Retro Reviews: WWE No Mercy 2007
The phrase “plans change” certainly applied to No Mercy 2007. The advertised main event was going to be John Cena defending the WWE Championship against long time rival Randy Orton in a Last Man Standing Match. However, Cena suffered a torn right pectoral muscle on the October 1 episode of Raw, which meant he needed surgery and he had to vacate the WWE Title as well. That led to WWE Chairman Vince McMahon going on ECW TV the next night saying there was going to be a WWE Title match at No Mercy, but they weren’t saying who was going to be in it.
No Mercy actually did pretty well in terms of PPV buys with 270,000. It was higher than every PPV that year except the big four (WrestleMania, Royal Rumble, SummerSlam and Survivor Series) probably because of the intrigue over the WWE Title situation. If you wanted to know what was going to happen, you had to watch No Mercy and I guess it worked.
Here is the synopsis on WWE Network:
“A wild night in WWE Championship history sees Triple H competing three times, culminating in a Last Man Standing Match against Randy Orton for the WWE Championship. World Heavyweight Champion Batista takes on the Great Khali in a Punjabi Prison Match.” 14+ (D, L, V)
The DVD looked like this:
Check out the full list of my WWE PPV Review archive right here. Let’s get to the show.
WWE No Mercy
From Allstate Arena in Chicago, Illinois
October 7, 2007
The opening video package showed some clips of John Cena holding the WWE Title during his long championship reign and then the visual of Cena holding his right arm when he suffered a torn pectoral injury. The video said that tonight there is a “search for a new champion” as we find out who will show “no mercy.” It ended with a shot of Randy Orton’s eyes.
Let’s Hear from Vince McMahon
The WWE Chairman Vince McMahon began the show with Raw General Manager William Regal. Vince did his McMahon strut on the way down to the ring. The Raw announce team of Jim Ross and Jerry “The King” Lawler welcomed us to the show.
Vince did a promo saying last Monday on Raw, John Cena suffered a debilitating injury meaning Cena is out for six months to a year. The fans cheered although some booed that. (It would end up being four months.) Vince said that Cena is no longer the WWE Champion. Vince mentioned fans rooting for the Diamondbacks and some are rooting for the Cubs. That drew boos in Chicago. Vince guaranteed us that history will be made because we’ll have a new WWE Champion and a WWE Championship match right here tonight. Vince said he makes decisions for all of us and he gives us what he wants. The fans chanted “Y2J” and Vince said he’s not going to give us that. (Jericho came back a few months after this.)
Vince presented to us the new WWE Champion…Randy Orton. The fans booed that decision as Orton made his way down to the ring. Orton held up the WWE Championship in his arms with JR noting it was Orton’s first time winning the WWE Championship. Orton won the World Heavyweight Championship three years earlier, but now this was the first time holding the WWE Championship.
Analysis: Orton was the challenger to the WWE Championship going into this show and now that the champion John Cena was out with an injury, Orton was simply awarded the title.
William Regal informed Orton that he must defend the WWE Championship tonight. Regal said it’s up to Orton to decide who he wants to defend against. More “Y2J” chants. Jericho told the fans to shut up because the champ is about to speak. Orton said he knows he won’t be defending against John Cena while noting that due to Cena’s injury, that match is off. Orton said it’s a good thing that Cena can’t compete because it saves him the embarrassment of being defeated. The fans chanted “Cena” so Vince told the fans to shut up and show Orton respect. Orton said that the WWE Championship has been a long time coming and nobody deserves it more than him. Orton said that there is nobody in that locker room or in this business that comes anywhere near to being…and here comes Triple H.
Triple H entered to his music and he was dressed to compete. Huge pop for The Game, who was in babyface mode at this point. Hunter got into the ring with Orton, Vince and Regal.
