The SmarK Rant for WWE Vengeance 2006 – 06.25.06
(Originally written 12.22.17)
Live from Charlotte, NC, drawing 6800
Your hosts are JR & King
Randy Orton v. Kurt Angle
So this would be Angle’s last appearance on WWE PPV for more than a decade, with his bizarre remixed music that no longer gave fans the opportunity to chant “You suck”. I recall Angle’s ECW tenure being an interesting repackage of him, but he was falling apart and his arms were freakishly thin due to nerve damage in his neck. Angle takes Orton down and works a hammerlock to start, then teases an anklelock as Orton escapes to the apron. Angle tries the german suplex off the apron while Orton clings to the top rope for his life, which is a spot that looks terrifying but is of course completely safe. Orton heads to the floor and Angle hits him with a backdrop suplex out there, and then brings him back into the ring with a suplex. Orton pokes him in the eye to take over and they head back to the floor again, where Orton sends him into the railing and back in for two. Kneedrop gets two. Orton tries a chinlock, so Angle escapes with a samoan drop and Orton elbows him down to try it again. He does put his feet on the ropes, which I always appreciate, and drops a knee for two. Angle tries a comeback, so it’s CHINLOCK OUTTA NOWHERE and Orton is in no hurry tonight. He goes up and gets caught with the pop-up superplex, and Kurt comes back with more suplexes, only to run into a neckbreaker that gets two. Angle comes back with the rolling germans and reverses into the anklelock to stop Orton, but Randy reverses him into the turnbuckle and the RKO OUTTA NOWHERE finishes at 12:45. Kinda just a match. **1/2
Meanwhile, Vince suspects a sick kid in a wheelchair of being a DX plant, so he yells at him and pushes him into a nearby closet.
Umaga v. Eugene
Eugene is in need of backup, so he brings out Hacksaw Duggan, Doink the Clown and Kamala. No idea who would be playing Doink, since Nick Dinsmore was the guy last time they hauled the gimmick out of mothballs. Eugene attacks and gets nowhere, and Umaga slugs him down and kicks him on the ground. Butt splash in the corner and samoan spike finish at 1:34. Doink tries the save and gets his wig knocked off, at which point it’s clearly Steve Lombardi. We’re robbed off a Kamala v. Umaga showdown, however, because Armando Estrada calls his man off before it can happen. Did that ever lead anywhere? Because this match sure didn’t. DUD This was pretty symptomatic of the way they were using legends at the time, as they’d bring in these washed up names and then have a current star completely bulldoze them before any money could be made.
Meanwhile, Mick Foley reads from Ric Flair’s “novel”, taking offense to being called a glorified stuntman. Well, I mean…
2/3 Falls: Ric Flair v. Mick Foley
What a weird midlife crisis feud that this was. Flair tries some mat wrestling against Mick and gets slugged into the corner as a result, followed by the double arm DDT, which sets up Mr. Socko. The sock is decked out like Ric Flair, complete with wig, but Flair counters with the testicular claw and comes off the top with a double axehandle. Flair hurts the knee, so Mick tries a figure-four and Flair reverses for the pin at 4:11. Flair starts the second fall with another rollup for two and they brawl outside the ring, which allows Foley to gain control. He brings a trash can into the ring and Flair takes him down with the figure-four, so Mick uses the can for the DQ at 7:00. Crowd was hot for it, but the match was ridiculously rushed and there was nothing going on. *1/2 And then Foley busts him open with a barbed wire bat afterwards. Because, yeah, why not.
Meanwhile, Maria asks Carlito about the cool people paradox, since the people who don’t want to be cool are frequently the ones who are cool. And then Torrie Wilson interrupts in a bikini and gets Maria to rub oil on her until Carlito’s music hits and he’s forced to leave for his match. I had no idea Torrie stuck around that long.
