Monday 26 June 2017

WWE Unforgiven 2004 Review

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Hello and Welcome to another edition of Seanomaniac Wrestling Reviews, the only wrestling review series that builds up historic first-time matches and ruins them through shitty booking. Back to WWE, it’s Unforgiven 2004! After hotshotting a potential money angle, we will see Randy Orton defend his championship against Triple H, it is a decision that confuses me to this day. Chris Jericho renews his feud with Christian which is bizarre after Jericho wiping the floor with Tomko and moving onto Evolution and finally, we have Shawn Michaels against Kane, Michaels is looking for revenge. 2004 has not been one of the great years for pay per views, the brand exclusive pay per views have been hit and miss, will Unforgiven be different? Let’s find out!

Opening Promo

All about Orton vs Triple H, it documents Triple H’s betrayal and Orton’s fight against his former mentor. It had so much potential, I really do not see the need to have it immediately following Orton’s world championship win. But that’s what happens when the challenger has ties to the owner of the company.

Evolution vs Chris Benoit & William Regal

Following his loss to Orton, Benoit continues to wage war with Evolution. Regal joins Benoit as Eugene has suffered an injury at the hands of Evolution. I feel for Eugene, Triple H mocked and decimated Eugene and then moved onto Orton which Eugene never gaining revenge. Benoit and Batista start the match, Benoit almost catches Batista for a Crossface, Batista grabs the ropes. Dragon screw legwhip by Benoit, Regal tags into the match. Batista cheap shots Benoit, knees by Batista and a side headlock.

Benoit clubs Batista, exploder suplex by Regal. Huge forearm for two, tag to Benoit. Benoit chops and stomps Batista, Batista overpowers Benoit. Knees in the corner, tag to Flair. Chops by Flair, Benoit turns the tide with his own chops. Huge chops by Benoit, back body drop and shot by Regal. Tag to Regal, huge forearms by Regal. Tag to Benoit, Flair flop with Benoit tagging in Regal. Knee to the head by Regal, eye poke by Flair. Chop block by Flair, knees to the leg by Flair. Regal kips-up for a wristlock, shoulder block by Regal and a tag to Benoit. Chops by Benoit, Flair begs for mercy. Knee by Flair, shin breaker by Flair. Benoit counters with an enzuigiri, tag to Regal.

Batista grabs Regal and misses a corner clothesline, uppercuts by Regal. Tag to Benoit, knees by Batista. Batista is caught for a Sharpshooter momentarily before shoving off Benoit, back elbow by Batista for two. Tag to Regal by a retreating Benoit, Batista spears Regal into the counter. Flair chokes Regal, right hands by Batista. Tag to Flair huge chop by The Nature Boy. Right hands by Flair, eye rake by Flair. Back suplex by Flair for two, Regal grabs a side headlock before Batista clubs Regal from the apron. Tag to Batista, neckbreaker by Batista. Two for Evolution, forearm to the face by The Animal. Flair drops an elbow onto Regal’s neck from the apron, chop block by Flair.

Figure Four by Flair, Benoit elbows Flair to save Regal. Small package by Regal for two, Flair tags Batista. Suplex by Batista, Benoit saves Regal. Reverse chinlock by Batista, Regal and Batista bang heads off an Irish whip. Tag to Benoit, Benoit chops Flair down. Back body drop, snap suplex and a forearm to Batista. German suplex by Benoit, one for Batista too. Another for Flair, make it three. Benoit climbs high, Diving Headbutt finds the mark. Flair avoids The Sharpshooter with an eye poke, Crossface by Benoit. Batista saves Flair with a huge slam, spinebuster to Regal. Regal is sent into the ringpost, Benoit counters The Figure Four for The Crossface., Benoit and Regal win the match.

Good opening match, crowd seems pumped for this night. Benoit always delivers in the ring, Regal is no slouch either while Flair knows exactly how to work a crowd and everyone knows how to structure the match to accentuate Batista’s strengths and hide his negatives. The four come together, it’s hard-hitting, entertaining and a fun match.

Winners: Chris Benoit & William Regal over Evolution via Crippler Crossface!

Christian & Trish Stratus Segment

The lovebirds are not getting along, Christian says Trish takes it from behind. Classy, Trish manipulates Tomko to being in her corner over Christian’s corner. Christian calls her a slut and that’s all folks.

