The SmarK Rant For WWE Vengeance 2004


The SmarK Rant for WWE Vengeance 2004

– Live from Hartford, CT

– Your hosts are JR & King

– Originally I was planning to do the Bash first, but C’MON.

– Opening match: Rhyno & Tajiri v. Coach & Garrison Cade. This is like the opening Heat match in storyline mode of the Smackdown game or something. Rhyno starts with Cade after a hesitant Coach tags out right away, and he goes after the arm. This leads into Cade yelling at the ref for imaginary transgressions, and getting into a slugfest with Rhyno, which he loses. Rhyno hiptosses him and sets up for the GOAR, but Cade ducks out of the ring to escape. Back in, he loses another slugfest, allowing Tajiri to come in and fire off a dropkick to the knee. La Majastral gets two. Coach gets a cheapshot to turn the tide and Cade hits Tajiri with a backdrop suplex and chokes him down. Coach comes in and gets some offense in as he works the back in awkward fashion, but he stops to bow after a slam and gets kicked in the head as a result. Cade & Coach get a double-suplex on Tajiri for two and trade off working on the back. Coach gets caught with the Tarantula, however, allowing Tajiri to fight him off and make the hot tag to Rhyno. He suplexes Coach and backdrops Cade, and gets a belly-to-belly on Coach for two. It’s BONZO GONZO and the heels work Tajiri over, but he comes back with a handspring elbow on both of them, then mists Cade. The ref is mystified as to the source. GOAR GOAR GOAR gets rid of Cade, and KICK KICK KICK finishes Coach at 7:13. Nothing special, but decent enough for a thrown-together opener. *1/2

– Batista v. Chris Jericho. Batista hammers him with knees in the corner to start and chokes him down, then works him over in the corner a bit and charges, only to end up on the floor. They nearly blew it, but covered well. Jericho follows with the springboard dropkick and tries a baseball slide, but the bitch goddess of momentum leaves him on the floor and Batista hammers him outside. Back in, Batista drops a knee and gets a neckbreaker for two. He tries a full-nelson, but Jericho fights out, only to get put back in the full-nelson. It might work for Batista as a submission, but no one ever submits to it, so using it here just kills it deader. I mean, the guy is freakishly strong, so it’s within believability for him to make guys submit with it. Jericho sends him to the floor to break again, and back in he dropkicks the knee. Batista fights him off and they go up, where Jericho knocks Batista down again and follows with a back elbow for two. Jericho keeps throwing forearms, but walks into a sideslam that gets two. Batista works the back and chokes away, and that goes on a while. Backbreaker gets two. He gets another one and works it as a submission move, but Jericho knees out of it. Back to the back goes Batista, as the match really starts to drag. Jericho thankfully tries a comeback now, forearming Batista down and escaping a powerslam to get an attempt at the Walls. Batista powers out, so Jericho does his running choke, but walks into the MAIN EVENT SPINEBUSTER, which gets two. Thank god, about time someone countered that lame move. Demon bomb is reversed to a rollup for two by Jericho, but Batista slugs him down again. Blind charge hits boot, however, and Jericho follows with a bulldog, then blows the Lionsault as usual. Batista tries the CLOTHESLINE OF DEATH, but Jericho counters with the enzuigiri for two. I’ll give ‘em one thing – they almost had the CLOTHESLINE looking like a viable finish. Batista gives him another spinebuster, however, and finishes with the Demon Bomb at 12:18. Jericho’s leg was on the ropes, but let’s face it, he was done. Match was kind of all over the place storyline-wise, but Batista is way better than he would have been six months ago even. **1/2

– RAW World tag titles: La Resistance v. Eugene & Ric Flair. Eugene starts with Conway and does some whooing. And styling and/or profiling. Who WOULDN’T suck up to Flair, really? Well, maybe not Bret Hart. Or Mick Foley. Eugene grabs a headlock and works the arm, but Conway reverses, so Eugene takes him to the mat. Eugene gets a hiptoss and throws a chop to send Conway into the corner for the tag. Grenier comes in, only to get kneedropped by Eugene and chopped down again. Grenier backdrops him out of the corner, so Eugene uses the old thumb to the eye, and Flair is in hysterics. Conway comes back in and tries chopping, but Eugene gives it right back and ends up doing a Flair Flop. Figure-four attempt is countered by Conway, and the real deal tags in. More strutting results, as Conway SELLS THE WHOOS. Now that’s dedication. Flair chops everyone and slugs Conway down into the corner, then drops a knee on Grenier and chops Conway down again. And he calls BRET repetitive? Okay, I’m taking sides again, never mind. Vertical suplex and NOW WE GO TO SCHOOL, as it’s figure-four time. He hasn’t yelled that in forever. Grenier quickly breaks it up and La Rez takes over, as Grenier gets some cheapshots from the outside to beat Flair down. Flair fights back, but Conway slugs him down for two. Flair fights back, but Conway overpowers him for two. Grenier slugs away, but Flair fires right back, so Grenier backdrops him out of the corner for two. We hit the chinlock, and then Conway comes in and chokes. Eugene wants a tag, but Grenier yanks him off the apron to prevent that, and back to the heel corner goes Flair. However, Eugene is TARDING UP as La Rez gets Au Revoir on Flair. Eugene saves the pin at two and destroys the champs single-handedly, then shoves the ref and draws the DQ at 12:31. Too long and silly for that finish, but pretty entertaining for the most part. **1/4

