Vengeance PPV

Tonight I went to Famous Freddie’s to see the WWE Vengeance PPV. It was a Raw-only show and while those are usually better than the Smackdown only shows, I typically find the single brand shows to be pretty sub-par and they do little to make them feel any different than the weekly TV show. I’m happy to report, they really delivered on this show.

One of the things I think has helped immediately was the draft that is still in place. Having some fresh faces in the mix has helped them already put together a fine card for the show. Carlito and John Cena were welcome additions to the Raw roster and both had very good to excellent showings tonight.

Carlito fought Shelton Benjamin in a rematch for the IC title that Carlito won this past Monday. It was a pretty solid match and was entertaining from start to finish. Carlito has been one of the bright spots in the WWE this past year, and he’s getting a chance to show his ring work now which while not on a Shelton Benjamin level (who is going to be a big star in this business I feel as that guy is a great worker), he can still hold his own quite well and these guys together were a great way to open the show. Carlito ended up getting the pin after Shelton missed the Stinger Splash and his his head on the exposed turnbuckle Carlito had removed during the match. A good finish that helps cement Carlito as a guy who uses shady tactics to win his matches and basically steals his wins.

Victoria and Christy Hemme had their match next. It was the shits and it was not because of Victoria. Christy has a LONG way to go before she is really ready to be working wrestling matches. I’m sure she is trying, but it is just too soon for her to be working in that ring, especially on a show you are asking people to shell out cash to watch. Wisely, Victoria got the win, but it wasn’t in an effort to push one of only 3 women they have that can actually work a match, but to be able to continue the feud longer because these two are the only ones able to wrestle right now since Trish and Lita are both on the mend. Sadly, once those two return, I’m sure they’ll forget all about Victoria again which is a damn shame because she really is talented.

Kane and Edge were next and really it did absolutely nothing for me. No it didn’t suck and they thankfully kept it somewhat short. I think the whole story line with Edge and Lita just sucks, and is in very poor taste considering how it was somewhat based in reality with the Lita, Edge, and Matt Hardy situation. Kane got the win after some botched interference by Lita and Snitsky. Thumbs down but I wasn’t pissed that those 15 minutes were robbed from my life, I just didn’t have any emotional interest in the match since the storytelling was so piss poor.

In what was the most unnecessary and overly long time waster of the evening, Viscera and Lilian were in the ring and Lillian asked big Vis (decked out in his pimp robe, I swear they should run with the gimmick and change his name to “huge hefner”) to marry him. As he was pondering it, we got the return (for one night only we’re I to guess) of the Godfather with his ho’s. In what could have been done in half the time, Godfather talked Vis out of it and the big man dumped Lillian for a bunch of hookers. Lillian was left crying in the ring. Why did this get 15 minutes of PPV time when there could have been a match for the tag team belts is one of life’s great mysteries.

Kurt Angle and Shawn Michaels had a rematch of their Wrestlemania 21 match and it was phenomenal! It was a solid match from the moment the bell rang with lots of back and forth, lots of excitement, some sick bumps from HBK, and a strong finish. I knew HBK was going to “get his win back” after doing the honors at WM and the match was so well done, Kurt lost nothing in doing the job and actually received a fair amount of applause when he walked up the aisle after the match. It was one of those matches that was so well done that you just appreciated what a great performance both men put on and couldn’t help but get behind it. Now that they both have a win on each other, I’d love to see them go at it again to break the tie.

John Cena, Chris Jericho and Christian had a triple threat match for the WWE title. I was fairly certain going in that it was going to be pretty good. I mean on paper, how can you go wrong? Cena’s ring work the past couple months I feel has gone up a notch and Jericho and Christian certainly deliver the goods on a regular occasion. The three of them really put together a great match. There was lots of near falls, interference on the someone’s advantage and just solid and non-stop action. They did a great job mixing it up amongst the three of them and while I thought that the logical choice was to give the title to either Jericho or Christian (my vote was for Captain Charisma) and have them take it over to Smackdown this week in the draft, Cena retained. Big thumbs up, just a really fun match to watch.

That left us with the Hell in a Cell match between Batista and HHH. After what felt like 3 hours of recaps, and another 10 minutes for Trip’s entrance, the match finally started. I wasn’t sure how Batista would do in this type of match but I am happy to report I was pleasantly surprised. They did it more old school and didn’t go to the top of the cage or resort to any giant high spots, instead they just had a violent, bloody match that did a really good job building up drama and excitement into a pretty good finish. At the point where Hunter hit Batista in the sac and hit the pedigree, I feared that a very enjoyable match to that point was going to end abruptly and soil the whole experience but when Batista kicked out, I was relieved to know they had something better in store for a finish. After a lot of very near falls, lots of bleeding, barbed wire chair shots, a sick spine buster on the steel steps and more, Batista finally hit his finisher and got the win. I found it a really great match and a fine finish to a pretty strong show overall. It certainly exceeded my expectations and I left the bar happy that I made the trek out there to watch it.