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COMMENT





Vengeance banal and badly booked
By JOHN and JUSTIN POWELL - SLAM! Wrestling


Your new ECW World champion ... Johnny Nitro


If the WWE was looking to swipe back at critics with a "Vengeance," they missed their opportunity with last night's pay-per-view. The show confirmed how, except for a few bright spots here and there, unreservedly generic and harmless their product has become. Vengeance was just another banal 'watch it and forget about it' broadcast from a company which seems perfectly content to go through the motions and sleepwalk their way through monthly pay-per-view after monthly pay-per-view.

Vengeance started out strong and showed some promise early on with the participants in the WWE World Tag Team and Cruiserweight Championship matches working hard and working well. Also, the inclusion of the many legends such as Harley Race and Magnum TA was a nice touch. Once the ECW World Heavyweight Title match drew near though, a series of shockingly poor and bizarre booking decisions sucked all of the momentum until the main events rolled around.

Jaws dropped and blood boiled as Johnny Nitro, not Elijah Burke or Marcus Cor Von, was picked to battle CM Punk for the ECW World Heavyweight Title when it was announced that Chris Benoit would not be attending the show for "personal reasons." In yet another slap in the face of diehard ECW fans, Nitro won the match and the title. Not that Nitro doesn't deserve it for his great work over the last year as a solo act. He just isn't an ECW champion. Well, if you ever thought ECW would be given the chance to return to its glory days, wonder no more. I gave up when they made Big Show the champ and let Ariel go. You can only be spit on so many times, if you know what I mean.

From there, the comedy of errors continued. In an angle that should have been reserved for Raw, Umaga determined that beating the holy hell out of Santino-What's-His-Name was worth getting disqualified. Fans agreed and cheered the Samoan Bulldozer on perhaps hoping the uncharismatic Marella would just fade away. A Ric Flair title win was teased once again and WWE Tag Team Champions, Deuce and Domino, inexplicably fought the "impromptu" team of Jimmy 'Superfly' Snuka and Sgt. Slaughter, although the fact that Deuce is Snuka's adopted son was probably lost on the majority of those watching.

The only match that had some novel booking was Batista versus Edge for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship in a match billed as 'The Animal's' last chance. Starting out very methodical with Batista using power moves to toss Edge around, the match grew more lively as it progressed as Edge and Batista began to quicken the pace. At twelve minutes in, Edge got himself disqualified when he walloped Batista in the family jewels. Ouch!

A relieved and cocky Edge was surprised when Smackdown! GM Teddy Long arrived on the scene and ordered the match restarted with the added stipulation that if Edge was DQ'd he would lose the belt. Way to go, Teddy. 'The Animal' viciously Batista Bombed Edge on the ringside floor as the official laid down the ten count. Batista rolled Edge back into the ring to pin him just as the referee's arm dropped for the final time counting Batista out and declaring Edge the winner. A bummed out Batista PowerBombed Edge in the middle of the ring as JBL of all people complained about poor sportsmanship.

To anyone who knows how the WWE handles Triple Threat or Fatal Fourway matches, it was no surprise that the WWE Championship Challenge was a total jumble with the bookers and talent coming up with not so creative ways of taking themselves out of the match so others could step into the spotlight. With Booker taking Lashley out of the ring, current champ John Cena saw his chance. He hoisted The King up into the FU from behind. Booker managed to grab the ropes so Cena Guillotined him to the outside and picked up poor old Mick Foley instead. An FU later, John Cena remains your WWE Heavyweight Champion.

The next WWE pay per view is the Great American Bash on July 22nd.

Now for the first father-son tag team coverage of a pay-per-view here on SLAM! Wrestling. John is the bitter old man, Justin the youthful grade-school son.


Mike Rotunda and Barry Windham at ringside.
WWE Vengeance 2007 Results

Lance Cade & Trevor Murdoch (champs) Versus The Hardys (challengers) (WWE World Tag Team Championship Match)

John: The U.S.A. Express (Mike Rotunda and Barry Windham) are sitting at ringside. Just when you think you've seen it all on Raw, Jeff Hardy throws in a few new moves to keep things fresh and fun. Jeff is pushed off the top rope and falls badly. Lance Cade gives him a modified Chokeslam to score the pinfall. Just waiting on the eventual Jeff - Matt feud for the World Title.

