Bret vs. Shawn is an absolute classic if it goes about 30 minutes shorter. Bret doing countless submissions and chinlocks got boring as hell after awhile. Again good, but not great by any means.
Nobody is right OR wrong, just our opinions.
With regards to the triple threat, the only thing wrong with it was perhaps the outcome was a little predictable. I don't think that The Rock did defend the title till Summerslam, simply to put Lesnar over, but it made Lesnar look good.
Undertaker has always been good IMO, he has never really had a bad period and Angle is just flat out awesome anyway, so thats why the match was so good in many peoples eyes.
We should debate Austin/Rock another time, would be fun.
Date: July 11, 2004
Location: Hartford Civic Center, Hartford, Connecticut
Commentators: Jerry Lawler, Jim Ross
So Benoit won the title at Mania and since then it’s been Benoit vs. HHH because HHH can’t allow anyone to be a star on Raw other than him. We also have Batista vs. Jericho and Edge vs. Orton which is considered something of a modern classic for no apparent reason. This is an odd time for the company as they’re just breaking out of that 2003 funk but they haven’t hit their stride yet. It’s coming though. Let’s get to it.
The opening video is about Benoit’s rise and now that we’ve talked about him enough it’s time for HHH to take over our screen. The announcers aren’t at ringside here as they had this weird idea about putting them way in the back for no explained reason.
Tajiri/Rhyno vs. Jonathan Coachman/Garrison Cade
Uh…yeah. Seriously how do I even talk about this? This is like an opener on Heat, but a bad one. This was announced on Heat. Seriously, what was the thought osn this? To my great shock and awe, this has a backstory. For no apparent reason Eugene was made GM of Raw for a night and had a game of musical chairs for a title match. Tajiri was eliminated first and Coach got the last seat. This fell out of that.
Tajiri is actually popular. Coach wisely runs from Rhyno. I’ve never seen the appeal of Cade. The guy just isn’t that good and that’s all there is to it. Oh look: Rhyno vs. Garrison Cade on Pay Per View. Coach and Cade beat up Tajiri. Again, is there a reason this is happening? I mean was there NOTHING else to try?
After even more boring as hell stuff, we get green mist from Tajiri to Cade. Apparently the referee seeing green stuff on Cade’s formerly blonde hair is perfectly fine. This is making my head hurt and I’m not even fifteen minutes into it. Cade gets gored, Coach gets kicked and I need a stiff drink.
Rating: D. This was a glorified squash and it was just boring as hell. Tajiri was always good for some stuff, but Cade and Coach? Really? That’s the best you can come up with? This was one of the dumbest openers of all time and it’s also one of the least interesting. I mean just think about it: Tajiri and Rhyno vs. Garrison Cade and Jonathan Coachman. Think about that for a minute.
Evolution is in the back and they make fun of Eugene. Is there a reason for this? Ah Flair and Eugene have a tag title shot for no apparent reason. This was around the time where HHH was pretending to be his friend to set up their match at Summerslam. Evolution can’t find him though so HHH goes to find him. He’s with Benoit who is telling him that Evolution is using him.
We recap Jericho vs. Batista where the idea is Batista keeps knocking Jericho out with a really strong clothesline. No one can stop Batista, so Jericho is going to try.
Batista vs. Chris Jericho
It amazes me how much things can change in a few years as this would be main eventing a PPV in four years. Batista has very different music at this point. Jericho has the same. That’s the one thing Jericho has never changed and the more I think about it the better I think that is. Batista already has those shoulder blocks in the corner that he uses so often. So basically the problem here is that Jericho can’t do a damn thing because Batista is really strong.
I have no idea why I love it so much but I freaking love the jumping back elbow from the top or from the not top for that matter. It just looks freaking sweet. Batista drops an F bomb which is rather amusing. He starts going after Jericho’s head which makes sense for the clothesline finisher that you would assume is coming up. And then he works on the back. Sure why not. King is heel here but it’s just not working that well. He’s trying to be funny and it’s just failing.
Jericho makes a short comeback but Batista hits a HUGE spinebuster. That freaking hurt. Lionsault and Batista Bomb bots miss but reverse the order of those. Finally the Bomb hits and even though Jericho’s foot is on the rope the pin is counted anyway. Big win for the Animal before he has that name.
Rating: C+. This was FAR better than the previous match. Batista is really young at this point so he needed the big time experience here. Jericho was in a major rut at this point and this was a great example of that. He wouldn’t get out of it for awhile and would leave next summer.
HHH and Evolution are in the back and the rest of them leave. Flair moves and behind him is Eugene. HHH sits down with him and keeps manipulating him to eventually helping him win the title. He and Flair give Eugene a Flair robe. Does he just have a closet full of those to give out to people?
Raw Tag Titles: La Resistance vs. Eugene/Ric Flair
Take a guess as to who the champions are here. On a random note, Lillian in Go-Go Boots is AWESOME. Flair’s music cuts off the French national anthem to a huge cheer. The look on Flair’s face when he looks at Eugene is hilarious. Eugene and Conway start us off and the Kentucky guy struts. These two were a team in OVW called the Lords of the Ring who won like 10 tag titles there. He starts using a bunch of Flair moves resulting in the required freak out from Flair.
Flair hasn’t even been in yet. Flair finally comes in and Grenier is in trouble. He’s one of those guys that never actually did anything but had a job because he fit into a tag team. Flair for the most part probably used more basic stuff than anyone ever while making it work. I mean really, how many complex moves can you think of Flair using? He does really basic stuff but he does it so efficiently that he makes himself look great while at the same time making others look great. That’s a very rare quality.
The figure four goes on but Conway makes the save. Flair is RIDICULOUSLY popular here. For some reason this is getting some time. It says a lot when a guy like Flair, a member of the top heel stable, is getting cheered this much. There’s a massive row of signs that spell out WOO in the crowd. There are a lot more o’s in there though which I’d guess you figured out. Why is it that you never see guys use the front facelock in singles matches but you see it all the time in tags?
Without a tag, Flair gets hit by Au Revoir (the champions’ finisher) but Eugene Eugenes Up and beats the hell out of them. And then he knocks the referee down for the CHEAP DQ. Eugene hits a Stunner and Rock Bottom on them after the match.
Rating: C. I don’t think anyone was really expecting much here or a title change and that’s about what they got. This was by no means bad but it’s nothing great at all. Flair and Eugene were part of a far more important angle that would culminate with HHH beating up a retarded man on PPV. Still though, not awful at all but nothing special either.
Ad for Summerslam, which if I remember right was a pretty bad show.
We recap Matt Hardy and Lita vs. Kane. The idea here is kind of in depth but simple at the same time. So Matt loved Lita and wanted to marry her. Kane kind of stalked them for no reason other than he’s evil. Lita got pregnant and Matt proposed to her, but of course the baby is Kane’s. The reason though is she slept with Kane to prevent him from more or less killing Matt. That sets this up.
Matt Hardy vs. Kane
It’s no DQ here. No count out either according to JR. Kane’s music ROCKED back in the day. Matt gets a NICE pop. He always had that potential to be something big but they kept botching it. This is pure soap opera and it works great. They’re not sure who the baby belongs to here so that’s a major factor in this. JR says if Kane wants kids he should get married and do it the right way. That’s just amusing.
I’ve always loved that huge clothesline he’d hit off the top. To be fair though, Kane has always been one of my favorites. They’ve been in the ring maybe 45 seconds and we’re over five minutes into this. That fits though as it’s supposed to be a really serious feud so I’m fine with it. Kane gets tied up in the ropes and Matt goes OFF on him. Tombstone is countered into a Twist of Fate for two. A bad chokeslam hits on Matt as we’re waiting on Lita to get here.
Ah here she is. She bounces down to the ring and distracts Kane while he picks up the steps. Matt blasts the steps with a chair so they hit him in the head for the pin. I liked this more than I thought I would, but their Summerslam match was much better.
In the back Matt tells Lita he needs her to stay away from him until he can figure things out and for the sake of the baby.
Rating: B-. This is one of those matches where you have to consider the angle. This was sloppy and far more of a brawl than a traditional match, but that’s what it was supposed be. This came off as a big fight like it was supposed to be and I was into it. There’s some likely bias there but who cares? This worked pretty well I thought though and I liked it a lot more than most would.
We recap Edge vs. Orton. The idea here is that Orton has finally stopped being a pretty boy and is just being awesome, including the war with Foley at Backlash. Edge came back from injury and said someone had to stand up to Evolution and he’s going to start with Orton. When Edge got hurt, he was the hottest thing in the world, so this is by far the biggest match on the card as far as people drooling to see it.
Intercontinental Title: Edge vs. Randy Orton
Apparently the title has changed hands the most in July out of any month. Doesn’t really mean much but it’s a cool little factoid. Orton was just totally awesome as the ridiculously confident asshole that never lost. He’s held the belt forever here and this is just before he would rise to the main event picture and win the world title at Summerslam…before he had to hand it back to HHH a month later. Lawler has a crush on Orton I think.
