The WWE Vengeance 2005 pay-per-view was the first Raw brand PPV following the 2005 draft lottery that saw the WWE Champion John Cena moved from Smackdown to Raw.
It was also done in a way where WWE was able to keep the World Champion Batista on the Raw brand until after this show was over.
In terms of PPV buyrates, Vengeance did a huge number with 420,000, which was great for a non “big four” PPV. It was the fourth highest number in 2005, trailing only WrestleMania 21 (980,000 buys), SummerSlam (650,000 buys) and Royal Rumble (575,000 buys). Survivor Series was at 400,000. I think this card having two major title matches plus the draw of Angle vs. Michaels II was a big factor in terms of driving up the buyrate.
I’m most looking forward to Angle vs. Michaels II because I think I only watched it the one time or maybe a second. I also recall the main event was awesome and the triple threat with Cena is solid too. This was a very good show, so re-watching it is fine with me.
Note: This was originally written in May 2018.
Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada
June 26, 2005
This show got a TV-14 rating with a warning for Sexual Content on WWE Network.
The opening video package focused on Cena’s WWE Title defense against Chris Jericho and Christian followed by some clips of Hell in a Cell matches from the past to set up Batista vs. Triple H for the World Heavyweight Title.
The pyro went off in Vegas followed by a shot of the streets of Vegas and the crowd was loud in the arena.
The announce team is Jim Ross, Jerry “The King” Lawler and Jonathon Coachman. They were seated to the right of the stage as usual. The Spanish announce team was at ringside saying they hope nobody breaks their f’n table.
Carlito was up first. He was the heel Intercontinental Champion that won the title from Shelton Benjamin six days earlier. Carlito was moved over to Raw from Smackdown. They replayed a spot in the match where Benjamin missed a somersault dive on the floor and hit the floor hard, which JR called the turning point in the match. During the title change on Raw, Carlito grabbed the middle rope when he pinned Benjamin to win the title.
Shelton Benjamin entered to a decent pop from the crowd. For the previous year, he was pushed as a singles face in the IC Title picture. Benjamin held the IC Title for 244 days, which was 8 months and 1 day (thanks JR).
Intercontinental Championship: Carlito vs. Shelton Benjamin
Pre-match notes: Carlito was the heel Intercontinental Champion and Benjamin was the face challenger that was getting his rematch.
Benjamin got some nearfalls early in the match. Carlito with a whip into the corner, Benjamin bounced off the turnbuckle with a clothesline followed by a knee to the gut for two. Carlito with a shoulderblock, Benjamin back up with a clothesline and Carlito bailed to the floor. Carlito tried to leave, but Benjamin brought him back in and hit a snap suplex for two. Carlito with an eye poke, Benjamin recovered with a leap to the top rope and Benjamin hit a top rope clothesline for two. Benjamin was selling like he was dazed a bit because of the hard bump to the floor on Raw. Carlito took control by kicking Benjamin in the back to knock him out of the ring. Back in the ring, three hard body slams by Carlito got a two count. Benjamin got a rollup for two. Carlito slapped on a chinlock to wear down Benjamin for about a minute with fans chanting “Shelton” for him. Benjamin got back to his feet and hit a running back elbow. JR kept talking about something being wrong with Benjamin. They were both down for about a minute. Benjamin with a Samoan Drop that got a two count. Benjamin with two running clotheslines followed by a back body drop. Benjamin with a backbreaker that got a two count. Benjamin was too slow climbing the top rope, so Carlito chopped him to stop that. Benjamin managed to send Carlito throat first into the top rope with Coach saying it was a dumb move by Benjamin since he landed on the floor. Benjamin got back in the ring with a springboard bulldog for a two count. The crowd thought that was it. Good nearfall. Benjamin attacked in the corner, the referee made Benjamin go back and Carlito took the turnbuckle pad off to expose the steel. Carlito with a slam for two. Benjamin came back with a spin kick for two. Carlito got up against the turnbuckle that was exposed. Benjamin charged in with a Stinger Splash, Carlito moved, Benjamin went head first into the steel turnbuckle and Carlito covered while grabbing the tights for the pinfall win at 12:50. That was a finish you could see coming.
