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10/3 WWE No Mercy PPV review: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of live event

Oct 3, 2004 - 9:46:00 PM
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By Wade Keller, Torch editor

WWE UNFORGIVEN PPV REPORT
OCTOBER 3, 2004
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J.


Michael Cole and Tazz introduced and previewed the event.

1 -- EDDIE GUERRERO vs. LUTHER REIGNS (w/Mark Jindrak)

It can't thrill the fragile psyche of Guerrero to be working an opening PPV match. After a fast-paced opening minute or two of back and forth action, Reigns began working over Guerrero's back. He bent Guerrero backwards over his knee. Guerrero kneed out of it and bailed out to ringside. Back in the ring Reigns gave Guerrero another backbreaker and bent his back over his knee. Guerrero blocked a move by Reigns and countered by pushing his feet off the top rope and slammed Reigns backward. Cole called it an "inverted DDT," which is code for Cole saying, "I have no idea what to call it but it involved someone wrapping their arms around their opponent's head. At 10:00 Guerrero went for his Three Amigos vertical suplex series. On the third suplex attempt, Reigns blocked it and dropped Guerrero face-first onto the mat. Guerrero bailed out to ringside. He yanked an object away from a security cop standing in the front row. He then hid it in his boot, reentered the ring, and dropkicked a chair-wielding Reigns into Jindrak, who was standing on the ring apron. Guerrero then went for a Frog Splash, but Reigns moved. Guerrero then yanked the stolen object (an "extension baton") out of his boot and hit Reigns with it, then landed his Frog Splash for the win.

WINNER: Guerrero at 13:13.

STAR RATING: *3/4 -- Okay match. Nothing wrong with it at all. It played into Guerrero's gimmick of "lying, cheating, and stealing" while giving Reigns an out for losing.

-Josh Matthews asked Dawn about her comments about Haas on Smackdown, saying that she was having an affair with Haas even though Haas and Jackie had just gotten engaged. Dawn barged into Jackie's locker room with a camera and told her the engagement wouldn't last long. Dawn said: "You're not even a challenge. And by the look of things, you can't even measure up." Dawn's a good, nasty heel character.

2 -- SPIKE DUDLEY (w/D-Von, Bubba) vs. NUNZIO -- Cruiserweight Title match

They opened with a collar and elbow hook-up and then rolled on the mat for a leverage battle and neither would release. Nunzio dove onto Spike at ringside. At 4:00 Spike applied a full nelson. Bubba and D-Von worked to distract the ref and interfere. Spike went back to the full nelson. When Spike went for the Dudley Death Drop, Nunzio reversed it by slamming Spike onto the mat. Nunzio took over. The fans would have cheered, but WWE Creative has done nothing to get Nunzio over to Smackdown viewers since he suddenly became a babyface. Nunzio scored a series of near falls afterward. Bubba took a swing at Nunzio. Nunzio ducked and punched Bubba. That gave Spike a chance to make a comeback. When D-Von attempted to interfere, Johnny Stambolli went after him at ringside. Bubba yanked Spike's legs out from under him and pulled him crotch-first into the ringpost. Spike then scored the tainted pin.

WINNER: Spike at 8:44 to retain the title.

STAR RATING: *3/4 -- Okay match. About what I expected in terms of length and quality out of these two. With the lack of strong character development for Nunzio, they weren't going to give the match more than ten minutes. Solid action, though.

-They showed a clip of Undertaker pinning Hulk Hogan to win his first WWF Title at Survivor Series in 1991, just one year after joining the WWF.

3 -- BILLY KIDMAN vs. PAUL LONDON

In the pre-match video package, they showed clips of Jamie Noble giving Kidman a hard time for what he did to Chavo Guerrero Jr. There was a time during the Nitro era that Kidman was having the best matches in the country regularly, but the wear and tear along with WWE's obligatory muscle-gain slowed him down considerably since then. London opened up the match with the type of crisp suddenness that Kidman had at one point - and probably a notch or two more spectacular. London hit a nice moonsault onto Kidman at ringside. Kidman, though, soon took over control at 2:30. He stomped London's gut several times, then applied an armbar. Kidman then shifted to a surfboard. Kidman escaped, but Kidman quickly shifted into a gutbuster out of a fireman's carry. At 5:30 went back an armbar. He really wrenched it on to keep it realistic. London yelled in pain and kept struggling to get out. Kidman went back to stomps once London managed to escape. London fired back with a desperation elbow to the face. He followed with a string of elbows followed by a drop wheel kick. When Kidman attempted to reverse momentum, London hit an enzuigiri. Kidman countered London's powerbomb attempt into a BK Bomb for a near fall. The crowd seemed to get more and more into the match as it progressed, reacting to the moves. London sold the idea that his ribs were in great pain from the stomps by Kidman earlier. Kidman scored a very near convincing fall with a huracanrana roll-up. Kidman fired back with a strong dropkick out of nowhere. Kidman then set up the Shooting Star Press, but he stopped before climbing to the top and began walking away. Tazz reminded viewers that he'd be fired if he didn't return to the ring. He rolled back into the ring and gave London a back suplex. London flipped onto his feet and hit a sidekick. London then went to the top rope and went for a Shooting Star Press of his own. Kidman lifted his knees. London was knocked out. Kidman then went to the top rope and hit his Shooting Star Press for the win. London was bleeding from the mouth. With medics working on London and strapping him to a backboard, Kidman hit another Shooting Star Press. Tazz and Cole both reacted with outrage.

