TJR Retro: WWE Vengeance (Night of Champions) 2007 Review

The 2007 Vengeance PPV was the seventh straight year where WWE used that PPV name. The first Vengeance PPV was in 2001 when they used it in December (the night when Chris Jericho beat The Rock and Steve Austin in very cheap fashion in the same night to become the Undisputed Champion) and then it became a June/July PPV over the next six years. The Vengeance name was used one more time in October 2011 as well.

This edition of Vengeance was also given a “Night of Champions” name as well, which meant that every title in WWE was on the line. The company was dealing with a lot of injuries to key guys at the time like Triple H, The Undertaker, Shawn Michaels and Rey Mysterio to name a few. Because of that, the main event was a unique “Five Pack Challenge” match. After this PPV, there was another

This event also followed the 2007 WWE Draft lottery, which meant some wrestlers were moved between the three brands: Raw, Smackdown and ECW. I’ll try to make note of the brands during the review.

In addition to all of that, one man scheduled for a match on this show did not show up. That’s Chris Benoit. At the time, nobody really knew why he wasn’t there. As we wound find out over the next day or two, Benoit committed a heinous crime of murdering his wife Nancy and son Daniel at their home. Benoit also committed suicide. I don’t feel like writing about it again as it is something that is hard to talk about and it always will be. Back in March of this year, Dark Side of the Ring did a great documentary called “Benoit” that I reviewed here where they covered it well. Chris was a favorite wrestler of mine, but committing murder of two innocent people is unforgivable. I know he may have had brain damage and some weird people want to defend him because of that. I’m not going to defend the guy. It was awful. Rest in peace, Nancy and Daniel.

Vengeance did a good number in terms of PPV buyrates with 247,000 buys. That’s 61,000 buys more than One Night Stand: Extreme Rules earlier that same month and it was the sixth best overall number in 2007. I think the appeal of this show was telling fans that every title was on the line and that teased the idea that there would be some title changes too. (There was only one.)

For the last few years, I have been reviewing WWE PPVs starting in 2003 through the mid-2000s. Check out my WWE 2003-2007 PPV archive here if you want to read any of the reviews during that period. Let’s get to it.

The description on WWE Network looks like this:

WWE VENGEANCE 2007 (Night of Champions)
14+ (D,L,V) / Every title is on the line at Vengeance: Night of Champions. John Cena defends the WWE Championship in 5-Pack Challenge Match against King Booker, Bobby Lashley, Randy Orton, and Mick Foley. World Heavyweight Champion Edge battles Batista in Last Chance Match. Johnny Nitro takes on CM Punk for the ECW Championship.

The original poster had The Undertaker in Edge’s spot, but one month before this is when Edge won the World Title from Undertaker, who ended up missing about five months with an injury. Also, Lashley was moved to Raw from ECW, so he wasn’t holding that title either.

Plans change, pal.

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WWE Vengeance (Night of Champions)
June 24, 2007
From Toyota Center in Houston, Texas

The opening promo promoted the idea that “for the first time ever” every championship in WWE was on the line. I believe there have been PPVs in the past where every title has been on the line, but the theme of Night of Champions has always been to present a card with every title on the line. Anyway, they put over the World and WWE Title matches more than the others.

They built a nice set for this show and it started with the usual impressive pyro display. There was a red carpet from the entrance to the ring as well. It looked like a sold out crowd in Houston or at least close to a sellout.

Mike Rotunda and Barry Windham were shown at ringside because they were tag team champions. They showed clips of them when they were the US Express tag team. They got a mild reaction.

Analysis: Rotunda was also known as Irwin R. Schyster and also married Barry’s sister Stephanie. They named one of their sons Windham Rotunda, who happens to be Bray Wyatt. Mike is also the father of Bo Dallas. Mike has worked for WWE as a backstage agent/producer for most of the last twenty years (he was furloughed in April). As for Barry, he was a talented worker that made the WWE Hall of Fame as part of the Four Horsemen. The US Express also used “Real American” as their theme song before Hulk Hogan did.

The Hardy Boyz made their entrance for a tag team match. They were champions going into the last PPV, but they lost them to the champions on Raw. Those champions were Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch. The Raw announce team of Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler were shown at ringside.

Raw Tag Team Championships: Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch vs. The Hardy Boyz (Matt and Jeff Hardy)

Pre-match notes: Cade and Murdoch were heel champions that were acting nicer of late. The Hardys were babyfaces, of course. Maybe the most popular team in WWE history. This was their third PPV match against eachother in 2007 wit the Hardy Boyz beating them on the two previous occasions.

