Rasslin’ Roundtable — WWE Vengeance

World Heavyweight Championship
Mark Henry vs Big Show

Mike Gojira: I’m going to be honest with you: I’m NOT looking forward to this.  This is the downside to a monster championship run, as the inevitable “unstoppable force vs immovable object” match is par for the course.  Nobody is clamoring for this, but story-wise it had to happen and we all knew it.  This match keeps Randy Orton and Sheamus out of the title picture and that’s the only reason the ‘E took Big Show out of mothballs.  I expect Show to get a measure of revenge and go too far, drawing the DQ.
Winner: Big Show via Disqualification (Henry retains)

Steven Gepp: Why? I mean, please dear God, WHY??
Film of this match: Clash of the Titans (remember both the titans – the Kraken and Medusa – died in the end. And how was Medusa a titan? And the Kraken wasn’t even Greek! What the hell was going on with those scriptwriters? And yes, I’ve just spent more time talking about a 1980s film and its odd remake than the match.)
Winner: Mark Henry

CB: A couple of weeks ago I would have said Big Show is merely a placeholder contender for a PPV no one cares about, but the way Henry has been booked lately, who knows? At the same time, I don’t think Big Show is going to unseat Henry as Champ here. After all, they wouldn’t have wasted those Orton losses to build up Henry’s credibility on this kind of payoff, especially with Survivor Series looming.
Winner: Mark Henry

M.C. Brown: I doubt Henry has been built up this big to lose this quickly especially with Show making him look vulnerable and human. Formula makes this one easy.
Winner: Mark Henry

Kelly Floyd: These are my options?
Winner: My cigarette

WWE Championship: Last Man Standing Match
Alberto del Rio vs John Cena

Mike Gojira: The fact that this is a Last Man Standing match means that since there’s no disqualification, Cena can job out to del Rio and have a legitimate gripe.  That bothers me because I’d rather see Punk as the focal point of this angle.  Isn’t he supposed to be the next golden boy?  If my prediction that this storyline would propel Punk to the top of the mountain is to come true, Cena needs to be out of the spotlight.  There’s no way he’s going over del Rio; otherwise it would have been an “I Quit” match.
Winner: Alberto del Rio

Steven Gepp: If duct tape gets involved again, we riot. Unless it involves Michael Cole and something explosive. Cena’s still not quite got Flair’s record yet, has he? Oh well, he’ll be there soon enough. I’m half expecting the Rock to show up.
Film of this match: Fun in Acapulco (and I expect the big dive at the end to come from Del Rio’s career)
Winner: Cena… again! And again… and again… and again…

CB: WWE loves to add random stipulations to matches to continue feuds, a lazy tactic based upon poor planning — or even worse, no planning — beyond an initial storyline push. Del Rio retains with help from all over the place, and Cena miraculously recovers in time for Raw, where he will be “all business” and talk in a soft, serious, monotone voice, then get ALL INTENSE for the live crowd. Super Cena will then emerge, and John will get his heat back just in time for when the muppets come to town Halloween week. Sheamus vs. Beeker, anyone?
Winner: Alberto Del Rio

M.C. Brown: Del Rio should have a little longer run this time.
Winner: ADR

Kelly Floyd: These are always the toughest to pick. While I really love ADR and could see him doing great things as champion, WWE adores the phrase “When in doubt, whip Cena out.” It’s sad, but true. I’d like to see Alberto be the unstoppable force that wiggles out of everything and keeps his title strong. As long as it doesn’t end like the disastrous Cena/Batista version of this match, I’ll call it a victory…
Winner: Alberto del Rio (out of sheer hope)

Triple H and CM Punk vs Awesome Truth

Mike Gojira: As much as I want Awesome Truth (yes, I prefer that name.  Deal with it!) to win, I don’t see the company pulling the trigger on that.  Look, I am fully behind Punk, but if you want the heels to be a legitimate threat and not some corporate cannon fodder, they need a big, imposing win.  The only way I see that happening is having Triple H do the job.  Yeah, I know…that shit’s not happening.  I expect Laurinaitis to get involved but his plan will backfire.  You know, this is one of those times I hope I made the wrong decision.
Winners: Triple H and Punk

Steven Gepp: Take the biggest push of the year and dilute it. Add in a former world champion who was over as a heel more than anyone else in the company at one time. Throw in the COO of the company and… Ron Killings. Stir well. And you get… what exactly? Dunno.
Film of this match: Altered States (I’d ask who the strange energy sucking being was at the end, but…)
Winner: Miz and Truth

