Triple H, October 2011:

“When I grew up, I hated Hogan. I thought he was terrible and didn’t like to watch him. I was like Punk in a way. I liked the Steamboats and Flairs and the ones that could go. Would I be right in saying that Hogan was the wrong guy to go with, and they should’ve changed directions and gone with Steamboat because he was the better wrestler? Ludicrous.” - Triple H. October, 2011.

Road to Rumble Conclusion 2006

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Part one of the build is here.

We’re stalking Royal Rumble 2K6.

The big TV on the way to the Rumble is our special 15 team gauntlet match – with 29 of the 30 individuals who are entered being former tag team champions. Winners will go to the Rumble to take on Booker/Bradshaw – Bradshaw is once again full on GHB, he lariats Book on RAW – and now they’re doing a face/heel feuding thing as they near their defense.

They both come out for the announce for the match, sitting on opposite ends of the table, with Taz and Joey (recall, your full time announce team now) in between.

They bicker during the match, largely they are doing comedy schtick – but they can start slapping at each other at one point, only to calm down and go back to calling the match. They’re both doing campy gimmicks, it should be good comedy, as Bradshaw talks about the glorious Bush Administration, and Book plays homeboy looking for a payday. A good oil and water tag mix.

Here we go.

Team One: Rockers
Almost 16 years since Shawn walked out on Marty at Royal Rumble ’90 – they reunite for the big pop. They use the old music, wear the old gear, accept the pop. Both guys are 3 time WWF tag champs, and a clip is shown of their Rumble ’89 win over the Brainbusters.

Team Two: Piper/Jake
And who did the Rockers lose to in that last ever match in 1990? Roddy Piper and Jake Roberts - and that clips is shown - they get the big legends pop as they come to the ring.

They get in their stuff, Shawn and Marty do some doubleteams, there’s a DDT tease – but it’s stereosuperkicks and a simultaneous pinfall for the Rockers.

Team Three: Angle/Benjamin
Kurt’s music plays as Shawn and Marty celebrate on the buckles, simultaneously, HHH-M comes from behind underneath the ring, grabbing Marty from the buckle, and pedigreeing him. HHH-M motions to Shawn “you and me – you and me” Michaels – and the announce exclaims that Hunter and Shawn were, in fact, tag champs themselves, and the 51% Solution has struck again.

Benjamin’s a 3 time tag champ, twice with Charlie Haas and once with Kurt, and their Survivor Series ’04 win over Rey and RVD, Van Dam’s last appearance in the WWF, incidentally, as Paul E paid off Team Angle to take him out

Angle doesn’t get onto the apron, grabbing a mic to say that Benjamin isn’t nearly good enough to be in the ring with 3 guys of the caliber of he, Michaels, and Hunter – and that he doesn’t feel it’s a safe working environment – he drops the mic and backs away.

HHH-M attacks Benjamin, Michaels, still stunned that Marty has been taken out, all of it happening very quickly – has to choose between attacking Hunter – fighting Benjamin – or doing what he does, which it to pescado from the ring and land squarely on Angle.

They brawl on the apron, Benjamin gets the advantage on HHH-M.

At one point, with Benjamin having a nearfall – Michaels enters to break it up. And when he decides to work with HHH-M – they are able to dispose of Benjamin, who fights gamely. HHH-M gets the fall.

Team Four: Orton/Cena
The just deposed tag champs, having held the belts since taking them from SpreeKillers Helms/Rhyno at XXI, are next. The new pattern should be emerging – the old dynamic was both guys sucked – but with Cena getting pinned at Survivor Series – and after eating a superkick – Cena getting pinned here by Michaels – the new pattern is it’s Cena who sucks and Orton’s getting irritated by it.

Team Five: Edge…

Clip from Summer Slam 2000, when E and C took the tag straps in TLC2 against the Hardys and Dudleys.



Big pop as Matt’s music plays – playing for the first time in a year and a half – since he didn’t use music during the unsanctioned match at Summer Slam.

Matt sprints to the ring and attacks Edge. Hunter starts yelling for security, as Matt doesn’t have a contract – the announce speculating that somehow, Steamboat, from his hospital bed, was able to engineer this and how someone will be fired – Matt and Edge spill from the ring into the crowd – and in a spot which will become familiar – begin to attack each other violently – throwing chairs for example – in the crowd.

We’ll see that spot 2-3 times before the Rumble, with Matt running into attack Edge and that fight going into the crowd. The final time we do it – a plant will take a chairshot and juice – showing us that the fans aren’t safe – that no one is safe when Matt and Edge are in the same building.