Edge is using a lot of shoulder blocks and headlocks here. After about his fourth one, Orton tries to bail. And then he just comes back. Was there a point to that other than killing time? Ross says that this is for the title if you just tuned in. Make your own jokes. Orton is beating the hell out of Edge here. It amazes me how much his character has evolved over the years. Sweet damn Edge is boring as hell here. The fans like Orton actually.
Edge finally mixes it up a bit by hitting a nice missile dropkick off the top. Orton kicks the spear out of the way just like he’s done many times. Edge I beg of you: get a new freaking finisher. The Impaler is perfect. The fans are more or less split but there might be a slight lead for Orton. Orton does the Zeus/Giant neck spin thing that put Hogan out for months but on a guy that’s had neck surgery it doesn’t do much at all. Orton’s dropkick is freaking pretty. It just is.
And of course we get a chinlock. That makes this a real Orton match. The more I think about it the more I think a legdrop would hurt. Lawler and Ross argue about Edge’s hair. This is a LONG chinlock. Edge hits a dropkick into the ribs to get us back to even. This is long but not that interesting. It’s decent but from the thoughts I’ve heard about this before now I’d think it was a classic. By no means is that the case.
They crank things up a good bit and it gets a lot better. This has cracked twenty minutes and Orton goes for the RKO. Crowd is WAY into this. Let the near falls begin! After Orton takes the pad off the buckle he goes into it and there’s your spear to give Edge the belt. The spear had that explosion it needed to make it good too.
Rating: B. This was good but by no means a classic. This is a great example of a match where being long doesn’t exactly mean it’s great. Orton and Edge never really did anything spectacular here and it felt like a longer version of a regular match. It’s good, but by no means is it a classic.
This ran over 25 minutes and the first 20 are more or less a long Raw main event minus the good part. You cut ten minutes off of this and it's FAR better. The last three minutes are quite good though as far as drama and drawing the crowd in.
Ad for the Diva Search. Christy Hemme won but Michelle and Maria were in it as were three others that are gone now.
Molly Holly vs. Victoria
This is a number one contender’s match. Molly had her head shaved recently for no apparent reason but she has a wig with a chinstrap holding it on. I smell a comedy moment later on. Victoria is more recently known as Tara. She went from being this psycho chick to being some dancing chick with a bad theme song. Such a shame. Victoria busts out a sweet moonsault for two. We nearly get a countout as Victoria may have hurt her what appears to be neck. Ah it’s her shoulder. Got it.
Why do so many women use the handspring elbow? It’s not like it’s a unique move when so many people use it. Molly works on the shoulder for a LONG time, including throwing her arm first into the ropes. Would that hurt? I’m not sure actually. Widow’s Peak doesn’t work but she hits more or less a superkick for the pin.
Rating: D. This was your standard Raw Divas match. The division was just bad at this point and this was no exception. Trish was champion and was injured at the moment hence the no title thing here. This just didn’t interest me at all though, although I’ve seen FAR worse matches.
Ad for Summerslam with Stacy in a short skirt.
We recap HHH vs. Benoit which more or less has been the main feud since Mania. Benoit has the title now but HHH won’t leave him alone and then last month when there was Benoit vs. Kane for the belt, HHH and Shawn just HAD to do a 50 minute Hell in a Cell match. In short, HHH wouldn’t let Benoit be the top guy and next month Benoit lost it. Eugene is being manipulated by Evolution and Benoit is trying to explain this to Eugene but accidently hit him with a chair. Sadly I think he’ll be involved in the main event.
Raw World Title: Chris Benoit vs. HHH
They try to make it sound like HHH is the second best technical guy in the world. So in other words not only are they saying Benoit is best, but they’re BOTH better than Angle. That’s just funny. Benoit wasn’t at his best at this point, but when he was at his best HHH insisted he wasn’t ready to be a main event guy since Angle vs. Lesnar was the top feud and that would just leave Benoit to fight HHH and we couldn’t do that right?
HHH has the white boots here which just look idiotic but whatever. We start with some very nice technical and even chain stuff. I love chain wrestling but it rarely happens anymore. Benoit works on the shoulder to set up for the Crossface. That’s why he’s great: intelligence. The headbutt misses though and HHH takes over. This has been back and forth so far and solid stuff. If the referee stops the match, Benoit keeps the belt? Even if Benoit is the one that’s hurt? That makes no sense at all.
This was a very strange time as even logic went out the window as you can see. HHH busts out the GORDBUSTER! Benoit had hurt his chest earlier so that move makes a ton of sense. And that again is what we call psychology. Benoit hurt his sternum so HHH works on it. That’s intelligent. HHH is beating the hell out of him and his chest here. Sweet niblets those chops are awesome sounding. And here the abdominal stretch makes sense.
And now let’s hit the sleeper. It’s boring, but far less so than the chinlock as you could maybe get a win with it. The chinlock has never meant anything other than rest. Resting is fine, but at least try to have a point to it. Sharpshooter is hooked and HHH is in trouble.
We go to the Germans and we’ve got a solid as hell match here. And now we crank it up a bit as Benoit busts out a suicide dive. More like a running forearm through the ropes but it looked fine. The referee goes down and HHH calls for Eugene. Benoit hooks the crossface and Benoit tells Eugene to GET THE REF! HHH taps and no referee. Seriously, why do we need the retarded guy to be involved in the ending of a great title match?
Benoit jumps Eugene when he comes in out of possible protection. Again, he’s beating up a retarded guy but everything is fine with this I guess. Pedigree hits and still no referee. Can we get a second referee? I mean this is just stupid. It only gets two and we put the camera on Eugene of course. The guy in the far too small tights brings in a chair for HHH but then takes it back. This is officially the Eugene Show. And down he goes again.
Benoit gets the chair and takes out the running in Flair and Batista. Eugene is in AGAIN. This is just fucking stupid at this point. People are freaking LEAVING. Could it be because the damn retarded guy has become the focus of this PPV? Again, he’s a great example of a guy that was fine for a minor role but they’ve given him this massive spot and the people turned on him. Eugene doesn’t want to hit either guy, Benoit starts a tug-of-war and HHH gets smacked in the head with it.
The referee is STILL down. And Benoit rolls him up for the pin after HHH sits around for 20 seconds. AWFUL ending. Again, they managed to take a great match and make it about Eugene. This was completely blasted and the fans would soon totally turn on Eugene and the whole character to the point where they actually tried turning him heel.
Yeah that sums things up well. Oh and the retarded guy was the secret weapon of HHH. You have Dave Batista, Randy Orton and Ric Flair and you freaking pick Eugene? You deserve to lose buddy.
Rating: B. This was a great match until the last 7 minutes or so. Seriously, EUGENE was the focus of the ending of a PPV. That just does not work at all. He was a comedy character that got ridiculously over so they pushed him harder than he ever deserved to be. Nick Dinsmore, the guy that played him, is a good wrestler but this character simply didn’t work at this level. If you give this a legit finish, the match is FAR better and makes my head hurt far less.
Overall Rating: B-. It’s good, but at the same time this could have been SO much better. Orton vs. Edge is just not that good. It’s decent enough but at the same time it’s just the last 4 minutes or so that’s any good. The first twenty is like a REALLY long set up sequence. It’s good enough I guess but you chop ten minutes off of it and it’s DAMN good. It’s good but could have been far better. There’s no other way to put it.
The main event is solid for the most part but it is dying for a better finish. One thing you can’t say is that they didn’t give the main matches enough time as of the two major ones the short one is over 26 minutes long. It’s definitely not a bad show at all, but this could have been a much better show given what they had. Oh and less Eugene. That would have helped a lot.
The main event was a microcosm of Benoit's whole title reign. Since the Royal Rumble in 2003, people were clamoring for him to be champion. He finally achieves it at WM 20 and retains his title at Backlash. Ever since then, it was HHH vs. HBK reigniting their feud which made people forget that Benoit was still champion. He never got the chance to beat HHH or HBK clean in singles competition. HHH interfered in that great RAW match between HBK and Benoit. Benoit gave Kane probably his best match since WM 14 but of course HHH and HBK had to upstage him in quite possibly the worst HIAC ever. After Vengeance, Benoit and HHH had a decent Iron Man Match but Eugene had to stick his nose in there and cost HHH the match which lead to their Summerslam bout. It just felt to me that Benoit never got a fair shake with HHH and HBK and that was sort of the final nail in the coffin.
Edge and Orton was a decent match but it was basically a longer RAW match. Edge was just getting into his groove but he was injured a few months after that which set him back but at least we got to see him turn heel. Other than those two matches, everything else was pretty forgettable.
Date: June 26, 2005
Location: Thomas & Mack Center, Las Vegas, Nevada
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler, Jonathan Coachman
It’s a Raw show this time as we’re still in the middle of the damn single brand shows and will be for over another year. This is a two match show, but DAMN these are two great matches. We have Kurt Angle vs. Shawn Michaels the sequel and Batista vs. HHH in Hell in a Cell in the Mania rematch.
Also we have Christian vs. Jericho vs. Cena in a three way for the other Raw title. For over three weeks both belts were on Raw which was rather stupid but whatever. There are only six matches on the card, so I’d think that sums this up pretty well. Let’s get to it.
