Wednesday 30 November 2016

WWF Vengeance 2001 Review

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Welcome to all you meat-headed shit sacks to another coma inducing edition of the only wrestling review series that tells Vader what time it is: Seanomaniac Wrestling Reviews. The holidays are a wonderful time, a time where I can bring you more of my smug vies of the professional wrestling. Today I shall be bringing you WWF’s Vengeance 2001, the event which marked the introduction of the undisputed champion as The WWF Championship and The WCW Championship would be up for grabs as four men fought for the opportunity to be the ultimate champion. It is also the first pay per view since the end of The Invasion storyline so things have be shaken up to say the least. We have the end of The Hardys as Jeff Battles Matt while a new, mean and ballsy Undertaker looks to decimate RVD in a match for the Hardcore Championship. All this and more at WWF’s Vengeance 2001 so sit back, chow down on some Chinese food and let’s get into this review!

Opening Promo

First, I must mention the elephant in the room, that being the absence of Triple H. Triple H had torn his quad in one of the best Raw main events as Chris Jericho and Chris Benoit defeated Austin and Triple H for the tag team titles. Triple H spent months rehabbing and if you look at the promotional posters for this pay per view or own The Triple H The Game video and dvd, you will realize that this was meant to be Triple’s H triumphant return. 

However, Triple H was not cleared to compete at the event and would later make his return in Madison Square Garden. The opening of the actual ppv is Freddie Blassie watching classic WWF matches with various champions while In the Hall of The Mountain King plays. Four superstars and one undisputed champion I am also treated to the sound of Sinner from Drowning Pool which brings back a few memories.

Vince Mcmahon Promo

It is Jerry Lawler’s return to commentary which is must appreciated despite the chemistry between Paul Heyman and JR. Vince had a traumatic month, Ric Flair was in the WWF and was co-owner with Vince while Vince’s Kiss My Ass club was closed by The Rock who shoved Vince’s face firmly into Rikishi’s ass. It was an uncomfortable time in the WWF with this Kiss My Ass storyline. 

Fairplay to Vince for willing to take such embarrassment and punishment but yeah, it was awkward with Vince playing on people’s emotions. Anyways, Vince is pissed off that everyone laughed at him for his misfortune. Ric Flair saunters his way to the ring and tells Vince to leave the ring as the show is beginning.

Scotty Too Hotty & Albert vs Christian & Test

The Hip-Hop Hippo and The Master of The Worm dance around Vince who leaves with a disgusted look on his face. An early incarnation of The Un-Americans greets our screens with a little continuation of a feud that began at last month’s Survivor Series as Test took Scotty out of the immunity battle royal. Scotty outwrestles Christian before the two big men begin brawling, splash by Albert with Christian saving Test.

 Albert shoves Christian to the floor and tags Scotty, Scotty tries ten punching Test but Christian hotshots Scotty. Test tags out, Christian works the ribs of Scotty, Christian annoys Albert which leads to a double team while referee Teddy Long is with Albert. Corner clothesline by Test, Albert saves Scotty. Tag to Christian, chops by Christian. 

Test rams Scotty’s head in the corner, Scotty nails Test with a back elbow and a superkick. Albert gets tag and starts hammering Test and Christian, corner splash on both Canadians. Giant Swing on Christian, cover and a two count. Double clothesline on Test and Christian, Test saves Christian from The Baldo Bomb.

Scotty was looking for The Worm but Christian nails a sliding reverse DDT, Christian goes for The Worm but in comes Albert. Test Big Boots Albert and Scotty saves Albert from being pinned. Scotty drills Test with the facebuster and now it is time for The Worm. 

Christian grabs Scotty for The Unprettier but Albert picks up Christian and demolishes Christian with a Baldo Bomb for the win. Solid tag team opening match with the babyfaces going over the heels. It surprises me how over Scotty was without Rikishi but he is in this match and is easily the most popular superstar.

Winners: Scotty Too Hotty & Albert over Test & Christian via Baldo Bomb!

(WWF Intercontinental Championship Match) Edge © vs William Regal

Edge unified The United States and Intercontinental Championship at Survivor Series continuing his rise beginning at King of The Ring that year. Regal is his usual awesome self, complete with great facials. Both me lock up aggressively, Edge knocks down Regal with a back elbow and a missile dropkick. 

