Unforgiven: Goldberg wins Gold
JASON CLEVETT -- SLAM! Wrestling
It's been considered a fact since the RAW after Wrestlemania when Bill
Goldberg made his debut that he would end up with the RAW World Title
around his waist. Six months later the plan came to fruition as last
night Bill Goldberg defeated Triple H in a lackluster match to win the belt.
In reality, this title switch should have occurred during the
"Elimination Chamber" match at last month's SummerSlam. There, the crowd
was rabid for Goldberg as he decimated Randy Orton, Shawn Michaels and
Chris Jericho and beat the hell out of the champion before losing to the
dreaded sledgehammer of doom. The crowd tonight was apathetic,
especially during the last three matches. Although they chanted the
challenger's name on his entrance and victory, aside from that they
didn't do much.
Early in the match Goldberg overpowered The Game with a gorilla press
and other power moves, and Hunter bailed out of the ring often to catch
a breather. Goldberg set up the spear but HHH countered with a high
knee, shades of the great Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake. Taking the match
outside the ring, the champion went to work on the challenger's leg,
softening him up for an attempt at the figure-four, which Goldberg
kicked out of sending Hunter into the post.
The setback didn't stop the game plan, and soon Hunter took a page out
of his idol Ric Flair's book and successfully snared the move, which
Goldberg then reversed. Goldberg came back and bloodied the champ by
whipping him into the stairs, prompting me to try and remember the last
PPV match Hunter didn't bleed in. With HHH battered and bloody, Goldberg
went for the kill with an attempted powerslam, but the crafty champion
slid down his back and shoved him into the referee, causing worldwide
celebration over yet another freakin' ref bump. A low blow and a DDT set
up the pedigree, but Goldberg fought out of it and sent Hunter to the
outside. Break out the cliche of the trusty sledgehammer, which was
slammed into Goldberg's face as he reached over the ropes.
With Goldberg seemingly finished, the champion entered the ring and
lifted the sledgehammer above his head. Out of nowhere the challenger
sprang to his feet, speared him out of his boots, connected with the
Jackhammer and won the match in a very anti-climactic fashion. As he
raised the belt in the air, Hunter hobbled off to nurse his groin back
to health and get married, so he can come back better than ever to get
his belt back and hold it for another year.
All in all, Unforgiven was a decent show, head and shoulders above the
horrid excuse for a PPV that RAW offered in June called Badd Blood.
Although July's Vengeance and even this past Thursday's Smackdown show
were infinitely better, for the most part the effort was there from most
of the wrestlers. The crowd sucked however, which took away from the show.
The next WWE PPV is No Mercy, brought to you by the superior
Smackdown brand on October 19th.
Dudley Boys vs. Le Resistance and Rob Conway.
Originally a non title six-man Tables Match, Spike Dudley's horrible
table bump took him out of this, and on Heat it became a handicapped tag
team title table match. A by-the-numbers tables match that we have seen
many times. D-von was eliminated first, Irish whipped into a table in
the corner. JR and The King clarified that although he was eliminated he
could still compete. Bubba reversed a suplex through a table to take out
Grenier. Conway took a scary bump over the top to the outside, crashing
through a table and narrowly avoiding hitting his neck on a second table
beside it. Bubba finally overcame the three-on-one advantage as an irish
whip is reversed into a 3-D to win their 17th set of belts.
Winner ... and new WWE Tag Team Champions. The Dudley Boyz at 10:12
Test vs. Scott Stiener.
A horrible, sloppy match that shows Stiener's weakness, like blowing a
tiger-bomb, as usual. The less said about this atrocity the better.
Stacy gets upset with Testy and swings a chair, Test ducks and she nails
Stiener, and not badly either. A big boot ends the match and Stiener is
now Test's property. Let us never speak of this again.
Winner: Test at 7:01
Shawn Michaels vs. Randy Orton
Surprisingly early in the show, as expected one of the best matches of
the night. Some good back and fourth wrestling before Shawn tried to
toss Orton over the top. Taking a page out of the book of HBK, Randy
pulled himself back in and hit a dropkick. More good wrestling before
HBK missed a spear in the corner and hurt his shoulder. The rest of the
match centered around Orton working the legend's arm before Michaels
came back and sets up the superkick, which was blocked, and an RKO got a
two count. Michaels hit his signature top rope elbow but hurt himself.
Moments later he connected with the superkick for the three. BUT WAIT!
Flair put Orton's foot on the ropes after the three count. Although it
is never stated, Earl Hebner restarted the match. Flair passed knuckle
dusters to Orton, took a superkick for the team, and while Earl tried to
get him out of the ring Orton punched out HBK and made the cover.
Winner: Randy Orton at 19:40
Rating: 8 out of 10.
Backstage, La Resistance was in the medical room as Jericho checked on
them, and then ran down what a failure Stone Cold is as a General
Manager. La Resistance asked what they should do about it, and Jericho
replied that he would handle it.
