Unforgiven 2005 – Cena Vs. Angle

Unforgiven 2005
Date: September 18, 2005
Location: Ford Center, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Attendance: 8,000
Commentators: Jonathan Coachman, Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

This is the return of the Unforgiven series and we have a match that people would be drooling over today in the main event: Cena vs. Angle for the title. The idea is simple: Cena is champ, Angle went on a tear as the best in the world and the question is can Cena beat him. Why we’re in Oklahoma City for a PPV is beyond me but I guess it’s a JR thing. Let’s get to it.

The opening video is exactly what you would expect: no one is forgiven, tonight we’re all unforgiven, whatever.

Intercontinental Title: Ric Flair vs. Carlito

They gave away the ending of this weeks in advance, talking about how this was the one title Flair had never won. Carlito spat apple on Flair to set this up. Feeling out process to start and Flair takes him over with a headlock. Coach and Lawler argue hair and Carlito struts a bit. Flair really likes that hammerlock as he’s used it three times now. DANG that was a loud chop.

Flair chops away some more and this really isn’t that entertaining of a match. Could it be that one of the people in it was born in the 40s? Carlito sends him to the floor and goes after the arm. The shoulder goes into the post on the floor as we’re told Flair left dinner last night at 9pm. Hey I need something to fill in this space. Back in the ring it’s more arm work and Carlito pounds away with left hands.

There’s the backdrop and Flair lands on his shoulder as always. Single arm DDT gets two. Flair fires back and drops the knee. There’s another LOUD chop and Flair goes up. Dude, seriously, you’re smarter than this. IT ACTUALLY WORKS!!! Flair hits the chop (JR calls it a clothesline for some reason) and the fans give him a standing ovation. That’s hilarious. Flair goes up again and gets caught in a dropkick to keep the universe from exploding. Carlito goes off and gets the apple and we get a unique ending. Flair punches Carlito, making him choke on the apple so that the Figure Four can give him the title.

Rating: C-. Not a horrible match here and the majority of it was fun, but Flair winning a title at 56 or however old he is here isn’t something I can really get behind. There are so many people that could have won it but instead we get a tribute to him for….what exactly? It’s not horrible but I really don’t get this decision at all.

Flair gives an acceptance speech. He says it means as much as any of the 16 world titles. He gets two plants out of the audience to party with him.

Carlito has nothing to say and Flair gets more women.

Lita is in the back with Edge and they talk about how long she was cheating on Matt. Sex is implied.

Torrie Wilson/Victoria vs. Ashley Massaro/Trish Stratus

Torrie and Victoria are in some stupid Diva heel stable with Candace Michelle who would hook up with Vince for like 5 minutes. Trish is returning from an injury that kept her out for five months. Naturally they let her keep the title that whole time. Ashley is making her PPV debut here and we start with Trish vs. Victoria which is easily the best possible pairing. Off to Ashley and things get bad quickly.

Torrie and Candace cheat and Victoria hits a slingshot legdrop. Thankfully we’re letting Trish get the hot tag later which is by far the best possible idea. Off to a chinlock for a bit and then it’s time for Torrie vs. Ashley, which I don’t think anyone wants to see. Well, no one under the age of 22 that is. The nice girls do the unseen tag thing and Victoria beats on Ashley a bit more. She goes up and gets crotched before it’s hot tag to Trish. Trish does her usual stuff but throws in a spinebuster to mix things up. The Chick Kick ends Victoria.

Rating: D-. Trish in shorts is always a good thing but the match was just worthless. Ashley just wasn’t any good but was here because someone thought she looked good or whatever. The match was nothing and I’m sure everyone knew that was going to be the case. The heel Diva team never did anything and again, I don’t think anyone expected them to do anything.

Flair, who hasn’t even had a shower, has a bottle of champagne and is getting into the limo with the girls. They get in but Flair stays behind and pulls out some pills, and yes…..Naitch has discovered Viagara.

ZZ Top is here.

Big Show vs. Snitsky

One of the dangers of doing these reviews is running into matches like this one with zero backstory at all. I’m really hoping we get an explanation here because I don’t think I’m going to be able to make myself care about it otherwise. Ok so apparently Snitsky jumped Show with the bell but we get cut off by a brawl so we have to stop the flashback. Show throws him around with ease so Snitsky tries to walk.