Hunter congratulated Orton on being the new WWE Champion. Hunter said he knows Orton will be a fighting champion, so he’s out there to say they should do Randy Orton vs. Triple H for the WWE Championship right here, right now. Orton: “No!” That drew boos. Hunter said if he was Orton he wouldn’t want his second title reign to be shorter than the first one. Hunter asked the fans, so they cheered to have the match. Hunter said Vince apparently does it all for the people. Hunter suggested maybe Orton is scared and Hunter makes Vince nervous while telling Vince he’s gutless, a coward, he’s spinless and he has no balls. Hunter said Vince is scared, he has sweat rolling down his neck, he is standing there in this $5,000 suit looking all big and he said that Vince is just an old man. Hunter said that Vince doesn’t have a set of grapefruits, he’s got a set of raisins. Vince was fired up calling Hunter a “son of a bitch” and said that the match is happening now. Vince called for a referee as they cleared the ring. Vince: “Ring the damn bell!”
Analysis: Good job by Triple H pissing off his father-in-law by questioning his manhood and getting himself a WWE Title match out of it. At this point, they didn’t mention that Triple H was Vince’s son-in-law. Most fans knew of course, but it wasn’t really acknowledged on TV until early 2009. Anyway, I thought Hunter had some good lines there while the crowd was fully behind him and it made them want to see the match.
WWE Championship: Randy Orton vs. Triple H
Pre-match notes: Randy Orton was the heel while Triple H was the face.
Hunter with a back elbow and then Orton bailed to the floor. Hunter with an elbow off the apron onto Orton’s back. Orton tried to leave again, but Hunter hit him with a forearm to the back. Back in the ring, Orton worked over Hunter with punches, Hunter hit a jumping knee and some choking with the rope. Orton slipped out of a move leading to an inverted backbreaker. Orton worked over Hunter with punches followed by some choking. Orton caught Hunter with a powerslam for a two count. Orton stomped on Hunter’s limbs to keep him down along with a knee drop for two. Orton with a long headlock, Hunter broke free and hit a running clothesline. Hunter with two corner clotheslines, a sternum bump into the turnbuckle and Hunter hit a forearm to the back for two. Hunter set up Orton on the top rope leading to a superplex. Hunter hit a spinebuster for two. This crowd was going crazy for these nearfalls. Orton left the ring, then Hunter sent him back in, Orton with a kick and draping DDT for Orton for a two count. Orton set up for an RKO, Hunter shoved him into the turnbuckle, Hunter with a kick and he wanted a Pedigree, but Orton hit a back body drop. Orton with a knee drop attempt, Hunter moved, Orton hit the mat and Hunter applied a Figure Four Leglock with Orton getting his hand on the bottom rope. Orton grabbed Hunter and tossed him through the middle ropes to the floor. Hunter sent Orton neck-first across the top rope. Hunter up top even though he usually never does, so Orton tripped him up. Orton with a shoulder tackle attempt, Hunter moved, Orton hit the ring post and Triple H did the ROLLUP OF DEATH~! for the pinfall win at 11:17.
Winner by pinfall AND NEW WWE Champion: Triple H
Analysis: ***1/4 A good match between two guys that wrestled eachother a lot in their careers. I’m surprised by how much the crowd was into this match, but they did care a lot and reacted in a big way. They didn’t even hit a finisher, yet the fans were going crazy for every nearfall after moves like superplexes and spinebusters that are never going to win a match like that. I remembered the title change, but I didn’t think it happened after a ROLLUP OF DEATH~! spot. When Hunter went up top, it was a bit weird because he never goes up top, so then when it set up Orton hitting the turnbuckle and the finish, it made sense why they did it.
Triple H celebrated with the WWE Championship with JR screaming about this was Triple H’s 11th WWE/World Title reign. Orton had a stunned look on his face as he left up the ramp. Triple H continued to celebrate. JR: “How do you follow this?” They showed more replays of what happened.
Analysis: The loss meant that Orton lost the title about 20 minutes after he was awarded the title.
Randy Orton was shown in the backstage area looking shocked about what happened. Orton went up to Vince McMahon, who was about to say something, but instead walked away from Randy. That was it.
There was a commercial for WrestleMania 24 in 2008.
This was called a “special bonus match” since it wasn’t advertised and just added to the show. Jeff Hardy was up first with Paul London and Brian Kendrick. The heels were Cade, Murdoch and Mr. Kennedy, who got heat when he said he’s from Green Bay because they are rivals with Chicago in the NFL.
