WWE Royal Rumble '06
January 29th, 2006

I still haven't had a chance to see the '07 Rumble (hopefully someday soon I'll sneak that in), but I might as well head back a year before to 2006, where we had a lot of upheaval going on. Edge had cashed in his "Money In The Bank" Contract to take the WWE Title from John Cena, while Mark Henry was threatening to put Kurt Angle out of wrestling (just as he did to Batista for a while) to get the World Title. Oh, and we had the "Eddie" motivation for the smallest Rumble contender. Let's get to it.

WWE Royal Rumble '06
Posted by the Accelerator, February 27th, 2007

- I never did like the box for this one. It basically just features the McMahons: Shane, Vince, Linda, & Stephanie. They're dressed in "Gladiator" clothes. That was the whole advertising campaign for this Rumble, and I simply never got into it. Stephanie, in particular, looks like she's about to spring some fangs and attack. Now, if we had the Divas in those types of outfits, hey, maybe I'd be more interested.

- Just as a quick note: this DVD contains an extra that shows all the past Rumble winners, going through the endings of each one. Pretty cool addition to the DVD, I admit.

- Pretty good opening video talks about Henry going after Angle, and vice versa. Next, we talk about the Rumble, showing some of the top contenders. Then we have the feud between Edge and Cena, complete with the "Rated R" clips. Not a bad way to begin, especially if you haven't seen the PPV in a while.

- We're in Miami, Florida. We have a bunch of announcers for this one. Michael Cole & Tazz represent Smackdown, Joey Styles & Jerry "The King" Lawler represent Raw, and Carlos Cabrera & Hugo Savinovich represent the Spanish-speaking audience.

Kid Kash(c) vs. Sho Funaki vs. Gregory Helms vs. Paul London vs. Jamie Noble vs. Nunzio, Six-Way Tornado Cruiserweight Title" Match:

Helms is the surprise entrant, coming over from Raw. The Smackdown guys are in charge of the announcing here. Cole explains that the match is open to all former champions, and Helms, as the Hurricane, once held the belt. We start off with a bunch of close pinfalls, but things quickly come to a stop as the rest of the Smackdown superstars opt to beat the crap out of Helms. After a minute, we go back to everyone going at it, with Kid Kash kicking Funaki. We're going to see a lot of pin saves here. Nunzio almost beats Kash with a neckbreaker. Noble nails Nunzio with a powerbomb, and the crowd is actually interested in the moves! What a concept! As Helms kicks away at Noble, London comes in and gets the Dropsault, both kicking away Helms and nearly pinning Noble. Lot of action here. London later tries for a Hurricanrana on Helms, but gets tossed to the floor instead. Helms turns around, though, into the Silician Slice, and Nunzio gets a close 2, with Noble making the save. I'm losing track of this one quickly. Kash sends Nunzio to the outside onto Helms & London. Kash then falls to the Flying Leg Lariat from Noble.

More flights to the outside, as Noble does a Suicide Dive on Nunzio, leaving Funaki and Kash in the ring. They go at it, with Funaki trying to come off the top rope. But Kash shoves him to the outside (on top of the other wrestlers). Kash gets cocky, as London comes back in behind him. London gives Kash a huge boot to the jaw, sending Kash to the outside. London looks at the crowd on the outside and goes to the turnbuckle, getting a Shooting Star Press to the outside on everyone! Yowsa! You would think that with all those guys out there, London would have gotten better support, but the replay clearly shows he falls right between everyone and smacks on the mat! Back in the ring, Helms and London go up to the top rope, with Helms giving London a Swinging Neckbreaker off the top rope! Kash takes advantage, dropkicking Helms and picks up London, giving him the Dead Level! Funaki & Nunzio break up the sure 3 count, as all the cruiserweights come back in. Kash gives Nunzio a Neckbreaker for a 2 count. Noble takes out Kash with a running Yakuza Kick. Funaki and Noble then go at it, with Noble blocking the Tornado DDT with chops, then gives Funaki a huge Gutbuster variation, followed by the Dragon Sleeper! Helms breaks it up, throwing Noble to the outside, then nails the already-hurting Funaki with the Shining Wizard Kick, becoming the new Cruiserweight Champion!

