On This Day: September 24, 2000 – Unforgiven 2000: Benoit…..WINS?

Unforgiven 2000
Date: September 24, 2000
Location: First Union Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Attendance: 18,092
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

 

Well we begin the new shows in this series here. The main event is a fatal fourway with Rock defending the title against Kane, Undertaker and Benoit. Kane and Undertaker are feuding because they’re Kane and Undertaker and Benoit was having a brief feud with Rock around this time that had some good matches. Also we get HHH vs. Angle in a match about Stephanie and Edge/Christian vs. the Hardys in a cage, which is a month after TLC I so I wouldn’t expect a tag match of the year out of it. Let’s get to it.

 

The opening video is the whole Judgment Day idea and how no one is forgiven. WWE really likes putting the religious overtones in these things don’t they?

 

Oh and Austin is back tonight, looking for who ran him over.

 

Kevin Kelly is waiting on Austin to get here.

 

Dudley Boys/APA vs. Right to Censor

 

We’re censors!” “We don’t like censors!” “Let’s have a pre-planned mostly athletic encounter to settle our scripted differences!” There’s your backstory. The APA and the Dudleys dances with Too Cool on Smackdown which wasn’t as funny as it sounds. Steven says his team will win in his hometown. D-Von vs. Goodfather to start which might be an Affirmative Action thing.

 

The fans, to no one’s surprise, want tables. Let’s see…four former ECW guys in this. No wonder the fans are into it. Bubba comes in quickly and the Ho Train misses. Belly to back gets two for Bubba. Buchanan is so mad he took his tie off. Bradshaw comes in to a nice pop and beats up Buchanan for awhile. Buchanan hits his pretty awesome walk up the ropes and hit a turning clothesline for two.

 

Venis comes in with his white pants and jokes run rampant. Fallaway slam puts Venis down and it’s off to Farrooq (how DO you spell that anyway?). This has been one sided so far which almost guarantees an RTC victory. Venis hits what is called the Blue Thunder Bomb on No Mercy and it’s off to Goodfather. D-Von is the one getting beaten down at the moment.

 

Val misses an elbow and there’s the hot (it’s Philly so it’s automatically hot) tag to Bubba. He cleans house 4-1 and again, why do face teams allow their partners to fight such huge odds? Doomsday Device puts Val down and it all breaks down. Steven slips in a kick to Bubba and that’s enough for Val to pin him. Steven was never legally in.

 

Rating: C-. Just an 8 man here and the fans are into the show already so it’s not like it took much. The ending was pretty clear after the RTC got beaten down so much. To be fair though every company has tendencies in their booking like that which if you watch enough you can almost always pick up. ECW was really bad about that. Anyway, this wasn’t great but it did its job well enough I suppose.

 

Post match Steven takes What’s Up and goes through a table after a big brawl to keep the crowd from getting more rowdy.

 

Stephanie is worried about HHH’s ribs but he says he’s fine. Tonight everything with Angle ends, including him holding back his temper. Stephanie looks WAY better with straight hair. Foley is refereeing this match for some reason. HHH needs to know Stephanie is ok with HHH going all psycho tonight and Stephanie says she is and she might have been wrong about Kurt. HHH questions the maybe aspect and Stephanie says she was wrong.

 

Jerry Lawler vs. Tazz

 

It’s a strap match. We’re also in Philadelphia so what are you expecting here? You win by pin, submission or four corners. That’s a nice change of pace so we don’t have to go through the whole dragging thing necessarily. These two hate each other in general so there’s no specific backstory given. Plus it’s Tazz in Philly so do you really think he’s not incredibly over?

 

Tazz takes over to start and hits a suplex. We go outside and Lawler gets choked while Tazz talks trash to Ross. Lawler takes over and chokes a bit but gets whipped hard. Jerry isn’t totally hated here and he hammers with right hands. To be fair though, when he’s on offense the fans don’t care as much. Tazz no sells a piledriver and then no sells another. Jerry hits a third (in Memphis the guy would be gone 4 months minimum) and Tazz gets up again but this time he collapses. Jerry celebrating is kind of cool.

