No Mercy comes to us this year in a sea of confusion. On one hand, WWE has dropped the ball on many a wrestler, storyline, et cetera this year. On the other, WWE this year has emitted the most matches you can truly call great since 2001. As I gear up to do live coverage of No Mercy for TheWrestlingVoice.com, one question stands out in my mind: where does No Mercy stand on the scale? Will it fall while WWE drops it? Or will it soar and give us the great matches all the other PPVs have delivered? Let’s see:
Ken Kennedy Vs. Hardcore Holly
This should be a fun opener. I definitely feel it won’t truly be great, but it should be enjoyable. I’m not a big fan of Hardcore Holly, but the guy has really turned up his workrate in the past few months, most notably in that tag match from two weeks ago on SmackDown! If he keeps up his momentum, this could be a really good match. Then you have Ken Kennedy making his PPV debut so you just know he is going to do something wild. Last night he brought a freaking jelly doughnut for Tony Chimel. He’s just got to out-do himself tonight. Anyway, I think this should be a definite good power match-up unless they book Holly like a pansy like all of Kennedy’s other opponents. Then again, Holly has never acted the pansy and I don’t think he’ll start tonight. With the power offense each uses frequently, it should be a pretty good match, but at worst, it’s just going to be average. Kennedy is obviously going to pick up the win because at this crucial stage in his life, Kennedy has everything to lose and something to gain, meanwhile Holly has nothing to gain or lose.
Predicted Winner: Ken Kennedy
Bobby Lashley Vs. Simon Dean
I’m really looking forward to this match. Lashley impresses me and not just cause of squashes. Two weeks ago, he squashed some jobber, but the jobber was able to get some leg working on Lashley. Lashley sold that like no tomorrow throughout the whole match and it was amazingly impressive as in squashes, you don’t see the star selling for the enhancement talent very much, now do you? The Dean Machine is just a great worker all around. He’s got a great move-set, great selling ability, amazing charisma, and a good little advantage too with the cast. I love the cast. It’s adding a bit more story and intrigue to the match, but I wish they would have done some kind of ruling like Long making the use of the cast illegal or something. This should still be great and at worst, good. I am dead serious. This is crucial in Lashley’s career though because if he can’t have a good match, he’s going to be labeled as another ‘roid freak; but if he does, he is going to get a good push I can tell. No matter how the match goes, it’s pretty obvious Lashley is going over to get himself over in his PPV debut and in his rookie career.
Predicted Winner: Bobby Lashley
Legion Of Doom & Christy Hemme Vs. MNM
This is the easily going to be the worst match of the night, in my opinion; however, I honestly do not believe it’s going to be that bad. At worst, it’s just going to be bordering on the bad scale and at best, it will be good. If MNM incorporates the same new move-set they did last night on Velocity, you just know there is going to be a lot better psychology in the match. Christy and Melina will eventually get in the ring together which is going to drop the quality of the match since neither knows how to work, but if they keep it short and brief; it won’t hurt the match that much. Notice how I keep saying if in the review; in the land of WWE, if is a very frequent word as everything should go one way and always goes the other. Anyway, I still say this will be the worst match of the night, but shouldn’t be too bad giving MNM’s new strategy. MNM will most definitely pick up the win as they need to gain back some credibility. The feud is set to continue to Survivor Series and why would you do that and just LOD keep demolishing them? You wouldn’t so hence my point.
Predicted Winner: MNM
Rey Mysterio Vs. John Bradshaw Layfield
I was really looking forward to this and I mean really looking forward to it. That is, until I saw the two in the six-man tag match. God, that was just awful with the compensation and compromising for the size was just not evident and JBL worked with Rey like Rey was a normal worker, when you know you can’t do that. Rey is faster than anyone on the roster and smaller too, and probably smaller than anyone JBL has ever worked an actual program with. He needs to compensate his move-set for the size and stick to power moves instead of brawling. He needs to compromise for the size advantage by ducking down a bit so when Rey hits moves, it looks actually believable. They didn’t do any of this on Friday night which makes me really worried going into this match tonight. I honestly do not know what to expect here, guys, but there is a part of me that knows that with the worker Rey is, he will fix any major problems. As per the outcome, even though it will kill his credibility, JBL needs to lose. At this point, JBL is not going to be in the main event and the gimmick of JBL really only works in the main event. Without JBL in that main event, what does he have to gain by going over? Using the little statement I said for Holly/Kennedy, Rey has everything to gain and lose and JBL has everything to lose and nothing to gain. I think that shows you who the winner should be.
