Usually, I only post these on my site, but in an attempt to garner some new readers...
The Dames’ Diatribe on WWE Unforgiven 2003
This month is WWE’s second attempt at giving their Raw program their own PPV. Their first attempt, WWE Badd Blood 2003, was a candidate for Worst PPV of the year. Will this one do any better?
We’ve got a main event that people actually want to see as Goldberg takes on Triple H and they’ve practically guaranteed a World Title change with the retirement stipulation on Goldberg, but this is Triple H we’re talking about.
Let’s hit the recap already.
Bonus Heat Match:
Steven Richards (w/Victoria) vs. Maven
Match Background: None that I know of. I haven’t watched Heat in a LONG time…and TSM is in need of a Heat & Velocity reviewer anyway, so I really don’t know what’s going on. If these two guys have a real reason for battling it out, please let me know.
The Match: Is it just me…or has Maven gotten really JAKKED? I don’t remember that kid having so many abs, seriously. It almost sounded like he got a smatter of boos too…I know it’s Hershey, not Philly, but I’m sure the Philly fans have got to be in this arena somewhere.
They lock up, with Richards backing Maven into the corner to some boos. Maven retaliates with a BIG shoulder tackle and a clothesline. Maven then gets a fireman’s carry and the MAVEKICK~! sending Richards out of the ring. Maven gives chase, but as Richards climbs back into the ring with the Tough Enough winner following, Sensational Queen Victoria holds onto Maven’s leg, allowing Stevie to hit a baseball slide. The referee then argues with Richards for a moment (probably about his pink tights), allowing Victoria to come in with her flipping legdrop to the back of Maven’s head. Damn, I love that move.
Richards goes for the cover, but that’s not enough to put Maven away. Richards hits a neckbreaker on him for a second two count and then connects with a cravate for two. Richards snap mares Maven down (who at first thought it was a second neckbreaker and made the spot look weird because of it), to put on a full nelson on the mat. Maven breaks out of it, counters a Richards suplex attempt and both men are down.
Both men get up and Maven is on a roll, connecting with everything and letting us know that “That’s what I’m talking about!” He holds onto the ropes as Richards tries a dropkick and then comes flying at him with a forearm for another two count. Maven then connects with a spinning wheel kick as Richards charges at him for yet another two count. Richards attempts a hiptoss, but Maven blocks it and hits a neckbreaker before once again confirming that “That’s what I’m talking about!”
Maven heads up top, but Victoria tries to pull him down to no avail. He misses a missile dropkick and Richards immediately goes for the cover for a two count. Richards goes for the StevieT, but Maven back drops out of it and then jumps off the top, hooking Richards with a (sloppy) DDT for the pinfall.
My Opinion: Maven seems to really have improved in the past couple of years. He’s in a hell of a lot better shape and he seems to be expanding his moveset past the MAVEKICK~! and top rope MAVEKICK~! too. Other that the sloppy DDT finish, almost every offensive maneuver that he attempted came across very crisp, but hey…at least the guy has finally got a finisher. Then again, he was in the ring with Richards, who makes everyone look good but at least Maven is carryable then. Victoria was a hoot at ringside (that’s right, I said hoot), acting like a crazy cheerleader being as animated as possible. It’s a damn shame that she has no direction. Sadly, I have a feeling that this match will probably be better than some of the matches on the card tonight. *1/4.
The PPV starts as usual with a video montage…which features a Triple H voiceover talking about Goldberg beating “nobody after nobody” as clips are shown of Goldberg beating Bret Hart (bastards), Hulk Hogan and wrestling Sting. Did Goldberg ever beat Sting? I don’t remember that…
After the usual B.S. by the announcers, we get to the first match.
The Dudley Boyz vs. La Resistance & Ron Conway in a Handicap Tables match for the World Tag Team Titles
Match Background: For a few months now, the Dudley Boyz have stated that they “Hate the French”, so naturally, they’ve been feuding with the World Tag Team champs, La Resistance. Ron Conway debuted the week before last month’s SummerSlam, posing as a military serviceman and beat up on the Dudley’s after they “saved” him from an attack by La Resistance. Then at SummerSlam, Conway once again attacked the Dudley’s, this time costing them the tag team titles as La Resistance retained the tag straps.
After a tag team match on Raw, La Resistance attempted to use their tag team finisher, a double spinebuster, on Spike Dudley…by throwing him over the top rope through a table at ringside. The spot went awry as Spike’s feet got caught on the ropes and instead of going through the table, his head connected with the edge of it and then he smacked HARD on the floor below. Although this spot has been replayed many times since then, rest assured…that was NOT supposed to happen.
Anyway, Eric Bischoff then announced that a 6 man tag team match would take place at Unforgiven and it would be a tables match. The week after Spike’s injury, he competed in a singles match against Rob Conway which featured some beautiful booking as Conway hit a neckbreaker on Spike immediately to win the match.
On Heat tonight, Eric Bischoff made the match a Handicap match (under the guise of trying to give the heels the advantage) as Spike will not be able to compete tonight. He probably shouldn’t have taken that neckbreaker the week before. Stone Cold Steve Austin then upped the ante in the match by making it for the World Tag Team Titles, so now it’s on.
The Match: As the Dudley’s come down to ringside, WWE once again replays Spike’s injury in slow motion. The crowd chants “USA” as the tag champions make their entrance and the match starts out with Dupree and D-Von.
D-Von gets the advantage with a barrage of right hands. He’s forced into the heel corner where Rob Conway comes in and gets his ass handed to him as well. Conway holds onto the ropes as he’s irish whipped, only to have Bubba come over and hold him for D-Von, but Conway moves out of the way. D-Von stops short on hitting his tag partner and they double clothesline Conway instead. Bubba comes in and places Conway in the Tree of Woe before smacking the everloving SHIT out of his chest with some open hand chops.
