The World's Greatest WWF Vengeance Preview
drq: Let all the sweet, sweet soul brothers unite, for it's time for the World's Greatest crew to get their preview on for the first ever WWF Vengeance PPV. As always, this twinkle in the everyman's eye is brought to you by Dave Spinosa, still trying to bounce back from the box office failure of Cabin Boy, and myself, drqshadow, secure in the knowledge that I'm safe from the terror of Vince's ass... if only for the moment.
Now that this month's unusually out of place introductions are out of the way, let's slice through the fat and get right to the meat of this month's pay TV offering. For a card promising something we've been daydreaming about for years, the unification of the WWF and WCW Titles, there's a surprising lack of hype as we head into the home stretch this weekend. If an event of this magnitude had gone down this time last year, there'd be almost certainly an unmistakable buzz surrounding the World Wrestling Federation. Now, however, it's almost as if the only fans who really wanted to see such an event have been too preoccupied with keeping the door from slapping them in the ass on the way out to take any sort of notice. It's a really rough spot for the WWF to be in, and one with no one easy way out. You know, maybe Slick was right all those years ago. Maybe it's just best to "Turn out the lights... the party's over..." Dave, any old managerial catchphrases from the 80s jogging their way through your subconscious?
Dave: I prefer to convey my feelings with a grimace in the style of Mr. Fuji...and then I throw my powder of doom at the Warlord..who in this case..is Vinny Mac. Ahh, I do feel better. Anyway, welcome one and all to the best thing since white bread and online porno, The World's Greatest PPV Preview! Say it with me..WOO! This month we have Vengeance....Hold on..what the hell does Cabin Boy have to do with this? I happen to enjoy the movie..and just because you couldn't get it on with the 100 armed woman does not mean you can berate this fine example of classic American comedy. You fool..
Anyway..now that I have gotten that off my chest, back to the PPV. So yeah, they are going to unify some titles, have some matches..and do some other stuff. And maybe Ric Flair will be on for more than a minute. This is a huge PPV in terms of historical importance but this is the WWF we are talking about..so that means nada. Drq is right though..the WWF is in a tough spot and there is no easy way out..and there may be no way out at all..unless they actually do split sooner or later. I don't think they have to "Turn out the lights"..maybe just dim them for a moment..but I have faith. I think this PPV is going to be a good one..so let's take a look...
Trish Stratus vs. Jacqueline
Dave: Can't wait for this one..lol..Jacqueline is pretty ok as far as the women in the WWF go and Trish does look the bomb so this shouldn't hurt too much. They are pushing this title..for good or for bad..they are pushing it. So what does this match do for me? Nothing much..should suck..should be some boobies ALMOST popping out of somebody's top..and there will be an attempt to have an acutal wrestling match.
Winner: Trish Stratus
drq: Yeah, if anybody on the current roster's gonna bare nipple, I suppose it would be Jackie... she's got a pretty colorful history in that regard. Like Dave said, they're really trying to get this division off the ground, which is a pretty remarkable feat when you consider there's no real centerpiece around which they've based things. In the past, the WWF has tended to center this whole thing around a single athlete, be it Wendi Richter, Sable, The Fabulous Moolah or Chyna... and that's something that's drug it down. Now they've suddenly decided to push their balls out to the forefront and parade it along, no matter how poor the initial reactions are. So.... yeah, what's stopping them from using the same 'wait and see' attitude with the Cruiserweights? Lawler will say "puppies", the wrestlers will roll around with fistfulls of each other's hair, and Trish will miraculously hold onto the title, even though she shouldn't really even be more than a valet.
Edge vs. William Regal
Dave: With all of the hubbub going around the 'Net about how Edge is going to lose because they want him to rest his nagging injuries, you would think that Regal goes over here. Um...now about the freakin' nose operation that Ross said Regal will be getting this week. I'm sure he is going to need a little bit of time off...so no, Regal does not win this match.