Ace Thoughts: Actually a pretty good Cruiserweight match, as it was given a little more time than usual. I think it clocked in at nearly 8 minutes. I remember getting excited about this one, as I thought it meant that the Cruiserweight division was going to make a major comeback. I was wrong, as Helms would go on to hold the belt for the next year, with little interest.

- Teddy Long (the GM of Smackdown) talks to Vince McMahon, offering his help. But Vince has Torrie Wilson, Victoria, and Candice Michelle to help him with the drawing of the Rumble. Randy Orton comes in and draws his number, and he is estatic. At least until Triple H comes in, and the two old foes have a little confrontation. Triple H asks Torrie to open her box for him. He then draws the number (having Candice hold his ball), but he definitely isn't that happy, as Randy tells him he's screwed.

- Trish Stratus is shown warming up for her ref gig tonight, as Mickie James comes up to talk to her. Trish's music plays in the background, but Mickie won't let her leave until Mickie tells her that she loves her. Trish is a little thrown off.

Mickie James vs. Ashley, w/ Trish Stratus as the Special Guest Referee:

The announcers (Styles & the King) talk about Mickie James' recent actions, including kissing Trish under the Mistletoe and surprising her in the shower. Mickie takes her time putting on her gloves before the first lock-up. The fans immediately state what they're expecting in this one.

Portion of Fans: "We want puppies! We want puppies!"

The two fight to the floor, then come back in, where Mickie gets a Wristlock. Ashley reverses it and gets a cradle. Ashley concentrates on the arm, as Mickie starts to let out her screams. Mickie jumps to the outside, as Trish starts a slow count. As Mickie tries to get back in, Ashley kicks her off, then clotheslines Mickie off the apron. Mickie seems to think that Trish is against her, as Ashley starts punching away on Mickie in the corner. As Trish pulls Ashley away, Mickie runs forward, knocking Ashley down. We have a Half-Boston Crab on Ashley, as we're seeing a lot of technical maneuvers. I'm a little surprised, to be honest. The two go to the floor again, with Mickie picking up Ashley and slamming her sternum-first into the ringpost! Trish is suddenly doing a very fast countout. As Ashley tries to get up, Mickie gets a baseball slide, taking them both out again. Mickie throws Ashley back into the ring, focusing on her injured stomach. Mickie then gets a Fisher-Woman's Suplex (according to Styles) for the 2 count. Another submission hold, as Mickie puts Ashley in a Bow-And-Arrow. Ashley finally starts to come back with kicks and punches, taking Mickie to the corner and slamming her head into the turnbuckle. Ashley starts to toss Mickie around by her hair, earning a rebuke from Trish. Ashley uses a hair yank to nearly get a Crucifix pin, but Mickie kicks out. Ashley keeps punching Mickie, causing Trish to grab her again. The crowd is booing here. Ashley, while distracted by Trish, gets Powerbombed painfully off the turnbuckle by Mickie, as Trish makes the slow 3 count to give Mickie the win. Afterwards, Mickie huges Trish, who pushes her away.

Ace Thoughts: Slooooww match, especially after the Cruiserweight bout. Then again, you want a change of pace, so it kind of depends how you feel about Women's matches. I've definitely seen worse, although I think they needed a little more momentum at the end.

- A promo runs for Wrestlemania 22, with "Big Time" playing in the background.

- Gregory Helms is shown talking about his Cruiserweight Title win for WWE.com, being interviewed by Josh Mathews.

- The divas show Vince their different tattoos. The Big Show comes in and can't put his huge hand through the door, so Candice draws his number for him. Rey Mysterio comes back in, and the Big Show gives him props for dedicating tonight to Eddie. The big problem here is that the Big Show and Mysterio were feuding not long before. Oh well. Mysterio draws his number, and immediately laughs, looking up and telling Eddie "You got me". It is apparently a rough draw.

