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Countdown to WWE Unforgiven
By SLAM! Wrestling Staff




While there are many question marks for the September WWE pay per view, there is one definite aspect to Unforgiven - that Trish Stratus will wrestle her last bout.

Stratus is retiring from the Fed after Sunday's PPV after an illustrious career. At least in Canada, her Women's Title match with Lita is grabbing as much, if not more attention than the two gimmick matches that sit atop the card. Add two potential show-stealers, renewed interest in the tag division and a battle of monsters and you have one of the most anticipated cards WWE has done all year. Let's take a closer look at Unforgiven.


 
WWE HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE MATCH (TLC)

John Cena vs. Edge
 

SLAM! Predictions

Bob Kapur

This is a hard one. With WWE trying to make a good impression with Smackdown on the new CW network, I can see them sending Cena over there to spike the intial ratings. Despite that, I'm going to pick Edge. Why? Because they've made so much of his never having lost a TLC match, so everyone's expecting him to lose this one. I'm calling the swerve.

Matt Mackinder

Will Cena actually move to Smackdown if he loses? This feud is quite entertaining and I hope it doesn't end here. Any feud that involves someone being tossed in a river is classic. In a perfect world, Cena wins gold and the program continues until Survivor Series. I say Cena takes it.

Jon Waldman

First off, Edge must've taken one too many chairshots to the head, because he did lose a TLC match - TLC3, which was won by Chris Benoit and Chris Jericho. It seems pretty obvious that someone will be switching shows here, with Supershow (both SD and Raw) happening the next night in Montreal. My feeling is that Edge will lose the bout and unfortunately not have read the fine print on the contract, which states that the loser goes to Smackdown for three years. That's okay with me, because SD is desperate for top-rated talent. Cena wins.

Greg Oliver

I am intrigued by the plan here. On one hand, Edge is doing a credible job as champ, and deserves a longer run and a new opponent. Cena is over and deserves another chance too. Playing up Edge's TLC record leads me to believe Cena will win. But the going to Smackdown! stipulation makes me think Edge will win, since Smackdown! really needs a boost. So let's make a crazy thought - Cena wins, and Edge somehow signed the wrong contract, and goes to Smackdown.

Jason Clevett

It seemed that WWE gave away the result when Cena pulled out a Smackdown contract, but in recent weeks thats been a bit less obvious. SD could certainly use the star power of Cena, plus Edge really does deserve a longer run, and challengers other than the Chain Gang soldier. After much consideration however, Edge beat Cena in the Bostonian's hometown at Summerslam, and Edge will return the favor in his and lose a TLC for the second time.

Brian Elliott

The outcome of this match is likely to be more political than anything else: will Cena be sent to Smackdown to bolster the ratings on the new CW network? Despite the fact that Smackdown could do with the help, I see this one as a Cena victory.


HANDICAP MATCH (HELL IN THE CELL)

McMahons/Big Show vs. D-Generation X


SLAM! Predictions

Bob Kapur

This should be an ugly, bloody fight. Look for Vince and Shane to take stupid bumps, Big Show to somehow get put through the cage in a nice-looking spot, and DX to finally give those evil McMahon's their comeuppance.

Matt Mackinder

What's different about this version of DX is they are only out to get the McMahon's. The old crop was up against damn near anyone. Show is being made out to be a monster for ECW, but my gut says HHH and HBK win this one.

Jon Waldman

There's two finishes here - the right finish and the wrong finish. The right finish is Big Show destroying DX, making him look even more intimidating in ECW. The wrong way is for HHH and HBK to use their creative control and destroy the big man. Guess which scenario unfolds? Oh yeah, and Shane will make a massive bump; methinks he'll be scaling the cage and be pulled off of the roof of the cage, crashing to the mat .

Greg Oliver

There will be blood. There will be a few stupid, crazy spots. In the end, no one cares. This feud feels like it has been going on longer than Edge vs Cena. I'll take the baddies to win here.

Jason Clevett

For the first time ever, the thought of a Hell in a Cell match bores me. Aside from Shane McMahon doing something crazy, this has no appeal to me. I don't want to see a 60 year-old grandfather in the top program; it's boring and a waste of TV time. There are some solid feuds on this pay per view - that will be why I am going to watch it based on wrestling. Go figure. Please let DX take this and end the misery.

Brian Elliott

Why the WWE would waste the Hell in a Cell gimmick on the D-X vs McMahons feud, I don't know. Actually, why D-X is still feuding with the McMahons, I don't know. D-X goes over, but not before we're all asleep.


  WWE WOMEN'S TITLE MATCH

Trish Stratus vs. Lita
 


SLAM! Predictions

Bob Kapur

The question is whether they'll do the classy thing and let Trish go out as champion. Or whether they'll do some Survivor Series screwjob and job her in her hometown, last match or not. I'm hoping for the latter. Trish, you'll be missed - thanks for the memories.

