I saw this one in the video store today, and couldn't resist picking it up. After all, it's the one event in '07 that Larry Csonka was unable to review. I, myself, never even considered buying this PPV live, both because I'm a cheap SOB (and broke besides) and because New Year's Revolution has traditionally been no more than a build-up PPV for the Rumble. However, seeing as how I reviewed the '07 Rumble not that long ago, I figured I might as well make the trip back a few weeks to the '07 Revolution and get a review up for that show as well. Besides, given my recent rental activity, I was able to rent this one for free! I love Hasting's. Let's get to it.
WWE New Year's Revolution '07 |
Posted by the Accelerator, March 11th, 2007
- The cover features DX (Shawn Michaels & Triple H) in their historical costumes, holding up the "DX-Claration of Independence" complete with the green DX mark in the middle. Triple H's bald-cap (as he's dressed like Benjamin Franklin) is rather humorous. I can almost see an elderly Hulk Hogan in there.
- I also have to mention that this DVD might possibly have the WORST EXTRAS EVER for a WWE DVD. I mean, Cena vs. Federline and "Trump" vs. "O'Donnell"? Talk about two matches I never really cared to see again!
- Not sure if it's just missing on DVD or what, but there is absolutely no intro video. We just simply get the announcer telling us welcome to New Year's Revolution. Weird.
- The announcers for tonight are Jim Ross and Jerry "The King" Lawler, as the Steel Cage is lowered for the first match.
- Oh, wait, here's the intro video. Bizarre. We have the Rated RKO/D-Generation X feud, then Cena/Umaga. A nice little review of the two major matches of the night, although the one I'm looking forward to is the first one tonight.
Jeff Hardy(c) vs. Johnny Nitro w/ Melina, WWE International Heavyweight Title Steel Cage Match:
Did I mention I love Cage matches? This one allows for escape, pinfall, or submission. The story here, basically, is that Hardy and Nitro have been trading the title back and forth for weeks now, leading to them trying to settle things inside the steel. JR quickly talks about how the Hardys took out Nitro's M-N-M partner, Joey Mercury, with a ladder shot back at Armageddon '06, which has been a major part of this feud. They lock the door and ring the bell. Hardy claps to get the crowd motivated. I don't think they need it, but ok. Nitro takes the advantage to start with punches and kicks. A Hardy chant starts quickly, and Hardy responds, turning Nitro around in the corner and stomping away on him. Hardy goes to the 10 Punches early, then lands his Corner Dropkick to get a 2 count. Nitro comes back with a facebuster maneuver for his own 2 count. The announcers debate whether Melina is a screamer or a screecher. A Gourdbuster from Hardy gets 2, then Nitro gets a Savante Kick for his own 2 count. A lot of close pinfalls for so early in the match.
Nitro starts to climb up, but the Hardy chants again inspire Hardy to quickly get up and stop him. He gets a "Swinging Lariat" (according to JR) to put Nitro down, then tries to crawl out the door, only to have Nitro easily stop him. Hardy next tries to climb out, but Nitro dropkicks him down, then drops him throat-first across the ropes. With Hardy trapped between the ropes and the cage, Nitro beats on him, giving him several running knees. Nitro makes the climb, but Hardy quickly stops him, with both men balancing on the ropes. Hardy lands a dropkick off the ropes, and both men hit hard! Not sure who got the worst of that. When both get back up, Nitro reverses a whip and sends Hardy into the corner. Hardy almost makes him pay, though, as he leaps up the turnbuckle and nearly leaves the cage! Nitro runs to catch up with him, then gives him a Back Superplex! Nitro next tries a charge, but Hardy catches him and throws him into the side of the cage, and the spots are everywhere right now.
