September 22, 2002
The UnAmericans vs Booker T, Goldust, Bubba Ray Dudley and Kane
The UnAmericans were Test, Lance Storm and Christian. They had just added William Regal to the mix 13 days prior on Raw. Storm/Christian had been battling Booker and Goldust over the tag titles since coming over to Raw.
Bubba was added to the feud since he hates American haters. Kane had just made his return the night after Summerslam to stop the UnAmericans from burning the US flag. Early on in the match, there's a lot of fast tags to keep things exciting. Bubba and Goldust in-sync with double American-Dream "Suck on this" hits.
Bubba and Road Dogg did something similar in 2000 to much better results. Booker comes in and Bubba tells him to get the tables. The ref stops Bubba, which leaves Booker alone with the table on the outside. Christian and Storm hits a double dropkick to kick the table in Booker's face.
The match drags on some when Booker is playing the face in peril. Kane finally gets tagged in and we then have all chaos as all men are hitting their moves. Storm goes for a Superkick, but Kane blocks it and hits a Chokeslam for the victory.
While the Booker segment was a bit slow for my tastes, the match was a solid opener to get the fans excited. Kane continues his push on the way to a title shot while the distension between the UnAmericans kicks it up a notch. 10 Minutes. 2 3/4 Stars.
Backstage, Stephanie McMahon tells the recently ungayed Billy and Chuck to not win tonight for her, but for Smackdown.
Chris Jericho (c) vs Ric Flair—IC Title Match
Flair had cheated to win at Summerslam in their first match. The Raw before this event, Jericho defeated RVD to win the IC title. So the IC title was randomly added to the mix. Flair works over Jericho's knee for the majority of the match. Jericho goes for a Lionsault, but Flair moves out of the way.
Jericho sees it and lands on his feet. But wait, it looks like Jericho injured his knee. Flair tries to continue the match, but Jericho begs for him not to because he heard something pop. Flair finally backs away and Charles Robinson calls for the trainer. With Flair's back turned, Jericho runs over to him and trips him to lock in the Walls of Jericho. Robinson turns around wondering what happened.
Flair taps out giving Jericho his redemption. Post-match has Robinson having a look of utter confuse, Flair with the look of "I should of known" disappointment, and Jericho dancing around celebrating. Ha, Jericho is great in the midcard heel spot.
The match was far too short to be anything great. These two could of had a really great match had they just been giving enough time to do anything. It doesn't help matters that the IC title was added to the match at the last minute. At this point, the WWE wasn't even trying to do anything with the IC title.
The match did accomplish it's goal of Flair realizing that he wasn't on par of what he used to be. After losing to Rico on Raw and now Jericho all within a week, he needed to make changes. Hmm... 7 Minutes. 2 1/2 Stars.
Backstage, Eric Bischoff tells Three Minute Warning to win the match for him. HA. Rico is now officially with 3MW as their manager.
Eddie Guerrero vs Edge
Another rematch from Summerslam. That makes three for three (If you count Storm/Christian vs Booker/Goldust). Since Summerslam, Eddie gave Edge a concussion. Eddie goes after Edge's head early on. While arguing with the ref, Eddie subtly removes the long pad from the turnbuckle.
Eddie attempts his Old School turned into Hurricrana, but Edge drops down into a Sitdown Powerbomb. Edgecution by Edge. 1...2...NO, Eddie gets his foot on the ropes. Eddie goes back to the turnbuckle and now removes the actual turnbuckle pad. Edge reverses an Irish Whip and whips Eddie into the exposed turnbuckle. Spear into the exposed corner. Edge goes for a Superplex, but Eddie counters with a Sunset Flip Powerbomb. That's enough for the win.
Much like Eddie's feud with RVD, these two had slightly disappointing PPV matches, but then had a killer feud ender on free TV. Both also happened to involve ladders. The most significant aspect about this match was how unimportant Edge was. At times, Eddie was getting cheered and at others he was being booed.
You can really see signs of Eddie's future popularity in this match. Edge once again shows that he needs someone talented to carry him through a good PPV match. The guy couldn't have good matches with Christian nor William Regal in the past 12 months.
Meanwhile, both Eddie and Angle was able to get something decent to great out of Edge. Anyways, not as good as their No DQ match on SD, but I enjoyed this more than their Summerslam match. 12 Minutes. 3 1/2 Stars.
Backstage, Triple H enters the Raw face lockerroom to see RVD. Hunter claims that RVD doesn't have any passion which will keep him from ever winning the World Title. Hmm, by the sound of this speech, Hunter has been saying it a lot lately. Hunter looks over a Flair in disgrace for what Flair used to be. Hmm...