Conway comes undone and Bubba charges across the ring, connecting with a clothesline that turns Conway inside out. Bubba takes out the heels in the corner and then avalanches all three in their corner. They toss La Res over the top rope and double flapjack Conway. The crowd wants tables as Conway and Dupree collaborate to get the advantage on Bubba…who bumps off a CHOP! I LOVE IT!
La Res double team Bubba momentarily as they receive some boos, but it turns into a loud “USA” chant. Conway comes in and hooks on a sleeper, but Bubba hits a belly to back suplex to escape. D-Von comes in and he cleans house on everyone, but not enough to earn House En Fuego status. Bubba comes back in to combine for their back suplex/neckbreaker combo and the Wassup Headbutt on Dupree. Damn, that move is SO stale. Wassup is SOO three years ago. Bubba then demands that D-Von gets the tables, which he does so like a good lap dog.
They set up a table in the ring, but they’re immediately jumped by all three heels. Another table is brought into the ring and propped in the corner where D-Von is then irish whipped into for the elimination. It’s now Bubba Ray Dudley against all three heels.
They try to put Bubba through a table, but he fights them away, only to fall victim to a neckbreaker. The other heels leave Grenier alone in the ring with Bubba, who reverses a suplex attempt, putting Grenier through a table.
Dupree and Conway set up another table in the ring and look to back drop Bubba through the table to end the match, but D-Von comes back into the ring for some reason and moves the table out of the way. He gets a spinebuster for his troubles and a mis communication spot leads to Dupree getting a Bubba Bomb. Bubba and D-Von then pick up Conway and do the same thing that La Res did to Spike Dudley, sending him over the top through a table to eliminate him. Conway’s feet ALSO got caught on the ropes ala Spike, but lucky for him, there was an extra table in the way. For the record, that move should never be attempted again.
It’s now down to Bubba vs. Dupree, but Grenier comes into the ring with the French Flag. He tries to use it, but misses and ends up eating it himself. Dupree comes out of the corner and double clotheslines both Dudleys before setting up a table in the ring. He picks D-Von up, but D-Von whips him into the ropes and along with Bubba, 3D Dupree for the win!
Winners and NEW World Tag Team Champions: The Dudley Boyz
My Opinion: While I understand the title switch and the reasoning for it (La Res has had the belts for a while, plus this was probably their punishment for injuring Spike), I thought of a way to put Ron Conway over and continue the chase just a little bit more. I would have preferred it if it was down to Bubba vs. Conway and Dupree, with Bubba taking Dupree out. That way, the Duds technically would have eliminated the tag team champions, but Ron Conway would pull out the victory somehow, putting himself over and the tag titles would have remained on the eliminated champions. This then would have resulted in a cage match where the Duds finally got La Resistance alone and won the titles there…but La Res aren’t good enough workers or are over enough to merit any of that.
My question now is where the tag division is going, seeing as how there really aren’t many tag teams on Raw. The tag division is so stale on Raw right now that eventually, Hurricane and Rosey are going to end up with the tag straps…you’ll see.
The match wasn’t great, but it definitely had the crowd going and since it was the blowoff to the feud, the fans were happy with it. **
We get a video package for Test vs. Scott Steiner set to Cold’s “Suffocate” which is so good, it actually makes this feud seem important.
Test vs. Scott Steiner
Match Background: This feud…won’t END!
Test and Scott Steiner were a tag team at the request of Test’s girlfriend and valet, Stacy Keibler. They began to have problems as Steiner and Stacy were getting a little too comfortable for Test’s liking…and Test became the typical jealous boyfriend. I can sympathize really…Steiner was making it pretty damn obvious that he wanted Stacy.
Anyway, Test then started abusing Stacy verbally and put her in harms way so many times that she broke up with him and became Steiner’s manager full time. This enraged Test who attacked Steiner and they had a match at Bad Blood for Stacy’s services, which Steiner won. Now, while that seemed like the blowoff, Test continued to bother Steiner and Stacy and it got to the point where Test made a challenge to face Steiner again for Stacy’s services. In that match on Raw, Test faked an injury (in his best acting job to date as most of the people I know completely bought it as a legit injury at first) and used it to his advantage to pin Steiner and win back Stacy. Stacy, who really didn’t want to be with Test anymore, tried to counter everything that Test did in his matches. Steiner got involved once again, leading to Test making a challenge for tonight’s match…which is once again for Stacy’s services. However, this is the twist…if Steiner loses, he also becomes Test’s property.
The Match: Stacy comes to the ring first as she’s going to be at ringside. Test’s Titantron is hilarious as it has clips of Stacy pouting and generally looking sad. Test mocks Stacy by going through the ropes like she does…to the chagrin of every male watching.
Test attacks Steiner at the bell and goes for a leapfrog, but Steiner slams him down for two. Test misses a clothesline, but Steiner does not and he drops his silly elbow, followed by his push ups, as usual. Test goes to the outside and holds Stacy in front of him…but she slaps him, allowing Steiner to attack him. Steiner then turns to Stacy and Test takes advantage again, tossing Steiner into the ring steps. He tosses him back in the ring and attempts to ram him into the turnbuckles to no avail. He is, however, able to land a full nelson slam for a two count. He mocks Steiner with some push ups of his own before hooking on a sleeper. Stacy tries to get the crowd going in favor of Steiner, but for the most part, they couldn’t give a shit. Test comes off the top rope with a double axe handle attempt, but Steiner catches him and tosses him. It’s Steiner’s turn to be on offense now and he hits some chops in the corner as well as his spinning belly to belly for two.
Test cheats like a Guerrero as he uses the ref as a shield JUST to poke Steiner in the eye. He looks for the pumphandle slam but Steiner floats over and looks for his Tiger Bomb. He almost drops Test on his HEAD, but at least he didn’t fall on his ass like he did against Triple H at the Royal Rumble. The crowd openly boos at Steiner’s shittyness here as he gets a two count. Test once again deflects the ref’s sight to connect with a low blow and then uses the ropes to try and pin Steiner but Stacy shoves his feet off. The ref might as well have been staring at Test’s feet on the ropes, it was so damn obvious.
