June 24, 2007
Countdown to WWE Vengeance
By SLAM! Wrestling Staff
The "night of champions" in WWE is upon us.
Yes, Vengeance is here, after...days of promotion. If you were caught off guard
by the date on the calendar, it's likely that you aren't alone. After all, the
McMahon explosion has taken up much of WWE's programming and webspace, so much
so that on this night where all the belts are defended, we still don't know
who the opponents will be for one champion.
Regardless, SLAM! soldiers on, with our traditional preview, plus a bonus topic
our staffers were more than willing to discuss (and no, it has nothing to do
| MAIN EVENT: WWE HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
John Cena vs. Randy Orton vs. King Booker vs. Mick Foley vs. Bobby
It looks like Foley won't be in it after he got laid out by Umaga on Raw. Not
like he had a chance anyway, though. Cena is still the money guy in my view,
so look for him to retain.
As if Cena loses here. He's being portrayed as the second coming of Hulk
Hogan and can "overcome the tremendous odds" here. Not sure how Foley
in this match makes any sense. I guess the writers have little guidance, what
with Vince McMahon dead and all. Cena retains.
This will be the 100th tease of the long-awaited "dream match" between
Cena and Orton, and I actually would not be surprised if young Randy gets the
title here; however, we know that Poochie's been building around Cena and Lashley
of late, so I expect that the ex-rapper or the ex-army dude to get the actual
duke. Regardless, I think it's obvious that King Booker's taking the pin.
The very nature of the match bodes well for Cena, meaning that his opponents
can beat each other up and he can be the crafty champ taking advantage of the
situation. I don't see any one else but Cena coming out on top here. But I do
see a solid decision on who he'll face at Summerslam coming out of it. Lashley,
|| WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE MATCH (LAST CHANCE)
Edge vs. Batista
Edge is a great champion because he's so good at playing the bad guy, you want
to see him lose. I think they'll keep that dynamic in play for a while longer.
Batista has to crawl his way back up into contention... maybe by the Royal Rumble?
Edge as the top wrestler on SmackDown excites me. Batista's overly predictable
matches bore me to death. I will go with Edge pulling a fast one and keeping
the championship here and Big Dave snaps after the match. If Vince were still
here, I'd think Batista goes over, but Mr. McMahon is nothing but, uh,
For a while, even with all of his detractors, I found Batista entertaining after
his return from injury. Now though, I can't sit through one of his matches.
I'm definitely not the only one. I expect Edge to win here, and, lo and behold,
to mix it up over the summer with the one man he has more history with than
anyone in WWE - Matt Hardy.
If only a "last chance" meant anything in the WWE world ... I can
see Edge winning and Batista out of the title picture, at least for a while.
I'm actually surprised he didn't switch brands.
|| ECW TITLE MATCH
Chris Benoit vs. CM Punk
This is a hard call. Punk is arguably the only star that the ECW brand created,
but Benoit is hands-down the best wrestler on the show (heck, in the entire company).
I think they'll go with Benoit - Punk gets his chance later this year.
This has the potential to steal the show - the past and present of the ECW name,
in Vince's image. Benoit already dropped the U.S. belt to MVP, so maybe getting
the WWECW title is a small consolation. Actually, I think NOT winning the title
would be a better gift, and therefore, Punk becomes the ECW champ
and has a lengthy run highlighted by rematches with Benoit.
You almost get the feeling that Poochie is putting Benoit in this position as
part of the new contract the Canadian Crippler signed, don't you? I mean there
may have been some legitimacy to the TNA rumours, and giving Benoit another run
at the top of the company may have been a way to keep him in the WWE fold. This
will be a classic, if given time, with Benoit going over.
Match of the night, most likely. My heart goes with Punk, but my mind (and guts)
say Benoit. He's tried and true and he's an ECW veteran. He and Punk can battle
all summer, with Punk finally overcoming the odds at Summerslam. Benoit is a star-maker;
just witness MVP.
Santino Marella vs. Umaga (Intercontinental Title) - Time to end the
failed Santino experiment. Umaga wins.
