PPV REPORTS CALDWELL'S WWE NO MERCY REPORT 10/7: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of PPV
Oct 7, 2007 - 9:58:07 PM
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By James Caldwell, Torch columnist
WWE NO MERCY REPORT
October 7, 2007
By James Caldwell, Torch columnist
They started with a scripture from Genesis discussing the Great Flood. They showed footage of John Cena's injury on Raw, with his championship reign over. An opportunity has emerged, just as Noah released a dove into the land - this time to find a new champion.
They went straight to the arena where Vince McMahon strutted out with William Regal. Feels like a Raw. From ringside, Ross and Lawler then broke down the title situation before McMahon took the mic in the ring to discuss the title situation. In the ring was a red cloth covering presumably a new title belt. McMahon recapped the Cena injury, which got a strong pop, then some boos mixed in. Big pop for Cena no longer champion. McMahon quickly turned the crowd against him by bringing up the Diamondbacks and fans still cheering for the losing Cubs. McMahon said he makes decisions for each and every fan, which drew boos. He said he gives the fans what they want, which is what he's about to do. The fans chanted, "Y-2-J" and McMahon said he's not going to give the fans that. McMahon said by the power vested in him, as the creator of all things WWE, he announced Randy Orton as the new WWE champion. Well, we can see where this is going. Commence the Orton vs. Hunter chase.
Orton slowly walked out dressed to wrestle and McMahon picked up the new belt and presented it to him. A round of fireworks shot off while Orton held the belt high in the air. He surveyed the crowd for quite some time, as if they have time to kill. Regal then congratulated Orton and the boo birds emerged. He said Orton's defending the belt tonight, though. Regal gave Orton the choice of who to defend against. Another "Y-2-J" chant as Orton took the mic. McMahon cut off Orton before he could start talking and told the fans to shut up. Orton said he's definitely not defending the belt tonight against John Cena. He said they were supposed to have a Last Man Standing match tonight, but that's not happening. Orton said he knows Cena is watching right now, so it's a good thing he can't compete tonight because it saves him the embarrassment of being defeated. A "Cena" chant started and some boos answered the chant. Orton said no one deserves to be champion more than he does. He talked about the people he's put on the shelf lately. Orton said there is nobody in the locker room, industry, or business that comes anywhere near to him. Right on cue, Triple H's music hit. And here we go.
Hunter, dressed to wrestle, made his slow entrance. He had a quizzical look on his face, as if his first question was going to be whether he heard Orton correctly about what he said. Hunter's music stopped and he sarcastically clapped it up for Orton. Hunter said he wanted to be the first one to congratulate Orton on becoming champion. He suggested they have a title match tonight. Orton thought it over, surveyed the crowd, then screamed "No!" Hunter said he figured Orton would say that since he didn't want this second title reign to be shorter than his first one. Ouch. The crowd wanted to see the match, which irritated McMahon. He said that sounds like everyone in the arena wants the match, which is what McMahon says he always does - give the fans what they want. Hunter asked McMahon if he's scared to give the fans what they want. He said he's gutless. A coward. Spineless. No balls.
Hunter said McMahon comes out and talks a big game, but it's all a fraud because he sees McMahon scared right now. He said McMahon gives the appearance of a huge, puffed up guy, but below the $5,000 suit is an old, shriveled man with a shriveled-up set of raisins. McMahon took the mic and screamed that Hunter is on and he has the match. Orton looked at McMahon with a disapproving look, then McMahon cleared the ring and asked for a referee. He called for the bell and reminded Hunter that he's beat him twice.
1 -- RANDY ORTON vs. TRIPLE H -- WWE Title match
Triple H [artist Grant Gould (c) PWTorch]
Orton used McMahon as a distraction early on, but Hunter quickly regrouped. Orton then tried to leave with the belt, but Hunter smashed him on the floor with a right hand blow. Orton kept trying to leave, but Hunter pulled him back into the ring and nailed a high knee to the face. Orton came back with an inverted backbreaker and started to work on Hunter. Hunter then came back with a series of clotheslines and a top rope superplex for a close nearfall. Hunter caught Orton with a spinebuster, but it was good for a two count only. Orton rolled out of the ring to regroup and Hunter gave chase with right hand blows. Back in the ring, Orton caught Hunter a step slow getting back into the ring and he nailed a spike DDT while Hunter hung across the middle rope. Orton scored a two count, then he started to stalk Hunter for the RKO. Hunter blocked it, though, and went for the Pedigree, but Orton back dropped out of the finisher. Nice sequence. Orton then missed with a knee drop and Hunter slapped on the figure four. No mention of Flair. Orton grabbed the bottom rope to break the hold. Orton regrouped, then pulled Hunter out of the ring to the floor. Ross then mentioned Flair with the figure four, as Orton missed with a shoulder block in the corner. Hunter then rolled up Orton from behind and scored a pin to win the match and the belt. Ross said history has been made at No Mercy.
