No Mercy 2007

No Mercy 2007
Date: October 7, 2007
Location: Allstate Arena, Chicago, Illinois
Attendance: 12,500
Commentators: Jim Ross, Joey Styles, Jerry Lawler, Tazz, John Bradshaw Layfield, Michael Cole

It’s time for a special show as John Cena is no longer the WWE Champion due to suffering an injury on Raw. Therefore we are guaranteed a new champion, though it is not clear how the title will be decided. Other than that, the Smackdown side features Batista defending the World Title against Great Khali in a Punjabi Prison match. Let’s get to it.

The opening video talks about the story of Noah, including sending out a dove, which led to Noah and his family being shown mercy. That won’t be the case tonight, as we will have a new WWE Champion.

Here are Vince McMahon and William Regal with the WWE Title underneath a covering in the ring. McMahon recaps John Cena’s injury (the fans don’t seem crushed) and promises that we will see a WWE Title match right here tonight. Vince talks about giving the fans the power and what they want, which leads to a big Y2J chant. Vince: “I’m not going to give you that!” Instead, he gives us the new WWE Champion: Randy Orton!

We get a long celebration from Orton, who still has to defend the title tonight. Regal even lets him pick his own opponent (Fans: “Y2J!”), so Orton makes it clear that he will NOT be facing Cena tonight (the fans approve). Orton talks about all the people he has put on the shelf and says there is no one that comes close to him.

Cue HHH in his gear and the fans approve of this one. HHH issues the challenge but Orton says no, with HHH thinking that’s a good idea. Orton wouldn’t want his second World Title reign to be shorter than his first. The fans seem to want HHH to get the show, so he goads Vince about it a bit and asks if Orton is scared. HHH accuses Vince of being scared and having no guts, or perhaps even any grapefruits. That’s finally enough to get the match so let’s do it right now.

Raw World Title: Randy Orton vs. HHH

Orton is defending and a Vince distraction lets him jump HHH at the bell. An elbow to the face sends Orton outside but HHH isn’t going to let him walk out. Back in and Orton gets to stomp away but HHH nails the running knee. Orton’s backbreaker gives him his own two and it’s time to hammer away on the mat as this is pretty basic offense so far.

The powerslam gives Orton two and we hit the chinlock. HHH fights up again and hits a heck of a running clothesline, followed by an even bigger superplex for two. The spinebuster gets two more and HHH throws him outside, only to get caught with the hanging DDT on the way back in.

The RKO is countered but so is the Pedigree, leaving them both needing a breather. Orton misses the knee drop so HHH grabs a Figure Four, sending Orton straight to the ropes. Back up and Orton sends him to the floor so HHH comes in off the top, only to get pulled back down. Orton misses a charge into the post though and HHH grabs a rollup to give him the pin and the title.

Rating: B-. Yeah it’s hot shotting the title change but this is a bit of a special circumstance. HHH winning the title is a nice feel good moment as he is the undisputed top good guy on the roster right now. Let the fans have their nice moment to get them over Cena, even if it means that Orton had the title for about twenty minutes. Good match too, as evil Orton vs. heroic HHH hadn’t been done very often at this point.

HHH celebrates for a pretty long time.

Orton runs into Vince McMahon backstage and the boss walks away without saying a word.

Jeff Hardy/Paul London/Brian Kendrick vs. Lance Cade/Trevor Murdoch/Mr. Kennedy

Bonus match, with Cade and Murdoch introducing Kennedy as their surprise partner. Cade and Kendrick start things off with Kendrick hitting a running crossbody. London comes in with a sunset flip for two and it’s off to Murdoch, who gets headlocked over almost immediately. Jeff uses London as Matt in Poetry in Motion but the sitout jawbreaker is shrugged off.

That lets Kennedy come in to stomp away but Jeff shrugs it off and hands it back to Kendrick. Cade gets forearmed and dropkicked, only to have Murdoch low bridge Kendrick to the floor. Murdoch gets dropped onto Kendrick for a legdrop and some knee drops make it worse. That lets Kennedy choke away in the corner and the cravate goes on. With that not getting him very far, it’s back to Cade, whose superplex attempt is cut off.

Instead, Kendrick comes back with a flying DDT and a VERY diving tag brings in Jeff to start cleaning house. The sitout gordbuster is dropped and Murdoch lands on his face but Hardy goes up for the Swanton anyway. Cade makes the save as everything breaks down, leaving Kennedy to hit the Green Bay Plunge to finish London.

Rating: C+. I can always go for the idea of throwing six people into one match and letting them do their thing like this. You can probably pencil in Kennedy as Hardy’s next Intercontinental Title challenger and that is the kind of place that would suit him well. Cade/Murdoch vs. London/Kendrick is a pairing that always works well enough so this was a fine use of pay per view time, especially for something unadvertised.

HHH and Batista admire their titles but HHH bumps into Vince McMahon. Vince doesn’t like to let his fans down, so HHH vs. Umaga is still on and the title is on the line.

