The Unforgiven 2006 Breakdown
Posted by J.D. Dunn on 09.21.2006
A giant ass may get all the talk, but the night belongs to Cena and the Toronto natives.
WWE Unforgiven 2006 by J.D. Dunn
September 16, 2006
Live from Toronto, Ont.
Your hosts are Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler.
Opening Match, Intercontinental Title: Johnny Nitro (w/Melina) vs. Jeff Hardy.
JR mentions Hardy's "undiscussed" absence from the WWE. Then again, he calls them the "Toronto Mapleleaves," which is technically correct, but no one calls them that. This gets a surprising amount of time, and even more surprising is the fact that they actually look like they deserve investing this much time in. Hardy dominates with basic offense to start, mostly involving armdrags. Nitro bumps around like a maniac in between arguing with the referee. Melina breaks character when the fans shriek back at her. Nitro finally dropkicks Hardy off the top rope, nearly dropping him on his head. SWEEEET! Nitro jumps right on Jeff's injured knee and works it like a…well, an actual wrestler. And it's a good 4-5 minutes of legwork without getting boring. The crowd starts a big "Nitro Sucks!" which bodes well for him. There's also a small "Let's go, Nitro!" chant. Hardy comes back with the usual and blocks a huracanrana. Nitro SPLATS right on his face, allowing Jeff to hit the SWANTON! ONE, TWO, THRE-foot on the ropes. Jeff goes for the Twist of Fate, but Nitro counters with a single-leg and turns it into an anklelock. NICE! Who is this Johnny Nitro? Hardy shoves Nitro into Melina (who had climbed up on the apron) and schoolboys him for a close two. Nitro tries a rana off the top rope, but Hardy just DROPS him with a powerbomb! Oh, that's sick. Unfortunately for Jeff, he falls up against the ropes where Melina SMACKS him with her boot. Nitro rolls over and covers for the win at 17:37. Nicely booked match. Someone must have took Jeff aside and explained to him that he had to obey the rules of psychology and physics this time out. Nitro looked great too. If he ever becomes anything in the industry, you can point back to *this* match as a turning point. ***
In the back, Team Extreme reunites as Jeff runs into Matt Hardy and Lita. Lita makes fun of them for being losers.
Kane vs. Umaga (w/Armando Alejandro Estrada)
Estrada's intro is nearly as long as the match (and much more interesting). Umaga actually busts out a fat-ass Shining Wizard. I'm impressed. Kane takes the buttalanche but makes a big red comeback. They trade blows before Kane belly-to-bellies Umaga to the floor. They brawl out into the crowd and up the ramp Brody/Abdullah-style until they're counted out at 7:02. It's not such a scintillating feud that it needed to be stretched out. Typical big man match with the exception of Umaga trying to fly around on occasion. 3/4*
Vince and Shane McMahon bond and talk strategy.
WWE Tag Team Titles: Mikey & Kenny (w/the Spirit Squad) vs. The Highlanders.
The challengers isolate Mikey and target his arm. See, now that's not so "unorthodox." Nothing of note happens until Robby tries a suicida and misses everything but the floor. Robby plays face-in-peril for a long bit. I appreciate that all of these guys are athletic and all, but they're not doing anything particularly interesting, and I never get the feeling that Robby is actually in trouble in the match. Indeed, he gets the hot tag to Rory who cleans house on the heels. In all the chaos, though, Johnny sneaks in and hits the Johnny-Go-Round (kick) on Rory. Kenny gets the win at 10:00. Bland, cookie-cutter match. Nothing wrong with it. Nothing right with it. Just average. **
Hell in a Cell: Triple H & Shawn Michaels vs. Vince McMahon, Shane McMahon & the Big Show.
DX takes Big Show out of the equation early with a double punt to the giblets. Shane pairs off with Shawn and gets his ass kicked. Hunter tries to stab Vince's eye out with a screwdriver. Funny moment as JR chastises the King for inquiring about the rules. "There have been 14 Hell in a Cells, and I think we've called all of them!" Show finally returns and turns the tide in favor of the boss. Shane hits the Van Terminator on Triple H, busting Hunter's ear injury open again. Long beatdown ensues, including a Vader Bomb (called as such) by the Big Show. Of course, Vince has to be an ass and pick Shawn up after several two counts. Hunter returns and saves Shawn from a beating, but Shane jumps him and gives him a Dick Driver. I was hoping for a Burning Hammer, but it didn't happen. A Big Show splash accidentally hits Vince, and DX crotches Show on the ringpost. DX rages back and Pillmanizes Shane's neck. Show recovers and introduces the ringsteps to the match. Unfortunately for him, Hunter introduces a chair to the match. Show gets knocked out, landing stretched over the ropes. Oh, this can't be good. DX yanks down Show's trunks and shoves Vince's face in his ass for kicks. That makes Vince easy pickings for the Sweet Chin Music and Sledgehammer shot at 25:02. For something that was supposed to be hate filled, this came off more like a comedy match as they came down the stretch. I understand not wanting to show up Cena and Edge, but that doesn't necessarily make this match any more worth seeing. It was slow and lumbering through much of the early going too. The only saving graces were the characterizations and facial expressions. **1/2
Recap of Trish's career.
