January 2006
Matt Peddycord

WWE Royal Rumble 2006
January 29, 2006
Miami, FL
American Airlines Arena

Your hosts are Michael Cole, Tazz, Joey Styles and King!

WWE Cruiserweight Champion Kid Kash vs. Funaki vs. Jamie Noble vs. Nunzio vs. Paul London vs. Gregory Helms - Six-Way Cruiserweight Open

Even though Helms is on Raw, it’s an open six-way challenge to all former Cruiserweight champs. We get surprise rollups from all six guys to start. Then, the SD guys all realize it would be fun to gang up on the Raw guy, so they attack Helms. Once that gets boring, they pair off. Kash connects with a series of kicks on Funaki for a near-fall. Noble snaps a nice powerslam on Nunzio for two. He follows that right into a cross armbreaker. Helms breaks that up. London busts out a DROPSAULT for a two-count on Noble. Cole mentions Tazz’s debut at the Royal Rumble back in 2000. I guess bringing up that he made Angle pass out wouldn’t be a good idea. London nails a Jericho back senton splash on Helms. London tries a headscissors out of the corner, but Helms counters it and tosses London out to the floor. Nunzio connects with the SICILIAN SLICE! Nunzio fights out of a butterfly powerbomb from Jamie Noble and counters with a catapult into the corner. Funaki comes off the ropes and drops Noble with a faceslam. Funaki covers, but Nunzio break it up. Nunzio gets backdropped by Kash out on top of Helms and London who are on the outside. Kash runs into a leg lariat from Noble for two. Funaki whips Noble into the ropes and capitalizes with a suicide dive onto Nunzio and Helms! Now it’s just Kash and Funaki in the ring. Funaki gets sent onto the apron and then shoved off the top out on top of Nunzio and Noble. London sneaks in behind Kash and kicks him out to the floor. London goes to the top and lands a SHOOTING STAR PLANCHA on everybody! HOLY CRAP! London tosses Kash back in and goes up top, but Helms is there to meet him. TOP-ROPE SWINGING NECKBREAKER by Helms! He looks more hurt by that than London. Kash nails Helms with a basement dropkick and hits the DEAD LEVEL on London! He covers, but Nunzio and Funaki break it up. Kash punishes Nunzio with a backbreaker for a close near-fall. Noble kicks Kash out to the floor and then counters Funaki’s TORNADO DDT into a Roderick Strong-style fireman’s carry into a double-knee rib buster. Noble locks on the DRAGON SLEEPER on Funaki! This could be it! Helms is there to break up the hold and connects with a SHINING WIZARD to Funaki! He covers and wins the Cruiserweight title! (7:41) You know, I was thinking when Helms came out, “He’s a Raw guy. There’s no way they’ll let him win!” So at least it was a surprise if only to me. I hate that Kash is now no more than a transitional champion. **1/2

We go to the Rumble match draw-your-numbers room and see Torrie, Victoria, Candice and the dog. I’m just spit-balling here. Vince ogles them a while until Randy Orton comes by to pick his number. He appears to be especially happy with what number he got. Here comes Triple H and he calls Randy, “Mr. Destiny”. H says he lives in reality world and Orton lives in fantasy world. Reality is like, him beating Randy for a title. H says he’s going to win the Rumble. H takes his pick and asks Candice to hold his ball. “That feels good.” Once H sees his number, he’s less than pleased. Orton laughs at him and walks out.

Meanwhile, Trish is WARMING UP in HBK’s ref gear! Mickie holds her up and tells Trish that she loves her. Awkwaaaaard.