Jeff Hardy, Paul London & Brian Kendrick vs. Lance Cade, Trevor Murdoch & Mr. Kennedy
Pre-match notes: Jeff, London and Kendrick were the faces. Jeff was also the Intercontinental Champion. Kennedy, Cade & Murdoch were heels. Cade & Murdoch were also the World Tag Team Champions.
Kendrick with a cross body block on Cade, London with a sunset flip on Cade and Cade with a hair pull. Murdoch tagged in with London hitting a dropkick. Jeff tagged in to a big pop leading to the corner attack for two. Murdoch with a boot to the face of Hardy and Kennedy went after Jeff with kicks. Jeff moved out of the way of a kick attempt, Kendrick tagged in with a forearm and then Murdoch opened the ropes, so Kendrick landed hard on the floor. The heels isolated Kendrick with Cade delivering a body slam, Murdoch with a body slam and a knee drop. Kennedy back in with a running kick to Kendrick’s face for two. Kendrick charged, but Kennedy tackled him for a two count. Kendrick with a kick to the head followed by a DDT out of the corner for two. Jeff got the hot tag, he hit a neckbreaker on Murdoch and got a two count. Jeff with a front suplex. Jeff went up top and hit a Swanton Bomb for two because Cade broke up the pin. London with a hurricanrana on Cade to send him out of the ring. Jeff with a spin kick Kennedy, London tagged in and hit a springboard dropkick. London with a spinning heel kick. Jeff ran the barricade going for Cade, missed him and London knocked Cade down. Kendrick sent Murdoch off the apron to the floor. Kennedy punched London on the top rope. Kennedy put London on the shoulders for the Green Bay Plunge for the pinfall win at 8:05.
Winners by pinfall: Lance Cade, Trevor Murdoch & Mr. Kennedy
Analysis: **1/2 Just an average tag team match here to put over Kennedy as a threat to the IC Title. The babyface team of Jeff, London and Kendrick were really fun to watch together, they hit big moves and the crowd loved them. It made sense to put over Kennedy since he was constantly getting pushed at that midcard level.
Triple H was shown walking with the WWE Title while Batista was standing there with the World Heavyweight Title. Batista told Hunter it’s a lot easier to win it than it is to hold onto it. Hunter wished him good luck in that Punjabi Prison Match tonight. Batista left. Vince McMahon got in Hunter’s face saying he gives these people what they want. Vince said that Hunter is going to face Umaga because he’ll give the fans what they want and Vince said it’s for the WWE Championship. Vince left.
The ECW announcers Joey Styles took over for the lone ECW match on the show. Big Daddy V (former Mabel and Viscera) entered first followed by Chicago’s own CM Punk, who got a big pop.
ECW Championship: CM Punk vs. Big Daddy V (w/Matt Striker)
Pre-match notes: CM Punk was the babyface champion while Big Daddy V was a heel.
Big Daddy tossed Punk across the ring to the floor. Big Daddy slammed Punk followed by some spinning on the back and forearms to the body. Punk came back with a jumping kick to the back. Big Daddy shoved Punk into the turnbuckle followed by a chop. Punk moved, so Big Daddy hit the turnbuckle. Punk up top and hit a dropkick. Matt Striker hit Punk in the back, so that led to a DQ at 1:37.
Winner by disqualification: CM Punk
Analysis: 1/4* This sucked. Short match that meant nothing.
Post match, Big Daddy picked up Punk and hit a Samoan Drop. Big Daddy with an elbow to the ribs three times in a row. Big Daddy V celebrated with the ECW Championship. The fans booed. Big Daddy V left with Striker. The crowd chanted “CM Punk” while Punk sold the attack by spitting up blood. The crowd cheered as Punk turned to face them.
Analysis: Bad night for CM Punk having a DQ finish for a match and then getting his ass kicked after it was over. This was a bizarre way of booking a guy in his hometown.
They promoted Smackdown on Friday with Undertaker and Kane teaming up against Matt Hardy and MVP.
