What up wrestling fans, I'm the WrestlingNerd bringing you another written review. Today, we take a look at WWE Vengeance 2011. So, how did the evening fair out? Well, let's find out and start the review.
Match #1: Air Boom vs Jack Swagger and Dolph Ziggler for the Tag Team Championships
We are opening up with the tag title match. It appears Evan Bourne is more than 100% after tonight. WWE greets this by.....making Bourne the punching bag in this match. Seriously, he was either on this back or getting the crapped kicked out of him the majority of this contest. No easy paychecks around here. This match was given a lot of time, which is good because all four guys had a chance to show off their talents. For an opening contest, this was pretty good because this kind of match gets you pumped up for the rest of the evening. So, right off the bat, we are off to a decent start. The finish comes when Kofi Kingston hits Trouble in Paradise on Dolph, followed up by Air Bourne for the clean win. Someone must hate Dolph because it was announced that his US title match would be after this match. Then again, maybe it shows the WWE is trying something with Dolph by making him pull double duty tonight.
Winner via pinfall and still Tag Champs: Air Boom
Match #2: Dolph Ziggler vs Zack Ryder for the US Championship
We immediately go right into the next match. Air Boom and Swagger are still at ring side for this match. Ryder immediately goes for the kill. The match was short, but I think it was a decent 5 minute contest. There was a moment where Dolph ended up on the outside and Air Boom tossed him back in the ring. The referee tosses Air Boom out of this match. It makes total sense consider this isn't a Lumberjack match. Ever notice how Dolph's hair during a match goes all over the place? It's like he's turning into Doc Brown during the course of the evening...
The finish comes when Swagger causes a slight distraction. This buys Dolph enough time to hit a Super Kick on Ryder for the victory. I know some people are disappointed that Ryder didn't win, but as I said last week, I just think Ryder isn't ready for this title. If WWE continues to give Ryder something these next 4-8 weeks, he will definitely be ready by that point. Right now, Dolph has got some interesting things going for him (His mic skills have improved by tons this year) and it makes sense to make him retain the title. Keep in mind that while Dolph is improving, he's still not ready for the main event. If things keep going this well for Dolph, we could be looking at a big time player for 2012.
Winner via pinfall and still US Champ: Dolph Ziggler
Match #3: Beth Phoenix vs Eve for the Divas Title
There was a backstage scene with CM Punk and Triple H, but it was just them getting on the same page. They also showed a WWE.com exclusive in which Beth and Natalya attacked Kelly Kelly. Because of the attack, Kelly and Natalya were banned from this match. I have to be fair here. In terms of divas matches, this wasn't too bad. I have thought for a while now that Eve brings more to the table than Kelly, and that really is the case. She is a lot more put together in the ring and doesn't seem to make as many mistakes as Kelly. There was a moment where Eve took part of Beth's outfit and used it as handcuffs on the ropes. I didn't really see the point to this....unless it was to put some sort of crazy fetish together. After a few counters, the finish comes when Eve misses the Moonsault and Beth hits Glam Slam. After the match, Beth starts stroking her hair. Is she taunting her or becoming a sexual predator? You be the judge?
Winner via pinfall and still Divas Champ: Beth Phoenix
Match #4: Christian vs Sheamus
In many ways, this was similar to the match they had at HIAC, but it was not a bad match. These guys work very well together. Both guys had the chance to show what they can bring to the table. There was a ton of near falls in this match. I liked the match for what it was worth. The finish comes when Christian is about to go for the Spear, but ends up walking into the Brogue Kick and Sheamus picks up the victory. This most likely ends things between Sheamus and Christian, but they might be able to milk something out of this at Survivor Series since we normally get a traditional Survivor Series at that particular PPV.
Winner via pinfall: Sheamus
Backstage where John Laurinaitis is talking to Miz and R-Truth. Awesome Truth wonders why they brought them back to WWE, while Laurinaitis says they are too talented to be free agents and considers them World's Greatest Tag Team. Really? Somewhere out there, Shelton Benjamin is saying "what the f***?". Once the Interim GM leaves, Awesome Truth talks about whom is a greater suck up. Umm....really bad choice of words for this scene. Once they shut the suck up, they talk about how Punk and Triple H suck and will teach them a lesson tonight. We also get a video package of everything that has happened in this storyline. From all the way to Vince McMahon getting fired to right now. Who did the voice over for this, James Earl Jones? Seriously, it sounded like Darth Vader was giving the narration.
