Brett Mix’s- WWE “Vengeance 2002” Review:
“As for signing a Contract for Raw, or Smackdown!…..I could look at you Bischoff and say Screw You…and you won’t like it. Or I could look at you Stephanie and say Screw You…and well…….. I know she likes it.” -Triple H
-WWE Vengeance 2002 took place Live on PPv, Sunday Night, July the 21st 2002 from the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Michigan in front of 12,000 fans.
-Both Raw and SD! brands competed at the event making the card stacked.
-This was the 2nd Annual Vengeance event (and first under the WWE name) but the first one to take place in July as the first Vengeance was just 7 months prior.
-This Show marked John Cena’s debut PPV match.
-Torrie Wilson and Dawn Marie hosted the show from WWF New York.
-Micheal Cole and Tazz did the first half of the show while Jerry Lawler and Jim Ross did commentary for the second half. (They still didn’t know how they were going to use the broadcasters for what matches as the brand-split was fairly new at this point)
-During this event there was a segment between Stephanie McMahon and Eric Bischoff trying to get Triple H to sign on both of their shows, Raw and Smackdown! HHH’s Friend HBK tried to get him to come to the Raw brand. This would later lead to a storyline of the re-formation of DX or so HBK thought.
-Before the pay-per-view aired, Goldust defeated Steven Richards at 3:49 on Sunday Night Heat.
-Now onto the PPV……………
1) Opening Contest- The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray Dudley and Spike Dudley) vs Eddie Guerrero and Chris Benoit in an Elimination Table’s match
Eddie and Benoit tagging in a PPV OPENER, wow!
But they are taking on the Dudleyz in their game, D-Von had his stupid gimmick on Smackdown! with Batista so Bubba and Spike were the new Dudleyz during this time period.
The name of the game here is to put your opponent through a table.
How many times has that DUDLEY pyro and theme gone off to begin a PPV.
Benoit gets the pop of the match easly despite him having recently turned heel. Benoit was out of action for over a year so the fans were excited to see him back. I think this was his first PPV back and he would of been fuedng with Austn had he not been gone.
After all that’s who Chris attacked when he turned heel on Raw in 02 from Edmonton.
Benoit on Spike with a back breaker and sent Spike to the buckle, Eddie Guerrero held him there while Benoit left a large chop.
Spike with an arm-drag and tag into Bubba, a drop toe-hold and then Eddie Guerrero tagged in and takes it to Bubba.
Eddie Guerrero isolting Bubba and double-teaming Bubba Ray off the ropes. Benoit tagged in and suplexed Bubba and a tag to Eddie Guerrero and he hit a snapmare and a face-rake.
Cole and Tazz wisely point out why both teams are not going for pinfalls because you have to put your opponent through a table to win. Benoit drives his elbow into Bubba then hit a suplex.
Eddie Guerrero and Benoit both made their WWF debut’s here on Raw in 2000 at the Joe in Detroit.
Eddie Guerrero tagged in and stomped on Bubbaa and he’s trash-talked by Eddie. Guerrero vicious on bubba and now choking the neck mean-while Benoit stomps.
Benoit and Eddie Guerrero make an incredibally smart tag team.
Benoit in now and both heels cut off the ring, what a great team does to isolate Bubba Ray and Spike was on the apron awaiting a hot-tag.
Eddie Guerrero kicking from the outside apron and Benoit sends Bubba into the turnbuckle.
Benoit tells Eddie to get the table.
Why can’t white guy ever get the tables? Just curious.
Eddie sets the table up in front of the broadcast tables and Spie takes down Eddie Guerrero but missed the table. Benoit slammed Bubba down as Bubba was their bitch pretty much, but Benoit sends Spike Dudley into the steps.
Now Eddie Guerrero on the outside beating on Spike.
Eddie sends Benoit a table in the ring. Eddie Guerrero pounding on Bubba to wear him down consistently.
Eddie Guerrero and Benoit hit a double Superplex to Bubba off the top going for a double Superplex and they hit it however Spike removed the table. Spike is in a world of hell now as Benoit and Eddie stomp on him and as Spike is thrown Bubba saved him flying to the floor.
