Unforgive 2002 – Benoit, Angle, Guerrero and Edge. Do You Need More?

Unforgiven 2002
Date: September 22, 2002
Location: Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
Attendance: 16,000
Commentators: Michael Cole, Tazz, Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

This is a show I forgot existed. It’s in a pretty weak time for the company as the world title had split less than three weeks before this. The main events are RVD challenging HHH and Taker challenging Brock for the Smackdown title. Other than that we have Stephanie performing Hot Lesbian Action and Benoit vs. Angle. I can’t wait to get to that Benoit and Angle so let’s get to it.

The opening video is about how cool it is to have two world title matches. Man would that voiceover chick be disappointed today.

The theme song is Adrenaline from XXX so I can’t complain there.

Un-Americans vs. Bubba Ray Dudley/Kane/Booker T/Goldust

Just an 8 man tag here to make the fans be all happy to see evil foreigners (is Dudleyville in America?) lose. I guess Spain isn’t an evil foreign country anymore. Storm and Christian are the Raw tag champs here. Goldust is the hometown boy here and he starts with Christian. Goldie cleans house and it’s off to Bubba vs. Storm. Bubba has no issues abusing some foreigners and a flapjack gets two.

Test comes in to beat on Goldie a bit so JR talks about having breakfast. Booker comes in to a big pop (he was on fire at this point) and beats up Test. Regal has about the same luck, getting caught in What’s Up. And it’s table time! I wonder what would happen if Bubba didn’t have an underling to tell to get the tables.

Booker gets beaten down again as we’re just waiting on the hot tag to Kane who is on a huge roll at this point. That shows why he’s in the opening 8 man tag I guess. How dare he get on a roll like that? Christian comes in for a chinlock but Goldust makes the save. Booker grabs the sweet spinning sunset flip out of the corner and a spinebuster for two.

Here’s Kane who looks a lot slimmer than I remember him. He destroys everything in sight like any good monster. Everything breaks down and everyone snaps off their finishers (including a Spinarooni and Shattered Dreams to Christian) and a chokeslam to Storm ends this after Kane knocks the brass knucks out of Regal’s hand.

Rating: C+. Just an 8 man tag here but the ending was fun and the fans are into things now. There’s very little you can do that will get fans going more than playing to their patriotism and this did that in droves. Wrestling fans are a very patriotic bunch and if you don’t believe me, just as the Real American.

Stephanie gives Billy and Chuck a pep talk. The idea is that if they lose, Stephanie has to make out with some chick. If they win, Eric has to kiss her….uh…..yeah you get the idea.

Intercontinental Title: Chris Jericho vs. Ric Flair

Flair beat him last month to set this up. Jericho is champion and is the heel. Flair isn’t a total mess yet and could still have a mostly watchable match at this point. In order to set this up. Flair lost to Rico on Raw. What that has to do with this is beyond me and how it makes him look like a challenger to Jericho is beyond me too but whatever. Figure Four is countered quickly and a baseball slide puts Flair down on the outside.

Missile dropkick gets two and I’ll leave it up to you to figure out who hit that. JR and Lawler are talking about how Flair has to be about ready to retire. How scary is it that Flair is still technically active while Jericho has retired for all intents and purposes? Abdominal stretch goes on but Flair escapes and turns it into a brawl, sending Jericho into the railing and then back inside. He can still do his basic stuff which is enough to keep things going well enough.

It’s time for the knee but the Figure Four is countered into a small package for two. Lionsault misses and Jericho might have jammed his knee. Jericho says he’s injured and asks Flair for mercy but of course he’s fine. He grabs the Walls and Flair has to give it up for the pretty surprising submission. A heel just won a match with a submission against a big name opponent. That’s not something I was expecting.

Rating: C-. The idea here is that Flair has lost a step which I think everyone knew coming in. That’s an old Flair trick but Flair fell for it here, which is to say he’s not thinking as much out there. Now why did we need to have a title match on PPV for that? Also, Flair actually tapped out to a move? That just doesn’t fit at all.

Bischoff tells 3 Minute Warning to win tonight for Bischoff’s sake. Rico will be in their corner tonight.

Shaq is here.

Edge vs. Eddie Guerrero

This is about respect or something. Also Edge caused Rikishi to give Eddie some Stinkfaces. Eddie runs to start and suckers Edge in to take over. And scratch that as he walks into a powerslam for two. Eddie tops that with a SWEET tornado DDT for two. He hooks on a unique submission where he’s in the position for a victory roll but hooks the arms back on the mat and works on the neck.

Belly to back gets two for Eddie and he hooks a front facelock to keep the attack on the neck. Simple psychology but it works. Eddie pounds away but Edge knocks his block off with a right hand and both guys are down. That was quite a right hand as it keeps both guys down for a count of six. A spear attempt eats corner and Eddie is all fired up. Edge gets a pair of rollups for four and a neckbreaker to put both guys down again.