The opening video is about Cena being new to Raw and Batista not knowing what he’s doing in HIAC. Ok then. You can tell Big Dave is serious here: he calls HHH Hunter. Far more time spent on those two which makes sense I guess.
The arena has a casino theme. At least that makes sense.
Intercontinental Title: Carlito vs. Shelton Benjamin
This is about a month after the infamous Shelton vs. Shawn match so Shelton is the hottest thing in the company. Well he was until he dropped the title to Carlito who is still in the purple shorts six days prior to this. Coach is already annoying the hell out of me and we’re 6 minutes into the entire broadcast. This isn’t very interesting at all, although you could say the same thing about most of the Raw shows from this era.
Shelton is still pretty awesome as he continues dominating Carlito. Carly tries to run but Shelton decides he’s the better released guy and stops that. Apparently Benjamin has a concussion. That wouldn’t be allowed today but this was a simpler time I guess. He hits a sweet clothesline from the top and can’t immediately cover because of his head. The more recently fired one takes over and they actually chant for him. That’s a different one.
Let’s hit that chinlock! Shelton hits a Samoan Drop as we’ve got all kinds of cultures in this match. I want to punch Coach in the face. Carlito keeps trying to get a turnbuckle pad off and finally manages to do so. Those three words are fun to type in a row. I love the Dragon Whip, especially how it always hits people. Does no one watch tape? He gets the pad off and Shelton eats steal on the Stinger Splash. You know the rest.
Rating: D+. Not bad but a bit long and a bit boring at times. That and with the title change happening 6 days prior to this, there was no drama at all over who was winning. Carlito was somehow even less interesting at this point if you can believe that. I’ve seen worse though.
HHH and Flair are here.
Ross calls the Cell Satan’s Spa of Pain and Suffering. WHERE DOES HE COME UP WITH THESE THINGS?
We recap Christy Hemme vs. Victoria. This is over a swimsuit contest. Oh and Victoria (Tara) is insane, even though she has that idiotic I Ain’t The Lady to Mess With song.
Christy Hemme vs. Victoria
They start fast and Victoria does all kinds of evil things to Christy. This is non-title also since the title is on Smackdown at the moment. The cards in the set change based on who is in the current match. The fans don’t really care either. Lawler says this is about looks or whatever. Christy botches the hell out of a sunset flip. Yeah I’m stunned too.
Ross freaks because Christy can do a DDT. She can do one of the least complex moves of all time and she gets cheered for it. She goes for another sunset flip and Victoria drops down and grabs the ropes for the heel pin.
Rating: D-. The lack of failing is because these are two of the hottest Divas of all time. The match was totally awful though, if you didn’t guess that part.
Cena is with Todd Grisham, and talks about being the new kid. This is still rapper Cena which makes him sound like a guy that doesn’t belong in the spot that he’s in. This is greatly disturbing. In something very good though, he keeps that theme throughout the whole interview. That’s very nice indeed and it works very well as I like this promo.
We recap Kane vs. Edge. They met in the finals of a tournament for the #1 contenders’ spot and Lita turned on her husband Kane to join Edge. This was one that made people feel very sorry for Kane which was a great idea. Edge also married Lita on Raw, or at least tried to as Kane came up from under the ring which was an awesome moment. Keep in mind that I’m a big Kane mark. Kane tombstoning the minister is just awesome stuff.
Edge vs. Kane
I vaguely remember wanting to see this match. Wow I was about to be a senior in high school back then. Kane looks like a legitimate awesome face at this point. In something I like, Kane does the ten punches in the corner and then just goes off with punches, getting up to probably 25 or so. The fans want Matt, who is gone. In real life, Matt and Lita were dating and Lita left him for Edge, so WWE of course turned it into an angle. Have to love those heartfelt guys.
Apparently Lita is a crack whore. Odd as we’re not in an ECW town. Kane stays pissed off as he’s dominating this for the most part. Edge would be world champion in like 7 months so I’d say he wound up winning this one. The spear hits on the floor to hit the formula in full stride. Lawler gets in a decent line on JR, saying that in Oklahoma Hee-Haw was a documentary. Kane Kanes Up and JR says he’s setting Edge on fire here. Again, what does that mean?
Crowd is WAY into Kane here oddly enough. Edge hits a nice dropkick to block the top rope clothesline. Damn Lita is thin as hell here. Snitsky comes out and interferes THREE DAMN TIMES. Seriously, is there no reason at all to not have two referees in kayfabe? Not that I can think of. Anyway, eventually Edge accidently hits Gene with the MITB case, chokeslam ends it.
Rating: B-. This was a pretty solid upper midcard match, but Snitsky’s run in hurt it. The main thing here is that it gave Kane a clean pin over Edge, which makes Kane a big time threat again. Also, it’s nice seeing him getting a big win as they’re rare for him which to me sucks but whatever. Either way, this was pretty good.
We recap Angle vs. Michaels, which mostly was everyone wanting a rematch after their classic at Mania, sort of like what Taker did but less intense.
Shawn says Vengeance will be his. See what he did there? Nice one. Imagine me saying that in the cheesiest voice imaginable.
Kurt Angle vs. Shawn Michaels
This should be good and I believe Becca says it’s Shawn’s best match so that’s saying a lot. Seriously, what purpose does Coach serve? I know he’s supposed to be the heel analyst, but he makes points that Jerry should be making so Jerry, who is far better, has less to do. We get a long feeling out/technical sequence to start which I can’t complain at all about. Angle takes over with some solid stuff on the mat but we’re still mostly in the feeling out stage at this point.
Angle hooks a half crab to start working on the ankle. Nice. For a guy his size, Shawn could throw a damn chop. He hits a spinning sunset flip off the middle rope but Angle turns it into the ankle lock. This is a chess game and it’s working very well even though we’re only about 5 minutes in. Angle hits the slam on the table which doesn’t break for a FREAKING OW moment. We even get a damn turnbuckle powerbomb. That just looks awesome every time.
It’s all Kurt here but you can tell they’re in for a long one here. Basically what we have is how much can Shawn take, as he’s getting beaten up very badly here but he keeps countering the finishers. Angle’s lip is bleeding and Shawn is bleeding just under his eye. This is a very slow build but the crowd is staying in it so that is certainly acceptable. Shawn hits his flying forearm and the nip up gets a great pop. His selling really is great stuff. However he does the longest set up for the Sweet Chin Music of all time and Angle easily blocks it. That took almost 30 seconds to set up.
Shawn keeps covering after a DDT which is what Angle did to Shawn earlier on. I love little things like that. Angle comes back with Rolling Germans and an Angle Slam for two as we approach epicness. There goes the referee of course. Has there ever been a big match where the referee didn’t go down? Shawn takes a GREAT bump to the floor off a back drop. He was in free fall and just crashed, hurting his knee. Lawler goes on a semi rant talking about how you can’t get medical attention during a match.
Where is that kind of talk recently? Shawn stays in the ankle lock for the better part of ever but FINALLY counters as Angle hits the post. Angle goes for Shawn but OUT OF NOWHERE Shawn hits the superkick. Of course it’s just two as the referee counts to eight on both guys. Coach makes my head hurt a lot by saying he’s never seen anyone kick out of Sweet Chin Music. Angle goes up top for a double axe handle of all things but comes down into the boot for the pin.
Rating: A. This was a damn fine wrestling match. These two are absolute masters out there and this is no exception at all as both worked their asses off with great selling and back and forth work. This is a classic in every sense of the word and definitely should be seen.
Angle gets an ovation as he leaves just like he should.
Great American Bash ad which is mainly about Torrie.
Coach talks to Batista, who says he’s not scared and he’s going to get his revenge tonight. He words it a lot better. HHH comes up and I want to submit to his mustache. Pull apart brawl ends this.
Lillian Garcia is here…uh just because I guess. This is something about Viscera apparently. What was Vince’s obsession with large black men being obsessed with sex? I smell a Godfather cameo here. Lillian deserves an Oscar and a raise for this. She sings a song for him which is a great song but it helps to not look at the screen except when she’s on it. She proposes to him, crowd pops, cue Godfather. I was right. I want a hat with a feather in it like that.
Godfather offers him 5 Ho’s and of course he takes them. Was there a point to this other than to have Lillian look all sad and depressed? This is horrible yet hilarious. Ah that’s right: since we have single brand PPVs we only have 6 matches so we get pointless filler like this. Can you imagine Lawler having sex with that creepy smile never leaving his face? That’s just bizarre sounding.
We recap the triple threat which started with Cena being the top pick in the draft and Christian and Tomko yelling at him. Christian get the #1 contender spot and Jericho is mad about it. Jericho turned heel to set up a 3-1 beatdown. The language and mannerisms here are so different from today that it’s insane. Has hell ever been paid back? It must be owed a lot of money.
Raw World Title (WWE): Chris Jericho vs. Christian vs. John Cena
So Christian was about 3 months away from leaving and Jericho was about 2 months away, so this is one of their last big matches. At the moment Christian is little more than a midcarder in over his head. Christian’s music is just odd sounding when it’s at that slower pace. Actually all three of these guys have had almost the same music for almost five years. That’s very different. Oh and the spinner is new at this point. Wow that was freaking idiotic.