Winner by pinfall: Carlito
Analysis: **1/2 It was an average match that dragged a bit at times. I liked Carlito’s heel tactics, but some of his offense was really boring to sit through. The crowd was into the match, so that helped a lot. The story they told was that Benjamin was dealing with a head injury after Raw and Carlito took advantage of it to get the win thanks to an assist from the exposed turnbuckle. Carlito ended up holding the title for about three months when he dropped it to Ric Flair, which I’ll get to in the Unforgiven 2005 review.
Triple H was shown walking backstage with Ric Flair and security guys. Hunter and Flair went into Hunter’s locker room.
There was a video package that aired about Victoria attacking Christy Hemme after some swimsuit challenge. Christy called Victoria a bitch, so Victoria smashed a glass into Christy’s head and that knocked out Christy.
Victoria vs. Christy Hemme
Pre-match notes: Victoria was the heel and Christy was the face in her first year as a wrestler. The Women’s Title was out of the picture for a few months because Trish Stratus had a back injury, so she was an absentee champion until her return to TV later in the year.
Victoria stomped away to start the match. Hemme came back with a kick followed by choking. Hemme sent Victoria face first into the turnbuckle multiple times. Victoria came back with a stun gun that sent Christy throat first into the top rope. Victoria with a corner clothesline and a choke against the turnbuckle. Victoria slapped on a headlock for about one minute. Christy tried a rollup, but Victoria held onto the ropes. Victoria went for the Widow’s Peak, Christy slipped out of it and Victoria sent Christy into the turnbuckle. Victoria went for a moonsault off the middle ropes, it wasn’t even close as Christy moved and Christy yanked Victoria down by the hair. Hemme hit a DDT for a two count. Hemme tried a sunset flip in the corner. Victoria blocked it, sat on top and a hand on the ropes by Victoria helped her win with the ref not seeing that part of it. It went 5:06.
Winner by pinfall: Victoria
Analysis: * Bad match. Victoria tried to carry her to something decent, but it was tough to do. Christy wasn’t good in the ring and was very limited in what she could do. She did get better a few years later in TNA. It made sense for Victoria to win as the more experienced wrestler.
Post match, Christy was mad about Victoria cheating to win.
John Cena, the WWE Champion, was interviewed by Todd Grisham backstage. Cena talked about how he felt like the new kid in school there and Todd told some story about how he peed himself in school, so people called him Todd Pissum. Cena ripped on Christian and Jericho saying that tonight it’s all business. Cena talked about how he was the kid voted most likely to kick somebody’s ass to continue the school theme of the promo.
Analysis: Cena has always been a good talker. What was noticeable here is that he used more of a thick Boston accent, which was natural for him. He cut that out as the years went by.
The video package aired to set up Edge vs. Kane. In the finals of the Gold Rush tournament, Lita turned on her “husband” Kane and helped Edge win by tossing the Money in the Bank briefcase to Edge, so Edge hit Kane with the briefcase and won. Lita called Kane a sick, twisted freak and said she fell in love with a real man like Edge. Lita and Edge also flushed her wedding ring down the toilet. There was also an Edge wedding with Lita where Lita had this memorable line: “If falling in love with you makes me a slut then I’m proud to be the slut of the century.” Classy. Kane ruined the wedding and they never did get married.
Analysis: By this point, it was known that Lita cheated on Matt Hardy with Edge earlier that year, so WWE decided to pair Edge with Lita on screen. It was the right move because they had great chemistry together. I think it was the best run of both of their careers. Plus, Lita looked hotter than ever as a heel thanks to her outfit choices.
Edge entered with Lita, who was out of action with the torn ACL she suffered in January in that year, but she was able to move around without the crutches by this point. Edge also had the Money in the Bank briefcase with him.
Kane was up next and he got a nice ovation since he was seeking revenge.
