PPV REPORTS KELLER'S WWE UNFORGIVEN PPV REPORT 9/7: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of live PPV event
Sep 7, 2008 - 9:09:20 PM
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By Wade Keller, PWTorch editor
KELLER'S WWE UNFORGIVEN PPV REPORT
SEPTEMBER 7, 2008
LIVE FROM CLEVELAND, OHIO
-After a video package, Todd Grisham introduced the show. That's a first.
1 -- MARK HENRY vs. MATT HARDY vs. THE MIZ vs. FINLAY (w/Hornswoggle) vs. CHAVO GUERRERO (w/Bam Neely) -- ECW Scramble for the ECW Title
Matt Striker informed viewers that Hardy and Miz were the first two names drawn earlier in the day, so they'd start the match. Grisham said Miz likes to party, but he took this match so seriously he'd didn't go out last night. Wow, what a sacrifice for his profession, huh? Imagine hearing that about an MMA fighter right before a championship match. Striker said whoever draws no. 5 is at the advantage, although I'd disagree with that. Conceptually, you want more opportunities to score a pin or submission, but I get his point of being the fresher wrestler in the closing minutes as the 20 minute countdown nears zero. Hardy yanked Miz off of the ropes and hit a powerbomb of sorts for a two count. Grisham noted only 212 people live in Hardy's hometown of Cameron, N.C. Striker said the Scramble concept came from the mind of Pat Patterson. Wasn't it an Adamle Original?
Chavo came out third. Miz avoided a Hardy dive off the ropes. Miz went right after Chavo, but Chavo ducked and Miz flew over the top rope to the floor. Chavo then hit a frog splash and scored the three count. Grisham said, "Chavo is your current champion." So they are or aren't counting them in the history books? It's odd to call someone the champion, even if just for five minutes, and not record it in the books. But if they do, it really cheapens the concept of being a champ X number of times. Grisham said that if Chavo stayed away from his opponents and played Prevent Defense, he could retain his title. The always astute Striker corrected him immediately and explained to Grisham how the match worked - that Chavo would lose the title if Miz pinned Hardy for instance. Grisham tried to cover by saying he meant "prevent" literally by saying Chavo should prevent anyone else from scoring a pin. At 7:00 Miz gave both Hardy and Chavo a cross bodyblock off the ropes.
Hardy fought back and took Miz down with a punch to the chin, then gave Chavo a running bulldog while ramming into Miz. He then gave Chavo the Side Effect for the three count. Hardy became the current ECW Champion at this point. Striker said, "And I stress the world current." Hardy dumped Chavo over the top rope and settled into a chinlock on The Miz. Mark Henry entered third, powered everyone around the ring, powerslammed Chavo, and scored the three count to become the "current ECW Champion." Henry applied a bearhug on Hardy mid-ring.
Finlay was the fifth to enter. He went right after Henry and scored a near fall within seconds. There were just five minutes left when Finlay entered. Hornswoggle ran into the ring as soon as Henry put Finlay in a bearhug. Finlay then bashed Henry with a shillelagh. He called for Hardy to join him in tossing Henry over the top rope. Finlay then surprised Hardy with a Celtic Cross for the three count. Miz surprised Finlay with a top rope dropkick, not the most graceful version you'll see as he seemed to have Tommy Dreamer's gravitational pull. Hardy surprised Miz with a Twist of Fate for a three count to become the "current champion." Miz bled from his left eye. Henry returned to the ring as Chavo frog splashed Chavo. Hardy turned to break up the pin. He did so, but Henry then gave Hardy a big boot. Henry powerslammed an increasingly bloody Miz. Hardy broke up the pin attempt. Henry powerslammed Chavo. Again, Hardy broke up the pin with two minutes left. Henry powerslammed Finlay, but Hardy broke up that pin. Miz rolled up Hardy from behind and yanked on the tights. Henry broke that up. Henry caught Chavo mid-air and powerslammed him. Hardy dropkicked Henry off of him. Finlay schoolboyed Hardy for a near fall. Finlay lifted Hardy, but Henry kicked him in the face. Henry splashed Miz. Hardy broke it up with a forearm with one minute left. The crowd chanted "Hardy, Hardy."
