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Kevin’s Random Reviews: WWE Unforgiven 2003

October 12, 2018 | Posted by Kevin Pantoja
WWE Unforgiven 2003
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Kevin’s Random Reviews: WWE Unforgiven 2003  

WWE Unforgiven 2003
September 21st, 2003 | Giant Center in Hershey, Pennsylvania | Attendance: 10,347

2003 feels like a blur to me. I don’t remember many specifics from the year and this show is included in that haze. There is one thing that I recall, which I’ll point out when the time comes. This was a Raw exclusive Pay-Per-View, coming during Triple H’s “reign of doom” or whatever folks call it. It’ll be interesting to see how this PPV feels some fifteen years later. It was the sixth of eleven Unforgiven events.

The opening video package focuses on the World Heavyweight Title match. Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler were on commentary.

World Tag Team Championship Handicap Tables Match: La Resistance [c] vs. The Dudley Boyz
It was scheduled to be a six-man tag, but La Resistance basically murdered Spike Dudley with an infamous table spot two weeks prior on Raw. It’s rough. This got off to a lackluster start, as it followed traditional tag rules. Why is that the case in a Tables match? The impatient fans chanted for tables within about two minutes. D-Von was first to go through the table. That put Bubba down 3-1, though D-Von was allowed to remain part of the match. Bubba suplexed Sylvan through a table to cut into their lead. The Dudleys then put Rob Conway through a table with the same spot that injured Spike. Luckily, it went a bit better this time. They left Rene Dupree alone to fall victim to a 3D that gave the Dudleys the titles in 10:12. I didn’t like this. Having the traditional tag rules hurt the first portion and near the end, it just felt like they were moving from one table spot to the next. [*½]

They honestly ran a video package to hype the next match, which is the epitome of a midcard feud.

Scott Steiner vs. Test
Stacy Keibler came out first. Winner gets her services. JR had to get in his obligatory football reference during Steiner’s entrance. Stacy liked Scott, so he got the love before the match, which allowed Test to jump him. Test took control with various cheap tactics while the crowd sat on their hands. Scott looked pretty bad, though he hit a solid belly to belly at one point. When Test tried using the ropes for leverage on a pin, Stacy knocked them off. Test hit the pumphandle slam, so Stacy flashed her ass to the crowd for a distraction. He chased her around the ring, which led to a hilariously bad bump when she collided into Steiner. More miscommunication came when she accidentally cracked Scott with a steel chair. A Test big boot later and it was over at 7:01. That sucked. The wrestling was bad and the nonsense involving Stacy was all poorly done. [*]

Randy Orton w/ Ric Flair vs. Shawn Michaels
This is the match I was excited for when this show originally aired. It was time to see if Orton was for real. Shawn took Randy to school right from the start. He was the wily vet. There was a great spot where Orton skinned the cat, showing he had the athleticism that Shawn relied on in the past. Of course, Shawn did it right back to show him how it was done. Orton managed to take control, with Flair getting in his fair share of cheap shots. JR spent the entire match putting over Shawn’s heart and resilience. It paid off well when Orton wore him down, with Shawn selling his ass off. Shawn began the comeback, which included knocking Flair off the apron a few times. Orton blocked the Sweet Chin Music and hit the RKO for a great near fall. It didn’t hurt the move, as he took a while to make the cover. When that failed, Orton threw it back with a flying cross body and missed. That led to Sweet Chin Music and Shawn got the three count. BUT WAIT! Flair put Randy’s foot on the rope. The referee decided that wasn’t the ending and Randy knocked out Shawn with brass knuckles to steal it in 19:40. The best match of Randy’s career to this point. They told a great story of cocky youngster against the vet and their work was crisp. My main gripe was that the finish was too convoluted and came off weakly. [***½]

Backstage, Chris Jericho spoke with La Resistance about his crusade to stop Steve Austin’s bullying ways.