The crowd was loud in their support for the Hardys as you would expect. Cade was playing by the rules by doing clean breaks with Matt after a headlock. Matt with a shoulder tackle as the fans chanted for the Hardys. Jeff tagged in for a double team elbow drop. Murdoch tagged in and hit a neckbreaker for a two count. Jeff hit a spinning kick on Murdoch, Matt was tagged back in and hit a double axehandle to the arm. Jeff hit the Poetry in the Motion double team attack on Murdoch, Cade in, so Matt hit him with a clothesline out of the ring. The champs tried to leave, but the Hardys brought them back in the ring. Murdoch with a slap to Matt’s face, Cade tagged in and Cade hit a chop block. Murdoch with some wrenching on the leg, then Cade tagged in and slammed Matt’s left knee into the mat. Murdoch with a knee drop onto Hardy’s left knee. Murdoch slapped on a half crab on Matt’s left knee, but Matt managed to kick Murdoch away after about one minute of that. Jeff got the hot tag with an atomic drop on Cade, the double leg drop and low drop. Jeff with a Slingblade on Cade for a two count. Jeff hit a Whisper in the Wind attack off the ropes that JR called Twist of Fate as he got the move names mixed up. Jeff with a sitout front suplex on Cade. Murdoch went after Jeff, so Jeff kicked him down, then Matt went in, the referee got rid of Matt and Murdoch shoved Jeff off the top. Great job of setting up a cheating heel spot. Cade hit a sitout Rock Bottom/spinebuster type move on Jeff and covered for the pinfall win at 8:55.

Winners by pinfall: Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch

Analysis: *** A good match between two teams that worked together a lot. They had better matches together that also got more time. I really liked how well Cade and Murdoch worked as a team. The Hardys obviously were one of the best teams ever, so you know they are already awesome. The finish was booked well to put over the champs with a decisive victory that put an end to this rivalry. I like that it was a bit of a cheap ending, but not that cheap either. It was just smart wrestling by the champions. Having them beat The Hardys to win the feud also gave Cade and Murdoch a lot of credibility as a team.

The champions Cade and Murdoch celebrated the win while noting that they followed the rules. Sometimes heels lie.

King Booker was shown warming up with wife Queen Sharmell. Booker ran down all of his championship accomplishments while saying that his name is synonymous with the word champion. Booker said that he’ll prove why the night belongs to King Booker.

Analysis: Booker was moved drafted from Smackdown to Raw prior to this, so he was a fresh main event level face on the Raw brand at this point.

The Smackdown announce team of Michael Cole and John Bradshaw Layfield took were shown for the first Smackdown match.

A video aired from No Way Out 2004 when the late, great Eddie Guerrero beat Brock Lesnar to win the WWE Title. They didn’t show the part where Goldberg attacked Lesnar, but that’s okay with me. Eddie didn’t win because of that. He won after a Frog Splash. Amazing match and moment.

Chavo Guerrero was up as the Cruiserweight Champion and as you probably know, Eddie was Chavo’s uncle. They showed Dean Malenko watching the match from backstage since he’s a great Cruiserweight Champion. Jimmy Wang Yang entered as the opponent.

Analysis: Chavo was a close friend of Chris Benoit and by this point, everybody was worried about happened to Benoit, so Chavo went into the match with a lot on his mind.

Cruiserweight Championship: Chavo Guerrero vs. Jimmy Wang Yang

Pre-match notes: Chavo was a five-time Cruiserweight Champion at this point as a heel. Chavo was the champion for about four months. Jimmy was a face that earned the title shot by winning a Fatal 4-Way match to become the title challenger.

Jimmy got a rollup early, Chavo went to the ropes and then got in a cheap shot t to the face. Chavo whipped Jimmy into the turnbuckle. Jimmy came back with a dropkick followed by a suplex. Chavo tossed Jimmy out of the ring under the top rope. Chavo with a dropkick that sent Jimmy into the barricade. They went back into the ring with Chavo up top and Jimmy hit an enziguri kick to the head. Jimmy went up top and jumped onto Chavo with a cross body block on the floor. Jimmy charged in with Chavo hitting a hip toss into the turnbuckle. Big bump there and it led to a big reaction.  Chavo with a belly to back suplex followed by a body slam. Chavo tripped up Jimmy, then he stomped and whipped Jimmy into the turnbuckle. Chavo grabbed a chinlock, Jimmy got back up and hit a belly to back suplex. Jimmy with an atomic drop, then a back elbow and a missile dropkick off the middle ropes. Jimmy with a running spin kick to the head followed by Jimmy going up top and hitting a cross body block for a two count. Chavo with two vertical suplexes, then Jimmy with a spinning heel to block the Three Amigos that Eddie used to do. Jimmy got a two count as Chavo got his hand on the bottom rope. Jimmy went up top, he jumped with a moonsault that wasn’t very close and Chavo easily moved out of the way. Chavo went for a Gory Special slam, but then Jimmy countered into a sunset flip for a two count. That was very close as fans booed because they wanted Jimmy to win. Chavo sent Jimmy face first into the turnbuckle. Jimmy elbowed Chavo back down, Jimmy up top, Chavo tripped him up and Chavo went up top with a Frog Splash to the back for the pinfall win at 10:16.

