411’s Instant Access 10.07.07: WWE No Mercy 2007
Hey kids, I’m Scott, and this is 411’s Instant Access: WWE No Mercy 2007. Instant Access is a new experiment here at 411 Wrestling that will feature immediate reaction to wrestling pay-per-views. The focus here is going to be on first thoughts and snap judgments instead of play-by-play with the goal of providing you with instant access to one writer’s thoughts on the show. Okay kids, enough with the explanations. Let’s get to the wrestling.
WWE Championship Match
Randy Orton (“Champion”) vs. Triple H
Match Result: Triple H defeats Randy Orton with a roll-up in after Orton posted himself on the ring post.
Match Length: 10:30
Match Analysis: Hmm, is it still considered curtain jurkin’ if the match doesn’t start until TWENTY-FIVE MINUTES INTO THE PAY-PER-VIEW? Discuss amongst yourselves. For those of you who are wondering how we got to this point, here’s the basic story. Vince McMahon came down to the ring, awarded the WWE Championship to Randy Orton, and gave Orton the opportunity to name his own Number One Contender. By the way, the crowd was going APE SHIT with a Y2J chant at that point. Anyway, Triple H then came down to the ring and challenged Orton, but Orton declined. That lead Triple H to goad Vince McMahon into making the match in spite of Orton’s wishes to the contrary, and that right there was twenty-five minutes of my life that I’ll never get back. So let’s get to the match itself. There were at least two problems with the match, but neither of them had much to do with the actual in-ring action. The major problem, the elephant in the room if you will, was that Triple H may have claimed that the people wanted to see him challenge Randy Orton for the WWE Championship, but the crowd has already made it quite clear that he was their second choice at best. This crowd wanted Chris Jericho, plain and simple. And I don’t blame them in the least. I wanted Chris Jericho. I really, really wanted Chris Jericho. And anyone other than Jericho would have been a disappointment. The other problem with the match was that there was, in essence, close to no build. Sure, we all know that Randy Orton and Triple H have a history with each other. And sure, we’ve all known for a week that the build to this match was going to have to be a bit unconventional given the circumstances. But to have this match open the show with Triple H basically just declaring himself the Number One Contender for no real reason at all struck me as a bit underwhelming. Anyway, the match itself was fine as far as ten minute matches go. It was pretty darn basic, and it was certainly nothing special. I enjoyed watching Triple H put Randy Orton in the Figure Four Leg Lock, but that was mostly because I was hoping Ric Flair would run down to the ring and kill both Randy Orton and Triple H. Then, just moments later, Triple H scored the victory with a ROLL-UP PIN. Yes, that’s right, a ROLL-UP PIN. So let’s review. The WWE Championship just changed hands in the first match of the night, in a ten minute match, WITH A FUCKING ROLL-UP PIN. WHAT IN THE FUCK IS THAT SHIT! Are you protecting Orton for some reason? He just lost his title in less than twenty minutes! A pedigree wouldn’t have done any more damage than that. Or are you concerned about making Triple H look to strong? Really? Well congratulations, now he just looks like Jay Lethal. I am just so… not… happy. Oh, and one last question. Is Triple H still scheduled to face Umaga later tonight? And if so, will that match be for the WWE Championship? Because I might take back a bunch of what I just said if Umaga walks out of No Mercy as the WWE Champion. He’s no Chris Jericho, but… oh fuck it…
Match Rating: *½
Special Bonus Match
Jeff Hardy, Paul London & Brian Kendrick vs. Mr. Kennedy, Lance Cade & Trevor Murdoch
Match Result: Mr. Kennedy defeats Paul London with the Lambeau Leap.
