Vengeance 2011: The Potential of Each Match
Apparently, in four days, WWE Vengeance will be taking place in San Antonio, Texas. After being on the shelf for four years, Vengeance is coming back and it has quite a number of stories going into it.
Most importantly, for the WWE Championship, current champion Alberto Del Rio will defend his title against the face of the WWE John Cena in a match many are dismissing as an easy win for Cena.
WWE's alternative world title, the World Heavyweight Championship, will be defended against the Big Show. The champion, Mark Henry is billed as the World's Strongest Man and his match with the World's Largest Athlete has fans divided on whether the match will be a flop or a success.
The WWE Tag Team Champions Air Boom, consisting of Evan Bourne and Kofi Kingston, will defend their titles against the core members of Vickie Guerrero's stable: United States Champion Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger.
The Divas Championship match will consist of current champion and 'Sister of Salvation' Beth Phoenix defending her title from Eve Torres.
The other two matches, while not for titles, are also massive matches. Randy Orton will take on his former apprentice Cody Rhodes in what many claim will be match of the night while former enemies Triple H and CM Punk will battle against the Awesome Truth (consisting of The Miz and R-Truth).
From the current card, WWE Vengeance has the potential to be one of the most memorable pay-per-view events of the year. But poor booking could cause the event to be a complete and total failure in the eyes of the fans.
I personally believe that any match has the potential to be great. But I am also aware that not all of them will be. All it takes is poor booking to change a match from a 5-star to a 4-star or worse.
There's a lot of individual factors going into each match and I will look at them all and use them to determine the potential of the match.
Alberto Del Rio vs John Cena
There is not much to say about this match in terms of predictions. John Cena is going to win.
That being said, I honestly would have preferred this to have been a Submission Match. Even better would be a Cross Arm-Breaker vs STF match. That way, it would be much more dramatic with both Cena and Del Rio attempting to lock in their signature submissions.
But, on October 17th, Cena won the right to choose the stipulation of the match and he chose one of his specialties: a Last Man Standing match. And Cena, who is a master of the I Quit Match and a former Royal Rumble winner, has a huge advantage over his opponent.
The potential of this match to be incredible really rests on how Del Rio is booked. And since his start in the WWE, Del Rio has never been painted as an "endurance type". That's not to say, however, that he isn't tough.
This is the guy who took Christian to the limit in a ladder match and who beat CM Punk and Cena in a Hell in a Cell match. But, Del Rio lost the first match and won the second by smarts and skill rather than manly fortitude and superhuman endurance.
Also add in the fact that Del Rio's main finisher, the arm-breaker, won't really do much to keep anyone down for a ten count, let alone keep Cena down. If it was any other superstar, the Cross Arm-Breaker would play a huge role in giving Del Rio an edge, but it's Cena we're talking about. Odds are, Cena's arm is going to hurt for a few minutes before he gets a huge surge of adrenaline and forgets all about it.
Del Rio's other big move, that beautiful enzuigiri, will probably be his best option for victory.
Cena, on the other hand, has a huge array of power moves that can easily put a man down for a while. He has a wide number of suplex variations and the Attitude Adjustment. Cena's favored submission move, the STF, is also the kind of move that can easily leave someone crippled for ten quick seconds.
It honestly comes down to who hits the other and what they hit him with. Weapons will likely be legal, so if Del Rio can somehow use a weapon to down Cena (or maybe change his style to focus on the legs) then he might win.
Odds are, though, Cena's willpower and stamina will give him the win and The Champ will be here again.
Mark Henry vs. Big Show
The World's Largest Athlete, the Big Show, will get another fight with the World's Strongest Man Mark Henry in four days and this match will either be a huge surprise or a nice time to get some homework done.
Big guy matches have the unfortunate stigma of being slow and boring and Henry vs Big Show features two of the biggest guys in the WWE. As a result, many fans are dismissing this match as a boring match where either Henry or Big Show will pick up an easy win.
But, a match like this has the ability to actually be really good. While it won't, by any means, be a technical masterpiece or an exciting high-flying match, it can be a good show. Just like Hulk Hogan vs Andre the Giant many years ago, this match represents the whole 'unstoppable force meets the immovable object' idea.
Henry has been absolutely dominating in the WWE over the past few months. He singe-handedly took out the biggest names (literally) in the company and even plowed through the number one and number two faces of Smackdown. The "unstoppable force" that is Mark Henry, however, is about to hit a very solid wall: The Big Show.
Two weeks ago on Smackdown, Big Show returned and made it very clear that he was intending to take the thing that validated Mark Henry's entire career: the World Heavyweight Championship. And Big Show almost took out Henry in order to receive his title shot at Vengeance in four days.
