History of Unforgiven with KB
Time for another history of a PPV series. In this case we're looking at the former September offering which has since been replaced by Night of Champions. Instead of my usual style of do one of these, do a bunch of others and then do another, I'll be doing two at a time as I'll be doing bursts of three of TNA and WCW shows and I want to keep the amounts of shows I have left in each company roughly the same.
Either way, this is Unforgiven and it's usually a slight step above Armageddon as far as worthless shows go. Also I've got 98, 99, 2003 and 2006 done already so I'll re-post them when the time is right. I'll be doing two new ones at a time though so you'll get three posts at a time on occasion.
In Your House 21: Unforgiven
Date: April 26, 1998
Location: Greensboro Coliseum, Greensboro, North Carolina
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler
Well, weíre in a very different place now than we were just two months ago. Number one, the losing streak has been broken as on April 13, as the WWF won the ratings in the Monday Night Wars. This could likely be attributed to Steve Austin winning the WWF Title from Shawn Michaels who is now gone as he tries to heal his back. In other developments, DX has finally turned into what we all knew it would one day become.
Their face turn is looming but itís not quite there yet. Taker finally took out Kane but their feud is far from over and tonight we get the real main event with Kane and Taker in an Inferno Match. Austin also has his first token title defense against Dude Love to officially kick off what I thought was an underrated feud. Anyway, weíre in the home of Starrcade which to me is just poetic justice since WWF has turned things around, so letís get to it.
Opening is all about Kane and Taker with no one else even being mentioned. They quote a lot of stuff from Dante which is a very good idea. They talk about Vince having some big scheme as a weird country kind of song plays.
NOD vs. Steve Blackman/Farrooq/Shamrock
Nation here is Rock, Brown and Henry. All of the titles have been redesigned also, which was long overdue but Iím still not sure if any but the world title really needed it. Blackman has been around since November, but we havenít heard of him in six months. Thatís not saying much for your early career. Shamrock wants the IC Title, and Farrooq was thrown out by the Rock.
Itís kind of sad that Iím watching Raw as I do this, but I know Iím not going to miss anything and Iíll be more entertained by this show which Iíve seen many times. Brownís pushing and hyping is just funny. Farrooq is mad over here. Heís another case of someone that I just donít get how Vince missed. He was good in the ring, he was over, and he had a good look. What was missing there?
Henry is still using the same moves he uses now. Thatís just flat out pathetic. Blackman becomes your face in peril here as he just gets the hell beaten out of him the entire time. Thereís nothing great here for the most part but itís passing the time well enough. For six man matches unless you have huge talent in them, nothing great is going to happen.
However, they can be done well like this one. Eventually it becomes a brawl after Farrooq and Rock are made legal. Farrooq gets the clean pin after the Dominator. After he says thatís just the beginning, and Cole, at ringside, says letís go back to ringside. Amazing.
Rating: B-. Not bad at all here, but it leaves me scratching my head. Farrooq and Rock could have been a very solid feud. Itís not like Simmons had no experience with singles titles as a former WCW World Champion. He was more than capable of working an IC Title feud. It does kind of make you wonder about Vinceís feelings towards African American wrestlers.
Austin comes out to a mega pop. He just looks right with that title. Heís apparently upset over Vince telling a timekeeper to ring the bell when he shouldnít have. Austin says do it again and heíll be out of a career. This was a cheap way to get out there and get the crowd going and thereís not a thing wrong with that.
Recap of Owen/HHH. Chyna will be in a mini cage tonight above the ring.
European Title: Owen Hart vs. HHH
I was wrong. The face turn has already hit. Sign in the crowd: Playboy needs Chyna. At the time, I couldnít have agreed more. Damn I wanted to see her naked. We get the crotch chops and the fireworks to go with them which is always a cool thing to see. Slaughter continues to be the most inept commissioner of all time. The mini cage is actually a good idea I think.
Itís unique and offers a chance to make this more interesting. The cage is also hanging above the ring to add a bit more to it. We start with Owen just beating the fuck out of HHH which I think ensures what the end of this match is going to be. Eventually they get down to a regular match and then we get to the real story of the match; Chynaís attempt at an escape.
She starts by trying to just bend the bars, but moves up to pulling a file or a saw or something out of her shoe. Thatís so stupid itís great. HHH gets a chinlock on Owen and I hear a voice say ďOwen, back me into the corner, then back up and Iíll move.Ē Just after that, Owen knocks HHH into the corner, hits some shoulders and backs up, and on a running charge, HHH moves!
I mean you could hear it loud and cleanly. It was so bad that Ross tried to cover it up as talking trash. Easily the worst Iíve ever heard. The match is pretty good but this feud is starting to get stale as theyíve been going at it for several months now with Owen never winning once. Owen takes over for the most part as we get completely ridiculous with Chyna bending the bars of her cage to get out.
She hangs from the cage by one arm which looks pretty funny for some reason. Owen hits his spin kick and then the Sharpshooter as Chynaís cage is lowered to the ground which stuns the announcers for some reason. Apparently Road Dogg got it lowered.
Owen hits a pedigree, and does it better than HHH usually does, but with the referee distracted X-Pac hits him with a fire extinguisher for the pin. Post match Owen says enough is enough and itís time for a change, which would lead to him somehow joining the Nation.
Rating: C-. This match just never felt like it got going. The first 4-5 minutes are mostly focused on Chyna trying to get out and it hurts the match a bit as it takes the focus off two guys that would have put on a good match. With Owen losing so much I would have liked to see him get the win here but that wouldnít have been the right decision. This got him away from HHH and DX which he desperately needed.
Tonightís show is a Coliseum record. That is just flat out too priceless to believe and is the ultimate slap in WCWís face.
Cornette is out for an NWA tag title match that wasnít listed on the card. Cornette is in North Carolina and you can tell he couldnít be happier. Of course heís a heel and itís on. This man is an absolute god on the mic and thatís all there is to it.
NWA Tag Titles: New Midnight Express vs. Rock N Roll Express
The new Midnights are Bombastic Bob (Holly) and Bodacious Bart (Gunn). The RNRE come out to the Rockersí old theme. Ross is a fan of the Eagles, which scores him points in my eyes. Now for those of you old school tag team fans, this is a great match. For modern day WWF fans, this is terribly boring stuff. I like it because itís just basic tag team wrestling that is almost always going to work one way or another.
In the middle though, Cornette gets angry at Tim White the referee and challenges him to a fight. Cornette trying to box is flat out hysterical. I had to rewind it and look at it again just for the comedy value. White of course scares him half to death and the RNRE throw him out. Then we get down to basic wrestling as you can see how desperate the NWA is for advertising as Gibsonís tights donít say RNRE or Gibson or something like that.
They say NWA. The NWA has sunk so low they have to advertise on their workerís tights. That simply is not a good sign. Anyway, we get the brawl at the end and Cornette interferes which leads to a bulldog for the Midnights who pick up the win. Crowd was completely dead for this.
Rating: C. Hard one to grade here as the wrestling is fine but given the time and the crowd, this was pretty weak. While Greensboro was a Mecca of the NWA, these people are a different era and a different audience. They donít want to see old guys having a solid match. They want to see the WWF style, which as you know is the polar opposite of what they had here. Good match for wrestling fans, torture for Sports Entertainment fans.
Luna says sheís going to rip off all of Sableís clothes getting the biggest pop of her career.
Evening Gown Match: Luna vs. Sable
This is allegedly the final match in this feud which was just flat out bad the entire time. Sable simply wasnít good in the ring but based on her looks she was getting huge pops all the time. King wants to chant for Luna so Sable is wearing less, which makes sense. We get the ďyou wonít see much wrestling in this.Ē Code meaning: itís going to suck but itís t & A so shut your damn mouth.
King sounds like heís about 12 which is always funny. Sableís bottom gets ripped off which sends the King into a frenzy. Sable lands some great punches that catch Luna square in the shoulder. Mero comes out and as Sable is yelling at her Luna strips her to win. Sable Bomb after the match and Luna gets stripped as well. They go under the ring and Sable comes out with Lunaís clothes, meaning King nearly loses it again. Goldust helps to get Luna covered and out.
Rating: F. Yeah this was terrible. It was all about Sable as always, which makes me laugh when people question her ego. Without the dress on, Sable looks a lot less attractive. Really not something I want to see.
Vince and the Stooges are here. We hear the first mention of the Conspiracy Theory, which would dominate WWF television over the summer in a storyline that I absolutely loved. Vince says he wonít screw Austin out of the title and leaves. This was rather pointless.
Sable is on the Superstar Line as 12 year old boys nationwide do something theyíll get in trouble for later on as they pick up their phone.
NAO vs. LOD 2000
Road Dogg brings out ďDean SmithĒ to coach them for one more win. Itís a blowup doll. Is anyone surprised here? This is the Sunny/Animal in Shorts period for LOD and it just did not work at all. Sunny looked great though so thatís about all there was going for it.
Hawk looks a little bit shaky. Sweet damn Sunny was amazing looking. Hawk and Billy start us off. Ok make that Animal. Lot of arm work to start which is the tried and true method I suppose. Gunn dances on the apron so Hawk throws Road Doggís head into Gunnís balls. Well thatís different.
Yeah Hawk is starting to botch some stuff. I think thatís foreshadowing whatís coming. Back to Animal now vs. Gunn now. Animal is the only guy in this match really capable of decent in ring stuff at this point which is very scary when you think about it.
Doomsday (called Devastation by JR) Device is broken up by Gunn. The Outlaws hammer away on the knee as we wait on the hot tag to Hawk. Thatís probably better as he wouldnít sell anyway. When I say they work on the knee and Animal in general I mean itís the vast majority of the match.
Roadie throws out a little crotch chop for no apparent reason other than thatís what he does. Gunn does that little British pompous ass wave and walks into a leg drag by Animal to send both guys down. Semi-hot tag (read as no one seems to care) to Hawk and he hits a splash on Roadie.
Billy slides in and hits him in the back of the head with the belt but only gets two. Belt to the head of Road Dogg and Hawk hits a German suplex on Roadie for the pin and the titles. And screw that of course as itís a DQ. I canít quite read why. Itís a little too dusty. Doomsday Device for the referee afterwards.
Rating: D+. The LOD just didnít have it at this point and were really just there for nostalgia. The Outlaws were great on the mic but in the ring was a completely different story. They were ok but nothing more. LODís bad storyline was coming and it makes me almost sad just thinking about it.
Jeff Jarrett SingsÖ..Again
Heís with Sawyer Brown again but this is more of a duet and itís not nearly as entertaining this time around. Heís also got Tennessee Lee as a manager now who is more commonly known as Colonel Robert Parker in WCW. After the song Steve Blackman comes out but gets beaten up.
Recap of Kane and Taker, with Lawler amusing me by holding marshmallows on sticks before the Inferno match starts.
Inferno Match: Undertaker vs. Kane
The intros are great, the ring looks cool, and while this should be an awesome thing to see, I have the fucking So Hot song stuck in my head now. It ruined Wrestlemania and now itís ruining Unforgiven. I think Kid Rock is a wrestling hating demon summoned by Dana White to bring an end to wrestling forever. He just hates it for some reason and wants to kill it.
Evil and a horrid man he is. Anyway, the lighting of the ring is awesome. The flames go up every time someone either jumps or lands in the ring which is another great looking thing. In case I didnít mention it, the winner is the first person to set the other on fire. Sometimes the flames get about the ropes, which just looks amazing to say the least. Lawler gets in a great line with, ďHey Paul, hell hath no pizza so you donít want to go there.Ē
Thatís actually an awesome line. Chair gets introduced. Lawler is on fire here and I just realized how bad that line was. The spots start to get bigger as the fire goes up higher and higher. Theyíre repeating the same formula they had for the previous match at Mania which means this is working well. Kane dominates most of the match but eventually Taker starts coming back.
Ross once again takes the reins with his lines about taker. Using lines like, ďThrough hellfire and brimstone, the Undertaker is coming back!Ē and ďThe Undertaker will walk through hell to fight his brother.Ē Thatís a lesson in how to commentate on a big time match. Lines like that and the way he delivers them make this match even better than it already is.
Those kinds of things can take a match from good to great and from great to classic as they did in the Austin/Hart submission match. Double big boot spot that looked damn sweet. Takerís fast hitting of the ropes almost puts him in the fire every time with how hard he hits them. He goes for his jumping, flipping clothesline spot but Kane just ducks, which Iíve never seen anyone do.
Kane gets thrown to the floor and Bearer tells the guy controlling the flames to keep turning them up higher and higher so Taker canít get out. As this is happening, Kane heads to the back to leave but Vader jumps him, knocking him back to the ring. Taker gets a running start and does the Taker Dive over the ropes.
That move when he did it right was perhaps the coolest spot ever, bar none. Think about it. Can you imagine Nash doing that, or Kane or Sid? Theyíre about Takerís size. Have any of them ever done a spot like that? I donít think so. Anyway, Bearer gets a chair to use on Taker which of course does nothing at all. Taker gets the chair and just kills Kane with two of the sickest shots Iíve seen in a long time.
The fans are going crazy as Taker has become the Deadman right before their eyes. This was when the feud got incredible as Kane dominated him most of the time but in the end Taker went to the farthest lengths he could to become the true Lord of Darkness and beat Kane. Thatís what he did here and it is just awesome to see. Taker goes after Bearer and beats him up with some of the bandís instruments before going back to Kane.
Kane has the chair and pulls it back but Taker kicks him in the face, sending his arm into the fire to end this with Kane running to the back with his arm on fire. To make this even cooler, Taker gets back in and takes the knee as he usually does, but the lights turn purple and blue while the flames go as high as they can in a great visual. The flames keep going up and down with Taker in the ring as we get ready for the other match which is an afterthought now.
Rating: A. This fucking rocked and it fucking rocked hard. The visual was tremendously cool looking with Taker and Kane just beating the hell out of each other. Taker is a character that is just cool no matter what heís doing and this was no exception.
When heís been beaten down and is on the verge of losing, he brings out his best as he did here. Everything he did here was great and it was just awesome. If youíve never seen this before, go watch it. I know almost every spot in it and it still had me marking out.
Recap of the whole Austin/Dude Love feud which has gone on about two weeks but was still cool and hereís why: no one really believed Dude Love could win, but it wasnít Dude Love out there. It was Mick Foley dressed as a hippie. Thatís what made this gimmick work so well was they didnít try to make it seem like a different character like they would with Isaac Yankem and Kane.
They acknowledged that it was the exact same guy and that he was crazy. Thatís something that really speaks to Foleyís credit that he could pull this off as well as he did. I donít think anyone believed Foley would take the title, but he offered a solid challenge for Austin.
Vince was the part here that made things work though as with him pulling the strings and less than six months after Montreal, anything was possible. Thatís why the Austin/Vince saga worked as well as it did: you never knew what was coming next.
WWF Title: Dude Love vs. Steve Austin
Austin of course gets the mega pop which is impressive after what the fans just saw. As expected this is a wild fight as you have two of the best brawlers of all time out there on PPV during the wildest period in WWF history. What more could you ask for with such a hot crowd? Ross mentions that some wrestling executive said Austin would never do anything in just black tights and black boots.
Damn, once they got ahead they made sure to rub it in WCW and especially Bischoffís face. Vince comes down to imply that heís going to pull another screwjob which makes Austin just beat on Love harder than he was. Vince of course gets up and starts yelling at Austin which results in him being chased to the back but Love saves him.
This doesnít really get boring as itís mainly just brawling and more brawling, but when you have two guys as good as these two are itís all good. Eventually the referee gets taken out and of course heís out forever. Mandible Claw and Austin is in trouble as Vince is celebrating on the floor. They go out to the floor because Foley lets go of the hold. Eventually Vince starts helping Love out by handing him a chair, but Austin fights out of it.
Austin gets a hold if it though and nearly caves Vinceís head in with it. They go back in and itís a stunner but no referee so Austin counts it himself. Somehow this is enough for his music to play and Fink to announce him as the winner. Vince is still out cold as theyíre of course making this about Vince again.
After heís down for a ridiculous amount of time, the Stooges come out and Brisco makes Fink say Austin is disqualified for hitting a WWF official. Vince gets stretchered out as apparently Austin has received an infraction for sassing a mod. We go off the air with Ross speculating about whether Austin was aiming for Vince or Dude.
Rating: B+. It was a wild brawl and it did everything it was supposed to: it made Austin look dominant, it furthered the major storyline of Austin vs. Vince, and it set up the far better rematch the next month at Over the Edge. Either way, this was a solid match that was really just a big brawl but like Iíve said already, when you have brawlers of this caliber, that works very well.
Overall Rating: B. This show starts off ok, gets bad and then ends red hot. If there was one thing the company did well at this time it was big time feuds. Taker and Kane is as good of a gimmick match as youíll see in a long time. Taker just shines in matches like these and this is one of his best ever. Austin of course steals the show as he was so popular it was amazing. Mainly watch it for the two last matches, but some of the other stuff is good for passing some time as well, making it recommended.
Date: September 26, 1999
Location: Charlotte Coliseum, Charlotte, North Carolina
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler
We’re in the HHH era here as the title is vacant after Vince of all people won it on Smackdown. He’s vacated it and tonight the main event is a 6 Pack Challenge for the belt with Rock, HHH, Mankind, Kane, Big Show and British Bulldog for the belt. I remember this match from back in the day and thought it was a great buildup. Something tells me I’ll be wrong. Other than that we have the Kennel From hell match and a guy named Jericho is here now. Let’s get to it.
On a side note, there was an angle running here where the referees were on strike since HHH kept beating them up. It means something later on in the night but for the most part it’s just overbooking.
The intro is about the main event and has a Holy Grail theme. Sure why not. The voiceover guy speaks in Latin. That’s kind of cool. It’s saying a lot when Vince just walks into WCW’s stronghold and throws up a big PPV and draws 16,000 people. The referees are on strike so we have scabs tonight. We have a labor dispute on a wrestling show.
Val Venis vs. Steve Blackman
Venis had stolen Blackman’s bag of weapons for no apparent reason. Venis does his Joel Gertner imitation and shows that Gertner is better at it. The Brooklyn Brawler is the referee here. Blackman has on red shoes. Ok then. Venis has replaced the weapons with sex toys. Wow this is 1999 isn’t it? The crowd is relatively dead here but not entirely I guess. We hit the floor and it’s still mostly Blackman. This isn’t interesting in the slightest.
Val has a nice ass if nothing else. We hear about Taker walking out on Smackdown. He wouldn’t be back until June as the American Bad Ass. Sweet DAMN this is a boring match. Chyna could become the first female champion tonight. I knew Moolah and Richter were men in disguise! The crowd is totally dead now.
I haven’t seen one this bad in a long time. The Money Shot ends it with ease. This was awful. Blackman knocks him out with a kendo stick and medical people, one of which would become a Diva, comes to help him.
Rating: D-. Boring as HELL. I mean nothing happened at all and the crowd might as well have been watching a dark match. Just a terrible opener that had zero business being on a PPV. Hated it.
Big Show says he doesn’t know where Taker is. He’s RIPPED here if you can believe that.
We recap D’lo Brown vs. Mark Henry. This was an interesting angle as Henry was diagnosed with WAY high blood pressure and Brown was trying to get him healthy which ticked him off. Henry helped Jeff Jarrett win the Intercontinental/European Titles so he gave the European title to Henry. This is your rematch.
Henry hits on a VERY young Lillian Garcia. Sweet damn she got hotter as she got older and she’s gorgeous here.
European Title: Mark Henry vs. D’Lo Brown
WOW they’ve picked two bad matches to start us off here. He’s Sexual Chocolate here. Tom Pritchard is the referee. Henry says there can’t be a match because Garcia slapping him hurt him. Brown actually got one hell of a push around this time if you can believe that. Brown could go in the ring if nothing else. Yes I liked him. Pritchard is wearing blue pants and it looks ridiculous. The crowd is somewhat alive here but not much.
They talk about Rebellion which is in 6 days. Yep, that’s coming too. Brown hits a Taker Dive over the ropes which looked great. This has been all Brown so far so expect that to change in a few seconds. Yep there it is. Good night Henry is limited as hell in the ring. How has he not leaned anything new in like 15 years?