Match Length: 8:04
Match Analysis: So this is the SECOND unannounced match on the card. And we’re only two matches into the card. Anyway, whereas the first match just felt like a major letdown, this match actually does feel like a nice little bonus. It probably won’t mean much in the long run, but it should be fun and entertaining. And you know, at the end of the day, that really is the point of this whole industry. Of course, the next obvious question is whether the inclusion of Mr. Kennedy in place of Shelton Benjamin means that the fledgling Jeff Hardy / Shelton Benjamin Intercontinental Championship feud has now been replaced by a Jeff Hardy / Mr. Kennedy Intercontinental Championship feud. I guess only time will tell. Anyway, the match was in fact just the sort of flippy fun that you would expect from these guys. It probably means all of jack in the long run, but I know of far worse ways to have spent eight minutes of my life. Like paying to watch Vince McMahon stand around talking. For eight minutes. And then another eight minutes. And then another eight minutes. At the start of a fucking pay-per-view. Yeah, that’s right, I’m bitter. Deal with it. Oh, and after seeing Kennedy win the match with a Lambeau Leap on Paul London, I’m now convinced that the only point of this match was to punish Paul London for hitting that SWANK Shooting Star Press on Raw. It’s good to see that this match was booked purely out of spite. Because that last match was booked purely out of stupidity.
Match Rating: *½
ECW World Heavyweight Championship Match
CM Punk (Champion) vs. Big Daddy V
Match Result: CM Punk defeats Big Daddy V by disqualification when Matt Striker attacks Punk.
Match Length: 1:30
Match Analysis: Hey, Punk’s not curtain jurkin’! Party on, Wayne. Party on, Garth. Anyway, let me say a something before this match begins. First, it is COMPLETE BULLSHIT that this isn’t CM Punk vs. Tommy Dreamer for the ECW World Heavyweight Championship. The Elimination Chase was a neat little idea, and we spent three weeks becoming invested in the outcome. And then we get screwed into this match. Fuck that. Anyway, let’s talk about the match itself. Um, Big Daddy V appears to be ass raping CM Punk. That’s… that’s not cool. And then Matt Striker gets Big Daddy V disqualified. WHAT? ARE YOU FUCKING ME? ONE AND A HALF FUCKING MINUTES? ARE YOU FUCKING ME? SERIOUSLY, ON PAY-PER-VIEW? ARE YOU FUCKING ME? Ladies and gentlemen, we may have just seen the worst first hour of a pay-per-view in history. I’m poppin’ TUMS and Advil like you wouldn’t believe right now. I think I’m having a stroke.
Match Rating: DUD
Deep Dish Pizza Eating Contest
Matt Hardy vs. MVP
Match Result: Matt Hardy defeats MVP by a score of 2 to 0.
Match Length: 2:00
Match Analysis: Sure, this isn’t a wrestling match. And maybe I shouldn’t have included it in a column where I’m really only supposed to talk about the wrestling matches. But I just wanted you all to see just how far down the crapper this thing is going. Um, and after the contest, Matt Hardy projection hurled all over MVP. Outstanding. Now Matt Hardy has Droz’s old gimmick. Ladies and gentlemen, we are literally watching WWE hit rock bottom. I need a drink.
Match Rating: DUD
WWE Championship Match – Part Deux
Triple H (“Champion”) vs. Umaga
Match Result: Triple H defeats Umaga with the Pedigree.
Match Length: 6:33
Match Analysis: I have literally lost the will to live. Seriously. So now the SECOND WWE CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH OF THE SHOW is going on before Mysterio / Finlay and Candice / Beth? Really? Oh look, it’s the WWE “Champion,” Triple H. And yes, I am going to keep putting quotation marks around “Champion” until somebody at WWE finds a way to fix this little cluster fuck. With our luck, that won’t be for eight months to a year when John Cena finally steps back in the ring. And they’ll probably find a way to fuck that up, too. And while Triple H is marching to the ring and literally spitting on the fans, let me just say that I’m not a WWE hater. Ask any of the other wrestling writers here at 411. I’m one of the most dedicated supporters of WWE that we have on the staff. I’m one of the guys that still defends WWE as being the true major league of professional wrestling. And I’m saying this now so that you know I’m not bitching about this show for the fun of it. I’m bitching about this show because I feel damn near betrayed by how piss-poor this show has been for the first hour and a half. Anyway, I suppose this match wasn’t complete crap, but it did feel rushed and pointless. Triple H started going for the Pedigree three minutes into the match. That’s you’re first sign that a match isn’t going to get a chance to develop properly. And here’s another thing that struck me as I watched the match. Some say that the measure of a great professional wrestling is his ability to carry lesser opponents to great matches. Well if that’s true, then at this point in his career Triple H is no where near the quality of wrestler that John Cena has become. Because John Cena put on a freaking Match of the Year contender with Umaga, and Triple H damn near just put me to sleep with Umaga. And part of the problem may have been that Triple H and Umaga were never meant to steal the show tonight. And on another night I might have been willing to cut them some slack because of it. But tonight? No. No fucking excuses tonight.
