Rasslin’ Roundtable – WWE No Mercy 2008

Features, Roundtables, Top Story

October brings us not one but two WWE PPV’s, the first is No Mercy. But what does it say about the status of the brands when Raw has more matches than SmackDown and ECW combined? I guess nothing we didn’t already know. Here’s what the Pulse team thinks will happen on Sunday night.

World Heavyweight Championship:
Ladder Match
Chris Jericho (c) vs. Shawn Michaels

Mark Allen: I have a tingling that this could outshine not only their previous outings from the year 2008, but also the Undertaker-Edge HIAC as WWE match of the year. It seems as if these two have been building to this for months and expect that this would be their final blowoff. Jericho has a plethora of faces waiting to challenging him and I could see Michaels taking some time off after the match.
Winner – Chris Jericho

Paul Marshall: Can anyone see this as the true MOTY? I’m still loving the feud and still believe this has enough mileage to have the complete blowoff at Wrestlemania 25 in a Career v. Career match, where Jericho gets the rub of rubs ending Shawn’s career. This would truly be something to watch as these two can really really make the match exciting. As much as I want Shawn to win the title, it depends on when Randy Orton returns. If he returns for Cyber Sunday, I can see them hotshotting the title to Michaels to avoid a heel v. heel feud. I also see Jericho winning and setting up a Cyber Sunday match where the fans can pick Jericho’s opponent.
Winner – Chris Jericho

Paul Beasley: aka The “There’s a point to this match” Match. Jericho and Michaels have been putting on a hell of a show in this feud, as expected. I have no idea whether the title being involved was always a part of the plan, or whether they just realised that this ongoing battle was overshadowing the belt. And frankly I don’t care. All that matters is that we have Jericho vs Michaels for the belt. With a ladder. Both of these guys know their way around a ladder (but then so do Firemen, Window Cleaners and people who fix your roof and I don’t want any of them in this match). They’ve both won some of their more significant matches by climbing to the top of a flimsy piece of aluminium. And yes, it’s “aluminium”, not “aluminum”, and certainly not steel. They can both do their fair share of high-spots to mix in with their undoubted mat-skills. And they are both masters of ring psychology. I still think the match that ended their previous feud from years ago (the “I always wanted to be you, Shawn” feud) is one of my favourite matches ever. So I’m expecting this to be leagues better than anything else on the card. As far as who’s going to win? Well Batista’s the likely winner of the #1 contender match, so unless they’re going to re-start their Post-Flair-Retirement angle; which would be pretty dumb considering they’ve just teamed together; I don’t think it’ll be Shawn. I’m probably completely wrong, but I expect Jericho to retain here. Of course if JBL wins his match, all bets are off.
Winner (and STILL World Heavyweight Champion): Chris Jericho.

Brad Curran- I’m not sure who I want to win more, but I’m pretty sure Jericho is going to pull it out here.
Winner- Chris Jericho

Matthew Michaels: Chris Jericho might just get a win here. And this match is SANCTIONED.
Winner – Chris Jericho

