Vengeance 2001 was the first annual Vengeance professional wrestling pay-per-view event produced by the World Wrestling Federation (WWF). It was presented by Lugz and took place on December 9, 2001 at the San Diego Sports Arena in San Diego, California.
The Invasion, which began in June 2001, ended at Survivor Series, the previous event, when Team WWF won a "Winner Takes All" Survivor Series match.The Alliance was forced to close business as a result, and all their titles except for the WCW Championship were abandoned (the remaining championships were unified with WWF championships in matches at Survivor Series and deactivated, and the WCW Cruiserweight Championship would later be revived as a WWF title). On Raw the following night, WWF Owner Vince McMahon attempted to strip Steve Austin, who was a member of The Alliance, of his WWF Championship, and award it to Kurt Angle. At this moment, Ric Flair debuted, and revealed that the owners of The Alliance sold their stock to Flair, making McMahon and Flair co-owners. Flair then prevented McMahon from stripping Austin of his title. McMahon and Flair then agreed to a tournament at Vengeance to unify the remaining WCW Championship (which became unbranded and referred to only as the World Championship) with the WWF Championship. The tournament would feature a match between WWF Champion Austin and Angle, and a match between World Champion The Rock and Chris Jericho. The winners of both matches would then face each other in the final to determine the Undisputed World Heavyweight Champion.
Austin and Angle started a feud over the WWF Championship at the Invasion event, where Team WWF, which Austin and Angle were a part of, faced Team Alliance in a five-on-five tag team match. During the match, Austin turned on Team WWF and hit Angle with a Stone Cold Stunner, allowing Team Alliance to win. On the July 23 episode of Raw Is War, Austin stated that he did this because he felt that Vince McMahon was grooming Angle to take over his spot, and that he was "unappreciated" when McMahon insisted he return to the old Austin. Austin and Angle would then begin a rivalry, with Angle challenging Austin for the WWF Championship at SummerSlam, which Angle won by disqualification, thus Austin retained the title. Angle then won the WWF title in his hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania at Unforgiven, but lost it back to Austin when then-WWF Commissioner William Regal joined The Alliance and cost Angle the match on the October 8 episode of Raw. On the October 29 episode of Raw, Angle successfully defended the WCW United States Championship over William Regal. Angle later joined The Alliance during a WrestleMania X-Seven rematch between Vince McMahon and then-WCW owner Shane McMahon, he interfered seemingly to aid Vince but instead struck the members of team WWF with a steel chair. However, he was later revealed to be a planted mole by Vince McMahon, helping Team WWF defeat Team Alliance at Survivor Series when he helped The Rock last eliminate Austin in the winner take all match.
The feud between The Rock and Jericho, both members of the WWF, began when Jericho grew jealous of The Rock. The Rock kept reminding Jericho that he had never won "the big one" (a World Heavyweight Championship) and wrote Jericho off as a "comedy act." On the October 11 episode of SmackDown!, Jericho defeated Rob Van Dam to become the number one contender to Rock's WCW Championship. At No Mercy he defeated The Rock to win the title, becoming a world champion for the first time in his career. The following night on Raw, Jericho and The Rock put their differences aside and won the WWF Tag Team Championship when they defeated the Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray and D-Von). On the October 29 episode of Raw, Rock and Jericho successfully defended the WWF Tag team titles against then Alliance members, Booker T and Test but a few days later on SmackDown!, they dropped the titles to Booker T and Test after Jericho inadvertently Missile dropkicked The Rock, enabling Test to nail Rock with the big boot for the victory. After the match, The Rock and Jericho stared each other down, which ended with Rock nailing Jericho with two Rock Bottoms. Later on that episode, Rock challenged Jericho for the WCW Championship in a No Mercy rematch. On the November 5 episode of Raw, The Rock defeated Jericho to win the title back with a surprise roll up. Jericho turned on The Rock following the match, brutally assaulting him with the belt and a steel chair. He also attacked The Rock by delivering a Russian legsweep following his elimination in the WWF vs. Alliance winner take all match at Survivor Series the previous month and nearly cost team WWF the match, and the feud between the two continued to escalate in the weeks leading up to Vengeance.
