January 8, 2006
Buy Rate: .85
Announcers: Joey Styles, Jonathan Coachman & Jerry Lawler
Sunday Night Heat
Chavo Guerrero defeats Snitsky at 5:13
Fun Fact: This show puts New York back ahead of California 19-18 in the PPV State race. This is the capital’s first show since No Mercy 2000, Kurt Angle’s first WWE Title win.
Pay Per View
1) Ric Flair (Richard Fleihr) defeats Edge (Adam Copeland) to retain WWE Intercontinental Title by disqualification at 7:17
Fun Fact: On 12/5, Edge and Lita hosted an episode of the Cutting Edge, and they announced that Ric Flair would be their guest. It ended up being a rouse as Flair was not in the building due to some recent marital issues and a well-publicized bout of road rage. As Edge ripped on Flair’s personal life, fellow legends Sgt. Slaughter and Michael Hayes came down to defend Natch. Edge and Hayes would kick things up a notch with a nasty back and forth, including Edge ripping on the late Terry Gordy and Hayes telling Edge he has no respect for the legends of the business and claimed that he was only on TV because he was “banging Matt Hardy’s ex-girlfriend”. Edge had enough and laid both legends out to end the segment. On 12/26, Edge and Lita had a fake Ric Flair show up on the Titantron and took more shots at Natch, claiming he stole his whole shtick from other influences. Flair showed up in the ring and assaulted Edge to get a tiny bit of revenge. Later in the show, Vince McMahon announced that Flair would defend his IC title against Edge at the PPV. On 1/2, Edge showed faux amateur footage of Flair’s road rage incident where he played the role of Flair. It was a funny video and Edge did a good job mocking Flair. Once again, Flair would come out and assault Edge and put Lita in the figure four to end the segment.
Scott: We christen our first PPV of 2006 with a title match involving old vs. new, with a legend taking on the future. First off, I don’t care how old he is or how old he looks: Ric Flair just looks right with a title around his waist. Edge spent 2005 holding his title shot, biding his time and going from one feud to another until they thought the time was right to pull the trigger. Flair, after spending most of the last few years seconding Triple H to the ring, came back into his own in 2005 with an IC Title win and an awesome two-match feud with The Game. Edge’s hair is slightly shorter, and the whole package just seems new as the year starts. Edge dominates the first few minutes with Flair getting some chops in here and there. After getting crotched onto the barricade by Flair, Edge starts to take some punishment and the Albany crowd is into it. They should be, it’s their first PPV in over five years. Lita tries to interfere but Flair hooks the Figure Four on her for a bit but Edge comes in and gets DQ’d by pasting Flair in the face with the MITB briefcase. Flair gets busted open and Edge leaves him bloodied in the ring. The match overall was ok, but Edge doesn’t win gold…for now. Grade: 2
Justin: The first PPV of 2006 opens with one of Raw’s hottest feuds. Edge had been a tear as 2005 was winding down and by being a prick to Flair about his personal life he pulled Natch into the mix, reinvigorating him after his blood feud with Triple H had ended. Edge’s star aura had really grown by this point as well and he was clearly coming off as a legit top-level star by this point. Edge gets off to a hot start early, zeroing in on Flair’s historically banged up back. The crowd was pretty into this one despite it being nothing more than basic strikes mixed in with Flair’s usual offensive spots. Flair would fight Lita off as well and looked poised to defend his title before Edge got himself intentionally DQ’d to end the bout. The finish was a bit weak but I understood they didn’t want Edge to win the belt and also wanted to keep him strong. He would get some heat back by assaulting Flair with a vicious attack after the bell, leaving him bloodied and beaten in the ring. Despite being booked into a corner, this was a good match and both men come out looking fine, especially Edge who capped things off with some good heel stuff to continue building his heel persona. Grade: 2
2) Trish Stratus (Patricia Stratigias) defeats Mickie James to retain WWE Women’s Title with a Chick Kick at 7:19
Fun Fact: This interesting relationship rolled on with the 11/28 Raw when Mickie, Trish and Ashley won a six-woman match and Mickie nabbed Trish’s belt and mimicked her pose out of admiration. On 12/12, Trish was backstage trying to pump herself up to tell Mickie to back off a bit. Before she could get her feelings out, Mickie ran in and told Trish how happy she was that they were friends and that she used to watch Trish with her grandfather, who was a big fan. Now that he had passed, she was honored to have become friends with Trish. After hearing that story, Trish couldn’t go through with her original intentions and instead just wished Mickie luck. Things then took a very bizarre turn on 12/26 when Mickie had decorated Trish’s locker room for Christmas, mistletoe included. After Mickie talked about Trish giving her a title match as a Christmas gift. As Trish was trying to process everything Mickie referenced the mistletoe and then planted a full on kiss on her idol. Trish freaked out and took off as Mickie nervously and furiously apologized for her actions. The next week, things got weirder as Trish was taking a shower and Mickie came in to apologize for the prior week. Trish freaked out and grabbed her towel but as she was wrapping up, Mickie praised the quality of her boobs and skipped off merrily, leaving Trish in bewilderment.
