In Your House 21: Unforgiven

Welcome everybody to this review of Unforgiven: In Your House. This is the first major PPV off the back of Wrestlemania XIV and features two rematches from the bigest event of the year. It seems as though the WWF have pressed the restart button (not in all cases) but there is a level of freshness, especially to the main event scene. There are 6 matches advertised for this one, let me run you through them all. In the main event, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin will defend his WWF title against number one contender Dude Love. Now you’ll remember Dude Love was Cactus Jack but after Cactus and Chainsaw lost their tag team titles back to the New Age Outlaws on the Raw after Wrestlemania, Mick Foley said that Cactus Jack was done, mainly because all the fans were cheering for Austin. Then as Stone Cold went one on one with Vince McMaon, Dude Love came out and attacked Austin, lining up a match between the two for the first ever time on pay per view. In my opinion Dude Love is way too likeable as a heel.

Also tonight we have a rematch between The Undertaker and Kane but this time the ring will be surrounded by fire in the first ever Inferno Match. There isn’t a lot more to this story except for the fact that both men have been attacking WWF superstars in anger on the lead up to this PPV. The other Wrestlemania rematch will be between Triple H and Owen Hart for the European title. Since Wrestlemania Triple H has taken over as leader of DX and has recruited X Pac (the former 123 Kid) and The New Age Outlaws. Not Triple H defends his title against Owen Hart but Chyna won’t be able to get involved this time as she will be hung from the rafters in a cage much like Paul Bearer was in Mankinds match with The Undertaker.

The European title might be on the line but the Intercontinental title won’t be as The Rock teams with D-lo Brown and Mark Henry to take on Ken Shamrock, Steve Blackman and Faarooq. The Rock kicked Faarooq out of the Nation on the Raw after Wrestlemania and became leader and ruler of the group. Ken Shamrock and Steve Blackman have been teaming up as of late in a mixed martial arts kinda way. That should be a good one. The Tag Team titles will be on the line as The New Age Outlaws defend their belts against the winners of the 15 team battle royal at Wrestlemania and long time rivals, LOD 2000. Those two teams have plenty of history and I think this may be the last meeting between the two. It is their fourth meeting on PPV. Then the other advertised match tonight is an Evening Gown match between Sable and Luna where to win, one girl must strip the other of their Dress! So let’s get to it.

We kick off with a pretty cool video package about The Undertaker and Kane which features quotes from Classy Freddie Blassie. The Inferno match is a big selling point for tonight, one of the biggest matches in In Your House history. Vince McMahon is predicted an event of catastrophic proportions tonight. Dude Love and Austin don’t really get a mention in the opening package! Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler are our familiar commentators.

The Nation Of Domination (The Rock, D-lo Brown & Mark Henry) vs. Faarooq, Ken Shamrock & Steve Blackman

The Nation have much trendier music these days with The Rocks voice at the beginning. Big “Rocky sucks” chants. The faces come out to Ken Shamrocks music. Steve Blackman is looking for his first PPV win tonight. Interestingly it’s Faarooq, Blackman and Shamrock who do the Nation salute. For Blackman, this is his 4th PPV appearance and despite there being 6 men in this match, that’s less than he’s ever been with on PPV before. Blackman and D-lo kick things off. Blackman takes it to D-lo then tags out to Ken Shamrock. Shamrock has been embroiled in a feud with The Rock for a while. There’s a bit of an awkward moments with tagging and then Faarooq is tagged in. He and D-lo were original members of the Nation and they go at it after D-lo slaps him. Faarooq hits a mean spinebuster then whips D-lo with his belt! Apparently that’s perfectly legal. Blackman is tagged in now and D-lo tags Mark Henry. Henry is a big old unit. Really quite green at the moment though. He tags back out to D-lo who has worked most of this match so far.