CB: Am I really supposed to care about this match? Sounds like another Survivor Series placeholder to me, and at this point in his career, Triple H should be used more sparingly as a wrestler, not twice across three PPVs. The heels win to set up the inevitable SurSer showdown that will have a happier result for the faces.
Winners: Miz and R-Truth

M.C. Brown: Faces win high profile match when top heels win the other title matches.
Winner: Punk and HHH

Kelly Floyd: How…HOW…could this match be 75% awesome and I have zero interest in it? Come one, wrestling fans. They’re just taping this one together in a piss-poor effort to appease the fans. “Yeah? You like CM Punk? You do? Well, what about Triple H? You do?! Do you like CM Punk AND Triple H? Well, put your hands together…”
Winner: Punk and Trips

Randy Orton vs Cody Rhodes

Mike Gojira: I thought this was for the Intercontinental Championship.  Thank Cthulhu it’s not, or we might have a new Old School Intercontinental Champion on our hands.  Orton is winning this thing, folks.  He lost the last two PPV title matches CLEAN.  You don’t just job out your Number 2 that often, in that way, without giving him back some of his heat with a non-title victory.  besides, Cody isn’t a main eventer just yet so he can afford to lose here after putting on an impressive show.
Winner: Randy Orton

Steven Gepp: Is this a title match? Or is it for custody of the mask? Or is it for the love of one of Team Bagger? Who the f**k knows? It’s a match, and gives us a chance to see if Cody Rhodes has really improved, or if Randy Orton has. Because,
really, how has Orton improved recently?
Film of this match: Freddy v Jason (it wants to be good and have the two of them go at it, but it just doesn’t reach what it aims for)
Winner: Rhodes, thanks to DiBiase

CB: Cody Rhodes and Randy Orton will have a serviceable match, but I don’t think they will do anything particularly special, either. Randy wins but then Cody gets his heat back during a post-match beat down with help from one or two others.
Winner: Randy Orton

M.C. Brown: Cody could use a huge win. Not saying Orton couldn’t eventually steal the title for a brief run, but don’t think it’ll be here. Probably a Rhodes DQ win of some sort or vice versa.
Winner: Cody Rhodes by DQ

Kelly Floyd: Funny to think back on my Wrestlemania 26 experience and think that Cody was the one who rose from the ashes of Legacy. Of everyone, he was the more disposable. Now, look at him. I mean really, look at him. He’s one of the main reasons I tune in to Smackdown now. And he’s somehow managed to make Randy Orton interesting for me again…no easy feat. Let’s keep that momentum going, though I know WWE will put over their Blue Brand Golden Boy (Bronze?)
Winner: Cody Rhodes

WWE Divas’ Championship
Beth Phoenix vs Eve Torres

Mike Gojira: I’m convinced Eve earned her title shot based solely on the fact that everyone was sick of seeing Kelly Kelly vs Phoenix on PPV.  I don’t mind that at all, since I prefer Eve (visually, if you know what I mean. AMIRITE?!)  Yeah, I’m not so much into the bony blondes.  Wait, I’m getting off-topic…
Winner: Beth Phoenix

Steven Gepp: Wow! The best in the world! Gotta be! Right? Right? Well, Eve Torres is in there, so no. She’s actually more useless than Kelly Kelly Kelly Kelly. If that was possible. This is going to be a contender for the worst women’s PPV match of 2011. Please just let Phoenix squash her like a bug. Quickly. Like, in 3 seconds. Please.
Film of this match: War of the Gargantuas (come on! This film is going to be as epic as that Toho production!)
Winner: Eve (dammit!)

CB: Eve is this month’s sacrificial lamb for the Sisters of Salvation. Perhaps Kelly costs her somehow, leading to the huge moneymaker of Kelly vs. Eve in a grudge feud.
Winner: Beth Phoenix