ECW World Title: Big Daddy V vs. CM Punk

V, with Matt Striker, is challenging after winning a #1 contenders match against Tommy Dreamer, who was already the #1 contender. An early lockup goes badly for Punk as V shoves him outside. Back in and V mounts him for some shots to the face but Punk is back up with some kicks and forearms. V misses a charge into the corner though and Punk hits a missile dropkick, only to have Striker come in for the fast DQ.

Post match V destroys Punk with a Samoan drop and a bunch of elbow drops. V leaves and Punk has to be helped out of the ring as this will continue.

Long recap of MVP and Matt Hardy’s various sports contests over the last ten (egads) weeks.

And now, a pizza eating contest, as hosted by Taz and scored by Maria and Melina. After some long entrances, MVP complains about eating this many calories, like so many people from Chicago clearly are. Maria says she’s from Chicago, so is she fat? MVP says deep dish pizza doesn’t help your IQ, so he and Matt get into it over all of these competitions again. They finally sit down and have two minutes to eat the most slices, with the women keeping score. After two minutes, Matt somehow wins 2-0 and then vomits on MVP. This was longer than any match on the show so far.

We recap HHH vs. Umaga, which stems from HHH mocking Vince McMahon for being Hornswoggle’s father. Vince brought Umaga back and sent him after HHH, setting up this match. Thanks to HHH winning the title earlier tonight, it is now a title match.

Raw World Title: HHH vs. Umaga

HHH is defending and they go right to the slugout to start. A DDT has no effect on Umaga so HHH low bridges him out to the floor. HHH’s ram into the steps has no effect so HHH gets sent into them for some more impact. Back in and Umaga hits a superkick before sitting down on his chest. The middle rope headbutt misses though and HHH is back with the facebuster, again to no avail. The Samoan Spike is countered into a Pedigree attempt, which is countered as well.

HHH pops back up with a spinebuster but another Pedigree attempt is countered into the Samoan drop. They head outside with HHH being sent ribs first into the apron, followed by the bearhug inside. Even wild Samoans have psychology. Umaga’s swinging Rock Bottom gets two more and Umaga stays on the ribs. The running hip attack misses though and so does a charge into the post. That’s enough to set up the Pedigree to retain HHH’s title.

Rating: C+. This felt like the match before intermission at a house show as they ran through it rather quickly, which is understandable as it’s HHH’s second match of the night. Umaga wasn’t going to win the title and they weren’t going to give him a big win so soon after he was back from a major suspension, but he is fine as a dragon for HHH to slay.

SAVE US video.

We look at the Punjabi Prison.

Great Khali is meditating and Runjin Singh talks about the evil that Khali is channeling for this match.

Rey Mysterio vs. Finlay

Finlay isn’t having this wristlock stuff to start and uppercuts Rey up against the ropes. A crossbody gets Rey out of trouble though and he hammers away in the corner to stagger Finlay for a change. Rey sends him outside but the baseball slid gets him caught in the ring skirt so the beating can be on again. Back in and Rey gets sent into the post, setting up the Fujiwara armbar.

A very hard clothesline takes Rey down again and Finlay grabs a hammerlock. Rey gets back up and sends him into the corner for the break, followed by another crossbody for another two. The springboard seated senton into a basement dropkick gets two but the 619 is cut off with another clothesline.

With the usual stuff not working, Finlay pulls off the turnbuckle pad. That’s a bit too obvious so Finlay grabs the Shillelagh, only to get hurricanranaed into the ropes. Finlay ducks the 619 (that’s a smart one) but Rey hits a top rope Fameasser instead, knocking Finlay off the apron straight onto the floor with a loud THUD. That looked horrible and the sound was even worse. It’s so bad that Finlay is out cold and the match is stopped as he is taken out on a stretcher.

Rating: C. There is always room for someone like Finlay against a fan favorite like Rey, though that ending is a rough thing to see. It’s always weird to rate a match that ends without a winner like this, but it was about what you would expect from these two. I could go with another from them when they get the chance to wrap it up properly.

Post match Finlay jumps off the stretcher and destroys Rey. That one got me so nicely done.

HHH is in the trainer’s room getting his ribs treated when Vince McMahon comes in. Vince guaranteed a new WWE Champion tonight and that is what we had. He guaranteed a WWE Title match and we did. The thing is, he also guaranteed a Last Man Standing match….so that is what HHH is getting, because Randy Orton has requested his automatic rematch. Vince: “If you can stand at all, champ.”

Women’s Title: Beth Phoenix vs. Candice Michelle

Michelle is defending and gets powered straight into the corner to start. A rollup out of the corner gives Michelle two but Beth hits the running shoulder to the ribs to cut her off. Michelle dropkicks her way out of trouble and grabs a short armscissors of all things. That’s broken up as well and Michelle dives into a World’s Strongest Slam for two.

The cobra clutch of all things goes on but Michelle does her best Bret Hart and climbs the corner for the backflip for two, with Beth not letting go as she kicks out. Candice drives her into the corner for the break and there’s a spinwheel kick. A high crossbody gives Candice two more and so does a sunset flip out of the corner. Beth has had it and hits a backbreaker into the fisherman’s DDT for the pin and the title.

