November 26, 2011
Matt Peddycord
The Powerdriver Review

WWE: Vengeance 2011
October 23, 2011
San Antonio, TX
AT&T Center

The current WWE champs were as follows:
WWE Champion: Alberto Del Rio (10/2/2011)
WWE U.S. Champion: Dolph Ziggler (6/19/2011)
World Heavyweight Champion: Mark Henry (9/18/2011)
WWE Intercontinental Champion: Cody Rhodes (8/12/2011)
WWE Tag Team Champions: Air Boom (8/22/2011)
WWE Divas Champion: Beth Phoenix (10/2/2011)

Glad to see that the Vengeance PPV brand is back! He may have killed himself and his family, but Chris Benoit will not (will not I say!) tarnish the good name of WWE Vengeance forever!

Since we last left you, Triple H’s Raw duties have now become the duties of John Laurinaitis thanks to Mr. McMahon. Also, the Miz and R-Truth have been rehired and scheduled to face the team of Triple H and CM Punk, while the Big Show returns to Smackdown (pimping an AWFUL looking new t-shirt) with a fiery vengeance (!!) that will be laid upon Mark Henry.

Your hosts are Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler, and Booker T.

WWE Tag Team Champions Air Boom vs. Jack Swagger & Dolph Ziggler (w/Vickie Guerrero)
Rematch from three weeks ago, folks. Kingston and Ziggler start the match. Ziggler sells the monkey flip like we’re playing WWE All Stars here. Eventually, Swagger catches Kingston flying into a powerslam. They get some heat on him, but then there’s the HOT TAG TO BOURNE! Lots of kicks from that guy. AIR BOURNE on Swagger hits knees though. Swagger tries to keep Bourne on his half of the ring. When Bourne slings him off to floor to break the ANKLELOCK, Swagger yanks Kingston off the apron to prevent the tag. The challengers keep working him over until Swagger’s pump splash hits boot! HOT TAG TO KOFI! Kingston and Ziggler continue to make a video game out of this match as Ziggler LEAPS into a flying bodypress for 1-2-NO! Boom Drop connects. TROUBLE IN PARADISE misses, but the SOS does not for 1-2-NO! Swagger grabs the ANKLELOCK on Kofi, but here comes Bourne with the Flying Double Knees. TROUBLE IN PARADISE and AIR BOURNE puts away Ziggler to retain the titles. (13:24) Just what we have come to expect these two teams. Air Boom needs somebody else to work with though. **½

WWE U.S. Champion Dolph Ziggler (w/Vickie Guerrero & Jack Swagger) vs. Zack Ryder (w/Air Boom)
Smackdown GM Teddy Long made sure that Ziggler was double-booked tonight and that Ryder gets another shot at the US strap, says Cole. Just like that with no rest, Ziggler faces a fresh Zack Ryder – if you can call smothering yourself before the match in Axe body spray “fresh”. Wisely, Ryder EXPLODES on the champ. Mostly punches and clotheslines. Air Boom get caught putting Ziggler back inside the ring and they are OUTTA HERE~! Ryder whiffs on a crossbody and lands on the ropes. Ziggler takes over looking all cocky. One Stinger Splash connects, but the other one misses. Ryder misses the Broski Boot and crotches himself on the bottom rope. That sets him up for the Famouser for two. Ziggler charges into a knee in the corner and there’s the Broski Boot. Now Vickie distracts the ref while Swagger trips up Ryder. He kicks Swagger away, but runs into a superkick for 1-2-3. (6:03) Ryder is the Ron Paul of the WWE. Not saying he should have gone over at this point, but will they ever pull the trigger on Ryder? Signs are everywhere, huge internet following, he’s all about whoring himself out for the sake of being a part of pop culture. I don’t care for him because I think that whole Jersey Shore culture is retarded, but a lot of people like him and that’s what matters. *½

We catch CM Punk hanging out with the younger Ted DiBiase in the back until Triple H comes by and scares him away. Things are going good for those two right now.

Earlier today, there was an LOL moment as the DIVAS OF DOOM attacked KK as she was stumbling through her interview. Great stuff.

