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Random Network Reviews: Unforgiven 2006

December 5, 2015 | Posted by Kevin Pantoja
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Random Network Reviews: Unforgiven 2006  

Unforgiven 2006
September 17th, 2006 | Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada | Attendance: 16,105

Unforgiven was always a Pay-Per-View I rather enjoyed for some reason. This was the ninth installment and one of the more memorable. It features a TLC match, a Hell in a Cell match and Trish Stratus’ retirement match. The crowd in Canada is usually hot throughout, which can usually add something to a show.

Hell in a Cell and TLC are the two things focused on during the opening video package. Commentary is Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler.

WWE Intercontinental Championship
Johnny Nitro (c) w/ Melina vs. Jeff Hardy

Jim Ross starts by discussing Jeff Hardy’s “mysterious” few years away from the WWE. In other words, his time with TNA. Their first exchange features an awkward moment where they just get stuck. Jeff goes to an arm drag a few times while I have to hear Melina screech loudly. Jeff looks for the Swanton already, but Nitro rolls outside to avoid it. Jeff greets him with a baseball slide, followed by his run the guardrail attack. Jeff climbs again but Nitro leaps and dropkicks his knee, nearly causing a nasty spill. Nitro now focuses on the knee, which is wise since Jeff’s offense is heavily aerial based. It is fine in theory but it isn’t Nitro’s strong suit. He does do a decent Indian death lock but makes a mistake as he misses a corkscrew moonsault. Hardy gets near falls with a leg drop and Whisper in the Wind. Jeff hits the Swanton Bomb, but sells the leg and takes too long to cover. He forgot to sell it for a bit before that though. Melina gets knocked off the apron, leading to a rollup for two by Jeff. Jeff catches a leaping Nitro with a powerbomb, but Melina hits him with her shoe. Nitro lays over Hardy to steal it.

Winner and Still WWE Intercontinental Champion: Johnny Nitro in 17:36
Surprised to see these guys get so much time. I appreciate the effort but I think it may have been a bit long for them. Johnny Nitro’s leg work was good at times, but really dull and lackluster at others, however it made sense. Regardless, the crowd was red hot and this worked as a solid opening contest. They didn’t overdo anything but it was enjoyable. ***

In the back, Matt Hardy tells Jeff that he did great despite getting robbed. Lita comes over with the Women’s Title to get on her former buddies for being losers.

Kane vs. Umaga w/ Armando Alejandro Estrada
Armando’s opening spiel where he says his name, was super over. I reviewed a dull match between them that would happen almost two months later. As the two come to blows in the center of the ring, JR does his whole “THIS ONE WONT BE PRETTY” comment whenever two big guys fight. Umaga impresses early with a spinning heel kick and Flatliner outside. WHO BETTER THAN KANYON? Umaga is in firm control with the running ass attack. Lawler claims that move is called the ATM, which only makes me think ass to mouth. That can’t be right can it? Kane begins a rally by avoiding some offense and hitting his own. Chokeslam gets blocked, Kane blocks the Samoan Spike and awkwardly belly to belly suplexes Umaga over and out. They fight all the way through the crowd, leading to a double countout.

Double countout in 7:03
Perfectly acceptable big man brawl. Nothing of note but sometimes two big guys brawling can be fun. The finish isn’t ideal but it does a good job of protecting both guys. **

World Tag Team Championship
Spirit Squad (Mikey and Kenny) w/ Nicky, Johnny and Mitch (c) vs. The Highlanders

Nicky, or Dolph Ziggler, is wearing a belt but not working here. This is a good way to quiet a hot crowd. They don’t care about this at all. The Highlanders are in control early, which is different. Robbie dropkicks Kenny outside and follows with a suicide dive but completely misses. This allows for some Spirit Squad shenanigans outside. The legal Squad members do some double teams moves, though none are particularly impressive. Rory gets the tag and does hot tag stuff. A double team rebound flapjack gets two when Kenny breaks it up. Johnny hits a facebuster, or Johnny Go Round, to retain.

