WWE Vengeance Preview

Posted by Grey Sunday, October 23, 2011

WWE's Vengeance makes its return tonight at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas for the first time since its 2007 iteration. The Daily Zombies weigh in on the last stop of WWE's unfortunately annual series of ridiculously hectic three-PPVs-in-five-weeks schedule.

With WWE finally dropping the ludicrously-themed Bragging Rights (where a selected few Superstars from both Raw and SmackDown will face off for the ultimate prize in Sports Entertainment... the eponymous "Bragging Rights"?) following its pathetic two-year existence, WWE dug deep into its bag of "used and/or retired PPV names", and here we have our winner... Vengeance.

With Raw suffering one of its most chaotic and tumultuous periods ever in the three-week build-up to Vengeance having dealt with an unprecedented walk-out by its entire roster, the appointment of John Laurinaitis as the Interim General Manager, and the return of its baddest bad boys, the Awesome Truth (R-Truth and The Miz), will Vengeance be adversely impacted by the lack of focus in its booking? Well, judging simply by the card of the show, the answer would be no. In an interesting development, we have a fully-packed card of an astounding eight matches with Vengeance, outshining last month's Night of Champions.

With the World's Strongest Man, Mark Henry, continuing his impressive domination over Randy Orton and the entire SmackDown roster, a returning Superstar is back for something that is actually in line with the title of the PPV. Big Show, having sidelined by Henry for four months, is the new number-one contender looking to end the monster push of the reigning World Heavyweight Champion. Former gazilion-time WWE Champion John Cena looks to further increase his title count by taking on reigning WWE Champion Alberto Del Rio in a "Last Man Standing" match. Triple H and CM Punk forms an unlikely alliance to face their common nemesis, the Awesome Truth (R-Truth and The Miz).

SmackDown's number-one guy, Randy Orton, switches gear and temporarily turns his attention off the World Heavyweight Championship to take on his former protégé, the Intercontinental champion Cody Rhodes. Meanwhile, the feud between Captain Charisma, Christian, and the Celtic Warrior, Sheamus, rages on.

Further down the card, we have Dolph Ziggler pulling a double-duty defending his United States title against Zack Ryder, and challenging the WWE Tag Team champions, Air Boom (Kofi Kingston and Evan Bourne) for their titles with Jack Swagger. Reigning Divas Champion, The Glamazon Beth Phoenix defends her title against unlikely challenger Eve Torres following the seemingly never-ending series of matches she had with former Divas Champion, Kelly Kelly.

For those keeping the score, we improved at our prediction department with a 4:1 score at Hell in a Cell. That said, given the show's relatively predictable plot, this isn't as significant as it sounded though. Let's see how we can actually fare for a show with a fully-stacked card. Now on with the show.

WWE Champion Alberto Del Rio vs. John Cena (Last Man Standing Match)

While we did predicted wrongly for the WWE Championship Triple Threat Hell in a Cell match between then-reigning WWE Champion John Cena and challengers CM Punk and Alberto Del Rio, we are pretty certain the ridiculous hot-shot title-switch wasn't on many pundits's mind as well. Just how ridiculous has the hot-shot title-switch situation gotten? Well, in our preview for Hell in a Cell earlier this month, we mentioned how 2011 might just turned out to be the year with the most WWE Championship title change. Putting things in perspective, we noted how in the course of Kelly Kelly's WWE Divas Championship reign since June, a total of five WWE Championship title change took place. And now, with Kelly Kelly dropping the title to Beth Phoenix, we can also add yet another number to the WWE Championship title change. We knew we can always count on WWE to continue the wild title chase in the last quarter of the year.

Coupled with some understanding for our disdain for John Cena's "Super Cena" antics, you can probably imagine us letting out a sigh of relief when Cena didn't choose an "I Quit" match for his title challenge as everybody (and their dogs) knew exactly how that would have gone down for Del Rio.