John Bradshaw Layfield w/Jillian Hall vs. the Boogeyman:

Man. I really have the feeling that I don't want to review this. But a journalist has to suck it up, good or bad. The big point in their feud was when the Boogeyman ate the growth that had been on Hall's face. I still feel queasy thinking about it. JBL, although claiming not to be afraid of the Boogeyman, immediately runs when the Boogeyman enters. Cole & Tazz are doing the announcing, since this is a Smackdown match. JBL comes back in, but brings Hall with him as a shield. JBL then shoves Jillian to the Boogeyman and runs! As Jillian crawls away, the Boogeyman gets on top of her, spitting worms. JBL finally gets charged up, attacking the Boogeyman from behind, as the bell finally rings. JBL takes heavy control, taking the Boogeyman to the outside and slamming him into the stairs, followed by bringing him near the announce table. Cole freaks out. Back in the ring, JBL uses the tape on his wrist to choke out the Boogeyman. The Boogeyman fights through some punches for a choke, but JBL stops him with a thumb to the eye. JBL misses the Clothesline From Hell and goes into the post, allowing the Boogeyman to get the Pump Handle Slam for the victory. Afterwards, the Boogeyman eats some worms to celebrate.

Ace Thoughts: I still feel guilty that JBL had to take this defeat, after being such a great running champion for Smackdown. At this point, the Boogeyman could only do one move: the Pump Handle Slam. This was simply terrible.

- Vince gets goosed, but it's not Candice Michelle; it's Mama Benjamin! Vince tells Shelton Benjamin to keep his Mama under control, as Shelton gets his number and promises to throw out Shawn Michaels. Melina comes in, with Mama keeping Shelton away, and talks to Vince about the 'working conditions' on Smackdown. Joey Mercury & Johnny Nitro come in and draw their numbers, and they're ok with them. Melina also vows that the WWE Tag Champs will be the ones to throw out Michaels. Vince then sits on the couch with the Divas (and the dog), preparing for the Rumble.

- We see another preview for the Rumble, and we're going to the match early, rather than waiting for the main event. C'mon, Vince, the name of the PPV is the Royal Rumble, why not main event it? Anyhow, we get predictions of victory from Chris Masters, Bobby Lashley, Matt Hardy, and Rey Mysterio. We're also shown Randy Orton talking about cashing in the favor Booker T owes him in the Rumble (Orton took out Benoit to allow the injured Booker T to keep the US Title). Next, Carlito talks about the return of Rob Van Dam at the Rumble, but gets beat up by Kane. The Big Show and Triple H also predict themselves as the winner. Ton of potential favorites in this one.

- Lillian Garcia tries to do the intro of the rules, but the Spirit Squad interrupts and wastes our time with a cheer. Fast-forward, people, fast-forward.

30-Man Royal Rumble Match:

Big shocker, as #1 is "The King of Kings" Triple H! #2 is Rey Mysterio, who drives out a lowrider in honor of Eddie Guerrero. It's definitely an interesting match-up early on, as Mysterio & Triple H haven't gone at it that often. The chants for Eddie start up almost immediately. Mysterio uses it to get some good shots on Triple H, including a Tilt-A-Whirl Headscissors and the "Eddie 10-Punch". After the punches, though, Triple H nearly throws Mysterio out, as he saves himself. Mysterio goes for the 619, but misses. #3 is Simon Dean on his Dean Machine. Dean starts to beat on Mysterio, as Triple H watches. Dean throws Mysterio over, but Mysterio gets the ropes. Dean tries a High-Five from Triple H, but gets knocked down for his trouble. Mysterio then comes back, Springboarding onto Dean. The two then work together, sending Dean out, before going back at it. #4 is Psicosis of the Mexicools, who comes down and surprisingly attacks Mysterio, then nails Triple H as well. Mysterio gets dropped on Triple H, then Psicosis goes back to beating on the masked man. Psicosis tries a Razor's Edge to eliminate Mysterio, but you don't get Mysterio up high, and he makes Psicosis pay, tossing Psicosis out instead with a Headscissors! Triple H smashes Rey with a Spinebuster, #5 "The Nature Boy" Ric Flair comes out and starts beating on his old partner/rival, Triple H, chopping him to pieces.