This is still just boring as all hell. Brown is getting some pops if nothing else. Henry does the ten punch in the corner but gets powerbombed out of it and the Lo Down ends it. Nice ending to a terrible match.
Rating: D. Somewhat better but that’s not saying much. It was just ok and that’s mainly because I liked D’Lo. If nothing else they made it believable which is really all you can ask for here. Not bad. Ok yeah it was but it could have been worse.
The Acolytes say they’ll destroy the Dudleys. Bradshaw says they already destroyed one ECW team. That might have been the Public Enemy but I’m not sure. Chaz, the epitome of a failed gimmick, runs in and gets thrown out.
Debra and Miss Kitty say Jeff will lose. He was a total chauvinist at this point so Chyna beat him up and put on his tights. It was dumber than it sounds.
Intercontinental Title: Jeff Jarrett vs. Chyna
This was one hell of a feud back in the day so this should get them awake for once. Miss Kitty looks insanely good here. Chyna was OVER back in the day. If she hadn’t been so self-obsessed she could have been something very special. Granted she was already but even bigger. This is the battle of the sexes so every woman in the world wants Chyna to whip his ass. Harvey Whippleman is referee here.
I’d rather just look at Miss Kitty but whatever. Jarrett has issues punching Chyna which is understandable. Crowd POPS for Chyna doing anything and is dead otherwise. The show has been bad but not THIS bad. It’s interesting seeing someone use all kinds of offense other than just punches. It’s a nice change to see. Moolah and Mae are here. Chyna is in a sleeper and the crowd is breathing!!! Wow Chyna can’t do much in the ring. She would get a lot better.
She needs to hook the leg more too as it just looks sloppy when she doesn’t. That’s something Angle was always good at. He would almost always hook the leg and it makes him look much better. Figure four doesn’t work. There’s a chair shot for Jarrett and there’s no DQ for it so there we are.
The slowest Pedigree in the world doesn’t work and then Harvey stands there for like an hour so that a slingshot crushes him. Moolah and Mae come in and beat up Jarrett. Good night how did he get the WCW Title within a year? Ah good he hit them. And here’s Debra to further overbook things. She knocks the hell out of Jarrett and
Chyna gets the pin and the title to an ERUPTION. And here’s Tom Pritchard, the head scab referee, to point out what happened and reverse the decision. It’s Carolina so Dusty Finishes are required. I hate bullshit like this. You have a GREAT moment and now we have to mess it up. Pritchard gets beaten up anyway.
Rating: D+. Best match so far and still crap. Losses a lot of points because of the ending which was beyond idiotic. Not a bad match but just made my head hurt which is never good. Chyna would win it for good in an infamous match where Jarrett more or less legally held a gun to Vince’s head.
Rock says he’ll win.
Dudley Boys vs. Acolytes
The Dudleys are BRAND NEW here and are the hottest team in the world at the moment. The referee is Jimmy Korderas who wasn’t striking. Bubba has a stutter here. They were just so far ahead of every other team in the world at this time and it’s insane to see what they are today. What are you expecting here really? Bubba telegraphs a splash worse than anything I have ever seen as he jumps at Farrooq’s knees. That was horrible looking.
The Dudleys are in tie-dye here and it looks great. Lawler keeps making fun of Moolah and Mae Young which is very amusing yet totally evil and wrong. Again I have to ask, what does it mean to do something with authority? That makes no sense at all. This is your standard big old brawl and that’s all you could really ask for it to be.
Bradshaw gets an ok belly to back suplex off the top for two. And here’s Stevie Richards dressed like an Acolyte. He kicks D-Von and Bradshaw pins him. Ok then. To say a lot, Bradshaw is the only non ECW guy in there. Yeah it meant a lot.
Rating: D. Way too quick of a brawl here and it meant nothing. This show has been horrible and we’re just an hour into it so far. I was bored out of my mind here and I liked the Dudleys a lot back then. The ending was beyond stupid and it did the match no favors at all. Let’s just get this over with.
Ivory beats up Luna in the back and we’re having a hardcore Women’s Title match.
Women’s Title: Ivory vs. Luna Vachon
Ok then. They’re in an office and fighting with a copier and phone. Ivory is champion here in case you were wondering. It’s your standard match in this genre and is just various weapons shots and throwing people into things. Odd to see women doing it though. A splash onto some cardboard boxes as Luna channels her inner Foley. This is about as pointless as you could ask for. And here’s Tori to save Luna for no apparent reason. Ivory hits Luna with a wooden pole for the pin. That was as pointless as I could have imagined.
Rating: N/A. Way too short here. This was like 3 minutes long and random as hell. Yeah that’s all I’ve got.
Lillian is with Mae and Moolah and has the worst delivered line ever as she says What A Fight. It was Troll 2 levels of awful. Mae and Moolah beat up Ivory. Why did they get two segments again?
Tag Titles: Edge/Christian vs. New Age Outlaws
Edge and Christian are young faces here and asked for a title match on Heat. How weird is it that Edge and Christian would be light years ahead of the Outlaws at the end of the day? The Outlaws are freshly reunited here and the pop is noticeably quieter. And I’m wrong as they’re WAY into the Road Dogg entrance stuff. Edge and Gunn start us off. Korderas is refereeing again which is good as there shouldn’t be any drama here.
This was when Gunn was still bearable in the ring so this is decent to start off with. Edge and Christian were young and awesome at this time so this is a fun match on paper. More or less no way they were going to win though as the Outlaws had just won the belts recently. Lawler asks Ross if he likes it doggy style. That’s just wrong. The Outlaws are showing off here which you NEVER see. It’s not bad actually. Edge is WAY into steroids here as he’s ripped as hell.
I don’t know if I believe this but I think the Outlaws are having a good standard tag match here. What in the hell am I watching? You could tell that the challengers were going to be awesome at some point in the future. What would be called Poetry in Motion when the Hardys used it misses.
Gunn gets the hot tag and he just starts whipping ass. NICE powerslam. This is a solid as hell match actually. And here are the Hardys and Gangrel. They beat up Edge and Christian so the Fameasser ends it. Screw this good match thing! We want RUN INS! Russo was gone but still being felt at this time I guess.
Rating: B. Solid as hell stuff here as they went back and forth with the Outlaws showing that they could go when they wanted to. This of course makes me want to know: why didn’t they do it more often? It’s a shame they didn’t as this was awesome. Of course Edge and Christian would have their time.
We recap Smackdown where Bulldog beat up Rock for a reason that was never explained but whatever. Bulldog says he’s not with HHH.
Boss Man says he isn’t afraid of the match.
Hardcore Title: Al Snow vs. Big Boss Man
This is the infamous Kennel From Hell match where there were rottweilers between a Hell in a Cell cage and a regular cage. The idea here is that Snow had a dog named Pepper and cooked him to get a title shot. It’s dumber than it sounds. This was on a DVD somewhere with Foley and Kevin Kelly on commentary making it sound like a classic match. The idea was that the dogs were there to make the match more dangerous but they wound up fucking each other. Yep that sums up the match pretty well.
The commentary here is hilarious as they try to make this sound epic and it’s just failure all around. And there’s the bell but we have no dogs. Ok then. If nothing else we get the big blue cage. That never gets old. Ah there they are. Something tells me this is going to suck. Snow, you’re better than this. You really are. Boss Man is on the cage and Snow is in the ring in case you’re wondering for some odd reason. We get a bowling shoe line.
You know this would be a lot more intimidating if the dogs weren’t on leashes. The fans are shall we say not incredibly interested in this match. All they’re doing is just barking at each other for now. This is beyond idiotic. I mean what in the hell were they thinking when they came up with this?
If you want to have a cage match then have a damn cage match, but don’t do this. They’re doing nothing of note here as it’s more or less all jobber level offense since there’s nothing else to do. Snow’s weapons are helping about as much as the dogs are here.
Seriously the fans do not care here at all. Boss Man is bleeding. Boss Man ripped open part of the top of the Cell in case I forgot to mention that which I think I did. For some reason Lawler is imitating an Australian accent. Ok then. It’s more interesting if nothing else.
In a sick shot, Snow is face down on the mat and Boss Man blasts him in the back of the head with a shovel. And Snow is handcuffed to the ring or the cage or something. And now he broke the cuffs. Is there a point to any of this? No? Ok just checking. Head makes his return and knocks Boss Man out so Snow can leave. What a joke.
Rating: Y. As in why did someone think this was a good idea? This wasn’t a match and it became apparent that this was going to suck very quickly. Not so much terrible as it was a disaster with no drama and no one cared so they had to kind of abort it, which was best for all of us. Just stupid but you can’t blame that on the wrestlers really.
Mankind imitates Rock which is always funny.
Chris Jericho vs. X-Pac
This was also added from Heat. Jericho has Mr. Hughes with him of all people. He’s been here less than two months here so there you are. Shamrock dropped out and left the company so we have X-Pac filling in. It’s weird seeing one cage wall up. Hughes out of his suit is just weird looking beyond belief. Tom Pritchard is referee again with the blue pants of doom. Jericho is already over but nowhere near the level he would hit.
Jericho says he’s here to save the PPV. Well someone has to. Pac surprisingly gets a pop. There you are X. This should be good since Waltman is always better against small guys which Jericho certainly is. This should be better than Jericho vs. Shamrock if nothing else. They start off very fast paced with a nice technical sequence ending with both guys nipping up. Have I mentioned how much I freaking hate the Bronco Buster? X Factor is countered into the Walls which don’t connect either.
Waltman hits a nice dive over the ropes. Hughes just needs to go far away. To be fair though he’s FAR skinnier here than he usually is. Pritchard needs to do the same as Hughes. He’s annoying too. I love that missile dropkick Jericho does. It’s so freaking crisp. Both guys are getting booed pretty solidly here which is rather weird to say the least. Jericho is the clear heel here in case you were wondering.
We hit the chinlock which is ok once you’ve been going at it for 7 minutes or so. Good bit different than when you hit it after like 2 minutes. And now they’re kind of chanting for X-Pac. Weird crowd but it could be due to them being bored to death earlier. Hughes interferes like the annoying twat waffle that he is. Jericho from this era is just so awesome it’s hard to describe. He’s a totally different worker now and it’s saying a lot that he can change so easily.
Pac hits a nice springboard clothesline. This is working as it’s not just basic moves and standard stuff. They’re opening up the playbooks a bit here and it’s working rather well. Still no Bronco Buster so my life still rocks. If this was how Pac worked all the time, I’d be perfectly fine with him. This has been entertaining.
Lawler finally makes a joke about Pritchard’s pants as we hit Jericho’s double powerbomb which is a sweet move. And now he’s in the Tree of Woe and we get an upside down Bronco Buster. Hughes runs in and beats up the referee and Pac for the CHEAP DQ. Road Dogg makes the save.
Rating: B. Fun match all around here. Like I’ve said many times, when Pac is out there with a guy close to his size, he’s FAR more entertaining to say the least. Against giants he’s just flat out boring as the realistic part goes out the window. Here his offense is believable and he’s on a level playing field. This was a fun match and I enjoyed it. Get rid of the AWFUL ending and a real referee and this is likely an A.
We recap the main event which is mainly about HHH. HHH had more or less been robbed at Summerslam before winning the title the next night which was a true shocker. He injured Austin after the match. Oh and HHH broke Ross’ arm. He held the title three weeks or so as Vince beat him at Smackdown which was odd as hell. Austin came back and beat the hell out of HHH as you would expect.
We get highlights, if you can call them that, of Vince winning the title. For no apparent reason this is all told via text cards as there is no commentary over the music. Austin is made referee due to the strike. On Smackdown 3 days prior to this HHH had had five matches in one night: all gimmick matches.
He had a Chokeslam Challenge with Big Show, an Inferno Match with Kane, a Boiler Room Brawl with Mankind, a Casket Match with Mideon and Viscera who subbed for Taker and a Brahma Bullrope Match with Rock. He won 3 of 5 to stay in the match here tonight. I distinctly remember that night for some reason. Anyway let’s get to the main event.
WWF Title: HHH vs. British Bulldog vs. Rock vs. Big Show vs. Mankind vs. Kane
Remember this is two in the ring and tagging in and out with Austin as guest referee. Oh ok Austin is enforcer and Korderas is the regular referee. That helps a bit. Entrances of course take a LONG time as you would expect them to here. Kane is rocking the mainly black outfit with red mixed in. Always loved that. So Chyna is a face on her own and a heel here. Ok then. She turned more than Team 3D does now if that tells you anything.
Rock gets a nice pop but not epic like he would get after Austin left. He’s walking a lot slower than he usually does too. That’s just odd. THERE’S your big pop for Austin. That’s more like it. The crowd is alive at least. Ross gets a solid shot at WCW by saying he’s never heard an ovation like this in Charlotte for any athlete. Austin does commentary. Rock and Bulldog start us off. Thankfully Smith is wearing long tights here.
It’s weird hearing Austin cursing every other word in today’s wrestling environment. It’s Kane and HHH here as I’m not going to try to keep up with all the tags here. I like the tagging ideas here as we don’t have to deal with the massive chaos. That’s just annoying otherwise. Austin wants to finish his six pack before the Six Pack match ends. They’re starting slow here which is fine as they have a good deal of time, over twenty minutes, to work with.
Austin is so freaking entertaining it’s scary. He wants to know where you mail the paychecks to a guy in Parts Unknown. That’s a damn good question. How do you get a flight there? We get Kane vs. Big Show which is an epic rivalry. I mean think of how long those two have feuded for.
And we’re back to the beginning pairing as we have Bulldog vs. Rock. Solid stuff so far and having Austin on commentary is helping. He would be leaving in a few months to have neck surgery so I’m guessing he’s on commentary to give him time off. Smart if nothing else.
How weird is it to think that Austin wouldn’t have the world title for over a year and a half from this point? As great as he was, he didn’t hold the title for like 20 months in the Attitude Era. That’s often forgotten. Foley and HHH are in the aisle and there goes Rock with them. Ross calls a low blow on HHH a unique form of birth control. Considering Stephanie was just announced as pregnant again, that’s rather funny.
Naturally they’re all on the floor now. SICK Texas Piledriver on the stairs to HHH from Mankind. That sounded AWFUL. This has been really good so far in case you were wondering. Foley tags Rock in so he can have a chance to win the title. Foley’s character was so far ahead of everyone else’s no one could see him. And the referees cross their picket lines to complain about Korderas crossing the picket lines. This is freaking stupid. Rock beats up Big Show as some things never change.
Rock steals Austin’s beer to a BIG pop. Odd. Foley is up from a Kane tombstone in like 8 seconds. Not good Mick. It’s finishers a go-go here as it’s a clusterfuck that you knew it would come down to. Mandible Claw to Rock which gets Austin fired up. Show goes off and just beats the hell out of everyone. He chokeslams Foley and the other referees pull out Korderas. Damn it how stupid can you freaking get??? Austin takes over as referee.
Thankfully he beats up the referees as he should since they’re fucking morons. It’s Rock and HHH in the ring and Rock goes for the People’s Elbow which gets two as Show pulls Austin out and Rock takes a chair shot. HHH gets a Pedigree on Rock 10 seconds after the Rock Bottom and Elbow for the title. Ok then. At least Foley isn’t the only one not selling today. Austin beats him up and beers all around ends it.
Rating: B+. Solid stuff here. I really liked it as they gave them time and it never felt like it was out of control or anything like that which is a very nice touch. Other than Taker or Austin you couldn’t ask for a bigger lineup either. This was a solid and very entertaining match that didn’t feel anywhere near like the twenty minutes it got which is a very good sign. Very fun and solid match which works very well to close the show.
Overall Rating: C+. Well there are three good matches and the rest is awful. However, those three get the most time and two are the final matches on the show so I can’t complain. They got it right as they focused on the good stuff and gave the bad stuff limited time. It’s hard to complain about the Kennel match as some stuff in it was beyond their control.
They threw something out there and it hasn’t been referenced since so that’s a good sign. Anyway, this isn’t worth seeing as a whole but the last hour or so is plus the tag title match. Watch those three as they’re solid but don’t bother at all with the rest. I’d say go to Youtube for this.
Date: September 24, 2000
Location: First Union Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler
Well we begin the new shows in this series here. The main event is a fatal fourway with Rock defending the title against Kane, Undertaker and Benoit. Kane and Undertaker are feuding because they're Kane and Undertaker and Benoit was having a brief feud with Rock around this time that had some good matches. Also we get HHH vs. Angle in a match about Stephanie and Edge/Christian vs. the Hardys in a cage, which is a month after TLC I so I wouldn't expect a tag match of the year out of it. Let's get to it.
The opening video is the whole Judgment Day idea and how no one is forgiven. WWE really likes putting the religious overtones in these things don't they?
Oh and Austin is back tonight, looking for who ran him over.
Kevin Kelly is waiting on Austin to get here.
Dudley Boys/APA vs. Right to Censor
“We're censors!” “We don't like censors!” “Let's have a pre-planned mostly athletic encounter to settle our scripted differences!” There's your backstory. The APA and the Dudleys dances with Too Cool on Smackdown which wasn't as funny as it sounds. Steven says his team will win in his hometown. D-Von vs. Goodfather to start which might be an Affirmative Action thing.
The fans, to no one's surprise, want tables. Let's see...four former ECW guys in this. No wonder the fans are into it. Bubba comes in quickly and the Ho Train misses. Belly to back gets two for Bubba. Buchanan is so mad he took his tie off. Bradshaw comes in to a nice pop and beats up Buchanan for awhile. Buchanan hits his pretty awesome walk up the ropes and hit a turning clothesline for two.
Venis comes in with his white pants and jokes run rampant. Fallaway slam puts Venis down and it's off to Farrooq (how DO you spell that anyway?). This has been one sided so far which almost guarantees an RTC victory. Venis hits what is called the Blue Thunder Bomb on No Mercy and it's off to Goodfather. D-Von is the one getting beaten down at the moment.
Val misses an elbow and there's the hot (it's Philly so it's automatically hot) tag to Bubba. He cleans house 4-1 and again, why do face teams allow their partners to fight such huge odds? Doomsday Device puts Val down and it all breaks down. Steven slips in a kick to Bubba and that's enough for Val to pin him. Steven was never legally in.
Rating: C-. Just an 8 man here and the fans are into the show already so it's not like it took much. The ending was pretty clear after the RTC got beaten down so much. To be fair though every company has tendencies in their booking like that which if you watch enough you can almost always pick up. ECW was really bad about that. Anyway, this wasn't great but it did its job well enough I suppose.
Post match Steven takes What's Up and goes through a table after a big brawl to keep the crowd from getting more rowdy.
Stephanie is worried about HHH's ribs but he says he's fine. Tonight everything with Angle ends, including him holding back his temper. Stephanie looks WAY better with straight hair. Foley is refereeing this match for some reason. HHH needs to know Stephanie is ok with HHH going all psycho tonight and Stephanie says she is and she might have been wrong about Kurt. HHH questions the maybe aspect and Stephanie says she was wrong.
Jerry Lawler vs. Tazz
It's a strap match. We're also in Philadelphia so what are you expecting here? You win by pin, submission or four corners. That's a nice change of pace so we don't have to go through the whole dragging thing necessarily. These two hate each other in general so there's no specific backstory given. Plus it's Tazz in Philly so do you really think he's not incredibly over?
Tazz takes over to start and hits a suplex. We go outside and Lawler gets choked while Tazz talks trash to Ross. Lawler takes over and chokes a bit but gets whipped hard. Jerry isn't totally hated here and he hammers with right hands. To be fair though, when he's on offense the fans don't care as much. Tazz no sells a piledriver and then no sells another. Jerry hits a third (in Memphis the guy would be gone 4 months minimum) and Tazz gets up again but this time he collapses. Jerry celebrating is kind of cool.
Jerry gets three corners but stops to choke Tazz a bit and there goes the referee. Since it's Philly it's time for a run-in. And who better to debut in this spot than Raven? The place ERUPTS and Raven plants Jerry with a DDT. Tazmission goes on and Jerry is already out cold so the ending is academic. The fans LOVED Raven.
