Thursday, 21 May 2020

PPV REVIEW: WWF Unforgiven 2000

WWE / WWF Unforgiven 2000 - Event poster
September 24, 2000
First Union Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

In the world of professional wrestling, Philadelphia will perhaps always be synonymous with the defunct yet fondly remembered Extreme Championship Wrestling. 

Yet the City of Brotherly Love had also played an important part in the WWF's history, too.

It was here, in the exact same arena and almost exactly two years to the very day of tonight's show that the World Wrestling Federation had given us In Your House 10: Mind Games.

Taking place at the tail end of the New Generation Era, that show marked a noticeable shift in the tone of the company's on-screen product.

With an ECW invasion, several "off-colour" comments, and a brutal Mankind/Shawn Michaels, Retro Pro Wrestling has always considered Mind Games to be one of the pivotal events in the development of the Attitude Era.

So it was fitting that, with said era now in full bloom, the company returned to the First Union Center for their annual September PPV, bringing with them many of the things we fondly remember from that time period.







From key stars like Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock to the daredevil antics of Edge, Christian and The Hardyz, attractive women like Trish Stratus, and much more, the Attitude Era was in full glory as the WWF presented Unforgiven 2000.

May God Have Mercy on Their Souls

Sticking with the Unforgiven brand’s usual spooky, creepy theme, tonight’s opening video package had a haunting, dramatic score with a chilling voice-over which at one point told us that Judgement Day was upon us.


It wasn’t. That was the following month.

All of this was to show us tonight’s three big selling points:

Stone Cold Steve Austin making his triumphant return to try and find out who ran him over back at Survivor Series 1999, a big, multi-man match for the title, and  Triple H taking on his love rival, Kurt Angle.

Pyro, crowd shots and a welcome from Jim Ross followed. Then, after some words from Ross and his broadcast colleague Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler - it was onto our opening match.

Eight Man Tag

The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray & D’Von Dudley) & The Acolytes (Farooq & Bradshaw) vs. Right to Censor (Steven Richards, Bull Buchanan, The Goodfather, and Val Venis

WWE / WWF Unforgiven 2000 - Right to Censor faced The Dudley Boyz and The Acolytes
If you were going to get the Philly crowd riled up and ready for action, sticking Steven Richards against his fellow ECW alumni The Dudley Boyz was a good way to do it.

Richards was joined by his Right to Censor cohorts Bull Buchanan, The Goodfather and new recruit Val Venis, while The Dudleyz had Farooq and Bradshaw on their team.

The match wasn’t as good as many of the company’s other PPV openers from this time period, but it was short, hard-hitting and engaged the crowd, which is all anyone could have asked for.

After staying on the apron for the entire bout, three devious Richards have his team the assist and picked up the second PPV victory in a row for Right to Censor.
Your Winners: Right to Censor

Afterward, the good guys got their revenge by beating up RTC and putting Steven Richards through a table to the delight of the audience.

WWE / WWF Unforgiven 2000 - HHH warned Stephanie McMahon that Kurt Angle is not her friendKurt Angle is Not Your Friend, Steph

Backstage, Stephanie McMahon was concerned about her husband’s ribs after Kurt Angle attacked them with a sledgehammer, but Triple H was more concerned with how badly he was going to hurt Angle.

Steph was fine with that and apologised for thinking that the Olympic Gold Medalist had been her friend, prompting The Game to reel off a long list of reasons why he wasn’t, all of which basically came down to Angle being a bit of a d**k.

Strap Match
Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler vs. Tazz

The ECW vibe continued next as Tazz looked to settle his rivalry with Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler in a strap match which Howard Finkle told us could end either via pinball/submission or the good ol’ fashioned touch-all-four-corners rule.

WWE / WWF Unforgiven 2000 - Tazz chokes out Jerry Lawler in front of Jim Ross
These two had met at the previous month’s Summerslam 2000, resulting in a win for the King when JR smashed Tazz in the face with a glass candy jar.

This time, it was Tazz’s turn to pick up the win, though not without a little help of his own.

After a few minutes of fairly reasonable action, the two went through a fun spot in which Lawler twice his patented piledriver on his rival, only for The Human Suplex Machine to pop right back up again.

