Wednesday, July 5, 2023

WWF Unforgiven 2000

Yeah, we're skipping a couple PPVs here. Most notably the King Of The Ring, Fully Loaded, and Summerslam PPVs... because we've already touched on those years ago and there's not much I could add there. But to bring you up to speed, Rock won the title back at KOTR, which was largely a bad show and retained at the much better Fully Loaded show as well as a pretty good Summerslam card. Even so, the quality of these shows do not compare to the excellent cards that opened the year and we're reaching the point where the cracks are starting to show and maybe this year isn't looking so hot.

Fortunately, we've got the return of Strone Cold Steve Austin to WWF television after a long hiatus due to neck surgery and also who ran him over and such.

The Right To Censor (Steven Richards, Val Venis, Bull Buchanan, and the GOODFather) defeated the APA and the Dudley Boyz in the opening eight-man tag match that featured a lot of big guys brawling with each other before the Dudleyz hit their 3D on Val, only for Steven to hit a superkick on Bubba (or was it D-Von? I neither recall nor care...) to give Val the pin. Another brawl follows that sees Steven put through a table... well, it wasn't boring. I'll give them that much. This Right To Censor thing - a less than subtle jab at the Parents Television Council that was give the WWF grief over their content - is already starting to feel a bit tired and I'm just about done with them... sadly, they'd stick around for the rest of the year and thensome. Fuck.

Tazzzzzzzzzzzzz defeated Jerry "The King" Lawler in a nothing happening strap match that saw Raven debut and hit a DDT on Lawler, allowing Taz to lock on the Redrum TAZMISSION for the win. Raven showing up after a stint in ECW got a HUGE reaction from the crowd and it absolutely baffles me that nobody bothered to capitalize on that... then again, I could say the same thing about Taz when he debuted... and I did. Again... FUCK.

Steve Austin has arrived and blows off Kevin Kelly. Meanwhile, Michael Cole joins Jim Ross on commentary... make of that what you will, I suppose.

Hardcore champion Steve Blackman retains the title in the Hardcore Invitational, which was a gauntlet thing of sorts where you pinned the champ to be the interim champ and whoever held the bit at the end of the ten minute time limit would be the champ. They did something similar at Wrestlemania and honestly, I liked that one better. This was missing something. I don't know what, but it's missing something.

Steve Austin beats up Kurt Angle backstage... well, that's not how you treat YOUR Olympic hero.

Chris Jericho defeated X-Pac via Walls Of Jericho submission. Perfectly acceptable wrestling match between two talented dudes. Not much else to add here.

The Hardyz defeated WWF Tag-Team Champions Edge & Christian in a cage match to win the titles. Fun little cage match with a lot of crazy spots, but they'd have better matches between them and most of them usually involve a ladder of some type.

Intercontinental Champion Eddie Guerrero defeated Rikishi via DQ when Rikishi superkicked Chyna who tried to interfere and... well, this was a thing that happened, I guess? Nobody cared about either guy, either, so I don't know what the point of this was.

HHH defeated Kurt Angle in a pretty underwhelming match. You'd think these two would able to pull off a great match, but for some reason, it didn't click... oh, and Mick Foley was the special ref for this match, for some reason. Meh.

Shane McMahon comes out and declares that Steve Blackman was the one who ran over Stone Cold Steve Austin last year at Survivor Series. As video proof, he shows a clip of Blackman running over Shamrock on some episode of RAW. Amazingly, this did not put Shamrock out of commission or maybe it did because Shamrock would be gone from WWF. Blackman comes out to argue, but then the glass shatters and out comes ol' Stone Cold himself to a new version of his theme by the band Disturbed - which is probably my favorite version of the theme besides the original "Hell Frozen Over" version he used in 96-98. So Blackman gets a Stunner and Shane sucks up to Austin for a bit with a few beers before he gets Stunnered... Austin continues to celebrate by drinking beer and stunning Shane a few more times. To say that Austin got quite the reaction would be the understatement to end all understatements. The pop was tremendous and clearly, Austin was missed.

Naturally, the first order of business was trying to find out who put him out of commission in the first place and while that would end up being somewhat underwhelming... well, let's be honest; between this and the failed heel run, Stone Cold's run this time around wasn't something to be clamoring about.

Chris Benoit defeated WWF Champion THE ROCK, Undertaker, and Kane by pinning Undertaker to win the... no, wait, commissioner Mick Foley comes and reverses the decision because Undertaker's foot was on the ropes. So it's a four-way match where weapons are allowed to be used without consequence and pinfalls apparently count anywhere... but you can still break a pin by putting your foot on the ropes. Even back in the day, I thought this was fucking stupid. In any event, Benoit would have his day, but it is not this day, for on this day, THE ROCK would go on to retain the title. Watching this back then, I would've been rooting for Benoit to win the title here and then Rock could win it back somewhere along the way, but nowadays... eh. In any event, this was Rock vs. Benoit with the two demon guys tossed in to take up space. It is what it is, I suppose.

Let's be real; the only draw on this show was seeing the return of Stone Cold Steve Austin and everything else was an afterthought. You took Austin out of the picture and you're left with a pretty nothing happening show. Meh.

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