Betrayal. Bitterness. Anger. Despair. Rage. Sadness. Justifiable disappointment. All of those emotions AND MORE in this rather short, punch review of the Royal Rumble.
The format for PPV review GB&Us will be different from the regular column. I will go through the PPV in chronological order, give my opinion on it, and give a Good, Bad or Ugly verdict. The verdicts are added up at the end to give the PPV it’s rank. Sounds interesting doesn’t it. Does it? I think it does. If you don’t think it does, don’t read it. I think that you’ll think it does though, so read it. Understand? I don’t.
Right, with that out of the way, let’s move on to the PPV.
Royal Rumble 2006
American Airlines Arena, Miami, Florida
And we kick off with…
WWE Cruiserweight Title
My Prediction: Kid Kash to retain
I suppose we had a bit of intrigue as to what the match would be, and it worked well as the 6 Man Texas Tornado. It was also nice to give people like Jamie Noble, Paul London and Nunzio a chance to show what they can do on a PPV, and London’s Shooting Star Press was perfectly done, even if everyone below him moved out of the way. I’m surprised Helms won, but at least by him moving to SmackDown! we have another good candidate for the cruiserweight division.
Vince McMahon backstage/Royal Rumble drawing
I always like the segments that reveal the way the Rumble participants draw their numbers, but Vince McMahon wasn’t needed. The interaction between HHH and Orton, Rey and Show, Shelton/MNM and Vince were good, but unfortunately it took a lot of the surprise away when the numbers came up, HHH was always likely to be #1, Orton #30, Rey #2 etc. But I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt.
Ashley vs. Mickie James
My Prediction: Ashley
Normally I’d be an advocate for women’s wrestling, but Ashley isn’t a wrestler. I don’t know why the people backstage at the WWE think she is, because she can’t do simple sequences correctly. Mickie doesn’t quite have the ability of a Trish or a Victoria to carry her yet, so this match died a death with both the crowd, and me. I keep predicting that Mickie or Trish won’t turn yet though, and I keep being right. It’s the same long-burn feud they did with Batista turning face, and I think it works much better.
JBL vs. The Boogeyman
My Prediction: Boogeyman
I really do like the Boogeyman, and I have no problems admitting it. The internet fans really are split, workrate fans hate him, entertainment fans love him. I’m an entertainment fan, and I like him. But I didn’t like this match. I understand that giving these two limited time probably saved it from reaching a dreadful match, but the lack of time and the ease in which Boogeyman won just made it seem rather pointless. However, I do like the way the Boogeyman sells punches, instead of falling down he rocks back and forth, which is more in line with his character.
Ah, the Spirit Squad. It’s hard to know what to make of them right now, down in OVW they play their characters BRILLIANTLY, especially the leader, Nick Mitchell (the one with the cone). On live TV/PPV it’s going to be a tough gimmick, as shown here as they forgot their words more than once. I think Lillian also did a good job of selling the whole thing as a “what was THAT?” moment.
The Royal Rumble Match
My Prediction: Triple H
First of all this match has NO place being third last on the card. This PPV is BUILT around this match, not having it as the Main Event is absurd. This match is also the best gimmick match ever devised and is loved by everyone around the wrestling world, so why short-change people and put it now?
For the Rumble I’m actually going to go through each person individually and give my thoughts, because I value this match THAT much.
#1 – Triple H
As I said earlier, there was no doubt that HHH would be #1 following the drawing segment. I was scared throughout the whole match that HHH would go from post to post, and marked out when he was eliminated. But you can tell he had a say in stuff like eliminating Flair, Show AND Kane, because he does that sort of thing.
#2 – Rey Mysterio
Rey winning was definitely an emotional moment, but you did have to suspend reality for a bit in order to enjoy it. Yes, it is quite unlikely that Rey would win this match if it were “real”, but this is wrestling, it’s not real. I am starting to question the whole “dedicating it to Eddie” stuff though, it’s beginning to look like the WWE are exploiting his death a little.
#3 – Simon Dean
He came, he entered, he played his part, he got eliminated. Quite why HHH suddenly turned face to team up with Rey is beyond me.
