Sunday, 16 September 2007

WWE Vengeance 2006 on Sky Box Office - TV Review

It’s that time of the month again, as WWE gives it’s Raw brand a chance at pay-per-view with their latest offering, Vengeance. As always, out hosts for this show are Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler.


We kick off with the first inter-promotional match, as Randy Orton tackles ECW’s Kurt Angle. This was certainly an entertaining way to open the show, although it lacked some of the intensity of their previous match. Orton emerged as the winner this time, able to power out of Angle’s ankle lock, sending him head first into the turnbuckle he’d exposed moments before. He then finished Angle with an RKO seconds later.

In his office, Vince McMahon is on the blower until he’s interrupted by a kid in a wheelchair, complete with DX t-shirt. McMahon thinks this is a joke, and sends him packing accordingly, until the Coach comes in and explains that the kid was actually a family friend whose dream it was to meet McMahon.

Back in the arena, and it’s squash match time, as Umaga takes on Eugene, who brings back in the form of Jim Duggan, Doink the Clown and Kamala. Umaga wastes no time in destroying Eugene, finishing him off with the Samoan spike. He then takes care of Duggan and Doink as they come into the ring, but manager Estrada persuades him to back down from Kamala’s challenge. Well, I suppose it accomplished what it set out to do.

Backstage, Todd Grisham chats with Mick Foley, who reads a certain chapter from Ric Flair’s book. He then promises to out wrestle Flair.

Then it’s on to the match, best two out of three falls, as hometown hero Ric Flair takes on Mick Foley. A distinct clash of styles here, as Flair outwrestles Foley early on, and after some Foley offence on an injured knee, Flair got the first fall with a roll-up while Foley was going for a figure four. Enraged, Foley reverted back to his hardcore tendencies, and gets himself disqualified after clobbering Flair with a bin while in the figure four leglock. He then gets his hands on a barbwire baseball bat, and clobbers the Nature Boy with it on several occasions, leaving Flair a bloody mess. Kind of a mixed bag this one, and for some reason I really couldn’t get into it.

Backstage, Maria chats with Carlito, engaging in some truly intellectual conversation. Then, Torrie Wilson, apparently on a photo shoot nearby, asks Maria to oil her up while Carlito holds the puppies, before he is rudely interrupted by his own entrance music.

Time for the first title match of the evening, triple threat action as Shelton Benjamin defends the Intercontinental title against Carlito and Johnny Nitro, although I’m left wondering why Nitro got a title shot, because he hasn’t really done much since he jumped ship from Smackdown. More entertaining than I thought it would be, Carlito impressed the hell out of me and looked like he had the match won after his back cracker on Benjamin, only for Nitro to pull him out of the ring and to get the title winning cover for himself.

Backstage, McMahon gives the Spirit Squad boys a pep talk, comparing DX to a disease, saying that they are the cure. He then goes to the bathroom with the penis pump that DX sent to him as a joke, which turns out to be booby trapped, as McMahon emerges with green paint on his face.

On to our second title match, as ECW’s Rob Van Dam defends the WWE title against Edge. It seems strange to see a WWE title match that doesn’t involve either John Cena or Triple H, but hey, I suppose that’s a good thing. The two glass ceiling breakers put on a good match, with ref bumps, Edge getting busted open after a Van Daminator-like move with the title belt, and Edge missing a speak and running head first into a Lita-held chair. A frog splash later, and RVD had retained the title in a very entertaining match.

Backstage, Paul Heyman addresses his ECW troops, and gives them the news that there will also be Raw lumberjacks at ringside during the Cena/Sabu match.

Back in the arena, it’s time for Kane to go up against, well, Kane. This match brought back unhappy memories of the Underfaker angle in 1994. The match was slow, plodding, and although well executed in parts, it suffered because nobody gives a damn about this angle, and nobody cared when the fake Kane got the pin after a choke slam.

Then it’s time for John Cena to take on Sabu in an extreme lumberjack match, with wrestlers from both Raw and ECW patrolling the ringside area. A quick but high intensity match, with Cena and Sabu putting together some good exchanges, and tons of brawling from both factions at ringside, before Cena got the win after FU-ing Sabu over the top rope and onto a table at ringside. Then, after Sabu was thrown back into the ring, he soon tapped to Cena’s STFU. Backstage after the match, Cena confronted RVD, who offers to defend the WWE title against Cena the following night on Raw, an offer Cena gladly accepts.

Even though we’ve had the big title match, it’s now time for the main event, as the re-formed D-Generation X take on the entire Spirit Squad in a five-on-two handicap match. For some reason this was another match I couldn’t get into. Although it was a good match, won by DX after Triple H pinned Kenny after a pedigree, it was kind of obvious who was going to win this one in the first place, which may have spoiled my enjoyment a little.

In conclusion - a mixed bag with Vengeance. Umaga/Eugene, Flair/Foley and Kane/Kane certainly didn’t set the pulses racing, so with only three good matches, and one where the result was telegraphed long ago, this was not a good show from top to bottom. Let’s hope The Great American Bash is a bit better.