The one now isn’t nearly as bad as it used to be. Lawler bets on Christian and Ross doesn’t make a pick. That was a waste of time. Tomko interferes and is out. These are always hard to comment on as they’re mainly comprised of one on one segments and then a save before repeating about three times and go to the finish. Cena hits the FU on Christian to the floor to give us Jericho vs. Cena which is ok I guess. Apparently Cena’s CD is out at the moment.
Earlier Cena bitched about Jericho using the WWE Title to sell records. That’s just hilarious actually. Cena is a damn hypocrite. Lionsault of course misses and now Jericho is alone in the ring. The fans pop for the table being uncovered. We hit match number two as Christian and Cena go at it. Wow it’s weird to hear Christian being called a veteran. It’s time for the heels to fight now which would be a main event today but is a clash of the upper midcard here.
We get a Tower of Doom as Christian gets suplexed and Jericho is powerbombed by Cena. Nice one too. In another nice spot, Cena drop toeholds Christian’s head into Jericho’s and hits a double 5 Knuckle Shuffle. Tomko takes Cena down but Christian only gets two. The Walls are applied and of course they don’t work since this is a Chris Jericho match. Cena gets Christian in the FU and kicks Jericho in the face to get the pin.
Rating: B+. This took a long time to get going but the last five minutes are very good. They actually did some three person spots in there which make this feel like a triple threat match where anyone could win. There was little to no drama but at the same time this wound up working very well indeed and I liked it a lot.
The Cell is lowered.
We recap Batista vs. HHH as they had been in Evolution together but after Batista won the Rumble he overheard HHH and Flair talking about how they have Big Dave around their little finger. Batista turned face more or less by force as he was so popular there was no other choice. He beat HHH at Mania and then at Backlash so HHH left Raw for a few weeks before coming back for a beatdown and challenging him to this. This really was a well built up feud and it feels like a huge match.
Raw World Title (World): Batista vs. HHH
Apparently the Cell is now the Devil’s Duplex. Seriously, what is JR on because I want some of it. Also it’s now a sentient being as it has something like emotions I guess. The Cell is still half up as Batista’s music hits. I didn’t realize he had I Walk Alone this early but apparently he did. He also had the gun pyro which is rather cool. He’s also embarking on his maiden voyage inside Hell in a Cell. Is he a boar captain all of a sudden? You can never accuse JR of using basic language.
The Cell being lowered really is a cool moment as you know you’re about to see some violence. Lawler says there is no way out. Today that would likely get him yelled at by Vince for bringing up memories of a defunct show. Why is he so damn paranoid about so many things? Batista is in the white tights here so you know he’s serious. They point out how fairly stupid it is to give HHH back to back shots by more or less saying this is the last chance for him.
HHH goes to the arm by sending it into the post. That’s smart I guess as it’s hard to Batista Bomb someone with one arm, although you would think the leg would be smarter. Then again he married Stephanie so he’s smarter than we are. And now HHH gets a tool box. This cannot turn into another Home Improvement match like it was vs. Nash. Well if nothing else Batista is better than Nash so I can live with that.
There’s a big chain, which at least is something that I guess you could understand having in a tool box assuming you could use it to secure something or to get a grip on something. I should host a tool show. Batista manages to survive about a minute of being choked by a chain which is being pulled by a 6’4 270lb man. What? You don’t see how that makes sense?
I love fans that encourage violence that could potentially kill a man. Well to be fair HHH is supposed to anger the fans so he’s getting that right. Batista hits four spinebusters on the floor. Not really as he just rammed HHH into the post but whatever Ross says goes I guess. HHH mimics Flair and is busted open. The white boots are working for Big Dave. HHH hits a real spinebuster to get us back to even.
He gets a barbed wire steel chair from under the ring which is there to cover any and all of their barbed wire steel chair needs. Batista takes a SICK shot of it to the back. I know it’s rubbed tipped or fixed to an extent, but DAMN it looked great. The face of Batista more or less says a combination of OH SHIT, OW and DAMN I COULD GO FOR A POPSICLE. He gets the chair and DRILLS HHH in the head with it. That sounded and looked great.
I love the raking of a person’s face into the cage. That just looks awesome every time they do it and it never gets old. It’s ALL Batista at this point. HHH takes a powerslam onto the barbed wire. Ok so it landed on his ass but whatever. I guess those Buns of Steel videos helped a lot there. HHH counters with a DDT onto it as this is getting very good. Both guys are bleeding now. See, this is a great example of using blood to make a match better.
Instead of just randomly bleeding in every match, this has been a brutal fight that has built up to this moment and it feels epic. Rather than having blood in every match where it becomes clichéd, the blood here is a sight that makes you think about how brutal this is. A sledgehammer shot to the face gets two as we’ve reached epic. Batista kicks out of a punch wrapped in chain to a HUGE pop.
A lot of people that that was it apparently and I can’t say I blame them. In a cool spot right after that, HHH jumps at Batista with the chain but Batista holds up the hammer so that it slams into HHH’s jaw/throat. He stands there for about 8 seconds before just collapsing. I love that visual. Damn HHH got thrown over the corner. After this long of a match I’m surprised he can take a bump like that. Batista busts out some steps and gets them in the ring with HHH down.
HHH is just getting destroyed here as Batista is just in a zone here. Batista Bomb is countered with a low blow and the Pedigree for a LONG two. The steps are set up in the middle of the ring and Batista is in trouble. Pedigree is blocked into a spinebuster onto the steps and a Batista Bomb for the pin.
In a nice move, HHH picked up the hammer but gets dropped before he can hit it. When he’s pinned it’s still in his hand which is like the scene that ends a movie, or in this case a great match. HHH would be gone four months for this as Cena became top dog on Raw. I’m sure HHH’s diminishes spotlight had nothing to do with his absence at all.
Rating: A. This was a WAR. This is what Hell in a Cell is supposed to be like: two guys that absolutely cannot stand each other beating the hell out of the other person for a single prize. The blood was great, the violence was great, and both guys were great. See this match for sure as it’s awesome and I’m pretty sure it’s on the Hell in a Cell DVD. Great match and it made Batista look unstoppable.
Overall Rating: A-. That might be a bit high but with two GREAT matches and one that’s very good along with a decent Kane/Edge match, an ok opener and Christy looking great, what more can you ask for here? Angle vs. Shawn is a great wrestling match and the main event is a great sports entertainment match. Either way you can’t go wrong. Throw in a very good Cena match and the last hour and a half of this show are about as perfect as you can get. GREAT show and definitely go check this out.
Vengeance 2005 is one of my favorite PPV events WWE ever produced. I really liked just about everything that happened on this PPV. Even the Women's match between Victoria and Christy Hemme wasn't the worst women's match I've ever seen. The Benjamin-Carlito match did it's job in getting the crowd going for the PPV. Kane-Edge was a good, solid match, which gave Kane a nice win. Edge would beat Kane twice on Raw in the weeks afterward, but Kane needed this victory more than Edge.
The HBK-Angle match for me is where this PPV starts hitting the stratosphere. Awesome match which was nearly or just as good as the Mania 21 match. The Viscera-Lilian segment was pretty pointless, but I thought it was entertaining for PPV filler. Again, I've seen a lot worse. Cena-Y2J-Christian was a very good match, and it helped put Cena over on Raw as a main event level talent, gave Jericho some momentum for the eventual match at SummerSlam, and Christian got I believe his first main event championship match.
The main event Hell in a Cell match was the icing on the cake of this PPV. Triple H and Batista had a very entertaining, somewhat barbaric match, which is what a Hell in a Cell match should be. The point that should be emphasized is that this was Triple H's third straight PPV loss to Batista. That was pretty unheard off in a Triple H feud for him to job three straight PPVs in a row to someone without the usual ebb and flow of a feud. THIS FEUD MADE BATISTA! Anything Batista accomplished after this feud was based on what this feud did for his career. And to be honest, the matches were not that bad in terms of two larger wrestlers going at it. So, this really helped put Batista over the top as a main-event talent and would keep that momentum for the rest of his career.
Again, this was a solid PPV. The three main event level matches are included in multiple WWE DVD compilations. The filler match and segment don't outlive their usefulness. Edge and Kane had a pretty good match. And two of the young midcard wrestlers got their chance to shine at the beginning of the PPV to admittedly mixed results. I give this PPV a solid ***1/2 rating out of ****.
I think all wrestling fans are like this from time to time.
Date: June 25, 2006
Location: Charlotte Bobcats Arena, Charlotte, North Carolina
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler
ECW is back. That’s the main thing here. They’ve been back for two weeks now and RVD is the WWE Champion, defending tonight against Edge. However, the main event is of course DX vs. the Spirit Squad since the title match can’t go on last right? There’s also Flair vs. Foley in a 2/3 falls match in a feud that is somewhat forgotten for some reason. Also tonight is the “blowoff” to the Imposter Kane angle that was just stupid as all hell. That’s a pretty decent card already so let’s get to it.
The opening video is about Cena vs. Sabu which is an Extreme Lumberjack Match which something tells me isn’t going to be that good. Now we talk about Edge vs. RVD which was where just about everyone was saying the title would change.