Edge (w/Lita) vs. Kane
Pre-match notes: Edge was the heel with Lita by his side while Kane was the face. This was during the era where Kane wasn’t wearing a mask.
Kane was very aggressive to start the match with a lot of punches. Kane with a back body drop. More punches by Kane followed by a kick to the ribs. Fans chanted “We Want Matt” for Matt Hardy and Kane hit a clothesline that sent Edge over the top to the floor. Kane left the ring to staredown Lita, but Edge with the save and Kane sent Edge back in the ring. Kane continued the offense with an elbow drop followed by a choke. Kane sent Edge into the turnbuckle followed by a forearm while Edge was on the apron, which knocked Edge out of the ring. They battled on the floor with Kane driving Edge back first into the barricade. Lita saved Edge and Edge shoved Kane into the ring post. Edge hit a Spear on Kane on the floor. Kane rolled back into the ring before the ten count, so Edge took him out with a baseball slide dropkick that sent Kane to the floor again. Kane got back in the ring and Edge gave him a shoulder tackle against the turnbuckle. Edge grounded Kane with several knees to the ribs. Kane no-sold a bunch of Edge punches, Kane hit Edge with punches and Edge hit a neckbreaker followed by a low dropkick. Kane sat up to a good ovation leading to another Kane punch. Edge broke free, he jumped off the middle ropes and Kane decked Edge with a punch again. Kane sent Edge into the turnbuckle followed by a clothesline for two. Sidewalk slam connected for Kane and Kane went to the top rope. Kane went for the clothesline off the top, but Edge countered with a dropkick to the ribs. That was well done. Edge wanted a Spear, he charged in and Kane kicked him in the face. Snitsky went to ringside, he jumped on the apron and Kane knocked him down. Lita brought a steel chair into the ring. Lita flirted with Kane, but Kane grabbed her and choked her all the way to the mat. Kane put the chair around Lita’s neck, Snitsky went back into the ring and Snitsky kicked Kane in the head. Edge covered for a two count. That would have been a weak finish. Kane countered out of a DDT attempt, Snitsky back in (Lita distracted the ref), Kane choked Snitsky, Edge charged in with the briefcase, Kane moved and it hit Snitsky. Kane picked up Edge and hit a massive Chokeslam on Edge for the pinfall win at 11:11.
Winner by pinfall: Kane
Lita went up the ramp to get away from Kane as Kane celebrated by setting off the pyro.
Analysis: ** The match was okay. There just wasn’t a lot of chemistry between them and I thought Kane was much better as a heel for most of his career. The crowd was loud for the final minute and happy for Kane’s win, so the right guy went over because this was Kane getting revenge for Lita turning on him. Edge feuded with Matt Hardy after this, which we’ll get to in upcoming PPV reviews.
The video package aired for Shawn Michaels vs. Kurt Angle II with highlights of their first match at WrestleMania 21, which I thought was a five-star match and one of the best matches in WWE history. I would put it in the top five for sure. Angle won that match with the Ankle Lock submission when Michaels tapped out. Angle was moved to Raw in the draft lottery prior to this match, so it made sense to do the rematch.
Shawn Michaels was interviewed by Todd Grisham, who said that Angle guaranteed that he would make Michaels tap out twice. Michaels said that he wants Angle to be 100% confident going into tonight’s rematch. Michaels said thanks to the draft lottery, they will get a rematch and Michaels ended it with the cliched line about how vengeance will be his.
Kurt Angle was up first. Angle was in the best shape of his career and had enough experience that I think it’s fair to say he was the best wrestler in the world. There wasn’t much to his gimmick other than that he was a heel that was known as a wrestling machine.
Shawn Michaels got a great ovation as usual. Big pop for HBK, who was one of the most popular wrestlers in WWE history especially during this second part of his career from 2002 to 2010.
Analysis: I was very excited about this rematch. They are two of my three favorite wrestlers ever along with Steve Austin and I wanted to see if this second match could come close to the classic that was their WrestleMania match.