MVP vs. Ric Flair (US Title) - MVP had some great matches with Benoit, so
should be able to hang with Flair too. He retains.
Chavo Guerrero vs. Jimmy Wang Yang (Cruiserweight Title) - I forgot they
even had a Cruiserweight Title. Yang wins, just to shake things up.
Melina vs. Candice Michelle (Women's Title) - After the buildup to this,
it would seem Candice has Melina's number. Look for the swerve - Melina wins.
The Hardyz vs. Lance Cade/Trevor Murdoch (World Tag Team Titles) - Cade/Murdoch
turned on the Hardyz far too soon. Their nefarious ways continue and they cheat
Deuce/Domino vs. ??? - Deuce/Domino have a fun gimmick, but they're just
not good enough in the ring to be champions. They lose tonight
Santino Marella vs. Umaga (Intercontinental Title) - The potty break match – Marella gets help and pulls a mild upset, but who cares?
MVP vs. Ric Flair (US Title) - Sad – Flair goes to SmackDown so he can lose a title match at a pay-per-view. Nice.
Chavo Guerrero vs. Jimmy Wang Yang (Cruiserweight Title) - Call me crazy, but I think Yang starts a title reign here.
Melina vs. Candice Michelle (Women's Title) -Yawn. Melina retains, but I’ll be dozing at this point.
The Hardyz vs. Lance Cade/Trevor Murdoch (World Tag Team Titles) - A dark horse for match of the night as Matt and Jeff regain the straps.
Deuce/Domino vs. ??? - What tag teams are left on SmackDown? It doesn’ matter – D & D keep the gold.
Santino Marella vs. Umaga (Intercontinental Title) - I'll go against
the grain and say that Foley causes the loss for Umaga.
MVP vs. Ric Flair (US Title ) - MVP goes over the Nature Boy.
Chavo Guerrero vs. Jimmy Wang Yang (Cruiserweight Title) - Yang gets the
Melina vs. Candice Michelle (Women's Title) - Candice is just about ready
for a run. Give Melina this one and let the title change in two months.
The Hardyz vs. Lance Cade/Trevor Murdoch (World Tag Team Titles) - Matt's
moving up in the world. The rednecks win.
Deuce/Domino vs. ??? - I suspect the Majors will be the opponents and get
the surprise win.
Santino Marella vs. Umaga (Intercontinental Title) - This underdog champ
thing should end. Umaga crushes him.
MVP vs. Ric Flair (US Title) - M-V-P! M-V-P! M-V-P!
Chavo Guerrero vs. Jimmy Wang Yang (Cruiserweight Title) - They'll try to
put on the match of the night, if given enough time. Yang wins.
Melina vs. Candice Michelle (Women's Title) - Melina retains in a short
The Hardyz vs. Lance Cade/Trevor Murdoch (World Tag Team Titles) - There's
still a lot of life left in this feud. Cade & Murdoch retain.
Deuce/Domino vs. ??? - Deuce/Domino take it.
WHICH WWE TITLE WE WANT BACK
The Hardcore Title saw its share of fun extreme matches until it became a joke
with the 24/7 defense stipulation and marathon title matches and such. Now,
with ECW as a brand, they have the perfect opportunity to bring it back. This
time, though, they need to keep it truly hardcore - defendable only in Extreme
Rules matches, and without the cartoonish nonsense that made it irrelevant before.
As short-lived as they were, the Cruiserweight Tag Team belts in WCW were a
strong way to keep some of the higher-flying tandems going on the card. I'd
love to see these brought back, especially when you consider that tags like
Brian Kendrick and Paul London started in the C-Weight ranks. Bring up a couple
of the smaller OVW teams, put them on Smackdown and you've got yourself a new
division which is unique from Raw.
I think there are too many titles now - witness this show. It made sense, perhaps,
with the branded PPVs, but now that they are together, it's silly. Still, if
I had to pick one, I'd make a TV champ, and have him defend on every brand,
but not on the pay-per-views.
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-- compiled by Jon Waldman