D-lo hits a powerbomb for a two count. Faarooq is tagged in and D-lo capitalises before tagging out to The Rock. The Rock lays in lefts and rights to his former leader. The Rock is definitely the star of the group. He tags Mark Henry in who hits a powerslam and three elbow drops for a two count. Faarooq tags Blackman. There have been lots of tags in this one.  Henry tags D-lo who hits an elbow off the second rope. Or was it a knee? Not sure. Nobody has been on more PPVs consecutively at this point than The Rock. This is his 8th. This is the 4th PPV in a row that The Rock has been on the opposite side of the ring to Ken Shamrock. And the 5th in 6. Steve Blackman is taking a beating now as Henry takes it to him before tagging The Rock back in. Rock hits a slam then his trademark elbow. He doesn’t go for the pin though, instead locks on a sleeper. The Rock tags D-lo who hits a backbreaker then goes to the top to hit a moonsault. And to be fair it’s a beautiful moonsault, he just completely misses. D-lo tags The Rock and Blackman tags Faarooq! Faarooq takes out everyone and all six men are then in the ring. All 6 men get into it and Kama does too!

Faarooq hits The Dominator on The Rock and it’s enough for the three! Surprising result to this one with Faarooq picking up the win. That’ll go down as Blackmans first PPV victory too. Not a bad match between these six. Multi man matches are always fun. Michael Cole then interviews Faarooq. Faarooq thanks his partners and says this is the beginning of a long war.

Rating: 5.75/10

There’s a bit of a funny edit, then Austins music hits and the WWF Champion comes to the ring. Austin drags the time keeper into the ring. I actually feel a bit sorry for Mark Yeaton here. Austin tells Yeaton that he’d better not screw Austin tonight. And that’s the end of that!

We get a replay from Wrestlemania when Triple H beat Owen Hart. Chyna aided Helmsleys win then but she won’t tonight because she’s going to be locked in a cage above the ring.

Triple H (c) vs. Owen Hart – European Title Match

Sgt Slaughter is ringside to make sure Chyna gets into the cage. She does eventually and Slaughter locks her in. They’re making a big point of this being one on one which makes me think X Pac and The New Age Outlaws could make an appearance tonight. Owen Hart attacks Helmsley outside the ring and the two fight in the entrance way. Hart then throws Triple H into the cage. Owen hits a suplex on the floor. Chyna is still on the ground at this point. The bell finally rings as the two men fight in the ring. The two men then go back to the outside where Owen drops Helmsley on the railings. We get a cool shot of Chyna hanging in the air. This is obviously the second meeting between these two men on PPV. Triple H takes the advantage for the first time and hits a high knee to the face. He hits a nice suplex then drops a knee to Owens head for a two count. Triple H locks on some sort of choke which is quite unique, I don’t think I’ve seen that one before.

Chyna pulls out a file. She wants to get out of that cage. Triple  hits an Irish whip, face first on Hart, similar to the bumps Owens brother Bret would take. Owen hits a sunset flip for a two. Swinging neckbreaker by Triple H for a two count then back to the choke. Owen gets out of it but misses with a shoulder charge in the corner. Triple H then drives Owen Hart into the ringpost on the other side of the ring. Facebreaker by Helmsley for a two then back to the choke. Owen hits a german suplex for a near fall whilst Chyna actually bends the bars in the cage. Hart hits a piledriver then goes up to the top where he hits an elbow drop. Chyna steps outside of the cage but she’s pretty high up. Chyna is hanging from the cage at this point which distracts Owen Hart. Hemsley goes for The Pedigree but Owen hits a DDT then locks on the Sharpshooter. The cage then lowers and Jim Ross is told that Road Dogg lowered it! This distracts Owen Hart who releases the hold. Triple H attempts The Pedigree but Owen reverses it, hits a slingshot then hits a Pedigree of his own.

With the referee distracted with Chyna, X Pac gets involved and nails Hart with a fire extinguisher! I had a feeling we would see X Pac. The Chyna stuff was unexpected though. Good match between these two. Triple H beats Owen Hart for the second time on PPV. Michael Cole interviews Owen Hart after the bell. Owen says that this bullshit has to stop and things are going to change around here.

