We look at WWE Unforgiven.
In our last WWE review we took a look at Summerslam, an event which was patchy but decent for want of a better description, and now that Unforgiven has rolled around, WWE surely won’t let two consecutive events play out the same (great start and middle, not so good finish) will they?
Seeing as I’ve posed a question, I’ll answer it, and unfortunately yes, history has repeated itself again at Unforgiven. The match-card looked solid before the event, while the addition of the ‘championship scramble matches’, which I’ll provide a definition for below, added intrigue to an anticipated night.
A WWE scramble match is where two participants start in the ring then every five minutes, a new challenger enters the ring until every wrestler is in the ring. The match is contested under a time limit; during that time limit, participants can score a pinfall or submission and will make them the champion until another pin/submission occurs. The champion does not have to be pinned in order to lose his championship, and after the time limit is over the wrestler who gained the final pin/submission will be the official champion.
Like aforementioned, the positives stemming from Summerslam were the under and mid-card matches, which built a solid foundation for the latter matches, in that case the dual main events, to cash in on, which they didn’t. So rather than learn from their mistakes, a case of rinse, wash and repeat transpired.
Which is great for the first 90 minutes to two hours of the event, as there is plenty of solid squared-circle action to be had. Notable mentions include the brutal unsanctioned match between Jericho and Michaels, which in these reviewers’ eyes took match of the night's honours, and the ECW title scramble which started the show, but the rest are all of a very good quality as well.
Where the downfall of the event came was in the last hour, as the final scramble match for the World Heavyweight Title was the sole main event, and a ‘big’ segment beforehand was meant to create buzz and excitement for the future landscape of SmackDown.
To say the segment went down like a lead balloon would be an understatement, as it completely tanked, draining the crowd energy out of the building and leaving viewers at home shaking their heads for the near 20 minute duration. Even the ‘brawl’ that took place afterwards was pedestrian and couldn’t save a blown spot in a crucial slot of the show.
And the main event that followed seemed to defy belief. All seemed well as the match had an okay beginning, building towards what should have been a big finish but that was never to come, as the ‘booking’ to conclude the match was reminiscent of WCW in their dying last years of business.
Unforgiven showed potential as a pay-per-view and in its first two hours was on track to be one of the better events of the year, and is worth a purchase just for that duration. But that was ultimately ruined by what was a debacle of a conclusion to the show.