Hardy tries to climb up, with Nitro climbing after him. Both are at the middle of the cage, standing on the top rope. Hardy wins out with a Russian Legsweep, and both are down again. Hardy rises first and climbs up the turnbuckle, but Nitro quickly follows, then uses Hardy as a stepping stool to get to the top of the cage. Hardy punches away to stop him, but Nitro responds with a Sunset Flip Powerbomb off the top of the cage!! The replay shows how hard Hardy's head hit the mat. Nitro climbs up the middle of the cage and gets a leg over, but Hardy catches him again, hanging him upside down, with his legs pinned in the cage! Of course, Hardy fell all the way to the mat, so it may not have been the best strategy. As Nitro frees himself, Melina nails Hardy's fingers through the steel mesh with her belt, allowing Nitro to get a Missile Dropkick. A Neckbreaker follows, but Nitro is no longer trying for pinfalls for some reason. He goes for a Crossbody off the turnbuckle, but Hardy catches him with a slam, then uses the turnbuckle to land the Swanton Bomb! Melina's not happy. Hardy has the sense to make the pin attempt, but Nitro has the sense to get a foot on the ropes to save himself.
Hardy's fired up, as he starts to run around the ring, hitting kicks and lifting Nitro for a Backdrop. Nitro, though, blocks a charge in the corner, then tries to climb out again, with Hardy grabbing his leg and keeping him in. Nitro doesn't give up, pulling himself halfway out. Nitro tries to fall out, as the crowd screams. Hardy pulls him back in, and tries for a top rope Twist of Fate! But Nitro holds on, as Hardy hits hard back down the mat. It must have taken all of Nitro's energy, though, as he takes forever to recover and climb the cage. As he gets to the top, Melina blocks the door, keeping Hardy from escaping. The ref takes care of Melina, as Nitro climbs down near the door. Hardy seizes his opportunity, booting the door open and causing Nitro to crotch himself!! As Nitro simply sits there in pain, Hardy dives out the door, winning the match and staying the Intercontinental Champion!
Ace Thoughts: The match wasn't one of the best cage matches I've ever seen, but it had its moments. The main problem was with the flow, as it seemed like every high spot was followed by the set-up for the next spot. I didn't really feel like a story was being told. So while it wasn't a bad opening, I don't really feel hugely excited, either. Good match, just not great.
- Todd Grisham interviews the tag champs, Rated RKO. They're going to do more than beat DX. They're going to end their run. Orton makes sure to mention that he & Edge are fighting for their livelihood.
Cryme Time (Shad & JTG) vs. the Highlanders (Robbie & Rory) vs. The World's Greatest Tag-Team (Shelton Benjamin & Charlie Haas) vs. Lance Cade & Trevor Murdoch vs. "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan & Super Crazy, Tag-Team Turmoil #1 Contenders Match:
This is a special bonus match. The crowd doesn't seem to excited as it gets started. We start out with the Highlanders and the WGTT. Haas goes against Rory, with Haas taking Rory quickly to the mat. Haas next tries for a hip toss, but Rory blocks it and lands a headbutt, then quickly tags in Robbie. I still like how these guys tag by hitting each other in the head. The Highlanders double-team Haas, while keeping Benjamin outside of the ring. But when Rory misses a charge into the turnbuckle, Haas responds with a hard clothesline, then brings Rory over to his corner to tag in Benjamin. The two quickly land their finisher, the Leapfrog Splash off of the ropes, for 2. More double-teaming, as Benjamin slams Rory onto Haas' knee. Another 2 count, and the crowd is bored. The WGTT concentrates on Rory's back for a while with rest holds. Rory comes back with a series of attempted pins, but Benjamin gets free and keeps Robbie from tagging in. At least for a minute. Rory suddenly runs free and tags Robbie for the mild tag. The crowd is seriously dead. They only start to wake up when Robbie clotheslines Benjamin out of the ring, then calls for a high-risk maneuver. But Benjamin comes back and catches Robbie with a Superplex to get the pinfall, eliminating the Highlanders.
Next out is the strange pairing of Hacksaw & Super Crazy. Benjamin greats Duggan into the ring with punches to the head. Do you not know your history, Benjamin? Hacksaw takes control with chops and "Hoooos", but Haas catches him from the outside with a knee to the back to slow the legendary wrestler down. The WGTT starts dominating Hacksaw, as the crowd, a little more alive now, starts to chant for Super Crazy. Benjamin chokes Hacksaw in the corner, while Haas distracts the ref. But Haas then redoes his partner's mistake by trying to slam Hacksaw's head into the corner. Ahh, the naivety of youth. Hacksaw, of course, comes alive. He hammers Haas, then sets up the Three Point Stance and lands his Running Tackle! It's not for a pin attempt, though, as Hacksaw uses it to make the tag to Super Crazy. It obviously wouldn't have worked for a pin, anyway, as Haas got right back up. Super Crazy lets loose with a series of moves on Haas, but gets hit by one punch from the outside by Benjamin, then is pinned by Haas on a German Suplex. The crowd is deflated again.