Andrew Wheeler: Ah, No Mercy. No Mercy holds a special place in my heart for two reasons; one would be the fact that it shares the name with one of the two best video games of all time, and two would be that No Mercy was the last pay-per-view Eddie ever worked. With that said, No Mercy is always smack dab in the middle of the blasé summer doldrums and this card is no different. Looking at it from top to bottom, there isn’t a whole lot to get really amped up about. With that said, the company on the whole has a lot to be excited about. In the past few months, the WWE has seen CM Punk established as a legit borderline main eventer, Evan Bourne become a Tuesday night draw, Randy Orton rediscover the ability to deliver decent promos and Chris Jericho remind the wrestling world why he was worth every penny that Vince shelled out years ago. Folks, they didn’t call it RAW is Jericho for nothing. I feel like I’ve said this forever, but the Michaels/Jericho feud is one of the best things the WWE has ever done. It extends all the way back to the Flair stuff that started OVER A YEAR AGO. If this is what they mean by a return to slow burning feuds, then light it up! The rumor is that this is the big blowoff for the Y2J/HBK feud, and how better to do it than a ladder match. I’ve been critical of the matches these two have had because they’ve been such personal brawls that we haven’t gotten a true mat classic. While a ladder match is hardly the recipe for a “mat classic”, history has shown us that Shawn can sometimes pull out unforgettable classics when he has someone halfway decent to work with. Sadly, he doesn’t have a halfway decent opponent. Instead he has a highly skilled worker who seems more motivated now than he ever has been. This one could be LEGENDARY. With that said, I expect Shawn and Chris to leave it all in the ring since this is the first time in a while either guy is headlining a show. Right now I don’t really see the merits in having Shawn hold the Big Gold Belt because Jericho has just barely begun his long-awaited reign. If Edge was able to remain a compelling heel champion despite having to drag Vickie around, imagine what Jericho can accomplish. By liberating Shawn from Chris, this allows us to move on to the inevitable Michaels/Cade match that would be served well by Cyber Sunday. Jericho has title-worthy opponents on RAW to move on to whereas Shawn does not. We really haven’t seen a full-out Batista/Jericho feud, and those are two big names that could really sell a Survivor Series main event. We’re still owed a Punk/Jericho feud, since their cage match was a lock for free match of the year. Hell, Orton/Jericho could have very interesting implications. Shawn Michaels will undoubtedly get another run with the gold, but with his biggest option being a match with JBL, I think we’ll stick with a Canadian champion.
Winner: Chris Jericho

Danny Cox: So Shawn’s lost his smile again and needs to find it eh? Well, he sure as hell isn’t going to find it here. This feud has been taken to a new level with the world title being thrown in so it makes this even better. Since Shawn won that unsanctioned match last month, Jericho keeps his awesome heelness alive here.
Winner and STILL Champ – Chris Jericho

Raffi Shamir: I was really disappointed by their Unforgiven “unsanctioned” match. Perhaps my expectations were unrealistic, I don’t know, but I know I’m not alone here. Perhaps that why Jericho told the British Sun “I would never say any match is going to be match of the year. That puts way too much hype and expectation on what we’re going to do at No Mercy.” The feud as a whole, though, is anything but disappointing. I can’t remember the last time I was so emotionally invested in a WWE feud. Jericho worked too hard and too well to win the title so it would be a real shame to make him a transitional champ and hotshot the title to HBK, who probably needs some time off any way.
Winner and still champion: Chris Jericho

WWE Championship:
Triple H (c) vs. Jeff Hardy

Mark Allen: I could honestly see this match going either way. Edge and a host of other heels like Kozlov, Kendrick and Porter are all waiting in the wings to challenge either winner. They have really been building towards a Jeff Hardy victory and maybe this is the time to do it, on an off-brand PPV where there is still plenty of time to go before the meaningful stuff like Survivor Series or Royal Rumble. That way there is still time for Triple H or whoever to get the belt back before WrestleMania.
Winner – Jeff Hardy

Paul Marshall: I’m torn on this match. Triple H is still a McMahon (by marriage) and he can convince that Jeff is still high risk to be carrying SmackDown. This would be the sole reason Jeff doesn’t win the title. I doubt they would do a important title change such as this at No Mercy, so I’ll go with the safe pick.
Winner – Triple H

Paul Beasley: aka The “There’s no point to Jeff’s hair” Match. Aaaargghh…. I’m conflicted. I don’t know what to pick here. Trips has held the belt for quite some time now, and I think they’ve been dying for years to have him be the one to transition the belt to Jeff. When did “transition” become a verb, by the way? But do they really think Jeff has the charisma or presence to be the champ on a roster with HHH, Undertaker, Edge, Big Show, MVP, Khali (+ Kennedy and Umaga when they come back)? I don’t know. Much as he’s a semi-retarded fruit with a death-and/or-suspension-wish, I’d probably drop my cynicism for a night and mark out if he and Matt got that Eddie & He-who-shall-not-be-named joint celebration moment. So I’m going to pretend I still have a heart, and assume Trips will lose through Koslov-eference (before going on to really get him over). And Jeff gets to laugh and point at Bob Holly and Val Venis and say “See? Now everybody that was around in the 90s has won a World title except you guys.”
Winner (and NEW WWE Champion): Jeff Hardy

