Royal Rumble 2006
Date: January 29, 2006
Location: American Airlines Arena, Miami, Florida
Commentators: Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler, Joey Styles, Tazz
Eddie Guerrero. If you honestly believe this show is about anyone but him, you’re completely wrong and missing the point. Tonight’s show is about milking as much as we possibly can out of Eddie’s dead body, because the entirety of the Smackdown main event scene until Wrestlemania (and even glimpses of it for years to come) would be about Rey Mysterio fighting for Eddie’s memory against people like Orton. I never have been comfortable with this but it is what it is. Let’s get to it.
The opening video is about Mark Henry vs. Kurt Angle. The Rumble and Edge vs. Cena gets a little time as well.
Cruiserweight Title: Gregory Helms vs. Kid Kash vs. Funaki vs. Jamie Noble vs. Nunzio vs. Paul London
Kid Kash is champion coming in and this is Texas Tornado rules and one fall to a finish. Helms is from Raw but is here because it’s an open invitational. It’s a big brawl to start and everyone gangs up on Helms. I don’t know if there was a delay of some sort or just a really bad sign, but there are dozens if not hundreds of empty seats visible in the lower arena, most of them opposite the hard camera.
Helms gets beaten into the corner but Kash pulls some other people off for no apparent reason. Nunzio slams Kash onto the mat for one Noble gets two on Nunzio off a powerslam as London hits a dropsalt for two on Noble and Nunzio. Wait apparently those red seats are stairs. Those are rather distracting and the seating structure is odd as there’s a group of about eight seats per row then another set of stairs as opposed to most arenas where there are about twice that many in a row. At least the place isn’t as empty as it seemed.
Nunzio hits a slingshot to send Noble into the corner and Funaki adds a bulldog for two. We finally get to the dives with Nunzio diving on a pair of guys, allowing Noble to get two on Kash via a leg lariat. Noble dives on Helms and Nunzio on the floor and Funaki is knocked off the top onto Nunzio and Noble. London kicks Kash to the floor as well and dives on everyone not named Helms with a shooting star off the top.
Back in and London loads up a shooting star press onto Kash but Helms goes up top at the same time and hooks a swinging neckbreaker to bring London down for two. A brainbuster from Kash kills London again but two guys come in for the save. All six guys are back in the ring now and Kash gets two off a Backstabber on Nunzio. Funaki can’t hit a tornado DDT on Noble and gets caught in a gutbuster for trying. Noble gets sent to the floor by Helms and Gregory hits a Shining Wizard out of nowhere for the pin on Funaki and the title.
Rating: C+. What are you expecting to find here? It’s six guys in the ring all at once and going nuts on each other with spots. There isn’t supposed to be any sort of story or flow to it and there certainly wasn’t here. It was the right choice for an opener and the match worked well enough for its purpose. Fine but nothing memorable at all. Helms would hold the title for over a year.
Teddy gushes to Vince about how excited he is over the Rumble. Vince is happy because he has Torrie, Victoria and Candace Michelle doing the drawing. They were a heel Divas stable at the time which didn’t work at all. HHH and Orton come in to draw and only the latter seems pleased with his number. Amazingly enough, these guys got the EXACT SAME NUMBERS that Guerrero and Flair got when they came in to draw last year.
Trish is looking GREAT in a referee outfit when Mickie, currently the psycho lesbian, comes up and says she loves Trish. Ok then.
Mickie James vs. Ashley Massaro
Trish is referee and I didn’t realize she was in some barely there shorts. I miss Mickie wearing those skirts that often flew up above her waist. The problem with Ashley was simple: she wasn’t that good. Mickie cranks on the arm but Ashley counters into a wristlock of her own. Massaro armdrags Mickie down and it’s clearly Mickie flipping while Ashley moves her arm.
James heads to the floor to get a breather but Ashley hits a clothesline off the apron to take her down. Back in and Mickie snaps, basically turning heel mid-match. Mickie hooks a standing half crab to fill in some time as it’s clear Ashley has nothing to do here. We head to the floor where Mickie rams Ashley’s ribs into the post. Back in and Mickie hooks a bow and arrow hold to work on the back even more.