The two men continue to go at it, with Flair coming back after a knee to the face with the Testicular Claw! Owowowowow! After a few more shots, though, Flair opted to slowly charge Triple H, who lowered his shoulder and threw out Flair! The crowd didn't like that one. #6 is the Big Show, who has been feuding with Triple H as of late. I remember the sledgehammer being used on his hand at one point. The Big Show slaps down Triple H, then headbutts Mysterio, to a few scattered boos. #7 is Jonathan Coachman, who beat the King to get into the Rumble (thanks to the Spirit Squad). Stupid Coach opts to hit the Big Show, which turns out to be a mistake. The fans chant "You suck!". Seconds later, the Coach gets tossed out by his throat, and the King laughs hysterically. Triple H tries to take advantage, but gets Press-Slammed. As the count begins again, the Big Show gives Triple H the Chokeslam. #8 is Bobby Lashley, who comes face-to-face with the Big Show. Lashley is 'undefeated' at this point, throwing out his problems in the Survivor Series a few months back. Ironically, those problems included the Big Show. The giant drops Lashley with a right hand, then tries to Chokeslam him, only to have Lashley escape and give the Big Show a lift with a shoulder, sending him under the ropes and out of the ring (but still in the match).

#9 is "The Big Red Machine" Kane, who holds the Raw Tag-Team Titles with the Big Show at the time. Kane and Lashley go toe-to-toe, with neither backing down. Lashley wins out again, giving a Press Slam of his own to Triple H, then giving Kane the Dominator! #10 is Sylvan Grenier, who is in his short-lived gimmick as a fashion model at this point. Sylvan attacks Lashley, but Lashley just shrugs off the punches and bodily launches Sylvan out, eliminating him! However, this allows Kane & the Big Show to recover, giving Lashley a Double Chokeslam! Not surprisingly, Lashley gets tossed out soon after. They wouldn't count this as a loss, either. The Big Show and Kane then go at it, which makes no sense, as Triple H and Mysterio are still in there. Yeah, I know I haven't typed much about Mysterio. He basically has vanished into a corner, but he's still there. The Big Show and Kane both try to Chokeslam each other, and lean on the ropes, going for the elimination. All of the sudden, Triple H runs up and tosses both men out, and we're back to #1 and #2! Triple H and Mysterio continue to rest as the count begins again.

#11 is Carlito, who takes full advantage on the two tired wrestlers. After a series of dodges and misses, Carlito gives Mysterio the Backcracker, which wasn't his finisher (officially) yet. #12 is "The Rabid Wolverine" Chris Benoit, and the crowd explodes! Triple H tells Carlito to attack him, just leading to a Benoit chop. Benoit delivers chops all over the place, giving German Suplexes to several guys as well. Carlito flips out of the Suplex, but Benoit then locks Carlito into the Crossface! Triple H breaks it up. We have a suplex battle on the apron between Benoit and Triple H. The Game wins by crotching Benoit on the top turnbuckle. But Benoit gets back control, knocking Triple H out and landing the Flying Headbutt! #13 is Booker T, who is still suffering from his injured groin. He comes in and goes after Benoit, but Benoit quickly gets control with punches and chops, then shockingly reverses a move and throws out Booker T!! Talk about a short night! Even the crowd didn't like to see Booker T go out, and he's a heel at this point. We break down into one-on-one fights, as the clock runs.

#14 is Joey Mercury w/ Melina. Mercury has to remove the belt from his pants before charging the ring and dropkicking Carlito. Mercury basically takes down everyone, but that immediately makes him a target for everyone, as Carlito comes back to take him down. #15 is a shocker, as Tatanka returns! Carlito and Triple H are completely confused. Welcome to the Time Warp! Tatanka starts to dominate with Tomahawk Chops, as the crowd starts the Seminole Chant. We've got 3 singles matches going on between Mysterio/Carlito, Benoit/Triple H, and Mercury/Tatanka. #16 is Mercury's partner in M-N-M, Johnny Nitro. Melina spurs him on to help out Mercury, but Tatanka chops Nitro down. Benoit nearly eliminates the Game, but Triple H makes it back in. Mysterio nearly goes out as well, as the first two entrants continue to hang on. The ring is rapidly filling up, as #17, Trevor Murdoch, walks out.

The King: "You can tell (Murdoch) hasn't been in Miami that long. He looks like a big bottle of milk!"