The Smackdown announce team of Michael Cole and John Bradshaw Layfield took over on commentary.
Pizza Eating Contest: Matt Hardy vs. MVP
There were pizzas on tables in the ring. Tazz hosted the Chicago Deep Dish pizza competition. Melina and Mara went into the ring to keep score for the contest. MVP was up first as the United States Champion along with one half of the WWE Tag Team Champions. Matt Hardy was up next as the other half of the WWE Tag Team Champions.
Analysis: The story was they had different competitions as bickering champions that didn’t get along very often. MVP was a cocky heel while Matt was a likable face.
MVP did a promo bragging about himself and ripped on the Chicago pizza as a reason why Chicago is one of the fattest cities. Maria said she’s from Chicago, but she’s not fat. MVP ripped on Maria’s IQ. MVP wondered if this was smart for Matt Hardy to do this competition. MVP and Matt argued about who won their past competitions with Matt stating that MVP hasn’t beat him in anything while adding that MVP cheated in some of the past competitions. MVP said he guaranteed he would win this competition.
Matt and MVP started eating their pizza with a countdown starting at around two minutes. Matt ate one pizza in about 30 seconds. This two-minute countdown felt like it took two hours. MP was slow to eat even one pizza while Matt ate two pizzas. MVP finished no pizzas while the clock ran down to zero. After the competition, MVP puked some of the food onto MVP’s white jacket. Tazz: “Matt threw up like a baby.” Pretty much. Matt’s music left while MVP looked sick about what happened.
Analysis: Awful segment. This was a poor use of PPV time. Why not just save this crap for Smackdown? It was a bad idea to put this on a PPV where people are paying a lot of money to watch the show. The entire payoff was Matt puking on MVP to get a cheap laugh, but it barely got a reaction at all. This was lame.
JR: “How about that representation of Friday Night Smackdown?” Ouch. Nice shot by JR.
There was a video package about Triple H’s rivalry with Umaga, who had the support of Vince McMahon.
Umaga made his entrance first followed by Triple H in what was now a WWE Title match.
WWE Championship: Triple H vs. Umaga
Pre-match notes: Triple H was the babyface WWE Champion that won the title earlier in the show while Umaga was a heel.
Hunter and Umaga got into a slugfest early on, Hunter with a DDT, Umaga no-sold that and Hunter avoided an Umaga charge, so Umaga went to the floor. Umaga sent Hunter into the steel steps. Back in the ring, Hunter bounced off the ropes and Umaga hit a superkick followed by a splash off the ropes. Umaga went to the middle rope, he jumped off with a splash and Hunter moved, so Umaga hit the mat. Hunter with a facebuster into the knee, Umaga no sold that, Umaga with a back body drop and then Hunter with a spinebuster. Hunter wanted a Pedigree, Umaga countered into a Samoan Drop and Hunter was selling a rib injury. Hunter left the ring, Umaga grabbed the WWE Title, then put it back and punched Hunter in the ribs. Umaga applied a bearhug to the ribs, Hunter tried raking the eyes to break free, but Umaga hit a sidewalk slam for two. Umaga with a headbutt to the ribs. Hunter was up against the turnbuckle, Umaga went for the hip attack, Hunter moved and Umaga hit the turnbuckle. Umaga went for a corner splash, Hunter moved, Umaga hit the ring post and that apparently hurt Umaga and Hunter hit a Pedigree on Umaga for the pinfall win at 6:33.
Winner by pinfall: Triple H
Analysis: **1/4 It was just an average match with Triple H finding a way to win after a lot of no-selling from Umaga. The weird thing is Umaga was no selling head shots throughout the match and then by the end of it, suddenly a head shot into the ring post as well as a Pedigree was able to slow him down. The fans really didn’t buy into the idea of Umaga winning the WWE Title in this match.
Hunter left with the WWE Title while JR made sure to point out that the combination of the ring post and the Pedigree was enough to put Umaga away. Hunter was selling the left rib injury.
There was a “2nd Coming” video. It was for Chris Jericho’s return.
