WWE NO MERCY 2008
October 5, 2008
Results thanks to pwtorch.com
-A video package previewed the big matches,
then they went live to pyro as Todd Grisham introduced the show. As the first
ring intro took place, Grisham introduced Jerry Lawler as filling in for Matt
Striker. Darn. No offense to Lawler, but Striker is such a signature voice for
the ECW brand already. Let the conspiracy theories begin that this was a test
run for Grisham and Lawler together in case they want to move Grisham to Raw to
1 -- MATT HARDY vs. MARK HENRY (w/Tony Atlas) - ECW Title match
Lawler said he thinks he was in Henry's first match in WWE. He said he never experienced such strength before or since. Grisham talked about Henry bending a frying pan in half. Henry overpowered Hardy early. Hardy came back and concentrated on Henry's left leg for a minute. Henry came back with an unlikely big boot to the face - unlikely since Hardy had worked over his leg for the previous minute and because Henry showed greater than expected flexibility, which Grisham and Lawler noted. Hardy dove at Henry, but Henry caught him and held him in a bear hug. When Grisham said nobody applies a bearhug like Henry, Lawler said, "Except maybe an actual bear." Hardy went for a sunset flip. Henry blocked it and sat down, but Hardy moved, or as Grisham put it, "escaped with his life." Hardy went for a corner charge, but Hardy caught him with a big boot. Hardy gave him a Side Effect for a two count. The crowd was really into the near fall as if it were the climax of the final match on the show. Henry blocked a Twist of Fate attempt and then splashed Hardy in center-ring. Henry was slow to make the cover as he favored his knee. He rolled halfway onto Hardy for a two count. Hardy came back with a surprise Twist of Fate out of nowhere for the win. Lawler said: "There's no way to underestimate how big a win this is for Matt Hardy; maybe the biggest of his life." That's probably true since he hadn't beat Henry yet and this was a high profile title defense for him. Too bad they couldn't have also bragged that he pinned Triple H on Smackdown two days earlier as that would really give him and the ECW Title a real credibility boost.
WINNER: Hardy in 9:00 to retain the ECW Title.
STAR RATING: **1/4 -- Good match. They surpassed expectations.
-Jim Ross and Tazz were shown on camera. Ross plugged a text message poll. This should be interesting: "Who are rooting for in tonight's championship match? Triple H or Jeff Hardy.
-Eve interviewed Triple H and Jeff Hardy. Triple H said the only thing Hardy might win tonight is the popularity text messaging vote. He said he himself just voted for Jeff. Seriously, what a big baby. He might lose - probably would lose - so he basically admits that ahead of time and even votes for Hardy to make a farce of the vote. Hunter told Jeff he wants to see him bring everything he has tonight because when he beats him he wants to know he beat the absolutely best that he has. Hardy said he appreciates that and he can take credit for his performance tonight, as he'll take pride in taking his title.
2 -- "GLAMAZON" BETH PHOENIX (w/Santino Marella) vs. CANDICE MICHELLE -- Women's Title match
Michael Cole and Lawler were shown on camera. Cole said Phoenix asked Santino Marella not to be at ringside for her because he's been bad luck for her. Nevertheless, he came out with her. Candice got a quick one count after an early one-two attack. She scored another two count seconds later with a leverage pin, and then a third two count, all within the opening 30 seconds. Phoenix took over at 1:00 by catching Candice and throwing her into the turnbuckle, then kicking her. Candice yelled in pain and clutched her repaired shoulder. Phoenix concentrated on Candice's arm and shoulder, including a rarely used these days double leg arm-stretch on the mat. Candice rolled out right into a pin attempt for a mere one count. Candice threw two clotheslines and a dropkick for a two count at 3:00. Phoenix countered a Russian leg sweep and went to the top rope. Cole said he couldn't recall the last time she climbed to the top rope. Candice got up and knocked her off balance, then gave her a running dropkick in the corner. When Candice made the cover, Santino yanked Phoenix out of the ring to stop the count. Phoenix landed hard and Phoenix got up and let him know how careless he was. Candice kicked Santino into Phoenix. When she went to ringside, Phoenix caught Candice with a throat thrust. As Phoenix argued with Santino, Candice rolled her up from behind for a near fall. Phoenix surprised Candice with her face plan Glam Slam finisher for the win. Santino left with Phoenix, but she seemed more upset than happy with the circumstances.