Regal powders to recover, Edge is suckered in and Regal rams Edge into the barricade and ringpost. Regal uppercuts Edge hard but Edge fires back with a back body drop. Irish whip by Regal who nails a fist to the face, cover and a two count for Regal. Regal begins kneeing Edge in the face before flattening Edge with an uppercut.

 Edge looks for a sunset flip but Regal grabs the hair and knees Edge on the neck. Small package by Edge but Regal kicks out at two, knee to the face by Regal to regain control. Edge begins moutning his comeback, Edge O Matic garners a two count. Regal is on the top turnbuckle, Edge nails a frankensteiner. Two count for the champion, Edge elevates Regal to the floor but Edge misses a Spear from the apron as Regal dodges.

 Edge smashes into the steel steps, Regal walks away and grabs some brass knuckle from inside the apron.

Edge is knocked loopy from the steel steps, Regal pins Edge but Edge gets a foot on the ropes. Tigerbomb by Regal for a two count, Regal makes more great facials. Edge lands an enzuigiri out of nowhere, schoolboy by Edge for two, backslide by Edge for two. 

Regal kicks out and wallops Edge with a left hand, Tigerbomb number two by Regal and a third by Regal and yet, Edge kicks out once more. Regal snaps and reaches for The Brass Knuckles but out of nowhere, Edge Spears Regal and holds on to his championship.

 Good match from these two, I liked how Edge looked gutsy surviving the tigerbombs and Regal’s best shot. Regal being frustrated looked to the knuckles for the win and his hesitation led to Edge nailing The Spear and Edge survives this match.

Winner: Edge over Regal via Spear!

Ric Flair/Kurt Angle Promo/Matt & Lita Promo

Kurt Angle believes it is his night and Ric Flair agrees with Angle telling The Olympic Hero to go out there and do it. Angle walks away while Flair watches on bewildered by Angle’s antics. Matt and Lita talk about tonight’s match and Lita will not be taking sides in the battle of the brothers. Matt is not worried because Matt is an asshole.

Matt Hardy vs Jeff Hardy (Special Referee  Lita)

These two are brothers, they say glowing and lovely things about one another. Happiness turns to anger as Jeff cost The Hardys the tag team championships with his daring high-risk manoeuvres. Matt was angry that Jeff was selfish and tried to steal the spotlight. Jeff apologized but Matt told Jeff to stick it and now The Hardys are coming to blows. 

Lock up with Jeff taking the arm of Matt, Matt twists Jeff and steps all over Jeff. Arm drag by Jeff, arm drag by Matt but Jeff is back in control moments later. Matt grabs a handful of hair before clotheslining his brother Jeff. Scoop slam by Matt, fist drop for a two count. Knife edge chop by Matt, Jeff reverses Matt and chops Matt before Matt sticks his thumb in Jeff’s eye. 

Neckbreaker by Matt, sleeper by Matt. Jeff shoves off Matt and applies a sleeper before Matt scores with a back suplex. Matt goes up high but Jeff dodges The Leg Drop, jawbreaker by Jeff and a flying forearm. Foot to the face by Jeff and Jeff nails Matt with his own leg drop.

Jeff was looking for The Whisper in The Wind, Matt shoves off Jeff and stomps Jeff in the tree of woe. Schoolboy by Matt for two, Matt was looking for a sunset flip powerbomb onto the floor but Jeff counters with a hurricanrana. Jeff flips into the ring and appears to injure his leg, Matt stomps on the leg and chop blocks Jeff’s injured part.

 Matt crushes the leg of Jeff, Matt looks for a powerbomb but Jeff counters for a Russian legsweep. Unique pin by Jeff gets a two count while Matt regains control with a single leg Boston Crab. Jeff reaches the ropes, Matt was looking for a Figure Four but Jeff kicks Matt to the floor.

Baseball slide by Jeff, Jeff’s leg gives out on him and Matt looks for control but Jeff lands a mule kick. Jeff blocks Matt’s Twist of Fate and drops a leg on the groin of Matt. Back suplex by Jeff, Matt crotches Jeff before Jeff can nail a Swanton Bomb. Matt yanks Jeff on the top rope, Matt’s Twist of Fate is dodged, Jeff’s Twist of Fate is countered.