The secondary feud heading into Vengeance was between The Undertaker and Rob Van Dam over the Hardcore Championship. Van Dam won the Hardcore Championship a few months ago at SummerSlam when he defeated Jeff Hardy in a Ladder Match. On the November 26 episode of Raw, Undertaker began a heel turn for his character when he assaulted Jim Ross and forced him to join Vince McMahon's kiss my ass club. Three days later on SmackDown!, McMahon told Van Dam that since he had refused to join him a few times. He would be facing Undertaker at Vengeance. Undertaker who for weeks claimed that he wanted respect attacked Van Dam after his match and Last Ride powerbombed him on a trash can. Undertaker then stated to Van Dam that he had a lot to learn if he wanted to survive in the WWF. On the SmackDown! before Vengeance, Undertaker again attacked Van Dam after his match and mocked him by doing his thumbs pose. Van Dam would get revenge later on that night when he hit Undertaker with a steel chair after his match. During this storyline, Undertaker would cut his hair short and wear bandannas over his head.
Another feud heading into Vengeance would be Jeff Hardy versus Matt Hardy. For the past few months The Hardy Boyz were having dissensions between them with Matt's girlfriend Lita caught in the middle. On the November 29 episode of SmackDown!, Matt attempted to get he and Jeff a shot at the WWF Tag Team Championship in a number one contenders match against Big Show and Kane. During the match, Lita attempted to Hurricanrana Kane but he caught her and put her back on the top rope. Jeff then accidentally knocked Lita from the top rope. When he and Matt went for Poetry in Motion, Kane hit Matt with a chokeslam and pinned him. After the match, Matt blamed Jeff for the loss backstage and Jeff told Matt if he wants a match at Vengeance so bad then he has one against him. The following week, after The Hardyz won their match against Tajiri and Spike Dudley they got into a shoving match. It escalated backstage and Matt accidentally shoved Lita to the ground. When Matt accused Jeff of causing the accident, Jeff stormed out. Matt then told Lita that she should referee the match between the two at Vengeance just to show that she was not on anyone's side.
Before the event went live on pay-per-view, The APA (Bradshaw and Faarooq) defeated Billy and Chuck in a match, taped for Sunday Night Heat. The opening match was a tag team match between Scotty 2 Hotty and Albert, and Christian and Test. Before the match had even started, Scotty and Albert started attacking Christian and Test. Scotty dominated in the beginning but Test soon tagged in. Albert, who was of Test's size, then tagged in. Scotty and Albert double-teamed Test before Christian attacked Scotty. Test and Christian took the opportunity and assaulted Scotty and prevented him from tagging in Albert. Scotty fought them out, however, and tagged in Albert. Albert dominated both of them, and set Christian up for a Baldo Bomb, but Test pulled Albert out of the ring. Scotty hit Christian with a bulldog, and attempted a Worm, but Christian knocked him down. Christian tried to hit the Worm, but Albert stopped him. Test made the save by hitting Albert with a big boot. Scotty hit a bulldog on Test, and hit a Worm. Christian tried to hit Scotty with an Unprettier, but Albert hit Christian with a Baldo Bomb for the victory.
The second match was between Edge and William Regal for Edge's WWF Intercontinental Championship. In the beginning of the match, Edge had the advantage, showing his speed and agility. However, Regal threw Edge out of the ring, and knocked him against the barricade. In the ring, Regal hit Edge with a series of European uppercuts and reversed a sunset flip into a knee drop. Edge fought back and got several near-falls before Regal knocked Edge with a forearm smash but Edge kicked Regal to the outside. On the ring apron, Edge tried to hit Regal, a diving spear on the floor but Regal sidestepped and Edge crashed the ring steel steps. As the referee was distracted, Regal took out a pair of brass knuckles from under the ring and stuffed them into his tights. In the ring, Regal hit Edge with a powerbomb and two double underhook suplexes. Regal then hit Edge with a series of brutal kicks and, when the referee turned around, he took out his brass knuckles. Edge immediately speared Regal to win and retain his title.