Match #5: CM Punk and Triple H vs Miz and R-Truth
This was personally the match I was looking forward to the most going into tonight. You can imagine my disappointment when I got to see the match. It wasn't bad or anything, but I just felt it could've been a lot better. I wouldn't call this a bad match, but I also can't call it a good match. I would say it was more average or mediocre than anything else. All four guys had a chance to show what they had the ability to do in the ring, so that's a positive. While the match might have been a disappointment, there was an interesting series of events for this match. After Punk hit the Flying Elbow on Miz, Kevin Nash shows up and attacks Triple H. With the Game taken out, this allows Truth to get back in the match. He saves his partner from getting the GTS and both Truth and Miz hit their finishers on Punk at the same time (Which they called it Little Jimmy's Finale, according to Michael Cole). After the match, Nash continues the punishment on Trips. He hits the Jack Knife Powerbomb on Hunter. This wasn't a very good finisher by Nash. It just seemed like he lost control of it midway. If you look at the replay, Trips might have gotten a serious bump after this attack. I think some people were disappointed that Punk lost yet again. That's three PPVs in a row Punk has lost. Reckon, there has always been some weird s*** that prevents Punk from winning these matches. Some people might also be disappointed that Nash didn't seem to go after Punk and instead focused on Trips. Well, kayfabe shows that Nash would have bigger beef with Triple H than Punk, considering that Trips fired Nash. Plus, I am glad they did this because I would rather see Trips vs Nash than Punk vs Nash. It was appropriate for Punk to lose to Miz and Truth so he can be focusing on talents around his age as opposed to older veterans. I think based off of tonight that there will be some sort of Survivor Series style match. Not sure who will be in this match, but I can see Miz, Truth, and Nash being on the same team.
Winner via pinfall: Miz and R-Truth
Match #6: Randy Orton vs Cody Rhodes
This was a match a lot of people had mixed feelings on. Some people actually liked the storyline here while others felt it was rushed or uninteresting, which is why some of them can't get invested in this rivalry. This was a pretty good match between Rhodes and Orton. I was really impressed by Rhodes in this match. He went to the top rope not, but twice, and delivered a moonsault. He did crash and burn on one of them, but you don't see that too often from Cody. I think both guys looked very good in this match. After a couple of near falls and Orton dodging bullets and surviving Cross Rhodes, the finish comes when Rhodes walks into an RKO and Orton wins this match. Some people might be pissed off that Rhodes didn't get the win here. While a victory would have done wonders for Rhodes, I think it made sense for Rhodes to really push Orton to the limit, but just falls a little short this evening. I don't think things are over between the two and we will most likely see a rematch, depending on what they decide to do with these two at Survivor Series. If you're upset that Rhodes didn't win, you aren't the only one since I feel the same.
Winner via pinfall: Randy Orton
Match #7: Mark Henry vs Big Show for the WHC
What I'm about to say here might make me lose any credibility as a reviewer (what credibility?), but I am going to say it. What most people decided to skip consider the size by both guys, I think you missed out. If you came into this mindset going into this match, you missed out on what I would call the Match of the Night. You think I am joking here or I am completely insane, but if you saw the match, I think most of you might have been impressed with the match. Oh well, that probably doesn't change the fact that I am completely insane. I didn't think this would go over as well and I expected average, but both guys really went the extra mile tonight. This has been the best performance I have seen out of Big Show since.....maybe even as far back as his early WCW days. Both guys told a very good story during this match. Show was dominating early and it seemed Henry was going to run away, but that wasn't the case. The contest would keep going and we see some impressive agility from Show during this match. Henry would be working the leg with....a submission hold? Yeah, he did go there. Show hits Chokeslam, but only a two count. Henry hit World's Strongest Slam, but only a two count. Show would then manage to hit CS from the top rope, but still only a two count. Again, I like the story being told. It was as if both guys met their equal and both were running out of ideas and were thinking of new ways to win this match. The finish finally comes when Show is on the top rope. Henry joins him and hits a Super Plex. Here's a reenactment for you...
Well.....I guess Hornswoggle's dead? Anyway, the medics would attend to both guys. Show gets taken away on a cart while Henry limps to the back with some help. Both guys got a round of applause. Reckon, this moment has happened before (based on the clip I posted), but I still freak out over this when this happens. Ironically, both times I've seen this was when Show was in the match. Even if you seen it once, you still go ape s*** when you see it. The match was called off, so I guess we can make it a no contest. I am normally not a big fan of a no contest on PPV, but after seeing that, I think we'll let it slide. After tonight, I am glad they ended it like this. It showed both guys nearly killing each other, but not setting one damn thing. This will definitely make the rivalry continue, and I want to see what they can do in their next matchup. Honestly, great effort by both guys.
