By 2006 WWE was smack in the middle of the Ruthless Aggression Era. Viewership had taken a major hit from the days of the Attitude Era and the product just wasn’t as hot as it once was.
WWE was also missing a number of the stars that had helped make its product so enjoyable.
Eddie Guerrero tragically passed away in November 2005, and the likes of Chris Jericho and Christian had left the company.
With its roster having taken a pretty massive hit, WWE still managed to put on a number of very entertaining pay-per-view matches. Albeit not as many as in years past or in the future.
These are the eleven best WWE pay-per-view matches of 2006.
11. John Cena vs. Triple H – WrestleMania 22
Hardcore fans were pretty much over the John Cena as WWE Champion experiment by WrestleMania 22. Little did they know he would still be competing for the title 15 years later.
Cena was still incredibly rough around the edges in the ring at the time he faced Triple H in the main event of WrestleMania 22. Triple H himself has said that he told Cena to his face that he sucked after the match.
The two would go on to have better matches together years down the line but their WrestleMania main event was pretty solid.
The Chicago crowd definitely wanted to see John Cena lose, which they were not given, but the atmosphere helped boost this to being a perfectly adequate way to close WrestleMania.
10. Rob Van Dam vs. Shelton Benjamin – Backlash
Rob Van Dam appeared to finally be getting his shot at the main event scene when he won Money in the Bank in 2006. Before he could focus on the WWE Championship, however, he had to make it through Shelton Benjamin.
The two did battle at Backlash with both the Money in the Bank briefcase and Benjamin’s Intercontinental Championship on the line.
The match was very good with the often-clumsy RVD meshing very well with Benjamin’s finesse. Van Dam got the win and captured his sixth and final Intercontinental Championship before winning the WWE title just two months later.
9. Chris Benoit vs. William Regal – No Mercy
It was rarely the WWE way to allow technical superworkers like Chris Benoit and William Regal to show off during this time. However, at No Mercy 2006, that is exactly what happened.
Two of the great technical wrestlers from the dying days of WCW once again got to mix it up as Regal was part of King Booker’s Court.
Competing for the United States Championship, the title had a very solid run during this time with Benoit consistently putting on good matches. This was one of the best and worth watching if you are okay with watching Benoit matches.