Kevin Federline Attacks John Cena & "I JUST KICKED STAN!": The Cultaholic Time Capsule - November 2006
Let's take another trip in the time machine...
With Halloween come and gone, let's take a moment to appreciate something just as terrifying: the 2006 WWE Cyber Sunday pay-per-view.
No longer content to promote stilted fan interactivity on a Tuesday night, WWE moved its Taboo pay-per-view to Sundays, completing the transition with an appropriate name change.
Not that it made the Raw-branded event any better - as far as "power to the people" went, the voting choices for this event were like picking between "cod liver" and "ipecac syrup" for toppings at the world's worst ice cream parlor.
I, however, had more interesting selections to make.
For this time capsule, I looked back upon Bryan Alvarez's Figure 4 Weekly (as well as assorted reviews and news pieces) from 15 years ago this week, cherry-picking news items that piqued my curiosity. With hindsight and a historical lens at our disposal, let's look back and see just what was in the news as October turned to November in 2006.
And we begin with a definite sign of the times.
1. WWE champion John Cena takes the fall in the main event of the Cyber Sunday pay-per-view, after being attacked by aspiring rapper Kevin Federline
Federline's ill-received album "Playing With Fire" was released the previous week, and, well, as far as commercial tie-ins go, this was like Jeremy Piven promoting that car salesman movie at the expense of the viewer's brain cells. Of course, few would have ever guessed that this would eventually all lead to Federline defeating Cena in a televised match, but that's wrestling for ya: unpredictable when you don't want it to be.
It must be said, though, that Federline was apparently very well regarded backstage in WWE, as he had a good attitude, and was highly respectful of others. Can't say that for every outsider that's passed through.
2. Lita wins the final championship of her distinguished career, earning the vacant Women's title in a tournament final at the pay-per-view
Lita defeated Mickie James in the finals, which was a bit surprising, since word had leaked that Lita was on her way out of the company. Indeed, three weeks later, Lita lost the title to James at Survivor Series, in what was Lita's "retirement" match (guest appearances notwithstanding).
Should be noted that WWE lost both Trish Stratus and Lita to retirement about two months apart. Coupled with losing Stacy Keibler earlier that summer, and that's a lot of recognizable women's stars headed out the door in a tiny span.
3. Ric Flair and Roddy Piper become World Tag Team champions after defeating The Spirit Squad
Flair and a legendary partner of the fans choosing (either Piper, Sgt. Slaughter, or Dusty Rhodes) would vie for the titles. It wasn't the best indication of prestige in the tag scene of 2006 that the knockaround cheerleaders were dropping the belts to two middle aged legends that had seen better days (especially Piper).
As it turns out, though, it was a blessing that Piper was voted into the match. A subsequent hospital visit (owed to recent pains suffered in the ring) led to doctors discovering that Piper had Hodgkin's lymphoma, for which he underwent radiation therapy. Had Piper not been active as a wrestler in this period, the disease may not have been discovered in time.
4. Shawn Michaels kicks "Stan"
One of the funnier moments of DX's hit-and-miss comeback was Michaels' unprovoked assaults on various backstage staffers at Cyber Sunday. Afraid he was losing his edgy mojo, Michaels began firing off superkicks at innocent bystanders, the first of whom was a tall headset-wearing fellow named Stan. This gave us the immortal line, "I JUST KICKED STAN!"
Stan would go on to wrestle under the names Tye Dillinger and Shawn Spears. Something tells me "The Chairman" might have a handy weapon for repelling that Sweet Chin Music today.
5. Over in TNA, seven different wrestlers win the first ever "Fight For Your Right" reverse battle royal
Yes, a reverse battle royal, where participants fight at ringside while trying to enter the ring before the others can. The first seven to do so "win" that stage, and then a traditional battle royal ensues from there.
In an unrelated story, Vince Russo was rehired by TNA the previous month.
6. Tully Blanchard leaves WWE shortly after a confrontation with JBL backstage
Though quitting his short-lived backstage role was also attributed to other reasons (reportedly disliking the hectic travel schedule), Blanchard was called out in front of the locker room by JBL, who apparently had an axe to grind with the former Horseman over alleged poor treatment toward Bradshaw and others years ago. In his tirade, JBL reportedly called Blanchard a drug addict and a fake preacher.
