In 2006, No Way Out was a Smackdown exclusive pay-per-view once again. To be honest, this show did not have many redeeming qualities. I am sorry, but it just was not worth the time or money.
Randy Orton and Rey Mysterio had a fun feud over a future World Title match. The undercard was dreadful. You could definitely see the "official" brand extension coming to an end. Months later, ECW was added to Smackdown shows (and tours).
The one bright spot was Undertaker challenging Kurt Angle for the World Heavyweight Championship. With that being said, let's focus on the five best moments involving this feud!
In 2006, WWE made a huge blunder of closing the Royal Rumble pay-per-view without the actual 30-man main event. Instead, Kurt Angle. vs Mark Henry ended the night.
Clearly, the company has learned their lesson.
Such a move was done for one reason and one reason only. Undertaker was going to return after the match and "scare" Angle into a title match by destroying the ring.
As the video shows, it was a cool moment—I will give the company that. They made an effort to hype up a smaller show by closing a bigger show with a hook leading into the next month.
Officially, both men were face characters. Thus, their upcoming feud was going to be very interesting on the Road to WrestleMania.
Right or wrong, Angle always struck me as somebody who cared about title victories—not so much in 2012 (for obvious reasons), but his WWE career was filled with gold.
Some (Shawn Michaels and Chris Jericho are great examples) just do not care for belts as time goes on. The amount of "wins" you have means very little to a man's legacy.
Undertaker returned as his Deadman character in March of 2004. He spent a lot of time on Smackdown during those years. Yet, he never won the World Title.
In that two year span, Taker could have had a run at the top if he really cared. At that point in time, it would not have served much purpose.
That all changed in 2006.
Undertaker made his intentions very clear. He had beaten many men and won many titles in his career. Now, he wanted to take on Kurt Angle for the World Title.
Here, you had a man who won many titles versus a man who had not worn gold in years...
Just like John Cena vs. The Rock earlier this year, the main event feud at No Way Out was very simple.
"I have to defeat you."
"No, I will be victorious!"
You can't get any more straight forward than that. It was a simple premise, yet a very intriguing concept. One man wanted to win, while the other proclaimed the same thing.
In your heart, you knew one would fall short.
There were no needed "swerves." No crazy "Attitude Era style" storyline was added. Their families were not included for extra buzz.
It was just two men who would do everything in their power to win the World Title.
Honestly, the fans needed to see this match on free television. I understand not many saw the classic at No Way Out live. A few weeks later, WWE gave it to everybody.
I am not sure if this was their final match against each other, but it was their last high profile battle in WWE history. Angle was gone from the company months later, and Taker was busy feuding with The Great Khali.
Needless to say, both men delivered once again. As great as their No Way Out match was, you could make a claim for this match being even better. It was just amazing to witness.
I highly suggest watching the Smackdown re-match as well. Whatever expectations fans had for these two legends, it was easily surpassed.
As most remember, Mark Henry ended up interfering and cost Undertaker the match. Angle then went on to defend his title a month later against Randy Orton and Rey Mysterio.
While this match was interrupted, their match at No Way Out was not...
Kurt Angle vs. The Undertaker for the World Heavyweight Championship headlined a Smackdown pay-per-view in February of 2006. Thinking back, it just may have been the best main event of the entire year.
The two had matches before. This was not a first time ever clash or anything like that. However, it felt very, very new and fresh in 2006.
On top of that, both were fan favorites. That is a rare for a main event. Leading into Wrestle Mania, could you really see either man losing?
With Michael Cole and Tazz at commentary, the live audience in Baltimore, and millions more watching on pay-per-view, Undertaker and Kurt Angle came through with an epic match.
I do not use the word "epic" a lot, but it fits here.
For nearly 30 minutes, they tore down the house. Nobody interfered. There were no distractions. It was just two men in the main event focused on a major title in the business. That's all you can ask for.
After many near falls, the ending sequence saw Angle roll up Taker for the three count clean in the middle of the ring. The champion retained his title but just barely. He knew he was in the fight of his life and just escaped with the gold.
The D+ show ended with an A grade quality main event that will live on forever.
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