No Contest; Mark Henry is still WHC
Match #8: Alberto Del Rio vs John Cena; Last Man Standing Match for the WWE Championship
The ring is still destroyed from the previous match. Kinda wreckless and a safety hazard to work under those conditions. And the WWE Superstars felt Triple H was unsafe? Oh, wrestling logic never fails to make an appearance. Cena is sporting a new T-shirt. He is going back to black for the meantime. You know what that means for WWE....cha ching. A good chunk of this match took place inside the busted up ring. They would eventually fight in other parts of the arena as the match continued. I can see some people loving this match, but I really didn't get into this match until the last 10 minutes. This match was nearly 30 minutes long and I just couldn't get interested in the first half. It just seemed boring. Ricardo Rodriguez would get involved on several occasions. To me, this match got interesting when the two fought backstage. This is again one of those matches where you throw everything imaginable at Cena, but the guy just can't stay down. I think this is one of the contributing factors to Cena getting a lot of fans angry. People just get tired of the super power crap and how WWE over protects Cena by making sure he has a out/excuse so his fans won't lose faith in him. I joke how WWE acts like the world will blow up if Cena loses a match cleanly, but that isn't too far fetched based on Cena's booking. Del Rio tosses a bunch of screen doors on Cena, but still gets up. He pushes him through a giant V (WWE's prop for Vengeance), but Cena still manages to get up. Now, to their credit, they didn't make Del Rio look like a total pushover. Cena actually tossed Del Rio through a table, but the Mexican JBL managed to get back up. I thought that was interesting since that would normally be the end of the match, at least in Cena's case. They are back near the ring to where we get a few more near falls. The finish comes when Cena hits AA on Del Rio through the Spanish announce table. The ref is starting the count, but Truth and Miz arrive and hit their finishers on Cena. The referee starts the count over again and Del Rio gets back up. Cena looks like he's done but......he's still up? Are you kidding me? I swear, you can shoot Cena in the skull and he would still find a way to win a freakin' match. Del Rio gets back in and hits Cena with the WWE Championship. This time, Cena is down and Del Rio retains the title. You know, I understand Cena is the face of the company and they need to write a plot device in order to justify Cena's loses, but some of these outcomes are getting ridiculous. They put Cena in all these really far fetched positions and still manages to find a way to fight back. Not even Hulk Hogan in his glory days got this overpowered. This is another reason why people dislike Cena, WWE overprotecting Cena way too much. Cena won't lose any credibility if he loses cleanly here and there. Reckon, it's normal for the face to have something or someone in a match that prevents him from winning all the time, but this is pushing it. Either way, the bigger picture here is Cena is most likely out of the title picture and they can finally focus on someone else, primarily CM Punk since he's the next big face on Raw. Del Rio does gain some stroke for this victory. He did show some toughness, which I haven't seen out of the guy for a while. I still think he's a generic heel champion, but he gained a little more after tonight and this can help him as he continues his championship reign. This is probably the first time Cena has lost a LMS match. That has to be worth something in Del Rio's case since nobody had him winning....except for me. Ha, now I don't seem so crazy now, do I?
I really didn't have high expectations for Vengeance this evening, but I was surprised. This show exceeded my expectations and this is probably the best PPV I have seen since SummerSlam. Just about every match on the card was watchable. There was a lot of good wrestling to witness this evening. There was even a few matches that surprised me. I didn't expect Match of the Night material out of Henry/Show and we even got a Diva match that was very watchable. I can see some people not liking the show because of some of the booking decisions tonight. Even thought I might have done things differently booking wise, you can't grade a PPV on just booking alone. I look for things like wrestling quality, good storytelling, and solid entertainment....along with some of the booking decisions. So, you can't just grade a PPV on booking alone. That's at least what I have always felt. Besides, there's always going be be something you don't like booking wise and if you think like that, chances are you're going to hate every PPV and end up becoming on the those IWC folks who complain about 90% of wrestling as opposed to enjoying the entertainment. Isn't wrestling just another source of entertainment at the end of the day? I swear, some people lose sight of this along the way. Anyway, one of my grips with tonight's show is that I felt it was a tad too predictable. If you saw my picks in the SD review last week, I got 7 out of 8 correct. Most of the time, I would rather get my picks wrong so it shows unpredictability and trying to pull a fast one on the smarks. I felt that didn't happen tonight and that might ruin the value of the PPV. Still, I felt Vengeance was a solid evening of wrestling entertainment and keeps a lot of things interesting in the WWE. We get more light shed on the major storyline with Nash's return. I think he will either face off against Triple H at SS or he will be part of a SS team. While some might be disappointed with this, I would rather see Trips vs Nash as opposed to Punk vs Nash since I want to see Punk focus on talents his own age as opposed to veterans. Besides, Punk is still massively over with the live crowds and maybe big things are on the way for the Best in the World. The victory for Awesome Truth also puts them in contention to get another tag team title shot, so maybe Awesome Truth winning was the best outcome possible. Time to grade Vengeance. On a scale of 1-10 and 5 being average (as always, I do my rankings differently as opposed to the wrestling websites. I don't grade matches and I don't use decimal points because decimal points are for people who can't make up their minds), I have to give Vengeance a 7 out of 10, meaning it was a pretty kick ass show. I can recommend watching the replay for this showing and this might be a show you might want to add to the DVD collection once it comes out, that way you can relive Hornswoggle's death over and over again. That's going to do it for the review and I hope you enjoyed it. As always, tell me what you thought of my review and tonight's show. I will see you guys and girls on the next WrestlingNerd show, see you next time.
WrestlingNerd's Official Score of WWE Vengeance: 7 out of 10