M.C. Brown: Beth should have a long run if they are smart.
Winner: Beth Phoenix

Kelly Floyd: Is this really what it’s come down to? Did Eve win the game of musical chairs that decides who Divas contenders will be? As the only dose of estrogen on this Roundtable, I feel it is my duty (not really…I just like talking until someone stops me) to tear this whole thing apart. It stinks. Like, literally. It’s a pungent aroma of uselessness and sexism. No, I’m not holding a giant picket sign with the female symbol spraypainted in pink. But come on. Eve? I’d like to go back in time, right to when it became acceptable for people like Eve and Kelly Kelly to vie for the belt in a PPV. I’m paying you so I can watch 38 seconds of hair-pulling and tit-flaunting before the name the bookers picked out of a hat is selected as the new champion? I don’t fucking think so. Beth Phoenix epitomizes what the current Divas division champion should be. And until WWE can stop signing models and actresses that are one absent callback away from porn to their company, no one will ever respect the women in wrestling. Forever are we doomed to be idiots and rats. Mostly both. Thanks WWE! Way to do your part!
Winner: Me

WWE Tag Team Championship
Air Boom vs Dolph Ziggler and Vickie Guerrero

Mike Gojira: With Ziggler pulling double duty tonight, I would think his ego would be more concerned with preventing Zack Ryder from taking his singles title rather than winning the tag titles with Jack Swagger.  Air Boom has been made to look considerably weak lately, with Bourne as the obvious “face in peril.”  They need a big win here.
Winners: Air Boom

Steven Gepp: This could be a good match, if they let it be a match. But I think it’s just going to be the backdrop for the break-up of team Vickie. Because that’s what wrestling’s apparently all about – messing with the fans.
Film of this match: The Expendables
Winner: Air Boom

CB: Swagger and Ziggler will ground Air Boom in round 1 of Dolph’s gauntlet night of title defenses…
Winners: Jack and Dolph

M.C. Brown: I believe it’s either two titles changing hands or none at all. I’m leaning towards none and don’t see Ziggler and Swagger winning at this point, but I could be wrong. Perhaps Ziggler walks away with more gold. I think it might be Ziggler vs. Swagger coming soon.
Winner: Air Boom

Kelly Floyd: I don’t want to repeat myself. So see the next match for my thoughts. Or don’t. Whatever.
Winner: Jack and Dolph, went up the hill…

United States Championship
Dolph Ziggler vs Zack Ryder

Mike Gojira: With his current gimmick, this is as far as Zack Ryder gets.  I love the guy’s personality, but he’s a comedy character and nothing more.  He’ll get a run with a real singles title; just not yet.  If this were Dolph’s only match on the card, I’d say we’d have a new champ.  It’s not, so I think Dolph will retain.
Winner: Dolph Ziggler

Steven Gepp: We are such a lucky bunch! Two Dolph matches in one PPV! What have we done to deserve such joy? Wow!
Film of the match: Amelie (slow, no flow, weird story, vastly overrated, and featuring a quirky main character. No, I didn’t like Amelie. Live with it.)
Winner: Zackles

CB: …then, Ryder captures the United States Championship with help from British Batista.
Winner: Zack Ryder

M.C. Brown: I don’t know if Zack’s win comes this quickly especially if they are high on Ziggler. Zigs could win both title matches. It’s possible.
Winner: Dolph Ziggler

Kelly Floyd: This whole scenario reminds me of The Bash in 2009. When Jericho dropped the IC belt to Mysterio, only to enter as a surprise entrant alongside Edge for a triple threat tag team championship match, and win. Dolph has had the US title for a minute now. I can see him losing the belt to someone like Zack Ryder (which, thank you Wrestling Gods for his inclusion…), and using that as motivation to do whatever it takes to win the tag team belts. I mean, it’s an effortless transition, right? He did the same thing when he moved to the Heavyweight scene, and just kind of fumbled the IC title. This theory could potentially be completely and unequivocally wrong, but hey…isn’t it just like WWE to recycle? Shamon.
Winner: Zack Ryder

Christian vs Sheamus

Mike Gojira: Here we are again: two guys with nothing to do.  Christian is now a glorified JTTS and Sheamus is waiting for his title iopportunity.  Well, if things progress the way they are rumored to from now until Wrestlemania, I see Sheamus waiting in the wings for a long time.  Hmmmm….unless he turns heel again to win the Royal Rumble……
Winner: Sheamus

Steven Gepp: Could be good. Might not. Who knows? Who cares? It’s a match, it’s on PPV. Christian started the year so well. He’s finishing the year so not well. And I don’t care anymore.
Film of this match: Megashark vs Crocosaurus (seriously. Watch this film. It’ll be better than this PPV!)
Winner: Sheamus

CB: This can go in a lot of directions, so I’ll go with the laziest: Sheamus dominates but only wins by DQ after Christian low blows him and leaves the ring smirking.
Winner by DQ: Sheamus