Hardy tossed Miz out of the ring. He surveyed the ring, then tossed Chavo out of the ring. Finlay lifted Hardy. Chavo returned to the ring and broke up Finlay's clunky pin attempt on Hardy. Henry covered Finlay. Everyone clustered in the corner and tried to gain a clear cover. The chaos continues as the crowd counted down the match to zero. Hardy was awarded the ECW World Title officially.
WINNER: Hardy in 20:00.
STAR RATING: **3/4 -- Good match. That was a good primer to show various entertaining aspects of how wrestlers would utilize various strategies in the match. Largely well executed by everyone and well-timed. A bit chaotic, but it should be.
-A video package aired on Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Jericho.
-Backstage, Jeff Hardy hugged and congratulated Matt Hardy. Matt said what will make this night better is if Jeff wins the World Title so the Hardys can have a clean sweep.
-They went to a split screen of Triple H and C.M. Punk warming up backstage. Nice tough. Punk was, of course, rolling his wrists. Few people would get away with doing that all of the time without a backlash from fans.
2 -- CODY RHODES & TED DIBIASE JR. vs. CRYME TYME -- World Tag Team Title match
Rhodes wore new black trunks that say, "Prince of Pro Wrestling." Michael Cole said that's because he's part of a royal wrestling family, the son of Dusty Rhodes, groomed and raised by the best. No mention of Dustin by Cole. Jerry Lawler said if he's a prince, he hopes he doesn't aspire to be king. Shad clotheslined both heels over the top rope to the floor. Shad then propelled J.T.G. over the top rope onto the heels on the floor. The heels settled into sustained offense. At 6:00 Lawler asked Cole if he ever stops talking and just sits back and enjoys the match. Cole said he is enjoying the match. He should've told Lawler he's paid to call the action, not sit back and enjoy the match silently. At 10:00 J.T. G avoided a moonsault, and upon landing Cody sold it like he was being electrocuted. Cody tagged in DiBiase, but J.T.G. also tagged in Shad. Shad took control. He showed good Greg Gagne-style fire during his offensive flurry. He hit a clothesline in the corner and then snake-eyed DiBiase followed by a running forearm to the face. When he went for the cover, Cody made the save. DiBiase DDT'd Shad during the chaos when the ref was getting Cody out of the ring. Shad put his leg over the bottom rope to stop the count. Cody tagged in, but Shad domined him. Not much crowd heat at all for Cryme Tyme's big spots. J.T.G. small packaged Cody, but DiBiase reversed the roll-up and scored the pin.
WINNERS: Rhodes & DiBiase in 11:00.
STAR RATING: *3/4 -- They gave it more than ten minutes, but the match itself was pretty much an 1980s house show tag minus crowd heat. Cryme Tyme weren't over with this crowd at all.
-Afterward, Shad looked on disappointed. If this were TNA, they'd be breaking up Cryme Tyme right now or at least hinting at it. A four-way post-match brawl broke out. A new Samoan with a huge head of hair attacked Cryme Tyme, cleared the ring of them, and then stood center-ring with DiBiase and Rhodes who knew who he was a held his arms in the air along with theirs.
-A trainer taped Michaels's arm. The trainer said he still runs the risk of tearing the tendon completely off the bone. Cole said it's a slight tear of his muscle. Then they threw to a video package on their feud.
3 -- CHRIS JERICHO vs. SHAWN MICHAELS
Cole said he asked Michaels about this match and Michaels sent him to a Bible verse, Joshua 6:20. Cole looked it up and it says the walls of Jericho are coming down. This could have been the final match on the show based on the hype delivered, so the early slot could be indicative of it being a transition match in the feud and not a major showcase for these two, perhaps based on limitations with Michaels. Early on Michaels hit Jericho with his right boot, knocking him to the floor. Michaels dove at Jericho, brave given his arm injury, and tumbled over the ringside barrier with Jericho into the first rows of the crowd. Jericho bled from his nose early. Michael catapulted Jericho into the ringpost face-and-hands first. Michaels looked under the ring for something. He didn't find it, so he grabbed a chair from ringside. He swung it at Jericho, but Jericho ducked. Jericho took over at ringside.