 

Jerry gets three corners but stops to choke Tazz a bit and there goes the referee. Since it’s Philly it’s time for a run-in. And who better to debut in this spot than Raven? The place ERUPTS and Raven plants Jerry with a DDT. Tazmission goes on and Jerry is already out cold so the ending is academic. The fans LOVED Raven.

 

Rating: D+. The match was boring but the whole point was to prove to the ECW fans that maybe WWE isn’t totally evil. There was no way you could put Lawler over here and never let it be said that he won’t job when need be. Tazz was still serious here so the ending was all that mattered. Raven would be nothing for the most part but had some weird energy in WWF in 2001 which was cool to see.

 

Austin is here and the place goes nuts again. He beats up Kevin Kelly because that’s what Austin does.

 

Cole takes Jerry’s place on commentary. This is when he had blonde hair and is even stupider looking than he is now.

 

Hardcore Title: Steve Blackman vs. Al Snow vs. Test vs. Perry Saturn vs. Crash Holly vs. Funaki

 

This is a Hardcore Invitational which means it’s like Mania 2000: there’s a ten minute time limit and the last person to get a fall over the champion wins the title. Blackman is champion coming in. This was during Snow’s reign as European Champion and what I thought was a hilarious gimmick as he would come out dressed as someone from a different European country every show, in this case Italy, complete with a fish and a portrait of Tony Danza.

 

They cover the 24/7 rule as that rule is taken away for 24 hours so the champion has a day of rest after the match is over. Everyone goes after Blackman to start and it’s a big mess as you would expect. Saturn takes Trish down and Test is mad. He clocks Saturn so Snow takes Test down with Head. Crash totally botches a rana and is more or less powerbombed. Funaki hits a cross body for two on the champ.

 

Saturn hits a decent moonsault to take out Crash and Snow on the floor. Everyone is on the floor now with seven minutes to go. Crash and Snow are still in the ring and doing nothing interesting. Test is the only one going after Blackman at this point. Scratch that as Crash gets a shot in and pins him with just over 6 minutes left. He runs down the aisle and right into a trashcan shot by Saturn for the pin. Most of everyone fights into the crowd and Saturn isn’t smart enough to run for the hills.

 

There isn’t much to say here as everyone is fighting in the same place and there isn’t much to say. With three minutes left everyone is still in the same place they were in a few minutes ago. Saturn and Blackman are at ringside now as is Snow. Saturn is in the ring alone with a stick. Blackman grabs his two sticks while Snow grabs….a pizza box? Snow is back in with two minutes left. Steve gets the kendo stick and beats up everyone, winning the title after a shot to Saturn with it at a minute left. Everyone goes after him but they’re running out of time. Blackman hangs on because no one covers since they’re stupid.

 

Rating: D. This was boring. At Mania it was at least fun but this had a total of three changes. At Mania there were 11 in just five extra minutes. There was no insanity here and it wasn’t fun at all. That’s not good for a match that is supposed to be designed around total insanity, which this was supposed to be.

 

Angle runs into Austin and is scared to death. I don’t think they’ve ever met since Angle’s first match was at the Survivor Series where Austin was run down. Angle runs his mouth and says Austin won’t win a gold medal. He tries to give Austin one and Austin is about to explode. Angle gets destroyed and the fans are very pleased. Angle is still just an upper midcard guy at this point so this isn’t a huge deal. He would however be world champion in less than a month.

 

X-Pac vs. Chris Jericho

 

Pac has been attacking Jericho a lot lately because they needed something to do. He runs to start which is what he’s been doing with the beatings also. Jericho is all mad here so he hammers away as does Pac. The announcers aren’t sure why Pac has been acting like this either. Dang that was a loud chop by Jericho. Jericho blocks a Bronco Buster with a clothesline and hits a spinewheel kick for no cover.

