WWE PPV Flashbacks: Unforgiven – September 26,1999

September 26, 1999
Charlotte Coliseum, Charlotte, NC

The summer of 1999 had come and gone and controversy filled the main event scene in the WWF over the weeks heading into the next PPV, Unforgiven, now in the September spot in the line up, a position it would hold for many years going forward. Whilst Mankind left Summerslam as the WWF Champion, that title is now vacant for reasons that I’ll get into later. The main event tonight will crown a new champion however, as six of the best in the company will square off for the most prestigious prize in all of sports entertainment. And if that wasn’t star studded enough for you, a certain beer drinking former champion will be serving as the guest enforcer for that match as well. In other news, Smackdown is now on the air as a weekly show and Vince McMahon is back on camera already, but is now a face. Oh and the referees are on strike so we have an assortment of non-regular officials tonight. Lets get this show on the road. Please follow me on Twitter at @Mpmcc91 and leave all thoughts!

The opening video package is all about the vacant WWF Championship and the six men vying to become the new title holder – Triple H, The Rock, British Bulldog (yep, he’s back!), Big Show, Kane and Mankind. We then head into the arena where our regular announce team of Jim Ross & Jerry Lawler kick us off.

Val Venis vs Steve Blackman
The feud behind our opening match tonight really kicked off earlier in the month when Val Venis was in action with Ken Shamrock on Smackdown. Shamrock was victorious in that match, but his old rival Steve Blackman attempted to jump him afterwards, only to be fought off. Blackman would take out his frustrations upon recovering on Val instead, and proceeded to do so again the following week on Raw is War. Venis responded by costing Blackman a European title match and also stole Blackman’s weapons bag and filled it with sex toys, leading us to this encounter. Val has the bag in his possession here and of course does his usual innuendo stuff on the mic beforehand and the Brooklyn Brawler is apparently the designated official for this one. Anyway, Blackman heads out and gets the early advantage taking the fight to his opponent. The action heads to the outside eventually, and Blackman continues his dominance by sending Venis into the ring post. Blackman continues to capitalise by working over Val’s back, but the tide changes when the porn star of the WWF reverses a chin lock and begins to build some momentum of his own. At one point, Val stops to do his grind on Blackman, but this gives the Lethal Weapon the opportunity to come back with a spinebuster. His offence doesn’t last too long though, as Val strikes back with a DDT and follows up with the Money Shot to score the pinfall at 6:29. A relatively basic match here to get the night started. The crowd died off a little as Blackman went on offence, but it wasn’t terribly bad or anything. Just nothing spectacular. After the match, Val grabs the kendo stick and attempts to hit Blackman, but Blackman takes possession and nails Val in the skull instead. B.B (a blonde EMT) comes out to perform CPR on Venis, whilst some security guy gets into a fight with Blackman. I would say the feud isn’t over, but I don’t think it really went anywhere after this.
Grade: *

In the back we hear from the Big Show. He refuses to answer any questions about the whereabouts of his partner the Undertaker. Taker had just vanished from TV and would take an extended hiatus for the rest of the year. We’ll see him completely repackaged down the line.

Elsewhere, Lillian Garcia is standing by with Mark Henry, the reigning WWF European Champion. Henry is still Sexual Chocolate, so he hits on Lillian but gets a slap for his efforts. I guess he didn’t have the same charm that Viscera would have on her years later.

WWF European Championship:
Mark Henry (c) vs D’Lo Brown
Alright, as we know, Mark Henry turned heel at Summerslam, costing D’Lo both the European and I.C titles in the one match to Jeff Jarrett. Henry would reveal that he was sick of D’Lo being on his back (he had been trying to assist his friend to lose weight for months). Jarrett would respond to Henry’s actions by handing him the European Championship, and because Jack Tunney had long since resigned from office, the title change was recognised with Mark Henry now the European Champion. Over the following weeks, D’Lo would attempt to get revenge on his former friend in a series of tag matches, and was eventually granted a shot at the title that he was cost at Summerslam tonight. Tom Pritchard is the official for this one, and Henry attempts to get out of the match by claiming that Lillian’s slap gave him a brain aneurism. D’Lo comes out and confronts his old friend in the aisle, and the two men start to brawl getting this one started. Henry gets the better of the brawl at first, sending Brown into the ring post and into the ring, but the challenger ducks a clothesline and after some back and forth hits Henry with the Sky High. Its not enough to keep Sexual Chocolate down though, and Henry regains momentum, delivering the World’s Strongest Slam to D’Lo before the action spills outside the ring once more. Back in the ring we get some more back and forth until Henry squashes D’Lo in the corner and goes to deliver the ten punches. D’Lo counters with a powerbomb though and manages to follow up with the Lo Down to win back the title at 9:11. Henry was really just a transitional champion to get the belt back on D’Lo, but sadly I don’t believe his reign would last too long either. Anyway, another fairly basic match overall here, but I enjoyed it more than the opener. Probably since these guys have always had a soft spot with me.
Grade: *1/2