Murdoch goes after Tatanka, renewing that Redneck/Indian feud. Mysterio nearly goes out yet again, as he clings desperately to the ropes. #18 is the return of Eugene (who had been out due to Wellness). We've got about 9 guys in there now. Eugene tries to shake Murdoch's hand, and gets punched instead. Eugene gives Murdoch an Airplane Spin, with both getting dizzy, so Mysterio runs in and plants both to the mat. #19 is the Road Warrior Animal, who immediately takes out M-N-M with a double Clothesline. He slams Triple H, then goes around attacking everyone. Eugene looks happy just to be seeing him fight. Mysterio's struggling not to go out from M-N-M. #20 is the return of "Mr. PPV" Rob Van Dam, who starts attacking everyone, to the huge "RVD" chants from the crowd! Everyone's getting hit! Van Dam and Benoit have a staredown, with RVD winning out with a spin kick. M-N-M tries to double-team him, but Van Dam dropkicks both. Van Dam then eliminates a charging Animal! About time someone else went out.

#21 is Orlando Jordan, who takes a minute to pose as he comes in. Probably smart, since he won't last long. We've got 11 guys in the ring right now, which is probably a little much. Triple H offers a handshake to the naive Eugene, who opts to try it, only to get a low blow. Van Dam nearly tosses Carlito, who hangs on by one arm. #22 is Chavo Guerrero, who points up to Uncle Eddie before running to the ring and attacking several different guys, to a barrage of "Eddie" chants. Chavo gives the Three Amigos Suplexes to Nitro, then Chavo opts to climb the turnbuckle, possibly for a Frog Splash, but Triple H catches him and tosses him out! The crowd boos heavily, as Benoit immediately attacks the Game. #23 is Matt Hardy, who just... won't... die. We'll see. A dozen wrestlers in the ring right now, including the first two entrants. Mysterio and Van Dam renew their former tag-team partnership, nearly getting rid of Triple H. Both Mysterio and Triple H are over 39 minutes now, according to the King.

On one side, Orlando Jordan almost falls out, but hangs on. On the other side, Tatanka is sent out by M-N-M, and about time the returnee went out. This would lead Tatanka to actually hang around Smackdown for around a year. #24 is Super Crazy, the other member of the Mexicools. #25 is "The Heart Break Kid" Shawn Michaels, who goes nuts on everyone. Several people have promised to get rid of HBK, who has been feuding with the boss, Vince McMahon. Murdoch sends Michaels spinning (and falling) around the turnbuckle, but Michaels stays on the apron, then eliminates Murdoch by lowering the rope when he charges. #26 is "The Masterpiece" Chris Masters. Hardy and Triple H exchange close eliminations. On the other side, M-N-M double-teams Michaels, as they promised they would do. #27 is "The World's Largest Love Machine" Viscera. We've got.... dang, I'm not even sure anymore how many wrestlers are in there. Maybe 14? Almost half of the Rumble competitors are in the ring right now. Viscera beats down on Hardy, including a quick hump. Hardy comes back and tries his Twist of Fate on Viscera, but Viscera just picks him up and launches Hardy out of the ring, eliminating him.

#28 is Shelton Benjamin w/ Mama Benjamin, as the numbers in the ring stay about the same, as Benoit tosses out Eugene. Super Crazy climbs up Viscera, punching away on him. It's a funny sight. #29 is another surprise, as Goldust comes out! Goldust beats on both members of M-N-M, and there's just too many wrestlers in the ring now to call every bit of action. Jordan can be seen going toe-to-toe with Viscera, and actually seems to be winning, until Triple H comes to his aid. Yep, that's what I said. Still no eliminations, as #30 "The Legend Killer" Randy Orton jogs out. We've got the final, umm, 14 guys, I think. Orton helps with my numbers by bodily tossing out Benoit, to the shock of the crowd, as it was a slow elimination. Orton then gets Viscera with the RKO. Carlito & Masters then reform their team long enough to throw out Viscera! Seconds later, Carlito double-crosses Masters, tossing him out as well! As payment of sorts, Goldust then catches Carlito and gives him the Shattered Dreams kick. Yeouch. Not surprisingly, Goldust then gets kicked out by RVD. It's a rule of Rumbles, people; if you hit your finisher, you're in major danger of leaving.

