The SmarK Rant for WWE No Mercy 2005 – 10.09.05
Originally written 12.12.2017. I’m gonna start adding dates from now on, as suggested by readers.
OK, let’s finish off 2005, unless there’s any OTHER shows from that year I’m missing.
The video package for this one is a bit creepy, with Eddie talking about his addictions and Batista threatening to end him, and then it cuts to the graveyard to show Undertaker’s casket. Yikes.
Live from Houston, TX, drawing 7000 people and 219,000 buys on PPV.
Your hosts are Michael Cole & Tazz
MNM & Melina v. Animal & Heidenreich & Christy Hemme
Oh yay, the Heidenreich era of LOD where Animal was willing sell out the remaining vestiges of his partner’s legacy for a few bucks. Heidenreich hits Nitro with a clothesline for two and Animal follows with his own corner clothesline, but misses a blind charge and MNM works on his injured shoulder. You know it’s injured because he’s taped up like the Mummy. MNM with the Snapshot behind the ref’s back, but they take too long making the cover and only get two. Sure, have big fat senior citizen Animal kick out of their finish, why not. Mercury with another cheapshot to the bad arm and Nitro gets two. Back to the arm as they do the simplest match possible, but Animal catches Nitro with a slow motion powerslam and gets two. Melina comes in, so Hemme tags in and does a Hart Attack clothesline on her as Tazz reminds us for the millionth time that she’s a “spitfire”. She botches a rana and nearly drops Melina on her head, and then they do a Doomsday Device on Melina to finish at 6:26, with Hemme nearly unable to even make the pin properly. They literally kept Heidenreich out of the entire match outside of one move, thankfully. This was sad and embarrassing as a fan and thankfully they pulled the plug on the whole experiment for good a week or so later. ½* I’m sure Hemme is a very nice person and it was generous of her to pose for Playboy for them, but she’s an awful, awful worker and was much better suited to being a ring announcer.
Simon Dean v. Bobby Lashley
Simon brings out a plate of cheeseburgers to show how fat that Houston is, and promises to eat them all if he doesn’t win. This is the PPV debut for Lashley, and he quickly destroys Dean (who is working with a broken hand!) and throws him around the ring, but misses a blind charge. Dean throws a burger at the ref to distract him, then uses the tray on Lashley, but Lashley no-sells it and finishes with the Dominator at 1:54. Actually, what he did was yank him out of the corner by his feet and onto his shoulders in what would have been a neat spot, but then lost him and dropped him on his face before picking him up for the finish instead. Simon Dean does not in fact eat all 20 cheeseburgers, for those keeping track. But don’t worry, I’m sure there’s a show-long running joke to look forward to! DUD
Meanwhile, JBL addresses rumors that RAW might invade the PPV tonight. Rey Mysterio interrupts, so JBL points out that it’s America and he should speak English. Well we know who John voted for.
US title: Chris Benoit v. Booker T v. Christian v. Orlando Jordan
Christian has a different version of “Close Your Eyes” here, sung by a woman, and it’s pretty awful. Not Orlando Jordan awful, but pretty bad. Booker had not yet turned heel, so he’s the hometown babyface here. Booker fights off Jordan and Christian while Cole “reminds” us that after 9/11, WWE had the “first public assembly anywhere in the US, right here in Houston!” Yeah, way to go, WWE, maybe award yourself a Slammy for bravery. If you do a thing and then brag about how wonderful and humble you are for doing it, you’re kind of missing the point. Benoit gets the crossface on Jordan out of nowhere, but Christian breaks it up, so Booker dumps him. Booker and Benoit have a brief showdown, but Jordan breaks it up and throws Benoit out. Christian and Benoit slug it out on the top rope, but Booker knocks them off and rolls up OJ for two. Booker fights off everyone and makes the comeback, hitting Jordan with the ax kick for two. Christian runs Benoit into Booker and tries the Unprettier on Benoit, but it’s reversed into the rolling germans. Jordan cuts that off, so Benoit throws him out like a geek and finishes his suplexes on Christian. Crossface follows, but Jordan makes the save. Booker dumps him out again and Benoit gets the Sharpshooter on Christian this time to finish at 10:23. Why did they bother having Jordan break up the first submission attempt? This was OK, but didn’t have much of a story to it. **1/2
Meanwhile, Lashley is also not impressed with Simon Dean failing to live up to his pre-match stipulation and he forces him to start eating the burgers. There was a bunch of the women on the roster who could have also stood to do the same.
