Friday, 12 October 2007

WWE No Mercy on Sky Box Office - PPV Review

So just who will be competing for the WWE title after the unfortunate injury for John Cena? Well, there’s just one way for me to find out, and that’s by watching WWE’s No Mercy, shown live on Sky Box Office here in Britain.
The show begins with Vince McMahon and William Regal coming down to the ring to announce the fate of the WWE Championship, and proceeds to name Randy Orton as the new champion. After collecting his title and celebrating, Regal gives Orton the chance to choose his own opponent for the title defence. It is then that none other than Triple H comes down to the ring, and despite already having a match with Umaga later on, he challenges Orton for the title. Orton refuses, but with every fan in the building backing his claim, Triple H calls McMahon a coward amongst other things, and after further provocation, McMahon orders the match, which takes place immediately.
So the first match of the show sees Randy Orton defending the WWE title against Triple H. It’s a slow match to start off with, which the Game dominates in the early stages, until Orton comes back well, but misses an RKO attempt. Triple H then went for the Pedigree, which Orton countered with backdrop. A short time later Hunter locked in a figure four, but Orton managed to get to the ropes. The match continues to go back and forth, until Orton misses a shoulder barge in the corner, and Triple H scores with a schoolboy roll-up for the winning pinfall, winning his 11th WWE/World title. Not a bad match to start off the show, when you consider that this scenario had to be put together at very short notice.
Moving on to tag-team action, as Jeff Hardy, Brian Kendrick, and Paul London face Trevor Murdoch, Lance Cade, and Mr. Kennedy. A bonus match for the fans here, and a damn good effort from all concerned. While Hardy, London and Kendrick provided the high-flying and the speed, Murdoch, Cade and Kennedy provided the power, and even though a couple of the moves were a little sloppy towards the end, it made for great entertainment, with London falling to Kennedy after his roll-over slam from the middle rope. Great little match here.
Then it’s time for the ECW title match, as C.M. Punk defends the title against Big Daddy V, who has his buddy Matt Striker along for company. This one doesn’t last long. The former Viscera simply over powers the much smaller Punk, but when the champion came back, and actually knocked Big Daddy V off his feet with a top rope drop kick, Striker came into the ring and attacked Punk, resulting in an immediate disqualification for the big guy. Who then proceeded to physically dismantle Punk, leaving him lying in the ring. I have to admit that this was the one match on the card I wasn’t looking forward to, and it wasn’t really that good.
Following this rather short spectacle, Matt Hardy and MVP renew their rivalry in a pizza eating contest. I really can’t see the point in reviewing this thing, so let’s move along…..
Triple H then makes his second appearance of the evening, defending his newly won WWE title against Umaga. It’s the slow, methodical approach from the monster here, and he dominates for the most part, centring his attack on Triple H’s ribs, but it was when Umaga missed his patented corner attack that the Game came back, taking Umaga out with the pedigree and putting him down for the three count. A good match here, and a good second showing of the evening from the new champion.
Rey Mysterio continues on the comeback trail next, taking on the tough Irish bastard that is Finlay. As a long-time Finlay fan, I was eager to see how the old boy would fare against someone whose style couldn’t be more different to his own. This certainly was an interesting match. Mysterio began by controlling the bout with his high-flying style, showing that he’s still got it, despite his previous injuries. Then Finlay took control with his hard-hitting attack, before Rey made his comeback, and after he connected with a 619 while Finlay was draped over the ropes from the outside of the ring, he then climbed to the top rope and connected with a leg drop. It was then that Finlay fell off the ring apron, and landed hard on the arena floor. After the referee gave the X sign, the Irishman was put on a stretcher with his neck in a brace, but just as he was about to be wheeled out of the arena, he leapt off the stretcher and attacked Mysterio repeatedly, and then walked away with a smug look on his face. No actual result was announced, but it was a hell of an encounter, and a great build up to a future match.
Time for the women to show their stuff, as Candice defends the Women’s title against the Glamazon herself, Beth Phoenix. The crowd were kind of dead for this one, and they had every reason to be. Botched moves throughout this match spoiled what could have been a good wrestling match, and it just failed to capture my attention. Beth won this match after a cradle suplex. Hopefully, things will be better if Candice gets a re-match.
Then it’s time for the Smackdown main event, as Batista defends his World title against the Great Khali in a Punjabi Prison Match. No pinfalls or submissions here. All you have to do is escape from two cages to win. This was another one of those matches that I wasn’t exactly looking forward to, especially given the last match of this kind between the Undertaker and the Big Show. This was another of those matches where the finals were silent for most of it, especially as the two behemoths beat on each other inside the ring. With neither man unable to escape from the inner structure through the four doors, Khali was the first to climb over the cage, stopping Batista from climbing the cage by pulling him off the structure and sending him crashing to the mat. But as the big Indian was climbing the second structure, Batista began to climb the first, and then, showing great agility, the champion leapt from the inner to the outer structure. It then became a race as both men climbed down the outside of the cage, with Batista jumping down the final few feet to get the title retaining win. This was a hit and miss kind of affair. There were times that, because of the nature of the cages, it made following the action difficult on screen, so I have no idea how those in attendance could see what was going on. So I’m afraid the jury is still out on this one.
Over to the Raw main event, as Triple H makes his third appearance of the evening, defending the WWE title against Randy Orton in a last man standing match. Now this is what a main event should be all about. Great drama and tension throughout as Orton and the Game literally beat the crap out of each other. Orton controlled the early portion of the bout, centring his attack on Triple H’s previously injured ribs, before he came back by countering an RKO attempt by putting him through the ECW announce table. And it was after this that things got even better, using chairs, the ring steps, and anything else they could get their hands on as they tried to put each other away. But both me beat the ten count each and every time, until finally, Orton used the RKO to put Triple H through the Raw announce table, and with the Game failing to beat the ten count, Orton won the match and was declared champion for the second time in one night.
In conclusion - a bit of a mixed bag here. No Mercy had it’s good and bad points. The storyline surrounding the fate of the WWE title was well written and well acted out by all parties, and the matches involved were top notch, as were the Finlay/Mysterio and the six man tag. Sadly, the same can’t be said of the other matches, and the pizza eating contest, and that’s what let the show down. So would I watch No Mercy again? Probably, but there would be three matches I’d cut out.