Test then grabs Stacy by the hair and pulls her onto the apron (who was reacting before she was even grabbed), only for her to drop Test on the top rope throat first. He staggers back and Steiner hits his reverse DDT for ONE…TWO…NO! Test then hits his Pumphandle Slam and looks for the BIG ABOOT~!, but Stacy gets on the apron to show us her ass, which pisses off Test. He charges at her, only to get rolled up for a nearfall. Test then jumps out of the ring to chase Stacy and she comes running back into the ring. Stacy then exposes the business completely by running SLOWLY into Steiner….and falling. Test then boots Steiner in the face with the BIG ABOOT~! but only gets a two count. Test then goes to expose a top turnbuckle pad in full view of the ref and as the ref goes to put it back, Test grabs a chair. He brings it into the ring…but Stacy takes it from him. Stacy, with her POWERFUL, CHISELED arms rears back and goes to hit Test, but knocks Steiner in the face instead. He gets up as Test laughs at her…and Test hits the boot for the three count.
After the match, he leaves with Stacy as Steiner realizes that he’s now Test’s bitch. How the mighty have fallen.
My Opinion: WHY WON’T THIS FEUD DIE!? I don’t know what it is about WWE, but they take their worst feuds and make them six months long. This reminds me of the Dawn Marie/Torrie Wilson feud from last year that no one wanted to see last as long as it did. It’s completely ridiculous that they’re on the same side in a feud against Shaniqua right now by the way.
Anyway, this should have been the blowoff with Steiner winning Stacy back and Test can go on to something else. Now, we’re going to have to extend this feud even longer…great. Stacy doesn’t even do anything valuable at ringside! What’s next…a Stacy on a Pole match? *
We go to a video package for Michaels & Orton. WWE Production is so good, they make Orton look and sound like a superstar. During the package, when Michaels tells Orton “if I had a nickel for every stiff over the last 16 years that said he was going to do that to him”, clips of Vader, Nash as Diesel and Chris Jericho are shown.
Shawn Michaels vs. Randy Orton (w/Ric Flair)
Match Background: At Badd Blood, HBK took on Ric Flair and lost due to Orton’s interference. Then at Madison Square Garden in June, he threw Mick Foley down a flight of stairs and began calling himself the Legend Killer. He made it very clear that his intention was to take out Shawn Michaels next. Michaels told him that there have been many guys that have wanted to take him out…but none have done so. Last week on Raw, Michaels slapped Randy Orton across the face HARD before telling him that he will not be his stepping stone to greatness.
The Match: As Orton comes down to the ring with Ric Flair, I feel compelled to tell you all that I like Evolution’s theme with Motorhead. That is all.
They lock up with Michaels getting the advantage with a waistlock takedown and outwrestling Orton. Michaels and Orton exchange armdrags and head scissors with Michaels once again getting the advantage before they break to applause.
Michaels escapes a headlock and hits a shoulder tackle and tosses Orton over the top, but Orton pulls a move out of HBK’s repertoire and “skins the cat” back in before connecting with a dropkick and a hard clothesline for two. Orton then comes off the top with a double axe handle, but Michaels extends the knee, atomic dropping Orton instead. He then sends Orton to the outside with a clothesline before skinning the cat back in himself. A baseball slide to Orton sends him down the aisle and Michaels then dives off the top with a cross body block to the outside!
Michaels tries to suplex Orton back in, but Orton floats over and tries a German. HBK blocks it, reverses the waistlock and hits a German with a bridge for a two count as that exact spot is from Bret vs. Owen – Wrestlemania 10. I’ve seen the match enough times to know that one.
Orton kicks Michaels as he puts his head down too early, but Michaels recovers quickly and turns a crucifix into a roll up for two. Orton makes Michaels EAT BOOT as he charges at him in the corner, but Michaels comes back with chops in the corner. Both men fight over positioning in the corner, hitting each other with chops until the referee is finally able to separate them. HBK sends Orton into the corner and charges, but Orton moves out of the way and Michaels connects with the ring post shoulder first as he spills to the outside. With the referee tending to Orton, Flair rams HBK’s shoulder into the post again and gives him a low blow to boot. Orton heads to the outside himself and rams HBK’s shoulder into the post again before yanking on the arm on the apron.
Back in the ring now, Orton works on the shoulder with shoulder tackles and a hammerlock. Michaels tries to fight back, but Orton nails him in the shoulder and then hits a single arm DDT for two. Orton puts on a cross arm breaker, but HBK fights out of it. Orton is able to leverage his way back to the mat, still in control of Michaels and his shoulder and getting a few nearfalls out of the hold. HBK is able to escape and gets an inside cradle for a close nearfall. Orton goes for a dropkick, but Michaels holds onto the ropes, causing Orton to crash and burn on the mat. HBK hits Orton with his flying forearm and nips up like he always does after it. He connects with an atomic drop on Orton as well as some right hands and a back body drop. HBK punches Flair off the apron and tosses Orton to the outside. HBK follows him out and whips him into the safety rail before tossing him back in. Michaels heads to the top, but Flair interjects himself to no avail as he’s kicked off of the apron. Michaels comes off the top onto Orton with a double axe handle and gets a two count off of it.
An irish whip by HBK is reversed by Orton and HBK gets turned upside down in the corner. Orton heads to the second rope and comes off of it with the double axe handle that NEVER works as he EATS BOOT. Michaels crawls to the other corner and looks for Sweet Chin Music, but Orton blocks it and hits the RKO! He crawls over on Michaels…ONE…TWO…NO!