Also as a random thing, this is right around the time when the latest incarnation of Wrestlezone came into being. Now we talk about DX. They’re hitting on the main angles here which at least makes sense. This was the beginning of DX vs. Vince which was such a painful angle to watch.
Randy Orton vs. Kurt Angle
In 2006, this opens a show. In 2010 it would be a dream match. Angle was on ECW at this point and Angle called out anyone in any kind of ring (four sides, six sides or eight sides) for a fight at One Night Stand. Orton took him up on it after Angle broke his ankle like two months earlier. He’s kind of a face here but not entirely. Angle is an “enemy” here so he’s supposed to be the heel I guess.
He has a remix of his normal music here and it sucks to put it nicely. He would be in TNA in the fall. Angle goes to the mat early as you would expect him to. King is very pro-Orton here as you would expect I guess. Angle tries to German Orton off the apron through the table and the angle that Angle is standing up and holding on at is amazing with his whole body hanging over the floor and just his feet touching the apron.
He’s holding onto Orton and the image is great. Orton throws a weak dropkick but of course according to Lawler it’s textbook. Ross says Orton likes to use a chinlock. That’s what we call an understatement as around this time he used it more than he ever does today. Lawler doesn’t get why the fans are cheering for Angle as he’s ECW now.
They’re doing the same thing that they messed up WCW with as they assume no one could like anything but the home product and it makes the fans sound stupid and the announcers incredibly stupid. I don’t know why but I love that jumping knee drop Orton does. Angle has an ECW mouth guard which pisses Lawler off to no end. He’s doing his job well here and I don’t know how to take that.
It’s pretty much all Orton at this point. Angle does the pop up second rope belly to belly which is more or less a slam but whatever. Angle Slam of course doesn’t work and this is a pretty good opener. We get an old classic as the turnbuckle is loosened. Angle hits EIGHT GERMANS IN A ROW. Orton is of course, dead. Angle may be a headcase but he can do some amazing stuff when he needs to. Ankle lock is hooked and Randy is in trouble. Orton does the flip forward and it sends Angle into the buckle. RKO ends it.
Rating: B-. This was a match you wouldn’t expect for an opener but I liked it. They were kind of just going through the motions out there but at the same time that’s all you need to do sometimes to have a good match. This isn’t a pairing you see that often and given that I was pleased. I’d like to see more from them and a clean finish so that’s a good sign. Also, Burn in My Light is a sweet song.
Vince is on the phone and says vengeance will be his. A kid in a DX shirt in a wheelchair comes in. I don’t remember this angle or anything so maybe this is a one off thing. Vince FREAKS and yells about all the things DX put him through on Monday night and I think I know where this is going.
Yep Vince shoves him out of the office and a crashing sound is heard. Coach comes in and says a family member is here that was wanting to just meet Vince and maybe get an autograph. Vince is fine with it and, say it with me, it was the kid. The skit writing back in this day was pretty shall we say BAD.
Umaga vs. Eugene
Umaga is brand new at this point having debuted in April at Backlash. For no apparent reason, Eugene has Jim Duggan, Doink the Clown and Kamala with him. What. You don’t get the connection? Estrada does the intro for Umaga as usual. I remember him as Osama in OVW and I never saw that much from him really. His voice was solid though.
Apparently Eugene can bring all the help he wants and it won’t matter. Umaga went from fighting Flair on PPV to fighting Eugene. Wow that’s kind of a letdown. When Duggan and the other guys come out, the look on Umaga’s face clearly says “the fuck have I done to deserve this?” It’s the Steve Lombardi version of Doink here. The fans chant USA when Umaga is from AMERICAN Samoa and was born in California.
Duggan gets the fans to cheer for Eugene and it does nothing. The magic thumb ends it. Umaga wouldn’t lose until early January. The legends were completely worthless here. Duggan gets a thumb afterwards. So does Doink. Kamala, who I don’t think has ever won a damn match, doesn’t get a chance to fight because Estrada says he’s too nuts for Umaga to fight. They would have a match on Raw soon and guess what happened.
Rating: N/A. Nothing wrong with a PPV squash, but Eugene and a later match with Kamala? Really?
Grisham is with a heel Mick Foley. This was a different kind of feud based on real life drama between the two. Foley says we’re going to have a real life book reading here. Foley says Flair’s book is a novel and not an autobiography.
He reads stuff about how Foley isn’t a real legend because he’s stayed around too long as a freak show attraction. That’s absolutely hysterical at this point in time as Foley has stayed out of the ring other than to put people over…and win the TNA Title for no apparent reason…while Flair is a caricature of himself at this point.
Mick Foley vs. Ric Flair
This is 2/3…DAMN Lillian is gorgeous. She’s got her stomach showing and it’s all skinny and flat. Damn she looks great. Anyway it’s 2/3 falls. Foley is of course hated since we’re in Flair’s hometown. Flair gets a solid pop but something tells me this isn’t going to be as good as their Summerslam match. Foley does a technical sequence to start just to prove a point. Well there’s some thought in there at least. Foley does a strut and makes me smile.
Foley goes for the sock and it looks like Flair. Those are always funny. Flair, the ultimate ladies man, grabs Foley’s balls to counter. Sure why not. FLAIR HITS THE TOP ROPE AXE HANDLE! HOLY SHIT! He hurts his knee though so Foley goes after it. Flair drops an F Bomb but it gets censored. Foley goes for a figure four but Flair hooks a small package for the first fall.
Flair starts going off and we’re going into the crowd which doesn’t work that well as Flair doesn’t follow him. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that before but it worked. Fans are all over Foley as he pulls out a trash can. He tries to blast Foley in the head with it but Flair hooks a figure four.
He gets the trash can and blasts Flair with it, ending this match in like seven minutes in two straight falls. Uh, ok? Foley pulls out a barbed wire ball bat and Flair is of course busted open. Foley beats him up even more which sets up the I Quit match at Summerslam.
Rating: D-. Uh…yeah. I have no idea what the point of this was, but it failed miserably. Foley looks like a failure and Flair bleeds more. What was the point to this again? Like I said, the rematch is much better. This was just a strange choice all around and it didn’t work at all for me.
Maria, with her boobs looking epic, is with Carlito and discusses a coolness paradox makes Carlito stop in mid bite. Funnier than it sounds. Torrie Wilson walks up in a swimsuit and asks Carlito to rub oil on her. Yeah the comedy was just off around this time. Maria rubs oil on her and vice versa. And it’s time for his match. Was there a point to this at all?
Intercontinental Title: Shelton Benjamin vs. Carlito vs. Johnny Nitro
Shelton is champion here and is a heel at the moment. This match was on the history of the IC Title DVD for seemingly no reason but the more I thought about it the more it makes sense. We have three midcard guys here that have no chance of being world champion at this point and need the credibility. A match like this is a great way to let them get over and gives them something to go after. It’s perfect and sums up what the title is supposed to be about.
The winner of this would feud with Jeff Hardy for awhile then Umaga, and then Santino would win it and cripple the belt for years until Jericho and Rey recently helped save it. Nitro is Morrison as you likely know. Melina is with him and is just freaking yummy looking. They’re going with the old school one on one formula here which is fine I guess. Carlito hits a nice dive to the floor to take everyone out and get the crowd awake. Damn Melina can freaking scream.
It’s so sad to see Carlito doing all kinds of flips and impressive looking stuff considering the levels of laziness he would reach in the future. Shelton catches Nitro’s flip into a powerbomb position and just falls backwards into a snake eyes for a great move. Even Ross is bragging about Carlito. There are some nice triple and double person spots in this thing. Lawler says that Melina is a bit upset by Nitro getting crotched.
In an AMAZING spot that gets a well deserved HOLY SHIT chant, Nitro is in the Tree of Woe, Carlito is standing on the top, Shelton jumps from the mat to the top, Shelton hooks Carlito in a suplex as Nitro does a massive sit-up to hook Shelton in a powerbomb. That looked awesome. Shelton takes a Backstabber, called the Backcracker here but Nitro pulls him out and gets the pin and the title in a steal. Nice way to end a good match.
Rating: B. I really liked this one as it was very fast paced and a great example of three guys being given a chance and showing off with it. This one worked very well and is probably the best match of the night so far, although not by much. This was a very fun match though and worked.
Spirit Squad is getting fired up and Vince comes in to be uninteresting, comparing DX to bird flu. And after they leave he takes a penis pump into a bathroom….and it blows up like a bomb in a damn Wile E. Coyote cartoon. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?
We recap Edge vs. RVD, which was set up by RVD winning the title at ONS with the help of Edge. Edge then challenged RVD and speared him which is all we need here. Yeah the buildup was kind of weak.
Raw World Title: Rob Van Dam vs. Edge
And yes this goes on 5th with the Kane match, Cena vs. Sabu and the Spirit Squad going on after the world title match. Let that sink in a bit. I love that One of a Kind song. Lillian says he is the champion with no WWE or ECW thing in there. That’s a bit odd. We get a long feeling out process and then a Phil Mickelson reference. Ok then. This is a very physical match here and they’re doing a bunch of big spots and a lot of stuff on the floor, including a sunset flip into a powerbomb on the floor.