The Great Khali was in the locker room with “brother” Ranjin Singh with Khali meditating. Ranjin said that Khali needed a sound mind, a dark soul and an area within yourself where you won’t hesitate to inflict pain. Ranjin said Khali is praying to the most evil of Hindu Gods. Ranjin said that Khali will walk out of the Punjabi Prison as the new World Heavyweight Champion. Khali got up, did some yelling and that was it.
Analysis: Thanks for keeping it short. At least they didn’t have a pizza-eating contest.
Finlay was up first for a match with Rey Mysterio as the opponent. There wasn’t much of a reaction for Finlay. They were on Smackdown.
Rey Mysterio vs. Finlay
Pre-match notes: Rey Mysterio was the face while Finlay was the heel.
Finlay with a forearm to the chest, Rey used his speed and hit a dropkick followed by a kick to the head. Rey with a low dropkick leading to a slingshot dive over the top onto Finlay. Finlay came back with a hard whip into the turnbuckle, but then Rey came back with a dropkick to the knee. Finlay was on the apron, Rey tried a sunset flip on the floor and Finlay used the apron to cover Rey’s head and punched him a few times. Finlay sent Rey under the bottom rope to send him shoulder first into the ring post. Finlay with a stiff clothesline along with elbow drops. Rey countered a Finlay move by sending him into the middle turnbuckle. Rey hit a springboard cross body block for two. Rey hit a seated senton off the ropes followed by a running dropkick to the face for two. Finlay countered a Rey move, but then Rey hit a dropkick into the ropes and Finlay came back with a clothesline for two. Finlay hit a shoulderbreaker for two. Finley exposed the top turnbuckle and referee Jimmy Korderas told him this was a warning, but if he tries it again he’s disqualified. Finlay tried an attack with a shillelagh stick, but Rey countered with a hurricanrana out of the ring. Rey went for the 619 kick by the ropes, Finlay avoided it and Rey kicked him in the head. Rey jumped off the top with a leg drop to the back of the head. Finlay bumped from the apron to the floor. Referee Jimmy Korderas talked to him, no response, Korderas signaled “X” for help, then Finlay lifted his up when Korderas moved, so Finlay was fine. The medical team checked on Finlay and a stretcher was brought out. Let’s call it a No Contest at 9:02.
Match Result: No Contest
Analysis: *** A pretty good match with a bad finish. They should have just put Rey over here, but instead went with the non-finish. Finlay acted like he was knocked out, yet when Korderas stopped looking at him, he turned his head and was fine. It was a way for Finlay to try to make Rey look bad for hurting him, but then there was a twist.
Finlay was put on the stretcher as replays aired of Finlay taking a standard back bump (using his hands to hit the mat) and the announcers putting it over like Finlay hit his head. The crowd bought it because they chanted for Finlay. When Finlay got near Rey, he got up and stomped on Rey. Finlay whipped Rey into the barricade and gave him a body slam on the floor. JBL: “He’s brilliant!” Finlay was pulled off Rey as the fans chanted “Finlay sucks” at him. Finlay with another kick to the chest for a cheap shot. JBL said it’s about results and getting what you want.
Analysis: An extremely cheap attack by Finlay after faking an injury while getting a lot of heat for going after Rey the way he did. It worked based on the crowd reaction.
Triple H was in the trainer’s room getting ice put on his ribs. Vince McMahon walked up to Hunter said he’s had a hell of a night. Vince noted that he guaranteed WWE Title matches, he said that history was going to be made and Vince said that Randy Orton has requested his return championship match tonight. Vince said that just to prove he gives the audience what he wants, this Triple H/Orton match will be a Last Man Standing Match for the WWE Title. Vince said that is of course if Hunter can stand at all. Hunter got in Vince’s face, Vince nodded at him: “Good luck, champ.” Vince left. Hunter said nothing and stared straight ahead.
Analysis: It took them 1 hour and 47 minutes to set up the official main event match for the show. I get that it’s the format of the show with things changing, but that is a little late to announce it.