Rating: D+. The match was boring but the whole point was to prove to the ECW fans that maybe WWE isn't totally evil. There was no way you could put Lawler over here and never let it be said that he won't job when need be. Tazz was still serious here so the ending was all that mattered. Raven would be nothing for the most part but had some weird energy in WWF in 2001 which was cool to see.
Austin is here and the place goes nuts again. He beats up Kevin Kelly because that's what Austin does.
Cole takes Jerry's place on commentary. This is when he had blonde hair and is even stupider looking than he is now.
Hardcore Title: Steve Blackman vs. Al Snow vs. Test vs. Perry Saturn vs. Crash Holly vs. Funaki
This is a Hardcore Invitational which means it's like Mania 2000: there's a ten minute time limit and the last person to get a fall over the champion wins the title. Blackman is champion coming in. This was during Snow's reign as European Champion and what I thought was a hilarious gimmick as he would come out dressed as someone from a different European country every show, in this case Italy, complete with a fish and a portrait of Tony Danza.
They cover the 24/7 rule as that rule is taken away for 24 hours so the champion has a day of rest after the match is over. Everyone goes after Blackman to start and it's a big mess as you would expect. Saturn takes Trish down and Test is mad. He clocks Saturn so Snow takes Test down with Head. Crash totally botches a rana and is more or less powerbombed. Funaki hits a cross body for two on the champ.
Saturn hits a decent moonsault to take out Crash and Snow on the floor. Everyone is on the floor now with seven minutes to go. Crash and Snow are still in the ring and doing nothing interesting. Test is the only one going after Blackman at this point. Scratch that as Crash gets a shot in and pins him with just over 6 minutes left. He runs down the aisle and right into a trashcan shot by Saturn for the pin. Most of everyone fights into the crowd and Saturn isn't smart enough to run for the hills.
There isn't much to say here as everyone is fighting in the same place and there isn't much to say. With three minutes left everyone is still in the same place they were in a few minutes ago. Saturn and Blackman are at ringside now as is Snow. Saturn is in the ring alone with a stick. Blackman grabs his two sticks while Snow grabs....a pizza box? Snow is back in with two minutes left. Steve gets the kendo stick and beats up everyone, winning the title after a shot to Saturn with it at a minute left. Everyone goes after him but they're running out of time. Blackman hangs on because no one covers since they're stupid.
Rating: D. This was boring. At Mania it was at least fun but this had a total of three changes. At Mania there were 11 in just five extra minutes. There was no insanity here and it wasn't fun at all. That's not good for a match that is supposed to be designed around total insanity, which this was supposed to be.
Angle runs into Austin and is scared to death. I don't think they've ever met since Angle's first match was at the Survivor Series where Austin was run down. Angle runs his mouth and says Austin won't win a gold medal. He tries to give Austin one and Austin is about to explode. Angle gets destroyed and the fans are very pleased. Angle is still just an upper midcard guy at this point so this isn't a huge deal. He would however be world champion in less than a month.
X-Pac vs. Chris Jericho
Pac has been attacking Jericho a lot lately because they needed something to do. He runs to start which is what he's been doing with the beatings also. Jericho is all mad here so he hammers away as does Pac. The announcers aren't sure why Pac has been acting like this either. Dang that was a loud chop by Jericho. Jericho blocks a Bronco Buster with a clothesline and hits a spinewheel kick for no cover.
The springboard dropkick to Pac on the apron is broken up as Jericho is sent to the railing. Pac leaves Jericho laying out there with a bunch of kicks including a baseball slide. Back in and a spin kick gets two for the American. Off to a chinlock which Jericho reverses into a quick sleeper. Pac gets a suplex for two. He hits the Bronco Buster but stops to pose, resulting in a powerbomb out of the corner.
Jericho speeds things up a bit as we talk about HHH vs. Angle. It's Stephanie's birthday. She's 24 today and that surprises me actually. Jericho hits a bronco buster of his own while Pac grabs some nunchucks. A low blow by Pac sets up the X-Factor for two. The kickout got a solid reaction. Another powerbomb sets up the Walls but pac grabs a rope. Jericho doesn't care and pulls him out to the middle where he has to break. That's good because it would have looked stupid otherwise. Lionsault is blocked and Pac goes up, only to jump into the Walls and we're done.
Rating: C-. This missed for me. It's not a bad match at all but it felt pretty disjointed at times and didn't work all that well. Both guys did ok but the match was really nothing special at all. I'm not sure why but this whole thing was off by just a few steps and it showed badly. Again not a bad match but it felt off.
Pac hits him with the nunchucks post match, setting up a cage match at the next PPV.
Foley is warming up for his refereeing later. Angle comes in to rant and says he had a head cold the night before the Olympics. Foley doesn't seem to care. It's now No DQ. He's Commissioner so he can do that.
Austin comes in to see Rock and they shake hands. He wants to know if Rock knows who stole his keys to the Rent-A-Car that night. Some named Just Joe comes in and says that he heard some information Austin might be interested in. Austin beats him up and leaves. That guy lost clean to the Brooklyn Brawler once.
Tag Titles: Edge/Christian vs. Hardy Boys
This is in a cage and the Canadians are champions. Pin/escaping. No submissions I guess. Also Fink says you have to go over the top even though there's a door. Both guys have to escape though. We get a clip from Smackdown of the Canadians making fun of the Hardys indy stuff. Matt took a Concharito for his troubles. Big brawl to start as JR and Cole again leave submission out as a way to win. One pin wins it I think.
Matt hits a DDT on Edge so Christian is double teamed a bit. There's no Lita here due to her getting crushed on Smackdown. The Hardys both climb but the Canadians get back up in time. Jeff gets up for what was supposed to be a Swanton Bomb but Edge shoves him off the top of the cage to the floor with NOTHING to catch him. FREAKING OW MAN! Matt hits the Twist on Christian but Edge saves.
I'm not sure if Jeff was supposed to go out that early because there's no point to him being out there now. JR isn't sure if he can get back in or not. Matt gets Christian tied in the ropes and Edge in the Tree of Woe but the Canadians make the save and suplex him off the top of the cage. Matt is rammed into the cage and now Jeff is trying to get back in, failing repeatedly.
Jeff is up on top of the cage now but he gets knocked off the top for the second time in 8 minutes. And people wonder why he had such a drug habit. He steals the key to the door and slides a chair in, only to have Christian slam the door on him. Christian goes out the door which doesn't count here because this is a messed up cage match. He brings in another chair and I think you know what's coming.
Matt is busted. He gets beaten on a lot more and the referee asks if Matt wants it stopped. Conchaitro misses and the Canadians have sore hands. A double clothesline puts them down and Matt goes climbing. He gets his feet over but Christian saves. Jeff has a ladder and hits Christian with it, knocking him out of the cage so it's Matt vs. Edge now. Jeff is on the ladder and Edge can't get to him and he's all ticked about it. Jeff goes up and it's Swanton time. Whisper in the Wind puts him right between the two of them because we don't need to catch him or anything like that right?
Here's Lita who hits Christian low and ranas him off the ladder. Who else can look that good in a swimsuit and bust out a rana off a ladder like that? What a woman. She's holding her wrist after it though. Edge pelts a chair at Jeff and goes up but since he's a heel he's slower than Christmas. The Hardys catch him with chairs and give him a Conchairto, sending him flying to the ring. Matt and Jeff drop down to win the titles.
Rating: B+. The weird rules hurt this as again I don't think Jeff was supposed to go out that early. Jeff's bumps were absolutely scary here as he fell off the top of the cage TWICE. Lita served very little purpose here but the Conchairto made up for it. Also, it was Edge and Christian vs. the Hardys. Were you expecting anything less than really good?
Austin comes looking for HHH but finds Stephanie. She tries to suck up to him and has a gift for him. It's the hat he was wearing when he got run over. Austin isn't thrilled and Stephanie says go find Shane because Shane knows who it was. She can't act. I mean really, she can't. If she wasn't so hot it might actually annoy me.
Foley is still warming up and HHH comes up. He talks about bonding with Foley a bit recently but tonight it's all business. He's going to do to Kurt what he did to Foley before. Tonight HHH wants to make sure it'll be right down the line. Foley says that since it's no DQ he doesn't care what happens so he'll call it right down the line. Maybe one day they'll laugh together again but not tonight.
Jerry comes back for more commentary.
We recap Eddie vs. Rikishi. Eddie pretended to dance with Too Cool and beat them up. Rikishi came out for the save and they started feuding. Eddie cheated Chyna out of the IC Title and threw her out. Then he tried to reconcile which failed due to her being in Playboy, resulting in some bad comedy spots. Eddie blinded Rikishi, resulting in Chyna getting beaten up by mistake while Eddie did nothing to help. Eddie got out of it by asking her to marry him. This would all crash down next month when he got caught in the shower with two chicks, one being the future Victoria.
Intercontinental Title: Eddie Guerrero vs. Rikishi
Cole is gone. SWEET. Rikishi dominates to start but misses a drop onto the chest. That goes nowhere as Eddie runs almost immediately. Chyna says get back in there and he says don't tell me what to do. She shoves him and Eddie freaks. JR got an early copy of Chyna's Playboy so Jerry is asking as many questions as you can legally ask about naked women. Eddie avoids the Stinkface and heads to the floor. Chyna accidently distracts Rikishi and Eddie takes over.
Back in the Frog Splash misses and Chyna Warrior Princess is worried. Rikishi tries to throw Eddie in the air and catch him with a Samoan Drop but totally misses it, making it look like....like a horribly botched one man 3D for lack of a better term. There's the Banzai Drop but Chyna comes in to break up the count. That isn't a DQ somehow as Chyna begs him not to count the pin. Rikishi gets in her face and throws her inside. She gets in his face so he superkicks her and hits the Banzai Drop. Somehow that's a DQ win for Eddie. Uh....sure?
Rating: D+. This was supposed to be heelish tendencies or something but his real heel turn, as in the one where he was revealed as the driver, was over two weeks later. I'm not sure what the point here was but the dance music doesn't work with it at all. The booking here was really weird and the match wasn't any good either.
Eddie gets the belt before checking on Chyna.
Undertaker doesn't care who he beats tonight but he'll humble someone and become champion. Not for about 20 months dead man.
Angle laments having a bad day when Trish comes up to offer a shoulder to cry on. He blows her off and says he has to go. This is Kurt's lack of getting it and it's still funny.
We recap Kurt vs. HHH. Basically Kurt wants Stephanie and kissed her after she got hurt in a match. HHH FREAKED and accidently punched Stephanie in the process. Angle beat up HHH for it and cost him the world title. Stephanie is all torn and also keeps getting hit in the face by HHH by mistake. Foley made the match and for some reason is refereeing. Foley had no issues with Kurt so it made no sense. HHH wants to know what kind of a man wants to be friends with a woman that looks like Stephanie. Gay jokes started so Kurt hit him in the ribs with a sledgehammer then kissed Steph again.
Kurt Angle vs. HHH
Foley is referee and it's no DQ. Kurt sings Happy Birthday to Stephanie before the match. I miss the My Time music. Oh and HHH has really injured ribs due to the attack Thursday. Angle goes for the ribs so HHH punches him. Why would you wear rib tape? I mean doesn't that just make the beating worse? Don't wear them and maybe the other guy will just work on your arm.
They hit the floor and Kurt is thrown into the Fink. HHH sets up the announce table quickly but Angle manages to whip him into the railing. Back inside now and HHH spears him and pounds away. Now Kurt is all fired up and JR admits it's a big soap opera. He stomps away (Kurt, not JR) on HHH's ribs but the Game grabs a DDT for two. HHH goes after Foley but the REAL American gets a German to the normal American for two.
Now Angle goes after Foley and is shoved down. A regular suplex gets two for Kurt. HHH starts a comeback and doesn't really kick it into high gear yet. We look at Stephanie and good night she's gorgeous. HHH is thrown over the corner and out to the floor, hurting his ribs again. Kurt is thrown into the steps and now the Game goes to that announce table again. Then he just stops doing that.
Kurt gets popped in the back with a chair and HHH loads up the Pedigree on the table. Angle blocks it with a low blow and hits a wicked release belly to belly through the other table. HHH is bleeding from the mouth. Kurt works over the ribs and does it the right way: he mixes up the offense on it with various shots and doesn't stick with the same thing over and over again.
He tries a shoulder into the ribs in the corner but HHH moves, sending Kurt's shoulder into the post. Angle kind of shrugs it off and hits a belly to belly off the middle rope for two. There's an abdominal stretch which is the right move for something like this. HHH is cut near the eye. Angle fires off the moonsault but since it's a Kurt Angle moonsault it misses.
HHH comes back but his left arm is pretty worthless due to the ribs hurting too much. He loads up the Pedigree but it's a one armed version so Kurt isn't dead. HHH waves Steph into the ring and says she has to choose. She hits Kurt low and HHH hits a regular Pedigree for the pin. She's not thrilled but it's more a look of shock than anything else.
Rating: B. That's as high as this can possibly get. They never kicked it into a higher gear, but Angle wasn't a higher gear kind of guy yet. He was still the heel that was a bumbling idiot but could turn it on when he needed to and that's ok. He also hadn't had his wars with Benoit yet to make everyone's jaws drop at once. Either way, this was good stuff, although definitely not great stuff. JR talking about how there's more to it is kind of stupid too as this came off like a blowoff match.
HHH kisses Stephanie in a weird hard way post match and she seems a bit messed up by it.
Too Cool are at WWF New York.
Here's Shane who claims to have video proof of who ran over Austin, which is why Austin is here tonight. Shane hoped they could do this in private....which is why he came out into the arena. He says it's not someone you would expect and it's someone with a history of vehicular assault. We get a clip of Steve Blackman hitting Shamrock with a car about a year ago. This is the proof that Blackman did it to Austin according to Shane. They had just gotten done feuding if that clears anything up.
Here's Blackman and he's not happy. I may need some additional information here. He's especilally not happy here. Cue Glass Shatters and Austin gets a huge pop. He's got the Disturbed song now too. Austin hits all four corners and Austin gets in Blackman's face. Blackman says he didn't do it and Shane is here too. Shane is behind Austin talking trash. Blackman tries to leave and takes a Stunner. Shane gets some beers and Austin has a drink. Shane has a Stunner and spits the beer in a nice touch.
JR questions Blackman's guilt and there's a Stunner for Shane. Shane gets up after a bit and goes down again from a second Stunner. The place gets louder for each Stunner too. Austin leaves him laying but goes back to flip the fans off a bit more. This is Austin's official return as he'll be on Raw tomorrow. Shane gets up and takes a third Stunner to just kill him dead. There's something awesome about Austin hurting people for fun and it never gets old.
We recap the main event where the idea is that Rock is a marked man. All four guys wanted to fight each other and all three said they should be #1 contender so Foley made the match. The video is about everyone beating up everyone.
Rock says he's ready as only he can. He talks about what all three of them might want, implying Kane wants to be burned, Benoit wants to perform oral sex on a wolverine and that Taker gets a, shall we say, nice feeling from a motorcycle. As always, words don't do these justice.
WWF Title: Kane vs. The Rock vs. Undertaker vs. Chris Benoit
One fall to a finish. Taker still has Kid Rock for his music here. There are about 7 referees in the ring to keep the brawl from starting until Rock is there. Taker vs. Benoit and Rock vs. Kane to start. No tags here so I'd assume no DQ. Now it's brother on brother violence as Rock vs. Benoit is out in the crowd. Top rope clothesline gets two for Kane. Taker's jumping version gets the same.
Big boot gets two for Taker. The others are back now and Rock gets a Samoan Drop for two on the Big Fried Freak. Rock and Taker put Kane on the floor so they can brawl a bit. Taker sets for Old School but Rock breaks it up, tossing Taker from the top and sending him to the floor. Kane is back in now as Jerry asks where Benoit is. There goes the referee. Taker caves Rock's head in with a chair and Benoit does the same to Taker. The referee gets up and BENOIT WINS THE TITLE?????
Oh of course not as here's Foley to say Taker was in the ropes. Did we really need a Dusty Finish here? Everyone is mad at Benoit for some reason and they stalk him up the aisle. Rock sends him into the set as does Taker. Back in the ring Taker gets two on Benoit with Rock making the save. We get a replay showing that Taker's leg was on the ropes so at least it was correct.
Rock pops Taker in the head with the steps. Well at least he wasn't touching a rope. Rock gets his move that is supposed to be an overhead belly to belly but is more like a random thrown. Rolling Germans get two for Benoit. The headbutt gets two and now Benoit is in the Crossface. Now there's something you don't see every day. Kane and Taker are back in now and Kane hits a chokeslam for two.
Benoit breaks up the elbow to draw MAD heat. It says a lot about Rock that the People's Elbow, the most overblown of all overblown moves, is over in Philly. Last Ride to Rock but Kane saves again. Benoit cracks the brothers with chair shots and puts Rock in the Crossface. Taker FINALLY breaks it up after a record for most time in the Crossface. Chokeslam gets two on Benoit as Kane saves. The big guys slug it out and a Rock Bottom keeps the title on the Brahma Bull.
Rating: C+. Not bad here but it's really just like any other four way main event you'll see. It's fine for what it was but it didn't feel like a big deal at all at almost any time. The Dusty Finish wasn't needed and slowed things down a lot and I'd have rather seen Benoit get it. Then again he wasn't ready for it yet so I can live with that and totally understand it. Not bad but nothing worth seeing again.
Overall Rating: B-. Certainly not a bad show but it feels weak at points. Austin coming back was the real main event and that wasn't paid off until about two and a half weeks later. The tag title match is good but they've had better and Angle was good but has had better. It's that kind of show all around, so while it was entertaining there are far better shows worth popping in and checking out over this one.
Date: September 23, 2001
Location: Mellon Arena, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Commentators: Jim Ross, Paul Heyman
Boy have things changed in a year. We're in the Alliance Era now, meaning we have two world title matches. First up is a handicap match with Shane/Booker teaming up to fight Rock for the WCW Title and Angle vs. Austin with Angle getting another shot as the hometown boy. This is a very different style also as other than two matches, everything is over ten minutes long. Let's get to it.
This is less than two weeks after 9/11 so let's get patriotic! There's some miscommunication in there somewhere as she starts to sing God Bless America after being announced as singing America the Beautiful. She has one of those voices where the louder she gets the more it sounds like screeching.
The opening video talks about the aforementioned main events.
WWF Tag Titles: Hardy Boys vs. Hurricane/Lance Storm vs. Dudley Boys vs. Big Show/Spike Dudley
Dudleys have the titles and this is elimination rules. Helms is European Champion. Storm/Hurricane and the Dudleys are Alliance. Brawl to start with Show beating up the Dudleys on his own. Matt vs. D-Von gets us going officially but it's off to Hurricane quickly. Hurricane poses a lot so Matt arm drags him and poses too. The hat wearing Jeff comes in to a girl pop.
Spike wants to fight Helms because he tried to steal Molly from Spike so Helms runs. He lets Storm beat Spike down and then comes back in. Helms wanted Molly to be his superhero sidekick. That could never happen right? I mean it's not like she'd.....ok so she turns on Spike later in the week and becomes Mighty Molly. Hurricane gets the cape (which was a really disappointing show) and it's gone that fast. Gutbuster gets two on Spike. Off to Lance who gets caught in a Dudley Dog to put both guys down.
Hot tag brings in Show and it breaks down fast. The Hardys dive on a lot of people and Spike climbs onto Show's shoulders to dive on EVERYONE. Show points to the corner and everyone in the arena freaks. Bubba breaks it up so Show beats up everyone in sight, chokeslamming Storm to end him and get us down to three teams. The Dudleys hit a double suplex on Show and Matt is back in, rolling Spike up for two.
Spike counters the Twist of Fate into a neckbreaker for two. The second attempt works a bit better and SHOCK AND AWE SHOCK AND AWE, we get the Hardys vs. the Dudleys. Bubba breaks up Poetry in Motion and they call for 3D. It's Bubba vs. Jeff now and Bubba chops loudly. Jeff jumps really high on a back drop and it looks great. Matt tries to come in and help, letting Jeff get caught in What's Up.
