Vengeance Preview & Predictions, 2011

Vengeance, October 23, 2011, from the AT&T Center, San Antonio, TX

Vengeance comes  at the end of a sequence of PPV’s that have come in very quick succession; most people would say in too quick succession. Happily, after Vengeance we will have a longer build for Survivor Series which will include The Rock and will therefore have a lot of attention on it. That being said, WWE will need a strong event to work off to keep us going until the Fall Classic, and that gives me hope for another good PPV event for the year. Also, for the most part, i’m a big fan of the card, which features some double duty, and some mouth-watering match-ups.

Match 1) WWE Tag Team Championships Match: AirBoom (Kofi Kingston & Evan Bourne) (c) vs Dolph Ziggler & Jack Swagger
I think this match has to start us off tonight as Dolph Ziggler is doing double-duty. A lot of my prediction here is based in the bigger picture of what will also happen in the later US Championship match. I expect another good match between these four, but I think it’ll probably be the same result as the last time. AirBoom have defended the championships at two PPVs now, which is starting to become respectable, but because of the congested PPV schedule, that only translates to a two month of a reign, and considering that WWE are trying to add credibility to the division, it would seem short-sighted to have AirBoom drop the titles so early. Expect interference from Mason ‘Chronically Large’ Ryan or even Zack Ryder, in the wake of some heelistic tactics from Team Vickie.

Winners: AirBoom

Match 2) Sheamus vs Christian
I’m a big fan of this pairing, and expect a good match between the two. This match however, does seem to be a little bit of throw-away booking to make sure both are on PPV. I imagine they’ll be facing off again next month as part of PPV teams, but until then, I can’t see Sheamus losing, at least not clean. Personally, I would like to see Christian go over, but I can’t see it happening this time. Later on the card, there is another match where the face can’t lose clean but the heel would benefit from the win, and I think the need is more immediate for the heel, so I think Sheamus will take it this time. Christian wont be buried though. He’ll need to be thrown a bone, and considering the amount of MOTY quality matches he’s had this year, I expect management to allow him the time for another.

Winner: Sheamus

Match 3) Randy Orton vs Cody Rhodes
The ‘other match’ I was just referring to was this one. Rhodes is one of the brightest stars in the company right now, and I think he’s at the stage where this would make for a WrestleMania worthy main event. Rhodes has matured enough now to ‘hang’ with Orton, and this really could be the match of the night if given the time. I expect Orton to be his usual, frothing,  unstoppable self, but i’m sure Rhodes will break out in the sense that he will take Orton to his limits. Most people seem to expect that Orton will win, but I believe that this could not only be the start of a bigger feud, but another real breakout moment for Rhodes. For that reason, I expect Rhodes to win somehow, perhaps with the use of his mask, or the ringbell.

Winner: Cody Rhodes

Match 4) Divas Championship Match: Beth Phoenix (c) vs Eve Torres
Eve Torres really held her own her own on the mic with the ‘Divas of Doom’ on Smackdown, and while I expect her to do so, to some extent, in the ring too tonight, I don’t think she’ll take the championship from Beth. Beth only won the title a few weeks ago, and I can’t imagine her losing it just yet. I imagine, however, that Beth will only retain with the help of Natalya, in order to keep the momentum that Eve has gained by her run with the ‘Sisters of Salvation’. Though I believe that will be how it happens, I would probably rather a clean victory for Beth for the good of her credibility; I suppose Eve’s loss should mirror Kelly’s. Who knows, maybe Kelly could even turn on Eve for taking over her opportunity as #1 contender and in doing so, help cost her the match?

Winner: Beth Phoenix

Match 5) World Heavyweight Championship Match: Mark Henry (c) vs The Big Show
I’m loath to discuss this match because, for me, The Big Show has drained it of any interest. The man simnply isn’t entertaining anymore – an aging, uncharismatic attraction. Nonetheless, these two had a very good match at Money in the Bank, and if they can manage another good monster vs monster match tonight, i’ll be happy; that is, unless Show goes over. I very much doubt he will though. I think WWE has more faith in Henry right now, and though Show has kinda had Henry’s number of late (something i’ve been unhappy about but perhaps a necessary evil to draw interest in the match), I think it’s a bit of textbook build: the man who will lose looking strong going in to the event. I don’t think it would be the end of the world if Henry didn’t go over clean, but I would certainly prefer it, preferably following one of Henry’s trademark ‘strong spots’.

