The New Year is just a few days old but already it’s time for WWE to hold a PPV. New Year’s Revolution takes place in Puerto Rico and finally we’ll crown a new World Heavyweight Champion, but just who will it be? Time to preview a show that will have major repercussions on Wrestlemania 21.
WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE
ELIMINATION CHAMBER MATCH: TRIPLE H V EDGE V RANDY ORTON V CHRIS JERICHO V CHRIS BENOIT V BATISTA
It seems so long ago since we had a World Heavyweight Champion but that’s not actually a bad thing. The past few weeks have been pretty entertaining as the top six contenders battle for position and bragging rights leading up to only the third ever Elimination Chamber match.
Six men, one title and plenty of arguments in the following weeks as the countdown to Wrestlemania 21 begins to hot up. The talk is that the Raw main event there is going to be Triple H v Randy Orton but just who will be the champion defending their title or could it even be a non-title match? Time to start speculating I think.
One thing is for sure, on Monday this question will not be asked: “Hi Chris, what’s it like being champ again?’ I cannot see either Jericho or Benoit becoming champion this Sunday. Jericho is simply there to make up the numbers before returning to the upper mid-card and the occasional IC Title reign. As for Benoit I’m not too sure. Being beaten by Batista was an interesting move as it gave Batista an enormous scalp but where does that leave Benoit? A feud with Edge is possible I suppose but I fear Benoit may never get the title back unless he turns heel.
So that’s two down, four to go. Edge has made it no secret that his big dream is to win the World Heavyweight Title, dream on man coz it ain’t gonnna happen this Sunday! Surely he’s booked for a feud with Shawn Michaels, so look out for Michaels to be anything but a fair referee in this match.
That’s half the competitors eliminated so now we can get down to the real match: Triple H v Randy Orton v Batista. That’s definitely the main contest here as the trio are scheduled to meet in a MSG event soon. I don’t hate Triple H but might do if he wins the belt on Sunday for the umpteenth time. But don’t worry fans because that simply isn’t going to happen.
As much as the feud between Triple H and Orton will dominate the first part of 2005, so will the rivalry between Triple H and Batista. I believe that rivalry will intensify this Sunday. As I’ve mentioned that win by Batista over Benoit was an important one. Triple H can’t go round saying he’s done to Benoit what Batista has so just why should Batista lie down for Triple H this Sunday? WWE are giving Batista a good push as they look for a face who could really kick-start the promotion. Recently Batista has been talking more and that win over Benoit gives him real impetus. A face turn after costing Triple H the title could work wonders for him.
Is that about to happen? I think it might. Triple H is bound to be in the match when Batista becomes the last man to leave his chamber (I wonder what he’ll be thinking about while spending all that time in there?). Surely HHH will be expecting Batista to wipe out his competitors, probably at that stage Orton and Benoit. But why the hell should he do that? Either on purpose or by accident I see Batista causing Randy Orton to win the title at Triple H’s expense. Where does that leave Evolution? Well I wouldn’t be surprised to see someone like Maven or perhaps one of the new Tough Enough guys come in as Batista’s replacement, though to be honest I think Evolution has had its day. This should be a great match setting up months of feuding on Raw.
IC TITLE: SHELTON BENJAMIN V MAVEN
Here’s your typical WWE way of setting up a match. Let the potential challenger pin the champ in a fairly meaningless tag match, let them boast about it for a bit and bingo there you have your title match. That’s exactly what has happened here as the new heel version of Maven gets one of the biggest matches of his life.
So can Maven get the title this Sunday? I’m not sure and that’s a good thing because predictability is one heck of a quick way of killing off a product. I see these two feuding for a few months, though probably not all the way to Wrestlemania. That loss of Benjamin’s to Triple H a couple of weeks ago was a bit of a blow for the guy. He’s lost that tag of never having lost to Triple H and now looks stuck in IC Title territory for the future. I think he’ll keep the belt but I have little confidence in making that declaration.
TAG TITLES: EUGENE/REGAL v CHRISTIAN/TOMKO
The Tag division is still in big trouble with barely any teams and well, it’s not exactly exciting is it. Eugene and Regal are a good comedy team and Regal was absolutely hilarious on Raw this week. Most of this feud has been played out on Heat which says a lot for the importance of the tag division. I have a feeling that there will be a title change here as Christian wins yet another tag title.
WOMEN’S TITLE: LITA V TRISH STRATUS
It’s hard what to make of the women’s division on Raw. Plenty of wrestlers have left the division and Ivory is restricted to proving she has the most irritating voice on TV, though I read she can now take indie bookings if she wants to wrestle.. All we have left is Lita, Trish, Victoria, Molly and Stacy. Oh we have plenty of new talent around, well, eye-candy, and they are fairly good at pillow lingerie fights but that doesn’t make for a great women’s division does it? The plus point is that Lita, Trish, Victoria and Molly are all pretty good in the ring. This should in fact be a decent match. Lita doesn’t miss so many spots now and Trish is getting better in the ring and as a heel. I have a feeling Lita will keep the belt but will there be any interference from Snitsky or Kane? A lot depends on where this match is placed on the card. What next? A falling out between Lita and Victoria would be interesting.
KANE V GENE SNITSKY
So let me get this straight. There’s this guy who sets fire to interviewers, tries to castrate the bosses son, buries The Undertaker alive, stalks Lita, impregnates her and forces her to marry him, and now we have to cheer him. It could only happen in pro wrestling!
How Kane fares as a face is going to be interesting but I see him starting this new phase of his career with a victory against Snitsky. I’m still not too sure about this guy. He does a good job in playing a creep but his character is too similar to that of Kane’s without all the fire stuff, Kane had fire, this guy has a pram! It should be a reasonable match and I see the feud continuing for awhile yet.
MUHAMMAD HUSSAN V JERRY LAWLER
Another thing I can’t quite work out is this. Why is it Lawler spends all his time cheering on the heels when he’s commentating, but when he wrestles he’s always a face these days?
This storyline is still getting a mixed reaction. The basic message that Arab-Americans are now facing increased discrimination since 9/11 is a fact, it happens in the UK as well. But the problem is wrestling can be an extremely racist business and has been for years. All you need is a foreign wrestler and some foreign music/language and fans will boo unless they’ve been told to cheer them. So this storyline will never get a sympathetic hearing. The problem is though that when Hassan criticises the war and American soldiers he turns from a person unfairly discriminated against into an anti-war, anti-US demonstrator.
It’ll be interesting to see how far Vince takes this. There’s talk of matches against either Mick Foley or even Hogan at Wrestlemania 21. Hussan has to win this match to keep the storyline going and I believe he will.
This isn’t a bad PPV, in fact it could get WWE off to a very good start, and won’t Raw on Monday night be something to stay up for? It’s also one of the few PPV’s I’ll see this year so it should be a good night’s viewing.