Edge starts his comeback with his usual stuff but it’s a lot more crisp as he hasn’t injured his neck for the first time here so he’s a lot faster than you might be accustomed to. Eddie grabs a jawbreaker and the fans seem to be behind Edge here. Latino Heat tries a springboard rana but gets caught in a sitout powerbomb for two. Another spear misses but Edge grabs the Edgecution for two. Edge misses a missile dropkick and Eddie loosens a buckle. Eddie gets sent into said buckle and speared into the corner. They go up and Eddie hits a sunset bomb with the tights for the pin.

Rating: B. This was very fun stuff and the ending was the right move with Eddie cheating to win the match also. There are arguments to have either guy win here but Edge losing was a nice surprise and the match was excellent fast paced stuff that is probably going to be the best match of the night until Benoit vs. Angle.

HHH goes to see RVD and says Rob doesn’t have the fire in him or something. Flair is there too and gets made fun of as well. Trash talking isn’t RVD’s strong suit.

We recap 3 Minute Warning vs. Billy and Chuck. This was one of those things that only happens in wrestling and soap operas. So Billy and Chuck were going to have a “commitment ceremony” (and yes it’s exactly what it sounds like) and the justice of the peace was really old. He started talking about how this could last and said it could be three minutes. He then changed his voice and pulled his face off, revealing that it was Bischoff in a prosthetic mask. The fat guys (Jamal and Rosey) beat up Billy and Chuck after that. Stephanie did the same on Raw and the match happened as a result.

Billy and Chuck vs. 3 Minute Warning

Here they’re just Rosey and Jamal but the 3 minute idea was still around. Jamal is more famous as Umaga. The fight starts immediately and Rico kicks Chuck in the head to take over. Rosey vs. Chuck starts us off. Cole talks about all of the people that 3 Minute Warning has beaten up, calling them a who’s who of wrestling: Shawn Stasiak, D’Lo Brown, Mini-dust, lesbians, Mae Young and Moolah just to name a few. I’m not here any more. I’m over there. That blew me away.

This is the fat boys’ debut and the fans make gay chants at Rico. A middle rope moonsault misses Chuck and this isn’t an incredibly interesting match. Billy comes in and cleans house but then tries to ram the Samoans’ heads together. And people wonder why he gets made fun of. Anyway, Rosey goes up for a splash but Chuck saves….by throwing him off the top with the hopes that Billy isn’t there anymore I guess. Jamal cleans house and superkicks Chuck but walks into a Fameasser. Rico comes in for a distraction and a Samoan Drop ends Billy to set up HLA later.

Rating: D. Well this was uh…..pointless? Why did this need to happen on PPV again? The match wasn’t very good at all and was just here to set up an angle later on in the night, which I’m sure won’t have any shenanigans at all. Billy and Chuck would split very soon after this after losing in the first round of the Smackdown tag title tournament.

Bischoff is very happy and various lesbians want to kiss Stephanie. They just all happen to be young and attractive. Most lesbians I know really aren’t.

We recap HHH vs. RVD. HHH was awarded the first World Heavyweight Championship and Van Dam won a fatal fourway elimination match to get the shot.

Raw World Title: Rob Van Dam vs. HHH

HHH is clean shaven and the look isn’t really working for him. Feeling out process to start and Jerry implies RVD is high. Jerry makes more pot jokes as HHH takes over using power moves. HHH heads to the floor so RVD gets a bottle of water from somewhere and does the HHH spit. They’re still in the opening part here as it’s back and forth stuff with no one really trying anything big yet.

Van Dam uses his kicks to get two and we’re back on the mat with the headlock again. Rob tries a big dive to the floor but HHH just steps to the side and Van Dam crashes HARD, giving us our first major advantage. HHH beats on him out there a bit which gets two back in the ring. They go to the floor and RVD takes over by ramming HHH into the table. High knee gets two for the champ.

HHH goes up top and gets caught. Well he is a Flair student after all. HHH hooks up a sleeper which he was using a lot more often at this point. Van Dam gets a kick in to take over and they slug it out a bit. Modified rolling thunder gets two. Van Dam does his rolling monkey flip out of the corner and a middle rope kick out of the corner sets up Rolling Thunder for two.

Van Dam dives out to the floor and HHH is in trouble. A top rope kick (it’s that one footed dropkick that he hits all the time) gets two. Trips grabs a facebuster but down goes the referee. RVD takes him down but there’s no referee. The Pedigree is countered into a slingshot and RVD is feeling froggy. What exactly is froggy? Does he want to eat bugs? The splash hits but there’s no referee again. A low blow puts Rob down and it’s sledgehammer time. Here’s Flair, the guy HHH called old and worthless earlier…and of course he hits Rob with the hammer and a Pedigree keeps the title on HHH.

