Random Network Reviews: WWE Vengeance 2005
WWE Vengeance 2005
June 26th, 2005 | Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada | Attendance: 9,850
The brand split Pay-Per-View era certainly had a fair share of bad events. However, this one is different. It came in the middle of the weeks long 2005 Draft Lottery. Due to that draft, John Cena was taken first and brought the WWE Championship to the Raw brand. Raw already had Batista and the World Heavyweight Championship. Both guys were then booked for this show, giving this Raw exclusive PPV the benefit of two major title matches. The draft also brought in Kurt Angle, setting up a rematch of a WrestleMania classic. It is the fifth Vengeance Pay-Per-View in history.
The opening video package recaps John Cena’s arrival to Monday night Raw, which kick started a relationship that lasted until 2016. It then hyped the Hell in a Cell main event and brutal history of that match. Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler and Jonathan Coachman are on commentary.
WWE Intercontinental Championship: Carlito (c) def. Shelton Benjamin in 12:49
In preparation for this show, I watched the go home Raw. On that show, Carlito was drafted to Raw and ended Shelton Benjamin’s eight month reign as champion by holding the ropes for leverage. Right from the start, Benjamin is clearly portrayed as the better man. Carlito backs away and scurries before resorting to cheap shots. Carlito tries the old heel “walk out of the match” tactic but as always, the babyface stops him. I’d like to see one heel get that to work. Shelton shows off his athleticism and gets two on a flying clothesline. Carlito goes to rest holds for a bit. Time for the babyface rally though the crowd was mixed. I don’t think they disliked Shelton, it felt more like they were high on the new cool heel that was Carlito. Shelton gets two on a springboard bulldog. Continuing the trend of classic heel tactics, Carlito undoes the turnbuckle cover but eats a big kick. Shelton goes for the stinger splash but leaps right into the exposed buckle. Carlito pins him to retain. I liked this as an opener. They had a good match without overdoing it. Shelton came off as superior, but he made a mistake just like he did when he lost the belt, making Carlito the smart, cunning heel. ***¼
Victoria def. Christy Hemme in 5:05
This actually gets a video package. Victoria turned heel at a recent bikini contest, choosing to abuse the other girls and Jerry Lawler. This is a serious, pissed off Christy. Victoria’s heel mannerisms are too over the top for my liking here. Christy shows some fire but is greener than grass. Victoria is aggressive throughout. King steals the show when he asks “what’s your favorite side of Christy Hemme?” Victoria tries the Widow’s Peak but Christy nearly counters into a rollup. Victoria blocks it and Christy still fires up. Victoria ends up winning by holding the ropes for leverage. Not a fan of two straight cheap finishes, especially since Victoria should have murdered Christy here. The match was as good as expected. Victoria tried but couldn’t save this. *
John Cena does his best Rock impersonation as he has some fun at the expense of nerdy Todd Grisham in an interview.
Kane def. Edge w/ Lita in 11:12
Lita had to marry Kane due to Kane beating Matt Hardy. He pretty much raped her and she got pregnant before losing the baby. It wasn’t Snitsky’s fault though. She eventually turned on Kane to go with Edge yet Kane is supposed to be the sympathetic babyface here. Kane eats up Edge in the beginning to “we want Matt” chants. Yea, this wasn’t the program the fans wanted. This is followed by “she’s a crack whore” chants. Wow. Edge weathers the storm and takes control. As much as I like Edge, none of his offense is really interesting here. Kane starts to rally and goes up top but leaps right into a dropkick. JR: “Kane exposed himself on the top turnbuckle”. I’m pretty happy I missed that. Snitsky runs out as Kane calls for the Chokeslam but eats a big boot. Lita enters with a chair only to get caught. She tries to flirt but Kane sees through it. He chokes her to the ground and wraps the chair around her head. She escapes when Snitsky big boots him. Kane kicks out of Edge’s pin. Edge misses his briefcase shot, hitting Snitsky and losing to a Chokeslam. Dull at points and overbooked in the end. At least the overbooking made it interesting. **¼
Shawn Michaels def. Kurt Angle in 26:11