WWE Divas Champion Beth Phoenix vs. Eve
Eve tries to get fancy to start with a flying sunset flip and a Rougeau backflip. As Phoenix takes an enziguri into the ropes, Eve decides to handcuff her in the ropes using Beth’s own belt I believe. DQ? To the floor, Phoenix drops Eve on the barricade. Back inside, Beth works the ribs. Eve elbows her away and delivers the Edouard Carpentier somersault senton. Not sure what that hold is, but she clamps it on Beth. Looked like an inverted triangle choke? I don’t know what I’m saying. Anyways, it doesn’t get the submission. Beth hotshots Eve and tries the GLAM SLAM, but Eve flips Beth away and bounces her off the ropes into a schoolboy for 1-2-NO! Eve kicks Beth for the MOONSAULT, but completely misses. GLAM SLAM! That’ll do. (7:18) Just another Divas match where the talent of Beth Phoenix can’t really shine. *

In the back, Matt Striker speaks with the Big Show. Vengeance will be his and so will the World Heavyweight championship.

Sheamus vs. Christian
Another PPV rematch from three weeks ago. Once again, Sheamus is booked REAL strong. Anything that Christian’s feud with Randy Orton during the summer did for him is pretty much gone at this point. He gets in a lot of offense, but Sheamus never stays down long enough to make it seem serious. Christian misses a flying headbutt and Sheamus mounts a comeback. They trade finisher attempts, but neither one can hit their move. That happens a second time. Then Christian flies down into the Irish Curse for two. BROGUE KICK is stopped with a SPEAR for two. Over in the corner, Christian headscissors Sheamus off the turnbuckle. He looks to finish with the SPEAR, but all he finds is the BROGUE KICK to give Sheamus the win. (10:37) Been there, seen that. **

Backstage, Awesome Truth suck up to Johnny Ace and manage to get some cheap heat as well.

Triple H & CM Punk vs. Awesome Truth
Punk and Miz start us off. Miz looks in over his head right now. When HHH tags, Miz scurries over to Truth. They are treating Awesome Truth like lower midcarders here. And guess who plays face in peril? You’ll never guess. Okay I’ll just tell you. It’s Triple H! They wear him down and cut the ring in half. Hot tag to Punk comes after HHH hits a DDT on Truth. Punk delivers the Macho Elbow to Miz while HHH heaves Truth over the barricade. As Punk looks for the GTS, KEVIN NASH RETURNS and decks HHH! Truth sneaks back inside and Awesome Truth gives Punk LITTLE JIMMY’S FINALE. It’s the Little Jimmy and Skull Crushing Finale combo for those who care. Miz pins Punk for the win. (15:24) Disappointing as it could have pretty good, but they just played it safe. It appears it’s only intent was to just further HHH v. Nash anyways. The beatdown continues on HHH as Nash gives him his three moves (his entire moveset, har har) and then the JACKKNIFE before leaving looking all sinister through the crowd. **

Randy Orton vs. Cody Rhodes (w/two guys who hand out bags) – Non-title match
Once again, LEGACY EXPLODES! So Orton violently smashes Cody Rhodes in the face with the ring bell and Cody retaliates by putting a paper bag over Randy’s head? Orton refuses to take any of Cody’s nonsense to start. Rhodes hits the front suplex and reverts to stomping. Orton fights out of a Boston crab and a Jack Brisco rollup gets two. Alabama Slam by Rhodes! That Hardcore Holly is quite a teacher. Dude tries a flying moonsault and hits nothing but canvas. Rhodes flies down into a dropkick for two. He slips out of the neckbreaker off the shoulder and hits the Beautiful Disaster kick for two. Cody avoids the draping DDT, but spins around into the inverted backbreaker. Okay, there’s the neckbreaker off the shoulder for two. Rhodes then fights off a superplex and delivers a moonsault press (!) this time for 1-2-NO! Flying knee drop misses and HERE COMES RANDY! One of the baggers interfere, which allows Rhodes to deliver CROSS RHODES on Orton for 1-2-NO! Now Cody PSYCHES HIMSELF UP for the RKO! Orton dropkicks that away, hits the draping DDT, and delivers the RKO for the 1-2-3. (12:10) Decent enough. Rhodes was able to show off a little bit. **¼