Mickie James vs. Ashley - Special Ref: Trish Stratus

This made me laugh. The “guards” who open the door out to the entrance ramp at this Roman-esque event ala King of the Ring 1996 catch a peak of the girlies coming out to the ring. After the show, they go back and tell their loser friends, “Dude, Trish really was HOTTER in person than on TV.” I know I would do it. Sigh. They lock-up to start and roll out to the floor, still tied up! Trish yells for them for get back in the ring. They finally break and get back in. Ashley counters an arm wringer and goes for a la magistral cradle for two. Ashley slings Mickie around by the arm. Mickie shows us she’s frustrated by screaming and pounding on the turnbuckle. Mickie rolls out to cool off and when she tries to get back in, Ashley kicks her back out. Ashley comes off the apron with a clothesline! Back in, Ashley goes to pounding on her, but Mickie attacks her once she has her back turned. Mickie applies a single leg crab for a while before kicking her out to ringside. Mickie goes out after her and slams her stomach-first into the ringpost. She looks over to Trish with a smile, looking for some sort of approval. Mickie goes back in the ring and as Ashley tries to do the same, Mickie connects with a baseball slide. She goes out after Ashley and stomps on her in between glances at Trish. Back in, Mickie gets a fisherwoman’s suplex on Ashley for two. Mickie puts on a modified bow-and-arrow on Ashley while continuing to look for approval from Trish. Ashley comes back with a series of punches and kicks and then tosses Mickie around by her hair. Ashley goes for a crucifix and Mickie fights it for a while, but eventually falls back for an Ashley two-count. Ashley screws up a running shoulder something in the corner and tries a 10-count punch, but Mickie counters it to a powerbomb for three. (7:45) Trish hesitated the third count, because she knew what this would lead to, I’m sure. More awkwardness thanks to Mickie with hugs and celebration! *

The new Cruiserweight Champ Gregory Helms is at WWE Instant Access!

Vince is still hanging out with the gals and now they are showing off tattoos. Victoria actually has the WWE Divas logo tattooed on her lower back. Guess that’s her MARK OF THE BEAST! Vince now OWNS her SOUL! Big Show comes by and wants to show Vince all of his tattoos, but Vince tells him to just pick his number and leave it at that. Show seems satisfied with his number. Rey comes in and Show tells him he’s doing a good thing by dedicating the Rumble match to Eddie. Rey picks his number and then looks to the heavens and tells Eddie, “Haha, you got me, man.” So I’m guessing it’s a low number?

JBL (w/Jillian Hall) vs. Boogeyman

Jillian looks very unbusiness-like tonight. She looks almost like your generic implant-filled porn star who’s on her way to the AVN awards. In other words, a WHORE! Boogeyman is all on top of Jillian and drops worms in her mouth. Alright, that’s just plain insulting to me. Even JBL is freaking out, so he beats on Boogeyman. Boogeyman gets dumped and then sent into the steel steps. Boogeyman goes head-first into the Raw announce table. Back in, JBL chokes on Boogeyman with his wrist tape while Jillian is with the referee. JBL goes for the CLOTHESLINE FROM HELL, but Boogeyman ducks and JBL goes shoulder-first into the ringpost. PUMPHANDLE POWERSLAM on JBL wins it for Boogeyman! (1:56) What the crap? Of all the people to job to, JBL jobs to freakin’ BOOGEYMAN. I can’t help but give this a CRAP rating.

Shelton Benjamin and his Mama stop by to pick his number alongside Vince and the Raw divas. Mama is all like, “Hey Daddy!”, but that just grosses Vince out. He tells Shelton to pick his number and get out. Shelton’s happy with his number and says he’s going to eliminate HBK for him. Melina stops by and wishes Shelton the best of luck tonight. Mama says “No, child!” and drags his tail out because he don’t know nothing ‘bout dat girl. Anyways, Melina asks Vince to help fix her working conditions on Smackdown. To show her appreciation, Melina promises her boys will eliminate Shawn.

Cole & King are going to call the Rumble together. Hey, Lawler sure beats Coach!

