January 7, 2006
Countdown to WWE New Year's Revolution
By SLAM! Wrestling

Raw's first PPV of the year hits this Sunday, with a lot of questions to answer.

Most of those questions will be answered in the main event. With John Cena's recent decline in popularity, we'll know the answer to whether or not WWE still believes in the Chain Gang general as the lead face on Monday nights. We'll also know if Chris Masters and Carlito are ready to step up to the main event level.

These are points to ponder among others. Let's see what solutions the SLAM! Wrestling crew came up with.


WWE HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE MATCH - ELIMINATION CHAMBER
John Cena vs. Kane vs. Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Masters vs. Carlito vs. Kurt Angle


SLAM! Predictions

  • Jason Clevett
    A very strange match, based on who is in it. WWE has been looking at taking the belt off of John Cena, and reason would say take it off in this match. But with half of the participants not really title contenders (I would be stunned if Carlito, Kane or Chris Masters won the strap) that leaves either Shawn Michaels or Kurt Angle. Angle deserves another title run, but his feud with Cena has been going on for four months already. There isn't the star power that was in the previous chambers, which hurts the match.

  • Ed Ludwig
    If there is a time for John Cena to drop the title then this is the perfect time to do it. Cena's momentum won't take a major hit if he loses in a match like this. Angle wins here.

  • Bob Kapur
    It will be interesting to see if the youngsters, Carlito and Masters, can work a big gimmick match like this one. If they can put on good performances here, they could rise above the perception that they're too green for the main event scene -- this is particularly true for Masters who the company clearly wants to push. The other big question is to see if they will finally do something to acknowledge Cena’s waning fan support. I would suggest they do this via a double-turn for him and Angle, who the fans clearly still want to cheer, but I doubt this will happen until WrestleMania. Cena retains.

  • Jon Waldman
    To be completely honest, I'm scared here. I'm scared that Angle is going to push himself too far and seriously injure his neck and end his career. Of these men, only Michaels is a proven bumper who can take the beatings of the cage, so don't expect a hell of a lot of action on the steel. Carlito, however, will take a few solid hits and this will really be his proving ground. Angle will eventually get the win, with Daivari somehow sneaking into the chamber, possibly from above.

  • Greg Oliver
    I'm quite confident that John Cena is not walking out of the ring with the title. That said, I think he'll regain it in a rematch at Royal Rumble. So who deserves the short reign? Angle merits a longer run; Masters is too green; Carlito is about six months away from being able to pull it off. That leaves me Michaels and Kane, both of whom are troopers for the company, and both are former world champs. Given what he's contributed over the years, I can see HBK getting a reward.
  • Chris Sokol
    This is another opportunity to put Cena over as a dominant champion, to build momentum for his Wrestlemania match with Batista. It's too bad too, Masters has really stepped up his game, Michaels is Michaels, Angle is fantastic, Carlito shows promise and Kane is just kind of there. In any event, Cena wins this bloody affair.


  • INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE MATCH
    Edge vs. Ric Flair



    SLAM! Predictions

  • Jason Clevett
    The heat for this match should be astronomical. Fans despise Edge, love Flair and they have done a pretty old school job of building this. The real life stuff with the divorce is kind of weak, although admittedly Edge did pretty well with "real life" angles last year; but there's an intensity to this match that is lacking in a lot of feuds. Time to see if Edge can play again.

  • Ed Ludwig
    The war of words will lead into a short feud with Edge coming out on top. This would be the perfect opportunity to give Edge a good run with the Money In The Bank title shot waiting in the wings and with Wrestlemania XXII only a couple of months away.

  • Bob Kapur
    I hope this match can live up to the promotion it's been given. The buildup for this has been excellent -- Edge is great in this loose cannon role, and I particularly liked the way they've been touching on real-life issues. Expect this to be intense and violent, but don't expect a definitive winner, as this one will continue on through the Royal Rumble.

  • Jon Waldman
    Finally, WWE is getting the Intercontinental Title off Ric Flair. The belt, however, doesn't really seem to fit with Edge. Perhaps he'll discard it as he pursues the WWE Championship heading towards WrestleMania, setting up a tournament for the belt. There are a bunch of guys like Carlito and Masters who could use it more than Edge, but the main issue is getting it off Slick Ric, which will happen on Sunday.

  • Greg Oliver
    With the amount of time they've given it, shouldn't I care more? Edge just hasn't broken through to the next level, and Flair, well, he's just broken. I see Edge winning.

  • Chris Sokol
    This feud has been pretty well played out...thus far. Edge's skits have been nothing short of phenomenal. The emotion and charisma he has displayed throughout the feud should not go without notice. Expect him to put forth a good effort, but come out on the short end of the stick this time.


