Vengeance 2005 was a professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) event produced by World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), which took place on June 26, 2005 at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. It was the fifth annual Vengeance event. Professional wrestling is a type of sports entertainment in which theatrical events are combined with a competitive sport. The buildup to the matches and the scenarios that took place before, during, and after the event were planned by WWE's script writers. The event starred wrestlers from the Raw brand: storyline expansions of the promotion where employees are assigned to wrestling brands under the WWE banner.
The main event was a Hell in a Cell match for the World Heavyweight Championship between Batista and Triple H, which Batista won by pinfall after executing a Batista Bomb. One of the predominant matches on the card was John Cena versus Chris Jericho versus Christian in a Triple Threat match for the WWE Championship. Cena won the match and retained the title after pinning Christian. Another primary match on the undercard was Kurt Angle versus Shawn Michaels in a rematch of their bout at WrestleMania 21. Michaels won the match by pinfall after executing Sweet Chin Music.
Many of the existing feuds were settled following the event. Notably, Batista was drafted to the SmackDown! brand, thus ending his feud with Triple H. The feud between Kane and Edge also concluded after the event, as Edge entered an angle with Matt Hardy. The feud between Cena and Jericho, however, continued and led to a match at SummerSlam, which Cena won.
The event featured six professional wrestling matches that involved different wrestlers from pre-existing scripted feuds, plots and storylines. Wrestlers portrayed either a villainous or fan favorite gimmick as they followed a series of events which generally built tension, leading to a wrestling match. The name of a wrestler's character was not always the person's birth name, as wrestlers often use a stage name to portray their character. All wrestlers were from the Raw brand – a storyline division in which WWE assigned its employees to a different program, the other being SmackDown!.
The main feud heading into Vengeance was between Batista and Triple H, with the two battling over the World Heavyweight Championship. After Batista defeated Triple H at WrestleMania 21, they continued to fight over the World title at the next Raw pay-per-view, Backlash, which saw Batista retain the title. Following Backlash, a series of Gold Rush Tournament matches to determine a number one contender to face Batista for the World title took place with Kane, Shawn Michaels, Edge, and Chris Benoit winning in the first round of the tournament. In this round, Benoit forced Triple H to submit to the Crippler Crossface, Benoit's submission finisher. On the May 23, 2005 edition of Raw, Batista faced Edge, who had beat out Michaels and Kane for an opportunity at the World title. Batista retained the title after he pinned Edge following a Batista Bomb. Following the match, Triple H attacked Batista with a sledgehammer and challenged him to a Hell in a Cell match. After making the challenge, Triple H performed a Pedigree to Batista on the World title. Batista accepted Triple H's challenge, which led to a and contract signing for their scheduled match at Vengeance, which would be for the World Heavyweight title in a Hell in a Cell match at Vengeance.
The other main feud heading into the event was between John Cena, Chris Jericho and Christian, with the three battling over the WWE Championship. On the June 6 edition of Raw, John Cena's SmackDown! tenure came to an end when he became the first wrestler selected by the Raw brand General Manager, Eric Bischoff, in the draft lottery. Cena was introduced as Raw's newest member in Chris Jericho's segment, the Highlight Reel, but Christian interrupted and called Cena a poser. This built on their existing rivalry, as Cena and Christian had an encounter at the Royal Rumble, in which Christian claimed that he was a better rapper than Cena. At the time, Cena was a member of the SmackDown! brand and Christian was part of the Raw brand. Over the next months, Christian began cutting promos denouncing Cena as a 'poser'. Cena rebutted Christian's comments by performing a freestyle rap about Christian, which quickly led to the two brawling in the ring. The same evening, Cena entered a feud with Bischoff by refusing to participate in Bischoff's "war" against the upcoming Extreme Championship Wrestling reunion show. On the June 13, 2005 edition of Raw, Bischoff booked a WWE title match between Christian and Cena at Vengeance, although Jericho protested the idea of Christian being the contender to face Cena for the title. Later that night, Cena and Jericho were placed in a tag team match and faced off against Christian and Tyson Tomko. Cena and Jericho won the match after Cena got the pinfall. After the match, Jericho turned on Cena and attacked him. Bischoff then changed the original match between Cena and Christan to a Triple Threat match at Vengeance that also included Jericho.