The Rumble

The stupid Spirit Squad comes out and interrupts Lillian Garcia who was trying to tell us the rules. The crowd craps on them, and rightfully so. Lillian looks winded while reciting the rules. She calls it the Royal Wumble. HA. Anyways, #1 is HHH! Rey Mysterio is #2! So it’s going to be HHH vs. Rey Mysterio for ninety seconds. Never really thought about those two going at it, but let’s see how it goes. Rey comes out in Eddie’s low rider. The “Eddie” chants go up immediately. Rey dropkicks HHH’s quad and lands a quebrada. Rey follows up with a headscissors takedown. Rey is OWNING HHH! 10-count corner punch by Rey, but HHH totally no-sells it and tries to eliminate Mysterio. Rey drops H with a stun gun from the apron and follows up with a springboard dropkick to set up a 619. H avoids that as Simon Dean comes down as #3. He attacks Rey and tries to pal up with HHH, but that isn’t happening. H & Rey eliminate Dean together. Is Simon Dean the Disco Inferno of the WWE or what? Now it’s back to one-on-one. A drop toe hold into the bottom turnbuckle by Rey sets up a bronco buster on the Game. Psicosis is #4 and he goes after Rey. He nails a spinning leg lariat on H. Rey and Psicosis work together for a moment in order for a double-team wheelbarrow legdrop to happen on HHH. Psicosis stays on Rey by delivering a faceslam. Nevertheless, Rey counters a crucifix bomb into a rana to eliminate Psicosis. Ric Flair comes in at #5! H can’t believe it. Flair goes chop crazy on H, but not for long as HHH comes back with a facebuster. H tries for a PEDIGREE, but Flair grabs his jewels. Flair WOOS and then gets backdropped out to the floor to a whole bunch of boos. Big Show is #6 as another HHHATER comes in for some payback. Show is all over HHH until #7 Jonathan Coachman comes in. The moron goes right after Show, and gets PIE-FACED over the top and to the floor to be eliminated. H comes up behind Show, but takes a press slam for his troubles. Why didn’t he just toss him out? CHOKESLAM to HHH as Lashley comes in as #8. Lashley gives Show a run for his money, including delivering a backdrop to Show that sends him rolling out to the floor! He goes after Rey next and whips him HARD into the buckle. Kane is #9 and Lashley can’t wait for him to get in the ring. They trade blows in the center of the ring. Kane hits a big boot on Lashley, but then takes a belly-to-belly suplex. H gets pressed again, but this time by Lashley, and then slammed to the mat. DOMINATOR to Kane! Sylvan enters at #10 and quickly gets THROWN out of the ring by Lashley. Lashley talks some smack to Sylvan and then turns around into a DOUBLE-CHOKESLAM by the Raw tag champs! They dump Lashley out together. Aww, how sweet. Now they go at it and end up GOOZLING each other for H to come by and flip them both out at the same time! I sense the Flair ’92 formula going on here.

Carlito comes out at #11 to a pretty big and positive reaction. Carlito wails on Rey and H for a while. Rey looked to be making a come back, but Carlito delivers the Backcracker to put Mysterio down for the time being. H tries to take over on Carlito, but Carlito is just too fresh as Chris Benoit enters in at #12. Benoit destroys everybody with chops and then nails Rey with a MAJOR air-time release German suplex! German to H! Carlito flips out when it’s his turn, but goes down into the CRIPPLER CROSSFACE. Carlito taps, but who cares. H breaks that up. If I was him, I would’ve just gone after Rey and let Benoit keep the hurt on Carlito. H whips Benoit into the corner chest-first. Benoit is put on the apron by H and they do an elimination tease for a while until Benoit goes to the top. Benoit headbutts out of H’s superplex attempt and delivers a swandive headbutt! Booker comes in with some nice new gear at #13 and goes right after Benoit, but gets dumped! Benoit chops and kicks away at H in the corner while Carlito and Rey are going at it. Benoit tries to eliminate H, but for some reason Carlito breaks it up. Joey Mercury comes in at #14 and he goes after Carlito. Mercury thinks he’s ruling the ring after nailing everybody but Benoit, so he takes a German! He blocks the Benoit hat trick, and nails a reverse DDT on him. Freakin’ Tatanka is #15. Nobody in the ring knows exactly what to think of this. Tatanka tomahawk chops everybody while the crowd sings the Atlanta Braves chop song. Benoit continues to try and eliminate H, but he just can’t get him to go over. Johnny Nitro comes in at #16, and Tatanka levels both of MNM. Triple H nearly gets eliminated by Benoit, but rolls back in at the last second. MNM screw around with Tatanka while Carlito tries to eliminate Mysterio several times. An “Eddie” chant starts up to get Rey going again. Trevor Murdoch comes in at #17. Its red neck vs. red skin and neither one like the US government! H tosses Rey, but he hangs on and skins the cat back in. H gets frustrated with him and kicks the crap out of him. Rey comes back on H with a pair of dropkicks before Eugene can enter at #18. Wow, he’s SO done. He walks right in and wants to shake Murdoch’s hand, and he returns with a series of rights. Eugene comes back with those Jim Duggan-like punches and delivers a helicopter spin. Rey hits a wheelbarrow bulldog on Eugene and catches Murdoch with the faceslam on the way down. The ring is really filling up now as Road Warrior Animal enters at #19. Animal comes in and runs right through MNM with a double-clothesline. They seriously need to start eliminating some people now. Rob Van Dam is in at #20 to the biggest reaction yet! He comes in and kicks everybody in the ring, which is like TEN people. RVD and Benoit do a stand-off just to do that stepover-kick he does every match. MNM both take a dropkick by RVD. RVD screws up a kip-up and then Cole says something stupid like, “RVD looks better than ever!” RVD unwisely turns his back on everybody just to do the RVD pose. He turns around and then dumps Animal. Now that he’s finally evolved into a specific animal, let’s just call him the Pot-belly Pig!

