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WRESTLING COLUMNS

The Year In Review
January 8, 2006 by Christopher Flores


The year 2005 in the world of wrestling had its ups and its downs. The wrestling world saw tragedies occur as well as moments you can cherish forever. 2005 brought out the best in some and also brought out the worst in others. The wrestling wars have slowly turned the corner and in 2006 could be the year of two promotions battling it out. Overdrawn storylines, pathetic gimmicks, good and bad matches, 2005 can be remembered for just being another year of sports entertainment.

In January of 2005 it marked the beginning of Austin Aries title reign in Ring of Honor. Aries was the man who did the unthinkable and was able to defeat Samoa Joe and end his 21 month title reign. On that same night Aries also took over Generation Next and lead the brash arrogant group into 2005. Aries first title defense came against Colt Cabana, the man he laid out many months ago. Aries would go on and retain the belt holding the title for 6 months.

Also in January there is the tradition that is called the Royal Rumble. An event that has been around the WWE since 1988. A 30 man over the top battle royal that the winner receives a title shot at the big show WrestleMania. The man who won the rumble in 2004, Chris Benoit started it off with Eddie Guerrero. The two dazzled the crowd lasting near the end for both. The highlights of the rumble were the war of Raw vs. Smackdown taking each other to the limit. Muhammed Hassan was embarrassed by both Raw and Smackdown superstars and taken out with much ease. The ending came with two up in coming stars in Batista and John Cena back and forth they went. The chairman Vince McMahon restarted the match and when the dust settled and the smoke cleared Dave Batista walked out the winner and cashed himself a title shot at WrestleMania.

In February, Ring of Honor celebrated their third year anniversary with Austin Aries defeating Samoa Joe in a rematch for the world title. Jimmy Rave scoring victories over both CM Punk and AJ Styles. Dunn & Marcos won a Scramble Cage match that with Jack Evans in it amazes all crowds. In TNA the feud against AJ Styles and Christopher Daniels heated up as Styles won a 30 minute Iron man match to retain his X division title. Jeff Jarrett still had his world title as did Triple H in the WWE. Speaking of the WWE, JBL survived a barb-wired cage match with Big Show that teased in the end Batista going to Smackdown.

Christopher Daniels finally got the X division title as he defeat AJ Styles along with Elix Skipper and Ron Killings in an Ultimate X match. In Ring of Honor the term 6 man tag was used well as ROH had a Trios tournament as teams of 3 faced off in a one night tournament. The Rottweilers of Homicide, Ricky Reyes, Rocky Romero won, defeating the team of Generation Next, Austin Aries, Jack Evans and Roderick Strong. But the month of March was famous for Batista turning against Evolution and going against the leader Triple H at WrestleMania 21. WrestleMania 21 went Hollywood as Hulk Hogan made a surprise taking out Muhammed Hassan. Kurt Angle and Shawn Michaels fought in what many called an early pick for the match of the year. After many people couldn't get the job done, John Cena did so by taking out JBL and becoming the world champion. Batista finished off WrestleMania 21 defeating Triple H and becoming heavyweight champion.

The month of April started off with controversy as ROH had a tournament with NJPW to decide the Best American Super Juniors. But the booking was done out of whack as Kendo Kashin, under a mask called Dragon Soldier B won the tournament but was crapped on by the ROH fans. The month of April also saw the first defense from Batista as he took on Triple H once again and walked out still world champion. But the biggest story for the WWE in April was the break up of the tag team of Rey Mysterio and Eddie Guerrero. Eddie was pissed that he couldn't defeat Rey so he took out his frustrations and that lead to there demise as a tag team. The break up also caused them to lose there tag team titles to the new team MNM. In In TNA they attempted the unthinkable of having every match inside a steel cage. The over kill of the cage killed the pay per view itself and showed that it shouldn't be done again.

John Cena in the month of May made his first title defense defeating JBL in one of his best matches of the year beating JBL in a I Quit match. In TNA a change came as well as AJ Styles was able to take the belt of Jeff Jarrett and become World champion once again in his young career. Samoa Joe the dominating former world champion came one step closer to a triple crown in ROH winning the Pure title from his protégé Jay Lethal.

In June ROH did the unthinkable and had one of there top stars heading to the WWE in CM Punk. Punk screwed not just the fans but the company and basically used ROH to win the world title from Austin Aries. Punk went from top face of the night into the biggest heel in ROH history in a matter of minutes. Raven finally accomplished his goal since he came to TNA and won the NWA world title. John Cena surely the biggest face in the WWE switched brands when he went from Smackdown to Raw, Batista did the same as did Chris Benoit, Christian, Muhammed Hassan, Carlito, RVD and others. Also in TNA, FSN and them stopped showing the program on Fox Sports as it wasn't going the way TNA wanted it too.

