The booking in WWE heading into WrestleMania 22 created a lot of chaos heading into the biggest event of the year. WWE had three major attraction matches each year for the event in that timeline. The WWE Championship match, World Championship match, and The Undertaker’s undefeated streak would give the company three main eventer caliber matches.
However, the Smackdown side of things had a sloppy build with a rushed triple threat World Championship match involving Randy Orton, Rey Mysterio, and Kurt Angle. WWE also had a lackluster idea for Undertaker that year by facing Mark Henry in a casket match. The previous No Way Out 2006 event featured Undertaker and Angle having a better match than both of their bouts on the bigger event. WWE could have benefited more from saving Undertaker vs Angle at WrestleMania 22.
It Would’ve Been A Better Use Of The Streak
Mark Henry deserves a lot of credit for finally getting his ideal run in the latter half of the 2000s decades when returning with the intimidating heel character. Unfortunately, no one bought Henry as a viable threat to end The Undertaker’s undefeated streak heading into WrestleMania 22. The casket match stipulation was limiting, but they did as well as they could have in the spot.
Undertaker’s streak became arguably the most compelling part of WrestleMania during that chapter of WWE. The matches with Randy Orton, Batista, Edge, and Shawn Michaels were pivotal to each show having such success. WrestleMania 22 stands out as the odd year during that time when he was in a secondary match barely discussed from the card.
Kurt Angle was having one of the best stints of his career playing a serious version of his character. The wrestling machine persona was seeing him have classic match after classic match with just about every opponent. Undertaker’s streak would have been in doubt against Angle with fans completely buying into him tapping anyone out at that time.
It Would’ve Been A Better Use Of Angle’s Momentum
The idea of WWE misusing Kurt Angle by putting him in a World Championship match at WrestleMania 22 seems ridiculous in theory, but he wasn’t used to the best of his abilities. Angle felt forced into the already established feud between Randy Orton and Rey Mysterio. WWE booked Mysterio to win the Royal Rumble match and a title shot in honor of the late Eddie Guerrero.
Orton cut offensive promos insulting the death of Eddie and conned Mysterio into putting his title shot on the line. The storyline ended with them both becoming the #1 contenders to challenge Angle in a triple threat match for the World Championship. WWE only gave the three top stars nine minutes due to other matches running longer than expected.
Angle didn’t feel needed in the match despite being the World Champion heading into it. Much like The Undertaker’s situation, Angle felt more important at the previous No Way Out 2006 event. The match between Angle and Undertaker seemed more natural for their momentum and stature in the company at the time than the WrestleMania 22 matches they were given.
It Was The Biggest Possible Match That Year
The biggest argument for The Undertaker and Kurt Angle main eventing WrestleMania 22 is that it was the biggest realistic match. Angle didn’t even have to have the World Championship involved since Undertaker’s undefeated streak was enough to sell the importance. The Raw side had big matches of Triple H vs John Cena and Shawn Michaels vs Vince McMahon, but neither of them had the same appeal as Undertaker and Angle closing the show.
A scenario where Angle dropped the belt to Randy Orton before WrestleMania could have given them the big moment of Rey Mysterio avenging Eddie Guerrero and placed Angle in a more important match. Undertaker feuded with Mark Henry for months before the big show and should have won the rivalry long before the casket match. Both men ending their previous feuds could have freed them up to work together.
The in-ring chemistry between Angle and Undertaker at No Way Out 2006 gave them each one of their best matches. WWE saving that for WrestleMania 22 could have created a more memorable bout to still get talked about more today. Angle felt like he could have been the one to end the streak and the fans would have invested in the story. Mysterio and Orton would have benefited from having their own match as well to pay off their individual story. Undertaker beating Angle to keep the streak going would have been the perfect main event on that given night.