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Thursday, January 21, 2016

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WIRTB Review: Royal Rumble 2006

By Speed on the Beat (@SpeedontheBeat)

I'm Speed on the B--you know the rest. Today, I've been tasked by True and the rest of the Ringer Universe to tackle a Royal Rumble for WIRTB Review. Wellp, at least I don't have to see Jim Duggan scream "HOOOOOOO!!!" with a 2x4. Today we're talking the 2006 Royal Rumble.

Was it really that bad?

Our actual curtainjerker featured Finlay beat Brian Kendrick in about three minutes on Sunday Night Heat. 

...we're not off to a good start, are we?

After this waste of time, we get a six-way Cruiserweight championship match between Gregory Helms, Kid Kash, Funaki, and more. There was nothing spectacular about the match really. It kind of just existed as your standard Cruiserweight match in WWE. Gregory Helms won the title from Kid Cash. Yay, I guess? Kind of feel that this could've been saved for SD, but at least the Crusierweights got some time to shine.

Third up, we get the country hot Mickie James going up against Ashley with Trish Stratus as the special referee. Mickie Jame is in the middle of her Crazy Mickie gimmick and it shows. Mickie is downright vicious towards Ashley and ends up getting the win in about 8 minutes.

The Mickie/Trish angle is furthered through a confession of love. If you're a fan of a great storyline, go check out the Mickie/Trish angle. It may feel a bit hokey at times, but it ultimately is one of the best WWE Women's Wrestling angles. It's women's wrestling in the WWE done right (and it didn't fall flat as the A.J. Lee/Paige angle years later--sorry A.J. and Paige). Plus, Mickie was able to make Ashley look good in the match.

After a great match where the Divas (ugh) weren't just a pee break, we go back to the things that make you say "ugh."

Oh, hey! Remember JBL? You know JBL. Before he was reduced to a blubbering idiot on commentary--sorry if this gets me blocked, but it's true--he kind of ran roughshod through WWE. After putting on a classic match with Eddie Guerrero at Judgement Day 2004 (yes, that's the one where some say the Muta Scale was broken)--and finally winning against Eddie at 2004's Great American Bash, JBL held the WWE Championship for the better part of a year. After losing to John Cena at WrestleMania 21, the JBL character lost a fair share of steam, losing to folks such as Rey Mysterio. So, what happens? What does the brilliant braintrust do with a character who still has some life to him?

They have him job to the Boogeyman.

Yep. JBL, the guy who had one of the longest modern-era title reigns, he had a match tonight. But, instead of vying for any title, he's vying for, I guess, the heart and honor of Jillian Hall and her eaten growth. Oh shit. I'm in for a ride here. For those who don't remember The Boogeyman, here's a refresher. He appeared on Tough Enough, but lied about his age. That's not his sin. I mean, yeah, he was, like, 40 among a bunch of 20-30 year olds. But, he still could go. No, his sin was that he somehow found his way onto the main roster as the 2000s equivalent of Papa Shango, minus the cool--or stamina--of The Godfather and even got a push because of it.

I guess it's thankful WWE knew this, as many of his matches--including this one--were short. But, a good portion of them were pointless.

...Kind of wish I would've taken that Jim Duggan Royal Rumble now.

Now, the Royal Rumble match? Wait, what? The show's not over and we're getting to the Rumble match already?


Now, the match wasn't exactly bad. We got Rey Mysterio, ultimate underdog, getting a win and doing what Rey does on some super underdog shit.

It was a nice moment when he beat Randy and Triple H. It was a nice moment that, at the end of the day, didn't really amount to anything! Why? Well, our Royal Rumble winner, our little Eddie Guerrero-memorializing, Little Mexican Engine that Should (Have), he didn't even headline WrestleMania. What did he get for his troubles? He got thrown into a triple threat match with Kurt Angle and Randy Orton. Sure, Rey won the match--and with it, the WHC--but at what cost?

We got to hear Randy Orton say Eddie was in hell. Pretty much, the Rey/Orton feud was made more about Eddie Guerrero than the damn championship! On top of that, Orton took Rey's championship opportunity at No Way Out 2006--only to get the Daniel Bryan treatment. But here's the difference between Rey and Daniel Bryan.

Bryan's story was built up to the point where everyone and their mom, John Cena--to a degree--included, was somewhat "ehhh...just stop little man." Rey? Eh, not so much. In a year where the Rumble was already in a weird place because of its actual card placement, Rey's victory had the wind taken out of its sails almost instantaneously. For who--or what--you ask? Triple H.

Triple H, who, contrary to belief, does not have the record for longest time in a RR without a win (that's Bob Backlund, kids), he headlined WrestleMania 22. Why? Who know? Who cares? The Royal Rumble winner was automatically reduced to a "meh" triple threat match that didn't headline the event. 

Hell, as mentioned before, Rey's "One Shining Moment" wasn't even the headlining event of the Rumble! Who headlined? Kurt Angle versus WWE's Favorite Big Black Who Never Gets Any Real Direction other than Being Big and Black himself, Mark Henry. More on that later, though. However, here's the last thing I'll say about the Rumble match. It had Tatanka.

Now, granted, this wasn't "I want the white man's money money money money moneyyyyyy" Tatanka, but my question still stands. 

Vince, what did you all ever see in this schmuck?

I get it. He's The Not-So-Ultimate Indigenous American Warrior. He still sucked. No, that's not me just railing on Tatanka for some irrational reason. That's crazy. Go ahead and look back at his pushes in this era--hell, look back at his pushes when he originally came to WWE. Look at them and see how "meh" he was during them. I friggin' dare you to say he had potential or was better than what he showed. I friggin' DARE you!

Anyway, now that my anger's subsided, next up, we got Cena versus Edge for our troubles. There's nothing inherently wrong with this match. Cena and Edge tend to put on great matches. However, it was a predictable affair. It wasn't really bad. In fact, the match was pretty solid. It was just a match that went through the typical Edge versus Cena tropes. Cena won, of course. Considering this was one of WWE's money feuds, you couldn't have it any other way.

Now, remember how I said that the Angle/Henry match was the "real" main event? Even that's a lie as the match is more remembered for the Horseman of the Apocalypse return of The Undertaker than anything. My God, that was a pretty wild reintroduction. It didn't erase The Undertaker's feuds with, say, Heidenreich, but it was still a cool reintroduction--complete with collapsing ring and everything.

So...was the 2006 Royal Rumble really that bad. Eh...I think the real word I should use is "unneeded." So much stuff in the event was unneeded. The RR match was predictable, the other matches--aside from Edge/Cena--were kind of meh. Plus, Tatanka. No, but seriously. I'm kind of getting tired of seeing legends reappear to step into the ring at Royal Rumble, unless they're going to be a part of WWE's roster going forward, only to get tossed out in a matter of minutes. That is, except Tatanka.

Screw Tatanka.

I'm Speed on the Beat and I review the crap so you don't have to.


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