wrestling / Columns

The Shimmy 01.01.07: The Top 52 WWE Matches of 2006

January 1, 2007 | Posted by Andy Clark

Happy New Year everybody! Two straight weeks and I get two straight holidays on the job. Happy Anniversary as well to all those that have stuck around with me since last January 1. That’s right, today marks my one year anniversary here at 411. Who’da thunk it, huh? Truly I’d like to thank my bosses here at 411 as well as all my readers for allowing me to stay here for 365 days.

So onto the meat and potatoes of the column, it’s time for yet another year-end retrospective. Today I shall take a look at the 52 best WWE matches of 2006 (one for every week of the year for those wondering). Given all the slurping that Ring of Honor has received in everyone else’s year end stuff, I figured it was up to me to give some love to the big boys up in Stamford. I had the good fortune to see every WWE PPV this year (something I doubt will happen in 2007) and just about every major free TV match, so I feel quite qualified for this job. This will also be based on a normal calendar year, January to December and not one of those wacky December to December calendars a lot of wrestling writers seem to use.

For those not familiar with how I rank these things, I fully understand that all 52 of these matches aren’t five star classics. I like to think that all of these matches were thoroughly entertaining, and as such were the 52 most entertaining and fun matches that WWE had to offer. Even still I would put up at least my top 13, and probably even top 25, matches up against anything from those other two companies. Am I a WWE homer? Sure, but somebody needs to be.

52. I Quit Match: Rey Mysterio vs. Chavo Guerrero (SmackDown, 10/20/06)

Distasteful storyline aside, this match was an interesting proposition. You have two smaller wrestlers in a main event level match, neither of whom are known for their brawling, and they are in a barbaric stipulation match. This is a match that is based mostly on drama and intensity, and I’d say Rey and Chavo more than delivered. While this may not be the best or most memorable I Quit Match ever, it was a nice addition to 2006’s roster of matches.

51. Last Man Standing Match: Undertaker vs. Great Khali (SmackDown, 8/18/06)

Yes, I have a Great Khali match on my list of best matches of the year, sue me. This match was pulled from the SummerSlam PPV due to concerns for how good it would be, and I think it’s a shame. Hell, this match was better than the SmackDown main event of the same PPV. Maybe it was heavily edited for the SmackDown broadcast, but whatever the case may be Undertaker and the Great Khali put on an excellent big man fight.

50. United States Title, Steel Cage Match: JBL© vs. Chris Benoit (SmackDown, 4/14/06 )

There wasn’t anything groundbreaking about this match (although perhaps back breaking in JBL’s case) but it was a nice reprieve from their so-so match against one another from WrestleMania. This was a solid Steel Cage Match, something that is always welcome on free TV. There isn’t much else to say about it other than it was a fun watch, and one of JBL’s best matches of his final days.

49. World Heavyweight Title, Triple Threat Match: Kurt Angle© vs. Randy Orton vs. Rey Mysterio (WrestleMania 22)

Sure, it was only nine minutes, but they crammed a lot of action into those nine minutes. Despite the insane amount of offense they allowed Kurt Angle in this match (the main reason I think they didn’t show the entire match on the SmackDown year-end show) this match was about Rey Mysterio. There was never a dull moment in the match, and the crowd was hot (even if it was way too cynical and smarky for its own good). The feel good ending with Rey finally winning the big one definitely puts this match up there as a must see, if only for its historical value.

48. DX vs. Vince McMahon & Shane McMahon (SummerSlam)

Very rarely does a match featuring the McMahons ever fail to deliver, and this is no different. The DX-McMahons feud had been raging all summer and it was only fitting that they met up at WrestleMania 22 ½. While there may not have been any state of the art mat wrestling or anything of that nature, it was the perfect kind of overbooked schmozz that makes a McMahon match great.

47. Six Man Tag Team Match: Rey Mysterio, Chris Benoit, & Bobby Lashley vs. Randy Orton, JBL & Finlay (SmackDown, 2/24/06)

I may be a tad biased as I was there to see this match live, but damn was it fun. WWE does know how to do their big six and eight man tags for free TV, and this is another example of it. The action was fast and furious and they gave it a nice long time to play out. This was a perfect match to kickstart things towards WrestleMania on the blue show.