Show does the SHHH bit and Snitsky is in trouble. Well it worked well the first time so let’s do it again. Show’s charge into the post misses and he clotheslines the steel. We actually go to the flashback while Snitsky has a hold on Show. It’s an armlock so at least he’s thinking. Snitsky manages a belly to back suplex which was pretty impressive. It only gets two but still it looked good.

Snitsky can’t keep him down so he goes back to the arm because that’s worked so well thus far. Ok so that is actually good psychology but it’s a little boring, especially when we know Snitsky has about as much chance as I do of beating Big Show. Show grabs a spinebuster out of nowhere and both guys are down. Show NIPS UP (holding the rope but still) and I think you know what’s coming now. Splash in the corner sets up the chokeslam for the pin.

Rating: C. This was under seven minutes and that’s the best thing that could have happened to it. They just did power stuff and the arm worked helped it a little bit. It’s not a good match or anything but it could have been a lot worse, which is why the keeping it short was a great thing. Snitsky was pretty worthless after his debut feud with Kane though.

Show clocks Snitsky with the bell post match in a pretty heelish move. Then he does it again.

There’s steam on the windows of Flair’s limo.

We recap Masters vs. Michaels. Masters was new at this point and did the Masterlock Challenge and Michaels couldn’t break the hold.

Shelton Benjamin vs. Kerwin White

White is Chavo Guerrero who is a golfer and I kid you not, a guy that is very proud of being a middle class white guy. His theme song is about picket fences and soccer moms. He would soon get a caddy named Nick Nemeth who is currently known as Dolph Ziggler. Kerwin’s catchphrase during this period: “If it’s not White, it’s not right.” I mean….WOW. Also, I kid you not, he’s fighting Shelton because Shelton isn’t white. Are you starting to get why people weren’t thrilled with this era?

Shelton rips the sweater off White and the beating is on for the blonde Guerrero. Yes he’s blonde here. Nothing going on to start until Shelton misses a shot and White goes after the knee. Kerwin hooks what we would call the Brock Lock and we intentionally cut to Spanish commentary for some reason. More leg work gets a two count and a Chavo Sucks chant. White charges into a Samoan Drop and both guys are down.

A slugout is won by Shelton who gets two on a backbreaker. Shelton’s leg is ok enough to go up now but he gets crotched. Even the announcers point out how stupid going up there was. Kerwin hits a superplex for two. There’s a half crab to eat up a few seconds. Shelton rolls through into a catapult and White grabs the golf club (wasn’t this a PG show?) but walks into Shelton’s T-Bone Exploder suplex for the pin.

Rating: C-. Shelton was awesome at this point and was probably on the roll of his life but would get lazy and stuck in the midcard forever. Not bad here but the White gimmick was just freaking horrible. I have no idea who thought it was a good idea but they need to be dragged outside and put into that gimmick themselves. That’ll teach them.

Matt says mean things about Lita and recaps the feud with Edge. Matt and Lita dated in real life and she had a real life affair with Edge, setting up this feud. It’s pretty easily the high point of Matt’s singles career and this is probably his biggest match ever. He kept running in on Edge in the back and beat him up, even mentioning Ring of Honor on Raw once as he was being arrested.

A video says what I just said.

Matt Hardy vs. Edge

This is a cage match. You can win by pin, submission or escape. Edge is Mr. Money in the Bank at the moment. They lock it up to start and slug it out with Edge almost going into the cage. Edge takes over with right hands and this feels epic. He goes for the top of the cage quickly but Matt makes the save. Edge goes for the door but Matt takes him down and hooks a headlock. In a cage match?

Edge takes over with a bunch of right hands and Matt is in trouble. Another escape attempt fails and a clothesline puts Edge down. Twist of Fate is countered into the Edge-O-Matic for two. Escape attempt #4 in less than 5 minutes doesn’t work and Matt almost hits a Side Effect from the top rope. Instead Matt is shoved off and a missile dropkick puts Matt down. The idea is that in their previous match at Summerslam, Matt took so many shots to the head that he couldn’t continue.

Edge works on the back of the head and mocks Matt with the V.1 hand sign. Matt looks out of it but that’s a normal day for him so maybe there isn’t much to worry about. There’s a DDT and Matt is in trouble. Edge powerbombs him into the cage and then drops him on his back. This is domination at this point. There’s a Buckle Bomb and Matt looks like he ate some bad fish. Edge adds a big boot and Matt is looking a little dead.

