WWE No Mercy- October 7, 2007
-Live, from Chicago, Illinois. Our hosts for the evening are Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler for Raw, Michael Cole and John Bradshaw Layfield for Smackdown, and Joey Styles and Tazz for ECW.
-The opening package uses a Biblical theme to highlight John Cena’s fall from grace, with Randy Orton being given storyline credit for putting him on the shelf. Keep in mind that heading into this pay-per-view, we did not know for sure how exactly the vacant WWE title situation was going to be handled.
-The show kicks off with Vince McMahon and William Regal coming to the ring to address the WWE title. Vince announces that Cena will be out for six months to a year (to which a large portion of the crowd pops for). Vince plays to the crowd for a bit before finally getting to the point, which is awarding the WWE title to Randy Orton. Orton poses with fireworks going off on the stage and the crowd seems pleased about this development. Regal congratulates Orton and tells him he can choose his challenger for tonight. The crowd chants “Y2J” as Orton begins his acceptance speech. Triple H interrupts and questions Orton’s guts. Vince gives Triple H a title shot right now! Side note, this segment went almost 20 minutes, which is far too long for a pay-per-view.
Randy Orton © vs. Triple H
Orton jumps HHH from behind and it’s on! HHH fights Orton off and takes control. Orton tries to flee unsuccessfully. Orton rebounds and concentrates on wearing down The Game. Unable to get a pinfall, Orton utilizes the chinlock. HHH fights out and nails a desperate clothesline. Triple H is able to maintain control, planting Orton on the ropes. Superplex connects! Spinebuster by HHH, but still no pin. Rope assisted DDT by Orton gets 2! The RKO and Pedigree both get countered! Knee drop by Orton misses, allowing Triple H to lock in a figure four! HHH is tossed to ringside but hangs Orton up on the ropes. Orton knocks HHH off ropes but misses a charge, leaving himself vulnerable to a roll-up! Triple H wins his 11th world title at 11:01! This was a lively opener, **¾.
Winner and new WWE Champion: Triple H
-Orton looks dumbfounded, which is just awesome. You can really sense how devastated he is that his championship moment has already passed. Triple H spends quite a bit of time celebrating in the ring, though I must say that the crowd response is phenomenal.
-Backstage, Randy Orton and Vince McMahon bump into each other. They are both at a loss for words.
Jeff Hardy, Paul London, and Brian Kendrick vs. Mr. Kennedy, Lance Cade, and Trevor Murdoch
Whoa, I forgot this match exists. It’s not listed on the DVD packaging. Kendrick starts against Cade. London tags and delivers a sunset flip. Murdoch tags and goes toe to toe with London. Hardy tags but gets kicked in the face by Murdoch. Tag by Kennedy, who takes control of Hardy. Kendrick and Murdoch are in, but Cade positions the ropes so Kendrick crashes to the floor. Kendrick becomes the isolated face in peril. Hardy gets the hot tag and cleans house. Swanton Bomb on Murdoch, but Cade breaks the pin. London dispatches Cade, but Kennedy tags in. London hits a springboard drop-kick on Kennedy. Hardy misses a dive off the barricade, leaving London alone. Kennedy nails the Lambeau Leap for the win at 8:03. Good work by all the participants, could have used a few more minutes to pick it up another notch, **½.
Winners: Mr. Kennedy, Lance Cade, and Trevor Murdoch
-Backstage, Batista congratulates Triple H. Batista repeats what Triple H told him at Unforgiven, that it’s one thing to win the title and another to defend it. Triple H (in a slightly mocking tone) wishes Batista luck in the Punjabi Prison match. Vince storms in and decides that since they had advertised Triple H vs. Umaga, they’re still going to have the match… with the title on the line!
CM Punk © vs. Big Daddy V (with Matt Striker)
Big pop for hometown hero, CM Punk. Of course, you know that means Punk is about to get buried. BDV tosses Punk from the ring immediately. BDV takes Punk down and spins around on his back. Punk hits some stiff kicks. BDV misses a corner splash and eats a missile drop-kick! Matt Striker storms the ring and attacks Punk for the DQ at 1:35. BDV continues to beat Punk down afterwards. This was a complete waste of pay-per-view time. Also, leaves me wondering why did the ECW brand fail again? DUD!
Winner by DQ: CM Punk
-CM Punk bleeds from the mouth as officials help him to the back. The crowd cheers his ability to walk out, which is kinda nice.
-Tazz hosts a pizza eating contest between Matt Hardy and MVP! You know, they might have been able to get away with this segment had there not been a 20 minute talking segment to open this show. Far too much pay-per-view time is given to this, which results in Matt Hardy throwing up, which strangely enough, is what I would have done had I paid $40 to see this live.
Triple H © vs. Umaga
HHH blocks a belt shot from Umaga and a brawl erupts. Umaga no-sells a DDT but gets dumped to ringside. Umaga no-sells the ring steps and takes control with a super kick. They counter each other’s finishers but HHH nails the Spinebuster. Pedigree is countered with a Samoan Drop. Cue the Bear Hug! Triple H rakes the eyes to escape but eats Umaga’s Uranage. Triple H dodges a charge and nails the Pedigree to retain at 6:33. This was pretty dull and heatless, but Umaga was allowed to look good in surprisingly one-sided match, *¾.
Winner and still WWE Champion: Triple H
-Save_Us.222 teaser video! Chris Jericho is on his way back to the WWE!
-The Great Khali is meditating to the “most evil of Hindu gods” backstage. Ranjin Singh tells us to stay quiet but then cuts a loud promo.
