No Mercy 2008: ANOTHER Great Show In This Series

No Mercy 2008
Date: October 5, 2008
Location: Rose Garden, Portland, Oregon
Attendance: 9,527
Commentators: Todd Grisham, Tazz, Jerry Lawler, Michael Cole, Jim Ross

Another WZ milestone related to this show as the day after this, I joined the forum staff. Anyway, this is the final No Mercy show and it’s also the blowoff to Shawn vs. Jericho with a ladder match for the title. Other than that we also have HHH vs. Jeff Hardy in what is likely going to be another in their great series of matches. After this it’s off to Backlash. Let’s get to it.

The opening video is designed like something from the 50s which then transitions into color and a video about the main matches. I don’t get that one.

ECW Title: Mark Henry vs. Matt Hardy

Matt is defending. Tony Atlas almost trips over the ropes coming in. This gets big match intros which is a nice touch that makes it feel like an important match. Matt tries a headlock and that completely fails. Mark runs him over and punches him down before sending him into the corner. Matt finally escapes for a bit and tries a chop block. It gives him a few seconds to breathe but Henry clotheslines his head off.

Hardy goes back to the knees and they go to the floor. Henry shrugs Matt off but the champ goes back to the knee. Figure Four is countered and Henry uses the good foot for a big boot, getting two. A bottom rope Banzai Drop gets the same. Matt tries to punch back but jumps into a bearhug. Hardy quickly climbs up Henry and tries a sunset flip.

Henry blocks it but he hits the mat when he tries to sit on the champ. Side Effect gets two and the place ERUPTS. Twist of Fate is countered and the place quiets in a hurry. Splash gets a delayed two. Twist is countered into the Slam but Matt punches the knee and the Twist hits to retain.

Rating: B-. I’m stunned by the crowd reaction to this as you would think it was the main event of a major show. The place was going nuts on almost everything Hardy did like I haven’t heard since the Hardy Boys days. The David vs. Goliath stuff worked very well here as these two always had some chemistry together.

HHH and Hardy are brought together in the back and HHH says Jeff is only going to win the mobile text popularity poll. He’ll be rooting for Jeff in the match tonight. Hardy says worry about him, not texting. HHH says he wants Jeff to put everything together and win the big one so that tonight, he’ll know he beat Hardy at his best.

Women’s Title: Candice Michelle vs. Beth Phoenix

Beth is defending in the rematch from last year. Candice immediately kicks the knee out for two. A dropkick to the head of Beth as she’s getting up gets the same. An enziguri slows Phoenix down as Candice is starting off fast. A charge is caught and Beth rams her into the buckle to stop that cold.

Beth hooks a modified cross armbreaker which lasts for a few moments. Candice comes back with some of the weakest clotheslines I can ever remember. Her arms are TINY which is what makes them so weak. Beth puts her down and goes up top, only to get crotched and dropkicked for two. Santino had to make the save so Candice dropkicks him through the ropes. Back inside the glam Slam quickly ends this.

Rating: D+. Candice slowly fell down a mountain after she lost the title a year before this. Like I said her offense was mostly dropkicks and not very good ones at that. On top of that there were the clotheslines which were embarrassing. The Divas took a nosedive around this point as the good chicks were just not there with the talent other than one in a handful. Also there were two titles by this point which didn’t help anything at all.

Buy the new Flair DVD! That actually was a good one.

Kane says Rey’s story ends tonight. They have a match tonight and if Rey loses, he loses his mask. This feud went on for the better part of eternity and never really had a real payoff.

Rey Mysterio vs. Kane

Rey fires off some strikes and a dropkick to send him to the floor. Kane gets back in and hits a big boot to send Rey to the floor for a breather. A springboard dropkick sends Kane crawling on his knees into the 619 position. Kane is thankfully playing possum though and hits a clothesline to put Mysterio down. A bad jawbreaker from Rey sets up a middle rope rana to send Kane to the floor.

Rey tries a dive but gets caught in a powerslam position. He climbs up Kane and hooks a sleeper, only to get thrown over the barricade. Mysterio’s back is rammed into the post and Kane hooks a chinlock back inside. Rey comes back with a headscissors to backflip into a reverse DDT to slow Kane down. Kane puts him on the middle rope with Rey’s back to the ring and goes after the mask. Rey elbows out of that and hits a moonsault to a standing Kane to put both guys down.