Ashley catches an incoming kick from Mickie and starts her “offense” but can barely hook a crucifix. The only good thing about it was Mickie’s skirt flying up but the rollup only gets two. Massaro shoves Ashley into the corner and the fans are openly booing now. She’s just absolutely horrible and thankfully Mickie kind of powerbombs her out of the corner for the sloppy pin.
Rating: D. Again, anything with Trish looking that hot involved can’t be considered a failure whatsoever. She was likely there because it was clear that the match was going to be horrible and the fans had to have something to be distracted by. Thankfully Trish and Mickie would get to have their excellent Mania match instead of another Ashley mess. Terrible stuff but hot women in tiny outfits make up for it.
Big Show draws his number. Rey comes in to talk about Eddie a bit. Apparently Eddie is joking with Rey by giving him this number.
John Bradshaw Layfield vs. Boogeyman
This is part of an ongoing feud, which involved Boogeyman eating a growth off of Jillian Hall’s face. Do yourself a favor and don’t ask. Oh and I forgot to mention the set. It’s themed like a coliseum with guards opening up the doors for the wrestlers to come in. They did that at some of the old King of the Rings and I still like it.
John hides behind Jillian for awhile and then bails to the floor, leaving the blonde chick to get stalked. Boogeyman puts worms in his mouth and spits them into Jillian’s mouth. Boogey gets sent to the floor and into the steps before JBL chokes away a bit more. The Clothesline misses and a pumphandle powerslam ends JBL in less than two minutes. I have no idea what the point of this was.
Mama Benjamin comes in and hits on Vince. Thankfully Shelton comes in to save Vince from a future paternity suit. Melina comes in to hit on Shelton but Mama takes him away quickly. Mama Benjamin was one of those ideas that didn’t make a ton of sense and didn’t accomplish anything but it certainly exists. MNM draws their numbers as well. Vince and hits girls sit on the couch to watch the Rumble.
Video on the Rumble, which says everyone thinks they’ll win. Vince is vindictive against Shawn around this time too. Apparently there will be some returns tonight as well.
Before the Rumble starts, the Spirit Squad comes out to give us a chant.
HHH is #1 and Mysterio is #2, naturally coming out in a lowrider and an Eddie shirt. HHH tries to power him down to start but Rey comes back with kicks to the knee. Rey hits a headscissors to take HHH down and into the corner but HHH lifts him to the apron. Rey comes back with a springboard dropkick to the back but HHH ducks the 619. Simon Dean is #3 and goes after Rey to a bunch of boos. Dean sends him to the apron and wants a high five from HHH but gets punched in the face and hit by a seated senton. The elimination is academic.
Rey takes HHH down and hits a Bronco Buster as Psychosis is #4. He immediately goes after Rey before kicking HHH down. Psychosis busts out a freaky move where he hooks a Rock Bottom grip on Rey but lifts him into the air and slams Rey face down. Rey gets put in a Razor’s Edge position but ranas Psychosis out for the elimination. Ric Flair is #5 and goes right for HHH. They slug it out with Flair taking over but ducking his head into the facebuster. Ric comes back with a crotch grab but HHH rakes the eyes and backdrops Flair out.
Big Show, who hates HHH at the moment, is #6. They were feuding at this time, I believe over HHH injuring Big Show’s hand with the hammer. Show chops him in the corner and HHH falls forward onto Show’s chest. A headbutt keeps Rey down and there’s a side slam to HHH. Like an idiot, Big Show picks up HHH and slams him to the mat instead of to the floor. Coach is #7 and makes it about thirty seconds before Show puts him out.
Show does that stupid slam thing to HHH AGAIN. I’m sure that won’t come back to haunt him or anything. The chokeslam takes HHH down again and here’s Lashley at #8. He and Show slug it out with Show getting backdropped to the mat. Kane, Big Show’s tag champion partner at this point, is #9. He and Lashley stare it down and Kane kicks Lashley’s head off.