Justin: The Hardys were not jumping around enough. It was a slower match than usual. This feud is boring already.

Winners: ...and still WWE World Tag Team Champions...Lance Cade & Trevor Murdoch at 8 minutes and 55 seconds.

John Rating: 6 / 10

Justin Rating: 6 / 10

Getting ready a tad bit early for the main event, King Booker explains to Queen Sharmel why he is the King of Champions. They kiss. Awwwww.

Chavo Guerrero (champion) Versus Jimmy Wang Yang (challenger) (WWE Cruiserweight Championship Match)

John: Dean Malenko is shown backstage watching the match on a television. Yes, we have witnessed this match-up many a time as well. Despite the draft, things are still dusty in the WWE. Still, Yang and Guerrero mix things up very well with a great arsenal of moves. As Yang goes up to the top rope, Chavo crotches him and then delivers a Frog Splash.

Justin: Did you know that Yang used to be part of the Yung Dragons in WCW! There was tons of high flying action in this match from both competitors. Why do people boo when Chavo does the Three Amigos? That's stupid.

Winner: ...and still WWE Cruiserweight Champion...Chavo Guerrero at 9 minutes and 16 seconds.

John Rating: 7 / 10

Justin Rating: 7.5 / 10

Another chapter in the highly irritating 'Who Blew Up McMahon?' angle. Worst part is I cannot fast forward through it as per usual. In a ridiculous segment, J.R. and Lawler pour over footage of McMahon leaving the arena on that fateful night looking for clues. If McMahon was really barbecued like that, would the WWE be rebroadcasting the footage over and over again? Methinks not. Drop this crap already. Someone is waving a sign behind Lawler and J.R. It reads: VINCE IS NOT DEAD.

Obviously the crowd couldn't possibly care less either as they start chanting...Nah Nah Nah Nah. Nah Nah Nah Nah. Hey. Hey. Hey. Good-bye. Such disrespect for the dearly departed. Sigh.

Lashley is interviewed. He wishes McMahon were in the area tonight to watch him win the WWE Heavyweight title. Joey Styles intros footage of Tazz as ECW World Heavyweight Champion. Styles calls Tazz...the most miserable man on the planet...just for old times sake. Tazz replies that he was proud to be the ECW Champion.

Johnny Nitro (challenger) Versus CM Punk (challenger) (ECW World Championship Match)

John: It is explained that Benoit couldn't attend tonight because of "personal reasons." Considering who is involved, the bout is lethargic and uneven. The crowd chants "We want Benoit!" and "Booooring!" often. Punk gets caught up in the ropes and Nitro hits him with a spinning neckbreaker. Bloody disgusting.

Justin: Tell me I just didn't see that happen? Nitro won? That just sucked!

Winner: ...and new ECW World Heavyweight Champion...Johnny Nitro at 8 minutes even.

John Rating: 4 / 10

Justin Rating: 3.3 / 10

Randy Orton and Mick Foley trade verbal barbs backstage. Randy reminds Mick he put RVD and HBK on the shelf. Foley reminds Orton about how much thumbtacks can hurt.


Umaga attacks Santino Marella.
Umaga (challenger) Versus Santino Marella (champion) (WWE Intercontinental Championship Match)

John: Ricky Steamboat is introduced and takes a bow. Two and a half minutes into the match, Umaga loses it and refuses to listen to the official. He is disqualified. With the crowd egging him on, Umaga splashes Marella from the top rope and gives him the Spike. As he heads up the ramp way, Umaga cannot help but smile as the crowd roars with approval. Hear that, Marella? That is what is left of your miserable heat disappearing.

Justin: I didn't want Umaga to stop. Marella is boring. He sucks. When do you know when an attack is over? The wrestler's music start playing. I wish someone would tell that to J.R.