 

The springboard dropkick to Pac on the apron is broken up as Jericho is sent to the railing. Pac leaves Jericho laying out there with a bunch of kicks including a baseball slide. Back in and a spin kick gets two for the American. Off to a chinlock which Jericho reverses into a quick sleeper. Pac gets a suplex for two. He hits the Bronco Buster but stops to pose, resulting in a powerbomb out of the corner.

 

Jericho speeds things up a bit as we talk about HHH vs. Angle. It’s Stephanie’s birthday. She’s 24 today and that surprises me actually. Jericho hits a bronco buster of his own while Pac grabs some nunchucks. A low blow by Pac sets up the X-Factor for two. The kickout got a solid reaction. Another powerbomb sets up the Walls but pac grabs a rope. Jericho doesn’t care and pulls him out to the middle where he has to break. That’s good because it would have looked stupid otherwise. Lionsault is blocked and Pac goes up, only to jump into the Walls and we’re done.

 

Rating: C-. This missed for me. It’s not a bad match at all but it felt pretty disjointed at times and didn’t work all that well. Both guys did ok but the match was really nothing special at all. I’m not sure why but this whole thing was off by just a few steps and it showed badly. Again not a bad match but it felt off.

 

Pac hits him with the nunchucks post match, setting up a cage match at the next PPV.

 

Foley is warming up for his refereeing later. Angle comes in to rant and says he had a head cold the night before the Olympics. Foley doesn’t seem to care. It’s now No DQ. He’s Commissioner so he can do that.

 

Austin comes in to see Rock and they shake hands. He wants to know if Rock knows who stole his keys to the Rent-A-Car that night. Some named Just Joe comes in and says that he heard some information Austin might be interested in. Austin beats him up and leaves. That guy lost clean to the Brooklyn Brawler once.

 

Tag Titles: Edge/Christian vs. Hardy Boys

 

This is in a cage and the Canadians are champions. Pin/escaping. No submissions I guess. Also Fink says you have to go over the top even though there’s a door. Both guys have to escape though. We get a clip from Smackdown of the Canadians making fun of the Hardys indy stuff. Matt took a Concharito for his troubles. Big brawl to start as JR and Cole again leave submission out as a way to win. One pin wins it I think.

 

Matt hits a DDT on Edge so Christian is double teamed a bit. There’s no Lita here due to her getting crushed on Smackdown. The Hardys both climb but the Canadians get back up in time. Jeff gets up for what was supposed to be a Swanton Bomb but Edge shoves him off the top of the cage to the floor with NOTHING to catch him. FREAKING OW MAN! Matt hits the Twist on Christian but Edge saves.

 

I’m not sure if Jeff was supposed to go out that early because there’s no point to him being out there now. JR isn’t sure if he can get back in or not. Matt gets Christian tied in the ropes and Edge in the Tree of Woe but the Canadians make the save and suplex him off the top of the cage. Matt is rammed into the cage and now Jeff is trying to get back in, failing repeatedly.

 

Jeff is up on top of the cage now but he gets knocked off the top for the second time in 8 minutes. And people wonder why he had such a drug habit. He steals the key to the door and slides a chair in, only to have Christian slam the door on him. Christian goes out the door which doesn’t count here because this is a messed up cage match. He brings in another chair and I think you know what’s coming.

 

Matt is busted. He gets beaten on a lot more and the referee asks if Matt wants it stopped. Conchaitro misses and the Canadians have sore hands. A double clothesline puts them down and Matt goes climbing. He gets his feet over but Christian saves. Jeff has a ladder and hits Christian with it, knocking him out of the cage so it’s Matt vs. Edge now. Jeff is on the ladder and Edge can’t get to him and he’s all ticked about it. Jeff goes up and it’s Swanton time. Whisper in the Wind puts him right between the two of them because we don’t need to catch him or anything like that right?

