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Unforgiven (2005)

Promotional poster featuring John Cena and Kurt Angle
"Calling" (Taproot)[1]
Promotion World Wrestling Entertainment
Brand (s) Raw
Date September 18, 2005
Attendance 8,000
Venue Ford Center
City Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Pay-per-view chronology
SummerSlam (2005) Unforgiven (2005) No Mercy (2005)
Unforgiven chronology
Unforgiven (2004) Unforgiven (2005) Unforgiven (2006)

Unforgiven (2005) was a professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) event produced by World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). It was the seventh annual Unforgiven event and took place on September 18, 2005 at the Ford Center in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.[2] The event featured wrestlers and other talent that performed on the Raw program.

The main event was a standard wrestling match, in which Kurt Angle defeated WWE Champion John Cena, after Cena intentionally disqualified himself. In WWE, a championship cannot change hands via countout or disqualification, as a result, Cena retained the title. Two featured bouts on the undercard was another standard match, in which Shawn Michaels defeated Chris Masters. The other primary match was a steel cage match, where the ring is enclosed by a steel cage, in which Matt Hardy defeated Edge.

Unforgiven grossed over $485,000 in ticket sales from an attendance of approximately 8,000, and received about 243,000 pay-per-view buys. This amount was higher than the following year's event. When the event was released on DVD, it reached a peak position of third on Billboard's DVD Sales Chart.



Eight professional wrestling matches were scheduled on the event's card beforehand, which were planned with predetermined outcomes by WWE's script writers. The buildup to these matches and scenarios that took place before, during and after the event were also planned by the script writers. The event featured wrestlers and other talent from Raw's brand – a storyline expansion in which WWE assigned its employees.[3] Wrestlers portrayed either a villainous or fan favorite gimmick, as they followed a series of events which generally built tension, leading to a wrestling match.

John Cena as WWE Champion

The main rivalry written into Unforgiven was between John Cena and Kurt Angle, who were competing for Cena's WWE Championship. At SummerSlam, Cena defeated Chris Jericho to retain the WWE Championship.[4][5] A rematch was held on the August 22 episode of Raw, one of WWE's primary television programs, when authority figure Eric Bischoff, a portrayed match maker and rules enforcer, announced a match between Cena and Jericho in a "You're Fired" match, in which the loser would be fired. The match saw Cena win, and Bischoff was scripted to fire a pleading Jericho, who was carried out of the arena by security.[6][7] This angle was written after WWE's official website confirmed that Jericho signed a short-term contract extension to stay with the company after his long-term contract expired, which presumably ended after his loss to Cena.[8][9] Kurt Angle came down to the ring and attacked Cena by lifting Cena on his shoulders and spinning 90° to slam him down to the mat, a move Angle calls the Angle Slam. As Cena was down, Bischoff announced that Angle was the new contender for the WWE Championship, claiming that Jericho "couldn't get the job done".[6][7] Angle continued his attacks on Cena before their scheduled match at Unforgiven.[10][11][12] On the August 29 episode of Raw, Cena was scheduled in a Handicap match, a match where one wrestler or team of wrestlers face off against a team of wrestlers with numerical superiority such as two against one, or three against two. He faced Tyson Tomko and Angle. Cena won the match by pinning Tomko after lifting Tomko onto his shoulders and slamming him down to the mat. Afterwards, Angle assaulted Cena, which led to Angle being scripted to smash Cena's ankle across the ring post, thus giving Angle the advantage heading into Unforgiven.[12]

Another major rivalry heading into the event was between Shawn Michaels and Chris Masters. This feud began the night after SummerSlam, where Michaels lost a match to Hulk Hogan.[4][5] Michaels admitted he fell victim to Hogan's leg drop, a move where Hogan drops his legs across the opponent's head or chest. He concluded that Hogan was the better man and it was time to get "back to reality".[6][7] Mid-way through Michaels' speech, Masters interrupted him and informed Michaels that individuals like Hogan and Michaels did not know how to pass the torch to new wrestlers. Michaels went along with Masters' comments and warned Masters to not group him with Hogan. Masters concluded by stating that he was not "trying" to steal the spotlight from Michaels, but that he was going to "take it".[6][7] Michaels responded by saying that he knew where Masters was coming from, which led to Michaels slapping Masters. The two then brawled, thus turning Michaels into an on-screen hero, as he had been a villain in rivalry between Hogan.[6][7] On the September 5 episode of Raw, Michaels was involved in the Masterlock Challenge, a challenge where the wrestler must break free from Master's full Nelson submission hold, which he calls the Master Lock. Despite Michaels' best efforts, he could not break free.[10][13] Upset at the vigorous resistance of Michaels, Masters released the hold and hit Michaels with a steel chair before re-applying the hold.[10][13] The following week, Michaels issued a challenge to Masters at Unforgiven, in which he vowed to get revenge on Masters for his actions the previous week.[11][14]