Backstage we see the Acolytes talking trash about their opponents tonight, the newly debuted Dudley Boyz. They say they have already destroyed one ECW team and will do the same again tonight when Chaz (formerly Mosh) walks in only to get his ass kicked.

Elsewhere in the arena, Debra is talking to Miss Kitty. She is looking forward to Jeff Jarrett getting his ass handed to him by Chyna tonight. Meanwhile Jarrett enters, puts Debra into place and drags Kitty off. Jarrett was basically doing a woman hating gimmick at this point and Chyna was slowly moving out on her own as a face despite still being loosely affiliated with Triple H.

WWF Intercontinental Championship:
Jeff Jarrett (c) w/Miss Kitty vs Chyna
Following Jarrett’s win over D’Lo at Summerslam to become Intercontinental Champion, he put out an open challenge to anyone in the locker room who thought they could take the belt from him. Billy Gunn would end up coming across the open contract backstage and asked Chyna to stop anyone from signing it until he found a pen. Well Chyna would end up signing it on her own accord, which was pretty much the start of her face turn, and went on to defeat Gunn to retain her contender position the next week on Smackdown. Yeah, your push is over Mr Ass. Anyway, in the weeks following, Jarrett would go on a tirade of abusing women, including smashing a guitar over the head of the Fabulous Moolah on an episode of Smackdown to prove that he would not hold back against a female. Back to the show at hand, Harvey Wippleman is the referee for this match and Chyna gets a pretty big pop for her entrance. Say what you will, the crowd loved her back in the day. Jarrett attacks her before she can get into the ring, but Chyna responds with a low blow to her opponent and they fight on the outside as we get started. After some back and forth, Chyna nails Jarrett with a chair after he gets distracted arguing with Mae Young and Moolah who are in the crowd. Chyna attempts to follow up with a Pedigree on the Spanish announce table, but Jarrett reverses and sends her into Wippleman, knocking him out. With the ref down, Jarrett grabs his guitar and sets up to nail Chyna, only for Mae & Moolah to jump the rail. Jarrett turns his attention to the old ladies, but Debra ends up coming out and whacking him with the guitar. Meanwhile Chyna recovers and pins Jarrett, with Wippleman counting the three at 11:51. Chyna is the new Intercontinental Champion! Or so we think. Tom Pritchard heads down to ringside and tells Wippleman what happened, which results in the decision being reversed and Chyna disqualified due to interference. Jarrett keeps the title after all. The crowd is not pleased with the decision, but aside from that this was a decent enough match. The ending brings it down, but both competitors looked alright in there and would go on to have a better match the following month, so I suppose I can’t really fault it too much. Afterwards Chyna beats up Pritchard to the delight of the fans.
Grade: **

Backstage we hear from the Rock who cuts his standard good promo hyping up his participation in the main event tonight.