Orlando Jordan is #21 and nobody cares. There are just too many people in there right now. Since there is nothing going on of any importance, the crowd chants “RVD!” who’s getting his butt kicked by HHH. RVD gets free from H and attacks Carlito, who I believe are going to start a program in the very near future. Carlito gets tossed by RVD, but he HOLDS ON with one hand on the top rope and gets back in. That was pretty cool. Here comes #22, and it’s Chavo Guerrero! Of course, the crowd chants for “Eddie”. Chavo nails everybody, including a fallaway powerbomb on Mysterio. Everyone in the ring lays around while Chavo drops a headscissors on Carlito. Chavo gets the THREE AMIGOS on Mercury and goes up top for the FROG SPLASH, so HHH shoves him to the floor to piss off the crowd. Benoit runs him over with a clothesline and beats the crap out of H for doing that. Even Mercury is stomping the Game. Matt Hardy enters in at #23 and drops a side winder on both members of MNM. I wonder how an MNM/Hardyz match would go. TWIST OF FATE for Orlando Jordan! RVD and Mysterio get a couple near-eliminations on H. SNAPSHOT for Tatanka and then he’s eliminated. Super Crazy is #24 and makes everybody suddenly care by nailing a HUGE AIR-TIME crossbody block on both MNM. Other than a few near-eliminations on H and Carlito, nothing happened as #25 Shawn Michaels enters. He throws a ton of right hands for EVERYBODY in the ring at least two or three times for each person. Of all people, Trevor F’N Murdoch puts a stop to HBK. That can only mean one thing. If you guessed Murdoch being eliminated, then you were RIGHT! Chris Masters comes in at #26. We’ve got a bunch of near-eliminations all over the ring as Viscera enters in at #27. Hardy goes after Vis, but he takes a Samoan drop and then the VISAGRA. Matt comes back and tries a TWIST OF FATE on Vis, but gets over-powered and tossed out to the floor. Here comes #28, and it’s Shelton Benjamin. Eugene gets eliminated by Benoit. Goldust comes in at #29. Thanks a lot, Dusty. Of course, Randy Orton is #30. He goes right after Chris Benoit and throws him out! RKO for Viscera. There’s nearly half of the participants in there right now. Viscera gets tossed out by Carlito and Masters. Immediately after, Carlito double-crosses Masters again (talking about NYR) and shoves him over the top rope and to the floor. Carlito turns around and gets nailed by Goldust. He tries to milk the crowd for all he can and then delivers SHATTERED DREAMS to Carlito. Goldust takes a weak spin kick from RVD, but sells it anyway and gets eliminated. Randy tosses Orlando out to send him to the showers. Shelton and Carlito fight on the apron for a while, but neither is eliminated. Shawn connects with his flying forearm to H, but then gets blindsided by MNM. Shawn counters the SNAPSHOT and then eliminates both MNM guys. Shawn skins the cat back in and turns around into a sick dragon kick by Benjamin! HBK reverses a whip over the top rope and sends Shelton landing on the apron. SWEET CHIN MUSIC to Shelton and now he’s gone! That cues Vince’s music and he distracts Shawn Michaels while Shane McMahon RETURNS and comes in through the crowd and tosses Shawn out! Shawn gets back in the ring to go after Shane, but HHH stops him at the pass and tries a PEDIGREE! Shawn backdrops out of it and delivers SWEET CHIN MUSIC to H. Shawn rolls out and chases the McMahons back to the dressing room. Anyways, RVD kicks Carlito out to the floor to eliminate him. That leaves us with the final four.

