Saturday, April 4, 2020

Ruthless Aggression Era Project: WWE Vengeance 2002 Review - July 21st, 2002

WWE Vengeance
July 21st, 2002
Detroit, Michigan

Commentators: Michael Cole & Tazz (first half) and Jim Ross & Jerry Lawler (second half)
The theme song of this PPV "Downfall" by Trust Company accompanied by the card run down fully sent me into nostalgia mode. If you ever played anything on the video games released during this time period you will feel the same.

1) Eddie Guerrero & Chris Benoit vs. Bubba Ray & Spike Dudley
These two were involved in a six man that wasn't bad on Raw so this was solid also albeit just what you'd expect. They worked the stip well, Michael Cole kept using the term "hard wood" to describe the tables, Spike took some nasty bumps. Fine enough opener!

Match rating - ***

2) Jamie Noble (w/ Nidia) vs. Billy Kidman - Cruserweight Title Match

Pretty run of the mill stuff here. Noble retains and remains 'high on the hog'.

Match rating - **1/4

Kurt Angle runs into Brock backstage and hitsh im with "this isn't the summer of Brock, it's all year Angle" - I love that.

3) Jeff Hardy (c) vs. William Regal - European Title Match

This wasn't any better or worse than their first match. Regal is trying to get his title back after he had an emotional breakdown when he lost it. Hardy still brings his A game and bests him anyway in a fairly short amount of time.

Match rating - *3/4

Flair & Hogan are backstage waiting to congratulate Jeff Hardy. They say he's something special.

4) Chris Jericho vs. John Cena

Almost forgot about this match when writing this review. It wasn't bad, but the Cena push/first run is starting to lose it's steam and become repetitive. Jericho clearly has the match won, tries to torture him more, but Cena reverses a Walls of Jericho attempt into a small package for the win.

Match rating - **

5) Rob Van Dam (c) vs. Brock Lesnar - Intercontinental Title Match

Now this is the good shit. PERFECT power vs speed match. Brock plays the big man so well and Van Dam bumps around even better. This could've easily hit 4 stars or more if it kept going/had a clean finish. But regardless is still the best undercard match on this PPV and worth a watch. Van Dam in his prime ruled and Brock is Brock and amazing as always.

Match rating - ***1/2

6) Booker T vs. Big Show - No DQ, No Countouts

Booker & Show went out and just wreaked havoc for a few minutes. Booker gets the sort of upset victory? Some good announce table bumps and such and Booker hit a couple different scissor kick variations to put Show down. Fun!!

Match rating - ***

TRIPLE H is here. First night back in the ring. He's here to decide/announce if he's going to Raw or Smackdown. Eric Bischoff comes out followed by Stephanie to bribe him. H chooses "the devil he knows" over "the devil he doesn't" and picks Steph until AW AW AW SHAWN. HBK throws a monkeywrench in shit and a DX reunion is teased which gets H to wanna go to Raw. Hunter & HBK do the DX pose on the ramp and we will see them on Raw tomorrow night. Lordy lordy.

7) Hollywood Hulk Hogan & Edge (c) vs. Christian & Lance Storm - WWE Tag Team Title Match

This was in the cool down spot on the card, but actually kinda rocked. Crowd hates the canadians and loves Hogan & Edge. Several close falls down the stretch and ultimately thanks to some Test interference, Christian & Lance Storm come out on top and leave the new tag champs.

Match rating - **3/4

8) The Undertaker (c) vs. The Rock vs. Kurt Angle - WWE Undisputed Championship Match

This surprisngly held up just about as well as I remembered, if not even a little more so. Just classic stuff from all three guys. They did the whole do each others finishers thing kinda early which weirded me out, but the insane final stretch made up for it. Angle got busted open along the way. The crowd was hanging on every move and they worked the type of match well. The angle slam bumps here were rough. God I swear I don't remember that move having so much arc on the neck every time but lord. The finish with Rock pinning Angle out of the Rock bottom and Taker draping his arm over to try to break it up at the split second the ref counts three was a perfect touch. Rock wins and is the new WWE Undisputed Champion.

Match rating - ****1/4

Final thoughts: Pretty good PPV. I'm almost a month into this project and I'm finally finding myself excited to tune into the next show. Coming out of this, I'm invested in the Triple H/HBK stuff because I never watched regularly during this time so I really haven't seen any of that feud so it's all fresh. Also the main event ruled and seeing where all three men go going forward has my attention as well as Brock Lesnar. So, yeah, this was fun despite the undercard having some duds.

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