Jericho pulled out a table and dropped it on Michaels's back. Then he set it up and lifted Michaels for a powerbomb, but Michaels punched out of it. Jericho came back and used a chair against Michaels. He wedged a chair into the corner at 6:00. When he whipped Michaels, Michaels stopped short and reversed Jericho into the other corner shoulder first into the ringpost. Michaels grabbed at his arm as he delivered offense. Lawler said his arm was hanging useless on his side. Michaels choked Jericho on the mat, then got up and signaled for the Sweet Chin Music. He stopped short. Jericho fell onto his knees. Michaels grabbed his hair and decided to punch him repeatedly instead. Michaels battered Jericho with elbows as Jericho lay face down on the mat, then applied a crossface at 9:00, which Cole called "a submission maneuver." Jericho sent Michaels face-first into the chair wedged in the corner. Michaels grabbed at his injured eye. Jericho whipped Michaels into the same corner again. Michaels did the Flair flip, then flipped back into the ring and went at Jericho. The crowd was pretty quiet through all of the early action. Jericho applied a Walls of Jericho out of nowhere at 12:00. Michaels reached down and grabbed a fire extinguisher within his reach at ringside. He sprayed Jericho with it to force a break and also wake up the crowd.
Michaels got up and hit Jericho with the fire extinguisher. Jericho was knocked to ringside. Michaels followed. They brawled up the rampway and then back to ringside. Lance Cade interfered with a clothesline. Michaels took a flip bump off of that move. Jericho held Michaels's arm in place as Cade charged at it and rammed his knee into it at 15:00. Michaels writhed in pain mid-ring. The two-on-one attack, Cole said, was completely legal given the non-sanctioned nature of the match. Why not just have Cade interfere at the start if you're Jericho, then? That aspect of the rules was always irritating because it makes no sense for the heel to fight one-on-one at all. The two-on-one attack continued as fans gasped and booed. Cade held Michaels's arm as Jericho climbed to the top rope. Michaels shoved Cade into the ropes, knocking Jericho off balance. Michaels then superkicked Cade and grabbed a chair. He swung it at Jericho, knocking him off the top rope and through the table set up at ringside. Michaels went after Jericho at ringside with a chair and a monitor. Michaels set Cade on a table at ringside. He rolled into the ring, then rolled to ringside where he set Jericho face-first on top of Cade who was face up. The crowd laughed at that. Michaels then climbed to the top rope and came off with a flying elbow. The table collapsed and all three tumbled to the ground. Michaels got up and showed great fire and emotion. He collapsed to the mat and began crying as the release of emotions flowed. Great spot. Michaels got up and went after Jericho, dragging him into the ring at 24:00. Michaels took off his belt and began whipping Jericho.
Michaels wrapped Jericho on the mat and began pummeling Jericho's eye, perhaps aiming for his face. The ref tried to pull Michaels off of him. The ref finally just called for the bell to stop the match. There was a mix of high-pitched cheers and lower toned boos. Michaels was declared the winner by ref stoppage, which led to more cheers.
WINNER: Michaels in 27:00.
STAR RATING: ****1/4 -- A lot to like about that match as the fight itself matched the intensity of the hype.
-Afterward, Michaels seemed to be unable to control himself, going after Jericho again until the ref pulled him away. Jericho lay motionless on his back. Michaels superkicked the ref and then shook like he was having a nervous breakdown. Another (brave) ref entered the ring, followed by two more. They checked on the KO'd Jericho and called for medics. Fans chanted loudly, "HBK, HBK." Michaels dropped to his knees and cried. Lawler said he may struggle to live with himself after what he's done. He totally broke down and seemed to pray. Cole said Michaels must wonder if God will ever forgive him for what he did tonight or if Michaels will ever forgive himself. Finally, after a few minutes, Michaels's music played. Michaels stood. Jericho was out longer than Chuck Liddell at this point. Michaels did leave without further incident.
-A video aired hyping No Mercy, coming up Oct. 5 on PPV.