Rating: 6.25/10

Jim Cornette is out next as Jim Ross hints at a bonus match. Looks like we’ve got the Midnights vs. The Rock and Rolls!

The New Midnight Express (Bombastic Bob & Bodacious Bart) vs. The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express (Ricky Morton & Robert Gibson) – NWA Tag Team Title Match

Well this is an interesting one. Two of the biggest tag teams in NWA history taking each other on. Well, sort of. Bob and Bart are the newest incarnation. Robert Gibson and Bombastic Bob kick things off and its Gibson with the early advantage. The Rock’n’Roll Express are looking for their first WWF PPV win, this is the third time of asking. Bob Holly accidentally nails Bart and the two are already arguing. Gibson then throws Bob into Bart and the two men start pushing each other. This is a new team that really aren’t seeing eye to eye. Bart is the legal man now and he locks on an abdominal stretch on Ricky Morton. Jim Cornette gets into the ring and challenges the referee Tim White to go at it. And Tim White is up for it! He throws some punches at Cornette who scarpers. This has been on odd match so far. Cornette tries to trip Morton and suddenly it’s three on one on Ricky Morton. Bart Gunn or Bodacious Bart as he is now known gets a two count.

Bart hits a powerslam on Ricky Morton for a two count then tags in Bob Holly. Bob goes to the top and misses with a legdrop! Morton tags Gibson and he takes down both members of the Midnight Express. All four men are then in! The Rock’n’Roll Express hit a double dropkick on Bart and in comes Jim Cornette who accidentally hits Bart Gunn! There’s some double teaming and the Midnight Express win the match. Not great. The crowd didn’t seem into it either.

Rating: 3/10

We get a creepy interview with Luna, she’s here to rip Sables clothes off.

Sable vs. Luna – Evening Gown Match

This is Lunas third PPV match, only one away from the most a woman has had in 4. That record is held by Alundra Blayze and Leilani Kai. Jim Ross compares Sables reaction to Ric Flair. Very interesting comparison. Luna has Goldust in her corner but there’s no sign of Mero. There’s plenty of ripping of clothes in the early going. Luna rips off Sables skirt to reveal a thong! Marc Mero appears and doesn’t seem happy. That allows Luna to rip off Sables top to win the match! Sable hits a powerbomb and rips off Lunas dress now! The two girls then head under the ring. Sable then emerges with Lunas underwear! Luna wins and the audience win. Not a five star classic by any means though.

Rating: N/A

Vince McMahon is out with Pat Patterson and Gerald Briscoe. McMahon says something catastrophic is going to happen tonight. McMahon denies that he is going to screw Austin out of the WWF title tonight. I’m very intrigued as to what this catastrophic event is tonight.

The New Age Outlaws (Billy Gunn & The Road Dogg) (c) vs. LOD 2000 (Hawk & Animal) – Tag Team Title Match

This is the fourth meeting between these two teams on PPV. LOD have won two of the previous 3 but never by pinfall or submission so unable to take the titles away. LOD 2000 won the 15 team battle royal at Wrestlemania to earn this title shot. Billy Gunn and Animal kick things off. There’s history between Billy Gunn and Sunny but I can’t see that being bought up. Billy Gunn hits some big right hands but it’s Animal with a shoulder tackle and clothesline for a two count. Animal tags Hawk who comes in with a right hand off the second rope. Hawk hits a powerslam and Road Dogg crawls to the corner. Hawk brings Billy Gunn into the ring and hits a back body drop. Billy and Road Dogg are two of four men who are wrestling on this PPV that wrestled on the very first In Your House show. The other two are Bart Gunn and Owen Hart. Hawk attempts a powerslam but can’t get Billy up! Or Billy slips down, one of the two. Hawk hits a shoulderblock for a two count. Animal is tagged in and locks on a sleeper. Animal breaks it up and hits a big powerslam and suddenly all four men are in.