46. Intercontinental Title, Triple Threat Match: Shelton Benjamin© vs. Carlito vs. Johnny Nitro (Vengeance)

This will no doubt be another unpopular pick amongst my fellow Internet people as most saw this match merely as a decent midcard match with some spots. I see it as shining moment in the recent history of the Intercontinental Title as well as a breakout performance for Johnny Nitro. Was it a midcard spotfest? Maybe. But if you’re going to have a midcard spotfest, these are three of the best guys to do it.

45. Cruiserweight Title, Nine Man Challenge: Gregory Helms© vs. Kid Kash vs. Paul London vs. Brian Kendrick vs. Super Crazy vs. Psicosis vs. Scotty 2 Hotty vs. Funaki vs. Little Guido Maritato (No Way Out)

Speaking of midcard spotfests, that brings us to the Cruiserweight division. Remember those two months when you foolish people actually thought there would be a Cruiserweight resurgence? Ha! This match was a perfect use of the Cruisers and was a nice way to give hope to those that still believed in the division. Unfortunately this match was the entire division, so they could only go down from here.

44. No. 1 Contender’s Match: Rey Mysterio vs. Randy Orton (No Way Out)

Did you realize that No Way Out was a damn good PPV? Rey and Orton got together on this gem in the semi-main event, and it fit well with the entire evening. This match even had the added drama of whether Rey would lose his No. 1 Contender status or not. The post-match scene afterwards with Rey Mysterio backstage was also very well done in the context of telling the story.

43. WWE Title, Steel Cage Match: John Cena© vs. Edge (Raw, 10/2/06)

We’ve already had one solid Steel Cage Match on this list, ready for another one? Cena and Edge haven’t failed to deliver once this year, even going so far as having a good match on the Tribute to the Troops show. This match was no different and it was a fitting blow off for the feud that stretched for most of the year. 2006 was definitely the year of Cena-Edge, and we wrestling fans are better for it.

42. King of the Ring Quarter-Final Match: Booker T vs. Matt Hardy (SmackDown, 4/21/06 )

Yeah, I was surprised by this one too. Actually, maybe I shouldn’t have been. Booker has been in the midst of a career resurgence this year and Matt Hardy has never been a slouch in the ring. This is one of those matches where you already know who’s going to win when it starts, but you still manage to get excited for the near falls at the end. It’s a shame WWE doesn’t listen to those never ceasing pops that Matt Hardy gets, otherwise they could have a real star on their hands.

41. Six Person Intergender Tag Team Match: John Cena, Carlito, & Trish Stratus vs. Rated RKO & Lita (Raw, 9/4/06)

Didn’t I say that WWE knew how to do six man tags? This one was no different and for a match with nothing on the line, this was one of the more exciting ones all year. All six of these competitors have good chemistry together so it should come as no surprise that this match was good. This match was one of the truly underappreciated gems of the year.

40. No DQ Match: Shawn Michaels & God vs. Vince McMahon & Shane McMahon (Backlash)

I don’t care how people felt about the storyline (I personally found it quite amusing, with the only exception being the lame photoshopping segment) but the execution was done perfectly. Shawn Michaels worked for nine men in that match (or eight men and a deity if you prefer) and the end result was a surprisingly good match. With the return of DX Shawn Michaels hasn’t been asked to do a lot of carrying, but this match shows just why he is as revered as he is in that department.

39. Interpromotional Match: Rob Van Dam & Kurt Angle vs. Rated RKO (ECW, 6/20/06)

After the disastrous first week of ECW programming, WWE needed something to help pick up the next week’s show. This match would be just that. A solid, fast-paced tag team match with four men that know how to work each other expertly, this match helped stop a lot of the bleeding from ECW’s first show. Is there any way we can book this match now?

38. King of the Ring Quarter-Final Match: Kurt Angle vs. Randy Orton (SmackDown, 4/14/06)

Angle and Orton met up in two particularly memorable matches this year. This match was the one where Orton had his “ankle snapped” setting up his 60-day suspension. They were actually given the main event slot on the show and given a substantial amount of time to work with. At least they let Orton prove himself before he went out with his suspension. This match would just be a sign of things to come, as we’ll see later.