WINNER: Phoenix in 4:00 to retain the Women's Title.
STAR RATING: *3/4 -- Short, but good action and effective sequences and near falls. The tension between Santino and Phoenix forwarded that storyline effectively without being part of a copout finish.
-A commercial aired for the Ric Flair "Definitive Collection" feature on pay-per-view all month.
-Backstage Kane said tonight the story ends. He said Rey Mysterio will learn about himself. He said he can already hear the fans screaming for him. "Without Rey, you're all forced to see the false mask of courage that you cower behind, just like your little hero, Rey Mysterio." He said the charade he calls courage gets destroyed tonight, and it'll be not just Rey's mask, but also the masks of the fans. He said everyone will see what they really are - monsters.
3 -- KANE vs. REY MYSTERIO
Rey shared a few moments with some young fans wearing his masks in the front row. Cole called Kane "demented and conflicted." Cole said he asked Rey about his mask tonight. Rey said the blue and gold represents the Aztec Warriors who give him strength. Kane dominated and overpowered Rey early. When Rey head scissored Kane to the floor and dove at him at ringside, Kane caught him and tossed him over the ringside barricade onto a chair. Kane dominated for several minutes with mat holds. When he ripped at Rey's mask, that inspired a Rey comeback with some elbows. He then backflipped off the top rope and dropped Kane with a kick to the head at 8:00. He followed with a kick to Kane's leg and then a springboard legdrop off the top rope for a two count. Kane fired back with a sideslam for a two count. Rey's knee buckled on a move against Kane, but he recovered in a few seconds and hit a springboard splash for a two count. Lawler said that Kane recovers quickly and it'll be pretty much impossible for Rey to get a three count. Rey knocked Kane to ringside and then leaped off the top rope. Kane caught Rey with a chair to the head mid-flight. Rey thankfully got his hands up to protect himself but still create a big whack soundThe ref immediately called for the bell. Cole gasped, "Oh my god!" Kane walked away without administering any more damage or going for Rey's mask. The ref bent over to check on him. Rey instructed three referees to lower his knee brace. Rey said he couldn't feel his legs. The ref signaled for help from the back.
WINNER: Rey Mysterio via DQ in 11:00.
STAR RATING: *3/4 -- Good action, disappointing finish.
-Ross and Lawler plugged the Triple H-Hardy text message poll. Tazz said it was "strange" that Hunter voted for Hardy earlier.
-MVP was on his cell phone backstage. He said he'd take care of something and call this person back. He pounded on the Smackdown General Manager's door. Big Show answered. He asked what he wanted. MVP told him to get Vickie Guerrero for him and tell her that Smackdown's top paid wrestler wants to speak to her. Show said she's been through a lot lately and doesn't need a headache from him. Show said right now he's focused on Undertaker, but if he keeps talking, he's going to shift his attention to him. Vickie called for Show. He said to MVP, "Bye," then slammed the door on his face.
-A commercial aired for Cyber Sunday, pushing the interactive aspect of it with C.M. Punk texting his picks into a cell phone. No update on Rey's condition. How do they expect fans to care about wrestler's conditions when they appear to be injured and go so far as to say they can't feel their legs, but not update their condition right away.
-Cole and Lawler were show on camera. As they plugged Cyber Sunday, MVP's music played. Cole and Lawler said he wasn't scheduled to wrestle and seemed surprised his music was playing. MVP said benching him is like the Cleveland Cavs benching LaBron James. He said it defies explanation. MVP said this isn't the first time he's been overlooked by Vickie, "but it is the last." He said the entire WWE Universe revolves around him. Randy Orton's music interrupted. Orton walked out and said he's never met him before. He asked MVP if he's ever asked himself if there's a reason this seems to happen to him. MVP said he doesn't recognize Orton without his shoulder in a sling and a sheet of paper with his MRI results. MVP said Vickie is incompetent. He said he's the playmaker, but it's tough to make a play when he's not given the ball. Orton said if he were given the ball, he'd drop it. He said he's seen him in action, such as at WrestleMania where he went on to win the main event while MVP lost. MVP told Orton that he's not on Raw and he doesn't work for Mike Adamle, so there are no repercussions for him knocking him off right now. He said everyone in the Raw locker room would love him if he did that. Ted DiBiase's music played and he, Cody Rhodes, and Manu walked out.