World Heavyweight Champion Mark Henry vs. Big Show
Vengeance is mine, sayeth the Big Show. Henry PILLMANIZED Big Show back at Money in the Bank doing the Pump Splash onto the chair. No crazy conspiracy stories necessary here. When Show starts pummeling, Henry takes a powder. Show flips Henry back into the ring from the apron and once again he retreats. He takes his belt and decides to leave, but Show will have none of that. Back in, Henry attacks first and chop blocks the knee. Big SLAM on the Show! Henry works the knee and ribs, but mostly the knee. Show breaks loose and tries a slam, but Henry falls on top for 1-2-NO! Double-KO and they come up fighting. HERE COMES SHOW! He slams the champ and calls for the SHOW STOPPER! Cover, 1-2-NO! Now he wants to KNOCK MARK HENRY THE F OUT, but Henry kicks back and delivers the WORLD’S STRONGEST SLAM! Cover, 1-2-NO! Why is Mark Henry heading to the top rope? Show walks over and CHOKESLAMS him down! If only Mark Henry knew how to do the Diamond Cutter! Cover, 1-2-NO! Awesome. Now Big Show ascends to the top rope and Mark Henry brings him down with a superplex that brings the entire ring down to end the match. (11:00) Biggest pop of the night: that superplex. Somewhere Brock Lesnar is probably smiling. Good big man match with psychology, cool moves, and a memorable finish. The GMs John Laurinaitis and Teddy Long head down to survey the damage. Show gets carted out – literally – while Mark Henry leaves on his own because he’s a REAL man. **¾

WWE Champion Alberto Del Rio (w/Ricardo Rodriquez) vs. John Cena – Last Man Standing
Since LMS matches don’t necessarily require a working ring, the match is happening without any repair. So no ropes and a lop-sided ring. Interesting! ADR throws Rodriquez into Cena for the quick distraction to take control. Cena big time eats the post, but makes a short comeback. Back suplex after back suplex, but Cena is up at seven. AA gets countered to the backcracker. However, here comes Cena again. Shoulderblocks lead to the Protobomb to set up the Five Knuckle Shuffle. Again, the AA is countered but this time to a release German Suplex. Del Rio hits a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker and lays one of the ringposts on top of Cena to try for the ten count. It doesn’t work and then Del Rio takes the AA. ADR is up at eight. Another AA attempt, but Ricardo breaks it up. Del Rio grabs the sleeper and wears him out. Once Cena is back up, he throws ADR off the ring and onto the floor for a crazy bump. To the floor, Cena takes a ride into the steps. There’s a silly spot where Cena throws Del Rio onto the ringpost, which flies up into Ricardo’s balls. Cena heaves the steps at Del Rio and misses to play off what happened on Raw. ADR makes Cena pay by bashing his head with the bottom half of the steps. Next, they brawl backstage where Cena tries to turn a giant trunk over on top of ADR. Over to the interview set, Del Rio flips the set on top of Cena. That still doesn’t put Cena away. NEVER GIVE UP! Back to the entrance ramp, ADR throws Cena through the V in the Vengeance set. Now ADR sets Cena on a table and starts climbing more of the set, but Cena pops up and pulls Del Rio down through the table. More ringside brawling. Cena gets thrown onto our esteemed commentators. He fights back though and throws ADR into the barricade. Rodriquez runs at Cena holding the belt and takes a clothesline. Del Rio tries an enziguri up against the ringpost and misses. That allows Cena to rebuild the steps in order to AA through the Spanish announce table. As the ref checks on Del Rio, Miz and R-Truth hit the ring to do a number on Cena. As both men get up at pretty much the same time, ADR blasts Cena with the WWE title. Del Rio falls out to the floor, but pulls himself up using the barricade while Cena gets counted down for the count. (26:58) Wait, so why did Miz and Truth just attack John Cena? Why is their feud with Punk and HHH all over with now? I’m confused as to what is happening now. Umm, this was fun, I guess. They got a little creative here and there as they usually do with these type of matches, but that’s about it though. Not a great LMS match by any means, but nothing terrible. ***

Final Thoughts: Well this sucked. When the only thing you enjoyed about a PPV was the BIG SHOW returning, there’s a problem. They made Zack Ryder look like a complete joke who gets beat by a guy in just six minutes who had already wrestled and LOST. That’s a shorter amount of time than it took Beth Phoenix to beat Eve! Sheamus against Christian wasn’t that great the first time we saw it. They blew off the Awesome Truth/HHH & Punk angle so they could all of a sudden give reason to teaming Cena and the Rock together at Survivor Series. I still don’t understand WHY Kevin Nash in 2011? This was just an irritating PPV. Thumbs down, folks. I’m sorry.

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