The Acolytes vs Dudley Boyz
The Dudley Boyz, comprised of Bubba Ray & D-Von, made their debut a few weeks before this show on Smackdown, assaulting both the Acolytes and Edge & Christian during a tag team match. The Dudleyz would continue to have an impact on the scene the following week on Raw is War when they cost the Acolytes a number one contender match against Edge & Christian, so tonight the Acolytes are looking for revenge on the ECW exports. The Dudleys are still wearing their ECW tye dye attire here, and Bubba is doing his stuttering thing before the match, being unable to say his name. They are heels by the way in case you couldn’t tell. The Acolytes get a decent pop on their arrival and the match gets under way. Regular referee Jimmy Korderas is officiating this one because he apparently isn’t striking. Righto. Anyway the Acolytes take the fight to their opponents in the early going with Bradshaw and Bubba starting things out. The Dudleys end up taking over with some double teams though and end up hitting the 3D on Bradshaw. It doesn’t keep the big Texan down though, so the half brothers from Dudleyville continue to beat him down until he gets the tag to Faarrooq. The other Acolyte doesn’t have much of a chance to build momentum though, as the Dudleys also hit him with the 3D. The continuous double teaming brings Bradshaw in with a clothesline from hell to Bubba, however the recently debuted Stevie Richards runs out dressed up as an Acolyte, continuing his parody gimmick from ECW. He hits D-Von with a kendo stick as the referee is distracted, which allows Faarooq to cover him to score the victory at 7:28. It was a fairly uneventful match overall, but I probably would have had the Dudleys score the win here being the newer team. Its not a big deal though as the Acolytes were still being booked as a fairly strong team at this point, and the Dudleys will fire back soon enough. After the match, the Acolytes beat up Stevie for shits and giggles.
Grade: *3/4

We now cut backstage to where Ivory jumps Luna to get the first ever women’s hardcore match underway.

WWF Women’s Championship – Hardcore Match:
Ivory (c) vs Luna
This match had a fairly basic build, with Luna being added to the women’s championship picture after coming to blows with Ivory last month at Summerslam and once again on Smackdown, interfering in an evening gown match between the champion and Tori. Luna would continue to attack the champion whenever she could get her hands on her in the weeks that followed, which resulted in her making the challenge to face Ivory in a hardcore match here tonight. As I mentioned before, this was the first ever women’s hardcore match in WWF history. Now, as I said this gets started in the back where Ivory jumps the challenger. Its pretty much your standard brawl through the backstage area whacking each other with anything they can get their hands on. Harvey Wippleman is officiating once again by the way. We get a comedic spot where Luna slams Ivory onto a photocopier and prints out some copies, but Ivory comes back slamming her opponent into some crates. The champion then grabs a pole of some kind and goes to hit Luna, but Tori makes the save. Despite this, Ivory manages to fight her off and proceeds to hit Luna anyway, which allows her to pin her at 3:37 to retain the title. Too short to really be anything of substance here. Pretty much just a filler segment backstage with the women’s title at a low point of importance here.
Grade: 1/2*

Following that, Lillian is standing by with Mae Young and the Fabulous Moolah. They rip on Jarrett when Ivory comes in and talks trash. The old ladies attack the champion and there’s your next women’s championship feud. Yeah, okay NOW its reached the low point.

WWF Tag Team Championship:
New Age Outlaws (c) vs Edge & Christian
Its been quite an eventful month on the tag team championship front since the Undertaker & Big Show left Summerslam holding the titles. Their reign came to an end about a week later on Raw is War however, when they were defeated by the newly formed Rock N Sock Connection – the memorable team of the Rock & Mankind that we will see more of as time goes on. The popular duo only had a brief run with the belts as well though, as they lost the titles back to the Undertaker & Big Show the following week on Smackdown in a Buried Alive match. The title changes did not end their however, as a few weeks later on Raw, the Rock N Sock won the titles for a second time, defeating the champions in a Dark Side rules match in which all members of the Ministry of Darkness were legal. Their reign would come to an end later in the week on Smackdown however, being defeated by the reformed New Age Outlaws. Yep, Billy Gunn and the Road Dogg had been reunited for a final run, and the Mr Ass singles heel run was over like it never happened. Anyway, among all the title changes, Edge & Christian had defeated the Acolytes in a number one contender match that I have already talked about, which brings us to this match. Both teams are faces here, although the crowd is behind the Outlaws, so its clear they made the right call reuniting them. They do their old intro before the match. Korderas is the referee here for those playing along at home. Anyway, we start this one out with the challengers in control, as Edge & Christian double team Road Dogg in the early going. After taking a bit of a beating however, the Dogg fires back with a double DDT on his opponents and manages to get a hot tag to Billy. From there, Billy does what he does best and cleans house on the challengers until an Unprettier from Christian stops him in his tracks. Road Dogg attempts to intervene but Edge follows up by spearing him, however before the challengers can close in on the titles, the Hardy Boyz, still under the tutelage of Gangrel as the New Brood rush down the ring. They attack Edge & Christian behind the ref’s back, and in the chaos that follows, Gunn recovers and nails Edge with the Fameasser. That gets the three at 11:07 and the Outlaws retain their titles. This was a fun little tag match. Whilst it was nothing spectacular, I enjoyed seeing the Outlaws back together, and the interference by the Hardys kick started what would become the focal point of the tag division over the next year or so in the rivalry between them and Edge & Christian. The Outlaws keep the titles for now, but their days at the top of the tag division are numbered with all these hot young teams getting ready to take their shot.
Grade: ***