Their WrestleMania 21 match earlier in the year is pretty much a top ten Mania match ever. With Angle coming over in the draft, the door opened for this rematch. Since they only met once, the feeling out process makes sense. It also makes you feel like they studied the Mania tape and are trying not to make a mistake. They fight to the outside where Angle ducks a right hand and hits a GODDAMN GERMAN ON THE ANNOUNCE TABLE! Not standing on it and hitting one, just from the floor onto it. Sick. Thanks to an uppercut, Shawn has a cut under his eye and Angle is in control. With the focus on Shawn’s back, Angle hits a damn buckle bomb for two. Angle wears him down, sprinkling in suplexes every now and then. It takes a while but Shawn starts to comeback, complete with flying forearm and kip up. He hits the big elbow but can’t put Angle away. Kurt stops Sweet Chin Music with an absolutely BRUTAL clothesline. Angle counters a suplex into a German and nails the Angle Slam for two. Shawn’s ankle lock counter leads to a ref bump. He rolls outside, injured, and medics come to check on him. Angle sends them off to keep the fight going. The ankle lock is slapped on and Angle keeps hold despite Shawn kicking him away several times. Shawn finally counters and Angle walks into Sweet Chin Music. He takes too long to cover, so Angle kicks out. Angle goes up top and leaps into a second SCM, evening their score at 1-1. Great outing from both guys. Angle was vicious and Shawn is always an amazing resilient babyface. Some of the spots were awesome and they built to good drama. My biggest gripe would be the finish. Angle going up top was dumb and felt out of character, especially with commentary saying that he wanted to win via submission again. ****¼
A couch is set up in the ring and Lillian Garcia comes out. She brings out her love interest, Big Vis, and starts to sing him. This whole storyline was strange. When she finishes singing, Lillian proposes to Viscera. He says he will take it into consideration and the Godfather’s music hits. For the first time in years, he comes out with the Ho Train. Godfather and some of the ladies convince Vis to go with them instead of Lillian. Outside of one of the hoes and nostalgia of seeing the Godfather, this was useless. It certainly didn’t belong on a PPV.
WWE Championship: John Cena (c) def. Chris Jericho and Christian w/ Tyson Tomko in 15:08
Shortly before Cena came to Raw, Christian spent time badmouthing him. I will forever say that Christian in 2005 is one of the WWE’s biggest missed opportunities. Early on, Jericho and Christian work together to beat up Cena. Jericho quickly turns on Christian before getting pulled outside by Tomko. Earl Hebner then tosses Tomko even though the match is No DQ. Christian blocks the FU, so Cena just launches him over and out. Jericho tries to suplex Cena onto the announce table, but Cena reversed it into a DDT on the floor. With him out, Christian hops back in and takes some of Cena’s offense. Jericho throws Cena into the steel steps and gets rolled up by Christian for two. All three are inside and Cena hits a TEN KNUCKLE SHUFFLE. Tomko returns and lays out Cena, earning Christian a near fall. Jericho puts Cena in the Walls, stops to dropkick Christian off the apron and slaps the Walls back on. Christian breaks it up and ends up getting sent into FU position. Cena turns so Christian’s feet knock out the oncoming Jericho before planting Christian and retaining. One of the better early Cena matches. It was clear that Christian and Jericho were leading the way. They worked a smart triple threat that was bolstered by the personalities involved. ***¾
World Heavyweight Championship Hell in a Cell: Batista (c) def. Triple H in 26:54
The entire angle of Batista turning on Evolution was so expertly done. Much better than how they handled the Orton/HHH stuff. It is Batista’s first Cell, while Triple H is undefeated (not counting the six pack one), beating Mick Foley, Kevin Nash, Chris Jericho and Shawn Michaels. Within the first few minutes, they’re already brawling around the ring. HHH gets a chain and chokes Batista with it. Batista fights out and when they go outside, he batters HHH with spinebusters into the post and cage several times. HHH goes under the ring and pulls out a steel chair wrapped in barbed wire. WELL GODDAMN! HHH, already a bloody mess, whacks Batista in the back with it and the crowd reaction is great. Batista gets the chair and not only hits HHH in the head, but then grates it across his face. HHH takes a beating around the ring for a while and then takes a powerslam onto the barbed wire chair inside. Out of desperation, HHH hits a DDT onto that chair, busting open Batista. SLEDGEHAMMER TIME! HHH doesn’t get to use it before countering a Batista Bomb. He then levels Batista with it but somehow only gets two. Batista then tries to use it but runs into a chain wrapped right hand for another near fall. Batista gets the sledgehammer up on an incoming HHH. He also just launches the steel steps at him outside. Just when Batista is on the verge of winning, HHH hits a low blow and the Pedigree. The crowd bites but Batista kicks out. HHH goes for another on the steel steps but Batista counters with a spinebuster onto them. In a great dramatic moment, HHH picks up the sledgehammer as he goes up for a Batista Bomb. He lifts it to strike but Batista snaps the powerbomb before he can and keeps the gold. An often overlooked Cell match that is probably top three all-time. This felt like the war to end a rivalry. Both guys went out and had a barbaric match that fit the gimmick and story. HHH had to pull out all the stops to beat Batista and still couldn’t and the image of his final attempt with the sledgehammer failing was perfect. ****½