D-Von hooks a chinlock and Jeff is in trouble again. D-Von gets a sloppy powerslam for two. Out to the floor and Bubba sends Jeff into the steps and that looked nasty as Jeff was a bit high so his hip hit the steps straight on. Jeff manages to fire off a Whisper in the Wind (I don't think Ross knows that name) and brings in Matt. He dives out to the floor with a moonsault to take out both Dudleys. Twist of Fate is countered into 3D but Jeff dives off with a Swanton to break it up. Bubba hits his self-titled Bomb as Jeff is being put out so D-Von can steal the pin to retain.
Rating: B-. Pretty fun opener here and it ate up a lot of time. The Dudleys vs. the Hardys was always entertaining but dude, how many times can they have it before it gets boring? The tag division was totally dead by the time we got to Mania so that should tell you a lot right there. This was good stuff though and the other teams actually made it a bit better which is rare in these matches.
RVD is just getting here. No wonder he was criticized. Stephanie comes up to him and wishes him luck against Jericho. She offers him services and sex might be kind of almost maybe sort of involved. He turns her down but I think she meant managing. He does need help finding a dressing room. Her hair is awful here.
Angle's family is in the front row. Well if that doesn't seal the ending I don't know what does. Kurt isn't medically cleared due to a neck injury. I'll retract my previous statement: THAT seals it more than anything else.
We recap Raven vs. Saturn which is over Moppy. Moppy is just that: a mop. Saturn was in love with it and Raven put it in a woodchipper. Terri left Saturn for Raven during this also.
Raven vs. Perry Saturn
Saturn goes off on him to start as Paul gets in the line of the night: “They're fighting over the memory of a mop.” Raven goes to the floor and hits the Russian leg sweep into the barrier and a drop toehold into the steps. JR talks about the Flock and Heyman talks about how JR never watched Nitro. JR: “I was busy!” Back in and Raven grabs a cobra clutch of all things.
Saturn escapes but Raven hits a HARD knee lift to send him out to the floor. Saturn keeps trying to get back in but Raven keeps knocking him back to the floor. He manages to get back in with a sunset flip but Raven grabs the rope for two. Saturn hits his usual nice superkick and pounds away. Suplex puts Raven down again. Raven counters a top rope rana and a sunset flip gets two. Perry goes way old school with a catapult and the Moss Covered Three Handled Family Credenza gives Saturn the win.
Rating: C. This was a Raw match but it was fine. Saturn bleeding from the eye made him look like a warrior...even though this wasn't a match that needed a warrior. These two always had solid chemistry together and even here with Raven and Saturn both meaning nothing it was a decent match.
To show what the Alliance did to the company, every match after this is a title match.
Christian talks to the gorgeous Lillian about Edge and how he's going to fulfill his dream and prove he's better than his brother. It's worth it too.
We recap Edge vs. Christian which is about Christian being jealous of Edge's success, namely winning the KOTR and IC Title. This led to the awesome “CHRISTIAN! CHRISTIAN! AT LAST YOU ARE ON YOUR O-O-O-O-O-WN” music. Edge's face visuals were amazing in this feud.
Intercontinental Title: Christian vs. Edge
Edge has the always awesome Rob Zombie entrance here too. Edge hammers away to start and Christian tries to get a breather. They fight up the ramp and it's all Edge here. Edge hits a slingshot to send his brother/friend into the set face first. Back to the ring and Edge is in firm control. He rams Christian's head into the middle buckle ten times and chokes away a bit.
Christian sends him into the post and let's talk about grandma. Christian is really not quite used to being on offense on his own yet. It took him a few years to really get going with it and even then it took him a few more years to break to the main event level. Edge gets a shot in and heads up top. He shoves his brother/friend off and jumps, landing on his feet. He fakes out Christian and the Canadian hits a German on the Canadian for two.
Edge is bleeding from under his eye. They slug it out and a double cross body puts both of them down. This isn't really gelling but it's not bad. Unprettier is countered into the Edge-O-Matic for two. Edge is tossed to the floor and he crawls under the ring so he can come out the other side and hit a top rope cross body for two. The less successful brother goes to the floor and grabs some chairs for a Conchairto but Edge sweeps the leg, sending a chair into Christian's head. Edge tries the same thing and Christian pops him in the balls with a chair for the title.
Rating: C-. It's not a bad match but the flow was way off. It's like they went from one set of spots to the next with little in between. They would get a lot better but at this point Christian just wasn't ready to do much and Edge wasn't good enough in the ring to be able to carry him there yet either.
We recap the Brothers of Destruction vs. Kronik. Steven Richards blamed Taker for RTC splitting up and then Kronik beat him up, drawing out Kane. Kronik cost the Brothers the WWF Tag Titles but since this is the Alliance Era, they had both titles at once so they were still the WCW champions, because once you lose a title match you're still champions right?
Taker talks about how awesome they are and how they'll beat Kronik.
WCW Tag Titles: Kronik vs. Undertaker/Kane
Richards is with Kronik here. The brawl starts on the floor and it's Adams vs. Taker to officially get us going. Off to Kane who still has a bad arm. Off to Clark with Kronik in control now. Big boot gets two. There are a lot of kicks and punches in this. Kane kind of falls down on a neckbreaker....and then a shoulderbreaker. Taker comes in and works on the arm, hitting Old School.
An armbar goes on but Adams breaks it up. Clark sells the arm so he's up a few steps already. More punches and kicks from Kronik and they're not clicking at all. Kronik takes over with double teaming and upgrades their offense with a double shoulder block for two. Off to the chinlock with Adams keeping Taker down. Back to Clark but Taker hits a running DDT and there's the tag to Kane.
He cleans house and a big boot puts both guys down. A side slam to Clark does the same and Kane loads up a chokeslam. Adams makes the save and we get the rare triple clothesline to put everyone down. Taker comes back in and it all breaks down. He sets for a chokeslam on Clark but Richards comes in for the save. Double chokeslam to Taker is broken up and Kane hits his clothesline and a chokeslam ends Clark to keep the titles on the Brothers.
Rating: D-. This match was voted worst match of the year....and I'm really not sure why. Sure it's bad but I've seen FAR worse matches than this before. Kronik looked as limited as you can be and they would be fired soon after this for the match. They needed more seasoning and the offer was to send them to the minors but they refused and were fired because of it. I don't get why this was blasted so much because it's not the worst match I've ever seen or really even close to it. I'm sure I could find some worse WCW matches.
Post match Steven gets beaten up.
Shane tries to fire up Booker and Taz comes in to fire both of them up.
Steph goes looking for RVD and talks through his door, saying that since tomorrow is her birthday she wants him to destroy Jericho. She still can't act. I mean really, how hard is it to sound like you're not on a script. More sex is implied. Jericho is behind her and it's time for the great insults. “How old are you going to be?” “25.” “No I asked how old you'll be, not how many men you've been with in the past week.” Implant jokes are made as Stephanie got some surgery recently and I can't say I'm complaining.
Hardcore Title: Rob Van Dam vs. Chris Jericho
JR and Paul have an argument about RVD's ECW accomplishments. Why would you want to argue with Heyman about that? They fight to a stalemate with both guys trying dropkicks and the fans applaud. They exchange some nice pinfall reversals and RVD is the fan favorite. Jericho slaps him in the face and starts winning through the use of strikes. RVD gets a rollup using just his feet for two.
There have been no weapon shots used yet and we're about 5 minutes into this. Jericho is sent to the floor and Van Dam hits a cross body off the apron for two. There's the spin kick to Jericho's back while he's on the railing but Jericho moves as Van Dam crashes. And now it's time for the ladders. Jericho takes his head off with it and we go back into the ring. Van Dam's shoulder goes into the post twice and Jericho is kind of wrestling heel here.
Both guys are suplexed onto the ladder with Jericho doing it second. Rob escapes a Walls attempt and hits a modified Rolling Thunder (he rolled through once and then just splashed him instead of a backsplash) and then a split legged moonsault for two. Lionsault misses and Van Dam takes his head off with a spin kick, giving us about our third busted eye of the night.
Five Star misses and Jericho gets two. This has been a really good match so far. Jericho takes a drop toehold to send him into the ladder. Rob grabs a chair and slams Jericho down onto it then climbs the ladder. Jericho counters by throwing the ladder at Rob's head and putting the Walls on him ON THE LADDER, ala Benoit at the 01 Rumble. Van Dam crashes to the floor and Jericho misses a dive onto him.
I'm sorry for all the play by play here but it's one of those matches where there's nothing to make fun of. Jericho finds a chair under the ring and RVD's suicide dive eats chair. That only gets two so Jericho sends the arm into the post again. Back inside Jericho takes a spin kick for two but rolls out of the cover into a Fujiwara armbar but Rob makes the ropes. The fans are starting to get behind Jericho as he uses a chair on the arm and back. Here's Stephanie to grab the chair but Jericho takes a BIG swing at her. She drops to the floor, letting Rob hit a Van Daminator and the Five Star to retain.
Rating: B+. Now this is more like it. This is a fine example of the match being about the guys using the weapons rather than the weapons being used on the guys and that almost always guarantees a better match. These are two guys that could have a good match no matter what the stipulation and that's the formula for a great match. Jericho would turn heel soon after this but wouldn't join the Alliance.
Booker fires himself up and Shane helps him. Shane wouldn't mind winning the title either.
We recap Rock vs. Booker/Shane. Rock beat Booker in the main event of Summerslam for the WCW Title. Since Shane owned WCW he made the next match, which is a handicap match for the title. For some reason this is set to Rey's old WCW music.
WCW World Title: Shane McMahon/Booker T vs. The Rock
If either of the heels get a pin, they win the title. Booker and Shane have to tag and Booker starts us off. Rock gets a quick neckbreaker for two as Shane makes the save. I'd expect that a lot tonight. The fans think Shane is a cat. A belly to back suplex gets two as Shane saves again. Shane tags himself in and runs into a fresh Rock. Rock fakes him out after a chase and the beating is on.
JR tries to talk about the WCW traditionalists hating the idea of Shane as champion. There are so many replies to that I'm not sure where to start. The WCW guys take over and work on Rock's ribs. Rock counters Shane with the release overhead belly to belly and Shane is in trouble. Rock grabs a Sharpshooter and Booker makes the save. Outside we go and Shane hits a clothesline off the railing to put Rock down.
Shane may be annoying at times but for a guy that isn't a regular wrestler he can pull off some good stuff. Booker actually covers after a snapmare which thankfully is good for only one. Outside again and Booker misses a big chair shot. Rock can't get anything going because Shane interferes again. There's a slingshot into the post which Rock can sell like no other.
Back inside IT'S A SPINAROONI!!! Rock grabs a rollup for two and we're back on the floor again. Booker tries to set up the elbow for Shane but Rock moves and punches away. That doesn't last long as he's right back on the table again after a superkick. Back inside and Rock hits a Samoan Drop for no cover as Shane brings the belt in, accidently clocking Booker with it.
A belt shot to Rock gets two and we're back to a regular match for a few moments. Shane tries to hit his elbow but Rock rolls away. Rock fights them both off with punches and clotheslines. A DDT gets two on Booker. Shane takes Rock down and nips up, setting up a Shanebow. Rock nips up instead and plants Shane with the Rock Bottom. Spinebuster sets up the People's Elbow on Booker but here's Test to break that up. Somehow this isn't a DQ because Nick Patrick is corrupt.
Bradshaw comes out and chases Test into the crowd as a WWF referee is here now. Why? It's a WCW Title match. He pulls Patrick out of the ring to break up a pin so Patrick beats up the WWF guy. Booker gets two on Rock so the WWF referee pulls Patrick out, only to get blasted by Booker. Book End is broken up and there's a Rock Bottom but there's no referee. Oh wait yeah there is and it's over.
Rating: C. This was fine at first and then it went all nuts. We had two wrestlers run-in, two referees fighting, two ref bumps, a pair of belt shots and a third ref in a handicap match with a crooked referee. And people wonder why it was claimed the main events were overbooked at this point. I mean dude, how hard is it to have Rock make a superman comeback and beat both guys with Rock Bottoms? Either way this wasn't bad but overbooking killed it.
Tajiri wants to fight tonight even though he has bad ribs. Torrie begs to get to be at ringside to Regal and Regal gives in. Uh...point of this?
Stacy is at WWF New York and we get clips of her shaving her legs in a bath.
US Title: Rhyno vs. Tajiri
Tajiri is champion. JR doesn't get how Tajiri can date an Alliance chick in Torrie. Common sense never was Ross' strong suit. Tajiri fires off some kicks and chops but the fans don't care. To be fair this is a filler match between the Rock match and Austin vs. Angle. Rhyno gets in a shot and we hit the chinlock. Big spinebuster gets two. Rhyno goes after Torrie and loads up a Gore but Tajiri kicks him HARD in the face to break it up. Tornado DDT is countered so there's an Octopus Hold and an attempted Tarantula. Buzzsaw Kick misses and a suplex sets up the Gore to give Rhyno the title.
Rating: D+. This was nothing but it wasn't that awful. It needed to be on Smackdown as far as quality but at the same time it did let them have a buffer between the title matches which is a good idea. Also it's not like there was much to see here so a nacho break was a good idea. Why did Tajiri want to fight here though?
We recap Austin vs. Angle. Austin couldn't beat Angle at Summerslam and Angle kicked out of three Stunners. They kind of stalked each other and Austin stole the medals, throwing them in a river. Angle retaliated by taking a lead pipe and blasting Austin in the back of the head with it in Austin's new truck. Austin was fine because it's just a world class athlete hitting you in the back of the head with a lead pipe on an adrenaline rush. Nothing serious there.
He then blindfolded Austin and threatened to throw him in a river if Austin didn't cry. In a funny bit Angle shoved him into a kid's pool to make him think he was in a river. This resulted in Austin shoving him off a stage and injuring his neck. Angle gave an incredibly cool promo, ripping off his neck brace and saying that Austin knows that Angle can beat him. Check that promo out if you can find it.
WWF World Title: Kurt Angle vs. Steve Austin
Angle gets the hometown boy pop and Fink milks it perfectly. “From PITTSBURGH PENNSYLVANIA!” Angle meets him on the ramp and here we go. Austin is hammered down and Angle is all fired up. The champ is all afraid to try the Stunner because either it won't work or the kick to set it up could result in an ankle lock. Angle hits a Thesz Press and hammers away in the corner.
We head to the floor and Austin is reeling. Austin blocks a superplex but Kurt is like oh yes you are going and hits it on the second attempt. Austin grabs a sleeper but gets countered by a jawbreaker. He tries to leave with the title but Angle catches up to him and throws Austin off the ramp just like Austin did to him a few weeks ago. Angle puts him against the railing and pounds him down with punches and chops.
Kurt picks Austin up and carries him back to the ring, ramming him into the post. We're seven minutes into this and it's been 95% Angle. He stops to peel back the mats and Austin gets a knee to the back to take over. Piledriver on the floor doesn't work and Austin is cut above the eye. Angle chops away and tries an Olympic piledriver but is backdropped as well.
Angle tries a suplex out there but Austin reverses and drops him onto the table. He does it again and the table is sturdy. Here's a third try and it STILL doesn't break. That's a good table! Austin drives knees to the neck back inside. He talks trash to Kurt's family in the front row which is why he's a great heel: he knows how to get a crowd riled up which so few people today know how to do.
Off to the chinlock and I'm cool with that as they've been going hard for almost 15 minutes. Austin pounds on the back but gets caught in the Germans. It's just three this time but Kurt is holding his neck. Austin tries a super belly to back but Kurt reverses into a bad looking cross body for two.
Release spinebuster puts Angle down and Austin kicks him in the little Olympians. The referee is shoved so Angle kicks Austin low to even things up. A DDT sends Austin to the floor and we're running out of time. This has been pretty good but it's certainly no classic. Back in Angle stuns Austin for two. Austin hits a belly to back suplex called the Angle Slam. I mean he didn't even try to change it. A piledriver gets a close two and Austin is getting mad. He loads up the Stunner but Angle grabs the boot and the ankle lock gives Angle the title.
Rating: B. The match was certainly good but it's not on the level I think they were hoping for. It never quite hit that level of intensity and violence and Angle's neck injury didn't quite live up to the amount of intensity that I think it was supposed to. Definitely good though, just not a classic.
Angle's family comes in for the huge celebration post match. The WWF comes in too and it's a huge party. He would lose the title in 15 days so this doesn't mean much long term. Still though it's a very cool moment here.
Overall Rating: B. This was a good bit above last year's show and the length of the matches help it. The Alliance Era wasn't kind though and the future of a ton of title matches on every show proves to be a coming problem. Angle winning the title was a cool moment but Rock is a world champion also. It kind of deflates it a bit no? Still though, fun show and one of the better ones of this era.
KB once again Im glad you are doing the Unforgiven Reviews. For some reason I like 2000 over 2001. I liked the 2001 Edition but 2000 to me is just better IMO. Looking forward to the rest of your Reviews.
"You cry and you pout for the Attitude Era but when me and CM Punk give you attitude, you dont like it." -Paul Heyman
WWF/E & Wrestling Fan since 1990!
Date: September 22, 2002
Location: Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
Commentators: Michael Cole, Tazz, Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler
This is a show I forgot existed. It's in a pretty weak time for the company as the world title had split less than three weeks before this. The main events are RVD challenging HHH and Taker challenging Brock for the Smackdown title. Other than that we have Stephanie performing Hot Lesbian Action and Benoit vs. Angle. I can't wait to get to that Benoit and Angle so let's get to it.
The opening video is about how cool it is to have two world title matches. Man would that voiceover chick be disappointed today.
The theme song is Adrenaline from XXX so I can't complain there.
Un-Americans vs. Bubba Ray Dudley/Kane/Booker T/Goldust
Just an 8 man tag here to make the fans be all happy to see evil foreigners (is Dudleyville in America?) lose. I guess Spain isn't an evil foreign country anymore. Storm and Christian are the Raw tag champs here. Goldust is the hometown boy here and he starts with Christian. Goldie cleans house and it's off to Bubba vs. Storm. Bubba has no issues abusing some foreigners and a flapjack gets two.
Test comes in to beat on Goldie a bit so JR talks about having breakfast. Booker comes in to a big pop (he was on fire at this point) and beats up Test. Regal has about the same luck, getting caught in What's Up. And it's table time! I wonder what would happen if Bubba didn't have an underling to tell to get the tables.
Booker gets beaten down again as we're just waiting on the hot tag to Kane who is on a huge roll at this point. That shows why he's in the opening 8 man tag I guess. How dare he get on a roll like that? Christian comes in for a chinlock but Goldust makes the save. Booker grabs the sweet spinning sunset flip out of the corner and a spinebuster for two.
Here's Kane who looks a lot slimmer than I remember him. He destroys everything in sight like any good monster. Everything breaks down and everyone snaps off their finishers (including a Spinarooni and Shattered Dreams to Christian) and a chokeslam to Storm ends this after Kane knocks the brass knucks out of Regal's hand.
Rating: C+. Just an 8 man tag here but the ending was fun and the fans are into things now. There's very little you can do that will get fans going more than playing to their patriotism and this did that in droves. Wrestling fans are a very patriotic bunch and if you don't believe me, just as the Real American.
Stephanie gives Billy and Chuck a pep talk. The idea is that if they lose, Stephanie has to make out with some chick. If they win, Eric has to kiss her....uh.....yeah you get the idea.
Intercontinental Title: Chris Jericho vs. Ric Flair
Flair beat him last month to set this up. Jericho is champion and is the heel. Flair isn't a total mess yet and could still have a mostly watchable match at this point. In order to set this up. Flair lost to Rico on Raw. What that has to do with this is beyond me and how it makes him look like a challenger to Jericho is beyond me too but whatever. Figure Four is countered quickly and a baseball slide puts Flair down on the outside.
Missile dropkick gets two and I'll leave it up to you to figure out who hit that. JR and Lawler are talking about how Flair has to be about ready to retire. How scary is it that Flair is still technically active while Jericho has retired for all intents and purposes? Abdominal stretch goes on but Flair escapes and turns it into a brawl, sending Jericho into the railing and then back inside. He can still do his basic stuff which is enough to keep things going well enough.
It's time for the knee but the Figure Four is countered into a small package for two. Lionsault misses and Jericho might have jammed his knee. Jericho says he's injured and asks Flair for mercy but of course he's fine. He grabs the Walls and Flair has to give it up for the pretty surprising submission. A heel just won a match with a submission against a big name opponent. That's not something I was expecting.
