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Kevin’s WWE Royal Rumble 2006 Review

March 7, 2019 | Posted by Kevin Pantoja
Edge John Cena 2006 Royal Rumble
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Kevin’s WWE Royal Rumble 2006 Review  

WWE Royal Rumble 2006
January 29th, 2006 | American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida | Attendance: 14,500

I feel like I end up randomly choosing Royal Rumbles quite often. Either way, the 2006 one is interesting to me because most of that year (and 2007) is kind of a blur for me. It all just kind of exists and never left a lasting impact on me. I was getting into TNA and ROH at the time, branching out as a wrestling fan. This was the nineteenth annual Royal Rumble event.

The opening video package focused on the two World Title matches and of course, the Royal Rumble match. Michael Cole and Tazz were on Smackdown commentary, while Joey Styles and Jerry Lawler handled Raw.

WWE Cruiserweight Championship Open Invitational: Kid Kash [c] vs. Funaki vs. Gregory Helms vs. Jamie Noble vs. Nunzio vs. Paul London
This was open to all former Cruiserweight Champions. Helms was the surprise sixth entrant. The match had tornado rules, meaning everyone was in the ring at the same time. It made for a chaotic contest. Adding to the mayhem was that it was sudden death. It allows for a fast paced match filled with high spots. The biggest came from Paul London and a Shooting Star Press onto most of his opponents outside. After a finisher barrage from everyone, including a top rope neckbreaker from Helms and a Brainbuster by Kash, Helms used a Shining Wizard on Funaki to win the title in 7:40. A hectic match that mostly worked for what it was. Not a lot of structure, but some fun spots. [**½]

Backstage, Vince McMahon told Teddy Long that he could handle the Rumble number drawing segments. Of course, that was only because Torrie Wilson, Candice Michelle, and Victoria were there. Perv Vince was in full force. Randy Orton entered to get his number and was very happy. His old rival, Triple H, made immature jokes and went to brag about his number to Orton, only to get a bad one.

Elsewhere, Mickie James tried getting a word with Trish Stratus before the match. Trish went to leave, but Mickie held her back and said, “I love you.”

Ashley Massaro vs. Mickie James
Trish Stratus was the special guest referee. Mickie was obsessed with Trish and jealous that Ashley was her friend. The Mickie/Trish storyline was masterfully handled. Mickie was decent here, but Ashley had been wrestling for less than a year and had no real business in high profile matches. She did get in some moves that frustrated Mickie. That triggered an angry Mickie. She picked apart Ashley and continually looked at Trish for approval. Ashley got aggressive to the point where Trish had to pull her back. Mickie used that to her advantage and pulled on Ashley’s tights to slam her down and win in 7:44. Trish reluctant counted three. Technically, it was a mess. But, the story they told worked and Mickie nailed every character thing she had to do. It did go too long for Ashley, though. [*½]

Vince flirted more with the ladies until Big Show arrived. His hand was too big to get a number but he was okay once he got it. Rey Mysterio spoke about doing this for Eddie, but clearly didn’t get a good number.

The Boogeyman vs. John Bradshaw Layfield w/ Jillian Hall
Not much to this. Boogeyman grossed everyone out with his worms and how he stalked Jillian. When the match began, JBL did some cheating, but Boogeyman avoided the Clothesline from Hell. He hit the pumphandle slam to win in 1:54. It sucked, but at least it was quick. [¼*]

Our final Rumble tumbler segment. Vince thought Candice pinched his ass, but it was Shelton Benjamin’s mom. Shelton gave her an awkward kiss on the lips for good luck and promised to throw Shawn Michaels out for Vince. Melina was next in and Shelton’s mom scolded him before he could truly flirt with her.

Before the Rumble itself, the Spirit Squad came out and did a cheer about the match. The crowd didn’t care at all. They barely even booed. I never understood why they were so prominent. They were annoying heels good for midcard heat at best.

