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Countdown to WWE Vengeance
By SLAM! Wrestling Staff




Drawn-out storylines, potential Match of the Year candidates and some interesting positional points.

Yes, friends, Vengeance, which is set to go down just a few hours from now, has one of the most stacked cards we've seen for a non-dual brand show in quite some time. There's a lot to look forward to hear, so let's get right to the action.
 
MAIN EVENT: WWE HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH

Rob Van Dam vs. Edge
 

SLAM! Predictions

Jon Waldman

Given all the dark matches and announced bouts between Edge and Cena, the Canadian boy starts his second run tonight. Hopefully this one goes a bit longer.

Matt Mackinder

Edge has tremendous heat right now and is the odds-on-favorite to take the title here in this match. RVD still has the ECW belt, so it won't be a total loss for the pride of Battle Creek, Mich. I like Edge to take the title, with interference from Lita or possibly an ECW star, er, extremist, and to feud with John Cena this summer.

Chris Sokol

Edge's whole crusade against ECW is fine and all, however it needs to end. Just let ECW be ECW, not ECW with a splash of WWE. The eaisest way for ECW to get a bit of distance from WWE is for Edge to pick up the duke here, capturing the WWE Championship, but leaving RVD to hold the ECW Championship. It might not totally divide the brands, but at least the championships will become separate.

Greg Oliver

It seems obvious that there will be some sort of screwjob finish, where Edge wins the belt and RVD can still claim to be (ECW) champ. But lately, WWE has been avoiding the obvious - to their credit.

Brian Elliot

Word has it that Vince McMahon has recently been known to change his mind at the very last minute, and I'm not convinced that as you read this, he'll have made up his mind as to whom will leave Vengeance with the WWE title.
However, with Triple-H seemingly set to square off against Randy Orton over the next few months, I predict that RVD retains the title - and some prestige for the ECW brand - for a few more weeks yet.


FIVE ON TWO HANDICAP MATCH

Spirit Squad vs. D-Generation X


SLAM! Predictions

Jon Waldman

Well, if DX is only running until Summerslam, then I suppose this will be the first of two matches with these guys. I'd like to see the tag belts on the line here, but I suppose those are beneath Trippy and HBK. Oh well. DX gets DQ'd.

Matt Mackinder

I've waited years and years for DX's return. The past two weeks on Raw, I don't know that I've laughed that hard during a WWE show. Though I am a fan of the Spirit Squad (they grow on you and again, you just need to laugh), I see DX dominating this match. Hopefully, Vince and his 60-year-old keyster steers clear of the proceedings.

Chris Sokol

DX is back and in rare form. It's good having them around to provide some comic relief. The Spirit Squad is probably the most atheletically gifted group of superstars on the Raw roster, which will make this match the best on the card. All parties involved know how to put on a good show. DX gets the win, but a post-match beatdown puts HBK out of comission.

Greg Oliver

It's a no-brainer that DX wins, but a McMahon will be involved somehow to get some heat back after the match. The Spirit Squad just can't be taken seriously.

Brian Elliot

This is the reformation that everyone (apparently) has been waiting for, and whilst we've caught glimpses on RAW over the last few weeks, this is the somewhat official reunion for Michaels & Helmsley. The Spirit Squad will make them both look like a million dollars, and Triple-H will score the pin with the Pedigree.


  EXTREME LUMBERJACK MATCH

John Cena vs. Sabu
 


SLAM! Predictions

Jon Waldman

I suppose the idea here is to make Cena look more credible in the hardcore audience's eyes. The problem is, however, most hardcore fans see right through that. Sabu really has to go over here, but make Cena look good - maybe a pass-out-from-the-pain spot a la Steve Austin?

Matt Mackinder

Wow, a tough one to call. Sabu is portrayed as the heel, yet Cena has the boos. Being that it's billed as an "extreme" match, does that mean Sabu gets the win, or does Cena turn over a new leaf and get down ECW style? I'll go with Sabu here.