Lawler then hit a third piledriver and Tazz once again popped right back up, only to look around and Flair Flop right into the mat.

After that entertaining bit, Lawler started to drag his opponent to all four corners. As he did so, the referee got bumped, creating an opportunity for ECW legend Raven to make his WWF debut and plant King with his trademark Even Flow DDT.

Tazz got the cover and this one was done.
Your Winner: Tazz

WWE / WWF Unforgiven 2000 - Kevin Kelly interviews a returning Stone Cold Steve Austin
In between each match, we saw Kevin Kelly hanging around backstage waiting for the arrival of Stone Cold Steve Austin.

When the Texas Rattlesnake finally arrived, Kevin asked him how he was feeling.

“Stone Cold isn’t here to answer questions,” Austin replied. “Tonight,  I’m asking the questions.”

With that, he beat up Kevin Kelly before we went back to the arena where Michael Cole had taken over Lawler’s spot on commentary.

“Well, I don’t think Austin wants to answer questions. I think he wants to ask them,” said Cole, repeating exactly what Stone Cold had just said.

World Wrestling Federation Hardcore Championship Open Invitational
WWF Hardcore Champion Steve Blackman vs. WWF European Champion Al Snow vs. Crash Holly vs. Test (w/ Trish Stratus) vs. Funaki vs. Perry Saturn (w/ Terri)

WWE / WWF Unforgiven 2000 - Perry Saturn and Terri
For those keeping score, this was the third match in a row featuring former ECW stars as Perry Saturn and the man who beat him for the European championship took part in this ten-minute hardcore free-for-all.

Following a similar format to the hardcore title match from Wrestlemania 2000, the idea was that you had to pin the champion and then whoever had the gold at the end of ten minutes would be crowned champion.

Crash Holly won it early on but then got pinned by Perry Saturn about ten seconds later.

Saturn held on to it for most of the match but was then pinned by Steve Blackman with sixty seconds to go, causing everybody in the match to pile on him in a last-ditch desperate effort to claim victory.

When said effort was unsuccessful, the timer ran out and Blackman was declared the winner after a fun but unspectacular match.
Your Winner and Still WWF Hardcore Champion: Steve Blackman

In a hilarious backstage skit, Kurt Angle finished showing off his medals to Tony Garea and some lanky dude with glasses, turned around and met Stone Cold Steve Austin for the first time.

Introducing himself, Angle offered Austin an honourary Olympic gold medal but Stone Cold wasn’t impressed. He promised to insert the medal up Kurt’s bottom and then beat him up.

It’s hard to explain in words how funny that was.

X-Pac vs. Chris Jericho

WWE / WWF Unforgiven 2000 - X-Pac battled Chris Jericho
These two had met at the exact same PPV, Unforgiven 1999, a year earlier, and had also done battle at WCW Halloween Havoc 1996. This particular match wasn’t quite to the standard of either of their past encounters, but it was still a damn good effort that got better the longer it went on.

After struggling to gel in the early going, both men eventually found their grove and gave us a solid seesaw battle which ended the right way with Chris Jericho making X-Pac tap to the Walls of Jericho.
Your Winner: Chris Jericho

Post-match, X-Pac avenged his loss by grabbing a pair of nunchucks and whacking Y2J with them.

Kurt Complains to Mick

Out in the back, Mick Foley was interrupted from preparing for his guest referee role in the upcoming Angle/HHH match when he was interrupted by Angle himself.

The Olympic Gold Medalist declared that despite getting beat up by Austin, he was still ready to go tonight because he had problems before the Olympics too.

‘The day of the Olympics, I had IBS’ said Kurt.
‘You do BS’ replied Mick.

The exchange went on and was funnier than I could describe here. The point of it was that Mick made the upcoming Angle/HHH bout no DQ so that he would have less work to do.

A Rock/Austin Reunion

WWE / WWF Unforgiven 2000 - Just Joe stirs the pot with Steve Austin and The Rock
Backstage, Stone Cold Steve Austin met up with his former arch-rival The Rock.

The two shook hands and announced that they were cool with one another, but Austin still wanted to know how The Rock’s car had been involved in the hit-and-run which had taken him out of commission way back at Survivor Series 1999.

