June 24, 2005
Countdown to WWE Vengeance 2005
By SLAM! Wrestling Staff

WWE has another pay-per-view headlined by Triple H vs. Batista this Sunday; this time, however, it's in the Cell.

Gimmick matches mean one of two things -- either a blow-off to a long-running feud, or a desperation move to pop a rating or buyrate. We won't say what this one is just yet. WWE has settled in quite nicely with the standard WCW format -- have a wicked undercard highlighted by awesome matches and a main event that theoretically appeals in storyline. Let's see what the crew from Monday Nitro...er...I mean Monday Night Raw has in store for us this month.


WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP HELL IN A CELL MATCH

HHH vs. Batista


SLAM! Predictions

  • Steve Rennie
    I hate to say it, but I think this is the match where WWE pulls the plug on the Batista experiment. Expect this to be a 20-30 minute brawl with a heaping of blood. Look for Triple H to pull out the win, bringing him one title reign closer to passing Ric Flair’s record.

  • Bob Kapur
    Maybe it's post-ECW-show depression, but somehow I just can't get into this match, even though I'm a HHH fan. This just screams of desperate booking, and given how stacked the rest of the card is, will likely be anti-climactic. If they're really serious about Batista, they'll let him go over in a huge way. I hope so, since I think HHH needs to either be taken off TV for a while, or moved to Smackdown (without Ric Flair) to shake some dust off his character. Pick: Batista.

  • Chris Sokol
    Well, HHH let Batista hold onto the title two months longer than he probably wanted him to. It's quite obvious that it's game over for Evolution's old Animal, Batista. Winner - HHH

  • Greg Oliver
    I've got mixed feelings on this. Either Batista gets the rub from being the first one to beat Triple H in a Hell in a Cell match, or Triple H's ego prevails. With Kurt Angle on Raw, Batista has his next, logical challenger. Triple H needs to lose and then needs some time off to mean something again, preferably with some character re-invention too. Pick: Batista.

  • Jon Waldman
    Three pay-per-views in a row with the same guys main eventing? What is this, late-'90s WCW? You have to hope this is the blow-off, but knowing HHH, he won't be happy until he has his belt back, and if Batista loses, he would still be entitled to a rematch. With only one draft pick remaining, you have to figure that the champ here or in the next match goes over, and I'm banking on the WWE Champion, so look for Batista-HHH IV in a couple months. Triple H gets the duke here.


    WWE CHAMPIONSHIP TRIPLE THREAT MATCH


    John Cena vs. Christian vs. Chris Jericho


    SLAM! Predictions

  • Steve Rennie
    Since it defies logic to have the WWE’s two top titles on the same show, look for the winner to be drafted to Smackdown. Since Cena was just drafted to Raw, I think Jericho is going to capture the title and switch brands, leaving Cena and Christian to feud over the summer.

  • Bob Kapur
    Logic dictates that either Chris Christian wins the belt and then gets drafted to Smackdown on Thursday, to give that show back a champion. While I love what Christian has been doing lately, this seems to me like one of those times where they'll job out the should-be champion to test his real-life ego and see if he's a team player, before giving him the gold. Y2J needs both the title and the exit from Raw to revitalize his career. Pick: Jericho

  • Chris Sokol
    This is a very odd predicament. If WWE is thinking of having a Raw Champion, a SmackDown Champion and a Heavyweight Champion, why don't they just make a Triple H Championship and stop ripping everyone off? Winner - Cena

  • Greg Oliver
    After being the one to end Hassan's streak on Monday, Cena is hot. Yet, it's the time for him to drop the belt. Christian takes it and goes to Smackdown. After all, SD GM Teddy Long has always said he wasn't going to make a decision on the belt until after the drafting was done. Well, that time is almost here. Jericho and Cena can continue to feud on Raw, saving Cena vs Batista for well down the line, possibly even WrestleMania.

  • Jon Waldman
    As I alluded to earlier, the winner here is headed to Smackdown, which means it won't be Cena. Christian and Cena have excellent charisma together, so you can expect to see the two of them battle for a few months. Jericho, however, just wants the belt. Winning the WWE Championship and heading to SD for a unification match with the Smackdown Champion would make for a great story, since Y2J's credo over the last couple years is that he's the first Undisputed Champion. Let him and Benoit have an epic Iron Man at Summerslam to decide who is the best of the best, me says.


    INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH

    Shelton Benjamin vs. Carlito Carribean Cool


    SLAM! Predictions

  • Steve Rennie
    Carlito is a breath of fresh air in WWE right now, easily one of the promotion’s most entertaining and charismatic performers. Benjamin is, well, phenomenal. He’s one of the most athletic stars to ever grace a WWE ring and has the potential to turn this bout into a show stealer. I predict Carlito retains through dubious means.

  • Bob Kapur
    It was a poor booking choice, I think, giving Carlito the belt on Monday instead of holding out his Raw debut until the PPV, where his win would have seemed that much more important. Iwouldn't mind seeing Benjamin win it back here, thus setting up a feud between the two of them over the summer, where they can flip the titles between them up until a huge SummerSlam blowoff. But somehow I don't think they've got that in the plans though. Pick: Carlito

  • Chris Sokol
    Carlito just won the belt, he is extremely over with the crowd and is a talented wrestler. Although Benjamin was a tremendous champion, it's Carlito's time to shine. Winner - Carlito

  • Greg Oliver
    Benjamin gave some legitimacy to the I-C belt, and it really needed it. He defended it against a number of opponents and put on some great matches. Still, Carlito is pretty cool. I see him prevailing. If they did this right, you could build Benjamin into a character with some colour and depth, complaining about getting screwed again and again, the deck stacked against him, yadda, yadda, yadda.

  • Jon Waldman
    Carlito winning the IC Title? That's cool. Benjamin will make this one close, but you have the feeling there will be something screwy here. My feeling is that Eric Bischoff's last draft pick will be revealed one day early, with Charlie Haas coming in to get his former teammate.


     
    UNDERCARD

     


    SLAM! Predictions

  • Steve Rennie
    Kurt Angle vs. Shawn Michaels - I predicted their first encounter would be a match of the year candidate, and boy was I right! Since Angle won the first round, Michaels will take this one, setting up third and final match to decide once and for all who is the best.
    Kane vs. Edge - Unless WWE and Matt Hardy have been in cahoots all along and are planning his return to the company, I could care less about this feud. Edge wins with help from his briefcase.
    Victoria vs. Christy Hemme - Ugh. This could be the wrestling equivalent of a root canal. Since Christy was beat down on Raw, I think she’ll win on PPV.

  • Bob Kapur
    Kurt Angle vs. Shawn Michaels - HBK wins the match of the night, getting his payback from WM21.
    Kane vs. Edge - Edge wins with Lita's help. Doubt this will end the feud, but here's hoping!
    Victoria vs. Christy Hemme - Ah, what I wouldn't pay for a Francine run-in... and Molly Holly, too. Christy wins, but nobody cares.

  • Chris Sokol
    Kurt Angle vs. Shawn Michaels - Angle won the last one, Michaels gets this one, rubber match at Summerslam. Winner - Shawn Michaels.
    Kane vs. Edge - To quote Paul Heyman, "Matt freakin' Hardy!" Winner - Kane.
    Victoria vs. Christy Hemme - Victoria is on the verge of actually coming out of the shadows again...and Christy is a horrible wrestler. Winner - Victoria

  • Greg Oliver
    Kurt Angle vs. Shawn Michaels - It'll be pure gold. Angle wins.
    Kane vs. Edge - Been there, done that. Kane wins, as it doesn't hurt Edge.
    Victoria vs. Christy Hemme - Yawn. Victoria wins in a walk.

  • Jon Waldman
    Kurt Angle vs. Shawn Michaels - Like there's any doubt. HBK gets his win back.
    Kane vs. Edge - Edge wins, wedding attempt #2 next week, enter Matt Hardy stage left.
    Victoria vs. Christy Hemme - I'm looking forward to Melina vs. Michelle more than this. Victoria wins and moves on to face Trish Stratus.

    -- compiled by Jon Waldman


  • CANOE.CA SLAM!