20 Man Battle Royal – WHC – Smackdown January 13th 2006
As mentioned in my previous review, Batista had vacated the WHC earlier in the night, so this match was set up to decide a new World Champion. 19 men enter the ring, leaving one more, and its… KURT ANGLE! Angle was a Raw superstar, but had jumped to SD apparently.
Love how this thing starts, with JBL telling the rest of the guys to “leave Angle to him”. JBL has always thought of himself as the face of SD, so it made sense that he would want to take out the “Raw” superstar Angle. Unfortunately for JBL, Angle is fired up and quickly eliminates the Wrestling God! Vito is next to go, then the rest of the SD stars decide to gang up on Angle!
Typical battle royal stuff, with people fighting everyone and guys going over left and right. We then start to get a story between Angle and Henry, when Henry knees Angle in the back and sends him out of the ring (under the ropes), and then slams him through the announce table. With Angle out of the match, or so it seems, Henry is now considered the favourite alone with the young powerhouse Bobby Lashley.
Henry and Lashley go head to head while the rest of the superstars watch, which makes what is essentially a small face off in reality, something really big. Henry gets the better of Lashley, and continues to be the favourite to win the title now.
Final four is Henry, Mysterio, and MNM. MNM both get eliminated by Mysterio, who is fighting for his fallen friend Eddie. Once Rey eliminates MNM, he realises what stands before him, and so does the crowd. Some actually Royal Rumble matches don’t capture the feel of this match when its down to the final two lol, which should give you an idea of how good this match is turning out to be.
Rey fights with everything he has got, 619’ing Henry over and over, but not being able to send him over the ropes. He goes all Benoit in 04 on Henry, trying to headlock him over the ropes, but the power of Henry sends Rey to the floor. New champion? Nope, ANGLE is still in this thing!
He’s back up now, and pissed off. Angle is a fucking lunatic normally, but when he’s pissed off? I wouldn’t want to be Henry lol. But as pissed as he is, Henry is still a monster of a man, and his awesome power quickly comes into play.
They go back and forth in the ring for a little while, with Angle nearly eliminating Henry a couple of times, but Henry is still too strong, so Angle has to wear him down some more. Henry’s powerbomb to Angle is markout worthy too. They don’t take their time with this finish either, and in a lot of ways its similar to Benoit/Big Show in 04, with how they have plenty of time to really build to the smaller guy finally taking out the bigger, stronger opponent. Just like in 04, the smaller guy wins, and as such, Angle becomes the NEW WHC! The finish was almost fucked up though as Angle landed on the floor too .
Now this is a pretty great battle royal, right up there with the 2004 Raw one probably. The start is great, with Angle and JBL, then the story of Henry in the middle is really good, and the battle between the final two is better than most Royal Rumbles tbh. Yet another match to add to my ever growing list of matches that could make my list lol.