The Rock had no idea but Just Joe (remember him? http://wrestlecrap.com/inductions/justjoe/) - the man better known as Joe E. Legend popped up and told Austin he had some news for him, but Austin just beat him up instead.

World Wrestling Federation World Tag Team Championship Cage Match
WWF Tag Team Champions Edge & Christian vs. The Hardy Boyz (Matt & Jeff Hardy)

Well, obviously this was awesome.

WWE / WWF Unforgiven 2000 - Christian slams the cage door on Jeff Hardy
Though it may not have been their most memorable encounter, Edge, Christian and The Hardyz always delivered and tonight was no exception.

With pinfalls or cage escape rules applying, this was one of the more unique cage matches in the WWF’s history, at least in terms of storyline.

Jeff Hardy got knocked to the outside in the early going, leaving his brother Matt Hardy at the mercy of the tag team champions.

Every time Jeff tried to get back in the cage and make the save, Edge and Christian got the better of him and continued to beat Matt to a bloody pulp.

Eventually, we got the inevitable Hardy Boyz comeback, complete with a run-in from Lita who hit Christian with a sick-looking hurricanrana from Off the top of a ladder on the outside.

The drama and excitement came to a head when Matt and Jeff drilled Edge with a Conchairto on top of the cage.

Edge took a sick bump down, The Hardyz climbed to the outside and this one was done.
Your Winners and NEW WWF Tag Team Champions: The Hardy Boyz

WWE / WWF Unforgiven 2000 - Triple H warns Mick Foley to be impartial in his match with Kirk Angel
Out in the back, Stephanie McMahon was so thrilled to see Steve Austin back that she revealed she’d spent the past year holding on to the hat he was wearing the night he got run over.

Returning the hat to its rightful owner, Steph also let Austin know that Shane McMahon had actual video evidence of the mystery assailant’s identity.

Across the way, Steph’s husband Triple H confronted Mick Foley to ensure he was going to call the match right down the middle later.

Trouble in Paradise

Before our upcoming Intercontinental Championship match, we got a look at the rift between Eddie Guerrero and his Mamacita Chyna.

Eddie had grown jealous of Chyna’s success and ended up not only stealing the Intercontinental Championship from her but also going so far as to stalk The Playboy Mansion to try and stop her from taking nude photos.

Naturally, Chyna was ready to leave so a desperate Eddie proposed.

Chyna said yes, and the two were all smiles as they made their way out for Guerrero’s match with Rikishi, but how long would their reconciliation last?

World Wrestling Federation Intercontinental Championship
WWF Intercontinental Champion Eddie Guerrero (w/ Chyna) vs. Rikishi

WWE / WWF Unforgiven 2000 - Rikishi confronts Chyna while Eddie Guerrero gets set to pounce
Before the match, a somber-looking Jerry Lawler returned to commentary. He soon cheered up when talk turned to Chyna’s upcoming Playboy spread.

The match itself was OK for what it was, but it was mostly an angle to further the Eddie/Chyna story.

At one point, the heelish champion tried to bail on the match, but Chyna demanded that he man up and threw him back in the ring.

After that, however, she kept interfering on her man’s behalf, making the challenger more and more aggravated.

Eventually, Rikishi grabbed Chyna, tossed her in the ring and kicked her in the mush.

By some bizarre logic, this led to him being disqualified.
Your Winner via DQ and Still Intercontinental Champion: Eddie Guerrero

Post-match, ‘Kishi hit he Bandai drop on Chyna.

Undertaker Will Become Champion Once Again

WWE / WWF Unforgiven 2000 - Jonathan Coachman interviews The Undertaker
Out in the back, a tobacco-chewing Undertaker told Jonathan Coachman that the ring was his yard and he was the big dog that ran it.

Tonight, the American Bad Ass vowed to send his opponents on their Last Ride and become WWF Champion once again.

Elsewhere in the arena, Kurt Angle bemoaned his luck tonight. Trish Stratus offered to be there for him if he needed a friend. Somehow, Trish touching his shoulder gave the Olympic Gold Medalist a flash of inspiration and he ran off, declaring that he had an idea.

His match was next.