July was centered on a good character entered into a horrible storyline and done at the wrong time and wrong place. Muhammed Hassan from the beginning of January had begun to get the big heel heat that was suspected from the character. But turning him into a terrorist and performing a terrorist acted angle is were it died. July 7th a terrorist attack occurred in London so happens that the same day Smackdown aired there taped show of a terrorist based angle. Now that started the shooting at Hassan as he took bullet after bullet and Hassan slowly was killed off from there. CM Punk in ROH continued his reign as world champion and the hottest angle in ROH history. Matt Hardy, the internet darling due to his issues with Adam "Edge" Copeland and Amy "Lita" Dumas debuted in ROH in July taking on the Fallen Angel Christopher Daniels. OVW known as the development camp for WWE took a new change as Paul Heyman became head booker after Jim Cornette was released from WWE.

In August CM Punk finally did say good bye to ROH and headed off to the WWE. John Cena successfully defended his world title against Chris Jericho, who left the WWE to concentrate on his music. Also in August OVW saw a new change as Johnny Jeter beat Brent Albright to win the world title and shock the world turning heel on his tag partner Matt Cappotelli. James Gibson became ROH world champion and said it was the greatest honor of his life. In one of TNA's greatest matches Samoa Joe defeated AJ Styles in the finals of the Super X Cup tournament. Icon versus Legend was the tagline as Shawn Michaels squared off against Hulk Hogan. Michaels for the whole month produced quality promos in hyping up the match but came to the losing end against Hulk Hogan.

In ROH history the greatest wrestler to never win the world title has always been "American Dragon" Bryan Danielson. Danielson finally did just that as he defeated James Gibson to become ROH world champion. Roderick Strong won the second ever Survival of the Fittest to get himself a title shot against Danielson down the road. TNA began to speculate of the rumors on who will debut on October 1st when TNA has its first show on Spike TV. Samoa Joe did it again as he fought AJ Styles and Christopher Daniels in a three way that was given 5 stars by Dave Meltzer; Styles won the match becoming the first ever 5-time X division champion.

Samoa Joe the ROH legend and TNA submission machine defined why he is the best North American worker as he wrestled Kenta Kobashi in what many are calling Ring of Honor's greatest match ever. But October wasn't about Joe's streak of great matches but the return of Raw on USA network were they put out all the stops including a ladder match pitting Matt Hardy vs. Edge along with an Iron-man match with Kurt Angle against Shawn Michaels. October also is know for TNA debuting on SpikeTV, as Team 3D better known as the Dudley Boyz debuted on the first show and showed that TNA might be the best alternative to WWE on television. WWE were back to there same tricks as Vince McMahon performed what many are calling one of the worst segments to ever hit the airwaves as he portrayed Dr. Heiny and was pulling JR out of his own ass.



November was the month of a tragedy as the shocking death of Eddie Guerrero silenced millions of fans world wide. Latino Heat known for his lying, cheating and stealing ways was stolen from us all too soon and will be missed by all as his charismatic ways and wrestling abilities made him one of the best to lace his boots. The month also brought out a shock of its own as Christian Cage, best to WWE fans as Christian made his debut on TNA's PPV Genesis and became the biggest "jump" in TNA history. The hottest feud in the wrestling world was taking place in Kentucky with the great booking by Paul Heyman, Matt Cappotelli finally got even with Johnny Jeter and won the OVW world title.

December saw Samoa Joe make himself be known as not just a great wrestler but now a dominate individual. Samoa Joe became the fifth person to win ROH and TNA gold following the lines of Amazing Red, Low Ki, Christopher Daniels and AJ Styles. He defeated AJ Styles to become the X division champion. WWE never seemed to amaze the wrestling world as they showed a disturbing angle of referee Tim White committing "suicide" the storyline was pointless and made what already was a bad pay per view an even worse experience.

So there you have it from me the things in 2005 that stand out among all, now did I miss something's I much likely did but I put down everything that stands out so hope you enjoy

by Christopher Flores..
Andrew William Hill wrote:
If I might propose one final acknowledgement for the wrestling year of 2005... Ring of Honor managed to close out the year with a tremendous GHC junior heavyweight title match between Low Ki and KENTA at Final Battle 2005. In a mind-blowing spectacle of numerous nearfalls and tremendous displays of athleticism that rivaled (in my opinion) the legendary Joe vs. Kobashi match, ROH capped off a great year, leaving wrestling fans begging for more and looking forward to 2006.
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