Sunday, 16 September 2007

WWE No Mercy 2006 on Sky Box Office - TV Review

It’s time for the Smackdown crew to take over the WWE pay-per-view schedule again as a hastily-arranged fatal four way for the World title headlines this year’s edition of No Mercy, with out usual hosts for the evening, Michael Cole and John “Bradshaw” Layfield.

We begin the show with a bout that promises a great deal, as Matt Hardy faces Cruiserweight champion Gregory Helms in a non-title match. JBL reminds us that Helms is undefeated on PPV this year. I guess he didn’t order New Year’s Revolution back in January then. Helms and Hardy are certainly a perfect match for each other, as both men pulled out all the stops to put on a great opener, with great wrestling combined with a few high-flying moves, as well as quite a few false finishes, before Hardy got the win after a Twist of Fate to end a tremendous match.

Backstage, King Booker sends William Regal on a mission to find the turncoat Finlay, and to convince him to stand aside in the main event and become allies again.

Tag-team action follows, as Idol Stevens and K.C. James, accompanied by Michelle McCool, challenge Paul London and Brian Kendrick, accompanied by Ashley Massaro, for the tag-team titles. This is actually the first time I’ve seen Stevens and James in action, and apart from looking a little green at times, they also looked quite impressive, as did the champions. Mind you, London and Kendrick always look impressive. So, after all that praise, we get an impressive match, including a catfight at ringside from the divas, and Kendrick getting the pin after a London Northern Lights Splash, launching himself from Kendrick’s back, to end another great bout. I hope the bookers were taking note here. After a match like this they might actually start to build up the tag-team division again.

After a trailer for The Marine, Regal continues his search for Finlay, and finds Vito jumping rope in a dress. Regal tries to show him how to do it, until Vito lifts up his dress to mop his sweaty brow. Disgusted, Regal leaves him to it, but ends up walking into a condiments cart, getting covered by various sauces. Regal, again, is comedy gold here.

Back in the arena, Teddy Long helps celebrate The Miz’s birthday. What we get is an awful segment involving Leyla the Diva Search winner, and a fat guy in a thong. Was this really needed on a pay-per-view.

After an ad for the new Vince McMahon DVD, and for ECW’s Strip Poker, it’s time for the big debut as the most sought after free agent MVP faces a surprise opponent - none other than Marty Garner. Who? I hear you cry! Yep, this hot new superstar that’s been shoved down everyone’s throats for months is facing a nobody on his hyped-up debut. Even the likes of Funaki and Scotty 2 Hotty would have made more credible opponents. Dressed in an outfit that would look on a Power Ranger, MVP made short order of the jobber, and showed nothing in the process. What a way to build up the next big thing, eh?

Backstage, we inadvertently see William Regal’s manhood (no doubt there will be plenty of complaints about that), before another altercation with Vito sees Regal flee to the corridor, where he runs into Teddy Long, as the angry general manager announces that Regal will be competing later tonight.

We then return to action as U.S. Champion Mr. Kennedy faces the Undertaker in a non-title match. When I first heard about this match I thought it would be little more than a squash, but in a slow and methodical match Kennedy was portrayed as the Undertaker’s equal, able to meet him in an equal footing, matching him move for move in an extraordinary encounter, with both men pulling out all their signature moves, and Kennedy getting the win via disqualification after the Undertaker clobbered him with the title belt. Afterwards, the dead man took out his frustrations by tombstoning both Kennedy and the referee.

Following this great effort, we move on to even more exploitation of the late Latino Heat as Rey Mysterio faces Chavo Guerrero in a falls count anywhere match. The first thing to notice is that Chavo’s hair restoration treatment is obviously working. Hardly any wrestling in this one as Mysterio and Guerrero take the fight right into the laps of the fans, fighting all over the arena, until Mysterio got the pin after a flying body press off the top of some railings. An okay match, which probably would have made more of an impact if it had been in a smaller arena.

After another look at The Marine, William Regal finds out who his mystery opponent is - none other than the returning Chris Benoit. This was more than a pleasant surprise, as two wrestlers who are clearly made for each other put on a great technical wrestling match, the likes of which we hardly see these days, with Benoit getting the win as Regal tapped to the Crippler Crossface.

Backstage, the King confronts Regal about his lack of success in finding Finlay. After the Irishman intervenes and tells Booker he wants the title, Booker chastises Regal, which results in the Englishman knocking the King on his backside.

Hastily-arranged main event time, as King Booker defends his World title against Bobby Lashley, Finlay, and Batista. Finlay was highly impressive, as always, and all four men put in a good effort, which saw Booker retain the title after picking the bones after Batista’s handy work. The former champion had taken Finlay out with a power bomb, only for Lashley to take him out with a spear, leaving him unable to make the cover, allowing the King to get the pin.

In conclusion - for the most part, an enjoyable show. Benoit v Regal was clearly match of the night, and it was a shame that we had to put up with the MVP fiasco and Miz’s birthday celebrations. Imagine how much better certain matches would have been if they’d been given the time allotted to these worthless items.