Commentators: Raw, Joey Styles and Jerry “The King” Lawler SmackDown, Michael Cole and Tazz
WWE Cruiserweight Championship Kid Kash vs. Funaki vs. Jamie Noble vs. Nunzio vs. Paul London vs. Gregory Helms Texas tornado, cruiserweight open: First pinfall wins the title; this match is open to all former Cruiserweight champions therefore (The Hurricane) Gregory Helms is allowed to jump from Raw to battle here. Everyone tries complicated pinfalls early; all the SmackDown guys beat down Helms (from Raw); Funaki and Kash battle, there is storyline there as Funaki was interviewing Kash and he dropped Funaki with a brainbuster. Kash and Nunzio go at it; Nunzio winds up with a whiplash neckbreaker. The cousins Jamie Noble and Nunzio battle in the corner; Noble hits a really fast powerslam on him segueing into a jujigatame (cross-arm breaker). Paul London hits the Dropsault on Helms and landing on Noble for a nearfall. Everyone battles; London slams Helms and sentons onto him. Helms tosses London over the top and battles Nunzio in the corner. Nunzio knocks him down and drops the Sicilian Slice on Helms for a nearfall. Nunzio slingshots Jamie Noble into the corner allowing Funaki to one-handed bulldog him; Kid Kash then backdrops Nunzio over the top onto Paul London and Gregory Helms on the floor. Noble leg lariats Kash for two; Funaki tosses Noble into the ropes but he topés onto all the guys on the floor. Kash and Funaki are left in the ring; Funaki ascends the ropes but Kash pushes him off the top onto the pile of guys on the floor. London reappears and wheel kicks him to the floor and follows up with a top-rope shooting star press onto the other five competitors on the floor. Damn he was REALLY SKYIN’ there. Now, London battle on the top rope with Helms landing a top-rope swinging neckbreaker on London. Impressive. Helms looks like he hurt himself there so Kid Kash seizes the opportunity to basement dropkick Helms and drops London with the Dead Level brainbuster; Funaki and Nunzio break it up. Kash lands a whiplash backbreaker on Nunzio. Noble flying dropkicks Kash; Funaki tries the tornado DDT on Noble but he counters into the fireman’s carry gutbuster into a Dragon sleeper. Gregory Helms tosses Noble to the floor and lands a Shining Wizard to Funaki for three. Helms wins the title and moves over to SmackDown. 6/10 Fun match; seven minutes of quick fast-paced spot-fest action.
Mr. McMahon dismisses Teddy Long and talks with the divas that draw numbers for Randy Orton and then Triple H; Orton is pleased with his number and HHH does not look happy with his number. Elsewhere, Mickie James tells referee Trish Stratus that she loves her.
Ashley vs. Mickie James: WWE Women’s Champion Trish Stratus is the special referee; Mickie was in her psycho stalker Trish Stratus fan phase. Tie up to start and they roll to the floor; they reenter the ring. Mickie arm wringers Ashley who rolls through and rolls up Mickie in a Majestral Cradle, giving everyone a nice shot of Mickie’s ass, and gets one. More arm work by Ashley until Mickie gets pissed off and retreats to the floor; Ashley jumps off the apron onto Mickie with a flying clothesline. Ashley gets a little too aggressive in the corner and while Trish is backing her off, Mickie nails her from behind. Mickie James applies a single-leg crab with a boot on the back. To the floor, Mickie rams her abs first into the ring post then smiles back at Trish looking for approval. Mickie lands a fisherwoman’s suplex for two and then a bow and arrow. Mickie keeps switching back and forth from aggressive to smiley whenever she looks for Trish’s approval. Characterizations. This is why the fans began to get behind Mickie, she was quite believable and fans begin to appreciate the little things, they may not know why, but they still cheer. Ashley comes back with punches to the face and tosses her by the hair. Ashley tries a crucifix but Mickie blocks so Ashley uses the hair to pull her down for two. Trish tries to pry them apart; Ashley hammers in the corner as the fans turn on Ashley. Ashley corner punches Mickie until she powerbombs Ashley and Trish reluctantly counts three. Post-match Mickie hugs Trish and asks her to raise her hand. 4.5/10 Mickie played the Ric Flair and Ashley played the broomstick; this match was held together by Mickie James’ personality.
In the number drawing room Mr. McMahon looks at the diva’s tattoos and helps Big Show draws his number. Rey Mysterio shows up and asks the recently passed Eddie Guerrero’s help in drawing his number. Looks like Eddie stole the number for himself.