 

Here’s Lita who hits Christian low and ranas him off the ladder. Who else can look that good in a swimsuit and bust out a rana off a ladder like that? What a woman. She’s holding her wrist after it though. Edge pelts a chair at Jeff and goes up but since he’s a heel he’s slower than Christmas. The Hardys catch him with chairs and give him a Conchairto, sending him flying to the ring. Matt and Jeff drop down to win the titles.

 

Rating: B+. The weird rules hurt this as again I don’t think Jeff was supposed to go out that early. Jeff’s bumps were absolutely scary here as he fell off the top of the cage TWICE. Lita served very little purpose here but the Conchairto made up for it. Also, it was Edge and Christian vs. the Hardys. Were you expecting anything less than really good?

 

Austin comes looking for HHH but finds Stephanie. She tries to suck up to him and has a gift for him. It’s the hat he was wearing when he got run over. Austin isn’t thrilled and Stephanie says go find Shane because Shane knows who it was. She can’t act. I mean really, she can’t. If she wasn’t so hot it might actually annoy me.

 

Foley is still warming up and HHH comes up. He talks about bonding with Foley a bit recently but tonight it’s all business. He’s going to do to Kurt what he did to Foley before. Tonight HHH wants to make sure it’ll be right down the line. Foley says that since it’s no DQ he doesn’t care what happens so he’ll call it right down the line. Maybe one day they’ll laugh together again but not tonight.

 

Jerry comes back for more commentary.

 

We recap Eddie vs. Rikishi. Eddie pretended to dance with Too Cool and beat them up. Rikishi came out for the save and they started feuding. Eddie cheated Chyna out of the IC Title and threw her out. Then he tried to reconcile which failed due to her being in Playboy, resulting in some bad comedy spots. Eddie blinded Rikishi, resulting in Chyna getting beaten up by mistake while Eddie did nothing to help. Eddie got out of it by asking her to marry him. This would all crash down next month when he got caught in the shower with two chicks, one being the future Victoria.

 

Intercontinental Title: Eddie Guerrero vs. Rikishi

 

Cole is gone. SWEET. Rikishi dominates to start but misses a drop onto the chest. That goes nowhere as Eddie runs almost immediately. Chyna says get back in there and he says don’t tell me what to do. She shoves him and Eddie freaks. JR got an early copy of Chyna’s Playboy so Jerry is asking as many questions as you can legally ask about naked women. Eddie avoids the Stinkface and heads to the floor. Chyna accidentally distracts Rikishi and Eddie takes over.

 

Back in the Frog Splash misses and Chyna Warrior Princess is worried. Rikishi tries to throw Eddie in the air and catch him with a Samoan Drop but totally misses it, making it look like….like a horribly botched one man 3D for lack of a better term. There’s the Banzai Drop but Chyna comes in to break up the count. That isn’t a DQ somehow as Chyna begs him not to count the pin. Rikishi gets in her face and throws her inside. She gets in his face so he superkicks her and hits the Banzai Drop. Somehow that’s a DQ win for Eddie. Uh….sure?

 

Rating: D+. This was supposed to be heelish tendencies or something but his real heel turn, as in the one where he was revealed as the driver, was over two weeks later. I’m not sure what the point here was but the dance music doesn’t work with it at all. The booking here was really weird and the match wasn’t any good either.

 

Eddie gets the belt before checking on Chyna.

 

Undertaker doesn’t care who he beats tonight but he’ll humble someone and become champion. Not for about 20 months dead man.

 

Angle laments having a bad day when Trish comes up to offer a shoulder to cry on. He blows her off and says he has to go. This is Kurt’s lack of getting it and it’s still funny.