It’s Rey Mysterio, Triple H, RVD and Randy Orton who remain. RVD & Mysterio team up to take on H and Orton and they do some cool double-team stuff we haven’t seen in over a year. RVD goes up top for the FIVE STAR FROG SPLASH on Orton, but H crotches him and then elevates Mysterio into RVD to send him crashing to the floor. Now the former Evolution guys double-team Mysterio. Mysterio fights out of a double-team back drop with a double DDT. Mysterio then sets up both H and Orton for a DOUBLE-619, and it connects! Mysterio nails a seated senton to Orton, but then falls down to an H clothesline. H goes after Orton now and they go at it for a while. Orton tries for an RKO, but HHH fights it off and shoves him in the ropes for an Arn Anderson spinebuster. H tries to toss out Rey, but Rey leg scissors him and sends him over the top and to the floor. H is PISSED! He pulls Rey out to the floor and then whips him HARD into the steel steps. He throws him back in for Orton. Orton walks around stalling like an idiot instead of just throwing Rey out. He finally tries to toss out Rey, but he wasted too much time. Rey has enough reserve (now I sound like Cole) and counters to a headscissors to send Orton over the top and to the floor to win the 2006 Royal Rumble! (62:35) While it had some decent stuff, it’s probably the most disappointing Rumble in years. There were too many moments where there were too many people in the ring and it got really ridiculous. Good for Rey, though. This makes me wonder if Eddie was planned to win. Then again, they probably didn’t think THAT far in advance. *** ¼

WWE Champion Edge (w/Lita) vs. John Cena

They lock up to “Cena Sucks” chants. I wonder what that feels like to have 10,000 people yelling that you suck nearly EVERY DAY OF YOUR LIFE! Cena hits a clothesline and sends Edge rolling out to the floor. Edge pulls him out and they brawl around ringside. Back in, Cena nails a sideslam for two. Edge bails so Cena follows after him. That sets up an Edge SPEAR into the steel steps. Edge goes back in the ring and tries to get a countout victory while the women and children chant for Cena. As Cena tries to get back in, Edge connects with a baseball slide that sends Cena into the front row. Cena BARELY gets in at the count of nine. Cena gets choked and stomped for a while, but goes down to a spinning leg lariat off the ropes for two. They do some boring stuff and then Cena gets punched out to the floor. Edge goes out after him and sends him into the steel steps. Back in, Edge is up top and he connects with a missile dropkick for two. Cena makes a mild comeback, but then hits canvas as he tries for a guillotine leg drop. Edge covers, but Cena gets his foot on the bottom rope. They brawl some more and then Cena catches Edge in the FU position, but Edge rakes Cena’s eyes to escape. Edge goes up top and hits a crossbody, but Cena rolls through and gets a near-fall. Sleeper by Edge, as if this match wasn’t boring enough. Cena fights out, but lands in the corner. Edge’s SPEAR-attempt misses, and Cena gets a DDT. Cena comes back with his usual crap as Lita distracts the ref after a Five-Knuckle Shuffle pinfall attempt. Cena grabs Lita, but lets Edge collide with her instead of nailing her with a right hand. FU followed by the STFU wins it. Cena regains the title, making Edge nothing more than a transitional champ. I feel like I already said that about a title tonight. (14:03) This was your average, generic Cena match. * ½