Mr. Kennedy v. Hardcore Holly
This was also the PPV debut for Kennedy, lucky us. Holly is being introduced as “the Alabama Slamma” at this point, so that’s clearly the key thing he was missing to make him World champion. Kennedy cost Holly a match against Sylvan Grenier on Smackdown to set this up, so it’s a real barn burner. Holly attacks to start and gets the dropkick, then throws chops in the corners until Kennedy begs off and tosses him. Back in, Kennedy goes to work on the arm and a backdrop suplex gets two. Kennedy with a lengthy armbar and a clothesline gets two. Holly fights back with chops, but Kennedy takes him down with another armbar and gets two. Now time for the wristlock, but Holly backdrops out of it and makes the comeback with the full nelson slam for two. They botch something and Holly just rolls him up for two instead. Kennedy hits a spinkick, but Holly ignores him and boots him down for two. Holly goes up, but Kennedy cuts him off with a rolling senton off the top to finish at 8:44. I don’t know what happened here but they completely fell to pieces at the end and Holly stopped selling. ** And then another loser gimmick debuts on PPV, as Sylvan Grenier, repackaged into a male model, attacks Holly and lays him out. Cole says he should go pose for a magazine somewhere, like “Idiots Inc.”
Meanwhile, Sharmell lays into her man, Booker T, about what a loser he is because his so-called friend screwed him out of the title. Kennedy interrupts and sounds like a jackass as usual.
JBL v. Rey Mysterio
Nothing like a JBL match to spruce up the show. And he immediately grabs a headlock for the first 2:00, but Rey fights out and makes JBL chase him around the ring. JBL sells getting completely winded, but then hits Rey from behind with a cheapshot to take over. Rey dropkicks the knee and comes back with a neckbreaker for two, then goes to work on the knee. 619 misses, however, and JBL pulls him out of the ring and sends him into the stairs. Back in, Rey goes up, but JBL brings him down with a fallaway slam and continues to throw him around with another one. To the floor for another one. Back in, that gets two. JBL with the bearhug, but Rey escapes with a tornado DDT. Broncobuster, but Rey goes after Jillian on the apron and then hits a moonsault press on JBL for two. JBL knocks him down again and tries the lariat, but Rey dropkicks him into the 619, and JBL stumbles out of it and hits the Clothesline from Hell to finish at 13:22. We all know what happens when David battles Goliath in WWE. This was a good TV level match, with the standard big man v. little man stuff and hope spots. *** I should note a sign in the crowd says “HHH fears CM Punk”…in 2005!
