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Dark Pegasus Video Review: Unforgiven 2001

June 6, 2008 | Posted by J.D. Dunn
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Dark Pegasus Video Review: Unforgiven 2001  

Unforgiven 2001
by J.D. Dunn

Not to tip the ending or anything, but Kurt Angle was playing the All-American Boy leading the WWE against the Alliance, going for the title, in his hometown, with his family in attendance, less than two weeks after 9/11. The only thing he’s missing is dedicating the match to orphaned puppies with cancer.

  • September 23, 2001
  • Live from Pittsburgh, Pa.
  • Your hosts are Jim Ross and Paul Heyman.

  • Opening Match, WWF Tag Team Titles: The Dudley Boyz vs. The Hardy Boyz vs. Lance Storm & Hurricane Helms vs. Big Show & Spike Dudley.
    Hurricane knocks Matt down and works in the superhero pose. Matt armdrags him and mocks the same pose. Big pop for that. Spike wants in to take on the Hurricane because Helms offered Spike’s girlfriend his sidekick position. Bubba steps on Spike’s face. Hurricane tags in, puts on his cape, and hits a flying crossbody on Spike. He is so lost as a heel because all of his moves are great babyface moves. Show gets the hot tag and destroys all the Alliance members. The Hardyz wipe out the heels with stereo dives and then Spike jumps off Show’s shoulders onto the pile. Show threatens to go up and squash everyone. The Dudz jump him to prevent it, though. Hurricane goes for a chokeslam on the Big Show, but Show has Sinestro powers or something and is able to block. Show kills Lance Storm dead with a chokeslam and eliminates Team Tropical Depression at 6:52. The Dudleyz backdrop Show, but Matt hits Spike with the Twist of Fate to eliminate the odd couple at 7:56. That leaves the Dudleyz and Hardyz (I know, I’m shocked too). The Hardyz hit Poetry in Motion. Jeff takes the Wazzup Drop and gets powerslammed for two. Bubba sends him into the steps and then yells at him. Matt gets the hot tag and moonsaults onto the Dudz on the floor. Back in, Matt runs into the 3D, but Jeff breaks up the pin with a Swanton. Jeff hurts himself on the landing, allowing Bubba to hit Matt with the Bubba Bomb and put D-Von on top for the win at 14:20. No matter how many teams you have in there, it will always wind up the Dudleyz versus the Hardyz. It was getting stale at this point. **3/4

  • In the back, Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley offers any help she can give to Rob Van Dam tonight. He says the only thing he needs is a dressing room big enough to contain his superstar status. She tells him to take any old one he wants. Hmmm…
  • Raven (w/Terri) vs. Saturn.
    Raven stole Saturn’s girlfriend and put Saturn’s mop in the grinder to set this up. Saturn only cared about the mop, but dammit, he REALLY cared about that mop! This is also during the angle where Saturn suffered multiple concussions and permanent brain damage. That seems a bit callous these days. Saturn hits a springboard dropkick, and they brawl on the floor. Raven knocks him off the ring apron a few times. Back inside, Raven gets two off a sunset flip. Paul tries to lay the breakup of the Flock at Saturn’s feet. You know they had all of the good members of the Flock on the roster. They probably could have had something if they turned them all into one little rebel group that didn’t belong to either the WWF or the Alliance. Saturn finishes with the Twisting Fisherman at 5:07. *1/4

  • Christian tells Lillian Garcia that the really big title match is Christian versus Edge, not Angle versus Austin.
  • Intercontinental Title: Edge vs. Christian.
    Of course, these two were one of the most storied tag teams in WWF history. Edge won the King of the Ring, garnering singles success. Obviously, Christian was jealous and turned on him, leading to this. Edge storms the ring and beats Christian up and down the aisle. Christian begs off then yanks Edge into the buckle. He takes Edge to the floor and tosses him into the steps. Back in, Edge uses handfuls of hair to come back. It looks like he’s cut open under his eye. The Edge-o-Matic gets two. Christian desperately tosses him, so Edge ducks under the ring in a Ricky Steamboat-ish maneuver. He comes out on the other side and gets two off a crossbody. Christian hits a Spear and sets up for the one-man Conchairto. Edge SWEEPS THE LEG! The ref stops Edge from doing the Conchairto himself, and Christian is able to use the distraction to go low and win the title at 11:53. Disappointing, considering the talent involved. **1/2

