Vengeance 2007: Who Thought This Was A Good Idea?

Vengeance 2007
Date: June 24, 2007
Location: Toyota Center, Houston, Texas
Attendance: 15,000
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler, Michael Cole, Joey Styles, Tazz, John Layfield

So this is the final actual Vengeance show and its official title is Vengeance: Night of Champions. This show is infamous for one reason: it’s the Benoit Show. The next day we would find out what he did and he’s not here tonight for “personal reasons.” For those of you that are new to this, Chris Benoit went insane and murdered his wife and son before killing himself at his home. He was supposed to win the ECW Title here but that obviously never happened. Other than that, all titles are on the line. Let’s get to it.

The opening video is about how everyone wants to be a champion, which is very true I guess. We get clips of all of the big matches tonight which is good for helping to bring us all up to date considering this is a 3 year old show.

Oh and we’re done with the brand exclusive shows at this point which is a MAJOR plus for me.

We’re going to have legends introduced all night which is a cool thing. The first are the US Express: Barry Windham and Mike Rotundo, who continues to change his last name from Rotundo to Rotunda every time he appears.

Raw Tag Titles: The Hardys vs. Lance Cade/Trevor Murdoch

This was a reunion that went on for a few months because they had nothing else to do for them. Jeff’s rise to awesomeness would come soon enough. Matt would stay uninteresting. The country boys are the champions here. They took them from the Hardys about three weeks before this. It’s weird to think that only Matt is still with the company now. Dang Matt is over here. And Jeff is even more over.

They dominate early on which leads me to think the champions will retain. The champions try to run away and we have a red carpet here. Man I didn’t know Murdoch could run that fast. We hit the formula here which is likely the right thing to do. I’ve always wondered why partners start to come in at 2. It’s not like they’re The Flash or something. Murdoch has a bad eye apparently. Is he like Rocky now? Murdoch’s country music gimmick a few years after this really was comically bad.

Sorry for being so random but this just isn’t an interesting match at all so I’m trying to kill the time. Murdoch hooks a LONG half crab to kill even more time. Well to be fair Matt has a bad knee apparently. Jeff gets the hot tag and the crowd is VERY hot here. Jeff beats the heck out of everyone and hits his sitout Gordbuster. Matt Hardy accidentally distracts the referee and Jeff gets double teamed into Cade’s sitout spinebuster for the pin to retain.

Rating: D+. Boring match but considering there are so many matches tonight they likely have to hurry. This is a match that shows the issues with both the division and the show though as there is no need for this to be on PPV as it should have been on Raw instead of here. This was the Hardys’ last official tag match together for awhile so there you are.

Booker lists off his accomplishments. He would be in TNA in like four months.

Ad for Summerslam which was going to be the stupid MTV show. Thankfully that never happened, so instead TNA did it and it completely bombed.

We have a little profile on Eddie, because this is a WWE show and we need to get every bit of sympathy out of Eddie’s corpse that we can right? They completely leave out Goldberg interfering in that Lesnar match for obvious reasons.

Cruiserweight Title: Chavo Guerrero vs. Jimmy Wang Yang

We get a bit on Dean Malenko as he was a great Cruiserweight Champion back in the day. Jimmy comes out to NO reaction. I mean NOTHING. This is about a month before Chavo lost the belt to Horny. Oh dear. Apparently the WCW Light Heavyweight Title is now the official forerunner to the Cruiserweight Title. Ok then. The division was really pretty worthless at this point so I guess killing the title was the right idea.

Then again that could be Yang since no one buys him as a threat to the title here at all. He does however hit a SWEET dive off the top to the floor. That looked awesome. JBL really was solid at announcing. He wasn’t great or anything but he had recent credibility which is the most important thing so there we are. Chavo takes over as this just isn’t that interesting at all for some reason. I just do not care at all. We’re reminded again that the name Guerrero means warrior. We get it.

It’s a bad sign when the best thing you can say about a guy is he has a never say die attitude. Jimmy gets some offense in and manages to get the crowd to make noise. And there are the Three Amigos to get rid of that. The top rope moonsault from Yang misses and you can feel it getting close to the end. You can see people getting up and leaving or getting back from the concession stands as Chavo wins with a Frog Splash.

Rating: D+. The wrestling wasn’t bad here, but DANG this just wasn’t any good. Again this should have been a TV match and not a PPV match. You can really see how little development there were for a lot of these titles back in the day and it really wasn’t a great idea to have these matches on PPV. It’s not bad, but there’s just no point to it.

We recap the Vince Limo Explosion which is really put into context by what would be revealed the next night. I remember watching this on TV and saying that the lim was going to blow up. No idea why I thought that but I just knew it. Another way you could tell it was fake was a puddle appears just prior to the explosion.