#4 – Psychosis
I didn’t understand why Psychosis, another “pro-Eddie” wrestler, didn’t team up with Rey and eliminate HHH. But then I suppose you have to say “every man for himself” when that happens.
#5 – Ric Flair
This annoyed me a lot. Why did Flair last just 60 seconds? Why did HHH eliminate him with such ease when Flair was so fresh? Why did the guy who won from #3 in 1992 lose so easily this year? Why did the Intercontinental Champion get tossed out like a piece of trash? Sigh.
#6 – Big Show
It was a nice throwback to the 92 Rumble to have all of HHH’s main rivals come in one after another. Of course, that meant nothing when HHH eliminated them all with ease, even stealing HBK’s move from the 1996 Rumble (Vader/Yokozuna) to do it.
#7 – The Coach
Coach seemed to forget the tactic of holding the bottom rope he used last year. His entry meant nothing, his elimination meant nothing.
#8 – Lashley
FINALLY they book him right in a multi-man situation. Man did he look good, especially the back drop on the Big Show, and the Dominator to Kane. Going out to both Kane and Show also did nothing to harm him.
#9 – Kane
With this entry nearly all of RAW’s big stars had been used up, which seemed bizarre booking as far as I could make out. Kane was barely in there long enough to make a difference, and his domination of the 2001 Rumble looks a long way away now.
#10 – Sylvan
Sacrificial lamb for Lashley. I doubt he’ll be in next year’s match, if you get my drift.
#11 – Carlito
ANOTHER big RAW star, leaving just HBK and Masters left. Great use of continuity from New Year’s Revolution with Carlito turning on Masters AGAIN to get rid of him. That’s cool.
#12 – Chris Benoit
Wow, they DID overload the first 15 entrants with stars. Benoit was never going to win the match this year, and his domination early on meant little when he did nothing else for the rest of the match.
#13 – Booker T
Nice new tights. Obviously he’s still injured based on his early exit, no point in making it worse if he’s not going to win.
#14 – Joey Mercury
And here come the filler entrants. Mercury didn’t do much except team with Nitro for the most part. His elimination at the hands of HBK was nicely foreshadowed earlier on with their promise to Vince.
#15 – Tatanka
Although not a great surprise entrant, I thought Tatanka looked in much better shape than he did when he challenged Eugene last summer, and performed pretty well. Wouldn’t mind seeing him on the permanent roster.
#16 – Johnny Nitro
Nitro didn’t do much except team with Mercury for the most part. His elimination at the hands of HBK was nicely foreshadowed earlier on with their promise to Vince.
#17 – Trevor Murdoch
His skin tone would make the most experienced of washing powders proud. Didn’t stay long, so I guess it’s back to his movie reviews.
#18 – Eugene
Nice to have him back purely because it means Nick Dinsmore might have overcome his drug problems. Whether or not he stays around is anyone’s guess.
#19 – Road Warrior Animal
What are they going to do with him post-Heidenreich? His elimination via RVD was a non-event, like his participation.
#20 – Rob. Van. Dam
WOW what a big pop he got. Surely a sign that the fans have missed him, and that they would be mad to not give him some kind of main event push. Of course, anyone who expected him to be eliminated by HHH was rewarded for their intelligence.
#21 – Orlando Jordan
Funny comment on WWE.com’s predictions for each wrestler “could go either way”. He went the way of being eliminated after doing nothing, I’m not sure what that means for his sexuality.
#22 – Chavo Guerrero
Another masterclass in heat stealing by Triple H. What better way to put yourself over than stopping Chavo doing the Frog Splash. I personally was angry at it, and by the sound of it, the boos were not only aimed purely for Chavo’s elimination, but how he was eliminated.
#23 – Matt Hardy
The burial continues. Unless he requested to be Samoan Dropped, dry-humped, and then eliminated by Viscera. I’ve actually started siding AGAINST Matt now, his burial is his own fault afterall.
#24 – Super Crazy
By this point the ring was so crowded, it made the constant early eliminations seem even more bizarre. But Crazy was just another guy who did very little.
