I really thought Rey had a chance to win the 2005 Royal Rumble as he lasted through most of the match. Okay, I never really thought Rey would win, except after he lasted so long in the previous Royal Rumble Match. It’s that whole cruiser weight thing. VKM loves the bigger wrestlers and seems to shrug the smaller ones aside, so when the Cruiserweight Championship was eliminated, I didn’t think Rey would win any higher Title. Boy was I wrong, and glad I was!
The on January 29th the WWE presented the Royal Rumble from the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. On Heat prior to the PPV, Finlay defeated Brian Kendrick. Then the Royal Rumble began with Gregory Helms, Kid Kash, Funaki, Jamie Noble, Nunzio and Paul London fought in a 6 Way Cruiserweight Match for the Cruiserweight Title. Kash went in as Champ, but Helms defeated him to become the new Cruiserweight Champion. Helms held the Title for 385 days – impressive! Mickie James defeated Ashley with Trish as Special Guest Ref. Prior to the match Mickie to Trish that she loved her, but it didn’t tweak Trish out enough to automatically hand Ashley the win. Boogeyman defeated JBL with Jillian Hall. Cena defeated Edge, with Lita, to win the WWE Championship. Angle defeated Mark Henry, with Daivari, to retain the World Heavyweight Championship.
The Royal Rumble Match started with Trip and Rey as entrants numbers one and two. They fought, the worked together to eliminate Simon Dean. Flair came in at #5 and made the mistake of rushing Trip. Trip sidestepped Flair who went over the top and out. Kane came in at #9. This was his 10th Royal Rumble Match in a row, and with it he tied Rikishi for the record. RVD came in at #20 and mostly cleaned house. HBK came in at #25 and eliminated a couple of entrants before he was distracted by VKM’s music, then Shane-O-Mac snuck up behind HBK and eliminated him. They continued to fight outside the ring. Trip, Orton and Rey were the final three in the match. They tried to eliminate Rey, but both got hit with the 619, then he eliminated Trip. Trip beat up Rey on the steps and threw him into the ring for Orton to eliminate, but Rey countered and eliminated Orton for the win. Rey lasted 1:02:12, breaking Benoit’s record from 2004. Rey paid tribute to Eddie, saying he won the match for him. Rey was the second person to win from the #2 spot, the first being VKM in 1999.
Orton urged Rey to put his Title shot on the line at No Way Out. Orton made a number of disparaging remarks about Eddie that got him huge heat from the fans for being so distasteful and disrespectful. Rey put the Title shot on the line and Orton won. Teddy Long re-added Rey’s name to the Title match at WM22 making it a Triple Threat Match with Angle. Rey won the World Heavyweight Championship and was billed the ‘Underdog Champion’ on Smackdown. Rey later ended up defeating Orton and Angle in two separate matches to retain his Title. During JBL’s celebration when he became the US Champ, he stated that he should be the World Heavyweight Championship. They were scheduled to face off at Judgment Day, but before that Rey lost non-title matches against Henry and Khali and fought Kane to no contest. Rey defeated JBL with a 5 star frog splash at the PPV, then tricked JBL into losing his US Title to Lashley when JBL decided to take on all comers, the way Rey had previously. That same night, May 26th, on Smackdown JBL announced that if he didn’t defeat Rey in the main event for the World Heavyweight Championship, then JBL would leave Smackdown for good. JBL lost and left Smackdown as the fans sang him out of the arena. This was all done as JBL had a serious back injury and he did later return to Smackdown, but riding announce to replace Taz.
Going into One Night Stand Rey was scheduled to face Sabu. Both ended up being unable to continue their match after a triple jump DDT through a table. Rey continued to hold his Title when he defeated Henry via DQ. Chavito handed Henry a chair. Rey acted like he’d been hit by the chair, taking a page from Eddie’s playbook.
King Booker won a Battle Royal to become the #1 contender. Booker and Rey faced off at the Great American Bash. Chavito came to the ring under the guise of helping Rey, but then turned on Rey and hit him with a chair. Booker pinned Rey and won the World Heavyweight Championship. Rey and Booker had a rematch on Smackdown, but Chavito helped Booker retain the Title.
Rey and Chavito started feuding as Chavito came out saying that Rey stole Eddie from Chavito and the rest of the world. Rey wasn’t a Guerrero and had only been leeching off Eddie and the Guerrero name. Vickie ‘accidentally’ cost Rey a match against Chavito, but then aligned herself against Rey with Chavito and started to become one of the most hated heels in WWE history! Rey went on to defeat Chavito in a Falls Count Anywhere Match at No Mercy. Chavito challenged Rey to an I Quit Match which happened two weeks later. Chavito attacked Rey’s knee during the match where Rey finally quit. During the match Rey suffered a torn ACL and Patella tendon tear in his left knee that required surgery and had Rey out of action for ten months.
That was one heck of a run for Rey, a man many said was too small to every be World Heavyweight Championship. While some people still really have a problem that Rey held the World Heavyweight Championship over the WWE Championship, it is what it is and I really think that Rey was very deserving after all the hard work he put into the ring over so many years. My only big disappointment was that Rey had to dedicate his Royal Rumble Match win to Eddie when Eddie, a very deserving man, never won it on his own.