The match will probably start off like all the other big guy matches. The two are going to size each other up and then lock horns. It will be interesting to see who gets the advantage from here. Technically, Henry is stronger but Big Show has a significant height advantage. That's going to be followed by each one running the ropes and using the momentum to try to shove the other to the ground.
From there anything can happen and I expect these two to go absolutely nuts on each other. They have both been portrayed as dangerous and furious with each other and it would be incredible to see that translate into the match. Just because they are both big doesn't mean they can't have a good match.
After all, if John Cena can lift the Big Show onto his shoulders then I'm sure Mark Henry can to.
In the end, I think Henry is going to retain the title but I don't think the win will be very cut and dry. I think something is going to happen (either something happening to the ref or something else) and the match is going to end without a solid victory from either competitor.
Air-Boom vs. Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger
What will happen on Sunday when the United States Champion and the All American American American team up to take on two of the most exciting young superstars in the WWE? Well, regardless of who wins, it should be a good match. It will be the high-flyers versus the mat wrestlers.
One of the key factors to remember in this match is the multiple feuds Kofi Kingston and Dolph Ziggler have had over the past. These two have feuded over both the Intercontinental and United States titles and have had spectacular matches. The two mesh really well and are comfortable enough with each other's styles to put on a good show.
By comparison, however, Jack Swagger and Evan Bourne do not have the same chemistry. Usually when these two meet (or when Bourne meets any big guy in genera), Swagger (or the big guy) will proceed to toss Bourne around like a rag doll until he gets distracted. Bourne will then get a few shots in, go for his Airbourne move and end the match.
But this is a tag match, so things are not going to be so simple. There will be partners running in to break up tags (the heels Ziggler and Swagger) and there will be hot tags (the babyfaces Bourne and Kingston) that are going to prolong the match. Plus Vickie Guerrero will likely (meaning most definitely) be at ringside to support her clients.
Technically, this match could highlight the strengths of these four men who will likely be the future of the WWE. Unfortunately, it probably won't. Ziggler and Swagger are going to dominate for much of the match, Vickie is going to get involved, Bourne (or maybe Kingston, but likely Bourne since he is usually the one to get singled out) will get the hot tag and Kingston will win the match to retain the tag titles.
In light of the recent change to the Vengeance card (with Ziggler competing in another match for his United States Championship), I feel that things have changed. How will Ziggler go about conserving his energy for this match? At this point, the most cowardly and heel-ish thing he can do would be to walk out on Swagger.
But even if that doesn't happen, Swagger will likely have to work most of the match. Luckily for him, Swagger is a rather big guy and it wouldn't be too much trouble for him to ground both of his high-flying opponents. After all, this is a guy who has beaten Chris Jericho, Edge, and Randy Orton.
All that being said, Guerrero's clients are at something of a disadvantage, but the whole idea of his Ziggler's other match completely changes the booking. I'm going to go outside the box on this one and give the win, and the WWE Tag Team Championship, to Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger.
Eve vs. Beth Phoenix
Ever since the Divas of Doom started their campaign to rid the WWE of the girly, eye-candy Divas, nothing has really changed in the Divas division. They still have quick squash matches and no progress has really been made. At this point, I'm not sure what happens now that Beth Phoenix is the champion. Regardless, this Sunday, she will take on Eve who, along with Kelly Kelly, has been a thorn in her side.
If this match can reach its full potential then it will be quite the interesting matchup. The David vs. Goliath concept is old as time itself, but somehow still effective if used right and could actually do wonders for the Divas division if Eve can put on a good show.
WWE has used this angle multiple times: the dominant heel champion is much stronger than her babyface competitor, so the face has to rely on her speed and wit to win the match. As used and abused as the angle may be, I think it could work wonders in this type of match.
Phoenix is a wrestler who has been training for much of her life. She was even an amateur wrestler before she went pro. Eve, on the other hand, has no training in wrestling. During her most recent Twitter war with Beth Phoenix, however, Eve noted that she has been training in Jiu-Jitsu (If you look at the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu list of certified belt holders, you can see Eve's name under the blue belt section).
Whenever Eve wrestles, the commentators tend to make note of her "unique" style. Sure enough, Eve is known for using moonsaults from the second rope as her finisher (something that really hasn't been seen since Lita left). Even can execute a standing moonsault, which is actually fairly difficult to do.
Eve really needs to unleash the full fury of her Jiu-Jitsu skills against Phoenix at Vengeance. It will be something very new to the Divas division and to professional wrestling in general and it would be an interesting contrast to Phoenix's very physical, grappling based technique.