37. Extreme Rules Match: Rob Van Dam & Sabu vs. Test & Mike Knox (ECW, 9/5/06)

ECW hasn’t had many Extreme Rules Matches since its rebirth, but they ones they have had have been quite good. This one is no different. In fact, this is probably one of the best matches Sabu has been in since WWE hired him. It’s no wonder that WWE is putting this match on the new ECW DVD as it has just enough brutality to make you want more.

36. Cruiserweight Title, Interpromotional Open Invitational Match: Kid Kash© vs. Gregory Helms vs. Little Guido Maritato vs. Paul London vs. Jamie Noble vs. Funaki (Royal Rumble)

A scaled down version of the No Way Out match, this goes to show that less can be more. I don’t think anybody was expecting this match to actually be allowed to succeed, so it was a nice surprise to see that it came off nicely. Of course the success of this match would lead to WWE booking there entire Cruiserweight roster into one match at the next PPV, but at least they found a formula that worked.

35. United States Title Match: Booker T© vs. Chris Benoit (No Way Out)

Booker T and Chris Benoit’s matches during there Best of Seven Series in 2005 were largely forgettable, so it was logical to assume that this match would follow the trend. I think a lot of people were bored on this match up despite the great chemistry they once had together. Little did they know that Booker and Benoit still had it in them to have a great match. It may not have been as classic as their WCW encounters, but this is probably as good as you will get from these two in 2006.

34. King of the Ring Quarter-Final Match: Finlay vs. Chris Benoit (SmackDown, 5/5/06)

Finlay and Benoit are just a natural pairing, and this match shows it. In fact, it would be the success of this match that would help make their Judgment Day match so intriguing. Unfortunately this match gets overlooked due to the Judgment Day match and the unclean finish, but that shouldn’t distract from the fact that this was a damn fine match.

33. WWE Tag Team Title Match: Paul London & Brian Kendrick© vs. The Pitbulls (Great American Bash)

Paul London & Brian Kendrick have stolen the SmackDown PPVs for most of the year and here is another example. In some ways it is depressing that the opening match on this show was the best thing about it, but it says a lot about the performers as well. It’s a shame that they felt the need to fire Kid Kash because the Pitbulls were a great, over tag team, and probably the closest Jamie Noble will ever come to being a true star. That back bump that Paul London takes off the top rope still makes me cringe.

32. Interpromotional Match: The Hardys vs. MNM (December to Dismember)

I wasn’t a huge fan of this match after my initially viewing of it, mainly because I thought it ran long just for the hell of it. Actually I still feel that way, but I did enjoy the match a lot more upon a second viewing. The Hardys and MNM definitely have a good chemistry together as they have proven in both tag team and singles matches. Hopefully they will find a way to be able to give us more of these matchups without sacrificing Jeff Hardy and Johnny Nitro’s singles careers.

31. Street Fight: Shawn Michaels vs. Shane McMahon (Saturday Night’s Main Event)

Some people say that one bump does not make a match. I disagree. The bump that Shane McMahon took off the ladder in the ring through the table outside the ring makes this match a must see no matter what. It helps that HBK and Shane actually manage to have a good match out there as well, but seeing the table absolutely explode is off the charts cool. No wonder they showed that replay about 37 times.

30. Intercontinental Title, Ladder Match: Jeff Hardy© vs. Johnny Nitro (Raw, 11/20/06)

When I say that I don’t want WWE to sacrifice Jeff Hardy and Johnny Nitro’s singles careers this is a shining example of why not. This match ended up not being as huge as some of the other Ladder Matches of 2006, but it was still a strong enough effort in its own right. I think Johnny Nitro had a star making performance in this match and Jeff Hardy continued on the role he’s been on during his latest stint with WWE. Nitro doing a dropkick at the top of the ladder was pretty freaking cool, too.

29. Interpromotional, Handicap Hell in a Cell Match: DX vs. Vince McMahon, Shane McMahon & Big Show (Unforgiven)

Never before have I seen a match that mixed brutality and comedy so well. Hell in a Cell has a reputation for being a vicious, career altering match. Many people weren’t sure that this match would be able to live up to that. It did. All five men were absolutely brutalized within the confines of the Cell. Even still they managed to add a bit of humor into the match as we saw one of the funniest, and simultaneously disturbing, images of the year: Vince McMahon’s blood streaked face planted squarely up Big Show’s oversized (and now bloody) ass.

