Unforgiven 2006: The Year Of Cena Begins
Date: September 17, 2006
Location: Air Canada Center, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler
For some reason this is a very requested show, so here it is. This is a two match show for the most part as Cena goes for the world title against Edge in a TLC match where Cena will be the HUGE heel. Also here we have DX vs. the McMahons and Big Show in Hell in a Cell. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that match all the way through so that’s a nice little bonus reason to watch this show. Other than that there’s just not much here, but then again 06 was only an ok year for the company. Let’s get to it.
The opening video is about those two matches which is exactly what you would expect it to be about.
Intercontinental Title: Johnny Nitro vs. Jeff Hardy
Wow talk about two different career paths. I’m not sure who gyrates more: Hardy or Melina. They mention Jeff’s three year absence, which was when he was in TNA, but we can’t say that name so there you are. Long feeling out process to start which is fine if they have time to work with. Nice armdrag and then another by Hardy as we get the obligatory Ricky Steamboat reference.
Nitro plays the standard heel role by hiding on the floor when Jeff gets momentum. That’s such a basic thing and it worked very well. I don’t get why more people don’t do it. SWEET slingshot dropkick to Nitro and he hits the floor. Baseball slide takes care of him there too as it’s all Hardy. Nitro hits a dropkick to Hardy while Hardy is on top to take over though. DAng Melina can scream.
He works on Hardy’s knee which is rather smart given the style of offense he uses. Top rope twisting moonsault (Starship Pain but from the top rope and without the leg split) misses and we’re back to even. Whisper in the Wind hits very well and Nitro is in trouble. Swanton hits clean but Jeff’s leg is hurt and Nitro gets his foot on the ropes. Nitro keeps working on the knee and even gets a leg/ankle lock.
Melina gets up on the apron and down she goes thanks to Nitro which gets a rollup for Hardy for two. She can however take her boot off and apply it to the face of Hardy to make sure Nitro wins. Ross gets in a jab at her which is rather amusing for some reason.
Rating: B-. Competitive but this went nearly 20 minutes which is a very long time for these two. It’s pretty good but for some reason it just never clicked. The ending is fine though as it’s basic heel stuff which never gets old. What more can you ask for in a match as far as basic face vs. basic heel stuff? Solid, Cruiserweight style stuff which is a good idea.
Marine stuff, which wasn’t a bad movie.
Matt gives Jeff a pep talk and Lita shows up and insults occur.
Kane vs. Umaga
Oh yay. It’s this match again. They claim this is Umaga’s PPV debut. That’s idiotic as he had been at Backlash, 4 months before this. I was kind of there so I think I’d know. Estrada is annoying which is the idea so he’s got that right at least. The introduction takes about 5 minutes. Who would guess that Kane would win the world title before Umaga would?
Kane punches him back into the corner to start and it’s a slugout. Big boot to the face does almost nothing and then Kane sits up after a kick from Umaga. Some Estrada interference lets Umaga take over, which sucks because I was enjoying the whole neither can do anything at all. King compares this to Godzilla vs. Mothra, because both of them resemble large butterflies.
The running flying hip smash connects and Kane is reeling. And of course such a high impact move is followed up by a thumb to the throat, which is SO DEVASTATING! It appears that all Kane can do is punch. Him vs. Rocky Balboa could be amusing. A flying thumb to the head misses from the middle rope. I do enjoy that flying clothesline from Kane. Then again I like Kane in general so there you are.
Chokeslam is started but almost blocked. More striking and then Kane hits a belly to belly (!) over the top to the floor and they head into the crowd. I think you can put the rest together for yourselves. The brawl keeps going, resulting in absolutely no conclusion at all. They brawl into the set and go through a door in it, ticking off the crowd immensely.
Rating: D+. Kane didn’t care at all at this point and can you blame him? He had no reason to as he knew he wasn’t getting elevated at all no matter what he did. He was stuck in these dead end feuds with random people that meant nothing such as this one. Umaga would go on to fight Cena for the world title in a few months while Kane just did hims thing over and over again. He’s a company man, you have to give him that.