Intercontinental title: Shelton Benjamin v. Carlito v. Johnny Nitro
In my Backlash 06 rant, I forgot to call out the douchy awesomeness of Shelton’s entrance gear at this point, so I now throw out kudos for looking like a complete dick as a part of his character overhaul that year. It was really great. Carlito dives in with a pair of rollups for two on Shelton, and then works a headlock while Nitro observes from the floor. Nitro heads in and slugs away on Shelton, but Carlito catapults him to the floor. They brawl out there and Nitro sends Carlito into the post, but Carlito recovers with a dive onto both guys as his streak of making an effort appears to be two PPVs and counting. Back in, that gets two. Back in, Nitro counters a tilt-a-whirl into a legsweep for two, but Carlito snaps off a rana to put Nitro down again. And then Shelton runs back in and drops Carlito with a faceplant for two, then suplexes Nitro over the top and to the floor. Suplex on Carlito gets two. Samoan drop gets two, but Nitro saves. Shelton hits Nitro with a buckle bomb for two, but Carlito dives in with a rollup on him for two. We get a cool spot with Nitro monkey-flipping Shelton into a Carlito dropkick that gets two. They head up and Nitro gets crotched and hung in the Tree of Woe. Shelton leaps up for a pop-up superplex on Carlito, but Nitro rises from the dead and bridges up for a Tower of Doom superplex out of the corner. That was awesome. Carlito makes the comeback on both guys and we get a three-way slugfest, but Carlito hits a double elbow onto the other two and gets two. Shelton hits him with an enzugiri for two. Carlito counters out of a suplex and comes back with the backstabber, but Johnny Nitro steals the pin at 12:15 and wins his first IC title. That was a rather surprising singles push at the time, I recall. Hard-worked, fast-paced match from all three, but nothing particularly memorable. ***1/4
Meanwhile, Vince wants to know why the Spirit Squad feels proud of themselves. DX is a disease, like the bird flu, and the Squad is the cure. I’m pretty sure there’s no cure for the flu, but then I’m no sciencetician. Vince ends the segment by taking a penis pump into the bathroom for some alone time. And then it hilariously, HILARIOUSLY I SAY, turns out to be a paint bomb. Penis pump boobytraps kill dozens, if not millions, of unsuspecting men every year and I’m pretty offended that they would mock this horrible issue here.
WWE title: Rob Van Dam v. Edge
Edge promises a live sex celebration when he wins, although unlike people from Carolina, it won’t be between brother and sister. So weird to have a title match not involving one of the usual four guys (Cena/Orton/Batista/HHH) during this period. Edge counters out of a monkey flip, but Rob rolls him up for two. They do some gymnastic counters and RVD hits a standing moonsault for two in a nice little sequence. Rolling Thunder is evaded by Edge and they fight on the floor, with Rob getting a moonsault off the railing until Lita manages to distract him and allow Edge to powerbomb him off the apron. Hey, this was peak hotness for Lita, anyone who wouldn’t be distracted by her was likely dead. Edge gets two in the ring and pounds on Rob in the corner to take over. Edge with the surfboard to work the back, but he goes to the apron and Rob hits him with a bodypress to the floor. He tries to follow with the guillotine on the railing, but crotches himself instead, and Edge gets two. Rob bails, and Edge hits him with a powerbomb onto the railing, and back in for a backbreaker submission. The crowd yells very rude things at Lita and I refuse to dignify them with a response. Rob tries a comeback and Edge boots him down, but Rob tries a tornado DDT out of the corner and then goes with a high kick instead. Rob comes back with clotheslines and a nice bridged german suplex for two. Rolling Thunder is countered into a powerslam for two. RVD keeps coming with a missile dropkick, but Edge moves out of the target zone for the frog splash. So instead, Rob adjusts and hits Rolling Thunder out of the corner, and then follows with a moonsault for two. Ref is bumped off an RVD kick, so Edge grabs the belt, which Rob kicks back into his face. Lita prevents a frog splash and Edge brings him down with a draping DDT, which gets two. Next up, Lita brings a chair in, but Edge accidentally spears it, and the frog splash finishes at 17:00 to retain. Kind of a disappointment for me, as Edge was still kind of learning to work as a heavyweight instead of a 6 foot tall cruiserweight. *** Edge’s ironic bump into his own chair was pretty great, though. He would of course get the title soon after due to RVD’s legal troubles.
Meanwhile, the ECW crew is pretty hyped about helping Sabu as lumberjacks tonight. (Al Snow: “I’m a lumberjack! I’m a lumberjack!”) Paul Heyman has the sad news that there will also be WWE lumberjacks in addition to the ECW guys, however.
