After building for a couple of months, Sunday night at the Charlotte Bobcats Arena, it was finally time to break it down.
For those who haven’t embraced the return of the crotch chop, the “it” in question was the reunion of D-Generation X founding fathers Triple H and Shawn Michaels at WWE’s Vengeance PPV. With Vince McMahon unable to get a satisfactory measure of revenge for DX slights over the past few weeks, the reunited faction was forced to face off in a two-on-five encounter with the only wrestlers currently under Vince’s thumb, the Spirit Squad. Even though the main event was a rehash of matches we’ve seen over the past month on RAW, the crowd was hot for DX. Hunter fired the crowd up even more with the patented “Are you ready?” intro.
HBK faced off with Mitch, getting him in a headlock. HBK floated over the top, then chopped Mitch in the corner. Mitch turned the tables, but HBK responded with more chops. Michaels fought his way out of the heel corner and combined with Triple H to clear the ring.
Outside the ring, the Squad called a timeout so Mikey could give the team a pep talk. A bloody Johnny chased HBK from the ring by showing off some martial arts skill. Triple H wasn’t impressed and laid him out with one punch. Trips followed with a vertical suplex and a knee drop to the face. Johnny fought back, but Hunter reversed the Irish Whip, sending cheer-boy to the corner. Hunter distracted the ref and HBK crotched Johnny on the ring post.
Mikey tagged in, only to be thrown from the ring. HBK and Hunter dropped Mikey on the security barrier as the rest of the Squad protested from the ring. Triple H got triple teamed outside the ring and whipped into the steel steps. HBK kipped up after a clothesline, hitting Mikey with an inverted atomic drop. HBK dropped the elbow off the turnbuckle and tuned up the band. The rest of the squad intervened, allowing Johnny to kick HBK in the back of the head.
Johnny became the legal man again, as HBK was pulled from the ring. A chair shot laid out Michaels, but Trips came to the rescue. Back in the ring, Mikey hit a trampoline-aided bulldog. Nicky was dropped onto HBK and Michaels was cornered, again. HBK got flapjacked, but Kenny could manage only a two count. A double clothesline sent HBK and Kenny to the mat. Kenny distracted the ref as Michaels was clotheslined in the corner. Mikey was launched into HBK, flying from the ring in the process. Seemingly in trouble, HBK countered a double team effort with a big double DDT.
Hunter got the hot tag, clearing the ring. Kenny was saved from the Pedigree, as HBK got tripled teamed outside the ring. Michaels ducked the flying move, leaving Kenny alone in the ring with Triple H. HBK knocked out a member with Sweet Chin Music as Triple H finished off Kenny with a Pedigree.
After the bell, it was finishers for everyone as more Sweet Chin Music was dealt out with a side of Pedigree. With one member left in the ring, Mitch was forced to kiss Hunter’s rear.
Almost lost amidst the DX hoopla, the WWE title was defended in the middle of the card. Unfortunately for Canadian fans, number one contender Edge looked like he might have to learn the phrase “transitional challenger” to go with the “transitional champion” tag he’s worked so hard to shed.
Defending title holder Rob Van Dam used some of his patented moves to earn a pair of quick near falls, then got the crowd going with a moonsault off the retaining wall. Edge retaliated with a vicious sunset flip power bomb to the floor. RVD fought back on the outside, but got planted on the wall with a power bomb by the challenger.
The action returned to the ring with each man getting in some offense. The expected interference from Lita finally occurred when she slid the title belt to her man, but it was the champ who scored with a modified Van Daminator. Lita did manage to crotch RVD in the corner, setting him up for Edge’s DDT.
Edge’s girlfriend tried for one last assist by holding a steel chair in the corner, but RVD dodged the ensuing Spear and Edge ate the metal. A Five Star Frog Splash followed to wrap things up for Van Dam’s successful title defense. And Edge could be out of luck as far as rematches go, since Van Dam confronted John Cena — victorious in his own match with Sabu — backstage and granted the former champ a WWE title shot on this week’s Raw.
The next WWE pay-per-view is the Smackdown-only Great American Bash on July 23.
If you’ve been with us for the past few years, you know the drill by now. Nick’s comments will be in plain type with Dale’s remarks in italics.
Welcome, boys and girls, to the DX merchandising spectacular. I have received word that there will actually be other matches on tonight’s card as well, like this one coming up.