Bubba back in and takes it to Benoit a drop, side supex, a back-drop to Eddie and then Eddie Guerrero walks the top rope and Bubba Ray with an arm-ringer launch.
Spike off the top drops his feet onto the chest of Benoit.
Bubba with a big elbos to Eddie Guerrero and Spike off the top going for What’s Up as Bubba held Benot and they hit it. Bubba asked Spike for the table.
Benoit gets Spike in a Crossface and he taps, however that does not elinate him. Bubba drops Eddie and then Benoit and sets up a table in the corner.
Bubba tried to throw Benoit through the table a splash from the buckle and Eddie Guerrero trying to save the moment is pushed off by Bubba meanwhile Benoit moves and Bubba Ray crashes through himself.
It doesen’t count because it wasn’t offensve.
Benoit and Eddie went for Spike but he ducks and Benoit collided with Eddie over the top to the outside.
Now back the apron Eddie Guerrero is eliminated as Spike eliminated Eddie with the Dudley Dog, but Spike might of taken himself out.
Rabid Wolvering looks to take advantage.
Back in the ring he press slammed Spike over his head and launched him over the head through the table and Benoit eliminated Spike.
Benoit turned around and Bubba Ray being as resilient came back in the match and Bubba Bombed Benoit through a table winning the match 2-1.
So in the end at 14:59 the Dudleyz got the victory as Bubba and Spike put away two deceased legends in Eddie and Benoit in a match that is more their style.
This match was such a wicked opener.
2) Jamie Noble (c) (with Nidia) vs Billy Kidman for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship
After an extremely quick 15 minute, action-packed opener we get another quick, fast and highly commpacted aerial offensive match here for the Cruiserweight title.
Gotta love it.
Quick moves to begin Kidman with all kinds of counters on Jamie Noble who is out-wrestled and needs a time-out on the outside with Nidia.
Jamie Noble hit a snapmare but is leapfrogged and Kidman hit a hurricanrana. Kidman to the corner went Noble to the apron and then Kidman with a leg-drop to the back of the neck of Noble.
Jamie Noble throws Nidia into Kidman Randy Savage style with Liz and then Jamie Noble ends up ddt’ing Kidman on the floor and drives his shoulder into the ring post.
Good stuff to begin.
Jamie Noble back in the ring going right for the shoulder focusing on it with a Nortern Light’s Suplex. The knee of Noble into the shoulder region of Billy Kidman as Tazz points out.
Noble in control sliding Kidman out of the ring but Billy comes back in the match with high risk moves with one good arm and then Kidman drops Jamie Noble with a high offensive move.
Jamie Noble then out of no where plants Kidman’s shoulder to the mat.
Fans are dead which I don’t feel is fair but they never really got “it” in the WWE, that’s why guys like Mysterio went against upper-stars like Guerrero for instance.
Kidman keeps fighting back, an enziguri to the kidneys but he tried for the head.
Noble then scouted the shooting star press and Kidman with a double leg-hook off the top powerbomb to Noble off the top.
Jamie Noble reverse elbowed in the corner and now he can’t ht a swinging ddt. Kidman with guts goes for a shooting star press and misses hurting the shoulder.
Jamie Noble then rolls up Kidman and he still kicks out.
Jamie Noble with a shot to the injured shoulder, standing switch, misses the clothesline and hits the tiger bomb.
In the end at 7:34 Noble retained the World’s Cruiserweight title after he hit a tiger bomb to Kidman and his injured shoulder.
This match was excellent.
One of the better Cruiserweight PPV matches the WWE has ever put on.
3) Jeff Hardy (c) vs William Regal for the WWE European Championship
There was a good story told in the last match, lets see if this one does, it has a spot-monkey with a technician so there is potential.
William Regal looking to take back his continent’s main prize. They show the hilarious clip of Regal crying after he lost the European title from Raw two weeks previous.
Two different styles.