No Disqualification
Kurt Angle vs. Triple H (w/ Stephanie McMahon)
Special Guest Referee: Mick Foley

Before the bell, Kurt tried to lead the crowd in singing ‘happy birthday’ to Steph. Naturally, the crowd were having none of it.

WWE / WWF Unforgiven 2000 - Triple H vs. Kurt Angle with Commissioner Foley as special referee
This was a great match with a somewhat underwhelming finish.

Kurt Angle dominated practically the whole thing, dominating HHH from bell-to-bell and looking like a superstar in the process.

Then he missed a moonsault. A few seconds later, Steph kicked him in the bollocks, Hunter hit the pedigree, and it was all over.

Look, I have no problem with HHH winning. This match definitely put Kurt over more than it did The Game. It just seems weird that he would spend twenty minutes getting his ass kicked and then win with one move.
Your Winner: HHH

Post-match, a remorseful Steph checked on Kurt. HHH kissed her so hard that he bust her lip open and the two went backstage.

After the carnage, we cut to WWF New York, where Too Cool we’re dancing away for the crowd.

Blackman Did it

Out in the ring, Shane McMahon revealed that he didn’t really have footage of Austin getting run over after all.

WWE / WWF Unforgiven 2000 - Shane McMahon got Steve Blackman in trouble with Steve Austin
What he had was footage from a 1999 episode of Raw in which Steve Blackman ran over Ken Shamrock.

According to Shane, that was conclusive proof that The Lethal Weapon was to blame.

This brought out both Steves, Blackman to profess his innocence and Austin -complete with his new Disturbed theme (that wouldn't be officially released until 2002's Forcible Entry album) to kick some ass and raise hell.

You got the feeling that Austin didn’t believe Blackman was the real culprit, he obviously stunned him anyway.

Shane then encouraged The Texas Rattlesnake to join him in a beer bash. Austin did so, but then predictably battered Shane O’Mac with a couple of crowd-popping stunners.

The segment might have been kinda dumb, but it was awesome to see Stone Cold raising hell again after so long away.

Finally, The Rock has Come Back to Philadelphia

After a great video package promoting tonight’s main event, the WWF Champion cut a captivating promo in which he promised to shove his opponents’ heads so far up their backsides that they’d have to cut holes in their nipples just to see..if you could nasally detect the meal he was preparing.

This was, as always, awesome stuff from The Great One.

Fatal Fourway for the World Wrestling Federation Championship
WWF Champion The Rock vs. The Undertaker vs. Chris Benoit vs. Kane

WWE / WWF Unforgiven 2000 - Michael Cole interviews WWF Champion The Rock
This certainly wasn't the worst main event in history, but the World Wrestling Federation could -and often would- do a lot better.

The Rock and Chris Benoit were the two best things in the match by a large margin, but even they couldn't top their effort from several months earlier at Fully Loaded 2000.
 Speaking of that match, we got a similar false ending as Benoit levelled Undertaker with a chair and pinned him for the title, but Mick Foley restarted the match after it was revealed Undertaker's foot was on the rope.

Yes, that was the second time in three months that Chris Benoit had *almost* been the WWF Champion.

The match continued and was fine for the most part, but it was -like so many things on this show- somewhat underwhelming.

Eventually, The Rock planted Benoit with the match-winning Rock Bottom at 16 minutes.
Your Winner and Still WWF Champion: The Rock

Post-match, The WWF Champion celebrated with his title to bring Unforgiven 2000 to a close.







And so, that was that.

The World Wrestling Federation had given us a number of exceptional pay per views in the year 2000 but, unfortunately, this wasn't one of them.

The tag team cage match was the highlight of the night, and I have to admit that Kurt Angle looked impressive while solidifying his main event status against Triple H, but there was a lof of sub-par action on this show, not to mention odd booking choices.

Why was Rikishi disqualified for attacking Chyna?
Why was HHH able to beat Angle so easily after getting his ass kicked for ages?
Why, when Rock hit Benoit with the Rock Bottom, did Kane prevent The Undertaker from breaking up the count and thus cost himself the title?

Who knows?

This was an off night for the WWF. Hopefully they'd bounce back the following month.



For other year 2000 pro wrestling reviews see:
Other WWF Unforgiven reviews:
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1 comments:

PG is the only way to be.

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