Winner by pinfall: Chavo Guerrero

Analysis: **3/4 This was a good match with the crowd having a tough time getting into it since Jimmy wasn’t that popular. Chavo’s work as a heel was always consistently good. Jimmy was going for big moves, yet Chavo was there to counter those big moves every time Jimmy tried going for something that could have won the match. This was the second-longest match of the show, which is a surprise considering the Cruiserweight Championship oftentimes wasn’t pushed that hard in this era.

The Raw announce team of Ross and Lawler talked about how it’s been two weeks now since Vince McMahon’s limo exploded and there’s been an investigation into what happened.

A clip was shown from two weeks earlier when Vince walked out of the arena on Raw, Vince was concerned something might happen to him. They replayed Vince opening the door to the limo, they noted that you could see his hand shaking and then McMahon got into the car. When Vince got in the limo, he put his foot back out and then the door closed leading to the limo exploded. A fan had a “Vince is Not Dead” sign in the background. Correct.

Analysis: The McMahon “death” storyline was dropped shortly after this because of the Chris Benoit homicide/murder. There are a lot of rumors about what was planned, but they never went ahead with it, so there’s no point in going over theory that existed.

Bobby Lashley was interviewed by Todd Grisham in the backstage area. Lashley said Vince stripped him of the ECW Title and then he walked out to the limo, which exploded. Lashley said he wishes Vince was there to see Bobby’s face when he wins the WWE Title.

Analysis: Lashley was drafted to Raw, so they stripped him of the ECW Title.

Joey Styles and Tazz took over on commentary for the only ECW match on the show. They showed clips of Tazz dominating in ECW as one of the most dominant champions in ECW history. Tazz said he was very proud of his run as ECW Champion.

CM Punk got a nice pop for his entrance for this match for the vacant ECW Championship. Johnny Nitro entered as the opponent. There was no commentary as Nitro entered the arena, so I assume they were speaking about Benoit and it was edited out.

Analysis: The original match was CM Punk vs. Chris Benoit, which was a bit of a dream match for a lot of us. They chose Nitro as an opponent when Benoit failed to show up to the PPV. If you’re wondering, Benoit was supposed to win the title.

For the Vacant ECW Championship: CM Punk vs. Johnny Nitro

Pre-match notes: CM Punk was the babyface while Nitro was a heel. Nitro was moved to ECW from Raw during the 2007 WWE draft.

As the guys locked up, the fans chanted “We Want Benoit” as Nitro sent Punk across the ring. Punk came back with three kicks to the leg and a kick to the head that sent Nitro out of the ring. Punk tripped up Nitro near the apron and hit a slingshot splash onto Nitro. Punk was sent into the ropes and Nitro jumped off the ropes with a kick to the face along with a thigh slap to make a lot of noise. Nitro slapped on an armbar on the left arm as fans chanted “We Want Benoit” again and Nitro said “you got Johnny Nitro.” The announcers didn’t acknowledge the chant. Nitro with a single arm DDT takedown followed by another armbar. When Punk broke free, he hit an enziguri kick to the head. Punk with strikes to the head followed by a jumping side kick for two. Nitro with a back elbow, then a pin where his feet were on the ropes, but referee Scott Armstrong caught him with his feet on the ropes. Punk hooked the arms of Nitro into a clothesline for a two count. Nitro fought out of a GTS attempt, Punk sat down for a two count. Punk with a running knee in the corner followed by a bulldog and the fans cheered for Punk. Punk went for a springboard attack off the top, Nitro moved and Punk went to the apron again. Nitro with a knee. Nitro pulled Punk off the middle ropes almost like a draping DDT, but then Nitro hit a swinging neckbreaker for the pinfall win at 8:01.

Winner by pinfall: Johnny Nitro

Analysis: **1/4 This was okay with the heel Nitro figuring out a way to win to get the title and setting them up for rematches. I would have had Nitro cheat more to win the title because then it would piss the fans off and make us want to see Punk get revenge. Good action in the final few minutes with Punk nearly winning a few times. The fans didn’t have much interest in the match even though the guys worked hard.

Post match, Nitro had a shocked look on his face as if he couldn’t believe that he won the title. Nitro celebrated with the ECW Title.

Analysis: Nitro would do a name and gimmick change soon after this as he became John Morrison. The rivalry with Punk continued in the months ahead.

A video aired about Shawn Michaels vs. Bret Hart at WrestleMania 12. Read my detailed article reviewing that match right here.

Mick Foley was shown taping up his hands in the locker room when Randy Orton walked up to him. Orton told Foley to be careful while adding it looked like Foley might have had a concussion while letting him know that he took out Shawn Michaels and Rob Van Dam. Foley said that while his brain was rattled a bit, he saw Randy and he reminded Randy of when they last had a match together (Backlash 2004) when Randy had thumbtacks in his back. Randy reminded Mick that he won that match.