28. No Holds Barred Match: Shawn Michaels vs. Vince McMahon (WrestleMania 22)

I’ve already mentioned how great overbooked McMahon clusterfucks are. Well, here is the primo example. A squash match never looked so good and was never this entertaining. We got a squash, brutality, comedy, nostalgia, over booking, and great storytelling all in one match. WrestleMania magic at it’s finest.

27. World Heavyweight Title Match: Rey Mysterio© vs. Randy Orton (SmackDown, 4/7/06)

JD Dunn had this match ranked a lot higher on his Top Matches of 2006 and I can certainly see the argument for it. Rey Mysterio may have been shortchanged his big moment at WrestleMania, but this was a decent way to make up for it. Rey was able to decisively put away Randy Orton in a match close to three times the length of his WrestleMania match. Rey and Orton worked a fantastic match here, which in retrospect I perhaps needed to rank higher.

26. WWE Title, Elimination Chamber Match: John Cena© vs. Carlito vs. Chris Masters vs. Shawn Michaels vs. Kane vs. Kurt Angle (New Year’s Revolution)

People are hard on this Elimination Chamber Match for the sole reason that they didn’t think anyone outside of Cena or Angle stood a chance of winning. Maybe so, but that doesn’t change how good this match was. First of all it was great to see the smartass Buffalo crowd put in place when Kurt Angle was the first guy eliminated. It was also a bit of a shock to see Carlito and Chris Masters make it so far in the match. Imagine if that had been CM Punk in the Extreme Elimination Chamber? WWE booked the match in a rather surprising manner, something that I think helped the match tremendously.

25. WWE Tag Team Title Match: MNM© vs. Paul London & Brian Kendrick (Judgment Day)

I had a hard time putting this match this high for the sheer fact that for the longest time this was my favorite match on this PPV. I had a hard time putting Benoit-Finlay ahead of this match because this was a picture-perfect tag team match. Like I said before, London & Kendrick have stolen the show at most of the SmackDown PPVs and this one was no different.

24. Extreme Rules Match: Tommy Dreamer & The Sandman vs. Test & Mike Knox (ECW, 8/1/06)

While I like the RVD & Sabu-Test & Knox tag match quite a bit, if any Extreme Rules tag match should be on the new ECW DVD this one is it. This is probably the best match that all four of these men have been in this year, and for Knox probably for his entire career. They had actually built this feud rather well and to have it culminate in an truly extreme blowoff at Hammerstein Ballroom was very well done.

23. Women’s Title Match: Trish Stratus© vs. Mickie James (WrestleMania 22)

Never would I have thought that I’d have two women’s matches on my year-end list, but here we are. This was probably the most anticipated Women’s Title Match in years and Trish and Mickie delivered. The atmosphere for this match was incredibly unique as well, with the horny Chicago crowd chanting on the spurned psycho lesbian. Some people are hard on this match for the botch at the end, but in all honesty it fits as it shows Mickie working over Trish’s leg. This was a fitting WrestleMania finale for Trish Stratus.

22. Chris Benoit vs. Finlay (Judgment Day)

I hadn’t planned on putting this match this high on the list but I changed my mind after I watched some of the highlights during the SmackDown year in review show. I’ve already touched on how Benoit and Finlay are made for this sort of match, and unlike their last encounter, this one had a clean finish. It’s got to be a good sign on behalf of WWE that they aired portions of this match on their wrap-up show.

21. Angle Earns a Title Shot with a Win: Rob Van Dam vs. Kurt Angle (ECW, 6/27/06)

Someone wrote in to one of our news reporters that this match was better than any WrestleMania main event in the last ten years. While that is an incredibly huge use of hyperbole this match is still damn good. It’s surprising that WWE would have booked this match so soon in ECW’s creation. This could have been the ECW main event at WrestleMania and instead they gave it away for free. It kind of makes you wonder how long they had anticipated Angle’s release and they wanted to get their money’s worth out of this match before then.