WINNER: Kidman at 10:33.

STAR RATING: **3/4 -- Borderline three stars. I'd love to see these two in a longer feature PPV match. Their work was a level above what you usually see in a WWE match in some intangible ways and other more obvious ways. The post-match angle sets up a long-term feud between these two, which is good news.

-Josh Matthews interviewed JBL backstage.

4 -- KENZO SUZUKI & RENE DUPREE vs. ROB VAN DAM & REY MYSTERIO

Dupree did some mic work, then Kenzo sang Bruce Springsteen's "Born in the USA" chorus for about 20 agonizing seconds. At 8:30 Rey hit the 619 on Suzuki, but when he went for the West Coast Pop, Dupree yanked him from behind. RVD dove onto Dupree at ringside, but Kenzo then rolled up Rey in the ring and yanked on the top rope for leverage to score the pin. He almost forgot to grab the top rope and it almost turned out to be a clean win for the heels.

WINNER: Kenzo & Dupree at 9:09 to retain the WWE Tag Team Titles.

STAR RATING: *1/4 -- Nonstop action that ultimately didn't add up to much. Not as awkward as you might expect given the mix of styles.

5 -- KURT ANGLE vs. BIG SHOW

The ring announcer said if anyone got involved in the match, they'd be fired. Immediately fans created a list in their heads of who they hoped would interfere. The battle between two wrestlers we watched go through male-pattern baldness and then eventually get their heads shaved on camera as part of angles and ended up looking better for it. Shawn Michaels is next. At 3:30, a frustrated Angle walked out and got intentionally counted out. The bell rang and the decision was announced. Angle bailed out through the crowd as Teddy Long's music played. Long said he was restarting the match and added a no-countout stip. He said if Angle didn't return to the ring, Angle could never appear on Smackdown again. Angle waited a moment, then made his way to the ring, but not before tripping over the ringside stairs. Big Show continued to overpower and dominate Angle. When Angle lifted a chair, Show punched it into Angle's face. At 8:00, Show signalled for the chokeslam. Angle countered it and rolled Show into an anklelock. Show screamed in agony, but eventually kicked out, knocking Angle into the referee. Angle grabbed a chair at ringside and rammed Show's left leg from behind with a chair. He then bashed the chair across his knee. After several minutes of working over Show's legs, Angle executed the Angleslam for a near fall. Angle then grabbed his dart gun from under the ring. When Angle loaded it, Show, yanked it away from him and broke it over his knee. Show then shoved Angle into the corner and chokeslammed him from the top rope to the mat for the win.

WINNER: Show at 15:06.

STAR RATING: **1/2 -- Repetitive early with the one-sided Show beating and then repetitive with the Angle anklelock work after that, but okay overall in terms of telling at least a logical story and having a clean, decisive, surprising finish.

-A Carlito Carribean Cool spot aired.

6 -- BOOKER T vs. JOHN CENA -- U.S. Hvt. Title match

This better be very good or my prediction of a 7.0 score for this event will be impossible to reach even if JBL and Undertaker have a match of the year candidate. The pre-show video package wasn't able to make the first four matches feel the least bit monumental. They're really trying to make this seem historic, but the matches have each been disappointments (well, the three we actually saw) and it just doesn't feel like an "important" series because the quality of the matches has been ho-hum so far. They went into a high-energy opening series of moves for 30 seconds. Booker missed a spin hook kick. Cena fired back with punches and a clothesline, knocking Booker over the top rope to the floor. That's the type of high-energy opening they needed. Booker settled into a chinlock at 4:20. Cena elbowed and kneed out of it 20 seconds later and took Booker down with a crossbody block. The ref didn't even know to count as they ended up in a awkward pin position. Cena scored a two count. Booker then applied a sleeper hold while kneeling on the mat. Yawn. Booker called the next series of spots in Cena's ear (one of the reasons wrestlers keep going to chinlocks and sleepers and headlocks rather than more interesting holds). At 7:00 Cena began a spirited comeback including a bulldog. He then did his signature fistdrop and scored a two count. It didn't get much of a pop because the "Five Knuckle Shuffle" never leads to a win. Cena then pumped his shoe tongue, but all that stalling (which makes Cena look so stupid, as if he cares more about cutesy spots than winning a fight) led to Booker blocking the FU and taking control again. I really think the Five Knuckle Shuffle and ridiculous shoe tongue pumping routine really hurts his credibility with fans. Booker missed a scissors kick. Cena then snuck in an FU out of nowhere and scored the pin.

