Intercontinental Champion Johnny Nitro def. Jeff Hardy

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September 17, 2006

With assistance from the underhanded Melina, Intercontinental Champion Johnny Nitro successfully defended his gold against Jeff Hardy in Hardy's first pay-per-view match since his return to WWE last month. Just as she was two weeks ago on RAW, Melina was instrumental in the outcome of the match between these competitors -- this time giving Nitro the controversial victory over Hardy.

In the opening contest of Unforgiven, Hardy -- one of the youngest Intercontinental Champions of all time -- looked to win the gold for the second time in Toronto on Sunday night. Driven by the support of the vocal sold-out Air Canada Centre crowd, an emotional Hardy used his trademark high-risk offensive to maintain control throughout most of the match.

Nitro gained the advantage on the challenger after Hardy injured his leg. Still frustrated after being doused with paint by Hardy days earlier on RAW, Nitro was aggressive in his assault and kept Hardy grounded for several moments. The two continued to exchange a variety of highly innovative maneuvers; Hardy even landed the Swanton Bomb on the champion, but Nitro managed to get his foot on the rope to break the count.

Moments later, Melina set herself on the apron and was inadvertently bumped hard to the floor by Nitro who was tossed into the ropes. With Nitro incapacitated and Melina on the arena floor, Hardy began his recovery.

Earlier in the week, Hardy told WWE.com that he would need to be prepared for Melina but maintain his focus on the champion. Unfortunately for the free-spirited Hardy, as he neared the ropes, Melina suddenly ceased nursing her ankle, removed her boot, leapt to her feet and blasted Hardy in the face with the thick heel of her boot. An opportunistic Nitro then got the cover and the three-count on Hardy, making it the second time that Melina saved Nitro and his Intercontinental Championship.

Moments after the disappointing loss, Jeff was met in the locker room area by his brother, Matt, in what was the first time the two appeared together at the same WWE event since No Way Out in February 2003. Matt encouraged his brother until their emotional reunion was curtailed by Women's Champion Lita. A sarcastic Lita mocked the Hardys, calling the meeting off the three "an impromptu Team Extreme reunion."

Calling Jeff a screw up and claiming that Matt would never be a champion, the Women's Champion commented on the irony of Lita being the only one to be holding a championship. She continued by inviting Matt and Jeff to watch her beat Trish Stratus later in the night and then see Edge send John Cena packing to SmackDown like he did to Matt last year. Lita then proudly strutted away from her former allies, pleased with herself for disrupting the long-awaited reunion of one of the most lauded tandems in WWE history: the Hardy Boyz.

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