Scott: So Trish takes on her biggest fan in the first women’s title match of the year. Mickie is an accomplished wrestler around the Indies and eventually she was going to arrive here in WWE. She’s also gaining a following as one of the cuter divas on the roster. Add that to the lip lock she gave Trish on Raw during Xmas and well yeah she’s most male fans’ favorite. The action is pretty solid as Trish tries to take Mickie out early and botches a roll-up, dropping Mickie on her head. We follow that with some pretty harsh forearm shots. This is one of the more physical women’s matches in a while. You may have to go all the way back to Madison Square Garden at Survivor Series 2002 when Trish and Victoria beat the snot out each other with weapons. Mickie spent a lot of time with her mind somewhere else at times and it cost her after she hit Stratusfaction. She got a two count, and then after a Chick Kick, Trish retains her title. This was one of the more entertaining women’s matches in a while as neither held back. Grade: 3
Justin: For the second match in a row, we get a well done fleshed out feud continuing in the ring. As good as Trish was in her heel role, this may be the best Diva feud the promotion had scene in quite some time. Mickie was killing it in her role and Trish played hers particularly well too. I liked how Mickie was playing innocent as well, accidentally and subtly grabbing Trish’s tits while chain wrestling. Things would get a little messy, but the match just felt real due to the emoting both women were doing. The offense was stiff and believable and the chemistry was palpable. The crowd was pretty split here as Trish was the endearing fan favorite but Mickie had that edgy psycho vibe that was hard to resist as well. Trish would win it with a stiff kick to Mickie’s head, but the real story here was Mickie’s great character work and the furthering of a very intriguing storyline. This was a really good match and it just felt important as they both worked quite snug and brought the energy. Trish wins but this story is far from over. Grade: 2.5
*** Backstage, Edge refuses to join on the WWE live online chat and tells Lita to fill in for him because he has other things on his mind. ***
3) Jerry Lawler defeats Gregory Helms with a flying fistdrop at 9:33
Fun Fact: On 10/17, Kurt Angle assaulted the Hurricane and left him laid out in the ring. During the break, Hurricane ripped off his mask and smacked his friend Rosey in anger. A week later, Hurricane no showed a title match, leaving Rosey to fight two men. During the match, he appeared on the entrance ramp in street clothes and proceeded to announce that he was fed up with entertaining the crowd and carrying Rosey in the ring. The partnership would officially end on 11/7, when the newly rechristened Gregory Helms pinned Rosey in a match. After spending time on Heat, Helms popped up on the 1/2 Raw to confront Jerry Lawler over jokes Lawler had been making at Helms’s expense. Prior to Helms showing up, Jonathan Coachman showed footage of Helms taking Lawler to task for hiding behind a mic and talking trash about people. Helms called King into the ring, and Lawler would proceed to call Helms boring and Helms would retaliate by smacking him in the face. Lawler smacked him back and a match between the two would be set up for the PPV at King’s request.