Rating: C-. The idea here is that Flair has lost a step which I think everyone knew coming in. That's an old Flair trick but Flair fell for it here, which is to say he's not thinking as much out there. Now why did we need to have a title match on PPV for that? Also, Flair actually tapped out to a move? That just doesn't fit at all.
Bischoff tells 3 Minute Warning to win tonight for Bischoff's sake. Rico will be in their corner tonight.
Shaq is here.
Edge vs. Eddie Guerrero
This is about respect or something. Also Edge caused Rikishi to give Eddie some Stinkfaces. Eddie runs to start and suckers Edge in to take over. And scratch that as he walks into a powerslam for two. Eddie tops that with a SWEET tornado DDT for two. He hooks on a unique submission where he's in the position for a victory roll but hooks the arms back on the mat and works on the neck.
Belly to back gets two for Eddie and he hooks a front facelock to keep the attack on the neck. Simple psychology but it works. Eddie pounds away but Edge knocks his block off with a right hand and both guys are down. That was quite a right hand as it keeps both guys down for a count of six. A spear attempt eats corner and Eddie is all fired up. Edge gets a pair of rollups for four and a neckbreaker to put both guys down again.
Edge starts his comeback with his usual stuff but it's a lot more crisp as he hasn't injured his neck for the first time here so he's a lot faster than you might be accustomed to. Eddie grabs a jawbreaker and the fans seem to be behind Edge here. Latino Heat tries a springboard rana but gets caught in a sitout powerbomb for two. Another spear misses but Edge grabs the Edgecution for two. Edge misses a missile dropkick and Eddie loosens a buckle. Eddie gets sent into said buckle and speared into the corner. They go up and Eddie hits a sunset bomb with the tights for the pin.
Rating: B. This was very fun stuff and the ending was the right move with Eddie cheating to win the match also. There are arguments to have either guy win here but Edge losing was a nice surprise and the match was excellent fast paced stuff that is probably going to be the best match of the night until Benoit vs. Angle.
HHH goes to see RVD and says Rob doesn't have the fire in him or something. Flair is there too and gets made fun of as well. Trash talking isn't RVD's strong suit.
We recap 3 Minute Warning vs. Billy and Chuck. This was one of those things that only happens in wrestling and soap operas. So Billy and Chuck were going to have a “commitment ceremony” (and yes it's exactly what it sounds like) and the justice of the peace was really old. He started talking about how this could last and said it could be three minutes. He then changed his voice and pulled his face off, revealing that it was Bischoff in a prosthetic mask. The fat guys (Jamal and Rosey) beat up Billy and Chuck after that. Stephanie did the same on Raw and the match happened as a result.
Billy and Chuck vs. 3 Minute Warning
Here they're just Rosey and Jamal but the 3 minute idea was still around. Jamal is more famous as Umaga. The fight starts immediately and Rico kicks Chuck in the head to take over. Rosey vs. Chuck starts us off. Cole talks about all of the people that 3 Minute Warning has beaten up, calling them a who's who of wrestling: Shawn Stasiak, D'Lo Brown, Mini-dust, lesbians, Mae Young and Moolah just to name a few. I'm not here any more. I'm over there. That blew me away.
This is the fat boys' debut and the fans make gay chants at Rico. A middle rope moonsault misses Chuck and this isn't an incredibly interesting match. Billy comes in and cleans house but then tries to ram the Samoans' heads together. And people wonder why he gets made fun of. Anyway, Rosey goes up for a splash but Chuck saves....by throwing him off the top with the hopes that Billy isn't there anymore I guess. Jamal cleans house and superkicks Chuck but walks into a Fameasser. Rico comes in for a distraction and a Samoan Drop ends Billy to set up HLA later.
Rating: D. Well this was uh.....pointless? Why did this need to happen on PPV again? The match wasn't very good at all and was just here to set up an angle later on in the night, which I'm sure won't have any shenanigans at all. Billy and Chuck would split very soon after this after losing in the first round of the Smackdown tag title tournament.
Bischoff is very happy and various lesbians want to kiss Stephanie. They just all happen to be young and attractive. Most lesbians I know really aren't.
We recap HHH vs. RVD. HHH was awarded the first World Heavyweight Championship and Van Dam won a fatal fourway elimination match to get the shot.
Raw World Title: Rob Van Dam vs. HHH
HHH is clean shaven and the look isn't really working for him. Feeling out process to start and Jerry implies RVD is high. Jerry makes more pot jokes as HHH takes over using power moves. HHH heads to the floor so RVD gets a bottle of water from somewhere and does the HHH spit. They're still in the opening part here as it's back and forth stuff with no one really trying anything big yet.
Van Dam uses his kicks to get two and we're back on the mat with the headlock again. Rob tries a big dive to the floor but HHH just steps to the side and Van Dam crashes HARD, giving us our first major advantage. HHH beats on him out there a bit which gets two back in the ring. They go to the floor and RVD takes over by ramming HHH into the table. High knee gets two for the champ.
HHH goes up top and gets caught. Well he is a Flair student after all. HHH hooks up a sleeper which he was using a lot more often at this point. Van Dam gets a kick in to take over and they slug it out a bit. Modified rolling thunder gets two. Van Dam does his rolling monkey flip out of the corner and a middle rope kick out of the corner sets up Rolling Thunder for two.
Van Dam dives out to the floor and HHH is in trouble. A top rope kick (it's that one footed dropkick that he hits all the time) gets two. Trips grabs a facebuster but down goes the referee. RVD takes him down but there's no referee. The Pedigree is countered into a slingshot and RVD is feeling froggy. What exactly is froggy? Does he want to eat bugs? The splash hits but there's no referee again. A low blow puts Rob down and it's sledgehammer time. Here's Flair, the guy HHH called old and worthless earlier...and of course he hits Rob with the hammer and a Pedigree keeps the title on HHH.
Rating: C-. It's ok but that's being generous. There's just nothing going on here and the turn makes almost no sense at all. This would be the beginning of the Evolution period and it feels like the show should end here, but we've got well over an hour to go. That shot of HHH standing tall with Flair would be the scene for about a year and a half and it got really dull really fast.
D'Lo Brown and Kidman are in the back when a guy from the Young and the Restless comes up. Brown is a soap opera geek apparently. He wants to know if there's something going on on the side but the actor says he's a married man. Dawn Marie comes up and takes him away. This might be the most pointless scene in WWE history. Let that sink in for a minute.
Women's Title: Trish Stratus vs. Molly Holly
It's not Time to Rock and Roll yet and Molly is probably going to be cannon fodder to give Trish another reign. Typical Diva stuff to start with Trish being 26 and mostly awesome at this point. This is during the Molly is a Virgin thing and Jerry implies he'd like to pop her. Molly takes over and rams Trish's head into the steps. The announcers take a chance to talk about where the show is airing, which is a giveaway that the match is just filler.
Molly puts on a chinlock and we're running with an anchor. JR isn't happy that Stephanie is going to have to perform HLA. Small package gets two for Trish. A bulldog out of nowhere gets two. It didn't use the ropes though so I guess kicking out of it is ok. Chick Kick gets two. Molly hits a handspring corner smash for two. Trish gets sent into the ropes and comes off with the Rey Mysterio sitout bulldog for the pin.
Rating: D-. It doesn't fail because Trish looks good in tight pants. This was so boring I could barely stand sitting through it. The whole division was pretty awful until it got to Trish vs. Lita every month and we added some more girls like Gail and Mickie (who really helped it). Still though, this was boring filler.
Trish is happy.
Bischoff and Rico party with the lesbians. Rico leaves with 3 Minute Warning and the girls. Weren't they lesbians? Two of the chicks stay behind to do the stuff with Stephanie later.
We recap Angle vs. Benoit and does this really need a recap? Angle got a Stinkface and Benoit thought it was funny so Angle got mad. Another feud began. Benoit got a Stinkface thanks to Angle and the match was made.
Chris Benoit vs. Kurt Angle
The YOU SUCK chants are extra loud tonight. They go to the mat quickly after hitting the floor and you know I can't keep up with these two. A Crossface attempt doesn't work and it's a standoff. Ankle lock attempt has the same result. We get an INCREDIBLE pinfall reversal sequence that ends in a Crossface attempt and Kurt hits the floor to a round of applause from the fans.
Kurt finally is like screw this and throws Benoit to the floor. Back in and Kurt hooks a body vice but Benoit grabs the leg into a submission of his own. Benoit avoids a charge and Kurt goes into the post twice. As you might expect him to do, Benoit goes right for the bad shoulder but walks into a belly to belly to break the momentum. This is a chess match as you would expect from these two. The question is how high can it get on the classic scale.
The Canadian hits some Germans on the American but the American counters the Canadian's German to hit some American Germans on the Canadian but the Canadian counters into a German on the American but the American counters the Canadian to hit three Germans on the Canadian and everyone is down. That gets another round of applause.
Angle Slam is countered but Chris gets a release German to send Angle flying onto his face to put both guys down again. Benoit sets for the swan dive but Angle runs the corner and hits the belly to belly for two. AWESOME stuff here. Ankle lock is countered quickly and Benoit gets him into a tombstone position but drops into a shoulderbreaker. See, THAT is smart.
Swan dive hits but Benoit can't cover immediately. Kurt kicks out so Benoit throws the Crossface on.....but Angle grabs the ankle lock WHILE HE'S STILL IN THE CROSSFACE! WOW. Ankle lock goes on but Benoit reverses into the Crossface which is reversed into the ankle lock but Benoit grabs the rope. Angle hooks a Crossface on Benoit and pushes the rope away with his foot. Benoit rolls through the Crossface and rolls Kurt up, putting his own feet on the ropes to steal the pin. He was still a tweener/heel at this point so it's ok.
Rating: A. Oh come on it's Benoit vs. Angle. Were you expecting anything less than this? This was a very fun match and some of the counters and thinking they were using out there was incredible, especially the ankle lock while in the Crossface. This was their usual masterpiece and somehow their match in January was even better which blows my mind every time I think about it.
Lesnar and Heyman say it's been personal with Undertaker and it started when Taker tried to take the title from him in the first place.
Time for HLA! Fink: “Accompanied by THE LESBIANS”. And again, most lesbians do not look like this. The girls are about to kiss but Eric says he's changed his mind. He brings out Stephanie who looks good here too. The song talking about her coming from the grime and grit takes away from it though. Bischoff implies a threesome with the two lesbians and the crowd is happy. Lawler is losing it. Stephanie has her jacket taken off and Eric says she should need a massage. The blonde goes to kiss Stephanie and Bischoff changes his mind again, sending the girls to the back.
Stephanie has to stay because Bischoff has a special lesbian in mind. He brings out “the fattest, ugliest, most repulsive I could find.” Lawler: “Not Rosie!” Ok point for a funny line. Here's the chick and yeah it's Rikishi in drag. You know, because Bischoff is so blind that he just didn't notice right? The announcers don't recognize him because good people in wrestling are idiots. Her name is Hildegard. I give up. She's been in prison too. Can we just get to Bischoff's Stinkface already?
By the way, this is what we mean when we say insulting to the fans' intelligence. Stephanie kisses him hard and Bischoff freaks. Superkick to Bischoff and the makeup/prostheics/wig come off. There's the Stinkface and oh good night he's wearing a bra. We got Benoit vs. Angle cut off for this? Tell me, who finds this kind of stuff funny or witty? So let me get this straight: either Stephanie planned ALL of this (and to say that requires a lot of stretching is an understatement) or Bischoff is the stupidest man of all time. I'm going with somewhere in the middle.
Brock vs. Taker gets the music video treatment. Taker is Brock's first challenger after Brock took the title from The Rock at Summerslam. Taker's wife (Sara, not Michelle) got involved and Brock stalked her to make this personal. This included the worst chair shot ever as the chair might have come within a foot of Taker's head It looked awful. The point of the video is Brock destroys legends and Taker has been around for ten years (12 at this point but with a company that put on that previous segment, counting might be a bit much to ask). At least the song is catchy.
Smackdown World Title: Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar
Brock goes right up to Taker and Taker shoves him back. They exchange power displays to start and Taker wins early. Brock is hot on the floor after a headlock gets broken. They have a lot of time here. Taker busts out an armdrag of all things and they keep up their power match. Old School puts Brock down and Taker kicks Heyman off the apron, but it lets Brock get in a shot to shift momentum again. Not much to see here so far.
The champ hammers on the ribs and does it for awhile. Taker is wearing white socks which kind of takes away the intimidation factor. Powerslam gets two. It's nice to see a power guy hitting a powerslam for a change. Brock puts on a waistlock and for some reason Taker tries it take it to the mat. Taker can't get out of it and Brock is totally cool with having it be a wrestling match instead of a fight.
Taker sends him to the floor and starts hammering away and a right hand sends Brock outside. They head to the floor and Heyman distracts the referee so Lesnar can hit Taker with the belt. Taker is bleeding. Back inside, Taker fires back with the clothesline/splash in the corner. Heyman: “WATCH OUT!!!” Chokeslam is broken up but a big boot gets two. Snake Eyes set up another big boot for two.
There goes the referee because what would a main event be without a ref bump? Chokeslam hits but, say it with me, there's no referee. Here's Matt Hardy to jump Taker (he was working for Brock or against Taker or something at this point. Not that it's explained or anything) and he takes a Last Ride. Spinebuster gets two for Brock as does a DDT for the challenger.
Tombstone is loaded up but Brock escapes and the referee goes down again. Heyman sends in a chair but Taker kicks Brock in the face to make him drop the chair. Brock gets his head caved in and the chair looked diseased. Brock is busted now and the referee is up now. Taker drops a leg for two and a big pop. Last Ride is countered as is the F5. They slug it out and the referee gets caught in the middle....and it's a double DQ. Oh my goodness the fans aren't happy.
Rating: D+. The ending crippled this as the fans were fired up by the match and then the ending crippled it. Taker allegedly didn't want to job to Brock so he had to job to him at the next PPV inside the Cell in one of the most bloody and gruesome matches in there. This wasn't horrible but man that ending sucked. Have Heyman cheat to win or something like that but dude, not that ending.
Post match they fight up the aisle and Brock is thrown through the Unforgiven sign to end the show.
Overall Rating: B-. Well Angle vs. Benoit is excellent and Edge vs. Guerrero is very good. That alone makes it a worthwhile show but other than that, there isn't much to see. Nothing is all that horrible but the HLA stuff is dumb and the ending to the main event sucked. Good show overall but the ending huts it a lot.
Date: September 21, 2003
Location: Giant Center, Hershey, Pennsylvania
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler
This is a request so I almost had to do it. The main event here is Goldberg vs. HHH as we’re in the middle of the worst year in recent memory for the company. This was mainly on the Raw side as HHH just would not allow anyone not named Shawn Michaels to do a damn thing. He had matches with Goldberg, Scott Steiner and Kevin Nash. Let that sink in a bit. Let’s get to this so we can get it over with.
The opening video is about revenge since people are unforgiven. Is that even a word outside of the WWE world? There’s also Shane vs. Kane in their never ending feud that few wanted to see. This is a Raw show in case you missed that.
Ross is WAY too excited to be here. He’s wearing a Sooners jersey for no apparent reason.
Raw Tag Titles: Dudley Boys vs. La Resistance
This is a handicap elimination tables match as La Resistance have Sylvan Grenier, Rob Conway and Rene Dupree. This was supposed to be a 6 man but the heels botched a table spot on Spike on Raw where the threw him over the top and missed the table entirely other than the back of Spike’s head smacking into the table in a SICK looking spot. And we have tags in a tables match. Sure why not?
You can tell this is a long time ago as they’re only 16 time tag champions here. Sweet damn that’s ridiculous sounding. D-Von and Grenier, who is by far the worst of the three, start us off. And now it’s Conway. Thank you for wasting our time like that. He’s an American that is a French sympathizer. We get the eternal question of why do the French love Jerry Lewis movies. That’s a great question and I’ve yet to get an answer to it.
For a tables match there is a severe lack of tables in it so far. It’s just a handicap match with the Dudleys being way ahead. The double neckbreaker hits and so does What’s Up. Still no tables. There are no disqualifications in this, yet they have to tag. I’ll never get that. Ah here we go. D-Von gets sent through so it’s only Bubba left. They’re not eliminated though. Bubba is WAY over here which is odd to an extent. There are a ton of tables here.
Bubba, from his knees, slaps the hell out of Sylvan’s chest. That sounded GREAT. He goes through the table so it’s 2-1 I guess you could say. Wait…are they eliminated? Oh does it really matter? Well there’s D-Von and the referee is fine with it so I’m thinking no. Wait it’s No DQ so it doesn’t matter if they’re eliminated or not.
Conway goes through it and in nearly the same spot he hurt Spike in, he hits HIS head on the table. FREAKING OW! It’s Bubba vs. Dupree here more or less and since it’s both Dudleys vs. him, what do you expect? Actually Rene wins for the most part and gets to set up a table. He’s 19 here but walks into 3D to give the Dudleys the belts.
Rating: D+. Well this wasn’t that bad but it could have been on Raw. Well maybe not as it actually got over ten minutes. This wasn’t anything special but it made the Dudleys look strong here which is the right idea. It’s nothing special but it’s fine for what it was supposed to be so I can’t complain that much.
We get a MUSIC VIDEO about Scott Steiner vs. Test. The idea is Stacy Keibler was Test’s marketer or whatever and then she decided she “loved” Scott Steiner but Test turned heel and wouldn’t let her go. They had a match for possession of Stacy which Steiner won and then Test beat her up on Raw. Then Test won her back. You have to love the human trafficking going on here.
Scott Steiner vs. Test
Well at least we get a great outfit on Stacy. Damn and Steiner was fighting with HHH for the world title at the Rumble about 7 months before this. That should tell you everything you need to know about both that match and the rematch. Apparently people in Kuwait are pulling for Steiner here. If Steiner wins he gets Stacy and if Test wins Steiner becomes his property. Again: Human Trafficking complete with tights.
Stacy hugs Scott before the match and I really couldn’t care less (and yes I mean it that way) about this match. Test tries a leap frog or something and gets slammed/suplexed for his efforts. Something tells me this is going to be BAD. How stupid is Stacy? Steiner says he only cares about his freaks and his peaks, so SURELY he’s being sincere about wanting to be with her right? Test is dominating here and keeps talking trash to Stacy.
I love the full nelson slam. It’s just an awesome looking move all around. Test does the push-ups to be a jerk which is kind of funny. Ross says Steiner has character. That’s rather amusing. Steiner makes a comeback but a low blow ends that. Given the amount of steroids he was on I’m surprised he felt it.
The Pumphandle Slam finally hits but Stacy distracts him. Test pulls the turnbuckle pad off so the referee has to fix it. He gets a chair, Stacy takes it and accidently nails Scott with it. The big boot ends it. Steiner would turn heel the next night and team with Test and “share” Stacy, which is what Stacy wanted in the first place, making this entirely pointless.
Rating: D. Not much here at all. This just wasn’t interesting and could very easily have been done on Raw. That’s a common problem with the single brand shows as there simply wasn’t enough talent to go around to support a 3 hour PPV show with PPV quality matches. That’s a bad sign and you’ll see more of it later on.
Ad for a Trish DVD.
Ross, you look like an idiot in that jersey. You really do.
We recap Shawn vs. Orton. It’s Legend vs. Legend Killer. What more explanation do you need here? It’s weird as hell seeing Orton being all cocky like this. To say he was awesome in this roll is an understatement. Shawn says he’s a millionaire in this package. How did he lose that in I believe 5 years to the point where he needed JBL’s money?
Randy Orton vs. Shawn Michaels
We’re in the Evolution Era here so Flair is with Orton. There’s no Batista though due to an injury but he would be back very soon. They do some decent mat stuff to start which isn’t something you see out of Orton that often. Shawn is being goofy here as he does the whole lounging on the top rope bit which is always funny for some reason. We hear a lot about Orton vs. Foley which I can’t wait to get to as that was a great feud that went on for a long time.