There were clips of Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat shown with the Intercontinental Championship. Steamboat was introduced to the fans. Ricky was working for WWE as a backstage agent/producer at this point.

Santino Marella entered as the Intercontinental Champion. This was his first PPV match. Umaga made his entrance as the challenger. JR noted that only two men have had success against Umaga – that’s John Cena and Bobby Lashley.

Intercontinental Championship: Santino Marella vs. Umaga

Pre-match notes: Santino was the babyface Intercontinental Champion that won the title about two months earlier thanks to Bobby Lashley helping him beat Umaga. Umaga was a heel.

Santino avoided a charge from Umaga. Santino jumped on Umaga’s back, but then Umaga jumped back and slammed Santino hard into the mat. Umaga went for a running splash, Santino got the knees up and Umaga hit a superkick. Umaga grabbed the shoulder of Santino with a vice grip for about one minute. Umaga sent Santino into the turnbuckle. Umaga worked over Santino with punches while Santino was against the turnbuckle, the referee counted to five, Umaga didn’t stop and the referee called for the bell for the disqualification at 2:32.

Winner by disqualification: Santino Marella

Analysis: 1/2* Bad match and finish. This sucked because it was so short, Santino barely did anything and they did a lame ending. At least come up with something a bit more creative than that. This was not a great period for the Intercontinental Title in terms of memorable champions or moments.

The fans were booing loudly at the result of the match. Umaga continued the attack with a running butt splash against the turnbuckle. Umaga chased the referee Marty Elias out of the ring, which drew cheers. Umaga went up top and jumped off with a Superfly Splash. Most of the fans cheered this. Umaga looked at his taped up thumb and delivered the Samoan Spike to Santino as well. The fans chanted “one more time” for Umaga. Meanwhile, Maria ran out to ringside in a short dress to check on Santino. After showing replays of what happened, the fans cheered for Umaga again.

Analysis: They cheered Umaga’s actions because he came across as way more of a star than the babyface Santino. Umaga won the Intercontinental Title a few weeks after this and also turned face soon after that. That’s why Umaga was booked like a face after the match.

A commercial aired for WWE SummerSlam on August 26.

There was a press conference shown of Daniel Beck talking about the Vince McMahon investigation and he was listed as the Lead Federal Investigator. Beck spoke about how they were continuing to interview people. Beck said that the presence of DNA from Mr. McMahon, the limousine driver Thomas Pagliaro and one other well-known personality.

The Smackdown announcers Michael Cole and John Bradshaw Layfield talked about how Monday’s Raw was a “Mr. McMahon Memorial Service” on a three-hour edition of Raw. There was a funny “I Blew Vince Up” sign in the background.

They showed Magnum TA at ringside and he was introduced as a legendary 2-time US Champion. Nice ovation for him.

Montel Vontavious Porter made his entrance for his first PPV defense of the US Title. MVP went over to Magnum TA and talked trash to him. Ric Flair was the opponent with Flair getting drafted to Smackdown a few weeks earlier. Great pop for Flair with the fans respecting the legend.

United States Championship: Montel Vontavious Porter vs. Ric Flair

Pre-match notes: MVP was the heel champion that won the title led the title less than one month earlier. Flair was a babyface that was 58 years old at the time.

Flair with some hard chops to the chest leading to MVP bailing to the floor. Flair tripped up MVP while wrenching on the knee while JBL made a great point about Flair being a legendary trash talker that was very cocky the way MVP is. MVP came back with a suplex that sent Flair onto the apron and then MVP hit a running kick to the face of Flair that knocked Flair off the apron to the floor. Back in the ring, MVP worked over Flair with elbow smashes to the face and a chinlock as Flair had some blood trickling from the top of his nose. Flair worked over MVP with chops, but then MVP hit a back body drop followed by another chinlock. Flair with another chop, MVP got him on the shoulders and slammed Flair down followed by a running kick to the face for two. Flair with more chops, then a belly to back suplex and back to the chops for Flair. There was a whip to the ropes with Flair hitting a back body drop along with a back body drop. MVP grabbed Flair and dropped him face first into the top turnbuckle. MVP went for the running kick, Flair moved and Flair hit a chop block to the back of the left knee with the fans chanting “WOO” for Flair. Ric hit another chop block to the back of the leg. Flair slapped on the Figure Four Leglock as the fans cheered, but MVP was able to grab the bottom rope to break the hold. Flair was punching against the ropes, referee Jimmy Korderas made Flair move back, MVP did a cheap eye poke and MVP hit the Playmaker for the pinfall win at 8:43. JBL said that tactic was a page out of Ric Flair’s book and he’s right about that.

