No Mercy 2006 was a WWE Smackdown brand show back in the Friday Night Smackdown days.
The original main event was announced as King Booker defending the World Title against Bobby Lashley in a singles match. On the Smackdown prior to No Mercy, it was changed to Booker vs. Lashley vs. Batista vs. Finlay. The reason that was reported at the time was due to concerns that it wasn’t a strong main event, so by adding Batista’s star power, WWE thought it would help. Booker was pinned by Lashley and Finlay in separate matches in the two Smackdown shows prior to No Mercy in order to build them up. Batista was already a main eventer, so it was easy to see why he was in there.
This show did not do well in terms of PPV buyrates with 197,000 buys. That was the lowest for WWE in 2006. Part of the reason was the time of the year because October is typically a slow month for WWE and Smackdown was the “B” brand as usual. There were years where Smackdown was hot, but this wasn’t considered a hot period for Smackdown.
For the last few years, I have been reviewing WWE PPVs starting in 2003 through the mid-2000s. Check out my WWE Retro PPV archive here if you want to read any of the reviews during that period. Let’s get to it.
WWE No Mercy
RBC Center in Raleigh, North Carolina
October 8, 2006
This event has a rating of TV-14 and “S” for Sexual Content on WWE Network.
The opening video package focused on King Booker’s reign as World Champion for the previous few months and how he was in danger in a fatal fourway match with the title on the line.
The pyro went off, the crowd was making a lot of noise and we were welcomed to the show by Michael Cole and John Bradshaw Layfield at ringside. The Spanish announce team were also shown at ringside.
Matt Hardy vs. Gregory Helms
Pre-match: Hardy was the face from nearby Cameron, NC while Helms was from Raleigh, NC where this PPV took place. They were close friends that knew eachother going back to when they were teenagers. Helms was the Cruiserweight Title match, but this was not a title match.
They locked up with JBL noting that Helms hasn’t lost on a PPV this year as Hardy hit a shoulder tackle. Hardy with a takedown followed by a kick to the back and he sent Hardy into the turnbuckle. Hardy came back with a suplex followed by an elbow drop and a clothesline that sent Helms over the top to the floor. Hardy with a slingshot attack over the top onto Helms on the floor. Back in the ring, Hardy with a sitout slam. Helms came back with a counter where he sent Hardy face first into the turnbuckle followed by a neckbreaker into the knee for two. Helms hit a side Russian legsweep off the middle rope for a delayed two count. Hardy with punches, but Hardy came back with a knee to the face similar to what would become the Codebreaker used by Chris Jericho and that would lead to a two count. This was over a year before Jericho was using that move. Helms grounded Hardy with an armbar, Matt got back to his feet and hit a reverse DDT to counter. They got into a slugfest with punches followed by Matt hitting two clotheslines, a corner clothesline and a running bulldog for two. Hardy with a body slam, to the middle rope and Hardy hit a leg drop for a two count. The fans bought that as a possible finish. Helms got back to his feet, he hooked the arms and hit a neckbreaker into a slam. Helms did the same move where he hooked the arms into a neckbreaker for a third time. It was similar to Christian’s Unprettier move, but not the same thing. Helms went up top, jumped off with nothing, Matt with a punch and a Side Effect slam for two. Hardy hit another Side Effect for two. JBL was screaming “what a matchup” for them. It was a little much. Hardy with the Side Effect for the third time. Hardy up top, moonsault, but Helms got the knees up and blocked. Hardy avoided a knee strike leading to a rollup for two. Helms with a back body drop followed by a running knee strike for a two count. Helms set up Hardy on the turnbuckle, Hardy with a headbutt and Helms sent Hardy groin first into the top rope. Helms up top with a jumping kick to the head for two because Hardy got his foot on the bottom rope. Referee Jimmy Korderas saw the foot on the rope. Hardy blocked a kick, he connected with a kick to the ribs and a Twist of Fate won it for Hardy at 13:07.
Winner by pinfall: Matt Hardy
Analysis: ***3/4 That was a great opener with a nice mix of technical wrestling, big spots and the pacing felt just right. Helms was always very good at coming up with some cool moves, which he did here also. Helms controlled most of it until Hardy made the big comeback for the win. I think they could have built the finish up a bit more with Matt hitting a few more moves before putting him away. The best thing you can say about the finish was that it put over the Twist of Fate in a big way because it only took one big move for Matt to win.