The Boogeyman vs. John “Bradshaw” Layfield (w/Jillian Hall): So THIS is the reason Egon Spengler became a Ghostbuster? Boogeyman may be a crappy wrestler but he sure played up the character well. JBL hides behind Jillian on the floor he then tosses Jillian into him to distract him. Boogey vomits worms all over her and JBL attacks from behind. Boogey shrugs off the shots JBL gives him; Layfield rams him into the announce table and boots him down. Back in the ring Jillian distracts the referee as JBL chokes him. Bradshaw tries to pummel Boogey in the corner and misses the Clothesline from Hell and drops JBL in a pump-handle slam for three. Post-match worms and dancing are involved. 2/10 Basically a squash; poor JBL from longest reigning world heavyweight champion to jobbing to a glorified circus freak.
Back in the number drawing room Shelton Benjamin and his Mama draw his number. Shelton likes his number and promises to eliminate Shawn Michaels; Melina arrives to flirt, Mama pulls Benjamin out by his ear, MNM arrive to draw their numbers. Melina promises MNM will toss Shawn.
Prior to the rumble the Spirit Squad arrive to cheer; poor Dolph Ziggler. I HATE when the Rumble is not the main event.
Royal Rumble: #1 Triple H and #2 Rey Mysterio starts off; Rey dedicated this Rumble to Eddie Guerrero’s memory and drives a low rider to the ring in memoriam; he even has Eddie’s cross logo on his pants the fans chant “Eddie”. Triple H and Rey do a quick sequence and Mysterio bounces off the ropes with a crossbody. Rey lands a tilt-a-whirl head scissors. Mysterio signals to the heavens and ten punches HHH in the corner and nearly gets eliminated. HHH quickly avoids the 619 as #3 Simon Dean who rides his Segway down to the ring. Dean, who was managing Gymini at this point, was better suited as a manager in the WWE; stomps on Rey. Triple H watches as Dean gets Rey over the top (but not out); HHH decks him and Rey drops him with the springboard seated senton and HHH and Mysterio ELIMINATE Simon Dean. Rey lands a Bronco Buster on HHH as Mexicool #4 Psicosis strides down. He attacks Rey and spinning wheel kicks HHH. Rey and Psicosis team up to wheelbarrow legdrop Triple H. Psicosis lands an uranage facebuster on Rey; love those Mexican improv moves. Psicosis tries a Splash Mountain bomb on Rey but he counters and hurracanranas Psicosis over the top ELIMINATING him. #5 Ric Flair heads out for Triple H and they battle in the corner. Flair chops his way out. Woooo! HHH counters a backdrop with a facebuster; Flair grabs the testicular claw. HHH and Flair take turns poking each other’s eyes. Flair charges Triple H and gets backdropped out, ELIMINATING Flair. #6 Big Show heads out, another skeleton in Hunter’s closet. Show clobbers the Game, and shush chops him in the corner; Rey gets a head-butt and HHH and Show continue their battle. Side slam and a huge slam from Big Show, elbows are dropped as #7 Jonathan Coachman wanders out. Coach attacks the Big Show from behind. Idiot. Show disdainly ELIMINATES him via pie face. Show presses HHH into the ring. Here is #8 Lashley as Big Show chokeslams HHH. Show and Lashley go face-to-face and Show drops Lashley with a punch. Lashley counters the chokeslam and dip-backdrops Show. Lashley kicks Show under the bottom rope and tosses Rey around. #9 Kane, walks down, he and Big Show were the tag team champions on Raw at this point. Kane and Lashley stare off and they battle in the center of the ring. They shoulderblock each other to no avail; Kane big boots Lashley down; Lashley comes back with a belly-to-belly on Kane then press-slams HHH. Lashley lands the Dominator on Kane as Lashley is dominating.
