WWE - Royal Rumble 2006
World Wrestling Entertainment // Unrated // $24.95 // February 28, 2006
Review by John Crichton | posted April 7, 2006
Highly Recommended
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Spoiler Warning! With my past WWE reviews, i've tried to be as non-specific about the outcomes as I possibly could be. However, as evidenced by the whole Matt Hardy/Edge/Lita internet saga, i've come to the conclusion that anyone who has anything resembling an interest in the DVD (or, for that matter, the WWE) already knows the outcome of each match. So, please be warned, while I might not come right out and announce the winner of every single match, there's a possibility that it could happen.

The 19th Royal Rumble was held on January 29th, 2006 in Miami, Florida. This year's event emulated the bygone ancient days of Rome (with an extremely humorous photo of the McMahon clan on the cover). Running at two hours and forty-six minutes, this PPV delivers a couple of surprises.

Okay, well, maybe one. The Royal Rumble match.

  • Cruiserweight Championship Of the World Invitational [Kid Kash vs. Funaki vs. Jamie Noble vs. Nunzio vs. Paul London vs. Gregory Helms] - This is the one thing that I don't like about the WWE. In addition to a severe lack of credible tag teams, the majority of the cruiserweights can be found on SmackDown! In fact, up until Helms ditched the "Hurricane" (and Rosey), he floundered on Raw, jobbing to whatever monster Vince decided needed a push. In the past, Tazz and Cole have frequently complained about being made to feel as if SD! is the lesser of the two brands. Once Helms ditched Raw, he immediately goes on to become the Cruiserweight champion. And that says what? As for this match, it was pretty enjoyable. This is my first exposure to Kash, and I still don't know who London is, but i'm glad to see Jamie Noble back in a WWE ring. A shame it's not with Nidia.

  • Mr. McMahon supervises Royal Rumble number drawings

  • Mickie James confronts Trish Stratus before her match

  • Ashley vs. Mickie James with Special Guest Referee Trish Stratus - Wow, does Trish look hot. No, I mean really, REALLY hot. She's really working that referee's outfit. Man, this is probably THE best outfit I have seen her in. Oh wait, there's a match too? Silly me, Vince almost had me fooled. Here I was blindsided by the beauty that is Trish, when there's a two other divas in the ring - one that hasn't had her abilities tested yet, and the other, who doesn't deserve to be IN a ring, let alone wrestling in it. The only thing this match accomplished for me, was hoping the eventual heel turn for Mickie comes sooner than later.

  • Big Show and Rey Mysterio pick their Royal Rumble numbers - I like Rey. I really do. So much so, that I won't even hold going along with Vince's idea to invoke the late Eddie Guerrero's memory this way against him.

  • the Boogeyman vs. JBL - As I confessed during my review for New Year's Revolution, the Boogeyman has grown on me (like the growth he chomped off of Jillian Hall's cheek). I'm not really buying the whole "Oooo, i'm scared of the Boogeyman" schtick that JBL is doing his damnedest to sell fans, but I did like his comment on SD! before this match where he said he didn't need a "gimmick" since he's a REAL wrestler (i'm paraphrasing). This match is mercifully short.

  • Shelton Benjamin and MNM pick their Royal Rumble numbers

  • Royal Rumble Match - In addition to the Elimination Chamber and any match with Trish, this is the other WWE event that I mark out for. This one was no different. After the first few wrestlers were eliminated (up until Flair was tossed), there was a dry spell that sort of slowed down the pace (and congested the ring), but it was great to see Rob Van Dam make his triumphant return.

    Raw Superstars

  • Triple H (1)
  • Ric Flair (5)
  • Big Show (6)
  • Jonathan Coachman (7)
  • Kane (9)
  • Carlito (11)
  • Trevor Murdoch (17)
  • Eugene (18)
  • Rob Van Dam (20)
  • Chavo Guerrero (22)
  • Shawn Michaels (25)
  • Chris Masters (26)
  • Vicera (27)
  • Shelton Benjamin (28)
  • Goldust (29)
    SmackDown! Superstars
  • Rey Mysterio (2)
  • Simon Dean (3)
  • Psicosis (4)
  • Lashley (8)
  • Sylvan (10)
  • Chris Benoit (12)
  • Booker T (13)
  • Joey Mercury (14)
  • Tatanka (15)
  • Johnny Nitro (16)
  • Road Warrior Animal (19)
  • Orlando Jordan (21)
  • Matt Hardy (23)
  • Super Crazy (24)
  • Randy Orton (30)

  • Rey Mysterio is congratulated on his Royal Rumble win

  • WWE Championship [John Cena vs. Edge] - I was really disappointed in this match. Not because it featured Edge and Cena (which could've been a possibility), but I just think it's a damn shame that Edge was forced to give up the belt so soon after winning it.

  • Todd Grisham interviews Edge and Lita

  • Josh Matthews interviews Kurt Angle

  • World Heavyweight Championship [Kurt Angle vs. Mark Henry] - As I stated in my review for the excellent Bret Hart set, the mark of a true wrestler is one that can put on an entertaining show while protecting and making their opponent look just as good as they do. That said, Mark Henry looked like one of the greatest athletes who've ever wrestled.

I'm not sure if you can consider them "extras", but Vince has included the following clips :

  • Kurt Angle & Mark Henry Story - A video package detailing the rivalry between the two (for those who aren't SmackDown! viewers).

  • Rob Van Dam And Tatanka Smoke A Peace Pipe - You read that right. Tatanka.

  • Past winners of the Royal Rumble - Besides the cruiserweight match, Trish's involvement in the divas match and the Royal Rumble, this was probably one of the most entertaining things on this disc. It's a shame it's so short.

Video: Royal Rumble's picture is colorful and vibrant. There were a few compression issues due to all the pyro and graphic elements, but they're quick and not terribly distracting. It's presented in the WWE's standard full frame 1.33:1 ratio.

Audio: The Dolby Digital 5.1 sound was crystal clear and enveloped my living room while I was watching it. Viewers are also given the option of watching the disc in Spanish.

Conclusion: Overall, i'd have to say this is a Highly Recommended disc. While I wish Vince would stop skimping where the extras are concerned (in the interest of completion, would it really be [i]that[/i] hard to include the WWE Heat match that takes place immediately before the event?), I enjoyed the majority of the matches, and the ones that weren't as entertaining, well, I was still able to find something positive in them (Kurt Angle, Trish Stratus). In the end, isn't that all that matters?

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