It was a great editing job though as I had to read that on WZ to notice it. There’s a poll question on WWE.com as to who you think the culprit is. Only Vince would use his own murder as publicity.

Lashley is mad at Vince but didn’t do it.

We see clips of Taz being a tough guy. He’s credited with being the first guy to make people tap out to indicate submission. I’ve heard that from non-WWE sources too so maybe there’s some truth to that.

ECW Title: CM Punk vs. Johnny Nitro

Again this was supposed to be Benoit instead of Nitro which had me drooling over the thought of it. Punk cleanshaven is odd looking. Nitro would become Morrison in about a month or so. We hear the term “personal reasons” which no one knew the meaning of at the time. It would be discovered tomorrow afternoon which is chilling when you think about it. What was he doing during this show?

I made a thread once about these two being the real rivalry in WWE over the last 3 years and I still think that. The fans want tables. Good luck with that. Nitro hits that springboard rotating kick which looks great. Johnny Nitro sounds like a guy Sandman should massacre in a TV squash. I think that might have been the idea actually. This is the standard decent match between the two of them but it’s really nothing all that special.

Nitro was little more than a glorified jobber that had a decent feud with Jeff Hardy a few months earlier but other than that he had a hot girlfriend and that’s about it. Oh and nice abs. Nitro uses the ropes to get extra leverage and like any other heel, it gets heat for him. Again, less is more. Simple cheating will get the crowd to boo you. Nitro hits that corkscrew neckbreaker while Punk’s feet are on the ropes like Orton’s elevated DDT to get the win and the title. Wow that match flew by and I’m not sure if that’s a good or a bad thing in this case.

Rating: C-. Not bad here but not great at all. Nitro wasn’t very good yet and it was clear here. He would become John Morrison and gain confidence in a few weeks which was huge to his career and still works to an extent today. Anyway, this wasn’t bad, but they would have FAR better matches later.

We recap Shawn vs. Bret in the Iron Man match to show Shawn’s first title win. This is a cool theme for a show if nothing else.

Foley is getting ready. He’s in the main event tonight. And here’s Randy Orton to be a jerk. Man I can’t wait to get to that match.

Ricky Steamboat is here.

Intercontinental Title: Santino Marella vs. Umaga

Just make it quick please. Santino is the plucky young rookie here that is still a face and currently stabbing the title through the heart every second he has the belt but whatever. Apparently Umaga half killed Foley on Raw. Santino is wrestling legit here and it’s amazing to think of how I guess you could say far he’s come today? Umaga kicks his head off to take care of that.

There’s the nerve hold or whatever you want to call it. Is that just a Samoan thing? Umaga gets him in the corner and pounds him down, which is apparently enough for the CHEAP DQ. Umaga destroys him for good measure. He would get the title back in eight days or so. He crushes Santino with a splash and gets a face chant for it.

ARE YOU LISTENING VINCE? Umaga finishes it off with the spike. The post match beatdown was longer than the match itself I think. He gets a LOUD face chant which of course isn’t acknowledged at all. Ok seriously, the match has been over for like 5 minutes now. End it.

Rating: N/A. First person that finds a point to this anywhere, please let us know. Good lucky on finding one also.

Ad for the Great American Bash.

We go to a press conference thing from Friday, held by the lead investigator in Vince’s case. Also there’s apparently another well-known personality’s DNA in the limo. Ok then. Tomorrow we have a 3 hour Raw as a memorial for Vince. This is actually hard to watch when you know what’s coming.

MAGNUM TA IS HERE! That mustache is awesome. He could have been something special.

US Title: MVP vs. Ric Flair

MVP is the ridiculously cocky heel here and actually interesting to an extent. You would NEVER hear that today. He gets in Magnum’s face and says it’s all about MVP now. If all of MVP’s matches wind up combining to be half as good as the I Quit Cage match I’ll be stunned. Flair just looks stupid in pink. He’s no Bret Hart in that regard. Flair shows MVP up with bare bones basic moves and it’s hilarious. Flair is busted open! I CAN FEEL MY INNOCENCE BEING RIPPED FROM MY BODY! SPARE ME PLEASE!!!!

In a funny moment, Flair chops the heck out of MVP and after MVP takes over, he opens up his vest and checks his chest for welts. JBL says Flair’s chops are better than anyone else’s. And I believe him since he was a wrestler not long before this. Lawler needs to remind us he used to be a wrestler. Even Striker reminds us of that. This is another one of that matches that likely belongs on TV but we need a US Title match so here is one for you.

MVP’s knee hits the buckle and Flair goes for the wrong one, thereby proving that some things never change. There it is and we’re in Flair Formula time. It’s still passable too so I can’t complain that much. In a nice ending, Flair goes after MVP but the referee blocks him, allowing MVP to poke him in the eye and hit the Playmaker for the retaining. Why is that nice? Because that is Flair 101: distract the referee and cheat. I love that.

