At times it seemed like WWE pushed Eddie Guerrero harder in death than they did while he was alive. That's a bit of an exaggeration, but not by much. The year 2006 was rife with mentions of the departed Guerrero, from wrestlers dedicating their matches to him, to heels disparaging his name for heat, to Eddie's widow, nephew, and best friends having a prolonged feud in which is name was uncomfortably invoked quite a bit.
The 2006 Royal Rumble featured one of the more innocent co-opts of Eddie's name, as Rey Mysterio dedicated his performance in the Rumble match to his fallen comrade. This involved donning one of Guerrero's t-shirts, while entering in his trademark low rider. When Mysterio dramatically won the match from the number two spot, the moment was more feel-good and heartwarming than crassly exploitative. Compared to later invocations of Guerrero's name, this was downright cathartic.
The rest of the show didn't pack the same emotive wallop, as the 2006 Royal Rumble was arguably one of the lower-quality Rumbles in quite a few years. The uninspired undercard (Mickie James-Ashley Massaro, JBL-Boogeyman) combined with a horrid main event (Kurt Angle vs. Mark Henry) to sink the entire card.
Alas, the uplift of seeing ultimate underdog Mysterio stand tall could mute most kinds of badness. At least the show had that.
Here are ten facts about the 2006 Royal Rumble you may not have known.
Justin has been a wrestling fan since 1989, and has been writing about it since 2009. Since 2014, Justin has been a features writer and interviewer for Fighting Spirit Magazine. Justin also writes for History of Wrestling, and is a contributing author to James Dixon's Titan series.