Afterward, Orton held his head in disbelief. He slowly walked around ringside while Hunter held the belt in the air and played to the crowd. Orton collapsed to the ground in shock while Hunter continued to celebrate in the ring. Orton then slowly walked up the entrance ramp, near tears. Hunter killed more time celebrating while Ross and Lawler discussed the historic implications of the title change.
WINNER: Triple H in 12:00. Good, fundamentally-sound, dramatic title match. The Chase lasted all of 30 minutes of a PPV, and we're sure to get a re-match at the next PPV since Orton would have a re-match clause. For all the Cena haters, be careful what you wish for. (**1/2)
Once Hunter was done celebrating, they cut backstage where Orton slowly approached Vince McMahon, who wasn't sure how to react. Orton breathed heavily, then McMahon just walked away without any words being spoken.
2 -- JEFF HARDY & BRIAN KENDRICK & PAUL LONDON vs. CADE & MURDOCH & MR. KENNEDY
Lillian Garcia announced this as a special bonus match. The babyface team came out, then Cade said what happened on Raw will not happen tonight. Murdoch said they found a new partner: Mr. Kennedy. Kennedy took the ceiling mic and said everyone lucked out because they just picked up the best possible tag partner. He announced his hometown of Green Bay, Wisc. and predicted 5-0. Well, it's Packers 7, Bears 0 right now. The Chicago fans booed heavily. The match started with the babyfaces working on Murdoch, but Kendrick lost control when the heels slingshot him to the outside and he smashed hard on the ground. Kendrick then came back with a swinging DDT off the top rope on Cade. Kendrick then ran across the ring and hot tagged to Jeff, who cleaned house. Jeff nailed a Swanton Bomb on Murdoch and had the pin, but Cade broke up the pin. Kennedy took a tag, then London took a tag and nailed a springboard dropkick on Kennedy. Ross with the first mention of the OU-UT game about the great action yesterday. The action in the ring completely broke down with men flying everywhere. Suddenly, Kennedy caught London up top and hit the forward roll Packer drop for the pin and the win. Ross said that match was non-stop action. But, was it total non-stop action?
WINNERS: Kennedy & Murdoch & Cade in 10:00. Take the five minutes from Raw and double the action for this one, with crazy spots normally reserved for TNA's X Division. (**)
Backstage, Hunter talked to a random guy before approaching Batista and his title belt. And the Evolution global domination is complete. Batista repeated Hunter's quote from the last PPV, then Hunter said good luck in that Punjabi prison match tonight, complete with sarcastic disdain for the match. Hunter spun around and McMahon got in Hunter's face. McMahon said he gives the people what they want. He said they advertised Hunter vs. Umaga tonight, so they're going to have that match tonight...for the title. Hunter's smirk turned into a tough frown.
3 -- C.M. PUNK vs. BIG DADDY V (w/Matt Striker) -- ECW Title match
V came out first, then Punk came out to a strong hometown reception. Punk went right after V, but V shook him off. He did the big rear mount and spun around Punk's rear end before landing a huge chop to the chest. He then went for a big corner splash, but Punk moved and slipped up top for a missile dropkick. Suddenly, Matt Striker ran in the ring and attacked Punk, giving Punk the DQ win. After the match, V gave Punk a Samoan Drop, then landed successive big elbow drops. V held the title belt in the air to draw boos while Punk writhed in pain on the mat. Referees then helped Punk out of the ring and up the entrance ramp while he coughed up a red substance.