    WOMEN'S TITLE MATCH
    Mickie James vs. Trish Stratus



    SLAM! Predictions

  • Jason Clevett
    Two of the best women in wrestling, and the question is will we get to see a solid wrestling match or will we see insinuated lesbianic comedy? I'm hoping for the former, but WWE creative's past makes me suspect the latter.

  • Ed Ludwig
    To develop the storyline, I see a Mickie James heel turn and title victory in a solid match.

  • Bob Kapur
    Is it only a coincidence that a sequel to Single White Female was just released (straight to DVD), and now we see that storyline played out here? Looks like some of the writers have been scouring the Wal-Mart discount bin. Silly angle notwithstanding, this could be one of the better wrestling matches of the night. Unfortunately, any credibility for the Women's Division that this match could garner will likely be wiped out by the bra & panties gauntlet match elsewhere on the card.

  • Jon Waldman
    Believe it or not, WWE actually has a storyline going into a Women's match. James has done everything but dye her hair blond in her admiration of Trish, and I half expect her to in time for Sunday's match. James takes the win here, leading to a big time match at 'Mania.

    Greg Oliver
    I think Trish's line on Monday that she's held the Women's Title for over a year has given away the ending to this one. Take James and the points in this one folks.

    Chris Sokol
    I would like to thank WWE for this "feud". The backstage segements alone have been worth it. All kidding aside, Mickie James and Trish Stratus are two very competent in-ring competitors, so it will be nice to see an actual women's wrestling match, instead of a T&A-fest. James pulls out a victory and goes on with a series of apologies to Trish in the upcoming weeks.


    GRUDGE MATCH
    Triple H vs. Big Show



    SLAM! Predictions

  • Jason Clevett
    Another well booked build up. Give it to Helmsley.

  • Ed Ludwig
    It's time for Triple H to get back in the game and go for another title run and with Big Show holding the tag titles with Kane this will be a one shot deal with Triple H coming out on top.

  • Bob Kapur
    I like the old school setup for this match; simply put, two guys who simply don't like what the other stands for. With Big Show seemingly have the major advantage in the form of his ‘Hulk smash!’ cast, it should be certain that he'd pick up the win. Even Triple H’s harshest detractors will have to admit he's been pretty good about doing the job lately, even on PPV. I think that trend will continue.

  • Jon Waldman
    Surprisingly, this is the first time these two have really engaged in a feud, despite being in the same company for seven or so years. There's a schmoz coming in this one, probably with a ref DQ thanks to Big Show's taped hand. This could extend all the way to 'Mania if done properly, and I hope it does.

  • Greg Oliver
    Quickly built, quickly forgotten. Triple H gets a win, probably by submission.

    Chris Sokol
    How Big Show got stabbed in the face with a pen and didn't bleed is beyond me.

    GRUDGE MATCH
    Gregory Helms vs. Jerry Lawler



    SLAM! Predictions

  • Jason Clevett
    The opposite of Show vs H. And why does Lawler have a match but Striker, Benjamin, Guerrero and so many talented guys aren't? Helms wins.

  • Ed Ludwig
    Can't WWE find anyone on the active roster to face Helms? The former Hurricane will win this meaningless match.

  • Bob Kapur
    Helms has got to go over -- otherwise, they've wasted his heel turn as badly as they wasted the Hurricane gimmick. Lawler will be injured, so they can test out a two-man broadcast team of Joey Styles and Coach.

  • Jon Waldman
    Why does Helms have to wrestle Jerry-atric Lawler? Did I miss something? Helms wins with a Shining Wizard kick to the throat that takes the King away from Raw.

  • Greg Oliver
    Depends on their plans for Helms. No decision or a DQ of Helms.

  • Chris Sokol
    The New Years Revolution curse continues for Lawler as he goes 0-2.


    DIVA GAUNTLET MATCH - BRA AND PANTIES
    Maria vs. Ashley vs. Torrie vs. Candice vs. Victoria


  • Jason Clevett
    We all lose in this one.

  • Ed Ludwig
    With Ashley having a six-page layout in the latest Maxim you can make a strong case for her winning or losing. Losing might not be that bad with less being better. Candace will likely take it.

  • Bob Kapur
    Maria wins over Victoria, thereby extending her streak (pardon the pun) of upset victories to two.

  • Jon Waldman
    Maria is the obvious choice here, unless WWE uses this to build Candice as she gets closer to her Playboy appearance.

  • Greg Oliver
    Ugh. Do I have to pick a winner? Victoria.

    Chris Sokol
    What was that I was saying about a T&A fest?


    CANOE.CA SLAM!