When Cody began to talk, an audible chant of "boring" broke out. Cody acknowledged it by saying he knows what Orton is, and he's "not boring," but he's that guy... He stopped mid-sentence and said to the crowd, "Excuse me!" (Copyright infringement: Vickie Guerrero). Cody said Orton is like the guy who returns to high school after graduation acting cool because it's all he's got. He said he's coasting on his reputation. Orton asked him to ask C.M. Punk if he's coasting. Manu said the only reason Orton had a chance to kick Punk is they took him down first. "All you did was pick up our scraps," he said. Orton said he realizes they're trying to impress him, and maybe when the accomplish half of what he has, maybe he'll begin to take them more seriously. He dropped the mic and left the ring.
MVP said: "There he goes, ladies and gentleman, WWE's supposed most valuable commodity, coming to a WWE ring near you sometime in the year 2012." MVP told the three young heels he likes how they handled things. As he said if he were drafted to the "red team," DiBiase interrupted. DiBiase said he doesn't know who his father was, but he wasn't one of the all-time WWE greats, so he's not in their class. MVP said he's the highest paid athlete in WWE. DiBiase was unimpressed, pointed out that his father is the Million Dollar Man, so the last time he worried about money was, "Let's see... never." He told MVP to get out of their ring and they'll catch him at the next PPV he's been shut out of. MVP actually left the ring without further word or incident. Then on the floor he said, "I want you guys to know I will remember this conversation." As he got to the stage, Punk's music played.
Punk and Kofi Kingston walked onto the stage. MVP walked around them. Punk approached MVP and said he has an idea. He asked if he'd join them in an impromptu six-man tag match because all three have been dissed by those three. MVP took off his jacket and charged to the ring with Punk and Kingston. When MVP slid into the ring, Punk and Kofi stopped short. The three young heels beat on MVP as Punk and Kofi laughed at ringside. Punk and Kofi did enter the ring after a few seconds and jump Cody and Ted, knocking them to the floor. Then they made a relatively fast retreat, shaking hands for a plan well-executed. Good overall segment. An interesting mix of personalities from the two main brands who don't usually intermingle. It plants some seeds for down the line, and WWE is in the seed planting stage for a later harvest with younger stars. It's a wise move right now even if this segment tested the patience of the live crowd that wanted action.
-They showed Shawn Michaels and Chris Jericho on a split screen warming up backstage.
-They showed an exterior shot of the Rose Garden in Portland, Or. Cole noted that it's still light out on the West Coast and it was a live shot.
4 -- JBL vs. BATISTA - No. 1 Contendership Match
Cole said JBL is in a bad mood because he's lost a lot of money in the stock market. Cole said JBL feels he's been made fun of in recent weeks by other WWE "Superstars" and this is his chance to redeem himself. He said JBL says this is a start of a new winning era for him. Lawler said, "He may need a government bailout before this match is over." Good line, served up on a silver platter for Lawler. Batista dominated early. JBL made a comeback at ringside and then applied a sleeper mid-ring. Batista made a comeback, avoided a Clothesline from Hell attempt, and finished JBL with a Batista Bomb clean.
WINNER: Batista in 6:00.
STAR RATING: * - Dominant win for Batista. Surprisingly so, as they seem to be burying JBL at this point, or at least firmly establishing he's not a top tier heel anymore. You could say his stock is dropping quickly. Unless... he's given mic time to get his heat back...
