After experiencing the Royal Rumble from the previous year, the WWE realized that they have a very marketable tool to utilize when it came to advertising and showcasing the 2005 Royal Rumble. Someone must’ve said in a booking meeting, “Hey guys, we have two brands under the WWE umbrella, lets embrace it and make it a Raw vs Smackdown Royal Rumble”. And that they did. The 2005 Royal Rumble had a very Red vs Blue feel to it. With this being the foundation for this formula, it was safe to say that this would be the norm for years to come.
Similar to previous Rumble matches, 2005 delivered a mega-match card where you can say that arguably that every match was a main event-caliber match, even outside of the championship matches. For the third time in Rumble History, The Undertaker would be involved in a casket match, this time against Heidenrich; but this time, Taker would gain the victory. In addition, Triple H would retain the World Heavyweight Championship by defeating Randy Orton. JBL also retained his WWE title by defeating Big Show and Kurt Angle in a triple threat match.
The Rumble match began with a Raw vs Smackdown face off, as Chris Benoit was looking to go for the back-to-back win, starting off against Eddie Guerrero. Some of the top stars would be involved in this years match. However, due to the limited roster, some spots were filled in with jobbers or wrestlers who were pulling double-duty that night, like Shawn Michaels and Kurt Angle. However, we would see a blast from the past, as both Batista and John Cena, the last two in the ring, eliminated each other. Shades of 1994 were reappearing in everyone’s mind, thinking that Wrestlemania 21 would hold similar stipulations like Wrestlemania 10. However, an enraged and evidently injured Vince McMahon protested this decision and restarted the match. After the restart, Batista threw Cena over the top rope to become the winner.
Reports would later indicate that Batista was supposed to win the Rumble match cleanly, but he made a very large mistake in allowing himself to be dumped over the top rope and onto the floor with Cena. So, everything you saw regarding the refs arguing over the decision and Vince McMahon’s anger was all unscripted. Yikes.
Maurice D. Proffit is a Writer for Rant Sports