The third match was between Matt and Jeff Hardy with Lita as the Special Guest Referee. In the beginning, the two had several reversals until Matt got in control. Jeff sidestepped when Matt attempted a diving leg drop. Jeff hit a falling headbutt and a clothesline. Jeff went on to deliver a diving leg drop of his own. Jeff went to the top rope but Matt trapped him in a Tree of Woe. Matt then applied the sunset flip, which Jeff countered and both men were lying outside the ring. In the ring, Jeff injured his left knee, which Matt would work on. He hit a chop block and a series of moves. He tried a powerbomb, but Jeff countered it into a Compactor Clutch. Matt assaulted Jeff again with a Half Boston Crab. Jeff got to the ropes, breaking the hold, and kicked Matt to the outside. Jeff went to the top, but, because of his hurt knee, he fell down. Matt grabbed Jeff's leg but Jeff hit a mule kick. Matt tried a Twist of Fate, but Jeff countered it into a leg drop. Jeff hit a suplex, and went to the top rope again but, because of his knee, Matt took advantage and clutched him. Matt tried to hit a Twist of Fate but Jeff reversed it into his own. Matt attempted a pinfall on Jeff and used ropes for leverage but Lita ordered him to break it. Jeff went to the top rope again, but Matt caught him, and tried to hit him a Twist of Fate from the top. Jeff forced Matt off and hit a Swanton Bomb. Matt tried to get his feet on the ropes, but Jeff pulled them off, and won the match.
The fourth match was between the Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray and D-Von), and Big Show and Kane for the Dudley Boyz's WWF Tag Team Championship. Kane dominated in the beginning, and tagged in The Big Show. The Big Show also dominated, but as he attempted a chokeslam, Bubba Ray held the ropes and raked the eyes of The Big Show. D-Von tagged in but received a sidewalk slam from The Big Show. The Big Show then hit D-Von with a series of hip attacks. Kane and The Big Show dominated in the ring, knocking the Dudleys out of the ring. Kane went to the top rope and jumped to the outside, knocking out Dudleys. In the ring, Stacy Keibler tried to encourage the Dudleys, but The Big Show snuck up and pulled down her skirt. The Dudleys hit Kane with a double suplex and started working on him. They gave Kane a diving headbutt low blow, and a series of double-team maneuvers. They set him for the Dudley Death Drop but Kane kicked D-Von in the head and hit Bubba Ray with a clothesline. Kane tagged in The Big Show, who tried to chokeslam D-Von but Bubba Ray hit him a chop block. Kane tried to hit D-Von with a flying clothesline but accidentally hit The Big Show. Dudleys fell to the outside while Kane and Show argued in the ring. The Dudleys then hit The Big Show with a Hotshot onto an exposed turnbuckle for the win, retaining their title.
The fifth match was between The Undertaker and Rob Van Dam (RVD) for RVD's WWF Hardcore Championship. Earlier in the match, RVD hit The Undertaker with a top-rope somersault. Undertaker crotched RVD on the top rope and knocked him to the outside. He tried to drive him into the ringpost, but RVD reversed and knocked him into the ringpost instead. RVD attacked The Undertaker with the barricade, and tried to hit a bodypress but The Undertaker punched him. The Undertaker tossed him over a railing and choked RVD on the floor. The Undertaker tried to use a steel chair, but RVD hit him with a fire extinguisher. He hit The Undertaker's head with a trash can, and a flying crossbody. They fought on the stage where RVD hit a somersault leg drop. The Undertaker drove RVD's head on the stage, and attempted a Last Ride, but RVD held onto stage. The Undertaker went backstage and came back with a chair but RVD kicked it. He hit a Rolling Thunder on the stage and a Chair Surf. He tried to hit a Van Daminator but missed, and The Undertaker hit him with the chair. The Undertaker chokeslammed RVD off the stage through a set of tables for the victory, and won his first and only WWF Hardcore Championship.