That last attack will take place interrupting an Edge/Michaels singles. Two things come out of that – one, Shawn will cut another anti-Matt promo – “Matt Hardy’s a menace – and I understand he’s cool now to you fans – but he’s dangerous – I understand why you like him…and I forgive you.”

As Shawn ticks up again the messianic aspects of his character. “I forgive you” will slowly work its way into his lexicon as he becomes a little more overbearing.

At some point, I’d like to sell WWTHBKD merchandise. But slow. It’s slow.

The other thing that comes out of this is the Edge/Matt match for the Rumble. During a 51% Solution promo, Edge interrupts, says that they owe him for spearing Michaels – and he wants Hardy.

Flair says hell no – Hardy doesn’t work here – we don’t want him – he’s out of control

Edge says after the Rumble – they’ll never see Matt again, Edge will make sure of it.

The decision is that it’s far too dangerous to do with fans there – that fan that was hurt will sue – they could shut the company down – and HHH-M has to protect his wife’s money.

So – they make a Lights Out Match – before the fans get to the Miami Arena – in an empty building – with only the production crew – Edge and Matt will rematch. It’s a WWF first. They’ll show the match at the very beginning of the PPV – which is why 9 matches for the price of 8 – Edge v. Matt is a bonus opening match for Royal Rumble 2K6! You’ve gotta call your local cable company!

But not right now – ‘cause none of that has happened yet. Right now what’s happened is Edge and Matt have been counted out – and as Michaels watches them fight – Helmsley lays into him from behind – then pedigrees him – leaving Shawn laid out as pickings for the next team.

Team 6: Juvie/Big Markie
Juvie, the leader of the LWO, coming off losing his title shot to Rey at Survivor Series, was tag champ of the NWA with Silver King – and a shot of their win over Hall and Nash at Slamboree ’98 is shown. Mark Henry is fudging this a little, as he was never a tag champ – but he was the bodyguard for the Rock/DLo Nation of Domination during their tag runs.

Henry splashes the prone Michaels – Shawn does the furious comeback though – battling by himself – warding off both men – it looks as if Michaels is going to finish off Henry, as he’s ready to drop the big elbow – but Angle runs back in – pushes Michaels from the buckle – and Juvie pins him with the 450 splash.

Team 7: Rey…

Clip from Summer Slam ’04, when Rey and RVD took the straps from Flair and Leviathan…

Rey then points his thumbs to his head – as Stevie Richards emerges, and the ECW music plays…


Van Dam returns, after a year and a half. Recall that the videos began before Survivor Series – Richards took on the role as Van Dam’s manager – this drove Heyman, responsible for Van Dam’s injuries, from the announce. And we’re set now for the RVD v. ECW portion of the program.

But first – we get some RVD/Rey doubleteams – maybe even a stereosplash – RVD with the frog and Rey with a legdrop – for the fall.

The rest of the LWO, Crazy and Psychosys, then enters – and along with Juvie, they put the wood to Rey, dragging him away from the ring and pummeling him in the aisle.

This is going to get us to the Title Match for the Rumble.

Carlito will emerge as the mouthpiece of the LWO, taking over as group spokesman from Juvie – forcing Juvie out of the LWO, turning Juvie face – Juvie joins with Rey for a couple of tags against the LWO before Juvie’s deal expires.

Even before Flair’s turn, recall, he was opposed to Rey – it was the chief point of contention between he and Steamboat.

So, when Carlito proposes that the title match at the Rumble be a Triple Threat match – Rey v. Crazy v. Psychosys – the 51% Solution is all in favor.

So, assuming the LWO sticks together – Rey won’t just have to beat one man to maintain his title at the Rumble, he’ll have to beat two.

But none of that has happened yet. What’s happened now is Van Dam is prevented from helping the Champ because Paul E enters the aisle with the next team:

Team 8: Guido/Nova
Guido and Nova were ECW tag champs, taking from the Dudleys at Heatwave ’99, we see a clip. They attack RVD with the doubleteam – with Heyman shouting directions – but with a timely StevieKick – RVD hits the frogsplash on Nova and, although Rey has been completely wiped out and needs help to the back, RVD advances.

Heyman smirks, waving along the next team.