One of the main matches on the undercard was between Kurt Angle and Shawn Michaels. At the start of the year, Angle and Michaels both participated in the Royal Rumble match at the 2005 Royal Rumble pay-per-view event. During the match, Michaels eliminated Angle. In retaliation, Angle returned to the match and eliminated Michaels and then attacked him outside the ring. The two engaged in a feud, which led to an Interpromotional match at WrestleMania 21, as Angle was part of the SmackDown! roster and Michaels belonged to the Raw roster. At WrestleMania 21, Angle got the win over Michaels by forcing him to submit to the Ankle Lock. On the June 13 edition of Raw, Angle was revealed to be the second draft pick for the Raw brand. That same evening, Michaels challenged Angle to a rematch from their WrestleMania bout at Vengeance, which Angle accepted.
The Divas feud heading into Vengeance was between Victoria and Christy Hemme. After Hemme won a swimsuit contest on Raw, Victoria turned into a villainess and attacked all of the participants, saving Hemme for last, and later expressed jealousy of Hemme in a backstage interview. It was announced on a later edition of Raw that Hemme and Victoria would face each other at Vengeance, and Hemme stated in a backstage interview that she couldn't wait to get her hands on Victoria. However, the evil Victoria interrupted the interview by smashing a glass jar on the back of Hemme's head.
Before the event went live on pay-per-view, Rosey and The Hurricane (with Super Stacy) defeated The Heart Throbs (Antonio and Romeo) in a match taped for Sunday Night Heat. The first match that aired was between Carlito and Shelton Benjamin for the Intercontinental Championship. After back and forth action, Carlito removed the padding from one of the turnbuckles. Benjamin then hit his head on the exposed metal while performing a Stinger splash. Carlito pinned Benjamin with a roll-up, allowing Carlito to retain the Intercontinental Championship.
Next was a match between Victoria and Christy Hemme. The match saw Victoria lift Hemme in the air and drop her down with force. Control of the match went back and forth, but the bout came to an end when Victoria countered Hemme's sunset flip. Victoria got the pinfall by using the ring ropes for leverage.
The third match of the night saw Kane in a match with Edge, during which both men took the upper hand. Snitsky interfered in the match, hitting Kane with a big boot. Moments later, Snitsky was quickly taken out by Edge after he hit him with his Money in the Bank briefcase. Following the events in the match, Kane performed a chokeslam and pinned Edge.
This bout was followed by a WrestleMania 21 rematch that involved Shawn Michaels and Kurt Angle. In a brawling match, Angle had an Ankle Lock hold applied on Michaels. Moments later, however, Michaels recuperated and performed Sweet Chin Music on Angle before pinning Angle for the win. After the match, both men were given a standing ovation. An in-ring segment took place next between Raw's ring announcer, Lilian Garcia and Viscera. During the segment, Garcia proposed to Viscera. Before Viscera could have given an answer, he was interrupted by The Godfather. The Godfather gave Viscera advice about the life he would miss out on if he got married. This led to Viscera rejecting Garcia's marriage proposal and leaving the ring with the Godfather's hos and abandoning a crying Garcia in the ring.
The fifth match was a Triple Threat match for the WWE Championship between champion John Cena, Christian, and Chris Jericho. The match saw all three wrestlers take the advantage over one another. A spot in the match included Jericho applying the Walls of Jericho on Cena, but he released the move and performed a springboard dropkick on Christian, after Christian got up on the ring apron. Late in the match, Jericho reversed an Unprettier attempt by Christian by tossing Christian directly to Cena. Cena hoisted Christian onto his shoulders, performed an FU, and pinned Christian to retain the WWE title.
The final match of the event was a Hell in a Cell bout between Batista and Triple H for the World Heavyweight Championship. During the match, Triple H choked Batista with a chain and hit him in the back with a steel chair wrapped with barbed wire. Batista regained the momentum by grabbing Triple H's sledgehammer and hitting him in the mouth. Batista retained the World title after he performed a spinebuster on Triple H onto the steel steps, which was followed with a Batista Bomb and a cover for the win. After the Hell in a Cell match, Triple H stood to his feet and was given a standing ovation by the audience.