Orton sends out Jordan, and we're down to 9 men: Benjamin, Carlito, Mercury, Michaels, Mysterio, Nitro, Orton, Triple H, and Van Dam. Men are hanging on all over, as Triple H and Michaels go at it. M-N-M then notices Michaels and starts double-teaming him again, trying to get rid of HBK. They show the sign of the Snapshot, but Michaels gets free, then flips Mercury over the ropes. Mercury lands on the apron, but Michaels sends Nitro into him, and Mercury's out anyway. Seconds later, Nitro is as well, as Michaels Skins the Cat and gets back in. Benjamin greets him with a Dragon Kick upon his return. Benjamin tries to toss Michaels, but Michaels reverses, getting Benjamin over the ropes, then eliminating him with some Sweet Chin Music. Hey, that's a finisher! And yep, here comes Vince McMahon to the ring to distract Michaels, allowing his son, Shane McMahon, to surprisingly come in from behind and toss HBK! Michaels tries to get revenge on Shane, but gets intercepted in the ring by Triple H, who saves his brother-in-law. It doesn't pay off for the Game, though, as he tastes some Sweet Chin Music! Funny to think that these two would partner up as D-Generation X later on in the year.

We've got 5 men left: Carlito, Mysterio, Orton, Triple H, and Van Dam. I think this is the longest RVD has ever lasted in a Rumble. He usually gets tossed relatively quick after a high-risk move. Carlito and Van Dam go at it, with Van Dam getting a high kick on Carlito to send him out! The final four sit in the corners, staring at each other. Mysterio & Triple H are approaching record times. Mysterio & Van Dam show their unity, going after Orton & Triple H. They work together, with a double legdrop on Triple H, then a double maneuver on Orton. Van Dam goes for the Five Star Frog Splash, but the Game crotches him on the ropes. Mysterio then charges the Game, but gets shoved past, ramming into Van Dam and eliminating him! The two former Evolution members chase Mysterio around the ring, beating down the cruiserweight. But Mysterio comes back with a Double DDT, laying out all 3 men. Mysterio manages to position both men on the ropes, and we've got a Double 619! An exhausted Rey gives Orton a Seated Senton, but then gets clotheslined by Triple H. The fans have the Eddie chants going, trying to fire up the masked man.

With Mysterio down, Orton and Triple H go at it, with Orton giving his former mentor the Powerslam. He sets up Triple H for the RKO, but the Game reverses into a Spinebuster. I could see any of these guys winning the Rumble, honestly, although it was predicted who would win months before. Triple H gets booted by Mysterio, but still picks him up and heads towards the ropes. But Mysterio reverses, throwing out Triple H!! The King of Kings can't believe it. As Mysterio and Orton lock eyes, Triple H pulls Mysterio out of the ring (under the ropes) and launches him into the stairs, injuring him. Orton brings Mysterio back in and has a cocky smile on his face. It's #2 vs. #30. Orton picks up Mysterio on his shoulder and tries to toss him. What did I say about taking Mysterio up high? Mysterio blocks it, then switches it to a Hurricanrana, sending out Orton and winning the Rumble!! The crowd goes crazy, loving the fact that Mysterio amazingly has improbably won the Rumble.

Ace Thoughts: Very nice Rumble, although the numbers got to me at times. For the longest time, it seemed like the numbers just weren't building up. It was mostly just Triple H and Mysterio. Then, all of the sudden, no one was going out, and we just had way too many in there. That takes away from the match. Still, it's one of the better Rumbles I've seen, and that's only slightly influenced by my long-time worship of Rey Mysterio.

- Mickie James thanks Trish for doing the right thing at the WWE.com desk. James again professes her love and leaves, with Trish chasing after her.

- Another Wrestlemania 22 promo, showing some of the big moments of Wrestlemania past.

- Mysterio gets greeted in the back by Benoit, Chavo Guerrero, and Dean Malenko! I love seeing Malenko still around. Edge then confronts Mysterio, telling him that he better not jump to Raw to challenge for Edge's belt.

- Just as a personal note, I'm a little drained after that Rumble, and yet we've still got two matches to go. I can't imagine how the live crowd feels. Why was the Rumble in the mid-card again?

