Hello and welcome to another edition of Seanomaniac Wrestling Reviews, the only wrestling review series on the internet that disappears more than The Kabuki Warriors! It’s time for WWE Unforgiven 2008, the peak of The Championship Scramble Phase of WWE! Three major championships defended in championship scramble matches, what could happen in this wild night of the WWE. Triple H defends his WWE Championship, Mark Henry defends his ECW Championship and CM Punk defends his World Heavyweight Championship, it’s Unforgiven and let’s get it on!
Opening Hype Package
History is guaranteed, championship scramble all night long. Highlights of Jericho vs Michaels, the most heated feud in the WWE, Chris Jericho wants to finish off Shawn Michaels, this is damn sure personal as JR would say. An excellent package that hypes up Michaels vs Jericho, this angle has been tremendous and now we are sinking our teeth right into the middle of it.
ECW Championship Scramble Match (Matt Hardy vs Mark Henry © vs The Miz vs Chavo Guerrero vs Finlay)
The Miz and Matt Hardy to start, this match has a twenty-minute time limit, every five minutes, a new superstar will enter the ring. Miz takes the back of Hardy, hammerlock reversal from Hardy. Side headlock takedown from Hardy, shoulder block from Hardy. Another shoulder block, hiptoss from Miz though. Miz grabs a side headlock, Miz is shoved into the corner. Corner clothesline from Hardy, Hardy cannot nail the bulldog though. Miz shoves Hardy into the corner, Miz misses a corner clothesline and eats a powerbomb from Hardy for two.
Running clothesline from Hardy for two, Miz pulls Hardy into the middle rope. Cross-armed punches from Miz, Miz drops his weight down on Hardy’s back for two. Reverse chinlock from Miz, sunset flip from Hardy off an Irish whip for two. Miz nails a clothesline for two, Miz is caught on the middle rope trying to escape from Hardy. Splash Mountain Bomb incoming but Hardy cannot hold onto Miz, Reality Check from Miz. Hardy rolls to the floor, Miz’s chance at championship gold alludes him for now. The next superstar to enter the match is here, it’s Chavo Guerrero. Chavo throws Miz out of the ring and nails a Frog Splash on Hardy to become the new ECW Champion.
Miz nails a forearm on Chavo, running clothesline from Miz for two. Rolling Kappu kick from Chavo to Miz, plancha to the floor. Hardy throws Chavo into the ring, scoop slam and elbow drop for two. Chavo is looking for a superplex on Miz, Miz fights out and nails a crossbody on Hardy and Chavo for two. Clothesline from Hardy who is rallying, back drop to Chavo. Clubbing blow to Miz, corner clothesline and bulldog takes out both Chavo and Miz. Side Effect on Chavo, Hardy is ECW Champion! Irish whip to Miz, Hardy throws Chavo to the floor. Hardy applies a sleeper to Miz to wear down his challenger. Mark Henry is the next man to enter the championship scramble. Chavo, Miz and Hardy decide the best way to deal with Henry is team up to take out The World’s Strongest Man.
Henry is fresh though, Henry takes the punishment and shoves down his challengers. Clotheslines galore, Chavo is tossed across the ring. Henry press slams Hardy with ease, Miz tees off on Henry but eats a splash. World’s Strongest Slam on Chavo and Mark Henry is ECW Champion. Henry slams Miz with ease, Hardy unloads before a headbutt rocks Hardy. World’s Strongest Slam is blocked by Hardy but a massive chop sends Hardy to the floor. Henry flapjacks Miz, Chavo attacks Henry but Henry shrugs off the attacks. Chavo gets caught in a bearhug from Henry, Hardy begins climbing the top turnbuckle. Hardy dives into a bearhug, Hardy throws rights and lefts but begins to fade with each passing second.
