This is the first volume of my new series of articles title " Forgotten Classics" where each week I will re-live a epic encounter that has been lost in the annuls of the WWE Archives.
I hope you enjoy this series and my first match will be the epic encounter between two of the greatest in-ring performers of all time. This pick was inspired by Scott Beeby leaving it out of his original list of the Best Matches of the 2st Century.
The Undertaker vs Kurt Angle for The World Heavyweight Championship No Way Out 2006
In January 2006, the Worlds Champion Batista was forced to relinquish the title due to an injury he sustained at the hands of The Worlds Strongest Man Mark Henry during his and Rey Mysterios match-up against MNM in a Steel Cage.
As a result, a battle royal was held to determine the new champion however, to everyones surprise, the last participant was the then Raw Superstar Kurt Angle.
General Manager Teddy Long allowed the Olympic Gold Medalist to compete and after lastly eliminating Mark Henry, Kurt Angle became World Heavyweight Champion.
At the Royal Rumble 2006, Kurt Angle once again defeated Mark Henry by a roll-up and thus regaining the World Championship. However, his celebrations were cut short as on that night marked the return of the phenom himself The Undertaker on a horse and cart, who had his eyes set on the gold that Kurt Angle was in possession of.
As these two behemoths has their eyes locked on each other, the hands of the dead man were raised and a series of lightning bolts struck the ring causing it to collapse. The challenge had been issued, the champion had accepted and the stage was set for one of the greatest matches of all time to take place at No Way Out 2006.
This match had everything a classic should have: drama, storytelling, in-ring psychology, reversals and counters, near-falls and having the crowd hot for the entire matchup.
Many will feel that The Undertakers greatest match was against Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania 25 or that Kurt Angles greatest match was against Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania 21 but I personally feel that their greatest bout was this one, the bout that they had against one another.
A rematch at Wrestlemania 22 would have been epic but with Rey Mysterio winning the Royal Rumble and Randy Orton earning himself a title shot at the grandest stage of them all, it was impossible for this to occur.
Why it is forgotton
The simple reason of why this match is forgotten is that 2006 was a very slow year for the WWE. Apart from RVD winning the WWE Championship at One Night Stand, the TLC match between John Cena and Edge and Mick Foley being speared through a flaming table at Wrestlemania 22, I can't remember any other standout moments.
Adding to that the fact that the main storyline going into No Way Out was the Rey Mysterio vs Randy Orton match to determine who would main-event Wrestlemania, a match that should have been promoted like hell was treated as an after-thought and therefore no matter how good the match was, it has been forgotten since because of it.
When the inevitable DVD depicting the Dead Mans legendary career comes out or the less inevitable DVD of Kurt Angles career is released, I can only hope that this match will be one of those on it because it is a match worthy of recognition and adulation, a match that in my eyes is one of the, if not THE, greatest in the history of the WWE.
This has been an article by -The Instant Classic-