Winner: via disqualification...and still WWE Intercontinental Champion...Santino Marella at 2 minutes and 34 seconds.

John Rating: 2 / 10

Justin Rating: 2 / 10

Lawler and J.R. mention that the agent investigating McMahon's death will have an announcement to make on Raw. There will be a three-hour memorial to McMahon on the show as well. All I got to say to that is... the PVR and the fast forward button are godsends. Magnum TA is sitting in the first row for the United States Title match.


MVP, right, badmouths Magnum T.A.
Ric Flair (challenger) Versus MVP (champion) (WWE United States Championship Match)

John: MVP puts the bad mouth on Magnum. Magnum is not impressed. It actually looks like Flair is gonna pull this one off until MVP pokes him in the eye and hits the Playmaker.

Justin: After all that happened, that was a dumb way to win a match.

Winner: ... and still WWE Intercontinental Champion...MVP at 8 minutes and 43 seconds.

John Rating: 6 / 10

Justin Rating: 5 / 10

Edge and John Cena argue backstage. Cena says Edge wouldn't have the guts to blow up Vince McMahon. He leaves just as the FBI dude sidles up to a perplexed Edge.


Rick Martel and Tony Garea at ringside.
Sgt. Slaughter, Jimmy 'Superfly' Snuka (challengers) Versus Deuce, Domino (champions) (WWE Tag Team Championship Match)

John: The announcers forget to mention that Snuka was the first ECW World Heavyweight Champion. Former champs Rick Martel and Tony Garea are watching from ringside seats. Deuce and Domino call them has-beens and say they didn't recognize them because they are used to seeing them in black and white. While Sarge can still hold his ground, Snuka has the same spirit but seems a little long in the tooth now to be trading headlocks. God bless him though for getting in the ring again. A great moment has Deuce climbing on the top rope and mimicking the Superfly. Snuka flies, Deuce catches him and rolls him over for the pinfall. Deuce and Domino lay a beatdown on Snuka and Slaughter. Garea and Martel come to the rescue.

Justin: Dude, he pinned his own father! That was great and fun too! I like watching the old guys come back and wrestle!

Winners: ... and still WWE Tag Team Champions...Deuce and Domino at 6 minutes and 34 seconds.

John Rating: 3 / 10

Justin Rating: 7.5 / 10


A disappointed Batista.
Batista (challenger) Versus Edge (champion) (WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match)

John: Edge makes fun of Harley Race who is watching from the third row. Batista comes out and shakes his hand.

Justin: I cannot believe Batista lost like that. It makes him look so stupid to be counted out. I think he is going to turn bad now and fight Ric Flair.

Winner: ... and still WWE World Heavyweight Champion...Edge at 9 minutes and 14 seconds.

John Rating: 7.5 / 10

Justin Rating: 8.5 / 10

Candice Michelle (challenger) Versus Melina (champion) (WWE Women's World Championship Match)

WHAT YOU THINK
What did you think of WWE Vengeance?
It was great - 7%
It was okay - 18%
It was terrible - 29%
Didn't see it - 46%
John: Candice twirls and looks cute. Why does Lawler still shout "Go Daddy!" when Candice does her elbow drop? Does he get paid for the free advertising? Melina kicks and screams a lot. A quick roundhouse kick off the ropes wins Candice the title. She sobs and sobs.

Justin: That sucked. Candice can barely wrestle. Melina's voice is annoying.

Winner: ... and new WWE Women's Champion...Candice Michelle at 4 minutes and 70 seconds.

John Rating: 3 / 10

Justin Rating: 3.3 / 10

John Cena (champion) Versus King Booker (challenger), Randy Orton (challenger), Bobby Lashley (challenger) & Mick Foley (WWE Championship Match)

Winner: ... and still WWE Champion...John Cena at 10 minutes and 8 seconds.

John Rating: 6 / 10

Justin Rating: 7 / 10

Total Event Time: 2 hours and 45 minutes.

John: Overall Event Rating: 5 / 10

Justin: Overall Event Rating: 7.5 / 10


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