Rating: C-. It’s ok but that’s being generous. There’s just nothing going on here and the turn makes almost no sense at all. This would be the beginning of the Evolution period and it feels like the show should end here, but we’ve got well over an hour to go. That shot of HHH standing tall with Flair would be the scene for about a year and a half and it got really dull really fast.

D’Lo Brown and Kidman are in the back when a guy from the Young and the Restless comes up. Brown is a soap opera geek apparently. He wants to know if there’s something going on on the side but the actor says he’s a married man. Dawn Marie comes up and takes him away. This might be the most pointless scene in WWE history. Let that sink in for a minute.

Women’s Title: Trish Stratus vs. Molly Holly

It’s not Time to Rock and Roll yet and Molly is probably going to be cannon fodder to give Trish another reign. Typical Diva stuff to start with Trish being 26 and mostly awesome at this point. This is during the Molly is a Virgin thing and Jerry implies he’d like to pop her. Molly takes over and rams Trish’s head into the steps. The announcers take a chance to talk about where the show is airing, which is a giveaway that the match is just filler.

Molly puts on a chinlock and we’re running with an anchor. JR isn’t happy that Stephanie is going to have to perform HLA. Small package gets two for Trish. A bulldog out of nowhere gets two. It didn’t use the ropes though so I guess kicking out of it is ok. Chick Kick gets two. Molly hits a handspring corner smash for two. Trish gets sent into the ropes and comes off with the Rey Mysterio sitout bulldog for the pin.

Rating: D-. It doesn’t fail because Trish looks good in tight pants. This was so boring I could barely stand sitting through it. The whole division was pretty awful until it got to Trish vs. Lita every month and we added some more girls like Gail and Mickie (who really helped it). Still though, this was boring filler.

Trish is happy.

Bischoff and Rico party with the lesbians. Rico leaves with 3 Minute Warning and the girls. Weren’t they lesbians? Two of the chicks stay behind to do the stuff with Stephanie later.

We recap Angle vs. Benoit and does this really need a recap? Angle got a Stinkface and Benoit thought it was funny so Angle got mad. Another feud began. Benoit got a Stinkface thanks to Angle and the match was made.

Chris Benoit vs. Kurt Angle

The YOU SUCK chants are extra loud tonight. They go to the mat quickly after hitting the floor and you know I can’t keep up with these two. A Crossface attempt doesn’t work and it’s a standoff. Ankle lock attempt has the same result. We get an INCREDIBLE pinfall reversal sequence that ends in a Crossface attempt and Kurt hits the floor to a round of applause from the fans.

Kurt finally is like screw this and throws Benoit to the floor. Back in and Kurt hooks a body vice but Benoit grabs the leg into a submission of his own. Benoit avoids a charge and Kurt goes into the post twice. As you might expect him to do, Benoit goes right for the bad shoulder but walks into a belly to belly to break the momentum. This is a chess match as you would expect from these two. The question is how high can it get on the classic scale.

The Canadian hits some Germans on the American but the American counters the Canadian’s German to hit some American Germans on the Canadian but the Canadian counters into a German on the American but the American counters the Canadian to hit three Germans on the Canadian and everyone is down. That gets another round of applause.

Angle Slam is countered but Chris gets a release German to send Angle flying onto his face to put both guys down again. Benoit sets for the swan dive but Angle runs the corner and hits the belly to belly for two. AWESOME stuff here. Ankle lock is countered quickly and Benoit gets him into a tombstone position but drops into a shoulderbreaker. See, THAT is smart.

Swan dive hits but Benoit can’t cover immediately. Kurt kicks out so Benoit throws the Crossface on…..but Angle grabs the ankle lock WHILE HE’S STILL IN THE CROSSFACE! WOW. Ankle lock goes on but Benoit reverses into the Crossface which is reversed into the ankle lock but Benoit grabs the rope. Angle hooks a Crossface on Benoit and pushes the rope away with his foot. Benoit rolls through the Crossface and rolls Kurt up, putting his own feet on the ropes to steal the pin. He was still a tweener/heel at this point so it’s ok.

Rating: A. Oh come on it’s Benoit vs. Angle. Were you expecting anything less than this? This was a very fun match and some of the counters and thinking they were using out there was incredible, especially the ankle lock while in the Crossface. This was their usual masterpiece and somehow their match in January was even better which blows my mind every time I think about it.

Lesnar and Heyman say it’s been personal with Undertaker and it started when Taker tried to take the title from him in the first place.