Winners and Still World Tag Team Champions: The Spirit Squad in 9:59
Basically, this was here. Nothing about it really belonged on a Pay-Per-View as it screamed Raw match that got a few too many minutes. I didn’t care, the fans didn’t care and there’s a reason for that.

Hell in a Cell
D-Generation X vs. ECW Champion Big Show, Shane McMahon and Vince McMahon

Big Show looks like he’s near death here. He wants to get things rolling but DX wisely double low blows him. That leads to them beating the hell out of Vince and Shane, who bleed within five minutes. Trips even uses a screwdriver. Once Big Show gets up, things seem to turn but DX together proves to be too much for him. When he does get back up, the tide finally turns. Shawn gets busted open and is launched like a dart into the cell. Vince is great here, turning from worried and bloodied, to much more confident. Shane pulls out a trash can and uses it for the Coast to Coast on Triple H. There is blood pouring out of Hunter’s ear, which looks sick. Show’s reaction is classic as he just laughs in his ear. Shane slingshots his brother-in-law into the cell, leading to another great shot of Vince’s reaction. Show does a Vader Bomb, which, considering his size here, may have killed HBK. Vince doesn’t think that’s enough though and picks up Shawn on two pin attempts. Trips low bridges Show to send him outside before going into his signature stuff on Vince. Shane does a Billy Graham backbreaker on HHH, which is impressive since Trips was pretty big at this point. Vince exposes his ass so Show can make Shawn kiss it. Triple H interrupts that and they take out Show by going after his groin again. DX is on a roll now. Shawn hits a flying elbow onto Shawn, who had a chair wrapped around his neck. That’s insane. Show brings in the 2000 pound steel steps but it backfires. DX drapes Show over the top rope and expose his ass, before sending Vince’s face right into it. He eats Sweet Chin Music before having a sledgehammer broken on his skull to end it.

Winners: D-Generation X in 25:04
Extremely brutal stuff here. The McMahons deserve a ton of credit for the things they put themselves through on these shows. Now, I don’t think this was one of the better Hell in a Cell matches ever, but it’s still damn good. Shane McMahon was the star for me, and he sold the internal injuries after the elbow like a pro. While I was never a fan of DX during this era, this match was the right blend of humiliating comedy and physical violence. ***½

WWE Women’s Championship
Lita (c) vs. Trish Stratus

As noted earlier, this is Trish Stratus’ last match and there is no more fitting opponent. Trish gets a quick near fall with a clothesline before busting out a fun head scissors. She then leaps from the apron with a Lou Thez Press. PISTON LIKE RIGHT HANDS! THE RATTLESNAKE STRIKES! Lita now moves to good old fashioned heel tactics here like choking on the middle rope. Trish gets in kicks and chops in the corner. The crowd is FULLY into this match. When Trish tries her handstand hurricanrana, Lita is wise to it due to their history and blocks. They spill to the outside hard. Inside, Lita goes for a moonsault but misses. It’s one of the better looking moonsaults at this stage of her career. Trish tries Stratusfaction but again, Lita knows it is coming and sends her outside. Lita talks smack, allowing Trish to rally only for Lita to hit a sweet Russian leg sweep. The girls come to blows before Trish hits the handstand hurricanrana. Chick Kick hits for two. Lita nearly counters Stratusfaction, but Trish goes for a sunset flip. Instead of pinning though, she gets up and locks in a Sharpshooter. That gets the biggest pop of the night so far and Lita taps.

Winner and New WWE Women’s Champion: Trish Stratus in 11:34
This was absolutely everything that it needed to be. The storied rivalry, the playing off their previous matches, the emotion of the fans and Trish and the finish were all perfect. I mean, I could nitpick Trish not working the leg or back much before the finish but I can’t get mad at her doing a damn Sharpshooter in Canada to win a record 7th Women’s Title. One of my favorite women’s matches in WWE PPV history. ***½

Randy Orton gets interviewed backstage and disses Canada and Trish Stratus to get that good old heel heat.