(WWE Women’s Championship Match) Trish Stratus © W/Tyson Tomko vs Victoria

The match I wanted to see, Trish as a heel with a new lease of life against the babyface Victoria who came out of nowhere to take Trish’s place. Victoria certainly had the credibility after beating the likes of Lita and beating Trish in the past. Victoria outwrestles Trish to begin the match, Trish powders before catching Victoria with a knee. Middle rope choke by Trish, Trish climbs to the middle rope and chokes Victoria. Trish repeats the spot before Victoria slaps Trish and military press slams Trish into a gutbuster. Kick to the ribs by Victoria, Trish is dropkicked to the floor. Tomko saves Trish from a top rope crossbody from Victoria, Victoria slides out and is sent into the ringpost by Trish, Victoria lands hard on the floor.

Huge kick to the ribs by Trish, mounted punches by Trish. Modified abdominal stretch by Trish, Trish rams Victoria’s head off the canvas multiple times. Reverse chinlock by Trish, Victoria fires up before a huge spinebuster by Trish for two. Another reverse chinlock by Trish, Victoria breaks free with right hands. Corner spears, tilt-a-whirl sidewalk slam for two. Scoop slam and booty-shaking moonsault for two. Matrix dodge by Trish, Victoria dodges The Chick Kick. Headbutt by Victoria, Victoria planchas onto Tomko. Tomko no-sells and walks into Stratusfaction. Tomko lifts up Victoria by the throat after the match and here is a DDT by a mystery woman.

That was a good match, it was everything I had hoped for from these two. Trish was so much better as a heel, she played that part to perfection. Victoria is great too, I love her babyface run, it was brief and I cannot recall her ever being a babyface in the company again after this stint but I was really impressed by her, I think Victoria vs Trish could have been every bit as great as Lita vs Trish. The only knock on the match is the finish, Tomko did not interfere, Tomko did not look to interfere at the end. It was Victoria who grabbed Tomko’s attention and it led to Victoria’s own downfall, would have protected Victoria better if Tomko tripped her or appeared up on the apron.

Winner: Trish Stratus over Victoria via Stratusfaction!

Tyson Tomko vs Steven Richards

Tomko calls out the mystery woman which leads to Tomko attacking Richards, what a way to treat a babyface as Richards is wearing a bra underneath. Tomko puts the wig back on Richards, huge choke by Tomko. Right hand by Tomko, neck crank by Tomko. Rope choke by Tomko, kick to the ribs by Tomko. Huge choke by Tomko, Richards hits a punch or two before Tomko powers up Richards for a slam. Richards fires up before a right hand from Tomko. Richards grabs Tomko by the balls, Tomko hits the turnbuckle. Richards attacks Tomko wildly, dropkick by Richards. Huge neckbreaker by Tomko for the win. DUD!

Winner: Tyson Tomko over Steven Richards via Neckbreaker!

(WWE Intercontinental Championship Match) Christian vs Chris Jericho (Ladder Match)

Edge had to vacate the championship due to a legitimate injury, this came in handy for the returning Captain Charisma as Christian was able to restart his feud with Chris Jericho. The two had an interesting feud going before Christian was injured, hoping they can show the chemistry they had at Wrestlemania. A ladder match where the only way to win is climb to the top of the ladder and retrieve the championship, Tomko is banned from ringside.

They talk trash and bang heads as the bell rings, slap by Christian. Clothesline and right hands by Jericho, back elbow by Y2J. Suplex by Jericho, back suplex by Jericho. Boot to the head, Jericho chops Christian in the corner. Christian reverses Jericho in the corner, huge chest slap by Christian. Christian steps on the throat on Jericho, Christian sidesteps Jericho but Jericho lands on the apron before elevating Christian to the floor. Jericho grabs a ladder from ringside, Christian dodges the ladder, luring in Jericho for some right hands. Christian steps on Jericho’s throat once more, Irish whip by Christian. Jericho holds onto the ropes, drop toehold and leg across the back by Jericho. Enzuigiri by Y2J and Jericho goes for the ladder.

 Christian tries a baseball slide, Jericho dodges and Christian is rammed with the ladder. Christian lays against the ringpost, Jericho goes for the head with his ladder but Christian ducks and tackles Jericho into the crowd. Jericho back drops Christian to ringside, Jericho chokes Christian with a camera cable. Jericho misses and gets caught with an Unprettier, Christian edges his way towards the championship. Christian has a hand on the title, Jericho grabs the foot of Christian. Christian hurls Jericho into the ladder, Christian places a ladder on the top rope. Jericho reverses the Irish whip and Christian smacks into the ladder. Jericho takes the ladder and smacks Christian over the back, forearms by Jericho. Jericho is sent into the ladder by Christian.