Hardy being the unorthadox, aerial risk-taker, dare-devil against the mat-technician in Regal.
Nice blend of styles should be a good solid encounter for this title shortly before it left the WWE in its final year.
Regal sucks chants fill the Joe as Regal takes his anger out on Jeff Hardy early with quick pinning attempts.
The South Paw (god can we have one Regal match they don’t mention that) hits Hardy with a forearm then a shot to the chin.
Hardy kicked back at Regal. Jeff then with quick pinning attempts. Jeff catapolted Regal to the floor a slingshot to the ground.
A drop-kick to the chin and Jeff botches.
Now FINALLY he hits the botched hurricanrana.
Jeff Hardy of course makes up for this by running around the barricade and falling onto his back before Regal could touch him.
A corkscrew moonsault by Jeff to Regal. Now a leg-drop to the abdomen.
Jeff Hardy goes for an early Swanton and Regal with a desperate counter lifting his knees up. Regal with a half nelson suplex into a two count. Jeff Hardy kicks out again.
Jeff Hardy then hit with a back-breaker as Regal kicks at him. Jeff Hardy out of no where rolled up Regal for the win.
Regal bleeding from the mouth cried again.
Not only does he job in four minutes out of no where to Hardy but this gimmick sure did Regal good.
In the end at 4:16 Jeff Hardy retained the title after he rolled up Regal out of no where.
This match was horrible, I felt bad for Regal.
4) John Cena vs Y2J Chris Jericho
Speaking of feeling bad for somebody….
Say what you want about Cena and how he looked to be such a promising young star and ultimately WAS whether people like him or not.
This was before his rapping gimmick as well.
But does Jericho REALLY need job to this rookie who had been in the company under a few months ON PPV no less in under 6 and a half minutes.
This is the same Jericho who defeated Austin and The Rock to become the first ever Undisputed Champ just months before this.
It killed his push if the build to his match with HHH at Wrestlemania X8 already didn’t.
Either way lets get to the match.
It is absolutely hilarious watching Cena come to the ring with default music and no gimmick and no crowd reaction.
Jericho brings a chair and Cena hits Chris Jericho in the back with it before making his PPV debut.
Cena makes his PPV debut now.
And to quote 1999’s Best Picture American Beauty….”It’s all down-hill from here………”
Hung up on the top rope was Cena as Jericho got back in the match kicking the rookie in the head and trash-talking him. Y2J with a shot to the back of Cena with his knee and now he exposes the turnbuckle up top.
Jericho hits a spinning heel kick to Cena. Cena fights back and hits a Superplex off the top onto Jericho.
Fans kind of start to lose interest in the match.
Jericho with a missile dropkick to Cena launched in the air as he was hit in the gut.
Cena caught Jericho and catapolted him on top but Cena came back and dropped on Jericho with a nearfall.
Jericho missed a Lionsault and then an Oklahoma Roll he still can’t put Cena away.
Jericho mad he can’t put the official away.
Y2J hits a Lionsault and said he was going to tap to the Walls but Cena rolled him up and upset Jericho.
In the end at 6:21 Cena won his PPV debut.
I remember even at the time I saw this show Live I shook my head at Cena beating Jericho here.
This match was tv quality but did its job, and of course I will deduct near a star because of who won.
5) Rob Van Dam (c) vs Brock Lesnar (with Paul Heyman) for the WWE InterContinental Championship
Brock Lesnar, The Dominant force, the next big thing, the King of the Ring winner had destroyed everything in his path.
Regardless if he won here or not he’d face the Undisputed Champ in the main event of Summerslam next month.
RVD knew that.
A re-match here of the KOTR 02 finals.
Very physical bout here, the third title match of 5 on the night.
Rob Van Dam comes out in his home-state. Fans chant his name while Lesnar taunts him to intimidate him to begin.
A standing fireman’s carry take-over flips RVD on his ass on the mat. Lesnar then corners RVD and the two exchange forearm shots and then RVD uses his high leg shot offense.
The resourceful Van Dam lands on his feet and then hits a drop toe-hold to Brock and he drops to the middle buckle and looks as mad as he did in his first fight with Mir.