Team 9: Sandman/Kid Kash
It’s now 4 on 1, with both these guys making their WWF debuts here – Sandman was ECW tag champ with CW Anderson, winning the belts at Heat Wave ’00 – and Kash held the straps with Chris Chetti, they took at Living Dangerously in that same year – they join Guido and Nova – all four men putting the boots to RVD and Stevie. Sandman canes both men – Van Dam is overcome – and Kash hits a 450 splash for the pinfall.

Team 10: Mikey Whipwreck…

The ECW guys continue to unload on RVD and Stevie as Whipwreck, who not only held the tag straps with Guido – but also with Bubba Ray Dudley from November 2 Remember 1995 – goes right in on their side – Van Dam taking a pummeling in his first match back

..Cactus Jack…

Big pop for the surprise return of Mick Foley, the 3rd Triple Crown winner (Michaels, Rey) to appear in the match – clips of Foley’s tag win with Terry Funk at the ’98 Royal Rumble – and also his win with Sting in their oil and water tag team at Fall Brawl ’93.

Jack’s all legend babyface – getting the legend’s housecleaning spot as he lays out successively each of the ECW guys – including his own partner Whipwreck, and then he double arm DDTs Sandman – getting the pinfall.

The ECW guys regroup – and re-establish their numerical advantage, beating down Cactus Jack as well..

Team 11: Benoit…
And now our 4th Triple Crown winner – and the current holder thereof, the Crippler, Chris Benoit, the Worldwide Champion. Benoit and Eddy won the straps at Summer Slam 2002 from Jericho and Storm – and now Benoit suplexes everyone in the ring – tossing the ECW guys all over the place – Benoit to the top and landing the diving headbutt on Sandman…


Another surprise entrant – Taz and Raven won the tag straps at Rumble ’01 – Taz’s music hits – he takes off his headset at the announce – Joey, going bonkers, wonders on whose side Taz will come in – he and Benoit are partners here – but he is ECW to the core, and maybe he has secretly aligned himself with Paul Heyman…

Taz enters the ring – the action stops – he walks over to Whipwreck, who extends his hand – Taz takes it – whips Mikey around into the Tazmission – and chokes him out for the fall.

The brawl quickly resumes and then ends – Taz, Benoit, Jack, RVD, Stevie running the ECW guys from the ring – and accepting the pop – Van Dam and Stevie will exit…

And this sets up our 8th match for the Rumble – Van Dam taking on Kid Kash. The ECW guys will continue to attack RVD – in a tag match, say with Van Dam/Stevie against Kash and Sandman – Tommy Dreamer will enter and cane Stevie into submission, allowing Kash another pinfall over RVD.

That’s gonna knock Stevie out for the Rumble – leading Foley to return to TV the following week to save RVD from another beating – Foley cuts a promo saying that he can’t stand to miss a good party – and that at the Royal Rumble – he will be in Van Dam’s corner when he takes on Kid Kash, Paul Heyman, and the forces of ECW.

And, you know, nothing wrong with that.

But that hasn’t happened yet.

What’s happening now is Benoit and Taz are your current team – Foley goes ahead and grabs Taz’s headset, doing some back and forth with Joey, and some political banter with Bradshaw…

Team 12 Steve Austin/Dustin Rhodes

The fifth Triple Crown winner (and since the others were Bret, Owen, Eddy, and Pedro Morales, that means all that could have entered did – it’s kind of a big show – ideally, this would be the spot for the Saturday Night’s Main Event shot) is Austin – he was the NWA champ with Pillman, also the WWF with Dustin – and Dustin himself held the NWA belt with both Eaton and Windham.

Dustin carries the load – Austin enters for the big pop and the quick stunner on Taz for the fall. Austin then stuns Dustin (longtime readers will recall that’s how he turned Stone Cold on Rhodes, ending their partnership) and exits, drinking his beer.

So, Dustin is once again laid out, and easy pickings for Team 13…

Team 13 Flair/Arn
And here comes the 51% Solution. Flair, tag champs with Leviathan, who he just swerved at Survivor Series – Arn, of course, 2 time champs with Tully as the Brainbusters – Flair works Dustin over – Arn, if capable, hits the spinebuster – Flair gets the figure four – and the submission.

Team 14: DiBiase/Animal
Ted was two time tag champ with Mike Rotundo – and you know about Animal - but DiBiase never gets in the ring – he pulls a fat envelope out of his jacket as Animal gets in the ring – opens it up to show a stack of bills – thanks Flair – and exits.

Animal is overmatched – again, Flair gets the figure four submission – and only one team is left.