Beth Phoenix entered as the challenger for the Women’s Championship match. JR said it’s the first time in five years that the Women’s Title has been contested at No Mercy. Candice Michelle got a mild pop as the champion.
Women’s Championship: Candice Michelle vs. Beth Phoenix
Pre-match notes: Candice was the babyface Women’s Champion and Phoenix was the heel. Candice was the champion for about four months going into this.
Phoenix used her power to toss Michelle across the ring. Candice did a trip into a bridging pin for two. Phoenix came back with multiple shoulder tackles, then Michelle moved and Michelle hit a dropkick for two. Phoenix whipped Michelle into the turnbuckle, Michelle with a back elbow and Phoenix delivered a huge front powerslam for a two count. Michelle countered a submission attempt into a pin attempt. They exchanged some weak looking forearms, punches and Michelle barely connected with a spin kick. It might have grazed Phoenix a bit. Michelle up top with a cross body block on Phoenix for two. Michelle charged, Phoenix drove her into the turnbuckle and Michelle hit a sunset flip for two. Phoenix with a backbreaker. Phoenix hit a Fisherman’s Buster for the pinfall win at 4:32.
Winner by pinfall AND NEW Women’s Champion: Beth Phoenix
Analysis: 3/4* A dominant performance to crown a new champion. It was a short match like many divas matches in this era. Michelle was not a great worker by any means, but she did work hard and improved. Michelle went for several pin attempts throughout the match, but Beth’s power was too much. The finish was a bit flat with barely a reaction. The Glam Slam is a better finisher.
Beth Phoenix did an interview saying she was the perfect combination of beauty and strength. Beth said that tonight she is said we are now in the Era of the Glamazon. That was it.
The Punjabi Prison structure was lowered. The first Punjabi Prison match was at Great American Bash 2006 with The Undertaker beating Big Show, who replaced Great Khali. It sucked.
A video package aired about Batista’s World Heavyweight Title defense against The Great Khali. Batista beat Khali (and Rey Mysterio) to win the World Heavyweight Title at Unforgiven one match earlier, so Khali wanted a rematch and wanted it to be a Punjabi Prison Match. That’s what led to this matchup.
The Great Khali made his entrance with “brother” Ranjin Singh, who is really named Dave Kapoor from WWE’s creative team. There were two structures surrounding the ring with bamboo wood poles. There were doors. To win the match, you had to escape both of the wooden structures. JBL: “There’s a reason they’ve only done this match once in WWE.” Yeah, because it was terrible!
Batista got a big pop as the World Heavyweight Champion during yet another title reign for him on the Smackdown brand. Batista took his time looking around the structure as the outer cage was lowered with Cole saying it was over one tonne (2,000 pounds) and Cole said it was a combined one mile of reinforced bamboo.
World Heavyweight Championship Punjabi Prison Match: Batista vs. The Great Khali
Pre-match notes: Batista was the face World Heavyweight Champion while Khali was the heel. The Punjabi Prison structure surrounded the ring, which made it tough for the fans to see anything.
Batista with a shoulder tackle that sent Khali into the ropes, so Khali was tied. Khali broke free and chopped Batista in the head. Khali called for a door to open, so he had 60 seconds to get out of the door. Khali tried to get out of the door, but Batista held onto his legs and Khali was unable to get out of the door. Referee Mickey Henson padlocked the door so you can’t go out that door. Khali did his boring offense of knee lifts and a boot to the head. Khali with a body slam. Batista avoided a leg drop. Batista with a Spear and he called for a door to open, so Charles Robinson opened a door. Kali prevented Batista from going out the door and Khali hit some weak forearms. Khali choked Batista against the bamboo. The door was shut and locked, so two doors remain. Khali got a hold of a leather strap that he used to hit Batista in the back. Khali called for a third door to open, so he had 60 seconds to leave the inner structure. Batista managed to hit Khali with a spinebuster. Batista tried to crawl out of the ring through the door, but Khali held onto him. The 60 seconds counted down, so that’s the third door that is locked. Yes, it was as boring as it reads. Batista got a hold of the leather strap and he whipped Khali in the back with the leather strap. Batista tried to escape the inner structure, but Khali was there going up after him. Khali was standing on the top rope, then down to the middle rope and Batista was able to counter into a Batista Bomb, but Khali blocked that with punches to the head. It was a nice tease of something interesting happening in this boring match. Khali applied the dreaded Vice Grip where he squeezed the head and Batista went down to his knees. JBL said that nobody has ever gotten out of this Vice Grip. Khali called for the final door that was opened with 60 seconds on the clock. Batista with a low blow. I felt like I took one of those just by watching this match. Batista crawled towards the door, but Batista got a hold of the door and drove it into Batista’s back repeatedly. The door closed, so all four doors were locked. Khali grabbed referee Jimmy Korderas for locking it.
