Unforgiven 2007

Unforgiven 2007
Date: September 16, 2007
Location: FedEx Forum, Memphis, Tennessee
Attendance: 12,000
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler, Michael Cole, John Layfield, Joey Styles, Taz

We’re in that weird period where we have a lot of Summerslam rematches and some of them are a bit more interesting than others. There are a few interesting possibilities though, as Undertaker is returning to face Mark Henry and Randy Orton is getting another WWE Title shot at a furious John Cena. Let’s get to it.

The opening video looks at Undertaker returning, although this one is a bit more intense and detailed. This time Undertaker is shown in the middle of a desert standing on a mountain (or close enough). And nothing else is happening on the show apparently.

ECW World Title: CM Punk vs. Elijah Burke

Punk is defending and we see a recap of him taking the title from John Morrison. Then Morrison got busted in the steroids scandal so here is Burke challenging instead. Burke getting a jobber’s entrance should tell you all you need to know about this one. They fight over a lockup to start with neither getting anywhere early on. Now it’s to the mat, where Burke has to bail to the ropes to escape a cross armbreaker.

Back up and Burke starts elbowing at the head, only to get kicked right back down. Kicks to the legs and back keep Burke in trouble but he pulls Punk down out of the corner to take over. We hit a double arm crank until Punk mule kicks his way to freedom. The running knee in the corner sets up the springboard clothesline for two so Burke bails outside. Punk tries to go after him but gets pulled down for a crash (and a loud thud).

Back in and a running forearm to Punk’s back gets two and we hit the Boston crab. A screaming Punk makes it over to the rope for the break so Burke rolls some German suplexes. An STO gives Burke two and it’s off to something like what Rhea Ripley would dub the Prism Trap (minus the swinging around). Punk slips out and hits an enziguri, only to get punched in the head for two. Burke slaps him in the face on the mat a few times, only to get rolled up for the fast pin.

Rating: C+. Points for the quick and surprise ending there as that’s a nice thing to see for a change. There was almost zero doubt about the winner here and that doesn’t make for the best result. Burke had to be reheated after his feud with Punk was over about a month and a half ago but what else were they going to be able to do here? The ECW roster is rather weak at the moment and with Morrison gone, this is about as good as they could have done.

We look at the saga of Matt Hardy vs. MVP, which eventually saw them being forced to team up. Then they won the Tag Team Titles, which they have to defend tonight.

Smackdown Tag Team Titles: MVP/Matt Hardy vs. Deuce N Domino

MVP/Hardy are defending and the challengers have Cherry with them. Matt and Domino look to start but MVP tags himself in to grab a wristlock instead. There’s a slam to put Domino in and MVP tags out via a slap to Matt’s chest. Hardy hits a neckbreaker on Deuce and brings MVP back in, allowing Deuce to take over in the corner.

MVP jumping bulldogs his way out of trouble and mocks Matt’s screaming elbow, allowing Deuce to get back up. Matt tags himself back in and teases his own Ballin. MVP snaps so Domino uses the distraction to come in and clean house. The chinlock doesn’t last long but an elbow to the face gives Deuce two. Something like a seated abdominal stretch goes on but he fights up and scores with the Side Effect.

That’s still not enough for the tag though as Domino knocks MVP off the apron and grabs another chinlock. MVP walks out, leaving Hardy to kick out of a suplex/high crossbody combination. Now MVP gets back on the apron as Matt hits a double clothesline. Another slap brings in MVP, who takes his time coming in to clean house. Ballin connects but Matt tags himself in and hits the Twist of Fate to retain instead.

Rating: C. This was much more about storytelling than the wrestling and in this case, that’s ok. The Matt/MVP story isn’t about the tag team stuff, which is little more than a way to keep things going until we get to the big showdown. The good side though is that the tag stuff has wound up being entertaining anyway so nothing has gotten boring yet. Totally fine match, but Deuce N Domino could have been anyone.

Matt celebrates with all three titles, just to rub it in to MVP.

Rey Mysterio acknowledges that he is not at 100% coming into tonight’s triple threat title match but he’s going to give it his all. He overcomes the odds and will do it again to win the title, just like he did last year.

HHH vs. Carlito

Only HHH can get disqualified. HHH elbows him to the floor to start and then punches away back inside. Carlito gets knocked outside again so let’s bring in a trashcan. Instead, HHH clotheslines him right back to the floor, this time following with a drive into the barricade. Back in and some elbows to the back keep Carlito in trouble, with a backbreaker making it worse. We hit the abdominal stretch as you don’t often get to see HHH picking someone apart like this.

HHH even grabs a rope, then switches to the hair when the referee goes to check. The hair finally gets him caught and the referee breaks it, earning himself some booing. They head outside again with Carlito being thrown over the announcers’ table but coming back with a bell shot to take over.