Matt Hardy, who faced off against Edge in a steel cage match

The other predominant rivalry heading into the event was between Matt Hardy and Edge, a real life issue transformed into a storyline. At SummerSlam, Edge defeated Hardy after dropping him onto the top of a ring post. This was scripted to caused Hardy to bleed heavily, which forced the referee to end the match and declare Edge the winner because Hardy could not continue.[15][16] The next night on Raw, Hardy had a match with Rob Conway, in which Conway pinned Hardy for the win.[6][7] After the match, Edge attacked Hardy.[6][7] On the August 29 episode of Raw, Edge and Hardy were scheduled to compete in a Street Fight, a match where there are no disqualifications, no countouts, and scoring conditions can occur anywhere in the arena. The match ended in a no-contest after Hardy and Edge brawled at the stage ramp. Hardy grabbed Edge by the side and threw both himself and Edge off the stage and into electrical equipment.[12] Both Hardy and Edge laid motionless on the floor as sparks flew everywhere. Trainers and emergency medical technicians rushed to the scene and took both men away in ambulances for medical attention.[12] The following week, Bischoff booked Hardy and Edge in a steel cage match at Unforgiven, where the ring would be enclosed by a steel cage.[10][13] Following the announcement, Bischoff scheduled a match between Hardy and Snitsky, which Hardy lost.[10][13] After the match, Snitsky threatened to hit Hardy with a ring bell but The Big Show came down. He was unable to stop Snistky, and as a result, Snitsky succeeded in hitting Hardy with the bell.[10][13]


Before the event went live on pay-per-view, Rob Conway defeated Tajiri in a match taped for Heat, one of WWE's secondary television programs.[17]


Preliminary matches

Carlito as WWE Intercontinental Champion

The first televised match was a standard wrestling match for the WWE Intercontinental Championship, which involved the champion Carlito and challenger Ric Flair. The match began with Flair taking down Carlito with a series of headlock takeovers. Carlito was able to hit Flair with his forearm, but Flair brought Carlito down by lifting him from behind and dropping him on his legs. Flair went for the figure four leglock, a move where a wrestler stands over the opponent who is lying on the mat face up and grasps a leg of the opponent, thus applying pressure into the crossed legs with his own, but Carlito reversed it. After back and forth action between the two, Flair took the advantage and applied the figure four leglock on Carlito, thus making him submit. Which resulted in Flair becoming the new Intercontinental Champion.[18][19]

The next match was a tag team match featuring the team of Trish Stratus and Ashley against the team of Victoria and Torrie Wilson (with Candice Michelle) as Victoria and Wilson's manager). The match started off with Wilson and Stratus in the ring. Wilson tagged in Victoria, who applied a full-body choke on Stratus, but Stratus started to work on Victoria's arm. Victoria countered Stratus' arm takedown. Stratus then performed a takedown by scissoring Victoria's head with her legs and forcefully dragging her down to the mat. Back and forth action took place; the match, however, came to an end when Stratus was able to perform a roundhouse kick on Victoria, giving the pinfall victory to Stratus and Ashley.[17][20]

The third match was a standard match between The Big Show and Snitsky. The match began with Big Show and Snitsky brawling as the bell rang. Big Show was able to perform a big slap to the chest and headbutt. Snitsky then took the upper hand over Big Show, as he applied an armbar hold, after countering a chokeslam, a move where The Big Show lifts the opponent by the throat and slams them down to the mat. Big Show then made a comeback when he lifted Snitsky by the waist and slammed him down to the mat. Big Show then got the victory after a successful chokeslam.[3][17]

The next match was another standard match involving Shelton Benjamin and Kerwin White. White tried to get in the ring, but Benjamin slid out and tripped him. Benjamin threw White into the ring barricade, which led him to throw him back in the ring as the bell rang to officially start the match. In the ring, Benjamin lifted and slammed White to the mat, which followed by a running foearm. White retaliated with a dropkick to Benjamin's knee. The match concluded after White grabbed a golf club that he hid in the steel steps and tried to assault Benjamin with it. Benjamin, however, countered by throwing White up in the air and catching him by slamming him down to the mat. Benjamin covered White and got the pinfall victory.[3][17]

