Vengeance 2003 was a professional wrestling pay-per-view event produced by World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) and presented by Eidos Interactive's Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness, which took place on July 27, 2003 at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado. It was the third annual Vengeance event and starred wrestlers from the SmackDown brand.
Eight professional wrestling matches were scheduled on the event's card. The main event was a No Disqualification Triple Threat match for the WWE Championship, in which Kurt Angle defeated WWE Champion Brock Lesnar and The Big Show to win the championship. Two featured bouts were scheduled on the undercard. In a standard match, WWE Chairman Vince McMahon defeated Zach Gowen. The other was a standard match in which The Undertaker defeated John Cena.
Vengeance had an attendance of approximately 9,500 and received about 322,000 pay-per-view buys. This event helped WWE increase its pay-per-view revenue by $6.2 million from the previous year.
The event featured nine professional wrestling matches with outcomes predetermined by WWE script writers. The matches featured wrestlers portraying their characters in planned storylines that took place before, during and after the event. All wrestlers were from the SmackDown brand - a storyline division in which WWE assigned its employees.
The main event at Vengeance featured WWE Champion Brock Lesnar defending the title against The Big Show and Kurt Angle in a Triple Threat match. The buildup to the match began four months prior at Wrestlemania, where Lesnar defeated Angle and won the WWE title, as Angle went through a neck surgery. Two months later at Judgment Day, Lesnar defeated Big Show in a streatcher match. At May 29 on an episode of Smackdown, Big Show teamed up with Chuck Palumbo and Johnny Stamboli and defeated The Undertaker and Brock Lesnar. On the June 5, 2003 episode of Smackdown, Angle returned and Big Show attacked him, but Lesnar came to save him and challenge Big Show to a title match the next week. However, during the match, the ring collapsed. The following week during Smackdown, the two had a rematch but Team Angle (Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas) attacked Lesnar, making Angle and Mr. America (Hulk Hogan) to run for the save, only for Big Show to chokeslam all of them. The next week, the six men fought in a tag match where Show won by pinning Mr. America. However, the week after that, Lesnar and Angle cost Show a match against Zach Gowan. On July 10, 2003 during an episode of Smackdown, Show chokeslammed Angle and teamed up with Team Angle to defeat Lesnar. The next week, Angle defeated Team Angle and Big Show by help from Zach Gowen. At the July 24, 2003 Smackdown, Gowan teamed with both Lesnar and Angle against Show and Team Angle, and Show won by chokeslamming both.
One of the featured preliminary matches was Zach Gowan versus Vince McMahon in a singles match. The hype to this match began on May 22, 2003 during an episode of Smackdown, where Gowan, who's left leg was amputated when he was eight years old, said that he wanted to wrestle for the WWE. Vince McMahon, however, ordered police to arrest him. Two weeks later, McMahon challenged Gowan to get a WWE contract by beating him in an Arm Wrestling contest. The week after that, McMahon kicked Gowan's leg in order to win the contest. Two weeks later, on the June 26, 2003 episode of Smackdown, McMahon agreed to give Gowan a contract in the WWE, but only if Gowan will join McMahon's "Kiss My Ass" club. Gowan low blowed McMahon. Later during the program, McMahon attacked Gowan and booked him and Stephanie McMahon against the Big Show the next week, with Gowan getting a WWE contract if he will win. Brock Lesnar and Kurt Angle helped Gowan to win the match and earn his contract. During the next week's show, while Gowan signed his contract, McMahon made the match for the event. At the July 24, 2003 episode of Smackdown, McMahon attacked Gowan during his match with Lesnar and Angle against Show and Team Angle.
The other featured preliminary match was The Undertaker versus John Cena in a singles match. The buildup to the match began on June 26, 2003 during an episode of Smackdown, where Cena celebrated a year in the WWE. He fought Orlando Jordan and defeated him, but attacked him after the match, making the Undertaker run down for the save. The next week, Undertaker cost Cena his match against Billy Gunn in the US Title tournament. Two weeks later on Smackdown, Cena and Undertaker brawled in the ring. On the July 24, 2003 episode of Smackdown, Cena taunted the Undertaker, rapping about him in a cemetery.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Sunday Night Heat: Ultimo Dragon defeated Chris Canyon (4:04)
- Eddie Guerrero defeated Chris Benoit to win for the vacant United States Championship. (22:13)
- Jamie Noble (w/ Nidia) deated Billy Gunn (w/ Torrie Wilson) (5:00)
- Bradshaw defeated Shannon Moore, Doink the Clown, Faarooq, Brother Love, Nunzio, Matt Hardy, Chris Canyon, Danny Bashum, Doug Bashum, The Easter Bunny, Sean O'Haire, John Hennigan, Orlando Jordan, Funaki, Los Conqistadors (Rob Conway and Johnny Jeter), The Brooklyn Brawler, Johnny Stamboli, Chuck Palumbo, Matt Cappotelli and Spanky in an APA Invaitational Bar Room Brawl. (4:33)
- Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin (c) defeated Rey Mysterio & Billy Kidman to retain the Tag Team championships. (14:53)
- Sable defeated Stephanie McMahon on a No-Count out match. (6:25)
- The Undertaker defeated John Cena (16:01)
- Vince McMahon (w/ Sable) defeated Zach Gowen (14:02)
- Kurt Angle defeated The Big Show and Brock Lesnar (c) in a No Disqualification triple threat match to win the WWE Championship. (17:29)
Other on-screen talent
- Vengeance 2003 Official site
- Vengeance 2003 at CAGEMATCH.net
- Vengeance 2003 at Online World of Wrestling
|2003 World Wrestling Entertainment pay-per-views|
|Royal Rumble • No Way Out • WrestleMania • Backlash • Judgment Day • Insurrextion • Bad Blood • Vengeance • SummerSlam • Unforgiven • No Mercy • Survivor Series • Armageddon|
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|Night of Champions|
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