With Cena's continued dominance over the WWE title scene over the years, practically matches of every stipulations have gradually became his signature matches, with Hell in a Cell, I Quit, and Last Man Standing being the usual suspects in his list. That said, we emphasized with considerable level of regret that matches like Hell in a Cell and Last Man Standing, which are formerly stipulations for feud-ending matches, are being utilized without a care in the world in early stages of an ongoing feud these days.

Last Man Standing, while traditionally a feud-ending match, is however painfully slow to watch, given that in place of every near-fall or submission attempts, we will have an eight-to-nine counts.

Predicted Winner: Alberto Del Rio
Without a shadow of a doubt, the most predictable result we have for the show. We have mentioned earlier that The Rock will be making his much-anticipated in-ring return as part of Traditional 5-on-5 Survivor Series Tag Team Match on the same side with Cena at Survivor Series on November 20th. With that match in the immediate horizon come next month, we all knew for a fact that Cena will be going into Survivor Series without the WWE title.

And with the last-minute insertion of the Last Man Standing stipulation, everybody (and their dogs) knew exactly what the stipulation are for: To allow Del Rio victory without pinning Cena. Expect whoever will be in the opposing corner of Team Cena/Rock at Survivor Series to interfere this match-up and Super Cena on the receiving end of an overwhelming offense from these interruption for Del Rio to retain the title.

World Heavyweight Champion Mark Henry vs. Big Show

Surprisingly, SmackDown's ratings have been on an increasing curve ever since the beginning of the unlikely World Heavyweight title reign of the World's Strongest Man, Mark Henry. And with the increasing trend, we knew for a fact that this is no accidental. People are actually digging into what SmackDown is doing right now (and that by no means implies that Booker T commentating is part of the right thing).

And now, with Big Show returning from his four months hiatus thanks to Henry taking him out in July's Money in the Bank, the traditional storyline continues with Show illuminating the vengeance theme of the show.

That said, Big Show is not exactly the best type of Superstar to go toe-to-toe with Henry, whose basic modus operanti is his feat-of-strength stunts. In our preview for Money in the Bank, we mentioned how the match-up between Big Show and Henry "might just be a better big man match than the usual fare WWE enjoys in at throwing at us". We are optimistic that given the added stakes at play here, this could just be even a step up from the average showing then.

Predicted Winner: Mark Henry
The Hall of Pain continues but this time, probably barely. The feud between Big Show and Henry just got restarted and is likely to continue, given how we are expecting a top-heavy main event with the Traditional 5-on-5 Survivor Series Tag Team Match.

While Henry's victory are most probably tainted (as a result of a Disqualification, or some other usual non-finish), the World's Strongest World Heavyweight Champion moves on in his monster title reign.

Triple H & CM Punk vs. The Miz & R-Truth

Ok, while we have to thank WWE's writers for saving our time writing an extended recap here by delivering a god-awful resolution in the Raw walk-out storyline which is literally nothing to write home about, we have to once again, compliment them on what an atrocious screw-up to a potentially intriguing set-up.

Is Triple H still the COO of WWE (kayfabe, of course)? Was he ever the General Manager of Raw (given his COO position? If not, why did he lost his "Raw GM" position to Johnny "Ace" Laurinaitis? Between both Hunter and Laurinaitis, who has the higher authority now? Is Hunter cleared to be in an actual match-up, as he clearly needed one back in his grudge match with Punk in Night of Champions?

Hell, we are not even trying to answer these convoluted questions.

While we still maintain our stance that Punk should not be involve in this vendetta between Triple H and the Awesome Truth, all four participants of this match-up are relatively well-groomed enough to deliver a decent-to-good match.

Predicted Winners: The Miz & R-Truth
While we are uncertain if this "Laurinaitis, Interim Raw Manager" plot will somehow merge with Cena and Rock's "strange bedfellows" super tag-team, we are of the opinion that it most probably will to create a buzz-worthy storyline going into the much-anticipated in-ring return of The Great One. In that case, the unlikely duo of Punk and Hunter is likely to be attacked by The Miz and R-Truth, along with the other minions of Laurinaitis, whose presence will be felt throughout the match. As a result, there could be a DQ finish or something along the line of that, but expect the Awesome Truth to stand strong once the dust have settled.