Finlay is the last man to enter, DDT on Henry for two. Make it two, two-count for Finlay again. There are five minutes left in this match, bearhug from Henry. Hornswoggle is in the ring, Hornswoggle distracts Henry. Shillelagh from Finlay, Finlay and Hardy throw Henry to the floor. Celtic Cross and Finlay is your ECW Champion. Miz is on the top rope, missile dropkick from Miz. Miz grabs Hardy but walks into a Twist Of Fate and Hardy is your ECW Champion. Henry is on his feet, Hardy stands his ground to battle Henry. Chavo Frog Splashes Miz in the background but Hardy stops Chavo stealing his championship.
Henry boots Hardy and nails a World’s Strongest Slam on Miz, Hardy makes the save. Henry slams Chavo, Hardy saves his championship once more. Henry goes after Finlay, World’s Strongest Slam but Hardy makes the save again. Miz rolls up Hardy for two as Henry makes the save. Chavo dives into the arms of Henry, World’s Strongest Slam but Hardy saves his championship again. Henry continues to look for an easy pin-fall but Hardy is continuing to defend his championship, nobody can score a pin-fall with Hardy breaking up every pin-fall attempt.
That was a fun opening match, I feel like these matches are going to be difficult to critique because you have little spots here and there but is there really a lot going on for twenty minutes? It feels like we are always killing time until the next wrestler enters the match. So, what did I like? The crafty tactics of Chavo stealing a pin to win the championship, Finlay using Hornswoggle to gain the upper hand and Hardy defending his territory in the ring was also a highlight.
Winner: Matt Hardy Via Survival!
(WWE World Tag Team Championship Match) Cryme Tyme vs Ted Dibiase & Cody Rhodes ©
Am I back in 2006? Cryme Tyme back in WWE? They have been off pay per view for what seems like an eternity while Rhodes and Dibiase are back after winning the championships at Night Of Champions when Dibiase revealed that Rhodes was his partner, stabbing mentor Hardcore Holly in the back figuratively. Rhodes and JTG begin the match, Rhodes ducks from JTG to start the match. Irish whip from Rhodes, punch from JTG. Big dropkick and Shad clothesline Dibiase & Rhodes to the floor. Shad elevates JTG over the top rope onto the champions, a huge plancha from JTG.
Shad eats a jawbreaker from Dibiase, Dibiase nails an elbow in the corner. Shad counters with a massive sidewalk slam, elbow drop for two. Dibiase boots Shad in the face, tag to Rhodes. The champions batter Shad, JTG blind tags in and nails a slingshot shoulder block for two. Rhodes begs off from JTG, slap from Rhodes, JTG gives chase on the floor and Rhodes nails a massive clothesline on the floor. Rhodes works the arm in the ring, applying a keylock on JTG. Dibiase tags in, wrenches the arm and tags back in Rhodes who nails a middle rope axe handle. Rhodes uses the ropes to wrench JTG’s arm, Dibiase wrenches the arm behind the referee’s back.
Russian legsweep from Rhodes, knee drop and an arm wrench. Tag to Dibiase who nails a dropkick, kick to the arm and a keylock from Dibiase. JTG battles back and nails a back suplex, Dibiase tags in Rhodes who prevents JTG from tagging Shad as Shad is knocked off the apron. JTG boots Rhodes away but JTG cannot crawl to the corner. Keylock from Rhodes, JTG manages to escape but a scoop slam ends the hopes of JTG for now. Rhodes looks for a moonsault and misses, Shad snake eyes Dibiase and scores big with a forearm.
JTG takes down Rhodes briefly, the referee brings JTG out of the ring. Illegally, Rhodes nails his Silver Spoon DDT, Shad is saved by his foot on the ropes. Dibiase tags in Rhodes, Shad clotheslines Rhodes. Cryme Tyme look for their finish, Dibiase interferes with JTG landing a small package on Rhodes, Sahd punches Dibiase into the small package, Dibiase pushes over the small package and the champions retain their titles. After the match, some afro having Samoan saves the champions from the beatdown, this is Manu’s debut and well, this is bizarre.
