WWE UNFORGIVEN 2003
Hershey Park, Pennsylvania
September 21, 2003
LA RESISTANCE (WWE World Tag Team
Champions) & ROB CONWAY vs. D-VON & BUBBA RAY DUDLEY
Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler pointed out that because Eric Bischoff (during Heat) made it a handicap match because Spike Dudley was unable to compete, they'd be at a great disadvantage because to win they have to put all three members of the heel team through tables. Ross pointed out if they win, it will begin their 17th tag team title reign. He said they were the most "prolific" tag team of all time. By 2:30 the Dudleys had dominated and were signaling for tables already. La Resistance, though, came back quickly and took over offense for several minutes. Ross said in all his years, he's never seen the mood of the locker room as it was backstage, implying everyone was tense and grumpy. Bubba tagged in D-Von who went to work on the three heels at 4:30. They gave Grenier the D-Von top rope headbutt, then set up a table in mid-ring. The three heels, though, took back control and threw Dudley through the table in the corner. They set up an official table move (apparently a table in the corner doesn't count as a finish), but Dudley fought back. Bubba reversed a Grenier suplex attempt to eliminate him. When the two remaining heels attempted to backdrop Bubba through a table, D-Von moved the table. The Dudleys then threw Conway over the top rope onto two tables below. Conway crashed through just one of the tables, though, and almost got Spike treatment with his head grazing the other. They then finished off Dupree with 3D through a table in center ring.
TEST vs. SCOTT STEINER
Ross called Stacy a "lovely, kind-hearted women.". Ross called Test overbearing and said Stacy deserves to be freed from his control. He said most of the world is pulling for Scott Steiner. Stacy hugged Steiner before the match. Test threw a fit. Ross said Test is talented, but overbearing. At 1:00 when Test yelled at Stacy at ringside, Steiner interjected himself. Test, though, threw Steiner into the ringside stairs. Steiner hit Test with a sloppy underhook suplex at 4:00. Test returned fire with a low blow. When he went for the cover, Stacy knocked his legs off the ropes. When Test yelled at her, grabbed Test and jumped off the apron to clothesline his throat on the top rope. Test chased Stacy around ringside. She entered the ring, but bumped into Steiner. Test then hit Steiner with a big boot. Steiner kicked out. Test got in the ref's face, furious that he didn't score the pin. Stacy brought a chair into the ring and inadvertently hit Steiner with it. Test stood and laughed, and then gave Steiner a big boot and scored the pin. Stacy got really pouty really fast over the outcome. Ross wondered what fate awaited Steiner now that he was Test's property, as per the match stipulations.
RANDY ORTON (w/Ric Flair) vs. SHAWN MICHAELS
This match was the most under promoted headed into the PPV relative to its value to the show. Lawler said if you had his blood lines, looks, and talent, you'd be conceited, too. He added, "Is he conceited or convinced?" Ross said Michaels may have physically lost a step, but he is smarter than ever, and therefore probably better than he has ever been. He said he doesn't take as many unnecessary risks as he once did. With all of the talk of Orton being a future star, we have yet to see him in a memorable or good match in WWE. Orton skinned the cat back into the ring at 2:45 and scored a two count after a dropkick from behind. Orton stomped away at Michaels. Michaels came back with several clothesline, including one that sent Orton to the mat. Michaels then skinned the cat with a little more vigor than did Orton, then celebrated his move in the ring. When Orton tried to return to the ring, Michaels slidekicked him. Michaels hit a top rope crossbody block to the floor, which was executed well by both. Back in the ring Michaels hit Orton with a belly-to-back suplex into a bridge for a near fall. He followed with a sunset flip into a roll-up for another two count. Orton caught a charging Michaels with a boot, then punched away at his face. Michaels returned fire with punches and chops, eliciting whoos from the crowd. Orton fired back with chops. Michaels forced back with forearms. They continued to take turns hitting each other. Michaels went for a shoulder tackle in the corner, but Orton moved and Michaels hit the ring post and fell to the floor. As Orton distracted the ref, Flair threw Michaels shoulder-first into the ring post. Orton then worked over Michaels's arm for the next several minutes. Michaels teased a few comebacks. At 12:20 both men went down after a collision. Michaels nipped up then hit Orton with an atomic drop followed by a couple punches. His full-fledged comeback didn't draw much of a crowd pop (probably because Michaels hasn't been all that likable on TV lately). Flair jumped on the ring apron, but Michaels punched him to the ground. Michaels then sent Orton to the floor and dove onto him. He threw some punches, then threw Orton into the ring and went for the top