Ross calls out Lawler for making everything about sex. He’s absolutely right too. We finally slow things down with a bow and arrow hold on RVD. They’re beating each other up here so I’ll give them points for that. Edge powerbombs RVD onto the railing in a very painful looking spot. Edge is working over the back for the most part here so we have a story in the thing resembling insanity. When did Edge start using a big boot?
A lot of the time you forget how big he is but he’s a damn big man. The fans are split here as it feels like we’re coming towards the end here. I love that one footed kick Van Dam uses. Rolling Thunder and Van Dam still won’t cover. I’m not sure if this match is good or not.
Van Dam hits the Van Daminator with the belt but Van Dam gets crotched by Lita. The referee is down in case you didn’t get it. Edge hits the Orton DDT and Van Dam is out. Lita holds up a chair for Edge to spear him into and you can figure out the result there. The Five Star ends it.
Rating: B-. It was physical, I’ll give it that. Other than that though, there isn’t much here I don’t think. It was ok and even better than ok, but having it in the middle of the show makes it seem like nothing at all. This was a nearly 20 minute match and as you can see I didn’t have a ton to say about it. It’s not that it was bad, but it just wasn’t that interesting and there wasn’t much that felt like it should be written about.
Also, it’s not like there was any secret that the title picture would involve Cena and it did very soon. Van Dam would get caught with pot (shocking isn’t it) soon after this and lose to Edge in a triple threat on Raw. He held the belt three weeks, which is still saying a lot for him.
The ECW locker room celebrates. Yeah there’s an ECW locker room for two ECW guys wrestling. Ah there’s lumberjacks. Got it.
Ad for the ECW TV show set to clips of the original ECW. That’s just amusing.
Kane vs. Kane
This is one of the most infamously stupid angles ever. Kane is facing a guy that looks like he used to. Basically Kane was in a bad movie called See No Evil and somehow it brought a guy from his past to WWE who dressed like he used to or something. Kane knew who he was but they never told us that or anything so whatever. He was played by the guy now known as Luke Gallows. I’ll refer to them as real and fake here.
Real dominates early which doesn’t last very long. Real goes for the mask and doesn’t get it of course. Only HHH could manage to do that. And there are the boring chants. Ah look a chinlock. Ross says Kane is at a disadvantage because he doesn’t know who he’s wrestling despite saying Kane knew the imposter earlier.
Ross says it’s been an ugly match. Yeah I’d agree. Is this supposed to be good or to make sense? Real hits something like a throw off the top but it was more or less closer to an over the shoulder slam than anything else. Just end this please. Fake hits a chokeslam and does Kane’s old pin to end it.
Rating: F+. Oh do I even need to explain this? The match was worse than the angle. Kane would beat the imposter up on Raw soon and take the mask, ending anything of this angle. Yeah it’s bad.
Ad for the Flair DVD which is just amazing.
We recap Cena vs. Sabu which is Cena bitching about a lack of rules then saying he liked it. So he showed up on the debut of ECW, thereby completely fucking up the idea of the show.
John Cena vs. Sabu
This is an EXTREME LUMBERJACK MATCH which sounds like something off a bad video game. The lumberjacks are Viscera, Trevor Murdoch, Lance Cade, Rob Conway, Snitsky, Matt Striker, Charlie Haas, Val Venis, Tommy Dreamer, Balls Mahoney, Stevie Richards, Little Guido Maritato, Roadkill, Danny Doring, Justin Credible, Al Snow, and The Sandman. Let’s get this over with. Matt Striker pretending to be a wrestler is so cute.
This whole show needs to end like NOW. Cena gets a very mixed reaction to put it mildly. Of course the lumberjacks get in a big showdown and Cena has a black eye from Sabu from Monday. The lumberjacks do their usual thing as I wonder what the point of a lumberjack match is. Were there ever lumberjacks used for one? This turns into a contest of who can throw the other person to the floor the most.
Cena takes a cane shot from Sandman and Sabu hits the Triple Jump as he becomes an Olympian apparently. He hooks that horrible looking one armed camel clutch of his as Cena makes his comeback. And a low blow stops that. Lawler HATES ECW. That’s an understatement if there ever was one. The big fight finally breaks out so Cena goes to the floor and hits an FU on Richards to put him in the crowd. Sabu throws a chair at Cena and it wraps around his head in a cool visual.
Cena pelts it at Sabu and hits an FU over the top through a table. When I say through I mean Sabu hits the edge of the table and looks like he broke his damn back. He taps to the STFU to just further bury ECW as this wasn’t even 7 minutes.
Rating: D. What a mess this was. I have no idea what the point of this was other than to just get Cena on the card somehow. This wasn’t any good at all and I can’t really blame Sabu for it as this was going to be bad no matter who was in it. I’m still trying to get the point of this and I think it’s in vain.
Cena and Van Dam have a staredown. Van Dam respects him and offers him a title shot tomorrow on Raw. They shake hands and it’s kind of a cool moment. Pretty sure Edge interfered to set up the triple threat the next week where Edge took the belt.
We recap DX vs. Vince, which is over Shawn telling Vince to grow up. So Vince got male cheerleaders to beat him up. This was terrible so it went on for months. This of course gets the longest buildup of anything on the show. DX slimed the SS on Monday. I kid you not, they dropped slime on them.
Spirit Squad vs. DX
Oh and for their big return, DX comes out first of course. This whole show is making my skull ache. So there is NO DRAMA here at all, even though the SS are the tag champions. This show needs to end, and they saved the worst for last. No one buys this as a legit challenge and they shouldn’t. It’s one fall, and the current OVW Champion is on the heel team.
Also Ross points out that the Squad has never beaten DX. That’s just brilliant: point out that this has been one sided. The Squad has air horns and matching outfits and all that jazz. Shawn and Mitch start us off. If my memory is right, he’s the least talented one. Let that sink in for a bit. Shawn gets ganged up on in the corner and beats all five of them up. Give me a break. HHH finally comes in since Shawn hasn’t broken a sweat yet.
This is pointless and I know this match has just gotten started. Johnny gets his nose busted up and comes in. He, I kid you not, pulls out a bandana with a Japanese sun and Japanese characters on it and pretends he’s the Karate Kid. A comedy match is ending the PPV. Shoot me. Please. HHH hits the Flair knee drop to further mess up his nose. Johnny is talented too but he was just too small to be worth much. And now he gets pantsed.
A quadruple team gets HHH so close to trouble that he can see it with a telescope. And he’s fine in like 8 seconds and tags Shawn to no pop at all. Shawn does his usual stuff and hits the elbow. Mikey hits what we would call Trouble in Paradise and actually gets a cover! Kenny gets a chair shot that comes maybe a foot away from Shawn’s head but whatever. Mitch gets a running start and jumps on a trampoline to get from the floor over the top rope for a bulldog.
I hate this match. I truly do. Shawn’s beating gets about as much heat as Antarctica so HHH comes in and beats them up. Mikey messes up on the trampoline so four of them are down. Kenny, for lack of the better term the leader, takes the Pedigree to end it. Mitch gets his face shoved into HHH’s ass to end it with a Vince staredown.
Rating: F. The main event of a PPV had a guy being pantsed, air horns and trampolines. Do I need to make fun of this? There was NO drama at all here and it was more or less one sided the whole way. Horrible match so of course it got 18 minutes.
Overall Rating: D-. I wanted this show to end after the Edge/RVD match. For the life of me I cannot see any reason for the matches going in the order they did. At least Van Dam vs. Edge was fairly good, but to have three matches go after it? I get that for a major show like Mania or Summerslam, but this is Vengeance for crying out loud. Did we need to see the 5-2 beatdown for nearly 20 minutes? I certainly didn’t.
I mean look at this card. It looks like a decent house show. Either way, this didn’t work at all for me and was just a flat out bad show with no matches worth going out of your way to see at all. Awful show but we reunite the brands next year so that’s a good thing.
2006 was just a bad year for PPV's in general. You could see the effects that single brand PPV's were having as most of the matches just weren't that great. The DX/SS feud went on for way too long and got boring fast. I liked the IC Title match and Edge vs. RVD was decent. Cena vs. Sabu was just a way to get Cena on the card and I would have much rather had him, RVD, and Edge in a triple threat match.
Date: June 24, 2007
Location: Toyota Center, Houston, Texas
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler, Michael Cole, Joey Styles, Tazz, John Layfield
So this is the final actual Vengeance show and its official title is Vengeance: Night of Champions. This show is infamous for one reason: it’s the Benoit Show. The next day we would find out what he did and he’s not here tonight for “personal reasons.”
For those of you that are new to this, Chris Benoit went insane and murdered his wife and son before killing himself at his home. He was supposed to win the ECW Title here but that obviously never happened. Other than that, all titles are on the line. Let’s get to it.
The opening video is about how everyone wants to be a champion, which is very true I guess. We get clips of all of the big matches tonight which is good for helping to bring us all up to date considering this is a 3 year old show.
Oh and we’re done with the brand exclusive shows at this point which is a MAJOR plus for me.
