Sunday 30 April 2017

WWE Unforgiven 2003 Review

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Hello and welcome to another edition of Seanomaniac Wrestling Reviews! Extended absence? I know, a lot of things have changed since the last review but I am back and it’s time to continue critiquing a fake sport that we love oh so much. Tonight’s review looks at WWE’s Unforgiven 2003, a Raw exclusive pay per view which can only mean fun if you have been following my reviews over the past number of months. The big matches at Unforgiven include Kane vs Shane Mcmahon, Goldberg vs Triple H and a young Randy Orton taking his first steps on the path to stardom as he faces Shawn Michaels. Like any Raw show from this time, it has potential but will I be pulling out my hair by the end? Let’s find out!

Opening Promo

The same promo which plays at every Unforgiven and Judgement Day, the women with the seductive but creepy voice questioning our mortalities and what makes good man, what makes a bad man, there is no justice, we are all unforgiven. It is stuff that I have seen a lot now and it does not register as impactful but Triple H’s teardown of Goldberg in the opening promo is pretty, epic heel stuff. Too bad it cannot erase what happened at Summerslam…

(WWE World Tag Team Championship Match) La Resistance © vs The Dudley Boyz (Handicap Tables Match)

Meant to be a six-man tag but La Resistance botched a table spot and messed up Spike’s neck. La Resistance were Vince’s favourite act, they rose through the ranks and won the championships despite in my eyes, not earning the opportunity and their gimmick carrying them through the matches. Rob Conway was a new edition following an assault on The Dudleys. D-Von and Dupree begin the match, D-Von mat slams Dupree before Dupree backs D-Von into the corner, tag to Conway. Conway eats a shoulder block and a scoop slam followed by a leg drop. Bubba and D-Von double clothesline Conway, tag to Bubba.

Conway is placed in the tree of woe and whacked over and over. Clothesline by Bubba, shot to Dupree and Grenier. Bubba splashes all members of La Resistance, double flapjack to Conway. Conway whacks Bubba in the back off an Irish whip, Dupree takes control of Bubba. Tag to Conway, a chop floors Bubba. Tag to Grenier, Grenier chokes Bubba. Dupree and Grenier slam Bubba to the mat, right hands by Dupree. Tag to Conway, sleeper by Conway but Bubba counters for a back suplex. D-Von receives a tag and cleans house,  neckbreaker to Conway. Flying clothesline to Dupree, Conway jumps D-Von but Bubba blind tags in, Reverse 3D.

What’s Up headbutt to Dupree, a table is placed in the corner of the ring. Grenier & Conway beat down The Dudley Boyz, Dupree places a table in the corner, D-Von is Irish whipped through the table, Bubba is the remaining member of his team. Bubba battles against everyone but Conway plants Bubba with a DDT. Grenier is alone with Bubba, Bubba and Grenier slug it out with Bubba winning the war. Bubba suplexes Grenier through the table, Conway chokes Bubba immediately after the suplex. La Resistance try a back drop through the table but D-Von moves the table. Dupree decks Conway by mistake, Bubba Bomb to Dupree.

Conway is slammed through two tables on the floor by The Dudley Boyz, only Dupree remains for La Resistance. Dupree drops The Dudley Boyz with a clothesline, Dupree grabs D-Von. D-Von escapes a scoop slam and Dupree’s fate is sealed as The Dudleys secure victory with a 3D through the table.

A fun opening match, I felt the feud was stale and the matches were not great from a quality standpoint but you add tables to the mix and everything becomes that little more interesting. Especially when you stack the odds against the babyfaces and The Dudleys come out on top to become champions once more. Good stuff, let’s hope this feud is over.

Winners: The Dudley Boyz over La Resistance via 3D through the table!

Test vs Scott Steiner

This is still going? Wow, Test was a bully, he abused Stacy, put her in harm’s way and treated her like a doormat. Scott Steiner came to Stacy’s rescue, Steiner won Stacy’s services after a match at Bad Blood but it looks like that has been changed somehow, it is not explained in the promo so, I cannot really tell what is happening. Stacy will be free if Steiner wins this match, it is a slight variation of the match at Bad Blood, the change is so little that you could barely class it as a change. Anyways, Test is a jerk and it should be time for his ass to be kicked.

