I wouldn’t necessarily call Vengeance 2011 a bad show but I certainly wouldn’t call it a great one. By WWE pay per view standards I’d say you got a solid show but nothing that warranted your hard earned money…unless you are into watching a pro wrestling ring break.
The big star Sunday night was the WWE ring. In a moment bound to make the next WWE 50 Greatest Moments DVD, The Big Show and Mark Henry broke the ring. In a scene reminiscent of one eight years ago, replayed a number of times over the last decade, Show and Henry broke the ring ala Brock Lesnar vs. The Big Show.
Sadly, that is really all this show will be remembered for. It won’t be remembered for any blow away match or shocking angle, it will be remembered for the night the ring broke during a Show vs. Henry match. Otherwise, you may remember it as the night you took the $50 you were going to spend to watch Georges St-Pierre and bought Vengeance instead.
The main-event was held inside of the broken ring. The Last Man Standing stipulation did allow the guys to bail on the ring and hit the floor and brawl all over the arena for a good portion of the latter half of the match. This was a lot better of a match than I expected. I don’t know if I would call it great, but it was certainly very good and far and away the best on the show.
The finish came when Cena hit the Attitude Adjustment on Del Rio through the announcer’s table. Del Rio was down for the count, however Awesome Truth ran out and attacked Cena. They hit their finishers on Cena. Cena still beat the count to get to his feet. At that point Del Rio nailed Cena with the belt which knocked Cena down for the ten count. If not for Cena vs. Punk in Chicago, this was far and away Cena’s best match of the year and I think the best for Del Rio.
I think the WWE really dropped the ball here on match placement. I get it, the WWE championship goes on last, but in this situation I think they should have put the Henry vs. Show match on last. If the idea was to break the ring, they could have had Cena vs. Del Rio on earlier to make sure they weren’t wrestling in a broken ring. Additionally, everything just seemed so anti-climatic after seeing the ring break. I think fans would have come away from this with a much better feeling if the last thing they saw was the ring break. On top of that you had Cena lose, so why not send the fans home happy with the shocking moment?
In the WWE world heavyweight championship match, Mark Henry retained the title against The Big Show. This was your typical big man match, with a lot more bumping out of Henry than you normally see. As someone that grew up in the era of WWE/WWF giants, I kind of liked this one a lot more than you did. The finish came when Henry delivered a superplex and the ring collapsed. Show was taken out on a cart while Henry crawled to the back, ironically turning himself babyface.
The other big news story of the night was the re-re-return of Kevin Nash. Nash returned to beat up Triple H at the end of the Awesome Truth vs. CM Punk and Triple H tag team match. Nash laid him out with a jackknife powerbomb that made Ken Anderson look like the world’s safest wrestler. The Miz and R-Truth hit their finishers on Punk while this went down and pinned him for the win.
This was more like a RAW main-event than anything you’d expect to see on pay per view. I think the lack of build here really hurt as the fans really weren’t into this at all. I also think that the fans of Hunter and Punk are so polar opposite, that both became resentful of seeing the two team up. Instead of supporting their favorite wrestler, I think the groups just became apathetic to the whole story. As great of a job as the WWE did of pushing Punk this summer, they are doing an even better job of making sure he finishes the year right where he started.
Full WWE Vengeance 2011 results…
Mark Henry wrestled The Big Show to a no contest for the World Heavyweight Championship
Alberto Del Rio defeated John Cena in a Last Man Standing Match to retain the WWE Championship
Awesome Truth defeated Triple H and CM Punk
Randy Orton defeated Cody Rhodes Non-Title Match
Beth Phoenix defeated Eve Torres to retain the WWE Divas Championship
Air Boom (Evan Bourne & Kofi Kingston) defeated Jack Swagger and Dolph Ziggler to retain the WWE Tag Team Championship
Dolph Ziggler defeated Zack Ryder to retain the WWE U.S. Championship