Josh Matthews stands by with Kurt Angle. He asks Angle if he thinks lightning will strike twice tonight, meaning that his title will change hands. Angle answers that with a question of his own. “Are you concerned that you can’t ask a question without using a cliché?” HAHA. Angle puts over Mark Henry for powering out of his anklelock, but says he is the greatest wrestler in the world and there’s no way Henry is going to beat him tonight. If Daivari gets involved, he’s going to murder him too. Angle closes with this, “Oh, and by the way, Mark Henry. You suck!” HAHA

World Heavyweight Champion Kurt Angle vs. Mark Henry (w/Daivari)

Angle tries to go after Henry’s knee to start. Henry powers him off, so Angle decides to duck and run on a lot of Henry’s offense. Angle goes to punch out Henry, but he palms Angle’s fist and makes Angle drop to his knees. Henry powers him down but misses an elbow drop. Henry looks to have screwed up a stun gun, and made Angle fall out to the floor. I’m not totally sure that he screwed it up, but if anybody did it would be Henry. Daivari gets his evil manager shots in on Angle before getting back in the ring. Angle hooks on a front face lock, but Henry lifts him up and drops him stomach-first on the top rope. Henry gets a splash for two. OMG, A BEARHUG! After nearly a minute of that, Angle hip tosses out and then gets whipped into the corner. Henry eats an elbow off a slow charge, but catches Angle off a crossbody block. Angle counters into an ANKLELOCK. Once again, Henry powers out. Angle goes for an ANGLESLAM, but can’t pick him up. Angle slips off of Henry’s shoulders and delivers a German suplex. Angle gets that extra ounce of adrenaline and ANGLE SLAMS Henry for a near-fall. He brings down the straps and puts on the ANKLELOCK, but Daivari is on the apron with the ref. Henry kicks Angle off of him and into the referee. Angle goes out and grabs a chair and nails Daivari with it when he tries to get involved. Angle goes to wipe out Henry with it, but Henry powers it away from Angle. Instead of murdering Angle with it, he just throws it aside. A low blow for Henry and Angle gets the chair again and NO HANDS NAILS him. Who said black guys didn’t have hard heads? Henry doesn’t go down, so Angle does it again! The ref awakes from his latest concussion, but even that only gets two. The crowd is BOOING for this match to be over. Angle takes the turnbuckle padding off the middle buckle in one of the corners and then delivers a drop toe hold to Henry face-first into the DEADLY exposed area. Angle schoolboys him up for the win. (9:31) I don’t know what they were thinking with this match anyways. PPV championship matches should either make or break the champion. I still feel about the same with Angle. No feelings of like, “Hey that Kurt Angle guy is better than ever!” ½*

Immediately after Angle gets his belt returned to him, Undertaker makes his 83298th return and magically makes the ring collapse. I bet Mark Henry is on the floor saying, “He couldn’t have done that without me existing on the ring for 10 minutes!” Angle vs. Taker 2006! Can you FEEL the MADNESS?!

Final Thoughts: The biggest moment of the night was obviously Rey winning the Royal Rumble. I didn’t think they would actually let Rey win because it’s WWE, but I’m glad they did. My pick was Triple H going in due to all the rumors of Cena vs. HHH for ‘Mania going around. I HOPE they scratch Orton vs. Angle and do Angle vs. Mysterio. Also, Cena regained the belt and things are back to the way they were. Nothing has really changed in the Raw World Title scene because Cena is still hated by every real man who loves their wrestling just as before. I haven’t watched any of Velocity in probably the past year and a half or so, so I can’t really say that the opener was the best WWE CW match in a LONG time. What can I say is, it’s the best I’ve seen out of the WWE in a LONG time. The guys got to bust out some cool moves and it was entertaining cruiserweight action that wasn’t TNA or ROH, so it was kind of refreshing. With the best match just being a little over ***, I can’t really recommend the event. Thumbs down for Royal Rumble 2006.

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