Steiner is assaulted by Test before the bell rings, Test slags off Stacy before eating a scoop slam from Steiner for two. Steiner clubs the shit out of Test, big chops by Steiner. Clothesline by Steiner, theatrics elbow for two followed by push-ups. Test hides behind Stacy, Stacy slaps Test and Steiner puts the boots to Test. Steiner checks on Stacy, Test jumps up and hurls Steiner into the steel steps. Steiner comes back with chops before Test nails a full-nelson slam for two. Corner clothesline and push-ups by Test, right hands by Steiner. Sleeper by Test, Stacy rallies the crowd for Steiner.

 Steiner fights out to eat a big elbow, Test climbs to the top rope. Steiner catches Test for a Northern Lights suplex, clotheslines by Steiner. Belly to belly by Steiner for two, Test hides behind the referee. Eye poke by Test, pump handle slam by Test does not connect, double underhook powerbomb by Steiner for two. Test hides behind the referee and low blows Steiner, Test uses the ropes for leverage but Stacy shoves off Test’s feet. Test grabs Stacy but Stacy hangmans Test, falling reverse DDT by Steiner for a close two.

Test drops Steiner with a pump handle slam and calls for The Big Boot. Stacy distracts Test by showing her assets to the world, Test swings and misses Stacy. Roll-up by Steiner for two, clothesline by Test who chases Stacy. Stacy runs into Steiner and Test Big Boots Steiner for two. Test exposes a top turnbuckle, Test grabs a chair from ringside. Stacy has the chair but she wallops Steiner by mistake. Big Boot by Test and Stacy is still Test’s slave and so is Scott Steiner.

Well, that was not awful. This is the third pay per view match between the two so they know what they are doing, they are familiar with one another. Did not expect false-finishes in this kind of match but there you go, I do not know what else to show, it was not great and it was not awful. Better than you could hope for but I cannot help feel that Steiner deserved so much more in the WWE.

Winner: Test over Scott Steiner via Big Boot!

Randy Orton W/ Ric Flair vs Shawn Michaels

The Legend Killer, a gimmick that launched the star which we know today as Randy Orton. Orton thinks he is the best thing since sliced bread, Shawn Michaels is a living legend and believes that Orton is getting a little ahead of himself. Big test for Randy Orton, Orton had main evented Summerslam in the elimination chamber but this is a one on one match with The Heartbreak Kid.

Michaels takes the back of Orton and slaps the youngster’s head. Lock-up and hammerlock by Michaels, hiptoss and side headlock by Michaels. Stare-down with Orton being frustrated by Michaels, lock-up and side headlock by Orton. Michaels fights back, shoulder block and right hands by Michaels. Orton skins the cat and dropkicks Michaels, clothesline by Orton for two. Scoop slam by Orton, Michaels blocks a double axe handle for an inverted atomic drop. Clotheslines by Michaels and Michaels skins the cat, showing Orton how it is all done.

Baseball slide by Michaels, crossbody to the floor by Michaels. Michaels has Orton on the apron, Orton slides out and grabs hold of Michaels, Michaels counters for a German suplex, Michaels gets two. Victory roll pin for two by Michaels, Orton is driven into the turnbuckle. Orton blocks an oncoming Michaels with a boot, right hands by Orton. Michaels turns the tide and chops Orton, lighting up Orton’s chest. Chops by Orton, both men trade control over and over. The referee pulls off Michaels, right hands by Orton but Michaels whips Orton into the corner.

Orton dodges an oncoming Michaels and Michaels smashes his shoulder off the ringpost, Orton drags away the referee and Flair puts the boots to Michaels. Orton lawn darts Michaels shoulder first into the ringpost, shoulder thrusts by Orton. Orton drops his knees onto Michaels’ arm before applying a hammerlock. Michaels fights back, Orton goes for the shoulder with a single arm DDT for two. Short-arm scissors by Orton, Orton pulls on the arm of Michaels. Michaels fights out of the hold, small package by Michaels for two. Irish whip by Orton, Michaels avoids the dropkick and pummels Orton. Chops by Michaels, flying forearm by Michaels.