Should be an alright match...I like Regal's work but he has to be in the ring with someone who knows how to work with his style...like Austin did a few Smackdowns ago. Edge is aight...he needs something..and I don't know what it is. His work is solid, but it don't make me go "Damn!"...you know what I mean..
I can see Edge using Regal's own "Brass Knuckles" gimmick to his advantage in this match...
drq: I've actually been enjoying Regal's recent use of brass knucks. It's a throwback to the old time heels, when they didn't have to throw people off bridges or drop trucks on their opponents to get over... they just had to break the rules and act undesireable. Funny how the fact that he's doing nothing more than using illegal objects in the ring sets him apart nowadays, isn't it?
I've got to agree with the sentiments Dave expressed above. The whole internet schebang about "ohh, Edge is gonna job because his leg's hurt" just doesn't work in this case, for the very reason the ol' Spinner pointed out just a few short sentences ago. These are two guys that are just a couple lucky breaks away from landing on the top of the card. Unfortunately, I don't think they'll get there facing off against each other. The segments they had together this week just didn't feel real to me.. they were lacking the emotion, and seemed more like skits on a wrestling show and less like two guys who want to tear each other apart. And, of the two, Edge has a bit of an advantage in my eyes.
Special referee: Lita
Matt Hardy vs. Jeff Hardy
Dave: Wow...who the hell can guess what is going to happen in this match. I don't have the slightest clue to be honest. I mean they have been teasing Matt's heel turn on Lita and Jeff for SOOOOOOO long that it's like my mind has been numbed to the story behind this. Which is actually good because that means I'm diggin' it.
The most awesome thing they could do here is have both Hardys turn on Lita..thus you finally have found a new gig for them as a team..and the WWF needs tag teams now. Or you can have a do a swerve..or you can have Kool-Aid Hardy do a swanton off the top of Lita's head onto Matt..the possibilities are ENDLESS!
Anyway, this match should be good..lots of highspots..maybe some psychology..maybe some blown highspots..but it will be good. I mean shit..they've been wrestling each other all their lives so it had better be good.
I think the outcome is going to be anticlimatic because Lita..is gettin' her booty beat down tonight..I think that's what they are gonna do and if they do...there will be HEAT!!!!!
Winner: Jeff Hardy via DQ
drq: Again, I'm in agreement with Big Momma Spinosa for this one. No matter what direction they take here, it's gotta be an improvement on where the Hardys were a couple weeks ago. And if they do pull the two brotha turn on Lita, the crowd's gonna be on a hunt for their blood in the weeks to come. A really sweet new direction for these two, that I honestly didn't see coming until I read Dave's words a couple seconds ago.
Regarding the match, however, I'm less than enthusiastic. Sure, these guys are amazing athletes, and sure... they've been one of the most solid teams in the WWF these last few years. Unfortunately, in the few times they've actually faced off against one another in the past, they've done nothing but disappoint. I've had my hopes up about a match like this for years, and now that it's come to pass, I can't shake the feeling that I've seen it before and it wasn't good. So I'm refusing to really build this up in my mind. That way, I've at least got a chance of being pleasantly surprised.
I like Matt in this one. If they're gonna do the straight split, he's the one with the most momentum. While Jeff's remained the sympathetic, injured face who always hits the crowd pleasers, Matt's been slowly but surely developing his own personality. He's the one we've seen the most of these last few weeks, and he's the one that's likely to get the big push coming out of the gates. Only time will tell if he falters or runs with the opportunity.
br>Winner: Matt Hardy
Tag Team Championship
Big Show & Kane vs. Dudley Boyz
Dave: Yawn. I dig the Dudleyz..I really do. But they have become SOOOOOOOOOOOO stale as of late that I just don't have the ambition to watch them anymore. And I understand the pairing of the Big Show and Kane in some sort of way but it's not going to make me want to watch this friggin' match.
This may actually be alright though because all of these guys do work bust their asses..even the Big Show as of late. I just don't think that's enough to make it that great of a match..man I remember how much the WWF Tag Team Division used to rock. You had E&C, the Hardys, The Dudleyz...and a smattering of different Radicalz thrown in for good measure..that was great.