#25 – Shawn Michaels
Probably the big story of the Rumble aside from the winner was the way HBK was eliminated. Shane McMahon? To be honest, I’d rather see HBK v Shane than HBK v Vince, and it at least made for a surprising moment. Just think, this time last year we were licking out lips about HBK v Angle…
#26 – Chris Masters
I’m surprised Masters didn’t go through his entire entrance. For someone the WWE are so intent on pushing, I’m amazed he did so little in his time in the Rumble.
#27 – Viscera
A throwback to Mabel in his attire, and a throwback to the every Royal Rumble he’s been in as he just stood around and looked menacing. He did sell the RKO brilliantly though for such a big guy.
#28 – Shelton Benjamin
His mama is starting to get a little repetitive by now, this time next month I would expect me to hate her. But again, being eliminated by HBK after promising to eliminate Michaels is simple, good booking.
#29 – Goldust
I loved Goldust in 2002/03. He was single-handedly the funniest person on RAW. But now I have a sense of apathy towards him because he’s only there because of daddy Dusty doing the booking. I wonder if he still has his stutter?
#30 – Randy Orton
Having Orton as 30 was a weird choice, as it automatically made everyone believe he wouldn’t win. Which he didn’t. If he’d been 29 the ending would have been a lot more tense, instead of knowing what was going to happen.
As I mentioned earlier I love Royal Rumbles, so this will obviously be a good. On the other hand, this was probably the worst Royal Rumble since 1999, where not only Vince won, but on three occasions they were left with one person in the ring, and the cameras backstage.
A simple segment with Benoit, Malenko and Chavo congratulating Rey, Edge arriving, making a threat and referring to history when Benoit moved to RAW. Simple, yet so effective. Unfortunately it gave me a hope for the next match. A hope that would soon be removed…
WWE Title Match
John Cena v Edge
And here comes the anger, the bitterness, the disappointment, and all the other emotions I displayed in the first paragraph. STUPID STUPID STUPID decision, and one I feel will haunt the WWE for the rest of the year. Cena’s entrance was spectacular, but that doesn’t matter to me. The match was averagely good, but again, that doesn’t matter. The whole match, the whole PPV in fact, was washed down the crapper as soon as Edge’s hand began tapping out. I don’t like Cena, but I preferred him as the non-champion. In fact, I hate Cena as champion, I hate his stupid spinny belt, I hate his catchphrases, and I hate him being pushed ahead of SO many people who are better, more talented workers. This really did disrupt my enjoyment of the PPV, but it got worse..
Hacksaw Jim Duggan
HOOOOOOOOOO! Nice little reminder of RAW, unfortunately I was so annoyed at the WWE Title match result by this time, I laughed purely in anger than in enjoyment.
World Title Match
Kurt Angle v Mark Henry
Prediction: Kurt Angle
At the end of this match I was just pleased that Angle had won, and we wouldn’t have possibly the worse combination of World Champions since Vince McMahon and Kevin Nash in 1999. I was disappointed they didn’t get Angle to dominate and destroy Henry, instead making it look like Henry was such a threat that Angle had to use a variety of illegal methods to put him away. But hey, Angle won. Thank God.
And this is where things dropped off the Bad scale and headed straight to Ugly. Taker on a horse and cart (that he got off two seconds later?)? Exploding lightning bolts? Collapsing rings? Possibly the WORST ending to a PPV I can remember. At least he actually had a purpose when he returned at last year’s Survivor Series. This segment just destroyed any last lingering part of credibility this show had, and left an even more bitter taste in my mouth after watching it. Who thought this was a good idea? And whoever did think of it, what WERE they on at the time? Is it any wonder so many people prefer TNA/ROH to WWE right now?
So, that was the show. By my calculations we have 3 Goods, 3 Bads and 2 Uglies, making this show “Bad”, by worthy of the two uglies. I’d say it was ugly personally, purely because I write these columns in order to provide positives for the WWE, and I get rewarded with the most bizarre PPV I have seen in 10 years of watching the WWE.
I try my best to try and remain impartial, but this PPV makes me seriously doubt whether I will be a WWE fan in a year’s time. If they can screw up what is normally a banked good PPV, what can they do to WrestleMania?
I think it’s time to retire the “Roman” gimmick PPV. It screwed up WrestleMania IX, and it screwed up Royal Rumble 2006.
If you agree or disagree, you know where to get in touch with me:
So until next time, have a good week?