Cade & Murdoch come in next, running to the ring to take advantage of the tired tag-team. Cade dominates Benjamin at first, although Benjamin nearly steals it with a quick pin attempt. It's heels vs. heels! Cade holds Benjamin to allow Murdoch to run in and nearly take his head off with a huge kick. Murdoch uses the rest holds on Benjamin, keeping him contained. Cade gets tagged in and nearly wins with a Neckbreaker. Cade tries several pins, obviously wanting to finish this one quick. Murdoch is tagged back in, with Cade dropping Murdoch legfirst across Benjamin for another 2 count. Murdoch makes the usual mistake of trying to suplex Benjamin, who can always reverse it into his Neckbreaker. Benjamin tags in Haas, to little fanfare. He still cleans house with dropkicks and suplexes, followed by a Missile Dropkick on Murdoch. As Haas locks Murdoch into the Haas of Pain, Cade comes off the turnbuckle with a Flying Elbow to take out Haas! The ref, who had been distracted by trying to get Benjamin out of the ring, comes back to make the count, and the WGTT are gone.
The last team is Cryme Tyme, and the fans sound excited again. Shad & JTG run out to attack, but JTG quickly gets thrown out by Cade. Shad, though, dominates Cade & Murdoch with slams, as JTG goes to his corner. Shad tags in JTG, and they get their Slingshot Splash for a 2 count. Cade gets a knee to the gut on JTG to show that he's still the weakest link, then tags in Murdoch. Murdoch nearly gets caught by a Backslide, but Cade & Murdoch stay in control, landing the High-Low on JTG, who luckily falls to the outside. By the time Murdoch gets him back in, the count is only 2. Cade & Murdoch continue to isolate JTG, which would be cool if we hadn't seen that in every match in this Tag-Team Turmoil. The heels use dirty tactics, with Murdoch choking JTG with the tag rope. JTG nearly gets a roll-up on Murdoch, but the ref is busy with Cade and doesn't see it to count. This leads to more domination of JTG, until Murdoch tries a second-rope maneuver and gets booted in the face. Shad goes crazy, as JTG crawls towards him. Cade takes care of Shad, though, and gets Murdoch to make a suplex attempt. JTG escapes, however, and makes the hot tag! Shad goes wild on both men, then avoids the High Low attempt. Seconds later, Shad & JTG land their Neckbreaker/Samoan Drop maneuver to finish things, getting the win and becoming the #1 Contenders! Er, supposedly.
Ace Thoughts: First off, I have to mention that flow seems to be a problem tonight. I still haven't had a match where I really feel like I'm involved in it. I'm sure the crowd is part of it, as they really aren't going crazy about any of these matches thus far. The fact that every tag bout was very similar was also a drawback. I also have to make sure that I mention that Cryme Tyme, as far as I know, never got that tag-team title match they were supposed to get, which makes this match meaningless.
- Vince McMahon talks with Jonathan Coachman about the running feud in the press between Rosie O'Donnell and Donald Trump. Vince is going to have O'Donnell and Trump wrestle on Raw. This led to one of the worst matches to ever happen on Monday night between the two impersonators. Don't see it. It'll scar you for life. Anyhow, the Coach pumps up Vince by bragging about Vince's catchphrase ("You're Fired"). Ron Simmons is there to give Coach a "Damn!"
Kenny Dykstra vs. "The Nature Boy" Ric Flair:
Dykstra comes out dressed in a Nature Boy robe and gets on the mic, talking about Flair having an excuse for tonight. A video plays, showing Rated RKO giving Flair a Con-Chair-To. Dykstra is still willing to beat down Flair again. Flair comes out in his own hot pink robe. If anyone's secure in his masculinity, it's Flair. The two lock up, with Kenny getting the shoulderblock, which is followed by a mocking strut. Flair responds with his own shoulderblock, but Kenny comes back with a leapfrog and a dropkick for a pinfall attempt. We have a punch-vs-chop exchange, with the fans loving the Flair chops. Flair bounces Kenny into the corner, gets a Back Bodydrop, then chops the man out of the ring. The crowd is Whooo'ing. We go to the outside, as Kenny pulls Flair out and Suplexes him on the floor! Painful-looking landing for the Nature Boy.