Kurt Angle vs. Shawn Michaels
Pre-match notes: Angle was the heel that beat Michaels at WrestleMania 21 about three months earlier while Michaels was the face looking for revenge.
There was some back and forth posturing to start for a few minutes. Neither man was able to get the advantage in the first three minutes. Angle took down Michaels by the ankle, but Michaels crawled to the ropes to break free. The fans chanted “Angle sucks” at Angle. Michaels with two arm drags to take control. Angle took over with an armbar. Angle drove his knee into the left elbow of Michaels, so Michaels took a walk to take a break. Angle took down Michaels by the leg again, Angle grabbed a half crab submission and Michaels got to the ropes to break free. Michaels with a hard chop to the chest. Michaels with a sunset flip off the middle ropes, Angle broke free into an Ankle Lock, Michaels escaped that and hit a clothesline that sent Angle over the top to the floor. Michaels went after Angle on the floor, they each went for signature moves out there, they did counters and Angle hit a German Suplex on Michaels on the Spanish announce table. It was not strong enough to break the table, but it looked like a rough landing for Michaels, who was grabbing his head. Angle went after Michaels and rolled him back into the ring for a two count. Angle with a neckbreaker for two. Angle continued the offense with forearms to the face while Michaels had a small cut under his eye. Angle picked up Michaels and gave him a Powerbomb in to the turnbuckle, which became known as a Buckle Bomb, for a two count. JR really put that over as a big move. A snap suplex from Angle got a two count. Michaels fought back with chops, but Angle came back with a German Suplex for a two count. Angle with a clothesline. They battled on the top rope, Michaels knocked Angle down, Michaels jumped off and Angle hit a belly to belly suplex for two. Angle wore down Michaels with a headlock for about two minutes. Michaels fought back with a belly to back suplex. Both guys were down for a seven count.
The match turned into a slug fest as they exchanged punches and Michaels hit a running forearm followed by the kip-up that the crowd loved. Michaels with an atomic drop, clothesline, body slam and Michaels went up top. Michaels hit the flying elbow drop off the top rope. Michaels set up for the superkick, but Angle recovered quickly with a running clothesline for a two count. Michaels came back with a swinging DDT for a two count. Angle was bleeding from the mouth. Angle countered a suplex, Angle hit a German Suplex, Michaels hit an elbow to the face and Angle hit an Angle Slam that was only good for a two count. The fans thought that was it. Angle wanted an Ankle Lock and Michaels countered into an inside cradle for two. Angle slapped on the Ankle Lock, Michaels rolled through and sent Angle right into the referee Jack Doan, who went down. Angle with a back body drop that sent Michaels over the top to the floor. Michaels was favoring his left knee. The WWE doctors went to check on Shawn, but Angle pushed them away. Angle brought Michaels back into the ring. Angle slapped on the Ankle Lock on the left ankle of Michaels as the ref got back into it. Angle held onto the Ankle Lock, Michaels tried to kick out of it, but Angle held on. The crowd was going crazy hoping Michaels won’t tap out and they chanted “HBK” for Shawn. Angle pulled Michaels to the center of the ring. Michaels sold it as best he could and Michaels rolled through leading to Angle bumping shoulder first into the ring post. Both guys got to their feet and Michaels nailed the Sweet Chin Music superkick out of desperation. The referee counted both guys down and Michaels ended up covering with an arm over the chest for a two count. That was an excellent nearfall. Angle slowly went to the apron and climbed to the top rope. Michaels was struggling to his feet, he was favoring his leg and Angle jumped off the top right into Sweet Chin Music by Michaels for the pinfall win after 26:13. Michaels was selling like he was exhausted probably because he was.
