And HHH put people over.

Vengeance 2005
Date: June 26, 2005
Location: Thomas & Mack Center, Las Vegas, Nevada
Attendance: 9,850
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler, Jonathan Coachman

It’s a Raw show this time as we’re still in the middle of the single brand shows and will be for over another year. This is a two match show, but DANG these are two great matches. We have Kurt Angle vs. Shawn Michaels the sequel and Batista vs. HHH in Hell in a Cell in the Mania rematch. Also we have Christian vs. Jericho vs. Cena in a three way for the other Raw title. For over three weeks both belts were on Raw which was rather stupid but whatever. There are only six matches on the card, so I’d think that sums this up pretty well. Let’s get to it.

The opening video is about Cena being new to Raw and Batista not knowing what he’s doing in HIAC. Ok then. You can tell Big Dave is serious here: he calls HHH Hunter. Far more time spent on those two which makes sense I guess.

The arena has a casino theme. At least that makes sense.

Intercontinental Title: Carlito vs. Shelton Benjamin

This is about a month after the infamous Shelton vs. Shawn match so Shelton is the hottest thing in the company. Well he was until he dropped the title to Carlito who is still in the purple shorts six days prior to this. Coach is already annoying the heck out of me and we’re 6 minutes into the entire broadcast. This isn’t very interesting at all, although you could say the same thing about most of the Raw shows from this era.

Shelton is still pretty awesome as he continues dominating Carlito. Carly tries to run but Shelton decides he’s the better released guy and stops that. Apparently Benjamin has a concussion. That wouldn’t be allowed today but this was a simpler time I guess. He hits a sweet clothesline from the top and can’t immediately cover because of his head. The more recently fired one takes over and they actually chant for him. That’s a different one.

Let’s hit that chinlock! Shelton hits a Samoan Drop as we’ve got all kinds of cultures in this match. I want to punch Coach in the face. Carlito keeps trying to get a turnbuckle pad off and finally manages to do so. Those three words are fun to type in a row. I love the Dragon Whip, especially how it always hits people. Does no one watch tape? He gets the pad off and Shelton eats steal on the Stinger Splash. You know the rest.

Rating: D+. Not bad but a bit long and a bit boring at times. That and with the title change happening 6 days prior to this, there was no drama at all over who was winning. Carlito was somehow even less interesting at this point if you can believe that. I’ve seen worse though.

HHH and Flair are here.

Ross calls the Cell Satan’s Spa of Pain and Suffering. WHERE DOES HE COME UP WITH THESE THINGS?

We recap Christy Hemme vs. Victoria. This is over a swimsuit contest. Oh and Victoria (Tara) is insane, even though she has that idiotic I Ain’t The Lady to Mess With song.

Christy Hemme vs. Victoria

They start fast and Victoria does all kinds of evil things to Christy. This is non-title also since the title is on Smackdown at the moment. The cards in the set change based on who is in the current match. The fans don’t really care either. Lawler says this is about looks or whatever. Christy botches the heck out of a sunset flip. Yeah I’m stunned too.

Ross freaks because Christy can do a DDT. She can do one of the least complex moves of all time and she gets cheered for it. She goes for another sunset flip and Victoria drops down and grabs the ropes for the heel pin.

Rating: D-. The lack of failing is because these are two of the hottest Divas of all time. The match was totally awful though, if you didn’t guess that part.

Cena is with Todd Grisham, and talks about being the new kid. This is still rapper Cena which makes him sound like a guy that doesn’t belong in the spot that he’s in. This is greatly disturbing. In something very good though, he keeps that theme throughout the whole interview. That’s very nice indeed and it works very well as I like this promo.

We recap Kane vs. Edge. They met in the finals of a tournament for the #1 contenders’ spot and Lita turned on her husband Kane to join Edge. This was one that made people feel very sorry for Kane which was a great idea. Edge also married Lita on Raw, or at least tried to as Kane came up from under the ring which was an awesome moment. Keep in mind that I’m a big Kane mark. Kane tombstoning the minister is just awesome stuff.