Kenny sends Flair back into the ring and suplexes him again for a pin attempt. Multiple elbow drops to the back only gets 1 for Kenny, who opts to go old-school and apply a Boston Crab. After a looonngg time in the hold, with the Sign Guy clearly cheering Flair on in the background (look for the red hat/blue shirt), Flair grabs the ropes to escape. Kenny continues to dominate with punches in the corner, as the ref complains. Flair answers with some more chops, and you have to feel pity for Kenny's chest. Exchange of punches, with Kenny winning out. Kenny signals for the Figure Four, but slowly gets rolled up for a 2 count. Flair in control with even more chops, then makes his usual mistaken decision to climb the ropes. The Sign Guy is trying to wave him off, but it doesn't work, as Kenny slams him from the turnbuckle. Kenny lands a Missile Dropkick for another 2 count. Flair resorts to dirty tactics to come back, with an eye poke and some chop blocks. Flair applies the Figure Four, as the crowd comes alive. Flair slaps him while in the hold, as Kenny keeps almost letting himself get pinned. Kenny eventually makes the ropes, leading to Flair punching him in the corner. The ref decides to get in the way, trying to stop Flair, allowing Kenny to land a low blow and roll up Flair, getting his third victory over Flair in a row.
Ace Thoughts: I suppose, if this match was on television, I'd have a better impression of it. I just didn't get that excited, possibly because the crowd never got that excited. The Figure Four maneuver was a nice touch, but the ending was pretty random. I wouldn't call it a bad match by any means, I just won't be putting it into Match of the Year consideration. It's just there. Say whatever you want with it.
- In the back, Melina comforts an iced-down Johnny Nitro. Nitro tells Melina to call Joey (Mercury) to get together to make the Hardys pay. Melina, though, gets stopped by Victora, who points out that Melina's the only one not on her "elimination" list. Victoria works a deal with Melina, getting her to help her win the Women's Championship later on.
- JR commentates about Victoria's recent destruction streak, including Candice Michelle (who got a broken nose), Maria, Torrie Wilson, and even a non-title victory over Mickie James.
Mickie James(c) vs. Victoria, WWE Women's World Title Match:
Victoria gives her list to JR & the King to hold onto. Mickie has a full-out white outfit going on. A lock-up is easily won by the stronger Victoria. She takes down Mickie and goes right into a contorting neck hold. We have twisting arm locks, with Mickie getting free with a cartwheel and giving Victoria a Monkey Flip. Victoria back in control with a headlock, followed by a shoulderblock. Victoria opted to pose with her hair, but Mickie takes advantage, dropping the challenger and getting multiple armdrags. In the corner, Mickie tries for a Mickie-Con-Rana, but Victoria blocks it, throwing Mickie to the apron and booting her off to the outside. Victoria follows, dominating the champion with a face-first plunge onto the rail for the champ. Back in the ring, Victoria tells Lillian Garcia to sit back down (ok, strange, but ok). Mickie nearly takes advantage with a roll-up for a 2 count.
Victoria still stays in control, choking Mickie on the ropes. The announcers quickly talk about the risk of disqualification. Major bump here, as Victoria tosses Mickie across the ring by her hair! The crowd groaned for that one. Victoria tries a standing moonsault, but Mickie rolls out of the way, then comes back strong with punches, a clothesline, and reverse elbows. A straight right hand nearly gives Mickie the win. The two fight into the corner, with Mickie getting the Mickie-Can-Rana this time. Victoria goes to the outside, where Melina shows up to help out. Melina tries to punch Mickie, but, fortunately for Victoria, misses, and Mickie puts her down. Back in the ring, Mickie tries to set up Victoria for the DDT, but Melina blocks it by grabbing Mickie's leg. Candice Michelle and Maria come out to get rid of Melina's interference, as Victoria prepares for the Widow's Peak, but almost gets rolled up instead. Victoria then gives Mickie a boot and goes for a slam variation of some point, with Mickie getting out of it with a spinning DDT for the 3 count, retaining the title.