-Backstage, DiBiase and Rhodes celebrated with their new friend. Randy Orton walked in. Cody told Orton they not only won, they made a statement. He introduced Manu as the son of Wild Samoan Afa. Manu said Orton can knock Rhodes and DiBiase, but he thinks they're in a different class. Orton said, "I've got nothing to say but congratulations." He said they stole a win, so their fathers must be proud. He said their fathers had to earn their wins, but they have this God-given ability to steal wins. He told them to go celebrate and convince themselves they actually accomplished something. Orton said, "Luck runs out, but talent and ability goes on forever. Take it from me." He said he's not impressed at all.
-They cut to Jim Ross and Tazz at ringside. Tazz said Motorhead is one of his favorite bands ever and he thanked them for the official theme song of Unforgiven. Ross introduced the text message poll, asking what fans think of Vickie Guerrero excluding Big Show from the Smackdown Scramble match.
4 -- TRIPLE H vs. JEFF HARDY vs. SHELTON BENJAMIN vs. MVP vs. THE BRIAN KENDRICK -- Smackdown Scramble for the WWE Title
Jeff Hardy came out first followed by Jeff Hardy. They would get the first five minutes to themselves. A soundbite aired with Shelton where he vowed to claim what is destined to be his. Shelton dominated the first five minutes including a headlock first and then a chinlock a minute later.
When Hardy made a comeback, the five minute mark was reached and out came Kendrick. He danced his way to the ring with Ezekiel behind him. Ross noted that this is Kendrick's first-ever championship match. Kendrick charged into the ring and knocked Shelton off the ring apron to the floor. He then took Hardy down with a flying forearm and scored an early two count. He moved rapidly and urgently with stomps and kicks, the pace noted by Ross and Tazz. He scored a two count, but nobody bought it so there was no pop at the kickout. Then out of nowhere Hardy flip smacked Kendrick face-first to the mat and scored a three count at 8:00.
Hardy stomped Kendrick out of the ring, then turned to battle Shelton. He suplexed Shelton for a one count. Tazz said there's an old saying in amateur wrestling: just keep wrestling. Even if you're ahead on points, keep wrestling. Ross said Hardy isn't the type to go into a prevent defense. At 9:00 Hardy ducked a Shelton splash in the corner and then went for a pin. Shelton kicked out and hit his Pay Dirt diving DDT. Kendrick ran in and broke up the count, although that didn't really create an opportunity for him. Kendrick threw Shelton out of the ring and hit The Kendrick on Hardy for the win. Ross said Kendrick is "thee WWE champion." The crowd counted down the next entrance, which was MVP.
MVP went right after Kendrick. Then he fended off Hardy. Tazz noted how Henry lost his ECW Title earlier without getting pinned. That won't be the last time we hear that in coming weeks. Kendrick surprised MVP at 12:00 with a kick to the face out nof nowhere. Hardy then knocked Kendrick out of the ring. He knocked Shelton into MVP in the corner and then swing kicked both of them in the corner stomping his feet into Shelton's chest. Kendrick broke up Hardy's pin attempt on Shelton. Now that benefits Kendrick. Back and forth action continued until Triple H's ring entrance began at 15:00.
Triple H had five minutes to score a pin or submission to retain his title, currently held by Kendrick, so he move to the ring fast and turned on the jets. He knocked Shelton over the top rope at first, then gave MVP a face buster to his knee. Kendrick dove at him with a forearm, but Triple H ducked, so Kendrick KO'd MVP. He then gave a spinebuster to Kendrick. He flexed and showed fire. He tossed MVP to the floor and was left alone with Kendrick, giving him a Pedigree for the pin to regain the champion's advantage within a minute of arriving in the ring. Ross said there's a lot of time left. Shelton charged at Triple H. They brawled to ringside. Triple H threw Shelton into the ringside barrier. Shelton reversed Triple H into the steps. Meanwhile, Hardy gave MVP a Twist of Fate in the ring and scored the pin to regain championship status.