We go to Vince in the back who is watching a tape of him hitting and then pinning HHH on Raw. He and Shane want to destroy DX which they’ve been trying to do all summer now. The idea is that Vince does nothing but gets to do the pin.
Raw Tag Titles: Spirit Squad vs. Highlanders
The Highlanders were really funny in their vignettes and then debuted to a nice reaction. This is more or less the peak of their importance. Rory (the other is Robbie) looks like Mad Dog Vachon from a facial hair perspective. Imagine Scottish Bushwackers. That sums them up pretty well. Kenny and Mikey are the Squad members here today. All Highlanders so far.
This really isn’t much of a match as you can more or less feel the screwy ending coming soon. Robbie misses a dive and the three other guys beat up Robbie to take over. Crowd is DEAD. The top rope legdrop from Kenny misses as this needs to end like now. Rory gets the hot tag which is lacking heat and hits his finisher on Mikey. After a save Johnny kicks Rory in the head and an X Factor (by the beard no less) ends it.
Rating: D. And so what? That’s what I was thinking when this match ended: so what. Who cares that the Spirit Squad has ANOTHER win using the same stuff they’ve used every time? It’s just not an interesting dynamic for this long, and then at the end of the day Piper and Flair wound up taking the titles from them. That’s the best they could do? This division was long since dead at this point and that was very clear.
We recap the Vince vs. DX feud which went on forever and was pretty badly received. It just kept going and stupid stuff that DX was doing was “breaking” Vince. Steve Austin kidnapped Vince, destroyed his car and threatened to shoot him and Vince never broke. And yet this is enough to get us to a Cell match?
Big Show/Vince McMahon/Shane McMahon vs. Degeneration X
Does anyone else have an issue with Vince and Shane and even Show being in a Cell match? Does that just not fit right with anyone besides me? Show is ECW Champion at this point. This is a different kind of cell too as it’s not as wide but taller. Maybe it is as wide. Double low blow immediately on Show and DX takes over. I have a feeling this could go on for a very long time.
Shane gets launched into the cage as HHH beats up his father in law. Shane is busted open already. Show’s balls must be throbbing since he’s still down. All DX so far as Vince gets his face grated over the cage which is a great spot as it’s painful looking and draws blood too. You can’t beat that. Show is back up and HHH does his jump over the top in the corner which always looks good.
Shawn hits a dive but it gets caught. I love power spots like that. How can you fake catching a grown man like that when he’s launching himself down at you? HHH drops a knee on Vince and it CLEARLY misses by at least 4 inches. Vince not moving an inch didn’t help things. Really bad camera shot there as it totally exposed everything. It looked fine to the live fans I guess, but terrible from a TV perspective.
Apparently HHH has a bad ear, which is a rare injury. Vince is bleeding and Shawn goes into the cage. Things have slowed down a lot here. JR calls the fence a javelin catcher. Where does he get some of this stuff? The weapons are brought in, starting with a trashcan. Coast to Coast hits HHH and DX is more or less dead.
Shawn is brought back in and Vince gets to punch on him a bit. Shane hits a slingshot on HHH to launch him into the cage. Vader Bomb to Shawn from Show. Vince picks him up though and then does it again. You imbecile. HHH comes back after a decent rest and it’s low blows for everyone. From out of nowhere Shane gets a torture rack of all things into a neckbreaker on HHH.
Everyone is down until a SICK enziguri takes out Shane again. Vince of course lowers his pants to try to get Shawn to kiss up to him. HHH makes a save but too much Big Show stops that. Shawn manages to avoid a splash with a nip up and Vince takes it. DX takes out Show with a bunch of low blows and here’s the big comeback. They do all their favorites and HHH gets some chairs from under the ring.
They Pillmanize Shane’s neck which would have killed him in kayfabe but whatever. Show comes back to stop the kick as this is going too long. Actually it isn’t as the length is helping to a degree. Chairs and steps plus chin music take Show out again. Vince is all that’s left so DX pulls down Show’s shorts. You know what’s coming. There doesn’t appear to be a thong either. You can’t say he won’t do whatever it takes for his company.