The fifth match was a Steel Cage match contested between Matt Hardy and Edge, who was accompanied by Lita. As the bell rang, Hardy tried to throw Edge face-first into the cage wall but did not succeed. Back and forth action took place until Hardy got the advantage over Edge. Lita began to climb up the outside of the cage, but Hardy hit the cage, making Lita fall off. As Lita distracted Hardy, Edge started to crawl out. Hardy noticed this, grabbed Edge, and threw him into a corner. Lita interfered, which led to Hardy grabbing Lita's head in a forward position and forcefully pulling it down over his shoulders. Hardy got to the top of the cage and delivered a leg drop before covering Edge for the victory.[3][17]

Main event matches

Shawn Michaels, who faced off against Chris Masters

The next match was Rosey and The Hurricane taking on Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch for the World Tag Team Championship. The match started with Hurricane and Cade locked up, a term used to describe grappling. Cade managed to gain the advantage over Hurricane with some fists. During the match, Murdoch drove Hurricane's head into the floor on the outside of the ring. WWE Medical trainers came to ringside to check on Hurricane. The match concluded when Cade pinned the legitimately injured Hurricane, to win the World Tag Team Championship.[17][21]

The seventh match was a standard match between Shawn Michaels and Chris Masters. The match started with Masters applying the Masterlock on Michaels. After breaking the hold, Michaels hit Masters with his forearm and slapped his chest several times. Masters, however, dominated Michaels, focusing on his back by lifting and sitting Michaels onto his shoulders and slamming him down to the mat several times. He also lifted Michaels vertically in the air and stalled him there before slamming him down. Michaels fought back, as he drove his cocked elbow onto Masters' chest. Masters was able to lock in the Masterlock once more. Michaels tried to use the corners to break the hold, but Masters kept it locked on. Michaels then leaped over the top rope and landed on the ring apron, causing the referee to order Masters to break the hold. Michaels countered with a superkick, which saw the sole of his foot strike Masters' chin, a move in which Michaels calls Sweet Chin Music. Michaels got the pinfall victory over Masters.[3][17]

The main event was between John Cena and Kurt Angle for the WWE Championship. The match began with Angle and Cena locking up, leading to Angle taking Cena down with a headlock takeover. Cena countered many attacks by Angle and was able to reverse the ankle lock. Cena tried to lift Angle onto his shoulders to slam him down to the mat, but Angle reversed it and lifted Cena on his shoulders and spun 90° to slam him down. Eric Bischoff came down the ramp and cheered for Angle, who had the Ankle Lock applied on Cena. Cena rolled out of the move, grabbed the championship belt, which Bischoff had brought with him, and hit Angle with it. The referee saw this and called for the bell. As a result, Cena was disqualified for hitting Angle with the championship, ultimately resulting in him retaining his title.[17][18]


The feud between John Cena and Kurt Angle, with the involvement of Eric Bischoff, continued. During Raw episodes, it saw Angle and Bischoff interfere in Cena's matches, and even deciding the outcome of Cena's matches.[22][23][24] On the October 17 episode of Raw, Bischoff announced that a standard match involving three wrestlers, termed as the Triple Threat match, for the WWE Championship, would take place between Cena, Angle and the fans' choice at Taboo Tuesday.[25][26] Bischoff was scripted to promote three series of qualifying matches, in which the winner would receive a spot on the ballot as a potential challenger to join Cena and Angle.[25][26] The winners were The Big Show, Shawn Michaels and Kane.[25][26] The following week, a Triple Threat match was scheduled between Big Show, Michaels and Kane. Michaels won the match after he hit both Big Show and Kane with a superkick and pinned Big Show for the win.[27][28] The following week, Bischoff announced a match between Cena and Michaels. Late in the match, Angle attacked both Cena and Michaels. Cena, however, retaliated and got Angle up for an FU, but Michaels managed to hit Cena with a superkick.[29][30] At Taboo Tuesday, Michaels won the fans' choice to join Cena and Angle in the championship match.[31] Cena, however, defeated Michaels and Angle to retain the WWE Championship.[31]

Triple H returned on the October 3 episode of Raw, WWE Homecoming, after a four month hiatus.[32][33] He took part in a match, teaming up with Ric Flair, who was a fan favorite during Triple H's absence, to take on Chris Masters and Carlito. The duo defeated Masters and Carlito; after the match, Triple H turned on Flair and hit him with a sledgehammer.[32] This led to a rivalry between Triple H and Flair.[25][34] At Taboo Tuesday, Triple H and Flair met in a steel cage match, a stipulation chosen by the fans, for the WWE Intercontinental Championship. The match saw Flair retain the Intercontinental Championship, after escaping through the cage door.[35]