Casket match: Undertaker v. Randy Orton & Cowboy Bob Orton
Taker beats on both Ortons in the corner, but Bob goes low and Randy slugs away on Taker to take over. Taker quickly fights back and tosses Cowboy into the casket, but Randy saves and brawls at ringside with him. Back in, UT with the ropewalk on Randy and he goes after Bob, but Randy crotches him and Bob’s like “I’ve got this!” So the Ortons do a double superplex, with Taker literally doing the move to himself to completely shatter the illusion. They try to suplex him into the casket, but Taker reverses to a DDT and tosses poor Bob into the casket instead. Man, Bob was working so hard to make sure his son got over, and it’s too bad the relationship with WWE ended like it did. Randy comes back with a backbreaker while Bob grabs a fire extinguisher from ringside, but Taker beats on Randy at ringside and shoves him into the casket. He puts Bob into a triangle choke on the apron and dumps him in as well, but Randy recovers and escapes. Taker closes the lid on Bob, however, which Cole seems to think is an elimination. Back in the ring, Taker goes low on Randy, but walks into the dropkick. Randy stupidly slugs away in the corner, and of course that turns into the Last Ride and even Tazz is like “How stupid do you have to be to put yourself in that position?” Taker goes to shove him in the casket, but Bob recovers and sprays him with the fire extinguisher that he had been stashing the whole time. It’s RKO OUTTA NOWHERE and Bob rolls Taker to the casket, with Randy adding another shot with the extinguisher before they both fall in and the lid closes. Apparently this is not enough and Taker must be in the there alone, so Bob hits him with a chair and Randy closes the lid at 19:00 for the win. Finish was overdone and should have ended with the initial fire extinguisher shot from Randy. Match was OK but ran way too long and was completely forgettable. **1/2 Afterwards, the Ortons are the latest people to lock Undertaker in a casket and set it on fire. The “gasoline” is clearly alcohol that was nearly evaporated the moment that he poured it on the casket, although it was an impressive blaze while it lasted. Cole and Tazz are all “Well, he poured gasoline all over the casket of the Undertaker and ended his life. But hey, here’s the Mexicools!”
Cruiserweight title: Nunzio v. Juventud Guerrera
Juvy with a few rollups to start and a tilt a whirl headscissors for two. Backbreaker gets two. Nunzio takes over with a cheapshot and goes to a surfboard, but Juvy escapes and they head up top. Both tumble down and Juvy makes the comeback with a shining wizard and a tilt a whirl into the faceplant for two. Nunzio misses a legdrop and Juvy takes out Vito on the floor and comes in with a flying bodypress on Nunzio, which is rolled through for two. Nunzio escapes the Drunk Driver, but a second one hits and wins the title at 6:45. This match might as well have been subtitled with “Go get nachos and take a piss now.” ** The Mexicools cut a promo with Carlos Cabrera after the win that actually sounds badass, but it’s in Spanish, so not exactly helpful.
Meanwhile, Lashley finally ensures that Simon Dean eats all those cheeseburgers. Like, who could realistically buy that someone would eat 20 cheeseburgers without dying? Wouldn’t it be just as effective to go with, say, 10?
Smackdown World title: Batista v. Eddie Guerrero
The story is that Eddie just wants to be friends and earn Batista’s respect, but can’t resist the temptation to lie and cheat. This would have been the perfect time and place to put the title back on Eddie, but thankfully they didn’t. Eddie is looking old and in rough shape here, which he of course was. They do the test of strength and Eddie tries to ropewalk to escape, but Batista slams him and Eddie bails. Back in, Batista works the headlock and gets a slam for two. Eddie goes to grab a chair and Cole is like “Oh yeah, there’s the old Eddie!” Oh ye of little faith. Batista prevents the chair from being used, so Eddie necksnaps him and hits the frog splash for two. Eddie goes to work on the back and gets a half-crab, but Batista makes the ropes. Eddie grabs a tag rope from the corner, but decides not to use it, switching to a camel clutch instead. I wish he WOULD cheat and lie, because the match is really boring without it. Batista with a small package for two (although I’m sure Melina would disagree) and Eddie slugs away in the corner. He just looks terrible here, completely blown up and sluggish. Ref is bumped, because that’s exactly what this match needs, and Eddie once again learns that the only thing he can’t resist is temptation, and grabs a chair. He does the internal struggle bit and is unable to use the chair to hit Batista, but Big Dave recovers and sees it, which makes him angry. He comes back, destroys Eddie, but can’t hit the powerbomb. Eddie somewhat fires up and gets the Three Amigos for the last time, but the frog splash misses and the spinebuster ends his PPV career at 18:49. This was a very sad and subpar match to go out with, and you could tell that he had nothing left in the tank at this point, not to mention Batista was practically held together by duct tape. ** Eddie was going to win the title a couple of weeks later on Smackdown, but never made it to the match.
Nothing worthwhile on this show unless you want to watch a parade of loser gimmicks and dead-end booking with a really sad main event. Big thumbs down.
Tags: SmarK Rants, WWE Network, WWE No Mercy 2005