The only way to get out now was by climbing the 16-foot structure surrounding the ring and then there was another cage outside of that. Khali climbed up the inner cage, Batista tripped Khali up and Khali hit his leg against the top rope. Batista climbed the cage, Khali stood on the middle rope and pulled Batista down, so Batista fell hard back first in the ring. Khali climbed the interior structure, he nearly reached the top and Khali climbed over the top of the 16-foot high inner cage. The announcers put over how incredible that was. Khali climbed down the inner structure and went to the ground. That meant Khali had to climb the outside cage that is 20-feet high from the crowd. Batista was climbing the inner structure, he was moving fast and got to the top. Khali was on the outer structure and Batista jumped from the inner structure to the outer structure! That was impressive and drew a big pop. Khali was on the outside of the second cage, Batista quickly went down the outside, he went down the cage faster than Khali and Batista hit the floor moments before Khali did. It went 14:47.
Analysis: *1/4 A boring match where the only time I was happy was when it ended. I felt bad for the fans having to watch this in person because I doubt they could see much in the ring. I’ll give Batista a lot of credit for that spot where jumped from the inner cage to the outer cage because it was an impressive leap and the fans popped big for it. That was clearly the highlight of this match. Khali climbing the cage wasn’t easy either, but he made it work. Batista worked hard here. I just think the way the match is structured makes it tough for anybody to have a good Punjabi Prison match.
Batista celebrated with the World Heavyweight Title while Khali was upset about the loss. The announcers put over Batista’s heart, athleticism and guts. Batista had a big smile on his face.
The Raw announcers Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler recapped the WWE Title situation from earlier in the night.
Triple H was interviewed by Todd Grisham. Hunter said that this is a dangerous business, but we all knew that when we started in it. Hunter said that people might think The Game is over, but he’s just getting started. Hunter told Randy Orton this is a dangerous business: “Get ready to get hurt.”
Randy Orton entered for the main event as Lilian Garcia went over the Last Man Standing match rules. I neglected to mention earlier that Orton was still using the “Hey Nothing You Can Say” song at this point. Triple H made his entrance for his third match on the show.
WWE Championship Last Man Standing Match: Triple H vs. Randy Orton
Pre-match notes: Triple H was the babyface WWE Champion and Randy Orton was the heel.
The match continues until one of these two men is unable to answer a ten count.
Orton started the match by punching Hunter in the ribs repeatedly since Hunter hurt the ribs against Umaga earlier in the night. When Hunter got a hold of Orton outside the ring, Orton tripped him and Hunter’s back/head hit the bottom of the steel ramp. Orton sent Hunter into the steel steps followed by a punch to the ribs. Back in the ring, Orton beat on Hunter with forearms to the chest and a stomp to the ribs. They left the ring with Orton suplexing Hunter onto the top of the barricade for another shot to the ribs. Hunter with punches, but then Orton got a hold of him and whipped Hunter into the steel steps. Orton sent Hunter back into the ring leading to Orton hitting a dropkick. Hunter got some offense going with a facebuster into the knee. Orton hit a modified backbreaker followed by forearms, uppercuts and kicks to the body. Orton applied a body scissors in the ring while choking Triple H with a cable. Hunter sold it like he was being strangled by the cable, so he was out on the mat until the count reached nine and Hunter was back up. Orton tossed Hunter out of the ring. Orton cleared off two of the announce tables and hit Hunter in the head with a TV monitor. Orton teased an RKO off the announce table, but Hunter shoved Orton and Orton went crashing back first through the ECW announce table. The referee Mike Chioda counted Orton down, but Orton was back up at nine. They were still outside the ring with Hunter giving Orton a spinebuster on the floor. Orton was back up at nine again. Hunter hit Orton with the steel steps, the crowd counted along with the referee and Orton was up at nine again. Hunter sent Orton back into the ring.
