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Kevin’s Random Reviews: WWF Unforgiven 2005

January 20, 2019 | Posted by Kevin Pantoja
WWF Unforgiven 2005
5.5
The 411 Rating
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Kevin’s Random Reviews: WWF Unforgiven 2005  

WWE Unforgiven 2005
September 18th, 2005 | Ford Center in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma | Attendance: 8,000

The mid-2000s are always strange years for me to look back on. I was a teenager and my parents stopped ordering Pay-Per-Views, while my interests were elsewhere. Plus, I found out about other wrestling like TNA and ROH, which were where most of my wrestling attention was paid. Most of the events from this era are things I’ve never seen before, including this one. This was a Raw brand exclusive event. It was the eighth Unforgiven event. A cool note is that this is the only WWE PPV in history held in Oklahoma.

Our show opened with a video package to hype the Kurt Angle/John Cena main event. Jim Ross, Jonathan Coachman and Jerry Lawler were on commentary.

WWE Intercontinental Championship: Carlito [c] vs. Ric Flair
The storyline for this was that Carlito was a disrespectful little shit. That played into the match, as Carlito’s first sign of getting an upper hand saw him steal Flair’s signature strut. Flair’s shoulder became the focal point of the match after he got thrown into some steel steps. Carlito’s work on the arm was ultimately fine, but uninspired and not very interesting. It was all basic, as if he didn’t know anything beyond that yet. His arsenal was still rather limited. The surprise of the match came when Flair successfully hit top rope offense. The crowd reacted perfectly, as it was something he always failed to do. Flair got too excited and tried again, eating a dropkick. It was Carlito’s turn to make the mistake, going to bite the apple. Flair leveled him and locked in the Figure Four to a THUNDEROUS pop. Carlito tapped and Flair won the title at 11:46. As noted, a lot of Carlito’s heat segment was dull. Flair brought fire, the crowd was mental, and the top rope spot was fun. [**½]

After the match, Flair put over the win as meaning as much as any of his 16 World Titles. He then left to party with random women. You gotta love Flair.

In the locker room, Edge and Lita talked about their affair. They bragged about doing things just after Matt Hardy hung up the phone with Lita.

Ashley Massaro and WWE Women’s Champion Trish Stratus vs. Torrie Wilson and Victoria w/ Candice Michelle
This was Trish’s big return after four or so months away. She dealt with an injury but remained champion. It was also Ashley’s first PPV match. Trish got to showcase her stuff early. Then, we got Ashley showing that she knows a move or two before ending up as the face in peril. Unfortunately, she didn’t know how to sell or elicit emotion, so it didn’t work too well. However, I appreciated them pulling out the “hot tag behind the referee’s back” spot. It’s a classic. The fans popped for Trish’s true tag and she got her hands on Candice when she tried cheating. Trish took care of her opponents with a bulldog/head scissors combo and the Chick Kick on Victoria to win in 7:05. Decent. Better than I expected, for sure. They let Victoria and Trish handle the bulk of the stuff. [*¾]

In the parking lot, Ric Flair continued to celebrate with the ladies. He kissed one and took Viagra before getting in the limo with them. The one he kissed would go on to be one of his wives.

Big Show vs. Snitsky
ZZ Top was shown in the front row before the match. There’s no way I’d ever come into this with expectations. Even with my limited hopes, they still barely reached them. Snitsky got walloped early but took control with a dull heat segment. That set up a generic Big Show comeback. Though it was nothing of interest, the fans did chant positively for Big Show. He won with the Chokeslam at 6:11. This happened. Moving on. [¾*]

Post-match, Show knocked Snitsky out with the ring bell as a measure of revenge for Snitsky doing the same to him in the build. Before leaving, Show came back and hit him with the bell a second time.

Ric Flair’s limo was shown with smoke coming out of it. Not like it was on fire, but like Flair was smoking in the back.

In an oddly placed decision, a video package ran to hype Chris Masters vs. Shawn Michaels, which doesn’t happen until later.

Kerwin White vs. Shelton Benjamin
I usually like to forget that Kerwin White was a thing. Shelton came out firing, sending White reeling. The fans chanted “Chavo Sucks” when he took over. He corrected the fans on his name. White focused on Shelton’s leg, which made sense to take away a lot of the athleticism that was most of Shelton’s game. Strangely, they opted to provide us with Spanish commentary at one point during the match. Maybe it was because of Chavo’s true heritage. Shelton’s comeback got stalled when he tried going up top with the bad leg, causing him to eat a superplex. White couldn’t keep Shelton down, so he tried using his golf club. Instead, he walked into an Exploder and Shelton won at 8:06. It was technically fine, but lacked anything resembling drama or intrigue. [**]

In the back, Matt Hardy got interviewed about the upcoming match. He called Lita a bitch and ran down the reasons why this feud was so personal.