WWE Women's Title: Lita vs. Trish Stratus.
Interesting that these two would meet now. They debuted in the WWE only a few weeks apart – Lita in February and Trish in April. Trish is obviously very emotional from the get-go, spazzing out and nearly tripping on the stairs. Trish gets a headscissors and a Thesz Press off the apron (ironically, the same move Lita hurt herself on last time). Another headscissors plants Lita on the outside. Lita comes back with a sleeper but takes some chops to the chest (WITH MULTIPLE LICKS!) Lita counters the Stratusphere, and they spill off the top rope. Lita tosses Trish back to the mat but misses the moonsault. Trish goes for Stratusfaction, but Lita dumps her to the floor so some 9 year-olds can tell her "she's hawt." Um, I think she knows by now. Trish wins a slugfest and hits the Stratusphere. CHICK KICK! ONE, TWO, THRE-NO! Trish goes for Stratusfaction but slips over into a sunset flip – and into a SHARPSHOOTER! The crowd goes nuts for that one. Lita taps at 10:35. Near-perfect booking here. Both women busted their asses for Trish's last match and turned in a near MOTN. Give me genuine emotion over Vince tossing salad any day. ***
Randy Orton gets some cheap heat, calling Trish a "bitch."
Randy Orton vs. Carlito.
You know, I never thought I'd type this, but these guys have the misfortune of following the Divas match. Stiff tie-up. Carlito spits in Orton's face. He gets himself over with a springboard backflip into a dropkick. He goes way lucha with a springboard corkscrew senton and a quebrada for two. Randy starts bleeding from the mouth. Finally, Randy knocks Carlito off the apron down to the floor. Carlito comes back with a springboard back elbow. Orton goes for the RKO, but Carlito counters to the Lungblower. Carlito goes up top and comes off…right into the RKO at 8:44. Cool finish. The match was solid enough technically, but it lacked energy and intensity. **1/4
WWE Championship, TLC Match: Edge vs. John Cena.
Edge is the babyface as far as the crowd is concerned. Cena & Edge trade moves back and forth until Edge slaps the taste out of his mouth. Big pop for that. Edge gets an Impaler DDT but eschews the ladder in lieu of setting up chairs. His suplex is countered, but Edge comes up with a reverse DDT on the chairs! Edge sets up the ladder against Cena's face and dropkicks it from the railing. Cena comes back with a hiptoss onto the ladder. They botch a spot where Edge is supposed to sunset flip Cena and powerbomb him through a table. Instead, Edge powerslams him through the table in a much cooler spot anyway. Edge smashes Cena with a chair and goes for the Con-chair-to, but Cena sweeps the leg. He sandwiches Edge in the ladder and locks in the STFU for the insignificant tapout. Cena drops the Five-Knuckle Shuffle on Edge from the ladder. Cena sets up a table but doesn't see Edge recover. Edge pops up and KNOCKS CENA OUT with a chairshot! Edge sets up Cena in between two set-up tables and goes up. Unfortunately, Cena pops up and knocks him to the floor. Cena goes up, but Edge climb a nearby ladder and spears him off! Cena catches Edge going up and powerbombs him into a ladder! Cena goes up the big ladder, but here's Lita to tip over the ladder and send him falling through a table below! INSANE! Edge goes up, but Cena recovers and jumps in the ring. Lita tries to help Edge out with a chairshot to Cena, but the challenger stumbles into the ladder and shoves Edge out and through the tables. MORE INSANE! FU to Lita! Cena thinks for a moment about going out and getting some more of Edge, but he decides to go up instead. Edge catches up with him, but Cena grabs him and FUs him through some nearby tables. The WWE Title is easy pickings from there. Cena picks up another title reign at 25:38. Another brutal, intense match from these two. The only problem is that most of the spots have been done before in other matches and the TLC concept has been taken as far as it can be without risking someone's life. More good booking, though. Nice to see the agents are earning their money. ***3/4
Final Thoughts: I'm a little torn on the recommendation. There are three pretty good matches in there, and no really horrible matches. It does feel, though, like they piled in a lot of gimmicks in lieu of creating interesting stories for them. The Trish/Lita match had the most emotional heat behind it, but that falls under the "familiarity breeds contempt" category rather than anything they actually did during this feud. Call it a mild thumbs up for the TLC and Trish retirement match. Everything else is okay-to-good but unmemorable.