Hardy celebrated the win. The announcers tried to put this over as a great match by saying “what a match” with JBL claiming that they stole the show. He was really over the top putting over this match.
King Booker, the World Heavyweight Champion, was in the locker room with Queen Sharmell with Booker telling his wife that he needs total seclusion. William Regal showed up calling Booker “your majesty.” Booker said that Regal’s services are needed now more than ever. Booker complained about how he had to beat three fire-breathing dragons. Booker said that the Fatal 4-Way could be fatal, but he said that Regal can aid him. Booker told Regal to tell Finlay to stand aside and put aside his love for fighting for one night. Booker told Regal to convince Finlay to be Booker’s ally, not his enemy. Regal said he won’t let him down and he left. Sharmell told her husband that all will be well.
The tag team of KC James and Idol James entered with Michelle McCool in her sexy “teacher” attire since she was a teacher before getting hired by WWE after the Diva Search that she was in. JBL called her the future Mrs. Layfield. She would become the future Mrs. Undertaker, but this was before they started dating. Brian Kendrick and Paul London were led to the ring by Ashley Massaro.
WWE Tag Team Championships: Paul London and Brian Kendrick (w/Ashley Massaro) vs. KC James and Idol Stevens (w/Michelle McCool)
Pre-match notes: London and Kendrick were faces that were the champions for about five months going into this match. James and Stevens were new heels. Stevens would go on to later fame as Damien Sandow. James did not have a long WWE career. He was out of the business two years after this when he was in his late 20s. All four guys were in their mid-20s for this match.
London with a hurricanrana on Stevens, Kendrick tagged in for a double team hiptoss leading to a two count. London back in with a double foot attack on the arm of Stevens. Kendrick tagged back in leading to a cross body block on Stevens for two. James with a knee to the ribs of London, Stevens tagged in and London kicked him in the ribs followed by a spin kick. London and Kendrick each hit somersault dives over the top onto their opponents on the floor. Kendrick with a suplex, McCool with a distraction and James shoved London off the top onto the floor. That was a rough bump for London landing right on his back off the top rope. James tagged in with a knee to the back of London followed by a chinlock. James with a backbreaker on London. Stevens wore down London by hooking the arms in a submission. James tagged in with an elbow drop. James missed a corner charge, he hit the turnbuckle and London tossed Stevens out of the ring. Stevens pulled Kendrick off the apron to prevent a tag. London broke free, hot tag to Kendrick with running forearms, a dropkick, a jumping sidekick and another dropkick. When Kendrick tried his Sliced Bread move, Stevens tripped him up in the turnbuckle, but London came back with a suicide dive on Stevens. James went up top and connected with a superplex on Kendrick. James charged, Kendrick avoided an attack and Kendrick hit a spinning DDT for two because McCool put James’ foot on the bottom rope. Ashley argued with the referee, Stevens hit a backbreaker on Kendrick and James crawled over for a two count. McCool grabbed Kendrick’s foot, so Ashley knocked McCool down and punched her. The crowd loved that. JBL: “Don’t hurt her face!” London back in and Kendrick hit a double dropkick on the two heels. Kendrick hit the Sliced Bread off the ropes followed by London with a Shooting Star Press of London’s back and Kendrick covered James to win at 9:35.
Winners by pinfall: Paul London and Brian Kendrick
Analysis: **1/2 Good tag team match that really picked up at the end. Typical formula for a tag team match where London was the face in peril, Kendrick got the hot tag and the last few minutes were more action-packed leading to the finish. The London/Kendrick team was very good and capable of good matches with anybody, but Stevens/James had no heat. There just wasn’t much of a reaction to anything they did. McCool interfered quite a bit, so it made sense for Ashley to take her out leading to the finish. If you’re going to have the girls out there, you might as well use them.
William Regal was shown walking backstage asking people if they have seen Finlay and he was told that Finlay was in the locker room. Vito was jumping rope while wearing a dress in heels. Regal grabbed the rope and did some jump rope of his own. When Regal turned around, a guy with a food tray ran into him, so Regal had food all over his suit. Regal was flailing around in the food to end it.
Analysis: I had forgotten about the Vito gimmick being so terrible. Regal was able to pull off comedy well, but this wasn’t very good.