Three Minute Warning w/ Rico vs Billy and Chuck w/ Stephanie McMahon
This started up when 3MW crashed the wedding of Billy and Chuck. If 3MW wins, Stephanie has to engage in some HLA. If Stephanie's team wins, Bischoff has to kiss her ass. Seeing how Stephanie actually looked good at this time, it's win-win for Eric. Gunn plays the face-in-peril for a bit before getting the tag to Chuck. Chuck hits a Superkick, but Jamaga Superkicks Chuck.
Billy hits a nice Fame-Ass-Er. Rico distracts Billy enough for Jamal to hit Gunn with the bad ass pressing Samoan Drop for the win. Looks like we'll get some HLA later on tonight. Yup, I don't understand why Bruno has any problem with today's WWE.
After Billy and Chuck turned straight, they lost their overness. Rosey was still a useless sack of shit, Umaga wasn't as good as he is now and Billy and Chuck (Whether gay or straight) was terrible. I'll give you one guy how good this was. If I had to say, this match went on for about...Three Minutes too long *Two fat Samoans busts in my house and hits me with a Samoan Drop and a top couch splash.* 7 Minutes. 1 1/2 Stars.
We get a promo package of the World Heavyweight Title. Basically, a week after Brock left for SD forever, Eric brought back the Big Gold Belt (Has to be the ugliest world title ever) and gave it to Hunter. RVD doesn't think it's cool. Bischoff books a four way match between RVD/Jericho/Big Show/Jeff Hardy for a title shot at Unforgiven. RVD obviously wins.
Triple H (c) vs Rob Van Dam—World Heavyweight Title Match
Early on, they try some chain wrestling. While it's not the prettiest chain wrestling ever, it's a nice surprise. RVD slaps Hunter. With Hunter on the outside, RVD imitates Hunter's water spitting. Say what you will about Hunter, but no one spits water quite like him. Sorry Rob. RVD crashes and burns on the outside.
Hunter slows the match down with the Sleeper. Hunter had randomly started using the move more around this time. Ref Bump! Hunter tries for the sledgehammer, but RVD kicks him. RVD has the three count two different times, but the ref is still down. Ric Flair runs down to stop Hunter from using the sledgehammer. Flair shockingly (Okay, honestly, is it ever a shock anymore?) hits RVD with the sledgehammer. Hunter looks on confused. One Pedigree and an awaken ref later, Hunter retains his World Title.
Way too long of a match for these two. At times, the match dragged on terribly. I really have to question the choice in giving Hunter the title and the win. RVD was very over at this point and a reign could of been just the thing Raw needed to complete with the Smackdown six. With Shawn Michaels coming back soon, RVD vs Michaels on PPV would of been a money match (As opposed to their short, but fun Raw match).
Instead, they gave it to Hunter who with the exception of the Elimination Chamber match, couldn't get a good WHT defense against anyone until December 2003. Damn. This does set up the long term relationship between Flair and Hunter while setting up the second piece of the Elimination Chamber. 19 Minutes. 2 Stars.
Backstage, D-Lo Brown and Billy Kidman watches the monitor. Suddenly, some guy from a Soap Opera appears to make some comment that didn't even make much sense. Dawn Marie shows up to escort him back. Most. Random. Backstage. Moment. Ever.
Molly Holly (c) vs Trish Stratus—Women's Title Match
Molly won the title back at The King of the Ring. Since Raw was incapable of pushing another female face as long as Trish was one, here's their rematch. They try for a bunch of fancy moves, but nothing looks too great. Worst part is that it's all just a bunch of random set of moves without any logic to the match.
Trish wins with a reverse into a Bulldog. Post-match has Trish tearfully saying this title means the world to her.
Yet another terrible Women's title match. Working with such terrible women as Molly had for two years really started to regress her in quality. 7 Minutes. 1 Star.
Backstage, 3MW and Rico celebrates with a bunch of women. Hey, wait a minute...Rico with women? That doesn't seem quite right. Neither does seeing Umaga with women. I was half hoping he'd scream and give the Samoan Spike to the women. That sounds oddly sexual come to think of it.
Kurt Angle vs Chris Benoit
Both were heels at this point, but after a six man tag where Angle was given the Stinkface, Angle saw Benoit laughing at him. The next week, Angle held Benoit's arms so that Rikishi could stinkface him. I love the fact that while Rikishi was the one who set this feud up, he's no where to be seen when it comes to PPV.