Team 15: Helms/Chavo
Helms was tag champ, both with Shannon Moore in the NWA – and with Rhyno just this year – he and Chavo were longtime partners as they broke into the WWF together as the SpreeKillers – Chavo turned on Helms to join the Horsemen – both men have been off TV for months – and both, coincidentally, were taken out by Leviathan.

This is Chavo’s first TV match since Eddy’s death – he should get a good pop – Joey speculates that the 51% Solution has promised, remember, that there would be a 4th man – what if Shane Helms or Chavo Guerrero has cut a deal with HHH-M?

But they haven’t – Helms and Chavo do their doubleteam stuff on Flair – Arn has to take the quick fall from Chavo – and it’s Guerrero and Helms who will go to the Rumble to face Booker and Bradshaw – completing our card.

Book and Bradshaw, still bickering, hit the ring for the face to face – there’s some jawing – and then our show ends with the appearance of…

Executioner Lashley.

Recall from Survivor Series, Lashley (with the X on his chest and back – he has black gloves – he wears the hood that he rips off when he enters the ring – he’s Black Goldberg) has so far not shown any allegiance to anything – he tore Masters apart at Survivor Series, then Nova and Guido as well.

Lashley spears and hits Dominators on everyone. Book, Bradshaw, Chavo, Helms – everyone is left laid out as Lashley stands with the tag belts – screaming at the camera – Joey wonders what role Bobby Lashley – the Executioner – will play at the Rumble.

And that’s your card.

Undisputed Title: Rey v. Psychosys v. Crazy (w/Carlito)
-It’s a Triple Threat – the deck is stacked against Rey as he has to beat both members of the LWO – and he has Carlito Colon on the outside.

Worldwide Titles: Benoit v. Fit (w/Dean and Regal)
-The Sunshine Boys go square after Benoit’s titles – can the veteran Fit stand up to the Benoit fury?

Unified Tags: Booker/Bradshaw v. Helms/Chavo
-They won the big gauntlet – can the reunited Helms/Guerrero take the belts from the feuding tag champs?

Angle (w/Benjamin) v. HBK
-The Team Angle/Clique feud is now over, both groups having devolved – but the Angle/Michaels war continues – can Shawn Michaels finally beat your Olympic Hero?

London v. Kendrick v. Noble
-Your Ring of Honor match – Kendrick returned, blaming his former partner London for blackballing him – and then Noble returned, blaming his former partner Kendrick for leaving him behind. This mysterious wrestler from Ring of Honor, heretofore unnamed, appears to be behind this, pulling the strings – will he appear at the Rumble?

RVD (w/Jack) v. Kid Kash (w/Heyman and Team ECW)
-Van Dam split with Heyman two years ago – then Paul E paid to have him taken out. Now, RVD returns – and Heyman brings in old ECW wrestlers to take care of him – with the legendary Cactus Jack in his corner – can RVD stand up to the onslaught?

Benjamin (w/Angle) v. HHH-M (w/ Flair and Arn)
-Shelton Benjamin (S Money, or S$) makes his return to PPV, having been put on the shelf involuntarily by his stable leader and mentor, Angle – but HHH-M, as part of the 51% Solution, demanded a “guarantee” for the Rumble – Angle gave it to him and Benjamin appears set up to lose.

MNM (w/Melina) v. Dead Men Walking (w/ Undertaker)
-Show and Kane took the match at Survivor Series – the feud continues here.

And, of course…

Lights Out: Matt v. Edge
-They grew up together as the Ring Boys – Edge and his brother Christian, turned, with Trish, on Matt and his brother, Jeff – starting the legendary tag feud that would also include the Dudleys.

Edge then, with Matt having quit the previous year, slept with Lita, Matt’s “real life” girlfriend – leading to the “You screwed Matt” chants – and a non-contracted Matt’s return to the WWF ring at Summer Slam in the unsanctioned match that saw Edge, who had been a babyface member of the Clique, reveal his true colors.

Edge won that match, with Lita’s aid – Matt, completely unhinged, doing a Pillman thing, took a nail gun to Edge on RAW – both men returned at Survivor Series, Matt laying Edge out with a twist of fate (and Hunter and Michaels too)

Leading to TV – when Matt, still without a contract, as Flair has sworn he’ll never be a WWF wrestler again – attacked Edge multiple times, brawling into the crowd – injuring “fans”.

Edge gets the 51% Solution to grant him an empty arena match at the Rumble – promising to end Matt Hardy once and for all.

It’s a great match – it’s a great card.

Royal Rumble 2006– Coming In January!

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