 Christian props the ladder onto the middle rope, Jericho is battered down before Christian guillotines Jericho into the ladder. Christian places Jericho in the corner, the ladder is placed on Jericho’s face. Christian gathers momentum before Jericho throws the ladder into Christian’s face. Jericho climbs the top rope with the ladder in his hand and tips the ladder onto Christian’s back. Jericho attempts his modified bulldog but Christian throws Jericho into the ladder, Jericho is caught by the leg. Christian runs full-force into the ladder to damage Jericho. Christian is climbing the ladder, Jericho flips off Christian which leads to Christian abandoning his game plan and deciding to inflict more pain on Jericho.

Jericho lures in Christian for a dropkick, the ladder smacks Christian in the face. Modified bulldog on the ladder by Jericho, Jericho places Christian in between the ladder rungs. Christian is smacked over and over before a Lionsault from Jericho, Christian dodges at the last minute, Jericho clutches his knee in excruciating pain. Christian has the ladder, Jericho is waffled right between the eyes. Christian sets up the ladder and begins climbing, Christian is inches away. Jericho chases after Christian, Jericho tips the ladder with Christian swinging from the championship. Jericho flings the ladder at Christian and Christian crashes to the canvas. Jericho is inches from the championship, Christian tips the ladder and Jericho is on the floor.

Christian is on the top of the ladder, kicking at Jericho but Jericho battles his way up the ladder and applies The Walls of Jericho on the ladder. Christian falls to the mat but not before tipping the ladder, sending Jericho spine first onto the downed ladder and the canvas. Christian and Jericho each have a ladder near the title, Christian reaches for the championship. Christian has a hand on the championship but Jericho pushes it out of reach and nails a huge facebuster with both men falling down to the mat. Jericho climbs over Christian to reach for the championship, Jericho brings down the championship for the win.

This match grew on me, I thought it was quite tame for a ladder match in the beginning or at least what we could come to expect from ladder matches. The action intensified with the ladder spots, some more devastating than the others. I liked the drama of each man tipping the other only to find that neither would stay down, the finish was ok. They had gone through a lot of big bumps and this seems to be the climax to all the ladder spots but Christian was knocked out by the move while Jericho popped right up despite both men taking the huge bump. Aside from that, really good Intercontinental Championship match.

Winner: Chris Jericho over Christian via Retrieval of The Championship!

Kane & Lita Interview/Jericho & Edge Interview

Todd Grisham interviews Lita about The Shawn Michaels’ match, Lita wants Michaels to destroy Kane. Kane interrupts and tells Lita it is a no disqualification match and that Lita has to watch Kane destroy Michaels. We also have Edge confronting Jericho over the Intercontinental Championship.

(No Disqualification Match) Kane vs Shawn Michaels

Kane is a rapist, lovely things have happened to Kane over the course of his WWE Career. Kane impregnated Lita against her will, Lita is not happy with Kane but she was forced to marry Kane. Kane had destroyed Shawn Michaels after Bad Blood, injuring The Heartbreak Kid with a Pillmanizer on the neck using the chair. Great to see Michaels back in the WWE, Raw feels empty without The Show-Stopper.

Lock-up, Kane overpowers Michaels with right hands and kicks, high knee from Michaels as Kane lowers his head off an Irish whip. Lou Thesz press by Michaels, Michaels is a machine with right hands to The Big Red Machine. Kane powders and blames Lita, Michaels misses a baseball slide and eats a right from Kane. Kane misses a clothesline and hits his arm off the ringpost. Michaels climbs to the top rope, Kane uppercuts Michaels as he comes down. Right hand by Kane, Kane chokes Michaels with his boot. Corner clothesline by Kane, two for Kane. Michaels fires up with chops before a scoop slam by Kane, Michaels avoids an elbow drop for a huge clothesline. Michaels skins the cat with Lita loving every minute of it, Kane gets distracted and eats a plancha from Michaels.

Kane uses Lita as a shield, throat thrust by Kane. Kane drops Michaels across the barricade, Kane military presses Michaels onto the announce table. Kane suplexes Michaels through the table, Kane threatens Lita some more. Two for Kane, leg drop by Kane. Foot choke by Kane, hard Irish whip by The Big Red Machine. Kane smashes the throat of Michaels with elbows, Kane tries a corner clothesline but Michaels dodges with a boot. Michaels runs into a sidewalk slam from Kane, two for Kane as The Big Red Machine applies a reverse chinlock. Michaels escapes, chops before Kane throat tosses Michaels to the canvas. Cover for two, neck vice from Kane. Michaels fires back, clothesline by Kane almost decapitating The Heartbreak Kid. Michaels escapes a back suplex for a massive DDT.