Matt Mackinder

An emotional one here. Does Trish win in her hometown and retire the champ? Or does Lita retain? I'll say Trish wins, but by DQ or countout. After the match is when things may get teary-eyed, but time will tell.

Jon Waldman

This is WWE we're talking about folks. We know the screwjob is going to happen; it's just a matter of whether someone "rings the damn bell," or if Lita gets a DQ finish. As much as I hate to say it, you have to get the DQ here, then let Trish's friend Beth Phoenix come in to save her friend a la the WMVIII finish with Hogan, Warrior and Sid Vicious.

Greg Oliver

You can't have the belt retired along with Trish, can you? Actually, it's not that wild a thought given the state of business on the women's side of the equation in the current WWE. So Trish goes over, and is given the belt. On Raw, they start a tournament to crown a new champ, with a new belt. (My money's on Beth Phoenix in that one.)

Jason Clevett

This one is hard one to predict. It is fitting that Lita is Trish's final match considering their history. Winning the title in her finale in Toronto is a fitting ending for Trish, but at the same time history dictates lying down on your way out (such as Jericho to Cena last year). Since the Women's title doesn't mean much and can be thrown into a random schoolgirl on a pole match to crown a new champ, I think Trish goes out on a high note and takes the win.

Brian Elliott

With Lita also to be leaving the company soon, I'm going to think positive and suggest that the company will send off Stratus on a high-note, defeating one of her main WWE rivals for the belt.


 

UNDERCARD

 


SLAM! Predictions

Bob Kapur

Jeff Hardy vs. Johnny Nitro (Intercontinental Title) - I have the over-under on blown Hardy spots at five - any takers? Melina helps her main retain the belt.
Spirit Squad vs. The Highlanders (World Tag Team Titles) -
How sweet would it be for the Highlanders to win the belts in their old stomping grounds (that's for the indy fans)? That's what will happen, and the Squad starts its breakup on Monday.
Carlito vs. Randy Orton -
Could be the match of the night if both have their working boots on. Orton seems to be perpetually in the doghouse with the company, so look for him to do the j-o-b on the P-P-V.
Kane vs. Umaga -
Bathroom break. Flair interferes but accidentally costs Kane the match, maybe setting up a future Kane heel turn.

Matt Mackinder

Jeff Hardy vs. Johnny Nitro (Intercontinental Title) - Does Hardy get a title run right away? Nah. Nitro keeps the strap.
Spirit Squad vs. The Highlanders (World Tag Team Titles) -
As much as I love the Squad, I like Woodstock's own to win the belts.
Carlito vs. Randy Orton -
The card's sleeper - Carlito pulls the upset.
Kane vs. Umaga -
Umaga stays undefeated and Kane stays going nowhere.

Jon Waldman

Jeff Hardy vs. Johnny Nitro (Intercontinental Title) - Match of the night as long as Hardy doesn't blow a lot of spots. Nitro wins, leading to a ladder match down the road.
Spirit Squad vs. The Highlanders (World Tag Team Titles) -
Just kill the division on Raw already and send the Squad to SD. I'll go against the grain and say the cheerleaders win.
Carlito vs. Randy Orton -
Carlito has become my favourite wrestler of late. This one is DQ-bound and the two will captain their respective Survivor Series squads.
Kane vs. Umaga -
Rack up another W for the Samoan Bulldozer..

Greg Oliver

Jeff Hardy vs. Johnny Nitro (Intercontinental Title) - This feud is just getting cooking, and the babyface needs to chase the title a little longer. Nitro wins.
Spirit Squad vs. The Highlanders (World Tag Team Titles) -
Are the Highlanders over? Piper's arrival smacked of desperation. Highlanders win.
Carlito vs. Randy Orton -
In another year, this might be the main event. For now, Orton wins.
Kane vs. Umaga -
Ugh. Non-finish of some sort so neither has to look bad.

Jason Clevett

Jeff Hardy vs. Johnny Nitro (Intercontinental Title) - Hardy's been on an impressive role since returning, but Nitro needs to keep the belt.
Spirit Squad vs. The Highlanders (World Tag Team Titles) -
Spirit Squad have been the champions for over five months! Unthinkable! Their run ends at Unforgiven.
Carlito vs. Randy Orton -
The rising star vs. the rising star who keeps getting suspended. Orton winning would go against everything WWE is trying to push with their wellness program. Carlito wins.
Kane vs. Umaga -
Umaga remains undefeated.

Brian Elliott

Jeff Hardy vs. Johnny Nitro (Intercontinental Title) - Has Hardy really deserved a title match so soon? Nitro retains.
Spirit Squad vs. The Highlanders (World Tag Team Titles) -
The Highlanders to win, as there is no-one else worth mentioning in the RAW tag team division.
Carlito vs. Randy Orton -
Rumours abound that Orton has failed another drug test. Still, I expect him to win here.
Kane vs. Umaga -
In what might just be the worst match of the night, Umaga contains his winning streak by pinning Kane.


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-- compiled by Jon Waldman