20. Interpromotional Match (Kurt Angle’s SmackDown Farewell): Rey Mysterio vs. Kurt Angle (SmackDown, 6/2/06)

I wonder if WWE hates that Angle had such a great half-year before they canned him. This match was another in a line of great Angle matches, and it proved that Angle and Rey could have worked WrestleMania by themselves all along. While it was a bit disappointed to see the World Champion job yet again (by lame count out no less), this was a fitting finale for Angle’s SmackDown run.

19. World Heavyweight Title, Interpromotional Extreme Rules Match: Rey Mysterio© vs. Sabu (One Night Stand)

While this wasn’t the epic dream match that many anticipated I think this is probably as close as you will come in 2006. This was the best Sabu has looked in his entire WWE run and Rey sold his crazy offense like a trooper. Unfortunately Rey wasn’t even allowed to beat Sabu, but at least we got a sick looking bump to get us to the finish.

18. Intercontinental Title vs. Money in the Bank, Winner Take All Match: Shelton Benjmain© vs. Rob Van Dam (Backlash)

When this match was first booked there were two trains of thought as to what kind of match it would be: either a complete train wreck or a fantastic match. Fortunately for everybody it was the latter. They worked the beginning slowly, which was smart as it built up the anticipation at the end. By the time they kicked it into high gear it was obvious that this would be something special. If WWE had truly wanted this match could have been the match where Shelton Benjamin regained his momentum from 2005, but unfortunately they chose not to go that route. Still, this was a great match and a saving grace from what was shaping up to be a pretty bad show.

17. World Heavyweight Title Match: Kurt Angle© vs. Undertaker (SmackDown, 3/3/06)

Their match at No Way Out was an instant classic (more on that later) and this one was really good as well. The lack of a decisive ending hurts this match, as does the pathetic way Angle was made to look. Angle was such a paper champion this year, it’s a shame he didn’t stick around on SmackDown long enough for Batista, hell even Booker T, to kick his ass.

16. Interpromotional Match: Kurt Angle vs. Randy Orton (One Night Stand)

Angle and Orton already had one really good match on SmackDown, setting up this rematch for One Night Stand. I think a lot of people were disappointed when it was Randy Orton that answered Angle’s open challenge, but the match that resulted more than made up for it. Orton played his dick heel role beautifully and this was a much faster paced match then you would expect from these two. The false finishes as the end were great with the rabid ECW fans (and any of my fellow anti-ECW fans) on the edge of their seats. This proved that Orton can really go when called upon, especially coupled with his match against Rey Mysterio in April.

15. Women’s Title Match (Trish’s Final Match): Lita© vs. Trish Stratus (Unforgiven)

In all honesty the Trish-Mickie match was probably the better match, but this match had even more of an atmosphere. Most wrestlers go out in such an embarrassing way or with a wimper, so it was nice to see a superstar as great as Trish go out with such fanfare. Luckily the Toronto crowd was more into the match then the MSG crowd from a week before, but that shouldn’t be too surprising. Trish and Lita always manage to have classic women’s matches and this was no different. Plus, Lita didn’t almost kill herself in it! The Sharpshooter for the finish was a very nice touch and a fitting tribute to other great Canadian wrestlers.

14. ECW World Title, Interpromotional Extreme Rules Match: Big Show© vs. Ric Flair (ECW, 7/11/06)

Looking back it’s amazing how many good matches ECW gave us in the early days. What happened? Well they stopped running Interpromotional Matches for one thing. Flair continued his legacy of being a bleeder with this hardcore effort, and Big Show even shed some blood as well. I believe Flair even took the bump into the tacks something that had to surprise just about everybody watching it. It’s amazing that Ric Flair, one of the most technically sound wrestlers of all time, found himself in some amazing hardcore matches in 2006. How cool would it have been to see Ric Flair with the ECW World Title belt?

13. Extreme Rules Match: Rob Van Dam vs. Hardcore Holly (ECW, 9/26/06)

Speaking of some of the great ECW TV matches, this one takes the cake. RVD and Hardcore Holly put on a fantastic, brutal affair that really helped establish Holly as a main event player in ECW. Footage of that gash in Holly’s back will probably play in every “Don’t Try this at Home” video for the rest of time. While many people, myself included, may not have liked how Holly has treated other superstars in the past, there is no denying the toughness that he showed in finishing this match. Despite Holly being a heel the crowd rightly showed their appreciation for Holly’s efforts after the match.