Edge vs. Kane

I vaguely remember wanting to see this match. Wow I was about to be a senior in high school back then. Kane looks like a legitimate awesome face at this point. In something I like, Kane does the ten punches in the corner and then just goes off with punches, getting up to probably 25 or so. The fans want Matt, who is gone. In real life, Matt and Lita were dating and Lita left him for Edge, so WWE of course turned it into an angle. Have to love those heartfelt guys.

Apparently Lita is a crack whore. Odd as we’re not in an ECW town. Kane stays pissed off as he’s dominating this for the most part. Edge would be world champion in like 7 months so I’d say he wound up winning this one. The spear hits on the floor to hit the formula in full stride. Lawler gets in a decent line on JR, saying that in Oklahoma Hee-Haw was a documentary. Kane Kanes Up and JR says he’s setting Edge on fire here. Again, what does that mean?

Crowd is WAY into Kane here oddly enough. Edge hits a nice dropkick to block the top rope clothesline. Man Lita is thin here. Snitsky comes out and interferes THREE FREAKING TIMES. Seriously, is there no reason at all to not have two referees in kayfabe? Not that I can think of. Anyway, eventually Edge accidently hits Gene with the MITB case, chokeslam ends it.

Rating: B-. This was a pretty solid upper midcard match, but Snitsky’s run in hurt it. The main thing here is that it gave Kane a clean pin over Edge, which makes Kane a big time threat again. Also, it’s nice seeing him getting a big win as they’re rare for him which to me sucks but whatever. Either way, this was pretty good.

We recap Angle vs. Michaels, which mostly was everyone wanting a rematch after their classic at Mania, sort of like what Taker did but less intense.

Shawn says Vengeance will be his. See what he did there? Nice one. Imagine me saying that in the cheesiest voice imaginable.

Kurt Angle vs. Shawn Michaels

This should be good.  Seriously, what purpose does Coach serve? I know he’s supposed to be the heel analyst, but he makes points that Jerry should be making so Jerry, who is far better, has less to do. We get a long feeling out/technical sequence to start which I can’t complain at all about. Angle takes over with some solid stuff on the mat but we’re still mostly in the feeling out stage at this point.

Angle hooks a half crab to start working on the ankle. Nice. For a guy his size, Shawn could throw one heck of a chop. He hits a spinning sunset flip off the middle rope but Angle turns it into the ankle lock. This is a chess game and it’s working very well even though we’re only about 5 minutes in. Angle hits the slam on the table which doesn’t break for a FREAKING OW moment. We even get a freaking turnbuckle powerbomb. That just looks awesome every time.

It’s all Kurt here but you can tell they’re in for a long one here. Basically what we have is how much can Shawn take, as he’s getting beaten up very badly here but he keeps countering the finishers. Angle’s lip is bleeding and Shawn is bleeding just under his eye. This is a very slow build but the crowd is staying in it so that is certainly acceptable. Shawn hits his flying forearm and the nip up gets a great pop. His selling really is great stuff. However he does the longest set up for the Sweet Chin Music of all time and Angle easily blocks it. That took almost 30 seconds to set up.

Shawn keeps covering after a DDT which is what Angle did to Shawn earlier on. I love little things like that. Angle comes back with Rolling Germans and an Angle Slam for two as we approach epicness. There goes the referee of course. Has there ever been a big match where the referee didn’t go down? Shawn takes a GREAT bump to the floor off a back drop. He was in free fall and just crashed, hurting his knee. Lawler goes on a semi rant talking about how you can’t get medical attention during a match.

Where is that kind of talk recently? Shawn stays in the ankle lock for the better part of ever but FINALLY counters as Angle hits the post. Angle goes for Shawn but OUT OF NOWHERE Shawn hits the superkick. Of course it’s just two as the referee counts to eight on both guys. Coach makes my head hurt a lot by saying he’s never seen anyone kick out of Sweet Chin Music. Angle goes up top for a double axe handle of all things but comes down into the boot for the pin.

Rating: A. This was one fine wrestling match. These two are absolute masters out there and this is no exception at all as both worked themselves to the bone with great selling and back and forth work. This is a classic in every sense of the word and definitely should be seen.

Angle gets an ovation as he leaves just like he should.