If Eve can keep her distance and use strikes to offset Phoenix's power, then she can pull of an upset (but believable) victory over the Glamazon.
Something else to think about is that both Natalya and Kelly Kelly will be at ringside. Kelly has been freaking out ever since she lost the Divas title and I wouldn't be too surprised if she suddenly snapped and turned on Eve in the middle of the match. On that note, I also wouldn't be too surprised if Natalya turned on Beth Phoenix after the match in order to set up a feud between them.
Despite Eve's hidden talents (which I doubt will be a factor in the equation), I am foreseeing a victory for Beth Phoenix. However, the volatile Kelly Kelly is a variable and so is Natalya. And who knows, maybe the writing team will allow Eve to show us some of those Jiu-Jitsu moves so that we can have an epic match.
Dolph Ziggler vs Zack Ryder
As announced on Friday Night Smackdown, not only will Dolph Ziggler challenge Air Boom for the WWE Tag Team titles, but he will also defend his United States Championship from Zack Ryder.
It would appear that Ziggler has a lot on his plate this coming Sunday as he adds perennial thorn-in-his-side Zack Ryder to his already busy night. After all, defeating Air Boom won't be an easy feat. And since the tag team title match is going to be first, it's possible Ziggler will use as little energy as possible.
However, this is where we hit a snag. After all, there's no possible (other than Ziggler literally walking out on Swagger) that Swagger will legitimately be able to ground both Evan Bourne and Kofi Kingston. So how much will Ziggler get involved and how much energy will he have to use to win the WWE Tag Team titles?
As for Ziggler's US title match, Dolph will likely throw everything he has at Ryder. After all, Ziggler is the current longest reigning champion in the WWE and I doubt he wants to give up that honor just yet. For the past couple of weeks, on both Raw and Smackdown, Ryder has been a great annoyance to Ziggler and even managed to pin him multiple times.
And no one can deny that Ryder has really stepped it up since becoming the General Manager's Assistant on Smackdown. The former tag team champion is quick, smart, and has amassed quite the winning streak lately. But on the 23rd, he is going to take on someone who has gone toe-to-toe with the likes of Edge, Randy Orton, and John Cena and has pushed all three of them to their limits.
For this match, I'm going to give the victory to Ziggler. Even though he never beat the best, Ziggler can hang with the best and I think that is what's going to allow him to make it through two championship matches and come out with a retained United States Championship.
Randy Orton vs. Cody Rhodes
The first grudge match will consist of Randy Orton taking on his former apprentice and the current Intercontinental Champion Cody Rhodes.
Ever since Orton punted Rhodes in the skull two years ago at WrestleMania XXVI, the current IC champ has never been the same. First he became a first-class narcissist with his 'dashing' gimmick, then he went off the deep end with the whole "I'm a monster and all of you are hideous" thing.
Obviously, Orton kicked Rhodes a bit harder than he should have.
Regardless, Rhodes never really got to see retribution for that since he would soon be traded to Smackdown. Fast forward a few years and both members of what used to be Legacy are back on the same brand. They had a brief miniature feud that many thought would blow over shortly. Then came the bell incident. To make a long story short, Orton opened the side of Cody's head with the ring bell and the latter needed about nine stitches.
That all brings us to today where Orton will battle Rhodes at Vengeance in what many are already calling the match of the night. Although it is a bit early, the claim is a pretty fair one to make. After all, we are talking two very young, very gifted athletes who know each other extremely well.
A major factor going into this match is Orton's current pay-per-view losing streak. He lost at Night of Champions and at Hell in a Cell to Mark Henry and many are questioning if Randy will lose at a third PPV event. After all, he is the face of Smackdown and Orton has a history of putting himself over rising stars.
Another big factor is that, to be frank, both Orton and Rhodes are completely nuts. Randy hears voices and goes on violent berserker rages (what did he call it? Intermittent Explosive Disorder) while Cody thinks everything is just as ugly and twisted as he (thinks) he is.
I'll be surprised if these two decide to follow the rules throughout the whole match. This match is going to be brutal, with or without weapons and disqualifications. Don't expect Cody to end the match with his mask on.
Overall, Orton and Rhodes have quite a bit in common. They both have insane gimmicks, both of them use a variation of the Cutter, both used a diving move at one point (Orton used a crossbody during his Legend Killer days and Rhodes had a moonsault he used on occasion), both are generation Superstars, and both have put on great matches.
Picking a winner is really hard for this match because of Orton's situation. I'm hoping that he chooses to put over Cody because it would do wonders for bringing prestige back to the Intercontinental Championship (maybe, heaven forbid, he might even wrestle for it).