12. WWE Title, Triple Threat Match: John Cena© vs. Triple H vs. Edge (Backlash)

Now we’re getting into the real top matches of the year. Cena, Triple H, and Edge had a great chemistry leading up to this Triple Threat Match and it followed through here. Cena and Triple H picked up exactly where their WrestleMania match had ended, crowd reaction and all. Edge, who has made a strong case for 2006 MVP, managed to actually be the pure heel of the match and helped add more to his feud with John Cena and gave us a potential preview of things to come with Triple H. All three men busted their asses out there and helped to put on one of the best matches of the year. Any three of them could have walked away with the WWE Title and the crowd was into it from the get go. This was a tremendous effort just a few short weeks after WrestleMania.

11. WWE Title, TLC Match: Edge© vs. Ric Flair (Raw, 1/16/06)

When 2006 started did anybody expect Ric Flair to participate in an amazing Ladder Match? Sure, he didn’t take any of the big bumps, but this match had more drama and more action then most other matches of the year. Even though it was obvious that Flair wouldn’t come away with the belt you still had to be on the edge of your seat to see if the Dirtiest Player in the Game could pull it off. I know a lot of people were concerned for Flair’s safety while watches the match, but to that I say phooey. The match rocked and you know it, and I doubt Flair would have had it any other way.

10. I Quit Match: Ric Flair vs. Mick Foley (SummerSlam)

This is actually a tough pick for me. Originally I wasn’t too impressed with this match because it had some much potential and I didn’t think it delivered. This match could have been one of the all-time greats, and not only did it have an anti-climactic ending it ended way too short. I was also insanely pissed that Flair won the match. After some time though I grew to appreciate the match. It was mostly psychology with the right amount of gore thrown in for good measure. It also helped to know that it was Foley’s decision to lose the match and not some BS call on the creative team. I’d glad that these two men got a big stage to finally do their big match and with a fresher vantage point this match really shines as one of the best of the year.

9. WWE Title, Interpromotional Extreme Rules Match: John Cena© vs. Rob Van Dam (One Night Stand)

This match was made largely on crowd reaction, which isn’t always a bad thing. Hell, Hogan-Rock was made on crowd reaction so it at least has some good company. Cena wasn’t afraid to heel it up, and perhaps he was legitimately pissed. Rob Van Dam knew that this was his golden moment and he made sure to soak it all in. The crowd was hot, the match was good, and it had as big of a title change as there was all year. If that doesn’t make an unforgettable match I don’t know what does.

8. Interpromotional Money in the Bank Match: Rob Van Dam vs. Shelton Benjamin vs. Ric Flair vs. Finlay vs. Bobby Lashley vs. Matt Hardy (WrestleMania 22)

You know, I don’t think this match gets nearly the respect it deserves. At first I thought I loved this match because I was there and it was so insane live. However I’ve watched this match multiple times since then and it holds up each time. I think it’s crazy that this match doesn’t get that much love as it just had so much action that it’s impossible to forget. Some people were afraid that it wouldn’t live up to the previous year’s match, especially with the mixture of talent in there, but it ended up blowing last year’s match out of the water.

7. Interpromotional, Six Person Intergender Extreme Rules Tag Team Match: Tommy Dreamer, Terry Funk, & Beulah vs. Edge, Mick Foley, & Lita (One Night Stand)

Mick Foley winds up on this list yet again. Perhaps even more astounding is the fact that Terry Funk is on this list as well. As far as I know this was Funk’s last hurrah, and boy was it a good one to go out on. This was just a brutal, cringe-inducing, extreme fight and all the participants (at least the male ones) worked hard and sacrificed much. I actually could have done without the addition of Beulah and Lita, although Edge’s pornographic pin on Beulah was pretty funny. It’s amazing that some of these guys can still go, even in an environment where you don’t need to be a mat technician to thrive. This match is certainly one for the ages, if not necessarily for the squeamish.