Brad Curran- I actually thought Jeff had a chance to win the belt at Unforgiven for a minute there. Not here, though, especially if Edge is going to dictate the outcome; a singles feud between he and Jeff is actually pretty fresh and keep both guys busy while the Hs presumably fend off the surly Russian menace of Vladamir Koslov.
Winner- The Hs

Matthew Michaels: I’ll pick Jeff just because it won’t happen but if it DOES, I can brag.
Winner – Jeff

Andrew Wheeler: I am really not all that excited to see this match right now. With the proper build, this could be a decent main event, but it feels too rushed and Hunter’s being too cutesy for me to really give a damn. Plus, Jeff Hardy killed any of the goodwill he built up from his feud with Orton thanks to his suspension, so if he doesn’t care about reaching the top, why should we? I’m sure it’ll be a decent match because an upper card Jeff Hardy is worth his weight in gold thanks to the fact that the marks love the guy and buy his merchandise like its going out of style. Smackdown right now is the home of the hottest talents in the industry, and as long as MVP doesn’t get burned out, Kennedy doesn’t get released, Kosloff doesn’t get hurt, Kendrick doesn’t get in the dog house and Shelton doesn’t realize he can’t cut promos, we could be in for a very interesting Fall. Since this is a marquis match on a non-marquis show and since Michaels/Jericho requires a finish, we won’t get one here. The evil Russian Kosloff will make a run-in and probably level both guys, which will allow the WWE to possibly do a triple-threat at Cyber Sunday. Hunter can’t lose the belt at this point (though I still contend that had they put the gold on MVP, the show would have instantly felt fresh) because MyNetwork will demand a strong champion (or demand as much as a 3rd rate network can) and the WWE is more than happy to oblige. My advice is keep Hardy away from Hunter until the Rumble and lets see if he can keep his nose clean.
Winner: Probably a DQ with Hunter keeping the gold

Danny Cox: Remember when these two had a feud going…I think around Royal Rumble…and it was built around their respect and friendship for each other? Yeah, Trips won that one. Could the inevitable happen here and two Hardys hold world titles at the same time?
Winner and NEW Champ – Jeff Hardy

Raffi Shamir: I would never trust Jeff Hardy as a main champion. But I’m not calling the shots here and I can’t deny he’s one of the most popular guys in the entire WWE, and has been for a long time. I think they’ll go for a screwy finish, with interference either from Edge or Kozlov (or both). That way Triple H will keep the title and Hardy will remain strong.
Winner: Jeff Hardy by DQ (Triple H retains)

ECW Championship:
Matt Hardy (c) vs. Mark Henry

Mark Allen: I don’t see them taking the belt off of Hardy so soon. He’s got a wealth of credible challengers like Morrison, Miz, Finlay, Knox and even a SD! guy Kendrick to keep him occupied for months to come, maybe even into WrestleMania.
Winner – Matt Hardy

Paul Marshall: Mark Henry worked about a minute in the tag match on ECW and he still looked like crap. Matt has done wonders as the ECW Champion while Mark Henry phoned it in as Champion. But this match will not suck.
Winner – Matt Hardy

Paul Beasley: aka The “There’s no point to this belt” Match. Ah well, I could care less about this match, and the ECW Championship as a whole. The far more interesting things on ECW at the moment are Miz & Morrison and Evan Bourne. Henry’s actually surpassed all expectations as a Main Eventer (albeit an ECW Main-Eventer, which is basically a Smackdown curtain-jerker), but it’s still largely an irrelevance as far as any sort of credibility is concerned. That being said, I’ve stated elsewhere that I’d quite like to see a Jeff/Matt joint celebration. So I’ve gotta stick with Matt to retain.
Winner (and STILL ECW Champion): Matt Hardy

Brad Curran- Henry already seems like an afterthought. Hardy has feuds with the Douches and maybe this Swagger kid to keep him busy wants he gets done with Mizzark.
Winner- Matt Hardy