Ace Thoughts: Actually a pretty good women's match in this day and age, with only a few slow areas. I honestly think that they should have just put the title back around Victoria's waist, then had Mickie chase her for the belt for a few months. It would probably have worked better than the expected Wrestlemania Women's Title match between Ashley and Melina. Still, at least this match had a little excitement, even if, once again, the flow wasn't that great.
- A video montage shows Rated RKO's bloody assault on Ric Flair, since he was De-Generation X's friend. DX answers by saying that it's now personal. Rated RKO wins one of the battles, bloodying both Michaels & Triple H with RKO's and Con-Chair-To's. This promo's all about how a group was actually able to stand up against DX, which really was necessary, seeing as how so many others had been completely dominated and ruined by the duo. Need I mention the Spirit Squad? Ok then.
Rated RKO (Randy Orton & Edge)(c) vs. D-Generation X (Shawn Michaels & Triple H), WWE Raw World Tag-Team Titles Match:
DX does their opening spiel, using up precious PPV time. Then again, this may have the loudest pops of the night from this Kansas City crowd, so what do I know?
Shawn Michaels: I like... I like the sugary side.
Triple H: Everybody likes the sugary side. But about 1 minute from now, you are going to see the ass-kicking side of De-Generation X like you have NEVER seen before! Sooooo, let's get ready to suck it!!
Shawn Michaels: And if you're not down with that, we've got two words for ya!
Crowd: Suck it!
The fight quickly begins in the aisleway, with DX meeting Rated RKO and taking immediate control. Edge takes a suplex and a backdrop from HHH on the floor, and he's already in trouble. Michaels sends Orton's head into the steel steps. Michaels and Edge are in the ring to start the match. Edge gets beaten down by both members of DX for a while. Edge escapes by dodging a charge by HBK, who slams into the post. Orton tags in and punches away on Michaels, but makes a similar mistake as he charges at HBK in the corner and gets a boot in the face. Michaels gives Orton a running kick into the ribs, then drags Orton to the corner and tags in Triple H. After being built up strongly, Rated RKO sure is getting dominated right now. Triple H hangs Orton over the apron and beats on him with elbows. Michaels adds in a Legdrop, with Triple H getting a 2 count. Michaels is tagged back in and chops away on Orton, who is now bleeding from the head. Quick tags for DX, with both concentrating on Orton's bloody wound. The crowd cheers for the violence. A replay shows the legdrop again, with Michaels' boot apparently bashing Orton in the face.
Orton reverses a whip, allowing Edge to get a cheap shot from the outside. It doesn't even faze the mighty Triple H, who throws Edge into the ring. Triple H fights off both tag champs, until Edge clips his knee, finally allowing Rated RKO to get back into this one. Edge locks all focus onto the knee, including a smash around the ringpost. The crowd doesn't like Edge, who gives a "Whooo" and sets up for the Figure Four. But Triple H sends Edge into the corner and tags in Michaels. Early for hot tag, but ok. Michaels lands the Flying Forearm on Edge and kips up, giving Edge an Inverted Atomic Drop. HBK sends Orton off of the apron, then climbs the turnbuckle and comes off with the Flying Elbow. But Orton immediately comes back in and clotheslines Michaels to the mat. Triple H runs in and takes out Orton, and Michaels sends Edge out, putting both members of RKO outside. Michaels opts to do a dive, taking out the champs. Nice move for the old-timer.
Edge is back in the ring, with Michaels trying to follow, but Orton stops him, allowing Edge to get a nasty Spear sending Michaels off the apron. Orton adds a Tag Title hit, giving Michaels another infamous Crimson Mask. Finally, Rated RKO has a strong advantage, as the crowd starts chanting for HBK. Edge concentrates on the wound, getting more blood, and Orton comes in to add a Backbreaker off the ropes for a 2 count. Orton stomps all around Michaels, then drops a knee on the back of Michaels' head for another 2 count. Edge comes in for more kicks and punches, leaving blood splattered on the mat. Edge whips Michaels hard into the corner, and you can see the blood across Edge's chest. Another pinfall attempt, another 2 count. Orton back in with punches on HBK's back. Michaels tries to fight off his back, wit Orton ripping away at Micheals' eyes. Michaels, in the corner, chops away to try and escape, but another eye poke stops him. Rated RKO double-teams with a Double Backbreaker, with Triple H breaking up the count.