 

We recap Kurt vs. HHH. Basically Kurt wants Stephanie and kissed her after she got hurt in a match. HHH FREAKED and accidentally punched Stephanie in the process. Angle beat up HHH for it and cost him the world title. Stephanie is all torn and also keeps getting hit in the face by HHH by mistake. Foley made the match and for some reason is refereeing. Foley had no issues with Kurt so it made no sense. HHH wants to know what kind of a man wants to be friends with a woman that looks like Stephanie. Gay jokes started so Kurt hit him in the ribs with a sledgehammer then kissed Steph again.

 

Kurt Angle vs. HHH

 

Foley is referee and it’s no DQ. Kurt sings Happy Birthday to Stephanie before the match. I miss the My Time music. Oh and HHH has really injured ribs due to the attack Thursday. Angle goes for the ribs so HHH punches him. Why would you wear rib tape? I mean doesn’t that just make the beating worse? Don’t wear them and maybe the other guy will just work on your arm.

 

They hit the floor and Kurt is thrown into the Fink. HHH sets up the announce table quickly but Angle manages to whip him into the railing. Back inside now and HHH spears him and pounds away. Now Kurt is all fired up and JR admits it’s a big soap opera. He stomps away (Kurt, not JR) on HHH’s ribs but the Game grabs a DDT for two. HHH goes after Foley but the REAL American gets a German to the normal American for two.

 

Now Angle goes after Foley and is shoved down. A regular suplex gets two for Kurt. HHH starts a comeback and doesn’t really kick it into high gear yet. We look at Stephanie and good night she’s gorgeous. HHH is thrown over the corner and out to the floor, hurting his ribs again. Kurt is thrown into the steps and now the Game goes to that announce table again. Then he just stops doing that.

 

Kurt gets popped in the back with a chair and HHH loads up the Pedigree on the table. Angle blocks it with a low blow and hits a wicked release belly to belly through the other table. HHH is bleeding from the mouth. Kurt works over the ribs and does it the right way: he mixes up the offense on it with various shots and doesn’t stick with the same thing over and over again.

 

He tries a shoulder into the ribs in the corner but HHH moves, sending Kurt’s shoulder into the post. Angle kind of shrugs it off and hits a belly to belly off the middle rope for two. There’s an abdominal stretch which is the right move for something like this. HHH is cut near the eye. Angle fires off the moonsault but since it’s a Kurt Angle moonsault it misses.

 

HHH comes back but his left arm is pretty worthless due to the ribs hurting too much. He loads up the Pedigree but it’s a one armed version so Kurt isn’t dead. HHH waves Steph into the ring and says she has to choose. She hits Kurt low and HHH hits a regular Pedigree for the pin. She’s not thrilled but it’s more a look of shock than anything else.

 

Rating: B. That’s as high as this can possibly get. They never kicked it into a higher gear, but Angle wasn’t a higher gear kind of guy yet. He was still the heel that was a bumbling idiot but could turn it on when he needed to and that’s ok. He also hadn’t had his wars with Benoit yet to make everyone’s jaws drop at once. Either way, this was good stuff, although definitely not great stuff. JR talking about how there’s more to it is kind of stupid too as this came off like a blowoff match.

 

HHH kisses Stephanie in a weird hard way post match and she seems a bit messed up by it.

 

Too Cool are at WWF New York.

 

Here’s Shane who claims to have video proof of who ran over Austin, which is why Austin is here tonight. Shane hoped they could do this in private….which is why he came out into the arena. He says it’s not someone you would expect and it’s someone with a history of vehicular assault. We get a clip of Steve Blackman hitting Shamrock with a car about a year ago. This is the proof that Blackman did it to Austin according to Shane. They had just gotten done feuding if that clears anything up.

 

Here’s Blackman and he’s not happy. I may need some additional information here. He’s especilally not happy here. Cue Glass Shatters and Austin gets a huge pop. He’s got the Disturbed song now too. Austin hits all four corners and Austin gets in Blackman’s face. Blackman says he didn’t do it and Shane is here too. Shane is behind Austin talking trash. Blackman tries to leave and takes a Stunner. Shane gets some beers and Austin has a drink. Shane has a Stunner and spits the beer in a nice touch.