Matthew Michaels: Matt & Jeff, both champs, to end the PPV? Wow.
Winner – Matt

Andrew Wheeler: Matt’s the champ but he never pinned Mark. Mark’s the challenger but he can’t really work. Matt still feels like a midcarder. Mark actually feels like a main eventer. ECW has the most buzzed about heels in the industry with The Miz and John Morrison, not to mention Evan Bourne and…shudder…Ricky Ortiz. Having the unhip Mark Henry holding the gold does nothing for the brand, though without the gold he’s just sort of there. Tuesday nights have seen the return of Mike Knox, who right now seems like the odds on favorite to be Matt’s next feud, so I see no reason to take the gold off of Mr. Hardy so soon. Plus, a clean pin over Henry (or even a tainted one) will go a long way in legitimizing him…as best as the ECW title can. Here’s hoping he keeps it long enough to get flattened by Jack Swagger, because if that guy works out he’s going to be HUGE. If not, he’ll be able to go to autograph signings and forge Chris Nowinski’s name.
Winner: Matt Hardy

Danny Cox: I don’t see Matt holding the title for such a short period of time so he’s going to retain here. But my problem is that he was much more interesting when he was chasing Mizark the monster for the title.
Winner and STILL Champ – Matt Hardy

Raffi Shamir: Now that’s the Hardy you can count on. He may not be as flashy and edgy as his brother, but Matt hardy is a good and reliable worker. Hell, I wanted him to win the title back in 2002 during the V1 era. Mark Henry sucked less than usual during his tenure as ECW champion, but now that it’s over he needs to move aside and let Hardy battle some good workers.
Winner and still champion: Matt hardy

Kane vs. Rey Mysterio (If Rey loses he must unmask)

Mark Allen: I was really thinking that the blow off to this would ultimately come down to a mask match, but I expected it to be built up much more. I figured it would come at Cyber Sunday or more probably at Survivor Series. Because it happened with such little build, I don’t see Mysterio taking the fall here. If he does lose the mask it will be further down the road.
Winner – Rey Mysterio

Paul Marshall: Usually when there is a stipulation like that, it almost guarantees Rey winning. However, I’m not so sure because it seems that the WWE wants to have Rey in Mexico for when they do their tours and I read that Rey cannot wear his mask in Mexico due to losing a mask v. mask match in that country. This may not all factor into this, but it would be nice to see Kane be embarrassed enough to dawn his mask once again.
Winner – Rey Mysterio

Paul Beasley: aka The “There’s no point to this match” Match. I hate unmasking matches. They’re stupid, pointless and usually a foregone conclusion. And this one is no exception. Kane’s completely crushed Rey in recent weeks, so you can bet your arse Rey’s walking away from this one victorious. And at some point we will have the ludicrously contrived “Kane falls draped over the middle rope” moment, so Rey can hit the 619. Oh goody. Why does nobody ever fall into that position against anyone else? It’s an amazing coincidence, isn’t it? And can anyone tell me what price Kane has to pay for losing? Just that he doesn’t get to unmask Rey? Pathetic. This sort of match is just like most Retirement Matches – you know the outcome before it starts. Rey without a mask is just a midget with tattoos, stupid contact lenses and a squeaky voice. Bah!
Winner (and STILL suffering from sweat-rash on his head): Rey Mysterio

Brad Curran- I really don’t want to see Rey lose his mask to a guy who used to be Diesel again. It got him a big push in WCW (and Nash trying to wear the mask was funny), but he’s already an established top level guy, and would be less marketable without the hood, I think. Also, I think it works better story wise for Kane to keep going after him in attempt to pry the mask off.
Winner- Rey Rey

