What's up, ladies and gentlemen? My name is Eric Kanes and we are just several hours removed from this year's "Vengeance" PPV event.
Now, in my PPV Preview article, I said that I would not be buying the show because the card looked weak and the show had very little build-up. I ended up buying it anyway because I didn't have much going on tonight and I can honestly say that I'm glad I did. For a show that was expected to be a major flop, this turned out to be a pleasant surprise. A lot of the matches were well-worked, there were several cool spots, and the show was consistently good unlike the two previous PPVs.
Without any further ado, let's get right down to the review.
Air Boom d. Dolph Ziggler & Jack Swagger (***1/4)
This was definitely the best choice for an opener as these four guys worked a nice, fast-paced match. We saw lots of back-and-forth action and the match never really slowed down. It was even better than their previous match last month at Hell in a Cell. The match ended with Air Boom's signature spot with Kofi Kingston hitting Trouble in Paradise and Evan Bourne hitting Air Bourne.
Dolph Ziggler d. Zack Ryder (**1/4)
This was a bit of a disappointment. Even though I called it, sometimes I hate being right. With Dolph Ziggler being out cold after just being pinned, this was the perfect opportunity for Zack Ryder to get an upset victory and go on to have a reign as the underdog champion. Instead, WWE made him look like a complete idiot by having him lose to an already weakened opponent and to a superkick, which isn't even Ziggler's finisher.
Beth Phoenix d. Eve (*1/2)
This was just about what you'd expect from a typical divas match. Eve went for several roll-up attempts but eventually fell to Beth's Glam Slam. At least we didn't have Kelly Kelly at ringside which was a nice change of pace. It's not like she ever does anything but scream anyway.
Sheamus d. Christian (***)
Just like at Hell in a Cell, this was a very slow match that never really picked up, although this one was slightly better. Either WWE didn't let these guys go all out because they wanted to save some spots for the later matches or these two guys just don't have very good chemistry. Nonetheless, the finish with Sheamus hitting the brogue kick while Christian went for the spear was pretty cool. Christian sold the move well. I really like how they're building Sheamus up as an unstoppable face.
The Miz & R-Truth d. Triple H & CM Punk (***1/4)
I was interested in this match not so much for the wrestling but more just to see how WWE would book it. Would Miz and Truth pick up the much-needed win or would Triple H and CM Punk predictably destroy their opponents? I'm glad that it was the former. Although it was after interference by Kevin Nash, the ending made sense and it gives the heels the upper hand with Triple H looking like he may be hurt. One other thing I liked about this match is that after Miz and Truth cheated, Triple H and CM Punk had no problem cheating and playing dirty when the referee turned around. In the Attitude Era, guys like Steve Austin and The Rock would always hit a low blow behind the referee's back. It's good to have some faces be like that. Not everyone has to be a superhero like John Cena.
Randy Orton d. Cody Rhodes (***1/4)
I didn't expect much from this match because of the lack of proper build-up and because we've already seen this match 9,274 times on SmackDown but these guys actually put on a solid performance here. It wasn't anything great but it was a lot better than their previous matches. The ending with Orton going over clean after an RKO was predictable but Rhodes still looked like he could hold his own with him.
Mark Henry d. Big Show (***)
At Money in the Bank, these guys put on a match that wasn't too bad and I gave it **. I thought that that was the best they could do against each other. Wrong. This match had a certain intensity to it that you don't see very often. These guys told a great story, going after each other like crazy and resorting to whatever they needed to win, even going to the top rope. The finish with Mark Henry superplexing Big Show and the ring breaking was really cool. Although the crowd was not as hot as the one for Brock Lesnar hitting the same spot, they still got a pretty good pop and even a "Holy Sh*t" chant. Big Show had to be taken out on a stretcher while Mark Henry refused to get on one and limped to the back. I love the way they're booking him right now. Ever since July, he's been consistently great not only on the mic but in the ring as well. It's been a while since WWE has invested so much in a character. Hopefully, this wave of momentum can continue all the way to WrestleMania.
Alberto Del Rio d. John Cena (**1/2)
What can I say? This was exactly what I expected with both guys taking turns lying down and rolling around for a 7 count. There weren't any amazing spots either. They just oversold regular moves like the five knuckle shuffle. At least Del Rio got the win after The Miz and R-Truth interfered (we'll get to that in a little bit) and the ending with a random fan pulling Del Rio up was hilarious.
Overall, this show gets a 7/10 from me. This was still nothing more than a transitional pay-per-view but it was a damn good transitional pay-per-view. All three hours were filled with action (although that really should be the norm), all of the matches were consistently solid without any completely horrible ones, and most of the matches had a reasonable outcome.
What's next? I guess the reason The Miz and R-Truth attacked John Cena was because he's "part of the conspiracy" along with Triple H and CM Punk. I guess this all leads to a 5-on-5 match at Survivor Series with The Miz, R-Truth, Alberto Del Rio, Kevin Nash, and Christian against John Cena, The Rock, Triple H, CM Punk, and Sheamus. This wasn't a bad way to set it up. Either way, I'm glad that these past few months filled with nothing but filler and transitional shows are over. Bring on Survivor Series!
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Until next time, I'm out!