Winner by pinfall: Shawn Michaels
Analysis: ****1/2 This was an outstanding match that we expected from two of the best of all-time. I don’t think it was five stars like what they did at WrestleMania 21 just based on the feel of it, but it was still awesome. Angle was relentless on offense for most of the match, Michaels was selling as well as anybody ever has, which is a strength of his and they got in a lot of nearfalls that were believable. I don’t think the ref bump was necessary, but it added something different to the match because it prevented a countout when Michaels was on the floor. The finish was memorable with Michaels hitting the Sweet Chin Music. My complaint with that is that Angle rarely goes up to the top, so when a guy goes up there just to set up the spot for the finish, it just looks too cheesy. Maybe if they had Angle hit a move before he went up top that would have been better. Small critique, I know. It’s still a great finish although not as memorable as HBK’s superkick on Shelton Benjamin on Raw in 2004. The result didn’t surprise me because Angle got the win at WrestleMania, so it made sense for Michaels to win the in the rematch. They had a third match later in the year.
Post match, the crowd gave Michaels a nice ovation as the winner of this classic match. Michaels limped his way up the ramp selling the left knee injury. Angle was helped to the back by the referee.
Analysis: The feud was on pause for a bit because Michaels went into his storyline with Hulk Hogan leading into the SummerSlam 2005 main event.
A commercial aired for the Great American Bash event on July 24. It was a Smackdown show and it was not as good as this show.
Batista, the World Heavyweight Champion, was interviewed by Jonathon Coachman in the interview area. Coachman said that he looked scared and Batista said he’s not afraid of anything. Batista said tonight is for every time Hunter stabbed him in the back and hit him with the damn sledgehammer. Batista said that Triple H is going to have to kill him to take the title from him. Batista said they’re going to hell, but he’s the only one walking out. Triple H showed up to say that nobody beats him inside of Hell in a Cell. They got into a shoving match, but it was broken up by agents.
Analysis: It was a solid promo to set up the main event match later in the night.
Lilian Garcia introduced Viscera, who was known as the “500 Pound Love Machine” during this run in his career. There was a leather couch in the ring. Lilian was very happy to see him. Lilian said that Viscera has made her feel things she has never felt before. She called him a wonderful loving man and a sexy man. Lilian sang a song to him. Lilian got down on one knee: “Will you marry me?” Viscera said he’ll take her question into consideration.
The Godfather made his entrance with the ho train. The Godfather was retired by this point, but he lived in Las Vegas and they brought him back occasionally. There was a big ovation for The Godfather and the ho’s.
The Godfather got in the ring with the girls. The Godfather said the girls couldn’t wait to get a piece of Viscera. The Godfather was surprised that Viscera thinking about getting married and he said it’s not about you Lilian. The Godfather asked Viscera if he wants to walk down the aisle with one woman for the rest of your life or take a ride on the ho train. Viscera checked out the ho train that was in the ring. Viscera said there’s just one more thing to say: “All aboard the ho train.” The Godfather’s music hit, so Viscera danced with the girls and Lilian cried in the ring after she was dumped.
Analysis: Riveting television. Not exactly. This was filler. It’s just a way to take a break from the action. I had no memory of this angle. It was bad, so that’s probably why I tried to erase it from my memory.
The video package aired for the WWE Championship match: John Cena vs. Christian vs. Chris Jericho. It was set up when Cena was drafted to Raw in the draft lottery after he was a Smackdown guy. Christian talked trash to Cena in the weeks before that, so Cena took care of him. Chris Jericho said he wanted the WWE Title match against Cena, which led to a tag match being made with Cena pinning Tyson Tomko in the tag. Jericho attacked Cena after the match, so Eric Bischoff said it would be Cena vs. Christian vs. Jericho in a triple threat match.
Chris Jericho made his entrance. He was in heel mode here after working as a face for a few years. JR pointed out that Jericho won the WWE and (WCW) World Title to become Unified Champion at Vengeance in 2001, but that was a December PPV instead of a June show.
Christian was up next with Tyson Tomko by his side. This was the biggest match for Christian as a singles wrestler up to this point. There wasn’t much of a reaction for him.
John Cena, the WWE Champion, was up next with the spinner version of the WWE Title. Loud ovation for Cena. This was before he was getting booed by some of the fans.