The match starts with a collar/elbow tieup which sends both men outside of the ring. Quick look at each other and they rush back in the ring. Several pin attempts and bridges follows. Benoit tries for the Crossface, but Angle makes it to the ropes. Angle goes for the Ankle lock, but Benoit gets to the ropes. Benoit with two rolling German Suplexes, but Angle counters the third with his own. Benoit reverses Angle and hits another German Suplex. But Angle reverses Benoit again for the German Suplex.
Angle pulls down the straps and attempts the Angle Slam, but Benoit reverses it into a 270 degree release German Suplex (One where you land on your face). A small holy shit chant breaks out. Benoit heads to the top rope, but Angle runs up and hits the belly-to-belly from the top rope. The fans are becoming louder and louder. Angle tries a Tombstone, but Benoit reverses it into a shoulderbreaker.
Damn, I would of marked out for Benoit hitting the Tombstone like Dyno. Flying Headbutt by Benoit gets two. Benoit locks in the crossface, but Angle locks in the Angle Lock which forces Benoit to let go of his hold. Benoit finds a way to reverse the Angle Lock into the Crossface again.
Angle locks in the Ankle Lock again, but Benoit makes it to the ropes. Angle locks in Benoit's own Crossface onto Chris. Benoit makes it to the ropes, but pushes the ropes back with his foot (Something Benoit did plenty), Benoit rolls back and get covers Angle with his feet on the rope to steal the victory.
Damn, now THIS was a wrestling clinic. The fans started off a bit quiet, but they were on their feet cheering for the last five minutes or so. Both men brought their A-Game doing all of their famous spots. Due to the fact that these two had so many great matches together, this one sort of goes unnoticed.
But did they two EVER have a bad match together? With as many times as they faced each other, you would think that they would of. A forgotten MOTYC. 14 Minutes. 4 1/4 Stars.
Instead of putting The Big Show, Jeff Hardy, Rey Mysterio, Chavo Guerrero, Jamie Noble, Billy Kidman or others on PPV, next up is the HLA segment. Bischoff has the two HLA girls rub up against Stephanie until ordering them to leave.
Bischoff brings out Hildegard, a fat ugly lesbian for Stephanie to make out with. Stephanie looks on with horror until jumping on Hildegard and making out with her much to Eric's surprise and disgust. Hildegard superkicks Bischoff. Hildegard is revealed to be Rikishi. Stinkface follows.
Brock Lesnar (c) w/ Paul Heyman vs The Undertaker—WWE Title Match
After Lesnar cost Taker the No. 1 contender match on Raw and then fled to SD, Taker followed. Taker would win a No. 1 contenders match days after losing the Raw one. Taker throws Brock around the ring more than he ever has been thrown before.
After Old School, Taker knocks down an interfering Heyman. Brock hits Taker with the title, but Taker no sells it. Ref Bump! Taker has Brock pinned, but there isn't a ref. Matt Hardy comes out, but quickly gets a Last Ride from Taker. Thank-you, come again. The ref wakes up just in time to get bumped again.
Taker gives a Boot to Brock who was holding a chair. Brock is bleeding. Taker hits a big boot and a legdrop, but Brock kicks out at two. Both men reverses the others finisher. The two are punching it out in the corner, not listening to the ref ordering them to stop. The two falls to the mat where they continue to punch each other.
The ref finally say hell with it and calls for the bell. Double DQ. The fans are pissed and we get a loud Bullshit chant. After the match, the two fights up the entrance where Taker throws Brock through the Unforgiven sign.
This match was a clusterfuck, plain and simple. But it's supposed to be chaotic to give reason to bring back the HIAC for the rematch. It's not a bad match, but it's not really a match. It was more of a brawl with a finish that no one liked. 21 Minutes. 2 1/2 Stars.
Like most Unforgivens, this one is full of rematches from Summerslam and the starts of new feuds which will last for the remainder of the year. Due to that, it's not the most important show. There was more good than bad though. However, there were too many dirty finishes for my liking.
All together, there was five finishes like that. Besides that, there's too much of the same thing. Ref bumps in both title matches makes the booking look lazy. Luckily, the Smackdown Six was here to put on a good show. In case you see the DVD, pick it up for an amazing 10 minute match from Heat between Chavo Guerrero and Rey Mysterio. Easily, the second best match from the night.
Best Match: Chris Benoit vs Kurt Angle
Worst Match: Trish Stratus vs Molly Holly
Overall Grade: B -