Happy Birthday to The Miz
Theodore Long, the Smackdown GM, was in the ring along with a present that was in the ring. Long introduced the undefeated Miz, who was celebrating his 26th birthday. He’s the same age as me and he’s one month older. He had worse hair than me at 26, I assure. JBL complained about it while saying that Miz was a “Terry Taylor starter kit” in terms of his look. Miz did his “hoo-rah” thing that was annoying. Long mentioned that Miz has been hitting on a Smackdown diva, so maybe she has changed her mind. Long introduced 2006 Diva Search winner Layla and Miz was excited.
Layla walked out looking incredible in bra, panties and a black jacket. JBL said, “no wonder she won the competition.” Well said. Miz said his wish was for Layla, who asked for a chair and she had Miz sit on the chair. Layla did a dance in front of Miz while he sat in the chair saying it was the best birthday ever. Layla put on a blindfold, he was excited, she left and the present was unveiled. It was the fat oily guy known as Big Dick Johnson while Layla watched. The crowd screamed in horror while I did the same. Miz touched the chest of Johnson, Layla took the blindfold off and Miz was shocked. Miz fell off the chair, the announcers laughed, so did Layla and she danced with Johnson to end it.
Analysis: The Layla parts were great. I don’t want to say I had forgotten that she was gorgeous, but it was nice to see her again. Everything else was terrible. It was the worst kind of WWE comedy that Vince McMahon loved where they wanted us to laugh at the fat guy. Big Dick Johnson was portrayed by Chris DeJoseph, who was a WWE writer at the time.
Montel Vontavious Porter made his entrance for his PPV debut match. Even though JBL was a heel announcer, he complained about how cocky MVP was. MVP had a one-piece outfit that was different from most wrestlers in WWE. MVP said he was the greatest athlete of all time and the MVP while fans chanted “Power Ranger” at him because of his outfit. When the opponent, Marty Garner, entered, JBL complained about MVP not facing tougher competition.
Montel Vontavious Porter vs. Marty Garner
Pre-match notes: MVP was a heel making his PPV debut. Garner was a local indy wrestler that was friends with the Hardys.
MVP slapped Garner while Cole and JBL complained about the opponent for MVP while also mocking the outfit. MVP with a snapmare takeover while fans chanted “boring” for this. MVP sent Garner into the turnbuckle, two punches from Garner and MVP decked him with a clothesline. There were more “Power Ranger” chants. MVP hit his finishing move that would become the Playmaker and it was enough to win the match at 2:28.
Winner by pinfall: MVP
Analysis: 1/2* Easy win for MVP in his PPV debut. He would get a pretty good push over the next year.
After the match, the announcers complained about MVP with JBL ripping on the performance saying it was pathetic.
William Regal walked out of the shower. Big Vito was behind him. Vito laughed at the size of Regal’s junk, Regal checked out Vito while asking if he fathered a donkey with Vito said the chicks dig it. Regal ran down the hallway with the towel, his ass wasn’t covered (it was digitized thankfully), some ladies were randomly there and Teddy Long went up to Regal. Long told him to cover his junk. Regal said he had a serious mission. Long told Regal he won’t tolerate the horseplaying in the hallway, so Long told him to get his gear on because Long is putting him in a match.
There was a video package about The Undertaker vs. Mr. (Ken) Kennedy. They had a moment on Smackdown where Undertaker made Kennedy’s microphone explode. Kennedy said The Undertaker doesn’t scare him and Kennedy said that he is the future.
Mr. Kennedy made his entrance with the United States Championship in his hands. Kennedy introduced himself as he loved to do. Kennedy was 30 years old with a bright future as a future main eventer. He did become a main eventer…in TNA/Impact, but his WWE run was cut short in 2009.
The Undertaker made his entrance. He was 41 years old and in great shape at this point. I think you could make a good point that his best years were 2005 to 2010 in terms of match quality, which were years 40 to 45 for him. JBL put over Undertaker as his toughest opponent.
The Undertaker vs. Mr. (Ken) Kennedy
Pre-match notes: The Undertaker was a face that was obviously one of the biggest names on the Smackdown brand. Kennedy was the US Champion, but that title was not on the line.