 Backslide by Matt, two count for Matt. Matt uses the ropes for leverage off a pin, Lita catches Matt. Matt nails Jeff with a clothesline, Jeff and Matt slug it out on the apron which leads to Matt looking for a super Twist of Fate. Jeff drops Matt and nails The Swanton, Lita counts the three but Matt’s foot is on the ropes. Lita does not see the foot and Jeff is the winner of the match. The WWF would forget about this angle a week later and The Hardys would be best friends by Royal Rumble.

 The reaction was not great for this match, they worked well with one another but the fans were not ready for the split-up. Jeff was clearly the more popular wrestler but neither had defined characters outside of their tag team. WWE would split the two later during the draft and Matt would taste success as Version 1 Matt Hardy while Jeff would be fired for drug-related mishaps.

Winner: Jeff Hardy over Matt Hardy via Swanton Bomb!

The Rock/Trish Stratus Promo

Trish thanks Rock for saving Trish from The Kiss My Ass Club and shoving Vince’s face up Rikishi’s ass. Trish wishes Rock good luck with a kiss on the cheek and Rock promises to show Trish a good time after they both win their respective matches.

(WWF Tag Team Championship Match) Big Show & Kane vs The Dudley Boyz © W/ Stacy Keblier

Big Show & Kane would team up to challenge for the tag team championships five years before they would eventually form a real tag team with one another. D-Von goes right after Kane, Kane big boots D-Von and back body drops Bubba. Tag to Show, Show beats down on Bubba. Scoop slam and a two count for Show, Bubba looks to tag D-Von and D-Von seems a little hesitant. 

D-Von takes the tag and runs into a sidewalk slam and a pounding from Show’s ass in the corner (What the hell did I just write?). Kane and Show combine to corner clothesline and splash The Dudley Boyz. Kane dives onto The Dudleys with a huge clothesline.

Show exposes Stacy’s panties and spanks The Duchess of Dudleyville, Bubba and D-Von nail a modified neckbreaker on Kane. Kane pops up and Bubba chop blocks Kane, Show has the referee while D-Von nails his diving headbutt. D-Von and Bubba double team Kane, double flapjack on Kane and cheap shot to Show. Kane boots D-Von and clotheslines Bubba, tag to Show. 

Show clotheslines both Dudleys over and over, back body drop on D-Von. Corner splash on Bubba, Bubba chop blocks Show but Show continues slugging at everyone. Kane looks for a diving clothesline on D-Von but Kane hit Show by mistake. Show and Kane are not happy with one another, The Dudleys try jumping Show and Kane, it does not work. 

Show boots Bubba and Show nails Kane on the apron by accident. The Dudleys double flapjack Show into an exposed turnbuckle to steal the win. That was shite, nothing entertaining about this match. Show continues to be useless despite his size.

Winners: The Dudley Boyz over Show & Kane via Shenanigans!

(WWF Hardcore Championship Match) RVD © vs The Undertaker

Undertaker had turned a new  leaf, The American Badass was no longer long-haired. Undertaker was heel and was back to beating the hell out of everyone and owning what he referred to as “His Yard”. Van Dam is now face for the first time despite receiving cheers from his first appearance in the WWF.

 Undertaker wants respect and turned on the WWF by forcing JR to kiss Mcmahon’s ass. This change is what Undertaker needed as Undertaker in many fan’s eyes, had been boring and watered down. 

Say what you want about American Badass Taker but this respect run and his run on Smackdown as the foil to the likes of Show and Lesnar was enjoyable. Sadly, Undertaker still comes to the ring to Limp Bizkit as opposed to his You’re Gonna Pay instrumental theme. RVD uses his quickness to avoid big strikes from Taker, RVD kicks Undertaker all over and nails a diving senton for a two count.

Spinning heel kick by Van Dam, Undertaker crotches RVD on the top rope and boots the champion to the floor. Taker rams RVD into the steel steps, RVD counters Taker with a huge shove into the ringpost, RVD knocks Taker into the crowd. RVD looked for a springboard splash but Taker squashes RVD with a right hand. Taker chokes RVD with a Mexico flag from the fans, RVD uses a barricade to moonsault onto Taker.