WWE Championship: John Cena vs. Chris Jericho vs. Christian (w/Tyson Tomko)
Pre-match notes: John Cena was the heel champion while Christian and Jericho were heels. First pinfall or submission wins the match. No disqualification or countouts in WWE triple threat matches.
Jericho with a hard slap to Cena, so Cena took him down with punches. Jericho with a whip on Cena into the corner. Christian chopped Cena. Jericho with a back elbow to Christian. Jericho ran the ropes, Tomko grabbed the top rope, but not enough to send Jericho out, so Tomko pulled Jericho out of the ring and sent him into the barricade. Cena with an arm drag on Christian. Tomko punched Cena in the back, referee Earl Hebner caught that and ejected Tomko from ringside. Cena with a slam on Christian. Cena wanted a FU, but Christian held onto the ropes, so Cena gave Christin a FU over the top to the floor. Ouch. Jericho back in with a flying back elbow off the top and a dropkick. Jericho charged into a boot to the face by Cena. Jericho came back with a bulldog. Lionsault by Jericho didn’t work because Cena moved, so Jericho dropkicked Cena out of the ring. Jericho whipped Cena into the barricade at ringside. Jericho shoved the timekeeper Mark Yeaton down and sent Cena head first into the chair. Jericho cleared off the Spanish announce table. Cena blocked a suplex attempt and hit a DDT on Jericho on the floor. Christian got back into it by sending Cena face first into the steps and back in the ring, Christian got a two count. After a Christian headlock, Cena with a clothesline, shoulder tackle and the spinning slam from Cena. It’s Five Knuckle Shuffle time for Cena, but Jericho pulled Cena out of the ring. Jericho whipped Cena into the steel steps. Christian dropkick sent Jericho into the announce table and referee Earl Hebner got in the way, but no bump by Hebner. That was not a planned bump by Hebner. Jericho and Christian battled in the ring, Christian kicked Jericho into Cena to knock Cena off the apron and Christian got a rollup for two. Christian and Jericho battled on the top rope, Cena got over there and they did the Tower of Doom spot out of the corner with Cena delivering the Powerbomb. The crowd reacted to that in a big way. It’s a regular spot in WWE triple threats. Cena got two counts on Jericho and Christian. Cena decked Jericho and Christian with two clotheslines each. Cena with a drop toe hold on Christian that sent him into Jericho. Cena hit the Five Knuckle Shuffle fist drop on both guys at the same time. Cena with a sunset flip on Jericho, Christian rollup on Cena, Jericho roll through into a pin on both guys for two. Jericho took a clothesline from both guys and Cena hit a clothesline on Christian at the same time, so all three guys were out on the mat.
Jericho went up top, Cena tripped him up and sent Christian’s head into the turnbuckle, so Jericho bumped to the floor. Christian avoided the FU with an eye gouge and Christian hit a reverse DDT for two. Christian grabbed the WWE Title, so ref Earl Hebner told him to put him back even though there are no disqualifications in this match. That allowed Tomko to come back in with a clothesline on Cena that the ref didn’t see. Christian covered for two. JR tried to sell that as an incredible kickout from Cena, but it’s not like anybody thought Christian was going to win there. Cena gave Christian a back body drop that sent him over the top to the floor. Jericho applied the Walls of Jericho on Cena, Christian on the apron, Jericho with a dropkick on Christian and Jericho applied the Walls of Jericho on Cena again. Christian back in with a rollup on Jericho. Christian wanted the Unprettier on Jericho, Jericho shoved him off, Cena put Christian on his shoulders, Cena swung Christian’s feet into Jericho’s head leading to Jericho bumping to the floor and Cena hit the FU on Christian for the pinfall win after 15:08 of action.
Winner by pinfall: John Cena
Analysis: ***3/4 This was a good match with a lot of action. It was obvious that Cena was winning the whole way, but there were a few moments in there where there was a bit of doubt that it might happen. The rules were questionable a bit because if there are no disqualifications then Tomko could have stayed at ringside even though he was ejected. Also, if Christian wanted to use the WWE Title he should have been allowed to since there were no disqualifications. What’s the point of having no disqualification and no countout if you’re unable to follow the rules the right way? It was still a fun match to watch. I just think it could have been better.