WINNER: Punk via DQ in 2:00; Punk retains the belt. Geez, another ECW Title match ends in a silly finish. (n/a)
Cole and JBL recapped the Matt Hardy and MVP program, which has become the only reason to watch Smackdown these days. They went to the ring for a Chicago-style deep dish pizza competition that Tazz hosted. He quickly lost the crowd by describing his New York-style pizza. Tazz then introduced Melina and Maria as the contest judges. MVP came out first, followed by Hardy. JBL has upped his sports analogy reference ratio to 1 reference for every 2 sentences. MVP took the mic before the contest and explained that he can't participate because of the high calorie content of the pizza. Maria said she's from Chicago and she's not fat. MVP said it must be the pizza affecting her IQ. MVP continued to talk about Hardy being out of shape, so he shouldn't be eating pizza. They went back and forth on cheating during the past competitions and who's lying and who's crying. Tazz stepped in and said let's eat some pizza, but not before MVP continued to talk.
They finally went to the table and started eating. JBL took a shot at JR's BBQ. And they started eating like they were taking their time. Hardy ended up winning with two pizzas vs. zero pizzas for MVP. Melina explained that MVP never finished his pizzas. Hardy started to feel nauseous, then MVP asked if he was feeling sick. Hardy then turned around and upchucked on MVP before his music hit again. Cole with the line of the night that MVP stands for Most Valuable Puke. I can't believe WWE is charging $40 for this glorified TV show.
They plugged the Cyber Sunday PPV. Time for the second WWE Title match. They recapped Hunter's run of penis jokes on McMahon the past few months leading to tonight. Umaga then came out for the title match. Hunter came out for his full, time-killing, elaborate entrance.
4 -- TRIPLE H vs. UMAGA -- WWE Title match
They didn't wait for the bell and started throwing haymakers in center ring. Hunter then nailed a DDT, but Umaga no-sold and charged Hunter, who pulled down the top rope to send Umaga over the top rope to the floor. Umaga quickly came back with a stiff kick to the face before going up top, only to miss with a diving headbutt. Hunter and Umaga then teased finishing holds before Hunter caught Umaga with a spinebuster. Ross and Lawler discussed whether there have ever been three different WWE champions in one night. Ross, fortunately having pushed WM 9 out of his memory due to the horrific nature of the show and outfits worn that night, didn't mention Bret, Yoko, and Hogan wearing the belt on the same night. Umaga started to work over Hunter, but Hunter moved out of the way of a big rear splash in the corner. He then waited for Umaga to post himself in the ringpost before nailing the Pedigree for the pin and the win. Afterward, Hunter held his arm in pain. If that's not a legit injury, it's a heck of sell job. Afterward, Hunter stood on the ramp and held one arm up in the air for the crowd.
WINNER: Hunter in 7:00 to retain the WWE Title. So, does Hunter pick up a second PPV payday? If so, I hope this one goes in the college fund. Just a match with a few high points that looked more like a TV match at the top of the second hour. (*)
They aired a PPV plug for Bret Hart's DVD.
They focused on the Punjabi Prison hanging above the ring. Backstage, Great Khali was in deep meditation. Translator Guy explained that Khali needs to be prepared with a sound mind and dark soul. He said Khali is praying to the most evil of Hindu gods right now. Suddenly, TG called for Khali to rise and Khali stood up, nearly knocking out the ceiling tiles.
5 -- REY MYSTERIO vs. FINLAY
Early in the match, Rey went for a sunset flip on the outside, but Finlay stuffed Rey's head in the ring apron and pounded on his forehead. JBL pulled out the ole' Arn Anderson three-legged stool analogy for Finlay working on Rey's legs to take his high-flying out of the match. Rey made a comeback with a seated splash, but Finlay blocked the 619. Finlay tried to remove the turnbuckle pad, but the ref gave him his one and only warning. Finlay then tried to use the shillelagh, but Rey blocked and pushed Finlay to the outside. Rey then hung Finlay out to dry on the middle rope and hit a Drop the Dime. Finlay fell backward and smacked the back of his head on the floor. The announcers immediately recognized the four-foot drop directly onto the ground, then the audio came on with the referee asking Finlay if he can hear him. No response. Here comes the heel trickery on the fake injury angle. The camera focused on the ref giving the "X" signal and officials stormed the ringside area to check on Finlay. They strapped him to a gurney and started to wheel him away while Rey, for whatever reason, followed closely with a look of frustration and sadness. Finlay then jumped off the gurney and jumped Rey. He slammed him into the ring barrier and finally walked away when the ref admonished him. JBL and Cole started to debate the merits of good vs. evil, with JBL speaking for McMahon on his view of the ends justifying the means endgame nature of life.