Orton skins the cat which has to be the best name for an over the top return to the ring spot not involving the feet hitting the floor or the top rope ever. I mean what else comes close to it? Shawn counters a double axe off the top into an atomic drop. Then he skins the cat just to be a jerk like only he can be. Now he dives off the top. In case you can’t tell, Shawn is dominating here. There’s a German, which I can’t remember Shawn using otherwise.
I love when guys throw out random moves because they’re perfect. Why do you have to use a signature move when something you don’t do a lot is far more convenient ‘and makes more sense? The only answer I can think of is because it’s how the WWE tells them to do. Guys like Shawn can get away with it because they’re guys like Shawn. Flair interferes like an annoying pest and sets up Orton to be able to work on the arm. Orton does a nice job of controlling the arm.
Pay no attention to that though as we literally are getting the life story of Shawn Michaels for the last 2 minutes or so. We hear about how great he was when he was champion and how many big guys he beat and all that jazz. The attention that he got back then was maddening. Seriously with all the heart that Shawn has he really should see a cardiologist. That big of a heart can’t be normal. He goes insane and beats up Orton on the floor as you can more or less feel Flair getting ready to run in.
Before I even finish that line he does but it doesn’t matter. RKO gets two and MICHAELS IS EPIC! Ross, the brilliant football mind that he is, calls then Florida coach RON Zook JOHN Zook. Oh look: it’s Flair again. The elbow hits and we hear more about HEART. Is he Ma-Ti from Captain Planet or something?
He nips up and the kick connects. He gets the pin but Flair puts his foot on the ropes because he’s EVIL. The referees back in the day were freaking IDIOTS. Orton pops Shawn with a foreign object and gets the pin. Sweet damn the referees sucked at times.
Rating: B-. Solid match here, but I’m still in awe of the idiocy of the referee. That and having Flair interfering in this about a thousand times was just annoying. Flair became such a pest in this time and would never really stop. The match worked quite well though as Shawn was still great at this point having not broken down again. To be fair he didn’t do that at all so there we go. This was good though but idiocy and annoyance hurt it.
Jericho says he’ll stop Steve Austin’s tyranny. He’s a mentor to La Resistance for no apparent reason.
Molly Holly/Gail Kim vs. Trish Stratus/Lita
This feud is more or less about Molly and Gail being jealous of Lita and Trish being insanely popular. Standard stuff to put it mildly. Molly is Women’s Champion here and is actually looking good. Lita was out for almost a year because of a broken neck and now wears khaki shorts. Yep she’s gorgeous. The non-famous girls jump them early and that doesn’t work at all.
This is Lita’s return match. Oh seriously who do you expect to win this? You have two girls that are about as middle of the road as possible and the first two women to main event Raw. Lita and Gail are the actual starters and Lita nips up as we hear about King having a vasectomy. Molly hooks a Dragon Sleeper on Trish which works about as well as you would expect it to. Gail is gorgeous. That’s all there is to it.
Now Gail does a Dragon Sleeper. Trish walks up the turnbuckles and backflips into a reverse DDT. FREAKING SWEET. Molly looks good as a brunette and in blue. Trish manages to beat up both girls on her own since Lita is bleeding from the mouth. Lita gets the mostly warm but partly cloudy with a 30% chance of showers tag. Trish knocks Gail to the floor and Lita hits the moonsault to get the win which was about as predictable as you could expect.
Rating: D+. This was exactly what you would expect here. Lita was indeed a huge deal as she and Trish were just flat out awesome around this point but the injury took her out for over a year. This was nothing more than a welcome home match and it did exactly what it was supposed to do: announce that Lita is still awesome.
We recap Shane vs. Kane which started because Austin went off on Kane and soon afterwards had his masked ripped off. He then went apeshit and lit JR on fire and tombstoned Linda on the stage (any bets on how much her Senate opponent would love that clip?). Shane of course got the first feud with the newly psycho Kane because no one draws face pops like Shane.
Pay no attention to the fact that the crowd got bored out of their mind with this because they had like 3 PPV matches in a row. The problem was that Shane could never hurt Kane but he kept trying anyway. He even threw him into a pit of fire. So then Shane got handcuffed to the post and had his legs pinned down by the stairs.
Kane of course had jumper cables stashed by the ring along with a battery. He electrocuted Shane’s balls. That was the signature moment of this feud and it made a lot of people’s heads hurt. It’s a Last Man Standing match too.
Kane vs. Shane McMahon
Shane jumps Kane in the aisle with a chair and it’s on. That’s about 9 shots with it including a jumping one to the head. Shane wisely goes for the knee. That’s smart if nothing else so there we go. This is all Shane so far so I can’t imagine that it’ll last much longer. The beating I mean, as I can’t imagine this is going to be short. Kane’s back is bleeding but he catches Shane in a powerslam from a jump off the barrier that looked pretty bad. Hey I was right as it’s all Kane now.
Shane gets up at 9 from the chokeslam and then Kane kicks the referee in the face by mistake. Kane talks about Shane’s mom, which today would get him on a cable news show. He tries a tombstone on the steps but it gets blocked. Shane sets up the steps on Kane in the corner. Pay no attention to the fact that we already saw that they are hollow as he kicks the bottom of them into Kane’s face with the Coast to Coast. No ref though. Look at my big sad face.
Actually it is sad because it means this goes on. This is NOTHING compared to Shane vs. Angle from the 02 KOTR, but then again not much is. Both guys are down so we get a double count which I don’t think makes sense but whatever. We’re in the aisle now which sounds like a really bad song name for some reason. Shane goes into the set and it sounds loud. That’s about the extent of its good quality. So hey let’s do it again. Then three more of them.
We get it: Shane has heart. What is the deal with the big hearts in this company? I think the Wellness Policy needs a new amendment. This was during the time where the announcers set up by the entrance, so Kane puts Shane beneath the platform they sit on and dumps their table onto Shane. Sure why not. And then he laughs.
See the sentence two before this one. Shane is of course fine and up within about a second, blasting Kane in the head. He uses a boom camera to blast Kane which of course doesn’t work either. Shane chokes him with a cord and knocks him out in front of the set which has a ladder attached. He jumps. He misses. The match ends.
Rating: D+. This was just boring. The bumps are decent at best and Shane is almost always fun to watch, but damn man. There was just NO drama here. When Shane fought Angle, there was a real feeling that Shane could beat him. I know it was unlikely, but there was this feeling that he could pull it off and he got damn close a few times. This just didn’t have it and 19 minutes is FAR too long. Not very good, but it’s not a nightmare by any sense of the word. This would go on until Survivor Series.
Shane takes forever to get taken out on a stretcher.
Jericho and Austin talk. Jericho was trying to get in Austin’s head for a long time but of course it never worked. Austin says if Jericho has a problem to take his best shot.
Intercontinental Title: Christian vs. Rob Van Dam vs. Chris Jericho
Christian has the belt here. He beat up both guys when they were having a triple threat match so Austin made it a triple threat. The Canadians made a pact before the match to take out RVD. I’d bet against that working. This is a smark dream match today. Ross says RVD is the best to never be the world champion. How did Heyman never put the belt on him? I can understand being shaky in WWF, but come on. In ECW? SERIOUSLY?
The double teaming actually works to start us off. And so much for that as RVD fights them off. And we’re into math world now. We get RVD vs. Jericho for a bit until Christian gets back up. He wasn’t very good at all yet and was just this young guy that got on people’s nerves. Think of Heath Slater but with short hair and a higher coolness to him. The partnership actually works fairly well here. Ross even calls it a modified handicap match.
That kind of makes sense but whatever. Wow it’s weird seeing Nick Patrick working for the WWE. The crowd isn’t exactly enthralled here. Ross points out that you can’t get counted out in a triple threat. Unless you’re trying to become #1 contender in TNA. We’re told that Shane is going to the hospital. Naturally he’d be on Raw the next night. Jericho took the tape off to choke Van Dan with and he looks weird with a bare arm.
Christian has been gone forever now. After RVD is in the Walls forever, Christian makes his untriumphant return and beats on Jericho, ending the partnership that never was. They would have a solid feud next year though so maybe this is foreshadowing. I love that jumping back elbow for some reason. Christian gets crotched on the top which sounds REALLY bad. The referee counts again and Ross questions why. I bet TNA paid him off.
In a cool spot, RVD hits a drop toehold on Christian to have him on Jericho and then hits a Five Star on both of them, but he doesn’t get a cover for no apparent reason. In an AMAZING looking visual, Jericho is on the top rope and Van Dam hooks an electric chair and Christian comes underneath to add a powerbomb.
The thing is that given how the other two guys were positioned, it looked like an actual powerbomb which looked incredible. Christian gets the belt and holds it in place to have RVD land on it in another Five Star, which is enough to pin Van Dam.
Rating: D+. This got TWENTY MINUTES. Now today it’s a classic. At this point though it’s just a bad idea. Christian was a glorified jobber at this point as he wasn’t ready to hold the title yet. Jericho was in a really weird funk and RVD was his usual hit or miss self. If you cut this in half it goes through the roof, but there were far too many dead spots in this.
HHH talks about fairy tales. He was just horrible at this point.
We recap Coach/Snow vs. Ross/Lawler. Yes, that’s the next match. They’re feuding because the former two want to host Raw so they’re trying to take over. They host Heat if that makes sense. Yep, this is a match.
Jim Ross/Jerry Lawler vs. Al Snow/Jonathan Coachman
The winner to do the announcing for Raw. Yes, they asked people to pay $34.95 for this. There’s no commentary for this. I think I can get by without the extra jokes somehow. The wrestlers start and Lawler kind of botches a rollup. Ok then. The lack of commentary is weird here but then again I’m watching Ross and Coach on PPV. You can hear them shouting at each other a lot better which is weird to hear.
That might be Ross’ big mouth though so there we are. Snow “hits” a clothesline and I say that in the weakest sense of the word hit. Snow, being younger and better at this point, dominates as we’re just waiting on the other guys to come in and make it a comedy match. Coach is the team captain apparently. Oh dear. There’s the piledriver on Snow and JR does commentary from the apron. The foot gets to the ropes but Snow sold that like he had an anvil fall on his head so I can’t complain there.
And it’s Coach time, which has even Snow wondering what the hell he’s doing. As usual, Lawler’s offense is shall we say limited? The middle rope punch hits but Snow makes the save. Ross gets a blind tag and the referee is fine with it I guess. He beats up Coach for awhile and I see why he stayed in the booth for his career.
Coach keeps shouting not in the face which is funny. And here’s Jericho to kick Ross in the head and let Coach and Snow become the Raw announcers tomorrow. Ross would beat Coach in 8 days to get the sanity back. Jericho says this is to get back at Austin for no apparent reason.
Rating: F. Seriously, do I need to explain why this going on for 8 minutes was a bad idea? It was mainly Al Snow vs. Jerry Lawler and someone thought this was a good idea. Here’s the thing: no one really cares about announcers in a national company. Wait scratch that. They do care about them, but only the way they sound. We don’t want to see them in the ring other than a once a year match from Lawler in Memphis. That’s it. Now stop doing this shit.
We recap Goldberg vs. HHH which is more or less that Goldberg knows he can beat HHH and HHH knows he can’t beat Goldberg so he keeps hiding. He used the sledgehammer at Summerslam to keep it in the Elimination Chamber. It’s title vs. career here. Let’s get this over with.
Raw World Title: Goldberg vs. HHH
Also if HHH loses by countout or disqualification he loses the belt. Ross and Lawler are back for commentary here. Ross of course can’t remember when the stakes were ever higher. I love hyperbole in wrestling. This is nut cutting time apparently. Ok then. Ross says he has to mat wrestle Goldberg to keep the title. I thought he had to win the match to retain. Then again I’m no professional.
Goldberg in the shorts never worked. Also they remixed his music for no apparent reason at all. HHH still had a groin injury here so he’s wearing long shorts which look weird. We even get referee instructions. Lawler says it doesn’t get any bigger than this. Again, yeah it does. It’s a power match to start, which despite his huge muscles, HHH has never been portrayed as one other than the spinebuster. The Pedigree certainly isn’t a power move.
Goldberg of course wins it as we’re told that HHH is 4-0 at Unforgiven. Ross and Lawler are rather chipper for guys that just lost their jobs. This match is of course awkward as their styles just clash completely. WWE just had no idea how to use Goldberg. He was a monster but they had him lose far too much and be hurt far too much. They just didn’t get it and it never really worked. The spear eats knee and HHH takes over.
So despite everything that Goldberg has taken over the years, a knee to the head stops him. Sure why not. There’s a Figure Four. I get that Flair is great, but does he have to get so many freaking tributes to him? In a cool power spot, Goldberg catches the knee of HHH on a kneedrop. He just puts his hands up and blocks the knee of a 270+ pound guy, not even factoring in force, the jump that HHH did to get there, the velocity and momentum and the height he got.
That’s so ridiculously over the top that it’s AWESOME. HHH is busted open after going into the steps. And what would a main event be without a ref bump? HHH gets a sledgehammer shot to the jaw which likely should kill Goldberg but he’s up in like 3 seconds and hits the spear. The Jackhammer gives him the title clean.
Rating: D+. This was just generic. It could have been the main event of any big Raw minus the title change. Also, I know Goldberg was a big star but he just doesn’t fit in here at all. They try to make this a huge thing but it just isn’t. More than anything else they just wanted to get the belt off of HHH who had held it since like January. This just had nothing at all going for it though and just wasn’t interesting at all. Not bad from a technical standpoint, but just not a good match at all.
Overall Rating: D. There’s just nothing very good here. The thing isn’t that it’s a bad show. It’s not horrible or one of the worst shows ever or anything, but it’s just really weak. There’s nothing worth paying anything to see as all of these matches have either been done better at other shows or aren’t all that interesting to begin with.
Orton continuing his rise to greatness is about all that’s worth anything here. Again, the matches aren’t horrible, but there’s just no reason to want to watch them. Definitely not recommended.
Date: September 12, 2004
Location: Rose Garden, Portland, Oregon
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler
It's 2004 and we're in the single brand PPV era. This is a Raw show and the main event is HHH vs. Orton since Orton rose to the top of the show and won the title from Benoit at Summerslam. Since someone is getting some traction as a face, we better crush him quickly. Other than that we also have Jericho vs. Christian in a ladder match for the vacant IC Title and the winner of worst match of the year. Let's get to it.
The opening video is about how Orton has turned back against Evolution and HHH in specific so tonight it's payback time.
Batista/Ric Flair vs. Chris Benoit/William Regal
Regal got a small push around this time as he feuded with Evolution because Evolution hurt Eugene. Benoit vs. Batista gets us going and the Crossface is attempted less than a minute in. Benoit uses his technical stuff and has Batista all confused. Off to Regal who tries to brawl and tosses Big Dave around with a suplex. Batista gets his hands on Benoit and brings in Flair. Let the wooing begin!
Benoit is like cool man and chops it out with Flair and the Canadian gets the better of it. Back to Regal and the beat down the old wrinkly man. Flair Flop and Regal drops a knee on his head. Benoit and Regal hammer away on Ric for a bit. He probably owes them money. Benoit goes for the knee again and takes an enziguri for Flair Flop #2. Off to Regal vs. Batista now and Regal is in a fighting move.
Batista takes down Regal and lets Flair get the glory shots in. Well that's better than a Regal money shot I guess. Belly to back gets two. This crowd is silent. Batista comes back in and he's really not that good at this kind of stuff yet. Back to Flair and it's Figure Four time. Benoit comes in to break it up like any good partner would do. Batista beats on Regal a bit but Regal rams into him and it's hot tag Benoit.
Flair comes in at the same time and Benoit is all fired up. The crowd doesn't seem to care about anyone but Regal. That tends to be a problem in the Pacific Northwest. Is there an Atlantic Northwest that I'm not aware of? Benoit busts out Rolling Germans on Flair and the Swan Dive drills Flair. Crossface goes on Flair but Batista picks Benoit up like he's a small Canadian wrestler and Batista is a big power lifter. Regal sends Batista into the post and then into the crowd. The Canadian counters the Figure Four into the Crossface and we're done.
Rating: B-. Solid opening tag match here that got a lot of time to work with. Regal was fired up here and with him like this I could see him having a bit of a stronger push if they kept him serious. Not a classic or anything but they did enough here to make a good match without much to work with other than Evolution hurt a retarded guy and it's revenge time. Good opener though.
Trish and Christian argue over who gets to use Tomko tonight. Pay no attention to the fact that they have different matches tonight and Tomko isn't in one of his own. Trish whispers in his ear and Tomko leaves with her. I think that was a breakup also. There's some mystery chick that is trying to jump Trish which is why she wants Tomko there.
Women's Title: Victoria vs. Trish Stratus
Trish is champion and Victoria is in this weird stage where she's dancing and such and it didn't fit her at all. JR thinks Victoria is the stronger of the two. And this man is in the Hall of Fame. The fans think Trish is a slut and Jerry disagrees. Jerry wanted to give Trish a pre-match physical since she had been injured. JR: “She had a broken hand. What were you going to have her do? DON'T ANSWER THAT.” Victoria keeps taking over but can't keep the advantage.
Tomko saves Trish from a dive and Victoria is mad. She gets sent into the post and that changes things around quite a bit. Trish pounds away and chokes a bit for two. She channels her inner Dan Severn and uses the modified abdominal stretch that he used during his limited time in the company. Things slow WAY down as Trish hooks on a chinlock. Victoria makes her comeback and hits her side slam and and standing moonsault (with shake) for two each. A headbutt puts Trish down...and Victoria dives on Tomko. That's enough for Stratusfaction to end this.
Rating: D. And most of that is because Victoria looks good in little flesh colored shorts. This was really boring and I don't think anyone cared. For some reason this was to set up the post match stuff because the company thought someone wanted to see it. What is that you ask? It's the worst match of the year. Here it is.
The mystery woman comes in to save Victoria from a beating and a DDT puts Tomko down. After a brief chat with JR and Jerry, Tomko says he wants to fight the mystery woman right now. Here she comes and even JR says it's the worst kept secret in wrestling as to who that is.
Tyson Tomko vs. Mystery Woman
There go the clothes...and it's Steven Richards. Yeah and everyone knew it so this is hardly a secret. And he's wearing a bra, panties and fake boobs. Tomko destroys him and asks if Richards wants to be a girl. The fans know it's garbage and it's not even really a match. Tomko chokes Richards a lot and the fans aren't paying attention at all. Tomko slams him and that's the first non-stomp/choke move of the match. Here's a neck vice and the fans just die. Richards no sells punches and Tomko calls him a sissy, making Steven grabs his balls. Tomko's that is. Richards stops to look at the bra and a rack neckbreaker ends him.
Rating: J. As in just no. No way, not working, nothing of value. Next please. This is why we got tired of individual brand PPVs: stuff like this got six and a half minutes. Let that sink in for a minute.
Buy the Chris Benoit DVD which we'll never mention again three years from this date!
We recap Christian vs. Jericho. In short, Edge was injured (shocking I know) and had to forfeit the title. Jericho got in his face so Christian made the save and a ladder match was announced for this show for the title.
Intercontinental Title: Christian vs. Chris Jericho
All outside parties are banned from ringside and it's a ladder match remember. The fans chant CLB and Christian is in green tights for some reason. Basic stuff to start with these two being their normally awesome selves. Jericho grabs a ladder and throws it at Christian but only hits another ladder. Jericho takes over and hits a running enziguri. Out to the floor and Jericho misses another ladder shot.
And now let's go into the crowd because there are a ton of ladders out there right? Back to ringside and Jericho chokes on him with a cord. Christian busts out an Unprettier (Killswitch) on the floor which today would probably be an injury angle for Jericho but here it just knocks him out. To give you an idea of what midcard finishers mean, Jericho keeps Christian from even climbing the ladder after taking his finisher on the floor. Imagine that today.
Christian is sent face first into the ladder and JR talks about barbecue sauce. I don't get how he manages to tie those things together but whatever. Christian puts the ladder on the middle rope and slingshots Jericho into it face first. This is more about beating on each other instead of the title and climbing. Speaking of which, Jericho throws the ladder at Christian to put him down again.