Orton heads back to the top rope and goes for his cross body, but it misses as HBK moves out of the way! Michaels heads to the top and Flair once again gets knocked off! HBK nails the elbow on Orton, but hurts his own arm in the process! He goes for the cover and gets a nearfall on it. Michaels nips up once again and warms up the band in the corner. He’s there for a good ten seconds, but it seems like Orton is the ONLY one who doesn’t see it coming as he gets nailed with Sweet Chin Music for the three count! Immediately after the three count, Flair puts Orton’s foot on the ropes and alerts the referee, who apparently restarts the match. Flair comes into the ring and eats Sweet Chin Music instead.
Michaels goes to back suplex Orton back into the ring, but Orton connects with a few right hands to Michaels face for the three count! It’s revealed that he had brass knucks on passed to him by Flair!
Winner: Randy Orton
My Opinion: Very solid contest and quite possibly the best match that Randy Orton has had in WWE so far. The result was the right one as a Michaels win here wouldn’t have done anything for Orton or progress the storyline much as Michaels doesn’t need to be protected anymore. The work in the match was good as Orton targeted the shoulder well and Flair acted like a heel manager should. I really liked the Sweet Chin Music into RKO spot as Michaels shouldn’t be put away by such a weak finisher. Let’s face it…it doesn’t compare to the Diamond Cutter. The finish was relatively cheap, but effective. **3/4
In the back, La Resistance and Rob Conway are iced up, looking worn and beaten. Chris Jericho comes in to tell that that their loss of the tag straps is because of Stone Cold Steve Austin…and Jericho is going to stand up to him.
Molly Holly & Gail Kim vs. Lita & Trish Stratus
Match Background: Quite frankly, Gail Kim bombed as the WWE Women’s Champion. All she ever had was fluke victories and blew all of her major spots, so the title was given to Molly Holly. A few weeks later, Gail Kim saved Trish Stratus from a Molly Holly beatdown, only to give her one of her own as she turned heel. Molly & Kim then faced off in various three ways with Trish until Molly told Gail Kim that she’d team with her and take out Trish.
Molly & Kim then took on Trish in tag matches and defeated her every time. Molly & Kim were looking to take her out, so Kim was able to seduce Bischoff into getting them a 2 on 1 handicap match against Trish. The match came and went, but while they were successful, they weren’t able to put her out as Lita made her return after almost 18 months on the shelf with a broken neck and came to Trish’s aid.
The Match: Lita comes out last, of course, to the biggest pop for the women’s side.
As she and Trish pose for the crowd, Kim and Molly attack, but Lita is ready for them. They whip Molly & Kim together in the corner for Lita as Trish allows her to use her back for a jumping clothesline ala Poetry In Motion. The heels go to regroup, but Lita & Trish hit simultaneous baseball slides.
Molly comes in, upset at this and shoves Lita. Lita wants her to come into the ring, but Kim comes in instead and gets back body dropped for her troubles. Lita suplexes Kim and nips up (!) before tagging Trish in. Trish hits a Lou Thesz press on Kim off the 2nd rope and hits some chops and a clothesline for two. Gail Kim goes for a clothesline, but Trish bridges backwards to avoid it and hits her roundhouse kick for a broken up two.
Molly holds the middle rope down as Gail whips Trish into the corner, causing Stratus to fall to the outside. Gail and Molly double team Trish outside and both women put on reverse face locks on her in the ring. Trish gets to her feet, still in the hold and uses her feet to spring herself up and over, almost hitting Spanky’s Sliced Bread # 2 with it.
Molly pulls Lita off of the apron as Trish reaches over to her, allowing the heels to isolate Trish some more. Molly comes in to face Trish now and while Molly holds her back, she’s able to make the tag, but the ref was distracted by Kim, so Lita isn’t allowed in. Lita is now bleeding from the mouth, most likely from smacking her mouth on the apron. Lita is the one diva that always seems to bleed on PPV…
Molly & Kim combine for a double submission on Trish, but Molly is only able to get a two count off a pinfall attempt. Molly hits a backbreaker for two and a double team goes awry as Trish takes both women down and goes to make the tag, but Kim nails her with a HARD clothesline. Kim slams Trish down and attempts a 2nd rope legdrop, but Trish moves out of the way and makes the hot tag to Lita.
Lita comes in and she’s a DIVA…EN…FUEGO~! He dropkicks Gail and monkey flips Molly before hitting a sloppy ass head scissors on her. Lita powerbombs Gail Kim, but Molly clubs her in the back of the neck before heading to the top rope. Trish comes in and hits her handstand rana on Molly and Lita follows it up by hitting a reverse Twist of Fate (Old School Explusion). Lita heads to the top and connects flush with her moonsault for the pinfall on the Women’s Champion.
Winners: Lita & Trish Stratus
My Opinion: This match was pretty much what I expected it to be with Lita kept in at short intervals and getting the pinfall on Molly Holly, setting up a Lita chase for the Women’s Title. Gail Kim still doesn’t seem to have much of a clue as to what’s going on in the ring and Lita seemed to be her sloppy self as usual, only hitting half of her spots the way they should be. Combine that with my 34 year old brother hopping around screaming “It’s SEX time!” throughout this match and it really wasn’t that enjoyable for me. *
We get the obligatory video package for the Last Man Standing Match tonight.
Kane vs. Shane McMahon in a Last Man Standing Match
Match Background: A few weeks after Kane had been unmasked, he was completely out of control and at the end of a Raw telecast, he tombstoned CEO Linda McMahon on the steel steps. The following week, her son Shane made his return to WWE TV and connected with a barrage of chair shots on Kane, knocking him off of the stage. The following week, Shane asked for a match with Kane, but was given Eric Bischoff instead. While he had the match with Bischoff won, Kane interfered and tombstoned the young McMahon on the steel steps, giving the victory to the co-GM of Raw.