Time for HLA! Fink: “Accompanied by THE LESBIANS”. And again, most lesbians do not look like this. The girls are about to kiss but Eric says he’s changed his mind. He brings out Stephanie who looks good here too. The song talking about her coming from the grime and grit takes away from it though. Bischoff implies a threesome with the two lesbians and the crowd is happy. Lawler is losing it. Stephanie has her jacket taken off and Eric says she should need a massage. The blonde goes to kiss Stephanie and Bischoff changes his mind again, sending the girls to the back.

Stephanie has to stay because Bischoff has a special lesbian in mind. He brings out “the fattest, ugliest, most repulsive I could find.” Lawler: “Not Rosie!” Ok point for a funny line. Here’s the chick and yeah it’s Rikishi in drag. You know, because Bischoff is so blind that he just didn’t notice right? The announcers don’t recognize him because good people in wrestling are idiots. Her name is Hildegard. I give up. She’s been in prison too. Can we just get to Bischoff’s Stinkface already?

By the way, this is what we mean when we say insulting to the fans’ intelligence. Stephanie kisses him hard and Bischoff freaks. Superkick to Bischoff and the makeup/prostheics/wig come off. There’s the Stinkface and oh good night he’s wearing a bra. We got Benoit vs. Angle cut off for this? Tell me, who finds this kind of stuff funny or witty? So let me get this straight: either Stephanie planned ALL of this (and to say that requires a lot of stretching is an understatement) or Bischoff is the stupidest man of all time. I’m going with somewhere in the middle.

Brock vs. Taker gets the music video treatment. Taker is Brock’s first challenger after Brock took the title from The Rock at Summerslam. Taker’s wife (Sara, not Michelle) got involved and Brock stalked her to make this personal. This included the worst chair shot ever as the chair might have come within a foot of Taker’s head It looked awful. The point of the video is Brock destroys legends and Taker has been around for ten years (12 at this point but with a company that put on that previous segment, counting might be a bit much to ask). At least the song is catchy.

Smackdown World Title: Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar

Brock goes right up to Taker and Taker shoves him back. They exchange power displays to start and Taker wins early. Brock is hot on the floor after a headlock gets broken. They have a lot of time here. Taker busts out an armdrag of all things and they keep up their power match. Old School puts Brock down and Taker kicks Heyman off the apron, but it lets Brock get in a shot to shift momentum again. Not much to see here so far.

The champ hammers on the ribs and does it for awhile. Taker is wearing white socks which kind of takes away the intimidation factor. Powerslam gets two. It’s nice to see a power guy hitting a powerslam for a change. Brock puts on a waistlock and for some reason Taker tries it take it to the mat. Taker can’t get out of it and Brock is totally cool with having it be a wrestling match instead of a fight.

Taker sends him to the floor and starts hammering away and a right hand sends Brock outside. They head to the floor and Heyman distracts the referee so Lesnar can hit Taker with the belt. Taker is bleeding. Back inside, Taker fires back with the clothesline/splash in the corner. Heyman: “WATCH OUT!!!” Chokeslam is broken up but a big boot gets two. Snake Eyes set up another big boot for two.

There goes the referee because what would a main event be without a ref bump? Chokeslam hits but, say it with me, there’s no referee. Here’s Matt Hardy to jump Taker (he was working for Brock or against Taker or something at this point. Not that it’s explained or anything) and he takes a Last Ride. Spinebuster gets two for Brock as does a DDT for the challenger.

Tombstone is loaded up but Brock escapes and the referee goes down again. Heyman sends in a chair but Taker kicks Brock in the face to make him drop the chair. Brock gets his head caved in and the chair looked diseased. Brock is busted now and the referee is up now. Taker drops a leg for two and a big pop. Last Ride is countered as is the F5. They slug it out and the referee gets caught in the middle….and it’s a double DQ. Oh my goodness the fans aren’t happy.

Rating: D+. The ending crippled this as the fans were fired up by the match and then the ending crippled it. Taker allegedly didn’t want to job to Brock so he had to job to him at the next PPV inside the Cell in one of the most bloody and gruesome matches in there. This wasn’t horrible but man that ending sucked. Have Heyman cheat to win or something like that but dude, not that ending.

Post match they fight up the aisle and Brock is thrown through the Unforgiven sign to end the show.

Overall Rating: B-. Well Angle vs. Benoit is excellent and Edge vs. Guerrero is very good. That alone makes it a worthwhile show but other than that, there isn’t much to see. Nothing is all that horrible but the HLA stuff is dumb and the ending to the main event sucked. Good show overall but the ending huts it a lot.

1 comment

  1. Farhan says:

    I liked this ppv,edge vs Eddie and Benoit vs angle were great as I don’t think they ever had any bad match.I liked taker vs lesnar too,as at that time,all we wanted was taker beating the tar out if lesnar.