Scott: For the second straight year, Jerry Lawler takes on a fresh heel. Last year it was Muhammad Hassan, and this year it’s the former Hurricane. I wonder if Lawler had something in his contract that said he had to wrestle so many matches a year. I would have been happier if Helms would have faced a Shelton Benjamin, or someone else on the roster. What really should have happened was that Helms should have gone to Smackdown and started immediately getting into the Cruiserweight Title situation. I know he eventually does, but I don’t understand why we are having this match. On top of this, why does Lawler have to win this match? Sure Helms beats the snot out of him for most of this match, but still why does Lawler have to win it? That alone drops the grade of this match. It just makes you scratch your head. Grade: 1
Justin: After spending the last four years playing a superhero, Gregory Helms dumps the cape and mask and turns heel for a much needed attitude change. He had a nice run with Rosey throughout 2005, but the gimmick had run its course and Helms was talented enough to earn a crack at being a legit heel. Based on that theory, Helms really should have squashed King here to start a solid push. Things started slowly with some posturing and back and forth, mainly centering on Lawler trying to outwit Helms. Once Helms took control, his offense was slow paced and a bit sterile. Honestly, the highlight of the match may have been Coach ragging on King throughout the bout. Much like Lawler’s match with Muhammad Hassan a year earlier, this one drags on too long and Helms didn’t look nearly dominant enough like he should have. And not only does he struggle too much, things get worse as King ends up pinning him cleanly with a fistdrop from the second rope. I really didn’t get this result, as Lawler had no business beating Helms in his debut match under this gimmick. The match was a bit on the boring side but that doesn’t compare to the stupid booking that was rampant throughout it. Grade: 1.5
*** Backstage, Viscera makes a pass at Shelton Benjamin’s Momma while she was looking for some food to give her son. We will delve more into Ms. Benjamin later in the review. ***
4) Triple H (Paul Levesque) defeats Big Show (Paul Wight) with a Pedigree at 16:13
Fun Fact: On 11/28, Big Show confronted Triple H, who was bragging about the beating he put on Ric Flair the night before. He called Hunter a “piece of shit” and challenged him to a fight. Before Hunter could answer, Show smacked the mic out of his hand, leading to the Game backing out of the ring. Two weeks later, Show was wrestling Shawn Michaels for a spot in the Elimination Chamber. Hunter came down and smacked Michaels with a chair, causing Show to be DQ’d and losing a shot at the title. Show would get revenge later that night by costing Hunter his qualifying match against Kane. On 12/26, both men came to the ring for a contract signing. Hunter told Show that he had no beef with him until he cost him a title shot. He then tore into show, harkening back to 1999 when Hunter was fighting for his chance and Show was handed his for being a circus freak. Show said that Hunter had no back up this time around, but Hunter said he didn’t need any and called Show “fat boy” before jamming a pen in Show’s eye. Hunter would grab his sledgehammer and knock Show to the floor. He would then proceed to crush Show’s hand with the hammer before signing the contract and leaving ringside. On 1/2, Hunter was again bragging, but Show would surprise everyone and head to the ring with a monster cast encasing his broken hand. Hunter slid out of the ring and grabbed a chair, which Show swatted away with the cast. Hunter would try again with a TV monitor, but Show easily deflected that as well. Hunter quickly left ringside as the announcers claimed that his plan had backfired now that Show had a great weapon to use in their match.
Scott: It’s amazing that these two have been in the company together for seven years, and this is their first one-on-one PPV match. They wrestled in the Triple Threat title match at Survivor Series 1999, and the four-way at Wrestlemania XVI, but never in a singles match. This feud seems nothing more than something to give these two to do before we start the Royal Rumble build. Clearly this wasn’t going to be a five-star match since Show essentially is wrestling one-handed with the cast. So it’s a series of power moves with some posturing in between. Eventually Triple H gets the cast off and they put some pink makeup on Show’s hand to mimic breaks I guess. The psychology of the bad hand carries the match somewhat as Triple H beats it, steps on it, and bends it backward. The ref is knocked out and Trips grabs the sledge, but Show snaps the handle in half. We get some movements outside and Triple H smashes the hand with a steel chair. Then he cracks the chair over Show’s head and hits the Pedigree for the win. I wasn’t surprised, as at the time, I was expecting The Game to win his second Royal Rumble. This was his setup win. Grade: 2.5
Justin: The Triple H midcard tour rolls on with another well-structured feud. Despite being half of the tag champions with Kane, Show veers off a bit here and picks a fight with the Game. While Show’s cast was pretty comical, I thought it was a good gimmick and really added some good psychology to the match. Show would use his power to control early and you could see Hunter pensively trying to figure out how to take over the match. That opening would come when Show accidentally punched the ring post and Hunter zeroed in on the arm with his offense, eventually breaking the cast off. The crowd was a bit quiet at this point as Hunter just kept punishing Show’s hand. Show would come back and tease a chokeslam, but he couldn’t get the grip due to his hand. Eventually, the ref would get bumped and Hunter would grab his sledge, but Show would bust through it with his broken hand. The Game would ward off Show’s comeback, regain control of his hammer and smack Show before putting him down with a Pedigree. I liked the story and psychology by both men here and they really made Show look strong by battling through the injury. This felt like a really brutal battle, had good commentary that sold the story and was well worked by both men. One of the major benefits of having Hunter in the midcard was that he strengthened the show by delivering well-worked matches with solid storylines behind them. It added a fresh feel to the show as well. Hunter picks up a win and while his midcard tour has been successful, he now looks to get back into the championship mix. Grade: 3
5) Shelton Benjamin defeats Viscera (Nelson Frazier) with a spin kick at 7:50
Fun Fact: Beginning on 12/5, Shelton Benjamin got mired in a losing streak. On 12/26, after he lost a match to John Cena, Shelton received a phone call by someone scolding him for the loss and promising to be in the arena the next week. On 1/2, Shelton lost again, this time to Chris Masters, and after the match, his Momma showed up backstage and ripped into him for losing. She told him that she was going to be hanging around from now on to get him back to winning matches. Actress Thea Vidale would portray Ms. Benjamin. This would be an impromptu match that was spurred on by the catering incident from earlier. Shelton and Momma came to the ring and Momma told Viscera to come out so Shelton could get revenge and take him out. Shelton seemed a little nervous but Vis arrived and the match was on.