In June 2005, the 2005 WWE Draft Lottery took place, in which wrestlers were drafted and traded between the Raw and SmackDown! brands. On the June 30, 2005 edition of SmackDown!, Batista's tenure on the Raw brand ended, when he was SmackDown!'s final pick in the draft lottery. SmackDown! General Manager Theodore Long scheduled a six-man elimination match between John "Bradshaw" Layfield (JBL), The Undertaker, Muhammad Hassan, Chris Benoit, Booker T and Christian, in which the winner would receive the SmackDown! Championship, as the WWE Championship had been moved to the Raw brand. JBL won the match, but Teddy Long informed JBL that he did not win the SmackDown! championship. As the winner of the match, however, he would face Batista for the World Heavyweight Championship. On the July 7 edition of SmackDown!, it was revealed that the match between JBL and Batista would take place at The Great American Bash. At The Great American Bash, Batista was disqualified for attacking JBL with a chair. JBL won the match, but did not win the title because a title never changes hands by countout or disqualification.
Following Vengeance, Eric Bischoff vowed to make John Cena's stint on Raw difficult, he "hand picked" Chris Jericho to take the WWE title off Cena by booking a match between Cena and Jericho at SummerSlam. During their feud, even though Cena was portrayed as the face and Jericho as the heel, a vocal section of live crowds nonetheless chose to boo Cena during their matches, including at SummerSlam where Cena retained the title after executing an FU.
After a successful tag team win at Backlash, in which Shawn Michaels and Hulk Hogan defeated Muhammad Hassan and Daivari. Michaels and Hogan were placed in tag team match against Kurt Angle and Carlito on an episode of Raw. The match saw Hogan and Michaels get the victory. During the post-match pose, Michaels superkicked Hogan, which knocked Hogan to the ground and turning Michaels heel for the first time since returning to the company in 2002. The following week, Michaels challenged Hogan to a match at SummerSlam, which Hogan accepted. In this match, Hogan maintained his perfect record at SummerSlam by defeating Michaels.
The feud between Edge and Kane came to an end when Edge was put in an angle with Matt Hardy. On the July 11, 2005 edition of Raw, Hardy, who at the time was unemployed by WWE, The following week, as both Edge and Lita were walking towards the ring before a scheduled Steel cage match against Kane, Hardy attacked Edge from behind. On the August 1 edition of Raw, Vince McMahon officially announced Hardy's return to WWE, adding that Hardy would face Edge at SummerSlam. The following week, Hardy made his in-ring return, defeating Snitsky. After the victory, Hardy was attacked by Edge, and was carried backstage. In retaliation, Hardy counterattacked Edge in the locker room. At SummerSlam, Edge was given the win in the match after Hardy hit the ring post and began to bleed profusely, which caused the referee to stop the match.
After a four-month hiatus, Triple H returned on the WWE Homecoming edition of Raw on October 3. He took part in a match, teaming up with Ric Flair, who was wrestling as a face, to take on Chris Masters and Carlito. The duo defeated Masters and Carlito; after the match, Triple H turned on Flair and hit him with a sledgehammer. This led to an angle between Triple H and Flair. At Taboo Tuesday, Triple H and Flair met in a Steel cage match, a stipulation chosen by the fans, for the Intercontinental Championship. The match saw Flair retain the Intercontinental Championship, after escaping through the cage door.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Dark Match: Rosey and The Hurricane (c) (w/ Super Stacy) defeated The Heart Throbs (Antonio and Romeo) to retain the World Tag Team Championship (5:06)
- Carlito (c) defeated Shelton Benjamin to retain the WWE Intercontinental Championship (12:46)
- Victoria defeated Christy Hemme (5:05)
- Kane defeated Edge (w/ Lita) (11:11)
- Shawn Michaels defeated Kurt Angle (26:11)
- John Cena (c) defeated Christian and Chris Jericho in a Triple Threat match to retain the WWE Championship (15:08)
- Batista (c) defeated Triple H in a Hell in a Cell match to retain the World Heavyweight Championship (26:54)
Other on-screen talent
- Vengeance 2005 Official site
- Vengeance 2005 at CAGEMATCH.net
- Vengeance 2005 at Online World of Wrestling
- Vengeance 2005 on WWE Network
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