In a match Shane McMahon had with Chris Jericho, Kane appeared and lured Shane into a trap backstage. He tossed many gasoline cans into a dumpster and lit it on fire, looking to toss Shane inside…but wound up falling in himself. Now…Kane SHOULD have been dead, but since this is the WWE we’re talking about, Kane was no where to be found after the dumpster fire was extinguished.
Everyone then told Shane McMahon to be careful….because Kane was looking to really hurt him. Kane attacked Shane from behind later on that night and with jumper cables, literally electrocuted Shane McMahon, starting with his testicles. I couldn’t write shit like that if I tried! Well…that’s a lie. Honestly, I wouldn’t have been surprised if that show had ended with Shane McMahon’s heart stopping and doctors rushing in to restart it as the show went off the air…only he’d be fine by week.
Anyway, Kane battled with RVD for a few weeks and after disposing of him fairly easily (CONSPIRACY THHHEORY~!), Shane was ready to take him on. Eric Bischoff, still bitter about losing to Shane McMahon at SummerSlam made their match at Unforgiven a Last Man Standing Match. A contract was signed the following week…and of course, havoc broke out with Shane actually getting the upper hand and dropping an elbow off the top rope onto Kane who was lying on an announce table that just HAPPENED to be at ringside.
Whenever Shane McMahon is on PPV (against a real wrestler, Bischoff doesn’t count), he usually takes a really big beatdown or a really big fall…so basically, I’m looking forward to see how Shane McMahon will try and kill himself tonight. I have a feeling that this match is going to do one thing and one thing only. PISS…ME…OFF. Is my feeling right?
The Match: The rules are given to us right off the bat, which are no DQ’s, no count outs and it’ll take the opponent not being able to answer a ten count to declare a winner.
Kane’s character continues to remove even MORE clothing as all he’s wearing now is a pair of long trunks. Gone is the singlet we’ve known for a few years now as Kane is shirtless…and scarless of course.
As Kane comes walking down the aisle, Shane attacks from behind with a steel chair and connects with a few more shots to the face in the ring. Shane tells the ref to count, but Kane is up at 5. Shane puts Kane down again with a chair shot and Kane is up at 6. As Shane rears back once again, Kane covers his head….so Shane hits him in the knee’s instead. Shane attacks Kane’s knee with the chair and then wraps it around the ringpost. Kane shoves Shane away, but Shane chops blocks Kane on the outside several times. Shane rams his head into the steel steps several times as well and the fact that Shane has been on offense the entire time is PISSING…ME…OFF.
Shane connects with some lefts, but Kane simply shoves him away, over the guard rail. Shane jumps back up and leaps towards Kane…who blows an alleged powerslam attempt on the floor. Kane picks Shane up and connects with a right hand and kicks to the ribs. Kane then shoves the young McMahon into the steel steps. Kane then picks up said steps and nails Shane in the head with them. Shane gets up at 8 before getting thrown back into the ring by Kane. Kane chokeslams Shane in the ring…and Shane gets up at 7 using the referee to pick himself up. Kane charges at Shane with a big boot, but he moves out of the way and nails the ref instead.
Kane looks to Tombstone Shane, but decides not to…
He goes to ringside, gets the steel steps and puts them into the ring. He goes to pick Shane up for a Tombstone on the steps, but Shane floats over and hits a sloppy bulldog on Kane into the steps instead. Shane then baseball slides the steps into Kane’s head. Kane crawls into the corner, so Shane uses the steel on him, dropping them onto his knees and into his face. He then traps Kane in the corner with the steel steps…and goes to the other side of the ring. Shane hits a Van Terminator on Kane to a big pop. Seeing as they are near Philly, the fans chant “One More Time”, but Shane doesn’t oblige.
Shane crawls over to Kane, but Kane moves and the steps fall on Shane’s head. The ref starts to count and both men are up at 9.
Kane tosses Shane to the outside and they head up the ramp. As they head up the ramp, Shane goes back on offense and connects with punches to the face and ribs. Kane gets up and nails Shane with a hard clubbing blow to the back before tossing him into the stage set a few times. They head towards the Spanish announce table, which is next to the stage and Kane rams Shane’s head into it. Kane climbs onto the stage and lifts the table off onto the area they were just standing. The camera shot doesn’t show Shane McMahon, but it’s assumed that he’s underneath. Kane goes to check and Shane attacks from behind, unhurt by the table drop. Shane uses a piece of the table to nail Kane in the head several times and then swings the crane camera on him (breaking the camera in the process) but Kane gets up at 9. Shane takes some electrical cords and goes to choke him out, dragging him onto the stage. Shane connects with some right hands, but Kane gets his hand around Shane’s neck. Shane hits a low blow to escape and hits a badly blown DDT on the stage. The fans chant “Go Up Top” and Shane then starts looking for a place to climb, finding one adjacent to the stage. He climbs all the way to the top of the stage and jumps off…but Kane moves out of the way and Shane crashes through the stage. The ref counts to 10 and Kane is declared the winner as we get billions of replays of Shane’s fall…even though we’ve seen worse from Shane in the past.
After the match, EMT’s attend to Shane who put him on a stretcher and wheel him out of the arena.
My Opinion: Oh yeah…I was right. This match really PISSED…ME…OFF. Shane should have had practically NO offense instead of having most of it. It seemed as if from the start of the match, Kane was on the defensive when it should have been the other way around. Kane’s mystique (or whatever was left of it) is practically over Kane’s mystique is over as the owner’s son, who’s not a wrestler, almost beat Kane on several occasions. If you go by the finish, Kane didn’t even do anything to Shane as Shane beat HIMSELF.
If you think about it…this makes RVD look really bad as he faced Kane in a no-DQ match and didn’t come nearly as close to beating Shane. Hell, Shane was able to hit the Van Terminator, RVD’s move…and RVD wasn’t!