Predicted Winner: Rey Mysterio
Handicap Casket Match
Undertaker Vs. Bob & Randy Orton
Even though Bob Orton can not work a good match at this point to save his life, I am still looking forward to this match. Bob’s beat-down offense is the best part of him at this stage and I am almost confident they will use it tonight in a strictly brawling match. Meanwhile, it’s kind of obvious the match will most likely stick to Randy-Taker for the most part with Bob coming in at random spots. If they do that, the match will be good because Orton and Taker have obvious chemistry and have delivered good to great matches all year long. It will be interesting to see how this casket match varies from others since it’s a handicap match, but I have a feeling there isn’t going to be as much of a change as there should be. I’m looking forward to this, but not expecting five stars in any way, shape, or form. Also, considering there has really only been one truly great casket match in WWE history, I would say Orton-Taker have it set in the books that they will deliver one of the best in WWE history. There are all these spoilers flying around that Taker will lose and take a break, and I am very inclined to believe it because at this stage of Taker’s career, he takes breaks after every major feud. Ortons are going to get this win and have bragging rights until a few weeks before Survivor Series when Taker returns. Then, we will get another good match to continue in the series of good matches.
Predicted Winners: Bob & Randy Orton
WWE Cruiserweight Championship
Nunzio (c) Vs. Juventud
If you didn’t see the Battle Royal on Velocity, go watch it now! It was truly one of the best Battle Royals I’ve ever seen in my life. It starts off average and when it gets down to three, it gets really good. When it gets down to two, it just becomes truly amazing and you really have to see it to believe it. I don’t expect this match to run longer than five, six, or seven minutes, but I still think it should be good. Juvi has finally adapted to the WWE style and done it in a way that really doesn’t make him lose face at all. Speaking of face, I love how the WWE turned the Mexicools face. It was a smart, pre-emptive move before you had an Eddie Guerrero 2003 on your hands where he is getting cheered for months as a major heel that’s just not working. Anyway, it should be a good match, but with the time it will be given, you know it could and would be miles better if it was given more time. I think the Mexicools and Vito will get into on the outside which will add something, if anything, to the match too. As for the winner, I think it’s obvious WWE is putting some faith behind Juvi. If he doesn’t win it tonight, I guarantee you he will be champ before 2006. I, on the other hand, think he’s going to win it tonight and would bet a lot of money on it.
Predicted Winner: Juventud
WWE United States Championship
Chris Benoit (c) Vs. Booker T Vs. Orlando Jordan Vs. Christian
This should be good since I’m a huge mark for triples and fatal four-ways. I wish it was elimination style though. That’s one of my favorite stipulations ever: the four-way elimination match like from Wrestlemania 2000. That wasn’t that great of a match as it should have been, but I’m just using it as an example. Honestly, I don’t think this will be as good as people are making it out to be nor will it go probably half as long as it should. This will probably be the match of the night where you can really tell WWE messed up by cutting its time. I could be wrong though, and I would really like to be wrong. There isn’t really much more I can say about this but I just know that there is going to be a spot where all four wrestlers take a bump at the same time, most likely on the outside near the ramp too. Look for it! Benoit will win here because they are building him up as a huge champ, which is the right way to go.
Predicted Winner: Chris Benoit
WWE World Heavyweight Championship
Batista (c) Vs. Eddie Guerrero
This should and hopefully will be the match of the night and if Guerrero can’t get a good match out of Batista, you just know Batista is the new Ultimate Warrior. Well, except Batista seems to be liked backstage. With the storyline and character Eddie is playing at this point, I really don’t see how this match could fail. If it does fail, I can guarantee you it will be because of bad booking which will probably affect the other matches which will probably make No Mercy an overall flop. I tend to be more optimistic though. This match will go hand-in-hand with the way No Mercy will be judged though and for the first time in a few months, the main event of a SmackDown! show is the obvious contender for match of the night. That’s the way it should be! Guerrero is going to be amazing in this match, I can already tell, and he should easily be able to carry Batista to Batista’s greatest match of the year or at least a close second behind his match at Vengeance. Of all the matches tonight, this is the one I am most looking forward to and the one I am basically paying to see. Of course Batista will win, but you know the feud is going to continue and if Eddie looks strong tonight, who knows? Maybe we will get a heel run with the title from Eddie Guerrero. Excuse me while I go wipe the drool from my mouth.
Predicted Winner: Batista
Overall, No Mercy looks solid to me. There is only one match that could be actually bad, one match that I don’t even know, and the rest should be good or great. That makes for a solid card in my books. I think they built up the PPV fine, but yeah, had some problems here and there like the Kennedy-Holly feud only starting this week basically and the Ortons jobbing before a huge match. All in all though, the build-up was fine and better than your average SmackDown! PPV. I am looking forward to the card and I really hope I’m not let-down.
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