Winner by pinfall: Montel Vontavious Porter

Analysis: **3/4 This was fun for the time given. It would have been nice if they got a bit more time, but I get wanting to keep it short because there were a lot of matches on the card. I liked MVP as a guy that was on the rise at this point and it was a big deal for him to beat Flair like this. The finish was booked very well with MVP cheating with an eye poke, which is something Flair did a lot in his career and that led to the finish with MVP retaining the title. When you use the referee in that way where they play a role in the finish without doing a bump, it’s really clever, at least in my opinion.

Post match, they showed the replays with the eye poke leading to the finish. MVP celebrated with the US Title with JBL putting over MVP in a big way.

John Cena was the WWE Champion that was about to be interviewed backstage by Todd Grisham when Edge showed up with the World Heavyweight Title. Edge said that all he has to do is beat Batista like he’s done twice and he’s out of his life forever. Edge said that he watched Raw with Cena making jokes about the demise of Mr. McMahon while adding there won’t be a lot of people happy about that. Cena told Edge that the “show must go on.” Cena said he saw Edge on Smackdown kissing ass. Cena called Edge a “pussbag” and said he was too soft to do something like that. Edge said he’s capable of vicious, vile, reprehensible things and Edge said Cena could never do those things. Cena said he’ll leave “you two” with some alone time. Cena left as the camera panned over to show the Lead Investigator walking up to Edge, which likely means an interview about what happened to Mr. McMahon.

Analysis: The idea behind that was that Edge said he was capable of vicious things as an investigator was there to overhear things, so Edge immediately regretted what he said.

They showed highlights of Tony Garea and Rick Martel as former Tag Team Champions. They were shown at ringside. They were two-time champions. Garea worked backstage in WWE for a long time.

Deuce and Domino entered as the WWE Tag Team Champions on the Smackdown brand along with the lovely Cherry on roller skates as their manager. Deuce said that it stinks like a couple of has-beens. Domino said that this is unbelievable as he pointed out Tony and Rick at ringside. Domino joked saying he didn’t realize they were still alive. Domino said he was used to seeing them in black and white. Domino told them to put some glasses on to see some real tag team champions.

Analysis: That was some lame trash talk to get some heat.

This was an Open Challenge, so the partners were two WWE Hall of Famers: Sergeant Slaughter and “Superfly” Jimmy Snuka. They got decent reactions, but nothing special.

WWE Tag Team Championships: Deuce and Domino (w/Cherry) vs. Sergeant Slaughter and “Superfly” Jimmy Snuka

Pre-match notes: Deuce and Domino were the WWE Tag Team Champions on the Smackdown brand. Sarge and Snuka were babyface legends. Since I like to point out ages of the old guys on these shows, Sarge was 58 years old here while Snuka was 64 years old. Snuka died in 2017 at the age 73. The interesting thing about this is that Deuce was Snuka’s son, but that wasn’t acknowledged on television at this point in Deuce’s career.

This better be short. Snuka and Domino screwed up a leapfrog spot right away and then Snuka took over with a headbutt as well as a chop. Slaughter with a gutbuster knee to the ribs. Slaughter sent Domino into the turnbuckle followed by a back body drop. Slaughter slapped on the Cobra Clutch, but Domino managed to get to the top rope to break. Slaughter with a back elbow followed by a short arm clothesline. Domino backed his way to his corner, Deuce tagged in and punched Slaughter. Domino was back in with a punch to the ribs of Slaughter. Deuce with an elbow drop. Deuce took way too long to get to the top rope, he stared at his father Snuka and jumped off the top with nothing because Slaughter moved. Snuka tagged in against his son with punches, a headbutt and a leaping punch to the face. Domino broke up the pin, so Slaughter dumped Domino out of the ring. Snuka with a backbreaker on Deuce. Snuka went up top, the fans cheered, Slaughter prevented Domino from going back in the ring and Snuka hit a cross body block on Deuce, who was back on his feet, and Deuce rolled over to cover his father for the pinfall win at 6:34.

Winners by pinfall: Deuce and Domino

Analysis: DUD This sucked. I won’t go to negative stars because at least the ending was decent, but it was painful to watch. The crowd was dead for most of the match. Deuce and Domino could have good matches with the right opponents, but these older guys were absolutely the wrong the opponents to have a good match with.

Post match, Deuce and Domino punched Slaughter and Snuka. Garea and Martel went into the ring, they moved very well as they threw punches and the champs left. Superfly’s music played to end it as the four legends celebrated in the ring. The punches by Martel and Garea looked great on the replays.

The video package aired for Edge defending the World Heavyweight Championship against Batista for the third straight pay-per-view. It showed highlights of Edge’s narrow wins over Batista at Judgment Day with a rollup and then in a Steel Cage Match at One Night Stand. This was a Last Chance match for the World Title meaning that if Batista loses then he doesn’t get another shot at the title as long as Edge was the champion.

Analysis: It was a bit weird that they would go from a regular match at Judgment Day, a Steel Cage match at One Night Stand and then back to a regular match again. I know it had a “Last Chance” stipulation to make it feel different.