Matt gets in a shot and tries for a quick escape, but gets caught in a top rope powerbomb to kill him even further. This has been a great beating so far. Edge crawls over for two and the fans are shocked. Matt tries whatever he can think of, this time in the form of biting the hands of Edge. Gee Matt I know you like eating but come on now. Matt drops him on the top buckle and dodges a spear, sending Edge into the middle rope. A Side Effect gets two.

Edge goes again but Matt saves one more time. Lita slides in the briefcase but Matt ducks and Edge is tied in the ropes. Matt GOES OFF and the fans erupt. There’s a slingshot into the cage and there’s a bulldog onto the case. Edge gets rammed into all four sides of the cage and is busted open. Lita tries to climb in and Matt shoves her off to the floor. The blood is flowing out of Edge.

Matt picks up the MITB case and goes up but Edge shoves the referee into Matt to crotch him. A spear puts Matt down and Edge climbs. Matt pops up and hits a HUGE Side Effect off the top to put them both down. Lita tries to get in with a chair but Jack Doan keeps her out. Matt covers but Lita comes in anyway and breaks things up.

With Edge down, Matt gets the big shot in on Lita with a Twist of Fate. Edge pops up with a spear for two and the place goes NUTS. Edge goes up but Matt makes the save. He climbs to the top and like a true Hardy, gets way too high and messes up his push while blaming everyone from his employer to his butcher for his problems.. Or he drops a leg on Edge from the top of the page to pin him. You pick which it really was.

Rating: A. Like I said, it’s Matt’s best match ever. By that I mean it’s his best match ever, not the best match he’s ever been in (translation: TLC 2 doesn’t count because it was a tag match). Great storytelling here but it still wasn’t the blowoff as they had a ladder match on Raw that Edge won to send Matt to Smackdown. If this had ended it though, Matt would have been a world title contender.

Cena is getting taped up when Bischoff, Angle’s boss/whatever, comes up and says Angle will win tonight. The idea was Eric kept trying to find his guy to screw Cena over while WWE tried to find a way to recreate Austin vs. McMahon. Cena tapes Eric’s mouth shut.

Edge tries to stagger out but can’t quite do it.

Raw Tag Titles: Lance Cade/Trevor Murdoch vs. Rosey/The Hurricane

Earlier today the southern boys say they’ve beaten the champions before and they’ll do it again. Cade and Murdoch are a brand new team, forming like ten days before this. Naturally they’re the #1 contenders. You can see a bunch of fans going to get popcorn during this one. Hurricane vs. Cade gets us going and the champs clear the ring quickly. Hurricane headscissors Murdoch to the floor as we talk about country music.

Hurricane hits a missile dropkick and it’s off to Rosey. Lawler points out the stupidity of having a place that loves country music asked to boo a pair of country boys. Cade takes over on Rosey as Murdoch goes to hit on Lillian. Well to her credit she looks great tonight. Hurricane saves her but Murdoch gets a SICK elevated DDT to the floor on storm boy.

Rosey takes over but misses a splash in the corner to put him down. We finally get a trainer down here as the match falls apart. Cade cheats some on the floor as Hurricane is carried out. Like an idiot he comes back and tags in, only to get clotheslined a few seconds later for the pin.

Rating: D. Isn’t this what Raw is for? The tag titles were far less valuable back then than they are now and the country boys would break up like a month later. This was nothing but that DDT on the floor looked great. This was probably better than most tag title matches around this time, but it was still terribly uninteresting which might as well be printed on the belts.

The girls get out of the limo in Flair’s robe. She flashes him and gets back in.

Chris Masters says his name is Masterpiece, not Masturbate. Maria is interviewing him if that cleans anything up. He says it’s because he looks like something made by Michaelangelo. And yes, that draws a rendition of the TMNT theme song from her.

Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Masters

Masters is undefeated here. Shawn does his in ring entrance but Masters grabs him in the Masterlock (full nelson) before the bell rings. See, why don’t more people get that idea? The bell rings and Shawn counters this time. Shawn takes over and dives to the floor, hitting a bunch of right hands after a plancha connects. Masters is sent into the steps as the idea is he’s shaken up from never being tested before.