We now see footage from Smackdown of the British Bulldog’s recent return and subsequent heel turn when he cost the Rock a match against Triple H. Lillian Garcia then attempts to get an explanation for the Bulldog’s actions, but he blows her off after saying that he is not working with Triple H.

Elsewhere in the arena we hear from the Big Bossman who says he is not afraid of the upcoming match. Yep, its Kennel from Hell time folks.

WWF Hardcore Championship – Kennel from Hell Match:
Al Snow (c) vs Big Bossman
This feud continues from the past few months, although it has since taken quite the disturbing twist. The night after Summerslam on Raw is War, Al Snow was defending his Hardcore Championship against the Road Dogg when he was jumped by his long time rival, the Big Bossman. After taking out Snow, Bossman would kidnap Snow’s dog Pepper. Bossman would continue to torment Snow going forward and defeated him on a subsequent episode of Smackdown to win the Hardcore Championship. And then came the moment we all remember in infamy the following week on Smackdown, when the Bossman invited Snow to his hotel for a meal. Snow would eat the meal he was served whilst Bossman would make remarks alluding to the fact before revealing that he had cooked Pepper and tricked Snow into eating his own pet! This would send Snow completely off the deep end, whilst the Bossman would gloat over his actions and challenged any dog lovers to get some payback for Pepper. Enter the returning British Bulldog, who managed to dispose of the Bossman to win the Hardcore Championship, only to give Snow the title afterwards (hey two titles like this in a month – Tunney would have lost it!). Meanwhile, Snow looked to get some vengeance of his own by challenging Bossman to a Kennel from Hell match tonight. Now lets talk about what that entails. Its essentially a steel cage surrounded by the Hell in a Cell structure, with two rabid dogs (or as it turned out, dogs that were more interested in humping one another) between the two cages. The winner would be the first man to escape both cages. Anyway Snow and Bossman start out going at it, with Snow trying to keep Bossman on the outside with the dogs, only for Bossman to eventually get into the ring and handcuff the champion to the corner. He then ends up finding a pair of bolt cutters and cuts a hole out of the top of the cell so as to be able to escape without facing the dogs on the outside. Before he can do so however, Snow snaps out of the cuffs and goes after his hated adversary. He gets possession of Head and whacks Bossman to get a little more retribution. With Bossman subdued, Snow climbs over the cage and kicks the door of the cell from upon it open. He manages to escape once he gets it open to retain the title at 11:25. Overall a pretty bad match, but its entertaining in that wrestle crap kind of way at least. It was a heated rivalry though, and at least the gimmick fit the feud being centred around a dog, even if the dogs tonight were anything but intimidating. There would never be another Kennel from Hell match, and thats probably a good thing. But hey, at least it wasn’t as bad as Bossman’s last foray into the Hell in a Cell back at Wrestlemania. Mind you that would be pretty hard to achieve.
Grade: *1/2

We now hear from Mankind about the six pack challenge. The hilarious Rock N Sock stuff is in full effect here as he blatantly rips off some of the Rock’s catchphrases in the process. For the dozens…and dozens.