Lesnar spears RVD and smiles to Agent Heyman on the outside.
RVD then kicks at Lesnar’s legs tryng to take the giant off his vertical base.
The scary strength of Lesnar throws RVD to the corner.
Brock goes for a clothesline on RVD but he back-drops him to the floor.
RVD catches RVD in mid-air when he tries a moonsault and the guy literally splats Van Dam’s back on the mat.
I remember I had a ticket to a House Show two weeks after this event and had never seen RVD live. I remember being worried I wouldn’t get to see RVD after that move.
THAT’S how much impact it had. But RVD did show and had a great match with one…oh what’s his name….Chris Benoit…or something….
Brock with Van Dam high in the air, he drops him.
Lesnar now wth a belly to belly suplex back in the ring.
Lesnar begins to disect the lower back of Van Dam and controls the pace. RVD then comes back with a heel kick blocking a kick to Brock.
RVD with a stiff kick to Lesnar’s head.
Rob Van Dam with clubbing forearm’s to Brock.
Lesnar is shot outside of the ring by Lesnar and it takes place over the ropes.
Brock then spears RVD’s lower-back and kidneys to focus on the lower-back of RVD.
Rob Van Dam down on the floor and looks done for.
Fans in Detroit chant RVD and Lesnar comes back in the ring.
The fans are actually into this match, outside the opener the only one they have been into all night. And why not, both these guys in their rookie years and both absolutely extraordinary.
Lesnar like the beast he is drives RVD’s spine into the turnbuckle.
Brock slaps on the abdominal stretch.
RVD somehow hits a back-flip then a dropkick but still remembers to sell the back so I can accept it.
And RVD with a leg-drop to Brock on the neck over the top.
RVD flies off the top with a high kick to Lesnar and then hit the rolling thunder. Brock kicks out.
Heyman cries out don’t lose.
RVD with a knock-out shot to Brock goes upstairs but Lesnar picks him up going for the F-5.
Rob Van Dam countered into the ddt.
RVD goes for the Flying 5 star frog splash.
Heyman pulls the ooffical out of the ring and the ref rings the bell. RVD with a baseball slide to Heyman and then Robinson who recently lost his wife to cancer around this time pounds on Heyman.
RVD flies off the top with an incredible moonsault to Lesnar while holding his back.
The match here is breath-taking and the booking was smart with how it ended keeping both men looking strong.
In the end at 9:38 RVD defeated Brock Lesnar by disqualification so he kept the title but Brock was never officially defeated so as said keeping him looking strong. Van Dam took a huge beating here.
This match was absolutely breath-taking and on a night that had many, this was probably the 2nd best of the night.
Lesnar does more damage to RVD with an F-5 to a Steel Chair after the bout.
6) Booker T vs The Big Show in a NO DQ match
THIS was the first match Bischoff put together.
Were they intentionally out to get him?
Show with the regular dominant Giant like tactics to begin followed by a loud chop in the corner.
Booker on the outside was going to use a chair on him and he used his fist to block it.
The Big Show removed the steps and shot Booker into the ring-post.
Ross points out The Big Show won the WWE title for the first time in this very building at Survivor Series 99 the night Austin was run down.
That SURE was a memorable reign….
T to kind of stay alive on the outside drove a monitor into the head of Show.
This match is NO DQ to explain why they’ve been outside of the ring the whole match essentially.
Booker with a HUGE scissors kick to Show through a table.
Another kick in the ring and the Houston hang-over.
In the end at 6:12 Houston Texas’s Booker T defeated Show after those kicks were a bit much for The Big Show.
This match was okay for what it was.
7) Hollywood Hulk Hogan and Edge (c) vs The Un-American’s (Lance Storm and Christian)
Edge and his hero growing up Hulk Hogan became Champs on the July 4th Episode of SD so Hogan was extremely patriotic and while Edge is Canadian he played along.
Here they go up against the America haters of course.
Hogan and Christian tie-up to begin as the bell rings.
Hogan’s power sends Christian to the floor.