Gail Kim and Molly Holly vs. Lita and Trish Stratus
I reviewed this for the Lita and Trish Collection on the WWE Network. It’s the PPV debut for Kim and the second PPV team up of Trish and Lita. In fact, Lita and Trish went back to that 2001 partnership and pulled out their version of Poetry in Motion. Trish took the heat segment, to set up a hot tag for the recently returned Lita. Lita took a bump off the apron that caused a busted lip. Her hot tag left a lot to be desired. Lita used the moonsault to win in 6:47. This was fine. The work was solid and the tag formula was executed well. The crowd was kind of dead, though. [**¼]

Last Man Standing Match: Kane vs. Shane McMahon
Losing his mask sent Kane off the deep end, which led him to attack Linda McMahon. Shane, ever the momma’s boy, returned to get revenge. Shane jumped Kane during his entrance, getting this off to a violent start. Shane’s barrage of chair shots weren’t enough to keep Kane down. Kane took over and brought the steel steps into play. BUT THEY WEIGH 2 MILLION POUNDS! However, that just led to a cool coast to coast dropkick with the steps. Kane should’ve lost to that, but the referee was down. Didn’t expect a ref bump in a match like this. Kane’s breathing began sounding weird to the point of being distracting. He beat Shane up from the ring all the way up to the stage. Kane turned the entire Spanish announce table over on Shane, but I guess Shane avoided it and came out firing. That led to the Shane spot we always look forward to, as he jumped off the tron structure. He missed and crashed through a platform. Kane got up and beat the count to win in 19:32. Good effort from both guys to have a car crash kind of match. It was slow at some points, but that’s hard to avoid in this kind of match. It was booked about as well as it could’ve been. [***]

Backstage, Chris Jericho confronted Steve Austin about the things that have been happening on Raw lately. He promised to make Austin’s life a living hell.

WWE Intercontinental Championship: Christian [c] vs. Chris Jericho vs. Rob Van Dam
Oh, this could be a sleeper. Vitamin C had a partnership, so RVD was in trouble. RVD cut that off with a moonsault press to the outside and got going. Of course, in a Triple Threat match, pairing up only works for a short time. Jericho and Christian eventually disagreed. RVD and Jericho went at it for a bit, while Christian seemed to play some possum outside. Despite them seemingly doing a lot, the match moved at a snail’s pace. Things finally picked up with a Tower of Doom type spot. Christian brought the title into play as a weapon, but ended up on his back. RVD went up for the Five Star Frog Splash, but Christian got the title up and RVD crashed onto it. That allowed Christian to roll over and retain in 18:39. This was a case of three good wrestlers getting time on a PPV and not clicking. It wasn’t terrible, it just never connected the way it should have. [**½]

Backstage, Triple H got interviewed and said he didn’t believe the Goldberg hype. He was going to end his career tonight.

Al Snow and Jonathan Coachman vs. Jerry Lawler and Jim Ross
The winning team gets to be the Raw commentary team. There was no commentary for this, so we could hear everything they said in the ring. Lawler and Snow handled most of the ring work. It’s technically fine, but boring. Lawler avoided a back body drop with a Piledriver. Coach tagged himself in and took a beating from Lawler. JR got the tag, which the fans wanted, and looked as rough as you’d expect. Poor guy. Though he beat up Coach, Chris Jericho ran in and dropkicked him behind the referee’s back. Coach covered and won in 7:55. That should’ve never been booked. [DUD]

Chris Jericho claimed he did this to get at Stone Cold.

World Heavyweight Championship vs. Career: Triple H [c] vs. Goldberg
Obviously, if Goldberg loses, he must leave WWE. HHH gets no Evolution at ringside and a countout or DQ finish costs him the title. They worked this at a methodical pace, and without the benefit of the smoke and mirrors that come with overbooking, it suffered. This is not the kind of match Goldberg should be working. Combine his limitations with Triple H working through a groin injury and you’ve got a bad mix. They brought in some overbooking after a ref bump and HHH used the sledgehammer. However, when HHH got back in the ring, Goldberg basically no sold it. He delivered the Spear and the Jackhammer to win the title in 14:42. It’s like WWE never got what made Goldberg work in WCW. Or they did and purposely went against it. Either way, this was lethargic and not a good way to close the show. [*¾]

The final score: review Not So Good
The 411
An average event. Nothing really stood out as something you need to see, while only one match felt truly terrible. There’s a disappointing Intercontinental Title match, a solid Last Man Standing match, and a pretty good women’s tag. The main thing worth checking out is HBK/Orton, especially if you’re an Orton fan.