Matthew Michaels: Rey’s not losing the mask.
Winner – Rey

Andrew Wheeler: I respect Kane. I respect Glen Jacobs for not only doing whatever dumbass idea Creative has given him over the past 15 years or so, but doing those dumbass ideas with true enthusiasm. He made me believe he was a DDS or Diesel or a very badly burned brother of the Undertaker. He wore mask after mask after mask and even without seeing his face he made the audience care about him. On the other hand, he’s pretty boring to watch work nowadays and I’m all for him eventually hanging up his boots. I used to love Rey Mysterio. His early stuff in ECW with Dean and Psichosis were insane, and even though I was a WWE loyalist, I would occasionally flip over to WCW to see Rey work (or just to hear his badass theme music). Then I got bored with Rey. Then WCW folded and he didn’t come over. Then, sadly, he did. He did and for a short while he seemed inspired. Then he seemed boring. Then he seemed unnaturally jacked up. Then the thrill of Rey was replaced by apathy. I hated his title run. I hated his feud with Eddie. Obviously, I hate his feud with Kane. Rey Mysterio doesn’t seem to have the passion he once had, and this nonsensical feud that Creative came up with as a justification for Rey’s absence is retarded. With that said, the WWE could use this as an opportunity to take Rey’s mask off so that some tradition-obsessed Mexi-fan doesn’t stab him on their next tour. On the other hand, that mask sells a ton of merchandise in a kid-friendly era, and unless he switches to face paint, he’s going to go from major superstar to short Spanish guy really fast. I say they drag this out and Rey keeps the facial gear.
Winner: Rey Mysterio

Danny Cox: You kinda figure they would have hold off on this match a little longer or at least let them have a regular match here and the mask match later on or something. I don’t see Rey losing his mask considering it sells like friggin hotcakes at concessions stands!
Winner – Rey Mysterio

Raffi Shamir: It’s too soon for Rey to lose the mask. There was so little build that it would be meaningless if it happened now. But a decisive Mysterio win just kills the feud. So…
Winner: Rey Mysterio, by DQ

Batista vs. JBL

Mark Allen: Jericho wins in the main event so Batista wins here. It will be a nice blowoff to that big triple threat feud between Michaels, Jericho & Batista that started back in April.
Winner – Batista

Paul Marshall: One bitches too much and one whines too much. Take your pick. Since I have Jericho retaining, it’d make sense to have Batista wrestle his 129th title match.
Winner – Batista

Paul Beasley: aka The “There’s no enjoyment in this match” Match.
Yawn, yawn and yawn again. I’m even losing the enthusiasm in my yawn. This is a waste of a perfectly good yawn. Dave wins. Whatever, as I believe they say on Jerry Springer.
Winner (And STILL boring the crap outta me): Batista

Brad Curran- Big Dave wants time off, but I have to think he’s going to at least going to go up against Jericho in a title match before he does take a breather. Even if Shawn wins, they had a damn fine match at Backlash and another match between them ties in to this awesome mega story arc Shawn’s been invovled in most of the year.
Winner- Batista

Matthew Michaels: Wow what would I rather see; JBL vs. Jericho, JBL vs. Michaels, Batista vs. Jericho or Batista vs. Michaels? Poor Punk.
Winner – DRAW/Double-DQ or No Contest

Andrew Wheeler: So I guess this is for the #1 Contender position, a match that JBL seems to perpetually wind up in simply by walking to the ring and saying he deserves a match. John, look, I know I never liked your wrestling before, but you weren’t half bad on commentary and I liked not having to think of you as a real superstar anymore. So I guess what I’m saying is, RETIRE ALREADY! Oh, and you wonder why Dave would be so disgruntled with the company when he’s in a meaningless match against someone he never really worked well against in 2005. Hopefully this will be short and sweet and end with Dave heading into a feud with Jericho.
Winner: Batista

Danny Cox: Meh!
Winner – JBL

Raffi Shamir: Piss break match.
Winner: Batista

Big Show vs. Undertaker

Mark Allen: Whoever wins here doesn’t matter, as I don’t feel this will be the big blowoff. Undertaker thrives at Survivor Series so I expect this thing to go on until at least then.
Winner – Big Show

Paul Marshall: I didn’t like this set-up when they did it before, so why should I like it now? OOOH, Big Show has a new finishing move…the Mayweather KO blow. That’s not impressive. I still believe Vladmir Koslov v. Undertaker would had been the better match.
Winner – Undertaker