- A promo runs, talking about Edge winning the "Money In The Bank Ladder" Match at Wrestlemania 21. Edge's patience pays off, as he came in after Cena survived the Elimination Chamber at New Year's Revolution '06 and turned in his contract to Vince McMahon. Edge easily Speared a bloody Cena multiple times and got the win, becoming the WWE Champion. We then see shots of Edge's Live Sex Celebration with Lita, as well as his movie trailers. This was the fued that actually made Cena cheered by the fans again.

Edge(c) w/Lita vs. John Cena, WWE Raw Heavyweight Title Match:

Cena has a special entrance, with a plank that spews out smoke lowering into place. Cena then comes out on the plank, setting off streamers on the sides with stomps. The crowd loves it. The prolem is, Cena's not even the champ at this point. Why does Edge just get his normal intro? Styles & the King are back, with Styles pointing out that Edge has been getting high ratings as the champion. After the opening lock-up, Edge tries to get control, only to get clotheslined and sent to the floor. Cena follows him, hammering Edge's face on the apron. Back in the ring, Cena gets dropped face-first into the turnbuckle. Cena comes back and gets a Side Slam for a 2 count, and Edge slides out of the ring. Cena again follows, with Edge using Lita as a human shield. Edge pushes Lita into Cena, then charges, Spearing Cena into the steps! Edge goes back into the ring, wanting the countout. When Cena starts to get up, Edge gives him a Baseball Slide that sends Cena over the guardrail! Edge again wants the countout, as Cena fights his way back to the ring, jumping back in at 9.

Edge stays in control, choking Cena with his knee and mocking him. When Cena tries to come back, Edge scores a big leg lariat and gets a 2 count. We're finally into rest holds, as Edge locks his arms around Cena's waist. This allows Cena to come back and escape, except that Edge then suplexes him. Another Cena comeback is stopped by an eye rake. Edge is dominating here. He sends Cena to the floor, then follows him out, sending Cena shoulder-first into the steps. Cena gets tossed back in, while Edge climbs the turnbuckle and lands a Missile Dropkick for another 2 count. Edge can't keep Cena down, as the challenger gets some rights, only to get clotheslined again by Edge. The champ is looking supremely strong here. The two go to the turnbuckle, but Cena shoves off Edge, then goes for a Leg Drop, but Edge moves. Edge then pins Cena, but Cena gets his foot on the ropes to stop the count.

Edge is enjoying himself, jabbing away at Cena. But Cena catches Edge trying for a hop-over for an FU attempt! Edge manages to escape and gives Cena a huge kick, knocking some fillings loose. Edge goes off the turnbuckle with a Crossbody, but Cena rolls through, getting another close 2 count. Edge opts for a Sleeper, helped with a Body Scissors. Cena gets to his feet and escapes by driving Edge into the corner. But a second attempt is dodged by Edge, putting Cena into the corner. Edge tries the Spear, but misses, and Cena gets a DDT to get some recovery time. Lita tries to inspire Edge to get up first, but Cena is now pumped up. He gives Edge the Shoulder Block, multiple Clotheslines, and his Sit-Down Powerbomb. The Five Knuckle Shuffle follows, as Lita distracts the ref, stopping the count. Cena grabs for Lita, but he knows where Edge is. As Edge charges, Cena moves, sending Lita to the ground. Cena then gives Edge the FU, followed by the STFU, and he forces Edge to tap out! Cena wins, and as the King says, Edge is now a transitional champion, the one thing Edge didn't want.

Ace Thoughts: I'm actually surprised that the fans had so much energy for this one after the Rumble. This was a pretty good match, with Edge being allowed to remain strong, while Cena got his title back. This was in the middle of a series of matches that made Edge a major main-eventer for Raw, as well as restoring Cena's good name to the fans. I liked seeing it, and in fact, I remember being a little surprised that THIS one wasn't the main event, either, as few fans really cared about Henry going after Angle. But then, there was a big reason for that. We'll get to that later.

- A furious Edge has no comments for Todd Grisham, and neither does Lita, although "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan is there to give a few "Hoooooo's".

- We're shown footage of Henry powering out of the Ankle Lock, which supposedly no one has seen before. Josh Mathews then interviews Kurt Angle, who makes fun of Mathews before talking about Henry and his ability to beat anyone. He says he'll take out Daivari as well if he gets involved.