Now we get this..lol
Winner: The Dudley
drq: Man, I'm really starting to sound like a broken record here... I'm agreeing with Spanky Spinosa once again. The WWF Tag Team division, once a high and mighty institution, is just about this close to going the way of the dodo. In addition to the teams Dave mentioned during the division's peak, you had potential simply spraying out of every corner of the WWF, with the Hollys, Kaientai, Too Cool, T&A and even the Acolytes really rounding things out and completing a slam bang collection of tag team specialists. Now it seems like the bookers have to create new teams on the fly, just to keep the belts in active contention. Where were the Big Show and Kane one month ago? Probably the same place they'll be a month from today... in singles action.
With so many possible superstars getting their walking papers from the WWF development territories lately, I'm really starting to wonder about the writers' intelligence. Would it have been too much to ask, to call a couple of them up as a set of tag teams, give them a little bit of time to get over on WWF TV, and then feed them to the Dudleys for their big chance to shine in the spotlight? If one thing's for sure, it couldn't have hurt. The Dudleys retain, and Kane and the Big Show have personal problems... leading to the singles match of the century next month. You thought their King of the Ring '98 match, featuring the debut of the 'choke heard round the world' was great? Wait until you see what these two have cooked up next month.
Winners: The Dudley Boyz
Undertaker vs. Rob Van Dam
Dave: This is what you call a clash of personalities. The Undertaker doesn't really like anything about RVD and RVD really doesn't even know about it. Either way, the backdrop for this match is a clash of styles. According to all the people in the know, the Undertaker is just about the biggest critic of RVD's style backstage. Why does that not surprise me? So will RVD be out to prove himself to the Undertaker or will he just go out there and do what he normally does??
RVD is by no means a wrestling god (like some would claim) but he is entertaining and works his ass off. He may be sloppy as hell sometimes but that is neither here or there. So what does this all mean to us?
This should be good. The Undertaker is going to get EVERY SINGLE offensive spot in and RVD will sell them all. That would make sense if RVD was the heel..but I digress. Anyway, good solid match with a few rough areas thrown in there because either the Undertaker doesn't know how to work with RVD's style or he just won't work with RVD's style.
Match will end with some dirty, under-handed tactics on the part of the Undertaker to set up the big rematch at the Royal Rumble where finally, the Undertaker will be forced to put someone over when it means something. Besides, 'Taker is fresh off his turn and it actually does make sense for him to go over...
Winner: The Undertaker
drq: So it'll be the Taker's first real match since turning on the WWF (and his hair) a few weeks ago on RAW. Should be interesting to see how it affects his performance in the ring, if nothing else. It's no secret that I'm no fan of the current Undertaker character. I've been among the loudest of the Deadman's critics these past few months, and I still don't think turning him heel was such a stupendous thing to do. If anything, that just means we'll have to suffer through that much more of him on the mat, as there's no way he's gonna ride off into the sunset as a heel. But even I have to acknowledge his past record of putting over the next generation of new talent, even if he didn't personally agree with what they said or what they'd done. I might be going out on a limb here, but The Undertaker's made just as many careers in the WWF over the last ten years as Ric Flair did in WCW over that same time period. Mick Foley, Shawn Michaels, Steve Austin, Bret Hart, no matter what the name, they all passed through the Undertaker's test at some point on their way to the top.
And, in a way, this'll be a big test for the taker himself. If he does as Dave thinks he will, the unanimous respect of his legendary character will be knocked down several notches in the eyes of the wrestling collective. If he lets his own feelings get in the way of the company's future well being.... what could he have cared about the WWF in the first place? However, if he gives Van Dam a fair shake, if he sells and does so consistantly, there might be a word or two of apology due.
Personally, I don't think it's gonna be a very entertaining match. But the end result should be both interesting and informative. RVD isn't going over clean, of that I've got no illusion. But I'm not so sure the Undertaker will be having as easy a time as everyone seems to think, either. The Deadman's got my vote, but it's gonna be closer than you'd like to believe.