Edge gets on a rest hold, holding Michaels' arms and tweaking his back with a knee. As with all rest holds, the face powers out, with Michaels getting some chops and a back suplex to get Triple H fired up for the tag. But Edge manages to stop HBK, absorbing a few chops and getting a big boot. Edge wearily tags in Orton, who strolls for a second before getting into Michaels' face and goading him to get up. Orton tries for the RKO, but Michaels tosses him off, then struggles to the corner, making the hot tag! The crowd goes wild as Triple H delivers clotheslines and a big knee to Edge. Orton comes back in, and it's two-on-one, with Triple H easily beating down both men, sending Edge to the outside with a clothesline. Triple H delivers a huge Spinebuster to Orton, but crushes his knee on the move. The ref immediately makes the count on Orton, even though Edge is the legal man, but Orton kicks out. Triple H is in real pain, and it's clear that this isn't part of the match.
Despite the pain, Triple H gives Edge a weak-looking Spinebuster for a "legal" 2 count, then tries for the Pedigree on one leg. Orton stops it with an RKO, and Triple H just collapsed. Michaels catches the gloating Orton with some Sweet Chin Music, sending him out of the ring. HBK to the outside from a knee from Edge, who goes for the pin on Triple H for 2. Edge positions Triple H in the corner (where he can hold the ropes) and goes for the Spear, but Triple H dodges it. He manages to stand long enough for a slight Pedigree on Edge, with Edge escaping the weak pin. The crowd is really feeling for Triple H right now. Michaels comes running through the ring and gets a running Plancha on Orton on the outside, and I'm wondering if there was an edit on the DVD, since every report I've looked at talks about Orton having whiffed on a chair shot in here somewhere. Oh well. HBK takes out the referee, then gets a chair, viciously nailing Rated RKO. Triple H joins in with his own chairshots, and Orton is bleeding like a stuck pig. Edge is bleeding, too, but nowhere near as bad as Orton. Both men are sent to the outside, with Michaels setting up the announce tables. Despite Triple H's knee injury, he gives Edge a Pedigree on the table, which doesn't give. Ouch. Triple H signals to Michaels, who gets a huge flying elbow onto Orton through the table!! Yowsa. That's, uh, about the end of it, as Triple H is the only one not bleeding, but also the only one seriously injured.
Ace Thoughts: It's always hard to critique a match with a major injury, as this match collapsed after the Spinebuster broke Triple H's knee. I'll give Triple H respect, as he didn't stop things after the injury, which would put him on the shelf for a long while (he's still gone as of this writing, and isn't expected back until Summerslam). Orton really gave of himself, as he's really bleeding. While I won't criticize the way the match went, I will be a little more critical of the ending. Really, Rated RKO needed to be shown as a strong force to oppose DX, but it's clear that DX was simply set up to dominate another tag-team again. Who knows what would have happened had Triple H not been injured? Would Rated RKO have become jobbers for a while, to feed the hunger of DX? I remember hoping that Edge & Orton would manage the cheap victory somehow. Actually, they might have, although no official announcement was made. I personally give Rated RKO the DQ win, seeing as how Michaels punched out the referee with no remorse. The only reasons to watch this match is blood loss and the determination of Triple H to continue on.
- Todd Grisham talks to WWE Champion John Cena about facing the unbeaten Samoan Bulldozer, Umaga. Cena goes into Movie Voice mode, promoting the match to the cheers of the fans.
Of course, Cena then says that it's not true, as he was just doing what Grisham was looking for. Cena talks about how hard it is to beat Umaga, but he's damn proud to call himself WWE champion. Nothing lasts forever, nothing is impossible, and nothing's stopping Cena from leaving with the gold.
- We have a promo for the Royal Rumble. I saw that a few weeks back, pretty good show. I'd rather be watching it again at this point, but I love Rumbles, so that's always going to be true.
- JR & the King show off a puddle of blood near the broken announce table. Yuck.