Rating: C. The ending helped that a lot. It’s your standard Flair match, but look at him put ANOTHER guy over. Dang I’m defending Flair. What the heck is wrong with me? This is when Flair was still bearable but he was on the verge of being gone, which I think is for the best. Match was average.

Cena says nothing as Edge interrupts. Edge accuses Cena of being behind of the Vince thing. Cena says Edge is too much of a softie to have been behind it. Edge says he’s vicious and can do evil things, and of course the detective is behind him. Oh good. My eyes rolled so far around that I’m looking at the screen again.

Tony Garea and Rick Martel are here. Was Tito Santana busy or something?

Smackdown Tag Titles: Deuce N Dominovs. ???/???

It’s an open challenge here so the challengers are unknown. Deuce says this place is full of old people. Domino doesn’t like them either. This team was either great or completely idiotic. In short, they’re Fonzie from Happy Days. Cherry, their manager, in short is hot. Deuce is more commonly known as Sim Snuka or the guy that kept Taker from breaking his neck at Mania 25. The challengers are Sgt. Slaughter and Jimmy Snuka. Allow me to quote the 25th letter of the alphabet: WHY???????????/

Smackdown Tag Titles: Deuce N Domino vs. Sgt. Slaughter/Jimmy Snuka

Remember that Snuka is Deuce’s father. JBL says if the champions lose then he’s calling Ron Simmons up and reforming the APA. JBL suggests their name could be the Coffin Dodgers. Oh that’s funny. Sarge looks good here and we get a jab at the Ultimate Warrior. They beat the tar out of Domino here as you would expect them to. Again though, this is on PPV in 2007. There’s the Cobra Clutch which is his signature finisher, which always amused me.

The one time he used a different finisher, he won the WWF Title. So naturally he used the old one and never did anything again. This has been dominance so far. Deuce finally comes in and this is dragging badly. Snuka beating up his son is just kind of surreal. I don’t know if I’d want to be in that position or not. Snuka hits a top rope cross body but Deuce rolls through for the pin.

How annoying do you think he’s going to be with that at Thanksgiving? He pinned his HOF dad on PPV. How cool would it be to be able to say that? Post match there’s a beatdown and Martel and Garea jump the railing for the save.

Rating: D-. The match was horrible obviously, but the point here was to have the legends get a chance out there again. That doesn’t make up for it though. This is just not something I want to see on a PPV show. On TV is one thing I guess, but no way this should be on PPV.

Ad for the Vince Memorial Service. Still gets me thinking what would be airing instead.

We recap Edge vs. Batista which is a Last Chance match. Edge cashed in Kennedy’s MITB contract to beat the injured Taker for the belt. This is the music video package for the night.

Harley Race is here. Oh yes.

Smackdown World Title: Edge vs. Batista

Dang that trenchcoat is awesome. He and Harley have a moment which is kind of odd. Big Dave gets a nice pop. Batista hugs Race too as his entrance is taking way too long. Batista starts how and beats the heck out of Edge, focusing on the arm which is weird looking for a power guy but whatever. You can tell this is going to be a long one. Smackdown always was the show that was more about wrestling than the entertainment aspect so this is expected.

Edge hits a baseball slide and is in control. Now Edge works on Batista’s arm. Well at least they’re being consistent here. His shoulder goes into the post as we hear that you don’t think of Edge and speed in the same sentence. How weird is it to think that he used to be a high flier back in the day? Edge uses a bit boot and hooks an armbar. We now get to the problem of guys working on the arm: it’s boring. Well at least he’s switching it up.

Edge counters a Samoan Drop into an arm hold. Nicely done. He’s on his third different hold in less than two minutes. That’s how you work an arm. You can switching things up like that and stick with one plan, which at least keeps things from being boring. A Boss Man Slam from nowhere hits Edge for two. Edge seems to be more popular here with the smark crowd. He goes for the belt but the referee stops him.

Batista hits a spear to block the spear. There’s a Zen riddle in there somewhere. Batista ANIMALS UP but Edge low blows him to keep the title. That’s a legit surprise to me as the face usually wins in those last chance matches. Edge would get legit hurt soon and have to drop the title which Khali won in a battle royal. Batista would get it in the fall. Hey here’s Teddy Long. He’s restarting the match because Edge cheated. Ok then.

If Edge intentionally gets disqualified here then Batista is champion. Spear gets two and the crowd is on fire. We go to the floor and Batista goes into the steps. Edge takes the Bomb on the floor but Batista gets counted out after rolling him back in which should have broken the count I believe. I have no idea why Long was needed here if that’s the ending they were going with but whatever.

Rating: B-. This was your traditional decent Smackdown world title match. They went through a period around this time where they just kind of went with the motions but had good matches anyway. The match worked as well as possible given who was in it though o I can live with that. Far from great, but Batista kind of sucked at this point.

