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Dark Pegasus Video Review: Unforgiven 2000

May 12, 2008 | Posted by J.D. Dunn
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Dark Pegasus Video Review: Unforgiven 2000  

Unforgiven 2000
by J.D. Dunn

I’ve actually gotten quite a few e-mails about a brief comment I made in the No Way Out 2000 review where I said I had a different take on the Benoit situation than most people. A lot of people wanted an explanation of that.

The short answer is: My take on the situation is that I don’t have one yet. Astounding, I know.

I’ll have a more detailed answer in the future.

Just to give you a frame of reference, the WWE was exploding at this point. Vince had just inked a deal to switch from the USA Network to TNN (the future SpikeTV). In fact, Raw would debut on the network 24 hours after this show.

  • September 24, 2000
  • Live from Philadelphia, Pa.
  • Your hosts are Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler.

  • Opening Match, 8-Man Tag: The Dudley Boyz & The APA vs. The Right to Censor.
    Ah, yes. The Right to Censor, Vince’s potshot at L. Brent Bozell’s Parents Television Council. It’s no Davey Meltzer. This is #2 in the list of crappy Bull Buchanan gimmicks. The faces dominate early. I should point out that there was a semi-historical skit on Heat that led to the invention of the Wazzup Drop. D-Von plays face-in-peril for a while. Not a lot of interesting offense from the heels, which isn’t surprising because they were basically a bunch of also-rans. Val had a decent push over the summer, but nothing came of it. Hot tag leads to the Dudleyville Device. It only gets two, though, and Steven Richards sneaks in with the Steviekick on Bubba. That gets the win for the RTC at 8:05. Bleh. The faces get their heat back by putting Steven through a table. *1/4

  • Backstage, birthday-girl Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley voices concern for HHH’s injured ribs. Hunter promises an end to Kurt Angle tonight. She says she’s totally behind Hunter now.
  • Leather Strap Match: Tazz vs. Jerry Lawler.
    What a waste of Tazz. They put him over then-undefeated Kurt Angle then have him get the crap kicked out of him by the Big Bossman and Bull Buchanan. He disappears into mulit-man hardcore matches, and then when he comes back, they put him in a feud against Ross and Lawler. Tazz yanks Lawler down and chokes him out near the table so Ross can see him. Lawler reverses, but Tazz goes low and whips him. He tries to strangle King. Lawler battles back and hits a piledriver, but Tazz no-sells. Philly fans love that. King hits two more, and Tazz finally collapses. Lawler touches three corners, but Tazz goes low on the ref, allowing Raven to debut and nail Lawler with the Evenflow DDT. Not sure why the ref would care because it’s No DQ. Ross sure makes a big deal out of it, though. That leads to the Tazzmission at 5:06. Well, at least the active wrestler went over. This was mostly just to debut Raven, though. 1/2*

  • Steve Austin arrives with the intent of finding out who ran over him at Survivor Series and tosses Kevin Kelly into a garage door in lieu of an interview. Ah, Austin. How I’ve missed your sweet, destructive demeanor.
  • Michael Cole replaces Lawler at the announce position.
  • Hardcore Invitational: Steve Blackman vs. Al Snow vs. Crash Holly vs. Test (w/Trish Stratus) vs. Perry Saturn (w/Terri Runnels) vs. Funaki.
    Whoever is the champ at the end of the 10:00 time limit gets to keep it. Al is now from Italy because he’s the European Champion, leading to Al Snow(prano) jokes. Head gets involved early, but Saturn takes it away from Al and accidentally knocks out Trish. Test rips it away from him and hits Terri in retaliation. It’s just a bunch of chaos after that. Crash wins the title. Perry beats him for the title. Lots of brawling up and down the aisle follows. Test actually sells a pizza box shot from Snow as Saturn and Blackman fight it out with sticks. They assault him Black Ninja-style, but he fends them off and wins the title from Saturn with a minute left to go. Everyone gangs up on Blackman, but he fends them off for the last 30 seconds and retains his title at 10:00. Started okay but went downhill quickly. See, now they had co-Intercontinental Champions at the beginning of the year, but *this* would have been a fine opportunity (and more appropriate title) to have co-Hardcore Champs. *