Could they not have Manu interfere in the match to allow the champions to retain, would that not be a more impressive debut for Manu? But what do I know about booking right? The match itself was fine thought the heat segment was a little long. Despite JTG’s impressive athletic display, the fans were not hugely into the duo of JTG & Shad. So, this could have been handle and booked better but it was passable, nothing awful here.
Winners: Dibiase & Rhodes over Cryme Tyme via Small Package!
(Unsanctioned Match) Shawn Michaels vs Chris Jericho
It all began with Chris Jericho wanting to be HBK, Jericho wanted to emulate his idol but Jericho realized that sometimes, it is not a good thing to meet your idols for Chris Jericho was disappointed by Shawn Michaels, Michaels was a fraud in Jericho’s eyes, faking an injury to defeat Batista so Jericho did everything in his power to expose Michaels. Things would come to a head as Jericho nearly blinded HBK and waffled Michael’s wife in the face with a right hand. Despite not having medical clearance, Michaels is here to battle Jericho.
The match begins with a takedown and Michaels walloping Jericho with his cowboy boot, Jericho rolls to the floor. Michaels dives onto Jericho, into the crowd they brawl. Michaels trips Jericho and catapults Y2J into the ring-post. Michaels looks under the ring and grabs a chair, Jericho ducks the chair shot. Kick to the gut and Jericho sends HBK onto the announce table. DDT on the floor from Jericho, Jericho pulls a table from under the ring. Jericho hurls the table onto Michaels, Jericho wants a powerbomb through the table. Michaels avoids the powerbomb but Jericho smacks Michaels’ arm off the ring apron. Jericho has a chair in the ring, Jericho smashes Michaels with the chair in the back and ribs.
Back suplex from Y2J, right hands and kicks from Jericho. A choke from Y2J, Y2J is sent into the ring-post by Michaels. Jericho is on the apron, Jericho wants a suplex to the floor. HBK and Jericho trade shots, HBK hangs on and manages to clothesline Jericho back into the ring. Right hands by Michaels, Irish whip reversal which leads to a flying forearm from Michaels. Kip-up from Michaels and a blatant choke, HBK manages to climb to the top rope. Elbow drop, Sweet Chin Music but Michaels stops himself, Jericho has collapsed to his knees. HBK begins pummelling Jericho, crucifix on the arm and we have a crossface.
Jericho reverses by pulling HBK eye first into the steel chair, Jericho zeroes in on the eye. The same eye that had been injured, Jericho digs his fingers into the eye. The two trade blows, Jericho whips HBK into the corner but HBK comes flying out with a Lou Thesz press. Michaels was looking for a piledriver but Jericho reverses for a Walls Of Jericho. Michaels reaches the ropes but there is no rope break, Jericho does not have to break the hold but Michaels pulls out a fire extinguisher from under the ring, Michaels blasts Jericho in the face. Michaels waffles Jericho in the face with the extinguisher, Jericho rolls to the floor. Michaels is in pursuit, stiff kick to the ribs of Jericho.
Jericho is tossed into the barricade, Michaels wants a suplex on the ramp and it connects, both men scream in pain. Here comes Lance Cade, Michaels punches down Cade. Jericho eats a massive right to the face, Cade comes back for more, catching Michaels on his injured arm. Massive lariat to Michaels, Cade kicks HBK’s arm into the ring-post, Cade holds down Michaels’ arm, Jericho smashes the chair into the arm of Michaels, these two are battering HBK. Jericho places the chair on Michaels’ arm, it could be time for a Pillmanizer! Michaels kicks off Cade who crotches Jericho on the top rope. Sweet Chin Music for Cade, Michaels smashes Jericho with the chair and Jericho falls through the table at ringside.
Michaels takes apart the announce table, Jericho is placed on the table. Jericho rolls off the table in desperation, Michaels places Jericho on top of Cade on the table. Michaels climbs to the top rope, Elbow Drop through both Cade and Jericho. Michaels takes off his belt, beginning to whip Jericho. Michaels ties up Jericho, stating an eye for an eye before pummelling Jericho with closed fists in the eye. Jericho is not moving, more closed fists to the eye of Jericho in a barbaric fashion.