Randy Orton vs. Intercontinental Champion Cody Rhodes

The Viper switched gears and eye on his latest prey, who turned out to be his former protégé, the Intercontinental champion Cody Rhodes.

Cleverly drawing from his well-documented history back when Orton was the leading heel with his very own heel stable, Legacy, the build-up for Orton vs. Rhodes has been relatively capable and is sufficient to ensure result in this match-up.

Match quality-wise, this should be a decent one given both participants's history together.

Predicted Winners: Randy Orton
Much like Cena, Orton's well-cemented face status does not allow him to suffer a straight three-PPV-defeats, so it is very likely that Rhodes will go down in a blaze of glory in order to continue his momentum to be position as a credible heel.

Sheamus vs. Christian

It sure seems like Captain Charisma is all for staying in series of match-up with the same opponent this year following his longstanding series of title bouts with Randy Orton earlier, and now with the Great White Celtic Warrior.

Entering their second encounter, we are certain of the match quality given the two participants's respective forms.

Predicted Winners: Sheamus
Much like our prediction from Christian and Sheamus's match-up at Hell in a Cell, we opined that Sheamus is likely to win this bout to further strengthen his status before emerging as the next number-one contender for Henry's next title defense. That said, we can't however rule out the fact that both of them will be included in the traditional Survivor Series match and in that case, Christian might just score a long-awaited victory over the Celtic Warrior.

United States Champion Dolph Ziggler vs. Zack Ryder

Will the Long Island Iced Z steal the big one with Ziggler on a double-duty tonight?

With Ryder receiving uneven reactions from the audience (depending on the proportion of casual fans), it is up to Ziggler to raise the heat of the match, which should be an easy task for the United States Champion, who has notably been getting better both in ring and with on the mic.

However, with a fully-stacked eight-match card and the fact that Ziggler is on double-duty, this should be a relatively short one.

Predicted Winners: Dolph Ziggler
We are making a bold prediction here (and regular readers are well-aware of the results whenever we pull a bold one) that Ziggler successfully this one because... [to be continued further down]

WWE Tag Team Championship Match

Reigning WWE Tag Team Champions Air Boom (Evan Bourne & Kofi Kingston) takes on Jack Swagger and Dolph Ziggler for a title defence.

With the condition of Bourne's injury uncertain and Ziggler on double-duty, the match should be a brief but entertaining one.

Predicted Winners: Jack Swagger and Dolph Ziggler
Continuing from our prediction for Dolph Ziggler's title defense for his United States Championship, here's the aforementioned bold prediction in its entirety: Ziggler scores an impressive double-gold with both matches, as WWE rewards him for his consistent performance lately. That said, expect some back-and-forth title switch between the two teams to come.

Divas Champion Beth Phoenix vs. Eve

Finally, we have a much-needed break for the seemingly never-ending series of Divas title bout between Kelly Kelly and Beth Phoenix following the Glamazon's victory over Kelly at Hell in a Cell.

With Eve being portrayed as a serious contender to the title, coupled with the fact that Eve being simply better than Kelly when it comes to actual wrestling, this should be an improvement from the Divas than what we have seen for the last three months.

Predicted Winners: Beth Phoenix
It would make zero sense for Eve to take the title in her first title challenge tonight and kill whatever heat remaining of the recently-renamed "Sister of Salvation" (a most moronic name anyway).


The Rundown

At the end of the exhaustive three-PPV-in-five-week schedule, there is no doubt that fans are at having a PPV fatigue. And the badly-planned resolution from the walk-out angle is certainly not helping. Will the stacked-up card help WWE in delivering a better-than-expected show at the end of their hectic schedule? We are not too positive about this here.


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