This is Edge’s eigth tag team title reign. I don’t even want to count how many belts the guy has gotten in his career as a whole.
Un-American’s isolate Hogan but he gets right up and clotheslines then and then slams their heads together.
Edge with a face-plant to Storm reminding me of their great opener from Summerslam 01. Edge up high on Storm on the buckle unloading right’s untl Christian takes him off the top.
Now Storm takes hi down. Christian tagged in and takes it to his “brother” who later became known as his “best friend” when Edge retired in 2011.
Christian with a sleeper on Edge, fans chanted for Hogan.
A hot tag already?
Christian hits a back-breaker to Edge.
This was the same city Hogan slammed and defeated the Giant at Mania 3, nicely pointed out by Ross.
Hogan catches Christian with a high big boot to the face, fans love it.
Hollywood Hulk Hogan now drops the boot and doesen’t get the three because Storm interupts the count. Christian slides Hollywood back into the ring after some outside work.
Storm speared Hogan in the corner.
Hogan eventually got the hot-tag to Edge building moentum with a back-body drop to Storm then to Christian.
Edge irish-whipped Storm and then speared him in the corner.
Now Edge with an explosive spear to Christian in the opposite corner.
Christian broke up Edge’s cover on Storm. Hogan on Christian on the outside.
Edge went for a spear on Storm and hit the official.
Storm went for a thrust kick and Edge hit the Edge-a-cution and then the late Test coes out and boots Edge to the head. Edge covered by Storm and Edge kicked out and Test can`t believe it.
Rikishi comes out and takes Test to the back up the ramp. (When the HELL did they feud)
Jericho then hts Edge in the face with a title belt and the WWE goes Canada crazy.
New Hart Foundation perhaps.
In the end at the 10 minute mark, Storm and Christian- the UN-American’s pcked up the victory becoming the NEW Tag Team Champion’s (first title switch of the night) after
This was done quite well.
Any match with Hogan and Edge going against anybody but Billy and Chuck is a refreshing match for this fan.
8 ) Main Event- The Undertaker (c) vs Kurt Angle vs The Rock in a Triple Threat Match for the Undisputed WWE Championship
Now this main event here of Vengeance 02 is widely considered by many experts as one of the best Triple threat matches of all time, up there with both Benot-Shawn-HHH matches at Mania XX and Backlash 04 and the like.
These three went at it without any dull moments, hitting the other guy’s finisher on him just made it all the more enjoyable to watch.
Taker won the title at Judgment Day 02 from Hogan and he looked to defend it against Brock at Summerslam 02 if he won.
Angle had a Brock-Angle amateur showdown, while Rock had a Rock-Brock idea going through his mind. Who would be right?
So here we go!
The great-one had the chance at this show to be the only man to be a 7 time WWE Champion in history.
God how times have changed a decade later.
As I`m writing this I still can`t believe this show was a decade ago.
Rock and The Undertaker begin by stomping on Angle and sending him to the floor.
The Old Deadman puts Rock in the corner and lays him out with a high elbow shot.
Rock comes back and slams The Undertaker head-first to the canvas. Rocky then sling-shots The Undertaker to the ropes into Angle and both men fall to the floor.
Angle irish-whips The Undertaker into the steps while Rocky swings Angle into the ring but once inside hit Rocky with a belly to belly suplex to The Rock. Kurt Angle chokes out Rock with his boot in the corner.
Angle with a hard chop to Rock in the corner and Rocky reverses the tide until ending up in another belly to belly.
Mo-Town chants Angle sucks but it doesen`t phase him as they continue the chant and he hits another belly to belly suplex.
This time Rocky kicks out and reverses Angle`s offense into a ddt.
Rock on the outside slammed Angle head-first into the steps but Angle drove Rock into the barricade after. Angle runs into a clothesline from The Undertaker.
The Undertaker then sees Rock down and Angle down and smiles.
The Undertaker grabs Rocky and levels him with a knee to the gut on the outside against the barricade.