Scott: This was a time-filler with only two matches left. I remember immediately hating this whole storyline with Shelton’s momma hanging around. She was loud, obnoxious and it did nothing for Shelton’s character. The match itself isn’t bad, but her yelling about bringing out her belt and other nonsense was grating to say the least. She eventually hits Vis with her purse, which I’m not sure was meant to be a weapon or more for show, but Shelton hits his kick and wins the match. This undercard was been very unassuming on this night, and this match was a big example of that. Grade: 2
Justin: Right off that bat I will say that I, along with many others, questioned the rationale of having Shelton Benjamin hanging around with his mom on TV each week. Despite those worries, the gimmick ended up working well because the brass went outside the business and hired an actress to play the role. And I must say Thea Vidale really nailed the role and would end up adding a much-needed dose of personality to the floundering Benjamin. Vis would use his power offense off the bell, but Shelton would turn things around by using his Momma as a shield before leaping out from behind her and cracking Vis. Shelton looked crisp and motivated out there as he was on the precipice of a renewed push thanks to this new angle. Momma Benjamin was active at ringside as she loudly screamed at both men. The energy she brought to the role was endearing and you could tell she was having a great time out there. I actually enjoyed this match more than I expected to, mainly because it played towards both men’s strengths and didn’t try to be anything more than it should have been. Shelton was resilient in fighting off Vis and eventually picking up a much needed win. This was solid midcard stuff that helped advance an interesting new storyline. Vis, on the other hand, just keeps trucking along. Grade: 2
6) Ashley Massaro wins a Bra & Panties Gauntlet Match
Maria eliminates Candice Michelle at 2:08
Maria eliminates Torrie Wilson at 4:59
Victoria (Lisa Marie Varon) eliminates Maria at 6:13
Mae Young eliminates herself at 8:42
Ashley Massaro eliminates Victoria at 11:00
Scott: This was a very…shall we say enticing time filler. Other than Edge/Flair and Show/Triple H, the rest of this card felt like the undercard of a Royal Rumble show, full of fluff and junk to get ready for the main event. Then of course it has to get ruined by the Mae Young obligatory strip down. Pardon me while I throw up. Then it’s saved by my favorite divas at that time: Ashley, as the Diva Search winner gets the win to save the whole mess. Grade: 0
Justin: Before we get to our main event, we get our second Diva match of the evening. While our first Diva match was centered on a deep and intriguing storyline, this one is here to fill the T&A quotient and spell the crowd before the Chamber. Maria and Candice started this off and Candice was just really freaking hot at this point. Hot or not, Candice would quickly be eliminated and Torrie Wilson was next in line. After some standard bra and panties fare, Maria would take out Torrie to pick up her second win. Victoria was next and she unleashed some angry offense before finishing off Maria. It was at this point that things took an ugly turn for the worse. As Victoria awaited the next entrant, the well-known piano riff fired up and out stumbled Mae Young and Fabulous Moolah. Mae would unleash her usual played out shtick, stripping down to her nasty looking undergarments, basically eliminating herself. Victoria would beat Mae down, but that distraction allowed Ashley to come in and quickly take out Victoria to win the gauntlet. This was a stupid time waster and, despite the quality of talent on the Diva roster, wasn’t the best use of a T&A segment, especially the gross Mae Young stuff. Grade: .5
7) John Cena defeats Kane (Glen Jacobs), Kurt Angle, Shawn Michaels (Michael Hickenbottom), Carlito (Carly Colon) and Chris Masters (Chris Mordetzky) in an Elimination Chamber match to retain WWE Championship
Shawn Michaels eliminates Kurt Angle with a Superkick at 13:59
Carlito & Chris Masters eliminate Kane after Masters slams Carlito on him at 19:27
Carlito eliminates Shawn Michaels with a neckbreaker at 23:36
Carlito pins Chris Masters with a low blow and roll up at 28:17
John Cena eliminates Carlito with a roll up at 28:54