Dropping the Dime gets two but Rey walks into a side slam which gets the same. Chokeslam is countered and Rey mostly misses something like a spinning springboard DDT. Cole and Jerry aren’t sure if it was an armdrag or a DDT and I’m not sure either. That’s how messed up it was. Rey goes up again but jumps into an uppercut for two. Kane goes to the apron and Rey hits the 619 to the back of the leg and they go outside. Rey dives off the top into a chair for the DQ.

Rating: C-. They were trying here but the big vs. little dynamic was too much for them to overcome here. It started really slow too and the ending didn’t help anything. Kane as the monster only has a certain limit to what it can do and this was stretching that limit to as far as it could go, as it’s hard to believe he couldn’t get the mask off if he wanted to, but he didn’t. Not a horrible match but it didn’t quite work for me. It was getting better by the end though and it wasn’t horrible at all.

MVP is on the phone in the back and goes to see Vickie about being off the show. He knocks on her door and finds Big Show. MVP asks to see her but Show says no.

Vote at Cyber Sunday!

Here’s MVP to waste some time. This has to be better than the pizza eating contest he was in last year. He talks about how you don’t bench LeBron James or Manny Ramirez (dated reference much?) and on Smackdown, you don’t bench MVP. He thinks the tombstone Undertaker gave Vickie hurt her head, but this isn’t the first instance of him being forgotten. Cue Orton for some more talking.

Randy is still hurt at this point and introduces himself to MVP. MVP says he knows who Orton is but didn’t recognize him without the sling or the folder with the MRI results in it. There’s no reason for MVP to not deck Orton because they’re on different shows. Cue Legacy (DiBiase, Rhodes and Manu. Dang he never fit at all) as MVP wisely heads to the other side of the ring so he can be next to a rope. The fans immediately chant boring as Cody talks about how MVP is the guy that never got into college and just hung out at his high school to look cool while coasting on his reputation.

Cody asks Orton to let MVP have that because it’s all he’s got. Orton yells at Rhodes for some reason and Manu says the only reason Orton was able to punt CM Punk in the head was because of the Legacy beatdown. Orton says that he’ll take them more seriously when they accomplish something, and with that he leaves. MVP says Orton will be back in the ring sometime in 2012. Well it’s 2012 and MVP hasn’t been seen in WWE in over a year while Orton got the pin tonight on Smackdown so I guess he’s right?

DiBiase says MVP’s dad wasn’t a famous WWE superstar so MVP isn’t in their class. MVP says he makes more money than any wrestler on Smackdown. Ted: “My father is the Million Dollar Man.” DiBiase 1, MVP 0. MVP walks up the ramp rather than fight but Punk and Kofi come out to even the odds. Since Kofi and Punk are faces, they let MVP go into the ring without them so he takes a little beating also. The good guys clear the ring. This segment went on longer than any match so far tonight.

Michaels and Jericho are getting ready.

John Bradshaw Layfield vs. Batista

No story here, but the winner gets the winner of Shawn vs. Jericho at a later date, which would wind up being Cyber Sunday. This is when JBL had slimmed down a lot so the match looks a bit better. They slug it out to start and Batista puts him down with a clothesline. JBL gets a boot up in the corner but walks into a quick spear.

He rolls to the outside but doesn’t get a breather out there either. JBL drills him coming back in and they head outside again for a few seconds. Neckbreaker and elbow drop get two for Bradshaw and it’s chinlock time. Batista suplexes his way out of that and hits the shoulders in the corner. Spinebuster and the Batista Bomb finish this clean. This wasn’t even five and a half minutes long.

Rating: C-. Not much of a match but this got the job done in a hurry. It was basically a Batista squash which was exactly what it needed to be to make Batista look like a real threat to the title, which he would wind up winning at Cyber Sunday. Also did anyone really want to see this match get fifteen minutes? I don’t ever remember them having what I would call a good match so I can’t complain.

In a pretty awesome moment, JBL, still on his back from the Bomb, calls for a mic. He cuts a promo about how even though he lost a ton of money with the stock market falling apart, the bailout made him a ton of money while everyone else lost money. We cut to the back and see Cryme Tyme, a bunch of Divas and Sgt. Slaughter taking his limo. I hate the political stuff from WWE, but from it going from what sounded like a retirement promo to one of the funniest heel promos I’ve ever heard, it was awesome.

We recap Big Show vs. Undertaker. Show is mad because of the Tombstone to Vickie, Undertaker is mad because Big Show turned heel to defend Vickie at Unforgiven.