The rivalry between Matt Hardy and Edge continued and culminated in a "Loser Leaves Raw Ladder match", where the objective was to reach a briefcase suspended in the air using a ladder, at WWE Homecoming, which Edge won.[32] As a result, Hardy was moved to the SmackDown! brand.[32]


The Ford Center has a maximum capacity of 19,599.[36][37] The event grossed over $485,000 in ticket sales from an attendance of 8,000.[38] The promotion's pay-per-view revenue was $185 million.[38] Canadian Online Explorer's professional wrestling section rated the entire event a 6 out of 10 stars.[3] The rating was lower than the Unforgiven event in 2006, which rated 7 out of 10 stars.[39] The steel cage match was rated a 7 out of 10 stars, as well as the Shawn Michaels and Chris Masters' match.[3] The divas tag team match and the singles match between Big Show and Snitsky, were rated 3 out of 10 stars each.[3]

The event was released on DVD by Sony Music Entertainment on October 25, 2005.[40] The DVD reached third on Billboard's DVD Sales Chart for recreational sports during the week of November 19, 2005, although falling thereafter.[41] It remained in the chart for two consecutive weeks, until the week of December 3, 2005, when it ranked seventh.[42]


# Results[1][3] Stipulations Times
Heat Rob Conway defeated Tajiri. Singles match 03:44
1 Ric Flair defeated Carlito (c) Singles match for the WWE Intercontinental Championship 11:46
2 Trish Stratus and Ashley Massaro defeated The Ladies in Pink (Victoria and Torrie Wilson) (with Candice Michelle) Tag team match 07:05
3 The Big Show defeated Snitsky Singles match 06:11
4 Shelton Benjamin defeated Kerwin White Singles match 08:06
5 Matt Hardy defeated Edge (with Lita) Steel cage match 21:33
6 Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch defeated Rosey and The Hurricane (c) Tag team match for the World Tag Team Championship 07:40
7 Shawn Michaels defeated Chris Masters Singles match 16:44
8 Kurt Angle defeated John Cena (c) by disqualification Singles match for the WWE Championship 17:15