The legendary Harley Race was shown at ringside. Race was a 6-time World Champion and one of the greatest NWA World Champions of all time.

Edge entered first as the World Heavyweight Champion. I will always say it is one of the greatest entrances in wrestling history in terms of the song and the pyro display that he has. Edge taunted Race as if to say he was the best champion. Batista also had a cool entrance with a big pyro display and the fans loved the guy for a long time. Batista hugged the legendary Harley Race at ringside and Harley raised Batista’s hand.

World Heavyweight Championship (Last Chance): Edge vs. Batista

Pre-match notes: Edge was the heel World Heavyweight Champion on Smackdown while Batista was a top face on Smackdown. This was Batista’s “Last Chance” to challenge Edge for the title because if Batista lost then he can’t challenge again while Edge is the champion.

Batista was aggressive with shoulder tackles early in the match followed by an armbar on the left arm. Batista sent the left arm of Edge into the turnbuckle and Batista hit a sidewalk slam for two. Batista charged, Edge pulled down the top rope and Batista went flying over the top to the floor. Edge tried an attack on the floor, Batista caught him and sent Edge into the ring apron. Edge shoved Batista into the ring post as JBL said that if Batista is counted out then Edge retains the championship. Remember that point. With Batista on the apron, Edge rammed him left shoulder into the ring post. Edge with a baseball slide dropkick that sent Batista into the barricade. Back in the ring, Edge with an armbar on the left arm. Batista charged, Edge moved and Batista went shoulder first into the ring post again. Edge rammed the left arm of Batista into the ring post. Batista came back with punches, Edge tripped him with a drop toe hold and grabbed an armbar again. Batista got back up and hit a Samoan Drop partially, but Edge continued to hold onto the arms of Batista. Batista came back with a forearm and he sent Edge into the turnbuckle, but Edge hit a boot to the face to stun Batista. Edge drove Batista’s left arm across the top rope. Batista came back with a running clothesline as both guys were down in the ring for a seven count. Batista with a back body drop, a corner clothesline, Edge with a back elbow, but then Batista hit a Bossman Slam for a two count. The fans were getting into the match. Batista teased a Batista Bomb, Edge slipped out of it and hit an Impaler DDT for a two count. The fans were screaming now as they really got into it. Edge tried grabbing the World Title, referee Jimmy Korderas stopped it and Batista got a rollup for two and Edge got a rollup for two. Edge slipped out of a powerslam attempt leading into an Edgeomatic neckbreaker. Edge set up in the corner, he charged, but Batista came back with a Spear of his own. The fans were very excited about that. Batista went for a Powerbomb, so Edge did a blatant low blow. JBL said it was brilliant while Cole said it was ridiculous. Batista was announced as the winner by disqualification. Edge was smiling about it.

The Smackdown General Manager Teddy Long showed up saying that Edge may the champion by disqualification, but Teddy ordered Edge back into the ring because Teddy has restarted the match. Teddy said if Edge is disqualified again then he will lose the World Heavyweight Title.

The match restarted with Edge punching Batista’s back repeatedly, then Batista turned around and Edge hit a Spear for a two count. Edge was shocked by that while the fans were cheering loudly. Edge grabbed a chair, but then left it out of the ring. Back in the ring, Batista with an inside cradle for two. Edge avoided a Batista Bomb, Batista with a clothesline that sent Edge over the top to the floor and Batista followed Edge out of the ring. Edge whipped Batista into the steel steps. Edge charged while on the floor, Batista blocked his charge with a kick to the face and Batista hit a Batista Bomb on the floor. The referee was continuing to count, Batista sent Edge into the ring and Batista failed to get back in before the ten count. Edge won by countout at 16:50.

Winner by countout: Edge

Analysis: ***1/2 It was very good like their other matches, but they didn’t have a great match on PPV during this run of three straight PPVs. They did a nice job of doing false finishes a few times, which led to the crowd getting into the match a lot. The finish is one of those cheap endings that WWE loves to do to keep a guy strong even in defeat. It also made Batista look like dumb because he was so slow in terms of getting back in the ring.

Post match, Batista was furious with Korderas about the countout as Batista yelled that it was his “Last Chance” at the World Title. Batista grabbed Edge and gave him a Batista Bomb. Batista was frustrated about the loss at ringside. JBL called Batista a sore loser while the replays showed that the referee made the right call with the contour.

Analysis: This would be Edge’s last PPV title defense of the year. The injury bug that was all over WWE in 2007 got to Edge as well because he suffered a torn pectoral muscle a few weeks after this and needed surgery. Edge was out of action for about five months after that.

They showed a clip of Fabulous Moolah beating Wendi Richter for the Women’s Title in November 1985 with Moolah dressed as the Spider Lady. I doubt it was a good match.

Melina made her entrance with the Women’s Championship. The title wasn’t defended at the two PPVs before this. Candice Michelle got a decent pop for her entrance.

