The 2006 Royal Rumble Match

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January 29, 2006

Only twice in history has the man who drew No. 1 gone on to win the Royal Rumble; never, however, had the man who started with him at No. 2 gone on to be victorious. In the 19th edition of the Rumble, that benchmark fell by the wayside, as No. 2 entrant Rey Mysterio went the distance to claim the main event of WrestleMania 22.

As the match began, Mysterio and No. 1 entrant Triple H were paired off. The two battled back and forth until Simon Dean entered at No. 3. He immediately went after Rey, seemingly looking to Triple H for acceptance. Instead, The Game attacked Simon, and with a recovered Rey's help, the unlikely allies tossed the fitness guru out of the match. No. 4 entrant Psicosis suffered the same fate, until Ric Flair entered the match at No. 5.

Flair came in with fists flying, but the wily veteran made a rookie mistake by charging Triple H as he stood near the ropes. The Cerebral Assassin simply sidestepped the charge, and sent Flair crashing to the floor. As Rey lay beaten in the corner, the barrage continued as Big Show drew No. 6. Show hammered everything in sight, even eliminating No. 7 entrant Coach with a swat of his hand. When partner and fellow World Tag Team Champion Kane entered the match at No. 9, it seemed like the monstrous duo would conquer everyone.

After teaming up to eliminate Lashley, Show & Kane surprised everyone by going after each other, leaving the beaten down Game and Mysterio to instead test themselves. However, as they leaned on the ropes attempting to chokeslam one another, Triple H came from behind and shoved both men out to the shock of the crowd.

The match continued, with both Triple H and Mysterio continuing to defy the odds at every turn. Several men attempted to eliminate the No. 1 and 2 entrants, but were unable to get them out of the match. When Randy Orton came out as the final entrant, 14 men were left in the ring with a chance to go to the main event of WrestleMania, including the two men who began the match nearly one hour earlier.

As the Rumble raged on, Shawn Michaels went on a run, causing the eliminations of MNM and Shelton Benjamin in succession to make it into the final six. At that point, Mr. McMahon's music hit, and the WWE Chairman made his entrance. As HBK stared down the boss, Shane McMahon made a surprising appearance, attacking Michaels from behind and eliminating him from the match. An irate HBK flipped out, running back into the ring and nailing Triple H with Sweet Chin Music before chasing the McMahons to the locker room. After the returning Rob Van Dam eliminated Carlito, the final four of Van Dam, Orton, Mysterio and Triple H was set.

RVD & Rey reprised their team, taking it to the former Evolution partners. However, as RVD went up to attempt the Frog Splash on Orton, Triple H shoved him down onto the top rope. Mysterio charged, but the Game launched him into RVD, sending Mr. Monday Night crashing to the floor.

The Legend Killer and The Game then decided to team up on Mysterio, stacking the odds against him even further. Rey was able to thwart their efforts and hit a double 619, followed by the West Coast Pop on Orton. Orton and Triple H managed to retake the advantage, but as The Game tried to nail Rey with a spinebuster, he spun around and used a body scissors to send Triple H hurtling over the top. The Game could not believe it, and pulled Rey out of the ring. He sent Mysterio crashing into the steel steps in a fit of rage, then tossed him back into the ring, seemingly easy prey for a very fresh Legend Killer.

Orton picked up the beaten Mysterio, and casually looked to slam him over the top. However, it was an overzealous burst of confidence on the part of the Legend Killer; as he attempted to toss Mysterio, Rey shifted his weight, grabbing Orton in a head scissors. Mysterio pulled, and as he hung on to the ropes, sent Orton over the top and to the floor to win the Royal Rumble Match. Dedicating the win to his longtime best friend Eddie Guerrero, Rey will now look to follow in Latino Heat's footsteps and become WWE Champion or World Heavyweight Champion in the main event of WrestleMania 22. 

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

1- Dean (by Triple H & Mysterio)
2- Psicosis (by Mysterio)
3- Flair (by Triple H)
4- Coach (by Big Show)
5- Sylvan (by Lashley)
6- Lashley (by Big Show & Kane)
7 & 8- Big Show and Kane simultaneously (by Triple H)
9- Booker T (by Benoit)
10- Road Warrior Animal (by RVD)
11- Guerrero (by Triple H)
12- Tatanka (by MNM)
13- Murdoch (by Michaels)
14- Hardy (by Viscera)
15- Eugene (by Benoit)
16- Super Crazy (by Mysterio)
17- Benoit (by Orton)
18- Viscera (by Carlito & Masters)
19- Masters (by Carlito)
20- Goldust (by RVD)
21- Jordan (by Orton)
22- Mercury (by Nitro via Michaels)
23- Nitro (by Michaels)
24- Benjamin (by Michaels)
25- Michaels (by Shane McMahon)
26- Carlito (by RVD)
27- RVD (by Mysterio via Triple H)
28- Triple H (by Mysterio)
29- Orton (by Mysterio)

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