  1. ^ a b "Unforgiven 2005 Results". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved January 3, 2008. 
  2. ^ "Unforgiven (2005) Venue". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved August 12, 2008. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i Sokol, Chris (September 19, 2005). "Unforgiven marred by unfortunate ending". Slam! Sports. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved December 31, 2007. 
  4. ^ a b Dale Plummer and Nick Tylwalk (August 22, 2005). "Hogan-HBK steal SummerSlam". Slam! Sports. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved December 31, 2007. 
  5. ^ a b Keller, Wade (August 21, 2005). "WWE SummerSlam Report 8/21: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of live PPV event". PW Torch. Retrieved August 14, 2008. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g Golden, Hunter (August 22, 2008). "Raw Results - 8/22/05 - Hampton, VA (SummerSlam Fallout, More)". Retrieved August 14, 2008. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f g Mahling, Mallory (August 22, 2005). "8/22 WWE Raw Report: Mallory's "Virtual Time" Alternative Perspective Coverage". PW Torch. Retrieved August 14, 2008. 
  8. ^ Martin, Adam (August 23, 2005). "Chris Jericho's already removed, Daniel Puder update, and Puerto Rico". Retrieved August 25, 2008. 
  9. ^ Keller, Wade (August 24, 2005). "Ask the Editor". PW Torch. Retrieved August 25, 2008. 
  10. ^ a b c d e f Golden, Hunter (September 5, 2005). "Raw Results - 9/5/05 - Nashville, TN (HBK, & Master Lock Challenge)". Retrieved December 31, 2007. 
  11. ^ a b Golden, Hunter (September 12, 2005). "Raw Results - 9/12/05 - Little Rock, AR (Flair/Masters, Unforgiven)". Retrieved December 31, 2007. 
  12. ^ a b c d Golden, Hunter (August 29, 2005). "Raw Results - 8/29/05 - Tampa, Florida (Hardy & Edge Street Fight)". Retrieved December 31, 2007. 
  13. ^ a b c d e Mahling, Mallory (September 5, 2005). "9/5 WWE Raw Preview and Report: Mallory's "Virtual Time" Alternative Perspective Coverage". PW Torch. Retrieved August 14, 2008. 
  14. ^ Mahling, Mallory (September 12, 2005). "9/12 WWE Raw Preview and Report: Mallory's "Virtual Time" Alternative Perspective Coverage". PW Torch. Retrieved August 14, 2008. 
  15. ^ "SummerSlam 2005 Results". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved January 3, 2008. 
  16. ^ SummerSlam 2005. [DVD]. WWE Home Video. 2005. 
  17. ^ a b c d e f g h "Unforgiven 2005 Results". Hoffco, Inc.. Retrieved January 3, 2008. 
  18. ^ a b "2007 Wrestling almanac & book of facts". Wrestling’s historical cards (Kappa Publishing): p. 118. 2007. 
  19. ^ "Ric Flair's first reign". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved August 12, 2008. 
  20. ^ Baines, Tim (September 18, 2005). "Injury hasn't hurt Stratus' sass, wicked wit". Ottawa Sun. Retrieved January 3, 2008. 
  21. ^ "Cade & Murdoch's first reign". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved August 14, 2008. 
  22. ^ Mahling, Mallory (September 26, 2005). "9/26 WWE Raw Report: Mallory's "Virtual Time" Alternative Perspective Coverage". PW Torch. Retrieved August 14, 2008. 
  23. ^ Teller, Wade (October 3, 2005). "10/3: Ongoing "virtual time" analysis of live WWE Homecoming". PW Torch. Retrieved August 14, 2008. 
  24. ^ Keller, Wade (October 10, 2005). "Keller's Raw Report 10/10: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of live broadcast". PW Torch. Retrieved August 14, 2008. 
  25. ^ a b c d "Raw Results - 10/17/05 - Sacramento, CA (Taboo Tuesday, & more)". October 17, 2005. Retrieved August 14, 2008. 
  26. ^ a b c Keller, Wade (October 17, 2005). "Keller's Raw Report 10/17: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of live program". PW Torch. Retrieved August 14, 2008. 
  27. ^ Golden, Hunter (October 24, 2005). "Raw Results - 10/24/2005 - Fresno, CA - (Cena v. Angle with Foley)". Retrieved August 14, 2008. 
  28. ^ Roe, Mike (October 24, 2005). "10/24 WWE Raw report: Raw Express". PW Torch. Retrieved August 14, 2008. 
  29. ^ "Tricks and treats". World Wrestling Entertainment. October 31, 2005. Retrieved August 14, 2008. 
  30. ^ Giebink, Dusty (October 31, 2005). "10/31 WWE Raw review: Dusty Giebinks' Raw Deal report". PW Torch. Retrieved August 14, 2008. 
  31. ^ a b "Taboo Tuesday 2005 Results". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved August 14, 2008. 
  32. ^ a b c d Golden, Hunter (October 3, 2005). "Raw Results-10/3/05-Dallas, TX -(Homecoming to USA Network)". Retrieved August 14, 2008. 
  33. ^ Triple H: The King of Kings. [DVD]. WWE Home Video. 2008. 
  34. ^ Golden, Hunter (October 10, 2005). "Raw Results - 10/10/05 - Corpus Christi, TX (JR gets fired, & more!)". Retrieved September 21, 2008. 
  35. ^ Sokol, Chris (November 2, 2005). "Taboo Tuesday delivers decently". Slam! Sports. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved January 13, 2008. 
  36. ^ "New Orleans Arena: New Orleans Hornets Stadium". BullSellTix. Retrieved August 14, 2008. 
  37. ^ "Past Arenas". Inside Arenas. Retrieved August 14, 2008. 
  38. ^ a b "World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. Reports Q2 Results" (PDF). World Wrestling Entertainment Corporate. December 1, 2005. Retrieved August 14, 2008. 
  39. ^ Elliott, Brian (September 18, 2006). "Unforgiven just averages out". Slam! Sports. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved August 14, 2008. 
  40. ^ "WWE Unforgiven 2005 DVD". For Your Entertainment. Retrieved August 14, 2008. 
  41. ^ "Unforgiven 2005 DVD Sales". Billboard. Retrieved August 14, 2008. 
  42. ^ "Unforgiven 2005 DVD Sales". Billboard. Retrieved August 14, 2008. 


  • (2005). SummerSlam [DVD]. World Wrestling Entertainment.
  • (2005). Unforgiven [DVD]. World Wrestling Entertainment.
  • "2007 Wrestling Almanac & Book of Facts". Wrestling’s Historical Cards (Kappa Publishing). 2007. 
  • (2008). Triple H: The King of Kings [DVD]. World Wrestling Entertainment.

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