Paul Beasley: aka The “There’s no point waiting any longer to take a piss” Match. Sit and marvel as two men who can move at the speed of the Slug Paralympic Sprint Relay Team hit each other a lot. Watch in wonder as Big Show gives Undertaker a head-butt that a distracted, blind sloth could avoid. Gasp in awe as Undertaker shows he can still walk along the top rope as long as someone’s holding his hand. Take a sigh of relief as you feel that stream of urine you’ve been holding in begin to emerge. If a big lummox falls in a wrestling ring, and everybody’s taking a whizz does he still fall? Who cares.
Winner (and STILL not REALLY dead yet): Undertaker

Brad Curran- It’s like 1999/2002/2003/2006 all over again! Except show has a mean right hook! Let’s say Vickie-ference helps Show finally get a win over ‘Taker, because why not?
Winner- Big Show

Matthew Michaels: Hmm.
Winner – Big Show

Andrew Wheeler: Big Show hasn’t had anything to do in a while, so the company’s answer is to stick him in yet another feud with The Undertaker. If Taker drives him out to the desert again to toughen him up, I quit. Look, Big Show is doing a nice job filling in for Edge and I’m all for him getting a chance to finally use this new slim physique, but what the hell is waiting for either one of these guys? Taker’s continuing to break down and Big Show can’t face Hunter because it looks like Kosloff is going to be the next big monster heel going after the gold. This match should seem like a bigger deal than it is, so maybe it’ll end with La Familia running in and attacking Taker. If Undertaker wins clean, the feud is dead. I smell another DQ.
Winner: The Undertaker

Danny Cox: Taker has been on a good streak for a while now and me thinks Edge makes his return here. And Show has become a serious jobber lately.
Winner – Big Show

Raffi Shamir: Bigger piss break match. Hell, it was a piss break match every time the match has taken place in the past. Damn, it you combine all of their previous matches you can probably cure kidney problems.
Winner: Undertaker. It’s always Undertaker.

Women’s Championship:
Beth Phoenix (c) vs. Candice Michelle

Mark Allen: They’ve been wanting Candice to take over the All-American girl (even though she’s Canadian) mantle from Trish Stratus for a long time. The question is, does Candice win it back here or does she chase for awhile? The money is in the chase.
Winner – Beth Phoenix

Paul Marshall: Title change of the night. The WWE knows Candice is a huge liability, so they will attempt to milk her (innuendo aside) for everything they can get before she gets future endeavored or goes down to part-time. That is…unless they’re serious at giving Kelly-Kelly the Women’s Title next month.
Winner – Candice Michelle

Paul Beasley: aka The “There’s a point to Candice Michelle” Match. Why, oh why, oh why do the WWE Management see something in Candice Michelle that the rest of us don’t? She’s vapid, and nowhere near as entertaining in the ring as Beth, Mickie, Victoria or even Melina. And Beth is also much hotter (in a “No, really – I honestly do fancy women” kinda way). They’ll probably give Candice the belt, because as far as the brass is concerned her shit doesn’t stink. As far as the rest of us are concerned, everything about her does. But I refuse to acknowledge this probable win, so I’m going for Beth to retain through Santinovation.
Winner (and STILL making me uncomfortable where Daddy used to touch me): Beth Phoenix

Brad Curran- Despite being an unabashed (well, slightly abashed) Candice mark, I can’t see them taking the belt off Beth here, especially with all of Candice’s ring rust. Glamarella’s still a fun act, and as long as that’s true, I can’t see either of them losing their belts.
Winner- Beth Phoenix

Matthew Michaels: DON’T BREAK UP GLAMARELLA! Still 23.25 more years on the Moolah-Meter!
Winner – Beth

Andrew Wheeler: Since Santino doesn’t have a match on the PPV, this will be his moment to shine. Part of me thinks that he’ll cost Beth the gold, but a larger part of me thinks that Glamorella has more legs with more gold (not to mention the fact that Candice Michelle is pretty awful right now).
Winner: Beth Phoenix

Danny Cox: Yeah, let’s give the title to the female version of Kevin Nash who injures herself by sitting down.
Winner and STILL Champ – Beth Phoenix

Raffi Shamir: One would have to be a complete moron to take the title from the Glamazon and give it Candice Michelle.
Winner: Beth Phoenix

Don’t forget to stay tuned to PulseWrestling for live, up to the minute coverage of WWE No Mercy.