After a lot of deliberation, I'm going to say Cody wins, but it won't be clean.
Triple H & CM Punk vs. the Awesome Truth
This match is easily the biggest match of the night for many reasons. The biggest and most obvious reason is that the entire conspiracy angle is focused into this match. Despite this, however, the match itself is going to be rather awkward.
Firstly, there is a very large gap in perceivable talent. After all, CM Punk is the current "best in the world" and Triple H is "The Game," the "Cerebral Assassin" and the "King of Kings". And then we have the egotistical Miz and the delusional R-Truth. That's 17 (19 if you count Punk's ECW and ROH titles) combined world title reigns vs. 1 (3 if you count Truth's TNA titles).
As you can see, Punk/HHH has the obvious advantage there. And while Phil Brooks and Paul Levesque are easily two of the best in the business, you can't underestimate how good Miz and Truth actually are in the ring. Admittedly, both of them have a bigger bark than bite, but they can both hold their own in a match.
Another important factor is that the Awesome Truth has the power of John Laurinitis on their side. It's no surprise that the interim general manager of Raw will somehow manage to help the two men who he recently re-hired. You also can't forget about Triple H's ex-best friend Kevin Nash. It's not unlikely that he will run in and take out both Punk and HHH.
Meanwhile, HHH and Punk don't really have any allies. Cena is going to be busy with Del Rio and I wouldn't count on Vince McMahon walking in to aid the man who practically got him fired and the man who took his place and almost ran his company into the ground. It's possible Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley might enter the equation to help her husband, but what is she going to do against Kevin Nash?
This has the potential to be the kind of match that will be talked about for years to come. Star power alone should prompt crowd reaction and interest and the competitors have all proven that they can perform in the ring. I'm predicting a tainted win by the Awesome Truth that will serve to give Punk and Triple H for a while.
There are rumors of Punk to have a world title run around Survivor Series, so it's also highly possible that he and Triple H will win so that he can ride that momentum into SS. Until there is more conclusive evidence, however, I'm putting my money on Miz and R-Truth.
Christian vs Sheamus
This rivalry has been brewing on Smackdown for quite some time now. The number two face versus the number two heel just seems to be a random match so that both men have something to do on Sunday night. That being said, there's no reason it won't be a good match.
Although these two have been going back and forth, the rivalry has really heated in the past week with Christian hitting Sheamus with the Spear on numerous occasions. However, considering Christian is about 30lbs lighter than Edge, Christian's Spear does much less damage to the 270lb Sheamus.
This is obviously going to be a large part of the match with Christian attempting to beat Sheamus with the Spear. I can't help but think that Christian's reliance on Edge's old move may be setting the table for something later on. But anyway, even though Sheamus is a complete monster compared to Christian, don't count the latter out yet.
After all, Christian has been putting on clinics with everyone he's faced since he won the World Heavyweight Championship earlier this year. And while this match won't involve any titles, it will involve two, 2-time world champions.
This match has a stark contrast in styles, with Sheamus utilizing a power-based brawling style and Christian relying on speed and wit. Another factor is Sheamus' lack of experience compared to Christian. While the latter was a face, he regularly took on Alberto Del Rio's then-lackey Brodus Clay and won. Christian has also beaten the likes of bigger guys like JBL and William Regal.
Even though it's more-or-less a filler match, Christian vs Sheamus has the potential to be one of many great matches. Often on Raw and Smackdown when these two face off, it involves Christian mounting some offense and then leaving the ring once Sheamus starts to make a comeback.
For some reason, Christian has been focused on proving that his Spear will work on Sheamus and I think that's going to be his downfall. Sheamus took two Spears from Christian on Monday and stood up and I'm sure Sheamus has also powered out of the Killswitch.
This leaves Christian with a lack of finishing moves capable of keeping Sheamus down. Overall, I'm going to give the win to Sheamus this Sunday night. He's bigger and stronger than Christian and when he gets heated up, Christian will be hard-pressed to find a way to win.
Does WWE Vengeance have the potential to be the stuff of legends? Absolutely; we have a Last Man Standing Match, a battle of the giants, four future stars in one match, a possibly revolutionary match, the battle of the psychopaths, and a tag team match that can make or break the conspiracy angle.
Will WWE Vengeance live up to its potential? That's hard to say; there's no way to know until we see the matches play out. As for any other matches, I'm not quite sure since I don't read spoilers and I haven't seen any rumored matches. If there are any added, I will add them to this list.
I hoped you enjoyed and feel free to leave your opinion below. Thank you for reading.