Kip-up from Michaels, inverted atomic drop followed by right hands. Back body drop, Flair is decked by Michaels. Orton is tossed to the floor, Michaels throw haymakers at a prone Orton. Orton meets the barricade, Michaels is on the top rope. Flair runs to Michaels but Michael shakes off Flair, double axe handle to Orton for two. Orton reverses an Irish whip and Michaels is turned inside out, Orton is on the middle rope, Michaels blocks Orton with a boot to the face. Michaels measures Orton, Sweet Chin Music is blocked and countered for an RKO, cover by Orton and Michaels kicks out at two.

Orton is on the top rope, Michaels dodges the crossbody from Orton. Michaels and Flair meet again, Flair is knocked on his ass and Michaels scores with his elbow drop. Michaels screams in pain, selling his shoulder injury. Cover with one arm and Orton kicks out at two, Michaels kips-up. Michaels runes up the band, Sweet Chin Music by Michaels and Flair places Orton’s foot on the ropes. The referee does not see the foot but upon seeing it, reverses his decision. Flair hands Orton brass knuckles, Michaels lands Sweet Chin Music on Flair and attempts to back suplex Orton from the apron into the ring but Orton Kos Michaels with the brass knuckles, Orton walks out the winner.

That’s what I like to see, a good story with a good match to go along with it. Michaels and Orton feel one another out in the beginning, Orton’s cockiness does not pay off as Michaels teaches Orton a lesson in humility. A mistake from Michaels leads to Orton dishing out the punishment to Michaels, good ringwork from Orton. Michaels shows great fire as usual, the crowd are wetting themselves in anticipation of The Sweet Chin Music. Michaels scores but Flair costs Michaels dearly and Orton steals the win, Orton proved he could hang with the best on this night.

Winner: Randy Orton over Shawn Michaels via Brass Knuckles!

Trish Stratus & Lita vs Molly Holly & Gail Kim

Lita is back! Something different in the division? I do not believe it, all jokes aside it is great to see Lita back in the ring where she belongs. Nice to see Gail Kim on pay per view and where did Molly Holly come out of as champion? What happened to Jazz? The heels jump Lita & Trish, Trish & Lita nails the heels with poetry in motion. Double baseball slide, Gail and Lita kick us off, arm drags by Lita. Back body drop, snap suplex and a kip-up. Tag to Trish, senton by Trish for two. Chops by Trish, clothesline by Trish for two.

Schoolgirl by Trish for two, matrix move into a Chick Kick. Molly saves Gail, chops by Trish and Gail reverses the Irish whip, Molly lowbridges Trish. Trish is rammed into the barricade, dragon-like sleeper by Molly. Tag to Gail, Gail locks in the same hold, Trish bridges out after using the top turnbuckle. Molly trips up Lita, Trish is dragged to Gail’s corner. Tag to Molly, front chancery by Molly. Gail distracts the referee so he does not see the tag. Backbreaker by Molly for two, Gail gets the tag.

Trish takes down both Molly & Gail using a headscissors/bulldog combination, Gail cuts off Trish from the hot-tag. Scoop slam by Gail, Gail misses a middle rope senton, tag to Lita. Clotheslines by Lita, dropkick to Gail. Monkey flip and punches by Lita to Molly, headscissors by Lita. Lita powerbombs Gail, Molly clubs Lita in the back. Molly is climbing to the top, Trish nails her headstand headscissors, Reverse Twist of Fate by Lita and Lita drops Molly with The Litasault.

Good return match for Lita, something different for the Raw women. Lita was and still is one of the most athletic and popular women to ever be in the company so to have her back on tv was a great thing for The WWE. Trish plays a good face in peril, the heels work the back and it builds to Lita’s triumphant return. No complaints for me.