X-Pac vs Chris Jericho w/Mr Hughes
After making his first PPV appearance last month, Y2J makes his PPV in-ring debut tonight. This was actually supposed to be Jericho vs Ken Shamrock, however Jericho would defeat Shamrock in a First Blood Match on Smackdown which would end up being the last match with the company for the World’s Most Dangerous Man. This match wasn’t totally random though, since as we saw at Summerslam, Jericho had also been having issues with the Road Dogg which pretty much led to his buddy X-Pac being inserted in here by default. Jericho had also dumped the Fink at this point and instead brought in Mr Hughes as his bodyguard, although this would be another very short stint for the guy. Anyway, this match starts out with some fast paced back and forth, with X-Pac eventually taking control until Mr Hughes gets involved after Jericho is thrown to the outside. He nails X-Pac to turn the tide and Jericho gets back in, taking control with a chinlock. X-Pac counters his way out however and goes to hit the Bronco Buster, but Jericho gets out of the way, giving us some more solid back and forth. The crowd actually starts chanting that both these guys suck despite being two of the better workers in the company. Anyway, Jericho ends up going to the top but X-Pac ties him up in the Tree of Woe and follows up with a unique Bronco Buster. Before he can capitalise on his momentum however, Hughes comes in and hits the ref (Tom Pritchard), which causes the cheap DQ at 12:57. For a match that was just thrown together to fill in for the departed Shamrock, this was pretty good stuff, but then again, these were two guys that would never let you down when given time. The ending was a little silly though and I probably would have just had Jericho get the win in his first PPV match. I can understand keeping X-Pac strong though as he would still have a solid run for a while. After the match, Jericho and Hughes beat on X-Pac, but Road Dogg runs out to make the save for his buddy.
Grade: ***1/2

The main event is up next, so we get a video package primarily centred around Triple H and the controversial WWF Championship picture over the past month.

WWF Championship:
The Rock vs Mankind vs Kane vs Big Show vs British Bulldog vs Triple H
Special Guest Enforcer: Steve Austin
Okay, there’s a lot to talk about here. First and foremost, whilst Mankind left Summerslam as the new WWF Champion, he was defeated the next night on Raw is War by Triple H, who had finally achieved his goal of becoming the top guy in the company. A few weeks later on Raw, WWE CEO, Linda McMahon announced that a number one contender match would take place between the Rock, Mankind, Kane, Big Show and Undertaker, however the match would end up being thrown out when Mideon and Viscera got involved and all hell broke loose causing referees to be laid out, hence the strike we see tonight. That same night on Raw, Triple H would rip on Linda McMahon, and even put his hands on the CEO, which caused a furious Mr McMahon to come to his wife’s defence, marking his first appearance on TV since Fully Loaded. Vince would challenge Triple H to a match later that week on Smackdown for the WWF Championship. Steve Austin would interfere in that match, stunning Triple H and placing his old enemy on top of the champion for the three count. Vince McMahon was the new WWF Champion, and the Game was livid. On the next episode of Raw, Vince forfeited the title, claiming that he promised he would not get involved in WWF affairs. Austin came out and informed Vince that back when he was CEO he had made it that he could reinstate Vince at any time, and he did just that in exchange for a future title match. Vince would keep that promise, granting Austin a future title shot, but first the five men from the aforementioned number one contender match, along with Triple H would battle in a star studded six pack challenge for the vacant title at Unforgiven, with Austin being the guest enforcer for the match. McMahon would continue to stack the deck against the Game over the course of the weeks that followed, including putting the Game in individual matches with all his opponents on a single episode of Raw. As previously mentioned though, the Undertaker would walk out, resulting in him being removed from the match. He was replaced by the recently returned British Bulldog, who would turn heel after attacking the Rock in his match with Triple H that night. And after all that, we are finally here. Talk about an eventful month. Anyway, Austin gets his expected big pop as he comes out to play enforcer, although he spends much of the match doing commentary which is always great. The rules of this match are that two men are in the ring at a time with the other four being tagged in and out. Korderas is the official by the way. Rock and Bulldog start this one out, continuing their issues from Bulldog’s heel turn. I’m not even going to try to detailed play by play for most of this match as we get a series of tags in and out with rotating combinations. The crowd is hot as you would expect with all this talent involved. We get some fun teamwork from the Rock N Sock Connection at one point, and we also see the striking referees head down to ringside and yell at Korderas for not joining them. I really can’t remember that angle going anywhere after this show. Another funny spot sees Rock get knocked to the outside, only to recover after stealing Austin’s beer and drinking it, much to the displeasure of the Rattlesnake. We get the expected finisher sequences which is always good fun in multi-person matches, which leads to Big Show coming in and absolutely destroying all his opponents with chokeslams. Big Show follows up by covering Mankind, but as Korderas goes to count, the striking officials pull him out of the ring and beat the crap out of him. This gets Austin up from the announce position, and he unloads on the refs, chasing them off and taking over as the official for the match. Meanwhile Rock recovers and hits a Rock Bottom and People’s Elbow on the Game, but Big Show breaks it up. Bulldog then comes in with a chair and nails Rock, but Austin takes the chair and whacks the illegal man with it, brawling with him out of the ring. Meanwhile, Triple H hits Rock with the Pedigree, and Austin gets back in and reluctantly counts the three to end it at 20:24. Triple H is the WWF Champion for the second time and Austin hands him the title, only to be taunted by the Game. This leads to Austin dropping the new champion with the stunner to set up their match down the line, and drinking some beers to end the show. This match was a lot of fun. The star power was there, the crowd was hot and the action was really fast paced and non-stop. A definite match of the year candidate with Triple H looking really good managing to overcome five of the company’s best to reclaim the richest prize in the business.
Grade: ****