Kennedy charged and Taker hit him with a boot to the face followed by Taker sending him shoulder first into the turnbuckle. Taker whipped Kennedy’s left hand into the steel steps. Taker grabbed the left hand again and whipped him down. Taker sent Kennedy left shoulder first into the steel ring post. Kennedy tried to fight back, but Taker kicked him in the arm. Taker tried the rope walk, but Taker took him down with an arm drag to take control. Kennedy drove his foot into the throat of Taker. There was another kick to the arm by Taker, then another arm wringer leading to the rope talk and this time Undertaker punched the left shoulder of Kennedy. Taker with a flatliner for a two count. While they were up against a turnbuckle, Kennedy took off a turnbuckle pad leading to a clothesline from Taker for two. Taker charged with a kick, Kennedy moved, Undertaker to the apron and Kennedy knocked him off the apron to send him into the barricade. Kennedy tried an attack off the apron, but Taker caught him and drove him back first into the ring post, which led to a two count. Kennedy tossed Taker out of the ring. When Taker was on the apron, Kennedy gave him a DDT for a two count. Kennedy with a running splash to the back while Taker was against the ropes, which led to another two count. Kennedy with a running boot to the face while Taker was against the turnbuckle. That’s the move that Zack Ryder would use and would call the “Broski Boot.” It looked impressive.
The Undertaker got back into the match with punches followed by a clothesline that sent Kennedy out of the ring. That led to Undertaker hitting the leg drop while on the apron. Back in the ring, Kennedy teased a piledriver, couldn’t get him up and then got him up for a piledriver for a two count. That looked like it nearly hurt Taker, but he was okay and he sat up. Kennedy slapped on a headlock to keep Taker down, the headlock was on for nearly two minutes and Taker hit a belly to back suplex. They got into a slugfest with JBL suggesting a low blow or a poke to the eye by Kennedy. Taker with a flying clothesline, two corner clotheslines, then snake eyes into the turnbuckle and a boot to the face followed by a leg drop for two. The replay of snake eyes showed Kennedy didn’t come close to the turnbuckle. Taker wanted a Chokeslam, Kennedy grabbed the referee to save himself and he hit a swinging neckbreaker for two. Taker avoided an enziguri kick and he hit a Chokeslam with the crowd coming alive a bit after that. Taker set up for the Last Ride Powerbomb, but Kennedy got out of it and Kennedy sent Taker’s face first into the exposed turnbuckle, which the referee Charles Robinson didn’t see as being exposed. Kennedy with a clothesline. Kennedy up top and he a hit a Kenton Bomb (Swanton Bomb) for a two count. Good nearfall there leading to Taker sitting up. Kennedy brought his US Title in the ring, but the referee pulled it from him. Taker with a punch to the face. Taker grabbed the title, the referee told him not to use it and Taker hit Kennedy in the head with the US Title. That led to the DQ finish at 20:34.
Winner by disqualification: Mr. Kennedy
Analysis: **1/4 It went too long with a terrible ending. I understand needing to go long because it wasn’t a deep card, but I felt they had a tough time telling an interesting story. The key thing here is that Kennedy got the win because WWE was trying to build him up. In the weeks and months that followed, WWE’s way of trying to get Kennedy over led them to remind us that he got wins over former World Champions including this one. I just hated that finish. We’re supposed to think that the veteran Undertaker had no interest in winning the match and was fine with hitting the guy with the title? Lame finish.
Post match, Undertaker grabbed referee Charles Robinson by the throat. Taker decked Kennedy with a clothesline followed by two elbow drops. Undertaker picked up Kennedy and hit the Tombstone. The fans popped for that. Undertaker was about to leave, but then he stood over referee Robinson. The fans cheered for that too. The Undertaker left as his music played even though he lost the match.
Analysis: It made the people happy to have Undertaker deliver the Tombstone to Kennedy and they liked it even more when he did it to Robinson, who made the right call by calling for the DQ. It made the fans happy, but it was still a bad finish to the match.
The video package aired to hype up Rey Mysterio vs. Chavo Guerrero and his sister-in-law Vickie Guerrero. It was a Falls Count Anywhere. The story was that Chavo turned on Mysterio at the Great American Bash to help Booker T win the World Title from Mysterio. Chavo claimed that Rey was living off the Guerrero name and when it looked like Vickie sided with Rey, she hit Rey with a steel chair as well. Vickie announced herself as Chavo’s business manager. All of that would set up this Falls Count Anywhere match.
