times, and it never got less-painful-looking for poor Trips).  This left Benoit and Jericho to be facing off just in time for the next man to be released: and it's Edge.  Edge comes in a house afire and immediately takes out Benoit and Jericho, and then actually focuses on HHH in a cool heel-on-heel moment. I think Edge got a few near-falls on Trips, but then we got more four-way brawling.  Both Jericho and HHH were sent into the chainlink Chamber, and both of them came up bleeding (Edge is now the only man NOT bleeding). Then we started ramping up again: Edge took out Benoit, Jericho took out Edge (Ghetto Blaster), and HHH took out Jericho (Pedigree)...  but HHH is spent and can't follow up, leading to our next entry: Randall Orton.
    Orton goes after HHH, and puts him down.  Then hits an RKO on Jericho.  Then goes after Benoit (note: the crowd goes mild for all of this), and when Benoit counters the RKO attempt into a Crossface the crowd DOES like it.  Orton's locked in the Crossface, and HHH recovers enough to get in Orton's face and taunt him, but Benoit decides to release the Crossface and instead slap that prick HHH into the Sharpshooter.  So of course, while Benoit has HHH in the Sharpshooter, Orton recovers and immediately sneaks up behind Benoit and RKO's him.  Crowd boos. [Note: this is an EXACTLY rip-off of a key spot I'd fantasy booked on Friday. Mine was better and made more sense, though.  Because my way, Orton did what he did in an attempt to beat two men for the price of one. WWE's way, Orton just seems like a fucking moron for attacking Benoit for no reason and basically saving HHH from suffering any punishment at all.  Idiots.]  Jericho and Edge decide to get back into the match at this point, but Jericho dodges a Spear attempt, and Edge crashes into Shawn Michaels, instead.  Michaels, in direct defiance of Referee Bylaw #1093, doesn't bother selling the light contact at all~!  Instead, at the first available opportunity, he hits Edge with a Superkick!  Jericho follows up with a Lionsault.  Michaels counts three.  Edge is eliminated first! 
    But the match continues.  Benoit has also had a chance to recover for Orton's dumbass RKO, and he and Jericho team up on HHH, leading up to a mega-cool spot in which Jericho locks HHH into the Walls, and Benoit piles on with the Crossface. Gotta love those clever Canucks. Orton? I don't remember what he's doing or why. Probably off waxing his ass cheeks in preparation for the climax of tonight's match or something...  but HHH is in the Double Canadian Deathlock, and suddenly, the countdown clock appears.  In 10 seconds, Batista will be able to save HHH, if HHH can survive!  5 seconds.  HHH hasn't tapped yet. And the clock hits zero!  But Batista's cage isn't opening smoothly!  More drama!  Sadly, here's yet another spot where my fantasy booking was way more awesome (why not have Batista crash through the cage to get into the match, dammit?)... but eventually, Batista is unleashed, and the Canadian Chrisses disengage HHH to face Batista. To no avail.  Who's got the fi-yah?  Batista's got the fi-yah! And he goes to town on everybody.  Orton: down.  Jericho: down.  Benoit: down. HHH: getting up.  Hmmmm...  HHH sees Batista, and locks eyes with him.  What's gonna happen?  I'm telling you, the live crowd seemed to be going nuts, and the Hooters crowd? SCREAMING and yelling and urging Batista to "DO IT.... DOOOOO IIIIIIITTTT!", I'm not exagerrating.  The match up to this point has been awesome, and right now, we are Having a Moment.  And then Jericho, Benoit, and Orton recover before Batista and HHH can do anything, and we cool down for a bit....
    And we never get that hot again, since the end of this match is gonna get really fucking lame.  But we'll get there in a second... for now, we settle in for about another 5 minutes of very good stuff (including Jericho being pressed into a camera man outside the ring in a neat spot that provided an excuse for the Chamber door to be opened, and an excuse for me to perk up and start fantasy booking extracurricular shennanigans while the trainers got into the Chamber; sadly, no extracuricular shenanigans happened)...  Benoit was nominally in control of the match at this point, and put HHH down... and cut his throat and was clearly planning to hit the swandive headbutt.... but once Benoit was on the top rope, he kept going!  And got on top of one of the Internal Chambers (another 5 feet up), and hit HHH with the headbutt from there. Holy Shit, indeed.  Awesome, and the crowd BRIEFLY peaked back to where they'd been for Batista's original entry into the match.  But then Batista crawled out from whatever rock he'd been under and spinebustered Benoit. And THEN, in a very cool spot, Jericho tried to attack, but Batista spinebustered him, too.  Right ON TOP OF Benoit.  Neato.  Batista shoved Jericho aside and covered Benoit.  1, 2, 3, and Benoit's gone.  Less than a minute later, Batista nailed Jericho with the sit-out power bomb, and Jericho was eliminated.