– Matt Hardy v. Kane. No Matt Facts tonight. Matt attacks to start and quickly loses that battle, but sends Kane into the post to recover and hits him with a monitor. Onto the Spanish table, but Kane blocks a Twist of Fate and sends Matt into the railing. They head into the crowd and Matt gets manhandled some more, and they finally head into the ring, where Kane chokes him down. Matt rolls out to escape, but Kane follows with a short-arm clothesline and tosses him back in again. Sideslam gets two. They slug it out on the mat, as Matt shows fire again, but Kane puts it out and hammers him into the corner. Matt fights out, but Kane swats him down again. Kane beats on him out of the ring and then back in again, and goes up with the flying clothesline, and Kane yells at Matt to fight back. So he does, and Kane tosses him again. Well, that’s just not fair. What a meanie. Matt tries using a chair, but gets booted down. Kane grabs the chair, but Matt necksnaps him and slugs him off the apron. This leaves Kane tied up, so Matt gives him a ringbell and brings him back in for a guillotine legdrop off the top. Twist of Fate is calmly reversed by Kane, however, and he’s had enough. Now, however, Matt gets the Twist of Fate, which only gets two. Situp, chokeslam, and that would seem to be that, but Kane wants to finish him with the devastating aluminum ringsteps. And now Lita heads out to run interference for her sissy boyfriend, allowing Matt to hit the stairs with a chair and get the pin at 10:33. Kane does that spot a lot, although not recently, and it’s pretty cliché. I wouldn’t have minded more of a silly hardcore match here. This was a good effort, but never really clicked and Matt’s surprise pin didn’t seem to pop the crowd much. Lawler & JR seemed completely distracted through the whole match, a sure sign of something not working. **

– Intercontinental title: Randy Orton v. Edge. They fight over a lockup as the crowd cheers for ORTON. That was unexpected. Edge overpowers him, drawing boos, and they fight over a wristlock, leading to Edge going back to the headlock. More boos for Edge as Orton bails to the corner. Orton grabs another headlock, and they do a criss-cross, which Edge wins, and he goes back to the headlock again. This incites the crowd to cheer for Orton louder. Another criss-cross, and Edge overpowers him again, and this time Orton bails. Edge chases him back in, but gets tossed. Orton suplexes him back in for two. Choking and stomping follows, as Orton works on the chest and then neckvices him. Edge punches out after forever and forearms him down, then clotheslines him to the floor, where Orton grabs his title for security. Edge baseball slides it out of his hands and follows with a clothesline from the apron, however. Back in, Edge hits him with a missile dropkick for two. The spear is countered with a high knee, however, and Orton gets the neckbreaker for two. Edge crawls to the apron, so Orton works on the neck and chokes him out. Crowd seems to appreciate this, and cheers Orton on. Orton turns on them and informs them he DOESN’T need their help, and that seems to shut them up. Legdrop gets two. Edge fires back with some forearms, but Orton drops a knee and chokes him with it. He hits the chinlock, and that goes on for a dog’s age. Any match with the first 20 minutes as BORING as this one is hardly the classic that it was hyped up to be. Edge fights out and gets a crossbody for two, but Orton clotheslines him down again. Orton goes up to finish, but lands on an Edge dropkick, as the match finally shows signs of life. Edge powers him into a neckbreaker and it’s a double KO. Edge recovers and they slug it out, leading to a Russian legsweep for two. Orton whiffs on a dropkick and Edge catapults him into the corner, setting up the Edge-O-Matic for two. He goes up, but Orton follows, only to get brought down in ugly fashion by Edge. That looked botched. Edge with a high cross, but Orton rolls through for two. THUMB TO THE EYE! Orton exposes a turnbuckle, but Edge cradles for two. Orton rolls him up for two. High dropkick gets two. Edge comes back with the Implant for two. He slugs away in the corner, but Orton hotshots him and rolls him up for two. Even the ropes didn’t work. RKO is blocked, and the spear is dodged by Orton. Another try at the RKO is reversed to a backslide for two. Orton gets sent into his own turnbuckle, and the spear finishes him at 26:38 to give Edge the I-C title. Good finish, great final segment, god-awful boring 20 minutes to build up to it all. Call it *** overall. I think they see WAY more in Edge’s babyface potential than the common fans do at this point, which is why he got the title, and I think they should have stuck with Orton as long as possible, but at least it wasn’t wasted on RAW or something.