Carlito w/ Torrie Wilson (and Chloe) vs. Chris Masters:
And here we have the match to try and help the crowd recover before the title match. Masters is shown putting Torrie in the Masterlock, with Carlito making the save for his girl. I don't think the crowd would be caring about any match after the last bloody finish, but this one's got a double-stigma of being a match that's taken place several times to little crowd reaction. Carlito tries to run after Masters quickly, with Masters using the ropes to avoid the lock-up. They do lock-up a second later, with Carlito taking Masters down and punching away on him. He chops Masters in the corner, then moves him around, with Masters reversing a whip. Carlito manages a boot up in the corner, then gets a nice jumping Bulldog variation. Masters comes back with a high Backdrop on Carlito. Masters dominates for a few minute, with Carlito managing to come back with a dropkick. Masters sends Carlito to the apron and tries for a headbutt into the opposite corner, but Carlito blocks it and elbows Masters away. Carlito then hits a high, HIGH-risk move, landing a perfect Double Springboard Moonsault Press!! That was impressive, even if it only ended with a 2 count.
Masters gets control back by sending Carlito headfirst into the turnbuckle, then tries for the Masterlock, with Carlito reversing into his own full-nelson attempt! Masters reverses again, with Carlito getting to the ropes. Masters flips Carlito over, then punching him in front of Torrie. The hair, as always, is a disadvantage for Carlito. Backbreaker gets a 2 count, followed by a Backbreaker submission hold. Torrie slaps the mat to bring the crowd briefly to life, allowing Carlito to get out with an elbow. BTW, behind Torrie is a girl with a really funky green mohawk. Just thought I'd mention that. Carlito tries to flip out of the corner, but Masters immediately catches him with a huge clothesline. Masters yells at Carlito about trying to impress Torrie, then Carlito does impress her, getting his Springboard Back Elbow. Carlito's firing up, getting a knee lift, a clothesline, and a drop on the face for 2. Carlito tries a Mysterio-like maneuver, with Masters reversing it into the Masterlock! Carlito gets free by trying a roll-up, but Masters holds on and gets the roll-up himself, getting the surprise pinfall for the victory! Afterwards, Masters rubs it in by applying the Masterlock to Carlito, leaving him laid out in the ring with Torrie laying over him. Masters teases going after Torrie, but just walks away.
Ace Thoughts: Eh. It was there, and Carlito continues to pull out some great maneuvers that popped the crowd, but there was nothing these two could do to have a really good match at this point in the night. I would have liked a little better finish, too, but oh well. It is what it is. BTW, I think that this was pretty much the end of the feud, with a match or two left on Raw.
- A promo talks about the feud between Cena and the undefeated Umaga. Can Cena beat the monster? We'll soon find out.
John Cena(c) vs. Umaga w/ Armando Alejandro Estrada, WWE Raw Heavyweight Title Match:
Cena gets a special dragon-fire entrance from the set. They're always looking for ways to get the fans behind da Champ. Lillian Garcia does the special ring announcing. JR mentions that Cena's giving up 102 pounds to Umaga. That's not including Estrada. Cena starts things off with punches, then dodges a charge and punches away on the big man. Umaga misses a charge in the corner, as Cena is using is speed. Umaga charges again, with Cena lowering the ropes to send Umaga to the outside. Umaga loses it, scaring JR & the King, with Estrada coming over to calm the challenger down. Umaga gets on the apron, with Cena trying to shoulderblock him back down. Umaga sends Cena flying to the outside, and Cena's grabbing at his knee, making me remember Triple H, as well as Cena's injury a few years back at a Rumble. Back in the ring, Umaga continues his charging ways, racing at Cena, who keeps getting up legs. Cena then tries to run forward himself and gets clotheslined hard.