Chavo Guerrero made his entrance with business manager Vickie Guerrero. Rey Mysterio was up next. Pretty good pop for him, but not huge.
Falls Count Anywhere: Rey Mysterio vs. Chavo Guerrero (w/Vickie Guerrero)
Pre-match notes: Rey was the face that was the former World Champion while Chavo was the heel.
They started out slugging with punches leading to Mysterio hitting a dropkick. Mysterio with a hard kick to the leg. Mysterio went up top, Guerrero met him up there and Guerrero wanted a Powerbomb to the floor, but that wasn’t going to happen. They did a spot where they punched eachother leading to each man falling off the middle turnbuckle to the floor. Mysterio with a dropkick on the floor, but then Chavo took over with a whip into the barricade. Guerrero reminded Mysterio that “EG” was not his family because Eddie was Chavo’s uncle. They went brawling towards the entrance where Mysterio hung onto a lighting grid and hit a hurricanrana on the steel ramp for two. Mysterio whipped Guerrero into the hockey boards. Guerrero tossed Mysterio throat first into the top of the boards. Mysterio came back by whipping Guerrero back first into a steel guard rail. Mysterio jumped off the hockey boards leading to a leg drop to the back of Guerrero for a two count. Mysterio with a headscissors on the floor. Mysterio went for a bulldog on the floor, but Chavo caught him and sent him into the boards for a two count. Guerrero picked up Mysterio and sent him head/shoulder first into the back of two chairs. Guerrero sent Mysterio over the hockey boards and they went up the stairs into the crowd with referee Jimmy Korderas following them. Mysterio fought back with kicks to knock Chavo down the stairs and they went back to the main level. Mysterio with a seated senton onto Guerrero on the floor. Chavo came back with a clothesline. Guerrero drove Mysterio’s left arm into the boards. Guerrero kicked the left arm of Mysterio and then whipped him into a steel guard rail. Mysterio held onto a railing leading to a 619-like kick to the face. Mysterio whipped Guerrero into a steel railing. Mysterio climbed a railing and jumped off with a cross body block. Chavo’s shoulders weren’t down right away as Rey tried a cover, then he was positioned over a bit more and Korderas counted the pin on the floor to give Rey the win at 12:10.
Winner by pinfall: Rey Mysterio
Analysis: ***1/4 That was good with a lot of intensity shown by both guys. It felt like a fight instead of a classic wrestling match they had many times in their careers, but those regular matches were better in terms of star ratings. I just think the finish came across as weak because Mysterio hit the cross body, then there was a delay for a cover to see if the shoulders were down. It just wasn’t as exciting of an ending as it could have been. The match time was fine because it didn’t need to be longer than that. Mysterio getting the win was the right move to put an end to the rivalry.
After the match, Mysterio stomped on Chavo some more until the referee pulled him off. Vickie went over to check on Chavo, then Rey stopped and went to the back.
William Regal made his entrance against a surprise opponent. There was not much of a reaction for him. The surprise opponent was Chris Benoit, who was making his return after nearly five months out of action. The crowd popped for Benoit since it was his return from a shoulder injury.
William Regal vs. Chris Benoit
Pre-match notes: William Regal was a heel while Benoit was the face. There was no storyline, but they had wrestled many times before.