A brutal, physical and entertaining contest. Michaels and Jericho bring the emotion and drama tenfold in these wild brawl, this feels like a brawl from the get go, the two men go about dissecting one another in cruel ways, Jericho goes after the arm with Michaels fighting from underneath. Love the use of Cade to give Jericho the advantage, Michaels’ comeback is electric and then we have that finish, a finish that builds on everything this story has been so far, it goes back to the roots of the feud with Michaels pummelling Jericho until Jericho is lifeless, Michaels uses the tape from his arm to punch Jericho in the eye over and over just like Jericho did to Michaels at The Bash. Michaels has his revenge, leaving Jericho a mess with it not being too drawn out like when Jericho did the same to Michaels, tremendous match.
Winner: Shawn Michaels over Chris Jericho via TKO!
(WWE Championship Scramble Match) Triple H © vs Brian Kendrick vs Shelton Benjamin vs Jeff Hardy vs MVP
Jeff Hardy and Shelton Benjamin will begin the match, same rules as the ECW Championship Scramble. Five of Smackdown’s top superstars battling it out for The Game’s championship. Roll-up by Benjamin, roll-up by Hardy. Both men attempting to capture the championship as early as possible. Side headlock from Benjamin, shoulder block and a quick two for Benjamin. Irish whip, Hardy avoids a scoop slam for an O Connor roll, two for Hardy. To the corner, Irish whip reversal from Benjamin. Sunset flip out of the corner from Hardy for two, Benjamin applies a side headlock into a takedown.
Hardy is caught by Benjamin for a buckle bomb, stomps from Benjamin. Snap suplex for two, camel clutch from Benjamin. Knees to the back and stomps, Hardy counters a back suplex for a two count. Clothesline by Hardy for one, Hardy pummels Benjamin on the mat. Scoop slam and leg drop from Hardy, two for Hardy. At number three comes The Brian Kendrick, Kendrick saunters his way down to the ring, Hardy and Benjamin are clubbing one another on the apron. Benjamin is knocked off the apron by Kendrick, Kendrick focuses on Hardy. Flying forearm from Kendrick for two, stomps from Kendrick.
Kendrick brings Hardy to the corner, Hardy dodges a corner splash. Hardy nails an alley oop powerbomb to win the championship. Hardy nails Benjamin with a snap suplex, forearms from Benjamin. Benjamin misses a corner splash, Twist of Fate misses for Hardy and Benjamin nails Pay-Dirt. Kendrick kicks Benjamin off Hardy, Kendrick nails Sliced Bread No.2 and Kendrick is your current WWE Champion. MVP comes out at number four, MVP flapjacks Kendrick, dropkick to Hardy. MVP has Benjamin, facebuster from MVP. MVP is steadying himself, MVP is wiped out by a leaping calf kick from Kendrick. Kendrick poses and Hardy wipes out Kendrick.
Mule kick to Benjamin, Benjamin and MVP are in the corner. Slingshot dropkick by Hardy, Kendrick protects his championship. MVP and Kendrick brawl, Irish whip to the corner and Kendrick answers with a crossbody. Boot to Benjamin, Benjamin looks for a powerbomb on Kendrick but Kendrick counters with a hurricanrana. Right hands to MVP, MVP answers back but a leaping calf kick takes down MVP. Our final entrant is here, it is the one and only The Game Triple H. Triple H storms to the ring, clotheslining Benjamin to the floor, Kendrick eats a clothesline. Facebuster for MVP, Kendrick eats a spinebuster and MVP is sent to the floor. Pedigree to Kendrick, Triple H is your current champion.
4 minutes left, Benjamin jumps Triple H. The two brawl on the floor, Benjamin meets the barricade but Triple H meets the steel steps. Hardy grabs MVP, Hardy nails Twist of Fate and Hardy is your current champion. Kendrick attempts a Sliced Bread No.2, Hardy escapes and nails a sit-out front suplex. Hardy climbs to the top rope, Triple H crotches Hardy. Pedigree on Kendrick again, Triple H is back as your current WWE Champion. Hardy nails a Swanton Bomb on Kendrick and becomes your current WWE Champion. Triple H looks on in shock, Pedigree attempt but Triple H is dumped to the floor. Tope con hilo from Hardy.