HHH busts out a sledgehammer just for fun. Superkick hits and HHH breaks the hammer over Vince. So between that and attempting to murder Shane, how many years in prison is that for them? Pin is academic. Shane is taken out on a stretcher, as is Vince, which gets cheers. I’ll give them this: that’s how you END a feud.
Rating: C+. It was entertaining, but this just didn’t feel like it belonged in a Cell. If there hadn’t been so many people it would have fit in a regular cage better. This wasn’t bad, but it just doesn’t measure up to everything else. The kissing thing hurts the whole nightmare part a lot. This was a good match, but after the attempted murder, cheering them is kind of hard. It’s ok but it doesn’t work if that makes sense.
The post match stuff takes like five minutes.
Mania is in Detroit.
We get a package on Trish, as her retirement match is next. It’s her hometown, so what do you really think is going to happen? If nothing else the highlight reel of her hotness is nice. The story is that Trish wasn’t going to announce the retirement but Lita told WWE.com so that Trish couldn’t have her moment, which is different if nothing else.
Women’s Title: Trish Stratus vs. Lita
If she’s going to go, this is how you do it: in your hometown against your rival for the title. Both of their theme songs freaking rock. Lita is announced from Atlanta which sounds weird. LOUD Thank You Trish chant before the music even hits. She gets the loudest pop for a Diva ever, period. This really is a cool moment and her stumbling up the steps is awesome too.
Lita gets booed out of the building and I had to grab my headphones to get the loudness out of my ears when Trish went on offense. Thesz Press off the apron to Lita and I can’t get over how hot this crowd is for this. I know it’s a big deal but DANG they’re loud for it. They changed the mat during the video package so that the blood is gone, which is nice since the stains on the mat get annoying later on.
Lita’s looks never worked that well with bangs. In a cool spot, Lita blocks the headscissors out of the corner and Trish winds up sitting on Lita’s lap in the corner as they punch each other. Never seen that before. They fight even more on the top and Trish goes to the mat. Moonsault misses and the Stratusfaction is missed too. A fan at ringside actually asks Trish to marry him as she’s down. Well he’s certainly trying.
Trish is in trouble as they actually tease her losing here. That’s rather amusing. JR mentions she’ll be in the Hall of Fame, which better be true. If she’s not they might as well close off any other Divas. They slug it out which is something these two can actually make believable, which isn’t often said of the ladies. BIG old kick to the head of Lita gets two.
Sweet move by Trish as Stratusfaction is reversed but Trish twists PERFECTLY in midair into a sunset flip. The sunset flip part isn’t great but the twist was nice. It gets two, but Trish gets the freaking SHARPSHOOTER and the crowd absolutely loses it. Lita almost gets the rope but Trish drags her back to the middle for the tap and the title.
Rating: A. This wasn’t for the match, although it was good. This was about a last moment, and I’d love to hear a way to go out that is better than this. In her hometown, using the most famous move in the history of the country, she beat her archrival and broke the record for most Women’s Championship ever. That is what you call epic. Good match too, but that’s expected from these two. Crowd was awesome too.
Everyone gives Trish an ovation, including Lillian, Jim and Jerry. Lita would retire in like 3 months, killing the division once and for all.
There’s a season premiere of Smackdown. I think that was the Friday debut.
Orton is in the back and gets a mixed reaction, even though he’s a heel here. He says no one cares about her retirement unless you’re Canadian. Orton REALLY can’t talk yet here and it shows badly. He has Carlito next. Odd interview and not in a good way.
Randy Orton vs. Carlito
I still like Burn in My Light better than Voices. This is more or less the apex of Carlito’s WWE push. Standard stuff to start which is fine. Randy takes over and we get an RKO chant. I love Canadian crowds. So much for that Randy takes over aspect as Carlito hits some nice springboard splashes. Both guys have nice dropkicks also. Orton’s mouth is busted, which today would bring a match to a screeching halt.
It’s chinlock time, which was more prevalent back in the day if you can believe that. Carlito hits a Downward Spiral which is a required move in this company I think. RKO is countered into the Backcracker and is told they have two minutes left. To end it, Carlito does a double springboard into a spinning clothesline. It doesn’t hit though as Orton pulls him into the RKO in a SWEET counter. Awesome ending to a bad match.