Back in and Carlito chokes away with a cable before switching to a different form of choking. The apple is loaded up but HHH Punches it out of his mouth. You don’t do that to Carlito, who pounds away with the trashcan for two more, leaving JR to wonder what kind of an apple Carlito had. A belly to back suplex onto the trashcan gets two so Carlito loads a fresh trashcan into the corner.

That takes way too long though and HHH hits a clothesline. There’s the jumping knee into the facebuster for two and HHH hammers away in the corner. Carlito finds some powder to blind HHH but a chair shot is countered into a spinebuster. The referee has to take a chair away from HHH, so it’s a low blow behind the referee’s back, setting up the Pedigree to give HHH the pin.

Rating: C+. This was about as good as you were going to get out of Carlito vs. HHH, as Carlito has never been anything resembling a threat at this level. Even stacking the deck against HHH didn’t make this a tough one, as HHH cut him apart and then won in the end. That being said, there is something fun about HHH beating Carlito down and then cheating ala Ric Flair to win in the end. Not a dramatic match, but it was fun.

Batista hits on Maria and then promises to win the World Title because the time for talking is over.

Video on Beth Phoenix wrecking everyone on her way to Candice Michelle and the Women’s Title.

Women’s Title: Beth Phoenix vs. Candice Michelle

Michelle is defending and grabs a headlock to start. Phoenix isn’t having that and lifts her into the air by the arm. A wristdrag takes Phoenix down but she knocks Candice into the corner without much effort. The double arm crank goes on as Phoenix doesn’t exactly seem to think much of Phoenix.

An over the shoulder backbreaker has Candice in more trouble but she slips out and forearms away. That earns her a hard drive into the corner though and a gorilla press gives Phoenix two. Another backbreaker is loaded up but Candice reverses into a crucifix for the fast pin to retain the title.

Rating: C-. They were trying here but it was a glorified squash until Candice stole a win to retain the title. The good thing is that it sets up a rematch and it is hard to imagine that Phoenix doesn’t pick up the title in the second match. Candice is absolutely trying though and the match was more boring than bad, which is a step up from some of the stereotypical Divas matches.

Great Khali is ready to crush people and retain the title. He even demonstrates the Vice Grip on a some melons, one of which has a Rey Mysterio match applied.

We recap Great Khali defending the Smackdown World Title against Rey Mysterio and Batista. Khali is the unstoppable monster and the odd friends are going to try and get the title off of him. It is probably time for a title change, but Khali retaining, just because of WWE’s love of monsters, wouldn’t be shocking either.

Smackdown World Title: Batista vs. Rey Mysterio vs. Great Khali

Khali is defending and has to fight off both of them at once. Rey is sent outside, leaving Batista to get stomped down in the corner. That’s broken up and Batista hits the shoulders to the ribs until Rey comes back in. More double teaming is teased but Rey rolls Batista up for a surprise two. A springboard seated senton drops Batista but Khali kicks Rey in the face.

Batista blocks the Vice Grip for a bit before Khali manages to get it on. Rey’s chair to the back breaks it up, earning himself a punch to the face. Batista is sent outside, leaving Khali to get stomped down in the corner. Rey manages to fight out of a nerve hold but gets kicked in the face. The Vice Grip is loaded up again but Batista makes the save and ties Khali in the ropes. Rey is right there with a quick 619 to Batista and another to Khali. Batista powerbombs Rey onto Khali though and the spinebuster is enough to finish Khali to give Batista the title back.

Rating: C. This was about as good as it was going to get as it was basically Batista and Rey taking their turns against Khali, who could only do so much. The good thing is they did what they could and it could have been a lot worse. Batista getting the title back is one of the better ideas, as he can keep it warm until they get on to the next thing while still feeling like a big deal in his own right.

Batista celebrates for a long time.

Long recap of Hornswoggle being revealed as Mr. McMahon’s son.

HHH congratulates Batista on winning the title but reminds him how hard it is to keep it.

Raw Tag Team Titles: Paul London/Brian Kendrick vs. Lance Cade/Trevor Murdoch

London and Kendrick are challenging. Kendrick and Cade start things off with Kendrick grabbing a hammerlock. A hiptoss gets Cade out of trouble and he puts on a headlock to slow Kendrick down. Murdoch comes in and gets armdragged into an armbar, allowing London to hit a top rope elbow to the arm. There’s a top rope stomp to the arm, setting up a slingshot kick to Murdoch’s face to give London two.

Everything breaks down for a bit and the champs are knocked outside, setting up stereo dives. Back in and Murdoch knocks Kendrick off the apron for a hard crash. That’s good for two back inside and Murdoch sends him into the corner to give Cade his own near fall. Something like a middle rope powerslam plants Kendrick for two more, with London having to make the save.