M.C. Brown: Sheamus has to be groomed to be the one to defeat Henry. I can’t see Henry lasting ’til Mania.
Winner: Sheamus

Kelly Floyd: This simply delights my heart. I love matches where I don’t care who wins, in a good way. I love Sheamus. I love Christian. I love Sheamus. I love Christian. I love Sheamus’s wrestling. I love Christian’s wrestling. Therefore, I win.
Winner: Sheamus

Closing Statements

Mike Gojira: See?  I told you all Kelly loves me too much to let me go from the Roundtables!  The line up for this PPV screams “six weeks of a build” but it’s only been three since we had a PPV.  It’s bizarre.  This looks like a solid card (Divas’ match and Henry/Show notwithstanding).  I just don’t understand why the Hell in a Cell needs its own PPV.  Call me crazy, but couldn’t Mark Henry and Big Show have had their match in the cell this Sunday and actually make their match passable?  Then there’d be no need for three PPVs in seven weeks.  I think this is also the first time in MONTHS that the company has promoted the full card beforehand instead of just adding expected matches to the mix the night of the show.  I’m interested in seeing what happens this Sunday.  And no, I’m not paying for it.  And yes, Kelly Floyd is totally awesome and I am in no way sucking up to her to placate her feminine demands for attention in this “sausagefest” we call Pulse Wrestling.

Steven Gepp: For God’s sake, this is like the fourth PPV in, what?, 5 weeks! If ever there was an argument for reducing the number of PPVs it’s been the time period from August until now. I rated TNA’s recent Bound For Glory as a middle of the road PPV – this one’s gonna join it. I can’t think of anything to say. I really can’t. Why did I do films this time? Because, apart from Amelie, these are things I would much rather be watching than this PPV. Even utter tripe like Megashark vs Crocosaurus (I’ve watched it more than half a dozen times; it’s got Urkel in it!) is preferable to this. What is there to excite me? PPVs are supposed to be the pinnacle of a feud, the culmination of build-up on TV time. Instead we have a glorified Raw Supershow that people are expected to pay for. Stop it! WWE, TNA, just stop it! You aren’t fooling anyone, you know. We know you’re just doing this to mess with us. Well, you’ll be laughing on the other side of your faces once… once… damn it! There is nothing else! Well, you wait! One day you’ll wake up and we’ll be gone with some one younger and more exciting. Sure, you put up with our fling with UFC, but you knew we’d be back. Well, wait and see. Some thing else will come along. And then where will you be? Wishing you hadn’t treated us like pond scum, that’s where! And there’ll be no more crawling back to you then, mark my words. We’ll be gone… Honestly. I mean it this time. No, I really do. Really. Don’t look at me like that! You bastard…

CB: This is simply another placeholder PPV that does nothing but force WWE’s creative hand by making them rush through storylines on TV to get to an event that feels unnecessary and irrelevant.

I guarantee that the muppets episode of Raw on 10/31 is more entertaining than this shit-pile known as WWE Vengeance, and what have been such an abominable statement a few years ago is merely the truth today.

Oh, and think of it this way: WWE has two chances to push a heavyweight champion in a meaningful manner, yet despite this advantage the one champion I am actually excited about is TNA’s James Storm. Not that TNA didn’t botch the Robert Roode angle, but there’s still better potential over in Orlando than with Del Rio and Henry killing time at the top during another dull WWE lull.

If only they stuck with Punk…

M.C. Brown: This looks like a heels’ PPV at least from the top tier. Survivor Series has potential if they embrace the concept, but they are too afraid to do that ever again. That’s a shame. Good to see a Divas and Tag title defense reach some air of prominence here. In fact this looks like a Night of Champions which is really what these high profile PPVs should be. Now, if they could only revive a cruiserweight division. If only Vince cared…

Kelly Floyd: I cannot remember the last time I looked at a card and went, “huh…okay. I’ll spend ten bucks at the bar on that.” I mean, Cody and Randy has been delectable. Christian and Sheamus has been enthralling. Zack Ryder in a PPV match? And a title shot, no less? I’m intrigued. Will it be gold? Absolutely not. But I am truly excited. Maybe I just don’t watch WWE programming that often anymore, so it’s renewing my mark status. Maybe the ratio of Guys-I-Love to Guys-I-Loathe has shifted in my favor this time. I don’t care. But, I’m certain that the beer will be cold, I’ll be surrounded by the cool kids, and the PPV itself isn’t making me cringe. And that, my dear, is rare.

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