Kane should have DESTROYED Shane McMahon…not barely escape with the win. The booking was terrible and served only to put Shane McMahon over. I don’t care how much the announcers say that Kane took Shane out at Unforgiven…Shane fell and Kane moved, that’s it. Once again, WWE dropped the ball when it comes to Kane’s character *1/2
In the back, Jericho goes into Austin’s office and blames Shane’s injury on him, because HE was the one who made Kane what he is today. Austin tells Jericho that if he has a problem with him, just take a shot…
Jericho tells him that he won’t make it easy for Austin by hitting him, so Austin can retaliate. He’s going to “crack” Austin by playing mind games with him…Jericho tells him to his face that he’s going to make it as hard as possible for him as GM until he quits.
This was a great segment as it was short, to the point and gives Jericho a storyline finally.
J.R. & King talk about Shane’s fall once again…but come on guys…he’s jumped from higher places before!
Christian vs. Rob Van Dam vs. Chris Jericho for the Intercontinental Championship
Match Background: Christian, upset that he was left off of SummerSlam by Stone Cold Steve Austin, demanded an apology from him for weeks. Both he and Jericho confronted Austin, as Jericho felt he was being treated unfairly and instead of doing anything to appease them, he put them in a match against one another. The former World Tag Team Champions battled it out with Christian cheating to win and retain his title. The following week, Jericho received a Stunner from Austin (once again for no real apparent reason) and felt he was being treated unfairly. This resulted in he and Christian banding together in an attempt to do something about it.
Austin quite frankly didn’t care and since Christian had been complaining so much about being left off of PPV’s, Austin made a match between Jericho and RVD (who wasn’t doing much after getting his ass handed to him by Kane) to see who would face Christian for the IC Title…a title that both men really should be past by now. Christian interfered and ended up clocking both men with the IC title…leading to Austin making it a three way dance at the PPV the week before.
The Match: Both Christian and Jericho double team RVD at the start of the match, but RVD hits a double dropkick on both men. RVD back drops Christian over the top and RVD looks to go for an Asia Moonsault, but Jericho goes after him instead. He tries to suplex RVD back into the ring, but RVD blocks it and suplexes Jericho out to the floor. RVD moonsaults off the 2nd rope to the outside onto both Christian and Jericho.
With Christian back in the ring now, RVD hits a slingshot legdrop and the shoulder tackles in the corner, followed by a monkey flip for two. RVD kicks Christian down, only for Jericho to come off the top with a gorgeous cross body on him for two. Jericho goes for a flying forearm, but RVD ducks and moonsaults onto him for a two count. RVD springs off the 2nd rope with a kick to Jericho and goes for Rolling Thunder, but Christian pulls him out of the ring and throws him into the steel steps. The crowd really couldn’t give less of a shit right now.
Christian tosses RVD into the ring and Jericho goes for the pin, which is broken up by the champ. They take turns stomping RVD and hit a double back elbow on him. The double team continues…and I’m starting to fall asleep here. In a badly blown spot, Jericho charges at RVD in the corner and RVD tries to flip over him…but ends up nailing Jericho instead and falling on his ass so the double team continues.
They go to re do the spot, although RVD moves out of the way instead of flipping and clotheslines Christian down before knocking Jericho down with a spinning roundhouse. He hits the step over wheel kick on Christian, but Jericho is able to land an enziguiri for a close two count.
RVD is able to counter a double back body drop into a double DDT as the announcers sound bored themselves. I don’t know WHAT is going on with these guys as RVD and Jericho have some serious miscommunication and a spot looks to be blown. Jericho whips RVD to the other side and RVD somersaults over the top onto Christian…and only a handful of people clap. RVD gets back on the apron, only to get knocked down to the floor with a springboard dropkick by Jericho. Jesus, this match is BORING!
A small “Boring” chant breaks out as Jericho chokes RVD with his wrist tape. RVD fights Jericho and boredom to get out and rolls up Jericho for two. Jericho clotheslines RVD as all this time, Christian has been on the outside. COCKY PIN~! by Jericho only gets a two count as well. RVD goes for a rana, but Jericho blocks it and turns it into the Walls of Jericho. RVD heads towards the ropes, but Jericho drags him towards the middle of the ring. Christian breaks up the hold (or else he’d lose the title) and then he and Jericho go at it. It spills to the outside as Jericho reverses a Christian irish whip, sending the champion knee first into the stairs. Jericho tosses him back in and hits a back elbow off the top. The fans STILL don’t care about anything in the match.
Christian hits a reverse DDT and he goes for a cover with his feet on the ropes, but he’s caught by the ref. Christian goes up top as RVD gets on the apron and Jericho knocks him off. This causes Christian to crotch himself on the top rope! Jericho climbs up top as well and superplexes the champion off. RVD comes in as both men are down and covers Christian for a two count. RVD springs off the 2nd rope with a cross body on Jericho for two. Jericho recovers and hits a bulldog. He attempts a Lionsault, but RVD moves out of the way and he hits a spinning wheel kick and a standing moonsault. He goes for the cover, but Christian dives off the top…landing on Jericho as RVD moves out of the way. RVD covers Jericho and Y2J kicks out. Christian gets up and RVD drop toe holds him onto Jericho, landing in a 69 position. RVD heads up top and Five Star Frogsplashes both men at the same time! The crowd finally wakes up with that as an “RVD” chant starts up. RVD goes for the cover on Jericho, but Christian breaks it up.
RVD tosses the champ over the top and goes after Jericho. He whips him into the corner, but Jericho springs onto the 2nd rope. RVD nails him from behind and places Jericho on his shoulders as RVD stands on the 2nd rope! Christian runs in…and picks up the both of them in a powerbomb position and powerbombs them BOTH down in a stop that was done two weeks ago on TNA in the AMW vs. Simon & Swinger tag match. Either way, the fans chant “Holy Shit” as they’re finally up and coherent. Christian covers RVD, who kicks out, so he crawls over to Jericho, who puts his foot on the rope.