Great American Bash ad which is mainly about Torrie.

Coach talks to Batista, who says he’s not scared and he’s going to get his revenge tonight. He words it a lot better. HHH comes up and I want to submit to his mustache. Pull apart brawl ends this.

Lillian Garcia is here…uh just because I guess. This is something about Viscera apparently. What was Vince’s obsession with large black men being obsessed with sex? I smell a Godfather cameo here. Lillian deserves an Oscar and a raise for this. She sings a song for him which is a great song but it helps to not look at the screen except when she’s on it. She proposes to him, crowd pops, cue Godfather. I was right. I want a hat with a feather in it like that.

Godfather offers him 5 Ho’s and of course he takes them. Was there a point to this other than to have Lillian look all sad and depressed? This is horrible yet hilarious. Ah that’s right: since we have single brand PPVs we only have 6 matches so we get pointless filler like this. Can you imagine Lawler having sex with that creepy smile never leaving his face? That’s just bizarre sounding.

We recap the triple threat which started with Cena being the top pick in the draft and Christian and Tomko yelling at him. Christian get the #1 contender spot and Jericho is mad about it. Jericho turned heel to set up a 3-1 beatdown. The language and mannerisms here are so different from today that it’s insane.

Raw World Title (WWE): Chris Jericho vs. Christian vs. John Cena

So Christian was about 3 months away from leaving and Jericho was about 2 months away, so this is one of their last big matches. At the moment Christian is little more than a midcarder in over his head. Christian’s music is just odd sounding when it’s at that slower pace. Actually all three of these guys have had almost the same music for almost five years. That’s very different. Oh and the spinner is new at this point. Wow that was freaking idiotic.

The one now isn’t nearly as bad as it used to be. Lawler bets on Christian and Ross doesn’t make a pick. That was a waste of time. Tomko interferes and is out. These are always hard to comment on as they’re mainly comprised of one on one segments and then a save before repeating about three times and go to the finish. Cena hits the FU on Christian to the floor to give us Jericho vs. Cena which is ok I guess. Apparently Cena’s CD is out at the moment.

Earlier Cena complained about Jericho using the WWE Title to sell records. That’s just hilarious actually. Cena is a freaking hypocrite. Lionsault of course misses and now Jericho is alone in the ring. The fans pop for the table being uncovered. We hit match number two as Christian and Cena go at it. Wow it’s weird to hear Christian being called a veteran. It’s time for the heels to fight now which would be a main event today but is a clash of the upper midcard here.

We get a Tower of Doom as Christian gets suplexed and Jericho is powerbombed by Cena. Nice one too. In another nice spot, Cena drop toeholds Christian’s head into Jericho’s and hits a double 5 Knuckle Shuffle. Tomko takes Cena down but Christian only gets two. The Walls are applied and of course they don’t work since this is a Chris Jericho match. Cena gets Christian in the FU and kicks Jericho in the face to get the pin.

Rating: B+. This took a long time to get going but the last five minutes are very good. They actually did some three person spots in there which make this feel like a triple threat match where anyone could win. There was little to no drama but at the same time this wound up working very well indeed and I liked it a lot.

The Cell is lowered.

We recap Batista vs. HHH as they had been in Evolution together but after Batista won the Rumble he overheard HHH and Flair talking about how they have Big Dave around their little finger. Batista turned face more or less by force as he was so popular there was no other choice. He beat HHH at Mania and then at Backlash so HHH left Raw for a few weeks before coming back for a beatdown and challenging him to this. This really was a well built up feud and it feels like a huge match.

Raw World Title (World): Batista vs. HHH

Apparently the Cell is now the Devil’s Duplex. Seriously, what is JR on because I want some of it. Also it’s now a sentient being as it has something like emotions I guess. The Cell is still half up as Batista’s music hits. I didn’t realize he had I Walk Alone this early but apparently he did. He also had the gun pyro which is rather cool. He’s also embarking on his maiden voyage inside Hell in a Cell. Is he a boar captain all of a sudden? You can never accuse JR of using basic language.