  • In the back, Kurt Angle runs into Steve Austin and introduces himself. He offers him an honorary Gold Medal. Austin says he’ll cherish it and keep it in a real special place – Kurt’s ass. He beats the shit out of Angle and leaves him lying. Yes, this is how they built up their future champion.
  • Chris Jericho vs. X-Pac.
    Wow. Jericho’s certainly come a long way since he made his PPV wrestling debut a year earlier – against X-Pac. This is the result of X-Pac attacking Jericho with weapons and generally being a jerk to everyone. I don’t think there’s a clearer way to say, “We have no plans for you.” Jericho chops away and cuts off a Broncobuster attempt. That leads to a spinning wheel kick, but X-Pac blocks the springboard dropkick and shoves Jericho to the floor. X-Pac takes over with a somersault plancha and kills time with a sleeper. The Broncobuster gets big heel heat, but Jericho counters to a powerbomb to come back. Jericho hits a forearm for two, so X-Pac grabs the nunchucks. Jericho ducks but eats the X-Factor. ONE, TWO, THRE-NO! That was close. Then again, Jericho was jobbed to Viscera around this time, so anything is possible. Jericho grabs the Walls of Jericho, but X-Pac makes the ropes. The Lionsault finds X-Pac’s knees, but X-Pac jumps right into the Walls of Jericho at 9:05. The was X-Pac’s first big job in quite some time. Jericho would continue to spin his wheels through most of the next year (yes, even against Austin) before the Rock came calling. **1/2

  • Kurt tells Mick Foley that he competed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome, so a little ass-kicking from Austin isn’t going to stoop him. Foley is so fed up with Kurt’s hubris that he turns tonight’s match into a “No DQ.”
  • Backstage, Austin meets up with the Rock and asks him who could have stolen the Rock’s rental car. Just Joe (remember him?) interrupts and tries to stir things up. Austin delivers an ass-whuppin’ because Joe’s so stupid looking.
  • WWF Tag Team Titles, Cage Match: Edge & Christian vs. The Hardy Boyz.
    Christian hits Jeff with the reverse DDT right away and gets two. The Hardyz get two off their senton/legdrop combo. The Hardyz powerbomb Christian into the cage and hit him with “Poetry in Motion.” Jeff goes all the way to the top of the cage, but Edge pushes him out to the floor. That leaves Matt in a 2-on-1. No one seems to know the rules of the match. Matt slingshots Edge into Christian. He ties Edge in the ropes and goes up. Christian unleashes Edge, and they superplex Matt off the top of the cage. Jeff tries to climb the cage, but Edge kicks him off. The champs double hotshot Matt into the ropes. Jeff takes out the referee and unlocks the cage. He shoves a chair in the ring, but it backfires as Christian jumps him before he can get in. Edge grabs the chair. Christian locks the door again. The heels use Poetry in Motion against Matt. They try a Con-chair-to, but Matt ducks and takes them out with a double clothesline. Matt climbs up. Christian and Matt climb up and hang off the top of the cage. Jeff slams Christian with a ladder and climbs up to the top of the cage. He “hits” the Whisper in the Wind on both guys. Christian tries to climb up via the ladder, but Lita runs down and huracanranas him off the ladder. That’s why we love her. Edge goes up, but the Hardyz catch up with him and deliver their own Con-chair-to on top of the cage. Edge falls all the way back into the ring. The Hardyz climb safely down to win the tag titles at 13:32. There was some wild stuff in there, but it felt like the cage was more confining than enhancing the match. E&C would win the titles back with a bunch of goofiness involving the Conquistadors. ***

  • Stephanie is so happy to see Steve Austin that she gives him a present – the hat he was wearing when his stuntman was run down. She tells Austin that Shane knows who it was.
  • Hunter and Mick bond backstage. The mystery here was whether Mick would turn on Hunter for retiring him all those months ago.
  • Intercontinental Title: Eddy Guerrero (w/Chyna) vs. Rikishi.
    Eddy was growing more possessive of Chyna because she posed for Playboy. Chyna relented and agreed to marry Eddy despite Rikishi warning her that Eddy was no good (and married to Vickie, but we’re not supposed to know that). Eddy gets dominated early and tries to bail out. Chyna tells him not to be such a pussy and shoves him back in. Chyna saves Eddy from the Stinkface and inadvertently distracts him long enough for Eddy to come off the top with a crossbody. The Frogsplash misses, and Eddy gets avalanched in the corner. Bonsai Drop, but Chyna asks the ref politely not to count. Even Lawler says that’s stupid. Rikishi goes after Chyna and gives her a thrust kick. For some reason, that earns Rikishi a DQ at 6:03. Rikishi gives her the Bonsai Drop and walks out. I guess this was to tease Rikishi’s eventual heel turn, but there are far better ways to do that. Eddy retrieves the IC Title and then goes to check on Chyna. 1/2*