– Victoria v. Molly Holly. Molly works the arm to start and takes her down for two. Victoria comes back with a monkeyflip and the jigglesault, but Molly rolls her up for two to counter. She grabs a headlock and Victoria escapes with a hiptoss and armdrag, and a moonsault press gets two, leading Molly to bail. Victoria follows with a pescado, but Molly trips her up on the stairs, and Victoria splats on them. Simple but effective. Back in, Molly works on the shoulder and gets the handspring elbow for two. Armbar and Molly takes her down with a Fujiwara armbar, then drops some knees on it and really cranks it on. Victoria slugs back, so Molly drops her arm on the top rope. She drops elbows, but Victoria comes back with a rollup for two. Backslide gets two. Back elbow, which Victoria remembers to sell, and a powerslam get two. Nice touch in Victoria remembered her sore shoulder. Widow’s Peak is stopped by the injury, so Victoria finishes with a high kick at 6:21. Crowd wasn’t buying it, but it worked for me. **1/4

– RAW World title: Chris Benoit v. HHH. They fight over the lockup to start, and HHH doesn’t give a clean break. They fight over a headlock and HHH overpowers him, and Benoit backs off. Another go at the headlock, but now Benoit backdrops him into the crossface, and HHH bails immediately. COWARD! Benoit follows him out with a chop for his cowardice, and they brawl. Back in, HHH catches him with a high knee and follows with a suplex series, but Benoit gives him the chops again. HHH ends that rally with a back elbow for two. Backbreaker, but Benoit slugs back, so HHH leverages him out to the floor with a drop toehold. He starts working on the back, so Benoit throws more chops, then blocks a blind charge and keeps firing away. Snap suplex, but Benoit runs into an elbow. However, he recovers with a german suplex, and HHH tries to block, so Benoit catapults him into the corner and clotheslines him to the floor. HHH tries the thumb to the eye, but Benoit’s a former Horsemen and knows how to block the pain (OK, I’m stretching now, but whatever ) and recovers by throwing HHH into the stairs. Back in, it’s Miss City, Population Benoit, as he whiffs on the flying headbutt. Benoit tries more chops, but he has nothing left for the moment, and HHH whips him into the turnbuckles to keep the pain on the chest. Benoit takes the Bret Hart bump like a crazy man. HHH drops some knees and follows with a forward drop suplex. NICE. That gets two. Another go at it gets two. He goes to a surfboard, which would hurt like a motherf*cker if you had a sternum injury, and Benoit tries to power out, so HHH tosses him and whips him into the railing. He’s wrestling a really smart match, I’ll give him that. Back in, it’s another bump into the corner for two. Abdominal stretch, as you’d expect, but Benoit outwrestles him and counters, so HHH hiptosses out. Next, the MAIN EVENT SLEEPER, which I think is kind of a misstep. Benoit reverses to his own, and then escapes a suplex attempt and tries the Sharpshooter, but HHH powers out. KICK WHAM, but Benoit reverses the Pedigree to the Sharpshooter. You’d assume the chest is too hurt to hold the move, however. Benoit manages to pull him back from the ropes once, but not twice. Benoit, still hurt, fights through and gets the rolling germans. He’s still man enough to taunt HHH, however, which affords him the time to bail, so Benoit follows with a tope suicida. Back in, it’s ref bump time. They counter each other and HHH DDTs him, and calls out Eugene. Benoit gets the crossface as Eugene wanders out, so Benoit yells at him to get the ref. Eugene is understandably conflicted about this, especially with HHH tapping like Benoit’s bitch. Eugene tries to interfere, so Benoit nails him off the apron, as he should, because there’s a time for friends and a time for kicking HHH’s ass. Speaking of which, HHH goes low and it’s KICK WHAM PEDIGREE, and now Eugene is happy to get the ref. Luckily, it only gets two. Yes, Benoit got to kick out of the Pedigree. Next phase in HHH’s brilliant plan: Use a chair. Truly he is the Cerebral Assassin. Eugene objects to this lack of sportsmanship, so HHH shoves him off, and Benoit chairshots HHH as a result. Evolution runs in and gets handled by Benoit and his new chair friend, but HHH gets it himself. And now Benoit goes low, because he’s awesome and I’d buy any PPV built on the promise of HHH getting repeatedly in the nuts. Eugene is conflicted about who to hit with the chair, and struggles with Benoit over it, so Benoit just lets go, and that results in HHH getting knocked silly. Works for me. A rollup finishes at 29:05 to keep the title where it BELONGS. It was looking like a ****+ classic for the first 20 minutes, but the silly finish with Eugene and HHH’s “master plan” dragged it way down. ***1/2 You have to wonder what kind of brilliant scheme involves a retarded guy and a chair, but I guess that’s why he’s the Game or something.

The Bottom Line:

A pretty good PPV, although the Edge-Orton was way overhyped and overrated after the fact from what I saw. I think if you took the first 20 minutes of Benoit-HHH and added the last 6 minutes of Edge-Orton you’d have a classic, but the rest of the show felt like so much filler in a PPV that was so much filler.

But as I always say, at least Bradshaw’s not the World champion of this show.

Thumbs in the middle.