Winner: Mark Henry

Match 6) United States Championship Match: Dolph Ziggler (c) vs Zack Ryder
This booking makes me happy for so many reasons. Firstly, I love it when wrestlers do double-duty – it allows for so many booking possibilities; secondly, I am very happy that the person doing double-duty is Ziggler, because it shows that WWE have faith in him to put him on twice at PPV and suggests that he might be being tested for a push; and also because Zack Ryder is finally getting the ball and being put on PPV! Even with all of this out of the equation, the two have great chemistry together, both in terms of their characters and in the ring. We will have one of two kinds of matches I think. Either they will be given time to shine, which they most certainly would do; or, after losing the first match, Ziggler’s disappointment could be compounded by a quick result, like the one Ryder gained over Swagger on RAW. Indeed, i’m pretty sure Ryder will be going over tonight and realising the end of a road that has so far lasted 37 weeks since the start of Z: True Long Island Story, and however it happens, i’ll be happy.

Winner: Zack Ryder

Match 7) WWE Championship Match: Alberto Del Rio (c) vs John Cena
This is another title match i’m not too interested in. How about that? The two world title matches are two of the least interesting matches on the card. Nonetheless, seen as this match is a world title match, which should get a good 20-30 minutes and both guys are (though in very different ways) very accomplished performers, i’m sure they’ll have a good or at least passable match. You then add in the Last Man Standing stipulation, and there is even more potential for a memorable match. Del Rio is all about finesse, but lately, he’s been showing one of those all-desirable ‘mean streaks’, and that, mixed with his characteristic slimy wilyness, and the x-factor of Ricardo Rodriguez, means that he could do some cool, unique stuff in this environment. I’m also sure Cena will give us some nice spots, like he did when he beat Batista by using Duct-tape a couple of years ago. Cena, however, wont win. He can’t win! Not only can the title itself not change hands again, for the good of its credibility, but Cena can’t be champion again, partly because it would be so unpopular, and partly because he has to start focusing on The Rock. And so, it will be quite fun seeing someone like Cena, who ‘never gives up’ not answer a 10 count. I’m sure Del Rio will have to do something memorable to affect that. So, the build and the booking isn’t inspiring, but the match could be!

Winner: Alberto Del Rio

Match 8) Triple H & CM Punk vs The Miz & R-Truth
It may be surprising that a tag match could close out this PPV, but this story, and these stars have certainly been centre-stage going in to this event. This is, however, the most difficult match to call on the card, not only because the storyline is the most, for lack of a better word, confusing, but because I have absolutely no idea where the storyline might be going. I can smell a heel-turn though. I’m not sure who from, other than it wont be Punk. HHH seems the biggest suspect, or it could be someone not involved in the match. Whoever it is, I just have a feeling it will happen, or at least some sort of big betrayal or unscrupulous tactics; and heel-turns usually equate to heel wins. For the sake of argument, if it is HHH, I had this idea that he might be told if he screws over Punk and protects the so-called status quo, he will be rewarded by being put back in control of RAW, and we could see the show close with Trips, Johnny Ace, and the Awesome Truth raising each others hands in victory. This would be good in the sense that it would place Punk as the central hero of the company again – alone, seemingly against the world because he is trying to change things as ‘The Voice of the Voiceless’, and the WWE doesn’t want to change. Not necessarily contradictory could be involvement from Del Rio. For ages, i’ve been suggesting that Del Rio has been, on the whole, benefiting from the chaos Punk created, and that perhaps someone has a vested interest in Del Rio being champion. Perhaps then, instead of/as well as HHH turning heel, Del Rio could show up to support The Awesome Truth and help them win. It is really difficult to know. Whatever happens though, as long as it’s not overbooked, I expect a good match here, especially because Punk is involved, but also because HHH is. The heels have something to prove as portends to ‘big matches’, but perhaps they will rise to the levels of the faces. Though the rest of the PPV should be great anyway, I think the ultimate success of this PPV depends not necessarily on the quality of the in-ring action, but on the excitement and interest of the angle which closes the show. Whatever happens, I expect Punk to come out centre-stage. I just hope he’s given the ‘pipebombs’ to make it work.

Winners: The Miz & R-Truth

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