 Taker turns the tide by ramming RVD into a guard rail. Taker pummels RVD up and down with fists, RVD uses a fire extinguisher to blind Taker. Big shots with the extinguisher by RVD. Trash can to the face by RVD who climbs into the rafters and dives onto Taker with a crossbody. Two count for the champion, RVD kicks Taker up the stage area.

RVD and Taker emerge from the entranceway, Taker rakes the eyes of the champion. Taker hurls RVD into the stage design and signals for the end of the match. Taker goes for The Last Ride but RVD holds onto the stage to survive, Taker nails a thunderous right hand to RVD. Taker has a chair but RVD kicks Taker in the ribs. Rolling Thunder on the ramp for a two count. RVD dropkicks the chair into the face of The Deadman.

 Cover and another two count for the champion. RVD misses The Van Damnator, Taker looks for a Tombstone on the chair. Undertaker Chokeslams RVD off the stage through two tables, Taker drops down and covers the champion for the win. Hardcore matches are a tough rate, some people love them and some people loathe them. I am in between, I try to be fair and impartial while seeing the views of both sides. This match was in the ring for about thirty seconds so much of the action was punches and kicks which is not very entertaining. However, RVD was diving off things and the finish was cool too.

Winner: Taker over RVD via Chokeslam off the stage!

(WWF Women’s Championship Match) Trish Stratus © vs Jacqueline

Trish had won the championship at Survivor Series as the title was reactivated, Trish would lead a new division of women’s wrestlers that would not be all about bra and panties matches. In Jazz, Trish had a great heel to work with but first, Trish needed to be established. Hence, Trish will be battling against Jacqueline who is tough as nails. Lock up, clean break. Shoulder block by Trish, O Connor roll by Jacqueline for a two count.

 Big back body drop by Jacqueline, Jacqueline lowers her head and Trish kicks Jacqueline in the face. Jacqueline suckers in Trish and nails a huge boot to the face, slaps to the face by Jacqueline. Series of scoop slams by Jacquelien, Trish nails a short-arm clothesline but Jacqueline sweeps the leg of Trish. Trish goes for a rolling prawn hold, two count and Jacqueline knocks down Trish hard. Back body drop by Jacqueline, Trish flips out of a back suplex. 

Chops to the chest by Trish, Trish attempts The Stratusfaction but Jacqueline shoves off Trish and nails a dropkick to the back of the head. Trish nails a shoulder block on Jacqueline, backslide by Trish and Trish picks up the win. Not too long and not embarrassing as both women put on an average match.

Winner: Trish Stratus over Jacqueline via Backslide!

Vince Embarrassed Promo

Vince was going to kiss The Rock’s ass but The Rock said he had a special ass for Vince Mcmahon. Rock teased JR and then teased Trish Stratus but in the end, it was none other than Rikishi. Rikishi made his return and promptly had Vince’s head stuck up his posterior. Vince was utterly humiliated by The Rock and Vince’s final words were he who laughs last, laughs loudest. Vince vows revenge but will Vince have the last laugh?

(WWF Championship Match) Stone Cold Steve Austin © vs Kurt Angle

Weird how things in wrestling change so quickly. Kurt Angle was the hero of Survivor Series and by the next night, Kurt was one of the biggest dickheads in wrestling once more while Austin was forgiven for nearly destroying the company. Anyways, with WCW gone, there was no need for so many championships, we need one champion. 

Ric Flair and Vince Mcmahon agreed that there would be three matches to decide the undisputed champion. First match is between Angle and Austin for the WWF Championship, second is The Rock and Chris Jericho for the WCW Championship. The winner of the two championship matches will face off for both championships and the winner of that match will be crowned the first ever undisputed champion.

Angle and Austin stare one another down, lock up with Angle pushing back Austin, clean break from Austin. Another lock up, Angle shoves Austin in the face. Austin knees Angle and goes right after Angle, stomps all over Angle. Chops by Austin, Angle powders to alleviate the pressure. Belly to belly takedown by Angle and Austin powders to the floor. Austin gives Angle the fingers, Austin takes the arm, shoulder block by Angle and a back elbow by Austin. 

Chops by Austin, Angle catches the foot for The Ankle Lock but Austin rolled out of the hold. Austin grabs the arm and wrenches away. Austin uses a thumb to take down Angle, rope choke by Austin. Angle tees off on Austin but Austin sidesteps Angle who falls to the floor. Austin rams Angle arm first into the ringpost, shades of Summerslam. Single arm DDT by Austin.