  • In the back, Trish Stratus tries to comfort Kurt, but he runs off. Damned Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
  • No DQ: Triple H (w/Chyna) vs. Kurt Angle.
    Mick Foley is your special referee. This came about because Kurt kept hitting on Stephanie even though they were “just friends.” Hunter slugs the crap out of him early and backdrops him to the floor. Kurt comes back with a German Suplex for two and then argues with Foley about the count. Hunter roars back, and they fight over to the announce table. Hunter nails him with a chair and sets up for the Pedigree on the table. Kurt goes low and hits a belly-to-belly from one table through another. He takes over after that, obviously. Lawler’s not sure who to suck up to. An abdominal stretch kills some time as Lawler wonders where Steph’s loyalties really lie. Kurt’s moonsault misses, and Hunter hits a one-armed Pedigree. He can’t cover, so Steph runs in to check on him. Hunter tells her to choose, so she hits Kurt with a spazzy kick to the nuts. Another Pedigree finishes Kurt at 17:23. Boring, disappointing match. Steph is still hovering over Kurt, so Hunter grabs her and gives her an aggressive kiss. As fondly remembered as the Kurt-Steph-HHH love triangle was up to Summerslam, it became muddled and confused in the weeks following. **
  • Shane McMahon offers video proof that Steve Blackman ran over Ken Shamrock, so he must therefore have run over Austin. Blackman comes out to confront Shane but gets interrupted by Austin (and his new music from Disturbed). Stunner to Blackman. Shane wants to celebrate with Austin, but Austin Stuns him causing a geyser of beer to shoot from Shane’s mouth. Funny. Shane recovers and takes another Stunner. And then Austin waits for him to get up and delivers *another* Stunner. Fun segment to bring Austin back, but Ross’ man crush on Austin is a bit much.
  • WWF Heavyweight Title, Fatal-Fourway: The Rock vs. The Undertaker vs. Chris Benoit vs. Kane.
    Rock pairs off with Kane while Undertaker beats down Benoit in the corner. Rock and Taker win their respective battles and go toe-to-toe, but the other guys attack, and they switch off. Kane and Taker go at it in the ring while Rock and Benoit fight in the crowd. Taker drops Benoit on the barrier and teams up with Rock to toss Kane to the floor. Rock and Taker turn on each other. Rock yanks Taker off the top and clotheslines him over the top. Kane returns and accidentally takes out the referee. That allows Taker to smash Rock with a chair. He’s the American Bad-ass after all. Benoit grabs the chair and nails the Undertaker with it. He’s the Canadian Bad-ass after all. Benoit covers and ONE, TWO, THREE! (7:08) Benoit wins the title for the second time in three months. And, just like the last time, Mick Foley comes out and restarts the match, screwing Benoit out of the title for a second time. See, this was just screaming for Benoit to drag Foley out of retirement for a hardcore/technical feud.. The three other guys all turn on Benoit, but their alliance doesn’t last long. Rock wipes out the Taker with the steps, so Benoit jumps the Rock and lays in a series of chops. Benoit hits the Swandive Headbutt on the Rock, but Rock comes back and puts Benoit in the Crippler Crossface. Kane and Taker make the save, but Rock sets up for the People’s Elbow on Kane. Benoit cuts it off but takes a smackdown. Rock takes the Last Ride, but Kane saves. The Brothers of Destruction spill over the top where Benoit starts nailing them with chairs. Crossface on the Rock, but Taker saves and chokeslams him. Kane ensures that Taker can’t get a pin, and they go back to slugging it out. Rock recovers and hits Benoit with the Rock Bottom at 16:06 to retain. This one had the usual problems – hit a move, pull a guy off, hit a move, pull a guy off – but it was a decent end to the show. Once again, Kane had no real business in there. They just sort of wedged him into a number of feuds during 2000. Jericho would have made much more sense, but he got saddled with X-Pac in a meaningless mid-card match. Not bad, mostly due to the Rock and Benoit providing a lot of energy. **3/4
  • The 411: Proving that even the beloved Chris Kreski wasn't infallible, this show fell about as flat as you can get for such a hot lead-up. Benoit forgot about being screwed out of the title twice and focused on beating up Stephanie. Austin didn't actually figure out who ran him over. It was just sort of revealed one night. Angle would go on to claim the title, but he was immediately demoted to #2 heel when Triple H revealed he tried to have Austin killed. You can see the cracks in the empire beginning to show, and it's not surprising that ratings started to sink later in the year.

    Thumbs down for Unforgiven 2000

    Final Score:  4.5   [ Poor ]  legend

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