June 25, 2006
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
Rob Van Dam vs. Edge
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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?
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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?
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