  • WCW Tag Titles: The Undertaker & Kane vs. Kroni₭ (w/Steven Richards).
    Yay! This match! All right. Taker destroyed the Right to Censor and sent them back to their original gimmicks. Why? Who the hell knows because he didn’t really have an issue with them from a philosophical point-of-view. Richards brought in Kronik to retaliate, costing Taker & Kane the WWF Tag Team Titles. Kronik takes the fight to the Brothers of Destruction. They isolate Taker. Nothin’ really happening. Adams busts out a dropkick. A brief brawl on the floor threatens to make things interesting, so they put a stop to that right back. Back in the ring, Adams applies a chinlock. Kane gets the hot tag and tries to chokeslam both members of Kronik. Interestingly, it was Kane who destroyed Crush and sent him to WCW in late 1997. Kronik blocks, but Taker tags in and destroys them. He goes for a chokeslam, taking an interfering Richards out in the process. Taker finishes a tedious match with a chokeslam at 10:22. Some call this the worst match of 2001, and I can’t argue against that off the top of my head. It also occurs to me that Bryan Clarke might have the worst match in the NWA, the UWF, WCW, and the WWF. Kronik was asked to go back to the minors before being released outright. O

  • In the back, Tazz accidentally upsets Booker T.
  • In the back, Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley asks Jonathan Coachman where RVD is. Why would he help her out? And, more importantly, why would she tell him, “Thanks?” Instead of finding RVD, she runs into Chris Jericho who makes fun of her implants and sluttiness.
  • WWF Hardcore Title: Rob Van Dam vs. Chris Jericho.
    Rob was quickly becoming the biggest babyface in the Alliance. They run through some blowjob wrestling sequences early. The fans start dueling “RVD/Y2J” chants. Van Dam dumps Jericho to the floor and gets two off a pescado. He tries his spinning kick from the apron to the barricade, but it misses. Jericho hauls out a ladder and rams it into RVD’s face. Back in, Van Dam misses a charge and posts his own shoulder. Jericho foreshadows his heel turn, ramming Van Dam’s shoulder into the post again and then suplexing him on the ladder. RVD hits his own suplex and then the Rolling Thunder Splash. Jericho blocks the split-legged moonsault. The Five-Star Frogsplash misses, and Jericho rolls Rob up for two. Jericho has been cut open. He charges with the ladder, but RVD drop toeholds him, sending Jericho’s face slamming into his own ladder. Van Dam goes up the ladder, but Jericho recovers and NAILS him with a chairshot. He busts out the Tarantula Liontamer on the top of the ladder. That looks silly and awkward, but at least it works in the context of the match, unlike when he did it to Benoit in their ladder match. Rob rolls to the floor and avoids Jericho’s dive, sending him into the barricade. Van Dam tries a suicida, but Jericho has a chair ready for him. That gets two. Back in, Rob gets two off a spinning wheel kick, but Jericho reverses the cover to a Fujiwara Armbar. Rob makes the ropes and pulls himself to the floor. Jericho grabs a chair and goes nuts on him. Stephanie bounces out and distracts Jericho long enough for Van Dam to hit the Van Daminator. That sets up the Five-Star Frogsplash at 16:34. Ross calls it a “five-star match.” Lousy smarks with their star ratings. I won’t go as far as JR, but this was darned good. Rob’s tendencies to go spot-spot-spot were reigned in here. ***3/4

  • In the back, Shane McMahon tells Booker to maintain focus.
  • WCW Heavyweight Title, Handicap Match: The Rock vs. Booker T & Shane McMahon.
    The Rock beat Booker straight up at Summerslam, but that didn’t quite bury Booker enough, so now they have to have Rock do it in a handicap match. But hey, at least Booker’s not Dallas Page. Rock destroys Booker early, so Shane tags in and runs away. Booker adds a kick from the outside to let Shane take over. Rock comes back with the Sharpshooter, but Booker breaks it up. Shane pulls down the top rope, tipping Rock to the floor. He adds a flying clothesline off the barrier and crotches the Rock on the ringpost. Booker catapults Rock into the ringpost. To the ring, Booker does the Spinaroonie but gets schoolboyed. He takes Rock out and sets him on the Spanish table. Rock fights back before Shane can come off the top on him. Back in, Shane tries to nail the Rock with the title belt, but Rock ducks, and Shane takes out Booker T. He tries a second time and nails the Rock. Evil WCW ref Nick Patrick allows it. It only gets two. Rock avoids a diving elbow from Shane. He fights back against both guys, but Shane jumps him from behind and goes for the Shane-O Elbow. Rock pops up and Rock Bottoms him, though. The spinebuster sets up the People’s Elbow, but Test runs down and boots Rock in the face. Bradshaw chases Test away with a baseball bat. Nick Patrick hurries out and shoves the Rock back in. Mike Chioda runs down and argues with Nick about the legality of that. Shane covers, but now Chioda drags him out. Booker gets two, but Chioda Spears Patrick out of the ring. Booker nails Chioda from behind and readies for the Book End. Rock fights out of it and hits the Rock Bottom as Earl Hebner runs down and counts three at 15:23. Silly and overbooked. Booker would slowly be jobbed out down the card from Taker to Austin to Edge until he was destroyed enough to be built back up. It’s like WCW is a cult, and the WWF was reprogramming him or something. **1/2