LOD 2000 whip the Outlaws into one another then set up for the Devastation Device but Road Dogg stops it from happening. Billy tags Road Dogg who comes in and works Animals knee. Road Dogg locks on a spinning toe hold but Animal gets to the ropes. Classic heel tactics from the Outlaws now as Road Dogg spits in the face of Hawk and Billy Gunn smashes Animals knee into the ring post. Jerry Lawler compares Animal to a wilderbeast. Road Dogg tags Billy Gunn who drops a knee on Animals knee. Gunn tags Road Dogg and there is a very slow pace to this match at the moment. Billy Gunn tags back in and hits a Rockerdropper for a two count. Lots of quick tags between the New Age Outlaws at the moment. Animal finally hits a leg drag, similar to what Ricky Steamboat used to do and this allows him to tag Hawk! Hawk goes to town on both tag champs and it’s not long before all four men are in.

Hawk comes off the top with a big splash but as the referee clears the ring of Animal, Billy Gunn nails Hawk with a tag team title belt! The referee turns around and counts two! Road Dogg then attempts to bring the belt back into play but accidentally nails Billy Gunn! Hawk pins him with a bridge and wins the match! We’ve got new tag team champions! But not for long, The Fink announces that The New Age Outlaws have won! LOD 2000 hit the Devastation Device on the referee! Well, bizarre ending to this match. We see the replay and it looks pretty clear that LOD won the match! Hawk clearly had a shoulder up! Very strange.

Rating: 5/10

Tennessee Lee introduces Sawyer Brown and Jeff Jarrett who will shortly be singing together. And away they go. I wouldn’t be surprised if Jarrett was miming here. He’s got a good voice either way. Jarrett finishes and Steve Blackman comes out and applies a submission hold to him! Tennessee Lee smashes him with the guitar so Jarrett locks on a figure four!

Video package up next for The Undertaker and Kane. This one has been personal. But then they are brothers so it’s going to be.

The Undertaker vs. Kane – Inferno Match

This is the first ever inferno match. The ring will be surrounded by fire and to win the match, you have to set the other on fire. The Undertaker has defeated Kane at both Wrestlemania and Mayhem In Manchester. There’s no staredown in this one, Undertaker lays right into Kane. He hits a splash in the corner then twists the arm and comes off the top rope with a clubbing blow. The fire exploded when he did that. They have to be careful not to catch fire early in this one. Somebody must be controlling the fire for dramatic effect. Kane hits a powerslam in the middle of the ring to keep the advantage. Paul Bearer throws a chair into the ring and Kane smashes it right into Undertakers face. Kane tries a few times to get Undertaker into the fire but with no luck. This time last year The Undertaker was WWF champion. Kane hits a hard Irish whip then chokes his brother in the corner. Undertaker gets back into the match with a side Russian leg sweep and follows it up with a leg drop.

Both men wrap their hands around the others throat but it’s Kane that hits a chokeslam in the middle of the ring. It’s Undertaker that hits a chokeslam now but Kane gets right back up. Undertaker bounces off the ropes and both men hit a big boot and both men go down! Undertaker is up and goes for his flying clothesline but Kane ducks and Undertaker almost goes rolling into the fire! Kane is up and hits a sidewalk slam before going up to the top. Undertaker hits the ropes and drops Kane on his crotch though. Undertaker hits a superplex on Kane in the middle of the ring. Undertaker throws Kane over the top rope to the outside! How is Kane supposed to get back in? Kane heads up the entrance aisle but Undertaker is stuck in the ring. Vader then comes out from the back and slougs Kane towards the ring. Undertaker then takes a running dive outside to the outside of the ring, taking out both men!