Big Show vs. Undertaker

JR talks about how Undertaker is like a Sasquatch that has wrapped his arms around us and how Big Show is Cyclopean. He has two eyes. WHAT IS WRONG WITH JIM ROSS??? Sasquatch and Cyclopean? With smoke still in the ring Taker goes right at him but gets hit in the ribs to slow him down. Taker gets knocked to the floor but lands on his feet. They slug it out on the apron and Taker Stuns him on the top rope.

Out to the floor and Show pounds away on the ribs. Show throws him into the barricade and Taker throws him into the post. This is a total war so far. Now Undertaker’s right hands are malignant. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN??? Legdrop on the apron and they head inside. Taker gets a boot up in the corner but Big Show clotheslines him down. Show slams him down and drops an elbow for two.

Show tries a Vader Bomb elbow but Taker moves to send Show crashing. They slug it out again with Taker punching him into the corner and working over the ribs. Show misses two WMDs so Taker clotheslines him down and drops a leg for two. Taker tries Old School but jumps into a chokeslam for two. WMD (it wasn’t called that back then but you get the idea) misses and they both try chokeslams.

Show wins the battle but Taker pulls him down into a DDT for two. Taker punches him down in the corner but stops to chase the referee, allowing Big Show to expose the buckle. A shot into that and the big punch, a second big punch (this one is pretentious according to JR) and a third one (this one a rabbit punch) makes the referee stop the match.

Rating: B. This was ten minutes long and they beat the tar out of each other the whole time. It’s probably the best Show vs. Undertaker match I’ve ever seen which is quite a selection as I’m sure you know. Good match here and while it didn’t quite get any better after this, it’s a great match from these two which is shocking for me.

Being true to his nature, Taker takes forever to get out of the ring.

We recap HHH vs. Jeff Hardy. Hardy had the title won in the Scramble but HHH won with a second remaining. Hardy won a fatal fourway to get this show. The idea is that Jeff keeps getting close to the title but is always one step away. This would be the best story of 2008 and Jeff would FINALLY reach his goal at some point this year. This gets the music video treatment.

Smackdown World Title: HHH vs. Jeff Hardy

After the big match intros we’re ready to go. Jeff shakes his hand and is immediately sent into the buckle and rolled up for two. They fight over wrist control and Jeff grabs a headlock. It’s just a feeling out process for the first 90 seconds or so. They keep fighting for control and Jeff gets his headlock on the mat. Back up and HHH hits an elbow but walks into a headscissors to send him to the floor. Jeff hits a running clothesline off the apron to take HHH down.

Back inside and back to the headlock. HHH pops up and tries a quick Pedigree but gets backdropped to the floor. Jeff tries a flip dive over the top but HHH steps to the side to make Jeff crash onto the floor with a great thud. That gets two for HHH inside, as does a wicked backbreaker. HHH punches him a bit more and it’s abdominal stretch time. HHH doesn’t have a ton of torque on it so he grabs the rope, forcing a break.

Off to a sleeper instead but Jeff escapes pretty quickly and hits his wrap around clothesline. Legdrop between the legs gets two. Hardy throws Trips into the corner and out to the floor. Now the flip dive works and both guys are down on the floor. Back inside Hardy gets two off a middle rope clothesline. This is starting to get good. Twist of Fate is countered and HHH takes him down with a clothesline of his own for two.

They slug it out and Hardy goes up. I think Jeff was trying a dropkick and I think HHH tried to counter into a spinebuster but it completely missed. Miscommunication, not a botch. Spinebuster with no miscommunication puts Hardy down and it’s Pedigree time. Hardy slingshots him into the post and the Whisper in the Wind gets a VERY close two. Slingshot dropkick to the back sets up the Swanton but HHH moves. Pedigree is countered again into a Twist of Fate and Jeff goes up. Swanton hits perfectly but Hardy lays on top of him, allowing HHH to cradle him for the pin to retain.

Rating: B+. INCREDIBLE ending sequence which had me into it both back in 2008 and now as well. Hardy would keep getting closer and closer to the title until he FINALLY won it (from Edge) in December. HHH and Hardy had some mad chemistry together and this is probably their best example of it. Great match and once it gets going, it never stopped being awesome.

HHH is in the back (without the belt) and runs into Arn Anderson who congratulates him. Oh ok he had the belt in his other hand. He runs into Kozlov and good grief no one cared. They gave the options of HHH vs. Hardy, HHH vs. Kozlov and triple threat at Cyber Sunday and HHH vs. Kozlov got like 3%. The fans just didn’t want to see it and thankfully the company listened for once.

We recap Shawn vs. Jericho. It’s a LONG story but basically, Jericho accused Shawn of faking a knee injury, Shawn said he wasn’t Jericho said he was, Shawn said ok yeah I was, Jericho wanted an apology, Shawn said no, Jericho put Shawn through a monitor and then punched his wife, they had an unsanctioned match which Shawn won, then Jericho snuck in the back door and won the world title in the Scramble match. Jericho gets to defend against Shawn tonight in a ladder match. This feud was AWESOME.

Raw World Title: Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Jericho

Big match intros are out of the way and we’re ready to go. Shawn goes for the arm to start but then says screw this and tries Chin Music. Jericho moves and Shawn charges shoulder first into the post. Out to the floor and Jericho throws Shawn at the ladder but Shawn climbs it quickly and comes off with an even quicker cross body. Jericho throws him into the post shoulder first again and goes for the ladder.

Shawn drop toeholds him though and Chris’ face hits the ladder. There’s a second ladder but Jericho takes Shawn down and hooks the Walls on the floor. For some reason he lets it go and brings the ladder into the ring, but Shawn teeter totters it into his face. Back in Shawn climbs up but Jericho shoves him off and into the top rope. The ladder goes into Shawn’s face and Jericho is bleeding from the lip a bit.

There are two ladders in the ring now. Shawn counters the bulldog and sends Jericho’s leg into the ladder. Shawn lays a ladder across the bottom rope and drops Jericho’s knee onto it before hooking up a Figure Four. After it’s broken, Jericho kicks one end of the ladder into the post so that it bounces back and hits Shawn in the shoulder and then into the face. It might have been to the previously injured eye. Jericho slams a ladder on Shawn’s head in a FREAKING OW MAN moment.

He climbs up but Shawn shoves it well enough to make Jericho stop and kick him away, causing Jericho to fall off and land on his feet. Chris puts a ladder on the top rope in the corner with the top of it pointing into the ring. Shawn throws Jericho onto the ladder and he falls out to the floor. Out to the floor and Shawn sets up the mega ladder. He hits Jericho with the ladder a few times to keep Jericho down and loads up the announce table.

Jericho is placed on the table but gets up and climbs up the ladder after Shawn. He gets in a few shots and tries a belly to back through the table. Shawn shifts his weight and lands on top of Chris, but they’re both dead anyway. Back in the ring and Shawn goes up, looking to ride the ladder down onto Jericho. The champ is ready for him though and dropkicks the ladder into Shawn, crotching him.

Jericho loads up a superplex but Shawn shoves him off. He tries the elbow but Jericho pulls the ladder onto himself so that the elbow hits the steel coming down. FREAKING OW MAN! Shawn tries the superkick but Jericho pulls up a ladder and slams it into Shawn’s head. Jericho puts the ladder on Shawn and hits the Lionsault onto it, which would seem to take a lot more out of Jericho than Shawn.

He puts the ladder on top of Shawn and tries to go up but Shawn kicks the ladder forward, sending Jericho crashing down with NOTHING to catch his fall. He’s holding his knee on the floor while Shawn slowly climbs. Jericho gets back in and shoves the ladder over, sending Shawn into the ropes. They both climb and slug it out but Jericho gets his leg caught in the ladder and is hanging upside down. Cue Cade for the save so Shawn superkicks him down. Jericho is back up and it’s another race. They both grab the belt and it comes unhooked and it’s a tug of war. Jericho headbutts the bad eye to pull down the title to retain.

Rating: A. Yeah it’s great. You knew this was going to be rated very highly coming in. Everyone loves this match and it’s not hard to see why. Both guys are masters at this and they beat each other up very well in the process. As with most great ladder matches, the matches where it’s about the guys and there happen to be ladders involved are much better than the other way around. Great match and a great ending. This would have been a lot better live I think.

Overall Rating: B+. Dang where were these No Mercy’s before? These last three were some AWESOME shows that more than make up for the weaker ones earlier in the series. The last three matches on here are all really good with a nice mix of brawling, wrestling and carnage. 2009 wasn’t nearly as good as it was all about HHH, Cena and Orton which got really boring, but No Mercy was replaced by I think Breaking Point which was a good show too if I remember right. Anyway, very good show here and worth checking out.

It’s time for Backlash and then….and then that’s it. My goodness and then that’s it.

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