Finlay vs. Rey Mysterio
JBL is suggesting that Rey Mysterio is in the U.S. illegally, and I guess Finlay agrees. Rey uses his quickness to overwhelm Finlay in the early going. Rey attempts a sunset flip to the floor, but Finlay wraps him in the apron cover. Finlay establishes control by sliding Rey shoulder-first into the ring post. Finlay goes to work on the newly injured shoulder. Rey rebounds with a springboard cross body. Seated senton by Rey connects! Finlay blocks the 619 with a nasty clothesline. Shoulder-breaker by Finlay! The ref yells at Finlay over an exposed turnbuckle, Rey blocks a shillelagh shot. Rey nails a series of shots to the back of Finlay’s head! Finlay is knocked out! Well, until he opens his eyes to check if anyone is around. I’d say Rey wins at about 9:30. This was a very well worked match, it just needed a little more time, **¾.
Winner by K-O: Rey Mysterio
-Mysterio looks concerned as Finlay is placed on a stretcher. Finlay then leaps off the stretcher and jumps Rey from behind! Finlay lays quite a beating on Mysterio before being separated by officials. Finlay was an awesome heel during this time.
-Triple H is receiving some medical attention when Vince pays him another visit. Vince doesn’t think enough history has been made tonight, so he books Triple H vs. Randy Orton in the previously advertised Last Man Standing match.
Candice Michelle © vs. Beth Phoenix
Beth knocks Candice down immediately and stays on the offense. Candice attempts a victory roll, which just looked awful. Beth angrily powers away on Candice to “we want puppies” chants. Candice responds with some kicks and locks on some arm scissors. Beth catches Candice in a cross body and slams her! Beth works the head. Candice breaks a lock by charging into the corner. Crossbody by Candice gets 2. Beth sloppily drives Candice into the ropes but gets rolled up. Backbreaker by Beth and a sloppy cradle suplex ends this at 4:28. Beth bursts into tears as she’s given the Women’s title. The match was sloppy and rushed though, which is disappointing considering how enjoyable their Unforgiven match was. ½*.
Winner and new Women’s Champion: Beth Phoenix
-Beth puts herself over as the perfect combination of beauty and strength. Her title win ushers in the era of the Glamazon!
World Heavyweight Championship Punjabi Prison match:
Batista © vs. The Great Khali (with Ranjin Singh)
The Punjabi Prison structure is one of the goofiest looking constructions WWE has ever come up with, complete with “reinforced steel bamboo.” There are two yellow cages to escape from. Batista quickly ties Khali in the ropes, making me hope this doesn’t take long. Khali breaks out and calls for the cage door to open (giving him one minute to get through it, according to the goofy rules of the match). Batista blocks Khali, so the door is locked shut. Batista calls for the second door, but Khali applies a sleeper. Khali chokes with a rope, which is grounds for firing in 2010. Khali calls for the third door but Batista nails a spinebuster. Batista whips Khali with a leather strap and decides to climb the cage. Khali climbs up and counters a power bomb. Cue the vice grip! Khali calls for the final door but Batista delivers a low blow. Khali shuts the door on Batista and now they are both stuck in the inner cage. Khali climbs but Batista pulls him onto the ropes. Batista climbs but gets dropped onto the mat. Khali makes it over the inner cage and now only has to get over the second cage to claim the championship. Batista sprints up the first cage and JUMPS to the second one! Khali is over the second cage, but Batista drops down and wins at 14:46! This was surprisingly enjoyable, as the (lack of) quality of the wrestling didn’t really matter, as the match was smartly booked. I daresay this was Khali’s best match, **¾.
Winner and still World Heavyweight Champion: Batista
-Todd Grisham interviews Triple H backstage. Triple H says this is a dangerous business but that’s not a surprise. He says he’s just getting started and advises Randy Orton to get ready to get hurt!
WWE Championship Last Man Standing match:
Triple H © vs. Randy Orton
Slugfest kicks off the match, but Orton begins targeting Triple H’s injured ribs (to which he owes Umaga a thank you card). Orton backdrops Triple H onto the barricade! Orton drives Triple H into the ring steps. HHH counters with a face buster. Orton nails his patented backbreaker to reclaim control. Orton incorporates a chord into a rear naked choke. Back to the floor, Orton clears the announce tables and delivers a monitor blow. Triple H counters the RKO on the tables, driving Orton back-first through the ECW table! Triple H follows up with a spinebuster on the floor! Orton gets knocked down again with the ring steps! Orton keeps getting back up at the 9 count. Jim Ross is doing just as much on commentary to put Orton over as Triple H is. Orton blocks a chair shot and DDTs HHH onto it. RKO through the chair! Triple H is busted open but gets up. Triple H blocks the death punt and hulks up. Orton counters a Pedigree on the floor with a catapult into the ring post. Orton grabs the steps but Triple H low blows. Brutal chair shot by Triple H! Orton counters a Pedigree on the announce table with the RKO! Triple H fails to get up and Orton wins at 20:23! Fantastic main event that made Randy Orton look like a million dollars. This is probably the best match Orton and Triple H ever had together, ****¼.
Winner and new WWE Champion: Randy Orton
Final Thoughts: No Mercy 2007 was a real rollercoaster of an event. The multiple title matches that seemed to be made on the fly gave the show an element of surprise and unpredictability. However, there were some real wastes of time, particularly the opening segment and the pizza eating contest. However, like Unforgiven, it’s a breezy show to get through, as most of the matches are on the relative short side. Unlike Unforgiven, this show has a great main event and a compelling storyline, so I’d actually recommend this one. Just skip the boring chapters and you’ll be fine.