Cena celebrated the win with the WWE Title. The crowd loved him.
Analysis: Jericho continued the feud with Cena after this. Jericho ended up leaving WWE in August 2005 because he needed a break. Jericho left for about two years. Christian also left WWE when he signed with TNA Wrestling in late 2005. He stayed there for about three years before coming back to WWE. Christian’s run in TNA was my favorite period of TNA as well. I missed both guys when they were gone.
A commercial aired for the Road Warriors DVD. I bought a lot of WWE DVDs in the 2000s, but not that one.
The video package aired to set up World Champion Batista vs. Triple H. Batista won the World Title from Triple H at WrestleMania 21, he retained the title against Triple H at Backlash and the feud continued leading to this show. Triple H and Ric Flair did a plan to have Flair be nice to Batista, so Flair hit a low blow, Triple H attacked with the sledgehammer and told Batista it will be a Hell in a Cell match. The video also put over Triple H’s success in the HIAC match.
Analysis: It was a good feud that really elevated Batista to the next level. I didn’t know if he was talented enough to be a top guy, but he proved that he could be.
Triple H was up first along with manager Ric Flair. Hunter gave Flair a hug and Flair left. The announcers put over Triple H huge due to his success inside Hell in a Cell matches.
Batista, the World Heavyweight Champion, entered to a loud reaction. He was very popular. It was also obvious that this was going to be the end of Batista on Raw because Cena got moved to Raw, so it made no sense to have both of them on the same show.
As the cell lowered, JR said this match will get nasty and may not be for the younger audience. The door locked and the bell rang.
World Heavyweight Championship Hell in a Cell Match: Batista vs. Triple H
Pre-match notes: Batista was the face World Champion and Triple H was the heel challenger that was 4-0 in Hell in a Cell matches.
The action spilled to the floor quickly with Hunter blocking Batista’s attempt at sending Hunter face first into the steel cage. Running shoulder tackle by Batista. When they were back in the ring, Batista hit a clothesline that sent Triple H out of the ring. Hunter managed to come back by whipping Batista shoulder first into the ring post. Hunter drove Batista neck first into the top rope and while Batista was on the apron, Hunter ran into him to send Batista crashing into the cell. Hunter with a hard whip that sent Batista back first into the cell twice followed by a clothesline. Hunter grabbed a toolbox from under the ring and he grabbed a chain. Hunter hit Batista in the back with the chain two times in a row. Hunter choked Batista with the chain and choked him with it, so Batista punched Hunter a few times to get out of it. Batista got a hold of the chain and hit Hunter in the back with it. Hunter left the ring, so Batista followed him with another chain shot to the back. Batista picked up Hunter, then drove him twice into the cell and twice into the ring post. Batista sent Hunter into the cell, the camera was on Batista, so it was no surprise that Hunter bladed and he was busted open with blood all over his face.
Back in the ring, Hunter nailed a spinebuster. Hunter left the ring and brought out a steel chair that was wrapped in barbed wire. Hunter hit Batista in the back with the barbed wire steel chair. Fans at ringside chanted “holy shit” with Batista’s back cut open as Hunter hit him in the back again. Hunter with a knee to the face, but Batista stopped him with a huge clothesline. Batista got the barbed wire steel chair, Hunter turned around and Batista hit Hunter in the head with the chair. Hunter got his hand up to block it, but it still looked good with a loud crowd reaction. Batista grinded the barbed wire into Hunter’s bloody head. They left the ring where Batista rubbed Hunter’s head against the cage. Batista launched Hunter like a lawn dart into the cell. Back in the ring, Batista missed a corner charge, Hunter moved and Batista went shoulder first into the ring post for the second time. Hunter wanted a Pedigree on the barbed wire chair, but Batista powered out with a back body drop. Batista with a powerslam on the barbed wire chair for a two count. Batista got another chain on his hand. Hunter countered that by hitting a DDT onto the barbed wire chair. Batista rolled out of the ring. Batista was bleeding from the head with his own blade job as Hunter whipped Batista face first into the cage. Hunter got a sledgehammer from under the ring. Batista punched Hunter to avoid getting hit by it and Hunter managed to hit a back body drop. Hunter picked up the sledgehammer and hit Batista in the face with it only for Batista to kick out at two. Good nearfall.
