It’s like somebody photoshopped out Brock Lesnar. Pre-report notes:
– We’ve got a fresh new commenting system, so if you read and/or flip through the report to read the boldface, make sure to leave us a comment to let us know what you liked or didn’t like about Vengeance, and which shoehorned-in Dragonball Z references in the report you thought were the least unfunny.
– Speaking of comments, With Leather offered a $250 Amazon gift card to the person who could accurately predict Vengeance. Thanks in part to that image up top, nobody could. We still want to give away money, though, so I’m opening it up to you, the participants. Do we award the prize to a random commenter, organize a Raw contest or push the giveaway to Survivor Series and see if anybody takes it home?
– Full disclosure: I didn’t watch this show live. I spent my Sunday night at Mohawk on Red River in downtown Austin watching Anarchy Championship Wrestling’s Beyond Good & Evil, a show that included Rachel Summerlyn dressed as Buffy The Vampire Slayer, ACH and Matt Palmer almost chickenfighting on the ledge of a building, Davey Vega taking one of the sickest German suplexes I’ve ever seen to the bottom turnbuckle and Robert Evans (who looks a heck of a lot like CHIKARA’s Archibald Peck) sitting quietly in the crowd in a Halloween costume for five hours to do a run-in at the end. I’m watching Vengeance this morning and writing about it as I go, so if the Cena/Alberto Del Rio match write-up turns into “heh, so here’s ten paragraphs about ChrisTrew.biz” I apologize.
– This is the third pay-per-view in six weeks. Just wanted to remind you.
Please click through to enjoy the Best And Worst Of WWE Vengeance.
Worst: Webster’s Dictionary Defines “Vengeance” As
You can tell that three pay-per-views in six weeks has taken a toll on the production team’s creativity when they break out “according to the dictionary, Vengeance means being mad and getting back at somebody” as their big opening statement. They even went with the white words white words red words design choice, which works great for wrestling shows or Katherine Heigl movies. The next pay-per-view cover should be John Cena looking to the right at the top, Alberto Del Rio looking to the left at the bottom and wwesurvivorseries floating in the middle.
I was pretty disappointed to see Mark Henry’s PPV ad speech given to (mostly) Triple H, especially when we got to the CM Punk part and had to hear him say “my brothers” over footage of R-Truth. Also disappointed that if they went with a dictionary definition in the open, they didn’t end the show with an “in conclusion, Vengeance can be compared and contrasted” video package.
Best: Team USA
I was going to give the pay-per-view another Worst for using the most Connecticut Yankee-sounding song from the Real Steel soundtrack as its theme, then going immediately into Jack Swagger’s Connecticut Yankee-ass entrance music, but Dolph Ziggler debuted his American flag-print singlet and I forgot about everything else. I don’t know if he’s wearing it because he’s United States Champion (much like the doomed and sadly-forgotten Sheamus, Champion Of USA reign) or as a show of solidarity when he teams with the All-American American American American, but I love it and hope he keeps wearing it. Kurt Angle pioneered the idea that a 21st century wrestler wearing USA underwear would inherently be the bad guy, and I’m happy we’re far enough away from 9/11 patriotism that we can get back to booing these guys for their bad taste in cheap heat. This is America, jerks, we only like what we’ve already decided to like! Don’t tread on me!
I’m still pretty upset at Swagger’s gear for being red, blue and black instead of white, but Swagger is the most Jannetty Jannetty that ever Jannettied right now, so who cares? I also think Vickie should’ve worn a USA-print dress to support them, especially in Mexico.
Best: Tag Team Wrestling Is Awesome
It is. The 411.com/wrestling/hotnews/index.shtml report called the match “the best damn PPV opening match I’ve seen from the WWE in many months and this was probably the best two-on-two tag match I’ve seen all year long” and yeah, it was good, but I’m not going to go that far. At no point did I accidentally mistake Kofi Kingston for Jushin Thunder Liger, but the match was good, and basically what we were picturing when that “Triple H wants WWE to focus more on tag team wrestling” news bit broke. Four guys got to go full tilt for 14 minutes in a hotly-contested back-and-forth tag team title match that didn’t need anything stupid to go down and made everybody look better. This is why we’re always harping on you to give us tag teams, WWE, thanks to 30 years of formula from Kangaroos to Steiners it’s the easiest way to get the crowd hot and make four wrestlers look like kings even if 2-3 of them have no idea what they’re doing. I’m not convinced Robert Gibson can see straight or read and his best move was kicking his own tag team partner in the back, but in my head he’s a legend because formula.
This match, God willing, will be the end of the “everyone try to recognize Air Boom” portion of the conditioning and we can move on to the weekly title defenses against guys like the Uso Twins and McGillityre and build to an Austin Aries As ROH Champion thing where the top heel teams can try to pick their bones because they’re too into “entertaining the fans” or proving their worth or whatever to take a night off. Ziggler can continue being the best pro wrestler in the company and Swagger can turn face like the Internet is begging, because yeah, we’re supposed to hate Biff Tannen, but we’re also supposed to like seeing him.
I’ve seen it a few times already, but Jack Swagger’s ability to naturally counter Kingston’s Trouble In Paradise is a thing of beauty. He just armpits that sh*t because he’s Too Tall Swagger and locks on the anklelock. Love it. The only thing better is Dolph deciding making the S.O.S look good was more important than having a functioning neck bone.
Best: Booker T Right Here
Evan Bourne tried a shooting star press early in the match and ate knees, then goes for it again to finish off Ziggler and win the match. Booker T, having been right there to see the first one, starts flipping the hell out about the second. WAIT A MINNET, CHECK THIS OUT RIGHT HERE, IS HE GONE DO IT… CAN EVAN BOURNE PULL IT OFF OH MY GOOTNESS
Booker reacts to everything like a television studio audience, laughing at Urkel f**king up Carl’s garage or whatever, then laughing their asses off at him saying “Did I do that?” even though he’s said it a thousand times and the entire garage f**k up was treading water to get to that line. And just like how I’ve watched every episode of ‘Family Matters’ despite enjoying maybe two of them ever, Booker’s enthusiasm is infectious, and by the end of the match I’m right there with him. It works. I don’t know how or why. OH MY GOOTNESS.