Winner: The Undertaker
World Wrestling Federation Championship
Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Kurt Angle
Dave: See the point is that the heel has to look like a threat so that when the babyface does go over, the fans can pop and all that jazz. Did you see how much of a threat Angle was on Smackdown..yeah he scared me. I was reading different opinions and predictions about this tournament and I saw the point made that Angle is McMahon's boy therefore, he is going to go over. That is certainly a very good point but the counterpoint is that there is no way they are going to be putting a heel Angle over a face Austin..cleanly at least.
This should be a pretty damn good match. Austin vs. Angle has usually meant good things for the fans, and I'm sure that this will be a good thing. There will be huge heat on Angle in this match..and there is going to be a shitload more on him after the finish....because Booker T is coming to a PPV near you and Stone Cold don't like him much at all.
Winner: Kurt Angle
drq: That's an interesting point made, about the WWF's treatment of its perceived "top two" heels in Jericho and Angle these last few weeks. Not only have they lost with regularity, but they haven't even looked very strong in doing so. Hell, Jericho even took clean pinfalls from both Austin and the Rock. How that builds a credible main event threat is beyond me, though it's not too late in either case to do a complete about face and arrive with the title firmly beneath their arms this Monday on RAW.
As Dave has once again already mentioned, Austin and Angle have been putting on classics without fail these last 4 months. They won't have a bad one tonight, no matter how overbooked it winds up being. They're just so familiar with one another by this stage, it isn't a question of whether the match will be good or bad, it's an issue of how good. Unfortunately, I don't share Dave's enthusiasm about the Olympic Hero's chances. Sure, it'd be a cool thing to see Austin returning the favor done to him by Angle several months ago on RAW, but it just isn't in the cards this evening. Despite possible Booker T interference, the Rattlesnake's going to the main event. If this crowd doesn't see a stunner at least once, they're likely to riot.
Winner: Steve Austin
The Rock vs. Chris Jericho
Dave: The Rock has been feeling it as of late and Jericho has been feeling what steroids do to you. I mean the guy is bigger every time I see him. These guys have had some darn good matches as well..and their chemistry is top-notch stuff. The thing about the Rock is that he can job all damn day and he will still be strong because his character is so strong that he really never gets hurt. That's why he is so valuable to the WWF.
Jericho, on the other hand...has been jobbing all over the place while the WWF attempts to build him up??!!?? Hmmm..maybe there is a reason for that. I like Jericho as of late....he seems to really be working his ass off to get somewhere other than where he has been as of lately. And maybe he is..
This will be a pretty damn sweet match...the possibilities here are endless. BTW, if you want a Triple H return, you want it in this match. Then again, that would kill Jericho dead to be honest so I don't think they are going to do that. Then again..you never know....
I can see the Rock winning this..but I just can't see it all that well. Something will happen in this match though..lol I can promise you that. I had thought Jericho would be the one here but you know, I think he's going to get screwed....but you can't really screw over a heel so I digress.
Winner: The Rock
drq: As a firm subscriber to John C's policy ("job on RAW, win on the PPV"), there's little question in my mind that Jericho's going to the final match this evening. The real question here is just how clean that path will be. I really can't see the Rock falling very far, if at all, from a loss to Y2J here tonight... where on the other hand, Jericho would simply soar with the credibility of finally scoring a clean, solid, non-chair victory on one of the top names in the industry, in a high-profile situation.
Like Austin and Angle, Jericho and the Rock have been working together almost exclusively for several months, and as such have developed something of a rapport together, both on the mic and in the ring. They play off of one another wonderfully on the stick, and have an undeniable chemistry together in the ring. What needs to be done here is a firm definition of both men's roles in the scheme of things. If Jericho's going to be the vicious, egotistical, prick heel bastard, he needs to really act it here. He needs to show no mercy to Rocky when the advantage is his, and he needs to have no hesitations. On the flip side, of Maivia is to be the calm, cool, collected champion, he needs to have a firm grasp on Jericho's ringwork. He needs to appear as though he's always in control, even when he's getting his teeth kicked in. If these guys can manage that kind of definition, this match will be truly memorable... both for the action contained therein, and for the necessary evolution of both of their stagnation characters.