MVP comes for Kendrick, Kendrick is placed on the top rope. Benjamin, Kendrick and MVP perform a beautiful tower of doom spot, Hardy is still your champion. Whisper in The Wind on MVP, Swanton Bomb on Benjamin. Triple H catches MVP with a Pedigree with one second remaining, Triple H is your champion!
That finish does not sit well with me at all, Jeff Hardy looks like a massive twat trying to pin Benjamin instead of breaking up Triple H’s pin-fall. What would be going through his head logic wise? No clue, takes away from what little story-telling was going on in this crazy match. Does it really even setup Hardy vs Triple H? Not in my mind, the match was fine but that finish was garbage!
Winner: Triple H over Everyone Else via Survival!
CM Punk & Randy Orton
Randy Orton is back from injury, not ready to return to the ring but feeling brave enough to get in the face of CM Punk. CM Punk’s underdog story is coming to an end unfortunately though as Manu, Dibiase and Rhodes wipe out Punk and Kingston. The segment ends with a punt on Punk, this would be the end of Punk’s reign as champion, losing the championship without even losing it in the ring. A sad end but had Punk been booked properly since becoming champion? I’d say no, fluke might have been the right word to describe that reign.
(WWE Divas Championship Match) Michelle McCool © vs Maryse
Michelle defeated Natalya to become inaugural champion while Maryse has come out as the new heel in town on Smackdown. The two begin with a nice wrestling sequence, Russian legsweep from Michelle for two. Maryse pulls Michelle down by her hair, more wrist-locks before Michelle flips out of the corner and arm-drags Maryse. Michelle looks to have blown out her knee on the moonsault, Maryse kicks out the knee and goes to work before Michelle boots Maryse hard on the floor. Diving clothesline on the barricade for two, in the ring Maryse nails a chop block.
Maryse wrenches the leg, slamming Michelle’s knee into the mat. Indian death-lock like hold from Maryse, Michelle begins to fight back on one leg, Maryse pulls Michelle into the ropes, choke using the middle rope. On her knees, Michelle nails an enzuigiri for two. The two trade punches, Irish whip by Michelle. Maryse goes for a sunset flip, Michelle rolls through and nails a dropkick. Michelle tries a suplex, the knee buckles but Michelle answers with a big boot. Sit-out front suplex by Michelle on one knee for the win.
Decent story told by the two for the time given, Michelle sold the knee throughout and Maryse did work over the knee which is always a plus. Finish was fine, just did not know it was coming nor did the fans, not sure if Michelle had really established the suplex as a finish, the faith-breaker is infinitely superior as a finish.
Winner: Michelle McCool over Maryse via Sit-out Front Suplex!
Undertaker & Big Show Segment
Vickie Guerrero and Edge had made Taker’s life a living hell on Smackdown for many months but Taker had his revenge on Edge, destroying Edge in The Hell in a Cell and watching Edge go up in flames after a Chokeslam through the ring. Vickie was yet to pay though, Taker sends a casket to the ring in preparation for the demise of Vickie Guerrero as she must pay for her sins. Vickie had also managed to piss off Big Show, keeping The Giant out of the championship scramble. Show holds Vickie hostage as Taker comes to the ring, Vickie screams in terror at the sight of The Deadman and the realization that her fate has been sealed, doom is what awaits The Smackdown General Manager.
However, Show is not on the side of The Deadman. Show Kos Taker with a right hand, Taker had been setup by Vickie Guerrero. Show proceeds to show the power and ability that made the giant a once fearsome athlete. Show had returned at No Way Out 2008 but now, Show was back in business for real, no smiling, no silly gimmick matches on ECW, it was Big Show’s time to become a bad ass once more. KO punch and Undertaker is laying lifeless in the ring, Big Show is large and in charge!