Kurt Angle: "I'm walking in that ring the World Heavyweight Champion, and I'm walking out of that ring the World Heavyweight Champion, Oh it's true, it's.. Damn... True. Oh, and by the way, Mark Henry? You suck!"

Kurt Angle(c) vs. Mark Henry w/ Daivari, WWE Smackdown World Heavyweight Title Match:

The story here is that Angle jumped from Raw, where he had been managed by Daivari, to win a Battle Royal and become the World Champion. Angle turned on Daivari, who got Henry as his weapon to destroy Angle. Henry won a #1 Contendership Match over Mysterio to get to this point. As the match begins, Angle keeps trying to take Henry down, with no success. It's a slow beginning, considering how tired the fans are. Henry can't catch Angle either. Henry catches Angle's fist and turns it into a Test of Strength, with Henry clearly dominating. Angle gets free and goes for a Crossbody, but Henry catches him and dumps him over the ropes. Y'know, Henry, if you had done that in the Battle Royal, you would be champion right now. Outside the ring, Daivari gets in some cheap shots while the ref is distracted. Henry kills the steps (not sure why), then follows Angle back into the ring. Angle tries for a facelock, but Henry drops Angle onto the top ropes, then kicks him to the apron. The huge 400-lb Henry then stands on Angle. Ouch. Henry follows with a Splash for 2.

We're into rest holds by the big man, as Henry gets the Bear Hug, crushing Angle for a while. Angle finally escapes with a modified hip throw, and starts to get momentum, only to be stopped by a knee to the gut. Angle tries another Crossbody, and it doesn't work this time, either. But Angle escapes and gets the Ankle Lock, awakening the crowd. Henry powers out of it, throwing Angle aside, so Angle tries for the Angle Slam, which doesn't work, either. Angle, though, still is fighting, escaping a slam and giving Henry a German Suplex! Angle's now got some enrgy, stomping his feet and delivering the Angle Slam to Henry! It's only good for a 2 count, though. Angle painfully gets up, then yells and drops the straps, reapplying the Ankle Lock! Daivari's screaming on the apron, with the ref being distracted by him. Henry powers out again, with Angle flying into the ref! Li'l Natch is down! Angle goes for a steel chair, with Daivari trying to stop him. Seconds later, there is a Daivari-sized dent in the chair, as Angle belts him! Angle takes the chair into the ring, but Henry stops the shot, tossing Angle away! Angle gets a low blow, though, then gets the chair again and starts hammering Henry with it! Geez! No protection whatsoever!! Angle covers for a slow 2 count. Angle, frustrated, takes off the 2nd turnbuckle pad. Henry blocks the attempt, then throws Angle into the corner, but Angle survives by hitting the top 'buckle. Angle then catches the big man charging in and drops Henry into the exposed turnbuckle!! School boy roll-up ends it, as Angle stays the champion!

Seconds after the win, the Undertaker's gong sounds and the lights go low! The Undertaker comes out with acolytes and a chariot, with a stunned Angle looking on! Angle holds his belt close, as the Dead Man makes the signal that he's coming after the gold. The Undertaker then raises his head and shoots lightning out of his hands, sending sparks in the rafters! I'm sure those were digitally added, but still... More explosions go off around the ring, and the entire ring collapses!! Tazz curses in surprise (which is bleeped on the DVD), as the Undertaker calmly walks away, ending the night.

Ace Thoughts: I can't say too much about the match, although I do think that Henry did better than I expected. Angle always has a way of bringing out the best in his fellow wrestlers. Not that I ever believed that Henry had a chance, but it was still good for a short run. After all, this was all set up on the fly, due to Batista's injury. It was a good match, but I don't think it deserved in the main event, as I've said. The only reason it was there was for the Undertaker's grand entrance and the destruction of the ring, which was actually a pretty cool effect. Angle and the Undertaker would go on to a shockingly-great bout at No Way Out '06, while Cena started feuding with the near-Rumble-winner, Triple H. And, of course, Mysterio's "Eddie" wave would continue, as he'd win the title at Wrestlemania 22 in a "Triple Threat" Match with Angle and Orton. All-in-all, not a bad night of wrestling, as it's worth a look by any wrestling fans out there.

The Accelerator