Shawn grabs a chair but gets it taken away, allowing Masters to get a shot in to take over. Masters is put into a powerbomb position and rammed back first into the post twice. Back in the ring Masters takes over and drops a leg for two. A delayed vertical gets two. Michaels can’t get anything going because of his back and the power of Masters. Off to a backbreaker but Masters holds Shawn over the knee for a submission attempt.

Shawn tries a crucifix but Masters counters into a full nelson attempt. Instead here’s a torture rack and the referee goes old school by checking the arm. Shawn counters into a sunset flip for two. Masters is bleeding from the nose. Here’s the Masterlock but Shawn goes rudo and kicks Masters low while he’s got the referee distracted. A slugout is won by HBK and there’s the forearm (called the Flying Burrito by JR) followed by the nipup.

The top rope elbow hits and it’s time to stomp the mat loudly to let my opponent know that his finisher is coming. Like clockwork Masters ducks and hooks the Masterlock. Shawn fights to the corner and gets over the top rope somehow, forcing a break. Masters tries the hold again but Shawn escapes and there’s the superkick for the pin. Shawn collapsing after getting the pin is always a nice touch.

Rating: B. Good stuff here as Shawn does his usual stuff but still pulls out a good match. He knew timing, which is what so many wrestlers have no clue about. He knew how to make his comebacks mean stuff and played everything to perfection. Good stuff which you never see from most young guys because it’s not important to learn in the eyes of the trainers today.

Flair gets out of the limo with his tights half down. He tilts his head back for the WOO and collapses in a Flair Flop. Funny stuff.

We recap Auscena vs. McBischoff. Cena had already beaten Jericho to get rid of him so Bischoff brought in Angle next. Angle destroyed Cena time after time and this is the big showdown.

Raw World Title: John Cena vs. Kurt Angle

Cena has a bad ankle coming into this. Angle takes over to start but Cena grabs a hip toss to send Angle to the floor. Angle takes it to the mat which is exactly what you would expect. Off to a headlock to fill in some time. Kurt bails again and the fans are getting into this. Back in Cena gets a slam and two elbows for two. Sidewalk slam gets two. Angle wakes up and snaps off a release German to take over.

There’s a camel clutch by Angle but Cena fights out and gets most of a sunset flip for two. Angle grabs a belly to belly and Cena is in trouble. Kurt goes with a waistlock and then a body scissors to work over the ribs. A DDT gets Cena out of it and both guys are down. They slug it out which is won by Cena. That makes sense as they’ve been pushing the fighter vs. the wrestler here.

A suplex gets two for the champ. Angle rolls through the FU into the ankle lock but Cena rolls through into a spinebuster for two. The FU is countered into a belly to back suplex but it’s called the Angle Slam because Kurt spun about 80 degrees. That gets two and it’s time for the ankle lock. Cena rolls through again and there’s the ProtoBomb. The Shuffle gets two.

Angle gets sent into the referee and the FU gets no count as a result. Kurt kicks Cena low and hits Cena with the medal. Instead of covering he hits Cena in the ankle with the gold and hooks the ankle lock as Eric comes out. Eric puts the title in Cena’s face and Cena gets to a rope because he’s kind of stupid at this point. Anyway Cena rolls through and sends Angle into Eric as Eric is about to call for the bell. Cena clocks Angle with the belt and it’s a DQ win for Kurt. Weak.

Rating: B-. The match was ok but the ending hurt it. Also at this point Cena just wasn’t ready for a match this big. He was really young and he just wasn’t good enough to hang with a guy like Angle yet. In a year or so he would be but at this point it just wasn’t there yet. The ending hut it a lot too as it was weak. Kurt vs. Cena would happen two more times with Cena finally winning the feud at Survivor Series.

Post match Eric says it doesn’t matter what the rules says because…and there’s an FU as Cena shrugs off being in the ankle lock for about two minutes. Angle attacks Cena but Cena gets the better of it and puts Angle through the table with an FU.

Overall Rating: B-. Nice surprise here as these B shows are usually awful. We got a good show out of it though with a great cage match and some other good stuff. A lot of it is your usual dreck on these single branded shows though so if you watch it, make sure you have a remote in your hand to skip some of the really dull stuff, of which there’s a good deal. The big matches are good though, which is all you can ask for.


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