Women’s Championship: Melina vs. Candice Michelle

Pre-match notes: Melina was the heel Women’s Champion while Candice was the babyface challenger. Candice had a few wins over Melina in some previous matches, so she went into this with a lot of momentum. Melina was the champion for about four months aside from an accidental title loss where she lost the title and won it back in the same night.

Melina with a knee to the face, Michelle came back with a whip into the turnbuckle and Michelle tried a move against the ropes. Melina kicked Michelle out of the ring. Melina with a kick to the lower back for two. Melina with a headbutt to Candice’s head. Melina with a running double knee attack on Michelle against the ropes. Michelle came back with a rollup sitting on top of Melina for a two count. Melina ended up putting her knees into Michelle’s back and Candice was able to get a nearfall. Melina charged in, Michelle ducked and Melina bumped over the top to the floor. Michelle with a neckbreaker across the top rope. Michelle with a powerslam followed by her Go Daddy spin dance, which woke up a dead crowd and Candice hit an elbow drop for two. Michelle bounced off the ropes and hit a bulldog for two. Melina with fingers to the eye and a neckbreaker for a two count. Melina sent Candice into the ropes, Candice bounced off and hit a spinning heel kick (sort of) for the pinfall win at 4:07. It was more like a spinning leg attack rather than the heel kick that should have connected better.

Winner by pinfall AND NEW Women’s Champion: Candice Michelle

Analysis: 1/2* Poor match. The fact that they only got four minutes is disappointing because you would think they would get more time for a match with a title change. Nope. It was very short. Part of that is because Candice wasn’t a great worker although she was passable. Melina was the better of the two in the ring. It’s also a case of WWE simply not giving women’s matches a lot of time in this era. There were some sloppy moments, the crowd was dead for a lot of it, but they did like Candice winning, so in the end the fans were happy.

Candice Michelle celebrated with the Women’s Title. Melina was angry about the loss. She was happy and also emotional about winning that title for the first time in her career.

John Bradshaw Layfield was recognized at the announce table as a former WWE Champion since it was time for the WWE Championship match. The fans booed JBL. JBL handed a note to the timekeeper to hand to ring announcer Justin Roberts, who had to read it to the crowd. It was about how JBL left Texas, now he’s a millionaire in New York City, he’s got a radio, he was on Fox News Channel and he was the longest-reigning WWE Champion in nearly 10 years. JBL is not just one of the greatest champions in wrestling history, but also your wrestling God.

The video package aired for the main event with Mick Foley, Booker T, John Cena, Randy Orton and Bobby Lashley talking about what it means to be a champion. Cena said it was a situation where anything can happen since four men were coming after his WWE Title.

Bobby Lashley was up first with the fans giving him a decent reaction. Lashley was a former two-time ECW Champion and US Champion. Mick Foley made his entrance to the classic car crash song and he was dressed in Cactus Jack attire. JR noted that Foley’s last time holding the WWE Title was in 1999. King Booker was next as former six-time World Champion (five time WCW Champion, one-time World Champion in WWE) with Sharmell and Booker won a lot of other titles in his career. Randy Orton was next as the youngest man in the match at 27 years old and he is still the youngest World Champion in WWE history when he won the gold at age 24. John Cena was up last as the WWE Champion during his third reign as the champion. Big pop for Cena along with some boos, but it was definitely the loudest reaction of them all.

Analysis: Going into the match, I don’t think anybody really thought that Cena would lose. That hurts it as a main event although doing a five-way match was unique.

Five-Pack Challenge for the WWE Championship: John Cena vs. Mick Foley vs. Booker T (w/Queen Sharmell) vs. Randy Orton vs. Bobby Lashley

Pre-match notes: Cena was the babyface WWE Champion, Foley was a face that was a part-timer, Lashley was a face that was moved to the Raw brand prior to this, Booker was a heel that was moved to Raw and Orton was a heel. Cena won the title in September 2006, so this was about nine months into his title reign.

The rules are that all five men are in the match at the same time. No countouts or disqualifications. The first man to get a pinfall or submission is the WWE Champion.

Booker quickly bailed to the floor after the bell rang. Cena punched Orton, Lashley with a back body drop on Orton, Cena with a bulldog on Orton and Foley hit a Cactus clothesline on Orton over the top to the floor. Cena faced off with Lashley, but Booker hit Cena with a forearm to knock him out of the ring. Lashley with a clothesline on Booker, then Lashley with a body slam and a clothesline over the top to the floor. The four guys were on the floor, so Lashley ran the ropes and hit a cross body block dive over the top onto the four guys outside the ring. That was an impressive leap from Lashley. Back in the ring, Lashley put Booker on his shoulders and hit a backbreaker for two as Cena broke up the pin. Cena faced off with Lashley again, which led to Lashley hitting a spinebuster. Lashley sent Cena face first into the steel steps. Lashley cleared off the ECW announce table at ringside, but then Orton showed up with a forearm to the face. Foley went after Orton with a running clothesline. Booker T with a running forearm on Booker. Foley sent Booker into the barricade, but then Booker whipped Foley knee first into the steel steps. That’s a bump that Foley did many times in his career. Orton with a backbreaker on Lashley on the floor. Lashley blocked an RKO attempt by Orton, but then Cena grabbed Lashley and Cena gave Lashley an FU through the announce table. Great sequence there with Lashley taking a big bump.