The sixth match was between Trish Stratus and Jacqueline for Stratus' WWF Women's Championship. Jacqueline wrestled a great match in the beginning while knocking Stratus to the mat several times. Stratus kicked Jacqueline several times but was unable to knock her down. However, Jacqueline knocked Stratus by punching and kicking her on numerous occasions. She slammed Stratus twice and walked on her hair. Stratus however hit her with a clothesline for a near-fall. Jacqueline knocked Stratus down again but Stratus sent her in the corner. Stratus made a pinfall attempt with a victory roll for a near-fall. She tried to hit Jacqueline with the Stratusfaction but Jacqueline shoved her and kicked her for a near-fall. Stratus then hit and pinned her with a bridging backslide to win the match and retain her title.
The seventh match was the first match in the championship unification tournament between Steve Austin and Kurt Angle for Austin's WWF Championship. In the beginning, both men applied holds. Austin then took advantage and pounded Angle. The two had a test of strength and Angle applied the ankle lock. Austin kicked out of the hold, and applied an armlock, followed by an eye rake. He choked Angle in the ropes and attacked in his biceps. Austin threw Angle into the ringpost three times, injuring the left side of Angle's torso. In the ring, Austin used an armbar takedown on Angle's injured left shoulder. Angle then applied the ankle lock on Austin. Austin reached the ropes and Angle broke the hold. Austin followed by knocking Angle's head on the announce table. Angle then wrapped Austin's leg around the ringpost, and applied the ringpost figure four leglock. Back in the ring, Angle applied the ankle lock but Austin rolled through. Angle hit a belly-to-belly suplex, and three German suplexes. Angle missed a moonsault, and Austin took advantage, hitting a Lou Thesz press, and a spinebuster. Austin then hit five German suplexes, but, while in the ropes, Angle hit a low blow, and an Angle Slam. Angle then tried to hit a Stone Cold Stunner, but Austin reversed it into his Stone Cold Stunner to win the match, and retain his title.
The eighth match was the second match of the tournament between Chris Jericho and The Rock for The Rock's World Heavyweight Championship. The two exchanged many holds and reversals in the beginning. Jericho hit a spinning heel kick, and a missile dropkick. Jericho knocked The Rock's head into the steel ring steps, and hit a flying back elbow. The Rock came back with a flying clothesline. Jericho applied a sleeper hold but The Rock fought out of it. Jericho then hit a one-handed bulldog and a Lionsault. Jericho went to the top rope, but The Rock crotched him on the top. The Rock tried a Superplex but Jericho knocked him down, and hit a flying crossbody, but The Rock rolled through. Jericho continued attacking The Rock, but The Rock sent Jericho's head into the ringpost. Jericho fell to the outside where he dropped The Rock onto the barricade, and catapulted him into the ringpost. Jericho then tried to hit a Rock Bottom through the announce table, but The Rock reversed it into a People's DDT through the table. The Rock threw Jericho into the ring and set him for a Rock Bottom, but Jericho countered it into a Breakdown. He set The Rock up for the People's Elbow, but The Rock caught his legs, and applied a Sharpshooter on Jericho. Jericho reversed it into his own Sharpshooter, but The Rock got to the ropes to break the hold. Jericho then applied the Walls of Jericho, but The Rock countered it into a roll-up. The Rock hit a Rock Bottom, as Mr. McMahon came down to ringside. The Rock went for the pinfall but McMahon distracted the referee. The Rock hit McMahon, and hit a Spinebuster on Jericho. He brought McMahon into the ring and hit Jericho with a People's Elbow. The Rock attacked McMahon and, while the referee checked McMahon, Jericho hit a low blow and a Rock Bottom to win the match, and the title.