Kurt Angle vs. Randy Orton
As expected, Angle starts things off with a healthy dose of mat wrestling. A cool-looking spot fails to materialize when Orton fights off Angle’s attempt to suplex him off the apron, which probably would have hurt. Both men score two counts back in the ring, after which Randy takes the padding off one of the top turnbuckles. Foreshadowing anyone? The Olympic Hero fires off a long string of German suplexes — honestly, I lost count. Angle locks in the Ankle Lock, but Orton escapes, dropping Kurt on the exposed buckle. One RKO later and Angle is looking up at the lights while the ref sends Orton to a somewhat surprising victory.
Winner … Randy Orton at 12 minutes and 50 seconds
Match Rating: 5.5/10
Vince McMahon is on the phone, and says Vengeance will be his. The chairman gets a visitor. It’s a little boy in a wheelchair, but he’s in a DX shirt. Vince thinks it’s a gag and pushes the kid out of his office, crashing him into a wall. Coach walks in and tells Vince that DX is up to something, and that a friend of his in a wheelchair would be by to visit. Vince tells him it’s okay,
Umaga w/ Armando Alejandro Estrada vs. Eugene
Estrada says he heard Eugene has back-up, and he can bring all the imaginary friends he wants. Eugene hits the ramp and brings out Hacksaw Jim Duggan. He isn’t finished. Doink the Clown makes his way to the ring. But wait, there’s more. It’s Kamala. Umaga lays into Eugene with kicks and punches. Eugene catches Umamga with a kick, but runs into a right hand. Umaga hits the butt bump in the corner, and then sets up the Samoan Spike. The gallery of gimmicks at ringside do no help, as Eugene is pinned.
This match reminds me of a time when I wasn’t watching the WWE. And it goes a long way toward reassuring me that I wasn’t missing anything.
Winner … Umaga at 1 minute and 26 seconds.
Match Rating: 4/10
After the match, Hacksaw and Doink get spiked. When Kamala enters the ring, though, Umaga wants no part of him. The Samoan Bulldozer leaves the ring jabbering in Samoan.
Mrs. Foley’s baby boy treats Todd Grisham to a private reading of Ric Flair’s “novel,” which the Nature Boy calls an autobiography. Naturally, Mick reads the now famous passage calling him a glorified stuntman. Reversing course from his vow to throw the match a few nights ago, Foley resolves to beat Flair in a bona fide wrestling match.
Mick Foley vs. Ric Flair — 2 out of 3 Falls
Flair and Foley circle each other. Foley starts off with a headlock that is countered into a hammerlock. Foley grabs the ropes to break the hold. Flair takes Foley down by the ankle, but grabs the ropes to break the hold again. The former hardcore champ beats on the Nature Boy in the corner and mocks his strut before running him the corner. Foley breaks out breaks out a “Flair” Socko. The Nature Boy grabs Foley by the grapes. Flair climbs the turnbuckle and hits a double axe handle. Foley goes for the figure four, but Flair counters with an inside cradle.
First fall – Ric Flair at 4 minutes and 45 seconds
Foley takes the fight to the floor, but Foley is smashed into the announce table. Foley falls into the crowd, but uses a back body drop to send Flair to the floor. Foley goes hardcore, pulling objects out from under the ring. It doesn’t matter, as Flair locks in the figure four. Foley doesn’t tap, but instead grabs a trash can, and bashes it over Flair’s head, getting himself disqualified. Intentionally? You make the call.
Second fall and winner – Ric Flair at 7 minutes and 32 seconds
I can only guess that this was either:
a) a way to extend this feud, since it just popped up like two weeks ago, or
b) repayment to Flair for jobbing to Umaga a while back.
Or, maybe a bit of both.
Match Rating: 5.5/10 (Fans reactions: 7/10)
After the match, Foley continues to beat on Flair. Mick grabs a barbed-wire baseball bat and works Flair over. Foley leaves Flair a bloody mess in the ring.
Carlito gets interview time with the lovely Maria, who shifts into her smart mode and confuses Mr. Cool. He makes the standard promise to win the Intercontinental gold, saying nothing could be cooler. Or could it? How about Torrie Wilson asking Maria to help her apply baby oil for a photo shoot? Carlito has such a good time watching and holding Torrie’s puppies — alas, not THOSE puppies — that he almost doesn’t go out when his entrance music hits.