The Undertaker in the ring back with Rocky lays slow shots on Rock`s head and The Rock fights back but The Undertaker hits a flying clothesline and got a two. The Undertaker knocs Angle off the apron.
The Rock then hit a chokeslam on The Undertaker.
This would be the start of the more memorable sequences of the match where one man used the other`s move.
Angle back in the ring with vicious hands finding their mark on Rock.
Now Rock uses Angle`s Ankle lock until Angle reverses it until Angle hits a Rock Bottom. The Undertaker with a leg-drop onto Angle then elbows hi in the corner.
Angle goes for an Angle Slam and then Undertaker with the Angle-Olympic Slam until Rock broke it up.
Rock off the ropes hit into a reverse elbow.
Rock with a shot to Taker then tosses Angle to the outside. Rock then goes for the People`s elbow.
He hits it on The Undertaker but Angle dropped Rock sternum first on the table. Angle covered The Undertaker in the ring and he got a two.
Angle with right`s to the Deadman in the corner.
The Undertaker with a Stinger Splash to Angle in the corner.
Typical reversal of an irish-whip to the corner with the guy moving avoiding the spear and this time it`s Angle running shoulder first into the post.
The Undertaker with a beat-down to Angle on the outside into the post.
Rock is back in the match spits out water on Taker.
Rock after spitting out the People`s H20 On the Bad Ass got slammed face-first on the announce table.
The Undertaker launched Old-School on Kurt but Rock breaks it up. Rock then lays right`s then taunts the motorcycle by going to clothesline him over the top rope but The Undertaker hits a ddt. Rock barely kicks out.
Angle goes for a chokeslam on Rock then Angle comes in with a chair and The Undertaker makes him drop it as both men level him. Rock with a low-blow to the Deadman with a leg-shot. Angle hits Undertaker with a chair-shot.
Angle was busted open and The Undertaker was down. Angle goes to cover Rocky…
What a war.
Angle covers The Undertaker and he got a shoulder up. Angle covers Rock but he refused to kick-out even after the chair-shot to The Undertaker and the Slam to Rocky.
Angle then stalks Rock and as Rock turns around Rock goes for a Sharpshooter to Angle. The Undertaker with a boot to the skull of The Rock. The Undertaker kicks ROck in mid-section and goes for the Last Ride and hits Rocky.
Angle pulls him off and applies the Ankle Lock.
The Undertaker countered out of desperation sending him to the side ropes. The Undertaker attempting the Last Ride and Angle slaps on a triangle choke from the air, the shoulders of Angle were down on the mat but The Undertaker could also tap so it was a unique predicament.
Rock went for a Rock bottom on Angle then he countered it into an Ankle Lock and then a cradle and a two.
The Undertaker hit a chokeslam to Angle and then Rock with a Rock Bottom to The Undertaker and he only got a two.
Everybody kicking out.
Un-real stuff, great match booking, and credit to the three for pulling it off.
Angle with a nearfall on Taker and then the Angle Slam.
Angle takes his straps down and then walks into a Rock Bottom.
In the end at 19:35 The Rock won his 7th WWE title after he got his Rock Bottom on Angle until The Undertaker was a little late to save his belt.
This match was so fast-paced and enthralling the entire time. So many things clicked here making it an attraction to the casual fans, I’ve had non-wrestling fans tell me this match was amazing.
I knew when I saw it live that I had just witnessed something truly special.
A Classic by all means. One of the better triple-threat’s put on by the company.
Final Rating for WWE Vengeance 2002 = 8/10
This show was for the most part, highly enjoyable. Most matches seemed to deliver in a big way if they delivered at all, the only real dull spots were the shorter matches like Jeff-Regal or the Booker T vs Big Show match and even that was pretty decent. The tag match just wasn’t very compelling as Hogan didn’t really entertain me in the 80’s let alone 2000’s, however even THAT was somehow pulled off well. Everything else though, not complaining, A main event classic, a very good in-ring segment and some underrated matches all around.
An underrated show, pick it up. A ton of star-power, A cruiser-weight bout that is underrated and three other matches at four stars or over.