 

JR questions Blackman’s guilt and there’s a Stunner for Shane. Shane gets up after a bit and goes down again from a second Stunner. The place gets louder for each Stunner too. Austin leaves him laying but goes back to flip the fans off a bit more. This is Austin’s official return as he’ll be on Raw tomorrow. Shane gets up and takes a third Stunner to just kill him dead. There’s something awesome about Austin hurting people for fun and it never gets old.

 

We recap the main event where the idea is that Rock is a marked man. All four guys wanted to fight each other and all three said they should be #1 contender so Foley made the match. The video is about everyone beating up everyone.

 

Rock says he’s ready as only he can. He talks about what all three of them might want, implying Kane wants to be burned, Benoit wants to perform oral sex on a wolverine and that Taker gets a, shall we say, nice feeling from a motorcycle. As always, words don’t do these justice.

 

WWF Title: Kane vs. The Rock vs. Undertaker vs. Chris Benoit

 

One fall to a finish. Taker still has Kid Rock for his music here. There are about 7 referees in the ring to keep the brawl from starting until Rock is there. Taker vs. Benoit and Rock vs. Kane to start. No tags here so I’d assume no DQ. Now it’s brother on brother violence as Rock vs. Benoit is out in the crowd. Top rope clothesline gets two for Kane. Taker’s jumping version gets the same.

 

Big boot gets two for Taker. The others are back now and Rock gets a Samoan Drop for two on the Big Fried Freak. Rock and Taker put Kane on the floor so they can brawl a bit. Taker sets for Old School but Rock breaks it up, tossing Taker from the top and sending him to the floor. Kane is back in now as Jerry asks where Benoit is. There goes the referee. Taker caves Rock’s head in with a chair and Benoit does the same to Taker. The referee gets up and BENOIT WINS THE TITLE?????

 

Oh of course not as here’s Foley to say Taker was in the ropes. Did we really need a Dusty Finish here? Everyone is mad at Benoit for some reason and they stalk him up the aisle. Rock sends him into the set as does Taker. Back in the ring Taker gets two on Benoit with Rock making the save. We get a replay showing that Taker’s leg was on the ropes so at least it was correct.

 

Rock pops Taker in the head with the steps. Well at least he wasn’t touching a rope. Rock gets his move that is supposed to be an overhead belly to belly but is more like a random thrown. Rolling Germans get two for Benoit. The headbutt gets two and now Benoit is in the Crossface. Now there’s something you don’t see every day. Kane and Taker are back in now and Kane hits a chokeslam for two.

 

Benoit breaks up the elbow to draw MAD heat. It says a lot about Rock that the People’s Elbow, the most overblown of all overblown moves, is over in Philly. Last Ride to Rock but Kane saves again. Benoit cracks the brothers with chair shots and puts Rock in the Crossface. Taker FINALLY breaks it up after a record for most time in the Crossface. Chokeslam gets two on Benoit as Kane saves. The big guys slug it out and a Rock Bottom keeps the title on the Brahma Bull.

 

Rating: C+. Not bad here but it’s really just like any other four way main event you’ll see. It’s fine for what it was but it didn’t feel like a big deal at all at almost any time. The Dusty Finish wasn’t needed and slowed things down a lot and I’d have rather seen Benoit get it. Then again he wasn’t ready for it yet so I can live with that and totally understand it. Not bad but nothing worth seeing again.

 

Overall Rating: B-. Certainly not a bad show but it feels weak at points. Austin coming back was the real main event and that wasn’t paid off until about two and a half weeks later. The tag title match is good but they’ve had better and Angle was good but has had better. It’s that kind of show all around, so while it was entertaining there are far better shows worth popping in and checking out over this one.

 

 

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2 comments

  1. Al says:

    13 years later and Steph still can’t act.

  2. ted says:

    She’s also not that hot then or now.