Carlito vs. Johnny Nitro w/ Melina vs. Shleton Benjamin – Intercontinental Championship Triple Threat Match
Carlito immediately dumps Nitro from the ring and nearly rolls up Benji for the win. Carlito finishes a series of near falls with a side headlock. Carlito hits a back body drop on Nitro while holding on to Shelton. Nitro ducks a boot from Benji, but he still catches Carlito with it. Carlito clotheslines Benji from the ring, and then catapults Nitro from the ring. Carlito looks for a big spot over the rope, but Melina pulls her man to safety and Carlito lands on the apron. Benjamin pulls Carlito off the apron. Nitro and Benji fight on the floor, and Carlito hits a springboard plancha on both. Nitro hits Carlito with a Russian leg sweep. Nitro dodges Carlito, but can’t dodge the hurracanrana. Benji cuts off Carlito and nearly gets a pin. Benji tosses Nitro from the ring and suplexes Carlito. Nitro breaks up a pin and goes to work on Benji. Nitro is then dropped on the turnbuckle, and Melina pulls Nitro’s foot on the ropes. Carlito rolls up Benjamin for a near fall. Nitro monkey flips Benji into a drop kick from Carlito. Nitro breaks the cover. Carlito hangs Nitro in a tree of woe, but pulls himself up to superplex Shelton and Carlito off the top turnbuckle. Carlito rolls up Benji again. Carlito ducks a dual clothesline and counters with a double back elbow. A low bridge sends Nitro to the floor, and a kick to Carlito’s head gets Benji a two count. Shelton counters a suplex into a neck breaker, but Carlito counters with the back cracker. Nitro pulls Carlito from the ring and covers Benjamin for the win.
Winner … and new Intercontinental Champion … Johnny Nitro at 12 minutes and one seconds.
Match Rating: 8/10
The Spirit Squad doesn’t need much help to get fired up, but Vince stops by just to make sure they’re properly motivated. Once the cheerleaders depart, McMahon checks out the genital pump DX left him for a present on Raw. Checking to make sure no one’s watching, Vince ducks into a bathroom to test it out. But as usual, the joke’s on him, as DX has sabotaged the package, and the Chairman emerges with a face full of green paint.
RVD (champion) vs. Edge (Challenger) – WWE Championship Match
Winner … and still WWE Champion RVD … at 17 minutes and 55 seconds.
Match Rating: 8/10
Yet another pep talk, this time from Paul Heyman to his ECW soldiers. Paul says that even though he isn’t happy about it, half the lumberjacks for the Sabu-John Cena match will be from the WWE. Of course, since Vince is supposed to not like Cena, it would make sense if he picked like-minded guys to really stack the deck against him. Actually, that would make too much sense, so it isn’t likely to happen.
Kane Classic vs. New Kane
For some reason, I’m thinking about Kevin Nash’s press conference from a couple of weeks ago when he discussed how it was difficult for two big men not named Undertaker to have a good match. Add in the fact that this is supposed to be a big guy fighting himself, and you can see why this one is crap-tastic. After several minutes of foolishness, Kane Classic (a.k.a. the one with the mask) catches New Kane coming off the top rope and pins him with a chokeslam. I guess we’ll be subjected to more of this. Ugh.
Winner … Classic Kane at seven minutes flat.
Match Rating: 3/10 (points docked for no un-masking.)
John Cena vs. Sabu – Extreme Lumberjack Match
|WHAT YOU THINK|
What did you think of Vengeance?
It was great 19%
It was okay 22%
It was terrible 12%
Didn’t see it 47%
One wonders what exactly makes the lumberjacks “extreme.” Will they be required to use a cookie tray shot before rolling the combatants back in the ring? Sandman fills the bill with a Singapore cane shot to Cena before tossing him back, softening him up for Sabu’s triple jump moonsault and springboard elbow, both for near falls. Sabu pours it on with an Arabian facebuster out of the corner but misses with Air Sabu. Cena finally scores with a powerslam as bedlam breaks out among the lumberjacks on the floor. For some reason, Cena F-U’s Stevie Richards into the crowd right before Sabu nails him with two thrown chairs. A table is set up on the outside and the ECW lumberjacks set up Cena for something nasty. But the Doctor of Thuganomics is aided by his WWE buddies, and he pops up just in time to hit Sabu with a cane shot as he attempts to come over the top. Cena scoops up Sabu and dumps him through the table, then drags him back into the ring to tap out to the STF-U. He didn’t win, but for Sabu to be this high up on a WWE pay-per-view card in 2006 has to count as a mild upset.
Winner … John Cena at six minutes and 38 seconds.
Match Rating: 7.5/10
DX vs. The Spirit Squad
Winner … DX at 17 minutes and 45 seconds.
Match Rating: 8/10
After the match, Vince walks out on stage and smiles. He congratulates DX and says he’ll see them tomorrow night.
Total Event Time: 2 hours and 45 minutes
Event Rating: 6.5 /10
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