Winner: Chris Jericho
Kurt Angle vs. The Rock
Dave: Before I start this right here, I want to say that I am going to be so wrong with this entire tournament..so dont hold that against me.
There are rumors going around saying that there will be clean finish to this match. NO WAY. There is going to be a huge controversial dramatic episode at the end of this match which will give us the beginning of the big split. Flair is going to be the main man in this...and since he is the babyface and he is going to be the figurehead for the new "company", that means underhanded tactics and all the trimmings at the end of this match.
This will be a great match, and I've been saying that a lot as I go through this tournament. I don't see how this cannot be a great match..unless they do a real bad ending which the WWF has done before.
So who wins? Well if it even gets here..which it probably will not..then Angle is going over. Put your money on it. If Angle gets to the finals, he wins and the Rock gets a REAL SCREWJOB..jesus christ I hope they don't do a Montreal here. Actually, it would make sense but who knows.
Whatever screwjob is dealt to the loser of this match (who can be anyone), it's going to have to be huge.
Winner: Kurt Angle
Steve Austin vs. Chris Jericho
drq: This past Monday hinted at it, and I think Sunday's gonna blow it open. Jericho really needs to look like a threat to even scratch Austin's front here, which just re-emphasizes the importance of that definition in his earlier match with Rocky. Having already dropped one clean on RAW to Austin very recently, Jericho's got a lot of catching up to do if he wants to sell the live audience on his chances at becoming the first Unified Champ.
Still, if you have to choose one "go-to" guy when it comes to turning a crowd in one fell swoop, that guy's gotta be Chris Jericho. He did it with regularity in WCW (hell, the guy turned an incredibly pro-Jericho Canadian crowd with two short sentences back in his heyday), and given the chance and a firm push, he can do it in the WWF.
Not only that, but he's got the skills to keep up in the ring with Steve Austin. Together, I believe the two can tell quite a story between them... so much so, after thirty minutes they'll have the live crowd falling out of their chairs over a clothesline or belly-to-back suplex.
Add in to that the ominous cloud of HHH's return hanging over the main event, and you've got a recipe for success that can't be screwed up. In case you missed it, Parade Magazine, a supplement to newspapers around the nation, pretty much confirmed plans to reintroduce HHH soon, if not tonight, as he was featured in one of their reader questions early in the issue. So if an when he does return, who's he gonna be feuding with? Both Austin and Jericho are solid bets, with my money leaning a little more towards Y2J.
Winner: Chris Jericho
Dave: Whew..I love it when I have no freakin' clue about what is going to happen. I really have no idea who is going to win the main event..but at least I took a shot :)
The undercard on this PPV is quite weak...but the Hardys' match has been built up damn well so that will be something worth watching.
The real meat of the PPV is the tournament (duh) and I think it's going to rock it all. I'm sure they are going to try and protect Jericho because as I have said in the past, they always have this backassed way of doing that with him. But whoever wins or loses, it's going to be great. I can easily see any one of these 4 men winning it all..but it only makes sense to have the heel go over to bring the CONTROVERSY! Woo..
Personally, I am excited about this PPV right here..it's going to set up the Royal Rumble. And the Royal Rumble is going to be very important.
I love suspense..yessshh. And suspense will reign tonight during the main event as all of us watch and wait for something that will be the start of something big. I hope I don't mess myself..lol
drq: I'm sure the wishes that Dave doesn't mess himself are universal. After all, there's nothing more disturbing than a Sloppy Spinosa on the couch watching pro wrestling. Seriously, though, I never thought I'd be the pessimist of this team, but it's a role I actually find myself filling going into the event itself. The undercard is very weak, as Dave mentioned, and no matter how promising the main events look, I can't shake the feeling this is a perfect situation just dying to be messed up.
But hey, let's hope I'm wrong in this instance. God knows the WWF needs it.
until next time, we're out like lightning
Spinosa and the Q