Carlito vs. Randy Orton
Just over two years earlier, Randy Orton became the youngest World Heavyweight Champion in this building. Carlito spits at Orton because that was his gimmick. It takes Orton off his game as Carlito springboards around and dropkicks him for two. Carlito hits two springboard splashes for near falls. He always looked awkward flying around the ring. He landed badly on Orton on one, causing him to bleed. Orton comes back with his favorite move besides the RKO, the chinlock. It ends quickly before Orton hits a powerslam. He’s really become incredibly smooth at that move. It didn’t look that good here. Carlito reels off some offense though it doesn’t last long. Carlito then makes the high risk mistake with a double springboard right into an RKO. That gets the crowd to their feet for the three count.

Winner: Randy Orton in 8:41
Probably my favorite RKO finish to a match ever. The match did a good job in making Carlito look like he could hang with Randy Orton, as Carlito made the one mistake that cost him this. It moved at a relatively quick pace and was pretty exciting throughout. I think this one could have benefited from another minute or two. ***¼

WWE Championship TLC Match
Edge (c) vs. John Cena

This is John Cena’s last shot at the belt and Edge certainly stacked the deck in his hometown and in a match he’s mastered. Edge is very emotional before the bell due to the reaction he gets. He’s beloved here as a heel, which is the opposite of his reaction as a face two years earlier in the same building. They start with some basic wrestling until Edge straight up slaps Cena, which gets a major pop. Our first big spot comes when two chairs are opened in the ring and Edge hits a reverse DDT onto them. Edge dropkicks a ladder into Cena’s face. Jerry Lawler is annoyingly trying to figure out why Edge is getting cheered. Cena comes back with a hip toss onto a ladder in the corner. He tries for a superplex through a table, but Edge fights off. He tries to sunset flip bomb him into it, but Cena, as he is known to do, botches the move as he just seems to NEVER want to take that spot. Edge recovers with a powerslam through it. Edge has been in control, which makes sense considering his history in these matches. Cena sweeps him up and sandwiches him in the ladder. In a pretty sweet spot, he puts on the ugly STF while Edge is in the ladder. Edge taps, but of course that means nothing here. I can’t help but laugh as I see Cena FU the ladder onto Edge. He takes the Five Knuckle Shuffle to the next level by doing it off a ladder. Nobody has tried to take down the belt yet. Cena sets up a table but turns around into one of those unprotected chair shots that are banned now. Edge sets up a table on the one Cena set up, but gets knocked off the top. We finally get someone climbing only for Edge to leap from another ladder and Spear Cena off. It’s like the WrestleMania X-Seven spot on a smaller scale. After some time, Cena powerbomb throws Edge into an open ladder. Cena is extremely close to winning, only for Lita to come out and tilt the ladder over, sending him back first through a table outside. The crowd LOVED this. Edge ascends but Cena is all like SUPERCENATIME! Lita hits him with a chair that knocks him into the ladder which knocks Edge off and through a table. Cena takes her because that chair shot must not have hurt. Now we get SUPEREDGE as he is quickly up to greet Cena up top. Cena wins the battle with an FU off the ladder through the two tables. He retrieves the belt and wins to the crowd’s dismay.

Winner and New WWE Champion: John Cena in 25:28
I would consider this an expertly booked TLC match. Edge was the master of this match type and held serve throughout. John Cena had to dig down deep to pull this out. The spots to go along with that story were, for the most part, pretty great. One of the better TLC matches in history. ****

The final score: review Very Good
The 411
An all-around great effort from most of the people on the card. A lot of the time, the single branded PPVs lacked but this didn’t. The only thing that’s really not worth your time is the Tag Team Titles match. Besides that you have a great TLC match, brutal Hell in a Cell match, fun opener and Carlito/Orton match, along with one of the better women’s matches in WWE PPV history. I couldn’t ask for much more from this show.

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Unforgiven 2006, WWE, Kevin Pantoja