The fourth Elimination Chamber match had a bit of a different feel to it because, for the first time ever, the WWE Championship was on the line instead of the World Heavyweight Championship. There was also no Triple H in this match after he had been in the middle of everything in the first three Chamber matches (he won two of them). This time around, there were some new faces that got to compete in their first Chamber match.
The Story Going Into The Match
The Chamber match was announced by Eric Bischoff on December 5, 2005, which was the same night he was fired as the General Manager of Raw. They held qualifying matches to see who would join WWE Champion John Cena in the Chamber match.
The qualifying matches went like this: Kurt Angle defeated Ric Flair, Carlito defeated Shelton Benjamin, Shawn Michaels defeated Big Show by disqualification due to Triple H attacking Michaels with a chair to screw Show out of the win, Chris Masters defeated Viscera and Kane defeated Triple H due to Big Show helping Kane win with a double Chokeslam. Kane also had the shortest time in the Beat the Clock matches, so he got to enter the match last as the #6 entrant.
WWE New Year’s Revolution
Pepsi Arena in Albany, New York
January 8, 2006
Kane was the first man in the match. He was without a mask during this era. Kane was also one half of the World Tag Team Champions with Big Show. He was in a face role at this point. Chris Masters was up next. He started on the main roster about a year before this and this was his 23rd birthday, so he was the youngest man in the match. Carlito spits in the face of people who don’t want to be cool and he was another heel that was making his debut in the Elimination Chamber. He was also a younger guy in the match at 26 years old at the time. Kurt Angle was up next with his manager Daivari. Angle was in his “wrestling machine” gimmick at this point with the mouthpiece. Fans chanted “you suck” for his entrance like usual.
John Cena, who was the WWE Champion, was up next and had a shocked look on his face as he made his way towards the Chamber. He was selling the fact that the odds of winning the match were slim. Coachman noted that nobody has ever started the Chamber match as one of the first two men and gone on to win the match. Cena had a bandaid on his forehead because he was busted open from an attack from Kurt Angle on the last Raw prior to this show.
Shawn Michaels was up last to a good ovation like usual.
Elimination Chamber Match for the WWE Championship – John Cena vs. Kurt Angle (w/Daivari) vs. Kane vs. Chris Masters vs. Carlito vs. Shawn Michaels
Pre-match notes: John Cena was the face WWE Champion with Shawn Michaels and Kane also as faces. Kurt Angle was a heel along with Carlito and Chris Masters as heels. Carlito and Masters were allies.
The announcers for the match are Joey Styles, Jonathon Coachman and Jerry Lawler.
There were some fans chanting “Cena Sucks” early on as Cena hit Michaels with a back elbow to overpower him. Michaels slapped Cena hard in the face, so Cena punched him and hit a back body drop. Michaels pulled Cena out of the ring to send him crashing onto the steel beams outside the ring. The fans chanted for both guys as Michaels worked over Cena with chops. Michaels took control by whipping Cena into the turnbuckle two times a row. Cena worked over Michaels with punches and a clothesline that sent Michaels over the top rope and onto the steel outside the ring.
Carlito is the #3 man in the match and the fans cheered for Carlito punching Cena followed by a dropkick. Carlito with a senton over the top rope onto Michaels on the steel grating. Carlito hit a flapjack on Cena for a two count. Michaels up top, but Carlito slammed him down. Carlito with a back elbow on Cena. Carlito with a suplex on Michaels. Inside cradle by Michaels on Carlito got a two count. Cena sent Carlito into the turnbuckle and Carlito came back with a chop on Cena as well as a chop for Michaels. Carlito ran the ropes, but Cena and Michaels worked together with a flapjack to take down Carlito. Double team back body drop from Cena and Michaels on Carlito as the clock went down for a new entrant.
Kurt Angle is #4 and he was on fire with German Suplexes for Michaels, Carlito and Cena. There’s another one for Michaels, Carlito and Cena. That’s six German Suplexes for Angle. Belly to belly suplex by Angle onto Michaels over the top onto the steel grating. German Suplex by Angle on Carlito over the top onto the stale, but it was not a hard landing. Angle worked over Cena with a suplex. Angle with a catapult that sent Michaels into the cage/chain, which usually means a blade job is coming and Michaels was a bloody mess moments later. Angle sent Michaels face first into the glass covering one of the pods. Cena came back on Angle with punches, but Angle nailed him with a belly to belly suplex. Angle suplexed Michaels back into the ring. Angle went for the Olympic Slam on Carlito, but he slipped out and Angle slapped on the Ankle Lock on Carlito. The clock went down for the next entrant.