Winners: Lita & Trish Stratus over Gail Kim & Molly Holly via Litasault!

(Last Man Standing Match) Shane Mcmahon vs Kane

Kane had unmasked and gone wild, Kane ran through RVD, JR and even tombstoned Linda Mcmahon. This led to Shane’s return, Shane vowed to gain revenge, the feud got silly in a hurry with electrocution to testicles and people being thrown into pits of fire. Now, let me be clear: I enjoy Shane Mcmahon, Shane never fails to deliver in the ring but this was not the best move for Kane who seemed to just get his mojo back. Kane was like the Kane of 1997, the Kane who did not give a damn and was a monster so why screw over your hot heel by having him have a believable match with Shane Mcmahon?

Shane attacks Kane from behind on the ramp, a flurry of chair shots by Shane. Kane stays down until five before stumbling to his feet, Shane goes for the feet of Kane. Shane sends Kane’s leg into the ringpost before Kane kicks off Shane. Shane bangs Kane’s head off the steel steps repeatedly, Shane jabs Kane but Kane says enough with this crap, Shane is shoved into the crowd. Shane dives onto Kane but Kane slams Shane onto the floor. Uppercut by Kane, right hands by Kane. Kane flattens Shane with steel steps to the head, Kane kicks Shane in the ribs in the ring.

Chokeslam by Kane, Shane survives so Kane destroys the referee. Kane decides against Tombstoning Shane, Kane grabs the steel steps. Kane tries for The Tombstone, Shane slides out and Shane bulldogs Kane onto the steel steps, Shane baseball slides the steps into Kane’s head. Shane nails Kane with steel steps over and over, Shane positions Kane for Coast to Coast. Kane is rocked in the face with the steel steps, no referee to make the count. Both men make the count at nine, Kane throws Shane to the floor. Kane beats Shane towards the entrance stage, Kane misses a clothesline and hits a wall hard. Shane knees and wallops Kane in a massive battle.

Kane flings Shane into the stage, Shane makes it to his feet by seven. Kane throws Shane into the stage multiple times. Kane makes his way toward the Spanish announce table, Kane tips the table onto Shane but it turns out Shane dodged the blow, Shane smacks Kane with a sheet and a camera. Shane chokes Kane with a handful of cables, Kane is dragged towards the stage and it looks like the Big Red Monster might be on his last legs. Kane grabs Shane for a Chokeslam, Shane goes low and DDTs Kane.

Shane slams a monitor onto Kane’s head, Shane looks up towards the sky and it seems Shane has an idea. Shane begins climbing higher and higher, Shane is on top of the Unforgiven stage. Shane attempts an Elbow Drop but Kane moves at the last second, Shane does not move and Kane is declared the winner as Shane cannot break the count.

Hard to hate a match where the fans are into to such a degree that they cheer event the little things. I will say that Shane & Kane have an entertaining and fun match but what can we look for from Kane now? Kane could barely beat Shane, how will anybody believe in Kane as a top title contender?  A fun match but counterproductive in terms of what you are doing with Kane.

Winner: Kane over Shane Mcmahon via Shane not making The Ten Count!

Austin & Jericho Promo

Jericho is not happy with Austin, Jericho gets in Austin’s face calling Austin a disgrace. Austin asks for Jericho to hit him but Jericho will not do it, Jericho asks Austin to watch as Jericho wins The Intercontinental Championship.

(WWE Intercontinental Championship Match) Christian © vs Chris Jericho vs Rob Van Dam

 Christian did not want to face either man so, Christian interrupted a number one contender’s match between the two. However, Christian’s plan backfired as now Christian must defend against both men in this triple threat match. Jericho & Christian attack RVD, double dropkick by RVD. Christian is elevated to the floor, Jericho has RVD on the apron. RVD suplexes Jericho to the floor, moonsault by RVD onto Jericho & Christian. RVD shoulder thrusts Christian and dropkicks the champion, monkey flip to Christian for two. Spinning heel kick by RVD to Christian, Jericho reappears for a flying crossbody for two.