-After staying knocked out on his back for a couple minutes, JBL rolled over and asked for a microphone. Lawler asked what he could have to say at this point. "This has been the most unbelievable week of my life," JBL said. "I really believed I was going to beat Batista and go to beat Jericho or Michaels and become World Champion again. But I've got to be honest to you, my fans, because that's why you love me." He said he had to admit his heart wasn't in the match tonight. He said after the week on Wall Street, he's had the most traumatic week of his life. He said that from the bottom of his heart he is the happiest, most blessed man alive. "I want to thank you and our wonderful Congress for shelling out billions and billions of dollars so that people like me an keep all of our money. Because my good friends Barney Frank and Nancy Pelosi understand that people like me make the world go round. And I employ people like you. And the good of the company is what's good for me. Saving my money may cost you ten thousand dollars per household based on my projections, but I want to thank you, I want to thank Sen. Obama, I want to thank Sen. McCain." He got on his knees and said to those who risked their future so he could keep his penthouse apartment on Central Park, thank you. He said he's going to get back in his limo and return to New York City. "God bless you all, God bless America, and most of all God bless me." Lawler asked if he really believe WWE fans wanted Congress to vote for that bailout.
Cryme Tyme's music played. Lawler said just when JBL thought his night couldn't get any worse. Cryme Tyme appeared on the big screen standing by his white limo. They invited a group of divas to dance their way with them into JBL's limo. Sgt. Slaught even joined them. It's crazy that Sarge still dresses in his wrestling outfit. That makes him seem so strange. It's like when Lawler would do that, too, while sitting at ringside. Mickie James popped out of the top and sang "Money Money" with Cryme Tyme. JBL was fuming inside the ring, then returned to the back in a huff.
-Ross and Lawler were shown at ringside. Tazz said JBL's week began horribly and ended just as bad. Ross threw to an Undertaker-Big Show video package.
5 -- UNDERTAKER vs. THE BIG SHOW
And eight minutes since Ross and Lawler threw to that video package, and after the respective ring entrances, the bell rang to start the match. Show clotheslined Taker over the top rope early. Taker landed on his feet and punched his way back into the ring. Taker dominated for a minute, guillotine legdropping Show and then clotheslining him in the corner twice at 3:00. Show reversed Taker, but Taker met him with a big boot. Show finally took Taker down with a surprise power clothesline. Show was slow to get up, but he was the first to get up. Show body punched Taker in the corner. Taker attempted a comeback at 5:00, but Show headbutted him. Show charged at Taker in the corner, but Taker caught im with a big boot. Taker then ducked two clothesline attempts by Show and then nailed Show with a clothesline himself. He followed with a ledrop for a two count. Show countered a Taker top rope walk by catching him by the throat and chokeslamming him. Show covered Taker for a two count. Taker grabbed Show's throat; Show grabbed Taker's throat. Ross called it a test of wills and leverage. Taker surprised Show with a DDT. Show kicked out before three at 9:00. Taker charged at Show, but Show had removed the top turnbuckle pad and then threw Taker's head into it. Taker staggered to his feet. Show punched him to the mat with a big right. Taker punched Taker with another big right. Taker was out, flat on his face. He punched Taker in the back of the head. The ref called for the bell. The crowd didn't like that "ref stoppage" finish, and for good reason. That's just not part of how WWE matches typically end. It's a way to lose without doing a job. Show asked the ref if Taker is knocked out. The ref said yes. Show told him to raise his hand. He did. Show then left as his music played.
WINNER: Big Show in 10:00 via ref stoppage due to a TKO.
STAR RATING: **1/4 -- It was good while it lasted, but the copout finish was a little lame. I've seen worse, and the finish does put over Show's immense power with his punches, but it still just felt cheap.
-Taker very closely began to get up. The crowd chanted, "Un-der-ta-ker" weakly. Taker staggered to his feet with the help of the ropes. The crowd applauded. Ross said he's the most respected man in the annals of WWE who needed to use the ropes to help him stand. He said he wouldn't have believed this had he not seen it with his own eyes.
-Still no mention by the announcers or anyone of whether Rey can feel his legs or how he's doing.
-A commercial aired for "WWE 24/7." Then they showed Taker walked toward the back. Ross revealed the text messaging poll results: 72 percent were rooting for Hardy, 28 percent for Triple H. Tazz said, "I'm pretty surprised by that. Pretty cool." Ross knew better than to comment at all.