Fun Fact: On 12/5, Eric Bischoff announced that there would be an Elimination Chamber for John Cena’s WWE Championship at New Year’s Revolution. The next week, the following qualifying matches occurred: Kurt Angle defeated Ric Flair, Carlito defeated Shelton Benjamin, Shawn Michaels defeated Big Show, Chris Masters defeated Viscera and Kane defeated Triple H. On 12/26, all six men competed in Beat the Clock matches to determine who would enter the Chamber last. Kane would finish with the best time, earning the final entry position. It was also on that night that Shawn Michaels and Vince McMahon had a heated confrontation surrounding the Montreal incident, spurred on by the release of the new Bret Hart DVD. On 1/2, McMahon would cause Michaels to lose to Kane and then told Shawn that he would have to enter the Chamber match first. Later in the night, Angle would defeat Cena in a First Blood match. After the bout, all the Chamber competitors were involved in a big brawl that ended with everyone laid out on the mat.
Scott: Well this is an interesting situation. John Cena has gotten his share of cheers from the fans but has also gotten his share of boos from fans as well. Well now here we have the supposed babyface champion Cena in the ring with some guys who clearly are much beloved by the male fans. Cena was getting badly booed from the get-go whenever he had the advantage on anybody, particularly Angle and Michaels. Michaels gets busted open early, but I have to say one thing. I hadn’t watched this match since it happened, and I remember thinking “Wow, why are two mid-card jokes in this match?” Well watching it again, I’ll say that Masters and Carlito’s teaming plan made for a better match because they said earlier that they’re the “outsiders” in the match having never won the WWE Title. I guess the most surprising thing early was that Angle was the first one eliminated. I think that helped the logic of later in the night since Cena clearly was the most despised amongst the 80% male fans in the Albany audience. Of course Shawn carries a good portion of this match because he’s great, but he also helps out the young guys by taking their double-teaming like a pro. In fact it seemed the majority of the show was Carlito and Masters working their double-teaming magic to take all the veterans out. At one point the crowd starting going bonkers when Michaels superkicked Cena and was about to take him out, until the young lions double-teamed him and eliminated him instead. So then it was Cena getting beaten like a dog by Carlito & Masters. I applaud the writers for letting Masters and Carlito dictate most of the tempo while working with the veterans. Finally after Carlito turned on his friend and rolled him up, Cena rolled up Carlito and retained his title. The high shrieks of the girls were deafening, as was the testosterone-driven boos of the guys. Cena survived the last match beatdown and his bloody face showed victory. But then…Grade: 3.5
Justin: Before Vince McMahon officially gave him the boot, Eric Bischoff’s final salvo against John Cena was to book him an Elimination Chamber match here. Kurt Angle gets the biggest heat in his entrance, but he is also the most over in the match, along with Shawn Michaels. The crowd was split early as there was some basic back and forth but the first big pop of the match came when Carlito attacked Cena upon entering the contest. Angle would come in next and was a crazed house of fire and assaulted everyone with a mad flurry of dominating offense, including a succession of stiff suplexes. With Michaels down and bloodied, Angle would hook the Anklelock on Carlito but he would hold on long enough for Chris Masters to enter the match and save him. Once Masters entered with his power and energy, the storyline of the match became clear, as he and Carlito would work as a unit to take out the established main event stars, starting with Kane. The first shocker of the match came when Michaels cracked Angle with SCM and eliminated him. I think many fans expected Angle to be there at the end or perhaps even win the belt. Instead, he is the first man to hit the showers. As the match rolled on I thought it really came together and was well booked and featured hard-hitting offense. Another highlight was the impressive work of Masters and Carlito. They looked smart and effective and the announcers helped with that by pushing their agenda. As things whittled down, Michaels brought out his masterful desperation offense but Masters and Carlito would take him out in another upset finish. Things looked bleak now for all the Cena haters, but I thought it was shrewd booking to have Cena left alone with the two truest heels of the match. This way fans on the fence were forced into rooting for Cena, and it also angered the crowd, which would build even more heat for what was to come after the match. Carlito and Masters worked Cena over but their plan finally fell apart when Carlito turns on Masters, rolled him up and eliminated him. Cena would recover long enough to roll Carlito up and retain his title, pissing off a large majority of the fans. This was a solid Chamber match full of good booking and hard hits. Cena holds on to his belt, but that would be short-lived. Grade: 3.5
