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Reviewing The Rumbles: 2006

January 18, 2017 | Posted by Rob Stewart
Rey Mysterio Royal Rumble 2006 WWE
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Reviewing The Rumbles: 2006  

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2006: The Proxy

I’ll just give you time to warm up your hate comments right now by warning you that I have BIG FEELINGS about this Royal Rumble match. I’m positive I’ll end up going on some kind of rant at the end of this one, so… you are warned.

The Participants

1. HHH
2. Rey Mysterio
3. Simon Dean
4. Psicosis
5. Ric Flair
6. The Big Show (Wait, what?! It’s not in the 20’s yet! What are you doing here, Show?)
7. Coach
8. Bobby Lashley
9. Kane
10. Sylvan
11. Carlito
12. Chris Benoit
13. Booker T
14. Joey Mercury
15. Tatanka (surprise return because… people were anxious to see Tatanka again?)
16. Johnny Nitro
17. Trevor Murdoch
18. Eugene (This was well-past his initial run, so it must have been a surprise return. Weird that Eugene was never in a Rumble during his real stretch)
19. Road Warrior Animal (looking positively AWFUL for a guy who used to be so beastly.)
20. Rob Van Dam
21. Orlando Jordan
22. Chavo Guerrero Jr
23. Matt Hardy
24. Super Crazy
25. Shawn Michaels
26. Chris Masters
27. Viscera (Why on Earth is this guy in so many Rumbles?)
28. Shelton Benjamin
29. Goldust
30. Randy Orton

Final Four

4th – Rob Van Dam (by Rey because HHH threw him into RVD)
3rd – HHH (by Rey)
2nd – Orton (by Rey… which makes Rey the first guy to ever sweep the Final Four!)
WINNER – Rey Mysterio

Notes/Thoughts

-Pre-match features Vince and some Divas sitting together at the ball tumbler, waiting for participants to come in and draw their spot. Shelton Benjamin and his Big Mama sized mother come in, and BenjaMama alludes to having had relations with Vince. MNM in next, and all three guys (that’s Nitro, Mercury, and Shelton; I’m not calling Melina a guy) vow to eliminate Shawn Michaels from the Rumble for Vince (Oh, misdirection. Good work, Rumble!).

-The storyline video batch pimps a LOT of guys and their personal storylines: Masters is the hot young talent; Shawn is feuding with Vince; RVD has returned and Carlito is targeting him; Matt Hardy WILL… NOT… DIE; HHH and Big Show had an angry “Naw, I’M gonna win” promo; Orton helped Booker win the IC belt and might want to be repaid in the Rumble. Oh, and Rey is dedicating the match to Eddie’s memory.

-Lots of “EDDIE, EDDIE” chants early for Rey, and I’ll just get this right out of the way: I hate this Rumble, and not ALL of it has to do with the match itself. This Rumble is just two months after Eddie passed away and that’s the story of the night, with Rey Mysterio playing the part of stand-in for his late friend. It makes it feel as though Rey did nothing to EARN this spot; he was just a substitute for Eddie because WWE felt bad that Guerrero never won the Rumble before he passed. It reads as emotional manipulation and just giving Rey something because of how much the fans loved a guy who was Rey-adjacent. I could be wrong—I’m good at it—but I can’t imagine if Eddie hadn’t passed that this Rumble would have gone down the way it does. I’ll get into the rest of my beefs with this at the end…

-Psicosis enters and goes after Rey, and I think “Oh man! Entertaining ECW/WCW feud revived! I hope these two put on a nice little oh Psicosis is out already”.

-LOTS of quick eliminations early, actually, with Psicosis, Dean, Flair, and Coach all lasting less time than a cup of coffee.

-Bobby Lashley is undefeated entering this match. I always dreaded this guy getting the huge push he seemed like he was being groomed for, but luckily… it was never to be. He has since become a much more entertaining character in TNA, but in WWE he was as exciting as a wet mop. And he only knew two more moves during this run than that mop did.

-In case you forgot, the announcers mention that Kane once eliminated 11 guys in a single Rumble. I can see how you might forget this, because they only mention it every year.

-Kane and Show are the tag champions here, and they team up early to toss Lashley. Then they decide to fight amongst themselves because of the Anti-Friendship Forcefield that apparently surrounds Royal Rumbles. HHH uses this opportunity to dump them both while they are distracted with fighting. This happens… a lot to big guys in Rumbles.

-Fan still love them some Chris Benoit, and he gets a great reaction at #12.