We’re going to have legends introduced all night which is a cool thing. The first are the US Express: Barry Windham and Mike Rotundo, who continues to change his last name from Rotundo to Rotunda every time he appears.
Raw Tag Titles: The Hardys vs. Lance Cade/Trevor Murdoch
This was a reunion that went on for a few months because they had nothing else to do for them. Jeff’s rise to awesomeness would come soon enough. Matt would stay uninteresting. The country boys are the champions here. They took them from the Hardys about three weeks before this. It’s weird to think that only Matt is still with the company now. Damn Matt is over as all hell here. And Jeff is even more over.
They dominate early on which leads me to think the champions will retain. The champions try to run away and we have a red carpet here. Damn I didn’t know Murdoch could run that fast. We hit the formula here which is likely the right thing to do. I’ve always wondered why partners start to come in at 2. It’s not like they’re The Flash or something. Murdoch has a bad eye apparently. Is he like Rocky now? Murdoch’s country music gimmick a few years after this really was comically bad.
Sorry for being so random but this just isn’t an interesting match at all so I’m trying to kill the time. Murdoch hooks a LONG half crab to kill even more time. Well to be fair Matt has a bad knee apparently. Jeff gets the hot tag and the crowd is VERY hot here. Jeff beats the hell out of everyone and hits his sitout Gordbuster. Matt Hardy accidently distracts the referee and Jeff gets double teamed into Cade’s sitout spinebuster for the pin to retain.
Rating: D+. Boring match but considering there are so many matches tonight they likely have to hurry. This is a match that shows the issues with both the division and the show though as there is no need for this to be on PPV as it should have been on Raw instead of here. This was the Hardys’ last official tag match together for awhile so there you are.
Booker lists off his accomplishments. He would be in TNA in like four months.
Ad for Summerslam which was going to be the Jackass show. Thankfully that never happened, so instead TNA did it and it completely bombed.
We have a little profile on Eddie, because this is a WWE show and we need to get every bit of sympathy out of Eddie’s corpse that we can right? They completely leave out Goldberg interfering in that Lesnar match for obvious reasons.
Cruiserweight Title: Chavo Guerrero vs. Jimmy Wang Yang
We get a bit on Dean Malenko as he was a great Cruiserweight Champion back in the day. Jimmy comes out to NO reaction. I mean NOTHING. This is about a month before Chavo lost the belt to Horny. Oh dear. Apparently the WCW Light Heavyweight Title is now the official forerunner to the Cruiserweight Title. Ok then. The division was really pretty worthless at this point so I guess killing the title was the right idea.
Then again that could be Yang since no one buys him as a threat to the title here at all. He does however hit a SWEET dive off the top to the floor. That looked awesome. JBL really was solid at announcing. He wasn’t great or anything but he had recent credibility which is the most important thing so there we are. Chavo takes over as this just isn’t that interesting at all for some reason. I just do not care at all. We’re reminded again that the name Guerrero means warrior. We get it.
It’s a bad sign when the best thing you can say about a guy is he has a never say die attitude. Jimmy gets some offense in and manages to get the crowd to make noise. And there are the Three Amigos to get rid of that. The top rope moonsault from Yang misses and you can feel it getting close to the end. You can see people getting up and leaving or getting back from the concession stands as Chavo wins with a Frog Splash.
Rating: D+. The wrestling wasn’t bad here, but DAMN this just wasn’t any good. Again this should have been a TV match and not a PPV match. You can really see how little development there were for a lot of these titles back in the day and it really wasn’t a great idea to have these matches on PPV. It’s not bad, but there’s just no point to it.
We recap the Vince Limo Explosion which is really put into context by what would be revealed the next night. I remember watching this on TV and saying that the lim was going to blow up. No idea why I thought that but I just knew it. Another way you could tell it was fake was a puddle appears just prior to the explosion.
It was a great editing job though as I had to read that on WZ to notice it. There’s a poll question on WWE.com as to who you think the culprit is. Only Vince would use his own murder as publicity.
Lashley is mad at Vince but didn’t do it.
We see clips of Taz being a badass. He’s credited with being the first guy to make people tap out to indicate submission. I’ve heard that from non-WWE sources too so maybe there’s some truth to that.
ECW Title: CM Punk vs. Johnny Nitro
Again this was supposed to be Benoit instead of Nitro which had me drooling over the thought of it. Punk cleanshaven is odd as hell looking. Nitro would become Morrison in about a month or so. We hear the term “personal reasons” which no one knew the meaning of at the time. It would be discovered tomorrow afternoon which is chilling when you think about it. What was he doing during this show?
I made a thread once about these two being the real rivalry in WWE over the last 3 years and I still think that. The fans want tables. Good luck with that. Nitro hits that springboard rotating kick which looks great. Johnny Nitro sounds like a guy Sandman should massacre in a TV squash. I think that might have been the idea actually. This is the standard decent match between the two of them but it’s really nothing all that special.
Nitro was little more than a glorified jobber that had a decent feud with Jeff Hardy a few months earlier but other than that he had a hot girlfriend and that’s about it. Oh and nice abs. Nitro uses the ropes to get extra leverage and like any other heel, it gets heat for him. Again, less is more. Simple cheating will get the crowd to boo you. Nitro hits that corkscrew neckbreaker while Punk’s feet are on the ropes like Orton’s elevated DDT to get the win and the title. Wow that match flew by and I’m not sure if that’s a good or a bad thing in this case.
Rating: C-. Not bad here but not great at all. Nitro wasn’t very good yet and it was clear here. He would become John Morrison and gain confidence in a few weeks which was huge to his career and still works to an extent today. Anyway, this wasn’t bad, but they would have FAR better matches later.
We recap Shawn vs. Bret in the Iron Man match to show Shawn’s first title win. This is a cool theme for a show if nothing else.
Foley is getting ready. He’s in the main event tonight. And here’s Randy Orton to be a jerk. Damn I can’t wait to get to that match.
Ricky Steamboat is here.
Intercontinental Title: Santino Marella vs. Umaga
Just make it quick please. Santino is the plucky young rookie here that is still a face and currently stabbing the title through the heart every second he has the belt but whatever. Apparently Umaga half killed Foley on Raw. Santino is wrestling legit here and it’s amazing to think of how I guess you could say far he’s come today? Umaga kicks his head off to take care of that.
There’s the nerve hold or whatever you want to call it. Is that just a Samoan thing? Umaga gets him in the corner and pounds him down, which is apparently enough for the CHEAP DQ. Umaga destroys him for good measure. He would get the title back in eight days or so. He crushes Santino with a splash and gets a face chant for it.
ARE YOU LISTENING VINCE? Umaga finishes it off with the spike. The post match beatdown was longer than the match itself I think. He gets a LOUD face chant which of course isn’t acknowledged at all. Ok seriously, the match has been over for like 5 minutes now. End it.
Rating: N/A. First person that finds a point to this anywhere, please let us know. Good lucky on finding one also.
Ad for the Great American Bash.
We go to a press conference thing from Friday, held by the lead investigator in Vince’s case. Also there’s apparently another well-known personality’s DNA in the limo. Ok then. Tomorrow we have a 3 hour Raw as a memorial for Vince. This is actually hard to watch when you know what’s coming.
MAGNUM TA IS HERE! That mustache is awesome. Damn he could have been something special.
US Title: MVP vs. Ric Flair
MVP is the ridiculously cocky heel here and actually interesting to an extent. You would NEVER hear that today. He gets in Magnum’s face and says it’s all about MVP now. If all of MVP’s matches wind up combining to be half as good as the I Quit Cage match I’ll be stunned. Flair just looks stupid in pink. He’s no Bret Hart in that regard. Flair shows MVP up with bare bones basic moves and it’s hilarious. Flair is busted open! I CAN FEEL MY INNOCENCE BEING RIPPED FROM MY BODY! SPARE ME PLEASE!!!!
In a funny moment, Flair chops the hell out of MVP and after MVP takes over, he opens up his vest and checks his chest for welts. JBL says Flair’s chops are better than anyone else’s. And I believe him since he was a wrestler not long before this. Lawler needs to remind us he used to be a wrestler. Even Striker reminds us of that. This is another one of that matches that likely belongs on TV but we need a US Title match so here is one for you.
MVP’s knee hits the buckle and Flair goes for the wrong one, thereby proving that some things never change. There it is and we’re in Flair Formula time. It’s still passable too so I can’t complain that much. In a nice ending, Flair goes after MVP but the referee blocks him, allowing MVP to poke him in the eye and hit the Playmaker for the retaining. Why is that nice? Because that is Flair 101: distract the referee and cheat. I love that.
Rating: C. The ending helped that a lot. It’s your standard Flair match, but look at him put ANOTHER guy over. Damn I’m defending Flair. What the hell is wrong with me? This is when Flair was still bearable but he was on the verge of being gone, which I think is for the best. Match was average.
Cena says nothing as Edge interrupts. Edge accuses Cena of being behind of the Vince thing. Cena says Edge is too much of a softie to have been behind it. Edge says he’s vicious and can do evil things, and of course the detective is behind him. Oh good. My eyes rolled so far around that I’m looking at the screen again.