 Austin knocks some sense into Angle on the ropes, Angle rolls through a German suplex for an Ankle Lock. Beautiful transition by Kurt, Austin is in the middle of the ring but Austin crawls and makes it to the ropes. Austin elevates Angle to the floor, Angle goes smack off the announce table.

Hard chops by Austin, Angle lures Austin in and proceeds to smash Austin’s knee off the turnbuckle. Ringpost Figure Four by Angle, always a favourite spot for me. Angle has The Ankle Lock in the ring, Austin kicks off Angle with one leg. Belly to belly overhead suplex by Angle, rake to the eyes by Angle who swings at Austin and connects with a series of rights and stomps. 

German suplex by Angle, make it two and Angle holds on for a third. Angle climbs high for his moonsault, Angle misses the moonsault. Austin clotheslines Angle, Lou Thesz Press. Spinebuster for a two count. Angle rakes the eyes, German suplex by Austin and make it five. Cover, two for Austin.

Angle low blows Austin without the referee’s knowledge. Angle Slam by Angle and a cover. Austin kicks out at two, Angle looks for a Stunner, Austin shoves off Angle and nails his own Stunner for the win.

 The match had the big fight feel, I like that they were feeling one another out in the beginning before getting down to business. Angle was great as usual, loved his transitions and leg work while Austin sold well and raised hell like Austin always does when it is time to perform.

Winner: Austin over Angle via Stunner!

(WCW Championship Match) The Rock © vs Chris Jericho

Rock’s return to the WWF had been partly spoiled by Chris Jericho and his insistence that Jericho was always superior to The Rock. Lock up, Rock with the side headlock, shoulder block by The Rock and an arm drag by the champion. Jericho takes the arm of Rock, shoulder block by Jericho but Rock fires back with right hands. Clothesline by Rock, Jericho comes back with a spinning heel kick. Springboard dropkick by Jericho, Rock and Jericho take turns ramming one another into the steel steps.

 Reverse diving elbow by Jericho for a two count, Jericho nails a back suplex and delivers his trademark Come on Baby pin. Leaping clothesline by The Rock but Rock cannot sustain control. Jericho drills Rock with a back suplex, clothesline by Y2J for a two count. Jericho slaps Rock before eating an overhead belly to belly and a Samoan drop. Two count for The People’s Champion.

 Jericho catches Rock with a sleeper, Rock battles back to his feet. Right hands by Rock but Jericho nails a back elbow. Jericho misses The Lionsault but scores with a modified facebuster. Lionsault scores this time for a two count. Snap suplex by Y2J, Jericho climbs to the top rope but Rock crotches the challenger. Jericho shakes off Rock, crossbody but Rock rolls through for a two count.

 Hard knockdown by Y2J, Y2J chops Rock’s chest before Irish whipping the champion into the corner, Jericho misses a stinger splash and falls to the outside. Jericho lures in Rock and catapults Rock into the ringpost. Jericho and Rock brawl over to the announce table, Jericho looked to Rock Bottom Rock but Rock counters for a DDT through the table.

 Rock has Jericho back in the ring, Rock measures for a Rock Bottom. Jericho blocks The Rock Bottom, Jericho nails The Breakdown on Rock. Senton by Y2J.

Jericho looks for a People’s Elbow on Rock, Rock catches Jericho for a sharpshooter but Jericho rolls through for his own sharpshooter. Rock reaches the ropes, Jericho is caught in a small package, two count for Rock. Rock Bottom on Jericho, Vince Mcmahon is on the apron. 

Rock drills Mcmahon, spinebuster and Vince prevents The People’s Elbow momentarily. Jericho low blows Rock and drills Rock with The Rock Bottom. Jericho defeats The Rock with his own move. Good match from these two greats, they had such natural chemistry and Jericho was a supreme dickhead in that match. Good heat on Jericho too for beating The Rock with his own move.

Winner: Chris Jericho over The Rock via Rock Bottom!