Lashley immediately comes back with an overhead belly to belly and a third press slam to HHH. Kane takes a Dominator and Sylvan, the “Smackdown fashion consultant” is #10 and lasts about 18 seconds before Lashley throws him out. Unfortunately he turns around and gets caught in a double chokeslam followed by the elimination. The partners quickly turn on each other with Kane getting a boot up to stop a charging Show. They fight to the ropes and HHH runs up to throw them both out, emulating the same thing Shawn did in 1996 with Vader and Yokozuna.
Carlito is #11 and goes for Mysterio as is the theme tonight. There’s a Backstabber to put Rey down in the corner, where he’s been for a lot of the match tonight. Carlito punches HHH down and here’s Benoit at #12. Everyone gets a German and Carlito taps to a Crossface which means nothing here. HHH breaks it up for no apparent reason and whips Benoit hard into the corner.
The Game puts Benoit on the apron and they fight over a suplex with Benoit winding up on the top rope. Benoit headbutts HHH down and hits the Swan Dive before Booker T is #13. He’s US Champion here and in tights, which suggests an injury to me. Oh yeah he’s barely moving out there and just letting Benoit chop him. Benoit dumps him in about 20 seconds so yeah Booker must have been hurt.
Benoit chops on HHH until Joey Mercury is #14. Mercury fires off dropkicks but gets caught in Rolling Germans. Carlito jumps Benoit to break it up and Mercury pounds on Benoit a bit. Freaking Tatanka is #15, giving us a group of Mysterio, HHH, Carlito, Benoit, Mercury and Tatanka. Seriously why did the bring TATANKA back? He fires off chops as the fans do the Seminole chant.
Johnny Nitro is #16 to give us the Smackdown tag champions in the ring at the same time. HHH is upside down as Tatanka chops Nitro down. Nitro is John Morrison if you don’t remember him. Mysterio is finally back to his feet after being down for about half the time he’s been in the match. Trevor Murdoch is #17 and chops away on Tatanka as the match calms down again. Eugene is #18 and immediately Hulks Up, hooking an airplane spin on Murdoch. Mysterio hits a double bulldog to take both guys down to remind us that he’s still there.
Road Warrior Animal is #18 and immediately takes MNM’s heads off with a double clothesline. A powerslam puts Nitro down and we hit another lull. RVD is #20 and is back for the first time in nearly a year. Animal and Benoit have a staredown until Benoit gets kicked in the face. RVD kicks MNM down and backdrops Animal out to finally clear some room out in the ring.
Orlando Jordan is #21 and no one cares. Van Dam hits a kick to Carlito’s face off the top and Chavo Guerrero is #22. Nitro takes Three Amigos but Chavo goes up and is immediately knocked out by HHH. Matt Hardy is #23 and hits the Twist of Fate on Jordan. RVD and Rey combine to get HHH to the apron but they can’t get him out. MNM put out Tatanka and there are way too many people in this match with three letter initials. Super Crazy is #24 and literally flips to the ring.
At the moment we’ve got HHH, Mysterio, Carlito, Benoit, Mercury, Nitro, Murdoch, Eugene, RVD, Jordan, Hardy, Crazy and now Shawn Michaels at #25. Why are there THIRTEEN PEOPLE in the ring at once? Everyone swarms Shawn but he punches them all off until Murdoch gets in some shots on him in the corner. There goes Trevor and Carlito knocks Shawn to the apron but not out.
Chris Masters is #26 and Hardy sends HHH to the apron. Viscera is #27 in his World’s Largest Love Machine period. He sits on Matt and does his anal rape thing as Mercury saves himself from being eliminated. Matt gets some boots up in the corner but is thrown out pretty quickly thereafter. Shelton is #28 and Benoit eliminates Eugene. Goldust returns at #29 and chops a bunch of people to no reaction.
Orton is FINALLY #30, giving us a final group of HHH, Mysterio, Carlito, Benoit, Mercury, Nitro, RVD, Jordan, Crazy, HBK, Masters, Viscera, Benjamin, Goldust and Orton, or HALF THE PEOPLE IN THE MATCH. To give you an idea of how lame the star power is other than like three people in this, the final five were Masters, Viscera, Shelton, Goldust and Orton. Other than Randy that’s like a medium budget indy show, not the last five entrants to the Royal Rumble.