Rating: D+. This was rather boring. It’s nothing great at all as the whole thing was about the ending. Carlito was a rather odd worker as he had such a different style but it just never clicked for more than like one match in a row. This was rather short and didn’t really ever get off the ground, but after the long celebration with Trish they’re likely short on time.
We recap Edge vs. Cena, which is happening because Cena wants the title. The idea is if Cena loses here to Edge in Edge’s hometown then he goes to Smackdown for three years. There’s also a new belt here as Edge threw the spinner belt in the water. He has a new spinner with an R on it. This gets the music video treatment. Oh and Cena’s dad got beaten up by Edge.
Raw World Title: Edge vs. John Cena
Oh and it’s TLC. Let the Vince hardon begin. No coat for Edge here which is weird. BIG pop for Edge. I really want to see him as a face again. It might have helped to have him be a face for more than like two months or give him more than just shouting SPEAR over and over again. They start booing before Cena’s music even hits. Nuclear heat on Cena.
I love having the ladder and chair set up on the tables around the ring. That’s always a perk for some reason. Cena just being a two time champion is great. You can barely understand Lillian over the pop for Edge. Ross makes a good point and asks what Buddy Rogers would think of a TLC match. I’d counter with what would he think of the belt that spins with a big R on it.
LOUD booing for a simple headlock. This crowd is awesome. Impaler hits but since it’s not 2000 anymore that move is just average. I’ve never gotten that: how can a move like that just lose its power? Cena goes into some chairs and Edge is loudly cheered. You’ll get used to that tonight. Ladder time as Edge is mostly dominant. I’m getting tired of me saying things and then them changing immediately. A hip toss puts Edge onto a ladder and the American takes over.
It has always confused me a bit how people always talk about experience in these kinds of matches. How much experience do you need to climb a ladder? Sunset powerbomb through the table is kind of botched as the table isn’t there so they hit mat instead of table. A powerslam does it instead. These matches are hard to review as you kind of always wind up just listing off spots and it gets rather repetitive.
Edge runs up the ladder and hits a dive over the top to take out Cena which looked awesome. One man Conchairto is avoided by Cena, resulting in the cheering from fans over the lack of massive head trauma. STFU with Edge inside a ladder, which actually would hurt which is nicer than the figure four around the leg which wouldn’t really add a lot of pain I don’t think.
Cena hits an FU on the ladder. As in the ladder was across his shoulder and landed on Edge who was on the mat. Edge takes over again and sets Cena on a table then sets up another table on top of that. Nothing happens with it though, so I’d bet on that being the big finish. The BIG ladder is brought out and Edge is down, so Cena has to inch up the ladder.
SPEAR to take Cena off the ladder. It’s not quite the one to Hardy but it’s not bad at all. They fight over big spots near the ladder and Edge hits the floor. Cena almost gets the belt but Lita makes the save and Cena takes a big old fall to the floor and through a table. Lita messes up though and causes Edge to go flying through a table as well. FU to Lita and it’s time for Miley Cyrus’ big song from last year.
The double stack table is set up again but for no apparent reason at all as Edge is down on the floor and Cena is capable of climbing. Both guys on are the ladder and in a fairly famous visual now, Edge takes the FU off the ladder through two tables. Cena grabs the belt, which he would hold for the next full year plus.
Rating: B. I thought a higher grade at first but this feels more right. It’s definitely a good match and worthy of being a PPV main event, but it just feels kind of anti-climactic. Cena defies the odds again and wins the title? It’s not bad or anything but it just lacks that spark I guess you would say. Very intense match though with some very nice big bumps. This is worth checking out.
Overall Rating: B. It’s definitely a good show and the two huge matches are definitely a good way to sell the show. This has some issues with it but for the most part it’s good. Trish’s moment is probably the highlight of the show actually but the whole stupid spot in the Cell match just stopped that one dead. It’s worth seeing and is definitely entertaining but not a classic or anything. I’d consider this a good popcorn show if that makes sense.