The Three Count

T3C: Royal Rumble 2006 Preview

Are we on the edge of a short title reign and what kind of angle is it with Henry in the main event? Time to preview the 2006 Royal Rumble…

Will Edge be Rumbled this Sunday?

The Countdown to Wrestlemania really begins this Sunday with the Royal Rumble deciding one of the wrestlers who’ll be in the main event at WM22 and with less than ten weeks to go to the big day odds are the winners of the two title matches should also be on their way to Wrestlemania belts in hand. So who’s going to win the Rumble and is John Cena about to become a two-time champion? Better preview the card I suppose.

The Royal Rumble Match

Thirty men (no sign of Trish or any of the Diva’s sticking their noses into the match) but just one will make it to the main event of Wrestlemania. Ever since they made the stipulation that the winner of the Rumble got a guaranteed title shot at Wrestlemania, it’s been a bit predictable with Internet rumours being generally correct. So what about 2006? Well of course there are plenty of wrestlers in the Rumble who have zero chance of winning despite what odds they have been given on Viscera, Dean, Sylvian etc are just there to make up the numbers and hope that they might get some future feud out of the match.

Potential winners? I think it can be narrowed down to Triple H and Randy Orton. Trips has already been talking about getting his title back at Wrestlemania and this is a sure fire way of putting that dream into first gear. A Cena v Triple H match has been a long-term plan and it should happen. Orton meanwhile has been tipped by many to win this Rumble and meet the World Heavyweight Champion at Wrestlemania 22. With Angle now champ and turning face and with the pair already scheduled to meet on house shows that looks the best tip, so I go for Orton to win the Rumble. But how does he do it? Will that favour from Booker T be called in this Sunday, more than likely and it could signal a short feud between Booker and Orton keeping him busy for No Way Out before accelerating the feud with Angle.

So what else will happen at the Rumble? Well RVD is back, not that his style really suits a Rumble, all that getting on the ropes is a bit dodgy here. He’s already scheduled to feud with Carlito but don’t be surprised if Chris Masters gets in the way too. The big question is what’s going to happen to Shawn Michaels. Vince is making the draw throughout the PPV and you can bet that Shawn will be drawn Number one or two. Perhaps Vince might even end up in the match himself to eliminate his new number one enemy. I really don’t want to see Vince v Shawn at Wrestlemania but I fear it’s going to happen.

There’s bound to be some interaction between Raw and Smackdown stars but the feud between the two brands has died down a bit lately. Perhaps Big Show and Kane (still dormant tag champs) could start a falling out leading to an eventual parting of the ways?

This should be interesting but I go for Orton to get the glory.

WWE Title: Edge v John Cena

So what’s going through your mind Vince? Are you happy with Edge as champion or is he just a stopgap champ with Cena ready to get the gold back this Sunday? It was a breath of fresh air seeing Edge win the title at NYR, well not the fact it was Edge but the fact it was a shocker. Since then Edge has had his sexual moments and feuded with Flair (who’s bound to show up this Sunday) and Cena. He’s been ok and the ladder match with Flair was above average but does Vince see him as a headliner for WM22? Somehow I doubt it.

Cena is still unpopular with the fans and I’d like to see him turn heel but doubt that will happen this side of Wrestlemania. His film is due out soon and Vince will want to milk that as much as he can, so I go for Cena to get the title back this Sunday, not that I’m happy about that one bit.

World Heavyweight Title: Kurt Angle v Mark Henry

What is it about the Rumble that allows crap wrestlers to get title shots? We’ve had Bob Holly and Razor Ramon get shots in the past and now it’s the turn of Mark Henry. Can anyone believe this guy is getting a title shot? At least Angle is the champ not Batista, the musclebound guy versus the big blob would have been a total nightmare.

Angle being champion is interesting if not logical. Look at his recent history, it’s littered with losses to Cena and Michaels and now he’s World Heavyweight champ courtesy of a Battle Royal he wasn’t even in for most of the time. Talk about a slap in the face to the talent that was already on Smackdown, surely the belt could have gone to someone like The Undertaker or Orton. Anyway we’ve got Angle as champ now and it’s a lock-in that he’ll still be champion at Wrestlemania where he should be facing Orton, though I see he’s scheduled to be meeting The Undertaker soon so perhaps a triple threat isn’t out of the question. As long as Henry isn’t part of the title scene beyond the Rumble or next weeks Smackdown that’s fine by me.

The other question is what attittude should Angle have? He seems to be turning face and after all that work as a heel on Raw that’s a shame. He’s far better as a heel and that’s the way he should stay. Well, whatever happens I see Angle keeping the belt here despite interference from Daivari.

The Boogeyman v JBL

Oh heck where do I start! Gimmicks, worms and moles galore and the potential for one of the worst matches of the year. Boogeyman is just a gimmick who unlike The Undertaker (heavens could you imagine what’d it be like if those two ever meet!) will collapse the minute the bell rings. So far Boogeyman has only been allowed some quick squash matches but with his inexperience in the ring and his age this is a recipe for disaster. JBL deserves better to be honest, it’s ok keeping him out of the title picture, though JBL v Angle wouldn’t be a bad Summerslam match but he shouldn’t be in opening disasters like this. I go for Boogeyman to get a win through a JBL scared stiff count out.

Mickie James v Ashley (Trish as special ref)

So much for the team of Candice, Victoria and Torrie making headway on Raw. James is an interesting character and a decent wrestler which is why this should be a rematch between her and Trish for the Women’s Title. But no, we have jealousy between Mickie and Ashley as WWE again tries to introduce a lesbian element into the show. I go for a James win and hopefully a catfight with Trish afterwards.

All in all this is a two match show. The Rumble and the WWE Title match, the rest is really disappointing and no sign of any matches for most the titles in the company. The Road to Wrestlemania begins here folks and this one could be pretty bumpy without a great place to view when we finally get there.

Stephen Ashfield