Randy almost immediately puts out Benoit. Seriously? You can’t put out Masters or Jordan? It just HAD TO BE Benoit??? An RKO takes down Viscera so Masters and Carlito can throw him out. Carlito immediately turns on his partner and dumps Masters. Goldie loads up Shattered Dreams on Carlito and gets in a good kick, only to be eliminated by RVD. Orton puts out Jordan and Shawn and HHH finally go at it. MNM double teams Shawn but gets eliminated for their efforts.
Shawn has to skin the cat to stay in and turns into a kick to the head from Shelton. Michaels is cool with that and sends Shelton to the apron followed by a superkick to eliminate him. This brings out Vince who hates Shawn and the distraction lets Shane run in and dump HBK. Shawn is ticked and runs back in and superkicks HHH after escaping a Pedigree attempt. He goes after Vince but a single referee stops him. Ok then.
We’re down to Carlito, Van Dam, HHH, Mysterio and Orton. Van Dam kicks Carlito out and we’re down to four. Van Dam kicks Orton in the head and teams up with Mysterio to beat on the Evolution guys. Rob goes up top but HHH crotches him and sends Rey into the corner to knock Van Dam out, getting us down to three. Evolution teams up on Rey but he knocks them both into the ropes for a double 619. Orton takes the seated senton but HHH clotheslines Rey down.
Orton powerslams HHH down but the RKO is countered into a spinebuster. HHH goes after Rey and gets flipped out to get us down to two. Cole’s voice is almost gone. HHH, ever the nice guy, pulls Rey to the floor and sends him into the steps. Mysterio is basically dead so Orton takes his sweet time. That’s his downfall though, as Rey counters the elimination attempt into a rana and sends Orton out for the win. Naturally he had to be #2 which the WWE considers less than #1 for absolutely no apparent reason, but that’s HHH for you.
Rating: C-. This isn’t a bad match, but man alive is it boring. There are three major problems in this match. First of all, there were WAY too many people in the ring at most given times. Like I said, once Orton got in there we had fifteen people in the ring at once. That’s double what the number should be around and it clutters things up way too much with that many people in there.
Second, as I touched on near the end, the talent pool was pretty shallow here. I mean, MNM aren’t bad but they don’t need to be in the final grouping of the Rumble. Guys like Masters and Carlito should have been eliminated earlier but just stuck in there. That gets old fast and it was begging for someone like Shawn to come in there and eliminate like five guys at once.
Finally, since there were so many people in there at once, it was hard to focus on any single story. You had stuff like HHH trying to go wire to wire but that got lost in the shuffle. Rey was on the mat for long stretches of time so he wasn’t really noticed either. Shawn’s issues with Vince only popped up for the elimination and were only touched on. When you can’t focus on one thing, you can’t focus on anything and that makes for a dull match. One good thing was that Rey wasn’t a guaranteed winner, so there was some drama. It’s not a bad Rumble but it was badly run.
Mickie comes in to hit on Trish as she does an interview on WWE.com.
Rey celebrates when Edge comes in and says don’t even think of challenging him at Mania.
We recap Edge vs. Cena. Edge won MITB back at Mania and waited nine months before cashing in on Cena after Cena survived the Elimination Chamber. Tonight is the rematch three weeks later.
Raw World Title: John Cena vs. Edge
Cena walks across a catwalk that lowered from the ceiling and hops in over the top. You know, in case it’s wasn’t clear enough that Edge had no chance here. Cena clotheslines him down to start but has to chase Edge back inside, allowing the champion to send Cena into the buckle. We head to the floor again with Cena having to avoid Lita and getting sent into the steps as a result. A baseball slide sends Cena over the barricade and the match stops again.