Chris Sokol

Ugh. Some more WWECW action here. Two totally different styles collide once again. John Cena will once again get screwed over by the Extremists, further pushing Sabu who has done a relatively good job thus far. For someone who is so banged up, he really can go. It's truly amazing.

Greg Oliver

The goal is to make Cena seem even tougher, I figure, so he'll take a real beating and lay down at the end. He'll stand and shake Sabu's hand.

Brian Elliot

Cena and Sabu have squared off recently on RAW, when the match ended with a disqualification win for Cena. Here, the former WWE champion has the odds stacked against him, with Sabu having the advantage in any kind of extreme-style match. However, by hook or by crook, Cena will go over with the F-U.


 

UNDERCARD

 


SLAM! Predictions

Jon Waldman
Shelton Benjamin vs. Carlito vs. Johnny Nitro (IC Title Match) - My vote goes to Carlito. Nitro would be well served to be in ECW.
Kurt Angle vs. Randy Orton -
Randy's punishment continues.
Mick Foley vs. Ric Flair (2/3 Falls) -
This should have had a much bigger build. This can't be it from these two.
Kane vs. "Kane"-
Am I the only one who likes this angle? I guess so. The retro Kane wins here.
Eugene vs. Umaga -
Umaga is rapidly becoming my favourite wrestler. A big win fo rht ebig man here.

Matt Mackinder
Shelton Benjamin vs. Carlito vs. Johnny Nitro (IC Title Match) - Shelty B (that's how he signs his autograph) retains, but Carlito puts on a good show and gets Nitro over.
Kurt Angle vs. Randy Orton -
If this happens, I like Angle.
Mick Foley vs. Ric Flair (2/3 Falls) -
Ten years ago, I love this match. In 2006, nah. Flair wins in his hometown.
Kane vs. "Kane"-
The "See No Evil" Kane has hinted at retirement and a loss to Freakin' Deacon starts that part of his WWE career.
Eugene vs. Umaga -
People are paying to see Forrest Eugene get thumbed by Jamal? Umaga all the way.

Chris Sokol
Shelton Benjamin vs. Carlito vs. Johnny Nitro (IC Title Match) - The Nitro push gets a nice jumpstart, as he sneaks in the backdoor and captures gold.
Kurt Angle vs. Randy Orton -
This will be a great mat classic with Orton pulling it off.
Mick Foley vs. Ric Flair (2/3 Falls) -
This will be err...interesting. Flair gets the win.
Kane vs. "Kane"-
Another err...interesting encounter. I like the angle going on here. Imposter Kane wins.
Eugene vs. Umaga -
Eugene squashes Umaga...nah...just kidding...Umaga wins of course.

Greg Oliver
Shelton Benjamin vs. Carlito vs. Johnny Nitro (IC Title Match) - Benjamin retains, but it'll be "cool" to see how Nitro fits in.
Kurt Angle vs. Randy Orton -
Can Angle win two in a row? Yes.
Mick Foley vs. Ric Flair (2/3 Falls) -
Foley's been laying down a lot, so he goes over.
Kane vs. "Kane"-
I guarantee Kane will win. Just don't ask me which one, as I don't care.
Eugene vs. Umaga -
Umaga. They're building him for a run at Hulk's title right? What, it isn't 1986?

Brian Elliot
Shelton Benjamin vs. Carlito vs. Johnny Nitro (IC Title Match) - Benjamin, the most entertaining of the three, will retain the title.
Kurt Angle vs. Randy Orton -
I predict that somehow Orton finds a way to subdue the Olympic Gold medallist.
Mick Foley vs. Ric Flair (2/3 Falls) -
I expect Flair to win, but not conclusively, possibly with a disqualification win.
Kane vs. "Kane"-
I think we can expect to see the Imposter for a little while yet, so I expect him to go over on the "real" Kane.
Eugene vs. Umaga -
I expect this to be a short match, with Umaga winning convincingly using the Samoan Spike.


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-- compiled by Jon Waldman