WINNER: No Contest in 7:00. Ah, what could have been between Rey and Finlay. Another match we've seen on TV and will probably see on TV again. Not much to it. (3/4*)
They aired the SaveUs video. The phrase "2nd Coming" was the only real addition.
Backstage, Hunter was getting iced up by the trainer before Vince McMahon walked in. McMahon said it's been a heck of a night since they delivered two title matches and history has been made tonight. McMahon said Orton has demanded his automatic return title match and he's requested it tonight. McMahon said it will be Last Man Standing. Hunter held his head down before slowly approaching McMahon and staring down at him with disdain.
6 -- CANDICE MICHELLE vs. BETH PHOENIX -- Women's Title match
Paging Lucy Lawless. Beth, with a combination look from Xena: Warrior Princess and American Gladiators, came out first to new music. Candice came out next and Beth dominated her early on. Candice made a comeback and her offense barely landed. She then went up top and nailed a cross body block, but for a two count only. Beth then came back with her cradle suplex finisher and covered Candice for the pin to win the belt.
Afterward, Beth took the belt and started getting emotional. She went over to the announce table and asked for a mic. Beth said McMahon was right about history being made tonight. She said she is the most perfect human being on the roster. Beth said she's beginning a new era of the Glamazon tonight.
WINNER: Beth in 4:00 to capture the Women's Title. Well, maybe we can get some solid title matches between Beth and Mickie James over the new few months. They tried hard, but this wasn't good. (1/2*)
They lowered the Punjabi Prison to the ring for the Hvt. title match. Cole and JBL broke down the Batista vs. Khali match before they aired a long video package to fill time.
7 -- BATISTA vs. GREAT KHALI (w/Translator Guy) -- World Hvt. Title Punjabi Prison match
They did the spot with Khali hung up in the top and bottom ropes in the opening seconds. Batista opted to attack Khali rather than escaping the cage. Khali then escaped the ropes and knocked over Batista. He went for one of the four doors, but Batista grabbed his foot. 60 seconds elapsed and the door was closed and locked shut for the remainder of the match. Batista came back with a spear at 4:00 and he called for the second of four doors. He tried to escape, but Khali grabbed him and pulled him back inside. He then choked him against the bamboo wall and the 60 seconds elapsed. Khali took a rope and choked Batista across the throat. The crowd made a collective "oh" sound when they zoomed in tight on Khali having a rope around Batista's throat. JBL gave the "choking the life out of him" line. Ugh. Khali called for the third door to be opened and he tried to escape, but Batista cut him off with a spinebuster. Batista tried to crawl out, but Khali grabbed his leg and kept him inside until the 60 seconds escaped.
With one door left, Batista started whipping Khali with a leather strap. Batista opted not to use the fourth door and tried to climb out of the inner structure, but Khali met him in the corner. Batista then caught Khali in powerbomb position in the corner, but Khali countered with right hand blows to the head to block the move. Khali then slapped on the Claw at 10:00 and the crowd came to life as Batista slunk down to the mat. Khali called for the fourth door and dropped the hold to escape, but Batista landed a quick low blow. He inched toward the door, but Khali slammed the door across Batista's back several times. The time elapsed and the fourth door was locked shut. So, now, the only way out is to climb out of the first and second structure. Batista tried to climb over, but Khali grabbed him and Batista took a flatback bump. Khali then climbed to the top of the inner structure and climbed over the structure and landed on the ground. He then measured the outside structure and started to climb. Suddenly, Batista came to life and quickly scaled the inner structure. He then jumped from the inner structure to the outer structure to catch up with Khali, who took the long way down and back up. Batista and Khali went into race mode and Batista jumped down before Khali could finish the slow climb down.