6. WWE Title Match (Title Change on DQ): Edge© vs. John Cena (SummerSlam)

I had my reservations about this match being the main event of the second biggest show of the year. The Cena-Edge feud was hot enough, but I thought the stipulation was kind of lame. While I still think the stipulation a tad on the lame side, the match itself really delivered. For all those that always punch holes in my “Cena can wrestle, watch this match with Kurt Angle” argument with the fact that he is Kurt Angle, I want to see you try that with Edge. This match surpassed my expectations and I think the expectations of a lot of people. Not only did it help make SummerSlam a really good PPV but it also helped save the Cena-Edge feud after the DQ-ending at Saturday Night’s Main Event left a bad taste in a lot of people’s mouths.

5. WWE Title, TLC Match (Cena Goes To SmackDown with a Loss): Edge© vs. John Cena (Unforgiven)

If Cena and Edge saved their feud at SummerSlam, Unforgiven allowed them to make it a modern legend (note I said modern legend, not all-time legend). There was a lot of skepticism as to whether Cena could hang in a Ladder Match. Guess what? He thrived. Cena has done a tremendous job of starring down adversity this year and this match was a testament to that. That’s not to say that Edge didn’t do his fair share of the work. He’s not 2006’s MVP for nothing. Not only was this just an excellent match all around, the finish was absolutely crazy. Edge is one crazy bastard for taking that FU off the ladder and it was a perfect way to cap off a great match and pretty much end a great feud.

4. WWE Title Match: John Cena© vs. Triple H (WrestleMania 22)

What is this match doing so high on my list you ask? Well it is the fourth best match of the year, silly! The atmosphere for this match was off the charts and is quite possibly the best atmosphere for a match all year, Cena-RVD included. Cena and Triple H played their roles brilliantly and really brought the crowd to a fervor. The last few minutes alone are worth the whole thing. Taking it all in and the match is quite the spectacle. I was initially mad that the SmackDown main event didn’t get to go on last, and still believe that it should have, but this match proves that WWE couldn’t go wrong either way. It is quite possibly the greatest crowd shot ever after the match when half the crowd is standing there with a “WTF?” look on their face while the other half is partying like the Cubs won the World Series. I’m sure practically nobody agrees with me on this, but I will steadfastly hold to this decision.

3. WWE Tag Team Title, Interpromotional Four-Way Ladder Match: Paul London & Brian Kendrick© vs. William Regal & Dave Taylor vs. The Hardys vs. MNM (Armageddon)

Yeah, I’m giving this match to 2006. It happened in 2006 and so it will be counted. It’s funny, I ordered the webcast of this show after it had already started and this match was on and I saw the Hardys and ladders. Boy was I confused for a second. I don’t care what negative ninnies out there say, this match was damn good and worthy of this high of a ranking. I’m sorry your precious William Regal and Dave Taylor didn’t get their two-on-two title shot, but thems the breaks sometimes. All of these men, even the rugged Brits, put on one hell of an effort and most of these guys sacrificed a lot for the fans. This match had its fair share of sick bumps and all these men are deserving of getting high praise for this classic.

2. Hardcore Match: Edge vs. Mick Foley (WrestleMania 22)

There isn’t a lot that hasn’t already been said about this match. The fact that Mick Foley participated in three of the best matches of 2006 is an incredible feat. I believe this match also helped establish Edge as a true top flight main eventer, and helped carve his place alongside John Cena at the top of Raw for the year. The psychology of the match was smooth and most importantly Edge speared Foley face first off the ring apron through a FLAMING TABLE.

1. World Heavyweight Title Match: Kurt Angle© vs. Undertaker (No Way Out)

And here we are at No. 1. I’m sure it hurts WWE to have to not call this the true match of the year due to the defection of Angle, so I’ll do it for them. Nobody expected this stellar of a match going in, even people that said “Hey, it’ll be a good match” (raises hand). This was the saving grace of Kurt Angle’s title reign as it actually gave him a nice win, even if it was supposedly contested. Undertaker proved that with the right opponent (notable someone that’s not a giant slug) he can still go, and Angle proved that he was still a viable commodity for WWE. It’s a shame that Angle wasn’t let to go to his full potential (yes, that’s my eyes rolling to the back of my head that you hear). This match was WrestleMania main event worthy in my opinion, in both in ring product and in spectacle. Just go back at watch the promo video for it and tell me you don’t get pumped. Angle and Taker may both have their critics by I don’t think anyone can tell you that this wasn’t one of the top matches, or even the top match, of 2006.

