Other than the "Big Four," most WWE pay-per-views stick around for about a decade or so. That was the case with Unforgiven. There were eleven of these shows running from 1998 until 2008. It usually ran in September, dealing with the fallout from the biggest show of the summer, SummerSlam.
Thanks to the WWE Network, we can go back and watch every single one of these shows. We looked at all eleven and are ranking them based on a variety of factors including match quality and historical significance.
11 Unforgiven 2007
Sometimes, a pay-per-view comes and goes with nothing of note happening. That is a good way to explain Unforgiven 2007. The best match on the show was probably the No Holds Barred contest between Carlito and Triple H but even that was largely forgettable.
Even the stuff that was pretty good, like CM Punk vs. Elijah Burke, came across as a disappointment. John Cena and Randy Orton had arguably their worst performance against each other and the show was headlined by a lame meeting between The Undertaker and Mark Henry. Does anyone even remember this show happened?
10 Unforgiven 1998
The inaugural Unforgiven pay-per-view was held under the In Your House banner and was also the only one to take place in April. It came at a huge time for the company as WWE Raw had recently finally beaten WCW Nitro in the ratings, snapping an 84-week losing streak. The show was headlined by new WWE Champion Stone Cold Steve Austin taking on Dude Love.
But even that can be overlooked since their rematch the following month ended up being one of the best matches from an In Your House event. The first Inferno Match between The Undertaker and Kane was certainly memorable. However, the rest of the show was a swing and a miss. Luna Vachon vs. Sable in an Evening Gown Match and a handful of lackluster tags were the reason for this.
9 Unforgiven 2003
There's one aspect of this show that stood out. Randy Orton defeated Shawn Michaels in one of the best matches of his young career and it marked a huge win for Orton at the time. This event also features a surprisingly fun Ambulance Match between Kane and Shane McMahon.
Everything else really seemed to miss the mark. The fact that a match pitting Rob Van Dam, Christian, and Chris Jericho went 20 minutes and was kind of dull is fitting for how the rest of the night went. And nobody should ever be subjected to watch Al Snow and Jonathan Coachman vs. Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler.
8 Unforgiven 2004
On paper, there were a lot of reasons to be invested in Unforgiven 2004. Randy Orton was fresh off of winning the World Heavyweight Title and having Evolution turn their backs on him. His title defense against Triple H was highly anticipated but fell short of expectations when HHH unceremoniously dethroned him.
The other interesting matches (Chris Jericho vs. Christian in a Ladder Match and Kane vs. Shawn Michaels in a No DQ Match) delivered the goods and kept the show from ranking lower. But with a weak main event, boring Tag Team Title match, and a dreadful outing between Stevie Richards and Tyson Tomko, there was still a lot of bad.
7 Unforgiven 1999
After a mediocre start to the Unforgiven lineage, the 1999 installment stepped things up a bit. It does feature the notoriously terrible Kennel from Hell match that many consider one of the worst matches in wrestling history. However, there's a lot to like.
The obvious standout was the main event. For the first time in history, WWE held a Six Pack Challenge for the WWE Title that featured surefire future Hall of Famers Triple H, The Rock, Mankind, Kane, Big Show, and British Bulldog. It was the best thing on the show. But you can also find Chris Jericho's first PPV outing, the historical match where Chyna competed for the Intercontinental Title, and more.
6 Unforgiven 2000
We're starting to the good stuff. But to truly get there, you have to get through some rough matches at the start of Unforgiven 2000. Right around when the fun Hardcore Title Battle Royal hits, the show goes up in quality and mostly stays there. Chris Jericho and X-Pac have a good back and forth contest, while Kurt Angle and Triple H's rivalry reached its peak in a singles match.
The night also benefited from two big championship matches. Edge and Christian and the Hardy Boyz added a new chapter to their history inside of a Steel Cage. And in the main event, The Rock defended the WWE Title against Kane, Chris Benoit, and The Undertaker.
5 Unforgiven 2005
The 2005 edition of Unforgiven was another that had some bad patches. The one on one encounter between Big Show and Snitsky should be skipped if you want to enjoy the show and nobody needs to remember the Kerwin White debacle. But everything else is worth checking out.
John Cena and Kurt Angle competed in a strong main event. Carlito battled Ric Flair in an entertaining Intercontinental Title match. Chris Masters had the best singles performance of his career against Shawn Michaela. And the war between Edge and Matt Hardy came to a head in a brutal Steel Cage match.
4 Unforgiven 2001
The invasion angle in 2001 was seen as a disappointment to most viewers. It lacked the star power it needed and the WCW and ECW stars were never made to look competitive. But it did provide fans with some great matches. Some of them happened at Unforgiven 2001.
For example, Kurt Angle beat Steve Austin in a great match to win the WWE Title in his hometown. The show began with an enjoyable Tag Team Title match that was more fun than it had any right to be. And of course, the Hardcore Title battle between Rob Van Dam and Chris Jericho remains one of the most underrated bouts in history.
3 Unforgiven 2002
SummerSlam 2002 is arguably the best pay-per-view in WWE history. Unforgiven had a lot to live up to in order to follow that act. With the first epic clash between Brock Lesnar and The Undertaker, it was poised to do just that. It didn't quite match SummerSlam but remains a strong show.
Rob Van Dam came excruciatingly close to beating Triple H for the World Heavyweight Title in a good match and you can also come to this show to find two legends like Edge and Eddie Guerrero going at it. The show-stealer was another banger pitting Chris Benoit against Kurt Angle.
2 Unforgiven 2008
The final Unforgiven event took place in Cleveland, Ohio and introduced a new concept to the world. The Scramble Match. Five Superstars would meet in a 20 minute match featuring multiple title changes and whoever was champion when time expired would win the match and the title.
This new concept was used for the ECW, World Heavyweight, and WWE Championships. All three matches were highly entertaining and featured some great plot twists. But the show was highlighted by an Unsanctioned war between Chris Jericho and Shawn Michaels.
1 Unforgiven 2006
This spectacular night in Toronto, Ontario, Canada easily tops this list. There are several reasons for that. For one, Trish Stratus wrapped up her illustrious career by winning her seventh Women's Championship in her hometown, beating Lita in their best match together. You also had a ridiculous Hell in a Cell where DX took on Big Show and the McMahons.
The main event was one of the most emotionally charged in company history. Edge defended the WWE Title in a TLC Match against John Cena in front of his raucous hometown faithful. It proved to be the best match between the two storied rivals and capped off an outstanding night of wrestling.