rope. Flair ran at Michaels, who punched Flair, and Flair flopped to the ground. Michaels scored a two count in the ring. Orton then reversed Michaels into the corner turnbuckle at 14:40. Orton struggled to climb to the top rope, then leaped at Michaels, but Michaels lifted his boot into Orton's face. Michaels went for a superkick, but Orton blocked it and then gave Michaels an immediate RKO. He crawled onto Michaels for a believable near fall at 16:00. Flair threw a fit at ringside. Since Michaels "got to kick out of Orton's finisher," that was Michaels's "save face" moment and meant Michaels was ultimately going to lose. Orton went for a frog splash next, but Michaels moved. Michaels then went to the top rope. He fended off Flair again. Michaels hit his top rope elbow, but then sold a major elbow injury and couldn't go for the cover right away. By the time he made the soft cover, Orton was able to kick out. Michaels then got up and did his full-fledged comeback full of fire, including stomping the mat over and over again to get the crowd into the match. He nailed Orton with the Superkick. He made the cover, but Flair put Orton's leg on the bottom rope and then hid on the floor out of the referee's site. As Michaels celebrated his win, the ref explained to Michaels that his foot was on the bottom rope and ordered the match restarted. Michaels hit a charging Flair with a superkick (well, he almost hit him). As the ref tended to Flair, who was rolling out of the ring, Michaels went for a back suplex, but pulling out finish Tito Santana and Randy Savage used nearly 20 years ago, Orton nailed Michaels on the way down with multiple brass knuckles shots. Flair had given Orton the knucks a minute earlier.
-Backstage La Resistance and Conway nursed their injuries in the training room. Chris Jericho walked and blamed Steve Austin for making the tables match earlier a title match. He said someone has to stop Austin's reign of terror and he would be the one to do it.
LITA & TRISH STRATUS vs. GAIL KIM & MOLLY HOLLY
Trish threw some stiff hard chops at Kim's chest and then took her down with a throat grip clothesline. She followed up with a nice roundhouse kick and scored a two count. Molly yanked down the middle rope, sending Trish through the ropes to the floor. Lita was bleeding from the mouth at 4:00. She stood on the ring apron and seemed to be in pain. Ross said she might have lost a tooth or bit her lip. Trish attempted to gave in Lita, who continued to bleed from her mouth pretty heavily and seemed to be working really hard to just keep standing and show energy. Trish made the tag at 5:30 and Lita clotheslined both Molly and Kim. She mounted Holly and threw several punches. She followed with a head scissors. When Kim entered, Lita gave her a Powerbomb. Molly hit Lita from behind, then went to the top rope. Trish head scissored her to the mat. Lita gave her a neckbreaker followed by a moonsault for the win.
SHANE MCMAHON vs. KANE
Shane attacked Kane from behind with a chair on his way to the ring. He hit him with several more chairshots in the ring. Kane got up and covered his face, so Shane hit his legs with the chair. He followed up by yanking his leg around the ring post. Of course, the only thing that can stop Super Shane-O is overzealousness. He went for a flying move at ringside, but Kane caught him and took control. He rammed Shane with the ringside stairs at 4:00. Shane was down and the ref began to count to ten. Shane rose just before 10. Kane threw a limp-bodies Shane into the ring. Kane chokeslammed Shane. Shane managed to make a comeback at 7:30, shortly after Kane taunted Shane with his mom's name. He put the steel stairs against Kane's face in the corner and then leaped off the top rope and dropkicked the stairs into Kane's chest. Shane sold it as if he were hurt badly in executing the move. The crowd started a "holy sh--" chant briefly. They brawled in the aisle next, with Shane attempted to fight off Kane as he made his comeback, but Kane eventually dominating. At 15:00 Kane shoved a table off the stage onto Shane below. Kane then laughed. As Kane went to check on Shane, Shane came from behind, having magically avoided the table and snuck to the other side. Shane used the crane camera as a weapon against Kane. The ref got to nine before Kane stood. Shane then went after Kane with cables, wrapping them around his neck and choking him. He dragged Kane onto the stage. After Shane danced and threw a punch, Kane caught the punch. Shane gave Kane a low blow and the a DDT on the stage. Shane followed up by using a monitor as a weapon against Kane's head several times. Shane climbed the rafters of the Unforgiven set at least 30 feet above the stage. Kane did a senton back splash toward Kane, but Kane moved. Shane fell through the stage floor, which broke. Only his arms and legs were showing. Kane stood, but Shane didn't, thus Kane won. Once again, only overzealousness can stop Super Shane-O. Shane was put in a neck brace and back brace and taken to the back. Ross said that's one of the images that will stay with him for the rest of his life.
