January 8, 2005
Raw's New Years Revolution may buck trend
By TJ MADIGAN - Calgary Sun

Blame it on the shallow talent pool. Blame it on a creative team lacking creativity. You can even bring up that old adage about the whole being greater than the sum of the parts.

Whatever the reason, things never seem to work out when Raw and Smackdown make solo ventures into pay-per-view land.

With a few notable exceptions -- last year's Backlash show in Edmonton, for example --WWE's single brand PPVs rarely amount to more than a waste of $35.

Tomorrow night, however, if WWE bosses play their cards right, they may be able to buck that trend.

New Years Revolution, the first Raw-only PPV of 2005, goes out live from Coliseo De Puerto Rico in San Juan. And even before the opening bell rings, the wrestling gods seem to be smiling on the event.

For one thing, the crowd will be red hot. This is the first WWE PPV to ever emanate from Puerto Rico, selling out weeks in advance with a million-dollar live gate.

The TV audience also will be into the action, as the event comes on the heels of a home-run episode of Raw last Monday.

Now all WWE has to do is deliver the goods.

The main event will pit Triple H, Batista, Chris Benoit, Randy Orton, Edge and Chris Jericho in a six-way struggle for the vacant world championship. The match will be fought in the Elimination Chamber, with Shawn Michaels as guest referee.

Three other titles will be on the line, with Maven challenging Shelton Benjamin for the Intercontinental championship, Trish Stratus battling Lita for the women's belt and Christian and Tyson Tomko chasing Eugene and William Regal's tag-team straps.

Kane is scheduled to go one on one with Gene Snitsky and Muhammad Hassan will take on Jerry Lawler.

New Years Revolution goes down tomorrow night at 6 p.m. on pay-per-view. Calgary fans can catch the action live at Cineplex Odeon Sunridge Spectrum or at Bottoms Up Sports Pub on 17 Ave. S.W.

The Sunday Night Heat pre-game show will air at 5 p.m. on (25) Spike TV.

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RINGSIDE: Brock Lesnar made his first wrestling appearance in almost a year at the New Japan Tokyo Dome show Tuesday.

After being introduced by Antonio Inoki, who brokered the deal for him to come to Japan, Lesnar sat at ringside for the Ultimate Royal elimination matches. He was joined by his fiance Rena Mero (Sable) and longtime wrestling coach, Brad Rheingans.

Lesnar did not get involved in anything physical at the show -- he is still subject to a non-compete clause in his WWE contract -- and left ringside immediately after Ron Waterman was declared the winner.

On Thursday, Lesnar scored some extra press when he announced he and Mero plan to marry on the Pacific island of Palau this year.

He also expressed interest in a shoot-fighting deal with Pride or K-1, although many believe he is simply trying to up his name value so WWE will re-sign him after his short-lived NFL career.

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FIGHT FOR HONOUR: Samoa Joe will attempt to regain the Ring of Honour championship next month at what could be one of the best North American grappling shows of the year. Joe, who had held the ROH title for almost two years before dropping it to Austin Aries last month, will finally get his rematch in Chicago Feb. 26. The card also will include an Ultimate Endurance match for the ROH tag belts, which will feature Steve Corino, C.M. Punk and former Stampede Wrestling regular Jack Evans.

Legendary grappling managers Bobby Heenan and Jim Cornette will have a face-to-face showdown at the event.


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