Andy! Andy! At Last You Have Some Feedback!

Mike asks me about Snitsky:

Hey dude, great report card. But can you please eloboarate more on what made the Snitsky promo so funny???. hehehe when you say something like that and then not explain it gets a lot of people real curious as to what he said that made it so funny. I know I am prob know the only one who’s gonna mail you this Q. Thanks Brother

I believe you are referring to the Taboo Tuesday promo I alluded to. There really wasn’t anything in particular that he said that was funny, but it was his delivery. I particularly liked the way he said Taboo Tuesday. Maybe it was only funny to me, who knows.

500 Good Words w/ Andy Critchell

4 New Year’s Goals for 2007

Hey everyone, I hope the New Year (and New Years Eve) has been kind to you thus far. The New Year is often seen as a chance to start over with a clean slate, a chance to improve upon what you’ve done in the past, and a chance to set goals that you want to attain over the next 365 days. 2006 was an OK year for the WWE, there were a lot of good things that happened but also many things that could have been done much better (December to Dismember springs to mind.) With that being said, this week I wanted to focus on the goals I think the WWE should have for 2007 to make it a great year.

1. Put the belt back on King Booker
Personally, I think the King gimmick works best when Booker has the Gold. Not only should he once again be the “King of the World” but also the “Champion of Champions.” Booker is not exactly a spring chicken and the WWE needs to get as much use out of him as possible. A nice long JBL-esque run with the title would really help solidify the upper card on Smackdown and hopefully allow Batista to get his ring work back up to snuff.

2. Resist the urge to make Finlay a face
Let’s face it, Finlay totally beat the odds and is over like Grover. I remember when his little vignettes first started airing I thought his gimmick was going to go nowhere fast. Right now, he’s a guy that everyone seems to enjoy; he’s put on some awesome matches and his little Leprechaun is always a riot to see. That being said, I think he would really suck as a face. He must stay a heel, no matter how much he gets cheered.

3. Let some heels actually develop on Raw
The main problem with Raw is that they never seem to let a bad guy fully develop. Edge came the closest but with his constant jobbing to Cena and DX I don’t think he ever got to his full potential and I know that Randy Orton didn’t. I have no problem with Cena being the #1 WWE guy, he clearly deserves that spot, but it’s not going to make a bean’s worth of difference if he’s got no one that is allowed to be his equal. Umaga is not Cena’s equal but Orton could be if allowed to be. The first step would be to put Rated RKO over DX.

4. Don’t overdo it on JBL
It’s amazing to say that one of the most important workers in the WWE is an announcer but it’s the truth. JBL has been amazing putting over King Booker, Finlay, Regal, London & Kendrick, Kennedy, Matt Hardy, and others. JBL has been nothing short of hilarious and he’s always so good that it leaves you wanting more. But that’s the thing, and I hope that the WWE realizes it and doesn’t try to give us so much JBL that it becomes overkill.

Well, that’s it; 4 very attainable goals that the WWE should employ for 2007 to make the product better overall. Of course there are many more things that the WWE can do. Have any ideas of your own? Email me at [email protected] and tell me about them!!

Until next time…

The Shimmy Likes It Raw!

What’s on tap for the first Raw of 2007?

  • Oklahoma vs. Boise State…wait, wrong channel. Well I know I’ll be flipping at least, and from the sound of things, so will JR!
  • John Cena vs. Kevin Federline; We start off the New Year with a potential MOTYC! I swear they should have done this on PPV. Sure, the net fans would about die, but I bet it would do a better buyrate then Cena-Umaga.

    Well that wraps up this year-ending and year-beginning double whammy of a column. I’ll be off for the next two weeks as the Clark clan heads to beautiful Orlando for some much needed R&R with a very rich mouse (actually I prefer a particular blue alien, but the mouse is cool too). I’ll also be venturing into TNA land for the first time as I visit Universal, but I think wrestling will be the farthest thing from my mind…until I see VKM accosting people at ET. Anyhow, Critchell will be subbing for me while I’m out so look for his debut feature here on 411 at the same bat time, same bat channel. Happy New Year everyone, and as always, don’t die. Clark…out!

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