WINNER: Batista in 16:00 to retain the World Title. Pretty slow at times, but good drama during the 60 seconds for each door and finishing sequence. Khali looked pretty agile climbing both structures. Good story to the match. They fulfilled the advertising of this being a silly gimmick match with a silly structure and silly rules. I'll take this over the alternative of a straight one-on-one match for 16 minutes between these two. (**1/4)
They filled time recapping what we already paid to see at the beginning of the show with McMahon awarding the belt to Orton, then Hunter winning the belt, Hunter retaining the belt, and Hunter now having to defend the belt again.
Todd Grisham interviewed Hunter backstage for an update on his health. Hunter rolled his eyes at Grisham's line of questioning, then said this is a dangerous business, but we all know that when we start it. Hunter said anybody who thinks the game is over is wrong because he's just getting started. He told Orton this is a dangerous business, so get ready to get hurt. Many pre-emptive messages tonight.
7 -- TRIPLE H vs. RANDY ORTON -- WWE Title Last Man Standing match
The bell sounded and they started trading blows before Orton focused on the ribs that Umaga softened up earlier. They moved to the floor and Orton slammed Hunter onto the back of his head on the entrance ramp. Orton continued to smash Hunter into objects around the ringside area. Front row fans encouraged Hunter to get up as the referee applied a ten count. Back in the ring, Orton stalked Hunter and nailed a dropkick. Orton continued to methodically work over Hunter, who wouldn't stay down for a ten count. Orton then pulled out a TV cable and started to choke out Hunter. Unbelievable. Why not slap on a Crossface and slip Hunter some pills? Hunter then answered a ten count by getting up at nine. Orton quickly tossed Hunter to the outside and nailed him in the face with a TV monitor.
Orton took Hunter on top of an announce table and went for an RKO, but Hunter shoved him away and through the ECW table. Orton managed to get up at nine to avoid losing the match. Hunter then nailed a spinebuster on the floor and Orton recoiled while clutching his wrist. Orton again came up at nine. Hunter then picked up the ring steps and nailed Orton in the side of the head; Orton collapsed face-first on the floor. The ref applied his ten count and Orton began to stir before reaching his feet at nine for the third time. Hunter had enough on the outside and threw Orton into the ring. He picked up a chair, but Orton blocked with a kick to the gut. He then DDT'ed Hunter onto the face of the chair. Both men collapsed to the mat and the ref applied his count at 13:00. Both reached their feet and Orton came to life with successive right hand blows to the head, followed by kicks to the gut. Orton unfolded the chair in center ring and Orton measured an RKO on the chair. Hunter didn't block this time and Orton nailed the RKO on the seat of the chair. Hunter came up bleeding and the ref applied his ten count. Hunter pulled himself up by the ropes at nine, then he delivered a crotch chop in Orton's direction. Hunter then collapsed to the mat and Orton looked down at Hunter trying to figure out what he needed to do to KO Hunter.
Orton measured the big punt to the head, but Hunter grabbed his foot to block the kick. Hunter started to Hulk Up and he landed a big clothesline before tossing Orton over the top rope to the outside. Hunter started to toss Orton head-first into anything attached to the ground and he tossed him onto the Raw announce table, but Orton rolled off the table to the floor. He then caught Hunter on the floor and slingshot him face-first into the ringpost. Orton measured Hunter with the ring steps, but Hunter landed a low blow and Orton collapsed into the ring steps. Hunter then smashed the ring steps in a safe way that sold like a chair shot to the head. The ref applied a ten count as Hunter crawled back into the ring. The ref reached nine and Orton reached his feet again. Hunter had enough and put Orton on the announce table. He teased the Pedigree, but Orton - out of nowhere - nailed the RKO on the table. The table didn't break and both men remained KO'ed on the announce table. Orton then rolled off the table and climbed into the ring. Hunter fell off the table and went wobbly-kneed. He tried to get up, but he fell down just at ten, giving Orton the win and the WWE Title.
WINNER: Orton in 22:00 to capture the WWE Title. The Chase is back on. Now with another title victory on the night, Hunter can inch closer to Flair's title number when he gets the belt back from Orton after chasing for a while. Heck of a battle. Great drama and effort to utilize the last man standing match. Going back to Cena vs. Umaga at the Rumble, two very good Last Man Standing matches this year. It darn near saved the show, and the match was a great battle on a weak night otherwise. Ross was on top of his game and Hunter's facial expressions and body language really sold a story here. (****)
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