CHRISTIAN (WWE Intercontinental Champion) vs. ROB VAN DAM vs. CHRIS JERICHO
"Follow that," yelled Super Shane-O as these three came out for their match. Not really, but his bump basically killed the crowd for this one. They should have put Steiner-Test out after that stunt bump. As expected, a pretty dead crowd for the first few minutes. It's tough to get excited about mere Fourth of July fireworks when in the previous match a planet was blown up. RVD fended off double-teaming by Christian and Jericho. Jericho applied a chin lock at 8:00 to suck out what little was left of the crowd heat. Lawler got solemn ("Owen Hart is dead" style) as he said he was just told Shane was taken to the hospital and there is serious concern about his neck. For what it's worth, Shane did move his extremities right after the bump. At 9:20 Jericho applied the Walls of Jericho which woke up the crowd a bit. RVD screamed and crawled toward the ropes. Jericho pulled him back to center ring before he could grab the ropes. Christian, who had been taking his time recovering at ringside, broke up the Walls of Jericho and tried to capitalize with a pin attempt. Jericho and Christian then brawled as RVD rolled to ringside to recover. Christian climbed to the top rope, but Jericho knocked him off balance and he straddled the top turnbuckle. Lawler said that will end Christian's chances of ever having Little Peeps. Ross said, "Unless he was wearing a People's Cup." Jericho superplexed Christian. Both men lay on their backs. RVD retuned to the ring and went for a cover on Christian. Christian kicked out. RVD and Jericho began battling. Jericho drove RVD's face into the mat, then went for a Lionsault, but RVD moved. Jericho landed on his feet, but sold a knee injury. RVD hit a Rolling Thunder. Christian then re-entered the ring and went after RVD. RVD gave Christian a drop toe hold, sending him into Jericho. RVD then looked to the crowd, which cheered as he mounted the top rope. RVD hit a Five Star Frog Splash onto both Christian and Jericho. He sold an injury himself and wasn't able to make the quick pin attempt. Yeah, that was cool, but he's no Super Shane-O! RVD threw Christian over the top rope, and then gave a crescent kick, to Jericho's face. He then set up Jericho for an Electric Chair. Christian got underneath RVD, though, and powerbombed them both at once (a move inspired by a recent TNA spot by America's Most Wanted, if I remember right). RVD sent Jericho out of the ring. Christian entered with the title belt. RVD ducked and rolled up Christian for a near fall. RVD then went to the top rope, fended off Jericho's attempt to knock him off balance with a chair, and then went for a Five Star. Christian had time enough to recover and block RVD's splash with the IC belt he brought into the ring, and rolled up RVD for the pin. Christian bled from the mouth, too. He and Lita can keep each other company at the dentist office tomorrow afternoon.
Marc Lloyd made his first appearance on the PPV, interviewing Triple H about his title match. Triple H told a story about a great knight who defeated every monster and destroyed every dragon. One day that knight fell asleep and when he woke up, he was in the real world. "And you know what happened to him? He got his ass kicked. I don't believe in fairy tails. What I believe in is the most proven commodity in this business. Me. What I believe in is the greatest wrestler alive today. Me. And what I believe in is the World Heavyweight Championship. It is what I am about. I would put my life on the line to keep it. Tonight I end Bill Goldberg's storybook career. I don't believe in fairy tails. I don't believe the hype. And Goldberg, it's time to play the game."
Lawler and Ross talked the World Title match, then turned their attention to plugging the Smackdown-exclusive PPV, No Mercy. He said "us" when referring to it, which is yet another shift in how the brands refer to each other. Then a feature aired on their match against Eric Bischoff and Al Snow.
As Snow and Coach walked to the ring, Ross said the only thing he's ever wanted to do was being a wrestling announcer, and now that was on the line. Lawler wondered who was going to announce the match. Ross said he doesn't care about that, all he cares about is teaching Coach about respect. You'd think it would be a good idea, both for storyline purposes and real life, to give Lawler and especially Ross a chance to stretch out a bit before the match and get warmed up. Lawler walked to the ring to his music.