The main event was the final of the tournament between Austin and Jericho. Right after Jericho defeated The Rock, Austin came out to start the match, but Angle hit Austin with a steel chair, while The Rock hit Jericho with a Rock Bottom, and then chased Angle backstage. The match started, and Austin speared Jericho. The two fought off outside the ring and on the announce table. Jericho took Austin to the top of table where Austin tried to hit a Stone Cold Stunner. Jericho countered it into a Walls of Jericho but Austin flipped him off the table. On the floor, he suplexed Jericho and tossed him into the ring. The two fought out of the ring, and Jericho threw Austin shoulder-first into the ringpost. Jericho wrapped Austin's arm into an armbar, and used the ropes for leverage, but the referee broke the hold. Jericho attempted a flying forearm smash, but Austin ducked, and Jericho hit the referee. Jericho hit a low blow and a Stone Cold Stunner. McMahon came out again and ordered Nick Patrick to referee the match. However, Ric Flair interfered and pulled Patrick out of the ring and attacked him. McMahon knocked Flair into the ringpost. Austin then hit a low blow, and assaulted McMahon. He hit a Lou Thesz press on Jericho and applied the Walls of Jericho. Jericho tapped out but the referee was down. Booker T came out and hit Austin with the WWF Championship belt. The referee recovered and Jericho pinned Austin to win the match, and became the first ever Undisputed Champion in the World Wrestling Federation. The World Championship was unified into the WWF Championship and the two belts collectively represented the title named Undisputed WWF Championship.
Steve Austin lost in a rematch against Chris Jericho for the Undisputed WWF Championship on the December 10 episode of Raw due to interference from Booker T. Austin then briefly feuded with Booker T, which involved the returning Big Bossman Jericho successfully defended his title against different opponents until The Rock earned a match for the Undisputed Championship at Royal Rumble on the January 3 episode of SmackDown!
The feud between Edge and William Regal continued. Regal ambushed Edge several times with brass knuckles before finally challenging Edge to a rematch for the WWF Intercontinental Championship at Royal Rumble, which Edge accepted. On the January 7 episode of Raw, buildup towards the Royal Rumble match started, with Austin, the returning Triple H, Kurt Angle, Kane, The Big Show and The Undertaker all declaring their participation in the match, and starting a feud.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Sunday Night Heat: The Acolyte Protection Agency (Faarooq and Bradshaw) defeated Billy Gunn & Chuck Palumbo (6:20)
- Albert & Scotty 2 Hotty defeated Christian & Test (6:20)
- Edge (c) defeated William Regal to retain the WWE Intercontinental Championship (9:06)
- Jeff Hardy defeated Matt Hardy (with Special guest referee Lita) (12:32)
- The Dudley Boyz (c) (w/ Stacy Keibler) defeated Kane & The Big Show to retain the World Tag Team Championship (6:49)
- The Undertaker defeated Rob Van Dam (c) to win the WWE Hardcore Championship (11:04)
- Trish Stratus (c) defeated Jacqueline to retain the WWE Women's Championship (3:26)
- Steve Austin (c) defeated Kurt Angle to retain the WWE Championship (15:01)
- Chris Jericho defeated The Rock (c) to win the World Heavyweight Championship (19:05)
- Chris Jericho (c) defeated Steve Austin (c) in a title unification match to become the first WWF Undisputed World Champion (12:31)
Other on-screen talent
- Vengeance 2001 Official Website
- Vengeance 2001 at CAGEMATCH.net
- Vengeance 2001 at Online World of Wrestling
- Vengeance 2001 on WWE Network
|2001 • 2002 • 2003 • 2004 • 2005 • 2006 • 2007 • 2011|
|Night of Champions|
|2008 • 2009 • 2010 • 2011 • 2012 • 2013 • 2014 • 2015|
|2001 World Wrestling Federation pay-per-views|
|Royal Rumble • No Way Out • WrestleMania • Backlash • Insurrextion • Judgment Day • King of the Ring • Invasion • SummerSlam • Unforgiven • No Mercy • Rebellion • Survivor Series • Vengeance|
|2002 World Wrestling Entertainment pay-per-views|
|Royal Rumble • No Way Out • WrestleMania • Backlash • Insurrextion • Judgment Day • King of the Ring • Vengeance • SummerSlam • Unforgiven • No Mercy • Rebellion • Survivor Series • Armageddon|