Booker went after Cena with punches followed by a heel kick to the head for two. Booker with knee lifts to Cena, then a hard whip into the turnbuckle and Cena fought back with punches. Booker came back with a kick to the gut followed by a Scissors Kick for two as Orton broke up the pin. Cena got back up with a shoulder tackle to Orton, Cena with a shoulder tackle to Booker and a spinning slam. Cena did the “you can’t see me” hand gesture, bounced off the ropes and Orton hit an RKO outta nowhere! That was awesome. It only got a two count because Foley broke up the pin. Foley worked over Orton with the corner punches followed by a running knee to the face against the turnbuckle, which was a common Foley move. Foley with a Double Arm DDT and then Foley brought out Mr. Socko from under his shirt. Booker got back up with a superkick to knock Foley out of the ring. Orton and Booker hit a double clothesline to knock eachother down. Foley threw Socko into the crowd and Foley brought a chair into the ring. Foley charged, Booker ducked and Foley hit Lashley in the head with the chair to knock Lashley off the apron to the floor. Foley hit Booker with the chair as well. Foley with a chair to Cena, who definitely got the hands up to block it a bit. Orton got back in the ring to knock down Foley with a punch to the back. Orton ran at Foley with The Punt to the face. Lashley back in with a Spear on Orton, Booker with a jumping side kick on Lashley out of the ring. Cena with a neckbreaker on Booker on the ropes. Cena picked up Foley and Cena hit the FU for the pinfall win at 10:08.

Winner by pinfall: John Cena

Analysis: ***1/2 This was like a sprint as a WWE Title match because it was barely over ten minutes and it had a lot of action. I enjoyed it, but also wish it went a bit longer because they were on their way to having a great match and then it ended. Lashley was booked as a dominant wrestler for most of the match, then he was put through a table and still nearly got the win. I thought the best spot was Cena bouncing off the ropes right into a perfectly timed RKO by Orton. That was really cool. Cena found a way to win as he usually did and it’s not a shock that Foley was the guy that got pinned because he was a part timer while the others were regulars on the Raw brand.

Post match, Cena celebrated with the WWE Title as JR pointed out that Cena only had a 20% chance of retaining. The crowd was happy about it, but they also showed some adult male fans that looked frustrated that they saw another Cena win. They showed replays of all the big spots in the match.

John Cena’s celebration continued and that was the end of the show.

Analysis: Cena would go on to defend the WWE Title against Bobby Lashley at the next PPV, Great American Bash. I remember it being pretty good, so I look forward to checking it out again.

This event had a run time of 2:39:11 on WWE Network.

 

FINAL THOUGHTS

Show Rating (out of 10): 6

This show was okay, but there wasn’t anything that really stood out about it. There were eight matches where titles were defended and only one title change, so that’s disappointing in the sense that when you promote a show as Night of Champions, you would think there would be a few more title changes. Obviously there’s a dark cloud that hangs over this show because of the horrific Chris Benoit situation, so it’s understandable if people don’t remember much about it.

The 5-way match for the WWE Title was fun to watch because it was very fast paced although it was short for a PPV main event at just over ten minutes. I liked the Edge vs. Batista match that had a creative ending. There were also some awful matches on this show, which brings down the rating for it. It’s a decent show to watch if you’ve never seen it. I just don’t think there’s much here that I would call memorable or something you need to go out of your way to see.

Best Match: John Cena vs. Mick Foley vs. Booker T (w/Queen Sharmell) vs. Randy Orton vs. Bobby Lashley (***1/2 out of 5) – Two matches tied with that rating.

Worst Match: Deuce & Domino vs. Sgt. Slaughter & Jimmy Snuka (DUD)

 

Five Stars of the Night

  1. John Cena
  2. Edge
  3. Randy Orton
  4. Batista
  5. MVP

 

Here are my rankings for the WWE PPVs in 2007 so far with ratings out of 10 and links for each:

Backlash (April 29) – 8.25

WrestleMania 23 (April 1) – 7.5

Royal Rumble (Jan. 28) – 7

One Night Stand – Extreme Rules (June 3) – 6.5

New Year’s Revolution (Jan. 7) – 6.5

Vengeance – Night of Champions (June 24) – 6

No Way Out (Feb. 18) – 6

Judgment Day (May 20) – 5.5

 

Next up: The Great American Bash 2007.

Thanks for reading.

John Canton – [email protected]

Twitter @johnreport

Check out my other retro WWE PPV reviews here as well.