Hunter went for an attack with the sledgehammer, but Batista countered with a kick to the groin. Batista got the sledgehammer, he charged in and Hunter countered that with a punch where he had the chain wrapped around his fist. That led to a two count. Hunter went to the middle rope with the chain around his fist, but Batista blocked it by hitting Hunter in the throat with the sledgehammer. Hunter did a face-first bump. Batista whipped Hunter into the turnbuckle leading to Hunter’s usual bump over the top to the floor. Batista whipped Hunter shoulder first into the steps. JR called this a “physically intense” match and I think that’s a good phrase for it. Batista hit Hunter in the face with the steel steps. Batista brought the bottom half of the steel steps into the ring and he brought Hunter back in as well. Batista whipped Hunter’s head into the steel steps three times. Batista with a hard whip into the steel steps that were up against the turnbuckle. Hunter came back with a low blow punch to the balls and a Pedigree by Hunter. Cover gets a two count for Hunter with the crowd marking out huge for Batista kicking out. Excellent nearfall there. Hunter set up the steps in the middle of the ring to tease a Pedigree on the steps. Batista fought out of that attempt and hit a spinebuster onto the steel steps. Batista went for the Batista Bomb, Hunter had the sledgehammer in his right hand, he wanted to attack with it, but Batista managed to connect with the Batista Bomb for the pinfall win at 26:55.
Winner by pinfall: Batista
Analysis: ****1/4 That was a great match with a lot of violence and both guys were a bloody mess. Triple H put over Batista in a big way to put an end to this rivalry. There was a lot of back and forth in the match in terms of the weapons used like when Hunter introduced the steel chain followed by the barbed wire chair, Batista got his chance to use those as a weapon as well. When Hunter brought the sledgehammer into the match, that escalated the violence further. I thought the match went a few minutes too long. That doesn’t mean I was bored by it because it was great to watch. I just think if they shaved off about five minutes of it then it would be an even better match. This was one of Batista’s best singles matches ever. No doubt about it. Hunter had better matches. It’s also one of the better Hell in a Cell matches ever.
The replays aired of the key spots in the match. JR mentioned it was Triple H’s first loss inside Hell in a Cell while Batista is now 3-0 against Triple H in big matches. If you count house shows, he likely beat him more.
Batista was handed the World Heavyweight Title by the referee while Hunter was still out in the ring. Batista’s hand was raised as the winner of the match. That’s the end of Vengeance.
Analysis: Batista was moved to Smackdown after this match. He did well there as the face of the blue brand for the rest of the decade.
This event has a run time of 2 hours, 48 minutes on WWE Network.
Show Rating (out of 10): 8
It was a great show thanks to the amazing Michaels win over Angle in a long match, the vicious battle with Batista beating Triple H for the last time in their rivalry and then Cena’s triple threat win was pretty damn good as a third-best match on a card. The rest of the show was just average, but when you can have two matches over four stars and another match close to that level, that’s a show worth checking out again.
There were some great shows during this period in 2005. I gave WrestleMania 21 a 8.5, Judgment Day 2005 got 8 out of 10, ECW One Night Stand got 8.5 and now Vengeance gets an 8 as well. Backlash only got a 6, so that was more of an average show, but these four shows from WrestleMania to Vengeance were all excellent.
Best Match: Shawn Michaels vs. Kurt Angle (****1/2 out of 5)
Worst Match: Victoria vs. Christy Hemme (*)
- Shawn Michaels
- Kurt Angle
- Triple H
- John Cena, Christian and Chris Jericho
That’s all for me. Check out the full list of my WWE PPV Review archive right here. Thanks for reading.
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