Paul Bearer is sneaking around with a chair as Undertaker and Kane battle it out on the outside of the ring. Bearer then smashes Undertaker with the chair but it has no affect. Undertaker picks up the chair and smashes Kane with it twice, dropping the big man to the floor. Undertaker then goes after Paul Bearer and stalks him up to the stage where Jeff Jarrett was earlier. Undertaker picks up a drum and smashes Paul Bearers head through it! Undertaker motions for a Tombstone and heads back towards Kane. Kane is up and jabs Undertaker with a chair. Undertaker boots Kane who falls back into the fire. Kanes arm is set on fire and the big red monster runs towards the back. Undertakers music hits and it is the former WWF champion that wins the match. Undertaker beats Kane at Wrestlemania, Mayhem In Manchester and Unforgiven. This was a pretty decent match. You get the feeling that this feud isn’t over. Especially as Kane left on his own accord, albeit on fire.

Rating: 6.5/10

Video package for Stone Cold and Dude Love now. How can you not love the Dude?

“Stone Cold” Steve Austin (c) vs. Dude Love – WWF Championship Match

The battle between former tag team partners and for that matter, tag team champions. Austin is so damn over. Dude Love attacks Austin before the bell but it’s Austin that soon takes the advantage. He hits a Lou Thesz Press and flips Dude the double bird. Austin hits a spinebuster then follows it up with an elbow. The WWF title has never changed hands at an In Your House event. Only The Rock has fought on more PPVs than Austin consecutively right now. The two fight up the entrance way and up onto the band stage. Austin slams Dude on the stage. This is the first ever meeting between these two on pay per view. Austin throws Dude over the band stand down to the concrete floor. Austin drops Dude Love on the security railing then hits a double axe handle off the apron. Finally back in the ring now and Austin misses with a leap onto Dude back in the ropes. Dude Love hits a bulldog although Austin breaks his fall with his knee.

Dude Love hits an elbow. We’ve not seen a pinfall attempt in this one yet. Austin takes the advantage with a clothesline but as he runs off the ropes, Dude catches him with a knee. Dude Love then rolls Austin into a sleeper/choke. The crowd then boo as Vince McMahon, Gerald Briscoe and Pat Patterson head towards the ring.  McMahon takes a seat at ringside and glances over at the timekeeper Mark Yeaton. Austin gets out of the body scissors but is distracted by McMahon, allowing Dude Love to roll him up for the first near fall of the match. The two battle to the outside where Austin goes for a piledriver but Dude Love back body drops Austin onto the concrete. Dude Love smashes Austin into the barriers, one side to the other and Vince McMahon walks over to Austin and gives him a mouthful. It’s enough to distract Austin in any case and Dude attacks him from behind. McMahon tells the referee not to count Austin out, he wants Stone Cold to lose his title. Steve does get back into the ring and Dude locks on an abdominal stretch. McMahon tells the timekeeper to ring the bell but he doesn’t. Austin gets out of the hold after briefly reversing it.

The two men go to the outside once more where Dude slams Austin into the ring steps. Austin then suplexes Dude Love into the ring steps which looked painful. They go back into the ring where Dude hits a neckbreaker. He then signals for Sweet Shin Music but Austin catches the leg and Dude ends up clotheslining the referee! Austin goes for the Stunner but Dude Love pushes him off and locks on the Mandible Claw! Austin gets out of it but can’t take the advantage. Vince McMahon attempts to revive the referee as Dude Love locks on the Mandible Claw once more. Austin back drops Dude Love to the outside then grabs a chair but McMahon tries to fight it off him, allowing Dude Love to shove the chair into Austin face. Dude Love then grabs the chair but Austin blocks the shots and grabs the chair himself. Austin then slams the chair into Vince McMahons face! Hwe rolls Dude Love back into the ring and hits the Stone Cole Stunner! The referee is down though! Austin counts the three himself though and his music hits! I guess he wins the match.