Tony Garea and Rick Martel are here. Was Tito Santana busy or something?
Smackdown Tag Titles: Deuce N Domino vs. ???/???
It’s an open challenge here so the challengers are unknown. Deuce says this place is full of old people. Domino doesn’t like them either. This team was either great or completely idiotic. In short, they’re Fonzie from Happy Days. Cherry, their manager, in short is hot. Deuce is more commonly known as Sim Snuka or the guy that kept Taker from breaking his neck at Mania 25. The challengers are Sgt. Slaughter and Jimmy Snuka. Allow me to quote the 25th letter of the alphabet: WHY???????????/
Smackdown Tag Titles: Deuce N Domino vs. Sgt. Slaughter/Jimmy Snuka
Remember that Snuka is Deuce’s father. JBL says if the champions lose then he’s calling Ron Simmons up and reforming the APA. JBL suggests their name could be the Coffin Dodgers. Oh that’s funny. Sarge looks good here and we get a jab at the Ultimate Warrior. They beat the hell out of Domino here as you would expect them to. Again though, this is on PPV in 2007. There’s the Cobra Clutch which is his signature finisher, which always amused me.
The one time he used a different finisher, he won the WWF Title. So naturally he used the old one and never did anything again. This has been dominance so far. Deuce finally comes in and this is dragging badly. Snuka beating up his son is just kind of surreal. I don’t know if I’d want to be in that position or not. Snuka hits a top rope cross body but Deuce rolls through for the pin.
How annoying do you think he’s going to be with that at Thanksgiving? He pinned his HOF dad on PPV. How cool would it be to be able to say that? Post match there’s a beatdown and Martel and Garea jump the railing for the save.
Rating: D-. The match was horrible obviously, but the point here was to have the legends get a chance out there again. That doesn’t make up for it though. This is just not something I want to see on a PPV show. On TV is one thing I guess, but no way this should be on PPV.
Ad for the Vince Memorial Service. Still gets me thinking what would be airing instead.
We recap Edge vs. Batista which is a Last Chance match. Edge cashed in Kennedy’s MITB contract to beat the injured Taker for the belt. This is the music video package for the night.
Harley Race is here. Oh hell yes.
Smackdown World Title: Edge vs. Batista
Damn that trenchcoat is awesome as all hell. He and Harley have a moment which is kind of odd. Big Dave gets a nice pop. Batista hugs Race too as his entrance is taking way too long. Batista starts how and beats the hell out of Edge, focusing on the arm which is weird looking for a power guy but whatever. You can tell this is going to be a long one. Smackdown always was the show that was more about wrestling than the entertainment aspect so this is expected.
Edge hits a baseball slide and is in control. Now Edge works on Batista’s arm. Well at least they’re being consistent here. His shoulder goes into the post as we hear that you don’t think of Edge and speed in the same sentence. How weird is it to think that he used to be a high flier back in the day? Edge uses a bit boot and hooks an armbar. We now get to the problem of guys working on the arm: it’s boring as all hell. Well at least he’s switching it up.
Edge counters a Samoan Drop into an arm hold. Nicely done. He’s on his third different hold in less than two minutes. That’s how you work an arm. You can switching things up like that and stick with one plan, which at least keeps things from being boring as hell. A Boss Man Slam from nowhere hits Edge for two. Edge seems to be more popular here with the smark crowd. He goes for the belt but the referee stops him.
Batista hits a spear to block the spear. There’s a Zen riddle in there somewhere. Batista ANIMALS UP but Edge low blows him to keep the title. That’s a legit surprise to me as the face usually wins in those last chance matches. Edge would get legit hurt soon and have to drop the title which Khali won in a battle royal. Batista would get it in the fall. Hey here’s Teddy Long. He’s restarting the match because Edge cheated. Ok then.
If Edge intentionally gets disqualified here then Batista is champion. Spear gets two and the crowd is on fire. We go to the floor and Batista goes into the steps. Edge takes the Bomb on the floor but Batista gets counted out after rolling him back in which should have broken the count I believe. I have no idea why Long was needed here if that’s the ending they were going with but whatever.
Rating: B-. This was your traditional decent Smackdown world title match. They went through a period around this time where they just kind of went with the motions but had good matches anyway. The match worked as well as possible given who was in it though o I can live with that. Far from great, but Batista kind of sucked at this point.
Ad for Summerslam. Damn they’re going way in advance here.
We talk about Fabulous Moolah, meaning it’s Women’s Title time. There was no Divas Title yet. We even get clips of the Original Screwjob. Basically Wendi Richter wouldn’t agree to have Moolah beat her for it so they put a mask on Moolah and had her shoot on Richter for the title. Very old school backstabbing there.
Women’s Title: Melina vs. Candace Michelle
Melina is champion here. So basically Melina is awesome and Candace is popular because she was in Playboy. Crowd is DEAD for this. Oh and Candace is awesome because she can do a dance too. This match is making my head hurt. It’s a great example of how bad the division was around this time.
And then Candace hits a spinwheel kick to win the title. She wound up taking one of the SICKEST bumps I’ve ever seen to get hurt and would never get the title back. She can’t even hold the belt right. I never really cared for her and this is no exception. They try to make this some big emotional moment and it just falls flat.
Rating: D. And that’s all for Melina. She carried Candace like a bag of potatoes here and it was painfully obvious. Melina is good but she’s not a miracle worker. It’s stuff like this that makes the division look like a joke and that’s never a good thing. Then again I’m not sure how many people actually were in the arena for this match so there we go.
ANOTHER ad for the Bash. Dang they’re going insane here with those things.
We recognize JBL before the main event. Naturally he has something to say which he hands to the announcer. We get JBL’s career bio which is funny for some reason. He is also YOUR wrestling god.
We recap Raw’s world title match which is just about being a champion or something like that. All five people talk about what it means to be a champion. Yes it’s clichéd but it works fairly well I think. It goes on WAY too long though but that’s WWE for you.
Raw World Title: Mick Foley vs. John Cena vs. Bobby Lashley vs. Randy Orton vs. King Booker
It’s one fall to a finish. Foley is only in this because he’s a former champion. How weird is it that Foley would win a world title after this but Booker and Lashley wouldn’t? Lashley won a good deal of titles in his time in the company which was really short. Foley gets a nice pop. Booker would be gone in October. Orton gets a face pop and would be getting really into the title picture in the fall, winning the title twice in one night.
Cena feels like a superstar here and with good reason I think. This is in the middle of his year long reign as champion which got him a lot of heat but I still ask you: who else was going to have the title put on them? Booker jumps to the floor immediately which is smart if nothing else. Very quickly we have Cena vs. Lashley which Vince much dream of at times. Lashley hits a SICK dive over the top to take out all four guys. That looked great.
Lashley hits Booker with what we would call Shock Treatment which is a cool move actually. This is ALL Lashley at this point as he’s dominating everyone. I still feel sorry for the ECW announcers as they have one match to call and then just sit there for the rest of the night. Lawler says the only good thing about being bitten by Foley is that he doesn’t have all of his teeth. For some reason that made me laugh. FU to Lashley through the table out of nowhere and a nice one at that.
We go to the standard multi-man match formula which is fine here as five people makes that kind of required. Cena goes for You Can’t See Me on Booker but walks into the RKO for two as Foley makes the save. He dominates for awhile as you would expect. It’s Socko time!
How amazing is it that he got so far with his signature thing being a sock? That would be like a guy saying nothing but nonsensical things about the Muppets’ sex lives on a wrestling forum and being called funny. Everything goes insane but Foley takes the FU for Cena to retain.
Rating: D+. They did the very smart thing here by keeping this short as it barely cracked ten minutes. With this many people though that was the smart thing. I’m not sure why they went with the five person match here instead of one on one but it was nice to have Foley come in there as it fit with the whole champions and legends deals all night. This was as good as you could have expected though given what was coming, which wasn’t horrible but was just kind of thrown on.
Overall Rating: D+. I’m not sure why but this worked for me somehow. They did a great job here of building up the whole championships all night long thing which is how it was supposed to go. It felt like a major show that was very important and while the wrestling was pretty bad, the atmosphere made up for it and everything seemed to work. I’d actually recommend this, but the wrestling is nothing at all to be excited about.
It’s about that special feeling you get when you hear “this contest is for the world championship!” It makes things more interesting and the feeling doesn’t weaken as the night goes on. This worked, even though it was pretty bad. Check it out.
So that's Vengeance. At the end of the day it's really just a minor PPV with nothing of note really coming from it other than the first show back in 2001. There were some good ones here and there with 05 being a GREAT show, but other than that there just wasn't much at all to really talk about on these shows. They were ok but there just wasn't really anything of note overall. I'll be doing NOC 08 just to finish off the series and then moving on to Taboo Tuesday and Cyber Sunday which I'll do back to back.
I was kind of intrigued when they started having all the matches being championship matches. Batista and Edge have always had decent matches and this was no different. I loved Batista's reaction when he found out that he didn't make the count of 10 and JBL's reaction when Edge received a Batista Bomb. The RAW main event was decent for the short amount of time it had. Another than that, the PPV wasn't that great but it was a decent concept.
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