Here is #10 Sylvan [Grenier] heads out, doing a modernized version of Rick Martel’s gimmick. Sylvan tries to attack Lashley from behind, not smart, Lashley hiptosses him over the top, ELIMINATING him. Lashley turns right into a double chokeslam from Kane and Big Show; they team up to ELIMINATE Lashley. Kane and Show brawl in the ring as HHH and Rey lay in opposite corners. Kane and Show have a choke battle on the ropes so HHH sneaks over and tips them both over the top ELIMINATING both of them and it is back down to HHH and Rey but #11 Carlito walks out. Carlito attacks Rey and then HHH; Rey and Carlito do a quick series of lucha moves ending with Carlito countering the wheelbarrow bulldog with a Backstabber. Triple H thumbs Carlito to break his momentum. #12 Chris Benoit heads out and goes for HHH, and German suplexes Rey and then German suplexes HHH; Carlito flips out of his German suplex but runs right into the Crippler Crossface. Triple H suplexes Benoit onto the apron and they each trade suplex attempts from apron to ring until Benoit is propped on the top turnbuckle. Benoit knocks HHH off the top rope and lands the flying head-butt. Here comes #13 Booker T with Sharmell, the current United States champion, still suffering from a groin injury, hence the return to the long tights; Booker goes to Benoit but he makes quick work of Booker, ELIMINATING him. Benoit chops Triple H as Carlito and Mysterio battle on the other side. Carlito lands a pair of backdrops on Rey. Now #14 Joey Mercury, one half of the SmackDown tag champions MNM, saunters out with Melina. Mercury works over Carlito with a standing dropkick and charges him in the corner. Benoit German suplexes him but Mercury comes back with a reverse diving DDT. Rope brawling ensues until #15 Tatanka enters making a surprise return; Tatanka and Tomahawk chops Carlito, Triple H and Mercury. All six wrestlers pair off and brawl on the ropes. Here is #16 Johnny Nitro who assists tag team partner, Joey Mercury. Benoit gets HHH over the top but not out; Rey also saves off elimination a few hundred times. #17 Trevor Murdoch heads out and plays cowboys and Indians with Tatanka. MNM double up on Benoit as Rey goes over again but not out. Murdoch, who apparently goes to Sheamus’ tanning salon, teams up with Carlito to work over Tatanka. Welcome to the ring #18 Eugene who freaks out on his way to the ring; he tries to befriend Murdoch, who punches him, Eugene “Hulks up” and spins Murdoch with an airplane spin. While they are both dizzy Rey sneaks over and wheelbarrow bulldogs both of them. The ring is beginning to fill up as MNM continue to work over Chris Benoit. Here is #19 Road Warrior Animal, with blinding lime green shoulderpads, and he attacks MNM with a double clothesline and powerslams HHH. There is too much in the ring to recap one particular thing.
I like lots of guys in the ring so let’s add #20 Rob Van Dam who is returning from a bad knee injury and wakes the crowd up. RVD attacks everyone and spinning wheel kicks HHH; Van Dam double dropkicks both MNM members. RVD backdrops Animal over, ELIMINATING him; now #21 Orlando Jordan comes out and stomps on Mercury. A bunch of guys try to toss Murdoch as RVD sidekicks Carlito from the second rope. RVD tosses Carlito but he hangs on with one arm. #22 Chavo Guerrero heads out and points to the heavens on his way out. Chavo hits the fall-away powerbomb on Rey and the Three Amigos on Nitro. I never understood why Rey Mysterio got the post-Eddie push when Chavo is as talented and related to Eddie. Nice head scissors to Carlito. Chavo ascends the buckles for a tribute frogsplash but HHH pushes him off the top rope ELIMINATING Chavo Guerrero. Here comes #23 Matt Hardy to the ring and get immediately blindsided by MNM. He comes back with a Side Effect on Nitro; Tatanka adds a shot as well. Rey and RVD try to get rid of Triple H; MNM team up and ELIMINATE Tatanka. #24 Super Crazy, the other Mexicool, heads into the fray. Super Crazy enters the ring from the top rope onto MNM. Triple H drops Orlando Jordan in a DDT as Nitro hangs Carlito on the top rope via suplex. Matt Hardy tries to toss HHH. Here is #25 Shawn Michaels dancing out to the ring. HBK attacks everyone in sight until he runs into Murdoch. Shawn eventually ELIMINATES Trevor Murdoch. #26 “Masterpiece” Chris Masters, shortly after his debut, heads out and attacks Matt Hardy. Mercury tries to toss HBK; Matt almost tosses HHH… twice. MNM have HBK hanging on the top rope. Here comes #27 Viscera, doing his “world’s largest love machine” pajama gimmick, he Samoan drops Matt Hardy, splashes him and does other unspeakable things to him. Big Vis ELIMINATES Matt Hardy just as #28 Shelton Benjamin heads out. Chris Benoit ELIMINATES Eugene. Super Crazy hangs on the ropes upside down as Viscera tries to toss him. #29 Goldust returns to the WWE for the fifth or sixth time, and attacks MNM. Carlito almost goes out again. Viscera and HHH team up on Orlando Jordan. Now the final entrant #30 Randy Orton heads out.