Christian comes off the ropes, only to eat a spinning kick by RVD. RVD knocks Jericho to the outside and Christian comes from behind with the IC title in hand. RVD catches him and catapults him into Jericho before rolling him up for a CLOSE two count. RVD goes up top for the Five Star, but Jericho interrupts him. RVD knocks him down and comes off the top onto Christian…but Christian has the IC Title in his hand and knocks RVD with it as he crashes down and covers him for the pin.
My Opinion: I was rather disappointed with this match as they blew more spots that I was accustomed to from these guys. The crowd itself didn’t give two shits about it and that lack of energy also came from the announcers, who seemingly didn’t care. In the grand scheme of things, I’m glad that Christian retained because Jericho is above the IC title and RVD needs some serious rebuilding. **1/4
We go to the back where Triple H is interviewed. He talks the usual garbage about Goldberg, hyping the World title match later on tonight.
We actually get a video package for the next match…
Al Snow & Jonathan Coachman vs. Jim Ross & Jerry “The King” Lawler. Winners are the Raw Announcers.
Match Background: After Jim Ross was burned by Kane a few months ago, Eric Bischoff appointed Heat announcer Jonathan Coachman as Ross’s replacement. The majority of Coach’s tenure as Raw announcer, Raw color commentator and J.R.’s friend, Jerry “The King” Lawler, consistently criticized Coach, comparing him to “Good Ol’ J.R.” in every way. Since Raw announcers are SUPER HUMAN in their ability to absorb fire related injuries, Jim Ross was back in about a month without so much as a scratch or a bandage on him…but anyway.
Upon Jim Ross’s return, Raw co-GM Stone Cold Steve Austin made it very clear that Jim Ross was the Raw announcer and capped it off with a Stunner for no reason. Coach had resentment towards J.R. & King as he felt disrespected when J.R. brushed him aside upon retaking his position at the Raw announce table.
At SummerSlam, during the Eric Bischoff/Shane McMahon street fight, Jonathan Coachman of all people, attacked Shane McMahon at the request of Bischoff. The following night, as Bischoff gave him an Employee of the Month award, Coach let the whole world know his reasoning for the turn, which freakin’ made SENSE and if I was Coach, I would have done the same thing!
In a match made by Austin, Lawler faced Christian for the IC title in a match where Coach interfered and Christian was able to get the victory. This then translated into a match between Coach and King the following week, where he was a fish out of water when it came to wrestling. His Heat broadcast partner, Al Snow, came down to ringside during the match to try and talk some sense into him, but it didn’t seem to work. As Lawler and Coach left the ring, Snow attacked Lawler and helped Coach defeat him as Snow was actually in cahoots with Coach. A match was signed for Unforgiven between the two broadcast teams (although Coach vs. J.R. was the originally scheduled match) and the winners would be declared the Raw announce team.
The Match: Amazingly enough…WWE opted to have this match in silence as there will be no commentators in this match.
Snow tells Coach that he’ll handle the match, although Coach seems mighty eager to get in. At the bell, Lawler rolls up Snow several times, looking to end this one early. He goes for a pinfall at every opportunity, even after something so simple such as a shoulder tackle. Snow connects with a right hand to Lawler in the corner, but Lawler fights back. He hits a punch off the 2nd rope and a fistdrop for two. Snow retaliates and connects with a clothesline for two. Snow rolls him up for two and continues to work on him getting several two counts.
Snow back body drops Lawler….but Coach demands that he do it again. Snow listens to him, like a moron, so Lawler hits an old school piledriver! ONE..TWO…Snow got his foot on the ropes. Lawler tries to tag J.R. for some reason, but Snow hangs onto him and goes back to work. Snow gets near his corner and Coach tags himself in. Snow has a conniption as he tries to convince Coach to get OUT of the ring.
In a hilarious moment, the camera pans over at Jim Ross, who licks his lips and really DOES look like Jabba the Hut while doing so. If anyone has an MPEG of that…I WANT IT!
Coach has some really bad offense, but he gets a few two counts out of it. He whips Lawler into the corner and crotch chops to signal to the crowd that he’s going for a Bronco Buster!
Coach runs towards the turnbuckles and Lawler moves out of the way, causing Coach to crotch himself. Lawler slams Coach and hits a 2nd rope fist drop as the crowd actually says “We Want J.R.!”. Snow saves Coach from the pinfall attempt and Lawler tags J.R. in.
J.R. looks to go after Coach, but Snow gets in the way…and does nothing. J.R. tells him to get out of the way…and low blows Snow. J.R. then clotheslines Snow over the top…and J.R. pummels Coach with some of THE worst offense…EVER! Coach screaming like a little bitch is pretty damn hilarious though.
All of a sudden, Chris Jericho comes running in and hits a dropkick to the back of Jim Ross’s head…and places Coach on top! ONE…TWO…THREE!
Winners: Al Snow & Jonathan Coachman
Chris Jericho is interviewed as he goes up the ramp and he explains that he’s going to make Austin’s life a living hell…starting by costing his best friend his job.
My Opinion: As much as Snow & Lawler did their best to make this match semi-decent, everything Coach and J.R. did in the ring was deplorable. You know that J.R. & King will be back eventually, but I’m curious as to how Snow & Coach will do on Raw and how long it will last. Jericho’s motivation for helping Snow and Coach was well thought out. This match was pretty much a DUD.
We get a video package for the main event…
After the video montage, J.R. & the King look into the camera at their announce table and say that since this is going to be the last match they’ll call, they’re going to try and make it memorable. They try to sound so sincere, but I don’t know anyone who buys for a minute that they’ll be gone forever.