Hunter brought a chair into the ring, Orton kicked him in the ribs and Orton DDT’d Hunter onto the chair. Both guys got back up, so Orton worked over Hunter with punches and kicks. Orton opened the chair in the middle of the ring, Orton set up for an RKO onto the chair and Orton connected with it so Hunter went face first into the chair. Orton yelled at the referee to count while Hunter turned over to show the blade job he just did after hitting that chair. Hunter used the ropes to get up at nine. Hunter gave Orton a DX crotch chop gesture and then Hunter collapsed to the mat again. Orton went for a Punt kick, but Hunter caught the right foot and Hunter hit Orton with a clothesline along with a toss over the top to the floor. Hunter sent Orton into the steel steps. Hunter sent Orton into the hood of the Smackdown announce table repeatedly. Hunter wanted a Pedigree on the floor, but Orton did a catapult to send Hunter into the ring post. Orton had the steel steps, Hunter kicked him in the groin and Orton’s head was placed against the steel steps. Hunter hit the steel steps with a chair to make it look like he hit Orton in the head with the chair. Orton was back up at nine. They went over to the announce table with Orton jumping up with an RKO! The table didn’t break somehow. Orton was on his feet while Hunter was laying across the announce table. Hunter went off the announce table, he tried to get back up at eight…nine and he did not get up…so it was a ten count. Randy Orton wins! It went 20:26.
Winner AND NEW WWE Champion: Randy Orton
Analysis: **** This was a great championship match with plenty of drama with the Last Man Standing rules. I really liked the match structure with Hunter selling for most of the first half, then Hunter got back into it and it was even the rest of the way. It was a smart way of doing it because it really built the drama throughout the match. Hunter did an excellent job of selling the rib injury the whole way. It was also cool to see the crowd getting into it a lot by the end of the match. Triple H doing the blade job was typical for him in big matches like this in this era before WWE went PG. It added to the drama to show that Hunter took a beating, but then he kept on fighting and it made it look like an even more brutal match. I assume the last RKO by Orton on the announce table was supposed to break the table, but there was no breaking and that led to Hunter having to roll off the table to the floor where he failed to get up.
Orton left with the WWE Championship while Hunter was struggling to get back up at ringside. JR was yelling about how history has been made. Orton left with the WWE Title to end the show.
This event had a runtime of 2:51:28 on WWE Network.
Show rating (out of 10): 5.75
It’s one of those mixed bag type of shows with some good and some bad. I have a lot of respect for Triple H and Randy Orton working as much as they did and as hard as they did. They ended the night with a four-star main event level match, so kudos to them for ending the night on a high note.
The non-WWE Championship matches and storylines were not very good at all. Some bad finishes, some short matches and some things that took place that didn’t really stand out that much. The pizza-eating contest was brutal to sit through and I felt so sad for CM Punk in that “match” he had.
I don’t think 2007 was a great year for WWE (it was mostly average) and there was a lot of missing star power with no John Cena, Shawn Michaels or The Undertaker among others. Like I said, though, Triple H and Orton stepped up big, so they deserve a lot of praise for what they did.
- Triple H – Three matches in one night and all of them were pretty good, especially the last match.
- Randy Orton
- Rey Mysterio
Best Match: Randy Orton vs. Triple H in a Last Man Standing Match (**** out of 5)
Worst Match: CM Punk vs. Viscera (1/4*)
Most Memorable Moment: Randy Orton hitting Triple H with the RKO on the announce table to win the Last Man Standing Match and become the WWE Champion.
That’s all for me. Check out the full list of my WWE PPV Review archive right here. Thanks for reading.
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