They battled over an arm wringer, Benoit chopped the arm because Regal tried to block and Benoit got an arm wringer takedown. Regal tripped Benoit leading to a two count. Regal showed off doing a bridge while Benoit was holding his hands, Regal kipped up and Benoit slapped on a leg scissors submission around the waist of Regal. They got back to a standing position with Benoit unloading with five hard chops to the chest followed by a German Suplex. Benoit with four headbutts and the announcers were shocked by it with Cole asking if you heard the headbutt, JBL said “dear God” I think, and Benoit hit a German Suplex. Regal was busted open hardway from the first headbutt. Benoit went up top and hit a headbutt for a two count. Regal to the apron, Benoit teased a German Suplex off the apron, but Regal blocked it. Regal came back with a DDT on the edge of the ring apron. Regal worked over Benoit with punches and kicks with JBL saying this match was a thing of beauty. Benoit came back with chops, Regal countered out of a Sharpshooter and Regal hit a running knee to the face for a two count. Regal pulled back on the head/arm of Benoit from a standing position. Benoit drove Regal to the ropes and Benoit chopped him in the head! That’s rare. That sounded brutal. Another chop by Benoit. Regal came back with two exploder suplexes and a knee drop for a two count. Regal went for a submission move, Benoit slapped on an armbar and Regal got to the ropes. Regal with a hard kick to the chest for two. The fans were quiet, so JBL said that the fans were in awe. I think the issue may have been no storyline, but good job by JBL trying to put over the intensity of the match. Regal with a submission where he pulled back on a headlock. Benoit was bleeding from the mouth probably due to that knee to the face by Regal. Benoit with a Dragon Suplex, Benoit slapped on the Crippler Crossface and Regal tapped out quickly to give Benoit the win at 11:16. JBL called it a “physical masterpiece” and said, “hat’s off to Benoit and Regal.”
Winner by submission: Chris Benoit
Analysis: ***1/2 It was a very good technical wrestling match as you would expect from these two guys. The first few minutes were a nice ode to old school wrestling. They beat the shit out of eachother too. Some of those chops from Benoit were nasty, especially when he hit Regal in the face with a chop. Regal got in a lot of offense, but I don’t think anybody thought he was going to win, so that hurt the match a bit.
Booker T and Sharmell went up to William Regal, who was a bloody mess. Booker asked if he did what he wanted him to do – talk to Finlay. Regal said no. Booker was mad about it. Finlay walked up to Booker saying he was there to fight and he was there to take Booker’s World Heavyweight Championship. Finlay left. Booker told Regal he blamed him for this, he called him useless and he said he makes him sick. Booker slapped Regal and told him to get out of his sight. Regal punched Booker and knocked him on his ass with one punch. Booker got back up. He was upset.
A video package aired to set up the Fatal 4-Way match for the World Heavyweight Title.
Bobby Lashley was shown getting ready when Batista showed up to chat. Lashley reminded him it’s every man for himself, Batista said there was no mercy and he’ll see him out there.
Finlay entered first to not much of a reaction. He was the oldest guy in this match at 48 years old, but to his credit, he was in great shape. Bobby Lashley was up next to a pretty good pop. He was a star on the rise that was 30 years old with JBL saying he predicted that Lashley will be the biggest star on Smackdown and it could be tonight. Batista got the biggest ovation of the show. He had been a main eventer on Smackdown since April 2005, but he had to give up the World Title due to injury about nine months earlier. King Booker was up next as the World Heavyweight Champion with his wife Queen Sharmell by his side. His walk to the ring was slow. No Sharmell doing the “All Hail King Booker” line that she would often do to get heat.
World Heavyweight Championship: King Booker (w/Sharmell) vs. Batista vs. Finlay vs Bobby Lashley
Pre-match notes: King Booker was the heel champion, Finlay was a heel, Batista was a face and Lashley was a face.
The first fall wins this match. It was noted by Cole that it was 78 days since Booker won the title.
Batista and Lashley hit a double shoulder block on Booker. Finlay attacked Lashley from behind and tossed him out of the ring. Finlay with a clothesline on Batista. Booker tossed Lashley out of the ring so the heels can double team Batista for a bit, but then Lashley came back to throw Finlay out of the ring. Lashley got his hands on Booker leading to a spinebuster for two. Lashley missed a charge out of the ring leading to Finlay and Booker sending Lashley back first into the side of the ring apron. Booker and Finlay worked together with punches, chops and forearms to the chest of Batista. When Batista avoided a Booker clothesline, Finlay hit Batista with a clothesline. Finlay followed up with a clothesline on Booker leading to JBL calling Finlay a “disingenuous bastard.” Finlay whipped Batista into the steel steps. Finlay worked over his buddy Booker by elbowing him in the chest. Finlay jumped onto Booker’s chest, Batista back in with a punch for Finlay and Finlay took down Batista with an armbar. Batista countered with a Samoan Drop, but Finlay still had the armbar on until Lashley kicked Finlay. Finlay tripped up Lashley and slapped on a half crab submission, so Booker ended that with a superkick to Finlay for two. Batista worked over Booker with shoulder tackles to the ribs, but Booker came back with a jumping side kick for two. Batista came back with a sidewalk slam while selling the left arm injury when he got the two count. Lashley with a clothesline to send Booker over the top to the floor. Lashley with back body drop that sent Batista out of the ring. Finlay charged with a steel chair, but Lashley kicked it out of his hands. Cole mentioned that anything goes in this match since it’s a 4-Way. Lashley with a back elbow, clothesline and a press slam on Finlay. That’s when Little Bastard (who later was named Hornswoggle) showed up for a low blow, the referee tried to find him and Finlay hit Lashley with a shillelagh shot to the head. Finlay tossed the weapon away. If there are no DQ’s in a match like this, why do they have to have the heel cheat to get in a weapon shot? It doesn’t have to happen that way. Anyway, it got a two count with Booker breaking up the pin.