(Undisputed Championship Match) Chris Jericho vs Stone Cold Steve Austin

Before the match officially starts, Angle wipes out Austin with a chair shot and Jericho eats a Rock Bottom from The Rock. Jericho crawls to Austin for a pin, Austin kicks out. Jericho chops away on Austin and nails right hands and a flying forearm. Corner clothesline by Y2J, kicks to the ribs by Y2J. Austin fires back with a tackle, right hands by The Rattlesnake.

 Jericho bails to the apron and Austin clubs Jericho to the floor. Austin drops Jericho across the barricade while chopping Y2J. Austin removes the padding from the floor, looking to cripple Y2J. Jericho finds an opening and knocks down Austin. Jericho has Austin on the announce table, Jericho looks for a suplex to the floor. Austin blocks and looks for A Stunner but Jericho counters, Jericho looks for The Walls of Jericho but Austin uses his leg strength to fling Jericho to the floor. Austin suplexes Jericho on the exposed floor for good measure. 

Austin has Jericho in the ring, Irish whip by Austin and Austin charges, Jericho dodges and Austin goes shoulder first into the ringpost.

 Austin catapults Y2J into the turnbuckle, clothesline by Austin. Austin looks for the pin but Jericho rolls into a Fujiwara armbar, Jericho uses the ropes ofr leverage. Earl Hebnar catches Jericho and breaks the hold for Y2J. Snap suplex by Y2J, Austin catches Jericho coming off the top rope.

 Chops by Austin in the corner, sunset flip by Jericho into The Walls of Jericho. Jericho wipes out the referee with a flying forearm, Austin tees off on Jericho. Jericho low blows Austin and nails The Stunner.

Vince calls for a referee who is none other than Nick Patrick, Flair wallops Patrick and Vince wallops Flair. Austin low blows Jericho and sees Vince, Austin stomps the hell out of Vince. Lou Thesz Press by Austin, elbow drop. Jericho looks for a dropkick and Austin has The Walls of Jericho.

 Jericho is tapping when all of a sudden, Booker T nails Austin with a championship belt and Jericho covers Austin to become the first ever Undisputed Champion.

Ok, the match was not long and both men had competed earlier in the night so we were not seeing these two battle at their best. I did like what I saw and I look forward to seeing their match at No Way Out as to really judge whether these two could have an amazing match. As for the finish, I am a little confused. I do think Triple H’s late recovery hampered the company’s ideas going forward because I am struggling to see the final picture of this angle.

 First, you have Booker T who attacks Austin with the announcers screaming that Booker T does not work here when by next month’s pay per view, every member of The Alliance miraculously has a job. Secondly, Austin and Booker never had a pay per view match to blow off the feud, Austin would beat the piss out of Booker in a shopping mall and that’s all she wrote for that feud. Finally, with all the interference from Mcmahon to cost Rock and Austin against Jericho, you would believe that Jericho would be Mcmahon’s hand chosen champion but Vince fucks off to feud with Flair for a month and brings The NWO to wreak havoc leaving Jericho by himself. 

With illogical booking decisions like this, it is easy to see why some people view WWE in 2002 as a bit of a strange year until Vince sets his sights on Brock Lesnar. The direction is unclear, Jericho would go onto to have one of the worst runs as a heavyweight champion, I believe only Rey was beaten more times on TV than Jericho although Seth Rollins had a much longer reign so he may have them both beat.

Anyways, I, like a lot of people, were happy for Chris Jericho to have a run with the championship, Jericho had always played second fiddle to The Rock in Austin’s absence and when Austin returned, Jericho was pushed further down the line so with this heel character, Jericho was finally able to outshine Rock and Austin by beating them both in the one night. Vince’s prediction had come true, Vince would have the last laugh of the two men that he hated the most and it was time for a celebration.

Winner: Chris Jericho over Austin via Shenanigans!

That was WWF’s Vengeance of 2001. Despite Jericho’s big moment and the mega main events, Vengeance was not a great show by any means. The Dudley Boyz and Hardy Boyz matches were largely on the boring side, the women’s match was quick and Regal vs Edge was good but the fans were not reacting much to Regal which seems to be the major problem with Regal’s work. 

RVD vs Taker was entertaining yet, so much of it was just brawling by the stage, it was not much of a match. The high points of this card is the triple main event, they are all good matches and if you don’t think too hard when it comes to the main event, it is a good angle from the WWF.

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