Jericho channels his inner Shawn and rides the ladder down onto Christian, mainly hitting the back and the knees. Since selling isn't allowed in this match, Jericho gets hung upside down, almost in a Tree of Woe position in the corner. Christian goes up but Jericho flips him off instead of climbing to slow him down. Jericho tries a Lionsault onto Christian onto the ladder but only gets ladder.
Jericho sends him into the ladder and the fans try to get into it. Christian goes up and hangs up there but still can't pull it down. Instead he crashes, allowing Jericho to go up and be shoved off too. Christian goes up and gets caught in Jericho's signature Walls on the Ladder spot. Christian falls off and Jericho still can't get it as Jericho's tail bone lands on the ladder. FREAKING OW MAN! Captain Charisma brings the big ladder in and Jericho tries on a regular one.
Since he's an idiot in this match, Christian touches the belt and then stops to look at Jericho. Both guys go flying off after Jericho shoves the belt so Christian has issues getting to it. And then Jericho climbs up to get it in a very pedestrian ending. This would give Jericho the record for most Intercontinental Titles ever, a record he still holds to this day.
Rating: C+. This was a pretty boring ladder match actually. Ladder matches automatically get some bonus points because they're ladder matches but this was far less about drama for the belt and more about trying to have big spots. Not a particularly good match and most of the time it just got boring. They were trying though and the spot near the end where Jericho fell on the ladder was impressive.
Todd tries to talk to Kane but runs into Lita instead. Lita talks about how she wants Shawn to kill Kane. Kane pops out of his locker room and grabs her by the hair. It's now a No DQ match. Kane also forces a kiss out of her.
Jericho talks about how proud he is to be champion and the record holding champ. Edge pops up and says that's my belt.
Mania 21 is in LA.
We recap Shawn vs. Kane. Kane is all crazy and evil and Lita is carrying his baby which was the result of a night with Kane to keep him from killing Matt. Guess how well Kane kept up the end of the bargain. This resulted in a forced wedding because that's how wrestling works. Kane got an open contract to face anyone he wanted at Unforgiven and planned to get a world title shot but Lita stole the contract and signed Kane up to face the returning Shawn Michaels. Oh and Kane put Shawn out in the first place.
Shawn Michaels vs. Kane
Lita is here against her will. Shawn fires away at Kane and the Big Bald gets beaten to the floor. See, this is why Shawn is great: you can throw him into something like this and it works very well as can anyone question Shawn being in there? Shawn heads to the floor but jumps into an uppercut back inside. Kane misses an elbow due to Shawn moving even though it would have missed by a mile anyway. Out to the floor and Shawn dives over the top to take Kane down.
The lack of a story is hurting it here as it's just a match with no backstory or anything like that and that's the meat of any wrestling match. Shawn gets slammed through the table and he bumps like only Shawn can. That only gets two back in the ring because an upper midcard match has to go longer than 5 minutes. A legdrop also gets two. Off to a chinlock to waste some time. The move known as the Punjabi Plunge gets two.
Back to the neck vice which lasts a little longer this time. Shawn finally gets something going and drops Kane with a DDT. Both guys are down so Kane sits up and Shawn nips up almost at the same time. Out to the floor again and a step shot busts Shawn open. Shawn tries to speed things up and knocks a chair out of Kane's hands but gets knocked down again.
Kane misses a big boot to the post and Shawn sends his head into the steel. Shawn fires away with his usual stuff back in the ring and drops the elbow for no cover. Michaels starts shaking like Terry Funk and it's time to stomp the mat in an attempt to surprise my opponent. And never mind as Kane kicks his head off for two. Top rope clothesline looks to set up the chokeslam but Shawn hits Kane in the Little Balds.
A big chair shot puts Kane down but Shawn can't follow up. Since it's a No DQ match we also have no countouts so the laying around is pretty pointless with no drama at all. Lita steals the chair from Kane and the distraction lets Shawn...miss Sweet Chin Music again but the third attempt hits and it's good for the pin.
Rating: C. This got almost twenty minutes and while it was a good brawl, I'm not really sure what this proves. Shawn, a bigger star than Kane, beat Kane and that's it. There's no story or retribution or anything like that. It was an entertaining enough match but all it really does is advance Lita and Kane a bit more. It would take Gene Snitsky of all people to turn Kane face again.
Video on Shelton Benjamin. He isn't on the show or anything but here's a video about him.
HHH talks about how Orton was nothing until he met HHH and how Evolution was about the best, meaning him. Orton is good, but not as good. This takes about two minutes and it takes that much time to say HHH is awesome and Orton needs to be beaten.
Raw Tag Titles: La Resistance vs. Tajiri/Rhyno
Conway/Grenier here. Conway vs. Tajiri starts us off and Tajiri speeds around a lot to take over. Off to Grenier who hits the floor to avoid a Gore. Tajiri comes back in and takes over with a semi-botched tornado DDT. Conway beats on Tajiri and the fans just do not care. Off to a reverse chinlock as the fans chant USA for a Japanese comeback. Rhyno comes in and beats on both French dudes a bit.
This match needs to end like five minutes ago. It's just boring but you could say that about every tag title match in this period. We hear about Rhyno looking everywhere for a partner as he walks into a double flapjack for two. The flag goes into Conway's balls but a Gore only gets two. And there's a flag to the face of Rhyno for the cheap pin.
Rating: F+. This had zero point in being on PPV. It wouldn't even be a good Raw match, mainly because it went on way too long, getting almost ten minutes. La Resistance would be the heel team of the year for awhile as no one cared at all and it went nowhere at all. The tag division sucked BAD around this point and this is a fine example of it.
We recap Orton vs. HHH which I'm sure you get by this point. They were in Evolution together, Orton won the title, HHH got mad and threw him out, this is the match. Oh and Orton spat at HHH. This gets the music video treatment.
Raw World Title: HHH vs. Randy Orton
HHH has the white boots on this time. I miss this version of Orton. Here he's young and chisled and has elbow pads and isn't orange and covered in tattoos. They get something resembling big match intros as both guys are checked for weapons and they get the rules read to them. Feeling out process to start and they look at each other a lot. Orton spits at him again and I guess the bodybuilding phase is over.
Orton fires away and drops HHH on his back (a backdrop if you will) and hammers on him even more. Time for the chinlock and Orton looks ticked off while he's holding onto it. And now that the hold is broken: more punching! They head to the floor and JR calls it no man's land, and “HHH owns a lot of land in no man's land.” If this show hadn't bored me into a numbness already, I'd rip that apart.
HHH gets in a shot to the knee and JR follows that one up by saying he thinks Orton is quicker. Back in HHH goes for the knee as he channels his inner Naitch. The leg goes into the post and the Game works on the knee. By that I mean he spends a LONG time working on it. Off to a Figure Four and Trips puts the pressure on it. The hold goes on for a few mintues as the boring nature of this show continues. The crowd isn't into it at all either.
The Game finally gets caught in the ropes and Hebner breaks it up. Orton counters another try at the hold and both guys are down. HHH is busted off....something. Orton goes back to the old faithful right hand and a Piper poke to the eye. They trade sleepers and HHH goes up for the dumbest move in wrestling (jumping into the boot). Randy goes up as well and hits a cross body for two.
Backbreaker gets two for the champion. The knee injury is coming and going. Orton loads up the RKO but gets shoved into the referee. Pedigree is countered into the RKO but there's no ref. Here's Flair who has the same looking hair as my ex stepmother but down he goes as well. Batista comes in and goes into the post.
A low blow puts Randy down and Coach comes out to referee. There's a right hand for him but Orton walks into a Batista spinebuster to put him down for two. Pedigree is countered and there's an RKO for Coach. Flair brings in a chair and takes an RKO too. A low blow gets rid of Batista but HHH pops Randy with a chair and a Pedigree onto said chair gives HHH the title back.
Rating: B-. Good match but the ending really hurts it. Everything went insane and the Evolution team standing tall was already old but here it is again. Batista would hit the hot streak of a lifetime soon after this though and would finally take the title off HHH for good. Oh and that Cena guy won a title too. The match was long though and the leg selling by Orton was so hit or miss that it got annoying.
Overall Rating: D-. There's some good stuff on here but OH MY GOODNESS this show is boring. This show just keeps going on and on and there are moments where you want to pound your head into a wall to give you something interesting like a concussion. The matches aren't bad but nothing is really great and there is so much awful on it that it gets pulled down and pulled down deep. Very boring show and nothing worth seeing at all.
Date: September 18, 2005
Location: Ford Center, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Commentators: Jonathan Coachman, Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler
This is the return of the Unforgiven series and we have a match that people would be drooling over today in the main event: Cena vs. Angle for the title. The idea is simple: Cena is champ, Angle went on a tear as the best in the world and the question is can Cena beat him. Why we're in Oklahoma City for a PPV is beyond me but I guess it's a JR thing. Let's get to it.
The opening video is exactly what you would expect: no one is forgiven, tonight we're all unforgiven, whatever.
Intercontinental Title: Ric Flair vs. Carlito
They gave away the ending of this weeks in advance, talking about how this was the one title Flair had never won. Carlito spat apple on Flair to set this up. Feeling out process to start and Flair takes him over with a headlock. Coach and Lawler argue hair and Carlito struts a bit. Flair really likes that hammerlock as he's used it three times now. DANG that was a loud chop.
Flair chops away some more and this really isn't that entertaining of a match. Could it be that one of the people in it was born in the 40s? Carlito sends him to the floor and goes after the arm. The shoulder goes into the post on the floor as we're told Flair left dinner last night at 9pm. Hey I need something to fill in this space. Back in the ring it's more arm work and Carlito pounds away with left hands.
There's the backdrop and Flair lands on his shoulder as always. Single arm DDT gets two. Flair fires back and drops the knee. There's another LOUD chop and Flair goes up. Dude, seriously, you're smarter than this. IT ACTUALLY WORKS!!! Flair hits the chop (JR calls it a clothesline for some reason) and the fans give him a standing ovation. That's hilarious. Flair goes up again and gets caught in a dropkick to keep the universe from exploding. Carlito goes off and gets the apple and we get a unique ending. Flair punches Carlito, making him choke on the apple so that the Figure Four can give him the title.
Rating: C-. Not a horrible match here and the majority of it was fun, but Flair winning a title at 56 or however old he is here isn't something I can really get behind. There are so many people that could have won it but instead we get a tribute to him for....what exactly? It's not horrible but I really don't get this decision at all.
Flair gives an acceptance speech. He says it means as much as any of the 16 world titles. He gets two plants out of the audience to party with him.
Carlito has nothing to say and Flair gets more women.
Lita is in the back with Edge and they talk about how long she was cheating on Matt. Sex is implied.
Torrie Wilson/Victoria vs. Ashley Massaro/Trish Stratus
Torrie and Victoria are in some stupid Diva heel stable with Candace Michelle who would hook up with Vince for like 5 minutes. Trish is returning from an injury that kept her out for five months. Naturally they let her keep the title that whole time. Ashley is making her PPV debut here and we start with Trish vs. Victoria which is easily the best possible pairing. Off to Ashley and things get bad quickly.
Torrie and Candace cheat and Victoria hits a slingshot legdrop. Thankfully we're letting Trish get the hot tag later which is by far the best possible idea. Off to a chinlock for a bit and then it's time for Torrie vs. Ashley, which I don't think anyone wants to see. Well, no one under the age of 22 that is. The nice girls do the unseen tag thing and Victoria beats on Ashley a bit more. She goes up and gets crotched before it's hot tag to Trish. Trish does her usual stuff but throws in a spinebuster to mix things up. The Chick Kick ends Victoria.
Rating: D-. Trish in shorts is always a good thing but the match was just worthless. Ashley just wasn't any good but was here because someone thought she looked good or whatever. The match was nothing and I'm sure everyone knew that was going to be the case. The heel Diva team never did anything and again, I don't think anyone expected them to do anything.
Flair, who hasn't even had a shower, has a bottle of champagne and is getting into the limo with the girls. They get in but Flair stays behind and pulls out some pills, and yes.....Naitch has discovered Viagara.
ZZ Top is here.
Big Show vs. Snitsky
One of the dangers of doing these reviews is running into matches like this one with zero backstory at all. I'm really hoping we get an explanation here because I don't think I'm going to be able to make myself care about it otherwise. Ok so apparently Snitsky jumped Show with the bell but we get cut off by a brawl so we have to stop the flashback. Show throws him around with ease so Snitsky tries to walk.
Show does the SHHH bit and Snitsky is in trouble. Well it worked well the first time so let's do it again. Show's charge into the post misses and he clotheslines the steel. We actually go to the flashback while Snitsky has a hold on Show. It's an armlock so at least he's thinking. Snitsky manages a belly to back suplex which was pretty impressive. It only gets two but still it looked good.
Snitsky can't keep him down so he goes back to the arm because that's worked so well thus far. Ok so that is actually good psychology but it's a little boring, especially when we know Snitsky has about as much chance as I do of beating Big Show. Show grabs a spinebuster out of nowhere and both guys are down. Show NIPS UP (holding the rope but still) and I think you know what's coming now. Splash in the corner sets up the chokeslam for the pin.
Rating: C. This was under seven minutes and that's the best thing that could have happened to it. They just did power stuff and the arm worked helped it a little bit. It's not a good match or anything but it could have been a lot worse, which is why the keeping it short was a great thing. Snitsky was pretty worthless after his debut feud with Kane though.
Show clocks Snitsky with the bell post match in a pretty heelish move. Then he does it again.
There's steam on the windows of Flair's limo.
We recap Masters vs. Michaels. Masters was new at this point and did the Masterlock Challenge and Michaels couldn't break the hold.
Shelton Benjamin vs. Kerwin White
White is Chavo Guerrero who is a golfer and I kid you not, a guy that is very proud of being a middle class white guy. His theme song is about picket fences and soccer moms. He would soon get a caddy named Nick Nemeth who is currently known as Dolph Ziggler. Kerwin's catchphrase during this period: “If it's not White, it's not right.” I mean....WOW. Also, I kid you not, he's fighting Shelton because Shelton isn't white. Are you starting to get why people weren't thrilled with this era?
Shelton rips the sweater off White and the beating is on for the blonde Guerrero. Yes he's blonde here. Nothing going on to start until Shelton misses a shot and White goes after the knee. Kerwin hooks what we would call the Brock Lock and we intentionally cut to Spanish commentary for some reason. More leg work gets a two count and a Chavo Sucks chant. White charges into a Samoan Drop and both guys are down.
A slugout is won by Shelton who gets two on a backbreaker. Shelton's leg is ok enough to go up now but he gets crotched. Even the announcers point out how stupid going up there was. Kerwin hits a superplex for two. There's a half crab to eat up a few seconds. Shelton rolls through into a catapult and White grabs the golf club (wasn't this a PG show?) but walks into Shelton's T-Bone Exploder suplex for the pin.
Rating: C-. Shelton was awesome at this point and was probably on the roll of his life but would get lazy and stuck in the midcard forever. Not bad here but the White gimmick was just freaking horrible. I have no idea who thought it was a good idea but they need to be dragged outside and put into that gimmick themselves. That'll teach them.
Matt says mean things about Lita and recaps the feud with Edge. Matt and Lita dated in real life and she had a real life affair with Edge, setting up this feud. It's pretty easily the high point of Matt's singles career and this is probably his biggest match ever. He kept running in on Edge in the back and beat him up, even mentioning Ring of Honor on Raw once as he was being arrested.
A video says what I just said.
Matt Hardy vs. Edge
This is a cage match. You can win by pin, submission or escape. Edge is Mr. Money in the Bank at the moment. They lock it up to start and slug it out with Edge almost going into the cage. Edge takes over with right hands and this feels epic. He goes for the top of the cage quickly but Matt makes the save. Edge goes for the door but Matt takes him down and hooks a headlock. In a cage match?
Edge takes over with a bunch of right hands and Matt is in trouble. Another escape attempt fails and a clothesline puts Edge down. Twist of Fate is countered into the Edge-O-Matic for two. Escape attempt #4 in less than 5 minutes doesn't work and Matt almost hits a Side Effect from the top rope. Instead Matt is shoved off and a missile dropkick puts Matt down. The idea is that in their previous match at Summerslam, Matt took so many shots to the head that he couldn't continue.
Edge works on the back of the head and mocks Matt with the V.1 hand sign. Matt looks out of it but that's a normal day for him so maybe there isn't much to worry about. There's a DDT and Matt is in trouble. Edge powerbombs him into the cage and then drops him on his back. This is domination at this point. There's a Buckle Bomb and Matt looks like he ate some bad fish. Edge adds a big boot and Matt is looking a little dead.
Matt gets in a shot and tries for a quick escape, but gets caught in a top rope powerbomb to kill him even further. This has been a great beating so far. Edge crawls over for two and the fans are shocked. Matt tries whatever he can think of, this time in the form of biting the hands of Edge. Gee Matt I know you like eating but come on now. Matt drops him on the top buckle and dodges a spear, sending Edge into the middle rope. A Side Effect gets two.
Edge goes again but Matt saves one more time. Lita slides in the briefcase but Matt ducks and Edge is tied in the ropes. Matt GOES OFF and the fans erupt. There's a slingshot into the cage and there's a bulldog onto the case. Edge gets rammed into all four sides of the cage and is busted open. Lita tries to climb in and Matt shoves her off to the floor. The blood is flowing out of Edge.
Matt picks up the MITB case and goes up but Edge shoves the referee into Matt to crotch him. A spear puts Matt down and Edge climbs. Matt pops up and hits a HUGE Side Effect off the top to put them both down. Lita tries to get in with a chair but Jack Doan keeps her out. Matt covers but Lita comes in anyway and breaks things up.
With Edge down, Matt gets the big shot in on Lita with a Twist of Fate. Edge pops up with a spear for two and the place goes NUTS. Edge goes up but Matt makes the save. He climbs to the top and like a true Hardy, gets way too high and messes up his push while blaming everyone from his employer to his butcher for his problems.. Or he drops a leg on Edge from the top of the page to pin him. You pick which it really was.
Rating: A. Like I said, it's Matt's best match ever. By that I mean it's his best match ever, not the best match he's ever been in (translation: TLC 2 doesn't count because it was a tag match). Great storytelling here but it still wasn't the blowoff as they had a ladder match on Raw that Edge won to send Matt to Smackdown. If this had ended it though, Matt would have been a world title contender.
Cena is getting taped up when Bischoff, Angle's boss/whatever, comes up and says Angle will win tonight. The idea was Eric kept trying to find his guy to screw Cena over while WWE tried to find a way to recreate Austin vs. McMahon. Cena tapes Eric's mouth shut.
Edge tries to stagger out but can't quite do it.
Raw Tag Titles: Lance Cade/Trevor Murdoch vs. Rosey/The Hurricane
Earlier today the southern boys say they've beaten the champions before and they'll do it again. Cade and Murdoch are a brand new team, forming like ten days before this. Naturally they're the #1 contenders. You can see a bunch of fans going to get popcorn during this one. Hurricane vs. Cade gets us going and the champs clear the ring quickly. Hurricane headscissors Murdoch to the floor as we talk about country music.
Hurricane hits a missile dropkick and it's off to Rosey. Lawler points out the stupidity of having a place that loves country music asked to boo a pair of country boys. Cade takes over on Rosey as Murdoch goes to hit on Lillian. Well to her credit she looks great tonight. Hurricane saves her but Murdoch gets a SICK elevated DDT to the floor on storm boy.
Rosey takes over but misses a splash in the corner to put him down. We finally get a trainer down here as the match falls apart. Cade cheats some on the floor as Hurricane is carried out. Like an idiot he comes back and tags in, only to get clotheslined a few seconds later for the pin.
Rating: D. Isn't this what Raw is for? The tag titles were far less valuable back then than they are now and the country boys would break up like a month later. This was nothing but that DDT on the floor looked great. This was probably better than most tag title matches around this time, but it was still terribly uninteresting which might as well be printed on the belts.
The girls get out of the limo in Flair's robe. She flashes him and gets back in.
Chris Masters says his name is Masterpiece, not Masturbate. Maria is interviewing him if that cleans anything up. He says it's because he looks like something made by Michaelangelo. And yes, that draws a rendition of the TMNT theme song from her.
Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Masters
Masters is undefeated here. Shawn does his in ring entrance but Masters grabs him in the Masterlock (full nelson) before the bell rings. See, why don't more people get that idea? The bell rings and Shawn counters this time. Shawn takes over and dives to the floor, hitting a bunch of right hands after a plancha connects. Masters is sent into the steps as the idea is he's shaken up from never being tested before.
Shawn grabs a chair but gets it taken away, allowing Masters to get a shot in to take over. Masters is put into a powerbomb position and rammed back first into the post twice. Back in the ring Masters takes over and drops a leg for two. A delayed vertical gets two. Michaels can't get anything going because of his back and the power of Masters. Off to a backbreaker but Masters holds Shawn over the knee for a submission attempt.
Shawn tries a crucifix but Masters counters into a full nelson attempt. Instead here's a torture rack and the referee goes old school by checking the arm. Shawn counters into a sunset flip for two. Masters is bleeding from the nose. Here's the Masterlock but Shawn goes rudo and kicks Masters low while he's got the referee distracted. A slugout is won by HBK and there's the forearm (called the Flying Burrito by JR) followed by the nipup.
The top rope elbow hits and it's time to stomp the mat loudly to let my opponent know that his finisher is coming. Like clockwork Masters ducks and hooks the Masterlock. Shawn fights to the corner and gets over the top rope somehow, forcing a break. Masters tries the hold again but Shawn escapes and there's the superkick for the pin. Shawn collapsing after getting the pin is always a nice touch.
Rating: B. Good stuff here as Shawn does his usual stuff but still pulls out a good match. He knew timing, which is what so many wrestlers have no clue about. He knew how to make his comebacks mean stuff and played everything to perfection. Good stuff which you never see from most young guys because it's not important to learn in the eyes of the trainers today.
Flair gets out of the limo with his tights half down. He tilts his head back for the WOO and collapses in a Flair Flop. Funny stuff.
We recap Auscena vs. McBischoff. Cena had already beaten Jericho to get rid of him so Bischoff brought in Angle next. Angle destroyed Cena time after time and this is the big showdown.
Raw World Title: John Cena vs. Kurt Angle
Cena has a bad ankle coming into this. Angle takes over to start but Cena grabs a hip toss to send Angle to the floor. Angle takes it to the mat which is exactly what you would expect. Off to a headlock to fill in some time. Kurt bails again and the fans are getting into this. Back in Cena gets a slam and two elbows for two. Sidewalk slam gets two. Angle wakes up and snaps off a release German to take over.
There's a camel clutch by Angle but Cena fights out and gets most of a sunset flip for two. Angle grabs a belly to belly and Cena is in trouble. Kurt goes with a waistlock and then a body scissors to work over the ribs. A DDT gets Cena out of it and both guys are down. They slug it out which is won by Cena. That makes sense as they've been pushing the fighter vs. the wrestler here.
A suplex gets two for the champ. Angle rolls through the FU into the ankle lock but Cena rolls through into a spinebuster for two. The FU is countered into a belly to back suplex but it's called the Angle Slam because Kurt spun about 80 degrees. That gets two and it's time for the ankle lock. Cena rolls through again and there's the ProtoBomb. The Shuffle gets two.
Angle gets sent into the referee and the FU gets no count as a result. Kurt kicks Cena low and hits Cena with the medal. Instead of covering he hits Cena in the ankle with the gold and hooks the ankle lock as Eric comes out. Eric puts the title in Cena's face and Cena gets to a rope because he's kind of stupid at this point. Anyway Cena rolls through and sends Angle into Eric as Eric is about to call for the bell. Cena clocks Angle with the belt and it's a DQ win for Kurt. Weak.
Rating: B-. The match was ok but the ending hurt it. Also at this point Cena just wasn't ready for a match this big. He was really young and he just wasn't good enough to hang with a guy like Angle yet. In a year or so he would be but at this point it just wasn't there yet. The ending hut it a lot too as it was weak. Kurt vs. Cena would happen two more times with Cena finally winning the feud at Survivor Series.
Post match Eric says it doesn't matter what the rules says because...and there's an FU as Cena shrugs off being in the ankle lock for about two minutes. Angle attacks Cena but Cena gets the better of it and puts Angle through the table with an FU.
Overall Rating: B-. Nice surprise here as these B shows are usually awful. We got a good show out of it though with a great cage match and some other good stuff. A lot of it is your usual dreck on these single branded shows though so if you watch it, make sure you have a remote in your hand to skip some of the really dull stuff, of which there's a good deal. The big matches are good though, which is all you can ask for.
Date: September 17, 2006
Location: Air Canada Center, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler
For some reason this is a very requested show, so here it is. This is a two match show for the most part as Cena goes for the world title against Edge in a TLC match where Cena will be the HUGE heel. Also here we have DX vs. the McMahons and Big Show in Hell in a Cell. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that match all the way through so that’s a nice little bonus reason to watch this show. Other than that there’s just not much here, but then again 06 was only an ok year for the company. Let’s get to it.
The opening video is about those two matches which is exactly what you would expect it to be about.
Intercontinental Title: Johnny Nitro vs. Jeff Hardy
Wow talk about two different career paths. I’m not sure who gyrates more: Hardy or Melina. They mention Jeff’s three year absence, which was when he was in TNA, but we can’t say that name so there you are. Long feeling out process to start which is fine if they have time to work with. Nice armdrag and then another by Hardy as we get the obligatory Ricky Steamboat reference.
Nitro plays the standard heel role by hiding on the floor when Jeff gets momentum. That’s such a basic thing and it worked very well. I don’t get why more people don’t do it. SWEET slingshot dropkick to Nitro and he hits the floor. Baseball slide takes care of him there too as it’s all Hardy. Nitro hits a dropkick to Hardy while Hardy is on top to take over though. Damn Melina can scream.
He works on Hardy’s knee which is rather smart given the style of offense he uses. Top rope twisting moonsault (Starship Pain but from the top rope and without the leg split) misses and we’re back to even. Whisper in the Wind hits very well and Nitro is in trouble. Swanton hits clean but Jeff’s leg is hurt and Nitro gets his foot on the ropes. Nitro keeps working on the knee and even gets a leg/ankle lock.
Melina gets up on the apron and down she goes thanks to Nitro which gets a rollup for Hardy for two. She can however take her boot off and apply it to the face of Hardy to make sure Nitro wins. Ross gets in a slut jab at her which is rather amusing for some reason.
Rating: B-. Competitive but this went nearly 20 minutes which is a very long time for these two. It’s pretty good but for some reason it just never clicked. The ending is fine though as it’s basic heel stuff which never gets old. What more can you ask for in a match as far as basic face vs. basic heel stuff? Solid, Cruiserweight style stuff which is a good idea.
Marine stuff, which wasn’t a bad movie.
Matt gives Jeff a pep talk and Lita shows up and insults occur.
Kane vs. Umaga
Oh yay. It’s this match again. They claim this is Umaga’s PPV debut. That’s idiotic as he had been at Backlash, 4 months before this. I was kind of there so I think I’d know. Estrada is annoying as hell which is the idea so he’s got that right at least. The introduction takes about 5 minutes. Who would guess that Kane would win the world title before Umaga would?
Kane punches him back into the corner to start and it’s a slugout. Big boot to the face does almost nothing and then Kane sits up after a kick from Umaga. Some Estrada interference lets Umaga take over, which sucks because I was enjoying the whole neither can do anything at all. King compares this to Godzilla vs. Mothra, because both of them resemble large butterflies.
The running flying ass smash connects and Kane is reeling. And of course such a high impact move is followed up by a thumb to the throat, which is SO DEVASTATING! It appears that all Kane can do is punch. Him vs. Rocky Balboa could be amusing. A flying thumb to the head misses from the middle rope. I do enjoy that flying clothesline from Kane. Then again I like Kane in general so there you are.
Chokeslam is started but almost blocked. More striking and then Kane hits a belly to belly (!) over the top to the floor and they head into the crowd. I think you can put the rest together for yourselves. The brawl keeps going, resulting in absolutely no conclusion at all. They brawl into the set and go through a door in it, ticking off the crowd immensely.
Rating: D+. Kane didn’t care at all at this point and can you blame him? He had no reason to as he knew he wasn’t getting elevated at all no matter what he did. He was stuck in these dead end feuds with random people that meant nothing such as this one. Umaga would go on to fight Cena for the world title in a few months while Kane just did hims thing over and over again. He’s a company man, you have to give him that.
We go to Vince in the back who is watching a tape of him hitting and then pinning HHH on Raw. He and Shane want to destroy DX which they’ve been trying to do all summer now. The idea is that Vince does nothing but gets to do the pin.
Raw Tag Titles: Spirit Squad vs. Highlanders
The Highlanders were really funny in their vignettes and then debuted to a nice reaction. This is more or less the peak of their importance. Rory (the other is Robbie) looks like Mad Dog Vachon from a facial hair perspective. Imagine Scottish Bushwackers. That sums them up pretty well. Kenny and Mikey are the Squad members here today. All Highlanders so far.
This really isn’t much of a match as you can more or less feel the screwy ending coming soon. Robbie misses a dive and the three other guys beat up Robbie to take over. Crowd is DEAD. The top rope legdrop from Kenny misses as this needs to end like now. Rory gets the hot tag which is lacking heat and hits his finisher on Mikey. After a save Johnny kicks Rory in the head and an X Factor (by the beard no less) ends it.
Rating: D. And so what? That’s what I was thinking when this match ended: so what. Who cares that the Spirit Squad has ANOTHER win using the same stuff they’ve used every time? It’s just not an interesting dynamic for this long, and then at the end of the day Piper and Flair wound up taking the titles from them. That’s the best they could do? This division was long since dead at this point and that was very clear.
We recap the Vince vs. DX feud which went on forever and was pretty badly received. It just kept going and stupid stuff that DX was doing was “breaking” Vince. Steve Austin kidnapped Vince, destroyed his car and threatened to shoot him and Vince never broke. And yet this is enough to get us to a Cell match?
Big Show/Vince McMahon/Shane McMahon vs. Degeneration X
Does anyone else have an issue with Vince and Shane and even Show being in a Cell match? Does that just not fit right with anyone besides me? Show is ECW Champion at this point. This is a different kind of cell too as it’s not as wide but taller. Maybe it is as wide. Double low blow immediately on Show and DX takes over. I have a feeling this could go on for a very long time.
Shane gets launched into the cage as HHH beats up his father in law. Shane is busted open already. Show’s balls must be throbbing since he’s still down. All DX so far as Vince gets his face grated over the cage which is a great spot as it’s painful as hell looking and draws blood too. You can’t beat that. Show is back up and HHH does his jump over the top in the corner which always looks good.
Shawn hits a dive but it gets caught. I love power spots like that. How can you fake catching a grown man like that when he’s launching himself down at you? HHH drops a knee on Vince and it CLEARLY misses by at least 4 inches. Vince not moving an inch didn’t help things. Really bad camera shot there as it totally exposed everything. It looked fine to the live fans I guess, but terrible from a TV perspective.
Apparently HHH has a bad ear, which is a rare injury. Vince is bleeding and Shawn goes into the cage. Things have slowed down a lot here. JR calls the fence a javelin catcher. Where does he get some of this stuff? The weapons are brought in, starting with a trashcan. Coast to Coast hits HHH and DX is more or less dead.
Shawn is brought back in and Vince gets to punch on him a bit. Shane hits a slingshot on HHH to launch him into the cage. Vader Bomb to Shawn from Show. Vince picks him up though and then does it again. You imbecile. HHH comes back after a decent rest and it’s low blows for everyone. From out of nowhere Shane gets a torture rack of all things into a neckbreaker on HHH.
Everyone is down until a SICK enziguri takes out Shane again. Vince of course lowers his pants to try to get Shawn to kiss his ass. HHH makes a save but too much Big Show stops that. Shawn manages to avoid a splash with a nip up and Vince takes it. DX takes out Show with a bunch of low blows and here’s the big comeback. They do all their favorites and HHH gets some chairs from under the ring.
They Pillmanize Shane’s neck which would have killed him in kayfabe but whatever. Show comes back to stop the kick as this is going too long. Actually it isn’t as the length is helping to a degree. Chairs and steps plus chin music take Show out again. Vince is all that’s left so DX pulls down Show’s shorts. You know what’s coming. There doesn’t appear to be a thong either. You can’t say he won’t do whatever it takes for his company.
HHH busts out a sledgehammer just for fun. Superkick hits and HHH breaks the hammer over Vince. So between that and attempting to murder Shane, how many years in prison is that for them? Pin is academic. Shane is taken out on a stretcher, as is Vince, which gets cheers. I’ll give them this: that’s how you END a feud.
Rating: C+. It was entertaining, but this just didn’t feel like it belonged in a Cell. If there hadn’t been so many people it would have fit in a regular cage better. This wasn’t bad, but it just doesn’t measure up to everything else. The ass thing hurts the whole hell part a lot. This was a good match, but after the attempted murder, cheering them is kind of hard. It’s ok but it doesn’t work if that makes sense.
The post match stuff takes like five minutes.
Mania is in Detroit.
We get a package on Trish, as her retirement match is next. It’s her hometown, so what do you really think is going to happen? If nothing else the highlight reel of her hotness is nice. The story is that Trish wasn’t going to announce the retirement but Lita told WWE.com so that Trish couldn’t have her moment, which is different if nothing else.
Women’s Title: Trish Stratus vs. Lita
If she’s going to go, this is how you do it: in your hometown against your rival for the title. Both of their theme songs freaking rock. Lita is announced from Atlanta which sounds weird as hell. LOUD Thank You Trish chant before the music even hits. She gets the loudest pop for a Diva ever, period. This really is a cool moment and her stumbling up the steps is awesome too.
Lita gets booed out of the building and I had to grab my headphones to get the loudness out of my ears when Trish went on offense. Thesz Press off the apron to Lita and I can’t get over how hot this crowd is for this. I know it’s a big deal but DAMN they’re loud for it. They changed the mat during the video package so that the blood is gone, which is nice since the stains on the mat get annoying later on.
Lita’s looks never worked that well with bangs. In a cool spot, Lita blocks the headscissors out of the corner and Trish winds up sitting on Lita’s lap in the corner as they punch each other. Never seen that before. They fight even more on the top and Trish goes to the mat. Moonsault misses and the Stratusfaction is missed too. A fan at ringside actually asks Trish to marry him as she’s down. Well he’s certainly trying.
Trish is in trouble as they actually tease her losing here. That’s rather amusing. JR mentions she’ll be in the Hall of Fame, which better be true. If she’s not they might as well close off any other Divas. They slug it out which is something these two can actually make believable, which isn’t often said of the ladies. BIG old kick to the head of Lita gets two.
Sweet move by Trish as Stratusfaction is reversed but Trish twists PERFECTLY in midair into a sunset flip. The sunset flip part isn’t great but the twist was nice. It gets two, but Trish gets the FUCKING SHARPSHOOTER and the crowd absolutely loses it. Lita almost gets the rope but Trish drags her back to the middle for the tap and the title.
Rating: A. This wasn’t for the match, although it was good. This was about a last moment, and I’d love to hear a way to go out that is better than this. In her hometown, using the most famous move in the history of the country, she beat her archrival and broke the record for most Women’s Championship ever. That is what you call epic. Good match too, but that’s expected from these two. Crowd was awesome too.
Everyone gives Trish an ovation, including Lillian, Jim and Jerry. Lita would retire in like 3 months, killing the division once and for all.
There’s a season premiere of Smackdown. I think that was the Friday debut.
Orton is in the back and gets a mixed reaction, even though he’s a heel here. He says no one cares about her retirement unless you’re Canadian. Orton REALLY can’t talk yet here and it shows badly. He has Carlito next. Odd interview and not in a good way.
Randy Orton vs. Carlito
I still like Burn in My Light better than Voices. This is more or less the apex of Carlito’s WWE push. Standard stuff to start which is fine. Randy takes over and we get an RKO chant. I love Canadian crowds. So much for that Randy takes over aspect as Carlito hits some nice springboard splashes. Both guys have nice dropkicks also. Orton’s mouth is busted, which today would bring a match to a screeching halt.
It’s chinlock time, which was more prevalent back in the day if you can believe that. Carlito hits a Downward Spiral which is a required move in this company I think. RKO is countered into the Backcracker and is told they have two minutes left. To end it, Carlito does a double springboard into a spinning clothesline. It doesn’t hit though as Orton pulls him into the RKO in a SWEET counter. Awesome ending to a bad match.
Rating: D+. This was rather boring. It’s nothing great at all as the whole thing was about the ending. Carlito was a rather odd worker as he had such a different style but it just never clicked for more than like one match in a row. This was rather short and didn’t really ever get off the ground, but after the long celebration with Trish they’re likely short on time.
We recap Edge vs. Cena, which is happening because Cena wants the title. The idea is if Cena loses here to Edge in Edge’s hometown then he goes to Smackdown for three years. There’s also a new belt here as Edge threw the spinner belt in the water. He has a new spinner with an R on it. This gets the music video treatment. Oh and Cena’s dad got beaten up by Edge.
Raw World Title: Edge vs. John Cena
Oh and it’s TLC. Let the Vince hardon begin. No coat for Edge here which is weird. BIG pop for Edge. I really want to see him as a face again. It might have helped to have him be a face for more than like two months or give him more than just shouting SPEAR over and over again. They start booing before Cena’s music even hits. Nuclear heat on Cena.
I love having the ladder and chair set up on the tables around the ring. That’s always a perk for some reason. Cena just being a two time champion is great. You can barely understand Lillian over the pop for Edge. Ross makes a good point and asks what Buddy Rogers would think of a TLC match. I’d counter with what would he think of the belt that spins with a big R on it.
LOUD booing for a simple headlock. This crowd is awesome. Impaler hits but since it’s not 2000 anymore that move is just average. I’ve never gotten that: how can a move like that just lose its power? Cena goes into some chairs and Edge is loudly cheered. You’ll get used to that tonight. Ladder time as Edge is mostly dominant. I’m getting tired of me saying things and then them changing immediately. A hip toss puts Edge onto a ladder and the American takes over.
It has always confused me a bit how people always talk about experience in these kinds of matches. How much experience do you need to climb a ladder? Sunset powerbomb through the table is kind of botched as the table isn’t there so they hit mat instead of table. A powerslam does it instead. These matches are hard to review as you kind of always wind up just listing off spots and it gets rather repetitive.
Edge runs up the ladder and hits a dive over the top to take out Cena which looked awesome. One man Conchairto is avoided by Cena, resulting in the cheering from fans over the lack of massive head trauma. STFU with Edge inside a ladder, which actually would hurt which is nicer than the figure four around the leg which wouldn’t really add a lot of pain I don’t think.
Cena hits an FU on the ladder. As in the ladder was across his shoulder and landed on Edge who was on the mat. Edge takes over again and sets Cena on a table then sets up another table on top of that. Nothing happens with it though, so I’d bet on that being the big finish. The BIG ladder is brought out and Edge is down, so Cena has to inch up the ladder.
SPEAR to take Cena off the ladder. It’s not quite the one to Hardy but it’s not bad at all. They fight over big spots near the ladder and Edge hits the floor. Cena almost gets the belt but Lita makes the save and Cena takes a big old fall to the floor and through a table. Lita messes up though and causes Edge to go flying through a table as well. FU to Lita and it’s time for Miley Cyrus’ big song from last year.
The double stack table is set up again but for no apparent reason at all as Edge is down on the floor and Cena is capable of climbing. Both guys on are the ladder and in a fairly famous visual now, Edge takes the FU off the ladder through two tables. Cena grabs the belt, which he would hold for the next full year plus.
Rating: B. I thought a higher grade at first but this feels more right. It’s definitely a good match and worthy of being a PPV main event, but it just feels kind of anti-climactic. Cena defies the odds again and wins the title? It’s not bad or anything but it just lacks that spark I guess you would say. Very intense match though with some very nice big bumps. This is worth checking out.
Overall Rating: B. It’s definitely a good show and the two huge matches are definitely a good way to sell the show. This has some issues with it but for the most part it’s good. Trish’s moment is probably the highlight of the show actually but the whole ass spot in the Cell match just stopped that one dead. It’s worth seeing and is definitely entertaining but not a classic or anything. I’d consider this a good popcorn show if that makes sense.
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