Slugfest between the two, flying forearm by Michaels. Kane sits up while Michaels kips-up, chops and rights from Michaels. Michaels flips out of the corner, Kane throws Michaels into the steel steps. Kane reaches for the chair, Michaels is bleeding everywhere. Kane has the chair, Michaels blocks with a low blow. Michaels slaps Kane, back elbow by Kane cuts off HBK. Kane places Michaels’ head against the ringpost, Michaels dodges the boot. Kane’s head is bounced off the ringpost, they roll back into the ring. Inverted atomic drop by Michaels, make it two and a huge right hand by HBK.

Elbow drop by HBK, Michaels fires up but Kane avoids Sweet Chin Music with a big boot. Kane climbs to the top rope, diving clothesline from Kane. Kane motions for a Chokeslam, Michaels counters with a low blow. Michaels has the steel chair, chair shot by Michaels. Kane sits up, Lita takes the chair away from Kane. Kane screams at Lita, Michaels recovers. Sweet Chin Music is blocked, Kane goes for The Chokeslam, Michaels wriggles free for Sweet Chin Music, Shawn Michaels wins the match.

Good match, always count on Michaels to deliver a good match. The two work the crowd really well in this match. Kane comes off as a beast while Michaels is a great babyface, selling being one of his many great qualities. They built up to that Sweet Chin Music, when it happened the roof almost came off the arena. No real nit-picks with the match, the only thing I noticed was the amount of times Michaels has been busted open on pay per view during this year and the last. The man’s skin must be made of glass, the man is bloody all the time. Anyways, Michaels and Kane bring the fire to this pay per view, two solid matches back to back.

Winner: Shawn Michaels over Kane via Sweet Chin Music!

Triple H Interview

Triple H cuts a really good promo that could have ended at least three times before it actually does, a lot of hard-hitting lines about Orton being second-rate, good but not great, the learner yet Triple H is the master, you get the picture. As per his character, Hunter goes on far too long and by the end, everyone wants it to be over.

(WWE World Tag Team Championship Match) La Resistance © vs Tajiri & Rhyno

The team thrown together who have previously only fought Coach and Garrison Cade on pay per view are now challenging for the championships. The La Resistance thing was stale in the beginning of the year yet they are still here, holding the titles. Tajiri and Grenier start, shoulder block by Grenier for two. Snapmare and cover by Tajiri, front chancery by Tajiri. Side headlock by Tajiri, chest slaps by Tajiri. Armdrags by Tajiri with an armbar, Grenier hits a big knee before tagging in Conway. Conway eats an armdrag and has to battle Rhyno, Rhyno pounds away at Conway. Hard Irish whip and back drop by Rhyno, Rhyno sets up for The Gore. Conway powders and La Resistance talk strategy.

 Rhyno misses a corner clothesline, single arm DDT by Conway. Tag to Grenier, knee to the arm. Leg drop to the arm, make it three by Grenier. Tag to Conway, belly to belly suplex by Rhyno. Tag to Tajiri, huge kicks floor Conway. Grenier saves Conway, sunset flip into a rolling cradle by Tajiri for two. Tajiri kicks Grenier off the apron, Conway dodges a tornado DDT and clotheslines Tajiri. Rhyno is knocked off the apron, Grenier steps in for a suplex. Two for Grenier, neck vice from Grenier. Backbreaker by Grenier for two, hard Irish whip and elbow drop by Grenier. Conway chokes Tajiri using the ropes, Grenier puts the boots to Tajiri.

Scoop slam for two by Conway, camel clutch by Conway. Tajiri wriggles free to headscissors takedown Conway, tag to Rhyno. Right hands for all, leaping clothesline for Grenier. Conway is sent tumbling to the floor, corner Gore by Rhyno. Belly to belly suplex for two, Grenier fights back before a spinebuster by Rhyno for two as Conway saves Grenier. Bonsoir by La Resistance for two, Tajiri kicks everything. Tajiri ends up low blowing Grenier with the flag, Gore by Rhyno, Conway places Grenier’s foot on the ropes. Conway and Tajiri brawl while Grenier decks Rhyno with the flagpole in the face, the champions retain.

It was alright, I am not overly impressed with La Resistance, never have been. It is the gimmick that keeps them alive as opposed to how good they are, Tajiri and Rhyno are good for a team that were just thrown together. Finish was a little flat, the flagpole in the face? Like it was not a metal pole or anything like that, just an average flagpole to the face was enough to take down the man-beast Rhyno.

Winners: La Resistance over Tajiri & Rhyno via Shenanigans!

(WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match) Randy Orton © vs Triple H

Ok, let’s address the big issue that most people have with this angle: They hotshotted the shit out of it! Everyone knew that Triple H was a jealous maniac who could not allow anyone to be champion, we knew Triple H could only survive so long as playing second-fiddle to his stablemate but for Triple H to turn the next night screwed the fans and the company out of a lot of money. You could not have an easier angle to build, month after month you could have teased it until a blow-off at Royal Rumble or Wrestlemania but nope, they messed all that up for a match a month later.

Lock-up, Orton backs Triple H into the corner. Slap from Orton, side headlock by Triple H. Orton wriggles free with relative ease, another slap from Orton. Triple H is not a happy camper, Orton spits on Triple H again. Right hands by Orton, Triple H turns the table and strikes back. Hard Irish whip and back drop by Orton, uppercuts and snapmare by Orton. Orton clubs The Game’s chest, knee drop for two. Reverse chinlock by Orton, Triple H backs into a corner to escape, huge elbow by The Game. Orton fires back with right hands, Triple H flips to the floor. Uppercut by Orton, Triple H has been rocked. Triple H avoids a back drop and scores big with a chop block.

Triple H was setting up for a figure four on the ringpost but Orton pulls Triple H into the ringpost, drop toehold by Triple H into Triple H wrenching the leg of Orton. Elbow to the knee, huge chop block from The Game. Orton is fighting back with one leg as Triple H continues to tear apart the leg of Orton, Triple H wrenches the leg of Orton. Orton escapes the clutches of the challenger by using his good leg to batter The Game. An Irish whip goes wrong for Orton, knee facebuster by Triple H for two. More leg work from Triple H, more elbows to weaken Orton’s vertical base. Figure four by Triple H, Triple H uses the ropes for leverage, Orton has been stuck in this hold for well over two minutes now.

Orton breaks free, shoving The Game into the ringpost. Right hands by Orton, Orton nails a powerslam for two. Eye poke by Orton and a dropkick for two, DDT by Orton for two. Sleeper by Triple H, Orton counters for his own sleeper before Triple H delivers a back suplex. Boot to the face by Orton as Triple H looked for a double axe handle, Orton climbs to the top rope. Crossbody by Orton for two, Orton clotheslines Triple H to the floor. Orton nails Triple H with his backbreaker, two for Orton. Orton measures for The RKO, Triple H shoves Orton into the referee. Pedigree is blocked for The RKO, beautiful counter from Orton. No referee though, here comes Flair to save Triple H’s bacon.

Flair and Batista end up being knocked down, low blow by The Game. Coach is coming down in a referee shirt, two for Triple H off the low blow. Orton sees Coach and decks Coach, spinebuster by Batista. Triple H covers but Orton kicks out at two, Pedigree is blocked again and Orton RKOS Coach. Flair has a chair, eye poke on Flair. RKO on Flair, Batista is in for a Batista Bomb but no, Orton low blows Batista. Triple H has a chair, Orton is cracked with the chair. Pedigree by Triple H on the chair, Batista drags in the referee and Triple H is your champion.

Meh, it was going just fine until the end. I am sorry but you did not protect Orton in that match, you did not have Orton look strong by battling back against all the members of Evolution. This was not the time to take the championship off Orton, Orton just won the championship. The match undoes everything that the company had done while building Randy Orton. I am not sure how quickly plans changed to have Batista as the guy to dethrone Triple H but what was done to Orton was a shame and a waste of a year in terms of Raw booking. The match was good in parts, I liked the call-backs to their interactions on Raw, I liked that Triple H worked the leg although Orton was selling sometimes and not all the time. Finish hurt the match big with so much interference and after months of wanting something new, it’s taken away just like that.

Winner: Triple H over Randy Orton via Pedigree on Chair!

That was WWE’s Unforgiven 2004, one of the stronger shows of that year and for the Raw brand. My main negative was The Tomko vs Richards match that was a mauling, it went far too long and could have been something, they could have played on the history between Victoria and Richards, Richards standing up for his former girlfriend but no, you had an awkward match for five minutes. The tag team championship match seemed out of nowhere too, not a strong division on Raw, it shows when La Resistance are doing nothing of any real significance yet holding the championships constantly.

 I have complained about the angle and finish of Orton vs Triple H enough, bottom line is it was just a bad call and poor booking. Yet, everything else on the show was enjoyable, Victoria and Trish had the match I was waiting for, Victoria held her own and proved a great babyface while Trish was on fire as the bitchy top heel. Christian and Jericho was fun, it was a ladder match and they rarely disappoint and finally, Michaels vs Kane was good too. Michaels came back, looked for revenge and got it all while keeping the crowd in the palm of his hands. Thanks for reading and remember: There’s always another night!

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