-A video package aired on the Jeff Hardy-Triple H feud.
6 -- TRIPLE H vs. JEFF HARDY -- World Hvt. Title match
During Hardy's ring intro, he said he spoke to Hardy earlier and he was confident, but not cocky, about his chances in the match. Hunter offered a handshake. Hardy complied. Hardy then turned his back. Triple H, like Ken Shamrock, finds that disrespectful. Hardy popped back up and circled Triple H. Triple H went right ot an armbar with a twist. Hardy flipped out and nipped up and applied his own armbar. Tripel H countered immediately. Nice sequence. Refreshingly no punches were thrown in the opening minute. Hardy took Triple H down with a headlock. Hunter popped up. They took a breath and stared at each other for a few seconds. Then they went into a collar and elbow hook-up. More counters and leverage moves leading to Hardy applied a side headlock on the mat. This headlock works because rather than seeming like a resthold, it's placement in the match comes across as just a way for Hardy to finally pin down Triple H without him countering him. Hardy kept going back to the headlock early. Tazz said it's a surprising approach. Ross said, "Hardy is throwing an off-speed pitch when Triple H was expecting a fastball." Good analogy. At 5:00 Hunter threw Hardy off into the ropes. Hardy kicked him. Hunter backdropped him to the apron and went for a Pedigree through the ropes. Hardy backdropped out of it. Hardy flip dove toward Hunter on the floor. Hunter moved. Hardy splatted on the mat. Back in the ring at 8:00 Hunter gave Hardy a knee lift to the face for a near fall. Hunter settled into a stretch of offense including an abdominal stretch and then a sleeper. Hardy powered out and took Hunter down with a wrap-around flying clothesline. At 12:00 Hardy successfully flip dove onto Hunter at ringside. Back in the ring he got a two count. Hunter came back with an elbow, but when he jumped off the second rope, Hardy kicked him and then face buster suplexed Hunter for a believable near fall. The crowd popped. Triple H countered a Whisper in the Wind and then hit a spinebuster. Hunter played to the 28 percent of the fans who wanted him to win and was greeted with 72 percent boos. He stalked Hardy and then set up a Pedigree. Hardy countered and catapulted Hunter nto the ringpost. Hardy then hit the Whisper in the Wind. Ross sold it huge and Hunter kicked out at the last possible split second. Ross said, "You can't get any closer and not be WWE Champion." Good sequence, good call from Ross. It's why wrestlers want him to call their biggest matches. Hardy yanked off his shirt and then went for a Swanton. Hunter moved, got up, and set up a Pedigree. Hardy slipped out and hit a Twist of Fate. Hardy climbed to the top[ rope and hit a Swanton. He covered Hunter lazily, but Hunter countered with a leverage pin for the win. Ross and Tazz kept touting the match as "amazing."
WINNER: Triple H in 17:00 to retain the World Hvt. Title.
STAR RATING: ****1/4 -- That final minute moved this up a quarter or half star. Really well done finishing sequence. Ross really elevated it on the PPV side. They really put together a strong match. Among Triple H's best in recent memory and among Hardy's best singles matches ever, too. The early headlocks worked in the context they were presented. The early flip dive miss by Hardy made the latter flip dive mean more. The final minute was just stellar in design and execution.
-A Cyber Sunday commercial aired.
-Ross and Tazz commented on a replay of the finish of Triple H-Hardy again. They showed Hardy and Triple H shaking hands.
-Backstage, Arn Anderson shook Hunter's hand. Arn said he thought Hardy had him. Hunter said, "It's just a mater of time, right?" Arn said, "That's why you are who you're are." As Hunter limped toward his dressing room, good thing the camera oddly stayed on him as he bumped right into Vladimir Kozlov who got in his face and said a few sentences in Russian. He then said in English, "Congratulations." They had a staredown for ten seconds. Triple H, of course, didn't blink. Kozlov walked away.
-Cole and Lawler threw to a video package on the Jericho-Michaels saga.