Hardy battled Kendrick. He got the better of him, then climbed to the top rope. Triple H knocked him of balance. Then Triple H entered the ring again and went after Kendrick again with another Pedigree for another three count with two minutes left. Hardy hit Kendrick with a Swanton for a pin. Triple H decided to go after Hardy, but Hardy backdropped Triple H over the top rope to the floor, then he nailed a Whisper in the Wind on Triple H on the floor. With those two down and out on the floor, MVP set Kendrick on the top rope. Shelton leapfrogged over them onto the top rope and gave Kendrick a suplex as MVP simultaneously gave them an Electric Chair. Hardy returned to the ring and nailed MVP with a Whisper in the Wind with 30 seconds left. He hit a Swanton on Shelton, but didn't have the strength to make the cover. Triple H slipped back into the ring and hit the Pedigree. He covered MVP for the pin a second before Hardy covered Shelton. The time expired and Triple H's pin counted. Hardy shook hands with Triple H afterwards for a fair, close win.
WINNER: Triple H in 20:00 to retain the WWE Championship.
STAR RATING: ***3/4 -- Another really good match. They took advantage of the concept well. Really good drama at the end, especially.
-A commercial aired hyping the Mr. Perfect DVD release, available this Tuesday.
-Grisham interviewed Michaels, asking if he's content with his victory over Jericho. Michaels said this is the first PPV in three months where he won't be spending the night of the event in the hospital. He said he's going to wash up, pack his bags, go to the airport, and return home tonight, then get into bed with his wife and be in his kids' room when they get up in the morning "and everyone in that house is going to know by the look on my face what happened here tonight. Am I content? Yeah. Am I satisfied, do I feel a sense of closure? No. No. If I had my choice, I would do what I did to Chris Jericho every night for the rest of my life." He said there's a rage inside him he might not be able to control, "and I don't know if I want to." He closed with, "Chris Jericho, the worst is definitely yet to come." He said it with a grin, his first smile of the night.
-Eve interviewed C.M. Punk who said the odds are stacked against him, but they have been his whole life. Orton walked up and said his odds would be greater if the guy holding the belt wasn't an absolute fluke. Punk shot back, "It just wouldn't be a night around here if the bitter, injured ex-champioin didn't show up." He noted he doesn't have his brace on and asked if he was better. Orton said he's still injured. He said it's time to continue their conversation from the other night. Punk said the problem with that is that he's a bitter ex-champion, whereas he's ready to walk out there and have the match of his career. Rhodes, DiBiase, and Manu attacked him. Kofi Kingston tried to make the save. The heels knocked him aside, then Orton gave Punk a Legend Killer kick. Punk was knocked out cold.
-They showed Cole and Lawler at ringside, without a table in front. They wondered about the ramifications of Punk being attacked backstage.
5 -- MICHELLE MCCOOL vs. MARYSE -- Divas Championship Match
Ross and Tazz called this one. They worked at a nice pace throughout. The crowd chanted "boring" at them and didn't respond to much of what they did. It's got to be tough to work in front of that atmosphere.
WINNER: McCool with a face-first impact at 6:00 to retain the Divas Title.
STAR RATING: (*1/4)
-In text voting results, 77 percent Vickie was wrong to exclude Big Show from the Smackdown Scramble match.
-Mike Adamle walked out onto the stage. He said as a result of what happened moments ago, it appears Punk may not be able to compete. He said if indeed that is the case, he will have no alternative but to find a suitable replacement. He added, "But rest assured, Raw's five-man Championship Scramble will take place tonight." The crowd didn't really pop, as if to indicate, "We never doubted it wouldn't." Cole and Lawler wondered at ringside who might replace him.
-The Big Show walked to the ring, smiling and jolly as he always is these days. He said Adamle isn't always all there, but he wouldn't make the same mistake that Vickie did in leaving him out. How convenient that the text message results were just revealed. Show then encouraged fans to Smackdown their Vote. He talked about the text message voting results. He asked the fans if they'd want him to be in the Scramble. There were some cheers. He thanked the fans. Again, as I wrote in the Smackdown report this weekend, I don't know what to make of the Big Show character these days. He's just odd. As Show's music played, Vickie power walked to the ring with a mic in hand. She said Big Show must be a big dumb giant to not have understood her orders to not be a distraction. She ordered him to return to the back. At that moment, Undertaker's erie music played as druids rolled a casket to the ring.