*** Before Cena even gets a chance to celebrate, Vince McMahon comes out and announces that the show is not quite over yet. As the live crowd tries to process that announcement, Vince proclaims that Edge will be cashing in his Money in the Bank title shot against Cena at that moment. Edge and Lita come out to a monster pop, stalk down to the ring and await the bell as Cena gets to his feet. ***
8) Edge (Adam Copeland) defeats John Cena to win WWE Championship with a spear at 1:46
Scott: Un…fucking…believable. The Albany males went absolutely insane as their Rated-R Superstar came in, finally cashed in the briefcase and speared the hell out of the bloodied, battered WWE Champion. John Cena’s premiere reign as WWE Champion is over. Forget Edge is a heel now. This guy has battled injury, worked through the Attitude Era with the greatest main eventers ever while he and Christian carried the tag division and the mid-card throughout 1998-2003. Regardless of the methods, everyone had to be happy for Edge. He was clearly emotional in the ring, while a bloodied and beaten down John Cena skulked down the ramp. I was marking out, and on top of that it begged the question: Does Cena now win the Royal Rumble? What the heck happens? Right now who cared, as a guy who has busted his ass over the past seven years finally earned his prize. Grade: 5
Justin: The anger permeable throughout the arena quickly turned to optimistic excitement as Edge and Lita power walked to the ring to cash in the MITB title shot. The crowd was rocking and Edge was pumped as the bell rang and Edge quickly wiped Cena out with a spear. After a great near fall and some epic selling by Cena, Edge would deliver another spear to successfully cash in and win his first world championship. This was a great payoff to the whole MITB concept and really added some legitimacy to it in its first year of existence. This was just great booking and a true mark out moment to close out the show. It added a fresh feel to Raw and the Rated-R Era of Edge was now under way. Grade: 5
Scott: This is a pretty average PPV until the last match. The undercard wasn’t overly offensive, although there were some duds in there. How Gregory Helms isn’t wrestling somebody of real talent, instead of out-of-shape Jerry Lawler. On top of that, Lawler had to win? Big drop in grade for me because of that. I enjoyed the psychology of the Triple H/Big Show match, considering Show wrestled it basically one-handed. I liked the Chamber because it was put together right based on the participants. Carlito and Chris Masters were the outsiders, and they wrestled like outsiders. Plus, the crowd was clearly anti-Cena, evident by the major cheers for Angle & HBK. Taking them out of the match early was smart because if you had Cena take out Michaels last for instance, than the pop for Edge would have clearly not been what they were looking for. As it was, the pop was a little more babyface-ish than the writers were probably looking for. Overall it was an ok show, and now we see Cena’s first taste of adversity since becoming a main eventer. We’ll see how he tackles it, and the crowd’s response to it. Final Grade: C+
Justin: I am having a hard time deciding an overall grade on for this show. It featured some solid action, really good announcing, smart booking and a mega mark out moment. Some of the undercard matches were shaky and no match was better than really good so you can’t really grade the show as a true winner. Without the Edge ending, the show on a whole is just straight down the middle, but that one great moment really makes this a historical show and at the time seemed like it was ushering in a new era. I also want to give some props to Styles and Coachman as they were really gelling as a team and did a nice job calling the action and furthering the storylines without being overbearing or rambling. I think if given more time, they really could have become a premier announce team for Raw. After thinking it over, I am going to bump the grade a bit for the smart booking and the tremendous finish to the show. Raw is looking good as 2006 starts and there would be a lot of fans looking forward to the next night’s Raw to see how Edge’s first world title reign would permeate the show. Grade: B-
Runner Up: John Cena, Carlito & Chris Masters
Non MVP: Gregory Helms
Runner Up: Mae Young