Booker worked over Finlay with chops to the chest. Batista got back into it with a clothesline on Finlay, clothesline on Booker and Batista hit a Jackhammer slam on Booker for two. Finlay back in, so Batista took him out with a clothesline. Batista faced off with Lashley while the other two guys were on the floor with JBL said he wanted to see two freaks go at it. The fans were getting louder. Batista hit a Spear for three two counts in a row. Batista with shoulder tackles against the turnbuckle. Lashley came back with a spinebuster. Batista was bleeding heavily from the head. I’m not sure where that happened because I watched it a few times. It might have been from the Spear where may have taken an elbow to the face. I’m not sure. Lashley with two running clotheslines on Batista followed by a belly to belly suplex. Lashley with a clothesline that sent Batista out of the ring. Lashley tossed Finlay out of the ring as well. Booker went back with a Book End on Lashley for a two count. Good nearfall. Booker went for a suplex, but Lashley turned it into a cradle for two. That may have been a mistake because that’s not a regular spot. Booker with a flying forearm on Lashley for a two count. Finlay went back in with a clothesline on Booker for two. Lashley avoided a Finlay charge and Finlay hit the turnbuckle. Batista back into the ring with spinebusters for all three guys. The fans were going crazy as Batista fired up. Batista hit a Batista Bomb on Finlay, but Lashley got back up with a Spear to Batista. Booker crawled over to Finlay for the one…two…three for the pinfall victory at 16:52.
Winner by pinfall: King Booker
Analysis: ***1/4 It was a pretty good 4-Way with Booker finding a way to escape as the champion. The crowd was really into the match. The ending was booked the right way because it fit the heel champion to steal the pin off a Batista move. Batista wasn’t part of the finish since he’s the one that was going to face Booker at Survivor Series. This may be nitpicking on my part, but it’s weird when they have a multi-man match like this, there are no rules and they did not involve weapons at all aside from a spot where Finlay tried to hide it from the referee. Batista was the heavy favorite, but fans believed in Lashley a lot too. Finlay taking the pin was the obvious finish because it protected Batista and Lashley. I think it’s fair to say that this match would have been better than Booker vs. Lashley would have been if it was just a singles match.
Post match, Booker celebrated the win with Cole yelling about how Batista did all the damage, but booker stole the victory. JBL put over Booker saying it’s not just about brawn, it’s about brains as well and that’s why Booker is still the World Champion. They replayed the finish. The camera focused on Booker and Batista having a staredown to end it.
This event had a run time of 2:31:20 on WWE Network. That is shorter than most PPVs in this era. Most PPVs went about 2:45:00, so they ended this one early or WWE Network left some things out.
Show Rating (out of 10): 7
This was a solid wrestling show from top to bottom. There were four matches in the three-star range including the last three matches, so it’s nice when you can end it with a strong final hour like that. There was nothing at the four-star level, so I would have a hard time calling it a great event. It was also lacking in terms of memorable moments, but all things considered, I enjoyed most of No Mercy. Other than the bad finish for The Undertaker/Kennedy match, everything was booked well.
Best Match: Matt Hardy vs. Gregory Helms (***3/4 out of 5)
Worst Match: MVP vs. Marty Garner (1/2*)
Five Stars of the Night
- Matt Hardy
- Gregory Helms
- Rey Mysterio
- King Booker
Next up: Cyber Sunday 2006, which was a Raw show along with wrestlers from the other brands as well.
Thanks for reading.
John Canton – [email protected]
Check out my other retro WWE PPV reviews here as well.