-Rey is getting a LOT of rest here in the early going. He keeps vanishing for huge stretches of the match and doing precisely nothing at all except sitting in a corner for minutes on end.

-The fans are PSYCHO for Van Dam upon his entrance. How on god’s green earth was this guy not pushed harder? I know he screwed himself with the arrest after his big double-title moment, but come on… he should have been pushed hard well before that point regardless.

-Rey really spends virtually the entire match lying on his ass or saving himself from an elimination attempt. He is not booked NEARLY as strong as other wire-to-wire guys like Shawn or Benoit or Flair (Vince doesn’t count). Even most other Iron Man tenures are more noteworthy than Misterio’s run of doing fuck-all here.

-Chavo gets another big “Not Eddie, but close enough!” pop. He shows up, hits some Eddie-inspired offense, but gets thrown off the top by HHH when looking for a Frog Splash to get Trips some more major heat.

-After a while, I notice just how many guys are in the ring, and then I start spending an inordinate amount of time pausing and counting. After Viscera enters, there are FOURTEEN guys legal and in the match, and–without ever having done this counting in a previous year—I will go ahead and assume that that’s a record to this point.

-Wait, is Viscera’s signature move/finisher just… dry-humping? He dry-humps Matt Hardy in the middle of the ring (leading to Matt holding his ass in agony). This WAS during Vis’ run as The World’s Largest Mark Henry Gimmick Rip-Off, so I guess it could have been his finisher. I doubt he won many matches anyway. His finisher might as well have been a moonsault.

-I mean… you REALLY go long stretches of this match and forget Rey is even in it.

-After Shelton and MNM fail to eliminate Michaels, Vince angrily comes out himself. While Shawn bickers with him, Shane O Mac sneaks in and tosses Shawn from behind. Shawn follows them until they split up (which is actually good thinking), and Shawn vanishes behind a curtain to pursue Shane. Guess what happens next. Shawn fights Vince at Wrestlemania. That’s three times in the last few years.

-So Rey wins, sets the longevity record at something like 63 minutes, and that’s all lovely. Fake Eddie is going to Wrestlemania, yay! The funny thing here is that Rey would end up losing his WM title shot in a one-on-one match to Randy Orton, but then Teddy Long just puts Rey back in the match just because (isn’t… isn’t that what HEELS usually get?). It’s like they were trying to make him look as undeserving of this as possible.

Rey wins a stupidly short and under-developed triple threat title match at WrestleMania (I rewatched that ‘Mania not too long ago and was shocked to remember how little time it was given) and goes on to be the worst champion of all time. And that is as much fact as it is opinion; Rey spends his tenure as champ getting Brooklyn Brawler’ed around by super heavyweights that JBL hires to torture him. Guys like Kane, Khali, and Henry all effortlessly defeat Rey for clean pinfalls WHILE HE IS THE WORLD CHAMPION. I remember despising this angle when it was happening because it made the world title look like… well, like the Intercontinental title looked for the last few years before The Miz’ run.

I also had a hard time recovering to liking Rey after this debacle, even though this was really more Creative’s fault than Rey’s. I mean, he is good enough and puts on great shows sometimes, but I hated Main Eventer Rey Mysterio. He never deserved it as far as I was concerned, and I grew tired of him for years after this. And it’s, ultimately, all this Rumble’s fault (I mean… I guess it’s Eddie Guerrero’s fault for poor life choices, but… I feel bad blaming him for dying).

Rankings

1. 2001 (Austin III) – 10/10

2. 2004 (Benoit) – 9/10
3. 1992 (Flair) – 9/10

4. 1998 (Austin II) – 8/10
5. 1997 (Austin I) – 8/10

6. 2002 (HHH I) – 7/10

7. 2005 (Batista I) – 6/10

8. 2003 (Lesnar) -5/10
9. 1989 (Studd) – 5/10
10. 1996 (Michaels II) – 5/10
11. 1999 (McMahon) 5/10

12. 1993 (Yokozuna) – 4/10
13. 1990 (Hogan I) – 4/10
14. 1994 (Hart/Luger) – 4/10

15. 1991 (Hogan II) – 3/10
16. <b<2006 (Mysterio) – 3/10
17. 2000 (The Rock) – 3/10

18. 1995 (Michaels I) – 2/10
19. 1988 (Duggan) – 2/10

3.0
The final score: review Bad
The 411
Yeah, yeah. I tend to let my feelings color this one a bit. But I really hated Rey’s time as the World Heavyweight champion. I’m not even sure why it bothered me so much. Just one of those things, I guess. All right, let me have it in the comments!
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