7. Jim Ross signs a short term extension to continue broadcasting for WWE
WWE had previously made moves to try and fill JR's chair on Raw, whether it was attempting to sign UFC announcer Mike Goldberg, or by putting Jonathan Coachman and Joey Styles next to Jerry Lawler. As it were, Ross remained a full time WWE announcer deep into 2009, and then made sporadic appearances before finally parting ways with the organization in 2019.
8. At ROH's The Bitter End, Homicide defeats Steve Corino in a 27-minute "Fight Without Honor"
The years-long feud between Corino and Homicide finally came to an end in Philadelphia, after a prolonged slugfest. In the post-match, Corino allowed Homicide to shave his head, after which the two shook hands.
A look back at this show, and it's staggering how many of the talents are still prominent enough today: KENTA, Bryan Danielson, Samoa Joe, Roderick Strong, Colt Cabana, Christopher Daniels, The Briscoes, Claudio Castagnoli, etc. Hey, speaking of...
9. Claudio Castagnoli and TJ Wilson are both offered WWE developmental deals
These would be Cesaro and Tyson Kidd, two men that would hold WWE Tag Team gold together in about eight years time. In fact, Kidd's last active run in the business before a tragic injury-spurred retirement was as Cesaro's partner.
Wilson signed his deal shortly after the story came out, whereas Castagnoli wouldn't join up with WWE until the late summer of 2011. And yet, they still found each other anyway. Life is funny like that.
10. WWE announces that they'll reveal all seven matches for that year's Survivor Series on their website, announcing one match a day for seven straight days
On the one hand, it's kinda weird not to have matches be revealed during the TV broadcasts, motivated by a challenge or story development. On the other, it's somewhat of a nice throwback to when classic "WWF" announced their entire pay-per-view cards well in advance. Sure beats the modern norm of two or three matches suddenly getting signed on the go-home shows.
11. 1980s WWF star Corporal Kirchner is revealed to be alive, shortly after announcements were made that he'd passed away
Kirchner (perhaps best known for his WrestleMania 2 bout with Nikolai Volkoff) was said to have died on October 15, 2006, with WWE.com even reporting on it. However, it was revealed to be a case of mistaken identity, as an individual completely unknown to Kirchner and his family had died. Somehow, that person was believed to be Kirchner.
The real Kirchner (who had long since dropped out of wrestling and was working as a truck driver) got the word out that he was alive and well soon after. In fact, months later, he even began wrestling again for several indie outfits, perhaps owed to the story resurfacing his name.
12. Eric Bischoff returns as Monday Night Raw GM for a night
Bischoff was also guest referee for a match the previous night at Cyber Sunday, both appearances coming as tie-in to release of his memoirs, Controversy Creates Cash. Naturally, Bischoff's appearance on Raw culminated with Bischoff being humiliated at the hands of D-Generation X, as well as the immortal Big Dick Johnson.
13. WWE releases Psicosis shortly following an arrest
The release came shortly after Psicosis was arrested for allegedly stealing a car at gunpoint, and then smashing into several other vehicles during the ensuing police chase.
At the time of his release/arrest, Psicosis had been long absent from WWE programming. He and Mexicools partner Super Crazy split earlier that summer, and Crazy went on to defeat him in a brief match on SmackDown the following month. Since then, Psicosis was invisible until this story broke.
14. At a spate of ECW house shows, The Full Blooded Italians lose to "The Riot Squad"
That's how the team was listed in results on The History of WWE's archives, and understandably, it caught my eye. Did Ruby Riott and Liv Morgan go back in time and beat Little Guido and Tony Mamaluke?
No, as I quickly recalled, these individuals were former Tag Team champion Doug Basham and developmental project Derrick Neikirk, shrouded in riot gear and black masks. They were Paul Heyman's personal security detail on the ECW brand, protecting him from various angry babyfaces. Still, they were masked, so we can't *prove* that neither of them wasn't Liv Morgan...
15. Speaking of Heyman, in the main event at an ECW house show in Battle Creek, MI, the ECW boss loses an "Extreme Rules" match to hometown hero Rob Van Dam
There had to have been multiple no-shows or injuries or something, because the FBI faced each other in a singles bout, while Heyman closed the show against Van Dam. And you thought Finn Balor falling from the turnbuckles was a weird way to end a WWE event.