Austin hangs onto his title in a decent match here. The winner of the WWF title match at Wrestlemania has always gone on to hold the title until at least June so Austin continues to his next title match. This was an exciting match and with Vince McMahon at ringside it left you genuinely wondering what was going to happen. Austin wins though and Dude Love loses his third PPV match from three. This is Austins 7th PPV win in a row. Woah. I immediately take that back. The decision has been reversed and it’s Dude Love that actually wins the match by disqualification. Mick Foley gets his first win as Dude Love. It’s a DQ win though so he won’t be taking the title tonight. Vince McMahon leaves in a neck brace and on a stretcher. Decent main event.

Rating: 7.75/10

And that was the first ever Unforgiven pay per view. 7 matches featuring some of the biggest stars in WWE history but they weren’t necessarily the best of matches. Rules are clearly going out of the window now. The opener was decent. The Nation often find themselves in these multiman matches and this was pretty good. It mainly centred around Faarooq, Ken Shamrock and The Rock who have had their problems as of late. Faarooq got his revenge on The Rock, pinning him in what was something of a suprise result. But then in these type of matches you often see the champion get pinned. It sets up contenders that way. I can see Faarooq going on to get an Intercontinental title shot on the next PPV. It’s a loss for the Nation against a make shift team in any case and a first PPV win for Steve Blackman.

Next up we had a pretty entertaining match between Triple H and Owen Hart for the European title. This belt seems lower on the totem pole than the Intercontinental title but Triple H and Owen do bring prestige to it. Chyna being hoisted up in a cage made it more entertaining especially as she was swinging around and escaping the cage. Triple H got the big W though when X Pac got involved as well as the rest of DX. Owen Hart seemed annoyed at the end of the match and said that things are going to change. I don’t mind the title on Triple H but maybe we’ll see a change of direction for Owen? The third match was the surprise bonus match between the New Midnight Express and The Rock’n’Roll Express. Not going to lie, this wasn’t great. The crowd wasn’t into it and nor was I. I don’t mind Bart and Bob as a team nor do I mind them under the Midnight Express name but they need something else. They won anyway which was definitely the right result. Not sure we’ll see Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson again.

The fourth match of the night was the evening gown match between Sable and Luna. This was a lot shorter than it was going to be, lasting less than three minutes. The crowd seemed into it though and I don’t blame them. I’m sure the crowd would have liked to have seen Sable win but they were very happy with her losing. It’ll be interesting to see the aftermath is between Sable and Marc Mero. Match number 5 then was the tag team title match between the two biggest teams in the game. This match wasn’t the best match between these two teams and the ending was very strange. Hawks shoulder was clearly up, Road Doggs shoulders were clearly down but it was the Outlaws that won. I’d like to think this feud is over now and the two teams can move on to new things. I’m not sure who would be next to step up for a title shot though. Maybe the new team of Terry Funk and Scorpio? We’ll find out soon.

Then we had our two main events. The inferno match was something else. I’ve never seen anything like that. I think they did such a good job. This one could have gone either way but it was The Undertaker with the win. It was some sight seeing Kanes arm on fire like it was. It’s definitely not over between those two men though. And Vaders involvement makes you wonder whether he’ll be getting involved with these two big men. Good match, not as good as the Wrestlemania match, but a good match. Then was the main event with Steve Austin and Dude Love. It feels like a new era in the WWF and these two men are going to be leading the way. There needs to be replacements for Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart who are both gone and maybe it’s these two. Really good match with plenty of no holds barred action and with the deck stacked so much against Austin, it makes you wonder whether he would drop the title. His chair shot on Vince McMahon was pretty unbelievable too. Decent main event to kick off Steve Austins reign.  Overall a just above average PPV really with a lot more potential than it lived up to. 4 title matches and no title changes.

Overall Rating: 57/100 (ranked 26th out of 81)

Match Of The Night: “Stone Cold” Steve Austin vs. Dude Love
Worst Match Of The Night: Midnight Express vs. Rock ‘n’ Roll Express
Surprise Of The Night: Sable loses
Worst Booking Of The Night: The ending to New Age Outlaws vs. LOD 2000
Superstar Of The Night: “Stone Cold” Steve Austin
IYH: Unforgiven Will Be Remembered For: The Inferno Match

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