This was the last proper PPV of the Vince Russo era (he would still be around technically for our next show), as the head booker for the past few years would head to WCW shortly after this show to put the final nails in the coffin over the next year or so. As far as the show goes, the under card was nothing special for the most part, although there were some solid matches in the Outlaws/Edge & Christian and X-Pac/Jericho matches. Of course, there was still the Kennel from Hell, but that was more a so bad its good kind of match. The match that everyone was here to see though was the six pack challenge without question, and they certainly got their money worth on that count. A pretty fun show overall despite some low spots mixed in there, as the product continues to build momentum over the course of the Attitude era. The only thing stopping it getting a higher ranking is the filler in the undercard with all the big stars in the main event.

Three Stars of the Night:
1. Triple H – sure, it was his second title win, but this was a bigger deal than his win on Raw. He defeated five of the hottest guys in the company to win the ultimate prize in the WWF Championship. It didn’t hurt that the match was awesome as well.
2. The Rock – his popularity was insane and growing by the day. With Austin sitting this one out, he was the man the crowd got behind in the main event.
3. British Bulldog – so his comeback in 1999 was not great in the grand scheme of things. It was still fun to see him mix things up with the top guys of the day here.

FINAL GRADE: 6.5 out of 10

What I do here is add the three stars of the night with each review so as to keep track of who we can say overall is the greatest PPV performer to any given time. First place scores 3 points, second 2 and third 1. The Great One moves into that top 5, whilst the Game is also climbing those ranks.

Bret Hart = 83
Steve Austin = 82
Shawn Michaels = 67
Mick Foley = 32
The Rock = 29
Randy Savage = 28
Undertaker = 25
Triple H = 24
Owen Hart = 21
Hulk Hogan = 18
X-Pac = 18
Diesel = 15
Ultimate Warrior = 13
Vader = 13
British Bulldog = 12
Ted DiBiase = 10
Razor Ramon = 10
Vince McMahon = 9
Ric Flair = 8
Jim Neidhart = 7
Jerry Lawler = 6
Dynamite Kid = 5
Arn Anderson = 5
Roddy Piper = 5
Mr Perfect = 5
Marty Jannetty = 5
Bob Backlund = 5
Ricky Steamboat = 4
Ax = 4
Smash = 4
Bobby Heenan = 4
D’Lo Brown = 4
Greg Valentine = 3
Tully Blanchard = 3
Tanaka = 3
Bam Bam Bigelow = 3
Sato = 3
Jake Roberts = 3
Hakushi = 3
Yokozuna = 3
Savio Vega = 3
Ken Shamrock = 3
Brutus Beefcake = 2
Paul Orndorff = 2
Shane McMahon = 3
Andre the Giant = 2
Rick Rude = 2
Sgt Slaughter = 2
Jeff Jarrett = 2
Jesse Ventura = 1
Texas Tornado = 1
Tito Santana = 1
Virgil = 1
Scott Steiner = 1
Rick Steiner = 1
Lex Luger = 1
The Roadie = 1
Billy Gunn = 1
Bart Gunn = 1
Marc Mero = 1
Flash Funk = 1
Animal = 1
Hawk = 1
Taka Michinoku = 1
Christian = 1
Test = 1

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter at @Mpmcc91. Thanks for reading!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *