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CALDWELL'S WWE NO MERCY REPORT 10/5: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of live PPV

Oct 5, 2008 - 9:45:52 PM

By James Caldwell, PWTorch columnist

WWE No Mercy PPV Report
October 5, 2008
Portland, Ore.
By James Caldwell, PWTorch columnist

The PPV started with a random 1950's All-American black and white video usually reserved for an old-school educational video or a Looney Tunes cartoon. Lost in their perfect little world, it's No Mercy. Jim, Susie, and Billy, welcome to No Mercy. Cue up the Metallica anthem with clips of the feuds to be settled tonight.

Rose Garden: Todd Grisham introduced the show, then Mark Henry came to the ring for the opening bout. Maybe we'll get an ECW Title match that lasts longer than 30 seconds this month. Ringside, Jerry Lawler is filling in for Matt Striker to join Grisham. Sadness. Striker must be campaigning with McCain and Palin. Grisham and Lawler discussed Henry's advantage over Matt Hardy tonight despite Hardy being the ECW champion. Hardy then came out to a very strong ovation to defend the strap.

1 -- ECW champion MATT HARDY vs. MARK HENRY (w/Tony Atlas)

Tony Chimel handled the formal intros for this one. Another strong reaction for Hardy. Early in the match, Hardy focused his attack on the tree trunk-like legs to take Henry off his feet. Henry came back with a big boot with his good leg, though, before nailing a Yokozuna bonzai bomb from the second rope for a nearfall. Henry then slapped on a bear hug and Hardy fought out with right hands to the ear. Hardy then landed successive elbow strikes from the second rope before pulling off the Twist of Fate for a close nearfall. Hardy wanted to take it home, but Henry blocked and landed a big splash. He couldn't make an immediate cover with pain in his legs, though, and Hardy kicked out before a three count. Henry tried to follow with the World's Strongest Slam, but Hardy slipped out with punches to the injured knee. He was then in perfect position to nail the Twist of Fate for the pin and the win.

WINNER: Hardy in 8:00 to retain the ECW Title. Nice opening match. Hardy gets the legit three count on Henry after a well-put-together match to showcase the top two stars on the ECW brand. Good to see from ECW. (**)

[Commercial Break]

Announcers: Ross and Tazz plugged Triple H vs. Jeff Hardy in tonight's text voting on who ya rooting for. ... Backstage: Eve brought in Triple H and Jeff Hardy to discuss the deal. Hunter was on his iPhone voting for...Jeff. He said he's pulling for Jeff and he hopes Jeff can put it all together with that plethora of God-given talent. Jeff said thanks, but no thanks because he's taking the WWE Title tonight. Hunter said he just wants to know that when he beats Jeff tonight, he'll have beaten the best Jeff Hardy possible. Jeff vowed to take the title one more time before the camera focused on the Apple logo on Hunter's phone.

In-ring: Beth Phoenix came to the ring with Santino to defend the Women's Title. Lawler speculated on how Santino possibly talked his way into being ringside after costing Beth so many matches recently. Candice Michelle then came to the ring set to challenge. A very bright white outfit for Candice tonight.

2 -- Women's champion BETH PHOENIX vs. CANDICE MICHELLE -- Women's Title match

Candice quickly jump-started things with an aggressive attach on Beth, so you know this is going short. She busted out a head scissors, but then Beth rammed the previously injured collarbone hard into the ringpost. Beth went to work on the injured area while Santino cheered Beth on with snappy commentary. Candice made her comeback at 3:00 with a spin kick, but it was only good for a two count. Beth came back with a single-arm DDT, then she went up top for some reason, but Candice grabbed the ropes to crotch Beth in the corner. Candice had a pin, but Santino yanked Beth to the floor to save her. After some action on the floor, Candice and Beth returned to the ring where Candice wanted the Unprettier. Unfortunately, Beth countered right into her implant-buster finisher for the pin and the win. Afterward, Santino tried to get some love from Beth, who just wanted to catch her breath after the win.

WINNER: Beth in 4:00 to retain the Women's Title. Fine. They kept it short and to the point with some decent action packed into four minutes. Tension between Beth and Santino should make for good TV going forward. (*)

Backstage: After a random Ric Flair PPV plug, they cut backstage where Kane cut a promo on Rey Mysterio. He said he'll enjoy listening to the screams from the fans when he takes apart Rey tonight. Kane said the charade and façade Rey has put on for the fans will end, giving all the fans a look at themselves at being monsters.


I really liked how this started with Rey building momentum, then Kane luring him into a false sense of security to nail a big boot, clothesline, and clothesline on the outside to cut off three of Rey's flurries. Back in the ring at 5:00, Kane started to build a dominating attack until Rey spun out of a sidewalk slam into a reverse DDT. Nice. Michael Cole called it a swashbuckling move on Rey's part. Lawler said that might have silenced a few of those voices in Kane's head. May 19. Kane then tried to rip off Rey's mask at 8:00, but Rey kicked free and nailed a moonsault. He built momentum with a kick strike and top rope guillotine drop, but he ran into a sidewalk slam for a close call for Kane.

At 10:00, Kane missed in the corner with a big boot, then Rey nailed a 619 through the ropes on Kane's injured leg. Rey knocked Kane to the floor where Kane leaned over to catch his breath and retrieve a chair out of Rey's sight. Rey went up top for a big splash, but Kane smashed him in the face with a clean chair shot. Ref called for a DQ, then Kane smirked and walked away from ringside. Rey was bleeding from the mouth, then Kane laughed at a replay of the finish. Refs checked on Rey, who might have injured his right knee earlier in the match. Audio picked up on Rey saying he couldn't feel his leg.

WINNER: Rey in 11:00 via DQ. Good match. They built a good story here to continue the feud without a decision. Fine finish after two relatively clean finishes to start the show. (*3/4)

Backstage: MVP was on the phone with someone complaining about not being on the card tonight. He said he's not even sure if Vickie Guerrero is here tonight. MVP told the person he would take care of it. He then banged on Vickie's office door, but Big Show answered the door. MVP demanded a word with Vickie, but Big Show wasn't having any of it. MVP said his career has been suffering on Smackdown lately, so he needs something done. Big Show said he's focused on Undertaker, but if MVP bothers him again, he's going to focus on him. Vickie was heard calling for Show, and Show walked back inside. MVP stormed off in a huff ready to do something about this.

Ringside: Cole and Lawler were talking up Cyber Sunday later this month when MVP's music interrupted. MVP demanded undivided attention from the audience to make a statement. He said that if you're the Cleveland Cavaliers, you don't bench LeBron James. And if you're the Dodgers, you don't bench Manny Ramirez. And if you're Smackdown, you don't have a PPV without MVP. Suddenly, Randy Orton's music interrupted and Orton slowly - and I mean slowly - walked to the ring to confront MVP.

Orton said they haven't officially met. Positive crowd reaction for Orton here, with Orton looking like he's put on some weight on in the arms. Orton asked MVP why this happens every week where he's off the card. MVP said it's obvious when Vickie is an incompetent GM. Orton said every time MVP is given the ball, he drops it. MVP said he's not on Raw and he doesn't work for Mike Adamle, so there are no repurcessions for him knocking Orton right now. He said everyone in the Raw locker room would love him for doing that, too.

After MVP and Orton had a face-to-face discussion, the Priceless theme music interrupted and out walked Cody, Teddy, and Manu. Cody talked first about this being part of Orton's MO to agitate people without any substance. After being interrupted by some "boring" chants, Cody said Orton is just the guy who hangs out at high school coasting on reputation because that's all he has. Manu stepped in and said Orton only picks up the scraps. Orton said that when he sees them accomplish just half of what he has, then he might take them seriously. Orton walked off, then MVP sarcastically said there goes Orton, who we might see in the ring sometime in the year 2012.

MVP then talked up Priceless, but Cody Rhodes said he doesn't want to hear about that when MVP isn't even in their class. He told MVP to get out of the ring and they'll catch him at the next PPV he was shut out of. MVP slowly backed away, then he left the ring. He vowed to remember this conversation. As MVP walked up the entrance ramp, C.M. Punk's music hit and out walked Punk and Kofi Kingston. MVP was set to leave, but Punk tried to convince MVP into joining them for a six-man tag against Priceless. Crowd was hot for Punk.

MVP then took off his dress shirt and all three stormed the ring for a fight. Ooops. Punk and Kofi bailed on MVP, who stormed the ring by himself to take a beating from Priceless. After Punk and Kofi shared a laugh, they stormed the ring and took out Priceless by themselves. Punk and Kofi slapped hands, then left the ring as Cole talked about Punk proving his point on the road to retribution.

Backstage: They showed Shawn Michaels and Chris Jericho on a split screen in preparation for the World Title ladder match later tonight. Cole segued to Batista vs. JBL, with the winner getting a World Title shot at a "future date." JBL came out first and Lawler suggested JBL might need a government bail-out before this is all over. Shane came out next to a strong ovation.

4 -- JBL vs. BATISTA -- #1 Contender match to Raw's World Hvt. Title

Batista was aggressive early on, including a spear in center ring. He shook the ropes and wanted it over early, but JBL wisely rolled to the outside to regroup. Back in the ring, JBL went to work on Batista with some mat work. Batista then came back with a powerslam before attempting a spear, but JBL blocked with a boot. On a second try moments later, Batista nailed the spinebuster. He then ended it with the Batistabomb for the decisive win.

WINNER: Batista in 5:00. Well, that was short for a #1 contender match. Two ways of looking at that. Either they wanted Batista to look as dominating as possible or JBL just isn't in the type of physical shape necessary to take on a long match assignment. (*)

Post-match: After Batista disappeared backstage, JBL took the mic in the ring. Trying to catch his breath while rolling on the mat, JBL said this has been the most unbelievable week of his life. He said he expected to win tonight, but he has to be honest with "his fans." JBL admitted his heart wasn't in this tonight after the week on Wall Street. Fans didn't have much sympathy for JBL's plight. He said he is the happiest, most-blessed man alive and he wants to thank Congress for issuing billions of dollars to people like him, who make the country go round. He said rich people like him employ people like the fans. JBL thanked Obama and McCain for voting for rich people like him with this bail out. He said it's great they bailed him out so he could keep his penthouse apartment in New York. JBL said he's not going to forget this wonderful backwoods city and these wonderful people. Nice tongue-in-cheek take on Congress saving the people who screwed things up in the first place.

After JBL cut his promo, Cryme Tyme's music played. Shad said that after Congress bailed out JBL, they're going to bail out JBL's limo by taking it out on the town. Divas then strutted over to the limo and hopped inside to take a spin. Suddenly, Sgt. Slaughter showed up to take a free ride in the backseat. Cryme Tyme then rapped with Mickie James, who was hanging out of the sunroof of the limo. JBL could only hold his head in pain back in the ring. I suppose that's WWE's version of comeuppance.

Announcers: Ross and Tazz plugged Taker vs. Big Show coming up next. They went to a video package going back to Unforgiven when Show joined up with Vickie Guerrero to begin an assault on Undertaker to seek an apology from him. Ring intros took place with Big Show coming out first, then Taker doing his methodical entrance that didn't affect Show's demeanor.


Both men squared off for a boxing fight to start things off. They exchanged control early on before ending up on the floor where Taker wanted the running leg drop across the ring apron and he connected. Back in the ring, Taker tried to build momentum, but Show crushed him with a clothesline to stop Taker in his tracks. Show wanted a Vader Bomb at 6:00, but Taker moved and Show ate the mat hard. Show then tried to swing at Taker with right hands, but Taker ran the ropes, ducked, and eventually knocked down Show with a flying clothesline for a nearfall. Taker wanted Old School at 8:00, but Show countered with one free paw to nail a chokeslam in center ring. Crowd oohed, then Show made a cover for a two count.

Both men came to their feet at 10:00 and wanted chokeslams, but Taker countered Show's chokeslam attempt into a rolling DDT for a two count. Good leverage move from Taker right there. Taker then became too aggressive with right hands in the corner and ref Charles Robinson admonished him. While Taker chased down Robinson, Show took off the turnbuckle pad and rammed Taker face-first into the steel. Show then landed a KO right hand, then a second that caused Taker to slump to the mat out cold. Show lifted up Taker's head and landed a massive right to the back of the head, causing a ref stoppage. Show then demanded the ref raise his hand as the winner. After Show left, Taker struggled to get to his feet after being knocked out. They stayed with this for a while as Ross talked about not being able to believe what he saw. As Taker made it up the entrance ramp, he acted as if he was lost still trying to regain his bearings.

WINNER: Big Show via KO in 11:00. Really nice match featuring two big men where they could have gone one of two ways of greatness or dullness. WWE agents and the wrestlers have laid out some good matches tonight taking advantage of the strengths of the individuals involved in the ring. Show returning to that WrestleMania 24 level of being a dominating big man is exactly where he should be. Taker losing a match on PPV doesn't happen often, so this should be treated as a big deal to be effective in continuing to rebuild Show as a major deal on Smackdown. (**1/2)

Text voting: After showing Triple H walking backstage, Ross revealed the results of the text voting with 72 percent of fans rooting for Jeff Hardy tonight. They went back to a video package from Unforgiven when Hardy was momentarily the WWE Champion in the Scramble until Triple H took his belt back in the final seconds. This was followed by the recent Smackdown promo where Hunter reminded Hardy that he's always been just one second short of reaching up to grab that brass ring, then clips of Hardy taking it to Hunter on TV.

6 -- WWE champion TRIPLE H vs. JEFF HARDY -- WWE Title match

Hardy came out first to a strong reaction, then Hunter took his time arriving in the ring to defend the title. Ross and Tazz calling this one after Justin Roberts handled the formal ring intros. Crowd was split on the cheers, then the bell sounded and the men went face-to-face for a pre-match handshake. Hardy turned his back, though, and Hunter nailed him with a forearm blow into a nearfall that didn't please Hardy. Hunter smirked, then they locked up for reals this time. They exchanged control on the floor and in the ring to start things off, then Hardy completely missed a big dive to the outside and went splat on the floor stomach-first. Just painful live and especially on the replay. Ref and Hunter stalled for time so Hardy could collect himself, then Hunter brought Hardy into the ring and made a cover for a nearfall.

At 10:00, Hunter slapped on an abdominal stretch to continue working over Hardy's injured stomach. After Hunter was forced to break the hold, he tried a sleeper, but Hardy escaped and nailed a whiplash lariat to begin a comeback. They back and forth again with a plethora of counters and reversals, neither man gaining the advantage until Hunter nailed a Double A spinebuster in center ring. Hunter stalked Hardy, who slowly reached his feet and blocked the Pedigree. He then stunned Hunter with a catapult into the ringpost before nailing the Whisper in the Wind. Ross called it with Hardy only able to score a two count. Hardy then tossed his t-shirt into the crowd and wanted the Swanton, but Hunter moved just in time.

Hunter then popped to his feet and wanted the Pedigree Part II, but Hardy blocked and nailed the Twist of Fate in center ring. He then went up top and nailed the Swanton Bomb on his second attempt. He had the pin, but he was a bit lackadaisical with the cover. Hunter managed to hook Hardy's arms while kicking out of Hardy's pin attempt, then he crucifix pinned Hardy for a three count with Hardy trying to fight out of the pin. It wasn't in time, though, and Hunter scored the win to the shock of the crowd. Afterward, both men were slow to their feet, but Hardy clapped and shook Hunter's hand before Hunter quickly left the ring to celebrate on stage.

WINNER: Hunter in 17:00 to retain the WWE Title. Heck of a title match. Another well-done match with the wrestlers executing a great game plan in the ring that fit the storyline of Hardy being just one second away from everything in life. Great nearfalls and counters with Hunter giving Hardy plenty while remaining one step ahead. (***3/4)

Backstage: Hunter walked into a greeting from Arn Anderson, who congratulated him and said that finish is why he is who he is. Hunter then kept walking and found himself face-to-face with Koslov, who told him something in his language. Koslov then translated it into congratulations for Hunter, who just stared right back at him. Koslov blinked first and walked away, leaving Hunter to stare back at Koslov over his shoulder.

Video package: They focused on the great and grand Michaels vs. Jericho feud leading to tonight's World Title ladder match. In the arena, Jericho came out first and stared up at the title belt hanging high above the ring. After a lengthy pause, Shawn Michaels's music hit and out came Michaels. Cole began his history piece on Michaels trailblazing (local NBA reference) for the new generation of superstars with the ladder match at WrestleMania 10 in MSG.

7 -- World Hvt. champion CHRIS JERICHO vs. SHAWN MICHAELS -- World Title match -- ladder match

Cole and Lawler with the call after Lillian Garcia handled the formal ring intros. 90 percent support for Michaels and very little support for Jericho from the crowd. And here we go with the action moving to the floor early on. They traded ladder shots, then Michaels catapulted one ladder square into Jericho's mouth to draw blood. Some brutal ladder shots were featured throughout the first 10 minutes of this, with Michaels being the only one to tease scaling a ladder in center ring to get a few fingertips on the gold. But, Jericho had a counter for each offensive advantage Michaels was able to muster.

At 15:00, Michaels wanted a moonsault on Jericho through the announce table ringside, but Jericho climbed up Michaels's ladder and both men crashed down hard through the table. Back in the ring, Jericho came back with more counters, including a counter to a top rope elbow smash and Sweet Chin Music by inflicting more damage with the ladder. Jericho then trapped Michaels underneath the ladder and started to climb the ladder, but Michaels shoved the ladder away and Jericho slowly tipped over the top rope and crashed down to the floor. He immediately clutched his knee to sell an injury, then Michaels started to scale the ladder in the ring. Michaels had the belt in his hands, but Jericho managed to slide into the ring to tip over the ladder just in time.

At 20:00, they had a race to the top of the ladder to gain possession of the title. Each man had fingertips on the belt, but they started to trade blows. Sudenly, Jericho fell backward and his leg was trapped in the ladder. Lance Cade then ran into the ring and distracted Michaels, who couldn't fight him off to grab the title belt hanging in the air. Michaels then jumped onto Cade, ducked a clothesline, and nailed Sweet Chin Music on Cade. Meanwhile, Jericho pulled himself back up and got his hands on the belt, but Michaels fought him off. They then had a tug of war with one man having one side of the title belt and the other man having the other side of the title belt. They fought and scrapped, then Michaels yanked Jericho into him, causing a big headbutt. Michaels fell off the ladder and Jericho ripped the belt off the hook before crashing down to the mat with possession to win the match and retain the belt.

Afterward, Michaels was motionless on the mat as the crowd sighed in disbelief at another close call finish against the person they were rooting for. Jericho collected himself while blood poured from his mouth. Cade then helped him leave with possession of the title belt to close the show.

WINNER: Jericho in 22:00 to retain the World Hvt. Title. Excellent, innovative ladder match. Some repeat spots, but the story we've followed on Raw for five months carried the match to another good-to-great match in the series. Cade's interference knocks it down a notch, but the match was still relatively clean and focused on the two men in the ring rather than a bunch of outside variables to distract from the action. (****)

We welcome your 1-10 score and comments on this show for a "WWE PPV Reax" feature in the Torch Feedback section of To contribute your thoughts on the PPV, click here.

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PWTorch editor Wade Keller has covered pro wrestling full time since 1987 starting with the Pro Wrestling Torch print newsletter. launched in 1999 and the PWTorch Apps launched in 2008.

He has conducted "Torch Talk" insider interviews with Hulk Hogan, The Rock, Steve Austin, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Eric Bischoff, Jesse Ventura, Lou Thesz, Jerry Lawler, Mick Foley, Jim Ross, Paul Heyman, Bruno Sammartino, Goldberg, more.

He has interviewed big-name players in person incluiding Vince McMahon (at WWE Headquarters), Dana White (in Las Vegas), Eric Bischoff (at the first Nitro at Mall of America), Brock Lesnar (after his first UFC win).

He hosted the weekly Pro Wrestling Focus radio show on KFAN in the early 1990s and hosted the Ultimate Insiders DVD series distributed in retail stories internationally in the mid-2000s including interviews filmed in Los Angeles with Vince Russo & Ed Ferrara and Matt & Jeff Hardy. He currently hosts the most listened to pro wrestling audio show in the world, (the PWTorch Livecast, top ranked in iTunes)


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