Kane v. “Kane”
Oh god, I was hoping this was blown off on RAW and I wouldn’t have to sit through it. Drew Hankinson, aka Luke Gallows, does do a pretty convincing impression, you have to give him that. And of course there’s layers of irony here, since Glen Jacobs was Fake Diesel before getting repackaged into Kane. Anyway, Luke is dressed like the original version of Kane, complete with old music and full body suit, for reasons that were never explained. Kane clotheslines the imposter to the floor, but he lands on his feet and no-sells, hitting a sideslam in the ring and choking Kane down. “Kane” with a suplex and powerslam for two, but Kane comes back with a DDT and powerslam and slugs away in the corner. Sideslam is no-sold, however, and “Kane” puts him down with a big boot and goes up. Kane brings him down with some kind of ugly slam/suplex deal and now he goes up himself. “Kane” catches him on the way down and chokeslams him for the pin at 7:08. This wasn’t technically horrible or anything, but the whole thing was such a failure on a creative level that they just had the original Kane destroy him on RAW the next night and end it once and for all. *1/2
EXTREME Lumberjack match: John Cena v. Sabu
Oddly enough, the timeline on the Network says this is “John Cena v. The Sandman”. The ECW rebirth was going in an interesting direction for the first while, but then the relationship with Heyman fell apart and it just turned into 205 Live, but with heavyweights. Cena explodes out with a fisherman’s suplex for two and tosses Sabu for some abuse from the RAW team, and back in that gets two. Cena gets thrown to the ECW side and beaten down, and Sabu moonsaults him for two. Cena fights out of a chinlock, but Sabu goes low and (sort of) hits the triple jump moonsault for two. Arabian facebuster gets two. Air Sabu misses and Cena makes the comeback with a powerslam, but all the lumberjacks start brawling and distract him. So he goes after the ECW guys and they wipe him out with chairshots and put him on a table, only for Viscera to save him. Back in the ring, Cena throws a chair at Sabu’s face, and then puts Sabu through the table outside with an FU. And it nearly misses the table and kills Sabu. Back in, the STFU finishes at 6:44. Kind of a style clash, to say the least, but the heat was off the charts and mostly made up for it. **3/4 Given John was getting the title back right away and Sabu had a pretty hard ceiling on his upward mobility anyway, this was the right result.
Meanwhile, Cena runs into RVD backstage, who assures John that he’s not just holding Cena’s belt (although he was), and challenges John to his rematch the next night on RAW.
HHH & Shawn Michaels v. The Spirit Squad
Shawn starts with Mitch and easily outwrestles him, but Mitch manages to slug him down in the corner. Sadly he stops to dance and gets chopped down by Shawn as a result. The Squad goes with the 5-on-1 beating in the corner, but Shawn escapes and D-X cleans house. The Squad heads out and they do a pep talk, with Johnny now sporting a gushing nose from an accidental potato shot, it appears. He dons his samurai headband as my head starts to hurt, and HHH casually whomps on him as well. Like, this is the problem with the promotion right there, as they create the biggest babyfaces they’ve had in years, and they have no heels for them to go against until much later in the year. Finally four of the Squad manages to get the advantage on HHH by sending him into the stairs, but he quickly makes the hot tag to Shawn, who beats on everyone. Flying elbow for Mikey (although really, does it matter which?), but Johnny breaks up the superkick with a spinkick. Nicky gets two off that as they drag out the inevitable. Kenny hits him with a chair and Nicky gets a trampoline-assisted bulldog for two. Neat spot, visually, but that’s crossing a line between “choreographed” and actual gymnastics. So Shawn is the face-in-peril now, as the Squad gets a series of double-teams and Kenny flapjacks him for two. Kenny accidentally alley-oops Nicky into the post, however, and Shawn comes back with a double DDT on two of the cannon fodders. Hot tag HHH and he hits spinebusters on anyone who wants one, but the Pedigree gets broken up. The Squad gangs up on Shawn outside and sets up a ridiculous move with the trampoline, but it backfires and Kenny is left with D-X alone. KICK WHAM PEDIGREE ends it at 17:47. This was fine, although it took five of these scrubs to even pose a threat to D-X and even then they had no chance of winning. **1/2 Mitch gets to join the Kiss HHH’s Ass Club afterwards. AKA the locker room.
A totally, totally forgettable show with a bunch of perfectly fine wrestling matches but no standouts, and a super weak main event. Thumbs solidly in the middle.