We have about twelve or thirteen guys in there now as Orton hits the ring. Orton and Benoit renew Summerslam acquaintances; Orton gets the better of Benoit again, ELIMINATING him. Orton drops Viscera with an RKO. Future tag partners Chris Masters and Carlito team up to ELIMINATE Viscera; then Carlito turns on Masters (again) ELIMINATING him. Goldust attacks him from behinds and gives him the Shattered Dreams but a RVD heel kick from behind ELIMINATES Goldust; Randy Orton then ELIMINATES Orlando Jordan and turns right into RVD. Benjamin and Carlito almost toss each other. HHH and HBK find each other and battle. MNM interferes and knocks Shawn down. MNM try the Snapshot but HBK counters and tosses Nitro into Mercury ELIMINATING him, Shawn then Cactus clotheslines Nitro out, ELIMINATING him, but Shawn skins-the-cat back in; Shelton kicks Shawn’s head off when he reenters. Shelton tries Shawn but gets tossed to the apron and superkicked to the floor ELIMINATING Benjamin. Now, Mr. McMahon (with music) heads out to distract Shawn Michaels, whom he was pissed at for calling him out on the various immature things he has done in the WWE recently. Vince jaws with HBK allowing Shane McMahon to illegally sneak up and ELIMINATE Shawn. Shawn goes for Shane but HHH tries to cut him off with a Pedigree but he eats a superkick instead. Carlito hits an Impaler DDT on Rob Van Dam. RVD counters the Spin-doctor and feint wheel kicks Carlito out ELIMINATING him. The final four for the 2006 Royal Rumble are; Rob Van Dam, Triple H, Randy Orton and Rey Mysterio as they retreat to their respective corners. Slugfest ensues and RVD kicks Orton square in the dome. RVD and Rey team up for a double wheelbarrow leg drop on HHH. Rey and RVD team up on the former Evolution running mates. Triple H interferes with the Five-Star Frogsplash crotching Van Dam; Rey charges but HHH backdrops him into Rob Van Dam, ELIMINATING him. Now HHH and Orton, set their Evolution past aside and team up to try to rid the ring of Mysterio. Rey actually handles both of them with a double DDT; Orton is set up for a 619. Triple H tries to stop him but gets a head scissors and winds up next to Orton for a double 619. Rey is on fire. Rey seated sentons onto Orton but a HHH clothesline ends Mysterio’s offensive flurry. Triple H focuses on Orton but he counters into a powerslam; an RKO is countered into a spinebuster. Triple H tries a spinebuster on Rey but he body scissors HHH over the top, ELIMINATING Triple H to a massive ovation. It is down to Orton and Mysterio. Triple H drags Rey to the floor and tosses him into the steps in frustration. HHH tosses Rey back in the ring for Orton to dispatch with. Orton slowly, almost viper-like, lifts Mysterio on his shoulder; Rey grabs the top rope and hurracanranas Orton out of the ring ELIMINATING Orton and winning the 2006 Royal Rumble. Post-match Rey looks to the heavens in honor of Eddie. 7/10 Fun Rumble I like ones with a ton of guys in the end when #30 arrives; also had a feel good ending. They went a little over the top with the Cinderella story and the fallen friend; the WWE would take it little too far with the Eddie stuff on the road to WrestleMania 22 (full review, click here).
In the WWE Instant Access room Mickie James believes Trish Stratus loves her back. Elsewhere, Chris Benoit, Chavo Guerrero and Dean Malenko congratulate Rey Mysterio on his Rumble victory; Edge and Lita interrupt to be a general douchebag and tells him not to challenge him at WrestleMania 22 (full review, click here).
Recap of Edge winning the first Money in the Bank contract at WrestleMania 21 (full review, click here). Then just after the Elimination Chamber match at New Year’s Revolution; Edge cashed in his MitB contract and won the WWE championship from John Cena.