Steel Cage Match: Edge w/ Lita vs. Matt Hardy
Their SummerSlam and Raw matches didn’t get proper finishes, setting up this rematch. WWE tends to produce lackluster cage matches. Thankfully, this one was exciting and made sense. Edge attempted to find a way out of the structure early, while Matt was eager to be trapped with his rival and give out a beating. It was clear why, as Matt mostly dominated the early stages. Edge blocked an avalanche Side Effect by smashing Matt’s head into the cage, turning the tide. Now, it was Edge’s turn to enjoy dishing out the punishment. Things picked up in a big way with a powerbomb off the top from Edge. Instead of that continuing Edge’s string of offense, it triggered back and forth action that truly got this going. Edge tried using his Money in the Bank briefcase as a weapon and had Lita attempt to get involved, but it was him who ended up in more trouble as he got busted wide open. Lita still found her way into the cage to save Edge, only to take a Twist of Fate to a huge pop. In the end, Matt could’ve left but took a page out of Jeff’s book and jumped off the top of the cage with a massive leg drop to win at 21:33. A cage match done right. It had the bitter fight feel that it needed. Lita was used the right amount, they didn’t overdo the false finishes, and had a molten crowd. [****¼]

Backstage, John Cena was getting taped up before the main event. Raw General Manager Eric Bischoff came up to him to say he’ll need more tape by the end of the night and that he can’t win. Cena responded by putting tape on Bischoff’s mouth.

World Tag Team Championship: The Hurricane and Rosey [c] vs. Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch
What a dark time for the tag team division. I say that, but I did really enjoy Hurricane and Rosey. They were a ton of fun. Cade and Murdoch beat the champs in non-title action in their debut. The early attempts to isolate Hurricane failed and caused the challengers to regroup outside. It was Murdoch hit a DDT off the apron, complete with his ugly mug looking into the camera afterwards, that the challengers took real control. Though Rosey was the big man of the match, he was left alone and the numbers game hurt. It got so bad, Hurricane had to be helped to the back during the match. He stopped his help and made it back to the ring, only to fall to Sweet and Sour at 7:40. Nothing special, but some solid tag wrestling. I enjoyed the twist on the expected Hurricane as the face in peril situation. [**¼]

In the parking lot, Ric’s wife stepped out of the limo in his robe for a breather.

Maria Kanellis interviewed Chris Masters about facing Shawn Michaels tonight. She asked why they called him the “Masturbate.” Joking about your heels usually gets them over. Right?

Chris Masters vs. Shawn Michaels
What would help get Masters over is a strong performance against HBK. He went for the Master Lock before the bell, trying to wear out Michaels. It honestly just pissed off Michaels. He took it right to Masters for the opening minutes. Of course, the heel took control and put the focus on Shawn’s back. I like that idea because of the Master Lock and Shawn’s back injury history. While it’s a strong idea in theory, it suffered from Masters still being too green to have an interesting heat segment in his playbook. Where the match picked up was for Shawn’s comeback sequence. It’s nothing new, but he always brings energy there. They sold the hell out of the Master Lock when Shawn’s only hope to get free was to low blow Chris behind the official’s back. Great desperation stuff. He still got put in the move and nearly passed out, but found a clever way to use the ropes to his advantage. He slipped free of a final attempt and hit Sweet Chin Music from out of nowhere to win in 16:44. That was good. Some of Masters’ heat was dull, but Shawn was his usual great self as a sympathetic babyface. The Master Lock was protected and cleverly utilized, while the finish was cool. [***]

To his theme, Ric Flair got out of the limo and did the Flair flop on the concrete. Okay, that was funny.

WWE Championship: John Cena [c] vs. Kurt Angle
Angle was in full “Wrestling Machine” mode. This was a smart match to book because Angle was a legitimate threat to the title, could solidify Cena’s reign, and they had some great matches in the past. The story here was that Cena had no chance to outwrestle the master, but he could fight him. Cena tried the wrestling early and got beat at it, giving Angle the upper hand. Kurt just dominated Cena on the mat. He wore him down and had the upper hand as long as they remained on the mat. Cena brought fire to his comebacks and used his power to fuel them. Still, the fans were behind Angle and bit on close calls with the Ankle Lock and Angle Slam. It was Cena who scored a visual win with the FU after a ref bump. Eric Bischoff came out and shouted at Cena while he was in the Ankle Lock. Cena escaped just when Bischoff tried calling for the bell to screw him. In the commotion, the ref woke up to see Cena clock Angle with the WWE Title and call for the DQ at 17:15. A good main event but one that never sniffed their previous matches. I liked the story they told, it just lacked some excitement early and the finish was clearly there to set up a rematch only, making most of this moot. [***¼]

Bischoff demanded the referee not hand Cena the title. He took an FU for his troubles, only for Angle to get involved. The two men brawled, ending with Cena hitting an FU through an announce table.

5.5
The final score: review Not So Good
The 411
I wanted to like this show more. There were some good matches on paper, though most underwhelmed. I did think the main event was solid, Edge/Hardy was a great cage match, and Masters/HBK worked well enough. Other than that, though, you get a lot of filler. Carlito/Flair was the next best thing and that was a weekly TV style match at best. Everything else is easy to skip.
legend

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