Royal Rumble Match
Triple H was #1 and Rey Mysterio, out in an Eddie Guerrero style lowrider, drew #2. It was good to start with stars, because the next few guys got no reaction (Simon Dean and Psicosis). That changed when Ric Flair (#5) arrived and wailed on HHH. None of them lasted until the next entrant. Big Show (#6) posed a major challenge and apparently had a rivalry of sorts with HHH. After a comedic appearance for Jonathan Coachman (#7), Lashley (#8) came in for the BIG BOI staredown against Show. Watching him flip Show over was impressive. Show’s partner Kane (#9) helped him out, but took a Dominator. Sylvan (#10) was easy pickings for Lashley, who was then thrown out by Kane and Show. When they began fighting each other, HHH sent them both over. Though he’s US Champion, Booker T (#13) was quickly dumped out by Chris Benoit (#12). Tatanka (#15) and Animal (#19) were our designated nostalgia pops. I’m not writing about a lot of these middle of the match guys because most were either irrelevant (Trevor Murdoch) or jokes (Eugene). RVD (#20) got a huge ovation as this was his return. He is about six months away from being WWE Champion. Chavo Guerrero (#22) got the big Eddie pop. He hit Three Amigos and went for a Frog Splash, but HHH eliminated him like the ultimate heel. A lot of nothing happened until Shawn Michaels (#25) hit the ring and nailed everything moving. Goldust (#29) had the kind of return I look for in a match like this. He’s much more enjoyable than Tatanka or Animal. The ring remained far too full at points of this match, meaning it turned into a battle royal. That’s not a good thing. The final entrant was Randy Orton, a favorite to win. Carlito (#12) double crossed his partner Chris Masters (#26) when he eliminated him. Shawn got eliminated when Vince McMahon distracted him and Shane did the dirty work. Gotta set up Mania, brother. The final four were Orton, RVD, and the two men who started, Mysterio and HHH. It turned into Rey & RVD against Evolution. RVD was sent packing, leaving Rey against two major heels. When HHH got eliminated, he flipped out and threw Rey into the steel steps. This was now easy for Orton. Of course, he was a generic villain and wasted time gloating. It allowed Rey to counter his elimination and win in 62:12. Rey was booked so well here. He was a great underdog while doing enough to not just feel like he got lucky. The final four was great, but there was far too much fluff in the middle. A lot of battle royal type moments made this a Rumble that left a lot to be desired. [***¼]

Backstage, Mickie James thanked Trish Stratus and insinuated that Trish counted the three for her because she loved her.

Elsewhere, Edge ruined Rey’s celebration by telling him that if he tried coming to Raw to face him for the WWE Title at WrestleMania, his dream would become a nightmare. Or something like that.

WWE Championship: Edge [c] w/ Lita vs. John Cena
Edge was the breath of fresh air the company needed in the main event. John Cena got a strange special entrance on a special walking platform. Commentary acted like it was the best thing ever. Anyway, the match followed the typical formula you’d expect from a Raw main event. Cena opened kind of hot until Edge took control. That led to a much slower pace, which is odd because that’s not how Edge matches typically went. It went on for a while and then set up the big Cena comeback sequence. Lita distracted the referee following a Five Knuckle Shuffle to continue the generic tropes this match was using. Cena caused Edge to knock her off the apron, hit the FU, and made Edge tap to the STFU in 14:02. And just like that, Edge officially looked like a transitional champion. Thank goodness his career recovered. A super basic match that was far from memorable and seemed like it belonged on a house show or TV. [**¼]

In the back, a frustrated Edge threatened Todd Grisham when he tried getting a word with him. Jim Duggan interrupted Lita to call her a “HOOOO!”

World Heavyweight Championship: Kurt Angle [c] vs. Mark Henry w/ Daivari
Teddy Long. Daivari. Tony Atlas. They always gave Mark a mouthpiece and he finally got it all right in 2011 without one. Anyway, this is possibly the weakest Rumble main event in modern history. Henry brought his usual slow pace. Lots of holding and wear down stuff. Angle wasn’t in top form, so none of what he did worked like it would if he was motivated. The crowd sat on their hands as Henry hit a big splash. That’s a signature move for him, so the fans being dead told you how this was going. We got a ref bump that led to Angle cracking Daivari with a steel chair. He also hit Henry with a low blow and two vicious looking chair shots. A slow count let Henry kick out, but he couldn’t do the same after hitting the exposed buckle and getting rolled up at 9:29. A painfully weak way to close the show. Henry did a lot of plodding stuff and Angle wasn’t in the mood to make it anything better. [*]

The reason this closed the show was because it was time for an Undertaker appearance. He showed up with a bunch of druids, one of whom was the future Dean Ambrose. Undertaker motioned for the title and then shot off pyro to the ring, forcing it to collapse with Angle in it. It set up a No Way Out match, rather than the Mania match we probably should’ve gotten.

The final score: review Poor
The 411
A very forgettable Royal Rumble. The best match was the Rumble itself and that wasn’t even one of the stronger ones. The stuff before the Rumble was either bad (Boogeyman/JBL) or average at best (Cruiserweights) and the two title matches after were extremely lackluster. Rumble events are usually fun, but this one missed the mark in a big way.

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Royal Rumble, Kevin Pantoja