WWE Heavyweight Championship Edge (w/Lita) vs. John Cena: Cena gets a wicked entrance involving a spaceship-like hydraulic bridge leading him to the ring. Edge gets the early advantage but Cena quickly explodes with a clothesline. Edge uses Cena’s aggression against him and flings him into the corner. Cena hits a side suplex and Edge retreats to the floor. Edge hides behind Lita and her ridiculous chest; that allows Edge to spear Cena against the steel steps then he baseball slides Cena into the front row. Cena makes it back in at nine and Edge drops knees onto Cena. A spinning wheel kick cuts off a John Cena comeback; Edge locks in a reverse bearhug. Cena breaks the hold but Edge vertical suplexes him back down. Edge looks a little apprehensive in this match (non kayfabe), like he is still a little nervous to be in a title match. Edge flings Cena into the steps again on the floor. Edge climbs to the top and missile dropkicks him for two. Edge begins to show signs of frustration; Edge diving clotheslines Cena back down. John Cena is propped onto the tope turnbuckle but Edge gets pushed off Cena, MISSES the Off-ramp and Edge pugilistically comes back. Cena catches Edge trying a corner float over into the F-U but Edge counters via eye rake and Cena charges into an Edge front kick. Edge goes up again but this time Cena reverses a crossbody for a nearfall. Edge applies a rear-naked choke with a body scissors. Cena powers to his feet and breaks the hold ramming Edge into the corner. Edge readies for the spear and Cena spikes a DDT. Cena begins the comeback with shoulderblocks, Proto-bomb and the Five Knuckle Shuffle. Lita distracts the referee to prevent a pin. Cena grabs her; Edge plows into her knocking her into the ring barricade. Cena hits the F-U and segues into the STF-U for the tap out. 4/10 Edge dominated the whole match and Cena hits three or four moves and gets a tap out. Painful. This title switch deflated the WWE balloon for a lot of fans; it was nice to see newer blood in the title picture but Edge only held the title for a week or two before Cena took it back. Edge would segue into a feud with Mick Foley for WrestleMania 22 (full review, click here), which was awesome; this is right around the time that even I began getting sick and tired of John Cena’s superman push.
In the back Edge refuses an interview and storms off; “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan arrives to call Lita a “hooooooo!” Elsewhere, Kurt Angle says he can beat anyone and there is no way Mark Henry can beat him and will win. It’s damn true.
World Heavyweight Championship Kurt Angle vs. Mark Henry (w/Daivari): Henry returned and injured then champion Batista; Kurt Angle surprised everyone jumping from Raw to SmackDown (his contract with Raw had expired) to win the World Title in a battle royal. Henry pushes Angle around in the outset and establishes his power. Angle uses his speed to frustrate Henry; Angle tries to punch away but Henry palms Angle’s fist and one-handedly shoves Kurt to the canvas; he misses an elbow, though. Angle tries a crossbody; Henry catches him and slams him over the top to the floor. Daivari attacks while Henry has the referee distracted. Back in the ring Angle tries a front facelock; Henry powers him onto the top rope. Mark Henry adds the Death From Above splash and applies a bearhug. This is a bad choice for a main event for one thing the Rumble already took place so the crowd is gassed; furthermore, a Henry bearhug is NOT the way to pep them back up. Fans meekly try to get behind Angle; Henry tries the World’s Strongest Slam but Angle slides down into the ankle lock. Mark Henry powers out of it; Henry blocks the Olympic Slam and clubs Kurt down again. Angle finally wakes the crowd up a little with a German suplex followed by the Olympic Slam. Kurt drops the straps and reapplies the ankle lock; Daivari distracts referee Charles Robinson as Henry kicks Angle off again but this time he wipes out Robinson as well. Angle goes for a chair on the floor; Daivari tries to stop him but eats a chairshot. Henry blocks the chairshot and tosses Angle across the ring. Kurt Angle low blows him and CLOBBERS him with a chair… to no effect, a second one knocks him down… for two! Kurt removes the second rope turnbuckle; Henry reverses a whip and sends Angle to the corner, Angle drop-toe holds a charging Henry and he goes face first into the exposed buckle; Kurt schoolboys Henry for three. Post-match, immediately following the victory, Undertaker rides out on a horse-drawn funeral chariot and does the belt gesture and then fires lightning at the ring posts collapsing the ring with Kurt in it. 2/10 Boring match that was only made the main event so Undertaker could collapse the ring. Thrilling.
OVERALL 5/10 The finish strong theme is clear for this Rumble. The Royal Rumble was the highpoint then it began to slide down to a halt at the main events; this was the theme for PPVs back in mid-2000. I enjoyed the Rumble and despised Edge’s title loss and was bored during the Angle/Henry match; and it was nearly IMPOSSIBLE to be bored with a Kurt Angle match, especially after 2004. The Eddie stuff in the Rumble and the following Road to WrestleMania pissed a lot of people off that leaves a sour taste in a lot of people’s mouths.