The whole concept of brand competition went out of style a long time ago, and because of that, Bragging Rights became somewhat irrelevant. Thankfully, the WWE has scratched the two-year experiment and rebooted Vengeance, which is a great decision in my mind.
The Vengeance PPV has played host to a number of great moments, most notably Chris Jericho prevailing over the The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin in one night to become the undisputed WWE champion.
In less than three weeks, Vengeance will be back...and hopefully with a vengeance and not just some recycled rematches. Nonetheless, let's take a look back at the top five matches in the history of this PPV.
I'll start off with the historic night of Chris Jericho and the beginning of his reign as the undisputed champion. The best match of that PPV, however, was not when he beat Stone Cold for the title.
It was when he beat The Rock. With the Rock Bottom.
Jericho and Rock had some of the best chemistry two guys could ever have. They went at it numerous times during 2001 and early 2002, and every match was better than the previous. This night was no different, as Jericho pulled off the surprising victory over the Great One.
Vince McMahon made the four-man tournament to try and keep Stone Cold and the Rock from facing off against one another. So when he got involved for a distraction, Jericho capitalized.
The Rock would get a rematch at the Royal Rumble, but Jericho beat him again and moved on to WreslteMania, Stephanie McMahon and Triple H. The Rock, meanwhile, moved on to Hulk Hogan.
Back around 2004, B-level PPVs like Vengeance only featured one brand, making the Intercontinental title a much bigger deal.
On top of this, Randy Orton was proving to be one of the better champions in quite some time. With plenty of help from Mick Foley, his title reign elevated him to the next level.
Edge had been out of action for over a year due to a serious neck injury, and he was ready to wear the gold around his waist once again. He targeted Orton for the title, and they had a fantastic match at Vengeance in 2004.
The match lasted over 25 minutes, which is something we probably won't see on the Intercontinental title scene for a good while. The outcome worked for both men: Edge won and gained the title, and Orton moved on to win the World Heavyweight Championship at SummerSlam.
How could this match possibly live up to their epic encounter at WrestleMania? Although it did not match its predecessor, it didn't fall very short of the mark.
Two of the best technical wrestlers going at it one-on-one was like a dream come true for most people. Even more surprising was that Angle picked up the victory at the biggest PPV of the year. So of course, it was HBK's turn to get a victory in this rivalry.
After a few minutes, Michaels suffered a brutal German suplex on the announcers table. After plenty of beating down from Angle, HBK was slowly able to work his way back into the match. In the end, Angle lost when he has hit with SCM after flying off the top rope.
This feud wasn't over yet, as a 30-minute Iron Man Match was needed to settle everything.
Triple H did wonders for Batista in 2005. Not only did he give Batista the win at WM, he put the animal over in two rematches. So you knew there were huge things in the future for the big man.
This brutal Hell in a Cell match featured the barbed-wire chair, which is an awesome weapon and should have been used more often in general. Excessive use of the actual cage, a steel chain and the steps were also involved. Oh, and throw in a sledgehammer of course.
It was exactly what Hell in a Cell matches lack these days. It was brutal, an all-out brawl and culminated in this hot feud. Batista was the future of the company, along with John Cena on the SmackDown side. He would end up on SD himself and carry the title there for the majority of the next two years.
After this contest, Triple H took some well-deserved time off due to some neck issues. Batista held the title all through 2005, and only vacated it due to an injury.
In my mind, this is one of the best triple-threat matches we have ever seen in the WWE.
There was never a dull moment in this match, and up until the end, you had no idea who had the advantage. The Rock took the title in the end, but either Angle or Taker could have easily been the champ at any time.
One of the more entertaining parts of the match occurred early on, when all three men used finishers of one of their opponents. The suspense throughout and the great crowd reactions only furthered the excellent work in the ring.
After The Rock's win, he defended the title at SummerSlam against Brock Lesnar and "passed the torch" to the up-and-coming star. Then he went to film a movie and came back in time for the buildup to WrestleMania.
Will this year's rebooted version of Vengeance deliver a match like those listed? Unfortunately, the chances are slim due to the increased amount of PPVs and lack of build with two weeks to go. However, I'm open to surprises.
It seems like Vengeance will simply be a stepping stone to Survivor Series, which is turning out to be the biggest of its kind in a very long time. Hopefully, we'll get some good wrestling on the road there.
Thanks for reading.