AL SNOW & JONATHAN COACHMAN vs. JIM ROSS & JERRY LAWLER
No announcers came out, which left this match feeling really awkward since matches never air on PPV without play-by-play. Snow and Lawler wrestled at first with Ross and Coach acting as cheerleaders. They didn't add anyone to the announce desk. The speculation within WWE was that Eric Bischoff and perhaps Steve Austin would call the match, which would have made sense and definitely would have helped this from a TV production standpoint. It really "exposed' the product to not have announcers because the crowd wasn't into this. The ring was mic-ed well, so Coach's cheerleading of Snow added an audio element. Lawler piledrove Snow at 4:00. Ross yelled, "That's it!" He told the ref to be ready to count him. Snow put his leg over the bottom rope to break the count. Coach tagged in and went for a dive into the corner, but Lawler moved. Coach crotched himself on the corner turnbuckle. Snow entered the ring, but Lawler met him with a punch. A "We Want JR." chant broke out briefly. Lawler hit his fist drop for a two count, but Snow intervened. Lawler then tagged in Ross. Snow met him mid-ring. The ref ordered Snow out of the ring. Ross kicked Snow between the legs. Ross then slapped Snow, who bumped over the top rope to the floor. He then clotheslined Coach from behind in a move "uglier than a bowling shoe." Ross kicked at Coach and threw punches. The crowd loved it as Ross punched at Coach's face and Coach screamed for mercy. Coach was in the guard. Jericho entered the ring and dropkicked Ross from behind, then put Coach on top. The ref had been tending to Lawler and Snow at ringside. The ref counted to three. The camera showed Ross coming to grips with losing his announcing job.
Lloyd attempted to interview Jericho afterward in the aisle. He said there was more than one way to crack Austin.
Ross and Lawler sat back at the announcing table. Ross told Lawler he let him down and apologized. Lawler told Ross he heard from the fans that Jericho hit him from behind. Ross said since he was a kid, all he wanted to be was an announcer, and now its sinking that his announcing career is over. He said he and Lawler only had one more match left, and "by god we're going to give you something to make you remember us forever." Lawler said, "Let's see how Al Snow and Coach follow this."
TRIPLE H (WWE World Champion) vs. BILL GOLDBERG
It's no coincidence that Hunter and Goldberg didn't have to follow Shane's big stunt bump. Hunter came out first, which is unusual for a champion. Ross said he doesn't expect to see Orton or Flair at ringside because were he to get DQ'd or counted out, he'd lose the title. Ross said the stakes have never been higher. The crowd chanted "Goldberg, Goldberg" at the start. Ross said the arena was sold out and fans were milling around outside just to hear and feel the match, it was such a big deal. Goldberg got in an early press slam. Hunter bailed out to ringside, writhing in pain. Lawler said, "It's been said Goldberg isn't the sharpest knife in the drawer, but he can still cut ya'." Hunter reentered the ring and went for an armbar. Goldberg reversed it quickly. Hunter went for a suplex. Goldberg blocked it and reversed it into a neckbreaker. Hunter kicked Goldberg in the gut. They exchanged punches in the corner. Hunter definitely looked like he was not at his peak bodybuilding level. He even had a little flabby gut, but it should work to the match being potentially better than if he were all muscled up for a photo shoot. Goldberg went for a Spear at 4:45, but Hunter caught him with a knee as he charged at him. Goldberg fought back briefly with some punches at 7:00, but Hunter yanked his leg around the ring post. Hunter applied a figure-four. Goldberg reversed it, so Hunter released it. Hunter went for a knee drop at 10;30, but Goldberg caught his leg. He followed with a Powerslam for a two count. Ross said Goldberg is not a catch as catch can specialist, but is a power wrestler. Goldberg came up favoring his left arm as he went after Hunter at ringside, whipping him into the stairs. Hunter came up bleeding. Goldberg hip-locked Hunter from the apron into the ring. Goldberg lifted Hunter for a Jackhammer, but Hunter escaped and gave Goldberg a low-blow and knocked him into the ref. The mics picked up some chattered between Hunter and Goldberg, which Ross quickly called "trash talking" and "mind games" by Triple H. Nice call. Goldberg backdropped Hunter over the top rope to the floor. Hunter grabbed a sledge hammer out from under the ring. When Goldberg leaned over to get at Hunter, Hunter shoved the butt of the sledgehammer into the side of his head. Goldberg fell backward. When Hunter brought the sledgehammer into the ring, Goldberg surprised him with a Spear. Goldberg then kicked the sledge hammer out of the ring. Goldberg leaned on the top rope and growled. Lawler wondered how he got up from the sledge hammer shot. Ross said he is an animal. Goldberg then hit Hunter with a Jackhammer and scored a clean three count.