Mt. Killamanjaro: Thoughts on Vengeance; Raw Preview

This is normally the part of the week where I outline every match, give my thoughts on the segment, and brand it with an overall letter grade. But to be honest I don’t think Vengeance needs all that. It’s the third WWE PPV in 36 days, and if you really need some sort of letter to feel validated for shelling out cash for yet another average WWE event, I’ll just give it a solid C…75%…the embodiment of average. In grade-school terms a C means that you did everything you had to in order to meet all of the requirements without taking any risks or going above and beyond what is necessary. That is exactly what the WWE did here with their go-home PPV into Survivor Series. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again… if you have enough events to book a “go-home PPV” you simply have way too many damn PPV’s! It’s no wonder the WWE is considering giving away all but the Big Four events for free with purchase of their upcoming Network… Who is really buying these things!?! 

Here’s what I liked…  

The World Heavyweight Champion Mark Henry and Big Show had a great match. Considering how many of us were ready to write this off as another big-man snooze-fest, I was incredibly impressed. The ring spot was exciting and added something fresh to the main event as well. What really got me was the back and forth near the end, with both men having huge kick-outs and near-falls. When they went up top for that Superplex it really felt like both men had nothing left, and couldn’t find another way to win the match. Great work. 

The WWE Championship match was also really good, and I actually enjoyed the offensive of both men and thought they got what they could out of the stipulation. More on that in a little bit…

Beth Phoenix and Eve really showed up, putting on a good match that kept the title on the champion but also didn’t bury the challenger in route. I actually liked that they kept Natalya and Kelly out of the match, but still got them face time with the Exclusive before hand. I agree with Josh Isenberg that we need to see a 4-way (match) at Survivor Series. 

The tag team match that opened Vengeance was good and given decent length, allowing everyone to get in decent enough offensive. I’m not sure how much sense it made having Dolph spend as much time in the ring as he did, considering he had to pull double-duty just moments later, but it worked out. I’m also glad Bourne didn’t have to be the mule throughout the entire match. 

I’m ok with Dolph retaining his title, especially after that random superkick. His versatile move-set is one of the reasons I believe Dolph is a future main event champion, and it makes sense to give him a little bit of protection right now. I’m sure many of you are upset that your Broski didn’t win, but consider this a test. Be grateful they finally gave him more than 45 seconds of ring time…

Now, here’s what I didn’t like… 

Everything was good… almost nothing was great. Sheamus/Christian was a solid match that kept me entertained, but it wasn’t any better or worse than all of their other outings. Orton/Rhodes was good, but considering the caliber of the guys in the ring it could have been a lot better. I’m not going to beat the dead horse about Orton winning. I called it, it happened, I’m not happy about it… Moving on! 

The entire PPV felt average from start to finish. I will say that nothing was bad – I didn’t hate anything they did at Vengeance, and that is something new in itself! Triple H and CM Punk were a good team, and “Awesome Truth” has great chemistry, but their match was average. Nobody cared about Kevin Nash. The interference by Miz/Truth in the main event was expected, but frustrating after Cena and Del Rio put on such a good match. 

I’m not hating on Vengeance too much, because they didn’t do anything wrong… necessarily. But they played it safe instead of taking any major risks that could have paid of tenfold going into Survivor Series. We were all expecting a big return by Undertaker, HBK, Mick Foley, Austin… something. That is our own fault. But they could have easily done something to make this event more special. Instead Vengeance turned out to be filler, as expected. Nothing bad, nothing great. Unfortunately we need GREAT going into one of the biggest events of the year.