Match Rating: ½*
Rey Mysterio vs. Finlay
Match Result: No Contest – Match stopped due to Finlay faking an injury
Match Length: 10:00ish – I never did hear an ending bell
Match Analysis: All I want to see is a decent wrestling match. Please, just give me a decent, solid wrestling match. And so help me, if JBL ends up getting involved in this match, I think my head literally will explode. Anyway, this match was going well enough until we entered booking hell. Yes, that’s right, WWE took what could have been the best match on the card… even though that isn’t saying much at all… and flushed it right down the crapper for absolutely no good reason at all. Finlay faked an injury, the referee called for the medics, Michael Cole and JBL went into serious mode, and then Finlay hopped off the stretcher like he’s swallowed a fucking bottle of Viagra just so that he can get in a few more cheap shots on Mysterio. This was headed towards at least two stars, but I’m deducting a full star for the moronic finish.
Match Rating: *
Women’s Championship Match
Candice Michelle (Champion) vs. Beth Phoenix
Match Result: Beth Phoenix defeats Candice Michelle with a Fisherman’s Suplex.
Match Length: 4:30
Match Analysis: Okay, seriously, these two ladies have a real chance to put on the Match of the Night, but that’s only because WWE doesn’t care enough about the Women’s Championship to even bother to find a way to fuck it up. I saw Candice defend the Women’s Championship at a house show here in Champaign two weeks ago, and that really was the best match of the night. Beth Phoenix is impressive, sure, but I’m beginning to be a HUGE Candice Michelle fan. I absolutely love her desire to improve night after night after night. And, just because the universe and Vince McMahon hate me, Beth pinned Candice to win the title literally at the same time I was typing that last sentence. This match was way too short to be of any real quality, but the other problem was that it was also a bit sloppy. There was a spot where Candice had Beth in a short arm scissors and Beth tried, rather unsuccessfully, to counter into a powerbomb. She couldn’t get Candice up into the air, but I saw her do it beautifully at the house show two weeks ago. I know these two ladies can hit that spot, and I know they can do it quite convincingly, so it’s just a shame they couldn’t do it when the lights were on bright. But like I said, they weren’t given enough time to put on a good match even if they had hit everything cleanly. That being said, I really don’t blame either Candice or Beth for the quality of this match. They were never given a chance to shine. I suppose congratulations are in order for Beth Phoenix. But more than that, I want to congratulate Candice Michelle on a great first reign as WWE Women’s Champion. I can’t remember any other champion, male or female, that has so far surpassed the expectations placed on them. Nobody expected much out of Candice as WWE Women’s Champion, and she proved us all dead wrong. She proved that she absolutely deserved to hold that championship. She proved that she had the heart of a champion. And I hope that we don’t have to wait long for her second championship reign.
Match Rating: ½*
World Heavyweight Championship Match – Punjabi Prison Match
Batista (Champion) vs. The Great Khali
Match Result: Batista defeats The Great Khali by escape.
Match Length: 14:48
Match Analysis: Okay, I probably shouldn’t admit to this, but I’ve actually been really looking forward to this match. I know, I know, I’m a moron, but I totally mark for goofy stipulation matches. And my friend, the Punjabi Prison is just about as goofy as it gets. I think the whole structure looks great. Hey, I know, I know, I already admitted that I’m a moron. And I also like the fact that this match gives WWE a different way to showcase the Great Khali. Hey, the dude only has so much mileage left on him, so you might as well run him into the ground. Oh, and I laughed my ass off earlier in the show when somebody mentioned that Batista had never been in a Punjabi Prison Match. Um, guys, NEITHER HAS KHALI! I loved that. And then, on top of it all, the match itself actually surpassed my expectations. I thought it was interesting that they let all four interior doors be locked so that both Batista and Khali had to actually scale both cages. The race between Khali and Batista to escape the outer cage was actually pretty darn exciting, and you HAVE to give credit to Batista for that INSANE leap from the top of the inner cage to the top of the outer cage. There is no way you can expect a man of that size to take a chance like that to hit a move like that when he’s that high up in the air. This match wasn’t just as good as you could expect from these two guys. It was better. Now granted, that still only gets it to about two stars, but that doesn’t mean I don’t give a ton of credit to both guys for doing the best the could with what they had. Sometimes you have to recognize effort even if it doesn’t necessarily result in quality, and that’s exactly what I’m doing here. Much love to both Batista and Khali.
Match Rating: **
WWE Championship Match – Part Tres – Last Man Standing Match
Triple H (“Champion”) vs. Randy Orton
Match Result: Randy Orton defeats Triple H with an RKO on the announce table.
Match Length: 20:28
Match Analysis: So it all comes down to this. Can this one match save one of the worst pay-per-views in WWE history? I’m going to stop typing for a bit, watch the match, and pray that this show can still be SAVED… Okay, the match is over, and I’ll admit that it didn’t totally suck. It was far from the best Last Man Standing Match we’ve ever seen, but it didn’t absolutely suck. And trust me, the simple act of not sucking is nothing less than a minor miracle on this show. Of course, the biggest problem with this match was all of the baggage it brought from earlier in the show. There’s just no way for me to objectively analyze this show in isolation from the idiocy of the rest of the night. That basically means that it was probably a better match than I’m going to give it credit for being. Much love to Orton for the RKO on the chair. That was an awesome move when he did it to Cena on Saturday Night’s Main Event, and it was awesome tonight. Also, I should probably give credit to Triple H for wrestling three matches on the same show. Was it simply out of necessity, or are Triple H and WWE sending a message to Kurt Angle and WWE? Discuss amongst yourselves. Anyway, I guess we need to go back the question I asked at the beginning of this analysis. Did this match save the show? As much as it pains me to admit it, I suppose that, just barely, yes, this match did save the show. It had some real intensity, it had some truly convincing near ten counts, and it actually managed to draw me back into the show. In fact, this could have been a good-to-great match if this had been the only WWE Championship match of the evening. And much like with the Punjabi Prison match, I’ll give both guys credit for doing the best they could with what they had.
Match Rating: **½
Match of the Night: Triple H vs. Randy Orton – Last Man Standing Match (**½)
Someday, many years from now, long after I’ve forgotten about everything else that I hated about this show, I’ll probably be able to go back and watch just this one match and actually rather enjoy it. The build to the match was horrendous, but the match itself was actually decent. Triple H and Orton told a convincing story and brought some real brutality. I really thought Triple H had the match won on several different occasions, and the fact that Orton continued to fight back to his feet only added to the drama. It may have just been a “decent” match, but on this night “decent” is more than enough to earn Match of the Night.
Trash of the Night: CM Punk vs. Big Daddy V (DUD)
AND Matt Hardy vs. MVP (DUD)
AND Waiting twenty-five minutes for the first match of the show
Oh, it’s true, it’d DAMN! true. We have a THREE-WAY TIE for Trash of the Night. The disqualification in the ECW World Heavyweight Championship Match was an insult to ECW and its fans. The deep dish pizza eating contest was a waste of time and talent. And that whole cluster fuck with the WWE Championship that opened the show? Don’t even get me started. Oh, and I should probably also point out that there were at least three other matches on the card (Triple H / Umaga, Mysterio / Finlay, and Candice / Beth) that could have easily been Trash of the Night on any reasonable pay-per-view. They only managed to avoid damnation in this case because of the sheer magnitude of even more mind-bogglingly horrendous crap on this show.
Final Analysis: This show sucked. Period. It had a grand total of TWO matches that broke two stars, but it had FOUR matches that were one star or less. Oh, and let’s not forget that the first match didn’t start until twenty-five minutes in to the show. That didn’t help matters much at all. The last two matches saved this from being one of the worst WWE pay-per-views of all time, but I’m hard pressed to think of a worse pay-per-view this year. Yeah, like I said, it sucked.
Verdict: ½* (for the show as a whole)