Title vs. Career
Triple H vs. Goldberg for the World Heavyweight Title
Match Background: Prior to last month’s SummerSlam, Triple H was set to face Goldberg in a one on one match. A legit injury to Triple H (groin injury) lead to that match being made into an Elimination Chamber match, including both he and Goldberg. At SummerSlam, Goldberg was on fire, eliminating almost everyone until it ended up being just Triple H and Goldberg as the last two men in. Goldberg looked to be on his way to winning the title when Ric Flair slipped in Triple H’s trusty sledgehammer and he used it to defeat Goldberg. Trips, along with the rest of Evolution, then proceeded to beat him down in the cage, leaving Goldberg a bloody mess.
The next night, Goldberg made a challenge to Triple H…who accepted the match on one condition. Triple H stated that if Goldberg did NOT win the title, he would have to retire from wrestling. Goldberg accepted the challenge, although co-GM Austin made a few more stipulations. Triple H can lose the title on a DQ or a count out, making sure that it’s a one on one match and that Triple H couldn’t use his sledgehammer without paying for it bigtime.
Goldberg then faced Evolution in a 6 man tag with Triple H seemingly afraid to get into the ring with him. Two weeks ago, another tag match was made with Randy Orton as Goldberg’s tag team partner and all three members of Evolution left Goldberg a bloody mess once again.
So, the stage is set…either Triple H will lose the title, finally…or Goldberg will leave WWE.
The Match: The referee gives both men instruction, giving this match a big match feel.
They stare each other down at the start as the crowd chants “Goldberg”. They lock up….and no one budges. They lock up again and end in another stalemate in the corner. Trips tries to whip Goldberg across the ring, but its reversed and Goldberg press slams Triple H down. Goldberg actually FLEXES at Triple H after doing so, which is the first time I’ve ever seen him do that. I still don’t like the bastard though…
Triple H goes to the outside to take a breather…and Goldberg breaks the count for some reason. Triple H comes back in and starts to work on the left arm of Goldberg. Triple H goes for a suplex, but Goldberg blocks it and turns it into a snap neckbreaker (Sonny Siaki’s of TNA Siakalypse).
Triple H kicks him in the corner, but Goldberg and Triple H begin slugging it out. Triple H rakes the eyes to stop the barrage of right hands, but falls victim to a back body drop. Triple H once again bails, but Goldberg tries to pull him back into the ring. Triple H drops him throat first onto the top rope though and tosses Goldberg out of the ring to buy some time. Goldberg pops right back into the ring though and knocks Triple H down with some clotheslines and works him over in the corner. Goldberg then hits a nice butterfly suplex on the champion, displaying his power.
Goldberg sets Triple H up for the spear….but Triple H hits him with the High Knee! Triple H clotheslines him over the top and then rams him into the steel ring post. As Goldberg tries to come back in, Triple H comes off the 2nd rope with an elbow to the back of the head, getting another two count.
The crowd chants “Goldberg” again as Triple H works him over in the corner again. Goldberg fights out of it, but Triple H pulls him to the mat and wraps his leg around the ringpost. Triple H then chop blocks Goldberg down and goes for the leg, but Goldberg fights him off. Triple H chops him off….and puts the Figure Four on the CORRECT leg! OH yeah…I mark out for that.
Triple H uses the ropes for leverage…but Goldberg pulls himself back to the middle to get Trips away from the ropes and reverses the hold. Triple H then hits an elbow to the back of the head before hitting a knee drop on Goldberg. He goes for a second, but Goldberg catches it and kicks Trips down.
He clotheslines Trips before following it up with a powerslam for the first two count of the match up. Goldberg then whips Triple H into the corner, sending him to the floor. He then rams Triple H into the steel steps and the champion comes up bleeding. Goldberg then hiptosses Triple H back into the ring from apron, but Triple H fights back with a kick to the knee. Goldberg picks up the champion, but Triple H floats over and shoves Goldberg into the referee, sending him to the outside. Triple H gives him a low blow …and Goldberg blows a DDT.
Triple H goes for the Pedigree, but Goldberg back drops him over the top to the floor. Triple H goes under the ring and pulls out his trusty sledgehammer! Goldberg reaches over the top to grab Triple H…and gets nailed in the face! Triple H comes into the ring with the sledgehammer, but Goldberg pops up and spears him! Goldberg practically no sells the sledgehammer shot and picks up Triple H for the Jackhammer! He hits it and the referee recovers…and counts to three!
Winner and NEW World Heavyweight Champion: Goldberg
My Opinion: Now THAT was an anti-climactic finish. There wasn’t one near fall AT ALL towards the end and only one other pinfall attempt in the match up! After that sledgehammer shot, if Triple H crawled over for the pinfall attempt, everyone would have been on the edge of their seats and would have ERUPTED when Goldberg kicked out. Instead, they were apathetic when Goldberg finally unseated Triple H for the title because they didn’t think it would happen then.
The match itself was pretty piss poor as it was slow, plodding and Goldberg’s selling is terrible. *1/4.
Overall: It wasn’t a good show, in my opinion, but it was sure as hell better than Badd Blood. There weren’t any many backstage skits and more importantly, nothing really stupid like the Redneck Triathlon. The focus was on the wrestling, which is where it should be and unfortunately, the only match that delievered at all in terms of quality was the Shawn Michaels/Randy Orton match up.
Now that there is a new World Champion, we’ll see if the direction of Raw changes. It needs to really be shaken up, so if Goldberg as champ can do it, so be it. I don’t like Goldberg much, but hey, it’s a change. Then again…Triple H will probably win it back at Survivor Series anyway.
‘Til next time,
The Dames, Damian Gonzalez
Any questions, comments, hate mail, fan mail…anything, please send it to SmartMarkDames@aol.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. For those of you who sent me e-mail in recent weeks and have yet to receive anything in return, I had a lot of those Sobig.F viruses so I might not have gotten them…
Veeeery interesting article about the "10 business moves of doom" by the WWE. The buyrate and ratings research was really well done. Thanks for the good read. Get on out there and see it if you haven't.