Ad for Summerslam. They’re going way in advance here.

We talk about Fabulous Moolah, meaning it’s Women’s Title time. There was no Divas Title yet. We even get clips of the Original Screwjob. Basically Wendi Richter wouldn’t agree to have Moolah beat her for it so they put a mask on Moolah and had her shoot on Richter for the title. Very old school backstabbing there.

Womens Title: Melina vs. Candace Michelle

Melina is champion here. So basically Melina is awesome and Candace is popular because she was in Playboy. Crowd is DEAD for this. Oh and Candace is awesome because she can do a dance too. This match is making my head hurt. It’s a great example of how bad the division was around this time.

And then Candace hits a spinwheel kick to win the title. She wound up taking one of the SICKEST bumps I’ve ever seen to get hurt and would never get the title back. She can’t even hold the belt right. I never really cared for her and this is no exception. They try to make this some big emotional moment and it just falls flat.

Rating: D. And that’s all for Melina. She carried Candace like a bag of potatoes here and it was painfully obvious. Melina is good but she’s not a miracle worker. It’s stuff like this that makes the division look like a joke and that’s never a good thing. Then again I’m not sure how many people actually were in the arena for this match so there we go.

ANOTHER ad for the Bash. Dang they’re going insane here with those things.

We recognize JBL before the main event. Naturally he has something to say which he hands to the announcer. We get JBL’s career bio which is funny for some reason. He is also YOUR wrestling god.

We recap Raw’s world title match which is just about being a champion or something like that. All five people talk about what it means to be a champion. Yes it’s clichéd but it works fairly well I think. It goes on WAY too long though but that’s WWE for you.

Raw World Title: Mick Foley vs. John Cena vs. Bobby Lashley vs. Randy Orton vs. King Booker

Cena is defending and it’s one fall to a finish. Foley is only in this because he’s a former champion. How weird is it that Foley would win a world title after this but Booker and Lashley wouldn’t? Lashley won a good deal of titles in his time in the company which was really short. Foley gets a nice pop. Booker would be gone in October. Orton gets a face pop and would be getting really into the title picture in the fall, winning the title twice in one night.

Cena feels like a superstar here and with good reason I think. This is in the middle of his year long reign as champion which got him a lot of heat but I still ask you: who else was going to have the title put on them? Booker jumps to the floor immediately which is smart if nothing else. Very quickly we have Cena vs. Lashley which Vince much dream of at times. Lashley hits a SICK dive over the top to take out all four guys. That looked great.

Lashley hits Booker with what we would call Shock Treatment which is a cool move actually. This is ALL Lashley at this point as he’s dominating everyone. I still feel sorry for the ECW announcers as they have one match to call and then just sit there for the rest of the night. Lawler says the only good thing about being bitten by Foley is that he doesn’t have all of his teeth. For some reason that made me laugh. FU to Lashley through the table out of nowhere and a nice one at that.

We go to the standard multi-man match formula which is fine here as five people makes that kind of required. Cena goes for You Can’t See Me on Booker but walks into the RKO for two as Foley makes the save. He dominates for awhile as you would expect. It’s Socko time!

How amazing is it that he got so far with his signature thing being a sock? That would be like a guy saying nothing but nonsensical things about the Muppets’ sex lives on a wrestling forum and being called funny. Everything goes insane but Foley takes the FU for Cena to retain.

Rating: D+. They did the very smart thing here by keeping this short as it barely cracked ten minutes. With this many people though that was the smart thing. I’m not sure why they went with the five person match here instead of one on one but it was nice to have Foley come in there as it fit with the whole champions and legends deals all night. This was as good as you could have expected though given what was coming, which wasn’t horrible but was just kind of thrown on.

Overall Rating: D+. I’m not sure why but this worked for me somehow. They did a great job here of building up the whole championships all night long thing which is how it was supposed to go. It felt like a major show that was very important and while the wrestling was pretty bad, the atmosphere made up for it and everything seemed to work. I’d actually recommend this, but the wrestling is nothing at all to be excited about.

It’s about that special feeling you get when you hear “this contest is for the world championship!” It makes things more interesting and the feeling doesn’t weaken as the night goes on. This worked, even though it was pretty bad. Check it out.

So that’s Vengeance. At the end of the day it’s really just a minor PPV with nothing of note really coming from it other than the first show back in 2001. There were some good ones here and there with 05 being a GREAT show, but other than that there just wasn’t much at all to really talk about on these shows. They were ok but there just wasn’t really anything of note overall. I’ll be doing NOC 08 just to finish off the series and then moving on to Taboo Tuesday and Cyber Sunday which I’ll do back to back.

 

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1 comment

  1. A says:

    When will Benoit come back?