The neck crank goes on to keep Kendrick down until he slips out, as you might have guessed because it was a neck crank. Cade charges into a raised boot in the corner so Murdoch goes up, only to try an ax handle to a downed Kendrick. Since that move is only designed to have Kendrick raise his boots to knock Murdoch out of the air, he raises his boots to knock Murdoch out of the air.

The hot tag brings in London to clean house, including a springboard double stomp to Cade’s back. A standing shooting star press gives London two and Kendrick’s high crossbody gets the same. Murdoch kicks Kendrick in the face for two more as everything breaks down. Sliced Bread is countered and Cade’s sitout spinebuster finishes Kendrick to retain the titles.

Rating: C+. These teams work well together and they got to do it again here, which was nice to see on the bigger stage. Brawlers (or however you describe Cade/Murdoch) vs. fast high fliers will work every time and that was the case again here. The match might not have been a classic, but it was a fine way to use some pay per view time (and almost the most given to any match on the show).

We recap John Cena vs. Randy Orton for Cena’s Raw World Title. Cena retained the title at Summerslam so Orton Punted Cena’s dad in the head, sending Cena into a rage. And a rematch.

Raw World Title: John Cena vs. Randy Orton

Cena is defending and his dad is in the front row. They stare each other down and then slug away in the middle of the ring with Cena getting the better of things (shocking). Orton gets sent hard into the corner and they head outside with Cena standing on his head. Cena’s dad continues to have the angriest glare on his face as Cena takes it back inside to keep up the beating.

Orton catches him with an uppercut for a breather and there’s the hanging DDT for two. A sleeper goes on but Orton reverts to form and switches it into a chinlock. Cena actually has to power out and starts hammering away in the corner, eventually shoving the referee for the DQ.

Rating: C-. Well that was kind of lame, as this seemed to be more of a match to bridge us between the first match and the big blowoff instead of something that actually mattered. It wasn’t even eight minutes long and a good chunk of that was spent in a chinlock. Cena being angry and wanting to hurt Orton makes sense, but this felt like it should have been a run of the mill Raw main event rather than a pay per view title match.

Post match Cena goes after him again but gets his neck snapped across the top. Cena’s dad tries to make the save but gets beaten down again, drawing out Cena for the save. Cena grabs the STF so Cena’s dad can add a Punt of his own. That worked, even if the kick was kind of (understandably) terrible.

In the back, Coach yells at John Cena’s dad and makes Cena vs. Randy Orton III in a Last Man Standing match. Cena runs in to grab Coach by the lapels and say you don’t mess with family before throwing him down.

We recap Mark Henry vs. Undertaker. Henry attacked Henry and put him out of action a few months ago, meaning it is time for revenge. And pain.

Undertaker vs. Mark Henry

Henry wants Undertaker out here, which triggers the big intro, complete with gong. The set even falls down to reveal Undertaker’s symbol, which catches on fire. Undertaker rises up and yeah this is going to hurt. Henry backs up from the staredown and Undertaker starts punching away at the bell. A charge is pulled out of the air though and Henry drives him into the corner.

Undertaker headbutts his way out of trouble but Old School is broken up. Instead it’s a superplex to bring Undertaker crashing back down but he doesn’t take kindly to being kicked in the face. A clothesline knocks Henry outside and Undertaker punches him up against the barricade. Undertaker stops to glare at the referee though, allowing Henry to hit what might have been a low blow.

Back in and a splash gives Henry two, followed by a second for two more. The third misses though, meaning it’s time for the slugout. Undertaker tries what looks to be a Downward Spiral but it gets countered into something like an STO (or Henry didn’t know how to take it). There’s another splash (ok we get the idea) but this time Undertaker sits up when Henry doesn’t cover.

Some charges in the corner set up Old School and the chokeslam drops Henry for another two. Henry cuts off a charge with a bearhug so Undertaker grabs him by the throat. That’s countered with a drive into the corner so Henry can rain down right hands. Since Henry has apparently not watched an Undertaker match in the last seven years or so, he earns the Last Ride out of the corner to give Undertaker the pin.

Rating: C+. I can go for Undertaker throwing people around and that Last Ride looked pretty awesome, as Henry pretty much crashed down from the ropes. Undertaker was going to win here, but it was about bringing him back and putting him straight into the main event scene again. Good enough power brawl, even if it wasn’t about the drama over the results.

Undertaker signals that he wants the title to end the show.

Overall Rating: C. It says a lot that it felt like nothing happened here despite the World Title changing hands. The wrestling was decent enough, though nothing is worth watching and some of the matches are forgettable just a little bit after the show ended. The show isn’t bad and there are some completely watchable parts, but it is the most skippable show I can remember in a very long time.

 

 

 

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