Undertaker appeared on the big screen. He said he promised her destiny was to be taken to Hell at Unforgiven. He asked if she'd go voluntarily or if he'd have to place her in her proper place. Big Show held Vickie by her arm as Taker's ring entrance music played. Taker walked to ringside and opened the casket. Vickie had a breakdown in the ring, collapsing to her knees. Vickie cried as Taker approached her. The crowd chanted "Un-der-taker." Show released Vickie and punched Taker in the face, dropping him to the mat. He stomped away at him. Now Show's odd behavior makes sense, although I think it might have been too confusing for some of the fans to fully grasp. Glad to see it was all heading somewhere. Show drove knees into Taker's face at ringside. The beating continued for several minutes.
-A replay aired of the Punk backstage attack. Then they went to William Regal lobbying for the potential open slot in the match. Adamle said he'd take him into consideration should Punk not be able to compete. He said he had to go check on things.
6 -- BATISTA vs. JBL vs. KANE vs. REY MYSTERIO vs. C.M. PUNK -- Raw Scramble for the World Title
Batista and JBL were the first two entrants. Batista dominated the first few minutes. JBL took over at ringside at 3:00. Batista came back just before Kane became the third official entrant by reverse whipping JBL into the ringside steps. Kane dominated Batista for several minutes. He went for a top rope clothesline, but Batista moved. Kane, though, popped Batista in the throat, then set up a chokeslam. Batista elbowed out of that and set up a Batista Bomb. JBL finally re-entered the ring and kicked Batista in the face. Kane kicked Batista out of the ring and ducked a JBL attempt at a Clothesline from Hell. Then he chokeslammed JBL for the pin to become the current World Champion. There was zero pop either positive or negative for that pin.
At 10:00 Rey Mysterio came out. He had Miz's faux hawk sticking out of his mask. Rey went after Kane. Lawler talked of bad blood between those two. JBL hit Rey from behind. Kane clotheslined Rey from the ring apron to slow him down. Rey leaped off of Batista's shoulders, with Batista helping with his arms, onto Kane. Rey rolled off of Kane in pain. Batista went for the cover and scored a two count. Rey called for another attempt at the move. This time, though, when Rey climbed onto Batista's shoulders, he went for a huracanrana into a roll-up for a two count. "Every man for himself," said Cole. Batista got upset, but Rey pointed out he went for the cover on Kane a minute earlier. JBL hit both of them. He gave a fallaway slam of Rey onto Batista, then scored a two count on Batista. JBL gave Kane a boot to the face. He dropped an elbow on Kane, then clotheslined Rey for a two count. The ten second countdown took place. Chris Jericho's music played. He could barely walk, but he made his way toward the ring. Lawler asked, "Could this be the man Adamle picked to replace Punk?" Cole said they have no choice but to assume that.
There were five minutes left in the ring. A camera close-up showed welts all over Jericho's back. Jericho entered the ring just as Batista speared Rey. Batista then speared Jericho. Batista slammed Kane, then speared JBL and went for a cover. JBL put his leg over the bottom rope to stop the count. Chaos continued with Rey getting a flurry of offense after escaping a Batista Bomb. He gave JBL a 619. When Rey leaped into the ring, Batista knocked him hard to the floor. Big bump, big ohhs from crowd. Kane then punched Batista in the face. JBL went for a Clothesline from Hell. Batista ducked and the CFH hit Kane. Batista speared Kane. Kane came back and bodyslammed Batista with 90 seconds left. He climbed to the top rope and hit a clothesline for a near fall. Pretty pointless, actually, which Lawler pointed out: "That doesn't change anything." Kane signaled for a chokeslam. Batista surprised him with a spear and a spinebuster for a three count with 25 seconds left. Nobody else was in the ring. Rey went for a huracanrana on Batista, but turned it into a powerbomb. Meanwhile Jericho covered the KO'd Kane and scored a three count just before the buzzer. Batista turned and got bug-eyed with disbelief. Lawler said what could have been a horrible night for Jericho turned into one of the best of his professional life.
WINNER: Chris Jericho in 20:00 to retain the WWE Title.
STAR RATING: *3/4 -- That match wasn't nearly as good as the others. Certainly a newsworthy finish that will give WWE something to talk about on Raw tomorrow night.
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