The Cell being lowered really is a cool moment as you know you’re about to see some violence. Lawler says there is no way out. Today that would likely get him yelled at by Vince for bringing up memories of a defunct show. Why is he so paranoid about so many things? Batista is in the white tights here so you know he’s serious. They point out how fairly stupid it is to give HHH back to back shots by more or less saying this is the last chance for him.

HHH goes to the arm by sending it into the post. That’s smart I guess as it’s hard to Batista Bomb someone with one arm, although you would think the leg would be smarter. Then again he married Stephanie so he’s smarter than we are. And now HHH gets a tool box. This cannot turn into another Home Improvement match like it was vs. Nash. Well if nothing else Batista is better than Nash so I can live with that.

There’s a big chain, which at least is something that I guess you could understand having in a tool box assuming you could use it to secure something or to get a grip on something. I should host a tool show. Batista manages to survive about a minute of being choked by a chain which is being pulled by a 6’4 270lb man. What? You don’t see how that makes sense?

I love fans that encourage violence that could potentially kill a man. Well to be fair HHH is supposed to anger the fans so he’s getting that right. Batista hits four spinebusters on the floor. Not really as he just rammed HHH into the post but whatever Ross says goes I guess. HHH mimics Flair and is busted open. The white boots are working for Big Dave. HHH hits a real spinebuster to get us back to even.

He gets a barbed wire steel chair from under the ring which is there to cover any and all of their barbed wire steel chair needs. Batista takes a SICK shot of it to the back. I know it’s rubbed tipped or fixed to an extent, but DANG it looked great. The face of Batista more or less says a combination of OH MY GOODNESS, OW and DANG I COULD GO FOR A POPSICLE. He gets the chair and DRILLS HHH in the head with it. That sounded and looked great.

I love the raking of a person’s face into the cage. That just looks awesome every time they do it and it never gets old. It’s ALL Batista at this point. HHH takes a powerslam onto the barbed wire. Ok so it landed on his back but whatever. I guess those Buns of Steel videos helped a lot there. HHH counters with a DDT onto it as this is getting very good. Both guys are bleeding now. See, this is a great example of using blood to make a match better.

Instead of just randomly bleeding in every match, this has been a brutal fight that has built up to this moment and it feels epic. Rather than having blood in every match where it becomes clichéd, the blood here is a sight that makes you think about how brutal this is. A sledgehammer shot to the face gets two as we’ve reached epic. Batista kicks out of a punch wrapped in chain to a HUGE pop.

A lot of people that that was it apparently and I can’t say I blame them. In a cool spot right after that, HHH jumps at Batista with the chain but Batista holds up the hammer so that it slams into HHH’s jaw/throat. He stands there for about 8 seconds before just collapsing. I love that visual. HHH got LAUNCHED over the corner. After this long of a match I’m surprised he can take a bump like that. Batista busts out some steps and gets them in the ring with HHH down.

HHH is just getting destroyed here as Batista is just in a zone here. Batista Bomb is countered with a low blow and the Pedigree for a LONG two. The steps are set up in the middle of the ring and Batista is in trouble. Pedigree is blocked into a spinebuster onto the steps and a Batista Bomb for the pin.

In a nice move, HHH picked up the hammer but gets dropped before he can hit it. When he’s pinned it’s still in his hand which is like the scene that ends a movie, or in this case a great match. HHH would be gone four months for this as Cena became top dog on Raw. I’m sure HHH’s diminishes spotlight had nothing to do with his absence at all.

Rating: A. This was a WAR. This is what Hell in a Cell is supposed to be like: two guys that absolutely cannot stand each other beating the tar out of the other person for a single prize. The blood was great, the violence was great, and both guys were great. See this match for sure as it’s awesome and I’m pretty sure it’s on the Hell in a Cell DVD. Great match and it made Batista look unstoppable.

Overall Rating: A-. That might be a bit high but with two GREAT matches and one that’s very good along with a decent Kane/Edge match, an ok opener and Christy looking great, what more can you ask for here? Angle vs. Shawn is a great wrestling match and the main event is a great sports entertainment match. Either way you can’t go wrong. Throw in a very good Cena match and the last hour and a half of this show are about as perfect as you can get. GREAT show and definitely go check this out.a


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