It’s Chris Masters as #5 in the match and he immediately saved Carlito with a forearm to Angle’s back. Masters with a powerslam on Cena and Gorilla Press Slam on Michaels. Masters went for the Masterlock on Angle, but Angle slipped through and slapped on the Ankle Lock. Cena went up to Angle, he went for the FU, but Angle slipped through and put the Ankle Lock on Cena. The crowd was going crazy for it wanting Cena to tap out. While Cena was fighting it, Michaels nailed Angle with a Superkick and pinned him to eliminate Angle. That drew a huge reaction from the crowd since they liked Angle even though he was a heel.
Kurt Angle eliminated by Shawn Michaels
Analysis: I was so upset about that at the time since I wanted Angle to win. It was surprising to see Angle was barely in the match. The main reason for that is they moved him to Smackdown on January 13, 2006 (taped two days after this show) and he won the World Title in a battle royal. That’s typical WWE booking where they write a guy off one show and debut him strongly on the other one.
Masters worked over Cena with a body slam while Carlito punched Michaels to keep him down. Cena whipped Masters into the turnbuckle and nailed him with a clothesline.
Kane is the 6th and final man in the match. Kane cleaned house with punches, kicks, a sidewalk slam for Carlito, a clothesline for Masters and Kane tossed Carlito over the top onto the steel. Kane with a powerslam on Masters. Kane got his top rope clothesline on Masters. Kane grabbed a bloody Michaels and nailed him with a Chokeslam. Kane with a Chokeslam on Cena led to loud cheers from the crowd. Masters saved Carlito and tried the Masterlock, but Kane fought out of it. Carlito back into the ring with a Backstabber on Kane. Double team DDT by Carlito and Masters on Kane led to Kane sitting up. Masters press slammed Carlito onto Kane, Carlito covered and Masters went up top to eliminate Kane.
Kane eliminated by Chris Masters & Carlito
Masters worked over Cena with punches while Carlito stopped away on Michaels on the steel outside the ring. Masters with a suplex on Cena in the ring while Carlito grinded HBK’s face against the cage. Masters dumped Cena over the top and onto the steel. The heels double teamed Michaels, but Michaels came back with a flying forearm, atomic drop by Michaels on Carlito and Masters and then a running clothesline on both guys to knock them out of the ring. Michaels with a body slam on Cena. Michaels up top and he hit a Flying Elbow drop onto Cena. All four guys were down around the ring. Michaels did a great job of selling the beating. Michaels hit the superkick on Cena, but Carlito and Masters worked over Michaels with punches. Carlito hit a neckbreaker on Michaels and pinned him to eliminate him.
Shawn Michaels eliminated by Carlito
The three youngest men in the match were the last three men left: Cena, Masters and Carlito. Cena took control with a double clothesline, a suplex for Masters, the spinning slam on Carlito and a Five Knuckle Shuffle fist drop on Carlito. Masters saved Carlito from the FU, which drew cheers. Masters sent Cena over the top rope onto the steel. Masters nailed Cena with a DDT on the steel. Cena was busted open just like he was on the Raw from the Monday leading up to this event. The heels sent Cena into the cage. Double team suplex by Carlito and Masters on Cena. The heels set up Cena on the top rope and hit a double team back suplex. Carlito told Masters to apply the Masterlock. Masters slapped on the Masterlock and the fans cheered because they don’t like Cena. Carlito went behind Masters and hit him with a punch to the groin. Low blow! Carlito with the ROLLUP OF DEATH~! on Masters to eliminate him.
Chris Masters eliminated by Carlito
As soon as Masters was counted down, Cena rolled up Carlito with a ROLLUP OF DEATH~! on his own and pinned him to eliminate Carlito. The match went 28:25.
Carlito eliminated by John Cena
Winner and Still WWE Champion: John Cena
Analysis: ***1/4 It was an average match with a surprising ending because of the two rollups that were used to end the match. I did not expect that kind of ending at the time. It was surprising to see it end like that. Carlito turning on Masters wasn’t shocking, but having Cena beat Carlito immediately after felt a bit rushed. They should have had Carlito beat on him for a few more minutes before Cena wins. Shawn Michaels was amazing in terms of the selling after he was a bloody mess. He did a perfect job of looking like the older guy who was taking the most punishment in the match, he kept coming back and then it’s like he had nothing left when Carlito and Masters finished him off. Kane wasn’t much of a factor in the match. The double pin thing was unique at least. It would have been nice if Angle was in the match more just because he (along with Michaels) was the best in WWE at that point. It was not much of a surprise that Cena won. That’s what most of us expected.
BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE! I figure I might as well cover it.
Vince McMahon appeared on the stage while a bloody Cena was handed the WWE Title. McMahon said this night is not over and told them to raise the cage. McMahon congratulated John Cena for retaining the WWE Championship. McMahon announced that Edge was there to cash in the Money in the Bank contract/briefcase that he won at WrestleMania 21. The crowd was going wild for this because as I mentioned all match, they did not like Cena. Edge walked out with Lita for the cash in.
WWE Championship: John Cena vs. Edge (w/Lita)
When Cena got back to his feet against the turnbuckle, ref Mike Chioda called for the bell. Edge unloaded on Cena with punches and got a two count. Edge set up for a Spear, Cena stumbled around and Edge nailed a Spear. Edge covered for a two count. Great nearfall that the crowd thought was the end of the match. Cena got back to his feet and Edge hit another Spear. Edge covered Cena, the ref counted and Edge won his first WWE Championship after eight years in WWE. It went 1:46.
Winner by pinfall and new WWE Champion: Edge
Analysis: * It was obviously just an angle to get the title onto Edge by using MITB at the right time. This set up the Cena vs. Edge feud that dominated much of 2006 and was one of the best feuds in the careers of both men.
Edge celebrated with the WWE Title with Lita there to celebrate with him. You could even see tears in Edge’s eyes as he celebrated and the show went off the air.
Analysis: The next night on Raw, the celebration continued with the memorable “Live Sex Celebration” by Edge and Lita in the ring.
THREE RANDOM THOUGHTS
– Cena was the ironman in the match that started with Michaels, was a bloody mess for the second half of it and only eliminated one guy. I think most people watching this match probably assumed Cena was going to leave with the title he had held for about seven months, but most of us assumed he would have been booked stronger. Cena didn’t dominate the match. He was just in the right place to deliver the deadline ROLLUP OF DEATH~! on Carlito. I told you it was deadly.
– I liked the way Carlito and Masters were booked. They worked like a team the entire time. It made them more dangerous, which added to the story of Cena having to overcome a lot to try to win. They didn’t fight eachother at all until Carlito turned on him to eliminate him. That was done to make people think that if they continued to work together they could have found a way to beat Cena, but Carlito’s selfishness got in the way. It makes sense for Carlito’s character to do that.
– It’s a shame that this was the only Elimination Chamber match of Kurt Angle’s career because he left WWE later in 2006. Angle was so great at this point in his career and made everybody around him better. The crowd loved him even as a heel because it was a respect thing. It’s just too bad he never got to do another Chamber match.
Bonus: – The way this Money in the Bank cash in was done was brilliant. It was the first MITB that WWE did and to have Edge cash in right after a bloody Cena won a grueling match was the perfect time for it. Great moment that set the standard for what we would come to expect from MITB cash-ins in the years that followed.
FACTS & OPINIONS
Wrestler that lasted the longest: John Cena at 28:25.
Most Eliminations: Carlito with 3.
Best Performers (3): John Cena – The match was about Cena because he started it and lasted the entire time.
Shawn Michaels – The way he sold that beating was impressive. He is one of the best babyfaces ever.
Carlito – He was booked strongly with the most eliminations in the match.
Most Memorable Moment: Two ROLLUP OF DEATH~! pinfalls within ten seconds of eachother.
Match Rating: ***1/4 out of five.
Ranking The Elimination Chamber Matches
Here are my ratings for the Elimination Chamber matches from best to worst on the five star scale.
Survivor Series 2002 World Heavyweight Title won by Shawn Michaels – ****1/4
New Year’s Revolution 2005 World Heavyweight Title won by Triple H – ****
New Year’s Revolution 2006 WWE Championship won by John Cena – ***1/4
SummerSlam 2003 World Heavyweight Title won by Triple H – ***
Next up: December to Dismember 2006. Some painful memories of that one. Thankfully I have the review already done when I reviewed the PPV a few years ago, so I don’t need to watch it all again.
Thanks for reading.