Lita & Trish Stratus vs. Molly Holly and Gail Kim
Probably the best Woman's match since the Wrestlemania three-way; all
the women worked hard and even the disappointing Gail Kim was on the
ball tonight. Lita looked good and showed little ring rust, although she
was missing her trademark thong much to the chagrin of some male fans
and bled from the mouth. Trish played face-in-peril for awhile before
making the hot tag to Lita. Lita took both women out with a monkeyflip,
headscissors, and a Litabomb. Molly tried a move from the top but Trish
hit the Handstand Rana followed by Lita connecting with a reverse Twist
of Fate and a Litasault for the win. Personally, I hope Stratus and Lita
continue to team, one wins the Woman's title, and then jealousy tears
them apart as the MEGADIVAS EXPLODE!!! At Wrestlemania XX
Winners: Lita & Trish Stratus at 6:47
Rating: 6.87 out of 10.
Kane vs. Shane McMahon
Kane came to the ring now shirtless! It's hideous! The horrible scars
from the fire... oh, wait, he looked fine. I am so confused. As
expected, Shane worked hard in a fun brawl that took advantage of the
Last Man Standing stipulation. The referee was knocked out, yeah ref
bump, and Kane brought the steps into the ring. It backfired as Shane
took advantage and pinned Kane in the corner with the steps upright and
then hit the Van Terminator. The crowd finally got into the show during
the match, and chanted "One More Time" as well as the usual "Holy etc"
chant. The referee was still out however and didn't make the count. The
two men brawled down the aisle and beat on each other until Kane tossed
the Spanish Announce Table off of the stage and onto Shane. Shane had
ducked out of the way however and when Kane checked on him, he attacked.
Shane lost a bit of his trust fund as he swung a crane camera at Kane
and connected, but the camera itself hit the edge of the table and the
lens smashed. Those lenses are worth about 15 grand US folks. Shane
choked Kane with cable and set him up on the stage, and the crowd loudly
chanted "Go up top" and popped when Shane looked at the top of the set.
Again as expected, Shane took his Shane-o-bump, plummeting off of the
top of the titantron and through the stage. Kane staggered to his feet
for a rather anticlimactic end to a great match. Crowd chanted
"Shane-O-Mac" as he was stretchered out.
Winner: Kane at 19:32
Rating: 8.5 out of 10
In back, Chris Jericho gets in Austin's face for Stone Cold's only
appearance in the show.
Intercontinental Title Match: Christian vs. Chris Jericho vs. Rob Van Dam
The crowd just died after the Last Man Standing Match. I felt bad for
the wrestlers as they tried and the crowd just sat on their hands. For
example, a sommersault plancha from RVD received polite applause.
Nothing wrong with the match, but with the lackluster crowd and a sloppy
RVD this felt like it was just going through the motions. Crowd finally
reacted when Jericho and Christian ended up in a compromising position,
so to speak, and RVD hit the Five-Star on both men, only getting a two.
A nice spot, reminiscent of the megapowerbomb spot on TNA a few weeks
ago, saw RVD set up Jericho for an electric chair drop from the top, and
Christian go under Van Dam and set up a powerbomb while Jericho was on
RVD's shoulders. That finally got a bit of a reaction. RVD goes up top,
Christian grabs the IC belt and puts it on his knees as Van Dam lands,
and gets the pin. I hate beltshot finishes, although this was a neat
variant of it. The crowd just killed this.
Winner ... and still Intercontinental Champion, Christian at 18:39
Rating: 7 out of 10
I thought Mark Lloyd was a SD announcer? Where's Terri? Regardless, HHH
is interviewed. Something about slaying dragons and a fairy tale and
waking up in the real world and getting your ass kicked. Remember when
HHH was a good interview?
Al Snow and Coach vs. Jerry Lawler and Jim Ross.
No one commentated for this which made the lack of any crowd reaction
what-so-ever even more evident. Snow and Coach had zero heat when they
entered. Literally nothing. Lawler and Snow worked most of this "match"
before Coach tagged in and Lawler took over. In came JR who hit Coach
with the worst kicks ever. Referee was outside dealing with Lawler and
Snowman when Jericho ran to the ring, dropkicked JR in the back of the
head and rolled Coach on top to crown new RAW announcers. You mean we
may get to see this feud continue? YEAH!!!! The thought of that makes me
wish I still had Canadian Idol to watch.
Winners: ... and new RAW announcers.. Al Snow & Coach in 7:55
Lloyd shows up again and asked Jericho why he did it. This is all a part
of Jericho's plan to make Steve Austin crack, as his good old boy JR is
no longer in the picture. Great, another guy feuding with Austin who
CAN'T WRESTLE!! HELLO???
JR gets choked up as he and King look forlorn. King said "I didn't see
what happened but the fans at ringside and the referee said that
Chris Jericho interfered." The REF saw this? Then why didn't he reverse
WWE Raw Title: Triple-H vs. Goldberg
Winner ... and new World Champion, Goldberg at 14:55
Total Event Time: 2 hours and 50 minutes
Overall Rating: 6.5 out of 10.
Jason Clevett is in Calgary, but you should know that already having read all his great stories here on SLAM! Along with the other great works by our staff. He is a guest on the Ringside Manner (http://ringsidemanner.tripod.com/) post-PPV show, which features an offer no one can refuse! Listen now!!!