Jericho chops RVD, Jericho misses a flying forearm and RVD lands a moonsault. Diving thrust kick by RVD, Christian prevents RVD’s Rolling Thunder. Christian sends RVD into the steel steps, Jericho covers RVD for two. Christian & Jericho shove one another, both men put the boots to RVD. Double back elbow, Christian holds RVD and Jericho throws jabs at RVD. Big botch as RVD attempts to flip over Jericho and Jericho fucks up the spot completely. Repeat the spot and RVD starts kicking everything in sight, enzuigiri by Jericho cuts off RVD for two. RVD creates some space with a double DDT, two count for RVD on Jericho.

Huge kick by RVD, RVD wipes out Christian with a tope con hilo. Jericho drops RVD with a springboard moonsault. Cover by Jericho for two, Jericho chokes RVD with tape from his wrist. Reverse chinlock by Jericho, RVD tries a hurricanrana on Jericho, Jericho counters for a Walls of Jericho. RVD is dragged to the centre of the ring, Christian waffles Jericho. The best friends come to blows, both men trade control with Christian ramming Jericho off the barricade. Christian is hurled into the steel steps, reverse elbow by Jericho for two. Christian avoids the modified bulldog, falling reverse DDT for two by Christian.

Christian is on the top rope, Jericho crotches Christian. Top rope superplex by Jericho, RVD tries stealing the pin but Christian kicks out at two. Springboard crossbody by RVD on Jericho for two, Jericho kicks RVD and scores with a modified bulldog. Lionsault misses, Jericho lands on his feet. Spinning heel kick by RVD for two, Christian dives aiming for RVD but Jericho eats the blow. Christian is dropped onto Jericho, RVD lands a Five Star Frog Splash onto Christian and Jericho.

 RVD covers Jericho but Christian makes the save, RVD throws Christian to the floor. Jericho is kicked in the head, Jericho is on the top rope and RVD is looking for a back superplex. RVD has Jericho in the electric chair position, Christian comes in and powerbombs RVD. Cover and RVD kicks out, Christian crawls to Jericho but Jericho places his foot on the ropes. RVD waffles Christian with a spinning heel kick, Jericho is on the floor. Christian has the championship, RVD catapults Christian into Jericho. Roll-up by RVD for two, spinning heel kick and Christian is down, RVD kicks Jericho off. Christian has the championship, RVD dives onto the championship and Christian rolls up RVD to retain.

Way too long for my liking, it follows the standard triple threat formula but the action in the ring when it was down to two was not hitting the mark. It was sloppy and choppy in parts, crowd seemed quiet too. Maybe they were burnt out from the last match? They stay silent until the tower of doom spot, all three are good workers but this was not their night.

Winner: Christian over RVD & Jericho via roll-up!

Triple H promo

Triple H tells us a story that would make it straight to DVD if WWE produced it, Triple H calls for the end of Goldberg’s career.

(Winners to announce for Raw) Jerry Lawler & JR vs Al Snow & The Coach

Coach turned heel, Coach showed to be quite great in his role as an asshole. This was before Coach’s run-in with The Rock but you can see that The Coach has it in him and the comedic timing that some WWE wrestlers do not have. Weird to see Al Snow on pay per view too, I feel like I am in bizarro land. No commentary for this match, that’s a terrible idea. You can feel every awkward sound from the crowd as they look at this trash.

Lawler tris pinning Snow early, lock-up and side headlock by Lawler. Shoulder block for two, Snow sweeps and covers Lawler for two. Another lock-up, huge shot by Snow. Lawler shakes off Snow before Snow suckers in Lawler, vicious stomps by Snow. Clothesline by Snow for two, cover by Snow for two. Right hands by Lawler, hard Irish whip by Snow. Lawler eats a clothesline from Snow for two, abdominal stretch by Snow. Back body drop by Snow, clubbing blows by Snow.