Umaga punches away on Cena, giving him rubber legs. Cena comes back with punches, but runs right into the Samoan Drop, and the crowd loudly deflates. As Cena climbs up on the apron, Umaga sends him flying into the announce table. The ref starts counting, and Estrada calls for Umaga to get Cena back into the ring. After all, the belt doesn't change hands on a countout. Umaga "bounces Cena's face off the table like a basketball" (according to JR), then gets Cena back into the ring. Cena gets shoulder hits from the apron and tries for a Sunset Flip, but Umaga fights out, trying a Butt Splash, with no success. Cena tries for a bodyslam, but falls backwards for a near 2 count. Umaga goes back to domination, kicking away at the fallen champion. Umaga punches Cena to the apron, but gets dropped throat-first on the ropes. Cena immediately goes to the top and tries a Splash, but Umaga catches him and delivers a Tilt-A-Whirl Sidewalk Slam for a 2 count, with Cena only stopping it with a foot on the ropes.
Umaga, with Estrada sending orders, delivers a Samoan Headbutt (the worst kind), then shoulderblocks him to the mat. Cena manages to avoid another hit and gets a Blockbuster, but it's on the head, so Umaga is back up within a second and gets a running Spinning Kick! This is total domination. Umaga uses the other weapon blessed by many Samoans, the Butt Splash, to total effect, smashing Cena's chest. He goes to the well one too many times, though, with Cena getting his knees up. That has to hurt your knees. Cena goes for the FU, but can't hold him. Cena fell straight forward, with Umaga landing on his head. Ouch. Umaga throws Cena to the outside, then celebrates, as Estrada tells him to wait. Eventually, Cena comes back in, with Umaga punching him in through the ropes. Estrada's signaling for a nerve hold, as Umaga punches away. Umaga finally sees him and responds, applying it. I like the effect of Estrada calling moves in advance; it adds to the story.
Cena struggles and eventually escapes the hold, then tries the ropes, only to get hammered by an elbow. Estrada is yelling for the Spike, and Umaga climbs the ropes, coming off the 2nd-turnbuckle, but misses, as Cena avoids the dive. Both men are down, with it being a race to see who gets up first. It's about a tie, as the two exchange punches, with Cena taking the momentum. He clotheslines Umaga repeatedly but can't drop him, with Umaga punching him in the ribs to stop the run. Cena just can't stop the monster. He can still dodge, though, avoiding a charge into the corner, then throwing Umaga straight into the ringpost! Cena catches Umaga coming back and lands the Protobomb! The crowd is fired up. Cena lands the Five Knuckle Shuffle, then tries for the FU, but his back can't handle it. This allows Umaga to land a Belly-to-Belly Suplex, and the crowd goes down again. Umaga hangs Cena in the Tree of Woe, then runs from the other side with a Flying Headbutt! He unlocks Cena in the corner and, once again, charges, this time for a Butt Splash. Cena kicks him on the way in, then grabs Umaga from behind and rolls him up, shockingly getting the win out of nowhere! The crowd loves it much more than Masters' roll-up from the last match, that's for sure. Umaga pitches a fit after the match, beating on the announce table. Even Estrada can't control him.
Ace Thoughts: This really was just a set-up match for their rematch at the '07 Rumble (a great match, btw), but they still worked a pretty good story here. It was clear that Cena just couldn't beat Umaga the way he had previous contenders, as all his attempts just seemed to fail. But Cena was able to use his quickness and his intelligence to get the quick roll-up, surviving with the title. Cena looked good by retaining the belt, while Umaga came out of the match looking even more dominant, which is hard to do after a loss. Enjoyable dominating match here, made more-so by the fact that I already know about their Rumble encounter. The best thing for you to do is to check out both of those matches, as it will help your appreciation of them.
All-in-all, I wasn't that impressed with this Pay-Per-View. Although it had a few good moments here and there, nothing really stands out. In fact, almost everything was a set-up, in one way or another, for the Rumble. The Carlito/Masters, Dykstra/Flair, James/Victoria, and the Tag-Team Gauntlet Matches all seemed like something I could see on a Monday Night Raw, which is not what you want from something you've put a lot of money down to see. There were definitely a lot of roll-up pins, a sure sign that the writers didn't want anyone losing heat before the Rumble. Granted, the other three matches (Hardy/Nitro, DX/RKO, and Cena/Umaga) were a little different, but they're barely worth renting this one. Luckily, as I stated earlier, I got this rental for free, so I'm not complaining. If you want to see the bloodshed (and injuries) of the DX/RKO match, or the Steel Cage antics, then go ahead and rent this one. Otherwise, feel free to skip over it.