  • William Regal tells Torrie Wilson that he’s thinking of banning everyone from ringside for the next match. Tajiri gives him the puppy-dog eyes, though, so Regal relents.
  • Stacy Keibler joins us to show footage of her shaving her legs. That’s actually kind of gross. I mean, I appreciate that she shaves her legs, but I don’t need to see how the magician does his tricks, ya know?
  • U.S. Title: Tajiri (w/Torrie Wilson) vs. Rhyno.
    I’d say that giving Tajiri the U.S. Title buried the title, but thinking back, it lost all prestige after Ricky Steamboat had to give it up in 1994. Tajiri is coming in with taped ribs after beatings by both Steve Austin and Rhyno. He hits an Asai Moonsault early but hurts his ribs. To the ring, Tajiri counters a powerbomb to a rana for two. Rhyno takes over and chases Torrie Wilson around the ring. She breaks a heel and falls, so Rhyno preps for the Gore. Tajiri kicks him right in the face on the charge, though. That sets up the Octopus and then the Tarantula. Rhyno dumps him and hits a T-Bone Suplex to set up the GORE at 4:51. *

  • WWF Heavyweight Title: Steve Austin (w/Debra) vs. Kurt Angle.
    Austin got himself disqualified to save the title at Summerslam. He tossed Angle’s medals into the river, so Angle threatened to toss him into the river. Instead, he just blindfolded Austin and tossed him into a kiddy pool. Kurt is coming in with an injured neck at the hands of Austin, giving Ross a chance to veer into insanity by overselling every move as potentially life-threatening. Slugfest to start. Angle wins and starts stomping Austin all around the ring. Austin grabs a sleeper, but Angle jacks his jaw and clotheslines him out. Austin runs with the title, so Kurt chases him down and throws him off the ramp. Angle drags him all the way back to ringside and rips up the protective mats. Austin nails him from behind to take over, though. Austin preps for a piledriver on the floor, but Angle backdrops him. Angle tries a piledriver, but Austin backdrops him onto the concrete. Austin tosses Angle into the Spanish table. Austin systematically dismantles Angle, working over his neck. He ducks out and flips off Karen Angle. Back in, Austin grabs a chinlock, but Angle reverses, and they exchange nearfalls. Kurt hits Rolling Germans and goes up for the moonsault, but Austin crotches him. Angle reverses the backdrop suplex in mid-air but gets hit with a spinebuster. Kurt DDTs him to the floor and Stunners Austin as he rolls back in the ring. Austin slips out of the Angle Slam and hits his own Austin Slam for two. Austin hits a piledriver, which has Ross getting ready to go over to offer condolences to Angle’s family. It only gets two, though. He sets up for the Stunner, but Kurt grabs his foot and turns him over into the Anklelock for the submission at 23:10. Austin’s hand was under the ropes, which would lead to a rematch. Angle’s family and the WWF superstars all come out to celebrate with Kurt. The celebration would be short-lived, however, as Kurt would drop the title to Austin just a few weeks later and wind up joining the Alliance as a mole. Still, they *had* to do the switch here. ***1/4
  • The 411: Hey, if you cut out every other match, it's not bad. It's got too much filler and is just too reminiscent of all those bad booking decisions in 2001 to get a recommendation. The outcomes here were either reversed (Angle-Austin, Edge-Christian), counterproductive (The Rock-Booker/Shane) or downright horrible (BOD-Kronik). The one bright spot during the Summerslam-to-Survivor Series period was the emergence of Rob Van Dam as a main event presence. Of course, once he got a brief flirtation with the main event, they had him get squashed by the Undertaker. But that's another story.

    Mild thumbs down here.

    Final Score:  5.0   [ Not So Good ]  legend

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