WINNER: Cena at 10:20 to capture the U.S. Hvt. Title.

STAR RATING: **1/4 -- Wow, all that hype and they trusted them enough to give them a whole 10:30 for the match. Not exactly epic despite the implication of the hype.

7 -- DAWN MARIE & THE DUDLEYS vs. MISS JACKIE & RICO & CHARLIE HAAS

Dawn wore a "Charlie Love's Dawn" t-shirt. Dawn pulled down her jean shorts and revealed her g-string to Haas. That prompted Jackie to barge into the ring and jump all over Dawn. She ripped off her shirt so Dawn wrestled the rest of the match in her bra. . Dawn managed to tag in Bubba, who looked very pleased with the opportunity to fight Jackie. Bubba closed his eyes and asked Jackie for a kiss. Jackie tagged in Rico. Rico snuck up to Bubba, caressed his face, and gave him a quick peck on the lips. (You know Bubba wouldn't agree to anything more than that!) When Bubba opened his eyes, his smiled and said, "Wow, maybe I am gay!" No, actually, he freaked out and ran to ringside and washed his mouth out with bottled water. When Rico went to the top rope, Bubba knocked him off balance before he could dive onto D-Von. When Bubba set Rico up for the spread-legged D-Von headbutt, Rico rubbed his thighs and encouraged it. D-Von wouldn't do it. Rico then set up Dawn for a spear from Jackie. They rolled out of the ring. Haas then hit D-Von with a flying axe handle. Rico hit a moonsault and scored the pin.

WINNERS: Rico & Haas & Jackie at 8:44.

STAR RATING: *1/2 -- The match served its purpose well. The Rico-Bubba spot was pretty funny. Dawn and Jackie had more good scuffles.

8 -- JBL vs. UNDERTAKER -- WWE Title Hearse Match

Undertaker took control early and got in his top rope walk and forearm smash early. They went back and forth in the early minutes, with Taker getting in most of the offense. Taker swung JBL into the ringside stairs. When Taker went to the Spanish announcers' desk, JBL reversed momentum and rammed Taker into the table. He then gave Taker a good looking big boot to the face. Back in the ring at 8:45 JBL flew off the top rope with a shoulder tackle on Taker. Undertaker countered JBL into a wristlock with a head scissors for good measure. JBL tapped out frantically, but the match couldn't end via tapout. That spot indicated strongly that Taker would be losing since this was his moral victory. Taker removed the monitors from the Spanish announcers' table. At 12:00 JBL reversed Taker into the ring stairs. Cole said, "Just when you think Undertaker is out, he's back in this thing." JBL went to powerbomb Taker on the base of the ringside stairs, but Undertaker backdropped out of it. Taker went on sustained offense, including a brief brawl in the crowd. Taker gave JBL a Tombstone Piledriver on the steel stair base. JBL came up bleeding from the forehead. It was squirting out at a pretty fast rate. JBL fired back at 16:30 with a desperation chairshot, as Cole appropriately called it. JBL got a second wind and began tearing down the main announcers' table. JBL's face was covered in blood. JBL stood on the table and was going to come off with a chairshot, Taker grabbed him by the throat and chokeslammed him through it. A ringside "Holy sh--" chant broke out. Taker then picked up JBL and carried him toward the hearse. Cole said he believed JBL "was about to go on his last ride." That meant he wasn't. Heidenreich leaped out of the back of the hearse, attacked Taker, and then KO'd him with an ether-soaked cloth. The hearse began to drive away. A hearse-cam showed Taker sit up. He barged out of the back of the hearse and went on the attack. However, he was overwhelmed by a two-on-one attack by Heidenreich and JBL. The hearse then drove out of the arena, giving JBL the win. JBL said on the house mic after the match, "I am immortal and the greatest of all-time." They showed the hearse arrive backstage. Paul Heyman jumped out of the hearse. He yelled for Heidenreich to drive a big Ford SUV into the hearse. You knew the hearse was going to be destroyed since it was a 1976 model. Heyman looked on in appreciation of his work. The Ford actually put only a small dent in the side of the hearse. They built Fords tough in the '70s. Heyman said, "You did it!" as the show ended.

WINNER: JBL at 21:02.

STAR RATING: ***1/2 -- Really good brawl. Not great, and the finish was lame, but that was easily a worthy main event match. The post-match angle was corny.

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