Lawler Piledrives Snow, cover and Snow places his foot on the ropes. Lawler reaches for JR, elbow by Snow. Coach tags in, clubbing blows by Coach. Irish whip by Coach, multiple covers by Coach for two. Coach misses a bronco buster, Lawler decks Snow. Lawler waffles Coach, scoop slam and a diving fist drop. Snow makes the save, tag to JR. Snow is lowblowed by JR and clotheslined to the floor, JR clotheslines Coach. Lawler has Snow on the floor, the referee is with the two. JR beats the piss out of Coach, Jericho runs down and dropkicks JR in the back of the head. Coach and Snow are now the commentators of Raw.

Garbage match, garbage angle. Jericho does screw over Austin by having his best friend fired which at least is keeping up with what they were booking. But man alive, this match sucked, it was so awkward. JR is meant to be crying in his hands, how many times has JR been fired? Just stupid, Snow & Coach lasted less time than a sneeze.

Winners: Snow & Coach over JR & Jerry Lawler via Shenanigans!

(WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match) Triple H © vs Goldberg

The phrase strike while the iron is hot comes to mind with this mess of an angle. Goldberg’s WWE career was hit and miss by this point but at Summerslam, Goldberg was on a level that made it feel WCW 1998 all over again, Goldberg’s career is on the line in this match but last month was the time to have Goldberg go over. Instead, we have Triple H in shorts due to his groin injury, barely able to work with an opponent that needs carrying in long matches. Did Triple H need the belt for another month? No, he did not and this is why so many point the finger at him as a man who has held others down.

Lock-up, stalemate. Another lock-up, Triple H smashes Goldberg with right hands, Goldberg military press slams Triple H. Triple H takes the arm and wrenches, Goldberg blocks a suplex and slams Triple H to the mat. Slugfest, Triple H rakes the eyes of Goldberg. Goldberg back body drops Triple H, Triple H tries throwing Goldberg to the floor, Goldberg is back before Triple H takes a breath, clothesline by Goldberg. Double underhook suplex by Goldberg, Goldberg is thinking Spear, Triple H counters with a huge knee.

Clothesline by Triple H, Goldberg is on the floor. Triple H drops an elbow on the back of the head for two, another slugfest. Triple H sends Goldberg’s leg into the ringpost, chop blocks by Triple H. Figure four using the ropes for leverage, Goldberg powers out after much struggling. Knee drops by Triple H, Goldberg blocks the knee on the third attempt, massive boot by Goldberg. Clotheslines by Goldberg, Goldberg is selling the arm but Triple H worked the leg? Ok, powerslam by Goldberg for two.

Triple H is on the floor, Triple H is bleeding after meeting the steel steps. Goldberg whips Triple H into the ring, Triple H begs for mercy. Triple H shoves Goldberg into the referee, low blow and DDT by Triple H. Goldberg avoids The Pedigree by back dropping Triple H to the floor. Triple H has his sledgehammer, Goldberg is nailed in the jaw with the sledgehammer. Triple H measures for the final blow and Goldberg Spears Triple H. Jackhammer by Goldberg and Goldberg is your new World Heavyweight Champion.

Yeah, this match did not come off like they wanted to at all. It was slow and sluggish, Goldberg sold his arm but Triple H worked the leg? Why was Goldberg holding his arm? Why was Triple H wrestling such a long match when he is injured? Why could Goldberg not run over Triple H? You built it up and it just did not come off, you were one month late WWE and that’s what you get for it, a lukewarm reaction to the match and your new champion.

Winner: Goldberg over Triple H via Jackhammer!

There you have it, that was WWE’s Unforgiven 2003. It was alright, I have seen worse during this year, the standout match is Orton vs Michaels, Orton is picking up steam and one to look out for in the future. The tables match was fun and Lita’s return was a nice moment. The likes of The Intercontinental Championship match, the announcer’s match and Kane vs Shane ranged from terrible to silly booking. Too long, dead crowds and Kane making Shane a threat do not help this pay per view. The main event was a drag too, should have been over in five minutes but you had to have that long main event match didn’t you Triple H? You had to even though you were injured, could have saved me twenty minutes if you just did the job and saved yourself from further injury. Anyways, come back next time for TNA’s Bound For Glory 2005 and remember: There’s always another night!

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