Edge tries for a countout but Cena DIVES back in at nine. Back in and Cena pounds away but charges into a spinwheel kick for two from the Canadian. Edge punches Cena to the floor again but goes after him instead of going for the countout again. Cena gets sent into the steps and back inside a missile dropkick gets two for the champion. Edge loads up a superplex but gets shoved off, only to avoid a guillotine legdrop from Cena.
Cena grabs a quick FU attempt but Edge counters into a rollup for two. A big boot puts Cena down but he rolls through a top rope cross body for two. Edge tries a rear naked choke of all things which Cena eventually breaks up. The spear misses and there’s a DDT to put both guys down. It’s Cena up first to start his finishing sequence but Lita distracts the referee. Edge misses a charge and is sent into Lita, setting up Cena for the FU and STFU to get the title back.
Rating: D+. This was a world title match at the Royal Rumble? Why? Edge never felt like he had Cena in trouble and the match wasn’t anything that you would remember five minutes after it ended. Lita’s cleavage was awesome but when that’s the best thing about a match….well you shouldn’t be surprised because it often was in Edge’s matches, but still, pretty lame match here that made Edge look like a footnote. Obviously that would change, but not a good start for him here.
Edge freaks out on Todd Grisham in the back. Edge storms off and Lita panics a bit. We get a random Hacksaw Jim Duggan cameo (does anyone do those better?) to call her a HO!
We recap Angle vs. Henry. Batista had been scheduled to face henry but tore his triceps and had to vacate the title. Angle won the title in a battle royal and gets to defend here. The idea is that Henry is way too strong for Angle. Seriously, that’s the story. Why this main evented the show isn’t quite clear.
Angle is all I’M THE BEST WRESTLER IN THE WORLD and no one can beat me. He leaves but comes back to tell Mark Henry that he SUCKS. This version of Angle was AWESOME, as he would just go out there and go beast mode on everyone and make them look like fools trying to keep up with him. Also he was perfect for a quick title reign like this as no one would question him popping up out of nowhere and taking the title. Those kind of people are hard to find but Kurt was one of them.
Smackdown World Title: Kurt Angle vs. Mark Henry
Angle gets overpowered to start. That’s about all there is to say for the first two minutes or so, as Kurt keeps getting shoved around and then taken to the floor. Henry whips him into the steps and then stands on Angle’s chest back inside. We hit a bearhug for a bit until Angle hiptosses out of it. He tries a cross body like an imbecile but rolls out of the World’s Strongest Slam. The ankle lock and Angle Slam are no good so Henry clubs him down again.
Instead Angle hits a German (kind of) to put both guys down. The Angle Slam gets two (duh) and the ankle lock is broken up again. The counter causes the referee to get bumped so Angle gets a chair. A low blow and two chair shots take Henry down for two, so Angle takes a buckle off. Kurt drop toeholds him into the buckle and rolls Henry up to retain. Our hero everyone.
Rating: D. Seriously, why was this……
And a gong strikes. That’s why.
As for the match, it sucked pretty terribly. Why would we buy Henry as a potential champion here after him showing no proof of being at that level? The match wasn’t even ten minutes long, making it feel much more like a TV match than a PPV title match. I know they wanted to do the big ending with Taker, but there had to be a better way to do it.
Taker comes out in a freaking horse drawn chariot and motions that he wants the title. Then he shoots lightning from his hands at the stuff over the ring, before slamming his arms down to send lightning at the posts. The ring collapses to end the show. Yeah that happened.
Overall Rating: D. I watched this show over the course of two days, and honestly the only thing that came to my mind other than the last ten minutes of it was how Trish looked in that referee outfit. That’s how completely forgettable this show is. Nothing came out of this show as Cena was champion all over again, making the last three weeks feel like nothing. Nothing to see here and definitely not worth seeing.
Gregory Helms vs. Kid Kash vs. Funaki vs. Jamie Noble vs. Nunzio vs. Paul London
Mickie James vs. Ashley Massaro
Boogeyman vs. John Bradshaw Layfield
John Cena vs. Edge
Kurt Angle vs. Mark Henry
What was I on for that Edge vs. Cena match?
Here’s the original review if you’re interested:
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