(WWE World Heavyweight Championship Scramble Match) Batista vs Kane vs Rey Mysterio vs JBL vs ????
Batista and JBL to start the match, the question looms over this match: Will CM Punk compete after the assault of Randy Orton? Lock-up, side headlock from JBL but Batista shoulder tackles JBL down, Batista stomps and shoulder thrusts JBL in the corner. JBL boots Batista, Irish whip reversal to the corner. Batista nails a clothesline, sleeper hold off an Irish whip reversal by JBL. Batista counters with a sin breaker, chop block from The Animal. Figure four from Batista, JBL inches his way to the ropes.
JBL trades shots with Batista, JBL dumps Batista to the floor. Batista sends JBL into the steel steps, we have our third entrant in Kane. Kane walks into the ring, no fear of Batista. Kane uppercuts Batista, Batista is whipped to the corner, Batista explodes out of the corner with a clothesline. Kane reverses and Irish whip and nails a big boot, snapmare and a low dropkick for two. Kane stomps Batista in the corner.
Kane whips Batista to the corner, elbow block from The Animal. Corner clothesline from Batista, Kane is choked in the corner. Irish whip reversal from Kane, sidewalk slam from Kane. Kane misses his diving clothesline, Kane dodges the spear with an uppercut. Chokeslam is blocked, Batista bomb is stopped by JBL with a boot. Kane boots Batista to the floor, Chokeslam From Hell on JBL and Kane is your current champion. Rey Mysterio is in at number four, low dropkicks from Mysterio. Mysterio nails a springboard dropkick, Kane goes flying to the floor. Tilt-a-whirl headscissors and bulldog on JBL, Mysterio misses a 619 on Kane who drills Mysterio with a clothesline.
Batista saves Mysterio with a back suplex from Kane, Batista and Mysterio combine for a splash on Kane, Batista gets two off of the splash. Mysterio tricks Batista for a sunset flip, two for Mysterio. JBL comes in with short-arm clotheslines and fallaway slams. The final entrant is here, it’s Chris Jericho. A shock to all involved as Jericho looks battered from his brawl with Michaels. Mysterio dropkicks JBL into the ropes, Batista Spears Jericho and Mysterio. The Animal is cooking, powerslam to Kane. Spear to JBL, Mysterio kicks at Batista. Mysterio nails 619 on Kane, boot by Batista to Kane.
Batista is on his feet, clotheslining Mysterio to the floor. Kane uppercuts Batista, JBL Clothesline From Hell to Kane. Batista nails a spinebuster on JBL, Kane knocks down Batista. Diving Clothesline from Kane, Batista Spears Kane avoiding the chokeslam. Batista spinebusters Kane and Batista is your champion, Jericho sneaks in and pins Kane behind Batista’s back as Batista powerbombs Mysterio, Y2J is your champion.
This match was going to build around who was Punk’s placement, Jericho winning the championship would add yet another layer to the feud between HBK and Y2J but as for the match itself, there was no difference to the others and this is the third scramble match of the night, the novelty has worn off on me with only the last five minutes mattering in a twenty minute match. Interesting enough concept but three times in one night was too much for me.
Winner: Chris Jericho Over Everyone Else via Survival!
That was WWE’s Unforgiven 2008, a night of championship scrambles but ultimately, a decent pay per view effort from the WWE. The scrambles were fun at times but the majority of the action was stalling waiting for the last five minutes, the matches ranged from frequent title changes to one championship change at the end, they were ok but nothing to write home about. HBK vs Jericho was a fantastic match that built upon everything that had been driving the story between the two. A brawl with all the emotional weight and drama infused with a hot crowd makes for an excellent match that everyone should watch as it may be the best match of their feud but was easily the best match of the pay per view. Show’s heel turn made for an interesting angle while Punk’s removal from the title picture was odd and infuriating at the time, you could see why this is a mixed bag of a pay per view. Thanks for reading and remember: There’s always another night!