    So now we're down to Batista vs. Orton vs. HHH.  And this is also where the match really just starts to blow.  Fans are into exactly one dynamic: Batista vs. HHH. But Batista vs. HHH is something to be simmered slowly, so instead we got lots of Batista vs. Orton and HHH vs. Orton.  And the live crowd? Gives it nothing.  The Hooters crowd which minutes ago had been rocking? Silent and muttering.  I was sitting up at the bar with my friends and turned to one and mentioned how embarassed I was for Orton, how they were giving him this Pure Babyface Moment (one guy against two evil jerks), and the crowd was silent (and borderline booing when he'd do anything against Batista), suggesting that this was ultimate proof of how badly misutilized Orton is.  And the girl working the bar area (a known Orton fan), actually checked the TV for about 30 seconds, and then turned back to me and gave me a "Hey, you're right."  WHEEEE~! The Rick's wisdom: it's so profound, even Hooters Girls can get it!
    In any case, that's this whole fricking segment: Orton fighting the odds against HHH and Batista. Kicking out of everything, firing up to silence, and in general, sapping the energy out of what had, for 30 minutes, been a vastly entertaining match.  Orton's "real" comeback finally starts, and he puts HHH down in a corner, but Batista's there to say, "OK, enough, Randall, you get dead now."  As Batista sets up to powerbomb Orton, Orton instead counters with an uppercut to the nutsac, and then immediately follows up with an RKO.  1, 2, 3, and Batista is eliminated (plot point: Batista is eliminated, and HHH *let it happen* by not interfering when he could have; nice touch, but too little, too late).  Fucking hell.  Crowd can't even muster up the boos at this point; instead, it's just resigned silence, as they are slapped in the face by the least-crowd-satisfying finish possible: HHH vs. Orton.
    Orton's nominally in charge to start the one-on-one, but the crowd just doesn't care.  They're almost on HHH's side, if anything.  But the segment doesn't even last 2 minutes.  That's because the whole thing is predicated on the Chamber door opening for Batista to leave, but instead, Flair enters... and while Michaels is cutting Flair off at the pass, Batista has recovered enough, and gives Orton the K.O.-thesline.  Michaels finally restores order and gets Batista and Flair out of the Chamber. Then HHH gets to his feet, picks up the carcass of Orton (using a bit too much of the tights, giving us a full view of those freshly waxed ass cheeks of Randall's), hits a Pedigree, and that's that.  HHH is the World Champion yet again.
  • After the match: I, like the crowd, am vastly underwhelmed... but there's one moment of hope...  Batista and Flair hop in the Chamber and celebrate with HHH.  If Batista knows HHH dicked him over earlier, he doesn't let on at first, and clearly, he helped the boss win, so he's ever-so loyal... but then, he hoists HHH up on his shoulders.  A friend turns to me and says, "Hey, maybe he'll drop him" in exactly the tone of voice that indicates he knows it's not happening.  Hilariously, I hear THIS EXACT SAME thing said by two dudes walking out of Hooters; they don't hate HHH for winning, and they kinda WANT Batista to drop HHH on his head, but they know it's not happening. Because WWE has made it clear that they will give us a boring, expected, and unsatisfying ending, and we shall like it!  So that's the show: HHH and Batista and Flair celebrating. And (I'm guessing cuz of the injuries in early matches), it's a show that wraps up at about 25 minutes till 11pm.  [What can I say? For 30 minutes, this was an awesome match, just dramatic and action packed... but once it was down to Batista and Orton and HHH, it went to hell. Because WWE vastly over-estimates Orton's value.  Yes, we're fired up for Batista vs. HHH, but we got NONE of that; just a totally unsatisfying finish to what was so close to being an outstanding match.  In that way, it's a good microcosm for the night....  the PPV started off pretty strong in the opening hour, but then the Kane/Snitksy and Hassan/Lawler matches along with the Diva Search Losers just brought it crashing to a halt.  So it was with the main event: promising start, and then massive miscalculations and poor judgment mean the show limped to a flaccid conclusion.]

At this point, I'll sleep on it, try to figure out how the show as a whole fits together, and I'll have a synthesis of my thoughts for you tomorrow in OO.  Along with injury updates on Eugene and Lita.  And lots, lots more, too. See you then....


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