7 -- CHRIS JERICHO vs. SHAWN MICHAELS -- World Hvt. Title ladder match
Jericho walked under the ladder on his way to the ring, again accentuating that he doesn't need any luck. Michaels went for a very early superkick, but Jericho backed off. Michaels threw a chop in the corner. When he charged Jericho, Jericho moved and Michaels went shoulder-first into the ringpost. Jericho leaped off the middle turnbuckle and knocked Michaels off of the ring apron. Jericho slapped Michaels and then whipped him into the ladder. In a cool spot, Michaels climbed right up the ladder with the momentum he had and then leaped backwards into Jericho. Jericho reversed Michaels into the ringpost. As Jericho slipped a ladder into the ring, Michaels leaped on it at ringside and catapulted it into Jericho's face. Michaels set up the ladder and climbed it. Jericho, bleeding from the mouth, lifted Michaels on his shoulders away from the ladder. Jericho then catapulted Michaels into the ladder. Michaels, though, landed on the rungs and climbed toward the belt. Jericho knocked the ladder over. Michaels landed on the top rope. Jericho jabbed Michaels in the ribs with the ladder. Michaels reversed Jericho into the ladder in the corner and then, with Jericho's leg caught in the ladder, tipped it over. He set up the ladder in another corner and dropped Jericho knee-first over it. He then applied a figure-four leglock. Jericho eventually escaped by knocking Michaels into a ladder. He catapulted Michaels face-first into the ladder. He smashed him in the middle of a ladder. The beating continued until 10:00 when Michaels reversed Jericho into a ladder propped in the corner. Jericho tumbled to the floor and clutched his right arm. Michaels brought a ladder to ringside, then disassembled the announce table, tossing monitors aside (we wouldn't want anyone to get hurt too badly now, would we?). He set Jericho face-down on the table knocked out and the climbed the ladder. Lawler said it might not be the best idea. Jericho met Michaels on the top and tried to back suplex him down. They both fell together off the ladder and through the announce table. A "holy sh--" chant broke out. Lawler said that's not what Michaels had in mind. Both slowly made their way back into the ring. At 15:00 Jericho dropkicked a ladder into Michaels as Michaels was standing on the top rope. Jericho climbed the ladder while it leaned against Michaels in the corner. He set up a mega-superplex. Michaels blocked it with some punches, then shoved Jericho backwards to the mat with the ladder landing on Jericho's crotch. Jericho covered his crotch as Michaels went for a top rope elbow. Michaels landed on the ladder with his elbow and sold it like he was shot. Both men writhed in pain on the mat. Michaels got up first, while protecting his forearm. He stomped the mat to signal Sweet Chin Music. When he went for it, Jericho jabbed top of the ladder into Michaels's face. Jericho set the ladder over Michaels to try to keep him in place as he climbed the ladder. Michaels foiled his plan by powered the ladder up and tipping Jericho over and sending him over the top rope to the floor. He landed awwardkly on his leg and sold it as such. Michaels climbed the ladder and had his hand on thebelt. Jericho re-entered the ring and knocked Michaels off and over the middle rope with his legs catching. Michaels was slow to get up. Jericho instead crawled up the ladder ever so slowly. Michaels met him at the top. Michaels punched Jericho. Both men tumbled down. Jeircho hung upside down by his leg. Lance Cade charged into the ring and grabbed Michaels's leg. Michaels dove onto Cade. He ducked a clothesline and superkicked Cade. The ref, who had been down, returned to the ring. Jericho grabbed the belt. Michaels climbed up to meet him before he could take it down. They both struggled over the belt. They had a tug-o-war, with Jericho hanging backwards from one arm. Jericho yanked Michaels into him with a headbutt. Michaels fell to the mat. Jericho grabbed the belt to win and fell to the mat himself.
WINNER: Jericho in 22:00.
STAR RATING: ****1/4 -- Very good ladder match. The Cade interference gave Michaels the "out" for losing. Lots of big spots. The ladder match seems a little played out, although not because WWE's necessarily overdone it, but in the big picture it's just not what it once was. Still, these two brought some new stuff into the mix and had a dramatic, largely believable battle. The final two matches were very different from one another, but equally good on different sets of standards.