Rating: C-. This was one of the flatter pay per view matches I can remember in a while as it just came and went. Candice losing the title is the right call, as there comes a point where her surviving against a monster like Phoenix is too much to accept. Phoenix is a different breed and should be a big thing in the division for a long time to come.

Post match Beth says this is the ushering in of the era of the Glamazon.

The Punjabi Prison is lowered.

We recap Batista vs. Great Khali for the Smackdown World Title. Batista won the title from Khali at Unforgiven in a triple threat and now it is time for the big showdown rematch. It’s basically “can Batista slay the monster” with some bells and whistles.

Smackdown World Title: Batista vs. Great Khali

Batista is defending inside the Punjabi Prison. There is a bamboo cage around the ring and then a much bigger one outside the ring. The inner cage has four doors that you have to call to be opened, which will have it opened for sixty seconds. After that, it stays closed permanently. You have to get out of the inner cage and then get over the bigger one to win. In other words, it’s more complicated than it needs to be and kind of hard to see through the big bars too, which is why it was only used a few times ever.

Khali goes after him with the chops to start but Batista knocks him back in the ropes to tie up the giant’s arms. JBL points out that Batista should be calling for a door but instead he charges into a boot like a moron as Khali gets his arms out. The big chop knocks Batista silly so Khali has a door opened. Batista makes the save though and the first door is officially closed for the rest of the match.

Some elbows in the corner have Batista in trouble but he comes back with a spear. The second door is open but Khali cuts him off this time and chokes against the cage until the door is officially closed. Khali pulls a strap off the cage and whips Batista down before calling for the third door to be opened. Batista cuts him off with a spinebuster though and crawls for the door, only to have Khali pull him back, meaning the door is officially closed.

That doesn’t work for Batista, who uses the same strap to beat on Khali but gets knocked down again with a single shot. The vice grip goes on so Khali calls for the last door to be open. Batista is back with a low blow to drop Khali, who is up in time to slam the door onto Batista’s back. The fourth door is officially closed so they have to go over the top to get out of the first cage.

Batista starts to go up but Khali pulls him back down for a crash. Khali manages to climb over the top of the first cage (that is some strong bamboo, mainly because it is supported by steel, because steel supported bamboo is a thing) to the floor. Batista is climbing up the inner structure and gets to the top as Khali gets to the top of the outer structure. In a pretty impressive move, Batista jumps from the inner cage to the outer and then beats Khali over the top and to the floor to retain.

Rating: D+. This could have been worse, but the problem is pretty obvious: this whole concept is so big and more complicated than it needs to be that it isn’t even fun. Also, I’m not sure how much of a signature match it can be for Khali when he hasn’t actually been in one of them before this. The ending was cool though as it felt like something out of the end of a movie and showed Batista was smart, which he has been before. Not a good match, but a clever ending.

Long recap of the WWE Title situation.

HHH is ready to fight one more time.

Raw World Title: HHH vs. Randy Orton

HHH, with bad ribs, is defending in a Last Man Standing match. They stare at each other to start until Orton gets smart by going after the bad (and untaped) ribs. More shots to the ribs sent HHH outside, where his quick Pedigree attempt is countered with a legsweep to send the ribs into the ramp.

Back in and more shots to the ribs set up a belly to back drop onto the barricade for a six count. A whip into the steps gets six more so they head back inside. HHH manages a much needed facebuster for a breather but Orton’s backbreaker puts him down for eight more. That just has Orton frustrated so he grabs a TV cord and chokes HHH into some nasty spitting.

HHH gets up at nine so the annoyed Orton sends him outside. The ECW announcers’ table (with Joey and Tazz still there after their minute and thirty seven second match earlier) is loaded up and a monitor to the head rocks HHH. The RKO through the table is shoved off though and Orton crashes through the table hard. Orton is up at nine as well so HHH hits a spinebuster on the floor for another nine.

Some steps to the head get another nine count and they roll back inside. Orton manages a DDT onto a chair to stun HHH though and the RKO onto the open chair leave a bloody HHH down. The ropes get HHH back up and he throws in the crotch chop before falling to the mat again. Orton’s Punt is blocked though and HHH makes the fired up comeback by taking Orton outside and sending him into various objects.

Orton cuts him off though and a catapult sends HHH head first into the post for another near fall. The steps are picked up but HHH cuts him off with a low blow. That leaves Orton’s heads in the steps and it’s a chair shot to crush him again. Orton gets up again and the Pedigree is loaded up, only to have him counter into the RKO onto the table for the ten count and the title.

Rating: B. They picked it up in the end but this was a lot of standing around waiting after someone does something big. In other words, it’s a Last Man Standing match but it’s a Last Man Standing match without a reason for these two to hate each other. I do like that they gave us the kind of match they advertised, but it was a weird position to be in after the Cena vs. Orton feud got so personal and HHH was just a last minute substitute.

Overall Rating: B-. This is one of the weirder shows that WWE has ever presented and I’m not really sure what to think of it. The wrestling is mostly good, save for the Punjabi Prison mess, but it felt like a better version of a Russo era Raw with the three title matches in one night. They were in a tough spot here though and they did a pretty good job so well done with this, though it’s a pretty weird one.

 

 

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